Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Portugal. The Man Announces U.S. Dates

With the buzz growing increasingly louder as the July 21 release date approaches for Portugal. The Man's brand-new album, The Satanic Satanist, the group will launch a U.S. headlining tour with two New York-area dates -- August 4 at Brooklyn's Union Pool, and August 5 at the Mercury Lounge in New York City. In addition, the band will play Lollapalooza on Sunday, August 9 at 1:30PM on the Playstation Stage, and at Outside lands on August 29 on the Panhandle Stage at 3:10PM.

P.TM's jumping to bona fide festival attraction was proven by the band's most recent show-stopping appearance at Bonnaroo on June 11 which led to several media accolades, including Whitney Pastorek of Entertainment Weekly, who declared the band was "My favorite new discovery," as well as Jim Fusilli from the Wall Street Journal, who raved that P.TM was the "best set I heard last night, and my very early contender for the best set of the festival."

Touring in support of The Satanic Satanist, Portugal. The Man - guitarist/vocalist John Baldwin Gourley, bassist/singer Zachary Scott Carothers, keyboardist/singer Ryan Neighbors, and drummer Jason Sechrist - will perform some 50 shows in North America between August and October, culminating on October 23 back in New York at the CMJ Music Marathon & Film Festival. The band will incorporate a number of the new songs into their set, and, according to Gourley, "There may be a little less jamming than we've done before, but there will be some new takes on some of the older songs."

About the group's first-ever festival appearance at Bonnaroo, Gourley recalls, "It was amazing in every way. I don't know how everything just worked out in our favor, but it did, in the best possible way. We showed up, and it was kind of rainy, and obviously we were a little nervous about that. Delta Spirit, who was playing directly before us, missed their flight, but that worked out to be a blessing in disguise for both os us. They ended up playing later at midnight, and we got an hour-long soundcheck, which is never going to happen at a festival. The sun came out and everything warmed up and, just as we were going onstage, there was a beautiful sunset. The audience's reaction was really great, and it was one of those nights that was just so perfect."

As we favor downloads over CDs and records, and elaborate album artwork becomes a thing of the past, the ever-artsy Gourley has, regardless, come up with absolutely eye-popping artwork for The Satanic Satanist (along with art designer Austin Sellers). The package features Gourley's trademark surreal, psychedelic-era drawings, and folds out, Origami-like, into different shapes and sizes. Every time you fold or unfold it, everything is still lined up to be a picture. Musically, the new album is a bold step forward for the band as well. "Sound-wise, it's such a mix of 60s pop songs with somewhat 90s sounds...and lots of Pink Floyd synthesizers as well. It's definitely a step away from Censored Colors, but it maintained some of the same idea."

The band is currently on tour in Europe where they will be until early August, playing major summer festivals. "This is our sixth time touring Europe, but it's our first time playing Portugal, England and Finland. In the past, we've just played Germany, Austria and Switzerland. We have the Hurricane and Southside Festivals coming up, as well as a handful of other European festivals. I think Bonnaroo gave us the confidence that we needed going into 'the festival situation.' Obviously, a little more hectic than the standard club shows, but at the same time, you get to share the same stage with Santogold and Grizzly Bear, bands that we normally don't get to see. The festivals for us as music fans is just amazing."

With many more to be added, initial headline dates for Portugal. The Man's Summer/Fall 2009 tour are as follows:

4 Union Pool, Brooklyn, NY
5 Mercury Lounge, New York, NY
7 Grog Shop, Cleveland, OH
9 Lollapalooza, Grant Park, Chicago IL (1:30PM, Playstation Stage)
11 Vaudeville Mews, Des Moines, IA
12 Slowdown Front Room, Omaha, NE
13 Hi-Dive, Denver, CO
27 Crepe Place, Santa Cruz, CA
29 Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival, Golden Gate Park Polo Field, San Francisco, CA
(3:10PM, Panhandle Stage)

3 Fred Meyer Lounge, Linfield College, McMinnville, OR

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