Blitzen Trapper

The Loft at Center Stage

Saturday October 17, 2015

Doors 7:30 / Show 8:30 / All Ages

$15/Adv, $18/Day Of Show

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VII is the seventh record from Blitzen Trapper and their first release for Vagrant
Records. Its twelve tracks teem with vivid tales of longing, flight, desperation and
redemption, all set in a sonic landscape at once familiar, but also strange and new, like a
dream. Without a doubt the culmination of all the group’s best work, VII sounds a
lot like America.
Blitzen Trapper was founded in Portland, Oregon in 2000 by a group of native
Pacific Northwesterners, who played around town endlessly to skeleton crowds and
gave away an impressive stream of garage recordings on CDR for years. Then came
the Blitzen Trapper record in 2003, and Field Rexx in 2005. But it wasn’t until 2007’s selfreleased
Wild Mountain Nation made a big splash that they finally hit the road, setting the stage for
Furr’s release the following year. Powered by its title track
and by the G-funk-inflected “Black River Killer” that record became an unlikely hit and
the group suddenly found itself on network television and in glossy magazines and
astride colossal festival stages. So they released more music, toured the Western
world incessantly, got to work with the likes of Wilco, Stephen Malkmus, Guided By
Voices and Belle & Sebastian, and slowly became the band they’d always dreamed they
would be. Blitzen Trapper are frontman and songwriter Eric Earley, Marty Marquis,
Brian Adrian Koch, Michael Van Pelt and Erik Menteer.
VII opens with “Feel The Chill,” a southern adventure complete with a woman in her
underwear, deer hunting, and of course drowning at the local bar. Earley takes us down
a crooked bend so dark and gloomy you can smell the heat and feel the humidity
oppress you.  “Each song starts from a small place, a headwater like remembrance and
then widens into a song.  For instance, that old wreck of a shack buried in evergreen
and murky darkness at the bend in the road up on Jackson Hill where we used to drink,
never failed to give me a chill driving by in the old Impala for it’s implacable mystery,”
Earley notes.
Tracks like “Thirsty Man” speak of love in a Dylan-esque fashion where Earley reveals
“love like rain falls in the wasteland and slips thru the fingers – for love is a thing that
cannot be held, only felt and released”. “Drive On Up” is a soulful, almost bluesy
rendition of small town tales of quirkiness.  “It seems you’re always driving on up to
something.” Earley amuses, “into the mountains to see a girlfriend above the reservoir
where she lives in a single wide with her mom and a cougar stalks us at fifty yards
through the brush, she says to bang sticks but never look it in the eye.”
VII moves effortlessly from track to track, allowing Earley to paint the colorful pictures
that play in our head while singing along.  “…there are those songs I keep writing over
and over again, Ever Loved Once with all its regrets and tragic lost love, Don’t be a
Stranger its hopeful cousin but they all still point to the same worn out place in the heart
of old E. Earley.  And hey, we all have that place, that worn spot on the heart like the
chew canister circle on the back pocket of blue jeans, or that one shred in the green felt
of the table where you ground the stick in too hard… May these songs minister in ways
mysterious and eternal, or at least maybe make you shake a hip.“
VII will be available nationwide on October 1st.