August 25 at Portland’s Mississippi
Studio, it was time to rock.
By Tim Hinely
seems to be a fairly new band in these parts, having moved here from Denton, TX
and their sound was were certainly unique. The lead guy, singer and guitarist,
had the ever-popular Portland beard and
he cranked out some interesting riffage (reminded me a bit of D. Boon in that
dept.) while the rhythm section held down the fort quite ably and they had a
talented gal up front,. She switched each song between sax, Theremin and
mandolin (or maybe it was a really small guitar?). She did some interesting
things with the Theremin, handling it like a snake charmer charms a Cobra.
These guys are worth your time.
I kept hearing
good things about Grass Widow, but had missed them here in town a few times. I
made a pact to myself that I was not gonna miss them this time and I was
pleasantly rewarded; they did not disappoint.
These three Bay Area ladies put on quite a show. Combining intricate
rhythms, cool, scratchy guitar and three part harmonies. The melody is there so
I can see why they have been getting lumped in with other noise-pop female
bands like Vivian Girls and Dum Dum Girls, but what Grass Widow is doing is a
bit different. At times a minimalist thing slips in (ala The Raincoats) and
they go off in a different direction altogether (and that a capella tune as superb).
All three were more than talented on their own instruments and they sounded
well, fresh, and were laid back but intense at the same time (if that makes any
sense). In addition to The Raincoats, I also heard echoes of ‘80s New Zealand band Look Blue Go Purple and Ohio’s Scrawl as well as
a few other notables (Kleenex/LiLiPUT). Don’t (repeat DO NOT) miss them if they
blow into your town.