Posts Tagged ‘Portland’

Jeffrey Silverstein is a songwriter living in Portland, Oregon. He has been making music for over a decade.

“Along with running, teaching, and meditation, music has always been an outlet through which I come to further understand myself and others. Each release helps keep me on the path. This EP is largely a celebration of the unknown, small joys and learning to be comfortable with transition. I am grateful to be joined once again by Barry Walker Jr. (pedal-steel), Alex Chapman (bass) and Ryan Oxford (production). Their generous spirit allowed me to explore, question, and expand upon ideas that floated freely in my mind for quite some time. It felt so nice to ground them through music and collaboration.”

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Releases April 16th, 2021

Jeffrey Silverstein (guitar/vocals)
Barry Walker Jr. (pedal-steel)
Alex Chapman (bass)

“Torii Gates”, a forthcoming EP for Arrowhawk Records 

Fellow Portland guitarist and bandmate of Ripley Johnson and nature lover Dewey Mahood aka Plankton Wat has a great new album about to hit your doorsteps (if you snapped it up already). If you’ve yet to grab it, get a sneak peak at the beautiful art and packaging for Plankton Wat’s Future Times, and a killer song, with our unboxing video.

Make sure to check the new single “Wind Mountain” while you’re at it, a resplendent homage to the Native American sacred place and hiking trail of the same name.

The music of Portland musician Dewey Mahood exists in constant communion with nature. From acclaimed albums with heavy-psych mainstays Eternal Tapestry to his prolific solo excursions, Mahood’s work has always been defined by his restless exploratory spirit and reverence for the environment. As Plankton Wat, his expressionist compositions exude a supernatural grace and patience, reflecting the resplendent beauty and mythical energy of the West Coast’s wild places. Piece blossoms from low-lit, porchside ambience into powerful head-trips, ushering the listener through ravines of feedback and along warm currents of synthesizer drift to peaks of lysergic bliss. Mahood’s masterful and distinct guitarwork consistently blurs the confines of the instrument, at once texturally and melodically rich. Future Times elevates Mahood’s psychedelic instrumentals to new planes. Written to the backdrop of social unrest and climate change fuelled fires, Mahood lays out a sprawling cinematic and psychedelic survey of a planet in crisis that weaves a path of hope through the darkness.

Recorded in the Spring of 2020, with most of the United States sheltering in place, Future Times began as a meditation on the times. With the optimism of Spring and the promise of Summer replaced by anxiety about the future, music became an important means of processing difficult emotions and connecting with the outside world. Mahood developed pieces created with musical partner Dustin Dybvig and engineer/producer Victor Nash, transmuting the expansive energy of the live improvisations into lean guitar, bass and keyboards compositions. Pieces were then passed to Dybvig and Nash who fleshed out Mahood’s initial compositions with lustrous layers of synthesiser and subtle studio effects. Future Times transforms Plantkon Wat from a purely solo project into a virtual ensemble, itself a testament to art’s power to transcend physical and social boundaries.

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The album’s two elliptical sides trace Mahood’s own inner journey from anxiety to optimism. Side A emerges from the still-glowing embers of west coast wildfires on “The Burning World.” Smouldering synthesizer drones heavy with the scent of burning pine, a vivid portrayal of the artist’s experience of pervasive wildfires, only later to use fire as a symbol of spiritual rebirth. “Nightfall,” a muscular re-work of a long-standing Plankton Wat piece, picks through the ashes to reveal the sombre grace of “Modern Ruins.” Mahood ushers in the album’s aggressive peak on “Dark Cities,” with sharp Casio stabs and sky-clawing guitars, railing at police violence and racial injustice. Even here in the album’s darkest moments Mahood finds hope and respite in the fervour and optimism of protest, fully realised in the serene ambience of conceptual companion piece “Defund The Police”. Title track “Future Times” is another psychic turning point towards optimism and the title that would come to inform the record’s overall emotive arc. “Wind Mountain,” a Native American sacred place as well as a popular Washington hiking spot near Mahood’s Portland home, provides a space for reflection, a vantage point to look back across the album’s expanse but also out into the future heralded by the closing trumpet blasts.

On “Future Times” Plankton Wat uses his considerable guitar prowess to deliver songs that encompass both the wild, seeking energy of free-improvisation and the deliberate arrangements of more traditional composition. With his deft and stylistically varied playing Mahood escapes psychedelic tropes and chemical fuelled alterations and instead celebrates an escape into the natural world. Future Times taps into psychedelia’s counter-cultural heritage as music for protest, liberation and imagining new ways of being in this world.

Mo Troper’s recording and production methods skew DIY—a fitting approach given his musical influences. “I was sort of just working with what was available to me, which wasn’t a lot,” Troper says of his experience crafting this album “I don’t actually have a drum kit or a guitar amp right now, so I knew I was going to have to rely on, like, Apple Loops and GarageBand presets. I suppose I was trying to go for something like the Lightning Seeds, or anything else from that strange era of British music where indie pop and shoegaze sort of overlapped. I was also listening a lot to the Tokyo-based songwriter Yokosawa Shunichiro’s newest album, Zettai Daijoubu, which is really ornate, artful bedroom pop.”

“I don’t have any impressive synthesizers or anything,” he adds, “so a lot of the sounds are actually sampled from old video game music. There’s a kick drum taken from Super Mario RPG and one of the arpeggiators samples a specific noise from Yoshi’s Island.”

All proceeds go to Defense Fund PDX, a support group that prioritizes marginalized people in jail and Portland’s houseless population, It’s Mo doing the Beatles. Take my money, no questions asked. Please do Abbey Road.

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Releases March 12th, 2021

Mo Troper: vocals, guitars, bass, keys, drums, programming

Tyler Blue Broderick: vocals on “Yellow Submarine”

recorded and mixed by Mo Troper at home in late 2019/early 2020

all songs written by Lennon-Mccartney, with the exceptions of “Love You To,” “Taxman” and “I Want To Tell You,” written by George Harrison. recorded and released with permission from sony/atv music publishing and sony atv tunes llc.

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Close on the heels of “Summerlong” (still in heavy rotation on our turntables), Ripley Johnson (Wooden ShjipsMoon Duo) adds another gem of an album of soon-to-be classics.  Hop in your car, roll down your window – or pop in the earbuds and go on a hike. Most importantly, TURN UP THE VOLUME! These tunes are made for travels of the mind and body! Rich melodies, intimate vocals, elongated epic guitar solos and just a dash of country-rock twang, “Earth Trip” takes you to summers spent in the company of friends, and celebrates mediation, nature, space and stillness.

Rose City Band is celebrated guitarist Ripley Johnson. A prolific songwriter, Johnson started Rose City Band as an outlet nimble enough to match the pace of his writing as well as to explore song writing styles apart from Wooden Shjips and Moon Duo. Rose City Band allows him to follow his musical muses as they greet him and not be bound by the schedules of bandmates and demands of a touring group. On Earth Trip, Johnson colours songs with a country-rock twang and a melancholic, wistful undertone. Themes recur such as pining for summers spent in the company of friends to newer meditations on space, stillness and the splendour of the natural world. Johnson’s laid-back and classically West Coast songs communicate emotions entirely of the moment with both his lyrics, intimate vocal style as well as his elegant elongated guitar lines and astute use of counter-melodies on the pedal steel.

Earth Trip was written during the period of sudden shocks and drastic lifestyle changes of 2020, quite literally “called down off the road” as he sings in elegiac album opener “Silver Places”. Home for an extended period for the first time in years, he was able to reconnect with simple pleasures of home life: hikes in nature, bathing outside and waking with the dawn. Johnson found hope and healing in forming a more mindful relationship with the natural world, from the simple pleasures of tending a garden to sleeping out under the stars. “Lonely Places” in particular captures the sheer joy and freedom of losing oneself in nature, an ode to the wealth of natural beauty the west coast provides, as well as the importance of appreciating wild, open spaces. “In the Rain” seeks beauty and hope in life’s darker moments, while “Dawn Patrol” finds solace in the earth’s natural rhythms.

Recorded primarily at his home in Portland and mixed by Cooper Crain (Bitchin’ BajasCave), the songs on “Earth Trip” make deft use of space through their lean arrangements, guest Barry Walker’s shimmering pedal steel, open and elongated guitar melodies, and upfront and intimate vocals. Johnson describes the arrangements this way; “I was trying to capture that feeling when you take psychedelics and they just start coming on – maybe objects start buzzing in the edges of your vision, you start seeing slight trails, maybe the characteristics of sound change subtly. But you’re not fully tripping yet. Cooper got the idea right away and his mix really captures that feeling.” Johnson’s lithe guitar playing treads an equally fine line between country and cosmic, melodies blooming into long reverb trails and solos evocative of radiant summer warmth.

Earth Trip’s message of interconnectedness with the environment expands on a long country music tradition that draws a symbiotic relationship between storyteller and the land, celebrating the beauty of the natural world without forgetting our responsibility to preserve it for future generations. It cements Johnson’s place as a musician and songwriter of inimitable skill.

“Earth Trip” is available in a few different merch packs – keep reading to learn more, there are only a super limited amount of The Rambler Pack available only to our newsletter subscribers: Rambler Pack includes:  A tasty tote bag (back by popular demand), custom printed rolling papers, a sweet sticker, die cut jacket (picture window) with printing on the inside of the jacket (think on the beach, amigo…) as well as heavy stock inner jacket and a mail order exclusive Wood coloured vinyl.

Very happy to announce our new album, Earth Trip, coming out May 21st on Thrill Jockey Records

Limited edition “Rambler Pack”, which comes with the ltd-edition LP, tote bag, rolling papers and sticker, available on the Thrill Jockey website

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The Decemberists (including @lavenderdiamond and @mybrightestdiamond), standing amid the ivy in Forest Park on a particularly wet and cloudy day. This group of seven, fuelled by kombucha and bourbon, would go on to storm dozens of mid- to large-sized venues across greater North America and parts of the UK and Europe, playing our new record, “The Hazards of Love”, in its entirety. We recorded many of the shows. One such show distinguished itself among the many, partly because of the inspiring level of performance and partly because we made the fewest mistakes. We’ve released it as the first volume of our live series, “Live Home Library”. Those of you who pre-ordered, back in October or whenever, should be getting your copies imminently if you haven’t already. Thank you for you patience. 

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The Hazards of Love tour was my absolute favourite live performance ever. so glad to have a live recording now.

Released February 5th, 2021

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Typhoon’s fifth studio album “Sympathetic Magic” is out now on all digital streaming platforms and available to pre-order below as Maroon-in-Yellow LP (ltd. to 500), Classic Black LP, CD, as well as in limited-edition bundles. Typhoon is a band from Portland, OR.

Members: Kyle Morton, Toby Tanabe, Dave Hall, Pieter Hilton, Alex Fitch, Tyler Ferrin, Devin Gallagher, Shannon Steele

My Dear Friend,

I hope you’re holding up. What a mess!, Small news in the big scheme, but we finished a record and I wanted to share it with you. I wrote all these songs while puttering around the house these past several months, because, what else was I going to do? The songs are about people – the space between them and the ordinary, miraculous things that happen there, as we come into contact, imitate each other, leave our marks, lose touch. Being self and other somehow amounting to the same thing.

Recording had to be adapted to the plague-times. I tracked the demos first and sent them out to the band. Then the improvised procession of friends dropping by my basement, one at a time, masks on. Other folks recorded their parts in their own homes with cell phone voice memos or GarageBand in the laundry room. Parts from the original demos remain intact. Like everything right now, it was all a little disjointed, but I think it came together in the end.

The record is called Sympathetic Magic and it’s a great joy to share it with you. To be honest, it’s a joy to share anything at all in these isolating times.

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Released January 22nd, 2021

All songs written by Kyle Morton
Performed by Typhoon

Last March, the Portland singer-songwriter’s West Coast jaunt in support of his third album “Natural Beauty” was cut short. Then, his Midwest and East Coast shows were postponed as the pandemic wiped out live music for the foreseeable future. Steeped in punchy power-pop hooks, dissonant harmonies and tinges of ’60s orchestral rock, Natural Beauty is something of an ode to the music of Troper’s teenage years, including the White Album, his favourite Beatles record, and fellow Portland indie band Dear Nora.

Troper played most of the instruments on the album himself, and penned a majority of the 12 tracks after returning to Portland from a yearlong stint living in L.A. “If there’s a theme for the album,” he says, “it’s getting back in touch with my Portland roots.”

But the 28-year-old isn’t the least bit bitter about having to put the promotion for his latest release indefinitely on hold. “With COVID, and the protests, there are much more important things going on,” he says. “It just doesn’t feel like the right time to be promoting [anyway].”

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This year has been nuts and I’m bummed I wasn’t able to tour, but I really appreciate all the support I’ve received. If you’ve listened to my music at any point over the last year, please know that I really appreciate you. Not to be too self-deprecating but it’s still wild to me that people actually take the time to listen to my songs. Much love and happy holidays, and hopefully see you irl next year, 
-Mo

Releases December 25th, 2020
written, produced, and mixed by Mo Troper

Post-punk five piece, Portland’s Soft Kill share their second single “Pretty Face” from their forthcoming November 2020 release “Dead Kids, R.I.P. City”, their long awaited follow up to 2018’s ‘Savior’. Says the band’s Tobias Grave, “‘Pretty Face’ was written immediately after finding out about the loss of our friend Zachary Delong. It recounts some time we spent together on the edge of oblivion, late 2011 into the first weeks of 2012. Survivors guilt pouring out into song form” – ‘Relax your pretty face boy, the pain has left you.’

“We shot this to be a lyric video but we worked in some scenes, starting in Washington and traveling into the far north section of Portland, stopping by the abandoned dog track at Portland Meadows and ending at the motel made famous by Drugstore Cowboy. The imagery will resonate with some, I’m sure. The song is one we’ve played live for two years and it’s got a big cult following without ever having a studio version circulating.”

“Pretty Face” encapsulates listeners with it’s steady pulse of bass and cinematic-like guitar melodies, taking a slightly left field approach to post-punk with its triumphant and upbeat energy while still channelling the doom/gloom sound Portland’s Soft Kill has built their identity around. The song reflects the darker side of what the band has experienced the past few years. The single follows Soft Kill’s return last month when they dropped the lead doom pop single “Roses All Around.” It’s dark yet luminous in every sense, from its driving percussive beats, harmonic grooves and melodies, while also creating an opportunity to openly discuss its sociopolitical message that is especially prominent now as Portland has become the epicenter of unrest these past few months.

With this meme making the rounds recently, I wanna take this opportunity to come out and say I prefer whatever wave of new wave we’re on in 2020 to either The Cure or The Smiths—or New Order, for that matter. In a post-genre world, it’s bands like Soft Kill (who I first caught wind of when they toured with a black metal band) who I turn to when I want to listen to some weighted-blanket rock, and the morbid, post-punky first single from their new record, which conflates death and ecstasy in its final thirty seconds, has me posing as the seasons change while delegates for Robert Smith and Morrissey duke it out in the replies.

“Dead Kids, R.I.P. City” is out November 20th, 2020 

Released by Cercle Social Records.

I got into Floating Room last year when her “Ant” demo proved to be my favourite listening take away from the 2019 Post-Trash comp. Getting to know Maya Stoner’s project from this woozy lo-fi recording, it was cool to ease into some of the songwriter’s hi-er-fi stuff, notably and nominally her re-recording of a 2016 track for an October EP, which sounds just as sleepy and welcoming of a cozy demise as its more ambient predecessor. What starts off as something you’d expect to hear covered on Post-Trash sort of wanders back into ambient territory in the final thirty seconds or so, as the guitar-drums-bass give way to extraterrestrial squeals. our new single, Warm Death (HIFI) today! You may recognize this one from the first FR album, Sunless, which was recorded in my bedroom. Mo Troper who produced this album had the idea to re-record it in a studio pianos and all and I’m glad we did.

Floating Room is the musical project of Portland based multidisciplinary Uchinanchu American artist and DIY veteran Maya Stoner. Their latest EP, “Tired and True”, was written by Stoner and recorded in the summer of 2019 against a backdrop of intense personal transition.

Lead single “Held Open Door” is a meditation on dimming innocence set to jagged guitar pyrotechnics à la Deerhunter and Television. “Freakshow” is a self-professed “pop hit” concerning Stoner’s perceived pariahdom within Portland’s blindingly white, furtively racist punk scene. “Tired and True” is being released independently by Stoner digitally and on vinyl.

“Tired and True” is officially out today and streamable on Spotify/ Itunes/ everywhere! I’m gonna save y’all my sappiness but I really appreciate everyone who has taken the time to listen to these songs or even helped share them: Maya Stoner.

It features contributions from Jon Scheid (Duck. Little Brother, Duck!, Dreamdecay), Aaron Liu (Two Moons), Jared Ridabock (Anne, Wild Guess), and Mo Troper

Floating Room Released on: 2020-10-09

A shoegazey, indie rock band residing in Portland, OR. new album “Lotus Eaters” is out now! Formed back in 2008, Phosphene are a Portland based band, built around the duo of vocalist and guitarist Rachel Frankel and drummer Matt Hemmerich. The band released their self-titled debut album back in 2014, followed by an EP, Breaker in 2016. Four years on the band have just released their brand-new album, Lotus Eaters. 

The songs that comprise Lotus Eaters were written during a period of mass transition and upheaval. The writing and recording process of this album took place preceding and following the 2016 election, when extremism and bigotry prevailed across the United States and world at large.

The title Lotus Eaters is loosely derived from Greek mythology, which describes a person in a peaceful but apathetic haze from continually eating lotus fruit. A similar, escapist notion was pervasive across the U.S., and it certainly impacted each of us personally. It took a great deal of focus and fortitude to resist that inertia and move forward as a band. Song writing has always been joyful and cathartic for each of us in different aspects: a distraction from anxiety, an outlet for depression, or a unique way to express our introverted selves in a way that feels most genuine and heartfelt—and that catharsis is what carried us through.

Once we picked ourselves back up and creatively honed in, our most potent and ruminative songs began to take form. As a band, we found ourselves writing music that oscillated between dark, magnetic propulsions to dreamy, blissed-out reveries. During this period of time, Rachel was also writing and illustrating She Can Really Lay It Down, a musical anthology celebrating fifty influential women musicians from the past century, which was recently released in the fall of 2019. Some key heroines in the book such as Kim Gordon, Neko Case, and Janet Weiss absolutely made their influence known within several songs on Lotus Eaters, particularly “Incinerate” and “Incandescent Plumes.”

Although we’ve tinkered with our sound before, we really started to revamp our style and framework in more experimental ways on Lotus Eaters. From incorporating spoken word poetry and dismantling song structures to constantly swapping instruments, a newfound growth and confidence was evident in this collection of music. Lotus Eaters emanates a fervour that we want to resonate with each listener. And as turbulent as these times can be, we hope this album can be a source of comfort and inspiration for those seeking.

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25% of proceeds from every album sale will go towards Black United Fund of Oregon and National Bail Fund Network. This is a permanent pledge.

Released July 7th, 2020