Oregon

Guest Mixtape + Interview / Greylag “The Essence of the Pacific Northwest”

Photo Credit: Greylag

It’s true that there are no shortage of emotive folk artists in the world, but that certainly does not negate their ability to make an impact.

Take Greylag for example; the band has captured such purity in their music that it is impossible not to connect with them.  Minimal and raw, their debut EP, The Only Way To Kill You, is far too short to do justice to the depth of emotion that the band is capable of.

In a way that I can’t quite describe (maybe because I haven’t been myself) it makes complete sense for them to pay homage to the Pacific Northwest with their mix.  Yes, the band is based in Portland, but the relationship is deeper than that.  Their whole “musical aura” seems to be the color of gloomy skies, and the feel of a cool drizzle on your skin.
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RIYL Mixtape / The Head and The Heart :: There’s No Place Like Home?

By Amanda DK

It seems like Seattle sextet, The Head and The Heart have been everywhere in 2011.  In fact, I have it on good authority that by the end of the year they will have played over 250 shows.  Pretty mind boggling.  After self-releasing their debut album in June 2010, it eventually caught the attention of indie label Sub Pop who signed the band and then re-mastered and re-released it in January with a couple new tracks.  Since then they have been all over the world charming audiences with their warm, rowdy alt-country energy, compelling songwriting and rich harmonies.  NPR named them as one of “Five Artists You Should Have Known In 2010,” and they made it onto several “Best of 2010” year end lists, including I Am Fuel, You Are Friends and, well, Tadpole Audio, to name a couple.  I’ve reviewed their live show twice, once for SXSW 2011 and most recently for the 2011 Treasure Island Music Festival.  In the wake of their success, several other 5+ member groups that all excel in resonant, melodic folk have emerged equally deserving of attention.

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Neat Tracks / Y La Bamba “Juniper”

by Amanda DK

I’ll admit it, often when I present you with a track that is neat, I’m really recommending the entire album.  So while I’m not saying I didn’t enjoy Lupon, the sophomore release from Portland’s Y La Bamba, it just didn’t grab me the way “Juniper” did.  As in “Juniper,” the best parts of the album were when the trimmings were simple – the combination of haunting lead vocalist Luz Elena, and a romantic acoustic guitar would have been enough to lure me in.
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Guest Mixtape + Interview / The Parson Red Heads: The 1980’s You Can Feel Okay Telling Your Friends That You Like…

 

It should be made an official rule: If you have never heard of (or even heard) The Parson Red Heads, you cannot consider yourself a fan of the local Los Angeles music scene.  I’d even wager that 75% of the people living in the Silverlake, Los Feliz, and Echo Park know one of the past or present members personally.  Of course, considering that at any one time they could have as many as 15 members on stage (though there are 6 core members of the group), that’s not as great of a feat.  And with that many members, chances are even if you haven’t seen The Parson Red Heads as a whole, you will definitely have seen a past or present Parson out and about performing at different times with other LA bands like The World Record, The Idaho Falls, The Ghost Kings, Hungry Birds and up in Portland, Houndstooth, Old Light and Denver.  They’ve even got a new side project, Dome, kicking into gear soon, which I’m told “will be heavy”…but I digress.

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Neat Tracks / AgesandAges “Under A Cloud Shaped Like A Tomb”

 

Photo Credit: Alicia J. Rose

I was introduced to AgesandAges by my lovely friends at Terrorbird Media, who almost always seem to deliver something I will like.  Borne of Portland, Oregon, they’re a little bit country, a lot a bit indie pop, with happy twee clapping and stomping, made all the more effective by the fact that there are seven of them all joining the party.

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