ELEVEN PDX MAGAZINE - VOLUME 7, ISSUE 2
ELEVEN PDX MAGAZINE VOLUME 7
THE USUAL 4 Letter from the Editor 4 Staff Credits
ISSUE NO. 2
FEATURES Local Feature 14 Cool Schmool
Cover Feature 18 NEW MUSIC
5 Aural Fix Palm Perfume Genius The Drums Julie Byrne
8 Short List 8 Album Reviews Lo Tom Avey Tare Shabazz Palaces
COMMUNITY Literary Arts 26 Portland writer Gigi Little
Visual Arts 28 Portland artist Sarah Wertzberger
LIVE MUSIC 10 Know Your Venue Twilight Cafe & Bar
12 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
EXECUTIVE STAFF EDITOR IN CHIEF Ryan Dornfeld (firstname.lastname@example.org) CREATIVE DIRECTOR Dustin Mills (email@example.com)
Summer is officially here in Portland and the effects of climate-weirding are apparent–temperatures over 100, and snow melt run-off from the later-than-usual winter snow pack has river levels so high that most beaches at the go-to close-in swim spots are under water. But on the bright side, music festival season is gearing up! The beginning of next month marks one of the finest festivals around, Pickathon, and making his debut performance at that lovely oasis on Pendarvis Farm is one of my absolute favorite musicians, Andy Shauf. We were lucky enough to chat with Andy while he was on tour in France for this month’s cover feature. Check it! Also exciting this month: Animal Collective co-founder David Portner is back with a great sophomore solo album under the moniker Avey Tare; members of Pedro The Lion and Starflyer 59 put out a fun debut album as a formidable supergroup called Lo Tom; Perfume Genius comes through town to wow fans at Revolution Hall; and much more, but you’ll have to read on to learn about it! Dutifuly yours,
- Travis Leipzig, Managing Editor
MANAGING EDITOR Travis Leipzig (firstname.lastname@example.org) SECTION EDITORS LITERARY ARTS: Scott Mchale, Morgan Nicholson VISUAL ARTS: Mercy McNab GRAPHIC DESIGN Dustin Mills
ONLINE Mark Dilson, Kim Lawson, Michael Reiersgaard
GET INVOLVED email@example.com www.elevenpdx.com twitter.com/elevenpdx facebook.com/elevenmagpdx
GENERAL INQUIRIES firstname.lastname@example.org
CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Rosie Blanton, Tyler Burdwood, Matt Carter, Crystal Contreras-Grossman, 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, Wendy Worzalla
PHOTOGRAPHERS Patrick Chapman, Eric Evans, Alexander Fattal, Eirinn Gragson, Greg LeMieux, Mercy McNab, Andrew Roles, Todd Walberg, Caitlin Webb COVER PHOTO Colin Medley
ADVERTISING email@example.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!
JULY M US IC CA LE N DA R
TH E TOF F EE CLUB Thursday 6th - HEAVY DENIM 90s Indie with Cisco Friday 7th - STICKY TOFFEE House and Disco with Bald Eagle Friday 14th - STICKY TOFFEE House and Disco with JPREZ Thursday 20th - PARKLIFE All-Vinyl Britpop Friday 21st - STICKY TOFFEE House and Disco with Quirkes and Maliksun Thursday 27th - ONE DROP Reggae and Roots with Sicoide and Guests Friday 28th - STICKY TOFFEE House and Disco with Jason Urick PLUS... Every Sunday - MY HEART BELONGS TO TWEE Indiepop Brunch with My lil’ Underground
1006 SE HAWTHORNE BLVD, PORTLAND
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new music aural fix
up and coming music from the national scene
PALM JULY 12 | MISSISSIPPI STUDIOS
Not all are ready for such things, but if the cosmic lasso of the universe happens to cinch up on your mind, indifferently pulling you into experiencing the jarring and jangling, yet seamlessly intricate anti compositions that Palm has to offer, you may consider yourself quite astounded, baffled and uniquely fortunate. As a matter of fact, if by happenstance you get the chance to study the process of constructing the deconstruction of Shadow Expert, Palm’s second release that hit the ground running in June of this year, you may find yourself in a musical dimension that previously had not existed. Now if we reach this so called dimension and proceed to see them live this month at Mississippi Studios, I have to leave us all hanging because I have no idea what the repercussions might be. The overlapping and intertwining guitars and vocals that both Eve Alpert and Kasra Kurt project without warning seem to duel, collide, crash and clang as they console and soothe the nerves just as they shoot them all to hell. The layered vocals, slightly ominous and droning, are reminiscent of artists like Pinback and Elliott Smith, while the music is something that only the process of a truly strange and precise musical evolution could produce. The melodic electric shock of the four piece enigma leaves us chasing down the frequency that
Photo by Luke Gilford
PERFUME GENIUS JULY 16 | REVOLUTION HALL
As you get to know Washington resident Mike Hadreas through his music, under the moniker of Perfume Genius, you’ll start nodding your head in agreement as he has a refreshingly accurate way of describing every feeling he’s ever felt with poignant expressions like, “I’m here/how weird.” Although I haven’t endured the same trials and tribulations as he, it’s extremely easy to see where he’s come from, and where he wants to go. His sweet, honest demeanor is adorable, and watching him perform is captivating. A self-starter musician, he’s earned his with a very loving fanbase, a spot on John
only reaches familiarity through repetition. The busy hihat work and hard to catch bursts of percussion that Hugo Stanley attacks us with, and the precisely placed bass lines of Gerasimos Livtano that hit exactly where no one would have suspected all intuitively interlace into a sound that leaves us all guessing and grappling with the unknown possibilities of the multi-colored musical strobe light effect that nearly attacks with the capability to send us all into some sort of musically induced, epileptic seizure. A treatment that could only be prescribed by a sick, twisted and beautiful musical universe. The opportunity to see, hear and feel the abstract art made fluid by vibrations translated by our eager eardrums, scattered and received by our tender and willing brains by Palm this month leaves a portal to the unknown wide open and for us. The decision is yours. Hope to see you there. » - Ellis Samsara Legend’s Darkness and Light and perhaps, maybe even a little peace within. For those not familiar with his work, start from the beginning and be captivated with the minimalist, yet dense, piano driven sounds on 2010’s Learning and 2012’s Put Your Back N 2 It, and then move on to the impressive shift we heard on 2014’s Too Bright. Hadreas persevered through some obvious self doubt, pain, desperation; We’ve all experienced our own hell; I like to call mine my 20s. Then, something, like music, happens and you finally realize the struggle is the blessing. Perfume Genius’s fourth album, No Shape, out earlier this year, is a shining example of what a constructive outlet should look like. With Blake Mills on production, the ecstasy of being alive, however mundane and tortured and embarrassing it can feel sometimes, is captured between thirteen songs that consistently go from one end of the spectrum to the other. The rollercoaster of sounds will take you through tracks like “Wreath” with a wanted guitar riff and “Slip Away” which sounds so fresh and explosive, it will be on repeat after one chorus. It’s a modern day “Eye of the Tiger.” A collaboration with Weyes Blood gives us “Sides,” which just might be my favorite track (dat tuba.) To quote Hadreas, “...sometimes your happiness can feel like a protest against what’s going on.” This protest is what you should be listening for and what will fuel his future endeavors. » - Kelly Kovl
www.elevenpdx.com | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 5
new music aural fix
Photo by Moni Haworth
JULY 19 | WONDER BALLROOM Based in Brooklyn, NY, The Drums are an indie pop group that combines ‘50s-inspired, simple melodies with the infectious jangly beats of indie pop. The band is the project of singer/ songwriter and frontman Jonny Pierce, who began making music with childhood friend Jacob Graham as teens–the two formed the electro-pop duo Goat Explosion. After eventually splitting up to pursue other projects, Graham formed indiepop band Horse Shoes, while Pierce founded the new-wave inspired band Elkland. It wasn’t until 2008, after the dissolution of their personal projects and a short hiatus from making music that the two reconnected and began working together again. The duo traded their initial electronic-driven direction for a more back-to-basics guitar sound, and having moved to New York, implemented the help of a second guitarist and drummer to complete the current lineup. In 2009 The Drums released two singles, “Let’s Go Surfing” and “I Felt Stupid” in their anticipation of their debut, Summertime!, which can still be found on any summer jams playlist. Fast-forward to 2017 and we have the release of the band’s fourth studio album, Abysmal Thoughts–an album
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filled with the elements of every great instantly appealing surf-rock album: jangly guitar, raspy, melodic vocals and simple rhythms that instantly make you feel good. The record’s lead single, “Blood Under My Belt” is the perfect lo-fi, electro-dreamy tune for the start of summer, and each song following keeps with the trend of irresistible reverb and sophisticated melodies. Each song is carefully layered through precise instrumentation and composition, which transcends into a soft, airy dream-like feel across the album’s 12 tracks, and this is consistent throughout the band’s whole discography. » - Samantha Lopez
new music aural fix
JULIE BYRNE JULY 25 | THE OLD CHURCH
Although it has been three years since the release of her album, Room with Walls and Windows, time melts away as Julie Byrne’s signature fingerpicking style and rich, husky voice materialize in the tracks on her latest album, Not Even Happiness, which came out in January. Byrne’s minimalist style encourages an awareness of one’s present time and space, her voice lingering as you picture the scenes of natural beauty, the open road, and interpersonal struggle laid out in her lyrics. Byrne worked as a seasonal park ranger in New York City, and her reverence for nature is woven throughout her music on tracks like “I Live Now as a Singer,” which includes lines like “Blue palms glide in the light of a red moon,” and has a haunting accompaniment reminiscent of whale songs. Known for calling a number of cities home, including Seattle, Byrne’s life on the road is a constant theme, as she invokes images of endless fields and the redundancy of touring through the same string of towns. Listening to an album like Not Even Happiness is like taking a cross country road trip with no destination other
than to turn around and do it all over again, a nod to a life that we choose but may not know why sometimes. For now it appears that Byrne’s life on the road continues through 2017, and her July 25 Portland show at The Old Church Concert Hall will be one of her last stops before heading to Europe, so don’t miss your chance to let her soothe your soul before she drifts on to the next town. » - Crystal Contreras
QUICK TRACKS A “FOLLOW MY VOICE'” The opening track to Not Even Happiness serves as a guide to the journey that Byrne has been on, laying bare her vulnerabilities with lines like “I too been a fault finder, but that life is broke.”
B “NATURAL BLUE” The song for when you’re feeling lonely, Byrne describes scenes of traveling and monotony interspersed with the majesty of nature. A lovely reminder that others have been there before.
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new music album reviews
A deliberate collective happily bashing out tunes together, musically Lo Tom is reminiscent of underrated Neil Young group gem-jams like Re-ac-tor or SF59’s I am the Portuguese Blues or the band’s likeminded Pac NW brother Damien Jurado’s I Break Chairs–grinding hard, but melodic near-power chords on top of steady, firm
THIS MONTH’S BEST
drums. They deliver messages by and about
characters fussing with self-recriminations,
L LOCAL RELEASE
and daily sufferings. Sinewy “Bubblegum”
nuanced betrayals, spiritual sell-outs, finger-points backwards, while denim-tough
Short List Haim Something to Tell You Japanese Breakfast Soft Sounds from Another Planet Lana Del Rey Lust for Life Arcade Fire Everything Now Broken Social Scene Hug of Thunder Melvins A Walk with Love and Death Sheer Mag Need to Feel Your Love
opener “Covered Wagon” frets about the rent
Lo Tom Lo Tom Barsuk Records The self-titled collaborative from Lo Tom, released on the stalwart imprint Barsuk, is going to land satisfactorily with several fan-bases–particularly devotees weaned on a handful of specific indie niches from the past few decades. Fresh off the release of his new solo album Care, David Bazan lightens up here and delivers questioning, long-drive rock with Starflyer 59’s front-man, Jason Martin, Trey Many, and TW Walsh (from Bazan’s figurehead band Pedro the Lion).
Waxahatchee Out in the Storm
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heavy amp fray, and Bazan delivers bass work as precise and pleasurable as his always welcome insights and exasperations. The combined 125 years of experience playing in random bands, both together and apart is apparent, making this debut a rousing showcase of these artists’ abilities. » - Lou Flesh
Tare’s idiosyncratic vocal timbres. At times, the sounds of natural environs, speech, and distant music cut in and out like intermittent moments of waking while you nap, with your friends going about their business talking, stomping around, and playing old records at a forest cabin
Golden Retriever Rotations Toss it
point, Martin and Walsh dialogue between
skittering arrhythmically around Avey
Manchester Orchestra A Black Mile to the Surface
is the band itself. Many’s percussion is on
instruments reverberating, droning, and
None of these are new themes for anyone in the band, but the real story here
Eucalyptus is full of gloomy cosmic
Nick Delffs Redesign
at the darkness.
ballads composed of mostly acoustic
Foster the People Sacred Hearts Club
going up, and “Lower Down” stares straight
on the coast. When traditional percussion instruments are present, they’re minimal and mostly downtempo, but they feel
Avey Tare Eucalyptus Domino Records Animal Collective co-founder Avey Tare’s second solo record, Eucalyptus, sounds like California. It’s the perfect soundtrack for watching the sunrise as the mushrooms wear off while you’re sitting on a grassy hill on the central coast. You can almost hear the wind rustling eucalyptus leaves in the mangled wash of sibilance floating through “Melody Unfair,” and occasionally waves and seagull cries drift into the record that are either cleverly constructed sonic trickery or straight up field recordings.
upbeat compared to the more atmospheric moments that predominate. Similarities between Animal Collective and Avey Tare’s solo work are to be expected–and they’re definitely there–but on Eucalyptus he’s doing his own more organic and spacious thing that comes off sober and contemplative compared to the explosive bliss-fest he helps create in Animal Collective. Bottom line, if you like Animal Collective, you’ll probably like this record, but for slightly different reasons. You won’t be dancing like you did back in 2009 when “My Girls” was in heavy rotation, but you’re older now, so that’s probably fine. » - Christopher Klarer
new music album reviews
Shabazz Palaces (double release) Quazarz: Born on a Gangster Star Quazarz vs. the Jealous Machines Subpop Records
Quazarz: Born on a Gangster Star Shabazz Palaces have been drifting further and further out since their 2009 beginnings, and Quazars: Born on a Gangster Star marks their entrance into an entirely new orbital of the mind, of space and of the culture. The first album of this year’s two-part Quazarz release, Born on a Gangster Star is actually the more grounded of the twin projects, though the Seattle duo’s idea of ground hovers right up above most people’s clouds.
The album chronicles the experiences of the starchild figure Quazarz as he observes the horrific absurdity of the modern condition through alien eyes, able to bear witness even though he doesn’t understand us in our twisted ways. MC Palaceer Lazaro (Ishmael Butler) uses Quazarz as a means of exploring our conceptions of power, violence, love, music and our growing tendency towards addiction to our various devices. His borderline spoken-word delivery tends to mesh well with producer Knife Knights’s spacey instrumentals, though there are undoubtedly moments when the two drift out a little on the airy side, which results in a particularly challenging brand of hip-hop, and not always for the better. Still, Born on a Gangster Star makes for a wild ride through the cosmos. Quazarz vs. the Jealous Machines If you thought the first installment of Shabazz Palaces’s Quazarz saga was heady, just wait until you hear this one. Vs. the Jealous Machines
is the second half of the two-part simultaneous release, the monozygotic twin (according to the Subpop press release) and the least “normal,” album the group has ever released. Dealing primarily with the relationship between ourselves and our machines, the project is hardly reminiscent of the latest radio rap. In fact, it shares much more in common with the likes of Sun-Ra and his Arkestra or early George Clinton, a kind of synth-fueled funky meditation on life as it stands in America. Vs. the Jealous Machines presents the world through Quazarz’s eyes as a weird dark simulacrum, a world of empty images with nothing behind them. As with any alien-inspired work of cultural meditation, however, there’s an underlying sense of silliness to the whole thing, one which is definitely acknowledged here, but that also tends to erode the degree to which you can take Palaceer via Quazarz seriously, even when he’s trying to be. Of the two albums, this Quazarz installment may be only for those dedicated fans willing to follow Shabazz Palaces out into the beyond. » - Henry Whittier-Ferguson
THE NEW ALBUM FROM DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE GUITARIST
W E ST END 412 SW 10th Ave H AW T H ORNE 3541 SE Hawthorne Blvd N W 2 3 RD 525 NW 23rd Ave PORTL AND AIRPORT Concourse D tenderlovingempire.com
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live music Photo by Greg LeMieux
KNOW YOUR VENUE Twilight Cafe & Bar | 1420 SE Powell
whirling backdrop into another dimension. It’s an effect that was painted by one of the employees, apparently fueled by rum and cokes. It might make you dizzy if you’re tipsy, but it definitely makes show photos look great. “When I first played the Twilight there was no stage, it was very DIY.” says booker Jimmy Armstrong, “Since then we have kind of gutted the room and made it suitable for larger audiences. The stage works out for those who are vertically
challenged or don’t feel comfortable being up front, you can n a corner of SE Portland’s Brooklyn neighborhood,
still watch a show from the back of the house and performers
a blue sign glows. This midnight oasis known as
can see for miles.”
The Twilight is somewhat of an oddity. It can be a little tricky to get to, and it’s a bar between a weed
dispensary and a post office on an eerie stretch of Powell Blvd. There have been a few resurrections of the Twilight, and from its strip-mall facade it’s hard to tell that it houses a live music venue. Walking in you’ll find a cozy bar, booths, and tables. There’s a “Sappy Hour” and a menu that taunts The 50/50 Burger (half beef, half bacon), a French Dip, and vegan/ veggie/gluten free options for days. There’s an insane selection of brews and ciders on tap. As night falls, behold a separate room with a 4ft. stage and plenty of space to dance or thrash. The stage art is a
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Photo by Greg LeMieux
Photo by Greg LeMieux
Most bands that come through the Twilight are from the unknown. It’s a line-up of new names; There are a lot of touring bands as well as new bands that are just getting started. It’s mostly punk, metal, rock, and alternative, but there may be a solo/acoustic act or bluegrass band tucked into the very full calendar. There’s new lighting and a brand new sound system, just in time for the 127 bands booked in July. That includes Twilight Fest at the end of the month, which is a continuation and collaboration of Centaur Guitar’s by-gone Centaur-Palooza. Twilight Fest will be a 3 day festival with 40 bands and 2 stages, and since a lot of it will be going on in Twilight’s huge parking lot, the venue’s normal 21+ status will be extended to the all-ages crowd during day shows. “I like to think we are the little venue that could,” says Armstrong, as he tells me about the changes The Twilight has gone through since new owners and employees took over in 2014. “We have grown to be a tight knit family. Everyone has worked hard and stuck with it to make a legit venue for bands to play. We are a diverse venue and a safe place for bands and patrons to interact and have fun. We are here for your sweat-soaked, rock ‘n’ roll, boozy needs all summer long!” » - Brandy Crowe
Local band The Secret Ceremony playing Twilight. Photo by Stephan Bayley
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live music JULY
NORTH WEST BROADWAY ST.
PEARL OLD TOWN 2
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128 NE RUSSELL
Thexplodingboys | Love Vigilantes | The Secret Light Eagles of Death Metal | The Delta Riggs Little Hurricane | Jade Jackson J Boog | The Movement The Drums R5 Joshua Radin & Rachael Yamagata | Brandon Jenner The Sword | Big Jesus Blonde Redhead | Porcelain Raft Waxahatchee | Cayetana } Snail Mail
3939 N MISSISSIPPI
830 E BURNSIDE
Indubious | Sol Seed La Luz | Savila Quintron & Miss Pussycat | Lithics | The Lavender Flu Destructor | Antichrist | Danava Froth | Moaning | Psychomagic Palm | Palberta Tacocat | Sunbathe | Surfer Rosie Algiers | Moon Diagrams Andrew Combs | Barna Howard Rozwell Kid | Vundabar | Great Grandpa Joan Shelley | Michael Hurley Lenore. | Ryan Oxford Reptaliens | Boone Howard | Vexations Nick Delffs | Haley Heynderickx | Clark & The Himselves Roselit Bone | The Verner Pantons | Fronjentress Peter Bradley Adams The Marcus King Band Long Hallways | Three For Silver | Yeah Great Fine XDS | Genders | Mascaras The Billy Shears Orchestra
5 8 14 15 18 19 20 21 24 25 26
8 NW 6TH
The Thermals | Savila | Mr. Wrong Those Willows | The Mondegreens | Astro Tan The Districts | The Spirit of the Beehive Rare Monk | Small Leaks Sink Ships | The Tamed West Nite Jewel | Geneva Jacuzzi | Harriet Brown Pretty Gritty (on the patio) Birdtalker Joseph Arthur | Ray Goren Lawn Party (on the patio) DaydreamMachine|MirandaLeeRichards|HollowSidewalks Austra Portugal. The Man Mustache Harbor Jared & The Mill Kolars The Life & Times | Shelter Red | Last Giant Tobin Sprout | Elf Power Rooney | Run River North Six60 Jacob Miller & The Bridge City Crooners 10,000 Maniacs In The Valley Below
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Playboi Carti | Young Nudy | Pierre Bourne All Time Low | SWMRS | Waterparks | The Wrecks Khalid The Revolution DJ Shadow Kap G | J.R. Donato | Priceless Da Roc
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1332 W BURNSIDE
The Avalanches Sabrina Carpenter Quarterflash | Nu Shooz | Jon Koonce Musiq Soulchild | Maurice Moore George Clinton & Parliment Funkadelic
DOW NTO WN
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live music HOLOCENE
1001 SE MORRISON
FREMONT ST. 24TH AVE.
426 SW WASHINGTON
HOLLYWOOD 33RD AVE.
D. BLV Y D AN
HAWTHORNE DIVISION ST.
CESAR CHAVEZ BLVD.
LADD’S ADDITION L BLVD.
4 6 7 9 11 12 14 18 20 21 23 25 27 28 29
Skull Diver | The Dead Ships | Pacific Latitudes Post Moves | Sawtooth | Gulch Arlo Indigo | Sheers | Tino’s Dream Maggie Koerner Eyelids | Moon Tiger
REVOLUTION HALL 1300 SE STARK
DJ White Merlot | DJ Soft Feelings Raquel Divar & Cory O | Danielseventwo | Keijian Pale Ale | Kevin Nichols | Bitter Buddha Kristoff Krane | Abadawn | Jellyfish Brigade Sierra | Witches of God | Mammoth Salmon | Spacebeast Harrison Garrison Joseph Waya | Orka Odyssey DJ The Grand Yoni Interstate Family Alone with Everybody | Mike Coykendall | The Barbaras Scratchdog Stringband | Ferdinand the Bull | Pretty Gritty DJ Moodytwoshoes The Flusters | Purr Gato The Shriekers | The Furies Sarah Wild | Laryssa Birdseye | Courtney Noe
1028 SE WATER
Ice Queens | And And And | Ah God Hustle & Drone | Earth World | Mothertapes
1800 E BURNSIDE
5 12 19 20 23 26 27
DJs in The Taproom (weekends)
Kool Stuff Katie | Risley | Arthur & The Antics Beach Fossils | She-Devils | Ablebody John Talabot Flor Jeff Rosenstock | Laura Stevenson Dana Buoy | Ellis Pink | Holidae House Lola Buzzkill | Bryson Cone | The Fur Coats
600 E BURNSIDE
Emma Ruth Rundle Cowboy Junkies ZZ Ward Living Legends Perfume Genius | Serpentwithfeet The Psychedelic Furs | Robyn Hitchcock Chris Pureka The Billy Shears Orchestra
1006 SE HAWTHORNE
1 6 12 18 22
7 12 13 14 16 22 29 30
My Heart Belongs to Twee (Sundays) Heavy Denim: 90s Indie w/Cisco Sticky Toffee: House & Disco w/Bald Eagle Sticky Toffee: House & Disco w/JPREZ Parklife: All-Vinyl Britpop Sticky Toffee: House & Disco w/Quirkes & Maliksun One Drop: Reggae & Roots w/Sicoide Sticky Toffee: House & Disco w/Jason Urick
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Photo by Greg LeMieux
ALBERTA STREET PUB 13 1036 NE ALBERTA 5 6 13 14 19 20 22 28 29
Dylan DiSalvio | Lost Ox | Sack Lunch Dandu | Human Ottoman | Radio Phoenix Jeffrey Martin | Yoya | Je Sunde Three For Silver | The Whereabouts | Joe Kye Laney Lou & The Bird Dogs | Scratchdog Stringband Raina Rose | J Wagner Big Bridges Harmed Brothers | Onward, Etc. Katie Fritz | Arbielle | Gentle Creatures
THE SECRET SOCIETY 14 116 NE RUSSELL 5 7 8 15 21 22 28 29
Michelle Malone | Ashleigh Flynn The Frequence | Redray Frazier | Monumental Stump City Soul | Vinyl Gold Montclaire | Sarah St. Albin | Shoring Butter | Shannon Entropy | Moon Ensemble Johnny 7 & The Black Crabs | The Jumptown Aces Slimkid3 & Tony Ozier’s Monkey Business Dirty Bourbon River Show | St. Cinder
WHITE EAGLE 15 836 N RUSSELL 6 7 10 12 14 15 18 19 20 22 26 27 29
The Deer | Rainbow Electric Dear Drummer | Atttt Ats | Chelsea Tractors Sean Rowe | Anna Tivel Jim Kweskin & Meredith Axelrod Zealyn Vandoliers | Black Sheep Black David Smith | Amber Sweeney Shae Williams | After Hours | Your Pal Hank Blue Lotus | New Dew The Last Draw Wood & Wire Mic Check Hip Hip Showcase Josh Harmony | Sandy Cohen | Wesley Randolph Eader
TURN! TURN! 16 8TURN! NE KILLINGSWORTH 2 3 5 6 7 8 9 10 12 13 15 16 17 19 20 21 22 23 24 26 27 28 29
The Bedrooms | Slugs Shadowlands | Mutt | Face Transplant Ritchie S. Young | Kacey Johansing | The Sun 100 Jessica Dennison & Jones | Lentils | Bed Bits Sad Horse | Preakedness | Clarke & The Himselves Die Like Gentlemen | The Sleer | More Hell James Power In-tet | The Vardaman Band Antonette Goroch | Sutherlin | Osama Sinatra Matt Townsend | Tommy Alexander | Ryan Fauber Gentle Bender | The I’s | Whisper Hiss Trumans Water | Plastic Harmony Band | Holy Veils The Dreaming Dirt Joshua Hill | Taylor Kingman | Kassi Valazza Wet & Reckless | Pareidolia | Calving Phill Ajjarupo Band | The Quags | GuitarFace Tiny Vipers | Ilyas Ahmed | May May Pelican Ossman | Guillotine Boys | Brumes Ian Christensen/Ari Chersky | The Fostamed Trio Nervous & The Kid Survival Guide | Lungs & Limbs | Beatrix Sky Lili St. Anne | Samuel EM | Polaroid Bear Rilla | Origami Ghosts | Moon Debris Kulululu | An Atomic Whirl | Plastic Cactus
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had the pleasure this week of sitting down with some of the ladies of Cool Schmool. While the band has only been playing together for a little over a year, Kaitie Hereford and Jessica Sylvia go way back. The two both attended Arts and Communication Magnet Academy in Beaverton. Through a serendipitous Facebook post the band was formed. They’ve been spending the last year banging out bratty pop punk all over the city of roses and are now ready to launch their first full length album Time Doesn’t Care. Don’t let their adorable, youthful aesthetic fool you though; these girls are hitting on some heavy themes in their music, including mental illness, being queer and feminist love. We sat under the shade of a tree in Colonel Summers Park, enjoyed some libations and tackled these subjects, along with the creative process, touring, and more. ELEVEN: How did Cool Schmool form? Kaitie Hereford: I had a million songs on guitar that I had never played before, I had never even tried to play guitar, and I wanted to form an all-lady band, and I made a Facebook post asking if any drummers were interested and
Jess and I hadn’t talked in a decade and she replied saying, “It’s my dream to be in an all-girl band!” Jessica Sylvia: I had never been a drummer, I had been a bassist primarily, so we were both starting out on instruments we weren’t familiar with and just kind of went with it. 11: Was it easy? Do you think your background in theater helped? KH: I think so yeah. We pretty much immediately clicked with it from the very first practice. We had played instruments before. I mean I played drums usually and she (Jessica Sylvia) played bass usually. JS: We had been in multiple bands before. 11: The new album is awesome. Fantastic job. Do you have a favorite track? My favorite track on the new album is “Flamingo Sunset.” KH: That’s my favorite track too! (Everyone cheers and laughs) JS: My Favorite is “I’m a Mess.” “Wavy Waves” is the hit though, that’s the ear worm.
11: The title of the album comes from a lyric in “Wavy Waves” right? JS: You did your homework. 11: What was the creative process for this album like? KH: The songs always start with me writing the guitar part and having a drum or bass idea and giving it to the girls. From there, they kind of mess with it and Jess and our new bassist (Adria Ivanitsky) come up with their own harmonies to go along with my singing. 11: What’s the hardest part? KH: It’s a little difficult to show someone what you want him or her to play when it’s not your instrument, it can seem.. I try to not be controlling, I want the creative input from my bandmates as well. I usually have all the instruments in my head, and when I first started I didn’t even know what a single chord was. I was just making up everything. But I read somewhere that that is how Brian Wilson made Pet Sounds and I was like, “Alright if he did it and he didn’t really understand all the chords and everything then I can do it too!” What do you think Jess?
nouns in our songs. We’re a queer band and we like to keep things open-ended and not keep things about just boy/girl romances. We definitely have a summer vibe happening with this album. We’re releasing in summer and we formed this band in the summer. 11: Has yourself or someone you love had to deal with mental illness? KH: I deal with mental illness. I have a lot of issues related to that. Our song “Just Another Friday” is about my classic meltdowns. It’s about me going out and trying to have a great night with my all friends and then somehow things just don’t work out right for me. My mind just brings me to dark places and I can’t control it. 11: I think everyone deals with moments like that and I think it’s great that you’re writing about things that so many people can relate to. Any gear you’re geeking out about? JS + KH: DANELECTRO!
features HAWTHORNE THEATRE 1507 SE 39TH
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The Duke Robillard Band Delbert McClinton & Self Made Men The Decemberists & Olivia Chaney are Offa Rex Led Zepagain
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KH: We love the ‘50s, ‘60s vibes about it and just like their colors match our esthetic. The guitars are really light-
JS: I don’t know it’s all just fun to me!
3728 NE SANDY
11: Is there anything with your music and lyrics that you’re trying to say to the public?
Gaytheist | Nasalrod | Drunk Dad No Lala | North by North | Paper Gates White Suns | YCE | Mulva Myasis | Obsidian Needles Atriarch | Haunted Horses | Marriage+Cancer The Body | Bleak Cities | Ruminant | Naux Needles//Pins | Low Cultrure | Muscle Dungeon Primordial Wound | Caustic Touch | Redneck Hemmingway | No Aloha | Horse Movies | Puppy Breath Federale | Mascaras | The Savage Family Band The Fur Coats | Hawkeye | Charts | Devy Metal Suss Law | Dogsoldier | Anti Sycotix Tig Bitty | Body Shame | Roadkill & The Pricks | Halfbird Elrond | Magisterial | Wayne Abolitionist | Bothers | Carole’s Gold Gym Airport | Marion Walker | Azul Toga Qui w/Trevor Dunn | EMS | Humours TV Heads Andy Cigarettes | Abronia | Alto! | The Social Stomach Strange Babes | Dommengang Nerve Beats | Sad Horse | Way Worse | Mr. Wrong
KH: A lot of our songs are about mental illness. That’s something that’s really important to me, getting rid of the stigma around it and saying and making sure people know, it’s ok to not feel good sometimes and to have meltdowns sometimes. That’s a thing people go through. We have a lot of feminist messages that have to do with love, especially the woman being in control in the romantic situation. Also in our lyrics so far we haven’t used any pro-
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Sustainer | The Without | Ditch Digger | Day of Rest Dogtooth & Nail | Shootdang | Troll 2 | Claire Nelson The Stein Project | The Shrike | The Weirding Modules Rebenge | Shouter | Unusual Subject Krusty Sock Enterprises | US Wage Slaves When We Met | Kool Stuff Katie | Gin & Tillyanna Trevor Martin | Not Caleb | Stephen Johnson Trio Anna Graham | Showtigers Maxwell MR Williams | Nails Hid Metal Stumblebum | The Cowtrippers | Barret C. Stolte Unsane | Fashion Week Dyllan | Hayley Lynn Parasitic Ejaculation Nine:fourty:PM | The Long Goodnight | Seed Ling The Sentiments | The Slants | The Forever Agos Coloso | Heritage | Valley Green Sidepocket Willie | Erin Cookman | Wes Nile Zebra | The By Gods | Sad Baxter | Gar Gar Sounds Like Disco Plastic Shadow | Bone & Bell | Youngest of Elders HOLLYWOOD THEATRE A not-for-profit organization whose mission is to entertain, inspire, educate and connect the community through the art of film while preserving an historic Portland landmark. NE HOLLYWOOD 4122 NE Sandy Blvd (97212) 503.493.1128 | hollywoodtheatre.org
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weight. I feel like they are built for smaller people like myself, so works great for me! JS: Kaitie has three different Danelectro pedals and a pastel mint Danelectro guitar. 11: You guys have a theme for your band right? Your colors are lavender, pink and mint yes? JS: Yeah all pastels! 11: So you guys are about to go on a west coast tour, what are you looking forward to or hoping to achieve? KH: I’m most looking forward to playing with all-girl bands. A lot of our shows are going to be all femme and queer femme bands. We have a benefit
for the Rock and Roll Camp for Girls, and I’m excited to get closer as bandmates. JS: I’m looking forward to meeting new people and exploring the different scenes. Going to DIY places, seeing what their underground is like verses here. 11: Where did you guys record this album and who helped you produce it? KH: We recorded with Eric Sabatino, at Sabatino Mopeds. He produced and mixed it. We had a huge say in the mixing process and were present for all of that with him. JS: It took us six months to be happy with the sounds but I’m really excited for this album to come out now.
11: Would you say the recording process was pretty arduous? JS: It was pretty quick–it was mostly getting the mixing the way that we wanted it. That’s what took the longest. 11: Did you go into the studio with everything written? KH: Yeah. JS: Actually no, remember we wrote the harmony parts for “Just Another Friday” and “I’m a Mess” at The Fixin’ To, which is like a block away. 11: I saw The Nude Party there when I first moved here, it’s up in St. Johns right? JS: Yes. It’s our favorite bar; I run the karaoke there, every Sunday. Twin
11: I know you guys have your tour and you’re definitely playing some festivals in and around Portland, but are there any other shows that you’re really excited to play? JS: We’re doing a show with Mere Mention in August that we’re excited for because it’s at the Fixin’ To. Plasma Blast, which is at the Hawthorne Theater, is something else we’re excited for. It’s a huge festival with a million of our friends! 11: Is there anything I missed, anything that you guys want to say to the readers? KH: Keep making music, girls! Start making music if you aren’t already and don’t be afraid to! JS: We’ll teach you, were down to give you drum lessons. » - Rosie Blanton
Peaks Karaoke! We air the new Twin Peaks and then karaoke immediately after so it’s the whole Twin Peaks crew. It’s amazing.
CATCH COOL SCHMOOL LIVE IN PORTLAND AUGUST 3 AT THE FIXIN’ TO “I’m a Mess” is a stand out track. It starts as a punk’s apology (“I really don’t mean to be such a mess”) and ends in remarkable three-part vocal harmonies, resembling some form of grace. Album closer, the introspective “Wavy Waves,” also sticks with you after hearing it. The album title is lifted from its refrain, “Time doesn’t care about me.” With its “don’t wannas,” “don’t cares” and “blah blah blahs,” Time
L Cool Schmool
Time Doesn’t Care Self-released
Seeing as they share their band name with a Bratmobile song, one would expect a heaping dose of riot grrl from Portland’s Cool Schmool. Time Doesn’t Care blends such punk fierceness with 1960s Phil Spector sweetness. This dichotomy is pretty well encapsulated by the blend of pop-sensible background vocals with Kaitie Hereford’s sneering leads. It amounts to a pillowy cotton candy landscape for Hereford to slouch and swagger through.
Doesn’t Care is Daria revitalized. The band wears their Portlandness on their sleeves: “Heading down to the Know, another night, catch another show.” Sticking to a purist’s garage pop palette, Cool Schmool does a lot with a little–never repeating themselves
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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
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in the ten-song Time Doesn’t Care. Tangled relationships, ambivalence and an unpretentious tribute to the lifestyles of the young and restless characterize the LP. It goes from punk to pop without ever going pop punk. Throw it in your headphones and amble down to The Know, ya know? » - Tyler Burdwood
PORTLAND’S MUSIC MAGAZINE SINCE 2011
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Photo by Todd Walberg
18 | ELEVEN PORTLAND | www.elevenpdx.com
wo truths, two lies: From Christian punk
The Party, Shauf has built a respectable discography on
drummer, Canadian Andy Shauf is a one-man
the backbone of delightfully deft songwriting, creative
tour de force hellbent on bringing (back?)
instrumentation and lyrics that skew to the side of poetic.
the clarinet in popular folk music. Yes, Shauf
He plays with concepts and imagery that calls to mind
started his musical career as a Christian punk
those small, often forgotten moments that we have daily
drummer. Yes, he is Canadian. No, he is not a
as humans, finding beauty in the quiet occasions.
one-man tour de force, but only because he
Perhaps the most distinctive feature of Shauf’s music
doesn’t want to be. And, no, he is not pushing for a
is the haunting gentleness of his voice. Distinct, and with
clarinet renaissance, although its incorporation gives his music a unique flavor.
a timbre that seems to sand the jagged edges out of spaces, he finds a delicate interplay between his instruments and
Really, Shauf just wants to make thoughtful, well-developed music that feeds the soul.
full-voiced softness. On The Party, Shauf sought to tell a more comprehensive narrative, and the stylistic vocals accent the various feels, characters and settings of the
Through four fulllength albums,
album. Although The Party features a more concept-driven
lineup of songs, the tracks still stand individually as well-
crafted, compelling vignettes. The clarinet is present, and looking back at The Bearer of Bad News, it’s an exercise in artistic development to catch how Shauf manages to find the sweet spots of each tapestry, weaving in the strippeddown sounds of a woodwind instrument in a strings world, giving the songs a kind of late-’70s sitcom theme feel, just, you know, if those themes were songs and the songs were good. Recently, Shauf toured through Europe, and in between stops, he took a minute to call across the pond to talk with us about his origins as a musician, his creative process, and the challenge of playing the flute with cigarette lungs.
www.elevenpdx.com | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 19
Photo by Todd Walberg
ELEVEN: Thanks for taking the time to talk with us today–appreciate it!
were all into skateboarding and stuff, so we listened to pop punk and punk music, so we started a band. We got involved with the hardcore and punk scene, and I was really into punk
Andy Shauf: No problem!
during my teen years, but then I started getting into the singer/songwriters. I started writing songs on my own while
11: So, where in France are you right now?
I was also drumming in the loud bands, but I kind of just phased out. Sometimes I listen to loud records still, but it’s
AS: Um… I have no idea [laughs]. We’re in a small town–
when I’m in a certain kind of mood.
we’ve been in a lot of smaller towns, and I’ve just kind of given up on remembering where we are. It’s nice, though!
11: What about the Christian influence? Is that something that you consider to still be present in your
11: How long have you been on this European tour? AS: It’s been about a week so far, I think?
lyrics or some of the imagery that you use? AS: Yeah, I mean, I was raised Christian, so when you’re immersed in that world for your entire life it’s kind of
11: I want to dive in and give a little background on
something that’s not going to leave you even if you leave that
you. I read that you started your career as a drummer
world. So, I think it’s something that still shows up here and
in a Christian punk band. I’m curious about that–is that
there–it’ll be something I think about forever.
something that has carried over, that punk influence, or is that something from the past that kind of helped jumpstart your career?
11: Along with that, when you’re writing music and some of the themes you have recurring in your lyrics, do you find them rising to that existential level where you find them
AS: I mean, when I started playing music, I was a
grappling with big questions, or do you like to drill down
drummer. You know when you’re a kid, and you’re in high
into some of the smaller things–the more visceral pieces of
school trying to put together a band? All my friends and me
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features national scene AS: When I’m writing, I tend to try to capture–I don’t try to tackle big questions. I think I’m more interested in the subtleties of life and situations rather than trying to make it really grandiose, you know? No one can really know that much, so I’m probably not going to answer any questions for anyone. 11: Sure. There’s a good balance in there. A lot of your music–your most recent album and your older work–has this tenderness, or calmness to it, and I was wondering if that was something that you focus on or if that is how your voice and musical choices just come through? AS: I think I’m a fairly… I’m a pretty gentle person. A lot more of your personality comes through in your music than you think sometimes, I think? I don’t really think about it as an idea; musically, it just kind of forms and then you can form it in a certain way, but, you know, I’m not going to write aggressive music because I’m not an aggressive person. I’m kind of a little bit more on the calm side. Also, my voice doesn’t work if I sing loud… I don’t have a very loud voice, so quietness is all I can do. 11: How would you say your music has grown over the course of your solo career? You’ve made a bunch of albums, been on some really big tours, and I’m wondering if there are any sounds or themes that strike you when you go back and listen to some of your older stuff? And then, moving forward, is there a progression you can see, personally? AS: I can definitely see myself making smarter choices as the albums go along. Even listening to The Party, there are some things I wish I would have done differently, but, you know, you have to make something in order to know that you want to make something else. I don’t know, I mean, I just try not to make the same mistakes twice, and try to expand on my horizons. Listening to my old albums, it’s surprising the things that worked, you know, because you always... I don’t think I’ll ever really know what I’m doing, but you learn more each time. And when I go back to an older album, it surprises me that I knew to do something, at that time. If that makes sense? 11: Is there an example or something that pops into your mind when you say that? AS: Well, when we were getting ready for this tour, we’re touring with clarinets this time, so I had to make charts for the clarinetists, and I’m going back into The Bearer of Bad News (2015) to listen again, and most of it is like, “Oh my god, that’s dumb.” But, some of it is like, “Oh wow, that’s really simple and it works.”
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features national scene When I was
AS: I think I use
making that album,
it… I think people give
I was learning how
me too much credit
to play clarinet, and
for it. I just use it like
I was just starting
a guitar. If someone is tracking a song and
to learn how to use
there’s an acoustic
things to support
part, and they’re like,
“Oh, this part needs
and stuff like that.
electric guitar,” it’s
So, it’s just like little
kind of like that. I just
flukes that work
decided that I didn’t
out, and it’s like, “That’s actually not horrible.”
want to do lead lines with an electric guitar,
Photo by Todd Walberg
so I got a clarinet, learned how to use it, and I just play along
11: You mentioned the clarinet, and that’s something I wanted to ask you about. It’s kind of unusual today to
to what I’m doing, and that’s how I write my arrangements. But it’s been really useful for me because it’s kind of taught me how to arrange for other instruments, so I think I’m going
hear the clarinet in most popular-style music, and I was
to keep using it, but I don’t know… I’ll probably just keep
wondering how you use it. Do you write with it? Or do you
using it like a guitar to sketch out ideas and maybe get some
write with it in mind, like, “Oh here’s where a clarinet line
different stuff going out there. I mean, how many albums can
could go?” How important is it as an instrument for you as
you really make that are just so much clarinet? I thought I
you continue to move forward as a musician?
was overdoing it on my first album…
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features national scene 11: It’s got such a unique sound and timbre, that even though you can make it a little bit diverse, you’re always very clear what it is, where it’s coming in and where it’s fitting into the music. You play quite a few instruments–are you learning any new ones? AS: I got a flute for Christmas, so I was trying to learn that a little bit while I had some off time. Gonna keep digging in on that. It’s a pretty similar instrument to a clarinet. Maybe I’ll just abandon the idea of learning instruments and just let people who can actually play them, play them… 11: What’s the biggest challenge right now? I’ve heard that it’s similar, so I’m curious what the most challenging part of the switchover is? AS: It’s like the clarinet in the way that the fingerings are–the keys are in the same order and the hand motions are the same. But, the mouth thing–it’s like blowing over a bottle, which is like, that seems easy, but it’s hard. It’s really hard. 11: Different kind of breath control? AS: Yeah… I’ve been a greasy cigarette smoker, so I don’t have lungs for that kind of instrument I guess. 11: So, with The Party, I wanted to know how that came together for you. A lot of other artists that we talk to, it seems everyone has such a different way of putting together songs, putting together albums, and some of them are very meticulous–piece by piece–and some of them just make a ton of music and pick out the good stuff. For The Party, how did that come together? AS: When I started writing for the album, I was kind of writing how I would for just any batch of songs: see what came out. But, I was ending up with a lot of narratives that were based around kind of a party scenario–not necessarily a party, but maybe like a bar or something–and I thought I could probably just tie them all together, so then it got a little more specific and harder to write after I gave myself that limitation. I didn’t end up with really any extra songs. I had like one song that tied in because it was written from Jeremy, one of the main character’s, perspective. So I was going to use that, but it was really slow so I cut it. I don’t know… it was hard. Trying to set up different scenarios for different people at this party was tricky. I think I did an OK job, but it wasn’t like... I didn’t plan it very well. There were a lot of loose ends I was trying to tie up at the last minute, and I think I ended up making a lot of the songs not connect as well as they could have? But I think that’s also one of the good things about the album is that it doesn’t all tie together super tightly, so people can draw their own conclusions.
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features national scene 11: You mentioned that once you put that constraint on yourself it became harder to write, but it seems like sometimes artists kind of put that constraint on themselves, put themselves into a box and then they have to write themselves out of it a little. Did you enjoy it? Or do you think at some point you’ll steer away from it? AS: At some point, I think I’ll steer away from it. I mean, I want to do a really good job of it instead of, you know, “I did it once and now I’ll move on.” I found it kind of interesting to do as songwriting for myself, so I’d like to do something really good with that format before I move on from it. I like the challenge of it. It seems like kind of a... not easy thing to do, but I don’t think people realize how fucking corny you can make a story album if you weren’t careful. You know? At a certain point you turn it into this musical theater thing, so you kind of walk a fine line. It’s nice to have a challenge like that. I’m enjoying it so far. 11: You’re coming through to play Pickathon in August! AS: It’s my first time, and people talk about it all the time, so I’m really looking forward to it! 11: Do you get through Oregon very often? I know you have some connections to local labels Tender Loving Empire and Party Damage Records. AS: I’ve spent a little bit of time in Oregon, I like it. It’s nice. 11: Thanks for your time today, Andy, looking forward to having you in Oregon! AS: See you in August. »
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community literary arts “What’s a fun topic that lots of people can write to, while also framing it around Portland?” I then came up with City of Weird as a fun tribute to the weirdness of Portland. I think submissions were happening around this time around two years ago, so it was a huge and long process. 11: How would you describe City of Weird to a new reader? GL: My way of describing it is that it’s basically The Twilight Zone set in Portland. It’s all about monsters, ghosts, spacemen, and all those great Weird Tales tropes, only set in Portland. Some stories are just fun, and other stories delve into unexpected places, but it’s also a very literary book. 11: City of Weird contributors range from established authors like Kevin Sampsell, Rene Denfeld, and Leslie What to never before published writers. How did you find your contributors?
Photo by Stephen O’Donnell
LITERARY ARTS Portland writer Gigi Little
igi Little is the mad scientist behind City of Weird (Forest Avenue Press, 2016), a science fiction pulp anthology cloaking the natural environments of Portland in the supernatural themes of The Twilight Zone. Here, Little carefully edited a body of work that includes contributions by Kevin Sampsell, Rene Denfeld, Leslie What, and many other great Portland writers that found her suturing each writer’s story together as the curator. As the book’s cover designer, its fiendish exterior appreciates 1950s issues of Weird Magazine and pays homage to the city in equal parts. Each story expertly balances the weird with the literary in fun and unexpected ways. And while the stories are the heart of the book, Little’s massive imagination as the curator, editor, and designer are what give her monster anthology life. ELEVEN: Let’s begin by discussing how you came up with City of Weird. How did you start developing your anthology conceptually? Gigi Little: I was a big Twilight Zone kid, so I’ve been interested in stories like these since I was little. I am also the graphic designer for Forest Avenue Press, and I wanted to pitch them an anthology for a while. My first pitch was for a collection of stories all about the devil that took place in Portland, which was more zeroed-in topically. Laura, the publisher, thought that idea was interesting, but maybe that my concept was too narrow. I went back and asked myself,
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GL: We did open submissions through Submittable, but I also invited people I thought would be particularly good for this collection to contribute. I wanted a graphic novel type story, so I outright invited Jonathan Hill because I knew he would be perfect for the collection. However, when I put out the call for submissions, I said, “Picture the many-tentacled beasts that live under the Burnside Bridge, and that’s what I am looking for here.” We had people submit who wrote books and others who hadn’t been published before. It was cool. I read for about twelve months, so curating it was hard. 11: Can you talk about the curatorial process, and how you decided what to include in your anthology? GL: Laura, the publisher, could see author bios and things like that, but I read all of the submissions blind, so I could only see the stories. At the time, I was in the Dangerous Writers Workshop, so I knew a number of those writers were going to submit. The blind somehow made it so that I wasn’t able to discern who the writers were, even though I knew their work and their voices. Once in awhile Laura would flag an author with diversity, because it was important for our collection to have a wide range of writers. But I just read, read, read, and I picked the stories that I really liked. 11: How did authorial experience affect the editorial process between editing a HarperCollins published author to a first time published writer? GL: Every story was different. Some were close to being finished and others were where I would ask, “I love this, but what would you say about changing this huge thing?” I feel like I learned the most personally from editing Leigh Anne Kranz’s “Orca Culture,” which was her first published story ever. I would tell her, “I’m bumping on this thing, but something is bothering me about this passage.” We’d talk about it, and she’d carve out a tiny little word that made her piece perfect. I also had to edit Rene Denfeld, who wrote The Child Finder—great book, go read it! I had a lot of anxiety about editing her, but she
community literary arts was wonderful, as was everyone else. It was a great experience. 11: Can you talk about some of the challenges that went into the editorial process from a writer’s perspective? GL: I’ve been on the other side for so long, whether in my other published work, in a workshop, or how I might take an editor’s criticism. Being on the other side was intimidating in a different way, because I didn’t know if I had the moxie or the guts to really mess with these peoples’ beautiful stories—I know how that feels! I tend to be a neurotic person, and I worried about what these writers were going to do once they saw my suggestions. Some writers love getting their work edited, while editing can hurt others. There were little things too. Like, I had at least two different stories that dealt with octopuses. I had octopi and octopuses, so we looked at The Chicago Manual of Style and it was octopuses there, so I had to tell people it wasn’t octopi.
11: Returning to octopuses, you not only curated and edited City of Weird, but you designed the cover as well. Did the design process have any impact on the content? GL: Your question makes me realize that I was in a unique situation where I was doing both the editing and the design at the same time. I now wonder whether those two things informed each other. And I think they did, because all of the stories are present day and modern, but the cover and the illustrations were based on 1950s pulp magazines. I think my vision for the cover was there even before I started taking the stories. Not necessarily the octopus, but that I would do a cover based on those old magazines and books from the 1950s. When I put out the call for submissions, I did it along with old pictures of Weird Tales, and Amazing Stories. That thing in my head that loves that old retro style effectively informed what I took through submissions. Not that the stories ended up being campy, or that they took place in the 1950s, but that there was something there that crossed over in the written content. 11: You are a writer, but you didn’t contribute a weird story of your own. How come? GL: I wanted to, but that wasn’t on the table because it felt too insider for me to put my own story in there. I would love to write a story about a break in the space-time continuum happening at Stark’s Vacuum Museum, but I don’t know if I have the gumption to edit it all by myself. If I did, I’d submit my own story. 11: Is there any intention to make another City of Weird? Perhaps a City of Beard?
Little stuff like that felt intimidating. 11: Were there any takeaways from your experience as an editor? GL: What makes a good editor is that you explain changes to the writer you edit. I learned a lot about communication. I explained everything I did. It took a lot of work. I probably took more time than most people because I spent so much time explaining what I did with their stories. I’d apologize about the amount of markups, but I wanted to explain to them with detail about what I was doing. 11: You also had to deal with organization… GL: Yes. You have all of those little things like octopuses versus octopi, whether that person needs to be doing that thing, or how they say what. Then I had the big picture task of putting it together. I decided it would be in different parts, so I had to find themes. I made a whole section on dogs, a whole section on things that come up from the deep, along with many other parts. The organization part of it was so hard. Every single step of the way was hard and great.
GL: I never thought of City of Beard, but I have thought of doing a second City of Weird that zeroes into something more specific like spacemen. We also thought of branching out to other cities like Austin for another book. City of Beards is actually pretty cool though! 11: City of Weird is doing very well in bookstores. How are you reacting to its success now going into its third pressing? GL: Making money at all with a small press is nearly impossible. This book is helping provide wheels for the rest of the press, and that is the reason I proposed it in the first place. We are doing fabulous books at Forest Avenue, but I wanted to do something novel with this collection. The whole time I had this anxiety where I thought, “Guess what, it’s not going to sell and nobody is going to care.” But it did sell, and it still amazes me that it keeps selling! However, I think the best part about this whole experience for me is when writers call it “our book,” or “my book.” It is so amazing to hear them take ownership of it. Being a part of an anthology is all I ever wanted in my life. It took me until I was almost forty to get there, but I did it. » - Morgan Nicholson
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community visual arts Photo by Mercy McNab
Portland artist Sarah Wertzberger
nvented by a man named Joseph Marie Jacquard as far back as 1804, the Jacquard weaving process is perhaps the most important weaving invention. This process made way for the automatic production of unlimited varieties of complex patterns in weaving. Utilizing this very process in her textile work, Sarah Wertzberger is able to make the paintings she has made into beautiful decorative blankets. As a multidisciplinary Portland artist and designer, Wertzberger is also very talented in making a variety of ceramic wares available for viewing on her website. A woman who wears many artistic hats, her work will be featured this fall in RISD Museum’s 21st century collection.
SW: I majored in painting as an undergrad because I wanted to be an “artist” and I thought this was the way to do it. I thought that I had to paint or sculpt to be a “fine artist” and that the other things like textiles or ceramics were not as serious. I lived in New York after school in 2003 for five years, trying to work, paint and be a part of an art scene. My experience felt disjointed, like I didn’t fit in, and gradually living there made less and less sense. In 2008, I moved back to Lawrence, Kansas and stopped making art and felt lost. My heart was broken, but more open. Because of that, I could open myself to other possibilities of how to live. That was when the idea of what art is, or what being an artist is fell away and I became more myself. I just tried to learn new things, like how to grow food and cook better, basically to increase my quality of life. I had done some weaving in undergrad and really enjoyed it, but the school I went to viewed weaving as “craft,” which was kind of a bad word there at the time, so I didn’t feel comfortable with my interest in it. Anyhow, ten years after undergrad I got the idea to go back to graduate school to explore weaving further. Textiles was a back door, an approachable entry into making again. It has an under the radar feeling that’s both feminine and subversive, and that’s where I wanted to be. Ceramics are also something I really enjoy making. Working in clay is very different from textiles. Clay can almost be as immediate as drawing, it’s a nice foil for the long set up process on the loom that is required for most weaving. 11: With a degree in both textiles and painting, does one influence your work more than the other? SW: It’s a back and forth. Painting laid the foundation for my sense of color. Sometimes I might paint something to be incorporated into a weaving using the Jacquard loom. Lately weave structures and color combinations have served as the basis for my woven designs. 11: Considering the variety of mediums you work with, do you identify most with any particular label or type of artist? What type of artist would you call yourself?
ELEVEN: How does where you are from/how you grew up inform the art you make? Sarah Wertzberger: I grew up in the college town Lawrence, Kansas in 1980’s suburbia. Growing up in that suburban lifestyle fueled a sense of separation from meaningful connections to food, nature, objects that surround us and people. Now I try to integrate my experience of life by understanding things around me more intimately, like how knowing where things come from and how they are made. Designing and making my own things like ceramics and cloth has a DIY feel that is empowering and connective. 11: Why did you choose to create 3D art like textiles and ceramics vs painting on canvas?
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“SW/TWM Plaid” (wool and cotton, woven on an industrial dobby loom at The Weaving Mill, 2017)
community visual arts SW: Mostly I try to avoid labels, because for me, they create a level of self-doubt that is a hindrance to my creative process. However, at a basic level I would say that I am an artist/designer who is driven by process. I enjoy applying my spontaneous and intuitive creative approach to new machinery, techniques and materials. In this way, making is a process of play and discovery. It’s all about having fun. 11: Is that the type of artist you envisioned you would become when you first became interested in being an artist? SW: I remember wanting to be an artist from the time I was probably 7 or 8 years old. When I was in high school I imagined being an outcast/ lone genius type of artist, or whatever my idea of what an artist was supposed to be. For some reason I identified with the post-impressionist painter Toulouse-Lautrec, who partied, played dress up with friends, made art and had a bone disease that made him really short. Now that I have matured (hopefully), I would prefer that my concept and ideas of art and design be more integrated into everyone’s everyday lives and the individual artist not be put onto a pedestal (pun intended). Maybe that is why I have been drawn to making objects that are useful. I am not trying to be simplistic but, I just do what I feel compelled to do and try not to worry too much about where it fits in or who I am as an artist. I feel like if you follow what you are interested in, there will be a place for it somewhere.
Photo by Mercy McNab
11: Do you have a favorite product that you make? SW: I am always interested in new methods and forms of making things, and have enjoyed making ceramic cups because it is a form I keep coming back to. I enjoy making them over and over because I feel like I can’t quite figure it out, so it maintains my interest. There is just so much to learn about ceramics that it seems endless. 11: When designing each product, like your ceramics and blankets, what goes into envisioning each piece? Do you usually consider the functionality of what it would be used for or is it meant to be more of an art piece? SW: My work falls somewhere between art and design. For the blankets and ceramics, I definitely consider their functional qualities. Weight, texture, size and handle are important to the user’s experience of the mugs. For the blankets, I consider the hand feel and ability to be washed and handled as part of its functionality as a blanket. I also think of the blankets as an art project. I approached The Weaving Mill with an interest in applying my intuitive and fluid creative
approach to the structured processes of weaving on industrial looms. Over the course of nine months, I went to Chicago several times for sample weaving sessions. My intention was to use bold and playful color combinations paired with graphic weave structures to create optical vibrations that conveyed a sense of energy and joy. These open-ended weaving sessions resulted in a series of structure, color, and material samples that laid the foundation for the composition of the final blankets. The project began with the premise that TWM would push the limitations of the industrial loom in whatever way the fabrics called for to bring the spontaneity and intuitive nature of my process into the mill context in a new way. 11: A lot of the work you make requires special tools and machinery, do you work out of a personal studio or share a space? SW: I go where the machinery is when I can, but also have a loom and studio at home. I enjoy shared spaces because they can have a supportive community feel. When I collaborated with “The Weaving Mill” in Chicago to make the blankets, I
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community visual arts flew there multiple times to get the work done, and that was part of the fun. I also work in a shared ceramics studio called Hey Ceramics Studio in Portland. They have wheels, kilns and workspace, so it’s nice not to have to buy all the equipment when you can share instead. 11: How does color play into the pieces you make? Do you have a favorite color scheme? SW: Color is super important to me. I start with large color palettes and don’t really define how a piece will be colored until I am weaving it. Even when I am making larger pieces, I am still in a state of play. That way, I can respond to color proportions and combinations as I am making the piece. I leave allowance for spontaneity in the process because that is what is fun to me. 11: What is your Jacquard woven collection? SW: On a Jacquard loom, each warp string (the vertical threads of the weaving) have the ability to lift independently from the other warp threads, making for the widest range of patterning available on any loom. Essentially, you could make a weaving that looks like a photo, it can be that detailed. I used RISD’s jacquard loom to weave my designs that were based on my paintings and collages.
“Tromp as Writ” (wool and cotton, woven on an industrial dobby loom at The Weaving Mill, 2017)
11: How do you juggle making personal art, working for Nike and teaching? SW: It’s really hard to find the right balance, but I am making it work for now. I can’t do it all, but I am trying, haha. During the Fall I was collaborating with The Weaving Mill, then in the Spring I was teaching at OCAC. Having an income independent of my art enables me to be more free in the creation of my personal work, but at the same time, finding time to make the work is the hardest part. Sometimes I struggle with feeling guilty, crazy, and/or selfish for having the need to make personal work, but luckily I have a partner that has been really supportive. I recently went to an artist residency for two weeks in Maine called Haystack. Short term artist residencies are a great way to focus on personal work, while still maintaining a day job. 11: What are you working on now? SW: I am working on finishing a woven piece I started at Haystack. I wove it in panels and have one more panel to weave. I am not sure what it will be yet. 11: Do you have any events coming up where people can see your work? SW: My blanket collaboration with The Weaving Mill will be on view in the RISD Museum’s 21st century collection this Fall. If you are in Providence go check it out! » - Lucia Ondruskova
FIND THIS ARTIST ONLINE WEB: WWW.SARAHWERTZBERGER.COM IG: SARAHWERTZBERGER Please enjoy Sarah's piece "Duck, Duck, Duck..." (wool, cotton and metallic thread woven on a jacquard loom, 2013) decorating our inside back cover.
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