Page 1

MUSIC, COMMUNITY, AND CULTURE IN PORTLAND

ISSUE 54 | NOVEMBER 2015

ELEVEN PDX MAGAZINE - VOLUME 5, ISSUE 6

COMPLIMENTARY


contents

ELEVEN PDX MAGAZINE VOLUME 5

THE USUAL 3 Letter from the Editor 3 Staff Credits

ISSUE NO. 6

FEATURES Local Feature 13 Alela Diane

Cover Feature 17 new music

Battles

4 Aural Fix Cherub Valise Fever The Ghost Taylor McFerrin

COMMUNITY Neighborhood of the Month 24 SE 13th Avenue/Sellwood

7 Short List 7 Album Reviews Rare Diagram LiquidLight El Vy King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard

Literary Arts 25 Portland writer Kevin Maloney

Visual Arts 27 Portland artist Arise Rawk

LIVE MUSIC 9 Know Your Venue Wonder Ballroom

11 Musicalendar An encompassing overview of concerts in PDX for the upcoming month. But that’s not all–the Musicalendar is complete with a venue map to help get you around town.

more online at elevenpdx.com


HELLO PORTLAND! Happy November, my friends. We've arrived at that first real step into the annual season of darkness. It is the time to start fleshing out the ideas born from creative energy that we soaked up all throughout the burning summer and colorful fall. We now retreat to our caves of solitude, reflect on moments since gone, and then build, create, and produce. This cycle works quite well. In Portland especially, November is when the artists who were on midyear tours (or hiatuses) reunite and discover the foundations of their next phase. For this month's Local Feature Alela Diane [pp.13-16], her newest album was formulated one year ago and is just in time for this winter's listening. It would be cliché to spout a cliché here, but there is a reason clichés are clichés. Seize the moment. Battle(s) [pp.17-22] on against the dying of the light. Allow yourself to create and participate in something incredible. Just... do it to it. »

- Ryan Dornfeld, Editor in Chief

3 | ELEVEN PORTLAND | www.elevenpdx.com

EXECUTIVE STAFF EDITOR IN CHIEF Ryan Dornfeld ryan@elevenpdx.com CREATIVE DIRECTOR Dustin Mills dustin@elevenpdx.com SECTION EDITORS LOCAL FEATURE: Brandy Crowe LITERARY ARTS: Scott McHale VISUAL ARTS: Mercy McNab graphic DESIGN Dustin Mills Alex Combs CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Brandy Crowe, Sarah Eaton, Eric Evans, Donovan Farley, Veronica Greene, Sophia June, JP Kemmick, Kelly Kovl, Travis Leipzig, Samantha Lopez, Ethan Martin, Scott McHale, Aaron Mills, Lucia Ondruskova, Gina Pieracci, Tyler Sanford, Victoria Schmidt, Matthew Sweeney, Erin Treat, Charles Trowbridge, Wendy Worzalla photographers Alexa Lepisto, Mercy McNab, Aa Mills, Todd Walberg, Caitlin M. Webb COVER PHOTO Grant Cornett

online Mark Dilson, Donovan Farley, Kim Lawson, Michael Reiersgaard get involved getinvolved@elevenpdx.com www.elevenpdx.com twitter.com/elevenpdx facebook.com/elevenmagpdx mailing ADress 126 NE Alberta Suite 211 Portland, OR. 97211 GENERAL INQUIRIES info@elevenpdx.com ADVERTISING sales@elevenpdx.com LOGISTICS Billy Dye 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

CHERUB NOVEMBER 5 | CRYSTAL BALLROOM

Cherub has successfully captured the hearts of every 20-something who has come across their music over the past few years. Ever-entertaining lyrics about love, lust, and drugs accompany a modern take on '80s fueled electro-pop with heavy funk influence across their discography. Their recent success is a result of a snowball effect from a couple of incredibly catchy singles, starting with “Doses & Mimosas” off their 2012 album MoM & DaD, and “Jazzercise ‘95” off their 2013 EP 100 Bottles. “Doses & Mimosas” caught a second wave of followers after being re-released as a single to their 2014 major label debut on Columbia Records Year of the Caprese. The duo behind the music that demands you bounce around are Tennessee natives Jordan Kelley and Jason Huber. This is DIY at its finest, as the two of them met in college at Middle Tennessee State University, where they both studied music production. I feel one of the reasons we 20-somethings are so enamored with Cherub is because of their humble beginnings. They come across in both their interviews and their music as if they’re just as surprised to be where they are as any of us would be. The music both embraces and satirizes the party culture among young adults. They put themselves out there in the music with

2

VALISE

Photo by Kalan Briggs

NOVEMBER 8 | REVOLUTION HALL Valise is a group that has been together for many years, just putting out their debut album this spring, which means unfortunately and consequently they have flown under the radar for far too long. But after a supporting tour with Copeland, and another current tour supporting Macy Gray, these guys are bound to start getting the attention they deserve. Valise met at school in Dallas, Texas and together decided they would rather be making music. From the sound of

Photo by Ford Fairchild

songs that detail the feelings of those fighting through the middle years between young and old. One song explains that they’re less afraid of immediate rejection than a failed long term relationship, while another bounces back and we hear Cherub question their experiences with strippers (“Is this love, or am I drunk?”). It’s the playfulness of the music, the tongue-in-cheek lyrics, and the genuineness of this duo that draws you in, and when you’re hurt over an ex, or stressed about work, you can do what Cherub suggests, and deal with it over some doses and mimosas. » - Tyler Sanford

their new album, Young Bloomer, it is apparent that they experimented with every style and genre, landing somewhere difficult to qualify. Listening through the album, it’s easy to hear the influence of many current alternative and pop giants, like Phoenix, Death Cab for Cutie or most especially, Copeland. In the past they’ve worked with Aaron Marsh and Matt Wilbur of Copeland, and you can hear that influence in every track. Regardless of influence though, what Valise has created with Young Bloomer is an alt-pop album with stunning range. “Dialogue” feels like the opening to a movie, sweet and simple, whereas “Airport Pt 1” instantly personifies the feeling when your throat catches, thinking of something sad and wonderful. “Strange Light” is undoubtedly one of the best tracks on the album, with a guitar melody that gets under your skin and a heavily reverbed keys part that feels foreign and haunting. Valise is incredibly deft at creating simple sounds that feel universes different from one another. Every album has its place. We all have our quintessential break-up albums, our getting pumped jams, our angry driving in the car playlists, and Young Bloomer has its own place in that lineup. Even though these guys are from Texas, what they’ve created with Young Bloomer is the perfect Portland winter album. After listening to every catchy, trippy, and ultimately melancholy note, it’s safe to say Young Bloomer is the one you’ll want to reach for as we stumble into another long, lovely winter. » - Sarah Eaton

www.elevenpdx.com | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 4


new music aural fix

3

FEVER THE GHOST NOVEMBER 15 | BUNK BAR

Very little music is universally appreciated, but some artists are a more acquired taste than others. Fever The Ghost is at the very periphery of that scale. Many people may not even recognize the tracks on Zirconium Meconium as songs, but the people with an ear for this sort of thing are going to go absolutely apeshit for it. Those people might be Frank Zappa fans, sorely underserved by the music industry since 1974. If you count Uncle Meat and Roxy & Elsewhere as Mother of Invention high-water marks, meet Fever The Ghost.

5 | ELEVEN PORTLAND | www.elevenpdx.com

Those folks might be Julian Cope fans who feel abandoned by the Drude’s late-career turn to doom rock. Do you love the stylistic range of Peggy Suicide and the pop-hook rush of 20 Mothers? Has Fever The Ghost got an album for you. Maybe all this is pouring it on a bit thick but Fever The Ghost are peculiar. They’re completely into their own trip, distorted voices and obtuse instrumentation on what would, in different hands, be pop anthems. They almost write a hit in spite of themselves with the ebullient “1518”—it’s Nile Rodgers and Chic by way of H.R. Pufnstuf, an absurd melange of funky guitar and chimes with silly layered falsetto vocals. Later, “Equal Pedestrian” flirts with Cameo and early Prince; “Sun Moth” feels like how early ’70s psychedelic stuff would feel if it sounded as great as it’s remembered—it’s a rollicking, repetitive, irresistible thing. Aside from kick ass, what bands like Wand, Foxygen, and Fever The Ghost do is pull bits and pieces from disparate and otherwise unrelated influences and put them through the whacked-out filter of their band aesthetic, synthesizing the whole mess into something unexpected and new. Zirconium Meconium is ridiculous, flitting from idea to idea, faster than you can catch on one listen. Look, Fever The Ghost is not something you’ll fully understand by reading an article. Go to a record shop and gaze at the cover. That hideous/cute extraterrestrial caterpillar with the balloons might as well be the lead singer. Ask them to play it and watch the reactions of the other shoppers. There will be horror, there will be confusion, there will be delight. Let where you fall in that spectrum drive your purchase. » - Eric Evans


new music aural fix Photo by Fabrice Bourgelle

1 JENNY CONLEE & STEVE DRIZOS

8PM

21 & UP

BLUE CRANES

4

TAYLOR MCFERRIN NOVEMBER 21 | DOUG FIR

ISLAND IN THE SUN

4 TANGO ALPHA TANGO

15 HAYES CARLL AUBRIE SELLERS

TUMBLEWEED WANDERERS LIQUIDLIGHT

5 DAVE SIMONETT PETE QUIRK

Influenced by the legends of '70s Soul, Golden Era hip-hop and freeform jazz electronic music, producer and composer Taylor McFerrin creates sounds with musical dexterity. Playing all of the instruments on his productions, while also sampling and chopping up his live takes, he has found a sound that seamlessly bridges myriad musical worlds that draws the listener into a constantly shifting beautiful audio soundscape. With the release of his 2008 EP Broken Vibes, the Brooklyn musician began a cycle of creating tracks, only to leave them unfinished, and himself dissatisfied and discontent. Rather than continue this draining process, McFerrin spent the past year combing through those tracks to find the ones he felt embodied the height of his creativity, and then he finished them. This work became the base of his first full-length LP, Early Riser which released in June 2014 on Flying Lotus's Brainfeeder record label. The record features guest appearances by Naipalm (Hiatus Kaiyote), Thundercat, Emily King,

Robert Glasper, Bobby McFerrin, Cesar Mariano and Marcus Gilmore. In addition to producing and performing, Taylor has served as the head instructor of the pioneering Beat Rockers program over the past 4 years, teaching beatboxing and musical self-expression to students who are blind and/or have multiple disabilities at the Lavelle School for the Blind in the Bronx. » - Victoria Schmidt

6 KNRK 94.7 PRESENTS

A

JETPACKS

SEOUL

WORTH THE BROCKS

18 GARDENS & VILLA DE LUX

7 DEAD WINTER CARPENTERS

19 YUNA

FRANCESCA BLANCHARD

PERT NEAR SANDSTONE

20 LOW

8 JOHNETTE

NAPOLITANO

8PM

(OF CONCRETE BLONDE)

21 & UP

ANDY SHAUF

21 YOUTH LAGOON TAYLOR MCFERRIN

9 MADE OF OAK

22 BOY & BEAR 10 THE DOUBLECLICKS 24 TAYLOR JOHN JACKIE KAHIAN WILLIAMS MOLLY LEWIS TUSKHA

8PM

21 & UP

8PM

21 & UP

11 DAVID RAMIREZ 8:30 PM 21 & UP

12 THE GOOD LIFE BIG HARP

13 TOPS

BEVELERS

25 ONEOHTRIX POINT NEVER JAMES FERRARO

27 DIRTY REVIVAL PHILLYʼS PHUNKESTRA

PURO INSTINCT IS/IS

28 WORLDʼS FINEST GIRAFFE DODGERS

“the antidote” A slice of glitchy Sunday-afternoon funk, this track possesses an idiomatic richness that creates an element of stitched-together slackness. This allows his collaborator freedom from sticking to a particular structure, and Nai Palm's (lead singer and guitarist of Hiatus Kaiyote) contribution is as free-form as the swirling but assured foundation it's built on.

16 WE WERE PROMISED 17 LILA ROSE

DEATH BY CHOCOLATE EVOL WALKS SEAN KELLY

LIZA ANNE

QUICK TRACKS

14 GRAND ROYALE

DECEMBER SHOWS ON SALE NOW 12/2 : !!! (CHK CHK CHK) 12/5 : THAT 1 GUY 12/6 : DAVID WAX MUSEUM 12/9 : PATTERSON HOOD 12/9 : MARIBOU STATE 12/10 : DELLA MAE

12/12 : THE GOOD LIFE 12/13 : ISRAEL NASH 12/14 : JARED & THE MILL 12/15 : OKKERVIL RIVER 12/16 : PATTERSON HOOD 12/17 : BEAT CONNECTION

B “decisions” This dissonant electronic rocker track full of lush synth-scapes highlights featured singer Emily King’s round vocals.

www.elevenpdx.com | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 6


new music album reviews

ALBUM REVIEWS This Month’s best R Reissue

L Local release L Rare Diagram

Short List Björk Vulnicura Strings Kate Boy One Seal 7 Mutemath Vitals Danzig Skeletons

Secret Shot Smoking Surgeon Records

Rare Diagram’s debut LP is the foursome’s way of saying, “Hello world, look at all the fantastic things we can do with eleven songs.” Secret Shot is an eccentric mix of progressive-meetspsychedelic rock with just a sprinkle of pop and a dash of soul. “Come Home,” the first song on the album, is a simple song lyrically. It’s about

the feeling of longing, wanting someone to come back into your life, and seeing reminders of them that can be as small as a purse. Its complexity derives from its instrumentals and dueting vocals that come midway through the song, drawing you into the album immediately. This seems to be a technique used throughout. If the song is lyrically complex, the instrumentals will be more grounded and straight-forward, and vise versa. It would be impossible to listen to Secret Shot and not wonder about its wide array of influences. On “The Dive, Pt. II,” Justin Chase boasts of being “such an old fashioned guy,” and it seems like this sentiment goes for his influences as well. “Sandshark,” for example, feels like something out of Sgt. Pepper’s; and the chipper vibe of “Scripture” is reminiscent of Steely Dan and even a little Earth, Wind and Fire. “Heat Death, Pt. I + II,” the final song of Secret Shot, isolates the vocals more than the other songs and it’s a beautiful, backto-basics way of ending this impressive debut album. » - Erin Treat

Cee Lo Green Heart Blanche Adele 25

exceptionally solid full-length. The first two tracks, “My Mission” and

Chris Isaak First Comes The Night

Buy it

“Centralize,” grab hold of your attention like a new Star Wars trailer; creating

R. Kelly Buffet

a strong thirst for what’s to come. The

Justin Bieber Purpose

and this is where you get hooked. The

Pope Francis Wake Up!

soundscapes—is a very pleasant

Steal it

following is the title track, “Uninitiated,” sheer contrast—full of lush, thunderous surprise. The meat of the album showcases

Toss it

the band’s tight musicianship with songs like “Vindication” and “All Others Pay

L LiquidLight

Uninitiated Self-released Portland’s own LiquidLight came

out of the ether several years ago with a mission to create a fresh sound and with lyrics to match. With two EPs under their collective belt, you will find Anthony Medici, Cory West, Zack Rodrigues, and Joey Arnstein have done just that. Recorded at Cloud City Studios

facebook.com/elevenmagpdx @elevenpdx

7 | ELEVEN PORTLAND | www.elevenpdx.com

in between day jobs and juggling life’s curve balls, the end result is an

Cash.” Then “Train Wrecker” begins and within seconds you know you are in for a ride—a near six-and-a-half minutes of pure unadulterated rock that leaves you hungry for more. In a world of regurgitated sound, where we are mathematically running out of possible combinations to actually consider something as "new" music, LiquidLight has managed to produce an album that is not quite like anything else hitting your ear drums lately. It is a delicious psych-prog rock cocktail that tastes so good you know it must be dangerous. » - Wendy Worzalla


new music album reviews

El Vy Return to the Moon 4AD Records Return to the Moon, the debut album from El Vy, acts as a sort of neutral meeting ground for its two members. Matt Berninger, of The National, tackles vocal duties, while Brent Knopf, late of Menomena, currently of solo project Ramona Falls, handles the instrumentation. Although both Berninger and Knopf spread their reach a

little wider, neither sacrifices the unique ticks that make each so good in their other acts. Berninger has said the album is meant to follow the love story between two characters, Didi and Michael–based in part on Mike Watt and D Boon of '80s punk legends The Minutemen–but he's also said the album is his most personal yet. This dichotomy is present throughout the album. In the first minute of title song “Return to the Moon,” Berninger sings, “Went to bed/woke up inside another man's head/nobody noticed.” The song is subtitled “Political Song for Didi Bloome to Sing, With Crescendo,” but the song is mostly full of strange, abstract imagery. Berninger sings of colorblind witches and scratching lottery tickets with the legs of crickets before, well over half way into the song, singing a few plaintive lines about a possible love story. Some of Berninger's forays into his adolescence strike a more resonant cord. He sings about the formative part rock 'n roll played in his life, starting before he even came into the world, telling us that “Beatlemania made my mother think the

to explore weird zones. Moreover,

way she does.” He goes on to sing about being marooned outside the Jockey Club while all his favorite bands played inside. For his part, Knopf does a good job of matching the kind of slowed down, moody compositions that best fit Berninger's default, slightly-mumbly style. There are more synths than you'd find on a typical The National album, but the sound is essentially a stripped down Ramona Falls, rarely stretching Berninger too far from comfortable territory. It would have been nice if Knopf had brought some of his weirder pop-rock sensibilities to the project, but his contributions provide adequate material for Berninger to work with. One notable exception, “I'm the Man To Be” pushes both artists in the direction of a strange, bluesy sort of almost-danceable music. When a cleaning lady interrupts Berninger, he leaves it in, embracing the experiment. El Vy won't come close to replacing either artist's main gig, but it's a solid, occasionally great, excursion into slightly less familiar territory. » - JP Kemmick

The darkness that occupies an

on Paper Mâché Dream Balloon they

important place in their musical world

manage to surprise us even more

is still there—it is just disguised by

by way of an oddly straightforward,

the only-superficially carefree tone of

poppy album with an ephemeral feel

what’s happening on the surface. That

to it–this sunny souvenir from the

darkness can kind of sneak up on you

vanished summer is a far cry from the

and cause you to double-take on the

thrashing, effects-heavy rock we’re

words you’re taking in, particularly

accustomed to hearing from them. The

on “N.G.R.I. (Bloodstain)” and “Cold

seven-piece group chose to flesh out

Cadaver.” King Gizzard and the Lizard

a wholly acoustically-oriented sound

Wizard retain a lyrical inclination

here, with flute, harmonica, and breezy

towards death and despair even when

tropicália-style acoustic guitar chords

overhauling their entire getup, and they

forming a bed for Stu Mackenzie’s

can make it mix seamlessly with that

unaffected, almost innocent voice.

organic change too. There’s a poetry

Listening to tunes like “Dirt,” one

to the stuff they’re aiming at, like the

does not really get a sense of what is

“animal within” metaphor at the heart

basically a rock band on any other day

of “Trapdoor.” Sonically, there’s a bit

of the week per se, more of some white

more of a hint of darkness on “The

folks hanging out on a lawn, coming up

Bitter Boogie,” which catches the band

King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard can

with some simple songs that take after

coming off like a fey Canned Heat,

always be depended upon to take us for

Os Mutantes, Caetano Veloso, etc. The

and on a weird electric eruption at the

welcome detours from the expected

stylistic borrowings they made from

end of the instrumental closer “Paper

routes of jammy psych-revival,

bossa nova and blues on this record

Mâché.” For its genuinely experimental

generally by way of sheer wigged-out

have a very natural feel to them—really,

approach, this one is definitely among

noise. They might be the only psych

it’s good to see a psych band put aside

the must-listens of the year for fans of

rock band around these days to bust

the arsenal of pedals to just craft some

psych sounds, along with White Manna’s

out the theremin as just another tool

good melodies.

Pan. » - Matthew Sweeney

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard Paper Mâché Dream Balloon ATO Records

The Melbourne-based psych-group

www.elevenpdx.com | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 8


live music

KNOW YOUR VENUE Wonder Ballroom

B

alanced comfortably between the intimacy of the Doug Fir Lounge, and the expansiveness of the Crystal Ballroom, lies Portland’s Wonder Ballroom–a venue rich in history. The Mission/Spanish Revival-styled building had a long run before its renovation into one of Portland’s many notable music settings in 2004. Built in 1914, it was designed by the architectural firm of Jacobber & Smith, with the original intention of being used by the Ancient Order of Hibernians, an organization committed to immigration reform and rights of those from Irish decent and the preservation of the culture.The Ballroom has had many owners since then, until its current ownership and purpose as a music venue now. After membership of the group fell, the building was taken over by the Catholic Church in 1936, and was occupied by them and Portland Boxing School until 1941. Ownership had been turned over to the American Legion Organization in 1938, which allowed for the American Legion Navy Post to operate in the space during World War II. In 1948 the building was renovated, which resulted in the lower ceilings we still see today. The Ballroom was sold to one Evelyn Collins in 1956, who ran the building for 25 years, and looked over

9 | ELEVEN PORTLAND | www.elevenpdx.com

Photo by Kimberly Lawson

it as it went from the Community Center Nursery, to the Christian Community Center, and eventually the Collins Center. In 2002 the building was shuttered due to a lack of funds by Collins's estate, and in 2004 was eventually purchased by Mark Woolleey and Chris Monlux, who turned it into what we know today as The Wonder Ballroom, which a year later was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Fast-forward eleven years and what we have now is a venue that’s proven itself a major contender in the Portland music scene. The historically rich and spacious building has a restored balcony and bar that overlook the entire ballroom floor and has hosted many notable performers–everyone from Blonde Redhead, Fidlar, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club to Built To Spill–in its relatively short life-span. The Ballroom also offers a menu of a pleasing array of foods such as pulled-pork sandwiches, steak and fries, fish and chips–all of which are free-range, growth-hormone free and have been described as “good ol’ fashioned mamma’s kitchen hominess with just enough artful flourish to keep things interesting,” and drinks across the board are $5.


live music

MISSIS SIPPI STUDIOS S

H

O

W

C A L E N D A R N O V E M B E R 2 1. SUN

(late show)

VETIVER

LOCH LOMOND

MRS. PRESENTS QUEEN

3. TUE

15. SUN

TALL TALES AND THE SILVER LINING

THE SHELTERS / PEARL CHARLES

DJ BEYONDA

BRONCHO

VETIVER

16. MON

4. WED

IN THE VALLEY BELOW HANDSOME GHOST

MOTHER FALCON AND BEN SOLLEE - THE FALL MIGRATION

5. THU

17. TUE

EYELIDS / SAMA DAMS

BORN RUFFIANS

6. FRI

18. WED (AT THE OLD CHURCH)

NEXT BEST THING TO JOHNNY CASH

THREE FOR SILVER

7. SAT (early show)

19. THU

(late show)

WINDUS

YOUNG RIVAL

EDNA VAZQUEZ

CASH’D OUT

KURT BRAUNHOLER RADIATION CITY / DEEP SEA DIVER

NATHANIEL TALBOT / MOOREA MASA 20. FRI

BØRNS

8. SUN

HERE WE GO MAGIC BIG THEIF

AVID DANCER

21. SAT

SUMMER CANNIBALS

9. MON

LIKE A VILLAIN

DIVERS / SIOUX FALLS

LUKE WYLAND (AU) FEAT. REED WALLSMITH & JOE CUNNINGHAM OF BLUE CRANES / THE CRENSHAW

22. SUN

GIRL BAND

MARRIAGE + CANCER

10. TUE

JEFF DANIELS AND THE BEN DANIELS BAND 11. WED

24. TUE

GILL LANDRY 25. WED

TIBURONES

DEATH SONGS / CLARKE AND THE HIMSELFS

12. THU

PAPER BIRD

EZZA ROSE / HIP HATCHET

JACKSON BOONE SOUVENIR DRIVER

27. FRI

THE DOMESTICS ESME PATTERSON

(at the old church)

GAD ELMALEH

28. SAT

TONY FURTADO BAND

13. FRI

SCOTT AMENDOLA BAND

FEAT. NELS CLINE, JENNY SCHEINMAN, JEFF PARKER & JOHN SHIFFLETT

CHAI N — MA I LLE . com

5

LATE NIGHT ACTION WITH ALEX FALCONE

2. MON

Oregon has made a unique contribution to the indie music scene, which is equated to Portland itself, and The Wonder Ballroom, though still relatively new, has implemented its mark in the rich and notorious music scene that is Portland. Everything about the venue resonates with quirk, charm, and the reputation that the city has as a culturally, and artfully rich place. It’s an intimate location that allows for a special connection between musician and fan–that connection is a staple in Portland music. » - Samantha Lopez

1

14. SAT (early show)

ONE BEAT

Local band Radiation City playing Wonder Ballroom. Photo by Todd Walberg

0

ANNA TIVEL

29. SUN

MOPE GROOVES MONTHS

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 | 10


live music NOVEMBER crystal ballroom

1

16

ALBERT SKIDMORE ST.

28

FR

830 e burnside

TA VE

15

.

14

5

Tango Alpha Tango | Tumbleweed Wanderers | Liquidlight

NORTH WEST BROADWAY ST.

OLD TOWN

11 | ELEVEN PORTLAND | www.elevenpdx.com

405

DOW NTO WN

1

26 18

7

23

9

10

30

GRAND AVE.

In The Valley Below | Handsome Ghost Eyelids | Sama Dams | Hollow Sidewalks Cash'd Out Radiation City | Deep Sea Diver Here We Go Magic | Big Thief Like A Villain | Luke Wyland | The Crenshaw Jeff Daniels & The Ben Daniels Band Tiburones | Death Songs | Clarke & The Himselfs Paper Bird | Ezza Rose | Hip Hatchet Scott Amendola Band Broncho | The Shelters | Pearl Charles Mother Falcon & Ben Sollee Born Ruffians | Young Rival Lucius Nathaniel Talbot | Moorea Masa | Windus BĂ˜RNS | Avid Dancer Summer Cannibals | Divers | Sioux Falls Girl Band | Marriage + Cancer

22

MLK BLVD.

3939 n mississippi

2

BURNSIDE ST.

mississippi studios

2-3 Vetiver | Loch Lomond | Tall Tales & The Silver Lining

5

PEARL

23RD AVE.

Dave Simonett Dead Winter Carpenters | Pert Near Sandstone Johnette Napolitano (of Concrete Blonde) Made of Oak | Tuskha The Doubleclicks | Jackie Kashian | Molly Lewis David Ramirez | Liza Anne The Good Life | Big Harp Tops | Puro Instinct | Is/Is Hayes Carll | Aubrie Sellers We Were Promised Jetpacks | Seoul Lila Rose | Worth | The Brocks Gardens & Villa | De Lux Yuna | Francesca Blanchard Low | Andy Shauf Youth Lagoon | Taylor McFerrin Boy & Bear Taylor John Williams | Bevelers Oneohtrix Point Never | James Ferraro Dirty Revival | Philly's Phunkestra World's Finest | Giraffe Dodgers

4 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22

RUSSELL ST.

ON

Doug fir

2-3 El Vy | Moorea Masa | Lost Lander | Hibou

4 5 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 24 25 27 28

MLK BLVD.

3

WILLIAMS AVE.

8 nw 6th

Circa Survive | RX Bandits | Citizen Mac Miller | Goldlink | Domo | Alexander Spit City & Color | Hurray For The Riff Raff Emancipator Ensemble | Blockhead Yellowcard | New Found Glory | Tiger's Jaw Pepper | Ballyhoo | Kastastro Snarky Puppy Fiji + Drew Deezy | Finn Gruva 3LAU + SNBRN

VANCOUVER AVE.

Roseland Theater

4

MISSISSIPPI AVE.

2 7 11 12 13 14 18 21 25 28

1332 w burnside

L7 | Summer Cannibals Patty Griffin | Darlingside Leon Bridges | Kali Uches Cherub Ghostland Observatory The Struts The Cult | Primal Scream Glen Hansard | Aoife O'Donovan Sturgill Simpson | Billy Wayne Davis Ride Lucero The Charlatans | Eyelids Gogol Bordello | Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas RAC | Big Data | Filous

INTERSTATE AVE.

2 3 4 5 6 10 12 13 14 15 18 19 23 25


live music NOVEMBER mississippi studios (continued)

13

TA ST.

12

Gill Landry Jackson Boone | Souvenir Driver The Domestics | Esme Patterson Tony Furtado Band | Anna Tivel Months

ALBERTA ARTS

WONDER BALLROOM 128 NE RUSSELL

15TH AVE.

11TH AVE.

PRESCOTT ST.

FREMONT ST. 24TH AVE.

HOLLYWOOD

KNOTT ST.

33RD AVE.

28TH AVE.

holocene

D.

S

BROADWAY ST.

25

84

LAURELHURST

21 29

GLEASON ST.

600 e burnside

8

3 11 6

MORRISON ST.

BELMONT ST.

24

11TH AVE.

8TH AVE.

HAWTHORNE BLVD.

kelly’s olympian 426 sw washington

HAWTHORNE 17

DIVISION ST.

L BLVD.

CHAVEZ BLVD.

19

CLINTON ST.

POWEL

CESAR

LADD’S ADDITION

27

eastburn

1800 e burnside

5 6 7 8 10 11 12 13 14 18 19 21 22 25 28 29

7

Balto | Tents Gold Casio | Doubleplusgood | Astro Tan Hosannas | Calm Candy Seance Crasher | Little Star

20

STARK ST.

6

Hermitude Oddisee | Good Compny | Vinnie Dewayne Cyril Hahn Sara Jackson-Holman | Johanna Warren | Coco Columbia Rare Diagram | Fur Coats | Coronation The Swingtown Vipers Micachu & The Shapes | Aan Dance Yourself Clean Plastician | Gang$ign$ | Quarry | Tyler Tastemaker Cat Hoch | Rio Grands | Dirty Whips TLE's Friends & Friends of Friends Comp Release Gaycation w/Mr. Charming POPgoji | Wamba | Rejoice Diaspora Dance Theater DJ Honest John | DJ Portia | New Dadz DJs DJs Kiffo & Rymes Tanlines | Blossom

rontoms

BURNSIDE ST.

5

Of Montreal | Diane Coffee 1 Ryn Weaver | Astr | Holychild 2 Marianas Trench | Secret Someones 3 Greensky Bluegrass | Billy Strings | American Babies 5-7 Mayday Parade | Real Friends | This Wild Life 8 Chris Stapleton | The Walcotts 12 Menzingers | Mewithoutyou | Pianos Become The Teeth 13 Halsey | Flor 14 Ryan Bingham | Jamestown Revival 15 La Dispute | Envy | Wildhoney 16 Desaparecidos | The So So Glos | Digital Leather 17 Everclear | Fall To June | Hydra Melody 18 The Pimps of Joytime 19 Karl Denson's Tiny Universe | Nicki Bluhm & Gramblers 20 The Grouch & Eligh | Chali 2NA | The Reminders 21 Minus The Bear 23 Jojo 28

1001 se morrison

V Y BL AND

24 25 27 28 29

8 15 22 29

8 9

Bunker Sessions Open Mic | Eye Candy VJs(Mondays) Retz Leinbach | Navarone Bandit Hideous Racket With DJ Flight Risk Dead Men Talking | Dreamcatchr | Altadore Left Coast Country | The Wilds Hutch Harris | Jessica Boudreaux | Jem Marie The Big Gone | Friendly Males | Arlo Indigo New Not Normals | Gentle Bender | Manx Madam Officer | Coco Columbia Chelsea Appel | The Hobbyist | Bobby Ortega Garanzuay | Alofeel | Wingnut Commander Laura Palmer's Death Parade | Kozyol | Volcanic Pinnacles Milo | Safari Al | Jellyfish Brigade | V8 Showdeer Presents King Columbia Baby Ketten Karaoke Perfect Families | Echo Pearl Varsity Machine | Coloring Electric Like | Chocolate Cool But Rude

1 4 6 7 10 11 12 13 14 15 18 19 20 21 22 27 28

www.elevenpdx.com | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 12


features NOVEMBER bunk bar

10 1028 se water 13 Widowspeak | Quilt 14 Citizens! | High Waisted 15 Fever The Ghost

21-22 Godheadsilo

hall 11 revolution 1300 se stark 5 8 12 18 19 20 21 28

Rising Appalachia | Around Diarra Macy Gray | Valise The Richard Thompson Trio Yo La Tengo Hugh Masekela & Larry Willis | Tezeta Band Hot Buttered Rum | Poor Man's Whiskey Shook Twins | Annalisa Tornfelt | Tall Heights Blitzen Trapper

know 12 the 2026 ne alberta 3 4 6 7 8 11 12 13 14 16 18 19 20 21 26

The Sloths | The Criminal Guitars | The Reverberations Boytoy | Comm | Fog Father Ladywolf | Ubu Roi | Funeral Gold He Whose Ox Is Gored | Sol | Sioux Drunken Palms | Alien Boy Shellshag State Champion | Blowout C-Average | High Praise | Nasalrod Pale Angels | Wimps | Hurry Up | Honey Bucket American Culture | Homebody | Months Puple 7 | Feel Young | Backbiter Asthma | TSA | Tensor Cult Babies | Ah God Fundamental | Pig DNA | Spetsnaz The Orange Revival | Is/Is | The Whole World

LOCAL FEATURE

A

fter bearing her soul on About Farewell, an immensely personal record largely inspired alberta street pub by the dissolution of 1036 ne alberta her first marriage, 3 The Jack Dwyer Band Alela Diane was burnt 4 Daedric Clark & The Social Animals | Ben Cosgrove 5 The Ghost Ease | Spookies | Months out. On life, on touring, on writing. She 6 Bart Budwig | Jeffrey Martin needed a fresh start–both personally 7 Vacilando | Wartime Blues | Moorea Masa and creatively–and found each via a 10 Grand Lake Islands | Snowblind Traveler new marriage, the birth of her first 11 Gerry O'Beirne 12 Andrei Temkin | Drew Norman | James Faretheewell child and a random backstage meeting 13 Brad Parsons & The Local Talent | American West with her friend, guitarist and multi14 Bombay Beach | Hands In | Cult Choir instrumentalist Ryan Francesconi, Tribe Mars | Bad Habits 17 that blossomed into her latest project. 19 Noah Beck | Ara Lee 20 Swansea | Beach Fire | Focus! Focus! Diane took her new-found inspiration 24 Portland Jazz Compsers Ensemble and used it to view the world through a different lens on Cold Moon, her THE SECRET SOCIETY 116 NE RUSSELL and Francesconi's gorgeously sparse 7 Earnest Lovers | The Waysiders | Rachel Mann Band October 16 release that stands as one 11 The Broadcast of the most “of the winter” records I've 13 Redray Frazier | Goldfoot | DJ Klavical heard. I spoke with the songwriter about 14 BIF! BAM! POW! w/R.A.F. | The Satin Chaps her new outlook, how Joanna Newsom Paul Pfau & Connor Pledger | Pretty Gritty 15 20 Jaycob Van Auken | The Frequence | Freddy & Francine planted the seeds of her new Portland21 All The Apparatus | The Lovely Lost | Bubble Cats centric project, and about “raging 27 Asher Fulero Band | Dovedriver | Condition White against the dying of the light” as a new Tin Silver | Sean Flora 28 mother in today's world.

13

14

13 | ELEVEN PORTLAND | www.elevenpdx.com

Alela Diane

ELEVEN: How do you and Ryan (Francesconi) know each other and what is the relationship like? How did you decide to collaborate? Alela Diane: Ryan and I met through mutual friends probably almost a decade ago–we were having a hard time articulating exactly when–but we met through Joanna (Newsom), she's also from Nevada City, [California, where Diane grew up] and Ryan has obviously toured and worked with her a lot [and was responsible for the arrangements on Newsom's Have One On Me]. I think that was the first thing: I would be at festivals in Europe and they would as well and we'd cross paths–this was probably nine or eight years ago, something like that–and he lives in Portland like I do and we'd see each other occasionally. I actually took some guitar lessons from him a couple of years ago. And then about a year ago our friend Lindsay Clark was playing a


Photo by Caitlin Webb

record release show and we were both

AD: Yeah I know! So he was kinda like “Yeah I could get into making some music again,” but he didn't really want to just dive into something with just instrumental music–I think he was a bit disheartened with all that. So he emailed me a few days later and basically just said, “Hey, do you want to make some songs and just see what it feels like?” And I thought it sounded really interesting so in about a week he sends me about ten really intricate and really beautiful guitar pieces. At first I was a little overwhelmed like, “Oh shit! How am I going to do this? I have so little time and these guitar pieces are so much more beautiful and complicated than anything I'm used to writing a melody over!” So I just kind of listened a lot and then gradually words started coming. It was a really great outlet for me to have something to do other than be a mom. I would go to a coffee shop and listen to the songs on my headphones and write some words... and I think because his guitar parts were so good they gave me a different lens to frame things in–he really inspired me to go for different types of melodies and words than I had done before.

there and we started chatting about where we were musically. At the time my daughter was about one and I was just not feeling ready to make another solo record, I just didn't have the time or the energy to delve into that, but I was really craving something creative–I really needed something to do other than chill with the kid and go to the park. 11: I can imagine. AD: Ryan had just finished things up with Joanna and then he and his wife Mirabai (Peart) had just made a really cool record (Road To Palios) and toured behind that... and he was just kind of run down after. When we ran into each

11: Well that's interesting because it's hard to imagine a better or more natural pairing than you two. Listening to the record it's often hard to tell where your voice is ends and the guitar is begins–sometimes it feels like the guitar is following your vocals and other times vice versa. It's very entrancing. Great headphone music. AD: That's awesome, I'm glad it's coming across. It really was a unique writing process, and was really something different for me. 11: Which was probably invigorating...

imagine him not playing for six days at

AD: Absolutely. So after I listened to the guitar parts that were supposed to be rough demos–which, PS: were totally perfect–shortly there after we started getting together once or twice a week to work on the songs in person. That was last October when we started, and by February began to realize that we might

a time.

have enough for a record–which was

other, he actually had not played guitar at the time in something crazy like six months for the first time since he was eleven years old or something. 11: Oh wow, that's wild. It's hard to

features NOVEMBER white eagle 836 n russell

15

Keeper Keeper | Papermachine | Each Both My Goodness | Black Ferns The Colin Trio | Stephanie Scelza Danielle Nicole Strictly Platonic | Chris Margolin | Jason Henderson The Stein Project | Matt Danger | Travis Shoemake

turn turn turn 8 ne killingsworth

16

Aboriginal Flowers | ben Seretan | Weather Exposed Bad Luck | Ian Christiansen Trio Mike Coykendall | Sun Machine | Thomas Joel Alexander Sleeptalker | Old Junior | John Sutherland Cosmic Butter | Vegetable Revival Project | Weak Knights Gilded | Andrew Jones Disenchanter | Mammoth Salmon

hawthorne theatre 1507 se 39th

VALENTINES

6 11 12 13 20 22 27

17

Ice Nine Kills | Wage War | My Enemies & I | White Noise RAR | The Punctuals | Chemical Rage | Sabateur The Front Bottoms | The Smith Street Band |Elvis Depressedly Dance Gavin Dance | Slaves | Dayshell | Strawberry Girls Curren$y | Yol-X | Mic Mar Warren G | Mike Slice The Rocket Summer | Paradise Fears | Patternist Raury Copeland | Eisley | We Are The City Venom Inc. | Necrophagia The Royal Concept | Parade Of Lights

232 SW ANKENY

5 9 11 14 19 21

6 7 10 13 14 15 16 18 22 25 28

18

MERCY MCNAB PHOTOGRAPHY

Band Photos Artistic Portraits Event and Live Music Coverage Product Shots THE MCNAB LAB 126 NE Alberta St 317-402-5026 www.mercymcnab.com

ALADDIN THEATER 3017 SE MILWAUKIE

19

Johnnyswim 4 Kian & JC 5 Luna | The Parson Red Heads 6 Brad Mehldau Trio 14 Gaelic Storm 15 Ozomatli 20 The Storm Large Holiday Ordeal 27-28

the goodfoot 2845 se stark

20

Yak Attack (Tuesdays) Soul Stew w/DJ Aquaman (Fridays) Wil Blades/Andy Coe/Pete Ciotti Trio | Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey Rippin' Chicken Elektrapod | Jelly Bread Happy Orchestra | Industrial Revelation Danny Barnes | Mimi Naja | Tyler Thompson Dusu Mali Band Yarn | Gipsy Moon Boys II Gentlemen

7 9 11 12 18 19 21 28

21 star THEATER 13 nw 6th 22 club 21

2035 ne glisan

Michal Menert & The Pretty Fantastics Dan Reed Network | Rob Daiker Strap On Halo | Secret Light

6 7 8

www.elevenpdx.com | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 14


features NOVEMBER star theater (continued) Reptar | Breathers | Oh, Rose Twiddle + The Werks Mr. Little Jeans | Soren Bryce Moon Taxi Head For The Hills | Trout Steak Revival | Left Coast Country Ego Likeness | Die Sektor | The Rain Within The Polyphonic Spree Unearthly Trance | Buried At Sea PROF | Nacho Picasso | DJ Fundo 20-21 Mogo Festival 22 Guttermouth | Blacklist Royals | Dirty Kid Discount 29 Aurelio Voltaire | The Dream Painter

10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

street saloon 23 ash 225 sw ash 1 3 5 6 7 8 11 12 13 15 18 19 20 28 29

Fluid Spill | Blind Swords | Agents Of Ecco Question Tuesday | Paste | Why The Fuss? PDX Legends of Hip-Hip 2 Coffin Break | Acid Teeth | Exacerbators | TheGoodSons Serge Severe | Gepetto | Omar Gomez | DJ Ozroc The Misery Man | Mother Crone | Amadon | Earth Anchor The Modern Folk Teh Latter Day Skanks | The M.F.A. The Adarna | Elephant Gun Riot | Earth To Ashes Matthew Corken Phantom Balance | Dusty Fox | Beyoung | Dylan Hand Jim Strange w/The Proud & The Damned | Aux. 78 Recker | Business Suit Guy | Stealing Lucky The Streakin' Healys | Dwight Dickinson | Stumblebum Temper & Hold | Jerkagram

liquor store 24 the 3341 SE Belmont 3 4 7 9 11 13

yOya | Hart & Hare | Swansea Jenny Don't & Spurs | Roselit Bone | Lonesome Billies Tyler Tastemaker | Rap Class Flaural | Happy Dagger Couches | Coma Serfs Believe You Me w/ Andy Warren & Ginko

never our intent starting out–we just

I think, on the surface at least, some

wanted to make some music and see

people might be surprised by the

how it worked out. It became clear early

lyrical content. How did these new

on it was easy for us to work together...

experiences inform your writing this

and to be honest: that time in my life

time around?

was so hectic that if I wasn't feeling it even a little bit then I would have

sort of informed the life-cycle aspect of

unfolded so gracefully. We recorded it

the lyrics. Having a child–I don't think

at Ryan's house, for free, and then we

I've ever been happier–everything

had a record.

just sort of fell into place for me... but I have this habit of falling into this

11: That's interesting because I

SE LADD'S 1937 SE 11th Ave (97214) 503.206.7552 | thefirkintavern.com

PANIC ROOM 25 THE 3100 NE SANDY 3 7 13 14 17 20 28

Die Robot | La Fin Absolute du Monde Jose Sosa 3 To Breathe | Captain Wails & The Harpoons | Herrick Havok Mgla Amarok | Badr Vogu | Tsepesch | Diaspora Farm Animals | Kings & Vagabonds | Cadet

26 350 w burnside dantes

1 4 5 6 7 11 12 13

Hopeless Jack Matt Pond PA | Laura Stevenson Spirit Caravan | Mos Generator My Life With The Thrill Kill Cult | Poison Idea Metalachi Thor Hate Eternal The Yawpers 20-21 Mogo Music Festival 22 Nikki Lane | Clear Plastic Masks 25 Sepiatonic | Deadlurk Dollymops 28 Abney Park

15 | ELEVEN PORTLAND | www.elevenpdx.com

other place when I'm writing. Having

was going to ask how long it took. So it

Vera is the most “real” thing of my

was created completely in the winter?

life... and I've always been one of those people who always wonders where we

AD: Yeah it was totally a project for

came from, why we're here and what

the winter. At the time I only had about

it all means, and having a kid has only

eight hours a week in which I could

amplified that. It's made me think

work on the record.

about how things are always in flux: seasons change and people die, what

11: That probably helped in a sense in hindsight. AD: It really did–it created a

does it mean? There are a lot of those type of questions on the record. 11: That's interesting because

structure around things and it gave me

to me it almost sounds like you're

something where I had time to work on

pondering these questions for her, or

this creative thing.

speaking to her on the record.

11: And you had to make the most of the little time you had?

AD: I think I am, or as a result of her I'm really thinking about the juxtaposition of all the joy possible

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!

AD: There's a rebirth, yeah. I think it

backed out, so it was really nice that it

AD: Yeah, and I made the most out

in life when at the same time there's

of it and did what I had time to do...

all this terrible darkness happening

and I guess I had time to make a record

right before our eyes. That affects

[laughs]!

me really deeply. Also in Portland what's happening now–they're tearing

11: I guess so! Speaking of the

everything down just to build it again...

lyrics, which are beautiful, I was kind of taken aback upon first listen by some of the darker lyrics on Cold

11: My next question was going to be about this relating to Portland.

Moon –considering that you're in a great place personally with a new

AD: Well yeah the end of that song

marriage and being a mom for the

“Migration” is about that. Witnessing

first time. Obviously having a kid is a

the change of the times, in a lot of

very joyous experience, but it also has

cases they are tearing down something

to be absolutely terrifying at times as

beautiful and historic and replacing it

well.

with this disposable...

AD: Oh yeah... 11: Because there are a lot of lyrics

11: With nothing basically. AD: Yeah! And it sort of brings

pertaining to the end of, or death, of

to light all the other things that are

seasons–but also the fact that with

wrong in the world and how often they

the death of every season, a new one is

happen–the waste, the pollution, use

born, which is cause for celebration.

of plastic–that's what that line “The


features backwards way we do things” refers

questioning anything, and that's not

to. None of it makes sense, we're often

the way it should be.

doing things so wrong as humans... there is a bit of that on the record for

1937 SE 11TH

11: That dissatisfaction with the state of the world combined with

sure.

still acknowledging its beauty: that's 11: It's like you're doing a Dylan

what I got out of the album. It's a

Thomas thing on the album: a raging

quintessentially “wintery” record to

against the dying of the light type

be sure, but it's a sunny, crisp Sunday

of deal. Sure, things might be pretty

morning on your porch, drinking

fucked, but let's not give up on

coffee kind of wintery. The release

everything.

date couldn't be better.

AD: [laughs] It just seems we're in

AD: That's exactly what it is. People

such a confusing time to be alive, and

cozying up with a coffee or tea and

we're just expected to just go to our

experiencing winter, the transition

jobs and just walk blindly through life

of the changing seasons and life in

without making any other choices or

general. » - Donovan Farley

Francesoni’s chance meeting at a friend’s show inspired them both to get back onto the creative horse, and the resulting pairing is as natural as misty winter rain in Portland. Diane’s unique cadence is perfectly complimented by Francesoni’s lithe arrangements, which float above the listener like softly falling rose petals. Clearly galvanized by each other, the pair meld together in such an effortless fashion it’s easy to be

L Alela Diane and

Ryan Francesconi Cold Moon Rusted Blue/Believe Recordings

swept away into the world Cold Moon creates. Diane took inspiration from the birth of her first child, who was a year old at the genesis of the project and whose birth inspired quite a bit

Recorded and conceived in

of cosmic introspection in Diane. “We

Portland during the winter of last

have questions for the night sky,” she

year, Cold Moon, Alela Diane’s

opines on the title track, and spends

recent collaboration with guitarist

much of the record examining the

and composer Ryan Francesoni, is a

bigger questions facing humanity,

record very much of the season and

seemingly on behalf of her daughter.

environment it was born in. From

As stark and sparse as the record is,

the album’s opening line, “A blue

there is a hard-to-define comfort

and windy day a month or so ago /

looming on the edge of these songs,

was the last gasp of summertime

like putting on a loved one’s old

this year,” to its closing refrain of

sweater in the dead of night. Cold

softly sung goodbye’s, Diane’s lyrics

Moon stands as a wonderfully

concern themselves with both the

defined document of winter–both

passage of our lives and the seasons,

literal and metaphorical–of rebirth,

and the death and rebirth inherent

and of the reassuring knowledge that

with both.

hope exists even in the coldest of

In a creative rut after her last record and tour, Diane and

NOVEMBER FIRKIN TAVERN

27

Forest Beutel Amy Bleu Mars & The Massacre | Space Suits For Indians Cadet | Bashface | Holy Tentacles

6 12 14 20

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

Jack Dwyer | Freak Mountain Ramblers Portland Country Underground | Kung Pao Chickens Jackstraw | Careful Dots The Moonshine & Friends | Samsel Lewi Longmire & The Left Coast Roasters Old Flames | Baby Gramps Amanda Richards & The Good Long Whiles | Ridgerunners Anthony Presti Duo | Freak Mountain Ramblers Portland Country Underground | Kung Pao Chickens Jackstraw | The My Oh Mys The Moonshine | Pete Kartsounes | Michael Howard King Columbia | Golden Country | Mark Savage Woodbrain | Kory Quinn | Little Sue | Bill Leeds Lynn Conover/Little Sue | Alexa Wiley & The Wilderness The Hollerbodies | Freak Mountain Ramblers

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

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

analog cafe & Theater 720 se hawthorne

30

Against The Current | Starship Renegade | Vinyl Theatre Have Mercy | Transit | Somos | Microwave Cheetahs | Vulkano Hip Hop Showcase The Roaring Lions | Heavy City | The Mighty Grebesand Darkest Hour Beach Slang | Lithuania | Tory Lanez The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die Cam Meekins Teeth Engraved With The Names Of The Dead Modern Baseball | Pup | Jeff Rosenstock | Tiny Moving Parts

Movits! Hands Like Houses | Lower Than Atlantis | Brigades Texas In July | Reflections | To The Wind Handguns | Roam | Broadside | Sudden Suspension Water, Water

1 3 5 6 7 9 11 13 14 15 17 20 21 22 25 28

nights. » - Donovan Farley

PORTLAND’S MUSIC MAGAZINE SINCE 2011

www.elevenpdx.com | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 16


A

s far as experimental rock goes, Battles has dipped a toe into just about any sound, shape and layer that one could think of. From the group’s early EP work, to 2007’s critically adored Mirrored, to the newly released La Di Da Di, the range of exploration paints a swirling picture of a band that is more interested in avoiding creative stasis than adhering to any kind of genre or artificial intellectual boundaries. Through three studio albums, Battles has maintained an eclectic approach to its musical development. Mirrored marked a distinctive departure from the group’s earlier EPs by incorporating vocal elements, treating the inclusion as more of a multifaceted instrument rather than a traditional “singer.” The result is a winding album full of complex musical ideas and layered sounds. 2011’s Gloss Drop saw the group reign in the complexity somewhat and rounded off some of the hardened industrial-style edges that propelled Mirrored. Again, the group included vocal elements. But, this time, Battles brought on guest vocalists like Matias Aguayo and Kazu Makino of Blonde Redhead to flesh out an album that is at both tonally explorative and delightfully by GrantPORTLAND Cornett 17Photo | ELEVEN | www.elevenpdx.com


playful. One year later, the group solicited a large group of artists to remix Gloss Drop, culminating in the quirky and transformative Dross Glop, released as a series of twosided vinyls over a three month period in 2012. Featuring work by Shabazz Palaces, Hudson Mohawke, and The Alchemist, among many others, Dross Glop demonstrated the versatility of the sounds of Battles as each artist sliced up, repurposed and molded the respective tracks into wholly new creations. La Di Da Di, released in September, is the group’s third full-length LP, and by their standards the most conservative (if that word can really be deployed with regards to anything Battles does). Sprawling and springy, La Di Da Di eschews vocals in favor of replacing the sound with the expanse needed for each member of the trio to develop and fully flesh out ideas. The album is more loop-oriented than the previous releases, as it thoughtfully roams through gritty grooves. The drum work of John Stanier, formerly of Helmet, is stellar. He pounds his way through each track,

displaying equal parts aggression and nuance. The group recently made its way through the Northwest, playing shows in Seattle and Portland in support of La Di Da Di. Bassist/guitarist Dave Konopka described the Hawthorne Theatre show as a turning point for the 2016 tour as the trio begins the next wave of shows in the U.S. before heading abroad. We had the opportunity to chat with Konopka to talk about how Battles has changed over the years, and its approach to making music. For a band like Battles, the transition from live shows to studio recording can be a challenge. The complexity of the music, not to mention the gear needed to pull it off, can result in grueling sound checks and exhaustive shows, leaving little time to crank out new ideas for albums in the meantime. We learned how they approach collaboration, the business demands of the modern day rock band, and why Konopka doesn’t really give a shit if people try to categorize Battles as “math rock.”

www.elevenpdx.com | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 18


features national scene Photo by Seth Mower

ELEVEN: You guys just played in Portland a week or so ago? Dave Konopka: Yeah! At the Hawthorne [Theatre]. 11: You guys played with Shabazz Palaces in Seattle, how did that come about? I saw that he remixed one of your songs from Gloss Drop? DK: We did this remix album called Dross Glop, and we asked a bunch of artists to do remixes, and Shabazz Palaces did a remix of the song “White Electric,” and he actually just kind of took elements of it and made it such an awesome hip-hop song that when we re-ran into those guys in Barcelona–I’m a huge fan of Shabazz Palaces–originally, when we asked them to do the remix, we didn’t know them, and then we finally met them at Treasure Island in San Francisco–we were on the same bill–we were like, "Oh man, you guys did that remix for us, really nice to meet you." And then we didn’t talk to them for a little while and we ran into them again in Barcelona and told them we’d be coming to Seattle and that we’d do the song. We were kind of joking, like, “You guys come out and we’ll do the ‘White Electric’ remix,” and he was like, “Yeah, let’s totally do that!” So, we called them up to check in with them when we got into town. Those guys rule. I think they’re one of the best hip-hop acts around right now. 11: It seems like you guys share a lot of the same creative, experimental background in your respective genres. DK: Yeah, there is a nice common thread there. 11: Your new album that came out in September (La Di Da Di), compared to Gloss Drop (2011), is a little more subtle and loop-heavy. There aren’t really any vocals or anything, and I’m curious about some of the decisions and production choices were that went into that?

19 | ELEVEN PORTLAND | www.elevenpdx.com

DK: Ha, I don’t know, a new album usually starts with Ian [Williams] and I experimenting with some new things, maybe some new tools that are interesting to use. I might incorporate some stuff into my pedal board, elements that I want to use, and Ian delves deeper into the Ableton Live, so it just comes from us experimenting with new tools and the byproducts that it yields and trying to make sense of it. It’s weird to say, I wish we could say– actually, I don’t wish we could say– that we’re that dialed that we can decide exactly what type of album we want to make, but there’s a level of “Yeah this is coming together somehow.” I mean, I think there’s more to it than it just magically happening as well, but there’s that healthy balance of this building process where everything starts to culminate, but there was no definitive plans to make an instrumental album. I was hoping for an instrumental, or not necessarily an instrumental album, but I was hoping to not go down the guest vocalist route again, just for the sake of not feeling like we were repeating Gloss Drop, the Gloss Drop formula, and then just becoming this band that does guest vocalists on every album, you know? 11: It seems like having already made a few albums and having spent a lot of time playing together, it leaves more space for you to individually expand and chase some ideas. DK: Yes. I think you kind of have some roles to some extent. Like John [Stanier], he’s the drummer; he’s kind of the constant where Ian and I are the variables. For Ian and I the setups change with every album, and I think it comes down to we’ve worked with each other for so long now that it’s hard to communicate, but it’s easy to just get a sense of how to work off of another person’s part to draw the best out of it. It’s tricky! It’s tricky. That’s all I can say [Laughs]. The roles are semi-defined, like I’m sure Ian would expect me to be doing such-and-such thing, and I would expect things to come from Ian, but I think it’s surprising every time because there is such a long gap in between albums that I think there’s kind of a jump with the routes we take to explore new sounds. I dunno. I guess it becomes less about roles and more about the freshness you feel–it’s like starting over again. It’s hard for us to switch from being a touring band to being a recording band, and vice versa; it’s a gradual process all over again when it comes time to make a new album. 11: Taking so much time off from recording–when you’re getting back together to make music again, does that live aspect affect the way that you make music when you get back in the studio?


features national scene DK: For sure it does. I think, generally, as we become more familiar–like, we’re not even at that point now even with having just played like three weeks straight of the US tour. During our sound checks, we’re still trying to nail certain things that maybe were glitchy during the show that maybe some people can’t always tell, but sometimes you can most definitely tell, and then you’ve got to fix it the next day. Like I was having a problem with a few of my loopers syncing, and the end of “Atlas” [hit single from 2007’s Mirrored] was a trainwreck on the last couple shows, so my last couple sound checks was like, “Where is that problem coming from? Why is that not syncing?” and then getting some mixed signals coming in from another thing and all this shit. So, we’re not at the point, where once we get to the point where we’re like “same old show, here we go again,” get to sound check, play that song for the sound check, but a lot of times it’s like you can end up just fucking around and finding some new ideas and trying some new things. But we’re definitely not the type of band that can write on the road because it’s hard–our sound checks are just so long and arduous–it’s hard to even have a moment for someone to be like, “There’s nothing going on in this room for the next four hours, so feel free to just like play your instruments if you want to.” That never happens. It’s usually like, “OK, you guys have 15 more minutes then you gotta get off the stage, what do you want to do?” So we don’t write on the road, so when it comes time to write an album, it’s this huge transition. You don’t even communicate the same way when you’re writing an album than you do when you’re playing a live show. Two completely different

animals for us. You know, playing live every night, you’ve got the chops, you’re exercised and you’re playing well, and maybe even have some other ideas that come out of different things. Then it comes down to like, "Well, I wrote this part for a new album–do you like it?" Because when you’re playing live it’s never like, “Did you like when I did that on stage?” Nobody ever asks that. It’s just like, we go out there and we do this thing, and we become this band and we play this show and we put on this performance, and then there’s this like whole other animal of just communicating to make new stuff–it’s a whole other learning process of how to get along and get ideas across and be productive. It’s a really weird transition for us. 11: Do you prefer one over the other–live versus the studio? DK: I don’t actually. I love the creative process in general, and I often find myself frustrated during the making of an album because it’s like, man, I don’t know if this is going to work out, I don’t know if I want to play a song like that–stuff like that–or it’s just like, I love this so much but nobody seems to be responding to it, and then it might not mean anything. It might be like, “Oh I totally overlooked that email where you sent that MP3 of a new loop that you had.” But, in general, I love thinking critically and being enveloped in the creative process. The sense of accomplishment is very rewarding even when it’s like small doses of, “Wow, we made a little bit of progress today,” and then the completion is this cathartic experience. Playing shows live is more immediately rewarding, like you play this song for people

www.elevenpdx.com | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 20


features national scene and they go, “Yeah, we loved it!” And you get to replicate this thing you documented in the studio in front of human beings, and there’s this satisfaction of sorts, of people responding to it well. So, it’s like these really weird, opposite ends of the spectrum where one is this long-form satisfaction versus shortterm reward. The live thing is more the short-term, good energy, and recording the album is this like long-term, “Someday this will be good. Hopefully.” [Laughs] If that makes sense. 11: Is there more pressure to go on longer tours, to play more shows to make up for the fact that people can just find music online if they want to? DK: It’s completely unrealistic to expect record sales to be your source of income, but at the same time, it’s like, playing shows is this really weird thing–it’s not this clear-cut this-iswhat-we-do-to-make-money thing–there’s also this whole other element. We’re past the days of just getting in a van and driving from show to show ourselves, and setting up merch and selling t-shirts, and it becomes this weird supply and demand–I never expected indie rock to be this much in demand, so there’s this level of, “Your first show is in Boston, then you have to be in Toronto, and you’re doing a show every night and you have these really long drives where you have to go from Minneapolis to Vancouver, so this is going to involve a bus. And you’re going to need a sound guy, and your monitor guy is also going to be your tour manager, and you need a lighting guy, too, because you guys can’t just roll up on stage and stand there; you have to look kind of good, right?” So there’s all these different levels of things. At the same time, where in the ‘90s it was like, “Yeah man, just get in the van, go tour, and do clubs and meet people and crash on peoples’ floors,” and we’ve done our fair share of that, but at the same time, in the ‘90s, it was like, “You’re going to let your song be used in an Audi commercial? You’re a sellout.” Whereas now, maybe it’s because of the change in the market with how music is digested and shared, monetarily, it’s effective. For us, we don’t have any qualms–I mean, there are some things where we wouldn’t be cool with people using our music–but for us, we get great offers for publishing, and that’s been a really important factor in sustaining our livelihoods and us still being able to make money, and make money to make music. 11: When I was listening through La Di Da Di, I was thinking, there are so many pieces of this album that I could see being sampled or remixed or repurposed somewhere–how do you guys feel about that? DK: Yeah, I mean, it doesn’t happen that often, but I appreciate that for sure. And I actually think that the further the music that we make is in the history books… Right now, it’s like, if a hip-hop artist is like, “I want to use the loop from something off of La Di Da Di," it’d be like, "Well, yeah, ok, I mean, it’s kind of new, but I don’t know, we’ll see, if it’s good, it’s good” type of thing. But, in the future, I think it’s awesome how hiphop started as this essentially postmodern thing where they’re borrowing from the past, you know? Mining the history of music. And I just think as Battles gets older, when we’re old men, if there’s this young hip-hop artist that’s like, “I found out about your catalogue” and it’s comparable to Afrika Bambaataa finding out about Kraftwerk, I think that would be awesome!

21 | ELEVEN PORTLAND | www.elevenpdx.com


features national scene 11: Compared to your older stuff, this album is a lot more flowing and it seems like the counts are a little more straightforward. Is that a thing you’ve been conscious of? DK: It’s actually never been a thing where we’ve tried to be too time-signature oriented; it’s more of a thing where we get into the groove. Even so, I don’t think we really said, “Let’s be more straightforward.” Maybe on Gloss Drop we were trying to be a little bit less “mathy” or flashy in that way, but it’s not something that occurs to us when we’re writing music, the timesignature thing. We’ll count it to make sure we know what it is. We’re not like, “That’s cool in 6/8, but if you could just make it 7/8 it’d be funkier.” 11: How do you feel about the term “math rock” with regards to Battles? DK: It’s kind of like, we’re older guys, and we experienced that when it was really happening, and you know, if we carry the torch, that’s fine. But I’m kind of just at the point where I’m like, you know, I give up because you can’t control the way people perceive you, and it’s just like, “Yeah, sure, you want to put us in that genre, that’s fine, but we’re not.” It’s like if somebody was calling us a jazz band. You could call us a jazz band if you think we’re a jazz band, but we’re not. It’s not something that we try to be because the whole genre of math rock is something that happened in the ‘90s and was kind of fun at one time, but it just became this bastardized genre of kids or people who make weird music because they get off on mathy, weird time signatures, and then you kind of just lose it. It becomes this focal point where it drives the music more than anything else, and it turns from that feeling. When we started it was like, “Yeah, it can be quirky if you want, and it can be danceable if you want, and it can be fun.” Having fun was more important to us than writing weird math rock. Because math rock isn’t always fun to a general audience, you know? It becomes this very dude-centric thing where a certain type of dude gets off on that, and I think that’s good as well, but I think math rock can be alienating, so labeling ourselves as that is just kind of us painting ourselves into a corner. 11: Well, thanks again for your time, and we’re glad you made it through Portland again this year! DK: Yeah, actually, that Portland show was really one of my favorites on this trip. And I’m not just blowing smoke up Portland’s ass, but it was one of those like–I think it had something to do with us standing closer on stage, it was tighter knit; it felt like a turning point to me on the tour. It was like, we had these slow-dance type shows where it was like, “Yeah, we’re getting there, it’s feeling good” and then after the Portland show, it was like, “That was fucking great!” So Portland was a good one for me. »

www.elevenpdx.com | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 22


23 | ELEVEN PORTLAND | www.elevenpdx.com


9. Sell wood cycle repair 7953 SE 13th Ave 10. The Portland bottle shop 7960 SE 13th Ave 11. Portland homestead supply 8012 SE 13th Ave

community

NEIGHBORHOOD OF THE MONTH SE 13th Avenue/Sellwood

3 6

SE 13TH AVENUE 7

2

5 4

SE BIDWELL ST

1. PEACE TIME

Tea Chai Te - 7983 SE 13th Ave

8

SE LEXINGTON ST

10

SE MILLER ST

SE NEHALEM ST

11

9

1

2. WORLDWIDE WARES

Unique Antique - 908 SE 13th Ave

3. TABLE GAME GALLERY

Cloud Cap - 1226 SE Lexington St

BEST OF SELLWOOD

Location photos by Mercy McNab

4. MORE VINTAGE VITALS

Rusted Rooster - 7836 SE 13th

5. FRESH FIESTA

Urban Avocado - 7875 SE 13th Ave

6. HOPPED UP COFFEE

Blue Kangaroo - 7901 SE 13th Ave

7. TASTY THAI & VIETNAMESE Jade - 7912 SE 13th Ave

8. MODERN MIXED GOODS Tilde - 7919 SE 13th Ave

9. GO BUY BIKE

Sellwood Cycle Repair - 7953 SE 13th Ave

10. CHIC CANTEEN

The Portland Bottle Shop - 7960 SE 13th Ave

11. PICKLIN' N' PRODUCE Portland Homestead Supply - 8012 SE 13th Ave

www.elevenpdx.com | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 24


community literary arts Photo by Mercy McNab

Cult of Loretta is essentially a coming of age story. Nelson is constantly searching for meaning while everyone around him is living dangerously. He thinks he finds his reason for living in Loretta, only to be let down by her free-spirited nature. He seeks enlightenment in drugs and goes down a rabbit hole of selfdestruction. The “Cult” of Loretta is the group of friends who fall victim to the same fate, some worse than others. I met up with Kevin Maloney at The Hilt on Alberta and we talked for an hour over beers. Being around the same age, I could relate to his story and told him that his book reminded me of college. He was extremely thoughtful and honest about his work, and shared some insights on the craft of fiction writing. ELEVEN: Who is this Loretta? Is she real or an idea? Kevin Maloney: On a personal level, she’s an amalgamation of three different women in my life. She’s a bit of my ex wife in there, there’s a bit of a long time friend of mine and former fiancee named Alison in there, and probably my first girlfriend back in high school. I don’t think the character of Loretta has much justice done to her in the book. She’s not much of a character, she’s an idea. In some ways I’d be interested in writing a story down the road about who Loretta actually is. Because how she comes across in this book… they worship her as if she’s not a real human being. 11: This book has a lot to do with being in a band in the '90s in Portland. Can you tell me a bit about your musical experience?

LITERARY ARTS Portland Writer Kevin Maloney

KM: I grew up in the Beaverton/Aloha area and I was in a couple different bands, but we were playing in my buddy’s garage but were never good enough to play at La Luna. That’s where we’d go on a Friday or Saturday night in ’94-’95 and at the time we felt kind of gypped because Seattle had Nirvana and Pearl Jam and we had a handful of bands that were available to us, and one of those bands was Heatmiser with Elliot Smith. 11: There’s that scene with Loretta watching Elliot Smith’s

R

eading Cult of Loretta during a red-eye flight from Newark to Portland was the best way I could have possibly spent my time crammed into that tiny seat. The fast pace, and musical rhythm kept me locked into each manically paced chapter. At first glance Kevin Maloney’s debut novel is the story about a garage band in the late '90s and their unhealthy infatuation with the same woman, Loretta. But there is also so much philosophy threaded within the text. First, the song titles that Kevin came up with: “Sitting in a Bathtub with Jean-Paul Sartre” and “Which Way to Nowhere” show the author’s comedic, yet seriously existential bent. His main character, Nelson is kicked out of the band for screaming to the audience, “Tell me anything matters. Prove to me that anything matters!” instead of playing the guitar. Behavior similar to that of Elliott Smith when he played with Heatmiser in the mid to late '90s. That drug fueled, dreary era in Portland is portrayed nicely by Kevin, and serves as the perfect backdrop for the characters' hopelessness.

25 | ELEVEN PORTLAND | www.elevenpdx.com

appearance on the Grammys while strung out in that trailer and thinking it was the most beautiful thing she had ever seen. Why is he so significant? KM: Part of the reason I put him as a focal point in this book, and not because he was really responsible for it, but his career really coincided with him blowing up and eventually moving to New York, and Portland really started to change after he left. But he came out of the real gritty Portland that I remember. Maybe writing the book for me was reconnecting with not only the part of Portland I was a part of, but also the part that I missed. I had a lot of friends that stayed, and some of them went down a darker road. Back then Portland was much more of a heroin-y kind of place. Some of my friends got into not so much the heroin, but the synthetics. 11: So what exactly is screw?


community literary arts will probably remember where that is from. Also I like reading books where people make really shitty decisions. So what I think I can do in my books is to take those events in my own life where I thought maybe this is a really bad idea, and where I would have gone home, my character makes the bad decision. 11: There’s definitely some philosophy in this book. Was this intentional or did it just kind of fall in place? KM: Yeah I definitely was trying to go for a philosophical theme. Nelson trying to figure out the meaning of life while driving his best friend’s ashes around. Trying to figure out right from wrong while everybody is doing drugs and having random sex dovetailed nicely with Elliott Smith’s Either/Or album, which I was listening to while writing the book, which was named after the book by Kierkegaard. I was really into existentialism when I was eighteen. That’s a big part of why it’s there. 11: What about Nelson carrying around a copy of Thus Spoke Zarathustra? Does that have anything to do with the repetitive behavior of the main characters? KM: Maybe? I can’t remember if Nietzsche goes into the myth of the eternal return in that one, but I know Camus wrote the Myth of Sisyphus about pushing the boulder up the hill only to have it come rolling down. Loretta definitely plays that kind of role for the young men in the book. » - Scott McHale KM: The main drug in there, screw is made up in part because my experience with drugs were psychedelics and smoking pot. I didn’t want to appear to speak in first person about some of the drugs that people I knew got into so I just made it up to give me a little artistic license to describe kind of a drug that gave you both the lows of heroin and the highs of LSD or mushrooms. I didn’t want to try to write about an experience that I hadn’t had. Having read Basketball Diaries about a first person account of someone going through heroin addiction–I didn’t have the experience to write that book. So I just had a little fun with it and made a drug up. 11: How long did it take you to write this? KM: I had written a few short stories and was flirting with the idea of putting together a short story collection, but then three of the stories popped out at me as having kind of similar themes. Then just when I was tweaking those stories a little bit something just clicked. I mean, from start to the end of the first draft was eleven days. Something happens when you’re in that special mindset when things are just coming out of you and you’re just trying to keep up with it. 11: What is your process? Is it kind of that “write what you know” thing? KM: I have a hard time writing the truth. I’m still friends with those people and I don’t want to hurt anybody, or try to misrepresent them. But when you can draw from life and dump it into fictional characters, nobody is going to say “That’s me.” They

LOCAL LITERARY EVENTS WORDSTOCK 1 NOVEMBER 7 | PORTLAND ART MUSEUM | 1219 SW PARK The biggest literary festival in Portland is back! After a year off, Literary Arts has stepped up and provided a perfect location for the festival–The Portland Art Museum. This is the most encouraging news for local lit fans who have grown tired of the sterile surroundings of the Convention Center. Over eighty authors will be reading, including Patrick DeWitt, Cari Luna, Cheryl Strayed, Ursula K. Le Guin, and Barry Lopez.

RAINN WILSON READING 2 NOVEMBER 15 | POWELL'S CITY OF BOOKS | 1005 W BURNSIDE Yes, the one and only Rainn Wilson (aka Dwight Schrute) will be reading from his new autobiography The Bassoon King at Powell’s. Fans of The Office, this is your chance to see behind the curtain of the mastermind.

PURE SURFACE 3 NOVEMBER 15 | VALENTINES | 232 SW ANKENY Where the spoken word combines with the human form in motion to create beauty. Multidisciplinary artist Abioto will be performing with Rachael Jensen, and Anita Spaeth. »

www.elevenpdx.com | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 26


community visual arts 11: What is the recent project that you have been working on?

Photo by Mercy McNab

VISUAL ARTS Portland artist Arise Rawk

L

iving in Portland, it would be hard to miss those dreary, grey days that seem to take the life out of its surroundings and make the day drag on in a type of monotonous trance. Portland graffiti artist Arise Rawk is using his talents to add some warmth and color to our community, even on the coldest of those winter days. He has not only been using his art to visually inspire the Portland community, but also to bring it together through collaboration, education and outreach. A man of many talents, his rich palate of many colors is sure to rub off on you. ELEVEN: How would you explain the type of art that you make? Arise Rawk: I do work that is all around the board, mostly these days I do paintings. I do graffiti when it is a large production and someone is willing to pay me to do it as well. I have a lot of elements of graffiti in my work, I use spray paint for almost every canvas and will include it as part of the mixed media I use. I do a lot of sharp lines and crazy intertwining things that are kind of graffiti-ish. The bigger the piece the better for me though, I paint with a crew called Mural Monsters and we do a lot of full scale walls and portable set-up production murals. We go to festivals or events, build structures and then paint on them so we are able to take them down at the end of the event.

27 | ELEVEN PORTLAND | www.elevenpdx.com

AR: I’m starting a new project that is kind of a mix of a hip-hop crew, art collective and production company. We want to come up with performances and then showcase them in three events, the themes being mind, body and the soul or spirit. We aim to make a performance that really utilizes all of our talents, because a lot of us are multi-talented and can do video and paint or breakdance and rap or can sing and spin on our heads. We also want to make use of some new technological elements like 3D mapping and lighting effects to really make it more creative and fun. The last one of the series is going to be a giant art show and collaboration between us and one of our partner crews, The Mighty Zulu Kings, who are a worldwide graffiti group. 11: Can you tell us a little about the clothing line you have as well? AR: The clothing line is called Royal Fits clothing, and it started as a way to get my art out to more people. I was thinking, since people don’t buy that many prints they may identify more with clothing. People associate their style with their personalities and an extension of themselves to an extent. When someone finds something that they really like they are more likely going to cherish that and show it off. 11: How do you feel the City of Portland is doing as far as promoting art and allowing for graffiti or mural spaces? AR: It just started becoming more friendly, doing any type of art work in Portland was really hard up until a few years ago. After Clear Channel sued the city of Portland, artists were not allowed to use potential spaces to paint without paying the same price the company would have to pay if they were going to put an advertisement there. Thankfully they changed the legislation and put in programs that actually encouraged mural painting like the Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) to sponsor street art with grants. That’s why we are seeing all this art popping up in Portland, where for being such a creative artistic town there really wasn’t any street art before. 11: Why is it important for people to be able to see art around the city?


community visual arts

"Dragon Dreams of Treasure" (acrylic and spraypaint on recycled canvas, 2014)

AR: We are forced to see all kinds of things that we don’t want to see, like advertisements everywhere, art is a kind of break from that to stimulate the mind. Would you rather see grey buildings, because grey buildings do not stimulate me at all. When I see something, even if it has a little bit of color, just three little splashes of purple or yellow, it makes me excited. Especially in the winter here, color helps to stimulate you a little bit more, and inspire you to be more creative. 11: What is your motivation behind a lot of the art that you make? AR: Mostly I do it because I feel like it is my purpose, there’s not a lot of people that can do what I do, so if I don’t share it with other people, then I feel like I am being selfish and not really contributing to my community. When I do share it and people give me positive feedback it does make me feel like I am involved in the community and people can appreciate me. I don’t know how to fix anybody’s cars and I can’t build a skyscraper, this is what I have to offer to the community.

of my favorite artists and someone that influenced a lot of my work is Steven Lopez, who was one of my mentors when I was younger. Dylan Cause was a mentor as well and is now one of my crew members, so it’s really cool to work with someone who I used to look up to as well. 11: What got you into graffiti? AR: I was just a rebellious skateboarder punk rock kid. I think it’s pretty funny that I got kicked out of school for graffiti and now I get paid to go to schools and teach them about graffiti art. Last year I worked for a program with Campfire Columbia and RACC in Lane Middle School and we taught a couple of workshops throughout the school year as well as during the summer. During the workshops, kids came up with the concepts and told me what they wanted to see on the wall, we did some planning sketches and then they actually came out and helped to paint the mural too. It was cool to understand the process of getting grants through RACC as well, and to see how responsive they are with getting art out into the community. 11: Do you have any upcoming shows?

11: Who are your influences? AR: Robert Venosa is one, because of his use of light and translucence. I was also influenced a lot by old school New York graffiti, by Sess Crew, by a lot of the graffiti that came out of San Francisco area, by MSK and Seventh Letter. One

The three shows that we talked about are my next projects and upcoming big events, but those don’t have official dates yet. I will be doing a live painting on November 14th at a Living Prisms show at Refuge PDX.

www.elevenpdx.com | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 28


community visual arts Join us for Brunch, Saturday and Sunday from 9am-3pm in the Cafe & Bar

11: Any shout-outs you would like to add that help inspire you to get your work done?

The Patio is Open!

AR: The Mural Monsters crew, Oregon Universal who is a non-profit that I’ve been working for who use hip-hop as a tool to go out and do community activism. Other inspiration comes from the Portland community, Ninja Turtles, anime, festivals, stars, space galaxies, and gardens. Addicted to colors and the smell of spray-paint in the morning. Will smoke a blunt with your grandma while discussing possible after lives. Shout-outs to my mom, Visio Silva, Spiritrill Clothing, Maria from Refuge PDX, Anti-label, Cypherpost, and Cypher Tree. » - Lucia Ondruskova

FIND THIS ARTIST ONLINE WWW.ARISERAWK.COM FACEBOOK.COM/MURALMONSTERS INSTAGRAM: ARISERAWK

9am-2am Weekends

29 | ELEVEN PORTLAND | www.elevenpdx.com

Please enjoy Arise's piece "Little L" (acrylic and spraypaint on recycled canvas, 2015) decorating our inside back cover this month.


Eleven PDX Magazine November 2015  
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you