August 1, 2008

Interview: Ryan Solle of Builders and the Butchers


In terms of my Capitol Hill Block Party recommendations from last week, none was higher than my push for our loyal readers to head towards The Builders and the Butchers’ Saturday afternoon set.  Though, for reasons I’m still trying to piece together I missed the recommended set, I caught The Builders’ impressive live show earlier this year down in Portland, and absolutely couldn’t believe my eyes or ears.  Now, many months and many, many spins of their debut LP later, they’ve quickly elevated to the small group of bands I tenatively deem “favorites”.

Ryan Sollee, lead singer and guitarist for the motley, sometimes-fivesome was nice enough to give some solid answers to a few of my more burning questions on the more literary aspects of the Portland music scene, where the darkness in his music comes from, and oh so much more.


Ryan Sollee :: Photo by kirstiecat

SOUND ON THE SOUND: First of all, where exactly does the name The Builders and The Butchers come from?

Ryan Sollee: It took us about 6 months to come up with the name, originally the band was called The Funeral Band, but we knew we needed another name. I think it’s this way with most bands, it’s the only name nobody hated. SOTS: How did The Builders and The Butchers come together originally?

RS: My friend Adrienne (Autopilot is for Lovers) and I wanted to start writing darkly themed songs to be played acoustic for people at large gatherings. I think the original idea for the band and what it has become is very different, we had a handfull of songs written and started played one night at the house where the rest of the guys live. From there we practiced for about a month and played our first shows at Halloween house parties and outside a Bob Log III show.

SOTS: How did you decided upon your onstage set-up? I saw you guys at The Willamette Week Best New Band Showcase and was blown away by the usage of two auxiliary percussionists?

RS: Since our first shows we’ve had the two drummers, it wasn’t ever talked about, one day Paul just put the bass drum on its side and there it was. We bought an old field snare for Ray at a thrift store. Other percussion has slowly been added to try to mix things up. I like the idea of two people essentially playing one drum kit.


May 23, 2008

Friday Distractions


Something to make your Friday go a little easier.

A new Decemberists Song called “Zoot” makes an appearance at the Showbox…

… and Band of Horses have a new video for “No One’s Gonna Love You.”

If you’ve got a bit of time, you can watch Mudhoney’s pretty good in-store at Easy Street from last Tuesday courtesy of SyncLive.


Grand Archives visited Daytrotter yesterday. Mason Jennings did on Tuesday.

May 21, 2008

The Local Beat – Fourth Week in May


75000 strong

Death Cab’s Narrow Stairs debuts at #1. 143,000 copies ain’t bad. |billboard|

Death Cab took over Stereogum on Tuesday. Acting as guest writers Gibbard and Co. remembered Warren G, pondered the “Radiohead Model,” talked about the making of their new album, and took reader questions. |stereogum|

223 people? That’s how many people are now allowed on the Neumos main floor due to overcrowding issues. Yet the SFD says their “a model” on “fire and life safety.” I don’t get it. |slog|

Barsuk signs Ra Ra Riot. A new member is welcomed into the northwest label’s family. |tig|

Easy Street Artist Signing table at saquatch schedule announced. They’ve got a band scheduled for pretty much every hour this weekend. Meet and greet! |tig|

Update: Oh yeah, and the Decemberists played before a crowd of 75,000 gathered for an Obama Rally. How did I forget that? Nilina was there. |pitchfork|

December 22, 2006



Abbey and I went and saw the Danielson documentary. Fascinating. Sufjan is prominently featured as he was a touring member for a short time, they talk about a group called “Jesus People,” and have a ton of live performance footage. I hadn’t realized the influence Danielson had on Sufjan until watching this. They said the DVD will be out in five months or so. Definitely worth watching.

In case you missed it, guitarmageddon was last night on the Colbert (pronounced Col-bear) Report (pronounced re-poor). It consumed the entire show and featured a hilarious cast of characters featuring Chris Funk, guitarist of the Decemberists, as Stephen’s challenger. The build up was amazing but could Colbert survive? (Pfork spoiler).

Stereogum announced the Gummy awards. These are the indie rock awards voted on by the readers of Stereogum. Top 30 albums, indie rock hotties, best music blog, and more. The indie rock female hottie was not who I expected at all. Sorry Jenny.