Music Ob-seen: Honey Clouds and 2 other sloppy bands

We were among the 200 or so Portland denizens duped by the hype last night at SPACE Gallery for the Honey Clouds CD Release. We’ll do two versions of this review, the first is for you movers and shakers on the go, who want a little summary nugget; the second will be for those of you who like to read opinions, specifically our opinions.

Short and sweet: What the fuck?

Longer and sweatier: The Bollard called Fall on the Honey Clouds “the much-anticipated sophomore release” which is a pompous (though industry standard) way of saying “my friends are putting out another CD with a lot of the same songs as their first one, but this time they mastered it or something, I don’t really know why they didn’t just write new songs, am I the only one confused here?”

But the former is a way to make something of little significance feel bigger and more important to the public at large, and in this case it worked. SPACE was packed, even before Gully took to the stage. Who? Gully, of course, we’re talking one of Portland’s two favorite bands, according to SPACE’s promotion. The other local fave? The Rattlesnakes, conveniently also on the bill! What a deal! If these two aren’t two of your favorite bands, why don’t you just back up your fancy pants and move to New York “The City That Believes in Quality Control” City, mister! Side note: can major metropolises have sarcastic middle names?

We have to imagine we were not alone in wondering what the hell was up with Gully and the Rattlesnakes, each competing to see who could play more sloppily and sing more discordantly. Ignore the fact that the music was unarguably abrasive to the human ear. Try to ignore that. But do not ignore that these bands are lauded for precisely that which makes them unlistenable. Who are the ad wizards who came up with this one? Is Karl Rove a music reviewer now? The SPACE calendar called it “noisy pop festivities.” The thing is, noise-pop can be done. Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr, Yo La Tengo, Velvet Underground, millions of other successful bands use noise, i.e. feedback and screeching guitars, in a poppy manner. The critical distinction is that with the pros, you know they have the ability and talent to play cleanly, yet they are choosing to utilize the noise-techniques for a desired effect. With our local favorites, you get the idea that they have no choice. And proof is in the fact that the bands are SLOPPY. Seemingly unrehearsed. First time gathering in ma’s attic. Yet they’re on stage where mistakes are accentuated. Why are we made to feel like snobs if we think a band playing at one of our only local indie rock clubs should be held to a standard at least as high as “modest ability at instruments, have played these songs together before”?

And who won, you’re asking? After careful deliberation, we will crown Rattlesnakes with having played more discordantly and sloppily. If we found out they decided to pack it in and sell insurance, we’d be unsurprised and celebratory. Unfortunately, this is Portland, and of course not only are they playing again, but they’re playing again tomorrow. So much for spreading shows out (in other cities bands cannot play certain clubs if they have shows booked two weeks on either side of the gig).

But we didn’t come to see the opening bands, we came for the headliner, the Honey Clouds. The clouds hung on either side of the stage could have foreboded the sonic storm about to rain down. If this is pop, or noise pop, or whatever you want to call it, where are the pop hooks? Trey Hughes’s melodies are boring, like someone splattered paint on some sheet music and called it good. The songs all plod along in a mid-tempo 4/4 trot. The album may be the band’s sophomore release, but the only thing sophomoric was the musicianship (zing!).  If at a show you don’t enjoy the songs, at least a night can be redeemed by an impressive guitar solo, or some sort of musical eyebrow-raiser. Last night the only redeemer was the $2 PBR. Song to song, the set blended into a forgettable landscape of ear-crying and wondering where to go for late night munchies (nowhere, unfortunately).

This all speaks to a greater issue we cope with here in our fair Port City: a lack of unbiased opinion and a lack of standards. If bands like Gully, Rattlesnakes and Honey Clouds are heralded as Portland’s best, sure that makes those guys (and gals) feel good, but someone who isn’t friends with them will read that, hear them, snort, and write off the whole scene, and they’d be justified in doing so. If every review you read takes the collective cock’n’balls of the band and deep throats them, how are we to know when the music is actually good? Giving a favorable review to a piece of shit hurts everyone and helps no one. The band falsely thinks they’ve created a masterpiece when really they should be returning to square one, practicing, rehearsing, and striving for improvement. And the non-musician public quickly learns to disregard any words of praise, head to Bull Feeney’s for whatever cover band is playing, and scoff at the notion of paying $6 to see three local bands. [Cue reference to the boy who cried wolf.]

We have work to do, people. Call a terd a terd, call an awesome band awesome, but never cross those circuits. It takes everyone! We can do this, people, can’t we? If not, we’re moving to New York.

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Published in: on May 24, 2009 at 10:30 am  Comments (50)  
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50 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I fully support all local musicians. Sure, music is subjective, but having as many outlets and artists as this city provides is a good thing. Thanks for doing what you do, Gully, The RattleSnakes, Honey Clouds, et al. You help make Portland what it is, and why I choose to live here.

  2. Have fun in New York.

  3. Thank YOU! Portland Point. Finally someone has realized that the “scene insiders” in Portland are basically a bunch of fucking jokers!

    “This all speaks to a greater issue we cope with here in our fair Port City: a lack of unbiased opinion and a lack of standards. If bands like Gully, Rattlesnakes and Honey Clouds are heralded as Portland’s best, sure that makes those guys (and gals) feel good, but someone who isn’t friends with them will read that, hear them, snort, and write off the whole scene, and they’d be justified in doing so”

    To quote you above: summed it up perfectly! Crappy local bands abound yet when “good” music comes to town … the scenesters dont even bother to show up! Keep up the great work!

  4. You should review the “tower of song”. Ha. Who the hell thought that lame idea up. Hey lets set up a bunch of bands in apartment, open the windows and call it a festival. Ohh how indie!

  5. Sir or ma’am, you are entitled to your anonymous opinion and you really don’t have to like something because a website suggests that you might like it. From reading your other blogs you seem a little too reliant upon websites telling you what you should like or what to do with your evening, when they are simply just telling you what’s going on around town. You obviously could have easily checked out what these bands sound like prior to attending the show, and you should have at least listened to the Clouds great new record at least once before trying to take a anonymous crap all over it. AND you criticize a band for scheduling a show a few days after, when it was booked just last week and they were gracious enough to accept. According to you they gotta be a bit more dickish and be all “we can’t play this show, even though we want to, because we just played a show a few days ago.”
    It’s cool to not like something and be a total dick about it on a blog, on the internet, you’ve achieved that. You can now feel good about yourself. But I can also say you are a complete fucking moron and say your blog is a complete “terd” and basically that you suck at life. You should really consider going back to new york and go on the local websites and see where the cool local rock shows are, so you can attend and feel good that you ain’t in portland and tell yourself “wow that’s an impressive guitar solo”. You will have won when that happens. Good luck.

    • Do you even like Portland? Maybe, for everyone’s sake, you should leave before attracting any more people like yourself to live here and ruin our wonderful little city with their negative bullshit.

  6. Damn you’re brutal!

  7. Not all of us in the Portland music scene are trust fund babies like this not-so-anonymous author and have to work real jobs. Live shows in Portland tend to be on the sloppy side (my band included) and we’re all the more grateful for that fact. There is certainly a lot of hype in Portland, of which the Honey Clouds have received more than their fair share, but don’t always fault the bands. The hype is created by the venues(to sell tickets) and the Phoenix/Bollard (to buy friends). The bands are more than happy to give you great shows a few times a month and I rarely miss them. Thankfully from the tone of your article we won’t have to worry about you showing up at another Portland show…and yes…we in the music scene are all thankful.

  8. Finally, somebody with balls (anonymous as they may be) enough to write a truly honest review of some of P-town’s ‘darling’ bands. I have gotten to that point of not even wanting to go out and listen to music, because the reviews are so fucking biased.

    Who are the Honey Clouds? They’re boring at their best. Why do bands like this fill up Space? Are we that collectively numb to what good, unique music and art is? Is it more important to be a herd member than to actually look and listen? Obviously it is. I drink PBR and go to the shows I’m told to go to. I’m cool. Shitty beer, stupid status symbol, get a clue.

    The Portland music scene is really the Portland social scene – quality music really has nothing to do with it. Sam Pfiefle? I make it a point to NOT see any band that he’s reviewed. The Bollard used to be better until recently, especially that dripping Honey Clouds review which seems to have no basis in reality.

    Anyway, just wanted to tell you to keep up the good work.

  9. Hey, I’m in the Rattlesnakes! Thanks for coming to the show, but please don’t blame us for the hype, we just agreed to play the show (and the one a couple days later, who ever gets to play at Bubba’s really?) You have some valid points, but obviously I think you are a piece of shit.

  10. Hey, this is mike from the rattlesnakes. I definitely agree that the Phoenix and the Bollard can be too complimentary, but the reactionary tone of this article indicates that you’re trying too hard to go the other way. I don’t disagree with every sentiment, but you seem to relish your anonymity instead of using it for any sort of positive purpose.

    As far as us being sloppy, you should have seen us 4 years ago in Tara’s apartment (with Diamond Sharp if yer into (local celeb) name dropping)! Honestly, though, both opening acts had a relatively new member the other night, and both of us push ourselves to play new material and fuck with old stuff so it may seem sloppy. You also may not be familiar with the songs, which is understandable considering the limited releases by both openers. When writing songs, we play around with some odd structures and don’t write a lot of ABABCB style songs so I could imagine that being disorienting for a first time listener (as has often happened to me seeing bands live before hearing any of their recorded material). Overall I was mostly surprised and confused because on our self-rating scale I’d say that was a pretty tight set (and like I say, we’ve played plenty that aren’t).

    Also, I want to keep this brief but I was baffled by your comparisons. Sonic youth and Yo La Tengo are two of our influences for sure, and I’ve seen song performed live (on youtube) by both bands that are less than stellar. Those dudes are all clearly good musicians, but I think it’s more likely that you give them a pass because they’re famous and “influential” than that you can discern their inherent ability beyond the fuzz. Sorry you didn’t dig our stuff, but we’re not shameless self promoters or publicity whores and the people who come to see us come to see us because they like us, and I’m happy to play big shows like this because it means we get to make a few new fans and piss off the nerds.

    I’d be interested to know what local acts you do enjoy.

  11. also, this anonymity thing is just bullshit. Grow a pair and tell it like it is with your name attached.

  12. I love Portland’s music scene for precisely what it is. It is accessible and it’s real. You said it just fine: Portland is not New York City. I don’t live in New York City and I don’t want to. We are very lucky to have an environment that fosters what I think is a truly DIY scene done right. And if the bands fall short of technical perfection, forgive me if I don’t exactly give a shit. Technique is NOT the essence of art, and I don’t believe it should be. I am happy that we live in a place where bands that have something honest to express are able to do it, and not get lost in the shuffle. Every time I go to a show lately, I feel like I’m in the middle of something very important and special, and I feel lucky to be involved. I hate to make the argument, “if you don’t like it, don’t involve yourself,” but I’m afraid it’s apt. If you wanna go to the land of quality control, I’m not making you stick around. I’d much rather have the scene we’ve got now.

  13. For a blog that prides itself on being “fair,” this sure had a lot of “I’m pissed off” and not much else. There really wasn’t any attention paid to anything except shitting on what the reviewer saw as negative aspects–not one positive from the evening was mentioned throughout. The reviewer rather stayed in vague proclamations bemoaning ‘bad music.’ This is the mark of somebody who is more of an anonymous internet troll than anything else.

    Besides the fact that the few actual descriptions of the music were more wrong than supportive (Honey clouds plodding in midtempo 4/4? really? did you even hear them? They rarely stay in the same tempo for a whole song at once), I found it pretty funny that this review was ended by praising the NYC scene, which I have seen to be largely elitist and rather shitty in comparison to the really very accepting Portland scene.

    While this post may have upped this blog’s readership, it has basically made it enemies by its derogatory tone and general lack of any journalistic integrity. Portland Point should really start taking better care to screen for intelligent articles if it wants to be taken seriously.

  14. are you in subject bias?

  15. The best result from this post is the dialogue is has created. I have not seen so many comments on a portland music scene blog in a VERY long time. The scene seems largely apathetic and this is a great shot in the arm.

  16. haha subject bias.

  17. Dear Author:

    Please come review the next Dead End Armory show! Apparently, being sloppy and fucking around with new material is just what the Portland music scene loves…and we got that shit in droves! I have no control of my feedback, and it will hurt my ears as much as the listener’s. Discordant? Listen to our guitar solos! Sloppy tempo…hello! We sound like we’re running with a metronome with 5% batter life left! Not to mention intelligible vocals. It’s like we’re running the sound through a wobbly tape deck half the time.

    We’d love the next review Mr. Anonymous.

    ps: hahahhaha….subject bias…hahahha

    • Yeah right!

      Anyone who is reading this knows that Dead End Armory is one of the tightest bands in town.

      I do encourage the author to review them though, it will be a clear signal if he doesn’t like it that it’s just the Portland indie scene that he has the beef with.

  18. B

  19. lol @ calling the velvets good musicians

    • A) I don’t think s/he did…w/out backtracking I think s/he said (paraphrasing) they were adept at noise pop (my note…decades before it was occasionally called that).

      B) Despite this, to say the Velvets weren’t at least “good musicians” is to say deKooning wasn’t a “good artist.”

  20. […] and Portlanders who read this blog will probably have seen the Portland Point’s recent article regarding the Honey Clouds’ CD Release show.  In the interest of avoiding more bickering […]

  21. […] anonymous blog-friends at The Portland Point stepped on some toes with their unfavorable review of the Honey Clouds record release show at SPACE last weekend. Their post may have been harsh, but […]

  22. hahahah. portland point is probly a bunch of ‘older’ type guys who cant get into local music that doesnt involve dean guitars and dimebag darrel signature moves. my top three favorite local bands are rattlesnakes, marie stella, and dead end armory. they all tight as hell. if u want to stay around your room all day practicing with yo band because you have no job but plenty o money…go ahead…the rest of us gotta work. they not as tight as robots, but they get the job done and keep us all happy.

    props to the indie scene, keep doin what yo doin.

  23. Ok. So I read the HC review and the comments. The thing is, according to your mission statement of sorts: “Unfortunately in such a small town, we are afraid to critique – even constructively – for fear of offending.” Though the anon thing lets you write whatever you want however you want, it is actually YOUR fear of offending that is the problem (and why so many people are upset about the post). You make it very clear that you are afraid of OWNING your critiques. I don’t love all the bands in Portland, and many of them are not worth the time…..but I am in and have been in many bands over the years and the thing is: IT IS HARD TO GET PEOPLE TO PAY TO COME SEE YOUR BAND IN PORTLAND MAINE. Even some of my best friends don’t come out cause the $5 or $6 is ‘too steep’. So, 200 people at the Honey Clouds? Those folks, unlike yourself apparently, were NOT there to just test the waters. They were there, and paid to be there, cause they WANTED to see the HC, Rattlesnakes and Gully, and clearly like them. 200 is NOT something to rag on in Portland, particularly for a all local show at that. So, although Portland does need less of the nepotism in its reviews and write-ups, it would MEAN SO MUCH MORE and ACTUALLY DESERVE RESPECT, if you just signed your name to these things. Cause, as you stated, Portland is a small city, and soon enough people will know who you are, and think you are a douche. Sure, people may get angry or write you off for saying what you say anyway, but that is the value of real journalism and critique, no? Owning your thoughts, standing by them in the face of disagreement, and not being afraid of the consequences, make having opinions worth it. Otherwise, it is just kind of fake, and takes any legitimacy away from your points and views, justified or not. Finally, if you really feel this way, who cares if people know who you are? You clearly have no interest in the Portland ‘hipsters’ or their scene that you are so quick to dismiss. Oh, and LASTLY, based on the way you write, and your constant references to NYC, I wouldn’t be surprised if you have not lived here very long or just moved back from college in NYC or something. But I guess Ill never know, cause you choose to be anonymous. That’s weak. And my name is Graeme Kennedy. I have brown hair and glasses and am around town, in case you’d even like to engage me or my own opinions. See how easy!

    • Hi, Graeme…

      My name is Erik Howell and I agree w/ the bulk of your post. I did not see the HC headlining show that PP’s review of has been such a point of contention. I’ll also qualify this by saying that I interact w/ Trey (the HC’s auteur) at Buckdancer’s regularly, and he’s a hell of a nice guy, and a hugely talented musician.

      However, I don’t think that this town’s scene is so weak that it can’t stand some *eloquently phrased,* yes, *anonymous* snark from some bloggers. If you want to keep a local music scene honest, you have to submit yourself to acknowledging the shrill of the malcontents. If their ideas seem are so poorly worded, or even eloquent bullshit, no one who matters will heed them and they’ll fade away.

      I think we have to admit, however, that if one doesn’t attach their name to an otherwise cogent criticism, it’s not out of cowardice, it’s out of wanting to continue to render such opinions w/out being ostracized by…let’s admit it…a fairly *insular* music scene.

      To deem their opinions irrelevant because they don’t readily name themselves is to insist that only those who dare speak up are those who can be assured that their acceptance w/in the music community will ensure against any backlash against them if they criticize it. That leads to a kind of imbreeding that squanders any growth…a bunch of “yes” people telling each other how killer each other’s set was.

      Let’s believe enough in our scene to tolerate…no, *welcome* the fringe opinions…and not invalidate them because they don’t have a name attached that we can heckle on the street. I believe in the secret ballot, and as long as the Web is kept free and anyone w/ a differing opinion can make his/her opinion known, tagging their name onto it or not, anonymous shouldn’t be bullied into revealing themselves or keeping their, yes, *relevant* opinions to themselves.

  24. “The Bollard called Fall on the Honey Clouds “the much-anticipated sophomore release” which is a pompous (though industry standard) way of saying “my friends are putting out another CD with a lot of the same songs as their first one, but this time they mastered it or something, I don’t really know why they didn’t just write new songs, am I the only one confused here?””

    You’re right that I probably assumed more people were as excited as I was about the record’s release. Not sure why you’re so perplexed at the idea of a band re-recording a batch of songs, though. It’s not that wild of a concept, especially when there’s a fair amount of new material and the re-worked stuff is thoroughly updated.

    “The Bollard used to be better until recently, especially that dripping Honey Clouds review which seems to have no basis in reality.”

    I stand by the excellence of the Honey Clouds record. Yes, it’s right up my alley (bad, lazy, numb music), but I also thought it had the potential to be up many folks’ alleys who may not have heard of them. And apparently it does. It’s fucking good. Anyone convinced that the Bollard operates with some elitist agenda is mistaken. Sure, they’ll get behind a band, but only for really boring reasons, like if they think the music is good. It’s not about buddies and back scratching. They’re not Pitchfork, unfairly sending bands to the stars with the drop of a favorable review.

    Keep in mind, Portland Point, that this is Portland. It’s a task for any artist to sustain themselves in a small community. I’m pretty sure your average Maine “local music supporter” would rather shell out for an Pete Kilpatrick or Bob Marley CD. Like you said, take a look at the Phoenix’s top ten local CDs, it’s usually a sorry looking batch. So, kudos to HC/RattleSnakes/Gully for packing that many people in there.

    “The band falsely thinks they’ve created a masterpiece when really they should be returning to square one, practicing, rehearsing, and striving for improvement.”

    You sound like a soccer coach. Do you really think bands who receive favorable reviews immediately kick back on hammocks, drinks in hand, saying, “We did it, guys. Fuck everybody.” There’s no need to blatantly patronize artists by saying what they “really should” be doing, and suggesting they don’t practice or strive for improvement.

    Please take the bucket off your head and realize that this anonymous criticism is for the fucking birds.

  25. Thank you… I spent the last three years with a band that practiced twice a week, played at least 150 shows a year(Mostly out of state), and learned how to play/write/arrange several instruments. We were largely ignored or written off by the Portland “indie”scene even though we played indie circles in other cities and have been one of Maine’s top selling bands for over three years.It didn’t seem to matter that we took pride in our art. That we worked to perfect it. That we had spent time on the road with out food or sleep. It seemed that the only way to get credit in this town was to either be in a shitty bar band with a cheesy horn section or to be in a band with spoiled, “trust funded”,tone deaf MCA students.

    We had the displeasure of playing with local “rock gods” The Rattlesnakes at the space gallery… They were the most rude, mean spirited people I have ever shared a bill with. One of the members started telling people to leave while we played… We helped them load their equipment in as a gesture of friendship. When they found out what band we were in they started making condescending comments about us. I can understand having artistic differences. I can understand if they didn’t want to talk to us. (We are a strange bunch) I can understand why they might not dig our music but there is no reason to be that shitty.
    Thank you Portland point. Fuck you Rattlesnakes. I don’t feel bad for them at all. They should learn how to play their instruments or at least give respect to people who can.

  26. Man the Cambiata doesn’t like us either!! I actually thought those guys were decent folks…. sorry fluffy

  27. I can only assume that fluffy is the lead singer… I remember really liking everyone else in that band and feeling kind of bad that they were stuck with an irritatingly histrionic singer (which was the cause of nearly everyone leaving, not any advice given by our band). If I was a dick to him, it’s because he couldn’t be bothered to show up to the show before his set started and then talked about how much he enjoyed the opening bands and I felt that the sentiment was as inauthentic as his stage persona.

  28. and if it isn’t the lead singer than I offer my completely sincere apology. I think some of my ire that should have been aimed strictly at your singer was diverted by a squadron of gin and tonics and ended up being flung at the entire band. You guys are all talented musicians and you don’t deserve that.

  29. We have video… Only a handful of your friends left. We sold the most tickets. I do realize that sounds really arrogant but it is true. I may not be as articulate as you when writing. You definitely make a case for your band but you guys were jerks. We may be more obnoxious in person but you guys have that special, condescending way of talking to people. Maybe our singer went out of his way to be irritating. Your singer just had to open her mouth and I got an instant migraine. This is not the singer. I am the bassist. I guess it’s pretty lame of me to attack you guys on message board. I probably should have just called you out in person. I guess I am just bitter and happy to read someone else trashing on you guys. I’m sorry but it’s true.

    • Bummer, coming from the dude that was the nice guy in the cambiata. How did you guys sell tickets for the show ahead of time? I really am curious about that, it’s pretty cool to see your band’s name on some tickets, I don’t think we got the option.

    • Bummer, coming from the dude that was the most outwardly nice guy in the cambiata. How did you guys sell tickets for the show ahead of time? I really am curious about that, it’s pretty cool to see your band’s name on some tickets, I don’t think we got the option.

  30. bummer. Don’t mistake awkwardness for condecension. When we talked to you guys before we played I really didn’t know much about your band and wouldn’t go out of my way to be a dick to you.

  31. Hey cambiata bass player, did you guys catch any of our set on your video? is so can we have it?

    • I don’t think so. I will have to get back to you on that.

  32. wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  33. What the fuck? I play bass for Cambiata. I didn’t write that.

  34. huh, what the crap? didn’t think it was you, you were all nice and stuff

  35. you guys are all acting like retards over this stupid review that has nothing to do with your goals, which should be to write songs, practice them (get sick of them), record them, TOUR, repeat. its fucking PORTLAND. Most bands here never do jack shit! alot of the people here want slick bullshit like All the Real Girls, pete kilpatrick (even though hes such a nice guy!), and Rustic…well fuck them and fuck the portland point. props to Cambiata for sweating/bleeding and writing some actually sick tunes! they arent the enemy.. (even though chris moulton is a bit of a queen), props to the Snakes for all the shows that this prick anonymous writer didn’t attend where they burnt the house down, props to gully for being portland’s own replacements, and props to Honey Clouds for playing harmless, awesome, barbecue r’n’r! get off the internet, guys, and DON’T READ YOUR OWN REVIEWS. This motherfucker’s reviews AREN’T VERY GOOD. Busby’s reviews aren’t very good either, sometimes, but we all know his name at least…and the phoenix? chris gray is a cunt! id ont really give a shit what he thinks. your band shouldn’t either..DEAL WITH IT. time for more adderall, it’s time to four track, if my name isn’t the ref!

  36. to be fair, most of my posts were made from work, and that’s decidedly punk rock.

  37. Music Observed: Honey Clouds and 2 other special bands
    We were among the 200 or so Portland residents exhilarated by the razzmatazz last night at SPACE Gallery for the Honey Clouds CD Release. We’ll do two versions of this review, the first is for you movers and shakers on the go, who want a quick taste; the second will be for those of you who like to linger over dinner.
    Short and sweet: Hot dog!
    Longer and sweeter: The Bollard called Fall on the Honey Clouds “the much-anticipated sophomore release” which is a snazzy (not to mention industry standard) way of saying “my friends are putting out another CD which revisits earlier material with increased sophistication, and I am so excited!!!”
    But the former is a way to make a gala event seem like an inviting backyard barbecue, and in this case it worked. SPACE was packed, even before Gully took to the stage. Who? Gully, of course, we’re talking one of Portland’s two favorite bands. The other local fave? The Rattlesnakes, conveniently also on the bill! What a deal! If these two aren’t two of your favorite bands, why don’t you just back up your fancy pants and move to Brooklyn “Can Shut the Fuck Up, Mister!” Side note: jeepers, can major metropolises have sarcastic middle names?
    We have to imagine we were not alone in wondering what Gully and the Rattlesnakes will get up to next. Each was competing to see who could play the most exhilarating rock and roll. Ignore the fact that the music was unarguably sweet nectar to the human ear. Try to ignore that. But do not ignore that these bands are hardworking normal guys. They are guitar wizards. Even Karl Rove would tap his toes. The SPACE calendar called it “noisy pop festivities.” Noise pop. Mmmm. Sonic Youth, The Dinosaur Jr, Yo La Tengo, Velvet Underground, millions of other successful bands use noise, i.e. feedback and screeching guitars, in a poppy manner. The critical distinction is that with those other guys, you know they have the ability and talent to play cleanly, yet they are choosing to utilize the noise-techniques for a desired effect. With our local favorites, you get the idea that they have no choice but to paint your wagon with Dionysian dissonance. And proof is in the fact that the bands are SLOPPY. YEAH! Seemingly unrehearsed. It made me feel new again. And when they’re on stage where mistakes are accentuated as happy accidents it only makes everybody happy that they came! Why are we made to feel like yahoos if we think a band playing at one of our only local indie rock clubs makes us want to hoot?
    Whooo!

  38. Lolz at “portlands replacements”.

  39. I’ve appreciated the dialogue here. I may not have read all the posts clearly. I am not so concerned about the anonymous post, but the issue people have taken with someone who is demanding their take on creative excellence and their beef with big fish in small pond syndrome – whatever any potential ulterior motive on the writer’s part may be.

    It is very productive for a local scene to have positive and negative constructive criticism (in my time here I have only read one truly negative review in one of the papers of record and I was impressed for someone willing to break rank – and by the way why is there never a backlash regarding positive reviews).

    Portland is a great city, but the arts will only improve if we realize this is not about band versus band or city versus city, but avoiding becoming a Galapagos Island – a place so “special” that it can’t absorb innovation and foster critical insight. Grab a PBR and dust off your Darwin and have a good summer!

  40. though this is late, I think it’s funny and relevant:

    http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2004/3/19/

    • Completely.

  41. Hey, here’s a thought: Go and find yourself another city of +/- 70,000 that has a local music and arts scene as vibrant and supported as Portland’s. Not saying it couldn’t be done, just that it’s a small group of eligible towns. NYC certainly has more on offer, although I doubt you’d love everything you found there either. And with 100 times the population to share it with, you might have a harder time sorting through it all. I happen to like Honey Clouds although I can see they might not be everyone’s cup of tea. There’s also a difference between being honest and being a dick, which this review misses by a mile, would probably be pointed out to the reviewer pretty quickly if he brought this bush league whining to New York. And, oh yeah: it’s spelled “turd” not “terd”. Werd to your Mama…

  42. Personally, I’m a major fan of the ‘slop-rock’ movement. It’s almost as good as ‘slupe’ and ‘slorpe.’

    Kinda sad this blog died. It always made my imagination run wild with all the numbers and trackback links in the blog statistics.


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