Report: John Grant Live in Portland


Appearing December 17 at the Doug Fir
Lounge, the erstwhile Czars frontman is touring behind his recent album.


By Tim Hinely


John  Grant was the leader of defunct Colorado dream pop band
The Czars who apparently broke up a few years back before all of the members
killed each other outta pure hatred. He played with Midlake for a bit then
recorded the full-length Queen Of Denmark (Bella Union) which was released earlier this year and has made many Top Ten
list. He’s touring for that record but did not have Midlake with him; instead, it
was him and a pal named Casey.


About half the
songs Casey would play piano while Grant, who has a terrific deep baritone
voice, would sing and then fiddle with some weird synths. Other tunes Grant
would play piano while Casey played guitar and occasionally sang backup and
Midlake or not, these two made it work perfectly. He opened with a new one
called “There’s No Cunt in Team” (“Dedicated to my dad’s ex-wife, my
step-mother”) of which just the songtitle got lots of laughs (whomever said
Grant has a dark, cynical sense of humor was right) but he also talked about
how happy he was to be in Portland (his first time) and how he loved the Doug
Fir milkshakes (“You can’t get a good milkshake in New York”).


Tunes from the
record like “Where Dreams go to Die”, “Marz”, “It’s Easier”, “Sigourney Weaver”
(my fave) and “TC and Honeybear” all sounded lovely and he even played a few
Czars tunes at the end as well. I was glad I made it out on this cold December
evening to see Grant, a true underrated talent if ever there was one.



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