MUSIC, COMMUNITY, AND CULTURE IN PORTLAND
ISSUE 62 | JULY 2016
INSIDE: BAT FOR LASHES | MILD HIGH CLUB | THANKS | FASCINATOR | BIFFY CLYRO | BED.
ELEVEN PDX MAGAZINE - VOLUME 6, ISSUE 2
TICKETS ON SALE AT
SUNDAY AUGUST 28 SATURDAY AUGUST 27
DURAN DURAN ICE CUBE
/ NATHANIEL / RATELIFF
STRFKR / & THE NIGHT SWEATS A$AP FERG / ANDREW W.K. / LIZZO THE COATHANGERS / KYLE CRAFT
TAME IMPALA / WEEN / DRIVE LIKE JEHU
UNKNOWN MORTAL ORCHESTRA PARQUET COURTS / SHEER MAG HOP ALONG
/ DIARRHEA PLANET / TENEMENT
ELEVEN PDX MAGAZINE VOLUME 6
THE USUAL 3 Letter from the Editor
ISSUE NO. 2
FEATURES Local Feature 13 bed.
3 Staff Credits
Cover Feature 17 NEW MUSIC
4 Aural Fix Margaret Glaspy Fascinator Mild High Club Great Good Fine Ok
7 Short List 7 Album Reviews Wave Collector Biffy Clyro Bat For Lashes Thanks
COMMUNITY Literary Arts 25 Portland author Joe Kurmaskie
Visual Arts 27 Portland artist mr Say
LIVE MUSIC 9 Know Your Venue Bunk Bar
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! Summer is here again, and it's gonna get sweaty! Here's a tiny survival guide of our top 11 ways to beat the heat in (or near) PDX this summer! (Category / Best Example) 11. Road Trip / Astoria 10. Ice Cream Shop / Fifty Licks 9. Pay-Pool / Penninsula Park 8. Local Lake / Trillium 7. Iced Coffee / Coava 6. Mighty River / Columbia - Willamette 5. Friendly Festival / Pickathon 4. Bar Patio / Apex 3. Floatin' n' Tubin' / Clackamas River 2. Neighborhood Park / Laurelhurst 1. Read ELEVEN / Anywhere Got something better? Let us know at email@example.com Cheers and stay cool! Â»
- Ryan Dornfeld, Editor in Chief
3 | ELEVEN PORTLAND | www.elevenpdx.com
EXECUTIVE STAFF EDITOR IN CHIEF Ryan Dornfeld firstname.lastname@example.org CREATIVE DIRECTOR Dustin Mills email@example.com SECTION EDITORS LOCAL FEATURE: Ethan Martin LITERARY ARTS: Scott McHale VISUAL ARTS: Mercy McNab GRAPHIC DESIGN Dustin Mills CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Brandy Crowe, Billy Dye, Sarah Eaton, Eric Evans, JP Kemmick, Kelly Kovl, Travis Leipzig, Samantha Lopez, Ethan Martin, Scott McHale, Lucia Ondruskova, Gina Pieracci, Ellis Samsara, Tyler Sanford, Stephanie Scelza, Matthew Sweeney, Erin Treat, Charles Trowbridge PHOTOGRAPHERS Eric Evans, Alexa Lepisto, Mercy McNab, Andrew Roles, Todd Walberg, Caitlin M. Webb COVER PHOTO Shawn McDonald
ONLINE Mark Dilson, Kim Lawson, Michael Reiersgaard, Chance Solem-Pfeifer GET INVOLVED firstname.lastname@example.org www.elevenpdx.com twitter.com/elevenpdx facebook.com/elevenmagpdx MAILING ADRESS 126 NE Alberta Suite 211 Portland, OR. 97211 GENERAL INQUIRIES email@example.com ADVERTISING firstname.lastname@example.org 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
up and coming music from the national scene
MARGARET GLASPY JULY 12 | MISSISSIPPI STUDIOS
I can’t quite figure out who Margaret Glaspy could be likened to. Upon first listen, I thought maybe Julie Doiron? Natalie Merchant? But then I stopped with the comparisons when I realized she’s an artist doing her own thing with a definite indie pop feel. The singer might be a young woman, but has a lifetime of things to say. Take one listen to her recently released first full album, Emotions and Math, and you’ll be left imagining the details of what happened to her in life thus far to produce this kind of artistic expression. Her unpretentious vocals pull you in for story time that flows from song to song. On “You and I” she wrecks someone with the lyrics, “You and I have been a mistake/I let it linger too long...” It’s hard to imagine what her music would sound like if she were to become blissfully happy. Until that happens we will continue to get these amazing albums, chock full of verbiage so intense, so accurate, you can’t help but relate to these feelings that most of us will experience in our lifetimes. What makes it relatable is her constant flipflopping that captures the pain and confusion happening inside.
FASCINATOR JULY 19 | BUNK BAR
Not all rises are meteoric; some share more similarities with building a snowman–start small, roll along, gain mass. Not many know this better than Johnny Mackay, longtime Australian indie rocker and most recently, the psychedelic, eclectic electronic producer behind Fascinator. Mackay has an affinity for the strange, a calling from some otherworldly entity that plants itself firmly into the spine of his creations. Look no further than his debut full length, Man, to immediately understand this bizarre seed.
Photo by Ebru Yilidz
Glaspy's music is best listened to in the most intimate of settings, e.g. a bonfire in your hipster friend’s backyard, or the coffee shop on your gentrified block. She looks and sounds like the roommate you had that walked around the house singing all the time, but you didn't mind and it was totally cool. What adds to her appeal even more is the fact that she's a college dropout who took initiative and persevered to stay true to her path. Tenacity. Yet another thing many of us can relate to. While the multi-instrumentalist is currently killing it, her music still has space for new sounds, and new feels. Keep an eye on Glaspy for your future emo indie needs. » - Kelly Kovl
Mackay is a fascinating character who gained traction in Melbourne as the vocalist of indie rock group Children Collide, who were active between 2005 and 2012 and had a nice little national following, being featured prominently on popular indie-centric Australian radio station Triple J. When it appeared to Mackay that the band was slowing down, he started producing as Fascinator, with his first EP Birth released in 2012. He quickly followed that up with another EP in 2013, titled Earth. These EPs never gained much traction with an audience, but they’re very good in their own right and allowed Mackay to discover his own style and punch up his producing chops, which leads us to 2016’s Man. It’s difficult to make the uncanny work, especially in electronic music, but Mackay’s experiments on Man pay off in spades. The result is a 12-track blend of psych, funk, dance and synth-pop, and it’s hard to say where his inspirations ultimately come from. The sound is new and unique, but not so far from what we’re used to that it’s abrasive. It’s fun, light-hearted and eccentric. Track “Oh Bukkake” is as strange in title as it is in sound, with a thunderous bass line and shrieking synths to make you feel on-edge. Did I mention the music video? Mackay created an entire dance routine around this song, and it’s 100 percent worth watching. Fascinator is on the rise, worth listening to, and deserves a lot of love and a larger following, and here's hoping Man can bring that to him. » - Tyler Sanford
www.elevenpdx.com | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 4
new music aural fix Brettin pulls off amazingly vibrant and complex arrangements with a nonchalant ease that must be maddening to the musicians out there that have spent years trying perfect a similar sound. Its perfection is in its sloppiness, precise where it needs to be. Not bad for a kid from the Midwest who played flute in the high school band. While similar in tone, Skiptracing is much more nuanced sonically and lyrically, and hinges on a loose storyline that, according to Brettin, follows a “private investigator attempting to trace the steps of the sound and spirit of American music.” Skiptracing will give you something new to listen to this summer while you’re floating down the river, hanging out at the beach, or doing absolutely nothing at all. It is the musical equivalent of a giant ball of astral jelly that has
MILD HIGH CLUB JULY 21 | HOLOCENE
been gaining strength since the early '70s. Just take a listen to the title track you’ll hear a definite AM radio influence, with streaks of Steely Dan and even George Harrison in there–a pretty good place to derive from. This style has
Alex Brettin is the slacker genius behind Mild High
been emulated before, but Mild High Club delivers it with
Club, who just last year released Timeline, a fantastic
such a hazy quirkiness as to make it purely their own. The
debut album that lead them to a country-wide tour with
effects, mixed with Brettin’s freewheeling vocals and guitar
Mac DeMarco, Mikal Cronin and Ariel Pink. They have
creates such a chilled-out, jazz lounge vibe that will likely
followed up with Skiptracing, continuing to produce music
induce a natural intoxication within the listener. They feel
that sounds like it was left out in a dank basement and
like a band that may have played in your living room for
developed a viscous film of funky goo that only enhances its
free beers, but could soon be a main attraction at a major
festival. » - Scott McHale
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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
5 | ELEVEN PORTLAND | www.elevenpdx.com
new music aural fix
GREAT GOOD FINE OK JULY 24 | DOUG FIR
If you have ever stepped out the doors of LaGuardia Airport in Queens, then you know the immediate rush of energy generated by the 8.4 million people in New York City. It's a phenomenon that makes you feel like you can create or be anything you want in this epicenter of American art. It should be no wonder, then, that NYC has turned out another artistic indie-pop band, yet the story of Great Good Fine Ok is still a peculiar one. Singer/songwriter Jon Sandler and multiinstrumentalist/producer Luke Moellman simply bumped into each other on the street and decided to make music–then in one night created their internet smash-hit, “You’re The One For Me.” It's a story as simple as it is miraculous. Mathematically, there are 2.6 million people living in NYC’s Brooklyn borough. For perspective, if they were visible stars in the sky, they’d be 285 times more likely to select each other randomly than crossing paths on the streets of Brooklyn. I am not sure what the odds are of writing a coherent song, but I know going from meeting to writing a hit tune in a single
night is nothing short of genius–part their own, part belonging to fortune. For some, pop music is equivalent to “shallow music.” As university graduates in music, Sandler and Moellman infuse academic depth in their artistic endeavors by creating songs parallel to Phoenix, M83 and Passion Pit. They are currently working on their first album to be released by Neon Gold. » - Billy Dye
QUICK TRACKS A “YOU’RE THE ONE FOR ME” The silky smooth synth-pop jam that put Great Good Fine Ok on the map. Complete with an official full length music video worth at least a hearty belly chuckle.
B “TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT” A tantalizing musical movement that will make your heart hairs stand on end. Also, complete with a rad official music video that’s nothing short of mesmerizing.
www.elevenpdx.com | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 6
new music album reviews
between the trees, his album truly is an archive of everyday noises. What makes this album impressive though, is how he finds the rhythm in that one captured detail, creates a melody, and transforms it into a song. He turns his samples into downtempo progressions that flow as natural and
THIS MONTH’S BEST
easy as breathing. As the album itself
progresses, a search for something
L LOCAL RELEASE
more spiritual takes over. Songs like “The Mouse Shaman,” “Sacred Struggle” and “Divine Calculation” become
Short List Blink-182 California Metronomy Summer 08 Thee Oh Sees Live In San Francisco Kenny Chesney Some Town Somewhere The Julie Ruin Hit Reset MSTRKRFT Operator Snoop Dogg The Return of Doggystyle
L Wave Collector
Catalog of Stolen Worlds Self-released
Wave Collector is the local experimental electronic project of Neal Wright, whose debut full length, Catalog of Stolen Words, came out early this month. Wright is that dude who walks around with a recording device, taking inspiration from any kind of sound that piques his ears. Whether it be a bag of chips crackling under someone’s hands, a conversation he's engaged in, or a simple breeze
On first listen, it’s easy to make Chrome Sparks and Boards of Canada. But a song like “Ice Enchantment” resembles the latest work from Moderat, while the spiritual nature of the album parallels work by The Human Experience. Wave Collector and Catalog of Stolen Words play (and play well) on the idea that good art transforms the everyday experience and how one single moment can create a rippling impact. » - Gina Pieracci
After listening to the album Ellipsis
Freaks of the Sea Mercurial
by the Scottish trio, I was able to admit that this is a reasonably decent album.
Inter Arma Paradise Gallows
They have very few pretentions about them. What is surprising and somewhat
Blesst Chest Wish We Were There
whistle, click and chime. comparisons to artists like Gold Panda,
Chevelle The North Corridor
almost ritualistic as their melodies
astonishing is their ability to take all of the introspective, haywire confusion
Good Charlotte Youth Authority
that we all go through on a daily basis, then transform it into an extroverted
The Bouncing Souls Simplicity
expression that nails our collective chaos right on the head.
The sound is a collection of upbeat,
Biffy Clyro Ellipsis Warner Brothers Records
7 | ELEVEN PORTLAND | www.elevenpdx.com
When faced with the assignment of reviewing a band named Biffy Clyro, and looking upon the album cover to find three grown men completely naked in the fetal position I was admittedly caught in the self-righteous dilemma of judging a book by its cover, thinking, “What the fuck is this?!” And not in an intrigued, interested way.
slightly punk, rock 'n' roll, dancy, indie rock with just enough hard-edged timing that adds some much needed style. “Wolves of Winter” kicks off the album with a roaring optimism. “Re-arrange” is actually a really well executed and thought-out love song that even the most jaded of us can appreciate. “On A Bang” is relatively hard and dancy at the same time, and sounds like the Foo Fighters if they were really cool. Hard task to pull off. » - Ellis Samsara
new music album reviews
Bat For Lashes The Bride Parlophone Records Bat For Lashes’ newest release, The Bride, was born from a short film for a collaborative project called Madly, a series of six short films about the different incarnations of love. A concept album through and through, The Bride is as narrative as it is musical. The narrative of the album follows the titular bride through the days
No Mercy in the Mountain Self-released
With raging instrumentals and icy vocals, Thanks slithers its way through No Mercy in the Mountain, the latest from the dark soul rock 'n' roll sextet out of PDX. If it’s possible to be confidently angst-filled, Thanks manages to nail that, alternatively keeping you on edge, but comfortably within its folds. 2014’s Blood Sounds firmly established the group as deft navigators of grim instrumental lines
before her wedding, and then into the chapel where she learns her future husband has died. From this point, The Bride is a tale of self-discovery, awash in grief, with the hope of moving on. Within this framework, singer and multi-instrumentalist Natasha Khan is fearless, playing into the emotional tropes of romance and despair with glistening deftness. Album opener, “I Do” is saccharine and syrupy with lyrics “tomorrow you will take me for your bride/and all of the grey skies will blow away,” sang in Khan’s angelic vibrato. In an instant she captures the excitement, the nerves, the overwhelming romance we expect without feeling disingenuous. Perhaps the most impressive feat in Khan’s understanding of the tragic world she’s created is in the songs following “In God’s House,” where the character learns of her husband’s death. Khan keenly interprets the aimless nature of grief and the path to recovery. “I Will Love Again” and “In Your Bed,” two back-to-back songs
and sardonic lyricism. No Mercy sees the band playing it relatively straight, but remaining equally compelling. Lead singer Jimi Hendrix’s vocal prowess anchors the tracks throughout, allowing the nuanced guitar stylings and merciless bass lines to power up and down as necessary. Lead single “Bad Tattoos” jumps and writhes as Hendrix does her version of Weiland growls, hardening and softening with the beat, and when the drums kick into a little up-tempo shuffle, the energy rockets into a satisfying climax. “Lost Magic” is a mellower take on what Thanks would sound like as a blues outfit, and Andrew Hanna’s guitar appropriately paces the track with inky licks, demonstrating an excellent understanding of when to press through and when to fade. Garrett Brown’s bass work–a notable standout throughout the album–lays an excellent foundation for the noticeably conscious song structure to stand out. The synergy between Brown and drummer Drew Sprouse is palpable. The meaty tom work and timely fills allow Brown to present his
near the end of the album are a perfect example. The heavy, reluctant bass of “I Will Love Again,” perfectly mirrors the timid hope reflected in the lyrics, “One of these days/one of these nights/I will love again.” Listening, you feel, alongside the bride, that moving on is possible in whatever small way. But immediately following that, “In Your Bed” insinuates a step backward into despair as Khan’s tragic soprano laments, “There’s a cyclone blowing through my head/I just want to be in your arms instead.” As a recommendation, although it’s an investment in time, listen to The Bride in its entirety twice. Listen once for the musicality, to appreciate the low synths, simple rhythms and the sky-high notes Khan hits unexpectedly. But after that, listen for the story contained in the lyrics, for the depth of the character and the moments of brutally relatable sorrow. » - Sarah Eaton
own muscular lines without fear of overpowering. If Hendrix is the soul of Thanks, Sprouse is the heart–pulsating and life affirming. Although less sonically present from track-to-track, Noah Jay-Bonn’s keys offer subtle variations, turning songs that might be straight-ahead dirty rock into something more tonally interesting. Hanging in the background and fleshing out chord structures, cellist and back-up vocalist Lilly Maher brings an additional dimension of musicality that leads Thanks down paths that might have gone unexplored as a straight four-piece. “I’ll Try” features perhaps the album’s most earwormy slice, with a clean, repetitive hook from Hanna bookending a simple but vocally gripping chorus from Hendrix. It’s indicative of the flexibility hidden behind the layers of aggression that live on the surface of each track. At first glance, No Mercy in the Mountain is a rock album, but don’t be deceived; Thanks proves that what’s really interesting is available for those who are ready to listen between the lines. » - Charles Trowbridge
www.elevenpdx.com | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 8
Photo by Andrew Roles
KNOW YOUR VENUE Bunk Bar
efore there was a Bunk Bar, Matt Brown worked as a bar manager with New York-trained chef Tommy Habetz in the kitchen of a Portland restaurant. Later, their skills would be complemented by the addition of New Orleans' sous chef Nick Wood. But Brown was getting worn out with the blasé attitude of swirling wine glasses and using food and beverage to up class status for a few hours. Citing a need for “a more honest exchange with the world," he left the bar, and went on to help develop the music program at Rontoms, while also playing in bands and running a record label. Soon Habetz and Wood were also ready to try something different. “Tommy told me he had this idea for a sandwich shop; it would be rock and roll themed,” Brown says. “We wanted to make
ourselves do something, but didn't have any money. So we had to learn how to scrounge up and ask for help to get started, like 'hey we’ve got this dream that we’re trying to do.'” It went well. Since the first Bunk Sandwiches opened in eight years ago in 2008, their business has become a small sandwich empire, expanding to a total of seven locations (six in Portland, one in Williamsburg, Brooklyn) and a mobile Bunk truck. The menus vary by location, but favorites like the Pork Belly Cubano and bar snacks like the Mole Tots reign supreme in the reviews. Plus, the culinary work of Habetz and Wood have received accolades, like being listed among “Simple Acts Of Sandwich Genius” in Food & Wine Magazine. But a main component of the “Indie Rock Sandwich Shop” plan was always music. Once they got comfortable with the initial Morrison St. location they began to scout for a new space where they could have a bar and live music venue. That would become Bunk Bar on Water Ave., located in the Central Eastside Industrial District, largely characterized by businesses adapted from old warehouse and manufacturing buildings. Bunk Bar is a part time venue, meaning there isn’t a show every night, but booker Tony Prato brings in an eclectic supply of local, independent and internationally touring musicians.
Local band The Ghost Ease playing Bunk Bar. Photo by Todd Walberg
9 | ELEVEN PORTLAND | www.elevenpdx.com
Photo by Andrew Roles
July’s shows include local band Genders, psych outfit Vinyl Williams and Nicholas Allbrook of Pond and Tame Impala. “Go down there on any afternoon, and you’ll see it’s just a sandwich shop,“ Prato says. “The stage is created and taken apart for every single show. We try to keep it easy, and do a lot with very little. It’s a good room, and it seems to attract the kind of bands that we want.” And the name? Bunk is a nod to the iconic TV detective “Bunk” Moreland of The Wire, but it also serves as a joke. “We’re kind of calling bullshit on trying too hard in the industry," Brown says. “It’s more about having a good time and sending great sandwiches out into the world.” » - Brandy Crowe
www.elevenpdx.com | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 10
live music JULY
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CRYSTAL BALLROOM 1332 W BURNSIDE
Ghost Bath (Lola's Room) Lawrence (Lola's Room) Soul Asylum (Lola's Room) Sam Outlaw (Lola's Room) Ghostface Killah | Raekwon | Mic Capes
8 NW 6TH 8 Too $hort 22 NW Hard Rock Invitational 2 830 E BURNSIDE
Ladyhawke | Pillar Point King Black Acid | Fanno Creek | Johanna Warren Marissa Nadler | Muscle & Marrow | Wrekmeister Harmonies
Little Tybee | The Mondegreens | The Fourth Wall The Hill Dogs | The Harmed Brothers | Jeffrey Martin
PEARL OLD TOWN 2
11 | ELEVEN PORTLAND | www.elevenpdx.com
128 NE RUSSELL
theXplodingboys | Love Vigilantes | Black Celebration Life During Wartime | Garcia Birthday Band Jon Bellion | Sonreal Crystal Castles Streetlight Manifesto | Kemuri | Dan Potthast Us The Duo | Gardiner Sisters
3939 N MISSISSIPPI
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Mattress | Coronation | Dommengang Thanks | Moon By You | Rugby Wooden Indian Burial Ground | Lonesome Shack Health | Phantoms | Eastghost Noam Pikelny: One Man, One Banjo, One Joke Wheeler Walker Jr. | Birdcloud The Miscreants Jump Jack Sound Machine | Chanti Darling DJs Ducktails | The Lavender Flu Margaret Glaspy Fear of Men | Puro Instinct | Patricia Hall Willis Earl Beal | Jandek Culture Shock | World/Inferno Friendship Society Tango Alpha Tango | Lemolo | Snowblind Traveler Malt Ball Paul Cauthen | King Cardinal Parker Millsap | Travis Linville The Lonesome Billies | Dick Stusso Woods | Cian Nugent | The Lavender Flu Laura Gibson On An On | Sego Yoni & Geti | Ant'lrd Richard Buckner The Tillers | McDougall Moving Units Presents The Sounds of Joy Division Blesst Chest | Hot Victory | Plankton Wat Leroy Bell & His Only Friends
DOW NTO WN
Rick Bain & The Genius Position | The Hugs | The Early Stuff
We Are Scientists Boss Hog | Hurry Up Wye Oak | Tuskha Brothers & Sister 15-16 Portland Cello Project: Dance Party In Purple 17 New Madrid | Hosannas 19 The Double Clicks | Danielle Ate The Sandwich 20 Inter Arma | Withered | Norska 22 Wand 23 Honeyhoney | Korey Dane 24 Great Good Fine OK 25 Benjamin Francis Leftwich | Vikesh Kapoor 26 The Mystery Lights | Psychomagic | Love Cop 27 John Brown's Body 29 Aubrie Sellers 30 Satan's Pilgrims | The Boss Martians | The Sellwoods
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live music HOLOCENE
1001 SE MORRISON
600 E BURNSIDE
1800 E BURNSIDE
D. BLV Y D AN
1300 SE STARK
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Deerhoof | Skating Polly | Savila 7 Buckethead 9 Fred & Toody Cole of Dead Moon 15 M. Ward 16-17 The Jayhawks | Fernando 20 Toad The Wet Sprocket | Rusted Roof 21 The Wailin' Jennys 22-23 Pure Bathing Culture 24 Oh Pep! | Sunbathe 25 The Psychedelic Furs | The Church 26 Marisa Anderson | Mouth Painter 29 Madeleine Peyroux 31
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Big Thief Little Scream Genders | Divers | Public Eye Nicholas Allbrook | Fascinator
426 SW WASHINGTON
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The Early Early Comedy Open Mic (Sundays) Hosannas | Lungs & Limbs | Eldren | Darkswoon The Jim Creek Band Lovejoy | Sap Laughter | Mr. Wrong Chugger | Rambush | Mirepoix | Krista Michaela This Feels Terrible XRAY FM + We Out Here Mag present: The Thesis Happy Dagger | Extra Spooky | Moondreamzzz | Boreen Will St. John Surf Stones | Penalty Kick Boyslut | Naked Hour | Matthew Ward Why It Evolves | Nine Dice | Black's Beach Joshua Powel & The Great Train Robbery | Dana Bouy Joel Medina Keeper Keeper | Each Both Sophia Bass & Mikaela Bailey | Consious Nest Baby Ketten Karaoke Old Outfits | The Family Mansion Duke Evers Mermaid In China | The Dancing Plague Of 1518 Murder Bait | Lore City | Common Sterling
1028 SE WATER
2 6 7 13 14 20 21 27 28
Sun Angle | Ice Queens | Ghost Frog Tiburones | Séance Crasher King Radio | Leo London | Matt Buetow Ezza Rose | Laura Palmer's Death Parade The Lower 48 | Monarques
Love Ball: Benefit for Orlando Victims Copy | Wave Collector | Dylan Stark Yumi Zouma | Calm Candy Mount Joy | Little Star | Oh Rose Chanti Darling | SassyBlack | Blossom Pop+Puppetry: Lola Buzzkill | Thanks | Rio Grands Mild High Club | Sun Angle | Boone Howard The Hugs | Space Shark | Ellis Pink Sleeping Wolf | Lorna Dune | The Pearls
2026 NE ALBERTA
White Night | Dark/Light | Public Eye Spankbank TV Heads | Souvenir Driver | Meringue Pinkwash | Cockeye | The Bedrooms The Exquisites | Naked Hour | Mr. Bones
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www.elevenpdx.com | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 12
features Photo by Mercy McNab
JULY THE KNOW (CONTINUED) 10 11 13 14 15 17 19 20 21 22 23 26 29 30
Rockoon | Panzer Beat | Twelve Gardens Heaven For Real | Havania Whaal | Golden Hour Cyclops | Sloppy Kisses | Mr. Wrong | DJ Ken Dirnap Down Gown | Killed by Health | New Modern Warfare Attalla | Queen Chief | Lightning Rules Teeph | Gaytheist | Sól Fastplants | Low Culture | Bipolar Transmission Hey Lover | The High Curbs | Ladywolf | On Drugs Mini Blinds | Love, Fuck | Seance Crasher Holy Sons | Charles Salas-Humara Irata | Mammoth Salmon | SkullDozer Dubais | Mattress Butanna 100 Watt Horse | Husky Boys
ALBERTA STREET PUB 13 1036 NE ALBERTA 1 2 5 6 9 23 27
Beach Fire Soul Deception Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal | Nathan Earle Spleens | Arrows in Orbit | Lindsay Clark SloeGinnFizz The Sextet | Two Planets The Sam Chase Solo | Austin Quattlebaum
THE SECRET SOCIETY 14 116 NE RUSSELL 8 9 15 16 22 23 24 29 30 31
Fernando | Those Pretty Wrongs | Parson Red Heads Glass of Hearts | The Broad Strokes | My Siamese Twin Jenny Don't & The Spurs | Leslie Lou & The Lowburners The Frequence | The Faints | Diagonal The Local Strangers | Kelsey & The Next Right Thing Mission Spotlight | Vacilando | Underwhelming Favorites Miller & Sasser | Secret Emchy Society | John Shepski Melao de Cuba Salsa Orchestra Patina | Joy Tribe Wrinkles | Small Million
WHITE EAGLE 15 836 N RUSSELL 1 2 3 5 6 7 8 9 11 12 13 15 16 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 27 28 29 30
Garcia Birthday Band Sun Machine | Blind J. Wakins Andy Goessling TK Revolution Jam | Norman Sylvester Bigfoot Mojo Sawtooth | Mount Ever Hugo Hans | Ezra Bell Gamma Reapeater | The Mercury Tree David Luning Joshua Powell & The Great Train Robbery | Noah Mo Phillips | Your Future Lovers | Getting There Sean Flinn & The Royal We | Rococode Lewi Longmire & The Left Coast Roasters | James Low The Plutons The Americans | Those Willows | Jack Martin & Laura Curtis New Breed Brass Band Tom Rhodes Brad Parsons Sin City Ramblers | My Siamese Twin Radio Stranger | Mainstreet Moan | The Battlefield Jim Lauderdale Serg Severe | Matty | Stewart Villain Paul Lesinski Captain Wails & The Harpoons | Stolen Rose
13 | ELEVEN PORTLAND | www.elevenpdx.com
fter several years out in the wild, pursuing the hopes of success and recognition that all young musicians harbor,
Alex and Sierra Haager, the married duo of bed., have finally settled for
ELEVEN: What genre would you guys associate with yourselves? Sierra Haager: [to Alex] You answer. Alex Haager: We always tell people it’s slow-fi. But I don’t really know. Alt? Alternative? '90s alternative punk? 11: Why would you say slow-fi?
being unintentionally hip by doing the sometimes unobvious thing: being themselves. The pair write music that is original and genuine, with brief, vulnerable moments that speak to the uncertain identity of young, white, married (or unmarried) people as the narratives through which our parents
AH: Well, “Bother” was the first song we ever wrote and recorded together. And it’s super lo-fi, and it’s super slow. SH: The thing about slow-fi is it’s a combination of lo-fi and slow, and then we just smashed them together. 11: Is that what’s going on there?
nailed themselves to this world wear thin. If growing up is all about becoming who you really are, then although bed.’s newest EP Klickitat is happily inspired by '90s grunge and shoegaze, it’s clear that these two are over pandering to trends and chasing the perfect mold for success; instead, they're writing the music that makes them happiest.
SH: I mean you seem like a smart guy. 11: Well if you guys consider yourself slow-fi, what other bands could identify with that label? SH: I think Low. They’re not really lo-fi though.
AH: Maybe Granddaddy. SH: Well, I think in the UK they use lo-fi to just mean indie rock. AH: Garage. SH: It’s much less recording-style specific.
11: Do you have her on your mind? SH: Ok wait. Can I say something? AH: You can totally just answer this question. SH: So I remember when you wrote this song. We did this really stupid
11: Is that a characteristic part of slow-fi for you guys, the recording process? SH: I mean we’ve made some pretty bad recordings. 11: The recordings on the new EP... I wouldn’t call them bad. SH: No, no, well those are done at practice space studios and home studios, they’re pretty good. I dunno, I don’t think we really spend that much time thinking about it. The last thing any songwriter wants is to be confined by a genre. And also, genres are stupid. But anyone who listens to our band gets a sense pretty quick that we’re not a very fun band. 11: In your first two songs, “The Rule” and “Fremm,” the lyrics seem to revolve around two people. There’s a little bit of a dynamic where one person’s talking to the other one, or referring to the other one. You two are married, right? SH: Yeah. 11: Do you feel like you draw upon your marriage experience for lyrical inspiration? SH: Not on this record. We just finished a full-length that probably has a lot of growing up. When you get married you grow up really fast. That’s one of the things. You can’t be an asshole anymore. But I think that impression is given because the boy-girl vocal contrast is really different. You can assume that it’s mostly just first-person though. We like the way it sounds.
thing. We moved to Eugene for like six weeks, maybe like two years ago, and hated it so much because it was terrible and our house had giant spiders in it. It was the stupidest thing we’ve ever done. It was totally my idea. And we basically fought the whole time because it was a million degrees, and we had allergies. It was terrible. And I feel like Alex wrote that during that period as a way of being nice to me, and talking about “we still love each other, after all these things.” [laughing.] AH: We actually forced ourselves to write those songs over the course of two days. And we went in separate rooms, and wrote the songs alone, and came back downstairs and sorted through
8 NE KILLINGSWORTH
Dan Phelps | Cerberus Peter Rainbeau | Dana Buoy Ladywolf | Marcy's Band | Wave Action Cash Pony | Landlines | LKNPF Coastlands | Alex Pinto's Lift Kilt | Noah Bernstein The Lovely Lost | Dad Works Hard | Lucas Biespiel Ezra Bell | Livy Conner Amenta Abioto | Elton Cray | Uncool | Robyn Bateman Tony Barba | Tricapitate Kevin Hufnagel | Ron Varod | Ryan Miller Dr. Amazon | Electro Kraken | Sea Charms RLLRBLL | The Tenses | Stunning Rayguns Ilyas Ahmed | Sarah Louise | Itasca Tony Dutcher Arrington de Dionyso | John Krausbauer | Alto | Dolphin Midwives Plastic Harmony Band | Trumans Water Voices | Cynthia Nelson Band | Amenta Abioto
HAWTHORNE THEATRE 1507 SE 39TH
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Battle For Warped Tour Round 3 Azealia Banks Gorilla Music Showcase Battle For Warped Tour Round 4 Asher Roth & Larry June Ne Obliviscaris | Black Crown Initiate | Starkill | Othrys Otep Warren G Battle For Warped Tour Finals
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11: Your guys’ music, perhaps unintentionally, has its thumb on the pulse of some cultural vibe that seems really current right now. There’s a touch of restless angst, and also this restless daydreaming aspect to it a little bit. Do you feel like you’re doing something that people relate to? SH: I feel like you just set us up to sound like assholes. 11: Really? SH: Because we have to talk now about how people like our music, and only assholes talk about how people like your music. 11: Do you think people like your music? SH: I think some people like it.
SH: Umm, maybe I can tell you why I like it? So when you started making music and you’re young, like
AH: Just talking to myself (laughing)… just looking in the mirror…
TURN TURN TURN
11: Why do you think they like it? 11: But Alex, so on “Fremm” when you’re singing “I’ve got a friend/who wears my clothes,” are you…
Ira Glass says, you emulate. You make stuff because you have good taste, but
232 SW ANKENY
Boosegumps | Microsoft Saint | Cop & Speeder The Upper Strata | Snail Mate | Sea Green Devils Pie w/DJ Wicked KimberlyCordray|GalenBallinger|KeemaKiewel|RobBonds Paper Gates | Rilla | Human Ottoman Signal 17 Super Brown Tiger Breaks | Small Million DJ Bourbon Biscuit My Body Is An Ashtray | Xiphoid Process | Mike Moldy Mick Arrell
ALADDIN THEATER 3017 SE MILWAUKIE
Lee Ann Womack Judy Collins Northwest String Summit Kickoff Party The Fixx Hayes Carll | Ashleigh Flynn Marcia Ball Riders In The Sky Savoy Brown fea/Kim Simmonds Ozomatli Asleep At The Wheel
THE GOODFOOT 2845 SE STARK
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Aniana | Gene Avaro Jr. & The Family Rumpke Mountain Boys Wayne Horvitz's Zony Mash Cha Wa Manimal House Presents: Dazed & Confused
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www.elevenpdx.com | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 14
SH: What we ended up making was a lot hipper than what we were trying to do before. AH: Right. Like when we stopped thinking about it so much, it came together more naturally.
JULY THE GOODFOOT (CONTINUED) 16 21 23 27 28 30
McTuff Sneaky Pete & The Secret Weapons | Cycles Otis Heat | Rose City Thorns The Kitchen Dwellers Skerik's Bandalabra Garcia Birthday Band
21 21 CLUB 2035 NE GLISAN
9 Die Robot | The Hyenas | Vivid Sekt
THEATER 22 STAR 13 NW 6TH 6 7 8 9 16 24 28
Other LIves Spawnbreezie | House of Shem | Loa Pole'o Neil Hamburger | JP Inc Mark Lanegan | Sean Wheeler Down In Bridgetown Live fea/Speaker Minds Ivardensphere | Cyanotic | Iszoloscope BJ The Chicago Kid | Elhae 29-30 Portland Psych Fest 31 God Module | Dismanteld | Voicecoil
Photo by Eric Evans
11: That’s interesting to hear. I mean it could either be an intentional effort or it could just be the natural progression of where you’re at. But it sounds like this is the music you guys would be playing regardless of any outside pressure.
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!
you’re not good at making stuff yet. But
SE LADD'S 1937 SE 11th Ave (97214) 503.206.7552 | thefirkintavern.com
you’ll get to step out of emulating and
you can show off your taste and that indicates that there’s somewhere good maybe for you to go, and if you keep doing it for long enough eventually step into being creative at some point.
STREET SALOON 23 ASH 225 SW ASH
So, I think when we both moved here,
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had sort of gotten to this place where
J. Diggs | Rydah J Klyde | Masta X-Kid | Rob Mack | MDot80 Juliet Tango | Mr. Misery | Law Boss Judicator | Tangra | Excruciator | Sanctifyre The Fabulous Miss Wendy | Top Down | The Ransom Floating Pointe | Echo Pearl Varsity | P.S. | The City Pines JR Soapbox | Jeff Martinez | Stumblebum Black Halo The Heavy Eyes Mouthbreather | Salo Panto | Garanzuay | Les Symbolistes Battle Axe Massacre | Kraniul Saw | Eroder | Towers Green Jelly | Headless Pez | God Bless America Dan & Manfred | Miracle Dolls | Heart Like War Keith Cameron | John Underwood Kunk AdventHorizon|RedForman|TrickSensei|TheMercuryTree Boy Hits Car Nails Hide Metal | Internal State | Plastic Shadow Junkyard Jesse | Aux78 Load B | Monster's Ink | Ugly Tarantino | AhhLu Rare Elephant Gun Riot | Earth To Ashes
24 3341 SE BELMONT
THE LIQUOR STORE
2 Waves fea/Go Freek 6 The Ransom | Slutty Hearts | Dartgun & The Vignettes 19 The Shivers | The Siren & The Sea
PANIC ROOM 25 THE 3100 NE SANDY 6 8 10 13
Salo Panto | Under The Antlers | Les Symbolistes Falls of Rauros | Wayfarer | Barrowlands | Iron Scepter Sewercide | Nekro Drunkz | Witch Vomit Dragged Into Sunlight | Primitive Man | Cult Leader
26 DANTES 350 W BURNSIDE 1 2 8 9
Foreign Talks | Kid Indigo | AstralOG | 9th Chakra The Slants Redwood Son | Hailey Verhaalen | Redray Frazier The Dickies | The Queers | My New Vice
15 | ELEVEN PORTLAND | www.elevenpdx.com
and we started playing together, we both
SH: It’s definitely the kind of music we have always been listening to. See, but I think you touched on something interesting culturally, because there are so many bands right now that have this really heavy, like '90s plus, like '90s times a fucking billion. 11: Shoegaze and grunge are crushing it right now.
our lives were fulfilling in other ways, and we no longer identified as young people struggling to have a band that people liked. It’s not that we stopped caring because we love making music. But the external element of it stopped being a major factor in what we were making. Like, for example, the band that I had before was an electronic pop project that I did with a guy in Brooklyn,
SH: Exactly. And I think it's because people who grew up listening to those records are coming of age and are learning how to make good records. We both grew up with older siblings. I had an older stepsister who showed me Sonic Youth. Alex is the youngest of three guys. I think we both have 10-year-old music tastes.
and it was really important to me that the songs be incredibly accessible and simplistic and fun. And Alex was in a very, very hip group, like ukuleles and keyboards. We were both just really trying to do a thing. And I think when we started playing together we stopped needing to do a thing and just started playing music together. AH: I think we were able to start drawing on the influence of records that we actually liked too, instead of thinking about what would be the coolest thing to do that year. SH: Right. Yeah. And it sort of backfired. Because people really like the records that we love. AH: It backfired in a good way. Photo by Eric Evans
AH: I was obsessed with Nirvana from nine until 12.
amount of time and recording them all. Cause like, the EP, the oldest song on it we released two years ago. So it’s not an
11: What part of the Portland music scene do you guys find yourself falling into? What bands do you bill with?
exact portrayal of who we are right now. SH: I have a thing about the EP that’s kind of interesting. I think three of the songs deal with sort of the psychology
SH: We really love Blowout, Little
of being a growing up person in a band.
Star, Genders. I guess the Tender Loving
Like “The Rule” and “Wayward” and
Empire scene. They obviously work with
“Boys." They’re kind of about being
a lot of different artists, but I feel like
really sensitive, and it’s just like, being
they’ve been really supportive to what
in a band is really hard. Attention is
we do. We’re releasing this EP on Bug
hard, and disappointment is hard, and
Hunt, which is a subsidiary to Tender
there’s a lot of that when you play music.
Loving Empire. The guy who runs that is our drummer. [Tyler Ferrin.] AH: Who’s also in Typhoon.
AH: It’s like a lot of the things you want really badly in being a musician can be the things that bum you out about being a musician too. » - Ethan Martin
11: What did you guys not achieve on this EP that you would like to see on your future records? AH: There’s something to be said
BED. PLAYS LIVE IN PORTLAND THIS MONTH JULY 9 AT THE MISSISSIPPI STREET FAIR
for writing a bunch of songs in a small
The EP continues with “Fremm,” whose bright guitar melody is addictive and sparing. Only occasionally does bed. deliver you from their hypnotic, slow-fi tones. But it is the heaviness of Klickitat that is entrancing: beckoning the languid introvert out in all of us. For the garage-rock lover, the level of fuzz is a soothing hum and lyrics like “I wanna stay
Klickitat Bug Hunt Records Full of paradoxes from top to
bottom, Klickitat is as surprising as it is comfortable. Sierra Haager’s crystalline voice is an unexpected counter to the reverb-laden guitar and a complement to Alex Haager’s distant, dream-like timbre. In album opener, “The Rule,” thick reverb hangs like a heavy curtain, parted by a pristine guitar riff, and the light of Sierra Haager’s voice pouring through, welcoming you in. And once you’re in it, you never want to leave.
inside/ I wanna stay inside,” on EP highlight “Boys,” make it difficult not to consider the suggestion. That said, not one song on the release feels tired or unrefined: Klickitat is languid in tone, not technicality. Andrew Meininger, bed.’s current drummer, is a foundational part to what makes Klickitat such a strong release. The parts he writes are intriguing and subtle, sometimes almost imperceptible, but completely invaluable as the backbone to the buttery, 90s riffs that make Klickitat so memorable. » - Sarah Eaton
features JULY DANTES (CONTINUED) Slow Season | Moondrake Beca The Spits James Durbin Robert Ellis | Bustin' Jieber
FIRKIN TAVERN 1937 SE 11TH
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28 LAURELTHIRST PUB 2958 NE GLISAN 29 THE WAYPOST 2120 N WILLIAMS
The Mondegreens | The Colin Trio Baby Gramps Doc Slocum's Old-Time Jam | Freak Mt. Ramblers Lynn Conover & Gravel | The Poor Deers w/Tim Acott Bill Carson | Anywhere West | Zach Bryson Malachi Graham | Melissa Ruth | Olivia Awbrey Woodbrain | The Tumblers | Feather Ron Rogers & Wailing Wind | David Lane & Tipsy Ramblers Freak Mountain Ramblers | Open Mic Portland Country Underground | Kung Pao Chickens Lynn Conover & Gravel | James Low Quick & Easy Boys | Pete Kartsounes & Friends Hot Damn Scandal | Free Range Revelers | Zach Bryson Michael Hurley & The Croakers | James Low Band Redray Frazier | Kris Deelane & The Hurt Tenbrook | Freak Mountain Ramblers | Open Mic Anita Margarita & The Rattlesnakes | Kung Pao Chickens Lynn Conover & Gravel | Mimi Naja Trois Quick & Easy Boys | Dead Wood Standing Lewi Longmire & The Left Coast Roasters | Billy Kennedy Tommy Alexander | Mike Coykendall Billy Kennedy | The Yellers Pagan Jug Band | Freak Mountain Ramblers
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s a fan, hearing the word “hiatus” come from key musicians in your life may feel like a pretty major blow–especially when it’s accompanied by the word “indefinite.” Questions abound, rumors may fly, but at the heart of it all is hope for a return. In late 2010, that kind of uncertainty was sparked after Wolf Parade announced that after just seven years, three solid studio albums, and enough impact to get dubbed indie rock “heroes” and a “supergroup,” they might not be returning
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when their tour was through. What began in Montreal in 2003 between Dan Boeckner, Spencer Krug, Arlen Thompson, Dante DeCaro and Hadji Bakara (who later was drawn away by a doctorate degree), would be broken up into separate projects across the globe. This was the same indie rock group whose debut full-length was Apologies to the Queen Mary, a marvel that quickly earned a spot in more than a few 2005 essential listening playlists. It was put out by Sub Pop and recorded by Isaac Brock, Modest Mouse frontman, who at the time was doubling as an A&R guy. Their followup album, At Mount Zoomer, came in 2008 and reinforced the distinct writing abilities of both frontmen, Boeckner and Krug. Then, in 2010, they once again pulled it off by releasing their third full-length in five years, Expo 86, and its quickened tempos matched their release rate. Less than a year later, Wolf Parade announced their hiatus as a result of different creative directions and a collection of separate projects. They left it open-ended, yet made no promise that they would return as a group. But a hiatus from Wolf Parade didn’t mean a hiatus from productivity. Boeckner kicked it off with an immediate tour and new LP with his band,
The Handsome Furs (which also brought in Thompson on the production side) and a stint as part of Divine Fits. Krug began recording and working as Moonface, while DeCaro relished in his own solo work. The question today though, is how their energies will remain divided among Boeckner current work with his band Operators, and Krug’s entities, Moonface and Siinai. But like their six-year break, the reunion began and ended with creativity at the helm. In January of this year, Wolf Parade announced their return with new social media accounts and a tease of new material. Sub Pop re-released Apologies to the Queen Mary as a deluxe version that included Wolf Parade’s first ever EPs from the pre-Sub Pop days of just being a live band. Wolf Parade wasted no time after the initial reunion as they quickly sold out residency shows and tour dates sprung up around festivals worldwide. Then came EP4, released just this May, that brought with it nostalgia but also that twinge of excitement, because it’s clear they really are serious. EP4 is just a tease of what’s to come–four tracks to let us know that they’re on their way. But in the end, for Wolf Parade, it’s about the collaborative process between each other and the creative spark they all bring–this time with a collective experience expanding over eight separate musical entities. ELEVEN recently caught up with Dan Boeckner about touring, songwriting, staying creative, and his favorite festival, Pickathon.
www.elevenpdx.com | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 18 © Karel Uyttendaele Photography
© Karel Uyttendaele Photography
ELEVEN: You guys are on a bit of a break from your
DB: Yeah we’re gonna make a record this year. We’re
tour before you come back to the States and Canada,
gonna make a full-length album. I’m pretty excited about it.
Yeah, it’s all happening.
Dan Boeckner: Yeah, actually Spencer’s doing a tour
11: What’s the vibe like between you four? I’m curious
with Moonface and Siinai. They’re playing Berlin tonight,
how you guys are gelling after being mid-way through the
so I’m here. I love that band. I’m here just writing and
recording some demos and I’m gonna go to Romania for a week and then come back, do some more writing and then hit the road with Wolf Parade again. 11: Are you writing for Wolf Parade or are you writing for Operators? DB: I’m writing for Wolf Parade while I’m in Berlin and then when I’m in Romania I just have this little tabletop synth set up, like an OP-1, pocket operators, and a couple mini synths and my laptop. It’s all pretty much battery powered. So I think that’s probably gonna end up being Operators. I rented a place by the sea and I’ll just sit and write all day. 11: So that means that Wolf Parade is working on new material. Do you know what that’ll look like?
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DB: The tour really just goes until November. There’s too many days off between these shows to really consider it a tour. But this last leg was Europe, and it was a show every day and now it’s kind of a break. It’s been good, those shows plus the McCarren Park show that we played in New York were some of the best outdoor shows we’ve ever played. Historically we’ve kind of choked if we’ve had to play outdoors. Something breaks down or I get in a fight with G. Love, I don’t know. I was kind of nervous, but it was nice to get up on stage and play these bigger festival stages and not have it be a total disaster. 11: Do you think that you guys will ever do a solo tour, when your new album comes out? DB: Yeah, definitely. We’ll do what we usually do, which is a headlining tour, like two legs in North America and a bunch Photo by Todd Walberg
features national scene of European shows. But for now this year, festivals made more sense for us just getting back to it. We do have some headline shows mixed in and around the festivals. We’re doing two shows at the Neptune Theatre in Seattle, which is pretty exciting. We just did two shows at Scala in London. We have an after party show for Osheaga in Montreal at the Corona Theatre. 11: Do you think that EP4 was just a warm-up or are you trying to get on the same page again? DB: Yeah, maybe in a sense. We hadn’t recorded anything in a long time. But we had an idea of what we wanted to sound like and how we wanted to write when we got together. And everybody’s happy with it, you know, we pulled it off. But the idea was just minimal arrangements and compressed arrangements with a little more space than where we left off. I think Expo was sort of the peak for the amount of notes for Wolf Parade–so many fucking notes and the arrangements were really brisk. There wasn’t a lot of space in them. That was kind of by design. When we got back together again we wanted to write some stuff that was a little airier. But then the new stuff, the stuff we’ve been working on individually, and also my stuff is a different thing again. It’s nice to get back on stage. We hadn’t played any shows when we made the EP, and then to get back on stage and turn everything up and be less careful of the sounds and how hard we’re playing–that breathed life into songwriting, I think. It’s inspiring. 11: I’m curious about how much ground you’re trying to break from here on out, because it’s not like Expo and it’s not like what you first put out. What kind of ground are you trying to cover? DB: We started as a live band before we recorded anything. We wrote all these songs and then recording was just a necessity. I think we’re just trying to make a record that’s as exciting and powerful as the band is live–that has that kind of impact. And one thing I really like about this band is that no one’s going to write anything that they don’t fully believe in. We’re gonna write songs for us first, and if we like them, we’ll record them. We never really thought about the audience. I mean we do when we play live, but when we’re recording it’s more of a pretty selfish, internal thing. Which I like because it feels honest. It doesn’t feel like we’re trying to trick anyone. 11: Right, you’re not putting on this face. DB: Yeah, there’s no Wolf Parade persona that we’re trying to adopt.
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features national scene 11: EP4 is pretty split–two songs written by you and two
and B) of all, who we’re interested in working with. Sub Pop
by Spencer. But that’s like all of the songs you’ve put out.
owns the masters to Apologies, so they got to re-release it.
Was it kind of nice coming back to that?
I think they did a pretty great job. They really collaborated with us on the art direction. We wanted it to look a specific
DB: Yeah, definitely. I mean I had a taste of that with
way. Re-releasing something that already exists is kind of
Divine Fits. But the songwriting process with Divine Fits is
an extensive package. It can’t look like crap. So it was good
completely different, everything’s much more worked out in
working with them on that, but for the EP, because we knew
demos and in the box and then we learn how to play it. But
what the year looked like, it was pointless to sign to a label.
with Wolf Parade, if you’re writing for that band, you have
We had the vinyl produced ourselves. Our friend Dave, in
to bring an empty song, empty structure, without too much
Nanaimo, has some connections with some pressing clients.
precision planned to it because everyone just kind of dumps
So we got a press released and then we could just sell it
their ideas on it and then it turns into something completely
online, DIY style.
different. So I’ve missed that–it’s a really specific style of songwriting that I haven’t had with any other project.
11: You have Operators, Spencer has Moonface. How are you guys going to divvy up your time and efforts between
11: How about the production side of things? EP4 wasn’t
Wolf Parade and the other projects moving forward?
released on Sub Pop, but you did re-release some material and then you released some pre Sub Pop material. Are you pretty much working amongst yourselves from here on out?
DB: I think we both just have to work our asses off, you know? We finished this pretty hectic mini-tour of Europe just last week, and Spencer basically flew from Dublin to
DB: I think we’re just going to see who comes to the
Helsinki to start rehearsals the next day. I flew to Berlin to
table afterwards. We did do some residency shows in New
start working on writing for Wolf Parade. Maybe if we didn’t
York, Toronto, and those two nights in London. I know that
have these projects we’d just go home and I’d hang out with
there were industry people out at all of those. And it’s just a
my dog and maybe go play tennis at the public tennis court.
matter of who is willing to A) of all, put up with Wolf Parade,
That’s what I like doing. So it’s a job you have to work, and
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features national scene band during two different sets. I like the atmosphere there, the staff is amazing. I got to recommend some bands for their program this year too. I think that the model for Pickathon is kind of the future of festivals. I feel like unless they’re really high level, like Goldenvoice is immaculately run. But they’re a huge company and I think these medium level festivals that are maybe sub-Coachella sized... I mean I benefit from them but I worry that they’re entirely unsustainable and that it’s also affecting the way
© Karel Uyttendaele Photography
people tour. Because they’re routed around festivals, so
everybody else who works a real job works five days a week.
you have to book club shows around your festival. But with
Personally, it’s rewarding, it’s a joy. It’s not like a hassle.
something like Pickathon, you’ve got a good amount of people in a beautiful space and it doesn’t have this massive
11: Is it hard to stay creative and driven when you’re so crammed with two separate entities?
footprint. It might be more rarified but they’re really booking stuff that they want to hear. So they’re not going to book huge amounts of EDM acts.
DB: I don’t find it super hard to stay creative. All this time I’ve been in Berlin. When I haven’t been writing stuff,
11: Because that’s what sells.
I’ve been walking around, seeing Berlin in the summertime. If you do that and you don’t come back to the studio with any
DB: Yeah basically. If you want to bring in 75,000 people,
ideas, then you’re doing something wrong, or your eyes and
that’s what you have to book. You got to appeal to not just this
ears aren’t working. Like yesterday, I spent most of the day
rarified crowd. I feel like multiple festivals like Pickathon
in East Berlin, and we were in this park next to a church, and
and around the States and Canada, are only good for music.
I started reading up about the neighborhood. I walked by this old factory and I recorded some street sounds on my phone and later that night I put together a few songs. Not directly
11: It’s also about the artists, and not 100 percent about the crowd.
lyrically about that day, but definitely inspired by the vibes of that day. Not to sound like a hippie, but you know.
DB: Yeah, exactly. Exactly. And that’s going to get better performances out of people, and bands will want to play your
11: No I get it. It totally makes sense.
festival. It won’t just be about a financial negotiation with your manager or your booking agent. There’s a lot of passion
DB: Yeah, it’s inspiring to be on the road. I like writing.
at that festival that I like. »
Writing makes me happy. 11: You guys are coming back to Portland for Pickathon, are you excited for that return? DB: Yes, my favorite festival in North America. I love Pickathon. This is going to be my third Pickathon. Divine Fits, and then Operators, and now Wolf Parade. I love it. I like being able to see bands in different environments, the same
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CATCH WOLF PARADE LIVE NEXT MONTH AUGUST 5 AND 6 AT PICKATHON MUSIC FESTIVAL
www.elevenpdx.com | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 24
community literary arts ELEVEN: You wrote about an experience as a young man that nudged you toward ditching your car in favor of a bike. I had a similar, if slower, rediscovering of the bicycle after a short dalliance with the automotive lifestyle, but I was curious about the suddenness of your conversion. Was there always a latent cyclist in you, just waiting to burst forth? Joe Kurmaskie: Yes, and not latent but out and about. I was an avid cyclist growing up in a very dangerous place to ride: Florida. But the pressures to conform as a teenager in Florida to the car culture were very strong. So I like to think that I was always a card-carrying cyclist–since the day I learned how to pedal at five years old–with a brief period of falling off the saddle and being a gashole for several years in my late teens. 11: You've been fairly honest in your resentment of cars and the people who drive them, and you've written about the occasional bout of road rage. What do you do to keep that frustration from boiling over in unproductive ways? JK: Flip the peace sign every time I feel like using a different hand gesture. Also, I work on tangible changes to our transportation infrastructure with local groups, and the biggest thing I do to be productive is ride my bicycle every
Photo by J.P. Kemmick
Portland author Joe Kurmaskie
day. By being another bike on the road it helps push the paradigm shift. If everyone would just dust off those bikes in the garage and ride them to as many activities as possible in their daily lives, the shift would be incredible and quick. 11: You write a lot about what it means to be a dedicated cyclist while simultaneously raising four boys, who are, themselves, often with you on the road. Sometimes you even make it look like a lot of fun. Any advice for new parents
oe Kurmaskie, the “Metal Cowboy,” has put over
who are considering ditching the car?
200,000 miles on his bike over the course of his life. He's ridden across the U.S., Canada and Australia, pedaled numerous countries in Africa and Europe,
JK: I make it look like a lot of fun because it is. This is time with your kids that you can't get back, manufacture
and trekked across parts of New Zealand. It's an impressive
or buy at any price. And when you spend time together on
feat for any cyclist, but, though he's written numerous books
bicycles, you are getting exercise, exploring the world sans
about his exploits, what you're most likely to hear Kurmaskie
hermetically sealed environment, and you're able to have
expound upon these days, if you're lucky enough to hear him
rolling family time rather than carting kids around as they
spin his crazy tales in person, is the family he is raising: four
slum in the backseat with a screen in their hands. We get to
boys, with the help of his courageous wife and a small fleet
stop and play in creeks and ponds and playgrounds and see
of bicycles. In 2007, Kurmaskie took the whole clan, just
all sorts of things you wouldn’t trapped in that rolling cage.
three boys then, on a trip across Canada when his youngest son was only five years old. The resulting book, Momentum
11: You said that you feel like something of a pioneer in
is your Friend, is full of stories any touring cyclist can relate
the Portland bike community, as far as committing fully to
to, and a few they probably can't. His latest work, A Guide to
the life, and transporting your sons, and hauling groceries
Falling Down in Public, covers a broad swath of stories from
and sports equipment etc. Now that you're not alone, (and
Kurmaskie's days in the saddle. These days he's happy to call
being occasionally mistaken for homeless), do you ever
Portland home, although, as Kurmaskie's said before, the
miss those days, or are you happy others have started to
adventure “doesn't have to end in one zip code.”
join the party?
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community literary arts JK: I don’t miss
JK: I was circling the drain and didn’t know it.
being the lone wheel
Hereditary Hemochromatosis is a genetic mutation that,
in the wilderness.
when it kicks in, usually during middle age, it causes
I could coat it in
the body to load iron in the organs and tissues. The body
nostalgia, and maybe
normally expels any iron beyond its daily needs, but with
I do in a story or
this disorder–the most common deadly genetic disorder
two, but I want a
in the world, that few have ever heard of–your body can't
future and a present
expel the iron so it stores it in the heart, liver, brain etc.
where bicycles outnumber cars and as many of us as possible are enjoying the exercise, the joy of cycling, the environmental aspects of cycling over petrochemical transportation. 11: Any thoughts on what next steps Portland should take in order to stay near the top of the country's best bike cities? Any advice for incoming mayor Ted Wheeler?
and it triggers all manner of chronic and deadly illnesses: 12 cancers, heart failure, heart attacks, liver failure. And worse still, in the early going, when it can be treated and folks can be given a full life expectancy, only one in four get detectable symptoms, and when you get symptoms they are vague and mimic middle age; so one in nine are affected by this in the USA–it’s a larger group than diabetes–but only eight percent worldwide get diagnosed. We are looking to change that. I got very luck but decided to turn my energies to helping others through a massive awareness campaign and action network centered around ironitout.org. We are gunning for nationwide standard testing through simple blood tests on the BCC panels and a large media campaign. » - J.P. Kemmick
JK: Embrace bikes, pedestrians, and light rail like it’s a Manhattan Project-level priority. We must turn away from a car-centric community and look to parts of Europe and a greener, cleaner direction. We might be one of the top towns in the USA for bikes, but in other parts of the world we are average at best. I’d love to see Ted pour attention and funding into more green/bike/walking infrastructure and challenge businesses to see the positive economic impact of cycling and embrace projects such as the Salmonberry Trail to the coast, etc. 11: You played a little trumpet back in the day. You once stole a motel suite from Elvis Costello. Any favorite bike jams? JK: Music is at the core of my being. I love all sorts of good music from Petty to Miles Davis to Curtis Mayfield’s "Move on Up" to Vampire Weekend, to Black Sabbath’s old stuff. I’m such a music fan and was a DJ at my college back in another lifetime. From Paul Weller to Weather Report, Midnight Oil, the Church, Redbone to Bowie... and of course Zeppelin is always a good lead out for the start of any ride. 11: You recently had a health scare after being diagnosed with Hemochromatosis, an iron disorder. But, as is your style, you didn't take it lying down. Care to talk about how you grabbed the bull by the horns?
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community visual arts 11: How does being self-taught distinguish you from other artists? MS: I’ve had to pick up a lot of the business aspects of the art scene from my friends, and official school would have helped me to learn that. I think it’s possible to learn traditional techniques at school, but developing a personal style comes from repetition and motivation. I think that art institutes are a joke because especially now, they are too overpriced. A lot of the artist friends I’ve had went to school for things like toy design, or graphic-related design but who then actually go on to not use their degrees in that way and who actually just end up doing visual art instead. Photo by Mercy McNab
Portland artist mr Say
tched into the careful lines of whatever becomes the subject matter of his new piece, Portland artist, mr Say makes a genuine visual reflection on saying exactly what he means to say about the topic of his pieces. Here is an artist unafraid to make a statement on the hum-drum glum of every day chum and also spell out the beauty of the perfect lines that comprise nature. Come take a look at his latest original pieces at Green State Collective gallery in Gresham, or check out some of his sketches for a possible new tattoo at the House of Tattoo. ELEVEN: What type of artistic career path has led you to the work you are doing now? mr Say: I was originally on a path toward tattoo artistry. About eight years ago I decided to pursue fine art, got more into the sticker scene, street art, making pen and ink illustrations and traveling around doing life paintings, murals and illustrations. I have also worked in the restaurant industry for years. When my old tattoo teacher came by and bought a couple of my illustrations, he encouraged me to come back and finish my apprenticeship for tattoo, that’s why I got back into completing my tattoo certification at the House of Tattoo. So far I have gotten a pretty good response, and will be doing my practical work starting in September. I am already booked out with clients throughout that time. It’s been challenging to dumb down my detail and style of art a little bit to adapt it more for tattooing.
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11: What got you into street art and the style of art you make now?
MS: My cousin was a graph writer in the early '90s in California and I used to live with him, which got me a little into this art scene back in fifth grade. I draw huge influence from the comic book scene and a lot of my style comes from there. Michael Turner, for example, and the comic work that he did in Witchblade and Fathom, and the work he did for Image comics or Top Cow. Also, Nate Van Dyke who is a part of Upper Playground and Zerofriends. I got to do a mural show with Nate back in 2008 in Orlando, and he showed me several illustration techniques. 11: What about the stickers that you make? MS: It’s much easier to be able to work on art in the studio and then have it available to be put up or have friends put it up, because it’s harder to pinpoint the finger of blame as to who did it. The priority stickers with the blue tops started in the graffiti scene because they were the easiest way to get free stickers and the ones with the blue top have a huge historical significance in the graffiti scene. Most of the time artists would use them as tags to put up. The blue tops stopped being made in 2006 and are now out of print. Since the Postal Service company
community visual arts recognized how these stickers have caught on in the street arts scene, the newer priority mail stickers that come out every year have weaker and weaker adhesive. The old blue top stickers had great adhesive and lots of white space for drawing art, now even the amount of white space on the newer stickers has lessened.
mural laws are very lax so you can easily put up murals. They have a mural festival called Shine On that pulls in international artists to make murals for their community. I think it is fun to collaborate and network with other artists because everyone has different strengths, so it is incredible to be able to vibe off of other artists.
11: Why is it important for communities to have street art visible?
11: It seems crazy how there is art that some will pay millions of dollars to put up while there is other art that can be seen as illegal. Do you have any thoughts on the legality of what art is or is not allowed to be up?
MS: It just makes neighborhoods more interesting. When I’ve traveled to cities that have no street art and all you can see is concrete, it’s very boring. It’s not 'til the last five years in Portland that it has become a lot easier to make murals in public spaces. Permits are more affordable, and there are routes that allow for there to be funding that help the process along. Now there is an organization called the Portland Street Art Alliance and a non-profit called Forest for the Trees who put on a huge annual mural festival, and both organizations aim to bring contemporary art into community settings. 11: Why is it important to you to be able to travel? MS: I really like networking with other artists, trading art for a place to crash and being able to collaborate. Two years ago I traveled through Florida for six months. Originally I was planning to see a cousin, but from there I made my way to the St. Pete area. The St. Pete downtown scene reminds me of Portland about ten years ago, and their
MS: I remember when I was asked to do jury duty once, and the lady next to me asked me what I was doing, so we talked a little about the scene and she later said she’d like to exchange information and asked me about possibly doing an interview for a commission piece on my work. About a month later she emailed me and told me about how Kerri Tomlinson was really interested in doing an interview for Channel 2 News and would like to do a report on the sticker scene in Portland. She came by the studio later and was really supportive in her questions. Unfortunately, when she brought the piece to her editor, he told her she wouldn’t be allowed to promote street art. He made her flip it and make it into a negative piece. During her whole report though, she kept sneaking in hints that helped to show how people could get into the art scene and helped to promote the work without making any blatant statements in that direction. Certainly there were no hard feelings, because I understand how that goes, and I knew she wouldn’t be able to make a
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community visual arts positive piece about basically illegal art in Portland. As far as public art goes, I think that all the backs of signs should be fair game. If you are a taxpaying citizen in society, you are paying for the signs and you should be able to decorate those spaces. They don’t have a city funded graffiti clean-up crew, the Portland graffiti clean-up is based out of Gresham, and it is comprised of volunteer and church led groups that pick specific days to clean up the backs of signs. This is ironic as well because since they also do not have the authority to be doing this work, they really could cause more damage trying to remove the art to the sign than we create when adding on stickers. When I was more prolific in the street art scene, we would map out and plan the days that they posted to clean up signs so we would know when the signs were clean and
ready for more art to be added. Since I do art shows and have to show my face a lot I am no longer active in the street art scene, sometimes I do things when I travel but unfortunately I can no longer do that around Portland. 11: Tell us about your current work around town. MS: My friend just opened a gallery on main street in Gresham that has a lot of my framed illustrations and paintings up, called Green State Collective, and I may later also be showing my work at the Oregon’s Finest as well. I’ve been doing the gallery scene as long as I have the street art scene, but it can be hard for me to make a body of art that is cohesive, because I tend to be more sporadic in my work and make kind of whatever I feel like that day. The styles are cohesive but the content can be drawn from whatever inspired me that day, interactions I’ve had at work or with people I may have just met that day on the street. I’ve even done things where I make pieces off of little sayings, like fortune cookies, and I’ve made illustrations inspired by those. I also draw characters from an app I have for artists called SKTCHY, where people upload photos of themselves which are basically selfies that allow artists to use them as subjects for their artwork. » - Lucia Ondruskova
FIND THIS ARTIST ONLINE SAYTHEDAYDREAMER.COM INSTAGRAM: @SAYARTIST Please enjoy mr Say's piece "Untitled" (pen and ink) decorating our inside back cover this month.
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