This Week in the Mercury


Friday, May 18, 2012

Lotsa Videos from Portland Bands and Directors

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Fri, May 18, 2012 at 12:22 PM

It's beautiful outside! So it's the perfect time to come indoors, hunch over your laptop, and watch some videos. Who needs sunlight when you've got the warming, sickly glow of your computer monitor?

In all seriousness, there's a pantload of cool videos that's worth checking out—some from Portland bands, and some from non-Portland bands but directed by Portland directors. We don't usually throw 'em all in one post like this, but there's just too much to share. Here's a weekend's worth of stuff to point your eyes at.

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This first one's from Michael the Blind, for the song "Sympathies" from his remarkable upcoming album Are's and Els, which comes out June 5. Directed by Dominic DeJoseph, this was shot just two weeks ago in New York City with a NYC-based cast of actors, comedians, musicians, and artisis—including two of Tony Bennett's granddaughters, apparently. DeJoseph says:

"The image of Michael lying on his back singing while others lie down next to him occurred to me as the choral section came in the first time I heard the song. I didn’t want to see an actual chorus singing, but this image seemed to create a similar effect of togetherness.”
Michael the Blind celebrates the release of Are's and Els with a show on June 5 at the White Eagle (836 N Russell).
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Here's one from an out-of-town band but a Portland director. Detroit's Electric Six recruited Wieden + Kennedy's Justin Lowe to direct and Jason Roark to shoot this clip for "Psychic Visions." It crams an ambitious amount of action—underwater fight scene, Singing in the Rain homage, and more—into a three-day shoot and a $2,000 budget. Yes, that's Chris Funk (of the Decemberists and Black Prairie) officiating the wedding. Yes, that's local actress and choreographer Haley Talbot. Yes, that's the Someday Lounge and Holocene. Yes, that's Paws Aquatics, the doggie swim center. Wait, we have a doggie swim center?

Click the jump for more vids, including Dry River Yacht Club, Serious Business, Zachariah Shirai, Plankton Wat, and Adventure Galley!

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Here's a lovely, eye-pleasing video from Arizona's Dry River Yacht Club, directed by Portlander Justin Koleszar, who also directed the very good One Foot in the Gutter. Koleszar describes this as "an anticlimactic character study about an adolescent drugstore robber." It's also a really gorgeous piece of film with an incredibly vivid sense of place; Dry River Yacht Club's expressive music and Koleszar's handiwork make this feel more like a short film than your typical music video.

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This one's significantly less ponderous. It's Serious Business' clip for "New Licks" and it's apparently part one in a four-part series. Directed by Chris Diana-Peebles and Hari Z, it premiered earlier this month at Fifty24PDX Gallery in Upper Playground as part of this month's Futro Fantastic exhibit, which also includes work by Alex Boyce and Lara Paulson—who both also star in this video.

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Here's an intriguing clip for Portland lo-fi artist Zachariah Shirai, about whom I know very little. The video's director, Andy Chandler, sent this our way; Chandler's also directed videos for Tope. I really like this track, and the video as well, which has the feel of charmingly handmade retro science fiction. On the surface, it's totally goofy, but it's imbued with a sense of memory and nostalgia.

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And here's the brand-new clip for Plankton Wat's "Fabric of Life." It's from Plankton Wat's—AKA Dewey Mahood of Eternal Tapestry—brand new album Spirits, which just came out this week on Thrill Jockey. Plankton Wat's playing a record release show tomorrow, May 19, at Little Axe Records, that excellent vinyl store just off Alberta (5012 NE 27th) that just opened a few months back. This video is actually more straightforward than I was expecting, just clear-eyed glimpses of Mahood and the surrounding ephemera in the room. This video makes me want to hang cooler shit on my walls.

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Lastly—this just came my way as I was typing this up—here's the hot-off-the-presses video from Adventure Galley, directed by Benjamin Ross Lyerly and shot in SE Portland's fabled Funky Church. After a subdued opening, it explodes into a day-glo UV dance party. It's a little creepy in parts (is that Guy Fawkes?), but in a really fun and sexy way, and there's no denying the jam's catchiness. I'd like to go to this party.

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