Fri June 25
Sabala's Mt Tabor
4811 SE Hawthorne
"East German carnival surf music," is how Trauma Le Tron guitarist Jason Sands jokingly describes his band, and listening to the calliope-like lope and whorl of songs like "Invisible Thunder," which executes delicate pirouettes of viola and guitar around drum machines, you can dig that. Far gentler than a carnival, Trauma Le Tron's ghostly musicbox music accidentally happens upon the territory of old Italo disco, melodic and linear and danceable. Sometimes Beth lets her synth breathe out with the same wheeze and sway of an accordion, in order to "make it more dynamic [against the drum machine]." Their music is cinematic in the same sweet way Yann Tiersen's heartbreaking score for Amelie was cinematic--a type of lightness, simple and sweet. And their tunes, both warm and keening, disclose their narrative.
More than anything, Trauma Le Tron is a band about seeing hope and beauty all around them. This show at Sabala's on the 25th, which is preceded by a bike ride from the Park Blocks to Mt. Tabor (at 6 pm), is a memorial for Orion Satushek, who played in Spooky Dance Band with Sands and TLT viola player Caroline Buchalter. Last year, the band and the Portland music community lost a beautiful spirit when Satushek and friend Angela Leazenby were killed by a drunk driver on their bikes. Buchalter says, "I feel like in the past year, my purpose has become more clear, and for me, the music is something I'll do my whole life. I think everything that happened to me and my friends and our band, we just have to start over and make something beautiful. We'll never have Spooky Dance Band again, but I learned so much from Orion, and I always think of him while I'm playing. He's totally with us... I guess all that matters is that you put love into it. It fills you up like nothing else."
For this, we will celebrate Trauma Le Tron, too.