June 4, 2009

Sasquatch Day Three (in Pictures)


Girl Talk ::: Photo by Josh Lovseth

There is no question that day three of Sasquatch for us was all about Monotonix’ set, their last set in the U.S. for a while before heading back across the Atlantic to release a new record. Grizzly Bear’s main stage set came in a close second. I also had the privilege sneak in an interview and a Gorge portrait with Hardly Art’s the Pica Beats after their longish very good set at the Yeti stage, so look for that later today. We ended the day with Girl Talk’s non-stop dance party, which of course jumped off an expansive conversation on the legitimacy of sampling, legally and as an artistic device. See all of our day three pictures at our flickr page.

Other Lives ::: Photo by Josh Lovseth

The Pica Beats ::: Photo by Josh Lovseth

The Pica Beats ::: Photo by Josh Lovseth

Black Moth Super Rainbow ::: Photo by Abbey Simmons

Blitzen Trapper ::: Photo by Josh Lovseth

School Of Seven Bells ::: Photo by Josh Lovseth

Grizzly Bear ::: Photo by Josh Lovseth


May 22, 2009

Sasquatch <3 Portland


the builders and the butchers

The Builders and the Butchers ::: Photo by Josh

Last year Sasquatch showed Seattle’s up and comer’s a whole lot of love, and this year Portland is the local city with the honor of the most performers. In fact it’s a veritable who’s who of notables coming out of PDX: Hockey, Blind Pilot, Loch Lomond, M Ward, The Decemberists, Viva Voce, Pt. Juncture, WA, The Builders and the Butchers, Blitzen Trapper, Horse Feathers. We can honestly say there’s not a bad one in the bunch and something for everyone, with a small gripe that maybe a little more female representation from the Rose city might’ve been nice (Laura Viers, Mirah, Explode into Colors… the list is lengthy).

To help you decide about which of these distinguished Oregonian bands you should see, I’ve assembled a nice list of free tracks from each of these bands (except one band who keeps a tight grip on their tracks online) for you to evaluate on the long drive to the Gorge. Enjoy and make sure to pick up these band’s albums should you like what you hear. A number of these bands including the Decemberists and Blind Pilot will be signing their albums at the Easy Street Booth throughout the festival, so take a look at that schedule too.

MP3: “Go On Say It” by Blind Pilot courtesy of SXSW 2009

MP3: “Blue Lead Fences” by Loch Lomond courtesy of SXSW 2009

MP3:Never Had No One Like You” by M Ward courtesy of Merge Records

MP3:Here I Dreamt I Was an Architect” by The Decemberists courtesy of Kill Rock Stars

MP3: “Devotion” by Viva Voce courtesy of Barsuk Records

MP3: “Sick on Sugar” by Pt. Juncture, WA courtesy of Pt. Juncture, WA

MP3: “Devil Town” by The Builders and the Butchers

MP3: “Gold For Bread” by Blitzen Trapper courtesy of Sub Pop Records

MP3: “Curs in the Weeds” by Horse Feathers courtesy of Kill Rock Stars

Video: “Too Fake” by Hockey

April 21, 2009

Make it Pop! PDX Pop Now Benefit Show


Portland’s community of musicians always seem to band together and put on the best benefit shows. This year’s benefit for PDX Pop Now! happening next week is no exception. Just before heading out on tour with the Shins, James Mercer will roll solo, along with a number of other local frontmen.

Complete details are on the poster above, and below.

Make It Pop! A Benefit for PDX Pop Now! Thursday, April 30 The Cleaners at The Ace Hotel All-Ages $30

Featuring performances by James Mercer of The Shins Marty Marquis of Blitzen Trapper Brandon Summers of The Helio Sequence Loch Lomond Ryan Sollee of The Builders & The Butchers Dantronix (Video DJ)

Plus admission includes sundry comestible treats from sponsors such as Bakery Bar, Artemis Catering, St. Cupcake and Captured by Porches Brewing.

Tickets are at Brown Paper Tickets.

December 5, 2008

The Daily Choice: The Weekend Edition


Ahhhhhh yeah, it’s weekend time, which for Noah Sanders just means that I won’t have to go to work drunk on Sunday.  There’s a slew of good shows happening about town and I’m going to try to tap in to the deep parts of your grey matter to pick which ones I think you’d best like.  Alright, bald-faced lie, these are the shows I might be attending and if you’d rather do something else, I think you’re wrong, but entirely right in your choice to differ.


Blitzen Trapper, The Parson Red Heads, & PWRFL PWR @ CHOP SUEY

I’ve been trying to shove Blitzen Trapper down the throats of each and every person I know and, possibly, love for as long as I’ve been spinning Wild Mountain Nation on my ghettoblaster.  These guys are as good as everyone says, talented, alt-country rocking sons of bitches that put on a damn good live show.  You can avoid them again, telling yourself that their just a “flash in the pan” and then afterwards when everyone is talking about how good a show it is, you can impress them by kicking yourself in the nuts.


The Wild Orchid Children and The New Faces @ The Sunset

The Wild Orchid Children will quite possibly melt your face off.  I saw them when I was extremely intoxicated many months ago (that’s what Olympic’s Open Ceremony drinking games will do to you) and was head-smashingly happy to see how wild these fellows actually are.  Thomas, guitar-guy, fell down repeatedly, while Kurt, singer guy, manhandled the mike like it was stealing his tips.  This, was, awesome.


Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band @ Neumos

I don’t really get Mt. St. Helens’ Vietnam Band.  I don’t know where they came from, or why they’re so popular all of sudden and this might be contributed to by the fact that I haven’t listened to their music nor seen them live.  Thus, for the betterment of all, I will go to this show (or at least speak of going to this show) so I will no longer be, uh befuddled by the dark cloud of ignorance that hangs over them.

Oh and by the way, I’ve realized that I’m pretty limited in my knowledge of what bands are playing where, so if you want me to check out a show or give you some love, send me a note with your date and where you’re playing at.  I’m friendly … sometimes.

Blitzen Trapper – Furr

September 12, 2008

Listen to the entire new Blitzen Trapper album … now.


You know I was going to write up the pretty amazing new album from kings of consistency Blitzen Trapper (and I still might) but for now, I just want you to head on over to their Myspace page, pop out the player, and let this country-fed indie blitz (…en trapper) wash over your overly urbanized ears.  I’m not going to say that this is the best album that’ll strike your speakers this moon cycle, but I will go on record as saying this: Blitzen Trapper always delivers a brand of indie pop that pushes above and beyond the stale crud that so often clogs our sensitive eardrums, incorporating the gentle twang of country guitar, with the schizo guitar freak outs of indie rockers past.

You don’t even have to buy the damn thing, just go check it out, and if you don’t want to buy it then, you’re an evil bastard and you rightfully deserve it when strangers spit at you.  I’m kidding, no seriously, kidding.

So here’s the Myspace.

Blitzen Trapper – Furr

September 5, 2008

Bumbershooting: Blitzen Trapper


Lead singer Eric Earley :: Photo by joshc

I saw Blitzen Trapper at Bumbershoot and here’s a few things I brought home with me:

1.  Blitzen Trapper is one of the hardest working bands in America.  I’ve seen them probably five times now and I can’t ever get over how solid and dependable of a show they put on.  Sure, it may get lost in the glitz and glamour of some of the more ridiculous acts like Man Man or Dan Deacon, but you can always expect to be strongly entertained by the alt-country-freak out that is Blitzen Trapper.  It’s sort of sad to me that the times I’ve seen them, they’ve been overshadowed by bigger openers or the above mentioned flash of other bands, because they deserve a strong audience.

2.  That said, I’ve seen them twice, very recently, and the first time they played a set that relied heavily on their more country songs, and I’ve got to be honest, I really enjoyed it.  These gents have a beautiful control of harmony that mixes well with lead singer Eric Earley’s gravelly voice.  This go around they played a good deal of the harder (comparably) stuff off the new album, and though it wasn’t bad, I couldn’t get in to as much.  This could also be because I was recovering from one of the worst hangovers of my life, and trying not to fall asleep/vomit on the weird red tube thing that overshadowed the Rockstar Stage.

3.  I’ve heard “Furr”, the new single of their new album which drops September 9th, twice now live and it is a beautiful, beautiful pastoral number.  It eschews a lot of the noisier business BT is known for and just focuses on Eric Earley’s voice and his lyrics about the country and life and on and on and on.  It’s sort of in constant rotation these days at the old Noah Headquarters, and it’s reason enough to drop some dough on the new album.

It’s a Chorus Line! :: Photo by serotonein

4.  It pissed me off that every time anyone has even the slightest bit of gravel in their voice people either compare them to Dylan or Tom Waits.  Sure, Earley has a bit of Bob Dylan’s nasally twang in his roughed up holler, but, who doesn’t these days?  Any act making folk music these days owes more debts than Harvard’s student loans, so pointing out that said acts are reminiscent of Dylan/Waits is just repetitive drivel and if you’d please, stop doing it.


August 12, 2008



j tillman

J Tillman ::: Photo by Josh

SOLO:NEW. In case you missed it last week, Pitchfork has a new J Tillman song called “Steel on Steel” from his forthcoming album titled, Vacilando Territory Blues. The song is with a full band and, in my humble opinion, very worth the listen.

PDX:NEW. Blitzen Trapper has made available the title track from their upcoming LP named “Furr.” You can download it from Sub Pop.

ALBUM:NEW. Seattle’s Jaguar Love, who is currently opening for the Faint on tour, are streaming their new album titled Take Me To the Sea on their myspace page this week before it comes out. 29000 listens for a couple of the tracks just today… pretty rad!

VIDEO:NEW. The Bowerbirds now have a video for “In Our Talons.” You should watch it below.

July 24, 2008

SP20: Sunday


Photo by ktjen

It’s been almost two weeks since SP20 occurred, Capitol Hill Block Part is, well by the time I finish this at least, tomorrow and I’m just attempting to polish off my coverage of the event. So, in true Noah Sanders tradition, I’ll be truncating my extensive thoughts (quickly dwindling as time goes on) in to five very quick, very informative bullet points about the events/thoughts I most vividly remember on day 2 of what I’ll continue to refer to as “the greatest musical experience I’ve been a part of”.

Once again, thanks to Sub Pop for continuing to remind me why they’re hands down the greatest record label working this days by truly putting on a celebration of their music, their friends, and all of their extremely respectful fans. It was a magical weekend and, again, I pity those who didn’t make the effort to get out there. Oh, how I pity.

So here we go:

1. No Age was, well, exactly what you’d think a live performance by No Age would be like. Dean Spunt and Randy Randall acted like a couple of talented hipsters, who’d snuck on stage with some stolen equipment to jam out some noisy melodics for a bit. It wasn’t amazing, but it was certainly solid and it did nothing to damage my huge adoration for their recent release Nouns. There were rumors that the duo would be playing within the confines of a dank basement for an unannounced house party and thats where I’d like to see them, in a tiny, sweaty little hole where the tricky distortion and Spunt’s oozing, dirty vocals could really sink in.

Fleet Foxes::Shawn Brackbill

2. I’ve seen the Fleet Foxes maybe five times now, in Austin, in Seattle, at festivals, in small clubs – hell, I feel like I’ve literally watched this uber-talented band grow in both stage presence and fanbase like a creepy old uncle. And I’ll say this: while the band, mainly Robin Pecknold, continues to blow my mind with the sheer force of beauty they’re able to create, I think they might be getting a little big for their britches. The sense of playful modesty I encountered the first few go-arounds is pretty much gone these days. Maybe it’s been the extensive touring that’s whittled them down, but I feel as if they’re very conscious of this newfound fame and they seem almost too cool for school. I’m not poo-pooing the outfit, Pecknold still has some of the more stunning pipes out there these days, I just miss the modest “gee shucks” attitude these local yokels used to expound. If you haven’t seen them, check them out this Saturday at the Block Party, your mind will be blown.

3. Blitzen Trapper has to be one of the more talented, more underappreciated bands working today. I’ve seen them live three times now, and after each performance I fall more in love with their indy-alt-country sensibilities. It was a sad sight at SP20 to watch majority of the crowd clear, favoring the shade of the adjoining stage, leaving only a small contingent of intelligent fans to truly enjoy a more country-minded collection of Blitzen Trapper tracks. On stage audience size doesn’t seem to matter to these gentleman, be it four fans or four hundred these guys are giving it their all, yelling, screaming, jumping, shaking their money makers to entertain the shit out of the audience. Even in the frequent soft moments during their SP20 set, their was such palpable emotion flowing from the stage. It was mighty impressive, and I can only wish that more were around to see it.


July 20, 2007

Local Music News This Week


Smoosh to open for Bloc Party! In September Smoosh will be doing some dates in Canada and MidWest/Midsouth. Dates below the fold. 

All Ages venues experiencing a rennaissance? Seattle Times seems to think so. They talk about a few in today’s paper. They neglected to mention the Old Firehouse in Redmond and the recent Atlas Clothing concerts. To my eyes it seems like more and more shows at the Crocodile Cafe are becoming all ages as well.

Blitzen Trapper Sign to Sub Pop. Carrying the torch of the Grateful Dead without being a jam band has gotten some people’s attention. Nice job! They’ll hit the Crocodile on August 3. In other Sub Pop news, Rogue Wave has been lured away by Jack Johnson’s Brushfire Records.

The Stranger’s Primer on lighting up at a concert. The short of it is don’t do it, because if you do, it’s likely the venue will get in more trouble than you will. While most agree that the smoking ban is a good thing, the NIMBY’s are out to catch even the smallest infraction and report it.

City names problem clubs – in error? With the nightlife legistlation being reworked right now and the mayor trying to drum up support for his version, the city named a number of problem clubs (mostly in Pioneer Square) except that the data they use doesn’t really show how much a problem a club is. Instead of just counting noise violations and altercations involving violence, the database counts seemingly every report of anything happening at the clubs. The Last Supper club claims they have never been cited by anyone, yet they are on the list. WTF?