Breaking: Portugal. The Man

August 26th, 2009 by Christopher R. Weingarten Leave a reply »

Who: A hard-working, hard-touring indie-soul four-piece whose spotlight-stealing sets at this year’s Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza festivals were honed by averaging 250 shows a year. Now stationed in Portland, PTM were the most famous exports of Wasilla, Alaska, until a certain vice-presidential candidate rose to prominence. “It went from having to explain to people where Wasilla is to, ‘I saw that place on The Daily Show,’ says frontman John Baldwin Gourley.

Sounds Like: Fourth album The Satanic Satanist, released on their own Approaching AIRBallons imprint, is a blast of stripped-down, Motown-inflected, three-minute pop mutated through a scruffy indie-rocker’s lens. A psychedelic slurry of influences, a PTM song is as likely to include a hidden Beatles riff as it is an unlicensed sample of a breakbeat.

Vital Stats:

• Despite their pop hooks and sunny dispositions, PTM started out touring alongside the tireless go-getters in the metal and hardcore circuits. “We were on this hardcore tour with Poison the Well,” says Gourley. “The people in this audience are mountainous men. Huge, huge people. There’s one guy that’s towering — he had to be a foot above everybody. Middle finger in the air the second we step on stage. Not even a note to let him know we’re not what he was looking for. It was unavoidable — not only would you see him, he would lock eyes with you. It was such dedication that you had to respect that he completely hated you.”

• When Gourley named the band, all he knew about the actual country of Portugal was the capital was Lisbon, they have beautiful beaches and “it just sounded cool.” He recently went over there for the first time with Nine Inch Nails and found that the band had been a secret sensation for ...

Article Source: Rolling Stone : Rock and Roll Daily


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