It's the modern age. Telegrams have been replaced by emails. Everyone now has a phone attached to his or her hip. The personal computer is more than a reality; it's a necessity. And that's only the surface. The comparisons could go on and on. So when a new-millennium rock and roll band, often compared to greats of yesteryear like The Beatles, Elvis Costello, and Teenage Fanclub, comes along and tells you to embrace the modern age, who wouldn't raise an eyebrow? That is exactly what Blue Skies for Black Hearts has done for their latest full-length LP, titled Embracing the Modern Age. It's a theme that has encompassed everything they have worked on the last two years. ìI was interested in exploring the gray areas that I encounter in my day to day life as a Portlander,î lead singer/songwriter Pat Kearns says. Food carts, relationships, luck, the balance of work and play, keeping up with technology. Progress isn't all good or bad. But it's here and it's changed us. Now I have anxiety if I leave home without my phone. Having the phone is great. The anxiety isn't. And, yes, you did read that correctly: full-length LP, as in Long Player. They are releasing it on vinyl. But keeping with the times, it's also available via download. Embracing the Modern Age is also a testament of possibilities for a truly independent band in these technologically forward times. Beyond simply self-recording and producing a full-length record, which will be released on the band's new record label collective, Super Big Ltd., the album has an accompanying short sci-fi film. Shot all over the Northwest, directed by Jon Griffith and written by bassist Kelly Simmons who describes the film as 'sort of in the vein of Help, Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park and Purple Rain all packed into a Monkees episode. Blue Skies saves the future of rock n roll from conspiring evil professors, robots and druids, all with an underlying theme of evolution, monkeys, robots and swamp creatures.' Blue Skies for Black Hearts was born at the beginning of this shiny new millennium as an outlet for prolific songwriter and lead singer Pat Kearns. Pat's other job is producing records, which he has done for the likes of The Exploding Hearts, the Lovvers (U.K.), Dandy Warhols, Clorox Girls, Red Dons and the Nice Boys. Over the last decade, he has gathered a group of crack Portland music veterans, namely bassist Kelly Simmons (Man of the Year), guitarist Michael Lewis (Lael Alderman, The Very Foundation) and drummer Paul Noel (Durango Park). Together they have made the EMTs at SxSW earn their keep, talked classic powerpop bands over beers with Bobcat Goldthwaite in Wichita, Kansas, provided background music for NBC's Today Show as well as Chip Mabry's 'Brutal Beauty' documentary, and shared sweat, spirits and stage with the likes of Paul Collins, Rogue Wave, Dead Confederate, Of Montreal, Frightened Rabbit, Fitz and the Tantrums and Blue Giant.