Deerhunter at Wonder Ballroom 10.20.15

“This is what I like to call ‘Audience Calibration.'”

If there were to be a underlying notion for Deerhunter and Atlas Sound‘s performance last week at Portland’s Wonder Ballroom, it would ultimately lie in the desire for transparency and trust. With the release of Fading Frontier, an album that could lead them aiming for the surreal transition of cult icons to overwhelming consumptionBradford Cox and company have navigated themselves into the rarified territory of mass adoration. They’ve become the indie band capable of filling stadium seats. But this band doesn’t have the desire to be an elusive polished juggernaut, a fact apparent as soon as the venue’s doors opened that Monday night.

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Angel Olsen at Revolution Hall 10.6.15

Enter the dark auditorium, laden with eager ears sipping on drinks, chattering about the impending performance and laughing below the archaic high school ceiling. As the lights dim, it feels as though you have been taken back to a school assembly where the guest of honor begins to speak, in this case being the folk-singer Angel Olsen. Her soft glowing voice is easily recognizable amongst the myriad of female artists in the genre of indie-folk music. What sets Olsen apart is her delicate yet assertive croon, which cuts through the mists of time, echoing from the same vein of folk artist Joan Baez drew from generously years previous. Olsen’s newest album released last year “Burn Your Fire For No Witness” was played a majority of the time during Olson’s performance at Revolution Hall.
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Veganizing Mama’s best recipes

“Our parents, they want the best of stuff for us. But right now they gotta do what’s right for them, ’cause it’s their time. Their time, up there. Down here it’s our time. It’s our time DOWN HERE.” – Mikey; The Goonies I’ve struggled for years trying to veganize recipes my mother has so effortlessly conquered as […]

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eliminating wastefulness

I waste a lot of food, and I feel like shit about it. After purchasing a juicer and throwing out the pulp a few times, I thought, “….what in the actual fuck am I doing? I could use this.” So I saved some carrot pulp for a few days, but then I’d look into my […]

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confessions from a transplant

Living in a city predominantly populated by non-natives, it’s not hard for me to have trouble fitting in. Everyone comes here, Portland, Oregon, to make a new life for themselves. Most of the stories are the same. Young, broke, and open minded.  Not being much different from the description above, I’ve also felt a lot […]

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in before scoffs

It’s fall. A lot of us are bummed. Cold weather is inevitable, sunshine will no longer grace our cheeks (butt cheeks, that is), and the year is coming to an end. But alas! This now gives us an excuse and purpose to make hot drinks, which I’ve personally been waiting for. There are very few […]

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So You’re Dating

Let me start by saying this: it’s hard to release anyone you’ve “let go” to. Someone you’ve started feeling vulnerable with, whether it’s revealing secrets, revealing your body, your issues, etc. It’s fucking hard. You think you invested in something, but a second later they could give a fuck about you. Remember this: You’re beautiful. […]

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the summer of sorbet cocktails

Living in Portland during the summer can be amazing….but also unbearable. Air conditioning is a rarity, but luckily the tools and ingredients to make the best sorbets aren’t.     Lemon Basil Sorbet 1 1/2 cups of lemon juice 1 teaspoon of lemon zest 2 cups of sugar 1 cup of water handful of basil, […]

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Metronomy at Wonder Ballroom, 6.12.14

“Love. I’m in love…again.”

 Nothing could have encapsulated my feelings about Metronomy’s performance better than those lines.

Metronomy is everything a live band should be: passionate, energetic, radiant, multifaceted, and frankly stoked to be playing. With every note, two-step, beat, synchronized dance, facial expression, induced crowd clap, and strum, you could feel the love pouring through Wonder Ballroom from their hearts into ours. Each person on stage was covered from head to toe in classic ivory, and their stage set-up of geometric white and sudden neon lights invoked childhood memories of the theme park ride, “It’s A Small World”  from Disneyland, though I suspect that was not their intention.

They opened their set with “Monstrous” from their newest album, Love Letters. Their combination of old and new songs pleased the audience enough to bring on the loudest beckoning for an encore I have heard in my life. Metronomy’s performance easily pushed an hour and a half, and not once did they appear to be exhausted like they should have been. The encore, which consisted of “Heartbreaker” and “You Could Easily Have Me”,  surprisingly stirred an aggressive mosh pit, complete with teenagers betrothing themselves to Joe Mount and rowdy douche-bros in paisley print button ups. Nothing, however, could ruin the moments Metronomy created for us. Each musician blew me away from start to finish, especially leaving me speechless during “Everything Goes My Way” and “Corinne”.

In short, Thursday was a night of miraculous talent I could barely swallow and never forget.

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Jacco Gardner at Mississippi Studios 5.12.14

Despite being on a Monday night,  Jacco Gardner brought the venue to a near capacity. All of us watched in reverence as Jacco and his band (featuring Frank Maston on keys) played breathtaking melodies (from the album Cabinet of Curiosities) that were thoroughly foreign to this era. The strange visuals momentarily caught my attention. That quickly changed, as every man onstage had a charming intensity which kept you from looking anywhere else. The only exception seemed to be a lady who appeared to be on acid, dancing very strangely in the front. You had my attention for a few minutes, ma’am.

Every sound, tune, voice, melody, chord, strum and beat was perfect, locking you in that moment and evolving into something more than a performance. Finally, they ended their all too short of a set with a nine minute version of Lullaby, leaving us all in a state of confusion, fear, and bliss.

What happened after will forever keep me in touch with my humanity, Amsterdam, and onion rings.

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