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TJ Mayes - "When Love Comes Down"

’50s era rock ’n’ roll had been long overdue for a rebirth. Thankfully, the stockpile of capable luminaries has not been in short supply over the past few years. 

07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Boare - "playdatshit"

The world is in the midst of an electronic music renaissance, and you find most of this boon of producers laying claim to the club-friendly, bass-dropping variety, holing up in the the free-flowing world of hip-hop beatmaking or pitching their tent on the out-there, boundary-pushing EDM camp.
07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Broncho - "Class Historian"

Broncho has never been hurting in the hook department. The success of the trio’s 2011 debut, Can’t Get Past the Lips, was predicated mostly on its ability to marry melodies with kinetic guitar riffs and anarchic energy. Yet we’ve heard nothing to the degree of pure pop catchiness on display in “Class Historian,” the new single from Broncho’s upcoming sophomore album, Just Enough Hip to Be Woman.
07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Manmade Objects - Monuments

No one wants to be forgotten; everyone wants some sort of legacy, a mark they leave behind as they exit this life for whatever lies beyond.

And for as long as there has been death, there have been monuments — whether austere or understated, abstract or concrete, prominent or tucked away in private — erected by the ones they loved to assure that remembrance, at least for a time.
07/15/2014 | Comments 0

Admirals - Amidst the Blue

Sometimes it helps to not be very good.

Some of the best albums and artists were born out of happy accidents owed to varying degrees of early suckage — the perfect note or chord for a song found by missing the one you are aiming for, failed mimicry of an idol bearing something entirely new and great instead.

07/09/2014 | Comments 0
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Blitzen Trapper wears a deceptive 'Furr'


Becky Carman March 5th, 2009

Cool things about Portland: There's no sales tax; it's the hometown of "Simpsons" creator Matt Groening; the Willamette Valley was the destination of travelers on the Oregon Trail; and there's l...

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Cool things about Portland: There's no sales tax; it's the hometown of "Simpsons" creator Matt Groening; the Willamette Valley was the destination of travelers on the Oregon Trail; and there's lots of locally brewed beer.

Hailing from a city like that, it's no wonder that Blitzen Trapper " Eric Earley, Brian Adrian Koch, Drew Laughery, Marty Marquis, Erik Menteer and Michael VanPelt " is doing pretty well for itself.

The native Stumptowners' fourth record, "Furr," was released last September to much critical acclaim and garnered several "best of" mentions, including a couple from Rolling Stone. Despite the cyberspace response from the new album, frontman Earley said the experimental act's last disc, 2007's "Wild Mountain Nation," likely earned more support from the Web.

"'Furr' hasn't been an Internet hit," he said. "It's been a hit with people that like music and come to shows."

Earley said that, to him, such Web accolades "don't hold much stock, but it's flattering. We sell more records, and we're playing to more people."

FOLK OVERTONES
While that may be true, the number of listeners who can accurately describe what they're hearing is up for debate. While fan reviews frequently name-drop the likes of The Kinks and the Grateful Dead, the folk overtones of the recent LP's title track " and the group's tendency to discuss wildlife " seem to have misled many critics into thinking Blitzen Trapper is a bunch of hippies.

"Strangely, 'Furr' has three folk songs on it," Earley said. "The rest are everything from hard rock to country, which shows the pathetic inconsistency of either our music or music writers. Probably both."

Ironically, "Wild Mountain Nation" was often derided for its utter lack of stability. Where that album was all over the board, the "hard rock" and "country" tracks on "Furr" at least have the decency to sound like they belong on the same album.

"I write and record songs simultaneously, generally the same day," Earley said. "I wrote and recorded about 40 songs last year; 13 ended up on the album. I had other folks choose and sequence the thing. Most people find the record more cohesive because it sounds more hi-fi, (and) get fooled into thinking we're more consistent than we actually are."

Earley was working on the record prior to joining the band for its current two-month tour, but he said he doesn't write on the road. And although the act's MySpace page predictably lists Pavement and Neil Young, Earley said his current influences vary from the expected ("trout fishing in the mountains, riding motorcycles in the desert and riding horses near the Columbia") to the completely left-field ("Dr. Dre and Black Sabbath").

It's a safe bet that the next record will sound as far away from "Furr" as that album did from its predecessor. But one thing will remain consistent: It'll be produced in Blitzen Trapper's own fertile back yard. "Becky Carman

 
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