In the Wet, Wild, and Woolly Bully Northwest, sweet rock n’ roll just hangs off of the branches of our dense Evergreen forests. Reverb can be heard in the gentle spring rains, harmonies can be felt in the radiant sunbeams peaking through our overcast skies, and psychic vibrations grow up from the rich soil. The Shivas, from Portland, OR, are master botanists of this bountiful harvest, continuing in the long line of fellow area cultivators from the past like The Lollipop Shoppe, Don & The Good Times, The Fabulous Wailers, and The Frantics. Singer/songwriter Jared Molyneux spent an entire adolescence spent chained to his stereo hi-fi absorbing every sonic morsel offered from his local oldies radio station, eventually imagining The Shivas as a way to exorcise the litany of jangled chords and bangled howls that began festering within his clever mind grapes. Enter Kristin Leonard, a very talented young woman who is not only a ravishing beauty on the microphone, but also a raging beast behind the traps, who expertly augments Jared’s swinging medallion song craft with her potent mix of pleasure and pain. Their symbiosis of instruments and voices is nothing short of joyous. Joining the proceedings on both stage right and session left, Irish firebrand Rob Mannering can be seen wielding and slashing his hearty Telecaster like he himself is wound with an active magnetic coil while being armed with smart and decisive guitar sensibilities that keep this cosmic ship headed in the right direction. Next up, this writer would be remiss if he didn’t heap praise on Eric Shanafelts’ skillful and bubbly bass maneuvers, which act like deliciously funky rubber bands that tightly hold the collective groove together and never snap under pressure. When these forces combine, the end result of this concoction acts as a tonic for the mind, body, and dance floor. And if all of this craziness wasn’t enough, the crew recently unleashed their longtime secret studio weapon Ian Hartley into their live setting, who not only adds more “throb” to The Shivas “heart” but also turns Kristin’s already perfect pounding into a double drum dynamic, making this band virtually unstoppable. If you have ever witnessed any of their hundreds of gigs, parties, or sock hops they have graced nationally over the last couple of years you will know this is gospel. Their album WHITEOUT (KLP 243, Burger put out the cassettes) from 2013 and their 7 inch “You Make Me Wanna Die” (IPU 143) from last April showcased their abilities to transfer this magical live mania to tape, a necessity for witnesses looking to harness some of The Shivas patented brand of love punk for home consumption. If either of these releases are any indication of what these guys are about to unleash on the masses with their upcoming October long player, then something tells me I’m into something very good…..and so are you!

-Chris Sutton

Born and raised New Yorker Jeffrey Lewis leads a double-life, as both a comic book artist and an indie-rock musician. Beginning with homemade cassettes in the late 90s, and moving on to touring the world and releasing “proper” albums since 2001, Jeffrey’s now 15-year career has included sharing bills and tours with the likes of The Vaselines, The Fall, Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks, Roky Erickson, The Mountain Goats, Daniel Johnston, Devo, Pulp and many other luminaries. In between his contemplative folk narratives and bashed-out indie-punk songs Jeffrey is known for often including a couple of his illustrated songs in each concert (what he calls “low budget videos”) sometimes covering historical topics (like “The History of Communism”), biographies (like “The Life of Barack Obama”) or strange flights of fancy (like “The Creeping Brain”). Appearing in the past as Jeffrey Lewis & The Jitters (featuring his brother Jack and David Beauchamp), Jeffrey Lewis & The Junkyard and other touring ensembles, his newest band incarnation is Jeffrey Lewis & The Jrams (pronounced “drams”) featuring Caitlin Gray on bass and Heather Wagner on drums.
Rough Trade Records (label of The Smiths, The Strokes, etc.) has released six Jeffrey Lewis albums to date; Jeffrey has self-published ten issues of his comic book series Fuff, and Jeffrey’s writing, illustrations, comic books and music have been featured by The Guardian, The History Channel and The New York Times (among other places).


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