Tag Archives: Jordan Portlock

Episode 140: The Best of 2015 (So Far)

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Thanks to Jordan Portlock for joining us this week! You can listen above, and download this one right here.

Topic:

  • The best of the first half of 2015! We talk about our favorite records, favorite shows, biggest surprises – and disappointments.

Songs:

  • Sleater-Kinney – “Price Tag”
  • Sorority Noise – “Corrigan”
  • Kendrick Lamar – “Mortal Man”
  • Beat Connection – “So Good”

 

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Episode 120: Don’t Believe the Hype

Thanks to Jordan Portlock for joining us this week! You can listen to the episode above, and download it right here.

Topic:

  • When you enjoy a band, but not the things that influenced that band
  • When you enjoy a band, but hate the things they’ve influenced
  • How can hype enhance or destroy people’s enjoyment of something?

Songs:

  • Portland Trailblazers – “Bust a Bucket”
  • Iron & Wine – “Your Fake Name is Good Enough For Me”
  • Fugazi – “Waiting Room”
  • Trapper Schoepp – “Tracks”
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LIVE: The Drums, Star Theater, Portland, OR

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By Jordan Portlock // Photos by Jordan Portlock

What? There is still a line for this show forty minutes past doors? What gives? Are The Drums silently taking over the world and nobody told me?

No, it turns out my initial impressions were misguided. The line turned out to be a clever form of crowd management to draw a spectacle on the street, the doors opened a bit late, and The Drums are not going to take over the world anytime soon. They do, however, put on a great show.

Continue reading

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Episode 63: It Was A Very Good Year

Thank you to Colin McLaughlin and Jordan Portlock for joining us this week, for our wrap-up show! This bad boy is mighty long, and below are links to download the different sections individually, or the single-file version of the episode. We hope you enjoy it!

Topic:

  • 2013: A year in review!
  • We go over our favorite songs, albums, shows – and our biggest disappointments.

Songs Used:

Bands Mentioned:

  • Pusha T / Clipse
  • Danny Brown
  • Chance the Rapper
  • Vampire Weekend
  • Kanye West
  • Phoenix
  • Fanno Creek
  • Just Lions
  • Bright is Black
  • Foo Fighters
  • Dropkick Murphys
  • Bono / U2
  • Rolling Stones
  • Bob Dylan
  • The Band
  • Thee Oh Sees
  • Norah Jones
  • M. Ward
  • Nine Inch Nails
  • Autre Ne Veut
  • Majical Cloudz
  • Grimes
  • A$AP Ferg
  • Fiona Apple
  • Blake Mills
  • Savages
  • Crystal Castles
  • Gary Numan
  • Kendrick Lamar
  • Flying Lotus
  • Thundercat
  • Captain Murphy
  • Drake
  • Soundgarden
  • Jeff Mangum / Neutral Milk Hotel
  • Animal Collective
  • Foals
  • The National
  • Deerhunter
  • Neko Case
  • Eric Bachmann / Archers of Loaf
  • Bruce Springsteen
  • Explosions in the Sky
  • The Blow
  • James Murphy / LCD Soundsystem
  • Postal Service
  • Big Freedia
  • Mudhoney
  • J. Mascis
  • Metz
  • Father John Misty
  • Shabazz Palaces
  • Shearwater
  • Joyce Manor
  • Ural Thomas
  • Johnny Marr / The Smiths
  • Big Boi
  • Steely Dan
  • Philip Glass
  • Pearl Jam
  • Sleater Kinney
  • Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks
  • Typhoon
  • Cut Copy
  • Sebadoh
  • Graham Nash
  • The Breeders
  • James Blake
  • Little Green Cars
  • Iceage
  • Shuggie Otis
  • Patti Smith
  • The Walkmen
  • Anamanaguchi
  • Portland Cello Project
  • Emmylou Harris
  • The Bats
  • Pet Shop Boys
  • Miguel
  • Rudimentals
  • Arcade Fire
  • Michael Stipe
  • David Bowie
  • Pharrell Williams
  • Julian Casablancas
  • Panda Bear
  • Giorgio Moroder
  • My Bloody Valentine
  • Boards of Canada
  • The Knife
  • Jay Z
  • Justin Timberlake
  • Miley Cyrus
  • Beyonce
  • Madonna
  • Modest Mouse
  • Tegan & Sara
  • Dawes
  • Lightspeed Champion
  • Mike Will Made It
  • Danny Brown
  • Busta Rhymes
  • Q-Tip
  • Janelle Monae
  • Kevin Gates
  • Laura Mvula
  • Merchandise
  • Yo La Tengo
  • Nina Simone
  • Big Sean
  • Jay Electronica
  • Los Campesinos!
  • Violent Femmes
  • Typhoon
  • Wild Ones
  • Mo Troper / Your Rival
  • Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds
  • The Flaming Lips
  • Unknown Mortal Orchestra
  • Foxygen
  • The Haxan Cloak
  • Run The Jewels
  • Camera Obscura
  • Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark
  • Volcano Choir
  • D’Angelo
  • Our First Brains
  • Nana Grisol / Defiance, Ohio
  • St. Lucia
  • Stuart Villain
  • Disappears
  • RiFF-RAFF
  • Phil Anselmo / Pantera
  • Author & Punisher
  • Oneohtrix Point Never
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LIVE: Foals, Wonder Ballroom, Portland, OR

unnamedFoals // Photo Credit: Jordan Portlock

By Jordan Portlock

Foals… They’re A Band

Foals returned for their second Portland show of 2013 on Monday night to a sold-out Wonder Ballroom and did not disappoint.

Low-profile Portland jammers Animal Eyes took the opening spot and earned a place on the Wonder’s stage. It had been almost two years since I had seen the band play at Backspace as the Headliner of Music In the School’s Battle of The Bands 2012 and in that period of time Animal Eyes have evolved from a “samey” sounding hipster-bar band to a modestly psychedelic wall of sound. The band was tight, professional, and memorable, even while sharing a stage with a big name band like Foals. Despite what any previous opinions I may have had about Animal Eyes as a band may have been, it is clear that they are able to hold down the fort and belong on a bigger stage than what they’ve been given thus far. With good management, a couple more distinguishable songs and some subtle taming on the part of their resident pirate captain multi-instrumentalist, I can see them easily finding success in the current indie landscape.

Now, admittedly, I have been a Foals fan since middle school. I know the words, I have the b-sides, and listening to their albums Antidotes and Total Life Forever now, I’m starting to realize that they are two of the defining albums of my high school years. Don’t mistake that for self-indulgent nostalgia because I’ve only been out of high school for two years but what I am trying to get across is that I (figuratively) wore the fuck out of those albums. Their latest, Holy Fire, is equally fantastic. Their major label debut (only advertised as such on the back cover of the CD/Vinyl or the Spotify/Rdio digital cover), packing more emotional ‘oomph’ than the two previous collections combined, has paved the way for their recent rise to buzz band status with singles like the riff-heavy “Inhaler” and borderline-guilty-pleasure catchiness of “My Number”.

So, let’s talk a little bit about “My Number”. Unarguably the band’s most popular single to date and essentially the song that caught KNRK’s eye enough to put them on a December to Remember show, It’s obvious that many people in the crowd were there for THAT SONG. So them playing it third in their set resulted in a few audible remarks to the effect of: “They’re playing this song already?” Apparently people are used to the “play the hit last” model enough for My Number’s front-loader status to be surprising. Foals seem not to care, though, as the song was obviously written for success. Chorus line, “You don’t have my number/We don’t need each other now” is the type of post 21st Century poetics that would more typically grace a Katy Perry song but Foals, with all of their locked-down funk splatting, pull it off in spades. Almost embarrassingly, I was overjoyed to be hand clapping and dancing with the 16-year-old crowd brought in off the KNRK sponsorship of the show and “My Number” itself. If any song by a cultish indie band could bring them to the forefront of the Alternative world and get a crowd going the way it did Monday, they’d be lucky to have it be as solid as “My Number”.

The set itself was somewhat less remarkable than their headlining set at the Crystal Ballroom earlier this year. Notable was the absence of live staples like “Total Life Forever” and the 10 minute live freakout of “Electric Bloom” and a slight sense of fatigue from the band. Frontman Yannis Philippakis did confess to the band having just flown in and feeling jet lagged, but I suspect that the band’s nonstop touring cycle this year would also be a contributor to any weariness.

About halfway through the (relatively short) set is when things began to pick up, starting with the epic climax of Holy Fire standout, “Late Night”. Moving into the track “Providence” which can only truly be experienced in a live atmosphere and is probably better suited for festivals, the band and the crowd loosened up and took off with blistering false-endings and a heavy prolonged jam which has now become traditional at the end of Antidotes track, “Red Socks Pugie”.

The main set ended here and after a short respite the band returned for the best two songs of the night and easily two of the best songs in Foals’ catalogue: “Inhaler” and “Two Steps, Twice” This one two punch is what I walked out of the show remembering. The fuzzed out roar that marks the chorus of “Inhaler” started the first true moshing of the night. I’ll admit partial responsibility for this but I was far from the only audience member up for it. At this point the casual fans were brushed to the side and the die-hards took over the floor.

I don’t think I ever want to see a Foals show where they don’t finish their set with “Two Steps, Twice”. It is one of the only remaining aspects of the band’s set that resembles their “mathy” roots and remains one of their most exciting songs live. It’s where the set explodes, leaving behind the scattered remains of the night. It’s a tribute to the bands more invested fans which serves as a perfect closer.

Where Foals go from here is anybody’s guess. They’re to the point where they are relatively mainstream for a band of their stature but seem to be smart enough to really do what they want. They’ve proved that they can pack venues like the Crystal Ballroom and Wonder Ballroom  and put on an actual show (as opposed to just playing through the songs) so I’d suppose the future is their’s if they want it and are willing to play the game. They still have a long way to go if they really want to go big but the foundation is there. Let’s just hope we don’t lose their number along the way.

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MFNW: Deerhunter


By Jordan Portlock, photo by Yousef Hatlani

MFNW Recap: Deerhunter

Is arriving 2.5 hours before doors open crazy? Probably. But, hey, this strategy got me front row center stage for one of the best live acts I have ever seen. The two high school aged girls in front of me in line who arrived well before I did had similar aspirations and results, I’m sure.

Opening for Deerhunter was Lonnie Holley. Backed by Deerhunter’s Bradford Cox and Josh McKay on drums and bass (respectively) and The Shins’ Richard Swift on keys, this was a hard set to put a finger on. Holley’s long-winded forays into textural jazz and spoken (dare I say howled?) word were packed with emotion and care and accurately reflect the sounds heard on his previous album but but unfortunately amounted to little more than these descriptions. A fascinating set to watch, nonetheless.

Deerhunter, in line with an earlier set I caught at The Sasquatch Music Festival in 2011, put on the kind of show that young indie rockers can only aspire to. They really have it all: tight indie alt-pop, loud rockers, swirling guitar textures, and the first true frontman alternative rock has had in years, Bradford Cox.


Photo by Yousef Hatlani

Backed by Deerhunter’s wall-of-sound calling card, Cox had free reign all night to push the boundaries of what it means to be a rock band in the 21st Century. This meant invoking the rabid swagger of past frontmen like The Cramps’ Lux Interior and even Kurt Cobain in a whirlwind show held up by moments of pure feral energy.

When he wasn’t commanding the microphone through songs dating back to 2007’s Fluorescent Grey EP, Cox’s weapon of choice was his bright blue teardrop shaped guitar which he not only attempted to literally fuck on a set of monitors about three feet from where I was standing, but also swung around as a figurative cock as he slid it, protruding out from his groin, along the head and face of guitarist and Lotus Plaza mastermind, Lockett Pundt, in one moment of experimental rage. Further rampages ranged from Bowie-esque guitar fellatio to an attempt by Cox to see if he could reach the floor of the crystal ballroom with a massive gob of spit and return it to his mouth.

His attempt was a success. The saliva hit the floor and shot back up (in the process landing on a guitar pick dropped earlier in the show which was courageously scooped from the ground by Yousef Hatlani) as if he had done it a thousand times before which, at this point, he may have. Deerhunter’s set was the result of years developing their reputation as one of alternative music’s most enduring bands and pursuing whatever they damn well please in the process. They are kings of the genre and performed as such.


Photo by Yousef Hatlani

Bradford Cox knows what he is doing. He is reigniting a fire under rock once stoked by prima donna frontmen whose main goal was to excite and inspire. If the scene I witnessed outside the Crystal Ballroom before the show of Cox ferociously chewing out a member of their touring team for not waiting for him to enter the building is any indication, then he and his band are the real deal. After their performance, you’d be hard-pressed to find somebody who thinks otherwise.

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