Tag Archives: Portland

New Daystar video: Warped Reality

Video: Daystar -- “Warped Reality”

Daystar - Warped Reality

Filmed by Joshua James Huff. From The Complete Recordings, out October 25.

Full disclosure: Daystar’s Derek Phillips is a co-founder of Glorious Noise, and he was the best man in my wedding, as I was in his. We’ve been pals since we were 15 year old dorks who bonded in art class over our budding obsession with the Beatles. I listened to Abbey Road for the first time at his house. It was an exciting time, discovering new stuff as quickly as we could, which was tricky in the pre-internet age (pre-CD even!), especially when you’re too young to drive yourself to the record store and too broke to afford much even when you got there. It was work being a fan.

After we exhausted the complete Beatles discography we moved on to their solo years, side projects, and bands they produced or influenced. In the early days of usenet newsgroups and tape trading I remember inquiring if anybody had a recording of Paul’s demo of “Day After Day,” the Badfinger song. “Unlikely,” came the reply, “since it was written by Pete Ham.”

Well, it’s thirty years later, and my homie has a band that has recorded an album’s worth of material that’s the direct result of all those years of obsessing over classic sounds. And now they’ve released their second video. DP told Indie Band Guru, that “Warped Reality” is “about those screw-ups in all of our lives who we just can’t give up.” (I hope he’s not talking about me!)

And have you ever noticed
You are always all alone
Holding on but hopeless
Homeward-bound but never home

Their album release show is on Saturday, October 19 at Bunk Bar in Portland with the Resolectrics and Messimer. I’ve already got my copy and it’s a thing a beauty. Dig it.

Daystar: web, fb, bandcamp.

New Daystar video: Buttons and Brass

Video: Daystar -- “Buttons and Brass”

Daystar - Buttons and Brass

Directed by Matt Schulte. From The Complete Recordings, out soon.

My fellow GLONO founder Derek Phillips and I have been pals for over thirty years. Throughout these decades he’s always been in bands. Almost too many to count. But because I am a collector and an amateur archivist (a/k/a hoarder), I can count them: thirteen. Wednesday’s Children, the Holy Moly Revival, Siamese Beetle, the Silence, Leslie, Silver, the Vantrells, the Overtones, Moline Dorr, the Blue Ribbon Brothers, Riviera, the Dirty Lawfords, and now Daystar.

I’ve followed each of these bands over the years, and I’m excited about Daystar. They’re a real rock and roll band!

Daystar was formed in Portland with Joel Roth, Nick Foltz, and Kelly Simmons, and their debut album, The Complete Recordings, is coming this summer. They shared its first single, “Right at Home,” based on the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, back in October.

“Buttons and Brass” is based on more innocent shenanigans: teenagers with nothing to do except goof on each other.

Hanging out, ’cause nothing’s doing
It’s all about somebody else
Push away and Dewey’s stewing
Crying out about broken belts

There were lots of high school weekends when parents were out of town, sitting around somebody’s kitchen table, playing Quarters with Milwaukee’s Best and Doritos. Sink three in a row and you get to make up a rule. Top 3 Quarters rules, in order: 1. Can’t say “drink/drank/drunk,” 2. Gotta call everybody Dave, and 3. Before you consume, you have to stand up, grab your junk and say, “I have a very tiny penis.” Good clean fun.

That level of social awkwardness is carried into the video, shot at Fluff & Gravy Records in Portland and directed by Matt Schulte, wherein our hero repeatedly tries and fails to make the scene. That’s alright, homie, there’s always Quarters.

Daystar: web, fb, bandcamp.

New Moody Little Sister video: I Got Soul

Video: Moody Little Sister -- “I Got Soul”

"I Got Soul" - Official Music Video - Moody Little Sister

Single out now on 8 Ball Records.

Full disclosure: I once washed dishes with Moody Little Sisters Rob Stroup and Naomi Hooley. We were up in Washington, at the foot of Mt. Adams where a group of musicians and friends would host an annual camping trip. The annual Hoot Family Campout was a welcomed wind down from what were usually busy summers in Oregon when everyone scrambles to soak up the sun before the rain returned. In the spirit of this communal event, everyone pitched in to help around the camp and I was pulling my shift in the kitchen with Moody Little Sister. We had a laugh and swapped some stories before taking our places in the breakfast buffet line. The Hoot Family is where you make fast friends and though I haven’t seen either since that morning (they moved to New Mexico and I moved to Michigan), I like to think we had a good time.

Moody Little Sister’s video for “I Got Soul” touches on community and estrangement and how, sometimes, you can pull yourself back to earth if you just stop to look around at who’s with you. Recorded with Pete Droge at Puzzle Tree Studio on Vashon Island, “I Got Soul” is the perfect blend of 70s smooth and…well…country soul. The single is the first for a planned 2019 full-length release.

Moody Little Sister: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Rose City ‘Til I Die

By the time this publishes I should be barreling down the road in a van packed with my wife, my son, three dogs, a cat and two of my most cherished guitars. We’ll be heading east, away from a city we love more than we could have even imagined when we moved here almost ten years ago. It’s a necessary move and one that brings its own level of excitement and opportunities, but one that breaks our hearts just the same.

I arrived in Portland, Oregon on December 5, 2008, just weeks before the biggest snowstorm to hit the city in 40 years. After a decade in Chicago, we were ready for a change but also ready for an adventure. So I found a job and five weeks later we packed up out two year old son, two cats, a crazy dog and my one most cherished guitar and headed west. The thing I like to tell people about Portland is that it lives up to the hype. What I don’t tell people is that the hype is killing some of the things that make Portland one of the truly most original and magical places I’ve ever been. But that’s the thing about change: it happens. And still, Portland amazes me in its creativity, its generosity, and yes…its weirdness.

Being a sometimes musician my entire adult life, I was excited to check out the scene in a city that was already well known as a creative hub. I couldn’t have anticipated what that scene would actually mean to our lives here. Yes, I’ve always had musician friends, but I have never had a community as tight-knit and supportive as what we found here. We found a monthly gathering of friends who get together and jam, and pass dishes around, and contribute to the community beer cooler and celebrate the spirit of simply being friends. Sometimes swelling to more than a hundred people, I never once saw a dispute, let alone a fight or aggression. I’ve also never received so many hugs. We all had our kids there and our dogs. It was incredible. I have a long-form piece I’ve been mulling for two years but if you want to get a taste of what The Hoot is and was, please read this post by my friend and everyone’s favorite Philly, Phil Favorite.

The curse of moving around is that it means you’re always leaving people you love. It was hard for me to leave my hometown for Chicago. And then it was hard to leave Chicago for Portland. And now it’s miserable to leave Portland. So why are we doing it? The truth is that it’s because for nine and a half years we’ve been missing people back in the midwest as much as we’ll now be missing our friends in Portland. And so we go.

Continue reading Rose City ‘Til I Die

The Parson Red Heads – Coming Down

Every New Years Eve The Parson Red Heads cover a different album and invite friends to do the same, creating a night where everyone dresses up like someone else to listen to bands playing someone else’s songs. These kinds of tributes are very popular in Portland, which is odd given the huge amount of talent and original music coming out of this city. But I guess it’s also a fun way for some of these bands to wear their influences (or at least their interests) on their sleeves.

Those influences linger just below the surface in the band’s new single, “Coming Down” from their upcoming fourth studio album, Blurred Harmony. According to their press release, the new album is “the overdriven jangle of Teenage Fanclub and Big Star power-pop, the skewed psychedelics of the Paisley Underground, the bittersweet energy of New Zealand’s ‘Dunedin Sound’ movement, and the muted twang of Cosmic Americana, all crammed into 44 minutes.” All of which is true, but mixed up into a stew of its own.

Singer-songwriter Evan Way describes the track as “a song about anxiety, about how life and all it’s mania can start to make you feel like you’re losing it, and how in those moments the people that you love can sort of ground you and bring you back to reality and that sense of safety.”

Blurred Harmony is out on June 9 from Fluff & Gravy Records.

Video: The Parson Redheads -- “To the Sky” (Live on OPB)

The Parson Red Heads: To the Sky

Parson Red Heads: web, twitter, fb, amazon, wiki.

*This article has been edited to correct the title of their album and the night they host their covers show.

AA Bondy: Live in Portland

AA BondyAA Bondy at the Doug Fir

Portland, February 27, 2009

AA Bondy is tall and lanky with dark curly hair; somewhat Tom Hanks and somewhat Johnny Cash. When he sings, a touch of his Alabama accent seeps through. When he plays guitar the whole history of southern folk music rushes out. It’s tone and style and fingers and it’s the soul of America. AA Bondy, like M. Ward, channels as many elements of American popular music as possible without sounding kitschy or patronizing—no, AA Bondy does not dress like he just walked out of a Depression-era film.

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M. Ward: Live in Portland

M. WardM. Ward and Musée Mécanique at the Doug Fir

Portland, Oregon, February 14, 2009

When everyone is talking “Buy Local” Portland is living it like nobody else. Everywhere you look are signs and bumper stickers imploring you to Support Local Businesses, and that applies to music. When people here tell you to Grow Your Own, it’s not just weed they’re talking about.

M.Ward is Portland’s own and everyone knows it. Sure, he moved to New Hampshire for a while but he’s back now and everyone just acts like that New England excursion was just an extended vacation but now he’s home…where he belongs.

Continue reading M. Ward: Live in Portland

Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings: Live in Portland

Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings LiveSharon Jones & the Dap-Kings at the Crystal Ballroom

Portland, Oregon, January 30, 2009

Sharon Jones makes you sweat. Her moves and voice pull sweat from your skin like blood rising in a hickey. Even in the damp cold of a Portland night, Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings had hundreds of hipsters dancing and sweating like they were extras in a 60s soul revue.

As has been documented here, I recently moved to Portland, Oregon. Now that GLONO’s Northwest office is up and running I finally got out to a show. We made our way through the fog and drizzle to the Crystal Ballroom in downtown Portland. For over 90 years, the Crystal Ballroom has been a premier music venue in this city. Everyone you can think of has played there; from Little Richard to Buffalo Springfield to the Grateful Dead to Liz Phair. I was excited to see it as much as I was to see one of my favorite bands.

The first thing anyone in Portland tells you when they hear you’re going to the Crystal Ballroom is, “the floors bounce!” And it’s true, they do. The floors are spring-loaded because along with hosting bands all these years it’s also been a dancehall. What better combination to entice a hall full of kids in baggy pants and hoodies to shake they asses and lose their detached cool, if for just a little while.

Continue reading Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings: Live in Portland