Posts Tagged ‘indie

22
Mar
10

SWALLOWS “BETWEEN THE SEA AND SKY” OUT NOW

Dear readers,
Sorry for the hiatus on the blogosphere…. Jon and I have been very busy with band stuff and we are proud to announce the release of our latest album!


SWALLOWS

“BETWEEN THE SEA AND SKY” OUT NOW


BUY NOW ON CDBABY

“Between the Sea and Sky is a surprisingly rich-sounding album, with the band’s elastic Electrelane-like grooves shifting seamlessly into knottier riffing and prog-rock complexity.” – Portland Mercury

“Portland’s Swallows—purveyors of jangly, spiraling guitar progressions that remind of Television and Rainer Maria, albeit laced with a distinct riot grrrl edge. The duo’s latest effort, Between the Sea and Sky, throws back to the cassette tape era with a playful lo-fi aesthetic that never feels cutesy or forced.” – Willamette Week

“On the album’s anthem, “When They Come to Us,” vocalist Em Brownlowe holds an even tone and sings carefully over a bed of toms, “When they come for us they’ll come to our door / And they’ll peek inside / And all they’ll find is love.” Brownlowe, 25, and drummer Jon Miller, 27, who both identify as “queer,” explain the song is a reaction to legislation against same-sex marriages. But had they said it was about Tibet or the Spanish Inquisition, that would have been believable, too. The song’s simple lyrics and melody make it universal and subtle — qualities of most good protest songs — and the fact that it draws its strength from the humble confidence afforded only to those who are right in any struggle makes it beautiful.” – Jason Simms, The Oregonian

“Their new work demonstrate a mastery of controlled intensity, with compositions meditating on a modality and building in force and intricacy into bold poetic landscapes.” – Crappy Indie Music Blog

12
Jun
08

KEEP IT ON THE BROWNLOWE :: Tragically UnHeard Of :: SWALLOWS

Tragically UnHeard Of
Band O’ the Week….
Gaycondo’s very own…..
SWALLOWS

[DISCLAIMER :: I know, I know. It is awkward that I am doing a “Tragically UnHeard Of” spot on my own band…but it had to be done some time or another. Regular Tragically UnHeard Of features will resume shortly]

As we draw closer to the five year anniversary of Swallows being a band, here are some of the rad things that have been happening to Swallows recently.

Swallows has always been into reinventing their favorite pop songs. They most recently covered three Dolly Parton songs at the 3rd Annual Dolly Parton Hoot Night. Songs include “The Bargain Store”, “I’m In No Condition” and “The Seeker”. Check out a live video: which was held May 31st in Portland, Oregon to benefit a festival called Siren Nation, which celebrates music/art/film made by women.



WATCH A VIDEO MONTAGE:

Since the beginning, Swallows has taken a postmodern approach to music making. We tend to string together bits and pieces of music from different sub genres of rock, producing a newly contextualized sonic space. On Swallows debut full length, Me With Trees Towering we used this technique to reintroduce the Mamas and the Papas classic, “Words Of Love”.


Listen to the original version of “Words Of Love” sung by Mama Cass:
https://gaycondo.files.wordpress.com/2008/06/wordsoflove.mp3″


Listen to Swallows post-millennial rock revision, if you love it go buy the album:
https://gaycondo.files.wordpress.com/2008/06/04-words-of-love1.mp3″

Over the past year, Swallows has been collecting remixes to feature on an upcoming Swallows Remixed EP. Radio Sloan decided to rework Swallows “Words Of Love” cover into a sexy dance mix featuring the lovely ladies of Team Gina! Swallows loves post-postmodernism!

Listen: https://gaycondo.files.wordpress.com/2008/06/swallows_speakingoflove_radiosloanremix.mp3″

05
Jun
08

KEEP IT ON THE BROWNLOWE: Juno, WTF?!

Em Brownlowe

*DISCLAIMER: Indeed, I am the last person in gaycondo to see Juno

Juno Vs. Ghost World


Mmkay, I realize I am 6 months too late but I just watched the movie, Juno, for the first time.

I’m always skeptical of extreme hype: Critics glowed about Juno, Diablo Cody revealed her past as a stripper, young girls need a light hearted spotlight on teenage pregnancy to encourage reproductive awareness, Oscar Nite, yadda yadda, etc.

I unintentionally strayed from Juno for a loooong time. After noticing that Juno was playing at the same second run local theater for what felt like months, I didn’t feel a big rush to see it right away. It’s overbearing presence made me think I could see it any time so I continued to put it off. Months later, after Juno had won an Oscar and I was beginning to digest the force fed hype, I felt the cultural pressure to finally sit down and watch Juno. After all, I couldn’t miss out on the “heart warming, hilarious indie gem” of the year. Plus there would be indie music in it!

The whole time I was watching Juno, all I could think was that I didn’t get it. I guess the hype had gone over my head. I found the writing to be trite and annoying and with the exception of Jennifer Garner’s mediocre performance, the acting was haaarrible. I found Juno’s character to be especially irritating. I realize that in reality, many teenagers are annoying. Especially teenagers like Juno who think they are mature, witty and have an insatiable urge to “one up” someone. If only Juno would have realized that the erratic overuse of stale one liners just made her come off as an immature adult whose jokes warrant a courtesy laugh and causes everyone else inwardly rolls their eyes.

Even though Juno’s soundtrack featured cutesy folk-pop throughout the entirety of the film, I thought the musical connection between Juno and the future practical father of her child, Mark Loring, would save the movie for me. I did also find it impressive how at the age of 16, Juno knew and apprectiated Dario Argento as the gore master. However, once Mark’s true colors shown red hott for Juno, I knew it would go downhill from there. I must say, I did anticipate that moment after reading one reviewer compare Juno to Ghost World (2001), a movie I loved when I was a teenager.

Speaking of Ghost World….That’s a great movie based upon “adult” teenagers! It explores some of the same principles of Juno, an outcast alternative teenager who is trying to grow up too fast and meets an older man who introduces her into the realms of music. Except Ghost World’s soundtrack isn’t full of indie-pop sing-a-longs suitable for “progressive indie 5 year olds”. Instead, it has kitschy Americana blues and retro Bollywood jangles. There is also an element of inappropriate relations between teenager Enid (Thora Birch) and forty-something, bug eyed Seymour (Steve Bucemi) but I think we have all grown to expect that from the characters Becemi plays (hello, Tree’s Lounge?)

What truly makes Ghost World‘s Enid differ from Juno is that she is actually funny and doesn’t act like a a teenager who is trying too hard to be cool around adults. Enid’s dry sarcasm is believable and serious even if the audience’s reaction is light hearted.

While Ghost World was nominated for an Oscar for Best Screenplay Based Upon Previously Published Material, (although, to my understanding, the plot radically differs from the comic book it is based on) the award was won by another. boo.

Here are a few of my favorite scene from Ghost World:

Years later, how Juno‘s watered down portrayal of a girl coming of age managed to win an Oscar for “Best Original Screenplay” is still beyond me. What made this movie deserve such hype? A friend offered up the explanation of how Juno would have made an excellent book for teen girls and simply wasn’t fit the screen…or theater for that matter. This idea banishes Juno’s cheesy one-liners to the discreet corners of the reader’s mind and excuses the actor’s embarrassing execution of their lines. Another friend was certain the movie did so well because Diablo Cody exploited her past career as a stripper, creating a whirlwind of hot topics to surround her first movie. If such a conspiracy theory could be the case, how come Juno’s storyline wasn’t centered around a teenage stripper rather than a pregnant girl who gets freaked out at the abortion clinic and decides to donate her baby to a hetero, upper middle class, white family? A family involving a deadbeat husband and a woman whose life goal is to raise a baby. Typical. How about an interracial lesbian couple who BOTH want to be mothers?

As a feminist, it is important to note that it is AWESOME to see more women behind the scenes in film making and I think it is great that they are recognized on Oscar night. It is also great to see women speaking openly about their experiences (ie. stripping) they have been shunned for in society. Awareness and acceptance is key to bridging the gaps society has opposed upon each other. However, it is also important to note, like everyone else, women don’t always make good artistic choices and shouldn’t be rewarded just because they are women. Similarly, just because the media hypes up a product while desperately trying to sell it to me doesn’t necessarily mean that I will agree with it…even if I am down with the greater cause of women making art, becoming recognized for their creations, or stripping.

Freedom of choice!

21
May
08

SWALLOWS: ATTN: Portland People

swallowscheers.jpg

ATTENTION PORTLAND PEOPLE…and those of the greater NW who wouldn’t mind driving to Portland:

Swallows (Jon/Em) would LOVE to invite our loyal gaycondo readers to our big show this weekend. We are playing with some incredible acts including Agent Ribbons, Cat Fancy! and DJ Nate C. There will even be two burlesque performers, Moxie Stunner and Starla Silverstein, doing some sexy dances during a Swallows song and an Agent Ribbons song. Best of all? The next day is Memorial Day, therefore, those of you who have regular, non-service industry jobbi-jobs can stay out late and party!

FEATURING…..

AGENT RIBBONS

This Sacramento duo churns out a sassy and sultry blend of 50s pop, cabaret and even a little Patsy Cline country through a garage rock sound that gets a crowd going. -Ian Schuler, MINI LIFE

LISTEN to “Obituary”:


SWALLOWS

Swallows is one of those cute-as-a-button indie bands with which the Northwest is so abundantly blessed. Describing and labeling a band’s music is like trying to nail Jell-O to a wall, but Swallows is roughly branded as experimental indie-pop with a post-riot grrrl vibe. – Just Out Magazine
LISTEN to “Wait Until Dark” :

CAT FANCY!

Portland local, Cat Fancy!, makes lo-fi feminist space trash channeling British riot grrrl legend, Huggy Bear.
LISTEN to “One Lump Or Two”:

DJ NATE C:

Spinning an eclectic mix of indie, rock, pop, experimental and metal with an emphasis on female artists.

Featuring 2 Burlesque performers doing live choreography!!!:

STARLA SILVERSTEIN:

Ms. Silverstein is fortunate to have her performances choreographed posthumously by the great Agnes DeMille, channeled through a talented local medium. Tonight, she will be doing a live performance while Agent Ribbon plays their lonesome prostitute waltz, “La Noche”.

MOXIE STUNNER:

Fluent in many styles including ballet, jazz, modern, & lyrical, Ms. Stunner will heat up the room with a live dance to Swallows’ queer anthem, “I’d Like To Be Your Man”.

07
May
08

KEEP IT ON THE BROWNLOWE: Best “Tragically UnHeard Of” Portland Bands 2008

Em Brownlowe

If you have ever flipped through a Portland weekly music section this past year, it ain’t no surprise that The Builders and the Butchers won the “Best New Band” poll ran by the Willamette Week. We all saw it coming…and I’m sure recent recording sessions with members of The Decemberists didn’t hurt much. I really should have put my money where my mouth was and bet on TBATB’s inevitable success. Not to say they don’t write good songs and put on a fun, interactive live show… In fact, I’m actually listening to them right now.

But…
I tend to root for the little guys/gals, anyways.
Here is how I voted:

(ps. read how the WWeek Best New Band poll works)

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Chores
Listen to “Wine Buzz (live at Holocene)”:
https://gaycondo.files.wordpress.com/2008/05/14-wine-buzz-live.mp3″
I was flabbergasted that Chores didn’t get an honorable mention in the polling. WTF? They have been pretty hot this past year and always put on a high energy live performance. They are also really smart as they proved in the Tragically UnHeard Of spot I did with them a few weeks ago.

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Slutty Hearts
Listen to “Beep”:
https://gaycondo.files.wordpress.com/2008/05/beep.mp3″
Discovering Slutty Hearts is the best local music find this year! They are only two people but manage to play like a 3-4 piece band! Get this: live, they have two minimalist drum sets…one is just a kick drum and the other is a floor tom, crash and snare and they both play them together making the sound of a full kit WHILE they play guitar and keyboards and sing. With a platonic pairing of one guy and girl singing sweet melodies over anti-folk ballads, it is hard not to fall in love with them….and get an urge to do something slutty.

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Autopilot is for Lovers
Listen to “No One Will Know”:
https://gaycondo.files.wordpress.com/2008/05/07-track-071.mp3″
Featuring past/present members of The Builders and the Butchers and receiving a lot of attention from the WWeek over the past 6 months, I was shocked that Autopilot is for Lovers didn’t make the Top 10. Too bad, because this band is effing amazing and deserves all the admiral ears they can get! They play sullen, back woods folk music that is reminiscent of early, still drinking and agitated Cat Power. Guess what? Autopilot is for Lovers has a brilliant new album on Stereotype. NOW GIT AND GO GET IT!

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John Sutherland
https://gaycondo.files.wordpress.com/2008/05/02-track-02-3.mp3″
Unfortunately, John Sutherland didn’t have a chance at winning WWeek’s “Best New Band” because well, he’s not a band. He’s just one guy that is severely talented at finger picking guitar. He makes insanely beautiful compositions that often span over 10 minutes. His style is perfect for a rainy day sitting on the porch drinking wine or used as a soundtrack while driving through the country with someone you love.

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Sick Sick Sister
Listen: “Devilfruit”

https://gaycondo.files.wordpress.com/2008/05/05-devilfruit.mp3″

Sick Sick Sister has come a long way over the years and the current lineup is hot. Gnarly, girl-grunge-grit that flashes me back to the days when I LIVED for Hole’s “Live Through This”.

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The WWeek only lets you vote for 5 bands tops but here are some others I would have voted for if I had more options and if I had known they existed at the time

1. Purple Rhinestone Eagle – Purple Rhinestone Eagle just moved to Portland not too long ago so they need to do more time before they get crowed “Best New Band”….but after that time is spent y’all better lay some money down!

2. Grandpa’s Ghost Stories – featuring an all star queer lineup, GGS, just played it’s first secret show…watch part of it here. They blend metal with catchy vocal melodies….think Pat Benetar meets Black Sabbath.

3. Porches – I so would have voted for this band if I had known they existed at the time! Porches makes covered-wagon pioneer music that will make young men cry into their beards:

25
Apr
08

Jon and Em = Music Makers of Gaycondo

Our pseudo-famous band, Swallows, just got a little love from Portland’s popular music blog, LocalCut. They were interested in the back story to our favorite recorded work, “Twilight’s Last Hour” for their Cut Of The Day column. Feel free to go there, download the track and then write a really nice comment about the song on their blog. Thanks toots!

You can also support our awesome record label, Church Of Girl, by purchasing a copy of our Ep, Cloud Machines.

We also joined forces with MINI LIFE so you can download + keep selected songs, remixes and live video!

03
Apr
08

KEEP IT ON THE BROWNLOWE: March in Review

Em Brownlowe

Wow! 3 whole months of Gaycondo! As always, every month “Keep It On The Brownlowe” will recap the best straight outta gaycondo.

1. JON: A BLOGGING AFFAIR: In response to the most popular blog on Earth (whom, we won’t mention the name of because A. you probably already know the blog we are speaking of and B. we are bitter because they got offered a book deal AND are 2 weeks younger than Gaycondo) Jon started a genius side-blog called STUFF QUEER PEOPLE LIKE which focuses on gay stereotype satire ranging from female fronted music groups to short shorts to having emotionally unstable middle/high school friends whom often result in a young queer’s first sexual experience (even if said emo-unstable friend is straight and is having a bisexual fling).

2. PAUL: Angelina and Brad Pitt are LIARS: For those of you who are new: Paul is the leading man in gay rights + political issues here on gaycondo. In this post, he condemns Brad / Angelina for getting married after they vowed to with-hold from marriage until all people (ie. fags/queer ladies) were allowed to get married universally. This post spawns the first homophobic comment on the gaycondo blog (which doesn’t really make sense due to OBVIOUS REASONS):

“All of Hollywood is full of shit! No I don’t think gays should marry. When I look though history all societies that have fallen lost all morals. Example the Romans went morally bankrupt when homosexually pedophilia ruled the land. Do I believe that all gays are pedophiles. NO!! But I do believe that all morals in this country are gone!!” -cpacek

Luckly, an anonymous gaycondo-er stands up for queer rights:

“cpacek,
A) you’re an idiot
B) why are you reading this blog if you are such a homophobe?”

fer real….admit that you are living vicariously through some awesome fags!

However, the best part of Paul’s post is that the Brad/Angelina marriage rumor was false!!!!!!!!! He removes them from his toxic shit list.

3. JON: Etro’s fall 2008 menswear collection: Really, REALLY, really effin cute fag/ette wear…however, is it worth $2000 per outfit?

4. KEEP IT ON THE BROWNLOWE: Tragically UnHeard Of Music Videos: If you like passionate experimental blues or indie-folk-kitsch you will love our musical friends, Agent Ribbons + Kusikia

5. KEEP IT ON THE BROWNLOWE: Tragically UnHeard Of: MINI LIFE: The TUHO column takes an unexpected twist and examines the musical concept behind MINI LIFE and the digital revolution of music.

6. Guest Blogger NICKEY ROBO: Chunky Pam…not so chunky afterall: Gaycondo is so rad that even our friends who don’t live within the headquarters want to write for us! This post focuses why it is effed up when a pro-fat figure is in reality a creation cultivated by two thin folks!

7. JON: “Sleeve facing” with Gaycondo: We love artistic projects at parties and what better project than the British fad of photographically aligning your body with the cover of a cheesy record?

8. Jon: Apparently you guys really like Joel Mchale without a shirt AS WELL AS trannies It’s true: Most people who randomly stumble upon gaycondo are searching for the Soup’s host, Joel Mchale, bare chested, or a “hot tranny mess”.

9. SWALLOWS: What it is like to be on tour: A split by split moment of what it is like to be on tour with the musicians of Gaycondo!

10. Paul: cheetos make me wanna vomit: terrible food; brilliant commercials.

11. Jon: (WORD OF THE WEEK) How macabre: Jon breaks into the academic world with his post on creepy Victorian brooches (not broaches). This post also includes a hilarious farting video!

12. Paul: Chloe “Don’t Call Me A Model” Sevigny: Besides trans folks, according to Paul, March is definitely the month of Sevigny on gaycondo. Not only does she star in emotionally fucked films and artistic music videos, she also is developing her own fashion line which is influenced by awkward “pattern blocking” and 90’s slacker lifestyles! At least is slapping that tired 80’s nostalgia on the ass!

13. KEEP IT ON THE BROWNLOWE: Dolly Parton Hoot Nite: How I enlightened myself on one woman’s brilliance!

14. KEEP IT ON THE BROWNLOWE: Laughing is the new cardio: This yoga video may make you laugh…or haunt you in your nightmares….

15. PAUL: TICKETY TACK TRANNY HOT MESS: How could you NOT fall in lust with key terms “Tranny Hot Mess”?!

16. Em/JON : We’re in a Glossy Magazine!!!: Did you know that 1/2 of gaycondo are pictured in a national queer magazine?

17. JON: Passive Agressive News Stories: Terrible things that happen in this world… This is why it is refreshing to watch clips of truly hilarious conflicts: One neighbor holds another’s prized Jesus statue for ransom until their neighbor cleans up their dogshit!

18. JON: recut trailers: Have you ever imagined what Mary Poppins would look like as a horror story?

19. JON: Celebrities: WITHOUT NECKS!!!!!! EWW!

20. BETH/EM: Mullet Troupe Party Theme: What happens beyond the walls of gaycondo.