I don’t tend to make straight up pleas on this blog, for fear of sounding like all the desperate PR folk that fill my inbox every weekday. But the deal is this: the booking folks at Ash Street Saloon are changing, and the gent who is taking care of it now sounds already very suspicious of what I’m bringing to the table with these shows. He hasn’t outright said this but the implication is: if these shows don’t look like they’re worth the venues while (aka if no one shows up), he’s going to nix the one I had planned for December and the two things I have booked there next month will be it.
I realize that the Ash Street is an odd place for shows of this kind, but they treat the people who play there well and the sound system is amazing. I’d much rather book a modular synth player like Obsolete Synthesis and let him be heard as he wants to be heard rather than through some crappy PA in some DIY garage/basement space (as much as I love those too).
So, my simple plea is this: can we prove to the Ash Street folks that there is an audience for this music and that having me have at least one night a month to celebrate it is beneficial to them? In short: can I rely on y’all to show up tonight and support the blog, the musicians, and the scene as a whole?
Details on the show are here in this poster. I hope you can make it.
Thanks to all the folks who came out last night for another amazing show at the Ash Street Saloon. For those of you didn’t make it, here’s a taster of the scintillating performance by the duo of Moongriffin & Bernstein. The former played electronics and guitar; the latter, saxophone sent through a bank of effects pedals. The combination was at times ethereal, danceable, and emotion rich.
Experimental Portland Presents… #14 w/ Linux SKNRD + No Parades + Stochastic Mettle Union @ Ash St. Saloon, 9pm
I am as pleased as anyone when the staff of a venue likes the shows that I book enough that they ask me back to do either the occasional booking, or a regular series of shows. Pleased and surprised. Those feelings are trebled when it comes to the Ash St. Saloon, one of the city’s least-heralded venues. It’s a great space that got an unfair reputation heaped upon it due to its former reliance on rock and metal shows (something I put on the person who used to handle the booking there). If anyone was able to make it to ALTO!’s vinyl release show with Million Brazilians a little while back, you would have seen firsthand what the place has to offer: a big, open performance area with a powerful sound system.
All this is to emphasize how thrilled I am that the Ash Street has extended an offer to let me curate a monthly showcase of experimental music, the first of which is tonight. Usually these things will go down on the third Tuesday of every month, but as we’re just getting rolling, this one landed on a Thursday. No matter when it happens, though, this is going to be a firecracker of a show. On tap tonight:
Stochastic Mettle Union
The cost of admission is a mere $5, and the whole megillah gets underway at 9pm. If you’re one of those tech-heavy types who likes to let the world know that you’re going somewhere via your chosen social network, here’s the Facebook event page.
Battery Powered Orchestra Workshop @ Cymaspace, 10am
Going on right now is the second day of the Battery Powered Orchestra’s workshop on circuit-bending, sampling, and making electronic music of a certain modular bent. Today, they will be featuring performances by Jeph Nor, Maps to The Stars, and BPO, as well as a keynote address from digital artist Jeremy Rotsztain. Also, click on the Cymaspace link above, and you catch videos from the first day of the BPOW.
Arthur Magazine Launch Party w/ Michael Hurley @ The Waypost, 9pm
One of the country’s greatest independent publications celebrates the release of its 35th issue tonight at the Waypost, with a performance by an artist written about in a huge feature in the new edition: Michael Hurley. If you’re unfamiliar with either the magazine or Mr. Hurley, you are disconnected by some of the most exploratory and mind-bending work of our modern age.
I first want to thank all the warm…very warm…bodies that came out to Slabtown on Tuesday of this week to drink in the massive sounds of Sun Hammer, Consumer., and No Phone. Thanks for continuing to inspire me to keep doing shows like this. Every time I start getting really soured on the notion, these shows happen to give me a shot in the arm. So to speak.
Anyway, one gentleman who attended Tuesday’s gig, my friend Dean Hanson, brought along his camcorder and captured some footage of the first two acts of the evening (he had to head out before No Phone’s set…). And being a man of the modern world, he uploaded them to YouTube. So, via the magic of WordPress embed codes, I bring to you a small sampling of what went down earlier this week.
I’m already cooking up some nice evenings of entertainment for August and September, so stay tuned, citizens. Stay tuned.
Have I really helped facilitate a baker’s dozen of events here in town? It would appear so…and each one is more exciting than the last. So, right now, at this hour, I’m giddy about tonight’s show featuring three current favorites of the experimental music world: Consumer., No Phone, and Sun Hammer. It’s happening at the fine, fine bar Slabtown, and, more importantly, it’s all ages!!
Click on the links and sample their wares (or just scoot below the picture and dig into a live recording of Sun Hammer performing at this year’s Closer Electronic Music Festival).
For many of us, Tuesday night isn’t the most ideal night to venture out into the frigid April air to attend a small concert in NE Portland. But whatever I can do to encourage you to make it out to tonight’s installment of Experimental Portland Presents… I will do.
The most I can do at the moment is let you know about the amazing music that will be on tap at Habesha on 801 NE Broadway tonight, starting at 9pm. As you glean from the sound clips below, this is going to be a noisy one, probably the noisiest show I’ve done yet. And that thrills me to no end. Bring some earplugs and an open mind.
Daughter Talk (her first ever live performance)
In case you were unaware: Experimental Portland Presents… #7 is happening TONIGHT at Record Room with an amazing trio of sound artists performing for you. The cost to get in is a nice sliding scale of $3-5, but if you can’t afford that, talk to me at the door and we’ll work something out. As with all the shows I do where money is taken at the door all of it goes into the pockets of the artists. Not the venue, nor myself, are taking a dime for this.
Tonight’s show came together in, I think, one of the best ways possible. Rinus Van Alebeek, the Dutch sound artist who currently resides in Germany, got in touch with me via e-mail, looking for someone to help him get a show together in Portland while he was on the West Coast. I’m so lucky he reached out to me first and I was able to nab him and his incredible collages of found sounds, self-made noises, and cassette buzzing and howling for this event.
The seventh installment of this series not only features my first international artist but also, much to my shame and chagrin, the first time I will have a female artist on one of my bills. I know this might be a touchy issue for some, but there’s still this huge bias towards male artists in every genre, including experimental music. And I didn’t realize I was playing into that until I was booking the last two events. So, I made the call to people via Twitter and Facebook for suggestions of great female experimentalists that live here in town. One of those names was Brumes, an ambient artist whose work is filled with quiet storms of emotion.
Sun Hammer was someone I tried to book early on in this series as I was instantly shaken by the strength of his glitchy, low-end rattling compositions. But it hasn’t been until now that I’ve been able to lock him down for a performance. If the last performance I saw by him at Townsend’s Tea is any indication, this set will end up leaving a huge and inviting impression on your amygdala and send some nice jolts of warmth through your weary joints.