Monday, April 30, 2012

Live at Rontoms: Houndstooth + Churches

Last night one of my favorite local acts, Houndstooth, played at Rontoms in East Portland for free along with Oakland, CA band Churches. Churches played first and I immediately fell back in time to the 90s. Drawing on all types of influences from Nirvana to Dinosaur Jr. to Pavement to Built To Spill, it's hard not to like this rocking threesome. Right now they have a self titled EP for free download here or just stream it below. Make sure you give the track "Katie" a listen.

Houndstooth performed next, and as usual they killed it! Playing all their great music and also a couple of new ones that will be out on their new record. The bar was packed for a Sunday night as Houndstooth got into their groove. It was a really great, relaxed atmosphere and that brought out some silly back and forth between the band and the crowd.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Live at The Doug Fir Lounge: Tennis + Wild Belle

The Doug Fir Lounge was packed last night for the sold out show of Tennis and Wild Belle. Wild Belle was up first. They have a sound inspired by jazz, blues, and pop 'n' roll. As of now Wild Belle has a 12" single with the hopes of releasing their debut full length album later on this year. The single that is out now is called "Keep You," where there is more of a reggae style to them. The singer, Natalie, goes from seductress during the verses to yearning for someone unknown during the chorus. The song has been on repeat for me all weekend and I can't wait to hear more from this Chicago band.

As the crowd gathered for the start of Tennis there was an air of excitement. As they made their way out to the stage I realized that both of these bands are really good looking. Tennis played much of their new album Young & Old but also made sure to include some older tunes as well. I love their care free pop rock. It reminds me of playful sunny day, where one is running around with friends and just being very silly. Tennis played a great set while getting most everyone to dance along with them.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Norse Horse + Eux Autres

Normally I would share the new releases today, but seeing how they are not that good (except the new Toro Y Moi June 2009), I won't waste your time with them. Instead, I'll share Norse Horse's newest EP Grids which came out in August last year. Some really elegant pop-rock that gets easily stuck into your head. With some cool guitar work reminiscent of Real Estate, Norse Horse also mixes in some really spacey synth lines as well. Check out both Grids and Secret Geographies (2009) below.

Next up is another Californian band called Eux Autres (Ooz Oh-tra). They just came out with a 6 track album back in February called Sun Is Sunk. This is a really great garage-pop album that keeps your toe tapping and your head bobbing and your booty shakin'. They describe their music as sounding "like the unrequited love song Doug Martsch would have penned for Francoise Hardy, had the space/time continuum conveniently collapsed." That is a really DIY style that makes you want to dance on the beach and just be generally goofy. You can buy the album here along with checking out the rest of the discography, or just listen to it below.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

New Finn Riggins

Record Store Day was a huge success yesterday as I traversed to 6 different locations for as many goodies I could get my hands on. One of my favorite records that I picked up was the Finn Riggins latest EP Benchwarmers. Finn Riggins is one of my favorite indie bands out there right now and this new release shows how this Boise, Idaho threesome is by far one of the must see acts in the Northwest. The EP starts out with the title track "Benchwarmers," a groovy rock song that invites everyone to "Shimy to the left, shimy to left, shimy to right." It is probably my favorite song off the 10" EP along with "Parkour." You can purchase the Benchwarmers EP here and stream below.

Another great band that is coming out with a new album early next month is Beach House with Bloom. I picked up their latest 7" that has "Lazuli," which will be on the album, and "Equal Mind," which won't be on the album. After having "Lazuli" on repeat all weekend I can say that I'm so excited to hear the new LP from Beach House. It's dream pop at it's finest. Cool drum machines, a really awesome catchy melody, and my favorite thing, an implied dissonance synth line. Listen to it below and become instantly hooked.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Dry The River + I Break Horses

Today sees the debut release of British band Dry The River titled Shallow Bed. Their sound is like taking a journey through the country side of the UK. Most songs have this really great build up from a soft opening of harmonic vocals, then after a couple of guitar riffs the violin comes in and takes the track to higher level. Check out the entire album here. I really like the tracks "Bible Belt", "Weights & Measures," and "Lion's Den."

Next up is a band from Sweden called I Break Horses. They just released a "deluxe edition" of their debut album Hearts. Right now they are touring with M83 which gives a little insight on how amazing their music is. Lots of wonderful noise! From synths to drums to keyboard to hazy vocals to guitar, the noise builds up from a foundation of harmonics to a cacophony of melody and awesomeness. It is a great listen so check it out here and a couple of tracks from it below.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Eternal Summers + Houndstooth + Pigeons

This week saw the release of Eternal Summers latest LP titled The Dawn Of Eternal Summers. This band from Virginia knows a thing or two about low-fi garage pop. Though it's a short album, it does provide a great atmosphere. Definitely a great pre-summer album to get you all psyched for the best season. Check it out here.
Houndstooth is a local Portland, OR band that has a really awesome indie rock and roll sound reminiscent of something that might have come out in the 70s. They have a great rhythm section with the lead guitar coming in to provide some great solos that sweep you up into a higher state of happiness. I really enjoy Houndstooth's songs, they are also set to release their debut full length at the beginning of June so be on the lookout for that. In the mean time check out what they have out now here or below.

Another local band that I recently saw perform is Pigeons. Yet another cool rock and roll influenced band. They consist of bass, violin, guitar, keyboards, and of course drums. They put on a really fun show, so if you get a chance to see them live I would definitely take that opportunity. Their music makes me feel good and also makes me dance all silly so please take just a couple of minutes to listen to them here.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Live At Mississippi Studios: Oberhofer + Pond

Last night two of my favorite bands played at Mississippi Studios in Portland, Oregon. Pond was the first band up to play, and though their second guitarist was not feeling well they still put on a fantastic show. Playing my favorite tracks, "Fantastic Explosion Of Time," "When It Explodes," and "You Broke My Cool."

It was extremely refreshing to hear such powerful classic rock and roll coming in a newer form. 
So after a brief intermission Oberhofer started to take the stage. Before the show I wondered how odd it was to have a psychedelic rock band in Pond open up for a more pop rock influenced Oberhofer. I was dead wrong. Oberhofer came out with a bang! All the members put out such an amazing energy for the audience, it was not hard to dance along with them. About half way through the show Brad decided that he needed to be in closer to audience and put the microphone about 10 feet into the crowd. They played a good portion of their new album Time Capsules II which came out March 26th. Featuring "Away Frm U," "I Could Go," and "oOoO." Check it out below the photos.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Pond + Yellow Ostrich

A couple of really cool bands for you all today. Pond is a great rock 'n' roll band coming from Australia. They embody everything you want from a rock band. Showing the influences of legendary classic rock bands while coming up with their own style of creativity. I immediately hear a showing of Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin in their sound but there is something deeper than that. A type of psychedelia that isn't there in classic rock 'n' roll. The album, Beard, Wives, Denim, has the sound of youthful rebellion. It's a really great album so listen to it all below.

Onto a different pace with Yellow Ostrich with their latest album, Strange Land. More of a modern day pop-rock band coming from New York via Wisconsin. Some really catching songwriting tunes on this album. Not my favorite album, but still worth checking out below. I really dig "Elephant King," "The Shakedown," and "Up In The Mountains."

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Alabama Shakes + Bear In Heaven + The Lumineers

Lots of good new music today. Let's start with an band I've spotlighted a little already with Alabama Shakes. Their debut album Boys And Girls came out today. It's a great soulful, bluesy album and I have to say I love it! It's really one of the best ones I've heard this year so far. Check it out here. My favorite tracks are "Hold On" and "Rise To The Sun."
Bear In Heaven also came out with a new album today called I Love You, It's Cool. Now I haven't really listened to Bear In Heaven's earlier material so my opinion might be skewed. The album is a little too 80s for me, though I enjoy the singles "Sinful Nature" and "The Reflection of You." It's really heavy on the synth-pop which gets pretty repetitive over the course of 10 tracks. I believe you can listen to the album on Spotify or possibly on their website here. But check out the singles below.

Another great album that came out today is The Lumineers' debut self titled full length. It's a really great folksy, singer/songwriter type of music. Though there are some songs that remind me of older Cold War Kids, so it has cool kind of minimalist rock mixed in with it. They have seen some success with the single "Ho Hey" which is definitely one of my favorite tracks on the album. So if you like sentimental alt-folk with good songwriting then check out The Lumineers here.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

New Peaking Lights

Last year Peaking Lights came out with one of my favorite albums 936. They are now back with a new album, Lucifer, which comes out in June around the 19th. Be on the lookout for that. In the meantime you can enjoy the new mixtape that they put out below.

Also coming out with a new album this year is PS I Love You. Their debut album Meet Me At the Muster Station is such a rock anthem it melts my face off just listening to the recording! Death Dreams is set to come out May 9th, and so far the two singles sound AMAZING! Check them out for yourselves below.