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March 2014
Hands In
"Ployester Itch
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mp3

Portland's Eric Crosby is blessed with musical genious. His brilliance has been showcased in various groups through the years, including Yourself & The Air, and Settlers, but his solo project Hands In is truely on point. Through a combination of loops and live perormance, he creates a blend of lo-fi psych that I could listen to on repeat for days.

The track 'Take Time Enough' off his January 2014 release Polyester Itch floats through a dreamy cloud of punching synth, sampled drums and spaced out soothing vocals that can lift the heaviest of depression on a gloomy Portland day. Listen to the full album here. - Travis Leipzig


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Album Review: Mujahedeen by Ali Muhareb

Local professional chiller and former bass player of Talkative, Ali Muhareb just released a solo album, Mujahedeen, and it rips. The album displays a remarkably more dynamic musical genius than was showcased in his role with Talkative, and sounds surprisingly different than his previous group to boot. Sonically resemblant to some stoned fusion of Animal Collective and Hot Chip, Mujahedeen adds a solid new layer to Portland music that contends with the best.... Read the full review here!

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My New Favorite Mujahedeen
- by Travis Leipzig

Local professional chiller and former bass player of Talkative, Ali Muhareb just released a solo album, Mujahedeen, and it rips. The album displays a remarkably more dynamic musical genius than was showcased in his role with Talkative, and sounds surprisingly different than his previous group to boot. Sonically resemblant to some stoned fusion of Animal Collective and Hot Chip, Mujahedeen adds a solid new layer to Portland music that contends with the best.

"Don’t Bother Me" cheerily opens up the album riding drum clicks and a bass riff with a brilliant simplicity that somehow reminds me of Gershon Kingsley’s classic 1968 track "Popcorn." Then layered with rad guitar and a blown out vocal melody you’ll have stuck in your head all day, Mujahedeen is off to a solid start.

The second track, "So Bold" is my favorite on the album. With an almost angelic arpeggiating synth and a crunchy bass riff, Muhareb lures the listener out of their comfort zone into the depths of his psyche, like a steelhead following a spinner out from under some river rock where he was chilling. Then like a seasoned angler, the track hooks you with the hit of gently punching chords, a dope backing vocal sample and a super catchy lead vocal that questions space and time, repeating “it’ll stay like this till we grow old.”  

Another choicest of nuggets on the album is the dark and sluggish closing track "WalkIn" which incorporates some vocal sampling weirdness you’d expect from a Log Across the Washer recording. But it sounds entirely unique with the drone of his, at this point signature fuzzed out keys and bass and melodically repetitious vocal styling.

If you made it out to the Mujahedeen album release at the Firkin Tavern on Saturday night, you’d be a fool to dismiss Ali Muhareb based on the technical difficulty laden performance. It was his first live production of the one-man show and it will only get better. I for one am stoked to watch the evolution of Muhareb’s new project, as his first album is definitely something special.  

 

Ali Muhareb
Mujahedeen

 

 

 
 
 

Old Age, Tiburones and the Builders and the Butchers at Doug Fir 1.10

Doug Fir will be different this Friday night. You'll be stepping deep down below for sound heaven. Tiburones and Old Age are opening for the Builders and the Butchers, delivering sensory excursions one after another. Tiburones will give you all that is charmingly unbalanced, thriving folk music with a dust of a dangerous underground. This is perfect music to play while faking your own death and hosting a wild summer picnic simultaneously. Initially being Luz Elena Mendoza of Y La Bamba and Nick Delffs of the Shaky Hands and Death Songs, the collection and creation has grown to an amazing 5-piece destined to expand your sound experience. Old Age, another intimate Portland secret, imply mental torture with the mention of endless local weather and heartfelt vocals. Meet the soundtrack to your new year. - Colette Pomerleau


Lunch Record Release at Slabtown 1.9

Lunch are starting off 2014 right this week with the release of their first 7” record, Johnny Pineapple. The four tracks within, originally off of Quinn Touched the Sun, were remastered for the new release and together display the low-fi, garage-punk sound that encapsulates Lunch’s style. Dirty guitar tones, tight rhythms and shouting vocals color the songs with an frenzied energy that overlaps their addictive hooks. Celebrating the release with Lunch will be L.A. Drugs (from Los Angeles, of course), Wounds and Dark Light, get to the show and pick up one of these awesome green records for yourself. - Benjamin Toledo

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January 2014
Summer Cannibals
"Make You Better
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mp3

With the remarkable consistency of their explosive first album, No Makeup, Summer Cannibals had a lot to live up to with a follow up EP. Thankfully that EP, Make You Better, is equally as solid as their debut. The title track begins with a bass guitar plucking out eighth notes as lead singer Jessica Boudreaux’s sharp vocals cut through straightforward lyrics, erupting into a chorus as catchy as it is rocking. It’s this juxtaposition that seems to define Summer Cannibals’ style. They’ll hit you with a cathartic wave of fuzzed out guitars and unhinged rhythms while the vocals relay a melody with just enough pop appeal to keep you singing it to yourself for the rest of the day.

       The second track, “Not Your Turn”, fires up with the most energetic intro on the EP, moving through a dynamic verse and surfy bridge that, if you listen close, leaves you with a candid moment from the studio. “That Feeling” hooks the listener in with feminine backing vocals and a rhythmic lead line that you’ll be dancing to long after the track finishes. The closer, “Sit Still”, is one of the tastiest tracks on the EP; the three seconds during the final chorus when everything drops but anthemic vocals and crisp drums are some of the most memorable on the release. Make You Better showcases not only the indie-garage style that keeps their crowd moving but a step forward in Summer Cannibals’ songwriting and musical progression. Listen to it on repeat and it will make the rainy months ahead much better. - Benjamin Toledo

2013 Year End Polls For Emerging Artists: Results Scene by Scene

LATEST NEWS: NYC FINAL RESULTS! - PHILLY FINAL RESULTS! -  SF BAY AREA FINAL RESULTS! - NEW ENGLAND FINAL RESULTS! - NYC Jurors' Votes - PORTLAND FINAL RESULTS! - NYC Readers' Poll is over! NASHVILLE FINAL RESULTS! - CHICAGO FINAL RESULTS! - LOS ANGELES FINAL RESULTS! - KANSAS CITY FINAL RESULTS! - DC AREA FINAL RESULTS!AUSTIN FINAL RESULTS! 

For the full summary click...

HERE


Charts and Hands In at Rontoms 1.5

Calling on their spaced out, summery, surf-pop good vibes, Charts are the perfect remedy to lift the grayness cast by old man winter here in Portland. These guys killed it so hard in 2013 with their short but tasty summer release, Vacation, I have no doubt that 2014 will be the year of Charts. Also on my “killing-it radar” is Hands In, the electro psych pop solo project of Erick Crosby, front man of rad Chicago transplant band Yourself and The Air. According to his Facebook page he has a new album coming out soon titled Polyester Itch so keep your ears to the ground, but in the meantime he leaves us with this weirdo teaser. Join me this Sunday night, January 5th, at Rontoms to kick 2014 off right. Hands In at 9:30 and Charts at 10:30, the show is free. -Travis Leipzig

 

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Thanks Record Release at Mississippi Studios 1.4

With all the year-end music floating around the blogosphere, people tend to forget that January and February come heavy with great new music. 2014 is no exception as the six piece Thanks releases Blood Sounds at Mississippi Studios this Saturday. Thanks is a band that is constantly walking the line between being the most soulful band in indie rock and the most indie band in soul. Their music is surrounded by minor progressions and highlighted by the sweet melodies by vocalist Jimi Hendrix. Probably not the first Jimi Hendrix that comes to your mind but she is just as powerful. Her voice, bass, and drums play new-age soul comparable to the likes of Lily Allen and the guitarist comes through with protruding bluesy-indie riffs channel names such as Tapes N Tapes. And while all this is going on the keyboards and the cello provide calmness make their music so easy to listen to. - Colin Hudson

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