Souvenir Driver

XO Jasen shares "Kiss Me Dark Destroyer" music video and debut album

If you've been around Portland for a little while you may remember the electronic rap duo Serious Business. If not, that's okay. You can still appreciate the new music made by 1/2 of Serious B. by way of Jason Mampel. His solo endeavor, titled XO Jasen, brings fun and danceable beats in the same vein, yet takes on more important issues like sexual and gender identity. XO Jason's first video from his debut album Four Love Songs, "Kiss Me Dark Destroyer" is a visually intriguing interpretation of issues that many can relate to. The album also features guitar work from Nate Wey of the dreamy Souvenir Driver. Watch the video below!

-Cervante Pope

   

The Deli Portland's Guide to PDX POP NOW! 2014

Three days, outdoor and indoor stages, tons of rad local music...even room to park your bike. The annual PDX Pop Now! fest takes place July 18th through the 20th at 226 SE Madison St, Portland, OR 97214 (underneath the Hawthorne Bridge). As always the festival is free and totally all ages. 
 
PDX Pop Now!, Portland’s rock and roll non-profit has one mission; to “stimulate and expand participation in the Portland music scene” - an admirable cause to say the least, considering all the hard work this organization has done to support local art. From its early days as a listserv for Portland music lovers in 1998, PDX Pop Now! has grown into an “all-volunteer organization committed to...provid[ing] and support[ing] live performances and recorded materials.”
 
Overwhelmed by all the stellar bands? Here are some of our recomendations of what not to miss:
 
BARRA BROWN QUINTET: Friday 18th, Outdoor Stage, 6pm
      Brown, a Lewis & Clark College alum, has been making all sorts of waves in the Portland music scene - particularly in the jazz community. He’s been composing some killer, adventurous tunes that blend his eclectic taste in music. For instance, if it weren’t for the styling of trumpeter Tom Barber along with Brown’s polyrhythmic metric play, the song, “How the West was Won” could easily pass as an upbeat instrumental pop tune. 

 
BROWNISH BLACK: Saturday 19th, Outdoor Stage, 1:30pm
      Three cheers for neo-soul! Brownish Black started when front-person M.D. Sharbatz moved here from Detroit. Raised on a steady diet of Motown, punk and metal, Sharbatz attempts to blend all three sensibilities into this project, cultivating the lo-fi, “jagged” Stax soul sound with a “hard-edged beat to it.” Get ready to break out your tambourine.

 
SOUVENIR DRIVER: Sunday 20th, Outdoor Stage, 4:15pm
      Souvenir Driver have been touring material from their recent LP, Living Water. Self-dubbed as “bliss pop” the band’s list of genre influences is myriad, toting post-punk, psych, shoegaze, and even goth. “Kiss You Close” and “Feel the Flood” combine heavy bass with echo-heavy kick-snare and vocals like a sedated Joe Strummer to produce a slick, sinister new wave sound. 

 
Also check out:
ALAMEDA: Sunday 20th, Outdoor Stage, 2:15pm
      Alameda's pristine folk pop will cradle you until nothing hurts.
 
COMA SERFS: Sunday 20th, Outdoor Stage, 6:15pm
      With their jagged, garage rock, Coma Serfs will basically tear down all that sweet healing you got from just watching Alameda...but in the best way possible.
 
- Ted Jamison 

 

   

Souvenir Driver Release Living Water: Live Review + Photos

The night kicked off with a bang, as Bubble Cats put on a shred-fest of guitars and cool melodies. Next, Tender Age charmed the audience with their serene dream-pop, preparing the solid Wednesday night crowd at Mississippi Studios for their headliners.

Souvenir Driver are ahead of the curve, making each live show a production. Probably the best-dressed band in Portland, the three-piece suit-clad dudes looked and sounded polished for the release of their sophomore album, Living Water. SD made every effort to set the mood, layering the soft, reverby vocals of Nate Wey and heavily effected instruments, along with a mesmerizing visual effect reel projected over the band. The use of visuals transports the audience into a totally different space, adding an undefined excitement to their ominous bliss-pop songs. My favorite song from their set was “I Touch You Honey” off Living Water, with a catchy surf pop guitar riff, upbeat drums, and atmospheric backing vocals.

Attention to detail sets Souvenir Driver apart from other bands, right down to the hand-made posters and limited-edition cassettes at the merch table.

- Chandler Strutz

Photos by Todd Walberg

   

Souvenir Driver at Dante's 11.22

Souvenir Driver plays Dante’s this Saturday, let’s take a minute and explore exactly why this is going to be a hell of a show. You may recognize these boys from projects like Soft Paws, Happy Prescriptions and Hawkeye, but Souvenir Driver has taken most of their efforts as of late, which is evident. The band identifies as post punk which certainly rings true in their first LP, Lifts the Curse. Lead singer, Nate Wey says the record was made in efforts “to lift our sadness, our obstacles, our darkness, in order to come to a place of bliss and understanding.” Upon listening, you realize that this album is a process - a cathartic journey from tumbles down jagged sonic valleys of tracks like “Futures” and “Philosophy” to the slow crystalline ascension of “Daylight is a Movie”. In preparation for their new LP, Living Water (self-released in April) the band has been leaking singles to their bandcamp page. “Kiss You Close” and “Feel the Flood” combine heavy bass with echo-heavy kick-snare and vocals like a sedated Joe Strummer to produce a slick, sinister new wave sound. In “Feel the Flood” Nate screams, “everybody hear the sound of your own blood.” This statement is beautifully indicative of a live set with these boys, producing a sound just as physical and visceral as the ringing in your ears afterwards. - Ted Jamison