• Old friend SONTIAGO (a/k/a former Phoenician Sonya Tomlinson) releases the maxi-single for her huuuuuge summer hip hop/dance cut "Muscle Car" this week. The MC gets help from collaborator and OH MY GOODNESS member THERESE WORKMAN and high-ranking producer ALIAS on this one, and any self-respecting ladies' night DJ in town should put it into their sets immediately. Be on the lookout for the forthcoming video for "Muscle Car," directed by David Meiklejohn and starring a gaggle of Portland creatives (as well as indie rapper Astronautalis) engaged in an elaborate series of dance battles at very recognizable locations (like, say, the most incredible dance floor in town). "Muscle Car" is out now on Endemik Music.
• Now we're hearing the debut EP from indie rock supergroup ENDLESS JAGS should be out in September. One part harsh, two parts pretty, three parts guitar. Should be a decent cocktail.
• While the new STUDIO 250 isn't exactly the savior for those lamenting all-ages shows at 131 Washington or the Deering Grange, I guess we'll take what we can get. The venue, located in a warehouse at 250 Read Street (off outer Forest Ave) opened just last month, but rather than building interest through Portland's network of bands playing outside the mainstream, it's hosting aspiring radio pop bands such as Jersey's Breathing Blue and Arizona's This Century (August 21), who play the sort of music that "breaks" when it gets picked up by a teen series on Fox. Popular local group STEINER STREET play their raw, speedy pop-punk there next month, and we have no doubt it'll develop as it goes, but the underground all-ages scene needs something that can help sustain and create a little culture, and we're not convinced that out-of-state commercial pop bands can do that. Visit 250portland.com for more info and a calendar.
• awl is the title of an new seven-inch EP by one-man downer blues unit R.S.O., whose work you might have seen in some of Portland's outer circuits recently. It's the third release under the playing acronym of Ryan Owens, and over four songs churns out some seriously visceral perspectives on the blues. Owens's howls are anchored by raw, formalist riffs that are almost meditative. Reminds us of some vintage Touch and Go trash-punk, which makes the record's colorful, artful packaging an interesting twist. Visit r-s-o.bandcamp.com for a $5 download or $10 record, and see Owens's act live at Mathew's August 24.
: New England Music News
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