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Friday, July 26, 2013

Video Vriday! Quasi, Sun Angle, Wampire, Balto, Dust vs. Op, Chris Robley, Genders

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Fri, Jul 26, 2013 at 3:40 PM

It's Opposite Day on Video Vriday!


With a cast of thousands, a plethora of exotic locations, and costumes and special effects beyondmeasure—dig that drum-playing horse—the new Quasi video is a DeMillesque feast of opulence. Oh wait, it is the opposite of that. This was shot in the band's basement studio and, in Sam Coomes' words, was "inspired by Kenneth Anger's work with the Monkees." The moving camera and homespun production values are fitting for "You Can Stay But You Got to Go," the lead single off Quasi's upcoming double-album opus Mole City. Riding an ascending guitar riff and some thick, Texas-toast style fuzztones, it's that perfect blend of breezy and intense that makes Coomes and Janet Weiss the thing that is Quasi. Mole City comes out October 1 on Kill Rock Stars, and Quasi kicks off a national tour shortly after, with a homecoming show at the Doug Fir on November 23.
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In keeping with the band's hushed and placid music, the new video from Sun Angle features long, static, Tarkovskyesque shots in which subtle details barely register in the viewer's line of sight. Oh wait, it is the opposite of that. The band filmed this video for title track for Diamond Junk on their iPhones while recording the album in a cabin in Zigzag, and either it's been enhanced by some post-production computer effects or this was the trippiest album recording session ever. Sun Angle plays Holocene this Wednesday, July 31 with Aan and Swahili.
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This mega-produced, lip-synched video from Wampire was shot overseas and takes the band out of their live element in favor of something synthetic. Oh wait, it is the opposite of that. Actually, this cool new live video for "Spirit Forest" was shot here in town at the Wave Cave by Chris Cantino, veteran of innumerable Into the Woods shoots. What you see is what you hear, and vice versa. This is sort of a peek behind the Wampire curtain, seeing the band relaxed and facing each other, rehearsal style. "Spirit Forest" comes off the band's recent album Curiosity and Wampire is currently on tour with the Smith Westerns through August.

Less Vriday before the jump! (Get it? Opposite.)

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Let's dispense with the opposites for Balto's latest video. "Airplanes" combines three narratives—a young boy in a Superman costume, a man in the bathtub having weirdly mournful nakedtimes with a topless girl, and a man sitting in a cubicle out in the woods, because that is the best place to get shit done. Shot in NE Portland and at Kelley Point Park, the video—while seemingly sad—offers a striking visual counterpoint to the heartfelt, hard-hitting folk. Balto frontman Dan Sheron talks more about the song and video over on American Songwriter.
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We posted the ambitious new mixtape from Dust vs. the Operator a few Music Mondays ago, and now here's a video for the mixtape's penultimate track, "Tel Aviv III." Dust kindly informs us that the video "features a hooker and a robot." It does indeed, Dust. It does indeed. I'm pretty sure I totally used to live in that crappy apartment building. Meanwhile, check out the mixtape on Bandcamp, where you can download it for free.
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Here's a live performance video and interview with Chris Robley, a former full-time Portlander who's in recent years become a sometime Portlander. This was shot at Portland's Yellow Room Recording back in January, with the audio recorded by Peter Rodocker (that's him asking the questions at the beginning). Robley, meanwhile, is joined by an ensemble of Paul Brainard, Bob Dunham, Anders Bergstrom, Arthur Parker, Rob Stroup, and Naomi Hooley. They perform a song called "The Fisher King," which acts as a sort of preview to Robley's new album, which was recorded with that same ensemble over four days at the Oregon Coast—unlike Robley's previous material, the sessions were live, and in his words, it's his "most confessional, stripped down album to-date. No wall of strings and horns and everything else!"
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We'll close today with the tour announcement video from Genders, who are hitting the road with Built to Spill in October and November. Which is awesome! This homemade video, described by the band as "super dorky," is exactly that. Super, super dorky. But also pretty cute. While there's no Portland date on the Built to Spill tour, Genders are playing Sundown at Ecotrust with Radiation City on Wednesday, July 31, and they've also got a show at the Doug Fir on August 17 with And And And and Old Age.

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