Archive for December, 2012

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.

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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.

Headed Home

Posted: December 6, 2012 in News
"Upholding Justice"

“Upholding Justice”

I was on my way home yesterday on the northbound max when I witnessed the continually harassment that the law enforcement enacts on people of color. As the southbound max arrived at the Albina/Mississippi stop I observed 6 transit police get off. They made a beeline to the two African American men who were on the platform when there were 15+ people to check for fares. No reason except they wanted to see what was up with these guys. They surrounded them and continued to “routinely” ask what their intentions were and why they were there. I pulled my camera out because I knew these officers were not acting in the TRUE interest of the public. Their fares ended up being valid but the officer in the tan pants decided to call the precinct to see what history these men had. One of the patrols saw that I was snapping shots of the incident and asked me what I was doing. I told him I was observing the scene and making sure they did their job. He proceed to get uneasy that I was keeping him accountable and asked to see some of the pictures I took. I told him all he needed to see was my fare because they were not the police but public transit enforcers. The officer told me to write my congressman if I didn’t like the way they conducted their job and I polite told him that I wouldn’t interfere.

Correct way to enforce the law.

Correct way to enforce the law.

As my max arrived I jumped on and got the attention of the car I was in and proceeded to share the experience I just went through. I group of minority high school age kids explained to me they get harrassed on a regular basis. An older gentleman asked me why the cops were so concerned about me with my camera because I was in a public space and it was my right to do so. I got several thank you’s for what I did that night and was congratulated for standing my ground. As the fare man came up the aisle to check tickets he caught an unfortunate soul who was trying to ride for free. He didn’t try to intimidate the rider but wrote him the ticket and calmly explained how to go about paying it. To the six officers on the platform, you should be taking notes from this particular transit enforcer because when do your job correctly there isn’t any reason to feel that someone is watching you.