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GRAVES Easy Not Easy (Hush)

[ALT-COUNTRIFIED LOUNGE] Graves' fourth release, Easy Not Easy, proves itself in its first few measures with little more than a repeating four-note guitar melody. That melody, to be fair, is gracefully accompanied by sly pedal-steel twangs and a shuffling drumbeat, but still, it barely seems fair for something so simple and so light to operate as such a sharp hook. Maybe part of it is the fact tha...   More
Wednesday, January 10, 2007 by Michael Byrne

Iretsu, Mitlaufer (self-released)

[SOUNDTRACK CHAOS] Mitlaufer is a somewhat tangential release for Portland avant-everything septet Iretsu. It was originally composed as the score for an interactive (anti-)stage performance of the same name by Fever Theater. Given that, and given Fever Theater's tendency toward going over the top, this accompaniment makes perfect sense. It simply doesn't have any scope, charging off in about 30 d...   More
Wednesday, January 10, 2007 by Michael Byrne

Berbati's Pan

Rogue of the Week
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 Week honors for snubbing a local children's literacy charity.Here's ...   More
Wednesday, January 10, 2007 Michael Byrne

LEAK: Minmae, "Pay More" from 835 (Greyday Records)

It begins with a fuzzy radio transmission. The song appears not from it, but through it, not a changing of stations or station interference, but a changing of mediums. The guitar notes are clean classic Minmae: a minor-key dream-melody. There's a steady drum beat…it could be a machine. The guitar, and th...   More
Thursday, January 4, 2007 by Michael Byrne

And In Other News: Pitchfork Chats With The Shins' James Mercer

As we all may know, The Shins went missing thirty-odd years ago. They reappeared this past December at the Crystal Ballroom toting songs from a new, third album, Wincing the Night Away, set for release later this month. Since they're mostly likely taking over the world with it over the next year, we here at Lo...   More
Tuesday, January 2, 2007 by Michael Byrne

"Check Your Inbox:" YACHT's Video Tour Diary

Jona Bechtolt, a.k.a. YACHT is cutting town yet again. Over the week or so, he'll be heading down the West Coast with tour mates High Places, and "better half" Claire Evans. Fortunately, due to advanced cell phone video recording technology (I presume), that tour can be on your computer or other mp4 playing de...   More
Tuesday, January 2, 2007 by Michael Byrne

Grails, "Burden of Hope" from The Burden of Hope (Neurot Recordings)

Ah, “Burden of Hope:” what a perfect song to bring us into 2007. Ah, Grails: what a perfect band. I imagine at Disjecta this Sunday there will be plenty of confetti, sparkly things, joyous revelry, and, well hope. There will also be the Grails, Portland's post-rock prophets of beautiful gloom, remi...   More
Friday, December 29, 2006 by Michael Byrne

All I Want For Christmas is...Cheese

How 'bout putting a little cheese in someone's stocking to keep the coal out of yours?

See, the good folks up at Mississippi Studios have put together a one-track benefit CD for the Henderson House for Battered Women. Unfortunately, the track is so over-the-top, hilariously cheesy that we're s...   More
Friday, December 15, 2006 by Michael Byrne

LEAK: Eluvium, "Seeing You Off the Edges" from Copia (Temporary Residence)

I know, I know, this is such a ridiculous tease: You can't even buy this until February, and Eluvium, a.k.a. Matthew Cooper, doesn't have a scheduled show until next month. Maybe that's mean, but maybe this track--and the rest of the album--is so damn pretty that I really couldn't help it. Cooper's broken from...   More
Thursday, December 14, 2006 by Michael Byrne

Raising The Bar

Two weeks ago, Seann McKeel announced she would be dropping her role as booker for the increasingly amorphous venue Acme. Her tenure lasted only a year and a half—during which time McKeel also booked and promoted shows at the Wonder Ballroom—but she developed the former diner into one of Portland's ground zeros for local indie music. Under McKeel's reign, the space hosted everything fr...   More
Wednesday, December 13, 2006 by Michael Byrne
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