by Steve "Tappy" Lanning


Sat Aug 30

Bush Gardens

Sometimes I just want to be able to hear music clearly at a venue but other times, I long for something more. Something poppy. Something polished. In some cases, I thought that mediocre sound set-ups at some Portland clubs were spoiling shows for me. But then I saw local band Jackie, and I found what I was looking for--their intelligible, poppy songs came in loud and clear.

Something like good Oasis meets catchy Strokes, Jackie's music might not be uber-unique, but it's certainly refreshing. And unlike the Strokes (I'm a fan, but their live show bores me to tears), Jackie has a stellar stage presence. Lead singer Travis Borilla possesses the showmanship spark--good posture, slick moves behind the mic, and a voice reminiscent of Mick Jagger--and, live, Jackie is attention arresting. As Travis accurately points out, "I think we're lucky, because everyone in Jackie has good instincts on stage, and we all understand the importance of being entertaining."

Jackie also knows how to handle their instruments. While Travis supplies vocals only, the four other members knock together rock 'n' roll: playful percussion, stripped-down rhythm guitar, and subtle keyboards reveal themselves at all the right moments. The band, some of whose members played together in the Portland band The Starve, has been playing for a year now as Jackie. But they admit their progress has been somewhat sluggish, particularly as a pop band. Drummer Danny Taylor explains: "Scenes develop around harder bands, because the music is very intense and people are more rabid for it; the pop stuff seems a little more slow-building."

Jackie is definitely a local band whose potential deserves your support. The band currently retails their great 7" at shows, and should be recording a more substantial album this fall. It's music that's easy to get excited about, especially after seeing the band so conspicuously excited about their own music live.