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Monday, April 22, 2024

In promotion of a new album, Alaskan indie-rock band Portugal. The Man played at Common Grounds Friday night.

"Church Mouth," which was released in July, is the latest installment in Portugal. The Man's genre-bending collection of work. Zach Carothers, who plays bass and sings, claimed the album as his favorite, but guitarist and lead singer John Gourley couldn't pick just one.

"To me, they all have their place," he said.

Gourley, who dressed in red-and-white-checkered slacks, a rain jacket and a cockeyed hat for the show, is credited for being the brains behind the cryptic lyrics and unique sound.

When asked who their biggest musical influence is, all three band members responded in unison, "The Beatles."

The trio operates out of Portland, Ore., but they're from the tundra of Alaska. Jason Sechrist, who plays drums and percussion, said he definitely plans to live there again, and the other two agreed. It seems their homeland is an innate part of who they are and how their music is formed - many references to Alaska's beauty are sprinkled throughout "Church Mouth."

"Growing up here, you really don't feel like it's different," Gourley said. "It took leaving and coming back for us to realize how much different it really is."

They are from Wasilla, Ala., a town 43 miles northeast of Anchorage, Ala., with a population just shy of 4,500.

"It's really small," Gourley said.

Portugal. The Man has been touring the country since this summer and is in the stages of building up a reputation. The guys said they have found a groove that seems to be working well for them. Gourley hopes to make appearances at a few music festivals by next year.

"We've just had tour after tour, and everything crosses over that," Gourley said. "We want to be able to play at the festivals and have our place there and not just be a random band."

The current tour comes to a close in a couple weeks. Afterward, Portugal. The Man will start another tour with Thursday and Circle Takes the Square. According to its Web site, the band is also planning a European tour sometime in February.

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