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Chappy's Dishes Vol 1.: Lovers is for Lovers


[Editor's Note: Starting this week, The Deli Portland will be presenting our first weekly (or bi-weekly, depending on life and liberty) column, "Chappy's Dishes." Chappy is a Portlander who likes to do dishes, listen to music, and wash dishes while listening to music (or vice-versa). He also likes to write about the music he's listening to while washing dishes - but not at the same time. When the Deli Portland learns more about Chappy, we will be sure to fill you in. Until then, enjoy this first installment of "Chappy's Dishes."]

About once a week, my wife and I fix a complex meal that involves a lot of dirty dishes, and on the following day, I take it upon myself to tackle the pile. It’s one of the few occasions when I’m forced to stand in one place for more than an hour and attend to some mindless work. It’s usually in this time that I really listen to music and am forced to confront what that music pulls out of me. Last night, I made pizzas from scratch and for some reason I dirtied every dish in the house along with most of our utensils and glasses. Today, while laboring away, rather than putting on some cacophonous black metal or meandering free jazz to occupy my mind and confront my demons, I threw on Lovers' Dark Light for something different.

While washing, my hands may have been immersed in scalding hot and soapy water, but my mind was reconstructing the first mixtape I made using my parents' tape player alarm clock. I was trying to be cool and find the most “new wave” stuff scaning the FM dial, when I stumbled across a college radio station playing an hour of New Romanticism. Of course, I had no idea then what I had stumbled on, but you better believe that mixtape was a hit and landed me my first girlfriend.

The bouncing '80s synth of Dark Light's "Figure 8" further immersed me into the fantasy of late elementary school. The best pop music then (and really, now) will attach itself to particular memories and live there forever. Lovers are on to this.

If I were in 7th grade algebra class, "Shepherd of Stray Hearts" would be just one of those pop songs. "Shepherd…" is where everything is leading to and falling from. “I wanted you” would be the chorus rolling in my head while watching the seagulls bank on the wind to scoop up half-eaten French fries and pizza pockets from the quad, me fantasizing about girls instead of understanding integers and formulation of functional relationships.

Don’t take this the wrong way - Lovers aren’t just some '80s revisionist dance band. They definitely seem to be forging their own territory, which is best exemplified on the last track "Cedar Falls." Here, the synths are still used whimsically, but there’s a certain maturity to this song that I didn’t catch on the rest of the record. Maybe it’s because I’m washing the wine glasses now and thinking of getting a little tipsy with my wife last night, or that this is the kind of music I imagine real adults listening to. Whatever the case, this closer had a distinctly different feel.

Just as I was cleaning the last surface, my wife walked in to a replaying of "Cedar Falls." The look on her face was astonishment, as it wasn’t mind peeling acid rock or reverb-drenched garage rock, but some new kind of adult music - Lovers for my lover.

"Figure 8":


- Chappy

Don't miss Lovers this Saturday, September 11 at Rotture as part of MFNW 2010! They'lll be sharing the stage with MEN (Le Tigre's JD Samson's side band), Boy Joy, Sista Fist, and Permanent Wave! 8:00 p.m. $10 at the door, or free with MFNW wristband.


Middlewest Fest Preview: Breathe Electric

Middlewest Fest takes place in Dekalb, IL on Sept. 10th and 11th and features some of the best Midwestern bands including Maps & Atlases, Russian Circles, Smoking Popes, Dr. Manhattan, Felix Culpa and many more. With such a large collection of talent we thought we would highlight a different band each day leading up to the fest.

Breathe Electric is primarily the work of Grant Harris who set put in 2007 to crafted listener friendly dance-pop and has done just that over four EPs. His most recent release is June's Lovestruck EP (Alliance Music Management). When Breathe Electric performs live the band expands into a full band. Musically, Lovestruck is filled with big hooks and catchy lyrics, and seems to have been tailored to make you dance. Breathe Electric spent the summer as part of the Vans Warped Tour, and will be traveling across country again this fall.

Breathe Electric will be performing at SMLTWN Skateshop (229 E. Lincoln Hwy) on Saturday (9/11) at 8:40pm as part of Middlewest Fest in Dekalb, IL.


Dirty Projector tour with Owen Pallett + give away free track

NYC's most prodigious experimental band Dirty Projectors just announced a September West Coast tour with Toronto based Owen Pallett. The band's label Domino has also made available a free track from the Newyorkers' upcoming Expanded Edition of Bitte Orca (out September 28), featuring previously unreleased live material and b sides. You can download "Temecula Sunrise (Live at Other Music)" here.


Lucinda Black Bear announce release of sophomore album

Lucinda Black Bear’s first album "capo my heart and other bear songs" was a burst of sonic longing, a soulful fusion of cellos, feedback, loops, pianos, drums, and oddly tuned acoustic/electric guitars, with love from place such as NPR, Time Out NY and The Deli, the New York indie folk rockers return with their second album in November, which is even more ambitious, broad and expansive than “capo”. Check out the first offering of LP2 in the form of "Percvial" here. See the band live at Best Buy on 09.24.


Girl In A Coma show, 9/4/10

It was something of a ladies night (save for the Billy Goats) at The End Saturday night as two of Nashville’s acts opened for two touring girl-trios from Texas. Of all the groups in a seemingly mismatched lineup, no one really paled in comparison to another. Solo artist Erin Manning (one of The Deli’s own editors) started the evening and proved she can play music as well as write about it. Though accompanied by other instrumentalists and a backup vocalist, Manning was the powerhouse with the keyboard, and she had what few female vocalists in Nashville have: my attention. Like Amy Winehouse, but stable, Manning puts all the soul into it without the tragedy and high glamour, singing of Harry Potter lore (check out “The Basilisk”) rather than Rehab. The key-driven songs are at once whimsical and semi-seductive, and their writer expects to release an EP in December of this year.

If you had never heard of the Billy Goats and were going to make an assumption based on their name, you might guess rockabilly or some cheeky indie strain, not what two showgoers cited as the best hip hop group in Nashville. It’s a fair assertion, as they doled out more bass- heavy beats to a dancing crowd than The End is used to, and they even worked in an intentionally off-key “Happy Birthday” before a humble exit – “Aw, no I wasn’t,” said ILLER after someone offered an enthusiastic “You were great!” And though The Deli strictly shows the love to Nashville artists, it must be said that the ladies from Texas knew their stuff as well, including Agent Ribbons (three wide-eyed and affable hillbilly-punk dolls working violin and guitar in plaids, ringlet curls and bows, whose set included some unexpected Bowie, Ritchie Valens and Patsy Cline covers) and the three tattooed, raven-haired vixens of Girl in a Coma (these girls, of Joan Jett’s label Blackheart Records, finished the night with an overwhelming stage presence and complete ownership of their instruments – they rocked the bass-drum-guitar combination with unbelievable skill and energy). – Jessica Pace


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