Nothing like closing an issue and trying to crank out a feature to drag you kicking and screaming away from your much beloved blog. I’m back though. And here with a whirlwind of body blows to your eyes and ears.

Ahem.

My best friend in New York called me last weekend at some ungodly hour (for him). I knew he was going to see Blitzen Trapper that night, and by now I’ve become accustomed to his ringing me mid whatever show he’s at to hold up his phone and give me a peek into what he’s listening to. The last time it was Wilco playing "Misunderstood" at Coney Island.

This time the call was even cooler.

What was that garbled noise in the background?

None other than our favorite Portland band B-T covering Kenny Rogers’ "The Gambler." With sweet, sweet, unironic harmonies to go along with it. Lucky for us the boys return to town on October 23-24 with a pair of shows at the Doug Fir.

Until then here’s a taste of the band "knowing when to fold ’em":

Also, here’s the latest video from our own Thao With the Get Down Stay Down for the excellent little ditty, "When We Swam." Filmed on Swan Island (NoPo-ish represent!):

In this next clip, art school kids from Moscow (as in Russia, not Idaho) create a groovy new video for the Decemberists’ devilish "Rake’s Song."

This one I meant to post awhile ago but totally blew it. Weinland’s "I’m Sure It Helps":

Oh, and just so we’re all very clear…the band we all know and love as Star*ucker (the band that can now be heard on Target commercials) is now officially called (wait for it…): Pyramid. The guys will perform their last EVER show as Star*ucker Halloween night at the Wonder.