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Artist of the Month
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May 2016
Mo Troper
"Beloved
"
mp3

 Yes, you've heard the name Mo Troper before. Possibly as a part of Sancho and Your Rival, or maybe as a founder of blowing up label Good Cheer Records. Regardless, his recent release, late April's Beloved, has already reached levels of critical acclaim in just its first few days of actual release. And I'm adding to the pile - Beloved is one of the best new records to come out of Portland so far this year, and it's our new Album of the Month.

With a witty tongue and a sneering outlook on many things in life, Troper blares through Beloved's 13 tracks like an emotional Facebook feed. He, like the rest us, has shitty friends, a distaste for most social situations ("Star Wars") and a rollercoaster relationship with dating ("Princess," "Somebody Special"). He bitingly belts out his lyrics as if he's reliving every situation that's inspired him, making for a brashly heartfelt stock.

Beloved has received heavy comparisons to certain Elvis Costello albums and while that's fair in its own right, isn't entirely the whole case. The album does play into a Costello-esque domination of word play, but it holds a cult like influence closer to that of, say, the Get Up Kids and Saves the Day.

For his first release on his own, Mo Troper has already established himself as a solid solo artist to follow. Beloved will inevitably be added to a list of "classics," and his next album is already baiting with anticipation.


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Celebrate 3rd and Lindsley's 25th anniversary tonight (04.05) with *repeat repeat, American Dream, and Benjamin Harper

What plans do you have for your next birthday? Do you have a badass week-long series of show happening in your living room? No? Then chances are you aren't 3rd and Lindsley (your ability to read this article is another clue, though I have no doubt the dawn of sentient music venues is on the horizon), which is celebrating its 25th anniversary in style this week. Included in the week of festivities is a little shindig tonight (04.05) featuring *repeat repeat, American Dream, and Benjamin Harper of Magnolia Sons on an all-locals bill you don't want to miss.

Check out the full week's calendar at the 3nL website (does anyone call it that?) and stream a *repeat repeat track below. -Austin Phy

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Velcro & the Slow Children harness some weird energy for "Enough to Die While Sleeping"

Enough to Die While Sleeping, the fruits of a collaboration between Syd Shanshala and Chandler Mills Brown, is the apex of bedroom music. That's "bedroom music" as an aesthetic more than a description of technique—the cough syrup weirdness is here in full force, but the production values and planning are a step above what's typically associated with outsider art. Every move is intentional, and each track and transition lands with its feet on the ground and its eight hands in the air.

 As far as we can tell, this is the first release on Mesoamerica Records, a budding label/art collective founded by Brown. If this album, a freak-flags-high triumphant march heralding an evolution in outsider art, is any indication of what we'll be seeing from them in the future, consider us psyched. -Austin Phy

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Wally Clark releases "Dear Daniel" and "Year of the Goat"

If you've been sleeping on Wally Clark, it's about time to fix that with a pair of albums released recently on Gummy Soul. One is a collection of original compositions with roots in soul and funk, and the other is a riff on tracks by MF DOOM. Clark follows through with the requisite amount of braggadocio on the albums, but fortunately it's backed up his talent as a rapper. We would've pegged DOOM as a heavy influence even without the presence of the tribute EP, but while his flow comes straight from the mouth of the Madvillain with a little Atmosphere thrown in for good measure, Clark's tonal range is, impressively, a bit stronger than that of his forebear.

Check out the pair of releases and find your song for summer '16 well in advance. -Austin Phy

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Regatta teams with Josephine Moore for killer "Unlimited Class" EP

We've talked before about how much we like the music of Regatta, moniker of local dreampop songster extraordinaire Evan Hickman. He's back at it with a new EP that doubles down on what drew us to his songs in the first place while adding some new elements that expand on the sound. The addition of Josephine Moore (of Wildfront) adds a surprising amount of levity to the album's gloomy throwback dreampop, ending up sounding somewhat like Disintegration if Robert Smith had written it while staying in a beach house. Despite the tonal differences between the two singers, their voices are in an effortless-sounding lockstep that still demonstrates their individual talents. -Austin Phy

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Jonas Litton shows off jazz chops on "Backyard Beach"

Backyard Beach is far from the first release by Jonas Litton, but it's one of the most interesting in the departure that it makes from his previous material. A longtime singer-songwriter, Litton has taken a hard turn into butter-smooth tropical jazz instrumentals for his latest. There's plenty of noodling to be found, but the album avoids the cheesy wankery-for-the-sake-of-wankery tropes of Weather Channel bumper tunes by being genuinely interesting in its composition while still remaining completely accessible.

It's the most relaxing collection of songs I've heard in a while, so you might want to see what's up in the stream below. -Austin Phy

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