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The Lower 48

Retro-pop with bluesy notes from Portland trio

The Lower 48

Cedar Teeth, Skating Polly

Fri, February 17

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

Doug Fir Lounge

Portland, OR


This event is 21 and over

The Lower 48
The Lower 48
The Lower 48 are a 3 piece rock and roll band from the West Coast of America. The trio consists of multi instrumentalists Ben Braden, Sarah Parson, and Nicky Sadler, who all share the lead singing role. They are a powerful trio that focuses heavily on rhythm, three part harmony, and classic pop hooks. Over the last year of extensive touring The Lower 48 has played on NYLON magazines summer tour, had their song Come Awake air in a Super Bowl Ad, graced the stage at Summer Fest in Wisconsin and played a sold out show at The Roxy Theater in Los Angeles. They have also opened for many artists, including Chk Chk Chk and Mason Jennings.

“If the Beatles and Jack White gave birth to a musical baby, it would sound something like The Lower 48 – and yes, the band is just as ferocious as one would imagine, as we discovered in our interview. The trio’s multi-instrumental thick wall of sound is marvelous because the lead singer isn’t just a lead singer, the bassist doesn’t only play bass, and the drummer doesn’t only drum; they all carry the weight of at least two players effortlessly…”


When the three members were 18 years old, back in 2009, they moved from Minneapolis to Portland together to play music on the west coast. Being under aged and having never lived anywhere but with their folks, they became semi isolated for several years in Portland’s bar driven music culture. Ben, Sarah and Nicky all write songs and began doing so obsessively, racking up literally hundreds and hundreds of songs and recordings in the first few years on the coast. Releasing one full length and one EP brought moderate success, and they toured the country and especially the coast, countless times over the next few years. Sarah became known for her distinct smoky warble and dynamic stage presence, Ben for his characteristically catchy songwriting and 60’s bass tone, and Nicky for his imaginative drumming and classically beautiful voice and energy. After years of touring, and hundreds of songs later, the band has crafted a seasoned and powerful sound that ranges well beyond their young years and has now recorded their latest full length album, Hot Fool.
This album is a culmination of all the songs and tours and rehearsals and studio experience The Lower 48 has racked up being a professional band for 7 years. It's sound is diverse and fleshed out, displaying an understanding and awareness of itself. It genre jumps from song to song but throughout has the unmistakable consistent ring of a band that has worked hard to find their sound. There's something for everybody on this LP. Now in their mid 20’s, this is an amazingly dedicated and rehearsed band that is making major moves and turning lots of heads in early 2016.
Cedar Teeth
Cedar Teeth
Cedar Teeth hails from the Cascade foothills, where the sound of saws cut through the Oregon woods and the lights of Portland set the western horizon aglow. The music of Cedar Teeth is shaped by the experience of living in this margin dividing the wilderness from the city. Between the five members of the band emerges a fusion of guitars, banjo, keys and horns, propelled by bass and drums, while vocal harmonies weave through the music. Their songs are thus sweeping and immersive, at turns rustically melodic, lyrically raw, and aggressive, as they explore the tensions of our time: love, confusion, progress, and corruption in a morally ambivalent landscape.

Over the past five years, Cedar Teeth has steadily crafted a distinct sound and set out to build relationships with audiences and fellow musicians alike. Starting off 2015 with a series of shows at Sundance Film Festival, Cedar Teeth has performed at venues throughout the Pacific Northwest, as well as festivals such as Cascadia Rainingman and Summer Meltdown. Recently endorsed by PRS Guitars and Allegra Drums, Cedar Teeth will return to the studio in spring 2016, working with producer Larry Crane at Jackpot! Records to capture their rough-hewn version of NW indie roots rock.
Skating Polly
Skating Polly
Born from an impromptu jam at a Halloween party in 2009, Skating Polly is a sister duo made up of Kelli Mayo and Peyton Bighorse. They recorded their first album Taking Over the World in their living room. Their second album Lost Wonderfuls was produced by Exene Cervenka and mixed by Flaming Lips drummer Kliph Scurlock. For their third album, Fuzz Steilacoom, Skating Polly traveled up to Olympia, WA and recorded at Dub Narcotic Studio with Calvin Johnson (K Records/Beat Happening). Prolific songwriters who are constantly recording when they are not on the road, the duo will be releasing their new album The Big Fit in the spring of 2016.

Raised on '70s punk and early-'90s alt-rock, Mayo and Bighorse mine inspiration from artists as disparate as Johnny Cash, The Ramones, Nirvana, Neutral Milk Hotel, and Bikini Kill and saturate their own songs with a raw energy reminiscent of their musical heroes. Skating Polly takes a minimalist approach to songwriting, with the two largely self-taught musicians (Bighorse plays guitar, Mayo plays a guitar/bass hybrid called a basitar, and both girls play drums and piano) crafting super-catchy melodies mainly by "messing around with our instruments and figuring out how to make cool noises," according to Bighorse. But despite their stripped down aesthetic, their songs contain a rich emotionalism that's at turns brutally in-your-face, gut- wrenchingly tender, and irresistibly fun.

Along with earning the adoration of Cervenka (whom they befriended after attending one of the X singer's 2010 solo shows and playing their demos on a cell phone), Skating Polly has found fans and supporters in Rosanne Cash, Lori Barbero and Kat Bjelland (Babes in Toyland), Donita Sparks (L7), Sean Lennon, John Doe (X), KROQ DJ Rodney Bingenheimer, and actor Viggo Mortensen. They have also shared the stage with punk legends like Mike Watt and opened up for such indie heavy-hitters as Deerhoof, The Flaming Lips, Band of Horses and Kate Nash. The stepsisters typically optimize their travel time by making up songs on their ukulele.

Both Mayo and Bighorse are intent on ignoring what's fashionable and staying true to their passion for challenging music with long-lasting appeal. "The musicians we're most inspired by are the ones who keep on going and going, who devote their entire lives to coming up with new and different stuff," says Mayo. "A lot of times at our shows people will come up to us and tell us, 'Keep on doing what you're doing, don't ever stop' and we're just like, 'Yeah – we weren't planning on ever stopping.' "