portland

Tara Velarde EP Release

Portland indie folk-pop artist Tara Velarde is playing a local release show for her new EP this Friday. The album, titled Rise, is thoughtful and sensitive. It has some wonderful pop ballads, such as "Touch You." Velarde's voice is rich, but light and airy at the same time. She has a unique and subtle twang in her voice, imbuing each song with traditional folk sound. At the heart of her sound, and appeal, is soft folk-pop done beautifully. Of course, Velarde isn't just soft corners, and songs like "Such an Island" bring out her grittier, tougher side. It's a nice balance, and shows the depth of Velarde's country-music chops. Check out "Touch You" below.

The release show is this Friday, May 17th. It'll be at Secret Society. There Is No Mountain and Far Out West will also be playing. 

-By Avril Carrillo, photo by Stacie Shoots

   

Caroline Mason Can Keep You Floating

Instrumentalist and composer Caroline Mason has an EP coming out this fall, and she released a new single this past March. The song is called “Floating”, and that's exactly the headspace the song takes you too. Sometimes it can be hard to maintain an ethereal, enigmatic space in a song with a faster pace. That doesn’t seem to be a problem Mason faces. Her voice echoes and floats above the percussion. Fittingly, this effect happens most noticeably as she sings about her feet being on the ground. It’s very easy to connect with the song. Mason is able to control the flow of both your mental intake of the song, and the physical responses your body has to her instrumentals.

Mason is responsible for all the instrumentation on this track. This becomes incredibly clear in the songs music video. The video consists of very close up shots of each instrument - her hands on the keyboard, her fingers on the guitar, her mouth as she sings. Occasionally we get wider shots of Mason, standing on a rocky dessert playing a single drum set, or the camera panning farther away as she strums on her guitar. It’s intimate and disconnecting, without feeling jarring. Check it out below.

-By Avril Carrillo, Photo by Christal Angelique 

 

   

Punk

Time: 
08:00
Band name: 
YUVEES
FULL Artist Facebook address (http://...): 
https://www.facebook.com/yuvees69/
Venue name: 
No Fun
   

Punk

Time: 
08:00
Band name: 
YUVEES
FULL Artist Facebook address (http://...): 
https://www.facebook.com/yuvees69/
Venue name: 
No Fun
   

Vern Fonk is weird as hell and we love it

You can find some pretty wacky shit in Portland, but that doesn’t make it any less special when you find something that truly revels in its weirdness. Meet Vern Fonk, the band who did in fact name themselves after the late Seattle insurance agent. Right now they have a music video out for their song “Cobain,” which is not, quote “abt kurt cobain ya fuckers.” It features the band decked out in full costume dancing around Clackamas Town Center. Not only do they make a spectacle of themselves, they do so while having a lot of fun. I never thought I would want to run around a mall in a cow costume, but after watching Vern Fonk I’m kind of tempted.
The song itself is a solid punk bop. It has the heart of the early punk 3-chord rule, but it’s repackaged in a more lo-fi body. The guitar riffs and drums keep a strong and consistent rhythm. The bass really stands out, which always makes a song more intense and enjoyable. The energy gets ramped up several notches every time the members yell, “I’m here don’t treat me like shit.” Vern Fonk is most definitely here, and you don’t want to miss out. Check out the music video below.

  -By Avril Carrillo