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Souvenir Driver

Shoegazey dream pop from some of PDX's finest

Souvenir Driver

Kool Stuff Katie, Tender Age

Mon, May 29

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm

Doug Fir Lounge

Portland, OR

$7.00 - $10.00

This event is 21 and over

Souvenir Driver
Souvenir Driver
Souvenir Driver started in 2011 as an outlet for singer Nate Wey, of the now defunct psych-punk band Happy Prescriptions. Originally a recording project to channel his dreamier songs, it slowly evolved into a full fledged band who often write collectively. Though they call their genre "bliss pop", one can hear traces of shoegaze, post-punk, psychedelia, and 90s indie in their atmospheric music.

High School Records recently put out their newest, self-titled album on vinyl. Souvenir Driver recorded the main tracks in a secluded mountain cabin. It was mixed and engineered by Gregg Williams (The Dandy Warhols, Blitzen Trapper). Consequence of Sound says of the album: "an 8-track collection that spins dream pop and indie rock sensibilities into shoegazing swirls ... each track has a tangible streak of warmth shining on through the haze." A video for the first single "Sunsets", starring Paul Cowsill ("Hair", "Flower Girl") is now online.

Souvenir Driver recently completed a spring tour, and will hit the road again this autumn.
Kool Stuff Katie
Kool Stuff Katie
Brash, immediate, and undeniable infectious, on It's Fine Portland, OR garage-pop duo Kool Stuff Katie delivers a visceral dose of distortion-fueled jams that are just plain impossible to resist. Built on a foundations of subtly clever song structure and melodic interplay, the chromed-out surface sonics blast the aural cobwebs out of listeners' ears like an avalanche.

Yet, as you start to parse out the deeper layers of the record it becomes clear that there's more here than just sunshine and power chords. "We didn't set out to write this record with a lyrical or musical theme as such, but as it turned out, a lot of the songs center around the feeling of frustration: personally, romantically, socially" explains drummer / vocalist Saren Oliver. "We find it funny because upon first listen most of the songs are super upbeat and fun - we unintentionally made an album full of anguish in disguise."

Really, though, the pair's stripped-down approach is a perfect vehicle for from-the-heart admissions. It's Fine is a natural evolution and progression from an act that's been simplifying and honing since the beginning. Guitarist / vocalist Shane Blem first met now-drummer Oliver when he took out a Craigslist ad ? for a keyboard player. Originally conceived as a synth-heavy New Wave inspired project, it soon became clear to all involved that being a slave to an electronic beat was not going to work ? between Blem and Oliver there's a shared love of interacting with each other and being able to push and pull as they feel necessary. Their drummer left to pursue other dreams, they wrote all new songs and Oliver started learning drums. Kool Stuff Katie's self-titled 2014 debut is a broad slice across genres.

Since that time through incessant touring and songwriting trial and error it came clear that Blem and Oliver are masters of the upbeat and brief, largely in the two-piece formula. Producer Steve Fisk (Nirvana, Soundgarden, The Posies) was in full agreement with their refined direction, and it is from that perspective that the band approached writing It's Fine.

Written in Portland and Hood River, OR and recorded with Fisk at Seattle's Soundhouse Studios and Fisk's home studio, It's Fine fits perfectly in the proud canon of Northwest music that shouts down frustration and depression with a 4/4 beat and an overdriven amp. "When people listen to the record, we want them to enjoy themselves" says Oliver. "The songs are written from a place of frustration, but are tailored - both lyrically and melody-wise - to be very accessible. In that regard there is a lot left up to the interpretation of the listener. Essentially, we tried to write a record that everyone could identify with and lose themselves in, and that maybe you'd feel a bit better about everything when it's through."
Tender Age
Tender Age