CASEY NEILL & THE NORWAY RATS Live At Music Millennium, 3/24!
RECORD RELEASE EVENT
CASEY NEILL &
THE NORWAY RATS
MUSIC MILLENNIUM – 3158 E BURNSIDE - 503-231-8926
SATURDAY, MARCH 24TH, TIME: 3PM
GENRE: AMERICANA/ROCK| NEW RELEASE: “UNDERSTANDING”
Hailed as a Portland supergroup, Casey Neill and the Norway Rats boast a lineup that NPR’s Mountain Stage says includes “some of the city's most sought-after and respected musicians”: Casey Neill on guitar and vocals, The Decemberists’ Jenny Conlee-Drizos on keyboards, Eels’ Chet Lyster on guitars and production, Amelia’s Jesse Emmerson on bass, and Priory’s Joe Mengis on drums. The band’s new album, ‘Subterrene,’ is their first release in five years, and it finds them tapping into fresh creative wells as they eschew the Americana roots of their past in favor of their most bold and adventurous arrangements yet.
Neill describes the album as a work of “dystopian romance,” and if that sounds more like a book or film genre than a musical category, it’s no coincidence. While not a concept album, per se, ‘Subterrene’ follows a distinct story arc, and the ominous-yet-defiantly-optimistic portraits it paints were inspired in equal parts by vintage sci-fi novels, our current political climate, and the globetrotting manner in which Neill’s toured the world for the past few years. Featuring contributions from Scott McCaughey and REM’s Peter Buck (who Neill often performs with in The Minus 5) along with Thayer Serrano and Death Cab for Cutie’s Dave Depper, the album offers up an infectious blend of literary craftsmanship and alt-rock abandon.
A musical chameleon, Neill began his career Olympia, Washington, where he immersed himself in everything from punk rock to traditional Celtic music. In the late 90’s, he signed to Appleseed, which led to a spot alongside Bruce Springsteen, Billy Bragg, and Bonnie Raitt on the legendary folk label’s critically acclaimed tribute to Pete Seeger. After a string of well-received releases and a stint living in New York City, Neill returned to the west coast in the early 2000’s, relocating to Portland and launching the Norway Rats with ‘Goodbye to the Rank and File,’ an album that found Relix comparing his “gritty songwriting” to Springsteen and Neil Young.