Home > Concert Photos, Indie Rock, Post-rock, Rock & Pop > REVIEW: The Album Leaf @ Doug Fir Lounge (Portland, OR – 2/5/10)

REVIEW: The Album Leaf @ Doug Fir Lounge (Portland, OR – 2/5/10)

6th Feb 10 (Sat) Leave a comment Go to comments


I got into The Album Leaf back in 2004 with In a Safe Place after hearing about the Sigur Rós collaborative songs (and Icelandic former-swimming pool studio).  I’ve been a fan of frontman Jimmy LaValle ever since In a Safe Place, which also spanned into a love of his prior band, Tristeza.  His mold of organically-infused electronic post-rock fits me well.  I missed him on his last time through (Jan 2009); so I vowed not to let it happen again… so this time, I’m hitting both Portland and Eugene, Oregon.

We got to the venue, got our tickets and ran off to grab some unfortunately salty grub (East End Bar must own stock in Morton’s).  After a speedy walk back, we arrived back at the Doug Fir shortly after Sea Wolf started .  They are an indie rock band from Los Angeles, and played a solid 45 minute set…

Sea Wolf’s Setlist:
(as per stage copy)

  • White Water
  • Winter Windows
  • Dew in the Grass
  • Black Leaf Falls
  • Middle Distance Runner
  • The Traitor
  • O’ Maria
  • Turn the Dirt Over
  • Wicked Blood
  • You’re a Wolf

Sea Wolf reminded me a lot of Wilco… maybe it was singer/guitarist Alex Church’s vocals.  They have a roots rock meets singer-songwriter vibe that hearkened to Wilco in my mind.  They busted out a harder rock tune (in comparison to The Album Leaf), but also had nice cello throughout their set.  Great opener… I’m looking forward to Eugene’s show to hear more.

After a short break (and a move to the front), The Album Leaf (aka TAL) came on.  The Portland show featured the Anomie Belle String Quartet (shown at the left), which presumably added nice textures to the already large, six piece band.  Where we were lopcated, we could barely hear them.

With this new album (see below), Jimmy opened up the recording to more than just himself as well.  Previous records were more in the “one man band” realm, with a band assembled for tours.  It was nice to the see the band that hit the studio with him on A Chorus of Storytellers play those same songs live.  The band was Jimmy LaValle, Matt Resovich, Drew Andrews, Gram LeBron, Tim Reece, and Andrew Pates – all on various instruments.

Being the first time seeing TAL, I honestly had no idea what to expect.  We lucked out in the placement department… as Jimmy’s gear was right in front of us.

I was skeptical if the studio lushness would translate to the stage.  Quite frankly, I think the electronic post-rock goodness, complete with drum machine and a regular drummer, worked out fantastically.  They played a lot of material from the new record, which fit in well with earlier songs…

The Album Leaf’s Setlist: about stellar 80 minutes

  • Perro
  • Blank Pages
  • There is a Wind
  • Within Dreams * fave of the night *
  • Falling from the Sun
  • Stand Still * fave of the night *
  • 2214 * fave of the night *
  • Outer Banks * fave of the night *
  • Shine
  • Until the Last
  • We Are
  • Almost There
  • Wherever I Go
  • Encore: Always For You
  • Red Eye * fave of the night *
  • Tied Knots

The band members switched around on instruments.  Jimmy played several different keyboards, including a Moog and a modulator of some sort.  Other members pitched in on keyboards when a violin, trumpet, small vibraphone, bass, or guitar weren’t in their hands.  While I still associate TAL as a primarily instrumental band in my mind, their last few albums have had increasingly more vocals.  I’d estimate a 1/3 to a 1/2 of the songs had vocals last night – covered by Jimmy, but with frequent backing vocals from various band members.  My friend who went along with me commented that the songs seemed fairly similar throughout the show.  Alas, I suppose that’s the rub with TAL, but I dug it fairly well.

many more live photos below

I’ll also be at the Eugene show on Tuesday; so check back for that review next week.  Oh, and definitely check out The Album Leaf’s new album, A Chorus of Storytellers.  I got it at the show, and it is fantastic!

The Appropriate Linkage:

Check out more tour dates below.

~Dan – np: The Album LeafA Chorus of Storytellers

all pictures (cc) 2010 Daniel Temmesfeld,
you may use freely under a creative commons attribution

(click for larger)

The Album Leaf Spring 2010 World Tour Dates

  • Feb 3: Sacramento, CA @ Harlows
  • Feb 5: Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge (w/Anomie Belle String Quartet)
  • Feb 6: Seattle, WA @ Neumos (w/Anomie Belle String Quartet)
  • Feb 7: Vancouver, BC @ Rickshaw Theater(w/Anomie Belle String Quartet)
  • Feb 8: Bellingham, WA @ Nightlight Lounge
  • Feb 9: Eugene , OR @ WOW Hall
  • Feb 11: Santa Cruz @ The Crepe Place
  • Feb 12: San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall (w/Magik*Magik String Quartet)
  • Feb 13: Los Angeles, CA @ El Rey Theater (w/Magik*Magik String Quartet)
  • Feb 25: Lisbon, Portugal @ Lisbon Santiago Alquimista
  • Feb 26: Madrid, Spain @ Moby Dick
  • Feb 27: Bilboa, Spain @ 12 & Medio
  • Feb 28: Barcelona, Spain @ Apollo 2
  • Mar 2: Toulouse, France @ Le Phare
  • Mar 3: Milan, Italy @ Circolo Milano
  • Mar 4: Lucerne, Switzerland @ Sudpol Club
  • Mar 5: Dunidgen (Bern), Switzerland @ @ Bad Bonn
  • Mar 6: Sankt Gallen, Switzerland @ Theater Palace
  • Mar 7: Munich, Germany @ Feierwerk
  • Mar 9: Vienna, Austria @ Szene
  • Mar 10: Dresden, Germany @ BeatPol
  • Mar 11: Berlin, Germany @ Lido
  • Mar 12: Hamburg, Germany @ Knust
  • Mar 13: Rotterdam, Holland @ Rotown
  • Mar 14: Koln, Germany @ Gebauude 9
  • Mar 16: Antwerp, Belgium @ Club Trix
  • Mar 17: Colmar, France @ Kraken
  • Mar 18: Heidelberg, Germany @ Karlstorbahnhof
  • Mar 19: Paris, France @ Maroquinerie
  • Mar 20: Lille, France @ L’ Aeronef
  • Mar 21: Bristol, UK @ The Thekla
  • Mar 22 Manchester, UK @ The Deaf Institute
  • Mar 23: London, UK @ Bush Hall
  • Apr 2: Tokyo, Japan @ Shibuya Ax
  • Apr 3: Nagoya, Japan @ Club Quatrro
  • Apr 4: Osaka, Japan @ Club Quattro
  • Apr 7: Hong Kong @ Grappa’s Cellar
  • Apr 9: Taipei, Taiwan @ The Wall Live House

And just announced on Feb 3rd (and from Pollstar; so a different format)…

  • Tue 04/20/10 – Tucson, AZ – Plush
  • Wed 04/21/10 – Albuquerque, NM – Launchpad
  • Thu 04/22/10 – Denver, CO – Bluebird Theater
  • Fri 04/23/10 – Omaha, NE – The Waiting Room
  • Sat 04/24/10 – St. Louis, MO – Luminary Center For The Arts
  • Sun 04/25/10 – Chicago, IL – Lincoln Hall
  • Tue 04/27/10 – Grand Rapids, MI – Ladies Literary Club
  • Wed 04/28/10 – Toronto, ON – Lee’s Palace
  • Thu 04/29/10 – Montreal, QC – Music Hall
  • Fri 04/30/10 – Boston, MA – Paradise Rock Club
  • Sat 05/01/10 – New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom
  • Sun 05/02/10 – Philadelphia, PA – First Unitarian Church
  • Tue 05/04/10 – Washington, DC – Rock And Roll Hotel
  • Wed 05/05/10 – Carrboro, NC – Cat’s Cradle
  • Thu 05/06/10 – Atlanta, GA – The Loft At Center Stage
  • Fri 05/07/10 – Jacksonville, FL – Jack Rabbits
  • Sat 05/08/10 – Orlando, FL – The Social
  • Mon 05/10/10 – Baton Rouge, LA – Spanish Moon
  • Tue 05/11/10 – Austin, TX – The Parish Room
  • Fri 05/14/10 – San Diego, CA – Birch North Park Theatre

  1. james
    30th May 10 (Sun) at 8:47 am

    hi there. the “small vibraphone” you mention is actually an instrument called “orchestra bells” or simply “bells”. they are similar to the vibraphone in that they are a metallic keyboard played with mallets. interestingly, the set that I saw Matt Resovich playing with TAL is a beginner model that comes with a practice pad in a set for budding percussionists in school bands. I still have mine from 6th grade!

    ps – bells are also known as a glockenspiel in mostly formal or old school marching band settings.

    more info:


  2. Leev
    13th Jul 10 (Tue) at 8:04 am

    Dude thanks for the reviews! I’m catching them in Singapore in Sept and I can’t wait! I hope it’ll be as intimate as the shows in the US.

  3. Theo
    12th Jan 11 (Wed) at 10:51 pm

    I was at this concert! :D
    It was so nice coming across this. You and I probably raced to the setlist.

    but I got one and the autograph :3
    I love visiting portland.

    • 13th Jan 11 (Thu) at 7:06 am

      Cool. :) I had taken a photo of it, didn’t think to grab it later. Glad you got it. :)

  1. 10th Feb 10 (Wed) at 7:12 am
  2. 17th Feb 10 (Wed) at 6:51 am

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