By Cameron Crowell /// Arts Editor, Ciara Dolan and Harrison Smith /// Staff Writers
Spring Break is hard. All your friends are either going back to homemade meals, or to another country with fruit cocktails you have never heard of and a conveniently low drinking age to “enhance their cultural experience.” That leaves some of us alone, on a budget, with no new homework to entertain us. Luckily your real friends at the Pioneer Log and KLC have a solution to all of those problems in the form of musical fusion. This is our compilation of fun shows (on the cheap) to liven up your break. -CC
Swimmers (Oakland) and Snow Roller (PDX) at Analog Cafe
Swimmers is a three-piece doo-wop influenced pop-punk band hailing from the East Bay, think Shannon & the Clams meets Mr. T Experience. Formerly known as Emily’s Army, the group regularly appears around the Oakland and Berkeley punk scene, bringing uptempo fizzy energy to their shows. Their consistent clap-like drum parts and slightly reverbed vocals accompany their versatile guitar parts that range from clear twangy riffs, to heavy power-chord charged parts.
Opening the show is Portland house show favorite, Snow Roller. Their contrasting deep vibrating, yet melodic guitars draw influence from Pacific Northwest Indie disciples like Modest Mouse and Beat Happening. Their recent split EP with fellow Portland act, Sioux Falls, is proof that the 90’s alternative of yesterday is the underground math-pop of today, i.e. the dream of the 90’s is still alive in Portland four years after Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen made the joke. – CC
720 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 1pm. $10. All-Ages.
Cymbals Eat Guitars (NYC) at the Doug Fir
Angsty garage-punk out of Staten Island, they seem to be the Pitchfork buzz band that never seems to push quite past the threshold of the “hipster elite.” But then again, who the fuck cares? Cymbals Eat Guitars’ third album, “LOSE,” made it clear they will consistently release lively Rock-n-Roll instrumentation with scratchy punk-ish vocals that warrant the title of “Bangerz.” Their show is sure to be bouncing-off-the-walls energy, and at one of Portland’s best small venues. – CC
830 E Burnside St., 9pm, $14 Advance, $16 Door. 21+.
Bad Religion (LA) and Off! (LA) at the Roseland Theater
A special show for all of the cool dads and college kids that like to look back at the elders who paved the way for modern punk. OFF! is a Harcore-punk supergroup featuring vocalist Keith Morris (Black Flag and Circle Jerks), guitarist Dimitri Coats (Burning Brides), bassist Steven Shane McDonald (Redd Kross), and drummer Mario Rubalcaba (Rocket From The Crypt). The frontman and only consistent member of Bad Religion, Greg Graffin, is the renaissance man of the 80’s Hardcore movement. While making nearly the first “Radio-playable” punk music, he also got a doctorate in Anthropology from Cornell, and is an advocate of Naturalist theory. – CC
8 NW 6th Ave., 8pm. $25 Advance, $30 Door. All-Ages
ALL-AGES FEATURE PICK: Pizza Time (Denver) at Marina’s Kafe
Ranging from distorted garage punk to 70’s power-pop to classic surf rock, Pizza Time brings a spanish twist on the now classic Burger Record’s genre. Their super-charged lo-fi pop sound is reminiscent of former Portland stoner rock legends, The Memories, circa “Love is Law,” making their killer (en espanol) cover of “I Wanna Be That Guy,” (“Tu Muchacho”) seem perfectly fitting. The new 8-track album,“Todo,” is to be released on vinyl (with the help of Burger Records), on April 20, but can be streamed for free on their bandcamp page.
Pizza Time is the musical project of David Castillo, which is released off of his self-described, “Bootleg label/recording studio/booking & promotions thing,” Tender Moments. Castillo’s work ethic breaks the bounds of the “Lazy stoner” stereotype as he runs Tender Moments entirely himself.
“I make cheap (quality) tapes with home-made packaging for FREE … so it takes forever, the tapes are unreliable at best, the recordings are questionable and the shows are usually a bust BUT I do it all for LOVE,” says Castillo according to the Pizza Time bandcamp page.
This band is by no means taking themselves too seriously, or claiming to push an envelope of “new sound.” Rather, they are here to play some catchy tunes and have a good time. I am seriously thankful, in a musical climate full of pretensions, that comfortable, catchy power-pop exists to ensure a fun, silly time. – CC
814 NE 28th Ave., 7pm. $3-5. All-Ages.
of Montreal (Athens) at the Wonder Ballroom
Look, if you’ve never been to an of Montreal concert, JUST GO. I don’t care if you like hip hop, black metal, outlaw country, drone, ambient or pure static, GO. As long as you have a vague enjoyment of music in general, and like spectacular sights and experiences, of Montreal always delivers. I’ve seen them twice, and for each tour they’ve completely revamped their aesthetic, costumes and onstage debauchery, save for the classic refrain of “don’t fuck the candyman.” Be prepared for flying feathers, 12 foot tall performers on stilts, and the occasional wacky interlude, all thanks to Kevin Barnes’s brother David Barnes, who designs all of of Montreal’s album art when he’s not designing their stage setup.
As for the music itself, the new album is a rollicking, shifting, beast of a thing, and I have no doubt that it’s one that translates better live than on record. The entirely new lineup since “Lousy With Sylvianbriar” works especially well as a unit, since they record together rather than the one-man-band approach Kevin usually utilizes. Have fun, throw some glitter, dance, cry and subject yourself to this truly unique experience. – HS
128 NE Russell St., 7:30pm. $15 Advance, $17 Door. All-Ages. KLC TICKET GIVEAWAY
Craft Spells (Seattle) at Mississippi Studios
Listening to Craft Spells feels like you’re on a motorized canoe, speeding towards a cascading waterfall of pink feathers. Saccharinely soothing, yet kind of like there’s a laser show inside of your brain, and your brain is made of swiss cheese that the lasers are melting into a decadent fondue.
On some songs, like “Breaking the Angle Against the Tide,” it sounds like the band has invented a hot new instrument: electric wind chimes. Lead singer Justin Paul Vallesteros’ hushed vocals coo like a lullaby, but a really fast syncopated lullaby for the Tasmanian Devil’s colicky baby. – CD 3939 N Mississippi Ave., 9pm. $12. 21+. KLC TICKET GIVEAWAY
FRIDAY(MARCH27) Snap! 90’s Dance party at Holocene
Dancing. DJs spinning Weezer, Britney Spears, Nirvana and (God help us) Smash Mouth. ‘Nuff said. – CC
1001 SE Morrison St., 9pm. $5. 21+.