Portugal. the Man’s releases on Equal Vision Records made me suspect of them at first. Are they an emo/screamo band? Are they straight edge? No, they’re not an emo band; we know that much. They’ve since made the move to Atlantic Records. They’re a fully realized indie rock band that has a sound that is mature beyond their years. They’re melodic, smart-sounding, and prolific. They’re from Wasilla, Alaska, and that, unfortunately, brings to mind images of the world’s most famous gun-toting hockey mom. Portugal. The Man is gutsy, flaunting their mish-mash of influences from track to track on their latest album full of funk, indie, classic rock, and electronics and piano laden tunes. The vocalist even has something of a Curtis Mayfield thing going. They’ve got it all on this album, and all of it fits seamlessly. The live show, however, is something else altogether. Portugal. the Man has already built a reputation on bringing it live, complete with guitar solos and sing-a-longs.
At 18 years old Tommy Johnagin made his mind up to quit school and devote his life to comedy. We’re at about the ten year mark and he’s managed to keep it up. More than keeping it up– Johnagin is a headliner now with two appearances on The Late Show with David Letterman, appearances on the 2010 season of Last Comic Standing, and a half-hour special on Comedy Central. Not many comedians his age can say they’ve covered that much ground. Each one of those television appearances opened millions of new eyes to his act. Beyond all that, 2009 saw the release of his debut CD, Stand Up Comedy, on the Rooftop Comedy label.
Johnagin is on the road now, a headlining club act. This will be his weekend at Laughs– he’ll be performing four sets at the Kirkland comedy club with Adam Norwest, another young road comic with a distinct voice who keeps his calendar full of appearances.
The video below is extra special because Tommy Johnagin’s latest Letterman appearance gave the man himself, David Letterman, an excuse to mention Laughs Comedy Club on national TV.
Photo via Kaylee Cole’s Myspace
The soul exuding from Kaylee Cole’s lips will spellbind and mesmerize you. Her voice is full of character, of sultriness, of just raw talent. The piano and vocal duet is similar to Sia and her Breathe Me track with a less haunting feel, but evokes the same image and emotion while have the retro twinge to her voice that brings thoughts of Zooey Deschanel and cigar lounges. She is a definite new favorite to add to your daily repertoire.
Cataldo is a local indie-pop band that uses an array of instruments, including a banjo and piano. They are a great example of vocal harmonizing, which we are use to hearing with the likes of Fleet Foxes and Plain White T’s. Simplicity is best and Cataldo typifies that. They’ve recently met their Kickstarter goal to finish their Prison Boxing album, of which you can still contribute until May 10 by clicking here.
Land Of Pines is a local indie pop duo that has recently not only won a College Battle of the Bands, but also has released their second EP, so cleverly titled II. Lead singer Evan Easthope has a slight accent that makes you swear he’s part Scottish, although Land Of Pines hail from the Emerald City and Kessiah Gordon’s voice really grabs you by the ears and makes you take notice.
The Glass Notes have an incredible amount of experience between every single member, including front-man Robb Benson who has quite the hefty resumé. Benson’s past experiences involve bands like Dear John Letters, Nevada Letters and Department of Energy. Benson teamed up with Jake Uitti after learning of his poetic talent (and bartending skills) and they have collaborated on Dust And Hours which was released last Fall. Benson’s vocals radiate different genres based on what track he sings, like Bob Dylan on their Muse single, or even locals Pickwick on Something Left.