Live At The Doug Fir Lounge: Ascetic Junkies + Holiday Friends

Thursday night saw the return of Astoria, OR band Holiday Friends. Ever since finding out about them through Treefort Fest I have been hooked on their album, Chicks. But before Holiday Friends performed Norman opened up the night with their great post-country rock and roll music. Big time blues and some 70s rock and roll is what Norman is all about. They blew everyone away with their performance even though they are not as well known as the other two bands. I really dig the songs “Hell, If I Love” and “You Were The Sky.”

Next up was Holiday Friends with their fantastic sound. They started the show off with “Plastic Planets” which has kind of a Shins sound to it. They have some really great dream pop-rock. They have so many sounds produced into one beautifully complete sound. Harmonious vocals, banjo, acoustic and electric guitar, keyboards, upright and electric bass, drums, and a synthesizer are the main instruments for this five piece band. They draw on so many great influences, from Arcade Fire to The Shins to Animal Collective, yet they have a completely unique sound that makes their debut album Chicks one of the must hear albums of the year.

The last band to perform was local Portland band Ascetic Junkies. They are another band that has so many different genres going on at once that they create something totally unique. A bluesy rock post-punk, noise folk group is what I would call them. Their most recent release is called This Cage Has No Bottom that came out a couple years ago. They are working on their new album and it promises to be a good one with lyrics such as “I’ve been told that I’m gonna die, but I’m not convinced.” I’m really excited to hear more new music from them. Ascetic Junkies are on tour across the nation so make sure that you catch them live, they are really good.

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