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MUSIC, COMMUNITY, AND CULTURE IN PORTLAND

ISSUE 67 | DEC 2016

INSIDE: TOP 11 PDX ALBUMS OF 2016 | JIM JAMES | ACAPULCO LIPS | GLASS ANIMALS | SINLESS

ELEVEN PDX MAGAZINE - VOLUME 6, ISSUE 7

COMPLIMENTARY


BANANA STAND mEDIA


contents

ELEVEN PDX MAGAZINE VOLUME 6

THE USUAL 3 Letter from the Editor 3 Staff Credits

ISSUE NO. 7

FEATURES Local Feature 15 Sinless

Cover Feature 19 David Bazan

NEW MUSIC 4 Aural Fix Jim James Telegram Acapulco Lips Glass Animals

7 Album Reviews Top 11 Local Releases of 2016

COMMUNITY Literary Arts 25 Portland writer Kait Heacock

Visual Arts 27 Portland artist Lacey Mar Brown

LIVE MUSIC 11 Know Your Venue High Water Mark

13 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! As someone once said, "Where one chapter ends, a new one begins." This short letter will be my last contribution as your Editor-in-Chief of ELEVEN. What a great pleasure and distinct honor it has been to interact with so many of you, from street musicians to small business owners. Our one-of-a-kind creative community shares a magic love that knows no bounds. For the next verse, Dustin, myself and the folks over here are elated to inform you that the brilliant group from Noise & Color PDX will be joining forces with ELEVEN, and the multitalented dynamo Travis Leipzig will oversee many aspects as the new Managing Editor. With our expanded team, we're looking at a 2017 full of compelling content and fascinating events. I will continue to work with ELEVEN on the business side, while also exploring new adventures, and of course, attending shows and hanging out with you. Thank you one last time for all of your passion and support and please enjoy issue #67 of ELEVEN PDX. You make it awesome. »

- 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)

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

MANAGING EDITOR Travis Leipzig (travis@elevenpdx.com)

GET INVOLVED getinvolved@elevenpdx.com www.elevenpdx.com twitter.com/elevenpdx facebook.com/elevenmagpdx

SECTION EDITORS LOCAL FEATURE: Ethan Martin LITERARY ARTS: Morgan Nicholson VISUAL ARTS: Mercy McNab

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

GRAPHIC DESIGN Dustin Mills

GENERAL INQUIRIES info@elevenpdx.com

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

PHOTOGRAPHERS Eric Evans, Alexander Fattal, Greg LeMieux, Mercy McNab, Andrew Roles, Todd Walberg, Caitlin Webb COVER PHOTO Ryan Russell

ADVERTISING sales@elevenpdx.com 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

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JIM JAMES DECEMBER 7 | ROSELAND THEATER

Although best known as the frontman of indie cult classic My Morning Jacket, Jim James (who often goes by Yim Yames) now inhabits a wider role in the indie world as a solo artist. James has collaborated with everyone from M. Ward and Bright Eyes to Bobby Bare Jr. James, born James Edward Olliges Jr. in Louisville, Kentucky, has developed an entire career based on eclectic sounds and styles. As the vocalist, producer and driving force behind My Morning Jacket, James pioneered the unique sound now associated with the band. From the evocative reverb heard on The Tennessee Fire to the blend of Americana, folk and reggae found on Z, James and My Morning Jacket have a notable sound that has since emanated through other indie acts. The band has been characterized as hillbilly hipsters, or is said to be trying to bring soul back to rock music. Both ideas are traceable to James’ love of Motown and are borne out in My Morning Jacket's fanbase: cool, suburban dads and critics alike. James is perhaps most notable for his otherworldly vocal style, which combines a heavy echo that submerges topical

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TELEGRAM DECEMBER 10 | CRYSTAL BALLROOM

Ripped straight from the annals of the punk and krautrock heydays, UK foursome Telegram brings a decided nastiness to the table with their guitar-powered rock. Punchy, driving and just a little polished, the group delivered a strong debut album, Operators, in early February, and followed that up with a shaggy single, “You Said You Saw Us,” that speaks to the sonic promise of the band moving forward. Telegram’s sound is rooted in the early influences of English punk, accompanied by a musical sophistication that manifests

lyrics. He has a discography totaling eight records, with the aforementioned My Morning Jacket, one with Monsters of Folk, one with The New Basement Tapes and four as a solo artist. His latest endeavor, Eternally Even, out last month, contains some of his most psychedelic music yet. Throughout his years and many acts, James’s music has expanded from his original country and rock roots to funk, reggae and galactic sounds. James, in any band, is able to wield the simmering elements of synth, saxophone and electric guitar and combines them with inward-looking lyrics. » - Samantha Lopez

itself in the careful songwriting and instrumental interplay. The rhythm section, Oli Paget-Moon on bass and Jordan Cook on drums, does an apt job keeping the sound tight and compact around the dual guitars of Matt Saunders and Pip Stakem. On Operators, the hooks are catchy and lyrical, and the distortion is not overwhelming. For a group that relies on the strength of its instrumentals, the cleaner guitars allow the full display of talent and thoughtful musicality that might be otherwise obscured. To date, Telegram has built its reputation on a steady diet of shows in the UK, becoming known for its raucous live energy. The group was able to capture that same verve on Operators in a way that comes across as simultaneously free-flowing and structured. The instrumentals shine, blending Saunders’ vocals into the fray. “Aeons” and “Taffy Come Home” are notable for the frenzied guitar solos that course through their backgrounds, screaming along frantically but never out of control. “Regatta” showcases Saunders’ ability to break away from straight punk sounds and bring his distinct élan to the forefront. The most recent single, “You Said You Saw Us,” is gritty and bombastic. It pops from the get-go, and while noticeably "produced," it falls into the sweet spot of blended genres and instrumental balance that Telegram has made its calling card. As the group begins its swing through North America, they’ll have an opportunity to convert the masses into believers of the next generation of UK’s rock invasion. » - Charles Trowbridge

www.elevenpdx.com | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 4


new music aural fix This Seattle-based trio produces an authentic Northwest sound, full of steady percussion, heavy and flowing bass, and intense double-picked guitar solos. Originally from Austin, Texas, singer and bassist MariaElena Juarez shares feelings of broken-hearted, yet energetic, persistence. Guitarist Christopher Garland plays the six-string with intensity, keeping parallel time with the hard-hitting drumming of Davy Berruyer, who came all the

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ACAPULCO LIPS DECEMBER 11 | MISSISSIPPI STUDIOS

way from Grenoble, France to anchor the sound. The trio dropped its self-titled album in April and set out on a month-long tour of the West Coast. The national

This month, Acapulco Lips comes to town in a not-

rock 'n' roll scene has welcomed Acapulco Lips with open

so-surfy season to remind us all what a radiating, hot

arms. The band has sheer confidence; when a party needs

summer style can do to rainy days here in the Pacific

to go down and sad dreary feelings need to be eradicated,

Northwest. Sometimes we just have to let that reverb hit

they'll help kiss all that nonsense goodbye. Âť

and groove to the rhythm.

5 | ELEVEN PORTLAND | www.elevenpdx.com

- Ellis Samsara


new music aural fix Photo by Neil Krug

4

GLASS ANIMALS DECEMBER 14 | CRYSTAL BALLROOM

I don’t know what it is, but I feel naughty when I listen to Glass Animals. The first track I heard from the band was "Gooey" from their debut LP. It immediately cast me back to dimly lit, smoke-filled bedrooms at 4 a.m. This aesthetic is further developed on the new album, How To Be A Human Being. The record pops all

This album is razor sharp in every aspect, far from being hipster landfill material. It’s rich, considered and a thoroughly engaging listen from start to finish. Enjoy it with your favorite bunch of weirdos in your bedroom; just remember to keep the curtains drawn when the sun starts coming up. » - Rick White

over with quirky, off-kilter beats, creepy synths, 8-bit computer game melodies and wonderfully observed nerdy lyrics delivered in hazy falsetto. Glass Animals was recently described, rather lazily, by The Guardian as "Alt-J a-likes." Now, I know people love a point of reference. (I’ve always thought of Alt-J as "Gomez for millennials," and when I say "millennials" I use that term in the broadest sense.) But to sum up Glass Animals as a derivative of anyone is

QUICK TRACKS A “LIFE ITSELF” Lead single off the album and probably the most complete representation of the band’s style. Amazonian beats, sinister keys and breathy vocals. The lyrics give an immediate idea of where Glass Animals are coming from: 'I can’t get a job so I live with my mum/I take her money but not quite enough/I sit in the car and listen to static/She said I look fat but I look fantastic.’

to do them a disservice. This

B

album is bedroom electronica

“PREMADE SANDWICHES”

meets alternative R&B by way of... indie trip-hop? If there isn’t a name for it already (and there ought to be) I’m going to call it Naughty Geek-Hop. I hope that will catch on.

a disembodied electronic voice reeling off a list of every apathy-inducing fad of this modern age. It’s possible the band are rebelling against all this, or maybe they loathe themselves for being a part of it, just like the rest of us.

www.elevenpdx.com | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 6


new music album reviews

ALBUM REVIEWS Top 11 Local Releases of 2016

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11

Little Star Being Close Good Cheer Records There are so many good moments

on Being Close, but the most poignant is in "Voice." Little Star singer Julian Morris belts out “I’m gonna give you my voice,” which turned out to be the last time he'd really do so in that voice due to an ongoing gender transition. That vulnerable intersection of life and art makes the album feel uncommon and urgent. The song stands out as a prime example of a band being able to exude extreme sadness and a powerful sense of joy at the same time. The alt-music spirit of Alex Chilton and Big Star can be heard in their tones, and The Cure in the lyrics, but Morris and his bandmates Daniel Byers and John Value succeeded in creating something truly unique. They present seemingly simple songs that grow into an expansive sound that becomes mesmerizing. This is a Portland band that should be experienced live. The title track, about growing apart from friends, is such a strong, driving opening, and "Hungry Ghost," with its fleeting melancholy, is the perfect ending. » - Scott McHale

7 | ELEVEN PORTLAND | www.elevenpdx.com

Tender Age Disappear Here Sinis Recordings

The 1990s were a time in which different styles morphed and merged into music that was both edgy and oddly familiar, combing a style of jarring guitar, simple drumbeats and brooding lyrics. It’s a style that has helped deem the decade as being one of the best in music. This tradition is most recently shown in local band Tender Age’s newest EP Disappear Here. The EP, a short-lived six songs, evokes a rhythmic shoegaze, noise-pop feel. The band is able to reconstruct the intense reverb-heavy and dissonant feedback that trended in the early-to-mid ’90s with bands like Sonic Youth, Primal Scream and The Breeders. The group’s dual female vocals arranged with layered guitars is reminiscent of bands like My Bloody Valentine. Each song is uniquely true to Portland’s music scene and is universally gratifying. From the get-go, with its tracks “Lowers” and “Delirium” the band shows their level of comfort with disintegration- like synth and metallic beats, and both are tied together with ethereal vocal styles. The songs, though seemingly simple with their instruments–guitar, drums, bass, synths, vocals and more guitar– display a cohesion that bleeds together into a fervent trebly jangle. The EP is compelling and rides a wave of nostalgia with its fuzz guitar, simple melodies, augmented electronics and basic drum pulses. Disappear Here is meant to be heard loud, because at any lower volume its vitality would be lost–and Tender Age is able to update the early rock riffs and distortion with an intensity that when cranked up to speaker-rattling levels has an infectious end result. » - Samantha Lopez

9

bed. Klickitat Bug Hunt Records

For everyone in Portland who thinks there’s nothing to thank California for, you may feel differently after you familiarize yourself with bed., the garage-rock project of Alex and Sierra Haager. The couple moved to Portland nearly three years ago, immediately diving into the Portland music scene, opening the music PR firm Public Display and releasing a handful of singles as bed. after finding drummer Andrew Meininger. Most recently though, bed. put out a five-song EP, Klickitat, that gives us the biggest dose of their dreamy slow-fi sound. Full of paradoxes from top to bottom, this release is as surprising as it is comfortable. Album opener, “The Rule,” is immediately inviting. Thick reverb hangs like a heavy curtain, parted by a pristine guitar riff, with the light of Sierra Haager’s voice pouring through, welcoming you in. And once you’re in it, you never want to leave. Klickitat is entrancing that way, coaxing out the languid, cozy introvert in all of us. For the garage-rock lover, the level of fuzz is a soothing hum, and with lyrics like “I wanna stay inside/ I wanna stay inside,” on EP highlight “Boys,” it’s difficult not to consider the suggestion. No song better exemplifies the buttery, sleepy ’90s dream that is bed. than “Fremm,” which relies on a super simple rhythm, and a bright guitar melody to serve as a stage for Alex and Sierra Haager’s conversational, melancholic duet. With luck, 2016 will see the release of their debut album as well, which they’ve been recording this year with Larry Crane at Portland’s Jackpot! studio. » - Sarah Eaton


new music album reviews

8

Mic Capes Concrete Dreams Self-released

It seems every other weekend another Portland indie band gets its big break, but what about hip-hop? In a city primarily known for its historically rich indie rock scene, Mic Capes is providing a voice for the ever-growing rap scene in the city with Concrete Dreams. Made with collaboration from fellow Portland artists Glenn Waco, Rasheed Jamal and more, Concrete Dreams is one for the Northwest hip-hop heads to be proud of. The album is a natural progression of the work Mic Capes did on 2012’s Rise and Grind, but it’s much more polished; four more years of practice turns good flows into great flows, and the rhymes followed suit. The 19-track album does a couple things very well: It rewards attentive listeners with subtle, but pointed, wordplay and never lets up. It’s easy for such a long album to have a couple of duds, but there are zero here. Concrete Dreams is impressive in its ability to integrate painfully introspective tracks (“Boyz & Girls Club”) with massive, booming tracks (“Magic 8-Ball”) without losing focus. Mic Capes raps just as effortlessly over hard-hitting, trap-influenced instrumentals as he does on the down-tempo, atmospheric cloud-rap instrumentals. A post-Flockaveli rap scene has allowed artists the freedom to experiment with trap instrumentals without being labeled a trap-rapper, and that flexibility is on full display throughout this record. The title Concrete Dreams acts as both a reflection of Mic Capes' past and a prediction of his future; the dreams are both built within the city and destined to become reality–become concrete. » - Tyler Sanford

7

Animal Eyes Where We Go Self-released

6

Portland earth warriors Animal

Candace, the trio formally known as Is/Is, have taken the energy of a new identity and channeled it into the confident and cohesive New Future. Apropos of the new name, New Future seems to chart a path forward that places the group’s sound into a gray area of genre melds. The instrumentals coexist in a space that is both aggressive and controlled, matching the fuzzy alt-rock sounds with the syrupy vocals. There are alternating moments of claustrophobic intensity, like opener “Wasted View,” juxtaposed with tracks like “Mirror Bird” and “Disappearing” that take advantage of the expanse when the vocals are pulled back a bit and the instrumentals toned down. Although the record runs a brisk 35 minutes, tracks seem to unwind at a surprisingly leisurely pace, suggesting both a calm control and a firm grip on the sonic ethos that pervades the album. The bass and guitar work are perpetually solid, and the drums are understated, allowing other rhythmic elements to push the songs forward. This balance is a nice change of pace from the insistence that percussion be loud, at the forefront, and the sole driver of musical pace. That Candace not only understands this dynamic, but uses it to extreme effectiveness, speaks volumes about the ongoing and future development of the group’s musical explorations. There’s an inherent maturity to the approach Candace has taken on New Future, both from a songwriting and structural perspective, and the stellar results are a testament to the focus the group has given the latest project. » - Charles Trowbridge

Eyes have harnessed the power of gypsy rock, the musical nuance of genreaverse instrumental projection, and the élan of a group very comfortable in its own skin to put out the stellar Where We Go. Although the group’s typical robust sound is still on full display, Where We Go has added true instrumental complexity and an even greater understanding and awareness of song structure and dynamics. Some might bridle against the descriptor of 'polished,' especially a group whose rawness has such strong appeal, but the polish on Where We Go falls more in the interplay between the hooks, the rhythm section and the vocal explorations that the group has continued to play around with. The vocal lines on “Mushroom Hunter” stand out for their ebb and flow, and the playful exchanges belie a strong rhythm section anchored by creative bass runs and steady percussion. “Guava” is an up-tempo, rollicking track that allows the guitar to really dig in and flex its muscles with light and quick licks, and the title track brings forward the band’s knack for crafting unique melodies and sound experimentation. From top to bottom, the true highlights of Where We Go pop up on nearly every track. This is not a straightforward album, and the delight apparent within the group throughout each song means that the listener is free to come along for a ride of crafted touch and effervescent songwriting that have been hallmarks of Animal Eyes. » - Charles Trowbridge

Candace New Future Found Object Recordings

www.elevenpdx.com | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 8


new music album reviews

5

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 down-tuned. 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

9 | ELEVEN PORTLAND | www.elevenpdx.com

4

Y La Bamba Ojos Del Sol Tender Loving Empire

3

2016 has been pretty grim, but

They mashed cool baby blue buttercream with boiling pink bubble gum, and the result is a spinning, sparkling delight. Minden's newest album Sweet, Simple Things, proves that not only do they want the “Real Sugar,” they also deliver it. The followup LP to their 2012 debut, Exotic Cakes, is a pack of dance grooves that serves as clear evidence of (a few more) dedicated years spent refining the sounds that can be only be described as delightful "Mindenness." The core of the corps remains frontman Casey Burge, with his microphone-tickling moustache and smooth falsetto. Co-front vocalist Lia Lavendar Gist exudes a growing confidence in her abilities and makes for a joyful balance. The ensemble of buds is rounded out with James "Candy Sweets" Taylor, Evan Houston and Alexander Thomas. Additional contributions to the album come from local stalwarts Papi Fimbres, Ryan Johnson and Daniel Talmadge, who all have lengthy ties to the band, but have stated that any live performances will be with their (numerous) other projects. The sexiness built into all nine tracks of Sweet, Simple Things is palpable, thanks not only to the lyrical wit of Burge, but also the intermingling of the swirling, catchy rhythms. If there were any lapses in production value or lessons to be learned in their previous studio visits, Minden took care of business for this one. Producer Jeremy Sherrer catalyzed a robust, full-sounding result, especially on standout cuts "Love is Bad" and "Sheila." It's an entirely successful LP, and while the recording will undoubtedly stand the test of time, the real magic of Minden is in their live performance. Get yourself a taste, every chance you get. » - Richard Lime

there were also some really bright spots. Y La Bamba’s fourth full-length, Ojos Del Sol, is one such bright spot. Imbued with memory, lead singer and driving creative force Luz Elena Mendoza gives listeners 11 soulful glimpses of faith, life and family as she has experienced them. Ojos Del Sol digs deep; Mendoza’s melodic guitar parts are laid bare, and her voice is an instrument unto itself. “Ostrich” and “Atmosphere” see Mendoza using her upper register to blend her vocals seamlessly into stripped-down rhythms and simple melodies. Paired with lyrics that question faith, mortality, and the ultimate fragility of life around us, this release creates a bridge between beauty and somber reflection. Mendoza’s newfound voice can be partially attributed to an exploration of multicultural musical genres in the last year and a collaboration with Sergio Mendoza, culminating in the release of Los Hijos De La Montaña in 2015. All that said, it seems that it’s the personal connection Mendoza has to these songs that make this album truly special. She has said herself that Ojos Del Sol is “a celebration of family and community.” The tenderness of that thought, and the care taken in every song and aching note, prove her right. » - Sarah Eaton

Minden Sweet Simple Things Hit City USA


new music album reviews

2

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.

1

Radiation City Synesthetica Polyvinyl Records

How do you know when a band has “made it?” A shiny, multi-record deal? The disdain of hipsters for going mainstream? A new touring van that doesn’t smell like feet and sweat? I’m not actually sure that what it means matters all that much, but for Radiation City, a notable feather in the cap is the upcoming Synesthetica, the group’s first album since signing with Polyvinyl

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

Records, home to acts like STRFKR, Wampire, Deerhoof and Of Montreal. To put that in proper context, you’d have to ask the band. They’re probably happy. If you’ve tracked the group’s sonic evolution since the first album in 2011, you’d notice a group violently allergic to stasis. The growth in both depth and breadth is apparent. Synesthetica represents an attention to detail and finesse that is the result of deliberate honing. Lead single “Juicy” is a fine mix of oozy instrumentals and catchy pop hooks welded finely together into a song that feels familiar even if it’s the first time you’ve heard it. Throughout the album, Radiation City walks the delicate line between expansive sounds and intimate moments. “Oil Show” is light and jumpy, with an upbeat bass line and bouncy percussion, and Elisabeth Ellison’s vocals are as strong as ever. In fact, throughout Synesthetica, all strong instrumental work aside, Ellison’s power is on full display–it’s not so much a “coming-out party” as it is a declaration of excellence to anyone who may have somehow underestimated her the

first few times around. “Milky White” is demonstrative of another common thread weaving throughout the album: the tightness of the rhythm section. Bassist Dasha Shleyeva and drummer Randy Bemrose have discovered a new level. Powering through bass lines that ride the back beat and syncopation with plenty of high-hat, the duo lock in on each track, knowing exactly when to bash to the forefront, and when to pull back. For all the sound, Radiation City still knows how to be delicate. “Separate” is a lovely, soft tune framed by acoustic guitar that floats around, meandering here and there, and demonstrating the ability to lay out a deft touch when desired. Synesthetica is as good an album as one could ask for from a group coming on with a new record label. It’s thorough, powerful and varied. The attention to detail is as strong as the highest crescendo, and the individual instrumental and vocal work is spoton. It is a bar-raising addition to the Radiation City discography.» - Charles Trowbridge

www.elevenpdx.com | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 10


live music Photo by Alexander Fattal

more than anything else. But more styles and genres pop up. The venue also showcases stand-up comedy, Tuesday night Backdoor Karaoke and queer dance parties. Most shows are 21+, but they are all-ages until 8 p.m., so High Water Mark occasionally holds early events. For a smaller venue, the sound setup is more than adequate, and sound engineer/booker Chris Trumpower is always augmenting and improving it. “We just like to keep it underground and relevant,” Trumpower says. The menu is also constantly being updated. Food is a huge focus at HWM. Vegans drive from all over the city to sample the specialty menu. For the carnivorous, the kitchen offers locally sourced meats that are smoked on site. There isn’t a fancy cocktail menu, but there

KNOW YOUR VENUE High Water Mark

I

is a full bar and experienced bartenders who can whip up whatever you desire. Many regular customers are folks who used to live around Alberta or farther south, but are being pushed out of the city by increasing rent and property values in more central Portland. “We’re happy to provide a watering hole and venue for the rockers, queers, artists and activists who are having a harder and harder time finding a chill spot to hear some underground tunes and have a few drinks without

t’s the darkest time of the year at the end of a

emptying their wallet," Trumpower says.

rough 2016. During times like these, it’s nice to have a cozy neighborhood bar as refuge from the cold weather, rising rent prices and depressing politics.

The High Water Mark Lounge resides in North

Portland at the intersection of NE Dekum and Martin Luther King Blvd., in the Woodlawn Neighborhood. It used to be the Cafe Alchemy, one of the small daytime businesses dotting the area. Two years ago, it transformed into a night creature that the neighborhood needed, a bar with a covered fire pit, delicious vegan food and cathartic black metal. The High Water Mark specializes in dark and heavy, meaning it hosts punk, post-punk, metal and goth shows Photo by Alexander Fattal

11 | ELEVEN PORTLAND | www.elevenpdx.com


live music

Local band Rotties playing High Water Mark. Photo by Alexander Fattal

Plus, being directly on MLK makes it easy for folks traveling from farther away to find HWM, and it’s a straight shot on the bus from the Southeast. The name High Water Mark was inspired by Vanport, Oregon, a city known for being blue collar, mixed race, and having a seedy underbelly of gambling, prostitution, and other fun illegal activities... but was flooded out when the levee broke in 1948. Some suspected the City of Portland saw the demise of Vanport coming, but didn't do all it could to prevent the flood or inform the citizens in time to evacuate. On a lighter note, MLK has always been a benchmark of elevation for the city. The venue’s sign reads “To Hell Or High Water” with the rune standing for “rebirth”as the logo. “We plan on surviving the storm," Trumpower says. » - Brandy Crowe

Local band Backbiter playing High Water Mark. Photo by Alexander Fattal

www.elevenpdx.com | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 12


live music DECEMBER CRYSTAL BALLROOM

1

SKIDMORE ST.

MLK BLVD. RUSSELL ST.

ON

830 E BURNSIDE

TA VE

NORTH WEST BROADWAY ST.

2

22

405

DOW NTO WN

1

26 18

7

23

9

10

MLK BLVD. 30

GRAND AVE.

13 | ELEVEN PORTLAND | www.elevenpdx.com

5

5

PEARL

BURNSIDE ST.

3939 N MISSISSIPPI

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

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OLD TOWN

MISSISSIPPI STUDIOS

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1 Patterson Hood | Willy Vlautin 2 The Handsom Family | Drunken Prayer 3 Sims | Air Credits | Obese Ghost Children 4 Griffin House | Justin Klump 5 Whitehorse 6 Sunsquabi 7 An Evening With Kim Richey 8 Tapwater | The Hilldogs 9 Rooney | Royal Teeth | Swimm 11 Kabaka Pyramid 12 The Album Leaf | Rituals of Mine 13 Dovedriver | Tony Ozier | Redray Frazier 14 Bear Mountain 15 John Craigie | Brad Parsons | Jay Cobb Anderson 16 Foghorn Stringband | Kevin Burke 18 The Lonesome Billies | Michael Dean Damron 22 Rezz | Directions | DJ Aaron Jackson | Gangsigns 23 Rezz | Lassi & Drexler | ASW | Danny Merkury 28 Wooden Indian Burial Ground | Sun Angle 30-31 Jerry Joseph & The Jackmormons

WILLIAMS AVE.

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Jim James | Twin Limb Young Thug Michael Kiwanuka | Blind Pilot | The Revivalists The Pretenders Old Dominion | Steve Moakler In Flames | Hellyeah | From Ashes to New Beats Antique | Thriftwork | El Papa Chango | Solovox The Polish Ambassador | Desert Dwellers | Kayla Scintilla

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Aurora | Warpaint | Foreign Air X | Small Wigs | Skating Polly Mahko & Medicine for the People Band of Horses | The Fourth Wall Jimmy Eat World | Divers Fitz & The Tantrums | Saint Motel Grouplove | Wild Ones Phantogram | My Body The Dandy Warhols | Telegram Nathaniel Rateliff Bastille | Holiday Friends The Head and the Heart Glass Animals | Hustle & Drone Bishop Briggs | bed. Brandi Carlile

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Trails & Ways Animal Eyes | Ravenna Woods | Frenz Horse Thief Arc Iris Muuy Biien Thee Commons | Mascaras

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The Early Early Comedy Open Mic (Sundays) Eye Candy VJs (Mondays) Rotties | Hair Puller | Montgomery Word Androck | Abstract | Raybon | Drew Locs Benny Gilbert | 3 For Silver | Taylor Kingman DJ Gray IDK | Stereo No Aware The Mighty Missoula | We Are Parasols | Charlie Moses Sapient | Wool See | Snap Murphy | Axiom Tha Wyze Homatawk | Times Infinity | Lonesom Valley Rounders The Varients | The New Up | Glasys Millennial Falcom | Millstone Grit | Facetia Hollow Sidewalks | Helens Paper Brain | Bleach Blonde Dudes The Eyerollers | The Stanley Woods Band | Kool Stuff Katie Lit for the Holidays Baby Ketten Karaoke Side O Ranch | Tommy Suitcase | Phallasy Rahim Thornhill NYE Party w/Greenluck Media Group

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Helvetia | Thick Business Donte Thomas | Stewart Villain | Bocha No Lala | Cardiod | Merō

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Kelli Schaefer | Fanno Creek | Mordecai Titty Pop | DJ Ill Camino | Massacooramaan Haste | Sinless | Azul Toga Matmos | Jeff Carey | Bully Fae SlØtface | Blowout Astronomar | Gangsigns | Lassi | Gutta | Lord Baby Arlo Indigo | The Breaking | Vandfald | Mero Fuzzy Logic | Pezzner | Proqxis | Mr. Projectile Little Star | Turtlenecked | Cool American | Two Moons Coco Columbia | Sheers | Korgy & Bass Mic Capes | Brown Alice | Ellis Pink | DJ Fritzwa New Year's Squeeze

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Louis the Child | Elohim 2 Benjamin Francis Leftwich | Brolly 3 Andy Grammer | Gavin DeGraw 10 Red Fang | Torche | Whores 17 Aesop Rock | Rob Sonic | DJ Zone | Homeboy Sandman 20 Amine 27 Illenium | William Black 28 Fruition 29-31

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Chris Robinson Brotherhood 3 Justin Townes Rearl | Jason Dodson 4 Storm Large Holiday Ordeal 7-8 Shook Twins | Rabbit Wilde 10 Robert Glasper Experiment 13 Tig Notaro 16 David Bazan's Christmas Miracle | Advance Base 17 Railroad Earth | Crow & The Canyon 29-31

www.elevenpdx.com | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 14


features

Photo by Mercy McNab

DECEMBER THE TOFFEE CLUB

12 1006 SE HAWTHORNE

Sticky Toffee - Rotating DJs (Fridays)

10 Cuff'n w/DJ MV (90s-00s slow jams) 15 Parklife (monthly Brit-pop night)

ALBERTA STREET PUB 13 1036 NE ALBERTA 10 Camille Bloom 14 Local Roots 18 The Swinging Doors

THE SECRET SOCIETY 14 116 NE RUSSELL 2 3 8 10 11 15 16 17 23 29 30 31

Branches | Wesley Randolph Eader | Hanna Glavor Yak Attack Baby & The Pearl Blowers | The Newport Nightingales The Dalharts | The Jumptown Aces Night Animals | Higuera | Owl Paws | John Miller Trashcan Joe | Pink Lady & John Bennet Jazz Band Ashleigh Flynn & The Hazeltines | Ragged Union The Quadraphonnes | Melao De Cuba Salsa Orchestra Dina Y Los Rumberos and DJ Karla The Juleps | Joe Baker & The Kitchen Men New Move | Quiet Type | Santiam | Kaiya on the Mountain Amy Amy Amy ! (Amy Winehouse Tribute)

LOCAL FEATURE

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nterviewing bands is often an awkward experience; there’s a lot of pretense and a sense of wanting to both WHITE EAGLE seem professional and to say 836 N RUSSELL the right thing. Meeting Cor Allen, the 4 Danny Barnes | Cascade Crescendo creative force behind Portland’s latest 6 TK Revolution Jam dream-pop gem, Sinless, was anything 7 Kevin Gordon | The Grahams 8 Gabriel Cox but that. We talked for more than an 9 Gill Landry hour about what led Allen to Portland, 10 Garcia Birthday Band about his experience immersing 11 Bordertown 13 The Hillwilliams | Scratchdog Stringband himself into the music scene here and 14 Tigers in the Tank | Christy Hays his creative process. 16 Foreign Talks | Bermuda Love Triangle | Disco Volante Throughout the conversation, Allen 17 Matthew Lindley | Silverlake 66 | Purusa 18 Sell the Farm duo | Harvest Gold made it overwhelmingly clear that 19 The Plutons writing music is his outlet to process 20 Rainbow Electric and learn from life’s wonderful and 21 Strange & The Familiars 22 Global Folk Club harsh realities. Both Melodie, Sinless’ 23 Throw | Zax Vandal | Matt Danger brand new release, and Ethereality, a 27 Anthemtown Artist Showcase four-song EP released in 2015, were 28 Old Outfits 29 Mic Check fueled by a sense of loss that also 30 My Siamese Twin inspired his move to the West Coast. 31 The Parson Red Heads The lyrics throughout Melodie cut TURN! TURN! TURN! insistently and quickly to that point. In 8 NE KILLINGSWORTH the opening verse of “Strange Reality,” 1 Lagoon Squad | Mink Shoals | Michael Deresh Allen sings, “I can’t seem to get over 2 Ladywolf | Manx | Rader 3 Mammoth Salmon | Young Hunter | Solo Viaje you.” He pairs these straightforward 4 Twelve Gardens | Break Up Flowers | Don Gero lyrics with ultra groovy guitar parts 7 Rich Halley & Tim Duroche and lilting, psychedelic vocals that 8 Marmits | Agents of ECCO | Stars' Blood 9 Pelican Ossman | Sad Horse | Montgomery Word create an interesting paradox between 10 The Quiet | Class M Planets | Masonique words and music. 12 Siobhan O'Brien Between chatting with Allen and 14 Marriage+Cancer | Mr. Wrong | Star Club 15 Mouth Painter | Baptist Arms | Cynthia Nelson listening to both Ethereality and 16 The Hugs | Volcanic Pinnacles | Stunning Rayguns

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15 | ELEVEN PORTLAND | www.elevenpdx.com

Sinless

Melodie many times, one thing became exceedingly clear: Allen’s life and the way he shares his experiences are universal. Two years ago, Allen packed up his life in Pittsburgh and headed to Portland with the hope of starting over and creating something new. Since his move to Portland, Allen has played for Jackson Boone and eventually began recruiting the help of John Walsh, Lynn Nicholson, Chelsea Smith and Pete Bosack–an overwhelmingly gifted and involved group of local musicians. Together they bring Sinless to life on stage. In my interview with Allen, I was able to learn exactly what it took to get Sinless off the ground and in front of an audience. ELEVEN: You moved from Pittsburgh a couple years ago. Was music the reason you decided to move to Portland? Cor Allen: Yeah. 11: Was that because you didn’t like the music scene in Pittsburgh? CA: That was part of it for sure. I wanted to go somewhere that had more musicians. I had just gotten out of a relationship, kind of had my


heart broken. Also, my previous band broke up. And I had a songwriting partner, who is still one of my best friends, Derek White, who is a fantastic musician. We worked together for years and he decided to go back to school and do something else. So I lost him in that sense, and I lost my relationship. I was just lost and the thought of starting another band in Pittsburgh was a horrible feeling. It’s a small scene and you end up recycling the same people over and over. And I thought if I put an ad up for someone [who's] into dream pop, no one is going to know what I’m talking about. So I thought, I need to go where there are more people who are into this. I had a buddy that lived here, and he was kind of involved in the music scene. I’d never even been here. 11: You just picked up and moved? CA: Yeah. I was pretty down on my luck and got into spirituality. I got into Tony Robbins because I needed anything, and listening to Tony Robbins just put this plan into action. So I sold all my stuff except for my music gear, put it in my car and drove out here. 11: Had you considered moving to Philly? Is it not conducive to the kind of music you want to make? CA: It is now more than it was. Philly is kind of blowing up right now. I was looking at Stereogum’s 50 New Bands

or whatever and about half of them were from Philadelphia. 11: Do you like the West Coast better than the East Coast? CA: Yeah! I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I moved here. And when I first moved here I felt like I was a little too brash for people, but I’ve mellowed out a lot since I moved here. 11: Do you think you’ve found a community in the music scene? CA: In a sense. I met all my bandmates on Craigslist, which is kind of crazy. I’m kind of socially anxious in large groups and I was struggling with that when I first moved here, not knowing anybody. I was trying to force myself. I was thinking, “I just have to go to every show and just start meeting people. How else am I going to get engrained in the music scene and find bandmates?” One day, I was sitting at work and I was really stressed out about it and I was like, “I should just join a band that’s already established.” I literally opened up Craigslist and one of the first ads I saw was singer, folk songwriters, psychedelic, bluesy stuff and it was this guy, Jackson Boone. I responded to his ad and just listed all the gear I had basically and said, “I’m the perfect guy for your band.” He texted me about a half an hour later and said, “Do you want to come over in a couple nights

features DECEMBER TURN! TURN! TURN! (CONT.) Wild Powwers | Ghost Girls | Dramady Dante & The Mirrors | Joshua McCaslin | John Kelly Long Hallways | Arrows in Orbit | Saroon Hair Puller | Stress Position | Maximum Mad Sleeping Beauties | Bombay Beach | Mope Grooves | Cool Schmool

HAWTHORNE THEATRE 1507 SE 39TH

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Marc E. Bassy Wesley Stromberg | Goody Grace Mushroomhead | Toxic Zombie | DS8 | Kingdom Under Fire RKCB | Michael Blume | Lauv TYuS | Cassow | Jonny Cool Andie Case | ISSA Retch (hed) P.E. | DS8 | September Mourning | Knothead The Sounds | Zipper Club | My Jerusalem Blake Gray | Baby Ariel | Weston Koury | Nathan Triska Aminé Rob $tone Jai Ho! New Year's Eve

VALENTINES

232 SW ANKENY

3017 SE MILWAUKIE

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Elk & Oak | Other Lights | Boyslut Lit Consumer | Reek | The Social Stomach | Volcanic Pinnacles Institute for Creative Dying | Halfbird | Modernjazzsingers The Boodlers | Elliot Sharp | Mike Gamble | Henry Franzoni Dungeon Brothers | MG Productions Shaun Murray | Lee Falkner Gun Party | Golden Handcuffs | Sad Trips Michael Deresh | Steven Schayer | Ados 33 Talklow | Hard Sulks The Kings

ALADDIN THEATER

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Over the Rhine 4 Lee Fields & The Expressions | Lady Wray 5 Colin Meloy | Edna Vazquez 8 Trail Band 9-11 Toh Kay 13 Citizen Cope 15 Cracker | Camper Van Beethoven | Buffalo Jones 31

THE GOODFOOT 2845 SE STARK

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The Jackalope Saints | McDougle Jelly Bread | 45th Street Brass Band Erotic City Cherimoya Voodoo Ladyboys | Lesser Bangs Sugarcane Scott Pemberton Trio

CLUB 21

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Long Knife | Sex Crime | Girl Drink Drunks The Bloodtypes | The Suicide Notes

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Edna Vazquez Band | Alejandro Rivas | Sara Jackson-Holman 1 The California Honeydrops | Steep Ravine 2-3 The Slackers | The Sentiments | The Bandulus 4

Photo by Mercy McNab

www.elevenpdx.com | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 16


features DECEMBER STAR THEATER (CONTINUED)

6 Imperative Reaction | Dead Animal Assembly Plant 11 Big Daddy Kane | Vusatyle | Grand Royale 31 Quannum MC's

STREET SALOON 23 ASH 225 SW ASH 2 3 4 6 7 8 9 10 11 14 16 17 18 21 23 27 29 30 31

Dwight Church (Mondays) Kyle Gass Band | Chris Margolin Xiphoid Process | Noise Complaint | The MFA Face Transplant | Figure 8 | Val Bauer Charming Liars The Wild Jumps | Now Set Fire | Claire Nelson Second Player Score | Cellar Door | Kings & Vagabonds Cool Nutz | Trox | DJ OG One | DJ Fatboy Die Robot | Ghost Motor | Kill Frankie | Songs for Alice Lighters as Guns | The Upper Strata | Seth Myzel Band Amelia | High Five Danger | Nails Hide Metal Trines | Push | Black Bell Rock ko Fol Psyclops | Sacrifice to Survive | City Grey Fiction | The Grasping Straws | Body in Revolt rock Gaga | Volcker Sean Hennessey | Rosebud Slim Buttercup | Jane Deaux | Dr. Stahl Keeper Keeper | Salo Panto | Low Flyer Raise the Bridges

24 3341 SE BELMONT

THE LIQUOR STORE

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Copy | Dreckig | Symbion Project The Sadists | Vincent Van Whoa | Street Champs Sun Angle | Wimps Psychomagic | Acid Tongue Vexations | Dan Dan | The Late Great Sweatpants | Tiger Touch | Frenz THE FIRKIN TAVERN Located on the west side of Ladd’s, the Firkin Tavern features an astounding selection of craft beers to enjoy inside or on our patio. Art enthusiasts will enjoy a variety of local artwork on display and sold comission-free! SE LADD'S 1937 SE 11th Ave (97214) 503.206.7552 | thefirkintavern.com

RAVEN 25 THE 3100 NE SANDY 26 DANTES 350 W BURNSIDE 3 6 21 22 30

The Hunna | The Shelters | The Wrecks Helmet | Local H Sleeping Beauties | The Knast | Verner Pantons Wolves in Argyle | Thadeus Gonzalez Black Sabbitch

FIRKIN 27 THE 1937 SE 11TH 2 Nuclear Green | The New Not Normals | Piefight 3 My Siamese Twin | The Coastline 31 Rocket Coma

ROOM 28 SPARE 4830 NE 42ND 3 8 9 10 15 16 23 29 30 31

The Hague | the Co Founder | Get Real Davi & The Fuzz | Love & Proof Erotic City Norman Sylvester The Pining Hearts Ural Thomas & The Pain | The Dalhharts | Callie Danger Devin Phillips Band DC Malone & The Jones The Get Down Caleb Klauder's Rhinestone Cowboy Bash

17 | ELEVEN PORTLAND | www.elevenpdx.com

Sinless at Rontoms. Photo by Ian Clark

and jam?” So I ended up joining his band for a while and met a lot of people through him, and that helped a lot. 11: Do you think that spending time around people who make art similarly to you and are interested in the same things has helped your creative process? CA: It definitely has. The one thing that has happened here that has surprised me is being in practice spaces where I’ll literally be walking down the hall and hear two or three bands playing and think to myself, “Wow, this all sounds amazing. I wonder who that is!” That really never happened before, so just being in practice spaces with other bands is really inspiring. And there are certain bands that have inspired me: Jackson is one of them. Wave Action is one of my favorites. After I saw them live, I got into listening to more new wave and power pop, which has influenced the writing for our new album. 11: Your new EP, Melodie, was recorded all by yourself. Did you write it by yourself as well? CA: Yeah, I’m literally the only person who worked on that. 11: What did that process look like? Conceptually through to recording. CA: That was basically right after my girlfriend and I broke up, and I

didn’t know what kind of new project I was going to do, but I wanted to do something. I’d never used recording software before or anything. The guy that I was in a band with before did everything to record for us. So I just started opening up GarageBand and sketching out ideas. It started out really rough, but I became obsessed with it. The song “Cool” that’s on Melodie was the first song I recorded... ever. It started out really rough, and I just kept working on it every night obsessively. I was only going to use these as demos, and then I just kept layering and layering and then when I got here I put them up on SoundCloud and my bandmates said I should release them. And then my bass player remixed and mastered it for us. 11: Do you enjoy the process of writing alone more or as much as writing collaboratively? CA: It’s really either one or the other for me. I’ve been a lead guitarist in bands where I enjoyed writing the guitar parts for someone else’s music, but I’ve never actually written songs with anybody. 11: So you write all of the music then? CA: Yeah, I write even the bass lines and the drum parts. It’s going to move in a more collaborative direction, but the way the timing worked out, I already had all these songs and I met


guys who were down to learn them. I’m definitely a perfectionist about it, so I at least want to have all the sketched ideas for all the parts written myself before I take them to the band. With our album, I had all the parts written, but then our drummer was like, “What if I do this instead?” I was like, “Yeah that’s totally cool.” 11: How was it working with Riley Geare as a producer? CA: The thing about working with him was how much I learned about performance. I’m obsessed with writing; it’s my passion and it’s all I really think about. So it was one of those things where you realize where your weaknesses are. Good producers know how to get a great performance out of somebody, and that’s what he did. He taught me so much about playing behind the beat, how it adds to the groove. We would listen to Kendrick Lamar and D’Angelo

in the studio, and he would say, “Listen to how that bass sits and where it sits. Listen to where that guitar sits in the mix.” And that stuff was instrumental to our album being as groovy as it ended up being. 11: Do you think spirituality has had a big influence on your music since the move? CA: I go in and out of phases with spirituality. And I’m kind of ashamed to admit that I use it as a crutch in a way. And I think a lot of people do that. I would say, if anything, it’s taught me to reflect. It’s more about meditating and making sure I’m not closing my heart and my own ability to experience. » - Sarah Eaton

SINLESS CELEBRATE THE RELEASE OF THEIR NEW EP DECEMBER 4 AT HOLOCENE

EP follows last year’s Ethereality EP and precedes a debut full-length, out next year. “Cool,” one of the four songs on the EP, made me pause, just to listen to Phoenix’s “Trying to be Cool.” And then I had to listen to all the other bands Sinless reminded me of, leading me off track for at least an hour. When I finally returned to Sinless, I found that the rest of the songs were just as inspiring and

Sinless Melodie Curly Cassettes We all have regrets in life. I realized I messed up when I heard tracks off the new Sinless EP, Melodie. It made me regret not paying more attention to our local music scene, because the music made by Cor Allen, John Walsh, Pete Bosack, Lynn Nicholson and John Goforth is gold. For me, it drew instant comparisons to Passion Pit, Why? and MEW, three bands that left heavy, heavy impressions on my music listening career. The Melodie

impressive as the first. I had given up on finding new music. And here I had Sinless just thrown into my lap. “Strange Reality” sounds like it ought to soundtrack a slow-motion video of a blonde, long-haired girl frolicking in a field behind a heavy filter. Allen and friends trap that hedonistic hippie vibe that was prevalent 50 years ago with effortless coordination, producing dreamy beach haze melodies that make you wish you were somewhere else. The days are cold now and it

features DECEMBER LAURELTHIRST PUB 2958 NE GLISAN

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Kung Pao Chickens (Mondays) Tommy ALexander | Mike Coykendall Deadstring Family Band | Baby Gramps Jawbone Flats | The Resolectrics Doc Slocum's Old Time Jam | Freak Mountain Ramblers Jackstraw | Taylor Kingman & Friends Strange & The Familiars | Cosmic Rose | William Stafford Lynn Conover, Dan Haley, Joe Baker & Tim Acott Woodbrain | Fernando Billy Kennedy | The Ukeladies | Dusu Mali The Hollerbodies | Freak Mountain Ramblers Jackstraw | Mick Overman & The Maniacs Anita Margarita & The Rattlesnakes | Eric Ledbetter Archangels Thuderbird | Eric Clampett Michael Hurley & The Croakers | Rose City Kings Redray Frazier | Low Bones Hoot Jam Pagan Jug Band | Freak Mountain Ramblers Jackstraw | Logger's Daughter Simon Tucker Band Mimi Naja & Jay Cobb Anderson | Billy Kennedy Band Lynn Conover & Little Sue | Love Gigantic Jackstraw | Anywhere West Bahttsi Jackson County Kills | Mama Coal Gerle Haggard | Dead Men Talking Kory Quinn | Lewi Longmire & The Roots Rock All-Star Jam

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

ANALOG CAFE & THEATER 720 SE HAWTHORNE

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The Sunset Limited | Tuna Head | A Sun A Moon SixTwoSeven | Living Skins | Laurelhurst A Wilhelm Scream Will Koehnke | Halston Ray | Synful Syrens Haley Bonar | Night Moves Berahmand | Dead Remedy | The Heavy Hustle Our Last Night | Hands Like Houses | The Color Morale X-Day | Stab in the Dark | The Whining Pussys When We Team Up | Noise Brigade | The Home Team Zen Mountain Poets | Ky Burt & Water Eye In Her Own Words | Mariner | Search/Party School of Rock 10th Anniversary Party

TWILIGHT CAFE & BAR 1420 SE POWELL

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Melville | Sell The Farm | One Zero Street Brigadier | My Life in Black & White | Shivertwins Melt | 42 Ford Prefect | The Decliners | The Carotids DJ Renz | DJ Galactic Fear Dog | Showtigers | Sober Betty My Goldfish Ned | 4 out of 5 Dentist | The Ray The Thornes | The Latterday Skanks | Tallwomen Anchors Overboard | Activist | To Die Elsewhere Sugar Skulls & Marigolds | Saola | Spatia Do Betters | I Can Lick any SOB in the House Breaker Breaker | The Wilder | The Hot LZ's | Slutty Hearts Deathlist | The Secret Ceremony | Loveboys Bowers Pining Hearts | Salo Panto | Vedesay

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starts getting dark at 4 p.m. It's a good time to discover why Melodie is on my Best of 2016 list » - Kelly Kovl

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

www.elevenpdx.com | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 18


avid Bazan keeps it real; that's probably the best way to say it. His instrumentation has changed over the years, particularly since he retired his early aughts indie rock project Pedro the Lion. But what hasn’t changed much is the quality of his voice and the words that he sings, which have long been the focal point of his music. He has a way of writing, as if he’s just speaking his mind. There are simple poetics to his words—they don’t try too hard to reach beyond themselves, and the result is a sense of humble honesty, a subtle melancholy that can only be soothed by the act of singing. Speaking with him is similar to listening to his music. The main difference is that he’s funnier in conversation, though still with the pensive self-consciousness you might expect from a person who writes the kind of songs he does. I called him last week to talk about Blanco, the album he put out this past summer, as well as his latest release, Dark Sacred Night, a collection of Christmas songs that he’s recorded during the last 15 years. We spoke for about a half-hour about the albums, his compositional process, and how he approaches making and performing music. Afterward, to my horror, I found out I had somehow only captured my half of the conversation on my call recording. I called him back to explain and he laughed.

19 | ELEVEN PORTLAND | www.elevenpdx.com


"No worries, man; it happens," he said, and we got back to talking. It was a strange experience, having the almost the same conversation twice in a row. The rough structure was dictated by the notes I had taken in preparation for the interview, but though we touched on many of the same ideas, the two conversations unfolded in different directions. Each time, it seemed as though speaking, for Bazan, was a process of thinking, his answers solidifying into being as they came to him in the moment, almost the same way a piece of music can feel at once rehearsed and spontaneous. The first attempt was lost, as things sometimes are to the digital ethers, but you can read our second conversation below. ELEVEN: Although you’ve been releasing work under your own name for a while now, you’re also known by many for your work with Pedro The Lion. Do you approach songwriting differently when working solo versus working with a group? David Bazan: Yeah, so I guess the way to answer that is the brand name doesn’t necessarily mean I’m working with a band or solo. Just because it’s the band name doesn’t mean I was working with a group the entire time, or just because it’s solo doesn’t mean it’s the opposite, you know? For each project, it just depends on whoever is around whether my process is more solo or with other people jamming this stuff in a room.

www.elevenpdx.com | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 20

Photo by Ryan Russell


Photo by Victoria Uhl

11: In your KEXP performance of songs off your album Blanco, I noticed you were using Ableton live and midi triggers as a way to perform as your own one-man-band. Do you typically compose with a Digital Audio Workstation? How do you approach using that as a tool? DB: The DAW, starting in 2000, became a very heavilyrelied-upon songwriting tool, and it was very neat the way you could kinda just spit whatever into it and arrange it into something meaningful later, which is great to be able to do. But I think I started to lose track over the years, in the decade plus, when I would write the whole song before I ever put it down on any kind of recording. I just knew how it went. And so I’m trying to get back into doing that. It’s really fun to be able to do that. It feels like a magical power. It kind of is, keeping that all in your head instead of making a computer do it. 11: Blanco features a lot of synthesized sounds, which sets it apart sonically from some of your older work. Do you see a distinction between composing electronically and using more traditional instrumentation?

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DB: You know, I don’t really see a huge distinction there. The thing I was describing, where you just write a song on an instrument and you just sort of know how it goes, that is definitely possible on a synthesizer, and even a synth and drum machine kind of thing: where you just program the drum beats however many times you want but you have to remember it and play along with the thing. But I didn’t necessarily do things that way when composing Blanco. I hadn’t realized the thing about just knowing how the song goes, and it existing in your head completely before it ever gets into the DAW. That’s new since then, but I’ll do that with a synthesizer too. In fact, man, that’s really exciting to think about... 11: But even though you’re composing these songs in the DAW, you still choose to perform them by playing the keys and pads and pedals, without using a sequencer? DB: So the way I did it on the KEXP thing, I’m triggering samples. On “Trouble with Boys,” those samples are one measure long, and it’s the sample of the arpeggio, but it’s still just a sample that I hit, and it ends when it’s done. They’re


features national scene all just one shot samples, so if I play it, it lasts for a certain amount of time, and if I want to hear it more I have to hit it again. So in a sense I was trying to make my fingers and my feet the sequencer. You know? And that was fun. I haven’t done that much of it, but I will do more. It was pretty exciting. 11: I’d also like to talk to you about your most recent project, Dark Sacred Night, which is a collection of Christmas songs you’ve recorded over the last decade or so. Even though it’s a holiday album, it’s not a particularly happy one. Can you speak a little bit about your relationship with Christmas music, and perhaps why you chose to play these songs in particular? DB: Yeah, every year I had to come up with two more Christmas songs, between 2002 and 2011, and so I’d just try to find ones that worked for me. It’s hard. It’s a melancholy record, but that’s largely because that’s the kind of thing my body does the best. I’m not all that bright and shiny... I don’t know. So I just gravitated toward that stuff and found a way to do it. Sometimes in protest. There’s been a lot of weird shit going on since the year 2000, politically, in my opinion. So I was definitely finding ways to comment on that. 11: On that note, one of my favorite parts of the album is your use of layered vocals, particularly on “Silent Night,” where the lines stand in contrast to one another and create this weird tension between the voices. Can you talk a little about your use of that device? DB: I had always wanted to be able to do counterpoint. I’d seen my sister do it in college as a music major, and I was a musician, but I didn’t get to study in that way. I got the opportunity when that song came around, because I thought, "I’d really like to tackle 'Silent Night' at some point." I mean, I love the song, but at the time, I thought, "I can’t really... It’s not that right now. All is not calm." So I didn’t feel like I could, in good conscience, put it out into the world that way. So I added that other set of lyrics and that melody that’s kind of a counter to the song. And it’s not me doing it. Well, it’s the people in the song, who I suppose I’m pointing a finger at. I want it to be silent night, holy night, all is calm, all is bright. I want peace and dignity for every person, and that’s the song I wish I could have sang, but I couldn’t because it didn’t reflect what was happening, this demonic culture that we live in. It’s just disgusting the way that we think of people, and the way that we think of money and foreign lands, and I wanted to write a song that indicated that: in the name of your god, you do these filthy, immoral things. Murderous things. Evil. And sometimes you gotta call out evil instead of celebrate the baby Jesus. I think you really do honor the baby Jesus by calling out evil. That’s just my opinion. 11: I think the baby Jesus would agree. This record is a collection of songs that were recorded over the span of more than a decade. How do you go about putting together a collection like that, something that still feels like a cohesive whole?

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features national scene Photo by Elizabeth Crook

greater than the sum of its parts. It can be a bunch of great tunes, but when you put them in a certain order it makes this experience that you want to sit and have. And so that was the goal, just to put these songs in an order that they framed one another in a way that made it better than each song individually on its own, and that took some doing, I feel like. I had to cut four songs to make it happen, but in the end I feel like it flows, and it feels like a cohesive kind of deal. But that’s everybody’s prerogative to decide. I just hit my marks according to my taste, and send it on out into the world. 11: And perhaps because these are all Christmas songs, that helped the songs fit together thematically as well?

DB: So I’ve made records for a long time, and when you’re putting a record together, when you’re writing a record, you’re kind of arranging it in your head. Subconsciously, your body tends to know where things are gonna go, but you’re really trying to make something that works as a whole, and that’s

DB: Yeah, because my brain is my brain, and because Christmas brings up pretty specific things. I’m wrestling with the same themes in slow motion for a pretty long time. Two songs at a time. In the end, it hung together because I’m obsessed with what I’m obsessed with, and some of the things take years to kind of glean understanding about, so when I went back and put them together, it wasn’t that hard to make things match thematically. It was more just the energy of the tunes, and even if they’re saying the same things thematically, they’re coming from different people’s pens. You know, there’s John Lennon, and Wayne Coyne wrote the lyrics for one of the songs, and I put it to the “Greensleeves” melody. So I’m representing a lot of different people too. The Christmas record is unique because if I wrote three of those songs in their entirety I’d be shocked. So it’s going over a lot of people’s work, and that makes it really fun, because there’s some unbelievable lyrics on that record that I didn’t write that are just fuckin’ rad. “Long Way Around the Sea” is so good. 11: Being an artist who’s known for your lyrics, does it feel different for you to sing other people’s songs? DB: I can only sing shit that feels right to me, both the tone and content of a song, lyrically and musically. I’m only going to sing lyrics that I can sing fully, you know? Really be present with them and inhabit them all the way. So it’s funny, when I’m performing them, I don’t even really think of them as somebody else’s lyrics, or even my own, I just think of them as, "These are lyrics that I’m trying to intone right now, in this show, in this moment. I’m just trying to tune into whatever’s there." And if I’ve already chosen previously to sing these words, I’ve already done the work of knowing that I’m down with them. And I’m always making that choice. If I’m not into something, I’ll stop singing it. In a lot of cases I’m just really grateful to be playing such amazing tunes, these covers especially.

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features national scene 11: What’s your relationship with your older work? Do you often listen to it, or not at all? DB: I make music that I hope to like listening to. Some people don’t even think that’s necessary, or even something they’re interested in doing. They just make it and put it out. But for me, I don't know, I came to music first as a consumer, and I obsessed over music as a consumer before I was ever really able to play it myself, in terms of putting together the kinds of songs I was listening to. So because I came to it as a consumer first... I was trying to have those experiences, where it wasn’t sounding like my favorite bands necessarily, but it had the same kind of sophistication. So I’d make stuff and then listen back to it for that experience. I was trying to turn myself on, and I hope that I go back to that stuff and understand what I was doing. There’s stuff that I go back to from 1998 and I like it, and there’s stuff from 2004 that I’m not that into. And there’s also stuff from 2004 that I like, that I wrote. You try every time to make something, I do anyways, that I like, and that I’m going to like ongoing. But it’s also just a moment in time that you’re trying to be true to, and capture something about it, so it’s not like you have a choice. You’re making choices, but whatever your body is trying to do, that’s what you’re trying to tune in to. So yes, I do want to listen to my old records, but only rarely is it a great experience. And I hope that average goes up over time, listening to my own stuff, where I’m like, "Yeah dude, fuckin’ murdered it." But that’s just not always the case.

11: I always like to ask musicians about other musicians who they think deserves more shine. Who are you listening to right now that people should be up on? DB: Protomartyr. They’re a Detroit band. Their most recent record, The Agent Intellect, is a great record. The new Preoccupations record. They used to be a band called Viet Cong. The new Angel Olsen record, My Woman. Chris Cohen, this guy who used to be in Deerhoof. Dave Dondero is a buddy of mine. Wye Oak. The singer of that band has another band called Flock of Dimes. That’s just a few; there are so many. 11: You’re set to play here in Portland at Revolution Hall on Dec. 17. Will that be a Christmas show? What can people expect? DB: Yeah, it’ll be stuff from Dark Sacred Night, maybe not the entire record but the majority of it for sure. There will be probably like half Christmas songs, half non-Christmas songs, kinda all mixed together in some formulation. I’m just starting to work on it right now. Today was the first day I set everything up and started working on the Christmas show. It’s a Christmas tour, so people are expecting Christmas tunes; it just won’t be every single one. »

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community literary arts Photo by Rachel Kessler

realism, while also positioning myself as a regionalist writer in The Northwest. Writers like Anthony Doer, Rick Bass, or Richard Ford, who had a collection called Rock Springs that takes place in Montana, each inspired my writing. But even as I say those names, I realize that a lot of the writers associated with the Northwest are men, who wrote these blue-collared short stories, which is perhaps one reason why I am drawn to writing about men in the Northwest. 11: You are a feminist writer who successfully writes from the male perspective in a masculine way. What drew you into writing about men the way you did in this collection?

LITERARY ARTS Writer Kait Heacock

W

riting about family often provokes readers to wonder if what we are reading is, in fact, autobiographical. It’s an unfair imposition we make so that peering into the personal lives of fictional families can satiate our own voyeuristic hunger, even if we know we are doing away with the concepts of Barthes. Kait Heacock is more aware of this now that her debut collection of short stories, Siblings and Other Disappointments (Ooligan Press, 2016), is in the hands of the public and her own family. But make no mistake: The Siblings collection isn’t an autobiography titled What We Talk About When We Talk About Kait Heacock, even if that does have a nice ring to it. Instead, Heacock’s acute examinations of family stand on their own as a wonderful collection of regional fiction that’s covered in the dirty realism of Raymond Carver and cleansed by the rainwater of the Pacific Northwest. ELEVEN: Let’s begin by talking about regionalism. Can you tell us about how Siblings and Other Disappointments relates to the Pacific Northwest? Kait Heacock: Setting has always been important to my writing. Especially in Siblings and Other Disappointments, because I am trying to place myself in this genre of dirty

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KH: I write about men because I am female, and I’ve felt that I couldn’t be a part of the worlds I saw my dad in, who worked in the auto industry, or my brother, who worked on a fishing boat in Alaska, or my grandpa, who drives a semi-truck. These are mostly male dominated worlds, and they fascinate me because of their camaraderie, so I want to know what those worlds are like. That’s why I wrote about a truck driver and a fisherman, or a gambling addict, because I wanted to peek into these secret worlds of men. I also wanted them to be in the Pacific Northwest because I wanted to contribute to literature that represents where I am from, as sort of a love letter to the small towns I’ve grown up in. 11: One of those small towns is Yakima, Washington. Can you speak about how your hometown shaped your experiences as a writer? KH: When I was growing up in Yakima, a lot of my dreams back home were of escaping my small town. Wanting to go to New York, being a writer, and being all those things that girls like me dream of doing. When I got out and went to college, I hated going back and visiting my hometown. It felt very raw to me. But as time went on, I had more experiences, and I started to appreciate my small town. The Northwest was especially relevant when my brother passed. I came back for a month, I quit my job, and I lived at my parents' house, and I was very much on a brink of becoming a townie and living in Yakima. I went out to the same bar repeatedly, befriending friends from high school. I thought I’d come back and live there. But I went back to New York and I kept writing. I kept writing because that was the one thing that could bring me home, back to my childhood, and back to my brother. But so far, writing has been a vessel for me to not only think about where I am from, but to honor it, and to also poke fun [at] it, because I am from the there. 11: Raymond Carver also grew up in Yakima, which must have been inspiring. KH: It’s no surprise that the biggest influence on me, especially on Siblings and Other Disappointments, is Raymond Carver. I came late to him, which is funny because of where I grew up. But once I discovered that fact, Carver became this


community literary arts personally important writer to me. He was the writer who made it possible for me to understand my brother, who was also an alcoholic, like Carver. Knowing that, Carver became my lens into this “broken manhood” that I saw in my brother, that I couldn’t talk about or process. Even down to the various stories that cover Alaska, which is where my brother was when he passed away a few years ago. But whenever I tell people I like Carver they are like “oh yeah, whatever,” but sometimes I worry it’s because Carver is someone I should say [I like] because I am a short story writer, and because I am from the Northwest. But it’s always been so much more personal than that. I also think a lot of those ideas about broken family were also things that Carver wrote on, which are also seen in my writing. My stories are about dissecting different family relationships, with every broken form these relationships take on, as well as being about the families we are stuck with, or the families that we didn’t choose, or the ones we did. But I don’t think I am the next Raymond Carver, but I’d certainly accept being the next female Raymond Carver. 11: Since you’ve left Yakima, you’ve moved to Seattle, Portland, and Brooklyn, but you’ve recently returned to the Northwest. Did the Siblings collection change through those transitional periods? Or did you manage to maintain the same vision throughout the writing process from beginning to end? KH: I was writing the stories in this book over a timespan of five years. I wrote most of them in Seattle and Portland. The last story I wrote–I needed some time to process that one, because it was based on some real stuff–I wrote in New York. I haven’t written about New York yet, and so far, all my books have been set in either Seattle or Portland, and places around those cities. I tend to write about places after I leave them. The Siblings collection started out as a bunch of short stories I wrote after college. I think what affected them the most was the editing process, when all the bigger changes began to happen during the life of the book. It was also during the editing process when I lost my brother, so that profoundly affected the final story in the collection, which also affected the title, which then affected the tone of the book. Since finishing this collection, I’ve written a dozen or so other stories, and I now look at those as being a manuscript for a

collection. The new stories I’ve written are all about female sexuality, because I got tired of writing about old drunk dudes, so now I am now writing about women having sex. 11: You have also been heavily involved in the literary communities of each city. Can you talk about the experiences you’ve had in Northwest literary communities? KH: The first community I got to see was Seattle’s. And I saw it as a shy college student, at a point when I didn’t have the confidence to insert myself into the literary scene. It’s a small scene, but there are five or ten authors who will probably be at an event you go to. Some of these people are huge, like Sherman Alexie and Maria Semple–these cool people who are a part of the Seattle literary community who make it awesome. When I went to Portland, which might be smaller, I found it so fucking cool. There are these house readings, and reading at those makes you feel like a famous musician or something. There is also a cool scene centered on Tin House, and they throw the best parties, which I went to before I read at Wordstock. But Portland also has tons of other great small presses that are very supportive in the community. And there are writer’s groups like Lidia Yuknavitch’s, who hosts these very talented and well published women, and they continue to meet up and attend each other’s readings all the time. The Portland community is just very supportive. 11: Speaking of support, how has your family taken this collection? KH: I am always getting relatives who want to buy the book, and they are asking if this is a memoir, or if it’s about my own family. I know that even if it's fiction, people will speculate if any of the stories are real. But my family has been nothing but supportive of the book–especially knowing that they are going out on a limb for me as I put fiction about family into the world. 11: Now that you are done with Siblings, have you experienced any moments of achievement through the writing process since the collection’s release? KH: One of the moments that comes to mind is when I was hanging out with my 13-year-old nephew, Elias, who I think is the coolest kid in the world. He thinks I’m still kind of cool, but he doesn’t want to talk to me anymore because he’s a moody teenager. Anyway, we were hanging out, and I handed him a copy of my book, and when saw his name in the acknowledgements page, his face lit up. It was just such a cool moment. But I think the most meaningful moment so far was a couple weeks ago when my sister-in-law, who was married to my brother, sent me a text message telling me, “Your brother would have been very proud of you.” Writing is my way of talking to my brother, but my book came out a little too late, so he never got to read it. But it’s still my way to keep the conversation going. » - Morgan Nicholson

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community visual arts he is an artist, makes beautiful jewelry. I grew up in a very creative environment. I started out by taking painting classes when I was younger, which later turned into a passion for pottery. I never really knew what I was doing, but I always knew I wanted to make art. I made a lot of prints, drawing, crafts and jewelry, and eventually I made my own painting company.

Photo by Mercy McNab

11: What kind of painting company? LMB: I consulted with clients and helped them choose colors for their homes, which was really artistic and fun. Remember in 2004 when every room in the house was a different color? Rooms were coral, pink, blue and beige and so it was a lot of fun. That was my first independent artistic job where I was able to see a direction that I could follow. 11: How do you get into that type of work? LMB: You make it up. I mean that was in the early 2000s and there was that housing boom and so many people were buying and flipping houses. I would save up money by helping my brother flip homes, and then some of my friends also invited me to do color consulting for them in New York, which was wild. I loved making a connection with someone and their allowing and trusting me into their house. 11: It’s very personal.

VISUAL ARTS

B

Portland artist Lacey Mar Brown

etween snips, giggles and the soft tousles of strands, Portland artist Lacey Brown transforms her patron with each lock of hair that hits the ground below. Armed with her sharp shears and a turquoise blow drier, she could be some sort of hair-styling superhero. Throughout our interview, Brown discusses how her hairstyling skills challenge the definition of conventional art and demonstrates how color theory and shape can be represented beyond the canvas. Taking a seat in her vintage salon chair, the client becomes an active participant in the collaboration, all the while partaking in some therapeutic gossip. ELEVEN: Tell us a little about your background and what got you into art. Lacey Mar Brown: I grew up in Salt Lake City. A lot of the people in my family are into the arts and are craftsmen and artists. I remember growing up and watching as my grandmother and mom re-upholstered furniture in our house. My grandma went to art school to study photography and painting, and my father, though he doesn’t like to say

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LMB: It is! Generally, I would then also come over and paint the house as well, so about a two- or three-week process. This allowed me to make enough money to also have the opportunity to make my own art on the side. 11: Why did you transition from that type of business to doing hair? LMB: I wanted something a little more stable. This was a really fun job that helped me pay my way through college in my twenties, but I didn’t feel it was sustainable enough to carry me into a career that I could stick to through my forties. It’s tough to be an interior designer anymore. You need to have a rich husband or parents to kind of invest in you, so I had to move on. 11: Does a lot of your work require collaboration with the person requesting your services? LMB: In both house painting and hair styling, collaboration is important. You are dealing with shape and color like with any other art. In both of those realms, your medium or your client is responding back. As far as hair styling is concerned, you have to be concerned about what the individual wants, but also what their hair does. 11: How did your educational background in art influence your work as a hair stylist?


community visual arts LMB: Mine is much more relaxed. There are always styles and trends, but overall I like to work with each individual to express or enhance who they are and the look that they already have. Even with my own hair, I have always been very lazy in the sense that I want to be able to roll out of bed and not have to spend a lot of time getting my hair ready. I always liked that natural look that only enhanced how I already looked. I like easy hair, cutting shapes into hair that can work for people as their hair grows out as well. 11: Does having to work within people’s specific styling requests limit your creativity? LMB: I don’t think it does. The part that I have always loved is working with my hands. I love that innate sense of bringing something out of the collaborative effort of having someone in my chair and having them tell me what they want. Someone can bring me a request and then we use that as a platform for the style that we arrive at. 11: For a lot of artists, their work is very personal, therapeutic even. Does having to work on someone’s image and having to collaborate with someone else change that for you?

Photo by Mercy McNab

LMB: The thing that transcends all of the mediums I have worked in is the color wheel. Complementary, primary, or secondary colors that you may use in painting for example, are the same thing you have to utilize with hair. 11: Do you think anything could be art? Could everyone be an artist?

LMB: You get to connect with someone else and collaborate in what you create. The art is the skill, but the art is also the connection and community that you build from that. It isn’t just a haircut; the therapeutic aspect of doing hair and getting into the zone ... that you may also achieve from doing a print or making a painting ... is also important. Doing hair, the process is important, but the differentiation is that you get to do it to someone else; it requires trust. Photo by Mercy McNab

LMB: There are all these words for art: decorative art, fashion, traditional art, hair styling, cooking. All these things are art. They kind of blur the definitions of art, but everything that you do within these activities that doesn’t just require mindless work and sitting at a computer all day can be art. 11: Is there a style of doing hair that you align with most?

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community visual arts You get to talk about what is going on in the neighborhood. Coming to the salon has offered some people a little break, a place to reflect and recuperate. 11: How do you think the Portland culture of style compares to other cities? LMB: Other cities just have different trends, like the big hair culture of Texas, “the bigger the hair the closer to God.” Blowouts look different across cities as well. In Portland, we are much more relaxed. We definitely have the “low maintenance” hairstyles, and we don’t want to get up and have to worry about our hair. We know it’s just going to rain on us anyway. On the other hand, I also think it’s really cool that other cities take hairstyling more seriously, and cities like New York have colorists that specialize in just coloring your hair, for example. I also think that Portlanders aren’t used to having to make appointments two weeks apart just for their hair; it’s not DIY, it’s not Portland. 11: Do you still make art outside of doing hair? LMB: I love to draw, I still go over to the Hippo studio. The one thing that I love about the effect of doing hair on my other art skills is that it has made me a lot faster. When I was doing art in school before, I could do a series that

Photo by Mercy McNab

would literally take me a year to finish, and that’s just not sustainable. I love Life drawing, and my view on art has become so much less of the internal and so much more of the external, like showing the art of life, the “this is what we do” part. 11: What do you think Trump’s hairstyle says about him? LMB: Ha, well I hope I would not go to jail because of answering this question. Hair should reflect and follow your lifestyle. The choices that you make should reflect how you look on the outside. Trumps hair seems fake. 11: It’s all a show?

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LMB: It’s not how I would cut his hair. The fear of the hair moving as he walks into the wind would be way too much work to worry about. Maybe when you start covering up for one thing, like his bald spots, other problems start to need to be covered up too. Maybe he is hiding something. But yes, your hair does reflect something about who you are. 11: What influence do you think political upheaval might have on hair, now that people seem a little more fired up about politics? LMB: I think the music, the art and the hair will be influenced. I think the style has been very natural, these bohemian, hippy styles. I think we may get really edgy again. Maybe everyone will get gothic again. I think that some of us can now appreciate our history and past, and I hope that understanding will help us to create positive changes moving forward. » - Lucia Ondruskova

FIND THIS ARTIST ONLINE INSTAGRAM: @HAIR_BY_LACEY_MAR WWW.PINNSALON.COM

Tools of the trade. Photo by Mercy McNab


Eleven PDX Magazine December 2016  
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