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AU, Tu Fawning and more, Saturday, March 5 @ Doug Fir


With all the recent buzz enveloping Portland prog-rock act AU, it’s easy to forget that Luke Wyland and Dana Valatka have been doing this for years. But it’s a worthy brand of hype, one rising from a three-year period wherein AU has seemingly mastered its obscure craft. Musically, AU’s ideas have always been lofty. Current acclaim is due, at least in part, to the duo’s newfound ability to ...   More
Monday, March 5, 2012 by MARK STOCK

Live Review: Wax Fingers at Doug Fir Lounge, Feb. 9


Watching Wax Fingers set up shop is a little like watching a seasoned specialist diffuse a bomb. The trio does it with ease these days, having several years of collective experience under its belt. There is no manual, no sticky notes nor color-coded diagram for their sea-like mess of cords and pedals. Just a time-earned wherewithal. Savvy like this comes from twice weekly practice, all the time. ...   More
Tuesday, February 14, 2012 by MARK STOCK

Live Review: Ben Darwish and the Shook Twins Present "The Clear Blue Pearl" at the Alberta Rosa Theater, 1/19


Thursday evening marked the debut of The Clear Blue Pearl, a 10-song musical epic about the hunt for an aquifer amidst a punishing drought. The highly imaginative piece was scored last winter by Portland jazzsmith Ben Darwis...   More
Monday, January 23, 2012 by MARK STOCK

Doubles Match: Tennis & Love Inks (Live Reviews)

Seeing as how both are built of powerful frontwomen, bandmate husbands and a fondness for key-fueled retro-minimalism, Tennis and Love Inks could have followed identical indie paths. The two trios are built much the same, but function in completely different ways. The two acts did not share a Portland bill in mid-December, nor did they share a single venue. Instead, and fittingly so, the two gli...   More
Thursday, December 15, 2011 by MARK STOCK

Live Review: CANT at Doug Fir, Saturday, Oct. 1


[Whoops, this one got a bit lost in the shuffle. Sorry, y'all. Better late than never.]

Chris Taylor has no reason to be bashful. He’s the bassist for Grizzly Bear and a big part of the Brooklyn band’s mesmerizing songwriting psyche. He’s also human, and he’s fidgeting nervously before an undersized crowd at the Doug Fir.

What I like most about CANT’s debut recording is tha...   More
Friday, October 7, 2011 by MARK STOCK

Mark Stock at Austin City Limits Day Three: Popsicles and that Canadian Mega-Band

picture 8

“You guys want us to play," asks Josh Epstein, half of Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. "Or do you want us to keep throwing you popsicles?"
Perhaps it was a mistake to toss frozen treats into the crowd so early in the set, but it is 95 degrees and the masses are desperate for refreshment. It’s a bit like pigeons fighting over bread crumbs. Darwin’s survival of the fittest is on full display, as th...   More
Friday, September 23, 2011 by MARK STOCK

Mark Stock at Austin City Limits Day Two: Antlers, Drexler Jerseys and a Keytar Solo


Saturday in Texas stands for college football, long lines at the liquor store, and, on this particular Saturday, live music.

The Antlers

What I like most about this dreamy, melancholic Brooklyn band is that its live sets are of a different species than its recorded materia...   More
Thursday, September 22, 2011 by MARK STOCK

Mark Stock Does the Austin City Limits Festival: Day 1

Long-Awaited Rain, Spirited Soul And House Parties


Austin City Limits reached the decade mark this year, celebrating with the likes of Stevie Wonder, Arcade Fire and some band called Coldplay. Somehow, ACL 2011 featured zero Portland acts, a far cry from the usual Rose City respect Zilker Park delivers. But after the bustle and beautiful nativism of MFNW the weekend prior, a festival set in the heart of Texas known for harnessing huge names as ...   More
Wednesday, September 21, 2011 by MARK STOCK

Live Review: Motopony at Bunk Bar


I entered Bunk Bar with the expectation of a scattered crowd, a few diehard photographers and the faint smell of pulled pork. I left with the filling knowledge that Motopony is not just another pawn of independent music. The Seattle quartet is, in fact, a smoldering, unapologetic stew of folk, rock ‘n’ roll and new soul. Here are ten thi...   More
Tuesday, August 9, 2011 by MARK STOCK

Live Review: Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. at Mississippi Studios, Monday, June 6

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.

Writers love to break bands. And while I’m certainly not the first to print the name Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., it sort of felt, Monday night at Mississippi Studios, like I was getting in on the ground floor.
Maybe it’s a collective weariness towards all things Detroit—this proud band’s hometown—a seemingly indomitable city built on blood and sweat that lies awake on life support today...   More
Wednesday, June 8, 2011 by MARK STOCK
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