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portland

A Fond Farewell to Fanno Creek: Live Review + Photos

Fanno Creek is one of Portland’s best bands. Unfortunately for the forseable duration of the calendar year, we will have to get along without the band's live performances as they go on hiatus to catch up on real-life shit. April 2nd at Mississippi Studios marked their farewell (for a while) show. 

Tour-tight Animal Eyes opened to an already substantial Wednesday night crowd. Seattle’s Tomten followed with an exciting dream pop set, joined by Radiation City’s Matt Rafferty on guitar.By the time Fanno Creek started the room was ready. All night friends and fans poured into the crowd to send off the local folk-pop rockers in style. Tonight the band was joined by Ryan Neighbors of Hustle and Drone on synthesizers and Ryan Wiggans of And And And on trumpet, adding elements of grit to their pretty arrangements. Their sound thrives on driving beats and unexpected rhythmic deviations, paired with catchy melodies and tight pop harmonies. Whether you’ve seen them as a duo, trio, four piece, or ten piece, Fanno delivers--and tonight was no exception. 

The empassioned crowd added a huge layer of energy to Fanno's live set--singing along, clapping when asked, dancing and screaming at all the right places. They ended the night with a fitting encore of “Don’t Go Away,” allowing fans to sing along their woes over the band taking time off.

 - Chandler Strutz

Photos by Todd Walberg

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Introducing: A Happy Death

Though most of the city is still buried away underneath layers upon layers of rain, let the Firkin Tavern shelter you in the most captivating way this Friday night: through rock 'n roll. A Happy Death is celebrating their album release amongst fellow psych rockers Mister Tang and Cambrian Explosion. The new release, entitled Introducing: A Happy Death, welcomes you into their universe full of polite aggression. The manners only go as far as proper introductions, as their sound never gives way for bowing or waiting for someone else's turn. It sweeps you away on a provoking ride. 

The beginning of the album is slightly uncomfortable only because voicemails are only a thing that grandmas, collection agencies and stalkers leave. Fortunately, it quickly transitions to a sprint full of adrenaline and low howls supporting wailing lulls. Suddenly, everything makes sense again. The energy is consistent through the middle ground of the release, a rare feat in modern music. Appropriately named "Muscle Car" taunts with unpredictable drumming, while Ryan Joseph Lella's vocals tease you in and out of intoxication. The well-chosen finale, "Firewalk" kneels in fuzz and darker vibes. The intent was to listen from start to finish, which explains cassette options. This is definitely an album set in place just so. Influences can be obviously pointed out, but this band isn't one to constantly compare to others in existence. Stand back, sway, do whatever you do and just let it be what it is. - Colette Pomerleau 
 

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Sound Select Portland: Big Freedia, Magic Mouth, Thanks

The first Tuesday of each month has never been more exciting in Portland, thanks to Red Bull's new concert series Sound Select Presents: Portland. Each month, the concerts are curated by different local music aficionados, and showcase one national headlining act and two local up and comers. Past headliners of the series include Maps and Atlases, Portugal. The Man and Helio Sequence. This month's showcase at Mississippi Studios features New Orleans' Big Freedia, the undisputed Queen of bounce, supported by Magic Mouth and Thanks.

Main support of the evening, Magic Mouth are a hard hitting four piece that plays soulful funk music in the most rock and roll way possible. With an enthusiastic front man whose vocal range is off the musical map, the group delivers a raw and simple but huge sound. Thanks offer a soulful take on psychedelic rock. The erie, reverb soaked guitar hooks and thundering drum and bass lines are beautifully rounded out by lead singer Jimi Hendrix’s piercing vocal ability. Her jazzy voice reminisces the English soul scene (Amy Winehouse, Wayne Allen, ect.) making Thanks a truly exciting live band.

All this local music greatness leads up to one of the best rap acts in the country. Big Freedia has starred on Ru Paul’s Drag Race, and made herself famous this past summer by prompting a twerking feat that made the Guiness’ Book of World Records. Freedia's unique musical styling 'bounce,' is like trap but more twerktastic and bouncy. 

April 1, the show starts at 9pm and costs $3 if you RSVP here in advance, or $15 at the door. - Colin Hudson

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March 2014
Hands In
"Ployester Itch
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mp3

Portland's Eric Crosby is blessed with musical genious. His brilliance has been showcased in various groups through the years, including Yourself & The Air, and Settlers, but his solo project Hands In is truely on point. Through a combination of loops and live perormance, he creates a blend of lo-fi psych that I could listen to on repeat for days.

The track 'Take Time Enough' off his January 2014 release Polyester Itch floats through a dreamy cloud of punching synth, sampled drums and spaced out soothing vocals that can lift the heaviest of depression on a gloomy Portland day. Listen to the full album here. - Travis Leipzig

Artist of the Month: Swansea

At the conclusion of our most recent Artist of the Month Poll I found myself completely transfixed watching a video from the enchanting victor, Swansea, for their track “No Blame”. The camera circles through a beautiful building, stopping upon the three band member playing a song that is simultaneously eerie and comforting with a unique instrumentation. These qualities hold true throughout their catalog of compositions as endearing vocals outline songs that are equal parts novel and familiar. I can keep describing their entrancing style to you, but a unique sound is worth thousands of words and you have the luxury of clicking the banner at the top of the site to listen for yourself. Congratulations to the Deli Portland's new Artist of the Month, Swansea, we’re excited to share your music! -Ben Toledo

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