MusicfestNW 2011 : The Gaslamp Killer Live Show Review

September 15th, 2011 – Rotture, Portland, OR After sleepwalking through a night and a half of slick, mismatched suburban rock of MusicfestNW, the scent G-funk spilled forth through the weathered slabs of inner SE’s Rotture was like blood in the water for those of us begging for a little grit. The Motherfucking Gaslamp Killer was serving up his hyperactive brand of futurepsychedubhiphop like Moses on the mount and we, the Children of Israel, lapped that shit up. The beats were puckered up and blown out, sown and sown and resown into stuttering brawlers (even sleepytime James Blake came out as a banger when forced through the GLK filter), and then the dude played fucking Black Sabbath. His willingness to throw

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MusicfestNW 2011 : Dirty Beaches Live Show Review

September 15th, 2011 – Dante’s, Portland, OR Alex Zhang Hungtai’s desert-dwelling, sunburnt Suicide jams didn’t really do much for me on his debut LP as Dirty Beaches, but the man’s set at Dante’s on Friday night of MusicfestNW was absolutely mesmerizing in a most bizarre and awesome way. Even now, almost a week later, I am completely convinced that the ghost of some long dead Rat Pack stand-in buried by mafiosos somewhere outside of Vegas inhabits his body, Contorting his limbs and voice into a nightmarishly desperate plea longing for a second chance to sing to the masses. Dude ran through countless variations of his minimal Lost Highway after-hours martini bar punk themes, including an appropriately appreciative Mattress cover sent

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MusicfestNW 2011: Suuns Live Show Review

September 15th, 2011 – Branx, Portland, OR Suuns — which, for the confused, and for me prior to MusicFestNW is pronounced “soons” — play exactly the kind of dark dancey art rock that works for me. The Montreal band’s ability to bridge pop and dance elements with seemingly contrasting elements of noise and general gnarliness make them a fascinating listen with a dramatic live show. Every track in a Suuns live set is bridged by an underlying constant of noise, driven by controlled tensions which balance chaos and order. Though the underlying structures of their songs are fairly well-ordered, it is when they let loose with affected guitars that they truly shine. As he does on record, vocalist and guitarist

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MusicfestNW 2011: Twin Sister Live Show Review

September 15th, 2011 – Holocene, Portland, OR I have eternally been confusing Twin Sister with Twin Shadow, and that confusion had led me to be less than interested in Twin Sister. Thanks to MusicFestNW, consider me relieved from my stifling ignorance. Twin Sister were a most unexpected surprise, a pleasantry made to look all the better by the reality that they were sandwiched on either end by the far inferior Blouse and the less interesting EMA. What is shared amongst these three bands is the presence of a female frontwoman, but Twin Sister’s Andrea Estella would be the most compelling of the three. Her on-stage persona feels like a combination of New Age hippie and African dancer; she sometimes removes

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Fleet Foxes, The Walkmen Live Show Review

Between the well-dressed band members of The Walkmen and the heavenly harmonies and musings of Fleet Foxes, the show last Wednesday at the Greek Theater in Los Angles was like going on a date with perfect gentleman. With Griffith Park serving as a beautiful backdrop, the delicate and heartfelt sounds of the two bands serenely filled the crisp air and made it a night to remember from start to end. September 14th, 2011 – The Greek Theatre, Los Angeles, CA the walkmen Like a lad with good manners who would walk up to his date’s doorstep instead of honking from the street, The Walkmen started the night in a soft and cordial manner with the song “While I Shovel the

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TBA Festival 2011: Patrick J Rock, Kate Gilmore, Michael Groisman, Claire Fontaine, & Beyondadoubt Show Review

There were no bouncy castles to be found where I grew up, so I’ve been waiting all my life to finally get in on some inflatable jump room action. Naturally, when I arrived at the launch of TBA’s 2011 festival at Washington High School, I beelined to get to the head of the queue for Oscar’s Delirium Tremens, TBA’s humongous inflatable forced-air elephant, (and a likely mascot for this year’s festival.) Oscar was developed by Patrick J. Rock of Rocksbox Fine Art in North Portland. On TBA’s site, Oscar is described as evoking “all the ecstasy, absurdity, and ensuing nausea in the life of a modern artist.” I was one of the first to slide through Oscar’s clever anus hatch,

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