Palo Verde
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Palo Verde

Portland, Oregon, United States | SELF

Portland, Oregon, United States | SELF
Band Metal Rock

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"Improg"

A lot of people probably don?t realize that Stick It In is all improv. I don?t blame them. Lauren K. Newman?s drumming is front and center and perfectly in synch with guitarist Terrica Kleinknecht (both are also in Newman?s band, LKN). Newman implements intricate patterns in her lightning-quick, tom-heavy drumming that seem as though they have to have been planned as they intersect with the peaks of Kleinknecht?s mid-range prog. This duo has all the dynamism of bands that spend months on their songs and spontaneity. JASON SIMMS. Towne Lounge. 9:30 pm. Cover. 21+.
- Willamette Week


"Soundbites"

STICKITIN, JUST BEFORE THE HOLIDAYS!
Earlier this week, we received an e-mail from Steven Eye, who wrote from his Solar Culture Gallery headquarters to let us know that he booked a late-breaking show. It seems two women from Portland, Ore., had contacted him to ask if they could play at the gallery this Friday, Dec. 21. They had a gig in Los Angeles on the 20th and one in El Paso, Texas, on the 22nd, and as the legendary Mike Watt has reminded bands for decades now, "If you ain't playin', you're payin'"--meaning, of course, that if you have a night off while you're touring, you're spending money when you could be making it.
So, Eye did his homework, checked them out and decided to book 'em based on their merits (and probably because he's too darn nice to say no--unless they really suck).

Which, we're happy to report, they don't--although they do have a rather horrible name: stickitin. That's what they're going with, these two women from Portland--drummer Lauren K. Newman and guitarist Terrica Kleinknecht. They've got another band together, LKN, but as stickitin, here's what they do: improv, proggy stoner rock.

Now, as anyone who attended the RRIICCEE show at Solar Culture earlier this month knows, performing purely improvised music in a live setting is not as easy as it may seem. RRIICCEE traded on their celebrity (Vincent Gallo and Hole's Eric Erlandson are both members) to sell pretentious snake oil to a decent-sized crowd willing to risk their hard-earned money to see them. But nobody knew that going in, of course. At its peak, RRIICCEE's performance never rose above amateur hour. (I learned that Vince Gallo and I have more in common than I could have imagined; for one thing, we both play a lot of instruments really poorly.) Or, as one audience member put it halfway through the first awful song of many throughout the night: "Fifteen bucks?! For this?!"

If the members of RRIICCEE want to experiment with playing improvised music together, fine. More power to them. Just keep it in the home studio where it belongs; it's a travesty to charge $15 for it to an unsuspecting crowd.

But I digress. Don't let the improv tag scare you away in this case: The women of stickitin actually know how to play their instruments. Newman's drumming is front and center, while Kleinknecht locks into her groove with thick riffs, discordant angularity and the seeming ability to read her partner's mind when it comes to changes. To paraphrase what one writer once wrote: If you didn't know stickitin was an improv duo going into a show, you still might not know it when you leave. That's how tight they are.

Oh, and I should probably mention that most of their "songs" are instrumentals. Once in a while, they'll chant something or other, but that's about it as far as lyrics go. (Bonus points for naming one of their jams "Peabo Bryson" after the '70s/'80s lite-soul crooner, even if doesn't seem to have anything to do with him: Its primary, spoken lyrics are: "I'll never stick a dirty hand in your cunt.")

- Tucson Weekly


"Up and Coming"

And there's Palo Verde, the duo of drummer Lauren K. Newman (LKN) and guitarist Terrica Kleinknecht, whose telepathically improvised slabs of sludge-metal riffing are brutal punishment of the very best kind. NED LANNAMANN
- Portland Mercury


"Outer Bounds Of Sound"

Following some ambient laptop wrangling by tsone, touring band Palo Verde took the floor. You know you're in for a good show when the drummer blows her nose in her tee shirt and slams a Red Bull before the first song. The duo of guitarist Terrica Kelinknect and drummer Lauren Newman launched into their tunes, each set improvised on the spot. "We try to get some nice textures," Newman laughed from underneath her mop of black matted hair. The group's violent, chugging riffs moved from math rock to deep grooves, often alternating into call and response snare hits. Kelinknect's guitar work acts as a sonic floor for Newman's out of control, drums-as-lead-instrument attack, beating on her kit with the blunt, bottom end of her drumsticks. The ladies only performed 3 songs, but each one felt like a work out, and the bloody and bruised crowd cheered as they finished, satisfied and maybe even a little relieved. As people shuffled up their make shift merch-table at the register, it became obvious that the kind of folks attending Revolver's Sunday night series are willing to endure a little musical punishment, and while upcoming concerts might not be as brutal as this one, downtown patrons can count on more interesting, or "terrible" to those not in the know, offerings from the showcase in upcoming weeks.



- Phoenix New Times


"Tonight In Music"

PALO VERDE, PLUVIAL, TYRANT (Ducketts Public House, 825 N Killingsworth) Everyone's favorite female improv sludge rock duo brings the noise to North Portland tonight. Hopefully you got a copy of Palo Verde's first and only hard copy release, History for the Rest of Eternity, out last month on their own record label Drunken Beagle. Drummer Lauren K. Newman combines her musical skills with guitarist Terrica Kleinknecht in live collaborations that bring brutal drum solos and bruising, pedal-fed riffage to the sonic limits. If you missed out on History for the Rest of Eternity, don't worry; a fresh batch of songs are yet to be born at each new show. MB
- Portland Mercury


"Hazard: Explosively telepathic women"

One hundred percent rock, 100 percent improv, 100 percent female. Experts in experimental distortion and cohesion, believers in cautionary audience participation and diehard lovers of rock 'n' roll, Palo Verde delivers an unparalleled performance of sweat, grime and explosive energy.

When the members of Palo Verde describe themselves as an improv duo, they use the word religiously. All of their live performances and recordings are jams that come to life in that moment—without any preconceived structure or format—never to be repeated again. Many musicians have tried, or at least toyed with, the fulfillment of this idea, but none seem to pull it off quite as well as this drum and guitar duo.

To say that Florida-born Lauren Newman plays drums in Palo Verde is a fierce understatement. In a world where drummers hide in the background, providing the security of a catchy beat, Newman defies all norms by not only being a cutthroat woman, but also by participating instrumentally like a lead guitarist or vocalist.

"I approach the drums for the instrument it is," Newman said. "It has tones like any other instrument, you know, like melodic and textural. I feel compelled to create like an abstract expressionist artist, like Pollock or something."

Terrica Kleinknecht, a fan of 7Up and french fries, provides the distorted and grungy glue that holds the whole project together. They are like yin and yang—one brutally beating out her presence with tribal force, the other's expertise more passive in the sense that it continues through changing shapes and sounds, exploring its freedom with grace and confidence.

Perhaps a driving factor in the band's intensity is that both musicians learned music through the kaleidoscope of a drum kit.

"A family friend of ours took me over to his house for the first time and basically put on a Kiss record from the '80s and told me to play along on the drums," Kleinknecht said. "From that moment I became instantly obsessed with the drums."

Palo Verde has undergone myriad metamorphoses. Originally when it came together in 2006, it was a drum duo with the risqué name Stick It In. Kleinknecht recalls the group as being a sort of performance art act, so full of new ideas that when its first show came along, the two hadn't actually prepared any material. Not wanting to abandon their fellow band, they decided that Kleinknecht would just make some noise on the guitar and hope for the best.

"It was kinda crazy," Kleinknecht said about that first show, "because I had never really played the guitar very seriously, but something about it just worked. When we first started it was a lot more about noise than it is now—we wanted to make the audience uncomfortable, you know? It was entertaining to see people's reactions. But now it's more like heavy-groove oriented."

More recently the two have been trying this new idea of channeling particular emotions or concepts through their music. Before they begin, the two will decide on an idea, like something "dark in hue and light in spirit" or Jim Morrison, and meditate on it throughout the show. The results are unprecedented.

Palo Verde is excited to announce the upcoming release of 100 full-length limited press vinyls, each adorned with its own unique piece of artwork and one of Newman's 100 different avant-garde sound collages she has compiled specifically for this purpose. Their release show will be on May 23 at Rotture. Definitely not something you want to miss.

Naming themselves after a nuclear power plant location they drove by after being pulled over and held at gunpoint in the vast desert of Arizona, Palo Verde will deliver nothing less electrifying.


- Vanguard


"Willamette Weeks 2010 Best Of Portland"

“I was kind of scared of her at first,” Terrica Kleinknecht says of her Palo Verde bandmate and girlfriend, Lauren K. Newman. “I was walking down the street with my girlfriend at the time, and [Newman] was like, ‘Hey, nice ass!’”

The duo got its start playing experimental drum music as Stickitin, but when state highway patrol pulled the pair over in California—guns drawn, mistaking them for “road ragers” in a similar vehicle—and Newman had to defuse the situation by handing the police a copy of her band’s CD, things got weird. “We felt so uncomfortable giving these cops a CD that said ‘Stickitin’ on it,” Newman says. “Then [in Arizona] we passed the sign for the Palo Verde Nuclear Generator, and we’re like, ‘Holy fuck, that’s the best name ever.’ That’s us—two big, ominous smokestacks in the distance.”

Palo Verde’s improvised songs fit that description: They’re chugging, dark, low blasts played with unflinching intensity. Lately, the duo will pick a word or subject to set the tone. One gig was inspired by the 2008 horror flick The Strangers. “It was one of our best shows,” Newman says. “Because we were both playing while being totally freaked out.” CASEY JARMAN.



- Willamette Week


"The Underground, In wax"

"...Sure to be a show highlight are wildly inventive sludge-rockers Palo Verde. Words don’t do the band justice—their fully improvised sets combine the hesher energy of Judas Priest with the drum-centric technical artistry of Mr. Elf. It’s primal, cathartic and as blasphemously fun as a Black Mass..." - Just out


"Up and Coming"

The brand new Palo Verde album History for the Rest of Eternity sees its release tonight, and it's a collection of four lengthy improvisations from guitarist Terrica Kleinknecht and drummer Lauren K. Newman, tracked at Type Foundry by Newman in the wee hours one night in September of last year. The heavy sludge that Palo Verde laid down at that late-night session explodes from the speakers in thunderous fidelity, with Kleinknecht's gutteral guitar groaning underneath LKN's crashing cymbals and tumbling toms. Only 100 copies of History for the Rest of Eternity have been made, and they're hand numbered, each with a unique insert and a bonus sound collage from LKN, released on the band's own imprint Drunken Beagle Records. NL
- Portland Mercury


Discography

"Stickitin" April 2007
"June 2007"
"April 2008"
"October 24, 2008"
"Zero Hour" November 2008
"8.13.09"
"Streets of All Night Cinema" October 2009
"History For The Rest Of Eternity" May 2010
Split 7'' w/ Hot Victory June 2010

Photos

Bio

Palo Verde is an improv psychedelic sludge-rock duo comprised of Lauren K. Newman (LKN) on drums and Terrica Kleinknecht on guitar. They have been actively performing throughout the US and Northwest since 2006.
In addition to her solo work under the moniker, LKN, Lauren has also drummed for Bellini (Touch n' Go records), Subarachnoid Space (Crucial Blast records), Kaia Wilson & Jenny Hoyston (Jealous Butcher/KRS records), Avenue of the Strongest, Born Losers and Vanishing Kids.
Terrica previously performed with Pom Pom Meltdown, Sarah Dougher(Mr. Lady records), Emily Herring, and Party of One (Fat Cat records).

Palo Verde initially formed as an experimental double-drum duo (Stickitin) but evolved into the current guitar/drums incarnation. They have performed extensively in the Northwest and have embarked on several US tours, sharing the stage with bands such as Jucifer, Thrones, Black Elk, Japanther, Purple Rhinestone Eagle, and Kusikia. Palo Verde have self-released several albums recorded in their home studio. They've recently recorded material (at Audible Alchemy with Christina Files and Dig Recording with Mark Kaeder) which will be released on double-vinyl album on Phratry Records in fall of 2010. History for the Rest of Eternity will be their first official album release. Palo Verde recently completed a West-Coast tour in support of History for the Rest of Eternity in summer of 2010. They are entering the studio in November 2010 to record their next album which is set to be reviewed in the Feb/March issue of BUST magazine. A full-feature interview with the band will also be published in the Feb/March issue of Tom Tom magazine. A Spring U.S. tour is in the works.

“... (Palo Verde's) telepathically improvised slabs of sludge-metal riffing are brutal punishment of the very best kind..." Portland Mercury, 2009

"...You know you're in for a good show when the drummer blows her nose in her tee shirt and slams a Red Bull before the first song. The duo of guitarist Terrica Kleinknecht and drummer Lauren Newman launched into their tunes, each set improvised on the spot. The group's violent, chugging riffs moved from math rock to deep grooves, often alternating into call and response snare hits. Kleinknecht's guitar work acts as a sonic floor for Newman's out of control, drums-as-lead-instrument attack, beating on her kit with the blunt, bottom end of her drumsticks. The ladies only performed 3 songs, but each one felt like a work out, and the bloody and bruised crowd cheered as they finished, satisfied and maybe even a little relieved...” Phoenix New Times, 2010