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Get a post-Christmas punk cure from Xurs tonight

 The day after the Christmas is like a hangover from joy; hours upon hours spent entranced in a material or substance induced high can grow exhausting after awhile. If the cheerful spirits and gift-caused joy were a bit too much to handle yesterday, there's a bill of the most furious punk to help quell that overdose on annoyed happiness. 

Prepare to have your face melted later tonight, as newer "weirdo-punk" outfit Xurs take over the High Dive along with the gruff vocality of New Bloom and Meridian's noisiness. It's the best way to gain back all the energy that was sucked out of your soul by too much family time and mass food consumption yesterday. For under $10, it's a small price to pay to feel again.

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Swamp Boys ring in the new year in Portland

 Young dudes with an affinity for old songs, Swamp Boys have a delightfully nostalgic sound that calls back on a keen sweetness that dominated airway sounds back in the 60s and 70s. A little bit surf, psych and alt-country, the foursome are from a fairly small town not that far from both Portland and Seattle called Ridgefield, but they're making their efforts to put their homebase more on the map.

Swamp Boys just released the first six songs they've ever written on an EP called Bahked, an obvious nod to some of the best greenery the Pacific Northwest offers. Each track on Bahked makes a good accompaniment for a smoking sesh, like the catchy garage tune of "I Don't Know What I'm Doin'" to the ballad-esque "Love So Dear."

Those still local during this holiday week can see Swamp Boys play twice, on 12.27 at the Tardis Room with Freemans Dead from Long Beach, Ca, Rosebud and Major Arcana, and again hosting the American Legion Post 134's New Year's Eve show with Holy Smokes & Godforsaken RollersWeehawk, and New World Aviation Committee.





Thunderpussy get in the holiday spirit with new track

It's Christmas Eve, it's snowing, and the big day of presents and family time is just some hours away. For many, Christmas is all they look forward to but for others, it's just another clock tick on the way to the end of the year. If you weren't warm with the spirit of Christmas before, let this holiday cover from Thunderpussy fill you up.

Their rendition of "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)," the Phil Spector classic originally sung by Darlene Love and known as the greatest rock n' roll Christmas song of all time as ranked by Rolling Stone magazine, keeps that hard romanticism alive. Whitney Petty's guitar playing has a heavier twang to it, but Molly Sides' vocals keep on the same emotive plane as Love's. If anything, Thunderpussy's version could go down as one of the greatest Christmas covers of all time. 

Thunderpussy likely won't be playing this cover live after tomorrow is over, but take your chances at it by catching them at their New Year's Eve soiree at the Showbox, with Industrial Revelation, KOLARS and other special guests. Give "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" a listen below. 





Caustic Touch, EMS, House of Low Culture and Daniel Menche share new 4-way split

 Harsh noise enthusiasts rejoice, as today a 4-way split from some of the most deft musicians in that genre field. Featuring dynamically skilled artist Aaron Turner (Sumac, Old Man Gloom, Isis) and Faith Coloccia of Seattle's Mamiffer as House of Low Culture, Daniel Menche, Andrea K.'s of Vice Device solo project Caustic Touch and EMS, the split showcases each artists' ability to make even the most grating of sounds appealing.

Each artist got at least one track on the split, but Caustic Touch surely commanded much of the album having contributed three. The album carries itself almost like a grating tale, with House of Low Culture's "The Pervasive Mind" as the album's exposition, Caustic Touch's "Desiccating Wind" beginning the rising action, "Is She Ectoplasm?" by Daniel Menche as the falling action, and "Hierarchy of Bodies" by EMS ending it as the resolution.

There's a beauty to its discordance that makes the album gripping. What will be even more interesting to see is how each of these artist's translates these tracks into live performances. See how each of them does it at the release show for the split tonight 12.15 at Modular 8.





Freakout Standouts: Strawberry Mountain

*photo by Travis Trautt 

Strawberry Mountain has been around the way for awhile, just not necessarily as montaña de la fresa. Formerly known as Basement Surfers, the DIY music and art collective are as large with their sounds as they are with their member count. Having played two sets at Freakout this year attendees were able to enjoy them twice over, but their sounds were entirely perfect for the Conor Byrne and its crowd.

Aside from their all-ages "2nd chance" Filson set Strawberry Mountain packed onto the Conor Byrne's stage as festival goers crowded the walkways of the bar-venue, lining up for Will Call tickets and press check-in. Upon their first notes the heads in the room focused with intrigue on their expansive, experimental psych sounds, much of which came from their early 2017 album Human Music.

With that album and everything prior, Strawberry Mountain are definitely ones we'll keep our eyes on.

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