Music: Beaunoise – “Slide Into Tune”

Can I be forgiven for getting a little personal for a moment? It’s been difficult to maintain things on this blog. Even though it’s been alive for a number of years now (4? 6? 50?), I’ve had to let it lapse and collect some dust for a while with life getting in the way. And this summer has been particularly “in the way.”

I started an actual job, managing a website. The family and I bought a house. I wrote a book. And I’ve been trying to juggle all of that with my freelance work. So, things went a little stale here for a while. But, two things happened recently that had me looking to redouble my efforts with EXPDX in the coming months/years/millennia.

I had a long chat with Gordon Ashworth for another publication and we were both despairing at how experimental music is starting to float further to the margins in our hometown thanks to the skyrocketing cost of rent and a seeming disinterest in a lot of venues to take a chance on unusual sounds unless bigger blogs say it’s okay to like them. With that in mind, now is not the time to let things wither here on the site, but rather to push even harder to bring attention to the amazing music being made in our city.

Then a former Portlander, and someone who played an Experimental Portland Presents… showcase during one of the more challenging times of my life and who I count as a dear friend, Beaunoise, just released some new music. No, he’s not technically a resident of the city as he has since moved to Oakland to continue his amazing career as a producer/mixer/mastering engineer, but his music never ceases to inspire me. And listening to this new collection of work that was made with a wonderfully failing Eventide H3000, I was jarred awake and back to reality like nothing before.

So, listen to this terrifying and beautiful piece of music a few times today, and maybe go drop the $10 to get the whole album. And bear with me as I try to dust off this site, and try to fit regular posting into my already swelling schedule of activity. Thanks for sticking with me and checking out the site on the regular.

Music: Creative Music Guild Compilation #2

We sing the praises of Creative Music Guild within these e-pages on the regular, and for good reason. Their keen ear for local talent is unmatched as is the work that they do to bring artists from around the world to Portland for live performances. And the craziest thing is that the people who put all of their live shows and the Improvisation Summit and other events are doing it all as volunteers and with the financial support of institutions and individual donors.

I bring all this up for the simple reason that I encourage you to give the CMG your support in some small or large way. You can either attend one of their bi-monthly Outset Series events at Turn Turn Turn (check our calendar for the dates of the August performances). You can click on the Bandcamp link up above that will net you a digital or physical copy of their latest compilation album – featuring tracks recorded live at CMG events. Or, you can do what I’m about to do, which is to become a monthly supporter of the organization.

The group is looking for 25 new sustaining donors to kick off their 25th year of existence. As they say:

All of the money we collect goes directly to the artists and performers that present at CMG events, either to their fee for their artistry and talent, the venue we help host them in, or their travel expenses. Along with grants, individual donations -from someone like you- helps to fund our amazing programming.

Waste no more time, dear friends: send the CMG a little or a lot of money to help keep them alive and thriving for another quarter century.

Video: The OO-Ray First Look

A month or three ago, a nice gent from Chicago came by my apartment to interview me about one of my favorite local artists The OO-Ray for a documentary he was making on Ted Laderus and his amazing music. I nervously, haltingly, blunderingly stumbled my way through an on-camera interview and hopefully sounded like I had some idea of what I was talking about. I’m still not sure if any of my chatter made the cut, but I do know that the director, Hamid Bendaas, is getting close to a finished product as evidenced by this wonderful, short preview of the film that he just put online. Even if I’m not in it, I’m really looking forward to seeing the full documentary whenever it is wrapped up.

Video: Mike Gamble – “Cogent”

Today, we bring you a gorgeous and slightly chilling piece from guitarist Mike Gamble, found on his new album Self Stor.age that sends his melodies through some lovely and occasionally disconcerting visual effects. It’s not unlike the iTunes Visualizer at times, but his emphatically spaced out classical guitar playing covers over those little lung-like pulsations that take over the screen. Gamble will be releasing videos to accompany many of the tracks from his new album. And if you’re in Portland tonight, be sure to swing down to Valentine’s to catch him performing live.

News: Creative Music Guild Launches Fundraiser for 2015 Improvisation Summit

If you were at Mississippi Studios last night, basking in the sound of William Parker, Hamid Drake, and Peter Brotzmann tying themselves together into knots and restructuring every idea you may have about jazz music, you have the Creative Music Guild to thank.

Those tireless volunteers have been doing some incredible work, curating their regular Outset Series concerts and using their meager budget to bring in artists from out of the area to dazzle and intellectually stimulate fans of avant garde music. This year, alone, that has meant incredible performances by Tim Berne’s Snakeoil, Joelle Leandre, John Haughm, Sister Mamie Foreskin, MSHR, and so many more. And did I mention the people working these shows are all volunteer?

All this is to say that the CMG need your help to continue their work, in particular their upcoming Improvisation Summit of Portland, going down at Disjecta on June 4th, 5th, and 6th. The lineup they have in place for this is, as you might imagine, a jaw-dropper: AACM member Roscoe Mitchell, Gordon Ashworth, CATFISH, Brumes, Arrington de Dionyso, Secret Drum Band, and so many more. If your ear is even slightly bent towards experimental sounds, this is a weekend you do not want to miss.

[Oh, and I’m going to be hosting a panel on one of the days, subject TBD. And no, I’m not being compensated for my time. All for the love of the game, fam.]

If you have some extra cash to spare, I encourage you to throw some dough to this cause. Their goal is modest (thanks to the help of the RACC and the other fundraisers they’ve thrown through the year), so this should take little time for them to reach it. As long as you can help out, of course. Click right here to offer your support.


Music: Moongriffin – Glimpse of Future

One of my few disappointments about this week’s Experimental Portland Radio was that I had to hurry to get the thing finished and out into the world without a track from the new album by Moongriffin. With apologies to Elliott Ross, I knew if I dragged my feet any longer on getting the new episode into the world, it might never have gotten done.

Regardless, your kind attention should be be paid to Glimpse of Future. It’s a marvelously modern jazz record, driven by the sonic playfulness of Ross and his oft-processed guitar and post-production trickery. And he’s joined in the fun by a slew of great players, with an especial nod to Nate Lepine, whose sax and flute work throughout is smartly angular and the scrabbling beats of drummer Charles Rumback. This doesn’t feel like a glimpse at the future, but rather a long, unbroken look that allows you to drink in every detail and rejoice in what’s to come.

And if you like what you hear here, be sure to drop by The Waypost this coming Saturday, where Moongriffin will be celebrating the release of this album and the new label Cartilage Osseux Records with a live performance featuring Tim DuRoche on drums, Andre St. James on bass, and Mike Gamble on guitar.

Podcast: Experimental Portland Radio #010

Experimental Portland Radio #010 by Experimentalportland on Mixcloud

At long last a new episode. No talking from me right now, just music. Until I get a new microphone, that’s the way it’s gonna be. Deal with it.

Don Haugen – Death Of The King

CATFISH – Addiction
CATFISH leader Joe Cunningham plays with Blue Cranes at Jimmy Mak’s on May 5th

Tim Berne’s Snakeoil – Semi-Self Detached
playing at Jimmy Mak’s on May 5th

Beauty School – A3
playing at Alice Coltrane Memorial Coliseum on May 5th

BEAST – Lock The Jaws
Daniel Menche plays at Turn Turn Turn on May 6th w/ John Haughm

Rich Halley 4 – Crossing The Passes
playing at The Waypost on May 4th

Ceramic Dog – Ritual Slaughter
Marc Ribot plays at Marylhurst University on May 8th

ant’lrd – Betrothed
playing at Beacon Sound on May 8th w/ Pulse Emitter and Opaline

S.H.E. – Over Version
plays at Lovecraft Bar on May 9th as part of Volt Divers

Tetrad Veil – L.W.R.

Music: High Light

I’ve been hearing rumors and discussion about this collaboration between Scott Worley (aka Jatun) and Tim Gray (aka Ethernet) for a long while now. A two-person exploration of modular synth and digital software improvisation brought into the world by two of the smartest players in the experimental electronic game.

The pair are finally making good on their promise with the upcoming release of a cassette/digital album under the name High Light. The three tracks that are available to stream (or to download if you pre-order) are just what a heart needs after the passing of Tangerine Dream leader Edgar Froese. These two locals are carrying the flame of mind-bending swirls of melody and cinematic drones and burbles. The added beauty of this collaboration is that it’s obvious how much the two are listening to each other and growing this sound as a unit. They put their individual musical identities aside for the sake of the whole project.

News: Third Angle Announces 2015-16 Season


I was lucky enough to spend part of last night in the company of the Third Angle ensemble and one of my favorite writers, Alex Ross of The New Yorker, as the former presented a showcase of 20th and 21st century composers from the West Coast (incl. Lou Harrison, Henry Cowell, and John Luther Adams) with narration and comments from the latter. It was a majestic and challenging and inspiring evening that reaffirmed what amazing work this small organization is doing to keep the spirits of both the chamber recital and contemporary classical music alive.

They also used the evening as an opportunity to announce the next season of Third Angle performances, which you can find here on their website. As expected, it is an impressive series that includes a celebration of Steve Reich’s 80th birthday with the help of the gents from So Percussion (pictured above) that includes the Portland premiere of the composer’s Sextet, an evening dedicated to the Radio Happenings conversations that took place between John Cage and Morton Feldman between 1966 and 1967, and lots of music by contemporary composers like Evan Kuhlmann, Michael van der Aa, and Jay Derderian. It’s such a thrilling selection of performances, so much so that for the first time, I’m trying to see if i can work a full-season subscription into my already tight budget. Maybe I’ll see you there?

Podcast: Experimental Portland Radio #009

Experimental Portland Radio #009 by Experimentalportland on Mixcloud

A new edition of the show for y’all. This time just a straight mix of music with no voiceover from me. Hope you like it.

Entrail – Exploded Star [from Ursula]
Entrail plays on March 25th at Valentines

The Van Meyers – Retribution [from Experiments In Noise IV]

Jordan Norton – 19.9 KCLO [from KNRT]

Davis Hooker & Evan Spacht – PANTING [from PANTING]

Evan Spacht – tazen

The OO-Ray – Hunting Song [from Empty Orchestra]

Planets Around The Sun – Creature
Planets Around The Sun member Ian Paige performs at Mothership Music on March 20th

Million Brazilians – IV [from New Ideas In Psychic Music Vol II: Sexual Desert]
Million Brazilians play one of their last Portland, Oregon shows for a while on March 21st at High Water Mark Lounge