836 N. Russell St. / Portland, OR, 97227
Wednesday, October 3, 2018
White Eagle Saloon & Hotel - White Eagle Saloon
$10 in advance, $10 day of show
21 and over
8 p.m.$10 in advance, $10 day of show21 and over
Powerful and funky, The Super Saturated Sugar Strings's take on modern Americana is full of dense, intricate, virtuosic instrumental arrangements and shout-to-the-rafter vocals. Their lush back-beat-americana-meets-chamber-ensemble sound has stirred a large congregation of dedicated fans in Alaska. On their new album, ALL THEIR MANY MILES (released March 23, 2018) they've managed to translate not only the high energy stomp and swing of their live shows to the studio, but also to capture some of the magic that brings together Anchorage's music community. There's an element of carnival sideshow in their sometimes cinematic sound, drenched in strings and horns and bombastic ideas. Nobody does anything small in Alaska, and this Alaskan band delivers a mesmerizing and powerful performance with energetic charm.
The group formed in 2011 in Anchorage, Alaska and includes Kat Moore on vocals, piano, keyboard, and percussion; Carlyle Watt on vocals, guitar, and percussion; Theresa Watt on cello; Miriah Phelps on violin; Logan Bean on trumpet; Kevin Worrell on bass.
Ryan Sollee moved to Portland in 2003 to chase music with his punk band the Born Losers. Eventually he formed The Builders and the Butchers, to much local and modest national acclaim. They toured relentlessly for 5 years, taking the Builders across Europe and the US multiple times. Ryan is a Taurus and a proud husband and father.
At first glance, the word association of "Alaska" and "punk rock" might seem like something out of a cunning psychological method, but for singer-songwriter Michael Howard, they represent elemental forces that have helped form his creative voice. "I grew up playing in punk bands around Anchorage, putting on shows at rec centers and such," he says. In many ways, he fits in among a generation of ex-punk rockers and now happens to be a songwriter. As such, Howard is, in a way, an outsider. Born and raised amid the long winter nights and extended summer days of the Last Frontier, Howard knows what it is to be removed, living on the edge of civilization. Being formed as an adolescent by punk's do-it-yourself ethic, he is an explorer and an inventor, creatively speaking. After many dark Alaskan winters touring the rest of the State and long Arctic summers as a community organizer and activist, Michael Howard's unique perspective has come to fruition in his latest album, GASOLINE DREAM, a collection of poetic Americana born from life on the road.
Recorded at San Francisco's Tiny Telephone Studios, the album was produced and engineered by Jacob Winik (Magnetic Fields, John Vanderslice). In keeping with Howard's DIY punk roots, many of the songs, such as "Hog Butcher, Hog Butcher," and the title track, were recorded entirely live. Though a largely stripped-down recording, Howard brought in friend and part-time co-writer Kevin Worrell (upright bass, piano, pump organ) and Andrew Maguire (percussion) for other instrumentation.The songs on Gasoline Dream share a certain unvarnished, prophetic story-song quality with those of early Bob Dylan. Where the songwriting on Howard's previous album, The Martyr & The Magician, was more ethereal and spiritual, here it is more poetic and concrete. "These are a lot of stories inspired by being on the road," says Howard. "There's a touch of the personal along with the universal. It's more of a coherent collection of songs addressing community and global issues, references to veterans of the Afghanistan war and the Arab Spring, for instance."Like many prophets and dream interpreters of history, Michael Howard originates and speaks from the edge of society.
"You can infer a lot about a person's record collection, influences and worldly experiences just from listening to their original songs. You will know if they bothered to dig farther back and listen to the things that inspired their heroes to create. You will know if they ever wandered the world, if they are well traveled.
The debut album of Dylan Lee Johnston, Just Like Rain, is the story of a poet traveling through the darkness of the world, seeking out those who can point him towards the light.
Just Like Rain is most certainly a worldly collection of songs inspired in equal parts by New Orleans street soul, the ghettos of Kingston, Toots & The Maytals, Tom Waits, Elliott Smith, The Clash and a youth spent on the road following the Grateful Dead.
The Debut Album was recorded at Club roar in Nashville, TN. The man behind the knobs was engineer/producer Patrick Damphier (Fielddays, Angel Olson, Stone Jack Jones, Minabirds) who also lent his considerable skills as bassist and drummer on many tracks.
"Please Don't Go" is a three chord summer smash. Thumping radio rhythms and pure rock n roll swagger with existential lyrics pushing towards a youthful Carpe Diem.
"What if I cannot overcome my mortality? And tonight is the only night and after this I'll be free?"
Other musicians on Just Like Rain include Bucky Baxter (Bob Dylan, Ryan Adams, Steve Earle, REM) who lent his chops on the pedal steel throughout the record, Sam Doores (The Deslondes, Hurray for the Riff Raff) graced the record booth with his blues harp & barbershop harmonies along with Sallie Ford, Ariel Bui & Megan Palmer singing harmonies, keys, violin and harmonium. Brian Wright dropped into the recording sessions with his harmonica and delta blues whine as well as Kai Welch and Aaron Till's soulful arrangements and motown symphony and horn sections, backing Galen Ballinger's cacophony of sound and edgy lead guitar stylings throughout the record.
Poetry was inside the Rock n Roll spirit of Patti Smith and it returns to us again here and now in the lyrics and experience of Dylan Lee Johnston."
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