Page 1

MY MORNING JACKET VOL 4 ISSUE 12 MAY 2015

INSIDE: THE HELIO SEQUENCE UNKNOWN MORTAL ORCHESTRA SURFER BLOOD KATE TEMPEST R. RING MOONGRIFFIN RUBBLEBUCKET KELLY’S OLYMPIAN MERCY MCNAB DREW SCOTT SWENHAUGEN ELEVEN PDX MAGAZINE - VOLUME 4, ISSUE 12

COMPLIMENTARY


contents

ELEVEN PDX MAGAZINE ISSUE NO. 12

THE USUAL 3 Letter from the Editor 3 Staff Credits

VOLUME 4

FEATURES Local Feature 13 Moongriffin

Cover Feature 17 My Morning Jacket

new music 4 Aural Fix R. Ring Vaadat Charigim Kate Tempest Rubblebucket

FILM Watch Me Now 22 Sci-Fi: A History of Genre Bias

7 Short List 7 Album Reviews Surfer Blood The Helio Sequence Unknown Mortal Orchestra

COMMUNITY Neighborhood of the Month 24 NE Alberta Street

Literary Arts 25 LIVE MUSIC 9 Know Your Venue Kelly's Olympian

11 Musicalendar

Portland poet and book designer Drew Scott Swenhaugen

Visual Arts 27 Portland photographer and curator Mercy McNab

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


HELLO PORTLAND! Omigosh. Is it May of 2015 already?! Holy cow. That means we just completed volume four of ELEVEN PDX Magazine. Let's go to the highlight reel! 6/2011 - Release of Vol.1, Iss.1 with cover feature Wayne Coyne / The Flaming Lips. 11/2011 - The ELEVEN Party at (the newly opened) Firkin Tavern ft. The We Shared Milk & Animal Eyes, tons of sponsors and prizes. 3/2012 - The first ever Portland Party at SXSW presented by ELEVEN, TLE, Marmoset, Octopus Entertainment and A to Z Media. ALSO in 3/2012 - ELEVEN x Mississippi Studios present YACHT, Onuinu, Key Losers - event gets picked up for Hulu series "A Day In The Life." 9/2012 - The Last Bison and Portland newcomers Minden open for secret headliner Kishi Bashi at The Garage Party (Green Drop Garage), copresented by ELEVEN, Tixie + Marmoset w/ accommodations by New Deal Distillery and Bunk Sandwiches. 9/2013 - ELEVEN x MFNW present three nights at Star Theatre: Austra, The Dodos, Surfer Blood (plus a ton of killer opening bands) - the last citywide MFNW! 6/2014 - The Volume 4 launch party at Holocene, introduction of the ELEVEN literary section, and performances by Blouse, Valet - curated art show and readings as part of the event. There are about 11 other events on par with these - but we're out of

EXECUTIVE STAFF EDITOR IN CHIEF Ryan Dornfeld CREATIVE DIRECTOR Dustin Mills SECTION EDITORS LOCAL FEATURE: Brandy Crowe, Wendy Worzalla LITERARY ARTS: Scott McHale VISUAL ARTS: Mercy McNab FILM: Rachael Haigh, Bex Silver graphic DESIGN Dustin Mills Alex Combs COVER PHOTO Danny Clinch CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Brandy Crowe, Billy Dye, Eric Evans, Donovan Farley, Veronica Greene, Rachael Haigh, Casey Hardmeyer, Kelly Kovl, Travis Leipzig, Ethan Martin, Scott McHale, Aaron Mills, Gina Pieracci, Chuck Dulah, Matthew Sweeney, Charles Trowbridge, Wendy Worzalla

space here, so let's just keep making this awesomeness happen! Go team! Âť

- Ryan Dornfeld, Editor in Chief

3 | ELEVEN PORTLAND | www.elevenpdx.com

photographers Mercy McNab, Aa Mills, Todd Walberg, Caitlin M. Webb

online Mark Dilson, Donovan Farley, Kim Lawson, Michael Reiersgaard get involved getinvolved@elevenpdx.com www.elevenpdx.com twitter.com/elevenpdx facebook.com/elevenmagpdx GENERAL INQUIRIES info@elevenpdx.com ADVERTISING sales@elevenpdx.com DISTRIBUTION / PROMO The Redcoats eleven west media group, llc Ryan Dornfeld Dustin Mills SPECIAL THANKS Our local business partners who make this project possible. Our friends, families, associates, lovers, creators and haters. And of course, our city!


new music aural fix

AURAL FIX

UP AND COMING MUSIC FROM THE NATIONAL SCENE

1

R. RING MAY 10 | MISSISSIPPI STUDIOS

The music industry is kind of a mess. Record sales are lower than they’ve been in decades and no one seems to know how to fix that. So, what to do? If you’re Kelley Deal and Mike Montgomery, you revel in your freedom from the corporate machine. Their project R. Ring features two voices, two guitars, and occasional releases—commercialism be damned. The result, not too surprisingly, is a pure distillation of their obvious musical compatibility without any allowances made for radio or corporate sponsorship. That R. Ring’s singles have been released in batches of 50 or 60 in handmade wood and metal packaging underscores both the personal craftiness of the project and their complete disregard for appealing to the masses. But this isn’t a gimmick: the music they’ve shared so far is loose and dynamic and pretty fantastic. A song like “Fallout & Fire” features the subtle advantages of R. Ring’s access to Montgomery’s Candyland studio: a warm recording of Deal’s voice with a hint of overdubs, crisp, clean acoustic guitars with so much twang and crunch and depth that you feel like you’re sitting inside them as they play. The track creates a sense of intimacy and directness with the musicians.

Photo by Goni Riskin

2

VAADAT CHARIGIM MAY 18 | BUNK BAR

Israeli shoegaze band Vaadat Charigim returns this month with their second record, Sinking As A Stone, and it finds the trio doubling down on their classic early ‘90s sound while shedding the more contemporary leanings of their first album. Their dedication and skill at sounding as vintage dream-pop as they can is both the record’s biggest strength, and it’s greatest weakness. For instance, the album’s two advance singles, “Hashiamum Shokea” and “Ein Li Makom” sound exactly like

Photo by Chris Glass

As Montgomery puts it, “There’s nothing to hide behind.” The other tracks that they’ve made public, such as “Hundred Dollar Heat,” are simple affairs that benefit from the duo’s obvious musicianship. Fans of The Breeders or the Kelley Deal 6000 already know and dig her vocals, which feature prominently on R. Ring, so it’s not exactly a blank slate. Taking this show on the road would seem to be a natural progression owing to the stripped-down nature of the music, but both Deal and Montgomery are curious about how it’ll work. Without a traditional album to support, what will they play? Who will show up? As Deal puts it, “Do they know what they’re getting?” If their live shows convey the care and artistry they’ve put into their ultra-limited, handmade releases so far, the right people will show up and enthusiastically listen. » - Eric Evans Ride, and I mean exactly. That same bombastic shimmer that is pervasive on Ride’s classic 1990 record Nowhere, as well as the swirling atmospherics present on one of the genre’s other highwater marks, Slowdive’s Souvlaki, are essentially the framework that Vaadat Charigim uses for most of Sinking’s running time. Is this a bad thing? Not necessarily, they do an astonishingly convincing and laudable job at conjuring those elements from the influences they are indebted to, but at the same time, it does neither the past or present artist a favor by simply lifting the sound without updating it. That being said, it is refreshing to hear a new group drawing from the hard-rocking end of the shoegaze spectrum, rather than yet another of the MBV devotees that seem to represent the majority of nu-gazers. Despite my reservations on their apparent devotion to shoegaze, there is no denying that Vaadat Charigim’s collective musicianship on Sinking is impressive. Thick sheets of razorwire guitar layered over heavy, nimble drumming make the album’s seven songs crackle with energy, and Yuval Haring’s vocals drone with digital effects staying just barely audible above the mix in keeping with the genre's traditions. What’s ultimately disappointing is that this album by a talented rock band, from a part of the globe that's not known for rock music, is mostly a showcase for a genre that hasn’t been relevant for about 25 years rather than drawing attention to the current scene that they’re born out of. Vaadat clearly have the chops to make compelling rock music, I just hope that on their next record they find a way to show us who they really are. » - Casey Hardmeyer

www.elevenpdx.com | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 4


new music aural fix

3

KATE TEMPEST MAY 22 | DOUG FIR

Kate Tempest takes her name from Shakespeare. It’s the storm, and it’s coming from a humble, young woman with an old soul. She RAPS POETRY. Her spoken-word stories are powerful, full of words about personal dynamics and politics, inspired by observations of her peers going through tough times in her home of South East London. It has brought her up as a prodigious poet and playwright. She has been associated with BBC, Yale University, and embraced by Royal Shakespeare Company. She’s

FRIDAY 5.1: JOHANNA WARREN|BIBLIOTHEK|TOJI - 9PM/$5 SATURDAY 5.2: ED COLE|DEER SOULS|FASTERS - 9PM/$5 SUNDAY 5.3: DAN TEDESCO|DUSTIN JOHNSEN - 9PM/$5 THURSDAY 5.7: KPSU + WE OUT HERE MAGAZINE PRESENT: LOAD B|STEWART VILLAIN|CHILL CREW|MAZE KOROMA|DJ VERBZ - 9PM/$5 FRIDAY 5.8: MAMALIAN PRESENTS: NEIL MICHAEL HAGERTY (OF ROYAL TRUX) - 9PM/$8 SATURDAY 5.9: THE MURIEL STANTON BAND - 5PM/$5 SATURDAY 5.9: FELLS ACRES|NEIGHBOR WAVE - 9PM/$5 TUESDAY 5.12: BRIDGECITY TRIVIA - IN THE BAR - 7PM/FREE FRIDAY 5.15: GREEN LUCK MEDIA GROUP AND WOHM PRESENT: RASHEED JAMAL|LANG|MAZE KOROMA|SLAPZ - 9PM/$10 SATURDAY 5.16: HARD MONEY SAINTS, DEAD MAN'S HAND - 9PM/$5 FRIDAY 5.22: GREEN LUCK MEDIA GROUP PRESENTS: RASHEED JAMAL|LANG|MAZE KOROMA|SLAPZ - 9PM/$10 SATURDAY 5.23: SWEET SPIRIT - 9PM/$5 WEDNESDAY 5.27: HESTINA|DEER SOULS|MAJOR LOVE EVENT - 9PM/$5 THURSDAY 5.28: THE FAMILY ALMANAC|THE COFFIS BROTHERS| THOSE WILLOWS - 9PM/$5 FRIDAY 5.29: EYEZ FRONT PRESENTS - 9PM/$5 SATURDAY 5.30: THE PURRS|BUZZYSHYFACE - 9PM/$5 SUNDAYS: THE EARLY EARLY COMEDY OPEN MIC - 4PM FREE WEEKLY FREE COMEDY OPEN MIC. SIGN UP AT 330.

MONDAYS: BUNKER SESSIONS OPEN MIC - 8PM/FREE

OPEN MIC HOSTED BY LEE AULSON AND TALON BRONSON. SIGNUP AT 730. SHOW 8.

MONDAYS: EYE CANDY VJS - 9PM/FREE

MUSIC VIDEO REQUESTS FOR THE SOUL. SELECT FROM A STOUT CATALOG!

TUESDAYS: LATE TUNES WITH KPSU DJʼS - 9PM/FREE SONGS CURATED JUST FOR YOU

WEDNESDAYS: ROSE CITY ROUND: NASHVILLE STYLE WRITER'S ROUND - 6PM/FREE SONGS, STORIES AND A LIL TWANG

5 | ELEVEN PORTLAND | www.elevenpdx.com

also been the recipient of many literary awards, including being the youngest recipient of the Ted Hughes Award for Brand New Ancients, one of her several poetry books that is also a marvel set to music and film. Her latest publication, Hold Your Own, addresses a continually evolving life by parallelling with the mythical character of Tiresias. Aside from poetry slams, or coffee shop style with piano and cello, her musical albums follow a classic style of hip hop and her delivery is a direct. Beats can be static, wavy, and heavy, with rising and falling electronics and soft loops. Her writing is in the forefront though, and it doesn’t take long to get pulled into the sage realness she exudes. She has an eye and ear for life’s discrepancies. Stories of PTSD on “War Music,” or the hardships of characters on the intercorrelating songs of 2014’s Everybody Down. Many songs on the album are connected, telling stories about the sad lives of a few protagonists, particularly through a girl named Becky–her nights, her sketchy decisions, her “wages are fucked and rent is outrageous.” It’s a sad and sensitive narrative, but Tempest is a transcendent activist. She is an advocate, dark and inspiring at the same time, and trying to pick up the peoples’ point of view. It’s the kind of dynamic that leaves you a bit stunned, and makes one wonder about the contrast of rap music and iambic pentameter, or how Shakespeare, Joyce, or Bukowski may have heard their works inside their heads. » - Brandy Crowe


new music aural fix Photo by Shervin Lainez

4

RUBBLEBUCKET

Confetti canons and afro-beat horn blasts. Rosepetal extraterrestrials and a young singer whose thirst for life makes us all feel a bit sluggish. These are a few of my new favorite things since discovering Brooklyn’s bombastic psychedelicdance band Rubblebucket out at Treefort Music Fest this spring. This band makes me wonder if Fela Kuti and Talking Heads secretly had a love child at one point thirty years ago: half polyrhythmic big-beat crossed with David Byrne’s quirky sense of the catchy. They closed out the festival at Treefort, and the enthusiastic murmuring leading up to that show could not have prepared me for the uninhibited joyride that is their live performance. Lead singer Kalmia Traver is a fountain of youth with plenty of libations for all. Within the wide range of her voice she expresses more shades of the idea “life is fucked, let’s enjoy ourselves!” than I believed existed. And as a recent survivor of ovarian cancer, her love for life is all the more undeniable. This is a band that champions the party and the funk, but manages to sneak in just a pinch of the bittersweet

to make that fun all the tastier. Although these guys have been around for eight years, they’ve largely been quarantined to the blogosphere. But with the 2014 release of their latest full-length, Survival Sounds, which enlisted John Congleton’s production magic to make it a tad more accessible, they’ve tightened up their hooks and look headed towards the success they deserve. » - Ethan Martin

QUICK TRACKS A “SHAKE ME AROUND” This track marries Rubblebucket’s openhearted charm to their penchant for occasional outbursts of unbridled badass-ness, which makes you glad these guys are on your side.

B “rewind” Bass and drums drive this undeniable groove, but it’s the sparingly arranged key parts that make it impossible to sit still to, sending a message to all future indie-dance bands: sparseness is the funk.

www.elevenpdx.com | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 6


new music album reviews

ALBUM REVIEWS This Month’s best R Reissue

L Local release

Short List Best Coast California Nights Django Django Born Under Saturn Nosaj Thing Fated The Tallest Man on Earth Dark Bird is Home Snoop Dogg Bush Crocodiles Boys Thee Oh Sees Mutilator Defeated at Last Copy Chalice Agenda

L

Hot Chip Why Make Sense? The Milk Carton Kids Monterey Metz II Mikal Cronin MCIII Wishyunu Photoplay

L

Rose Windows Rose Windows

Buy it

Steal it

Toss it

facebook.com/elevenmagpdx @elevenpdx

7 | ELEVEN PORTLAND | www.elevenpdx.com

Surfer Blood 1000 Palms Joyful Noise Surfer Blood is back with a new album, 1000 Palms, following 2013’s Pythons. You can expect a return to normal now that they are now signed with Joyful Noise, allowing them to explore their future sound together in a more uninhibited way. You already know what you love about them: John Paul Pitts’ cute, retro West Palm Beach

voice, smooth yet gritty, guitar that at times goes full spazz, and the ability to inspire youthful reminiscencing. 1000 Palms will start a daydream about being on the coast in the middle of a summer night, palm trees rustling in the wind over the sound of the ocean crashing and of course, listening to live indie rock. Put yourself there with this album; the 11 tracks go by fast in the 39 minutes, but the guys definitely chose quality over quantity. Fun fact: The album was written in Portland and while it’s all gratifying, three tracks deserve a little more emphasis. “I Can’t Explain” begins curiously on a New Year’s Eve night. You start to believe Pitts as he yells and repeats, “I can’t explain…” You’ll be so into the song that you won’t notice the beginning of the edgy outro. And saving some of the best songs for last, “Into Catacombs” and “NW Passage” will make you press repeat after you hear the last chord. 1000 Palms has brought Surfer Blood back home and any fan will enjoy its many offerings. » - Kelly Kovl


new music album reviews

L The Helio Sequence

The Helio Sequence Sub Pop

If an experiment were conducted about how different recording processes affected album outcomes, The Helio Sequence would be Exhibit A. It’s been almost three years since The Helio Sequence’s last release, Negotiations, and it is definitely apparent in their new self-titled record. Contrary to the isolated

process that produced Negotiations, the recent album emerged from a lighthearted competition that pushed Brandon Summers and Benjamin Weikel to go with their gut and record on the fly. From this stemmed a record giving The Helio Sequence and their listeners a fresh start. Although lacking the visceral weight accompanying previous albums, Summers and Weikel stay true to their layered psychedelic tones. Echoing vocals and kaleidoscopic riffs provide for an ethereal listening experience that is perfectly manifested in the album cover. The opening track, “Battle Lines,” sets the tone by declaring, “I’m looking for a new direction.” What follows is “Stoic Resemblance,” the single released from the LP that sparks buoyant energy and will have you chanting “oh na na na” along with Summers. His breezy vocals define all ten tracks of The Helio Sequence, but when paired with Weikel’s authoritative beats, they produce a transformative sound to be reckoned with.

The inviting sentiments that open the album are not as prominent in the last half but still showcase Summers' lyrical talents. Although the vocals in “Seven Hours” are reminiscent of his early 2000’s voice, they seem to stray from his airy tendencies in The Helio Sequence. “What remains to be seen is a dream that we have to take hold of” comes from “Phantom Shore,” the song that has you wondering what direction The Helio Sequence will take next. But if this album is any clue to their new direction, it is most apparent in the closing track that leaves you with the pulsing and impressive promise of never going back. The Helio Sequence only proved Summers' and Weikel’s own mastery and eagerness to explore new realms. What is almost unfathomable is how such a layered and eclectic blend of sound can come from just two musicians, but what else would you expect from a pair who’s been making music since 1999? » - Gina Pieracci

“six-string wizardry,” though the new

to work participants into a clamor.

album does span genres and lovingly

Another tune I can’t see not getting

diversifies lead instrumentation.

significant play time, and following

While ultimately expanding on

in a similarly dancy manner, “Can’t

the breadth of their previous work,

Keep Checking My Phone” is driven

exploring further into themes of

by an electronic breakbeat and an

funk, neo R&B, and dance music,

accompanying assault of busy (but

Multi-Love reinforces the core driving

not too busy) upbeat bass work, that

qualities behind guitarist/vocalist/

serve as a framework for overlay of

songwriter Ruban Nielson’s arresting

revival synth swells and Nielson’s

musical craft: active, driving and

powerful crooning. But perhaps the

wobbly bass grooves; a charming,

most sultry tune on the album, “The

unassumingly soothing lower-register

World Is Crowded” takes a slower,

falsetto; and an ever-evolving mastery

funkier, R&B approach to UMO’s blend

of synthesizers and tone. If I had

of psych-pop, with a rhythm section

to be trapped, for life, in a rental

deep in the pocket, and layered,

somewhere in Stockton, Ca with

harmonizing vocals that beg the age-

only four songs from Multi-Love, I

old sexy question of, “ohh / the world

couple albums, many bands lose that

would choose, in no particular order,

is crowded / did your doctor prescribe

certain thing the French call “je ne

the album’s title-track, “Can’t Keep

me?” And finally, “Necessary Evil,”

sais quoi,” which may have sparked

Checking My Phone,” “The World Is

bolstering stylistics more reminiscent

initial listener affection. Taking a

Crowded,” and “Necessary Evil.”

of the band’s debut album and II

L Unknown Mortal Orchestra

Multi-Love Dead Oceans

Some say that after the first

big funky psychedelic piss on that

When banging out on dance floors

with active vocal melodies in sync

sentiment however, Unknown Mortal

across the globe, the drum fill near

with guitar noodling, is accentuated

Orchestra, back with their third

the one minute mark in opening

by a jubilant trombone walk, and a

studio album, Multi-Love, still fucking

title track “Multi-Love,” bridging

juxtaposing, evil and pulsing layer of

have it. And no, Pitchfork, UMO isn’t

the airy piano ballad into an all out

sub-octave synth to round it out. »

planning a big do-away with their

electronic, intergalactic orgy, is sure

- Travis Leipzig

www.elevenpdx.com | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 8


live music

KNOW YOUR VENUE

Kelly's Olympian

Photo by Ryan Dornfeld

owners, “Kelly’s,” was added shortly thereafter. A lot happens in a hundred and thirteen years, and Kelly’s Olympian has seen all sorts. Through the prohibition era, there is evidence that the downstairs area was used as a speakeasy. For decades after prohibition, the bar was popular for both locals and tourists, and especially for the working class who enjoyed the hottest card room in town. There is also a mysterious connection to the infamous Shangai Tunnels, which was rumored to have at least one outlet in the Kelly’s basement. For the majority of it’s life, Kelly’s was owned and operated by three generations of the Powers family, a legacy that was passed on when Greg Powers sold the venue to Ben Stutz and Jeff Micheff. The new ownership expanded upon the bikermuseum vibe, adding antique gas pumps, vintage photos, and the most identifiable part of Kelly’s Olympian, a dozen beautiful, fully-restored vintage motorcycles hanging from overhead. The motorcycle-novelty factor is off the charts, but Kelly’s does it without a drop of inauthenticity. With such rugged history alone, it is a fantastic place to grab a drink, but for those that enjoy burning the midnight oil, it

T

gets even better. One hundred and six years after hese days, it’s not just a taphouse for

its founding, a permanent music venue within the

Olympia beer, it doesn’t just cater to

bar was introduced, though after a couple of years,

bikers, but Kelly’s Olympian does exude

it was realized that the name and prestige of “Kelly’s

the character and novelty of it’s rich

Olympian” was more recognizable than “The Knife

history, being the third-oldest continually operated bar

Shop,” and the separate name for the music venue was

in Portland. The public house was founded in 1902 as

dropped. While the performance space retains a modest

“The Olympian Saloon,” with assistance from the beer

(sub-100) capacity, it has hosted a massive variety

established six years prior. The name of one of the first

of memorable shows, and is a true favorite for those

9 | ELEVEN PORTLAND | www.elevenpdx.com


live music Photo by Ryan Dornfeld

seeking a more intimate experience with up-and-coming bands. The team behind Kelly’s venue, including long time booker/promoter/sound person Nalin Silva has been super active in promoting the local music scene and supporting independent projects like Big Ass Boombox Festival and NW Hip Hop Fest. With all of the past and present that supplies the charm of Kelly’s Olympian, we can only hope that the motor keeps running for at least another hundred and thirteen years. » - Richard Lime

www.elevenpdx.com | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 10


live music MAY

1

1 5 8 15 21 22 23 26 27

crystal ballroom 1332 w burnside

Richard Cheese & Lounge Against The Machine Sleater-Kinney | TheeSatisfaction Tipper | Kalya Scintilla | Tal National '80s Video Dance Attack The War On Drugs Father John Misty '90s Dance Flashback Glass Animals | Gilligan Moss Shakey Graves | The Barr Brothers

2

Roseland Theater 8 nw 6th

Too Slim & The Taildraggers | Monti Amundson They Might Be Giants Less Than Jake | Reel Big Fish | Pacific Dub E-40 | Stevie Stone | Cool Nutz Will Sparks & Jackal 19-20 Of Monsters and Men 21 Little Dragon | Dpat 23 The Glitch Mob | EPROM | Danny Corn 26 Hot Chip 27 Tame Impala 29 Awolnation

7 8 11 13 16

3

Doug fir

830 e burnside

Waxahatchee | Girlpool Hustle & Drone | Psychomagic | Talkative Inter Arma | Yautja | Atriarch Della Mae Geographer | Idlehands 7-10 Bridgetown Comedy Festival 11 Other Lives | Riothorse Royale 12 The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion | We Are Hex 14 Mackintosh Braun | MXMS 15 Torres | Aero Flynn 16 Steelhorse | Jukeboxe Heroes 18 5PM: Tove Styrke | Lany 9PM: Elvis Perkins 20 The Holydrug Couple | The Hugs | Bestie 22 Kate Tempest 23 Casey Neill & The Norway Rats | Hook & Anchor 24 Will Butler | Jo Firestone 26 The Knocks | Phoebe Ryan 27 Mother Mother 28 Hop Along | Field Mouse | Lithuania 29 Refused | White Lung 30 The Mother Hips 31 Dustin Kensrue | David Ramirez | The Rocketboys

1 2 4 5 6

4 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 20 21 22 23 24 25 26

mississippi studios 3939 n mississippi

Old Time Relijun | Secret Drum Band | Like A Villain Matt Pond PA | Young Buffalo | Chandler Strutz Wishyunu | Jackson Boone | Cambrian Explosion East India Youth The Bright Light Social Hour | Talk In Tongues Dan Deacon | Prince Rama | Ben O'Brien Liz Longley | Anthony D'Amato Cash'd Out | Josh Kelley R. Ring | Hurry Up | Bed. Wolf Alice | Gateway Drugs Peter Brotzmann/William Parker/Hamid Drake Trio Ivan & Alyosha | Kris Orlowski The Ghost Ease | Mascaras | Tiny Knives Best New Band Showcase Copy | Phone Call | Natural Magic Albatross | There Is No Mountain | Ghost Towns Nothing | Merchandise | Cloakroom Ex Hex | Diarrhea Planet | Summer Cannibals Hutch & Kathy The Quick & Easy Boys | Ural Thomas | Kory Quinn Speedy Ortiz | Alex G | Broken Water Phox | Yoya

11 | ELEVEN PORTLAND | www.elevenpdx.com


live music MAY mississippi studios (continued) Twin Peaks | Chastity Belt | Modern Vices Quintron & Miss Pussycat | Nots | First! An Evening with Bob Schneider The Verner Pantons | The Pynnacles | The Satin Chaps Moorea Masa | Luz Elena Mendoza | Catherine Feeny

wonder ballroom 128 ne russell

5

Kodaline | Gavin James James Bay | Elle King The English Beat Timber Timbre | Xiu Xiu The Wombats | Life In Film | Cheerleader Smallpools | Grizfolk | Hunter Hunted Royal Blood | Mini Mansions Streetlight Manifesto | Dan Potthast | Sycamore Smith Laibach Shy Girls | P. Morris The Mountain Goats | Blank Range

holocene

1001 se morrison

rontoms

eastburn

1800 e burnside

8 11 14 17 18 20 25 27 28 29 30

6

Doldrums | Moon King Glenn Waco | Mic Capes | Rasheed Jamal | Mikey Fountaine Dev Willis Earl Beal | Like A Villain | Skin Lies David Torn Arbo | New Social Outcasts | Amber Moon | Superhighway Asss | Ghost Dub | Antecessor | DaVideo Tape Dot | Ellie Herring | Hobbess Jesse Marchant Doubleplusgood | Dana Buoy | Waves Orquestra Pacifco Tropical | Minden Miami Horror

600 e burnside

27 28 29 30 31

5 6 10 12 16 17 20 21 26 27 28 31

7 8

Eric John Kaiser Ben Laresen ft Jeremy of Polecat Taylor Kingman of the Hilldogs Sage Coy & Friends Mimi Naja Castletown Scratchdog Stringband Jack Dwyer & Sam Weiss Weekend Assembly Matt Zeltzer Dylan DiSalvio & Matt Evans Ben Larsen Goldfoot

6 7 8 9 13 14 15 21 22 23 27 28 29

9 kelly’s olympian 426 sw washington 10

bossanova ballroom 722 E Burnside

Bunker Sessions Open Mic (Mondays) Late Tunage with KPSU DJs (Tuesdays) Rose City Round (Wednesdays) Johanna Warren | Bibliothek | Toji Ed Cole | Deer Souls | Fasters Dan Tedesco | Dustin Johnsen Load B | Stewart Villain | Chill Crew | DJ VErbz Neil Michael Hagerty (of Royal Trux) Fells Acres | Neighbor Wave Rasheed Jamal | Lang | Maze Koroma | Slapz Hard Money Saints | Dead Man's Hand Rasheed Jamal | Lang | Maze Koroma | Slapz Sweet Spirit Hestina | Deer Souls | Major Love Event The Family Almanac | The Coffis Brothers | Those Willows The Purrs | Buzzyshyface

1 2 3 7 8 9 15 16 22 23 27 28 30

www.elevenpdx.com | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 12


features MAY

bar 11 bunk 1028 se water 1 Sir Richard Bishop | Dragging an Ox Through Water 2 Fog Father | Small Skies | Mothertapes

7-10 Bridgetown Comedy Festival

13 14 16 18 22

And And And | Kyle Craft | Animal Eyes Truckfighters Swahili | Smoke Rings | Force Publique Vaadat Charigim | Grandparents Ava Luna

know 12 the 2026 ne alberta 5 7 8 9 10 13 14 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 28 29 30 31

Gaytheist | Baby Gurl | Wizard Hits Hats Off | Hautahuah | Sancho Divers | Unwelcome Guests Hot Victory | Spacebag | Honduran 1776 | Trabants | Chris Newman All Eyes West | Hungry Tiger | Beach Party Woolen Men | Talkies | Patsy's Rats Spit Vitriol | Sofistifucks No///Se | Old City | Vicious Pleasures Sloths | Maeth | Humours Ex-Cult | Dark/Light | DJ Suzanne Bummers The Dovecotes | Months | Shadowlands Sons of Huns | Blackout | Slow Season Sol | The Helm | The Siege Fire Needs | Polst | High Praise Crocodiles | Vice Device | Cat Hoch Discourse | Blistered | Unrestrained | Failure Pact Shovels | Sleeping Beauties | Moon Jail Sweet Tooth | Ronnie Hains | Melt Lumpy & The Dumpers | Mongoloid Mope Grooves | DeGreaser | Howardian

kenton club 13 the 2025 n kilpatrick 2 Queer Country Junction 14 Little Pilgrims | Uncool Niece | Mall Caste | Sleeping Beauties

THE SECRET SOCIETY 14 116 NE RUSSELL 7 8 14 15 16 23 30

12th Avenue Hot Club Pete Krebs & His Playboys Stumptown Swing Love Gigantic | Casey Ruff | The Oh My Mys Whiskey N' Rye | The Stubborn Lovers The Shanghai Woolies | The Midnight Serenaders The Show Ponies | The Resolectrics | Audios Amigos

white eagle 15 836 n russell 5 6 7 8 9 11 12 13 14 15 16 19

Rob Johnston (Sundays) The Brian Odell Band | Less Cash Chris Marshall & The August Light Whim Grace | Willow House | The Haydell Sisters Erotic City Garcia Birthday Band Greyhounds Denim Wedding | Trick Sensei | The Hex Tremors Top Men | Glyndon | Ballerina | Rony Horchata Indianhead Shannon Tower Band | Little Hexes Symmetry/Symmetry | Novosti | Coastlands White Eagle Blues Jam hosted by Travers Kiley

13 | ELEVEN PORTLAND | www.elevenpdx.com

LOCAL FEATURE MOONGRIFFIN

F

or a city that’s becoming renowned on an international level for being “weird,” unique and completely music obsessed, Portland surprisingly lacks much of an improvisational, experimental jazz scene. The City of Roses features approximately 27,000 experimental rock bands of every conceivable stripe and genre, but the jazz scene, while strongly supported and certainly prevalent, lacks many truly boundarypushing, avant-garde acts. Moongriffin, the brainchild of multi-instrumentalist Elliot Ross, seeks to change that with its debut record Glimpse of Future.

The enthrallingly foreboding affair is not only Moongriffin’s debut physical release; it’s also the flagship release for local imprint Cartilage Osseux Records, who volunteered to print 500 copies of the album after hearing it. That’s the kind of record Glimpse of Future is: you find yourself afloat in its murky waters almost involuntarily, providing your own narrative to the mostly instrumental album’s ghostly story. ELEVEN: The playing on Glimpse of Future is so fantastically fluid and intertwined, how did you form the group that played on the record?


back one day. I felt like I'd been gone long enough. Chicago and New York are completely different worlds. I love and miss them both but I needed a break. I also wanted to bring some of the darkness from those worlds back to Portland and mix myself into the scene. Music and women led me across the country and back. 11: Is there a particular theme for you on Glimpse of Future? There seems to be quite a bit of entertaining ominousness in this particular vision of the "future." Not dark as in "all is lost," dark as in foreboding… but in an enjoyable sense. Like a really great "Jazz Horror Film" perhaps. Did I just create a new genre?  ER: For me the music reflects life events between 2005-2013. A lot happened. I have a hard time relaxing and am always looking ahead, trying to plan for the next thing. My imagination of the future when I zoom out is more or less, "If this is how things are now, what's it going to be like in 20 years?" There's so much constant insanity in the world. I can't imagine what it will be like and all I can do is make really dark music. I'm also great with omelets.  Photo by Matt Hook

Elliot Ross: I met Nate Lepine (sax/ flute) and Gerald Bailey (trumpet) while I was studying music in Chicago and we later started playing in groups and living together. Charles Rumback (drums) and Anton Hatwich (bass) were mutual friends and we all collaborated together. They were some of my closest musician friends in Chicago who I could always trust on any gig. Gerald and I used to lead a group called Kibosh with Nate, and later Gerald and I both played in The Drastics for years. They're all some of the baddest players in town. 11: What lead you back to Portland after your travels back East? ER: I'm from Oregon originally and left soon after high school to study music in Chicago. I lived in Chicago for about 12 years and I also spent a year living in Brooklyn before returning to Portland. I always planned on moving

11: It has to be an honor being a label's flagship release, but do you feel any added pressure because of that fact? ER: It's an incredible honor! I still can't believe it. An old friend of mine from Chicago wanted to launch Cartilage Osseux Records and ever since the first time I played him the album he said he wanted to put it out. I figured we were just talking shit but he was serious. I'm really excited to be releasing this music and we already have more records in the works with different projects. I suppose I feel some pressure as it's the first release and a brand new label but we're not worried and have nothing to lose. Make great music and put out great records. I always dreamed of making my own record and now it's real so whatever happens happens. I feel even more pressure just hustling to cover rent each month. 

features MAY white eagle (continued) Focus! Focus! Goldenboy | Last Giant | The Breaking Evangenitals | The Git Right Gospel Review Dedric Clark & The Social Animals | Three For Silver Heavy Gone Acoustic | Monica Nelson & The Highgates The Bigfellas Emulator | 8-Bit Zero The Neil Darling Band | Twitch Silverback | Wingnut Commander

alhambra theatre 4811 se hawthorne

16

Luke Wade Through The Roots | Maoli | Stranger Sly & Robbie & The Taxi Gang | Bitty McLean Zoso Chunk! No, Captain Chunk! | Hit The Lights | To The Wind

hawthorne theatre 1507 se 39th

VALENTINES

12 16 23 28 29

17

Jake E. Lee's Red Dragon Cartel | Earth To Ashes | Laytem Cavalera Conspiracy | Death Angel | Lody Kong He Is Legend | Must Be The Holy Ghost | Vigil Wolves Rittz | Kxng Crooked | Horse Shoe Gang Ensiferum | Korpiklaani | Trollfest | Anonymia Boudica | Ritual Healing | Path To Ruin The Rentals | Radiation City | Rey Pila Cartel | Team | Driver Friendly | Hydra Melody Local H | Battleme | 1776 Emery | Wolves At The Gate | Forevermore | Eternal Covenant Grieves | Grayskul | Saint Warhead Sisyphean Conscience | Velaraas | Chronological Injustice Blairmont | Andromeda Sun | The Disagreement | Full Armour 38 Crazyfists | Sleepwave | Toothgrinder | Where Giants Once Stood J Boog | Hot Rain | Westafa

232 SW ANKENY

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1 2 5 7 8 9 10 11 15 16 19 22 24 28 30

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MOLOKO

Taste the nightlife of Mississippi. Over 40 house infused liquors. Specialty absinth cocktails. Open until 2am every day. N PORTLAND 3967 N Mississippi (97227) 503.288.6272 molokopdx.com

ALADDIN THEATER 3017 SE MILWAUKIE

19

Music Matters Benefit for Oregon Music News An Evening With Howard Jones Solo Stephin Merrit | Darren Hanlon Rhiannon Giddens | Bhi Bhiman The Waterboys | Connor Kenedy & Minstrel

the goodfoot 2845 se stark

2 6 12 19 22

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Sonic Forum Open Mic (Mondays) Radula (Tuesdays) Soul Stew w/DJ Aquaman (Fridays) The Student Loan String Band | Christopher John Mead McTuff Taarka Jakubi | Lesser Bangs Goodfoot All-Stars Annual Tribute to James Brown Galaxe | Gems | Yeah Great Fine Tezeta Band DJ Anjali & The Incredible Kid Farnell Newton's Electric Miles Elridge Gravy & The Court Supreme

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Want to have your show listed? E-mail listings@elevenpdx.com

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features MAY

owl social club 21 white 1305 se 8th 19 True Widow | Muscle & Marrow

theater 22 star 13 nw 6th 1 2 9 11 15 18 22 26 29

Buck 65 | Astronautalis Covenant | The Labyrnth | Alter Der Ruine Supaman | DJ Wicked | Mic Crenshaw | Stryk-9 Solstafir | Ancient Vvisdom Polyrhythmics | Brownish Black The Temperance Movement | Kool Stuff Katie Glass Of Hearts | Candy O | Wanna Be-52's Black Pistol Fire Device Grips | Medium Troy | Lynx

street saloon 23 ash 225 sw ash 1 2 5 6 7 8 9 12 13

Dreams Of Suns | In Repose | Riverpool Ditch Digger | Chronological Injustice | Othrys | Mechanism Beat Totem Demented Carousel | The Shoestringers Hopelandice | PS-AX theGoodSons | Rock n Roll Suicides | Dartgun & The Vignettes

Sick Of Sarah | Madame Torment | Smoke Season Consumer | Eaton Flowers | Chrome Mole Monocle San Lorenzo | Thom Simon 15-16 Northwest Black Circle Festival 17 Shovelbelt | Saola 19 The Lucky Loser Show | Erik Anarchy 20 Chrysalis 21 Night Of Elegance | Blood Owl | Urban Sex Legends 22 This Patch Of Sky | Amos Val | I/O | Wellwalker 23 Machine 24 Stumblebum | The Decliners | Toy | Buttercup 27 Die Like Gentlemen | Timelight | Levity 29 Bishops Green | Rum Rebellion | The Whiskey Dickers 30 Space Shark | The Hoons | Atlas & The Astronaut | Fire Nuns 31 Doug C & The Blacklisted | The Delta Bombers THE FIRKIN TAVERN Located on the west side of Ladd’s, the Firkin Tavern features an astounding selection of craft beers to enjoy inside or on our patio. Art enthusiasts will enjoy a variety of local artwork on display and sold comission-free! SE LADD'S 1937 SE 11th Ave (97214) 503.206.7552 | thefirkintavern.com

24 ROTTURE/BRANX 315 SE 3rd

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Visigoth | Spellcaster | Axe Wizard | Tanagra Jeff Derringer | Keith Kemp | JAK vs. Andrew Bole Green Jello | Headless Pez | Blackwitch Pudding Blockhead | Mono/Poly | Tor Burials | Connoisseur | Honduran | Drunk Dad

PANIC ROOM 25 THE 3100 NE SANDY 1 3 6 9 14 15 26 27

Attitude Adjustment | Spazztic Blur | Toe Tag SepticFlesh | Moonspell | Deathstars | Zorakarer Owner | Crime Wit | Pediment | Young Hunter Millions Of Dead Cops | Death Wish Faster Pussycat | Deathtrap America | Garden Of Eden Eve To Adam / I Exist | In The Aether Fit For An Autopsy | Aborted | Archspire | Dark Sermon The Desolate | Regulo Junior | Nuclear Nation | Erik Anarchy

PORTLAND’S MUSIC MAGAZINE SINCE 2011

15 | ELEVEN PORTLAND | www.elevenpdx.com

11: I’m very, very intrigued to hear this material live, tell me about your plans for the record release party (which also doubles as Cartilage Osseux Records’ launch party)? ER: The Waypost May 9–We're playing music from the record as well as brand new compositions and improvisations. I've invited some of my favorite Portland musicians to play my music and improvise in celebration of the launch of Cartilage Osseux Records! For this show, the Moongriffin Quintet will be: Elliot Ross (guitar, sounds, compositions), Ian Christensen (tenor saxophone), Mike Gamble (guitar), Andre St James (bass) and Tim Duroche (drums). I’ll also be doing a DJ set and there will be some surprises thrown in as well. 11: There are a multitude of sounds and influences on this album, who are some of your influences, both overall and specifically for this record? ER: Jimi Hendrix has always been a main influence ever since I first heard him when I was 10 years old. You can hear him in the record on certain tracks. He'll always influence any music I make.  We were tracking this record two years ago in Chicago. I remember I was listening to a lot of Autechre, John Fahey, Pharoah Sanders, Andrew Hill, Madlib, 60/70s reggae and earlier Flying Lotus. I played with The Drastics off and on for years and that music had a huge impact on me. Check out Waiting by The Drastics. I would trade a lot of music with them and we listened to so much together. 11: What music are you listening to now? I’m always interested in what producers themselves are playing when they’re not working.

Photo by Matt Hook

ER: There's so much music coming out these days I can barely keep up. I'm still playing the latest Aphex Twin on repeat and I've been loving the new Action Bronson album. I love almost anything Alchemist puts out. Makaya McCraven is a badass drummer from Chicago and he just put out In the Moment double LP on International Anthem records. They've got a modern Blue Note thing going on and they're helping raise the bar with creative instrumental music. I've been listening to a lot of Adrian Younge's records and really dig what he's bringing to the table as well as educating young music heads on older music. Arca is also a very interesting producer who inspires me to spend hours on end in my studio. 11: Who are some local musicians you dig when you do get a chance to leave the studio? ER: Noah Bernstein (Shy Girls) and I collaborate on gigs somewhat regularly and we've managed to reach a point where we can communicate without saying much at all if anything to each other. I touched base with him before I moved from Chicago and we've been comrades since. His gigs are always worth checking out in town.  Although I heard he moved to Brooklyn, Emil Amos is someone I admire and would love to collaborate with. He has a lot of projects going on and most of his music is very dark. Grails, Om, Lilacs and Champagne and


Holy Sons are all worth checking out. I admire musicians who take their music really seriously and have multiple things going at once. You can't stop making music if it's inside you. Let it out in as many forms possible. I don't play with other guitarists often but recently through mutual friends I met Mike Gamble. Mike is a like-minded guitarist/composer and also incorporates some really cool live visuals at his gigs. Mike is another player who is helping Portland's creative instrumental music scene evolve. 11: What do you think of Portland’s experimental Jazz scene? ER: There are a lot of great players in Portland. Unfortunately the experimental scene is not as widely accepted here as the kind of music you'd hear played in a supper club. In

Portland there are not enough venues booking creative instrumental music and too many forcing smooth jazz on us. The best jazz in Portland is not in the "jazz clubs." The most inspiring music I've heard since moving back here has either been in a house concert or in a small dive bar mostly attended by other musicians. I avoid going to places like Jimmy Mak's that focus on replaying a lot of the same music from the past and not moving forward at all. I want to hear something new and different. I want to hear someone unleashing raw emotions. If I wanted to hear another cover of Horace Silver or Wes Montgomery I'd go get my teeth cleaned. » - Donovan Farley

Moongriffin celebrates the release of the debut record May 9 at The Waypost

the surface, the mood is akin to that of a bar scene in a sci-fi film noir where no one is to be trusted, especially the space dames. I found myself painting that kind of weirdly vivid mental picture in my head each time I listened to Moongriffin’s (aka Elliot Ross) debut on local imprint Cartilage Osseux Records. Of the album’s many strengths, the ability to send the listener into another headspace is perhaps its greatest. Walls of sound meld together brilliantly with all the

L Moongriffin

Glimpse of Future Cartilage Osseux

various bleeps and bloops Ross can come up with to create a sort of “psycho active jazz” state that’s almost trance like. Ross called the sound “future jazz” when we

By the time album opener “Palindrome” comes to a close, it’s clear

spoke, and that certainly rings true. Another sticking point for me

that Glimpse of Future, the debut from

with this lovely record was that the

Moongriffin, is going to be a lush and

aforementioned languid pace is almost

alchemistic affair. The languid, almost

never broken, despite the fact that the

narcotic pace of the song and second

album has so many different sounds on

track “Chase Wild Creep” perfectly set

it, I gave up trying to keep track after

the stage for the hazy and complex

the first listen. The rare debut that

album to come. Positively teeming with

sounds like a confident artist with an

wonderfully layered ideas and sounds,

already solidified career, Glimpse of

Glimpse of Future patiently unfurls

Future rewards repeat listens with a

its story over the course of 52 minutes

bevy of new ideas and sounds coming to

and wastes nary a second, nor a sound.

fore each time, making the Moongriffin

By the time the lush, rippling horns of

project one of Portland’s best new

“Separate Needles” come bubbling to

experimental acts. » - Donovan Farley

features dantes

350 w burnside

MAY

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El Vez & The Elvettes Soft Fangs | Cloud Cover Dead Men Walking | The Creepshow Helmet Motorbreath | Crazy Train | Sonic Temple Today Is The Day | Lazer/Wulf One Bad Son | Bar Brawl 3 The Rezillos | Kid Congo Powers & The Pink Monkey Birds G.B.H. | Fang | Hammered Grunts Fuzz | Old Light Brothers Of The Sonic Cloth | Atriarch | Rabbits Poison Idea | The Derelicts | The Exacerbators Wire Hookers | Black Wizard Marquis Of Vaudeville | Jody Ellen | Three For Silver Appetite For Deception | Plush

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27 the waypost 2120 n williams 28

FIRKIN TAVERN 1937 SE 11TH

Moongriffin (album release show)

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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. NE HOLLYWOOD 4122 NE Sandy Blvd (97212) 503.493.1128 | hollywoodtheatre.org

Laurelthirst pub 2958 ne glisan

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Freak Mountain Ramblers (Sundays) Kung Pao Chickens (Mondays) Jackstraw (Tuesdays) Grand Lake Islands | Mondegreens | Richard Duke Jack Dwyer | Heartwood John Prine Singalong Acoustic Guitar Project Showcase Joseph Waya | Benny Gilbert | Grayson Erhard Colton Elwood | Simon Tucker Shoeshine Blue | Folded Forest Jacob Miller & The Bridge City Crooners Down Home Music | Perola Scratchdog Stringband | The Moonshine Old Flames | Lynn Conover & Gravel Sour Bridges | Jimmy Boyer Band Redwood Son & Friends | Jack Dwyer & Friends Side o' Slaw | The Colin Trio Max's Midnight Kitchen | Emily Yates Helena Cinema | Sam Densmore | The Tamed West

analog cafe & Theater 720 se hawthorne

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Chris Newman | Deluxe Combo | Neon Culpa | SPDM The Breaking | Windus | Patrimony This Legend | And The Search | Dear You | Bad Luck Icarus The Owl | The Ongoing Concept | Trophy Lives Adventure & Failure Doom Generation | Lost New York | Toxic Kid | Moralist Tamara Stephens All Boy All Girl | Altadore The Toads | Dreams | Navarone Bandit | Mitchell Gonzalez Famous Last Words | Farewell My Love | Sycamour Fourskin | Wilkinson Blades | At The Scenes Slick Rick Microwave Vursatyl Squalor | Blood Cabana

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www.elevenpdx.com | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 16


features national scene

17 | ELEVEN PORTLAND | www.elevenpdx.com Photo by Danny Clinch


features national scene

S

ince their formation in Louisville, Kentucky in 1998, My Morning Jacket have made a career out of subverting expectations. From their haunting debut The Tennessee Fire to the career-defining Z to the band’s latest work The Waterfall, the band is never one to stay anchored to one idea or sound very long. Even the group’s name is seemingly a fly in the face of logic that elicits confused looks when a telling a person unfamiliar about the band. Both Jim James and My Morning Jacket’s ethos can seemingly be summed up with a line from their classic “Wordless Chorus”: “Tell me Spirit, what has not been done? / I’ll rush out and do it / Or are we doing it now?”

James, Tom Blankenship (bass), Patrick Hallahan (drums), Carl Broemel (guitar) and Bo Koster (keys) are restless spirits exploring the musical landscape via James’ soul searching lyrics that often find him pondering life’s existential questions, and a musical identity that has changed with almost every new record. After initially (and over-simplistically) being labeled a “Southern Rock Band” after their first three stunning albums, My Morning Jacket proved themselves capable of much more with the wideranging masterpiece Z in 2005. An album where every song sounds different and yet flows perfectly, Z saw the band exploring a much more experimental sound than thought previously possible by most listeners .

www.elevenpdx.com | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 18


features national scene 2008’s Evil Urges would show that MMJ had barely dipped into their reserves of exploration, proving the band was willing to try whatever weirdness their hearts desired and putting the band on a new level. By this time the group’s live shows had become legendary events that often saw people leaving dazed and mumbling about how their life had just changed. One such show was the band’s 2008 four-hour, thirty five song late night marathon at Bonnaroo that saw the band bring out Kirk Hammett of Metallica and Zack Galifianakis, who appeared around 3:50 AM dressed as Lil’ Orphan Annie for some reason while the band covered Motey Crue’s “Home Sweet Home” (probably because it was 3:50 in the morning at Bonnaroo). I was lucky enough to be at that show, and I remember thinking I was seeing something special, the rare concert that transcends being just another gathering of like-minded people and turns it into a truly unforgettable and spiritual experience. I’m not the only one who felt that way; American Dad cocreator Mike Barker called the show “life-changing” and dedicated an entire episode of the show to the band (the episode also featured Galifianakis). With The Waterfall, the band has once again evolved, this time producing its most collaborative record to date. As with their last album Circuital, the band sought out Portland-based producer and engineer Tucker Martine, and holed up with him in the beyond-idyllic Panoramic House Studio in Northern California’s Stinson Beach (James and Martine put the finishing touches on the record here in Portland at Martine’s Flora Recording & Playback Studio). Also similarly to Circuital, James showed up with less fully formed songs and sought out his bandmate’s input on his musical sketches. As such, The Waterfall is awash in layers of sound throughout the record, flourishes and tweaks that sound like a band truly collaborating. Lush without sounding overblown and featuring some classic “Where do we go from here?” lyrics from James, it’s a step back from some of the wilder moments of the last two albums (no “peanut butter puddin’ surprises” on this one), without losing the energy that made much of those albums so vital sounding. Last week I spoke with bassist Tom “Two-Tone Tommy” Blakenship, the band’s only member other than James who has been there from the start, about the band’s desire to remain constantly evolving, their attempts to never treat albums as sequels to each other, recording with Martine, that rainy night/ morning in Tennessee and about the band’s already busy future plans.

19 | ELEVEN PORTLAND | www.elevenpdx.com

ELEVEN: To me, one of My Morning Jacket’s biggest strengths and part of what makes you guys such an intriguing act is that the band has always subverted expectations. Is there a conscience effort by the band to do that? Tom Blankenship: Something that we’ve always done, or I guess not done, is talk about what’s going to happen [when we record]. I mean we don’t go in with a concrete plan of what direction we’re going to take, or what we’ve been listening to. Usually Jim has some songs or some sketches, and then whatever Jim’s vision for the song is gets filtered through the other four guys’ individual perspective on what they think the end product is going to be. That’s kind of a simple explanation of what we do.

" was such a great experience with this core of seven dudes locked in this weird space, it just seemed liked a nobrainer to keep that going" 11: I read that for The Waterfall recording sessions, Jim came into the studio with the songs a little less formed than they usually are. Did that change the process at all, having the songs presented at the “sketch” stage of their formation? TB: Yeah, yeah for sure. Circuital definitely had some moments like that, on that record there were definitely some songs where Jim, Patrick and I would get together in Louisville (I was still living there at the time) and flesh songs out as a three piece, and then a couple of those songs ended up on the record. The Waterfall was similar to that in terms of songs as sketches, and the good thing about that is it makes the prep time easy because basically you’re not learning the structure of a song, you’re just trying to make sure you know what key a song is in and things like chord progression. It’s nice because it becomes a more collaborative thing, and you’re also not worrying about, “I need to write a part before we all get together.” In that sense it’s similar to Circuital too, where we all just came in and Jim would play the song for us, we’d hear the song once, play through it a couple of times and then start pressing record. The Waterfall was a very similar process.


features national scene

national scene

MISSIS SIPPI STUDIOS

11: Going back to my first question, you guys have had so many amazing peaks, it seems like every time I think My Morning Jacket can’t get any bigger, the band reaches a new level. For instance, I remember being at the Bonnaroo 2008 four hour late night set in the pouring rain and thinking how are they going to top this? Was the band aware at the time how amazing the show was and what a big deal it would become? TB: I think the only thing that we knew is that we were biting off a lot… maybe not more than we could chew, but we were definitely taking a huge bite. I mean, that’s the longest show we’ve ever played… But I don’t think at the time we thought it was going to be this huge epic thing, it just kept escalating. I think the year before we had played a three-hour show… it just escalated until we just decided play for four hours. I know a bunch of people that went to bed and missed most of it. But yeah I don’t think at the time we thought it was going to be this huge epic thing, because two or three years before we had done a show in the rain where the rain came onstage and the amps quit working and it was kinda like “How can we ever top that?!” ya know. And again, that kind of goes back to the first question you asked where it’s not something we think about or something where we have any expectations like that other than: it’s Bonnaroo, let’s do our best. We’re kinda home… it’s a home game for us.

S

TB: I think for me personally I do think about it every once and a while because like you said it’s one of those things that’s always out there, and if you’re doing this for a living it can be hard not to think about it. But then I think about the fact that this isn’t the same band that made the first two or three records, it’s not the same personnel. And I guess a big thing is the albums have never felt like sequels. We put out The Tennessee Fire and then At Dawn doesn’t sound like The Tennessee Fire Part 2. Then we put out It Still Moves and it doesn’t sound like At Dawn Part 2. And it’s that way with a lot of successful bands I think; you could keep asking Led Zeppelin to put out

O

W

C A L E N D A R M 2

A 0

Y 1

5

16. SAT (EARLY SHOW)

1. FRI

OLD TIME RELIJUN

SECRET DRUM BAND / LIKE A VILLAIN

NEW AMERICAN CLASSICS (LATE SHOW)

COPY

2. SAT

PHONE CALL / NATURAL MAGIC

MATT POND PA

17. SUN

YOUNG BUFFALO / CHANDLER STRUTZ

EMILY HELLER

3. SUN

20. WED

WISHYUNU

JACKSON BOONE / CAMBRIAN EXPLOSION

ALBATROSS / THERE IS NO MOUNTAIN GHOST TOWNS

4. MON

EAST INDIA YOUTH

21. THU

5. TUE

NOTHING / MERCHANDISE

TALK IN TONGUES

22. FRI

BRIGHT LIGHT SOCIAL HOUR

CLOAKROOM

6. WED

EX HEX / DIARRHEA PLANET

PRINCE RAMA / BEN O’BRIEN

23. SAT

SUMMER CANNIBALS

DAN DEACON 7. THU

HUTCH AND KATHY

ANTHONY D’AMATO

24. SUN

S (JENN GHETTO) - DUO / ALLIE GOERTZ

LIZ LONGLEY

BOB DYLAN’S 74TH BDAY

8. FRI

CASH’D OUT JOSH KELLEY

ft. THE QUICK & EASY BOYS, URAL THOMAS, KORY QUINN & MORE!

9. SAT

25. MON

MRS. PRESENTS QUEEN DJ BEYONDA / ILL CAMINO

10. SUN

11: With all the success not hampering the band’s hunger or creativity, I’m wondering what you think about the train of thought that says happiness and contentment make for ineffective art. Is that something the band is aware of and talks about at all? Because obviously that sense of complacency doesn’t ring true for My Morning Jacket.

H

SPEEDY ORTIZ

ALEX G / BROKEN WATER

26. TUE

R. RING

PHOX

HURRY UP / BED.

YOYA

11. MON

27. WED

WOLF ALICE

TWIN PEAKS / CHASTITY BELT

GATEWAY DRUGS

MODERN VICES

12. TUE

PETER BROTZMANN / WILLIAM PARKER / HAMID DRAKE TRIO

28. THU

QUINTRON AND MISS PUSSYCAT NOTS / FIRST!

NOT BITTER

29. FRI

13. WED

BOB SCHNEIDER

AN EVENING WITH

IVAN & ALYOSHA KRIS ORLOWSKI

30. SAT

NUGGETS NIGHT

14. THU

THE GHOST EASE MÁSCARAS / TINY KNIVES

ft. THE VERNER PANTONS, THE PYNNACLES, THE SATIN CHAPS & MANY MORE!

15. FRI

31. SUN

WILLAMETTE WEEK PRESENTS

BEST NEW BAND

MOOREA MASA

LUZ ELENA MENDOZA / CATHERINE FEENY

SHOWS you’ll remember, presented in an independently run, best-sounding music listening environment with great staff (mostly musicians), drinks, burgers, and PATIO.

mississippistudios.com

www.elevenpdx.com | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 20


features national scene

another Led Zeppelin IV, but then you’d never have Physical Graffiti. While there have certainly been some themes we’ve repeated, I feel like we definitely haven’t made the same record over and over again. 11: Tell me about working with Tucker Martine. TB: Tucker and our friend Kevin Ratterman, who owns a studio in Louisville, have been our team these past two records. Jim met Tucker through some friends and they worked together on Jim’s solo record [2013’s Regions of Light and Sound] and he loved working with him. Then we all met Tucker and just felt really good about it, and Circuital was such a great experience with this core of seven dudes locked in this weird space, it just seemed liked a nobrainer to keep that going, and that’s something we never thought of doing before. 11: Things must have gone well since you guys have another entire album of songs already completed. What’s the plan going forward? Are you guys going to go straight into the studio after the tour? Or are you going to take some time between records? It seems like an awful lot considering you’re about to tour the world. TB: Yeah it’s a lot. We’ll take off Thanksgiving through New Year’s… but yeah we’ve definitely got another album’s worth of material to sort through. And I’m sure we’ll have another recording session where we throw some new ones in there. 11: Since we’re Portland-based I know folks will want to know if some dates near us are coming soon. TB: Absolutely. There will be a bunch of West Coast stuff, we’re just figuring out the routing for it now. 11: That’s great news. Thanks so much for doing this Tom! TB: You’re very welcome. »

21 | ELEVEN PORTLAND | www.elevenpdx.com


film

WATCH ME NOW

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SCI-FI: A HISTORY OF GENRE BIAS

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ight before Christmas, It seems as though the on December 18, the Academy quantifies the quality much anticipated of a film based on the personal release of Star Wars: connection that they share with Episode VII - The the characters in the story. Even if Force Awakens will hit theaters all you have never experienced firstacross the United States heralding hand the events that occur in the the return of the juggernaut that is movie that you’re watching, one the Star Wars franchise. Franchise can understand that these events life will continue as usual: did happen and perhaps you McDonald’s will have happy know someone who participated meals with plastic droids inside in what you are watching, them; children and adults alike connecting you to the movie will clamor to collect each new by proxy. For instance, in relevant piece of material both the film The Hurt Locker we plastic and otherwise. follow the story of a young man It will be the highest grossing in the army during the Iraq War film of 2015 and it will get little who seems to become animated to no respect from the cinematic to the point of arousal diffusing community. Let me explain why: Of bombs. Now, I have never been the top 10 highest grossing films of to Iraq nor have I participated all-time, five of them are in the sciin any type of warfare. I do, fi genre: Avatar, Star Wars Episode however, understand that these I: The Phantom Menace, Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, ET, and The things do actually happen. The Illustration by Melissa Dow Hunger Games: Catching Fire. The Star Wars truth of the matter is that there really franchise alone has made close to $4.5 billion in worldwide are people who defuse bombs, and some of them do this in Iraq. box office sales since the release of the original Star Wars I cannot say, however, that I have ever fought a Stormtrooper, film in 1977, this means that the $461 million that Star Wars befriended an Ewok, or used the Force to persuade someone made at the box office would translate into an absurd $1.8 to let me through their gates. I don’t know anyone who has billion in revenue today. done these things and neither do you. This seems to be where What do these numbers mean? It means that people like the disconnect with actual human experience occurs and sci-fi. And how many of these absurdly popular sci-fi movies the perceived value of the movie declines in the eyes of the won the Oscar for best picture? Zero. So, why is it that science Academy. fiction films don’t get the same respect that might be reserved It would seem that the average movie-goer enjoys being for other genres? Will we ever see a time when people can look taken on a journey in which the only boundaries are found past spaceships and laser battles and see the fecund well of within the imagination of the storyteller. Here seems to be emotions that lie at the epicenter of so many of these films, where the proof lies, and not just anecdotally that this is the and from which springs true works of art? case. Out of the top 10 grossing movies of all-time, nine of In the entire history of the Academy Awards, dating back them tell stories about things that you have no relation to. to its inception in 1929, there have only been eight movies You have never helped an alien “phone home,” you don’t know that have even been nominated for Best Picture that fall anyone who has ever been to Pandora, you have never had your into the sci-fi genre. Not included on this list: 2001: A Space city saved by a filthy rich guy who dresses as a bat, and you Odyssey, which can be found in the top 25 of just about every list of the greatest movies of all time.

don’t know anyone who has had their planet destroyed by the

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film Death Star. It seems as though the artistic merit of a movie drastically decreases when we aren’t faced with “realistic” human conflict of some sort. Arguably, the only movie to win Best Picture in the history of the Oscars that you have no connection to would be 2003’s winner, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Otherwise, you might know someone who has experienced something that has happened in all of the movies that won Best Picture dating back to 1929 or understand that the events depicted in the movies occurred at some point in human history. (RE: Ben-Hur, Lawrence of Arabia, etc.) I stand firm in the belief that the sci-fi genre is going to grow by leaps and bounds in the next few decades. As the old blood of Hollywood ceases to make decisions on what they think constitutes a truly great movie, a new generation of producers with fat pockets and open minds will allow new directors and writers to explore the boundaries of cinema and, with that, show the general public that these movies that take place in space and have uncommon creatures in them can create an emotional response that is indicative of all great works of art. Casablanca sucks and nostalgia blinds. » - Chuck Dulah

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community

NEIGHBORHOOD OF THE MONTH NE Alberta Street

1. BABY LET'S CRUZ

Cruzroom - 2338 NE Alberta

2. PATIO PARTY

Radio Room - 1101 NE Alberta

3. THE ORIGINAL TOWNSHEND'S

Townshend’s Teahouse - 2223 NE Alberta

BEST OF NE ALBERTA

Location photos by Ryan Dornfeld

4. STYLISH BOWLS AND BEVS

The Bye and Bye - 1011 NE Alberta

5. MANGEZ-VOUS FRANCAIS

Petit Province - 1824 NE Alberta

6. CART BITES

Burgers or Bust Cafe - 23RD+Alberta

7. BIKING RESOURCE

Community Cycling Center - 1700 NE Alberta

8. MMMM, PIE

Random Order - 1800 NE Alberta

9. DETAIL YOUR DIGS

Digs Inside & Out - 1829 NE Alberta

10. LOCAL BAND HAVEN The Know - 2026 NE Alberta

11. UPGRADED NEIGHBORHOOD PUB

Alberta Street Pub - 1036 NE Alberta

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community literary arts Drew Scott Swenhaugen: We’re moving into all-type covers. Working with color and the same font. I’m a true believer in basic basic basic. Aesthetically it’s my favorite look. 11: There are some bad fonts out there. DSS: There are some horrible fonts. And I am a font junkie. I’m constantly researching. I’m stealing, I’m buying, I’m doing as much as I can. Zach Schomburg and I, we found one that we wanted and over the last year, we’ve been creating not necessarily a brand, but making Octopus look like a specific press, our look. That comes with the website, and ephemera (swag and books) that we use, we’re using that font. Once our library is a little bigger with that design... I gravitate towards good looking poetry books. 11: How do you decide what look to go for? Does it depend on the mood of the poetry? Do you collaborate with the poet?

Photo by Scott McHale

LITERARY ARTS

Portland poet and book designer Drew Scott Swenhaugen

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here’s a certain way that words pop off the cover and grab your attention when scanning the myriad aisles of books at Powell’s, or even scrolling down a page online. Cover design is a vital part of conveying the language within, setting the tone for what lies ahead. “Judge a book by it’s cover” says Drew Scott Swenhaugen, Design Director for Octopus Books, where he handles the type setting and the general makeup of each book. They recently published Sorrow Arrow, by Emily Kendal Frey, who just took home the Oregon Book Award for Poetry. Drew also co-curates the Bad Blood reading series, one of the most highly anticipated literary events in town. He also teaches book design and at Marylhurst University, and is a self proclaimed Powell’s “lifer.” With seemingly all of his hours taken up, Drew still writes and gets to as many local events as possible. I caught up with the cleanly shaven Drew Scott Swenhaugen, back in town after representing Octopus Books at the Association of Writers and Publishers Conference in his home city of Minneapolis. ELEVEN: What is your font philosophy, or your typography style?

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DSS: The greatest thing about Octopus is that it is completely democratic. it’s a really great open conversation between editor, designer, and author. So our email threads are just all over the place. But it is a real democratic vote, we’re constantly collaborating. Which means as a designer you’re mocking up so many cover versions, which can be a little tedious. Our ethos is, though, that it’s everybody’s book. It’s the presses book, it’s the author’s book, it’s the designer’s book. Which is completely different from big house publishing; they just decide, and [the author] just deals with it. I also set the pace on how the book is going to look. I’ve learned how, within that democratic process, to kind of strong-hand my general idea. It’s nice being a poet and a designer, because I have to voraciously like the manuscript that I’m working on. I make a ton of notes, even though I’m not using images, I’m making a lot of sketches and drawings. I’m thinking of general literary facets like time, setting, objects, images. Things that are going on in the book. Then I kind of relay that to type, space and margins. The thing about type-only design is that you’re strangely setting an image-based pace for the book itself, by accurately setting and moving the letters around. It’s fascinating how a narrative can be offered just by having a color for your stock and the specific font and the font size and placement. Also by having the Octopus look, all the books are kind of communicating with each other too. 11: Tell me about Bad Blood. I started with Joseph Mains and Zachary Schomburg five years ago. Back then, much different than 2015, we saw something was missing in town, in terms of a series. We wanted to get some of our favorite national poets in, who probably


community literary arts wouldn’t have come here otherwise. I remember going to an Eileen Myles reading in 2009, and twenty people were there. It was a travesty. So we wanted to kind of throw parties for our friends and poets who were coming into town. And invite a bunch of people into town too, and just have a bash. That’s kind of our only dynamic. It’s always free. We design pamphlets and chapbooks for each reading. We try to offer the writers as much money as possible, and we try to kind of push their books. But it’s been, dare I say, kind of a punk rock endeavor where we’re doing this thing, it’s commerce free, there’s a tip jar but that’s it. You just show up and we take care of you. 11: What are some of your favorite readings around town? DSS: I think the If Not For Kidnap series started a lot, back in ‘07-‘08. Before that, in my opinion there was not a ton going on. Granted I don’t want to say there was nothing going on, there’s a lot of great history in this town. But Kidnap was the place where people were just showing up, I was meeting all these young poets coming into town. I was just starting my poetry career. I have a ton of respect for Kidnap. I really like everything that’s happening at Mother Foucault’s right now. They’re doing some great dynamic stuff. There are plans to do a lot more too, in terms of readings and possibly a lecture series that focuses on poetics. So those are kind of my anchors. 11: What is your job at Powell’s? DSS: I run the poetry section and the literature section, and I’m a used book buyer, and I do the rare book archiving. So it’s a good gig, I get to do the stuff there that I really want to do. It’s a very civic job too. It’s nice designing and running a press, going to readings, but it’s also nice to have those people come into Powell’s, which is our institution.

11: Can you speak on the decision making process for your publishing certain writers? DSS: One of the other reasons I love Octopus so much is that there is an open submission period. So we are taking books from people that we don’t know, we’re soliciting a little bit. We don’t really have a style, I think a lot of the books are all over the place. We just want, and I’m not trying to be cliché, but young creative voices that maybe other presses, or other parts of the publishing world are lacking. 11: Do you think that Portland is a mecca for those young writers right now, as opposed to Brooklyn, or the Bay area?

11: Can you tell me about your writing background? DSS: I got an MFA from the Vermont College of Fine Arts, I graduated in 2013. I didn’t go to Undergrad for writing. I was kind of bookish growing up, but I really didn’t start... I fell in love with poetry when I was twenty-four, and it was a quick love affair. I want to eliminate this binary of writing and publishing. I love design, I love editing, and I love writing. And I love the actual intellectual study of poetics. But the secret is that these books that I’m designing, they’re my books too. I think that the goal as a poet is to be the curator, the designer, and the writer. It just so happened that I’m doing the curating right now, and the writing will come in. It’s also being part of the content mill. Being part of the publishing world, the small press world. People are just dying to get their books out. All these young kids are just dying to get their books out. And they are, and it’s great...but for some reason my instinct is to just chill the fuck out. Keep listening, keep reading, and when the time is right, shoot my way in.

DSS: I was in New York recently, and I think that we’re still young, in terms of size, but it is amazing in what’s happened over the past five years. In terms of both quality and quantity of people here that are doing great work, and reading series that are popping up, and presses that are popping up. So fuck yeah, it’s a mecca. It’s Brooklyn, it’s Portland, it’s the Bay. The cool thing about Portland, though, is that we have PSU, and other great universities here, but this kind of mecca aspect started on a community level. Which is kind of rare. You know Denver has a great poetic scene, but it’s because there are great universities around. Where here, it’s [not MFA students] it’s really welcoming. And speaking towards Bad Blood too, one of our goals is to make it as not intimidating at all. Throw a big bash, and have it be fun, and get major writers, but it’s open to everybody. » - Scott McHale

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community visual arts

VISUAL ARTS Photographer and art curator Mercy McNab

Mercy McNab (self-portrait)

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community visual arts What are your roots? A Portland transplant with a Hoosier heart. Is Mercy McNab your real name? No. It is an alias I have been going by for about 8 years. What is your education? Herron School of Art, Indianapolis, In. How do you pay the rent? Freelance photographer & Art Curator at the Alberta Abbey. What are your creative influences? My fellow artists and musicians that are creating right along side of me. What is your biggest fear? Going blind. I literally have nightmares where I lose my sight. It is terrifying! Who are your mentors? Musician Signe Toly Anderson & artist Maria G Raffaele.

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Favorite PDX bar? Cruzroom Current Pandora station? Missy Elliot What can you not live without? Art on the walls. Favorite snacks? Strawberry Fruit Rollups and lemonade. Favorite color? Green Most memorable portrait? Pink Roses. 2012 Favorite artist? Edward Hopper. Personal Motto? Love is like butter, it’s meant to be spread.»

WWW.MER CYCNAB.COM WWW.ELEVENP DX.COM WWW.ALBERTAABBEY.ORG INSTAGRAM: MERCYMCNAB FACEBO OK: MERCY MCNAB PHOTOGRAPHY

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community visual arts

"Pink Roses" (2012)

Please enjoy Mercy's photo project "30 Strangers in 30 Days" decorating our inside back cover this month.

5/06: Eric John Kaiser 8pm 5/07: Ben Larsen ft. Jeremy of Polecat 8pm 5/08: Taylor Kingman of the Hilldogs 10pm 5/09: Sage Coy and friends 8pm 5/13: Mimi Naja 5/14: Castletown 8pm 5/15: Scratchdog Stringband 8pm 5/21: Jack Dwyer & Sam Weiss 8pm 5/22: Weekend Assembly 10pm 5/23: Matt Zeltzer 10pm 5/27: Dylan DiSalvio and Matt Evans 8pm 5/28: Ben Larsen 8pm * “Eat Off Your Banjo” Bluegrass 5/29: Goldfoot 10pm

5/05: DJ Blas Cinco De Mayo Party 8pm 5/08: DJ Ujjayi 10pm 5/09: DJ Kenny ‘80s Night 10pm 5/15: DJ Wobli 10pm 5/16: DJ Kenny 10pm 5/22: DJ T GAGE 10pm 5/23: DJ Blas 10pm 5/29: DJ Kumpy 10pm

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Eleven PDX Magazine May 2015  
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