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Artist of the Month
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July 2015
Overwatcher
"Metaphysics
"
mp3

Do some stretches, because Nashville-based Overwatcher are bringing the melodic hardcore madness, and some soft moshing is imminent.

Although a relatively new band, the guys have come out swinging with red-blooded live shows and a victory in our Band of the Month competition. The release of their debut EP "Metaphysics" will undoubtedly add fuel to their face-melting fire.
 
With the ample sound you'd expect from a six-piece, the guys are bringing a new vitality to the melocore scene. "Metaphysics" features the melodic exploration and merciless pulse of predecessors like Touche Amore, mewithoutyou and Defeater, with the brutal lyrical honesty and self-awareness of post-grad punk kids.
 
Overwatcher has created an engaging and discerning debut EP that is just as dynamic (if not more so) live. During their most recent performance at The East Room, lead vocalist Alex MacWilliam, performing through a head-wound he earned early in the set, filled up every ounce of space he could get his hands on. Often on tables and chairs, level with the crowd, even lying down, MacWilliam lead his crew through an intense, energetic set. Whether the audience is of five or 5,000, the performance remains wholehearted, and there is definitely something to be said for that.
 
Overwatcher is putting a refreshing spin on melodic hardcore, and "Metaphysics" is a testament to their musical prowess and clear passion for the genre. And, I can only assume this is just the beginning.  -Caroline Bowman

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Joel Magid: A Welcome Spring Anthem

Some songs effortlessly capture a moment in time. For late spring’s warmth and slower, sunny days comes Joel Magid’s “Since You Went Away.” The sugary-sweet psych pop track captures a mood: one of longing, looking, and desire while remaining upbeat, catchy, and fun. Magid debuted the video for his song on Alt Citizen last week.

Magid’s debut album Pyramids is out this summer. Catch Magid at The Liquor Store on April 29.

Listen to Magid on bandcamp.

-Zibby Pillote, photo by Tom Chamberlain

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Deli Portland's Best Emerging Band of 2014 Showcase: The Domestics, Jackson Boone and The Tamed West

Saturday night, April 25 at Kelly's Olympian, The Deli Portland celebrates the winners of their Best Emerging Artist of 2014 poll - where local music industry insiders, tastemakers and listeners alike democratically elect their favorite new Portland artists. Headlining the night, 2014's poll winners The Domestics will croon their way through your ear and into your hearts with their lyrically-charged, heartfelt indie rock and roll reminiscent of the late Heatmiser. The fall of 2014 saw the release of their self-titled debut LP and made The Domestics an instant classic. Support by the folk tinged dream psych wizardry of Jackson Boone, and openers The Tamed West with their more upbeat reverb washed garage pop blend of psych rock. Doors at 8:30, 21+, $5 in advance or $7 at the door.


Holy Sons move to Brooklyn + play Brain Cave Fest on 04.25 at Baby's All Right

Holy Sons, brainchild of psychedelic songwriter Emil Amos, doesn't play music that will brighten your day. Emil uses this project as an outlet for dealing with his own ghosts, and his dark, thoughtful, haunted songs don't do anything to conceal that: the process obviously represents a rather effective form of self medication, considering he's released eleven records since 2000 (two of them in 2014). Emil recently moved to NYC (from Portland), recruited musicians to re-form his band, and has been playing several gigs in and around Brooklyn. You can catch him at the upcoming Brain Cave Festival on April 25 at Baby's All Right.

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Yeah Great Fine’s Single Release with Glass Knees and Mothertapes

Yeah Great Fine hasn’t released any new music for quite some time, and their single release at The Liquor Store on SE Belmont was a perfect snapshot of the articulate, experimental beauty that can only be found in the swells and lulls of math rock. 

Glass Knees played first, drawing the small crowd in with simultaneously melodic and hard-hitting jams, soaring synths blended with highly technical drums and guitar. They closed out their set in a very unique way, by inviting the entire audience to use an assortment of small percussive instruments to play along with the band, which might sound hokey, but made the audience come alive.

By comparison Mothertapes played a much slower set, starting out with exactly what you’d expect from a two-piece: pure rhythm. But as their set progressed they developed lilting melodies that built upon themselves through unexpected guitar effects and vocals. Watching their live show feels very much like watching a scientist discover a new element: every piece is so calculated, so intentional, and symmetrical—everything you crave from an evening of math rock.

Yeah Great Fine closed out the night and the two new tracks they premiered displayed an element of refinement that their previous EP and album lacked. That isn’t to say the new songs aren’t as energetic, but rather, they have focused their energy, which can be hard to do with six members, but somehow, even on the small stage in The Liquor Store basement, they pulled it off, with an air of playfulness that had the entire crowd completely captivated.

Check out Yeah Great Fine’s new singles, “Ketsu” and “Stallion” on Bandcamp. AND, check out Katie Summer's photos of Yeah Great Fine, Mothertapes and Glass Knees from their show Wednesday night at the Liquore store. 

-Sarah Eaton 


The Hunt is On: Record Store Day 2015

Record Store Day is on Saturday—the best day of the year to stand in line and fight over rare vinyl releases while supporting local businesses. This year, Portland record stores will stock hundreds of RSD exclusive releases, including some local treats.

In October, Blitzen Trapper recorded Neil Young’s Harvest in full at the Doug Fir. Score the live album Live Harvest on Saturday. Listen to their take on “Heart of Gold” before you buy the record.

Eyelids, Portland’s psych-pop super group, are releasing a split 7” with The Phoenix Foundation, produced by Peter Buck.

Pickathon partnered with Easy Sound Recording Company to release a split 7” of Those Darlins and Diarrhea Planet (both from Nashville) recorded live at the festival last summer. Preview the tracks here.

Jackpot Records is releasing a limited edition record of short-lived Portland band No. 2’s No Memory. Mixed by Elliott Smith, the album is “the missing link between the end of Heatmiser and the beginning of Elliott Smith’s major label debut,” according to Jackpot.

In store performances abound throughout the day. Everyday Music on the Westside will feature DJ sets by members of Typhoon, Modern Kin, Laura Veirs, Summer Cannibals, and more, plus performances by Edna Vasquez, Ryan Sollee (Builders and the Butchers), Sam Coomes (Quasi), The Shivas, The Ghost Ease, The Ganders, and the Dandy Warhols. See the full schedule here.

Tender Loving Empire will host an officially unofficial RSD party at their SE Hawthorne store featuring Genders, Ali Muhareb, and Run On Sentence.

Jackpot will pour you free coffee if you peruse their shop or stop in for their DJ sets.

Across town, Music Millennium will host Portland punk legends, Dead Moon.

Make sure you check out early opening times for your favorite record store, and study the release list ahead of time.

Happy Record Store Day!

-Zibby Pillote


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