Portugal. The Man, the experimental/alt-indie-band from Wasilla, Alaska, may not have quite as many people talking about them as fellow Wasillian Sarah Palin, but the band has developed a hell of a buzz since their stand-out performance at this year's Bonnaroo. If you missed that acclaimed show, their first-ever at a major U.S. festival, you can catch them on their North American headline tour that kicks off with two New York shows, August 4 and 5 (already sold out), and includes a stop at this year's Lollapalooza (August 9) in Chicago and Outside Lands Festival (August 29) in San Francisco (complete itinerary below).
The tour is in support of the band's brand-new album, their fourth, The Satanic Satanist (produced by Paul Q. Kolderie/Radiohead, the Pixies) which hit stores, July 21.
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 40 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."
The Satanic Satanist and this upcoming headline tour may put an end to Portugal. The Man's relative obscurity. The new album is not about the worship of Satan, but instead an 11-track, densely-layered blend of indie rock/Motown/soul/prog-ish synths/70s classic rock'n'roll serving as a bed to a very personal look at the childhood experiences of front man John Baldwin Gourley, who grew up in the wilds of the Alaskan frontier.
An album chockfull of standouts, The Satanic Satanist's lead-off track, "People Say," finds Gourley speaking out against the human cost of war, "Lovers in Love" sees the band working the groove like Isaac Hayes or Curtis Mayfield in their blaxploitation days, while "Work All Day" could pass for ?uestlove slowing down the beat to "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)."
And then there's the packaging for The Satanic Satanist, a true throw-back to the innovative album packaging of the 60s and 70s. The package features Gourley's trademark surreal, psychedelic-era drawings, and folds out, Origami-like, into different shapes and sizes - one fan was so taken by the packaging, he posted an "unfolding" of it on the internet - http://underthegunreview.net/?p=3399
Certainly something one might expect from a Platinum-plus, major label-funded package, and not a totally DIY, breaking band.Portugal. The Man has been steadily building a devoted fan bass and garnered an strong under-the-mainstream buzz with the release of three full-length CDs, 2006's Waiter: "You Vultures!", 2007's Church Mouth (the latter of which debuted on the Billboard Top Alternative New Artists chart at lucky #13), and 2008's Censored Colors, and three EPs, The Pines, the Devil (2006), Devil Say I, I Say Air (digital EP, 2006), and It's Complicated Being a Wizard (2007).
Portugal. The Man will welcome Hockey* on the second portion of the tour and Drug Rug** as support on many of their summer/fall dates.
Dates for Portugal. The Man's Summer/Fall North American 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 The Waiting Room, Omaha, NE
14 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
16 The Union, LTD, Vancouver, BC CANADA
17 Chop Suey, Seattle, WA
18 WOW Hall, Eugene, OR
19 NXNW Festival/Roseland Theatre, Portland, OR
22 Harlow's San Francisco, CA
23 Independent, San Francisco, CA
25 Troubadour, Los Angeles, CA
26 Glass House, Pomona, CA
28 Belly Up, San Diego, CA
29 The Clubhouse, Tucson, AZ
1 Sante Fe Brewing Company, Santa Fe, NM
2 B-Side Lounge, Boulder, CO
3 B-Side Lounge, Boulder, CO
8 Majestic Theatre, Madison, WI
9 Turner Hall, Milwaukee, WI
10 Schubas, Chicago, IL
11 Schubas, Chicago, IL
13 Magic Bag, Detroit, MI
14 Horseshoe Tavern, Toronto, ONT CANADA
16 Maxwell's, Hoboken, NJ
18 Paradise Rock Club, Boston, MA
20 Higher Ground, Burlington, VT
21 Pearl Street, Northampton, MA
22 Johnny Brenda's Philadelphia, PA
23 Bowery Ballroom, New York, NY (CMJ)