ELEVEN PDX Magazine - September 2019

Page 1

ISSUE 99 | SEP 2019

ELEVEN PDX MAGAZINE ELEVEN PDX MAGAZINE- -VOLUME VOLUME9,8,ISSUE ISSUE45

COMPLIMENTARY COMPLIMENTARY

INSIDE: INTERNET BEEF | SHEER MAG | ALEX LAHEY HATCHIE | L.A. WITCH | LOWER DENS | DEVENDRA BANHART SAM SMITH | ANDREA HOLLANDER | SAMUEL FARRELL


2 | ELEVEN PDX


ELEVEN PDX MAGAZINE VOLUME 9 ◊ ISSUE No. 4

September 2019 THE USUAL 4 Letter from the Editor 4 Staff Credits

COLUMNS

FEATURES Local Feature 12

Internet Beef

Cover Feature 18

5 Aural Fix

Hatchie L.A. Witch Alex Lahey Sheer Mag

NEW MUSIC 8 Short List 8 Album Reviews Chelsea Wolfe Lower Dens Frankie Cosmos Devendra Banhart

COMMUNITY Local Hero 25

Sam Smith

Literary Arts 26

Andrea Hollander

Visual Arts 28 Samuel Farrell

LIVE MUSIC 10 Musicalendar An encompassing overview of concerts in PDX for the upcoming month. But that’s

not all–the Musicalendar is complete with

a venue map to help get you around town.

MORE ONLINE AT ELEVENPDX.COM SOCIALS @ELEVENPDX


HELLO PORTLAND!

EXECUTIVE STAFF EDITOR IN CHIEF Ryan Dornfeld (ryan@elevenpdx.com)

ONLINE Michael Reiersgaard Kim Lawson

This month has been a blur. A good blur, one full of color, commotion, learning, growing and traveling, but a blur nonetheless—existing in a happy, glowing, dizzying way—resulting in a “How did I get here?” and “Where am I now?”

MANAGING EDITOR Eirinn Gragson (eirinn@elevenpdx.com)

FIND US ONLINE www.elevenpdx.com social channels: @elevenpdx

Well, dear readers, I am writing this piece to you in the comfort of my graduate school class, savoring the lulls in conversation as windows of opportunity. My time is segmented into many moments like this these days, holding tight to pockets of freedom and utilizing each waking second for illumination, work and this very publication. Not that you asked, and by no means am I complaining. While exploring artists for this issue, I was traipsing through art spaces in Massachusetts, visiting old friends, looking up at skyscrapers in New York, and basking in the glow of art museum exhibits (I recommend the Camp exhibit at The Met), only to return to Portland feeling thankful and happy to be home.

SECTION EDITORS LITERARY ARTS: Scott McHale VISUAL ARTS: Dickie Lime

It’s easy to forget that even in the chaos of everyday life, there really is no place like home. With love,

- Eirinn Gragson, Managing Editor

4 | ELEVEN PDX

COPY EDITOR Chance Solem-Pfeifer

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Anthony King, Matthew Weatherman, Eric Swanson, Nathan Royster, Kelly Kovl, Matthew Sweeney, Charles Trowbridge, Quin Nelson, Henry Whittier-Ferguson, Nebraska Lucas, Richard Lime PHOTOGRAPHERS Mathieu Lewis-Rolland, Katie Summer, Todd Walberg, Michael Reiersgaard COVER DESIGN Katie Silver COVER PHOTO Mathieu Lewis-Rolland

GENERAL INQUIRIES getinvolved@elevenpdx.com ADVERTISING ryan@elevenpdx.com ELEVEN WEST MEDIA GROUP, LLC SPECIAL THANKS To all of our friends and family that make this project possible, and to those that champion tolerance, equality, generosity and kindness in the world. We love you best.


columns aural fix

AURAL FIX

up and coming music from the national scene

1 HATCHIE SEPTEMBER 27 | MISSISSIPPI STUDIOS Brisbane-born musician Harriette Pilbeam comes alive in the glow of colorful television static and neon lights. Otherwise known as Hatchie, the Australian musician has a knack for dreaming and a sound for pop. Dubbed by some as a dream-pop idol, Pilbeam embodies a youthful sound amid budding technique, putting a sort of bubblegum spin on a shoegaze aesthetic. With guitar tone akin to Mazzy Star, Hatchie embodies a nostalgia ‘90s glow (“Her Own Heart” could have easily topped radio charts alongside 1992’s “Dreams” by The Cranberries). Releasing debut album Sugar & Spice in 2018 and newest release Keepsake this June, the 26-yearold dream icon is pretty fresh on the music scene, winning over fans with soft sighs and dazed expressions of heartbreak. In “Obsessed,” she also explores the sadness of just being human and realizing that romance is not always what it seems, “Never one to light up a room on entry/ Figured it's part of a charm and it's nothing to shame, Blow off my friends then cry about being lonely/ Let Friday ruin my Saturday yet again.”

Photo by Mono Photo Studio

2 L.A. WITCH SEPTEMBER 13 | WONDER BALLROOM Los Angeles natives L.A. Witch have a sound that’s equal parts atmosphere, reverb and unabashed attitude. Angelenos born, raised, and currently residing, the band—comprising of guitarist and vocalist Sade Sanchez, bassist Irita Pai and drummer Ellie English—conjure songs from the seedier recesses of the city’s sunbaked façades and out of the shadows of (to paraphrase Raymond Chandler) streets darker with something more than night. If their Bandcamp discography is anything to go by, the

Photo by Joe Agius

Charmingly adolescent, Pilbeam’s sophomoric notions of love are gentle and forgiving: “We could kiss the stars together/ It doesn’t have to last forever.” In the nature of sentimentality, Pilbeam maintains an element of being strong and independent, while also allowing herself to dream. Not expecting to become a pop star, Pilbeam started learning guitar, bass, and piano in her teenage years. After signing with Ivy League Records in 2017, she started to shine in the spotlight amid other dreamy sensations like Snail Mail and Japanese Breakfast. Being young is no longer a reference to age, but rather a state of mind, giving bedroom pop power as an anthem of strength in tender feelings. » – Eirinn Gragson genesis of L.A. Witch can be traced, more or less, back to around 2012 when Sanchez, Pai, original drummer Crystal Nava and rhythm guitarist Diana Diaz released the band’s first demo, Your Ways, recorded by Jim Greco. The band steadily gained a cult following playing shows around L.A., but just when they were gaining traction, Nava went to visit her boyfriend in New York and decided to stay. Enter new drummer Ellie English, a couple of blistering 7” singles (the sultry swagger of “Kill My Baby Tonight” and the pummeling jangle of “Drive Your Car”), a self-titled debut LP on Suicide Squeeze Records, and a slew of national touring spots that put the band side-by-side with the likes of The Coathangers and The Kills. On their latest E.P., Octubre, the band revisits and reworks five of their older songs which they no longer play live, yet still want heard. Haunting and wistful, these songs run the gamut from hazy dream pop to garage-psych bombast. To say that L.A. Witch make “mood music” is a bit of an understatement. Melodious one moment, laconic the next—and with the perfect mix of menace and twang—the garage-goth trio create music for driving with the top down at dusk while going out into the desert to bury a body or two. Theirs are songs for hard luck cases, leather-clad burnouts and nicotine-stained poets waxing dive bar romantic; the netherworld spawn of The Cramps and Mazzy Star, reared on the likes of 13th Floor Elevators, X and Johnny Cash. You have to admit, it takes a certain kind of magic to pull off spells like these. » – Anthony King

elevenpdx.com | 5


columns aural fix

9/1 QUANTIC SOLO LIVE

9/16 GREG LASWELL

9/3 ALEX LAHEY KINGSBURY

9/17 BLUE TOMORROWS SUNBATHE (SOLO) DOLPHIN MIDWIVES

9/5 STAROVER BLUE THE FOURTH WALL SMALL MILLION

9/18 BLANCO WHITE

9/6 SUNSQUABI SWATKINS

9/19 JAY SOM BOY SCOUTS AFFECTIONATELY

9/7 SUNSQUABI TAKIMBA

9/20 HAYDEN JAMES NAATIONS

9/8 NO KIND OF RIDER EPP TENDER KID

9/21 REYNA TROPICAL GUAYABA AMENTA ABIOTO

9/9 IYA TERRA THE RIES BROTHERS FOR PEACE BAND

9/22 POKEY LAFARGE (SOLO) JACK KLATT

9/10 ZIGGY ALBERTS EMILY BRIMLOW

9/23 MATTHEW AND THE ATLAS BOY BJORN

9/11 MELVINS REDD KROSS

SOLD OUT!

3 ALEX LAHEY SEPTEMBER 3 | DOUG FIR LOUNGE

9/24 BORIS UNIFORM

9/12 EHIOROBO DECA DJ MARVL

9/25 ROSS FROM FRIENDS

9/13 TWRP RICH AUCOIN

9/28 SHURA QUINN CHRISTOPHERSON

9/14 ELDER ISLAND DIRTY NICE

SOLD OUT!

and more!

9/29 CHRISTIAN FRENCH ASTN 9/30 BARNS COURTNEY THE HUNNA

TICKETS AND MORE INFO AT DOUGFIRLOUNGE.COM

6 | ELEVEN PDX

SOLD OUT!

COOL KIDS PATIO SHOW FREE COMEDY & MUSIC THURSDAYS 6PM-8PM

(503) 231-WOOD ALL SHOWS 21+ 830 E. BURNSIDE SERVING BREAKFAST, LUNCH, DINNER & LATE NIGHT HAPPY HOUR 3-6 EVERYDAY & 10PM-12AM SUN-THURS

Photo by Callum Preston

SOLD OUT!

Australia has some compelling musicians surfacing from down under. From Pickathon darling Julia Jacklin, a witty singersongwriter, to All Our Exes Live in Texas, an all femme country supergroup that won an ARIA for their album When We Fall, and now pop-punk powerhouse Alex Lahey, whose latest album The Best of Luck Club (Dead Oceans) is a champion of feel-good powerpop. Having played saxophone and sung in the Melbourne based jazz pop ensemble Animaux, Lahey headed out on her own in 2016 with the single, "You Don’t Think You Like People Like Me," an achy ballad of unrequited affection. The song got notice. Not only did Pitchfork name it "Best New Track,” it also won Lahey the prestigious Josh Pyke Partnership, an award for unsigned artists. From brutally honest lyrics to humorous music videos and charmingly disarming delivery, it is impossible not to like Alex Lahey. Taking the idea of The Best of Luck Club seriously enough to have a “Welcome Book” on the band’s website (where fans and friends can leave comments for other club members), one Ash Esky calls “Don’t Be So Hard on Yourself” “The anthem I didn’t know I needed.” The song is an earnest pep-talk, disguised as a feel-better single off of the latest album: “No regrets when you get old ‘cause you won’t stop until the stars get cold.” Lahey’s sax solo is somehow both over-the-top and absolutely perfect. Lahey’s writing is deeply personal and not afraid to be at the forefront of her music. In the previous LP’s title track music video “I Love You Like A Brother,” Lahey shares VHS footage with her brother, both as children and now as mostly grown-up adults: “Clashed like the band but now we’re back stronger while we’re both young yet still a bit older." That emotional honesty and resonance continues in Best of Luck Club. » – Matthew Weatherman


columns aural fix

Photo by Marie Lin

4 SHEER MAG SEPTEMBER 18 | MISSISSIPPI STUDIOS Since debuting on the Northeastern DIY scene in 2014, Sheer Mag have been questing to forge a unique sound through a potent re-packaging of '70s arena rock, power-pop, and proto-metal and cutting critiques of personal and societal drama. Now, two years after the critical acclaim of their debut LP, Need to Feel Your Love, the Philly punks have returned emboldened on their mission to rock with their latest release: A Distant Call. As you may have noticed—and as Sheer Mag have definitely noticed—things haven’t been so great in the years since LP1. (And that’s an understatement.) On A Distant Call, the band knows that there is hope. And they gladly give that hope a rallying cry capable of stirring even the most spineless of hearts. Mixing muscled riffs, shredding solos, and singer Tina Halladay’s powerful vox—Sheer Mag manages to strike balance in a heavy dogpile of power pop, snarling choruses, and gang vocal hooahs. Despite the fact that Sheer Mag’s music feels zoned for shaking arenas, Tina Halladay manages to bring a bombastic nuance to a complex range of emotional subject matter without fading the dial. This time around, Sheer Mag holds less back—production is cleaner, lyrics are more personal, everything is out in the open. Sheer Mag seem propelled by the self-confidence of knowing that they’ve just finished their strongest—and most vulnerable—batch of songs yet. If there’s a message to take away from A Distant Call, it’s that the band has its sights set on even greater sonic goals. » – Eric Swanson

A

QUICK TRACKS

B

“Hardly to Blame”

“Steel Sharpens Steel”

High thread count paisley power pop meets the aftermath of a breakup that still hurts. Tina Hallady’s on-her-knees vocal pleas reach emotional heights during the second half of the chorus.

Part training montage, part steel-mill sing-a-long, part inspirational manifesto. If you’re looking to change the world, and you're looking for a theme song, look no further.

elevenpdx.com | 7


new music album reviews

ALBUM REVIEWS THIS MONTH’S BEST

R REISSUE

L LOCAL RELEASE

Short List

Bat For Lashes Lost Girls Twin Peaks Lookout Low Temples Hot Motion SassyBlack Ancient Mahogany Gold Tegan and Sara Hey, I’m Just Like You Moon Duo Stars Are the Light Vivian Girls Memory Chastity Belt Chastity Belt Blink-182 NINE Jenny Hval The Practice of Love Goo Goo Dolls Miracle Pill Puddle of Mudd Welcome to Galvania Miles Davis Rubberband (previously unreleased)

Buy it

Stream it

Disagree? Scold us: @ELEVENPDX

8 | ELEVEN PDX

Toss it

Chelsea Wolfe Birth of Violence Sargent House Chelsea Wolfe’s album Birth of Violence was birthed after a long stretch on the road—and it shows. Unmoored from percussion or tempo, Birth of Violence is a mood piece, and that mood is exhaustion. Wolfe’s melancholy voice and acoustic guitar are swallowed in a fog of reverb and synth, and with little to hold onto, the listener is left out at

Lower Dens The Competition Ribbon Music The Competition is L.A.-viaBaltimore based band Lower Dens’ fourth album. This time around, primary songwriter Jana Hunter enlists a skeleton crew consisting of just them and Nate Nelson, pushing a heavier dream-pop sound than the jangle-rock on the last album Escape From Evil (2015). “[As a kid] home life was very bleak, and pop songs were a guaranteed

sea. As Wolfe says on “Highway,” on tour she feels “so adrift, so alive.” She adeptly conveys the former, and little of the latter. While the lifelessness of the album makes for a less interesting listening experience, it does contribute to a cohesive aesthetic that calls to mind the music for a CW commercial. I have never seen The Vampire Diaries, but I imagine this is what it would sound like. Less like Vampire Weekend, and perhaps more like Vampire Weekday, or Vampire Case of the Mondays, Wolfe performs with sultry exhaustion. For an album titled Birth of Violence it can be hard to hear violence in the music, but after a few of Wolfe’s incantatory songs, it reveals itself. There is violence inherent in the concussive nature of getting up and having to go places and do things, day after day. The listener feels this by the end of Birth of Violence, for better or worse. » – Quin Nelson escape to a mental space where beauty, wonder, and love were possible,” Hunter says about the new album’s pension for haze and hooks. Lower Dens’ newest release is all dreamy synth and electronics, while chartering difficult social questions ranging from people trapped in strict monogamy (“Real Thing”); plutocratic callousness on “Empire Sundown” (Look them in the eyes when they push you/ Off the raft and make them watch you drown); and on “I Drive,” the parental expectations of gender are presented as the petulance they are: “You could have had me/But you wanted a daughter”. Most scathing is the single “Young Republicans,” a deft criticism of the titular perspective, asking listeners to see through the eyes of a diminishing anachronistic political subsect. Hunter sings, “The doors are locked and the blinds are drawn/Our lamb-skin gloves and bonnets on/You can’t pass/This is just for us/To taste the burning flesh of men”—knowing the truth is easier with honey, and bleak enough for a pop song. » – Nathan Royster


new music album reviews

Frankie Cosmos Close It Quietly Sub Pop Records

Greta Kline is so accessible that you can co-write an album with her. Yes, you! Through her band’s website, visitors (musicians or not) can work their way through a set of instructions to create unique songs for what will be known as An Induced Album. She even posted a half made drawing that you get to complete for the album art. And all she asks is

Devendra Banhart Ma Nonesuch Records Over the years, Venezuela-raised, LA-based Devendra Banhart has proven to be one of the most chameleon-like songwriters around. You can’t deny the startling eclecticism of Banhart’s songcraft, which blends psychedelic folk and pop with world music influences from Bossa Nova to the Middle East, both ancient and brand new. He’s been in heavy rotation for many a generation for over a

that you tag her in your work. Besides co-writing albums with strangers, Kline fronts her own musical ambition as Frankie Cosmos. A New York City native, this musician is the daughter of two actors and has even dabbled herself (The Squid and the Whale). Growing up in a creative environment coaxed Kline into shaping her ironically adorable and charming onstage presence and personality. Venture over to the Frankie Cosmos’ discography to get a clear idea of just how massive of a song collection Kline (under many different aliases) has made in her scarce, yet fruitful 25 years. In 2014, when she released her

Records). With bandmates Lauren Martin, Luke Pyenson, Alex Bailey and producer Gabe Wax (Beirut, Deerhunter, IAN SWEET), this new album features a whopping 21 song track list. Don’t let that discourage you from listening, though, because it comes in around a reasonable 40 minutes. The short song format allows the band to play us everything they ever wanted, without any needless elements. A few early singles (“Windows”) kept the same essence as previous albums, but other tracks (“I’m It”) showcase her distinct, honed vocals and smooth lyrics that flow out of her mouth, turning some of the more mundane and mediocre

debut album as Frankie Cosmos, fans witnessed the birth of an indie pop rock hero. Zentropy (Double Double Whammy Records) brought us a raw, unrefined and refreshing collection of 10 two-anda-half minute songs. Next Thing (2016) brought us super breezy and fun lyrics over 15 two-and-a-half minute songs. This trend continued through last year’s Vessel (18 tracks) and into this year’s new release, Close It Quietly (Sub Pop

aspects of life into something worth listening to: "Your eyes swing shut like an orange peel/but it’s just gravity..." Fans of Frankie Cosmos will appreciate the song dump in Close It Quietly—both for retaining past qualities and for new approaches, the perfect mix when musicians like where they’ve been but like where they’re going more. » – Kelly Kovl

decade, and for good reason. Many perceive Banhart as a dreamy poet-type, however in this case, the overthe-top lyrical professions of wanderlust and child-of-the-universe innocence captured on his 2005 breakout Cripple Crow became repetitive, getting in the way of the music. They belied a certain amount of privilege and comfort. But that was then. Banhart’s newest album, Ma, off of the legendary Nonesuch label and featuring contributions from Cate Le Bon and Vashti Bunyan, deserves your full attention ASAP. It’s really quite sweet and unaffected, showing a striking clarity compared with earlier albums. Perhaps an old soul needs to grow old for the most interesting elements in their vision to become clear. From the first line of “Is This Nice” to the closing moments on “Will I See You Tonight,” Banhart maintains a pensive, genteel tone to talk about evolving relationships between parent and child, partner and partner, friend and

friend—complete with swooning string arrangements, soulful sax, and a spooky, hard-to-pinpoint East Asian influence. The aphoristic, sing-songy writing style that Banhart has consistently inhabited has taken on an immensely likeable humbleness. For instance: in the line, “It was an empty book, until I took a look,” from the excellent “Taking a Page,” the album’s light touch is not without surreal humor and irony, best heard on the single “Kantori Ongaku,” which casts doubt on how easily one can find genuine connections while “the tech flows like wine”. The album’s texture gives off the feel of someone ready to be uncomfortably honest about how far they still have left to go. One of the biggest mistakes anyone can make in judging an artist is to assume that their earlier work represents their highest point. Ma could get overlooked, but is certainly one of the most interesting folk/pop albums of the year, a delicate meditation that was worth the journey. » – Matthew Sweeney

elevenpdx.com | 9


live music

SEPTEMBER CRYSTAL BALLROOM

1

9 15 26 29 30 13

1332 W BURNSIDE

The Mountain Goats | Lydia Loveless Oliver Tree | Tommy Cash | NVDES BANKS - The III Tour Cigarettes After Sex Sabrina Claudio - Truth Is Tour K.Flay | Houses | Your Smith

THEATER 2 ROSELAND 8 NW 6TH

6 Big Boi 13 Yungblud | Missio

14-15 Joseph | Deep Sea Diver

20 22 27 28 29

Hot Chip | Holy Fuck Nelly LIVE Amon Amarth | Arch Enemy | At The Gates Angels & Airwaves Prestige Wrestling

FIR 3 DOUG 830 E BURNSIDE

6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 28 29 30

SunSquabi | Swatkins SunSquabi | TAKIMBA No Kind of Rider | ePP | Tender Kid Iya Terra | The Ries Brothers | For Peace Band Ziggy Alberts | Emily Brimlow Melvins | Redd Kross Ehiorobo | Deca | DJ Marvl TWRP | Rich Aucoin Elder Island | Dirty Nice Greg Laswell Blue Tomorrows | Sunbathe (solo) | Dolphin Midwives Blanco White Jay Som | Boy Scouts | Affectionately Hayden James | Naations Reyna Tropical | Guayaba | Amenta Abioto Pokey LaFarge (solo) | Jack Klat Matthew and The Atlas | Boy Bjorn Boris | Uniform Ross From Friends Shura | Quinn Christopherson Christian French | ASTN Barns Courtney | THE HUNNA

4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 17 18

MISSISSIPPI STUDIOS 3939 N MISSISSIPPI

Hair Puller | Dirty Princess | Internet Beef Sonny and the Sunsets | The Gonks | Sun Foot Slaughter Beach | Dog Josh Potter Hartyga | Arrington De Dionyso | Abronia Reptaliens | Marinero | Weeed The Hip Abduction | DoveDriver The Brother Brothers | Nick Jaina Torche | Pinkish Black | SRSQ School of Rock tribute to DEVO vs. The B-52's Charlie Cunningham | The Still Tide Night Moves Sheer Mag | Tweens | Andy Place and the Coolheads

10 | ELEVEN PDX


live music

SEPTEMBER MISSISSIPPI STUDIOS 3939 N MISSISSIPPI

4

Tropa Magica | Dreckig | The Social Stomach Joe Mande - King Of Content Tour Fontaines D.C. | Pottery Andrew Duhon | Avid Dancer Mike Watt + The Missingmen | Máscaras Blue Cranes | Methods Body Sama Dams | Illegal Son | Sheers Summer Cannibals | Dreamdecay | Moon Shy Nilüfer Yanya | Hana Vu | Jazzi Bobbi !!! (CHK CHK CHK)

WONDER BALLROOM 128 NE RUSSELL

5

Black Mountain | L.A. Witch theXplodingboys | Bad Juju | Devoured by Flowers MUNA | Chelsea Jade FACS | Russian Circles Zara Larsson Polo & Pan Nitzer Ebb Kate Tempest Dirtwire Lagwagon | Face To Face

HOLOCENE

1001 SE MORRISON

19 20 21 22 23 24 25 28 29 30

13 14 16 17 18 25 26 27 28 29 30

6

TBA 2019 6

Yellowhammer Benefit: Saloli | Grapefruit | Omari Jazz

Daft Punk vs Basement Jaxx Dance Party Phum Viphurit Sassyblack | Brown Calculus | KayelaJ | Mami Miami Fleetmac Wood presents Sea of Love Disco Tobi lou Dance Like a Mother

RONTOMS

600 E BURNSIDE

7

Weeed | Dorotheo Mother Mariposa | Toyboat Toyboat Toyboat Lose Yr Mind: Aan | Art d'Ecco | Night Heron Kulululu | LiquidLight Elly Swope | !mindparade

KELLY'S OLYMPIAN 426 SW WASHINGTON

12 14 15 18 20 21 28 30

1 8 15 22 29

8

Eye Candy VJs (Mondays) Party Damage DJs (Tuesdays) KPSU DJs (Wednesdays) Forgotten Fantasies Live: Dino-Swords New Dew Ft Miss Toni Hill | Versie Jean Spec Script: True Blood Tigers of Youth KnowMads | Common Market | All Star Opera Brothertiger Dakota Theim | Drunk on Pines Space Shark The Kickback | Drae Slapz Glitter Girlz The 87 | The Totals | White Hot Secrets Dorado | The Empty | Nick Arneson

1 6 8 12 13 14 18 20 21 23 25 26 Jack Maybe Project | Corwin Bolt | Brother Not Brother 27 Streetcar Conductors | Dr Something | Denim Wedding 28

elevenpdx.com | 11


features SEPTEMBER

9

18 20 23 27 28 30

POLARIS HALL

635 N KILLINGSWORTH CT

Titus Andronicus | Control Top Said The Whale | Melville Boogarins | Winter Rituals of Mine | The Seshen | Frankie Simone The No Sleep Podcast Castanets

REVOLUTION HALL 10 1300 SE STARK 4 11 12 13 17 18 20 22 24 25 29

Stoney LaRue | Wade Bowen

The Current: Portland's Native American Community

Sunn O))) | Papa M WHY? | Barrie The Paper Kites | Harrison Storm The California Honeydrops | Daniel Rodriguez Risk! | The Mystery Box Show Eric Andre: Legalize Everything Tour Marc Broussard | Samantha Fish Criminal Podcast Cornelius Performs Point | Sugar Candy Mountain

CLUB 11 TOFFEE 1006 SE HAWTHORNE ALBERTA STREET PUB 12 115 NW 5TH The Alliance Comedy Showcase (Sundays 9pm) Karaoke with The King (Mondays)

5 6 7 8 14 19 21 22

The Chuck Israels Nextet (Wednesdays)

Mama Sam & The Jam Shotski (EP Release Party) | Johnny Raincloud Michelle Malone Adventure Is Our Middle Name | The Very Least

Glass of Hearts | This Years Model Friends Of Friends Neo-Soul+Funk Jam! OldMil | The Loved | Coby Brown Songwriters in the Round

LOCAL FEATURE THE SECRET SOCIETY 13 116 NE RUSSELL

Honky Tonk (Tuesdays) Zydeco (Wednesdays) Swing (Thursdays) 28 XRAY FM Presents: Kendra Morris | Julia Haltigan

WHITE EAGLE 14 836 N RUSSELL 3 4 5 6 7

Open Bluegrass Jam (Thursdays) Ripe Red Apple | Jumblehead Sam Densmore | Naked Luck Tribute Show - The Clash, The Kinks and more Blair Crimmins and the Hookers | Basso à Deux Foolish Hearts Band

12 | ELEVEN PDX

I

by Henry Whittier-Ferguson

Internet Beef

nternet Beef looks how they sound, an amalgamation of postpunk riffs and meme-pop aesthetic, with a heart that beats bloody sexuality, and sometimes speaks hungarian.

When I go to meet Internet Beef, Dr. Beeflin is hanging lips on the wall—an imposingly juicy red pair cast in plaster, measuring a solid three feet across. The band recently acquired the lips on Facebook marketplace, Beeflin tells me, stepping off the sequined bed to admire his work, then going back up to straighten them just a hair. The rest of the band files in and we all take a moment to consider the lips. “Now we need to get some googly eyes,” says Jamburger Helper. Chopped Libber and Bobo Lebeef nod in agreement. The band is kitted out in sequins and day-glo, patterns criss crossing in a gaudy clash evocative of the Internet in its formative days, when web-design doctrine dictated tiled backgrounds, embedded chiptunes, and


unreadably cyan fonts. Internet Beef looks how they sound, an amalgamation of post-punk riffs and meme-pop aesthetic, with a heart that beats bloody sexuality, and sometimes speaks hungarian. The band’s upcoming EP, Free Trial, is as catchy as it is brief—four tracks at 11 minutes—but even that quick exposure is enough to lodge the songs somewhere deep in the reptilian parts of the brain. It's music for a party where anything and anyone goes, fueled by freeassociative humor and the freedom of expression that once ruled the net, and maybe can again if only we let it. ELEVEN sat down with the band to talk about the Internet, the shows, and the new EP: ELEVEN : Can you guys go around

for the people and say your names, and what you play in the band, or what you contribute?

Doc Beeflin: I’m Doc—Doc Beeflin. I play guitar, and I do a lot of the recording, mixing and production, that stuff. Chopped Libber: I’m Libby, band name Chopped Libber, and I play guitar. Bobo Lebeef: I’m Ibolya, I go by Bobo Lebeef on stage. I’m the singer, and I play the alto sax as well. Jamburger Helper: Jamburger Helper. Drums. And I’m the TV personality. 11: Aliases are something you need to have on the Internet, but how did you get yours? Did they come naturally to you? Are they based on your favorite preparations of beef? JH: Jamburger Helper was one of the names my Mom wanted to name me before I came out. She was deciding between several, and that was her second option, so I figured I’d bring it back out, you know? Shout out to Mom. Shout out to all the helpers out there. BL: I’m a vegetarian, so it’s pretty

ironic for me. These guys named me Bobo. At work, I went by a different nickname, Booyah, but when I started hanging out with these guys, they were always calling each other boo and I got real confused. Like, “Stop saying my name!” So we needed to create something new for me, and I became Bobo Lebeef. The rest is history. CL: Actually Jesse thought of Chopped Libber, and I thought it was perfect, because I always feel chopped, in a way (laughs). You know what I mean?

features SEPTEMBER

WHITE EAGLE 836 N RUSSELL

14

Biddy on the Bench 8 Robert Jon & The Wreck 10 Coral Creek 11

The Cascadians | The Sentiments | Sterling Heights 12

Garcia Birthday Band Spirits of Stumptown Covenhoven | Hanna Haas Pants On Fire! Próxima Parada Lost Ox | Tryin' Toledo Kesch | The Billy Novas

13 16 19 25 26 28 29

DB: I’m Doc because I’m going to doctor school. That’s pretty much it. Beeflin is because my last name is Hamlin, but that would be some Internet pork product, so we just swapped out the protein. 11: The Internet is a crazy place where things have a way of coming into existence out of nowhere. How did you guys coalesce into a band? DB: Chopped Libber and I are married, so we’ve been making music since way back, when we were in high school. Jamburger Helper, I met at a community college drag show, and I invited him to a show a couple days after that, and he showed up on acid, and kinda started following me around after that. JH: I’m still on acid… DB: Then we found Bobo on the internet, as you do. Casual encounters, on Craigslist. 11: You have this new EP that’s coming out, Free Trial, on AOL CDs? I was gonna ask about your distribution actually. I mean obviously you’re on the Internet, but free CDs as well? Or maybe not free? CL: Yeah, CDs. They’re free, but there’s a five dollar convenience fee. It’s printed on the back. 11: In particular, I wanted to talk about “Anosmia,” which is one of my favorites on the EP. Could you speak to the connection you make

TURN! TURN! TURN! 8 NE KILLINGSWORTH

15

Name That T-t-tune (Tuesdays)

The Casual Scene | Charley No Face | Bootes Void Darren Hanlon Richie Dagger's Crime | Dobak | Guests The Heartlights | Whisper Hiss | Moon Debris Braille Stars | Smokey Kingdom | School Bully Shells | Deadbeat Beat | Jessica Dennison+Jones Tom Brosseau - In The Shadow Of The Hill (album) Rain Cult | Bear Call | Tom Ghoulie Spain

HAWTHORNE THEATRE

7 8 12 13 14 21 26 27 30

1507 SE 39TH

16

VALENTINES

17

Raveena | Blossom Scarlxrd The Emo Night Tour Steven Page Band Ft. the Odds Into the Flood | AVOID | Hostilities Witt Lowry | Xuitcasecity Millencolin | MEST | Ground Score Lucky Daye | Marco McKinnis Neon Moon | DJ Armadilla Vein | Soft Kill | Higher Power Dominic Fike | Deb Never Periphery | Veil of Maya | Covet

232 SW ANKENY

Karaoke with Atlas (Mondays) Massacooramaan | Princess Dimebag Mira Death | Drench | SLOTHGANG Dead Dives Joypress Laser Vision with King Fader An Evening for David Berman Celebration of House

5 6 7 8 13 14 19 20 21 22 27 28

6 8 11 12 13 15 20

elevenpdx.com | 13


features SEPTEMBER

ALADDIN THEATER 18 3017 SE MILWAUKIE

7,9,10 The Mountain Goats | Lydia Loveless

11 17 19 20 21 28

An Evening with George Winston Brian Wilson and the Zombies Claudia Oshry Adrian Belew | Saul Zonana No Quarter | Barracuda Jackie Greene | Coffis Brothers

HOLLYWOOD THEATRE A not-for-profit organization whose mission is to entertain, inspire, educate and connect the community through the art of film while preserving an historic Portland landmark.

4122 NE Sandy Blvd, 97212 503.493.1128 hollywoodtheatre.org

THE GOODFOOT 19 2845 SE STARK 1 4 5 7 11 12 18

Boys II Gentlemen (Tuesdays) Soul Stew w/ DJ Aquaman & Friends (Fridays) Lost Ox Foolish Hearts Outer Orbit | Sarah Clarke Tropitaal w/ DJ Anjali & The Incredible Kid Band of Comerados | The Muddy Souls Greaterkind | Spyn Reset | Klyph Brett's House Party

STAR THEATER 20 13 NW 6TH 5 6 7 8 12 14 15 20 22 24 28

Morgan Heritage | Jemere Morgan | Arkaingelle Cooper | Orchestre L'Pow Salvatore Manalo | Evan Knapp | Liam St. John Slutwalk Portland Presents - Voices In Action The Moves Collective Pauly Shore Blackalicious Acid King | Witch Mountain | Wizard Rifle Pink Turns Blue BJ The Chicago Kid Wax Tailor (DJ set) | 9 Theory | Thoma

THE LIQUOR STORE

21 3341 SE BELMONT 5 6 7 10 18 19 20 22 27

Jeremy Ferrara | Alexis Mahler | Alexandra Wake The Town | Deft Noche de Cumbia Kitten Forever | Mr. Wrong | Soft Butch Phone Call | Yip Deceiver | Pleasure Curses Havania Whaal | Velvet Q | Pool Boys Fixate Sisters | Seance Crasher Anastasia Kristensen | JAK | Dana Greenwald

DANTE'S 22 350 W BURNSIDE 4 5 6 7 8 14 15 18

Void Realm | A//tar | Zero Theorem Gutter Demons | The Brainiax Cedars and Crows | Peter Arvdison & The Ruckus Daikaiju Kristin's Break-a-Leg Show | Groovy Wallpaper Appetite For Deception Unchained Avant Garb Alternative Fashion Show Giuda | The Sadists | Bad Sex

14 | ELEVEN PDX

there, between smell and fear? BL: Well, I actually had to ask these guys what anosmia meant. The definition is that you can’t smell, but I didn’t want it to be literally a song about things you can’t smell. I’m a huge animal person, I’ve trained dogs my entire life, and I was thinking, dogs smell fear, like lots of animals do, and I wanted to incorporate that into a song. JH: About a barn cult. BL: (laughs) About a barn cult. And trapping children in cages. 11: Anyways, I really like the layering, and the use of noise in the mix on Free Trial. Can you talk about your process with that? DB: We got a write-up today. Actually it was a denial of a write up, but it was as good as a write up, because it said “I was on the fence, because it sounded pretty cool, but when the boat horns came on, I knew it was a no.” (laughs). Yeah we put some boat horns on there, those sirens, but I’m going to call them boat horns now. 11: There’s also the police sirens on “Clickbait.” BL: That initially started because I found the coolest megaphone that had a cop siren, but then for whatever reason some wires got fucked up in it, and I couldn’t use the siren at a show. But I thought, “Why not just sing it?” Now we do all sorts of chants, and we scream at ICE and we say fuck the proud boys! 11: I wanted to talk about your Tiny Desk submission video, filmed at the Freaky But True Peculiarium, for your song “Hosszú Kés”. Is that a song you’ve been playing for a while? BL: Yeah, it started two years ago for a Halloween show and incorporates my Hungarian abilities (laughs). I have a lot of them. I had that intro kinda stuck in my head for a while. It started out on keyboard, and Jesse and I collabed on that little intro, and

he was like, “You should do that on sax,” so we switched it over. It’s half in Hungarian and half in English. It’s pretty much about how I want to eat these people’s hearts for dinner, because they’re giving me such a headache, spooky stuff like that for the Halloween show—but it ended up being a good song for our Tiny Desk submission. 11: Do you find a difference writing in Hungarian vs. English? BL: Yeah, it’s a little trickier. The grammar is very, very difficult, and very different from English grammar. We actually got a lot of Internet beef going on Reddit, because they were saying I wasn’t Hungarian enough, because I sounded like someone who grew up in America, and I was like, “You got it, I was born in San Francisco,” so that was actually just more clout for us. But it’s a fun challenge, and my grammar is always improving. You’ve just gotta have fun with it. 11: So the album is coming out on the 13th of September, and you’ve got a show on the 14th at Ladd’s Taphouse? Could you talk a little bit about that, the lineup, and how you met up with them? DB: Yeah, it’s Cry Babe, who we played with a long time ago at Kenton Club, they’re good friends of ours. JH: I recently went to this festival somewhere south of here, called Liesureland, saw this band called Ayla Ray and just instantly fell in love. We asked them to play, and it all worked out, so they’ll be playing too. DB: I was already friends with their drummer, and their drummer’s partner danced for us in our Doug Fir video, so we’re all connected. 11: Going off that, what do you tend to find to be your demographic? BL: I don’t know if I’ve ever been asked that. JH: If you’re breathing and you eat, you’re in!


DH: It seems like ex-metal heads really like us. Aging punks really love us. We do well in the queer community, because we love them. Just anywhere that people like to party. We’re a party band. 11: I couldn’t tell... BL: (laughs) That’s the good thing about us though, is that you can mosh to us, you can sway side-

to-side, we’ve got some joke bits, callbacks to intros of popular songs, where we tease you and take it away. You can kinda just be yourself. That’s one of the greatest compliments we’ve got. A lot of people have said they’ve never been comfortable dancing at shows, and we made them feel comfortable enough and safe enough to be themselves. I was gonna cry reading those messages, like you keep being you! »

Catch Internet Beef at the release show for Free Trial at Ladd’s Taphouse on Saturday, September 14th.

Internet Beef Free Trial Self-released Best categorized as glitterpunk, Internet Beef is an amalgamation of hardcore thrash and colorful theatricality. The band has a performative energy, wanting their music to offer a space to “dance, lose control, and be a part of something [silly].” Think gritty guitar riffs coupled with a heavy bass drum and the occasional run of eerie, haunting scales. Blending Afro-Caribbean rhythm with a Hungarian piano style and Latinx melodies, Internet Beef combines seemingly disparate musical influences to create a truly unique and powerful sound. Their music is fast, frenzied, bold and above all else, different from virtually anything else. Internet Beef first actualized as a meme idea—and

song titles like ‘Ballad o’ Beef’ and ‘ClickBait’ show they still haven’t lost their comedic touch. Their humor doesn’t come at the cost of genuine talent, and the fusion of psychedelic rock and pounding beats doesn’t just evoke dance—it demands it. If the drum-heavy, lilting sound of ‘Internet Friends’ isn’t enough to invoke headbanging, then the aptly-named ‘Kill!’ will. The song hits as heavy as a pile of bricks, and is, with a nearly constant clash of cymbals and bass drum, undoubtedly the most hardcore-style track on the EP. A personal favorite, ‘Can You Say The Alphabet Backwards,’ performs as an emotional release. Powerful, intense, repetitive and rhythmic, with a garage punkstyle guitar hook and screaming vocals, the song is overwhelming in the best way possible. Its partner track, ‘Alphabetcha,’ follows immediately after, bearing a dirty, muddled bass guitar and one of the best drum-driven instrumental sets since Cream’s release of ‘Toad.’ Internet Beef can rest easy knowing their EP will surely attract new fans. Though their first release vacillates widely in genre and sound, the success of Internet Beef should only allow them to explore their complexity in greater depth. » - Nebraska Lucas

features SEPTEMBER DANTE'S

350 W BURNSIDE

22

FIRKIN TAVERN 1937 SE 11TH

23

SPARE ROOM

24

Long Knife | Magick Gardens | Toody Cole Necrot | Lord Dying | Eagle Claw LDW performs Stop Making Sense Hell | Mizmor | Bedlamite Tinderbox Circus Sideshow

20 21 28 24 25

Val Bauer | Peter Arvidson 9

4832 NE 42ND

Karaoke Mon-Wed Karaoke From Hell at Spare Room Erotic City Cool Breeze The Hustle Jonathan Toubin's Soul Clap & Dance Off Tevis Hodge Jr. Devin Phillips

NO FUN

1709 SE HAWTHORNE

25

Night Bloom | Nishkosheh Dadweed | Mujahedeen | Yellow Room Sweet Marion & the Hill Country Sound | Mr. Monday Healersss | The Sun and The Mirror | Dead Death Glasghote | The Sleer | From the Ages Cadet | Piefight | Holy Tentacles Tevlin | Unity Garnish Violent Party | HangMen Also Die Leash | Contact Cult | -Ism | Jet Shea Stolen Jars Fox Medicine | Rad Max | Jet Echo Gepetto | My Goons | Smyth Drug Weekend | Anothernight | Autopilot Is for Lovers Neybuu | Elrond | Production Unit Xero | Midwest Nice Ghost Frog | Spirit Pack Antique | Manx Malika Rose | Juracán | Moving Colour

TWILIGHT CAFE & BAR 1420 SE POWELL

1305 SE 8TH

BUNK BAR

8 9 11 12 15 21 25 28

27

Taco Tuesdays w/ DJ Lamar Leroy & Dev From Above Rad Habits w/ DJ Rap Class (Thursdays) Forward: Truble | Kellen303 | Shaq DeMarco Gonno | Garrett Rowley | Ginkgo | Sheppard Forward: Gutta | Subdrive | Spelunker | Mac

1028 SE WATER

2 3 8 9 10 11 13 16 17 18 23 24 25 27 28 29

26

Peste Umbrarum | Putrid Temple | Befoulment Winona Forever | Jaguar One | Timewalk Rick Real and the Warmth The MFA | Simple Minded Symphony | The Fauxriginals Odious Construct | Mordant Rapture | Devils of Loudun Sicko | Broadway Calls | 48 Thrills Profit Drama | Doom Lagoon | Wicked Shallow Deceased | Leathürbitch | Autophagy

WHITE OWL SOCIAL CLUB

5 6 7 13 14 15 20

10 22 24

28

!Mindparade | King Dream | Quattlebaum Sunbathe | Risley | Plastic Cactus Young Elk | Rum River Cult | Tempest Gold Red Shahan | Denver Gary Wilson | Bryson Cone | Mattress Salo Panto | The English Language | Yuvees Queen Chief | Dream Wulf | Super Secret Drum Band

5 6 7 11 13 21 27

elevenpdx.com | 15


16 | ELEVEN PDX


elevenpdx.com | 17



Written by Charles Trowbridge photos by Mathieu Lewis-Rolland


FEATURES

You can’t really write

a better narrative than,

“Beloved local band makes it big.”

It’s got the origin story, the roots built in, the meteoric rise and the trappings of stardom. Portugal. The Man experienced this firsthand when 2017’s global hit, “Feel It Still” catapulted them from “well-known” to “ubiquitous.”

ELEVEN: We're super excited to have you guys on the cover again. It’s been a few years. You were our third cover, so it's cool have you back around for the 99th issue! I wanted to kick off asking about what you’re working on right now?

Since the song took over the air, the group has ridden the wave that comes with being one of the most in-demand acts of the year. But, true to their roots, they’ve found themselves back in Portland, collaborating with longtime friends and fellow musicians from the community. The experience shot them to the Top-40 radio station playlists, creating a strong platform for social activism that has taken them across the country, advocating for indigenous rights and lending their voices to protest education budget cuts in Alaska, the home state of founders John Gourley and Zach Carothers.

Zach Carothers: Man, we want to put out some new music. We're trying to get our ducks in a row at home. We've had more time at home this year than we've ever really had before and it's kind of nice. We're kind of setting in, digging in a little deeper to the Portland scene.

Portugal. The Man graced the cover of ELEVEN back in the very early days, and as we neared our landmark 100th issue, we caught up with Zach, John and Jason Sechrist to chat about their wild ride since 2018, their love for the Portland community, and the tall task of topping a mega-hit.

20 | ELEVEN PDX

Jason Sechrist: That's hard to say because you know that's kind of the secret ingredient, what we're going to wear, what we're going to push as a single, what angle we're going to do. But we're going to attack it in the same spirit that we always have. I was listening to a couple interviews this week and some podcasts, and it's pretty awesome that all these people are saying, "I put in the fucking work; I work Monday through Friday." No one could judge this. No one could judge this. You’ve


kind of got to stick by your art and sell it, stick by your product and go with it. So, I would say that just fundamentally we'll feel strong when we come out with something. John Gourley: Well, I guess we’ve been the studio quite a bit since pretty much the last record dropped. It’s just off and on, trying things out to see what feels right. Lately we've been in with Jeff Bhasker – he’s in a bunch of really rad records. He works with Kanye a bunch and it's just been fun. Being in the studio and collaborating is always cool, being there with somebody new. I'm a big fan of that. I know a lot of people get weird about producers overstepping or telling you which direction to take things. But I prefer it, you know? I prefer having somebody there to kind of check you on things and let you know when you’re going too far. He's a really good one. He's been in everything. We had Paul Williams in the studio with us and The Last Artful, Dodgr, Reuben from Unknown Mortal Orchestra has been in. We’re just trying a bunch of stuff. 11: That sounds like a name-dropping mix of Portland artists – is that by design? JG: I think it just kinda happens – it's just people that we hang out with! We got really lucky with a song on the last album, clearly. But it's not like that – I love those songs. I love songs that everybody can listen to, that can cross genres and it's weird because it's like the one thing in the world that we can all agree on—besides air and water—is that these songs work. You see it when you watch campaigns, like you see super conservative people throw on Bruce Springsteen, or the Rolling Stones, or whoever it is. It's a really interesting thing that I've always been obsessed with: how do you write something that everybody listens to and that's just fun for them? And I think everybody has that right now, everyone has that ability. It's just about having a good time in the studio. I mean, that's my biggest goal with this new album, just have fun making it and bring along friends. If it's something rad, then go chase it and there's no pressure. It's just hanging out with friends. ZC: It's just what we like, man. John and I are new. I mean, we're not really new, we've been here for a really long time, Jason grew up here. We just like to rep our town, we like to rep Alaska, we like to rep Portland, we like to rep where we're from, and honestly it's just that they've always had amazing artists. People like Ruban [Nielson], we've been fans of his forever. The bass player, John, he recorded the very first Portugal. The Man's demo, ever. Way back in the day. We've been connected with those guys for quite some time. We really love their bands and like Last Artful, Dodgr, Animé they're just super cool and some of the raddest shit coming out of Portland for sure. 11: It seems like in the last few years the Portland hip hop scene has grown up a little bit. There's Aminé and Last Artful Dodgr coming out, there's a few others too. Is that something you guys are interested in, crossing over into that? I know you got some stuff that you can mix in with hip hop pretty easily.

ZC: Yeah absolutely. And Portland has a cool version of that. It's definitely different than East Coast or West Coast, the whole Northwest is really very progressive and a very different kind of thing. We really like it, and it's new. That's what we like about hip hop in general; it's pushing the envelope further than rock and roll is lately. And, so, when it comes to music that's just one thing that we really like. JS: And you know, the good news about those types of collaborations and that kind of situation, you still need drums and bass and vocals. You are probably going to put keys down and you might even fuck around with guitars. So, the elements are still there. It's all there man. We're just not taking that typical task. ZC: It's all about doing something new. 11: You said you guys got lucky, so to speak, with “Feel It Still.” Have you noticed more opportunities popping up to be climate change advocates, and what has come along with that elevated platform you’ve got now? ZC: I guess it is just that, it's that our audience has grown very wide with a hit. We never knew what a hit would do and that's pretty funny, how it changed. John likes to mention this a lot, we kind of went from having 100 songs to having one song. Definitely, cast the net pretty wide and it seems rad to us because we have been able to reach such a much wider audience to talk to with things we care about. We have a much bigger, much larger platform to get some more of our ideas out there. JS: Yeah, it's definitely hard, whenever we reach out in Portland. Anyone from Portland will always say, “oh God, oh God, oh God!” But yea, it’s a lot of travel. It’s all good, and we're the same old fun guys and that's easy. We're just kind of applying that to the new experiences. JG: We've actually had none of the serious issues that come along with that, which is really great. Our Instagram community has been pretty chill, and even our Reddit community is real chill. They've been raising money for Indigenous communities and doing some really cool stuff. People know who you are, and that helps a lot if you have an issue that you’re getting behind. And we're not necessarily climate; it's Indigenous people. Growing up in Alaska – and I grew up in a mushroom community – you’re around people like the Reddingtons, and the founders’ families. You're around Native Alaskans. You know, my nephews are Athabaskan, and it's something that, as we started touring down here, we realized that you just don't really see. We were wondering, where are the Native Americans? Where are the people we hear so much about? They're not visible. Back home, if you go out to the villages, if you go out to Shismaref, you see every kid out on their on their cell phone. Like they all have iPads, they all have cell phones, they have Internet. It's visibility first and foremost, and acknowledging the people who are here first and taught us how to farm it, and

elevenpdx.com | 21


FEATURES

how to fish, and how to hunt. I can only imagine growing up and being on a cell phone, watching music videos, watching everything happen in pop culture, the front page of Reddit and never seeing your culture represented. That's, that's the main reason why we got involved with on the Indigenous front. It covers a lot of issues, and honestly I think Indigenous knowledge is the way forward. When you talk about like planting trees, everybody wants to plant a trillion trees or a billion trees, whatever it is. Every couple of months we're talking about planting trees when we should be rewilding areas. And who knows how to do that best? It’s that Indigenous knowledge growth that will push a lot of these things forward, and I think that they are the future consultants: tell us how to use this plan the right way, the efficient way to use it and how to bring the deer back. That's a good thing. When you drive down these highways and you see the tree farms, that's the first thing you notice—there are no animals. There's nothing feeding. It's just rows and rows. And as beautiful as that looks, you just start to see that as you go down each row: there's no deer, there's no rabbit, there's no birds. There's nothing there. 11: There's that area over in Eastern Oregon that has a bunch of tree farms, and it's eerie, honestly. I don’t know how many miles, but like you said, it's wild. But it's also not, really. It's not even a real wooded area or anything. So, you kind of losing anything that the farms might be bringing to the table. JG: Yeah. It’s a weird thing. We always pushed this idea, plant a million trees, or a hundred million trees over the next month, and it does something, I suppose, but it doesn't bring back the wildlife. It doesn't bring back everything. That's just a quick, feel-good story. I guess to answer your question about our raised platform that we got with that song, it pretty much made it possible for us to reach out to a lot of people, to finally start doing land acknowledgments and doing the things we had talked about. We've talked about this for a decade, basically since the band started. We talked about, like, “How do we do this?” The first time we went to Australia, we met some Aboriginal people, the people who were here first and whose land it is. It was so hard to connect until Maclay Heriot, our photographer, told us about this thing called “Welcome to Country,” when we were down in Australia, and it is exactly what it sounds like. You can go to a website, you can bring in an Aboriginal leader and we met Uncle Alan Madden in Sydney, and Auntie Maroochy Barambah in Melbourne, and they came out. It is, in the most basic sense, welcome to my land, welcome to country. It's, “Here's your safe passage, this is our blessing.” It was a really beautiful thing. Just the fact that they had a website set up – we don't have anything like that in the states. Something that lets you start reaching out and connecting with people. That's what that song meant to us. It put us in a place where you can actually reach out and talk to people and just reach a broader audience.

22 | ELEVEN PDX

11: Let’s talk about Alaska. I know you guys went up there recently to lend your voice to some of the protesting taking place around the big budget cuts. There are a lot of transplants that come from Alaska down to Portland because of how supportive and expansive the artistic community is. Can you draw a line for us between why you still have that sense of ownership or protectiveness for Alaska, and some of the things you value about the Portland art community? ZC: It's all about never forgetting where you came from, representing and helping out. We knew we had to leave; we wanted to go out, we wanted to see the world and we love Portland. There's a million problems but there's one that we feel very, very close to us, and that's exactly where we're from. The things that are being cut in those budgets are the things that we stand behind and we stand with. It was pretty much a no brainer to go up and help with that one. JG: My whole thing is education, which is weird coming from a high school drop out, right? I understand the importance of it better from traveling. Travel, for us, was where we learned everything. As far as the art community goes, these artists—you need people that know how to make these crazy ideas work. The artists are where those crazy ideas come from. They go hand in hand. All these eccentric weirdos that come up with this idea for a car or for a light bulb. Like, how do I grab that lightning and put it in this bottle? That's a really specific mind that does that. I grew up building houses, and one of my favorite things to see was walking into a house once it's framed up and once everything's in, right before everything's sectioned off and right before you put up the drywall and seal it all in. I love to see how everything works and see all those angles, where the attic is going to be closed in. We would travel around is as kids—my family’s from upstate New York—and we'd go to New York City and travel the East Coast a bit. Seeing great architecture is so great for young minds. It just gave you an idea of what things could be. 11: Do you bring that same mentality to the actual creation of your music when you are going through the creative initial process? Getting back in the studio again and bringing in new artists and the collaborative aspect of it, do you bring that same mentality that you just talked about, the outside thinkers and people that have the ability to create new ways of thinking? JG: That was the whole goal when we started this. First of all, we never expected to sign to Atlantic Records. We never thought we'd be on a major label, we never thought we’d have a song like “Feel It Still.” We just set out to play music and then move on to the next city because it was cool, it was fun and it was new and exciting. We just wanted to see new places, and I wanted to learn as much as I could about songwriting. We sat down and said, “Okay, we're going to make a different album each time we


go in, and we're going to make an album a year just to see the progress and see where we're at.” We wanted to document where we were going. The albums would be stories of where we've been and how we grew up, just made in a different way each time.

all those situations doing interviews, and you realize how manufactured all the stuff is. To really understand pop music, you have to know that when they walk into those interviews… like, we wouldn't be doing this interview right now.

11: So, as you are working on this new music, it seems like there's probably more doors open to you. How do you guys intend to kind of keep a handle on the beast? The last album, you had the hit, and it was a great album. But how do you deal with that being kind of a main entry point to your music now, even though you’ve got this expansive back catalog?

ZC: We learned pretty quickly that we just need to be ourselves because there's definitely a lack of that in the pop world. We had a lot of fun when we first started going into pop stations and feeling in that world which we were very new to. It was fun but they had a good time with us because we weren't scripted. You know, a lot of pop stars will go in and they have to get all the questions beforehand. There's script for everything and we don't really give a shit about those things. So, once we come, we can chill in there, and you’re hungover we'll talk about being hungover. I think it was a breath of fresh air for them because they treated us very well. And we got to have fun with it. It's always a new experience and when it comes down to anything like that the most fun thing about the success we've had with that song, is just the new experiences we've had. We just got to go and do some different places.

JG: Well, that's what music is. When you think about modern music, who do you think are the biggest artist? I mean, it's like Ariana Grande and Ed Sheeran and people like that. It’s YG and Young Thug and Future—it's all these artists, and music today is way more progressive now than I think it’s ever been. I really believe that. Nirvana was doing something that kind of existed, it was just a little bit more fun and had more of an edge to it. Hip hop is something completely different. It showed that mid-thirties [laughs] mid-to-late thirties, folks from Alaska, can wait four years to put out an album, and still have a number one hit at top radio. That is bananas. Like, going into to Nick Radio, and Radio Disney, and Ryan Seacrest—

JG: Everything that happened was really interesting. “Feel It Still” and everything we've done, it’s all built around honesty. Paul Williams has this really great speech that he gives about

elevenpdx.com | 23


FEATURES

songwriting, and it's writing your truth. You have to write your truth. Ariana Grande, she is a busy kid through and through. You can give her a line and she can sing it like it's hers all day long, and it means so much coming from her. Whereas somebody else… indie bands can't do that. We're not actors. We didn’t grow up doing that. It has to be true to who you are. So, I thought it was interesting seeing what people had to say about “Feel It Still”. I saw a lot of the things that were said in the beginning. Like, “it sounds like they're swinging for the fences and falling short.” That was like one of the first reviews I read. It may have been out of Portland, but it was this thing that’s funnier in hindsight because it worked. The thing is, you always have to be true to who you are. And I think that song happened because I'm just obsessed with the song. I'm obsessed with “Ain't No Sunshine.” I'm obsessed with “Mr. Postman.” That's why that melody is in that song. It doesn't mean that it is that song, that's not what it is. It's something totally new. It's taking the light bulb and making the internet, taking the light bulb and making a car. All of these coexist. They all work together. This takes us back to the discussion about Alaska and education. That's what music should be. It's all necessary to who you are. Talking about these collaborations and people coming in, I just want people to come in and just try things. I mean, we have this opportunity to work with really great people. I'd rather see my friends in there trying to do things, than pop songwriters, because I think honesty is what it is, and I think everybody has it. At the end of the day, I’m like, “hey, if it doesn't make the record, it doesn't make the record. That’s how this band works. That's how we've always worked.” I've always worked like that, and I don’t give a shit if you throw away an album with Dangermouse, or an album with Mike D., if it gets us to Woodstock and “Feel It Still.” That's fully who this band is. If it's not true to who we are, it won't happen. And, obviously, I do think like we have to like chase that song and try and beat it, and I want to beat it. How impossible would that be for us to beat that song? It was so massive – it is so massive! We have this stupid fucking plaque at our house that we can't bring herself to hang up because it's so ridiculous! It's just this list of countries that it went platinum and diamond and gold and in. It was worldwide, and so it's something that you can't really chase, but I would like to. I would like to go in and just see if these dipshit kids from Alaska can write another song like that. But, how do you do that? How do you compete with trap beats and hip hop? Because hip hop is, I think, peak art and peak punk and folk – it is everything that music is meant to be. It's storytelling, it's repetition and loops. The perfect hook doesn't need to be relative to what the song is about, verses can be about different things from section to section, rhythm's change. It's exact opposite of what you would expect if you're listening to Motown and trying to nail that verse/melody perfectly, each time it comes around. You'll see that when you get into songwriting like, oh, you have that many syllables, you're like adding too many words. But I do see it on “Feel It Still.” That song works because verse one and two it does that thing. Third verse is a variation on the verse melody on a different chord progression. And that is like classic Motown

24 | ELEVEN PDX

structuring as a middle eight. It's not, like, “here, sell me a bridge.” It's the middle eight: “Is it coming/is it coming” – chorus! That's it. That's all it is. But to think it’s that simple would be missing the point of what songwriting is and what pop music is about. You're missing the point that that song works because it's the demo vocal. That's straight up the demo vocal on one of the biggest songs of that year! It's in a lounge of the studio on a drum mic. It’s just the closest microphone there. And that's how stupid songwriting it is. It's unpredictable, and that's the most beautiful thing in the world. It's the fact that there's no algorithm, like, yeah, you can try to beat it, and, yeah, you could try to pay for it. You could do all those things, but it doesn't mean anything if it's not honest. A computer can't do that. A computer can nail a melody and can nail all these things that we can all use. We all grew up around the kids in the punk bands, in the indie bands, in the alternative bands and metal bands that all said pop is easy. And like I could write a song like that. It’s, like, no you can't – it's really fucking hard! That song happened because I was trying so hard to write it, and then I stepped out of the studio and thought, “fuck man, I just want to play the bass.” I played that bass line and somebody heard it. My buddy Asa hard me playing the bass line said, “hey, let me record that.” And that happened because I wasn't trying to do it. The worst thing in the world for songwriting is t overanalyze, and that’s all I fucking do all day long! »


LOCAL HERO Sam Smith by Richard Lime

Photo by Ryan Silver

F

or the very few people in the city of Portland who don’t know you, how would you introduce yourself?

Sam Smith: I was born and raised in Portland. I’ve traveled enough of the world to get a flavor for what else is going on and I appreciate it very much, but I get back to Portland and become complacent and satisfied with what’s going on here. Including a few highlights that are world class. 11: What are some of the elements that you like so much? SS: Really key is Portland’s music community. In my experience and exposure I’ve never experienced anything as warm and beautiful and it really entices me. It brings me joy, great joy, and I keep coming back. I can’t see it ending. And Powell’s books, I love Powell’s books. 11: You attend a lot of shows. How many do you attend per week and what is your criteria for determining them? SS: Well, it’s contagious. I’m happy to do three or four shows a week. That’s kind of average. Sometimes it’s more. Sometimes I do two a day. It depends. The community and the shows are dynamic for me. I make many friends as a result, so that’s my social life. Secondarily, I really do go for the music. People come to know me and I find it very warm and inviting and humbling.

I’m very humbled by the attention that I get. 11: What is the best performance you’ve ever seen? SS: A friend was working at a radio station and he took me to see Bruce Springsteen at what is now the Paramount Theater. That brought me to tears. That was in the earlier days, I think it was maybe Born to Run album or second album. That truly was a great experience, but I’ve seen others that are in that league since then. 11: Give me two runners up. SS: Y La Bamba and Other Lives. 11: What are your favorite non-music elements that you care most about in the city? SS: It’s changing so fast and so much. I still can’t think of any place that at my age, I could go to and be any more comfortable. The density is getting pretty intense, I sort of think the city is not managed well. I used to study urban planning and they haven’t lived up to their promises. I get confused by that. I like the atmosphere. It’s still a good city, the people are great. The people come here for wholesome values, I’ll say. »

elevenpdx.com | 25


LITERARY ARTS Andrea Hollander by Scott McHale

T

o write succinctly and gracefully about personal truths between humans is something not easily done, even by the most seasoned and revered poets. Andrea Hollander has made a career out of it, distinctly interweaving her own memories and emotions into language that is accessible to any reader who it open to it. Her work has been distinguished by several awards including the Nicholas Roerich Poetry Prize, a Pushcart Prize for memoir, and she was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award. Just a few weeks ago, a poem from her new collection

Blue Mistaken For Sky was singled out to be featured in the Sunday Edition of The New York Times Magazine. I was extremely fortunate to sit down with Andrea Hollander to discuss her new book and her life as a poet. The interview took place in her comfortable downtown Portland apartment, where she has hosted writing seminars and workshops over the last few years. The walls were warmly adorned with paintings by her son Brooke Budy, visually capturing moments of her life much like she has done in her poetry for the last thirty-plus years. Andrea generously offered insight to her work and spoke openly about the shock of the marital betrayal that sent her reeling into grief, but then also propelled her into a rewarding new life here in Portland, where she continues to write and teach poetry, and thrive in the vibrant literary community. ELEVEN: When did you first know you were a poet? Andrea Hollander: As a kid I wrote, I danced, I played school instead of house. In terms of truly being a writer, when I was twenty-three my mother died of breast cancer. She was fifty-one. She and I were very close and I was devastated. And like anybody, including anybody who doesn’t write anything a tragedy hits and suddenly you’re writing poetry, or what looks like poetry. It wasn’t like I didn’t know what poetry was. I had already graduated college with an English major. I really think I became a poet was around that time. I remember I sat down one night and I was actually revising a poem for the first time. Before that, I would just write. But then I went to this little bookstore and asked the person who worked there if they had any anthologies of poems that may have been chosen to be read at funerals. Because that’s what I was doing - writing my own funeral poems for my mother. I don’t even remember the name of the book but I started to realize that these poems were speaking what I already knew to say but didn’t have the language for. That’s what poetry does. It gives us the language that we all feel. It’s not news, it’s giving me language for something I feel but don’t know how to articulate. Anyway, these poems by other people, dead and alive, were really speaking to my heart and my mind, and I started to

26 | ELEVEN PDX

Photo by Brooke Bundy realize two things. One that I wasn’t really writing poems, I was writing what looked like poems. I wanted to write real poems and the only way I could actually manage it was to give myself an apprenticeship. To try to figure out what is making these poems so good. I did that by pretending that these were magic tricks performed by a master magician. In the world of magic, magicians do not give away their secrets, even to aspiring magicians. You can watch and watch and watch and then you have to figure it out for yourself. So I considered myself an apprentice magician in the world of poetry and my job was to figure out what’s the magic trick in each of these poems. And there’s always more than one. 11: Can you tell me about how the new collection Blue Mistaken for Sky came to be? AH: I moved here after a sudden divorce. After thirtyfour years of what I perceived was a very good marriage, I discovered that my husband had been living a secret life, with a different name, as a single man, for many of the years of our marriage. It was a devastating and shocking discovery and it leaked out little by little. I couldn’t tell you anything more except it was like a Jekyll & Hyde [situation] to find out that there is a whole other life going on with this person who you think you know everything about. It was traumatic. I was sixty-four and after trying to figure out if there was a way that


community I could stay with him, there just wasn’t. So I asked for a divorce and a week later I moved here. My son lived here and he was anxious for me to be here. It was perfect because it was a place I wanted to be anyway. We needed each other at that point because we were both in shock. I write about my life, I always have. My life, my observations, my history. Humans in families, that’s been my subject. And so I began to write poems about what I was experiencing. By the time Blue Mistaken For Sky was finished, and there are about fifty poems in there. I realized that without having planned it, that this was a book that if I arranged the poems in a certain way, it would read like a memoir. Which it does. If you start from the beginning, you are reading three sections: The opening section I state what’s going on, without being accusatory. You would know from the first poem that this person who’s going to tell you her story is divorced and her husband has betrayed her. You would not know any of the ways of the betrayal except the normal assumptions you would make. And from there on, you’re going to hear how it felt to be betrayed and how I managed the emotional trauma, and then left Arkansas, where my former husband and I built our house in the woods and had been there for thirty-four years. Then in a second section of the book, we go back in time and, who is this woman? There are poems about things that happened in my childhood and the ways that I’ve lost both my parents. In a third section I am here in Portland and am healing and this is how I healed. So that’s the setup. The poems individually (and of course I didn’t know that I was writing this book), but they all start with something that seems easy to grasp and then when you get to the end of the poem something blows open. Something is revealed. 11: The one poem that struck me in Blue Mistaken For Sky was “Premonition”. I think that everyone experiences it at one time or another in their life. That feeling that something is telling you something and that you should probably pay attention. AH: Well, it’s interesting because that was an actual experience I’m describing. And it was significant because at the time it happened, just to review -- I’m with my new husband and we’re on a long drive in a wooded area and a deer starts to run towards the car, almost hits the window where I’m sitting, and doesn’t. It just manages to get over. My husband says he didn’t see it. It was so weird because it was so, so obvious. How could he have not seen it? It was significant at the time, but that poem is fairly recent. That incident happened in 1976. It’s

literary arts

interesting that what in our past comes up for all of us. In that particular situation, I look back on that incident and think, was that a sign in something I should have seen in my ex? I think we all have this hindsight. The hindsight on one hand and the premonition on the other, but do we recognize a premonition? Is it even a premonition...until it’s hindsight? 11: What is it like teaching or writing in the Ozarks, versus here in Portland, Oregon? AH: I spent the bulk of my writing life in the woods. My former husband and I moved to the Ozarks when I was thirty years old. So from thirty to sixty-four, that’s a long time. And now, I’m here. I lived in the woods where you couldn’t see another house. I was six months pregnant with my one and only child. You can really see it in the book. There’s a lot of poems that take place in the woods in the Ozarks. By the time we get to the last part of the book, we’re in the city. There are some poems that bridge the two places. I can tell you that one of the things about living in the forest is that I didn’t have the distractions of a city. Meaning I didn’t go to poetry readings, there weren’t any. I didn’t go to concerts. There was a certain kind of music in Mountainview, Arkansas. We ran a bed and breakfast that was right in the town square, and there was hill-music. Irish Hill music and a lot of it. But back in the woods where I spent my writing time, there was just me and the woods and my family and that was it. I did eventually become the writer in residence at a college an hour away. But still, I was teaching poetry and essay writing, and creative writing. Then I would go back to the woods. So even in the imagery that you will find in my work, if you read my first four books, they’re all from the Ozark life. This one bridges from place to the next. And so the city, it gets into my blood. In these poems, where it wasn’t before. It also gets into my head and my heart. So there’s a lot more people in the city poems. And a lot more noise. And the birds are different, there are a lot more crows here. 11: Do you feel at home here? AH: As if it were made for me. It’s really interesting. I felt it when I first visited twenty-something years ago. And it felt welcoming when I moved here if though the only person I really knew was my son. I started going to readings and various other things and started to meet people. The literary community here is so generous, so wonderful.. It’s really been amazing to be in a place where not only are other writers supportive of writers here, but there are so many people that are supportive of writers. The fact that Literary Arts can get three thousand subscriptions sold for their Arts and Lecture series every year, that’s amazing. And I hear that the music world is the same, and the art world is the same. It’s just one of these places that appreciates the arts and artists. It’s really been magnificent, to have a life that’s this rich after leaving what I thought was my life. And then find out no, that was that life and this is a new life and it’s quite wonderful. »

elevenpdx.com | 27


VISUAL ARTS

Samuel Farrell by Richard Lime

28 | ELEVEN PDX


community visual arts

Samuel Farrell is an interesting cat. Rather mildmannered and contemplative, he brushed it off as being in a massage-daze. He tells me about his DIY cassette-only label, Curly Cassettes. He tells me about the small New York town he grew up in, and their motto, "The Power of Positive Thinking," which he has now adopted as a method to live by. He provided me a list of things he is "into," in no particular order:

11: What is the point of it for you? Why do you do it? SF: A lot of the times, stuff that I've been about or going on in my life, comes out in these little characters that I draw and sometimes I even realize stuff about me that like I didn't catch before. So it can be therapeutic, very therapeutic. A lot of the times, I like, don't necessarily have anything in mind when I start a piece. Just might even just close my eyes and make a little line and see where it takes me, and take it for a ride. 11: Do you feel like there are different art scenes in Portland? Like not only different styles, but sort of different worlds of like, how people sort of treat art? SF: Well, honestly I don't seek out going into the galleries, and not for any bad reason. I guess it's just not my thing. I enjoy going to see shows and walking around and back. I guess my art isn't necessarily for the gallery. 11: I guess what I'm asking is, as Portland becomes more populated and gentrified, is it becoming more of a challenge to be an artist in Portland? SF: It's sort of a new way for me to try and make a little money on the side or help out friends and provide some good feeling. But I feel like it's always been hard everywhere to try and make a living being an artist. 11: Tell me about "Salvation Mountain".

On the patio wall at the Tulip Shop Tavern is one of his newest works, a black light mural, adjacent to which we sat and had the following conversation:

SF: Salvation Mountain. It looks like an ice cream cake fell from the sky and is melting in the middle of the Imperial Desert of Southern California.

ELEVEN: Were you into art growing up? 11: Delicious. Go on. Samuel Farrell: Yeah, I've always been surrounded by art. My mom's an art teacher and my dad's piano technician and piano player. So, I got the music coming from one side and the visual stuff coming from the other side. I couldn't really help it, I guess. 11: What did that look like in the early years, like when you were a teenager? SF: Probably pretty goofy. I think at that age I was more into playing Rock and Roll music and I guess I didn't have that much time to draw when I was living in Brooklyn, because there's a million other things to do and to keep up with everything. I guess since I moved out to Portland about ten years ago, then making it more of a habit and realized that I enjoy. Sort of like a meditative experience for me.

SF: It's one man, Leonard Knights’, ode to love and Jesus, I guess. He moved there in early '80s and through some circumstances, decided to stay and create a monument there. And he built this thing for three or four years, and it collapsed on him. And instead of giving up, he was like "Well, I guess I just need to make it stronger." And so he spent the next thirty years of his life making this mountain out of trash and hay bales and Adobe and hundreds of thousands of gallons of paint. And painting it bright colors, wrote love everywhere‌

elevenpdx.com | 29


community visual arts

11: And what is your connection to this place? SF: I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to be caretaker there for four months. 11: And what does care taking involve? What does that mean? SF: Maintaining the mountain, I guess. It's a pretty fragile thing. An element on the desert are pretty rough.

So, often if like if there's a rainstorm, part of it can wash away. And you have to like rebuild sections and you seal up the holes so water doesn't get inside and erode it internally. Like, mudding it based on reference photos from the original mountain. 11:: So after your care taking there, did you move back to Portland? Would you say that experience like influence your art at all or? SF: Definitely. It made me feel like anything is possible if you have a vision. 11: What besides you artwork is keeping you busy? SF: I'm building a cabin out in Washington and sort of drew, literally drew it on a napkin. It's like this funky five sided shape. And yeah I've been working on it for about a year and a half, two years. 11: Last question, what would you hope that people take away from your art? SF: That you don't want to be caught in the moonlight reaching for a rotten egg. Yeah, no boundaries. And hopefully make some smile, and start some conversation. Âť

More at curlycassettes.com and insta @curlycassettes

30 | ELEVEN PDX


elevenpdx.com | 31


32 | ELEVEN PDX