Eyelids / Sama Dams – Tickets – Mississippi Studios – Portland, OR – November 5th, 2015

Eyelids / Sama Dams

Local psych-pop supergroup playing with PDX textured pop three-piece

Eyelids / Sama Dams

Hollow Sidewalks

Thu, November 5, 2015

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

$10 ADV & DOS

This event is 21 and over

Mostly Standing / Limited Balcony Seats 

Eyelids
Eyelids
For years, John Moen and Chris 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), Colin 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), Paul Pulvirenti (No. 2, Elliott Smith) and Jim Talstra (The Minus 5, Dharma Bums). The end result was their debut 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). 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.
Sama Dams
Sama Dams
The music of Sama Dams steals from you most virtuously -- it will rob your sense of time and leave you wondering how long you’ve been awash in sound, rhythm, and ether.

On their fourth release, “Say It” -- released on Friendship Fever on April 6 -- Lisa Adams emerges from the background to deliver commanding lead vocals in her clarion soprano alongside partner Sam and the highly textured drumming of Chris Hermsen.

Almost in answer to the muted ambivalence that marks movements from the band’s previous “Comfort in Doubt,” “Say It” features the trio striking boldly throughout, both musically and thematically. According to Sam, “It’s about being more honest about what we’re thinking and feeling.”

Inspiration came from a year of watching silence make a mess of love in friendships close to the band. “Something seems off - you sniff something,” says Sam. “You don’t acknowledge it exists, and so by letting a small problem go, you allow it to grow.” “What’s the use for pockets if they’re empty?/Fill them up with things you use against me,” sings Lisa on the album’s first track, succinctly summing up the war of attrition underlying a failing relationship.

The band’s hallmark of grooving angularity packs even more punch when partnered with direct pathos, as in tracks like “Driving By.” Melding the wailing riffiness of fellow Midwest native Billy Corgan at his best with the cool synthesizer of a hundred beloved 80s soundtracks gone by, Sama Dams takes their distinctly left-field sound into anthem territory, and does it with audacious and tender authenticity.

The album feels like a coming-of-age for the band, who have been creating and touring out of Portland, Oregon since 2012. Having first pitched their tent in a time and place that revolved around the folky fusion of bands like The Decemberists, Sama Dams now claims a favored seat in a music scene edgier and more eclectic than the Pacific Northwest itself.

The Adams's, proactive about fueling the creative partnership at the heart of the band, are constantly looking both outward and inward for inspiration. They have toured relentlessly both domestically and abroad since the release of their first full-length album, honing their ambidextrous live performance to a soulful effortlessness that belies the complexity of the music. Their dynamism is infectious, spawning side projects and writing experiments that span states and genres.
Hollow Sidewalks
Hollow Sidewalks
Nora Murphy Hughes-vocals, guitar
Jason Anchondo-drums
Nicholas LoCascio-lead guitar
Kelly Mckenzie-bass