Posts Tagged ‘portland

02
Mar
10

KEEP IT ON THE BROWNLOWE: Because You Care…Episode One

My room mate, Kayla Tabb, has started a new webseries that is destined to go viral with the homos (you may remember her from Muffin Top fame).

Her new show is called Because You Care and features every day hilarity in her life.

Watch Episode #1:

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04
Nov
09

Jon and Em: R.I.P. Kipp Crawford…

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Early this morning our friend and producer Kipp Crawford was killed when struck by two drunk drivers while riding his bicycle. He was an amazing person, with a strong sense of self and an artistic dedication greater than any other musician we know. We are thankful for the time and energy he put into our band, and know that our previous and upcoming album would not be the same with out his insight ,intelligence, and creativity.

Thanks Kipp.

You will be missed.

16
Oct
09

Jon: Why Portland Fashion Week Is Bad For Portland…

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pfwBIG

 Sigh.

There is no more valuable way to signify the fashion value of a city than through a relevent fashion week. This form of event  showcases the importance of region’s design aesthetic, but more importantly it says to buyers, fashion editors, store owners, garment manufactures, and designers: We are a viable market,and we are ready for you.

Portland has always possessed a strong arts community, but only in the past decade has really begun to develope a fashion culture. With modern world fashion taking many of it’s cues from the d.i.y. art/music scene of the early 90’s as well as ideas related to sustainability, it would seem that Portland (which has always had a strong base in both) would be one of America’s burgeoning fashion capitals. And in many ways, it is.

Based on what was chosen to be presented to the world stage during Portland Fashion Week however, you would never know it.

The thematic elements of Portland street fashion, boutiques, and more notable designers seem to have been popping up on runways around the world the past two seasons. The four that in my opinion have been the most relevent as of late include:

  • Deconstructed Romantic
  • Bike Punk
  • Nerdy/Dandy
  • Lumber Jack / Pendleton

 Though some of these ideas were hinted at or even directly referenced (such as in the bike themed Ready to Roll group show), they were never presented in a way that was  either authentic or directionally forward.

Instead, 90% of the looks that were sent down the runway were tired, poorly styled, and cheap looking. It’s all very I got it on sale at JC Penny in 2006. Even the slightly more ambitious attempts (for example the black dress with the bow to the right) come across as very….Target-ish. Like most of the clothes in Target’s “Go International” line, they might look cute on a hanger, but on a body they are an unflattering mess. No one looks good in voluminous, pin-tucked black satin. No one.

Presenting this selection of designs as a representation of Portland’s presence to the global fashion community does an injustice to the city. It says to anyone outside of the region looking in at it: “We don’t care about fashion“. This is, of course, bad for designers. But is also bad for businesses and workers trying to make a living off fashion in this struggling economy.

The saddest thing about this situation is that Portland does have talented, forward looking designers. It’s a roll call that we should all be familiar with: Adam Arnold, Holly Stalder, Liza Reitz, Church and State, Anna Cohen. And these aren’t just my own personal favorites. These truly are the most important designers working in Portland today. Many of them did host secondary events during PFW, but since none (with the exception of Cohen) were officially involved, non-Portland residents looking at PFW coverage would not be exposed to their designs.

Admittedly, I don’t know all the details of exactly how designers are chosen to be a part of the event. I know that they have to apply and that, if selected, they have to pay a fee to show. Whatever the exact process is though, it reeks of misguided inclusiveness and perhaps even nepotism. Almost none of the designers chosen deserved to be chosen for this or any fashion event. The bar needs ton be set higher. If relevent designers are not applying and/or can’t afford the fee, they should be invited to show for free. It would be unfair to some, but so what? In the end, it would mean more ticket sales, more national press, and a raised presence for the fashion community. It would also encourage other talented designers to apply in the following seasons.

The reason that most of the good designers in Portland don’t become involved is because they know that Portland Fashion Week is a total joke. They don’t want to shell out money to be part of something so irrelevant. But like it or not, as long as Portland Fashion Week exists it will be what most outsiders view as the defacto representation of Portland.

And  that’s a very, very, bad thing.

 

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Oh, and last but not least, I thought I’d leave you below with my vote for the absolute worst look of the entire week. Out of kindness for designers who might be searching for press about themselves, I decided not to include any names for most of the pictures attached to this article (hey, I’m not out to hurt feelings here). However, Nelli Millard and Dru Broekemeier (of NelliDru Design) need to be called out on putting such a monstrosity into the world.

Ugliest dress ever!

 

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23
Sep
09

26 Interviews: (B)ecky Daly….

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Becky Daly is a New York based fashion stylist and writer who has worked for such magazines as W, Elle, Jane, Instyle, Page Six, Lucky, Harper’s Bazaar, and Interview. Her job largely involves working as a market editor, doing cross media magazine promotion for television. You know those fashion interest pieces on shows like E News, The Today Show, and Good Morning America? Daly is frequently the one who puts the whole thing together. In addition to her magazine and TV work, she also writes occasional style pieces for The New York Post and bettyconfidential.com.

 

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Jon Miller: When did you get the calling to work in the magazine industry?

Becky Daly: I remember going to the salon with my mom and picking up Seventeen while she was having her hair done. I think I was about nine years old – it had never occurred to me to read a magazine before, but I opened it out of boredom, and it was like, “Whoa. Here is every fun thing in the world right here on these pages.” I think from that moment on I knew that magazines were in my future, and as I got older, it was the fashion aspect specifically that seemed to come into focus.

JM: Once you entered the field, did you have the fashion instinct right away?

BD: I’m not sure I’d call it a “fashion” instinct so much as an aesthetic one, but yes, I think that is something that comes naturally to people who have it. It can be honed and perfected and in that sense developed, but I think it has to be there intrinsically to begin with.

 JM: Working in what is arguably the most important fashion center in America, you must find yourself surrounded my fashion mavericks and forward thinkers daily. Who do you find personally inspiring?

BD: My favorite sources of inspiration are designer Alexander Wang, Elle’s style director Kate Lanphear, and blogger Scott Schuman (aka the Sartorialist). Actually, it’s almost embarrassing how much that list belies my personal style. I really respect how these three people, through their various mediums and in their own very different ways, keep fashion progressive while never forgetting how real women want and need to dress themselves for everyday life.

07_erinwasson_lglJM: It seems to me that Alexander Wang is one of the few designers to take on the American Apparel behemoth’s strong arm on youthful/sexy jersey basics and actually win. Most of the fashion focused women in my life are losing it over his tanks and tees. In fact, based on their newest designs it seems AA is copying Wang’s aesthetic. What do you think is his formula for success?

BD: I think Alexander Wang’s formula for success is a little thing called [model] Erin Wasson. Most truly inspiring designers have a truly inspiring muse, and he’s no different. Erin Wasson’s personal style is so downtown sexy and chic, but with that “I just picked this up off the floor” not-trying-at-all vibe. Alexander Wang managers to emulate that so perfectly in his designs. The clothes he makes are the clothes women want to wear because they give everyone that aura of being so chic you make even a t-shirt look good.

 JM: The way clothes are being designed and marketed seems to have ideologically shifted very quickly in the past few years. What are the big changes you have noticed?

BD: Right now, the two biggest shifts I’m seeing in fashion appear to be completely divergent, but in truth, stem from the same source. The current economy is forcing the industry to rethink design, and that seems to mean either taking it down a notch to provide designs that everyone can feel comfortable in, or stepping it up in terms of investigating new materials, functions, and production techniques.

JM: Many of the changes you are talking about seem to have recently been focussed largely on the development of “green” and “sustainable” diffusion collections. Do you think this is more of a marketing fad, or an actual moral shift in the production standards of these companies?

BD: While there are some “green” lines that began with the idea of sustainability – Loomstate and Rogan come to mind – I think in most cases with diffusion lines and in-store collections it’s a little bit of a mix. Even if many companies are only invested in sustainability for their own profit though, don’t we all reap the benefit anyway? The ends are good, even if the means may not be truly pure.

JM: The fall collections have all hit the stores by now, and I know I have already started stockpiling for when the cool weather hits. What big trends for this fall have you most excited?

BD: Fall is my absolute favorite season and always has been. I love the sense of change, the crispness in the air, the colors, and the fact that I can wear something other than those 10 damn sundresses I’m so sick of at this point. This season in particular, I’m so happy to see designers embracing the jeweled colors of autumn – the runways were all basically done in a palette of burnt oranges and reds, deep blues, peacock greens, and gold. I’ve also already bought about three pairs of flat, over-the-knee boots. They’re super sexy, but the fact that they’re flat keeps them from going Pretty Woman.

 JM: What designer’s Fall 2009 runway shows did you find particularly fantastic?

BD: Have I already mentioned my love for Alexander Wang? Can I count him again? If so, then Alexander Wang, Diane von Furstenberg (my god – the sweaters!), and Balmain.

JM: Both Balmain and Alexander Wang have put a lot of focus on shoulders in there garments this season either by exposing them, ornamenting them, or padding them. Even just a few years ago some of these concepts would have seemed unthinkable. Any predictions on the next big “unthinkable” we should be expecting?

BD: It’s true – structured shoulders are SO in right now. I’m hesitant to make any predictions on what the next crazy trend will be – I’ll leave that to the designers. A word of advice though: do hang on to any designer or even just well-made garments you may own. Trends may come and go, but as we’re seeing currently with the resurrection of the ’80s shoulder pads, fashion history has a way of repeating itself. Next fall you may just be kicking yourself for selling your Go-go boots to Beacon’s.

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26 Interviews  by Jon Miller

365 days

26 interesting people.

1 alphabet

02
Sep
09

Jon: “Rain and Blood” by Thee Headliners…

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Of all Portland bands, one of my longest held favorites is Thee Headliners. I hadn’t gone to see them in a while, so I managed to remain unaware that they had released a new album, Rain and Blood, a full 6 months ago! Thankfully, Paul and I stumbled across it while digging through the tons of vinyl at Everyday Music.

rainandblood

Besides having some of the most ridiculous(ly amazing!) cover art I have ever seen, Rain and Blood also contains many of their most accomplished songs to date. I’ve always thought that Thee Headliners seemed like a band that would perform at The Lobo Lounge. (Remember? It’s the bar they would hang out at on Roseanne.) Though that sound has always served them well live, it was impossible not to wonder what the band would sound like if they stretched their wings a little and flew into more progressive territory. On Rain and Blood what you end up getting is an unexpected polarization of Thee Headliners sound. Half the tracks are thoroughly forward thinking rock while the other half largely fall back on traditional and tired country and rockabilly hooks.

As a listener, it is hard to not see a shiningly perfect 6 song EP buried within a bunch of referential filler. In my opinion, Thee Headliners are one of the cities strongest performers and they are clearly capable of crafting amazingly written songs. I look forward to see what they have written since releasing the album, and hope it carries the same strong elements present on much of Rain and Blood.

September 10th they are playing in the Ponderosa Lounge in the North Portland Jubitz truck stop( which is practically as good as seeing them at the actual Lobo Lounge) with another local favorite of the Gaycondo house, Advisory. I’ll be there, why don’t you be there too?

Below, a live video of Thee Headliners performing “You Don’t Know”, my favorite track off the new album.

p.s. Wouldn’t you agree that Holly is maybe the best Portland singer ever? AND while playing drums!

01
Sep
09

26 Interviews: (A)ndrew Klaus

26aPortland based artist Andrew Klaus has been continuously working in a wide range of creative fields  including photography, music (as A is for Accident), and film, his most prominent effort.  As a follow up to several award winning films, his  newest short feature “Inheritance” will be out later this year.

Through out his career Andrew has worked with such notable collaborators as Andy Goldsworthy, Holly Andres, James Bolton, Grace Carter, and Silas Howard. Recently he has begun filming videos for  Oregon’s Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMS-C) which serve as instructional films for pediatric trauma situations. This has not only afforded him a living as a film maker, but has also given him the opportunity to film in many new and exciting situations. Did anyone say medical helicopter party?

 

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Jon:  When not writing, directing and producing your own films you frequently work as a documentarian for hire.  Do you find that having a 9 to 5 job adjacent to your creative endeavors has been helpful?

Andrew:  I feel having a day job in your creative field is absolutely advantageous.  You make contacts with others who share your passion for film making, which is by its very nature a collaborative field.  You pool your resources, call in favors, collect knowledge and offer support to one another- or compete cut throat and blood thirsty.  Thankfully for me though, that has been the exception not the rule.

 J:  It sounds like you find a lot of inspiration in your day job. How have you filtered your experiences working on films for EMS-C into your technical process when working on your own films?  There has to be a big difference in the process behind these to seemingly disparate projects.

 A:  Often my experimental or narrative films have taught me the techniques necessary to produce a product for a client.  I’ve learned my best lessons from trying and failing and trying again.  Also, I’m a big fan of dumb luck.  In experimental film making mistakes often lead to new discoveries, frequently enhancing a performance or an effect.

With the documentary work we shoot largely in real time: one take, with multiple cameras.  This means far less room for error.  I can never just yell “cut”, reset, and start over. It’s always “think on your feet”.  I am just trying to shoot everything as fast and steady as possible.  When I cut it all together I rely on my more creative film experience to find the narrative and piece together a story from start to finish.  The final product, while not exactly a traditional film, ends up as one that has filmic qualities.

I’ve certainly learned important new lessons from this job. From budgeting in my personal life to bettering my interpersonal relations and conflict resolutions, an invaluable tool for any film maker.  Also, I’ve been really inspired by the varied rural locations I’ve been to on my job with OHSU.  These are locations which I probably would have never experienced otherwise and I hope to revisit a few of them to shoot creative personal work in the coming year.

 J: So when approaching your creative efforts you never find yourself burnt out on filming and editing as a result of your day job?

 A: I’m absolutely grateful and keenly aware how lucky I am to get to work in my chosen field.  That being said though, like anyone on any job, there are sometimes days, situations, and other people that simply get on my absolute last nerve.  I’m trying really hard to remember everyday why I do this unstable and truly insane job, and to be thankful for it.  But yeah, some days are just plain awful. 

I got really burned out on my upcoming film Inheritance.  It was plagued with problems in post production from special effects not working, to being 3k over budget, to plain ol’ challenges in storytelling.  It’s a really odd film that was a tough nut to crack when editing.

 J: Speaking of “Inheritance”, your most recent film, I’ve noticed that it deviates from your previous work in that its strength relies heavily on the absurd and comedic.  I imagine that your day job with EMS-C must also require a sense of humor seeing as you are dealing with such serious subjects.  Any funny stories?

 A: No, none… Just kidding.

 Yeah of course.  Let’s see:  Recently we pulled up to a Hospital’s Emergency Department and were unloading gear, including the Hi-fidelity medical mannequin we use.  When we unzipped the case and hauled out the “dummy”, we were unaware that a few people were watching thinking these big city strangers had come to their small town with a dead body in a suitcase.  On an even more recent project no one informed me I would be shooting on some of the largest sand dunes in North America. In the rain.  In my Kenneth Cole loafers.

INHERITANCE%20POSTER[1]J:When writing “Inheritance, what inspired you to insert a comedic element into such “a serious subject?

 A:  After completing my previous loosely themed trilogy I was sort of at a loss for what story I wanted to tell next.  The three films were all quite serious.  First off there was The Human Remains (2006), a film about a young women in a suicide survivor support group.  It was the film that started my career.  I followed it up with back to back downers – Lazarus (2007) an experimental film about madness and survivor’s guilt and then THIS HOUSE IS NOT A HOME (2007) a black and white silent horror film.

 While preparing for my next film I started making experimental films and erotica.  Creatively this was really, really satisfying but it was not something that was readily accessible.  Eventually I missed narrative filmmaking.  I had this treatment I had written as a fable.  It was a horror-comedy about a couple whose lives are turned upside down when they inherit a minor demon.  And I decided to be quite literal and instead of lesser, “minor” would actually mean adolescent.

When I started thinking about the look of the film I decided I wanted to attempt to make the kind of schlocky B (or C) movie that I loved as a kid.  I wanted to pay homage to the early days of cable TV and direct to VHS creature features, a knock-off of a knock-off of Gremlins.

 Sort of Sam Rami meets Woody Allan.

 I hadn’t really done comedy before and that seemed really challenging to me.  I mean it’s definitely a black comedy.  It’s gruesome and kinda adorable in equal measure but I’ve cut my teeth on disturbing, scary and/or emotionally moving- so doing comedy was definitely out of my comfort zone.  It’s good to be able to tell a variety of stories and work in several genres as a director.

 We’ll see how audiences react to Inheritancethis fall; the test screenings have gone really well.  I really like changing directions with each project.  My next film I plan on shooting is a surrealist sci-fi film, part David Lynch part Sophia Coppola part Derek Jarman, about a group of people in a sleep study.  It may even have a musical number.  The plan is to mix stop-motion, erections, singing, and really beautifully composed cinematography.

 And even a happy ending for a change… well, maybe.

 

(for more on Andrew, visit his website, Diggin’ to China)

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26 Interviews  by Jon Miller

365 days.

26 interesting people.

1 alphabet.

16
Aug
09

Jon: OMFG. Team Dresch and Erase Errata at Rotture September 19th…

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So I just found out that Team Dresch and Erase Errata will not only both be playing as part of MusicFest North West, but that they will be playing together. To top it off, the show is scheduled at Rotture. This is a ridiculous venue choice seeing as Rotture is way too small a venue for either band, even playing by themselves. Both bands on the same bill will totally sell out that club, something I’ve never experienced there before. It might end up feeling claustrophobic, but the experience of seeing Team Dresch in such a small space is going to be mind blowing.

I’m pissed though because a MFNW pass costs $60, but this is the only show I really have any interest in going to see. Honestly, MFNW is kind of a shitty music festival. There will be individual door tickets available as well, but they are very limited so that people with full passes can get in too. My plan is to bust my ass over there as soon as I get off work that night at 7pm and just wait outside till the club opens. Anyone want to wait with me?

I was looking for Team Dresch live videos of youtube to post. There are about a million, but they ALL have shitty sound. Someone (*ahem, Em and Beth, ahem*) should ask Rotture if they can mic the sound straight off the board if they video the show.

Anyway, here is Team Dresch performing Screwing Yer Courage at the Knitting Factory:

Click below for a live video from Erase Errata….

Continue reading ‘Jon: OMFG. Team Dresch and Erase Errata at Rotture September 19th…’