Group Picture Vol. 6

by Making New Enemies

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Portland’s favorite band is back for their first song released since this year’s “No Beer, No Dad” LP. Apparently this is “blowout’s last song” but I refuse to buy into their hints of a break up. Blowout is a unique band with each member technically skilled in ways I will never be and each part densely crafted so that you notice new things in a song every listen. Nü Nü is one of the rare times that you get to hear Laken and Bread sing together and I think their vocal back and forths really bring their sound to a new level.
Yup this is Russell Park of Weston Bookhouse and Walter Etc.’s new project, Dry Goods. Along with the new name comes the new vibe- mature, chilled out, perhaps more yacht rock than folk rock?- but then again this is the only Dry Goods song he has given us so far. One thing that is for sure is Russell’s keen sense of lyrics and melody make him stand out from the rest year after year on GP. I know he’s got a Dry Good album in the works for early 2017, and I am excited for the world to hear the batch of songs he has stored up because they shine like diamonds in the sun.
The fantastic collab between Milk Flud and Dakota Loesch! Ok, Milk’s beat? Are you kidding me? The ol’ Milk Flud has been mysteriously behind the scenes this year and when he pops out he drops beats like this and it’s clear he’s pouring all his time and soul into his craft these days. Dakota Loesch? Well, he’s officially proven that he is universally cool no matter what the genre or vibe. His vocals sound dreamy in this tone and he showers us in those classic nonchalant raw lyrics that characterize Dakota. Lemp Lungs should and will be huge.
A Portland band whose album “You Can Win a Few” won me over this summer I am so stoked they agreed to be on our silly comp. Nathan’s voice is rad and the band always finds ways to do things that are just a bit different and I love it. I’ve been trying to get this band to do a Fishbowl Session for a long time but they must be afraid of my room mates or something?
Philadelphia’s Lame-O records supergroup consisting of Eric Osman, Ian Farmer, and Evan Bernard charter one of the catchiest songs on this year’s comp. I’ve heard Ian sing before at Mobo shows but nothing like this. He sounds awesome, the band is fun but not too silly, and the mix on this is incredible. I am excited to see if the Lame-O’s can do for Lame-O records what the Lookouts couldn’t do for Lookout Records.
A true GP legend at this point, Alex Maddox hits us this year with his notorious angelic melodies but this time swapping the clean acoustic for corky lo-fi vibes. This track immediately stood out to me as a new checkpoint of Alex’s musical progress. He’s got a new album that will be ready to be released once his little sister finishes the album artwork and this song gets me at peak enthusiasm.
What do I have to say about Sour Guy (Kris Schobert, Walter Etc. (AHMO)) after all these years? Not only is he my musical brother but he honestly continuously amazes me with how talented he is. He is in grad school and doesn’t have THAT much time to devote to his music. Then one one day he just busts out a song like this - incredible lyrics, interesting arrangements, beautiful Sour Guy vocals, and it makes me want to cry. His songs are so sincere and welcoming. Cheers to Sour Guy. Now let’s get this guy out of his 1 song a year on GP habit and get another Sour Guy album in the world. The dude has a lot of great songs stored up, trust me, some one tell him to spill.
Stay Golden is a project in the same vein of Menage A Sabre / Bear Puns / Stumpy and Pangea is a welcomed mystery to me. The one and only time I saw Stay Golden perform was at a party in Chico in like 2010? 2011? I never thought I’d see this project resurrected but holy hell this song is awesome. That soothing beat paired with Sam Evan’s raspy soft vocals and the mysterious Pangea popping in to our world to say what up. What up!
Our dear homie Jake Ewald of Modern Baseball years ago sent us a track under the alias “slaughter beach, dawg” and I thought “weird name, cool song”. Fast forward a GP’s and I’m proud to say he’s a true symptom of the mne fever and a bright constellation the the GP lexicon. If you slept on his first full length “Welcome” earlier this year then, if I were the type of person to call other people names, you are a fool. "i open my eyes and it's november and i'm in a freight elevator and i'm in las vegas but i haven't won any money and everyone here is wearing clothing that i find confusing and i wonder if they've won any money jeff tells me it's not the drugs it's monday morning and you can't get up when your degree is staring daggers from the wall but somewhere sunk inside your heart there is a teensy tiny part of you that sure could use some coffee i open my eyes and i am sweating. i must have been dreaming that punch i threw was just embarrassing all my dreams are always violent but i'm not violent so in my dreams i'm not so good at fighting there's this one where you and i are making brilliant love inside a 7-11 outside the city and i can't save us when that guy gets up and jumps out from behind the counter, gun in hand and grinning tell my sister i am with her wherever she may go if not pulpit then sure as shit, where she leads i'll follow watch the corn grow in ohio, let our kids grow strong and smart playing intramural sports while we build the ark"
Seriously sicker than Sylvan Esso. Milk Flud texts me “yo I’m collabing with a girl who lives in San Francisco” “Oh cool dude, what’s that like?” Then he sends me this. I’ve never met See Ame but I love her voice and I love the way she pairs with Milk’s style. Also anyone paying attention to the variety of style in the beats Milk has on this gp? The dude is killing it this year. I really don’t know what is going on with this duo but I really hope it happens more because this could blossom into something very special.
Jeremy is a kind Canadian cartoonist who plays in a band called Riled and gave me Bob Dylan vibes before I ever heard his own music. His lyrics are awesome, his voice sounds how everyone want’s their folk voice to sound, and his parts are sporadic and well crafted. The first time I heard this song I felt the yin of jealousy and the yang of respect.
Hemingway is the central command of Benjamin Ward’s dark dying rose of a brain. This song wins the emo / pop punk gem of GP award this year because it a) makes me wish I was in a teen movie b) bumps and c) reminds me that a simple pop punk song can still put a smile in my heart, and that smile is visible on my face if it’s a song by good ol’ Benny.
MNE’s rap supergroup made up of A.C. Greenthumb the hard guy, Kyle B Hart the smooth guy, Benjamin Ward the pretty boy, Mildew the hook guy, and Milk Flud the beat guy coming at you kind of hard with a classic weed song. I think Melancholy Quinoa and Stay Golden should tour together.
Just when you thought GP6 was going to be all acoustic or hip hop, pschye! Chase, a Cali/Seattle transplant has popped up on MNE as a member of Ubu Roi and Chaz and the Minions of Chaz. In the giant lexicon of “rock music” it seems impossible to carve out one’s own definitive sound, but I think Chase is really doing it. This song makes me feel like I am driving somewhere in a hurry but I don’t actually care if I get there on time. I bet thats what it’s like in City of Lag.
Snow Roller is the classic Portland band who’s sound to me really feels like rainy basement shows and space heaters. Colin writes awesome lyrics that sometimes read like a journal you aren’t supposed to be reading and sometimes like a friend who’s only slightly buzzed telling you the truth. Snow Roller’s album this year “What’s the Score” drew me in and I am now tee’d up to be knocked down by their 2017 follow up.
Woah! Portland’s glam punk horror rock superstars led by possible alien vampire Mira Glitterhound and suddenly I feel like I’m watching Grease while dying. Sweeping Exits has been a band we’ve known since our earliest days in Portland and it’s been awesome to watch Mira grow and evolve the project. They have a new album coming out next year which could very possibly be the catalyst to the glitter global domination that I know they are planning.
Floating Room is Maya Stoner of the band Sabonis and Good Cheer Records’ project. Coming off this year’s album “Sunless” this sleepy ambient song is exactly what I want to hear during a cat nap in purgatory. Floating Room’s music, this song in particular, makes me feel like a musical simpleton and I hope I can be associated with them enough to have their talent rub off on me.
Don’t let the funky rhythms and cheery sound make you take this song too lightly. Listen to Chilly Willy’s lyrics. He’s a great and funny writer and he’s also got a message to convey. But then don’t get too caught up in his lyrics cause this beat is really fun and doesn’t need anything else. The hook “I feel better than I’ve felt before” and the fact the song titled is “Chilly Man” makes me feel like this could be his official artist’s statement. Also, the last time I hung with Chilly I ran into him at a strip club then he came back to my house and played Earth Wind and Fire songs on the acoustic til the sun came up. This song fits that night perfectly.
The Sal Show is absolutely legendary to those who have seen the Sal Show. Sal, a Chicago boy of the band Animal City, is a jokester, an adventurous midwestern boy, and a very impressive musician and songwriter. Sal performs a mixed bag of comedy, music, and visuals that is epic yet disorienting cause you are never sure exactly what is part of the show. Him and Dakota are MNE’s Top Two Most Revered.
Rod, a sweet Portland band, not the fictitious WMAHMO band manager from the SLO era. Funny thing me about Rod is that even though they are a Portland band I never actually saw them play until we had shows together in Seattle and Boise and then I felt really ashamed about that because they were so good. Tommy’s got a hooky voice and their infectious little jammers make me feel like a warm buzz and cool fuzz. Rod was one of the top bands I discovered in 2016 and I hope they are a part of more MNE shenanigans next year.
Our buddy Ian Farmer of the Lame-O’s and Modern Baseball sent us this random track by his new band called Spiritweed? Turns out this song is amazing and the new band from Philadelphia has just given birth to their band Facebook page with new songs on the way. In definite bold sharpie on my “must watch” list for 2017, Spiritweed has come out of left field to tickle my fancy and rack up the play counts.
So yes, the emo dreamboat from Hemingway has done a GP song that aligns with each of Kyle B Hart’s facial hair fables. There was the Mustache that Cured World Hunger, then the Beard that Boosted Self Confidence, and this year it’s the Goatee that Lived Sustainably. I absolutely love this song because Benny could have easily done a tune more in line with his past two facial hair sonnets but this time has blessed us with a production and instrumentation that sounds as if he worked with Sour Guy or something. The dinky tones and keyboard? An interesting new tangent in Benny’s music and I adore it.
Four handsome boys in Maryland making these smooth hip hop nuggets that feel like smoking in the dorm rooms with people you just met but really like. We played a basement show together years ago and then rap battled the rest of the night (Milk won of course). After that we were fast friends and I’m proud to have GUMP join the GP army.
Grimy baby is Naka G, known in the mne world as the drummer of Weston Bookhouse. He played with Walter Etc. on tour this year which was the first time I’d heard him play his own music on guitar, and was stoked to find out he just recorded the first Grimy Baby EP. Naka is a supremely chill dude and “Dreamer” is a fat splash in the bucket of our fictitious slop genre.
Good old Humphrey coming back this year with MNE genie Toast accompanying him. Humphrey’s the crazy homeless man who you always wished you’d run into and he’d tell you secrets of the universe in some rambling song. We don’t get god, we get Humphrey, and that’s all we need.
I mean come on. Dakota is up there with Sal as MNE’s Top Two Revered. He is the “true artist” who has taught us so much about the creative process and how to care without caring. His genuine weirdness inspires me. Also this song is fucking funny.
I wrote this psychedelic lullaby to sing to the kids I used to nanny when I’d put them to sleep. Seahorse Tea has many more verses unrecorded but written in silver sharpie in bathroom stalls around the country. No one will every hear the full song played live because they will always fall asleep / die before its over.


Cover art by Kate Sandstrom
Album curated by Walter and Milk Flud


released December 25, 2016


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Making New Enemies Ventura, California

Art Collective / Utopian Cult / Soul Posse

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