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HillyTown Goes Record Shopping with Fur

Tara and Brian of Fur record shopping at Bull Moose’s Middle Street Location


Photos by Grace Hager

It might be a broad statement — but it’s safe to say that the Portland-based trio Fur were doing a lot more to celebrate April 20th than you likely did all day when they dropped the killer 2 Hearted Horse. A huge step ahead from their scruffier, punk roots heard in their earlier recordings as part of The RattleSnakes2 Hearted Horse takes the best of Tara and Brian Cohen’s musical minds and puts it to mic inside their basement.

By taking the stripped-down, garage-rock melodies of Tara’s Bath Salts band from a few years back and combining them with the more ambitious second-to-last ‘Snakes album Spine; 2 Hearted Horse is just what we were hoping to hear from the trio.

This Friday, Fur is celebrating the release of 2 Hearted Horse with their un-official venue of choice, Mathew’s Pub with Portland, Maine’s own All Night, TG9, and New Jersey’s own Zebras And Bulls Fight Tonight!

But before Friday night’s show, and a few days before their debut dropped, Tara and Brian Cohen (2/3 of Fur — minus bassist Greg Bazinet) visited the Portland Middle Street location of our very own Bull Moose to check-out their ever-growing and eclectic vinyl selection.

From Doolittle to The Beastie Boys, it’s easy to see where their influence’s came from and what exactly they are experimenting with when you hear their shared vast catalog of musical knowledge (by the end of our visit, they left with a large stack of vinyl to buy that night.) Fur is sure to become the quintessential “critic’s band” of Portland and for all the best reasons.


Tara Cohen:

Broadcast Tender Buttons

The music itself is super dancy; but with like ripping solos and her vocals have lots of effects on them so it sounds just so cool.

Pretty much all of their music is so groovy and I can’t help but dance when it’s put on. Trish Keenan, the vocalist, actually died a few years ago — but it’s just so powerful. But Brian told me that he heard that their back catalogue is actually being reissued while he was listening to WMPG and sent a link to me on Facebook and I almost started to cry because the original first pressings are so expensive.


Brian Cohen:

Suicide, Suicide

This album is great and it really gave me respect for the drum machine. I have the utmost respect for these guys. All of the tracks on the album are pretty great, except for maybe “Frankie Teardrop.” Tara: That song gave me a huge anxiety attack. One day we were on this road trip and were listening to Suicide; “Frankie Teardrop” came on and I just had to cut it off. Brian: Brendan Evans from Strange Maine was in AM Frank — which was Maine’s only Suicide cover band, which was great in itself.


The Stooges, Funhouse

This album of course, is a classic. It sounds great, and has nothing but good songs on it. It’s great that albums like these are getting reissued so that people don’t have to pay as much when we buy it used. This is my favorite Stooges record hands-down and my favorite track is “Loose.”

Anytime I’m at work and that track comes on, I just want to go into my bosses office, flip over a desk and just sing “Because I’m loose!” But I’ll probably never do that.

I knew about Iggy before I knew about The Stooges because one of my friends when I was 16 was really into “Lust For Life” and from there we learned about The Stooges — it’s really kind of Classic Rock in a way.


Parquet Courts, Live At Third Man Records

I know they’re like the hot new Indie band right now — but they’re just so good. Tara: I think a few years ago we went to Brandeis University and they were playing at their student center for free. We just walked-in and it’s just all of these college kids going absolutely nuts. I’m pretty sure this was before they even played SPACE.

We talked to them after the show and they were just the coolest guys and were like, “How about those college kids, right?”


Tara Cohen:

Ariel Pink, pom pom

I liked a lot of the videos that he put out and I was watching interviews around the same time as well — I dunno he seems like such a weird dude, like on some bad level. It’s such a shame too, because he is super talented. I really like the stuff he did with R. Stevie Moore (it’s on Spotify.) I also really liked what he did with Ariel Pink’s Haunted Grafiti too. That one album, Before Today is so great.

One of my friends actually went to see him live recently and said he was just outrageous in like sweat pants, stilettos, a belly shirt but he just fucking rocked. He just owned it, he didn’t care that his shirt was way too small with his gut hanging out. She said you just couldn’t take your eyes away; I would love to seem him live someday.
Brian Cohen:

Yo La Tengo, Painful

Who doesn’t like Yo La Tengo? And I guess we get compared to them a lot now because we are married — but they have like 20 years on us. Also, that one song we did “Bronze” did sort of channel them just a little bit. There really isn’t anything to talk about really with Yo La Tengo, because everybody loves them and we need that.

Screaming Females, Live At The Hideout

I’m pretty sure this is the only Screaming Females record we don’t have — “Boyfriend,” “New Kid,” it’s all so great. They’re a band I think we will remember when we are all grown-up and old.

Tara: They’re great people too. Brian: Yeah totally, the best people. The first time they played in Portland they actually contacted our old band The Rattlesnakes on Myspace and asked us to play with them at Geno’s to basically like ten people.

They really, really appreciate Maine and I really like how much they tour. I’d love to get the chance to actually go on a longer tour like they do — but our bassist has a child so it’s really hard to have a tour baby.


Tara Cohen:

The Pixies, Doolittle 

I love this album and bought it for the first time at some thrift store on cassette, and it was a really pivotal moment in music for me. Beforehand, I was listening to a lot of Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin — well, I still listen to Zeppelin now. But I was in a folk band, playing a 12-string and I found Doolittle and was just like “Oh my god, there is other stuff out there.”

I was just so blown away with his vocals — but my tape deck somehow sped it up, so I thought Frank Black was a woman for so long. And then I did research and was like “Oh, they’re totally weird, normal looking people.”

I’ve tried out the new Pixies album, and it didn’t really grab me as much as the first time I had that moment. But I’ll totally still listen to their new music when I can, “Andro Queen” is nice but”Bagboy” is one of the worst things I’ve ever heard.


Brian Cohen:

Beastie Boys, Check Your Head

I admit to totally singing “Funky Boss” sometimes to my boss at work. The Beastie Boys were legitimately the first band that I really liked for myself and I was in middle school. I had Ill Communication on tape and it has the song “Tough Guy” on it, which was the first hardcore song that I ever heard and it just blew my mind at the time, but I just did not get it at all. It’s funny that the first hardcore song I heard was from the Beastie Boys.

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