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Vow of Volition Make the Final Round of the Battle for Warped Tour

The Vans Warped Tour was the first festival for many of us back in the day. As young'ns, it's likely we didn't necessarily think about all that went into figuring out the bands to book and play the whole shebang. Part of that process, at least locally, seems to be through a series "battle of the bands" style competitions specifically for landing a spot on the fest. Quite a few Portland bands have been furiously playing against one another for said spot, and djent/prog metal act Vow of Volition are one of the acts that made it to the finals.

Warped Tour was always the type of festival that included much in the realm of pop punk, punk punk, emo and metal, so Vow of Volition's advancement to the final round is no surprise. Their incredibly technical, at times jazzy metal stands out in Portland's pretty linear popular music scene, and is much worthy of the attention its getting.

Those that want to support Vow of Volition in driving home the permanent spot can go to the Battle for Warped Tour finals Saturday at the Hawthorne Theatre.





Otis McDonald's People Music

Who do we have here? Funky soul fellow Otis McDonald (moniker of Joe Bagale) is kind of rockin’ our world. He’s got a new album out, People Music, that we’ve got our hands on and we are dazzled. The strength in his vocals is enough to make you shed a happy tear. McDoland’s moniker is an homage to both Shuggie Otis and Michael McDonald. He says, “Even though I am a modern artist, I always pay reverence to all of the greatest artists that have come before me. Call it tangibly rooted in nostalgia while pushing forward. I want to make popular music something that is meaningful again." We’re sharing this cover of “A Day in the Life” because it’s not what we were expecting at all, and that basically sums up our entire listening experience to this fellow. We’d like to think that he’s making our dear Prince proud; there’s D’Angelo vibes, and modern-meets-old school funky jazzy moments with fascinating, solid compositions. McDonald is having a record listening party at Bar Shiru tomorrow night for the release of his vinyl (which goes out nationally this November) and we've gotta say that there is no better place to listen to anything vinyl than at Shiru. Production nerds know what I'm talking about. - Michelle Kicherer, Associate Editor





Maya Lucia is splendidly assertive in new record "Lashing Out"

Darting in and out of Boston, Maya Lucia has managed to create a significant buzz in New England for her now-released EP, Lashing Out. The record is rebellious indie-pop, it is soft rock with a touch of lo-fi, it is alternative: the album is Maya Lucia, and that says it all. Tracks like “Jolene” are heartfelt, confidently presented, and punchy in their bass guitar plucks. Maya is explosive in the choruses of “Misunderstood” and playful-assertive in the verses of “Sadgirl (RIP Moviepass),” showing her ability to tell an honest story in each song. There is no reason to doubt that Maya can hang with the likes of indie-pop rising stars like Clairo and Charli XCX: the young artist offers something wholly different, something more attitude-fueled. Listen to “Jolene” streaming below; discover what the buzz is all about. - Rene Cobar





GRÜN WASSER

GRÜN WASSER is back and have released the first two singles, “Driving” and “Stranger’s Mouth”, from their forthcoming LP, Not OK With Things, which will be released on October 4th via Holodeck Records.

This is the twisted Electro-Pop of Essej Pollock (electronics, production, mixing) and Keely Dowd (vocals, lyrics, production), and this album is their follow-up to 2018’s Predator/Prey.

You can catch GRÜN WASSER at Sleeping Village on October 3rd with Ariel Zetina and Material.





Debut MESH Demos Available for Streaming & Purchase

Sims Hardin (Dark Web, JUICE, Brain Clouds, Throbbing Chakra) has a new musical outlet called MESH, and recently shared a trio of demos. Lo-fi, heady, garage-punk vibes permeate throughout the recordings, with its intimacy hinting at a slacker-rock mentality. "Work sucks. People suck. Life sucks. Fuck it - I'm just gonna jam on this guitar." MESH is slated to perform at Free Candy on Thursday, October 10, as part of a lineup that also includes Soft Crime (the latest project from Spacin's Jason Killinger), Thigh Master, and Michael Beach.

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