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Mood Music: hERON - 'hERON'

 Though they live in two different states, the collaborative efforts of San Antonio, Texas's Erick "Progeny" Frias and local Rob Castro as hERON are undeniably some of the best in modern trip-hop around. Long distance relationships don't often work out but for these two, it's proven successful. A listen to their self-titled debut album marks such.

With Frias blasting the beats and sometimes guitar, and Castro handling the brooding air of bass lines and keys every once in awhile, the textures they create are both introspective and groovy. Their debut album offers tracks for every vibe, from the laid back mellow moods of the short album opener "Chillmode" to the bluesy boho riffs on "EvilFortress" and the slightly country western twang to "Melt Away." The duo create plenty of soundscapes, complicated and simplistic at the same time, and there's something new to appreciate about it with every listen.

Give hERON's self-titled record a few run-throughs below.

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Party down West Coast style with The Flavr Blue

There’s a certain vibe that comes to mind when people think of the West Coast, aesthetically and sonically. For many people in other parts of the country, the West Coast is basically just southern California; what’s produced is thought to be heavily influenced by endless sunshine, palm trees and warm beaches. But despite being tucked away in this northwest corner there’s still pretty good representation of what the West Coast sounds like, particularly with The Flavr Blue.

Since 2011, The Flavr Blue has mixed electronic influence with a mellow R&B manner of vocals. They’ve got quite a few releases under their belt, but one of the bangers of the year was the trio’s early summer track “Top Down,” a song perfect for that evening turn up.

Considering the fact that New Year’s Eve is the biggest turn up of the year, head over to Q Nightclub to see The Flavr Blue do a DJ set. VIP tables for the night are sold out, but there’s still admission tickets if you’re trying to roll through. 

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Eldridge Gravy & the Court Supreme want to do NYE the right way

 *photo credit: Jordan Inglee

Big bands are the best for massive celebrations. The energy they bring to the stage and to the crowd is integral for bringing vibrancy to any party, if they're good at what they do, which is why it makes total sense that Eldridge Gravy & the Court Supreme are hosting two New Year's Eve celebration shows. Both of them are even sold out.

Eldridge Gravy & the Court Supreme run deep with their band members and hopefully all 10+ of them will be present as they takeover the Tractor Tavern on 12.30 and 12.31. Unfortunately, those who wish to spend New Year's Eve with the supergroup and Bread & Butter, the lively supporting for the NYE's set, won't have much luck. The biggest weekend of the year, since we're all so excited to see it off, is sold out. 

Try your hand at experiencing some of the exuberance from the sidewalk but either way, it'll be guaranteed drunk fun.

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Get a post-Christmas punk cure from Xurs tonight

 The day after the Christmas is like a hangover from joy; hours upon hours spent entranced in a material or substance induced high can grow exhausting after awhile. If the cheerful spirits and gift-caused joy were a bit too much to handle yesterday, there's a bill of the most furious punk to help quell that overdose on annoyed happiness. 

Prepare to have your face melted later tonight, as newer "weirdo-punk" outfit Xurs take over the High Dive along with the gruff vocality of New Bloom and Meridian's noisiness. It's the best way to gain back all the energy that was sucked out of your soul by too much family time and mass food consumption yesterday. For under $10, it's a small price to pay to feel again.

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Swamp Boys ring in the new year in Portland

 Young dudes with an affinity for old songs, Swamp Boys have a delightfully nostalgic sound that calls back on a keen sweetness that dominated airway sounds back in the 60s and 70s. A little bit surf, psych and alt-country, the foursome are from a fairly small town not that far from both Portland and Seattle called Ridgefield, but they're making their efforts to put their homebase more on the map.

Swamp Boys just released the first six songs they've ever written on an EP called Bahked, an obvious nod to some of the best greenery the Pacific Northwest offers. Each track on Bahked makes a good accompaniment for a smoking sesh, like the catchy garage tune of "I Don't Know What I'm Doin'" to the ballad-esque "Love So Dear."

Those still local during this holiday week can see Swamp Boys play twice, on 12.27 at the Tardis Room with Freemans Dead from Long Beach, Ca, Rosebud and Major Arcana, and again hosting the American Legion Post 134's New Year's Eve show with Holy Smokes & Godforsaken RollersWeehawk, and New World Aviation Committee.

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