Music: No Parades – Awkward Ballast

It being the last day of 2012, I’m in a bit of a reflective mood. This feeling is aided by the warm feelings I still have inside about this past Saturday’s Experimental Portland Presents… show that featured some amazing performances by Jatun, Abusive Consumer, and Cloud City Cars. I’ve said this a bunch of Twitter already, but thank you to all the acts and all the folks that showed up at Record Room to watch.

Too, I’m thinking warmly of all of you folks that read this little one-man effort to keep up with the thriving experimental music scene here in Portland. I’m still kind of amazed at how well received this has been and at all the people and artists I’ve been able to meet and befriend as a result. I’m sincerely humbled, and excited to see what the next 12 months has in store.

Tying both of those above paragraphs together is this stunning new track from No Parades, a new project conceived of by soon-to-be former McMinnville resident Jay Schwab. This gent is one of the many folks I’ve gotten to know personally thanks to this blog, and he has agreed to perform at the next Experimental Portland Presents… show happening on January 19th at Boom Bap.

The warm expanse of this track is reflective of his gregarious personality. It carries a stuttering heartbeat reminiscent of one of my favorite albums Oval’s 94 Diskont, but glides along with a much more linear logic than anything on that disc. But like that LP, you can almost see the sound waves of “Awkward Ballast” ballooning outward as each layer of itchy static and glassine drone is added to the mix.

I’m thrilled to hear how Schwab brings these ideas to bear in his live set next month, and to be further inspired by his person and his art. For it is people like him that are keeping me excited and dedicated to doing what I am doing here at Experimental Portland. Thank you Jay and thank you one and all. We’ll see each other again in the new year.


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