Deejay Loraxe at Beech Street Parlor 3/17

Thursday, March 13th, 2014 | musiX, pdX, vinylZ | No Comments

By the looks of things I’m going to have to play some metal. Continuing my plummet into all things heavy (more on this later), I’ll be digging out some classicks from Budgie, Sepultura, Saint Vitus, and most likely some KISS, RATT and Angel. Come hang out with me at Beech Street this St. Paddy’s Day from 9 p.m.-1 a.m. I’ll be the one hunched over underneath the stairwell sweating, drinking Jamison and flipping licorice pizza. You’re welcome for painting such a lovely picture.

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It’s a prog eat prog world

Monday, March 3rd, 2014 | musiX, pdX, vinylZ | No Comments

I’ve discovered that those who are really into early Genesis are an interesting breed. Then again that era of the band is pretty ridiculous in the best/worst possible way. I’m really not much of a prog head—I can appreciate it on a certain level, and I do like me some King Crimson—but the snootiness of it all kind of stinks. But I couldn’t turn down a recent opportunity to see The Musical Box, the longtime French-Canadian tribute to early-’70s Genesis. I’ve always been a little curious about that era, and I became even more intrigued upon reading Andy Zax’s recent Tweet-by-Tweet of the band’s Los Angeles performance.

I went in knowing nothing, owning only a copy of the band’s post-Gabriel-Hackett record Duke (which I love). Actually, the closest I’d come to hearing Genesis’ old stuff was when my brother—who as a young whippersnapper loved the poppy pap of Abacab and Invisible Touch—unknowingly bought an early live cassette from the dollar bin. Needless to say, we put it on and stared blankly at each other.

But, I have to admit, The Musical Box’s performance was pretty damn impressive, this time focusing on the band’s 1972 LP Foxtrot. It should be pointed out that The Musical Box has been at it 20 years, and that the members of Genesis have praised these guys. Steve Hackett and Phil Collins have even sat in with them. The stage set, costumes, even the instruments were to specs … although the drummer playing Collins played right-handed, and I really would have liked to see a more robust mustache on the guitarist doing Hackett (what he lacked in ‘stache he more than made up for in guitarness). And it confirmed my thoughts on Genesis fans, who treated this performance by these Canadians playing the parts of this old band as a religious experience. And I was into it—even the music. Genesis doesn’t seem as stale and sterile as Yes or Emerson Lake & Palmer. Definitely more bloated. But I’m a sucker for theatrics. If I saw a band that looked like this on stage in 2014 I’d go apeshit.

Over the last couple of days I’ve picked up Foxtrot and Selling England By the Pound. I’m still deciding how much I like them. Although, I’ve gotta say “Supper’s Ready” is goddamn incredible in its epic, overwrought eccentricity. Yeah, that about sums it up. That said, if you make it all the way through this song I’ll give you a hundred bitcoin.

“Supper’s Ready”Genesis

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Black Friday: Metal? Noam? Metal Noam.

Friday, February 7th, 2014 | musiX, pdX, politiX | No Comments

The foreboding philosophical speeches of Noam Chomsky set to doomy riffs? Makes perfect sense. I could ask what took so long, but I’d rather dig into the debut EP from Portland trio Avram, who’ve done just that (the members actually got the green light from the man himself to use the samples). Thing is, simply because it sounds like a good idea doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to come through in the execution. But Metal Noam succeeds over the course of 13 minutes, mixing styles that create just the right tone, and leave the proper space for Chomsky’s musings without hamfistedly pummeling listeners. I think they might really care about what Chomsky has to say.

Avram includes guitarist-keyboardist Amanda Machina, bassist Darryl Moton and drummer Nate Carson, who also splinters sticks in Portland doom unit Witch Mountain. Don’t expect any live performances (yet) from these three metallintellectuals, but you can download the songs for free at their Bandcamp. Or if you’re really feeling in the spirit of the project you can pay what you like, and the proceeds will go to charity. Mr. Chomsky would approve.

“No Right To Live” - Avram

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DJ Loraxe at Beech St. Parlor 1/30

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014 | musiX, pdX, vinylZ | No Comments

I’ll pack up my records this Thursday night and creep out of TDoL HQ down to my favorite house-turned-bar Beech Street Parlor for some whiskey and rock and roll. Last month I leaned heavily on the metal. Then the pipes froze. Guess I need to bring a little more of Hell’s fire with me.

This week I think I’ll mix it up a bit … just like the flier says, I suppose. Expect songs from early Priest, Maiden, The Pooh Sticks, Sheila Chandra, T. Rex, Nothing People, and much more. Come down and have a not-imaginary drink with me. 9 p.m.-1 a.m.

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DJ Lorax at Hawthorne Theatre

Thursday, February 7th, 2013 | musiX, pdX | No Comments

I’ll be playing tunes this Friday at Hawthorne Theatre with my good pal, DJ Bob Ham. It’s always a fun time—I mean, it is Happy Hour on a Friday.

I suppose the goal will be to get things warmed up/getting people hot and bothered for the Hot Water Music show later that evening. I think we can do it. But despite what the photo to the left implies, we won’t be spinning records. Instead we will be gazing into the glow of our laptops, which will likely resemble two grown men playing Battleship. Less sexy than records, but still very, very sexy.

We will rock and roll all nite from 6-8 p.m. inside the Hawthorne Theatre lounge. Beers will be cheap(er). And I’ll be digging deep into the folders on my desktop for some digital nuggets o’ rock from all over the globe … from my computer.

A few new things I’ve been munching on of late: Kiki Pau, Foxygen, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, new Thermals(!), Holy Grail, Eat Skull, Ty Segall/Mikal Cronin. Older stuff: Pere Ubu, Monoshock, the Saints, Urbane Gorilla, the Feelies. It’ll be good. Promise.

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