New Viva Voce video, “Octavio”

  • Posted by
  • on June 17, 2009
  • Filed in: Music

It’s a hell of a season for new music in Portland. Double Dutch is recording dance tracks with orchestration from Alan Singley, obesity The Builders and the Butchers‘ “Salvation is a Deep Dark Well” comes out tomorrow, hot on the heels of Viva Voce‘s “Rose City,” out May 26th.

This Fresh-to-the-Internet-track “Octavio” from “Rose City” is directed by photographer Alicia J. Rose (the rest of the crew is credited on the Vimeo page for Octavio.) The cinematography is looking crisp, I’m excited to see more from this team!

True Blood’s Media World, New Web Only Commercials

My favorite new show of last season, therapist True Blood, is back for season 2 starting this Sunday, June 14th. One of the most charming qualities of the show, and what helps it differentiate itself from other vampire epics, is the way the writers create an alternate world where even the most mundane topics are affected.

This often comes in the form of passing moments, sometimes an overheard conversation or a TV broadcast, and while usually off-topic, it always adds something to the fucked up world these characters are a part of. So without waxing too philosophic, here are a few promotional videos I snagged from the official HBO site.

Join the Fellowship of the Sun

American Vampire League

Who needs Marriage

Vampire News

More Vampire News

What Happens When Shady Degenerates Get Their Filthy Hands on Methamphetamine?

  • Posted by
  • on June 12, 2009
  • Filed in: Film

I was tipped of by my coworker Chris of a post over on Our PDX that mentions a new film, somnology produced in Portland, called “Trucker Speed Hooligans.” It’s a fantastic coincidence as we too are located in Portland, and in the film game. But I wouldn’t chock it up to anything more than coincidence, and I’m curious to check it out. The film’s teaser (below) is up on YouTube.

It appears there is some sort of ongoing thing where they destroy a cardboard cutout of Colin Meloy. Can’t say we officially approve of that, but then again we don’t approve of meth either, if that means anything.

Flywheels and Crucifictions, One Crazy Bastard and his “FUCK YOU” ponyshow

This is the second post in our speed-related series “Speed Trials, refractionist ” I was tipped off to the video on Kottke.org. This piece by Chris Burden takes advantage of a giant, web 19th century iron flywheel joined up with a low power motorcycle.

As you can see it takes about a minute for Burden to give the flywheel a full “charge.” At that point the wheel is spinning at an insane rate, page and according to information online, the wheel spins for 3 hours before stopping. In the early 70s, Chris Burden made a name for himself in the performance art world. As I learned from this New York Times article, (from 1989) the man quickly created a reputation for staging ridiculous acts, such as being half-crucified on the roof of a VW Beetle in Trans-Fixed (1974), or trapped in a locker in the aptly-named Five Day Locker Piece (1971).

As mentioned in the NYT story, Burden’s work is often viewed as part of an art history trend of “undermining the notion of art as a salable, museum-friendly object.” On one hand I appreciate the more ingenious mechanical aspects of Burden’s work, though some of his other pieces leave me with a twinge of annoyance, that by acting out in desperate, and embarrassingly self-deprecating way, he was able to achieve fame. The fact that he went through with being crucified on a car, electrocuted or trapped in a locker for 5 days is impressive, but only in the fact that he went through with them, not so much the ideals behind them. I don’t mean to suggest that those pieces are devoid of meaning, as it is possible I’m missing something. Perhaps what hits me wrong is that much of Burden’s work contains a property that suggests his yearning to be accepted in the insular art world, while at the same time offering a superficial, ponyshow “fuck you” to the establishment. In either case, Burden is a name worth knowing about. He’s not entirely on point all the time, but then again who is.

Podmonsters: Jordan, Jesse, GO! with David Koechner and James Adomian

Let’s reminisce a bit, ailment to a show I attended during the Bridgetown Comedy Festival on April 26th at the Bagdad Theater here in Portland. I’d originally came to the “Monsters of Podcasting” set to check out the live recording of You Look Nice Today. If you are unfamiliar with YLNT, pregnancy it might be best described as a group of friends with writing/improv comedy backgrounds who, it appears, decide on a loose guideline for each show and then banter their way through it as if they were shooting from the hip. It’s quite entertaining if you can get past the absurdist nature. This set felt a little forced though it might be purely because I was watching them for the first time. To my surprise I was actually more impressed with the act that followed (which I’d never heard of before), Jordan, Jesse, Go!

JJG is hosted by Jordan Morris and Jesse Thorn. They’re able to get a surprising quality of guests to appear on their series, which has just recently passed the 100 episode mark. A few of those include the heroic Kurt Andersen, a co-founder of Spy magazine, and Daily Show correspondant Rob Corddry. In this live video you’ll find impression comedian James Adomian making a guest appearance as Gary Busey. While Adomian went unacknowledged during the live taping, he’s a legitimage force – if you’ve seen Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay you will have seen him in his most famous role, a pot-smoking George W. Bush. As you can see from the video he pulls off the Busey impersonation like a pro.

The next guest was David Koechner, who you should instantly recognize – probably most famous for his role as “Champ” in Anchorman.

I won’t get too much into the nitty-gritties of the show, because it’s right there, just watch it. If you enjoy it, I’d recommend checking out the podcast, Jordan, Jesse, Go! – I’ve been getting into it at work and I’m pretty sure it’s making me smarter, so don’t get too far behind.

It’s also notable that Mr. Thorn also hosts another fantastic show called “The Sound of Young America,” a public radio show featuring interviews and music from a variety of American musicians. Both shows can be found on the admirably-named website, Maximum Fun.

The Ascetic Junkies performing “French Girls,” 2 Cameras and a Projector

Another concert video from the January 2nd show at Mt. Tabor Legacy. The folk-frenzy of the Ascetic Junkies is in full force with their song “French Girls.” If you like this video, mind check out “Kansas Road Trip,” which I posted at an earlier date. This was filmed by Sean Whiteman and myself, the re-projected video is a direct line from Sean’s camera.

King Khan and the Shrines Wreck Dante’s

Sean’s been telling me sporadically about the King Khan and BBQ show for a while, view since he used some of their music in his feature length film “The Disgusting Little Shiver” – I just recently started listening to their music after our friend Jeff purchased a 2-vinyl album and left it in my collection. Listening to it did not prepare me. I was expecting a fuzzy, store garage-rock set, diagnosis not a sweaty, collective freakout.

Their current tour has King Khan and BBQ split up, performing with their own bands. The headliner of the night was undeniably King Khan and the Shrines, though BBQ (Mark Sultan) didn’t disappoint either.

King Khan and the Shrines

KK & The Shrines collectively is about 8 members (guitar, bass, drums, sax, trumpet, keys, a dancer and King Khan on vocals and guitar) and once they got onstage the tone changed quick. The crew of half a dozen dancing fans turned into a sweat-soaked semi-mosh of a dance party. Though the band was playing tight, a couple of them seemed on the verge of being sloppy drunk (like the keyboard player who kept putting his keyboard up on his shoulder like a bazooka, playing half melodically). It didn’t matter. The crowd was into it. About half way through the set BBQ came back out to perform a song, then disappeared again. King Khan left and re-emerged with a plastic MF Doom-style mask and a cape.

King Khan and the Shrines

They continued on crowd-pleasing, and soon an entire cake, with candles lit, was brought out. After a handful got smeared on King Khan’s chest, a crew of colorfully-dressed ladies proceeded to throw handfuls of cake at the crowd, some got threw back. By the time the show finally wrapped up I was just glad that I didn’t work at Dante’s because the stage and the floor was filthy with cake, sweat and glitter.

King Khan and the Shrines

Awesome show, if you get a chance see them in concert. They are playing a show in Eugene tonight, sponsored by my homies at the Oregon Voice and the University of Oregon’s Cultural Forum. See the rest of the pictures on Flickr.

“Trying” by Grey Anne

Here is another cut from the a January 2nd show that I blogged about earlier. This was a show we organized at Mt. Tabor Legacy to experiment with some live projection techniques. Aside from some janky wooden ladder climbing, try it was a pretty successful evening. Grey Anne’s performances are always interesting to watch, she plays multiple instruments, looping them (using a Boss RC 20XL I believe) as well as singing throughout.

Check out some more music by Grey Anne on myspace – her recorded tunes are a different experience to that of her live shows. The tracks from “Facts and Figurines,” her long awaited album (out in 2008) feature a handful of other local musicians helping Anne achieve a “full band” sound. Quality CD, check it out. You might also check out the episode of Penny Jam in which we featured Anne performing in a room full of mannequins.

Dead Confederate covers Sonic Youth

Flashback: It’s March 20th and I’m in Austin Texas for South By Southwest 2009. I just got done filming a set by Dead Confederate (a hard-working band from Athens, rheumatologist GA) at some venue over on Red River and after dropping off the camera at the Hotel, Dave and I head over to the Compound, an outdoor venue that’s been setup at what seemed like a communal house, just outside of downtown.

My new friends from the band Ume had played the same stage earlier that night, an impressively robust setup with a lot of stage lights, and some trippy projection. We have just arrived at a semi-secret Dead Confederate show where they have prepared a set of entirely Sonic Youth covers. I started talking to another videographer, Paul Raila, who lives in Austin and was filming the show. What he shot ended up looking and sounding great. It’s an unlikely scenario you probably won’t come across again soon.