frick! last to the party! (or am I…?): Port O’Brien (local and I’m listening)

New and Used Records points me to a song (which he probably heard from via Pitchfork or via mward) by the Oakland band Port O’Brien (myspace).

[Yes, I've just spent a paragraph explaining how I'm not nearly the first to hear of this band. Honesty and disclosure in music blogging!]

I’ve been liking the various songs that are available on mp3 page. There’s also an intriguing aspect of the band involving Van Pierszalowski spending the summers in Alaska as a commercial fisher, Deadliest Catch style.

“I Woke Up Today” is a rollicking crowd shout-along over a bed of simple, but interesting dark folksy guitar and tambourine. It’s really a quite simple tune but quite affecting nonetheless[1].

Port O’Brien – I Woke Up Today (mp3, from the band website)

The Deli SF also has an interview with them.

They also have a “super secret” page of live and demo mp3s, including a funny version of “My Humps,” which ends, very appropriately with Van, the lead guy, stopping abruptly and saying “I can’t do this anymore.”

They only have a few tour dates currently and only one (May 19, this saturday) Bay Area one:

May 17 2007 8:00P The Echo w/ FUJIYA & MIYAGI Los Angeles, CA
May 18 2007 8:00P SLO Arts Center San Luis Obispo, CA
May 19 2007 8:00P Mission Creek Music Festival @ The Hemlock w/ King Kong (ex-Slint) San Francisco, CA
Sep 7 2007 8:00P Bestival Isle of Wight ~ England
Sep 16 2007 8:00P End of the Road Festival Dorset ~ England

[1] Note: I love when there are words that are just mashed together other words e.g. nonetheless, albeit, etc.



5 Responses to “frick! last to the party! (or am I…?): Port O’Brien (local and I’m listening)”

  1. [...] Adrian (me): Port O’Brien – I Woke Up Today (mp3) (from the sold out Nowhere to Run EP, track available from artist’s site) I heard this track first earlier this week and I’ve been taken by its recklessness and odd sound. [...]

  2. [...] Oakland-band (9 months out of the year) Port O’brien (myspace), who I’ve previously posted about (and been obsessed with) have an album out tomorrow on the American Dust record label. Actually the band calls it more of a collection of songs from their two EPs. [...]

  3. [...] For $10, you get three bands that have been getting a lot of play on my ipod. Oakland/ Alaskan seafarer’s indie folk band Port O’brien (myspace) put a full length in July called the Wind and the Swell, which, along with their earlier work (some of which is also on that album), especially “I Woke Up Today”, has been going around my head for months. I’m still digesting Seattle’s nasally-voiced acoustic rockers the Cave Singers‘ album, Invitation Songs, having only gotten it a couple weeks ago, but I’d definitely like to check these guys out. My love for San Francisco’s leading “sweet” country rock band Or, the Whale (myspace) is well documented. [...]

  4. [...] Port O’Brien was first. I’d been talking about them for a long time but I’d never seen them live. They were five total. From left to right: bass, Van on guitar, Cambria on banjo, guitar and piano and behind them was Josh on drums and autoharp. The whole group was in on the vocals with Van or Cambria providing the leads. They played an exciting and passionate set. At times, Van was very into it and often almost seemed in a trance. At other times he was definitely very aware of the audience as he incited us to sing along, like with their last song, “I Woke Up Today” (featuring Patrick and Graham from Rogue Wave). He has us sing the wordless “oh-ah-oh” part and would scream things like “Two more times, San Francisco”. Sometimes I really like synecdoche. They knocked “I Woke Up Today” out of the park and I think their set in general won them over some new fans. [...]

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