*The Intelligence / The Lavender Flu at Polaris Hall – Tickets – Polaris Hall – Portland, OR – August 30th, 2019

*The Intelligence / The Lavender Flu at Polaris Hall

The Intelligence Unit

The Lavender Flu

Ages 21+


$10 ADV / $12 DOS



The Intelligence


Still panting from their installment in CASTLE FACE’s Live In San Francisco series (where they ran a greatest hits clinic for basement sweat-rats) and from mega-mind LARS FINBERG’s outside solo oddballer, Moonlight Over Bakersfield, THE INTELLIGENCE return in nouveau mode with Un-Psychedelic In Peavey City, their 10th studio album-amalgam released on their own imprint “Vapid Moonlighting Inc”. Load up on electrolytes, all ye who enter here…

The customary tin/aluminum milestone won’t fit this true band of steel: the current Intelligence iteration is most forceful and dynamic of any line-up in the project’s history. Although each performer has been smeared across myriad recordings and tours for years, the now-time assemblage of DREW CHURCH (bass), DAVE HERNANDEZ (guitar) and KAANAN TUPPER (drums) currently positions The Intelligence as a world-class unit, with members playing in partnership with conductor Finberg rather than at his sometimes-service. Lars is giving the back-rubs now, not getting ‘em --- a delightful & cruel twist.

There’s no aspect of Un-Psychedelic In Peavey City that tilts toward phoned-in safe plays, no easy feat for a 10-albums-deep unit. For this collection, the band cast off the comforts of their traditional cosmopolitan haunts (Sacramento, Costa Mesa, etc.) in favor Grass Valley’s Louder Studios, a wilderness recording burg (OK OK, with a pool, yes) helmed by TIM GREEN, a twiddler maestro who has assisted BIKINI KILL, MELVINS, COMETS ON FIRE, WAND and countless others in sterling fashion. The resultant recordings are the most expansive Intelligence material imaginable --- perhaps Un-Psychedelic, but certainly free, playfully abstract and awesomely stretched out.

In both arrangement and performance, The Intelligence sound more substantial than ever, rhythmically deeper, largely trading their punky bread-and-butter whip-cracks for something furrier and more adventurous. “Auteur Detour” (a confirmed studio after-thought deemed by the band as a “No-Wave Santana” exercise!) prompts head-smacking in terms of the sounds being chased --- you’ll wonder how they managed to catch ‘em and why it works so wonderfully. The familiarity of “Mute Me” --- snake-surf guitars exploding and retreating, with Finberg gnashing against perceptions of his own oeuvre --- is uncloaked and infinitely more severe take than keen followers could be prepared for. “Immolationin’” turns all manner of earthly malaise into sea-breeze soul-flow, closing the album somewhere between hope and end-times resignation.

A tune for our times if there ever was one. Un-Psychedelic perfectly captures a new Intelligence: nearly re-born, entirely invigorated, free from wet heaving, ruling Peavey City.

The Lavender Flu


The new Lavender Flu album, "Mow the Glass", was recorded in the living room of a small house on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. You can hear it in the music. The Oregon Coast. The dream life of an Axolotl. The open sound of a band playing to an audience of endless water, sun, and sky. A bald eagle flew by the window every few hours; as if to remind the band where they really were. Still, the laughter was real, the freedom was magic, and the tambo was sprinkled like sugar.

"Heavy Air", the previous album, was a home recording project. The songs started with Chris on a guitar or a synth or a bowl of cereal and were built up from there. A rotating cast of friends and family helped flesh out the material. It could have been made in deep space or at the bottom of the ocean. Transmissions from a bedroom at the bottom of Pill Hill.

"Mow The Glass" is a reflection of the live experience. Four people playing together; working within the template of pop classicism. 35 minutes of music. This time, the Flu comes out of the water and spends a little more time on land: pop kicks, psychedelic derangement, beauty, spells cast via hate raga and rocker. The band moves backward, forward and sideways; often within the same piece. The music breathes. It doesn't deal in nostalgic regression or self conscious futurism. It just sounds like the Lavender Flu.

Or maybe Ursula K. Le Guin whispering to James Tiptree Jr. in heaven:

Follow the Flowers. They lead to a field of knives. Look to the Sewer. It's there where your teacher lies.

This music will crawl through your mind. Palpitating off the walls of incandescent android phone lights and lonely aching web pages. Streaming through reverse lives, lost in endless coded corridors, hallucinating connections to other humans via bitrate embrace.

The enemy is everywhere.