Since the early days of KNRK, Passport Approved has been a weekly fixture on 94/7. For the past ten years, Portlanders have tuned in to hear host Sat Bisla introduce new music from all over the world - but on Friday night at the Doug Fir Lounge, they got to see the music firsthand. Prior to the show, we caught up with Sat and 94/7 Program Director Mark Hamilton, who took a few moments to celebrate Passport Approved's unofficial ten-year anniversary, noting that 94/7 was the second station in the nation to play Passport Approved and recounting some of Sat's more notable finds: The Ting Tings, Gotye, Adele and more recently, Lorde. But Sat came armed with more than just recollections - he also had four up-and-coming artists in tow.
GIORGI + LEO
Husband and wife duo Giorgi + Leo were the first act to take the stage, opening with a gutsy cover of Prince's "When Doves Cry." The only non-Australian act of the evening, Giorgi + Leo have a multinational pedigree - lately of London, Giorgi is originally from Los Angeles and Leo hails from Rome. Musically, they sound like someone crossed the The XX's guitar work with Ms Mr's vocals (albeit without as much of the 80's vibe). Although they're a little more pop-oriented than most of the bands we normally cover, they've got a solid sound.
Melbourne rocker Hamish Anderson was up next, with a bluesy set that combined Claptonesque riffs with Jacob Dylan-like vocals - not unimpressive for a guy in his early twenties. While he rocks out on most of his songs, some of his songs take on a more folky vibe. His recent single, "Howl" is definitely worth a listen.
Sydney rockers Lime Cordiale would be easy to dismiss as just another surf rock group, were it not for two things: first, most surf rockers don't usually feature trombones and trumpets in their lineup; secondly, few bands pull off the genre quite as deftly as these guys do. (If you want to see what I'm talking about, check out their single "Sleeping At Your Door.") With honey-sweet vocals and catchy hooks, Lime Cordiale sounds like they're straight out of the past - and it's a past I wish I lived in.
MONKS OF MELLONWAH
Within minutes of taking the stage, Monks of Mellonwah succeeded in answering a question that I had hitherto never thought to ask: Can Australians do Southern Rock? The answer is yes, sortof. Ok, maybe it's not Southern Rock, exactly, but the Syndey band has a semi-operatic quality that wouldn't sound out of place on a Red Hot Chili Peppers record... or on a cover of Skynyrd's "Simple Man" (I'm not saying that they would ever want to do this - just that they could pull it off).