Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 soundtrack [songs 1 - 15]

(cheat no. 4: there's a tie for my top song. download songs 1 - 15 here or click on the track titles to play them in youtube.)

1. 212  [azealia banks]
everything about this song is infectious, from the opening beats, to azealia's dirty-but-smart lyrics (seriously, pull 'em up, she fits a lot in and you hardly notice). banks tries a lot here, breaking 212 into, essentially, four different songs and attacking each part in a way that keeps you dancing from start to finish. i love the breakdown that she puts in the center so that when her last rap comes roaring back, it packs a hell of a punch. i don't know how many times i danced/listened to this song as the year came to a close, but ‘a lot’ hardly covers it. 212 never, ever got old. (also check out: liquorice.)

1. oblivion  [grimes]
i'm not sure i would have been as impressed with claire boucher had i not seen her in person first. there's just something totally surreal about the way she's able to create sounds and beats and layer them so quickly to produce her sweet, beat-heavy, synth-filled pieces. this song, like her others, is all her. 'oblivion' is fun because she gets the contrast between the heaviness in her underlying rhythms and the lightness in her child-like voice just right. (also check out: vanessa.)

3. rolling in the deep (remixed by jamie xx, ft. childish gambino) + someone like you  [adele]
rolling in the deep became a true anthem for the first part of this year, running well into the summer months. it's a beautiful song and amazing showcase of adele's talents. somehow, though, jamie xx made it even better by laying down a few more beats and really exaggerating some of the song's natural crescendos. childish gambino's rap was a brilliant add, too, underscoring the theme with smart lyrics and offering a nice counter weight to adele's more soulful form. once the winter hit, this song got replaced by 'someone like you.' the lyrics are universal and her ability to belt them out is just insane

4. nuclear seasons  [charli xcx]
a lot of the songs in my year-end list this go around have a strong bent toward nostalgia. 'nuclear seasons' is a total throw back to the 1980s and the manufactured sounds of those time. i'm not sure i can articulate exactly why it is that i think charli xcx beats everybody else with this song (midgnight by m83 has a very similar vibe), but it worked it's way into my year in a way that the others didn't. it's partly, of course, her vocal range, which she keeps largely monotone through the bulk of the song but stretches just as it becomes necessary.

5. afternoon + 17  [youth lagoon]
there's something about youth lagoon songs that make them feel almost cinematic, but none so much as 'afternoon' and '17.' it's possible, and even likely, that a lot of their appeal has to do with the fact that they've both come on my radio at just the right time, just when i needed to hear what they had to say. even so, the fact that i can feel such a connection to them must mean something. 'afternoon' is lovely for its bright, fast sound (even if the lyrics are as sad as the others), and '17' wins for probably my favorite lyric of the year, a call to never forgetting the wonder of this world: 'when i was 17 my mother said to me, don't stop imagining, the day that you do it the day that you die.'

6. who am i to feel so free?  [men + antony]
this song is such an awesome rallying cry for the disenfranchised and different. i caught men in person earlier this year and the crowd embraced the chorus with such energy that it was impossible to not to feel a little moved. of course, i'm sure, the euro-dance backing track had something to do with the excitement. this recording subs jd samson's voice with antony hegarty's. i'm a big fan of hegarty's out-of-this world vocals, but jd sings the song just as well in her own way.

7. countdown  [beyonce]

beyonce has to be one of the most talented musicians of our time. 'countdown' is a perfect example of what she can do. she uses her voice to its fullest in this track, while, simultaneously killing some crazy complicated runs. (i didn't even realize the full extent of what she packs in this song until i heard it slowed down in a cover.) the countdown is my favorite part; i can't think of anything i've heard that sounds quite like what she does here. it's the perfect song to see the year out on. three, two, one ...

8. the future + beat & pulse  [austra]
from the second 'the future' starts, with it's heavy beat and piano runs, it grips you. and then katie stelamanis enters in with her unique and surreal voice. the way she holds certain notes without letting them falter even a little is seriously impressive. here, her singing sets the rhythm just as much as the drums and the synth. her voice rises and falls, almost like a wave, only to give way to short staccato bumps when the song calls for it.  'beat & pulse' is slightly less impressive musically, at least to my uneducated ear. but what it lacks in that area, it makes up for with its immanently danceable beat -- the track title is no mistake, the rhythm really does find its way into your bones.

9. bad things (remixed ft. freddie gibbs)  [cults]
i like the cult's original cut of 'bad things,' but on its own it never would have made it into my top 60 songs, let alone my top 10. the addition of the freddie gibbs' rap really boosts its appeal for me. there's something about the way in which the harsh rap and the sweet, melodic chorus mix that makes this such a pleasure to listen to. the heavy drum beats that were added to help connect the two musical threads really does the trick, too. it's a great sound for backing the rap, but, if anything, i like it more behind the pop sound of the cults original lyrics. somehow it anchors them, making them feel more substantive and less nice-but-forgettable.

10. keep you  [class actress]
i put this song on a mix for a friend and a couple days later i got this text: 'track five is sexxxy who is??" that sort of sums it up, i suppose. elizabeth harper is playing the same 80s throwback game as charli xcx and m83, but she adds a slightly more sensual feel to her hommage. it's insanely effective. her vocals, too, are impressive. she plays a lot with staccato rhythms (keep. you. in. my. hea-art.) as she sings to help make the base beats as effective and catchy as possible. it definitely works. (also check out: weekend.)

11. my country + gangsta  [tune-yards]
merrill garbus has a voice unlike any other musician i've heard. there are songs on her latest album, w h o k i l l, that sound as though man must have sung them, then there are others where she jumps up into a range that sounds more traditionally feminine. there are so many good songs on this album, but my heart belongs to 'my country' and 'gangsta.' in the first, i can't get enough of her smart lyrics (my country 'tis of thee/ sweet land of liberty/ how come i cannot see my future within your arms) and the way she mixes patriotic sounds with world beats in such a discordant fashion. with 'gangsta' she embraces loud, powerful sounds -- siren screams going off in the background, her signature tribal whoops and "bang, bang, bang, oi" -- and some more smart, albeit almost angry, lyrics (what's a girl to do if she'll never be a rasta/ singing in her heart but she'll never be a rasta).

12. sunlight  [the one a.m. radio]
here's another ode to the neon-lit 80s. i find myself singing the chorus constantly (come on sunlight/ get me out of here alive). hrishikesh hirway's voice is so soothing, a perfect partner for the low, mellow -- but gripping -- instrumentals. maybe it's the fact that i really am waiting for sunlight to come save me from another portland winter, but i can't get enough of this track.

13. warm in the winter + beautiful object  [glass candy]
i feel like i've waited forever for some new stuff from glass candy. i'm glad that they're sticking to their signature sound while mixing it up just enough. 'beautiful object' has some really lovely vocals happening with the breakdowns that you've come to expect from these two. 'warm in the winter' is fun because it's hardly a song in the traditional sense. it starts with their usual synthy beats and etheral vocals and then gives way to a sweet entreaty to love yourself: 'we want you to know, if ever you should look in the mirror and wonder who it is that you are, and wonder what it is that you came for, well, i know the answer, you're beautiful ... we love you.' cheesy? maybe. but i love it.

14. my angel is broken  [atlas sound]
bradford cox is a genius. i love everything about this song from the opening progression with the deep, heavy bass (incredibly catchy) to his timeless, crooning voice (which he accomplishes without the reverb that so many musicians have been turning to these days). he switches up the melody and his own register, jogging between something that sounds almost happy to something that sounds just sad. but even with the shifting, the song manages to hold you. (also check out: lightworks.)

15. ritual union  [little dragon]
i'm so happy i finally got wise to little dragon. this band does some really nice things with electronic sounds. the vocals, too, are super appealing. 'ritual union' was one of those songs that became an official anthem of almost any trip i made this summer. also i can't help but love this sentiment: 'love is not like they say/a lie/ it's hard to make it stay.' (also check out: little man, remixed by tycho.)

Friday, December 30, 2011

2011 soundtrack [songs 16 - 30]

(download songs 16 - 30 here or just click on the individual track titles to play them in youtube.)

16. ungirthed  [purity ring]
the way this song plays with ambient sounds is so much fun to me. the electronic noises that the band weaves throughout the track are just completely unexpected and, even in their oddity, almost calming. what the band does really well here, though, is adding some higher, sweet sounding vocals. somehow, the contrast between the heavy noise and the sweet singing lets both of them standout. i also really love the audible tug of war that happens now and again when a sound is played, only to be pulled back half a step and played again. such a nice trick.

17. i'll take care of you  [gil scott-heron + jamie xx]
this song is just so illustrative of what happened so often this past year: somebody lays down a track, somebody picks it up and covers it or remixes it and then somebody else adds their own take on that initial collaboration, rinse and repeat. i was talking to casey about this, she said it reminded her of the 60s recording houses and how songs got passed around from artist to artist. whether its a shout out to times past or a new phenomenon, it seems like such a right and perfect use of the technology at hand. it also leads to some amazing results -- i think jamie xx has had a hand in at least 10 of my top 60. this song, of course, is a high point in all of this. scott-heron produced a truly beautiful track here and, if it's even possible, jamie xx was able to shake it up and make it even more enjoyable. i especially love the way that, around the two-minute mark, jamie plays with scott-herons single 'ah-ah-ah' line, looping it in a genius way. drake and rihanna moved this song forward a third time by adding to jamie xx's remix. check it out.

18. painted eyes  [hercules and love affair]
a sick, dancey jam of the sort you've come to expect from hercules and love affair. that in and of itself is enough reason to get it on my list, but the addition of aerea negrot into the mix pushes it even higher on the list. i can't get enough of her vocals in this song.

19. midnight city  [m83]
it took me a while to get into this song, but ultimately this hommage to retro time filled with neon charmed me like it has almost every music blog i read. there's something about this synthy tune that makes me think of 'bright lights, big city' or 'less than zero.' it seems so joyous in the remembrance of those lost times with the horns and building crescendos. it's a truly difficult song to describe. maybe that's what makes it so good, though.

20. streetz tonight  [aarabmuzik]
i'm a sucker for pulsing electronic dance music that sounds just as good at a house party as it does in your car. there's no shortage of that sort of stuff floating around, but hardly anybody does it quite as well as aarabmuzik does here. they've got the staccato beat throughout, keeping the energy up, while letting other parts of the song pull back and then come rushing forward at just the right times.

21. video games (remixed by balam acab) + kinda outta luck  [lana del rey]
i don't get all the hate that comes this lady's way. is she really the next nancy sinatra, ganster or otherwise? no, probably not. but she still makes nice music (even if she leaves a little to be desired in the lyrics department). 'video games' is a pretty nice almost-ballad with an immanently catchy hook. i'm not sure why 'kinda outta luck' hasn't got much attention. she picks up the tempo there and lays down a drum-along beat. it was the second song that initially prompted me to give her a listen.

22. into black  [blouse]
i put this song on a summer mix i'd made and somebody told me this was clearly a fall song. i said they were wrong. 'into black,' i said, was a song for summer after you've had just enough beer to keep you warm and happy and you find a trampoline to lie on while you watch the sun sink and others jump around. i love the synthy, soothing beat in this song and far-away vocals that seem to compliment it so well.

23. balance  [future islands]
there is so much happening in this song from the crazy, almost-horn-like sounds in the background, to the sort-of-surf-rock vibe and the rich, raw vocals. it all comes together so well, too.

24. wetsuit + family friend  [the vaccines]
both of these songs are about growing up, sometimes without knowing it, sometimes without wanting it. they became anthems of a summer that came and went way too quickly. perfect hommages to the surf-rock era.

25. how can u luv me? + ffunny ffriends  [unknown mortal orchestra]
unknown mortal orchestra is my favorite local-band discovery of the year. they have a truly interesting sound the ropes together twangy guitar plucks and far-away vocals. the songs catch you and hold you all the way through. there's something about them that makes me feel like they were discovered in a shoe box under somebody's bed and brought back in a time they weren't initially meant for.

26. we found love + drunk on love  [rihanna]
sometimes a song is just OK and then you see the music video and you're not sure why, but suddenly the song takes on a new life in your eyes ... or ears. that happened with 'we found love' for me. it's a euro dance number at its heart -- penned by a brit, in fact -- that departs from rihanna's usual sound. initially i thought it was a simple dance jam, but after i watched the video, it seemed to be saying so much more. 'drunk on love' is almost the opposite story. jamie xx loaned rihanna one of my favorite backing beats from the xx album. it plays nicely, keeping the song moving while really letting rihanna showcase her vocals. this one you know immediately is good stuff.

27. polish girl  [neon indian]
this song, for me, is a little reminiscent of passion pit and starfucker in terms of its electronic beeps and squeaks. that sound is something i've been missing so i was happy to find it resurrected here. the beats themselves actually steal the show from the vocals, though the vocals in their almost-monotone, breathy sound are, themselves, pretty enjoyable, too.

28. dirty paws  [of monsters and men]
this is a sweet, folksy song that tells a sweet, folksy -- if not entirely comprehensible -- story. it starts off slow and quiet but builds, and a quarter of the way you get a pay off by way of some group shouting and inviting beats. good stuff all around.

29. i follow rivers  [lykke li]
i didn't fall in love with lykke li's most recent album in quite the same way as i did 'youth novels.' still, she had some amazing hits this go around, too. 'i follow rivers' is hands down my favorite. i like the methodical beat -- and the fact that it's composed of so many sounds -- that breaks just about a third of the way through to give way to high-energy chorus only to find it's way back before too long. the song comes in waves and keeps you floating the whole way through.

30. never will be mine (remix)  [rye rye + robyn]
i love both of these artists separately. together, they're a surprising, but incredibly strong, duo. here, they each do what they do best. rye rye provides the rap while robyn steps in with her slower and deeper chorus. you wouldn't think the two would blend so well, and yet, somehow they do. plus, of course, the lyrics are universally relatable. the remix is an improvement, i think, on an already great collaboration, accentuating the song's strengths.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

2011 soundtrack [songs 31 - 60]

i need to start this list with a confession: i cheated. a lot. not only did i lump songs by the same artist together so i could fit more artists in, but i let the list balloon from 50 to 60. i'm starting today with the bottom 30. i have a hard time with superlatives, so i wouldn't necessarily call these the best songs of the year - they're just the songs that made up my 2011 soundtrack. i'm also no good at rankings, so the order is more of a general approximation. if i had to sit down and order them again tomorrow, i'm sure the results would be different. you can download these songs here all in one go, or follow the individual links to youtube tracks.

31. without you  [rainbow arabia]
32. new theory  [washed out - remixed by RAC]
33. work  [1,2,3]
34. kill for love  [chromatics]
35. fever dreams  [nurses]
36. wood  [rostam]
37. nodding off  [wavves + beach house]
38. new work  [jj]
39. creature  [guidance counselor]
40. marathon + long boat pass  [tennis]
41. helena beat + houdini  [foster the people]
42. jam for jerry + wait & see  [holy ghost!]
43. it's real  [real estate]
44. hardliners  [holcombe waller]
45. california sunrise  [dirty gold]
46. no nostalgia + navy parade  [agesandages]
47. bedroom eyes  [dum dum girls]
48. east harlem  [beirut]
49. rainbow + white nights  [oh land]
50. the words that maketh murder  [pj harvey]
51. sister wife  [alex winston - remixed by star slinger]
52. need you now  [cut copy]
53. os argonautas  [mina tindle]
54. in the dark  [dev]
55. one time  [the roots]
56. true romance  [citizens!]
57. climbing walls  [strange talk]
58. lost in my mind  [the head and the heart]
59. take off your shirt  [bibio]
60. mother mother  [the stand]
61. super bass  [nicki minaj]

note: at the last minute i realized i left of 'super bass' by nicki minaj. i was too lazy to reorder the list, so i tacked her on at no. 61. i guess that's cheat no. 3, then.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

in the parking lot, we're still waiting

i went home to arizona over christmas weekend. it had been nearly a year to the day since i'd visited last. somehow, in that year, i'd managed to forget the way the suburbs of my youth looked, spread out over the valley floor, in perfect, infinite patterns under the bright lit blue sky. there is something about chandler that just feels so different from the place i call home now. not worse, necessarily, just different. i took some pictures. (third one down is the house i grew up in.)

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

ten albums for 2011

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i have a hard time committing to listening through entire albums. i'd rather make a mix of singles i love than have to sit through background noise while waiting for a hit. so take this list with a grain of salt. it is, by no means, comprehensive. these are just 10 albums, in alphabetical order, that gripped me from beginning to end:

alright you restless [agesandages]
more really is more for agesandages, a seven-member ensemble band. they hail from portland and definitely have that northwestern folk vibe going on. but they play with that familiar sound by layering voice upon voice, producing a really rich sound that hits you like a wave, over and over again. that quality is underscored by strong beats -- and occassionally some hand claps -- that'll get your feet stomping. the number of people in this band just adds to the sheer infectiousness of the music. check out: no nostalgiaso so freely, souvenir and navy parade. 

cape dory [tennis]
there's something more than a little bit annoying about an attractive couple who spends months sailing around the seas, only to return with an album full of sweet sounds describing their adventures. the fact that i can get past that back story speaks to the album's genuine sweetness. tennis has embraced that far-away sound, but i've seen them in person, minus the haziness, and the music is maybe even more dreamy without that added layer of nostalgia. i will say, the songs on this album tend to run together. still, even as one extended song, it's something i'd happily listen to on repeat. check out: long boat pass, marathon, south california, cape dory and take me somewhere. 

cults [cults]
the cult's 'go outside' became a huge rallying cry for me during early spring and into summer. it's simple indie pop, but i'm a sucker for stripped down, upbeat sounds. that song was just the first of some really great tracks to be found on this album. like cape dory, cults can start to blend together, but in way that doesn't get monotonous. still, the fun comes when you start to listen to individual tracks with some concentration. 'abducted' is one great example. Brian Oblivion and Madeline Follin trade back and forth on some sweet vocals while playing with lyrical repetition in a really satisfying way. also check out: never heal myself, you know what i mean, and rave on. 

feel it break [austra]
i've never felt quite the same way during a live show as i did when austra passed through town. i remember just standing in the middle of a crowd of folks, eyes closed, swaying and jumping to the music. it really felt like it had found its way into my bones. there's something about how katie stelmanis uses her voice in that quasi-operatic way, that really pulls me into her songs. she flits between simple notes and complex lyrics with amazing control. add to that the strong, euro-dance-club beats and you wind up with really catchy, if haunting, music. check out: the future, beat and pulse, lose it, spellwork and shoot the water. 

my head is an animal [of monsters and men]
hat tip to amanda for telling me i'd love this band and being so damn right. i don't know what it is about scandinavia, but it always turns out quality sounds (see: 'oh land' below). i don't know that 'my head is an animal' breaks any new ground. it's some pretty standard indie folk -- reminiscent, maybe, of mumford and sons. but even so, the album is consistently good and surprisingly varied. the band does some great, slow burn bits that ultimately erupt, but they also embrace some simpler constructs that let the two lead vocalists play around. check out: dirty paws, kind + lionheart, love, love, love, your bones, and little talks. 

oh land [oh land]
as i put this list together, i'd go through the albums' discographies and try to tease out four or five songs to feature. with this album i had a list of eight. that's not to say that this is the best album of the year, only that nanna ├śland is really consistent. there's hardly a song on this album that i don't love listening to. she takes the record in several different directions: slow, synthy ballads and high-tempo, bass-heavy club hits. it would be a stretch to call her rapper, but she doesn't mind taking on a few lines of complicated dialogue in between her hooks. son of a gun and white nights were clear hits for her, but you should also check out: wolf + i, we turn it up, rainbow and human. (she also covered 'bloodbuzz ohio' beautifully.) 

parallax [atlas sound]
this is probably the most varied album to make the list. bradford cox really stretches himself here, hitting notes both high and low, up tempo and down. it's probably that variety, which most of my other picks are lacking to a certain degree, that makes this album stand out for me. i love his timeless voice, and the way he plays on each and every word, holding some, clipping others. i also love the dreamy, ambient sounds that he weaves throughout his tracks. they never overpower his vocals, instead just adding to the general feeling of nostalgia, which, if the album cover is any indication, was his goal. check out: light works, my angel is broken, amplifiers, mona lisa and the shakes. 

what did you expect [the vaccines]
i don't know if there's a single collection of songs that sound more like summer to me than this one. it didn't do very well with critics, who felt the vaccines hadn't hit on anything new with this sound. but even if that's true (and it probably is), they've turned out a perfect summertime tribute to the surf-rock era while incorporating decidedly more modern lyrics (post break-up sex, anyone?). the band also seizes on the theme of growing up, which i'd be lying if i said hadn't been on my own mind this summer. take their last track, family friend: 'you wanna get young but you're just getting older/ and you had a fun summer but it's suddenly colder.' also check out: wetsuit, all in white, if you wanna, and norgaard. 

w h o k i l l [tune-yards]
i picked up 'w h o k i l l' on a whim at a record shop in seattle after having only heard 'bizness.' i'm glad i made the leap. merill garbus has an incredibly powerful voice and she uses it to really amazing effect. for a while i was little uncomfortable with all the press the album was getting for being so unique, when, in fact, she'd pretty much cribbed her signature whoops and beeps from Central African tribes. it's hard to hold that against, her, though, when she basically makes note of it in 'gansta' (what's a boy to do if he'll never be a rasta?/ singin' from his heart, but he'll never be a rasta). she feels it, so she uses it. it helps, too, that smart lyrics abound. also check out: my country and powa. 

the year of hibernation [youth lagoon]
short and sweet, apparently because singer trevor powers had done some creative recording and re-recording of the vocals in a friend's garage and didn't want to add any songs that hadn't been subjected to that method. it lends a dream pop/ reverb sound to the album that might bother some, but i think it suits the wistful lyrics. more than anything, though, this album ranks as on of my favorites because i can remember listening to 'afternoon' while driving through the sunny, hazy streets of north portland the morning after an especially awful night and feeling like everything would be OK. check out: 17, cannons, daydreams and montana.

i'll grow ... i will grow

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i once read something about how it doesn't make sense, the way we act at the end of one year and the beginning of the next. we treat midnight on january 1 as the moment when everything gets reset. really, nothing's changed. there's no blank slate. but it's a hard urge to fight.

last friday night, somebody broke into my car and stole my black notebook. i can hardly remember what i'd committed to its pages. some collection of bad prose and lists and notes to myself. i do know that i'd written down a set of things that i wanted to do this year. maybe it's a good thing i won't have that to look at in these last couple weeks of 2011.

this was a good year. that's reflection enough.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

for a while, things were cold

these are that last few polaroids i took over thanksgiving weekend, stitched together as diptychs. the second one is a combo of softtone film (on the left) and 600 film (on the right).

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Friday, December 9, 2011

come on, sunlight - a fall 2011 ep

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fall's nearly over, which means it's about time i posted my seasonal ep. it's a little bit longer than ususal, and there are a few songs on here that'll probably overlap some with my year-end list (which'll be up here in the next few weeks), but i tried to keep them to a minimum. anyhow, hope these beats get your feet moving. (you can download the whole mix by clicking here, or you can grab it bit by bit by right clicking on the song titles.)

vanessa - grimes


nuclear season - charli xcx


212 - azealia banks


beat and the pulse - austra


mellow doubt - diamond rings covers teenage fanclub


sunlight - the one am radio


what becomes of the broken hearted - jimmy ruffin


nervous lonely night - jessica lea mayfield


love, love, love - of monsters and men

Thursday, December 8, 2011

i'm wondering which way to go next

casey and i found some babies in a basement. so we made a video. the basement babies playing ooze:

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

believe me when i say it's real

my last trip to los angeles happened to fall on the same weekend the basement babies were playing back up for james ferraro at the echoplex. (they were all opening for real estate, a band that'll probably make a showing in my soon-to-be-annual listing of the best songs of the year.)

anyhow, i got snuck back stage as the babies' 'manager' and spent most of the night clicking away. here are some of my favorite shots. i'll get a few more up tomorrow, along with the music video casey and i shot for the babes' song 'ooze.'

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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

how do you make forever?

a few more polaroid 'tychs from the weekend in rhododendron:

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top image was stitched together from polaroids shot on softtone spectra film, the bottom from 600 film.

Monday, December 5, 2011

don't stop imagining

for a while now, i've been seriously into the song '17' by youth lagoon. there's something so genuinely earnest about it, it takes all the right musical turns in all the right places, and i can't get the hook out of my head: 'when i was 17, my mother said to me, don't stop imagining, the day that you do is the day that you die.'

a couple weekends back, casey and i decided we wanted to do some sort of choreographed video. all we knew for sure was that we would shoot it in and around a cabin we'd rented for thanksgiving. so, we started by picking '17' as our soundtrack and a really simple little narrative just sort of unfolded.

here's what we came up with:

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

surrounded by nothing

while we were in rhododendron, casey and i shot some video for a sweet little narrative we plan to set to the song 17 by youth lagoon. here are a few stills:

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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

walk the old way

i came outside to find the covered spa covered in pieces of forest. in leaves and flowers and moss and branches and bark. then i watch as the pieces were reassembled. you probably can't improve on the way nature puts things together, but i don't think that's any reason not to spend a few sunny hours trying.

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Monday, November 28, 2011

and we are far from home but we're so happy

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Sunday, November 27, 2011

thanks and the giving of thanks

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i sat down and wrote out a list of things that i'm thankful for. a poem in the form of a list. but, for whatever reason, it just doesn't sit right. maybe i'm not done with it. that, of course, isn't to say that i'm not thankful for beautiful weekends like the one i just spent in a cabin in rhododendron full of truly great company and too much food and walks over fallen trees and movie making and lessons in dream-catcher weaving.

that is just to say that i'll leave it to a song that's stayed with me to finish this post:

i'm so blessed to 
have spent that time
with my family and the friends 
i love
with my short life i have met 
so many people i deeply care for.
-- red cave by yeasayer

Monday, November 21, 2011

to the end i'll never know

near kate's house, there is this ridge filled with palm trees that always pulls at me. it seems so right. it seems like i ought to live within walking distance. it reminds me of the way birds rest on telephone wires, all spaced out just so. anyhow, my diptyching continues, again with two softtone polaroids taken with a specrta system. if you look really hard, you can find kate, somewhere in here.

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Thursday, November 17, 2011

it's always good to see you again

i'm not sure if it was the steely sky and the light it threw on everything, or if it was just the tug of nostalgia for a place the reminds a little bit of home, but last weekend, as i walked down echo park avenue in los angeles, i felt this need to take pictures of nearly everything.

pictures of palm trees and telephone poles, of mission-style homes and sloping streets full of bouganvilla. and also, apparently, of unicorns stuck to store fronts. (i spent the weekend wondering what sort of store pastes an angry unicorn head above its entrance. my last night there, i found out: a store selling 80s and 90s work out clothing. obviously?)

amanda's work with diptychs has been rolling around my head lately. both of these images were shot on softtone polaroid film with my spectra system.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

i watched all afternoon

a few weekends ago, while we were driving to st. johns under a blue fall sky, casey and i decided it didn't make much sense to do anything else besides keep driving until we hit sauvie island. we needed a couple pumpkins, anyhow. i made a quick stop for a roll of medium format film on the way. here's some of what was waiting for me at blue moon camera last week, pulled together in three diptychs:

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(the right-hand photo of the first diptych will be in blue moon's december show. credit to casey for right-hand photo in second diptych.)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

in the mornings i rest here

portraits on softtone spectra film. (the last two are by kate and james, in that order.)

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Monday, November 14, 2011

i have no idea what's going on lately

early this morning, after my plane cut through three layers of cloud cover on it's final dive into portland, a lush green landscape specked with bits of red and orange and yellow revealed itself. it's fall. i mean, i've known this to be true for while now, but it wasn't until this morning that i fully felt it. and now it's almost gone. how'd that happen?

some pictures, then, for the season:

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Thursday, November 10, 2011

and we're standing side by side

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i made casey and amanda help me finish up the last of my 'image' film for the spectra camera.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

your wisdom is older than me

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The people who were here before, they knew all this, too.
The silhouettes of motionless bikes and beer bottles being tilted toward mouths.
The smiles for the camera -- this really did happen, you know?
The blankets being laid down to separate us from the earth.
(As if we aren't separate enough as it is.)

Monday, November 7, 2011

the sky wasn't big enough for all of them

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