Preview: Tender Age at Holocene 9.1

Aug 31, 2016

With their latest EP Disappear Here, Tender Age wants listeners to strap into their headphones and melt into a pile of nothingness. And with their particularly nostalgic brand of dark experimentation in post-punk/noise-rock - channeling the likes of Sonic Youth and My Bloody Valentine - it’s hard to think of a more appropriate metaphysical or psychedelic reaction to listening to the album.  

The EP contains three new original tracks and two wildly experimental iterations of classic pop songs, skewed through the fuzzed-out and warped lens of Tender Age’s unique blend of dream-pop/noise/shoegaze sounds. Out on SINIS Recordings, the physical release of Disappear Here was done so in boutique fashion. First in an extremely limited edition of 25 copies, each with unique, handmade cover art which has completely sold out. Then in a second limited “tour” edition of 75 - with only 25 made available online that are already sold out, and 50 sold exclusively on tour, in a limited distribution of 2 copies each night. 

On Thursday night (9.1), Tender Age will close out a 23-date National tour with a homecoming performance at Holocene that will also serve as a vinyl release celebration (if you could be so lucky to get your hands on one of the last available copies). In true welcome-home fashion, they’ll be joined by homies and fellow Portland lo-fi experimentalists Soft Kill, Haste (who will also be celebrating the release of a brand new single and kicking off their own tour) and Warm Hands.

Posted by TL

Single Premiere: Seance Crasher "You Don't Waste My Time"

Aug 24, 2016


Before taking on the alias of Seance Crasher in 2013, Portland songwriter Kevin Rafn sharpened his teeth playing with various local indie bands, perhaps the most notable being Wampire. In the three years since then, he’s released 4 EPs of off-kilter analog bedroom pop that are equally as catchy as they are bizarre. Rafn has also recruited a full live band to play with, including his older brother and fellow alt pop songsmith Daniel Rafn. On August 31 at Holocene, Seance Crasher will celebrate the release their first full length album, Basement Behavior, produced and engineered in part by the illustrious Riley Geare, and released on Warble Records. Ahead of that release, Holocene is pleased to premiere the track “You Don’t Waste My Time.”

We spoke with Kevin about the new album, working with his brother and Geare, and what music is currently on his playlist.

Both you and your brother Daniel have long been musical souls. Do you come from a musical family, or what’s helped influence the creative drive of the brothers-Rafn? 

We do come from a musical family. My Dad played guitar, Mom was always involved in choir and musicals. Moody Blues, Wings and The Carpenters were on heavy rotation in our home. As kids we all had pretty active imaginations and were very much convinced we'd be visual artists but making a leap into music as a teen was both shrewd and tidy.

Is it difficult writing and performing music with your brother? Is there ever any kind of sibling rivalry at play?  

Maturity reigns. There’s no rivalry anymore. We’ve worked in each other’s bands for a while and I usually seek his advice on arrangements when we’re playing live. It’s easy for us to critique each other without fine china flying across the room.

Basement Behavior was co-produced by Riley Geare. Was this your first recording project working with someone outside of the group, and how did that affect the way the album took shape? 

Not the first. Jeremy Wilson (Dharma Bums) engineered and co-produced my last EP. Riley was a huge part of Basement Behavior. He played the drums and mixed it too so his sonic stamp looms large over the material. He did a great job.

OPB reports that you’re already halfway done with a follow up record. Are you working with Riley on that one as well? Is there a timeframe in mind for that release and what kind of nuances should listeners expect to hear between the two albums? 

I was halfway done but I’ve written a bunch of new songs that I want to include so now I’m 1/32nd done. Riley is not involved yet. TBD. Listeners can expect something that sounds nonchalant, sparse, un-fussed over and very guitar driven. At least that’s what I’m expecting. We may both yet be surprised.

Any tour plans on the horizon? 

Not at this time.

If you were to hit the road, what are a few songs that would definitely make the tour-van playlist?

Glad you asked!

Todd Rundgren – ‘Useless Begging’

Prince – ‘Damn U’

Taco – ‘I Should Care’

Isley Brothers – ‘Contagious’

Daniel and I are both huge Isley Brothers fans and have been ever since we saw the music video for ‘Contagious’ on BET the summer of ’01. We still have all the lyrics memorized but it gets tricky in the middle when one of us has to do the parts of the woman and R. Kelly while the other pretends to be Ron Isley. I also have a replica of the fuzz pedal used in ‘That Lady, Pts. 1 & 2’ that I’m just in love with. I use it on our closing track ‘You Don’t Waste My Time’.

Posted by TL

Forces At Work: Renee Young, FRENDS Headphones

Aug 17, 2016

Want to listen to your music on the go without sacrificing your immaculate style? Sign up for our newsletter for a chance to win a gorgeous pair of FRENDS headphones!

Realizing a disconnect between fashion and function in the world of headphones, former professional snowboarder Keir Dillon founded FRENDS in 2011. With today’s woman in mind, Dillon reverse engineered everything about the traditional headphone, creating an accessory unlike any other that fuses aesthetic and sound quality. And having been brandished by the likes of Britney Spears, Jessica Alba, Rihanna and Snoop Dogg, it’s safe to say they’re catching on. We chatted with FRENDS’ Global Marketing Director, Renee Young, about the mission and future of the company and what’s currently on her playlist. 

What has been the mission of the company and where are things headed?

Through electronic accessories, FRENDS connects and collaborates with our community to foster creative empowerment. By breaking the conventions of personal audio products, FRENDS creates purpose-driven and highly coveted everyday sound tools that defy the expectations of function, versatility, and style. FRENDS will continue to create products that seamlessly connect and solve the problems of our ever-changing global landscape. FRENDS is constantly innovating our products and we can’t wait to bring you our Audio Jewelry Collection! 

What is your role with the FRENDS brand and company? 

I head up the marketing and partnerships within the company, but since we are only 4 people in our office, I wear many hats!

What most excites you about your job?

My favorite part of my job is that I get to meet new people, interact with our community, and be creative. Work isn’t really work because I have fun with it.

We see that your headphones have been on Rihanna, Jessica Alba, Britney Spears and even Snoop Dogg! Who would be your dream set of ears to place a pair of FRENDS?

I would love to be able to work with Beyonce, Lady Gaga, and CL. These women are all music icons of mine who also have incredible and distinct styles. Can you imagine a custom headphone made for each one of them?!

Fashion and Music are a pair for the ages, and FRENDS has done many killer fashion collaborations. Right now, who or what inspires you in the current fashion landscape? 

I always love designers who are not afraid to have a point of view that might be a bit different but when you wear their clothes, you feel confident. My favorites are Alexander McQueen and Jeremy Scott.

Your company recently showcased on SHARK TANK! That is exciting, how was the experience for FRENDS?

The experience was both humbling and eye opening. It helped us immensely to receive some tough criticism as it gave us ways to strengthen our business.

Last but never least, what is on your current playlist?

Claude Von Stroke “Aundy”

Maya Jane Coles “Everything”

Kungs vs. Cookin’ on 3 Burners “This girl”

And I love this oldie – Miley’s “We Can’t Stop” 

Posted by TL

Preview: Ampersan Live at Holocene 8.14

Aug 10, 2016

Since their formation in 2007, Ampersan have been blending traditional Mexican and Latin American folk and classical music with a touch of modern psychedelia. With a sound that’s equal parts beautiful and haunting, the mesmerizing duo have two albums under their belts and have provided scores for numerous documentaries, animations and film shorts. Recently coming off of a featured spot at the Vive Latino 2016 music festival, Ampersan is embarking on a North American west coast tour that will bring them back through Portland for one night only (8/14) where we’re fortunate to have them grace the stage at Holocene. Joining them for the night is Portland born-and-raised singer-songwriter, poet and actor, Lo Steele, whose impressive neo-soul songs tackles issues of love, race, equality and forgiveness. Don’t miss this incredible night of music!

Posted by TL

Band Crush: Bitch'n

Aug 3, 2016

Formed in 2015 with members hailing from other noteworthy acts like Duover, Great Wilderness, Ioa, Orquestra Pacifico Tropical, Point Juncture WA and Sallie Ford, it’s safe to say that Bitch’n is a formidable Portland super group. While the band’s sound explores various elements of punk, experimental pop, psych and funk, one defining characteristic is their rejection to a hierarchical band-leader format, as all five members typically sing or shout lyrics to  each song in unison. Honored as the city’s No. 5 Best New Band in 2016 by the Willamette Week, the all-female experimental punk quintet will celebrate the physical release of their debut EP, Messed Out, this Thursday night at Holocene. All attendees will receive a complimentary Bitch’n magnet and download code for the EP. Comment on PDX Pipeline's post for a chance to win a pair of tickets to Thursday night's show.

We chatted with the band about the task of actively operating with members in other working bands; what to expect from their promised new material; what they’re currently stoked on; and how to stay creative in a growing city with rapidly increasing costs of living.

With all the members of Bitch’n currently in other working bands, does it prove difficult to actively operate? Or does the diversity of musical backgrounds help spur the creative process?

No, because we all love hanging out and we're going to hang out no matter what. Our scheduling hasn't been that crazy compared to other band we've been in. Granted we are all busy and yes it takes a little extra effort, but it's always worth it.

Messed Out is rooted in punk but explores various themes outside that genre. What can folks who attend your release show expect from the new tunes you’ve announced that you’ll be playing live? 

With our old EP we had to come out of the starting gates yelling, attacking and taking our stance on things. The new songs have more emphasis on positivity and celebrating the things that we think are right. Our music isn't necessarily inspired by other genres but each other. 

What are a few things you’re stoked on right now, musically or otherwise.

Nefertiti: Time Travel

Amanda: Grass-roots vegan advocacy 

Shana: Spontaneity in the Natural World

Rebecca: Stepping outside of the box.

Emily: Turning shit to gold. Alchemy. 

As an all-female band making a name for yourself amidst the adversity of a male dominated music industry, what advice can you give to other young artists and musicians looking to pursue creative passions in Portland or other growing cities with the rapidly increasing costs of living?

Make your own fun. Some things are still free, like writing songs and playing music together.

Posted by TL

Preview: The Lab PDX

Jul 27, 2016

The Lab PDX curates genre-defying events featuring the live interplay between interdisciplinary creative artists in unique spaces across Portland. What began as an effort to support the local art communities by providing new audiences for artist’s work, The Lab PDX’s monthly showcase of multi-arts collaboration celebrates the diversity of Portland’s continually evolving creative landscape. This Thursday’s Evening of Creative Expression boasts a wide array of musical performances, with alt-pop headliners Sleeping Wolf, country-rock/Americana stylings of The Pearls and experimental synth work of Lorna Dune, as well as a sculpture installation by Adam and Rosalynn Rothstein, live typewriter drawing by Rachel Mulder, projections by Megan McKissack, portrait drawings by Danika Rose Sullivan and more. Don’t miss this inspirational exposition of diverse creative mediums! 

Posted by EV

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