portland

A Quick Chat With Ural Thomas

Ural Thomas made his return to the stage in 2017, when he and his backing band signed with Tender Loving Empire. Though he hadn’t performed professionally since the early 70’s, Ural never stopped loving music. This made his comeback a smooth and entertaining one. Equally as strong as his love for music is his love for people. With any music he makes, his goal is to lighten the heart of those who are listening. To quote; “If we make someone smile we’re satisfied. They’re ain’t no difference between us. It’s all love and brotherhood. If folks listen to my record and feel that I’ll feel very blessed.” We got in touch with Ural for a quick chat about his return to the music business. 

The Deli Portland: After taking such a long break, what prompted you to start recording and performing again?

Well, I missed the people and I was so happy to find out the people missed me!

What has it been like working with Tender Loving Empire?

We love em, and look forward to developing the friendship further.

Can you tell us more about why you decided to name your debut album The Right Time? 

Because it is just that, it is the right time. All moments in life are the right time because tomorrow is not promised to any of us.

What do you enjoy most about performing? 

Connection to the people.

What do you think your next goal is as an artist? 

We have discovered a love of touring in Europe and we'd like to go back.


You can see Ural Thomas & The Pain live April 19th at Revolution Hall, alongside Federale, and Orquestra Pacifico Tropical.

  -By Avril Carrillo, photo by Robert Delahanty

   

Check Out Covi

Portland born and raised artist Covi released Escalate With Me last November, and he deserves some serious props for it. Covi’s voice is deep and cynical as he raps and croons his way through the album. He approaches about serious subject matter while maintaining a laid back, west-coast vibe. The song “Better Days” is a lyrical whirlwind in which Covi boldly claims the recognition he deserves for his talent. In fact, he recently released a music video for it. Directed by Riley Brown and produced by Austin Chapline, the video shows Covi decked out in full Western gear. It’s fitting for the song, and makes for a great watch. Check it out below!

-By Nick Hartman

 

   

J.Graves' Record Release & Pressing

J. Graves is currently raising funds to get their record Marathon pressed. While supporting a queer, female-fronted band is always a good cause, J. Graves has the kind of talent and heart you can’t help but root for. Their recently released “A Cabin” is a powerful rock ballad, full of the highs and lows any good emotional rock song should deliver. Lead guitarist and vocalist Jessa Grave’s voice is weighted down with tension and vulnerability. However, she keeps up a high energy level as she blends her voice in with the more animated beat produced by the bass and drums. The song is full of the nuanced technical balance that can only result from great chemistry between the members. Together, they produce the sort of rock we want to see more of in the world. 

You can find a link to the Kickstarter here, and you can see the band live April 18th at the Bit House Saloon. Childspeak and Foxtails Brigade will also be playing sets.

-By Avril Carrillo 

 

   

The Inside Scoop on Jeff's Plasma Blast IV

Jeff’s Plasma Blast is happening this week! Plasma Blast has been a popular mini-fest ever since its inception in 2016. For a look at what to expect this year, we spoke to founder Rocko Zevenbergen about all the details, and what he hopes people can get out of attending.

The Deli Portland: What can people expect to see when they show up on Thursday?

People can expect a whole lot of ripper groups that have taken the Portland underground by storm! We have an amazingly diverse selection of acts, we're expecting a vast variety of scenes crossing over at this show. You can also expect plenty of info about Bad Taste Video's first feature film, "I Need You Dead!" and how the money from the event will be supporting it!

This is the fourth Plasma Blast! How has it evolved over the years?

When we started Plasma Blast it was originally a festival attached to Gage Nelson, Gavin Houck, and I's previous musical endeavor Skelevision. I did most of the heavy lifting for Jeff's and so I've decided to continue it post-Skelevision. In year's past we've done a pretty heavy focus on indie rock tunage, however I wanted to shake it up this year. This time we have rock accompanied by groups featuring Hip Hop, Neo-Soul, Powerviolence, and more!

You have a really packed lineup. How did you go about deciding which artists would be playing?

Jeff's is always about who I've worked with or noticed since the previous year's fest. Who are the artists that I've seen perform and just been blown away by? This year was especially interesting as the show is a fundraiser for my first feature film, so everyone performing is doing so solely in support of that. It's truly an honor beyond comprehension.

Is there any particular artist(s) whose sets you're really looking forward to?

Some groups I'm having on due to the hype I've heard around them. I've actually yet to see Snake Dance perform but from what I've heard I'm very excited. At the end of the night one of my best friend's labels SWEAM will be featured. They really harness the modern hip hop slap that I love and I'm stoked to see them tear the house down. I'd also really encourage people to get here early as our first three groups, Agricultural Development, Yuvees, and Kno Knuckle (featuring Gavin & Gage of Skelevision!), are easily some of the most enthralling projects in the scene right now.

The American Legion is a great local resource for artists hoping to put on more accessible shows. What relationship does Post 134 have to Jeff's Plasma Blast?

Every year Jeff's Plasma Blast has taken place at the Legion (not counting the "fiasco" of Jeff's II at the Hawthorne Theater). The Legion has always had open arms to us and we appreciate and respect the venue to no end. Just last month I worked with them to throw a fundraiser show for their space and as a result they are letting 100% of all door money go to the film. The Legion has always, and will continue to be, the best spot in Portland for bands to take the stage at any age and at any point in their band's career. If you haven't booked with Legion, I'd highly recommend it, they are very flexible and accommodating and have a staff that really care about supporting independent art.

You’re also raising funds for a local feature film called "I Need You Dead!” What are your plans for this project, and how can other artists get involved?

"I Need You Dead!" tells the story of a young punk by the name of DOOD. During a moment of total teenage angst, he births a fleshy hairball of a Creature. It is a manifestation of DOOD's most self-deprecative thoughts and impulses. He must find some way to rid of this Creature... before it consumes his entire being! Supporting us on this satirical take on depression is President of Troma Entertainment and creator of The Toxic Avenger, Lloyd Kaufman, who is endorsing the film. We also have special effects master Eric Fox down in LA currently creating our practical Creature puppet in his MorbFX Lab! The film is currently in pre-production and is open to anyone who wants to get involved. In Portland, I often don't see opportunities to get involved in an underground film project such as this, so I'm very excited to be able to offer one to people. If you want to be on our cast or crew simply email me at rocko.badtaste@gmail.com.

Are there any other things you hope will come out of Plasma Blast 4?

At the end of the day I throw shows because I love seeing the new faces. When some high-school kid wanders into a space like this and gets their mind blown by local music, a supportive kind scene, and a safe space where one can express themselves to the fullest degree, I bask in that. I also hope the more seasoned artists of our scene get a chance to meet the other groups I've paired them with! I like mixing my bills up and introducing new groups to others. It wasn't too long ago I started booking one of my best friend's, rapper Este, with a bunch of my rock friends and now I swear he's performing at every rock house show in Portland (and killing it too might I add)! Lastly, my own solo musical endeavor Rocko N' Roll will be playing, it's our second show and I'm excited to play in front of Jeff's notoriously amped-up crowd. It should be one hell of a Plasma Blast!

Jeff's Plasma Blast is this Thursday, March 14th. Doors open at 5, and it's $5-10 to get in. Check out the promo video for "I Need You Dead" below.

 

 -By Avril Carrillo

   

Dream Wulf Turns Up The Heat

Dream Wulf has a new EP coming out, and they’ve already proved its gonna be a good one with the pre-release “Confusing Times.” From the very first note, the dark, heavy psychedelic rock is intense and demanding. The song commands your attention, especially the vocals. The wailing, dramatic tones definitely set up the song's mood. It feels like you’re swirling your hands in some hot sand, creating designs that are intricate and mesmerizing. Equally as attention-grabbing is the guitar solo near the end of the song. It’s very bluesy and high energy, playing off the drums remarkably well. They definitely turn up the heat on an already scorching song. It’s blisteringly enjoyable.

Dream Wulf will be playing PestoFest on March 16th. You can find more details about the event on the facebook page

  -By Nick Hartman