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MUSIC, COMMUNITY, AND CULTURE IN PORTLAND

ISSUE 55 | DECEMBER 2015

INSIDE: THE GARDEN | LEMOLO | THE CENTURY | SLOW MAGIC | THE GHOST EASE | PATRICK DEWITT ELEVEN PDX MAGAZINE - VOLUME 5, ISSUE 7

COMPLIMENTARY


contents

ELEVEN PDX MAGAZINE VOLUME 5

THE USUAL 3 Letter from the Editor 3 Staff Credits

ISSUE NO. 7

FEATURES Local Feature 13 The Ghost Ease

Cover Feature 17 new music

Odesza

4 Aural Fix Houndmouth The Garden Slow Magic Anthony D'Amato

COMMUNITY Neighborhood of the Month 24 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd

7 Short List 7 Album Reviews The Century La Rivera Lemolo

Literary Arts 25 Portland writer Patrick deWitt

Visual Arts 27 Portland photographer Ariston Vallejos

LIVE MUSIC 9 Know Your Venue Star Theater

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! When you’re just a little tyke, it’s hard to believe this truth spoken by almost every adult: time flies. Back then, it seems like you’ll never be able to grow up, make your own decisions, and do all the fun things that come with making your own rules. And then you grow up. My friends, this is the last month of 2015. We are PAST the FUTURE of Back to the Future! How crazy is that? Unfortunately, we still have no hoverboards, but we are making a ton of progress in some ways… (and no progress in others.) In the music world, pretty much anything goes (see: Miley Cyrus, Skrillex) and with live streaming and social media outlets, Warhol’s prediction of “15 minutes of fame” is more like “15 seconds of fame.” Time is crazy like that. As always, the New Year presents new opportunities for us to make the most of these crazy times that we have together. Even though it’s fleeting, we do have time right now. We can choose to volunteer our efforts for the greater good, and those efforts can be realized in the form of making art, music, shelter, food, or teaching, laughing, high-fiving, or celebrating together. It’s sometimes necessary to have a treat-yo-self-day, or a day completely off, to binge on films from Movie Madness or Netflix. However, there is still time for a few more days ON. So onward we go! »

- 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 Tonje Thilesen

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!


AURAL FIX

new music aural fix

up and coming music from the national scene

1

HOUNDMOUTH DECEMBER 8 | CRYSTAL BALLROOM

Houndmouth, formed in 2011 in New Albany, Indiana, consists of Matt Myers (guitar, vocals), Katie Toupin (keyboard, vocals), Zak Applby (bass, vocals), Shane Cody (drums, vocals), and together the four comprise a group of friends that take a rambunctious joyride through traditional Americana and American folk/country rock music. The band is an amalgam of influences of the shared and varying styles that make up the musical ethos of the mid and southern United States. Houndmouth are driven by hootenannystyled beats, hollering choir-like vocals, and old-fashioned honkytonk rhythms that are all tied together through their innocent and youthful vigor. They became a band in the summer of 2011, and after playing locally in Louisville and Indiana, performed at SXSW in March of 2012 in promotion of their homemade self-titled EP. It was there that Geoff Travis, the head of Rough Trade Records, offered a contract. In 2012, the band was named “Band of The Week” by The Guardian, and ever since then, the four have experienced a slow-and-steady rise to success and humble fame; since the release of their debut, From The Hills Below The City, the band has performed on Letterman, Conan, CBS This Morning, and has shared stages with Alabama Shakes, The Head And The Heart, Saint Motel and many others.

2

THE GARDEN DECEMBER 11 | MISSISSIPPI STUDIOS

The Garden is a punk duo hailing out of Orange County, California, and man, they are so very very strange; but these two oddballs are strange in the best possible way. Twin brothers Wyatt and Fletcher Shears aren’t afraid of being themselves, and the neo-punk they create is hard to even classify as “neo-punk.” The twins are trying to popularize the term “vada vada.” According to the band, vada vada is an all encompassing way to characterize their genre, aesthetic, and lifestyle. It’s difficult to imagine the inner-workings of minds

With each song, the Indiana band combine tumbledown crooned-out harmonies with slant back-to-basic guitar wails. Their sound is very reminiscent of heavy southern soul, R&B, rock and roll, and creates a contemporary feel that incorporates elements of various American roots. Their songs are instantly gleeful, and set tones with their giddy, empyreal atmosphere that is eerily similar to bands like Tallest Man On Earth, Hurray For The Riff Raff, early Fleet Foxes, and even further into music history, The Allman Brothers Band, and The Eagles. They have a mature palette that ranges from rock and roll to country ballads, and with the release of their second album, Little Neon Limelight, the group is solidified as a newly found classic in Americana rock music, complete with substantial heart, soul, and emotions. » - Samantha Lopez

so wild they can’t articulate themselves properly with existing terms, and that's a part of what makes this band function so well: the connectedness of these two. It must be a little easier to articulate and express your artistic vision with someone who shares all of your genes, even when the artistic vision is an 18 second barrage of a word they made up. (See track “Vada Vada”) On their latest release, simply titled haha, they hit you hard and fast with 17 tracks spanning only 34 minutes. Their rapid fire approach perfectly encapsulates everything punk (or vada vada) is at its core: raw, energetic, and hard hitting. The Garden’s rapid fire is even quicker on their debut full length, The Life and Times of a Paperclip, where they punch you directly in the face for 18 minutes over 16 tracks. The songs fly by so quickly, and often in such a unique way that you’re entirely unsure what just happened, and while you’re reeling you frantically try to latch on to what the current track is beating you with. But it’s not angry, and it’s not aggressive. The music is playful, and fun, and tongue-incheek. They are absolutely nailing the vibe they’re going for. They don’t care, they really just want to have a good-ass time existing, and they can jump from sweet and melodic, to loud and raw and back again about seven times over in a project. Keep doing you, The Garden, and others will latch on to the vada vada. » - Tyler Sanford

www.elevenpdx.com | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 4


new music aural fix Photo by Luca Venter

3

SLOW MAGIC DECEMBER 12 | WONDER BALLROOM

Upstart producer Slow Magic is what you might call a day glo enigma–the producer/DJ has never revealed his face in public, instead performing in a neon wolf-like mask that illuminates while he plays. He refers to himself as "the listener's imaginary friend," and is so committed to retaining his anonymity that he even kept the mask on while setting up for an in store performance last year at Music Millennium, something that made for quite an interesting visual, and scared a few of the folks perusing the used jazz section half to death.

5 | ELEVEN PORTLAND | www.elevenpdx.com

While much is made of the attention-grabbing mask, it's more than a gimmick, and serves Slow Magic's mystic-sounding music, his enthralling live show and overall asthetic; one based around the fact that the artist behind the mask pours all of his creativity into the Slow Magic project. From the mask, to the album covers, to the stage show–everything is related, and when we spoke over the phone Slow Magic told me that the ambiguity the mask affords him has helped foster his creativity over the years. (While I'm not sure if he was wearing the mask at the time, I'd really like to picture him doing so while speaking to me on a pay phone on the side of the road on a deserted highway.) Over the course of both Triangle (2012) and How To Run Away (2014), he has proven himself an ethereal and nuanced producer, weaving intricately layered songs together that are more akin to a stoned groove than a shirtless bro violently fist pumping. In a genre not exactly renown for its subtlety, it's both a welcome and effective take. But that's not to say Slow Magic doesn't know how to throw down when the time is right, and the producer has also distanced himself from other artists of his ilk by incorporating live drums into his set. That, combined with the fact that he usually ends up in the audience dancing and drumming like an otherworldly neon Pied Piper, has made Slow Magic one of the more intriguing and beloved young electronic acts today. Slow Magic takes the Wonder Ballroom's stage on 12/12 with longtime cohorts Giraffage and Lindsay Lowend, and he told me there will be remixes of songs both old and new worked into the new live show. It sounds intriguing, and honestly–who doesn't want to party with a creative weirdo in a glow-in-the-dark wolf mask? » - Donovan Farley


new music aural fix

2 !!! (CHK CHK CHK) STEREOLAD THE LOWER 48

3 THE JACKALOPE SAINTS 8:30 PM

4

ANTHONY D'AMATO DECEMBER 13 | DOUG FIR

In a musical landscape where lyrics are becoming increasingly less emphasized as a result of a synth-soaked growing EDM scene, Anthony D’Amato reminds us of the importance of the lyrical half of the songwriting process. This skill can be attributed to him studying poetry with the Pulitzer Prize-winning Paul Muldoon while attending Princeton. D’Amato knows that just as playing an instrument is a craft that must be learned and practiced, so is writing. He recorded his first album Down Wires in his dorm room in 2010. Last year, he released his third album The Shipwreck From The Shore, his first on New West Records (Ben Folds, Kris Kristofferson). It’s almost as if D’Amato has been ready for his big break for years. He recorded Shipwreck in only 11 days with members of Bon Iver and Megafaun in a farmhouse in rural Maine. The outcome? Ten tracks of feel-good modern folk. Besides good lyrics, D’Amato has mastered the art of the feel-good indie folk song that doesn’t get on your nerves. His voice evokes a cheerier Kristian Matsson (Tallest Man On Earth), while musically evocative of both indie and Americana acts,

like The Head And The Heart and Josh Ritter. Quite simply, even when D’Amato’s is singing a sad song, you know everything is going to be all right. D’Amato has been touring the U.S. since October and is currently working on an album for a 2016 release with producer/musician Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes, Rilo Kiley). Look out, EDM. Lyrics are back, and they’re giving us real emotion again. » - Sophia June

QUICK TRACKS A “was a time” The track kicks off Shipwreck with the triumphant news of getting over a breakup, while being honest about how hard it was. D’Amato accurately captures the liberation of sadness with this quick-paced tune featuring harmonica, guitar and drums. “There was a time that I loved you/ I don’t love you anymore,” he proudly sings.

21 & UP

RYAN SOLLEE & FRIENDS THE MONDEGREENS PRETTY GRITTY

5 THAT 1 GUY 6 DAVID WAX MUSEUM

8PM

21 & UP

MARTY OʼREILLY

9 PATTERSON HOOD THAYER SARRANO

6:45 PM 21 & UP

9 MARIBOU STATE TYLER TASTEMAKER

10 DELLA MAE MIPSO

15 OKKERVIL RIVER (SOLO SET)

16 PATTERSON HOOD THAYER SARRANO

6:45 PM 21 & UP

16 THE DEARS 17 BEAT CONNECTION PHANTOMS COCO COLUMBIA

18 THE HILL DOGS

LEWI LONGMIRE & THE LEFT COAST ROASTERS 20 3RD ANNUAL ROCK FOR A REASON 8PM

21 & UP

THE LONESOME BILLIES DENVER RYAN SOLLEE IKE FONSECA

12 BRIAN BERG MEMORIAL

21 ROCK N ROLL FLEA

13 ISRAEL NASH

26 DUCKY PIG

ANTHONY DʼAMATO

MARKET

NEW YEARS AT DOUG FIR

14 JARED & THE MILL 31 MAGIC SWORD BRUMBY

MINDEN FOUL WEATHER

JANUARY & FEBRUARY SHOWS ON SALE NOW 1/1 & 1/2 : JERRY JOSEPH & THE JACKMORMONS

2/4 : PETER BRADLEY ADAMS

1/8 : FOREVERLAND

2/6 : METTS, RYAN AND COLLINS

1/9 : BARON VAUGHN 1/15 : HALF MOON RUN 1/16 : VANESSA CARLTON 1/19 : CAS HALEY 1/27 : CHICANO BATMAN 1/29 : SAINTSENECA

2/5 : THE KNOCKS 2/10 : HALF MOON RUN 2/17 : BIKE THIEF 2/19 & 2/20 : EMILY WELLS 2/21 : THE CAVE SINGERS 2/26 : JUST PEOPLE 2/27 : BASIA BULAT

B “if you're gonna build a wall” D’Amato’s recent release chronicles his experience being stuck at home with a broken finger and gorging himself on the 24/7 media stream. The track is a stripped down, acoustic, introspective look into D’Amato’s mind. We don’t know if this is in direct response to Trump’s absurd suggestion, but it is nevertheless quietly powerful.

www.elevenpdx.com | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 6


new music album reviews

ALBUM REVIEWS This Month’s best R Reissue

L Local release

Short List

Kid Cudi Speedin' Bullet to Heaven Baroness Purple Cage The Elephant Tell Me I'm Pretty Grimes Art Angels G-Eazy When It's Dark Out Coldplay A Head Full of Dreams Buy it

Steal it

Toss it

L The Century

Losers Self-released

As Portland quintet The Century continues its climb through the earholes and into our collective brain, it does so with the distinction of being thoroughly, unequivocally rock and roll. Losers, the group’s second official EP, revels in those gritty confines, with its unadulterated beats, stellar vocal melodies, and deft, but powerful guitar work. Album-opener “Here’s To Nothing” is a bruising, nihilistic foray into fuzzy vocals

and shrieking guitars that open up into a tasteful chorus before punching back into distortion. Conversely, “Paradise” displays the true talent that The Century has cultivated with its ability to craft sharp and nuanced tracks with its earwormy melody–the closest thing to a ballad that exists in The Century’s orbit. “Losers” evokes a ‘90s-ish alt-rock feel, which serves as a nice change of pace on the five-track run. “All Night Always” comes through with a nice southern-fried guitar line, providing a nice counterpart to the harder driving tracks preceding it. As with each track on Losers, there are solid, but subtle vocal harmonies that shine through intermittently, adding complementary layers in surprising places. The Century is a group in the early stages of growth. There is a clear foundation comprised of the strong songwriting and musicianship displayed on both Losers and the earlier Oddfellow, and there are glimpses of sonic possibilities throughout each. Losers is diverse in its sound from track to track, splitting time between escalating riffs and rolling bass lines. The Century surely can look forward to a future of wild possibilities. » - Charles Trowbridge

Dare to venture north of Skidmore on our old favorite Mississippi Ave and it'll be worth the jaunt! Eleven PDX extends a formal welcome to Portland's newest purlieu for minds called Locale: a trifold venue integrating a Euro-style bar, walk up espresso, and attentive table service. The affordable menu items (all under $10) feature fresh, local foods and a vast array of delicious wines. If you're like any Eleven staffer, then you require some thrill and at least one more way to impress your S.O.'s mom (likely in the same night). Locale can take care of both. Take an educational Vermouth flight at any hour then get lost in the froth of a cappuccino late night. Bed times are for chumps and you'll know more than most about the aromatized botanical wine with Italian origins. Eh, eh? �he �lace i� acce��ible��fi�cally and �ocially. Cri�� d�cor� keen curating, and perfect lighting make Locale an ideal choice for a pre-funk show goer or a sit and stay a while night. They feature ha��y hour everyday from ���� to ���� and are f� iercely dedicated to our industry workers with a never ending industry discount. Owners Erik and Dustin were inspired to make the community better than they found it. Convenience and quality holding court here in their lovely little gem with sessionable pricing, friendly staff and a bright new concept for all to enjoy.

7 | ELEVEN PORTLAND | www.elevenpdx.com


new music album reviews

L La Rivera

Seer Self-released

At it’s worst, Joshua Rivera a.k.a. La Rivera’s new album Seer is an unspectacular yet listenable album. At its best, it’s a well-crafted collaborative effort from a troop of professional musicians. Sonically, it’s an upbeat baby born of The Grateful Dead, a splash of Phish, a twinge of Ben Harper or Rusted Root. It’s cute.

Twelve years ago, I might have bumped Seer until it went out of style… which for me, unfortunately, was about eleven years ago. It was a time when I identified with bright melodies and hippie sway-dances. And while I’ll often throw my 12” copy of American Beauty on the table, Seer doesn’t carry the same staying power. There are moments of catchiness, the musical stylings are warm and welcoming, and there’s nothing cringe-worthy with the songs. The problem is that Rivera doesn’t really present anything new. Jam-folk is a genre in which it is notoriously difficult to rise above the pack, especially in the shoegrungy PNW, so while the La Rivera crew may do a fine job of carrying this torch, it’s more akin to holding a lighter. The production value of Seer is top notch. Engineer and mixer Justin Phelps (Neville Brothers, Jolie Holland, Fruition, March Fourth) produces clean, sharp Saxophone hits (Mary-Sue Tobin) and the tactful, wailing guitar stylings of local staple Teddy Presberg. Phelps

utilized the space at nearby studio Hallowed Halls to add more dimension and balance with the primary instruments on the record, the lead vocals; mostly Rivera’s, with tasteful harmonies from Jessica Campbell and additional help from the recognizable voices of Lizzie Ellison (Radiation City) and Moorea Masa (Ural Thomas). The talent level of these contributors is very high, and knowing this, it’s quite likely that the live performance is spellbinding, especially compared to the studio tracks. Rivera did cut a few songs from the album, distilling it down to (what he considers) his seven strongest, but one can’t help but wonder if a few additional tunes might add a needed dynamic, a change of pace, or perspective, into the band’s flexibility. All things considered, Seer could quite possibly be somebody’s favorite album, at least for a year or two. » - Richard Lime

On their second album, Red Right

Grandall has mostly abandoned the wistfully longing lyrics of The Kaleidoscope in favor of darker material. A lot of these songs focus on the need to seize this moment in her career, and many of them bring up the specter of forces, real or imagined, who might be trying to hold her back. “All my dreaming you were ready to fight,” she sings on “Running.” It's strange then, given the more serious nature of many of these songs, that the album never quite reaches the searing potential that Grandall has always been pointing toward. It's tempting to give her a “dream-pop” pass, to allow the cloistered menace to stay hidden, but it's too clear something stronger is hiding in the wings. If The Kaleidoscope was notable for its spare, beautiful sound, then Red Right Return might be remembered as its more robust older sibling. But it feels like the perfect Lemolo record might lie somewhere in between the two. Only time will tell. But, as Grandall sings on “Fuel,” “Time's my friend/my enemy.” » - JP Kemmick

Return, the threat is still there, but Grandall keeps it, frustratingly, largely in check. In interviews, Grandall said she was trying to push her sound toward additional layers and depth. It's a classic direction for a second album to take, and it works here just as often as it doesn't. It's true that The Kaleidoscope is a somewhat spartan affair, but that spare sound often worked to the band's advantage,

Lemolo Red Right Return Self-released Behind the soaring beauty and lush melodies of Seattle dream-pop band Lemolo, there hides a certain menace. On the first track off the band's debut, The Kaleidoscope, front-woman Meagan Grandall's airy, multi-tracked voice asked us, “Don't you know it's all for fun?” But something hiding in the reverb seemed to hint that there was more at stake. Midway through the song, when a heavier guitar and bigger drums settled in, we got a peak at the possible heaviness Lemolo was capable of.

allowing breathing room for the dreamier side of pop to enter. Red Right Return is indeed a fuller album. Besides Grandall's additional layering and texturing, Emily Westerman, a more experienced drummer, has replaced Kendra Cox on drums. Consequently, there are real drum parts on the new album. Westerman's jauntily subdued drums work nicely on opener “One To Love,” and it's hard to imagine stand-out track “Runner” without her percussive crescendo, but on some tracks, like “Movers and Shakers,” they feel a little jarring and

LA RIVERA CELEBRATES THE RELEASE OF SEER THIS MONTH DECEMBER 12 AT SECRET SOCIETY

too busy.

www.elevenpdx.com | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 8


live music

KNOW YOUR VENUE Star Theater

T

he Star Theater has changed hands several times since it first opened in 1911. It’s been a film house, a burlesque theater, a musical venue, and a warehouse owned by a famous filmmaker. These days, the reincarnation of Star Theater envelops both the rich history and the bright future of the venue. It began as The Princess Theater, a 300 seat silent film house complete with an orchestral pit. In the 1940’s it transitioned into a burlesque theater, and featured famous vixens like Tempest Storm and Candy Renee. Current Star Theater manager Randy Capron says there are rumors of “seriously creepy ghost shit.” Performers like Clem Burke of Concrete Blonde and comedian Dwight Slade have stopped shows to check on a mysterious young woman in distress that simply vanishes. Many believe that this “young woman” is Candy, or perhaps an organist who once committed suicide on the stage after “talkies” took over film and her live scores were no longer needed. During times of political corruption and defiance to prohibition, the venue was in full swing. Historical photographs show that the Star was one of the only places that would become desegregated at night, with all kinds

9 | ELEVEN PORTLAND | www.elevenpdx.com

Photo by Todd Walberg

of people enjoying a show together. Later the theater screened pornography by day, and family features by night. The projector room is now balcony seating and a bar. In the '80s and '90s the space was used for storage while owned by filmmaker Gus Van Sant. This part of downtown was a war zone between vigilant property owners and drug dealers, and was barely saved after a string of downtown firebombings, one of which took out the vacant building next door. The hollowed out shell of the burned out neighbor now provides the Star with a rustic brick patio complete with firepits and awesome tacos. After Van Sant sold, the building was briefly a dance club before becoming what was rumored to be a modern speakeasy that was shut down by the OLCC and building code violations. There it sat until its 100th anniversary in 2011. The venue became part of a creative property network when it was purchased by the same proprietor of several other locales like Dante’s and Lucky Devil Lounge. Somehow this helps retain some of that old Portland flavor. A major remodel that revived the the building as a beautiful, classic theater ensued. Although the bright star at the top of the tall sign can’t return due to new


live music

MISSIS SIPPI STUDIOS S

H

O

W

C A L E N D A R D E C E M B E R 2

0

1

5

12. SAT (EARLY SHOW)

LATE NIGHT ACTION WITH ALEX FALCONE

1.TUE Local band And And And playing Star Theater. Photo by Todd Walberg

street ordinances, the lower marquee is shining bright. The interior regained a swank vintage feel, with its high ceilings and plush curtains, which cover soundproofing panels. If the venue isn't the biggest (with a capacity of 500 for intimate shows), it at least has excellent sound quality. It is predominantly a music venue, featuring everything from Viva’s Holiday–a one act opera–to the industrial dance worship at Church of Hive, as well as touring bands. Star Theater also amasses social gatherings, comedy, and yes, plenty of Portland’s finest burlesque.» - Brandy Crowe

BOBBY BARE JR

(LATE SHOW)

STAR ANNA

MRS. PRESENTS QUEEN

2. WED

DJ BEYONDA

EZRA FURMAN GUY BLAKESLEE

13. SUN

3. THU

VEKTROID

BLUETECH / LUSINE

MARV ELLIS & WE TRIBE

1000 FUEGOS

14. MON

4. FRI

HOLLY ANN / CORY DAUBER

PILGRIM

ZEPPARELLA - ALL FEMALE

TRIBUTE TO THE GREATEST BAND IN THE WORLD

STARS TURN ME ON

15. TUE

HALEY HEYNDERICKX ESME PATTERSON

16. WED

5. SAT

POLYRHYTHMICS PIGWAR

5. SAT (AT THE OLD CHURCH)

FRED & TOODY COLE OF DEAD MOON UNPLUGGED 6. SUN

ALEX BLEEKER + THE FREAKS THE LAVENDER FLU GRAND LAKE ISLANDS

8. TUE

CORB LUND AND THE HURTIN’ ALBERTANS DENVER

9. WED

HUNNY

RARE MONK MOTHERTAPES

JOHN CRAIGIE

MARGARET GIBSON WEHR

17. THU

FERNANDO

THE HARMED BROTHERS JEFFREY MARTIN

18. FRI THE CALIFORNIA HONEYDROPS CROW AND THE CANYON

19. SAT AN EVENING WITH THE CALIFORNIA HONEYDROPS 20. SUN

BOX SET DUO TRIO CD RELEASE SHOW WITH VERY SPECIAL GUEST ED HAYNES 23. WED ALI MUHAREB’S MUJAHEDEEN HANDS IN

10. THU

GIFT OF GAB

26. SAT

LANDON WORDSWELL

MATT BRAUNGER

11. FRI (EARLY SHOW)

CHARLIE HUNTER TRIO (LATE SHOW)

30. WED

THE GET AHEAD SAEEDA WRIGHT

THE GARDEN

31.THU

MINDEN

SALLIE FORD Y LA BAMBA CAT HOCH

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 DECEMBER crystal ballroom

1

1332 w burnside

16

1 2 3 4

Awolnation | Hustle & Drone Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness | Holiday Friends Elle King Cold War Kids | Dogheart 5-6 Modest Mouse | Mimicking Birds | Mattress 7 Alabama Shakes | The Weather Machine 8 Saint Motel | Houndmouth 9 X Ambassadors | Adventure Galley 10 Twenty One Pilots 12 Dandy Warhols "A Christmas Carol" 13 Robert DeLong 14 Scott Bradlee & Postmodern Jukebox 15 Matt & Kim 16-17 Death Cab for Cutie | Pure Bathing Culture 31 Calexico | Blind Pilot | Ages and Ages

SKIDMORE ST.

Doug fir

mississippi studios 3939 n mississippi

5 3 4 5 11 12

wonder ballroom 128 ne russell

Family of the Year | My Brothers and I Lights | The Mowglis | K.Flay Collie Buddz Phutureprimitive |Bass Physics Giraffage | Slow Magic

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15

.

NORTH WEST BROADWAY ST.

14

5

5

PEARL OLD TOWN 2

BURNSIDE ST.

22

1

405

26 18

7

23

9

10

30

GRAND AVE.

Bobby Bare Jr. | Star Anna Ezra Furman | Guy Blakeslee Marv Ellis & We Tribe | 1000 Fuegos Zepparella | Stars Turn Me On Polyrhythmics | Pigwar Alex Bleeker + The Freaks | The Lavender Flu Corb Lund & The Hurtin' Albertans | Denver Hunny | Rare Monk | Mothertapes Gift of Gab | Landon Wordswell The Garden | Minden Bluetech/Lusine | Vektroid Pilgrim | Holly Ann | Cory Dauber Haley Heynderickx | Esme Patterson John Craigie | Margaret Gibson Wehr Fernando | The Harmed Brothers | Jeffrey Martin 18-19 The California Honeydrops | Crow & The Canyon 20 Box Set Duo Trio | Ed Haynes 23 Mujahedeen | Hands In 30 The Get Ahead | Saeeda Wright 31 Sallie Ford | Y La Bamba | Cat Hoch

TA VE

MLK BLVD.

1 2 3 4 5 6 8 9 10 11 13 14 15 16 17

RUSSELL ST.

ON

DOW NTO WN

4

FR

830 e burnside

!!! | Stereolad | The Lower 48 The Jackalope Saints | Ryan Sollee & Friends Alo | Scott Law That 1 Guy David Wax Museum | Marty O'Reilly Maribou State | Tyler Tastemaker Della Mae | Mipso Celebration of the Life and Music of Brian Berg Israel Nash | Anthony D'Amato Jared & The Mill | Brumby Okkervil River (solo) The Dears | Dear Boy Beat Connection | Phantoms | Coco Columbia The Hill Dogs | Lewi Longmire & Left Coast Roasters Lonesome Billies | Denver Ducky Pig Magic Sword | Minden | Foul Weather

23RD AVE.

2 3 4 5 6 9 10 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 20 26 31

28

The Motet | Euforquestra Falling In Reverse | Atreyu The 1975 | Swim Deep Leftover Salmon | Fruition

3

MLK BLVD.

11 15 19 31

WILLIAMS AVE.

8 nw 6th

3-4 Odesza | Hayden James | Big Wild

VANCOUVER AVE.

Roseland Theater

4

MISSISSIPPI AVE.

INTERSTATE AVE.

2

ALBERT


live music DECEMBER wonder ballroom (continued) The English Beat | The Interrupters Graveyard Weinland NYE Supergroup | Liz Vice

holocene

13

TA ST.

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Portland Cello Project | Jenny Conlee | Chris Funk Live Wire! w/Luke Burbank Billy Gibbons & The BFG's | Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown Sinatra by Starlight Live Wire! w/Luke Burbank Typhoon The Helio Sequence | Wild Ones

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Bunker Sessions Open Mic | Eye Candy VJs(Mondays) Joshua McCaslin | Ben Wuamet | Adam Pursinger Malachi Graham | Matthew Fountain & The Whereabouts Epp | Neil Von Tally | Dodgr | Mic Capes | Elton Cray | Verbz Bleach Blonde Dudes | Ice Queens | Killed by Health Rich Layton & The Troublemakers | Bad Assets The Morals | Kyle Morton | Bryson Hansen Rogue Giant | The Fourth Wall | Small Leaks Sink Ships Stunning Rayguns | Seance School | Drugstore Cowboy Guides | Hart & Hare | Swansea Rasheed Jamal | Mic Capes | Lang | Drae Slapz Hutch Harris (of The Thermals) Yeezazee | Fallow | Keeper Keeper | Garanzuay Old Junior | Hot Won't Quit Oxcart | Weld | Last Giant Pat Kearns | Topher Walberg | Chris Santella The Tennesseans | Challenger '70 Baby Ketten Karaoke We Out Here Magazine NYE Party

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SiR | Andre Power | Neijah | The Last Artful Dodgr Kittens | Chrome Wolves | Gang$ign$ Nark | Orographic | DJ Sappho Dumblonde | That Poppy | Mr. Charming Ochestra Becomes Radicalized | Amani | Acid Farm DJs Health | Pictureplane | Ian Hicks Kiasmos DJ Izm | DJ Jack Moniker | Novosti | The Furrow | Indira Valey Grandparents | Is/Is | Helvetia DJ Nathan Detroit | DJ Maxx Bass | Dimitri Gaycation w/Mr. Charming DJs Kiffo & Rymes

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Strangeweather | Aerial Ruin | Nest Sleeptalker | Master Number | Panzer Beat Howler | Hollow Sidewalks | Vernor Pantons Jenny Don't & The Spurs | The Snakebites | Big Feelings The Hague | Cadet | The Meridian Guide | The Cut 45 Tonopah | Kitchen Hips | Wett Nurse | Mini Blinds Blowout | Hemmingway

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features DECEMBER the know (continued) 10 Carousel | Fuzzy Dice | Pushy 11 Pelican Ossman | Montgomery Word | Sad Horse 12 Tsepesch | Gaasp | Satanarchist

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Taji | Arlo Indigo | Bibliothek Outer Space Heaters | Coastlands | The Hague Cripple Hop Cedar Teeth | Heels to the Hardwood Honey Divers | Amanda Cogan | Stephanie Scelza Jody & Nick | Waxwings King Columbia | Three for Silver Goldfoot | Joytribe Samuel Eisen-Meyers Ronnie Carrier | Ky Burt | Nathan Hale Dove Driver | Trio Subtonic Roselit Bone | Country Trash Matt Brown | Hotel Union King Radio | Yves Jacob Joliff Trio | Taylor Kingman

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The Cat's Meow The Minus 5 | The Tripwires | Casey Neill Alice Wallace | Alexa Wiley & The Wilderness Ancient Heat | La Rivera | Beach Fire TLE Winter Formal w/Chanti Darling | Thanks | DJ LL Trill Will West | Mbrascatu | The Druthers Coronation | Unsafe Dartz Brownish Black | DJ N Able

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uthor Milan Kundera has a book titled, The white eagle Unbearable Lightness 836 n russell Redwood Son (Sundays) of Being, which is an The Motel Lights | Color-Coder | S.S. Curmudgeon especially relevant Caitlin Jemma & The Goodness | The American West phrase when discussing Bearcoon | Machine Mexican Gunfight | Lael Alderman The Ghost Ease’s music. The PortlandRadio Giants based grunge rock trio has such a dark Small Million | Madam Officer | Second Sleep sound that it can’t help but feel equally Whim Grace | Salvatore Manalo | Jeff True Jones Blak Sheep Black | Stubborn Lovers | Blue Skies for Black Hearts light. Recently they released a video The Von Howlers | Man Hunter for “Gemini Rise,” which features lead Lessons In Fresh (Hip Hop showcase) singer/guitarist Jem Marie threading Rainbow Electric Wild Rumpus a needle carefully through a jelly filled Polar Echo | Havo | The Kosmos donut; it’s disturbingly artful. While Mouthbreather | Casual Boyfriend | Garanzuay the music itself is tenebrous, there is Future Historians | The Cloves White Eagle Blues Jam hosted by Travers Kiley irony and lightness in the object being a Spank! donut. If you’ve ever seen them perform Anthemtown Artist Showcase Heavy Gone Acoustic | Monica Nelson & The Highgates live, you know this goes for their The Parson Red Heads | Poison Beaches performances also. They bring such a strong energy on stage that it feels like turn turn turn they are both releasing their intensity 8 ne killingsworth Jeff Witscher & Contact and holding on to it at the same time. Born in a Car ELEVEN was lucky enough to sit down Dragging an Ox Through Water | Niilo Smeds | Gravy with Jem Marie, bassist Laurence Vidal Diminished Men | RLLRBLL | Dusty Santamaria A Certain Smile | Sea Fuzz | DJ Erika Elizabeth and drummer Nsayi Matingou on a dark

13 | ELEVEN PORTLAND | www.elevenpdx.com

The Ghost Ease

Sunday evening to discuss their recent album RAW, talk of new work and the unbearably light intensity that is The Ghost Ease. ELEVEN: You guys just dropped an album a couple months ago, how has that been performing it? Jem Marie: It’s been fun, yeah what do you guys think? Nsayi Matingou: I feel like we recorded it almost a year ago and we just had our CD release so we had to play some of the songs that we haven’t even been, and we’re continuing to move forward so it is interesting to release it after so much time, and it more kind of feels like a revisiting as opposed to playing the album. 11: How do you inspire each other? JM: I don’t know, they are just my friends.


being on stage and being really dark and intense and then off stage we have to just joke about things. NM: We have to lighten that load, man. LV: Yeah lighten it up. I mean we get to talking about some pretty depressing things a lot of the time and I think that kind of thing is a lot of the energy that we bring on stage. It’s a practice. 11: Before you came we were watching the video for "Gemini Rise" and it definitely has that feeling of being really dark but also it features a donut. Is that kind of a theme? Darkness and lightness? JM: Definitely. Yeah, and I think that also is communicated through the music itself. How it’s so dynamic in a way where it will be a really intense, roaring volcano going on and then just in a split second like it’ll phase out and calm down a bit. Just to see if you are awake.

features DECEMBER turn turn turn (continued) Eugene Chadbourne | Mike Gamble | The Tenses Rich Halley 4 | Ryan Meagher The Prids | Puppy Breath | Tweaker Sneakers Woolen Men | Barbara Manning's Bday Suit | White Shark The Dead White & Felisha Ledesma Dirty Whips | Kulululu | Casual Boyfriend Dmac & The Destroyers | Gooo | James Curry IV Grand Style Orchestra Endless Rivers The Lavender Flu | Hornet Leg | Dusty Santamaria

hawthorne theatre 1507 se 39th

Photo by Mercy McNab

NM: Lots of comedy. JM: Yeah lots of comedy, we laugh a lot. We make jokes all the time, and just imitate each other and just poking fun at each other sometimes. Laurence Vidal: All the time. 11: You spend a lot of time together I’m sure. JM: It’s also because we are siblings in a sense. NM: I feel like we're very intense individuals though. JM: Intense individuals? NM: Yeah I feel like a lot of the inspiration from the music comes from our deep intensity. 11: What do you mean by that? LV: I mean I think we are all pretty dark in a lot of ways. I think we’re all pretty introspective and introverted. And a lot of the new songs seem really dark to me. Like Jem just sent a new song the other day and it’s pretty dark and it feels like that. I think maybe that’s one of the reasons that this is why there is kind of this juxtaposition of us

11: To see if you’re really paying attention? JM: Well I guess I just feel like the reason why I play or I am drawn to play like that is naturally I am an easily startled person. NM: It’s true. JM: But then that also ties into a way that when a feeling is, when I am struck by them they are very immediate, and I don’t know how else to explain it. 11: I think that definitely emanates in the music. JM: And I think when we play it’s kind of like exercising in emotions a little bit. 11: One thing I noticed too was in songs like “Gemini Rise,” or the “Scorpio” song, is astrology, very in tune I assume? JM: Yeah I mean.. What is it Laurence? LV: I have only been playing with them for about a year but we joke that my background check was them looking at my birth chart. NM: No there were three prerequisites. Female, stoked about the bass, and scorpio.

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Authority Zero | Eken is Dead | My New Vice | Faithless Saints Jazz Cartier | Dior Worthy | G4shi | Daniel Seventwo Mystery Skulls | Phone Call | Duddy | Thumper The Faceless | Rings of Saturn | Toothgrinder Pouya & The Buffet Boys | Suicide Boys | Laine x T Gordon The Maine | The Technicolors | Superhighway Mushroomhead | 9Electric | Come//Rest | Amerikin Overdose Josh Heinrichs | Skillnjah | Animo Cruz | Steady Riot Tim Shewell | Satisfi I.L.A.M. | Broke The MC | Knothead | Marcin Shake The Halls 5 Mission Rock 3: The Rocking Christmas Show The Jingle Bell Rock & Metal Fest Trojan Swamp Monster | The Sesolate | Gravewitch

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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

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Ethos Battle of the Bands 3 Felix Cavaliere's Rascals 4 Jay Farrar | Holy Sons 5 Del McCoury Band 6 Sun Kil Moon 9 NW Natural Holidays with The Trail Band 11-13 Nick Lowe's Quality Holiday Review fea. Los Strait Jackets 16 Bulletproof Stockings 27 Appetite for Deception | Motorbreath | Sacred Heart 31

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Boys II Gentlemen (Tuesdays) Soul Stew w/DJ Aquaman (Fridays) Joytribe | Hip Stew Voodoo Ladyboys | Lesser Bangs The Goodfoot All-Stars Wamba The Student Loan | Sugarcane Takimba Shafty Popgoji | MAFU Garcia Birthday Band Excellent Gentlemen Farnell Newton & The Othership Connection Shafty Quick & Easy Boys

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Slutty Hearts | Exacerbators | The Ransom

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www.elevenpdx.com | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 14


features Photo by Todd Walberg

DECEMBER star theater

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13 nw 6th 11 Stumptown Soul Holiday Spectacular 13 Christ vs. Warhol | Soriah | DJ Owen

19-20 X supporting Billy Zoom Tour

26 The Quadraphonnes | Melao De Cuba 31 80s Video Dance Attack NYE Party

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DogHouse | Among Criminals Hair Fire | The Nutrients | High Five Danger 36 Crazy Fists | Dirtnap | Jahai | Divides The Chicharones | Raise the Bridges | King Ghidora Question Tuesday | Virtual Zero | Prosody Mouthbreather | Jennie Vee | Vowws | The Shrike Los Gatos | NVXO | Relative Lunacy Coast 2 Coast Live Artist Showcase Ditch Digger | The Athiarchists | Sustainer | Dwarfgiant Bad Habitat | Jae Lava | Leek Da Barber | Nyce Luchiano Idletap | Aggression | Thistle-Stalk Hot Tub Fantasies | Bocephus | Stepper Fasala | Snow White Tracks | Dorado Disenchanter | Year of the Cobra | Brooding Herd Strength Keeper | At the Seams | The Desolate Warthog Stew | The Raccoons | Bob & May Wild Disassturbator | Misery Men | Fuzzy Dice | Brown Erbe Jack Ramsay Under the Antlers Last Week's Ghost | Cory Vanagas | Ronnie Carrier Husky Boys

JM: Had scorpionic energy. NM: And we were hoping you’d be a mix if that was possible, and all of those came out. 11: Are you all scorpios? JM: I am, she is, and she has scorpionic energy.

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Faded Pages | Neon Culpa | Salvo Idly Paper Brain Brut V4.0 Boone Howard | Linear Downfall | Ghost Frog Liquid Drum and Bass Believe You Me Party Boyz Presentz: December To Forget The Holy Broke The Grizzled Mighty Deafmind Spend The Night Saints of Bass Sammy Miller & The Congregation | JJ Kirkpatrick Moniker | Lubec | The Century Flight Wake The Town NYE

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15 | ELEVEN PORTLAND | www.elevenpdx.com

11: What would you have ended with?

11: That’s a lot of scorpio energy. NM: My moon is scorpio and my sign is aries. JM: We all have fire in us. There is a lot of fire. 11: I also noticed on RAW you chose to end with an instrumental track. Why did you choose that? JM: It’s sort of a reprise. A reprise to “PJM.” LV: It’s funny, nobody has ever really asked us about that. It is connected to "PJM." JM: It is. It sounds like it has similar chords. So it was meant to be a reprise to that song. And there are no words because there are no words to that emotion, and it was an intense change in my life. LV: It was actually an afterthought too because we didn’t record that when we recorded everything else. It was only after we signed with Cabin Games and we were like "We need to go back into the studio and do some stuff," so she recorded some more guitar and we recorded that outro and I am glad we did.

JM: “For Not.” And yeah, that one is a playful song but it’s not ending on the right note. It was too happy. NM: Yeah, I don’t know, the reprise is nice. I like the reprise because it makes you feel like there is more coming. And, “For Not,” doesn’t have that vibe. JM: Right. It’s exactly that. “For Not” wasn’t inviting to listen to and it wasn’t an inviting track, even when you put it on repeat from the begin to the ending it didn’t seem to fit. But the last track, “Bye, Love,” the last note kind of phases out and then begins “RAW” on the same note. 11: So it's circular? JM: Yeah. It was done intentionally and it worked out. 11: Do you all write, or it is mostly just you Jem? JM: I write the skeleton of the song and I bring it to practice and we all sort of add the meat... RAW was just a collection of songs from that period of time and we just threw it all together. A lot of it were songs about growing as an artist, as a musician as a person. Longing and pining for things. NM: Love that… the sigh. I love the sigh on “Neptune Sun.” JM: Okay, Nsayi. You know on “Neptune Sun?” There is a part where I sigh and Nsayi wanted me to do that and I really didn’t want to keep it.


11: That’s funny, I actually heard that and it stuck out in my head to me. JM: She begged me. NM: ‘Cause we had recorded kind of randomly with a friend before, a long time ago with a different bass player that same song and you sighed on that and I always loved it and I wanted to bring it to this new recording. 11: Why did you want to bring that

features JM: Yeah, it’s just so funny because like she was saying it was so long ago it felt like we recorded that album and while we still play a couple of tracks off of it, well literally two, because we’re moving forward already. NM: And getting darker too. JM: Yeah it is. But again it’s gonna maintain, there’s gonna be light. 11: Lyrically darker or sound wise?

in? JM: Both. Maybe at the same time. NM: I don’t know. As a person who is a big piner, longing type of individual, so I guess for most of my life doing that, that sigh just encapsulates so much of that feeling. Every time there is a rain covered window, or it’s overcast it reminds me of that sigh. I just like that feeling.

11: If The Ghost Ease were to be a drink on a menu, what would that drink be? [all together]: Whiskey. » - Erin Treat

sweet vocals that make The Ghost Ease so recognizable, but the syrupy-slow guitar and drums make this track stand out from all of

the two parts feel like they should be disparate, but Marie’s voice has

second full-length album, RAW, with Cabin Games/K Records. RAW has the same soft grunge stamp as their self-titled debut, but the new record, in spite of its title, is infinitely more refined. The Ghost Ease had a tendency to dawdle, where RAW fills in all of those spaces; there is a sense of urgency—an important piece for an album as a whole. From the very first note, “Neptune Sun” delivers the dreamy,

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My Siamese Twin Stiff Other Lip | Darkmysticwoods Emily & The Gypsy Fire El Diablitos

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Jackstraw | Emerson House Band Ural Thomas & The Pain The Way Downs | Nick Peets | Drunken Prayer Old Flames | Counterfeit Cash Jon Ostrom Band | Big E & The Stomp Jack Dwyer | Freak Mountain Ramblers Anita Margarita & The Rattlesnakes | Kung Pao Chickens Jackstraw | The Oh My Mys Ural Thomas & The Pain | The Colin Trio | Annie Corbett Melville | Sarah Aili Woodbrain | The Resolectrics Holiday Show Kris Deelane & The Hurt | Fernando The Hollerbodies | Freak Mountain Ramblers

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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.

As the longest track on the album,

Ghost Ease recently released their

1937 SE 11TH

HOLLYWOOD THEATRE

anticipate from a Ghost Ease song.

Portland grunge-rockers The

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in the middle everything picks of distortion, as you patiently

RAW Cabin Games/K Records

Pojama People | Ike Willis | Z.E.R.O The Blasters Black Sabbitch The Squidling Brothers Circus Sideshow Out of Exile Moon Dial Henry Phillips Hailey Niswanger & PDX Soul Blind Man Leading Dwarves

the others. Of course, somewhere up and breaks down in a wild sea

L The Ghost Ease

DECEMBER dantes (continued)

an incredible way of bridging the chasm, not just in this song, but consistently, between grunge and pop and folk and psych. “Pareidoila” by comparison starts as grunge-y and distorted as any Ghost Ease song ever has. While Marie’s voice normally captures the most attention, this song is all about the addictively catchy, fuzzed out guitar. Similarly, “Bye, Love,” the last track of the album, is most memorable for the slow and melodic

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Human Ottoman | Childspeak | Mount Joy Diego's Umbrella | Rachael Miles | Shoot Dang Pseudoboss | Addverse Effects | Free Mason Jar Peach Kings | Smoke Season The Doubleclicks | Sammus & Lucia Fasano Eight Fields | Bright & Shiny | Biddy Shine Laurelhurst | Artifice | Harken | One Day Forcast Crown The Empire | Defeat The Low Sold Only As Curio | DJ Anjali H2O | Noise Brigade | The Brass Ghost Town Grey | Reach For Rescue | Within The Pyre Pity Sex | Colleen Green School of Rock Bollywood Dance Party School of Rock Shafty

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piano, recalling all the drama, the heartache and the joy from each track, and bringing it together as a melancholy goodbye. » - Sarah Eaton

PORTLAND’S MUSIC MAGAZINE SINCE 2011

www.elevenpdx.com | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 16


ODESZA WRITTEN BY BRANDY CROWE

A

lthough Seattle still brings to mind grungy images of rock’s past for a lot of people, there is a busy electronic dance music scene in the Emerald City and the surrounding Pacific Northwest. It’s not the heavy, in-your-face, industrious beats that drive clubs, raves, or dubstep dance music that EDM is generally known for. Instead it’s a chilled out mixture of dreamy pop melodies with ambient, hip hop and trap music, blended with live instrumentation, varied electronic percussions, and an array of manipulated vocals and unique samples. Artists in our geographic corner such as Emancipator, Giraffage, and Slow Magic all provide experimental sounds that wash over their audiences while also encouraging them to move. Back in 2012, Harrison Mills and Clayton Knight were acquaintances that were both about to graduate from Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington. They had taken different educational paths, with Mills learning graphic design and Knight pursuing a degree in physics. They each had a similar penchant for music, though, and were both active as

17 | ELEVEN PORTLAND | www.elevenpdx.com

solo electronic musicians; Mills as Catacombkid (a nod to an Aesop Rock song), and Knight as bedroom artist BeachesBeaches. It was only a matter of time before Mills and Knight found that they shared similar tastes in their musical style, and that they easily connected on a creative level to create layered tracks with luscious effects, vocal loops, and invigorating beats. They named themselves Odessa, after a sunken vessel in Harrison Mill’s family, but changed the name to the Hungarian spelling and stylized it Odesza, along with a symbolic pulsing icosahedron. Their first release Summer’s Gone was created within a short time and was well received for its unique style and skillful nature from such a new group. The duo immediately gained a following from underground electronic and experimental music fans, garnering over a million online plays, and earned bookings to play as openers for Teen Daze and Beat Connection within a few months. Within a year they had released a second album My Friends Never Die, which by all accounts was a bigger, more energetic release to the ambient notions of Summer’s Gone. This led to


touring as a supporting act with artists like Pretty Lights and Bonobo, and their reputation began to grow as they took over crowds within the festival circuit. On the side, Odesza was also enjoying remixing as well as being remixed with many other artists in the electronic universe, making an ongoing remix album dubbed No Sleep. 2014 soon found them headlining their own sold out tour with a new album called In Return. In Return carries traces of both things classic and things visionary. Although each song on the album carries sparkling components that can be somewhat recognizable of each other as that of Odesza, such as layers of digital sounds with exotic rhythms and shifts in tempo, each track is also unique by a featured vocal artist or theme. There is an array of contributors, like the sexy Shy Girls, the soulful Madelyn Grant, the spritely voice of Zyra. Some parts are sped up and contrived to create infectious hooks and intrigue, but some tracks still rely only on the instrumental, bringing in clear and concise sounds like stick percussion or scraping dishes, as well as world elements like the Eastern qualities of “Sundara” and Japanese harp on “Koto.”

This year Odesza re-released In Return as a deluxe edition by working further with Counter Records (an imprint of independent London label Ninja Tune). This included the addition of a new track featuring Little Dragon called “Light,” as well as 3 live recordings. Live shows have expanded to include live instruments to accompany the electronics, including a guitarist and most recently a three-piece brass section. The show also includes impressive visuals to accompany the eloquent sounds, an experience that many fans have described as emotional and even spiritual. In just three years the work of Harrison Mills and Clayton Knight as Odesza has created a demand for their art, which is so calming and awakening simultaneously. This autumn has found them on another fast paced tour, selling out international venues with enthusiastic, captivated crowds. As Odesza’s tour readied itself for the last leg of the tour, in return to the West Coast, ELEVEN got a moment to speak with Clayton Knight about how Odesza got started and how they have moved through the momentum of their success.

www.elevenpdx.com | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 18 Photo by Tonje Thilesen


features national scene Photo by Jacob Penderworth

ELEVEN: Your style has been described as a more

Washington University and were each making music

classy, emotional style of EDM. Do you think there has

under our solo projects. Harrison went by Catacombkid

been a shift in electronic music performances and how

and I was BeachesBeaches. We found we had similar

do you define your sound?

tastes in music and just started messing around on some tracks together.

Clayton Knight: The live show is definitely a different animal. There is a lot more going on than what

11: Who are some of your influences?

most people expect when they think of a big electronic show. We have taken a more live band approach, so we

CK: Our influences include artists like Four Tet and

have some heavier moments, but we also have some low

Animal Collective, also M83 and Gorillaz. There is a lot

key moments and even ambient moments. So we kind

of hip hop stuff. We are all over the map. Many of those

of do a wide range of styles and sounds throughout the

names influenced us from an early age and we learned a

entire set, which gives it a dynamic range, which can

lot from them.

be perceived as more emotive. As far as our sound, It’s definitely different and it’s hard to put a genre on it.

11: Who are some of your current favorite acts or obsessions?

11: How did you and Harrison meet? CK: We just toured with a band called Rufus Du Sol, CK: Before forming Odesza, we both went to Western

19 | ELEVEN PORTLAND | www.elevenpdx.com

and they have a great live show. We love some of our


features national scene former band mates and collective artists like Jai Wolf, Hayden James, and Big Wild. It’s a really eclectic group on the road and that’s why we bring them on our tours. We really enjoy their sets and watching them do what they do. 11: You do a lot of remixes with many of these artists as well as popular tracks like Sia’s “Big Girls Cry.” What is the process of writing new arrangements versus remixing? CK: We approach remixes a lot of the same way we approach the original stuff. We throw a lot of effort into the remixes that we do and try to take them into a very new direction. With both we never like to do the same thing twice, we really like to experiment. 11: Is there anything that you are dying to get your hands on for a remix? CK: I am a big fan of Leon Bridges. I love that new soul that he is bringing back around, and I would really like to hear some spins and try to do something with his tracks. I think we could make something really

11: In addition to the scream metal band, there is also a Scottish Synth band and a melodic female vocalist named Odessa. Do you think you could do a triple Odessa remix using all three of the different styles? CK: Well the heavy metal is not really our thing, but we could think on it and see what we could figure out. 11: You also incorporate a lot of other sounds. There is tribal drumming, chirping birds, and sounds of dishes in the track “For Us.” CK: We are big fans of world music and love world instrumentation and using unique sounds. We love blending them with electronic elements. 11: The songs "Koto" and "Kusinagi" are very unique with Asian elements; "Koto" does incorporate the sounds of the Japanese stringed instrument, and "Kusinagi" is a beautiful song with the sounds of nature and branches snapping. I love the title "Kusinagi" because it is a legendary Japanese sword that is representative of virtue or valor. That has a lot of narrative for the music.

cool. However, we are trying to focus more on original material and our own productions, so we have put remixing on the side for now. 11: You definitely bring in a lot of different people to collaborate for samples and hooks, from Pacific Northwest artists like Jenni Potts and Shy Girls, to vocalists like Briana Marela and Zyra, and even a track featuring Little Dragon. And that’s just naming a few. CK: Yes, we definitely like to be involved with other artists and have a lot of features. 11: There have been a lot of stories surrounding why you chose the name Odesza. What is the meaning behind your title? CK: It’s the name of Harrison’s uncle's boat, Odessa, which sank a while back. We really liked the name Odessa, but we couldn't use it seeing as there was was already a popular UK screamo metal band using it. So we changed the spelling to the Hungarian version, Odesza.

www.elevenpdx.com | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 20


features national scene CK: That was the goal of those two songs, and "Kusinagi" was actually written by our guitarist Sean, and "Kusinagi" is his last name so it’s named after him. 11: Does your degree in physics play a role in how you see your art, or create your arrangements? Like how some people study fractals in music? CK: In the mixing stage, sure. Doing the arrangements can turn into a mathematical, scientific process, especially when it comes to mixing getting, things finely tuned. 11: Do you think Harrison’s studies in graphic design and your studies in physics help to make you guys a more powerful duo? CK: It definitely helped with the design aspect of everything. More than anything, my degree in physics really taught me how to learn and how to have the discipline to really sit down and really figure stuff out. There is no class you can take to really learn the music industry or for mixing or for the technical stuff. A lot of it is just trial and error. 11: You guys did a remix with Pretty Lights for the sci-fi film Divergent, do you foresee yourselves doing more soundtrack work in the future? CK: We would love to. I think that could definitely lead to some really cool projects down the road. 11: You and Harrison met and formed Odesza in 2012. Within three years you went from playing venues in the Pacific Northwest and festivals like MFNW, to blowing up the festival scene and playing a sold-out world tour. How does that feel? CK: We have been touring pretty fast for about two and a half years now, coming home off and on. The response has been really good, the rooms have gotten a lot bigger, and everyone has been really supportive. 11: You guys often book multiple nights in each city, is this in response to the demand? CK: When we first started putting the tour together it was just one night. But the tickets just went so fast and people were obviously wanting more, so we added more.

21 | ELEVEN PORTLAND | www.elevenpdx.com


features national scene 11: Your live

Photo by Adinda Uneputty

CK: Well, starting

shows are definitely

out, our first album

different than your

Summer’s Gone was

studio work. Some

more of a project that

fans refer to the

Harrison and I put

shows as a magical

together in college,

experience, where

it wasn't meant to

everyone is dancing

be too serious. It just

and going crazy. What

grew from there. With

do you think it is

this album, In Return,

about this music that

we were definitely

packs in these very

trying to do different

involved, enthusiastic

stuff and make a more

crowds?

unified sound. In the turnaround we were always on the road, and working

CK: We have a fan base that is very loyal and pretty

on a lot of new material that year. It was always nice to

open minded, which is really refreshing. There are a lot

come home and be around family again, so that is a lot of

of special moments.

where the title came from. It was an ode to our friends and family that have been so supportive throughout the

11: Why did you name your latest album In Return, and how did that album grow from your previous album My Friends Never Die?

whole process. »

ODESZA PLAYS LIVE IN PORTLAND TWO NIGHTS THIS MONTH, DECEMBER 3 AND 4 AT ROSELAND THEATER

吀唀䔀匀䐀䄀夀 ㄀㈀⸀㄀㨀 刀伀匀䔀 䌀䤀吀夀 刀伀唀一䐀㨀 䨀伀匀䠀唀䄀 䴀䌀䌀䄀匀䰀䤀一 ⠀刀伀匀䔀䰀䤀吀 䈀伀一䔀⤀簀 䈀䔀一 圀唀䄀䴀䔀吀 ⠀䔀娀刀䄀 䈀䔀䰀䰀⤀簀䄀䐀䄀䴀 倀唀刀匀䤀一䜀䔀刀 ⠀䈀伀䐀夀 䠀伀䰀伀䜀刀䄀倀䠀䤀䌀⤀ ⴀ 㤀倀䴀⼀䘀刀䔀䔀 圀䔀䐀一䔀匀䐀䄀夀 ㄀㈀⸀㈀㨀 䠀䤀䐀䔀伀唀匀 刀䄀䌀䬀䔀吀 圀䤀吀䠀 䐀䨀 䘀䰀䤀䜀䠀吀 刀䤀匀䬀 ⴀ 㤀倀䴀⼀䘀刀䔀䔀 圀䔀䐀一䔀匀䐀䄀夀 ㄀㈀⸀㈀㨀 䴀䄀䰀䄀䌀䠀䤀 䜀刀䄀䠀䄀䴀簀䴀䄀吀吀䠀䔀圀 䘀伀唀一吀䄀䤀一 䄀一䐀 吀䠀䔀 圀䠀䔀刀䔀䄀䈀伀唀吀匀簀 吀䠀䔀 䰀伀一䜀 䔀堀倀伀匀唀刀䔀匀 ⴀ 㤀倀䴀⼀␀㔀 吀䠀唀刀匀䐀䄀夀 ㄀㈀⸀㌀㨀 堀刀䄀夀 䘀䴀 䄀一䐀 圀䔀 伀唀吀 䠀䔀刀䔀 䴀䄀䜀䄀娀䤀一䔀 倀刀䔀匀䔀一吀㨀 䔀倀倀簀一䔀䤀䰀 嘀伀一 吀䄀䰀䰀夀簀 䐀伀䐀䜀刀簀䴀䤀䌀 䌀䄀倀䔀匀簀䔀䰀吀伀一 䌀刀䄀夀簀嘀䔀刀䈀娀 䘀刀䤀䐀䄀夀 ㄀㈀⸀㐀㨀 䈀䰀䔀䄀䌀䠀 䈀䰀伀一䐀䔀 䐀唀䐀䔀匀簀䤀䌀䔀 儀唀䔀䔀一匀簀䬀䤀䰀䰀䔀䐀 䈀夀 䠀䔀䄀䰀吀䠀 ⴀ 㤀倀䴀⼀␀㔀 匀䄀吀唀刀䐀䄀夀 ㄀㈀⸀㔀㨀 刀䤀䌀䠀 䰀䄀夀吀伀一 ☀ 吀䠀䔀 吀刀伀唀䈀䰀䔀䴀䄀䬀䔀刀匀簀䈀䄀䐀 䄀匀匀䔀吀匀 ⴀ 㤀倀䴀⼀␀㜀 吀唀䔀匀䐀䄀夀 ㄀㈀⸀㠀㨀 刀伀匀䔀 䌀䤀吀夀 刀伀唀一䐀㨀 吀䠀䔀 䴀伀刀䄀䰀匀簀䬀夀䰀䔀 䴀伀刀吀伀一 ⠀伀䘀 吀夀倀䠀伀伀一⤀簀 䈀刀夀匀伀一 䠀䄀一匀䔀一 ⠀䘀伀䜀 䘀䄀吀䠀䔀刀⤀ ⴀ 㤀倀䴀⼀䘀刀䔀䔀 圀䔀䐀一䔀匀䐀䄀夀 ㄀㈀⸀㤀㨀 刀伀䜀唀䔀 䜀䤀䄀一吀簀吀䠀䔀 䘀伀唀刀吀䠀 圀䄀䰀䰀簀匀䴀䄀䰀䰀 䰀䔀䄀䬀匀 匀䤀一䬀 匀䠀䤀倀匀 ⴀ 㤀倀䴀⼀␀㔀 吀䠀唀刀匀䐀䄀夀 ㄀㈀⸀㄀ 㨀 匀吀唀一一䤀一䜀 刀䄀夀䜀唀一匀簀匀䔀䄀一䌀䔀 匀䌀䠀伀伀䰀簀䐀刀唀䜀匀吀伀刀䔀 䌀伀圀䈀伀夀 ⴀ 㤀倀䴀⼀␀㔀 䘀刀䤀䐀䄀夀 ㄀㈀⸀㄀㄀㨀  䘀刀䤀䐀䄀夀 ㄀㈀⸀㄀㄀㨀 䜀唀䤀䐀䔀匀 ⠀䰀䄀⤀簀䠀䄀刀吀 䄀一䐀 䠀䄀刀䔀簀匀圀䄀一匀䔀䄀 ⴀ 㤀倀䴀⼀␀㔀 匀䄀吀唀刀䐀䄀夀 ㄀㈀⸀㄀㈀㨀 䜀刀䔀䔀一䰀唀䌀䬀 䴀䔀䐀䤀䄀 䜀刀伀唀倀 倀刀䔀匀䔀一吀匀㨀  刀䄀匀䠀䔀䔀䐀 䨀䄀䴀䄀䰀簀䴀䤀䌀 䌀䄀倀䔀匀簀 䰀䄀一䜀簀䐀刀䄀䔀 匀䰀䄀倀娀 ⴀ 㤀倀䴀⼀␀㠀 吀唀䔀匀䐀䄀夀 ㄀㈀⸀㄀㔀㨀 刀伀匀䔀 䌀䤀吀夀 刀伀唀一䐀㨀 䠀唀吀䌀䠀 䠀䄀刀刀䤀匀 ⠀吀䠀䔀 吀䠀䔀刀䴀䄀䰀匀⤀Ⰰ 吀䈀䄀 ⴀ 㤀倀䴀⼀䘀刀䔀䔀 圀䔀䐀一䔀匀䐀䄀夀 ㄀㈀⸀㄀㘀㨀 夀䔀䔀娀䄀娀䔀䔀簀䘀䄀䰀䰀伀圀簀䬀䔀䔀倀䔀刀 䬀䔀䔀倀䔀刀簀䜀䄀刀䄀一娀唀䄀夀 ⴀ 㤀倀䴀⼀␀㔀 䘀刀䤀䐀䄀夀 ㄀㈀⸀㄀㠀㨀 伀䰀䐀 䨀唀一䤀伀刀簀䠀伀吀 圀伀一✀吀 儀唀䤀吀 ⴀ 㤀倀䴀⼀␀㔀 匀䄀吀唀刀䐀䄀夀 ㄀㈀⸀㄀㤀㨀 伀堀䌀䄀刀吀簀圀䔀䰀䐀簀䰀䄀匀吀 䜀䤀䄀一吀 ⴀ 㤀倀䴀⼀␀㜀 吀唀䔀匀䐀䄀夀 ㄀㈀⸀㈀㈀㨀  吀唀䔀匀䐀䄀夀 ㄀㈀⸀㈀㈀㨀 刀伀匀䔀 䌀䤀吀夀 刀伀唀一䐀㨀 倀䄀吀 䬀䔀䄀刀一匀 ⠀䈀䰀唀䔀 匀䬀䤀䔀匀 䘀伀刀 䈀䰀䄀䌀䬀 䠀䔀䄀刀吀匀⤀簀 吀伀倀䠀䔀刀 圀䄀䰀䈀䔀刀䜀 ⠀䐀䔀䄀䐀 吀䔀䔀吀䠀⤀簀䌀䠀刀䤀匀 匀䄀一吀䔀䰀䰀䄀 ⠀䌀䄀吀䌀䠀 ☀ 刀䔀䰀䔀䄀匀䔀⤀ ⴀ 㤀倀䴀⼀䘀刀䔀䔀 匀䄀吀唀刀䐀䄀夀 ㄀㈀⸀㈀㘀㨀 吀䠀䔀 吀䔀一一䔀匀匀䔀䄀一匀簀䌀䠀䄀䰀䰀䔀一䜀䔀刀 ✀㜀  ⴀ 㤀倀䴀⼀␀㔀 匀唀一䐀䄀夀 ㄀㈀⸀㈀㜀㨀 䈀䄀䈀夀 䬀䔀吀吀䔀一 䬀䄀刀䄀伀䬀䔀 ⴀ 㤀倀䴀⼀䘀刀䔀䔀 吀䠀唀刀匀䐀䄀夀 ㄀㈀⸀㌀㄀㨀 圀䔀 伀唀吀 䠀䔀刀䔀 䴀䄀䜀䄀娀䤀一䔀 一夀䔀 倀䄀刀吀夀 ⴀ 㤀倀䴀 匀唀一䐀䄀夀匀㨀 吀䠀䔀 䔀䄀刀䰀夀 䔀䄀刀䰀夀 䌀伀䴀䔀䐀夀 伀倀䔀一 䴀䤀䌀 ⴀ 㐀倀䴀 䘀刀䔀䔀 圀䔀䔀䬀䰀夀 䘀刀䔀䔀 䌀伀䴀䔀䐀夀 伀倀䔀一 䴀䤀䌀⸀ 匀䤀䜀一 唀倀 䄀吀 ㌀㌀ ⸀

䴀伀一䐀䄀夀匀㨀 䈀唀一䬀䔀刀 匀䔀匀匀䤀伀一匀 伀倀䔀一 䴀䤀䌀 ⴀ 㠀倀䴀⼀䘀刀䔀䔀 䴀伀一䐀䄀夀匀㨀 

伀倀䔀一 䴀䤀䌀 䠀伀匀吀䔀䐀 䈀夀 䰀䔀䔀 䄀唀䰀匀伀一 䄀一䐀 吀䄀䰀伀一 䈀刀伀一匀伀一⸀ 匀䤀䜀一唀倀 䄀吀 㜀㌀ ⸀ 匀䠀伀圀 㠀⸀ 

䴀伀一䐀䄀夀匀㨀 䔀夀䔀 䌀䄀一䐀夀 嘀䨀匀 ⴀ 㤀倀䴀⼀䘀刀䔀䔀

䴀唀匀䤀䌀 嘀䤀䐀䔀伀 刀䔀儀唀䔀匀吀匀 䘀伀刀 吀䠀䔀 匀伀唀䰀⸀ 匀䔀䰀䔀䌀吀 䘀刀伀䴀 䄀 匀吀伀唀吀 䌀䄀吀䄀䰀伀䜀℀

CHAIN — M AILLE . c o m www.elevenpdx.com | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 22


23 | ELEVEN PORTLAND | www.elevenpdx.com


6 Dread rock salon 7 tiny's coffee 8 bloom 9 nike factory store 10 Art a la carte 11 russel bbq

community

NEIGHBORHOOD OF THE MONTH NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd NE GRAHAM ST

5

NE GRAHAM ST

9

NE KNOTT ST

2

NE RUSSELL ST

3

NE KNOTT ST

NE RUSSELL ST

11 8

NE MLK JR BLVD NE BRAZEE ST

1. PERFECT DIVE

Billy Ray's Tavern - 2216 NE MLK

NE SACROMENTO ST

1

NE SACROMENTO ST

NE THOMPSON ST

NE TILLAMOOK ST

10

NE THOMPSON ST

6

NE TILLAMOOK ST

7

4

2. FEEL ACCOMPLISHED

Bardy Trophy - 2500 NE MLK

3. EN POINTE DANCEWEAR

The Leotard - 2432 NE MLK

BEST OF NE MLK BLVD

Location photos by Mercy McNab

4. RIDE WELL

Goods BMX - 2808 NE MLK

5. LOCAL BRUNCH

Bridges - 2716 NE MLK

6. TIGHT 'DOS

Dread Rock Salon - 2023 NE MLK

7. BREV-ISSIMO BEVS

Tiny's Coffee - 2031 NE MLK

8. DIMEBAG DISPENSER

Bloom Dispensary - 2637 NE MLK

9. GOT SWOOSH?

Nike Factory Store - 2650 NE MLK

10. ALL AGES ART BAR

Art ala Carte - 2106 NE MLK

11. DOWN HOME COOKIN' Russell Street BBQ - 325 NE Russell Street

www.elevenpdx.com | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 24


community literary arts Photo by Mercy McNab

ELEVEN: You recently returned from a tour of the U.S., Canada and the U.K. How does it feel to have the book out in the world? Patrick deWitt: The moments before a book’s publication, and then the early days of its existence, are surreal, but it’s a really good feeling to have it out there at last.

LITERARY ARTS Portland writer Patrick deWitt

O

n a recent Sunday afternoon, Patrick deWitt's desk was very neatly arranged. Maybe too neatly. A beautiful old black typewriter on the far left, an open book next to that, and a series of small notebooks on the right, carefully arrayed in two rows of three. When pressed, deWitt admitted he may have cleaned a bit before my arrival. DeWitt has published three novels: Ablutions, The Sisters Brothers and, just out this September, Undermajordomo Minor. The books have garnered rave reviews and, for The Sisters Brothers, a nomination for the Man Booker Prize. Both Undermajordomo Minor and The Sisters Brothers draw inspiration from years long gone by, but both books also glow with the sheen of some strange modernist polish. They owe a debt to old Westerns and European fairy tales, but they are wholly deWitt's in their uncanny way. He told me he had only recently moved into his new house, but he was starting to settle into and appreciate the new writing space. In the living room was an impressive collection of vinyl and an enormous new ficus plant. Beautiful green and cream wallpaper hung above darkly polished wood in the dining room. I tried to imagine what might come next from this space. I pictured something funny, strange and simultaneously new and old. That is to say, unmistakably deWitt's.

25 | ELEVEN PORTLAND | www.elevenpdx.com

11: I know that before Undermajordomo Minor you were working on a Wall Street novel inspired by Bernie Madoff that never quite came together. Jonathan Franzen also said recently that a similar project hadn’t come to fruition for him. What do you think the pull is for novelists? Should we still be expecting the great Madoff novel? PD: The pull of a character like Madoff? I’d thought it would be fascinating to try and humanize such a monumental swine. But the book never really took off, so it went in the garbage. I’m sure there’s a great book to be written on the subject; or probably it already has been. I’m not the one to write it, though.

"When you make a bath, and you test the temperature, and decide it needs more hot water, there's no debate about why you want more. You just know that you do." 11: I’m interested in that desire to humanize. Your last two books could be considered “genre” books, and a lot of people have an automatic stereotype for anything classifiable as such. Is your desire to humanize–to transcend the stereotypes–part of your attraction to writing genre fiction? PD: In hearing it echoed back to me, I feel suddenly that the word "humanize" is incorrect. It makes it sound like I had noble intentions, which, I didn’t. I think I just meant I was curious about a person like Madoff, whose goals and interests are so different than mine. Regarding my relationship and interest in genre, or genre-adjacent writing: it’s puzzling to me. My interests come from I-don’t-know-where, and I’ve never been one to worry about such mysteries. Actually the fact of my motivations being obscure to me is a large part of the appeal.


community literary arts 11: Undermajordomo Minor is modeled after old European fairy tales, but there’s no real “magic” or fabulist touches. But I also wouldn’t call it a “realist” novel. How did you toe the line between those two realities? PD: It seems I’m unable to describe my writing process with any sort of authority, partly because I’m not working from a verbal or intellectual place, but a wordless, instinctive place. When you make a bath, and you test the temperature, and decide it needs more hot water, there’s no debate about why you want more–you just know that you do. That’s my process in a nutshell: measuring things out to suit a mood. 11: So how does a new idea present itself to you? Are you on the lookout or is it a more generalized idea of leaving yourself open to inspiration? PD: Usually it’s some small detail or curiosity that catches my eye. The Sisters Brothers stemmed from a note I jotted down which read: Sensitive cowboys. Other times the starting point is more fleshed out. My girlfriend’s friend just had an unhappy experience with a rodent entering her apartment. Not knowing what to do, she called in friends, relatives, a boyfriend, and eventually an exterminator. It all went poorly, and as I heard the tale, I knew I wanted to write about it. Sometimes these jumping-off points deliver, but just as often they don’t turn up a thing. There’s no rhyme or reason to it. The trick is to keep looking. The law of averages is on your side; something has to pan out eventually. 11: A lot of Undermajordomo Minor is dialogue. It’s often wonderfully witty, strange and funny. Is this a more comfortable writing form for you? PD: I think I’m happiest working on runs of dialogue with two game characters. Nothing weighty has to be said, and the conversation doesn’t have to propel a plot. As often as not it amounts to little more than a sort of wonderfully purposeless human interaction. But that’s more than enough for me, luckily. 11: I know you’re currently fighting the good fight to keep the internet out of your home. Do you think that changes the world you encounter on a daily basis? How might that change what you end up writing about? PD: I feel alone again, which is nice, actually. For me, the internet represented the death of solitude, of solitary thought. This isn’t to say that the moment I cut it I was flooded in solid-gold notions, but things are quieter, now, and I do feel better situated to receive ideas. There aren’t any guarantees, but the hope is that the void will be filled with something worthwhile. 11: You read with some musical accompaniment from Michael Hurley at Wordstock this year. It was a great pairing. Does music play a regular role in your creative

process? Any dream musical line-ups you’d want to soundtrack your work? PD: I’m not what you would call a dynamic public speaker, so musical accompaniment brings a welcome outside element. Regarding the creative process: music is more something I turn to when I’m not writing. Dream soundtracks: playing with Hurley was like a dream for me. I’d like to collaborate with Brian Mumford, who does Dragging an Ox Through Water. I love Marisa Anderson’s work. Also my brother, Nick, who just moved to town. 11: I don’t want to spoil anything for folks who haven’t had a chance to get to Undermajordomo Minor yet, but there’s one section that is fairly sexually explicit and rather intense. Where did that scene come to you from and was there any indecision on your part about its inclusion? PD: It came to me early on, but it took months to get down to actually writing it. I knew it would disagree with certain of my readers, but ultimately I think it’s a necessary part of the landscape, and I never seriously considered cutting it. None of my editors proposed cutting it either, the angels. 11: You’ve had some luck with screenwriting, with the well-received indie-film Terri. Is The Sisters Brothers still floating around Hollywood somewhere? Would you care to take a stab at adapting your own novels? PD: The Sisters Brothers film is in good hands, with Jacques Audiard directing and John C. Reilly set to play Eli Sisters. Jacques is writing the screenplay, but I’d be game to give Undermajordomo Minor a whirl. » - JP Kemmick

LOCAL LITERARY EVENTS THE NEW PRIVACY 1 DECEMBER 5 | IPRC | 1001 SE DIVISION STREET Come hear a reading series comprised of some of the best local poets who are all graduates the Independent Publishing Resource Center Poetry Program. The IPRC has been the backbone of the DIY artistic and literary community since the late nineties, helping to launch the careers of many successful writers and poets.

LOGGERNAUT READING SERIES 2 DECEMBER 9 | RISTRETTO ROASTERS | 3808 N WILLIAMS AVENUE 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. » - Scott McHale

www.elevenpdx.com | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 26


community visual arts Photo by Mercy McNab

VISUAL ARTS Portland photographer Ariston Vallejos

I

n a world where it is easy to become overwhelmed with frequent tragedies or to emotionally shut off and drown in a sea of hum-drum daily routines, it can be difficult to pause and remember what is truly important. Ariston is a local multimedia artist with a background in photography, music performance and international studies, and someone who is attempting to offer that space for anyone willing to participate. His latest artistic venture is called, “The Important Project,” and his basis is not only to ask what’s important to you, but also to expose to you the diversity of what is important to many across our global community. ELEVEN: What started you down the path to your current project? Ariston Vallejos: The idea for The Important Project came about in 2010 when I was living in Japan for about five months working with kids of service families on a naval base in Yokosuka. The inspiration came from that experience and

27 | ELEVEN PORTLAND | www.elevenpdx.com

over the last five years, my idea has become more refined and evolved into what I am doing now. 11: Why are you asking what is important to people? Why that question? AV: My mission statement for the project is to bring people around the world a little bit closer by helping them find the truly important things in life. The core values for my project are that everyone's existence is important, everyone's voice matters, and everyone is welcome to participate. With this project, I am not only trying to create a book, but build a global community and space on the internet, via social media, where people can gather and converse about their ideas and interact with each other. I ask people what’s important to them as a reminder of what’s important to us all. Basically, my main goal is to highlight the beauty of human diversity. I am not curating in any way, I am not opposing them, I am not trying to ask leading questions or anything like that. I am just trying to get a raw snap shot of them in the moment that they are in, in that day, and to hear about what’s on their mind. Asking people the question, "what’s important" has become a really streamline way to get to know someone really quickly, even as a stranger on the street. 11: Why do you think diversity is so important for people to see?


community visual arts

Photos for the band Quilt

AV: I think that is the most important question about the

elderly, and women, anyone that isn’t the majority of what is

project and I think about that a lot. Diversity is life, without

represented in news and media, because diversity is about a

the diverse biological system the planet wouldn’t function. I

representation from everyone.

guess the most concrete answer is that things like life can’t happen if everything is uniform and there aren’t different

11: Do you ever disagree with what people have to say?

species, seasons and change. Also on the other side of the spectrum, artistically, diversity is what makes things

AV: Oh totally, yeah! I remember this one dude who

beautiful. As a consumer of art and life, things that are more

has a bunch of different doctorates in math and physics

diverse are more beautiful and interesting to me. Diversity

and is a really interesting person, had a response that got

is also important because if you have a whole bunch of

really dark. I think it is really important to disagree with

different people operating in different ways and doing

people. His response opened up for a really, deep, long, and

things differently there is an opportunity to learn. Another

interesting conversation, and it was really valuable to have

kind of priority for me with this project is to feature

that. Disagreement and dissent is not inherently bad, I think

demographics that are traditionally underrepresented in

it’s a positive thing as long as you can discuss it in a positive

popular media, such as people of color, LGBTQ folks, kids,

way.

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community visual arts 11: Why do you choose not to use any filters on your photographs? AV: For this project, I chose to shoot raw and without doing any type of editing. Sometimes I might do a very minor white balance correction of the photos so that they look nice all next to each other but that is the most that I do. That’s been a real challenge for me because I love to do artistic post production and I love to do wacky color layers. It’s been a really big learning experience for me as a photographer and an editor because it means I have to be really aware of my surroundings and really on point with my photography to get a really nice raw image. Also it’s been an exercise in not being such a perfectionist and just kind of letting the flow take over. If I don’t have a really nice, high-def image of a person then I am learning that that’s ok, I just want to capture them and whatever the environment is. 11: Do you feel like there is a common message since you always ask the same question? AV: That is a tough thing to answer, I am always looking for themes in things and I have divided it up into a lot of different categories, but I think if you boil down to what most of the people are saying it’s to try your best to be a kind person to others. There have been no two answers that have

been really similar, which I think is another cool thing about this project. That also goes hand in hand with the diversity theme and really highlights how every single person is different. While we are all thinking about different things as being important in our lives, those things are all kind of related. 11: How many will be in your book? Do you have a set number? AV: I don’t have a set number; it’s going to end up being what just feels right after my travels. But I think I have interviewed at least 300 people since I started actually hitting the streets and this last June was when I started photographing people. 11: Do you plan on your interviews by the day? AV: I like to plan to go to specific events, like Comic-Con was a really fun one, where people were in really awesome costumes. I am also planning on going to different festivals around the world like Holi in India, and to visit Japan again during the summer. I want to really showcase the different extremes of these cultures and things that people do. I am really interested in the celebrations and traditions that people have worldwide. Usually what I do is set aside one day a week to focus on meeting people and getting as many interviews as I can. 11: What’s important to you? AV: Something that I have realized with this project is that everything is important. Maybe you have to work to figure out why it is important, but everything has a story and a purpose. I think that if you examine anything at all in life you can find importance in it. Especially after asking hundreds of people what is important to them and hearing all of their wonderful answers there is no way that I can say that any one thing is important. When I print my book, in my forward I am going to focus a little more about specific important things, but I am saving that for when the book comes out. » - Lucia Ondruskova

FIND THIS ARTIST ONLINE WWW.PATREON.COM/THEIMPORTANTPROJECT FACEBOOK.COM/THEIMPORTANTPROJECT INSTAGRAM: THE_IMPORTANT_PROJECT

Please enjoy some sample photos from Ariston's "The Important Project" decorating our inside back cover this month.

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Eleven PDX Magazine December 2015  
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