If you give me free vinyl, I’ll do an article about your band. Yeah, I recently purchased a turntable and I can’t get enough. This new addiction got me talking with fellow audiophile, Josh Blanchard. He shared some valuable tips for shopping vinyl in Salem and he gave me a copy of his band, Coronation’s new 7 inch. Local band + new release + upcoming show = this article you’re reading right now. And yes, the free vinyl plus the sage advice didn’t hurt either.  *wink*

Coronation is Josh Blanchard on synth and vocals, Andy Brown on drums – real drums – and newish member David “Spare Parts Guy” LiaBraaten on percussion, synths and vocals. I sat down with Blanchard and Brown at Salem’s new downtown spot the Victory Club for some beers and a chat. Unfortunately, David couldn’t make it; he’s got a new human in his house, so I’ll let it slide. All three of these guys are veterans of the Northwest music scene. Blanchard is Old Salem and we reminisced about the 90s scene and how like many of the talented folks that are incubated here, he moved to Portland. He DJ’d for an all ages club called 17 Nautical Miles, and that is where he met Brown, who had an established band, Paint and Copter. Blanchard joined and when that band eventually dissolved, he and Brown continued to make music together. Fast forward to 2011 and Coronation was born.

Coronation has a distinct “four on the floor” disco beat, but has much more atmosphere and depth with the non-synth real drums and other percussion. Blanchard’s sultry almost crooning vocals create a satisfying synergy with the pop staccato of the keyboards and synths. Before I launch into overanalysis of Coronation, I remember what Blanchard said, “We’re not trying to be weird; not trying to be challenging. We’re certainly not trying to be ‘art.’ We want to have fun and we want people to have fun listening to us.” Excellent. Because as I listened through Coronation’s discography – please find them on Facebook, Soundcloud and/or Bandcamp – I began to dance. Like, put on something sparkly, line your eyes and prepare for some serious sexy dance moves kinda music. And, I’ve been to their shows. It’s true and it’s fun. Mission accomplished.

And speaking of shows, they’ve got a record release on July 2nd at Christo’s Lounge. They’ll be sharing the stage with some other local electronic heavy hitters, Night Lizard and Daniel Rafn. If you haven’t been to a Night Lizard show well, come on now, catch up. Brandon Hill, Nathan Simmons and Steve Lough all play synth and they are charismatic and deliver a high energy, raucous good time. Daniel Rafn comes from the multitalented Rafn family and also plays in the Portland duo, Seance Crasher. Daniel’s solo stuff is less pop than Seance Crasher and more electronic soul and R&B. He has a beautifully earnest and soulful voice that layers lushly with his synth sensibilities.

This is a well put together show, so go check it out. And Christo’s is one of my favorite places in Salem to see a show. The room is comfortable, the sound is great and if you’re hungry, well, you’re at Christo’s. Their food is the bomb.

Coronation and Daniel Rafn both put their music out on Warble Records – a recording co-op of sorts that boasts other local visionaries such as Julian Snow, Murmuring Pines, Seance Crasher and more. The more I write, the more I realize what amazing talent we have here in Salem. Go out and show your support.


July 2nd at Christo’s Lounge – 9pm – $5

Coronation 7 inch release w/ Night Lizard and Daniel Rafn – Electronic Disco Dance Soul