At the end of the 20th century, a little band with a strange name and a big sound followed in the path of many of their forerockers. System and Station left the comfortable little place (in this case, Boise) they called home and struck out across the country in search of fame and fortune. They made it as far as Madison, Wisconsin, a location they decided would be ideal for touring both the East and West coasts. After an EP on a soon-to-be-defunct label, a move back West (to Portland, where they are currently based), myriad lineup changes and a one-year hiatus, 2006 ushered in a fine new album--Here Is Now--and, hopefully, a bright future for S&S.
Palmer Cloud (guitar, keyboard), Ed Cugguda (bass), Adam Draper (drums, percussion) and RFK Heise (vocals, keyboard, guitar) combine layered, overlapping rock guitars, surprising arrangements--both musically and rhythmically--and earnest vocals to create a sound that proves you can take the band out of the Northwest, but you can't take the Northwest out of the band.
On their myspace.com page (www.myspace.com/systemandstation) under "Sounds Like," they have a varied and sundry list, including Queens of the Stone Age, Yes, The Police, Mars Volta and "everything that sounds good to you." Head down Saturday to find out if you'd add them to your list, because this 21st century band sounds pretty good to me.
System and Station with Beautician, Saturday, May 5, 9 p.m., $3, Neurolux, 111 N. 11th St., 208-336-5034.