Here are a bunch of new music things that Portland people made! Get ready for some Soundcloudin'.
Menomena unveiled their new single last week, a track from the Moms sessions that did not appear on the album. "Toomer," apart from shrugging off the responsibilities of correct spelling, is a shrugging, almost wistful track undercut buy a kaleidoscope production and some funky undercurrents. It's one of their prettiest tracks; its B-side is called "Banyon" and both tracks are available on iTunes. Menomena hits the road next month (no Portland show scheduled) with new member Dave Depper, who replaces Paul Alcott and Holcombe Waller.
A new track from Carcrashlander surfaced last week as well. "Call in Sick" will be on the upcoming Carcrashlander album, and it's an unsettled, growling track that feels, appropriately, like a delirious sick day. Carcrashlander's Cory Gray appeared at Themes' great Saturday night show at Mississippi Studios, and fittingly, that band's Kelsey Crawford and Jacy McIntosh appear on this new track.
Party kings the Mean Jeans just released a split 7-inch single with Seattle band Big Eyes, with each band offering a new number plus a cover of the other band. Here's the new Mean Jeans track, "I Miss Outerspace," which serves as an apt followup to their recent Mean Jeans on Mars album. There's also a riff you might recognize at the end of the track, if you're feeling kind of Petty. The MJs are hitting the road next month as well, coming back home on February 16 for a show at Blackwater Records with Big Eyes (Portland's Bi-Marks are also on the bill).
The second preview track from Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside's new record is also on the webternets. "Party Kids" is just as tough as "They Told Me," and both fine tracks are indicative of Ford/Outside's great new album, Untamed Beast, which hits shelves on February 19. The band plays two release shows at the Wonder Ballroom on February 22 and 23.
They're Sub Pop labelmates, so the fact that Portland's the Helio Sequence is touring with Seattle hiphop deconstructionists Shabazz Palaces is not as unlikely as it seems. To that end, each band has remixed the other; listen to the surprising results below. Shabazz's "Recollections of the Wrath" is given a broad, heavy treatment to match Helio's similarly widescreen style, while Helio's lovely, whispering "Harvester of Souls" is given some crispness, punch, and pop. The Helio Sequence play Portland (without Shabazz Palaces) on Saturday, February 9. It's a benefit for Music in the Schools; The Helio Sequence plays with Talkdemonic and Yeti Sweater at Cleveland High School, and it sounds like a really great time for a great cause. More info here.
Atmospheric Americana band Small Souls have their first album ready, and they're releasing the self-titled effort on Friday, with a release show on Saturday, January 26 at Secret Society. The opening track—the Morrissey counterpoint "Please Don't Give Me What I Want"—is available for free download now. It's a lovely, haunted piece of folk with quite a bit of haunting ambience.
Prescription Pills just played the Doug Fir last night with Wild Ones, and they have two new tracks which they recorded with Portland producer/engineer Gregg Williams (Dandy Warhols, Anya Marina). Main Pill-er Cole Browning sent over the A-side of what they're calling a "virtual 7-inch" last week but I did not get it up in time for last night's show. So here it is, the morning after. "Redwoods" is an initially subdued-seeming track, but I hear a lot of contained urgency under the surface. Prescription Pills play another show on Thursday, January 31 at East End, as part of the Soft Kill's record release bash.