Admiring the scenery

Music seen at Geno's and the Soundpost, August 1 and 5, 2007
By CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  August 8, 2007

Seems I missed out on the big news at Geno’s last Wednesday — upon late arrival, two separate friends declared Jerk Off Jack Off Frig Face, a shouting Portland country-punk duo crashing the scene of late, the “best new band in Portland.” My fondness for such superlatives requires that I spread the gossip.

Fire on Fire’s set began with a cover of Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy,” utilizing their greatest asset — spellbinding five-part harmonies — to delirious effect. It was a kick to see the band in a more raucous venue than usual, allowing even the mild-mannered Micah Blue Smaldone’s natural showmanship shine through.

Samuel James spun his guitar 270 degrees around his lap and did not stop playing it the whole time, and he’s no longer human to me.

Sunday night’s Soundpost show was sparsely attended after a sun-soaked weekend, but opener Helen Money wowed a tiny crowd with cello tunes played through an army of loop and distortion pedals. Even a mid-song broken string couldn’t hold her back, as she moved with ease between psychedelic rock and modern classical compositions.

Vancouver’s They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? headlined the show, and combated the awkwardness of playing to a tiny crowd by turning off all the lights in the house. A smart decision that delivered a lot of surprises: trombonist dropping to the ground and sifting through a box of bells and noisemakers; sudden handclaps from the keyboardist hidden behind the curtain; swells of noisy vocal harmonies and winning, ramshackle horn breakdowns.

  Topics: New England Music News , Gnarls Barkley, Chris Gray, They Shoot Horses Don't They?,  More more >
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