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MUSIC, COMMUNITY, AND CULTURE IN PORTLAND

ISSUE 75 | AUG 2017

ELEVEN PDX MAGAZINE - VOLUME 7, ISSUE 3

COMPLIMENTARY


contents

ELEVEN PDX MAGAZINE VOLUME 7

THE USUAL 4 Letter from the Editor 4 Staff Credits

ISSUE NO. 3

FEATURES Local Feature 14 Black Belt Eagle Scout

Cover Feature 18 NEW MUSIC

The Domestics

5 Aural Fix Alex Napping Laetitia Sadier Source Ensemble Milo Dent May

8 Short List 8 Album Reviews Guantanamo Baywatch Jack Cooper The War On Drugs Frankie Rose

COMMUNITY Literary Arts 26 Portland writer Jenny Forrester

Visual Arts 28 Artists Gregg Harris and Patricia Rubinelli

LIVE MUSIC 10 Know Your Venue The Jack London Review

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


HELLO PORTLAND! As we turn the pages into August, we enter one of the most epic months for music in Portland. Kicking off summer the right way, Pickathon treats us with a weekend of camping and performances by Charles Bradley, Dinosaur Jr, Ty Segall, Jonathan Richman, Andy Shauf (as featured on last month’s cover), and many more. At the end of the month, Project Pabst/ MFNW brings even more legends to town—Iggy Pop, Beck, Nas, Spoon, and again, many more. Hopefully you’ve already secured tickets, because it’s a pretty safe bet that both festivals will sell out. But don’t worry fam, that’s not where the fun stops. Also this month, we’re graced by new releases from Guantanamo Baywatch, The War On Drugs, Oh Sees, Oneohtrix Point Never (with an Iggy Pop collab!), Angelo de Augustine and more. There are also a myriad of shows worth checking out, outside of the festival circuit—Alex Napping, Naomi Punk and Psychic Ills at Mississippi Studios; Swirlies and Laetitia Sadier at the Doug Fir; Kid Koala at Holocene; Washed Out at the Roseland; Milo at Kelly’s Olympian… See you out there. Dutifuly yours,

- Travis Leipzig, Managing Editor

4 | ELEVEN PORTLAND | www.elevenpdx.com

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 LITERARY ARTS: Scott Mchale, Morgan Nicholson VISUAL ARTS: Mercy McNab GRAPHIC DESIGN Dustin Mills

ONLINE Mark Dilson, Kim Lawson, Michael Reiersgaard

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

GENERAL INQUIRIES info@elevenpdx.com

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 Mercy McNab

ADVERTISING sales@elevenpdx.com ELEVEN WEST MEDIA GROUP, LLC Ryan Dornfeld Dustin Mills

SPECIAL THANKS Our local business partners who make this project possible. Our friends, families, associates, lovers, creators and haters. And of course, our city!


AURAL FIX

new music aural fix Photo by Helmut Studio

up and coming music from the national scene

1

ALEX NAPPING AUGUST 9 | MISSISSIPPI STUDIOS

Alex Napping is collaborative in nature, but it’s clear in both namesake and instrumentation that Alex Cohen, the principal singer, songwriter, and rhythm guitarist, is the band’s fulcrum. Her vocals provide a delicate and airy focal point for sophisticated pop arrangements that somehow feel both energetic and restrained. The instrumentation pushes and pulls between dark and driving and sweet and groovy, with an overarching sense of tension. It kind of feels like the band is holding back just enough to keep the listener waiting for a resolution that never comes. This dynamic allows them to cover a lot of emotional ground–you’ll feel angsty, triumphant, and maybe a little sad, all tempered with a sense of optimism, like the bittersweet feeling of growth hard won by trial and error. In May, about a year after Cohen relocated to New York, the band released their sophomore LP, Mise En Place, on Father/ Daughter Records. The album’s title is a phrase used by French chefs to refer to having all ingredients prepped and portioned, tools gathered and movements choreographed before beginning to cook. With all potential chaos averted, the chef can achieve a sense of flow conducive to finessing the finer details that make the dishes shine. The album explores the tension that exists

Photo by Olia Eichenbaum

2

LAETITIA SADIER SOURCE ENSEMBLE AUGUST 22 | DOUG FIR

There’s an undeniable charm—some may say novelty—to French pop. However, the digital globalization of music has opened up borders to an unprecedented degree, and what was formerly exotic is now immediately accessible. The days when Yé-yé pop was only available on pricey imports and compilations are gone; from Alizée to Zazie, French music is attainable with minimal effort. Enter Stereolab alum Laetitia Sadier’s fourth solo album Find Me Finding You, a collection of 10 songs that hum and

where best made plans collide with things over which we have no control. Cohen wrote the album over an extended period of time while a formative relationship unravelled, and without intending it, the album chronicles her process of coming to terms with that loss of control. For obvious reasons, the songs sound personal and emotive, but they don’t come off sappy or confessional. Each of them stands on their own merits as pop songs, but they also form a cohesive personal document. Alex Napping play Mississippi Studios Wednesday, August 9 with Portland’s Little Star and Surfer Rosie. The locals are Good Cheer Records label-mates, and each alone should be a must see attraction for any self-respecting Portland music aficionado. » - Christopher Klarer

swing with an avant-garde interpretation of café-ready French pop style. More often than not, Sadier’s unabashedly Yé-yé-influenced music skews closer to the sonic weirdness of ‘60s Zappa than the silky sheen of, say, Saint Etienne. Yet Sadier’s ear for vocal harmony ultimately makes the record smooth and soothing. Harmonies rule much of Find Me Finding You. At first trumpet, then synth duet with her gentle vocal on “Galactic Emergence,” flowing into the peculiarity and skepticism of “The Woman with the Invisible Necklace.” “Double Voice, Extra Voice” eventually settles into a lovely groove of climbing bass and tuneful “Ba-ba-ba-ba-bah’s” that exemplify France’s pop past. “Love Captive” meanders from the simplest chiming guitar and vocal harmonies to a mellow layered chorus and an oddball crescendo. “Sacred Project” also suggests a Zappa influence, though closer in tone to the musique concréte of Lumpy Gravy or Civilization Phase III, broken up by and eventually devolving into edited honks and chirps. Sadier’s French vocal tracks may flow more smoothly than those in English, but the juxtaposition of the two both recall and seem sharper than those of her stylistic forbearer Nico. Like Nico, Sadier will talk-sing her way through a track, but she’s far more capable of versatility; her every word doesn’t sound sardonic or accusatory. No one would accuse either of vocal virtuosity, but Sadier is flexible enough to inform each track with a gentler kind of soul, even when her message— more often than not—is pessimistic. » - Eric Evans

www.elevenpdx.com | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 5


new music aural fix

3

MILO AUGUST 25 | KELLY’S OLYMPIAN

Are hip-hop artists still poets? That question is not intended to shade the makers of some of the most creative new music today, but it’s worth considering, as words and imagery are at the very soul of the genre. The idea of poetry in hip-hop goes beyond punchlines and rhyming. It’s the ability to create a setting and mash the visceral with the intellectual–a ride-along through the psyche of the speaker. Milo, a hip-hop artist out of Wisconsin, is throwback in the real sense of the word. Driven by a lyricism that feels more like beat poetry, Milo strikes a balance between the high-minded questioning of what it takes to find an identity in our buzzword-oriented, brand-driven, upsidedown and hypocritical society, with a sardonic wit that punches holes in the image of what a “rapper” is supposed to be. Since his 2011 mixtape debut, I Wish My Brother Rob Was Here, rife with literary allusions and intimate asides, Milo has steadily built a discography that captures the scattershot workings of a young human in the information age. Where Golden Era hip-hop favored untouchable bravado, Milo belongs to a new generation of artists that carry a hyper-awareness expressed via lyrics that tear through the flesh in search of a soul they’re not entirely sure exists. Milo is a poet. He raps about writers, sex, existentialism, race, identity, popular culture, and he may possibly be the

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Photo by Spencer Wells

most prolific name dropper of philosophers you’ve ever heard. He raps over minimalist beats that are often little more than snare, bass and an ethereal electronic line. 2015’s So The Flies Don’t Come is strung together by an aesthetic that wobbles between spoken-word quips and intense lyricism bottled up by low-key electronic beats. He recently dropped “Magician (Suture),” a single (in a loose sense of the word) off his forthcoming Who Told You To Think??!!?!?!?!, due out later this month. “Magician” is full of dualities–diamonds and coals, Aristotle’s mind/body dualism, war and serenity. “The Howizter in the garden of my mind,” he raps. In less than twoand-a-half minutes, he spits out a verse that takes five times as long to unpack. That is the nature of Milo, the rapper-poet for whom we’ve been waiting. » - Charles Trowbridge


new music aural fix Photo by Jason Frank Rothenberg

4

DENT MAY AUGUST 25 | REVOLUTION HALL

Dent May’s new album Across the Multiverse is in no way an update to the Beatles classic on Let It Be. But when you throw around a word like “multiverse” and you’re not talking about superhero movies or advanced physics, it should be with good reason. May’s songwriting is just that, deserving. Where other people simply write songs, he makes his visions into sounds that we can appreciate for their multi-instrumentalist virtue and depth of composition. May’s tracks conjure images of the artist hunched over the mixing board, oozing out catchy ideas that find a romantic specificity with the sounds of the past. He embodies the characteristics of legendary songwriters; right down to the way his Elvis Costello-like cadence easily slides into the polished harmonies of Brian Wilson. If you need any more evidence of May’s transformation between records, look no further than his album art. On the cover of the previous album Warm Blanket, May wears the facial expression of a songwriter in a bathtub–poised yet

questioning your approval. Across the Multiverse’s cover looks like a spinoff of E.L.O., making it the perfect thing to enjoy from the roof of a tall building at sunset. Where some bands choose to end their career playing on top of a building, others get to pick up where they left off. Let the record show that May is the perfect candidate to be picking up the baton. » - Matt Carter

QUICK TRACKS A “ACROSS THE MULTIVERSE” The title track to Dent May’s new album is a spacey male/female duet that foretells of unlikely love between two celestial beings. Danceable synths and ‘70s pop horns are the abundant life form.

B “I’M GONNA LIVE FOREVER UNTIL I’M DEAD” May plays jaunty piano man to a lush backing of orchestral strings and a ripping psych guitar solo.

www.elevenpdx.com | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 7


new music album reviews

ALBUM REVIEWS THIS MONTH’S BEST R REISSUE

L LOCAL RELEASE

Short List Queens of the Stone Age Villains

L Guantanamo Baywatch

Desert Center Suicide Squeeze Records

Oh Sees Orc Grizzly Bear Painted Ruins Angelo De Augustine Swim Inside the Moon Gogol Bordello Seekers and Finders Iron & Wine Beast Epic Widowspeak Expect the Best Shelley Short Pacific City

L

Sweltering out their fourth fulllength release in the dead of the summer heat, Guantanamo Baywatch has located and paid homage to a sweaty little town between California and Arizona, titling the album after the road tour gas stop, releasing Desert Center, out August 4 on Suicide Squeeze Records. The album comes ripping into formation with the first song “Conquistador,” kicking it off

The Mynabirds Be Here Now Mystery Skulls One of Us Secret Drum Band Dynamics

L

Liars Themes from Crying Fountain The Fresh & Onlys Wolf Lie Down Buy it

Stream it

Toss it

Jack Cooper Sandgrown Trouble In Mind Records

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Jack Cooper, front man of the London-based ‘60s psych-tinged pop group Ultimate Painting, releases his first solo record, Sandgrown, out August 25 on Trouble In Mind Records. This nine song album is inspired by Jack’s hometown of Blackpool, a seaside resort town in North West England that clearly influences his

with a deep, bone penetrating bass line that draws in attention accompanied by precise and intense double picking on the six string sustained by classic, powerful and explosive surf percussion. The transition from intensity to melodic sensuality on this album flows seamlessly as the second song “Neglect” sways in with a dirty sexuality and hipswinging melody that has the energy to seduce, accompanied by a soothing and consoling groove. As the album shape shifts, “The Scavenger” screams out with an elastic, mind-bending style that erupts and explodes in a sea of true, undeniable cool. Paddling through the swells and breaks of this charming yet debilitating collection, we find ourselves in a wipeout of sentimental sensuality as we can’t help but empathetically experience a certain emotional recoiling in romantic regret as “Blame Myself” soothes and tears at the heart strings. Words like undeniable and impressive come to mind but are a shy cry and complete understatement of the truth when it comes to Desert Center. This one is as hot as the August sun. » - Ellis Samsara inherent relaxed beachy energy and aesthetic he applies to his music. Each track possesses a beautifully simple compilation of easy-listening instrumentation and mellow, drifting vocal melodies that transport you beachside to a lazy summer day. There are consistent themes of nostalgia and self-evaluation. Cooper helps us uncover our insecurities and thoughts about where we came from, what makes us who we are and the daily struggles of defining one’s identity. He reveals an unapologetic vulnerability in his lyrics, but tends to let bold instrumentation take the lead on the majority of the album, which can tend to drown out his vocals at times. A few tracks omit vocals completely, like on “Sandgrown pt.1 rev.1” and “Sandgrown pt.2 rev.1,” allowing you to sift through the warm and breezy energy of the island-inspired instrumental numbers, taking you inside his little seaside town. » - Kelsey Rzepecki


new music album reviews Wisconsin farmland, admittedly a

ear for production will hear much

an album recorded in New York City

to zoom in on. Recording engineer

and Los Angeles.

Shawn Everett proves himself a

The War On Drugs mastermind,

The War On Drugs A Deeper Understanding Atlantic Records Well, it’s not punchy. A Deeper Understanding, the new full-length from The War On Drugs pairs Desireera Bob Dylan vocal delivery with layers of synthesizers and dirty guitar solos. It stretches the pop song to its longest form. There’s a lot to like, but it demands a patient listen, with just one song clocking in under five minutes. I first listened while driving through

Frankie Rose Cage Tropical Slumberland Records Frankie Rose has been around the block. A career beginning in Brooklyn with the Vivian Girls, Crystal Stilts and the Dum Dum Girls before branching into three solo albums, she found herself in LA looking for a new spark. The results were not what Rose expected, and she returned to Brooklyn recharged, digging her heels further into what she already knew she

Tone freaks and those with an

setting far too sober and rural to suit

worthy collaborator. Some of the

Adam Granduciel, takes a near-

more surprising choices pay off.

symphonic approach to the

“Holding On” has a “Take on Me” sort of

arrangement, with tasty pop phrases

groove and some brokenhearted Neil

appearing and phasing out with

Young harmonica adds an emotional

purpose. His scratchy guitar solos are

resonance to “Nothing to Find.” “In

affecting and inspired. But when it’s

Chains” bottles lightning in the chorus,

not center stage, the guitar is mixed

its passion contained–but on the verge

low or left out, just another brick in

of boiling over. There is a good mind

the sonic wall. The music sounds like

meld at play between the performers,

a pastiche of ‘70s and ‘80s rock with

the slog of ample touring paying off

all the riffs airlifted out. There’s a

in evident musical communication.

Springsteen quality here, but The

The players handle the space between

Boss is buried under a good handful of

phrases especially well.

painkillers. Some of these lyrics are hard sells,

An odd blend of indulgence and restraint characterizes A Deeper

the music evoking more depth than the

Understanding. The band holds back

words. “Am I just living between the

and explores the full potential of its

beauty and the pain?” Adam Granduciel

songs. It’s antithetical to our society’s

asks on “Strangest Thing.” The songs

ADHD media problem, and that might

seem to center on the person himself,

be the point. The result is the opposite

navigating his own inner life and

of radio bait, but polished enough to

ruminating on love, travel, nostalgia.

sound like it. » - Tyler Burdwood

needed to do. On her fourth solo album, Cage Tropical, she’s getting into her groove. The opener, “Love in Rockets,” lifts off with sentimental melodies aflutter while she tells her story of catapulting into a new life from “a wheel of wasting my life,” and “a wheel of wasting my time.” Her voice is more clear and upfront than ever while still retaining her way of fanning through harmonies with herself. “Trouble” speaks most directly to her sense of stagnation while living in LA. She professes, “I’m being dramatic but if I stay static, edges start to fray, then decay,” as the track blends into whirring synths, conjuring provocations of UFOs and spaceships. The music video for “Trouble” is where Rose gives us the strongest insight into her fascination with the paranormal, with four minutes of old school, trippy visuals and a phone number flashing at the bottom of the screen. Of course, I called. An old recording greets me, saying “This is your first contact, the nightly search

for the truth continues… the lines are open all night.” It’s a bit more than a nod to Art Bell, the founder of the ‘80s radio show, Coast to Coast, that aired from 1-5AM featuring interviews about any and all paranormal experiences from callers and experts. His name also happens to be the title of the following track that showcases one of the more dazzling synth washes on the album. Frankie’s sci-fi inspiration extends deeper than just a favorite radio show. The album’s 36 celestial minutes are ripe with takes from ‘80s horror movies, particularly ones scored by John Carpenter. While the tight progressions of S U R V I V E, the band behind the Stranger Things soundtrack, more closely resemble Carpenter’s work, the influence of synth-and-sci-fi-pairing-legends that Frankie cites is undeniably present. This is perhaps most apparent on the tip toeing progressions of “Dancing Down the Hall” and “Game to Play.” » - Gina Pieracci

www.elevenpdx.com | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 9


live music

Photo by Eirinn Gragson

KNOW YOUR VENUE The Jack London Review | 529 SW 4th Ave

I

t’s a hot summer night downtown, and I’m tucked away inside a hidden jazz club within a century-old building. It’s plush and dimly lit, emanating sultry sounds and tempting cocktails. Billiards and betting are upstairs in The Rialto Poolroom and the adjoining Jockey Club and Off Track Betting. One could say it’s all of the vices under one roof. The Rialto has been a long time pillar of Portland nights. This included the basement bar known as the Jack London, monikered after the Pacific Northwest novelist. And it was all set to close last Christmas due to inflation. That same week late in 2016, Jimmy Mak’s, one of the last jazz venues in the city announced it would also close. This was a huge blow, but Portland purveyors of nightlife, Frank Faillace and partners, decided to reopen The Rialto and reinvent the Jack London into a crucially needed jazz venue. They approached Soul’d Out Productions, who have surged diverse shows in Portland, especially during their Soul’d Out

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Music Festival every spring. The plan to reopen quickly was hindered by a fire, but worked as an advantage, giving more time to fully renovate. “We were digging up the history of jazz and digging into the original foundation of the space,” says co-owner of Soul’d Out, Nicholas Harris. “It was about pulling up layers of old ugly ‘70s tile and finding the original hardwood floors and dark wood posts. It’s not too hard to imagine what a classic jazz club should look or feel like. Our inspirations were classic clubs in D.C. basements, like The Village Vanguard and The Bohemian Caverns.” Harris cites that part of what brought them to Portland was noting that this type of music was underutilized here. There was an underserved audience that needed more diversity in shows, in spite of Portland’s rich jazz history. “We’ve focused on that history,” he tells me. “This was known as Swing City, Jazz Town, Jumptown... Some of the greatest jazz artists played Vanport in the ‘40s and ‘50s–Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Sarah Vaughan.” The new Jack London Revue is a high-end jazz supper club featuring a full menu, cabaret seating, cocktail waitresses, a really nice stage and a PA capable of handling big name touring artists. It hosts weekly resident artists that represent different aspects of Portland’s jazz culture, including The Mel Brown B-3 Organ Group, Coco Columbia’s Cacophony, Farnell and Friends, Neo Soul Sundays and more.


live music “It was critical for us to pick up where Jimmy Mak’s left off and give a lot of the core people that played there a home again,” says Harris. “These artists also bring their contacts to help curate future shows. This gives us different audiences and groups of people, all complimentary of each other.” Their calendar for August includes acts such as long time Portland resident Andy Stokes, LA’s Urban Renewal Project, and NYCbased world-music/jazz-fusion artists House Of Waters. “What we see happening in Portland is hand-in-hand with what is happening nationally–jazz is having a very real resurgence,” says Harris. This brings to mind that Portland now has four Jazz Festivals (PDX Jazz Fest, Cathedral Park Jazz Fest, and the upcoming Vanport Jazz Festival and Montavilla Jazz Fest happening in August), Portland State University houses the LeRoy Vinnegar Jazz Institute, and we’re seeing success for young artists like Esperanza Spalding and saxophonist Hailey Niswanger. “There’s a younger audience for this, and it’s very exciting to see a lot of younger players coming in and pushing this forward, making it a living thing again,“ Harris concludes. “The point is we have a lot of people in town that support this culture and want to see it and celebrate it.” » - Brandy Crowe

Local band Amirah playing Jack London. Photo by Eirinn Gragson

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live music AUGUST CRYSTAL BALLROOM

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1332 W BURNSIDE

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3 8 10 11 12 15

Taking Back Sunday | Every Time I Die | All Get Out Lucent Dossier Experience | Rob Garza | Goldcap Bomba Estereo DJ Quik + Scarface | J-Ritz & Saywords Joywave | July Talk | Ron Gallo Reckless Kelly | Cascade Crescendo 16-17 Sylvan Esso | Flock of Dimes

2

HOLOCENE

1 2 3 5

1001 SE MORRISON

Surf Curse | French Vanilla Siren & The Sea | PWRHAUS | All Night JLIN | Swan Meat | Neybuu Survival Skills | VNPRT | Feel Good Green | Fritzwa

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TA VE

15

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NORTH WEST BROADWAY ST.

14

5

5

PEARL OLD TOWN 2

BURNSIDE ST.

22

405

DOW NTO WN

1

25 18

7

23

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29

GRAND AVE.

6

128 NE RUSSELL 22 Pokey Lafarge | Ruston Kelly 25 Mark Lanegan Band | Duke Garwood | Lyenn 27 Dead Cross | Secret Chiefs 3

MLK BLVD.

WONDER BALLROOM

RUSSELL ST.

ON

MLK BLVD.

5

WILLIAMS AVE.

3939 N MISSISSIPPI

PJ Morton | Ash. Marika Hackman | The Big Moon Bobby Bare JR. | Quinn Deveaux | Kevin Lee Florence The Rocketboys | The Wistles & The Bells The Junebugs | Balto | Falcon Heart Naomi Punk Meat Wave | Rad Payoff Alex Napping | Little Star | Surfer Rosie Ian Moore Eilen Jewell The Ghost Ease | Jo Passed | Ah God Psychic Ills Jerry Joseph & The Jackmormons Rebirth Brass Band Margaret Glaspy | Liza Anne Coco Columbia Lost Bayou Ramblers Jason Boland & The Stragglers

FR

23RD AVE.

MISSISSIPPI STUDIOS

VANCOUVER AVE.

830 E BURNSIDE

Delta rae | Liz Longley David Wax Museum Orquestra Pacifico Tropical | Candace | Ah God Stu Larsen Vokab Kompany Swirlies | Cruel Summer | Tender Age Caleb Klauder Country Band | Miss Lonely Hearts Weather Machine | Haley Heynderickx | Sama Dams Inter Arma | Atriarch | Sol Tyler Childers | Sammy Brue Fruit Bats (solo) | Small Leaks Sink Ships | Dana Buoy Quantic (live) | Flamingosis My Aim is True: A Tribute to Elvis Costello King Black Acid | The Parson Red Heads | Liquidlight Matthew Sweet | Tommy Keane Laetitia Sadier Source Ensemble | Heather Trost The Kickback | Black Ferns San Cisco | Wooing The AM | Fox & Bones | Moonbeam Kelly Radio Moscow | The Last Internationale Loch Lomond | Planes on Paper

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DOUG FIR

4

MISSISSIPPI AVE.

El Tri Chevelle | Black Map | Dinosaur Pile-Up Royal Blood One OK Rock Washed Out 2 Chainz | The Trap Choir | Young Dolph

3 1 3 4 5 6 10 11 12 13 15 16 17 18 19 20 22 23 25 26 29 31

SKIDMORE ST.

8 NW 6TH

INTERSTATE AVE.

5 6 10 17 18 19

ROSELAND THEATER


live music AUGUST HOLOCENE (CONTINUED)

ALBERTA ST.

13

Golden Retriever | Visible Cloaks | Dolphin Midwives Sisters | Gold Casio | Dan Dan Hollow Sidewalks | Draemings | Ever So Android Kid Koala (DJ set) DJ Suavecito | DJ Lucha | DJ Mami Miami Mordecai | Amani | Amenta Abioto

ALBERTA ST.

ALBERTA ARTS

27

42ND AVE.

15TH AVE.

11TH AVE.

PRESCOTT ST.

31

FREMONT ST.

KELLY’S OLYMPIAN

24TH AVE.

HOLLYWOOD 33RD AVE.

28TH AVE.

D. BLV Y D AN

S

BROADWAY ST. 21

LAURELHURST GLISAN ST.

BURNSIDE ST. 8

6

BELMONT ST.

24

11TH AVE.

8TH AVE.

HAWTHORNE BLVD.

HAWTHORNE DIVISION ST.

19

CLINTON ST.

POWEL

L BLVD.

30

CESAR CHAVEZ BLVD.

LADD’S ADDITION

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1006 SE HAWTHORNE

1036 NE ALBERTA

4 5 7 9 12 18 27

11 4 5 6 11 14 25 26 27

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Sticky Toffee: House & Disco w/Bald Eagle Love Action: 80s Electro w/Cisco Parklife: Britpop Night One Drop: Reggae & Roots w/Sicoide & Friends Sticky Toffee: House & Disco w/Jason Urick Lower Hawthorne Block Party

ALBERTA STREET PUB

1 2 3 4 5 8 10 11 12 13 17 18 19 24 25 26

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Aldous Harding Kyle Morton | Black Belt Eagle Scout The Suitcase Junket Shook Twins | Taylor Kingman Steve Earle & The Dukes | The Mastersons Dent May Casey Neill & The Norway Rats Swans | Okkyung Lee

TOFFEE CLUB

17

9

Sheers | Oshwa | Paper Gates Rare Monk | Eclisse | Coastlands Grammies | Johanna Warren | WL Monk Parker | Sam Densmore My Dallas Teens | The Dandelyons Ghost Frog | Animal Eyes | Surfsdrugs Boreen | Surfer Rosie | Two Moons

1300 SE STARK

20

MORRISON ST.

12

1028 SE WATER

REVOLUTION HALL

STARK ST.

6 13 20 27

8

Eye Candy VJs (Mondays) Hawk Auburn Tarsier Eyes Al One | Daelonz | Woody Beast | Verbz Scarlet Sails | Radiator King | Garanzuay Rare Vibe Sessions featuring Drae Slapz Bad Joy | Honey Bender | The Shrilltones | Flight Mongoose Pareidolia | Ciboulette | Just Pretend KoolStuffKatie|HotWon’tQuit|DrQuinn&MedicineWoman Tincho | Airport | Tyto Alba Jamballah NW After Party fea/DJ Amar Spring Break ‘09 Album Release Anna Hoone | Johnny Ampersand | Benny Gilbert Butter | Max Gardner | Mood Beach Ritche Dagger’s Crime | Hollow Sidewalks Milo | SB The Moor | Kenny Segal Bees in a Bottle | Pale Blue Sky

BUNK BAR

32

28

11

EASTBURN

1800 E BURNSIDE

426 SW WASHINGTON

84

7

Haunted Summer | Avi Buffalo New Move | Colin Jenkins | Arthur & The Antics Reptaliens | Smokey Brights | Wyatt Blair Blossom | Wet Dream

DJs in The Taproom (weekends)

KNOTT ST.

3

RONTOMS

600 E BURNSIDE

9 10 13 16 23 30

4 12 17 24 25 27

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Yaquina Bay | American West | Travis Hays Beth | James Ben Larsen Clara Baker Will West & The Friendly Strangers | The Van Rontens Saint’s Family Jam

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features AUGUST THE SECRET SOCIETY

Photo by Greg LeMieux

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LOCAL FEATURE Black Belt Eagle Scout

I

t’s the season of Cancer and I’m

one. They were all really cool though.

about to sit down with Kath-

Also my family still lives up there. I grew

erine Paul, the mastermind

up on a reservation up there. I went

behind Black Belt Eagle Scout.

home during Christmas break and got

She has just returned from

to spend time with my family. My mom

Rosekill, an artist collective where she

loves to cook and take care of people so

played drums with Y La Bamba, who will

everyday she would send me with lunch.

be at Pickathon later this summer. My

16 8 NE KILLINGSWORTH

TURN! TURN! TURN!

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Marisa Anderson | Ralph White | Baptist Arms Ben Ballinger | Justin Fallen | Barry Walker General Electric | Sharkmouth | Marshyellow Ty-Alex | Evan Lanam & The Live Oaks | Taylor Kingman Numbered | Come Holy Spirit | Oro Azoro & Friends Russ Tolman & The True Westerners | Count Vaseline RLLRBLL | Dusty Santamaria & Moira Ichiban Human Ottoman | Starover Blue | Sunmonks Mascaras | Slice | Puppy Soul The Gutters | Dramady | Guillotine Boys Friends in Love | Trebuchet | Sarcastic Dharma Society A Certain Smile | Mere Mention | Soft Paws The Peacers | Lavender Flu | Dead White Miller & Sasser | Wes Youssi & The County Champs Mantis | Hostal Riviera | Casual Boyfriend Dolphin Midwives | Jeremy Young Somesprises | Antlr’d | Pulse Emitter Surfer Rosie | Hoop | Versing Gladness | Clawfoot Slumber | Other Lights

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14 | ELEVEN PORTLAND | www.elevenpdx.com

cosmic hostess has white wine and curry

11: When you say it was important

for us to enjoy as we started down the

to go back home to record, does that

road of music, identity, sexuality, loss

mean nostalgia is big a theme for the

and so much more.

album?

ELEVEN: You mixed your debut al-

KP: Hmm, I don’t know if nostal-

bum Mother of my Children with Nich

gia would work. Last year, something

Wilbur at Anacortes Unknown, and

happened to me. I was experiencing a

Good Cheer Records here in Portland

lot of loss and grief. This really amaz-

are releasing it. Can you speak to the

ing artist name Geneviève Castrée

decision to work with those folks and

died. She was really important to me

process behind the album?

and someone who was really encouraging to me. I grew up in the Anacortes

Katherine Paul: I was born in Ana-

music scene, going to a place called the

cortes, and for the record it was really

Department of Safety. It was the actual

important for me to go back. I really like

name of the building. She was very

the studio. It’s an old church and they

influential when I was growing up. She

have all these old sails. At one point they

made really beautiful, experimental,

made these sails for ships and all the

heart-breaking music. Really, really

patterns to make the sails are still there.

beautiful. When I was growing up she

They have a ton of really amazing equip-

was just so encouraging. One time she

ment. Nich has all these old school drum

said to me “You really inspire me, you

machines that we tried out and we were

should make music.” She died last year

like “Which ones, which ones?” and we

and I took it really hard. I knew her, we

ended up using this Roland ‘80s-ish era

weren’t super close, but still at the same


time she was a mentor. She was the one person that made me think I could make music. That I could do it. So this album is really about loss and trying to process the feeling of going through grief and all these things. I also had a really hard time with a good friend of mine and a lot of the songs are about trying to process that relationship. Things that were just very complicated. 11: Is that who “Soft Stud” is about?

11: It’s so empowering to be able to say “I love both of you!” KP: Yeah and Portland has such a great community to explore that. 11: What was the creative process like in writing this album? KP: It’s weird, I guess. Most of the time, especially with this album, the reason why a song exists is because I

KP: No! Ha-ha that’s about something else. I identify as queer. So a lot of this is about how I feel about that. Someone recently asked Y La Bamba if we identify as queer and it was like “I’m queer, you’re queer, maybe we are a queer band?” So thinking about that in the terms of what I’m playing and the music that I put out. Having an identity is very important to me, and it could be empowering to other people to know that there are other queer musicians out there in the world. Or P.O.C [people of color] playing music.

was trying to process feelings or whatever I was going through. Sometimes it can be a terribly emotional song or something awkward and I don’t want anyone to hear, so they don’t, but it can help. Or it can end up being this weird pop song that I like, like “Soft Stud.” 11: That wasn’t originally the opening track though, right?

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KP: No, and I wanted to grab people’s attention and bring them in and have them chew through the rest and feel it

11: Yes! I think it can also help people understand what is queer and help them identify. Like for me, I’m exploring polyamory and trying to figure out what that identity is all about. KP: Yeah I mean queer can be whatever you want it to be, and actually that song “Soft Stud” is about an open relationship. So I get you. It’s so much to process.

out, and I feel like “Soft Stud” was an appropriate song to do that with. The next single I’m releasing is definitely less of a pop song. I really don’t know how to describe it. It’s melodic and pretty but it’s not as driving. 11: BBES is all you creatively but you do tour with a band. How did you pick the band?

THE KNOW

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features AUGUST ASH STREET SALOON

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KP: Well, I really wanted to play with women. I’ve played in bands with men, and this is not to be anti-men, but I love playing with women and this album is about my queer, indigenous identity and the people who are going to get that the most are women. I just don’t necessarily know if a man is going to get it as quickly as a woman will. And also it’s just a bunch of really amazing women. I’m pretty much playing with my best friends. 11: You’ve done a lot of stuff with She Shreds. Can you tell me more about that relationship? KP: Fabi [Reyna] runs She Shreds and she’s in my favorite local band, Savila. It’s like very sexy cumbia psych rock music. I have a good girl gang of really solid women who are movers and shakers in the city. I was in this band called Forest Park and we were in the very

first issue of She Shreds. So I’ve sort of been with them since the beginning. I have a poster of the first ever Shred Fest in my home. I think it’s so awesome that they are popular and they need to be well known. The music world needs them. 11: We need more female driven music projects! KP: They also did the “Soft Stud” premier and invited us on the Sou’wester tour. 11: So why Good Cheer records? KP: They are really supportive of an all-ages music scene, which I think is so important because that’s what I grew up on. They just have an awesome mentality. My friend Maya started working with them and doing their marketing, and I wanted to work with a company that had


good marketing, and Maya is a woman

started playing it, I had this feeling in

of color so I felt very comfortable with

my chest like the feeling when you have

them.

a crush on somebody and your chest gets kind of warm. I was like “Whoa, this

11: And when is the release?

guitar is for me.” So I put some money down on the guitar. I’ve been playing

KP: August 25th!

that guitar for almost three years now. It also has this funky short scale neck.

11: Lastly, is there any gear you’re currently geeking out about? KP: I have a pretty cool guitar that

11: Any last words for our readers? KP: I just hope more P.O.C and more

I’m really into. It’s a Silvertone, and this

queer bands start making music because

is going to sound ridiculous but it’s real-

in our current political atmosphere we

ly pretty, but also it sounds really good.

need to make art. I just want to encour-

It’s vintage, from the ‘60s. I actually

age more. Everyone needs it. The more

bought it at Black Book on Mississippi.

encouragement, the better. »

I was just walking down the street and

- Rosie Blanton

ventured in to see what it was about because I had never been in. My eyes centered on this guitar because it’s kind of sparkly. So I tried it out and I plugged into this amp and immediately, once I

L Black Belt Eagle Scout

Mother of my Children Good Cheer Records

August is the best month of the year, not only because it’s my birthday month, but also because Black Belt Eagle Scout debuts her new album, Mother of my Children. Portland resident Katherine Paul has beautifully crafted eight songs all on her own, although the grand sounds of the album will make you forget you’re listening to just one person. If you enjoy Warpaint and Mirah, you’ll surely fall in love with Paul’s vocals too. A self taught musician, Paul also formoerly drummed for the local band

BLACK BELT EAGLE SCOUT CELEBRATES THE RECORD RELEASE SEPTEMBER 7 AT FREMONT THEATER Genders. Here, she masters multiple, looming, ambient electronic rock sounds under lyrics reminiscent of unrequited love and other earthly musings. Recorded on an island off the coast of Washington during the stillness of winter, Paul found herself back home in Swinomish territory. A multi-instrumentalist playing everything from keyboards to drums to vibraphone and piano, allows her to play on emotion rather than reason. The first song and lead single, “Soft Stud,” sets the tone for the remaining tracks. Her sweet, calming voice mostly dominates the spacious, dreamy and sometimes fervent melody, musing “I know you’re taken...need you/want you.” Other tracks like “Yard” got stuck on repeat in my head after first listen, and I’ll probably turn on “Just Lie Down” next time I feel like giving up. This album isn’t an anthem, but it is a lovely second effort by Black Belt Eagle Scout. Paul’s vocals are an absolute treat and her creative backdrop is catchy enough to warrant multiple listens. Bust this album out on a quiet night when you can light some candles and drink wine. » - Kelly Kovl

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18 Adrienne | ELEVENMorris PORTLAND Photo by

| www.elevenpdx.com


t seemed fitting that I should meet The Domestics at home. Not my home, but theirs. Really, the place was the old digs of singer Leo London, a strange little home and practice space tucked up away somewhere between Lombard and the industrial yards off Columbia Boulevard, walled in by hedges and trees, so that I had to walk right up to the fence to see Leo and co-founder Michael Finn standing in the yard. The inside was decorated mostly with music posters, and a few old copies of various magazines lay on the table. The

basement that had once been some sort of garage sat full of instruments and amps--a few keyboards, a guitar, a bass, a drum set, and an older iMac on the table, with cables snaking out and around, holding it all together. On a beam overhead sat two stuffed tigers, one white and one tawny. We sat down outside to talk about the process of creating Little Darkness, the band’s newest project, and what all they’ve been working on recently. As we talked into the evening, there remained the sounds of cars passing beyond the trees, some going on out for the night, and some no doubt returning finally, after the long day, back home.

www.elevenpdx.com | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 19


Photo by Todd Walberg

ELEVEN: So you guys were just working on some music just now? Leo London: Yeah, we’re steeped in material for the next record. 11: You have one album out, your debut self-titled project. Were you here in Portland before that? Michael Finn: I moved here in 2009 LL: I moved here in 2005, but then I moved away, and then came back. I kinda yo-yo’ed back and forth. I’m from Eugene, so I’ve moved back and forth a lot. 11: How do you think Portland has changed since your first release, and how have you changed, as a band, or as individuals? LL: Well, Portland is more expensive than when I moved here, for sure. But if you get creative, I feel like there’s still gems (gestures around). When we did the first record, it was just me and Mike working together, we didn’t have a band or anything like that, we’d only really worked together, the two of us. Mike got some studio time at Flora, and we went in there with some song sketches and stuff, and we made a record that sounded like we were a band. We did a lot of live tracking, with Mike playing drums and me playing piano, and then we’d add two more layers. Now what’s markedly different is having an

20 | ELEVEN PORTLAND | www.elevenpdx.com

abundance of time in the studio, comparatively. We did the first record in about two weeks. MF: yeah, it was all tracked and mixed pretty fast, maybe twenty days total. This new record was over the course of a month and a half, probably at least forty or fifty days in the studio. LL: You want a beer? I’ll grab you a beer. MF: As far as the shows go, and I’m not sure how much the city plays into this, but when we first started out as a band, it was before Tender Loving Empire picked up our album and re-released it, and we were mostly playing to our friends, and playing with our friends’ bands. And then through TLE signing us and going through the re-release, the landscape for our shows changed, so we were able to attract a wider audience. A lot of that was due to their work, where we had started building something and they came along and were able to build off of that. 11: How did that come about, them picking you up? MF: There was a lot that played into that, but after we finished our album, one of our singles was retweeted by Jim James of My Morning Jacket, who I had met working on their last record with Tucker, my boss, in Stinson Beach, California, which in a lot of ways was the genesis of our project. I remember getting a demo from Leo while I was there for “American Drag.” I wrote all the time while I was there, and there was a lot of back-and-forth about us starting a band. But


features I remember playing an early version of “Wait Forever” for some of the My Morning Jacket gang while we were all hanging out, and they really liked it, and when we put out “American Drag” as a single, Jim retweeted it, and then the next day we had some emails from the company that ended up being our booker, Billions, and they put us in touch with a bunch of labels, so pretty quickly after we started putting the record out ourselves, we were in talks with some labels, and TLE was one of them, and we ended up going with them. 11: So on Little Darkness you had a lot more time in the studio, and other players on it as well? LL: We still do everything mostly, the two of us. MF: Leo and I still track almost all the instruments. We had help from our band on certain tunes for sure, and Tucker, who I’ve worked with for years, he produced the record and was instrumental in a lot of decisions that were made. LL: Getting Michael off of the mixing board, and having him just as a musician. He was washing and drying for the first album. Like, he’d press record, and then run from the control room into the drum set and then track from there. MF: So that was really nice, having that mindset, and not having to worry about if the compressors were hitting too hard, or whatever issue, knowing that Tucker and Justin and Keegan, his assistants, were going to take care of it, so we could focus more on the songs. 11: After listening to Little Darkness, it does feel more produced in a deliberate way than your last project. Did you have a direction that you wanted to go in with respect to the production, or ideas you wanted to pursue with that new freedom? MF: I think the template for our process for the record really took place when Leo and I went into the studio about a year before the dates with Tucker. We started the project, started tracking some ideas for a few of the songs. “Trampoline Girl” and “Synthetic Girl” were two songs where we set up some drum mics and distorted them some more, and then really started getting into looping, and making loops and building off of the loops, and then subtracting sonic elements, working that way as opposed to trying to have it sound like a band is playing a song. It’s not about simulating this five people all playing at the same time, it’s more about constructing something and then figuring out how to perform it live later. And we listen to a lot of hip-hop records, and were talking with Tucker going into it about Kanye West and Kendrick Lamar and a lot of the stuff we were listening to that was loop based, and that process was really exciting. Also, Leo was working off of loops a ton for the demo process. LL: Yeah, so I was living in an apartment and I didn’t have access to a kit or anything, so I’d go to other people’s houses, and I’d record drum parts, and then I’d cut them up in logic and build drum loops out of that so I’d have something to work off of at home. The distortion on the drums came from... I was recording everything into a Radio Shack tape machine and

www.elevenpdx.com | ELEVEN PORTLAND | 21


features then putting it into a Tascam, and then I was turning the knob all the way down so it’d get really deep and crunchy sounding, and I think that informed some of those ideas. 11: Lyrically, a lot of your writing seems off the cuff in a way, there’s this spontaneous quality to it. LL: Yeah, it’s mostly stream of consciousness. 11: So you have the music written out first? LL: Usually what I do is I sit at the piano or the guitar and I just mumble-mouth it until something comes, and then I make words up as I go along, which isn’t how I used to write. I used to write everything painstakingly, like, oh, iambic pentameter, blah blah blah. But now I just kinda kick it from my head, as it were, to varying degrees of success (laughs.) Mike gets all my demos, and some of them are hits and some are... MF: Well usually the only time we disagree is when you try to change lyrics from that first ramble, and I’m like, no I think you were onto something when you weren’t making much sense. LL: I get insecure sometimes. 11: On this new record, you’re doing a pledge music campaign and doing some interesting bonuses, including roller-skating lessons?

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LL: Well this guy’s an excellent roller-skater. MF: I will not deny that. But yeah, in making this album we had all these opportunities pop up, to work with Tucker and to build this team around us of people that are all excited about the record, and are all professional, and that require a payment, because all these things cost money. To make a record and to put it out there, there’s so much. There’s the creative process, and then there’s all this stuff that happens alongside and during that process, and onward. And we’ve been fortunate to have TLE on our side, helping with so many of the expenses, but the thing is once you invest all this time and money into making a record... LL: And then you have no money... MF: And you look back, I mean I’ll go check Spotify, and there’s hundreds of thousands of plays on our first record, which is killer. It’s amazing that people are sharing the music, that’s such a good feeling to make something that folks will listen to. But the way that that translates... I mean if ten percent of the people that were constantly listening to our music online, streaming it, if they bought a copy of the record, that would drastically change the way that we could go about our days, continually making music and paying our band. LL: Yeah, we could stop hustling (laughs). MF: With the streaming services, as a music fan it’s the most amazing invention. It’s incredible that you can go listen to any song ever written, and not only can you play it, the quality is really good. It’s insane. But to think about the fact

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features that when these services came about, I mean, I remember once a week I’d go into Borders and buy CDs, spending 17 dollars a CD, and I’d buy five or six of them. So do all the math, I was spending all my money buying CDs at Borders, and now you don’t have to pay for anything. It took this huge jump. Basically what I’m saying though is the reason we chose to do the pledge music campaign–we are to a certain extent asking for help, we’re asking for the people that enjoy our music and that support us to help us continue doing what we’re doing, and we greatly appreciate that support. But one of the big things is getting the message out that we have this record coming out, we’ve spent a lot of time on it, and the preorder is the way that people can assure themselves a physical copy of this record. And it’s the best way for us to get people to buy the record, and for anyone who does that, they can listen to the record early, and there are these little bonus things for them. LL: I’ll go mow their yard. MF: Landscaping, you know? But all that is there to state that this is a thing we’ve spent a lot of time on, and we think it’s worth buying a copy of. It’s a tricky thing to do, cause it feels weird to ask people for money. Anyways, it’s there, and whatever we make from it is going to help us immensely, and whatever we don’t, fuck it, you know? But we’re incredibly lucky to have TLE on our side. LL: It was funny, we were at the airport for TLE’s new store that opened up there, and we were being interviewed by a lady from the news, and she asked Mike, “What’s the dream? What’s after this?” MF: What do you say to that? (laughs). LL: I was like, “To be on this label.” MF: I think the whole team liked that. But it’s insane to me that in 2017 you turn on the news and people talk like that. Who talks like that? Who has ever talked like that? Back to you, George! 11: But in all seriousness, what is the dream? MF: Lately, in the past year or so I’ve been trying to simplify things in the sense of having a routine, getting to work, working on the band, working on music, staying busy in that kind of way, and when I do that I’m extremely happy, and extremely broke. So ideally, when you talk about making strides forward in music, creatively, I feel immensely fulfilled in this project, and it’s almost getting to a point where we can do this for a job. Not just Leo and I, but our band, and our whole team can be sustained off of this, so in a lot of ways that’s the goal. We did a show at Ron Toms a couple weeks ago and there were maybe a hundred and fifty, two hundred people there, and a lot of ‘em knew the songs, and were stoked, and if we could do that in every city we stop in, in my mind, that’s good. »

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community literary arts Jenny Forrester: I definitely kept a diary. My mom gave me one for Christmas. It was a five year diary so it has a lot of history in it. It’s super repetitive as a life is. I actually took notes of what I did in the morning: I read my bible, I read Forward Magazine, which was the Episcopalian little booklet. So it was very redundant, yet there are these tiny little shifts that I can see from my adult perspective that let me know that one, I do remember things better than some people say that I can, so I really trust memory. There’s a lot of controversy around that, but I believe in it. The other thing is that I can take from my diary little snippets or little phrases that document my documentation. 11: A lot of people write a thinly veiled version of their own life and just use different names. Your book is a memoir, but it reads like a novel; the story of your mother, your brother and yourself. Can you talk about the dichotomy between you and your mother and brother after your father left?

LITERARY ARTS

JF: I always felt like the third wheel when we became three people. That happens a lot with triangles. If there are three children one will feel left out. It’s a human dynamic. They were always the adventurous people and I was always the one afraid that we were going to die somewhere. They also dreamed the same dreams. I documented one in particular, but they did that on a regular basis. So they had a real connection that I felt I was missing because I was more bookish and sedate.

M

11: You were the sensitive one. The thing that struck me is how much animal killing you had to deal with on a daily basis. How did you deal with this?

Portland writer Jenny Forrester

emoirs can be tricky. Sometimes the author can conveniently leave out details that are either too embarrassing or too emotionally charged to dredge up and expose to the world. Jenny Forrester is fearless in how she tells her life story in Narrow River, Wide Sky, where she deftly weaves layer upon layer of experience to create a story that mirrors the physical surroundings of her Colorado home. It’s a fiercely honest American story of a family fraught with the challenges of adhering to a value system that sometimes fails them, while dealing with the ebbs and flows of their ever-changing relationships with each other. And while Forrester’s book is a memoir, her style makes it feel like a novel. I met with Forrester before the latest installment of the Unchaste Readers Series at Literary Arts, downtown. She was anticipating the night’s readers including Melika Belhaj, who wanted to share her thoughts about the horrific stabbing on the Max train a few months back. Forrester has been curating the event for five years now, and was beaming with positivity about the series that provides both a platform and a community for women writers in Portland. ELEVEN: Even for a memoir, you have documented so much of your life in this book. Did you always keep a diary, or have you based a lot of this off your memory, or is it a combination of both?

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JF: When baby goats are born, they are very cute and you become attached. Some of them are males and you’re not going to keep the males, because we didn’t have that kind of a goat herding operation. So they went away and we knew where they were going. The animal part of our lives was rich with life and death. For me, I think it was better that I was sensitive. I don’t know if that make sense, but I have this sense that if you turn that off you can turn a lot of other things off. So I appreciate that everything makes me cry. That everything did make me cry and that everything is always going to. It’s not going to stop and that I’m going to grow along those lines, even now. Someone just the other day called me a princess if you can believe it. I’m older now and I’m still being called that. The person who said that was not a cowboy, she was just a Portland liberal. It’s interesting that toughness is something that we value regardless of our political ideology. 11: Speaking of politics, can you discuss the difference between you and your brother in that regard? JF: We went to church all our lives. We believed in God and became more and more devout. I became more devout and religious and the Rainbow Girls had a lot to do with that.


community literary arts The study of true womanhood was about the women’s place in the patriarchy. 11: I’m not sure if I understand that scene where you were swept away in the middle of the night to go to a Rainbow Girls ceremony. JF: It is a strange scene! I wanted to put it in there because not a lot of people even know about the Rainbow Girls. Even in places that know a lot about feminist theory. They’re out of the Masonic Lodge. When you grow up, you’re an Eastern Star, as a woman. 11: I usually don’t ask about the title, but Narrow River, Wide Sky, there’s a lot going on there. JF: There’s multiple things. In the beginning, I called it A Trailer Trash Republican Childhood, but that probably wasn’t the best title. Then I called it Children of a Narrow River, but the word children is not always good for appeal. So then we were looking at landscape, I put it out to my writers group, and I put it out to other friends as well. Ron, my husband, said, “What do you all think? Give me some images.” So from that, the narrow river is the path you can have in life. This is the way you can think about life, this is how you can react to tragedy. When I get to Portland, and the river widens to where I can actually consider other philosophies, it doesn’t mean I am a terrible person. I can think about life in a wider way, and that I want to think in a wider way. The other part is that there is this possibility. My brother and I had a particular life. We had a particular set of expectations and possibilities. And now being an adult and having the opportunities that I’ve had, I can have a wider range of opportunities and possibilities. Motherhood was part of that wider river. Because my daughter came home [from school] and explained some things to me about gender that I hadn’t considered. They’re new. New not as far as meaning, but new in how we talk about it. She went to The Metropolitan Learning Center and had this information and she shared it with me, and it blew my mind.

JF: I think because I had my mother as a mother for a very short period of time, her words “You can do this” and “Listen to your heart” and “Do what you think is right” are so much more powerful than if we would have lived our whole lives together. They are the gems that I got from her. If we had a longer relationship, who knows what would have stuck in my brain. As a mother, her influence was very great, and weighted heavily, even though I had her for a short time. Or maybe because I had her for a short time. 11: I love the term, “Pioneer ghosts.” Can you talk about that? JF: I wanted to talk about gentrification without using the word gentrification. People think gentrification is only a city thing, or a suburban thing. If we want to talk about gentrification we can go all the way back to 1492, and we should. Because all of these waves cause a destruction of the people. As we know from our history, our pioneer settler mythology of America keeps us all to some extent, but especially white people sort of like what Ta-Nehisi Coates calls “The Dream.” This pioneer mythology was part of our growing up and it was in our schools’ curriculum. 11: Tell me about the Unchaste Reading Series. How did it get started? JF: It started when I heard one too many rapey poems at a bar and I thought, why am I doing this? Why can’t we have all women? How does it change the content? How does it change how we do readings, the way that we talk about literature? Why not try this big experiment, and also poetry, and you know, booze? It was going to be quarterly, and pretty soon it was every two months and now it’s monthly. I try to make sure there’s lots of ages and ethnicities and genders now. So now, it’s only if you’re not a man. 11: So now you’re going back to the definitions from your daughter. It has come full circle. JF: “I was very proud of myself,” I said look at this reading series. And she said “Mom, I have to tell you something. You’re not doing it right.” » - Scott McHale

11: Can we talk a little about losing your mother at an early age, and how that affected you as a mother?

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community visual arts

Photos by Mercy McNab

VISUAL ARTS Collaboration with Gregg Harris and Patricia Rubinelli

I

Terrariums help keep the plants healthy much longer and with far less attention. Later, in 1971, when I moved back to Dayton, Ohio, my wife and I started a terrarium shop when I was laid off during the Oil Embargo of 1973. It was a huge success and we became the richest hippies in town for about 4 years. That got me through college and into my career in educational reform.

n a unique collaborative interview, ELEVEN got

This shop, Roosevelt’s Terrariums, was launched almost

the pleasure of speaking with the team behind

three years ago. My wife of 37 years died in 2010 and I had

Roosevelt’s Terrariums. Gregg “Roosevelt” Harris

to change careers to stay home and be a better dad to my two

is the creative botanist behind their exquisite

youngest sons. The terrarium shop was our attempt to pull

compositions, and Patricia Rubinelli is the artist

our family into some better routines together. We sold our big

that creates the beautiful glass pieces that

house in the country in 2013 and moved to Portland to start

frame these remarkable living pieces of art. A shop that has

this venture. It has been an even greater success than the first

decorated the streets of our own Hawthorne Blvd. for nearly

time around, mainly due to our terrarium classes.

three years now, Roosevelt’s Terrariums is a must visit. The shop itself is not very large, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in variety.

Gregg “Roosevelt” Harris

11: How have the changes in the Portland area impacted the store? GH: Well, if by changes you mean “gentrification,” it has made a lot of things more expensive, but it has also

ELEVEN: What is the story behind getting Roosevelt’s started?

brought a lot more upper-income buyers into the shop with enough discretionary spending to invest in nicer and bigger terrariums. But it has also made it a lot harder for my

Gregg Harris: I learned how to plant terrariums as a

neighbors who are caught in the rent cycle. Their income is

runaway hippie kid in Laguna Beach, CA in 1969 and ‘70. At

not rising in step with their bills. Some are even homeless. But

age 17 I was an informal part of the Sawdust Festival there,

they are still my neighbors.

working with a young couple who made sand candles and

That’s why I have to create a wide range of terrariums to

macramé. The goal was to help people get back to nature

cater to the whole spectrum of incomes. Patricia’s glasswork

by bringing tropical and woodland plants into their homes.

is mainly for those at the higher end of the spectrum. But

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community visual arts her work is worth a lot more than she is able to collect for it here in Portland. In New York City, where she is from, her pieces would easily be six to eight times higher than what we charge here. Maybe someday we will break out into the gallery art market for our terrariums. But until then we are having a lot of fun. We have plans to do some really amazing larger pieces along the lines of the New York terrarium artists. 11: What impacts the aesthetic of a terrarium composition? Is it catered to a person? GH: I combine plants, soils, sands, gravels, mosses, and stones like a painter combines colors and textures on a

My criteria are that the plants are beautiful, healthy and

canvas. If a person has a particular preference I take that into

able to thrive in a closed, wet terrarium. I especially want

consideration. But if I was a musician I would not be a human

plants that will maintain a miniature leaf that can also be

jukebox. Great art does not match your couch. The terrariums

easily trimmed whenever necessary. These plants are not

I design and plant are intended to evoke respect for nature and a deep sense of awe at the beauty of the plants as they are. 11: Where do you get your plants and what type of criteria do you have for picking them? GH: I get many of the plants I need by badgering established growers to give back to what they love. To repent and return, at least in part, to the reasons they got into horticulture in the first place. 

often mass produced like poinsettias or fuchsia baskets. Most growers don’t go into the tropical plant greenhouse business just to make money. They love the plants, especially the unusual plants. But over time, the pressure to make payroll can push any grower into mass production of one thing or another. The little family greenhouse becomes a big agribusiness, just like family farms become single crop factories, and the stuff the grower really loves gets pushed aside. I have been able to find a few growers locally who want to get back to that unusual stuff, at least as a side line.  But I also have to order a lot of rare material from faraway places in Florida, Texas, California and even New York and Kentucky. The shipping is a killer, but as long as I sell them as a small part of a much bigger and more expensive product, like a large terrarium, I can still keep things profitable. Roosevelt’s Terrariums is not competing with Fred Meyer, or even with Portland Nursery. We are competing with art galleries and high-end gift shops.    11: Is there any specific plant you like to work with the most? GH: I love gesneriads. That family of plants includes flame violets, sinningia, and episcia as well as miniature African violets.

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community visual arts

I also love the creeping figs. The ficus family is amazing.

classes, provides discounts to public service workers, but

Everything from rubber trees to tiny oak leaf creeping fig

also because you provide Theodore Roosevelt character

vines.

teach-ins for educational purposes and fundraisers. Why is it important to be connected with the community? 

11: Would you consider yourself an artist or more of a botanist, or maybe a little of both?

GH: Roosevelt’s Terrariums is founded on the simple truth that we do very well for ourselves simply by doing good for

GH: I have to be a lot of both. The form of my terrarium

others. That is the only legitimate way to prosper. It is also

art has to flow out of the function of sound horticultural

intended to be a very social place where new friendships are

principles. Just as a dancer must work with the physics of

being made every day with every kind of person who walks

gravity and the physical opportunities and limitations of

in the door or calls to book a terrarium class. It’s also a place

human anatomy, I must work with a pallet of botanical colors,

for fellow enthusiasts and artists to find one another and

textures, and shapes that are still alive and growing. I have to

collaborate on something worthwhile. It is also a place where

anticipate that growth and work with it to keep the terrarium

I hope my sons will catch a glimpse of the beauty that is all

beautiful for a long time.

around us in people and in nature.

I also have to work with the challenges of container

Underneath all of this is my conviction that we are all

shapes and sizes, and the size of the opening and how it will

headed into a cosmic tiger dimensional future where all that

eventually be closed. Patricia has been great at helping me

we will have to show for our lives will be our relationships

bring all this together in a truly harmonious way. She gets

with one another and our stories about those relationships.

the fact that the container is the “frame” for the picture I am

We are the conscious part of all that ever lived. Even when

painting with my plants and stones and mosses. She always

our minds fail us and we slip into dementia, our memories and

allows my “painting” to be unencumbered. Her designs are

insights into life are all safely backed up on God’s galactic

amazing without being a distraction. Her designs support

hard drive. Nothing will be lost. No injustice will go unsettled.

rather than compete with the plants, and the results are

No one will get away with anything. And no one will ultimately

always magical. She can do anything. But like a great

lose out on what is right. I don’t just believe this. I know it to

musician, she restrains herself to support the project.

be true. Community is just another way of saying relationships.

11: Roosevelt’s Terrariums also has a strong community presence, not only because it offers community terrarium

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We have a shared interest in making our family and our neighborhood and our city a great place for everyone to thrive.


community visual arts Nothing and no one are unimportant in this process. But there are some who are especially crucial and they are the artists and the musicians and the artisan makers. There is something theological about creativity. It requires vision and passion and perseverance to make art and all of those words are intensely theological, not religious, but Godly. Now if we can only see ourselves in our community as a never-ending work of living art.

Patricia Rubinelli 11: You have a wide range artistic endeavors, from photography to making the glass pieces for these beautiful terrariums. What got you involved with Roosevelt’s and with making glass pieces? Patricia Rubinelli: In the early ‘90s I had been working on restoring stained glass windows in churches around Boston. It wasn’t long before I became more interested in making glass than the restoration process. Fast forward 30 years, I spontaneously walked into Roosevelt’s and met Gregg. I was grabbing takeout across the street and spied this beautiful corner store, all windows, bursting with plants. I felt enchanted immediately. It was clear to me after talking with Gregg for a few minutes that he’s a master botanist. The chance to collaborate with him has been a joy.

11: How has your background in photography contributed to your glasswork? PR: For years I photographed light refracting through glass. The containers I used to create those refractions were recognizable forms. I wanted to make those lines and edges less associative. Initially, my goal was to create unusual forms for those images. Now when I make glass I consider how the light will pass through it–the two mediums ricochet off each other. 11: What made you interested in combining plants into your work? PR: As far as the plants, that’s all Gregg. I wasn’t expecting that the lens quality of the glass would have combined with his designs. Once I saw that that worked, I created forms to accentuate that aspect. I’m always inspired working with clients. To understand the essence of their idea or vision enough to design a 3-D translation is very satisfying. 11: How is making 3-D art different from making art that is 2-D? PR: With glass especially it’s the physical differences that set it apart. You’re working with something too hot to touch but can’t

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community visual arts set it down. Being a liquid, it’s always moving, so you counter its movement by turning it constantly. There’s also the viscosity, which fluctuates by the second, so you’re responding to things you don’t have time to think about. When some of your most impactful tools are invisible (gravity, centrifugal force, breath), it’s an exponentially interesting situation. 11: Do you only make glass pieces for the terrarium shop or for other projects as well? PR: I’ve relatively recently started making glass for terrariums. Before that, I had the honor of working for Chihuly and Lino Tagliapietra, in Seattle. In NY I mainly worked with designers, architects, and collectors.  11: What is the collaborative process behind making glasswork that matches a terrarium habitat? PR: I try to make glass for Gregg that he will not be able to find anywhere else. I take into consideration the opening he needs to work with, whether or not it needs to be corked and how will the form hold condensation if it’s not corked. I like experimenting with creating interiors that will inspire his plantings. 

11: How do shape and size play a role in the pieces you make? PR: I don’t think as much about size or shape as I do about fluidity, the thickness of a piece and how it’s going to catch the light. If the glass itself feels alive and has a personality then that’s what I’m most happy with. 11: I have heard you also have a passion for vintage house boats, can you talk about those? PR: Yes, we live on a vintage houseboat, and have a sailboat from the ‘60s. Though as soon as I think about how much I love these boats, I think about how much I love living on the water—it’s an inseparable romance. » - Lucia Ondruskova

FIND THESE ARTISTS ONLINE GREGG HARRIS WEB: WWW.ROOSEVELTSPDX.COM IG: @ROOSEVELTSPDX PATRICIA RUBINELLI WEB: WWW.RUBINELLIGLASS.COM IG: @RUBINELLIGLASS

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Eleven PDX Magazine August 2017  
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