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.
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.
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
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.
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.