Light of the Stereo

Light of the Stereo

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tuesday Double Feature: Eric Hutchinson "Watching You Watch Him" & Dragonette "Let It Go"

To the living room Lindy-hoppers, the shower Skankers, and sidewalk Swingers this Tuesday Double Feature is for you. If you're a closet dancer enslaved by any good rhythm, than this is a pass to set yourself free.

Eric Hutchinson - "Watching You Watch Him"

With moves like this, no wonder he's watching.

Having played the Hawthorn Theater just last week, Eric Hutchinson is busy rapping up his latest tour in support of the new album Moving Up Living Down

Dragonette - "Let It Go"

Who needs Prozac when you have dancing.

Let It Go is the latest single from Canada's Dragonette, is due a new album and will be touring the US later this year with September show in our in both California and Washington. There's still time, so hopefully we'll see them add a Portland show.  

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Tuesday Double Feature: The Asteroids Galaxy Tour "Major" & IAMDYNAMITE "Stereo"

This weeks Tuesday Double Feature is all about getting the blood pumping so get out from behind that desk and dance.

The Asteroids Galaxy Tour - "Major"

A little retro-funk to get your groove on.

The unique sound of The Asteroids Galaxy Tour is an intriguing mix of funk, soul, psychedelic, jazz and rock. Having blown onto the forefront with use of their songs in international ad campaigns this Copenhagen band is building some great momentum. With the release of their sophomore album Out Of Frequency earlier this year they continue their climb into our collective consciousness.


High energy garage rock fun. 

The powerful grittiness of Garage rock duo IAMDYNAMITE has honed their skills in over the last year and a half in their hometown of Detroit. A fitting place to harness their bold beats and thick guitar sound. With the release of their upcoming LP SUPERMEGAFANTASTIC on June 5th, we can hope that their touring will bring us to our neck of the woods.

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Triple Crown: 05/21-06/03

I thought I'd make it easy on every one and so this Triple Crown showcases three shows at the awesome Doug Fir Lounge. With great food and drinks and a rustically beautiful performance space the Doug Fir is the perfect place to catch some music, so I tried to pick some great bands playing their the next two weeks.  

Tuesday, May 22nd
We Are Serenades
Doug Fir Lounge
830 E Burnside
Doors: 8PM/ Show: 9PM
Adv.: $10/ Day Of: $12
21 & Over

You can't help but to feel good listening to the music of Sweden's We Are Serenades. I don't know if I've heard such optimistic music since the synth drenched 80's of my childhood. With a wide range of styles you're sure to find something about this band and their music to love. With instrumental and vocal elements that gravitate with all sincerity towards bands like Big Country and Ah-ha, We are Serenades have chosen to focus on the silver lining. Fortunately the band dose so with an evolved artistic integrity that should provide this duo with a more lasting presence. Touring in support of their debut album Criminal Heaven this pair of highly-regarded Swedish songwriters should charm the masses. Joining them on stage is the sonic tidal-wave of the band Yards.This is certainly a wonderful start to another Triple Crown.    

Thursday, May 31st
Doug Fir Lounge
830 E Burnside
Doors: 8PM/ Show: 9PM
Adv.:$10 /Show:$12
21 & Over

The phasing atmospheric sound of Wintersleep is filled with misdirections and audio magic that leaves the listener entranced and amazed. Their heady style of alt-rock perfectly balances energy and artful subtleties that is sure to sound amazing off the earthy wood walls of the Doug Fir Lounge. With a danceable rhythm that is near infectious and vocal harmonies sweetly layered into music that  teeters towards psychedelic madness, this band has made a name for itself. Set to release their third album Hello Hum in early June this show should highlight some of the awesome material off the forthcoming album.       

Friday, June 1st
Redwood Son
Gavin Wahl-Stephens / Cody Beebe & The Crooks/ The Wheeler Brothers
Doug Fir Lounge
830 E Burnside
Doors:8PM/ Show: 8:30PM
Adv.: $8 /Day Of: $10
21 & Over

This evening of Progressive American should be amazing. From bluesy rock to acoustic storytelling there's a wide range of styles that fall under the the title of Americana and you'll get to see a little bit of them all. Headlined by the rich west coast American-soul of Redwood Son whose songs are ripe with musical emotions. Josh Malm plays music that lies somewhere between rusty blues and  groovy acoustic funk and has the ability to convey the ache of long months of rain and the joy of perfect Oregon summers.
Filling out the rest of the line up is an amazing collection of bands including fellow Pacific Notherwesterns Gavin Wahl-Stephens and Cody Beebe & The Crooks and The Wheeler Brothers all the way from Austin Texas. This should be an awesome night to take in some new music and to start off the new month so come on down and finish out The Triple Crown strong.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Tuesday Double Feature: Lovedrug "Anodyne" & "Wild Blood"

In this week's Tuesday Double Feature, we are presenting a double shot from Ohio based alt-rock outfit Lovedrug. When the band released their latest album Wild Blood in early March, the band took on the daunting task of creating a video for 8 of the ll album tracks. For their hard work we solute them.

Lovedrug - "Anodyne"

Lovedrug - "Wild Blood"

If you liked what you heard make sure you catch the band as they're here in Portland over the next two days.Tonight (May 15th) at 6PM they're playing a free in-store performance at our beloved Music Millenium. While Wednesday night they'll be headlining a show at Someday Lounge. With two opportunities, there's no excuse not to catch this awesome band.

Monday, May 14, 2012

About Last Night: Katie Herzig @ The Aladdin Theater 05/06

Last night I was reminded that part of the joy of live music is the total experience of it; the who's, the what and  the hows of it all. A lot of times I review shows alone, tucked into the crowd just a guy with a camera and a little black book jotting down notes. If  I'm lucky though, sometimes I get to share the experience. In the case of Katie Herzig at the Aladdin Theater my wife and, even more special, my 11 year old daughter. It was neat to experience the show through her eyes. I thought she'd explode when after finding out that we weren't stuck in the balcony, were able to find three seats in the second row. I have to say that a certain joy washed over me at her entranced expression as the house lights dimmed and Andrew Bell took the stage for his opening set.    

 Cheerfully playful with the audience, Andrew Bell had a wonderful performance demeanor. Like a mainland Jack Johnson; but instead of a tropical paradise, Bell's sound was clearly cultivated in a more realistic setting  Filled with songs that  though lyrically sad still express a very comfortable feel. His set started off the night perfectly. Bell's voice washing over the audience in soft waves, his lyrics mingling with our thoughts as all good stories do. Both solo and backed by members of Kaite Herzig's band,(Jordan Hamlin; guitar, Billy Brimblecom; drums, and Greg Lafollette; bass) .  Andrew Bell's opening performance was awesomely executed  leaving those of us unfamiliar with him pleasantly impressed.

In perfect Portland fashion the theater filled in significantly during the intermission, providing a fairly good showing for a Sunday night. A testament to the ground work Katie Herzig has laid in her fairly frequent visits to our city. More accustomed to the Doug Fir Lounge, the acoustics of the Aladdin Theater wonderfully embraced her music like an old friend. Aladdin is an odd venue at times so, it's a wonderful treat when an artists sound fits it perfectly.

Coming out of the gates with a untypical flurry, Herzig pushed through her first three songs with a focused conviction that amped up the energy of the room. It was almost as if she had a monkey to get off her back.

Once the initial burst subsided Herzig settled into a consistently relaxed pace that mixed a showing of her songs from the better part of her last two albums. From the soft ache of "I Hurt Too" to the playful energy of the crowd Favorite "Hey Na Na." the set list highlighted the multiple layers of Herzig's music and the amazing skills of the musicians she surrounds herself with. Jordan Hamlin in particular, who during the stent of their set played the better half of a music store. Not to be over looked, each of the band members displayed multiple instrumental skills which allowed for a uniquely flexible and polished performance. In addition to their remarkable skill, it was apparent that this group of people truly enjoyed each others company. Their genuine comradery was apparent in their on stage comfort and playfulness. From the Erythmics/White Stripes cover smash up, an impromptu rap from bassist Greg Lafollette, to Hamlin's NAMM worthy demonstration of her newest effects petal the play of the band showed that in addition to amazing musician these indiviules were wonderfully human as well.  

A truly awesome show that even my daughter ranks as her all time favorite concert; a big deal since Kaite Herzig rates higher than the Jonas Brothers.             

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Tuesday Double Featuer: James Blake "A Case of You" & Zulu Winter "Silver Tongue"

This Sunday is Mother's day, so this week's Tuesday Double Feature is dedicated to the amazingly captivating creatures that woman are. A source of strength, beauty and life; who without, all us men would be lost and certainly bored.

James Blake - "A Case of You"

Some women are so intoxicating that they inspire art.

In the vein of fellow Englishman Billy Bragg, James Blake is a poet who's verse has a naturally musical rhythm. His 2011 Self-titled debut album has gained great recognition and award and should be picked up by anyone that's looking for wonderfully unique music.

Zulu Winter - "Silver Tongue"

Haunting in body and spirit, sometimes we get lost in them.

The new wave pop feel of Zulu Winter's music has the wonderful energy of a John Hughes movie. As though taken from the climatic scene where love takes hold even through great odds there is something powerful and moving about their music. Releasing their debut album  Language June 19th via the Arts & Crafts label, we will soon all be able to enjoy these boys from the UK. 

Friday, May 4, 2012

10 Questions: Katie Herzig

Katie Herzig is an amazing song writer that has been building momentum over the last few years, with touring spots with Brandi Carlile and an amazing new album The Waking Sleep that came out late last year. Katie will be playing too shows her in Portland on May 6th. The first is a free in-store performance at Music Millennium followed by a show later that evening at the Aladdin Theater. Katie was kind enough to speak with us about her new album and her love of Portland.

BLS: Your new album The Waking Sleep is populated with playfully energetic songs. Emotionally what was the difference in your creative process?

KH: It was a deeper more personal process. It combined the production of more recent experiences I have had creating music for TV and using some of those tools and ways to create a personal album.

BLS: What do you enjoy the most about the new album The Waking Sleep?

KH: For me it’s just that it is enjoyable to listen to. I wanted to create a record that I could listen to and enjoy and one that I wouldn’t be sick of by the time I finished recording it. A lot of that comes from creating the music, the movements and the arrangements for the music. It was the energy and the dynamics that was compelling to me. Knowing that it was compelling to me, hopefully it will be compelling to others as well.

BLS: You have said that the new album has a global view. What do you think has broadened your topical prospective?

KH: There is a lot going on all over the world, not just in our country and we are in a time where global events really affect how we live our lives. It affects our own personal stories and emotionally what we are feeling. I know that these systems weigh heavily upon me and outside of my own personal relationships I think about these things a lot. A lot of people are affected by it. So I was trying to see what those feelings were and write about them.

BLS: In the last year and a half, you have experienced an explosion of commercial exposure, from the use of your music in TV and Movies as well as a national commercial spot. How has this affected your artistic experience?

KH: I’m still creating music the same way and that’s from my gut. I’m always influenced by the music I’m listening to. In terms of having particular songs get attention for a certain placement, that’s just a reminder to me of the kind of songs that people connect to. It inspires me to create more of that type of music. The energy that it brings to my career is good.

BLS: The Waking Sleep is the second album that you’ve produced with Cason Cooley. What is it about his particular creative process that affects your music?

KH: He is a producer that is really easy to work with because he’s very sensitive to the process of each individual artist. He’s willing to work different ways depending on the artists’ strengths and weaknesses. With me he recognizes that I’m good at starting tracks and making them on my own because I’m very hands on in producing a song from sound. What he’s found is really helpful for me is to let me do those things on my own and then he comes along and defines it, tightens it up, and emphasizes whatever elements are working best. Almost like what a great editor will do for a writer. I feel like he’s humble enough and confident enough as a producer to not have to be heavy handed in what he does. He’s really just an enhancer of whomever he works with, bringing out the best in people.

BLS: You've been involved the past few years with the Ten Out of Tenn. Tour. Tell us what it’s all about?

KH: Basically its ten solo artists from Nashville that get together once and a while and head out on tour. The lineup changes here and there but it’s meant to showcase the music that coming out of Nashville that’s doesn’t fit in the country music genera. The point is to show that there is other good music coming out of Nashville. It has the whole strength in numbers vibe about it and is a very collaborative thing. The show is set up that each artist plays two songs of their own and then we’re all each others bands. Singing along and playing with each other. So it’s very collaborative and very high energy. It’s fun because we all have our own fans out there and they end up at the same place. We get the chance to introduce them to other artists. So we all like it for that reason.

BLS: You can play many instruments and showcase these abilities on the new album. Is there any instrument that you currently can’t play that you would like to learn?

KH: I would love to learn to play stringed instruments like the cello or the violin. I have always really loved the sound of those instruments and would love to learn how to play them.

BLS: You have been an advocate for several community outreach programs including the water project. What future influence would you like to have on your fans through this work and your music?

KH: There is something with this record that is aligning with that idea in regards to what it’s saying lyrically, to encourage people to do those sorts of things (getting involved). For me personally, I’m encouraging myself to be more involved and to do something when I see that a change needs to be made. If you see something that needs a change, that you do something about it. Speak up for yourself. I’m saying those things to myself just as much to anybody else. That’s where it starts, with me encouraging myself to live creatively and heartfully. My involvement raising money for the water wells in Africa has been going on for several years now. A lot of my fans endorse me and have helped me raise money; it’s probably one of the best things about doing what I do and that’s making a difference.

BLS: By the Light of the Stereo is based in Portland Oregon and I know that you’ve been through here a few times recently. Is there a certain thing about Portland that you really like?

KH: I love Portland so much. I find myself in your little neighborhoods, with your little groceries and local restaurants. The food is amazing. It’s so beautiful and the vibe is so laid back. It makes you want to live their. I always look forward to stopping in Portland. One place we really like is the food carts. We’ve been there a few times after shows and any town that’s got stuff like that is doing something right.

BLS: Name 5 bands you love but who few people have heard of?

KH: Some of these bands have been heard of more than others but here you go:
James Blake
k.s. Rhoads
Butterfly Boucher
Matthew Perryman Jones

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

About Last Night: The Drive-By Truckers @The Crystal Ballroom 03/21

Last night was filled with it's fair share of assholes and unsung heroes, as so many concerts are. As the crowd filled into the Crystal Ballroom and the lights fell you could feel the energy in the room. We came to be amazed and we would not be disappointed.
Opening the show Robert Ellis and his crew took the stage with all the confidence of a road house band on a Friday night. Tall and lanky as Hank Sr. and with the long hair and beard of Willie Nelson, Ellis looked the part of a country music prodigy. As the sweet twang of his voice spilled out onto the crowd we knew this lone star son had brought his A-game. Bathed in a soft stage light, his sedated western wail had a soulful ache that tapped a pain naturally suited  in the swaying two-step of his "What's In it for Me" and the amazing cover of Gorge Jones' "If Drinking Don't Kill Me (Her Memory Will)."  Clearly astute in sorrowful country tunes it might have been easy for him to propagate his set solely in this style, but once the band and their instruments were warmed up, they proved quickly that they were more than just ballads and heartbreak.
 Launching into an playful Honky-tonk funk whose groove heavy pace inspired dancing. Literally in one case: A couple who felt that right in front of the stage was the perfect spot for their crowd jostling country swing. We get it, you loved that short period of swing reemergence back in the 90's but I'm sure that the rest of us would have appreciated that fact more had you done it a little further from the stage. Inconsiderate dancers aside, this was a great set. Truly getting after it, Ellis and his gang put a especially tasty funkiness into the performance of their song " No Fun." A perfect opening act for the Truckers, the gradual build of their set culminated, in an audience truly prepared to receive a thorough rocking.  
Once Ellis and his boys cleared out the Truckers road crew stormed the stage like a special forces commando team. I've seen them in action before and am always amazed at the detail and speed by which they prep the stage for the band, especially their guitar tech. Damon Scott. The meticulous way he checks every wire, every connection and places each instrument right where the band wants it, is beyond professional. Whether before the band takes the stage, during the show or breaking down, it's apparent that the Drive-By Truckers has one of the best crews around, they certainly did last night.
With the stage set the crowd nearly exploded once the band came on.Wasting no time at all, the band dove right into their set and after playing a few songs from their latest album Go Go Boots,they switched gears and launched into a bevy of Drive-By Truckers classics. Pulling tunes from as far back as their first album Gangsterbilly,  these songs sounded even more sweeter, like good wine, having been all so wonderfully touched by the magic of late nights, the long road and time. For Mike Cooley, Patterson Hood and Brad Morgan it seemed as though they grew younger with each song, somehow energized by the potent elements of their past. For us in the crowd it was like watching a thunderstorm. As the first notes of each favorite washed over us infused with an electricity that perpetuated louder cheers and a stronger press towards the stage. I think one of the greatest thing about the song selection was the presence of Southern Rock Opera Tracks that don't get as much play like "Angels and Fuselage." 
From the crowd it was very apparent that we weren't the only one having a great time. The sheer joy rolling off Matt Patton, the tour's stand in bassist, would be impossible to hide. I can only imagine that he was living one of his dreams up on that stage. No exception, this DBT show was awesome, and having seen them now five times I'll say they get better each time I see them. That doesn't mean their isn't going to be that one jackass that's going to get too drunk and through his own stupidity pick a fight with one of the members of the band as their playing. Luckily the security of the Crystal Ballroom is one of the best in town. I would like to commend their speed and efficiency. It's their work that turned an escalating situation into a night everyone could enjoy.
Like usual the Truckers put an an amazing show which only made me anticipate their next pass through Portland even more. Oh and to the girl that elbowed her way to the front only to have her boyfriend dry hump her from behind. Do us all a favor, next time just stay home and put your favorite DBT album on real loud. That way you can both get your cookies.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Tuesday Double Feature: Prinzhorn Dance School "I Want You" & Grace Woodroofe "I Wanna Be Your Dog" (Live)

This week's Tuesday Double Feature is a little bit mellow, hopefully making for an easier recovering from Monday. So sit back and let the stress roll right off you.

Prinzhorn Dance School - "I Want You"

Not quite a love song, not quite an F.U.

Having released their sophomore album Clay Class in January, Prinzhorn Dance School is wasting no time at all with the Digital release of their I Want You EP Single May 10th on DFA Records. The EP should be a real treat for fans with four new b-sides to support the LP version of I Want You. No word yet if they'll be coming our way but I'll be sure to let you know if I hear anything.

Grace Woodroofe "I Wanna Be Your Dog" (Live)

You got to love a woman that loves Iggy.

The Down Under Darling, Grace Woodroofe is now making waves here in the US. Camped out in Cali. we can only hope that she might make it just a little further north to play a show for us. If you like what you hear, reach out and give her some love, it can't hurt.