Shabazz Palaces – Tickets – Doug Fir Lounge – Portland, OR – November 5th, 2013

Shabazz Palaces

Red Bull Sound Select Presents and Curated by Banana Stand Media:

Shabazz Palaces

Natasha Kmeto, Minden

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Doors: 7:30 pm / Show: 9:00 pm

This event is 21 and over

Admission to this show is first come-first served with RSVP! Arrive Early!

Portugal.The Man
Portugal.The Man
It was last spring 2012, and John Gourley-frontman of Portugal. The Man-found himself in New York City about to ring the bell at Danger Mouse's apartment--a long way from his current home in Portland, and farther still from his real home in Alaska. Six full-length albums in six years, nonstop touring, a stint with The Black Keys and festival stops at Coachella, Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza-up until this moment, Portugal. The Man embodied all dimensions of DIY rock range.

When it came time to begin work on the seventh album, Gourley thought long and hard about the next move and kept coming back to one concept: The most satisfying work is collaborative work. From building houses with his father in Alaska to building a devoted fanbase, he had sought partnerships. So he took a bold step - bold for a proven band, bolder still for its uncertainty of sound - a step up to the apartment of a possible collaborator, Danger Mouse.

"I walked into his place," Gourley remembers now. "And it wasn't going to happen. He was like, 'Hey, man, just so you know, I don't really want to record a rock band.' And I was a little relieved. We'd done this by ourselves before, and we knew we could do it by ourselves again."

But then they got to listening, and to talking about how much Danger Mouse had loved In the Mountain in the Cloud - the 2011 followup to Portugal. The Man's break out record The Satanic Satanist. "From that very first meeting," says Danger Mouse, "we were very ambitious about what we could do...otherwise there was no point. So we decided: Let's try and make something really special."

So Danger Mouse - aka Brian Burton, the five-time Grammy award winning producer behind everything from Gnarls Barkley and Beck to The Black Keys and now U2 -and the band agreed that they were game for the challenge and began production on what would become Evil Friends, the undaunted re-awakening for Portugal. The Man. As much as their collaborative imaginations melded, to construct songs that lived up to the ambitious visions they had would take some time. After all, here was a band with an evolving lineup - Kyle O'Quin on keyboards, Noah Gersh on guitar/percussion/keyboards, and Kane Ritchotte on drums joined Zach Carothers on bass and vocals and Gourley on lead vocals and guitar - building new songs with a new producer trying to do something neither of them had done before.

They went, together, to Los Angeles and worked through several sessions - at Mondo Studios, Eltro Vox Studios, and Kingsize Soundlabs. The band worked months longer than they ever had on one thing. And somehow - maybe it was the collaboration in the air, or maybe sheer will - they finally stopped searching and started realizing: "What really brought our record together was getting past that period of looking for something, and figuring out how to do something really new, really hard, and really satisfying," said Gourley.

Each track on Evil Friends is as different from the next as Portugal. The Man's previous records were from each other, which is to say a piece of a growing mindscape, and wholly a part of the group's tumbling fever dream. Where the 2009 hit "People Say" was a cheery guitar rally, the new title track is a bells-and-balls ballad emerging from darkness into a pipe-whistling punky thump, albeit with Gourley's trademark falsetto and thundering guitar. And yet here is Evil Friends swirling, like a tornado that sends a napping child toward Oz, into something of a tale of Portugal. The Man's arousal from when it decided to make something special to when it actually did: The weighted down questions of "Plastic Soldiers" (Could it be we got lost in the summer? / Well I know you know that it's over) give way to the confident melodies of "Modern Jesus" (The only rule we need is never giving up / The only faith we have is faith in us) and finally, brazenly, to the anthem "Smile" (We watched the sun come up / But took it down to hide it / Seems like the spring has come and gone / It felt like forever).

It took all year, and Portugal. The Man - a group guaranteed for seven years to pump out a record, to tour and tour and tour, to tuck its fans to bed at night with a community of psychedelic rock - had learned to slow down and transform all-day, all-night recording with Danger Mouse into adrenaline, into words that are at once dark and light, into sounds that are overlapping with danger and charm. The whole "evil friends" thing was just a happy writing accident, by the way, a lyrical coincidence belying a collaborative friendship Burton says taught him, too: "I felt like I was watching them do something special and I wanted to let them do it, so sometimes I was more hands-on, but sometimes more hands-off than I had been with anyone," says Danger Mouse. "They had done enough albums that I thought it would be fun to shake it up a little bit."

"In the beginning, I asked Brian why he had wanted to talk about making a record," recalls Gourley. "And he admitted that he was surprised when he saw us live. 'I didn't know you guys could sound like that.' There had been this perception that we've been something else - and I've noticed it, at festivals, everywhere - that we were something we were not. But then we got in a room with Danger Mouse, to the place where we could just throw that out, wake up and say, Here we are. We're this band! Let's just make it, together."
Natasha Kmeto
Natasha Kmeto
Natasha Kmeto is an electronic producer/vocalist dedicated to the art of emotional engagement. Writing, producing, and performing all her material, Kmeto combines her sensuous voice with a dancefloor ethic, exuding a thoughtful physicality that rewards openness and vulnerability. Stylistically she explores the lines intersected by RnB, soul, and dance music, built using an electronic toolkit developed by years of discipline. She’s most at home when on stage, singing to her fans’ hearts and playing to their bodies.

Natasha’s artistic growth has accelerated after years of hard work. She’s at her most self-realized on her latest LP Inevitable, an album that deals with matters of love and a newly affirmed personal outlook. She has increasingly embraced her identity as a queer female, letting it interweave with and inform her talents as a musician. Like anyone undergoing the lifelong process of self-acceptance, Natasha’s growth is expected continue in inventive ways.

Natasha tours nationally out of her home base in Portland, Oregon. Her long list of notable live performances include a 2014 national tour supporting TV On The Radio, gigs at Coachella, Bumbershoot, MusicfestNW, Electric Forrest, Symbiosis, SXSW, Low End Theory, and Decibel Festival. She has shared the stage with a number of talented artists including Four Tet, Squarepusher, Flying Lotus, Flume, Machinedrum, Dam Funk, Kode 9 and Shlohmo. Releases by Natasha have been featured by many acclaimed media outlets including NPR, Pitchfork, Spin, Fader, Resident Advisor and Rookie. Her radio experience includes live performances on Boiler Room and KEXP, and her tracks have been played by numerous tastemaking DJs including the legendary Mary Ann Hobbes.
Minden
Minden
"There's a subtle sexuality that penetrates Minden's saccharine indie pop. Erotic themes of bondage and role playing juxtapose with frontman Casey Burge's lighter subjects, such as searching for authenticity while selecting the right soda pop — it's all enough to leave one wiping his brow and licking her lips.
On the Portland quintet's latest album Sweet, Simple Things, Burge and his band — Lia Gist (vocals), James Taylor (guitar), Evan Houston (bass), Ryan Johnson (drums), Dan Talmadge (keys) and Papi Fimbres (percussion) — hone an evocative collection of smooth and danceable tunes, indulging in confectionary hooks laid over funky grooves. The nine song LP is delicious in its oddity, befitting feel good moments from West Coast summers to Parisian night clubs.

There are elements of indie-pop's modern legacy favorites, evoking Phoenix, Peter, Bjorn & John and Miike Snow, or contemporaries such as Unknown Mortal Orchestra or Ariel Pink, but Minden widely pull influence from far less expected artists: Azymuth on the album's rhythms and genre-crossing, Dâm-Funk and his modern funk boogie, and classic soul-funk heroes like Sly Stone, Curtis Mayfield, and Bill Withers whose vibes carry on throughout. But at the core, the songwriting is still pure, pop-rock bliss with its inescapable influences running from the Beatles to Prefab Sprout."