Seaweed, Flannel, and Coffee Beans – A Blitzen Trapper Artist Spotlight

Imagine you’re making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
Only, instead of jelly, you’re putting alternative country music on it. And
instead of peanut butter, you’re smearing some groove rock. And instead of
bread, you’re building your sandwich upon the very essence of Portland.

Such is the recipe for making Blitzen Trapper, one of
Portland’s finest musical offerings and Rainn Wilson’s favorite band. Originally called
Garmonbozia, this agglomeration of musical geniuses utilizes a range of genres
to create a sound like no other. Every album offers something a little
different, with the older albums experimenting more than the newer albums.
Their sound seems to have settled on a country groove rock that is just wonderful.

If you want to start listening to Blitzen Trapper, and you
should, I suggest you listen to several of their songs. Because their sound can
vary quite a bit between songs, going from standard folk on one track to groovy country
rock on another, one song just won’t do. I’ll give you a few songs that are good examples of their music, but there are many more that you should check out. 

The song “Black River Killer”, off their album, Furr, is one of their most popular songs. This is the song that got me
hooked on phonics Blitzen Trapper. The folky guitar combined with the
chill drum beat caught my ear faster than a barefoot jackrabbit on a hot greasy
griddle in the middle of August. If a cowboys inner demons had a sound, this would be it. 

Gold for Bread”, also off Furr, is a great introduction into their more experimental sounds,
as well their rock influences that are prevalent throughout their work. A fun
drinking game with Blitzen Trapper is to take a drink every time they sing a
lyric that you don’t understand. I’m not responsible for any liver damage that may occur. If anyone can explain the lyrics to this one to me, please do. 

Wild Mountain Nation” is the title track to the album that
first really hit it big for them. This song has a Grateful Dead vibe, and was
ranked the 98th best track of 2007 by Rolling Stone. Why it wasn’t
number one is a mystery to me. “Roc Boys” by Jay-Z was ranked number one; an
inferior track, in my mind.

If you liked this music, Blitzen Trapper has a show coming up at The Neptune on November 19 that you should definitely go to. If you see me there, be sure to ask for my
autograph.  

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Niles Kyholm



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