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INSIDE: HOW TO DRESS WELL | MINI BLINDS | DEAP VALLY | ALDOUS HARDING | SUN ANGLE ELEVEN PDX MAGAZINE - VOLUME 6, ISSUE 5

COMPLIMENTARY


contents

ELEVEN PDX MAGAZINE VOLUME 6

THE USUAL 3 Letter from the Editor 3 Staff Credits

ISSUE NO. 5

FEATURES Mini Feature 13 How To Dress Well

Cover Feature 17 NEW MUSIC

The Thermals

4 Aural Fix Slow Moses Aldous Harding Deap Vally La Femme

7 Short List 7 Album Reviews Mini Blinds Crocodiles Sun Angle Two Door Cinema Club

COMMUNITY Literary Arts 25 Author Martha Grover

Visual Arts 27 Photojournalist Joshua Zirschky

LIVE MUSIC 9 Know Your Venue White Eagle

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! Welcome to October, the spookiest month of the year! While the outdoor show and festival seasons are winding down, the indoor venue season is 'bout to be wound up! Be sure to flip through the Musicalendar [p.11] to pick out some of your faves, or let your ears feel something new from the Aural Fix [p.4]. Fiending for something of the non-musical variety? Fall in Oregon may be the best time of year to head out to Sauvie Island. Why? One word: agritainment, which is, of course, that "farm-based entertainment including activities such as hayrides, pony rides, wine tasting, cornfield-maze contests, and harvest festivals." The grumpy teenager in me would loathe the idea, but the child and adult versions of me are all in. You haven't felt the triumph of life until you've successfully navigated the "maize" at The Pumpkin Patch. Come end of month, you know what's up! Grab yer pumpkins, carve carefully, get hella spooky, because Portland does it up when it comes to costuming. Happy Halloween! »

- 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, Jameson Ketchum, Kelly Kovl, Samantha Lopez, Ethan Martin, Scott McHale, Lucia Ondruskova, Gina Pieracci, Ellis Samsara, Tyler Sanford, Matthew Sweeney, Charles Trowbridge, Henry Whittier-Ferguson PHOTOGRAPHERS Eric Evans, Alexa Lepisto, Mercy McNab, Andrew Roles, Todd Walberg, Caitlin M. Webb COVER PHOTO Jason Quigley

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!


AURAL FIX

new music aural fix

up and coming music from the national scene

1

SLOW MOSES OCTOBER 15 | MISSISSIPPI STUDIOS

Many groups, especially of late, strive to explore the syncopated musical stylings of Afropop or Highlife, and while some simply lift existing rhythms and flavors directly, others, like Slow Moses, ingest those elements, digest them thoroughly, and spit out a wholly unique sonic experience. It would be disingenuous to suggest that the band’s sole influences come from those musical traditions, however. Also weaved into the tapestry are pieces of psychedelic rock, lo-fi pop, and a touch of indie sensibilities–all of which result in 2016’s eclectic and hypnotic Charity Binge. Packed with 13 incredibly distinct and complex tracks, Charity Binge feels like an experience. As a quintet, Slow Moses certainly has the instrumental depth, and the accompanying chops, to deliver sounds, rhythms and lyrics that won’t be found on the majority of albums being put out today. Some tracks, like “Fever Dream,” unfold methodically, layering instrumental sounds, vocals and challenging rhythms to create a hazy, restrained piece that eases its way through space. Immediately following is “Oh, Bembeya,” a tribute to Bembeya Jazz National, a Guinean Afropop jazz group that rose to prominence in the ‘60s and subsequently became one of the defining groups

2

ALDOUS HARDING OCTOBER 20 | WONDER BALLROOM

More than any other branch of music, folk gives serious weight to both story and sound, pulling on two arts until they touch. It is an effort few can muster, though the current popularity of “folk” as a genre tag suggests any person with a ukulele and a whistle can do it. Aldous Harding won’t stomach this thin, cute-hearted deceit; she bends the boughs until they quiver, near to breaking, and in that ache hears a song.

of Guinean music. Consciously dissimilar to “Fever Dream,” it deploys a catchy and bouncy guitar riff that rides the percussion and light vocals; that is, like any good tribute, the influence is clear, but Slow Moses again manages to put its own spin and flavor into the mix. Throughout Charity Binge, Slow Moses takes nothing for granted. The attention to detail on each track is clear–and with five musicians filling the sonic space, the cleanliness of the instrumentals and the confidence with which each piece is executed, makes for a compelling musical journey. Although the album clocks in at nearly an hour, listening straight through is never a task. It’s a testament to the cohesive sound and collective vision that makes Slow Moses one of the more distinct acts on the scene today. » - Charles Trowbridge

Her instrumentation is stark, relying mostly on the grace of plucked guitar notes to support her smoky, trembling words. "Stop Your Tears" begins, “I will never marry, my love/I will die waiting for the bells/death come pull me underwater/I have nothing left to fear from hell.” Later toward the song’s end we hear, “I am at the river with baby/her father enters with a leap/hold her head above the water/she is pale against the stream/I am the horse beneath his daughter/he is the mountain underneath.” Her clear, pained imagery can be harrowing, but who can deny the grip of a poet? This darkness does not go unbalanced, and the sweet, life-affirming words of the song "Merriweather" shine a light so that we can see more clearly the many shades a human shadow casts: “My name is Merriweather/I sing just like I sing/This song that I’m living/ grace has given me/the one that I love is here by my side/and a love that’s been holy till this world sucks me dry.” The paced earnestness of this track colors in Harding’s identity and helps us believe that joy is no less honest for its simplicity. The young artist from New Zealand digs after the bones of the human experience: birth, fear, grief, love. Her work makes the heart and spirit sweat under her unflinching stare, but once plumbed we feel some fountain within come undammed, and think not anymore that life is beautiful but so sad, but rather that life is sad but so beautiful. » - Ethan Martin

www.elevenpdx.com | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 4


new music aural fix Photo by Eleonora Collini

Muddy guitar work slams against '60s backbeats and defines the mainline running through Deap Vally’s stylistic prowess. Troy belts like the lovechild of Janis Joplin and Joan Jett while Edwards’ percussion chops reside in Janet Weiss (Sleater-Kinney) territory. Their contemporaries would be hard-pressed to mimic the rock 'n’ roll purity found in tracks like “Lies” and “Gonnawanna,” the latter featured on last month’s Femejism, the duo’s second record and first on a major label. Deap Vally feels like a punch to the chest, grungy, but polished enough to avoid the quality police. It's Americana punk at its finest, replete with distortion, howls and moments of pure chaotic bliss. (See the track "Royal Jelly.") To truly summarize what Deap Vally represents, one must look no further than

3

DEAP VALLY OCTOBER 21 | ROSELAND THEATER

their numerous music videos. Beyond the breath of fresh musical air, what’s truly admirable about the duo is the detail of the band’s aesthetic. A cohesive game plan, intentional or not, is at work here, propelling the act beyond the level of just another

After performing solo and in other Los Angeles acts, the

noisy guitar/drums duo. Deap Vally has managed to embody

duo of Lindsey Troy (vocals/guitar) and Julie Edwards (drums)

the best parts of American rock music without feeling like a

formed in a crochet class in Silver Lake about five years ago.

throwback. Mark our words, they will be massive. In the band’s

Deap Vally consistently draws comparisons to more household

short lifespan, Edwards and Troy have already landed opening

names, such as The White Stripes and Led Zeppelin, though

slots with the likes of Wolfmother, Muse and The Red Hot Chili

one could easily argue that Troy and Edwards have already

Peppers, a sign of more exposure to come for rock music’s best

succeeded in blazing their own unique path.

kept secret. » - Jameson Ketchum

5 | ELEVEN PORTLAND | www.elevenpdx.com


new music aural fix

4

LA FEMME OCTOBER 30 | DOUG FIR

Truly a mystery of a band, La Femme has just about blown me away. This French collection of extremely versatile musicians trades in electronic, trance-style vibes with flowing surf rock that seduces and entrances the mind. “La Femme is a solar system. We don’t like the idea of having a leader or a chief. Everyone brings to the band what they can and want,” says guitarist Sacha Got in the band's press statement. What an antiegotistical and universal approach. Carrying out this technique allows the band to flourish in multi-dimensional ways and absolves it of any arrogant pretensions. As I submerged myself in their new album Mystere (out last month), I was overtaken by its simultaneously sensual, ominous, eerie, hypnotizing and energizing feeling. It's an experience I'd recommend. In terms of the band's journey, Got and keyboardist Marlon Mangee began playing together in the French surf town of Biarritz before they moved to Paris to join forces with bassist Sam Lefevre, percussionist Nunez Ritter and drummer Noe Delamas. La Femme features multiple female vocalists in their music, most notably the voice of singer Clémence

Quélennec. “The perfect female voice probably doesn’t exist so there are several singers. It suggests woman is a mystery,” the band explains in its statement. If they can pull off anything close to the album on a live stage prepare to pick up little pieces of your mind up off the floor of the Doug Fir this month. » - Ellis Samsara

QUICK TRACKS A “SPHYNX” Prolific and hypnotic spiraling overtakes and enthralls as this entrancing electronic explosion continues into patterns of pure oblivion, seducing you into submission as it pushes forward into an understanding of power, beauty and precision.

B “LE VIDE EST TON NOUVEAU PRENOM” Ominous classical nylon stringed acoustic guitar achieving a slow flowing surf style cool, combined with tambourine, bass and a delicately subtle female presence that entwines in smooth, eerie and tender bliss.

www.elevenpdx.com | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 6


new music album reviews

ALBUM REVIEWS THIS MONTH’S BEST R REISSUE

L LOCAL RELEASE

Short List Green Day Revolution Radio

L Mini Blinds

Air Signs See My Friends Records

The Naked and Famous Somewhat Damaged Toy Clear Shot Kaiser Chiefs Stay Together NOFX First Ditch Effort Norah Jones Day Breaks Phantogram Three

About a year ago, Beth Ann Dear and Devin Welch were hiding from wildfires in a basement. Now they’re putting out their debut record together, which began in said basement with just a few drum lines. They call themselves Mini Blinds and their sound is just about as quirky as their name lets on. Air Signs breezes through in one quick eight-track fly by. It features

Kings of Leon Walls American Football American Football Daniel Rafn The Hanged Man

L

Jimmy Eat World Integrity Blues Springtime Carnivore Midnight Room The Dillinger Escape Plan Dissociation Helmet Dead to the World Buy it

Stream it

Toss it

facebook.com/elevenmagpdx @elevenpdx

7 | ELEVEN PORTLAND | www.elevenpdx.com

Crocodiles Dreamless Zoo Music Formed in 2008 by its core members after the break-up of their former punk bands, Some Girls and The Plot to Blow Up the Eiffel Tower consisting of best friends Brandon Welchez and Charles Rowell, Crocodiles is a noise pop/indie pop band from San Diego. The band has earned its title as one of the most engaging and consistent rock bands of the last few years. Dreamless, out Oct. 21 under the band’s own label, Zoo Music, will be its sixth LP and the band’s most exploratory and polished release.

two previous singles and a relaxed cover of Beat Happening’s “Angel Gone.” The record’s beauty is in its simplicity though. Dear’s vocals are nonchalant and Welch’s kicks and riffs roll effortlessly. There’s a certain mellowness to Dear’s style–equal parts offhand and yet refined. Turn to Frankie Cosmos and Adult Mom for vibe comparisons. Mini Blind’s lyrics ground the everyday, but in their own casual way of course. Dear calls us all out halfway through the record: “But life means much more, to cry, laugh, be afraid, to grow, learn, and die, why hide it all to get laid?” This, after deadpanning, “I’m happy.” The song “Starfish” half relies on vocables like “doo do do doo” and refers to the decline in our ecosystems by describing “starfish melting in the sea.” The album experience ends rather cinematically, with a tender, minuteand-a-half keyboard melody. Air Signs is cute and plays on minimalism for chord progression, melodies and essence. It’s sweet listening and something fun from some Portland upand-comers. » - Gina Pieracci

The band is mostly known for combining the muffled-out “wah-wah” sounds of electric guitars and the fuzzbox effects found in psychedelia with the distorted, limited frequency of lo-fi, but Dreamless sees the duo embark on a more artistic retreat. Dreamless retires the guitars to the backseat, leaving room for more synthesizers and a more piano-heavy sound. The album explores a more selfaware, jaded outlook on life; it opens up with a chilling spoken-word sample that says, “And you’ll burn and weep and suffer." In a statement released by PRESSPARTY, Welchz explains, “The sample is from a Christian preacher that we found over 15 years ago... back then we used it with a sense of humor... but hearing it again in our apartment in Mexico City, within the context of the words we were singing, it took on a different air. It lost the humorous aspect and just seemed like a commentary on life." Dreamless has the volume and harmonic feedback of The Jesus and Mary Chain combined with the triphop, downtempo, ambient, chill-out sound of bands like Zero 7 and Massive Attack. Together, those elements create a generally cool and contemptuous album. » - Samantha Lopez


new music album reviews

L Sun Angle

Skullflower XRAY Records

Portland trio Sun Angle takes the cultural mishmash that is a hallmark of PDX and channels the energy, élan and general eccentricity into records simultaneously challenging and accessible. The experimental psych-pop that results is a vibrant amalgamation of genres, playing styles and influences. The group’s newest studio album, Skullflower, paints lush sonic landscapes that weave into richly layered tracks.

Two Door Cinema Club Gameshow Parlophone In the last four years, Two Door Cinema Club has leapt backward in time. Their latest release, Gameshow, sports an apropos cover, three neon bars of purple and aquamarine reflecting off crumpled mylar, the material of an anachronistic 1980s dance party future. It’s this future the album reaches for sonically too, straying further from the band’s alt-rock beginnings on 2010’s Tourist History, into

One of the more interesting takeaways from Skullflower is the way the group manages to play with a looseness that belies a sharp attentiveness. No notes appear misplaced, and the use of shifting rhythms and fluid instrumentals allows the group to range around a musical playground where no piece of equipment or space is off limits. Sun Angle’s experimental exploration is less ethereal than it is rangey and tangibly curious. Although there are moments, like on “Savage Memory,” where the listener is treated to an extended psychedelic intro, the group does its best work when toying with the space by filling it with changing synth sounds, dissonance and percussion that serves more as a solo instrument than accompaniment. Drummer Papi Fimbres occasionally utilizes polyrhythms–much like a jazz drummer–to bring additional layers to a track like “Royal Skulls,” which is itself already a unique combination of punk/fusion influences. The extra percussive elements allow bassist Marius Libman and renowned Portland sound artist Charlie Salas-Humara (of Panther) to fully explore the funkier,

Latin-inspired melodies against dynamic rhythms. Although no track stands out as a single (presumably by design), “Drink the Moon” is perhaps the most straightforward song on the album. With a bit of a garage rock at the core, it rolls forward with clear intent, incorporating horns and bombastic, punky percussion. Album opener “American Beauty” puts off a floating Jim James-esque vibe, featuring a repetitive bass line that is both lulling and propellant. It’s a soft and accessible intro to an album that only gets progressively, well, progressive. Sun Angle has spent its fair share of time rocking live shows around the city, and the group’s ability to harness the live sound that built them such a strong following in a recorded atmosphere speaks both to the quality of production and the synergy between the members. Skullflower benefits from the trio’s experience both on stage and in the studio to present a continually maturing and expansive musical palate that arrives fully baked and ready to dive into. But, as they say, it’s about the journey, not the destination. » - Charles Trowbridge

the synthier realm of their 2012 album, Beacon, and beyond. Gameshow is their most produced project yet, driven on waves of fuzzy synths and crisp sampled drums, interlaced with layered guitar and effected vocals. The rhythm section finds its groove between Tame Impala’s 2015 Currents and Daft Punk’s 2013 Random Access Memories, while also looking further back to period classics like Talking Heads' Speaking in Tongues and Tears for Fears’ The Hurting. The most notable difference here is in the vocals. TDCC’s early songwriting emphasized the voice of lead singer Alex Trimble, floating him on top of the drum and bass, set opposite the thick instrumental sections on cuts like “Something Good Can Work” and “What You Know.” On Gameshow, the vocals are pushed back in the mix, laden with effects and often dubbed with a synth or guitar playing the same line, strengthening the melody but deemphasizing the lyrics. This might be a good decision, since that’s where the album most noticeably

falters. The lines are shorter, less memorable, and seem more jaded. “You should be comfortable, don’t think at all,” Trimble tells us on the opening track, and later again, on the title cut: “Why think, don’t think, why think, why?” Perhaps this is the point, the sonic recreation of a decade that's zeitgeist was one of existential emptiness, but the album remains too abstract to land on anything resembling a concrete statement. The title track wants to refer to the music industry, celebrity, the internet, the whole absurd endeavor of modern existence, all of it, a slick, immaterial thing that dissipates just beyond the album’s poetic grasp. The resulting music is more physical, danceable, ripe for party playlists and live shows, but it lacks a depth that might sustain it beyond the next few touring seasons. Gameshow wagers on a sense of musical nostalgia and ends up doing little more than breaking even. It’s a summer album for the fall, a dream of future that’s already in the past, a neon beacon pulsing just behind the times. » - Henry Whittier-Ferguson

www.elevenpdx.com | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 8


live music Photo by Eric Evans

These days The White Eagle is a café, saloon, and "rock 'n' roll hotel." There is a beautiful and spacious patio outside, with a bar and cozy corner stage within it. An outdoor entrance opens up to a grand, steep, staircase that leads to the hotel’s 11 guest rooms. The heritage still shines through on a menu of Polish sausages and fine Polish vodka. (The rest of the menu, particularly Neon’s List, is also superb.) The building is rich in history, which includes exaggerated legends and ghostly yarns. It’s not just that the entertainment at The White Eagle was raucous way back when; there was a rumored brothel upstairs and an opium den in the basement. The basement also supposedly included a tunnel that connected to an underground network used to “shanghai” inebriated or unconscious patrons to waiting ships. Upstairs in those days, the drinks led to the brutal exchange of fists. So much so that the saloon was nicknamed “The Bucket Of Blood." Later, Prohibition calmed the neighborhood (although that kept the alleged tunnels in use), and when the alcohol laws were lifted it remained a tamer version of itself for the working class nightlife. That included many workers of the Fremont Bridge that was taking shape overhead in the late '60s. The nightlife energy ramped up again in the '70s, but this time because The White Eagle was beginning to build its live music tradition. Today, a walk through the property tells a story through old show posters and black and white photographs of crowds enjoying bands like The Holy Modal

KNOW YOUR VENUE White Eagle

B

Rounders. This is how the McMenamin brothers came to find the property, as a lot of the locations they've acquired are places where they went to enjoy music. The calendar is always full of diversity. There is a weekly open bluegrass jam. October brings acts such as Yonatan Gat, The Lovely Lost and Alejandro Escovedo (who just recorded a new album in Portland with Scott McCaughey of The Minus 5 and Peter Buck of R.E.M.).

ack in 1905, the South Waterfront was a rough and tumble neighborhood within our bustling port city. The streets were full of sailors and men who came from all over the world to

work the railroads, mills and factories. When night fell they sought drink and diversion within one of the many local establishments. This included The White Eagle, a saloon owned by two Polish immigrants, Barney Soboleski and William Hryszko, the white eagle being symbolic of their national flag. Their immigration papers are still intact and framed upstairs at the bar today. They were miners in their home country, but in Portland they were entrepreneurs.

9 | ELEVEN PORTLAND | www.elevenpdx.com

Photo by Eric Evans


live music

Mount Joy playing White Eagle. Photo by Eric Evans

October also marks the venue’s 111th birthday with The Reverb Brothers and Garcia Birthday Band playing the party. And, of course, it’s Halloween. That's a fitting time to visit The White Eagle and its reputation for being one of the most haunted places in Portland. Flying objects, strange noises, and a mysterious apparition named Rose could be part of the show. » - Brandy Crowe

Mount Joy playing White Eagle. Photo by Eric Evans

www.elevenpdx.com | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 10


live music OCTOBER CRYSTAL BALLROOM

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Phantogram | The Range Devin Townsend Project | Between the Buried & Me Nahko & Medicine for the People | Hirie Cold War Kids | The Strumbellas The Fray | American Authors Blind Pilot Ingrid Michaelson Kaleo | Bishop | The Wind + The Wave The Faint | Gang of Four

Grouplove | Muna | Dilly Dally James Blake | Moses Sumney Common Kings | Ballyhoo! Ghost Dada Life Death from Above 1979 | Black Rebel Motorcycle Club The Naked and Famous | XYLØ Bad Religion | Angainst Me! | Dave Hause Getter

MISSISSIPPI STUDIOS 3939 N MISSISSIPPI

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PEARL OLD TOWN 2

BURNSIDE ST.

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The Moondoggies | Banditos | The Jackalope Saints Hazel | Hex Vision Natural Child | Faux Ferocious Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas | Tancred Adam Green's Aladdin | The Morals Mild High Club | Psychomagic | Reptaliens Rocky Votolato | Chris Staples | Michael Dean Damron Ryley Walker | Circuit Des Yeux Ex-Cult | Power | Public Eye Xylouris White | Emmett Kelly of the Cairo Gang Erika Wennerstrom | Petter Ericson Stakee Amendola VS Blades Prometheus Risen Calfone | Slow Moses Explode Into Colors | The Ghost Ease | Lithics Margo Price | William Tyler

RUSSELL ST.

ON

MLK BLVD.

Mick Jenkins | Smino Jeremy Enigk | Jon Black Cymbals Eat Guitars | Field Mouse | Wildhoney King | Joey Dosik Sticky Fingers | King Shelter Marlon Williams & The Yarra Benders | Julia Jacklin Highly Suspect White Fang | No Parents Brendan James Bumper Jacksons Helado Negro | Like a Villain The Felice Brothers | Aaron Lee Tasjan Poster Children | The Secret Sea Stone In Love | The Junebugs Calamity Jane | The Prids | DJ HYW 7 Andy Shauf | Scattered Clouds Terry Bozzio Flock of Dimes | Your Friend The Boxer Rebellion Tom Odell Dom Flemons | Leyla McCalla Cosmonauts Screaming Females | Moor Mother Jared & The Mill | Edison Earphunk | Sneaky Pete & The Secret Weapons Lewis Del Mar World's Finest | Yak Attack La Femme

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DOUG FIR

DOW NTO WN

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WILLIAMS AVE.

8-9 The Devil Makes Three | Lost Dog Street Band

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8 NW 6TH 6 The Game | Bonaphied | Chez | Rob E 7 GRiZ | Haywyre | Louis Futon

MISSISSIPPI AVE.

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live music OCTOBER MISSISSIPPI STUDIOS (CONT.)

ALBERTA ST.

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ALBERTA ARTS

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42ND AVE.

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HOLLYWOOD

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LAURELHURST

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GLISAN ST.

EASTBURN

1800 E BURNSIDE

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KELLY’S OLYMPIAN 426 SW WASHINGTON

MORRISON ST.

BELMONT ST.

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11TH AVE.

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HAWTHORNE 17

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L BLVD.

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19

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CESAR

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BUNK BAR

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The Early Early Comedy Open Mic (Sundays) Eye Candy VJs (Mondays) Nick B | Mighty | Elton Cray | Foday | J Burns | Verbz Jamie Dunkle | Ian Caton | Sea Charms | Lance Andrew DJ Gray Pat Kearns and Attack of the Killer Eggplant The Thesis Chui Wan | Alpine Decline | The Long Goodnight Frederick Family Fundraiser Keeper Keeper Morning Bear | Noah Kite | Red Steppes General Mojo's | Glasys | The Yacolt Burn

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Tangerine Forest Veil | Johanna Warren Black Water Holy Light

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Survive | Majeure Phone Call | Fringe Class | Rasheed Jamal | DJ Lamar Leroy True Widow | Lowlands Daniel Rafn | Coronation | Oro Azoro | DJ Lamar Leroy Papa | Gold Casio The Doo Doo Funk All Stars | Eastern Sunz Hayden James | Elderbrook

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Tobacco | High Tides | Odonis Odonis The Julie Ruin | Mecca Normal | Allison Crutchfield Cute Is What We Aim For Troyboi Johnnyswim | Penny & Sparrow Deerhunter | Aldous Harding | Jock Gang Stormzy Honne Kishi Bashi | Busman's Holiday of Montreal | Teen Gallant | Eryn Allen Kane Zion I | Lafa Taylor Majid Jordan $uicide Boy$

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How To Dress Well | Ex Reyes Sara Jackson-Holman | Rare Diagram | Lynnae Gryffin Sun Angle | Tender Age | Mattress Chatham County Line | Courtney Marie Andrews King Black Acid | The Quick & Easy Boys Jacuzzi Boys | Stallion Wooden Shjips | The Lavender Flu Charlie Parr La Luz | Candace | Haley Heynderickx Hiss Golden Messenger | The Dead Tongues Holy Sons | Nurses Big Sam's Funky Nation Ra Ra Riot | Hannah Georgas Michael Jackolantern | Grandmummy | Alanis Gore-sette

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Battlehooch | Astrotan Clarke & The Himselves | Shitty Weekend Chook Race | Sleeping Beauties | Alto Aan | J&L | Defer Moon Honey | Animal Eyes | And And And Tommy Stinson's Cowboys in the Campfire

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features Photo by Ben Tricklebank

OCTOBER REVOLUTION HALL

11 1300 SE STARK 1 4 6 7 12 16 18 23 26 27 28 29

Squeeze | Look Park Andrew W.K. (The Power of Partying Speaking Tour) Eric Hutchinson | Magic Giant | Anya Marina Jerry Douglas Band Tacocat | Cockeye | The Bedrooms Steve Vai | Tony Macalpine McCoy Tyner M. Ward | The Thermals | The Helio Sequence | Emily Wells Yeasayer | Lydia Ainsworth Cocorosie MarchFourth | The Love You Orchestra Blitzen Trapper | Sera Cahoone

THE KNOW 12 2026 NE ALBERTA 6 7 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 17 19 20 21 22 23 27 29

VHS | Azul Toga | Haste | Cool Schmool Nopes | Old City | Shitty Weekend Mute Swan | Internal State | Get Real Galaxy Research | Conditioner | Dr. Identity Demon Familiar | LKN The Decliners | Gooo Landlines | Fox Face | The Fur Coats | Mr. Wrong Sloths | Rambush Top Parts | Coordination | Xo/p Vietrahm | Bombay Beach | Strugglers Moon Tiger | Dan Dan Don't | Audios Amigos Bad Future | Company | Pageripper MC Grone | Abyss Infinite | Jonny Cool Stargazer Nightfell | Serpentent | Rohit Dealer | Pushy | Bobby Peru Tragedy | Hellshock | Deathraid | Dead Hunt

ALBERTA STREET PUB 13 1036 NE ALBERTA 1 Ky Burt | Sam Densmore Dam Sensmore 8 Grupo Masado 22 The Lonesomes | Silver Lake 66 | Timber County

27-28 The Last Revel

29 Tango Alpha Tango | Hungry Skinny | Foxy Lemon

THE SECRET SOCIETY 14 116 NE RUSSELL 7 8 9 15 16 21 28 29

The Minus 5 | The Minders Matthew Lindley | The Low Bones | Bad Assets Courtney Noe | The Go Rounds No Spill Blood (Fundraiser for Ethos Music Center) Anna Fritz | King Roy Wing | Hollis Peach Black Marble | Soft Kill | Ritual Howls | Sex Park Melao de Cuba Salsa Orchestra The Midnight Serenaders | Bridgetown Sextet

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Parsonfield MOsley WOtta | Speaker Minds The Congress | The Lovely Lost Anna Rose | Pink Feathers Mongoose | The Moaning Lorries Rule of the Bone | The Hip Replacements Bonfire District | Black Sheep Black | Old Mill The Plutons Rainbow Electric

WHITE EAGLE 15 836 N RUSSELL

13 | ELEVEN PORTLAND | www.elevenpdx.com

W

MINI FEATURE

here does success start? It seems we only hear of the garages and the basements in which our favorite art is birthed, but it runs deeper. It’s an intrinsic part of a person’s psyche, an almost parasitic hunger for genuine creation. For those who have it, this parasite gets fed with or without an audience; there’s no choice. For Tom Krell, the diet he provided his creative hunger was so transcendent we all demanded a plate. How To Dress Well is the moniker Krell has given the musical part of his life. The genredefining alternative R&B wunderkind still goes by Tom for the other stuff. The

How To Dress Well

Colorado-raised Krell has been walking a tightrope for the past six years between touring artist and philosophy Ph.D. student at DePaul in Chicago. The rapid and unexpected success of How to Dress Well in 2010 made Krell put his studies on hold, if only for a moment. ELEVEN recently caught up with Krell to discuss life, art, and inspiration through opposition of trends on his new record Care. ELEVEN: You started out kind of anonymous, didn’t you? You posted your music with the stage name and no pictures or anything.


Tom Krell: It was anonymous

I’m really bad at visual art,

because people outside of my circle

extremely terrible. I remember drawing

discovered the music without me

classes in middle school I was just

planning that. I was sending it out to

like, “I fucking suck at this.” But I take

my friends and all my friends knew it

heaps of inspiration from extramusical

was me. There wasn’t a press picture or

sources. Like on this record in particular

anything. I was just sending music out to

one thing that keeps coming to my

my people. I wasn’t doing anything other

mind is the Xavier Dolan film Mommy.

than making music.

It’s this amazing film about this very troubled teenage boy and this single

11: Can you tell me a little bit about

mom. There’s this one scene in the film

that early time in your career? How did

where they’re just battling each other.

you respond to the critical successes

It’s such intense domestic violence

and immediate recognition you got?

and turmoil, then later there’s a scene in the film where he comes out of his

TK: It was bomb. There’s not a lot to

room and you don’t know what's gonna

say. It’s like, “What?! Sick! Oh my god!”

happen. Is he gonna be nice or is he

Literally all of my favorite music writers

gonna be a maniac? And he sings the

are into this shit that I’m doing. And I’m

Celine Dion song “On Ne Change Pas” to

a pretty naive person, I just did it for joy.

his mom. It’s one of the most beautiful

All of it has just been for joy, so anytime

things I’ve ever seen. It was really like

there’s any success on any level over the

the catalyst for this whole record. I get

last six years, I’m just like, “What?!”

now the relationship between pop music and desperation in human life. It was

11: When was the first time that you realized you could do this for a living? TK: I don’t really think about it like

a pretty revelatory movie for me. It’s a must-see.

the EPs and the first album, were a bit

used to being broke. Then it was like,

darker and a bit more experimental

“Oh, I’m making some money doing

and esoteric. Over the years you’ve

that! Oh! I’m making a little bit more

shifted gears a little bit away from

money doing this!” It wasn’t like one

that. Was it a conscious decision to

day I signed this or that contract and

head this way or was it just a natural

it got me the lifestyle that I wanted. I

representation of where you were in life when you made each record?

going to work.” It was so cool. Honestly it’s pretty dreamy. The whole thing is pretty dreamy still.

TK: It’s a little of both. I have a sort of punk reactive relationship with trends around me in music. I was making

11: I think art often overlaps in

that super noisy, really melodic R&B

pretty weird ways. Has music always

music because I felt it was missing from

been your focus or have you explored

the music scene. I was getting really

other creative outlets, and have those

disgusted by what was happening in the

influenced your music production at

contemporary scene. The poppiness in

all?

my new record is sort of looking back at what pop was before pop had to be so

TK: Poetry has always been extremely important to me. When I

OCTOBER WHITE EAGLE (CONT.) Yonatan Gat | Eternal Tapestry Cellar Door | The Variants | Garanzuay Fort Frances | Slater Smith Greg Loiacono (of the Mother Hips) The Von Howlers | The Verbtones

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CunninLynguists | Sadistik | Psalm One | Sam Roberts Joyce Manor | Hotelier | Crying Beartooth | Fit For A King | Every Time I Die | Old Wounds Brujeria | Cattle Decapitation | Pinata Protest | Chemical Warfare The Amity Affliction | Being As An Ocean | Hundredth Anthrax | Death Angel Bad Suns | Coin Face to Face Sevendust | Red Sun Rising | Gemini Syndrome | Apophis Theory Sum 41 | Senses Fail | As It Is

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11: Your really early stuff, like

that. I was a graduate student so I was

just kept realizing that “Oh damn, this is

features

serious. I think there’s something really sick

finished undergraduate school I wanted

going on in our culture with seriousness.

to go do an MFA in poetry. I applied for

I remember when I was a kid The Jungle

both an MFA in poetry and graduate

Book was about this goofy-ass bear with

school for philosophy. I ended up

some whistling and shit, now it looks

getting into both programs and choosing

like a fucking Michael Mann film. For

philosophy because I wanted to live in

this record I was more having an allergic

New York City.

reaction to seriousness in populist art.

VALENTINES

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www.elevenpdx.com | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 14


features Photo by Jason Stoff

OCTOBER STAR THEATER

stemmed from the

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alternative R&B music at that time. Do you feel

Pig | En Esch | Peter Turns Pirate | Dead Animal Assembly Plant Kula Shaker | Daydream Machine Mr. Gnome Hocico | God Module | nolongerhuman | Particle Son Tyler Stenson & The Black Winged Birds | 2 Cow Garage Twiddle | Kitchen Dwellers Temples | Triptides New Kingston | SensaMotion The Orb | Magic Sword Tauk | Aniana Failure

like you sort of helped pioneer a genre? TK: It’s funny to say it, but I think I was part of a group that brought people back to listening to music with emotion

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15 | ELEVEN PORTLAND | www.elevenpdx.com

but the term PBR&B

and singing in it. There was a big indie rock thing for a while. Bands like The Rapture were the big shit. I’m not exactly sure what happened but I definitely played a role. It’s so weird to say, but the music that I was making in Denver in 2010 has now had an impact on mainstream music. It’s I was also really inspired by Shania

crazy working in pop music the little bit

[Twain] and Celine Dion and just wanting

that I have now, and hearing people use

to do something that was really day-lit.

it as a touchstone in that world. People

I’m always trying to defy expectations.

saying “Oh it’s cool, but what if it was

People are like, “You make dark, nighttime music!” I’m like “Nope! I make super bright day-lit music! Watch me!” As an artist I’m very allergic to being categorized. I’m always pushing against those categorizations. 11: You’re close to a Ph.D. in philosophy. While you’ve been doing your studies, you’ve also been doing so many things with How To Dress Well. How have you been able to balance those two lives? Has one taken priority or is it just a back and forth thing? TK: My music and my art is the most important thing, period. It’s not a question of priority anymore. I really live for this study that I’ve been doing, but the music is my life. It’s what I care more about. It’s what I want more than anything in the world.

more like that moody R&B stuff like How To Dress Well.” 11: What’s your writing process like? Are you able to just sit and churn stuff out or does inspiration hit you at random points and you need to find some paper? TK: It’s a very naive process. I sit down and just play music and sing and then later I delve more into song structure and develop the lyrics more clearly. But it all starts with the energy of a freestyle kind of playing. It’s a big thing for me on this record. Even if you make the most serious music of all time, you still start in that initial moment of playing. You start capturing a thought. It’s a shame that so much of that play is getting evaporated from the finished product of these records that are out there. So I wanted to bring a little bit more play to the finished product.

11: A few years ago, the term PBR&B popped up, right around when

11: You’re playing Mississippi

you and The Weeknd and Frank Ocean

Studios on Oct. 18. What’s your

were gaining traction. I know you don’t

approach to live shows? Any specifics

like being lumped in with those guys,

rituals?


TK: I’m not really a ritualistic

Portland is the breakfast. It’s great. It’s

person. Playing Portland is always so

such a weird city. I grew up in Boulder,

easy because you know the crowd is

Colorado. I think there was a moment

going to be fucking amazing. It’s a great

in the '80s where Boulder and Portland

city for music. We’ve been rehearsing

were probably pretty similar. Like the

this show a lot, and it’s so fucking fun

hippy, bohemian wave, and Boulder just

to play these songs live. It’s gonna be

lost itself to commercial development in

a more energetic wave than the last

the '90s and now it’s annoying as fuck:

record. I felt like on the What is This

There’s a Gucci store now. Portland

Heart tour the music started to get more

is ideal. There are problems still, but

physical and muscular and energetic.

somehow it has preserved something

But on these new songs, it’s another

connected to that original bohemian

level up. It’s really fun. The new songs

hippy-wave. Also, I had an interview a

have such dynamic shifts from these

couple days ago and they were saying

little intimate moments of acapella over

“What’s your sleeper pick for Western

strings to big fucking banging moments.

Conference Champions?” And I said,

It’s just so fun to play. I think it’s gonna

“Obviously the Trail Blazers.” »

be really fun to be a part of from the

- Tyler Sanford

audience side, too. 11: Thoughts on Portland as a city? The music scene, the food scene, anything.

HOW TO DRESS WELL PLAYS LIVE IN PORTLAND THIS MONTH OCTOBER 18 AT MISSISSIPPI STUDIOS

TK: I love Portland. I have a bunch of

For his whole career as a musician, Tom Krell, the man behind How To Dress Well, has stood in direct opposition to the tones his peers created. Where the moody crooning of 2010’s Love Remains spat in the face of the overbearing glee expressed in the bubblegumpop of its time, 2016’s Care spits right back at the drear expressed in current pop music, the same exact drear he brought upon the genre. Care is a return to playfulness, but toes a line between glee and darkness through a juxtaposition

OCTOBER DANTES (CONTINUED) The Sonics The King Khan & BBQ Show | Paint Fumes

FIRKIN TAVERN 1937 SE 11TH

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between upbeat production and solemn lyrics. There is an unmistakable energy to this record that is unlike anything Krell has given us before. He manages to play both iconoclast and conformist to modern pop, getting as close as he’s ever been to the mainstream, while keeping his roots firmly on the outskirts. The choruses are infectious not through dumbed down repetition, but through genuinely remarkable craft, beautiful melody, and smart writing. The production is at times gentle and passive behind wonderful falsetto, and at others booming and punchy, perfect for live audiences. Perhaps Krell’s greatest strength has always been his songwriting. Care is just the first time it’s truly been at the forefront. This is the cleanest his production has ever been, and it demands the voice be cleanly heard. Where his past works intentionally muddled the voice and forced aesthetics over clarity, Care doesn’t. The result is perhaps the single most addictive record I’ve picked up this year. It's no doubt a pop record, but one that sits just far enough outside current tropes to stand out. » - Tyler Sanford

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ANALOG CAFE & THEATER

friends there. My favorite thing about

How To Dress Well Care Domino Records

features

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Want to have your show listed? E-mail listings@elevenpdx.com

www.elevenpdx.com | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 16


written by sarah eaton he Thermals have long been a staple of the

2016 also marks the 10-year anniversary of The Body,

Portland DIY scene, bringing everything

The Blood, The Machine, a concept album focused on

good, hopeful and lovable about pop-punk

religion and politics. This anniversary is significant in that

straight into the heart of the city. In the

The Body, The Blood, The Machine is often cited as the

past decade and a half, they’ve played

album that launched The Thermals to indie music notoriety.

almost every all-ages venue in the city. At

Popular in a way that none of their other releases have

present, it feels like they represent the

quite matched, The Body, The Blood, The Machine is iconic,

best of Portland's fading, or shifting, allure for kids, for

pristine in its abrasive pop-punk importance, a pillar of

artists and for dreamers.

early '00s youthful, angsty bliss.

This year has been busy for The Thermals compared to

After a tour this spring in support of We Disappear,

the last several. Spring saw the release of their seventh

The Thermals have been maintaining a low profile within

full-length, We Disappear, on Saddle Creek Records. This

Portland. This month, however, they will be playing

newest release is everything you’d imagine a Thermals

Revolution Hall with M. Ward, The Helio Sequence and

album to be–breakneck and pop-fueled at its core. It

Emily Wells as part of Rock for Rockwood, a one-day music

combines everything Thermals fans crave with the refined

festival supporting the Boys & Girls Club’s new Rockwood,

flare of producer Chris Walla (longtime, and now former,

Oregon facility.

Death Cab For Cutie guitarist). We Disappear is a tried-and-

We caught up with singer and guitarist Hutch Harris to

true sampling of The Thermals last decade of sounds and

discuss the changing landscape of Portland and the band's

themes.

plans for the future.

17 | ELEVEN PORTLAND | www.elevenpdx.com


www.elevenpdx.com | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 18

Photo by Jason Stoff


Photo by Jason Stoff

ELEVEN: You just celebrated the ten-year anniversary

first three records came out really fast. And obviously

of The Body, The Blood, The Machine. How does that feel

there were a bunch of lineup changes in the first four or

looking back?

five years. We toured The Body, The Blood, The Machine for about two years, and then Lorin Coleman who was our

Hutch Harris: It was cool for us. That record was just made by myself and Kathy Foster, and Kathy and I have played together for over 20 years. So it’s just another thing that’s really special to us. Recording was a really personal experience; it was just us and Brendan Canty, who produced. It was only the three of us in the studio the whole time. So, the memories for us are really special and personal. And also it’s the one thing we’ve done as a band that people like more than anything else we’ve done. Which is fine with us. It’s just nice to have done something that people like so much. 11: Save some lineup changes, with the perspective of

drummer at the time quit the band when we were done touring in early 2008. Then we met Westin Glass that summer. So he’s been with us since then, which is crazy to think that he’s been with us for eight years. So it’s just been the three of us for eight years and I’m really glad we’ve been able to keep the same lineup for that long. It gets exhausting and silly when the lineup keeps changing. And we just love Westin so much and have loved him since we met him. We were auditioning lots of people who wanted to play shows with us, but we just knew right away when we met Westin. He’s a really great drummer and we

ten years, how are things different for you personally and

just got along with him personally really quickly. So, I don’t

how are things different for the band?

know, for me, it’s always kind of changing how it feels. Sometimes it feels to me like we’ve been a band for so long

HH: The crazy thing is The Body, The Blood, The Machine came out when we’d only been a band for three years. Those

19 | ELEVEN PORTLAND | www.elevenpdx.com

and some days it feels like we’re just getting started and everything feels really fresh.


features national scene 11: Is there any one thing that has been a continual inspiration for you to keep making music together instead of moving on to other projects? HH: Kathy and I met when we were 19 and we’re from South Bay, California, so we just came from a really DIY punk scene, most of the shows we grew up going to were all just in places like library basements and people’s houses. And so even though we eventually signed to Sub Pop and got a booking agent, we had booked ourselves for years on tour, which is cool but it’s so much work and hard to keep doing. But in a lot of ways we’ve tried to stay as DIY as we can and still do the things we’ve done. I recorded our first record, and I, or the band, collaborated and did all the art for our records. I’ve done all the press material. We’ve definitely stayed true to all the things we wanted to do as a band. I never felt like anything got away from us. We just always kept control over the band and it always felt like exactly what we wanted to do with it. I feel really good about all the decisions we made, for better or for worse, every choice was 100 percent ours. 11: You mentioned that you grew up in a place that had a good DIY punk scene. How has it been living in Portland and watching it change, and more explicitly watching the music scene change? HH: The weird part for us in watching the scene evolve is getting aged out of the scene. Not that anyone else did it to us. Sometimes we’ll be like, “There’s no more house shows,” and it’s like there are, we just don’t hear about them because we turned 40. You get to a point where you can only know so much about what’s really happening underground because you’re just too old to be in the loop. When Kathy and I moved to Portland the club 17 Nautical Miles on Woodstock just opened, we saw a lot of shows at the Powerhouse in Hollywood. We lived in Northeast at 13th and Failing and there were so many house shows in that area. The Red and Black was really cool for years. Kathy and I played a lot of shows there with bands before The Thermals and then Meow Meow was a place we played a lot. Portland has always been a hard city to keep all-ages venues in. A lot of it is the OLCC. A lot of it is hard in general because clubs get shut down a lot. It’s just hard to sustain. From what I know, Morgan [Troper] and Blake [Hickman] and the Good Cheer scene seem to be good at keeping all-ages shows happening. There’s a lot of stuff that I wish I knew more about but it’s hard to stay in the loop. 11: On the flip side then, from your perspective, is there anything happening in the music scene in the city that you’re excited about?

www.elevenpdx.com | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 20


features national scene HH: I like guitar music. I like rock bands and I feel like for a while it was pretty obvious that the scene was just drone. It was really heavy on electronic music, which is cool, and there are a ton of great electronic bands. But overall I’d rather see a

"now that this band has worked so much together we know ourselves better and we know ourselves as a band

record. There are a lot of songs about breaking up. It’s about separation: people separating from each other and people separating from life and the world when you die. We didn’t want it to be a concept record. We didn’t

better. We know how each

want anyone listening to feel that

other work."

some narrative. We wanted it to be

rock band play as opposed to someone with a laptop. And I

they had to be paying attention to

feel like right now there are

a more relaxed experience in that

a lot of good bands that I’ve seen. I also go through periods

way.

where I just like to hide out when we get back from tour,

I always work really hard on the lyrics, but specifically

but then I’ll get back in the swing of going out and going to

for this record we talked a lot about sounds and we wanted

shows. Right now I just think there’s a ton of good bands in

the style of each song and the sound of each song to be

Portland.

really different from one to the next. Definitely on past

11: Earlier this year you released your seventh album. Was there an overarching theme, or is it just a collection of songs you’re really proud of? HH: There’s definitely not a story told as there are on other records. It’s definitely about love and death, but that’s what most of our albums are about. It’s kind of a breakup

records we had wanted every song to sound the same pretty much, like a Ramones record. But we definitely wanted a more varied record with this one. 11: I know that you and Kathy typically do the album artwork. What was your inspiration and process for putting together the art for this album?

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features national scene

www.elevenpdx.com | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 22


features national scene Photo by Jason Stoff

A lot of times it comes down to color too. Like if the colors go with how the record sounds. This is something that Westin and I will talk about more than Kathy... Kathy will just kind of think we’re crazy. But usually we’re saying, “This record sounds very blue and purple and whatnot.” Which is how we felt about this one, and Kathy will be like, “If you feel that way.” 11: In terms of recording, with this album being your seventh, do you feel that the recording process has gotten easier in any linear way or is it unique every time? HH: I think it’s unique every time, but it is somewhat easier because we learn a lot every time we do a record. I feel like now that this band has worked so much together we know ourselves better and we know ourselves as a band better. We know how each other work. In the past, and I know a lot of bands work this way, you show up to the studio, you set up and you’re like, “We’re gonna do this song,” you play it once and then you go back and listen to it in the control room. And you’re like, “It’s not quite it,” and you go back and record it again and then you go back and listen. To me that always felt like it made the band more uptight and it never got the best results. We get the best results when everyone is relaxed and not worried about how it sounded. So, for this record I was like, "Why don’t we just go in and play a song three or four times in a row and we won’t go into the control room and listen, we’ll just move on." We were

HH: Since the title is We Disappear I was putting

working with Chris Walla who has recorded most of our

together images that kind of felt like you were looking back

records. He loved that idea and he had never worked like

on the past. What I usually do and what I did with this is

that and he really liked it and we really liked it. The first

put together a ton of collage stuff. I have a little studio at

couple days we didn’t go back into the control room, we

my house. I’ll just put together a bunch of pieces and have

would just pick a song, play it three or four times, record all

Westin and Kathy come over and see what they like and talk

the takes and keep them and then after a couples days we

about it to see what direction we should go. I love doing the album art because it’s such a fun process and it’s a lot more relaxed than writing and recording. And there’s such a time crunch too in the studio to get all the tracks recorded, whereas you can take a lot of time with the art. And I always really want the art to match the songs and the sound of the record. I feel like this one definitely does.

23 | ELEVEN PORTLAND | www.elevenpdx.com

went and sat on the couch and listened to everything. It was such a better way to work. It took a lot of the pressure off and allowed us to play freely and not get too uptight about the songs. 11: Do you think that’s how you’ll record in the future then?


features national scene HH: Definitely. Because any time you go back in the control room everyone is analyzing the song and analyzing their own performance and then you can feel everyone start to clench up and you don’t go back into the studio relaxed. All you’re thinking of is the mistakes you made and how you won’t make those mistakes again and then everyone stops playing naturally and starts trying to correct mistakes. 11: You guys are playing the Rock for Rockwood benefit show pretty soon. Do you guys have anything else coming up that you’re looking toward in Portland? HH: We’ll play the East Coast and play a few shows, but I’m most looking forward to the Portland show. We played the Wonder Ballroom earlier this year and that was awesome, but we don’t play Portland a ton. We specifically try to not play Portland too much. We don’t want to overplay because it’s our hometown and we always want it to be a special occasion when we play in Portland. And Helio Sequence, those guys have been friends with us for a long time and we love them. And then Matt Ward we’ve known for a very long time. Our first drummer, Jordan Hudson played with Matt before The Thermals even started. And Matt is another person who doesn’t play Portland very often at all, so it’s a really special occasion when he plays. I think it will be a really special show. »

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www.elevenpdx.com | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 24


community literary arts Photo by Mike Grover

Martha Grover: So just as an Oregonian, I’ve been documenting it in my mind, but as you can see in the book it really didn’t hit me for a long time. In the book I talk about moving up to Portland with all these people I went to the U of O with. Eighty percent of whom were not from here, and I didn’t have any angst or animosity towards them. 11: In one chapter you mention that when you went out to Gresham you would hear a lot of complaints about “Portland people." MG: Yes that comes later. The realization that the city was fundamentally changing didn’t hit me until around 2005-06, that was bubbling up. But you know, I was 23 when I started my zine. So how much awareness do you have of anything at that point? When the zine started out it was mostly personal stuff. A lot of stuff about my family and my childhood, and getting sick and it wasn’t really about Portland, per se. When I moved to San Francisco to get my grad degree, and then came back, it was like whoa! It was

LITERARY ARTS Author Martha Grover

W

full-on. That was in 2011. So being away for two years... it's like putting a frog in water... but if you leave and jump right back in you’re like "Whoa, what’s going on here?" 11: Can you tell me about these letters from your friend in China in one of the later chapters? I could definitely see some parallels to what’s going on in Portland. MG: For the last three years I’ve been doing this

ith a sharp wit and keen sense of local history, Martha Grover’s writing has scope and clarity that seem to have gone missing in the last few years. The stories that make up her newly

released memoir, The End of My Career, have an honest and relatable tone to them that makes you feel like you’re talking to an old friend on the phone (if anyone still does that). The memoir is Grover's second title out on Perfect Day Publishing. While One For the People was based mainly on her family, The End of My Career is her highly personal account of seeking love through OkCupid and and taking on menial labor jobs, all while while coping with chronic Cushing’s disease. In “Cleaning Jack’s House” she reveals the realities of house cleaning detailed with Palahniuk-like precision. Her honest accounts of her string of relationships from online dating sites are scattered throughout the book, hilarious and sometimes terrifying. Grover has been publishing her zine Somnamulist since

project that's really cool. Every year I set up some kind of correspondence with someone that lives in a different country. And TJ was an old student of mine; I was kind of his mentor and helped him out with his writing. He decided to go teach English in China. So I said, "I’ve been thinking about this for a while: Why don’t we do this project where we write each other letters?" He was in this place called Xi’an China, which is where the Terra Cotta Warriors are. It’s a historical, old place. So what he talks about is how they’re destroying all of these old buildings that you would think of as “China” visually. Knocking down the classic pagodas and putting up these high rises. So in that letter in the book he writes, "In the year I’ve been here, these are all the things that have changed." So I think that it’s this weird balance where, and this can go for any social issue where people think that they have it so much worse, or "Why are you complaining about this? Look at what happened in North Portland. You’re not

2003 and has been working at her new career in real estate

an African American whose community was completely

in the midst of one of the biggest housing booms the Portland

obliterated, so suck it up." But especially if you’re from

area has ever seen. She remains true to herself and adamant

here and have been here for any legitimate amount of time,

about keeping alive the spirit of the Sandy River.

I think it’s a legitimate grief. Change is hard, and it really bothers me when people say "change is change.” That is not

ELEVEN: How long have you been documenting the everchanging population of Portland?

25 | ELEVEN PORTLAND | www.elevenpdx.com

an easy thing, and I don’t think it’s helpful to downplay the legitimate grief that people feel.


community literary arts 11: How did

11: You’ve recently been called the voice of Portland [in

your stint as a

The Portland Mercury], but live in Gresham. How do you

house cleaner

speak for Portland as a part of it and removed from it at the

influence your

same time?

writing? MG: I don’t necessarily think I speak for Portland, but MG: When I

I do think I have a unique perspective on the state and the

got really sick,

area because I’ve lived here my whole life. I know a lot of the

that was an

hidden history of Portland and the racist history of Oregon.

opportunity that

Growing up in the Gorge, and what happened with Celilo

was open for me.

Falls. My grandma went and bought salmon from Native

The only barrier

Americans before they dammed Celilo. It was the longest

to me doing that

inhabited site in all of North and South America by humans

as a job is that I

and they completely obliterated it.

could only work four hours a day because I was

11: The title The End of my Career is about your work as a PI. What made you decide to use that story for the title?

chronically ill. I always tell people that if I could be doing it now, I would still

MG: I had been working on a book in a nebulous way

be doing it. It’s the best job I ever had. And it’s very good for

before Michael [Heald] even asked me to write this one. The

writing. Because if you are thinking all day, and you’re not

title of that essay was actually first “The PI Story” and he

having to interface with someone, it’s a really good way to go

thought it was kind of a lame title. But I had already thought

through your process. My writing process is thinking an idea

the book was going to be called The End of my Career because

through many, many times before I even sit down to write

the funny thing is that for the first time in my life I have

about it. So by the time I sit down to write about it, I pretty

a career as a real estate agent. I never had a job that was a

much know what I’m going to write and I can finish it. I’m not

career before that. So I see all of that freelancing I did, in the

someone who writes every day, but I am someone who thinks

weird way I was doing it, was a career.

through what I’m going to write about every day. 11: So why is the Sandy River so important to you? 11: You write a lot about your experiences dating on OkCupid. I think a lot of the humor lies in those stories, like

MG: Well, natural areas in general are important to me.

when you write “I cannot sleep with someone who dresses

There was a picture that someone posted on Facebook of the

like a pirate.” But you’ve met people there and had long-

Oneonta Gorge ten years ago, and then last summer. There

term relationships?

were people crawling all over it. It made my skin crawl, as if I were the Gorge. There’s protected areas, there’s state parks,

MG: I’ve had actual relationships from people I’ve met

and there are wilderness areas and they are all very fragile.

on OkCupid. And then this funny thing happened after my

At the same time it feels like they are the last safe places

last relationship ended where I decided I’m going to get back

to be attached to, in this kind of sad way. Where it's like, I

online, but take it really slow and see how things progress.

can’t get attached to this coffee shop because it may go out

I’ve had the worst dating year of my life from that. [Laughs.]

of business, or this cool old house is gonna get knocked down

Before my book came out, I deactivated my Tinder and my

and this condo is going up. I’m really just hurting myself if I

OkCupid because I’ve had one bad experience after another.

get too attached to places in the city. But I can get attached

Because I have had a lot of bad, and scary experiences.

to the Sandy by getting really fierce and feeling protective.

11: Like the women’s studies major who was hiding his

11: They’re not gonna build condos on the Sandy River?

violent past? How do you gain a level of trust from someone that you just met online? I feel like a lot of people put on a façade.

MG: They’re not going to. People might go there to burn tires and leave their beer bottles, but it will always be there, hopefully. The Sandy River I grew up on is a beautiful river.

MG: Yes. I think as a woman you have to be very careful, because predators will go to these sites. It's like that Louis

There are still places you can go to that are completely free of people, at least during the week. » - Scott McHale

C.K. skit where he says that any woman who dates is risking her life, and it’s true.

www.elevenpdx.com | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 26


community visual arts humble experience attempting to discover how I can do the work and follow in the footsteps of these individuals who inspired me. It’s this work that has driven me. 11: What do you mean about being inspired by their work? Are you talking about the quality of the photography or the message? JZ: The message mostly, and also the voice. I am attempting to discover how I can get into these areas and how to use the camera as a tool. Photography allows me to give a voice to some of the people I feel are the most voiceless, and I have been attempting to be able to share

Photo by Mercy McNab

VISUAL ARTS

their stories through imagery. Some of these individuals have endured incredible situations and experiences and suffering. So my challenge has been about how I can show that perspective.

Photojournalist Joshua Zirschky

I

11: Why is it important for people to be exposed to this perspective? Why do you think we should care about people n this fast-paced society, full of distractions and

who are "voiceless"?

bombarded with advertising, it is easy never to step outside your self-focused experience. Conflict

JZ: I believe that it is a commandment, like looking out

photographer Joshua Zirschky has travelled the

for the orphans and the widows, a calling. Since I was in my

world to witness and peer through challenging

twenties, I have travelled to really intense areas of the world–

perspectives. Many of us find it too difficult to acknowledge

South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Somalia, Egypt. Every one of

that human conditions can still be so brutal in the modern

these places are incredibly challenging for people to live in.

world, but Zirschky seeks to expose that a large percentage

I feel like this is important because there are thousands of

of the world lives in a very different way than much of the

human beings out there that have absolutely nothing and live

United States.

under extreme totalitarian regimes that are keeping them enslaved in bondage and poverty, and they are not going to get

ELEVEN: What got you into conflict photography?

out of it unless people know about it. Maybe my photographs are not going to have any kind of impact, but I think it would

Joshua Zirschky: It started when I was really young. I was probably in sixth grade when a camera first came into

be worth it if even once someone sees a photograph that will ignite some awareness.

my hands. Even at that young of an age, I was studying the Holocaust and had become intrigued by the power of all the images. My parents moved me from a private to a public

11: How did you find the opportunities to get involved with this type of work?

school in sixth grade that had a photo program that I was able to participate in from junior high on through high school.

JZ: All of it has been non-profit work for the most part,

I think where it really clicked was when I was studying in

all through word-of-mouth both while living here in Portland

Montana in college, where my professor introduced me

and while I was traveling. The only reason that I ended up

to Magnum photographs and this completely shifted my

traveling to the Middle East was that one afternoon, as I was

perspective. I spent a lot of time studying and researching

returning some snow shoes in Colorado, I ended up meeting

photojournalists who had really inspired me to do the type of

a really wealthy oil man who had seen my photographs. He

work that I do now. Initially, they allowed me to see that there

was connected with a whole group of Lebanese men who

is something really big going on. It has been an incredibly

work in extremely impoverished areas and who hired me

27 | ELEVEN PORTLAND | www.elevenpdx.com


community visual arts on to work with them. This was the bottleneck experience that opened up so many other experiences and doors to me. Some of the organizations I worked with include Habitat for Humanity, Amnesty International, World Vision, Red Cross, United Nations, Doctors Without Borders, and the Near East Foundation (based out of Jordan). 11: Is there any impactful experience that really stuck out to you during those travels that you would like to share? JZ: I could sit here for hours and tell you hundreds of stories regarding small moments that really capture the experience. I recently went to Guatemala and ended up getting led by

So Phal is a construction worker who has helped build water systems throughout the slum village of Andong, Cambodia. After he and many of his fellow people have gotten pushed out of the city of Phnom Pen due to the rising costs of housing and the Cambodian government forcing the poor into worse conditions. Cambodia 2012.

seven nurses who took me up to see this 105-year-old woman who was living in this one-room cabin

did a segment on. This is something you really don’t hear

with only one light bulb. I spent six or seven hours with her

about in the first world countries, but apparently when a

just photographing her and sitting with her and talking and

woman has a miscarriage it can rip the bladder and these

getting to know her. She had been widowed for 40 years, and

women are left incontinent. Doctors are now able to sew

she was a Christian and she was crying her eyes out because

and repair this issue at this hospital. This condition has

in the time she had spent on this Earth she had experienced

historically been a cause for shame and marginalization for

so much joy. She kept saying, "I can’t wait til I get to meet the

many of these women with these obstetric fistulas.

Messiah.” I was in tears. I couldn’t believe it. It brought hair up on my neck. It was such a contrast to the many unhappy people I see here every day.

11: You participated in making a book in Guatemala called Libre Soy. Can you tell us about that project?

On another occasion, I got invited to the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital (also known as "Hamlin Fistula Hospital"), which is a women’s hospital in Ethiopia that Oprah actually

JZ: That was a project that I did with a guy named Richard Myers and a woman called Allison Voigts and she was a writer and he more of the organizer. He was very connected to many of the missions and clinics that were down there. He saw another book I worked on, Brother/ Sister: Stories of Transformation from Vietnam and Cambodia, that I made with some other writers in Southeast Asia and he wanted to kind of emulate that project. This was a similar kind of content to these clinics that were set in these incredibly impoverished areas. Inspired by the demolition left over from the Reagan era, this area was the setting of guerrilla warfare and mass murder. This book focused on the role that these clinics and missions had during this time period and what is happening in these

Cecilia, A 105-year-old widow living in a one room shack, made of mud and cardboard boxes up in the city of Chichicastengo, Guatemala 2016.

areas today.

www.elevenpdx.com | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 28


community visual arts 11: Have you ever been scared going into any of these war torn areas? JZ: Oh yeah. 11: What was the scariest thing that you recall happening? JZ: Probably the scariest thing happened in Ethiopia, where I was on the back of a motorbike and got pulled over by a whole truck of military guys. They all jumped out to confront me. One guy flipped open a knife and grabbed the camera around my neck and cut all the straps to get the cameras I had. He took my backpack, my gear, everything I had, including my passport. They then took me to their

Stacks of three million skulls stand in a tower outside of Phnom Pen in a memorial for those who were murdered by Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge in 1979. Cambodia 2011.

compound to interrogate me about what I was doing in this specific area. I ended up getting the cameras back from them but they popped the backs of my cameras open and stripped all the film from them, which was a huge bummer because

11: Why is it important to understand the historical context of a place for your photography?

of all the work that I had on that film. I had spent all day photographing the surrounding area. I had all these beautiful

JZ: When you just thrust yourself into these places you

shots of these women praying in front of a church, among

have to know what is going on in order to know the context

tons of candles, and all these gorgeous colors all around

of the people’s experience. When I go into these areas I

them.

study a lot too. History fascinates me and it really helps me to develop into a better photographer. The knowledge of history helps you to realize what is happening and how to best capture the truth. 11: How do you feel your work compares to other photographers in the U.S.? JZ: I feel like Portland is a hyper-sexualized place compared to the many other places I have traveled to, and a lot of the art scene is all about sex. I’ve noticed a lot of photographers who seem so focused on just shooting the next sexy tattooed woman. I don’t mean to diminish modeling photographers. I just don’t think it is interesting or impactful to take pictures of just pretty women. I want to represent something that is happening on a global scale. I don’t want to put down fashion photography. I studied that too. It’s very unique and artistic and I find it intriguing in the sense of the artfulness of it. I want to get more involved in that field too, but I just don’t want to lose the focus of my work. » - Lucia Ondruskova

FIND THIS ARTIST ONLINE WWW.JOSHUAZIRSCHKY.COM INSTAGRAM: @ZIRSCHKY

29 | ELEVEN PORTLAND | www.elevenpdx.com


Garbage City is located inside of Cairo Egypt. A place where thousands of people living in extreme poverty survive on hauling, picking and recycling Cairo's trash. It's been a way of life for these people, a culture in its own. Egypt 2008.

A Bedouin woman walks out into the open expanse of the Jordanian desert where she awaits food aid brought by the Near East Foundation. Jordan 2007.


Eleven PDX Magazine October 2016  
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