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Artist of the Month
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May 2016
Mo Troper
"Beloved
"
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 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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Rare Diagram debut new live lineup

 Rare Diagram's latest release, Secret Shot, boasts an elevated sound from the band. Taking a more orchestral route to their already voluminous chamber-esque indie pop, Secret Shot shows Rare Diagram in their next phase.

To properly express their higher level, Rare Diagram's next show will be ramped up for proper execution. Their live set will now feature two additional backup singers and a trombone quartet, enhancing the beauty of the stage performance to match the album's grace.

Also on the June 8th Bunk Bar show bill is Astro Tan, who are dropping their new psych tinged r&b cut Whiskey + Water EP and Old Wave, who will be rounding out the night with their twee, Of Montreal like indie pop.

Come witness the new bloom of Rare Diagram, pick up a new tape and sway about.


PREMIERE: The Reverberations - "Mess Up Your Mind"

 The Reverberations make you take a trip back in time to rock's golden era of the 60's, with their keen ability to dial in to the classics without seeming forced or stale. They bring that element of lighthearted fun that made 60's era garage and psychedelia so alluring (well, fun and drugs).

Each member steadily grew and established their musical prowess in other bands like The CRY! and Sundaze, bringing each of their individual talents together in a way that doesn't sound like your standard fuzzed out band.

The Reverberations are gearing up to release their new LP Mess Up Your Mind. If the title track is any indication of how the rest of the album will sound, then we're all in for a tripped out treat.

Check out the premiere track "Mess Up Your Mind" below.


Let time fly with BCxLD

 The pairing of a good producer and a great emcee is like that of a strong celebrity couple -- only sheer magic can come of it. That's why My, How Time Flies, a music project from emcee Lucas Dix (of Jellyfish Brigade) and producer Brass Clouds, should be well received.

Making music together as BCxLD, the two have got chill hip hop mastered. With the second installment, My, How Time Flies II, just dropping in May, the duo lay out slickly delivered rhymes over concrete beats, resulting in what's almost like the Pacific Northwest version of Atmosphere. Many tracks call for a contemplative reaction, while others just straigh make you want to bob your head to the beat.

My, How Time Flies I and II can be streamed on the duo's Bandcamp page and for updates on when the next in the series is coming out, like them on Facebook.


Krust Toons: "What Are You Two Doing?" by Teddy Hazard

Krust Toons: "What Are You Two Doing?" by Teddy Hazard - please feel free to drop him a line at teddandthehazards@gmail.com if you dig or have any funny ideas. You can also check out more of his illustrations and animation shorts HERE.

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GUN help keep PDX punk alive

 Remember back in the good ol' days when punk wasn't all about how you dressed, but almost all about how you played and the raw appeal of your music? Keeping in that faith, GUN are maintaining that magic with their sheer, unapologetic hardcore punk, performed through a partly performance art veil.

Their self titled demo blasts into your ear drums with a sharp force and includes some deep cuts from the Kingsmen and Rudimentary Peni, but it's their stage presence that will really draw you in. In a somewhat Delocated fashion, GUN evoke feelings of spirited mayhem with loud bursts and shouts of aural chaos.

Become a part of the GUN movement and start your June off with them, along with the Sweatpants, URCHIN and On Drugs, at the Dacha tomorrow night. They'll be leaving for a West Coast tour the beginning of July, so get your fill of them live while you can. It's a sight to be seen.


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