This Week in the Mercury

From Weed to Shining Weed


From Weed to Shining Weed

A Colorado Marijuana Reporter's Letter to Oregon

Hall Monitor


Hall Monitor

A City Manager? Here?


Friday, February 28, 2014

"Division Street": A Theme Song for People Who Can't Afford to Live Here Anymore

Posted by Alison Hallett on Fri, Feb 28, 2014 at 11:44 AM

I spend probably too much time complaining about how I'm not sure I like Portland any more now that the city is becoming, in the immortal words of Mercury News Editor Denis Theriault, a "playground for finnicky rich people." And hey look, these guys wrote a song about it!

I know it's dangerous to romanticize Portland's scuzzier, less bourgie past, but... I do it anyway. And I'm grateful that my rent only went up $50 this year.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

New Tacocat Video! Surfing! Dancing Crabs! Menses!

Posted by Courtney Ferguson on Wed, Feb 12, 2014 at 1:57 PM

I should've put a period in that headline... because Tacocat's new video for "Crimson Wave" is about dear ol' Aunt Flo and her monthly stompings on all the ladies' proverbial welcome mats (eew, sorry). And it's super fun! Tacocat are a delightful Seattle fourpiece who rip into catchy, surfy pop in this adorable beachy video directed by Marcy Stone-Francois. So break out the hot water bottle, white wine, and Vicodin for this sunny spin on what could otherwise be the premise for an entire Stephen King novel ("Plug it up!").

Tacocat is touring their new album NVM (out February 25). They're playing the East End on March 6; so put on your gladrags and bop on down.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Golden Retriever to Release Seer, Second Album for Thrill Jockey

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Tue, Feb 11, 2014 at 8:44 AM

Golden Retriever, cats.
Golden Retriever, the Portland-based duo of modular synth player Matt Carlson and bass clarinetist Jonathan Sielaff, are due to release their second album for the esteemed Thrill Jockey label. Seer is a five-track exploration of the weird sonic world Carlson and Sielaff inhabit, which at varying times can be challenging, unsettling, and gorgeous, embracing both improvisation and American experimental electronic music traditions.

Seer comes out on LP on March 25 and is available for pre-order here. It was recorded over two years at Worksound with much time spent on the editing process after initial composition. The opening track, "Petrichor," is already among their most challenging work:

“Petrichor” shows Carlson using an 11-limit just intonation system and can, if listened to at a significant volume, create otoacoustic emissions: the generation of new resonance within the inner-ear as a rectification of two perfectly toned and opposing frequencies. The use of this phenomenon as musical material was pioneered by Maryanne Amacher in her sound installations of the 70s and 80s.
Wuh. I don't know what "otoacoustic" means, but yeah, it's pretty far out. I'll post the album cover and track list after the jump. Meanwhile, here's a video of Golden Retriever performing at the Thrill Jockey anniversary show at Mississippi Studios back in November 2012, during which they performed Seer's "Sharp Stones" and "Flight Song."

Continue reading »

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

New Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks Video: "Cinnamon and Lesbians"

Posted by Lisa Wells on Wed, Dec 11, 2013 at 11:19 AM

In case you missed yesterday’s release of the new Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks video “Cinnamon and Lesbians,” it’s worth a gander.

Directed by Jay Winebrenner, the latest video from Wig Out at Jagbags, opens with drummer Jake Morris being shanghaied by a modern-day pirate (Dan Kim), and it’s pretty much lo-fi madcap adventure from there on out. Winebrenner is eccentrically literal in his interpretation of the lyrics, beat for beat, from the “glassblowing funky neighbors” to Joe Kelly’s Meisner-esque performance of a “smooth talking jack-off jailer.” This will remind some viewers of dorkier days, when “alternative” music-videos got a little goofy. If you hemorrhaged the middle '90s watching 120 Minutes, prepare to be pleased.

*cast and crew can be found nightly at Tiga: 1465 NE Prescott


Monday, November 18, 2013

Damien Jurado's "Silver Timothy" Video Shot in Oregon

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Mon, Nov 18, 2013 at 11:38 AM

Damien Jurado has just unleased "Silver Timothy," the first advance track from his upcoming album Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son, which he recorded again with collaborator Richard Swift at his National Freedom Studios in Cottage Grove, Oregon.

This video for "Silver Timothy," too, has Oregon origins. Portland-based director Justin Koleszar filmed the clip near Smith Rock State Park in Terrebonne, Oregon. Of the shoot, Koleszar says: "We tested our smoke machine in a Walmart parking lot while enjoying some Coors Lights. Our actor Luke Clements almost died when he stumbled on the edge a cliff that overlooked a 1,000-foot drop. We found a dozen deer hooves in the middle of the desert and later had dinner at Abby's Legendary Pizza."

The video is sort of a western sci-fi without really being explicitly either, and the Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son album tells the story of a man walking away from his life to disappear into the wilderness (a theme that echoes his album Maraqopa as well, perhaps distilled on the Brothers and Sisters track "Return to Maraqopa"). The album is populated by a number of characters in addition to Silver Timothy—there's also Silver Katherine (who appears in the video), Silver Donna, Silver Malcolm, and Silver Joy. Damien Jurado's playing a handful of European shows in December, then kicks off a tour in January around the album's release date (January 21 on Secretly Canadian). There's no Portland date, but there is a Seattle show on January 17, so hopefully one will materialize around that time.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Dresses Go through the Roof

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Thu, Nov 14, 2013 at 12:41 PM

Dresses premiered their latest video today on MTVU, which I guess is MTV's college site or something? "Blew My Mind" was filmed on Mt. Hood and shows the Portland duo in the aftermath of a hot air balloon accident. Their dastardly tale of survival and eventual romance will be, no doubt, incredibly educational to college students. For us, though, it's just fun to watch.

"Blew My Mind" appears on Dresses' super-catchy debut album Sun Shy (read more about them here), and they open for Phoenix at the Crystal Ballroom on Tuesday, December 10.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Wild Ones in a (Mostly) Ghost Town

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Wed, Nov 13, 2013 at 9:47 AM

Wild Ones have a new music video, for their song "From Nothing" from their recent debut album Keep It Safe—a record that keeps growing better and sturdier the more you listen to it. This is a pretty straightforward clip, with singer Danielle Sullivan walking down the main street of Shaniko, a not-completely-a-ghost town in central Oregon. (It's pretty close, though—population as of the 2010 census came in at 36.) Director Judah Switzer and DP Reed Harkness capture Sullivan during magic hour, as other members of Wild Ones and some friends run away from the camera. What are you walking toward, Danielle?

Wild Ones just made Time Magazine's 14 Musical Acts to Watch in 2014, which was just posted today. They're on the bill with Typhoon for their post-Thanksgiving show at the Crystal, on Friday, November 29.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Lily Allen Schools Everybody

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Tue, Nov 12, 2013 at 12:14 PM

Lily Allen just schooled everybody with her new smart, vicious new video, "Hard Out Here." This is the best thing she's done—a scathing commentary on the state of pop music with Allen's trademark wit. It's sorta NSFW, I guess, although maybe not? I can't tell what's acceptable anymore.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Ben Wheatley Makes a Surreal Spaghetti Western Video for Editors

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Thu, Aug 8, 2013 at 10:41 AM

I'm not really a big fan of Editors, at least not big enough to get all hot and bothered when the mopey English band decides to release a new video. But when that video is directed by Ben Wheatley, director of Kill List and Sightseers, and perhaps the most fascinating new filmmaker of the past half-decade? Oh, and that video was directed in Almeria, Spain, on the same sets that were used for Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in the West? Well, yes, that makes me VERY hot and bothered, thank you.

The video itself is more or less impenetrable, at least on the first couple viewings. Wheatley says it was intended as "a modern version of Jodorosky's El Topo." So yeah, it's nonsensical and surreal, and it would be borderline terrifying if it weren't for Editors' jaunty radio-friendly tune playing underneath it. (Next time, I'll probably watch it with the sound off.) Still, this is a remarkable doodle from an exceptional filmmaker, who recently released the experimental A Field in England and seems to have the philosophy that making more, smaller films is a better approach than slowly making a few big ones. Thank goodness for that.

I'll post all of Wheatley's quote from the press release after the jump. (The best part: He says, "Hopefully one day I will get to return to Almeria and shoot a feature film." Fingers crossed!)

Continue reading »


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Ingest the New Gaytheist Video, Starring Ian Karmel

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Tue, Jul 30, 2013 at 8:46 AM

Gaytheist's first music video is here! And it's a punch in the gut. Directed by Whitey McConnaughy and co-starring Portland As Fuck columnist Ian Karmel as a rightfully suspicious convenience store clerk, it's not for the faint of heart OR stomach. (I guess, considering the track's lyrics, this might officially qualify as NSFW, or at least earn headphones-on status.)

Depicting the true dangers of rock 'n' roll that your parents warned you about, this cautionary tale warns what will happen if you literally ingest Gaytheist's pummeling, raw-power rawk. That's Jacob Bean Watson as the reckless and feckless pill popper, and of course that's Gaytheist playing the Dennis Quaid role from Innerspace. Gaytheist dominated last weekend's Capitol Hill Block Party and will play Rontoms on Sunday, August 25 with Magic Mouth—that's gonna be something—and they also play Dante's on Saturday, September 7 as part of MusicfestNW.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The New Doubleclicks' Video "Nothing to Prove" Is Delightful and Hilarious

Posted by Alison Hallett on Tue, Jul 23, 2013 at 11:05 AM

Great local band the Doubleclicks has a new video out that takes on sexism and elitism in geek communities, compiling submissions from self-proclaimed geek girls and prominent nerds like Wil Wheaton, Marian Call, Paul and Storm, and John Scalzi. And it's *delightful,* empowering and tough and quite funny. I laughed out loud at local comic book writer Kelly Sue DeConnick's "Who died and made you Batman?" bit. (DeConnick is a great writer who happens to be married to Matt Fraction, one of the biggest names in the industry—she's written eloquently and angrily about what it's like to repeatedly face the assumption that she has her husband to thank for her career.)

There's also a Tumblr collecting even more submissions that they couldn't fit on the video.

The Doubleclicks are performing this weekend at the Secret Society with a couple of other great ladies, comedians Barbara Holm (Joss Whedon-approved!) and Bri Pruett, and musician Sarah Donner. Tickets and show info here.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Y La Bamba's Synchronized Swimming Video

Posted by Courtney Ferguson on Tue, Jun 11, 2013 at 10:41 AM

Two things that taste great... Y La Bamba and synchronized swimming. This 16mm-shot video for the song "Ponce Pilato," off their album Oh February, is a dreamy confection, floating among big trees and deep waters. It was shot on the Oregon Coast, in the Redwoods, and in Puget Sound, starring a troupe of professional synchronized swimmers. The whole endeavor came about because our local amateur synchronized swimming collective, the Olivia Darlings, really wants to keep the aquatic arts alive for a new generation of budding Esther Williamses. (The film star sadly passed away at the age of 91 on June 6. She was a masterfully daring mermaid.) So the group has set about filming music videos for local bands, featuring the fine art of synchronized swimming. This here's their debut—directed by Madison Rowley—and a fine one it is, bypassing the strangely lurid present-day of Olympic synchronized swimming (eeeeeek!), for the beautiful and graceful days of Esther. In the gorgeous out of doors! Sign me up as a supporter.

Speaking of support... the Olivia Darlings are in the midst of a Kickstarter campaign to send out 100 packets to local pools, community organizations, dance schools, and swim clubs. These kits will give a primer course on how to dive in (DON'T SHOOT ME) to the art. They're also giving out a host of goodies for contributors. Here, I'll let their adorable video, starring Minka of the Olivia Darlings, explain it.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Typhoon Filmed a Video at Enchanted Forest

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Thu, Jun 6, 2013 at 10:38 AM

Typhoon premiered their dazzling new video for "Dreams of Cannibalism" on EW today, and you can take a look here. The song will appear on their upcoming album White Lighter (more deets here), and this video was shot at every Oregonian's verymost favoritest place in the world, Enchanted Forest. Lead singer Kyle Morton plays a rabble-rousing leader of a gang of dirty peasants (played by the 4,000 other members of Typhoon) who must escape the clutches of the overlordish proletariat, played by a group of adorable children. Actually, I don't know what the hell is going on here, but I like it. The video, directed by Matthew Thomas Ross, perfectly captures that weird combination of storybook magic and theme-park mundanity that sums up the Enchanted Forest. Planning another visit just went on my summer to-do list.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Kanye West Has a Few Things on His Mind, Still Thinks He's Jesus

Posted by Erik Henriksen on Mon, May 20, 2013 at 11:44 AM

I know the Stefon clip was the thing on SNL everybody wouldn't shut up about over the weekend, but, ah... you guys noticed Kanye West kind of killed it, right?

West performed two new tracks, both of which are generally and accurately being described as "intense" (here's the other one, "New Slaves"); they're presumably from his upcoming album, Yeezus (subtle, Kanye), which'll be out June 18. Considering West's last solo album, 2010's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, was his best and weirdest thus far (here we are three years later, and I'm still not sick of "Runaway"), and that even the relative let-down of his Jay-Z collaboration Watch the Throne still led to some astonishing live shows, it's safe to say Yeezus will be worth getting excited for.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Friday Cheer with Janelle Monáe

Posted by Courtney Ferguson on Fri, May 17, 2013 at 4:44 PM

Sigh. Everyone went to see Star Trek into Darkness and I'm stuck Googling the correct spellings of various dried Italian meats. I'm going to watch my own futuristic space opera with Janelle Monáe's new song "Q.U.E.E.N." from her upcoming album Electric Lady. That'll cheer me up. It'll work for you too, I bet. She has that effect.

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