New Year Reboot

Posted: January 22, 2016 in Music

Seeing my old stomping grounds of Portland State University continuing to bring music to the students, makes me feel honored to be the wall fly with a view. Tobin has worked endlessly alongside his crew and Portland State TV to bring campus the Live @ Lunch series. I have captured shows in the Parkway North venue since 2012 and have many more shows to see there.

January will bring 5 live bands and one comedy act. Music has always been the focus, and with the wary venture into “comedy” it was easy to say the musicians have more to offer than immature sexual innuendo and badly recycled “jokes” that are best left on the seedy sidewalks of Burnside. The realms of psych pop/folk, indie rock , and the exploration of PDX hip hop have made this stage is one of my favorites to see performances.

IMG_5422 Harm of Alaska stopped in last week to grace us with the powerful sounds of a folk ensemble. Made up of six individuals there is much this band as to offer. The interpretation of Heather Warren‘s poetry gives material for the music to come alive. The harmonies mixed with floating on the notes of the clarinet allowed the bass of the beatboxing to guide you around the stage until you are swarmed up in the musical bliss. Humble, enthusiastic, and caring a vibrant stage presence Harm hopefully will be back in the PNW soon. Head over to RumblesOfRevolution to see the full set and follow the link to see a live video of their performance at PSU.

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Proud To Be An American

Posted: May 6, 2014 in News

Coalitions from all over the city joined together on May 1, 2014.

Coalitions from all over the city joined together on May 1, 2014.

With the faint chants of May Day still hanging in the air, one wonders where the grassroots enthusiasm goes. Is this just a once a year occurrence to show solidarity or does it have a deeper lasting meaning? Do these citizens take the freedom of protest for granted and not realize what this liberty could possible produce? During the fiscal year of 2013, 778,127 individuals were welcomed as naturalized citizens of the United States. Over the last decade there have been as many as 6.6 million new citizens who underwent the task of applying for citizenship. Children of these new citizens also are granted citizenship as long as they are permanent residents of the US.

New citizens taking the Oath of Allegiance

New citizens taking the Oath of Allegiance

During the Cinco de Mayo Fiesta at Tom McCall Waterfront Park, the naturalization ceremony has been going on for 22 years. Sponsored by Portland-Guadalajara Sister City Association 51 people from 22 different countries took part in the 2014 ceremony. The U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services requires the individual to be 18 years of age, hold a green card, and must take the Oath of Allegiance. These new citizens are allowed to register to vote once taking the Oath as well as apply for citizenship for their children. The smiles from spouses as their partners became part of society was a welcoming site rather then the jeers of anarchist rabble.

What will you do to ensure equality and freedom?

What will you do to ensure equality and freedom?

In America we seem to hide but push forward with this blunt idea of Freedom of Speech. We live in a nation were the protests have never erupted into full occupation but during this month we also remember those lives lost at Kent State. The idea of finding a loved one on the ground or possible on the other side of the border is a cry for justice. We here who are born in the states know little of the freedoms we gain once entering this world of diversity. Many people spend a good portion of their lives to be able to call this land their home. We must realize that no matter where we have come from or what coalition we are striving to build up, this land is ours and one day the citizens will unite and claim it as theirs. The only question is can you put your differences aside and become the body of people this great county was founded by in the beginning.

Children Come Listen

Posted: January 29, 2014 in Music

Is music really education or is it just a means for youth to slap on some headphones and drown out the much NEEDED prerequisite we learn in the classroom? Can lyrics, beats, and different genres guide the next generation to discovery and adventure? The continually decline of music programs in the school is raising a generation of young people who won’t every be exposed to musical instruction except on a touch screen device. We can argue that high school band and certain choice art electives might equal a music classroom but nothing is equal to being exposed the the raw power of music collaboration.

All The Apparatus: Voyage of the S.S Stardust from Rowan Spiers-Floyd on Vimeo.

All the Apparatus is a band who’s music is a life lesson in it self. Self confidence, appreciation for stage performance, and much encouraged crowd participation is whats left after a evening with these fine musicians. Continually gratitude for their fans and community make this band stand out from many in Portland. Recently they teamed up with the kids from Portland’s Da Vinci Arts Middle School to help cast a new visual for their song ‘Great Whale’. With the help of Trifecta Films PDX this video shows the direct link to music and community. How often do young people get to be apart of such a great project, let alone have the backing of so many great Portland groups.

After Music Fest NW and the release of Typhoon’s ‘White Lighter‘ album a national tour seemed in order. Lead singer Kyle Morton and I meet several years back before I was 21 at a Music in the Schools fundraiser. He introduced me to his group and have been a fan ever since. Looks like the crew had some time to visit Cove, OR before heading out on the road. In school performances are a hard thing to organize but it doesn’t stop Typhoon from letting the kids try the instruments and meet the musicians behind the music.

Discipline a Child

Posted: November 6, 2013 in News

The Guy Fawkes March that took place this week throughout the world called for open platform of issues. These masked protestors were suppose to be addressing the issues that have become to familiar in the society that has arisen. We live in a world that allows exposed flesh to be beauty, sexual desire to be love, and angry ignorance a tool of education. With the understanding that civil disobedience is a neccesary tool in times where a governemnt has overstep its bounds, does it really do a community good to exercise this right loosely? Having been able to be a part of many demonstrations and lucky enough to document NATO, its hard to not stand somewhat critical of the actions that unfold in front of you.

Train Up A Child In The Way They Should Go.

Train Up A Child In The Way They Should Go.

Meeting up at the south waterfront a group of about 100 or so decided to lazily stroll around seeing if comrades would make numbers swell. Scheduled to start at one I waited for a good hour before seeing any type of “organization” take place. I almost left knowing this was probably unpermitted and it showed a lack of focus in the radical community. I overheared several coversations about what was to go on and was disturbed to find out they were just as confused as me. While talking with Officer Day of the central precinct I learned that most police sentiments are mutual toward the demonstrations, but they needed to manage the city. Making our way through downtown we stopped off at Right2Dream2 to drop off the clothing that some had brought as donations. Continuing through Chinatown we crossed the Burnside bridge to an empty lot were more nonsense was chatterd and heckles were directed toward law enforcement.

Going down Grand on the eastside we turned up Stark. Here many “protestors” started to test the police by laying in the street, shouting vulgarity, and showing true disorganization. At the intersection of Stark and Sandy all hell broke loose, unconfirmed reports say eggs were thrown. As you can see from the footage the sidewalk became the holding grounds of the demostration as the police advanced with patrol and mounted units. Quickly cutting the group in half a few arrests were made but the realization of overaction on the side the police caused them to retreat just as quickly. The shakiness in the video is from the officers rushing in and body checking me with several others into a wall. As I tried to film the incident the mounted police shove onto the sidewalk and block my shot. The unsettlement lasted only mintues before we started to proceed up the sidewalk but tempers were quite heated. The day ended with much frustration up by St. Francis park.

Summer is starting

Posted: June 20, 2013 in Music

A message on Mississippi.

A message on Mississippi.

Wow what a CRAZY few months 2013 has been. Government’s kicking into high gear with empathetic bandwagon campaigns as well as personal loss and growth. The ambitions of a few are affecting the lives of many and we turn to our individual aesthetics to get us trudging through the rut of things. Headphones, sweaty garages of strangers, or a night with the wax takes us back to better times. As spring comes about the weather clears up and the festivals,street fairs, and outdoor performances come alive.

ToadBeat performing his set during Live @ Lunch. He relocated from Alaska to PDX.

ToadBeat performing his set during Live @ Lunch. He relocated from Alaska to PDX.

Live @ Lunch is a concert series on the campus of Portland State University hosted by Portland State Professional Sound. Tobin and his crew work very hard to bring the student body great musicians from the Portland area. Deli Magazine’s February artist of the month Just Lions as well as nationally know Y La Bamba’s female vocalist Luz Mendoza are just a few that show up to play. Interested in hearing math rock, jazz arrangements, or some EMD the park blocks is the place to eat your lunch.

Splintered In Her Head at the Bing Lounge.

Splintered In Her Head at the Bing Lounge.

If you like cozy, intimate, and friendly I would highly recommend checking out the Bing Lounge. They host KPSU 2013 Radio Revival as well as many mid-day events. Les Raquet from Brooklyn, New York to Portland’s very own Tiger Houϟe, the Bing’s stage has seen many musicians from across America. Being able to take part of these shows involves ‘liking’ their facebook page and emailing their coordinator when you are updated on a free show. The 21+ crowd is always treated to free brew from Lagunitas and the kiddos get pizza

New Year, New Sounds

Posted: December 19, 2012 in Music

As another year comes to an end we look to the horizon for bigger and better things. The cars need to be more efficient, gadgets socially connected, and the music will challenge the listener to see if this is the defining sound of 2013.

IMG_5243For those who read posts earlier this year about the annual showcase The Next Big Thing Tour you would have been introduced to Atmos. As the year went on Kyle, Josh, and Jackson went on to explore more sounds, play more shows, and created YoungSun. Joining our three friends was their comrade Johnny who plays synth, rhythm guitar, and is lead vocals. Their EP ‘Moxie‘ is avaliable for purchase and streaming over on their bandcamp. ‘Accidents‘ and ‘Light Me Up‘ have that groove to dial you in to the sound of these four musicians from Lake Oswego, Oregon. These tunes are filled with reggae, groove, and a great alternative sound to the daily mundane tunes of the radio.

IMG_5352 E.A.R.T.H stands for emphasizing, articulation, rhythm, tone, and harmony. MC’s Spliff and Doug have the lyrical game on lock with multi-syllable verses that blast competitors who want to stick to the basics. Their band is what brings the group a lot of recognition because they’re just as talented. Noah and Benjamin hang with trumpets at the ready, while hitting a few notes on the keys to keep the sound groovy. Cary lays down guitar licks that have bass player Louie and drummer James keeping the tempo to a tea. ‘Lost Generation‘ pretty much sums it up with the facts of societies downfall and the lack of responsibility we all have been guilt of. The Fruits of Labor EP dropped this last week and its a gem if you are a true hip hop fan. Jamming to ‘Feel The Groove‘ is the band once again showing the elements that make them a great addition. Check out the video for their single and realize this is a group that will open up Portland to true passion and music appreciation.

No Sleeping In My Daughters Bed

Posted: December 7, 2012 in Music
Building a family out of strangers.

Building a family out of strangers.

Tommy and Astrid are truly an inspiration to anyone who wants to honestly better themselves. A couple, who just a year ago introduced the Los Angeles music scene to the sounds of the Moon Bandits. Hearing them for the first time at my new friend Ryan’s house in California was an amazing experience. The crowd was a mix of anarchists, punks, high school misfits, and weary travelers. The rowdy bunch nor banjo malfunctions could damper Tommy’s explanation of why his music meant so much to him. Those who listened got a message of hope and challenge to be the change you truly want to see.

The following night in Riverside I learned a few things that I will never forget. We pulled into town and went to see the venue the bands would be playing at. The Blood-Orange Info Center is a great place for artists, musicians and other community out-reach groups to have an outlet. Grabbing a bit to eat at a local cafe I got the worst phone call of my life. My grandma had passed away about the same time we had arrived. I explained the situation to my companions and excused myself to be alone and proceeded to mourn in my own manner. Having the obligation to be taking pictures of the show I headed back to the space and let the night start up. When the words “I don’t have time for depression” came from Tommy I snapped out of my state of mind I had been in all night. Following them back to their house to crash for the night talks about self importance, understand true potential, and even the Black Panthers concluded my stay. It was an unforgettable time with two people who truly understand what it means to be a human being. Check out the video for ‘Pedestrian’ produced by Dan Ramirez right here and remember never give up on yourself.