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The Blow Announce Rererelease, Add Tour Dates with Of Montreal

In 2004, before the impossibly infectious Paper Television was even a spark in their eye, The Blow released the inaugural album of the Slender Means Society/States Rights Records' Pregnancy Series, Poor Aim: Love Songs. It was ...   More
Wednesday, January 31, 2007 by Michael Byrne

Tara Jane O'Neil, "A Sparrow Song" from In Circles (Touch and Go)

This lovely album went strangely unnoticed around town when it was released last summer. Shame: its eleven tracks of dense, drowsy Appalachian folkscapes are something indeed. This track's fine example of why I tend to revert to the “scape” idea when writing about her songwriting. Refrains aside, s...   More
Thursday, January 25, 2007 by Michael Byrne

BLUE CRANES Lift Music! Flown Music! (self-released)

[INDIEFIED JAZZ] On about the first three listens, Blue Cranes' Lift Music! Flown Music! is so disappointingly bland—white bread, hotel lobby, 106.7-FM bland—that I barely trundled on to find the wonderful little treats and subtleties that lie within this, the band's second album. Yes, its overriding style is a soft-edged brand of jazz fusion. But it could be so much worse.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007 by Michael Byrne

Mattress Wednesday, Jan. 24

[INDUSTRIAL BLUES] There are voices that kill: Maybe you've died a little bit listening to Xiu Xiu's Jamie Stewart or Ian Curtis (Joy Division). There are voices that romance: Perhaps you've swooned to Jamie Lidell or Jarvis Cocker. And there are voices that fall somewhere in between, voices that displace. Rex Marshall, the gentleman behind the Mattress moniker, has just such a voice.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007 by Michael Byrne

"Sea" by Xiu Xiu Vs. Grouper from Creepshow (Slender Means Society)

This pairing between Oakland's Xiu Xiu and Portland's Grouper was conceived for local label Slender Means Society's “Pregnancy Series” of EPs. The idea's simple: take two radically different artists and bring them together (“mate them,” if yo...   More
Thursday, January 18, 2007 by Michael Byrne

Menomena Friend and Foe (Barsuk)

[EXPERIMENTAL POP PERFECTION] It's been three long years since I Am the Fun Blame Monster!, the debut release by Portland's Menomena. And it's been worth every second of the wait: As did Monster, Menomena's proper sophomore release, Friend and Foe, will set a benchmark for every experimental pop artist for the next three years—presuming Menomena adheres to this cruel release schedule.
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Wednesday, January 17, 2007 by Michael Byrne

Cartoon Workshop/Pig Tales

Too bad for Beck, Paper Rad saves its finest head trips for print.

Here's an idea of what you're getting into with Paper Rad: the first characters you're introduced to in the Massachusetts minimalist art collective's second book, Cartoon Workshop/Pig Tales (Paper Rad ...   More
Wednesday, January 17, 2007 Michael Byrne

Troshink, "trana," from Noise By Northwest (Aural Fixation Live Recordings)

With nearly every venue currently open to it, and three venues dedicated to it, it's hard to believe that back in the day (the 90's) experimental/electronic music was confined to a few select nights in Portland. One of those, which ran from the winter of 1996 and the winter of 1998, was called Aural Fixation, ...   More
Friday, January 12, 2007 by Michael Byrne

Rogue of the Week: Berbati's Pan

The following appears in the Wednesday, January 10th edition of the Willamette Week. I've reposted it here to, hopefully, incite some discussion on the subject.

Two weeks after WW named Berbati's Pan one of its "Venues of the Year" (WW, Dec. 27, 2006), the downtown club earns our Rogue of the ...   More
Wednesday, January 10, 2007 by Michael Byrne

Children of the Revolution, Jan. 6 at AudioCinema

[LOUD & ECLECTIC] Nanotear Booking and Old Town booze-hole Tube, whose folks organized the second annual installment of the Children of the Revolution festival, deserve massive credit for putting together an event as diverse and far-reaching as last Saturday's 14-hour sound marathon. Though decidedly bent toward noise and metal, everything from clean and catchy indie-pop (courtesy of the unshakabl...   More
Wednesday, January 10, 2007 by Michael Byrne
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