Pure Potentiality

Feb 11, 2016

Portland's rich music scene has endless possibility - pure potentiality - and we want to share that limitless energy with all of you. We love our space and our legendary new sound system, but more importantly love to see our friends and all the music lovers of Portland gathering to celebrate what this scene holds. Tonight's event showcases some of our favorite sounds, new and old, in Portland. Featuring Minden, Sama Dams, Amani, and a DJ set by Radiation City, we are excited to live in this moment of Portland and share it with you.

 

Like most of us, Minden relocated here in 2012. Originally from Kansas City, they bring something far more exciting with their sparkly and funky dance pop. They've become an essential staple of the pop scene with the release of two albums - 2013's What's More Appropriate? and their welcome to Portland release, Exotic Cakes, in 2012. For them, the future holds a European tour, which kicks off on the 29th. We're excited to see them off, but knowing that they'll come back to us soon.

 

 

The Portland music scene has endless potential. New formations of music veterans present unimaginable possibilities. Former Minden member, Dan Talmage, has teamed up with other all-stars Noah Berstein, the saxophonist of Shy Girls, and MC Yafe Aros to bring a brand new trio - Amani. Amani is such a thrilling new project, with nothing released yet online. The future of this band is unfolding quickly as it braves new territories of music.

For Sama Dams, 2016 holds an album release. Set to come out on April 15th, Comfort in Doubt is bound to be another genre defying work. The band has been at the forefront of a movement in Portland’s music scene to step away from twee chamber pop and toward something more expressive.

 

Tonight's event will be kicked off with a DJ set from Radiation City, whose new album Synesthetica will be released this Friday. Come celebrate with us tonight as all these amazing artists look into the bright and wonderful potential of this year, this season, and most importantly this moment.

 

 

Posted by EV


On "Holding Space"

Feb 2, 2016

Event spaces are built upon intent. Choices and details meant to bring an experience, an indulgent world, for the outside reality to fall away and be replaced with this temporary space. It allows you to explore, to think, to have fun. But often, we don't consider the thought put into how our experiences are created. most importantly how things can be tailored to the tastes of the majority, how space is made to make those feel comfortable and welcome.

This Wednesday (2/3), we will be hosting an evening entitled Holding Space. It is a social engagement crafted and featuring the works of artists of color. Movement, music, visual art, this night celebrates the work of many artists who don't hold the majority in a space, in the scene, or in Portland in general. Intisar Abioto, Claire Barrera, Ripley Snell, Eileen Isagon Skyers, Dao Strom, Takahiro Yamamoto will all be presenting work. With it's title, Holding Space grabs your attention and makes you question the ability to own a space. We invite you to come and explore with us the ever complicated ideas of space, time, lineage, memory, and rituals of sharing.

 

photo from Intisar Abioto's project The Black Portlanders

Stacey Tran, writer and artist, as well as a creator of Holding Space, talked with us about the intention, birth, and necessity of this evening.

 

What does Holding Space mean?

This phrase kept popping up in conversations with my friend Jenny Chu. She and I are a part of a group of artists of color which has been meeting informally each week to share food, stories, and resources. And while not everyone can always attend, Jenny made a good point: we need to hold the space for these meetings to continue happening regularly.

Was there a specific moment that generated the necessity of creating an event like Holding Space?

A specific moment? Yes: specifically each moment an artist of color is the only person of color in the room. I hope HOLDING SPACE can nurture a different setting, a different majority.

Do you have any expectations for how people will interact with the work?

There's a wide range of work and styles being presented at HOLDING SPACE: movement, text, sound, video, a coffee ceremony. I hope we will continue trying to seek out and support artists of color and redefine our desires and expectations of what art can do and how close we can get to it. Each of these artists have inspired, empowered, and moved me deeply in their own specific works - I hope the attendees will come away from the evening similarly inspired, empowered, and moved.

 

 

What do you find revolutionary or interesting about the work being showcased at Holding Space?

Each of these artists are interested in redefining their work, transcending the hard lines drawn around art practice and performance, transforming how we interact with(in) a space (conceptual space and architectural space). I'm excited to see what happens!

What do you love about the Portland art scene? Where do you see doors opening or doors needing to be opened

I am grateful for so much happening all across the city. I hope it keeps growing and changing and (for lack of a better word right now) "diversifying". I do hope for a future of more POC-owned and operated art establishments. I hope for more access, more possibility, more voices, more risks, more stage time, more residencies, more paid labor, more publications, more representatives, more. More of us.

Posted by EV


REMEMBERING BOWIE

Jan 27, 2016

This Bowie print, by Tim John O'Brien of OBITAY Design, is for sale at our Bowie tribute event tonight - BATTLE CRIES & CHAMPAGNE. ALL proceeds from sales of the print are going to the American Cancer Society. $10 each, 13x19 on thick matte cardstock. Inquire at the bar if you'd like to purchase. We look forward to seeing you tonight to honor this legend's passing!

Posted by GA


An Intro to The Black Madonna

Jan 21, 2016

The Black Madonna started her career slinging mixtapes. Born into a house of musicians, she grew up having good taste. After getting involved in the Midwest rave scene in her teenage years, she put that taste to good use. Making mixtapes and handing them out at shows was her first real job in the music scene - and since then she's done it all. Producer. DJ. Talent buyer. Promoter. Poster designer. Label employee. When she's not on tour DJing around the world, she's curating at the infamous Smart Bar in Chicago as the Creative Director. She claims her talent as not being a techincal skill. Her rich music history has given her the knowledge and skills to be the DJ and producer she is today. She says, " I have a kind of phonographic memory. I can remember pieces of music in a very detailed way through just a few listens, and [that's] still is a big part of my DJing, knowing records really, really, really well. And for all her skills and accomplishments, she remains humble - in total awe of the artists she works around every day. With every show and every set, she sets the bar higher for herself and for the dance community in general. Turning towards big influences like Theo Parrish and DJ Harvey, The Black Madonna sees a different kind of future for the world of dance music.

 

"There has been a kind of gentrification for the dancefloor."  In an interview with Redbull, The Black Madonna dove into the ways in the dance world has changed. How it has become more corporate, more commodified, as the dance world has exploded and DJs have become international superstars. But she sees an end to the almost "comic" ways in which dance music has reached new heights. The Black Madonna's music calls for a new era of DJs. Riot Grrrls, hardworking people, people who can't afford the cover charge, academics, cranky queers and teenagers who are tired of this shit. People who are looking to challenge the status quo.

Her dance floor is for everyone. So get down with her this Friday night for only $10 in advance, or $12 at the door. She'll be joined by Portland faves Ben Tactic, Nathan Detroit, and Vera Rubin. She'll also be speaking at S1 in the evening, so get learned and then come get turnt.

Posted by EV


Love Lies Deep Within: A Janet Jackson Tribute

Jan 15, 2016

When Janet Jackson cancelled her spring 2016 Unbreakable tour, it seemed that we would never get our much needed dose of magical seductress energy. Thankfully, she is rescheduling her tour dates. And we are even more thankful to hear that the cancer rumors were, just in fact, rumors. But still, she was supposed to hit the Moda Center this week. So, while we were missing our favorite Princess of Pop, the right thing came along. Love Lies Deep Within: A Janet Jackson Tribute Night was a true celebration of a multi-talented icon. Taking inspiration from a career spanning thirty years, local Portland artists covered Janet songs and created inspired DJ sets. Reva DeVito, Chanti Darling, DoublePlusGood, Blossom, LEO, Daniel Rafn, and Mount Saint Hood crooned through Janet classics and deep cuts. DJs Pocket Rock-It and Troubled Youth channeled the true Janet experience. The dance moves, fashion, and sex appeal were in full force.

Janet is a hard woman to encapsulate in words. Her aura of sensuality, confidence, and tenderness is entirely unique. Nilina Mason-Campbell from Mount Saint Hood remarked that "Janet has always been apart of [her] life from middle school sing-a-longs to dance team tryouts. She's got such a unique way of singing, conquering complex beats and tempos and is always able to make it all sound effortless." Teaming up with other local artists, Nilina tackled "Someone to Call My Lover," "Got Til It's Gone" and "What's It Gonna Be?" with a spin straight out of the Bayou.

Sets by Chanti Darling and Reva DeVito, two smooth and sultry powerhouses, shone as direct descendents of the Jackson line. It seems that Janet is so often overlooked as one of the major muses and icons for modern pop. Her image often is wrapped up in scandals, when her influence is so much stronger than that. Seeing Reva DeVito teamed up with up and comer Blossom was a true tribute to the power that Janet brings to the scene.

Thank you to all who came out and paid tribute to the wonderful Janet Jackson! Stay tuned for more tribute nights coming up soon.

Posted by EV


Interview with Ryan Neighbors of Hustle & Drone

Jan 5, 2016

Hustle and Drone formed in 2012, after keyboardist Ryan Neighbors left Portugal. the Man to pursue his own writing. Spending many years exploring their sound and lineup, Hustle & Drone started to make synth heavy electronic rock sounds with an almost anthem like quality. Their most recent album, Holyland, was released in September 2014. In 2015 they took more time to write new music, playing few shows in Portland. This Wednesday, they'll be joined by Gold Casio and Michael Finn of the Domestics.
 
We chatted with Ryan about where the trio's music is going and the expectations they hold for 2016. Check it out below!
 
 
How are the "new year, new you" vibes treating you? Any big goals for 2016?
 
I tried not to make a New Year's resolution to beat myself up over this year other than finishing a lot of new music. We have had 100 half written songs over the last couple of years and I just want to finish them up and stop thinking too much. Also I need a new coat and some new shoes for the cold, so that's a pretty tangible goal I should be able to accomplish in the coming weeks.
 
The electro synth-y world of music has exploded since your last album, Holyland. Where do you see yourself fitting into all that?
 
I think when I first started playing and writing electronic music it was a much rarer form of expression than it has become in the last couple years, so I am trying not to think too much about what everyone else is doing because to be honest, I would probably be a little behind on things. What I can confidently say, is that we are actually a band that plays instruments, which would hopefully make us stand out in the electronic music scene. We played What The Festival last year and we had the most members of any act performing, which is not a criticism of electronic music or artists that just remix and DJ, but it hopefully sets us a part in some sort of way.
 
 
How do you see your music evolving since the last album?
 
So far on a lot of the newer songs we have been working on we have just been exploring different sounds. We are always buying new synths and learning new tricks over time and it's been really fun being able to take a song from one place to the next because you change the bass tone. I think it's gonna be a little more real. More piano, organ, and live drums. I'm quite excited to show it to the world.
 

What are your plans for recording the upcoming album?

We will be actively recording for the next few months, hopefully releasing a series of singles to preview the album that is to come. I really want us to take our time and not rush, but also be able to identify when a song is just finished. That's the rabbit hole I always get myself into, thinking I will make it better later, and then take months to revisit a recording. It's pretty frustrating but it's nice that the songs are all turning out pretty cool so far. It would be a lot worse if the problem was not having any good songs.
 
What are your favorite parts of making music in Portland?
 
I just really like being around a lot of really creatively driven people in a community together. People collaborate, fill in for other players, make it out to your friends show even if you've already seen them play in the same month. It's just a really supportive place to be and you feel like you are succeeding when you have a lot of support from people you respect.

Posted by EV


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