NO.FEST 2010: BLUE CRANES, LICKITY, DANIEL MENCHE, ROLLERBALL & MORE (St. Johns) SAY YES TO NO—The numbers are staggering: over 50 performances in 29 hours, so just assume that if you are anywhere near St. Johns on Friday or Saturday, you'll see something from No.Fest. The annual event is absolutely massive this year, offering everything from children's shows to experimental dub, plus everything else in between. EAC
SALLY SELTMANN, BENOIT PIOULARD, ZACH ZAITLIN (The Woods, 6637 SE Milwaukie) Each song on Sally Seltmann's Heart That's Pounding goes for the pop jugular. The bright hooks and indelible choruses come on like bursts of fresh air, sparkling in Seltmann's sunny mood and encapsulating decades of pop history—from early '60s Brill Building girl-group records to '70s piano-based songwriter albums to '80s radio hits. You've actually heard Seltmann's pop hooks before, even without realizing it; she co-wrote Feist's "1234," which went on to soundtrack an inescapable iPod commercial. You also might have heard her work as New Buffalo, the artistic alias Seltmann has recorded under until now.
COCOROSIE, CIBELLE (Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) Cocorosie are a divisive, if not flat-out widely disliked, band. The twee, folk-adelic, fond-of-beatboxing sister act's last three albums have landed in the 2.3—5.1 range of Pitchfork's 10 rating system, while Metacritic's more forgiving metrics give those albums a mean (in the mathematical, not the snarky sense) rating of 59, 60, and 67 out of 100, respectively. In academic terms, those are Fs and (to quote Kanye West quoting Radio Raheem) "Ds, motherfucker, Ds." Beyond the numbers, of course, people just say mean things about sisters Sierra and Bianca Casady. Spin, in a zero-stars review of their 2005 sophomore album, Noah's Ark, memorably said: "They make each shimmer of postnatal whimsy seem like an eternal gulag of the spotless mind." Why all the hate? We attempt to get to the bottom of this pressing issue. EG
Solvent, Saint Vitus, Portugal. The Man, Mimicking Birds and Anti-Pop Consortium all after the jump!
As always, you can find our complete live show listings here.
FUBAR: SOLVENT, LUSINE, NATHAN DETROIT, PIPEDREAM (Branx, 320 SE 2nd) "It always bothered me that people said I made this happy, childlike music," says Jason Amm from his hotel room in Boston. Amm is the musical mind behind Solvent, the one-man synth pop band on chic electronic label Ghostly International. After spending a half-dozen years at home in Toronto raising his first child, he's finally released another recording. The title Subject to Shift gives a heads up that there's something new going on with Solvent's sound. "I'm very into dark music and always have been," Amm explains, "I always get reviews that say I make super happy robot music, but I love goth industrial... bands like Skinny Puppy, that's my background. I wanted to introduce some of those darker elements in my music in a more blatant way." AH
SAINT VITUS, WITCH MOUNTAIN, STONE BURNER, STONE AXE (Satyricon, 125 NW 6th) THE MARTYR and holy helper Saint Vitus is known as the patron saint of actors, comedians, dancers, and—no joke—epileptics. Saint Vitus, the band, is no stranger to great acts of martyrdom, and should be considered the patron saint of all who dare play unimaginably slow, heavy rock and metal. The less holy of the two Saints first surfaced in Los Angeles in 1984 with a self-titled release on punk mainstay SST Records. At the time the band was playing slower than anyone around, and were showered in spit by rowdy audiences frustrated by their rejection of circle pits and spastic stage shows. "We were definitely considered the Spinal Tap of that era, because punk was king. We were pretty much the odd band out," explains Scott "Wino" Weinrich, the band's now-legendary vocalist. AW
PORTUGAL. THE MAN, THE BUILDERS AND THE BUTCHERS, MORNING TELEPORTATION (Roseland, 8 NW 6th) The first time I saw Portugal. The Man was during an early set at the Tonic Lounge, back when the band still couldn't escape the shadow of their former outfit, Anatomy of a Ghost. Their dynamic stage presence was most definitely there, even if it took a few more years until their songs caught up with the band's ability to awe crowds under the spotlight. Their early days were both inspiring and arduous, as the band struggled to hone their talent for writing sprawling rock numbers while not cutting ties with their DIY pedigree. In the years that followed, PTM have gained a fervent global following, a reputation as a big stage festival act, inked a major label deal, and now—finally—won popularity in their partial hometown (we share joint custody with Wasilla, Alaska). When PTM takes the stage tonight, it'll be their reward for six consecutive years of nonstop touring, recording, and a level of devoted dedication matched by few bands in Portland or beyond. They deserve this. EAC
MIMICKING BIRDS, ARCHEOLOGY, KELE GOODWIN (Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Much has been made of Mimicking Birds' connection to Isaac Brock's Modest Mouse—Brock was sent a batch of demos by main Mimicker Nate Lacy and decided to put out the band's record on his Glacial Pace imprint. But following the release of Mimicking Birds' self-titled debut in March, the band is now required to stand on its own, armed only with the strength of its music—a challenge they are more than capable of meeting. Hushed, circular acoustic guitar is the backbone of most of the repertoire, flirting gently with pop and more conventional indie rock, but ultimately finding its own agitatedly whispered corner, somewhere a little further leftfield of Modest Mouse's more subdued intimate moments. NL
ANTI-POP CONSORTIUM, HURTBIRD, BLACK NEON CRYSTAL WIZARD (Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) When Anti-Pop Consortium burst on the scene at the turn of the millennium, their MO was decidedly different from the hiphop zeitgeist of the time. In an era when bling-bling and "Big Pimpin'" was at its absolute apex, the four-person crew from New York City united under the credo "disturb the equilibrium." Before long, the group signed to Warp Records, which led to high-profile tours with Radiohead and DJ Shadow. Then, at the height of their renown, they disbanded in 2002 in order to experiment with side projects and solo releases. Two years ago Anti-Pop Consortium was reborn, reuniting for some live shows that led to their most recent full-length Fluorescent Black. Continuing to raise the bar of excellence set a decade ago, they seem to be intent on proving that not only were they ahead of their time, but that they're still at the top of their game. RYAN FEIGH