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Guest post: Photographer Aaron Sharpsteen recalls the April 9th show at the Palace

*photo of San Lorenzo by Aaron Sharpsteen. Other photos from the night can be found on the Deli Portland Facebook page.

The string of beautiful days and nights stirred something, a desire to attend the basic foundation of local underground music: the word-of-mouth house show. There was a time when I was attending these on a regular basis in Portland, years ago...but as it always happens, people move, houses are sold to different people, and I didn’t keep up with the who/what/when/where of it all.

How lucky then was I to find out about one of these shows while attending another, and not only that, but right down the street (literally 6 blocks away) from my deep SouthEast apartment. Armed with a bottle of root-beer schnapps and some cheap beer, I made my way over to a stranger’s house to catch some tunes.

 

The first band of the evening was so called “Russian surf act” Kozyol. The project seems to be the brainchild of Davey Zilban, who plays guitar and sings in Russian, slinging a mash-up of vaguely folksy-sounding surf that was the perfect start to a party. Nothing too aggressive or abrasive, but certainly nothing too relaxed or laid-back, Kozyol hit the perfect tempo and got bodies moving immediately. I knew it was going to be a good night.

 

Next up was Dim Wit, in this iteration a two-piece with Zilban moving back to drums and Jeff Tuyay moving up to sing and play guitar. Dim Wit is obviously a play on words, as I found the lyrics quite witty and compelling, and Tuyay very charming and natural as a lead man. There’s something pleasing about a minimalist set-up that can crank out well-written but unconventional songs and keep it interesting, and Dim Wit did just that. They also somehow stirred the young folks (yes, I am old enough to say that) into some light moshing by the end.

 

Absolutely no offense to any of the other bands who played, but the night belonged to The Super Secret Hot Girls Club, who threw down what might have been one of the best house-show performances I’ve seen in quite a while. After two more traditional rock acts they turned up the noise and upped the tempo, with an energetic front-man who had the entire room in the palm of his hand.

 

Unfortunately there was a casualty, as it appeared one of the more energetic participants slammed into a wall and left a gigantic, body shaped hole. By this point the root beer schnapps and cheap beer was completely gone and so was I, and it was great.

 

Closers San Lorenzo were obviously the most polished, “professional” bands of the evening (check them out, they have shows coming up all over town in the next month or so) but the crowd was a little thinned out, possibly because of the relative age of the audience and perhaps because the people who slammed into the wall dipped the fuck out instead of doing the decent thing and sticking around to take responsibility for their mistakes. Seriously. My ears were still ringing from The Super Secret Hot Girls Club but San Lorenzo ended the night well with a solid performance.

 

After the quality that I witnessed on Saturday, it’s safe to say that I plan on attending many more of these soirees over the next few months. Hope to see you there, in the garden from which our underground music scene grows: the shady-looking house down the block with the music coming out of it.

 

Aaron Sharpsteen is a photographer and swell dude based in Portland, Or. 

 

 

 

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Mitski releases new single/video 'Your Best American Girl' from upcoming LP

Brooklyn songwriter Mitski - our Record of the Month in November 2014 - just unveiled this new video for single 'Your Best American Girl,' featured in her fourth studio album 'Puberty 2,' released on June 17th on Dead Oceans. The Japanese-American artist will headline a US tour as a three piece in the summer, and play a few shows in Europe next week. The band's June 20th show at Bowery Ballroom is sold out, so you better get your tickets for the following NYC show at Music Hall of Williamsburg on Juyly 27.

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Brooklyn artist on the rise: Fieldings

We mentioned Fieldings a few days ago in this blog, and we've been intrigued by their music since then. This is the project of a NYC based songwriter who recently moved from Sydney, Australia to Brooklyn, whose first name appears to be Lu. Her 2014 three song EP 'Wild Release Vol I' brings back to mind the emotional expressionism and experimental droney inclinations of Lisa Germano's early albums, although the tone here is more subdued and the production sparser. In it, Lu's voice shines for confidence and tone, together with her songwriting and production skills. Follow up EP 'Wild Release Vol II,' released a few months later, picks up where the debut left off, with acoustic guitars blending gracefully with electronic elements, samples, and percussion sounds that are alternatively acoustic and electronic. We are curious to hear what an edgy scene like NYC will do to this already original artist, in particular now that Lu appears to have band mates. Check out our favorite single 'Idioglossia,' strteaming below.

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Earring

Earring has shared the first single, "Dark Heart", from their forthcoming album Tunn Star. The album will be released by Fire Talk Records on June 10th.

You can catch Earring at The Hideout on May 5th with Dim and The Hecks.

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New Track: "When I'm With You" - Hurry

It seems that frontman Matt Scottoline has totally embraced his pop sensibilities on Hurry's forthcoming album Guided Meditation. Below is the second sampling, called "When I'm With You," off the new record, which will be out on April 29 via Lame-O Records. You can also join Hurry for their release celebration on Friday, May 6 at Everybody Hits.

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