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Kevin's Doing The Merch: Recommended Shows In Portland Jan. 12-18, 2016

by Marissa Abruzzini

East Forest

marmoset music pdxMarmoset Music
Thursday, January 14
RSVP here

This isn’t your average Thursday night music gig; it’s a collaborative work of art. I’m not exaggerating, either. For East Forest’s upcoming show, Trevor Oswalt had to come up with an entire film score in just a week. Local filmmakers have essentially handed him a cut of the film and told him to work his soundscape magic, which he’ll perform for the first time for Marmoset Music. East Forest brings both mathematics and true artistry back into music. The sound is a cross between electronic, Brian Eno-style ambience with classical influences. If you’re not familiar with Oswalt’s work, be sure to check out his TED talk below, where he talks about the inspiration behind his work. The upcoming show for Marmoset is free, but you’ll need to RSVP via the link above if you want to see it for yourself. It’s worth mentioning that East Forest has a more traditional gig coming up on February 25 for a dual album release party. Both are definitely worth checking out if you get the chance!


Astro Tan, Thanks, Cat Hoch

holocene pdxHolocene
Thursday, January 14 RSVP

When you hear the phrase “psychedelic R&B,” your brain has to do all sorts of cartwheels trying to figure out what, exactly, that would sound like. I had a fuzzy picture of it in my mind when I first listened to Astro Tan, and I have to say, they still surprised me. Their music has an almost jazz-like flair to it that I haven’t heard in other psychedelic bands in town. The chord progressions are unexpected and lulling, successfully showcasing that trance state we love in a great psych band. But they also have a distinct experimental side that takes this music into a far more fascinating realm. It’s easy for psych bands to to play trippy chords with fuzzy guitars and call it a night, but I get the impression that Astro Tan are more interested in doing things that haven’t been done before. Playing alongside Thanks and Cat Hoch, two equally talented groups, this is going to be a superbly interesting show that’s well worth a trip out to the Holocene.


Smoke Rings, Die Robot

lovecraft bar pdxLovecraft Bar
Saturday, January 16, 9 p.m. RSVP
Tickets at the door

We’ve written before about the greatness that is Havania Whaal, so if you liked that group, you’ll definitely want to take a listen to Smoke Rings. This band also features the talented Noelle Magia on vocals, and they’re a complete blast. Their sound is punky and in-your-face, but with enough synths to fill a dancefloor with moving bodies. Their show at Lovecraft is actually a cassette release party for “Boxes,” so you’ll want to get there early to snag a copy for yourself. I can’t think of a better opening act for Smoke Rings than Die Robot, another ridiculously high-energy dark wave group. The bands will go on pretty early in the night, but it looks like the members plan on staying out to celebrate while DJ Horrid keeps the crowd entertained after the two sets.

Marissa AbruzziniMarissa Abruzzini is the music editor for, a freelance journalist, guitarist, and professional music snob. She spends most of her time poking around backstage at Portland’s seediest music venues.  

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