The Purple Rhinestone Eagle from Philadelphia is a far cry from the Purple Rhinestone Eagle that now resides in Portland. It's the same band, and even the same members, but since moving to the Pacific Northwest in late 2007 the trio seems to have found itself. Aside from unsheathing overblown riffs mighty enough to pierce through a dragon's still-beating heart, the ladies of Purple Rhinestone Eagle have also found Portland to be a perfect place for women to... well, rock unconditionally.
"In Philly we were an anomaly. There was a concentration on the femaleness and not the music," says guitarist Andrea Genevieve. "It was refreshing and inspiring to find this community of musicians who come from the same background."
In fact, all-female folk-punk trio New Bloods played a big part in luring the band to Portland. Both are part of a tight-knit collective—along with Magic Johnson and Hornet Leg—that combines social activism with DIY punk. And it didn't take long for PRE—which also includes bassist Morgan Ray Denning and drummer Ashley Spungin—to start playing basement shows and writing new material, which Genevieve says, ironically, is less upbeat than what they were writing back in Philly.
In March, Purple Rhinestone Eagle released its second EP Amorum Tali (Latin for "Talons of Love"), a garage-rock orgy where guitars dance in the red and the spirits of Tolkien and Hawkwind always loom—recorded on analog, of course. Genevieve might very well be the second coming of Hendrix, complete with a banshee wail always on the verge of coming unhinged. The trio is already kicking around new songs and will hole up in the studio this winter to work on their first full-length, which should be released in early 2010.
In the meantime the band is gearing up for another epic six-week tour, but not before playing a fistful of gigs here, including two this week. While PRE's live shows are starting to become the stuff of local legend, its members have found life on the road to be the next best thing to life in Portland. "The three of us are really built for touring," explains Genevieve. "I think we suffer a little post-tour depression every time we get back."