Every Friday, LocalCut collects the week's new Portland music and puts it all in one place for you, the faithful reader, to enjoy. It's like MTV's The Week In Rock, with less Tabitha Soren.
1. Unknown Mortal Orchestra, "Swing Lo Magellan"
This week, Unknown Mortal Orchestra released The Blue Record, an EP primarily featuring acoustic versions of tunes from the psych-pop group's hazily hungover sophomore album, II. Nestled among the five songs is a cover of the breezy title track from Dirty Projectors' 2012 album, featuring only frontman Ruban Nielson and his nimble fingers.
2. Red Fang, "Blackwater"
Whales and Leeches, the third album from Portland's favorite stoner-metal heathens Red Fang, isn't just another hulking slab of tectonic riffs and tank-sized grooves: It's also the band's best selling release to date, debuting at No. 66 on the Billboard charts. To celebrate, Red Fang dropped this bonus track, a slow-moving mountain of sludge that is, in fact, much, much thicker than water.
BTW: Whitey McConnaughey, who's already directed a few classic videos for Red Fang, is looking for extras to appear in a zombie-themed clip for the Whales and Leeches single "Blood Like Cream" (apparently he didn't go with my "dancing milk maids" theme, but whatever, zombies are cool, too). Interested parties can sign up here.
3. Lawz Spoken & Epp, "Suicide Doors" (featuring Milc and Stewart Villain)
In early October, Epp—he's the "E" to Tope's T in TxE, Portland's premiere golden-age hip-hop duo—struck out on his own with his first official solo collection, Chrome Plated Chronicles. Now, the MC expands his time in the spotlight with Suicide Doors, an EP-length collaboration with ace producer Lawz Spoken (who split beat-making duties with G-Force on Chronicles). The title joint, which finds Epp sharing verses with fellow PDX rappers Milc and Stewart Villain, is a spare, trunk-rattling track featuring little more than snapping snares, spacey synth organ and shuddering bass. Get the whole album here.
4. Colin Jenkins, "Heroes & Villains" (from Portland Smiles: A Tribute to the Beach Boys)
Tender Loving Empire, along with comic and musician Jesse Bettis, has gathered together 11 Portland artists to record a full-album cover the Beach Boys' relatively unheralded 1967 masterwork Smiley Smile (it's the one with "Good Vibrations"). We're not sure if Colin Jenkins—formerly of Rocky and the Proms and now of swinging indie-lounge act Rio Grands—drew the short straw or if his ambitions are truly Brian Wilson-sized, but he takes a shot at the opening song, "Heroes and Villains," which isn't so much a pop song as an opera in miniature, and does an admirable job in shifting through the tune's multiple segments and giving it all his own sunny spin. Buy the full album, featuring contributions from Radiation City, Typhoon and Jared Mees, here (and get a koozie while you're at it!). The official release show, with sets from Rio Grands, New Move, Church of Surf and Adam Brock, is Nov. 15 at the Eagles Lodge on SE Hawthorne.
Want to learn more about Jenkins' cover? Well, the following episode of YouTube talk show Beach Party TV won't help, but you will learn his essential ingredients for an awesome party. Spoiler alert: It involves no girls and a two-story tall beer bong.
5. Toxic Holocaust, "Acid Fuzz"
Portland thrash-metal ghouls Toxic Holocaust unleashed their new Relapse Records album, Chemistry of Consciousness, this week, and accompanied it with this chaotic, animated fever-nightmare of a video, featuring all matter of disturbing, transgressive imagery. Let's just say the part where a giant goat chops up and snorts a pig in a police uniform is maybe the least insane thing here.