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.
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.
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."
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
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.
"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.
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.
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.
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!)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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