Live at Rontoms: Houndstooth + Churches

Last night one of my favorite local acts, Houndstooth, played at Rontoms in East Portland for free along with Oakland, CA band Churches. Churches played first and I immediately fell back in time to the 90s. Drawing on all types of influences from Nirvana to Dinosaur Jr. to Pavement to Built To Spill, it’s hard not to like this rocking threesome. Right now they have a self titled EP for free download here or just stream it below. Make sure you give the track “Katie” a listen.

Houndstooth performed next, and as usual they killed it! Playing all their great music and also a couple of new ones that will be out on their new record. The bar was packed for a Sunday night as Houndstooth got into their groove. It was a really great, relaxed atmosphere and that brought out some silly back and forth between the band and the crowd.

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Live at The Doug Fir Lounge: Tennis + Wild Belle

The Doug Fir Lounge was packed last night for the sold out show of Tennis and Wild Belle. Wild Belle was up first. They have a sound inspired by jazz, blues, and pop ‘n’ roll. As of now Wild Belle has a 12″ single with the hopes of releasing their debut full length album later on this year. The single that is out now is called “Keep You,” where there is more of a reggae style to them. The singer, Natalie, goes from seductress during the verses to yearning for someone unknown during the chorus. The song has been on repeat for me all weekend and I can’t wait to hear more from this Chicago band.

As the crowd gathered for the start of Tennis there was an air of excitement. As they made their way out to the stage I realized that both of these bands are really good looking. Tennis played much of their new album Young & Old but also made sure to include some older tunes as well. I love their care free pop rock. It reminds me of playful sunny day, where one is running around with friends and just being very silly. Tennis played a great set while getting most everyone to dance along with them.

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Norse Horse + Eux Autres

Normally I would share the new releases today, but seeing how they are not that good (except the new Toro Y Moi June 2009), I won’t waste your time with them. Instead, I’ll share Norse Horse’s newest EP Grids which came out in August last year. Some really elegant pop-rock that gets easily stuck into your head. With some cool guitar work reminiscent of Real Estate, Norse Horse also mixes in some really spacey synth lines as well. Check out both Grids and Secret Geographies (2009) below.

Next up is another Californian band called Eux Autres (Ooz Oh-tra). They just came out with a 6 track album back in February called Sun Is Sunk. This is a really great garage-pop album that keeps your toe tapping and your head bobbing and your booty shakin’. They describe their music as sounding “like the unrequited love song Doug Martsch would have penned for Francoise Hardy, had the space/time continuum conveniently collapsed.” That is a really DIY style that makes you want to dance on the beach and just be generally goofy. You can buy the album here along with checking out the rest of the discography, or just listen to it below.

New Finn Riggins

Record Store Day was a huge success yesterday as I traversed to 6 different locations for as many goodies I could get my hands on. One of my favorite records that I picked up was the Finn Riggins latest EP Benchwarmers. Finn Riggins is one of my favorite indie bands out there right now and this new release shows how this Boise, Idaho threesome is by far one of the must see acts in the Northwest. The EP starts out with the title track “Benchwarmers,” a groovy rock song that invites everyone to “Shimy to the left, shimy to left, shimy to right.” It is probably my favorite song off the 10″ EP along with “Parkour.” You can purchase the Benchwarmers EP here and stream below.

Another great band that is coming out with a new album early next month is Beach House with Bloom. I picked up their latest 7″ that has “Lazuli,” which will be on the album, and “Equal Mind,” which won’t be on the album. After having “Lazuli” on repeat all weekend I can say that I’m so excited to hear the new LP from Beach House. It’s dream pop at it’s finest. Cool drum machines, a really awesome catchy melody, and my favorite thing, an implied dissonance synth line. Listen to it below and become instantly hooked.

Dry The River + I Break Horses

Today sees the debut release of¬†British¬†band Dry The River titled Shallow Bed. Their sound is like taking a journey through the country side of the UK. Most songs have this really great build up from a soft opening of harmonic vocals, then after a couple of guitar riffs the violin comes in and takes the track to higher level. Check out the entire album here. I really like the tracks “Bible Belt”, “Weights & Measures,” and “Lion’s Den.”

Next up is a band from Sweden called I Break Horses. They just released a “deluxe edition” of their debut album Hearts. Right now they are touring with M83 which gives a little insight on how amazing their music is. Lots of wonderful noise! From synths to drums to keyboard to hazy vocals to guitar, the noise builds up from a foundation of harmonics to a cacophony of melody and awesomeness. It is a great listen so check it out here and a couple of tracks from it below.