Today in Experimental Portland – Wednesday, July 31

Aan + Sun Angle + Swahili @ Holocene, 9pm

The psychedelic explorations of Swahili are the perfect salve for the mid week malaise (I’m not the only one who suffers with that, I hope…). Their generous amounts of expanding synthesizer bubbles and tempestuous drums feel especially good after a long day of toiling over a hot hard drive. And it mixes nicely with the skittish energy of Sun Angle and the agitpop of Aan.


Plankton Wat + Sam Humans + Months @ The Know, 8pm

In case you were unaware, Dewey Mahood has left the Eternal Tapestry fold after 10+ years of unleashing torrents of psych beauty with them. The good news about his departure is that he can concentrate his efforts even further on his work as Plankton Wat, which from the sounds of his upcoming album Drifter’s Temple (out in September on Thrill Jockey) means a deep dive into the world of American Primitive acoustic fingerpicking and smears of electric guitar joy.


Music: ALTO! – Tour Cassette

The people of California were recently indoctrinated into the cult of ALTO! as the trio headed down South for a quick tour of the Golden State. And to help keep a bit of gas and snack money coming in, they put together a cassette to sell. The digital version of said tape is now online via the ever popular Bandcamp site and it features three jarring and breathtaking tracks. One is a half-hour suite of feedback, drone, and field recordings, and the other two are companion improvs that put the heavy percussive attack on the backburner and placing the emphasis on thick swathes of spine-tingling atmosphere.

Today in Experimental Portland – Tuesday, July 30

John Krausbauer + Mitchell Brown + Derek Monypeny @ Valentines, 9pm

Unless I’m thinking of someone else (and with my fevered brain, there’s a good chance I am), John Krausbauer is considering moving here to Portland after the rousing welcome he has received for his impromptu residency. This is just one of a handful of shows the fucked electronics artist has done in our fair city, and I encourage one and all to descend upon Valentines and further solidify his decision to relocate. Do get their early, though, so as not to miss an opening set by the ever-inspiring guitarist Derek Monypeny.


Antecessor + Regular Music + DJ Jason Urick @ Bunk Bar, 9pm

Tonight, the glistening, waxy sound of synthesizers will be filling the friendly confines of Bunk Bar. The duo known as Antecessor will be there to celebrate the release of Nova Trails, a new five song cassette of what they properly deem “droning brightness.” Pick up a copy and use it as an alternate soundtrack to the futuristic sci-fi epic film of your choice. They will be joined by fellow synth explorers Regular Music and DJ work by the now disturbingly clean shaven Jason Urick.


Phreak: Electronic Mutations @ Ash St. Saloon, 9pm

This ongoing series curated by SunFalls brings out some of the finest circuit benders, laptop gurus, and lovers of all manner of unnatural sound. This week features a set by Mr. Falls himself and performances by the freaked out house music artist Dr. Strangeknob, drum ‘n’ bass terror Trey-k-Fortyseven, and a new project from the Reactionary crew known as The Red Isis.

Music: Cloud City Cars – & The Cult of Fine Cabinetry

Ryan McGreer’s latest effort as Cloud City Cars is an EP of tracks recorded around the time of his last release Bar WolfLike that album, these two tunes have an adrift in a foggy ocean feel but they feel far more resigned to their seabound fate. The washes of sound are almost relaxing even in their most fraught and throbbing moments. Check out the tracks here, and if you’re so inclined, hit up the man’s BandCamp page and throw him a few sheckels. The money will be used to help replace his slowly dying computer and insure more great sounds for the future.

Today in Experimental Portland – Monday, July 29th 2013

The concert calendar is a bit light today but there’s at least one show that is very deserving of your attention. And if there are events that I don’t know about or I’ve missed that you think are worthwhile, feel free to leave a comment.

Steve Gunn + Ilyas Ahmed + Jonathan Sielaff @ Little Axe Records, 9pm

Master guitarist Gunn has had a busy weekend here in the Northwest, playing up in Seattle as part of the Capitol Hill Block Party and last night at the Doug Fir, both opening up for blog-anointed indie star Daughn Gibson. But if you want to feel the true power of Gunn’s playing, stop by Little Axe tonight, where he will be performing solo alongside fellow six-string assassin Ahmed and a solo bass clarinet set from Golden Retriever member Sielaff.

News: St. Johns No.Fest Announces Lineup

Screen Shot 2013-07-28 at 1.31.41 PMThe 6th No.Fest, an all-day celebration of music of all shapes and sizes here in my neighborhood of St. Johns, is right around the corner. Saturday August 10th, to be exact. And this weekend, I got handed a copy of the lineup and it is, in a word, ridiculous. Set aside your whole weekend – one day for all the music, a second day to recover – because you’re going to need it. The music starts in the Town Square at noon, with all the other stages starting up at 3pm. The full lineup is here for you after the jump.

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Today In Experimental Portland – Sunday, July 28 2013

If you’re not doing as I’m doing tonight, which is to head about a half hour north of Portland to drink in the massive prog-pop/proto-metal sounds of a certain Canadian trio, there’s a couple of options to keep you entertained in closer proximity to home.

Leisure LLC + Jeans Wilder + Emotional @ Valentines 9pm  

I’ve been a fan of Jon Jurow, the musician, for a number of years after hearing his work in the starlight glinted arch pop duo Chrome Wings. With that group sadly on the shelf, Jurow now concentrates his efforts on booking amazing shows at Valentines and creating even more far-reaching shimmers of sound with his new project Leisure LLC.

Sadgiqacea + Atriarch + Hivelords @ The Know 8pm

 Attendance at this show would be mandatory enough to catch the sonic shockwaves of death metal monsters Atriarch in the cozy confines of The Know, but allow me to urge you to get there early to take in the set by Pennsylvania-based ambient metal group Sadgiqacea, a duo that oozes sludge and lava-like heat.


Meth Dad + Yer Heart + Consumer + Linux SKNRD @ The Point, 9114 N Lombard 8pm

This show would be worth your while for the appearance of a pair of bands from Nashville – including the candyskin pop of Meth Dad – but this is also the first performance of Linux SKNRD, a new dance-oriented project from Jason Morales aka Abusive Consumer.

Today In Experimental Portland – Friday July 26th

[Insert standard apology for lack of posts with excuse of busy summer time obligations of work and child]

In an effort to keep regular content flowing on this site, I’m going to do a daily post highlighting shows that I think are worth your well-earned time and money.

Evan Caminiti + Vestals + Names + Golden Retriever @ Disjecta 8pm 

Caminiti, an erstwhile member of Barn Owl, brings his beautiful guitar/drone expressions to Portland for a rare solo appearance. His music will be accompanying a visual art piece from Cybele Lyle that, according to the website, is a “a video/spatial collage, bringing together photography, video and the architectural space of Disjecta to create a third space.” He’s joined by the ever brilliant bass clarinet/synth duo Golden Retriever and San Francisco-based experimentalists Names.

Deadlover + Five Lights @ Control Voltage 6-8pm

One of the city’s coolest stores, CV is hosting a pair of electronic acts as part of their Modular BBQ (bring your own food to grill). Both create dark, expansive material created, yes, using modular synthesizers.

Smoke Rings + Ethereal & The Queer Show @ Kenton Club 9pm

EATQS takes the enrapturing qualities of shoegazer pop and manages to make them their own, a rare feat in this era of straight up MBV copycat acts. They share the stage with the goth-leaning rockers Smoke Rings who celebrate the release of a new cassette tonight.


Video: Sun Hammer and Consumer. @ Slabtown

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.

Music: ZZ Cops – Blues in the Key of Why Bother

I’ve been loving the hell out of Charlie Salas-Humara’s move into the world of synthesizers via his work under the name Grapefruit and his contributions to the group Regular Music. This elongated epic of a track, recorded with RM drummer Papi Fimbres, only proves how deeply Salas-Humara is diving into this world of electronic textures and moods. There’s a dub element that creeps into the 16-minute expanse of this track, as well as a little post-punk guitar, but otherwise it relies on the tension between the two rhythmic ideas presented here: one purely electronic, the other organic/acoustic.