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Album Review: Brent DeBoer's "The Farmer"

 

There's a unique sort of interest that piques when a drummer steps out from behind the kit to showcase their songwriting talents. It seems entirely possible that every drummer might be bound for Josh Freese status and the misery known as The Notorious One Man Orgy. But Brent DeBoer, keeper of tempo for the Dandy Warhols, has officially shed percussive skin and stepped into a new beam of light with the release of his first solo effort, The Farmer.

With just eight tracks totaling 22 minutes in length, DeBoer provides listeners a warm dose of sedate, open-chord pop. “You Can’t Love Me” ushers in The Farmer’s distinct vocal styling, one that hearkens to the airy side of Courtney Taylor-Taylor, while also dipping into Iron & Wine’s well of glossy spook.

By “Is That All,” the record’s third cut, DeBoer also makes apparent a surprising musical strategy from that of a drummer, that being the conspicuous absence of nearly all percussion. Aside from the steady chick of a hi-hat and the occasional slight thump of a tom, DeBoer shuns his natural calling, and, while this move feels admittedly strange and unexpected upon initial listening, the crisp song-craft pleasantries of The Farmer quickly shine through in lieu of kit. Because on album-closer “I’m Alright,” when DeBoer softly moans “Let’s get wasted, stay up all night/Drink a bottle of cheap red wine,” we are intent upon agreement, leaving The Farmer a tender and successful collision of singer/songwriter musings and Dandy-esque pop sensibilities.

Check out "You Win" from The Farmer below:

On April 30th, DeBoer will celebrate his album release party at The Woods. All proceeds from the show will be going to benefit the National MS Society. Highway Rob Bonds will perform and fellow Dandy, DJ Rescue (aka Zia McCabe), will be manning the turntables. Tickets start at $15 though purchasers will be able to pay more should they be inclined to donate.

- Jacob Sprecher

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Live Review: Toxic Zombie Album Release at Hawthorne Theatre, 4/17

 

"We will eat, we will eat, we will eat your brains!" screamed the horror-rock band Toxic Zombie to the crowd at Hawthorne Theatre last Saturday night. The band was there celebrating the release of their new CD Poison The Airwaves. This is the group’s first record under the label Dizaster, and the Hawthorne party marked the beginning of their national tour.

Seeped in zombie lore, rock and '80s punk, witnessing a TZ show is the most fun you can have legally. If you're curious about the band’s moniker, you movie buffs out there might recall a B-horror movie of the same name. The film is about a group of people growing cannabis who inadvertently get contaminated with a chemical, which turns them into anthropophagical zombies. Much like the zombies in the film, the group gnarled and scratched at the audience on Saturday, wooing them with their living dead attire, sweet rockabilly sound and oh-so-hot zombie go-go back up singers.

As if that wasn’t entertaining enough, the band had the haunted hotties the Unchained Girls at the show leading the crowd into chants and trivia. The famous NW horror host Uncle Eerie brought his clan of ghoulish burlesque gals to keep the fun going in between bands, and Ditch Digger opened the show with some head-banging rock. Railer closed with even more rock to blow our minds.

Toxic Zombie is one of a kind and you won’t see any other show quite like it. Some might even say they give a KILLER performance.

- Deanna Uutela

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Ape Machine Leaks Track from Upcoming Debut

 

This House Has Been Condemned, the debut album from Portland five-piece Ape Machine, will be self-released on May 4th through their own Ape Machine Music.

Featuring ex-members of Slowdance Records' The Evening Episode, Grey Day Records artists Minmae, and MCA Records alumni Fenix TX, Ape Machine drives a psych-rock groove over stoner-worthy riffs and soaring vocals. It's interestingly catchy, given the slicker facets of the songwriting. Essentially, it's not your Tee Pee Records-type stoner rock, gorging itself on filthy dynamics and flaccid drumming. Ape Machine has their act together, and if leaked track "All Times" is any indication, this could become one of the more notable local releases of 2010.

Check it out below:

- Ryan J. Prado

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Boy Eats Drum Machine Releases Video for New Single, Hoop + Wire

The video for Boy Eats Drum Machine's first single, and title track, off his new record Hoop + Wire is a quick-stop animation joint, which chronicles the mischievous blue cassette tape featured on the album's cover art, which is just as quirky and playful as the music itself.

CHECK THE VIDEO OUT HERE

If you have yet to feast your eyes on a Boy Eats Drum Machine live show, have no fear, for Jon Ragel will be performing at a venue near you (if you live in Washington, Montana or Oregon).

Upcoming Shows:

4/24 sat-Portland,OR: Aladdin / LEP benefit ALL AGES/12pm

4/24 sat-Molalla,OR: Clark Park 5pm

5/01 sat-Portland,OR: CAP Art Auction w/ Cirque du Soleil and Linda Hornbuckle

5/06 thr-Portland,OR: TLE grand opening

5/07 fri-Bozeman,MT: Zebra Cocktail Lounge

5/08 sat-Missoula,MT: The Palace w/ That 1 Guy

5/09 sun-Spokane,WA: Empyrean

5/11 tue-Bellingham,WA: Wild Buffalo w/ That 1 Guy

5/13 thr-Seattle,WA: Tractor Tavern w/ That 1 Guy

5/14 fri-Portland,OR: Doug Fir w/ That 1 Guy

5/15 sat-Eugene,OR: WOW Hall w/ That 1 Guy 6

/05 sat-Portland,OR: Backspace TLE b-day party

-Katrina Nattress

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The Days of Lore Presents The Mother Hips, Jared Mees and the Grown Children, and The Hugs Friday at Doug Fir!

 

Mark Lore, creator of The Days of Lore blog, knows a thing or two about music. Lore is the former arts editor of California alt-weekly Chico News and Review, and when he is not slaving away on The Lore blog, he's writing for music mags like Spin.com and our own Portland Mercury. Oh, and the dude apparently used to play in a couple of bands.

Consumed by music he is, and acting as a musical Jedi and thus a guardian of peace and justice in the music world, it is up to him to pass his wisdom onto us. Lore has used the Force to bring together three great bands tomorrow, April 16th, at Doug Fir: the Bay Area Americana-rock staple the Mother Hips, along with '60s-speckled garage-rockers The Hugs, and indie-popsters Jared Mees & The Grown Children.

It's an impressive lineup of bands whose music is fun, fun, fun and oh so danceable. I wonder if Jedi’s ever bust a move? I guess we will have to wait and see tomorrow.

Show starts at 9 p.m. The cover charge is $15, but watching Lore dance could be priceless.

- Deanna Uutela

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