Thursday, September 30, 2010

busy ‘body work’ : q/a with glass candy’s ida no and johnny jewel

Glass Candy is an analog, Italo-disco freight train boring a hole right through the center of the world. For the past 11 years, they’ve been using this tunnel to jump from one side of the world to the other, transporting a plethora of limited edition vinyl and dark, atmospheric electro-pop.

A tireless work ethic has produced everything from the early noisy, glam disco punk of Glass Candy & The Shattered Theatre to today’s guitar-less, dulcet disco dance, always fronted by the breath of Ida No’s graceful exhalations and carried by the laboriously produced beats of Johnny Jewel.

For Johnny Jewel, it’s running his own record label–Italians Do It Better with Mike Simonetti–to producing a slew of albums, tracks, artwork, remixes, mixtapes and more with other artists and bands to working through 45 or so songs with Ida No for a new Glass Candy album titled Body Work–eventually out on Italians Do It Better when everything is just right–and the list goes on. It also took the Portland duo 11 years to release their first music video, which dropped this past spring.

Johnny Jewel and Ida No are so busy they don’t have time to conquer the world. It just happened.

As often happens, Glass Candy has been everywhere in the world, sadly away from gigging around PDX for the better part of this last year, but they still feel at home in our city. And when they come home, they like to throw a party. Like this Friday, October 1st at Rotture with friends Chromatics (one of Johnny Jewel’s other projects plus it’s their first PDX show in two years!), Mike Simonetti, and Vice Device. Show starts at 9pm, $8 at the door plus there are a limited number of tickets are available at 360 Vinyl and both Jackpot Records locations.

So when will the elusive Body Work finally be released? In the meantime Glass Candy has a few other treats to tide you over, plus Johnny Jewel as Thomas Magnum on his first vacation in 15 years.

Read the complete interview on OMN.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

q/a : marius libman is copy + then some

A longtime DJ, Marius Libman began performing his one-man electronic music show in 2005 “before I owned a laptop,” says Libman. “I brought a 14-inch LCD screen, a mini-tower PC and a MIDI keyboard to the club.” Since then under the name Copy, he's armed himself with a MIDI-triggering keytar and put out two hot poppy, electronic albums on Audio Dregs, a few mixtapes, remixed artists like Panther, Ratatat, Truckasauras, and Starfucker to name a few (and they’ve remixed him as well), and held down DJ residencies all over town.

Joining the “arty dance rock” band Atole in late 2008, Libman plays the bass and recently started his own band Astrology with Charlie Salas-Humara (Panther and The Planet The) and Mark Onyx (Dinner and The Main Course). He’s also a curator of the monthly Supernature series at Rotture, which hosted LCD Soundsystem as guest DJs last May and Ratatat last week, along with Atole lead singer Manny Reyes and E*Rock.

“Aaaand I just finished up my new copy record, Hard Dream, and that’s set to come out in August.” Err, that’s what Libman said in May while he was still “fiddling” with and finalizing songs. Fast forward to September and Copy just dropped his third album in four years on the 21st and celebrated with a CD release gig last weekend at Rotture. But the all-ages affair happens this weekend at Backspace with Strength (who also just released their “darker” sophomore album earlier this month).

With a hand in many an electronic pie around town, Marius Libman spoke with OMN about his new album, his new live drummer (Andy Parker from Guidance Counselor), his new R. Kelly remix album, and his new “fast, punk-informed” band that loves to “rock out.”

Read the rest and download new tracks from Copy on OMN.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

girl talk drops three-part nye youtube documentary

Gregg Gillis aka Girl Talk spent last New Year’s Eve at Chicago’s Congress Theater with 4,500 fans. Filmmaker JP Coakley was there to capture the action, but this wasn’t your normally inflated $30+ gig because it was NYE.

No, it looked like this:

Get the rest on OMN.

Friday, September 17, 2010

rsvp only riverboat gamblers at satyricon

As you've likely heard, Portland's famed scummy rock 'n' roll club Satyricon is closing it's doors. This time for good as it is destined to be demolished by the neighboring MacDonald Center, which plans to build new facilities for our city’s disadvantaged.

But before it disappears, Satyricon has planned one hell of a month of goodbye gigs in October including intimate--we mean less than 300 person--performances from The Dandy Warhols rocking with original drummer Eric Hedford plus other shows from Richmond Fontaine, Quasi, and Pierced Arrows. Get the complete schedule here.

Starting the celebration a bit early this Sunday, September 19th, you can get in to see the Riverboat Gamblers and Authority Zero for free by RSVP only. Do it now.

Read this article on

audio-visual : ratatat's sold-out romp through the crystal

Like the rise of the laptop DJ, you might worry that two heavily produced, instrumental electronic rockers wielding guitars might get repetitive after a handful of songs on stage. Even actively listening to 40+ consecutive minutes of Ratatat’s instrumentation on album can get monotonous (if you’re not listening to one of their hyphy hip-hopped remix albums). But there’s a reason that Ratatat proclaims their genre is: “Visual / Visual / Visual.” They know how to adapt their instrumentation to the stage, whether or not you are on something chemical.

Selling out the Crystal Ballroom on Thursday night, a steady bongo drum rhythm between sets had the seriously antsy crowd clapping and stomping in preparation for the duo’s overdue appearance on stage. As glittering champagne-like starbursts bubbled on the blue projection screen, Evan Mast and Mike Stroud finally emerged and after a brief intro, the ballroom exploded. Ripping into reverberating riffs on the guitar and bass, Ratatat had the entire place immediately pogoing. Hunched, hair cascading over their faces, the twin silhouetted, long-sleeved duo ground through over an hour of wild instrumentation that captivated the dancing crowd.

With a row of colored Lite-Brite-like boxes stretching the length of the stage behind, flashing patterned X’s, and two clear plastic vertical screens flanking either side, Ratatat remained in the darkness letting the lights perform. Their latest album LP4 features a string quartet rather than their traditional Mellotron but playing strings live were their virtual avatars–hologram projections of themselves in garb out of Mozart’s closet, topped with powdered wigs, wearing sunglasses, and reading sheet music–synced with the samples. Water splashes, sparks and sparklers filled the screen as the fierce “Wildcat” flashed with every cat call (like the cover art to Classics), this white bird jived multiplied (like the cover art to LP4), and jungle scenes ranged from the tranquil “Mahalo” (here) to fireball explosions and infrared heat sensations with Predator Arnold on “Mirando.”

Read the rest on OMN.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

scissor sisters cut the roseland

Lady Gaga should take notes from the Scissor Sisters. All the pent-up flamboyant energy that wasn’t satiated by her Portland show has been building inside–unable to be satisfied by hyper-sexualized dancehall reggae nor hordes of emotionally dramatic indie rock. Not even metal can whet this appetite. No, this urge must be satisfied by ravenous glam-disco-rock clubbers who know how to give an audience exactly what they want, over and over again–all night long.

Before the Scissor Sisters stepped on stage Tuesday night until after the unwelcome lights came back on, the Roseland was one constant scream. Like giddy little girls prying for their momma’s attention, everyone from 30-somethings on a girls night out to couples of all orientations and ages gyrated with abandon as the instantly infectious dance party barreled forward on stage.

Lead singers and decadent performers Jake Shears and Portland’s own daughter Ana Matronic shared the spotlight on a stage perpetually hued in shades of pink and rosé, purples and blues. When absolutely everybody wasn’t singing along to every word, they were screaming, uvulas exposed, for the front freaks’ choreographed dance moves–especially Ana Matronic’s robotic jerks–or the sweat dripping down Shears rippled, bare chest during his sexy calisthenics or Del Marquis’ untamable guitar licks. Blinding white and toxic green lasers blanketed the crowd and thunderous applause followed every song as Scissor Sisters shared cuts from all three of their albums with an emphasis on their latest Night Work.

In her bust-revealing, black plastic dress and red side do, Ana Matronic was excited as ever to be home and Portland was thrilled to have her briefly back. She bantered between songs, every sentence unnecessarily drawing massive cheers, but she did put a smile on every face when she said, “My family has been keeping Portland weird for decades” as she announced that her mom was in the balcony–the one wearing the t-shirt that read: "Mama Matronic."

Read the rest on OMN.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

mfnw 2010 : the national's drama at pioneer square

In late afternoon as summer waned on a beautifully sunny Sunday, the delicate electronic folk of Talkdemonic poured through the blocks of downtown Portland from its source in Pioneer Square. The final gig of MusicfestNW 2010 shared its music with the passing commotion, entering cars, cafes and boutiques as the MAX trundled past on all four sides of the square.

Yellow, sky blue, and white stripes flapped on a field of green as the flag of Portland blew in the cooling wind above the square as The Helio Sequence followed, taking the stage at 5pm. The two-man guitar and drums duo readily generated a full band sound of poppy rock that filled the open-air although the acoustics in the wide space were overtly echoey as much of the crowd lounged on the brick steps content to chat through the their set.

In between sets, something finally captured the audience’s attention: The chubby “Spike Can Dance” supplied a solitary, sweaty dance freak out jiggling around in his spandex biker shorts, rolling on the pavement, and finally collapsing in a gasping heap. A red sharpie heart with the word “DANCE” emblazoned across his back, Spike continued with his sporadic dance bursts, surely the most energetic thing to grace the square all night as the next two sets were wholly dramatic.

As the setting sun illuminated the white buildings behind the stage on Morrison St. with its last light, the shadowy stage radiated a soft purple luminescence as The Walkmen aptly opened their set with “Everyone Who Pretended To Like Me Is Gone.” Repeating “I made the best of it” over and over, it seemed The Walkmen were doing just that as more than half of the audience was still disconnected from the action on stage, but like all polite Portland audiences, they dutifully applauded after each and ever song.

With his passionate croon, lead singer Hamilton Leithauser’s poured forth intense emotion, and the drama of The Walkmen’s soaring piano-driven melodies were almost symphonic at times but ultimately lacked any extra kick to really draw people in. The Walkmen’s continually elegant and theatric tunes have never been able to eclipse the tight quality of their biggest hit “The Rat,” from their second album Bows + Arrows released in 2004, and as they shared several songs from their new album Lisbon, which was released today, The Walkmen drearily rolled through the motions...

Read the rest on OMN.

Friday, September 10, 2010

mfnw 2010 : rough sexuality explored : major lazer, big freedia, deelay ceelay

People should be outraged when they arrive at a sold-out show to discover that only half of the act will be performing. But in the ubiquitous age of laptop DJ-dancemakers, who needs to watch another white dude stand behind a table of electronics?

So when only one-half of Major Lazer strutted onto the Roseland stage in his slick suit, nobody cared. Even though the ladies surely swoon for Diplo’s boyish sex appeal, it could have been anyone back there tapping away at that table because the real action was thrusting in front of your face in the form of the daggering, diplomat from the Bronx: Skerrit Bwoy.

Major Lazer’s hyper-sexualized electro house, dancehall reggae, hip-hop requires a hyper hype-man. The yellow mohawked commando of dance floor dry sex brought his display of dancehall daggering (where a man and woman dance in a sexually provocative manner, which usually includes simulating various sexual positions, and often times rough sex, to the beat of the music) to the Roseland stage–ladder included.

Practice daggering with caution and let Skerrit Bwoy give you a quick lesson before you attempt what was witnessed on Thursday night.

As the Philly-based beatsmith Diplo kept to the rear of the stage firing beats like blasts from a Tommy gun, Skerrit Bwoy and his bootylicious momma in a lingerie-like tuxedo dickey knocked bones and boots inciting the hot mess below. Shirts were quickly peeled off and knickers were revealed as bodies saucily slipped off one another drenched in salty sweat, looking to imitate the antics on stage. As Skerrit Bwoy bounced and bruised his girl with authoritative thrusts, helicopter spins, and wheelbarrow kicks, the daggering attempts below were in vain because the audience was too tightly jammed–basically sexually assaulting each other from all sides.

Climbing his ladder and dropping trou, Skerrit Bwoy launched himself in between the spread-eagle legs of his partner, but the lady had her revenge after a night of chauvinist pummeling as she showed girls can play just as rough as the boys taking her own leap from the ladder.

Read the rest on OMN.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

bumbershoot : anvil’s sincere metal antics

“Yes, metal music is timeless,” declared Lips as bared his teeth in front of a damp Bumbershoot crowd on Monday evening in Seattle.

Anvil has been making (and inventing) thrash metal for almost 30 years now and nothing will stop them. Seattle metal fans had no qualms braving the rain, Ronnie James Dio horns held high, pumping to the pummeling beat and the most important component of metal (according to guitarist and vocalist Lips): “The electric, distorted guitar.”

After headlining major festivals with metal’s biggest names in the early ’80s, Anvil has spent most of the last two decades relentlessly pumping out music–including their thirteenth studio album This Is Thirteen in 2007–but no one was paying attention. The 2008 documentary Anvil! The Story of Anvil showed the world that heavy metal’s original rockers still existed and had been persistently producing music, touring and working hard. Since then, there’s been an Anvil resurgence. And no one could be more gracious than Lips.

“Everything’s changed. We’re famous!” laughed the good-natured Lips when he spoke with OMN a few days before Anvil arrived in Seattle “We’ve been everywhere, man. All over the world, it’s pretty incredible.” They’ve recently opened for AC/DC. This summer they’ve shared the stage with Mötley Crüe, Iron Maiden, and Alice Cooper. People are rediscovering Anvil.

“It wouldn’t be the first time I felt that [we're leading a metal movement],” chuckled Lips. “I dunno, it’s [we are] part of what’s making it revive. I can’t say that I’m going to take full responsibility. It’s definitely brought an awareness that may never have been there otherwise.”

Old fans have always been by their side but, as Lips revealed, about 80% of the fans are new–new converts to metal or others rediscovering the genre after viewing the Anvil documentary.

“How many of you have seen the movie?” he asked calling all the fans his “friends.” Listening to him talk, you understand that he genuinely means “friend” when he says it. “You’ve all been to my house for Christmas. You’ve met my mother!” he exclaimed before the brooding title track “This Is Thirteen.”

Wearing a sleeveless black tee, which displayed his black anvil tattoo, with a red Canadian leaf adorning across the chest, the words “eh?” in the middle, Lips brought his classic, lewd antics to the stage–playing his Flying V with a vibrator, shouting repeat-after-me yeahs into the guitar pickup, or giving himself a “power boost” by putting the hot guitar jack on tongue to produce a squelch of feedback. Not to be outdone, drummer Robb Reiner was indulgently allowed his own extended solo. While the rest of the band took a break off stage, Reiner expelled a blisteringly ridiculous explosion of driving metal drumming, furiously kicking the two Anvil-emblazoned bass drums.

Read the rest on OMN.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

mfnw 2010 : omn’s picks for musicfestnw’s tenth anniversary

In its tenth year, the citywide 2010 MusicFestNW festival brings more than 160 musicians and bands to 20 venues across town from Wednesday, September 8th to Sunday, September 12th. This year’s fest also features two new outdoor showcases on Saturday and Sunday in Pioneer Courthouse Square with headliners The Decemberists and The National filling the square as well as two free, all-ages evening showcases at the Wonder Ballroom presented by Nike including Ra Ra Riot, Phantogram, and Washed Out on Thursday, September 9th and Black Lips, Surfer Blood, and Male Bonding on Friday, September 10th. To gain entry you need an all-fest wristband or you can grab a free Nike Sportswear Pass from either Jackpot Records locations starting at 10am on the day of each show. The gigs are first come, first serve and will fill up so get there early and get in line. Doors open at 3:30pm with the gig start time scheduled for 4:30pm.

All-show festival wristbands are still on sale for $90 as well as a second $65 option, which is valid for one of the two outdoor shows (The Decemberists or The National). Many individual tickets have already sold out so check out the rest of the ticketing information here.

Get OMN's daily picks here.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

bumbershoot : health video interview

HEALTH ushered in the wildest, loudest, most hair flying (thanks to bassist John Famiglietti) set of the day with their ravaging, rhythmically battering noise exploding before the psychedelically molded metallic exterior of the Experience Music Project. Sequencers and pedals, kneeling on the floor for synths and screeching violently, they passed a sonic hernia in squelching, pain-inducing eruptions.

But before HEALTH took the Center Square Stage, the foursome quickly caught up with Oregon Music News in atrium of EMP.

Read the rest and see more photos of HEALTH on OMN.