Music » Critics' Choices

Portugal. The Man

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It's hard to imagine Bristol Palin and Portugal the Man occupying the same sphere of reality. Then again, we've come to expect weirdness from Wasilla, Alaska. Both the newly minted Dancing With the Stars contestant and the richly imaginative indie band hail from the same town. The difference? Whereas Palin's clan is known for its small-minded politicking, Portugal the Man (which prefers the punctuated Portugal. The Man) is all about mind expansion. Blends of neo-psychedelia, experimental electronica, vintage soul, art rock, and odd shards of metal, funk and jazz figure into PTM's songs. Founded by John Baldwin Gourley and fellow Wasilla native Zachary Scott Carothers, PTM (now based in Oregon) pours out colorful, proggy sprawls. The band's latest, The Satanic Satanist, is a bit more accessible than previous efforts, throwing gestures of feel-good fuzzies and togetherness — We are all just lovers! goes "The Sun" — with classic-rock hooks. It's the type of music that might even get Bristol Palin to loosen up, take off her shoes and bop to a free-love beat.

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