Light of the Stereo

Light of the Stereo

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?

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. 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, 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.