June 24, 2008

Port O'Brien - All We Could Do Was Sing (2008)

For the past year or so I have had people of all different musical tastes recommend this Oakland based band's live show. So, when their current tour slated them to rock Santa Cruz, Santa Barbara, and San Francisco in support of their recently released album, I figured now was as good a time as any to dip my ears into the musical waters of Port O'Brien (I think that line just put me as the front-runner for "Cheesiest Line of the Year" award).

Anyway, the opening beats of "I Woke Up Today" made me want to do a drunken sailor jig in deck shoes aboard a storm ravaged fishing vessel... And when the gang-bang vocals kicked in (where the whole band sings simultaneously) I was sold. In my opinion, comparisons to many and mighty indie darlings are thrown about too easily for All We Could Do Was Sing. Sure there are moments when Port O'Brien sounds like other bands, but their music—layered, girl/guy vocals, occasional string arrangements, strummy guitar, nautical themes, and intimate, mellow, folky acoustic pieces—is far too diverse for a closely paralleled comparison. I have listened to this album HARD the last few weeks, and it continues to impress—both the up-tempo and mellow tracks, equally.

Check out: "I Woke Up Today," "Close The Lid," "Stuck On A Boat" and this video that looks like something awmercy & ancientindianwizard would collaborate on...

10 Comments:

ve1cro said...

Solid recommendation. Like a total girl, I put "I Woke Up Today" on repeat and saw/heard it like 18 times tonight. I thoroughly appreciate the video’s special effects, the band’s collaborative vocals, and it’s clever use of animals and children. Oh, and the dude in the yellow shirt reminded me of awmercy’s dramatic DC9 dance gyrations.

Nightrain said...

THAT MAN CAN DANCE!!! Woot.

Brasilliant said...

You know, before I got to the end of the video, I totally thought the speedo guy (with his fist-pumping) was more Awmercy's speed. But you're right, the spazzo gyrations of the yellow shirt guy are spot on. Good call.

awmercy said...

It may surprise no one that I liked both the song and the video.

awmercy said...

What? The video is no longer available? That blows. Nighttrain, when I come home from the bars I need inspirado in the form of a yellow shirt. Find a replacement.

Nightrain said...

Uh... still good from my end. Check it out tomorrow... or check this one out:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EtSqerkXJIc&feature=related

awmercy said...

Yeah, now it's working again. I wonder why it wasn't last night.

Nightrain said...

Oh man, every time the video gets to 2:53 and yellow shirt guy starts dance skool, I laugh my ass off.

Check out their MySpace for tour dates, because they will be in SF, SoCal, DC, NYC, etc. in the next few months.

www.myspace.com/portobrien

awmercy said...

"I Woke Up Today" is quickly becoming one of my top summer jammy jams.

Nightrain said...

Yes, it is a solid video and song... I will let you know how the live version is after I see their show next Friday. Woot!