PREMIERE: The Shivas - "Better Off Dead"

Let's just go ahead and say it - the Shivas are Portland's pride and joy. The trio, who first started at the pinnacle of their youth way back in 2006, have put hard work and a high level of talent to good use in the last decade. Backed by both K Records and Burger Records, the Shivas have four full lengths under their belt, a series of single releases and are actually returning back to PDX today from a two month long European tour in support of their latest release, February's Better Off Dead. As a welcome home gift to us all, the Deli Portland has the pleasure of premiering the video for the album's title track.

Better Off Dead itself shows a more mellow output from the Shivas with a heavier use of country western elements. As a track "Better Off Dead" showcases this well in its simplicity. The harmonic pairing of guitarist Jared Molyneux and drummer Kristin Leonard are the focal point of the song, with a light riff as the basis.

The video matches the track in its minimalistic beauty. Shot in black and white, it features Molyneux trudging around an industrial area alone. It's reminiscent of old school French noir art films and couldn't be a better fit aesthetically with the pace of the song.

It seems the Shivas will be taking some weeks off before they perform again, with their next show scheduled for September 11 at Mississippi Studios with L.A.'s Death Valley Girls. Until then, get your fix of the trio by watching the new video for "Better Off Dead" below.


PAWNS bring their throwback post-punk sound to the Knitting Factory on 8.16

The chaotic and angry nature of hardcore punk can become exhausting, causing many musicians to seek other, tamer forms of self-expression. PAWNS was formed in Brooklyn after its members felt the need for a break from full-on anger and decided to settle for just gloomy animosity - an attitude reminiscent of some early post punk bands of the late '70s/early '80s. On their latest seven-inch Eternal Return the band harnessed the gothic influences that were prominently featured on their first release for a more urgent sound inspired by anarcho-punk, as in “Masquerade” (streaming below) where singer Gage Allison uses a throaty shout instead of his usual deadpan vocal tone. If life is a little too good for you these days, you don't want to miss PAWNS live at the Knitting Factory on August 16th. - John Honan


Krust Toons: "Dark Times" by Teddy Hazard

Krust Toons: "Dark Times" by Teddy Hazard - please feel free to drop him a line at if you dig or have any funny ideas. You can also check out more of his illustrations and animation shorts HERE.


New Blank Spell Demo EP Available for Streaming & Download

Currently on a run of August tour dates, many of which are with Deerhoof, Philly's Blank Spell has released a set of songs that will appear on their upcoming LP. The tracks exhibit frantic fits of heavy. The pummeling charge of percussion and push of bass provide direction to the cuts of guitar as the vocals react to the sinister marriage of instrumentation. It's adrenaline-fueled fire with creepy undercurrents.


Lady James Monroe brings psych-lounge-soul to Pianos on 08.18

Those who like to listen to music for "mind-traveling" purposes (a lot cheaper than real vacations!) should check out this new mysterious psychedelic NYC band called Lady James Monroe - they'll be playing their third show ever at Pianos on August 18th. The band is the project of a dude called Doug Moss, but none of the images on their online profiles feature band members. Their music (although a little shy in the production department) sounds intriguing indeed: vintage sounding lounge-soul floating in a psych-pop sea, with vocals full of character - can't go wrong with that! Give this song below, entitled 'Body Control,' a few minutes, it gets better and better...