If Pickathon had an MVP, Langhorne Slim would be in the running. He's appeared at the annual indie-roots music festival three times in the past, and he'll be there again this weekend. Here's a video of him performing at 2010's fest, not in front of a crowd, but in Pendarvis Farm's tiny pumphouse, sequestered away from the crowds. This video is from the same year that Slim and his band, the Law, delivered a literally bloody set in the woods—people are still talking about that one.
Slim briefly called Portland home for a while, but his last show in town, at Bunk Bar back in February, saw him selling off some of his old shirts. He's a road dog for now—and maybe he'll call Portland home again someday, maybe, we hope—but he's still got a lot of touring to do for his latest record, The Way We Move, which came out in June. It's a rougher, thumpier record than 2009's great and underrated Be Set Free, but the new one is perhaps a shade more powerful, as it captures Slim's raw live exuberance in a way that's perhaps eluded his studio work until now. There are horns and organs and such, but at the heart of the thing is that tough, heartsick joy that Slim's become so consistently good at delivering at live shows. The Way We Move is like ripping off a scab. It hurts, and it feels great.
Watch the video for the title track here, and track down the new record; closing track "Past Lives" is one of the most affecting things Langhorne's committed to tape. Langhorne Slim and the Law perform at Pickathon this Saturday at 5:15 pm on the Fir Meadows Stage, at later that evening at 8:30 pm in the Galaxy Barn.