Tag Archives: Punk

Kool Stuff Katie – Record Release at Kelly’s Olympian 4/30

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Shane Blem and Saren Oliver create a lot of energy with just two people! In a completely enjoyable Happy Hour interview at McMenamin’s Crystal Hotel Annex Bar, we asked all the important questions: where did your band name come from, how did you meet, what’s the inspiration behind the album…of course…and we got very informative and entertaining answers which you can hear in the audio track below.. What was most interesting , though, was how KOOL Shane and Saren are as people! They are clear that the intent of their band is to create an environment for people to have fun. I asked Shane what a new fan could expect at a live show. His immediate answer was “a hug!” Saren popped in with “they’re probably going to end up with merch!” Kool Stuff Katie will be your friends at the show, so don’t be afraid to come alone!

Kool-Stuff-Katie-03Saren told us about her journey of finding herself in and through music. She gives wise advice that is good for everyone: keep an eye on your life, check to make sure that you are doing things that make you happy and fulfilled. In her journey, she’s always wanted to help people – perhaps she didn’t anticipate that she and Shane would be doing that by sharing their individual personal struggles with listeners, but that very aspect of connection through music is what keeps many people going. Kool Stuff Katie deals with deep emotional pain and self-inventory through thought-provoking lyrics set to upbeat music. The two band mates are united in purpose and intent – get people on the dance floor! After all, who can be sad when they are dancing?

Kool-Stuff-Katie-01Kool Stuff Katie’s sound has raw vintage guitar tone that brings to mind bands like The Ramones, White Stripes, and even some early Led Zeppelin. That familiarity and classic presentation really speaks to those of us who love the classics. The lyrics are more emotionally stirring than what usually accompanies this style, so the music is well-worth a second listen… and a third…I’m very excited to see the live presentation of this energetic and dynamic band!

Kool-Stuff-Katie-02“It’s Fine” is the new CD, absolutely full of songs that I’m listening to over and over again. I really love “It’s All Your Fault.” We’ve shared the video with you below so that you have some ammunition for your next big argument. Kool Stuff Katie releases the record at Kelly’s Olympian this Saturday, April, 30, along with Comanche Joey and Trick Sensei. This is a great line up for a really fun place to dance. Cover is $5. The band will be giving away copies of “It’s Fine” until they run out. Their last release show sold out, and I expect this one to sell out early! The show is presented by Radio Hot Tub – for this special event, there will be lots of raffle prizes to give away, to help support Uncle Scotty’s Hot Tub. Show starts at 9pm.

Vortex Music Magazine recently published a record review of the new album, which will be available on the Kool Stuff Katie website after release. Join Portland Notes at this very special event for great music, big hugs, prizes, CD giveaways, and more!

When We Met – “Lift Off”

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When We Met band members Bryan and Melissa are getting very busy very quickly! Portland Notes managed to catch the dynamic duo between gigs and rehearsals for a quick email interview. When We Met has just released a new single “Lift Off” – and they’ve included a link to a free download in this very article! These two artists are a blast to talk to – with varied musical influences, humility, and a fantastic sense of humor, they offer a full band experience! Locals in fact and at heart, this couple will surprise you with their audio power!


Congratulations on a stellar week! You just had a gig on Friday 1/29, you were featured on Robert Richter’s Local Roots show, AND your song “Things We Talked About” was just played at a Blazer game for thousands of fans! How are you feeling right now? Is it overwhelming to have all these eyes and ears on you?

When-We-Met-02Bryan: This is all FANTASTIC!! …we’re “walking on sunshine” Kelly. It’s not so much of an overwhelming feeling, it’s awesome! We had such a great show at The Firkin Tavern! It’s one of our favorite dive bars to play at. I ran sound for all the bands, including our own sound. I’m a team player and a music lover myself, so I want all the bands on the bill to sound incredible. When there’s no “sound person”, I’m always the one to step in and get things setup. I’ll lay out everything ahead of time, troubleshoot any problems, adjust levels and EQ. I got a lot of props on how great everything sounded! We are really grateful for all the support we’ve had throughout our short music career. Including all the radio support from Radio Hot Tub, 94.7 NRK, KPSU, Anarchy Radio and recently being played on Robert Richter’s Local Roots show! We are thankful, humbled, and honored. Hearing our song at the Blazer game was absolutely unbelievable! It kinda blew my mind… I wasn’t expecting it at all. I immediately took a picture of the big Moda screen that had our band name and name of the song being played and sent it to Melissa. Such a cool thing to happen while watching the game with my little nephew Joey!

Melissa: Yes, we work really hard and it is neat when you see it pay off! I’m super happy and grateful.

Alternative electro-rock, eh? What bands would you say have been your greatest influences?

Melissa: I have been very passionate about a lot music. But I feel like when I discovered the “Indie” genre, bands such as Modest Mouse and Pinback, I was the most inspired to make music myself.

When-We-Met-01Bryan: I’ve taken in inspiration from all types of music genres, ever since I can remember. If we go back to when I started playing music in my first band in high school, I would say Alternative Rock from the 90’s: Nirvana, Radiohead, NIN & Smashing Pumpkins. There were also local Portland bands around that time like Heatmiser (Elliott Smith), King Black Acid & Everclear that I all got to see live at La Luna. I also enjoyed bands like Sunny Day Real Estate, The Cure, Depeche Mode, Dead Kennedys, NOFX, Beck, Jane’s Addiction, TOOL, Red Hot Chili Peppers, G n R, Led Zeppelin & The Beatles.

How DID you two meet, and how do you work so well together?

Melissa: We met at a rock show at The Wonder Ballroom. With that being said we encourage single folks to come out to our shows, it’s a great way to make a connection!! We work well together because we respect each other as people and artists. Bryan is my biggest cheerleader and I hope he can say the same for me!

Bryan: So lucky we met When We Met…LOL ~And YES, we make a great team! From singing Sesame Street songs to “You are my sunshine”, to PUNK Rock, our musical tastes are constantly evolving and inspiring everywhere between and beyond. Melissa and I split up much of our duties and team up on things as well.

I love your blog – you don’t just talk about your gigs, you address music issues and talk about your emotional experiences through the journey that is When We Met. What topics can we expect to see?

Melissa: Thank you! I was apprehensive to make that page public and do get a little nervous when I make entries. But sometimes I just feel like sharing. The blog tends to be my thing, but I like to include Bryan. Typically I will read my entry to him for any feedback. We like our content to be a collaboration. The next couple entry’s are focused on the use of the term “female bass player” and my project I started at one point about bass with a focus on women.

Bryan: Collaborations are always the best…More blogs for the readers and other bloggers soon to come!

How do you describe your music – what kinds of things would you expect an audience to FEEL, to THINK about while you play?

When-We-Met-02Bryan: Our music is mixture of natural and electronic elements. It’s a touch of earth, water, fire, wind blended with the cosmic storms and spacial frequencies. We tend to appeal to a wide audience. From little kids to teenage lovers… To young & old Punk Rockers to a group of elderlies known as “The Greys”. We make music to dance to, music to sing to, music to love to, music to rock and trip out to. And music that could soundtrack your souls. WWM writes about real life and imaginary stories. One song might mean many different things to many different people. Music is so powerful how it can impact our lives and set the moods of our adventures.

Melissa: Well said, Bryan. As far as live performances go, I try to give out fun, good energy and hope to receive it back. I really love playing, and hope that it translates into something that connects with people.

What’s next for When We Met? I hear you have a show at the Roseland? Do you have any ideas who you might play with? Who do you most want to play with in Portland?

Melissa: We want to play with Hustle and Drone and Modest Mouse!!

When-We-Met-03Bryan: We just finished recording, mixing, and mastering our new song “Lift Off” in the studio. Just submitted it to PDX POP NOW! Hoping it will get voted to make the compilation and perform live at their festival this year. Fingers crossed! Not sure who we’re playing with at The Roseland Theater yet. Only one other band is being selected to play at this amazing art event. We’d like to play with anyone who’s likeminded, respectful, fun, creative, serious, team player and real with no egos, just confidence and talent and a little humor 🙂 We are starting to record a full length album.


Download their new single here: http://www.whenwemet.band/lift-off

They have 3 shows coming up:

Wednesday, March 9 @ 7:00 PM – ALBERTA STREET PUB
1036 NE Alberta St, Portland, OR
Robert Richter’s “Local Roots” show… Broadcast on KMUZ-FM 100.7 in Salem!

Wednesday, March 30 @ 7:00 PM – ROSELAND THEATER
10 NW 6th Ave , Portland, OR Presented by RAW Artists!
TICKETS: http://www.rawartists.org/whenwemet

Saturday, May 7 @ 8:00 PM – DANTE’S
350 W Burnside, Portland, Oregon
ANARCHY RADIO’s 4 year Anniversary Party!

More Info on these shows can be found on their website’s show page: http://whenwemet.band/shows