Afraid was formed in a damp, spider-infested basement at the bottom of Portland, Maine’s Munjoy Hill during the summer of 2013. Since then, founding members Jakob Battick and Ryan Cutler have guided the band’s ever-evolving lineup through a handful of EPs and splits, including collaborations with Herbcraft’s Matt Lajoie, Swans’ Jarboe, and Sterling Black, and one paranoid, hallucinatory full-length, Sinister Vibes (Crash Symbols). In the summer of 2015, the group relocated cross-country to the birthplace of American psychedelia, Berkeley, CA, and evolved two lifetimes along the way. Currently, the group is laying low in the idyllic Northern Californian surround and searching for its own vision of “Cosmic American Music.”
Petal, a.k.a. Kiley Lotz, captivates from every angle in her latest video for "Chandelier Thief". Found on the LP Shame (Run For Cover), the footage was directed and edited by Sarah Trad. Petal will be performing next in Philly on Sunday, December 11 at Union Transfer, opening for Pinegrove and Kevin Devine & The Goddamn Band. (Photo by Emily Dubin)
Rumor has it Portland may be getting hit with some snow coming up soon. Will it be enough to lead us into forced snowpacalype hibernation? Doubt it, but if you’re into that sort of thing anyway, you likely know the importance of having premium tunes to soundtrack your isolation. Enter Sallo and in particular, their track "The Creeping Locust (L)."
Post-rock has made a glorious comeback in the city’s scene and Sallo, a strictly keys and drums endeavor done by Shelly Strunk and Mark Brittenburg, vaunts magic through experimental, haunting classical instrumentation. Their music has been featured on theater stages and in films and their collaborations span from work with string ensembles to comedy troupes. Now, let them serve as a score to your hopefully snowy confinement.
After years spent writing songs for other acts (the technical term is "ghost-writing"), about a year ago, New Yorkers Jess Carvo and Alex Marko decided it was time to "come out:" a tragedy in Jess’s family paved new paths in the band’s direction and sound, in a way that made their songs too personal to be signed off to others. That’s how electro-pop duo Satellite Mode was born. Just a month ago they gathered all the singles released in the past year in the approproiately named ‘Singles‘ EP. Their brand new track “Warn Fire Lightning” (streaming) features undulating electronic textures set behind haunting, pop-tinged melodies. Check out the song below and come see Satellite Mode live at Mercury Lounge with Slow Sugar on December 2nd. Let’s hope there’s more to come in the near future! – Ashley Muniz
A supernatural, psychedelic hue radiates from the raspy, tortured folk of Joshua Bright. With his new album And All Along A Wolf, which was produced by fellow Man Like Machine compatriot Giuseppe DiCristino, as well as Keith Blackmore, Bright delivers a futuristic take on isolation. A hauntingly desolate, Americana feel is illuminated by the shimmer of spacey synth.
After originally learning about a full-length album being in the works with the help of Terry Yerves and Quentin Stoltzfus (Light Heat, ex-Mazarin) about a year ago, A.M. Mills, led by Drew Mills of Blood Feathers, has finally shared not an LP, as expected, but a six-song EP, simply titled First Recordings. Its introspective narrative finds Mills wandering over Dylan-esque musical terrain as he grapples with heartache and the ghost of a lost love. It’s a cathartic release, and A.M. Mills will be sorting through this collection of songs/feelings and more this evening at Ortlieb’s. They’ll also be be joined by August Wells, the collaborative project from Ken Griffin (Rollerskate Skinny, Kid Silver, Favourite Sons) and John Rauchenberger, and local Philebrity singer-songwriter Joey Sweeney. Ortlieb’s, 847 N. 3rd St., 8pm, $10, 21+ – H.M. Kauffman
Formerly known as Railbird (a band we booked at one of our CMJ shows years ago), Brooklyn’s psychedel-ectronic pop band Lip Talk released their last spellbinding EP “Ghost” two years ago, and – according to their website – has a new release coming out… last month! (Delays are not exactly rare in the record industry). The groups toured quite a bit in the fall, and supported Okkervill River at Webster Hall on October 20th. If you enjoy edgy beats, swirling synths, droning guitars, and seductive, airy vocals, make sure to take a listen to the self-title single below and catch them live at Baby’s All Right on December 11. Looking forward to the new release, whenever it may drop! – Ashley Muniz, photo by Jackie Lee Young / VICE
Dr. Dog just surprised us with a new, mostly acoustic full-length album, Abandoned Mansion. It was actually recorded before their last LP, The Psychedelic Swamp, which was funded by a grant from Pig Iron Theater Company that was about to expire so its release took precedent at the time. And if you purchase a download of Abandoned Mansion from now to the end of January, all the proceeds will be donated to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Some songs grab you immediately. Others take their time, which is often most rewarding. Stella Rio’s new single “Don’t Go Away” starts off low key with a simple, pretty piano line. Once her breathy voice enters the mix, the song starts to build into a thing of almost tangible beauty, full of tasteful sounds and authentic emotion. It’s great pop music, pure and simple, but it also makes you feel like you’ve learned something by the time it’s over. – David Levy
Though Thanksgiving has traditionally stood a holiday where we give thanks to the harvest, for many its original meaning is lost. Anyone with a smart phone or an internet connection has been privy to what mass media is attempting to mask so greatly – the tragedy of the North Dakota Access Pipeline at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation.
Without getting into tearful details of this travesty (and appreciating the veterans who are stepping up to serve as a human shield to the protestors), the Deli Portland is fully endorsing attending a benefit show for the Standing Rock Medic and Healer Council, happening this Friday at the Haight House.
Half the halcyon calmness of folk and half the excitable nature of garage rock, Friday’s bill, booked in conjunction with local volunteer collective Portland Artist Coalition for Progressive Acts and Causes, will have the droney folk of Cave Cricket and the soothing acoustics of Galen Ballinger with two of Portland’s most favorite rockin’ af bands Dim Wit and Ah God bringing it home.
A donation of $5 is asked, but no one will be turned away for lack of funds. All that’s asked is the audience respect the house, respect each other, and respect the cause.
Following the 2014 debut album ‘Rookie’, HIDEOUT (the solo project Gabriel Rodriguez, a live guitarist for Cults) is preparing to release his sophomore full length ‘So Many Hoops/So Little Time’ in early 2017. “Doctor”, the first single off the record, initially draws attention with a cheerful electric guitar intro reminiscent of the more jangly bands from the psychedelic revival of the late ’80s. A jumpy piano keeps the mood up, although the song’s lyrics seem to tap into the negative facets of our psychological processes. Ranging sonically and lyrically from whimsical space-pop to nostalgic singer-songwriter tracks, the album’s essence is fused with the recent passing of Rodriguez’s brother. Listen to “Doctor” below and catch the band live at Baby’s All Right on November 30th at Pavo Pavo’s record release show. – Ashley Muniz