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The Shivas

The 5th Annual Freakout! Fest comes back tonight

Triple city-based indie label Freakout Records has been churning out some pretty fine electronic, psych and lively rock from three out of the four corners of the states. Operating out of Seattle, Los Angeles and New York, Freakout has taken to occupying various venues in Ballard for its festival since 2012, with artists of their own catalog, as well as other artists scattered around the Northwest and the country. Freakout! Festival returns again tonight, and its bill is as stacked as ever.

Co-presented by The Stranger, Audioasis on KEXP and supported by Killroom Records, Treefort Music Fest and Artist Home Record Club, Freakout! Fest will be hitting up its usual Ballard staples like Conor Byrne and Tractor Tavern, with Sarah Gerritsen and Roadkill Ghost Choir kicking things off with some early sets. Tonight's hip hop will be fulfilled by up and coming lyricist Taylar Elizza Beth, with some dark stoner psych coming from Blackwater Holy Light. Energetically folky blues comes from Battleme, who are out on tour supporting their new Cult Psychotica release, while Charms and FKL bring more of a dancey feel to a couple of the headlining spots.

Much of Saturday's bill recalls a warmer, more carefree season thanks to some surf-drenched sets from Baywitch, The Shivas and Guantanamo Baywatch, The White Tears and Pearl Dragon is Dead are collaborating on their performance at the Conor Byrne, Porter Ray and Jus Moni killing it in the rhythm and rhymes department, and Kelli Schaefer and Maiah Manser representing for solo noir pop.

There's so many more acts to see, thank goodness they're all playing on the same street. You can find more information about the artists, venues and tickets over at the Freakout Records site.

Stream the Latest EP from Homies

If you fancy yourself one with a penchant for Spanish serenades blanketed by heavy fuzz and laid back riffs, then this new record from Homies is just right for you. The foursome, led by Ralf Rodriguez and Omar Cervantes, also features Jared Molyneux and Eric Shanafelt of the Shivas. Their combined efforts may be a somewhat recent development, but hopefully one that will be around for a long time.

The new self titled EP is made up of two previously released tracks and four new singles sung almost entirely in Spanish, for an end product that molds stylings like the Horrors and Halcyon Digest-era Deerhunter with an easily accessbile reverberated likability. It's addicting, and definitely a great release to end this year on.

Stream Homies below and head over to their Bandcamp page for a download.

PREMIERE: The Shivas - "Better Off Dead"

Let's just go ahead and say it - the Shivas are Portland's pride and joy. The trio, who first started at the pinnacle of their youth way back in 2006, have put hard work and a high level of talent to good use in the last decade. Backed by both K Records and Burger Records, the Shivas have four full lengths under their belt, a series of single releases and are actually returning back to PDX today from a two month long European tour in support of their latest release, February's Better Off Dead. As a welcome home gift to us all, the Deli Portland has the pleasure of premiering the video for the album's title track.

Better Off Dead itself shows a more mellow output from the Shivas with a heavier use of country western elements. As a track "Better Off Dead" showcases this well in its simplicity. The harmonic pairing of guitarist Jared Molyneux and drummer Kristin Leonard are the focal point of the song, with a light riff as the basis.

The video matches the track in its minimalistic beauty. Shot in black and white, it features Molyneux trudging around an industrial area alone. It's reminiscent of old school French noir art films and couldn't be a better fit aesthetically with the pace of the song.

It seems the Shivas will be taking some weeks off before they perform again, with their next show scheduled for September 11 at Mississippi Studios with L.A.'s Death Valley Girls. Until then, get your fix of the trio by watching the new video for "Better Off Dead" below.

Hang with the Homies

Everyone needs Homies. For the sake of friendship of course and, for the sake of this post, good music. It's likely you've heard of both Ghost Mom and the Shivas. If not, shed some light onto that rock you've been living under, because there's somewhat of a new iteration to fall for. Homies has been in the making for a minute - basically since the somewhat indistinct hiatus of Ghost Mom - but after a couple band bumps in the road have found themselves fully formed and ready to let their music befriend us all. 

Consisting of Ralf and Omar from Ghost Mom and Jared from the Shivas, the trio generates an equal parts fuzzy, bluesy and rocking sound cushioned with a chill vocal delivery...in Spanish! Homies is working on a grip of new stuff, from an EP to tours in Europe and Mexico, but have some Portland dates slated to happen soon. For now, enjoy the language of love, served to you on a platter of keen tunes.

-Cervante Pope

The Shivas celebrate 5th LP release tonight

The Shivas have come a long way over the years. We've seen quite a few albums since the band's beginning in the early 2000's, released on labels like the DIY Gnar Tapes and the honored Pacific Northwest reppin' K Records. Flash forward to present day, where Better Off Dead came out just last month. Their 5th album, Better Off Dead pomps a pastiche of keenly conjured surf rock, tinged with doo-wop and a western twang. Contributing vocals from all members (guitarist Jared Molyneux, drummer Kristin Leonard, bassist Eric Shanafelt and percussionist Ian Hartley) keep the tracks on Better Off Dead varied and harmonious, without sounding bulky or overbuilt. It's likely they'll play almost all of the album at its release show tonight, so stream it below and get yourself acquainted ahead of time.

Playing with the Shivas will be Deli Portland Artist of the Month nominees Sculpture Gardens and Cat Hoch, the winner of the Deli Portland's Best Emerging Artist of 2015 title. This tightly stacked bill is happening at the Doug Fir, with tickets from $8-$12. Doors at 8pm, show set to begin at 9pm. With the serpentine technique of Cat Hoch and the brazen rock pop styled in a 60s-esque fit of Sculpture Gardens, this show will be nothing short of a hella fun time.

-Cervante Pope


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