As we ferociously partied our way into the new year, we all looked forward to what 2015 would bring us with great optimism. It’s safe to say that we haven’t had to wait long for 2015 to deliver the goods. On January 10, Smoke Rings will be gracing us with their presence at the Know as part of some killer celebrations.
Starting on January 9, The Know will be celebrating their 10 year anniversary with 10 nights of what we’ve come to expect from them. Solid punk rock. With that, we should all take a moment to sit back and truly appreciate what they’ve brought us over the last 10 years. While the city of Portland has grown in popularity, so many establishments have changed in an attempt better suit the growth. The price of a “cheap” beer is no longer cheap and the food is topped with weird ingredients like Oreo’s or Cap’n Crunch. The Know has essentially given the middle finger to these changes. Beer is refreshingly inexpensive, the music is heavy and they aren’t winning any awards for the cleanest bar in Portland either. Nestle them in the middle of an increasingly pretentious Alberta St. and you have the one of the best venues in Portland. Hopefully they’ll carry on for another 10 years, but for now I raise my chipped pint glass full of Rainier to them.
As for the show itself, synth-punk quartet Smoke Rings are playing their first show of the year and promise to excite. Their music boasts consistent fuzzy guitar riffs and dance worthy drums with waves of horror movie sounding synthesizers. The experience would be like having a 70’s disco on the set of Beetlejuice. The standout feature are the vocals though. Vocalist Noelle Magia screams her way through each song with little regard to changing key, but it works so well. When everything is mashed together, it sounds like The XX if they were jamming after tripping on some gnarly acid. That’s good news.
Also playing are Is/is. No, not the terrifying Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, but the Portland grunge/haze wizards. Fronted by Sarah Rose, they recently released their newest tape Shadow Days. It’s on the softer side when compared to previous releases, but the music is soothing and beautiful. They can rock out when they want to though so we should expect a high energy performance.
Kicking things off are Portland’s heavy fuzz heads, Ah God. Apart from being genuinely nice chaps, these guys really put on a good show. If you miss them, they tend to play around Portland a lot, but when they bang out tunes like “Total Dose,” there’s no reason to come late.