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Exclusive Interview: Kevin Robinson of Blue Giant



Too often these days, I find that in trying to produce an accurate description of a band's sound, I end up beating my head against a figurative wall, not especially sure where they might fit in to the vast expanse of available music these days. And although Blue Giant isn’t particularly difficult to classify, the best, most accurate and most succinct description comes from the band itself: “Rock and grass served with blues and sass." I literally could not have said it better.

The influence of country music is undeniable, but it isn’t really prevalent enough for Blue Giant to fall under a “country” label. Formed from members of Swords, The Decemberists and Viva Voce, it would seem that this eclectic group is poised on the edge of something big. Lead vocalist Kevin Robinson possesses an even, smooth voice which is showcased especially well in the anthem-like “Blue Sunshine” and undeniably catchy “Wesley” - both from the band's self-titled debut album.

Robinson's wife Anita provides much of the aforementioned sass, with her sweet voice and incredible guitar work providing an interesting layer to this smorgasbord of a band. Kevin Robinson took some time out of his busy schedule for the Deli Portland to discuss Coast To Coast AM, The Black Keys and the future of Blue Giant.

How did Blue Giant come to be?

2008, Anita and I started Blue Giant, mainly as an excuse to play with other people. Start a "proper" band. The results were insanely rewarding so we fired on all cylinders.

Any meaning or story behind the name?
We mashed up Blue Oyster Cult and Gentle Giant. Blue Giant sounded cooler than The Gentle Oysters.

What’s the ultimate goal that you’d all like to see this band progress to?

Touring in a bus would be an attainable goal to aspire to. I don't know if that's "ultimate" but it would be really cool to let someone else drive for a change.

What have been the standout high and low moments on tour so far?

High moments on tour: the 45 min to 1 hour you get to play for people who paid to see you perform your songs. Low moments on tour: trying to pay bills.

Where can your fans expect you to progress to as a group?

I think if people like the trajectory we're aiming at, then they'll dig the trip that we'll take em’ on.

What do you listen to in the van on tour?

The usual iPod madness. Every band your fingers can type. Lots of Coast to Coast AM with Art Bell.

Most underrated band of 2010?

The Black Keys. People really need to listen to them. I think they're really good and could catch on!

What projects do you have in the works that we can look forward to?

I've got an ever growing stack of Blue Giant songs - that when we get the green light, we'll fire that up for the follow up album. It's been really rewarding writing songs for the band, so I'm well into the third or fourth records' worth of tunes right now. Just storing them up like a musical squirrel.

---Catch Blue Giant live at the following dates next week:

July 13: On TV! KATU Channel 2 at 9 a.m.

July 13: Music Millenium at 7 p.m.

July 14: Jackpot Records at 6 p.m.

- Arielle Mullen

NYC Artist on the Rise: Twin Shadow, live at Cake Shop, July 22

Terrible Records' "signee" Twin Shadow is a NYC artists that music fans of the world should check out. Terrible Records is a tiny new label that puts out music that's actually not terrible at all, being run by Grizzly Bear's Chris Taylor - who also seems to produce all the artists under his label's wing (that's what you call a "vanity label, for the record). The Grizzly man seems to find production comfort in a genre that's rather melodic and moderately electronic (see also Class Actress), but not as experimental and daring as the one of his own band. Twin Shadow, as far as we can tell from listening to the only track available for stream, entitled "I can't wait", plays very elegant pop songs blessed by melancholy and by a smooth, sympathetic tenor. Check him out live at Cake Shop on July 22.

Nashville Bands to Play Forecastle Festival, July 9-11, Louisville, KY

The Deli Nashville is pleased to be providing coverage of this year's Forecastle Music Festival, in Louisville, KY, this weekend, July 9-11. Our very our Mackensie Grosser will be attending, and will keep us posted about the Nashville bands that will be playing, which are....

Two Fresh: Saturday, 5-6pm

Paper Route: Saturday, 7:30-8:10pm

John Napier: Sunday, 1-2:15pm

Lucero: Friday, 10:30-12:00am

More juicy info and photos to come from The Deli. We'll give you the low-down ;) --Deli Editor

Hip Hop for hipsters (let's call it Hip Hopster): METERMAIDS

METERMAIDS get in your face like marshmallow dentures; they have great taste and you can’t help but smile. MCs Swell and Sentence are so adept at crafting intricate and clever verses that you usually don’t even notice how deep they get; you’re too busy lunging around the room in an unrestrained blissful frenzy. In preparation for their upcoming album ROOFTOP SHAKE (produced by beat maestro 9th Wonder), they have released yet another in a slew of free EPs featuring indie-rock remixes and live performances with their band. The HELLO SP is available for free download on and features remixes of Grizzly Bear, Animal Collective, Dead Weather, and more. In the struggle to create smart, awesome, and startlingly emotive music, it seems METERMAIDS have written their own ticket. - BrokeMC

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