Tag Archives: Cory Butcher

LIVE: Washed Out, Crystal Ballroom, Portland, OR

Note: Be sure to check out Linneas’ photos on our Facebook page

By Cory Butcher // Photos by Linneas Boland-Godbey

The weather wasn’t the only thing that was chill in Portland on Thursday night, as chillwave auteur Ernest Greene brought Washed Out to the Crystal Ballroom. I’ve seen Washed Out a few times over the past few years, and the project has come a long way in a short time, going from one man standing behind a MacBook, playing to a sparse crowd to a 5 piece band filling up the Crystal Ballroom.

Kisses @ Crystal Ballroom. Photo by Linneas Boland-Godbey

Kisses // Photo Credit: Linneas Boland-Godbey

Kisses, a synthpop band from Southern California, kicked off the show around 9. Despite the crowd’s reluctance to move, Kisses played a very energetic set, keeping the mood upbeat and trying to get the audience engaged. Lead singer/guitarist Jesse Kivel and keyboardist Zinzi Edmundson harmonized well, and set the mood well for what was to come later in the evening. Since it is Portland, most of the audience tried there hardest not to react at all, despite multiple attempts by Kivel to get the audience to dance. As their set continued, the audience warmed up, clapping along, nodding in rhythm, and by the end, I think I even saw a few groups of people dancing.

Washed Out @ Crystal Ballroom. Photo by Linneas Boland-Godbey

 

Washed Out // Photo Credit: Linneas Boland-Godbey

Washed Out took to the brightly lit stage shortly after 10, and immediately got the crowd grooving with Paracosm opener “It All Feels Right,” then followed it up with the percussion-driven “Belong,” from Greene’s cassette-only debut High Times. The band sounded amazing, switching instruments from song to song and never missing a beat. They even threw in a cover of chillwave contemporaries Small Black’s “Despicable Dogs.” Throughout the night, Greene stepped out behind his synthesizer to play to the crowd and encourage them to move,even though by that point no one in the venue was standing still, save for a few people in the front row videotaping the show in a very conspicuous manner. The set reached a crescendo around 11, when they played the unofficial Portland anthem/Portlandia theme-song “Feel It All Around.” Until that moment, I didn’t know that it was possible to sing along to Washed Out’s hazy vocals. They closed out the set with “Amor Fati,” a standout track from 2011’s Within and Without. For the encore, the stage darkened, and the lights and the bass began to pulse, and it almost turned into an EDM show as they played a version of “Hold Out” that was nearly unrecognizable from the original track from 2009’s Life of Leisure, before bidding the crowd adieu with “Eyes Be Closed.” This was the fourth time I’d seen Washed Out, and it was by far the best performance I’ve seen from them.

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LIVE: Screaming Females, The Know, Portland, OR

By Cory Butcher

The Know was packed on a cold Portland night (seriously it has been so cold), as a throng of eager music fans crammed themselves into the intimate venue to see Screaming Females. Portland garage band The Ghost Ease were up first, playing a tight set that set the tone for the night. By the end of their performance, the crowd had grown, and they were very into it.

Next up was SoCal pop-punk act Upset, a new band fronted by former Best Coast/Vivian Girls drummer Ali Koehler, and featuring former Hole drummer Patty Schemel. Their sound was similar to Koehler’s previous bands, but more upbeat and melodic than Best Coast, more pop than punk.

By the time Screaming Females hit the stage, there was barely any room to stand in the venue (even moreso than usual at The Know). I craned my neck over the crowd from the back corner, and was rewarded with an amazing show. Marissa Paternoster was unstoppable, going from one song to the next, furiously shredding on her guitar, playing riff after riff. To be honest, the whole show was kind of a blur (beer is cheap at The Know), but I walked out a fan, and I fully encourage anyone who has the chance to go see Screaming Females as many times as possible.

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LIVE: Pop 1280, The Know, Portland, OR

Pop 1280Pop 1280 // Photo credit: Cory Butcher

By Cory Butcher

Sacred Bones’ art-noise-punk act Pop. 1280 played an intense show at The Know on a stormy Portland night. The wind wasn’t the only thing howling on Alberta street that evening, as the band played a loud, cacophonous set, blending elements of punk, no-wave, and dissonance into a maelstrom of strangely melodic noise. The band switched from a guitar and synth setup to dual synths, depending on the song, and vocalist Chris Bug’s throaty growl was reminiscent of Big Black-era Steve Albini. Near the end of their set, they played “Do the Anglerfish,” and trust me, if I had known how to do it, I would have. By the time they had finished the show, my ears were ringing, I wasn’t sure what I’d just seen, but I knew I wanted to see it again.

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Two Boys, One Show: Pure Bathing Culture and Widowspeak

PBCWidowspeak // Photo Credit: Cory Butcher

By Cory Butcher and Darren Hicks

Darren Hicks and Cory Butcher attended Pure Bathing Culture and Widowpseak at Bunk Bar last week. Darren had  to split after PBC but Cory stuck around. Here’s what they thought.
Darren: Deep in the industrial district of Portland, Ore (and by that i mean across the Morrison Bridge and down a few blocks), a passerby notices a lovely breeze of sound entering their ears. It could be a nearby train, the humming bass of a passing car, or the music of Pure Bathing Culture emanating from Bunk Bar. Okay, word picture over. Let’s get to the main event.
Portland’s dream pop darlings opened for New York’s Widowspeak, a band which I unfortunately had to miss (hashtag Hillsboro problems). They played selections from their recent LP Moon Tides, and all four tracks from their brilliant debut EP. They also played their cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams” from the Rumors Revisited compilation.
The band’s recent addition of a live drummer is definitely noticeable and beneficial, adding much more weight and at least doubling the strength of their already rock solid material. Songs like “Dream the Dare” and “Twins” were transformed into something much more powerful.
Before this sounds too much like a book report, I’m just gong to tell you this: Go see Pure Bathing Culture. They sound nice.

Cory: The crowd shrank considerably after PBC finished their set. Widowspeak hit the stage around 11PM. This was the second time I’d seen the band in the last couple months. Even though they are on Captured Tracks records, they don’t share the same poppy, synth-heavy sounds as most bands on the label. Instead, they are more reminiscent of artists like Sharon Van Etten and Wye Oak, but a little more shoegazey. Vocalist Molly Hamilton’s haunting voice really carried the hazy, dreamy songs, while the fretwork of guitarist Robert Earl Thomas propelled the songs to another level. Definitely a band worth checking out.

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LIVE: Quintron & Miss Pussycat, Dante’s, Portland, OR

quintronQuintron and Miss Pussycat // Photo Credit: Cory Butcher

By Cory Butcher

Quintron and Miss Pussycat came to Dante’s Saturday night, bringing with them the best puppet show/dance party this writer has ever witnessed. I got there just in time to catch the last half of Cave’s set, and I wish I’d gotten there earlier. Their psych-drone rock was, in my opinion, RAD. Dutch duo zZz took the stage next, and despite only consisting of a drummer and an organist, they were pretty great. Also, their drummer sang, and singing drummers are always a plus. All the thumbs up.

Before Quintron started his set, the crowd was treated to a short puppet show from his wife, Miss Pussycat. Believe it or not, a story about a bear trying to win a bake-off with an evil cake actually set the mood for the set the followed perfectly. Armed with his patented Drum Buddy and Miss Pussycat providing additional vocals and maracas, Quintron played for almost 2 hours straight, and the energy in the crowd never waned. The (almost) one-man-band kept going, playing through technical difficulties, repairing equipment without ever stopping the show, and making an insane amount of wonderful noise from behind the hood of the car that contained god knows how many instruments. At the end of the night, he closed the set with crowd-favorite “Swamp Buggy Badass,” and extended jam of the Pink Panther theme song, and a lot of other stuff that I can’t really describe. Also, even though the crowd wasn’t that big, almost everyone at Dante’s was moving to the music, which is rare for any show in Portland. In short: if you ever get the chance to see Quintron, go see him, because he is great and the show is so different (in the best way) than most of the concerts that come through Portland.

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MFNW ’13: The Cory Butcher Report

By Cory Butcher

On the third night of MFNW, I rode through the rare musicfest rain to Dante’s to catch Bleached, who put out Ride Your Heart, one of my favorite records of the summer, and The Men, who I have been meaning to see for a while now. Despite some early technical difficulties, Bleached played a a fun set, and their upbeat SoCal garage-punk helped the crowd forget that the weather outside was Portland. Highlights from the set included “Dead in Your Head,” “Next Stop,” and a cover of The Ramones’ “Today Your Love, Tomorrow the World.” At midnight, Brooklyn’s The Men hit the stage. I was a big fan of last year’s Open Your Heart, but I was a little disappointed by the classic-rock sounds of this year’s New Moon. They began the set with a southern-rock sounding jam, then transitioned to an hour of non-stop noise, and I mean noise in the best way possible. The energy in the venue was amazing, and the band never stopped or slowed down (Someone in the crown even yelled out “No more slow songs!” during the set, and the band complied).

On Saturday night, I went to see Italians Do It Better labelmates Chromatics and Glass Candy. The line outside the Wonder stretch around the block, and I don’t think that most of those people made it into the venue. Chromatics played an amazing set, and I wish I could remember more details, but I was having a really good time. They played all the key songs from Night Drive and Kill for Love, closing the set with their covers of Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill” and Neil Young’s “Into the Black.” They even surprised the crowd with an encore, even though Glass Candy were headlining that night. Ruth Radelet serenaded the crowd with a version of “Blue Moon,” then they played a couple more songs before thaking their leave, and allowing Johnny Jewel to get some rest before hitting the stage again with Glass Candy. On this night, Ida No was dressed like she was in a J-Pop group, and about halfway through the high energy set, she brought out a couple backup dancers. Ida also shared the story of how she and Johnny met at the Burnside Fred Meyer, and then gave a shoutout to a group of their former co-workers who were in the audience. By the end of the night, people were dancing on the stage, Ida and her dancers were crowdsurfing (one of the dancers was dropped, but she was okay!), and the band was covering a Geto Boys song. When they closed the set with “Warm in the Winter,” the crowd had entered a state of euphoria that I haven’t seen at many Portland shows.

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LIVE: Islands, Doug Fir Lounge, Portland, OR

Issslandsss

By Cory Butcher

Islands came to the Doug Fir on Sunday, in support of their fifth album, Ski Mask. When I caught Islands at Mississippi Studios last year, touring the mellow, piano-heavy A Sleep and a Forgetting, the mood at the show was pretty subdued. On this night, however, Nick Thorburn and co. played an energetic set for an enthusiastic crowd, even dedicating a few songs to characters from Breaking Bad. After opening the show with “Wave Forms,” the leadoff track from the new record, they kept the crowd moving with songs like “Hushed Tones” and “Nil,” as well as older favorites such as “Creeper,” “Tender Torture,” and “Don’t Call Me Whitney, Bobby.” For the encore, Thorburn jumped on the keyboard to play “Hallways” before closing the set with “Swans,” which was the perfect end to the show .

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