words and pictures by @braidofsmoke
Unknown Mortal Orchestra melted maddddd faces off on when they played Glasslands along with Hospitality, Blouse, and Man/Miracle last week!
Portland’s Blouse, who shares bassist Jacob Portrait with UMO, sounded so clean and sharp I almost mistook them for a recording when I got to Glasslands. Check this great video of them performing “Into the Black” from Bleary Eyed Brooklyn.
Brooklyn indie pop quartet Hospitality got everyone warmed up with their minimalistic, catchy tunes. Fronted by Kansas City expatriate and multi-instrumentalist Amber Papini, her vocals resemble that of Karen O., but only if she were a little less brooding and had been chilling with animated animals all day long. Yeah, this girl’s got a sugary sweet voice, and it fits so well her smiley onstage demeanor and the band’s jangly, feel good tunes like “Betty Wang” and “Friends of Friends.”
With Nathan Michel on drums, Brian Betancourt on bass, and recent addition Kyle Olson on guitar, these guys put on a show that will have you forgetting about the job you just came from or the paper you have to write by tomorrow morning. They’re inviting you to go on a lovely pop journey through rainbows and dandelions, and damn straight you’ll be joining them.
Based in Portland Unknown Mortal Orchestra is all you’d ever want 1960′s Beatles-inspired psychedelia rock to be. Formed by New Zealand native Ruban Nielson (formerly of the Mint Chicks), Portland producer Jake Portrait, and teenage drummer protege Julien Ehrich, these guys exploded into the indie rock scene with their track “Ffunny Ffrends” in late 2010. By spring, they were already opening for heavy-hitters like the Smith Westerns. They released their self-titled debut LP in June via Fat Possum.
For all the hype, these guys certainly don’t disappoint live. Even though they haven’t been together for very long, these guys run a pretty tight ship on stage and as a spectator you can see that there’s some real chemistry going on when they play together. Nielson’s weirdly high wailing vocals give all of UMO’s songs an airy futuristic vibe, but his ass-kicking guitar solos keep us down to earth. With the drum beat solid, these guys make you remember why you started listening to rock music in the first place–because you love being punched in the face by tasty riffs. All we have to say is keep em’ coming, UMO. We are more than happy to be taken to your psychedelic, acid-inducing wonderland.