by Steve "Tappy" Lanning

The Lucksmiths

Wed July 16

Stumptown Downtown

After speaking with Australia's The Lucksmiths, and listening to a lot of their music, I'm starting to think that Portland and the Lucksmiths have a strong connection--a bond that transcends the Pacific Ocean. Portland is a poetic, intelligent, and dreamy town on the West Coast of America that is divided by a river. The Lucksmiths are a poetic, intelligent, and dreamy indiepop trio from Melbourne, Australia--a city divided by a river.

Do you see what I'm getting at here?

Before we continue, we must first define our parameters. For instance what does Portland mean to me? Portland is cute, cozy, and friendly. Portlanders are down-to-earth; we live life a little slower, and appreciate lazy days. We're also a city that is artistic, witty, creative, and hip.

What do The Lucksmiths mean to me?

They could be the soundtrack to our lives. Both lyrically and musically, their sweet, loping pop songs are like a cozy cup of Stumptown coffee on a rainy day, or a bike ride on the esplanade on a sunny summer afternoon.

The band's latest release, Naturaliste, captures emotional and physical landscapes with humor and tender poetry. The last track, "The Shipwreck Coast," describes an eerie, gray, and cloudy shoreline that holds symbols of loss. On the song "Take this Lying Down," they sing, "I was looking for something/to soothe your aching head/ where did I put the recipe for breakfast in bed?"

Bassist Mark Monnone described his hometown to me... and it sounds a LOT like Portland. "Melbourne is pretty well set up for bands; lots of pubs, hotels, and venues geared towards having bands play," he observed. According to Mark the river divides the city North and South--just like Portland! "The North side," where the band lives, "is the more bohemian section of town." It's the side that's "more on the cutting edge." A riverbank rivalry? Oh Melbourne, you might just be our sister city.