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ISSUE 66 | NOV 2016






THE USUAL 3 Letter from the Editor 3 Staff Credits


FEATURES Local Feature 13 Genders

Cover Feature 17 NEW MUSIC

Sleigh Bells

4 Aural Fix Elephant Stone Jenny Hval The Orwells Alex Cameron

7 Short List 7 Album Reviews Hope Sandoval & The Warm Inventions WL Slow Hollows Luke Temple

COMMUNITY Literary Arts 25 Portland writer Casey Jarman

Visual Arts 27 Portland artist Maddison Bond

LIVE MUSIC 9 Know Your Venue The Fixin' To

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

HELLO PORTLAND! As our world becomes more and more virtual, automated, and synchronized, it is important to remember what makes us human. Our creativity, our aspiration, and more than anything, our compassion. When Dustin and I started ELEVEN PDX, we set out to avoid unnecessary politics and divisiveness. We believe in unity over conflict. This planet is the only one we've got (for now) and it's getting smaller every day. We're all human beings, and we've gotta help each other out. Enjoying things like VR/AR and selfdriving Teslas are not inherently bad, though it's important to keep these treats in context, appreciate every moment, and recognize that our quality as a species can be defined by how we support those in need. I'm sure we all already inherently know these things, but it's not a bad idea to keep it front of mind. As Mahatma Gandhi once spoke, "You must be the change you want to see in the world." So before death takes us, or before we assimilate into a hive-mind, let us together enjoy today, from every little sunbeam to every drop of rain. »

- Ryan Dornfeld, Editor in Chief



ONLINE Mark Dilson, Kim Lawson, Michael Reiersgaard, Chance Solem-Pfeifer

MANAGING EDITOR Travis Leipzig (



MAILING ADRESS 126 NE Alberta Suite 211 Portland, OR. 97211



CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Brandy Crowe, Sarah Eaton, Jameson Ketchum, Kelly Kovl, Samantha Lopez,Lucia Ondruskova, Gina Pieracci, Kelsey Rzepecki, Ellis Samsara, Tyler Sanford, Stephanie Scelza, Matthew Sweeney, Charles Trowbridge, Rick White, Henry Whittier-Ferguson

PHOTOGRAPHERS Eric Evans, Greg LeMieux, Mercy McNab, Andrew Roles, Todd Walberg, Caitlin Webb COVER PHOTO Em Grey (

ADVERTISING ELEVEN WEST MEDIA GROUP, LLC Ryan Dornfeld Dustin Mills SPECIAL THANKS Our local business partners who make this project possible. Our friends, families, associates, lovers, creators and haters. And of course, our city!


new music aural fix

up and coming music from the national scene



A month after they tour through Portland on Nov. 7, Elephant Stone are playing a show in my hometown of Manchester, and I’m going out on a limb to say it might just be a bit of a spiritual homecoming for them. Now, the band was formed in Montreal and was originally going to be a solo sitar-based project for frontman Rishi Dhir, but stick with me here. Ignoring the obvious reference (they’re named after a Stone Roses song), the band’s fourth studio release, Ship of Fools, opens with the kind of rumbling bassline and electronic beat that might have pounded from the speakers at The Haçienda back in the early '90s and would fit right in at The Warehouse Project in 2016. Hell, even the backing vocals could be Rowetta singing with the Happy Mondays. Taking this album into account, the band's immediate contemporaries seem to be Tame Impala and MGMT. The sound can definitely be described as "psychedelic," but Elephant Stone seem to eschew the rather more esoteric shoe-gazing of other bands within the genre in favor of actual hook-laden tunes. There’s a strong groove that runs throughout the album, and it’s

Photo by Jenny Berger Myhre



“What is soft dick rock?” Jenny Hval asks in her song “Kingsize.” She goes on to define it–her spoken voice stilted in lo-fi eeriness–as “using the elements of dick to create a softer, toned-down sound.” She stole that phrasing from the “soft rock” definition on Wikipedia but replaced the word “rock” with “dick.” If that's any indication, Hval's ways are truly her own, and they reflect her very own style of radical feminism. The Nordic

Photo by Bowen Stead

strongest when backing up the wonderful rhythmic sitar and dreamy vocals. There’s light and shade here too. The quieter moments on the record, like "Photographs," have a hazy Beatles thing going on. That's no great surprise, but it works well. Lead single "The Devil’s Shelter" is a swelling psychedelic wave, bringing to mind The Horrors, while the standout track for me is "Love is Like a Spinning Wheel." It's just over five minutes of pure Balearic soul and would make the ideal soundtrack for summer sundowners in a much more pleasant locale than Manchester in October. Overall, this is an eclectic party album, an authentic blend of influences and a multifaceted gem. » - Rick White

artist, now in her mid-thirties, is six solo albums into her art. Her most recent is Blood Bitch, a haunting project she says is about vampires. She references menstruation throughout, with an eerie, often times anxiety-inducing delivery of teetering synths, spoken word, and a minute-long track of panicked breathing. She’s co-produced albums with noise artist Lasse Marhaug, creating the visceral electronic pulse of Blood Bitch and Apocalypse, girl. The slower Innocence is Kinky rivals the racing beats of recent work, but puts her voice at the forefront of the project that most fits the "rock" label. Hval’s feminist critique of capitalism stands strong throughout her projects. The lyrics “you say I’m free now, that the battle is over, and feminism is over and socialism’s over,” comes off the 2015 album Apocalypse, girl. It’s a direct response to the belief that activists have fought and completed their battle, that things are better now. The artist draws on her experiences in Norway and people she met touring in the States for story inspiration. Her exclamations are provocative, unapologetic, and so brazen it’s hard not laugh in either disbelief, admiration, or both. In the same song, she will tease, “Last night I took my birth control with rosé,” but will then explore what it means to take care of yourself in a patriarchal society. Hval's radical sense is fresh and her battle is far from over. » - Gina Pieracci | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 4

new music aural fix Formed in the band's high school years in a Chicago suburb, The Orwells comprise cousins Mario Cuomo (singer) and Dominic Corso (guitarist), twin brothers Henry Brinner (drummer) and Grant Brinner (bassist), and guitarist Matt O'Keefe stands on his bloodline alone. If you were to twist and swirl the sounds of The Killers and Weezer, and then throw in some Midwest psychedelic garage vibes, into a bowl of marijuana and a lot of alcohol you would render the Orwells. Their resumé includes a 2013 appearance at Lollapalooza and a handful of shows supporting The Arctic Monkeys. The Orwells released their latest fulllength studio album Disgraceland in 2014, and their talents

Photo by Jory Lee Cordy



Ripping into Portland to thrash some Northwestern minds, The Orwells will arrive at Star Theater on Nov. 16 offering a haze of good old fashioned sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll. In a career comprising two studio albums and a handful of independent EPs and singles, these guys have a lot to say about post-adolescent lust, rhythm, sedation, triumphs and tragedies.


shined for millions on The Late Show with David Letterman. They left Letterman and the crowd in a frenzy, with the host calling for a rare musical encore as the credits rolled. Unfortunately, it didn't happen because O’Keefe had broken all of his guitar strings by that point. The song, “Who Needs You,” had gotten some attention on an Apple commercial and was featured in Grand Theft Auto V. Their latest release is an 86-second single titled “Buddy." Currently they are touring all over the globe and keeping up the raw energy that is leaving crowds everywhere raging. » - Ellis Samsara

new music aural fix Photo by Cara Robbins



Alex Cameron ’s Jumping the Shark is such crucial material it’s hard to believe it took three years for a major indie label (Secretly Canadian) to put it out. Originally given away for free through Cameron’s website in late 2013, the eight-song collection establishes the former member of electronic trio Seekae as something of a synth wave auteur, a songwriter of rare empathy in a department where you wouldn’t expect to find one. Blow by blow, Jumping the Shark weaves together stories of washed-up maybe-weres and desperate lovers, of too-big-to-succeed delusions and failure. The bizarre poignancy of the album is encapsulated by the cover photograph of Cameron done up like a scarred former high-roller. In fact, when he debuted this material years ago, Cameron initially wore the odd makeup, playing the part for audiences and blurring the lines between fiction and reality. As a “star” of the nascent revitalized interest in synths, Cameron never for a second stoops to anything like revivalism. As with John Maus and Geneva Jacuzzi, the backing track is always simple but undeniably

delicious, propping up the narrative with hooks that manage to be as textural as catchy. What’s more, Cameron's smoky baritone carries an air of nonchalance without seeming like he’s putting you on (his protagonist always has a lot riding on this pitch). It took a while for this guy to get a moment in the sun, but if anybody deserves it it’s him. » - Matthew Sweeney

QUICK TRACKS A “HAPPY ENDING” The opening track to Jumping the Shark gets down to business right away. The insistent synth riffs are worthy of a sleeper-classic. Who is this guy? He’s certainly seen better days. He once was something. And he doesn’t need your sympathy, for that matter. After all, there’s still something good in the works.

B “THE INTERNET” There’s a strong emotional pull to this only deceptivelyimpassive love-song written from behind a cubicle. Cameron comes off like John Foxx and Robert Smith all at once in this hypnagogic and somehow sweet ode to lifelessness. | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 6

new music album reviews



Short List Sleigh Bells Jessica Rabbit Alicia Keys Here Lambchop For Love Often Turns Us Still Sting 57th & 9th Bruno Mars 24K Magic Justice Woman Metallica Hardwired... To Self-Destruct

Hope Sandoval & The Warm Inventions Until the Hunter Tendril Tales Records Hope Sandoval (of Mazzy Star) and Colm Ó Cíosóig (of My Bloody Valentine) have reunited as Hope Sandoval & The Warm Inventions to release Until The Hunter, their first album since 2009. This album has the ability to take you back in time with raw, stripped-down vocals and unexpected accompanying instrumentals. It's a solid sample of what these two artists are all about:

Thee Oh Sees An Odd Entrances Bon Jovi This House Is Not For Sale Honeyblood Babes Never Die Efterklang Leaves - The Colour Of Falling The Weeknd Starboy Dim Wit Self-Release

L Buy it

Stream it

Toss it


Light Years XRAY Records @elevenpdx


The Portland-based post-rock outfit WL create moods more than anything else. The music on Light Years offers explorations of the human condition, traversing territories between sorrow and serenity. The record is at its best when the serene parts are solemn and when the sorrow is uplifting. "Feeling Down" is perhaps the catchiest track on the album, and frontwoman Misty Mary drones and

Each of their musical backgrounds blends to form pure, moody indie gold. It's a thoughtfully produced album track by track, beginning in the collaboration "Let Me Get There" with Kurt Vile. Sandoval and Vile complement each other seamlessly to create a groovy, soulful track that supports the essence of the album as a whole. As the album evolves, the group's signature musical style features off-kilter, eerie instrumentals, especially heard on the nine-minute track “Into the Trees." Its climax of sounds is derived from cymbals, wind chimes and other echoes from nature. That all makes for a hauntingly beautiful contrast with Sandoval’s delicate voice. Each track emits an element of ease and warmth, as if you were witnessing your own private, intimate show from the comfort of your home. Hope Sandoval & The Warm Inventions accomplish a whimsical spirit throughout that concludes with the cheeky blues swagger of “Liquid Lady.” Effortless sophistication makes this album memorable and timeless. » - Kelsey Rzepecki

repeats the phrase “I feel down.” The simplicity in the lyrics is used to convey, more than anything else, emotion. This isn’t an intricate insight into the specifics that cause the mood, more an implicated directive to explore the condition only. What does it mean to feel down? That’s the important part. The sounds themselves can be ghastly and dissonant, with light, scarce vocals featured across the record. Keys are prominent throughout, with “Disintegrate” offering up perhaps my favorite key section on the record. “Mercury” is home to an incredible drum and guitar loop that fades into the back to make room for an obfuscating saxophone part, which provides the only break from the monotony on the track. It feels both jarring and familiar. WL work wonders in not conforming to post-rock norms on Light Years, and what could be forgettable soundscapes are made memorable through the brief breaks in the droning, offering these bright glimpses into the moods created on each track. » - Tyler Sanford

new music album reviews Their songs sound like eddies playing

discordant, evoking a tension beyond

out in the wake of a wave that has

the familiarity.

long since crashed. Maybe they are

of singer Austin Feinstein, whose

into existence. Looking out over the

vocals on earlier cuts often came

horizon, it’s hard to tell.

distorted, shrouded behind a curtain

Their latest release, Romantic, is

Slow Hollows Romantic Danger Collective Records Slow Hollows is chasing

Most notably changed is the voice

part of the next one just now swelling

of reverb, humming with a garage-

a tight nine-track album exploring

rocker’s out-of-tune energy. His lines

a kind of emptiness in the chest, the

here are cleaner, more reserved, and

absence of something immaterial,

he’s more confident in his range and

something you can't quite put your

diction, able now to draw the songs

finger on except to say that it's

around himself, rather than simply

missing. Most of the cuts play like

sit in the middle of them.

breakup songs, speaking to a vague

All in all, Romantic doesn't

“you” in the past tense, evoking

feel so much groundbreaking as

a millennial everyman’s brand of

archetypal–there's an intentionality


behind the vague angstiness, a sound

Their sound has become decidedly

that reminds you of the time you got

emptiness. Perhaps we all are. The

cleaner since their debut, which is

dumped in high school, or that rainy

Los Angeles-based group, originally

a typical phenomenon among indie

day when you sat alone and wondered

just "Hollows," has gone from more

bands whose aesthetic is determined

where your life might take you. Later,

post-punk to post-pop since the 2014

in large part by the quality of their

you’d look back on yourself, smiling a

debut, I’m Just As Bad As You Are.

recording equipment. Romantic

little at what it felt like, sure as you

Though their sound has evolved over

is the group’s crispest project yet,

were that you knew what love was. »

time, they’ve managed to remain in

layering newfound horns over plucky

a strangely timeless state of forever

guitar, tracing familiar progressions,

afterwards, always post-something,

though the chords themselves tend

defined mostly by what they are not.

to be slightly diminished, vaguely although the album is driven by

simple and strong instrumentals

hard times, it has an overall air of

to back the narrative. "The

lightness and hope.

Complicated Men of the 1940s"

Temple's new record is rife with

The times in our lives that have

traces the return of World War

straightforward stories, but not

II soldiers from The European

simple ones. Agile fingerpicking

Theater, showing how they pass

and narrative vocals are at the

on old guard ideas of masculinity

forefront of this album, with backup

to their sons and grandsons. Then,

instruments being just that, a

"The Birds of Late December" is

support to the stories being shared.

sung from the perspective of a

After studying painting at

Luke Temple A Hand Through the Cellar Door Secretly Canadian

- Henry Whittier-Ferguson

child tying his parents' divorce to

Boston's Museum of Fine Arts, and

his first heartbreak to the sound of

struggling to make a living as a

birds chirping. Temple channels the

visual artist, Temple moved into

voice of vulnerable youth in such a

writing and recording music and

way that the listener feels deeply

was quickly signed to Seattle's Mill


Pond Records. As the driving force

You might well listen to this

smoothly played out aren't the ones

behind the indie rock band Here We

album multiple times through and

that define us, nor do they make for

Go Magic, Temple played around

end with a wistful and satisfied sigh.

our most interesting stories. Our

with more traditional, instrument-

Couple those with the realization

formative moments are carved from

driven rock, with less of a focus on

that in the end, even if they hurt a

disappointments and heartbreak,


bit to experience, we'll always have

and the stories Luke Temple sings

Back on this new album, songs

on A Hand Through the Cellar Door

can take on the semi-spoken vocals

demonstrate just that point. And

of a Lou Reed or David Byrne with

our stories. » - Stephanie Scelza | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 8

live music Photo by Greg LeMieux



Just north of Portland, the St. Johns area is long on charm, but a little quiet when it comes to late night entertainment. The Fixin’ To is setting out to fill the need for a good quality performance venue in this growing neighborhood. In just the first few months as a venue they have hosted two acts from Willamette Week's “Best New Bands” list–Cat Hoch and Bitch’n–and have bundled shows of emerging rock artists. The Fixin' To is really trying to hit all genres of music. Soon, the Austrian beer company Stiegl will sponsor a weekly

hen Bart Blasengame and his family found

metal night, and Sundays will soon feature a rotating cast of

the building they would later turn into

country musicians for weekly honky-tonks. This November

The Fixin’ To, they saw the property for its full potential. It had been a long-vacant tchotchke shop nestled at the entrance of

historic downtown St. Johns. There was a small indoor area, a nice patio space and a huge back parking lot that they could cover for more seating. They named their new venue as a sort of a non-sequitur nod to Blasengame’s Arkansas roots, and for the last halfdecade it has been a local no-frills bar with a little bit of Southern flair. It's cozy. There’s some old sports memorabilia, a fence made of doors, and a retro gaming system that looks like an enormous Gameboy. All dive bar kitsch aside, it’s been a slow build into something more.


Photo by Greg LeMieux

live music

Local band Roselit Bone playing The Fixin' To. Photo by Todd Walberg

will see the solo record release for The Kingdom’s Chuck Westmoreland and some action from The Wild Body and Roselit Bone. There’s not one, but two, patios, one with a fireplace and one with a stage. Pizza Contadino took over the new kitchen to make artisanal pies, with the rest of the menu offering tokens of Southern comfort, like chicken and dumplings and several variations on the Frito pie. Drinks include cocktails, St. Johns Sweet Tea, and my vote for what could be the best or most terrifying beer-and-a-shot menu around. One of the most common responses to a night spent at The Fixin’ To is that it has a very relaxed, comfortable vibe. Blasengame says they have put their best foot forward on the expansion, that the bookers work hard to get great lineups, and that they make sure it sounds good. But it's also still the neighborhood chill spot. “You can come to have a drink but not be overpowered by the music," he says. “The focus is on live music, but you can have it both ways.” Whatever they are fixin’ to do, they are doing it right. » - Brandy Crowe

Local band Lost Cities playing The Fixin' To. Photo by Todd Walberg | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 10


















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Preoccupations | Methyl Ethel Mangchi | Kid Koala Chris Cohen | Bouquet | Holiday Friends Caspian | The Appleseed Cast Genders | Mascaras | Laura Palmer's Death Parade Pwr Bttm | Bellows | Lisa Prank The Wild Reeds | Valley Queen Paper Bird & The Ballroom Thieves The Suffers | Jakubi | Bandulus Amanda Shires | Colter Wall Lite | Mouse On The Keys Kevin Devine & The Goddamn Band Subrosa | Eight Bells | Jamais Jamais OM | Daniel Higgs Sales | Tangerine | Calm Candy Cash'd Out | The Delta Bombers Corey Harper Brand Roberts (of The Crash Test Dummies) Drowse | Floating Room | Hex Vision


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Pickwick | Young In The City The Parson Red Heads | Norman | The Dovecoats T Sisters | Moorea Masa | Austin Quattlebaum Sean Hayes | Tim Carr | Charley Crockett Beat Connection | Brothers From Another | Phone Call Kiiara | Cruel Youth | Lil Aaron William Fitzsimmons | Laura Burhenn Sassparilla | Casey Neil & The Norway Rats Grand Royale | Addverse Effects Monarchy | Her Max Frost | The Young Wild | Sinclair Thor & Friends | Adam Torres | Joshua Charles McCaslin Astronautalis | Oxymorrons | Rafael Vigilantics Three For Silver Big Band No Vacancy 025 fea/Blond:Ish | Kitten (DJ) | Dan Crocket El Perror Del Mar King Black Acid | Skull Diver | Lubec Foxy Lemon | Pseudoboss | The Pining Hearts Dragonette | Gibbz CRX | Dead Heavens | Streets Of Laredo Kyle Craft

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Shovels & Rope | Indianola A$AP Ferg | Playboi Carti | Rob $tone Jon Bellion | Travis Mendes & Blaque Keyz Flosstradamus | Slushii | Towkio | Gent & Jawns Lukas Graham Descendents | Bully | Broadway Calls Watsky | Witt Lowry | Daye Jack | Chukwudi Hodge Yelawolf | Bubba Sparxxx | Jelly Roll | Struggle Jennings Keys N Krates | KRNE | DeafMind Candlebox | Jeff Angell's Staticland YG | RJ | Kamaiyah | Sad Boy Ookay | Herobust | Styles & Complete

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The Wonder Years | Real Friends | Knuckle Puck NOFX | Pears | Useless ID Charlie Puth Cherub Slightly Stoopid | Fourtunate Youth | Perro Bravo Mac Miller | Soulection | ClockworkDJ Rae Sremmurd | Lil Yachty | Earz | Bobo Swae | Impxct Rising Appalachia Dream. Do. Dazzle - A Celebration of Lisa Lepine Lupe Fiasco Somo | Stanaj Daughter | Alexandra Savior Sleeping With Sirens | State Champs | Waterparks


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live music NOVEMBER MISSISSIPPI STUDIOS (CONT.) Tony Furtado Band's Annual Thanksgiving Bash Mike Coykendall | Weezy Ford | Melt Cat Hoch | Minden | Astro Tan An Evening With Kristin Hersh






















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The Early Early Comedy Open Mic (Sundays) Bunker Sessions Open Mic (Mondays) DJ Gray Consumer | Mick Jagger Solo | Don Gero | The Hague The Thesis Kill The Kids | The Rocketz | Benson Jones Brent Cowles | Blind J Wakins Starover Blue | Finally North Locksmith | Bad Habitat | J. Lately Future Myth | Castles Sweeping Exits Lang | Drew Locs | Yo-X! Killed by Health | The Gay Boys | Frenz | Loveboys Baby Ketten Karaoke Chris Margolin & The Dead Bird Collecton


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The Lower 48 | Crushed Out | Bruiser Queen Wine & Coffee | Maze Koroma | Neill Von Talley Aan | Minden | Kelli Schaefer Jackson Boone


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TLE Friends & Friends of Friends Comp Release Party Gryffin Natasha Kmeto | Crater | Marquii 1939 Ensemble | Mothertapes | Blesst Chest Stooki Sound | Gangsigns | Matt Wax | Purple Scott Jenny Hval My Body | Small Skies | Small Million Afro/Caribbean Dance Party: DJ Freaky Outty | DJ Solo Mndsgn | Survival Skills DJ Honest John | Deena Bee | New Dadz Orchestra Becomes Radicalized | Visible Cloaks








Peter Hook & The Light Classixx Toro Y Moi | The Mattson 2 Goldroom | Autograf Fishbone | Larry & His Flask Lapsley | Aquilo A Tribe Called Red Denzel Curry | Boogie | Yoshi Thompkins Turkuaz & The New Mastersounds Sleigh Bells Jai Wolf | Jerry Folk Mr Little Jeans MØ Car Seat Headrest | The Domestics Rufus Du Sol James Vincent McMorrow | Allan Rayman


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Honeyblood | Hazel English Elephant Stone Step Rockets | Fictionist Girl Tears The Gotobeds | Private Room Golden Suits Terry Malts | Marriage+Cancer Sad13 | Vagabon | Lisa Prank

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Photo by Todd Walberg


11 1300 SE STARK 7 18 25 30

Boz Scaggs The Motet | Polyrhythmics Radiation City | Pure Bathing Culture | Sama Dams Hari Kondabolu

THE KNOW 12 2026 NE ALBERTA 1 3 4 5 6 7 9 10 11 13 18

Suss Law | Violent Party | Franky | Prolix Destruct Shadowhouse | Running | Male Gaze | Vice Device Nocturnal Habits | Secret Drum Band Alice Bag | Hurry Up | Sex Crime | Macho Boys Steelchains | Backbiter | Mr. Wrong Mama | The Rubs | Ladywolf | Moondrake Thirsty City Captain vs. Crew | Rally Boy | Slower Than Numbered | Stress Position | Marriage+Cancer Mascaras | Campo-Formio | Prettiest Eyes | Bitch'n DJ Just Dave | DJ Smooth Hopperator

ALBERTA STREET PUB 13 1036 NE ALBERTA 2 3 4 9 12 16 19

The Rascalbaiters | The Jack Maybe Project Three For Silver | Intuitive Compass Soul Progression | Band of Lovers | Then & Now KMUZ Local Roots Live Series Trio Subtonic with Dan Balmer Ian Christensen Scratchdog Stringband | Pretty Gritty



n recent years, Portland has set the bar pretty high. More and more acts gaining national prominence trickle from the city each week, and there seems to be no shortage of genial collaboration and support. Four years ago, one of those new acts was Genders. THE SECRET SOCIETY The quartet released its first full-length, 116 NE RUSSELL Get Lost, in 2013, and followed up with a Stoneface Honey | Patina | The Redeemed massive national tour supporting indie Dr. Theopolis | The Frequence stalwarts Built to Spill. After that, they Supercrow | Young Elk | Santiam began on a second studio effort, releasing Melao De Cuba Salsa Orchestra The Stolen Sweets | Seth Bernard a few singles throughout 2015 and '16, Androck | Mic Crenshaw | DJ Klavical | Pig Honey culminating in their latest album, Phone The Quags | Mall Caste Home, out this month. Sonically, Genders is difficult to WHITE EAGLE 836 N RUSSELL nail down. It's an eclectic collection King Charles | Matthew Fountain of influences, sounds and structures. Polecat Primarily the brainchild of Stephen This. | Old Outfits | Joe Little Leisy and Maggie May Morris, along with Jake Powell & The Young Lovers | Matt Danger Katherine Paul and Toby Tanabe, the Yarn | Cody Ray Raymond Dryland Farmers | Hugz N Stuff group has put some serious mileage on Radio Giants instruments and automobiles alike. Air Traffic Controller We caught up with Genders via Rainbow Electric phone from Boulder, Colo., toward the The Dead Ships end of their most recent tour with The Michael McNevin | Anna Tivel Kaiya On The Mountain | The Pearls | Corner Helio Sequence to talk about the rigors Erin McKeown | The Cabin Project of touring, how they put together their Sam Fowles | Wesley Randolph Eader | Cory Dauber new album, and why the Portland scene The Plutons continues to be one of the stronger music Afterlife Revival | Charlie Moses Swingtown Vipers | For The Trees communities in the country.

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Lucas Bespiel Band | Blake Austin | Kiki & The Dowry The Hugs Austin Stewart Quartet Global Folk Club Joel Medina | Kellen Biondi | Indira Valey


ELEVEN: What's this tour been like for you so far? Do you hate each other after being in the van so much yet?


Stephen Leisy: No, it's a good tour. Maggie May Morris: This is only two weeks. Our first national tour together was six weeks and that tour we did get in some squabbles, but this tour has been pretty easy. I mean, other than Steve and I both getting wicked head colds, it's been pretty easy and fun and pretty low stress. SL: Even for being sick it's been pretty good. I think the tour Maggie was talking about was the first big tour we did, so maybe that was just learning to work together or something, because I feel everything after that has been a lot easier. 11: You're road veterans now. MMM: Two weeks isn't that long to us. Today we're like, "Oh my god! We only have four shows! Oh my god! It's over." And it feels like we just got into it. I was like, "We're finally getting over our colds and ready to go." 11: I was listening to an interview that you guys had done years ago. I think it was before your last album came out, and you were talking about how different it was being able to be more selective with the tracks that you put on to an album, as opposed to just putting everything that you had

recorded onto an album. With Phone Home, now that you guys have gone through the process a few times, what does your album creation process look like? MMM: Steve and I do a lot of sending rough demos to each other and that's the way it's been working lately... adding stuff to each other's tracks and working on them. SL: In the past, we've jammed as a band to try and create songs and sometimes some really cool stuff has come from that but... MMM: That was a lot of what Get Lost was... for some reason it just doesn't really work that well for us anymore. 11: Do you consider it more like crafting, where you're taking bits and pieces that you like and putting together individual tracks, or is it one little piece growing to a bigger song? SL: It feels like it's probably more fully fledged, fully thought-out songs individually... MMM: Yeah, more often than not I feel like either Steve or I have fleshed out like the entire structure of a song and at least the basic chord progression structure. Then Steve will write guitar parts to the songs I demo or vice versa and everyone will write their own part to the song. Usually, the song's pretty much already there.

The demos for Phone Home are really different than the tracks. “Never Belong To You� is an acoustic bedroom recording that I did, and it just evolved to a heavier, guitar-y vibe. All the songs definitely take a different shape when we all play them together. 11: I'm curious to know, since you guys were in bands before Genders and you work on other projects, about how the Portland music scene feels to you. It's not just the sheer amount of music that Portland cranks out, but also the diversity of the music and the way that people transition in these different groups. What do you think brings that energy and depth to Portland, compared to other scenes that maybe aren't quite as involved? MMM: I think there's a lot. I feel like I'm astounded every year. I keep meeting more really sweet, talented people who just really enjoy playing music. I play bass in another band called Deathlist and it's Jenny Logan's band and she plays bass for Summer Cannibals. That's her life; her social life is playing music. We all just have a lot of fun and it's really inspiring and it keeps it fresh playing different types of music. I have friends that are in country bands and friends that are in '70s heavy metal style bands. A lot of people don't limit themselves to what they want to play. It's very inspiring for sure.



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SL: You get to the point where you're like, "Oh, well, my band's like a rock band." But you're like, "I want to play like in a folk band," or "I want to play in a goth band or an industrial band." So many people can just say, "I want to do that... Oh, I've got a free night this week, so let's start working on something." 11: It seems like a tight knit community. There was that artist, Joel Magid, that put out that social media post about committing a sexual assault and it seemed like the entire community really came together around that. MMM: I honestly was pretty proud of the music community. A lot of people were just like, "Oh, the music community sucks. This is happening in our community and it's terrible." But I really felt like that was one person being a fucking asshole and I saw a lot of my male friends in the community really standing firm, being like, "That person's not my friend anymore and that's not OK and I don't condone that behavior." [They were] being very, very vocal about shaming that type of behavior and that is something that doesn't happen a lot in other facets of our society. Brock Turner did three months and we're just like, "Oh, OK." But I feel our community is still trying to deal with that and force [Magid] to deal with the repercussions of his behavior. SL: People came together in a good way. For me, it was shocking because

it made me feel naĂŻve... I didn't think anything like that really could be going on... I was sort of living in a fantasy land where everybody was super progressive and good to each other. But I just think the fact that so many people did rise to the occasion and expressed the same sort of sentiment made us all aware that shit like that can happen in the music scene and we just have to not stand for it and just be really aware. MMM: It didn't surprise me. I met that person; he was very egotistical and slimy to me and that doesn't surprise me. As a woman, I deal with sexist bullshit on a daily basis and that's the world that women live in and it's like, "Oh, no, duh?" It's happening in the music scene because the music scene is a part of the world and that's just something that women learn to deal with. It's only when it reaches a certain breaking point that it gets noticed. The daily micro aggressions [are] a constant thing. Where a sound guy calls you "sweetie." Or says things in a condescending way, it's just this social conditioning that exists. What was so shocking about that was all of these women, myself included, were like,"Yeah, I've been sexually assaulted." And all of these dudes are like, "Wait, you were sexually assaulted? Wait, and you, and you, and you, and you?" This is the world we live in. Women are not safe and I think that whole incident... opened up a can of worms. I think it's really been a positive airing of grievances and forming a support network.

11: I appreciate you guys

SL: We've been writing a lot of songs

answering that question. What are

for the next record... Phone Home was

your plans for after the album release

actually something that we worked on a

show on Nov. 5?

long time ago. MMM: We've actually been playing

SL: We're going to do another tiny, tiny tour.

three songs that aren't recorded at all, which I think is really good. We usually just write a record, so it's nice to test

11: With Built To Spill?

[songs] out live a bunch and get a better feel for ideas about how we want to

MMM: Two days with Built To Spill and then two days in California. SL: Some of that tour got destroyed a little bit by this tour. Some of the shows we're booking freaked

go about recording it. So we're just going to be demoing a lot in November, December, hopefully recording by February. SL: Before the beginning of the

out because we wouldn't be able to

year, yeah, with The Helio Sequence

announce the shows until a week or two

guys again. » - Charles Trowbridge

before and they didn't like that. But yeah, we're playing a show in Seattle on Nov. 3. MMM: Oakland on Nov. 9, Chico on Nov. 10. And then back to Seattle with Built To Spill and then taking a break and working on the next album.

Genders Phone Home Self-released Genders could have been just another cautionary tale in the Portland indie scene. The act’s resumé is impressive, sporting opening slots for Built to Spill and The Helio Sequence, not to mention longevity any band would kill for, but after diving five albums deep, the foursome began to lose momentum. But before the band could fully lay down their instruments, a fresh and giant wave of support emerged from the City of Roses, garnering


Genders attention in some highly sought after publications. Armed with a newfound energy, Genders recorded their sixth release, Phone Home, a dreamy pop EP replete with ethereal vibes and haunting lyrical content. Genders’ music feels like the ‘60s reborn, with tracks like “Never Belonged To You” channeling Joe Cocker-esque riffs, while “Cosmic Zeros” plays like The Shins downtuned. The blissfully stinging “Life Is But A Dream” is the highlight of the five-song EP and sees Genders stylistically rivaling First Aid Kit. “Jeepers” is the type of melodramatic and other-worldly tune that would make Conor Oberst jealous. The record caps off with “Death Beds,” another swaying-in-the-dark song that would be at home in a Cameron Crowe cinematic climax. Singer/ guitarist Maggie Morris’ voice is trance-inducing, tempting listeners to enjoy Phone Home from the comfort of their floorboards, lights off and drink in hand. The EP is elegant and captivating, the kind of atmospheric art that one would hope for from Portland veterans. » - Jameson Ketchum



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nce in awhile, a band comes along with a genre that seems impossible to pinpoint. Sleigh Bells, comprising guitarist Derek Miller and vocalist Alexis Krauss, could be described as anywhere from hiphop to pop to hardcore to indie-electronica. Most often, they get tagged with "noise-pop." However you describe them, the Brooklyn-based duo creates music that hits with unstoppable and abrasive force. Both members have previous experience performing and touring. Miller was a guitarist in the hardcore band Poison the Well. Krauss, who grew up in New Jersey, has a background in theater and television, but it wasn’t until an


unlikely interaction between waiter and customer in 2008 that Sleigh Bells was born. Krauss, who had just finished her first year of teaching in the Bronx, was eating with her mother at the restaurant where Miller was working when he expressed interest in finding a female vocalist for a new project he was working on. Krauss’ mother immediately volunteered her. The two met up, listened to Miller’s demos through headphones, and the rest is modern indie music history. The duo played the CMJ Music Marathon in October 2009, signed to M.I.A.’s N.E.E.T. Recording, where they released their debut album Treats in 2010, followed by

Mom + Pop Music to release Reign of Terror in 2012 and Bitter Rivals in 2013. On Nov. 11, the band will release their fourth studio album, Jessica Rabbit, the first under their own label, Torn Clean. On the new outing, the band teeters right between catchy bubblegum pop and avant-garde music, combining dissonant feedback with melodic instrumentation. ELEVEN recently caught up with Krauss to talk about the inevitable power of timing, staying passionate about the creative process and her affinity for Portland. | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 18

Photo by Em Grey

Photo by Em Grey

ELEVEN: You’ve been in show business since

than, say, performing on stage as myself at my school

you were a kid, right? You were in a Nickelodeon

talent show. As I got a little older I sang with my

Magazine commercial and were a part of the teen

friends’ bands and things like that. And once again

pop group RubyBlue. Has the desire to be on stage

that proved to be just really terrifying: having to

always been in you?

be me on stage. It wasn’t until I started performing with RubyBlue that I gained some confidence singing

Alexis Krauss: My father is a professional

and playing music. Even with Sleigh Bells, that’s

musician. I was singing with him at a very young age...

something I initially had to work pretty hard on,

both causally around the house, at his gigs and things

because I tend to get self-conscious. It’s been a long

like that. I definitely had experience and access to

evolution for sure.

performing at a very young age, and I very vividly remember going to see Guys and Dolls on Broadway and I was totally obsessed with the idea of acting,

11: So your parents have always been supportive of your music then?

performing and singing on stage. At that time, the context was specifically theater. I started auditioning

AK: They have, yeah! My dad, like I said, that’s all

for things and found that I felt very much at home on

he’s ever known and done. He’s a musician and an

stage, especially as a character.

artist and my mom has always been supportive of his

I’ve always been a bit introverted in my day-to-day life... not being myself was much more comfortable


ambitions and my ambitions. They’ve always nurtured my interest in music and art. Even going into Sleigh

features national scene Bells, I was transitioning from a career as an educator, which was more stable, to quitting my job and joining a band. They were completely supportive. I’m super grateful for that. 11: After RubyBlue ended, you went to college and everything. Did you find yourself struggling to stay creative? And if that was the case, did you have to put that lifestyle on hold? AK: Well, I worked as a singer throughout college. Two ways: I demoed a lot of different writers’ songs, mostly within the pop landscape, but I was a session singer. I kept pretty busy working with other people and singing at sessions. So that was one way I stayed connected with the music industry. I also worked in a very active, very high-quality wedding and events band, so I would spend my Friday and Saturday nights gigging with them in really crazy, fancy hotels in New York City and things like that. It was a really great gig, because I would sing everything from Ella Fitzgerald to Christina Aguilera. 11: So, like Adam Sandler in The Wedding Singer. AK: [Laughs.] Pretty much. It depended on the size of the party, but I got to sing with great singers and really talented musicians. That was really helpful for my repertoire and just being able to sing a very diverse body of music. So, I stayed very much in touch with music, but I was not writing or creating or pursuing music other than something that was helping to pay my rent. And I don’t know if I hadn’t met Derek that I would have pursued music as an artist. I had a lot of other things I was interested at the time. I think it took meeting Derek to really unlock that desire to immerse myself again as an artist and the different complex layers that come along with it, like songwriting and aesthetic and developing something that’s hopefully interesting to people. 11: You met Derek back in 2008 while eating at a restaurant he was waiting tables at, right? What was it about meeting Derek that made you know you wanted to pursue a creative relationship with him? AK: It was a bunch of different things. We had this really great, really random conversation about | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 20

features national scene something much more than you’d expect to talk about

AK: I think it’s a matter of prioritizing and juggling

at dinner with a random waiter. There was a very clear

and balancing both your interests and also what is

desire on his part to play me his music and for him to

necessary for you to be able to pay your rent. It’s really

hear my vocals and it was all just really surreal and

about just finding that balance. I would definitely say

kind of funny. Timing is really everything: I had just

any passion is worth pursuing, but we can’t all indulge

finished my first year of teaching. It was the first

those passions without considering the repercussions

period between graduating college and training for

of not having a “real job.” It’s a struggle, it’s not easy,

Teach for America and being a teacher in the South

but I think any desire to pursue what you really love

Bronx that I had a moment to really think about

requires a little risk. I would just say be responsible

anything besides lesson planning and getting to bed by

and rational, but also don’t let those responsibilities

9 p.m. I had been missing singing and performing and

keep you from pursuing what you really want to

so when we met up, and he played me the very early

pursue. You can always bounce back.

Sleigh Bells demos, I was really inspired and intrigued and definitely felt that I could offer something

11: Delving into Sleigh Bells, you guys have been

beneficial to the process. I had no idea that it would

described as anywhere from hip-hop to hardcore

turn out to be what it was, but I created a space once

and metal to dance, noise-pop and indie rock. Do

again for creativity in my life. It was just really ideal

you agree with those descriptions? How would you


describe your guys’ music?

11: A lot of creatives, whether that’s writers,

AK: Sure, I think there’s elements of all those

musicians, artists, or whatever have to put their

genres. I have a very challenging time describing our

passion on hold. Do you have any advice for them?

band. I use a lot of adjectives. I think we are probably




Photo by Em Grey

features national scene | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 22

features national scene more of those things than other things, but I’m

more of a part of the instrumental than they were

comfortable enough with that. [Laughs.]

something that sat atop the mix to create a certain mood or told a certain story. I think now the vocals

11: There’s juxtaposition of rhythmic noise,

are more traditional in that you can’t only hear them

electronic beats, harsh guitar riffs and your softer,

better, but the performances emote and try to create

dream-like vocals. Can you tell me more about

their own space within the instrumental.

how that comes about? What’s your guys’ creative process?

11: Is that how you would say Jessica Rabbit differs than the first three albums?

AK: The creative process has changed quite a bit for us from Treats to Jessica Rabbit. The earlier

AK: Yeah, I think you could say Jessica Rabbit is an

songs were dominantly written by Derek. I was acting

album of extremes. We touched upon these extremes

more as a singer, he more as a producer. But as my

in the past, but I think Jessica Rabbit fully commits to

investment in the band increased and as the band

them. We have softer, sweeter, much more vulnerable

became my life, it became very important to me that I

moments on this album than we’ve ever had before,

take on more of a role as an equal songwriter.

but we also have much more and aggressive, noisy

That being said, I think Sleigh Bells has always

moments. I also think there’s a lot of interesting

stayed true to its foundation, which starts with a

in-between spaces that we occupy. Some are more

strong instrumental track, starts with guitar and

experimental, some are more pop.

electronic production and now more than ever, synthesizer. It’s never really been about anything

11: All of this started less than a decade ago

other than those elements. I think in the beginning

and a lot has happened since. I’m sure it’s been a

the vocals were more textural, less emotional and

whirlwind. What would you say has been one of


Photo by Em Grey

features national scene your favorite moments, or one of the most defining

long time about doing something with Run the Jewels

moments of your Sleigh Bells journey? I know that’s a

as well, which I think would be really cool to make

loaded question.

happen. Personally, there are a lot of artists I would love to meet. I’m a total fangirl over Beyonce, but also

AK: Well, there’s been a lot, but I think this most recent tour, which was in September, was pretty

Joan Jett, Debbie Harry–you know these iconic people that are just such a huge part of music history.

important, because we’d taken more time off than we had in the past to make this album, and I think we

11: We are all fangirling over Beyonce, always.

were a little scared that maybe people wouldn’t care

You guys are playing Portland on Nov. 18. How do you

about our music anymore. You kinda wonder if people

like it here?

are going to stick around with you and maintain their loyalty as fans and as listeners. So getting back on the

AK: I’ve always loved Portland. It’s definitely a city

road and having shows exceed our expectations and

I’ve thought about moving to multiple times. It’s just

having people say to us that they’re really responding

one of those places I feel very at home at. I’d get on my

to the new work was incredibly gratifying. I don’t ever

bike and ride around, eat Voodoo Doughnuts... have a

take that for granted.

delicious brunch. It’s definitely Austin, San Francisco and Portland where I’m excited to be in most. »

11: Do you have any sort of music bucket list? Are there any specific artist you’d like to collaborate with? AK: We’ve said for a long time that we would love to record something with Pharrell and Andre 3000. I think that would be amazing. We’ve been talking for a


Your best source for local music. HAW THORN E 3541 SE Hawthorne Blvd W EST END 412 SW 10th Ave NW 23 RD 525 NW 23rd Ave | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 24

community literary arts

LITERARY ARTS Writer Casey Jarman


eath. It’s the metaphysical elephant in the room. This topic would be far too daunting for most writers to deal with as a debut, but Casey Jarman found the topic to be so curiously over-avoided that he dedicated a year of his life to investigating it. Death: An Oral History was published in October and doesn't at all read like a new-age self improvement book; rather it addresses the situation candidly and with enough ease and light-heartedness to be truly comforting. In it, Jarman picks some brilliant minds, like Art Spiegelman, the Pulitzer-Prize winning author of Maus, and modern philosopher Simon Critchley. Jarman also opens up mindaltering conversations with people who look quite differently at death, like psychedelic scientist Katherine MacLean. The most relatable interviews he conducts are those with his family and friends. I met Jarman for a beer on a Saturday afternoon, and was soon entrenched in a discussion more anxiety-easing than any pill on the market.


Photo by Caitlin Webb

ELEVEN: What inspired you to write about this subject, and then how has your perspective on the concept of death changed after interviewing all of these people?

Casey Jarman: I was just looking for something that I thought I could spend a year on without getting bored. There are so many endless directions you can take when talking about death, and I had a publisher that was willing to let me go out in any direction I wanted to go out in. They gave me some great ideas and leads on people, but for the most part, they allowed me to talk to people who inspired me. So it was a great exercise. If I got bored talking about the funeral industry then I could talk about something completely different, like art or music. It changed my perspective in a lot of ways, but I think the biggest thing was having all these conversations with other people. Having it be an open, not-taboo thing allowed me to talk about it more in conversations with friends and family members and that’s been very rewarding to know that other people have the same anxieties and worries about it that I do. Having all of those external conversations has changed all of the internal conversations I was having with myself about it, where if it came up, I would just freak out and panic and not want to think about it. Now, I feel that I can have a playful kind of relationship with it internally. That’s the big thing for me, to be able to have the bandwidth to think about it and not have it make me want to go sleep in a hole somewhere. 11: I had a similar reaction after reading your book. I especially connected with your conversations with your friend Anna Urquhart, whose mother had very recently died. Can you speak about that a bit? CJ: I was in two minds about even asking her to talk about it. We’re pretty close. She’s a very honest and warm, wonderful person. She’s also, as I mentioned in the book, a very sarcastic, hilariously raw person. I thought that it could help somebody to hear a conversation with someone who is in the thick of trying to figure out what the fuck they were going to do now. Anna was about as realistic as you could possibly be. She realized her lack of any sort of faith or ritual around death... threw her into a tizzy. Not having that security of “it's cool, she’s in heaven, so everything is good...” It was a huge existential crisis for her. I was real conflicted about even asking her, but she was totally open to the idea and I’m so grateful to her. I’ve read a lot of things from people a year out, two years out, five years out... I’ve never heard anybody say, this is what I’m going through right this minute. 11: Simon Critchley was a fascinating subject because, first off, you don’t hear about many modern day philosophers. So is that actually his job title?

community literary arts 11: Why are psychedelics such a common thread in these studies? You discuss it with scientist Katherine MacLean and I didn’t realize it was so influential on Art Spiegelman. How did the conversation go there? CJ: They both talked about it being a very helpful tool. For Art, how he got comfortable with the idea of death and his loss of the anxiety over it was taking acid and realizing that he was a part of the natural cycle. I don’t think that drugs are the only way of getting to that place. I know people that are completely sober and straight and who find other ways. I know biologists and scientists who just have that outlook on life. I think a big part of our disconnect from our mortality and from death is that we’re disconnected from nature. That’s why there’s so much stuff about green burial and about different methods of disposing of bodies. That in itself, I’m really not that interested in, but what I am interested in is the connection that we do or do not have to dying and to the people around us who are dying. I think that our disconnect with nature is a huge part of that puzzle. 11: We kind of lie to ourselves about it, don’t we?

CJ: I think he is a little conflicted about it, but he did say, “I don’t really know what to call what I do, but I basically think and talk about death.” I think he’s OK with the philosopher title and I think he’s certainly done a lot in that capacity. 11: My favorite line from him in that interview talks about the avoidance of the topic. “People are dying. We just don’t see it, we’ve chosen to devalue it in the name of longevity and youth. It means that we don’t cherish the connections that we have. We run after ones that we don’t have, and that makes us even more miserable.” It’s a life-affirming statement. CJ: That was inspiring for me to talk to people–and who knows, he might have some spirituality that’s personal to him –like Holly Pruitt, locally, [who] talked a lot about ritual and tradition. Really, that’s what I was looking for. Because I think I’m too skeptical to adopt any kind of faith in my life at this point. It’s just not gonna happen. So I was looking for people who found some sort of comfort in a stark, realistic way of looking at life and death. People who can look at things and say, "I’m gonna die and I don’t know what’s next, or nothingness is next but I’m cool with it." For me, that’s the best case scenario I can get with it: getting to the point where I can look at the uncertainty of death because I don’t think I’ll ever be... I don’t think anyone can ever look at it with any surety and say, "This is what happens." I would feel like a fraud if I ever did that, because I’m just too small. We’re just fucking tiny insignificant beings.

CJ: We live in a world of symbols. There’s an old band that I love called Kickball from Olympia. They have an album called Everything is a Miracle Nothing is a Miracle Everything Is. To me, living in the USA in 2016 is this constant experience in "I can have whatever I want whenever I want, so why would I spend any time on thinking about death? Why would I spend any time thinking about hard shit... when I can just play video games at my house for five hours, or I can go get drunk on any corner?" There’s no consumer influence that’s telling you to think deeply about your life or to think about mortality. Nothing about capitalism is saying to you, "Hey you should just chill out for a while and meditate on death." Because that can’t make any money for anyone. You literally have to be in a different segment of society or disconnect yourself from society to get an appreciation for stuff like this, really. 11: Until someone who is close to you dies and then it hits you like a ton of bricks. CJ: Then it shatters everything. That’s what comes up over and over again. There’s this very real phenomenon that we’re all gonna deal with that, for whatever reason, none of us want to plan for or think about, or develop a way of living with. It’s just avoidance. For me, that was starting to drive me completely crazy. That’s why the book is the book, because avoidance was making me nuts and it was not working. Even for someone who was not experiencing loss personally, something was weighing very heavily on my mind. I had so many mundane conversations that I felt like screaming in the middle of the conversation. Like, this is stupid. We’re all gonna die, why aren’t we talking about this? » - Scott McHale | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 26

community visual arts Photo by Mercy McNab

VISUAL ARTS Portland artist Maddison Bond


cross disciplines, modes and styles, there is a special relationship between artists and their expression. Portland artist Maddison Bond utilizes his artistic expression as a therapeutic force for his own anxieties and darkest emotions. Bond’s ability to draw out a gruesome figure allows him to identify his own inner demons and overcome his fears. This December, you can see some of his latest work at Blackbird Pizza or at the Big 500 art show at the Ford Building. ELEVEN: What were your earlier experiences with art? Maddison Bond: I always loved drawing growing up, especially drawing spooky haunted houses and traps. I liked to draw things, but I was really bad at it at first. When I was 14, I made friends with my high school art teacher’s son and he really taught me some technique, and from there it


became more of a hobby. Later on, I felt like it even became something I had to do. It was so meaningful to me that I ended up dropping out of college to go to art school. Every time I’ve tried to not make art, it never ends well. Art functions as a really nice type of release and therapy for me. As I became more of a proficient artist, I made drawings for blogs and then I transitioned to making stuff just for me. I used to try to make art that people were interested in, but then realized I felt better about making art that I was interested in. I feel like a lot of that art is both silly and serious at the same time. 11: In an ideal world, if you could do anything with your art, what would that be? MB: I remember a book from when I was growing up... I can never remember the title, but the illustrations where slightly off and creepy. It was about a mother and her kid, and it was supposed to be a children’s book, but everything in it was just a little off-putting. It was the first time I realized what fiction was. When I looked at the book, it took me to this weird place that was unfamiliar but somehow also gave me a certain sense of déjà vu. I would love to make that weird type of art that recreates that weird familiarity. I have never been a very confident writer, but would love to have my art accompany stories. I like the idea of there to being a cohesive narrative to pair along with a portrait, for example.

community visual arts 11: Is there a theme or certain narrative that would accompany the images you create now?

11: Your drawing of "The Elder One" is almost cartoonish. Is it meant to be that way?

MB: I think my biggest theme is fear and the fear of the unknown. Through my art, I feel like I am somehow making that emotion tangible so that it can be processed, and then overcome. This way, I take the nightmares and emotions that I don’t understand, the emotions that I have the most difficulty with, and then I exorcise those... by getting them out on paper. For me, that is usually anxiety, and it manifests itself in ways like being afraid of my own body and being paranoid of what people might think. This is my way of being able to control things that exist that I may not even really be able to control– by making fearsome things tangible. The monsters that I create, while they may be gruesome or horrifying, are a lot less scary than the emotions that people can sometimes experience.

MB: He has a lot of the elements of figures I like to make, spooky with elements of horror. He is based on a character from H.P. Lovecraft and he is an amalgamation of all of these scary things, tentacles and faces. It is supposed to be a combination of the different facets of people all kind of shoved into one. To me, monsters are kind of like the re-shuffling of the familiar. You can see a demon and it is a representation of all of these aspects of evil, but how do you take something like being fragile and turn it into a monster? That is what some of these are about. In each piece that I make, I try to represent a facet of the layers of emotions that someone can connect with.

11: Is that why some of your imagery is on the darker side? MB: I had a teacher when I was 16 who asked me why I drew everyone as if they were a corpse or dead and scary. She asked me if I wanted people to be afraid of me, or if I was afraid. At the time I kind of just shrugged it off like a teenager, but when I’ve tried making more aesthetically beautiful paintings and using soft imagery, it never ended up feeling true to me. I guess there wasn’t enough of a jagged edge to it or something. This type of aesthetic is my style of communication. 11: Would you say that is the type of art you are also interested in seeing by other artists? MB: I like figurative things. I feel like all of my work is very figurative, even if it is fantastical. I like really rough, brutal stuff that is kind of similar to what I do, but I also really like refined things. I am also attracted to really technical work that I see in some artists’ styles. Then, there are other styles, like the spray painter [Michael] Reeder, that make more pattern-based figurative work that is more colorful and beautiful. I also really like the artwork of [Jonathan] Wayshak, who more similarly to me, does these really textural, black and white style images with a lot of hatching. I also go with a lot of religious motifs. I grew up going to Catholic school and there is a lot of that saint imagery that I use in my figures. A lot of the figures I draw, like in Catholic art, show deaths and melodramatic poses and all of the lament and pain that is represented within those works. "Demon Babe" (ink and pen on paper) | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 28

community visual arts 11: How important of a role do you think Instagram and social media plays in the art world? MB: You can have so many followers on social media or none, and I don’t think it has too much weight on your success as an artist. It is a good way to get your work out to people. The cult of having a lot of followers doesn’t really matter to me a whole lot though. It means that there are people out there that appreciate my work and "like" my photos, but ultimately it really doesn’t guarantee that I will make genuine connections with people in the real world or that my internet fandom will translate to any actual artistic success. I would say knowing that there are people out there who enjoy my work has increased my confidence. Even if I don’t sell my work at shows, it’s comforting to remember that there is also another audience online who is interested in my stuff. I think the internet can be a great tool to be able to reach out to people who may have never otherwise seen my work. 11: What inspires you to stay productive in making art? MB: I like to mix it up and I have a couple different sizes of stuff that I make and different approaches to keep it interesting. "The Elder One" is 22 x 30 inches and so it’s pretty big and took up a lot of my time and was a lot more "The Litch King" (ink and pen on paper)

technical. The bigger ones are more about patterns and repetitions. Some of the smaller ones are more casual and for fun and take up a lot less time. I think of the smaller, fun pieces as kind of like palate cleansers in a way, and they kind of break up the monotony of the type of work that can go into the larger pieces. 11: Is there anything new you are working on now? MB: I am working on some smaller works right now and I will have some of my newer works available at the Big 500 show at the Ford Gallery building. This is a really great event featuring many local artists who will be selling their pieces at $40 each in December. It’s just in time for the holiday season and I think it is a really great place to get in some gift ideas. » - Lucia Ondruskova


Please enjoy Maddison's piece "The Elder One" (ink and pen on paper) decorating our inside back cover this month.


Eleven PDX Magazine November 2016  
Eleven PDX Magazine November 2016