presented by McMenamins, Portland Mercury, XRAY.FM and Do503
Thurston Moore Group
Giants In The Trees
Performances by School Of Rock
Psychedelic 80s Video Dance Attack
Psychedelic 90s Dance Flashback
Holy Smokes and the Godforsaken Rollers
Bitches of the Sun
DJ'd After-parties in Ringlers
sponsored by Portland Mercury, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Jackpot Records, Voodoo Doughnuts
Visit the Sabertooth website for schedule and all info! sabertoothpdx.com
Tickets on sale Friday October 20 at 12noon.
All ages welcome (Al's Den is 21+)
«Sabertooth Micro Fest»
McMenamins and Portland Mercury proudly host the Fourth Annual Sabertooth psychedelicstonerrockmicrofest, a musical celebration of the Crystal Ballroom's psychedelic history.
Weekend passes and VIP tickets available!
FRIDAY FEB 16
When Relapse reissued the Pentagram back catalog, many people believed that American doom's patient zero had finally been given its due. But dig deeper, and you'll find an even more mysterious nugget with an origin story that seems to defy history. On the sunset eve of the sixties, as flower power was wilting and the winds of change blew a cold breeze over Altamont, a Midwestern rock group called Coven struck the first chords of major label satanic rock. But the story is even stranger than that…
Coven's debut album from 1969 kicks off with a song called «Black Sabbath.» The bass player's name on that record was Oz Osborne. These coincidences are almost inexplicable, especially considering the UK album debut from the Sabbath we all know wasn't released until February 1970.
The second side of Coven's debut LP, Witchcraft Destroys Minds & Reaps Souls, features a full ritual. This is ground zero for occult rock, and many have followed its bloody footprints in the snow…
Coven was the artistic outlet and brainchild of Jinx Dawson. She was well known for her dead serious satanic beliefs, her succubus beauty, and her thrilling voice. In 2017, its de rigeur to play occult-influenced rock music with dark themes and a female lead singer. In 1969, Jinx broke the mold.
It is unfortunate that the Manson murders and the Satanic Panic derailed Coven's career in the early 70s (aside from an unexpected hit song with «One Tin Soldier» on the soundtrack of cult film Billy Jack). Promoters were literally terrified to give them gigs.
Two years after leveling the expectations of critics and listeners alike with Atma, doom trio powerhouse YOB unleashes Clearing The Path To Ascend, an aptly titled album for what will undoubtedly be the crowning achievement for a band whose journey now nears two decades of creating music as commanding as it is cathartic. As is the YOB way, the tracks here don't simply offer a vacuous glimpse into the already riff-soaked doom genre. These songs demand the tandem attention of mind, body, and soul — etching a mark across a sound that finds YOB as formidable and unequaled as they've ever been. True ascension requires a destruction of those barriers that prevent any movement forward. Unsurprisingly, YOB pummels any and all of these obstacles with absolute authority, clearing the way for a genuinely visceral listening experience and climbing upward into a realm that sets the band in a heavy metal place that has been and will always remain wholly their own.
YOB's music is not unlike the path that's led them to their current place among heavy metal's elite, slowly building from a hushed ethereal vapor into the thunderous and masterful tumult of sound domination. The ethereal mists of Eugene, Oregon no doubt provided the perfect catalyst for founding member and vocalist Mike Scheidt to call up the signature of surging doom that would soon come to garner YOB its current position as one of the most respected and revered bands in all of heavy metal. While giving due sonic credit to cornerstone influences such as Cathedral, Sleep, Electric Wizard, and Black Sabbath — YOB immediately set out to define a sound wholly singular and utterly devastating in its cathartic enormity, incomparable to any other music being created at the time.
Those threads of progressive rock and drone that have always underscored the music of YOB are now fully realized with Clearing The Path To Ascend, as each track forges into the next with a ferocity that's as completely unhinged as it is utterly focused. Drummer Travis Foster wields his signature rhythmic furor here with bombastic precision while bassist, Aaron Rieseberg, coils around the sonic tide with an unforgiving churn — all the while in a deadly synchronicity with Scheidt's uncanny vocal range and its pendulous movement between the triumphant howls of a medieval madman and the earth splitting growls of a war-battered titan. With Clearing The Path To Ascend, YOB explores a thunderous dimension that's familiar in its auditory clout but completely new in the execution of its trajectory, taking the band's sound into a remarkable place as ethereally compelling in its aesthetic as it is merciless in the magnitude of its sound.
(adj.) of, or relating to, scorn and condemnation.
Pillorian was formed in early Summer of 2016 by Stephen Parker (Maestus, ex-Arkhum), John Haughm (ex-Agalloch), and Trevor Matthews (Uada, ex-Infernus) with the goal to create a unique, sinister, and twisted style of dark/black metal. Fusing haunting melodies with avantgarde structures, dark folk elements and blackened walls of furious sound; the music of Pillorian is the perfect aural definition of its namesake. Pillorian's debut album «Obsidian Arc» is now available on Eisenwald Records.
Al's Den: Sabertooth Comedy (10:30pm)
Join us in Al's Den after the concert for some stoner friendly comedy with:
hosted by Jon Washigton
SATURDAY FEB 17
Parquet Courts have New York in their blood. From the steadfast, chiming guitars of The Strokes and the spasmodic solos of Television to the urban roughness of The Velvet Underground and intenseness of Sonic Youth — they are the latest in a lineage of great bands from the Big Apple.
After capturing the world's attention with their second album Light Up Gold in 2012, they've released a steady stream of albums, EPs and singles. Their latest release and fifth studio album Human Performance mixed raucous and restless punk vitriol with woozy, sun-soaked, inward reflections.
«The title Soft Sounds From Another Planet alludes to the promise of something that may or may not be there. Like a hope in something more. The songs are about human resilience and the strength it takes to claw out of the darkest of spaces.»
Michelle Zauner wrote the debut Japanese Breakfast album in the weeks after her mother died of cancer, thinking she would quit music entirely once it was done. That wasn't the case. When Psychopomp was released to acclaim in 2016, she was forced to confront her grief. Zauner would find find herself reliving traumatic memories multiple times a day during interviews, trying to remain composed while discussing the most painful experience of her life. Her sophomore album, Soft Sounds From Another Planet, is a transmutation of mourning, a reflection that turns back on the cosmos in search of healing.
«I want to be a woman of regimen,» Zauner sings over a burbling synth on the album's opening track «Diving Woman.» This serves as Zauner's mission statement: stick to the routine lest you get derailed, don't cling to the past, don't descend. In fact, ascend to the stars; Zauner found artistic solace removed from Earth, in outer space and science fiction. «I used the theme as a means to disassociate from trauma,» she explains. «Space used as a place of fantasy.»
And yet, Soft Sounds From Another Planet isn't a concept album. Over the course of 12 tracks, Zauner explores an expansive thematic universe, a cohesive outpouring of unlike parts structured to create a galaxy of her own design. In the instrumental «Planetary Ambience,» synths communicate the way extraterrestrials might, and on the shapeshifting single «Machinist,» which Zauner has been performing live for over a year now, she details the sci-fi narrative of a woman falling in love with a machine. «It's pure fiction,» she explains, «But it can map onto real relationships in a relevant way.» The track, which begins with spoken-word ambience, moves into autotune ‘80s pop bliss and ends with a sultry saxophone solo, perfectly marries the experience: there's a perceptible humanity in mechanical, bodily events.
Within its astral production, much of Soft Sounds From Another Planet stays grounded. «Road Head» is the last chest compression in attempt to resuscitate a doomed relationship, while the penultimate track «This House» is an acoustic dirge that honors Zauner's chosen family. The baroque pop «Boyish» has a haunting, crystalline clarity that recalls the pathos of a Roy Orbison ballad, while «Body is a Blade» embraces the dark intimacy of Zauner's Pacific Northwest heroes Elliott Smith and Mount Eerie.
With help from co-producer Craig Hendrix (who also co-produced Little Big League's debut) and Jorge Elbrecht, (Ariel Pink, Tamaryn) who mixed the album, Zauner recontextualizes her bedroom pop beginnings, expanding and maturing her sound. The sheer massiveness of the big room production on Soft Sounds From Another Planet introduces listeners to a new Japanese Breakfast. Zauner's familiar, capacious voice will serve as their guide.
«Your body is a blade that moves while your brain is writhing,» she sings. «Knuckled under pain you mourn but your blood is flowing.» There's discernible pain in the phrasing, Zauner recognizing limitation, a lack of control, but then subverting the feeling, creating her own musical language for confronting trauma. Where Psychopomp introduced the world to Japanese Breakfast, Soft Sounds dives deeper. It builds space where there is none, and suggests that in the face of tragedy, we find ways to keep on living.
On her first proper album as Jay Som, Melina Duterte, 22, solidifies her rep as a self-made force of sonic splendor and emotional might. If last year's aptly named Turn Into compilation showcased a fuzz-loving artist in flux-chronicling her mission to master bedroom recording-then the rising Oakland star's latest, Everybody Works, is the LP equivalent of mission accomplished.
Duterte is as DIY as ever-writing, recording, playing, and producing every sound beyond a few backing vocals-but she takes us places we never could have imagined, wedding lo-fi rock to hi-fi home orchestration, and weaving evocative autobiographical poetry into energetic punk, electrified folk, and dreamy alt-funk.
And while Duterte's early stuff found her bucking against life's lows, Everybody Works is about turning that angst into fuel for forging ahead. «Last time I was angry at the world,» she says. «This is a note to myself: everybody's trying their best on their own set of problems and goals. We're all working for something.»
Everybody Works was made in three furious, caffeinated weeks in October. She came home from the road, moved into a new apartment, set up her bedroom studio (with room for a bed this time) and dove in. Duterte even ditched most of her demos, writing half the LP on the spot and making lushly composed pieces like «Lipstick Stains» all the more impressive. While the guitar-grinding Jay Som we first fell in love with still reigns on shoegazey shredders like «1 Billion Dogs» and in the melodic distortions of «Take It,» we also get the sublimely spacious synth-pop beauty of «Remain,» and the luxe, proggy funk of «One More Time, Please.»
Duterte's production approach was inspired by the complexity of Tame Impala, the simplicity of Yo La Tengo, and the messiness of Pixies. «Also, I was listening to a lot of Carly Rae Jepsen to be quite honest,» she says. «Her E•MO•TION album actually inspired a lot of the sounds on Everybody Works.»
There's story in the sounds-even in the fact that Duterte's voice is more present than before. As for the lyrics, our host leaves the meaning to us. So if we can interpret, there's a bit about the aspirational and fleeting nature of love in the opener, and the oddity of turning your art into job on the titular track. There's even one tune, «The Bus Song,» that seems to be written as a dialog between two kids, although it plays like vintage Broken Social Scene and likely has more to do with yearning for things out of reach.
While there's no obvious politics here, Duterte says witnessing the challenges facing women, people of color, and the queer community lit a fire. And when you reach the end of Everybody Works, «For Light,» you'll find a mantra suitable for anyone trying, as Duterte says, «to find your peace even it it's not perfect.» As her trusty trumpet blows, she sings: «I'll be right on time, open blinds for light, won't forget to climb.»
psychedelic jazz dad samba mama dream pop
Join us in Al's Den after the concert for some stoner friendly comedy with:
hosted by Jon Washigton
SUNDAY FEB 18
Thurston Moore moved to NYC at eighteen in 1976 to play punk. He started Sonic Youth in 1980. Since then Thurston Moore has been at the forefront of the alternative rock scene since that particular sobriquet was first used to signify any music that challenged and defied the mainstream standard. With Sonic Youth, Moore turned on an entire generation to the value of experimentation in rock n roll — from its inspiration on a nascent Nirvana, to Sonic Youth's own Daydream Nation album being chosen by the US Library of Congress for historical preservation in the National Recording Registry in 2006. Thurston records and performs in a cavalcade of disciplines ranging from free improvisation to acoustic composition to black/white metal/noise disruption. He has worked with Yoko Ono, John Zorn, David Toop, Cecil Taylor, Faust, Glenn Branca and many others. His residency at the Louvre in Paris included collaborations with Irmin Schmidt of CAN. Alongside his various activities in the musical world, he is involved with publishing and poetry, and teaches writing at Naropa University, Boulder CO, a school founded by Allen Ginsberg and Anne Waldman in 1974. Thurston also teaches music at The Rhythmic Music Conservatory (Rytmisk Musikkonservatorium) in Copenhagen.
Presently he performs and records solo, with various ensembles and in his own band, The Thurston Moore Group (with mbv's Deb Googe, Steve Shelley & James Sedwards). In 2014, the band released The Best Day which critics described as «optimistic and sun-drenched in beauty» and "[has] experimental attitude dovetailed with instantly accessible pop melodies." The Best Day was a record defined by positivity and radical love.
The Thurston Moore Group's new full-length album, Rock n Roll Consciousness was recorded in The Church studios in London with producer Paul Epworth. The songs are expansive, anthemic and exploratory with lyrics that investigate and herald the love between angels, goddess mysticism and a belief in healing through new birth. Ranging from opener «Exalted», an unfolding and emotional journey in homage to sacred energy and exaltation, to «Cusp» a charging, propulsive piece with a feeling of Sonic Youth mixing in with My Bloody Valentine. «Turn On» is a pop-sonic poem to holy love both intimate and kosmiche to the contemplative mystery of life-defining time travel in «Smoke of Dreams». The record concludes with «Aphrodite», a strange and heavy no-wave rocker in salutation to the idol of love, beauty, pleasure, and procreation.
Pastoral pummel. Listening to Heron Oblivion's album feels like sitting in a lovely meadow in the shadow of a dam that's gonna heave-ho' any minute. Members of this new San Francisco combo have put in time in both raging and relatively tranquil psychedelic sound units-this is the premise and the synergy behind this very unique and special new album.
On the West Coast side, Ethan Miller and Noel Von Harmonson were together in the mighty Comets on Fire, who spent a large chunk of the mid-2000s playing unbridled, blistering rock worldwide, fueled by a steady diet of amphetaminized Crazy Horse, High Rise, MC5, Chrome, and Fushitsusha. They were molten and melting down at all times-with twin-guitar blowtorch jams inflected with Noel's careening electronic infusions, and songs and structures holding on to the wheel (barely) while destruction ensued. Noel did time afterwards with Sic Alps and Six Organs of Admittance, while Miller settled into a new level of interactions with Howlin' Rain and Feral Ohms. Charlie Saufley resided at the psychedelic pop fringes with his band Assemble Head in Sunburst Sound (kindred spirits to Comets to be sure.) He was joined in California by Meg Baird of Philadelphia's Espers. The East Coast connection, Baird was an already-established leading light in the modern psych-folk canon both in Espers and as a solo artist (most recently releasing the gorgeous Don't Weigh Down the Light LP on Drag City,) as well as original drummer for Philly's post-hardcore degenerates Watery Love.
Ethan and Noel were loosely jamming in an improvisational unit called Wicked Mace at this point. Via osmosis, Charlie and Meg came floating in for weekly hangs that still resided in a somewhat free zone. «We just did pure improv' for a few months under no pressure to ‘be anything' or ‘be a band'», says Miller, «I think Noel and I sort of pushed for the idea of Meg on drums, me on bass, and Noel and Charles on guitars just to mix it up a bit, get outside our usual mold a little.» Though Noel and the newfound rhythm section took roles with instruments they were familiar with-but not particularly known for-ideas bubbled up quickly, and each member contributed to the songwriting process. «As expected, Charles and Noel had killer guitar chemistry, incredible fuzz sounds, symbiotic interplay,» Miller recounts. Though a multitude of other parallel musical projects kept the pace slow for the foursome, it moved steadily forward-and down paths much less trodden and familiar for the players involved. It was something new, unfamiliar, and invigorating to say the least. Eventually, seven songs were tracked at Eric Bauer's San Francisco studio «The Mansion,» and the results are stellar.
Three shades of light run through Heron Oblivion: Baird's rich, beautiful vocal approach, the locked-horns bass and drums of her and Miller's streamlined-but-motorik rhythm section, and a twin guitar tapestry that both aligns with the dreaminess of the songs and crackles out of containment to froth over the rim. It's a seamless but pronounced thing: «Oriar» sports dramatic spires of solos that fly high out of the gate, slowly settling in to lilting verses then exploding again, «Rama» drifts like an Opal/Fairport wedding with more tumbling, syrupy electric lines all around.
Meg's gorgeous singing resides within an untouchable domain and never struggles, nor has to combat the avalanche of guitars that ebb and flow. The only other record this could be remotely compared to maybe is the Slap Happy Humphrey record on Japan's Alchemy label years ago, where female vocal melodies combat sick walls of noise guitar. But in this case a definite West Coast style reigns-where elements meld rather than stand as opposing black-and-white walls: Even the heights of guitar destruction on Heron's «Faro» build steadily and organically from the beginning to end.
The group first properly gigged in April of 2014 opening for War On Drugs. They finished the record independently, then inked a deal with Sub Pop in early 2015. Most recently they toured the West Coast with Kurt Vile and Cass McCombs.
-Brian Turner/Music Director WFMU Jersey City NJ
The Lavender Flu is Chris Gunn (Hunches/Hospitals), Scott Simmons (Helen/Eat Skull), Lucas Gunn (the Blimp), and Ben Spencer (Hunches). Like Big Star reimagined by Royal Trux or Meat Puppets repurposed by Brian Eno. The band sounds familiar yet unique. Inside and outside. Comfortably homeless. A group that dared to confront the dilated pupils of the Bobby Problem in search of that elusive «Heavy Air» sound; the Lavender Flu looks forwards, backwards, and sideways. They rule the adult rock circuit with an overdose of chamomile and a touch of grey. Fuck the purists, the nostalgists, and the genre concentration camps. You know you have to take off your heavy metal jacket, your bullet belt, or your techno shades sometimes. Your uniform means nothing here. Adult rock has no limits. The Lavender Flu has no scene. Put on your socks AND Tevas. No eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn.
Sabertooth is presented by McMenamins, Portland Mercury, do503 and XRAY-FM, with additional support from Jackpot Records, Pabst, Voodoo Doughnuts, Eco-Firma Farms, Panacea and MyMusicRx.