The Spirit Of The Beehive – Tickets – Doug Fir Lounge – Portland, OR – June 2nd, 2019

The Spirit Of The Beehive

Raw and eccentric indie psych-rock

The Spirit Of The Beehive

Strange Ranger, Floating Room

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm

$12.00 - $15.00

This event is 21 and over

The Spirit Of The Beehive
The Spirit Of The Beehive
The Spirit of the Beehive have a fascination with contrast. The cover of their 2015 EP YOU ARE ARRIVED (but you’ve been cheated) juxtaposes the rare beauty of an urban sewer canal during sunset, with a washed-up body of a young woman sprawled peacefully beside some floating trash. The album that followed, 2017’s pleasure suck, explored the sick irony of pain brought on from overindulging in bliss. Its first track featured the line, “pleasure sucks the life out of everyone,” and the record’s erratic nature—spontaneous shifts from flowery psych-pop into dissonant passages of grimy distortion—evoked the discordant effect frequent substance use has on one’s psyche.
Hypnic Jerks, the Philly quintet’s third full-length and second for Tiny Engines, sounds like, as frontman Zack Schwartz puts it, “the state between wakefulness and sleep.” It’s named after the involuntary muscle spasms that can happen right as someone begins dozing off, a perfect feeling to compare the album’s drowsy yet restless character to. Unlike the spiraling momentum of pleasure suck, The Spirit of the Beehive took a more grounded approach with Hypnic Jerks, though the ground they’re standing on is equally otherworldly. Dreamy is a fitting adjective, but the songs never fully slip into the peaceful yet backgrounded character of dream-pop.
Rather than an ongoing fantasy, the record has the quality of an indescribable dream fading from memory as you slowly begin to regain consciousness. Its warped guitar tones, transcendental synths, and smattering of eerie audio samples—most come from bassist Rivka Ravede’s old family recordings, which Schwartz sifted through and edited together—conjure this purgatorial space between reverie and reality. An arena where their songs unexpectedly contort themselves and take on different textures, morphing in and out of one another. These tracks were initially designed to comprise a “short mixtape,” which explains the record’s nebulous structure. If you’re not paying close attention to the tracklist, they could easily be mistaken for one, long song.
The first two, “nail I couldn’t bite” and “mantra is repeated,” are mid-paced, ethereal bops that sound like if Donovan was informed by The Microphones. They verge on soothing, but they’re quickly followed by the album’s loudest cuts; the tubular “fell asleep with a vision” and “can I receive the contact?”— the shouted ending of the latter being the point where you realize Hypnic Jerks is, deceivingly, not an album one can easily knock out to. “d.o.u.b.l.e.u.r.o.n.g.” begins with a minute-and-a-half- long sample of what once was a cute recording of a grandfather narrating a visit with his grandkids. Here, the band coated it with haunting reverb, scraped it with vocal processors, and uses it to transition into what’s both the prettiest and grimmest pop song the Beatles never wrote. “I’m saying things all wrong / I’m doing things all wrong / now everything is wrong,” Schwartz sings with a quivering intonation, as if he’s physically holding back tears.
However, it’s the celestial harmonies, balmy keys and creeping false climax of album closer “it’s gonna find you” that secures The Spirit of the Beehive a seat at this decade’s table of musical visionaries. The track ends with a similarly whirring sample to the one the record began with, finally rocking you off to sleep after ten songs, but leaving you with the undying curiosity to play back what you think you just heard. Jerking your mind awake yet again. (bio by Eli Enis)
Strange Ranger
Strange Ranger
Strange Ranger (fka Sioux Falls) is an Indie-Rock/Post-Punk band from Montana, now based out of Portland, Oregon. The band was formed by the duo of Isaac Eiger and Fred Nixon, who have been playing music together since 2009 when the pair were still in high school. A friendship solidified by their mutual love of early Modest Mouse, the two would eventually make the move to Portland in search of more fertile musical soil. The band would struggle to solidify over the next few years but those hardships would lead to their breakthrough debut full-length, the sprawling Rot Forever under the name Sioux Falls, released in February of 2016. From there it has been a whirlwind of notoriety for the band. Rot Forever was named one of Consequence of Sound's 'Top 50 Albums of 2016.' Later in 2016 the band would change their name to Strange Ranger and release a new EP, Sunbeams Through Your Head, which would make Stereogum's list of "Great EPs from 2016." Those two releases would also lead Stereogum to name Strange Ranger one of "2016's Best New Bands."
Floating Room
Floating Room
The opening track of Floating Room’s sophomore album, False Baptism, is sung from two perspectives: that of a dog who longs for freedom, and that of its master, who fears losing control. “I don’t like how weak I am,” the dog laments, “when I’m with you.”

Despite all the talk about leashes and parks, “Dog” captures the very human experience of feeling limited by someone else. Led by Maya Stoner, Floating Room’s excellent 2016 debut, Sunless, sifted through the emotional wreckage of an abusive relationship. False Baptism does too, but with clearer eyes—processing trauma can take a lifetime, so obviously, it can also take multiple records.

Floating Room began as the bedroom recording project of Stoner and her partner Kyle Bates, who share vocal/guitar/synth duties, and has since expanded to include drummer Sonia Weber of goth rockers Alien Boy and an ensemble of collaborators and live members. Stoner has been an active member of Portland’s music community for the past 13 years, playing in bands (including Bates’ project Drowse, as well as the now-defunct groups Forest Park and Sabonis), booking shows, and co-running indie label Good Cheer Records. False Baptism was recorded by Nicholas Wilbur at The Unknown, an old church-turned-recording studio in Anacortes, Washington, owned by Wilbur and Phil Elverum of Mount Eerie.