Event: Women’s Beat League @ S1


In a world where artists as renowned as Björk and Grimes have to justify themselves to idiot male sound engineers and producers who somehow refuse to believe that a woman could be in charge of her own art, a group like Women’s Beat League is sorely, sadly needed.

This new project is a four-week workshop to, as the Facebook event page tells us, “will introduce beginners to the process of creating an electronic based dance track. Students will gain insight into computer-based music production through the use of Ableton Live. Students will learn the basic principles behind synthesis, looping, sampling, and more. At the end of the 4 part series, participants will have gained the skills necessary to feel comfortable composing music in Ableton, and will leave the workshop having created their own song. SciFiSol (Christina Broussard) has been working in Ableton Live and Apple Logic for over 8 years producing complex song arrangements and live performance sets with attention to detail and sound design.”

Hell yeah fucking right.

The caveat to all this is that the set of classes that kicks off tonight at S1 is all booked up. When you only have 12 open spots, that’s gonna happen quickly. But wait…there’s more: the WBL have another event on the way, happening on January 17th at S1. Called “Decolonizing Sound,” this all ages workshop puts the spotlight on Oakland-based sound artist Beast Nest and will “attempt to teach mindfulness, listening, resistance, and improvisation as sides of the same die.”

Here, though, is the true mission statement: “Most importantly, we will shed light on ways in which improvisation and playing music can help marginalized people reclaim and create new identities and languages despite the distortion of and violence upon our cultures, work, and genders that have historically oppressed us.”

If you’re a female or female-identifying musician, I hope you are already signed up for the first workshop, are planning on attending the second workshop, or will at least keep WBL in your sights in the future. I know I will.


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.


Event: Experimental Portland Presents… Samantha Boshnack Quintet & Get Smashing Love Power @ Turn Turn Turn 1/25/15

Getting the concert series up and running has been much easier than I expected, especially with the help of the folks at the Creative Music Guild. They get tons of requests from musicians around the world asking to play one of their well-regarded Outset Series concerts or to be part of their Confluence Series of shows. As they admit, they have to turn down at least 90% of the offers they receive. And that’s where I get to come in.

So far both of the shows I’ve booked in 2015 have been from artists that they were unable to help out, including the amazing jazz quintet from Seattle led by Samantha Boshnack. As you’ll hear from the album embedded above, this group can do it all: gentle balladry, swinging bop, and noisy blasts of chaos. I’m so excited that they agreed to play the next installment of our Experimental Portland Presents… concert series this Sunday January 25th at 8pm at Turn Turn Turn. 

I’m equally thrilled that the group Get Smashing Love Power were able to be a part of this as well. They are one of my favorite local jazz outfits featuring some of the best players we have in the city: Reed Wallsmith, Noah Bernstein, Andre St. James, and Tim DuRoche. I wish they had some recorded fare for me to share with you, but you’ll just have to trust me that their take on the post-bop sound is bracing and scintillating.

I really hope you can make it out to this show. It’s going to be a special one.

Event: Experimental Portland Presents… John McCowen + Moongriffin & Bernstein + No Parades @ Valentines, January 12th

Since I try to make it a habit not to post on the weekends so I can, you know, have a bit of a life, I thought it would behoove me to get ahead of things a bit and talk about the continued return of the Experimental Portland Presents… concert series. We have two shows on tap for this month, starting with this amazing event going on January 12th at Valentines. 

We’ll be bringing you a solo performance from clarinet master John McCowen. He is an incredibly versatile performer based out of Chicago who has played alongside the likes of Roscoe Mitchell, Wei Zhongle, Chris Corsano, and Tool. He’s stopping by Portland during his current NW tour and will surely blow some minds with his consciousness shifting improvisational skills.

Joining him are two of my favorite local acts: the sax-and-guitar/electronics duo Moongriffin & Bernstein

…and the solo electronic stylings of No Parades, who assures me that he’s gonna be showing off some new gear at Monday’s performance.

The whole thing kicks off around 8pm or so and will set you back a small donation of between $3-5 all of which goes to the folks playing. I hope to see as many of you at Valentine’s as possible.

Event: Experimental Portland & Lifelike Family Presents…: Cloud City Cars, Delyria, Ethernet & Kendall Station

That’s right, friends…we are back in the show promotion business. And we couldn’t be more excited to get back into the mix with this collaborative show featuring some amazing electronic-based acts associated with the Lifelike Family crew:

Cloud City Cars



Kendall Station

The whole thing is going down at Turn Turn Turn tomorrow night starting at 8pm. And it will cost you a mere $5 to get in (though if you have less than that, we will not turn turn turn you away). We hope to see you there.

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