The In: Music and event picks July 22-July 29

Welcome to the first week of “The In”, which will feature my Wed-Tues music and event picks of the week or where I’d be if I could clone myself.

 Including: my write ups from The Mercury, where I just came on board this week! xoxo Jeni

The Liquor Store – Salon, The Century, Mothertapes, 9 pm
“Meeting over craigslist in 2007, multi-instrumentalist Pete Bosack and drummer Tommy Franzen found an easy collaboration, launching as three piece pop rock outfit Wax Fingers. After their breakup, the two streamlined their sound, re-emerging as Mothertapes in 2013. Combining well stewed math rock with new wave power pop, their live show likens to watching chemists deftly create sensorial explosions. Mothertapes recently signed on to DIY label collective Self Group, with a full length expected late summer. Pop rock favorites The Century and fellow math rock newcomers Salon round out what is bound to be a night of energetic posi-power pop.” -Jeni Wren Stottrup The Mercury

Revolution Hall Roof: The Benefits of Gusbandry FUN raiser, 6 pm
Bunk Bar: – Social Studies, Aan, Willis Earl Beal, 9 pm

Wonder Ballroom – Built to Spill, Genders, Honey Bucket, 8:30 pm

Party Boy Mansion – PIZZA PARTY LOSER BOYZ – The Shivas, Dræmhouse, Is/Is, 7 pm

Friday/Sat/Sunday: PDX Pop Now!
Now in it’s 12th year, PDX Pop Now! has never been more important with the major shifts in Portland music in the last 24 months. The all ages, free and completely volunteer run party that has broken out more than a few bands over the years(this girl included as a member of Shy Girls, THANK YOU PPN!) takes place down at Audio Cinema underneath the Hawthorne bridge this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. With this years lineup including Nurses, Chanti Darling, Catherine Feeny, Talkative, The Domestics, Moon by You, Coco Columbia, bed., Hands In and many exciting newcomers on two outdoor stages PLUS the annual Rigsketball tournament, there is nowhere you’d rather be. Pick up the festival guide for my write ups on bed., Blue Cranes, Catherine Feeny, Dad Rock and Talkative.

Bunk Bar – PDX Pop Later! The Official After Party Presented by XRAY, 11:30 pm

Mississippi Studios–Ear Candy: The Singley/Fimbres Orchestra, 9 pm, free

Dig a Pony–Dig a Pony 4 Year Anniversary: Nick Waterhouse & the Pain, The Shivas, Pearles, DJ Cooky Parker, 9 pm

Episode 8: Film Director Alicia Rose

Alicia Rose on new beginnings and finding her true voice as film director

At 25, Alicia Rose owned San Francisco. Moving there on a film scholarship and finding her legs as a DJ at KUSF, talent buyer at The Chameleon bringing in iconic bands such as The Jesus Lizard, Neil Hamburger and Courtney Love and touring as an artist under the name Miss Murgatroid, she was living the rockstar life. But, the question remained: “Did I do this or fall into a funny zeitgeist?” Thus at 25, Rose left her California roots and moved to Oregon for a fresh start.

Now in her 20th year as a “Bornegonian”, Rose has proven herself to be the ultimate renaissance woman. From working as a founding partner for Nail Distribution, Doug Fir Lounge and Mississippi Studios to becoming an acclaimed music video director, she is just now finding her true voice as a film director with her upcoming web series “The Benefits of Gusbandry”, which is currently raising funds on Seed and Spark.

The Gritty Birds Podcast sat down with Rose, to hear the ultimate story of new beginnings, talk about her upcoming show and listen to a preview from her new band “Moon Tiger”.

Recorded and mixed at Open Roads Studios by Jeni Wren Stottrup
Produced by Jeni Wren Stottrup
Sponsored by Vortex Music Magazine
Underscore “Killer Hips” by Shadowland from the PDX Pop Now! 2015 compilation

For all inquiries:

Episode 7: Record Label Owner Jared Mees

Record Label Owner and Innovator Jared Mees about his experiences as a musician

In 2006, Jared Mees launched a record label with his wife Brianne to put out his first record, If You Wanna Swim With The Sharks…, by his band Jared Mees & The Grown Children.

The two fine arts majors originally met at Oxford, fell in love and dreamed of creating a space where they could help their artistic friends. After launching the label, shortly thereafter came a store under the same name, which today features goods and crafts made by local artists. Working in restaurants during the night and at the shop and label during the day, the couple learned as they went along, becoming one of the most recognizable labels and brands in the Northwest: Tender Loving Empire—now with two boutique storefronts and a third one announced last week.

Continuously innovative, Mees recently launched a new merchandising company, Generous, which connects a pay-what-you-want system to the sale of items like artisan goods and music, while giving a portion back to charity. (Vortex even uses the technology to collect subscriptions and gives 5 percent back to The Jeremy Wilson Foundation.)

The Gritty Birds sat down with Mees to talk about the ins and outs of running a label, his experiences as a musician, how the evolving industry has opened up new opportunities, and the joys of doing music for the art of it because “music enhances life.”

Recorded at Mountain Air Studios by Mike Woodman Johnson
Mixed at Open Roads Studios by Jeni Wren Stottrup
Produced by Jeni Wren Stottrup
Sponsored by Vortex Music Magazine
Underscore “It Came to Me” by The Domestics

For all inquiries:

Episode 6: Habesha Lounge’s Show Promoter and Musician Brandon Nikola

About the highs and lows of running Habesha and how to support small venues

2 1/2 years ago, Brandon Nikola, an underground house show promoter and musician, heard of an opportunity to run the bar and events at Habesha Lounge.

“I needed a spot for a show because we were having too many and our neighbors were gonna kill us”, Nikola said. Nikola became Habesha itself, the sole employee, producing hundreds of shows while acting as the bartender, booker, sound tech and janitor. A year and a half ago Anthony Lusk came on board as well, a role Brandon describes as “door guy/sound tech/savior”.

As other smaller underground venues in the SE and around the city started closing: Langano Lounge, Blue Monk, Slabtown and recently Alhambra, to name a few, Habesha’s small space took up the slack with a fury. On any given Friday night, you could catch some of the hippest bands in Portland playing to a very packed and sweaty room. Mascaras, Grammies, Old Light, Minden, Talkative, Ah God, Souvenir Driver, Grandparents, Johanna Warren, Consumer, Hollow Sidewalks, Havania Whaal, Sister Mamie Foreskin amongst hundreds of others.

The emotion of the room, which was named as one of the top bars in Portland by WW this spring, was always one of safety. You could see Holland Andrew’s Like a Villain to a packed room and hear a pin drop or dance with abandon to frantic light displays with Talkative and Ah God. Through it all, Brandon was always there, with a hug and a PBR, the dollar brushed aside.

I sat down with Brandon the Sunday after Habesha closed for an emotional interview to talk about his years at the venue, it’s highs and lows, favorite shows, what can be done to keep our small venues open and the incident the final night of Kareoke that closed the venue early.

Featuring music by some of Brandon’s favorite bands and voicemails from listeners telling their favorite Habesha memory.

Recorded and mixed at Open Roads Studios by Jeni Wren Stottrup
produced by Jeni Wren Stottrup
sponsored by Vortex Music Magazine
Photo by Todd Walberg
Underscore, in order:
“Work Better” by Consumer
“Follow” by Joanna Newsom
“What’s More Than Appropriate” by Minden
“Whiskey Shakes” by And And And
“Pink and Black” by Old Light
“RBK” by Grammies

Special thanks to Vortex Music Magazine
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For all inquiries: