Rare Monk, Cambrian Explosion & Foxy Lemon @ Doug Fir Lounge, 2/17
PORTLAND, OR February 17, 2016 -- Tonight, I took a trip down to Doug Fir Lounge to catch a show featuring Rare Monk, Cambrian Explosion, and Artist Member Foxy Lemon--a last minute bill substitution brought on by an injury to Bike Thief's stand-in drummer, Connor Acott.
The night kicked off with Foxy, who came in with the tenacity to shut it all down. The very first time I saw these five play was in the basement of my house in SE Portland, when they were still known as "The Bog Down". Their sound is tighter than ever and they have the stage presence of veterans, but songs like their latest single "Butter" bring it all back to the same riff-heavy, gritty, blues-ridden, filth that first elicited my love for this band. They closed their set in true homage to their style--ever so coolly, with a killer guitar solo and a toast to the audience over cheap beer.
Next up was Portland's own cosmic sorcerers, Cambrian Explosion. Helmed by frontman Nori Lockhart, the foursome lured us all into a hazy, etherial oasis via psychotropic siren song. Laden with dancers, a ballsy yet sublimely executed usage of theremin, and a sharp technicality that demanded attention, I felt all the same magic as when listening to "Sugar Man" by Rodriguez.
Lastly was Rare Monk, flawlessly rounding out one of the more chimerical lineups I've seen in terms of style. This was the first live taste I've had of their latest, self-titled EP, and I was eager to hear how they'd pull off its pacifying, mellow coolness without compromising the stamina generated by the night's otherwise thunderous score. My curiosity was quelled within the first few bars of "Warning Pulse" which sounds like it was born from the polished sediment of all of the songs you'd try to sneak into rotation at a college party otherwise only playing top 40s.
Special thanks to the stunning Doug Fir for another great night of music.
Marie Roman, 2016
Photos by Jared Miller