This Week in Local Music: Wampire, Rock 'n' Roll Prom
Be able to say "I saw Wampire when..." and don your bobby socks for Rontoms's Valentine's retro dance party.
Local quintet Wampire has been kicking around the Portland music scene for years, becoming a household name among local-music fans through countless live shows, but never releasing a proper record. Now the band, whose hard-to-pin-down music bounces between a synth- (and sometimes organ-) driven dance-y sound and blissed-out guitar pop while maintaining a lo-fi production aesthetic, seems to finally be breaking out. National label Polyvinyl, home to successful Portland exports Starfucker and Unknown Mortal Orchestra, signed the group last year and will release its debut album, Curiosity, in May; Jacob Portrait, the UMO bassist and studio wizard behind Blouse's self-titled debut, produced the disc, and the lead single, "Hearse," has already attracted attention from the music blogosphere—most significantly, Pitchfork. Wampire's show tonight is their last before going on tour with UMO, and chances are that when they come back home, they'll be more than just a local fixture. Come, and be able to say "I saw them when..."
Listen to "Hearse":
Guys, slick back your duck tails; dolls, don those bobby socks: it's Rontoms's fourth annual Valentine's Day Rock 'n' Roll Prom. The Lower East Burnside bar, whose free "Sunday Sessions" shows are an epicenter of Portland's music scene, every February 14 applies its impeccable taste toward throwing this retro dance party featuring music from local bands and DJs. Playing tunes from the '50s and '60s won't be much of a stretch for this year's entertainment: DJ Cooky Parker, best known for his "In the Cooky Jar" soul nights, is a walking, record-spinning encyclopedia of that era's music, and early-rock quintet Monarques, whose 2012 album Let's Make Love Come True made more than a few local year-end lists, is Portland's premier purveyor of Buddy Holly nostalgia.
Watch a video of Monarques performing at last year's Rock 'n' Roll Prom: