Friday, September 30, 2011

land's White Orange's self-titled debut is a fun,

Ancient Warlocks, White Orange, Princess, Serial Hawk
(Funhouse) Portland's White Orange's self-titled debut is a fun, wholly heavy, and appropriately amplified riff factory. Someone needs to book a show with White Orange and Hobosexual and Red Fang right now. Put it on your to-do list, people! Speaking of riffs, newish Seattle quartet Ancient Warlocks seem to be setting up their own factory here. Fuck it. Let's get 'em all together. GRANT BRISSEY 

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Video: Stephanie Schneiderman- River Stone

Video: Stephanie Schneiderman- River Stone

Singer/Songwriter Stephanie Schneiderman has come with this fine piece of music and video from her newly released album, Rubber Teardrop. The music is dancy and high energy, yet soothing and very pleasing to the ear. Enjoy her music and the video, and check out more at the links below!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Watch Stephanie Schneiderman’s latest music video. She hooks up with Mercy Corps and gives a % of sales

Watch Stephanie Schneiderman’s latest music video. She hooks up with Mercy Corps and gives a % of sales

Watch “River Stone” from her album Rubber Teardrop:
Recorded and Filmed in Portland, Oregon
DP/Josh Sanz, Producers/Robin Sanz, Stephanie Schneiderman, Jared Hobbs and Cody Bywaters. Creative Director/Jared Hobbs, Track Producer/Auditory Sculpture, “‘River Stone” written by Stephanie Schneiderman
Watch her video on her campaign to help raise money for Mercy Corps (it has lots of music):
According to a new Portland-based, digital music store called YAWMA:
We’ve recently launched a unique music + charity campaign with Portland singer-songwriter Stephanie Schneiderman and I’d love for you to check it out. Stephanie is using our new platform called FanIt to offer fans some great music and really exciting opportunities, all with 40% of donations going to Mercy Corps, Horn of Africa Relief.  Until September 22, she is offering digital downloads of her new album Rubber Teardrop,  The sale is an effort to support the horn of Africa, where 12.5 million people are affected by the drought that Mercy Corp is helping support. Stephanie has set a goal of $1,000, and if we reach it, everyone who participates gets an exclusive cover song from Stephanie, chosen by our vote! The #1 top donor gets a private skype concert performance.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

check out GreenCine!!!!!!!

This blog is joined at the hip with GreenCine (, the online DVD rent-by-mail service. "Better Living Through Cinema."
GreenCine Daily is primarily written by GC Editor Aaron Hillis with contributions including my favorite inker Steve Dollar

Ears Wide Open: The Janks

Ears Wide Open: The Janks

by kevin on September 6, 2011

L.A. rockers the Janks have stuffed a whole lot of rock history into their sack full of tunes “Hands of Time” (out Sept. 27) — so much, in fact, their debut album threatens to split at the seams. Classic rock, sprawling glam-tinged arrangements, shimmering balladry, blues stomps, lovingly twangy folk: The Janks’ principals, brothers Zack and Dylan Zmed along with Garth Herberg, cover a lot of geography in their meditations on youth and its waning. “Dead Man,” with its Sin City chorus, may be what the Janks do best, but the blues blast “Demon Dance,” the classic rock freakout in “Rat Racers” and the slow burner “Billy the Kid” reveal an admirable range in a bunch of guys who aren’t afraid to experiment.
||| Download: “Dead Man” via the Pop Up Live page on Facebook, where the Janks are among 50 L.A. bands offering free downloads.
||| Live: The Janks celebrate their album release with a show Sept. 22 at the Bootleg Theater.
||| Watch: After the jump, check out the video for “Dead Man”:


Monday, September 26, 2011

DIY certainly isn't gimmickry or anything, but making your own instruments?

Staff Icon 
DIY certainly isn't gimmickry or anything, but making your own instruments? What? Microtia broach that borderline. The packaging for their new-ish album, Spacemaker, comes from used beer boxes (mine came from a Coors Light can pack) for the sleeve and cigarette packs (Camel) for the little track listing liner note. Pretty cool. But a four-piece "rock" act making their own instruments? Shit's weird. I don't even know how they go about that. Luckily, it doesn't matter, because as far as you can with synth-y, '90s post-punk/hardcore, Spacemaker "rocks."

There are times when Microtia resemble a noisier Jawbox, or a less D.C.-ish Hoover. But there's something far more "melodic rock" than those comparisons seem to insinuate, and it's hard to really stress that enough. Maybe more of a heavier Dear Hunter-type thing in "Add Insult to Injury"? There are the keys. after all. And Microtia singer/guitarist Eric Leskovar provides a stable enough, slightly nasal overlay for the band's fussy but controlled style.

"1000% Sure" approaches that contrast sharply, with buoyant, stacked vocal harmonies and drumming that's either a little bit sloppy or just syncopated. The complicated instrumentation weaving and melodic choruses actually sound oddly like those of that last Scarlet record, 2006's This Was Always Meant to Fall Apart, if that makes any sense--notably in "I'll Fight Harpsichord." By that point, though, it also seems the band is starting to repeat tricks a little and it does dull the record's momentum a bit.

It feels a bit formulaic and like such is wearing thin by that last third, but Spacemaker manages to finish humbly enough. Microtia have crafted a near-thorough DIY effort to its core and cranked out an interesting and unique style in the process.


Sunday, September 25, 2011



Welcome Home Walker’s new 7″ single not only has great art (with great moustaches), but shows that these boys from Portland have an infectious lust for the kind of Dion-meets-a-dinosaur five-chord guitar rock that has been sorely lacking in nearly every trash rock movement since the eighties, and never done quite as well as here.  Whereas Devon and Alan’s other project, the Soda Pop Kids, has a serious New York Dolls/Shady Lady glam rock vibe, Welcome Home Walker is far more Brownsville Station, with some heavy Creedence appeal, raw and rockin’, slicker than the Strange Boys but tougher than almost anything else.  Side A is a cover of Venice Beach soul-busker Ted Hawkins’ “Watch Your Step,” a good pick perfectly done.  But the real charm here is in the B-side, “The Untold Death of Grady Jones.”  This self-penned, tragic tale of a 50’s gang murder tells a narrative as rich as anything Gene Pitney ever sang, but with the energy of “Runaround Sue” or the Ramones’ “S.L.U.G.”  Here’s hoping that their current mini-tour leaves them lots of alone time in the van to come up with equally poignant tales of horror and woe.
-Dan Collins

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Strength returns after a triumphant Squeak and Squawk show to get Tacoma dancing again


Strength returns after a triumphant Squeak and Squawk show to get Tacoma dancing again

Strength/photo courtesy of Eva Schifter/MySpace
Oh, nothing feels better to me than those rare instances when I get to act like a DJ. It happened recently at a friend of a friend's birthday party. Plugging my iPod into the speakers, carefully choosing what song to play next, my heart racing as the end of the song comes closer and I still haven't decided what my next move will be. And when you figure out just the right song that pushes everyone's button and gets them on the dance floor - it's so goddamn gratifying.
This feeling of DJ envy is not unfamiliar to Portland's Strength.
"I was listening to a lot of dance records, like Madonna and the Bee Gees - stuff that people were spinning at parties," says Strength vocalist Bailey Winters. "We were going to a lot of parties at our school. Bands would perform, like a rock band would perform. But then around 11 o'clock a DJ would take over. And it seemed like the party always started once the dance music started. I just got the idea that we should be like the DJ. We should be playing dance music. We should be the party."
At the time, Strength was just a rock band, but soon they would transform into a quintessential party band: part disco, part R&B, part electronica, part funk. Their ability to transform a room into a pulsating party machine was on full display in their last appearance in Tacoma, at the Squeak and Squawk. That night, they managed to pry even the generally reserved Tacoma folk out of their shells and get the dance floor jumping.
"I think we take Strength way more seriously than people might think," says Winters. "We spend a lot of time on it, but it is very tongue-in-cheek. We're very aware of what we're doing, and we're very aware that we're three skinny white dudes playing R&B."
Skinny white dudes, sure, but their hooks are serious business. Their show on Friday will reunite them with Reporter, who were the other half of that awesome Squeak and Squawk bill.
Can lightning strike twice? Not likely. But I bet Tacoma can dance again.


Friday, September 23, 2011

Okay, seriously, this chick is way too cool for us.

Stephanie Schneiderman (United States)


Okay, seriously, this chick is way too cool for us.  She plays trip hop, electronica and ambient music, AND is from Portland, Oregon? We're almost sure nobody else up in the Pacific Northwest is doing what she's doing (or at least sounding as good).
She's released six solo albums, won a spot at Lilith Fair in 1999, and collaborated on many films and international projects, including staging a concert to benefit refugees in Uganda. So basically, she's an indie superstar.
Her voice is ephemeral, throaty and cool, and her manipulation of electronic sounds with a clear folk, trip hop, and pop influence is pleasing to the ears. Her music would be perfect for film soundtracks. She reminds us of a less eccentric Imogen Heap, and we like it - a lot.
Songs we recommend you listen to: "Wide Open" and "Oxygen."
Click here to visit this artist’s website.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Music: Judge Jackson: Drive

Music: Judge Jackson: Drive

Our Take

I’ve said this time and time again, but the key to quality hard rock in 2010 has more to do with how many hooks your songs have and how catchy your choruses are rather than how original your music sounds. If we were to evaluate the genre based solely on who sounds the most unique (especially for bands on major labels) all of them would be considered terrible. Thankfully, Los Angeles’ Judge Jackson seems to understand what it takes for a hard rock band to stand out as their fifth studio album Drive has plenty of catchy moments and a nice amount of variety. And while it’s not quite my pick for top hard rock album of the year, it does live up to its name and will provide plenty of entertainment as you cruise the highways.
What makes Judge Jackson so great is that they seem to want to encompass every facet of the hard rock genre. They’ve got the fast paced groove heavy tracks that are similar to many of today’s genre acts, the slightly dirtier mid-tempo songs that post grunge was known for in the previous decade, and even some slow melodically oriented blues rock. All of these styles are sure to appeal to fans of traditional rock ‘n roll, and quite a few of the songs have the types of choruses that make you want to put the album on as loud as possible in your car. It really seems as though the instrumentalists have tried to combine the old and new into one cohesive mix, and for the most part they succeed. However, I must admit that when the band slows things down they lose some of their energy and aren’t quite as memorable. It’s something that I hope they work on, as if they can make all their songs have the same care free energy they could really grab listeners.

Vocalist Todd McTavish is great, and he is reminiscent of various hard rock vocalists depending on what range/pitch he is making use of on a particular track. On some of the louder, up-tempo tracks he has a little bit of a Layne Staley type of sound (mostly on the choruses), while on others he sounds a little closer to Josh Todd from Buckcherry. What is particularly noteworthy is that McTavish actually seems to have a decent range and when he sings on the mellower tracks it sounds quite different from the up-tempo ones. This makes the band stand out a bit over some of the hard rock acts that feature fairly one dimensional vocalists, and listeners will surely appreciate what Todd McTavish brings to the table.

Drive is definitely an album that will warrant multiple plays, but it isn’t quite able to maintain momentum for its entirety. Because of this I see Judge Jackson as a band that hard rock listeners will enjoy playing but won’t necessarily list as one of their favorites just yet. However, they’re definitely getting closer to that point and if they can keep moving forward it seems likely their name will be more prominent in the genre.
Chris Dahlberg
October 07, 2010

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Almost like an indie prog rock version of slipknot......

Bonedome - Thinktankubator [Album]
Summer Break Records

August 31, 2010, 12:38 AM

Almost like an indie prog rock version of slipknot, the many members of Bonedome blast competition in their genre out of the water. You could argue with that many musicians at once it has the potential to become a mash of noise but not this, this is anything but.
Thinktankubator is an album with a serious personality disorder, it makes you want to laugh and cry with the change of a song.
Every new listen of the album envelops you into deeper and deeper layers of intricate sound, subtleties you had previously missed become clear and delicate murmurs that seemed to escape you will suddenly present themselves on the forth or even fifth time around. There’s a complicated quality to the songs, it’s only on the second or third time of listening that you really hear them. There’s a subtle bitterness there, a cleverly displayed darkness, lyrics that seem to expose all the hate of the world but are served with a smile, rather like a poisoned apple; take a bite of that apple and you realise the insides aren’t so nice. They have a somewhat smooth, lovely surface and a dark underbelly that once you're involved will shock you.

The music is something else; trying to say who they sound like is hard because, the more you listen the more bands come to mind. The best way to describe them would be if David Bowie, Nirvana, Nine Inch Nails, Kings of Leon, Gary Numan, The Beatles, Pink Floyd and The Who got together and had the best jam session in the world, then wrote an album based on that jam session, whilst taking influence from all the best times they’ve had alongside all the times spent in the gutter. Yeah, I know, I listened to it countless times now and I cant dissect it anymore than that. It’s simply way to complex and captivating to pull apart, with the various members weaving elaborate guitars and sumptuous vocal harmonies alongside drums, percussion, and keyboards. It is too detailed to take to pieces and would be like trying to find a single threads journey through a tapestry, it just can’t be done.

Thinktankubator is an album with a serious personality disorder, it makes you want to laugh and cry with each change of a song. Some of the tracks seem to be more upbeat and more fun in the way of lyrical content. For example, the lyrics of “Girl One” really make me smile “Girl eleven only lives in my head, (she is my headcase) / Girl number twelve lives only in porn". Also the opening line of “Slow Jesus Xing” is awesome: “He ain’t heavy / he’s fat and American but the girls still love him.” But they are in stark contrast to the darker lyrics of “Easy”: “No lullaby can stop me / down will come baby / her lover and all, and into the cradle we all will fall / it’s easy to kill a man, easy from where I stand.”

And the heart wrenching lyrics of “Custody Lullaby”, simply put, is despondent words wrapped in an elegant blanket of soft musical genius. It just makes you want to sob. It’s like a rose, graceful and painful. It’s so simple, so clever and is almost what’s left unsaid that makes it. The implications, as well as the in your face message makes for a haunting track disguised as something cute. “You didn’t exactly get to choose / your momma, your daddy, or who to lose / you didn’t exactly get your say / what baggage you’ll carry for the rest of your days”

In essence, Thinktankubator is someone’s feelings bottled and sold to the masses.Pparts of it are so dark you’re almost emotionally tired after listening to it, but despite that fact it’s still exceptionally poetic and sublime; it’s like being confronted by a psychopath with a pretty face, and it doesn't really get any better than that. Thinktankubator has this phenomenal epic musical intelligence and, for a band to be able to so seamlessly get to such levels of darkness whilst their product is so beautifully put it together, just makes you wonder how you ever existed without it in your music collection before. Thinktankubator is already in with the music I listen to regularly and I don’t see that changing ever.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Blue Skies For Black Hearts’ ‘Dirty Water’ Cover

Bad Penny Exclusive: Blue Skies For Black Hearts’ ‘Dirty Water’ Cover

In recent years, it’s been rare that October begins with Red Sox fans in mourning. But such is the case in 2010: On Tuesday night, the last flicker of hope went out for the team this season as it was officially eliminated from playoff contention. As a condolence for the team’s injurious year, here’s a previously unreleased cover of the song that is played at Fenway Park when they win.
This rendition of the Standells’ “Dirty Water” is by Blue Skies for Black Hearts, a classic-rock-sounding indie band based in a city far from Boston: Portland, Oregon. Here it is:
• Bad Penny exclusive download: Blue Skies for Black Hearts’ “Dirty Water” cover
In addition to bestowing the Bad Penny with the studio outtake, vocalist/guitarist Pat Kearns passed along a few words about it:
“This is an unreleased studio outtake that will not be included on our next record, Embracing the Modern Age.
“Written by Ed Cobb and originally performed by the Standells, we started doing this song a couple of years ago when we were asked to do a Nuggets Tribute night. The song appeared on the first Nuggets LP compiled by Lenny Kaye and Jac Holzman. We were fascinated by the simplicity and the groove of the song … and amazed that you can play a drum fill on the high hat (see the last break before the outro).
“After recording gang vocals for our song ‘Majoring in the Arts,’ we had so much fun with all the dudes that we didn’t want to stop. Someone suggested doing ‘Dirty Water’ too. … It couldn’t have turned out better. Everyone knows the song and there aren’t a lot of notes in it which makes it very easy to sing. I think all those dudes really add to the feel.”
If you’re feeling Blue Skies, go here for another free download, this one an MP3 of their song “Embracing the Modern Age.”

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Thick vinyl picture disk with trippy, quasi-religious art.


“…And This Is Why I Speak to You in Parables” : 12”
Thick vinyl picture disk with trippy, quasi-religious art. Side A: One thirteen-minute psychedelic metal song that alternates between hardcore slowbuilds and cool desert rock. The song carries the long run time well. It’s focused without being monotonous and dynamic without being scattered. Side B: Five-minute edit of Side A, for when you’re smoking a one hitter instead of a bowl.
–CT Terry (Made In China,

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Review: Campfire OK Burn It Up Early at Bumbershoot 2011

Review: Campfire OK Burn It Up Early at Bumbershoot 2011

Campfire OK circle the wagons at Bumbershoot. Photo: Dan Coxon.
Bumbershoot and sunshine. They aren’t two words that have always gone together, but this weekend at Seattle Center the three-day music and arts festival is destined to be bathed in light. If you forgot what you loved about Seattle over the winter months – this is it.
Even with the weather on your side it’s never easy to play the opening slot at any festival, but hometown heroes Campfire OK lit the festival’s fuse with energy and enthusiasm. Starting their slot at noon, they still managed to pull an impressive crowd from the festival’s early birds, helped by the Fountain Lawn Stage’s proximity to the front gate. With music this hot blasting from the speakers right in front of you, why would you bother exploring any further?
Mychal Cohen’s soaring vocals and kooky sense of humor have always been one of the band’s strengths, and as the crowd rose to meet them he led from the front, chatting easily between songs then lifting us up with every chorus. The rest of the band were on song too, hammering through tunes from their debut album, Strange Like We Are, alongside a couple of new songs that saw Mychal step from behind his piano and strap on a guitar. If anything, the new sounds were even bigger crowd-pleasers than the old, and it bodes well for their sophomore release.
Mychal Cohen of Campfire OK.
Their show itself also suggests that this year’s Bumbershoot might just be one of the hottest in recent memory, in more ways than one. While there’s no Dylan or Weezer this year, the local scene is beating strong, and the crowds are clearly looking to party. And Campfire OK got that party started – helped by a little sunshine.
Campfire OK will also be playing an intimate set at the Free Yr Radio stage at 6:05pm today (Saturday), and you can check out our interview with Mychal and Brandon here.
For more on Bumbershoot 2011, check out our festival guide.

Friday, September 16, 2011

New Video: Stephanie Schneiderman, “River Stone”


New Video: Stephanie Schneiderman, “River Stone”

On Portland-based songwriter Stephanie Schneiderman’s new release, Rubber Teardrop, there is an almost instant realization that it is the perfect blend of two very different artists who have found their collective voice. A fluid recording that seamlessly combines the synthetic and organic into a single powerful compilation, Rubber Teardrop plays like an epic movie soundtrack, at once evocative, entertaining and dramatic, even mesmerizing at times. In fact, it is difficult to imagine that she hasn’t always been an emerging international electronic artist.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Magical Mystery Tour with Climber

A Magical Mystery Tour with ClimberBy Andrea Rizzo

With a name like Climber, one can’t help but think this Portland, Oregon, band is on its way up. The band took a few moments to let in on the area music scene, the merits of touring and a few cool projects coming out. Find out more by visit their website.

1. How would you describe the Climber sound?Synth-pop with two kinds of flair that sparkle at times: classical motifs and goofy circus music. 

2. Do you find the Portland scene to be supportive?Sure. Portland has tons of places to play, and most of them are staffed by people who like local music and are laid-back enough to let local people do their thing. The huge number of artists and art enthusiasts make it a fun place to be, too because there is so much creativity influencing and inspiring us. I can’t think of a cooler, more casual place to do art. Maybe there are more intense places to operate, but I like Portland’s vibe.   

3. How has The Mystic been received?It’s received good and bad reviews, which is a huge accomplishment for us because we made something interesting enough to be disliked. At least, that’s how we choose to see it. It’s been fun to see some writers say that a certain track is the best song on the album, and then read that others find it to be the very worst. There’s a bit of disagreement about it, which we think is the mark of something worth hearing. I’m sure anyone who believes in their own music feels this way, but I think it’s actually a shame that more people haven’t heard it because it’s really a cool album. It’s engaging, eclectic (some have said it’s much too eclectic), serious and lighthearted, and musically, very intricate. There’s my sales-pitch!   

4. Although you don't tour that often, have you found it's easier to reach fans through social networking? And how has that changed the face of your music (if at all)?In my opinion, social networking doesn’t compete with the face-to-face interaction and excitement you get touring. After our tours we’d always be energized about the new people we’d met and reached with our music, and those new contacts led to subsequent ones in a big web of band-promoting-happy-madness. Maybe if social networking were our strength, or our interest for that matter, we’d find it effective, but without touring it all feels a little hollow. But I’m also probably the worst social networker in the band; others might respond differently. 

5. What are some new projects your working on?Climber is recording a new EP that has some great new songs; it’ll be out someday soon. We’re also trying really hard to get some Climber songs, or sometimes new compositions, licensed with other media like commercials or films. It’s a fun way to write music but still stay home within reach of all the comforts and responsibilities it offers.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Black Pussy plays retro rock ‘n’ roll with On Blonde

Black Pussy plays retro rock ‘n’ roll with On Blonde

Posted on 31. Aug, 2011 in Magazine
On Blonde
Black Pussy
Made in China Records
Rocks Like: Eagles of Death Metal, Black Angels, Rolling Stones
Grade C+
Thanks to the ascetic-rock cool of Black Pussy’s debut album On Blonde, the soundtrack for high school art rooms might just have changed. Named Black Pussy after what was supposedly the original title of the Rolling Stone’s “Brown Sugar,” the sextet’s sound seems to bridle that image of rock ‘n’ roll excess with metallic guitars, driving rhythms and lyrics about weed, girls and the darkened desert.
The sound is pure retro, but touches on modernity with a carefully planned rhythm and guitars that occasionally jet into post-Hendrix extremes. “Marijuana” and “Can’t Take Anymore” feel a bit over-the-top thematically — and musically — but the restraint on subsequent tracks creates a tremendous difference.
The female backing vocal on “Ain’t Talkin’ ’Bout Love” is haunting and lends a lingering dimensionality to the band’s sound. “Indiana,” the final track, even slows things down and speaks in a sentimental tone.
The finished product is often ridiculous, but it’s still rock ‘n’ roll, isn’t it? The band’s dark, offensive visuals are completely at home in the songs listed above. On Blonde is rebellious and sentimental in the way a great rock record should be, but rarely does it seem to tie the two themes together with great success.
Although the sounds seem to be present, the focus needs some adjustment in order to make On Blonde the desert-bohemian classic it was meant to be.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

It’s a full on rock album that needs to be played at full volume to be fully appreciated.


Portland-based hard rockers White Orange’s self-titled debut is filled with distortion and amplifier-blowing walls of noise. The sound takes influence from heavy rock acts like Mastodon, The Locust, and The Melvins with the distorted guitars of early Dinosaur Jr. Sometimes it comes off perfectly, with the wonderful track “Wonderful” being a simple stunner. Other times, the feeling of jabbing drywalls screws into your eardrums would be less painful, with the opening track “Where” being nothing more than a crash of repetitive chords with super-fuzzed out vocals. Happily, with the exception of “Where,” White Orange is a solid metal record. There’s nothing complicated about it. It’s loud, it’s simplistic, and it is chock full of hard-edged sounds. It’s a full on rock album that needs to be played at full volume to be fully appreciated.
(Made in China Records, PO Box 10608, Portland, OR 97296)

Monday, September 12, 2011

the mind-expanding world of White Orange.

White Orange - White Orange
file under stoner
White Orange  - White Orange Jan-Simon: White Stripes, White Hills, White Zombie, Black Sabbath, Orange Goblin… As if we do not have enough there is now White Orange and it would be too simple to just say that White Orange is a new colour based on the above ingredients. Of course there are traces of Sabbath to be heard, but that is quite normal for a band listing Nebula, The Sword and Kyuss as some of its reference points. Still it is not just stoner. White Orange puts a lot of nineties indiegrunge (like Smashing Pumpkins, Mudhoney, Nirvana) in its rock and refers in an original way to spacerock. Between all noisy guitar lines and wahwah explosions we hear the call “to set the controls for the heart of the sun”.

This somewhat strange mix is what makes White Orange so catchy. The great nonsensical and yet profound lyrics (“Sometimes less is more”) combined with guitars that are at one moment staccato and repetitive and the other complete freakout wah-wah weirdness are unusual, but are delivered with a naturalness as if there has never been anything else. As if time and space have warped in an inexplicable way to have all alternative guitar music of the sixties, seventies, eighties and nineties converge into one spot. At that crossroads we find White Orange, hurling an endless flow of monster riffs into the atmosphere like an Icelandic volcano.

After a enervating riff-o-rama the final track ‘Sigourney Weaver’ is a welcome closer. Laid back and full of psychedelic distortion the album flows towards its end. No weak finish but a pleasant warm shower after an intense dive into the mind-expanding world of White Orange.
Rating: 85/100 (details)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

POOR BOY'S SOUL - tempted to draw parallels to both The Black Keys and The White Stripes.

Poor Boy's Soul's Burn Down on CD

The first time you hear Poor Boy's Soul's new 7-song EP, Burn Down, you're immediately tempted to draw parallels to both The Black Keys and The White Stripes. All three acts mate a blistering, bluesy guitar to a stripped down drum kit, although PBS is certainly ground much deeper into the Mississippi Delta mud than those more famous duos. Then it slowly dawns on you. Is this just one guy, pickin' on his slide guitar while manuevering both a kick drum and a tambourine and singin' with an intense growl that combines pain, anger and hobo-esque sense of loss? It is one guy, Trever Jones, who's set on "stompin' and shoutin' till the heavens cry."

Once you come to this realization, Poor Boy's Soul adds about a dozen layers of depth, and what initially sounds simple, pure and focused now becomes feverish and darned near breathtaking. Jones isn't reinventing blues rock here, but it does pour unimpeded from his poor boy's soul onto the stage into and into every nook and cranny in the joint. From listening to this one CD, you'll immediately know that this is the type of performer who forges his reputation on remarkable live performances. Does he really recreate the sound of this CD on stage? you'll wonder. Can I see it? And when?

Vocally, Jones follows blues tradition by favoring growl over range and you'll swear he's delivering every syllable in the same goddamned note, which is just fine. The lone exception is the seemingly gentle ballad "Annalisa" that closes the album, but what sounds like tenderness is betrayed by haunting lyrics such as "Annalisa, you're stronger than those demons in your head." Those are heady lyrics to sing about a mother of three, and he delivers these words with the unmistakeable tone of someone who has lived through the ten plagues of Egypt and can't wait to see what shit's coming down the road next. He may not have a lot of tricks up his sleeve or gears in his tranny, but he's unbelievably commited to his art and that's more than enough. When he comes to town, I want to see him--is there any higher recommendation than that?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

fuses wicked Rock N Roll tunes

SASSY - Diggin' Deep: Christa DiBiase and Lynda Mandolyn are back with their second album which fuses wicked Rock N Roll tunes with a bit of pop and blues. For a duo to put out a release of this quality you realise they have a love for what they do. The thirteen tracks on here show why Sassy should be a much bigger band than what they are I'm sure after hearing this release you'll understand what I'm saying. There's some very cool tracks on here such as 'Honey Bee', 'So Bad It's Good', 'Keep It Down' and 'It Really Hurts'. I'm so happy that Sassy exist simply because these two ladies know to rock out in style. If it wasn't for people like Christa and Lynda playing Rock n Roll there would be no Street Voice. I really do suggest you check this duo out! 'Diggin' Deep is where it's at baby! 9/10

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Janks » This indie-rock band

Nonfiction: Fictionist opening for The Janks and The Shivers

The Provo rock band is one of four unsigned groups vying for the chance to appear on an August cover of Rolling Stone magazine along with a recording deal with Atlantic Records.
If you’re the type of music fan who wants to research your vote, you have a chance to see Fictionist play live at The Depot in Salt Lake City before voting ends.
“I’m excited to be considered for a United Concerts show,” said Fictionist lead singer Stuart Maxfield, referring to the promotions company that books The Depot. The band, if selected to be in the final two, would perform at Tennessee’s Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, so the quintet is “touring like crazy” to hone performing skills as the contest progresses, he said.
Seeing the road-tested and magazine-groomed band is reason enough to pay $5 (advance tickets) to see the show, but there are two other reasons: the co-headliners, The Janks and The Shivers.
The Janks » This indie-rock band hails from the Los Angeles suburb of Calabasas. Brothers Zachary and Dylan Zmed are the band’s core, and West Coast influences can be heard in their sound.
“My writing is influenced by California, but some people say we don’t sound like a Southern California band,” Zachary Zmed said in an interview. “Some people thought we were British.”
Zmed created the band with Garth Herberg. Herberg is still a member of the band, but Zachary’s younger-by-four-years brother, Dylan, has become a co-frontman. “Dylan is coming on,” Zachary said. “Our vocal timbre is very similar, like the Everly Brothers.”
As a result, the band’s foot-stomping raw music is a blend of acoustic rock that sounds like Led Zeppelin’s take on Americana in the early 1970s, as well as a heavier, deeper rock sound that in live shows recalls the theatricality of Queen and Tom Waits. The band is excited about the release of its new album this summer.
The Shivers » This Queens-based duo features Keith Zarriello on vocals and guitars and Jo Schornikow on the organ and keys.
Zarriello began his career as a solo artist, but about four years ago Schornikow went to see her future bandmate perform. She was “blown away” by his raspy voice and intensity and joined him to create The Shivers. Although he was billed as a jazz singer, Schornikow said his music is “many things, but not jazz.”
Schornikow grew up in Melbourne, Australia, studying classical piano. “I was really into classical music,” she said. “But then I decided to piss off my family.” Interestingly, when she isn’t on tour, for her day job Schornikow is the church organist and musical director at a Queens Lutheran church.
Her unique sound adds depth to Zarriello’s guitars and voice. “Keith is the most charismatic singer I’ve ever seen,” she said, calling her bandmate a “live wire.”
“It’s well worth it taking a look.”

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Memorials (Thomas Pridgen- Mars Volta) Ticket Giveaway!

The Memorials (Thomas Pridgen- Mars Volta) Ticket Giveaway!

We’re giving away 3 pairs of tickets to see The Memorials -

featuring Thomas Pridgen of The Mars Volta!

Click here to enter!

The Memorials were spearheaded by Bay Area drumming prodigy, Thomas Pridgen, in December of 2009. After a few years performing with The Mars Volta, Thomas turned his attention to forming his own group, incorporating a range of styles as diverse as the experiences of the bands members. Instead of becoming another rock bands’ heartbeat, the focus was to collaborate with proficient musicians whom Thomas felt would fill a void he has heard in rock music throughout his life. Thomas reached out to friends and former students of the esteemed Berklee College of Music, Viveca Hawkins (vocals), and Nick Brewer (guitars), to join him in his newest endeavor. Recording with his friend’s yielded a family vibe that enabled a comfortable yet intense recording process. The groups’ assets were rounded out with the addition of a bass, organ, synthesizers, and multiple percussive elements. Thomas describes The Memorials’ first record as:
“For me it was important to put a band together with my friends, and ya know, the record is a rollercoaster. Some songs are hard, but will make you cry by the end….”
The aura of the recording sessions, and Thomas’ vision for the group, are reflected in the views of the bands members. Viveca Hawkins glows when speaking of the project:
“We have totally made this project out of love…This album is made of the best of us, we put our hearts and souls into this.”
The passion and intensity of the recording sessions is audible on The Memorials debut effort, as they combine a vast array of sounds atop Thomas and Nick’s compositions. Nick’s sprawling guitars and Thomas’ thick drums serve as the core of the sound, while Viveca’s voice brings it together perfectly. The end music is intelligent and calculated, exhibiting certain pop sensibilities within the scope of songs that rock out. The compositions highlight each musician’s incredible talent, while creating textured tracks that feel like vignettes of a band finding their stride.


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A man/woman duo with a twist:

MAGNUSON / Crash of Cassini (ind. - merci à XO Publicity)

Un duo homme-femme présentant une particularité: tous deux jouent de la guitare et de la batterie, alternant leurs rôles d’une chanson à l’autre. Tous deux chantent aussi, mais pas particulièrement bien. Crash of Cassini mélange rock progressif pesant (Porcupine Tree, Meshuggah) et rock alternatif. Le résultat déroute quelque peu. L’influence de PTree est si palpable sur “Dark Reality” qu’on croyait à un pastiche, alors qu’ailleurs on tombe dans un rock indie beaucoup plus “vanille”. Belle énergie, mais la production fait trop démo et les mélodies manquent d’attrait.

A man/woman duo with a twist: both play guitars and drums, and they switch places frequently. Both also sing, albeit not particularly well. Crash of Casasino blends weighty prog rock (think Porcupine Tree and Meshuggah) with alt rock. The results are slightly disorienting. PTree’s influence is palpable on the near-pastiche “Dark Reality,” while elsewher eMagnuson sound more like a vanilla indie rock band. Nice energy, but the production is too demo-grade and the melodies fall short.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

My First Record w/ Stephanie Schneiderman

My First Record w/ Stephanie Schneiderman

Today on The Vinyl District Portland we are going to give you two additional entries into the My First Record pantheon. Why? Because each of the artists that wrote them are going to be spending this weekend celebrating the release of their new albums and they are deserving of all the praise and support as we can give them for making that happen. So, we cede the spotlight first to Stephanie Schneiderman. This erstwhile member of the folk-pop trio Dirty Martini has just released her 7th solo album, Rubber Teardrop. It continues in the downtempo sexy electronica vibe that she cooked up with collaborator Keith Schreiner on her previous effort Dangerous Fruit but manages to turn up the heat and the intensity throughout. Ms. Schneiderman will be performing both an opening set with Dirty Martini and a headlining set of her solo work tonight at the Alberta Rose Theatre starting at 8:30 p.m.

I grew up in a house full of music. I have two older sisters and when we weren’t practicing on piano, French horn, clarinet and flute, we played records. We had this tiny little record player with horrible sounding speakers that kept cutting in and out. The first songwriters that stood out to me were Paul Simon, Pat Benatar and Billy Joel.

I used to play the album Glass Houses for hours while roller skating around the perimeter of my (tiny) basement absorbing the melodies and lyrics. I think what pulled me in were the stories told in the songs and Billy Joel. I loved his bravado. I loved his voice. I loved his band. And if I hear that album now I can remember the smell of my basement.

Another album that made an impact on me was Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young’s So Far. I discovered it when I was about 14 and I couldn’t get enough of the harmonies and listened to the whole album over and over again. I liked the feeling that I was taken on a ride from the beginning to the end. And I was drawn to the darker melodies which I think influence my writing to this day.
Paul Simon’s Still Crazy After All These Years is still one of my all time favorite albums. It’s an album that my parents played a lot and my earliest musical memories involve being at the beach listening to it. His songwriting is clean and poignant and creates so much room to breathe. The melody lines become that much more potent because they’re surrounded by space. Every word feels important. And then there’s so much ease about the whole thing. Most of my favorite songwriters have these same qualities.

Pat Benatar was and still is a huge inspiration for me. I’m part of the generation of young girls who stood in front of their mirrors singing her songs trying to emulate her foxiness. In The Heat Of The Night was the album I listened to a bunch. She brought such a different angle to rock and roll, a more feminine but equally bold approach. Her songs were punchy little gems and so easy to sing along to. I recently had the opportunity to open for her this last summer, and she’s still amazing.

Monday, September 5, 2011

collaborations with Talib Kweli, MF Doom, and Cee Lo

The Memorials (Frequency)

Joining forces like a pair of musical superheroes are Thomas Pridgen from the Grammy-winning rock group Mars Volta and soul/hip-hop goddess Viveca Hawkins, who boasts an impressive resume of collaborations with Talib Kweli, MF Doom, and Cee Lo. This afro-punk outlet perform at the Frequency.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

"With the band it gets kind of Zepplin-y,"

The Janks

Los Angeles-based band plays in Ashland tonight at CultureWorks

Zach Zmed on guitar, left, and Dylan Zmed on mandolin, right, are The Janks. Photos by Mandy Valencia | for the Tidings

Posted: 2:00 AM May 06, 2011

For L.A.-based The Janks, Ashland is starting to become its home away from home.

Since moving to Ashland last year, band manager Rich Rees has brought The Janks up north to shoot two of its music videos. Tonight the band returns to play a show at CultureWorks featuring new songs from its upcoming new album, "Hands of Time." The music begins at 8 p.m. at 310 Oak St.

The core members of the group, brothers Dylan Zmed, 24, and Zach Zmed, 28, arrived in Ashland Thursday afternoon after kicking off their West Coast tour in San Francisco. The two brothers are staying at Rees' house, which is where they performed their song "Echo Whispers" for the Tidings Café.

"I do want to move up here, it's so nice," said Zach. "We're actually planning on stealing this house," added Dylan.

With a voice reminiscent of Chris Martin of Cold Play, Zach sings outs a beautiful melody while his younger brother harmonizes. Lyrics worthy of contemplation and mostly written by Zach are a signature of The Janks, whose new record also includes songs written by Dylan and guitarist and keyboardist Garth Herberg.

"It's really heavy and really cerebral. It's visceral, but it's lovely and light," said Dylan of The Janks' music. "It's day and night."

"Some songs are upbeat but some might make you want to punch someone," added Zach.

For tonight's show at CultureWorks, the Zmed brothers will be accompanied by the rest of the band, which includes Wade Ryff, Lucas Ventura and Herberg.

"With the band it gets kind of Zepplin-y," said Zach.

The Janks formed in 2006 and has recorded one album, called "Delicate Mouthfeels." Its second CD will be released in September and includes the addition of Dylan, who joined the group about a year ago.

The Janks will continue its West Coast tour by playing for the first time in Portland, then Seattle. The members plan on returning to Ashland in the fall to promote their new album.

"It would be cool to do a house show," said Zach.

Mandy Valencia is reporter for the Daily Tidings .

Saturday, September 3, 2011

MAGNUSON/Crash Of Cassini

MAGNUSON/Crash Of Cassini (Self Released) This is an alternative rock/metal band with a lot
of that Seattle grunge sound to it. This isn't bad for what it is, as the band throw in
some catchy riffs along with that grungy sound. The singer, who is a femake has a strong voice
and she fits the music pretty good. Production is not over the top neither. I am not the
biggest fan of the grunge and alternative stuff, but this was easily one of the best bands
I have heard doing this sort of style.


Friday, September 2, 2011

It's not a challenge to imagine her fronting The Corrs

Stephanie Schneiderman - Rubber Teardrop

Being a reviewer is challenging when something out of your normal sphere of listening comes along. That's how it was with me when I was sent Stephanie Schneiderman's Rubber Teardrop album. At first I was tempted to write it off as enjoyable bakground music and really not much else but then I felt obligated to pay more attention.

Rubber Teardrop opening with a song called "Hush" doesn't exactly slap me in the face however the electronica made me prick up my ears and realize I should pay a little more attention to the album. There's an etheral folkiness to Scheiderman's vocals. It's not a challenge to imagine her fronting The Corrs or being a stand-in for Suzanne Vega. "Riverstone" highlights the crossing of the electronic beat with straight up folk music and conveys a shoegazery tone over the blips. As the title track suggests by its name alone, it's melancholic but it's bounced back by a sweet poppiness. Often throughout the album there's a smooth laidbackness between the beats and the slightly buried vocals seem to beg to be in the foreground. The combining of styles is a feature that runs throughout the album and "Avalon" is a stirred up and stewed mixture of soul and trip-hop sifted through electronic beats. Just when you've things all sorted the contradictory "I am what I am not" states this a folk singer.

While this album didn't punch me in the face, it's a slow-burner and often that's better anyway. At the moment due to the weather , I'd rather have a warm flame of any kind than be battered around. Time to stoke up the fire.