Happy Music Monday, folks! When the E+E team is working on an article or planning our next big event, we need some upbeat music to keep us energized. Our work soundtrack of choice lately? Heat Waves, the sophomore album of Portland band, BRAINSTORM. The art-pop record was just released on Tender Loving Empire and was produced by the legendary Robby Moncrieff, who is responsible for engineering some of our favorite albums (Dirty Projectors’ “Bitte Orca” and Youth Lagoon’s “7”). The band was formed in 2008 by Adam Baz and Patrick Phillips, and earned the title of one of the best new bands in 2011 by the Willamette Week. Adam and Patrick recently added a third member, Tamara Barnes, into the mix, resulting in a much fuller sound.
With drums, guitar, tuba (yes, tuba!), keyboard and three-part harmonies, “Heat Waves shines with inescapable pop melodies, polyrhythmic singing, thunderous drumming, and shimmering guitar lines.” In other words, we can’t keep from tapping along or getting out of our seats for spontaneous dance parties while listening to this album.
Though we love listening to Heat Waves, we’re even more excited about seeing BRAINSTORM live (we hear they put on an incredible show). Their album release show will be at the Doug Fir on Saturday, December 1st. We can’t wait!
E+E: Who are your musical influences?
BRAINSTORM: We definitely have a diverse array of influences seeping into this band. Nigerian highlife, 70s garage and psych, Colombian cumbia music, and even some shameless contemporary pop. BRAINSTORM is kind of a synthesis of a variety of sounds.
E+E: Any funny/awesome fan stories that you’d care to share with us?
BRAINSTORM: We got asked to play as a wedding band this summer, for a couple that we didn’t know at all. Apparently our music fueled their romance in some way. So we said yes (obviously). The wedding was on Sauvie Island on the hottest day of the year; I think it was like 98 degrees and muggy when we started setting up on this lawn next to a pond on Sauvie. We started playing at sunset, and about halfway through the set I start noticing that Patrick was missing guitar notes and kept squirming around in hilarious contortions. The song ends, and Patrick asks if anyone else is getting eaten alive by mosquitos. I hadn’t noticed them at all, but the moment he said it, and realized that I had about 50 fresh bites on my legs alone. So we spend the remainder of the set frantically reaching down at every possible pause in the songs to slap mosquitos and itch ourselves out of our misery. At the end, the newlyweds presented us with a gift of glazed pottery in the shape of brains (for BRAINSTORM), which definitely helped assuage the anger we were all feeling. All in all a good experience.
E+E: What is your favorite thing about the Portland music scene?
BRAINSTORM: Hmm, I guess it would be the diversity and inclusivity of the music scene here. In many ways, there isn’t another band in Portland that sounds like us, and I think a lot of Portland bands can say the same of themselves. So you end up performing and collaborating with bands of all different styles and sounds, which I think totally inspiring when it comes down to it.
Doug Fir – 12/1
Doors at 8PM, Show at 9PM
$10 advance, $12 day of show