The Maldives, The Blakes
116 NE Russell
Portland, OR, 97212
Doors 7:30 PM / Show 8:00 PM
This event is 21 and over
In the great Northwest, The Maldives are more than a band, they are an institution. With a history that goes back more than half a decade (their friendships considerably longer), they've played every kind of gig imaginable- from backwoods festivals on the back of a flatbed truck to the inauguration of Seattle's musically minded mayor.
They have overflowed the stages at SXSW, CMJ, Capitol Hill Block Party, Sasquatch, and Bumbershoot. In 2010, they were featured on MTV's $5 Cover series which spotlighted the best of Seattle's music scene.
What started as the personal project for lead singer and songwriter Jason Dodson has at times swollen to a small army of twelve before settling on seven full-time members. At some point, The Maldives became bigger than any one man.
Their debut full-length, 2009's Listen to the Thunder (Mt. Fuji, produced by Grammy Award-winner Kory Kruckenberg), was the culmination of years of live playing, not a studio piece, but a faithful document of who the Maldives had become as a live band. Their latest release Muscle for the Wing (Spark & Shine) is the opportunity to bring the band's assembled creativity together in a different way and explore their combined vision. And this time they brought in producer Shawn Simmons (The Head and the Heart, Grand Hallway) to capture it all. It builds on a heritage of cinematic American rock & roll that's at turns chivalrous and fist-pumping, steeped in tradition but unbound by expectations. Dodson's words reveal characters set in a widescreen frame, scenes from real life that often portray victims of the heart and casualties to the beast that is circumstance.
The origins of the Blakes are rooted somewhere in the backwoods of central Maine, where in the latter half of the nineties Garnet Keim and his younger brother Snow acted upon a shared ambition to deviate from their seemingly inevitable fates as lifelong paper mill employees (or something of that nature), and try their hands at music. In fact, they had been raised in a fairly musical environment by a family best categorized as true swamp Yankees, and were taught how to harmonize with the Everlys at sing-a-longs from childhood onwards. At some point during adolescence they taught themselves how to write simple little garage rock songs on guitar and bass, and they eventually gigged around bars in Maine with a drummer. In an early display of the Keims' notable brotherly symbiosis, Snow - upon graduation from high school - convinced Garnet to drop out of University of Maine Farmington a year from his degree and follow him to Kansas City, where they hoped to expand upon their (grossly naïve) musical ambitions in a larger market. Unfortunately, they never got off the ground in KC, although they did manage to further hone their songwriting skills in between tokes of ditch weed and stints as human guinea pigs for experimental pharmaceuticals.
Getting nowhere in the Midwest, the brothers accepted an offer from Phil Collins' son Simon – who was dating their cousin Elvira – to record with him at his home studio in British Columbia. Much partying and a few recordings of a pop-electronic variety ensued, but the Keims were eventually forced to leave Canada when they proved unable to obtain work visas.