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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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Logan Lynn releases single for Orlando victims

 The recent tragedy that happened at Orlando's Pulse nightclub have obviously stunned the nation but more specifically, the LGBTQI community as the center of the attack. While many of us remain mournful and full of sorrow, some took to their respective creative outlets to express their feelings. Local Logan Lynn falls into that latter category.

He released his track for "Go There When You Want To Be Loved" just two days after the June 12th massacre, with a heartfelt statement on the track's Bandcamp page.

"I feel sick and afraid. I want to cancel all of my upcoming public appearances and find a closet to go back inside of. But I cannot. And I will not. I will not be made quiet by fear. I will not let American apathy dictate my path. And I will never stop hoping that change will come," Logan wrote.

"I wrote this song “Go There When You Want To Be Loved” about my own feeling that there is no safe place for me in the world at times as a gay man, as a person living with persistent mental health struggles, and as a public person known for both. These lyrics feel like the only words I can find for how I am feeling, so I am releasing it now as a fundraiser for my queer family in Orlando."

Logan's sentiments aren't outcast, as many relate and are looking for this opportunity as a much needed chance to band together and support one another. With vigils happening across the world and very inclusive, grandiose ones happening on Portland's front, that support is extensive.

All proceeds from Logans track are going towards the recovery of the LGBTQI community in Orlando. We're coming out of Pride Week, but don't let that stop the feeling. Listen to it, share it, do what you can. The community needs it.

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PREMIERE: Focus! Focus! - "Desert Hearts"

 *photo and video by Jess N Pierson

"Desert Hearts," the new track from Focus! Focus!, features soulful vocals from singer Elly Swope, laid atop a clean execution of slightly reverb-heavy, twangy guitars and straightforward drumming that make for an all around solid track.

The cleverly shot video for "Desert Hearts" was filmed as a live performance at Fuzzfolk Studios and even features a special appearance by the cutest little pup pup. It's part of a triad of videos being released by Focus! Focus! today, where they'll be having a video premiere show tonight at the Liquor Store.

Also playing the video release show tonight is rowdy performance art outfit KULULULU and experimental folk band Willow House.

Check out the video for "Desert Hearts" below, and be sure to watch the new videos also dropping today for "Angry Song" and "Secret Heart" before you head to the Liquor Store tonight!


Schoolyard Farms benefit hits Secret Society

The Secret Society will be taken over with melodically folky and dreamy synth sounds this Friday for the sake of agricultural education for kids with a benefit supporting an organization called Schoolyard Farms.

Schoolyard Farms is a program that utilizes spare space on school properties to build mini farms, intending to teach and give kids hands on experience with sustainability, farming, better eating habits and other tillage aspects.

Ezza Rose, Sandy Loam, DAN DAN and Banda Feahr will all be playing Friday's benefit show, with proceeds going towards the construction of the next Schoolyard Farms mini farm at alternative New Urban High School in Milwaukie, Or.

Providing some grand master emceeing and comedic relief to the show will Hutch Harris of the Thermals. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 day of but regardless what you pay, you're helping give children a great hands on, educational experience.


Saturday Night Sounds: Talkative - F Sharp Voice

It's been a minute since the last Saturday Night Sounds. All this unnecessarily debilitating heat does not a blog post make. Now that it's cooled down in the most bipolar way, let's get back to business.  While most of us have been lazing around sun drunk on Vitamin D and PBR, the boys of Talkative have been furiously busy at work. They've just gotten back from their European tour after playing some stints at Treefort, and they also dropped a new EP earlier this month.

F Sharp Voice offers the same subconscious joyride we love them for, heralding their upcoming full length due sometime this year or early next. It's perfect for this chill night, because Talkative is perfect for everything.

Give the four songs a peep below and get yourself ready what's coming up next.

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Speed up your pulse tomorrow at Holocene

 The next installment of Willamette Week's quarterly showcase, Pulse, is coming up tomorrow with a lineup that's set to liven things up. WW's Best New Artist Last Artful, Dodgr will be headlining the event with her lit, trappy beats and a tone of voice that brings even more intrigue to her flow.

Current Deli Portland Artist of the Month nominees Pleasure Curses will be mixing up the night with a bit of electronica just after the new musical project from Ripley Snell and Grape God, Wine+Coffee, opens up the night with their experimental hip hop outlet.

Pulse is a free, quarterly 21 and over event that's meant to feature some of Portland's best in the underappreciated hip hop and r&b scene. With lineup's like this and of Pulse's past, they're doing a damn good job at it.


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