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The English Language Playing Caravan Lounge: First San Jose Show Since Moving To Portland

In Music
Native Tongues: Founded locally, The English Language moved to Portland for cheaper rents.

Native Tongues: Founded locally, The English Language moved to Portland for cheaper rents.

Kyle Langlois is ecstatic. “We’re at this record-breaking concert thing,” he says, raising his voice to speak over the boisterous discussion going on around him. “We just finished playing. Now we’re taking pictures with a wooden fish.”

He is talking on his cell phone from Chico, where he and the rest of his band, The English Language, just wrapped their set. The “record breaking concert thing” to which he is referring began on April 1, and has been going non-stop ever since at The Tackle Box—a venue in the small NorCal college town. The guitarist for the Portland-based garage-psych trio is clearly excited to have played a role in cementing the new Guinness World Record for longest concert, which was achieved at around 8:40am on the morning of April 17, according to the Chico ABC affiliate. It’s about 5:30pm when he answers his phone.

But Langlois is excited for another reason, as well. He and his band are making a homecoming trip to the city that spawned them. The English Language formed in San Jose in 2012. But despite building a strong local fan base, they decided to pack up and head to Portland in 2014 in search of cheaper housing and a stronger, more supportive scene.

They found it, according to Langlois. “The cost of living is crazy in San Jose,” he says. “We have a cheap house in Portland (complete with a basement rehearsal space and recording studio). Plus, there are more venues and more bands.”

Still, he says, the band is “stoked” to be coming back to San Jose, where they are slated to play their first local show since leaving for Portland, this Friday at The Caravan. “We’re going to get to see all our old friends,” Langlois says.

The group is touring behind their latest album, Happy Horror, a 13-track LP, which toggles between the freaky psych sounds, reminiscent of Thee Oh Sees and By Her Satanic Majesties Request-era Rolling Stones; the bouncy, fuzzed-out blues of The Count Five; and The Beatles—both from the British Invasion days and their more experimental years.

The English Language recorded Happy Horror entirely on their own at their home studio—with the exception of mastering, which they outsourced.

While Langlois says he is excited to see changes in San Jose’s scene—like the opening of The Ritz and Café Stritch—he maintains that The English Language belongs in Portland, even if living in the same house as his band in the same house can be trying at times.

“We couldn’t have done anything we’ve been doing without moving there,” he says.

The English Language plays April 24, 10pm, at The Caravan Lounge.

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