Guess who’s coming to rock out the City Different? I’ll give you a hint…”Ohh We Ohhh I’m a rebel just for kicks now, I’ve been feeling it since 1986 now”. Did you know Portugal, the Man is a band from Alaska? Let that sink in for a second!
Portugal. The Man is an American rock band from Wasilla, Alaska, currently residing in Portland, Oregon. The group consists of lead singer John Baldwin Gourley, Gourley’s partner & back-up singer Zoe Manville, Zach Carothers, Kyle O’Quin, Jason Sechrist and Eric Howk. Gourley and Carothers met and began playing music together in 2001 at Wasilla High School in Wasilla. Their first two albums, in 2006 and 2007, were released on Fearless Records.
Portugal. The Man’s [website | Amazon.com] last album, Evil Friends, came out in 2013—a long gap for a band who’ve dropped roughly an album a year since 2006. And in true, prolific band fashion, they spent almost every minute since 2013 working on an album called Gloomin + Doomin. They created a shit-ton of individual songs, but as a whole, none of them hung together in a way that felt right. Then John Gourley, PTM’s lead singer, made a trip home to Wasilla, Alaska (Home of Portugal. The Man’s biggest fan, Sarah Palin) and two things happened that completely changed the album’s trajectory.
First, John got some parental tough love from his old man, who called John on the proverbial carpet or dogsled or whatever you put people on when you want to yell at them in Alaska. “What’s taking so long to finish the album?” John’s dad said. “Isn’t that what bands do? Write songs and then put them out?” Like fathers and unlicensed therapists tend to do, John’s dad cut him deep. The whole thing started John thinking about why the band seemed to be stuck on a musical elliptical machine from hell and, more importantly, about how to get off of it.
Second, fate stuck its wiener in John’s ear again when he found his dad’s ticket stub from the original 1969 Woodstock music festival. It seems like a small thing, but talking to his dad about Woodstock ’69 knocked something loose in John’s head. He realized that, in the same tradition of bands from that era, Portugal. The Man needed to speak out about the world crumbling around them. With these two ideas converging, the band made a seemingly bat-shit-crazy decision: they took all of the work they had done for the three years prior and they threw it out.
It wasn’t easy and there was the constant threat that the band’s record label might have them killed, but the totally insane decision paid off. With new, full-on, musical boners, the band went back to the studio—working with John Hill (In The Mountain In The Cloud), Danger Mouse (Evil Friends), Mike D (Everything Cool), and longtime collaborator Casey Bates (the one consistent producer since the first record). In this new-found creative territory, the album that became Woodstock rolled out naturally from there.
Deap Vally [website | Amazon.com] landed in 2013 with their rock debut Sistrionix. The L.A. duo bombed down the Transatlantic speedway, lighting psych-blues fires throughout the US and Europe. Lindsey Troy’s whiskey-soaked vocals and killer guitar riffs were chaotic, but found a degree of order in the heat of Julie Edwards’ drumming. After several loops around the world, they returned from their travels and decided it was time for a gear shift. The change was inspired by the pair’s need to create their vision on their own terms, without label input. Lindsey and Julie needed to be able to operate in a way that didn’t suck the living joy out of their creations, otherwise that blues synergy of rock ‘n roll (forged between them at a knitting club in Echo Park some five years ago) would simply not be able to reach its pinnacle.
Tickets are $42 in advance, $49 day of show (including all service charges). They are also available through Hold My Ticket (112 2nd St SW), 505-886-1251, Monday to Friday 9 AM – 6 PM, Sat & Sun 11 AM – 6 PM.
All tickets are General Admission standing room. There will be a very limited number of seats available.
Beer and wine is available with valid ID.