Portland's indie pop darling AAN (pronounced "on") has been illuminating the Pacific Northwest's indie scene with alternative experimental pop music since 2007. Painted with elements of folk, psychedelia and even surf rock, the band's sound is vibrant but textured with humming guitars and plush harmonies that are powered by the raw, four octave-ranged vocals of Bud Wilson.
AAN recently released "Mystery Life," the first single off of its forthcoming debut LP Amor Ad Nauseum, along with the B-side "Spiritual Provisions" and an accompanying music video that makes light of a life-or-death situation. A game of cat and mouse, the video opens with a man and his scythe-wielding pursuer. Although they begin their journey on skateboards, the action quickly escalates - a motorcycle chase, cliff jumping, a stolen speedboat. Set to the quick-paced guitar riffs and almost frenzied vocals of "Mystery Life," the story continues in a playful manner as the reaper hunts his victim, casually displaying traits of humanity, signs of empathy and desire, by offering a homeless man some change and accepting a beer from partying beach-goers. Man and death eventually make a truce over a pepperoni pizza and continue on as friends to visit a strip club, ride a roller coaster and enjoy the company of some girls. Death never forgets his task at hand though, proving that not all problems can be solved with a slice of pizza.
The band is traveling south later this month for San Francisco's 2013 Noise Pop Festival, rounding out a lineup at the Hemlock Tavern on February 28th. Headlining the night will be New York City-based experimental psych rock veterans Psychic Ills, who have been churning the minds of listeners since releasing their first single in 2003. Sandwiched between AAN and the Ills are Föllakzoid, a spacey psychedelic band from Santiago, Chile and San Francisco's own Mike Donovan of the garage psych group Sic Alps, making for a tight-knit but colorful lineup.
Psychic Ills, Mike Donovan, Föllakzoid, AAN
Hemlock Tavern, Noise Pop 2013
February 28, 2013
8:00pm, $10/advance, $12/doors