In the ‘booking’ section of theknowpdx.com there’s a rather lengthy explanation of the “wide spectrum of music” that we accommodate at The Know. I guess that kinda comes off as being ‘narrow’ when you need to explain just how wide our “wide spectrum” is?
BUT this day in age there are countless genres within genres and “independent artists” suckling from the teet of corporate sponsors, releasing their material through loosely-veiled “farm labels” (i.e. subsidiaries of major labels that harvest their “crop” of indie artists with hopes of “breaking” them). It’s a strange time we live in…digital media is still new/an object of contention, touring is infinitely more expensive than ever, and the past really doesn’t really serve as a good gauge of how music/bands will exist in the future.
So recently when a band, that had the makings of a Pitchfork “Cut of the Day” artist, solicited us for a show I very politely declined; thanking them for their interest in our venue and then suggesting that they “would be better served elsewhere.” I followed that up with some alternate-venue suggestions and contact info. Couldn’t have been nicer!
Their booking agent wasn’t taking ‘no’ for an answer though and went into “leverage mode” where they try to catch you on some technical detail (our “wide spectrum of music”-thing has definitely been quoted in the past). This particular agent tried to get his foot in the door with the ‘ol “what genres do you program at The Know,” to which I replied:
and sent this accompanying photo montage:
Thing is, that our programing is way more diversified than the above media alludes to. The music of bands like Warcry, Gag, and Spectral Tombs definitely forms a ‘backbone’ for us, however, and that’s what this agent needed to understand. The Know is not your typical rock club, and that’s a phrase I steer clear of because it conveys something entirely different than what we do. We’re a ‘punk’ club, which doesn’t necessarily mean studded leather, flying-V guitars, full-stacks with shitty guitar-tone and a pissed/violent frontman/woman. What it DOES mean is that we host bands that subscribe to a DIY ethos, and aren’t trying to use our venue as a springboard to stardom! Bands that play their first show at The Know would happily play their last here as well…there’s no upward trajectory in ‘punk’ (though there are varying degrees of success within it’s range). Our venue is one of only a handful of spaces that WANTS the sonic-range, often qualified as ‘punk,’ to happen within it’s walls.
All this brings me to previewing 3 outstanding shows we have coming up, each of which have their own unique and distinct ‘flavor.’ These shows are the embodiment of our “wide spectrum of music,” and they are all ‘punk’ shows despite existing at varied ends of it’s reaches.
Saturday, February 16th – We get a visit from Brooklyn-based synth duo, BLACK MARBLE, who’s coldwave output has quickly gained a legion of admirers. Dreary pop numbers utilizing a vast array of electronic tone/instrumentation put the band’s sound in a tidy space between the ‘live’ sound of Joy Division and the methodical offerings of Depeche Mode. Their music is topped-off with gorgeous baritone vocals that sit in a echo chamber. If you like to dance with your hands in your pockets than these are the guys for you!
Local support comes in the post-punk variety, and is spearheaded by the practically flawless dark-wavers BELLICOSE MINDS. This tightly-wound 3 piece is capable of generating 80’s production and sound (a la Bauhaus, Joy Division or The Chameleons) through careful choice of equipment and tactful composition…hardly ever touching electronics to do so. Shit’s impressive!
Wednesday, February 20th – Be sure to brush your teeth after digesting the sugary-sweet bubble-gum pop of PATAHA HISS, whose playful keyboards and primitive guitar and drum combination will have heads-a-bobbing. Speaking of which…their fantastic song ‘Dear Joey’ refrains about a particular dirty type of head bobbing. You can listen to it here.
Come out and rock out!!!
Friday, February 22nd – “Epic” is the order of the evening. It scares me to see eternal-veterans STONEBURNER listed in an opening slot of any show, and is also testament to how rife-with-talent the current doom metal scene is in Portland! If you like the feeling of having your head in a tonal ‘vice’ (picture a musical equivalent of that part in Casino!) then this is the perfect event for you. Each band will produce crushing-riff after crushing-riff, with only blackened interludes to lend momentary reprieve to the punishing-weight of the next guitar stroke.
USNEA celebrates the official release of their first recorded output on this night of worship to the dark lord! It’s a monumental “first” offering for any band…fuck a CD, tape or 7″ – these guys are too epic (there it is again) for that shit! 12″ LP right off the mutherfuckin’ bat!!! I guess you really have no choice when your songs range from 10-18 minutes each?
And let us not forget that Portland’s own metallic “super group,” EPHEMEROS is playing this epic (once again) bill as well! Consisting of members of Nux Vomica, Elitist, Anon Remora…and the list goes on.
Really though, as much as I distain the word ‘epic,’ what else are you gunna use for something this…well…EPIC.
Thanks for reading,