Friday, October 28, 2011

The Local Artist Speaks: MY SUMMER AS A GOTH

'Tis the seen for ghoulish delights and great local films! Tara Johnson-Medinger and Brandon Roberts I making a film about explorations in the goth culture. There's a big party going on at the Hollywood Theatre tonight (Oct. 28) to celebrate meeting a recent fundraising goal (click here for details) but in the meantime, meet the duo behind the film!


How long have you lived in the Portland area?

Brandon: Most of my post-adolescent life, with a 6-year interlude in Los Angeles, and two years spent in Ashland where I graduated from SOU.

Tara: I moved "back" (I'm from Salem) to Portland in 2002 from Los Angeles, CA where I lived for six years.

Give us a brief history of your project:

Brandon: MY SUMMER AS A GOTH is the film that we co-wrote and are co-producing. It is the story of a "normal" 16 year-old girl, Joey, who is sent to live with her grandparents for the summer and ends up being transformed by the mysterious neighborhood Goth boy. It's a sweet, empowering film about how sometimes as teenagers we try on other identities to find out who we are. It's not just a story for Goths, although we have taken great pains to make sure that culture has been treated respectfully- it's more of a story for anyone who felt different as a teenager and grew as a result of that. I hope it speaks more universally to people in that way.

Tara: MY SUMMER AS A GOTH has been in development for about two years thus far. We spent that time focusing on getting the script right and assembling a talented crew to help us get this film made right. In the month of October, we are in the midst of a fundraising campaign, raising initial capital to get the film off the ground. We hope everyone will donate and help make our little dream come to life! For more information about the Kickstarter, go to:

What were some of the musical inspirations behind the film?

Brandon: We were definitely inspired by the music of our youth, especially 80's Goth bands. I personally listened to an inspiration soundtrack featuring Siouxsie & The Banshees, the classic Ministry track "Everyday Is Halloween," and new music by M83 and Bat for Lashes. M83's "Graveyard Girl" is the song that relates most to this script; I listen to it repeatedly as I work on rewrites. Same with This Mortal Coil's "Song To The Siren."

Tara: I have been a long-time fan of Robert Smith and The Cure, as well as Joy Division and Bauhaus. I don't think any Goth soundtrack would be complete without "Bela Legosi's Dead" or any number of Cure songs-- there are almost too many good ones to choose. We are going to try our darnedest to get some of these Goth classics on the soundtrack!

Where do you hope to premiere MY SUMMER AS A GOTH?

Tara: We want to throw a black carpet premiere in spring or summer 2013 at the Hollywood Theatre. It is the site of the Portland Oregon Women's Film Festival, or POWFest, which I am the director of in addition to being a film producer. It's a beautiful Portland landmark theater, and it's also rumored to be haunted, which is just too good and Gothy to pass up.

Speaking of other bands, who do you like on the Portland music scene?

Brandon: We recently caught a local Portland Goth band that we felt had a ton of potential, Mortal Clay. They were playing at the Lovecraft, a Goth bar that reminds us of Fangtasia, the vampire bar from the tv show True Blood.
Tell us about a recent “Only in Portland” moment you might have had.

Brandon: When I went up to introduce myself to the lead singer of Mortal Clay, she brightened and said, "I've heard of your film!" In that moment, I was reminded of how truly small Portland is. I'm hoping that works to our advantage and that we can get our friends and neighbors excited about our project and supporting our efforts.

Finish this sentence: “I cannot live without_____”

Brandon: MUSIC. For reals. It drives so much of what I do; I couldn't write or create without it. I'm a lifelong music obsessive--always have been, always will be.

Tara: [insert answer here]---having a super hard time answering this one! Uh...everything? My family, my creativity, my support systems (friends, family & greater community), Portland. So yeah...everything!

Hear their interview on ArtclecticPDX by clicking here! Check out the details about the film by clicking here! There's also a blog - click here!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

THAT WAS THEN, THIS IS NOW: PORTLAND MUSIC VIDEOS Presented by NW Film Center's Reel Music Festival

One  way to have a good time is to sit in the balcony of The Mission Theater drinking Terminator Stouts while watching 120 minutes of local music videos. This is what I did last week at the Reel Music screening of That was then, This is Now: Portland Music Videos, a compilation of local music videos curated by Alicia Rose.  The selection was a showcase of the talent and craftsmanship that makes the Portland music and film scene so extraordinary. I enjoyed all of the videos but I thought I'd share a few of the favorites I found on YouTube.

Nirvana: Seasons In the Sun
Directed by: Lance Bangs

The last thing I expected immediately at the start of this screening was a heavy, emotional experience. I could write a bunch of lame crap about mortality, my generation and personal glimpses into seemingly private moments but I'll spare you of that. You should still watch this though. See if anything happens to you.

Menomena: Evil Bee
Directed by: Stefan Nadelman

I understand exactly what is going on here but I am not exactly sure what it means. It's a great video with great animation.

Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside: I Swear
Directed by: Matthew Ross

I am not sure why I hadn't heard of Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside before, but after poking around on the internet I can see it is my own fault. I hope that I would have seen this video eventually.

Red Fang: Wires
Directed by: Whitey McConnaughy
This is what happens when you pack a video full of awesomeness and then drive a car through it.

Elliot Smith: Lucky Three
Directed by: Jem Cohen
The quality of this youtube video does no justice to the film and, by the end, the sound is pretty out of synch. Still, I would be remiss without mentioning this piece. It made think a lot about mortality and my generation. It is an intimate portrait of a person I would like to know better and a place I love more everyday.

It also set the mood for the upcoming screening of Searching For Elliot Smith this Friday. I can hardly wait.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Local Artist Speaks: IAN MOUSER

107.1 FM KZME radio is a proud sponsor of the My Voice Music 3rd anniversary party that is taking place on October 15. It will be a celebration of all the great stuff going on at the organization, including the release of its very first compilation CD. You can listen to that CD by clicking here as it was featured on Trixie Pop earlier this month.

Ian Mouser is the executive director for My Voice Music, and I recently caught up with him to find out a bit more about the man behind the music.

Meet....Ian Mouser!


I moved to Portland in 1999 (wow, that was a really long time ago!) with my band at the time, American Hit List. We played a bunch of 70’s sounding rock tunes with big guitar solos, drum fills and lots of attitude (I still have the scars!). That band eventually broke up, but I continued to play in bands, most notably playing bass for the band, Another Cynthia. We made very little money so I had day jobs and all that. - Portland is such a great town. I can go out just about any night and see a friend, or a friend of a friend’s band play a small club and blow me away!


I worked as Treatment Counselor and Skills Trainer in a residential treatment center for youth experiencing mental health and behavioral challenges. I brought in my guitar one morning and played it as the boys woke up. Typically, they would wake up yelling at each other and whoever was present. The first morning I played my guitar on the unit, the kids woke up, came out of their rooms and instead of yelling and fighting each other, sat down in front of me and quietly listened. It was like I had waved a magic wand across the room and chaos was replaced with calm - insecurity with a sense of place. That experience transformed my perception of what I was supposed to be doing with music.

I began teaching music to many of the youth in the treatment center, as well as, to youth living in foster care and attending therapeutic schools. I developed a curriculum that taught youth to play music, write songs, record them and perform as a band. Quickly, I began receiving letters from parents, therapists, teachers, and program directors telling me stories of how these music programs were having remarkably positive impacts on the youth attending them - leading to breakthroughs in therapy sessions, boosting school attendance, lowering violent outburst and aggression; fostering positive social interactions for the first time in a child’s life…stuff like that.

I decided to expand these programs so they could reach many more youth than I could ever work with on my own…but, I had no money, and little knowledge regarding how to form a business. Fortunately friends who heard me talk about the program and my vision for it volunteered to do everything from design logo’s, to buying a program van. One of my private student’s parents gave me their Dodge Durango and told me to sell it in order to found the organization. My friend/music attorney, Peter Shaver, helped me to prepare the mountains of paper work…and there you have it, My Voice Music was created – serving over 500 youth per year as of today!


What a great question! “I Could Have Lied”, by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, from the Blood, Sugar, Sex album. I haven’t listened to that song in years.


I really enjoyed playing at the Doug Fir. Those shows were always packed and a blast. I think that is my favorite place to listen to a band too, but I have a weird unexplainable love for the White Eagle. I love that place like I love an old pair of wool socks. It’s a toss up.


I like so many bands on the Portland scene – oh my! This is a tough question. I will give this the Inego Montoya one-handed list of top six bands in my current playlist:

Tango Alpha Tango, Sara Jackson-Holeman, Mike Midlo and Pancake Breakfast, Jared Meese and the Grown Children, Mackintosh Braun, Ages and Ages


I was sitting at a stop light when a man with a twirled mustached man wearing suspenders and a bowtie passed by riding a unicycle. As he passed he looked over at me for a second and then winked. - I felt powerless and alive all at once.

Finish this sentence: “I cannot live without... dentists - I love me some healthy chompers!”

Check out this cool video that is an interview with Ian:

Saturday, October 1, 2011

three7: Tony Ozier is back with Beats Galore!

After releasing two solo albums, Mental Candy in 2006 and Aural Penetration in 2009, then following that up with the Doo Doo Funk All-stars' Keep The Funk Alive in 2010, Tony Ozier is back showcasing his production skills with his first beat tape BeatsGalore Volume 1.

But more than a beat tape, it's really a comprehensive album with 24 tracks featuring live instrumentation as well as neck breaking drums with guest spots from artists and entertainment personalities all over the record. Tracks like Mr. Bad Azz showcasing Ozier's skills on the organ, Amel and Sky featuring local artist Farnell Newton on trumpet and the pure funk of Original Doo Doo that's already been getting major radio air play.

BeatsGalore Volume 1 is just another example of why Tony Ozier truly is the Doo Doo Funk King of Portland and world wide.

Tune in to KZME 107.1FM Portland this Tuesday, October 4th for the BeatsGalore listening party on Welcome to the Neighborhood with DJ Klyph.