Each week, LocalCut collects the best new Portland music and puts it all in one place for you, the faithful reader, to enjoy. It's like The Week In Rock, with less Tabitha Soren.
1. Mic Capes, "Razor Tongue"
All right, so this song, from Resistance rapper Mic Capes, actually dropped a few months ago, but it's worth mentioning now for two reasons: 1) It's got a gritty new video, and 2) it's one of the heaviest hip-hop tracks to come out of Portland in a minute. Over an eerie, scraping beat with a mood reminiscent of "Shook Ones," Capes essentially delivers his artistic mission statement, spitting for nearly five minutes without a break nor a hook, right up to its tragic, abrupt end. It's off the St. Johns' MC's long-teased Concrete Dreams project, which, paired with Rasheed Jamal's great new album Sankofa, indicates the Resistance are poised for a takeover this year. Look out, Kendrick: Capes is coming for your head. He says it himself. (And after you're done watching that, check his passage-by-passage breakdown here.) MATTHEW SINGER.
2. The Weather Machine, "Wannabe Cowboys"
A little bit Josh Ritter, a little bit Modest Mouse, the Weather Machine forges a stable relationship between contemporary folk-pop and more traditional pop-rock sensibilities, and are one of the current flag-bearers of the sound in Portland. The band, which released its first record on April Fools Day in 2013, are back with another almost two years later. "Wannabe Cowboys," the first released cut off the upcoming Peach, is perfectly paced to match your early morning run through the park, where your feet can hit the dirt in time while your mind wanders into the band's windy, jangling, reality. The record release show is this Thursday, March 19, at Mississippi Studios. (PH)
3. Fire Nuns, "I Was Fooled"
According to Fire Nuns, this recording of "I Was Fooled" is the "rough, rough mix" of the first single from their upcoming record. The track combines Violent Femmes-esque vocals with a heavy swinging Beatles vibe, taking the local garage-rock quartet in a poppier direction, one where the weather is a little nicer and the car port door is open. A good-riddance breakup song, "I Was Fooled" is a nice change of pace for the almost three-year-old band, and one that we hope to hear more fully when we can take the remainder of this years' album for a spin. PARKER HALL.
4. Three For Silver, "Mori Shej, Sabina"
The best we can tell, "Mori Shej, Sabina," by Portland folk outfit Three For Silver, is sung in Romani, and translates to "My Daughter, Sabina." This slow-stepping acoustic track features vocals that are lightly peppered over a grooving country-slapped upright bass and then accented by mandolin. A cut off of the trio's upcoming record Bury Me Standing, the song showcases the immense technical ability of the group in a stripped-down setting, and it's worthy of a listen even if the style isn't typically your thing outside of the Country Fair. The release show is also this week, at Secret Society on March 20. (PH)
5. Hutch & Kathy, "In Brilliance"
OK, so this song is really not new. Before Hutch Harris and Kathy Foster were in the Thermals, they were the lo-fi folk duo Hutch and Kathy. They released one record in 2002, a year before More Parts per Million kicked off the Thermalsâ reign as one of Portland's (and the countryâs) best pop-punk bands. But things are a bit slow-going on that front right now, and so, as a stopgap, Hutch and Kathy are formally reuniting Hutch and Kathy and reissuing Hutch and Kathy on vinyl for Record Store Day, and going on tour. So hereâs the harmonica-fringed âIn Brilliance,â which is decidedly sweeter melodically than the tuneful agitprop theyâd soon become known for as an amped-up trio, but no less hummable. (MS)