on saturday night after all the folkiness of the colin meloy show i raced across town to the someday lounge to catch the last half of the third and apparently final cacophony, one of portland’s annual noise nights. my main reason for going was because it was the final portland show of the yellow swans. but i also wanted to check out robedoor.
i got there as a duo of noisemakers were constructing drones using contact mics in bicycle wheels and frames. you can’t get much more portland than that. then came a guy who basically turned on his equipment and started moaning, most people ignored him. after that a tent was set up on stage and i knew robedoor were coming next. these two guys were awsome, i had a feeling would like them from what i have read about them on fangs and arrows. they started with some layered drones with guitar effects, then added some vocals and live drumming. the sonic effect of playing under the tent was really noticeable with the drumming, it kind of muted it and put some distortion on it. the result was amazingly pounding.
once robedoor cleared the stage, the crowd totally changed. i noticed all these slightly gothic people hanging about, and now they closing in on the stage, they knew something that i didn’t. the next band, whoever they were, were just horrible to me. some kind of korn style hardcore with a heavy dose gothic synths and a lot of female lead singer screaming. thankfully they only played three or four songs.
yellow swans set up in the middle of the floor. gabe gave a short speech thanking everyone for supporting them for seven years, and proving that no matter what kind of sound you want to create, there are people out there who will listen and understand. i have seen yellow swans more times than i can count, and every time they have pretty much blown me away. the sound they make will never be duplicated and i don’t have the capabilities to describe properly. thick drones layered processed guitars, tape effects, drum machines, vocals, and whatever else all those things with the knobs are. their final show is at the sonar festival in barcelona, then no more yellow swans. wish i could be there.