Sold Out: Hazel – Tickets – Mississippi Studios – Portland, OR – October 2nd, 2016

Sold Out: Hazel

Record release show for Portland-based indie rock group formed in the early '90s

Sold Out: Sold Out: Hazel

Eyelids

Sun, October 2, 2016

Doors: 7:30 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

$8 ADV / $10 DOS

This event is 21 and over

Mostly Standing / Limited Balcony Seats 

Hazel
Hazel
On Sept. 30 Voodoo Doughnut Recordings and Cavity Search Records will co-release Live in Portland, a full-length vinyl LP, CD and digital album by hometown heroes Hazel, as captured onto 8-track analog cassette during their golden-era prime. The release marks the fourth installment of Voodoo Doughnut Recordings' "Tales from the Grease Trap" series of archival releases from Portland's early '90s. Hazel was a relatively short-lived project, but their influence on the local music scene was huge. Guitarist and vocalist Pete Krebs has gone onto a 25+ year career as a singer-songwriter, releasing numerous solo and full-band records. Drummer and vocalist Jody Bleyle went on to form Team Dresch, in which she played guitar and bass and sang. Along with bassist Brady Smith (now an award-winning principal at the James Baldwin School in New York City) and legendary dancer Fred Nemo, Hazel left a powerful mark on the droves of grunge and indie songsmiths who followed them.

Side I of Live in Portland was recorded at the all-ages X-Ray Cafe, which was co-owned by future Voodoo Doughnut and Voodoo Doughnut Recordings co-owner Tres Shannon. The second half was recorded on the back of a flatbed truck, as part of a benefit show for homeless youth shelter Outside In. Together, the two halves offer a unique opportunity to compare and contrast Hazel inhabiting two very different sonic spaces, both within six weeks of their full-length debut, Toreador of Love, on Sub Pop. On the X-Ray set, the band bursts apart at the seams as they tumble through local pop-punk laments of unrequited love. The Outside In set features three of the same songs (plus a Wipers cover) with the band in full, confident command of an improvised stage. Taken as a whole, Live in Portland offers up vintage Hazel at their upset, energetic, melodic best.

Outside In Executive Director Kathy Oliver remembers the performance featured on Side II fondly: "Hazel played at [our] 25th anniversary in 1993. We closed the street and threw a party with guest host Gus Van Sant. Hazel was far and away the best band. They were awesome." She adds, "In the early '90s I was looking for a second site for our syringe exchange program, in Old Town. No one, and I mean no one would lease a space to Outside In. But Tres Shannon did. He offered to let us use the X-Ray Cafe. I’m forever grateful to Tres for supporting syringe exchange when no one else did."

Eager to offer more support to Outside In, Voodoo Doughnut will contribute proceeds from a limited-run fall "Hazel Doughnut" to the long-established nonprofit. Hazel themselves will donate a portion of the proceeds from their Sun. Oct 2 release show at Mississippi Studios to Outside In, as well. The release show will also be a reunion show, of sorts. The last time the band played in Portland was (to a sold-out crowd) at the Cavity Search Records 20th Anniversary showcase in 2012. The Mississippi Studios event is a double-header. Hazel will play an early-evening all-ages set with openers Hex Vision (NYC), followed by a 21+ show with openers Eyelids. Both sets will include a screening of the short documentary, "Nemo," about Hazel's silent but very visible member, Fred Nemo.
Eyelids
Eyelids
For years, Moen and Slusarenko played and wrote in the company of some of the most legendary songwriters of indie rock including Robert Pollard (Guided by Voices), Stephen Malkmus (Pavement/Jicks), Coli n Meloy (The Decemberists) and Elliott Smith. In 2014 they decided that it was time to finally start writing and recording together, adding the talents of guitarist/vocalist Jonathan Drews (Sunset Valley, Damien Jurado). The end result was their thirteen song debut album, 854, which gained positive notes from A/V Club, Brooklyn Vegan, BBC6 Radio and MOJO magazine. NPR called them “Portland’s best kept secret”.
That secret was short lived. Over the course of the next two-and-a-half years, the band has issued recordings at a prolific clip: They’ve released five 7”s and a 12” EP (which was labeled “EP/single of the year” by legendary East Coast freeform radio station WFMU ). They toured in the States and overseas, as headliners and as openers for Drive-By Truckers & The Charlatans UK (after hearing 854 Charlatans leader Tim Burgess asked to release the album overseas via his O Genesis label).
“With the first album we quickly realized that we were not just a studio project but a band, that wanted to play these songs live,” Slusarenko says. Eyelids wasted no time enlisting Paul Pulvirenti (No. 2, Elliott Smith) and Jim Talstra (The Minus 5, Dharma Bums) as their rhythm section. The band’s live action led directly to the band’s new album, or. “We wanted to make the second album with all five of us from the beginning and it was pretty exciting to see that come to full bloom,” Slusarenko says.
With or, the band’s second full-length LP, Eyelids has created their most emotional record yet. Produced by Peter Buck of R.E.M. and mixed by Thom Monahan (Peter, Bjorn and John, Devandra Banhart, Fruit Bats), or is liberally sprinkled with the hooks, melodies, and charming wordplay that make a certain kind of rock & roll fan fall madly in love with an LP. It’s all evident in the opening song, “Slow It Goes” — is that a play on Vonnegut or Nick Lowe? Somehow both feel appropriate — the kind of classic easily slotted between Superchunk and the Raspberries on a mixtape, locked and loaded with a perfectly winsome expression of angst: “She says, ‘If I can keep from sighing, why can’t you?’” From there, the sequence dives deeper and deeper into Slusarenko and Moen’s love of underground pop: listen to those sparkling “Starry Eyes”-worthy guitars on “Falling Eyes,” the psychedelic swirl of “My Caved In Mind,” and the Dream Syndicate mysticism of “Tell Me You Know.”
or marks the first time of having an outside producer and having Peter Buck in that role proved a steady presence, along with his encyclopedic rock know-how. “Peter brings a certain calm to the studio at an Eyelids session,” Moen says. “I think he helps us get the best out of ourselves in a timely way, as he doesn’t like belaboring a point.”
Joined by guests Jay Gonzales (Drive-By Truckers), Jonathan Segel (Camper Van Beethoven) and Buck himself, the record demonstrates what happens when a group of old friends get into a room and truly collaborate. With friendships stretching back to their teens, Slusarenko and Moen bring out the best in each other as writers, resulting in a creative tension between their respective lyrical outlooks (dark/sunny). With or, collaboration was key. Take for instance the song “Moony,” which began as a sketch by Slusarenko. “It had a kind of pretty looping cyclical feel,” he says, but Moen and Drews began adding Marquee Moon-style guitars on the spot, and the rhythm section of Pulvirenti and Talstra hit on a Black Sea-era XTC beat. Suddenly, it became a whole new beast. “It was a new language for the band,” Slusarenko says. “We’re all pretty different stylistically, so it’s always cool to see where we push and pull each other.”
or is the sound of a band realizing its potential, of old friends connecting creatively and sonically, creating exuberant, nuanced, pop music.
That secret was short lived. Over the course of the next two-and-a-half years, the band has issued recordings at a prolific clip: they’ve released five 7”s and a 12” EP (which was labeled “EP/single of the year” by legendary East Coast freeform radio station WFMU). Known for their intense live shows, they toured in the States and overseas, as headliners and as openers for Drive-By Truckers & The Charlatans UK (after hearing 854 Charlatans leader Tim Burgess asked to release the album overseas via his O Genesis label).

With or, the band’s second full-length LP, Eyelids has created their most emotional record yet. Produced by Peter Buck of R.E.M. and mixed by Thom Monahan (Peter, Bjorn and John, Devandra Banhart, Fruit Bats), or is liberally sprinkled with the hooks, melodies, and charming wordplay that make a certain kind of rock & roll fan fall madly in love with an LP. It’s all evident in the opening song, “Slow It Goes” — is that a play on Vonnegut or Nick Lowe? Somehow both feel appropriate — the kind of classic easily slotted between Superchunk and the Raspberries on a mixtape, locked and loaded with a perfectly winsome expression of angst: “She says, ‘If I can keep from sighing, why can’t you?’”

From there, the sequence dives deeper and deeper into Slusarenko and Moen’s love of underground pop: listen to those sparkling “Starry Eyes” - worthy guitars on “Falling Eyes,” the psychedelic swirl of “My Caved In Mind,” and the Dream Syndicate mysticism of “Tell Me You Know.” or is the sound of a band realizing its potential, of old friends connecting creatively and sonically, creating exuberant, nuanced, pop music.