Idle Giant – Tickets – Doug Fir Lounge – Portland, OR – January 11th, 2018

Idle Giant

Indie pop and rock from local favorites

Idle Giant

Autonomics, Husky Boys

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

$8.00 - $10.00

This event is 21 and over

Idle Giant
Idle Giant
Idle giant shouldn't be here. They should be somewhere else. Sticking to day jobs maybe. Settling down and planting roots. Straight and narrow. That sort of thing.

Srini Mukundan (vocals, guitars) and David Harmon (keys, vocals) initially hoped to meet every month to play a few tunes. For two physicians in training, it seemed realistic. When Sean Sanford (lead guitar), a graphic designer and recent transplant joined the mix, Mukundan and Harmon felt the obvious: Sanford shouldn't be here. With his advanced skill and prior playing experience, he would be better off playing in a band that wrote original material, recorded albums, and played shows. Unless, of course, this band could be that band. Before long, Nicholas Vigo (drums), a medical student at the time, and Bobby Ray (bass, vocals), a Portland-based music instructor and founder of the Portland Opera Company (YouTube it!), joined the effort, and a sound started emerging: Four part harmonies? Why not. Soaring guitar solos? Ok! Restraint? Not a problem. With songs in hand, the group focused efforts towards making a record.

Sitting in Jackpot! Recording Studio on a rainy night in Portland, Mukundan listened to Adam Lee (recording engineer at Jackpot!) discuss the logistics of making a record, with one singular thought pervading his mind: I shouldn't be here. He surveyed the equipment in the control room and interrupted the discourse: "Do you really use all of this stuff?". The band spent 8 days in the studio and emerged with their debut effort , "Garden". The album contains eight songs that display melodic sensibilities, precise musicianship, and diverse influences. The first track, "Out to Sea", is a Revolver-esque number that reveals Idle Giant's pop roots. The album then moves onto "Erase Me" and "Breeding Pinetrees", two songs with thoughtful harmonies, uptempo drumming, and featuring leads by Sanford (guitar) and Harmon (keys). The album shifts gears with "Spectre", a dramatic number that begins with Mukundan's breathy vocal giving way to a cacophony of driven guitars and oscillators, as Ray (bass) and Vigo (drums) maintain the semblance of order before the song falls into chaos. The album then resets with the catchy "How about now", before easing into the nostalgia of "Just passing time". The penultimate track, "Celebrate", demonstrates Idle Giant's ability to merge different genres into a single track, featuring elements of surf rock and shoegaze. The album comes to a close with title track "Garden". A haunting voice and shimmering guitars guide the song before giving way to an instrumental featuring an unhinged slide guitar and drums, tethered only by a measured bass line. The song comes to a screeching halt, then calm, as a somber piano carries the song to a final rest.

Idle Giant proudly presents their debut album, "Garden", recorded and mixed at Jackpot! Studios by Adam Lee, and mastered by Gus Elg. Idle Giant is here. It's Idle Giant!
“It cost more than our van,” says Dan Pantenburg of the making of the aptly titled Debt Sounds—Autonomics’ new record that’s due out this spring. “It's our most layered record to date and it was expensive as fuck for us to make as an unsigned band,” continues the three­piece’s vocalist and guitar player. “We financed the entire record working full­time jobs between tours.”

Such is the state of music today—hustling to make ends meet while finding outlets for creative expression. But this is the life of a modern­day musician, and amidst the daily drudgery come packed dive bar and basement shows in their hometown of Portland, Oregon, and European tours—opportunities for the garage rockers’ punky energy to boil over, slapping you in the face with exuberant, tightly woven, two­and­a­half­minute pop songs.

Their ability to get along under any circumstances—from absinthe blackouts in Prague to slogging through rainy days in the Northwest—is borne of a fraternal history together. In fact, drummer Evan Leikam and bassist Vaughn Leikam are twins, and the three gelled during freshman year of high school, jamming on and off or covering Metallica songs. Since their first official show in 2008, the trio have been a solid unit.

Debt Sounds is the culmination of several year’s worth of material alongside freshly penned tracks. Entering the studio with a desire “to make something really dense and heavy sonically,” Rola Studios producer and engineer Dominik­ Lukas Schmidt (Thanks, Giantree) frequently referenced early ‘90s classics “Dookie, Siamese Dream and Nevermind during the tracking,” Pantenburg describes. Both the rewritten and new songs burst forth from the record with a vital resolve and fuzzy, ‘90s rock vibe, thanks in part to mixing by Jeremy Sherrer (Modest Mouse, Gossip) at Ice Cream Party Studios and mastering by Pete Lyman (Weezer, Matt & Kim, Wavves, Best Coast) at Infrasonic Sound.

“Superfuzz,” the record’s first single, is ready for a singalong with its classic Weezer catchiness and party hookup mojo, while the record’s other 10 songs teem with purposeful lo­fi punch and pop punk power akin to fellow Portlanders The Thermals. Carefully crafted simplicity, “We try to write music that's entertaining and bombastic throughout, from start to finish,” Pantenburg says.

Debt Sounds achieves both, notwithstanding the reality that being in a band like Autonomics gives you license to be a mild degenerate. “You start to justify getting caught up in the nightlife when it seems like you have a purpose and the people around you are into the band or the show,” Pantenburg explains. “At the same time, you're trying to live and have relationships with people and be good to
yourself while still having one foot in an isolating and often destructive lifestyle.” While “it can be really taxing emotionally and physically trying to do both, there's a hopeful side too—because of the joy you get from being able to write and travel and play music for people.”

Whether you’re in a riotous indie rock band or not, you can likely relate to Autonomics’ highs and lows, which are both addressed on Debt Sounds. “People have creative sides to them and have to balance their financial and social lives around trying to be expressive in a successful way,” Pantenburg says. “We live in stressful times, but there’s definitely optimism in spite of that.”

One look at The Beach Boys­lampooning artwork (and title) will tell you that Autonomics have a sense of humor. And one spin of Debt Sounds will let you hear the sound of Autonomics’ optimism.
Husky Boys
Husky Boys