Friday, January 9, 2009

The Best Of PDX

This coming weekend, I will realize an opportunity to see first hand, in concert, a true musical gem. Blind Pilot will be performing at The Aladdin theatre in the band's home town of Portland, Oregon on January 17th and I cannot imagine anything that could possibly keep me from this show. Living in Bend typically presents a problem for seeing Portland bands as many of them perfom on weeknights. This had made it impossible for me to see Blind Pilot up unitl this point. The day this Saturday show was announced... tickets were in my hand.

As I prepared to write this article about (in my opinion) the best band in Portland today... I read a few things that other people had written just to make sure that I wasn't alone in my complete love of their music. I was surprised to read many of the same thoughts that have been running through my head since last summer. When I purchased their first album "Three Rounds And A Sound", it literally did not leave my car CD player for a month. Thrice shortly after purchasing the album did I make the three hour trip from Bend to the valley and each drive and subsequent return trip, the smooth and quiet yet wildly charasmatic music of Israel Nebeker & Ryan Dobrowski continued to play over and over and over. I memorized every voice influction, every word, every story recounted by these two... dare I say... geniuses.

The first song "Oviedo" (featured below) is by far my favorite as my i-tunes counter will easily show (currently listed at some 67 plays). The clearly personal nature of the lyrics coupled with the soft sullen drums and guitar are a mixture dripping with sincerety. When the horns come in to the song it becomes a triumphant deconstruction of feelings. Only a talented lyrisist could take a typical bar scene containing an intoxicated female and her gin breath and turn that image into something beautiful. "There were nights in bars that I recall, your breath was courage laced with alcohol" is by far my favorite line in the song. It paints a picture of a guy and girl feeling like they are the only two people in the bar. A familiar exchange that most of us have no doubt experienced at some point in our lives.

And just before that line...

"Maybe somethings are better left unsaid, but if you wanted to test that out, well... I guess you could have said."

I can't say for sure just how deep the emotions really run with these two. But their lyrics drop me into a large tub of reality everytime I listen to their music.

This band has also garnered themselves quite the reputation for live perfomances after completing a very unique tour last year of the West Coast. The two member band, Blind Pilot toured small towns and did it all on their bicycles. No help toting around their instruments and equipment by following vehicles, just what they could pull/carry with themselves on bicycles. A crazy indication that this band is not sapped with the average "let's make it huge" hollywood mentality.

If anyone has the means to get themselves to this show on the 17th. You must. The two other bands playing that night will not be anything even close to disappointing and will add to a great experience. After this show and one in Astoria, Blind Pilot will not be in Oregon again for a very long time, as their tour takes them to the East Coast through the end of the Spring. If nothing else... buy... the... album. I dare you to hit eject on your CD player once it's in. Even if you succeed in doing so... it won't last long. I guarantee it.

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