THE BUILDERS AND THE BUTCHERS with ILLINOIS at the Pike Room

MONDAY AUGUST 3, 2009
doors at 8PM
tickets: $8 (buy tickets)

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THE BUILDERS AND THE BUTCHERS initially turned heads with their immersive performance style--employing singing in the round sans mic, recruiting the crowd as back-up vocalists, traipsing off into the street in the middle of the closing song. But shorn of the theatrics, the band's music easily holds its own. The record traces the course of a traditional Butchers set, from stripped-down crowd-grabbing opener `The Night, Pt. 1' to lovely sing-along gospel closer `Find Me in the Air.' In under a year, the band's gone from Mississippi Pizza party band to Crystal Ballroom opener, and this album shows why." -- Willamette Week (Best Local Albums of 2007) "A brand of dark folk with intense vocals and an instrumental setup that is all over the map--strings, banjo, washboard, tambourines, mandolin, etc. are in the mix, along with the traditional guitar and drums." -- Cable and Tweed "Their music harkens back to a time of great wide open western coastal state expansion. There's more of a gospel/Tom Waits feel to it all, though, and under the dark folk stories, there's lots of banjo, washboard, and fiddle. It blends to create gothic Americana-folk-rock with a little more `umph!' than your average Decemberists song." -- My Old Kentucky Alaskan native and fish biologist Ryan Sollee started the Builders as a funeral songwriting project. The resulting album is a Tom Waits-ian, gospel-infused, call-and-response rave-up of despair. Legendary live shows have solidified the group as the best new up & coming band in Portland.

With ILLINOIS: Riding on a tractor of six strings, banjo samples and a metaphor comes Illinois, a band from Bucks County, Pennsylvania whose music conveys the Hopper/Rockwell-esque imagery of their home, a timeless place of raw emotion, where little league children still ride their bicycles in the street and the first girl you kissed is now your wife. Music snobs who care have put the group in hallowed company. "The lyrical depth of the Kinks sauteed with the music tones of the Flaming Lips and John Spencer Blues Explosion reduction!" said one. "Sorry, its more Beta Band meets GBV" countered another. Regardless of your leanings, and whether you are happy, mellow, drunk or confused, Illinois plays beautiful music that makes old loves new and the green grass grow.

 

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