Monday, January 30, 2012

Second half of January 24, 2012

Ok I am still skipping some new releases from January 24th, but here are the rest of my comments and reviews I will be posting. Oh, and at the end of this blog I will list the albums I skipped (due to lack of acess to information on the internet)

Lamb of God - Resolution
I just have a few things to say about this band. First thing that caught my attention was the Parental Advisory note on the front album cover, while seemingly a religious band.

This was my first mistake. My second was trying to find a redeeming quality in any track from this album. Good God. I know metal isn't my cup of tea, but I did end up enjoying Abigail Williams... And I hate to judge straight away. But these guys are just way outta my league. Go check them out yourself, if you dare. They have 7 albums to choose from (titled Burn the Priest, As the Palaces Burn... Etc).

Lion/Lamb from Laura Gibson's new album La Grande
Mississippi studios Feb 3rd.
I heard her on OPB radio and started taking notes. Then discovered she is from Portland, will be playing at Mississippi Studios Feb 3rd, and is releasing La Grande January 24th. I highly recommend going this friday. La Grande is Laura's third album, and I look forward to hearing more from this Indie starlet.

Bones of Lazerus from moe.s latest release What Happened to the La Las. They played last night (Jan 29th) here in Portland , which means my brother-in-law may be in town. He loves this band. Being a jam band, they have a huge following and visit my town often. I haven't had the chance to see them live yet, but I wouldn't turn down the invitation. From what I can tell this is their 13th album since their inception in 1989.

Diablo Rojo from Rodrigo y Gabriela's latest album Area 52. This Mexican folk-rock band played their early music career in Ireland. Damien Rice founded them, and this is their 5th album. Previously Rodrigo y Gabriela have covered 'Stairway to Heaven' and paid a music tribute Tim Burton with 'Nightmare Revisited'. With such an eclectic combo of influences and projects I was hoping to be wowed. Perhaps live at the Arlene Schnitzer April 4th would wow me.

Videogames from Lana Del Rey's album debut Born 2 Die
Lana (Elizabeth) has a sexy 007 sound, look, and vibe. Only 24, moved to the UK to write music. Her online following brought her The Most Promising new Artist last Fall at the Q Awards (British music magazine).
She's already been on SNL, which ruffled some feathers and gained her bad critism. I think SNL was brilliant for letting her guest. Elizabeth, if you read this, don't listen to them. They are just jealous. I can't name a 24yr old artist that compares to your chops. Keep it up.
V.E.N.O.M. by Pulled Apart By Horses by their 2nd album Tough Love.
Firstly, this band has the best website. I have come across the worst, terribly managed, poorly updated clusterfuck of sites while researching new music. Thank you, whom ever administrates this bands website. Secondly, I am not a fan of animal cruelty, but their previously released single 'I punched a lion in the throat' makes me laugh a little. Pulled Apart by Horses had vibes of and angrier version of Jet and Franz Ferdiand getting funky in '99 at Satryicon (a closed club in Pdx). The flow of this song Tough Love, musician solos with drums, guitar, and symbols, exploding louder, ever changing the direction beautifully. I confide I wasn't expecting to like this band at all when reading their history, but listening to Tough Love changed my perspective. Give them a chance.

Waiting for something from Nada Surfs new album The Stars are Indifferent to Astronomy
This notable band will be at the Wonder Ballroom March 23rd. This is their 7th album, and I have some singles of theirs, but never an album... Nada Surf is a band I just have never invested any time getting to know, sadly. I can't name one hit, not did I recognize their '96 hit Popular when I googled it. I even thought they had a frontwoman, not frontman. Oops. So what happened? We've been in two different worlds, but I'm ready to receive Nada Surf in my life now. I like this song peppy chant.

Unless you speak from your heart from Porcelain Raft - Strange Weekend
Mauro Remiddi's solo project. This Italian composer, song writer, and musician has created an alternate persona and is touring Europe as we speak. This is a bit discoteque for me, you know repetitive and strobelights while drinking a $5.00 cola...I think I am just not used to this style. Either too old or not cool enough. Lovely though... honest.

I read it in the rolling stone - Dion - Tank Full Of Blues. The rock n roll hall of famer who wrote Run around Sue is still playing, writing, singing. Saving $36 dollars to not fly in 1959 saved his life, narrowly escaping the day the music died with Holly, Valens, and Bopper. Over fifty years later we are still graced with talent. This is not the sound nor artist that's washed up and trying to resurface. After all, he wrote my moms anthem!

The other new releases:
Gonjasufi - MU.ZZ.LE
Imbogodom - And They Turned Not When They Went
Jason Urick - I Love You
Karen Dalton - 1966 Delmore Recordings
Koffin Kats - On Way and the Highway
Leila - U and I
Rhyton - Rhyton
Starving Weirdos - Land Lines
Xray Eyeballs - Splendor Squalor

Sunday, January 29, 2012

New Music January 24th, 2012

Not only am I late with these reviews, but I'm only posting half of the 26 I listened to. Per usual, I've put too much on my plate and can't finish. So the rest of you new releases are in a to go box, which will be delivered by this evening or perhaps by brunch tomorrow.
There are some absolutely wonderdul artists, albums, songs and music news this week. I didn't want to leave anyone out. Enjoy.

Beyond the veil - Abigail Williams - Becoming
The band Abigail Williams genre has been described as 'metalcore'. Intriging.  Not something that draws me in on a regular basis, I confess.  But this Nordic influenced Arizona native will be playing at the Hawthorne Theater here in Portland February 17th to promote her third album Becoming.  (and again at the Hawthorne March 19th.).  I hear the Nordic flavor in this song particicularly.  Not the other tracks I had the chance to review.  Beyond the veil is a 17 minute instrumental that an adventure scifi fil has to pick up for their soundtrack.  The heavy high scortching screams in the other songs metalcore me out of my skin.  This song transforms me to the hills of Rohan or Gondor, and I am looking for Gandalf.  Like another review of 'Becoming' I read says, it's a perfect winter season album.
Love like rain from Cardinal's album Hymns
I don't feel like this album is as good as their self titled album previously released (Cardinals).  It was difficult for me to select a track for this playlist, since to my ears each one sounded like the same droning, errrr HYMN...  Guess after 18 years playing of 'chamber pop' they think they ain't broke.

Guilty as charged -from Chairlift Something
Saw this band back in 08-09 or so at the Doug Fir. Haven't forgotten. Love their song Evident Utensil. It's bizarre, unique, energetic, and makes me laugh like a playground teaser. Their new album Something seems to be a bit more mature, still incorporating the quirky style voice of Caroline Polachek. They will be playing at the Doug Fir again, April 8. Would anyone like to join me?

Stay useless from Cloud Nothings - Attack On Memory
What does 'Lofi" mean as a music genre? Well this Ohio groups produced 3 albums since 2009. And joy of joys they will fly in to my City of Roses March 5th at Holocene. They are peppy and generic.
Nothing wrong with their sound, I'm sure many would hop on the bouncy floor of the Crystal to listen to them. Perhaps I've met too many musicians who sound, play, and just ARE too much like this and I'm borrred.

Honolulu blues from Craig Finn's solo album Clear Heart. Mr Finn is the frontman for The Hold Steady.
I do love this band. This Finns album is a bit Tom Petty but with the spice needed by Jarvis Cocker. I'd rock out to this guy I've. He's got a message. He's a writer. A musician. A Frontman. Soloist. I now know his name, and will try not to forget. He will be at the Doug Fur 2/23 if you want to nod your head along with me.

Odi Et Amo - Elizaveta - Beatrix Runs how do you make into Pop and be a professionally trained opera singer? Ask Elizaveta. Holy shit. She blows any indie songstress out of the water when it comes to her oooos and ahhhhs. Like Minnie Driver said when casted in Phantom of the Opera, you either are classically trained or you aren't. She wasn't and her voiced was dubbed in the film. Elizaveta will knock your socks off with her voice.

Emmylou by First Aid Kit - The Lion's Roar
This is beautifully folky, as she sings as the bitter wind comes blowin in I already miss the summer. This is exactly what the cover suggests: free love, free life, free. Sometimes I wonder if a white woman is the worst specimen to be in 2012 but then I realize its what you make of it that means something. Only their sophomore album, I am sure we will hear more from them. Or at least Portland can April 12 At the, yes you called it, Doug Fir. And no, the Doug Fir does NOT pay me (nor recognize me in any fashion) to promote their shows...

Oh my God from Grace Woodroofe - Always Want
I love this debut album from Grace. Holy cow. Sexy, bluesy poetic. Poignant. Classic. Not your normal 21yr old girls first cd release sound! She was discovered by the late Heath Ledger when she was just 16, and her song 'H' from this album is honoring him. I didn't pick this song for my playlist, but please listen to it. So heartbreakinlgy beautiful. Oooooh my god. Thank you, Grace. Why the world is just hearing about you for the first time this is sinful.

I'm through from Ingrid Michaelson's new album Human Again. Everytime I hear and Ingrid song I say to myself - who is that, I need this song'. This is her 5th album, which means there a songs -a-plenty that I will want! The precious cover of the album was created by Joe Sorren, an artist often in the New Yorker and Rolling Stone Magazine.

As selfish as this is for me to say, I hope I get the album when I see Ingrid Wednesday. The as says you get an autographed album with your concert ticket. However, since my tickets were won (BY ME) I don't know if that qualifies me or not. Oh boy! Something more think about! I will blog (and brag) about the concert after 2/1.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Happy Birthday Etta

January 25th, Ms Etta James would have turned 74.
This is for you, Miss Peaches.

So Much more than At Last
Bleeding for today, and the past.
Etta on stage
Etta at Oregon Zoo
She just wants to make love to you.
Looking up to the clouds, now you're gone
Etta, you can leave your hat on.
Never forget her vigor,
Feeling her from above
She's got that Sunday kind of love.
Defying all odds, stronger than I,
Last friday, all I could do was cry.

I will miss you Etta James.
Thank you.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Music and fashion is always my passion

Here's what was posted on Anthropologies Facebook wall:

What say we give away two tickets to Ingrid Michaelson’s upcoming concert in Portland? After all, the indie-pop artist is one of our all-time faves (seriously, her hit “Be OK” is STILL stuck in our heads) and she’s releasing her fourth album this month, so why not spread the musical love?! Tickets to her February 1st show at 7:30 pm at the Doug Fir Lounge (830 E Burnside St) are limited, but we a pair for the soon-to-be-lucky winner of our “Outfitting Ingrid” contest. Here’s how it works: you have until 4 pm EST on Thursday, January 19th to style and submit a performance-worthy outfit for the talented Ms. Michaelson, she’ll choose her favorite and its creator will take home two tickets! To learn more about entering—and preview Ingrid’s latest single—head to

Here's my submission:

I was listening to "Be Ok" on my walk to work this morning, which
a) made me really excited for her album release coming up January 24th
b) fueled the fire in wanting to go to her concert here in Portland.
This was so much fun! Thank you !!!!!!

Here was their response:

Hi Aubrey,

Great news! Ingrid has chosen your outfit as her favorite look and you have won two tickets to her show in Portland at the Doug Fir Lounge on Wednesday, February 1st. Doors will open at 7pm and the show begins at 7:30pm. Please confirm by replying to this email that you’ll be attending. Ingrid’s team will leave your name with a plus one on the guest list at the door.

Congratulations and have a great time at the show!


Kelly Thurman

Anthropologie Community Manager

Needless to say, I am flattered and thrilled, and had to share.
and yes I will be reviewing her album this week.
and yes, the title of this blog is quoting Manilow.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

New Music January 17th, 2012

This is a wonderful week chalk full of unfamiliar artists for me to enjoy. They aren't all just arriving on the block, but I am certainly excited for the new blood.

Promiscuity by Ani DiFranco from her new album Which Side Are You On?
I love this album. I love everything about it. The album title - really. What side are we all on? What makes music so wonderfully beautiful and powerful is the individuals interpretation can vary drastically. Ani has been entertaining me for some time now, and I have to say I was definitely excited to see she released a new album. Her website let's you listen to snippets of all of the songs on her album. Ani's band is equally as bold as she is.

Know Me- a single by Frankie Rose
She is releasing an album called Interstellar on February 24th of this year. According to Pitchfork, she's the best of the New Year thus far. Reading about her, Frankie Rose is described as 80s Pop, which made me cringe. However, she sounds like Enya and the Bangles had a baby. I love it. I'm interested in hearing what else she has to say. To be continued in February...

Comedian chameleon from Kathleen Edwards new album Voyageur
Another songstress that's caught the eye of many. NPR doesn't rave about just anyone. I had never heard of her til this week. Educating myself on Ms Edwards I learn she's Canadian, this is her 4th album, she's married to Bon Ivers Justin Vernan, didn't go to college, and Wikipedia compares her to Suzanne Vega meets Neil Young. My Neil experience at the Arlene Schnitzer, Mr Young was solo on stage surrounded by a plethora of guitars. Yes, I can absolutely picture Kathleen taking this scenario, making it her own by showing off her prowess as a violinist. I had a hard time choosing one song, I also enjoyed Change the Sheets quite a bit. Looks likes she's taking Radioheads cue and skipping Portland on her 2012 tour, perhaps she'll pull a Neil Diamond and announce it a month before just to keep their fans at the edge of their cliff seat.

Matthew Dear - Headcage EP.
The microhouse of Texas (seriously I can't make this up). I have to say the Texan electro pop artist has got something going on. Its like getting a country singer out of the Bronx. How does it happen? Matthews 5th album Beams is to be released later this year. If you're susceptible to seizures don't watch the video for this song. I like Matthew Dear and will be watching for Beams.

Dancer from Jessie Baylin's new album Little Spark
Another female soloist I haven't heard of prior to Jan 17. Jessie gives props to Streisand and Garland for their fearless ways. I very much enjoy this girl. A little Emmylou, the Jersey Nashville LA lady sounds well rounded and knows what she wants. Love that she writes music. She will be playing at the Doug Fir January 26th. You can judge for yourself.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

TBA... albums of 2012?!

Album releases I'm looking forward to this year:
Andrew Bird, Noel Gallagher (of Oasis), Ingrid Michaelson 'Human Again (1/30/12!), Leonard Cohen, Of Montreal, Killers, Regina Spektor (May '12), Christina Agueilera, Madonna, Muse, Air, Ani DiFranco, Lady Gaga, Fiona Apple, and Pearl Jam (rumor has it!).

Ok. Here are some rumored to be released in 2012, listed from nostalgic to 90's and then The Year 2000 and beyond, finaltly a special list for Anne.
Paul McCartney, Van Halen (with Roth!), Aerosmith, Alice and Chains, Bad Religion, Guns and Roses, Kiss, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Madonna, Metallica, Queen, Bruce Springsteen, NIN, Leonard Cohen, Black Sabbath with Ozzy(!!!), and Smashing Pumpkins.
And then there's Noel Gallagher of Oasis fame,, Christina Aguilera, Green Day, John Mayer,Marilyn Manson, No Doubt, Robbie Williams, Queen of the Stoneage, Rage against the Machine, Soundgarden, Tool, The Strokes, Wu Tang Clan, and Matchbox 20. Following this grou we got the Killers, the Fray, the Shins, Of Montrael, AIR, MGMT, Muse, Esperenza Spalding, Cat Power, and Lady Gaga.
And Anne, for you: Linkin Park, Lindsay Lohan, Hilary Duff, Taylor Swift, and Miley Cyrus.

Maybe, just maybe, we can be friends. If this list of rumors is true, what excites you the most?

New Music Tuesday January 10, 2012

Give me that old time religion by Charlie Haden and Hank Jones from a new collaboration Come Sunday.
"Renowned jazz bassist Charlie Haden and the late pianist Hank Jones recorded this album in 2010, just a few months prior to Jones’s death at age 91" so it says on the net. Well they just released it for you and me. The songs are stripped down and simple on this album, gospel folk and a little Christmas. I'm not sure who their PR rep is but I'd fire them. Release an album with Christmas songs January 10th? And it's not like they recorded it last week.... ok. With that said, this album reminds me of music class at St Pius. Just the piano and the Lord. Hallelujah.

Lovesick Blues by The Little Willies from their new album For The Good Times.
I heard them live on Letterman Tuesday (1/10) and they still managed to make me stir. (I really don't like to judge by live performance viewing only).
If you don't know, the Little Willies are a country-jazz band lead by Norah Jones. I truly prefer Norah is at her element with this band. I've heard her sing Patsy Cline and Dolly Parton, and she just seems so comfortable in this genre. This is the bands second album (1st was in '06) and I'm just tickled they are continuing to make music together. See for yourself in this lil ditty: LOVESICK BLUES

Closer I Get (Feat. John Popper) by Rebelution from their (4th) new album Peace Of Mind.
As I had never heard of this band prior to this week, I was curious about this Cali 'reggae' band. Googling the tracks to hear what the internet would allow, I was they collaborate with John Popper of Blues Travelers fame. He doesn't come in to play til pretty late into the song, but the harmonica does blow at last, and I smiled. As for Rebelution, I wouldn't say they are strictly reggae... I am a fan.

Cocaine by Red Wanting Blue from their album From The Vanishing Point.
At first I thought every song sounded the same til I listened to the lyrics to this one. –

I don't wanna get clean
'Cause I know what that means
It's something I just can't take
You call me an addict
But you don't know what kind of hard habit you are to break

You can call it cheesy or whatever you want, but addiction is a bad penny that never goes away. Even if you follow the suggestions.
The most powerful artform of addiction I've heard/seen is from so you think you can dance
A review of Red Wanting Blue compared them to Nickelback, and I disagree. I would never have listened to as much as I did if they sounded like that band. No no no. Matchbox 20? Yes, a little... And I forget how much I liked that band til like the other day, a song of theirs plays on the radio and you just want to stand outside while she hands you a raincoat...

Fix Me from Joyful Noise Soundtrack.
I have already expressed my excitement for the release of this movie/soundtrack/cast because Dolly isn’t on the silver screen that often anymore. I tried to stay up to listen to her on Letterman last night (1/11) but was too zapped. I was told she was adorable. Damn. This song Fix Me is a gospel song, a bit of a colored twist from Coldplays Fix You (which I cry every time I hear). It’s beautiful, soulful. And may I just add a personal opinion of the title of this movie? It seems awfully like Neil Diamond could have written this script. That noise, coming up from the streets. It’s got a beautiful sound. It’s got a beautiful beat. ..

A Forest (For Invisible Children) by Bat for Lashes
Ok this single from Bat for Lashes gave me the goosebumps. I really like this band, but Natasha Khan is a little to 'dream pop' for me. I would absolutely see (and pay) her sing live. Please listen.
I wonder when she will produce a whole new record? Or tour here in Portland?

T. Williams - Heartbeat (Paul Woolford Remix) [Local Action] from Brodinskis new album Fabriclive 60.
The damned French make everything cool, don't they? Even his Facebook says he's the seductive side of techno. I couldn't agree more. I usually don't take to techno like I did with Brodinski. He remixes music. What else can I say. Please view the links... one is a sample sound of his EP, and the other is a video that blows nature videos out of the water. How does he do it? Probably all that pastis intake.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Portland culture January 6th

Just a few tidbits that caught my eye while reading and riding this week:

First and foremost - Portlandia premieres its second season tonight. The good natured McMenamins Brothers will be hosting a free viewing party at Mission theater tonight at 7pm and 10pm. Also Hollywood Theater will be playing Portlandia at 10pm tonight as well. I have yet to see this show, but I will put a bird on it as I please.

Another time pressing piece of info, this Monday January 9th there is a karaoke contest. Not just ANY contest, mind you. Karaoke. What makes this so special? It involves you rollerskating at Oaks Park.

That's right. Skat-a-roke. For $50 you can have a private lesson, a tee shirt, and enter the contest. Here's my vote: ME
I have these tights on today. Just need the wig and skirt.

If you can't get passed the year 1987, this weekend is gonna treat you right. Raising Arizona is playing at Kiggens theater at 6:30 and 9pm tonight and Saturday, and Full Metal Jacket is playing at the 5th Avenue Cinema at 7 and 9:30 tonight and Saturday, and 3pm Sunday.

I am stoked that Dolly Parton is in a movie this month, opening January 13th. Joyful Noise . (also starring Queen Latifa and Kris Kristofferson). I'll be first in line... ish.

Another great has a tv show premiering February 6th: Angelica Houston! In: Smash. I'm a sucker for musicals. And seeing Angelica on a weekly basis would be grand, no?

Next up in February:


Someone pointed out to me his video from the 80s shows him playing alone in an empty theater. Needing confirmation, youtube provided proof. Is he still waiting right there for you? Wow. At least he got a hair cut.


Is my old religion teacher from Valley Catholic a singer now? He flunked me for calling him Phil Collins. His real name is Paul Collins. And a Paul Collins is performing at the Star Theater on March 3rd. Surely there aren't two Pauls... We will see. If a guy wearing a bowtie, a short-sleeved white button up, and black pants struts on stage carrying a bible and a pompous grin, thank him for me.

Last but not least, March 31st at the Wonder Ballroom, the oh so talented Donovan Frankenreither will be performing. I am not a fan of this venue so I will probably not attend, but I still wanted to mention his up coming performance. He has a laid back presence to his music, probably because he's a California surfer-boy.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

New Music January 3rd 2012

Great start to the year 2012. Enjoy.

Doughnuts for a Snowman by Guided By Voices latest album Let's Go Eat The Factory
Their first albm in 15 years. Did anyone else miss them? Well they sound like they sang the theme song for FRIENDS... so if you like that sort of thing... I do.
They have a really nice late 90's band sound (like Semisonic, Hootie and the Blowfish, or the Gin Blossoms. Hey - if I can understand the lyrics and they aren't calling women a bunch of hoes and bitches, I'll give ya a chance.
High standards huh. I like the guitar licks from their song Laundry and Lasers, What I look for in music is something that motivates me, speaks to my emotions, walks hand in hand with how I am feeling, or takes me out of a funk. Guided by Voices doesn't provide any of these needs... but I could find myself enjoying their music in the background while working. Just like any late 90's band I suppose. I can say their tracks don't sound like the same song over and over with different words. This is a huge plus. I like the lead singer Robert Pollard's solo music better. Let him have free reign, Guided by Voices, and you just might make it. After I wrote this review I saw them perform on Letterman, and they sounded loud, incoherent, out of practice, out of tune, no charisma, it took a lot of inner poise to not turn the channel or press mute. The performance ruined any hope I had been guided with from the snippets I listened to online. Maybe the problem with being guided by voices is that the guide rotates daily so you never know what direction you'll be headed to next. Yikes...

Kill for love from The Chromatics new album Kill For Love.
A band from my very own Portland, Oregon. Been together since 2001, I wouldn't be surprised if I have seen them at Ohm or LaLuna (which are now both closed, respectively). Synthetic sound, nice female frontman voice, and who wouldn't kill for love? Perhaps part of why I haven't heard of them is that they have a hard time keeping the same band members... I'm smelling a little Melrose Place here. I really like Ruth's voice and hope she sticks with the Chromatics. I can't find when their next show is, but seeing they have just released this album, I'm sure it will be around your corner soon... THIS JUST IN: Read the Portland Mercury today and saw that Chromatics are playing at the Rotture (prevoiusly the Meow Meow, 315 SE 3rd) on Saturday January 14th. Good thing I have a keen eye for these things. Geesh.

It Don't Mean A Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing from Jimmy Owens album Monk Project
A Trumpeter born in '43, this album is a tribute to the late composer Thelonious Monk. Working, if only temprary, in a piano store, I love to educate myself on the great piano composers of all time. I learned that after Duke Ellington, Thelonious is the most recorded Jazz composer. I could listen to 'Round Midnight and never tire of it. Why did give up taking piano when I was 13? Damn. Never too late. Lovely Project here Mr Owens.

There goes my Everything from Elvis, a collection of Elvis Country songs.
The man can sing. I have a Elvis gospel double album which is stunning in itself. This isn't your run of the mill country collection. This is an obscure collection of songs even I haven't heard of. And that's, well, unheard of.

Only Tuesday from Jodi Arlyn - Stars up on the Ceiling. This is Jodis album debut. She's been pushing her dream to succeed in New York City and is finally releasing her first album. Jodis voice is a lovely and matured. She doesn't try too hard, no doo wops or cheesy humming. Her band introduces her in this song with white gloves, carefully tapping the drums as they vibrate into my headphones preparing me to listen to her story. The songs short, controlling the listener to not get antsy or bored by typical songwriter repetitious blues. I picked this song because I have lived this Tuesday. I'm sure everyone has. I hope she gets what she wants from this album.