Portishead of the Class

One of my favorite albums this year is Portishead’s third studio album, creatively titled Third.

It’s been over a decade since Portishead’s last studio album (the equally creatively titled Portishead), but as far as I can tell from their recent press clippings, they haven’t changed a bit. (Their music certainly hasn’t: they still make exquisite slow drags of loss, marching forlornly to their heartbroken grooves.) So I fearlessly direct you to this profile I wrote of them back in 1997.

A footnote: So far as I can remember, I have been present at the taping of three live albums, of which Portishead’s Roseland NYC Live was one. My main memory of that show is being soaking wet from a rainstorm and dripping all over Roseland’s wooden floor. The other two live albums? Laurie Anderson’s Live in New York, taped on September 19 and 20, 2001–a show where I learned that “O Superman” was unsettlingly prescient about the 9/11 attacks. And Alice in Chains doing an MTV Unplugged session, which bore no such revelations.

posted 14 July 2008 in Archives, Articles and tagged , . 3 comments

3 Comments on Portishead of the Class

  1. Chris M. Says:

    From everything I’ve heard about that post-9/11 Laurie Anderson gig, you’re a very lucky man.

  2. Gavin Says:

    It was a weird, intense, and sometimes upsetting show.

    A lot of her work’s about technology and culture and the misapprehension and fear of the same, so it was all newly resonant–but I might not have been ready for it just yet.

    Much more useful was Zoolander, which came out a few days later. I don’t think I’ve ever laughed harder at a movie, but I’ve resisted watching it again because it can’t possibly live up to my memory of it.

  3. Steve Valladolid Says:

    Hey Gavin,

    I enjoyed your Portishead interview. I love that band and their new album. Great blog keep up the good work and let’s get together one of these days.

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