Love among the ruins

By CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  January 20, 2010

The concept for the series is clever — you could consider it an early anti-Valentine's Day show — but it's directly correlated with the way Ethridge consumes and enjoys music. "There's no specific litmus test for the material I release, but it has to affect me emotionally and it has to hint a deeper mystery or story," he says. "I'm far more conceptually inclined than musically inclined." (You can see this in evidence at the release show, as Ethridge's collaborative group Panda Bandits join the evening's lineup.) Ethridge first became a music buff after reading about how Lou Reed formed Velvet Underground after his parents sent him to a shock therapist to "cure" his homosexuality; he then digested The Velvet Underground & Nico as "something born out of this tragic attack on the psyche."

"I want people to have a similar response to this music," he says. "If they hear the Cerberus Shoal record, I want them to start digging back into the catalog, and hope they also start exploring Fire on Fire, Chriss Sutherland, Big Blood, and dilly dilly." Eternal Otter will continue to dig deep into neglected realms with its next vinyl series, called "Mystic Chords of Memory." That will examine Portland's unique neo-Americana artists, with music by Jesse Pilgrim, Samuel James, Over a Cardboard Sea, and others (some of whom will also perform at the January 29 show).

"By tying this music together under a single theme," Etheridge suggests, "it should lead people to new discoveries."

Christopher Gray can be reached at

ETERNAL OTTER RECORDS VINYL-RELEASE PARTY | with Lady Lamb the Beekeeper + TJ Metcalfe + Blaque Boose + Panda Bandits + Dana Gross + Jesse Pilgrim + Over a Cardboard Sea | 8:30 pm | SPACE Gallery, 538 Congress St, Portland | $10 |

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