This Week in the Mercury

Friday, February 8, 2013

It's Video Vriday!

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Fri, Feb 8, 2013 at 1:28 PM

It's been a little while since we've done a roundup of local music videos, so there's a LOT to catch up on. We've got new videos from Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside, Sapient, Paradise, Y la Bamba, Adam Brock, TxE, Dresses, Kris Doty, and Paper/Upper/Cuts. (You will also no doubt have noted this column's excellent, pun-tastic new name.) Diving right in...

Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside have a new record just around the corner—Untamed Beast comes out February 19, with two release shows at the Wonder Ballroom to follow that weekend. Here's the video for "Party Kids" which erupts into a bloody bar brawl in which Ford more than holds her own. Shot by Matthew Ross of Neighborhood Films at Portland's Landmark Saloon, it's well worth a watch, even just for the sight of guitarist Jeffrey Munger guzzling bottles of vodka and Bulleitt Bourbon simultaneously.

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Sapient's new video "Pieces of Paper" tackles a well-worn hiphop topic: big, green piles of money. However, the video—with cameos by the Sandpeople crew—shows the flipside of that familiar game: how much work and struggle and putting up with other people's bullshit it actually takes to make a buck. The grotesque piles of mad dolla bills depicted in the video are almost like a cruel joke. It's a brilliant reversal on some overplayed hiphop stereotypes. Sapient's new one, Slump (which includes this track), comes out on February 19 on Camobear Records.

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The video for "Humans and Stars" by Portland band Paradise is a note-perfect recreation of the mod '60s, down to the costumes and backdrop, not to mention the line of Vespa scooters parked outside the Eagles Lodge. Directed by Michael Cogliantry almost entirely on Super 8 (and shot, as mentioned, at the Eagles Lodge on SE Hawthorne), this one's great fun. Paradise is throwing a free video release party at Club 21 next week on Saturday, February 16. They'll play, as will the Vernor Pantons and Sharks from Mars.

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Y la Bamba dropped their new EP, Oh February, last week, and here's a video shot live in the studio of the title track, captured by Look Sessions. This clip captures the spontaneous magic of a live take, up close and personal—not easy to do.

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Adam Brock is a Portland musician who also makes his own stop-motion animated videos. Here's the hand-drawn clip for the beautiful "Australia," the closing track on his newest EP, the three-song Poplar Trees (available on Bandcamp). Next week, we'll have the exclusive premiere of Brock's video for "Young Lovers," another hand-drawn extravaganza just in time for Valentine's Day, so stay tuned for that.

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Here's the newest from Tope and Epp, or for the sake of brevity, TxE. It's the title track from their recent Tetherball EP. Riding atop a Biggie sample, this flips the usual Portland music-video trick of showing our fair burg at the heights of its glorious summer. In this video from Artistic Outlet Media, this shows Tope, Epp, and Calvin Valentine hanging out in Portland's less vaunted wintertime, with hoodies and gloves on. While it doesn't appear to be raining, this is a fine depiction of what it's like to be here in the off season.

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This is a video from Dresses, a Portland band I don't know too much about, but this clip for "Blew My Mind" has already amassed 35,000 views on YouTube, so consider me the 35,001st person to the Dresses party. Making the most of singer Timothy Heller's voice and face, point-blank at the camera (yes, her name is Timothy), is a simple, unflashy clip in service of a catchy tune.

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Here's a video titled "The Newest Adventure in Sing Alongs" from Kris Doty, who's also the bassist for Drew Grow and the Pastors' Wives. This clip, shot by Annalise Reinhardt, sees Doty in a place I never even knew existed—the Crumpacker Library inside the Portland Art Museum. Making use of the room's natural acoustics (and at the end, its furnishings), Doty strums this weirdly captivating tune while wandering the stacks, like a singing librarian or ghost or both.

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We'll close things out with the weirdest one of all. This is from Paper/Upper/Cuts, AKA Papi Fimbres, who is probably playing music somewhere right now as I type this. Using found footage and some spooky images of a hooded Fimbres playing a flute, this clip will mess with those neurons in your brain in the best possible way. Paper/Upper/Cuts plays tonight at the Record Room opening for Michael Hurley, and will also perform Sunday, February 17 at Rontoms on a bill with Regular Music (which Fimbres also plays in), Copy, and Grapefruit.

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