For the four years that I’ve lived in Portland, I’ve attended Musicfest NW. It’s always been a long weekend of thought-out adventure and time management that culminates in too little sleep, ear ringing, and general euphoria of seeing dozens of bands across town in venues as small as Bunk Bar to big blow outs in Pioneer Square.
This year, things were different.
It’s August, and I feel like summer only just started. Joke’s on me because it’s almost over, and I’ll be spending the tail-end of Portland summer back home in Washington, D.C. But, until the rain sets in and I once again have to wonder why only ONE of my jackets has a hood, here are two gorgeous albums to usher out your summer.
Adult Diversion: The magic of Alvvays
“Alvvays” isn’t an album, it’s a feeling. It’s the taste of late summer; the drying of sweat after magic hour; the windows rolled down, the radio turned loud. The premiere album from the Canadian group by the same name was one of my most anticipated albums of the summer–and I’m beyond pleased with their 9-track debut. “Alvvays” is a shimmering, innocent ode to Summer. Songs about parties, love, getting in trouble, getting married, and sailing on the Atlantic flow together to create something that feels timeless. Stream this sucker on Spotify or purchase on their website.
Alvvays is playing the Doug Fir on December 1.
It’s a new you everyday: Jenny Lewis’ timeless heartache & musings on womanhood
There are few things written about womanhood that capture the pressures, insecurities, trials, and triumphs of being a woman. For almost two decades, and within the scope of three different musical projects, Jenny Lewis has done just that—and hammers it home on her new record “Voyager.”
In its exploration of motherhood, cheating, drugs, life on the road, heartbreak, and family, “Voyager” is a declaration of adult womanhood. It’s a document of mistakes, memories, and the things that give life meaning.
Lewis’s unique brand of narrative songwriting is infectious. Each song is a three-to-five minute glimpse into the life of a woman at a different point in her life or a relationship.
“Voyager” has gotten a lot of attention, thanks to the video for “Just One of the Guys” which features Anne Hathaway and Kristin Stewart. I love that track dearly, and I think it encompasses Lewis’s style almost flawlessly–presenting things that are pretty hard or heavy to think about in a way that is relatable, easy, and mind-numbingly catchy. My favorite tracks are: “Slippery Slopes,” a romantic ode to cheating, “Aloha & The Three Johns,” a song about entering middle age and a bad vacation, and “The Voyager,” a cosmic meditation on life itself.
Jenny Lewis is a role model for female musicians everywhere. Not only is she one of the most successful, but she’s entirely honest. To get a feel for her life and process, check out this moving NYT Magazine piece, which I was poised to hate but revisit frequently.
I could say A LOT more about this album, and maybe I will in time. For now, listen for yourself and tell me what you think.
Jenny Lewis is playing with Beck at Edgefield on August 21.
The past few months have been consumed by laborious paper writing, publishing a weekly newspaper 10 times over, burning bridges, making connections, traveling, conferences, too much beer, turning 21 (finally), and desperately trying to fill the void in my “no-college-for-three-months” life.
During finals week I swore to myself that I would start this blog back up ASAP, because I miss writing for myself and writing about what I love. Unfortunately, the past few weeks have been filled with more Netflix and knitting than blogging and it has taken me a while to get back in the saddle. But I’m here now, and I will be here every week this summer.
Whiskey kiss is BACK y’all, and its going to be better than ever.
Between writing for Rip City Review, having a cool communications internship, working on campus as a PR babe, and living my life to the fullest, we’re going to have lots of fun.
What can you look forward to? Well, I’m headed off to see Father John Misty soon, and I am excited. Fear Fun has been stuck in my head for a year, and Josh Tillman is the most talented performer I’ve seen in a while. Needless to say, I’m looking forward to it. You can look for a review here tomorrow, and one on Rip City Review soon, too!
For now, check out this video that I listen to whenever I’m feeling sad, gooey, or hyped for an FJM concert.
And thanks for having faith in me. This little dream of mine won’t die, and you following my ramblings makes it all worth while!
Beyond 94.7’s “December to Remember” there are a plethora of good tunes to take in in PDX this month. So here it is, your somewhat comprehensive, Zibby approved December show guide. Enjoy!
AC NEWMAN AT THE DOUG FIR! (via The Pioneer Log)
Sometimes you write previews at the last second just to score tickets to the show. Such is the life of a lazy music journalist. And by lazy I mean fully-loaded college student and Editor-in-Chief of the newspaper. Happy weekend, all! And if anyone wants to go see AC Newman with me, I’ve got a +1!
Haunting, chill, Wedneday-night-newspaper-layout soundtrack.
Local favorites And And And are back at it. They’ve got a new 7″ “NO PARTY” coming out soon. I’m obsessed with this song “The Joy of Cooking” and I can’t wait to hear the rest.
And And And is playing TONIGHT at the Star Theater at 10 p.m. (doors are at 8) alongside Mr. Gnome and Eighteen Individual Eyes. Tickets are 10 bucks. See you there?
Junior year of college is hard, dedicated readers. I promise some meaningful content soon. For now, enjoy this pop song that is keeping me going.
Summer ending is really bittersweet, as always. This summer has been a strange one for me, but probably one of the best summers I’ve ever had. It is only fitting that I say farewell to summer with a handful of kickass shows. Here it is, the Zibby-approved guide to September show-going & beyond:
New music from WOODS! Remember when these guys played what used to be the cool music festival at Lewis & Clark? *sigh*
If this isn’t a summer send-off song, I don’t know what is!