Oregon Music News: Oregon’s all-genre music magazine since 2009


Rachel Yamagata Set to Captivate Portland at the Old Church This Wednesday

By MIKE LEWIS // The Old Church with its gothic Victorian design seems the ideal location for Rachel Yamagata and her exotic Indie Rock.

Like it or not the music industry has long been the land of manufactured music. Some of the top selling artists who amass millions of records sales, perform to sellout crowds and win award after award are often little more than the byproduct of some producer in the shadows while their music is composed by someone other than themselves. Those that are on the outside of this are often merely a flavor of the month that is packaged to satisfy the ever-hungry palette of the music consumer but all too quickly their star fades as they are replaced by another all-too-eager pop star ready to become the public's next audible buffet.

This however isn’t true of every musician. There are those who have legitimately earned their place in the music industry who may have faded but still continue on while others may not quite seem to elevate to the same level as their contemporaries. However, some may not necessarily need to reach that same level and while fame may come with its rewards, it also seem inevitable that it also comes loaded with its downfalls and curses. There are music genres beneath what is the norm where talents have blossomed and flourished, often without getting the same multi-million dollar push as others.

The world of indie and alternative is a very interesting and unique musical offering which at some points has given the world some memorable names. Rachael Yamagata may not necessarily be one of the huge names that would come to mind when discussing this variety of music but her career has spanned more than a decade. She’s collaborated with a number of other musicians included the originator of reggae Frederick Hibbert whom some may know better as the leader of Toots and the Maytals. With a number of singles, some of which have been included in film and television, EP’s and four full-length albums to her credit, one of which happened to be released on Megaforce Records which helped launch another band in the music you may have heard of, a little band by the name of Metallica, Rachael seems to have done rather well thus far in her career.

2016 saw the release of her fourth album, Tightrope Walker, and while it may seem rather pointless to some for an artist to embark on a tour in support of an older album, keep in mind that Billy Joel hasn’t put out a new album in two decades and can still pack the house. For those unfamiliar with Yamagata’s blend of music, it sets itself part from the usual tapestry of music woven by those in the world of indie rock. It goes beyond the norm and is a well-crafted fusion of slow-tempo rock pepper with elements of blues and jazz and wrapped in her darkly seductive vocal style and sound as dangerous as it can soothing.

Rachel Yamagata’s tour however is coming near its end but before she reaches the final destination a well-deserved stop here in Portland, OR is on the agenda. The setting however is one that many may have simply passed by, not realizing that it was actually a venue on occasion. The Old Church with its gothic Victorian design seems the ideal location for Rachel Yamagata and her exotic indie rock and certainly doesn’t look to disappoint.

ON TOUR: Rachel Yamagata visits the Old Church along with Thom Lyons on March 7th, 2018. Tickets for the event are $20 in advance and currently still available.

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