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Photos + Review | Courtney Barnett @ Iron Horse Music Hall

Australian musician Courtney Barnett treated fans to an intimate, acoustic performance at Northampton’s own Iron Horse Music Hall on January 24th. The show had a relaxed playfulness to it, starting with Hachiku, the supporting act, instructing the crowd to all stomp one foot at the same time to startle Courtney in the greenroom below. Courtney continued the lightheartedness with clever banter between charming songs, as well as crowd work in the form of asking for requests only to continue the setlist as planned. Her performance was captivating and moving, only made more special by the entire room singing along, most…

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Photos | Matt and Kim + The Frights @ House of Blues

Matt and Kim are an honorary punk band. Their special brand of indie pop has something about it that you can mosh to every song, and the crowd at the House of Blues on November 23rd made no exception to the rule. From crowd surfers, to a “wall of love”, Matt and Kim have got the hardcore mentality down. Their show is an explosion of confetti, blow up sex dolls being passed around like beach balls, and nonstop goofy love between Matt and Kim. The couple celebrated their years of making music together and their love with a 10-year anniversary…

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Review + Photos | Flying Lotus @ Roseland Theater (PDX)

Photo by Colin McLaughlin [I] admit it. Even after many years of music writing, I still have no sense of whether or not an album, or single, or artist’s commercial products are good or bad. Take producer/artist Flying Lotus. Those fish-slap beats, clunky bits of proto-industrial noise, and psych-jazz electronic intrusions…surely those are too much for the general populace? Right? Yet, there Until The Quiet Comes is, squeezing into the top 50 of the Billboard charts; there he is collaborating with Thom Yorke and Hodgy Beats, and there he was on Friday night packing Portland’s Roseland Theater with able bodies thrilled to…

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Review + Photos | The Black Angels @ Wonder Ballroom (PDX)

Photos by Carrie Johnston The Black Angels’ spin on 60’s psych-rock is nothing short of monumental. Jim Morrisson died too soon, but thank goodness people like Alex Maas are alive now to channel his voice and break through the haunting spectrum of sound that The Doors (Pink Floyd, Jefferson Airplane, et al) established. Their newest album, Indigo Meadows at once guides and disorients. Stephanie Baliey’s drumming leads a stampede of soldiers onward through a dizzying maze of fuzz, wobbles, and foreboding lyrics while the crushing power of it opens the mind and forces meditation. This is to say that it…

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Review + Photos | VietNam @ Dante’s (PDX)

Photos by Carrie Johnston [A] prominent downtown venue on a warm Saturday attracts all species of night crawlers. Due to this, nothing exclusive or particular about VietNam playing at Dante’s on such a night struck me. The noncommittal crowd was thin to begin with, then fattened when VietNam started, and mostly disappeared before the end. Save for the second opener, Small Arms, the whole experience– the crowd, the music, the low red lights, the air… was like the low hum of a car engine on a three-hour highway jaunt. The most desolate moments were during Daydream Machine’s set with their…

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Photos | The Lumineers + Y La Bamba – Crystal Ballroom (PDX)

Photos by Colin McLaughlin [M]ost bands give you a waiting period before they blow up. Time to fall in love before you start to feel like you’ve been slighted by the mainstream for stealing “your band.” Time to walk around with their words in your headphones before you hear those same songs pouring out of a Starbucks as you walk on by. Sorry, Lumineers fans. “Ho Hey” was just that good, so that time was lost to you. Now everyone has a hold of them. Don’t worry though. The Lumineers haven’t let any of this newfound fame and adoration go…

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Kingsley Flood – Kitchen Sessions

Cul De Sac Cathedral Walls Roll of the Dice Last night I spent an evening with boston band Kingsley Flood, for a live recording session with Kitchen Sessions.  The venue for recording is really unique, stepping out on to a flat roof up in the trees, overlooking the city was really captivating. But the magic truly happens when this band starts playing.  With their true ‘Americana’ sound, they capture the spirit of roots music formed and merged from folk country, rock & roll and blues styles. Don’t forget to check back Kitchen Sessions for the live video recording. Check out…

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