Snapshot of Passport Approved (10/31/14)

Milky Chance "Stunner" (Kassel, Germany)
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Widmer Bros. "Perfect Playlist" 10/31/14


Dead Kennedys "Halloween"
The Specials "Ghost Town"
Michael Jackson "Thriller"
Black Keys "Howlin' For You"
David Bowie "Scary Monsters & Super Creeps"
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Widmer Bros. "Perfect Playlist" 10/30/14


Spoon "The Fitted Shirt"
The Raconteurs "These Stones Will Shout"
Franz Ferdinand "Lucid Dreams"
Q-Feel "Dancing In Heaven (Orbital Be-Bop)"
Hum "Stars"
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Snapshot of Passport Approved (10/30/14)

The Asteroids Galaxy Tour "Navigator" (Dennmark)
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Widmer Bros. "Perfect Playlist" 10/29/14

Sasha Scarlett

Oingo Boingo "Dead Man's Party"
Muse "Madness"
The Killers "Somebody Told Me"
The Cranberries "Zombie"
Kings Of Leon "Sex On Fire"
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Snapshot of Passport Approved (10/29/14)

Dotan "Home" (Amsterdam, Holland)
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Locations : Amsterdam


In The Valley Below :: Mississippi Studios :: 10.25.14

The build up to December to Remember continued on Saturday afternoon, as In The Valley Below played the latest 94/7 Session at Mississippi Studios. Although the fierce winds and the occasional falling tree limb may have kept some of Portland's less adventurous music lovers at home, by the time Mark Hamilton took to the stage to introduce the band, a respectable crowd had gathered to witness the Los Angeles duo's Portland debut. 

The first thing you notice about ITVB when you see them live is the heavy Fleetwood Mac vibe, both in terms of the band's somewhat folk-influenced sound and singer Angela Gail's Stevie Nicks-esque sense of style. The comparison is also bolstered by the fact that while the duo often behaves like a couple on stage (sharing a drink, singing arm-in-arm, etc), both the blogosphere and their own publicity materials are extremely ambiguous as to whether or not the duo is an item in real life. Regardless, Gail and guitarist Jeffrey Jacob are definitely at their strongest as a duet - while Gail's solos have a sort of beautiful severity to them, the duo really shines when Jacob adds his voice to the mix, most notably on their single "Peaches," which takes on a decidedly rocky vibe when played live.

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Widmer Bros. "Perfect Playlist" 10/28/14


M83 "We Own The Sky"
TV On The Radio "Wolf Like Me"
Bloc Party "Banquet"
Black Angels "Young Men Dead"
The Shins "Sea Legs"
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Snapshot of Passport Approved (10/28/14)

Hurricane Dean "Rosehip" (Germany)
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The Lemonheads & The Psychedelic Furs :: Aladdin Theater :: 10.23.14

The next season of Portlandia may still be a few months away, but Thursday night proved that if nothing else, The Dream of the Eighties (and Nineties) is alive in Portland, as a sold out crowd packed into the Aladdin Theater to see The Lemonheads and The Psychedelic Furs. Although neither band would be considered particularly relevant on today's scene, during their respective moments in time, each band helped capture of the zeitgeist of their respective eras, and their music is still evocative of those timeframes: Thatcher-era working class England in the case of The Fur and the Empire Records-esque suburbia in the case of The Lemonheads. 

Musically and performance-wise, however, the bands are very different. The Lemonheads gave a raw, rough-around-the-edges performance complete with copious feedback early in the set and frequent mumbling, half-sung asides from Evan Dando between songs. The roughness worked with the band's punk/alternative rock sound, though, and it made me think of the Portland I remembered in my youth - the era of Clerks, of Chrysler K-Cars, of Eastport Plaza and Mall 205, and of Lloyd Center before it had a roof. (I realise that I mentioned three malls in that last sentence. Hey, it was the Nineties.)

Conversely, The Psychedelic Furs gave a very slick performance, one that belied their roots in Britain's gritty post-punk scene. For almost two hours, the Butler brothers held court at The Aladdin, working through a good chunk of their extensive discography. (Many of us may remember the band predominantly for their contribution to the Pretty In Pink soundtrack, but I had forgotten just how many singles they produced in the eighties that got substantial airplay.) Despite being almost sixty, frontman Richard Butler sings with surprising energy, jumping up and down, kneeling at the edge of the stage and frequently reaching out to high-five fans in the crowd. They may not be at the forefront of our cultural awareness these days, but for two hours at The Aladdin, Butler was a man speaking to his people - and they seemed to hang on his every word.

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Locations : Portland
People : Evan DandoRichard Butler


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