Check Out: LEO ISLO

By: Meghan Kearney

Some recommended listening for you all. For fans of artists like Tycho, Moderat; mellow electronic, you will enjoy this. LEO ISLO from Portland, Oregon is currently working on a new record coming off his first EP Modern Fiction. A solo project, LEO ISLO mixes soothing and catchy beats underneath gorgeous vocals, all of which are recorded, produced and mixed in his garage in the middle of the night. On top of the tunes, LEO ISLO masterfully creates his own graphic arts. Keep tabs LEO ISLO now as he continues to craft new tracks and a live set up.  Check out one of his newest tracks, “Atlantis,” below; if you like it, give him some follows.

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Hustle & Drone – Holyland

New_DirectionHustle & Drone | Holyland
2 Sept 2014
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By: Meghan Kearney

As a superfan of the Portland music scene, this has personally been one of my most anticipated releases of the past few months. Hustle & Drone have become a Portland staple, playing shows around the city and beyond, melting cheeks off with bass thumping synth tracks and neon light panels to play along. When they’ve not been shooting hoops with the Portland Trail Blazers or forefronting the very rad Red Bull Sound Select up and coming artist cohort, they’ve been molding their distinct and electro-powerhouse debut full length Holyland.

You may know the name of front man Ryan Neighbors, and if someone tells you about Hustle & Drone, they’ve probably told you where you should know him from. We’ve decided not to follow suit, as Holyland is a piece that proves no street cred needed; Hustle & Drone is a project of its own. The record opens with the title track, an honest reflection of growing up holy. It offers an easy transition into the record as it slowly breaks into eerie electronic sounds that highlight what Hustle & Drone is all about.

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Fanfarlo new record “Let’s Go Extinct,” Portland show 3/28

fanfarlo promo

With the release of their third full length record Let’s Go Extinct, London’s Fanfarlo are hitting the road across the U.S. beginning in San Diego on March 24th. Let’s Go Extinct is another chapter in the addictive multi-instrumental discography of Fanfarlo, delivering no less than the energy and delight so loved of the Londoners.

The band will pay a visit to the Portland, OR with a show at Dante’s on Saturday March 28th. As their live shows have typically been known for a busy but on-point replication of their recordings, what’s to come from Let’s Go Extinct is sure to be a must-see. The album sees more involved, less-electronic, compositions more closely resembling 2009’s predominantly folky Reservoir but with the same vivid production of their sophomore album Rooms Filled With Light.
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Third Eye Blind Live at Crystal Ballroom

3eb2small
Third Eye Blind
16 December 2013
Crystal Ballroom | Portland, OR

By: Meghan Kearney
Photos by: Marcie Giovannoni

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It’s been fifteen years, but I still remember the exact moment I first picked up Third Eye Blind’s self-titled CD. I was twelve years old and I was sitting in the trunk of my friend’s dad’s van. We were headed off on a road trip and the parents handed me a CD player to keep occupied. Different CDs were scattered around the van’s floor and I grabbed one that caught my eye. The scary red face was intriguing. “Third Eye Blind” I read; ah yes, I knew Semi-Charmed Life well. I popped the CD into the Sony Discman, starting from track one. Within minutes I knew I made the right choice. And now, just fifteen years later I finally created a memory for the first time I saw Third Eye Blind live.

3eb4smallEntering Portland’s Crystal Ballroom before the show, the crowd was a unique one. Line wrapped (two full 90 degree turns) around the building, everyone seemed to be somewhere in between late-twenties and mid-thirties, but yet with young, glowing eyes. It was immediately clear this wasn’t any old show. It was a sold out, packed house of fans who at one time picked up the “Semi-Charmed Life” band’s CD for the very first time. Only to grow to love 3eb for much, much more.

Among the packed ballroom, the lights dimmed, the crowd started to cheer, and 3eb took to the stage. An opening jam-style session warmed up the crowd. Finally, a hooded Stephan Jenkins put fifteen years of history into motion’ kicking off the show with their self-title’s intro track “Losing A Whole Year.” “Crystal Baller” was their second song and I was half-hoping Stephan would say just once, “Crystal Ballroom.” Two songs in and the energy wasn’t the energy you might fearfully dread from a band who has been beloved chart-toppers since the late 90s. This 2013 Third Eye Blind played as if it was their first headlining show, but with the precision and charisma of the veteran performers they are.

3eb5smallA few songs in, Stephan asked the crowd to turn to the nearest person we did not know, and introduce ourselves. Soon, the entire ballroom was hugging, smiling, and laughing with strangers. Now as a family, slight notes of “Wounded” started to echo. An extended intro had the crowd nearing torture before it played more beautifully than even Blue offered. Next, a regular sing-a-long to “Slow Motion.” Possibly (or what I can only hope was), the most anticipated track soon arrived; “Motorcycle Driveby.” That beautiful, acoustic guitar began the nostalgia. The desperation of the song picked up along with the music before exploding. As the band personified heart break in the form of sound, the crowd cathartically looked on as the song drifted back down into its soft, heartrending acoustic.

A half-encore, fitted with a drum solo from long-term drummer Brad Hargreaves transitioned into an unexpected hip-hop session. We heard “1000 Julys” and “Anything” complete with a gorgeous piano solo from new keyboardist, Alex Kopp, before the band took off for encore number two. When they returned to the stage, Stephan began conversation with the crowd again. “Thank you for loving us,” he said in a most sincere and humbling tone. He thanked us for the community that we had shaped around their music, and credited our energy for keeping the band writing and performing for all of these years. With that, the opening guitar riff of “Semi-Charmed Life” sent the crowd into an expected frenzy. As the crowd danced, jumped, and “do,do,doed,” 3eb played through the extra verse (that I always like to think distinguishes the radio fans from the album fans). Not a soul in the crowd missed a beat. A somber, but beautiful “God of Wine” closed out the night. “This song is for my mom. This whole show was for my mom. She’s from Portland.” The band thanked us again, promised to return, and kindly welcomed by the crowd, announced their looming return to the studio.

It was a first well spent, closing a circle of fifteen years of love for 3eb. I now eagerly anticipate an equally as wonderful 3eb family show in 2028.

3eb1smallSet List
Losing A Whole Year
Crystal Baller
Non-Dairy
Faster/Danger
Never Let You Go
Can You Take Me
Graduate
Water Landing
Bonfire
Dopamine
Wounded
Slow Motion
Rites of Passage
Motorcycle Drive By
Jumper
1000 Julys
Anything
(Encore)
Narcolepsy
Semi-Charmed Life
God of Wine

Win two tickets to see Broken Social Scene’s Brendan Canning in Portland!

Brendan-Canning-You-Gots-2-Chill-500x500Brendan Canning | You Gots 2 Chill
1 October 2013

SQE

By: Meghan Kearney

Want to win 2 tickets to see Broken Social Scene’s Brendan Canning at Mississippi Studios on Monday Dec 2nd? Check out our review for his new record You Gots 2 Chill & note the details below!

Backed by over 20 years of indie street cred, Brendan Canning, best known for his role in Broken Social Scene, released his second full length solo record You Gots 2 Chill. Along the release of the new record, Canning is off on tour and will be gracing Portland, Oregon on December 2nd and Mississippi Studios and we’re giving away two tickets to the show!

You Gots 2 Chill is an exceptionally gentle, folky departure from Broken Social Scene, opening with the instrumental track “Post Fahey.” Mellow plucking and slide guitar provide a calming introduction to an album that follows suit. Brendan introduces vocals in the second track “However Long,” and they are as soothing as any ear could hope for.


“Plugged In” is one of the most beautiful tracks of the record offering haunting tones with soft and simple acoustic strings. Canning’s vocals are what really send this track home in the fashion of some kind of mountain lullaby. “Bullied Days” brings the gorgeous voice of Daniela Gesundheit of Snowblink giving a sweet, loving feel to the record.

Perhaps the best way to describe You Gots 2 Chill is a record that you want to have playing while laying under the stars. This is not coincidental to the track “Late Night Stars” which is another wonderfully ethereal duo belted with echoes along sullen strings. “Last Song For The Summer Hideaway” closes the album with tones sure to induce blissful daydreams or close out an evening with grace. If anything, this record does exactly what it requests. It’s a simplistic beauty and perfectly crafted production of acoustics, soft vocals, and earthy feels will you guide you through winter with a summery grin. I believe we are chill now, Mr. Canning.

Preview more tracks from You Gots 2 Chill HERE
And make sure to purchase your copy HERE
More about Brendan Canning WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER

For your chance to win two tickets to Brendan Canning’s show (show details here) head over to Twitter and:

1. Follow @SecretlyRad
2. Tweet or Retweet the following:

“RT & follow @SecretlyRad 4 a chance to win 2 tix to see @canningb at @MississippiStud Dec 2! Read more: http://bit.ly/1dWPq2o

We will choose a winner on Wednesday November 27th!

Leagues live in Portland + Interview

Leagues1LEAGUES
25 October 2013
Bunk Bar | Portland, Oregon

By Meghan Kearney
Photos by Alisa Patten

It’s Saturday morning, I just woke up and my legs are sore. Did I go to the gym last night? Or did I go to a Leagues show last night? Yup. I believe it was the latter. The band Leagues from Nashville, Tennessee prides themselves in their tenacity to write songs and play live shows that are first and foremost focused on one thing: fun.

I was lucky enough to spend some time chatting with Thad, Tyler and Jeremy of Leagues at Bunk Bar in Portland for their show with the amazing opening act Kye Kye. A strange start to the show indeed for the band, as their sound check took place amongst a venue full of bar-goers, and a green room that was rather a hallway lined with larger than life paintings of possibly disproving women.

We chatted about their first official headlining tour, their fun with Vine, and their favorite band –  Yellow Polka Dots, before the group took the stage to dance the house to pieces. Heading off on tour to support their recently released Spotlight EP (read about it here) and their 2013 full length You Belong Here the four members of Leagues made their first appearance in Portland. They took to the stage with the energy they’re known for and plowed through a set feeding that energy out to the audience.

Thad led the stage with his expansive vocal talents, while Tyler took charge of guitar riffs that seamlessly bounced around and off the venue’s walls. To the back, Jeremy pounded on a mixture of raw drums and pads that kept the music flowing between rock and subtly electronic back beats. To the left of the stage, bassist Phil plucked through a blend of funky beats. All four, dancing, clapping and having a wildly great time.

What do these four long-time musicians hope to see together as Leagues? “We want people to engage. Put people in a room that you wouldn’t think would go together in a room. People that just want to have a good time and let go and enjoy something,” Tyler shared. It seems they had no problem doing this. Out in the audience, dancing bodies filled the room from the front of the stage all the way to the back booths of Bunk Bar – booths normally filled with sandwich consumers. And the demographic of the crowd? All over the place. Fresh-faced Portlanders bouncing around at the front, handfuls of faces that resembled those fresh-facers’ parents bobbing their heads along the bar. “Amazing, that you can just show up to a bar and hear such talent,” said one member of the crowd, seemingly not expecting a show to be taking place that night at Bunk Bar.

The band played through a wide set of tracks from both their LP You Belong Here and the Spotlight EP, including fan favorites “Lost It All,” “Walking On Water,” “Spotlight” and the mellow, beautiful “Friendly Fire” along with an unreleased track during the encore. Their west coast tour is coming to a close, but if you’ve yet to see them live – check out dates for their upcoming East Coast tour, just a few weeks away! Below you’ll find our full interview with Leagues, sure to make you giggle.

Check out more photos from the show HERE
Check out LEAGUES
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INTERVIEW WITH JEREMY, THAD & TYLER
SR: First please introduce yourself and what you do in the band

Tyler: My name is Tyler Burkum and I play guitar.

Jeremy: My name is Jeremy Lutito and I play the drums

Thad: My name is Thad Cockrell I sing, play the guitar, and I set up merch.

SR So I first want to talk about you guys as musicians – you guys are sort of a super group, you’ve done your own thing and are pretty well established. How do you think that works as a band all together now? Challenges, successes? Do you love each other, do you hate each other?

Jeremy: Yes….. No, I think since we have all been doing this in different capacities for awhile so it helps. I feel like if there are problems we’re able to solve them quicker. We’re not 22 jumping in a van and going “let’s just do it!” Everything counts, everything matters, and it comes down to making the music. The writing process is a lot more complex. It has a lot of weight into it. So it kind of just means that the joys are even bigger joys, and that the frustrations are bigger, but those go by a little quicker. I think maturity does a lot.

Tyler: Totally.

SR: So this is your first headlining tour, correct?

Jeremy: Yeah. First official.

SR: You’re coming towards the end of it, has it been a success? Do you have any favorite cities you’ve visited or stories you want to share?

Jeremy: We were really surprised by, I think it was Phoenix, was awesome! Those people just came to dance and they totally brought it. There’s been a lot of cities like Phoenix where we don’t have radio play. It’s one of the cities that kind of just fell flat with radio but it didn’t matter.

Thad: It was like people were part of the stage and like going crazy. It was so much fun.

Jeremy: Bonkers.

Leagues12SR: So even without the radio play did it seem like everyone knew you, maybe found you on the internet or what?

Jeremy: Yeah, I think we’ve been fortunate enough to have a few things on television and stuff. We meet new people and we always ask them “how did you hear about us?” and they’re like “oh I heard you on this commercial an then I shazzamed it.” And it was like that morning, and we’re like “WHAT that’s crazy that works!” Someone would care enough to hear it for the first time and be like “I’m going to that!” That’s been encouraging.

SR: Alright! Good on ya Phoenix!

Thad: They are secretly rad.

SR: Yes! Secretly rad, they are!

SR: Alright so you guys are really big on wanting your audience to sing and dance both at your live shows and your recorded music. Do you have any special tactics either for yourselves to get warmed up before you go on stage? Does it just com naturally? What’s your strategy?

Tyler: It would sound like a horrible joke if we just said booze. No, no I’m just kidding. Ya know, we listen to Olivia Newton John. We just limber up before the show. We do a lot of hot yoga. Together.

Jeremy: We help each other with stretches.

Tyler: We just totally namaste the crap out of it. No, I mean I think we love moments in music that are so good that we can’t help but laugh in a way that’s like holy crap that’s so good. So I think we try to do that and we want people to engage. Put people in a room that you wouldn’t think would go together in a room. People that just want to have a good time and let go and enjoy something.

SR: Well there are a lot of kids in the room back there if you want to go round up some small kids.

Tyler: Let’s bring the kids man, bring em man!

Thad: And the Allman Brothers [who were playing on the house music]

Tyler: That’s kind of what it is, acting like a kid is pretty much what it is.

Leagues1aSR: Awesome! So we already touched a bit on your tour, how does it feel now to be the main act together as a group verses doing opening or even solo tours?

Thad: We love it! I think people engage completely differently whenever it’s your own show than when you’re opening up. When you’re opening up it always feels like you’re forcing a conversation on them that they never signed up for. This way you actually know that they’ve probably heard your music before. It feels like you go into it with some momentum instead of having to create absolutely all of it yourselves.

SR: So it makes it a lot easier and more satisfying to just go out there and have a ton of fun?

Jeremy: Absolutely!

SR: Alright so you guys released your debut full length earlier in the year and your new EP came out really recently. From my point of view it seems like they’ve been received really well. I’m sure you are pretty stoked about this but you have any specific celebratory moments or specific times where you were like “holy shit people think we’re rad”?

Jeremy: There was a time when we…

Thad: heard our song!

Jeremy: In L.A.! Yeah there was a moment. We flew to LA to do a show.

Thad: One of those moments you don’t think would happen anymore.

Jeremy: Yeah! It was like, what was that movie? That Thing You Do! Where you hear it. Because we weren’t even listening for it and the radio was on low and we were like “hey let’s go to this place wait wait wait wait what?” And then we all had a moment, and that was cool. And ya know, we need those moments. We’re independent and it’s hard work and we’re fully doing it, it’s literally we do all the work. So when there are those moments, it makes it worthwhile. That’s what we strive for.

SR: Alright so one of our big things is hearing about people’s music scenes. You guys are from Nashville. I’ve never been there, I know it’s one of the best scenes in the country.

Jeremy: The hot new city.

SR: Hot new scenes, up and coming! Not super hot for years past, haha. Well what is a typical day for an artist in Nashville like if you could sum that up?

Thad: Uh, wake up, scratch your head, lay back down in bed, and think “wow, here we go it’s another day” and then you slowly put your feet on the ground… I don’t know. I mean the community there is pretty amazing as far as musicians that support each other. There’s not really a competitive vibe. One person’s success doesn’t mean the other person’s demise. Everybody kind of tries to lift each other up. But also you trip over musicians, because there’s so many, everybody’s doing it.

Jeremy: Yeah, really creatives.

Thad: Yeah, it’s a town for creatives. I mean, 8 out of 10 people that you talk with in the course of a day are creating or will create and the other 2 are helping the other 8 create. So ya know, it’s fun. It’s a really laid back town though. Super open, easy to make friends. There’s really not much snobbery or hierarchy. You’ll hang out with people that have sold millions of records and right next to people who have literally just moved to town hoping to make their first record.

SR: And it’s kind of moving away from the country idea. Everyone outside of Nashville typically thinks “country” but it’s really moving away from that and becoming pretty eclectic.

Jeremy: The funny thing is, it’s been that way for a long time because we’ve been there, but now the outside perspective is that “oh this is starting” but people from there are like “well wait, it’s always been like this”
Tyler: 1965, Bob Dylan made Blonde on Blonde one of the greatest rock records of all time in Nashville. That was a long time ago!

Jeremy: But of course now you have all these big you know Jack White moved to town. The Black Keys live in town. Kings of Leon. So you know, it’s a rock n roll, it’s just a music town!

Tyler: The White Stripes, The Pink Tigers, The Yellow Polka Dots.

SR: Oh, I love the Yellow Polka Dots!

Thad: Oh, they’re SO good right?!

SR: SO good!

Tyler: They’re so awesome man.

SR: So I’ve already gushed to you about how much I like your Vines. A lot of musicians have Vines but you take yours really serious. You use like over the shoulder shots and quick cuts.

Thad: Have we seen any other musicians Vines?

Jeremy: We haven’t seen bands’ Vines.

Tyler: We feel like we’re the only band’s. We Vined the very, first, day that Vine existed.

SR: Really?! I have a Droid so I was late to the game.

Tyler: So we don’t really know, we just do the same stupid funny Vines.

SR: Do any of you guys have any film background?

Tyler: My parents owned a camera when I was a kid

Jeremy: Tyler’s got a good eye for framing. And I’m the one that just acts like a moron.

SR: Alright so to along with the fact that you’re trying to portray yourselves as really fun, do you think it happens consciously that you make these funny Vines, or do you use that to help portray yourselves as super fun guys?

Jeremy: I think that it’s truly just us. We don’t think about it.

Thad: Oh, they don’t think about it!

SR: Ha! Yeah, I noticed you’re not in a lot of them, Thad.

Thad: I just laugh.

Tyler: We just laugh about it

SR: So Thad you’re like the test pilot?

Thad: Yeah! Anytime you hear sounds like a wind machine in the background

Jeremy: That’s him wheezing.

SR: Okay next Vine you make I hope I can hear the wheezing.

Tyler: You guys can help us make a Vine where we can be walking in and I’ll go “hey” and you’ll go “Hey are you Ricky Martin?” and I’ll go [Tyler makes a really sad face here].

SR: I love it. I’m on board.

Tyler: Perfect!

SR: Alright so you guys are coming to the end of this tour. What comes next for Leagues? Taking a break? Going back to writing?

Thad: Seattle, Vancouver, and then we go home for 5 days, and then we go complete east coast and then we do the exact same thing. And then after that we’re going to find a rock, and we’re going to climb under it, and we’re going to go to sleep for about a week. And then we’re going to wake up, and we’re going to go meet Santa at the North Pole and we’re going to start helping him pack boxes.

Jeremy: That’s what we do for money.

Thad: Yes.

Tyler: We actually move stuff.

SR: For Santa?

Tyler: No we just get paid to move stuff.

SR: Wait are you serious?

Tyler: No.

[laughs]

Tyler: Well, no, yeah we play our songs for free but we get paid to carry our stuff around the country.

SR: Alright well last question, you guys played the Bing Lounge today, how’d that go?

Tyler: It went awesome! Super, fun.

Thad: Do you ever see shows there?

SR: Yes, I’ve been to a few of them. Unfortunately I was at work today so I couldn’t go.

Thad: Did you listen?!

SR: No my boss was on my back and I was like come on just leave for ten minutes!

Tyler: I’m literally picturing your boss standing on your back and you’re reaching for the radio button.

SR: That’s what happened!

Thad: Are you okay?

SR: Yeah like if he was a huge 400 pound guy.

Thad: Yikes

SR: And now I need to go to a chiropractor. I tried.

Jeremy: That’s rough.

SR: Alright well, that’s all I have for you guys so if you want to add anything please go ahead, or just say something ridiculous.

Jeremy in a British, possibly Austrailian accent: Hi we’re Leagues and you’re listening to Secretly Rad Media [voice fading out] media media media echo echo….

[Next goal: buy a recording device not from 1997 so no one ever has to miss moments like that ever again]

SR: Thank you guys so much!

Tyler to Jeremy: How did you do that with your mouth?

Frank Turner Live at the Wonder Ballroom, Portland, Oregon

Frank Turner, Wonder Ballroom 020Frank Turner
19 October 2013
Wonder Ballroom | Portland, Oregon

By Meghan Kearney

Frank Turner. What is there to say about Frank Turner? Well, the certain thing is that you don’t just go to the Frank Turner show. You are the Frank Turner show. This was inherently evident this past Saturday as Frank and The Sleeping Souls took the stage at Portland’s Wonder Ballroom.  Dressed in white button ups and black slacks, these five Englishmen might as well have been on the dance floor and let the crowd run the show. Though this sounds disparaging, if you’ve been to a Frank Turner show, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Right at the get-go, the opening track  “I Still Believe” wasted no time getting the crowd jumping, fisting the air, clapping.  “Hear ye, hear ye” beckoned Frank, almost positively addressing the crowd that he and his Souls were surely about to save ours.  Though this tour was promoting his newest record Tape Deck Heart, Frank did the unthinkable, opening up with three oldies, including “If I Ever Stray,” and “Try This At Home” before breaking into the new.

Frank Turner, Wonder Ballroom 026The opening vocals of “Plain Sailing Weather” sent the crowd to cheers, all mouths singing along. As the song came to its final breakdown, drums pounded through the crowd while Frank belted out the final painful words of the song. Somewhere in the crowd, a woman screamed “Wessex Boy!” just as the room fell silent. Within seconds Frank announced “this song’s called Wessex Boy” and threw his hands up in the air to clap, as the crowd joined. Was he subtly taking requests? Or did he somehow meld into the minds and spirits of the crowd, as they reciprocated. As he continued on, the whole song’s meaning changed. This song was no longer about Wessex, it was about Portland, and here – Frank was home.  

Frank Turner, Wonder Ballroom 054There was something about his charm and the energy of the Sleeping Souls that told the crowd they never wanted to leave us. “Seattle was pretty good at singing along last night, but we think you guys can do better.” Playful boos rang throughout the crowd. Frank laughed. “This is where we find out who hates who. Now – who knows how to do a jumping jack?” A short aerobics training session later, Frank casually transitioned into “blacking in and out in a strange flat in East London” to kick off the jumping-jack-demanding favorite “Recovery.” Next, the heart wrenching “Broken Piano” began, with Frank’s high and low mix of vocals, an empathetic sadness calmed the crowd down. Taking us just low enough to make the explosion into Nigel Powell’s murderous drumming seem like flying.

An encore included the most fabulous sing-a-longs of Tom Petty’s “American Girl,” a proper screaming version of Photosynthesis, and a final dance party closer of “Four Simple Words.” The whole show felt like a veteran punk rock show but with so much charm and happiness. It was an irony that only Frank Turner and The Sleeping Souls could create. The happiness, the energy, the very feeling of being a sleeping soul – not just watching one.  

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Missed the show? Good news – Frank is coming right back to see us for the KINK FM Jingle Bell Jam on December 6th at the Roseland Theater with The Wild Feathers and The Head & the Heart. Tickets go on pre-sale Thursday morning for KINK community members, Friday for general public – so get yours here!

Phantogram Live at Crystal Ballroom, Portland, Oregon

Phantogram, Crystal Ballroom 096

Phantogram|Crystal Ballroom|Portland, Oregon|18 October 2013
By Meghan Kearney

Phantogram, Crystal Ballroom 052Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter, the dynamic duo that make up Phantogram seem to have an infinite number of things going their way right now. In addition to their obvious talent at crafting electro-rock jams, as explosive and haunting as they come, these two are making big moves. They’ve got a new song, “Lights” set to be featured on the upcoming Hunger Games, Catching Fire soundtrack sided next to artists like Coldplay, The National, Patti Smith and more. They performed another new track “Black Out Days” on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon earlier this month. They’ve been selling out large venue shows all along their current tour. And to top it off, the recent release of their self-titled EP has fans stirring for their upcoming album Voices to be released early next year. At their recent show at Portland, Oregon’s Crystal Ballroom, a packed house of elated fans was lucky enough to get a live preview of Phantogram’s future.

Phantogram, Crystal Ballroom 053Upon entering the Crystal Ballroom the night of October 19th, a sold out statistic of concert goers scurried past signs decked throughout the entry way. Tonight’s light show was to be extreme; anyone affected by heavy lighting should take caution. They weren’t kidding. As the four live Phantogram performers took the stage, a laser light show of reds, blues, purples and whites shot through the air, timed perfectly with beats, welcoming the opening keys and riffs from Sarah & Josh. It only got better as the show went on. From atop the ballroom’s balcony, one may have been wondering if Sean Conery was going to show up and coach everyone through the Entrapment death net. To the back of the crowd, the most energetic body off stage was no doubt the mastermind in control of the magical, pulsing sea of lights, bouncing along to the beats. And as surely as eyes and senses were experiencing something heavenly, ears and hearts were being burned away as the band plowed through old and brand new tracks.

Phantogram, Crystal Ballroom 079Old favorites like the much-loved “Don’t Move” was the first track to welcome deafening cheers from the crowd. Later in the set, the opening beat to “When I’m Small” sent the whole room into a frenzy as scorching white strobes shined in time with Sarah’s gorgeous “ohhhs.” After announcing her excitement to play so many new songs for us, Sarah kicked off the new track “Never Going Home” ushering in the soft chorus led by echoed vocals from Josh. “If this is love, I’m never going home” resonated throughout the ballroom. “Dude, these new songs are SO GOOD” overheard nearby, matched the awe spread across faces in the crowd. A short break in set brought the team of four back to the stage for a much welcomed encore, closing out their hour and a half long set of electronic perfection. As the lights died down, the crowd slowly began to gather the composure melted away by the unprecedented lightshow and performance from the rapidly rocketing duo. Soon, Phantogram aren’t going to need a sign telling their audiences of the spectacle about to take place inside venue doors.

For more photos from the show check out our photo set.
Visit Phantogram: SITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM

Band to Watch: Leagues

leaguesLeagues

Leagues is a trio made up of Thad Cockrell, Tyler Burkum and drummer Jeremy Lutito. Their debut record You Belong Here (Check out the album stream here) released in early 2013 is putting their home town of Nashville, TN on the rock map, setting them apart from the likes of the country/country-pop fronted Nashville music scene. The three well-established musicians formed together in the hopes of turning their talents into the group effort now under the title Leagues.

On their recently released Spotlight EP the band singles out their title track hit “Spotlight” a bluesy-rock, anti-love ballad that’s addictive in its foot tapping melodies. Also included on the EP, two brand new tracks “Walking on Water” and “She Kissed Me” assist in proving Leagues to be one of the new front-runners in the indie-rock genre where one finds artists like The Black Keys, Portugal. The Man, or Arcade Fire.

“Walking on Water” opens with a wonderfully catchy baseline soon tagged with a team of smooth vocals before breaking into a high chorus. Lyrics “we’re both walking on water, we’re walking to each other. You keep your eyes on me, I keep my eyes on you” sound seductively charming from lead singer, Cockrell’s unflawed vocals. “She Kissed Me” is a combo of fronting drum beats and another round of suave bluesy vocals. The track prolongs into a guitar riff that feels part spacey, part 1970’s black and white crime flick. The Spotlight EP closes with a Trouble Waters Flibbity Flu remix of “Spotlight” highlighting the high-pitched chorus and sampling it over dance beats.

Leagues is on the road now with upcoming shows trailing through the West Coast, up into Canada, and then back over to the East Coast before the end of November. We’ll be catching the guys in Portland, Oregon on October 25th at Bunk Bar. This is an act you’re going to want to catch on this tour, because come any future ones, you may be fighting for those tickets.

Find out more about Leagues via the links below, and stay tuned for coverage from their Portland show. We hope to see you out there!

TOUR | ALBUM STREAM | FACEBOOK | TWITTER

WATCH: Leagues – “Spotlight”

Bat for Lashes, Wonder Ballroom, Portland, OR

IMG_3211Bat for Lashes
17 April 2013
Wonder Ballroom|Portland, OR

Natasha Khan, better known by her stage name Bat for Lashes, is clearly, by her music alone something of a musical mastermind. Now, months after her third full-length release The Haunted Man, the world is generally catching on that she is a more than well-rounded powerhouse of entertainment and charm.

Bat for Lashes is the kind of music you listen to recorded and can only dream of being duplicated so flawlessly, live. The kind of music where you just don’t believe your brain could comprehend, or any human could recreate all of those marvelous sounds successfully. If you haven’t seen her live and think Bat for Lashes on an album is amazing, clear some space in your brain to accept a live performance that makes her music sound and feel 700 times more amplified. She and her band of very-worthy musicians did just that this week at Portland, Oregon’s Wonder Ballroom.

Floating onto the stage, Natasha’s warm, adorable smile and friendly eyes won the crowd over instantly. They kicked off with the explosive song “Lillies,” the counterpart intro to The Haunted Man. Swaying like a ballerina around the microphone, Natasha vocally seduced the crowd, a single drumstick in hand waiting to pound a tiny synth board into powerful choruses. The next few songs showcased the effortless beauty of Natasha’s stunning vocals. Before moving across stage to a piano, she thanked the crowd and adorably addressed the heat of the venue, not boding well with her “tapestry dress.” Her English charm was contagious, and sitting down at her piano to roll out the gorgeous ballad “Siren Song,” the crowd reverted to silent awe. This track was inexplicably beautiful, so much so that right before the song’s end, the band suddenly stopped. “I’m sorry, but I just want to make sure everything is okay,” Natasha announced with an air of genuine concern. Someone nearby in the crowd had fainted. Performance was halted until Natasha was assured all was well.

IMG_3230As enchanting vocals continued to mesmerize the crowd, the band plowed through a set of songs from the new record and old. A mixture of wall-vibrating drum beats, cello, a tiny set of hand-held bells, and more traveled dreamlike through “What’s A Girl To Do?” and “Horse and I.” Moving on, “Laura” was undeniably tear jerking, while “A Wall” had the crowd dancing before finishing off with the beautiful “The Haunted Man.” Finishing up the set Natasha clutched tightly onto a PA before holding it above her head while belting out the final gorgeous moments of the song. An encore ending with the most joyous and danciest versions of “Daniel” capped the entrancing evening. If there was anything to learn from this performance, it probably can’t be properly put into words. Bat for Lashes is magical live, a performance that everyone should see at least once in a lifetime. Natasha Kahn is one of the most outwardly sweet, genuine and talented musicians that one may ever be able to see. Please consult her further tour dates to fulfill this.

More photos from the show
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