portland

Stream Marmoset's 'Transference' compilation LP, out today

 Local record label and boutique music agency Marmoset specializes in seeking out some of the most talented acts and songs ranging from the timeless and rare to the emerging and engaging. Their latest endeavor, the Transference compilation LP, focuses particularly on songs lesser unknown and possibly forgotten.

In making Transference, Marmoset's producers combined through the public domain for songs 100 years old and up. As they developed their extensive collection, they invited a series of artists join in on reimagining and rerecording some of these tracks. Marmoset's team worked closely with the participating artists in evolving each track from its original beauty to a newly fashioned merit.

Some of the artists featured on Transference include Ural Thomas and the Pain doing a soulfully rhythmic rendition of "Hot Time in the Old Town," originally recorded in 1896, The Helio Sequence's vision of the Bing Crosby-recorded standard "Down Among the Sheltering Palms" as "Out Among the Sheltering Pines," and an electronic interpretation of Eugene Lockhart and Ernest Seitz 1919 classic "The World is Waiting for the Sunrise" done by Distance and Frankie Simone.

What Marmoset has managed to create is an anthology of imaginative appreciation, showcasing a history of imaginative talent and musicianship. Dive into the 10 tracks on Transference below.

   

VCR are back for another season!

Not even two hours outside of Portland, Eugene is mainly known as a hippie haven or, on a more scholarly note, a college town. As with many college towns around there isn't a lot that's lively or thriving about them outside of academia, but Eugene's a little different. They have the makings of a, albeit small, music scene, and at the forefront of it is one of the most enjoyable fuzzy garage rocks of late. They're a little trio called VCR.

VCR debuted with Season One! last year. Doing what "pilots" are supposed to do, Season One! was the band's introduction, developing each member and their instrumentation like characters in a show. With their latest release Season 2, these elements are further evolved, making for a more developed sound overall.

Season 2 starts with the mid paced lovey-ish ditty "A Walk to Remember" establishes the carefree air of the album, though following track "Next Day" blasts a beginning that jolts the system. Later in the album "Season of the Ball" trickles in as somewhat of a ballad, while "Halloween" is one of the most lively and memberable on the record. 

As a sophomore effort, Season 2 attests to VCR's (hopeful) residency in the Pacific Northwest scene.

   

Aliens and cavemen meet in When We Met's new video

With love and an adoring energy, When We Met have been known to make tuneful indie pop songs over the course of their three years as a songwriting duo. While the wonderment of their tracks is already established, what has yet to become obvious is how the two go about rendering their songs visually. Luckily they've changed that, with a new animated video that's attention grabbing. 

The animation for "Ride the Tide" is somewhat stylistically reminiscent of early Adult Swim cartoons like Home Movies, vibrant in color and effectively minimal and funny in its execution. With surfing cavemen, jet setting aliens and beach performance beach scenes, the video keeps you watching all the way through.

On the "Ride the Tide," the band say: 

"Underneath the new wave surf vibe is a sexy love song. The back and forth movement of lust, the up’s and downs of life and abstract thoughts formed ‘Ride the Tide’. Because we are fans of his crude imagery, playful takes on serious subject matter and taboos, we were thrilled to work with the cartoonist Magnificent Kaaboom for this song. With just a little direction from us, we wanted him to have the freedom to create something magnificent… and he did." 

Watch the video for "Ride the Tide" below and catch When We Met's last set of the season on 12.23 at The Lombard Pub where Sorta Ultra will be playing their last show ever and the New Not Normals will be debuting a new drummer.

   

Johnny Raincloud share new live video for "MH370"

 Back in 2014, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 (or MH370/MAS370) mysteriously disappeared while in route to its destination of Beijing, China. The plane, which was carrying 12 crew members and 227 passengers, last made voice contact some 30 minutes after takeoff, and entirely disappeared off radar an hour after that. After a few years of extensive searching only fragments of the wreckage were found earlier this year but ultimately, the search for anything more was suspended just some months ago.

Right before the Malaysia Airlines flight went down, local rocker Mike Stortz was writing some of the first songs for his band Johnny Raincloud. One of those songs coincidentally was of the same name as the flight, and has sat shelved until basically now. "When the search for the plane stopped, I wanted to make this song to be a reminder," says Stortz.

So, Stortz and the rest of Johnny Raincloud decided to record the track and make a live music video for the song at Surburbia Studios down in southeast not for profit, but as a means of keeping the lives lost on the flight in memory. "We've become so insensitive to real-life stories like MH370 but for that brief moment in time I felt connected to the whole world in a way I haven't felt in a long time," says Stortz. "It's just another reason I wanted this song to be a reminder of the brief time of when we did care. I think it's sad it takes the mystery of a missing airplane for the world to come together with love.  I think it should be like that all the time."

Watch Johnny Raincloud play "MH370" in their live video below, or later on tonight at the Twilight Cafe. Seattle bands Tyler Songs and Great Shame will also be playing, along with WorryDoll.

   

Mo Troper's 'Exposure & Response' is an ode to older sounds and newer attitudes

 Mo Troper has got a voice unlike most others. Not solely with his vocal timbre, but also with the way he chooses to convey his thoughts lyrically. With slight cynicism and a sarcastic wit, Troper has become one of the modern maestros of power pop. On his third solo effort Exposure & Response, Troper is definitely exposing and responding to certain facets of the modern music scene, biting commentary a recurring element.

From the first choral "ahhs" that open up the record, "Rock and Roll Will Change the World" is supple and attention grabbing in its Beach Boys qualities, before leading into some of the more sharp tongued tracks on the record. "Your Brand," one of the first songs to come off the record, calls out participation for the sake maintaining aesthetic. "Turn a tragedy into something you can work with/Keep your finger on the pulse that's in your pocket/Think about your brand" the lyrics go on, truthful of so many players in the scene. As is "The Poet Laureate of Neverland," which tells of elder hipsters that just don't know how to let it go.

At points, Exposure and Response trades its snarkiness for cheekiness. "Freebin" and "Clear Frames" describe millennial Portland romance perfectly, the former relating the receptacle of choice for old love and old clothes alike being the freebin, and the latter a nod at the bad familiarity of similar looks between current and bygone relatioship partners.

Exposure and Response is a fetching ode to the nostalgic finesse of rock and power pop's past. Its charm and sass packed into short bursts of songs