Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Local Artist Speaks: ALICIA J. ROSE

Alicia J. Rose is an incredible photographer and director. She takes photographs of musicians, landscapes and fairy tales. Her music videos of such bands as Holcombe Waller, Loch Lomond and Viva Voce are breathtaking.

I caught up with this busy woman Alicia J. Rose!

How long have you lived in the Portland area?

Since 1995. I moved from San Francisco by way of Los Angeles.

Give us a brief history of your band/project:
I have been a professional photographer for the past 10 years or so, I have been directing for about 3, though I originally learned the basics of the craft in high school and college. In between then and now I spent a fat chunk of time making music as Miss Murgatroid - my accordion playing alter-ego. In the past couple years, I have made it my mission to learn the drums and sing - at the same time - my pal Shawna Gore and I have a basement stoner-rock band called White Widow. Unlike my relatively ambitious MM years, our entire goal for White Widow this year is to play one basement show in August. Time and date tbd. I have also worked a lot lot lot in the music biz - distro, venues - but your probably know all that. Recently I have started life as a manager - Holcombe Waller is my first client. We are having fun.

What’s the first song you ever learned to play?
Chopsticks on the piano, then Myrtle the Turtle on accordion.

What’s your favorite local venue to play? To see other bands?
I'm still a fan of shows at my alma mater Doug Fir, but recently have enjoyed the hell out of shows at Holocene, Valentines and The Woods.

Speaking of other bands, who do you like on the Portland music scene?
Oh boy - I am lucky in that my amazing musician pals slip me their records in advance of release - so i'm already obsessed with the new Laura Gibson and Matt Sheehy jams. I'm also totally crushed out by Wild Flag, Blitzen Trapper, Y La Bamba, Typhoon, White Hinterland, AgesandAges, Archeology, M. Ward, Dat'r, Thermals, Yacht, Helio Sequence, Menomena, Billygoat, Loch Lomond, Jared Mees, Monarques and of course Holcombe - the list is loooong and keeps getting longer. This town is completely on fire!

Tell us about a recent “Only in Portland” moment you might have had.
I feel like my most recent Only in Portland moment was actually in Austin during SXSW. We didn't have a legit showcase or party play for Holcombe, so we staged a very DIY PDX thing and hosted a bagel and mimosa brunch in our room for potential bookers/labels/distro etc where Holcombe played a stripped down set cozy on the bed. It went so well, and we had so many bagels left we did it a second time and it wound up with major PR coverage in the NY Times and NPR. We also gave out sinful artisan "chocolate downloads" graciously donated by the folks at Cacao. It was all very PDX in AUS. And worked out better than we could have ever imagined.

Finish this sentence: “I cannot live without_____”
My wonderful friends. Also - Delicious Pok Pok chickens and Chab'a Thai Pad See Ew, as well as my camera/s and my incredibly handsome cat Charlie.

Check out her stuff at:

- Dennise

Thursday, April 14, 2011

three7: Welcome to the...

Good things coming out of the Mighty Northwest. Had a chance to attend the Luck-One album release party last weekend at the Crown Room – great to see luck holding it down for the NW. As always Luck put on a great show with DJ Gen-Erik on the tables and Mac Smiff hyping the crowd as they shared cuts from Beautiful Music, True Theory Outtakes and the full release True Theory. Check out the latest from Luck at his site Luck-One.

Later in the weekend got a chance to connect with Sapient of Sandpeople as he put together the new video for Grown Up from his latest release Barrels For Feathers. The concept for the video is… well I won’t spoil the surprise, just know that the visuals are nice with some familiar faces from the Portland scene…, and little people. Keep up with Sape at his site here Sapient.

On Tuesday, the the long awaited return of Fresh Selects finally arrived with the release of The Green tape featuring Illmaculate of Sandpeople and G-Force of TxE and guest spots from some of the nicest MC’s in the PDX. Check it out here at  Fresh Selects and be sure to stay connected – lots of cool stuff coming in the near future from th homie Kenny Fresh.

On Tuesday night, had another great show on 107.1FM with KZME’s Welcome to the Neighborhood. If you missed it, I played brand new music from Cool Nutz upcoming album, music from The Green Tape, a classic cut from the Lifesavas and more. Be sure to tune in every Tuesday night from 9-11pm and you can even stream it here: 107.1FM You can also catch up on missed shows via the podcast here: WTTN Podcast where you can hear interviews with Serge Severe, Slimkid3 and Spice 1.

Speaking of Spice 1, he’ll be back in Portland on 4/20 doing a show at the T & A Event Center. Spice talked about the new album whan he was in studio and this is the release party he promised.
Was chillin’ with the homie Theory Hazit of Humble Beast Records  and he let me hear some of the new material he has coming in a minute. If you’ve been listening WTTN you know I give Theory much airplay, but believe me, you haven’t heard anything like this from Theory before - definitely on some next level.

Other events coming up, on Wednesday the 20th is the final installment of The Neck Brace VII Showcase at the Someday Lounge put on by Dave Notti featuring some of the Northwest’s best producers  this is a can’t miss event as Notti is shutting it down after this one. On Saturday April 30th it’s the Destro Album Release and video premiere party at Slabtown.

That’s it for now y’all. More news coming next month, God willing.

Be blessed,


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Local Artist Speaks: LITTLE SUE

Little Sue is a sassy singer/songwriter here in Portland that tells her stories with music. Her songs leave me with the impression that she really does mean business I would not want to piss her off and then you meet her. She is as sweet as can be and you hope she just might be open to being your new BFF.

I touched base with her through the internets and posed my questions. Meet Little Sue!

How long have you lived in the Portland area? I moved to Portland on August 30, 1992, at the young age of 21! I had been in a band in Michigan (The Crackpots) and we all moved out here to take part in the music scene.

Give us a brief history of your band/project: While still in the Crackpots, I started writing my own songs around 1996. Local label Cravedog produced my first 2 cds under the moniker "Little Sue" and I have put out 3 more on my own. I play solo these days, though I have had many wonderful bands backing me up through the years. I also play in a duo with Lynn Conover, in a swing country-jazz quartet called Trolley Jane, and I play bass in the glam-rock band From Words To Blows.

What’s the first song you ever learned to play? The first song I ever learned to play was If I Had A Hammer by Peter, Paul and Mary. I was obsessive as a budding guitar player and would play until my fingers were so red and swollen it was painful to even wash my hands.

What’s your favorite local venue to play? To see other bands? I've been enjoying The Bunk Bar very much, both to play and to listen (and to eat delicious sandwiches!). Doug Fir has been a favorite to play, but not always a favorite to go listen. The Laurelthirst always gets my vote.

Speaking of other bands, who do you like on the Portland music scene? I love Duover, Lewi Longmire, Fernando, Mike Coykendall, Michael Jodell, Ezra Holbrook, Kung Pao Chickens, A Simple Colony (a Lara Michell project, and anything else Lara does, too!), Jim Boyer, Michael Hurley, The Minus 5, Lynn Conover, Darrin Craig, James Low, Rachel Taylor Brown, Colleen Raney, The Don of Division Street, Casey Neill, Stolen Sweets, Midnight Serenaders, RedRay Frazier, Hanz Araki, Mike D, Chris Robley rocks whatever he's doing. I'm sure I'm forgetting somebody. Old Light is a new favorite.

Tell us about a recent “Only in Portland” moment you might have had. Since Portlandia came out I always feel like I'm in an episode. Though that feeling is wearing off. I can't think of one in particular, though they happen often, accompanied by an "I love Portland"sigh.

Finish this sentence: “I cannot live without love.”

Little Sue will be one of the featured musicians on the next Music on the Air, a video production produced by MetroEast Community Media.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Local Artist Speaks: Laura of Upsidedown Cat

How long have you lived in the Portland area? I was born in Portland and I've lived in SW Portland for 24.5 years.

Give us a brief history of your band/project: I started writing songs when I began taking songwriting lessons from my friend Todd Fadel in 2005 when I was 19. I made a lot of demos on my computer and 4-track tape recorder for a few years. In 2008 I met the right people who wanted to record my first CD, Jonathan Moore and Mike Alston of Sound Ghost Studios. We became firm friends and I started recording at the studio which was in their basement at the time. We recorded Soon Fall Will Be Here most Saturdays from August 2008 - Jan 2010. I played a few shows over the years with some friends but mainly focused on finishing college. We also started Sound Ghost Musical Collective, a small collective of our friends' bands. My band is still sort of a solo/recording project, though now that I've graduated I hope to start playing shows more, find some more band members and write a second album!

What’s the first song you ever learned to play? When I was a kid I learned "Heart and Soul" on the piano...of course. On guitar I think the first song I learned was probably the intro to My Name Is Jonas by Weezer (that's about as far as I ever got with guitar, haha). On keyboard... I learned an Agents of Future song called "God I Wait." I pretty much only know how to play my own songs still.

What’s your favorite local venue to play? To see other bands? I've really only played at The Artistery (RIP) and coffee shops like Urban Grind. To see other bands over the years I've frequented the Crystal Ballroom, Wonder Ballroom, Mississippi Studios and The Artistery. In high school I mainly went to shows at The Meow Meow (RIP). All-ages clubs are awesome! There are actually a lot of places I've never been to like the Doug Fir, Holecene, The Woods... a little strange, but true. I mainly just go see my friend's bands these days.

Speaking of other bands, who do you like on the Portland music scene? I like my friends: Kelli Schaefer, Drew Grow, The Beauty, Imaginary Airship, Bruhn, Alan Singley, The Builders and The Butchers. Of course I've always liked Quasi, Menomena, Katy Davidson (Dear Nora), Thanksgiving, The Softies, Pocket Parade, The Online Romance, The Badger King, etc.

Tell us about a recent “Only in Portland” moment you might have had. I had to work last Friday, but The Builders and The Butchers playing like 7 free shows around town all in one day seems pretty Portland to me!

Finish this sentence: “I cannot live without_____”
My friends, my family, and my cat Minna.

For a listen loo to Upsidedown Cat, click here!