Light of the Stereo

Light of the Stereo

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Tuesday Double Feature: Bleached "Next Stop"& Kim Baxter "Devil On My Side"

This week's Tuesday Double Feature focuses on two female garage pop acts coming to Portland this week. So take a listen, dust off your mod wear and get yourself to a show.

Bleached - "Next Stop"

Made up of Jennifer and Jessie Calavin, the LA sister act Bleached are cruising high with their sun baked garage pop. Having just released their debut album Ride Your Heart on the Dead Oceans label, the ladies are on the road in support. They'll be playing the Star Theater this Friday, May 3rd.
Doors:8:30PM / Show:9PM
Adv.: $5/ Day Of: $5
21 & Over

Kim Baxter - "Devil On My Side"

No stranger to the Portland music scene, Kim Baxter spent ten years in the All Girl Summer Fun Band. Now on her own, Baxter released her first solo album last spring The Tale of Me and You with the recent vinyl re-release on the German label Expect Candy. She'll be playing Sunday, May 5th at Mississippi Studio with Hurry Up and the Summer Cannibals.
Doors: 8PM/ Show:9PM
Adv.: $5/ Day Of: $5
21 & Over

Monday, April 29, 2013

Cure For the Mondys: Juliet Simms - "Wild Child"

Juliet Simms - "Wild Child"

On Monday morning who doesn't want to go wild.

Lead singer of the long suffering band the Automatic Loveletter, Juliet Simms became a household name as runner up on the second season of the reality TV show the Voice. A sultry rock queen Simms has a bold and powerful energy to her music. A fact that is sure to be apparent on her debut solo album set for release later this year. This summer will also see her return to the Vans Warp Tour stage with a few select dates set for July. So keep your eyes and ears open and don't forget to let your wild child run once in a while.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

About Last Night: Palma Violetes @ Holocene 4/25

Last night I a received a rock n roll omen by way of the radio and in my experience these things are rare and hard to decipher. So I was tentative as I walked into the Holocene. I’ve never been in the venue before, its unique layout and white washed d├ęcor was a bit unusual but possibly more due to the fact that I’m use to seeder venues.  
First on stage was the Eidolons, and from the first notes I could tell they’d be the jangly hipster depression rock synonymous with Portland. Never pushing beyond the veil where true emotions seethes and cries out with a primal force, their music did nothing for me. For goodness sakes the singer never went above a mic chomping drone. The few times the band did get after a song they’d change tempo half way through and lose all momentum. All I can say is that they had some fairly nice equipment. So my suggestions to the band is go out and get your heart good and busted, drink some whiskey, get angry and take one of those really nice guitars and learn to play the hell out of it.

As you can guess with a opener like this It made me a little bit nervous when the Guards began to set their stage but once the band boldly dashed into their first song I began to feel more like I was at a rock show. Brooklyn based the Guards played their dreamscape mod rock with the drive and conviction of a modern day band of gypsies. Shrouded in smoke and darkness this band relied on the magic of their music. The boldness of Richie Folin’s showmanship mixed with the aloof sensuality of Kaylie Church created a stage mysticism whose building energy was like an intoxicating storm. The richness of their atmospheric psychedelic was well worth a trip to the merch booth. All I can say is thank God the Guard were better than the band before cause if not I might have been tempted to leave in which case I would have missed out on one of the best show I’ve seen yet this year.

Now the Guards might have brought the fire to the stage, but the Palma Violets brought napalm to blow it all to hell. I had heard the whispers from SXSW but it wasn’t until the band stepped to the stage and threw themselves into their first notes that I knew it was all true and the party really got started. What this four-piece can do on stage is short of a miracle. Raw, wild, and boisterous this band has tapped a vein of rock n roll that was feared dried up long ago. Bounding across the stage with what seemed like endless energy all the while playing some of the best music the audience had heard in some time it wasn’t long before we were all bouncing along with the band. I’m not saying the lame were made to walk but there were two people on crutches that through them away to join the dancing. Really, this was one of the most fun shows I’ve ever been to. I have to say if you get the chance to see this band do everything that you can short of trading your left nut, but I guess it worked wonders for a certain cyclist.

So lessons learned, The Palma Violets are with out equal and I’ll trust in rock n roll omens and search for them diligently is the static rich airways of my radio.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Cure for the Mondays: Best Coast - "The Only Place"

Best Coast - "The Only Place"

Summertime dreams for the better weather.

The Southern California duo Best Coast have been in a perpetual state of movement since their 2010 debut release of Crazy For You. With the highly praised follow up album The Only Place in 2012 and endless touring including a recent stent with Green Day, they continue to build an amazingly faithful fan base. In their continuous mission to spread their infectious energy this spring and summer hold a headlining tour and the release of an EP with all new material.  Right now they don't have any shows scheduled in the NW but we can only hope that the summer months might still hold a show for us.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Cure for the Mondays: They Might Be Giants - "Icky"

They Might Be Giants - "Icky"
Gamma-radiated hipsters, God help us all.

The kings of catchy pop gems, They Might Be Giants are at it again, with the recent release of their 16th studio album Nanobots. Just as fun and twice as wise this band is sure to make it fun to listen to music again.  Lucky for us, a new album means a tour this spring which will include a night at or own Crystal Ballroom in mid-June. So keep your eyes peeled because the tickets are sure to go fast.  

Saturday, April 6, 2013

10 Queations: Pussycat and the Dirty Johnsons

Photo By Toby Amies

The UK based garage-punk psychoabilly band Pussycat and the Dirty Johnsons will catch your ears and eyes. Mixing a glam theatrics to their live performance that effortlessly translates on to CD and vinyl this band makes some fun and wildly gritty music. Having just released their sophomore album Dirty Rocknroll and signed to STP Records, this band is making some awesome strides, so we're thankful that they could take the time to answer some of BLS's questions.
BLS: For those people that are unfamiliar with Pussycat and the Dirty Johnsons, why don’t you tell us a little bit about your sound?

PDJ: We get called Punk, Psychobilly, Garage, etc but we've always described ourselves as Dirty Rock'n'Roll, which I guess has elements of all of the above.

BLS: You’ve recently completed your new album Dirty Rocknroll. What do we have to look forward to on the new record?

PDJ: There's lots to look forward to! Something a bit more diverse, but it still sounds like us. Phil Polecat guests on a couple of tracks playing double bass. The rest of the album was recorded as a 3 piece, which we're having a lot of fun being.

BLS: What’s different about this new album compared to Exercise Your Demons? How has the band and your sound evolved or gown in the time between albums?

PDJ: It's evolved on it's own really, unconsciously.. just by the nature of the new songs. And the fact that we are a 3 piece now, so most of the songs are just one guitar, drums, and vocals, although I play guitar on 3 songs. We still make a bloody racket though! And the majority of listeners said they didn't miss the bass, a lot of them didn't even notice there wasn't one!

BLS: You have found a way to have fun with your music without losing this assertive punk energy or coming off as cheesy. Is this element of play important to you as a band and will we see it in the new album?

PDJ: I think when we're on stage we are having fun, except on occasions when the sound is bad, but if the audience are enjoying it we really feed off them and it doesn't matter. I can never force myself to write songs, they just come out naturally when I feel inspired. So I don't think we really ever try to do anything.. the music just is what it is. I am fond of the odd pastiche though, Vampire Sugar from the first album was a tongue in cheek nod to The Rolling Stones, and there's a punk track on the new album which is a shamelessly blatant amalgamation of a few classic punk rock songs, and a bit of Bowie.. it's a fun one to do live as people catch on and sing along. And the song is about being of a certain age and still living with your mum and dad, which isn't very punk... or is it?!

BLS: You are known for the wild pageantry of your live show. What techniques did you use to capture that element of your music in your studio recording?

PDJ: We recorded live and then re-did the vocals, just like last time.. the room we record in at Space Eko Studios is a great space, lots of atmosphere. I think there's something about that place that just makes stuff sound big and lively, and of course Alex McGowan did an ace job recording and producing it with us. It's a great shame that the studio is moving, as the building is being made into posh flats.

BLS: What were some of the highpoints of 2012? What doses 2013 have in store for the band?

PDJ: Playing at Miss Peapod in Cornwall was a highlight for me, very unexpected reaction from the crowd, most of whom didn't know us. Peapod is a small cafe that turns into a venue at night, it was sold out and the people just went nuts. It was a proper, sweaty, mental gig. That is my bag. I hope 2013 will see us traveling across the pond to play gigs abroad. We've just been signed to a small Manchester label called STP Records, so I think this will be an exciting year for us.

PDJ: Pussycat, as the female lead of a punk band you seem to have been able to find a way to balance the aggression of the music with a feminine sensuality. Who are other female leads from which you’ve gained inspiration?

PDJ: Ooh spank you! I have always just felt around what I'm doing, the performance is just a product of the music really, I've always seen it as quite an organic thing. Disappointingly for some, I don't really have any obvious female influences, I know people expect me to say Patti Smith, Polly Styrene, Siouxsie Sue, etc but while I like some of their stuff, for the most part it doesn't really do it for me. I have to say I'm pretty much one of the boys when it comes to music, Iggy Pop, Jon Spencer, Nick Cave, Captain Beefheart, Bowie, James Brown, Small Faces, to name a few.. I'm not against female artists in any way (I am one!) I just personally haven't fallen in love with any, yet. Actually female fronted band DragSTER, who are also on STP, they really float my boat I have to say, Fi (the singer) is wild and really doesn't give a fuck when she's performing, I love that. And 100% Beefcock And The Tits Burster - a 2 piece female band (bass and drums), they're fantastic too, so much noise from just two people!

BLS: What tools (i.e. social networking, internet video, etc.) have you found worked the best to reach and build your audience?

PDJ: Facebook probably, it used to be Myspace but now that's pretty much a deadzone.. I don't know how the new Facebook rules will effect things in the near future, I know not as many people see our posts which is very annoying. If you sign up to something you wanna hear about it, right?!

BLS: One of the greatest challenges for bands in the US is the enormous amount of geographical space in which they have to conquer in the order to establish a following. Do you find that there are benefits to having a smaller geographical area to develop your notoriety? On the other end, are there any obvious draw backs?

PDJ: I find it tough, I don't sleep much on the road.. and even when I'm not! Most of the time I lie awake all night in the hotel room after the shows because I'm too wired and it's a strange place so I can't sleep. At the moment we only spend about 3 nights away at a time on a tour as we can get home after some of the other gigs. I feel stir crazy by the end, even though it's fun and I love doing it. So I can't imagine what it would be like to tour the US and not go home for weeks.. I would probably die, but what a way to go!

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


Heavy Trash

Atomic Suplex



100% Beefcock And The Tits Burster