Please Step Out Of The Vehicle.
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Please Step Out Of The Vehicle.

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Aug
09
Please Step Out Of The Vehicle. @ the bananna stand

portland, Oregon, USA

portland, Oregon, USA

Jun
20
Please Step Out Of The Vehicle. @ The Summer Of Luv festival

Portland, Oregon, USA

Portland, Oregon, USA

May
14
Please Step Out Of The Vehicle. @ the back2back cafe

portland, Oregon, USA

portland, Oregon, USA

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This band has not uploaded any videos

Music

Press


WE AMERICANS ARE SUCKERS for the underdog. From Rocky to Elliott Smith's doomed Academy Award nomination, to the Bad News fucking Bears, we like our heroes to be hungry and dirty and come from the gutters, fighting and sweating every step of the way. I'm no different, and whilst digging through this month's stack of CD promos, I ignored all the glossy press kits and high-concept packaging and grabbed the shittiest thing I could find. It was a cassette tape—track listings handwritten in green Sharpie, not a real album, just a collection of demos.

Now, I don't know what angel sent me the fucker, but it ruled the second I stuck it in my car's tape deck.

Please Step Out of the Vehicle is a big team of Portland kids playing things like flute, glockenspiel, farfisa, and all the standard guitar/bass/drums action. As shown on my tape, and on their myspace page, their music is loose and junky and celebratory. It has the lazy, crowded, behind-the-beat stoned shuffle of Pavement, some of Beck's (long-abandoned) junkyard folk, but mostly plays its own game.

Tracks like "Civilian Casualties" and "Easy 2 Go," off their as-yet-unreleased LP, feel warm and vibrant and... happy. Which is a terribly vague word to describe music, but that's what struck me first. It's upbeat and organic sounding—a great listen when it's damn cold outside and going out for a drink means gloves, hat, two sweaters, and frozen fucking feet.

I have yet to see these guys live, but the recordings give a pretty good indicator of what they'll be like. So, if you're down with the happy, the loose, and the celebratory, go to this show. Or call me, and we'll drive around a while and listen to their tape. - adam gnade


Berbati’s Pan is a great place to see a show. Covering almost an entire city block, the indiscreet venue is separated into three distinct areas. Inside one entrance is a large ballroom with tables on the side and a full bar. The other side is a more traditional bar complete with pool tables and abstract sculpture art covering the walls. The last area is for the adventurous. If you go through the right door, you will find yourself at the top of a stairway that leads to a maze of underground rooms and tunnels; a portion of the rumor-ridden shanghai underground.

On February 11, some people were able to drag themselves away from ski jumping and Modest Mouse to watch Michael the Blind, Bats From The Pyramids of Egypt, and Please Step Out of the Vehicle promote Portland’s Failing Records’ newest compilation.

Michael the Blind was amazing. For nearly an hour, he strummed folksy and bluesy tunes. Singing in a high-pitched voice with a hint of a whisper, MTB’s themes were represented by lyrics such as “I have wasted my life,” and “I can’t stay.” Richard Simmons himself may have cut his wrists if exposed to the dark, occasionally angry presentation. Paralleling the despair of his music, Michael was disconnected from the crowd as a whole. His set list was pasted to the back of his guitar, and he closed his eyes while playing. This separation was cemented when, after announcing that the next song would be his last, he said, “I don’t know who’s up next.”

The Bats were; their sound was a mixture of wailing lyrics over poppy synth, keyboards and distorted guitar. Everything was dirtied up a bit for the live performance. Keyboardist Abe had obviously carbed up right before the show. He didn’t stop bouncing the entire set, which contrasted a little too sharply with Jarius the guitarist’s and drummer Matt’s more terrestrial performances. Two requests for sound tweaks later, The Bats completed their last show before taking a sabbatical for an undisclosed amount of time.

Please Step Out of the Vehicle closed the show. Eight strong, they pounded on everything from steel guitar, tambourines, kazoo, and even a cowbell to produced a solid, solid sound on a very crowded stage. The set began and wrapped in similar ways. First, Travis Pants, who confidently sports that stocky-cum-indie image, played solo on his guitar for a few bars while his band dicked around onstage. When the time was right, they all jumped in, and from there PSOTV was sometimes rockin, occasionally above the clouds, at other times more jingle-jangle, but always poetic and never dull. As a finale, everybody except Travis (who continued strumming center stage) dropped their instruments, draped their arms over each other’s shoulders, and seranaded each other and whoever was willing to listen, singing “Start out, start out feeling nothing / In the world that you think you live in / Everything’s great, everybody’s friends / You’re not always right.” - performermag.com


by mike diver

I’ve had a fairly shitty day. In the grand scheme of all things shitty, today has been among the shittiest of shitty days; a grand, spectacular day of shitty shit shit. But enough whinging: I don’t want to go into specifics, and I’ve been guided through this roughest of professional-and-personal rides by one band’s brilliant debut album, a record so sparkly and bright and joyous that, frankly, it’s more ace than walking into work of a morning and discovering a colleague’s not only already made you a cup of tea, but has also positioned a pair of chocolate HobNobs on your desk. That, readers, is amazingly ace.

Sleeping Right And The Best In Homeopathic Magic is the first collection of songs by Portland-based sextet Please Step Out Of The Vehicle to breeze past these ears; that the eleven-tracker (twelve, really – one song is split into two parts) then went around, in full, another half-dozen times in a single day should scream the absolutely bloody obvious at you: this is good, very good, and you should go out of your online way to track it down and click to purchase where indicated. These twenty-eight minutes clunk and clang and bleep and bang like little else; these compositions are complicated lo-fi pop nuggets that twist themselves into quirky indie-rockers before splitting and dribbling forth the sweetest melodies heard in a very long time. Between songs lurk segues of Super Mario power-up FX and glitch-riddled Game Boy beats, bouncing off the record’s rough borders like tiny squash balls inside a gigantic coconut.

On the way in, during the living of a nightmare I could have done so easily without, I scribbled something: “Passages that play out like The Legend Of Zelda’s Link broadsword-ing Broken Social Scene across their collective bonce.” I’ll stand by that, hours later, and add that even though Sleeping Right… is constructed from Farfisa tickling and glockenspiel tinkling, tooted horns and bizarre psychedelic textural tones, it’s also a tender, touching release; its heart isn’t obscured by the often busy, and technically accomplished, arrangements. Listen to songs like ‘Pitch’, with its aching guitar and desperate requests for a loved one to return to bed, ditching the day’s work before it’s begun, and don’t melt. I dare you. I double dare you.

‘Jellyfish As Fluxus Directory’ is the never-imagined collaboration between Arcade Fire and DJ Scotch Egg, a pulsing and pounding two minutes of layered noise and archaic computer screeches and squelches; the following ‘Special Logic’ is a genteel, woozy number, all glistens and shimmers and flashed sideways glances at an unobtainable love no amount of effort will ever win the affections of... perhaps. The variety across these tracks is so overwhelming that, initially, it can be a tough record to digest in a single sitting; given time, though, Sleeping Right… achieves a coherency that sets it apart from so many other potentially-too-many-cooks releases. It’s natural, not forced; no single instrument is employed solely for the sake of showing off. It’s easy to relate its many-handed arrangements to the aforementioned Canadian indie superstars, but this record’s charm lies not in its lusciousness (although it has moments of transcendental beauty that defy any simple genre pigeonholing), but in its unpredictability. Although it’s the product of the melding of six minds, it actually sounds more akin to the frenzied and scattered thoughts of many, many more. It’s ambitious and daring, but scratchy enough about the edges to ensnare the attentions of the more discerning alt-rock consumer, those that consider that Butler boy and his crew to be rather less than spectacular.

Heck, buried amongst these schizophrenic slices of eclecticism are tunes guaranteed to get toes tapping and, again if given time enough, arses off seats and onto the floor, eyes absolutely focuses on that possible paramour that only minutes earlier was simply out of whatever league’s in question. It can have the listener in existential contemplation one moment, and convulsing wildly, uncontrollably, the next. Jangle-jangle folk strums and upbeat twist-and-shout super-pop licks and flicks are rampant and abundant: listen to Sleeping Right… and allow it to overcome any other distractions and you will fall in love, wholly and deeply. Six, seven, eight… repeat plays go on and on, each time bringing the individual closer to the collective’s unique realisation of progressive and intelligent and impossible-to-categorise something-insert-your-own-suffix.

In all of fifteen minutes I’m going to be plunged right back into the stress and bother I already experienced this morning; that time, though, allows me to play at least half of Sleeping Right… before facing realities bearing menacing fangs and dragging ominous shadows. At least, then, I’ll face the day’s remaining demons with an unbreakable smile on my face; perhaps tomorrow I’ll stop at Sainsbury’s on my way in and trade a - http://www.drownedinsound.com/release/view/8078


4. Please Step Out of The Vehicle
23 points

Who:
Travis Wiggins, David Fimbres, Chris Ubick, Seth Brown, Liam Kenna, Justin Fowler

What:
Psychedelic pop

Sounds like:
Jonathan Richman and Neutral Milk Hotel getting high together

Voter quote: "I'm a sucker for the early days of lo-fi indie, so it's nice to hear a band that sounds more like early Pavement as opposed to early Joy Division. Music can be happy and clever without being contrived, and PSOOTV does this amazingly well." —Nicole Warren, assistant booker at Doug Fir - http://wweek.com/editorial/3227/7538


By Connie Hwong

Photo by Amy Brandenburg


The winter rain has started in Oregon, but Please Step Out of the Vehicle’s Travis Wiggins doesn’t seem to mind; he’s too busy thinking about the band’s new studio/rehearsal space, upcoming gigs, and the logistics of wrangling nearly a dozen musicians and all their instruments into one space.

“We just started recording for our next record, and it’s going to have tons of weird samples,” he explains from his Portland home, where he has just finished renovating the band’s studio. His excitement is not exactly unwarranted: after nearly four years together as a band, Please Step Out of the Vehicle has just released its debut full-length album, Sleeping Right and the Best in Homeopathic Magic, a psychedelic pop gem tinged with vintage Atari MIDI samples, drum machine riffs, and lo-fi sonic quirks that imbue the album with a certain genre-defying charm. With a heavy slant towards the indie-folk sound, Sleeping Right... has a chameleon-like appeal, at times evoking elements of Pavement, The Shins, and Olivia Tremor Control, while occasionally venturing further afield into rhythmic and experimental instrumental tracks and fuzzed-out exercises in controlled noise. Already the band members seem chock full of ideas for their follow-up, a project that Wiggins is trying to simultaneously oversee and referee.

Wiggins, who serves as the group’s singer, songwriter, guitarist and pianist (among other instrumental duties), acknowledges the mixed blessing of heading Please Step Out of the Vehicle — a collective of talented multi-instrumentalists (ten are credited on the album) — in a community like Portland. “There are so many musicians in Portland, people kind of come and go ... it’s really hard to get everyone here and rehearsing,” he muses, noting that Portland’s wealth of bands and musicians creates something of a creative catch-22, since just about everyone is in multiple bands and side projects. Wiggins’ Northeast Portland neighborhood is particularly rife with musical talent: “Every third or fourth house, there’s some awesome band. It’s awesome that everyone [living here] was in band in high school. I lived in the middle of nowhere in West Texas, and no one was like that.” After moving to Portland in 2001, Wiggins met most of his bandmates through sheer circumstance: “We were a whole lot of young kids, and we were just kind of hanging out.” Following the release of a 7-inch and a cassette demo in 2005 (and the subsequent local buzz), the band recorded the bulk of Sleeping Right... on a basement 8-track, only to have its label Lucky Madison send the members in for a full studio session.

For all the logistical headaches however, Please Step Out of the Vehicle has pulled off quite the feat, assembling a veritable orchestra of musicians wielding everything from guitars, basses and drums to glockenspiels, melodicas, lap steels, flutes and Farfisa organs. The band’s rich aural textures, vintage instruments and Wiggins’ esoteric songwriting have frequently drawn comparisons to Jeff Mangum and the works of the Elephant 6 collective. The lyrics from “We Will Go Everywhere (Part 1)“ touch upon the visceral, obsessive quality seen in much of Mangum’s work: “I went to a place / And you were there / You forgot your face / And I could see inside / I could see the tissue / And how your mind works / I was staring into your unblinkable eyes.” Other lyrics and song titles make reference to similarly obtuse material, from life at the molecular level to existential philosophy. Even when addressing a profoundly common topic — disaffected youth and drugs — in “We Will Go Everywhere (Part 2),” Wiggins’ plaintive pleas, “Don’t give in when / Everyone just goes inside / To waste time and fragile lives / To turn on the lights / Shut the blinds / Sit really still / And get really high,” ring with uncommonly raw sincerity.

The Mangum/Elephant 6 comparison is something Wiggins appreciates, but humbly rebuffs. Instead Wiggins cites influences as varied as jazz greats John Coltrane and Ornette Coleman, rocker Billy Childish and his bands Thee Headcoats and The Milkshakes, and hip-hop artists like Biz Markie, Mad Lib and Quasimodo. The indie hip-hop element is easiest to discern on “Jellyfish As Fluxus Directory”: anchored with a thick layer of lo-fi drum machine beats that degenerate into a crash of keyboards and MIDI wheezes, the track showcases some of Please Step Out of the Vehicle’s offbeat sound alchemy, namely a Super Nintendo and a Gameboy equipped with Mario Paint sampling software and hooked up to a sampler. The unpredictable nature of the song creates the bulk of its appeal, and perhaps represents the future direction of the band’s sound. “There’s some really good psychedelic bands going on. I think psychedelic hip-hop is the next step,” predicts Wiggins, adding that drummer David Fimbres is heavily influenced by jazz and hip-hop and that the local Portland scene contains “a whole - http://www.performermag.com/wcp.feature.0701.php


Discography

2003: d-i-y 7" 45rpm release "we would control..." b/w "sea shells, we can see the ocean"

2006: CD "Sleeping Right and the Best in Homeopathic Magic" released on lucky madison records. (www.luckymadison.com)

we currently have 2 LPs recorded. we're self releasing one in august and looking for a label to release the other one.

Photos

Bio

we play music in portland and the pacific northwest.
house shows, diy venues, silly rock clubs, anti war protests, barns:::if people are having fun, we're down to play there.

influences: syd barrett, billy childish, jack kerouac, ken kesey, sun ra, os mutantes, townes van zandt, steve miller band, booker t and the mg's, SMiLE, jacques cousteau, noam chomsky