House Rules

UO house show regulars open for Portland indie rockers

House shows are an important part of any music community.

While house show scenes ebb and flow, Eugene’s is alive and well at the moment, according to guitarist Riley Somers. His band Laundry is among the latest to emerge from Eugene’s house-show community, centered primarily around the University of Oregon campus but transitioning to gigs at more conventional venues.

The quartet recently returned from a West Coast tour, taking the band as far south as San Diego, and Jan. 13 Laundry joins Portland indie rockers Cry Babe and Maria DeHart at Wandering Goat.

A student at the UO, Sommers plays in Laundry with Kiki Parrosien, also on guitar, Nik Barber on drums and Cal Fenner on bass. 

House shows help bands with members under the age of 21 practice playing live while also building an audience in their peer group, Somers says. Regular venues offer some conveniences — a sound person, for example — but house shows have a youthful spark that can’t be matched.

“I bask in the chaos of a house show,” Somers says. 

Laundry’s 2019 release, Affirmation, is in large part quotidian college rock, with punk-funk grooves and stretches that verge on jam rock, sometimes recalling early REM synthesized with West African rhythms and bright guitar tones, a sound cornered at this point by Vampire Weekend.

The band’s songwriting process is collaborative, Somers says, and vocal duties are shared.

“We always let the person who brought the song to the group have the final say. It’s a give and take,” Somers says. “We all bring a lot of different stuff to the table.”  

The band has already recorded the followup to Affirmation, expected out sometime in April. 

“It’s more cohesive,” Somers says. “We thought we were a funk punk band for a while, a dream pop band for a while.”

On the coming new album, Laundry has returned to its roots, Somers says. “We’re a four-piece rock band. We’re exercising those boundaries. We want to be very listenable but unique in our own right.”

Laundry plays with Cry Babe and Maria DeHart 7 pm Monday, Jan. 13, at Wandering Goat; $5 suggested donation. 

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