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Local band: Norfolk and Western

Weekend!Nightlife: Busy producer makes his own music, too
by: ©2006 ALICIA ROSE, Norfolk and Western’s cast of characters head out of the boiler room and into the basement of the Doug Fir for tonight’s record release show.

Between touring with M. Ward and producing bands in his Type Foundry Recording, it's a wonder Norfolk and Western's Adam Selzer has time to record and release any of his own material - much less two albums in one year.

More impressive still is the fact that 'The Unsung Colony,' recently released by Hush Records, actually is a step forward for the group.

A good deal of that development can be attributed to Norfolk and Western's growth into a bona fide band. This time around, Selzer's vignettes are painted in more vivid colors, fleshed out by more collaborative contributions from drummer/percussionist/backing vocalist Rachel Blumberg, bassist Dave Depper, multi-instrumentalist Peter Broderick and an expanded cast of supporting musicians.

As a result, 'The Unsung Colony' is a more rambunctious and diverse affair. While there's still an old-time atmospheric feel to the band's material (and plenty of orchestral touches), songs like 'The Shortest Stare' and 'The New Rise of Labor' are by far the most straightforward, rocking pop songs in the Norfolk and Western canon.

The band's show tonight is both a record release celebration and a homecoming show, so arrive early if you want to get in.

- Barbara Mitchell

9 p.m. FRIDAY, Dec. 8, Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E. Burnside St., 503-231-9663, $10