From The Desk Of Horse Feathers’ Justin Ringle: Astoria, Ore.

So when asked to be a guest editor for MAGNET, my initial reaction was that my inner 18-year-old self might flip out so much that I might have nary a word to say. However, I persevered and was immediately filled with some of the memories of growing up in the proverbial “sticks” in the ’90s. Starting there and moving forward to the present day, I accumulated a list of people, movies, music, food, poets and other stuff that, although not exhaustive by any extent, it gives an insight into me, my music, the band, inspirations and interests. At the very least I would hope that a few of these things may also be viewed as recommendations that could steer people toward becoming acquainted with a few new people, and things that I find dear. It goes without saying, I appreciate the opportunity to “preach from the pulpit,” so to speak and air my opinion on so many different things. Normally people only care about what I say about my music or music in general, which can get tedious. So thank you, MAGNET, for providing the platform to impose my taste on others. Really and truly, I hope someone finds something in here that they, too, can enjoy.

Astoria

Best known for its cinematic claim to fame, i.e. The Goonies, Astoria is about two hours from Portland and is where we recently shot most of our newest music video. It’s a unique place that previously functioned as the veritable gateway to Oregon because of the fact that it was the primary port in the region and was the place to go to get anywhere by ship in the western part of the world. The main route that existed was primarily back and forth from San Francisco, which clearly created a cultural exchange most notably witnessed in the town’s Victorian architecture. If you squint on a sunny day, the houses on the hill do one hell of an impersonation of the Mission in S.F. So that situation obviously makes the town have an interesting aesthetic, but it’s the clear juxtaposition of all of the old housing with the enormous barges and ships sitting in the Columbia river, as well as the sea lions barking from the piers, that makes you palpably feel the last dingy gasp of the town’s maritime economy in transition. On one hand, the place seems utterly steeped in history and preserved in a vacuum while simultaneously being “Portlandized” with the slow creep of hipper businesses setting up shop. Many predict it will become the sixth quadrant of Portland in the upcoming years as folks try to escape the skyrocketing rent and condo onslaught in the city. We’ll see if that happens, but one thing is for sure, it is definitely vibey out there.

Video after the jump.

Read More »

Posted in GUEST EDITOR | Comments closed

Film At 11: …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead

Some bands with really long names are just not worth checking out, but …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead are not one of those. It has a new album coming out November 10 and has now released a creepy video for “The Ghost Within.” The clip follows a haunting love story that would only be half as intense if it were not for the triumphant music booming in the background. Check it out below.

YouTube Preview Image
Posted in VIDEOS | Comments closed

MP3 At 3PM: Stephen Doster

unnamed

Austin-based producer Stephen Doster has worked on more than 70 Texas-based recordings in his many years and now readies for the release of his fourth solo album as a musician, Arizona, out November 4. He has issued the title track, a laid-back soft/rock song with charming vocals, simple songwriting and an empowering mood. Download it below.

“Arizona” (download):

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Posted in FREE MP3s | Comments closed

From The Desk Of Horse Feathers’ Justin Ringle: Phở

So when asked to be a guest editor for MAGNET, my initial reaction was that my inner 18-year-old self might flip out so much that I might have nary a word to say. However, I persevered and was immediately filled with some of the memories of growing up in the proverbial “sticks” in the ’90s. Starting there and moving forward to the present day, I accumulated a list of people, movies, music, food, poets and other stuff that, although not exhaustive by any extent, it gives an insight into me, my music, the band, inspirations and interests. At the very least I would hope that a few of these things may also be viewed as recommendations that could steer people toward becoming acquainted with a few new people, and things that I find dear. It goes without saying, I appreciate the opportunity to “preach from the pulpit,” so to speak and air my opinion on so many different things. Normally people only care about what I say about my music or music in general, which can get tedious. So thank you, MAGNET, for providing the platform to impose my taste on others. Really and truly, I hope someone finds something in here that they, too, can enjoy.

Pho

There are so many going on’s about Portland food carts, gastropubs and Northwest fusion cuisine. I actually think the best offering is the simple Vietnamese beef noodle soup. I would say it is thesoul food of choice here as soon as the weather switches into its nine-month rain cycle. There’s nothing overly fancy about the stuff; it just seems to work a variety of miracles mentally, physically and, fuck, maybe even spiritually when you haven’t seen the sun for a week or two. Hangover cure? Check. Cheap? Check. Brunch worthy? Check. It really goes on and on. We have taken to going great lengths when we are on the road in finding a phở restaurant. It is the only band-wide approved dish we can all agree on, and it doesn’t make you feel shitty after you eat it and have to be in the van for four more hours. It’s good stuff. I like it.

Video after the jump.

Read More »

Posted in GUEST EDITOR | Comments closed

Film At 11: GOAT

GOAT recently released Commune via Sub Pop, and the band now has new video for the track “Hide From The Sun.” The clip makes use of amazing costumes and tells a creepy story. A woman is running in the woods as frightening and strange masked figures follow her and alter her thinking. Check it out below.

YouTube Preview Image
Posted in VIDEOS | Comments closed

From The Desk Of Horse Feathers’ Justin Ringle: On The Merit Of Cassettes

So when asked to be a guest editor for MAGNET, my initial reaction was that my inner 18-year-old self might flip out so much that I might have nary a word to say. However, I persevered and was immediately filled with some of the memories of growing up in the proverbial “sticks” in the ’90s. Starting there and moving forward to the present day, I accumulated a list of people, movies, music, food, poets and other stuff that, although not exhaustive by any extent, it gives an insight into me, my music, the band, inspirations and interests. At the very least I would hope that a few of these things may also be viewed as recommendations that could steer people toward becoming acquainted with a few new people, and things that I find dear. It goes without saying, I appreciate the opportunity to “preach from the pulpit,” so to speak and air my opinion on so many different things. Normally people only care about what I say about my music or music in general, which can get tedious. So thank you, MAGNET, for providing the platform to impose my taste on others. Really and truly, I hope someone finds something in here that they, too, can enjoy.

Cassettes

With the inherit danger of dating myself by speaking of the days before the internet, I would like to harken back to simpler times. My musical education as a fan of indie rock started with the lovingly compiled ubiquitous mix tape. Hand drawn and craftily decorated relics that were traded stealthily in my high-school jazz band class like contraband. There was something infinitely more personal and invested about making a mix tape of tunes for your friend, or even better your girlfriend. Upon reflecting on, format I’ve realized that no other medium has been as important to me, not even vinyl. CDs are garbage, playlists are far too easy to make, and vinyl is great but obviously lacks in the portability department. In the last two years, I have realized that cassettes are also the least “picked” format in record stores as well thrift shops. When I’m on tour or at home, I can walk into a Goodwill and leave with 10 albums on cassette for 10 bucks and always be stoked with the titles I have found. It takes me back to a bygone era where the record you bought was the most interesting one you saw in the store. There was no previewing it on Spotify or iTunes. The best recommendation you had was word of mouth, and often the purchase was a leap of faith. If you had stumbled upon a gem, it made that first listen a beautiful surprise.

Posted in GUEST EDITOR | Comments closed

MP3 At 3PM: Sunbears!

thats

Jacksonville, Fla., psych/pop outfit Sunbears! ready for the release of newest album, Future Sounds, out November 11 via New Granada Records. And now they have released a new single, “Laughing Girl,” a track full of psychedelic goodies. It’s uplifting, with a sort of primitive feel, and it’s more coherent than many psych songs these days. Download the song below

“Laughing Girl” (download):

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Posted in FREE MP3s | Comments closed

Horse Feathers: This Ain’t A Scene

HorseFeathers

Rootsy folkies Horse Feathers open their arms to shrug off Portland hype

I’ll let you in on a little secret. For those of us living in the Pacific Northwest, Portlandia is less a sketch comedy show than it is a documentary. All of us have met Portlandia characters in real-life, but the true Portlandians—the people who were there before the show and will be there after it’s forgotten—have little patience for the way the mainstream has come to embrace Portland’s culture. It’s just a quick interview, but I can feel Justin Ringle, of Portland indie roots band Horse Feathers, bristle when I ask him how he feels about Portland getting discovered.

“Portland was actually ‘discovered’ quite a while ago,” he says. “In the early 2000s by a bunch of people who were bringing some type of culture with them, as well as a DIY ethic and a healthy interest in community. Now that Portland has been ‘discovered’ by mainstream America, the rent is going up and the people who were contributing to the greatness of the place are starting to leave, only to be replaced by a glut of condos and cookie-cutter subway-tiled gastropubs with a ‘Northwest rustic chic.’ I personally feel that the new wave of folks coming here are doing so to just consume with little regard to truly being part of the city. How could they take anything here seriously at this point anyhow now that we have been completely stereo-typified?”

I know Ringle will hate me for starting off this article with a Portlandia mention, but it’s all there on Horse Feathers’ new album, So It Is With Us: the rustic folk influences, the new album recorded in a barn, the shimmery ’70s country vibe, the hardcore indie record label (Kill Rock Stars), the large, wide-ranging band of multi-instrumentalists. Everything about this album screams Portland. But this is Portland growing up. This is an artist tired of being pigeonholed, and comfortable enough in his own skin that he wanted to make something different.

“The greatest thing about this record was that we enjoyed it,” says Ringle. “We laughed a lot. Can’t say that was as much a part of my previous efforts.”

That’s why So It Is With Us sounds so different from Horse Feathers’ prior albums. Whereas before Ringle was all insider whisper-folk with his hushed vocals, poetic lyrics and complex string arrangements, now he’s making music that reaches out, that seeks to communicate something beautiful and joyous. The songs on So It Is With Us sound more like actual songs, with verses, choruses, group harmonies and loping melodies, all of which envelope his rich vocals as tightly as a Northwestern forest.

As Ringle explains, “What’s funny is that on this record I thought of the words more as lyrics for the first time, which was a little freeing. It’s interesting to compare and contrast the galaxies of lyrics versus poems … I haven’t come to any conclusions on the topic except that I consistently confuse the two.”

With So It Is With Us, Horse Feathers have perfected the delicate balance between traditional songwriting and poetic references, crafting their most accessible album to date. Here’s hoping this is the new sound of the Pacific Northwest.

—Devon Leger

Posted in FEATURES, GUEST EDITOR | Comments closed

From The Desk Of Horse Feathers’ Justin Ringle: An Intro

HF

So when asked to be a guest editor for MAGNET, my initial reaction was that my inner 18-year-old self might flip out so much that I might have nary a word to say. However, I persevered and was immediately filled with some of the memories of growing up in the proverbial “sticks” in the ’90s. Starting there and moving forward to the present day, I accumulated a list of people, movies, music, food, poets and other stuff that, although not exhaustive by any extent, it gives an insight into me, my music, the band, inspirations and interests. At the very least I would hope that a few of these things may also be viewed as recommendations that could steer people toward becoming acquainted with a few new people, and things that I find dear. It goes without saying, I appreciate the opportunity to “preach from the pulpit,” so to speak and air my opinion on so many different things. Normally people only care about what I say about my music or music in general, which can get tedious. So thank you, MAGNET, for providing the platform to impose my taste on others! Really and truly, I hope someone finds something in here that they, too, can enjoy.

Posted in GUEST EDITOR | Comments closed

From The Desk Of The Primitives: Seven Famous Erics

The Primitives have been invited to guest edit MAGNET this week, so we thought we’d spin right back through memory, as the line from the title track of our new album, Spin-O-Rama, goes (how’s that for a clever bit of crowbarring?), and revisit some music-related experiences from our childhood, youth and early days of the band. There’s also some other random stuff to do with the world of the Primitives. It’s been a pleasure putting all this together, as there wouldn’t normally be any reason to relay any of this stuff. So thanks MAGNET, we’re enjoying the delve.

EricClapton

Seven Famous Erics is a game we play when we’re waiting around in airports or on long drives. The rules are simple: You think of a name, not a really common name like John or Mary, but not a really unusual name either, so a name like Eric or Donald or Lorraine for instance, and try to think of seven famous people with that name. It can’t be a character name and they have to be known by that name and not an abbreviated version or different spelling, and obviously you can’t look on the internet. It’s a collaborative effort and you can set a time limit if you want. It kills a bit of time and is a great way to cut down on idle blabber, because everyone ends up deep in thought, racking their brains for that elusive seventh name.

Posted in GUEST EDITOR | Comments closed