The Donkeys – Tickets – Mississippi Studios – Portland, OR – January 19th, 2017

The Donkeys

Breezy psychedelic guitar-pop from San Diego on the Dead Oceans label

The Donkeys

Dollie Barnes, The Fourth Wall

Thu, January 19, 2017

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm

$12 ADV / $14 DOS

This event is 21 and over

Mostly Standing / Limited Balcony Seats 

The Donkeys
The Donkeys
As we watched the Donkeys perform one of the first of their nearly 150 shows in support of 2014’s Ride The Black Wave, on the clattery rooftop stage of the aptly named SXSW venue Cheers Shot Bar, Craig Finn (he of literate-rock luminaries The Hold Steady) turned to me and said something on the order of “you can just feel that they’ve played with each other since high school…they’ve got that thing, and you just can’t get it otherwise.” That thing, an elusive, intuitive musical hive-mindedness informs every note the acclaimed San Diego quartet ever play, live or on record, but is especially present on Midnight Palms, the mini-album due for release February 12th on Easy Sound.

Tracked largely live-in-the-studio with veteran producer, longtime friend, and fellow traveler Thom Monahan (Vetiver, Fruit Bats, Devendra Banhart), Midnight Palms oozes with the sticky, syrupy energy of a band fresh off the road and “in rare form,” as the expression goes. Recorded as it was at the end of one of the bands blitzkrieg road runs (which might see the band playing as many as 28 shows in 29 days), the collection’s lived-in live feel should surprise few.

The core founding trio of Tim Denardo, Anthony Lukens, and Sam Sprague drive the proceedings. Drummer Sprague alternately (and effortlessly) sets a lock-step driving pace, as on album opener “Hurt Somebody,” a bouncy girl-group groove (“Day by Day”), or a lazy gallop, as on the languid “Star Bird,” which the drummer also sings. Meanwhile, bassist Denardo falls easily into any of those pockets, and takes his own lead vocal turn on “Down the Line,” a dusty roots-pop tune as laid back as the men playing it. Lukens, of course, provides the by-turns warm, slippery, punchy and liquid keyboard lines that are the album’s bedrock, while lending his direct, earnest vocals to three of the album’s five tunes.

The fourth Donkey on Midnight Palms is The Hold Steady’s Steve Selvidge, stepping in after the (amiable) departure of long-time guitarist Jesse Gulati. Selvidge hopped on stage with the Donkeys that night at Cheers Shot Bar and would end up joining the band for a fair number of those 150 RTBW shows. His pointed, tasteful leads are peppered throughout Midnight Palms, most notably on the searing “Hold On To You.”

In all, the Donkeys have crafted in the Midnight Palms mini-album a fine, half-sized document of their singular sound. At once accessible, adventurous, nostalgic, and progressive, it can only be the Donkeys.

- Stephen Brower, Easy Sound Recording Co.
Dollie Barnes
Dollie Barnes
Dollie Barnes, hailing from Houston, mixes pop sensibilities with dream like vocals into a pot of 60’s and 70’s inspired writing while still maintaining a sound that is all it’s own, grabbing hold of the listener from the first note. Their debut album, "Caught in a Phase" is set to be released SPRING 2017 - In the meantime, catch their first single "Taking All Day" on Bandcamp, iTunes and Spotify!



Members include: Dollie Barnes, Tom Lynch, Austin Sepulvado, Jason Willis, Marshall Graves and Tank Lisenbe
The Fourth Wall
The Fourth Wall
Originally from Hawaii, the Fourth Wall members Stephen Agustin, Kasey Shun, and Paul Brittain, made their way east to the Pacific Northwest, planting their music roots in Portland, Oregon where they met new drummer Max Lilien, in 2012. The band is set to release Lovely Violence, a fine shoegazing effort whose knack for melodies would fit well on a mix with the Shins or Menomena, two bands the Fourth Wall opened for when they were in Hawaii.

The album’s songs deal with freedom, moral solitude, and the beauty and terror of an unconditional commitment. Look for Lovely Violence on July 31 via Bug Hunt.