At the start, I am paired with a stranger. We are the only two participants for this iteration of the piece. An assistant equips each of us with headphones and an iPod Nano. We follow her up Multnomah County Central Library’s grand staircase. She motions for us to take our seats at a table in a public reading room. Before us lay twin stacks of three books: Blindness by José Saramago, The Notebook, The Proof, and The Third Lie by Agota Kristof, and When We Were Orphans by Kazuo Ishiguro. We sit in silence for two minutes. Then a hushed voice with a British accent comes through the headphones and reveals the library to be “dedicated to the collection of sounds.”
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Andrew Dickson is neither licensed nor experienced as a life coach. He simply believes that no one is broken or requires fixing; everyone just needs a little help to bring their own answers out. He encourages us to see the life coaching process as a catalyst for working on our own lives. Dickson humorously launches each Life Coach session with a disclaimer reminding his audience they didn’t pay anything to attend, so they shouldn’t be too judgmental if they’re not terribly entertained. Life Coach lacks the energy and humor of Dickson’s previous TBA performances. Yet while not particularly amusing, Life Coach may be one of TBA’s most genuine and truly interactive offerings.
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The Miracles Club latest music video for "The Wheel" works the most surprising of effects upon theatrical costumes and full body paint, as if to drive home the fact that one needs not take contemporary dance or house music too seriously. Directed by long-time band collaborator Judah Switzer and set in a digital environment crafted by glitch wizard Brenna Murphy, "The Wheel" intersects a powerful core of Portland dancers, musicians, and visual artists into one eyebrow-raising, off-kilter music video that is centered around mythological symbolism and the tarot. The Miracles Club vocalist Honey Owens speaks about the video in the Q&A to follow, and we discuss the symbolism of its tarot references.
"'The Wheel' was written about The Wheel of Fortune Tarot card, so when we were thinking of a concept for the video, [band member] Rafael [Fauria] suggested that we literally reproduce the tarot card in video form." -- Honey Owens, of The Miracles Club

 

Portland's greatest interdisciplinary festival, TBA Festival, is back in 2012 with some of the most diverse and impressive programming it's had in years. Check out our picks in dance, theatre, performance, and music for a what's what in local talent and international ideas.

Sam Green & Yo La Tengo - The Love Song Of R. Buckminster Fuller

Wednesday, September 12th @ 6:30pm and 8:30pm @ Washington High School (SE Stark, Between 12th and 14th, Portland, OR 97214) $20 Members / $25 General Filmmaker Sam Green executes a "live documentary" witha live score by Yo La Tengo, as Green cues images and narrates a film that explores the utopian ethos of theorist and idea-weaver R. Buckminster Fuller. - VIVIAN HUA

 

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Nora Chipumire - Miriam

Friday, September 7th, 8:30pm Saturday, September 8th, 8:30pm Portland State University: Lincoln Performance Hall (1620 SW Park, Portland, OR 97201) $20 Members / $25 General Zimbabwe-born choreographer Nora Chipaumire and dancer Okwui Okpokwasili explore what it is to be feminine, personally and in society. Chipaumire's style is both rigid and delicate, befitting of true feminine ideals. - VIVIAN HUA

 

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Brainstorm / Sahel Sounds - Global And Mobile Pop

Monday, September 10th @ 10:30pm @ Washington High School (SE Stark, Between 12th and 14th, Portland, OR 97214) $5 Members / $7 General Local hyperpop band Brainstorm and African-inspired label Sahel Sounds curate an evening of projections, media, music performances, and more in a diverse celebration of cultural influences.This comes after Sahel Sounds and Brainstorm's collaboration and 7", where Brainstorm covered the music of Mdou Moctar. - VIVIAN HUA

 

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If there’s one critical and emotional theme which resonates throughout the whole of Animal Collective’s work it would have to be the idea of ‘time.’ 2008’s masterful, breathtaking album Merriweather Post Pavillion was a record that captured the attention of media and fans alike just as communication on the internet, and eventually amongst ourselves, was changing. Though it certainly wasn’t intentional, the outpour of discourse on the record was unmatched, thanks to the growing presence of Twitter in daily lives. It was not until months after its release that people finally stopped talking incessantly about Merriweather Post Pavillion. All this is a small footnote in the greater scope of the album, but it's an important one nonetheless. The timing was too perfect; just as many people began to embrace a new, compact critical voice, the album of the decade fell into our laps. The massive outpouring of praise and anticipation for that record simply cannot be matched by today's more spastic attention span, and maybe that’s Centipede HZ’s immediate downfall; it simply isn’t Merriweather Post Pavilion and doesn't possess the same cultural or social significance. But what Centipede HZ does accomplish is just as important as Animal Collective's previous landmark effort, and it has solidified the group’s relationship with themselves.

 

SUMMARY: "Divisive as ever, Animal Collective return with a record that, while at times challenging and impregnable, is deeply rewarding. If nothing else, Centipede HZ feels like an exorcism of past demons, a beacon of light pushing their music forward." SEE FULL ALBUM REVIEW

 

World-renowned photographers Claudia Rogge and Spencer Tunick possess artistic visions large enough to fill city blocks. By orchestrating large-scale installations, they create visual interpretations of order and chaos, comprised not of inanimate objects, but of human beings obediently adhering to another's direction and vision. Rogge and Tunick's props at times engage actively like sentient beings and at others detach like stones. And despite the fact that they are frequently unclothed, the sheer number of individuals involved and the overarching aesthetic quality of each photograph makes every human component important only inasmuch as it forms a significant piece of the whole.
(12 IMAGES TOTAL)

 

Claudia Rogge

These images below are primarily from Rogge's 2007 - 2008 series, Dividuum.

Spencer Tunick

A smattering of images from Tunick's Wilderness, Adornment, and Large-Scale installation series.

 

The collaged work of Nicholas Lockyer and Nick Paliughi caught my eye on the same day. Though their styles are different -- with Paliughi's works a bit more ornate and Lockyer's a bit more lo-fi -- the two embrace similar color palettes and compositional tendencies that make even the busiest of moments of each piece feel like negative space in contrast to their focal points (not to mention the obvious double Nick appeal). Recurring themes of humanity and nature also seem to play a fine and entertaining role with both, though Lockyer's pieces feel darker and more humorously perverse, and Paliughi's more whimsical and playful.
(16 IMAGES TOTAL)

 

Nick Paliughli

Paliughli claims to have been making hand-cut collages since "he fell out of a barn broke his ribs. The ribs healed but the urge to make collages did not." Humorous.

 

Nicholas Lockyer

The closest thing I could find to a bio was his friend calling him an "image poet" in this "magical" image. It speaks well for him.

 

Animal Collective go Chinese opera face paint and Burning Man desert warriors in this new perfromance art video. Directed by long-time collaborator Danny Perez, this video for "Today's Supernatural" comes off the collective's new album, Centipeze Hz, which will come out September 3rd. The track sees the band pulling back from dreamy sonics and into driving, forward-moving territory, and all brutality is powered by fleshy pianos David Cronenberg could find pride in, disconnected arms, and 3D color offsets. This video will have you scratching your hoary head, at the very least. Tomorrow night, August 19th, Animal Collective will premiere Centipede Hz LIVE on Animal Collective Radio (radio.myanimalhome.net). Details, tour dates, and music video after the jump.

 

Remix City Sifting through mountains of remix trash so you don't have to, in an attempt to find the ones that contribute to their originals. Today's installment goes industrial! Einstürzende Neubauten's Alexander Hacke works his magic on San Francisco's Tussle, U.K. post-industrial outfit Factory Floor turn Australia's My Disco into a hardly recognizable form, and the post ends with a throwback to the brutality of Einstürzende Neubauten themselves, as remixed by Adrian Sherwood.
++ SEE ALL: REMIX CITY POSTS OR MUSIC COLUMNS

 

Tussle

San Francisco's groovy electronic act Tussle will be releasing their fourth album, Tempest, on September 25th via Smalltown Supersound! "Eye Context" is the first single from the album, now followed by a remix of "Yume No Mori" by Einstürzende Neubauten's Alexander Hacke, who did a fantastic job working far out electronics in with brutal percussion and funky basslines.

 

After their controversially poppy second album, Odd Blood, Yeasayer returns in 2012 with Fragrant World, which has potential to be equally controversial. Beginning at its highest point with a nostalgic coupling of "Fingers Never Bleed" and the album's second single, "Longevity", Fragrant World flaunts its best early on. These two tracks, along with the subsequent' Blue Paper" and album single "Henrietta", may please early adopters of the band's music. The ethereality and restraint that were present on the band's first release, All Hour Cymbals -- but intentionally shed on their rambunctious second, Odd Blood -- are present here. These tracks feel nostalgic and stand apart from most of the remainder of the record, in that they maintain a thread of stylistic consistency among them. They even seem to share a bit of lyrical cohesion, centered around a preoccupation with time -- be that of the past, present, or future.
SEE FULL REVIEW FOR YEASAYER'S FRAGRANT WORLD
SUMMARY: "Fragrant World may be just as controversial as Yeasayer's last, as it is a shape-shifting record that redefines its quality with every listen."