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ELEVEN PDX MAGAZINE VOLUME 6

THE USUAL 3 Letter from the Editor 3 Staff Credits

ISSUE NO. 8

FEATURES Local Feature 13 New Move

Cover Feature 17 NEW MUSIC

Fruit Bats

4 Aural Fix Marching Church American Wrestlers Lizzo Hamilton Leithauser

COMMUNITY Literary Arts 25 Portland writer Michael Heald

7 Short List 7 Album Reviews Because Foxygen The Proper Ornaments The Flaming Lips

Visual Arts 27 Portland artist V. Rivera

LIVE MUSIC 11 Know Your Venue Paris Theatre

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! 2016 was a motherfucker. The world lost more than its fair share of cultural heroes. Evil and ignorance trumped sanity as America elected to uphold the narrative of Idiocracy. The internet and mass media became an echo chamber of misinformation, and society’s empathy and perseverance were tested almost daily through senseless acts of hatred fueled by systematic racism, sexism and xenophobia. But we trudge on, clinging to any glimmers of hope. For some, that’s found in a revitalized social unity–people coming together to stand up for what’s right. For others, through the

EXECUTIVE STAFF EDITOR IN CHIEF Ryan Dornfeld (ryan@elevenpdx.com) CREATIVE DIRECTOR Dustin Mills (dustin@elevenpdx.com) MANAGING EDITOR Travis Leipzig (travis@elevenpdx.com) SECTION EDITORS LOCAL FEATURE: Ethan Martin LITERARY ARTS: Scott Mchale, Morgan Nicholson VISUAL ARTS: Mercy McNab GRAPHIC DESIGN Dustin Mills

prospect of future music, art and other expressive ways of

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

addressing societal cancers. And in that light, looking back on

Brandy Crowe, Sarah Eaton, Jameson Ketchum, Christopher Klarer, 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

2016 there is room to be thankful. As we enter 2017, let’s not forget how shitty things can be and just blindly hope that the new year will be better. We have to put in the effort to take care of ourselves and each other, and actively work together to strengthen our communities. Because if not, then what’s the fucking point? Dutifully yours,

- Travis Leipzig, Managing Editor

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PHOTOGRAPHERS Eric Evans, Alexander Fattal, Eirinn Gragson, Greg LeMieux, Mercy McNab, Andrew Roles, Todd Walberg, Caitlin Webb COVER PHOTO Annie Beedy

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


new music aural fix

AURAL FIX

up and coming music from the national scene

1

MARCHING CHURCH JANUARY 14 | MISSISSIPPI STUDIOS

The world needs more artists like Elias Bender Rønnenfelt. The danish songwriter was first introduced as the teenage frontman of Iceage, an enigmatic punk outfit from Copenhagen with disruptive, noisy tendencies. After releasing three records between 2011 and 2014, all to relative critical acclaim, Rønnenfelt switched his focus to Marching Church, the name he'd given his more sparse and orchestrated home recordings. In the two albums Marching Church has released to date (This World Is Not Enough and Telling It Like It Is), Rønnenfelt has opened up space to explore the full range of his tortured, highly emotive vocals. Indeed, if there’s anything about the project that will hook listeners, it’s Rønnenfelt’s delirious vocals. He sounds like a drunk and desperate crooner swaying half supported by a mic stand. He sounds like Richard Hell’s bastard son. Plenty of his heartbreaking vocals turn inwards thematically, dealing with issues of love, loneliness, and self doubt. At other times he focuses on subjects vital to 21st century urbanites, like gentrification and social isolation. Rønnenfelt is accompanied by collaborators from several other projects including Lower, Hand of Dust, the Stargaze Orchestra, and the Choir of Young Believers. Despite

Photo by Evan Cuttler

2

AMERICAN WRESTLERS JANUARY 25 | BUNK BAR

Do you know your immigration law? Gary McClure of American Wrestlers does. In 2014, while waiting for his green card to come through, and not allowed to work in the US, McClure bought an 8-track and recorded an album, American Wrestlers. He arrived at that latent point in his life after his previous band, Working For a Nuclear Free City, which he’d formed in the UK with long-time writing partner Phil Kay, dissolved. McClure met an American studying abroad and fell in love. It was after moving to St Louis and marrying future

Photo by Elizabeth Peyton

supplementing the usual rock band setup with a flute, trumpet, saxophone, and layers of strings, Marching Church's songs remain dynamic and tasteful. The orchestration manages to be lush but not suffocating, with the full band being more powerful than the sum of its parts. In this new millennium, so much of the American counterculture has either had its tongue so firmly planted in its cheek, or has been so busy with self referential navel gazing, that rock music that actually gives a damn seems downright transgressive. We’ve been having a beach themed pizza party on the deck of the titanic, pantomiming the aesthetics of past decades' countercultures without the grit and emotion that made them vital. Rønnenfelt gives a damn. He’s concerned with the heart of life, and what he has to say is vital. More than ever, we need more musicians like him. » - Christopher Klarer

bandmate Bridgette Imperial that he began wrestling for his green card and gave creation to American Wrestlers. On the album, McClure explores the themes of youth and selfdiscovery through a lens of lo-fi indie power-pop and the warped flare of damaged, old tape. I called McClure one rainy afternoon and discussed his musical journey. A humble gentleman, he made that path sound straightforward, though not by any means easy. After recording American Wrestlers, he submitted his album to music blogs across the country and was promptly picked up by Fat Possum Records. Once talk of a tour began, he realized that he needed to recruit a band. Posting an ad on Craigslist, he found bassist Ian Reitz and drummer Josh Van Hoorebeke. With his wife on rhythm guitar and keys, American Wrestlers toured and recorded their latest release, Goodbye Terrible Youth. While the production value of Goodbye Terrible Youth was markedly different than the self-titled debut album, McClure stayed true to his indie rock roots; he simply updated to a laptop and some quality microphones. The new album honestly explores being an aging artist and the anxiety and fear that comes with the pressure to produce gold. By simply producing, McClure is well on his way to finding himself through his music and a having successful career in the field of alchemy, i.e., creating gold. » - Stephanie Scelza

www.elevenpdx.com | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 4


new music aural fix Photo by Garrett Born

3

LIZZO JANUARY 29 | DOUG FIR

Somewhere between the genuine, empathetic nature of Lauryn Hill and the fire and spunk of Missy Elliott lies Lizzo (also alphabetically). The Minneapolis-based, Houston-raised hip-hop and indie-R&B/pop artist has had a hell of a past couple years. Lizzo (born Melissa Jefferson) debuted her first solo album, Lizzobangers, in late 2013, and it became the baseboard of her fame. Rooted firmly in the Southern sounds of old-school

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chopped and screwed, she proved herself as a spitter with a distinct energy, reminiscent of Elliott with perhaps even a little more aggression. Lizzo has that energy in spades, and she cuts deep with historical and cultural references to people like Lizzie Borden, Jack the Ripper, and Dorothy Dandridge. But what sets Lizzo apart is her ability to switch flawlessly between the fury of rapid-fire flows and experimental R&B wonder found throughout 2015’s Big Grrrl Small World and 2016’s Coconut Oil. Her comfort traversing genre boundaries is astounding, and the progress shown from her 2013 debut to Coconut Oil is a promising sign for her future. Coconut Oil combines a dexterity of sonic elements through the six-track EP. She switches from bars to breathtaking belting in a matter of seconds. Released this past October, Coconut Oil is Lizzo’s first major-label release (out on Atlantic and Nice Life) and features possibly her most commercially accessible music yet, with single “Good as Hell” recently featured in Barbershop: The Next Cut. The other single, “Phone,” is reminiscent of Elliott’s “WTF (Where They From)” in the very best way, injected with Lizzo’s own style and humor. Coconut Oil is an expression of self-love and an exploration of her sound: Radiofriendly instrumentals abound while the artist retains her status as an impeccable emcee. More than anything, this EP acts as a bridge from her fire and fierceness to her personal emotions and thoughts, and it's in the continued mastery of this intersection where her future lies. » - Tyler Sanford


new music aural fix

4

HAMILTON LEITHAUSER JANUARY 20 | STAR THEATER

When Hamilton Leithauser opens his mouth, he opens his throat. And the noise that comes out of the (often dapper, mostly stoic, always tall and handsome) man sounds like Rod Stewart with a death wish. That harsh tenor binds and elevates Leithauser’s 15 years of music: from The Walkmen to his 2016 collaborative LP, I Had A Dream That You Were Mine, with Rostam (Vampire Weekend). The Walkmen, born in Washington D.C. and bred into a successful indie band in New York City, arrived in 2002 with one of the great wordy, self-hating album titles of the ‘00s: Everyone Who Pretended To Like Me Is Gone. With Leithauser fronting the rock quintet, they released seven albums in ten years– melodramatic and frustrated in tone, while still managing to feel disaffected in Leithauser’s lyricism. Their most famous song, “The Rat,” is the most emblematic example of that contrast. In 2014, The Walkmen quieted into indefinite hiatus, and Leithauser embarked on a solo career with the Black Hours, a smooth and lonely nightlife album relying on the singer’s charisma and humble melodies. Teamed now with Rostam (though touring without him), Leithauser benefits both from his collaborator’s

memorable hooks and strange sonic asides. Their album’s first and biggest song, “A 1000 Times,” finds Rostam mimicking his singer’s vocal part with delicate piano before he ushers the band to swell behind a forceful ballad. Everything Rostam brings to the album stems from a complex relationship with Leithauser’s voice and its one undeniable quality: He croons in a way that would frighten crooners. » - Chance Solem-Pfeifer

QUICK TRACKS A “IN A BLACK OUT” Either lovable or detestable for its inclusion in an iPhone 7 phone commercial, “In a Black Out” finds Leithauser musing on dark, small-town nostalgia atop an incredible folk-pop melody. It’s wistful but not rosy: “Midnight where we used to dance / underneath the ugly halogen lamps.”

B “1959” With a strings ensemble and Angel Deradoorian’s dueting vocals, this is one Leithauser’s many songs that sounds draped in romance, and then you listen closer and realize it’s about stewing alone trying to find a way to deal with yourself. It’s the closest Leithauser gets to being Dean Martin while absolutely not sounding like Dean Martin.

www.elevenpdx.com | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 6


new music album reviews

ALBUM REVIEWS THIS MONTH’S BEST R REISSUE

L LOCAL RELEASE

Short List Brian Eno Reflection Dropkick Murphys 11 Short Stories of Pain & Glory Bonobo Migration Run The Jewels Run the Jewels 3 Sohn Rennen The xx I See You

L Because

I Want to be Your B Plume Records

For those sad that Radiation City played their last show in December, be happy that former drummer Randy Bemrose has released a solo album, I Want To Be Your B, under the alias Because. This album has allowed the talented, local artist to fully explore an experimental sound on his own. And that new path is working, because the

Austra Future Politics Bell Biv DeVoe Three Stripes Cloud Nothings Life Without Sound Train A Girl, a Bottle, a Boat Fergie Double Dutchess Tycho Epoch Ty Segall Ty Segall Buy it

Stream it

Toss it

facebook.com/elevenmagpdx @elevenpdx

7 | ELEVEN PORTLAND | www.elevenpdx.com

Foxygen Hang Jagjaguwar With Hang, Foxygen mines new nostalgic territory to cobble together something like a bizarre yacht rock opera. A forty-plus piece orchestra and completely analog production sets the stage for and offers cohesion to an odd progression of goofy show tunes, funk infused smooth rock, and even an upbeat country-fried ballad. It’s a wild ride. This most recent bout of classic rock tinkering is likely to be more

nine songs on this album are golden. From first track, “Lock-Out Time,” to last track “U Can, U Can’t,” you will enjoy this light, reflective collection of happy, calm tunes. Listening to I Want To Be Your B, it’s easy to become attached to Bemrose’s purring voice over lazy sounding drums and warm guitar; think the slow life on Hawaii crossed with the eccentricity of Vegas. Little by little, you start to feel more and more like his fortune teller. He reveals himself to you with catchy, repetitive vocals and electronic rifts that you wish would last forever. It’s hard to draw comparisons to his sound, as it ranges from beachy, hazy feelings on “Your Shoulder” to retro, fervent feelings on “Young Feather.” This album might best be enjoyed while working, lounging or studying. The production quality is promising and exciting and begs the question of when or whether we’ll get more of Because? A driving force on his own, Bemrose has delivered. They say things happen for reason. I Want To Be Your B is one of those reasons. » - Kelly Kovl

divisive than Foxygen’s previous releases, each of which offered a different blend of familiar influences, but all had a scrappier, lo-fi aesthetic in common. On Hang, Foxygen’s songwriting duo, Sam France and Jonathan Rado, strip away the spring reverb, delay, and tape hiss, instead offering clearer, drier vocals and higher fidelity production. Fans hoping for more of the ‘60s-era Anglophilia for which Foxygen has come to be known might be disappointed by the new direction in which the band has veered. On the other hand, they have expanded their referential palette in unexpected ways that might gain them congratulations from listeners who favor the dramatic flare of ‘70s chart toppers. The combination of France’s exaggerated vibrato and the monolithic orchestration makes it difficult to tell if Hang is meant to lampoon its constellation of reference points, or if it celebrates them. Ultimately, Hang comes off more as a novelty album than a work of sincerity, but maybe that’s the point? It’s honestly kind of hard to tell. » - Christopher Klarer


new music album reviews hit explosive highs. Rather, the

track was “Frozen Stare.” According

band’s instinctual and deliberate

to the band, the disaster in the studio

sound is derived of krautrock and

seemed to catalyze a rebuilding of

its steady repetition. Certain peaks

their friendships, which had been

ring out on their previous releases,

faltering. Re-putting together the

the Waiting for the Summer EP

album at home in a more personal

(2013) and debut LP Wooden Head

setting allowed the band to come

(2014), but on Foxhole, the band’s

together on their own time, and led

sheer attack fades even farther into

to the creation of a more peaceful, if

the background leaving behind any

eerie, collection of songs.

traces of distortion, moving more in

The Proper Ornaments Foxhole Slumberland/Tough Love Records

“Memories” and “Jeremy’s Song”

the direction of British Invasion-era

embody an ominous feeling that

psychedelic rock.

draws attention to the metaphor

In recording the new release,

of the foxhole itself. “1969” and

James Hoare and Max Oscarnold

“The Devils” drift along with lilting

joined with with newly-recruited

piano/synthesizer, laidback guitar

bassist Daniel Nellis and drummer

and haunting, reverb-soaked vocal

Bobby Syme to make a record

melodies that ease the listener into

roll, The Proper Ornaments release

touching on homelessness, divorce,

accepting the unusually stripped-

their second LP, Foxhole, this

fading friendships and all sorts of

down style. Foxhole would be at

January. This new release floats along

personal losses. They even suffered

home as the soundtrack to Donnie

with wispy melodies and drowsy

an electrical disaster in the studio

Darko or myriad other films in the

introspection.

that completely obliterated their

psychological horror realm. »

Moving into their sixth year of generating mellow, English rock ‘n’

The energy with which The Proper Ornaments’ play has never really

hard work, causing them to start

That juxtaposition is on display in

love from the mid-’00s comes out in

singer laments, “When we were young,

tracks like “Sunrise” and “The Castle,”

we killed everyone/if they fucked with

with that positively psychedelic vibe

us/with our baby guns.” Some of the

from The Soft Bulletin and Yoshimi

tinny and scratchy background effects

Battles the Pink Robots. “Sunrise”

from The Terror remain underneath

(subtitled “Eyes of the Young”–a loose

but they seem much more creatively focused. It’s no mistake that most of their recent press material and social media photos are heavily influenced by A Clockwork Orange. The music video for “How??” sees Coyne and crew rolling up to some place that resembles the Korova Milk Bar. The music itself On first listen, Oczy Mlody sounds like Wayne Coyne and company got sick of hanging out with Miley Cyrus and decided to make a Flaming Lips album. The sonic texture is warmer and brighter than the last album, The Terror, with the brilliant weirdness we’ve come to expect from the Lips. As usual, the lyrics are oddball, but with Coyne’s signature gentle vocals.

The Flaming Lips you know and

the second track, “How??,” where the

many of the tracks on Oczy Mlody,

The Flaming Lips Oczly Mlody Warner Brothers Records

- Ellis Samsara

again from scratch. The only salvaged

is not as disturbing as the imagery from the Stanley Kubrick classic, but more much more mellow and slightly mischievous. Coyne himself described the term “Oczy Mlody” as a futuristic drug that “uses your own sub-conscious memories and transports you to your perfect childhood happy mind.” This seems perfectly fitting for a band that has actually been around since the

translation of Oczy Mlody in Polish) is one of those songs that can shift your mood into a cheerful state upon hearing the first few chords. It’s great to hear the old Wayne Coyne come through in tracks like this. While Oczy Mlody has the dark, melodic sounds of recents works, the soothing and gentle stylings of old have returned to glory. Each track is composed with hypnotic, well-constructed beats and effects that make this a well-rounded and wellthought-out album. Oczy Mlody should easily appeal to a new audience as well as the hardcore Flaming Lips fans who have been waiting for something to be excited about, besides a release of four songs on a jump drive buried in a gummy skull. » - Scott McHale

early ‘80s.

www.elevenpdx.com | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 8


live music Photo by Eirinn Gragson

KNOW YOUR VENUE Paris Theatre

“No longer a jack shack.” Those were the words on the marquee that alerted everyone to what was going on with The Paris Theatre. The Paris has been a part of Old Town’s unkempt charm, a holed up porn theater where throngs of people in line for VooDoo Doughnuts may have found themselves waiting. A remodel had happened quietly under the radar, and a shiny new sign went up. It took a while for word to catch on that it had reopened as a venue. The building itself is well past its Centenarian years, it first opened in 1890 as a burlesque hall. It has been a porn theater off and on during its years. It briefly became a rock venue in the early 2000’s, but soon returned to a seedy reputation as Ray’s Paris Theater. This year, Jason McKelly and Brad McCray, who run other clubs in town like Sanctuary and Dirty, went in together to

9 | ELEVEN PORTLAND | www.elevenpdx.com

buy The Paris. The old owners are still backers, but according to manager/bartender/Mistress of The Paris Ilana Hamilton, The new Paris Theatre is a unique and different kind of investment. “This place is not a club. It’s a venue, and we cater to everything. We have comedy, burlesque, rock, DJs. The Building is almost 130 years old and we are bringing it back to its center, at the heart of Portland.” Things were ripped up, pulled out, and thoroughly cleaned. Hamilton says it wasn't pretty. There was blood, sweat, and a few broken ribs. Since its renovations, The Paris has been deemed a historical building. Whatever abject conditions the theater was in before, it has undergone a stunning rejuvenation. You enter at the top of the venue, where a central bar is located, then comfortable seating steps down to the stage, where there is also a bar on the floor. Chandeliers and lacey panels give a glamorous vibe. It’s dark, sexy, and classy. The sidewalk outfront is also getting a makeover, there are plans for a permanent tent, along with a mobile bar and music. they hope to have mobile DJs, a bar and heat lamps to make it more inviting, all with food carts and doughnuts in close proximity, of course. It’s all about diversity and bringing in a mixed crowd when it comes to shows. Local bands like post-industrial trio


live music

Nick Dubbz playing Paris Theatre. Photo by Eirinn Gragson

Die Robot and Celtic punk rockers Rum Rebellion mark the calendar, but so do big name EDM DJs and burlesque reviews. The new equipment and ampage keep the sound crisp, and there have been huge steps for lighting and a large new video screen. There will be all-ages shows and indie film screenings. The venue will also be available to rent for fancy soirees. A lot of hard work was put into this restoration. The Paris was a disheveled, old theater on a corner of downtown Portland, but it’s once again a gorgeous and promising venue with a new chance to entertain us. I suggest going inside and giving it one.  - Brandy Crowe

Photo by Eirinn Gragson

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live music JANUARY CRYSTAL BALLROOM

1

6 7 13 14 19 20 21 27 28

1332 W BURNSIDE

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80s Video Dance Attack 90s Dance Flashback 80s Video Dance Attack Girl Fest 2017 Digital Monsters | Mr. Skeleton | Carbin | Clockwork 80s Video Dance Attack Super Diamond | Petty Theft 80s Video Dance Attack Stone In Love | Radical Revolution | Shoot to Thrill

4

3939 N MISSISSIPPI

WONDER BALLROOM 128 NE RUSSELL

Summer Cannibals | Gazebos | Hurry Up Ramble On | Spirit Lake | Paradise Brown Sabbath The Keller Williams Kwahtro Talking Dead | Life During Wartime | Garcia Bday Band Devendra Banhart Talib Kweli | Styles P | K'Valentine Best of Portland 5 Benefit Concert Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls | Arkells

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RUSSELL ST.

ON

TA VE

15

.

NORTH WEST BROADWAY ST.

14

5

5

PEARL OLD TOWN 2

BURNSIDE ST.

22

1

405

26 18

7

23

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GRAND AVE.

1939 Ensemble | Tezeta Band | DJ Derek Smith Indubious | Sol Seed Bowie Birthday Bash An evening with Stick Men The Flat Five | The Jenny Conlee Quartet Marching Church | Bernardino Femminielli | Public Eye Secret Drum Band | Doubleplusgood Cate Le Bon | Tim Presley The Donkeys | Dollie Barns | The Fourth Wall Courtney Marie Andrews | Ryan Oxford | Nick Delffs Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad Battle Trance | Blue Cranes New Move | Y La Bamba | Hustle & Drone My Body | Blossom Team Dresch Steelhymen | Lee Corey Oswald | Cool Schmool Lemuria | Cayetana | Mikey Erg

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MISSISSIPPI STUDIOS

FR

MLK BLVD.

5 6 7 12 13 14 15 18 19 20 21 25 26 27 28 29 31

830 E BURNSIDE

Coastlands | Eclisse | Rader Petty Fever | Wilkinson Blades Midge Ure Rick Bain | The Hugs | Souvenir Driver Joe Pug | Hip Hatchet Bowie Vision | Jealous Dogs Asher Fulero Band | Blue Lotus | World's Finest Jeffrey Foucault | Jeffrey Martin Dorothy Bear's Den Unchained Alameda | Bryson Cone July Talk | Mona John K. Samson & The Winter Heat Shy Girls | The Last Artful, Dodgr Mascaras | 1939 Ensemble | Dirty Spells Dirty Revival | The Dip | Whitney Monge Laura Ivancie Lizzo | Dizzy Fae Lydia Loveless | Angelica Garcia

23RD AVE.

4 6 7 11 13 14 15 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 31

DOUG FIR

DOW NTO WN

3

MLK BLVD.

26 Iration | Protoje 27 Infected Mushroom 30 Less Than Jake | Pepper

WILLIAMS AVE.

24-25 Excision | Cookie Monsta | Barely Alive

4

VANCOUVER AVE.

8 NW 6TH 18 Chevelle | Black Map | Dinosaur Pile-Up 21 August Burns Red | Protest The Hero | In Hearts Wake 23 AFI | Chain Gang of 1974 | Souvenirs

MISSISSIPPI AVE.

ROSELAND THEATER

INTERSTATE AVE.

2

SKIDMORE ST.


live music JANUARY HOLOCENE

1001 SE MORRISON

ALBERTA ST.

13

ALBERTA ST.

ALBERTA ARTS

28

42ND AVE.

15TH AVE.

11TH AVE.

PRESCOTT ST.

32

FREMONT ST. 24TH AVE.

HOLLYWOOD 33RD AVE.

28TH AVE.

D. BLV Y D AN

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25

84

LAURELHURST

21 29

GLISAN ST.

11 6

20

STARK ST.

BELMONT ST.

11TH AVE.

8TH AVE.

HAWTHORNE DIVISION ST.

31

CHAVEZ BLVD.

CLINTON ST.

L BLVD.

BUNK BAR

10

1036 NE ALBERTA

1 14 18 21

12

Sticky Toffee - Bald Eagle (house, disco, electro) Charge it to da Game - MV & B Wonder (90s/00s slow jams) Maliksun & Stephen Quirke (house, disco, electro) Parklife (britpop) MyHeartBelongstoTwee/MyLilUnderground(indiepopbrunch) One Drop - Sicoide (reggae, roots, dub) Sticky Toffee - Jason Urick (house, disco, electro)

ALBERTA STREET PUB

14 20 21 25 31

11

Henry Rollins Fruit Bats | Springtime Carnivore Todd Snider | Robert Earl Keen Oh My Gad

TOFFEE CLUB

CESAR

LADD’S ADDITION POWEL

9

Party Damage DJs 3 The Thesis 5 Stunning Rayguns | All The Apparatus | Grey Fiction 6 Party Damage w/DJ Bad Wizard 7 Silver & Gold | Elk & Oak | Overslept | The Mighty Missoula 11 Lauren Kershner | Groovebirds | Camille Rose 12 Big Ass Boombox Festival 13-14 Party Damage w/DJ Battles 15 Nicolai Carrera & The Celebrators | Poor English 18 Husky Boys | Get Real | Volturz 20 Hot Wont Quit 21 Party Damage w/DJ White Merlot 24 Joseph Demaree & The Square Tires 25 Disco Volante 26 Party Damage w/Party Boyz DJs 31

1006 SE HAWTHORNE

17

19

426 SW WASHINGTON

REVOLUTION HALL 24

HAWTHORNE BLVD.

27

KELLY’S OLYMPIAN

1300 SE STARK

MORRISON ST.

12

8

Chuck Westmoreland | The Needs Candace | Skull Diver Communist Daughter | Balto American Wrestlers Seratones

8

1 8 15 22 29

DJs in The Taproom (weekends)

1028 SE WATER

BURNSIDE ST.

4 5 10 11 12 14 18 19 25 26

7

Lola Buzzkill | Pancho & The Factory | Le Reve Pony Village | Ali Muhareb Ezza Rose Sarah Jackson-Holman | Coco Columbia Autonomics | Arlo Indigo | Melt

EASTBURN

BROADWAY ST.

3

RONTOMS

600 E BURNSIDE

1800 E BURNSIDE

KNOTT ST.

6

Gold Casio | Glasys | Holidae House Three Sigma | The Hugs | Bermuda Love Triangle Fuzzy Logic | Proqxis | Mr. Projectile | Todd Armstrong Songwriters Summit Cambrian Explosion | Foxy Lemon | Queen Chief Verified 3 Year Anniversary Hollow Sidewalks | Shadowhouse | Slutty Hearts Pop+Puppetry w/Minden | Reptaliens | Vexations Dreckig | Yeah Great Fine | Dan Dan Cardiod | Moorea Masa | Orkis | Dashenka

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Fresh Track: Korgy & Bass KMUZ Local Roots Live Series The Groove Cabin Bullets & Belles | Hops & Honey Matt Brown | JD Eicher Fellow Pynins

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features Photo by Alexander Fattal

JANUARY THE SECRET SOCIETY

14 116 NE RUSSELL 6 7 8 13 14 20 21 27

The Tumblers | Medallion | Stars of Cascadia The Bandulus | Buddy Jay's Jamaican Jazz Band Ashley Xtina | Santiam | The Late Great Small Million | Maita | Butter Goldfoot | Joytribe Cherimoya | La Rivera | Human Ottoman Melao de Cuba Salsa Orchestra Redray Frazier | Wallace | Nathan Earle

WHITE EAGLE 15 836 N RUSSELL 4 5 6 7 8 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31

The Van Rontens | Scratchdog Stringband | Sparkle Carpet Wavesauce | Apollo Four | The Cool Whips Ojos Feos | The Rock Tarts The Von Howlers | The Reverberations Elwood | Lauren Bihr | Simon Tucker Water, Water Bees In A Bottle | Pat Kearns Whim Grace | Maurice & The Stiff Sisters | Yacolt Burn Yur Daddy 221Fly | The Pining Hearts Montery Purple The Plutons The Adnas | David Robert Burrows | Telephant Midnight's Children Rachel Miles Band | Scratchdog Stringband Mexican Gunfight Red Heart Alarm | Sin City Ramblers | Whiskey Achievers Arran Fagan | Micah McCaw | Melaiah Echo Jet Black Pearl Tom Rhodes | Katie Kuffel | Aly Tadros Mic Check Hip Hop Showcase Dr Soll & The Squids | Go By Ocean The Low Bones Fian Global Folk Club Mating Ritual | Satchmode | Ezra Bell

LOCAL FEATURE New Move

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J

esse Bettis is already sitting

album, and some friends of the band,

at the bar when I walk in.

are still hanging out too. They’ve just

He watches me as I scan

finished shooting the pictures which

the room, catching my eye

will accompany this interview, and

and making a little gesture,

are now having a beer, or preparing to

as if to indicate that he’s the one I’m

head out into the unseasonable cold. We

supposed to be talking to. He’s wearing

make our introductions and decide to

a high-collared jacket patterned in

grab a seat out back, where it’s a little

the style of the American southwest,

quieter. Jesse, New Move’s frontman,

with rows of triangles growing out of

and Kyle, the drummer, join me for

one another down the arms and across

the interview, both of them smoking

the chest. Beneath that is a button-

cigarettes, all of our breath clouding

down and a slim tie. Also, he’s got on

and rising up into the Portland night.

a Trailblazers hat, an homage to his Portland roots. A few of the other

ELEVEN: Let’s start at the

members of New Move, as well as some

beginning. Your debut album came out

of the collaborators from the latest

last January?


Jesse Bettis: Yeah, so this upcoming

it’s pop doesn’t mean it’s bland or

show is kind of like a year mark from

pointless or you’re just speaking about

that, which is a good time to release the

partying all the time.

alternate version...

JB: I think any good music creates an emotional reaction within people. Any

11: Did you guys know each other,

good art, for that matter. There’s a huge

did you have a relationship before

spectrum of emotions that people can

then?

identify with. New Move combines the sadness and the party, I suppose.

JB: We’ve definitely had a rotating cast. We played our first show together

11: Let’s talk about the new album.

in September 2012, so we’ve actually

It’s the same songs, re-recorded by

been a band for quite a while. I was in

different bands, and with a different

a band before called Oh Captain My

track order.

Captain that disbanded, so I took time to just write, and it was the first time

JB: That’s a big part of the process. I knew we were gonna press the New

time. The concept for New Move was

Move album to vinyl, so I thought about

to focus more on the technical side of

it as an A side and a B side. When you

pop songwriting, with no real intention

flip a record, there’s something about

of having it become something. But I

the ritual of it. Track one of side B has

ended up working with Jeff Bond who

to be something that kicks it off, or goes

co-produced the record with me, and

in a different direction sometimes. The

over the course of like two years we

arc of the tracklist is really important.

cobbled together a record. The band

You have to be engaging. You start

formed when that was getting closer to

with one feeling, and you wanna have

done. I really like this setup. It’s drums,

contrast sometimes, or you want to

bass, Fender Rhodes, baritone sax, and

continue that feeling. It just depends on

then I play guitar. But it’s mostly about

the situation.

happen.

KM: With the remix album though, we couldn’t really keep the same track order, because all of the

11: You said you were trying to

songs, as opposed to being just New

focus on the more technical aspect

Move tracking the songs, they’re all

of pop songwriting, and though

reimagined, and they all have different

sometimes pop has the connotation

approaches.

of being maybe less deep, your music

JB: Yeah, fast songs became slow

has undertone of darkness, or more

songs, and happy songs became sad

complex emotions and ideas. Could you

songs, et cetera. I initially wanted to

speak a little bit about that, and how

keep the same track order, but when I

you approach songwriting?

loaded it up that way, it didn’t work. But that’s a fun process for me. I got to place

JB: Yeah, sure. I’m a very dark

everything again in a way that works.

person (laughs). That’s funny though, we were just talking about this last night,

11: Each track features different

that some of the stuff I wrote with Oh

collaborators. Were these all other

Captain was even more dark, and didn’t

musicians you knew, or how did this

have the filter of being pop music to

lineup of groups come to be?

lighten it up. So yeah, my writing is anchored more in deeper feelings and

JB: Yeah, so I grew up in Portland.

ideas and concepts, but I think that it’s

I’ve been playing in bands in Portland

gotten a little less deep and dark than

since I was 15, so that’s like 17 years,

some projects in the past.

and the Portland music community is

Kyle Moore: There are a lot of

JANUARY HAWTHORNE THEATRE (CONT.) Great Good Fine OK | Flor Sage The Gemini Retch High On Fire SafetySuit | Armors

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very rich, there’s so much talent here

elements to what actually pop music is.

that doesn’t see the light of day as much

It’s pretty broad category. Just because

as it should. Portland does get credit as

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JB: Yeah, every track had a

if you go to other cities, you’ll see a band

completely different process, which

half as good as a Portland band on any

was fascinating to me. And I love seeing

given night, and people are going crazy.

people’s processes, people whose music

In Portland, we’re spoiled.

I really admire in Portland and how

KM: We’re overrun with talented artists in this town. JB: Definitely. So naturally, just doing it for 17 years, you make a lot of connections in any scene or industry, and you find people who dig your stuff and you really like what they’re doing. Collaboration is one of my favorite parts of making music. It started small. I didn’t think we were gonna do the whole album, but I wanted to release some of the tracks from the record as singles, and have the B side of the single be just a different version of the song. That was my idea, and it sorta grew legs. People were interested, and the versions were

they go about it. I obviously wanted to nurture that, to have their strengths really come through, and I think it was really effective, but every one was different. With Minden, Casey Burge came in, and I had an idea for a basic drum beat, and we’d go back and forth, we sort of fine-tuned it, and then he got on the piano and restructured all the chords for the song. His melody is not the same as my melody, and we added a bridge that wasn’t originally in there. I didn’t want to put limitations on that. I wanted it to be very different from the original, otherwise what’s the point? And then Boone Howard, we wanted

turning out really well, and then we

to do kind of a “Many Rivers to Cross,”

got Cam and Lizzy on board to do a

a kind of Harry Nilsson thing, I dunno

Radiation City track, and through that

if you ever heard the record Pussy Cats

we got connected to Illmaculate and

Starring the Walkmen. The Walkmen

Ripley Snell, the two MC’s on the album,

covered the album Pussy Cats and I love

as well as Chanti Darling. Luz from Y

their rendition of it. And Boone really

La Bamba, who I’ve known for over 10

likes that record too, and we were like,

years.

"We should do something like that." But he came over and he was so hungover,

11: One of my favorite parts of new versions is how drastically the songs can change depending on who is singing them. Did any of these songs reveal themselves in different ways to you throughout this process?

he was lying on the floor the whole time I was tracking the instruments, and then he got up and gave this vocal performance, he just destroyed it. And it was funny just to see a grown man, like, hibernating, hungover, like he was


storing up his energy for this one vocal

Y La Bamba set. I was just talking to

performance that just killed, and made

Elena, and they just released a record,

the whole song what it is.

and she’s already shifting gears and going in a totally different direction

11: You’ve got an album release

musically. So this is going to be the

party coming up on the 26th of

first show that showcases this new Y La

January at Mississippi Studios. Could

Bamba sound. I’m really excited about

you talk a little bit about the concept

that.

behind that show?

I wanted to do a show that was collaborative in nature, just like the

JB: It’s gonna be a really fun one.

project, so the question was how do

We have Hustle & Drone who are

we get everyone involved in a way

going to open up, and they’re gonna

that’s practical, and I think it’s coming

be performing their song, “Take What

together really well. We’re also working

You Can Get,” in their style, and then

on releasing some straight New Move

New Move is going to play a set, where

singles, but my goal is to release more

at least half of the songs is going to be

in this same spirit, collaborative singles

New Move as the backing band. We’re

that we write with other artists from

learning all of the alternate versions,

scratch. So this whole project is the

and bringing up the singers from each

beginning of something, a new direction

respective band to sing their version,

for how New Move is going to interact

including the Y La Bamba version, and

with the portland music scene, and

then Y La Bamba is going to play a set as

we’re really excited about it. »

well, which is going to be a very unique

L New Move

New Move II: Back in the Habit Self-released

New Move embraces crossgenre collaboration on their newly re-recorded self-titled album. Each track features a different Portland artist who puts his or her own spin on the original New Move album, out last January. Prominent indie rock and hip-hop influences blend to compose an anything-butordinary album; a deeper layer of musical complexity successfully pumps up the drama of the original album. The initial work showcases New Move’s light and cheery indie

- Henry Whittier-Ferguson

rock, plus a wholesome dose of funk, inspired by late-1950s doo-wop. On the re-recorded album, their identity as a group is still intact, but it’s taken to a sexier place. Gritty guitar, hip-hop beats and a diversity of vocal stylings are fused with frontman Jesse Bettis’ signature songwriting and somehow work together to not overwhelm the ear. Each track transports you to far-reaching ends of the musical spectrum. Trippy funk and soul vibes stand out on the tracks “Stegosaurus” (feat. The Domestics) and “No One But Her” (feat. Radiation City). Hip-hop takes the spotlight on “It Was No Good” (feat. Illmac Jasmine & Rio Grands) and “Take What You Can Get” (feat. Hustle & Drone). Each track has its own unique identity and intention that complements the featured artist. Sensual and soulful songs are sprinkled among livelier tracks to produce a satisfying blend of genres and sounds. New Move creates an impressive musical collection that shares Portland’s genuine musical talent with the world. » - Kelsey Rzepecki

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hen Eric D. Johnson decided

EJ: Oh god no!

to hang up the Fruit Bats moniker in 2011, for a variety of personal and professional

11: So what went with the Pickathon decision?

reasons, it was unclear if we’d ever hear that iteration of his work again. But

EJ: Well, I’ll do anything those guys want,

then, in May 2015, Johnson announced the

because they’re awesome people and friends

return of the band and a national tour with My

and everything. And also, that was a fun,

Morning Jacket. The band’s first studio album

memorable show–if any of our shows get put

in five years, Absolute Loser, dropped in May

out onto record, maybe that’s a good one. It’s

2016. Full of lush acoustic arrangements and

actually culled from two performances at

intensely personal lyrics, the album is beautiful

Pickathon last year. I think the reason I don’t

and meticulous. Rather than a reinvention,

want to hear live stuff is that I’m my own

Johnson brings back the folky, alt-country

worst critic, and you don’t–I don’t know–you

sounds that longtime Fruit Bats fans will

just don’t want to hear it because it’s in the

recognize, albeit with renewed vigor and

moment, and you overanalyze it... it makes me

attention to detail.

nervous. But I had to scrutinize the hell out of

Absolute Loser alternates between foot stomping (“From a Soon-to-Be Ghost Town,” “Humbug Mountain Song”) and balladry (“Baby Bluebird,” “Don’t You Know That”), and it’s clear that Johnson and his longtime collaborator/ producer Thom Monahan picked up exactly where they left off following 2011’s Tripper. Now, along with touring in support of the new album, Johnson released a limited edition Record Store Day full-length in November, and expects a live recording of last year’s Pickathon performance to roll out soon as well. We caught up with Johnson in the process of a holiday basement purge and got the scoop on his recording process and what it was like to make Absolute Loser, Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, and using iPhone’s voice memo as a songwriting tool. ELEVEN: What are you working on right now, musically? Your new album came out [Absolute Loser], you’ve got a new single out there–what’s happening in your music world? Eric D. Johnson: Yeah! Well, I did the album,

this Pickathon set, which was really fun–and weird. I had to just dig in, and I kept all the weird stage banter in there... it turned out good! 11: Did you notice anything exceptionally interesting that you walked away with, where you thought, “I don’t like to hear myself again and again live like that, but here’s something I’m going to include in future work”? EJ: You know, there was nothing crazy like that–at least I didn’t want there to be. It’s just weird, like weird little musical things where I thought, “Oh, that was cool to be able to listen to that up close instead of letting it just fly by you.” But no, it wasn’t some huge journey of discovery going through it. The last time I had listened to a performance of myself was about ten years ago–and not that I had never heard live performances of myself before, don’t get me wrong, if a live performance of Fruit Bats comes on I don’t, like, run out of the

and then we did another release for Record

room screaming or anything, for

Store Day, and then we’ve got a Pickathon

the record–but that recording

album coming, which fully coincides with the

ten years ago, there was some

show [ed: Revolution Hall, Jan. 14].

stage banter, and I was so embarrassed by it. But I

11: I read an interview with you from

thought my stage banter

earlier this year where you said you weren’t a

for the Pickathon thing was

big fan of putting your live recorded shows out

better, so I’ve improved on

there.

that at least.

17 | ELEVEN PORTLAND | www.elevenpdx.com


by Annie www.elevenpdx.com | ELEVEN Photo PORTLAND | 18Beedy


features national scene

Photo by Heather Binns

11: Absolute Loser came out earlier this year. It’s the first album in about five years, right?

I kind of wanted to make an album that was 100 percent me and not totally questioning things, and yeah, I think it turned out good. And like all Fruit Bats albums, it

EJ: Five years I think, yeah.

seems to kind of fly consistently under the radar, but always kind of hanging in there, too. It’s just interesting

11: Does that feel like a long time, or a surprisingly short amount of time for you? Were you expecting to

in the way it works. I like the idea of making a lost classic.

ever make another Fruit Bats album again? 11: With that in mind, how long were you working EJ: As I get older, time compacts. It doesn’t feel that

on it and how many songs or ideas did you go through?

long to me–it’s a half a decade. I went through all kinds

Or was it basically just turning on the tap and having

of stuff in the interim of that, so it was kind of like a

it come out for you?

picture of me coming out the other side, creatively and personally, and it’s definitely the most personal thing

EJ: It kind of did. I usually take a really long time

I’ve ever done I think because of that, so it took a little

to write songs, and this time I tried not to, so that was

while to get it out there. I’m really happy with how it

another thing, another switch up, where I was like,

turned out.

“Let’s go a little faster,” versus my tendency to take a really long time and still not have enough stuff. I’m not

11: It’s a great album–I love it! Is it kind of the definition of catharsis for you?

particularly prolific as a songwriter, as some are, so it’s definitely not a faucet thing like you said. But this one was closer to that because I wanted there to be some

EJ: A little bit–I mean, it always is. But yeah, it’s probably the closest I’ve come to that, making an album.

19 | ELEVEN PORTLAND | www.elevenpdx.com

immediacy a little bit, but yeah, I mean, it all happened pretty fast–I can’t even remember now how long it took


features national scene us to make the record. Not very long, like a month or something? Which is kind of how I like to work. 11: Instrumentally it sounds a little bit more stripped down. Maybe a little bit more folky than some of the last Fruit Bats albums. Was that conscious, or were you just feeling specific instruments, or feel that it matched the subject matter better? EJ: No, none of that was conscious. I always sort of set out to do something, and then people perceive it in a completely different way. I always kind of thought this album was less folky than the last two, and actually more lush. The instrumentation is actually pretty simple, but everything is very layered, so there’s a lot happening, and that is something that did kind of happen on purpose. I wanted it to sound simple but very thick, so a lot of the acoustic guitar tracks, it’s not one acoustic guitar, it’s eight–like three in each ear and a couple down the middle kind of thing–it’s a little bit of a Jeff Lynn production style, where it’s kind of seemingly simple. So yeah, I never really set out to do anything, and if I do, no one ever thinks that it’s that... I’m not like Brian Wilson where he just hears the music in his head and then can just go and puke it out and there it is exactly how it’s in your head. I like a journey of wrong turns–usually Fruit Bats productions are a series of wrong turns and happy little accidents. 11: Happy little accidents, Bob Ross style. EJ: Exactly. 11: Are there any tracks in particular you enjoy more than others–that you enjoy playing or go back and listen and think, “Damn, that’s a great song right there?” EJ: I’m happy with “From a Soon-To-Be Ghost Town.” It came out real fast, and that’s always a good sign, when you do something and it just comes out. I like the song “Baby Bluebird,” and that’s the first time in a while I’ve written something that honest and heartfelt, and people really caught on to that one–it’s become sort of a crowd favorite, which is cool. But you know, kind of going back to the live thing, I usually listen to the album a million times when making it, and then you play it live too... I try not to think about it too much either.

www.elevenpdx.com | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 20


features national scene 11: I read that your recording partner Thom

to any different music at the time? Were there any

Monahan brings an element of–well, lots of elements–

trends or sounds or particular artists you heard when

but you mentioned specifically how he helps you

you weren’t working as the Fruit Bats that stood out to

figure out tempos, time changes, etc. on the “Humbug

you, or that made you want to get back into the studio

Mountain Song.” How long did it take for you guys to build up that dynamic –where’s the push and pull where you stop and he begins, and vice versa? EJ: No push or pull! There’s a real flow to it. I don’t really know because he and I have worked together on so

again? EJ: I always want to get back into the studio. I wouldn’t say that there are any–and I’m certainly not implying that I hate trends or don’t listen to modern

much stuff now for the past six or seven years, and we’ve

music or anything like that–but I’m not really looking to

just worked so closely together that we sort of have–

ride a wave or anything. It’s always been fairly untrendy,

which, I think a lot of recorder/producer relationships

what I’ve done, and sometimes it loops back around to

have–you have a language that’s your own. There isn’t

being cool again, but being a singer-songwriter, and

really the push/pull; I mean, there are conversations

having an audience, there’s a fickle relationship with

that are hard, but usually we just put our heads down

that kind of vibe. So for me, it’s kind of a writing thing,

and we trust each other, which is the most important thing when you’re making a record with somebody. 11: During your Fruit Bats hiatus, I know you were working on some solo stuff, but were you listening

21 | ELEVEN PORTLAND | www.elevenpdx.com

Photo by Heather Binns

and while I love production stuff, for me, it’s more drawing from a well of things, time-wise, whether it’s super ambitious or you want to make something just weird and personal, it’s all the same to me.


features national scene 11: Speaking of that, I was going back through some of the other artists that signed with Sub Pop around the same time as you guys... EJ: Yeah! That was a crazy time! I started doing Fruit Bats stuff in ’97, using that name, and then Fruit Bats didn’t really even coalesce and start doing shows until 2000, and we got signed to Sub Pop in 2002. We made our first record with a label called Perishable–I was playing with a band called Califone at the time, and they had their own label, so they put out my first record. It got some interest from Sub Pop, and we made some fans who at the time, The Shins, who I ended up playing with, being one of them. It was a little bit of a journey–it was a crazy time! There were some crazy bands getting signed at that time. 11: It seemed like maybe there were a few bands that were riding that wave, so to speak, after the music you were making became “cool,” which was a lot different than a lot of the music coming out at that time, especially around Chicago. EJ: Yeah, we were friends with, and sort of started up around the same time as The Shins and Iron & Wine, and stuff like that, so there was obviously like corollary where we were all kind of listening to each other and figuring each other out. It was cool, but it was also a time that was dominated by The White Stripes, very stylish rock 'n' roll kind of stuff, and like any kind of singer-songwriter, Americana stuff was slightly on the margins. Although, Wilco did Yankee Hotel Foxtrot around that time which I think was–I think that’s going to be viewed as a big moment. Actually, I think people do view that as a big moment. That record was really big for that kind of sound. 11: That’s a good point. It’s always easy to look back in retrospect and find patterns, but that’s a great point about where maybe some of those sounds started to bleed into more mainstream areas. EJ: Yeah. I think we all kind of benefitted from Yankee Hotel Foxtrot –it’s just been interesting and weird. 11: “The Rock Doc” single came out earlier in November, does that mean there’s something new on the way or in the works?

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Photo by Natalie Behring

national scene

EJ: Well, that was from that Record Store Day LP–it

sort of like having a little Dictaphone in your pocket.

came out right around that time, which was a full-length

Actually “From a Soon-to-be-Ghost Town” I wrote while

release, but it was a limited edition thing, so it didn’t

driving through Montana with it. I came up with some

come out with crazy fanfare, but I think we’ll have some

of the lyrics and just the little seed of the melody–I was

copies of it at the Portland show. But yeah, so I’m just

driving down a mountain pass. And I wrote “Absolute

starting to get together the early seeds for a new batch

Loser” on a rainy drive between Seattle and Portland, so

of songs, but I’m not even, I’ve no concept at all with it–

that’s become this just amazing tool!

it’s the very early days, which I like. 11: So in the future we won’t be publishing 11: So what do you do when you’re kicking around the seeds of an album like that? I’ve talked to writers

unreleased notebooks, we’ll be publishing unreleased iPhone memos?

who use notepads or sticky notes, what do you do to keep track of ideas and things?

EJ: Yeah, totally! I’ve got some to go on the Fruit Bats box set–if that ever happens. »

EJ: It’s amazing, I used to use the notepad for lyrics and stuff like that, but now it’s totally all about the iPhone voice memos–they’re so awesome for that because you can also kind of sing if you get an idea. It’s

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community literary arts Independent Publishing Resource Center (IPRC). At that time, I felt that having the IPRC as a platform to work in made things less frightening to me as a publisher and a writer, so it gave me the opportunity to get books out into the world that represent my own tastes as a reader, and books that aren’t just written by me. So I started with other writers first. 11: Perfect Day doesn’t accept open submissions, so how do you discover your writers? MH: Often it starts with one really great story or an essay that I've read that convinces me there's a lot more material there, so I would say that I just look for really good writing, and somebody who has an undeniable need to write. 11: Much of your catalogue is nonfiction, including your own book, Goodbye to the Nervous Apprehensions. Photo by Mercy McNab

LITERARY ARTS Writer Michael Heald

M

ichael Heald is one of Portland’s best Swiss Army writers. He’s the owner of Perfect Day Publishing, an earnest independent press that has published non-fiction works by Martha Grover, Nick Jaina, Lisa Wells, and the apparent Anonymous. In Goodbye to the Nervous Apprehension, Heald’s own book, he captured the tribulations of his twenties through revealing essays. It’s a brilliant collection of nonfiction that balances situational irony with sincere and honest storytelling. His work as a journalist in Runner’s World sees him using the same principles found in his essays, but he turns the spotlight away from himself and places it on Oregon inmates who run marathons, or Olympic hopefuls–work that shows his genuine wonder for the human spirit. What surfaces through Heald’s work as a publisher and writer is an undeniable curiosity that explains the care and attention he gives to the projects he works on, making him a major asset to Portland’s literary scene. ELEVEN: Let’s begin by discussing how you decided to start your own publishing platform. How did Perfect Day Publishing begin? Michael Heald: Perfect Day stems out of attempting and failing to publish a novel I wrote in my mid-twenties. I published one short story prior, and I thought that was a blueprint for me to become a real writer. So, I sent out the manuscript to a bunch of agents, who read it, but I ultimately got passed over. I didn't write after that for about two years. But when I started writing again, I heard about the

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MH: The nonfiction thing was accidental. I was getting into reading essays, and David Foster Wallace’s A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again was particularly mind-blowing to read. I was pretty late to reading that, which was probably a good thing, because it showed me what I could do with an essay. With Goodbye to the Nervous Apprehension, I examined things I didn't quite understand, whether it was about panic attacks, or being a small man in a large man society—the exception being “It Should Be Mathematical,” which is journalistic and is about running. I later wrote a piece that was published in Oregon Humanities about my mom dying, which I wrote in a short period of time after a camping trip. With those types of essays, I can't really force them. They are like poems. And if I try too hard to make something too deep, I often feel that I should just stop writing. 11: Perfect Day functions more like a punk record label than a press. You don’t sell your books on Amazon, and you cultivate writers personally. Was this approach intentional? MH: I felt that I was a first-book press, where I find writers who haven't been published before, and I try to help them along the way. I thought, if this thing is modeled after a record label like Merge Records, which was an avenue for Superchunk to release their music, or Dischord with Ian MacKaye's bands, I could work with people like Martha Grover (who is my favorite writer who hasn't hit it big yet) as an investment in our mutual futures together, kind of like how a band would. The other elements I picked up from punk labels were wanting to control the price point of our books, where they are found, and how they are consumed. I think our readership appreciates this approach, because they’ve been committed to the books we’ve put out so far. 11: You handle Perfect Day releases with such care. You personally nurture each work through the earliest incarnations of the manuscript alongside the author. You lead them through the launch period and into the promotional phase. Can you talk about the work you put into each release?


community literary arts MH: In the terms of how to tell The Wall, that was so hard. My instinct was to be in my own head too much, and not to approach it like a piece of journalism. It was clear that there needed to be more structure, so that was when I found out about the Oregon Boot, which is this torturous device that was used in the Oregon prison system. I used that to write on the history of incarceration in Oregon, and from there, how the prison system is safer because these guys are getting exercise by running. I started to build that story around a half-marathon MH: Publishing a book resembles the process of being in a band where we are writing songs, taking them through production, and eventually landing on the recordings. I see my role in publishing more as a producer and a promoter, and I get really attached to the work because of this. Sometimes I feel like a therapist to the writers I work with, but this is because I've asked them to do this very challenging thing, which is to write an entire book... I owe it to the writers I work with to handle their books with considerable care. I know their books need to look really good, and they need to feel cohesive. I also try to help with the bigger picture stuff, along with making sense of the creative process with the writer along the way. 11: Perfect Day releases are very intentionally curated essay collections. How does that proximity to the text shape a work? MH: Even though these are essay collections, I hope people are reading these books in order, because they are very much meant to be read this way. Nick Jaina's book, Get It While You Can, for example, had tons of great chapter titles. But we thought that because they weren't numbered people might skip around the book and miss something important along the way. Instead, we went with numbered chapters as a way to encourage readers to follow the thread of that book. In the terms of familiarity, that helps with the instinctive moments when we are choosing how to arrange a work. [Martha Grover’s] latest book is a dozen pieces. Figuring out the order of that collection was like figuring out the track order of a record. But if I've read something in an earlier version I start to have this feeling where I’m like, "Ok we are closing with this," so I'll check with the writer and say, "This is kind of where I want a reader to be left. This is the feeling the end of the book needs to have." But a book doesn't look like a book until it’s printed and bound. I get to see it right before that happens, and it’s a privilege to see that first page, and being like, "This is exactly how this thing needs to open." Seeing that reinforces my confidence in each project, and I am glad I get to be the person to do this. 11: What people might not know is that you write these beautifully comprehensive pieces of journalism. One of those being The Wall, which has this Capote-ish element to it. How do you go about approaching your journalistic writing over your essay work?

happening at the Oregon State Penitentiary. But it became different over time, and I intentionally pursued it as a story about my relationship with this guy Scott. Scott, who is in there until 2032, runs a marathon or two every year. He runs because it not only gives him a reason to stay healthy, but it also gives him short-term goals that he can look forward to. But I realized that I didn't want to know why he was in there, and I needed to figure out how to say that through my writing without taking the easy way out. 11: Have you gone back to write about the prison system since? MH: I've gone back about a dozen times since I wrote that piece without any intention to write about it, and I intend to keep going back. If I do write about the prison system again, I'd write about it because I think there is real value in covering the outlooks of the people inside. 11: How do you balance your life as a writer and a publisher? MH: It's tough, especially when I am in the thick of promoting a book. You swing for the fences in the terms of setting up events and believing in the book, and maybe someone else will too. I do find that the promotional period of a book is when it’s the most difficult for me to be in the headspace where I can write in a way I believe in, because I sort of begin to question the purpose of the whole endeavor on a regular basis. I know that for me, as a person, I need to get fully invested in my next writing project, and not my next publishing project. I know that what I am doing is the thing that is making me the happiest, and it offers me a ton of freedom, so it’s worth it. But in the terms of the value in putting out books, the real mission in writing and publishing right now is making sure that we are preserving the most dangerous ways of thinking that people have, so that we learn from them. As a publisher going forward, that's on my mind. And I hope most publishers are aware that we have the power to make sure that stories by people who are being marginalized continue to be told as a way to keep bringing those voices out. » - Morgan Nicholson

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community visual arts Photo by Mercy McNab

11: Is this a craft store that you came up with the concept for, or collaborated with other people to create? VR: It’s actually a small chain, and there are a few around the country. They are all employeeowned and run, so in this situation someone in town wanted to open one. I was working at another art store in town and was kind of ready to move on, so when I heard about this store opening I jumped on the opportunity to work there, and it has been really fantastic. 11: What got you into working on the art that you make?

VISUAL ARTS Portland artist V. Rivera

W

ith the use of monochromatic color and intricate lines, the characters in V. Rivera’s works seem to come to life with select splashes of stunning color. The very hands that worked meticulously on each drawing are pictured in her latest series and allow the viewer to get a sense of the touch that could emanate from the fingertips. In the following interview, Rivera discusses her journey navigating the local art scene and how she has managed to make art her full-time endeavor. Her fearless utilization of several mediums showcases the range in her talent. Her work spans oil painting, drawing, comics and tattooing. Check out her Instagram showcasing some of her latest work under the alias Winterteeth. ELEVEN: What do you do for work? V. Rivera: I manage an art store in North Portland that we just opened up about 6-7 months ago, called Artists & Craftsman Supply. We have two locations open in town, one is in the Southeast, and the one I work at is on Lombard. It’s a super fun job and a really great place. They do a lot to support the local community. They help by donating to local causes, schools and neighborhood associations, and we always give discounts to teachers for art supplies and try to donate to any events that we can help with. Recently, we donated a bunch of washable paint for a car-painting fundraiser for a local school’s football team.

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VR: I went to art school for three years and dropped out because it was too expensive. I also started working on illustrations and got interested in making comics. After getting a taste of what the industry was like and doing some fine art painting, I realized I don’t have to have a degree in all that in order to do it. I had been drawing and painting since I was a little kid. It was the only thing I did all throughout high school, and I liked the freedom of painting whatever I wanted outside of school. 11: Do you have a preferred medium? VR: I do a little bit of everything just because I feel like all art forms are fun in their own ways, but I am most drawn to oil painting right now. 11: How did you become acquainted with other artists in Portland and the art scene? VR: It was mostly with the art store that I worked at. I became acquainted with all the regulars that would come into the store, and after a while we would exchange ideas and look at each other’s art. Instagram helped me to get connected to a lot of people as well. Slowly, through these two avenues, I began meeting a ton of people in the artist community and before long, the more people I would meet the more I would see them going to the same events and the same shows. 11: How do you feel about the influence that social media has had on the art scene? VR: I think it is both good and bad, but it has helped me a lot. Earlier this year I released a bunch of stickers and sold over a hundred packs of them just through Instagram. I sent them to people all over the country and outside of it. I sent some to Australia [and] Bulgaria and I was blown out of


community visual arts VR: I don’t really feel like I have any particular message or any particular theme I am trying to convey right now. My stuff tends to be pretty straightforward rather than metaphorical. I do have that comic background that tends to make some of my work more fun, and I have recently began incorporating more colors as well. 11: I noticed a more recent theme where you started making several images involving hands. Where did that one come from? VR: I always liked drawing hands and have somehow become really good at them, maybe from drawing them so much. When I was a kid, I would just draw whatever was in front of me, so oftentimes it would be like the place setting, my hands and my sketchbook. I feel like hands are really fun and expressive and you can do so much with them. I also really like playing with color variations with those pieces and have generally received really positive feedback from people with that theme. The packs of stickers I was referring to were my hand prints and mini versions of my paintings of hands, and people have loved them. 11: What are you working on now?

"Handy Sticker Pack" (vinyl stickers)

the water by the response I was able to get just through the internet. I like social media in the art respect because I think it makes it way easier for people to access your art vs. just being in a gallery, or only available through a website.

VR: I have a couple bigger oil paintings I am working on. I am trying to work a little larger these days. Whenever I do ink drawings, I make them pretty small. My oil paintings are pretty small too, just because it is so time consuming, but I am looking forward to taking more time with these newer pieces and incorporating more colors. I am also trying to incorporate more surrealism into them as well.

11: How do you think it has affected the art scene to make art available beyond the gallery setting? VR: Some of my friends are able to do art professionally through Instagram only and don’t even have a website or do gallery shows. I think that is very impressive. I also think it helps a lot of artists with social anxiety to get their art out to people without having to publicize themselves in person. On the other hand, the online community demands a faster turnover and wants artists to be posting all the time. This phenomenon fosters art that is made quicker and [is] therefore simpler content-wise. I think people who are making bigger and more complicated stuff still have to do gallery shows for that reason. 11: Do you have any specific theme or message that seems to be most apparent throughout your work?

"Hand Study #5" (oil paint on canvas)

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community visual arts 11: Do you still make comics? VR: I have a comic in the works, but I have been planning it out for like a year, and since I am doing it all myself it is a very long process. It is about a world entirely made of wizards, and each wizard has [his] own particular power. I have characters like a water wizard, a fire wizard and even cat and couch wizards, and so on. There are all sorts of silly ones too, and it is about the interactions of all of them in this mythological world. I have a good chunk of it planned out and dozens of the wizards drawn, but actually making the comic is the hardest part for me now. It is something I can only work on very slowly, but I want to release some of it online, maybe page by page as it gets done. 11: Do you feel like the recent political upheaval in this country will influence your art in any way? VR: Normally I tend to stay away from any political themes in my art, but with some recent events I do feel inspired to touch on some of those topics, just because there are so many big things happening. I do think that art is a major factor in helping culture tackle those issues and to express them. I do want to try to incorporate a little of that into my work. My friend passed away recently; he committed suicide after suffering from PTSD following his service in the

"Night Hawk" (ink on bristol paper)

military. I did feel inspired to make some art surrounding that topic, since I feel the military is something that has such an important pull in our country. 11: What usually motivates you to continue making new art and stay productive? VR: Art has always been a very strong stress reliever for me, and when I am sad it is always the first thing that I turn to to help me feel better. It’s kept me going in that regard for sure. Painting and drawing [have] always helped me get through anything, so I think it will always be something that I feel the need to do every day. 11: Are there any artists who you look up to, or whose work has inspired you? VR: There are so many amazing ones I could name right now, a lot of bigger names that I feel like are really transforming the art scene too. James Jean is one; he is one of the top illustrators in the world right now. He is actually designing the outside of a building in Portland right now... called the “Fair-Haired Dumbbell.” He plans to paint a huge mural on the outside of the building. He is such an amazing, amazing artist. He has such a wide range of stuff that he does, which I think is also very influential for me, because he does comics, fine art paintings and even some sculpture stuff. I would love to emulate some of his style and imagery. » - Lucia Ondruskova

FIND THIS ARTIST ONLINE INSTAGRAM: @WINTERTEETH

Please enjoy V. Rivera's piece "Black Ball and Kraft" (ballpoint and gel pen on paper) decorating our inside back cover.

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Eleven PDX Magazine January 2017  
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