Season's Screenings

Sep 24, 2014

Welcome to autumn, Portland. The summer appears to have simmered, and this sweater weather calls for warm drinks, cozy company, and probably a good film or two. Tonight (Wednesday, September 24) we're hosting a fundraiser for the lovely, local celebrators of celluloid: Cinema Project, coming up on their 11th season of top notch rare, experimental, and captivating film programming. Tonight features the tag team of Golden Retriever's Matt Carlson with Cinema Projects Mia Ferm for a beautiful meeting of sound and vision, and a trip through Stephen Slappe's 16mm found footage. 

Our city is of course, not in shortage of big box office, second-run theaters, and other outlets for the moving picture, and Cinema Project's last decade+ of programming has offered its take on the fringes of film. They've provided our community with screenings that are historical/archival, as well as progressive and contemporary, hosting modern greats like Saul Levine and Rose Lowder. Be sure to slide in to one of their screenings this season, with work from luminaries/legendaries like Maya Deren, Ben Russell (in attendance!), and Makino Takashi (also in attendance!). Be sure to check out their current calendar. And for some midweek movie pleasure, a little Deren to delight you:

Posted by V

Monday night delight

Sep 17, 2014

Local lineup of K Records rockers The Shivas land at Holocene on Monday, September 22 with Adrien Orange and R.Ariel to pound their way into your early week dance routine. Their double-drum serving of energy and pop is enough to make hearts go pit-er-pat at their brand of jangly Northwestern rock n' roll. October for The Shivas means a U.S. Tour that culminates in the release of their latest LP, "You Know What To Do", so consider this a send off for these hometown howlers. 

Maybe you're tired from TBA, but we're quickly losing the rays of Portland summer, so make these last few weeks count! Preview their KEXP performance here:

Posted by V

Piano Popper

Sep 10, 2014

We checked in with the delightful Kevin Rafn, maestro behind synth pop duo Seance Crasher, who are about to release their latest album, Piano Pills. They're celebrating at Holocene on Sept. 17 with Swahili, Tender Age, and Sex Life DJs! We're excited to be the launch pad for this upcoming collection of carefully crafted, supremely catchy tunes. A little background on the album here...

What inspires your songwriting? And can you point to your different influences going in to this recording?
My songwriting is usually inspired by dreams, favorite television shows, queasy feelings of infinity and a lot of agonizing observations about life. Stuff I can never express in any other way than putting four chords together with words, some of which will be repeated over the course of three minutes. I've basically been stirring the same lyrical cauldron for more than ten years now. I'm just constantly trying to refine it into a sound that's more essential, fun, and accessible. My main influences in the making of my new record 'Piano Pills' were the early Sparks records as well as my enduring passion for Todd Rundgren and Harry Nilsson. The intention was to balance my new found love of vintage synth sounds with piano pop, my background in guitar rock, and unique lyricism.

What is the creation myth of this record?
'Piano Pills' was the result of a brief spasmodic desire on my part for people, other than my friends and parents, to listen to my songs. I consider myself a decent writer, at least prolific, and I felt like my music would come across with more impact if I teamed up with people who had greater technical knowledge than myself. I approached my friend and well known Portland music luminary, Jeremy Wilson, to engineer and guide the making of a record for me. At the time I was writing solely on keyboard instruments, usually electric piano. I chose the best songs I had at the time and focused on those. With so much technology available to musician's these days, what you leave out is as important as what you leave in. All the choices can be paralyzing, ya know?

Back story on the album's title?
The title of the record comes from the many hours I spent practicing piano at a community music center. I fantasized about a drug that would make me better at tickling the ivory so I wouldn't have to practice and be exposed to all the dissonant renditions of Beethoven's 9th that would bleed through the walls from the next room over. I also love playing piano alone. High. So the name also comes from that.

Anything else you might want to add? Favorite foods eaten during recording. Fruit juices that were actually detrimental to the process.
When Seance Crasher is deep into making a record, and I mean deep, I tend to clean up my act and stick to green tea in the mornings, no fried foods, light or no drinking and an early rise time. When I happen to hear the similarities in one of my songs to another more classic tune, I usually don't worry about it. I'm striving after all to make pop music albeit with my own set of tools, and tautology has always seemed like the name of the game.

Posted by V

Mex Mix

Sep 3, 2014

Mexico City producer collective N.A.A.F.I. is gonna take control of the decks for another slick edition of Club Chemtrail, September 18. Take a break from TBA, back to school woes, and whatever else the autumnal equinox is going to bring you, to dance it out with some bangers from this international cohort of DJs. They got the heads at Thump (VICE's latest internet portal for electronic music) turning in this recent profile, worth a read to peek at this southern subculture and check this rad mix from the crew's own Lao.

Posted by V

Bubblin' Up

Aug 20, 2014

This week, the electronic experts of Bubblin' are bringing in help from DC  in the form of DJ duo Beautiful Swimmers. This twosome bring a blend of bangers and under-the-radar jams to get us moving on Saturday, August 23, and you might recognize 1/2 of the pair as Maxamillion Dunbar, who co-runs the über on it DC-based techno/house label Future Times, home to Huerco S. and Protect-U. Dive into this XLR8R mix to pre-game for this weekend!

Posted by V

Summer Suitable

Aug 13, 2014

Portland duo Wishyunu has been steadily gaining steam, increasingly showing up on some great local bills (sprouting up in lineups like the PDX Pop Now! festival) and making crowds swoon with their tasteful mix of catchy, Stereolab-leaning synth pop that rolls effortlessly into driving, krautrock jams that turn their live sets into hynotizing displays of the couple's solid musical rapport. Get into their EP, Futuray, a delightful 4 song selection perfect for a sunset drive, and catch them opening up for Purse Candy (it's worth it to get to shows early, folks!) on Wednesday, August 20

Posted by V

    older entries →