Social Studies, XDS
128 Northeast Russell Street
Portland, OR, 97212
Doors 8:00 PM / Show 9:00 PM
This event is all ages
Watch & Listen
Portland’s Radiation City will release their second full-length album Animals In The Median, May 21, 2013 via Tender Loving Empire. From their use of modern electronic sounds and the restraint of classic bossa records, to the urgency and harmony of northern soul, the band has codified seemingly disparate ideas into a sound and ethos that is at once refreshing and classic
Effortlessly bending genres, Animals In The Median takes you on a journey through time. “So Long” turns Motown inside out with funky bass lines, catchy church organs and vintage vocal arrangements. The suspenseful lush orchestration of “Wash of Noise” soothes the musical palette. “Zombies” dabbles in doo-wop, flawlessly adorned with swinging handclaps and melodies. “Foreign Bodies” makes you want to snap your fingers to sweet and simple guitar rhythms that dance side by side with cascading flute melodies over a strong even beat.
Radiation City just wrapped up a national tour, sharing stages with Pickwick, Caveman, YACHT, The Walkmen, Unknown Mortal Orchestra and more. Stay tuned for touring plans and more news coming soon!
Naming their sophomore album Developer is a bold move for the still-young band Social Studies. But it is as apt a descriptor as you're likely to find for how the sound of this San Francisco-based five-piece has flourished, matured, and, yes, developed over the past two years.
The band - led by Natalia Rogovin (vocals, keys) and Michael Jirkovsky (drums), who were joined in 2009 by bassist Jesse Hudson and guitarist Tom Smith and this year by second guitarist Ben McClintock - has already won a loyal fan base thanks to their arch take on modernist pop as heard on 2010 release Wind Up Wooden Heart. Social Studies has become a force to be reckoned with in concert as well, transfixing audiences at the CMJ Music Festival, SXSW, and Noise Pop, and bringing their unique energy and spirit to stages shared with TuneYards, Wye Oak, Lotus Plaza, Thee Oh Sees, Dodos, Ramona Falls and many more.
Now, on their new album, the goal was to strip things down to the basics, straighten out some of the more jagged lines of their previous work, and put the focus more on texture and mood. "Before, we were rebellious. We fucked with things just because we wanted to push limits and boundaries," says Rogovin. "Developer is a more adult record. We tried to explore sounds and draw out parts to write more moving and focused songs."
They enlisted the able ears and hands of engineer and co-producer Eli Crews (Tune-Yards, Deerhoof, Thao & Mirah) who helped hone this new barebones attack as well as reflecting the excitement of their stage show. On Developer, all the pieces have come together perfectly. The clear-eyed production helps bring out the dark, sexy heart of these ruminations on life, love, pain, and pleasure. The themes of the album are as complex as the songs are streamlined. "The album is about art, but it's also a cinematic exploration of those turning points in life that you didn't see coming and didn't realize were important until much later," says Rogovin.
Lead single "Terracur" calls the bluff of a headstrong friend threatening to leave, while "Away For the Weekend" turns the tables to justify a departure: "Ever discover another that makes you feel good, you always feel right/ the notion of fleeing the corporeal being/Just run to your other life."
In Developer, Social Studies has succeeded in evoking a set of feelings and emotions that will linger with listeners long after the last notes have faded away. Warm, cold, or downright chilling, there is a connection between the personal and universal that the band taps into through a set of fearless and gripping songs.