When I started this blog last June, I honestly didn’t expect the response I have received thus far to be so warm and enthusiastic. Nor did I expect that some eight months later I would be helping host an Experimental Portland Presents… show at one of the best venues in the city, Mississippi Studios.
Tonight is the first one of these monthly events and I couldn’t be more thrilled about the lineup. Here is who is playing with some sound clips to hopefully get you even more excited about it:
I sure hope to see some of you there tonight.
By all accounts, the fifth edition of Experimental Portland Presents… was a success. Sadly, I was not in attendance due to some family health issues. But this being the modern age, I’m able to relive the experience in some small way thanks to the recording Ted Laderas aka The OO-Ray captured of his set. And what a gorgeous and dronetastic 25 minutes it was. So glad Ted, Beau, and Tim were all able to come out and play.
Be on the lookout next week for more information about the next Experimental Portland Presents showcase — the first of a collaboration with the great Mississippi Studios — featuring Blues Control, Plankton Wat, and Fang Moon.
A quick note to remind one and all that TONIGHT brings the 5th installment of Experimental Portland Presents… The show gets underway at 9pm at Valentines (232 SW Ankeny). And to get in, you will only have to pay $3.
I have three acts at the ready for you. Here they are with some sound clips to boot.
BEAUNOISE (making his live debut, no less)
Below is the poster for the show (please ignore the listing for I’ve Lost…he’s not able to play tonight sadly). Hopefully we’ll see one or more of you there tonight.
The name Garek Druss should, for most Portland metalheads, evoke sounds both mighty and vast, as is the view of his work in TECUMSEH and Atriarch. Dare I suggest though that Druss is going even further and farther out there with his solo project A Story Of Rats. The once-one man effort isn’t as fiendish feeling or as demonstrative as the aforementioned metal acts. ASOR has more of a primordial ooze kind of effect, the kind that you see bubbling out of the drain and ignore until it is too late and you’re covered in it. Druss is expanding the scope of this lava-like sound with the new addition of a live drummer into the mix, which sounds so vibrant put up against the long drones of his synth/electronics. This track features all that and more, and comes from Vastness & The Inverse, ASOR’s upcoming release on the magisterial Translingustic Other label. The vinyl release of said album is a short-run, so follow the previous link to preorder it, or – if you are so bold – wait until A Story Of Rats performs on March 27th at Mississippi Studios with King Dude and Of The Wand And The Moon.
Like most genres, experimental music tends to be a dude’s game. Take, for example, the 12 minute trailer for the big modular synth documentary that featured a grand total of two women, one of whom didn’t even get her voice heard. As excited as I am for the film, the omission was glaring. Rarer still are the experimental acts that are all female or just the sounds created by one woman.
I’m not smart enough to dig into the complicated reasons that this has happened, and continues to happen. All I can do is try to emphasize those women that are standing on their own and making a beautiful or ugly racket. I try to make sure there is a female-led act on the Experimental Portland Presents… shows that I book, and I made a call on social media a while back to dig up those female local experimentalists that I was unaware of.
One of the names that came up was Mariela Rossi, a German-born musician who lives here in the Rose City who makes some of the most blessedly uncompromising noises around. She just recently posted this piece to her SoundCloud page, a long grumble interrupted by meteorite-like flashes of melody that evolves into a prolonged squeal. Fingers crossed, I’m going to convince Ms. Rossi to bring her noisemakers to a future Experimental Portland Presents… show.
Yes…I know this isn’t a Portland act. Consider it my Valentine’s Day gift to you, dear reader, and then let me explain where it ties into the local scene.
The fine folks at Ba Da Bing! are releasing a split 12″ that features these New Zealand-based noise rock icons on one side (recently unearthed tracks from the band’s EUSA Kills album) and on the other, the jazz-skronk-free rock trio known as Rangda, that features Portlander Sir Richard Bishop tearing it up on guitar.
Until I get a Rangda track to feature, you’re going to have to live with this fuzzed out smear of a track courtesy of Messrs. Russell, Morley, and Yeats. I’m sure you’ll find some way to forgive me for going outside the NW just this once.
This bit of news is likely old information for true noiseniks out there, but for those of you who may have missed it: some amazing compilations of noise artists from around the world put together but never released by Anti-Everything were recently unearthed and presented on Bandcamp in a beautiful “pay what you will” download situation. The collections have 99 tracks each — all of them short, pungent, and meaty — and features some names that should be familiar to local noise lovers: Daniel Menche, Sissy Spacek, John Wiese, Okha, etc., etc., ad infinitum.
Just going to do a quick update here as I have a super sick child on my hands and little time to deal with anything other than giving him fluids.
Until things have settled down here is a piece of a jam session held at Tardis Room here in Portland last weekend as part of the most recent Battery Powered Music event. Follow that link to hear even more circuit bent brilliance just like it.
It’s turned into quite the classical-themed week here at EXPDX. But I ain’t complaining.
Anyway…here’s a bit of news from out of the corners of the classical community: Classical Revolution PDX has just announced that Christopher Corbell will be taking over as executive director for the group, starting April 1st, with their previous exec. dir. Mattie Kaiser moving over to a full-time creative director role. An excellent decision that will likely give Kaiser more time and energy to devote to curating amazing shows for the group. The text of the CRPDX press release is pasted below.
Dan Rasay, chair of the board of Classical Revolution PDX announced today that the board has appointed Christopher Corbell to the position of executive director, effective April 1st. Mattie Kaiser founder and previous executive director is assuming position of artistic director.
In his announcement Rasay said: “We’re excited to have Christopher to build upon Mattie Kaiser’s hard work to get Classical Revolution PDX designated as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Mattie will be assuming the role of artistic director and shifting her focus to help spread the Classical Revolution mission nation-wide.”
Corbell said, “Since I began working with Classical Revolution PDX over two years ago as a participating musician and active volunteer I’ve seen amazing things happen. Bringing chamber music to listeners outside the traditional classical fold, encouraging local performers and composers to engage and participate, and finding new, unexpected venues for this music are all aspects of a mission I believe in deeply. I am grateful for the opportunity to continue Mattie Kaiser’s work, and I look forward to developing this organization’s unique and essential place in the Portland arts community.”
Kaiser adds, “It’s been six years since I founded Classical Revolution PDX and am I full of pride at what it has become. What started as a craigslist ad and handful of friends is now a fully functional nonprofit organization that boasts the involvement of over 300 musicians and produces more than 30 performances a year. I am profoundly optimistic about our future and am happy to pass the role of Executive Director on to Christopher. As Artistic Director, I will actively funnel as many great ideas as I can to the organization to ensure that we’re always on the cutting edge of innovative chamber music programming.”
With the generous support of the Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) Classical Revolution PDX is presenting The Composer Project 2013 in March. This week long workshop gives aspiring local composers the opportunity to learn from professional composers, artists and producers. The workshop culminates with a String Quartet Competition at the Community Music Center on Sunday March 10th @ 7pm.
The 100th anniversary of the birth of John Cage brought an impressive amount of performances and tributes to the Rose City, but none were as expansive and impressive as the months long exhibit that went on at PNCA. It culminated in this evening of dance and music and sound on October 3rd of last year which saw about a dozen dancers moving freely throughout the space, reacting to the music being performed by a murderer’s row of Portland’s best avant musicians: Reed Wallsmith, Ben Kates, Matt Carlson, Richie Greene, and Catherine Lee among them. The above video-posted by one of the organizers of the event, Linda Austin-doesn’t do it near justice, but gives you a fairly large sampling of what went on that evening and is well worth about 11 minutes of your time and attention.