Michael McDonald, it's Music Monday!
Cellist Ashia Grzesik spent a year in Europe, but she's back in Portland with a new album, released on German label JARO Median. Ashia and the Bison Rouge's Diesel vs. Lungs combines folk, classical, klezmer, and all kinds of other music for a remarkable sound that defies easy categorization. Take a listen to the beautiful epic "Spirit Dances Evermore," a haunting waltz that sounds like it's not reeling through the years, but reeling through them, tumbling and lurching and dancing through centuries (and languages—that's Grzesik singing in Polish during the chorus). Ashia and the Bison Rouge perform this Thursday, November 14, at the Alberta Rose Theatre, accompanied by guests including Classical Revolution, for an evening dubbed "Polish Immigrant Songs."
Casey Neill and the Norway Rats also celebrate a record release this week: All You Pretty Vandals comes out tomorrow, and the album was produced by Chris Funk with the Norway Rats lineup including Jesse Emerson, Chet Lyster (the Eels), Jenny Conlee and John Moen (both of the Decemberists and Black Prairie). "My Little Dark Rose" comes from a Irish Gaelic song called "Roisin Dubh," which means "Little Dark Rose," and the song name-checks Dead Moon and the Wipers. It's Neill's tribute to Portland's dark, at times booze-soaked underbelly, as he explains on American Songwriter. Casey Neill and the Norway Rats play the Doug Fir this Friday, November 15; Neill also performs an in-store at Music Millennium on the day of the album's release, Tuesday, November 12 (tomorrow).
In honor of Thundercat's Portland show this week—Thursday, November 14 at Bunk Bar—here a take by local remixer Tree (AKA OIiver Nickell) of "For Love I Come," a silky, bong-haze track that's grounded by Tree's laidback beat. Tree studied old-school hiphop production, and made this track thusly: "I sampled the original piece off vinyl and created my drum kit from scratch. I sampled all the individual kicks, snares, hi hats and other drum sounds from my grandmothers retro vinyl collection along with some of my own personal modern collection. All the other sounds I used were recorded analog using my dads old DX7 synthesizers from college. Plus my friend Haven Dlott played some cello during one of the drop outs."
More Music Monday after the jump—including Black Is Bright, Vikesh Kapoor, Norman, and new Stephen Malkmus!
Here's a tune from a new outfit called Black Is Bright, helmed by Nick Woods, formerly of the now defunct Silent Numbers. The first Black Is Bright release, an EP titled Dust, is up on Bandcamp, and here's a track called "Amiupdown." Unlike some of the stormy electric shoegaze that characterizes the rest of EP, this pretty one's a bit mellower, a bit more contemplative.
It's no secret that I admire the hell out of Vikesh Kapoor's debut album, the masterful The Ballad of Willy Robbins (for further gushing, see my piece on Kapoor from last month). One of the album's many great tracks, "Bottom of the Ladder" has been made available for free download via Rolling Stone, and if you haven't heard Kapoor's songs yet, be sure to check it out. This one's is a bittersweet lullaby, exemplary of Kapoor's arresting songwriting.
Portland band Norman have not just a new album, but a new beer to go with it. Here's the rocking "Hawk," the first track from Into the Eventyr, which comes out
We'll close today with some new stuff from Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks. Stereogum posted some fan-made video clips from Malkmus/Jicks' Friday night show at the Crystal Ballroom. (At certain points, the illicit videographer almost even seems to be onstage with them, somehow.) This one's called "Cinnamon and Lesbians," and it's a song the band's played before, and one that's likely to be on the upcoming Wig Out At Jagbags. Over on Stereogum you can see a handful of other new tracks, plus Malkmus and Jicks incorporating Zep's "Stairway to Heaven" and VU's "Beginning to See the Light" into their encore.