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THE USUAL 3 Letter from the Editor 3 Staff Credits


FEATURES Local Feature 13 The Get Ahead

Cover Feature 17 Kurt Vile

new music 4 Aural Fix Etiquette Morgan Delt Royal Canoe Sisyphus

FILM Watch Me Now 22 Film Editorial: Birdman, Whiplash, and the Artist as Anti-Social Hero

7 Short List 7 Album Reviews


Iron & Wine Viet Cong Father John Misty

Neighborhood of the Month 24 SE Hawthorne Blvd.

Literary Arts 25 Portland writer and musician Nick Jaina

LIVE MUSIC 9 Know Your Venue Revolution Hall

11 Musicalendar

Visual Arts 27 Portland artist Jae Burlingame

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

HELLO PORTLAND! Hang in there, little buddy. If I could, that's what I would tell my ten-years-younger self. That guy was around twenty-two, without a clue. Back then, I would struggle with loneliness and sometimes felt insignificant. I never dreamed about how I would move from Missouri to Oregon later that year, create some impactful relationships, explore beauty, fight wildfires, co-publish a magazine and fall in love in Portland. Similarly, my twenty-two-year-old version would tell my twelve-year-old self, "Hang in there, little buddy." At twelve, I was just a wee fella. A bit more carefree but definitely self-conscious about a few things which would only get more awkward with puberty and High School. I had no idea that I was about to have my first serious crushes, visit a foreign country for the first time (yay Sweden!), perpetuate a deep-rooted obsession with video games, or graduate and go to college (and act foolishly). My twelve-year-old self would tell the two-year-old me, "Blorp bla glee broop" because I didn't understand much because I was just a dumb baby. I would be trying to convey to baby Ryan, however, that I was about to experience a vast wealth of learning about the world, seeing the expanse of everything for the first time and developing the fundamental concepts of being human that would shape the foundation of my future, and not only that, motherfucking cake and ice cream!!! So, if times are tough and you're feeling down, hang in there little buddy. Give it a year or ten. Âť

- Ryan Dornfeld, Editor in Chief


EXECUTIVE STAFF EDITOR IN CHIEF Ryan Dornfeld CREATIVE DIRECTOR Dustin Mills SECTION EDITORS LOCAL FEATURE: Wendy Worzalla, Brandy Crowe LITERARY ARTS: Scott McHale VISUAL ARTS: Mercy McNab FILM: Rachael Haigh, Bex Silver graphic DESIGN Dustin Mills Alex Combs COPY EDITING Megan Freshley Paul Maziar COVER PHOTO Shawn Brackbill 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, Jacob Schraer, Matthew Sweeney, Charles Trowbridge, Wendy Worzalla photographers Mercy McNab, Aa Mills, Todd Walberg, Caitlin M. Webb

online Mark Dilson, Donovan Farley, Kim Lawson, Michael Reiersgaard get involved GENERAL INQUIRIES ADVERTISING 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




If you haven’t heard of them, it is probably not your fault. They’re still so new they are hidden from the Google grid and nearly all American journals and blogs have yet to start talking about them. But that doesn’t mean you haven’t heard them. Etiquette is the intriguing (and romantic) unification of indie-pop songwriter Julie Fader and Graham Walsh of Holy Fuck—two prominent figures in Toronto’s esteemed indie music scene. Or maybe you recognize Graham Walsh’s name from the recently released album by Viet Cong (see album review in this issue) which he produced. It is also possible you’ve had the misfortune of encountering an American heavy-metal-folk hip hop troupe that go by the name The Etiquette—that is a much different band and you’d do best to forget the name affiliation. For those who have heard these two’s other projects and songs, you can get a pretty good idea of what their sound will be like when blended together—as they didn’t reinvent their own wheels to make their new songs work. One of the things that made Holy Fuck special is their authentic use



Morgan Delt, whose given name is Morgan, added the surname Delt as his moniker to pay homage to one of his father’s favorite movies, a 1966 British comedy, Morgan—A Suitable Case for Treatment, about a “working-class artist obsessed with Karl Marx and gorillas.” By day, Delt is a graphic designer, creating websites for Hollywood films. But when the sun goes down over California’s Topanga Canyon, the mid-30s USC film graduate jams on vintage guitars, drums, piano, and synthesizers in his home studio. He usually records his songs

of electronic instruments, e.g. synthesizers, keyboards, toy guns, and basically anything electronic that makes a noise, without utilizing computers and looping technology. The same technique that made those Holy Fuck songs genuine craftsmanship are utilized by Walsh in his new partnership with Fader. Fader’s roots in indie rock are much different, taking the classic female singer-songwriter path, i.e. a beautiful woman, beautiful guitar, a beautiful voice singing about really sad shit in a good way. Take those two concepts, add a dash of sexy, and then fuse them together and—BLAM!— you will have an accurate, albeit elementary, understanding of what it is like to experience Etiquette’s music without even needing to use the internet! The band is set to release their first album, Reminisce, this month. » - Billy Dye

onto a computer and filters them through a four-track player, resulting in layers of droning guitars and mountains of fuzz. Breathing new life into the sounds of the late ‘60s, Delt notes influences from West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band, Curt Boettcher, Love, The Ventures, Stereolab, Sun Ra, and Faust among many others. Preferring the hermit life of working alone in his studio to going out and working with others, Delt has been recording at home since the days of his adolescence. He never really got serious about writing songs until a few years ago when he figured out exactly what he wanted to do and for it all to come together into something that made sense to him. Over the years Delt listened to, absorbed, and altered psychedelic, shoegaze, and tropicalia with his own modern touch, resulting in his own brand of psych-pop. After peaking the interest of Chicago-based label Trouble in Mind, with his self-released cassette EP Psychic Death Hole from 2013, the Midwest record slinger released Delt’s selftitled album in January of last year. With its mysterious vocals, well-layered cascading guitars, and hypnotic rhythms, you won’t need to visit your neighborhood dispensary to enhance these tunes—but it certainly wouldn’t hurt. Recently snagged by Sub Pop, we can anticipate new tunes sometime this year, but for now check out his self-titled debut to momentarily escape reality. But beware—each track magically worms its way into your brain and takes hold. » - Wendy Worzalla | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 4

new music aural fix Photo by Sterling Andrews

Their first full-length album, 2013’s Today We’re Believers, does what other bands regularly fail at: bridge the gap between pop music and art music. While being unabashedly experimental in their time signatures and sound effects, the songs never stray far enough from a hook so as to lose the listener’s attention. Each song is made up of enough riffs, chord progressions, and rhythmic stops that the listener would understandably be overwhelmed were it not for the continuity of groove and vocal melody. It is this rhythmic continuity that shines most on the album. Through all manner of syncopation and unusual meter, the bass and drum section (drum kit and electronic percussion pad) are so locked in as to be just short of mechanical. The results are songs that are as funky as Prince or Michael Jackson, but in 7/4 or 9/8 time.



The frontman, Matt Peters, is part of the reason why their magic act comes off with such swagger and charisma. His energetic and occasionally vocoded voice is part big-

Royal Canoe is best compared to a looking glass that conjures up strange, smoky visions of the modern world. At first gaze, there’s a young man fumbling with the buttons of a woman’s blouse outside of a nightclub as snow falls. Then it shifts, and you see a dented Jaguar speeding through the city night, its driver red-eyed and greasy, restlessness pushing him aimlessly onward. Like the shifting glass, Royal Canoe’s music is chameleonic, and goes from one style to the next with a confidence that is hidden and casual.


lipped Mick Jagger, part Tunde Adebimpe husky soul. The rest of their sound is built up by some of the most appealing homemade keyboard tones in modern indie music, ranging from quivering high organ to underwater harps to laser synth. Hailing from Winnipeg, Manitoba, this hardworking band is just now slowing down to record their next album over the winter. Let’s hope their next work is just as chimerical. » - Ethan Martin

new music aural fix



Our expectations for supergoups tend to skew to two sides: a fantastic meshing of individual creative styles for a wholly unexpected result, or a tentative grouping of talents that never seems to equal the sum of its parts. Sisyphus falls cleaner in the former camp. Made up of Sufjan Stevens, rapper Serengeti, and trip-hop luminary Son Lux, Sisyphus is a strong collaboration of unique talents that birthed a stellar eponymous full-length in 2014. Sisyphus is a hip hop album at its core, but the elements comprising the project produce a range of eclectic sounds and influences. Elements of folk can be found in some of the songs’ hooks, and shimmering trip-hop beats fly around chaotically. Serengeti’s clean vocals ground the tracks, but only insofar as acting as a springboard for the exploratory blends of harmonies, electronic twangs, and powerful synth layering. Most of the tracks feature a minimalist rap feel with a straight beat and a clean vocal line. On most of the songs, it is this baseline that serves as a return for the added layers. Tinkling synth hooks build and organ chords add roots that continue to grow throughout. Occasionally, at a track’s apex,

it could pivot into a full-on dance track. Instead they tend to blow up and then slowly spread, seeping outward and dripping back toward the starting point. This formula is followed throughout the album, in various ways, to different levels of success—though never to a disappointing outcome. Ultimately, though, this collaboration of creative minds somehow manages to equal more than the sum of its parts. » - Charles Trowbridge

QUICK TRACKS A “calm it down” A nice collection of the various influences felt throughout the album: electronic beats, a straight-ahead lyrical flow, and a strong hook.

B “flying ace” One of the more traditionalsounding hip hop tracks, it features the weird rhymes of Serengeti and an off-balance beat that draws in the listener. | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 6

new music album reviews


The second, they were never released until now. And finally, it was 2002— the end of an era marked by boy bands and a conception that men had to be sensitive to their own feelings; we’ve evolved as a society a bit. “What is this music?” my coworker—as 36-year-old woman— asks me. I tell her. “This is nightnight music.” After commenting on

This Month’s best

her use of the term “night-night,” I

R Reissue

agreed. The album is excellent if you

L Local release

want to go to sleep. It is simple. The

Short List Screaming Females Rose Mountain Mount Eerie Sauna Two Gallants We are Undone Bob Dylan Shadows in the Night

Iron and Wine Archive Series Volume No.1 Black Cricket Recording

guitar strumming is rhythmically homogenous and Sam has a very nice voice that never says anything upsetting—just his docile feelings. It is sixteen indiscernible songs with

Fans of the singer-songwriter

one exception. “Judgment” is a great

should read this review with caution.

song. I imagine these tapes he dug up

I will grant Sam Beam (aka Iron &

were from a time when he was trying

Wine) a few things upfront, as it is

to figure out his sound; they collected

only fair. The first is that these songs

dust for a reason. It's great he wants

were written a long time ago—around

to share them with his fans, but don’t

the time of his first album in 2002.

charge them money for it. » - Billy Dye

Great Lake Islands Songs from Afar


Fat Mike Home Street Home A Place To Bury Strangers Transfixiation Lost Lander Medallion


Dan Deacon Gliss Riffer Gang of Four What Happens Next TheeSatisfaction EarthEE Swahili AMOVREVX


Buy it

Steal it

Toss it @elevenpdx


Viet Cong Self-titled Jagjaguwar

In the wake of ruins following the demise of Calgary’s Women, fueled by an explosive fist fight induced walk-off final show, and later the tragic death of guitarist Christopher Reimer, bassist/vocalist Matt Flegel and drummer Mike Wallace picked up the pieces to form Viet Cong. As a befitting salute to their fallen brother and previous band, Flegel and Wallace put together what may

well be the best musical release so far in 2015: a self-titled, psychedelic post-punk epic, with flavors of Interpol, Television, and Echo and the Bunnymen, but far heavier than all three. At first underwhelmed by the lo-fi drone of “Newspaper Spoons,” thinking it an ill fit for an opening track, I gave the album a few more spins before my mind was changed. The track slowly builds momentum, from the booming texture of blown-out drums, layered with transcendental vocal incantations and screeching sitar-esque guitar ramblings, before all being washed out by a euphoric haze of synthesizer. It’s a perfect introduction to what becomes a recurring theme—long, dark, and slow buildups. Each track wrought with explosive percussion, stabbing guitar and a mesmerizing synth, the album needs to be listened to in its entirety to be fully digested. Standout tracks include “Bunker Buster,” “Silhouettes,” and the eleven minute odyssey “Death.” » - Travis Leipzig

new music album reviews

Father John Misty I Love You Honeybear Sub Pop Psilocybin lothario Father John Misty, aka Josh Tillman, was born during a mushroom-enhanced, truth-seeking journey to Joshua Tree National Park by Tillman and his then-girlfriend, now-wife Emma. While hanging out in a tree, seeing what one sees when on mushrooms, in Joshua Tree, while literally in a tree, Tillman had two breakthroughs: 1) his very serious and morose solo work was, for the most part,

not a truly honest representation of who he was, and 2) he was helplessly and madly in love with Emma. Everything Father John Misty has done since has come from that realization. If 2012’s excellent breakthrough Fear Fun was the debauched sound of psychedelic ego death via wildly original folk music, then I Love You, Honeybear is the ambitious sound of a man who is scared shitless of anyone truly knowing him (including himself) finally succumbing to love and intimacy. And it’s a fantastic one. In his press release for the record, Tillman said he “used 100 ideas in a song where normally four would do.” That sense of excess abounds throughout Honeybear, but without the record ever feeling overwrought with ideas. Aside from Tillman’s lyrics and incredible vocal turn, the nuances that pepper the album are its greatest strength. From the piano and organ flourishes that perfectly complement the mischievously dark lyrics of “The Night Josh Tillman Came To Our Apartment,” to the drum machine and mariachi players on “True Affection,” to the rip-roaring guitar and piano outro on “Ideal Husband,” Jonathan Wilson and Tillman’s deft production positively shine throughout.

Honeybear is also filled top to bottom with fantastic string arrangements from Tillman, Wilson, and violinist Paul Cartwright, who played on the majority of the tracks and will be joining the touring band. Lyrically, the record is another astounding step forward for Tillman/Misty, as he confronts every single fault and fear with a raw clarity, humor, and honesty rarely found in music—or art in general. For all its cleverness, Tillman’s wordplay is so brazenly forthright that it’s hard not to be taken aback by some of his confessions, and conversely impossible not to be enthralled by them. Rare is the artist who so blatantly throws himself upon the alter of public revelation, laying his sins and fears out for all to see, and rarer still is the artist who can do so in such a captivating fashion. Tillman has not only achieved such a feat; he has made a truly original and beautiful piece of art examining the most fearful and wondrous resource humanity has: love. “Maybe love is just an economy, based on resource scarcity / But what I fail to see is what that’s gotta do with you and me?” » - Donovan Farley | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 8

live music

KNOW YOUR VENUE Revolution Hall

Photo by Ryan Dornfeld


he generations of musical talent bursting


at the seams of Portland have an unsung superhero: The venue. We all have a fond recollection of the time that band played that unforgettable concert at that place (which may

or may not still exist) and what a spectacular experience that was! Now let’s spend some time getting to know the spaces that provide a home for music on those magical nights. From our current staples (of which there are so many), to our retired favorites like La-Luna, X-Ray Cafe, Satyricon and Berbati’s (just to name a few), where do the rooms fit in the Portland music scene, and what do their stories tell us? Over the next several issues, Know Your Venue will delve into rich histories and vaunt of the venues past and present. As this is a new section with a bright future, it seems

Officially opening in Portland on April 18, 2015 is Revolution Hall, the auditorium of the restored Washington High School building. The multi-use venue features a capacity of 840, mostly seated, with state-of-the-art sound equipment (coordinated by audio maestro Jim Brumberg), but also an artof-the-state history. To get the entire vibe of the venue, we must first study the robust structure that surrounds it. In 1906, only fifty-five years after the city of Portland, Oregon was incorporated, the beautiful, centrally-located East Side High School is built. Three years later, it is renamed Washington High School. Tragically, the building is destroyed by a fire in 1922. It is then redesigned, rebuilt, and reopened in September of 1924. For nearly a century, the structure remains largely the same. In that time, Washington H.S. is integral in the formative years of thousands of Portland

appropriate that our first selection is also a preview of a

students, including renowned culinarian James Beard and one

venue impending. In this exemplary examination, we get to

of the most influential chemists ever, two-time Nobel Prize

see the past spin into the future.

winner Linus Pauling. In May of 1981, the last graduates walk out of the school, signifying a vast chapter of the building’s story coming to an end.


live music Ballroom, and “this fills a

Where one chapter closes, another begins.

unique space in terms of

After thirty-four years

what can come to Portland,”

of mixed-use (and more

says Ned Failing, who is

recently, no use at all),

handling publicity and

the Washington H.S.

marketing for “Rev Hall”

building approaches


its rebirth as a fully-

The room itself is

functional creative/

certainly special as well.

flex/office space, thanks

Audiophiles may rejoice

in no-small-part to the

knowing that the room

vision of preservationist

brandishes not only floor-

Art DeMuro and

to-ceiling sound paneling

Venerable Group, Inc. The

on both floors, but also

massive four-story layout

a top-of-the-line Meyer point array sound system

will host offices for New Seasons and other local businesses, but the gem of the project

and Midas PRO6 mixing board. Attendees will also be able to

is literally in the center: Revolution Hall.

enjoy concessions at the adjacent Assembly Lounge and the

Soon, alumni of W.H.S. won’t be the only ones with fond

ground-floor Martha’s Cafe. A spectacular 360° view can be

memories of sitting upon the auditorium’s full wraparound

observed on the rooftop deck. Additional venue details as well

balcony or chortling in the locker-filled hallways. With

as beer and menu selections will be ongoing. With all of these

a partnership from Kevin Cradock and Jim Brumberg of

splendid elements in play, we will eagerly await the “Rev Hall”

Mississippi Studios and Mark Adler of the Aladdin Theatre

preview weekend, followed by years upon years of new stories

and True West, Revolution Hall is immediately going to host

and memories. » - Richard Lime

some of the predominant bookings in town. The capacity is a bit larger than the Aladdin and smaller than the Crystal

Revolution Hall Preview Weekend is February 12-14. Info at | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 10

live music FEBRUARY crystal ballroom


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6-8 Sabertooth Microfest w/ Sleep | Kurt Vile + more

Dr. Dog | Hanni El Khatib Hozier | Asgeir Benefit for Too Slim Fat Tuesday w/The Smut City Jellyroll Society Cold War Kids Run DMC Remix fea/Vokab Kompany | Brownout Come As You Are 90s Dance Flashback 80s Video Dance Attack fea/DJ Kittyrox Galactic | Kung Fu


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Weyes Blood | Eternal Tapestry | Moon By You Magic Giant | The Weather Machine Mascaras | The Domestics | The Century Deep Sea Diver | The Delines | Holiday Friends Andy Shauf | St. Even | Luz Elena Mendoza S | The Ghost Ease The Get Ahead | Redray Frazier | Ara Lee Swahili | Phone Call | Dual Mode Catfish & The Bottlemen | Wild Party Wild Child | Desert Noises | Goodnight, Texas Grand Lake Islands | Future Historians | Jackson Boone The Mastersons | Aaron Lee Tasjan | Alameda Duo The Suffers Pharmakon Rose's Pawn Shop | The Maldives Doug Seegers Eternal Tapestry | Feel Young Ryan Montbleau | Cris Jacobs I Draw Slow Tops | Tender Age | Satsuma Howlin Rain | The Blank Tapes Lost Lander | Radiation City Duo | Sama Dams Dead Prez | Mic Capes | Zakee El



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mississippi studios




Doug fir

Lil Ripp | Leezy Soprano | D.Worthy | Myke Bogan The Shrine | Danava | Nasalrod Will Kimbrough | Brigitte Demeyer Blue Ember | Mosby | Lucy Gray Metts Ryan Collins | One From Many | Emotitron The Dusty 45s | Country Lips Dengue Fever | Pigwar | Hong Kong Banana Kris Orlowski | Balto | Winterhaven Milo Greene | Zella Day The My Oh Mys | Bryan Free | Young Vienna Cursive | Beach Slang | Slow Bird Body Language | Sappho | Jprez Sonny & The Sunsets | Colleen Green Lily & Madeleine | Shannon Hayden Six Organs Of Admittance | Elisa Ambrogio Zion I | Los Rakas | Locksmith Tango Alpha Tango | Us Lights | Old Wave Kevin Morby | Jessica Pratt Peter Bradley Adams Milk Music Kawehi Langhorne Slim | Jonny Fritz Old Man Gloom | Coliseum | Beast

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Excision | Protohype | Minnesota London Grammar | Until The Ribbon Breaks Love Phenomenon: Zeds Dead Ben Howard | Willy Mason St. Paul & The Broken Bones | Sean Rowe Iration | Stick Figure | Hours Eastly Lotus | Pan Astral

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Hideous Racket w/DJ Flight Risk Cool Nutz | Dre C | Chris Lee | Verbz Centaurs of Attention | Nick Hamel & Friends | When We Met Postcard Artisan | Oceanside Static Kyle Morris | Lord Alba | Christopher March Emily Daniels | Cult Choir Baby Ketten Karaoke Bel Mizkin | Raquel Divar | Vazkez | Unsafe Dartz Big Mo | Johnny Cool | Tope | Serge Severe Melville | Patrimony | Hungry Skinny The Domestics | Mount Joy | Japanese Breakfast Dkota | John Rankin





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Kory Quinn Peter The Chair Plug88 DJ Magnus Cagney Rachael Miles Jonathan Trawick & Aarun Carter Ben Larsen & Friends | DJ Bad Wizard Harper | DJ Kenny '80s Night Ben Hampton Trio Inherit Earth | DJ Prana Tuck & Daisy | DJ Kenny Kelly Bosworth Stringtown Ambassadors Alder Street | Blue Flags & Black Grass | DJ Gregarious Full Funkal Nerdity | DJ Blas Latin Soulsa Party


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Catherine Feeny & Chris Johnedis | Tangerine The Lower 48 | Pony Village Moon By You | Is/Is | Appendixes Gothic Tropic | Lucy


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Asss | Regular Music | Mary Lattimore | DJ Jason Uric Gold Casio | Foreign Orange| Brakemouth Us Lights | Coronation | PWRHAUS Thanks | Sara Jackson Holman | Fringe Class Brenmar | DVST | Gang$ign$ | Drexler | Quarry Bleach Blonde Dudes | Jackson Boone | Rosa Sharn Grape God | PDX Mandem | Blaxe x Motherwell Genders | Gothic Tropic | Lucy

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Lettuce | Break Science Logic Meghan Trainor Charmaine Neville | Too Loose Zydeco Band Gregory Alan Isakov | The Shook Twins Flight Facilities | Beat Connection Andy Grammer | Alex & Sierra | Paradise Fears

bunk bar

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Broncho | Daisy Deaths


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Lubec | Sister Palace | Golden Hour Strangeweather | Wretched of the Earth | Labryse The Body | Muscle & Marrow | R.A.W. Havania Whaal | Bath Party | Ronnie Haines Mammoth Salmon | Zmoke | Paranaut

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features FEBRUARY the know (continued) 14 17 21 23 24 26 27 28

Tiny Knives | Hooded Hags | Mall Caste Bobby Peru | Clarke & The Himselfs | Thitty Weekend Windus DJ Northern Draw Divers | Nude Beach | Brave Hands | Pass Hex Dispensers | The Stops | The Rat Psychomagic | Santoros The Buttfrenchers | City of Pieces | The King Dot

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Good Time Army | Laramie | Gerry Hoar The McCarthy Era | Fuzzy Dice | Lord Master Queer Country Junction White Glove | Hurry Up | Skin Walker Kingdom of Smoth | Bobby Peru | Honey Bucket Capsula | The Pynnacles The Fourth Wall | Long Hallways | Mo Five Ripe Red Apple Soul Ipsum | Wand Giant Bug Village | Necklace of Heads | Fauxgazi Modern Panthesis | Mister Tang | The English Language Black Pussy | Moss Generator | In The Whale

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Baby & The Pearl Blowers | Hot Club Time Machine The Low Bones | Lowlight | Mike Coykendall The Satin Chaps | Audios Amigos | The Pynnacles Jacob Miller & The Bridge City Crooners The Blackberry Bushes | Wild Rabbit | Renegade String Band Hearts on Fire: A Night of Country Duets Susan McKeown The Last Century Boys | The Ukeladies Fernando | Jon Dee Graham | Mike June David Gerow | Galaxe | Kina Lyn Anita Margarita & The Rattlesnakes The My Oh Mys | Us Lights | The Youngest


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The Noted | Geraldine Murray & The Retired Popes 10 String Symphony | Tim Connell Jimbo Mathus & The Tri-State Coalition Garcia Birthday Band Rob Johnston | Walking Stalking Robots The Hugs | Small Million | Pediment Blue Evolution Diana Chittester | Seth Brewster | Steve Hawkins Dear Drummer | Born Cosmic | Duane Lawrence Ayron Jones & The Way | Rich Layton & The Troublemakers Doogan Holler | Rob Johnston | Bordertown Dedric Clark & The Social Animals | Siren & The Sea White Eagle Blues Jam Reverb Brothers The Fire Weeds Marca Luna | Matt Lande | Jack Grace Speaker Thief | Rule of the Bone Rob Johnston | Blue Flaggs Black Grass Anthemtown Artist Showcase Heavy Gone Acoustic | Monica Nelson & The Highgates Brett Harris | Johnny Keener The Resolectrics | Stars of Cascadia Penny & Sparrow



ortland soul-rock outfit The Get Ahead have a strong voice and sassy banter. Their love of classic sounds overlapped with diverse influences of blues, funk, soul, and rock makes for a bawdy night of stiff drinks and sweaty dancing. The powerful voices of Juliet Howard and Nathan Earle play out characters in vignettes of city scenes, both singers playing parts as lead roles and duets, accompanied by fat sounds of brass, bass, and stomping beats. It’s an easy, sweet sound, but also powerful and fun. It’s all about release and getting people together. ELEVEN: So, you guys are getting ahead. Juliet Howard: Yeah we’re trying. Nathan Earle: Most of the time.

Sometimes it feels like you have to be ahead to get ahead. 11: You have a song called “The Get Ahead” on your first EP. Why do you call yourselves that? NE: So that first first song was really inspired by working class ethics, I guess. I come from a blue-collar family and environment back in the Midwest. The working class American ideal is to keep working to get ahead. But few actually do get ahead. So it’s really just working to keep up. That’s something that we started to embody, kind of the grit of working class life. Thats really what a lot of soul music means to me. Just getting through every day and finding some joy and beauty in it at the same time.

Photo by Mercy McNab

I would sing with her. My uncle was a recording artist when I was a kid. I remember being in the studio with him singing when I was three or four. JH: They are a really talented family, it’s been really fun to see it all and spend time with them. I did some choir in high-school, but I was always nervous about singing and really didn't start until I was an adult. People are always amazed that our voices come out of us. 11: What kind of guitar do you play? NE: A Tele. A Mexican Telecaster that I have rigged up a little bit. I got it for Christmas twelve or thirteen years ago. I have had opportunities to trade up but I haven't been able to let it go because i have a lot of time invested into it.

11: How did you get together? NE: I moved out here from the Kansas City area. There is a lot of blues and gospel with my background and in my family. JH: I grew up on the coast, Depoe Bay, I have deep ties in Oregon. NE: I was a part of a few folk rock outfits, and Juliet and I met through roller derby. We were at a party one night, and we both ended up acapella singing together and stomping on the floor. JH: We kept running into each other and he kept threatening to put something together. A short time later one of my best friends Sean, a punk bassists from Ventura, CA came on board. We found our original drummer, Phil, and our saxophonist Steve through Craigslist ads. We were pretty lucky with that. We started writing and finished the first EP pretty quickly. 11: Do you have any history or training in music? NE: My family, my mom was a singer, and did a lot of country and gospel, and

11: What is the progression from your first EP to Volcano? NE: With the EP we very quickly got into the studio and recorded right when we were formed. At that time Klickitat Band Camp was open, and I was friends with the engineer and owner. It was relatively inexpensive and we got it done fast. This time though it was more expensive. We took more time with it. JH: We were more prepared this time. Obviously we have grown as a band. I think with Volcano the music is stronger and the lyrics are more solid. We know each other better now, and I think you can feel our harmony and connectedness. 11: There seems to be a lot of stories pieced together with this album. What are some of the things you draw from in your songwriting? NE: It’s probably important to mention that a lot of the songwriting for this album came about during a very tumultuous time. I was splitting up with someone I cared about very much. And Juliet and I started….taking off. 11: So you are a couple? JH: It was a lot of craziness going on. Lots of things were happening. We have been together a little over a year now. Right before recording. Yeah, we are a couple. *both laugh and scoot closer together* NE: So when I think about Volcano,

features FEBRUARY alhambra theatre 4811 se hawthorne


Scott Kelly & The Road Home | Mike Scheidt Crash Kings | My Goodness | Rags & Ribbons Ariel Pink | Jack name | Hosannas Otep | Terror Universal | Thira | Simon Says Die Big Smo | Haden Carpenter The Lovely Lost | When We Met | Coloring Electric Like Alestorm | Swashbuckle | Dead Crew of Oddwood Motion City Soundtrack | William Beckett | Brick & Mortar August Burns Red | Miss May I | Northlane | Fit For a King Napalm Death | Voivod | Exhumed | Iron Reagan | Southgate Suicide Silence | Emmure | Within The Ruins | Fit For An Autopsy Tory Lanez midnite | Steady Riot | DJ Yt Small Axe The Tragic Thrills | Trapper Schoepp | Amanda Jones

hawthorne theatre 1507 se 39th


Scott Kelly & The Road Home | Mike Scheidt Crash Kings | My Goodness | Rags & Ribbons Ariel Pink | Jack name | Hosannas Otep | Terror Universal | Thira | Simon Says Die Big Smo | Haden Carpenter The Lovely Lost | When We Met | Coloring Electric Like Alestorm | Swashbuckle | Dead Crew of Oddwood Motion City Soundtrack | William Beckett | Brick & Mortar August Burns Red | Miss May I | Northlane | Fit For a King Napalm Death | Voivod | Exhumed | Iron Reagan | Southgate Suicide Silence | Emmure | Within The Ruins | Fit For An Autopsy Tory Lanez



4 6 9 11 13 14 15 16 17 19 21 22 20 28

4 6 9 11 13 14 15 16 17 19 21 22



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



Marcia Ball 5 Eclectic Guitars: Eric Johnson & Mike Stern 6 Lucinda Williams | Kenneth Brian Band 8-9 Over The Rhine | William Fitzsimmons 10 Ramble On | Barracuda 14 Judy Collins | Rachel Sage 15 Robert Cray Band 20 Stuart 21 The Church 22 Steep Canyon Rangers 24 Crystal Bowersox 25 Hapa 27 Martin Sexton | Brothers McCann 28

the goodfoot 2845 se stark


Motown On Sundays (Sundays) Sonic Forum Open Mic (Mondays) Boys II Gentlemen (Tuesdays) Shafty (Wednesdays) Soul Stew w/DJ Aquaman (Fridays) Con Brio | Jellybread Eldridge Gravy & Court Supreme | Grace Love & True Loves Trujillo | Audios Amigos Garcia Birthday Band Popgoji | Cherimoya Jans Ingber & Friends Naive Melodies Goodfoot 14 Anniversary Party w/McTuff

5 7 12 14 19 21 26 28 | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 14

features FEBRUARY white owl social club

21 1305 se 8th theater 22 star 13 nw 6th 6 13 14 20

Abney Park All The Apparatus | Brownish Black The Bleeding Hearts | The Satin Chaps Scott Pemberton

street saloon 23 ash 225 sw ash 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 11 12 14 15 17 18 19 20 21 22 24 26 27 28

The Underground Resistance DJ Night (Mondays) Olivia Awbrey | Ryan Davidson | Wanderers & Wolves Paradox | Saola Phenagen | Ghost Motor | Trojan Swamp Monster Disco Volante | Subsurfer | Daisy Deaths Speaker Minds | Bel Mizik | Subconscious Culture Dead Remedy | The Hoons | Machine | Land of the Living Vicious Cycle | Virtual Zero | Xenasatori | Prosody Public Bulimic Limited | Dwight Dickinson Intolerance | The London Victory Club | Black & Blonde Cellar Door | Unusual Suspects | Zendeavors The Rusty Cleavers Eden Come | Riot Cop Marla Singer Lo There Do I See My Brother | The Union Trade She Preaches Mayhem | Vigil Wolves | Divides | Nova Eyes Kingdom Under Fire | At The Seams | Dead Last Place Hyperia | IronSerpent Class M Planets | Cult Choir Agents of Ecco | King Ghidora | The Critical Shakes Dinner for Wolves | Monica Nelson & The Highgates Dead Conspiracy | Panzergod | Uada


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Thriftwork | Robot Koch | Tiger Fresh | Doc Riz The Floozies | Manic Focus Hundred Waters Giraffage | Spazzkid Enabler/Call of the Void | Transient 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 |

LOUNGE 25 TONIC 3100 NE SANDY 7 12 13 15 16 19 20 21 22 24 25 28

The Dickies | Rendered Useless | Symptoms | Ether Circus House Call w/DJ Funk Girl Unit | Lincolnup | Ben Tactic Delaney & Paris | Dwight Dickinson | Erik Anarchy Cancerslug | The Brass | God Bless America Jordan Strong | Jonny Holsler | Reverse Cowboy Reagan Youth Church of Hate | Truculence | Devilation | TacoNinjas Amy Bleu | Airon GhostRadio | Spare Spells Mana Machines | Diana Chittester Enuff Z'Nuff | Madame Torment | Die Robot Tomorrows Dream | The Shrike | Furniture Girls | Swil

26 dantes 350 w burnside 5 6 7 8 12

The English Language (Mondays) Tony Ozier & The Doo Doo Funk Allstars Mickey Avalon | Grand Royale | Pink Bead Spindrift | 1776 | Fireballs of Freedom Eddie Spaghetti | Michael Dean Damron Jucifer | Holy Grove | Prizehog


it’s an outburst of energy and emotion. A lot of the lyrics come from feeling misunderstood and a lot of anger and emotions from feeling like you're not seen as a person or respected. I was also inspired by the short stories of Raymond Carter during this time. I think of some of this as little stories about people’s everyday lives. “Could Be Better” was literally taken from one of his stories. It’s about how hopeless things can feel and the apathy in everyday living. But I find a lot of beauty in that too. There are a lot of people just living in the middle, where just getting through the day is enough. JH: “No One Even Knows” was also an attempt of writing a story song. I think on this album we were expressing day to day life, and also what Nathan was going through at the time. 11: Is that what “Face Up” is about? NE: Yes it’s definitely about that. And about really being honest with those around you. 11: Who are some of your favorite artists? JH: We have a lot of similar ones. I love Sam Cooke, his gospel stuff, Mabel John, just a lot of old school soul. NE: We have stacks of vinyl. Wilson Pickett, “Ooh Poo Pah Doo” by Ike and Tina. Syreeta Wright. I’m obviously listening to D’Angelo’s new record. 11: Where do you think the soul scene is in Portland? JH: I think there is an awesome soul scene in Portland, Portland is more known for indie rock. It is here and it is growing, we have met friends like Brownish Black, there are definitely band’s getting this going. I put together MUSA Soul Fest with Jeni Wren to showcase soul music on the map in Portland. 11: What are some other local soul artists to watch? NE: There are two playing with us the night of the release show: Ara Lee, and Redray Frazier who is starting to do good things. I love the voice of Nafasaria Scroggins, who is Janice Scroggins daughter. Portland

is best known for indie rock, but there is a lot going on. As awesome and progressive as the city is, there still seems to be a segregation with music. And it’s unfortunate, because the scene should be very broad. There is a lot of different things going on in the African American community here, that is somehow disconnected. It’s a little uncomfortable for me. Where I’m from I was in the Black Student Union, I was in an acapella R&B group. That’s where I get a lot of my style and singing. I don’t see a lot of connections like that here much, yet. JH: Music is a great way to make that happen. 11: How do you put a modern edge on those age old sounds? JH: Part of it has to do with just living in the time we are in, and consciously and subconsciously being influenced by the music around us. NE: There are a lot of bands that are recreating their own flavor of that same classic soul sound. Charles Bradley, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings. With our music we are really shooting for something soulful, but it’s not cut from a specific cloth. JH: Also as a band we all come from different backgrounds musically, so putting together this label of soul is really open. Like Sean is from punk, our new drummer Danny is from rock, I often refer to our sound as soulrock, it’s definitely soulful, but it’s not classic. There are a lot of influences. 11: And what about the sax? JH: Steve comes from a rock, psychrock, jam-band background. He’s been a part of a few other projects. We initially thought about it as one piece of a horn section. It’s a baritone sax, very low. Upon mixing we added effects to make it sound like a big horn section. 11: The song “Shine A Light” may be the best valentine ever. NE: It’s actually the first song I wrote about Juliet. 11: So you do realize, that your music may cause things to go down between people, like after the show?

JH: Well, we hope. NE: Sometimes not so long after the show. We have had some shows where crazy stuff happens on the dance floor. JH: One of the reasons why we started this band, is that I used to go to a lot of soul nights in town, DJ nights. People were dancing and sweating, and having the time of their lives. But I didn't feel like there were bands that were bringing that kind of energy. So I was hoping we could create this band for live fun. Singing, dancing, laughing. Basically we would have shows at Slim’s or the Spare Room, fun divey bars. We played really late at night. Once in a while we would have a “Midnight Nasty Contest." NE: It was instructive. JH: Getting back to grinding and getting down. We would buy the winner a drink or give them a CD or whatever. There were some nights that it got...people took clothing off.

NE: It got past R towards NC-17, with some cheering and ushering from the bar. JH: We were surprised. NE: We don't necessarily encourage this, but we don't discourage it either. 11: What’s coming up? NE: We would really like to start doing some touring. We would love to play some festivals. We love Pickathon. JH: This year we are really just trying to get this album out. We are selfreleased. We have put some investments in ourselves and have had support from family and friends. So we are trying to get our name out there. » - Brandy Crowe

The Get Ahead celebrate the release of Volcano February 10 at Mississippi Studios While reviving rich sounds of the past, there are a lot of influences pushing them. The punk and rock backgrounds of their bassist and drummer quicken “Dollars to Doughnuts” and the comehither track “Too Hot.” “Earn It” has a groovy disco feel. Then they charge in with dirty, deep bass, tambourine, and southern gospel on the unashamed “Little Devil.” Earle and Howard share vocals, both together and each in their own stories, and it’s not just ‘oh baby’ and 'honey

L The Get Ahead

Volcano Self-released

child.' There is some beautiful imagery of day to life and wanting to burn off some steam in the songwriting. There are Earle’s outcries on “Face Up," and Juliet’s

The Get Ahead released their first EP nearly three years ago, and have been building their take on soul

recount of waking up on a train station bench in “No One Even Knows." Songs showcase tenderness and

rock for their eleven track debut

city corner style sax on the pining

Volcano. Aside from somewhat slicker

“Moonstricken,” and Earle rasps “Ain’t

production there is still heavy hitting

no thunder in my chest” though the psych

instrumentation and vocal power

tendencies of title track “Volcano.” One

from the five piece. Nathan Earle’s

of the big movers here is Steve Sevrin,

influences of country and gospel come

tunking and rolling his baritone sax

through in classic bluesy guitar play

for the booty shaking “Take A Shine,”

and his impassioned voice. He lets go on

possibly one of the sweetest, funkiest

easygoing “Could Be Better” with front

valentines, ever. » - Brandy Crowe

lady and classic-soul influenced Juliet

features FEBRUARY dantes (continued) Scott Biram & Jesse Dayton Sir Mix-A-Lot | Smoochknob Granger Smith fea/ Earl Dibbles Jr. Brothers Gow | Spynreset | South Saturn Delta Guttermouth | Counterpunch Swan Sovereign | Misty Mountain | When Vanity Kills


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The Great Hiatum | Matt Lindley Sin City Ramblers | When We Met | Pinehurst Kids

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28 Laurelthirst pub 2958 ne glisan 29 the waypost 2120 n williams

Jack Dwyer & Friends | Freak Mountain Ramblers Copper & Coal | Kung Pao Chickens Jackstraw Wilkinson Blades | Larry Yess & Nate Lumbard Lewi & The Left Coast Roasters | Snowblind Traveller Tree Frogs | Baby Gramps Jimmy Boyer Band Pagan Jug Band | Freak Mountain Ramblers Portland Country Underground | King Pao Chickens Jackstraw | New Song Project Wilkinson Blades | Pretty Gritty | Promise The Moon Lewi & The Left Coast Roasters | Old Straight Track Cedar Teeth | Kelena Cinema | Tom Bennett Water Tower | The Ridge Runners Jack Dwyer & Friends | Freak Mountain Ramblers Copper & Coal | Kung Pao Chickens Jackstraw | Jack Grace | Lewi Longmire Wilkinson Blades | Ships To Roam Lewi & The Left Coast Roasters | Sink & Swim | Piano Shoppe Michael Hurley & The Croakers | Lynn Conover & Gravel Ron Rogers & The Wailing Wind | The Lonesomes Pagan Jug Band | Freak Mountain Ramblers Portland Country Underground | King Pao Chickens Jackstraw | Jerry Joseph Acoustic Wilkinson Blades | Jerry Joseph Acoustic Lewi & The Left Coast Roasters | Jerry Joseph Acoustic Reverb Brothers | Jerry Joseph Acoustic The Yellers | Jerry Joseph Acoustic

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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 |

analog cafe & Theater 720 se hawthorne


4 6 7 12 13 17 18 Weresquatch | Magnabolt | Warkrank | Toxic Witch | Bewitcher 21 Tar Plains | St. Jacks Parade 24 Demure 27 DJ Anjali & The Incredible Kid 28

Salsanova Raw Fabrics | Roman Sattelites | Starship Renegade School of Rock Presents Vintage Youth Pink Lady & John Bennett Jazz Band The Purge Hail The Sun | The Ongoing Concept | We The Wild Salsanova

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Photo by Shawn Brackbill

features national scene


hiladelphia-based Indie rock guitar hero Kurt Vile has been expertly creating nuggets of modern psychedelia, often striking the perfect balance between breezy ‘70s Americana-tinged rock with a decidedly 21st century psychedelic propulsion. Vile has released five solo albums, and also recorded one full-length as half of the duo forming the War On Drugs with fellow Philly rocker Adam Granduciel before splitting to focus on a solo career with his backing band The Violators. 2011 was a breakout year for Vile, with the release of his 4th solo album Smoke Ring For My Halo, which found critical acclaim and ended up on several year end “Best Of” lists, making Kurt Vile a household name in the indie rock world. With 2013’s Wakin On A Pretty Daze, Kurt Vile made complete the transformation from lo-fi pioneer (more like “medium-fi”— Kurt accurately corrected us during our interview) to hi-fi, studio-rock craftsman that he had begun suggesting with the sophisticated textures of Smoke Ring, and the music world took notice. Wakin was received largely with critical acclaim, with critics and fans noting the ease in which Vile assumed the role of classic FM rock connoisseur. The circumstances of recording Wakin were not as breezy as the resulting album suggested, however, with the goal of capitalizing on the success of 2011’s Smoke Ring For My Halo providing added pressure to release a follow up within the two-year mark as well as the stress of Kurt and his wife having their second child right as Kurt was wrapping up recording on the record in New York. Plus, Vile and his backing band The Violators didn’t find the process of recording in major studios to be without

drawbacks. Vile states that while working with professional engineers and producers helped him expand his sound, it also proved to be tedious at times. Vile and his band spent too much studio time doing relatively little, while the expenses for paying the studio and the engineers kept on piling up. The at times tedious recording sessions also impacted the record in ways where Vile felt that he couldn’t adequately capture a certain spontaneity that existed on his previous records, where the song he’d write on the couch was easily translated in the studio. After a lengthy tour, the last half of 2014 found Vile back in the studio where he’d begun work on a new album. While Vile insists he quite likes the slick, radio-ready results he got with Wakin, he’s made sure the recording environment allows for a more organic sound. Though Vile isn’t yet ready to spill all the details on what we can expect for the follow up to Pretty Daze, he is willing to say that the upcoming record will be bluesier and folkier. He also informs us that he’s made much more of an effort to keep the recording process within the band, relying heavily on a regular stable of musical collaborators like Violators members Rob Laasko and Kyle Spence—as well as himself—to perform much of the engineering and recording duties. He also made sure to make some time for himself, his wife, and his two daughters, as Vile has found himself at home perhaps more than he ever has during his career. And after six years of five albums (which is remarkable by today’s standard) and constant recording, the downtime is well deserved. But Vile has been making an effort to keep himself mentally engaged in the recording process before the release of his next solo album, in particular by recording a side on the second edition of indie-psych label Three Lobed Records' anniversary box set with long-time friend and former Violator Steve Gunn and his go-to harp player Mary Lattimore. The project came about after Steve and Kurt were both commissioned by Three Lobed for the recording (the first edition featured Sonic Youth, Sun City Girls, and Bardo Pond among others) and they decided to “up the ante” for the box set’s other artists by recording their sides of the record together. It gave Vile the chance to play with “his old Philly buddy” and to a couple of “deep cut” covers he had been looking to get on tape—including one by Nico and one by Randy Newman! We sat down with Kurt over the phone to discuss the future solo album, how he likes to work in the studio, and touring. » - Casey Hardmeyer | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 18

features national scene ELEVEN: What have you been up to between Wakin on a Pretty Daze and starting the new album? Kurt Vile: We toured a whole lot. We only have one more show. We have more shows starting in the summer again, but this is the last show, in Portland. I was recording in Joshua Tree with my friends Farmer Dave and Stella, and my bandmate Rob Lakso was the engineer and also my main drummer Kyle has a studio down in Athens, Georgia—we went down there and recorded a bunch of times. We’ve been jumping around in New York. Mainly me and Rob have been the constants in the album, because he’s a good engineer but he’s also a multiinstrumentalist and he’s good at keeping track of everything because that’s what I’m bad at doing. 11: So, mostly focused on the album? Any free time to yourself? KV: Yeah, I’ve had that too. I’ve been home more than ever. I feel like every album is pretty back to back, but this one there’s definitely more down time, [but] starting to not be. [laughs] 11: Regarding the sound of the album, what are you doing differently now compared to Wakin or Smoke Ring for my Halo? KV: Both Kyle and Rob are totally competent engineers, but the one main thing is that, at the moment, we haven’t had an outside producer there the whole time. Part of that reason being, the last record in particular, I have these songs and it’s

hard for me to relay them to the band because there [are] so many options or maybe there’s a lot of parts and I don’t feel like sitting around and explaining them to everybody. I’d rather get the feeling down on tape while I’m showing people. Even when we were doing that on the last record, where people would have to learn it as we went, we were paying massive studios and top engineers to wait around. Not always, but a lot of times. I’ve done that a little bit on the last record and previous records where it’s just me and Rob and we would take it to the producer. But also I think that, the vibe and feeling that you’re at home, in Kyle’s home studio, and just the band is there you can kind of not feel like the clock is ticking and hopefully capture a more organic thing. Certain songs are real folky or bluesy and rootsy. In the past I’ve recorded folky songs (on the last two records), but they still come off somewhat slick and poppy. I wanted to capture this very real, very raw thing where I’m not paranoid by an outside. . . somebody waiting around until you got the take. I appreciate that kind of thing too, but basically. . . you almost feel like you’re home on your couch. 11: Does that make it feel more real? KV: That’s the idea anyway. I like both [processes]. Eventually I’m going to get somebody to help us through the stuff for a more professional wavelength, but for whatever reason I just wanted to keep it to myself and within the band for as long as possible. There’s songs on my earlier records that are really homespun, in the moment—songs like “He’s All Right” or “Overnight Religion” or “Blackberry Song” that are just, like, you in a house, just living my life and breathing the music in a way that is more natural as opposed to once you sort of set everything up [and say], “Okay, Go”—it feels not quite as natural. So I wanted to get back to my roots in some ways, but even naming all those songs, they had all their urgency in there and whatever. . . we’re all better players by now and stuff like that, so I’m not regressing to a lo-fi thing or anything like that, but sort of somewhere in the middle and I still want to come off really pro. That’s the idea. I spent a whole lot of money last time and I’m sure we’re still going to do that, but I feel like we will get more [efficient] time in studios if we do it this way, [rather than] hire somebody off-the-bat. 11: Do you have any producers in mind to work with? Is there a short list? KV: I have people in mind, I guess, but I’m still not quite thinking about it.


features national scene

national scene





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11: A simple but maybe not so simple question: why make music?

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KV: Yeah. That’s just what I do. That’s like, why you write, everybody has their thing that they do. Me and everybody in my circle are music-obsessives. This is what we do [laughs]. It’s who we are.

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11: Is that the same for all musicians? KV: No, I think some people are natural heartfelt musicians and just have it—someone like Steve Gunn who is just an incredible guitar player, and then other people want to be in bands for other reasons. They all have their merits, I guess, but more like hipster type bands might just want to strike a pose, but you know, not everybody. 11: Speaking of Steve Gunn, you recorded with him recently on a collaboration album. What can you tell us about that? KV: That’s coming out on compilation on Three Lobed and it's like a bunch of twelve inches with some pretty awesome sort-of big names like Thurston Moore and stuff, but the sides are strategically placed on the album so my side is backed with Steve Gunn’s. So we decided to sort of up the ante and play on


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KV: I think it has a few, but not anything I’m going to say right now.



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11: Does the album have a working title?


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Photo by Alicia J. Rose



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SHOWS you’ll remember, presented in an independently run, best-sounding music listening environment with great staff (mostly musicians), drinks, burgers, and PATIO. | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 20

features national scene each other’s side and collaborate. But it’s just an EP. I have a couple cover songs on there, and Steve does. There’s some jams and some sort of epic, orchestral type songs. 11: Back to your new solo album—does it tell a narrative or is it just personal experience? What’s the content? KV: I’m sure it’s got a story. I think every one of my albums has a story. I guess Smoke Ring was kind of melancholy and Wakin was more expansive. I think this will have all of those things—rock and folk—but there’s a sort of a folk-blues edge, and I think it’s got some melancholy songs and such and a melodic thing, And then, lyrically, it can be sort of melancholy, but it’s definitely going to tell a story because it’s just the me of the now. I think at this point I have so many good friends who are great musicians which I’ve used on other records, but on this record I’m just going back to my favorites. I sort of have a thing I can tap into on the West Coast with my friends Stella (from Warpaint) and Farmer Dave (from Twin Sparks), and then I can go down to Athens and it’s a Violators vibe—all of us going down to Kyle’s house. I have friends in New York as well, and there’s a lot of studios to choose from. Me and Rob can really nerd out and take control of the situation on our own and fill it up where need be. I think in the past, I feel like I’ve had the whole band around the whole time, and it had its benefits for sure. But a lot of the time [they are] just sitting around waiting for me, and I sort of learned my lesson that sometimes I can’t have the whole band around—maybe I just need one person around to help me get it down. I’ve come to that decision. In

that way it’s definitely more of a solo record. It’s collaborative with the band. Rob is usually around, but it’s me just following my path. I include everybody when I can, but I can’t just wait around for the “group” to be there. But it makes the time that everybody is around hopefully that much more the authentic Violators thing. 11: Last question—what’s your favorite venue setting: Mega-stadium, small festival, intimate indoor venue, or your living room? KV: I think all those have their merits. I remember the first year I played Primavera, there was an electricity in the air. It was this smaller stage, but it was packed. I was sort of a newly buzzed or around just enough during Smoke Ring that people were really excited. I like to play small venues if you really rock hard, and you can’t touch that in the outdoor arena—[or when] I play my home town, [at] The Union Transfer. It’s sold out, like 1200 people, a medium sized room that’s electric and it’s your hometown so it just depends on the situation. All those styles have their merits and duds when you tour the world, you know? » - Richard Lime

Catch Kurt Vile live at Sabertooth Micro Fest February 7 at The Crystal Ballroom

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FILM AND TELEVISION Two of this year’s best picture nominees champion a different model of the contemporary artist. Alejandro González Iñárrritu’s Birdman and Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash are paens to the performer as exemplar of American self-reliance. Birdman’s Riggan Thomson, played with Nicholsonian crustiness by Michael Keaton, is a Hollywood refugee struggling to garner critical legitimacy with a stilted Broadway adaptation of Raymond Carver’s What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, all the while obliviously coasting on the laurels he mistakes for an albatross. Whiplash’s Andrew, limned with disarming sincerity by Miles Teller, is a fledging percussion student at the prestigious Schaffer Conservatory determined to win the approval of his sadistic conductor and ultimately secure a place in the annals of music history. Both of these brilliant, glittering fantasies of transcendence focus on men who embrace their true selves through devotion to their talents. These selves, however, happen to be radically antisocial and incurably self-destructive. By relentlessly pursuing the admiration of enemies and strangers, Riggan and Andrew willingly alienate their peers and intimates. Celebratory, but by no means romantic, these movies revel in the side-effects of American individualism: self-absorprtion, ostracism, and loneliness. I walked out of these movies feeling elated, as though I’d been given carte blanche to indulge in the endemic myths Illustration by Melissa Dow


on which I was weaned. For all of their propulsive, climactic energy, these movies have an intoxicating effect, navigating a path back to our national Mother Myth of unqualified exceptionalism. These narratives offer a delightful inversion of Nietzsche’s theory of the Apollonian-Dionysian tension


that generates cultural production. In our enlightened era n a moving and widely-circulated acceptance speech at last month’s Critic’s Choice Awards, Jessica Chastain cited her preferred definition of “MVP” as “a player who is valuable to their team.” Chastain deftly assumed the role of grateful

recipient, first unspooling a string of shout-outs to her agent, lawyer, publicist, p.a., directors, and fellow cast and crew members, then delivering a succinct, unflinching plea regarding “our need to build the strength of diversity in our industry,” complete with a litany against “homophobic, sexist, misogynistic, anti-Semitic, and racist agendas,” an inspiring MLK quotation, and a rousing charge to “speak up” which even elicited a silent “Wow” from the ever-imperious Oprah. With her speech, Chastain presented herself as the premier socially-conscious artist, committed to cooperation, inclusivity, and mutual recognition.

of critical theory, where the integrity of the subject has been ingeniously demystified, deconstructed, and all but dismantled by a slew of Marxist Freudo-intellectuals, the ego is the new id. Far from regressive fantasies of repressed beings eroding under the weight of the patriarchal superego and longing for a feminized chthonian swamp, where boundaries are blurred and hierarchies dissolved, these movies chart a vicarious return to a masculinized fantasy of sheer will generated by delusions of power founded on difference, competition, and an inflated sense of autonomy. It may not be the optimal mode of personhood for sustaining a functional, cohesive society, but it certainly makes for great cinema. For Riggan and Andrew, art is not an end in itself, but rather a means of satisfying their own egos and achieving immortality. Both protagonists are embedded in communities that challenge these values, goading them to increasingly | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 22

film obsessive, antagonistic behavior. Throughout Birdman, we

book Aristotelean development in which the ambitions set

see Riggan assaulting his co-stars, confronting his critics,

out in the beginning are ultimately realized. All seeming

and trashing his dressing room in sporadic outbursts of rage.

digressions into hidden motives, sentimental backstories,

A string of heated encounters allude to a history of addiction,

and sympathy-generating revelations are mere ruses for

domestic abuse, and parental neglect. In a poignant

amplifying the movie’s final payoff. Whereas Birdman is

scene, his ex-wife—numbed beyond affect, but unfailingly

dilatory and unresolved, Whiplash is rigorously controlled.

compassionate—informs him, “Just because I didn’t like that

With its watertight editing, each shot works to sustain the

stupid comedy you did with Goldie Hawn does not mean

narrative’s claustrophobic tension. Even the film’s ostensible

that I didn’t love you,” adding that he always confused love

denouement, with its quiet epiphanies, is a cunning set-up

with admiration. Similarly, his pugnacious daughter, played

for the final scene’s cruel, dazzling trick.

triumphantly against type by the immutably charming

Birdman and Whiplash flirt with, and ultimately discard,

Emma Stone, launches an explosive jeremiad against his

the popular trope of salvation through intervention and

futile efforts to remain relevant in a world he willfully

reconciliation. Foregoing social integration, both films

ignores. Though no one in the film explicitly sympathizes

champion the transcendence of the Messianic entertainer.

with Riggan’s myopic worldview, in private moments we see

Despite radical stylistic discontinuities, these movies recall

that the supporting players are equally susceptible to the

the ‘70s work of two American masters: Altman’s McCabe

lure of the deadly sins, from the pride of his leading lady

& Mrs. Miller and Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon. Both films

and the lust of his nemesis, to the envy of his girlfriend and

chart the rise and fall of men too arrogant to see the folly

the wrath of his reviewer. The film’s inherent ambiguity is

of their enterprising cruelty. Iñárritu and Chazelle trade

a refreshing change of pace from the tawdry universalism

the dour pessimism and existential sorrow of those New

of the overrated Babel, and surely accounts for its more

Wave masterpieces for a wry, cheerful cynicism. Birdman

polarized critical reception.

and Whiplash are two irreverent punk-rock entries in the

Whiplash, on the other hand, is one of the least

tradition Robert Kolker famously described as “the cinema

ambiguous indie films I’ve seen in recent years, and one

of loneliness.” Andrew and Riggan are anti-heroes for our

of the best. Though modeled on the Bildung tradition, this

strange neoliberal century, sublimely beyond saving by

narrative of a young man’s education proves to be a text-

anyone but themselves. » - Maxfield Fulton

2/04: Kory Quinn 8pm Americana 2/05: Peter the Chair 8pm 2/11: Rachael Miles 8pm Singer-songwriter 2/12: Jonathan Trawick & Aarun Carter 8pm 2/13: Ben Larsen & Friends 10pm Newgrass/Amer. 2/14: Harper 10pm Soul 2/18: Ben Hampton Trio 8pm Jazz 2/20: Inherit Earth 10pm Reggae 2/21: Tuck & Daisy Mardi Gras Masquerade LP Release! 10pm Indie-folk 2/25: Kelly Bosworth 8pm Pacific-Northwest Amer. 2/26: Stringtown Ambassadors 8pm 2/27: Alder Street/Blue Flags & Black Grass 10pm 2/28: Full Funkal Nerdity 10pm Funk

2/06: plug88 10pm Funk/hip hop/disco/mash-ups 2/07: DJ Magnus Cagney 10pm Grooves from all eras 2/13: DJ Bad Wizard 10pm ‘90s, hip hop, soul 2/14: DJ Kenny ‘80s Night 10pm 2/20: DJ Prana 10pm 2/21: DJ Kenny 10pm 2/27: DJ Gregarious 10pm Indie/Electro/Moderne/Retro 2/28: DJ Blas Latin Soulsa Party 10pm


11. Blackbird Pizza - 1935 community 2



SE Hawthorne Boulevard


























Excalibur Books & Comics - 2444 SE Hawthorne Blvd


Pink Vintage - 2500 SE Hawthorne Blvd





Clever Cycles - 900 SE Hawthorne Blvd

Location photos by Mercy McNab










Analog Cafe - 720 SE Hawthorne Blvd


Helium Comedy Club - 900 SE 9th Ave


The High Dive - 1406 SE 12th Ave


Lardo - 1212 SE Hawthorne Blvd


Riyadhs - 1318 SE Hawthorne Blvd


School of Rock - 1440 SE Hawthorne Blvd


Devil's Dill - 1711 SE Hawthorne Blvd

11. NEW BIRD IN TOWN Blackbird Pizza - 1935 SE Hawthorne Blvd | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 24

community literary arts I met Nick on one of those dove-gray sky days, as perfectly melancholic as his songs. In between his musical performance the night before and a rehearsal for an upcoming one-man show, we sat outside a coffee shop and discussed his highly anticipated book, his career, and his thoughts on current pop music. ELEVEN: What made you decide to write this book? Nick Jaina: I wanted to do it for a while, but I never wanted to do it just as a personal achievement. To print something and take a selfie and say, "I did this, hashtag yay me." That doesn’t interest me, because where does that really get anyone? Your friends buy it and pat you on the back. If I was going to write a book I decided it was going to be something that was going to enrich people’s lives in some way. To me that had to come after working my way out of my own troubles. So the book wasn’t about all these great things that I did. . . it was showing vulnerability and struggle and how to get through that, or how I got through that. Because those are the things that have helped me the most. To see that other people stumble, and not figure things out, and get really low down and sad. For me, it’s depression, sadness, heartbreak, and working through that, and finding a way to really be happy.


Photo by Mercy McNab

Portland writer and musician Nick Jaina


uring a recent performance at Mississippi Studios, Nick reads a few lines from one of the unsent love letters in his new book, Get It While You Can. On that single page, he calls attention to those undefined moments in life—the anticipation right before an orchestra begins to play, the beats of time it takes you to change a record after it hits the center groove, or the quiet way a stripper puts her clothes back on after her performance. Nick occupies those moments like an ancient poet, not missing a signal the universe has sent him. Each chapter is imbued with a very modern wisdom that anyone can benefit from. Like many musicians, once Nick got his hands on a guitar at an early age he was instantly hooked. The words came first for him, and he would work to learn the music that accompanied his feelings for a girl. In his adult life, he has dealt with all the complicated emotions by writing songs about them, releasing albums, and performing around the world—but still remains unfulfilled.


11: Was having your guitar stolen the impetus for the meditative retreat? NJ: It was kind of a coincidence, really. It was a full year of heartbreak, and sadness, and then finally committing to “Okay, I’m going on this retreat.” Just a couple weeks before, my guitar got stolen. Those things seemed to be working in concert together to provide this break from my previous life. Which I appreciate now. I hate to lose something like a guitar, but when things get lost, you can move on in a way—you’re not tied to the past. It was an opportunity for that. 11: There are some very humorous moments in the book. Like when you return every day for mediation, and there’s always the “douchebag with the swooshing windbreaker” sitting right next to you. NJ: You think you're going to get better with meditation and it’s in this serene place where everything is perfect. And it is quiet and nice, but there are people there, and they make sounds. You have to deal with that. Wherever you are, the world is not created for you to be perfectly happy. So that’s what you have to negotiate. 11: Were those unsent love letters throughout the book to anyone in particular? NJ: They were about a couple of people that I was not able to communicate with. The relationships had gotten to that point where it was not ok, and I still just wanted to say things to them. They were never written out as letters that I thought I would send. It was a device to say things that I couldn’t say, in a way that I could be as honest as possible. Because I wasn’t using names or specific details. I just wanted that shot to have pure emotion and sentimentality, the way songs can direct an emotional message.

community literary arts 11: You list the kinds of sadness in one chapter. Was that structure used for a specific purpose? There’s some humor about making a list about which kind of sadnesses one may suffer from. NJ: Yes, it’s meta and self-referential. Like a lot of things, you feel stupid when you are doing it, and afterwards you can say maybe it was worthwhile. There’s this voice in your head that’s saying, “This is stupid, why are you doing this?” Maybe that voice isn’t the actual voice of writing, but he seems to be. Maybe that guy is just an asshole. I feel that letters and lists are the easiest things to write because you know your audience. You don’t have to worry about tying things together or making a narrative. You just list things out and it can make you feel better. When it’s sadness, which I was dealing with, it was like, 'Let me make it something I can laugh at at times, or just quantify, and understand it.' So it’s not infinite. 11: Can you talk about the title, Get It While You Can? NJ: Sure, it’s what the book ended up being about. The idea of stop living in the theoretical world, and stop always thinking of six months from now, or six years from now. It’s just: Don’t forget to be in the dirt, and participate right now. That’s always been very hard for me. I like to perfect everything in my mind, and build these structures. Then you get out in the world and if you’re not accepting that it’s a real world that you’re interacting with you’ll be disappointed. My whole path of happiness has included a lot of just get dirty, get messy, being okay with mistakes, with broken dreams, and failure. Just laugh about it. 11: What do you consider failure? Is it the lesson of falling down and getting up, or is it trying and not getting to the level you want? NJ: The failures for me have been the shows where nobody is there, or they are there and they walk out, or they are just talking through it. You care so much about this thing, and you spend so much time on it, and people won’t give five minutes of their time to listen.

NJ: Well it always happens with art or music where a real movement or real expression happens in a certain way. They don’t look at the roots of what lead to that, they look at the superficial aspect of it. “Oh punk music is distorted guitars, so I’m doing punk.” It doesn’t mean the same thing every time. Sometimes punk is playing really softly. Distorted guitar isn’t threatening anymore. It’s in commercials. That keeps happening. The tools of rebellion get re-appropriated to promote and sell the establishment. That’s the only time that I get bummed out about the state of music. When it doesn’t acknowledge that. It’s like ‘No we just want to cash in, we just want to get in that commercial.’ 11: You write a lot about coincidences in this book. How do they affect you? NJ: People say that word as if it’s a throwaway thing. I’m not saying there’s some force pushing these things out, but everybody needs to find a path in their life. That guides my way. If three random people in a week say the same word, or mention the same city, I’m going to investigate that. It’s like these things are bubbling up. The crickets are chirping at you, and you should listen to that. To me that’s what being an artist is. Taking little shiny objects, and connecting the lines and putting them together. That doesn’t have to be on a canvas or an album, that can be your whole life. » - Scott McHale

LOCAL LITERARY EVENTS LATE NIGHT LIBRARY 1 FEBRUARY 5 | LITERARY ARTS | 925 SW WASHINGTON Hear featured writer Nick Jaina read from his memoir Get It While You Can. Expect Nick to engage in conversation about

11: How important is having a career in music to you? NJ: It’s very important, I mean it’s everything. . . It’s more important than being famous or anything. Just in the sense of if I have an idea for a project or a band or a show I want to be able to do it and not run out of money or time. And that, for me, is what is having a career means. I can bring my ideas to fruition. It’s all I ever wanted.

the many themes covered in his book.

11: How long has it taken you to get to that point? NJ: I don’t know if I’ve gotten there [laughs]. Every project I start, I don’t know if it’s going to be feasible—money-wise, or time, or anything. But I don’t want to let that stop me from starting. So it’s always a question in my mind of if it’s going to be possible.

from her new chapbook, Sixes, accompanied by dancer Leah

11: You have some music critiquing in here as well. I love the line about SXSW—watching crummy bands rehash an old sound and getting paid a lot of money for it. Can you speak on that a bit?

PURE SURFACE #13 2 FEBRUARY 15 | VALENTINES | 232 SW ANKENY Catch the next installment of Stacey Tran’s poetry/ performance series featuring Portland poet Liz Mehl reading Wilmoth and filmmaker Marianna Milhorat.

KELLY LINK READING 3 FEBRUARY 18 | POWELLS BOOKS 1005 W BURNSIDE Highly acclaimed writer Kelly Link has been recently called “the most darkly playful voice in American fiction.” Come experience her wit in person as she reads from her new collection of short stories, Get In Trouble. | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 26

community visual arts Photo by Mercy McNab

11: How did you come to this style and what defining traits do you think make your art different? JB: It was a complete accident actually. I had just started painting for the first time ever in my life and had no idea what I was doing. I decided that I wanted to paint a stormtrooper from Star Wars because I'm a nerd. Paint what you know. When I was painting, the background color bled into the character of the painting, and I thought it looked cool so I just expanded from there. I think what makes it different is its simplicity. Bold lines and bold colors. Then there is that tiling effect as well. I personally think the more work I have in one spot the cooler it seems to look. It doesn't even matter what character is next to what, all random looks just as cool I think. 11: Who are your favorite pop icons? JB: The Flash, Robin Williams, Eddie Izzard—even if no one knows who that last one is. It's really hard to say because I've painted so many really popular characters, by request or just for fun. My next favorite pop icon might be different next week depending on what I'm working on. That might just be me being fickle or my ADD acting up. 11: Who are the most requested commissions you get asked to paint?

VISUAL ARTS Portland artist Jae Burlingame

ELEVEN: What is your medium? Jae Burlingame: I'm a painter. I work with acrylic on canvas, and tend to stay in a uniform size: 18x24. I do that so that if someone likes a few different pieces, they can get them and tile them together to get a pretty cool Andy Warhol comic book kind of effect. They can stand alone too, I dunno, I just think it's kind of a neat option.


JB: Batman. Hands down. I have done three different Batman paintings already, and when I was making a Superman painting people kept saying "Oh man I wish that was Batman." I knew he was popular but I never realized just how much until I started doing this. A close second is Captain America, which I've only done one of so far but have had several requests to do more. I guess people don't want so stray from the classics, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. 11: What projects are you currently working on? JB: Right now I've been commissioned to do a series of paintings of Street Fighter characters so that [the person buying them] can arrange them on his wall like the character select screen in the original game. Then when that's done we've talked about maybe doing more so that he can expand his living room wall to the Street Fighter 2 character select

community visual arts screen. We'll see about that when I get the first part done. It's a really fun and creative idea and I'm looking forward to finishing it. 11: What projects would you like to be working on? JB: I really want to start working on some propaganda mixed with geek culture pieces. I know this has been done before and isn't much of an original idea, but I have some ideas for some works that I think would be really fun to make. If you're not having fun with it then what's the point? 11: If you had access to all the supplies and everything was set up to paint a 20 story mural, what would you paint? JB: I'd say screw that, I'm afraid of heights. If I was going to do an enormous mural like that I would probably end up doing something to scale. Like a full size Gundam or a Titan from Attack on Titan just to mess with people.

11: Who are your favorite artists? Who inspires you? JB: I named my dog Warhol, so that should tell you something. I like Andy Warhol not for the content of what he made, which he admitted was supposed to be meaningless, but more for the color palette in his work. I'm a big fan of big bold bright colors. I also really like the repetition and uniformity which I try to incorporate in my stuff. For example the large stormtrooper paintings I've done—if you look at the whole thing from afar they look identical, but if you move up close you can notice they are all hand painted, and no two are exactly the same. | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 28

community visual arts

11: What's your experience being an artist in Portland? JB: I've only ever done art in Portland. There doesn't seem to be a shortage of places to hang your stuff, coffee shops and bars all over the city are constantly rotating in local art. Last Thursdays on Alberta is also an a awesome venue to show work as well, and is actually where I met the owners of those bars and coffee shops I've done shows at. 11: Who do you see really making waves in the art scene here right now? Is there anybody you would like to give a shout-out to? JB: Ben Perkins is an awesome painter and comic artist. Matt Grigsby is another amazing comic artist. Really talented guys. Ben Canales is a phenomenal photographer and is the one who has been helping me make time lapse videos of my paintings. Âť - Veronica Greene

"Stormtroopers" (acrylic on canvas, 2014)


Please enjoy a sampling of Jae's work decorating our inside back cover this month. Find more from Jae at


All Ages









BALLROOM With music and other delights throughout the property

Feb 6: $30 Feb 7: $30 Feb 8: $20 3 day pass for $75

Eleven PDX Magazine February 2015  
Eleven PDX Magazine February 2015