At Home He's a Tourist


PDX Pop Now Festival Portland virtual staycation part two I got up early and had a light breakfast of coffee and Berlin. Boy Eats Drum Machine was first and were a great mash up of 80's new wave pop, great dance music, very contemporary. It made me nostalgic for 80's when Sire ruled the new wave airwaves and dance floors. Speaking of breakfast, Breakfast Mountain was up next ( I'm so witty I thought they should play the breakfast show). Moody, brooding, and atmospheric sweeping through the desolate spaces between Joy Division and Depeche Mode. It was really dramatic I kept waiting for vocals so I was on the edge of my seat with preconception and when it wasn't met it was cool. As a jaded music writer it's fun to not understand music past the first four bars. Nick Jaina played next, I was really interested in his set because he's part of the Tender Loving Empire Store and label. I passed the store on my way to Powell's and went in to find tons of art, t-shirts, CD's, records, etc, etc, etc. There was a lot of stuff in the store so it was somewhat disorienting so I decided on Friends and Friends of Friends Vol. 3 as an introduction to this awesome space and artists. It was so cool I was getting gallery nervous, so I quickly paid and headed on the road to Powell's. I figured out that Y La Bamba and Brainstorm from the Tender Loving Empire were playing later so I quickly went to Powell's and tourist that I am grabbed a copy of Sonic Boom, I almost bought Eight Miles High as well but I'm a slow reader I thought I could wait on that till California. It was funny I had listened to Berlin that morning because Brainstorm had that early 70's Lou Reed cabaret, orchestrated sound which alternated loud/soft with new wave keyboards and loud dirty style heavy psych riffage. It reminded me of that new record I bought from Olivejuice of the Victorian English Gentlemen's Club. I wish I brought it and my portable player to listen to it. I always pack light, but you have to remember that even if you pack light you can't forget the essentials. I'll listen to it when I get home, I'm going to review it so I'm sure I'll listen to it 5,000 times or so. Did you know that Robert Christgau only listens to records only once before he reviews them, now that's knowledge, concentration, and rigor. The last record He listened to twice was a U2 record. So he is kind of literal of subliminal as well. I'm so boxed in and trendy I was getting impatient to hear another Tender Loving Empire band Y La Bamba. I was getting spaced out and wasn't really paying attention, like any good blogger should do, which was funny because another instrumental group The Great Mundane played. They were great, really slow house with friendly sounds which are truly appreciated for that view from the window and descent when that plane lands. Y La Bamba played and it was no letdown, they had great harmony vocals, reverbed along with minimal acoustic guitar and drums. It reminded me of Diane Cluck and Ching Chong Song so you know how impressive they were. I hate to be judgmental but they were definitely the best antifolk I've heard during the festival. I was finished for the night. I went back to the hotel and fell asleep immediately, I was so tired I dreamed I was in a livery on the Grand Central Parkway getting a lift home. So I was a trooper on Sunday, skipped breakfast, checked out early and lugged my luggage to see a few more bands before I left. I saw the A Weather, great guitar playing, harmonies and melodies. They seemed like the perfect closers for me, so I turned off my cd player and returned home from my virtual Portland Staycation.