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Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Like everything related to Portland bands, Blitzen Trapper didn't register on my worthless music radar until after they reached the national spotlight. They received a two-page spread in a recent issue of Rolling Stone and appeared on Late Night With Conan O'Brien last night.
I recently gave their latest release Furr a shot and it's been stuck on repeat on my iPod ever since. While it may not have been the band's intent, the album embodies many echoes of some timeworn Northwestern cliches. At times, Furr is reminiscent of Twin Peaks and oozes a David Lynch vibe like sap from a fir tree that's just been hit by lightening. The title track? A sweet ballad about a young love affair.
Let me be a little more specific: a young love affair involving a teenager that wanders off into the woods and becomes a weredog before being seduced into becoming human again. For those of us who consider True Blood quality television instead of an embarrassing and misguided replacement for The Sopranos, this stuff is Grade-A background noise.
The rest of the songs on Furr concern broken hearts, bandits, cowboys and serial killers, you know, because everyone in Oregon is broken-hearted, an 19th century horse thief or, yes, a teenaged monster. The lyrical odes to Bob Dylan are obvious but the music itself fits more comfortably in a spot between Beck and Wilco. I can't think of a more perfect soundtrack for driving around Portland, especially during this time of year when the sky has cut to gloom, there's a chill in the air and fallen leaves are backing up nearly every storm drain in town.
As of October 29th, the album became officially Pitchfork-approved and therefore worth your valuable time. Blitzen Trapper plays the Wonder Ballroom on December 4th. You can also click here to listen to that creepy song about the werepooch.