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Wrekmeister Harmonies' J.R. Robinson heads for the hills (of Oregon)

Plus: Different flavors of new music from local bands Santah (sweet) and the Pillowhammer (sour)

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Gossip Wolf is sad to say farewell to Wrekmeister Harmonies main man J.R. Robinson, who's moving to Astoria, Oregon, this week. Robinson says that after 20 years of brutal cold, it's time to move on. "I think I feel like Saul Bellow probably felt," he explains. "This is an amazing, truly American city, but one where 'No realistic, sane person goes around without protection.'" He picked Astoria not just because it's where Goonies was filmed but "because it's an incredibly beautiful area of the country. It's quiet, not a lot going on, and should be an interesting place to create art." Wrekmeister Harmonies' new full-length, Night of Your Ascension, hits stores Friday, November 13, and it's got a thumbs-up from the Reader's Monica Kendrick. Robinson will be back Thursday, December 17, when Wrekmeister Harmonies play the Empty Bottle.

In February local psych-pop band Santah started taking preorders for their sophomore LP—one VIP option included a seminar on vegetable fermentation taught by singer Vivian McConnell. The LP, titled Chico, dropped last week, and it's full of creamy harmonies and dreamy arrangements. All sweet and no sour! On Friday, November 20, Santah play a release party at Lincoln Hall.

After taking a Bandcamp spin around the Pillowhammer's new EP, How to Scrape Skies, Gossip Wolf still thinks this local band can "turn any venue into the world's saddest airport bar." If anything, the keening new ballad "Pago Pago"—a duet between singers Jim Dorling and Beth Yates that memorializes a failed blow job, paranoia about the government, and the Sheridan Red Line stop, among other things—plumbs even lower depths of human sorriness. Strong work! The Pillowhammer play the Empty Bottle on Tuesday, November 17.  v

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