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.


Tonight in Experimental Portland – Thursday, August 29, 2013

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:


No Parades

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.


News: Experimental Portland Presents… #4 TOMORROW NIGHT!

Don’t let the news of our recent partnership with Mississippi Studios confuse or dissuade you from attending the other Experimental Portland Presents… shows we already have on the books, including tomorrow night’s extravaganza at Boom Bap! 

There’s plenty of reasons to show up: the three bands—ALTO!, Noise Agency, and No Parades—are fantastic (which if you scroll down a tad, you can find out for yourself), you’ll be supporting the local experimental scene, and you’ll be helping to say goodbye to Boom Bap…hopefully just for the time being. The new landlords for their building evicted them this month, leaving them with two more shows to prove their mettle.

The poster for the show and clips to all three bands are below. I sincerely hope you can make it out. And if you do, find me and say hello. I’m tall, bespectacled, a little overweight (or a “fat fucker” in the eyes of one angry Mississippi Studios patron), and quite gregarious.

Music: No Parades – Awkward Ballast

It being the last day of 2012, I’m in a bit of a reflective mood. This feeling is aided by the warm feelings I still have inside about this past Saturday’s Experimental Portland Presents… show that featured some amazing performances by Jatun, Abusive Consumer, and Cloud City Cars. I’ve said this a bunch of Twitter already, but thank you to all the acts and all the folks that showed up at Record Room to watch.

Too, I’m thinking warmly of all of you folks that read this little one-man effort to keep up with the thriving experimental music scene here in Portland. I’m still kind of amazed at how well received this has been and at all the people and artists I’ve been able to meet and befriend as a result. I’m sincerely humbled, and excited to see what the next 12 months has in store.

Tying both of those above paragraphs together is this stunning new track from No Parades, a new project conceived of by soon-to-be former McMinnville resident Jay Schwab. This gent is one of the many folks I’ve gotten to know personally thanks to this blog, and he has agreed to perform at the next Experimental Portland Presents… show happening on January 19th at Boom Bap.

The warm expanse of this track is reflective of his gregarious personality. It carries a stuttering heartbeat reminiscent of one of my favorite albums Oval’s 94 Diskont, but glides along with a much more linear logic than anything on that disc. But like that LP, you can almost see the sound waves of “Awkward Ballast” ballooning outward as each layer of itchy static and glassine drone is added to the mix.

I’m thrilled to hear how Schwab brings these ideas to bear in his live set next month, and to be further inspired by his person and his art. For it is people like him that are keeping me excited and dedicated to doing what I am doing here at Experimental Portland. Thank you Jay and thank you one and all. We’ll see each other again in the new year.