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Monday, September 9, 2013

Music Monday: The Parson Red Heads, the Neo Boys & More

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Mon, Sep 9, 2013 at 1:14 PM

Molly Malone, it's Music Monday!


The Parson Red Heads' new album Orb Weaver comes out October 1 on Fiesta Red Records, and here's the lead single, "To the Sky." It's nearly six minutes long, featuring a plethora of vocal harmonies and guitar interplay—its second half is an arc-welding instrumental jam that sheds sparks every step of the way, a worthy representation of the Red Heads' excellent live show. The band is playing a record release show at the Aladdin Theater on Saturday, November 2, and they're also performing at the White Eagle on September 26 to perform their last album, Yearling, in full.


We'll hop into the Way-Back Machine for this next tune, a track from the Neo Boys that appears on Sooner or Later, an upcoming compilation of the seminal Portland band's recorded works. It'll be on double LP via Mississippi Records on October 15, and K Records will issue a double-disc CD of the anthology as well. The all-girl group flourished from 1978 to 1983, leaving behind a slender but hugely influential legacy, one of Portland's most important punk bands.

NTNT used to be called Ninja Turtle Ninja Tiger, but they've abbreviated their name and have a new EP, And Then the Moon, on the way. Here's "The Attitude" from that EP, an '80s-aping tropically tinged pop song that has echoes of Baltimora's "Tarzan Boy" and Toto's "Africa." That's either gonna do it for you, or you're gonna run away screaming in terror. The '80s revival is a very real and unavoidable thing, to be sure, but not all things from that decade are worth remembering. Exhibit A: The 1989 Super Bowl Halftime Show (continued here). Meanwhile, NTNT play Kelly's Olympian on Friday the 13th, and I am 100 percent certain it will be better than Elvis Presto.


Black Snake have a song called "Black Snake," joining the fine tradition of bands who refer to themselves in their own songs. (Hi, Motörhead and Wang Chung.) This stoned slab of riffage comes from Black Snake's fine new EP, cleverly titled Black Snake EP - Vol. 2, which would suggest this Portland band has a real problem coming up with good titles. (The EP's closing track, "Weird of the White Wolf," disproves this theory; check out the whole EP over on Bandcamp.) Black Snake plays the Hawthorne Theatre tomorrow night (Tues Sept 10) opening for Andrew WK and Sons of Huns. They'll be in fine company.


Portland covers Portland on this next one: Adam Brock takes on Pure Bathing Culture's "Only Lonely Lovers," from their new album Moon Tides. Here, Brock tones down the mystically hazy sound of the original for something bright-eyed and equally ravishing.


We'll end with Radiation City also doing a cover, of Nancy Sinatra's theme song to the James Bond flick You Only Live Twice. This isn't a brand new track, but I just discovered it and it's terrific, capturing the exotic essence of the original while updating its sound with vitality. You can buy a copy of this here, in a pay-what-you-will system in which proceeds go to charity.

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