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10th Annual St. Johns Bizarre announces stacked lineup

The 10th annual St. Johns Bizarre is coming up with a pretty stacked lineup of varied Portland acts. The nine hour neighborhood festival will be headlined by old school Portlanders Quasi, on their only West Coast appearance for their upcoming tour in support of the repressing of three of their classic LPs. Best new artist Chanti Darling will also soulfully take the stage, along with pop rockers Minden, a nice bit of indie-folk with the Domestics, and the lighthearted garage pop of Patsy's Rats.

The St. Johns Bizarre will also feature over 100 local vendors for their expanded craft fair, the first appearance of Circus Cascadia teaching circus skills like tightrope walking, stilting and clowning, and of course, their locally sponsored beer (and cider!) garden.

Downtown St. Johns will be blocked off from 10am-7pm on May 14th for the free event, in conjuncture with the St. Johns Parade.

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New(YC) Releases: O Mer, Overcoats, The Everymen, VÉRITÉ

Here's our usual appointment with new tracks released by NYC area artists that are a little more than just "emerging." This week we have soul pop duo Overcoats, Israeli electronic musician O Mer (pictured), electro pop diva VÉRITÉ, and New Jersey's Pop and Rollers The Everymen.

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Marie & The Moans Opening for No Joy at KFN May 1

Marie & The Moans are bringing their eccentric songwriting to Kung Fu Necktie this Sunday, opening for No Joy and Creepers, and prodding your eardrums with a little musical unconventionality. The group exhibits an almost willful rejection of traditional or intuitive melody structure, yet make no concessions in accessibility. Percussion clatters and stumbles, while an innumerable amount of electronic tones bump and fall across each other, giving an overall impression of narrowly maintained order, as if the very compositions can’t be contained by their recordings. Singer Bridget Boylan’s stoic voice stitches at the seams of disorder, and lends a contrasting elegance to the music, which also serves as an orientating force that guides you through each manically tangled tune. Show up early to catch these Philly locals before ‘gazing out on the ethereal wings of No Joy. Kung Fu Necktie, 1250 N. Front St., 8pm, $10, 21+ - Bryce Woodcock

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Each Track on the New EP from Slomo Drags Is a Pure Psychedelic Indiepop Joy

Slomo Drags' new EP out of Already Dead Tapes and Records is complex indie pop that's a little transgressive when it comes to the rules of that genre, and it's a record that should do a lot for the band's popularity both locally and nationally. In that way it reminds me heavily of Elephant 6, especially of Montreal, in its approach to rich song creation, this eponymous EP is five songs of gleefully busy psychedelic indie pop, and like that legendary band, Slomo Drags seems interested in making music to love this weird life to and does a great job accomplishing that goal here.

In addition to the “pretty + odd” thing full of anormal song structures and 60s influenced vocal layerings that they get from of Montreal, Slomo Drags also channels a few other classic 2000s indie acts here, including using big screechy Deerhoof-ish guitar wind-ups and a healthy dose of local funky indie with some Spoon-like attitude added to the sound. Now, if I were to have read that a current band was living in the spirit of these now-aging acts at their height, I'd have been a little worried that the sound in question wouldn't be as fresh or engaging as it once was, but it takes about five seconds of opener “Going Out of Business” to know that thought is dead wrong.

This kind of music is just as good and just as fun in 2016 as it was in the mid 2000s, mostly because Slomo Drags seriously know how to put together a shitlload of song elements nicely to make something that is crammed full of moving pieces, but which is tight and arranged in well-thought out way that guides you through the layers of musical activity with skill and grace. The expert construction of these tunes leaves you able to just focus on the fun of the album and ride on its central aesthetic. It's great fun each time you listen, and that structuring allows you to pick out great little parts to focus on with each play-through, as if the tracks taken together were a big, wild psychedelic party that you're viewing through a giddy first-person recording taken by the band, and they're showing you all these cool things happening for just a moment. For me at least, it creates a sense of a true, good, colorful fun time going on all around me, and that's a feeling that it's been a while since I got from modern indie music.

For a band to be able to create something as bursting with energy and slathered in creative layers as this EP is without things getting messy or completely breaking down, the members of that band have to be each be fully on top of their own musical game and yet still be totally in sync with each other member, and that's just the groove that Slomo Drags seems to be living comfortably inside of right now. This is a damn fine piece of pop music that both references and transcends the extensive history of the Venn diagram crossover between pop and indie rock, and it's one of the most thoroughly remarkable and enjoyable records out yet this year in Austin.

Listen below, and make sure to give every track a good once or twice over, because, in a way that feels directly rebellious to our current singles and SoundCloud culture, every track on here is seriously good stand-out music that could thrive on its own, but which does even better in the context of the whole record.

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Saturday Night Sounds: Kool Stuff Katie - "You Found a Friend"

Back in March, Kool Stuff Katie dropped their indelible sophomore effort, It's Fine. The top notch follow up to their self titled debut holds as a true definitive of the duo's pleasant mashup of garage, pop and indie rock influences.

Saren Oliver's candy sweet vocals and drum pounding pleasantly pair with Shane Blem's chill shred and croon, to result in an infectiously catchy output of rock tinged pop. Their latest to drop off It's Fine, titled "You Found a Friend," premiered in video form yesterday afternoon. The cleanly shot video perfectly matches the song's theme, showing Blem and Oliver as friends just hangin out.

Kool Stuff Katie played tonight at Kelly's Olympian with Comanche Joey and Trick Sensei. Check out the video below to get your fix if you didn't make it to the show!

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