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Artist of the Month
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March 2016
My Gold Mask
"Anxious Utopia
"
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Gretta Rochelle and Jack Armondo working on the dark electro-pop sound of My Gold Mask since 2009. On their latest album, dropping today, March 4th, on Moon Sounds Records, Anxious Utopia, the duo may have finally found perfection. It may be the addition of James Andrews on production, but most of the songs on the album were written by Armondo and Rochelle. This album is a mixture of dance pop in the vain of Carly Rae Jepsen and dark gothic pop of Siouxsie Sioux. Rochelle is powerful and commanding through out with Armondo and Andrews providing her driving and infectious club ready tracks. Anxious Utopia is My Gold Mask clearly firing on all cylinders.


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Saturday Night Sounds: Backbiter - Fvck the Bozos

Dream punks Backbiter are leaving for an East Coast tour next week and with their tour kickoff show TONIGHT (along with Seattle's Vats, Mr. Wrong and Mini Blinds at the High Water Mark), tonight's Saturday Night Sounds is in celebration of them.

It's hard to choose just one track from Fvck the Bozos, so here's all of them. The six tracks blast right by you quickly, each with a runtime under two minutes, so feel free to play it on repeat to get your fill.

Hopefully we'll see more from Backbiter soon, but until then, good luck on your East Coast tour and with Plan-it-X Fest!


This year's Mississippi Street Fair could brighten up your week

The 2016 Mississippi Street Fair is TOMORROW and it couldn't have come at a better time in the week with all of the awful, tragic occurrences in the news lately. Starting at 10am, the street fair will be hosting almost 40 bands along with two beer gardens, a rib-off competition, a dunk tank and the awarding of the Mayor of Mississippi Ave....all for free!

Five different stages will base all the artists at different intersections along Mississippi Ave., with one fully dedicated to music for the kids. Get your fill of r&b and soul with Blossom and Ural Thomas & the Pain, dance out of this world with Dreckig, go into an indie daze with Candace and Little Star, and try not to get confused by the three-in-a-row lineup of Jackson Boone, Boone Howard and Barna Howard at the Courtyard Stage, plus so much more.

More information on the lineup and the other festivities, check out Mississippi Ave.'s website.


Fire Nuns prove they're a fire band

We're not sure what you're sleeping on if you haven't heard of Fire Nuns yet. Their debut album, Dad, Jr., came out back in 2013 and has served as the provenance for what has only so far proven to be an unending stream of successes. Now three studio/house releases and a live recording of their KPSU set deep, the boys are finishing up a slew of performances to record some new material.

It's not exactly definite exactly when or what we'll be seeing from Fire Nuns, but if it's anything like the Ty Segall meets the Orwells styled crop they've droppd so far, it'll definitely be a delight. Their self titled release from March was full of banger cuts that traverse a specturm of distinct punk to a fuzzy blur of addicting garage.

Fire Nuns last played the Woodstock! mini fest at the Convent on the 4th of July and we're not sure when their next show is, but make it a point to see them live. Congrats on being the newest Artists of the Month, boys!

Check out the recording of their live KPSU set below and enjoy your new favorite band.


Saturday Night Sounds: Cool American - "Playing Along"

 It's not technically night time yet since summer loves its long days, but what better to help bring you into the July 4th holiday than a track from new band Cool American?

"Playing Along" premiered a few days ago on Stereogum, who accurately defined the single as a mixture between Motion City Soundtrack and Pavement. We couldn't agree with that statement more.

Who wouldn't appreciate a band who takes their name as a play off of that sparkly blue flavor of Doritos? For this July 4th weekend, be a cool American with Cool American and enjoy "Playing Along" on this Saturday night.

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Daniel Rafn on his new track and upcoming album

Whether you know how to pronouce it or not, it's highly likely you've heard the name 'Rafn' thrown around town. The Rafn brothers have worked both together and with others on various projects among the years, but their individual efforts prove fruitfully engaging.

Such is especially the case for Daniel Rafn, who has been working his way through artistically distressed and doubtful feelings to produce his newest track "Shalom," along with his fourth album The Hanged Man, due out later this year.

The first track to be released from the new album, "Shalom" offers the best representation of what can be expected on the album, according to Rafn. "I think it stands alone pretty well as just a song, while most everything else on the album seems to make more sense in the context of the album. "Shalom" was a good way to represent the whole, while the others are all extreme in some way," he says.

Its subtle play on phonetics is more personal than they appear at first, holding a double meaning. "I was born and raised in Salem, OR. Salem is an anglicized version of the Hebrew word 'Shalom,' which means peace. I'm saying in reality I'm from Salem, but in a spiritual emotional sense I like to think we come from a place of peace, like a peaceful pre-existence or something," Rafn says.

Yet the peaceful seeds behind the song oppose the effort put into both the song and album's production. Anyone that's delved into the creative arts knows the trials of continual inspiration, motivation and confidence in fabrication and Rafn himself admits how maturity in music comes with an emotional price tag.

"I contrast the peaceful origin with the angst of adulthood and finding your way...and finding out how to do what you wanna do in life," Rafn says. "The more serious I've gotten about making music or, the more committed you could say, the more "angsty" I've noticed I've become."

"It's the frustration of having this great desire to make art and have it go out and effect people for the better versus the very real struggle of actually getting that art heard and accepted. Not to mention the personal struggle of just having to come to terms that you need to work a fuck-ton to even get better so that your art can be accepted in the first place!"

Most of us aren't strangers to this frustration, especially when it comes to forcing yourself to push through a particular hurdle in the project. For Rafn that hurdle happened to be the next single he's releasing from the album in August, "The I and The All," which he says he had the most trouble in writing.

"That one was just more of an arrangement problem. I had the whole thing done for months and when I came back to it, it just seemed too empty. I wanted to add a little more harmonic complexity to it so just took some going over," Rafn says.

No matter the struggles, every element of Daniel Rafn's newest track is emotionally captivating and elevating. He's having a release show for "Shalom" tomorrow at the Liquor Store with Old Grape God. Give "Shalom" and listen below and be on the lookout for The Hanged Man, dropping in October. 

 


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