Port O’Brien – The Wind and Swell

by oz on September 13, 2007

port o brien

I first mentioned these guys back in june, but the album was released recently and I can’t stop listening. Port O’Brien is the brainchild of Van Pierszalowski, a singer/songwriter from Big Sur, California and part-time fisherman off of Kodiak Island in Alaska. He may be giving up his fishing summer job real soon. The Wind and Swell is technically their second album, but it will be the one to put them on the map.

The album starts off with an amazing track called “I Woke Up Today” that finds beauty in its imperfections. Van’s wailing vocals surround a loosely played acoustic guitar. The chorus sounds like a native Indian chant and the entire song sounds like well-orchestrated chaos. I think it’s brilliant.

The next track, “My Eyes Won’t Shut,” is a lazy acoustic number about, well, being lazy. In the beginning of the song, Van enjoys the breeze, watching the leaves blow around and watching nature pass by. He seems to understand that his inner thoughts are spoken out loud and tells himself to “shut the fuck up” to abruptly end the song.

The album continues with more folky, acoustic arrangements that bring out your inner hippie. “I Won’t Look Back” has some nice guitar-work, “Split” is the most experimental track and sounds like the percussion is banged out on tin cans. The two other standout songs are the banjo driven “A Bird Flies By” and the only electric track, “Anchor.” I know I’m leaving out other great songs, like “Five and Dime,” but what can you do? There’s just too much good to go around on this record.

Dive in to Port O’Brien as soon as you can. It’s my favorite album at the moment.

Below are the mp3’s, videos, and tour dates. You can catch them supporting Bright Eyes and Rogue Wave.

Website | MySpace

Port O’Brien – I Woke Up Today

Port O’Brien – My Eyes Won’t Shut

Port O’Brien – Five and Dime

Port O’Brien – Tree Bones

Port O’Brien – A Bird Flies By


Port O’Brien have also figured out that all us crackers like to hear indie covers of rap songs.

Port O’Brien – My Humps (Fergie)

Port O’Brien – Move Bitch (Ludacris) – The backup vocals are great.

Tour Dates:

Sep 12 2007 8:00P
Thekla (supporting King Creosote) Bristol
Sep 13 2007 8:00P
The Point (Supporting King Creosote) Cardiff, UK
Sep 14 2007 8:00P
Joiners (supporting King Creosote) Southhampton
Sep 15 2007 4:00P
End of the Road Festival North Dorset, UK
Sep 16 2007 8:00P
End of the Road Festival Dorset ~ England
Sep 23 2007 8:00P
McDonald Theatre (Supporting Bright Eyes) Eugene, Oregon
Sep 24 2007 8:00P
Senator Theatre (Supporting Bright Eyes) Chico, California
Sep 26 2007 8:00P
The Roxy (Filter Night) Los Angeles, California
Oct 10 2007 8:00P
Casbah (Supporting Rogue Wave) San Diego, California
Oct 11 2007 8:00P
El Rey Theatre (Supporting Rogue Wave) Los Angeles, California
Oct 12 2007 8:00P
Bimbo’s 365 Club (Supporting Rogue Wave) San Francisco, California
Oct 15 2007 8:00P
Wonder Ballroom (Supporting Rogue Wave) Portland, Oregon
Oct 16 2007 8:00P
Neumo’s (Supporting Rogue Wave) Seattle, Washington
Oct 19 2007 8:00P
Bluebird Theatre (Supporting Rogue Wave) Denver, Colorado
Oct 20 2007 8:00P
The Bottleneck (Supporting Rogue Wave) Lawrence, Kansas
Oct 21 2007 8:00P
The Waiting Room (Supporting Rogue Wave) Omaha, Nebraska
Oct 23 2007 8:00P
400 Bar (Supporting Rogue Wave) Minneapolis, Minnesota
Oct 24 2007 8:00P
Double Door (Supporting Rogue Wave) Chicago, Illinois
Oct 26 2007 8:00P
Mod Club (Supporting Rogue Wave) Toronto, Ontario
Oct 27 2007 8:00P
Cabaret Music Hall (Supporting Rogue Wave) Montreal, Quebec
Oct 29 2007 8:00P
Iron Horse Music Hall (Supporting Rogue Wave) Northampton, Massachusetts
Oct 30 2007 8:00P
Paradise Rock Club (Supporting Rogue Wave) Boston, Massachusetts
Nov 1 2007 8:00P
Bowery Ballroom (supporting Rogue Wave) New York, New York
Nov 2 2007 8:00P
Maxwell’s (Supporting Rogue Wave) Hoboken, New Jersey
Nov 3 2007 8:00P
Johnny Brenda’s ( Supporting Rogue Wave) Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Nov 5 2007 8:00P
The Black Cat (supporting Rogue Wave) DC, Washington DC
Nov 8 2007 8:00P
The Earl (supporting Rogue Wave) Atlanta, Georgia
Nov 9 2007 8:00P
Mercy Lounge (supporting Rogue Wave) Nashville, Tennessee
Nov 10 2007 8:00P
The Bottletree (supporting Rogue Wave) Birmingham, Alabama

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Woody September 13, 2007 at 12:18 pm

I didn’t like it at first but it has grown on me. Very good indeed plus I love the My Humps.

moish September 13, 2007 at 2:02 pm

nice. i like the review that the san fran paper gave…to paraphrase : sounds like a late night sing along amongst wasted friends. true dat.

avery September 14, 2007 at 2:16 am

that second video was from a show in LA a year and a half ago. There were about 15 really snotty people in the audience, who didn’t find any humor in their ‘move bitch’ cover. It was a great night; LA just doesn’t understand. LA never understands.

Dryope September 14, 2007 at 1:17 pm

Ohhh, they’re gonna be in Atlanta? With Rogue Wave? I must see if I can’t convince the husband that we should attend. =3

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