Local act moves away, gets busy
By Chuck Adams
Please add DoublePlusGood to the storied list of Eugene bands who’ve moved on to bigger, better things in Portland. Shortly after UO grad Erik Carlson’s one-man band landed in the City of Roses, he launched the SoHiTek record label and released an EP by Church (PDX’s next big little thing). During all this, he toured and prepped his follow-up to 2007’s Somehow Everyone I Know Is Here, which EW called a “synth-notic, melodic journey through the dreamscape.” Carlson wrote new songs last winter that, he says, seemed to be “more dance focused.” He joked that he would create a “Dancipation Proclamation,” and that soon turned into the title and concept of the new EP (scheduled for a March 2009 release). “We’re doing an early winter tour to try and hype things,” says Carlson, who recently added two new members to the DPG lineup, fleshing out the band with drums and bass.
This tour will be the first to incorporate new members Pieter Hilton and Grant Hall to fill out DPG’s sound. Both Hilton and Hall are Carlson’s longtime friends. “It’s a really fun balancing act,” Carlson says, “figuring out where my beats and electronic influence kind of have to take a step back, and where their live energy takes the reins.” But, as Carlson points out, he wrote Proclamation “pre band.”
The track off DPG’s competent electro-pop album with the most potential is “Get That,” a synth-dub ballad that pits Carlson’s warm vocals over a tapestry of electronic pops and squiggles. “Cause when everything streamlines in the way we live / and we finally relax in our space and skin,” Carlson sings on the track, “the less the room / the more ways out.” Sometimes those digital squiggles are pushed beyond maximum tolerability. On “Parallel Lines,” Carlson warps his voice with a vocal transformer and, unfortunately, sounds like every other auto-tuned entertainer (Akon, Kayne West, Cher). Perhaps DPG could take a hint from electro-dance newcomers Passion Pit and strip things down a bit, toss out half the blips and bleeps and focus in on the gooey pop elements. Carlson describes the trio’s sound as “less rigid, more loose,” so it’ll be interesting to hear what DPG: The Band cooks up.
DoublePlusGood, Emkaytwo and El Comé Homé. 10 pm Saturday, Dec. 20. Luckey’s • $5 • 21+ show.