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MUSIC, COMMUNITY, AND CULTURE IN PORTLAND

ISSUE 63 | AUG 2016

ELEVEN PDX MAGAZINE - VOLUME 6, ISSUE 3

COMPLIMENTARY

INSIDE: ATMOSPHERE OF MONTREAL FEDERALE GLOBELAMP WHITNEY ECLISSE GREYS COCO COLUMBIA


TICKETS ON SALE AT

PORTLAND.PROJECTPABST.COM

SUNDAY AUGUST 28 SATURDAY AUGUST 27

21+

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

WATERFRONT PARK

PORTLAND, OR


contents

ELEVEN PDX MAGAZINE VOLUME 6

THE USUAL 3 Letter from the Editor 3 Staff Credits

ISSUE NO. 3

FEATURES Local Feature 13 Coco Columbia

Cover Feature 17 NEW MUSIC

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats

4 Aural Fix Whitney Globelamp Greys Frankie and the Witch Fingers

7 Short List 7 Album Reviews Federale Eclisse Atmosphere of Montreal

COMMUNITY Literary Arts 25 Portland author Alexis M. Smith

Visual Arts 27 Portland artist Scott Erickson

LIVE MUSIC 9 Know Your Venue Turn! Turn! Turn!

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! What's going on? Is time moving this fast for everyone, or just people over the age of twenty-five? Wasn't it just 2013, like, last week? And now it's August 2016?! We need those NASA dudes to invent some sort of time-slower-downer-thingy, because this is just ridiculous. How am I supposed to catch them all AND marathon Stranger Things, with so little time? Well... while those guiltier pleasures can be a bit consuming, it is damn nice to have vast, excellent options of shows and events to catch this month [Musicalendar p. 11]. Also, festival season is in full swing and you don't even have to leave town. Down by the river you'll be able to see freaking Duran Duran, Ice Cube, Ween, Tame Impala and Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats [p. 17], just to name a few. We're gonna get weird. When in Rose City, sometimes you have to stop and smell the roses. Portland, you pamper us, and we're grateful. An additional thanks is due to you, dear reader, for being a part of what makes this whole thing so great! By picking up a copy of ELEVEN PDX and flipping through it, you evolve yourself and your city. You're beautiful! Cheers! »

- 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: Ethan Martin LITERARY ARTS: JP Kemmick, 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 Brantley Gutierrez

ONLINE Mark Dilson, Kim Lawson, Michael Reiersgaard, Chance Solem-Pfeifer GET INVOLVED getinvolved@elevenpdx.com www.elevenpdx.com twitter.com/elevenpdx facebook.com/elevenmagpdx MAILING ADRESS 126 NE Alberta Suite 211 Portland, OR. 97211 GENERAL INQUIRIES info@elevenpdx.com ADVERTISING sales@elevenpdx.com LOGISTICS Billy Dye ELEVEN WEST MEDIA GROUP, LLC Ryan Dornfeld Dustin Mills SPECIAL THANKS Our local business partners who make this project possible. Our friends, families, associates, lovers, creators and haters. And of course, our city!


new music aural fix

AURAL FIX

up and coming music from the national scene

1

WHITNEY AUGUST 3 | HOLOCENE

There’s no shortage of coverage for Whitney, the new project from guitarist Max Kakacek (Smith Westerns) and drummer Julien Ehrlich (Unknown Mortal Orchestra). Reviews have been glowing and for good reason: Their debut album Light Upon The Lake is warm and earnest and hooky and satisfying. Like the best of Foxygen or Girls, Whitney at times sounds like a long-lost soft rock band from the 1970s. If that sounds like an insult to you, cue up Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy and get back to me. The album doesn't push or champion a standout track to play for doubters but the cumulative effect of 10 solid songs–10 solid love songs, to be precise–is impressive. Additionally, there’s no irony or detachment to these songs, which informs the entire project with a weight above and beyond the sum of its parts. Ehrlich’s near-falsetto vocals provide a one-size-fits-all feeling to the album, but what he lacks in range is more than made up for in sincerity.

2

GLOBELAMP AUGUST 11 | DOUG FIR

Photo by Elva Lexa

The airy pleasantness of Elizabeth le Fey’s voice is one of those sounds that can get you high. le Fey, who performs under the moniker Globelamp, has mastered the art of turning vocal incantations into sonic opioids. Her mellow folk musings masterfully bend space and tones into surprising shapes. Aside from a brief stint touring with Foxygen, Globelamp has been the primary vehicle for le Fey’s singer/songwriter chops, and her growth as an artist is evident on The Orange

Photo by Ryan Lowry

“Polly,” “No Matter Where We Go,” and easy rambling closer “Follow” all feature expressive, sometimes layered vocals over a lo-fi production style which manages to work whether instrumentation is stripped down or chunked up with brass accents. The album sounds easy and relaxed as if it was recorded in a barn over a sunny summer weekend, and promises to translate to the stage without difficulty. » - Eric Evans

Glow, a full-length studio album that debuted earlier this year. While confidence has never been a question (2014’s Star Dust is rife with potent lyrics and playful instrumentals), The Orange Glow is perhaps best described as assertive, a descriptor that may initially seem at odds with the laid back élan of the record. But, the quietness is deceptive, hiding layered instrumentals framed by le Fey’s deft soprano. Album opener “Washington Moon” is a buoyant, romantic sojourn that finds Globelamp longing for a “California sun and a Washington moon,” as the narrator searches for the best of both worlds. It's apt imagery for anyone searching for love, or at least a connected soul. “San Francisco,” a ballad driven by gentle piano belies a somewhat vicious indictment of her tumultuous split (or ousting, depending on the source) from Foxygen, amid pointed fingers and rumors: “All that’s left is a video; why does she always have to know? Is she going to explode? The girl’s gotta go.” It’s a testament to her songwriting that Globelamp’s version of a diss track is perhaps the least bombastic of the album. Throughout her career, Globelamp has played with space and sound in a way that guides the imagination, alluding to tones or thoughts that might not tangibly exist within the song. As she continues to explore both her ability as a vocalist and as a songwriter, we can expect to be surprised and delighted in a way that only she can catalyze. » - Charles Trowbridge

www.elevenpdx.com | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 4


new music aural fix Photo by Ebru Yildiz

early releases feel heavily inspired by groups like Fugazi and Drive Like Jehu, but as they’ve continued releasing music their sound has become increasingly individual and authentic. This is especially true of Greys’ most recent record, Outer Heaven, which was released in late April by Carpark Records. Their second full-length and has been met with a great deal of excitement, both in the US and Canada. Comparing Outer Heaven to their previous five releases is complex. In many ways, Outer Heaven doesn’t feel like it exists for the same audience as their past releases. It isn’t fast-paced, it isn’t nearly so rowdy, it isn’t unpolished the way listeners sometimes expect punk to be. The record appeals to punk sensibilities, while also nodding to emo, pop and shoegaze. Beyond that, the lyrical content of Outer Heaven is

3

GREYS

deep, spanning topics like mental health, the loss of innocence and love. By extension then, heartbreak creeps in and shows AUGUST 12 | MISSISSIPPI STUDIOS

Greys is capable of writing deeply original music. That dichotomy in their work between the thoughtful and

In the late '70s, Toronto was a DIY music destination, and

the reckless makes the thought of seeing them live highly

recently it has been experiencing a revival that would make

intriguing. Expect a solid mix of wild, breakneck riffs bleeding

any Portland music-lover both deeply nostalgic and wildly

into slower, more sprawling, technical songs. In this way, it’s

jealous. The grungy noise-rock quartet Greys is very much a

perfect that they’ve just embarked on a month-long tour with

part of this resurgence. Their first full-length, If Anything,

White Lung, also originally from Canada, who have similarly

is precisely the lunging, chaotic, danceable punk that fans

evolved their snarling punk sensibilities to incorporate

crave and have often missed since the '90s. As such, their

elements from a variety of genres. » - Sarah Eaton

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new music aural fix

Photo by Nicole Smith

4

FRANKIE AND THE WITCH FINGERS AUGUST 26 | LIQUOR STORE

As the psychedelic '60s climaxed and died, it must have released a powerful reverberation that encapsulated the sounds and feelings of the time. Transmitted through decades looking for a landing spot, it arrived in the 2010s and Bloomington, Indiana of all places. That's where Frankie and the Witch Fingers hail from, though the group has since relocated to Los Angeles. If you took only the old songs of Pink Floyd (when Syd Barrett was the lead man) and mixed them with the Velvet Underground, peppered with all the other rock greats of the '60s, you would have Frankie and the Witch Fingers. These guys have been busy in their three years of existence. Their third release, Heavy Roller, hit the streets July 29 and keeps the vibe alive. The band's first two efforts came while exploring alternate realms and dimensions in Bloomington. Their first private release was simply a cassette titled Sidewalk in 2013. And even while

recording their self-titled second release in 2015, the creative wave flowed strong through lead man Dylan Sizemore. He was already writing new songs that would become the tracks on Heavy Roller. » - Ellis Samsara

QUICK TRACKS A “FUZZ GOD” Elastic delirium and soaring vocal cries from a tormented and enlightened compartment of mind bring an ominous and super cool vibe that cannot be denied... only accepted and deeply grokked.

B “LOVELY” Multi-dimensional and emotionally shape shifting into things and places that cannot be adequately explained but only felt, this layered track will take you on a journey to the beyond and then take you even further.

www.elevenpdx.com | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 6


new music album reviews

ALBUM REVIEWS THIS MONTH’S BEST R REISSUE

L LOCAL RELEASE

Short List Cass McCombs Mangy Love The Album Leaf Between Waves Doubleplusgood Like a Fire

L

Dinosaur Jr. Give A Glimpse of What Yer Not Thee Oh Sees A Weird Exits De La Soul And the Anonymous Nobody

L Federale

All the Colors of the Dark Death Waltz Records

The musical landscape of any good Spaghetti Western is grand and limitless. There are awesome peaks, shifty tumbleweeds, smoky revolvers and rivers of whiskey. The music inspires a rustic swagger and bulletproof confidence. The new album from Portland's Federale, All the Colors of the Dark, is an epic journey where casualties are cool and heartbreak

Glass Animals How to be a Human Being Minden Sweet, Simple Things

L

The Pack A.D. Positive Thinking The Veils Total Depravity Seance Crasher Basement Behavior

L

Young The Giant Home of the Strange Tobacco Sweatbox Dynasty Buy it

Stream it

Toss it

L Eclisse

The Origin of Error Self-released

facebook.com/elevenmagpdx @elevenpdx

7 | ELEVEN PORTLAND | www.elevenpdx.com

Since disbanding Portland's Bike Thief last year, Febian Perez has been working on his new project, Eclisse. With contributions from friends Patti King (Radiation City) and Noritsugu Lockhart (Cambrian Explosion) he created the best debut album I've heard from any band in ages. What makes it even more special is that it's from right here in Portland, recorded at The Hallowed Halls by Jordan Richter. The

cakes in the crevices of boots with possessed soles. It is haunting and strong. You can feel the gun powder burn your eyes and the hollow ground of recent graves. True cowboy music. Federale has a sound as large as American history. The opening song captures the sparkle of stars entangled in the peaks of trees, the essence of coyote cries and tragedy in tales by the campfire of travelers in limbo. Murders delivered. Love lost. But the promise of the coming sunrise causes a flame of redemption and hope for justice in our deeds. Things happened. Anything can happen. And this music can help you through your own challenges. Whether you are a lost Mohican or hired gun, your fantastical frontier self will identify with the album from start to finish. This album is among the best nationally right now, and as a Northwesterner you need to listen to it, be with it and conquer your ancestors’ perils through it. If the task is too long, then just put it on repeat. » - Billy Dye

first track, "Float," is a hard-driving rock hit with a sick transition into something much heavier. I could make comparisons to this band or that voice, but the music of Eclisse is uniquely badass on many different musical levels–weighty darkness mixed with flashes of pure light. I was especially blown away by "Divine Lies," with its heavy metal flavor and catchiness. The breakdowns and bridges Perez created are multi-layered and complex, displaying next-level musical ability. Most of the tracks have a deeply menacing tone that made metal so alluring to fans in the early days. "Say Your Prayers" exemplifies this perfectly. It’s the kind of song that will surely bring a crowd into a fistpumping frenzy. The title track, "Origin of Error," builds up ominously with subtle strings, and then breaks through into a shadowy place. If anyone in the music industry was paying attention, they would single out this band as a legitimate talent, miles ahead of the garbage played on “alternative” radio. I cannot wait to hear Eclisse play every one of these songs live. » - Scott McHale


new music album reviews

Atmosphere Fishing Blues Rhymesayers Records The rapper-producer duo of Slug (Sean Daley) and Ant (Anthony Davis) have two decades of camaraderie under their belts as Atmosphere. During these decades they’ve fit tighter and tighter together as a pair. Their sheer quantity of work makes the Minnesota hip-hop exist so naturally; Ant’s beats fit perfectly underneath Slug’s style, and vice versa. At this point, neither

of Montreal Innocence Reaches Polyvinyl Records Among one of the acts to emerge from the second wave of bands from the Elephant 6 collective, of Montreal is the brainchild of singer and guitarist Kevin Barnes. Barnes was influenced to form the rapturous indie pop group following the broken romance he had with a woman from Montreal. Their debut album, Cherry Peel, came out in 1997 and from the very start, the band has fashioned its dazzling and flamboyant indie pop rock sound, intertwined with elements

is reaching out of his comfort zone to adhere to the other. On Fishing Blues, we get exactly what we’re used to with Atmosphere: The slow, methodical, direct storytelling of Slug with the subdued and tame production of Ant. Slug has never been one to blow you away with absurdly complex rhyme schemes and unorthodox flows, and Ant has never strayed too far from the boom bap style that makes him a producer who comes from the '90s hip-hop tradition. They both know their limits and their strengths as artists. At times, it works on Fishing Blues. Slug is at his best when he’s relating to an audience, in effect: "Yeah this feeling sucks, I’ve been there too." But sometimes the stories he’s spinning lack nuance, too vague to evoke emotion. “The Shit That We’ve Been Through” lacks that nuance, and features a boringly generic hook of “Girl, I miss you.” I think a part of Slug’s seemingly shiftless writing on this album stems from the comfort he’s built up working with Ant. They don’t seem to push

each other to new heights anymore. It is, after all, a 25-year partnership. Slug’s A-game on Fishing Blues comes when he’s rhyming next to other artists, and we get features from fellow Rhymesayers artists deM atlaS, Aesop Rock and MF DOOM. These features bring out the best from Slug and create some of the most dynamic tracks on the album. “When The Lights Go Out” is a great example of Slug stepping it up, and he sounds strangely natural next to DOOM, whose complex, esoteric rhymes couldn’t be further from the straight-laced, face-value stories we receive through the rest of the record. I can’t fault Slug here, he’s a fantastic emcee in his own right; he’s just at a point in his life where he has to worry about less. The track “Everything” acts as Slug addressing us, his audience. He rattles off a list of everything he doesn’t pretend to be: cool, young, hard or concerned. This isn’t about us as much. This art is cathartic to Slug and if we like it, cool. There’s still a lot to like. » - Tyler Sanford

of psychedelia and sensuality. Now nearly 20 years later and with a steady collection of albums under its belt, the band is back with this, its18th studio album, Innocence Reaches (Polyvinyl Records) out Aug. 12. Of Montreal is a band that's never steered away from evolution in their sound; over their career they have combined whip-smart lyrics and seemingly dark tropes into vigorous rocks songs, which more resembled the escapist, introspective, feelingblue style of their Elephant 6 family with bands like Neutral Milk Hotel and The Apples in Stereo. However, more recently and shown most with this latest album, the band has embraced a dance-pop sound that differentiates them as more earnest and vehement. Innocence Reaches is an album as eclectic as its creators, showcasing indie pop, EDM and contemporary electronica. The album begins with the track “Let’s Relate,” which exhibits a mix of synth-pop and modulated rave with a layer of mechanized cooing from Barnes that hauntingly starts with line, “How do you identify?” It's a question that opens a theme over the rest of album which explores outdated ideas

about gender and attraction. Following the question is the chorus, Barnes caws a repeated “let’s relate/let’s relate” over the kaleidoscopic swirls of sounds. The second track doesn’t veer too far way from this theme. “It’s Different For Girls” is a four-minute dance ballad that explores the feminine dilemma. The track combines LCD Soundsystem’s wit with Daft Punk’s ability to get rock kids dancing. “It’s Different for Girls” is tied to the cover art, which Barnes explained in a press release is meant to convey “wonderment for the female anatomy.” In that same statement, he discusses how important "trans issues" and performative "gender-bending" are to him as an artist. The rest of the album goes on to explore darker moments of isolation, anger, indifference and a feeling of looming madness. All of these are then dealt with by the ability to take the vulnerability, transparency and chaos of life and turn them into the common ground of being human. In turn, the record realizes that these hardships and uncertainties are what makes life weird, bright, and like this album, inventive and exciting. » - Samantha Lopez

www.elevenpdx.com | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 8


live music

KNOW YOUR VENUE Turn! Turn! Turn!

I

t’s hard to escape the connection of The Byrds song with the same name, but the owner of Turn! Turn! Turn!, Scott Derr, says that when taking over 8 NE Killingsworth back in 2014, the title just conceptually fit with what they were trying to do. Turn! Turn! Turn! (or affectionately abbreviated T3 or Triple Turn), was preceded by Record Room. Where Record Room was a record store with beer, Turn! Turn! Turn! was created to be a bar with records. Derr, a former high school social studies teacher, also wanted to provide books, zines and an impressive selection of rotating taps. It’s really a music-inspired variety shop, housing a minirecord store along with food, fashion and eclectic events. The bar serves up brews like the Wild Ride Electri-fly IPA, a cocktail menu, and an array of veggie snacks and sandwiches,

9 | ELEVEN PORTLAND | www.elevenpdx.com

like the house pastrami monikered “The Silver Tongued Devil.” Grab a drink and sift through a rack of vintage apparel (which during my visit included a leather satchel and cowgirl boots), or retreat to the corners and read old, well-maintained music periodicals like WET and Music Express. Of course, there are also a few rows of vinyl to peruse, along with a turntable to have a listen. At one time, vintage audio equipment was also for sale, but it just took up too much room. “The space used to be a lot more compartmentalized,” says Derr. “We realized our best bet for survival was having more regular bands that brought people in every night.” Derr says a lot of bands Photo by Eric Evans particularly enjoy the room’s sound and “house-vibe.” They set up on the floor at the same level as the audience, and everyone hears the pure quality of the music through the band’s amps, rather than through larger speakers. There is an average of four or five shows a week, many all-ages, and running the gamut from wellknown indie rock to experimental and totally improvised. Working with The Creative Music Guild, a nonprofit that supports local experimental artists, and also brings in East Coast and international acts, they present the twice monthly CMG Outset series. There are also multimedia and interactive events with Kick Ass Oregon History, as well as poetry readings and stand-up comedy. Local band Reptaliens playing Turn! Turn! Turn! Photo by Todd Walberg


live music

Photo by Eric Evans

“We book a broad variety of music that is less formal, less official," Derr says. A lot of rare entertainment experiences occur here, like a recent show with saxophonist Ralph Carney, who has played with The B-52’s and Tom Waits, or the evening with “first rock critic” and author Richard Meltzer. One forthcoming calendar highlight is a reissue of what Derr calls a “beautiful protest record” by Lavender Country, which released what is considered the first openly gay country album in the early '70s. They're returning to play Portland for the first time in four decades. What binds it all is a sense of the non-traditional. Some of these acts might have a hard time finding a place to play, while you might never expect to see others in such a small setting. It’s all perfectly unique and Turn! Turn! Turn! showcases it in a comfortable, intimate setting. » - Brandy Crowe

Photo by Eric Evans

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live music AUGUST CRYSTAL BALLROOM

1

1332 W BURNSIDE

16

2 5 8 11

King Shelter | Rilla (Lola's Room) Kacey Musgraves Gregory Alan Isakov & The Ghost Orchestra Shooting Jennings w/Waymore's Outlaws 16-17 The Used 18 Jamestown Revival | Wilderado (Lola's Room) 25 Digable Planets | Camp Lo 26 Real Estate 27 Guided By Voices | Summer Cannibals

WILLIAMS AVE. MLK BLVD.

DOUG FIR

830 E BURNSIDE

RUSSELL ST.

ON

TA VE

NORTH WEST BROADWAY ST.

5

5

PEARL 2

BURNSIDE ST.

22

1

405

26 18

7

23

9

10

MLK BLVD. 30

GRAND AVE.

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14

OLD TOWN

3939 N MISSISSIPPI

Metz | The Ghost Ease | Tango Alpha Tango Jason Boland & The Stragglers | The Tumblers Doubleplusgood | Sunbathe | Yaquina Bay Lisa Prank | Cockeye Omni | Alto! Cody Canada & The Departed Julien Baker | Lucy Dacus James Supercave | The Domestics | There Is No Mountain Left Coast Country | The Blackberry Bushes String Band White Lung | Greys Stephen Ashbrook John Nilsen & Swimfish | Willy Snook Ben Sollee Robin Bacior | The Fourth Wall | Sheers Fred & Toody Cole of Dead Moon People Under The Stairs | Moka Only Federale | Tiburones | Kyle Morton An Evening With Kate Davis Zig Zags Wesley Randolph Eader | Kevin Lee Florence Audacity | Mean Jeans | VHS An Evening With Ray Wylie Hubbard Busdriver | Deantoni Parks David Bazan | Michael Nau Shinyribs Chuck Inglish | Rafael Vigilantics Patsy's Rats | Moon Tiger | Shadowlands

15

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DOW NTO WN

MISSISSIPPI STUDIOS

FR

23RD AVE.

Black Milk & Nat Turner | Blossom | Maze Koroma Peter Bradley Adams Emily King | David Ryan Harris Y.G.B. Princedelic: A Psych-Rock Tribute to Prince Chastity Belt | So Pitted | Mini Blinds Globelamp | Tashaki Miyaki No Vacancy 024 feat/Bit Funk Courtney Marie Andrews | Barna Howard | Birger Olsen Jay Brannan | Daniel G. Harmann Hockey Dad | Muuy Biien | Mr. Bones Coco Columbia | Sama Dams | Moorea Masa The Builders & The Butchers | Boon Howard | Ike Fonseca Crow & The Canyon | Steep Ravine Lovebomb Go-Go | DJ Anjali/Incredible Kid | Brownish Black Reeve Carney | Nathan Trueb Hustle & Drone | Eclisse | Cambrian Explosion Banks & Steelz Berahmand | Goldfoot | The Adio Sequence D Generation Russian Circles | Cloakroom

4 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 11 12 13 14 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 29 30 31

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VANCOUVER AVE.

3 1 4 5 6 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 17 18 19 20 23 24 25 26 30 31

8 NW 6TH

David Nail Broods | Jarryd James 311 West Coast Hip Hop Awards Alter Bridge | Saint Asonia Riff Raff } Trill Sammy & Dice Soho | DollaBillGates Zakk Wylde | Otherwise | Jared James Nichols

MISSISSIPPI AVE.

6 15 16 20 23 26 28

ROSELAND THEATER

INTERSTATE AVE.

2

SKIDMORE ST.


live music AUGUST WONDER BALLROOM 128 NE RUSSELL

ALBERTA ST.

13

12

ALBERTA ST.

ALBERTA ARTS

28

HOLOCENE

1001 SE MORRISON

42ND AVE.

15TH AVE.

11TH AVE.

PRESCOTT ST.

FREMONT ST. 24TH AVE.

HOLLYWOOD 33RD AVE.

28TH AVE.

EASTBURN

D. BLV Y D AN

BROADWAY ST.

25

LAURELHURST

21 29

GLISAN ST.

BURNSIDE ST. 8

3 11 6

20

STARK ST.

MORRISON ST.

BELMONT ST.

24

11TH AVE.

8TH AVE.

HAWTHORNE BLVD.

HAWTHORNE

27

L BLVD.

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REVOLUTION HALL

1 2 4 5 6 7 8 10 11 13 15 16 17 18 19 20 22 23 24 25 26 27 29 30 31

10

Howard Kremer Rio Grands | Moon By You | Two Moons Abronia | Ruidoso Sam Coomes | Clark & The Himselves | Marisa Anderson

1300 SE STARK

CHAVEZ BLVD.

19

CLINTON ST.

POWEL

1028 SE WATER

CESAR

DIVISION ST.

426 SW WASHINGTON

7 14 21

8 9

The Early Early Comedy Open Mic (Sundays) Eye Candy VJs (Mondays) Zach Bryson & The Meat Rack | Benny Gilbert | Alison Self Johanna Warren | Bright Smoke | Airport | Peridot The Thesis Calm Candy | Rareluth | Beatrix Sky | Looms Faded Pages | Neon Culpa | The Vedasays Fringe Class | Children | Two Moons Gordon Keepers | Corwin Bolt | Calamity | Aaron Donaldson Attick Empire Black Fruit | The Toads | Variants Pretenser | The Pretty Flowers | Last Good Sleep | Tallwomen Serena Elisheva | Mamai | Vega Black | Prairie M Faul Hard Sulks Bitter Buddha The Bricks | Bisti | Tallwomen | Noise Complaint The Suicide Notes | Slutty Hearts | Hong Kong Banana Ladywolf | Soft Lions | Silver Ships Bunker Sessions Open Mic Loveboys | Foxx Boides | Killed By Health | Lord Becky Suppper Club Dizzy Bats | Matt Jaffe & Distractions | Being A Living Thing Candice | Talkative | Adventure Galley | Pony Village And And And | Souvenir Driver | Rilla | Grand Lake Islands Bunker Sessions Open Mic Party Damage DJs Star Witness

BUNK BAR

17

LADD’S ADDITION

KELLY’S OLYMPIAN

3 4 10 11 17 18 20 24 25 31

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Hustle & Drone | Fanno Creek Minden | Reptaliens Mic Capes | Rasheed Jamal | Maze Koroma

1800 E BURNSIDE

S

84

600 E BURNSIDE

4 9 12 23 27

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Whitney | Michael Rault Bitch'n | Smoke Rings | The Wild Body Souvenir Driver | Ice Queens | Sinless Hosannas | No La La | Fog Father | Incedidental Music The Castaway Kids | Amber Moon | Pedestrian Death Gang Mumdance | Massacooramaan | Korma Gold Panda Raz Simone | Glenn Waco | Cassow | Roby Samara Lubelski & Marcia Bassett | Tenses | Grouper Jackson Boone | Seance Crasher | Wave Action

RONTOMS

KNOTT ST.

5

The Sheepdogs | Quaker City Night Hawks Lil Yachty Alo | Polecat Boris | Earth Minus The Bear | This Will Destroy You

12 13 18 20

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Hard Working Americans | The Mother Hips Sonny & The Sunsets Colvin & Earle Y La Bamba | Orquestra Pacifico Tropical Belly Peter, Bjorn & John

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features AUGUST THE KNOW

12 2026 NE ALBERTA 3 4 6 10 11 12 13 16 17 19 20 21 26 27 29 30

Maniac | Sex Crime | Piss Test | Steel Chains Toys That Kill | Nasalrod | Volturz Golden Pelicans | Sleeping Beauties | Bobby Peru Hank Wood & The Hammerheads | Rik & The Pigs Haunted Head | Lil Dowager | Heartless Magnus Atriach | Alaric Honey Bucket | The Woolen Men | Wave Action Rixe | Criminal | Frenzy | PMS 84 Spankbank Mic Crenshaw | Karma Rivera | DJ Klavical The Body | Full Of Hell Roselit Bone | The Reverberations | The Last Go Round The Ballantynes | Paradise Hands Of Thieves | A Volcano | Snakes Happy Diving | Lubec | The Wild Body Dead Bars | The Tim Version

ALBERTA STREET PUB 13 1036 NE ALBERTA 11 16 17 18

Shirley Temple of Doom | Michael Blake | Daisy O'Connor Jacob Joliff Band Wooden Sleepers | Silver & Smoke Dawn & Hawkes | Daisy O'Connor

THE SECRET SOCIETY 14 116 NE RUSSELL 5 LiquidLight | The Hugs | Altadore 12 Pacific Mean Time | Among Authors

17-20 International Pop Overthrow Festival

26 The Lovely Lost | Gerle Haggard 27 Strange & The Familiars | The Colin Trio | Karyn Ann

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The Pearls | Second Wind Joshua James & The Runaway Trains | Rubella Graves Garcia Birthday Band Lance Kinnaird | Lauren Abraham Greyhounds JP Harris & The Tough Choices | Jack Dwyer Garanzuay | Sweeping Exits | Casual Boyfriend Rogue Giant | Headwaves | Duke Chevalier The National Parks | Jenn Blosil | Paper Gates Danielle Nicole The Plutons The Outer Vibe | Kaiya On The Mountain Tigers Of Youth | Comanche Joey | Shoring Oh Jeremiah | Fox & Bones The Brothers Jam Sean McConnell | Andy Davis Shane Alexander | Navid Elliot Reed Turchi & The Caterwauls Wizard Attack | The Frequence | Petal The Variants | The Wilder | Golden Handcuffs Louder Than Moz | Black Sheep Black | Luminous Things Starover Blue | Each Both | A Certain Smile Cody Ray Raymond Josh Nielsen Band | Cosmic Rose

TURN! TURN! 16 8TURN! NE KILLINGSWORTH 3 Julian Snow | David Rafn 4 Lithics | Wave Action | OVVN | Fussy

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LOCAL FEATURE

C

oco Columbia is a dream, a vehicle, a magic machine where the girl beneath the wig transmutes her real world fears into the raw stuff of courage, much as an alchemist alters gravel into gold. This fey creature, the Queen of Blossom Flowers, though spun from an all-too-human mind, builds music that is otherworldly. Her newest album, When the Birds Begin to Walk, pulls the listener down mesmeric pathways, jarring them with sudden flashes of blackness before leading them back to sunlight and yellow, butterfly-filled fields. It is a departure from our day, and a fascinating glimpse of a multi-hued spirit. Catch the album release show at Doug Fir, Aug. 17 with Sama Dams and Moorea Masa.

Coco Columbia

ELEVEN: So Coco Columbia is not your real name? Coco Columbia: I just want that to be my stage name, because I don’t want my actual name on anything. When you do that there’s always confusion though, because we are a band, but everyone thinks Coco Columbia is a band. My band is a band, but I’ve had different people in the band. I’m doing all the music and the character. 11: If you conceive of Coco Columbia as a personality that you’ve created, how would you characterize her? Does she inhabit your songs or is it just a performer in a wig? CC: It’s a vibe. I’ve always liked the idea of an alter ego. For me, if she is


Photo by Mercy McNab

I think that my whole life I’ve been so afraid of everything and I’ve just been so insecure, and I haven’t really fit into these certain groups of people, these certain environments that I try really hard to fit into. It just didn’t work out. I’ve just had a lot of bullshit, like not being taken seriously by people. So this is kind of me turning around and kind of obnoxiously saying I’m going to represent and embody this thing that’s almost like a "fuck the haters" type of thing, and I hate to put it that way. That’s the worst way to put it. But it’s what you would be like if you actually didn’t give a fuck. Which, everyone gives a fuck. Even if you say you don’t, you obviously do. If you’re making anything and putting it out into the world, you want it to be received well. 11: Otherwise you wouldn’t put it

features AUGUST TURN! TURN! TURN! (CONT.)

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Wavves | Steep Leans | PartyBaby Nile | Suffocation | Carnifex | Krisiun | Ingested King Lil G Texas Hippie Coalition | Scott H. Biram | Ditch Digger | Recker Periphery | SikTh | Chon | Toothgrinder Young Dolph | Cap1 The Fall Of Troy | '68 | Illustrations | We The Wild Pouya | Germ | Ramirez | Shakewell The Living End | The Wild Roses

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in the world. CC: Yeah, you’d just make it for yourself. Sometimes I think it’d be cool for everyone, as an exercise, like say you were going to see a counselor, and they have you do all these different exercises learning how to deal with your shit and not hate yourself, if one my alter ego, she is this person who is me, and has my personality, but devoid any of the fear. And still has my flaws. Amplified, but void of fear. It’s like if I had no fear regarding anything in my life, how would I approach things completely differently? And so she’s who I imagine the quirky superhero version of myself is, if I wasn’t a scared little child in my hermit shell all the time. 11: You’re physically inhabiting

of the exercises could be creating an alter ego, and then deciding to fake that alter ego until you feel like you got to that point where you can almost embody it, like a real thing, so it didn’t feel fake to you. 11: Well how do you feel? Does it feel like you’re blurring some sort of line between who you are as Dana and who you are as Coco? CC: It doesn’t feel like I’m there

this character in real life though,

yet, but it also doesn’t feel like it’s

mostly onstage or when you’re

fake. It felt really fake to me at first.

writing music. It could be argued that

So I was almost like, "This is stupid,

when you’re hanging out with Coco

this is a fake bullshit thing I’m doing."

Columbia, or hanging out as Coco

But then later I was like, "No this is

Columbia, you are able to be the girl

awesome, this is what I want to be, and

that is your fearless alter ego. You get

so I’m gonna just keeping pushing this

to be that person.

along until it feels natural." And what’s awesome about that is it's started to

CC: But it doesn’t feel like that, you

feel more natural over time, which

know? My biggest thing right now, for

means it's working, the faking it thing

the last year and a half, has been "fake

is turning into not faking it anymore.

it till you make it." I love that so much.

It’s just growing or something.

VALENTINES

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features

to push the pop band

AUGUST STAR THEATER

thing. This album seems

22 13 NW 6TH

more like prog rock to me. But yeah to answer

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Abstract Rude | The Chicharones | Bad Habitat | B. Squid Andrew Keoghan | Murphy N Weller | Sheers Aaron Watson | Jeff Crosby & The Refugees Strap On Halo | Die Robot Joey Purp King Sunny Ade | Jujuba 12-13 Bowie Vision | Life During Wartime 20 Belphegor | Origin | Shining | Abigail Williams 24 Primal | Deya Dova | Yaima | Entheo 25-26 Clan Of Xymox | Vice Device | Soft Kill | The Bellicose Minds 31 Morgan Heritage | Steady Riot | DJ Cansaman

your question, I did feel really split between the two scenes. I’m cool with being accepted into the jazz scene, but I also feel not totally accepted by the pop scene yet. It was really hard for me

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ASH STREET SALOON

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to book shows at first because I think that we didn’t fit with a lot of bands. 11: In a couple of the songs, like "9 Steps" and "Black Flower," there’s some interesting moments where you flip suddenly between these lighter melodies and harmonies, that are then juxtaposed Photo by Eric Evans

with these intense, chaotic, dissonant jazz

11: You exist between these two worlds of modern jazz and modern pop. How does it feel to be in a rather uncharted place, existing between two different scenes? Do you feel drawn to one scene over the other?

breakdowns. Why do you choose to put these two very contrasting parts together so closely in these songs? CC: At some point I decided I wanted to musically and visually represent this character and, also, that’s how I feel

CC: I grew up playing the drums and went to school for jazz for a little while, and I definitely wanted to be a funk or jazz drummer for a bit. But I’ve always been drawn to pop music, and I’ve always had lofty goals, but I’m aiming for pop. I don’t mean straightup pop. Anything that has vocals in it I consider pop in my head. There’s pop music and instrumental music. There’s like jazz and classical and world music, and that’s instrumental, and then there’s music with vocals, which kind of mostly resides in the pop world. So when I say pop that’s what I mean. In my eyes I want to be in the pop world, and I really don’t want to be in the jazz world. I got a lot more jazz and soul labels from my first album because it’s not really rock at all, and this one’s way more rock. I’ve just decided to embrace any labels that people give us because I think it just helps, though I am trying

all the time. I’ve always had a little bit of a bi-polarish personality type, and everything in my whole life has felt either "fucking wanna die" or "fucking amazing." And it’s every other day, or it’s every two days. I think that I like styles of music that are super raw and angry and emotive and big, and I also love big, beautiful, happy soul melodies. And so I decided I wanted to try and mix those two elements. I like when songs go places that you’re not expecting them to go, even if people don’t like it. And I felt that with some of the songs, I wanted them to still be somewhat relatable. But I also thought that maybe you wouldn’t like it when you first heard it, but I hope that it would be something that would grow on you. Or that in time you would understand the emotional intent behind it. It’s mostly just emotionally driven.


11: How did you find songwriting? CC: About three years ago when I dropped out of music school I was not sleeping and not being productive, and that was when I found songwriting. And so I slowly started teaching myself how to sing, how to write songs, how to record stuff, how to make beats. Right when I found that, I almost completely stopped playing drums. It was the most satisfying outlet. I feel like with song writing you get the full package. You’re playing an instrument, you’re singing, you’re writing the lyrics and parts, you have like a theme or brand or vibe in mind. You get all the satisfaction of all the things you want to do creatively, jam packed into one thing. So right at that time I went on this quest to heal all my bullshit, and I found songwriting, and nothing is now as wonderful to me as when I finish writing a song that I feel accurately represents how I was feeling. And the hope after that is for that song to be relatable to someone else, like that

L Coco Columbia

When the Birds Begin to Walk Self-released

To say that the newest release from Coco Columbia, When the Birds Begin to Walk, is one hell of a wild ride would be an understatement. Her sophomore release is jazzy pop meets electro funk meets soul meets hip-hop. But what ties the four primary musicians together is their jazz roots. Improvising comes easy to Columbia and the nine other talented collaborators on this album. When the Birds Begin to Walk is an intense fusion of jazz drums,

“horrible fucking sinking tornado I want to fall into the depths of hell" feeling and they feel you on that, they feel that in the music, and that heals them a little bit, that’s the goal for me. For other people to feel better. Because that’s what it’s done for me. 11: So regardless of the ins and outs, the ups and downs, it’s a message of hopefulness for those who are suffering?

features AUGUST DANTES (CONTINUED) Dread Crew Of Oddwood Clasical revolution PDX Stary Olsa Todd Barry | Bryan Cook & JoAnn Schinderle The Poetry Brothel

FIRKIN TAVERN 1937 SE 11TH

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CC: Yeah. I found what I prefer, instead of "Let’s try to be positive, let’s pretend things are OK," is honesty. I think that when you’re honest with people about how you’re feeling then they’re almost never going to respond badly. » - Ethan Martin

COCO COLUMBIA CELEBRATES THE RELEASE OF HER NEW RECORD LIVE IN PORTLAND THIS MONTH AUGUST 17 AT DOUG FIR scratchy and catching guitar riffs, edgy melodies and complex keyboards. Columbia’s high-pitched dream pop vocals perch atop all of this, not grounding the body of music but elevating it. As someone who can do it all, her writing and vocals span all 10 tracks, her drumming and percussion are heard on three of them, and her keys on eight. Perhaps the track that ranges the widest is on the single, “Weight on Limb.” The melody is simple, kept by Columbia’s writing and harmonies, but the song is chopped into arresting riffs and light-hearted keys. A similar motif runs through the rest of the album, with vibes ranging from the ethereal and downtempo to the upbeat. Coco Columbia does not let up, bringing angst and solace to lovers of all sounds experimental. The improvisational tendencies of all 10 contributors to When the Birds Begin to Walk are nothing short of impressive and a solid example of the extensive and adventurous talent Portland has to offer. » - Gina Pieracci

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Gold Casio Wooden Indian Burial Ground Norman Sylvester The Rosenbalms | Big Poppies | Two Shining Suns Kinski | Wimps | Lithics Cool Breeze Acid Tongue The Get Down Erotic City

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HOLLYWOOD THEATRE A not-for-profit organization whose mission is to entertain, inspire, educate and connect the community through the art of film while preserving an historic Portland landmark. NE HOLLYWOOD 4122 NE Sandy Blvd (97212) 503.493.1128 | hollywoodtheatre.org

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Love Nothing | Forget It | Riled | EBT BBQ Lost Love | Beach Party | Thurman | Puppy Breath Castles | Cunning Wolves | Free Thought Takeover Sounds Like Disco | Peridot | Lovejoy The Shifts | Patti Mayo | Lutra The Carotids | The Food | Trouble Cuts In Repose | Karate In The Garage | Glam Skanks Nathan Kalish & The Last Callers Caustic Casanova Odium Totus | Eosophorus | Tsepesch Holidae House | Captain Wails & The Harpoons Singularity Kenny Reeves | Stephan Castro The Manx Potbelly | RKC The Plurals | Nato Coles | Blue Diamond Band

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Photo by Brantley Gutierrez


H

Photo by Jason Stoff

is path is worn like old leather, and you can feel

closed his eyes and imagined his future-self on stage,

the texture in his music and his stage presence.

it would only be making music under his own creative

He has a way with words; honest, from the

umbrella, uncompromising, and doing something that he

heart. As a boy, his lessons came mostly from

wholly loved. He turned down the deal.

his mother, while he connected with his dad through a

Though he can't refuse what life gives him, Rateliff

passed-on vinyl record collection. The music drove his

will explore to find what fits best. The match wasn't

prose. Nathaniel Rateliff, well, he's a hard workin' man

there with Roadrunner, but the more laid-back ensemble

with deep roots.

known as Nathaniel Rateliff and The Wheel felt ready

Born in a rural Missouri town called Bay, (where the

for the next step. After impressing at the CMJ Music

nearest bay of significance is about 500 miles away),

Marathon in 2008, Rateliff eventually signed to the

Rateliff learned early on to walk on the road in front of

eclectic-folk heavyweight Rounder Records. But again,

him, one step at a time. In 1998, that path lead him to the

he's an adventurer. For many years while Rateliff was

bigger-pond suburbs of Denver, Colorado. Thankfully,

releasing unfeigned solo records and wayfaring with The

Rateliff wasn't alone in his endeavors. Best buddy Joseph

Wheel, he was also noodling around with his R&B/soul

Pope III came and played alongside and was a founding

outfit The Night Sweats.

member of their jammy-slash-moody band, Born In The Flood. It was an exploratory time for the midwest boys, but

The music-making process is the same, though a bit more seasoned. In 2015, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats release a strong, complex self-titled album. Then

their practice did not go without notice. They became

something very different happens. Their show-closing

a staple of the Denver rock scene in the early 2000s,

"joke" song "S.O.B." catches absolute fire. It garners

and shortly thereafter, Born In The Flood was offered

20 million YouTube hits and plays during NBA playoff

a record deal with Roadrunner, home of Sammy Hagar,

broadcasts. All of a sudden, Rateliff is performing

Lynyrd Skynyrd, and, they-that-shall-not-be-named, but

impassioned sets for thousands of fans on a sold-out

rhymes with "pickle-hack." Thankfully, when Rateliff

world tour.

19 | ELEVEN PORTLAND | www.elevenpdx.com

Photo by Todd Walberg


features national scene ELEVEN: Almost 20 years ago at the ripe young age of 18, you left your home of Hermann, Missouri for Denver. What inspired the move? Nathaniel Rateliff: Well, there wasn't a whole lot of options where we were at, so Joseph and I followed a friend out there. Then we got involved in this program, didn't quite work out for us, then we just kind of ended up getting stuck and stayed, kind of fell in love with Colorado. I got a good job opportunity at a trucking company. I ended up staying there for 10 years. All the while we were trying to make music and play shows around Denver and wherever we could, really. [We] stayed in Colorado and continued to work and play music that whole time and eventually it worked out. There’s been a lot of different projects [along the way], I got signed as a solo artist to Rounder Records and I had a band back in Denver that whole time. When The Night Sweats [came together, we’d already] been playing here for over 20 years. 11: What was the Denver music scene like at that time, 20 years ago? NR: I wouldn't be able to tell you. We lived in the suburbs so we weren't downtown. There was a lot of cool stuff going on back then that I wasn’t really a part of, lot of warehouse kind of shows and loud guitars and crap like that. Once we finally kind of got involved in the 2000s, we used to play in this one club called The Hi-Dive in Denver, and a handful of other clubs, too. We were just kind of doing the Denver circuit, you know, but it was all our friends, you'd go watch your friends play, even if it was a different type of music. That’s kind of what the Denver scene always was, you'd see someone’s metal show, another singer-songwriter show. It never seemed too cliquey for me. It always seemed like everybody challenged each other, and everybody was friends, for the most part. 11: Reflecting on that time, do you consider it “the good ol' days?” It was a good bit ago and now recently you've really, really started to hit a stride. Do you miss it? NR: Yeah. I mean that was definitely the good... you know that was after I felt like I was cutting my teeth. It was great. I learned a lot. 11: Now it's Glastonbury, Sasquatch, FarmAid, Tonight Show, is that weird to process?

www.elevenpdx.com | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 20


features national scene NR: Yeah, it’s been really weird, the turn of events in

some songs... Songwriting is considerably about personal

the last year, even, there's just a change of venues and

life. A lot of it's about personal life, but it's also about

more people coming. At the same time... now we're kind

perspective of other things going on around you, things

of at a point where, we're still blown away at the places

that are going on in your friends' lives. I still write about

we're at and how many people come to see us. I think now

that friend kind of stuff. Haven't changed that much at

we have to own it in a different way and be like, "All right,

all. Basically I've still been working like I always have.

this is what's happening." Can't be surprised every night. We're at a bit of a changing point right now, realizing that it's not just a [one-off set], playing a good show and hoping people come back and see us, we need to make sure we play the kind of show that people want to come back and see. 11: How do you think those changes will affect the songwriting, as compared to Memory of Loss and then through the self-titled album? Now living a different experience and playing these huge, huge venues, as an artist you experience what's going on in the world around you and then that filters into what you're writing about, right? NR: Yeah, I'm sure it's going to be rough. Luckily, I've

11: Do you find it easier to write at home or on the road? NR: I prefer to write at home. I think the next record could be different because we have a real band put together now, whereas before it was a lot of me doing a lot of different parts of recording stuff. 11: Jumping back over to your 18 year-old self, what advice would you give that young man? NR: Hang in there and try to be humble. 11: Hang in there how?

always been sad for no reason. [Laughs] I write the same sort of material, for whatever reason. I’ve always had a knack for pulling out the negative. I've been working on

21 | ELEVEN PORTLAND | www.elevenpdx.com

NR: It's not going to be this bad forever. It's going to get worse, but it'll get better.


features national scene

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features national scene Barcelona, and now you're doing this New York show with Arcade Fire. What's been the standout show? NR: Boy. You know the thing is, is that it’s festival season, but I really like theaters a lot better, so I’m trying to think... Actually we played a show in Milan that was amazing. Exactly that kind of a festival thing, really nice venue. 11: Does anything beat playing a small venue in Photo by Jason Stoff

11: That's life, too. As you were saying, you have started to receive a lot of success, a lot of things have changed, but life has it ups and downs, no matter where

Denver? A friends and family show?

NR: Yeah, I mean I like... it doesn't necessarily actually have to be friends and family, I like playing smaller theaters, even. It's just amazing. A little under a

you are in life, and there's sadness and madness all

thousand. Once it gets over a thousand, you have more of

over. There's happy moments and sad moments, but

a mob. You know, when you keep it small, it's really nice.

we're all in this thing together and just getting through

Next time I'd love to play a theater with five thousand

it, one day at a time.

people. That'd be pretty amazing. And also, with the anniversary of our record coming out Aug. 21, we're

NR: Exactly. Exactly. It’s a shared human experience and to be a part of it, you've got to. 11: Right on. What's your favorite story from the

playing Red Rocks, which is very exciting. We’re super excited about that. 11: Yeah, what a venue.

road? Either your own or someone else's. NR: Doesn't get much better than that for me. I NR: Boy, I don't know. I don't want to be crude or...

know that’s exactly the opposite of what I said a minute ago, but it’s a pretty amazing place to be and that's our

11: You can be. NR: I've done a lot of stupid things.

hometown. 11: I saw a playlist that you made of favorite tunes and there were some recognizable ones on there, Iggy

11: We don't judge.

Pop, Roger Miller, Damien Jurado, but the other ones were pretty obscure, but great tunes. How did you

NR: Well, you know there's a lot of stupid things that

discover music growing up?

I've done, but I think the nice thing's like when you find yourself in a beautiful place you never thought you could

NR: Just in different ways. My mom introduced me to a

be, like in Montreux Jazz Festival in the middle of the

lot of stuff. After my dad passed, going through his record

night. That just happened. You know, that kind of stuff.

collection, it was kind of like discovering the things he listened to as a child, and being able to share that [with

11: What's been your favorite of those big shows within the last year? Glastonbury, or you were in

23 | ELEVEN PORTLAND | www.elevenpdx.com

him] even though he was gone, made me feel like I knew a little more about him.


features national scene As I got older, listening to the radio, going into a

different people. Music and different types of music are

random record store and somebody's got Leonard Cohen

expressed differently to different people. It helps you

playing, it's like, "What is this?" It’s Leonard Cohen.

learn about the culture and helps you learn about the

So I went over and got a Leonard Cohen record and it

human experience.

changed my life. Same thing with like, I had a friend listening to Townes Van Zandt and I had never heard it. Another friend's mom introduced me to The Basement

11: Last question. What's left to check off on your professional musician bucket list?

Tapes, and that kind of changed my life, too. Got me into The Band. The kind of music that just comes in and out

NR: Boy, that's not really me. I don't know, I guess it'd

of your life. I've never been one to dig deep, really search

be nice to get to a point where you just help more people.

for what’s real or rare... Kind of stumble onto things,

Just continue to help people in a way other than playing

kind of connect to things in life, fall in love with it and

music, to give back. »

listen to it all the time. Recently a friend of mine asked if I’d heard of C.W. Stoneking and I was like, “Nope!” It’s nice to take a break from only listening to Damien Jurado all the time. 11: Following up on that, what's the importance of musical diversity? NR: I think musical diversity is like the importance of being able to speak more than one language. Not

CATCH NATHANIEL RATELIFF & THE NIGHT SWEATS LIVE IN PORTLAND THIS MONTH AUGUST 27 AT WATERFRONT PARK FOR PROJECT PABST

everybody can do it. I feel like it helps connect to a lot of

www.elevenpdx.com | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 24


community literary arts Alexis M. Smith: It's really hard, because I think I go back and forth, daily. Sometimes I'm more optimistic that we're gonna get our shit together as a species, and do something. And sometimes the oil trains that everyone said were going to crash and burn, have crashed and burned. Then I just start thinking, there really is no hope for us, we're screwed. Because it doesn't matter if people can predict what's gonna happen … we can't get everyone's imagination behind it, it seemed like, to do something about it. I think in general, I'm hopeful and optimistic about individuals, and I'm pessimistic about collective decisions. That's sort of I think where the book comes down on it too, the more collective the decision, the more likely it is to not quite hit its mark. But then again, I'm also thinking about when the protestors suspended themselves from the St. Johns Bridge last summer. I watched it from my deck, because I could see it from where I lived. And I went down to the park a lot, with my son. It was such a wonderful moment, of people coming together, and sacrificing their own freedom, knowing they would probably be charged with crimes and go to jail for a period of time. That did give me hope. Even though we knew the boat was going to get back through, it was a moment of real feeling, like we can make good collective decisions, but some people have to…that those people, mostly young women, a lot of them were women, they made a really tough decision, that not a lot of us would choose to do. Or blockading the rail

LITERARY ARTS

Photo by Annie Beedy

Portland author Alexis M. Smith

A

s Alexis M. Smith sat down in the post-five year anniversary party clutter of the ELEVEN offices, she confided that the night previous had consisted of “many, many tequila cocktails.” But she didn't

seem at all groggy, deftly answering questions about the state of the planet, the state of womanhood and the state of Washington, where her new novel, Marrow Island, is set. The novel, about a group trying to remediate a devastated fictional island in the Puget Sound, is Smith's second novel. Her first, Glaciers, was released by Tin House and was a finalist for the Ken Kesey Award for Fiction. In both texts, Smith wrestles with ideas of a vanishing world and writes beautifully of the people who might, or might not, have any power over how quickly that vanishing occurs. ELEVEN: There's a lot of potential pessimism in Marrow Island, about humans and their role in the natural world. I'm curious where you fall on the pessimism-to-optimism spectrum.

25 | ELEVEN PORTLAND | www.elevenpdx.com

lines. I heard there was an action. 11: Twenty people were arrested just yesterday. [This interview was conducted on June 19.] AMS: Yeah, blocking the rail lines. I don't know that I'm brave enough to make that decision. Now that I have a kid. Maybe if you don't have a kid you can sacrifice yourself a little more for the greater good. I go back and forth. My idea with the colony was — I don't wanna give too much away — but I am on their side, as the writer, as the imagination behind the story, I'm totally on their side and I wanted them to succeed. 11: And yet. AMS: And yet. And I also don't think that they were shady. I think they made some bad decisions and I think people do that. I really just wanted to show how individually they wanted to make a difference and they were doing the best that they could. 11: You mentioned that so many of the people involved in the St. Johns protest were women. There's a very strong feminine energy running through the book. I'm curious where you see that energy falling, both in the novel and in a larger environmental context. AMS: Somebody actually asked me a similar question a couple days ago and I had never really thought about how


community literary arts the fact of them

AMS: Mushrooms are everywhere. Which is great. You

being women was

don't have to go very far. I run in Forest Park, or I did more

important in the

when I lived in St. Johns. And I would just bring my phone with

story. I'll just say

me and whenever I saw something I would take pictures of

that. Because I am

it and when I got back home, I would look in the guide books

a feminist myself,

and figure out what they were. I read this great book called

and because a lot of

Mushrooms, Molds and Miracles.

my really intense relationships are

11: By the same guy who writes all the mushroom books?

with women, it just felt natural

AMS: No, it's not Stamets. Mycelium Running was a huge

to tell a story …

one that I read very early. Paul Stamets is a really great

and part of it is

champion of the environment through mycelium. I read his

just my limitation,

book, this book by Lucy Kavalier, who wrote Mushrooms,

that I know female

Molds and Miracles. There's so much out there. I got really

psychology better.

obsessed with it for a while. I couldn't go on a run in Forest

Carey is sort of the

Park because I was stopping every two feet to take pictures of

romantic interest.

something. I have to admit that the idea of mushrooms as the

He was somewhat

vehicle for remediating the island after the fire was not my

based on some men in my life who were really … I don't know

idea. I had this crazy dream and I started developing this idea.

how to describe them. Poets and stoic and powerfully quiet.

I knew that in this dream there was this island that had been

Real thinkers and real sensitive people and men who always

devastated by some kind of man-made disaster, a toxic spill or

were conscious and aware of how their actions were affecting

something. We lived in Alaska when the Exxon Valdez spilled.

the women around them.

There were things like that that I think my consciousness was drawing on. So in the dream it was just this island and I knew

11: Very conscious of trying to be good men.

that half of it was still destroyed and the other half was bright green and I was flying over it in a float plane. And I also knew

AMS: Yeah, but at the same time, really conscious of how

there were nuns there which was weird. It just made sense.

that makes them different from other men, or the culture,

I was sitting across the table, describing this story that was

the really macho culture that comes out of some rural

developing for me to my son's father and I was like, I don't

communities, or working class communities, or religious

know how they're going to make this miracle happen. Like,

communities. And actually, some aspects of him are based

will it really be a miracle, or is it going to be more magical, is

on a trans man I dated for quite a while who was a wildland

it going be something unexplainable? And he was just like,

firefighter, who gave me a lot of information about that world.

mushrooms! And he just went and got Mycelium Running and

But I think it's important to keep telling stories where women

was like, "Here, read this book." So that was totally not my

are agents of change.

idea.

11: I'm curious about the research that went into the

11: Without giving anything away, I wanted to ask about

book. You write about two things with a lot of beautiful, vivid

Marrow Island's ending. I know you've said you had that

prose: mushrooms and the islands in the Puget Sound. Did

ending in mind when you started, but I'm curious how closely

you spend time on those islands as a child? Did you return

the ending in the book hued to that original idea.

once work on the novel began? AMS: I tend to be really attached to that first ending. AMS: I didn't actually go back, but yeah, we lived in

That's sort of what happened this time. I ended it on some

Washington state from the time I was ten until I left and

words I thought would be really important. When I got it back

moved here when I was 20. We used to take the ferry quite

with notes from [my editor] Jenna it was like, I just want you

a bit. My grandparents lived in Edmonds. The many, many

to think really deeply about this. She's like, I'm not pushing

islands of Puget Sound were part of our...

you in any direction, but these are things I want you to think really deeply about in the ending. The scene itself that I'd

11: Part of your world.

imagined, and the feeling, are still there, but it did end up going in another direction, I think definitely for the better, or

AMS: Yeah, from a pretty young age.

I wouldn't have kept it. But yeah, I think it's really important to be attached to something, but also at some point be willing

11: And how about mushrooms?

to thank it for its time and let it go. » - J.P. Kemmick

www.elevenpdx.com | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 26


community visual arts started with that, and we did lots of performances that way, some in some really amazing venues. 11: What is important to you about being an artist? SE: A couple years ago I really took a step back and Photo by Mercy McNab

VISUAL ARTS Portland artist Scott Erickson

contemplated why I was an artist, what I was trying to accomplish. It was the moments of solidarity with an audience and creating those moments of connection with an audience. I realized doing art shows was not for me and I’m not interested in that, every art show I’ve ever done was kind of an emotional let-down. This is in contrast to

ELEVEN: You’ve said that what interests you the most about visual art is the story that unfolds in the creative process. Can you give us a story that sticks out to you out of a project that you’ve done?

performing, which I’ve found is so much more gratifying for me and I’ve been able to meet my end goal so much more. If I have an idea for something, then I will probably make visual art for it because that is the way that I think. I think I really want to be a musician but I just don’t think musically. I am bombarded with images constantly

Scott Erickson: For the last 12 years I’ve put myself in

so I think more about how I can use image and story and

front of people making things, people call it live painting.

performance to get to my end goal or the thing I want to

Creating something while an audience watches isn’t

get to. Which, to sum it up, is like this representation of

expected out of visual artists. For example, if you are going

something that I make that helps people to connect and

to make music you eventually might think to perform those

remember they are not alone and somebody else feels this

songs in front of some people, and if you make visual art

way or finding that essence of what connects us. I guess I

you might complete some work and think about maybe

am just like one of those people at the fair making those

hanging some of it up for people to see but you never think

spray paint universes, on the street, like stars and planets,

that you might

and when their

create it in front

stuff is just sitting

of people, but I

out everyone is just

have always been

walking by, but as

drawn to that

soon as they start

concept. I was

to get it out and

invited in college

lay it out, poof, a

to work with a

giant crowd appears

band called Late

and they want to

Tuesday up in

see it being done.

Bellingham, Wash.,

Most people have

where I went to

not seen art being

college, to perform

made, it’s a mystery

art during their

to them. Maybe

performances.

they don’t know

My love for live

what it is but it may

art-making really

trigger something

27 | ELEVEN PORTLAND | www.elevenpdx.com


community visual arts in them and they

SE: I was hired by

might start having

a church to be their

a conversation and

resident artist. The

there may be this

lead pastor of that

moment of revelation

church trusted me

that I am not in

to figure out what I

charge of but I get to

wanted to do. I spent

be a part of it, which

three years in that

feels really magical.

community and I was there to help foster

11: It seems a lot

a visual language

of artists can be very

that we could use to

personal in their

anchor our beliefs

art, so why do you

in imagery. I did a

feel it is important

number of different

to draw at these interpersonal connections?

projects and it was a very pleasant experience. I didn’t want to be a typical arts pastor and I wasn’t interested in just having coffee with

SE: I think you make the artwork that you really long

people and putting on events, but wanted to be creating

to see. I remember I went to Philadelphia and went to the

with them. I don’t want an office; I want an art studio. I

National Gallery there and my wife and I paid like $30

think it is important to have a community that is making

dollars each and it was awesome to see super famous works

something rather than talking about what they should

like Marcel Duchamp’s "Descending Staircase." Still after

make.

like three hours of walking around and seeing stuff, I just

The biggest project that we did was called “Cruciformity,

remember thinking it still wasn’t as awesome as a rock

Stations on the Skin,” that got national coverage on CNN

show. I think it would have been so much more interesting

was one we did during the season of Lent. Lent is the

for me if the artists were there and could talk about their

Catholic tradition that is a 40 days of time before Easter

works and we could understand their intentions.

dedicated to meditating on Jesus’s journey in Jerusalem and his march to the cross, and a season to contemplate

11: Why is it important to you to make art that is ‘tangible’?

our own mortality. Half of our church was an art gallery that I helped curate, and we usually have the Stations of the Cross up, and so my idea was to do the stations

SE: I never felt a part of the art world. I studied art and

on skin, like tattoos. I found out about the history of

became an art teacher and taught art to high schoolers. Part

Russian prison tattoos where people would get symbols as

of the reason I had to quit that job was that I felt like I was

representations of the crimes that they committed. So off

teaching what I was

of that idea I thought

told to teach and not

of doing tattoos that

what I know about

represented grace

being an artist. I am

rather than crimes.

mostly self-taught. I

I made several

think art at its most

designs and proposed

powerful is very

them to my church

teaching and reflects

and suggested that

something about the

rather than having

experience of being

images up for Ash

human in this world.

Wednesday at the art opening we

11: Tell us about

would have people

your Artist in

as the Stations of

Church Residency in

the Cross. I needed

Houston.

just 10 people, but

www.elevenpdx.com | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 28


community visual arts by the end of that

to be a human being.

Sunday 160 people

Jesus is willfully

showed interest and

going through awful

60 people actually

parts of humanity,

participated. It was

like being tried in

a very meaningful

an unjust system,

experience.

being physically abused, publicly

11: What is the

humiliated, anxiety

Stations of the Street

and terror and those

project that you did

types of human

this year?

experiences. For me the Stations are a

SE: I thought it

meditation on what it

was important to

is to be human, and a

take this powerful

spiritual meditation.

meditation during

I believe that if there

Lent and allow people to be able to participate in it without

is a place that our spirituality should come from, it should

having to physically go into the church. I accomplished this by

be rooted in a place that the divine is not outside of our own

making it into a street art piece. The original Catholic story

experience.

includes 14 stations and I whittled it down to 10 stations. The reason that I am interested in the Stations of the Cross is that

11: What are some of your latest projects?

Easter is about the power of the divine over death and I think Good Friday is like the divine participating in how shitty it is

SE: The next little project I’m working on is a series of t-shirt illustrations highlighting the lament of an everchanging Portland. I’m playing off of RIP CITY–"R.I.P. City." I grew up in Seattle and I saw how a city can change for better and for worse. It’s not fun to lose the things you used to know and love, but that’s how life is. “This too shall pass,” says the Buddha and the old Portland will be just that, old. There are so many amazing things in Portland and those have come about by growth and ingenuity. Sure we will have more traffic and high rent prices and that sucks. But I’m thankful I call this city my home. It’s my favorite place in the world. I just wanted to make something that had a humorous solidarity with it as I’m forced to grow up in a growing city. » - Lucia Ondruskova

FIND THIS ARTIST ONLINE SCOTTERICKSONART.COM INSTAGRAM: SCOTTTHEPAINTER Please enjoy a piece from Scott's "R.I.P. PDX" project (pen on paper) decorating our inside back cover this month.

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Eleven PDX Magazine August 2016  
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