Bolting Cölt

Wax Tablet
By PORTLAND PHOENIX MUSIC STAFF  |  December 7, 2011

music_waxtabs_SplendoraColt

• Received some sad news that WESLEY ALLEN HARTLEY's project SPLENDORA CÖLT, which led the core trio of his Traveling Trees further down the dark trails of postpunk country, are splitting up. Hartley's thinking of hitting the road and taking root in the other Portland; as a minor pillar of the local music scene, we'd rather he stayed here. An autonomous band for four short months, Splendora Cölt played only a handful of shows but released a beast of a record, the 11-track Hoods on the Water Tower, on which Hartley's anguished adenoidal howl and rough-trod meditations steer an excellently tight rhythm section. It's an awkward start for a great and haunting album — the most accomplished of Hartley's career — and we hope to give it a full review soon.

• Updating a previous item: SEAN SLAUGHTER, known locally as the vocalist for rock band CLUBBER LANG, has advanced to the final round of the Queen Extravaganza, a nationwide hunt by drummer Roger Taylor to assemble the "ultimate Queen tribute band." The official website (queenextravaganza.com) offers multiple videos documenting the final auditions (conducted Survivor-style at the Foo Fighters' studio in Los Angeles) where our boy is prominently seen amid other weirdos, longhairs, and rock and roll lifers. Check the intro video, which explains the deal while mounting considerable tension, and see Slaughter bust out "One Vision" in video 5. Slaughter may not be as much of a ham as the other contestants (a good thing, in our opinion), but we're impressed all the same, both by his voice and the ease with which he assumes the role. All homerism aside, we wouldn't be surprised if he pulls it out. Results will likely be available after we go to print, but we'll keep you posted with what happens next.

• One-man songwriting unit GLASS FINGERS left quite an impression at 131 Washington last weekend. The multitracked audio affair of 19-year-old JESSE GERTZ, Glass Fingers was a lesson in po-mo sound composition, playing tracks from his self-released debut this. With an interesting, conventional take on bedroom indie electronica — melodic, repetitive synth lines, guitar textures, harmonies à la Noah Lennox — Gertz made many bold performative choices that distinguish him from the genre's traditions. Some examples? Unlike many, he doesn't bury his words in effects or irony, a decision that lends his already busy songs yet another melodic asset. A tuneful and seemingly humble dude, he nonetheless performed his screamier moments bravely and without histrionics, like sobering violent scenes from an otherwise serene movie. But perhaps most impressive of all was this: After finishing a song midway through his set, he put down his guitar and asked the crowd to heckle him. "Whatever you want, really, I can take it," he assured. What happened next was a thing of beauty. Some 60 people, teenagers and fortysomethings alike, hurled invectives at the musician for well over a minute. Gertz mimed aloof encouragement, furrowing his brow and comically arching his back from a normally hunkered posture. It seemed to address the essential dilemma of solo artists: the complete absence of antagonistic factors. Sure we disagree with our fellow band members, but doesn't that also make us better? Solo artists are isolated enough; must they also be exiled from the gifts of antipathy? He pressed a button to begin the next song and we all quieted, yet somehow, the sound of the taunts continued. The joke was on us: Gertz had made a recording of the jeers and was using it as the ambient foundation of the next song. It wasn't his best number, sure, but the room applauded it hard, and as someone in the back aptly shouted, "cojones, bro."

  Topics: New England Music News , Foo Fighters, Foo Fighters, Clubber Lang,  More more >
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