Strange Ranger – Tickets – Mississippi Studios – Portland, OR – November 28th, 2017

Strange Ranger

Occidental Brewing Co. Presents Sweet 'n' Local with lyrical PDX post-rock/emo standouts

Strange Ranger

Little Star, Surfer Rosie, Floating Room

Tue, November 28, 2017

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


This event is 21 and over

Mostly Standing / Limited Balcony Seats 

Strange Ranger
Strange Ranger
Little Star
Little Star
Like it or not, the Little Star story is a classic rock one. Born out of a dissolving relationship, baptized in manic bedroom recording sessions, and confirmed under the winking lights of Portland basement venues, Little Star embodies the rock dream of transfiguring sadness into pop gold.

We first heard of Little Star through the Romantic World of Little Star cassette self-release, a map for Daniel Byers’ inner tumult disguised as scrappy dreampop. Big Star’s exuberant melancholy, the Kinks’ crackerjack guitar work and the Cure’s winking macabre all lit the path through Daniel Byers’ little world. Now we have Being Close, an album that finds Byers enlisting the help of bassist, singer and songwriter Julian Morris and drummer John Value, transposing the coy synthesized instrumentation of Romantic World into a true power trio. “It has very aggressive moments, and it has more tender and sweet moments,” than the debut cassette, proclaims Morris. Byers takes care to note the influence of friends and fellow Portlanders Sioux Falls on the album’s brash sound.

Being Close is the sound Little Star “bringing the [Romantic World] out of the bedroom and into the live space,” says Value. The ten-song collection finds Byers and Morris, penning songs about transformation and transcendence—Dan’s songs about processing his breakup, Julian’s songs about his process of gender transition. The album might be about dissolution and finding oneself anew, but Byers carefully notes that the songs are really about “moving apart from people.” Is it a breakup album? “Well maybe it is, on accident.”

Songs like “Cheeseman” and “For Goth Easter” demonstrate the emotional breadth of Little Star. All of the songs are “about moving apart from people,” Byers explains. The rollicking “Cheeseman” details the painful drift between two friends, set over Bolan-esque chugging guitar chords. An honest-to-god guitar solo caps off the song, showcasing Byers’ sage-like (and Sage-like) fret heroics. And then there’s “For Goth Easter.” The Morris-Value-Byers trio have turned Romantic World’s emotional centerpiece into a Being Close’s first act showstopper, a breathless three-minute meditation on the power of rock music. Portland Mercury contributor Cameron Crowell has described seeing entire basements teary-eyed, singing along to every word of the song, and I’ve seen it happen, too, I swear to god.

Little Star recorded the bulk of Being Close live in a single eighteen-hour session at Portland’s Type Foundry Studios and mixed the rest of the album in the same house used to make Romantic World. Portland label Good Cheer Records is proud to release the album on TK FORMATS, available online and in stores on January 8.
Surfer Rosie
Floating Room
Floating Room
"The type of sadness felt at 4 in the morning, reserved for the heartbroken and nervous, is a tender and surreal one. The world feels like the wrong size; the moment small, quiet and solitary, the rest of the day foreboding at a gargantuan scale. It’s a moment of contingency and introspection, and it’s soundtracked by Floating Room’s new album Sunless.
The record tracks the end of one relationship and the beginning of another, with lyrics and a sound that comprehend every aspect of this delicate time. Maya Stoner and Kyle Bates, Floating Room’s creators, are able to channel a heightened level of intimacy and emotional competency with their combined musical history and shared personal connections. “Kyle and I were discussing writing and recording at a house show when the idea of collaborating first game up. I had a lot of love and respect for Kyle’s project, Drowse, so I was excited to see how his brain worked,” recants Stoner. The melancholy, textured aspects of Bates’ aforementioned project meld well with Stoner’s past experimental guitar rock bands, Sabonis and Forest Park. They meet in a place of sensitivity and experimentation. With the assistance of bass player and frequent collaborator Alec Van Staveren, Floating Room has classic emotive aspects that also include electronic influences and dark beats and bass lines that work to transcend the usual bedroom tape project. With a name referencing the gloomy weather of the band’s Pacific Northwest home, the album is evocative of overcast despondency–but refuses to wallow.

“We started playing music together when we started dating, writing these short, confessional songs and capturing them with our cell phones; we quickly discovered a mutual love for artists like Mirah, The Microphones, Duster, and Bedhead.” Bates and Stoners’ gendered voices, musical compatibility and parallel perspectives of growth are audible. Stoner’s lyrics appeal to relatable feelings whilst staying specific enough to tell her story, with Bates sonically interjecting his own. Finding lyrical inspiration in conversations had with her female friends, Stoner uses unabashed dejection and candidness to create a new form of emotionally charged and empowered music, self-described as “gray pop.” On the crushing track “Fun,” Stoner proclaims her strength by using past insecurities and hesitations to detail the feeling of being silenced by oppressive systems and individuals, but finding resilience within those experiences. Stoner’s vocal power backed by buoyant guitars makes for a song set to inspire.

The intimate confines of the bedroom in which Stoner and Bates record and create together are heard in the warmth and indulgence of each song, bookmarked by personal clips of the two exchanging questions or the whimpering of a dog. But, with each track their cozy realm grows.Sunless is the sound of sharing fears, and becoming stronger as a result.

– Emma Burke"