Don’t ever change, Starlight Mints

I see blue light, though not starlight

I see blue light, though not starlight

Such are the depths of my Catholic guilt that I feel pretty bad for my neglect of a project that’s supposed to be a NSA labor of love. But here I am, contrite and still smelling like the fumes from the wreckage that was my last week or so. Lordy (there’s that Catholic upbringing rearing its wimple-clad head again), I’ve been a busy girl. So it was with great relief that I spent the final day of last weekend engaged in very little. I mean, I got out of bed and brushed my teeth way before dinner, so it’s not as if I did absolute diddly squat with my day. Though if diddly squat and poor oral hygiene were the agenda that the day had in mind, I probably wouldn’t have fought it too hard.

I did a bit of movie-watching (though not for a little duration – that new Harry Potter be long) as well as a bit of cleaning and even a bit of cooking. If you’ve been in Portland for the last few days, you understand that any time spent heating up edible items in the current climate is, at best, commendable and at worst, insane. However, cooking gave me the opportunity for the first time in a while to marinate at home and listen to new music. If you asked me to name one of the most pleasurable experiences a person can do without assistance, I would tell you that a stereo that rings with audio sustenance while you cook for yourself is hard to beat.

The Starlight Mints’ newest album, Change Remains, was a brilliant addition to my lazy Sunday. For the short attention span of a sluggish weekend, it offers a dizzying array of sounds. Some of the early tracks could be straight-up disco anthems (or singles from one of the throwback rock bands of the mid-aughts, if you’re more cynical). Then “Black Champagne” bursts out with its unbridled pep, almost begging for a John Hughes montage to transpire between the ambitious joggers and cyclists outside. The band pays a big tribute to Of Montreal or possibly Sparks in the playfully harmonized, fast-paced “Sesame (Untie the Wrath)” and then goes off past the stratosphere on a rubbery bass string in “Snorkel with a Turtle.” I’d probably like any album that includes a track named “Snorkel with a Turtle.” But beyond their bizarre titles, the Starlight Mints put on a fun, kooky time. Although the connection is already beaten to death, it’s very fitting that the Starlight Mints comes from the same town as the Flaming Lips. It will be great to discover what other tricks and inventions this band has waiting in their hats.

The Starlight Mints wil play at the Doug Fir on Thursday, July 30. JP Inc. will also play.

  • Starlight Mints ~ Change Remains ~ Barsuk

Black Champagne

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