Monday 28 Jul

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
Home · Articles · Music · Music · Po' Girl heads for home on the...

Po' Girl heads for home on the road and schedules a visit with its metro-area parental surrogates

Chris Parker February 4th, 2010

Po' Girl9 p.m. Saturdaythe Blue Door2805 N.$20 Many people discover music, but for some, it discovers them. For Allison Russell and Awna Teixeira, music offered the...

Po' Girl
9 p.m. Saturday
the Blue Door
2805 N. McKinley

Many people discover music, but for some, it discovers them. For Allison Russell and Awna Teixeira, music offered the comfort and purpose that home never did.

Traveling the country the last decade playing soulful, harmony-rich Americana, they've forged a whole new family to replace the one they left behind as teenage runaways. It's a story the two relate in their song "Poor Girl," off 2004's appropriately titled second album, "Vagabond Lullabies."

Told in two parts, the first recounts being 15 and finding shelter in a punk-rock house, where "Nothing in the fridge but a bottle of gin / Music was my only friend way back then." The second segment is a lulling paean, haunted by steel guitar, as they sing, "Take me winding road, curve my troubles away."

"We would have these monthly, big potlucks, and people would come with friends of friends. It was a word-of-mouth thing and it would always turn into a huge jam," Russell said. "Both Awna and I grew up in different places and different ways, but we both had sort of unfortunate childhoods and left home really early. We were very lucky in that we met great people, many of whom are musicians who kind of influenced us in positive ways, and music became something that remains a lifeline for us."

That spirit infuses the Canadian act's pretty, loping country-folk and energizes its live shows. Spending so much time without a real home made the road a natural transition.

"When we succeed in transmitting some of the joy we have playing together, that's basically my church or my form of worship in this world. It makes me feel better. My problem is when I'm not playing music, that's when things get difficult," Russell said with a laugh.

She initially formed the band with Trish Klein, whose room she took in that flophouse. Klein had recently formed The Be Good Tanyas with three other regulars in the place. Like that group, Po' Girl featured beautiful harmonies over an old-fashioned, mountain-folk sound. Over time, their approaches have diverged somewhat, as Po' Girl embraced broader, more textured tapestries employing strings, horns and whatever else was on hand.

Nowhere is this more apparent than on last year's "Deer in the Night." While its folk underpinnings are still firmly in place, the group employs a variety of instruments, including glockenspiel, Wurlitzer organ, accordion and clarinet, as well as guitar, banjo and Teixeira's gut-bucket bass, in forging full, sonorous arrangements of resplendent beauty.

"We've just been really expanding our horizons musically and opening our minds up as to what we consider an instrument," Russell said. "Bicycle bells are featured on the title tracks of 'Deer in the Night,' and I think they are perfect and just as legitimate as an organ, clarinet or what have you."

The quartet " which includes drummer Mikey August and Benny Sidelinger, who replaced Klein three years ago " demonstrates its collective chops live, where they frequently switch instruments, although Russell avers it's more about discovering different tones than displaying proficiency.

"We are all in some way accidental multi-instrumentalists," she said. "You start to realize that each individual instrument has its own unique voice, and for me, it's almost as though they have their own songs waiting inside of them that you can only access when you're playing that instrument. I think it's fun for the audience and, to a degree, demystifies it " like anyone can play a banjo, anyone can play some piano. You don't have to be Glenn Gould to make something sound nice on the piano."

Po' Girl has developed close friendships during its cross-country travels, expressing a great fondness for a Barry and Marjorie from Yukon, whom Russell called the troupe's "surrogate parents."

"Marjorie browbeat about 20 of her friends into coming to our first show at The Blue Door. Otherwise, there would've been no one there, because no one knew who we were," she said. "At the end of the night, one by one, they came up and said, 'Marjorie wouldn't leave me alone until I said I'd come to the show, but I really enjoyed it.' People like that make all the difference for a little band like ours, who are not going to be topping any pop charts anytime soon.""Chris Parker
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