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Weekly Special #203a: NewVillager

Pop has been hurting since the King of Pop’s reign peaked more than a decade ago. Ben Bromley and Ross Simonini of NewVillager are rivaling for the indie ticket to usurp at least as pop princes. “Michael Jackson and The Beatles [are] the two presiding artists of pop mythology who set the great big shining standard that needs to be broken,” says Simonini, when asked who NewVillager sounds like. “We can use the lens of M.J. and The Beatles to see our own music in a broader light.”
Although only a 7-inch has been released for “Rich Doors” and “Genghis On,” the songs exhibit the duo’s adept ability to draw from disparate influences and construct cohesive, memorable songs. Their performance during CMJ revealed that they have a ready arsenal of material filled with huge hooks and beats. The songs jog the collective pop memory while adding an element of surprise and fascination. Not content with just writing and recording music, Bromley and Simonini plan to release different forms of art media to accompany their pop masterpieces. - Read Nancy Chow's interview with the band here.


Bardo Pond Making a Splash at JB’s April 29

Flagship Philly space-rock collective Bardo Pond are coming to JB’s to make you hope that some friendly hippie with an eye-dropper is making her way around the crowd. Since 1991, these shoegazers have been exploring sound in all its distorted, droney, washed out glory. Their extensive jams recall other Philly psychedelia artists like The Asteroid No.4 and Aspera, while vocally they are quite reminiscent of My Bloody Valentine. They were recently invited to take part in some extremely impressive shows curated by the likes of Lou Reed and Godspeed! You Black Emperor, and those are some people who don’t fuck around when it comes to bringing the noise, so be sure to bring some earplugs. Come out and enjoy whether you are the patchy-bearded kids looking around feeling super young or the balding man in the back wishing he were young again, it is sure to be a fun time. Remember not to dose and drive. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave., 9pm, $10, 21+ - Adam G.



The Interiors New Ep

The power pop band The Interiors have emerged from the studio to release a new five-track EP called Teeth and return to the stage. On May 3rd at Empty Bottle the band will play a free show to celebrate the release of Teeth. This release is their first since their 2008 self-titled debut on 54-40 or Fight. On a down note this will be their last show with drummer Brian Lubinsky. The band has announced that they will be looking for a new drummer, and will continue to perform and record as The Interiors.

The Interiors will be performing at Empty Bottle on May 3rd with The Ragtones and Dorian Taj. The show is free and begins at 9:30pm.


Album Review: Pony Village, "Self-titled EP"



Pony Village’s self-titled debut EP shows just how much potential the quartet possesses. Completely self-released, and pressed onto 12” vinyl, the record captures the quaint, lo-fi, DIY vibe as well as the sparkle of larger things to come. “We give away free CD's with [the record] at shows,” explains vocalist Ryan Barber, “but we recorded [Pony Village] with the intention of putting out a record, and I feel that CD's are really only something that people put into their computer once and then forget about.”

Listening to Pony Village on vinyl brings me back to Northwest indie rock in the late nineties. The succinct drum taps and warbling slide guitar coupled with Barber’s pleasantly off key voice is reminiscent of Keep It Like a Secret-era Built to Spill, while echoed, unhurried soundscapes and Barber’s breathy, high-pitched vocal tone is nostalgic to Death Cab for Cutie’s Something About Airplanes.

Although the foursome has clear influences, its music is not a total pastiche. You can hear the genuineness in Barber’s voice as he sings, “Why did you bring me back again? I was at Pacific Pines, the sand on the beach at night, it looked almost white,” in “Depoe Bay,” a track paying homage to a quaint coastal town well known to us Oregonians, and encompassing the same dreariness that reminds us all of the Oregon coast.

Pony Village - Depoe Bay from Rodrigo Melgarejo on Vimeo.

The six-song EP ends on a strong note with “You Play, You Pay,” a beautifully eerie, sweeping piece played in minor chords saturated in reverb. The track begins with a droning guitar riff and drum beat that eases into Barber’s airy voice asking his listener to “Lay your ear to the ground, do you hear the sound? The one I can’t allow.” The chilling uneasiness of this track is fit for a record player on a gray Portland day.

If Pony Village’s LP, which is currently in the works, sounds anything like this debut, Barber will have no reason to worry about someone listening to it once than forgetting about it, whether it be on record or CD.

-Katrina Nattress


PDX Pop Now! "Make It Pop" fundraiser TOMORROW night

Every year, the guys and gals of PDX Pop Now! work their asses off to host a rad summer weekend music festival showcasing local under the radar acts. Since the organization is non-profit, it raises money for the big event via smaller benefits.

One such fundraiser happens tomorrow evening at The Cleaners in the Ace Hotel. Make It Pop! will be an all ages evening filled with music, complimentary food from Firehouse Restaurant, St. Cupcake, Bakery Bar, Fifty Licks and drinks from Captured by Porches Brewing, Klickitat Canyon Winery, and C & G Wines.

While you are filling your belly with delectable eats and drinks, enjoy the chilling, disjointed harmonies of Musee Mecanique, the campfire melodies of Ah Holly Fam’ly, the mellow folk of Alialujah Choir, and the always wonderful storytelling of The DecemberistsColin Meloy.

Oh yeah, and did I mention there will also be a silent auction with contributors including Kill Rock Stars, Tender Loving Empire, Blitzen Trapper, and Stumptown Coffee?

If you’re not going to be watching the Blazers kick some Suns ass, this is the place to be Thursday night. Make It Pop! begins at 6:30 pm. Tickets cost $35.

-Katrina Nattress