Tag: portland

It’s too damn hot; baseball burns, plus a tune from Portland’s MELT

Good Saturday morning; the president of the United States remains racist. The fiancee is out buying a wedding dress today, so I’m staying home in the air conditioning. Today’s track is “Sour Fruit” from Portland’s own MELT; both the sludge pop and the band’s name fit today’s deadly heat all up and down the Northeast. If you’re in this neck of the woods and you absolutely must go outside, drink plenty of water, and have an extra buck on you to buy water for someone else. Be good to each other. Now in baseball:

The Orioles were bad last year and they remain bad, but you wouldn’t know it last night if you watched them disembowel the Red Sox with an 11-2 lead in Baltimore. The Orioles played good baseball at home in a surprising near-double-digit win, while the Red Sox couldn’t seem to field or hit against them. Hell, David Price allowed six runs! The Red Sox already have the postseason slipping from their fingers; they’re eleven games behind the Yankees in the AL East. Sure, it’s not as bad as the O’s, who are a staggering 33 games back. But if Boston can’t turn this weekend around, they’ll find themselves hanging out with Baltimore and Toronto when the playoffs come. Xander Bogaerts doesn’t like that idea.

Meanwhile, the Mets played another extra innings game against the Giants last night in San Fran, with the Giants once again winning with a run, this time at the bottom of the tenth. The game didn’t go as long as Thursday night’s, but it ended in a similar fashion, with Dominic Smith fumbling the ball and allowing the Giants to score the winning run. This time, Alex Dickerson ran home from first off of Pablo Sandoval’s fly to left field. The score put the Giants at .500 for wins, and the Mets farther back from wild card dreams. Perhaps Citi Field tickets won’t be so expensive in September after all, I guess. Mets play Giants again tonight for the third of four games in this series, which they can tie if they want.

Rosario’s just like “Bro… Dom… come on.”

In New York, Yankee Stadium stank of sweat as fans and players stuck out a hot night to watch the Yanks beat the Rockies 8-2. Although the Rocks got an early lead with two runs in the second — Ryan McMahon hit his tenth career home run for one of them — they couldn’t keep up with the heat. The Yankees, however, know how to play baseball in the Bronx humidity for the most part. With the bases loaded in the bottom of the third, Edwin Encarnacion grand slammed the ball, bringing the Yankees up 4-2. Some sloppy fielding from the Rocks got the Yankees two more runs between then and the sixth. Then Aaron Judge took the plate, homered — his eleventh this year — and sent both himself and DJ LeMahieu around the bases. The Rockies couldn’t cool off; Yanks won it 8-2.

Speaking of not dealing with the heat, Bud Black had a problem with the ump last night over a checked swing; God bless these Jomboy Media breakdowns:

Both the Yanks and the Rocks will face off again this afternoon, when the heat index will hit its peak. I might watch this game just to watch folks in Yankee Stadium sweat like pigs, because — you know — schadenfruede.

Again, if you’re outside today in New York, or anywhere in the Northeast, or — shit — anywhere, drink water. Dress light. Look out for your neighbors. This world will kill us all and fat fucks with the power to do something about it won’t. Don’t wait up for them. Be good. Stay cool. +


Picks for the playlist: Dumb, Ramona, Strange Ranger

Insert a primal scream here, folks. We have had a hell of a long week, and although we’ve spent most of it working to finish a few day job projects — hence the lack of posts here — we’ve wanted nothing more than to lay in an uncomfortable position on our pull-out couch, watch It’s Alive! with Brad Leone straight through for the hundredth time, and groan into the nethersphere, where the souls of the departed hear our jaded and disaffected cries and jam their brooms against their ceilings, begging us to shut our asses up, for the love of Satan.

(You can also notice that we’ve gone back to using the Royal We; it feels better than using the Insecure I. A one-person operation doesn’t mean that multiple personalities can’t run the show.)

Anyway, we’ve got a small handful of music to share today; take a look down south for the videos.

First, we’ve got “Club Nites” by Dumb, off the album of the same name which came out on 6/7. Big ups to Canada for their first NBA championship win and for housing some excellent under-the-radar bands these past few years. See PUP’s rise to prominence as proof. Dumb deserves as much recognition; they signed to Mint Records last year, released the fuzzy and buzzy Seeing Green, and got right to work on their next all ages DIY party-ready album. Club Nites serves as a nice little package of art punk goodness, with deep cuts that could get the sweaty basement of a dingy Vancouver/Toronto/Calgary/Saskatoon/Moncton apartment shaking so hard that they melt the permafrost all the way up in the farthest reaches of the Yukon. Dumb will tour the world throughout the rest of this year, so forget the Great White North; these punks are coming south and east, too. Watch out, Wisconsin.

Now here’s “Are We Having Fun Yet?” from Ramona, a group that started in Seattle but then moved to Philadelphia, because Seattle has oysters but Philly has cheesesteaks, and we’re not sorry, but cheesesteaks win every time. (Note to Philly readers: Geno’s, whiz with, we got a filthy sock full of batteries. Seattle readers: Nice needle.) Anyway: Ramona dropped their newest album Deals, Deals, Deals! on 6/7 via Red Scare, and on this album exist some of the most fun punk sounds to disturb any existing dulcet airwaves. Eric Rosso of the venerated Punknews.org — from which Caffeinated Jam takes inspiration — called Deals, Deals, Deals! “everything a good pop-punk album should be.” Having shared bills with punk legends like The Menzingers and Teenage Bottlerocket, you can hear what Ramona have drawn from their time around the greats, all the while become great in their own right. “Are We Having Fun Yet?” has that party vibe portrayed in the music video; take a listen to the other tracks — “Mambo 69”, “Is This Emo?”, “Shit, We Broke Up”, and “Panama by Van Halen” are all great songs with great titles — and hear how much fun this band has making music. You’ll have fun hearing it.

Let’s end this list with a diversion from punk and head towards the darkness. Portland’s Strange Ranger will release their new album Remembering The Rockets on 7/26 on Tiny Engines, and the newest single “Living Free” popped up on the label’s channel on 6/13. “Living Free” takes a more cinematic — almost post-rock — feel compared to previous single “Leona”, which has almost an early-2000s summer festival rock vibe to it. (Think Blink-182, but nicer and not at all a magnet to bros.) “Living Free” has lush strings, a distorted riff on what sounds like an infinity guitar, and a thundering drum refrain which screams “walking down an empty road towards a hazy sunset on a hot summer night.” Isaac Eiger’s voice on this new single smacks of the wistful sad-man singers of the Eighties: Morrissey comes to mind first, but God forbid we use Morrissey as an example, so think more along the lines of Duran Duran’s Simon Le Bon or Tears For Fears’ Curt Smith. Blast this during a romantic moment on the beach, even if it’s not your own. The folks having their minute will wonder where that wicked music’s coming from, but they’ll like it. We promise.

You can find tracks from Dumb, Ramona, and Strange Ranger on Caffeinated Jam’s new summer playlist, Caffeinated Jam’s Playlist a Go Go. Go follow it to see what else we add to the mix throughout the season. And if you didn’t catch our spring playlist, Caffeinated Jam’s Playlist Aplenty, take a listen at that, too. +

WATCH: Alien Boy and Cool Original release joint music videos

Well folks it’s about that time where I write about a music video. Actually, this music video is two music videos. It’s a joint music video for “If We Don’t Speak” by Alien Boy and “Never Stop Hanging Out” by Cool Original. Is a joint music video two videos or one? This question will haunt me.

I love the Nineties/early Aughties photo day chic these videos channel. You remember photo day, right? Perhaps you still engage in these shenanigans of sitting in front of a marble blue background dressed in your Tuesday average. If you did photo day like I did, you fake a smile through your anxieties and dread how the final product will turn out. But if you did photo day like Alien Boy and Cool Original did, you pose and vogue and give no fucks as to how those pictures come out. Let the yearbooks show you as you demand they show you.

Speaking of yearbooks, summer approaches, and both of these songs should appear on your summer jam playlists. “If We Don’t Speak” appears on Alien Boy’s 2018 album Sleeping Lessons; “Never Stop Hanging Out” appears on Cool Original’s upcoming album I Never Said I Didn’t Care, out July 12th. Snag them when you can. HAGS. +

Summer Cannibals say “Can’t Tell Me No” on new single

Often I wonder: Do we make art for another entity, or do we make it for ourselves? And every time — every single time! — I come back to the conclusion: “We do it for ourselves.” Damn the end result. Damn the audience. Damn the profits. (Although, profits are good. Donate to Caffeinated Jam today!)

This thought came up again because Summer Cannibals of Portland have just released “False Anthem”, the lead single from their upcoming album Can’t Tell Me No, out June 28 via Tiny Engines. It’s filled with the same attacking sound that has brought Summer Cannibals to the attention of blogs and listeners everywhere, with Jessica Boudreaux speak-singing in a way where you can hear her sneer.

Can’t Tell Me No comes from the ashes of an album that the band had scrapped due to Boudreaux leaving behind a personal and creative relationship. So you understand where the thought of “art for ourselves vs. art for others” came from. Instead of running with the original product and allowing her abusive ex-partner to have credit, she and her other bandmates hit the studio, started from scratch, and created a whole new record for themselves. Hence the title of the album makes some allusion to its creation.

Boudreaux even makes mention of this separation from her ex-partner in the lyrics: “Look ahead and see your future’s gone. Here it is; right in my motherfucking palm!” Overall, “False Anthem” calls out those who talk about hating abuse but allow themselves to do business with abusers; Boudreaux, on behalf of Summer Cannibals, says that they won’t accept that kind of bullshit anymore.

Despite how much “False Anthem” rocks, you may wonder if the scrapped predecessor to Can’t Tell Me No will ever see the light of day again. It may not! Forget about it. Scrapped albums often have good reasons for ending up in the dustbin of history, and although I too wonder what that album would have sounded like, let it remain a figment of the imagination. It’s not for us, anyway. +

Portland’s Woolen Men release LP “Post”

Woolen Men have released Post, the second album by a major indie act this year to bear the name; Caffeinated Jam have not reached out to Jeff Rosenstock for comment, but if we had, and if he did decide to comment, we believe that Mr. Rosenstock would say: “Cool.”

But nothing on Post signifies any sort of post-genre audio; Woolen Men have, however, produced a fun album of indie rock with some catchy tunes. In fact, the band have declared the mindset behind the album “post post” in part, which means nothing. The word “post” posits little substance in today’s world; we live at the end of everything all the time, treating every day that we continue to live as both blessing and curse, a dream and a nightmare, through which we manipulate our mobile skin bags to carry out a number of menial tasks.

However, Woolen Men have declared themselves as a band for “people who eat cheese and onions.” I’m not sure how that makes things better, but everyone here at the Caffeinated Jam office eats cheese and onions. So we like Woolen Men, and therefore, we enjoy Post. (Disclaimer: Paul does not like cheese, even though he is not lactose intolerant; we have ostracized him from our company outings.)

The Portland-based Woolen Men — Raf Spielman, Lawton Browning, and Alex Geddes — have rocked together for ten years, but on all of their previous recordings, they’ve provided a far-ranging spectrum of emotions and styles. Post might stand as their most musically consistent album yet, although the steady style makes for a steadier listen. From driving opener “Brick Horizon” to seven-minute long opus “Amateur” to jangling closer “The Chip”, one can skip around the album or listen to it straight through and have fun while doing so.

But if anything, listeners will find more sonic exploration that they might have heard on 2015’s Temporary Monument, as Woolen Men continue to build upon their sparse post-punk roots to create a more well-rounded indie sound. Post plays more with synths, psych rock influence, and abandon to happiness. Yes, Post sounds like a band freeing themselves from past shackles; Woolen Men have, in the past, incorporated touches of anger into their music, but now careful rays of sunshine break through the little bit of fight that still remains. Unlike on Rosenstock’s POST-, there are no damning protest songs, but there is a track about weathermen. So there.