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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.





Tasha "Would You Mind Please Pulling Me Close?"

Tasha has released a beautifully hazy new single called "Would You Mind Please Pulling Me Close?" via Father/Daughter Records. The single was produced and features Gregory Uhlmann and is accompanied by the relaxing video below.





queen mars "YOU"

queen mars has released the latest single, "YOU", from her forthcoming EP, "Trust Issues", which is due out on April 9th. Back in January she dropped the EP's opening track "Boys Like You" and is clearly using a mix of Pop and R&B to explore the ups and downs of relationships.





Psymon Spine record release livestream

At first I thought Charismatic Megafauna must be the name of a rubber-suited mecha monster featured on an old episode of Super Sentai which would be pretty exciting. But instead it’s the name of the new Psymon Spine album which is nearly, if not equally exciting, depending on your feelings about the hyperkenetic Japanese teen superhero live action TV drama versus the Brooklyn-based band that co-founded the Secret Friend immersive art and music party series alongside POND magazine.

Anyhow the album in question strikes me as sounding just like the cool airport lounge music of the future we were all promised as children. But instead we got phone charging stations and Cinnabon franchises rather than having sleekly-funky space-age psych-pop bands paid to serenade harried travelers and to maybe even make them dance.

But going to airports isn't too appealing these days so it’s all good. We're all far better off sitting at home in front of our computers and luckily that’s just where Psymon Spine is playing an album release party to be livestreamed tonight at 8PM EST as the most recent installment of BABY TV alongside openers Dream Chambers and Hypoluxo, the latter of whom were featured not so long ago on this very blog. (Jason Lee)





Wild Pink's "A Billion Little Lights"

 The release of new music from the Wild Pink is cause for mellowed-out celebration and so today we're in luck because the band (but not that band) just yesterday released their third full-length LP (yes I realize that's redundant) and it's called A Billion Little Lights. From the first bars of "The Wind Was Like A Train" an auditory spell is cast by John Ross & Co. as a warm-hued synth melody is joined by chiming guitars and marching band snare and weeping steel guitar woven together like a comfy quilt and finally Ross himself as he gently intones a Zen koan about what sounds like a game of horseshoes played on a frozen lake and how he's got your back despite the seeming recklessness of this scenario with the song culminating in a string section flourish all clocking in at an economical 2 minutes and 37 seconds.

Listening to the opening track I can't help but think of Jason Lytle and Grandaddy during that group's heyday, or at least their gentler material, but Wild Pink provides an Americana spin on the indie aesthetic that sets them apart, and on the whole, A Billion Little Lights finds many beautiful wrinkles to explore in the veins of blissed out folk and alt-country and roots rock reveries all while contemplating subjects such as the inevitability of time's passage and the violent settlement of the West and social media oversharing and Carl Sagan's Cosmos and Florida retirement homes (Ross grew up in Central Florida before relocating to NYC years ago) with the latter two of these enumerated subjects acting as inspiration for the song below whose video features one of the stars of Schitt's Creek and also features backing vocals (just like "The Wind" above) from Julia Steiner who fronts the Chicago-based band Ratboys. (Jason Lee)

 

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