Salem, Oregon's Chance Wiesner is a talented singer and creative songwriter with a flexible, oft-versatile vocal presence which meanders in tone and vibrato from dust-covered Leonard Cohen swagger, to world-weary country lilt, to rainbow-hued Golden Gate Park folk fallout. His debut album Takin' a Chance on Love was released May 4, 2013, and his sophomore solo effort More Sauce For The Lady dropped on Halloween 2019.
Portland-based singer/songwriter Mariya May's third solo full-length Kiki & Mel's Drive-Time Circus arrives in stores and on your streams January 7th, 2021. Despite the downturn in just about everything over the past year, 2020 was a busy year musically speaking for May, seeing her releasing an EP of deconstructed songs (Strictly A Cappella) and a new co-release with band-and-labelmate Mo Douglas (Prepare the Sauce) in addition to ongoing band work with What in Your Heart Can Put You in a Trance, all on Portland's Ten Dollar Recording Company label. A prolific singer, songwriter, and collaborator, May's presence can be found all over numerous other projects from labelmates across the TDRCo back catalogue, in addition to her own predilections towards penning intimate, sprawling, and dramatic indie-folk. With the playful, hummable, and at times wistfully melancholic Kiki & Mel's Drive-Time Circus, May adds yet another feather to her cap and another album to her steadily growing canon that's sure to be a shaft of sunlight through your winter window.
Paying homage to a wide variety of influences, from 80's/90's shoegaze and new wave, earthy 60's/70's pop and soul, late 90's trip hop, and all manner of psych and world musics, May's songcraft is unique and textured, gently referencing while remaining a sound apart from just about anything else you may have happened across. Holding it together is her top-shelf voice, which she deftly stretches from soft, sweet, and mellow, to dramatic, full-bodied, and soulful, channeling as much from Hope Sandoval as she does from Mavis Staples. And lucky for you dear listener, May's vocal presence is the anchoring point for Kiki & Mel's Drive-Time Circus, doing some serious work on finely-produced covers like "Pack Up Your Sorrows" (Mimi and Richard Fariña), "New House of The Pope" (Frank Black and the Catholics), and "Nearly Lost My Mind" (from TDRCo labelmate Ryan Massad), nestled alongside well-crafted originals like "On Your Heels", "Oh No! Oh No! Oh No!", and the 2020-apt "Christmas at the Broken Hearts Inn". Throughout, May's inner muse shines bright, and you'll be finding yourself wanting to give this one a second listen before heading out to dive further into her extended catalogue of quality releases.
Mo Douglas - the master chef multi-instrumentalist of Portland’s Ten Dollar Recording Co. - does it again, cooking up the groovy instrumental jams and bestowing upon our ears the best recipes for love, all on dog-eared pages fresh from your mama’s favorite magazines. Mo’s perfectly imperfect concoctions are hand-crafted to bring a smile to your face and open up your mind - psych, funk, soul, dub, jazz, garage rock, but most important of all a perpetual groove - swirling throughout the record as the flavors mingle.
Salem, Oregon area band Nodding Tree Remedies has a magic bag of sounds emanating from all four corners of the past four or five decades of the psych-pop underground. The often large live group has many moving parts, a rotating cast of characters that come and go with the whims of the ocean tides, and like an amoeba, the ensemble constantly changes shape, picking up particles of sound as it moves along. Their albums Ultra Violet Tots and The 45th Parallel are out now on TDRCO. Best to lay back and enjoy the ride, and keep your hands and arms safely inside the windows of the Magic Bus.
Portland, Oregon musician and producer Prince Joely (Joel Rasmussen) released his debut solo album Future Smells early in 2019. Rasmussen has also co-produced albums like Lonely Melting Iceberg by The Red Channels, and We Got a Lot of Love by What in Your Heart Can Put You in a Trance, and he's appeared as a session player on recordings by TDRCO label-mates.
Reed Burnam is a multi-instrumentalist songwriter and solo artist currently involved in numerous working bands (Khali Haat, Ouiness, Many Birthdays). Originally from East Texas, Reed has been in Austin for nearly 20 years, with short stints living in Southern California and Northern India. Reed is also a writer and certified permaculture consultant. His solo album Another Switchback was his 2017 TDRCO debut, and the single "Collected Summer" followed later that year. 2020 saw the release of his second album for the label (Universal Axis), and a new single "Funeral Selfie" arrived in April 2021.
Silvertron Youth Choir isn’t short on inanity, assembling what could at times be described as children’s music made for (and seemingly by) mightily stoned adults; a pinwheeling, day- tripping, hipping and hopping, skipping and jumping ramble through the worm hole into a range of delightfully visual and guffaw-inducing ditties tackling all manner of subjects, such as: pies made of whiskey and bacon, soda pop downloading computer programs for rednecks, water spider birds on the tundra, philosophical mayonnaise, peanut butter trains, cosmic hybrid creatures riding forklifts, pamplemooses, and, as a lyrical coup-de-grace of sorts, Justin Bieber mounted triumphantly atop a giant rodent.
The latest single from Portland-based band Step Into The Kitchen, "The Cream of Portland's Gourmet Set" conjures a euphoric glow with its ethereal vocal layers and vibrant instrumentation. Bright mandolins converge with trickling guitars for a soundscape fit for blue ocean waters and swaying hammocks. The track's first half struts a summery glistening, while a haunting twist past the two-minute mark lends a psych-forward mystique. The vocals assume a lusher, nocturnal tone as the track progresses, complemented by a sturdy acoustical backbone that finishes into a seamless conclusion.
The band is part of Portland-based label Ten Dollar Recording Co., whose close-knit roster boasts ample intrigue in their riveting stylistic pursuits of psychedelia, soul, rock, freak-folk, and experiments beyond. (Mike Mineo)
Step Into The Kitchen to trip out on a spaghetti space western, thru a sepia-toned kaleidoscope world of the in-between. Sure, you can meditate on your way to a funky party, but we're blasting all the way to the outer realms today. Words escape but still voices ring out and envelope you - don't worry, it's cozy in here. We're going all the way to the edge, and oh yeah, we'll be rewarded for our efforts. Talk about a vibe shift, this latest jam from the otherworldly collective is a true perception-altering adventure, not to be taken lightly. Check your measurements and sift accordingly, this is "A Fruitful Tenure". (Bryan Bruchman)
Soups and Starters is the inaugural EP from Portland-based band Step Into The Kitchen, out February 17, 2022. From opening track "Roll Out These Triangles" to closer "A Long Peak at the Script", Soups and Starters is a collection of groovy, head-nodding sonic harmonia, underpinned by a seamless mixture of dub, R&B, and psychedelic haze that drips off every track, seeping out to settle into the deep green valleys of Western Cascadia. Though clocking in at just under 12 minutes, there's a lot going on here - aforementioned "Roll Out These Triangles" is an ecstatic reggae-infused dust-up hum-along, while dub-drenched "Pan or Grittle" could be passed off as a Black Ark b-side. Standout track "Thicken and Set" is easy listening for more discerning sets of ears, and album closer "A Long Peak at the Script" pulls in rhythmic vocal incantation and mellow flute lines to induce a dreamy nod to exotic locales just beyond recognition. If you're looking to chase off some of the late winter blues, this sunshine-infused outing may be just the ticket. Get it while the oven's hot. (Reed Burnam)
Imagine, if you will, a hazy, dank planet of sound (not that one). Its inhabitants slither and wriggle, twisting alien instruments in obscene ways, cooking up sounds almost familiar, transformed through fractured radio waves blasting out to the cosmos. Bits of jazz and dub and blues all mutilated just a little bit - a fine ceviche of sound - cooked but only technically, right? Step Into The Kitchen have departed their world and found a fine home here on this decaying blue marble for some reason, bringing with them that tasty blend, full of grooves and flourishes to nourish our dead, hungry souls with "A Very Different Dessert." Dine with the band (metaphorically, of course) and this debut single as it's served up in February 2022, available from your lovely hosts at Ten Dollar Recording Co., with a more extensive menu of delights on the way soon. (Bryan Bruchman)
Thomas Mudrick is the real deal: talented, unique of vision, and able to go the distance. Mudrick has certainly got a swelling back catalogue to contend with, and his zany tongue in cheek lyrics are interspersed with more introspective moments that strike a zen balance of goofiness and world-weary wisdom. To suggest that Mudrick refuses to be boxed in to any rote and well-trod genres or categories should be pretty well established at this point for anyone paying attention, but new listener be warned: the musical temperature can change pretty quick ‘round these here parts, so keep yer listening ears on and enjoy the ride.
Portland-based troubadour Tobias Berblinger presents the vinyl reissue of his 2018 album The Luckiest Hippie Alive, releasing on October 6th, 2022. Berblinger will play a release show that same day, at the Laurelthirst Public House in Portland.
The Luckiest Hippie Alive delivers a comforting range of country and folk nostalgia, recalling the likes of Gram Parsons, Townes Van Zandt, and Blaze Foley. Opener “My Boots Have Been Drinking” entrances with hazy pedal steel and a swooning vocal duet, setting the album in motion with a sunset-friendly allure.
Twangy, heartfelt introspection and a suave cosmic country drive persist throughout the release. Further energy is conveyed on breezy rock/folk infusions like “Blade of Grass” and the title track, which exudes a playful duet emitting themes of perseverance: “When I’m falling off my horse, there’s another one to carry me.”
In addition to his work as a solo artist, Berblinger plays with other Portland-based artists, performing bass for apocalyptic folk band Roselit Bone and keyboards for singer/songwriter Kassi Valazza. He is also an engineer at Singing Sands Recording Studio, and performs as a live DJ throughout Portland, hosting genre-themed nights such as "Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love," "Death Trip," "Black Acid," and more. Additionally, Berblinger is a professional graphic designer and illustrator.