Music seen at SPACE Gallery, August 14, 2008
Anyone lacking a soft spot for playful extremes in music might find the Scrapes musically substandard and even a little grating. On the other hand, there is definitely a large niche in Portland that is unwittingly missing out on the fun to be had with the Scrapes.
Performing their set on the floor level with the crowd, Brigid Rose gave it all she’s got with upbeat vocals, keyboard, and relentless — even furious — dancing. Jonathan Merrifield (drummer/singer for the 500s) accompanies on vocals (with an acquired nasality) and recreates live pre-programmed beats.
This duo’s results are so basic that you imagine anyone with access to a drum machine and the ability to free-verse could whip this shit up in a matter of minutes. But the Scrapes are so confident and joyful that lyrics like “Get your fine ass on the floor, get your fine ass on the floor” become hard to ignore. They're even harder not to repeat in your head 10 times a day after the show.
This is sassy punk, electro, and early hip-hop inspired party music that says the things you want to say but don’t. Take this line directed to strangers that appear at a party: “If you’re not my friend/if you’re not his friend/then you’re not our friend/so just get out.” It is both ridiculous and infectious, with a lot of dancing potential, which the sparse but active crowd proved.
Having mostly played house shows and punk venues the Scrapes still play like a young band, though word in the crowd was that they had improved since last year's debut. We’ll be interested to see them a year from now. According to their Web site they play as many shows as they can, so get them at your party.
On the Web
The Scrapes: www.myspace.com/singwiththescrapes
: Live Reviews
, Sonya Tomlinson, Jonathan Merrifield