Sabonis

SXSW Presents: Floating Room

 In what is best described as "gray pop," the music Floating Room makes creates a sense of mellow desire; a longing manifested through their use of droned hums and haunting vocality. Floating Room is the musical partnership between Maya Stoner (ex-Sabonis) and Kyle Bates (Drowse, also featuring Stoner), though their partnership expands to much more than what started as bedroom pop recordings. In a romantic sense the couple's chemistry, aside from their collective experimental and artistic capacity, helps make Floating Room what it is. Tenderness isn't feared on either of their ends, and their propensity for support behind the instruments and in front of them is evident 

Sunless, the band's 2016 full-length debut on Good Cheer Records, married deep socio-emotional themes with paralyzing sounds. Stoner and Bates trade off guitar and synth duties as they channel part of makes Sunless (and the way they play together in general) beguiling - its vulnerability. Stoner sings about the transition from a bad relationship to a much better one, touching on abuse of power and misogyny along the way. For most, the subject matter is relatable, giving a welcoming sense to each of the tracks.

The openness presented on the album translates into Floating Room's live performances as well. They'll be touring with Alien Boy (which is led by Sonia Weber, Floating Room's sometimes drummer) and are playing four SXSW dates, so see them as much as you can.

KPSU and Lola's Room Team Up for All Ages

In the first of what is sure to be a successful slew, KPSU has teamed up with McMenamins Lola's Room for a series of all-ages shows that begins with a perfectly curated lineup promising strong hints of shoegaze, dream pop and a touch of 90's revival.

We have no doubt in our minds that Lubec will bring yet another good set, since the Portland vets have played and shared consistently great music for the last five years. Cosmic Debt, their September release, continues on in that same vein, but the other bands on the bill add an extra bit of intrigue to the show.

Alien Boy has done a lot with their poppy post punk in the last year and it's something that can't be missed, while Helens take on the genre is a bit heavier and gazed out. Floating Room, the newest endeavor musically bringing together drowse's Kyle Bates and Maya Stoner of Sabonis, could not offer a better representation of both bands' sound fused into one. Their debut Sunless is due out in just a couple weeks and sees the glum echo of comfort found in drowse's production while giving another platform for the signature gossamer tone Stoner's voice provides to Sabonis. 

Doors for this KPSU/Lola's Room show tomorrow open at 7pm, with music starting at 8pm. Tickets are only $5 will any Student ID and just $8. Get excited, there are a couple more KPSU and Lola's Room shows this Fall that are just as promising.

Curl Up in drowse's Memory Bed

A sonic landscape blanketed with dark overtones and glum ambiance, drowse's Memory Bed EP streches slightly further from is previous works of incredibly reverb-laden drone by continuing to capture the essence of mental turmoil, only now through a more minimalistic lens.

Using just a microphone, acoustic guitar and laptop, Kyle Bates (the man behind drowse) recorded the EP directly succeeding his soon asleep album, with each release acting as the conflict and the resolution to Bates' story involving his descent into certain medications. Memory Bed is the elucidation of confusion, pain and lost intimacy expressed through processed clamor.

As drowse, Bates has made good with using female vocals as yet another instrument. On Memory Bed, Maya Stoner of Sabonis lends the serenity of her voice and personal experiences shared with Bates through lyrics in all three tracks.

Without a doubt, the Memory Bed EP is more than just an conceptual collection of songs, but it's an emotive art form.

drowse had his album release/welcome back show last night, is having a short in-store performance today at Music Millenium and will be playing again later this month as part of Festicide

PDX Pop Now Day 1 - What to Expect

After months of strenuous hard work, the 13th annual PDX Pop Now Festival is here to be enjoyed by Portland's newest wave of all-age music appreciators. Each year, numbers of volunteers spend so much of their personal time trying to make the festival happen by showcasing the city's best up and coming artists and today, the fruits are now ripe for entertainment.

Sabonis, a somewhat shoegazey, somewhat lo-fi alt indie group is opening up the fest, using the chill vibes to ease everyone into a weekend of craziness. Saola, playing after Sabonis, is probably one of the greatest bands out there right now that still happens to be in high school. They're bringing the heaviest element to the day's lineup, with a doom metal output.

Folky stylings are represented by Loch Lomond, Dragging an Ox Through Water and Snowblind Traveler, with a country-ish twang coming from Jenny Don't & the Spurs.

Ali Muhareb's Mujahedeen and Eyelids are the trippiest of the bunch and electronic lovers Gold Casio are helping one of the only hip hop acts, Mic Capes, get bodies moving towards the end of the night.

The first day of PDX Pop Now offers a little bit of something for everyone, as do the other two days of the fest. It officially begins at 6pm tonight, so be sure to come out. It's free!

Music in the Schools rocks Clinton St. Theater

If there's one thing kids need more of in their lives, it's music. It's a way for the younger geneation to express themselves - their angst, anguished emotions, disdain for the world they'll soon have to traverse - music is a neccessity. Yet with music programs in schools across the country steadily falling to shambles, any efforts to keep this outlet available are more than needed, and much appreciated. Music in the Schools is aiming to keep music alive for those under bar age here in Portland. MITS has teamed up with Clinton St. Theater to put on their monthly showcases, spotlighting young bands and opening them to vernal audiences.

Last night's showcase touted a four band bill with sponsorship from local all ages festival, PDX Pop Now. Opening up the night were the comically clad KULULULU. Part frenzied rock set, part lively performance art piece, dancers ran around the audience as they thrashed about on stage. Undergrads Dad Rock took the sophomore slot. They haven't even graduated high school, yet last night marked the release of their second album, Papa Defeats the Beast. It's pleasantly punky, and proof of how musical guidance at a young age can conceive greatness. 

With the second half of the night being dominated by slow rockers Sabonis and closed out by indie loves Just Lions, February's MITS installment only further ascertains the importance of keeping music open to everyone, regardless of age.

-Cervante Pope

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