Light of the Stereo

Light of the Stereo

Monday, March 25, 2013

Quick Pick: King Dude @ Mississippi Studios 03/27

Wednesday, March 27th
King Dude
Of The Wand And The Moon / A Story of Rats
Mississippi Studios
3939 N. Mississippi
Doors: 8PM / Show: 9PM
Adv.: $8 / Day Of: $10
21 & Over

Channeling elements of Johnny Cash and Roy Orbison, the tombstone country folk of King Dude is a darkly mournful sound filled with the ache of train whistles and ghost tow wails. A purely organic musical form this is rock'n'roll before it found its danceable rhythm.  Fresh on the heels of his latest album Burning Daylight he is playing a few limited west coast dates including a show this Wednesday evening at Mississippi Studios. Joining him on stage will be Of The Wand And The Moon and A Story Of Rats, two equally dark acts. So if you're like the rest of us and the idea of spring break is a distant memory buried under a 9 to 5 job and responsibility, take this opportunity to rebel against the system with a late night and some live music. 

Cure for the Mondays: Hanni El Khatib - "Family"

Hanni El Khatib - "Family"

Part Sons of Anarchy, part Japanese game show; this one might not be safe for young viewers.

The bare bones esthetics of Hanni El Khatib's blues-punk has an unpolished greatness to it. With speed and abandonment his latest album Head in the Dirt, set to release next month, is sure to blow the hings off. Make sure you save the date because he'll be coming to Portland to play the Wonder Ballroom on May 15th.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Tuesday Double Feature: Citizens! "Caroline" & Calvin Harris "Sweet Nothing"

Exploring the light and dark of UK music, this weeks Tuesday Double Feature has videos by two amazing bands. The subject and style of these two videos provides an awesome look at the contrast between the soft curves of light to the gritty edges of the dark and the place between the two where human nature dwells.

Citizens! - "Caroline"

London based band Citizens! are masterful architecs of pop that puts a organicly modern twist to a post punk new wave sound. Currently touring North America in support of their latest release Here We Are the band is making stops at all the hot spots. After a stint at SXSW the band will be coming to Portland for a March 24th show at the Doug Fir Lounge. Make sure you get your tickets.

Calvin Harris - "Sweet Nothing" feat. Florence Welch

Scottish DJ, songwriter, and overall music extrodinare Calvin Harris has releaseed numerous track of distinction and has put his midus touch on the music of countless artists. His latest release 18 Months is yet again filled with hits in waiting including this gem with Florence Welch of Florence + The Machines.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Cure for the Mondays: Wavves - "Demon to Lean On"

Wavves - "Demon to Lean On"

A Lord of the Flies for the Road Warrior Generation.

LA bassed duo the Wavves are dregging up the most boldly powerful and brash musical chaotic lovliness to date. The band's forthcoming Afraid Of Heights LP,is due to launch March 26th via Mom + Pop/Warner Bros. The band will be touring North America in support of their album along with FIDLAR and Cheatahs throughout March and April.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Tuesday Double Feature: Matt Kearney "Ships In The Night" & China Rats "To Be Like I"

I hope the upbeat nature of this week's Tuesday Double Feature is enough to get you through the rest of your week. So put your work to the side for a second and enjoy a break from the rat race.

Mat Kearney - "Ships in the Night"

Nashville flavored indie rock, the music of  Mat Kearney has an earthy melody to it that carries his humanistic lyrics with heartfelt ease. Not afraid to administer a myriad of tools including a Hip hop cadence he's a very diversified singer and performer. Hopefully we'll see him here in the NW once the weather gets warmer.

China Rats - "To Be Like I"

The boys of China Rats, haling from Leeds UK are merging the feel-good of 60's pop with the DYI attitude of garage rock. Still in the budding stages, this band is building their strength on a steady regiment of festival appearances and  live shows all across Europe. Here in the US, well get our first taste of the band at this months SXSW. Keep an eye on this band, they're on the brink of breaking big and you'll want to be on the inside track when they do.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Cure for the Mondays: Imagine Dragons - "Radioactive"

Imagine Dragons - "Radioactive"

Lou Diamond-Phillips and Muppet fighting, how is that not awesome.

Having played together since 2008 the band Imagine Dragons finally saw an explosion of success since their 2012 release of Night Visions. Experiencing extensive radio play and outstanding touring numbers this band is basking in the fruits of their labor.  Friday night they'll be playing the Roseland Theater, hopefully you already have your tickets because it's been sold out for months.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

10 Questions: Birds of Chicago

Born from the collaboration of JT Nero and Allison Russell the band Birds of Chicago creates a soulful urban folk. Having recently released their debut album and wrapped up an extensive US tour the band is primed to strengthen their following.  Thankfully they found some time to answer some of BLS's questions. 

BLS: You have both experienced success individually or in other bands. How dose this experience differ form your past musical endeavors?

BOC: it feels like a natural evolution: each of our bands had been collaborating, to an increasing degree, for the last several years... this freakish canadian-american hybrid is the final biomusical result of all those years of experimenting together.

BLS: J T, I heard that you did the lion’s share of the songwriting of your self titled EP. How dose your process change when taking into consideration what Allison brings to the musical equation? Are there benefits / drawbacks to developing songs around two voices and personalities?

JT: I thank you for using that phrase - I consider the lion one of my spirit animals, along with the northern pike and the meerkat. Alli's an amazing writer -- as her couple selections on this record and her Po' Girl work reveal, I just tend to spit em out faster. As far as writing for her, however -- it's a hugely exciting thing to have another voice - a woman's voice - to write for; particularly a voice as dynamic and nuanced as hers.

BLS: Your EP is filled with elements of soul, classic country and grassroots rock. Which of you encouraged what elements? Are their influences which both of you equally draw upon?

JT: All of those influences are Alli's -- I bring more of a Norwegian Black Metal flavor to the group. Sadly, all of the songs that had more of that feel didn't make the final cut for this album... uh, seriously, one of the main reasons we gravitated towards each other in the first place is a shared love for all those musics and for the touchpoints between them...

BLS: You are currently on tour. How does the make up of your band change when you’re on the road? Have you brought any additional musicians along with you?.

JT: Basically Birds of Chicago was designed to be a collective, one that revolves around Alli and me -- but when we are at full strength, we have all the Clouds on stage with us... The Clouds plus a couple other stalwarts - namely Joe Faulhaber - our frequent Texas ax-man.

BLS: Do you find it easier to gain an audience for Birds of Chicago from fans of your past musical endeavors? Are they receptive to this new project?

BOC: For whatever reason or combination of reasons, there's been a nice groundswell of loving feeling from lots of sectors for this project, right from the start... That's the kind of thing I don't think it pays to think very much on; we're certainly happy about it, though, and we're gonna keep working really hard

BLS: As artists you have reached a level of success that awards you the opportunity to access resources that help you promote your music, book your gigs and other important aspects of growing your audience. Do you still find you’re doing a lot of work in these areas as well? If so what tools do you regularly use? Do you have any advice to pass on to bands that are just starting out?

BOC: We are just getting to a position for the first time in either of our careers, where we have a team around us that we trust implicity and that are savvy in all the ways we need people to be savvy about moving this thing forward; we're learning to let go of some daily operations a little bit, but we still spend many hours a day on band admin and promotion! Our advice to anyone just getting started will always be: nobody cares more than you do about your music! you are gonna have to be willing to be the main shepherd/advocate for getting your music out into the world, and to get yourself hip to all the social media tools at your disposal.. trust me, if we could eventually make ourselves do that stuff, you can..

BLS: From Ella & Louie and June and Johnny, the musical world is filled with male/female musical teams. What are some of your own favorites?

BOC: Etta James and Harvey Fuqua, Marvin Gaye and Tammy Terrell, Iris Dement and John Prine, Emmylou and Steve Earle (I know most folks would insert Graham here, but I've always loved the blend of emmylou and steve's voices best of all) --and we've been really digging the new Shovels and Rope album O' Be Joyful - which is Cary Ann Hearst and her husband Michael Trent

BLS: In honor of your bands name what is your favorite breed of bird?

Alli: Magpies and Crows

JT: Hawks and falcons amaze me more than almost any other thing in the world.

BLS: Ideally what would be the perfect state of the band if you had a choice? Recording in the Studio? Playing Live? Or just sitting around making music?

JT : As much as I love being on the road AND making records, there's probably no single greater continual thrill than the moment a new song gets finished -- or actually, sometimes, not the actual moment it gets finished, but the moment you realize it will, actually get finished. That's the main high for me, the thing that keeps me coming back.

Alli: I love that moment too - -but the greatest high for me is collaborating with musicians who inspire me and playing for a receptive/interactive audience- that perfect communion and joyful exchange which happens when all the elements align and you hit it just right..

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

BOC: We'll just name 5 that we know, no matter what their present level of recognition, definitely deserve a lot more, and in no particular order...

Anais Mitchell -- people seem to be starting to get it with her now - but they can't do it fast enough. Her most recent record -- Young Man in America -- is flat out brilliant

The Record Low -- our favorite Chicago Band - staying for the moment, in self-imposed obscurity.. Lonesome, seriously melodic dudes with good rock n roll hunger, dissonance...

Nels Andrews: a serious poet (don't cringe at that phrase - it's beautiful!) with understated melodies that Jackson Brown would like to call his own...

Sean Hayes : the grooviest, weirdest superman lover of folk-hop.. one of a kind.

Awna Teixeira -- Alli's partner in Po' Girl just put out her first solo album, where the darkness goes... it's a quiet stunner -- sad and joyful and gorgeous all the way through.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Tuesday Double Feature: Millionyoung "Lovin" & Blues Foundation "Lost"

This weeks Tuesday Double feature we're getting all Film Studies 101 on you with two videos that explore the themes of infatuation and lust.

Millionyoung - "Lovin"

Mike Diaz the heart, mind and body behind Florida based Millionyoung produces an ethereal synth-pop with sun faded guitars and arcade beats. His latest album Variable dropped just last  month on Old Flame Records and is now streaming at Consequence of Sound

Blues Foundation ft. Sara Savery - "Lost"

Best known for their addition to movies like Micheal Mann's Miami Vice and the Twilight saga, Brooklyn based Blues Foundation makes vertigo inducing dream pop. This latest release is filled with the dark nocturnal mists that swirl in the deeply primitive regions of the human psyche. Boiling with lust and animal like instincts this track is boldly addictive in part due to Sara Savery lovely vocals. A collection of remixes In My Mind I Am Reconstructed is now available via iTunes and other digital retailers. So check them out and let your ID free.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Cure for the Mondays: Dan Le Sac - "Play Along"

Dan Le Sac - Play Along" (feat.SWW)

You got to love cross marketing.

Best known for his part in the UK charting duo dan le sac Vs. Scroobius Pip. Dan Le Sac got his chance to fulfill his collaborative dreams on his debut solo album Space Between the Words, released last July. Working with the likes of Merz, Emma-Lee Moss and this track with Sarah Williams White, Sac created a great album to be proud of.