"He's like an ambient R. Kelly," describes one girl to her friend. Both are waiting outside of Portland's Holocene for How To Dress Well, the project of solo musician Tom Krell, to take the stage. As simultaneously flattering and unflattering any comparisons to R. Kelly might be, they are, in this case, not entirely appropriate or accurate. Tom Krell of How To Dress Well is not R. Kelly though he may have a cadence that is similar. Nor are the differences found in both musicians' adoration of '90s R&B, which in Krell's case, was evidenced by slyly inserted homages to songs like INOJ's "Love You Down" and R. Kelly's "I Wish". Obvious fact of race aside, what separates Krell from a musician like R. Kelly is stage presence. Whereas one might expect R. Kelly to sloppily fall on his knees and babble when seized by the power and might of soul music, watching Krell is arresting in a completely different way. Krell is certainly brimming with passion, but in a much more reserved sense, coming off sometimes more as a choir boy than a soul singer. One almost wishes at times that he would throw more caution into the wind, to not only sing words with conviction, but to get a little less controlled, more possessed, and more anything goes in his entire being.
Portland, OR @ Holocene - June 14th, 2012

 

"Pop music shouldn't always get a bad rap," says Top Pops!, a recurring selection of pop music highlights across a selection of styles. In this post, tracks from Portland musicians Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside and Yards, as well as minimal electronic informed pop jams from Dems and Gracie.

 

Dems

Dems gently lay you down on a bed of crisp, clean vocals and washy synths in their track, "Inner O." A single coming out soon on Bad Life Recordings, "Inner O" uses just enough electronic glitchiness to stray away from being intractible, without sacrifing gentle pop tendencies. Highly recommended that you also listen to and watch the music video for "House", HERE.

 

Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside

Admittedly, it takes a certain type of personality to get down with the '50s soul-dance sound of Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside. They give an incredibly energetic live show, and you can catch a whole list of upcoming tour dates below. Their next record comes out late this year, on Partisan Records. Full tour dates at the bottom of this post.

 

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. Hitting the mega dance tip today, with some funkiness and animated .gif action.

Theophilus London

Theophilus London is breathing new life into his debut album, Timez Are Weird These Days. On April 24th, Theophilus hits the dance floor. He'll be releasing the Bing sponsored Timez Are Weird These Nights, The Remixes. His songs have been remixed by some of the best DJ's in the game, from Brodinski and Crookers to Fred Falke and Skream. Last week, Theophilus London offered fans the first taste of what they can expect a lot more of on Timez Are Weird These Nights, including a stream of the Jeffrey Jerusalem remix of "Lighthouse." For the visual pleasure of the internet, accompanying the stream of the track is an animated gif. Theophilus has teamed up with his friends at Mr-Gif.com to make animated gifs for each of the remixes featured on Timez Are Weird These Nights which will live on their own website, timezareweirdthesenights.tumblr.com

 

 

 

 

Theophilus London - "Lighthouse" (Jeffrey Jerusalem Remix) Theophilus London - "Lighthouse" (Original)

 

 

"Pop music shouldn't always get a bad rap," says Top Pops!, a recurring selection of pop music highlights across a selection of styles.

 

Gardens & Villa

We've covered these Santa Barbara groovesters quite a bit, but their trajectory this year is upwards-bound at an intense and exponentially-terrifying rate! If you haven't seen them yet, now is the time; constant touring and being on the road have catapulted them to new heights of live performance expertise, just in time for showing off to Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre at Coachella. We've just posted a series of live tour videos on YouTube, with more to come. Scope out unreleased track "Avalanche" below, from their show last year at Holocene in Portland. They will be returning again to Holocene after Sasquatch, on May 30th -- to play with another band we support: Swahili. Stream a demo of a new Swahili track, below.

 

Read our interview with Gardens & Villa Watch "Spacetime" Music Video Stream more Gardens & Villa Live Videos On REDEFINE'S YouTube Channel GARDENS & VILLA TOUR DATES 4/26 - Oakland, CA - The New Parish 5/11 - Monterey, CA - Cal State/Black Box Cabaret 5/24 - Davis, CA - Sofia Thai Kitchen 5/25 - Eugene, OR - Sam Bonds Garage 5/25 - George, WA - Sasquatch Festival 5/30 - Portland, OR - Holocene 6/1 - Santa Barbara, CA - Santa Barbara Bowl ^ 6/23 - St. Paul, MN - River's Edge Music Festival 7/7 - Quincy, CA - High Sierra Music Fest 7/8 - Quincy, CA - High Sierra Music Fest

Swahili

Playing with Gardens & Villa in Portland on May 30th, for a MusicfestNW kick-off party, as mentioned above. Here is a rough demo of Swahili's latest track, "Mokomokai."

 

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 post runs the gamut in musical style, but pay special note to the Whitney Houston tribute. R.I.P., woman. Wooden Shjips If you...

SPECTRAL HYPNOSIS A recurring series, featuring mesmerizing songs for one to lose sense of time and space, mind and body. Orcas - Orcas Two Pacific Northwest musicians -- electronic-minded singer-songwriter Benoit Pioulard and minimal composer Rafael Anton Irisarri (of The Sight Below) -- have gotten together for the...

Oh hell, as much as I dislike having to embed this from Rolling Stone -- why does anyone still premiere anything on them, anyway, and this player plays "automatically" which is super annoying, apologies -- this Unknown Mortal Orchestra song is totally a jam. Its...

Our third-annual album cover art feature uses interviews with artists and musicians to highlight the philosophical, thematic, and conceptual significance of great album cover artwork. THE BREAKDOWN    12 Collage + 14 Digital Illustration, Drawing, Design + 19 Illustration, Painting, Drawing + 8 Black And White Photography + 22 Color Photography + 6 Deluxe Packaging + 10 Fashion, Sculpture, Installation _____________________________    91 Album Covers For 2011 Best Of 2011 Album Cover Art

"Eery. Melancholic."
Dum Dum Girls - Only In Dreams
Art director Jeff Kleinsmith and photographer Shawn Brackbill capture the shadowy residue of an out-of-body experience.
QUOTES FROM: JEFF KLEINSMITH, ART DIRECTOR THEMES & CONCEPTS "Dee Dee from the band... had a very specific idea in mind, but I feel like it isn't my place to speak for her on this." CREATIVE PROCESS "There is a phenomenon called astral projection or astral travel which is the idea that there are two bodies - an astral body and a physical body, and there are some who believe that the astral body can travel outside of the physical one. There are some pretty famous photos depicting the astral body leaving the physical body, and Dee Dee wanted to make her own version with herself as the subject. Again, she would know better than I what this particular imagery means to her. Well, I LOVE the image. It is one of the most interesting images I've worked with in a long time. That's not exactly some high-minded insight, but it's how I feel about the image. Dee Dee never told me if it has personal meaning to her. I know she was going through some things, so it's possible that the image is directly related to that." THE EXTRAS "Tthe only thing to mention is the silver foil stamp on the front and back and maybe the old-style packaging. I'm referring to when LPs were first made, they were actually raw cardboard which was cover by a thin printed paper skin -- as opposed to printing directly on the cardboard. Most modern packaging is done this way, and this piece was done in the old style. Also, there is a 22" x 22" foldout poster inside along with a snazzy CD dust sleeve." Record Label Sub Pop Records The Artists Art Direction & Design - Dee Dee & Jeff Kleinsmith Photography - Shawn Brackbill Mediums & Materials Photography, Postcard, Computers

Our third-annual album cover art feature uses interviews with artists and musicians to highlight the philosophical, thematic, and conceptual significance of great album cover artwork. THE BREAKDOWN    12 Collage + 14 Digital Illustration, Drawing, Design + 19 Illustration, Painting, Drawing + 8 Black And White Photography + 22 Color Photography + 6 Deluxe Packaging + 10 Fashion, Sculpture, Installation _____________________________    91 Album Covers For 2011 Best Of 2011 Album Cover Art

Apteka - Gargoyle Days
Despite never having met one another, Portland designer Dylan McConnell and Chicago's Apteka have grown a well-fitting artistic relationship through the years. McConnell's album cover for Gargoyle Days may be their most gripping collaboration yet.

QUOTES FROM: DYLAN MCCONNELL, DESIGNER ADAM LUCAS, APTEKA'S GUITARIST AND VOCALIST THEMES & CONCEPTS "We had worked with a sorta paranoid, dark op-art theme in the past for posters and albums (with a brief interlude of lopping off girls' heads). High contrast and fluid -- that's what I was going for." - Dylan McConnell COLLABORATION "We've been working with Dylan pretty much since the band formed. He's done all our cover art, and most all of our show posters so far. Things clicked from the beginning. He just has a knack of taking what we're doing musically and expressing it in a visual way. The funniest part is that we've never really met. He lives in Portland, and we're in Chicago. A mutual friend turned us on to him, but we've never had the chance to meet in person. It's all been through email. Which is kind of a weird way to communicate artistic intentions, but somehow it works, and he’s become this mysterious fifth member of the group." - Adam Lucas Record Label Carpark Records The Artists Design - Dylan McConnell Mediums & Materials Collage, Digital, Typography (hand-drawn)