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The Beatles, Bowie, T Rex, Sam Cooke, and Portugal. The Man. - Page 2

post #16 of 39
This is just my opinion. The lyrics are pretty good but the vocalist does sound as though he's straining to reach such a high register, and his delivery is decidedly effeminate. I will listen again though, as sometimes songs do grow on me after a few plays.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mshenay View Post

This and
This... 

I know I "don't get it" but I don't like effeminate vocals...I mean there is a nice mid tone of his voice but... not my thing. 

Still nice to meet a new band... 

the video was cool though biggrin.gif 

Edited by smial1966 - 9/22/13 at 12:06pm
post #17 of 39

Thanks for the post.

 

The name of the band does throw me for a loop, so good thing you led with the Beatles, Bowie (Sam Cooke?) in the title.  Overall great energy and drama, regardless of the falsetto, things seem to work.  Could not find the "hay bale sessions" on Amazon....

 

Keep the posts coming!

post #18 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Compassionator View Post 

 

Could not find the "hay bale sessions" on Amazon....

 

 

I'm pretty sure that those Hay Bale Sessions are one-off recordings from Bonaroo. If you play around with the YouTube link, you'll find other Hale Bay Sessions from other artists that you may enjoy. This was my first run in with these recordings as well and I found the production value amazingly high for a live set on YouTube. Please let us know if you find any other Sessions that should be on our collective lists.

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post #19 of 39

The instrumentals are cool, songs are well written. I just don't like his voice, it's reminiscent of the Bee Gees, without the good harmonies. Thanks for sharing though.

post #20 of 39

I agree, it sounds amazing for a live youtube set. They obviously have a lot of talent and work well together. I'm still curious about what those orange and black headphones are and particularly what the square black headphones the drummer is wearing are.

post #21 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Dias View Post
 

 

Yeah. I'm going there. I'm putting Portugal. The Man in the same artistic category as Ziggy Stardust. And if that sounds too bold or if you don't believe me, put on your favorite headphones and listen to this live set from Bonnaroo 2013. Then tell me I'm wrong.

 

 

 

 

 

You got goosebumps listening to that last song. Didn't you? This band is the real deal. In so many ways.

 

All four tracks heard on the Hay Bale Sessions were from the latest album "Evil Friends." The album was released on June 4, 2013 and was the band's 7th full length album; their second since being signed to Atlantic. More importantly, this was their first time working with producer Brian Burton — better known as Danger Mouse and famous for his work with with Gnarls Barkley, the Gorillaz, The Black Keys & Jack White.

 

According to Rich Holtzman, the band's manager, "we had a list of the producers we wanted to work with.  It was very short and the list has been around for years.  Danger Mouse has always been on the top of that list.  The band was to record on their own but we kept looking for the opportunities.  When it presented itself, we had the chance to grab it or not.  If Danger Mouse had not been on a list of ours for years, the band would probably have continued to just do their own recording."

 

Rich then continued to shed light on the partnership. "John [the lead singer]  had developed as a songwriter to the point that his skills and awareness of what he wanted and how to get there had fully developed.  Had he recorded with Danger Mouse a few years ago, he probably would not have been as prepared. But now he was and he was confident in what he knew.  This is clearly the band's best album, coincidentally it also has the most commercial potential.  You could not ask for more. Danger Mouse did a great job of pushing them to be as good as they could be and challenging them to do better and not settling."

 

Personally, I'm glad the band teamed up with Danger Mouse and I love how he helped polish their sound and I really like that his name lends a certain level of credibilty and exposure to the band. Like most journalists, I probably wouldn't be writing this piece if I couldn't use the Danger Mouse hook but in no way shape or form should he be the center of the story. Let alone the end of it. This band has worked too hard and too smart for that. They've built a loyal and devoted following over the years. They've toured relentlessly and they've placed their fans above everything else. They've precisly cultivated that great cult-following feel. Me, I love being a Portugal. The Man fan. I feel like I'm part of a very exclusive club. And that's the real reason that I wanted to run this feature on Head-Fi. I wanted all of you to have that same feeling; to be part of the group. That's what this post is really about. It's an invitation.

 

So with that, I want to leave you with an excerpt from an article I read a few years ago about the band. This was it for me. They had a fan for life after I heard this.

 

"The relationship we developed with our audience was always paramount.  Our belief is not that they were “fans” but rather they were people who just had the same taste in music as we did.  The usual approach by bands of staying backstage with a brief appearance before or after their set at the merch table would not work.  We hung out in the room, with everyone else, watching the other bands, grabbing a beer.  You did not need to complete a transaction to hang with the band.  Our records were always reasonably priced; we put a real effort into making great packages, even at the cost of margin.  While we did not give away our music for free we did encourage P2P and torrenting.  Our merch was unique; rarely did it even have the band’s name on it.  We knew our fans by name--they had our cell phone numbers and email addresses.  There was no separation.... We never started a street team.  We thought it was ridiculous and a waste of time... We wrote letters.  We made phone calls.  We randomly mailed out gifts to people on the mailing list. We gave away music.  We never stopped.  When we completed a record we invited kids to hang out at our van to hear it on headphones.  Some kids put together a gathering at their house.  I showed up and played the entire new record.  I also showed a 90-minute live movie that 2 years later still has not been seen by anyone but those people who attended.  We wanted to treat them special.Keep on reading more here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Mike Dias is a huge fan of music, of telling stories, and of laughing. And lucky for him, he’s somehow managed to make somewhat of living from this. He designs funny and creative apps for the iPhone. He is the music supervisor for Ultimate Ears and he writes about music and the music industry. He’s always happy to talk about artists, apps, and in-ears so feel free to reach out about any of those topics. Email him directly.

 

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NICE one Mike!!

I've been a fan of Portugal. The Man since my friend signed em at Atlantic.
I LOVE the latest record - and even the first album crossed so many generational boundaries (seems like there was something for everybody there).
 
GREAT to pop on here right now and see this!!!!
post #22 of 39

Glad to see them featured here! One of my favorite P.TM songs is "All your light". That number totally blew me off my feet first time I heard it. Such a layered song, with multiple meanings and a very cool mixture of different musical and vocal styles.

 

If the members are reading this, I will definitively check out the new stuff, cheers!

 

post #23 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inspektor View Post
 

Glad to see them featured here! One of my favorite P.TM songs is "All your light". That number totally blew me off my feet first time I heard it. Such a layered song, with multiple meanings and a very cool mixture of different musical and vocal styles.

 

If the members are reading this, I will definitively check out the new stuff, cheers!

 

 

Great pic for a PTM song!  

I love "So American"

post #24 of 39

Thanks Mike for sharing. I'm always looking for new music. My first reaction to this was that it wasn't really that great and that I could relate to some of the other critical posts. Then as the opening song developed, I realized something special was occurring. By the end of the last song I really did get goosebumps.

 

It's always amazing to see a group of musicians working together with a singular vision with a selfless goal of creating a song. You can see them getting into "the zone" and working as a single unit, where no one person's contribution is more or less important than the other's. Everyone has a job to do and no one is "the star".

 

That is what makes this special and allows my musical tastes to be transcended, crossing into another genre that I would not normally explore.

post #25 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lmswjm View Post
 

Thanks Mike for sharing. I'm always looking for new music. My first reaction to this was that it wasn't really that great and that I could relate to some of the other critical posts. Then as the opening song developed, I realized something special was occurring. By the end of the last song I really did get goosebumps.

 

It's always amazing to see a group of musicians working together with a singular vision with a selfless goal of creating a song. You can see them getting into "the zone" and working as a single unit, where no one person's contribution is more or less important than the other's. Everyone has a job to do and no one is "the star".

 

That is what makes this special and allows my musical tastes to be transcended, crossing into another genre that I would not normally explore.

 

You're in man. That was the knock into the club I was talking about in the original post. I felt the exact same way when I first got them as well and my appreciation has only grown from there. And to drive your point home, it's not just the band working as that single unit. It's the whole team. Rich is as much a part of the band as John the singer is. Same with their session musicians and engineers. I left this out of the original post but you'll dig this. When I first started this post, I had asked Rich about Casey Bates, the engineer on the album credits, as well as the string players. (If you listen to the albums, there is some amazing string work happening underneath it all.) Anyway, here was Rich's response: "Casey has worked with the band on every album.  He is an old and dear friend of the band and he knows how to get the band to finish.  He has this talent in getting the band to focus and complete things.  NOT an easy task. We have a friend in Seattle who is extremely talented and he has been our go to strings person.  He knows the reference points on Bowie and The Beatles and when the band instructs him to do it he usually nails it on the first go.  They all just come from the same musical history.  There is also a young guy in Los Angeles who worked with us when we played with the UCLA Orchestra.  He has been a help to us, he also plays saxophone very well.  We periodically play with string musicians around the globe.  But in LA, we work the same 2 guys over and over."

 

This oneness, this unity of vision, purpose and sound is what you are hearing and feeling. You hear it live and you hear it on the records. These guys aren't one-hit wonders; they're in it for the haul and they've earned their fans honestly. The way they work is an exception rather than the norm in this business. Don't get me wrong, they're not the only ones with the big picture plan, but that type of work ethic is fewer and farther between....

 

Anyways, you're hooked. There's no turning back now. And Mike Mercer's right. So American will drop your jaw. Before you dive into Evil Friends, stream In The Mountain In The Cloud and let that really percolate. Play it loud.

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post #26 of 39

I wasn't familiar with this band until this year, when a friend of mine asked me if I wanted to see one of their shows this past July. The initial draw for me was that it was a Danger Mouse production. However, after listening to their latest album--Evil Friends--in preparation for the concert that week, it became apparent to me that I had found something I had been looking for for a long time, and I had an instantaneous connection with it. I heard Bowie, Beatles, prog, and a lot of other stuff that was a part of my musical upbringing, and the band admits to such blatant thievery, but pays it forward by playing homage to this deep musical heritage. The concert itself was an experience of serendipitous epiphany. While it was happening, I really didn't think music experience could get any better, and I would say I have had my fair share of exhilarating concert experiences. I'm very excited that I'll be seeing them again in October, Beatles sing-along and all.

post #27 of 39

Nice, I've been following this band, but I never bought anything by them. I like this, I think that I'm going to pick it up...thanks for the heads-up

post #28 of 39

I picked it up in June and it's a really strong album  I still have it on my personal heavy rotation list.

post #29 of 39

This album is sick, I've only heard "Purple, Yellow, Red and Blue" before this Hay bale Session video and thought they were a one hit wonder. Post vid I now understand that Portugal. The Man is filled with a bunch of talented individuals that love what they do and aren't in it for the money. They have anew fan for life, i cant wait till there around Boston so i can see them live. 

post #30 of 39

I just discovered this band for myself recently. I can't believe they aren't more popular! Their music hits that sweet spot for me. While I think their latest album is really good, I also think some of the tracks on their second-to-latest album "In the Mountain in the Cloud" are even better. I respect everyone's opinion here, but in my mind I don't care if the male vocalist sounds "feminine". That thought hadn't even materialized until reading some of these posts. All I know is I like the sound. And I could care less about the name of the band...It's all about the music for me...  

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