Music trends are difficult to track. But anyone who has been paying attention to the best music in 2017 will undoubtedly stumble on Portland, Oregon as an organizing principle. Something is pulsing through the waters of the Willamette River.
Exhibit A: Eyelids.
The five-piece band recently hit the East Coast this fall on a tour in support of their album “or,” released in early 2017 on Jealous Butcher records and produced by R.E.M.’s Peter Buck. In addition to recording one of the most magnificent albums of 2017, the band’s ability to spin crisp pop yarns and unleash them for their live shows is on display courtesy of their memorable show at Montgomery Hall in Jersey City on November 15, 2017, recorded by WFMU.
“It was the first night of our Eyelids east coast tour so how this show went was sure to set the tone for what was to follow,” guitarist, songwriter, and Eyelids co-founder Chris Slusarenko told New Jersey Next. “It ended up being one of our best shows, period. It was a Wednesday night and the WFMU audience were seriously there for the music so it was full on.”
You can view their entire set here:
The band’s lineage runs deep, including friends and collaborators John Moen (percussionist for The Decemberists) and Chris Slusarenko (Guided by Voices, Boston Spaceships). Add Jonathan Drews, Jim Talstra and Paul Pulvirenti to the mix and the family tree expands to Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks, Elliott Smith, The Minus 5, Dharma Bums and beyond.
Songs by Eyelids can often begin with bright, sun-drenched pop and then quickly cloud over and distort, akin to Big Star’s “Kanga Roo” or R.E.M.’s “Talk About the Passion.”
Eyelids is an absolutely joyful live act. The band members seem to relish performing together. “You can see it in the footage — the rapport between us and the audience just kept growing as the show went on,” added Slusarenko. “It was hard to stop the night … too much fun!”
Once again, it may have something to do with those Willamette waters. Filthy Friends, the Portland-based R.E.M./Sleater-Kinney “supergroup” which performed in the area earlier this fall also wove together music genealogy and live performance exuberance.
We recommend you turn the volume up on your speakers.
And enjoy your holidays.