Bike Thief: Live @ Doug Fir Lounge in Portland, OR [05.29.14]


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The band has only been in Portland for a couple years, and have been moving along at an incredibly fast clip. It’s been a busy year for Bike Thief as the band has changed some members all while working on a new record that will be out later this coming August. On Thursday, May 29th, I was able to make it down to Doug Fir to see them play their new stuff, and in spite of the date I brought with me, I had a great time.

If you saw Bike Thief last year, you need to see them again. In less than a year they have successfully transformed from the jangling, folky, moody, mostly acoustic sound of their Ghost of Providence EP, to electric and dynamic rock ‘n’ roll…and I love it. Hitting some higher notes this time around, lead singer and songwriter Febian Perez has pushed his voice to another level on these new songs, using falsetto that’s full of vibrato in the spirit of Jeff Buckley. Yes, he does it THAT well. I would never throw around the sacred name of Jeff Buckley if it wasn’t warranted. But that’s what I heard.

Now, don’t get me wrong, Bike Thief still sounds like Bike Thief, just bigger, louder, and more electric. The moody violin/viola of Greg Allen trades off and intermingles perfectly with the new guitar leads that weren’t there on the Ghost of Providence. Greg and Febian are up front and center and harmonize vocally into one mic like Springsteen and Stevie Van Zandt in the “Glory Days” video. Now that I think of it, wasn’t The Boss playing a natural blonde telecaster in that video? And wasn’t Febian Perez playing a natural blonde telecaster May 29th at the Doug Fir? Well, yes he was. There is no way in hell that is just a coincidence. Febian Perez isBike Thief4 the next Bruce Springsteen.

With the debut full length album coming out in August, and decent sized slab of tour dates coming together in the Fall, this could be the year that Bike Thief gains some wingspan and flies out of Portland just as fast as they flew in.

Learn more about Bike Thief, and check out some of their tunes at the following links:







Bike Thief: Live at Doug Fir Lounge in Portland, OR [06.05.2013]

Bike ThiefLast Wednesday night I was able to make it out to Doug Fir to check out a few local Portland bands. The newest to the scene was actually the headliner, Bike Thief. That’s saying a lot, considering the quality of the two acts before them. Needless to say, this show was superb. Bike Thief was created by the band’s front man, Febian Perez, who has done an outstanding job of making his songs come to life with an 8 piece ensemble. This being my first time hearing Bike Thief live, I was bit worried that the intimate sound would be lost in the shuffle. I also feared that the crowd would dwindle by the time they came on stage being that it was a Wednesday night.

Right from the start my worries disappeared. This show was so good that I expected Tom Waits to jump on stage in a matching black outfit. Not only did people stick around, but they were loving the music.  Being a more mellow, folky band, than the other two acts on the ticket, I imagined it would be difficult to follow an “indie” pop rock band like De La Warr and keep the place satisfied. Yet they did that and more. Balloons fell, people danced, and from the smiles on their faces, I could clearly see that Bike Thief had made a lasting impression on the crowd. The professionalism of this band is commendable given their short time together.

Be on the lookout for big things in the future.

Bike Thief: Ghost of Providence [Album]

coverIt’s good to hear quality, organic instrumentation on a record these days, as the world becomes more saturated with electronic music such as “dub step” and “trap”. Bike Thief has released their first EP, and it’s just what you need if you love songwriting and you’re looking for a break from bass and glitches.

The six song EP, Ghost of Providence, begins by drawing you in with “Battles” as the steady acoustic guitar vamp ushers in the backing vocals, eventually giving way to the string section. It crescendos with the strings and builds some tension before letting you back down easy as it returns to the vamp. This is a great song. Febian Perez’s voice reminds you a lot of Nathan Willett from Cold War Kids. Great voice.

The most impressive thing on this record is probably the use of the string section. I can’t imagine what this album would have been without the strings. Actually, I can. Before Febian came to Portland from Austin, TX we had begun to correspond via email. I heard “Battles” and fell in love. It wasn’t what it is now, but it was more than enough to make me want to make music with Mr. Perez. And now that he and his band mates are here in Portland, Bike Thief is taking off. The band has only been in Portland for about 5 months now, and already has opened for Cherry Poppin’ Daddies at Dante’s, and you definitely get the sense that these guys are really going somewhere.

Ghost of Providence was engineered and mixed by Jim Cuda, mastered by Nick Moon, and recorded at Big Red Studios in Corbett, OR (where Pearl Jam recorded the drums for TEN) and is available now at

Coed Pageant: The Seasons EP, Vol. 4: The Fallout [Album]


Coed Pageant are writing some really good songs that easily strike a chord within the listener. For those of us who love three or four chord songs with simple arrangements and great lyrics, this band has it all going for them. The arrangements are perfect, with a little help from their trumpet playing friend, Nathan Fry on “Over It” and some more help from their violin playing friend Twy Bethard on “Fallout” and “Henderson”.

The rustling of leaves and a gorgeous piano part open the record on “The End is Near”. My only complaint is that it’s only 51 seconds, but feels like only 15 seconds. We the listeners could have handled at least a full minute and a half of quaint piano assisted by a few sparkling notes far off in the distance.

Immediately following the instrumental intro track is “Wake Up Alone”, a three chord, poppy jaunt about, well, waking up alone after another long night that ends uneventfully. It’s about finding who you are in those lonely times of your life, when you have nobody but yourself, and the world is there to learn from. Good stuff.

Next comes “Good Year”, a nearly a cappella song that proves this bands apparent love of what minimalism can do to make a song more poignant. The song appropriately ends with the mimicking of the proverbial ticking clock…

…And the ticking turns to clicking to start out the next track, “Fallout”, the second best song on this EP. Don’t worry, I’ll tell you what the first best song is when we get to it. Of course, you may disagree, in which case, myself, and probably also Coed Pageant, would love to have you voice what you think is the best song on this record.

“Fallout” draws you in instantly. It sounds like they closely mic’d one of those metronomes your Aunt Mildred had sitting on the piano when you were 10 and taking lessons that your mother insisted on, and then they threw in some handclaps on top of that…okay, I might be wrong, it could just be drum sticks with a little delay, but I really want to know if it’s a closely mic’d metronome. Get back at me, Coeds.

Regardless of all that, even though this song is only 1:49, I don’t care. If it were any longer it would only serve to make it less poignant.

“Over It” is the peak of this record. A catchy piano melody leads into a catchy verse, that by the second verse leads into a chorus of trumpet with the singing of “ahs” following along, which then gives way to a xylophone or glockenspiel that slows down the time and ends the song.

From the first rustling of leaves, to the darkness of “Henderson” this EP makes you feel like you’re stuck in a perpetual autumn with gray skies above you and puddles at your feet, walking through your wet town lost deep inside your own introverted thoughts. The lyrics are fantastic, my favorite line being, “And intent don’t mean a lot to the person who got shot by accident” from “Henderson”. Give this band a listen, and if you don’t like it, but you love the Avett Brothers, than there is something wrong with you. Not that the Avett Brothers are horrible, but is it possible to love checkers, but hate chess? I don’t know, maybe it is.


Wooden Indian Burial Ground: (Self-Titled) LP [Album]


This is the perfect music to drink to. It can even make Pabst taste good (you know you hate the taste of Pabst, hipsters, or have you moved on to another cheap alternative?) This is the music that should be playing in every house party on the wrong side of the tracks. I imagine it’s no coincidence that this Portland band’s name is a reference to the wooden indian sold by infamous Portland crimp, Bunko Kelly to a ship captain, which was angrily cast overboard when the ship captain couldn’t wake his wooden crewman. I hope that was intentional, but if it is coincidence, then the rock ‘n’ roll gods have blessed them with a great name.

Regardless of their name, WIBG has found a perfect formula/dynamic between it’s four members to make some of the best psychedelic garage rock ‘n’ roll that is out there right now. Everything from the “whoops” or “yips” or whatever the hell the singer yells at least once in almost all of their songs, to the violent use of guitars smothered in fuzz and reverb and that perfect vintage sound, to the creepy organ played masterfully and always placed in the right spots,this band plays psychedelic rock ‘n’ roll exactly how it should be played; loud, loose, and free, as if it’s all about to just fall apart. Many have tried to walk the fine line between garage rock and just sloppy bullshit, and most have failed. Not Wooden Indian Burial Ground. You can tell that each of them has the musical chops to exceed the expectations of an indie “garage” band.

Their latest self-titled release, out October 4th on Mon Amie Records, is an 8 song trip that feels much longer than only 35 minutes. That being said, it is very well condensed. At no point on this record did the psychedelic break-downs last too long. In other words, you’re not left wondering, “what the hell are they doing?” or, “why are they still milking the feedback?”. WIBG brings you down into it, then pulls you back up out of it just in time. There really isn’t a boring spot on this record. It really is ALL good, from the balls-to-the-walls opener, “Helicopter”, to the marching cadence of “Waltz for Eldritch”, to the dark and tremendous guitars of “Bryant St. Death Cult”. For me, though, nothing beats “Sparklerella”. Complete with a female background chorus reminiscent of zombie prom cheerleaders, the “signature” screams that you’ll notice in other WIBG songs, insane guitar work, and a stellar organ solo that is the perfect length, that song has it all; including a few “whoops”, of course. It’s enough to make a sober man sway and stagger like a drunkard.

Check this band out in Portland on Friday, Nov. 2 @ Doug Fir.