Light of the Stereo

Light of the Stereo

Monday, November 10, 2014

Cure for the Mondays: Sheppard - "Geronimo"

Sheppard - "Geronimo"

Some of us never get tired of playing in cardboard boxes.



Pairing boldly atmospheric instrumentation with dynamic vocals, the music of the Australian band Sheppard lends itself to fond comparisons to Canada's Walk Off the Earth. Their debut album Bombs Away, released this last summer, saw quick advancement in the Australian music charts. While their latest single Geronimo has gained international attention through network television spots.
Currently finishing off a European tour, the band will be taking a short break only to start 2015 with a run of US dates in support of Meghan Trainor who's All About That Bass has surly drilled its way deep into your Psyche.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Quick Pick: Thundering Asteroids! (CD Release) @ The Sandy Hut 11/07

 Friday, November 7th
Thundering Asteroids!
The Decliners /The VacillatorsThe Googins
The Sandy Hut
1430 Northeast Sandy Blvd
Cover: $3-5
Doors: 8pm
21 & Over

The overlords of Portland Nerd punk; the Thundering Asteroids will be rocking The Sandy Hut this Friday night to celebrate of the arrival of their shinny silicon child.  Conceived in throws of long passionate studio sessions and blessed with a musical genetic code that has the power of punk rock and the fun of a comic convention, The Nerd Punk Guide to the Galaxy is sure to be the musical masterpiece we've all been waiting for.
Rounding out the night will be sets by an A-list of NW Punk Rock bands primed to help celebrate this joyful event .
If you haven't taken a chance to catch this band onstage, you're truly missing out on one of the funnest live acts in town. So take this opportunity and pick-up a copy of the new CD so that great local music like this can continue to thrive. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Cure for the Mondays: The Family Rain - "We Are In Love"

The Family Rain - "We Are In Love"

When your case of the Mondays last all week, you need a cure bad.



Layering melodic pop vocals over crunchy guitar rock is the simplistic genius of the UK trio The Family Rain. Hailing from the town of Bath  these three gents have been spending copious amounts of time on the road, racking up a tour count of over 200 shows. Like so many great bands before them The Family Rain are chiseling a name for themselves not in the studio but in the more grueling arena of the public eye.  Luckily they've received the thumbs up.
With the up coming release of their Hunger Sauce EP set for July 29th, this up and coming new band will have a ware tested product to share with all the hearts they've won. Check 'em out now. You don't want to be left in the dust, because when the rain comes, all you'll have is mud in your face.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Cure for the Mondays: Little Earthquakes - "Brightside"

Little Earthquakes - "Brightside"

We all need a poppy theme song to dispose of the bodies to.



The latest release from Austrailian siblings Mathew and Justin Hyland, Little Earthquakes mixes the better parts of indie pop, rock & electronic and acoustic instrumentation in order to animate their quirky pop-rock melodies.

With the recent release of their Brightside EP the boys are gearing up to hit the road in support. I'm not sure when they'll make it to the states, but I'm certin that their fun energy will be well recieved. Until then just remember, that even if you have dirty deeds to do, it's alright to do them with a little extra bounce in your step.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Cure for the Mondays: Concord America - "So Gay"

Concord America - "So Gay"

This ones for the crappy jobs we've all had, and the odd love affairs they inspire.



Atlanta based trio Concord America are pulling out of the gates with the high-energy of their dirty sweet garage-rock sound. Consisting of brothers John and Vinny Restivo and friend Ben Presley, Concord America is following up their 2013 debut Shag Nasty LP with the recent release of the Suns Out Guns Out EP on the Post-Echo label.

This video for their latest single captures the irrevernt joy of this band in all its tounge-in-cheek glory. May its crazy highjinks make your Monday a bit easier to bare.

*Featuring this video has no bareing on BLS's veiws of Alternative lifestyles but infact, like all things we do here,is about the music; its sound, its structure, and the artist that make it.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Living Room Performance: The Feed - "Rex"

The Feed - "Rex"

The Chevy Music Showcase: St. Louis

Venice Cafe

St.Louis, Missouri

2012



Saint Louis's swinging rock four-piece The Feed, have some how found that sweet spot between soulful blues and catchy pop. Preping for the August 5th release of their sophomore album Outsider. Returning from a 3 year hiatus, the band is armed with awesome new material and brimming with new found energy.

Influenced by the band member's eclectic tastes and talents The Feed are creating some perfectly weird and eccentric melodies. With the impending release of the new album we can only asume there's a tour soon to follow.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Cure for the Mondays: Wrongchilde - "Gold Blooded"

Wrongchilde - "Gold Blooded"

For us in the older crowd it's like a journey through our childhood.



It's funny how all things come back around, and in the last few years the sounds of the 80's have been slipping their way into musical stream. Case-in-point, this new wave-synth infused pop gem from New York based Wrongchilde. The solo project of Kill Hannah's Mat Devine, Wrongechilde has launched a PledgeMusic Campaign in order to self-finance the independent release of his albume Gold Blooded due for release on August 19.

Through the PledgeMusic Campaign fans can pre-order a signed copy of the album, nab an exclusive limited edition Gold Blooded ring, or if they're feeling more generous, they can pledge for the more exclusive Burn Notice or Procreation Packages. Check it out, because the only way good independent music can continue to be created is through the support of the people that love it.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Living Room Performance: Cancellieri - "Western States"

Cancellieri - "Western States"

SXSW

Austin, Texas

2013



The creative child of multi instrumentalist and songwriter Ryan Hutchens, Cancellieri has the beautifully organic sound of the street performer’s soul. An American troubadour who's wondering soul finds its way into the well warn and forgotten streets of this wonderfully complex country of ours.

The recent release of his first full-length album, Welcome to Mount Pleasant, follows the maturing footsteps of the three EPs that came before it. This is the sound of soul-deep honesty.

Friday, June 6, 2014

"Seven Day Forecast" with Blue Skies For Black Hearts: Double Feature: "Sitting On the Edge" & "Going to California"

As we come into the final stretch of our Seven Day Forecast with Blue Skies For Black Hearts, I thought I'd serve up a special double feature.
So sit back and enjoy.

Blue Skies For Black Hearts - "Sitting on the Edge"



Blue Skies For Black Hearts with Jenny Conlee-Drizos - "Going to California"

Thursday, June 5, 2014

"Seven Day Forecast" with Blue Skies For Black Hearts - The List: Awesome Music Movies

As a recording engineer whose main hobby is writing songs and playing in a band, I spend a lot of days immersed in music. I wind down by watching TV. I gravitate to the movies and shows that involve good music. This isn't a definitive list...it's a few that I've been watching that are a little off the beaten path. - Pat Kearns

10) Cisco Pike (1972) - Kris Kristofferson plays a fresh out of jail songwriter gone drug dealer trying to get back to being a songwriter. Gene Hackman is the corrupt cop who gets him to go back to dealing. Sounds good to start, right? Plus, Doug Sahm appears in the studio, apparently on some sort of stimulant. Worth it just for the cameo.

 
9) The Secret To A Happy Ending (2009) - This film about the Drive-By Truckers documents that it may sometimes hurt, but you should always follow your heart. Because of this movie, I became a fan of the band. That's a good movie. You actually get a sense of how this band works together. And you want to root for them and be on their side.


8) Rockers (1978) - This is a classic Jamaican film, the next one down the hill from The Harder They Come. I love the scenes from the famous Harry J Studios. The language is thick, but it gives the movie incredible vibe. The story is good, but this one is so full of eye candy that you can put it on and tune in when you want. Plus Burning Spear is in it.


7) Captain Beefheart Under Review (2006) - When I need to reset, there' s nothing like Beefheart. This British doc takes an analytical view of Captain Beefheart's entire music career. It's filled with insightful interviews and obscure footage. The early footage of The Magic Band playing on the beach in Cannes, France, is mind blowing.

6) Human Highway (1982) - Neil Young, Devo, and Dennis Hopper. I was amazed when I found out that this happened. And I was even more amazed after I saw it. This is Neil Young at his self indulgent best....making a movie! And it gets weird, even more weird than you can imagine.

5 & 4) Play On, John: A Life In Music (2009) - This is a Smithsonian doc on John Cohen of the New Lost City Ramblers, a major player and musicologist on the American folk scene since the early 1960's. Oh, and John Cohen also makes amazing films about music. He might even be a better film maker than he is a musician. See his film, The High Lonesome Sound (1962) for further proof.

3) Color Me Obsessed (2011) - This may be the best music documentary I have ever seen...and there is no music by The Replacements in the documentary...and nobody in the band was interviewed either! I saw it in a theater. It was a special showing of an early cut arranged by Jackpot Records in Portland. I talked my wife, who was not a Replacements fan at all, into going with me. The movie goes chronologically by album and features fans telling stories about the band and their music and what it meant to them. After we got home, we listened to their first five records back to back - my wife's idea. Remember what I said about a good music movies? We also drank a lot of red wine.

2) Inside Llewyn Davis (2013) - No, not obscure, but this one is different. This is the beat side of being a musician...and I don't mean "Howl" beat. This is the down side: the creative struggle, the missed connection with the audience, the failed audition, the foot in mouth. I don't know what it was about this movie that got me, but it sunk it's claws deep in me. There's not a lot of action. It's melancholy. It's depressing to watch someone that's in one of the most important musical places and times, 1961 Greenwich Village, and they're missing the opportunity to become a great artist and a self-actualized soul because of negative energy and self sabotage. I feel the Coen brothers warning...but I also wonder if there's no hope and that it all lies in fate. I constantly thought about this movie for weeks after seeing it. It haunts me.

1) The American Astronaut (2005) - Directed by and starring Cory McAbee of The Billy Nayer Show, I came across this gem by accident. And, man, I love it! It mashes up science fiction, film noir and propaganda films all into it's own, unique low budget package. Plus, I had the extra bonus of seeing my old friend Mike Silverman (That One Guy) show up in the space bar scene. There's Rock & Roll and dancing....it's actually a real musical! There's a related short film series that's even more bizarre. Totally worth the time to track down.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

"Seven Day Forcast" with Blue Skies for Black Hearts: 10 Questions: Pat Kearns and Mike Lewis


Pat Kearns and Mike Lewis,  two parts of the talented team behind Portland Oregon's Blue Skies For Black Heart took some time to talk to BLS about the band, their upcoming new album and Afghanistan.

BLS: You have a new album set for release in July. What do you enjoy the most about the new album?

PK: It's new! For me, the music needs to change and evolve. This album brings longer songs, new and more sonic textures. Keys are as much a part of the picture as guitars on this record. They've been on our past recordings, but not so prevalent. I think the songs have a sense of perspective to them that we didn't have on earlier records. It's all part of evolution.

ML: The vocals harmonies. I've been singing in vocal groups since I was five...with the addition of Grant Law and Mark Breitenbach, we are able to do four part harmonies on almost everything. In past lineups, we've worked toward this, but never quite got there...but this band nails it. I haven't had so much fun singing in ages.

BLS: Blue Skies for Black Hearts has been producing music for over ten years. What do you equate your longevity?

PK: Persistance. And when things got rough, I had even more desire to make music than I did before. Making music is important to me in the way that I connect with the rest of the world. Some people call friends on the phone. Some people go to the bar and watch football. I write songs. That's all the sense I try to make out of it.

ML: We're stubborn, I guess. But really, for me, the first time I tried out for Blue Skies over 13 years ago, there was a magic there...especially between Pat and I. I can't imagine giving that up. It's what gets me up in the morning, centers me when times are rough...those moments of magic, on stage, in the studio, when rounding out a new song...it's what I live for.

BLS: Your music has a palatable retro sound, what do you sight as the defining influences?

PK: I grew up listening to a lot of college radio and underground music, but my heart has always been in Rock and Roll. My earliest memories are listening to Elvis Presley records on my mom's player. And still, no music can stop me in my tracks like primordial Rock and Roll. Arthur Alexander, Smokey Robinson, and Roy Orbison all knock me out.

ML: As the songwriter, Pat should really speak more to this. However, as a guitarist, I love simple, ear grabbing hooks. For me, The Edge and Mike Campbell are huge inspirations. Those guys can make two notes stick in your brain forever.

BLS: Michael Lewis, you’ve been recently working with Rock School Kabul in Kabul Afghanistan. Can you tell us more about the work you’re doing

ML: I am volunteering as a music instructor at the rock school. This time out, my friend Jerry Joseph (a fabulous Portland songwriter who I look up to immensely) is here with me. He busted his tail end and raised a bunch of money for the school. Because of that, we were able to bring a big shipment of equipment out to the school...drums, guitars, pro audio gear. Music has meant so much to me in my life...given me so much, I just wanted to give back to those who don't have the access to it that I had. I am honored that Jerry and his fans have been so generous in helping out the school. And have to give a huge shout out to Humayun and Robin, the founders of the school...they are doing the work day in and day out for nearly three years now. (also check out Robin's killer band, Arc Iris!)

BLS: With the busy lives of the individual band members, how do you manage to keep the band vitally active?

PK: Lots and lots of coordination. This is also why it takes a few years in between records for us.

ML: Lots and lots of coordination. It's a lot of work...but worth it in the end.

BLS: Other than your album release, what dose the summer have in store for the band?

PK: We'll be touring the west coast in July and we have a few festival dates in August around the NW.

ML: As much sunshine and days on the river as possible!!!! Plus touring and festivals and generally kicking ass.

BLS: The Blue Skies in the name, is that wishful thinking being from Oregon?

PK: I'm sure it's not an accident that our name references it. When the sun comes out here, after six months of rain, everybody smiles.

ML: Pat named the band...but I think it is as apt a description of what it means to be a Portlander as any.

BLS: As a long time Portland Band, What do you love most about the hometown scene? What’s you least favorite element?

PK: I love that there's so many different scenes that have evolved here...but I also hate that we don't easily fit into any of them. We're not punk enough for the punk scene, we're too indie for the alt-country scene, and too retro sounding for the pop scene. I just think of us as a Rock and Roll band. Although we don't fit, I never had a desire to follow the rules of a single genre. My favorite songwriters all move around.

ML: I love the artistic pressure cooker...there are so many artists, that it pushes everyone to greatness, because you can't be a slacker band in this town if you want to play. But I find it to also be a little overly clicky and competitive. At any given show, half or more of the crowd are musicians, arms akimbo, standing in the back, not moving a muscle. In New York, people still go out to see music, because music is what they love, and they dance and freak out and don't care about who's looking, what they're wearing, or whether the band is cool enough for them to be into them. They just love music.

BLS: What's the one Portland venue that’s no longer around that you miss the most?

PK: EJ's. Man, I miss EJ's.

ML: I loved playing shows at the recently departed Langano Lounge. House show vibe with a good bar.

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

PK:

Hillbilly Dumbass (Portland, OR)
Toyboat Toyboat Toyboat (Portland, OR)
Moving Sidewalks (Seattle, WA)
Troublegum (Oakland, CA)
Exploding Flowers (LA, CA)



ML:

The Virals (UK)
The Plimsouls (old school 80's west coast band)
Jerry Joseph and the Jackmormons (Portland/Salt Lake City)
The Knast (Seattle, WA)
The Equals (UK...their early stuff, when Eddie Grant was in the band...they wrote Police On My Back, my favorite cover by The Clash)







Tuesday, June 3, 2014

"Seven Day Forcast" with Blue Skies for Black Hearts: The World Premier of Blue Skies for Black Hearts' "It's Gone On Too Long" Video

BLS is proud to percent the world premier of Blue Skies For Black Hearts' video for "It's Gone On Too Long".

Blue Skies for Black Hearts -"It's Gone On Too Long"



The first single off of Blue Skies For Black Hearts latest self-titled album, set for release in July.
"It's Gone On Too Long” was inspired by the songwriting of Smokey Robinson. While the video was born out of a combination of an idea that the director, Kevin Hanzlik, had about showing the day to day struggles of being in a band and a short story Pat Kearns had written. Blue Skies engineer, Mark Brachmann, plays the record producer. Chip Mabry, esteemed documentary producer, plays the record exec. And Peter Hughes, guitarist for Sons of Huns, plays the OSPIRG volunteer who steels the musical talent in the end from The Painters.

Monday, June 2, 2014

"Seven Day Forcast" with Blue Skies for Black Hearts: Cure for the Mondays:Tom Petty - "I'm Stupid"

Tom Petty - "I'm Stupid"

Picked by Blue Skies for Black Hearts' Pat Kearns.



I watch this and think, "There's no way these guys have been to bed yet." I love Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. And this is the loosest and most off the cuff you'll ever see them. Even when he isn't trying, he can write a great song. This one makes me laugh every time. - Pat Kearns

Sunday, June 1, 2014

"Seven Day Forcast" with Blue Skies for Black Hearts: Living Room Performance: Blue Skies for Black Hearts - "The Stich" and "World Without Love"

Blue Skies for Black Hearts - "The Stich" and "World Without Love"

The Comet Tavern

Seattle, Washington

June 7, 2012



Portland based Blues Skies for Black Hearts are audio crafts men of the highest caliber that set their skills to a style of retro pop sweetness.
Set for the release of their self-titled album in early July, we thought this would be a great time to have the boys take the reins of BLS for the week. With a full week of great features put together and highlighting the band that includes the premier of their latest video. It's been great working with the band and it's an honor to present Blue Skies for Black Hearts' "Seven Day Forecast".
Enjoy and come back daily for all the great features.   

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Living Room Performance: Poolboys - "I Wanna Be Your Dog"

The Poolboys- "I Wanna Be Your Dog"

Swing House Studios & Blackstar Amplification's Punk Rock Bowling Pool Party

The Plaza Hotel & Casino

Las Vegas, Navada

May 25th, 2013



One of the coolest unsung music events of the year, the Punk Rock Bowling & Music Festival has been celebrating punk rock in all it's independent glory since 1999. Four days filled with some of the greatest punk rock fun and music both new and old.I envy the lucky bastards that descended upon Sin City to attend this year’s festival.
If your like me and were unable to attend this weekend's amazing event then here is an awesome performance from last years festivities. A true punk rock classic played by The Poolboys, an impromptu collective of puck rock royalty consisting of: James Williamson (Iggy & The Stooges), Captain Sensible & Pinch (The Damned), Tony Adolescent (The Adolescents), DH Peligro (Dead Kennedys), Kevin Seconds (7 Seconds), Zander Schloss (Circle Jerks) and Charlie Paulson (Goldfinger/Black President.)

Monday, May 19, 2014

Cure for the Mondays: Tiësto - "Wasted"

Tiësto - "Wasted"

The most addictive song you'll hear this summer.



Known by his stage name Tiësto, Dutch musical guru Tijs Michiel Verwest has been making noise in the industry since forming the Black Hole Recordings Label in 1997. A DJ, musician and record producer, Tiësto is a jack of all trades. His latest album A Town Called Paradise is set to release this June and features a Who's Who list of collaborators and should be chalked full of sweet gems like this addictive little number.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Living Room Performance: Screaming Females - "Boyfriend"

Screaming Females - "Boyfriend"

The Hideout

Chicago, Illinois

2014



Sometime there truly is nothing better than a punk rock show. The power,the energy, the raw emotions; the Screaming Females have all these in spades. As this clip reveals, this band is ballisticly charged. Hailing from the same sessions that produced their Live at the Hideout album this performance is one for the records.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Cassidy's Picks: May 10th / Hot Chelle Rae, Usher, Shakira

I know; music this mainstream isn't the usual BLS fair, but what can I say I love my daughter Cassidy.
Cass is 13 and her musical tastes are much more commercial-radio than my own, but I love that she is passionate about music. So of all the PR requests that I recently received , these are the artists that she wants me to cover. So Cass,this feature is for you.


Hot Chelle Rae - "Don't Say Goodnight"



The golden child of the 2011 AMA's, Hot Chelle Rae has been riding the fast track to stradom. Since releaseing their award-winning sophomore album Whatever these boys have been busy. Having spent most of 2012 and 2013 in the studio and on the road with a international headlining tour and supporting dates with Demi Lovato, Taylor Swift, and Justin Bieber. The band has been making headway, bolstered by heavy radio play and high profile network TV appearances, this band is one of the hottest tickets around.

Usher - "Good Kisser"



A pop radio staple for years now, Usher is a less damaged Micheal Jackson for the 21st century. Highly respected by member of most genera in the music world and with a trail of hits behind him Usher is easily recognized as a leader in the industry. Busy, with his stint on the hit show The Voice and the release of his 8th studio album later this fall Usher is continuing to secure his place among musical royalty.

Shakira - "Dare(La,La,La)"



Multinational musical sensation Shakira is an accomplished artist in two languages. Hailing from Columbia, Shakira has raised to great heights in her adopted home with countless rewards and fans among both English and Spanish speakers. Having just released her latest, Self-titled, album to raze reviews this artist is a whirl wind of activity, from her appearances on The Voice, to the work with her non-profit. A phenomenally talented artist and a decent human being, Shikira is the whole package.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Tuesday Double Feature: Mr.Little Jeans "Good Mistake" & Kongos "Come With Me Now"

This week's Tuesday Double Feature is just unique enough to catch your interest, so take a second and enjoy.

Mr. Little Jeans - "Good Mistake"



Monica Birkenes, aka Mr. Little Jeans is celebrating the fresh release of her debut album Pocketknife on Harvest Records just this last month. The Norwegian singer creates a tangled syth-pop that's rich with hypnotically danceable groove-beats. Like an 80's inspired new wave dream this artist is sure to be quick to make a name for herself.

Kongos - "Come With Me Now"



The energetic rock of the Kongos is powerfully aggressive and ripe with the unique accents of according and slide guitar. Quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with, the band has seen recent wide spread exposure with radio attention, spots on network and cable TV, highlight in the Rolling Stones February feature "10 New Artists You Need to Know About" and with a song in the coveted slot of  ITunes 'Single of the Week'. Spring and summer will see them continuing to support their Epic Records release Lunatic with a supporting slot with Alice and Chains and several festival dates including our own Sasquatch Festival.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Cure for the Mondays: Five Finger Death Punch - "House of The Riseing Sun"

Five Finger Death Punch - "House of The Rising Sun"

"Two Men Enter, One Man Leaves!"



Still riding high from last years highly successful double album release of The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell ─ Volume 1 and 2, the hard rocking band Five Finger Death Punch is having fun living out cinematic dreams in the high deserts of Nevada. One step closer to a full-length 5FDP movie this video for their rocked-up cover of the classic "House of the Rising Sun" is part The Gambler, part The Road Warrior all wrapped up with a Tarantino feel. This is certain to cure you of your Mondays "Raggedy Man".

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Living Room Performance: Best Coast - "Baby I'm Crying"

Best Coast - "Baby I'm Crying"




Southern California based Best Coast offers up this soulful ballad from their latest Fade Away EP. A wonderful contrast to their more guitar pop tunes, this track reveals a sweet vulnerability and further fleshes out this band.
A LiveAudio recording, this session was captured with a binauarl microphones set up for an immersive 360 degree field of sound. Developed to provide listeners with a more authentic live sound experience, the microphones are built into the heads of human dummies and factor in the way sound travels at different rates of speed to each ear. The result is a three-dementional sound best experienced through head phones of a Jambox speaker and offers the audience a true audio picture.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Living Room Performance: Paolo Nutini - "Iorn Sky"

Paolo Nutini - "Iorn Sky"

Abbey Road

London, England

2014



Returning from a 5 year absence Paolo Nutini is ready to grace the limelight once again with his forth coming album Caustic Love set for release later this year. His sweet little tunes are grandly orchestrated instrumentation wrapped around the aching resonance of Nutini's soulfully powerful voice. With a preemptive US Ep set for release in April, its sure to be a great return of an amazing artist.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Cure for the Mondays: Jessica Childress - "I Quit"

Jessica Childress - "I Quit"

It's Monday, I know we're all thinking it.



LA soulstress Jessica Childress has a voice like the soul queens of old. Combining rock 'n' roll pinaz with traditional R&B into her own sassy style Childress is taking the industry by force with her awesome talent. Riding the wave of exposure from her time on the show The Voice, she has recently released her debut EP Don't Forget My Name and is playing sold out show in her native California. With any luck this will all translate into a full-lengthed album and more extensive touring.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Living Room Performance: Slash & Myles Kennedy "Sweet Child O' Mine"(Acoustic)

Slash & Myles Kennedy - "Sweet Child O' Mine"(Acoustic)
Foxtel's Max Sessions
Seymour Center
Sydney, Australia
2010




I doubt that he needs any introduction, having slung his six strings in some of the most iconic bands to ever play rock 'n' roll, Slash, guitar god extraordinaire, has had more effect on the instrument and style of the guitar in the last 4 decades then any other artist in the last century. How many of use have found ourselves in the basement adorned in a top hat and strumming an air guitar. If anything this performance demonstrates the immeasurable skill Slash has with his insturment.
Sharing the stage with him is Myles Kennedy, Lead singer of the band Alter Bridge and long time Slash collaborator. Kennedy also held the vocal lead for Slash's 2012's Apocolyptic Love. Enjoy this rare rendition of a true classic.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Quick Pick :Vikesh Kapoor @ Mississippi Studios 02/19


Wednesday, February 19th
Vikesh Kapoor (Supporting)
Eleni Mandell
Mississippi Studios
3939 N. Mississippi
Doors:8PM /Show:9PM
Adv.:$10/Day Of:$12
21 & Over

Possessed by a folk spirit, Vikesh Kapoor creates music that allows his organically rustic voice to  swim freely through beautifully simplistic instrumentation.  Like Guthrie and Dylon before him Kapoor sings of the human condition that exists beyond chronological boundaries. This is the ache and struggle of every human heart. Touring in support of his album The Ballad of Willy Robins  which tells the story of one of the many hardworking blue collared souls over looked in our digital age. Supporting the beautiful melody of Eleni Mandell's country-folk this show should sound like heaven off the wood paneled walls of the lovely Mississippi Studios. Nothing gets you over the hump of the week like getting your folk on.

Friday, February 14, 2014

"Finals Week with The Hard Lessons": The List: Top 5 Best Worst Foods To Eat on the Road


THE LIST: TOP 5 BEST WORST FOODS TO EAT ON THE ROAD

After touring the world for the better part of ten years, here are the best worst things to eat after a night of rocking.

5) Donor Kebab! Kurt Cobain references the "Kebab Machines" of the U.K. in the liner notes to Incesticide, and being the students of Rock N Roll (and greasy food) that we are, we mowed through that rotating-spit-meat all across Europe while touring with OK GO and Motion City Soundtrack.

4) Pizza Rolls! I don't think a lot of people realize that Totino's Pizza Rolls are safe to eat without microwaving. More times than I care to admit we'd stop at a gas station, pick up some frozen boxes of pizza rolls, put them on the dashboard to defrost in the sun, and proceed to eat them. Boom! Dinner without stopping the van!

3) Complimentary Tater Tots and/or Bacon! Sometime around 2007 it started becoming trendy for bars to have nights where they would put out plates of bacon or tater tots instead of peanuts. It really took the guesswork out of dinner.

2) The venue's pizza! "Oh, we get a complimentary pizza. I bet it tastes great."

1) In N Out Burger! All fast food is the same and it all sucks, except for this precious gift from the Western states. We once stopped at In N Out Burger for three meals in a row after leaving California. Animal style never goes out of style!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

"Finals Week with The Hard Lessons" 10 Questions: The Hard Lessons

The Michigan power trio The Hard Lessons have been rocking the world with their great bluesy rock 'n' roll for the last decade. An amazing feat for any band, they continue to fight the good fight with the recent release of their latest album Start What You Finished.
The band took sometime to talk to BLS about, amongst other things,  the new album and what it takes to survive as a band for ten.

BLS: You’ve just released Start What You Finished, your latest full-length album. What do you enjoy the most about the new album? Sonically and technically, how dose this album compare to your past material?

HL: It was the easiest record we've ever made. After ten years of playing in this band, we just feel a lot more comfortable writing and recording. I love the fact that we captured a lot of what people love about our live sound on this record. All of the things people know and love about our band are there (big riffs, boy/girl harmonies, Ko's soulful vocals, some poppier hooks) but it is definitely the closest we've ever come to capturing the live sound and that distinguishes it from our past records.

BLS: Start What You Finished sees the new addition of Steve Warstler on drums. What made you choose him to join the band? What dose he bring to the band and the sound of the new album?

HL: Steve started off as a fan of our band, later we had his band Mind Fish (featuring Dean from Silent Lions) open for us at some shows in Michigan and Ohio. When Mind Fish broke up and Steve stopped doing stuff with Silent Lions we found ourselves in need of a drummer and just asked him to fill in. The first thing he did with us was film the video for "Sit & Argue" before he had even played a show with us!

BLS: As a married couple do you find that there are unique benefits and disadvantages of being in a band together? Dose your relationships effect the dynamics with the other members of the band?

HL: Before we had our son, I would say that it was mostly all benefits. Most of my friends who toured would get into it with their significant others because they're off traveling the world while their boyfriend or girlfriend sits at home. Visiting 7 countries with my girlfriend (and then wife) was awesome. However, now that we have a son it provides some unique challenges. Rehearsal? Gotta get a sitter. Show? Gotta get a sitter. Recording? Gotta get a sitter. Luckily our families are more than happy to help. 

BLS: As a band you’ve always believed in presenting a distinctly unique image, from pressing your music to vinyl to screen printed gig posters. Is this a conscious effort, or is it the result of the skills of those around you? What makes vinyl records so appealing to you?

HL: We do all of those things because we are FANS of music first and foremost. I'm not calling out someone who doesn't press their music on vinyl, or saying that if you don't have silk-screened posters that you're not a music fan. But there is just a different mentality with some folks - and they know who they are. We grew up in record stores, obsessing over every detail of records, collecting posters, mentally cataloging record labels and limited releases. We wanted our band to be a part of that culture. I get that people want access to music in the palm of their hand, but I want something I can stick on my shelf and admire both sonically and physically.

BLS: You recently reached an amazing mile stone of 10 years as a band. How has the band and you as artists evolved in this past decade? What steps have you taken to be able to survive the tests of time? 

HL: It is not easy to reach 10 years. But we love doing what we do, and there are still people that love our band. If either of those were to go away, I might not see a reason to continue. I will always play music in some way, but the band The Hard Lessons (especially live) is about interacting with a CROWD. If no one was coming to our shows, we couldn't do this. Our fans complete us. They are part of us.

BLS: What would you like for the next ten years to hold in store for you and your band? 

HL: I feel like we just now have figured this whole thing out. I wish I knew as much as I know now - songwriting, traveling, recording, performing, etc. - when we were starting out and had such a strong spotlight on us. It's embarrassing to see how green we were, but I think that youthful, naive enthusiasm is what really endeared us to people. 

BLS: In the early 2000’s you received a lot of attention on a national level that has unfortunately receded in the last few years. Do you feel this is the result of the industry or did the focus of the band change? Are you concerned with trying to regaining that past momentum?

HL: I think the answer is twofold. First, at 10 years no band receives the attention they get when they're new. I watched that Pearl Jam documentary and they went from selling 10,000,000 copies of their debut, to selling 500,000 at 10 years. But they still have this rabid fan base who supports them. I think that is a natural trajectory for bands, even on our small level. The other thing is this is not the only thing in our lives anymore. We have a family, we work at other jobs, we have a home. Before our life was this band. It is still extremely important to us, but we don't live or die by it anymore. 

BLS: You guys are huge proponents of the local scene both in supporting your own and encouraging others to support theirs. With the ups and downs of your own musical journey how has your hometown scene made a difference? Do you think that the salvation of music lies in the bands and artists in your own back yard?

HL: I'm proud to have made such an impact in Detroit, Lansing, Ann Arbor, Flint, Grand Rapids... We love Michigan, and to have inspired bands from our home state is very meaningful. I'm not sure if a Michigan band will change the world tomorrow, but as the White Stripes proved, sometimes the underdogs from the forgotten parts of the country can end up on top.

BLS: So with a new record in you back pocket, what dose 2014 have in store for you? 

HL: More shows, but no tours. I think the two-months-on-the-road version of this band is no more. But we're trying hard to make it to places that have been really instrumental to our success in the midwest. Grand Rapids, Flint, and Lansing are next.

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

HL: I already mentioned Silent Lions, who are from Toledo. goLab from Toledo is also amazing. Korin and I used to work at the School of Rock with this little girl named Blaire Alise who has grown into a kick-ass artist in her own right. But I'm always amazed by what "few people have heard." Who could be included in that? T. Rex? Hum? The Pixies? Link Wray? In my opinion most people only have room for a few artists and it is like Eminem, Miley Cyrus, etc. After that it all comes down to more specific tastes. All I know is that my son loves some Iggy Pop!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

"Finals Week with The Hard Lessons": Tuesday Double Feature:AC/DC "Jailbreak" & Clip from "The Warriors" movie

In this week's Tuesday Double Feature the band The Hard Lessons take their turn with a unique choice of videos that highlights their individual perspective and love for great music where ever it's found.

AC/DC - "Jailbreak"



We love Thin Lizzy, but if you say Jailbreak to us we're gonna think AC/DC. This video is straight up camp, but Bon Scott is so invested that he pulls it off. I was talking with Eddie from Detroit band The Sights about how AC/DC's songs may not change much, but you can place the era by Malcom's tone.

Clip from the Movie "The Warriors"- music by Barry De Vorzon



I love this scene from the Warriors. The music is dope, and all of the gangs in the movie could be bands. In fact there was a Michigan band called The Baseball Furies. Our new song Gramercy Riff is a play on the The Gramercy Riffs in the movie, and the lyrics reference it quite a bit too.

Monday, February 10, 2014

"Finals Week with The Hard Lessons": Cure for the Mondays: The Hard Lessons - "Sound The Silent Alarm"

The Hard Lessons - "Sound The Silent Alarm"

An oldie but a goodie.



An odd little video that The Hard Lessons recorded in the midst of their tour for the Arms Forest album back in 2009. Perfectly catching their playfulness this is just what the doctor ordered to help you with a bad case of the Mondays.
Make sure you stay tuned all week for more great things from this band as they take BLS for a spin.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

"Finals Week with The Hard Lessons": Living Room Performance: The Hard Lessons - "I'm Board"

The Hard Lessons - "I'm Board"

St. Andrew's Hall

Detroit, Michigan

December 26th 2013



"Covering this song started off as a joke at a birthday party for our friend Adam who is part-owner of the Ottawa Tavern in Toledo. It ended up becoming the impetuous to recording our new album. We opened for the Stooges in 2007 and we covered "No Fun" at a gig the day after Ron Asheton died. There's a little Iggy in all of us."- The Hard Lessons

This week, we at BLS are going back to school with the rock powerhouse of Detroit band The Hard Lessons. A long time personal favorite of my own, it's an honor to have the band take over for the week. Not only does this band created some of the sweetest rock 'n' roll out there but their live performance is easily in my top 5 all time greatest shows and that's just from seeing them 2 or 3 time. So get your learning hats on and don't worry, all tests are open book.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Tuesday Double Feature: Monolo Panic 'Seasoned Noise" & Lost In Atlantis "Tek No"

From Star Wars to Tron I feel like I'm reliving the movie inspired fantasies of my childhood in this weeks Tuesday Double Feature. So join me and let your inner geek reign free.

Manolo Panic - "Seasoned Noise"


The broad styles of  Swiss indie-rock band Manolo Panic reveals the eclectic background of its members. From Candy sweet pop to deep blues folk, the diverse sound of their music is sure to hold something for everyone. The band will be playing some date here in the States come this spring in support of their debut LP Helpless & Strange. Unfortunately the closest the bad will be playing is LA, but that doesn't stop you from checking our their wonderfully danceable music and this Star Wars themed video. 


Lost In Atlantis - "Tek No"


The electro-pop of Arizona band Lost in Atlantis has a pulsing electric energy that's hard to denied. Hand picked for 2013's Vans Warped Tour, their stint on the national tour was cut short when the band was hit by a drunk driver in a near fatal car accident. Thankfully the band survived and now continue their push to stardom in support of their wildly energetic album Love Freak. For myself and a few others this video insights memories of the brilliant camp of the first Tron movie,which I myself saw as a double feature on a drive-in screen in a Southern California desert town.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Cure for the Mondays: American Authors - "Best Day of My Life"

American Authors - "Best Day of My Life"


When was the last time you played with your monsters.



It might not be too long before Brooklyn based American Authors could be a house hold name. Having been chosen as VH1's official "You Oughta Know" selection for February the band will have their music on TV, the web and incorporated into mobile and social platforms.If that wasn't enough, March should continue their momentum with the release of their debut album Oh, What A Life set for release on the 4th as well as appearances on some A-list talk shows. Not bad for a group of Music College dropouts.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Living Room Performance: Death - "Keep On Knocking"

Death - "Keep On Knocking"
 
Check Yo Ponytail 2

Echoplex

Los Angeles California.

October 28th, 2013



For the longest time the amazing music of Detroit band Death lingered lost in obscurity, but as time has proven good music will never die. Even if the name of your band is death. Years ahead of their time the proto-punk of this tiro of brothers, was the cultural significance of finding an M-16 in the battlefields of World War II. The story of the band and their long overdue rediscovery is recorded in the documentary A Band Called Death.
After hearing of this band they quickly gained a place on my rock 'n' roll bucket list to catch live. Though it's not the same, here's a chance to see the band at work. Hopefully it might just hold us over until they make it to our neck of the woods.  



Saturday, February 1, 2014

"Cannibals Week" Wrap up




It's been an awesome week with the Summer Cannibals as they took BLS on the maiden voyage of band take over. Thanks goes out to the band for all their great additions.
Don't miss the chance to catch there amazing live show this Wednesday at Mississippi Studios for The Mercury's free Ear Candy show. Joining them is the spacey pop of fellow Portland band Grandhorse.

Here are the details:
Wednesday, February 5th
Mississippi Studios
3939 N. Mississippi
Doors: 8PM / Show: 9PM
Free Show
21 & Over


Here's another little taste of what you'll see.



Friday, January 31, 2014

"Cannibals Week" The List:Jessica Boudreaux’s Top 5 Influential albums






















When your working with bands you never know what your going to get when you give them full freedom, but that's what The List is all about. The only thing I tell them is to keep it to 5 to 10 Items, that it has to have something to do with music (even if it's loosely), and to have fun with it.

So for this week with the Summer Cannibals, lead singer and founding member Jessica Boudreaux gave us a list of her Top 5 Influential Albums with corresponding links to hear them for yourselves.
"Cause it’s all bout me!" she says with a laugh and a smile.

1. Patti Smith – Horses

2. Iggy & The Stooges – Raw Power

3. Fugazi – Red Medicine

4. Tom Waits – Rain Dogs

5. The Fall – Grotesque

Thursday, January 30, 2014

"Cannibals Week" From the Shelf: Summer Cannibals - Make You Better EP (2014)



Summer Cannibals
Make You Better EP
New Moss Records


With the powerful darkness of the opening track “Make You Better”, the Summer Cannibals’ have done it again. Ripe with raunchy guitars and a flesh pounding rhythmic beat their latest EP, Make You Better is, as I suspected, the first truly brilliant rock ‘n’ roll release of 2014.

Surrounded by the rich wail of breathless guitars and a groping rhythm that has all the needful aggression of teenagers in heat, the moody sensuality of Jessica Boudreaux’s vocals have all the power of a rock ‘n’ roll siren. A solid foursome, this band is just what’s needed to save rock music. Screw MTV and Rollingstone, we need the passion of “Sit Still” with its unbound desire and the pressing heat of it’s driving guitars rubbed raw against the thrusting beat an lusty bass groove. Jessica Boudreaux and Mark Swart might have started the Summer Cannibals but Lynnae Gryffin and Valerie Brogden have completed this band, cementing the bold sound with their flawless rhythmic frame work.

I have to admit, slipping the cassette copy of Make You Better into my Sony Sports Walkman, I haven’t been this excited since the great tape war of ’98.’ Short but sweet, this EP is a must have and a great way to start off a new year of music.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

"Cannibals Week" 10 Questions: Summer Cannibals

Portland Oregon's the Summer Cannibals have made amazing head way in their short time on the scene. With the most recent release of their Make You Better EP, the band is quickly claiming 2014 as their own.  In addition their sweet fuzz-crunch rock 'n' roll the band has an awesome live show that should be not missed if possible. If that wasn't enough, the founding members are also the driving force behind the New Moss Records label.
Thankfully the band was able to find a little spare time to answer our questions and treat us to the other pleasures of "Cannibals Week."      

BLS: You’ve celebrating the release of your Make You Better EP. What do you enjoy the most about this new material?


SC: I love that this EP gets super heavy in parts. That's really fun for us, especially live. But the cool thing is that it comes and goes and “That Feeling” and “Make You Better” show a little softer side. I really think this EP serves as a good growth for us and is a good representation of where the next album hopes to go.


BLS: You just released your debut album No Makeup back in August. What made you decide to do such a quick turn around with this new EP?


SC: Making deadlines helps get things done that I might not do otherwise so a couple months ago we made the decision to just go for it and record an EP. The fourth song "Sit Still" wasn't even written at that point but I think the pressure of getting this done was good for us. I think as a band it's easy to slack a little since you're the one making the rules but being productive and continually writing and creating and releasing is a goal that I'm trying to maintain with this band. I also think we wanted to document where the band is right now after a ton of shows and really getting to know each other as musicians.

BLS: You’ve released both No Make Up and the new Make You Better EP on the Portland record label New Moss Records. Tell us about your relationship with the label? What’s the benefit in working with people from your hometown?

SC: It's actually our label! Marc and I (Jessica) started it last year to release Sun Angle's debut LP Diamond Junk. It's been a really fun project and it is really nice to have total control over the stuff your band is putting out. It can be a lot to juggle sometimes but I definitely feel like it's been worth it.

BLS: Make You Better is the second set of recordings that you’ve released on cassette tape. What makes cassettes so appealing to you?

SC: It's cheap and has a super quick turn around time. I also like the packaging and the way they look a lot better than CD's. We're aware that most people who buy them are buying it for the digital download -- at least they're getting to hold something in their hands that I see as an interesting physical representation of the music that's inside.

BLS: With only 100 hand numbered cassettes with packaging by the band, this EP is slated to be an exclusive commodity. What is it about the hands on process and limited numbers that interests you?

SC: With this EP we wanted to do it this way because we know we're going to use these songs on the next full length. We didn't want to do an extensive release and make it widely available because we still want these songs to be new for some people when the record comes out. The limited/handmade stuff is for the people who are real fans of the band and who enjoyed the last record...I think it's important to try and do things that feel unique and special for the people that are supporting you.


BLS: What is the most important thing you would like for readers to know about the band? Any rock ’n’ roll secrets we should know about?

SC: Ha ha! no secrets here really...we're all pretty weird though. I think the most important thing we'd like people to know about the band is that we're making something we're super proud of and having a lot of fun with it. I hope people feel stoked and have fun when they see us play or listen to our music.


BLS: Marc as the only guy in the band. How is it working with the ladies? How would you say the dynamics differ from other bands you’ve been involved with?

SC: Marc: Man, people ask me this all the time. I'm not going to lie, when I first realized that I was now in a band of all women I was kinda worried (why I have no idea) but its actually no different AT ALL than working with other bands I've been in with men... or mostly men. This band is rad and everyone is so fucking talented and super easy going and fun to be around.

BLS: As a staple of the Portland music scene, what are some of the best and least functional element of Portland’s musical environment?

SC: I love that there are so many people creating here, it's awesome to know that every night of the week there are bands out there playing shows. It's definitely an environment that is conducive to that sort of thing and there's always going to be a venue for your band to play at, no matter what level you're at. The one thing that I'd like to see more of is an atmosphere that promotes a sense of healthy competition. I like the feeling of bands really pushing each other to be better and I don't see a ton of that here. I want someone to be like "hey that was a great set now I'm gonna get up there and play way harder".

BLS: So with the new EP coming out this month, what else dose 2014 have in store for you?

SC: 2014 is off to a super rad start! We've got a few really cool Portland shows over the next few months and then head to Boise, ID for Treefort Music Fest at the end of March. In between the shows we'll be working on the new record and hopefully we'll be able to get that out sometime next summer. We're very stoked about what this year has in store!


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

SC:
Hurry Up (PDX),
Charts (PDX),
Sun Angle (PDX), 
Grandparents (PDX),
Wimps (Seattle) and
Bloodbirds (KC)
I know that’s six but I couldn’t leave any of them out!!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

"Cannibal Week" Tuesday Double Feature: Thee Oh Sees "Minotaur" & Mac Demarco "My Kind of Woman"

For "Cannibal Week" we gave over the reins of this week's Tuesday Double Feature to Jessica Boudreaux and Marc Swart of the Summer Cannibals. So check out their picks and enjoy.
 

Thee Oh Sees – Minotaur



Thee Oh Sees put on one of the best live performances I’ve ever seen last year at The Doug Fir and I’ve been obsessing over their records ever since. I picked this video because I love when bands aren’t afraid to be funny and don’t take themselves too seriously. I think that’s a really important part of making this kind of music. -Marc

Mac DeMarco – My Kind of Woman



I’m actually not a huge Mac DeMarco fan…not to say I don’t like his music, I just haven’t really dug into it that much. This video though. Man, I can’t get over it. I like one-shot music videos a lot, especially when the cinematography is rad like this. Plus he’s just great to watch, I love when he winks at the camera. -Jessica

Monday, January 27, 2014

"Cannibals Week" Cure for the Mondays: Sun Angle - "Raspberry"

Sun Angle - "Raspberry"

How many Sci-fi references can you identify?




Marius Libman is a genius! -Marc Swart of the Summer Cannibals

The kaleidoscope sound of Portland Oregon band the Sun Angle's music is filled with erratically lovely energy that morphs through a sonically psychedelic tapestry. Wildly rich and joyfully fanciful it's no wonder someone started a record label just to put their music out into the the world. This video was created by Sun Angle's Marius Libman.

In addition to their work with the Summer Cannibals Marc Swart and Jessica Boudreaux run the Portland records label New Moss Records. Started in 2013 to release the Sun Angle's debut LP Diamond Junk. It has now become the home label of the Cannibals as well.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

"Cannibals Week" Living Room Performance: Summer Cannibals - "Not Your Turn"

Summer Cannibals - "Not Your Turn"

Mississippi Studios

Portland, Oregon

December 8th, 2013


I can't think of a better way to start a week in honor of the awesome Portland band the Summer Cannibals then by showing you what this band can do live. Whether playing shows in support of their latest EP or continuing the work with their New Moss Records label, this band is building some amazing momentum that will not be denied. So enjoy this great live performance and let me proudly welcome you to "Cannibal Week." 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Living Room Performance: Vikesh Kapoor

Vikesh Kapoor

KEXP Studio

Seattle, Washington

October 8th, 2013




If you have some free time, here's a little concert of Vikesh Kapoor to get you over your hump day. Like a Bob Dylan for the 21st Century, Kapoor plays a authentic folk rich with story and voice. Beautiful with a uniquely rustic urban sound, you can here the ghosts of Guthrie and Cash in these songs. Kapoor will be opening for Eleni Mandell at Mississippi Studios this coming February 19th. Don't miss your chance to see this amazing artist live.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

About Last Night: Summer Cannibals @ Doug Fir Lounge 01/09


Last night in the cozy confines of the Doug Fir Lounge, those of us willing to shrug off the weight of our work week and dreg through another miserably wet Portland night, were rewarded with an ass shaking, jaw dropping and mind blowing rock show.

By Mark Lawrence IV
Opening the night was the catchy garage pop of the Spookies. This was my first time seeing the band, and now I’m hooked. At times vibrating with a certain kind of eccentric pop madness, the bounding performance of lead singer, Mayhaw Hoons was a true pleasure to behold. Matching the wildness of his ginger locks, Hoons seemed barely able to contain himself at times, stepping from the mic to scream his lyrics with out audio enhancement so as not to overload the system. Energetic and fun, the infectious rhythm of their opening set leapt from the stage causing the audience to break out into random feats of joyous dancing. The uncomplicated dynamic of the bands single vocal set up has allowed Hoons voice to find compliment in the instrumental support of a band of awesome musicians whose focus is absolute in the music they are playing. The end result is a seamless tapestry of sound built with the tightly woven guitar play of Alex Arrowsmith and Jeff Lehman and the rhythm and sway of Nightmaren Couch and Colin Anderson’s Bass and drums that holds to a near perfect groove. The Spookies’ opening set was truly memorable and proved my long standing additive that opening slots are where you can find great bands.

By Mark Lawrence IV
Quick to follow was the bold punk sound of Hurry Up! True to their name the band came on fast and furious. Aggressively raw, this band is awesome and rightly so compiled of Thermals’ Kathy Foster and Westin Glass on drums and guitar and scene staple and The Bangs member Maggie Vail on bass. Every time I see this band I love them that much more and they’re quickly becoming one of my new home town favorites. As though connected on a harmonically psychic level this band’s music is built of a near perfect sonic architecture. Adding to the uniqueness of their music is Glass and Vail's trading vocals. The energy of the band continued the acceleration of the night as the house filled and the crowd grew more excited for the main event.

By Mark Lawrence IV
Finally the time came for the Summers Cannibals to take the stage and they took it with no quarter, launching right into their darkly rich rock ‘n’ roll. Celebrating the release of their new Make You Better EP, this night was all about them and the band was in top form. As always Jessica Bourdreaux commanded the stage with her vibrantly potent demeanor. Tearing through their set with pure abandon the Summer Cannibals were like a storm of sound and fury. Marc Swart and Bourdreaux both dug away at their guitars with an animal like aggression while Valerie and Lynnae's  grooves and rhythmic beats were hypnotically sensual in nature. Yet again this band proved why they are quickly becoming one of my new favorite live Portland acts. Even though they played every song in their catalog, leaving nothing for an encore. When the lights were brought up many of us wished they could have kept playing, the echo of such an awesome rock show so fresh in our ears.    
By Mark Lawrence IV

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Triple Crown: 12/31 - 01/12



Thursday, January 9th 
Summer Cannibals
Hurry Up / Spookies
Doug Fir Lounge
830 E Burnside
Door: 8PM/Show: 9PM
Cover: $5
21 & Over

The gritty mood rock of the Summer Cannibals is a breath of fresh air and further proof that Portland is truly a magical place if you love great music. With their boldly powerful songs and a dynamic stage show, this band is certainly one to watch in the new year. Celebrating the release of their Make You Better EP the band is commandeering the Doug Fir Lounge for an all out rock 'n' roll joyride. Joining them on stage is the ferocious power of Thermals side project Hurry Up and the throwback mod-garage rock sound of the Spookies. In all, this should be an amazing night of awesome music. So start you weekend a little early.  


Friday, January 10th 
The Reverend Horton Heat
Thw Nekromantix / Old Man Markley
Wonder Ballroom
128 NE Russell St
Door: 8PM/Show: 9PM
Adv.: $22 / Day Of: $25
21 & Over

Like a rock 'n' roll tent revival, this show at the Wonder Ballroom should be a near religious experience. Headlined by the amazing Reverend Horton Heat himself, he has surrounded himself with a lineup of awesome supporting acts including the phychobilly saints, The Nekromantixs and the Twangy rockabilly of Old Man Markley. With a line up like this how can anyone not have fun; surrounded by pompadours and dolled up rockabilly girls, one might consider this the perfect formula for a Friday night. 


Sunday, January 12th
Maria Taylor
St. Even / PJ Bond
Mississippi Studios
3939 N. Mississippi
Door: 7PM / Show: 8PM
Adv.: $12 / Day Of :$12
21 & Over

Th angelic voice of singer/song-writer Maria Taylor is a sonic slice of heaven.Compelled by a song birds heart her music is richly human, breathtakingly honest and has just a touch of the southern charm of her Alabama upbringing. You could easily spend a lifetime listening to her records but watching her in concert is so much more rewarding. Always a fun and comfortable experience her live show has the feel of a family affair. Touring in support of her latest album Something About Knowing, Taylor has brought along fellow artist St. Even and PJ Bonds to join her on the stage of the amazing Mississippi Studios. This is a perfect way to spend a Sunday night and with this sweet music still in your ears, it just might make Monday a little easier to deal with. 

Tuesday Double Feature: The John Butler Trio "Only One" & Red Fang "Blood Like Cream"

An oddly perfect metaphor for the changing years, zombies keep going no matter what happens. So this week's installment of the Tuesday Double Feature has some living dead videos for you to shuffle in 2014.
So enjoy and don't forget, two in the head and you know they're dead. 

John Butler Trio - "Only One"



Australian jam masters the John Butler Trio are known for their energetically upbeat music. With a rocking reggae vibe and a  folk heart Butler and his gang create some amazing tunes, while their live show is outstanding. Luckily we'll have a chance to see both with the up coming release of their highly anticipated album Flesh & Blood, which will bring them to the Crystal Ballroom for a show February 18th.

Red Fang - "Blood Like Cream"



The broody metal of Portland's own Red Fang has been steadily conquering the world one country at time.  Touring in support of their latest album Whales and Leeches, released this past October on the Relapse Record label, they are currently working their way through Europe. Unfortunately for us here in the Northwest the band won't be back home until the first spring rains. If we're lucky though, maybe they'll bring us back a travel-gift of new music and a couple of home town shows.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Cure for the Mondays: The Hard Lessons - "Sit and Argue"

The Hard Lessons - "Sit and Argue"



With the release of their latest album Start What You Finished (which we at BLS names as on of the 5 most anticipated albums of early 2014)The Hard Lessons are proving that in fact, you can improve upon perfection even after 10 years. Their Blues-slathered rock'n'roll has a soul marked with the fingerprints of Detroit's rich musical heritage. With the release of the newest album we can only hope for a possible tour in the near future. So, if you haven't heard of this band yet, stop everything but breathing and check them out. It will be worth it, I swear.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Living Room Performance: Meiko - "Good Looking Loser"

Meiko - "Good Looking Loser"

Wilcox Sessions

October 17th 2012


Like a musical  Midas, singer/songwriter Meiko has had the amazing opportunity to have a lions share of her songs find their way into network TV shows. Her sweetly beautiful voice and efficiently simple instrumentation makes for acoustic pop gold the likes of Katie Herzig and Patty Griffin.
An LA transplant by way of Roberta Georgia and several points in-between, this new year should see the the follow up to 2012's The Bright Side and hopefully a wide ranging tour. With a hefty presence on YouTube there's no reason not to check out this lovely artist.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The 5 most anticipated albums of early 2014

With the new year upon us it only human nature to take some time and not only review the events of the year before but also look ahead to all the potential of the new year stretching out before us. With that in mind, we at BLS have compiles a list of the 5 most anticipated albums of the first part of 2014.
The Hard LessonsStart What You Finished (Release Date: December 20th 2013)

I’ve been enamored with this trio from Detroit since catching one of their shows back in 2006, so you can imagine that I was excited to hear about the new material. Technically released in the waning hours of 2013, Start What You Finished is the first full-lengthen album since 2009’s Arms Forest. Sure to be filled with their signature bluesy rock the first reviews are all praise.

http://summercannibals.com/Summer CannibalsMake You Better EP
 (Release Date: January 9th)

A Portland band that I discovered just this year, the Summer Cannibals are following up their awesome debut album, which dropped this past August, with a limited edition Cassette tape only EP. Thickly bold their moody rock ‘n’ roll is fresh and lusciously enjoyable. With this band, it was love at first note and I’m sure that I’ll be waiting anxiously, with cassette walkman in hand, the night of their release show at the Doug Fir.



Jon Butler TrioFlesh & Blood
(Release Date: February 4th)

The Australian power outfit Jon Butler Trio combines reggae/rock-hybrid energy with a folk sensibility. The resulting music is dynamically powerful and always gets the body moving. Almost more exciting than new material is the promise of tour dates that Flesh & Blood is sure to guarantee. Butler, a multi-instrumentalist is awe inspiring live.



Lydia LovelessSomewhere Else
(Release Date: February 18th)

Like a next-gen Reba, Lydia Loveless packs a powerful set of lungs in her pint size form. Her rocking country music has all the bar-fight ruckus, whiskey heartbreak and blue collar grit of a honky-tonk on a Friday night. If the preview track of "To Love Somebody", she shared via Spin.com, is any indication this alt-country album should be one hell raiser of a good record.    



Drive-By TruckersEnglish Oceans
(Release Date: March 4th)

The twelfth album from this hard rocking band from Atlanta Gorgia, English Oceans is the result of a mad 13 day recording session with long time producer David Barbe. The first album sans-Shonna Tucker, it will be interesting to see what trouble these boys can get themselves into. Having rekindled my love affair with this band following the release of  2012's Go-Go Boots I can't wait to hear this record and catch the band live. An added bonus is new album art form the awesome artist Wes Freed.

With these great albums to start off the new year, I have a feeling 2014 is going to be a great year for music.