Thursday, October 2, 2008


Last Saturday, Portland's CarCrashLander touched down at Slowtrain, performing for a decidedly modest crowd of maybe ten people. Shows you how much sway I have in this town.
Oh well.
Low turnout notwithstanding, the amiable quartet played as if they'd sold out Madison Square Garden, taking advantage of the live setting to pump up the volume on songs whose recorded versions are much softer, less keen on distortion.
Fronted by multi-instrumentalist Cory Gray who plays in several popular Portland groups including Norfolk & Western, CarCrashLander produces beautiful, piano and trumpet-driven material buoyed by Gray's hushed, but confident vocals. Guitarist Alexis Gideon (formerly of cross-dressing rap dup Princess and proud owner of a solo project headed to the Woodshed Oct. 28, along with Shelley Short whose harmonies on CarCrashLander's "Gold Sunset" are truly something else) turned heads (well, at least mine) with crazy noisy effects pedals that helped transform the set into a psychedelic frenzy. Totally loud and enjoyable.
I highly recommend checking them out and begging them to play again, both at Slowtrain (whose acoustics seem to be getting better and better) and perhaps a larger watering hole.
Before and/or after, we can all go to Twilite.

(Jamie Gadette, Photos by the lovely Ayn Averett)

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