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PREMIERE: On Drugs - "Chain Smoke"

 "Hi mom, I'm on drugs." 

This is a sentiment that mothers of yesteryear would've shed a few tears over, but modern ones are probably expecting to hear it at some point or another. We're all on drugs. Drinking, smoking and pill popping are a common modus operandi for the current millenial generation battling with severe depression, anxiety, confusion and a distrust for the world around them. There's also general struggle with self confidence among modern youth. Laid back trio On Drugs have figured out a way to express all of this is an enjoyable, easy-on-the-ears package. That package is their newest song and video called "Chain Smoke."

Basically like a contemporary take on the old Zoloft commercials, the video for "Chain Smoke" displays sadness masked by cute animation. As "You don't really care about me/You're just a pseudo human being" echoes, a lonely introspection rushes over the cartoon character's face. That feeling resonates with the viewer as "I'm gonna chain smoke cigarettes/I'm gonna binge drink my 40/I'm gonna get high with all your pets/They don't ask me questions" goes on to be sang. This is probably one of the most relatable lines of the summertime and we're just getting started.

"Chain Smoke" comes off of On Drugs' upcoming debut full length Stay Yuck on Postmark Records. Catch them next week at Dante's with Malt Lizard and Hands In, or at their record release show later this month with Fire Nuns, Nick Normal and Donkey Lips





Mood Music: Brown Calculus - "Self Care"

YGB, our local family and community celebrating everything that is creative, beautiful and black, is back with another live showcase takeover. In about an hour, YGB is assembling at Doug Fir for sets from some of the town's best in hip hop, r&b and soul. Headlining tonight is the spiritual, intergalactic jazziness of duo Brown Calculus, so we had to share a track to elevate the mood before the show.

A term that seems to mean more and more lately, "Self Care" is the type of track that you just can't help but vibe to. The combination of the smooth-like-butter voice and flow of vocalist Brown Alice with the chill instrumental production created by Brown Calvin make it an ideal song for a warm, summer evening.

Expect some rhymes from Karma Rivera, the soulful sounds of Soot Uros and DJ Lemar LeRoy spinning as well. 





Cat-chella Presents Music for the Animals

 We've said it before and we'll say it again - Portland knows how to use music to benefit those in need. We see it all the time, bands and fans coming together for the benefit of marginalized communities and the socially necessary organizations that support them. Near all of these are for human aid, but finally there is one for the sake of the furry friends many of us love so much. Tonight at Black Water, the inaugural show for Cat-chella Presents is taking over.

A cute name-play on one of the most overrated festivals ever, Cat-chella is the answer animal lovers in the music scene have been waiting for. It's a new series of shows directly dedicated to benefiting animal rescue efforts in Portland. Proceeds from this first show, with tickets running $5, are going to the nonprofit Animal Aid PDX, a no-kill cat and dog shelter located in Southwest Portland.

Tonight's show will be one with a bit of post-punk and darkgaze, with sets from electro duo Darkswoon, shoegaze trance from Camino Acid, Anothernight's alt-folk and a blend of all the aforementioned from Vibrissae. Win varies prizes by participating in the Cat-chella raffle and be sure to grab something off Black Water's menu. Eating vegan is encouraged. 





Visual Vices: Star Club - "Saturday Night"

On any given weekend night, it's possible to miss out on a great deal of happenings. If you care about it, the term is apparently deemed "FOMO" (fear of missing out) and if you don't care, well then you don't. But whether you lean more towards the introverted Netflix-and-chill solo type situation or if social interaction beckons you to leave your room, Star Club's "Saturday Night" is somehow appropriate for both instances. And its video is interestingly appealing.

In "Saturday Night," vocalist/guitarist Nate Lown can be seen having some sort of life crisis involving quite a bit of paint. It's honestly the kind of thing many of us left alone with lipstick, markers or really any type of pigment would do, before the painted reality sets in and we wash it off staring at our own reflection with concern. Add in pretty hued lights and some interesting film angles and "Saturday Night" becomes even more of what you want to watch whether you're leaving your house or not.

Check it out below.





Turtlenecked's 'Vulture' Draws Attention During Tour

On the local front, Harrison Smith has been catching attention for a little while now with the fairly weird art punk he makes as Turtlenecked. Part of one of the most dominant labels of the year, Good Cheer Records, Smith and his latest record Vulture have been the topic of write ups left and right. It's entirely warranted.

They're not just from the publications typically expected. Of course the usual Portland pubs like the weeklies (and now us) had words of praise and critique alike, but some the more nationally known outlets are zeroing in on his new sounds. Stereogum has always been a fan, but Pitchfork's evaluation isn't doing Vulture enough justice. 

Smith released the album halfway through June and has been on tour in support of it ever since. It shows a progression in Smith's abilities as both a songwriter and a composer of powerful avant-art rock, openly coming into his own at the age in between youthful naivety and the beginnings of aging jadedness. Even more, Smith speaks on ills that seem more prevalent in Portland than anywhere else.

On one of Vulture's standout tracks "Meeting You in the Hospital," Smith touches on the ideas of typical white male bullshit and the all too commonly expected desire for the manic pixie dream girl. It's a bitter reality that's present everywhere, but is so true out here that it has become almost like a caricature. For his second "full" album, Smith hit the nail on the head. Hopefully this third is just as pertinent.

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