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The Toads





Jeff's Plasma Blast 2.0 jumps even deeper into the plasma pool

 Last year, the first round of Jeff's Plasma Blast rolled out to overwhelming success. Its venue, the American Legion up on Alberta, filled to capacity as tickets sold like the hottest of cakes. The mini fest was started by the surfy psych band Skelevision, formally known as Thong. Since the second installment happens this Friday, we exchanged some words with Skelevision drummer Philip Zevenbergen on names, lineups and Plasma Blast details, like how it'll also be the band's release show for their new full length Inside The Horror and tour kickoff...

 

The Deli Portland: How did the band end up settling on Skelevision for the name change, from the former name Thong?

Philip Zevenbergen: It kind of just became this name that got thrown around in our desperate attempt to ditch Thong. Some weird names were considered. Chemical X (like the powerpuff girls), Warped Tape, and The Shrimpers were all top contenders for a while, but ultimately Skelevision just rolled off the tongue better and was more fitting to our sound.

The name Skelevision specifically came about out of my boredom of working at Wunderland Nickle Arcade. I would often combine random prefixes with objects I'd see around the room, "skele" and an arcade game with "vision" in the title stuck out one day and I wrote it down.

Speaking of names, how did the name for Jeff's Plasma Blast itself come about?

I am a huge fan of David Cronenberg's The Fly (1986). Throughout the film Jeff Goldblum, who plays the lead role of a scientist who becomes a gross monster fly, refers to jumping into the "plasma pool". I found that to be real silly and Jeff's celebration of the plasma pool just seemed like a good name for a music fest for some reason. Originally, it was Jeff's New Years Plasma Blast when we did it in December of 2016. We just dropped the "New Years" and picked up the "2.0" and there ya have it.

What was your process for selecting the lineup for Plasma Blast 2.0?

Well, it started with just asking some bands I am close with about hopping on so I could have a good baseline of acts before reaching out to headliners. Once I had my baseline, I reached out to some more of the scene leaders about getting on, people who have been around longer in the Portland scene and have some street cred from touring or having a notable label. Once that was taken care of, I shifted into getting the headliners which was easily the hardest, most time consuming, and stressful part of the whole show. A lot of agents will lead you on and throw you back and forth on how the likely the headliner you want will take the money you've offered. However Mean Jeans and Walter TV have both been pleasures to work with and so have their agents. We are stoked to have them playing the festival and even more stoked that we get to hit Eugene the next day with Walter TV again.

Is there any particular artist(s) whose sets you're really looking forward to?

I'm most excited to see The Fabulous Downey Brothers. We played with them at the BIG BLDG BASH this year and we were totally blown away. They are going to have a crowd of totally fresh faces and I know they'll tear the house down.

I'm also stoked to see Mannequin, who are opening the festival as this will be their first show. They look like some girls who are gonna kick some serious ass.

Why did you decide to have the event be all-ages and one day long, versus spanning over two days?

When you span it over two days, you have to get the twice the artists. I see it this way only because I am a believer in the short, around 20 minute long set. Show us what you got and get off. To have the amount of artists we are having in Jeff's 2.0 would require 40 minute sets from each band over the two days. I think less people would pay attention to entire sets and the show would move a lot slower. I love this set up because it's going to pack a punch. The music will just keep going and changing rapidly, which is great for a young, unfocused mind like mine. Plus, having it be all ages was a no brainer. You don't have to be 21 to love good music, that's just silly.

You've mentioned to me how Skelevision is now a three piece. How did losing Carlo affect the writing process?

After our first tour the band came to the agreement that we wanted to move forward as a three piece without Carlo. While having to seperate ourselves from him was not something we were super happy to have to do, it really tightened us a band. Our writing sessions feel tighter and more focused on making the core structures of our songs more interesting and I think people have been really appreciating it. People are always telling us how much better of a band we are since we waddled into the Analog over a year ago for our first show. We all wish Carlo could have stuck around, but ultimately our separation with him has been better for both him and us.

What inspired some of the songs/the concept of the new album?

The lyric "Inside The Horror" specifically comes from the second track on the album, "The Sheets." The whole idea of being surrounded by horror but that we're maybe safe if we hide under our bed sheets is the visual we are playing with on our album cover. The whole album holds our psychedelic lo-fi beginnings but also mixes in our newer more punk and horror influence. I think the blend of it all came out really nicely. 

What city are you most looking forward to playing on tour and why?

Tijuana! Derek H. of On Drugs told me that it would be the most stressful and thrilling city to play, but also the most memorable and exciting too. That has me really pumped. Also, just getting to go play in Mexico is such a treat!

Doors for Jeff's Plasma Blast 2.0 are at 2:30, with music starting sharply at 3pm. Tickets are still available and reentry to the fest is allowed all day, so be sure to come early!





Take some 'Time' out for the Toads

The Toads were always a favorite. With their newest album, Time, they've solidified that even more. 

Time still operates the same pop-punk plane The Toads usually skirt on, but with a slight twist. It's not just delightfully punky tunes anymore, but also an incorporation of more of a 90's alternative feel to the tracks. At times, Time even touches on a Beatles-esque '60s pop quality, like on the track "Alien Gene."

You can catch The Toads performing again 8.3 at Bunk Bar with Plastic Cactus and Slow Caves. They'll be playing a few shows around here and Washington before taking a brief hiatus at the end of September for a few weeks, but there will be plenty of opportunities to see these bad boys live before then. In the meantime, stream Time below.





A Party for Sgt. Pepper's 50th Anniversary

 Whether you feel like they're overrated or not, it'd be hard to deny the influence the Beatles had and still has on music. Their career filled with the quintessential hits that define them, the Beatles were some of the "first" to bring pandemonium, romantic pop and the steady transition into drug life to the public eye. Seeing as the first day of June marks the 50th anniversary of their considerable opus Sgt. Pepper's The Lonely Hearts Club Band, of course a commemoration had to take place, and of course it would be in fun Portland fashion.

The Funhouse Lounge will house a tribute show as an ode to the band Thursday night, featuring local rock musicians and special guests, many of which are likely to be in some sort of Beatles-like garb. Advertised are The Toads, The Dark Backward and comedian/loud sound creator Tinn Itus and the Strobing Visions covering hits from all throughout the Beatles' extensive catalog. The 21 and over event is only $10, but those that come in costumes themselves only pay half price. Those in costume will also be automatically invited to partake in other Beatles' themed special activities, so a lot of fun is sure to be had.





The Toads' ode to Portland

Portland has become quite the popular place over the last few years. The influx of new residents has pretty much ruined what old locals have considered to be all that's in the city, with all the condos going up and old haunts going down essentially serving as proof of that.

But no matter how much Portlandia may have skewed (somehow accurately and inaccurately all at once) their depiction of Portland, The Toads have written their own little ditty about this rainy city. It reigns incredibly true.

With lyrics touching on how open Portland is with nearly every type of social and individual freedom, "Portland, Or" shows how much The Toads love their town in a catchy, pop-punky way. If anything, it should be the city's anthem. 

Give it a listen below and see how much of it sounds "so typically Portland."





Best in Portland 2017 Poll for Emerging Bands - Final Results

Deli Portlanders,

It's been a months long road in the process of nominating and voting on who all of you feel are the city's best musicians for the year. After thinking back on all the shows played and albums released from 2016, we've finally got a solid list of Portland's finest. Take a gander at who you all fell for (and just how much you fell for them), while also showing some love to yourselves and the lovely jurors that participated.

Thanks to our jurors: Linneas Boland-Godbey (Next Northwest), Aaron Sharpsteen (Photographer), Tony Prato (Bunk Bar), Duffy Rongiiland (Gnar Tapes), Rob Cullivan (Portland Tribune), Leigh Belacic (PDX Pop Now), Jeni Wren Stottrup (Gritty Birds Podcast), Annie Ostrowski (Riot Act Media), Blake Hickman (Good Cheer Records), Clifford Prince King (Photographer), Mo Troper (Impose Magazine/Portland Mercury), Chad Davis (Musician), Jordan Stamm (Drunk Dial Records), Hunter Skowron (Dazzleships Records), Todd Walberg (Photographer), Yousef Hatlani (Faces on the Radio), Corbin Corbinn (Crush House/Photographer), and Andrew Olson (dr0ne PR).


Let's get down to the nitty gritty of what you all have been waiting for...

Lithics

Lithics exude mystery. From their experimental punk drone to their intentional lack of an internet presence, they're the band you may not have known existed until you saw them accidentally. They've been coasting in Portland's formerly under-appreciated but always DIY post/art punk scene for almost three years now with just two releases under their belt. Their three track, self-titled tape from 2015 gave us a taste, but it was their 2016 release Borrowed Floors that helped propel them into being Portland's best band of the year.

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2. Cat Hoch

This isn't the first success Cat Hoch and her band have experienced with the Deli. She came out on top entirely in 2015, when she was voted the Best Emerging Artist of that year and was the readers' choice for best in shoegaze and psych rock for this year. From opening up for Ride to commanding even bigger stages, Cat Hoch and her talented group of musicians aren't stopping anytime soon.

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3. Abronia

Ambiently soft yet broodingly heavy, Abronia have expanded their lineup to match their beautifully atmospheric and expansive sound. Our overall pick for best in electronic and experimental and perfect for moments of mental reflection (but easy to enjoy in damn near every other scenario), Abronia's dominanation of the experimental side of the poll makes total sense, and we can't wait to hear new releases from them.

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4. Ice Queens (Alt Rock/Metal, 7pts)

5. Fur Coats (Hip Hop/R&B, 6pts)

6. The Toads (Indie Rock/Post-Punk, 6pts)

7. Mr. Wrong (Punk/Garage, 6pts)

8. Shrine of the Serpent (Alt Rock/Metal, 5.5pts)

9. A Volcano (Alt Rock/Metal, 5pts)

10. dolphin midwives (Electronic/Experimental, 5pts)

11. Gold Casio (Electronic/Experimental, 5pts)

12. Chanti Darling (Hip Hop/R&B, 5pts)

13. Lola Buzzkill (Hip Hop/R&B, 5pts)

14. Laura Palmer's Death Parade (Psych/Shoegaze, 5pts)

15. Wave Action (Punk/Garage, 5pts)

16. Donte Thomas (Hip Hop/R&B, 4pts)

17. Little Star (Indie Pop, 4pts)

18. Candace (Psych/Shoegaze, 4pts)

19. Zozma (Psych/Shoegaze, 4pts)

20. On drugs (Punk/Garage, 4pts)

21. James Curry IV (Electronic/Experimental, 3.5pts)

22. Mini Blinds (Indie Pop, 3.5pts)

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