Author Archives: Michael Beck

MusicfestNW, Friday: Dan Mangan

Singer/songwriter Dan Mangan hails from just across the border in Vancouver and developed his chops playing his lyrical, acoustic indie folk in whatever bar or venue would take him, touring incessantly after releasing his debut album Postcards and Daydreams. His hard work paid off with the release of his sophomore album Nice, Nice, Very Nice,Read more…

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MusicfestNW, Friday: The Horrors

The roots of British quintet The Horrors lie within the 60’s garage rock and post-punk movements, the evolutions of which led directly to new wave. The five band members met and bonded over mutual love of groups like Bauhaus and The Birthday Party, infusing elements of goth and shoegaze into the Horrors’ already established sound.Read more…

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MusicfestNW 2011, Thursday: Sebadoh

If you are a fan or were part of the lo-fi scene of the 1990’s, Sebadoh is 101 listening material along with such eponymous bands as Pavement and Guided By Voices. Sebadoh was formed in the late ’80’s after Lou Barlow got the boot from J. Mascis and Dinosaur Jr.  Sebadoh’s sound is nearly all-encompassing,Read more…

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MusicfestNW 2011, Thursday: Unknown Mortal Orchestra

Unknown Mortal Orchestra was formed just in the last couple years by ex-Mint Chicks guitarist Ruban Nielson after they disbanded. Apparently, he had planned to just work a day job but after making some psychedelic basement demos and relocating to Portland from his hometown of Auckland, New Zealand, he couldn’t avoid his passion for musicianship.Read more…

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MusicfestNW 2011, Thursday: Little Dragon

Little Dragon is a quartet based out of Sweden comprised of vocalist Yukimi Nagano, Hakan Wirenstrand on keys, bassist Fredrik Kallgren Wallin and drummer Erik Bodin. In late July 2011, Little Dragon released their third studio album to largely positive critical acclaim, including a peak Billboard chart position of 78 (#4 in the dance/electronic category.)Read more…

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MusicFest Northwest, Friday: Typhoon

Portland indie rockers Typhoon regularly play with anywhere between ten and fourteen members onstage, indulging in complicated arrangements and lush, varied orchestration. This massive lineup lends itself to a broad musical reach; with each member coming from a different background, Typhoon’s resultant sound ends up somewhere between indie rock, experimental pop, and folk. The band’sRead more…

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Bumbershoot 2011, Monday: Sharon Van Etten

Sharon Van Etten, despite having a catalog of tear-jerking, slow-burning songs about heartbreak and “men issues,” is one of the most refreshing singer-songwriters to emerge from the depths of folk/Americana roots. Her stunning sophomore LP, Epic, is dedicated to Fleetwood Mac. While most of the songs in the dusk set were from this album, sheRead more…

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Bumbershoot 2011, Sunday: School of Seven Bells

It is fitting that School of Seven Bells’ set occurred towards the end of the middle day of Bumbershoot — their synth-heavy, at times tribal at others shoe-gazy, set seemed crafted for nighttime listening. It is odd that at one point during the set, I thought “This sounds a bit like The Secret Machines.” CoincidentallyRead more…

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Bumbershoot 2011, Monday: Purity Ring

It is a ridiculous name for this new band out of Canada (Corin Roddick, formerly of Gobble Gobble and his friend Megan James) that makes incredibly sexy, bright and slightly downbeat electronic beats. During Purity Ring‘s set at the 2011 Bumbershoot Music & Arts festival, James’ soaring vocals were prominent the entire time, often manipulatedRead more…

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Bumbershoot 2011, Sunday: Jessica Lea Mayfield

Kent, Ohio, native Jessica Lea Mayfield put on a brilliant set of searing slow-burners featuring her sultry, southern drawl-tinged vocals and avant garde, adventuresome guitar solos by her lead guitarist. Many of the songs painted images of infidelity in love, wrongdoings, heartbreak – the entire set was very intimate for one of the larger outdoorRead more…

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