The Oregon Donor, The Braille Tapes, Pwrfl Power, The Mission Orange, Kids and Animals – The Greenhouse
Published 01-17-2009 on my old wordpress blog.

Friday is adventure night. It’s been a long week and a nice show was about all the adventure I could take.

The Greenhouse was having fun. This show was put on by .jpg concerts which is impossible to find on google. He put together quite an eclectic show and gave out free raffle tickets for tiny bottles of things from the beach (sand from New Jersey, a sand dollar from Biloxi, a starfish from somewhere…) so that was entertaining. I meant to talk to people this time around but it was all kids, pretty much. Ah well, next time.

Kids and Animals
The bass lines for this band were pretty exciting. Lots of notes all over the places. The bassist had a Berklee College of Music t-shirt on, and he could probably go there or does. It actually reminds me of another east coast band, Ashes. The vocalist reminded me of a young Tom Waits, much before Mr. Waits had drunk all that whiskey, smoked all those cigarettes or eaten all that glass or whatever he did to ruin his voice just the right amount. The vocals were very… lackadaisical in both delivery and tone, probably due to the difficult PA at The Greenhouse. But I sort of liked it. The kids seem nice enough. I hope they keep practicing and tighten things up. I was glad to see all their parents there standing in the back with me.

The Mission Orange
I love going to shows. I get pretty tired from it, but I go there and then I find bands that are awesome. Like The Mission Orange. They are a guitar/drums duo from Mount Vernon of all places. They have the same energy as The Last Slice of Butter but a more polished sound. At The Greenhouse they sounded a lot like No Knife but more minimal. I was particularly impressed with the lack of pedals, just a guitar and two amps (stereo for fullness!) and a simple drum kit. Super! Recorded, they lose a bit of that pre-emopop sound and gain a bit more Northwestern flavor. I’m a bit more partial to the live set I heard tonight than the recorded songs on their myspace. Their song Hammer Fever has a particularly familiar introduction, but I just can’t place it. It will annoy me for quite some time. At any rate, their uptempo songs are both fun and interesting and toe-tapping and melodic at the same time. Yes, I know that was four things. It’s like that. I think these guys would be great with some of the Northwest’s finest, Police Teeth, Madraso, etc. Perhaps paired with some mathy bands like Panther Attack and Bronze Fawn? I should open my own venue.

Pwrfl Power
If you don’t like Pwrfl Power, you’re a jerk. Tonight he was sporting his grandma’s homemade knitted pin (brooch?), of which he also had several for sale. He told us ridiculously funny stories like “She was the girl that I moved to New York for and then I realized that she was psycho so I moved back.” or something similar. You had to be there. At any rate, I guess Kaz has practiced the required 10,000 hours that Malcolm Gladwell requires for people to become awesome at what they do. He gets the craziest guitar sounds out of just a simple acoustic guitar. His simple lyrics are always hilarious, though I question whether or not he intends them to be. They definitely come from dark and strange places. I particularly enjoyed his new song “I am google” in which he claims to know everything. Genius. He said after all that touring last year that he was feeling “post stupid.” I think the only logical conclusion is that Kaz is the Nicola Tesla of singer/songwriters. And even though he made us all sit down (which I always have a hard time doing), he made us all happy.

The Braille Tapes
Think about At The Drive In and then think about Small Brown Bike. That’s the range of awesome that The Braille Tapes wander between. I’m going to go order their CD’s right now, actually. I first saw them at Reverb Fest and was impressed with them there. Tonight, they were just as good. They yelled and were loud and a little bit RAWR and awesome. I need to learn some lyrics and they need to play more shows in my town. They brought two drum sets with them this time around. It turned out to be necessary as the vocalist/guitarist broke a string and did not bring a spare. So he played drums for their last two songs. Two drum sets is difficult to pull off, particularly when bother drummers are just playing the same thing. It all seemed like overkill for no particular purpose. But I’ll forgive them because the songs are all still awesome and powerful. Also, the side project of the drummer, rooftops, is amazing. I wish they were playing Cumulus Festival.

The Oregon Donor
At the beginning of their set, they played this schizophrenic song with multiple tempos and starts and stops. I was pretty excited. They seem like pretty talented musicians, but something was bothering me. They seemed very fond of the yodeling pickle that they brought. That was pretty funny. They seem like they’d be a great pair with Slender Means. They seemed out of place at the house show. A helpful crowd member adjusted the PA for them but I don’t think the PA was the problem, I think it was just that they didn’t really fit there. They’d work better at the High Dive or the Nectar or some fancy bar. They’re just too safe. There’s no feeling of danger or excitement. Just like Oregon. I’m sure KEXP will be very appreciative of their radio-friendly sound. Good luck out there gentlemen.

Friday is adventure day. Tomorrow is no internet day, so I think I’ll be watching my Rhodes Repair DVD or perhaps getting the rest of the parts for my bed or maybe sneakily checking the internet every five minutes or so and feeling guilty about it. We’ll see.

Five shows next week! I might die!

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Keywords: Kids and Animals, Pwrfl Power, show, The Braille Tapes, the greenhouse, The Mission Orange, The Oregon Donor

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