Last night was an amazing free show with local Portland, OR psychedelic rock bands at Mississippi Studios. First up was Sun Angle’s solo project Grapefruit. Playing more on the side of electronic/sci-fi soundscapes, Grapefruit sounds like a soundtrack to futuristic thriller movies. Along with some great visuals, Grapefruit provided a trance like state for everyone to dance to.
After a brief intermission came XDS (formerly Experimental Dental School). This duo is definitely super experimental playing more on the punk rock side of the spectrum. Instead of having a hi-hat on their drumset they have what looks like an old hubcap, a plastic weight, and wood block. Also equipped is a pair of bongos. These guys are really good and they play really great music that almost anyone can enjoy. They are known for playing tons of house shows so look them up on Facebook for their shows.
The main attraction was up next as more people started filing into the dance floor to see Grandparents. Finally bringing the night’s experimental psychedelic music into the realm of pop, Grandparents gives a new light to surf pop-rock. Last night was also the premier of their new merchandise and new single “Bitches.” They give a Portland folk taste to a Californian surf rock to make something cool and unique. The visuals that were provided were pretty amazing as well.
With Music Fest NW coming up in a couple of months lets get to know some more of lesser known bands. First up is a trio from Michigan called Cheap Girls. They sound like a more rocking version of Barenaked Ladies. Great drumming, easy to remember guitar riffs, and flying solos makes up their super catchy tunes. They are easy to relate to with songs about being broke, relationships, and working minimum wage jobs. Cheap Girls pulls in all this great 90s rock-pop sound and produces something original as well. Check out their album My Roaring 20’s below. Make sure to listen to “Ft. Lauderdale” and “Something That I Need.”
Next up is Olympia, WA band Lake. They have multiple projects out right now, one being Baby Island that is really good. Lake though has a really gorgeous quality to it. More on the side of pop ‘n’ roll, this band has really catchy keyboards and bass lines with a couple of songs that have horns. And of course the dreamy female vocals completes this great sound. I really dig their latest album called Giving And Receiving. I recommend to listen to all of it below.
Last up for today is local Portland band The We Shared Milk. This band is super good you guys. Psychedelic pop-rock at its best in my opinion. Super hazy vocals and catchy drum beats with jangly guitars that suddenly spring up to super stellar solos. They have a kind of White Denim sound to them too. They are about to start recording a new album with some other great local bands and you can help them out by donating to the cause. Five dollars gets you a free download of the album in August. You can do that here or listen to their latest effort SUH below.
Last night was a great show at the Doug Fir Lounge featuring the release of Future Historians’ latest album Somehow It Is Now. Though the show started off with The World Radiant. Their live sound is like if Stephen Malkmus sang for Modest Mouse. Super good indie rock ‘n’ roll from this four piece band. Their recorded self-titled album sounds a little more acoustic because they just added a new electric guitarist to the live act. Definitely a band to keep an eye out for, check out the album below.
After The World Radiant was one of my favorite new acts Desert Noises. Their sound is like Fleet Foxes turned up to 11. These guys from Utah really rock and have solid songwriting backed with great vocal harmonies. They are still on tour so check out their site here, you don’t want to miss them.
Last up was Future Historians who played most of their new album Somehow It Is Now. They have a great folk-rock-pop sound with lots of different instrumentation. They have a lot of catchy tunes that can be found here or you can listen to their older album below.
Tuesday sees the release of the brand new Peaking Lights album, Lucifer. Coming off the heels of one of the best albums last year 936, I have had high hopes for this new album. I am not disappointed in the least with this one. Lucifer has a little bit more guitar in it than the previous. It’s a really great album and you can check it out here and listen to the single “LO HI” below.
Next up is a Seattle, WA band Roaming Herds Of Buffalo. This DIY pop-rock band is really good. They have the type of sound that you might find on Tender Loving Empire. Super catchy tunes that have rocking attitude makes for good listening, which can do below. Their newest self-titled album is available for free here.
Last night was the highly anticipated return of Japandroids to the Doug Fir Lounge. Though first up was high energy rapper, Cadence Weapon. He pointed out that there’s confusion in the crowd when he opens up for Japandroids on tour, but saying that they’re all Canadian so it makes sense. Mr. Weapon pulled out some great beats and got the crowd involved in some call and response and a great antidote about his brand new vest. He’s got a great flow and a partying atmosphere. I really like “Loft Party” and “88.”
Japandroids came up next stating that crowd should keep up the energy as they had for Cadence Weapon. It wasn’t hard to comply with the way Japandroids play rock ‘n’ roll. They played a bunch of new songs from the new album Celebration Rock, but made sure to play the older hits as well. Every one had a great time rocking out to this Vancouver, BC duo. Make sure you check out the new album here.