I was happy to direct this 4-minute short for the Shorty Shorts Film Festival in Portland, but I was even more thrilled to work with this talented, generous cast (credited at the end of the short). Thanks much to Gula Delgatto for including my short, and Donovan Edwards, Ace Hotel Portland, and Pepe Le Moko for donating their resources and locations. Hope you like it!
Once in a great while, an artist comes along who pushes boundaries, gives viewers opportunities to rethink their paradigms, and creates bold, brave art that’s sometimes not fully appreciated in its time. Occasionally, that artist is honored with a retrospective, and given a chance to participate, bringing their beautiful creations to a larger, more mainstream audience. That artist was Marina Abramovic.
But now, we have been graced with the Björk retrospective at the Museum Of Modern Art. This quirky singer, originally the lead singer of
The Pixies The Treaclies The Sugarcubes, debuted her solo album in 1993. It was called Debut. She’s known for her unconventional style and eclectic production design of her music videos. She’s also known by basics-at-large mostly for wearing a dress that looks like a swan to the Academy Awards in 2001 (seriously, people can’t let that go). I visited New York last month in balmy February, and was given early access to what is by all accounts definitely a retrospective. Continue reading Björk at MÖMA: A (Fake?) Review
Two years ago, when I lived in Los Angeles, I left my job to take a year-long “artistic sabbatical”. I felt a creative itch that was brought about by working with my LA family at Sacred Fools Theater Company. A few months into that year, I went through some shit. I came out on the other side more determined than ever to create a life that was artistically fulfilling, and more than anything true and authentic to myself. I visited Portland for the first time in February of 2013, and instantly fell in love with it, thanks to my good friend and tour guide Summer Olsson. And then a funny thing happened: Continue reading Happy Birthday, BLCKSMTH
BLCKSMTH first talked to Michelle Lesniak last year for our Princess Mononoke-themed photo shoot. To say she’s a force to be reckoned with is an understatement. This talented Portland-based fashion designer makes bold choices, has clear vision, and is humble about her successes. 2014 looks to be a banner year for her, with her recent engagement and her studio/retail space opening up in SE Portland this month, with a trunk show June 13th and 14th from 2 to 9 both days.
Michelle’s song contributions this month were dark and moody, and inspired me to make similar choices for my picks. We went up to the Pittock Mansion for a Gothic-inspired photo shoot from the masterful Chase Person, with makeup by Jill Greenseth. Michelle is modeling looks from her own current collection. This month’s soundtrack knows what scares you: Continue reading June: A Soundtrack
One thing opening up these soundtracks to guest collaborators has done is allow BLCKSMTH to work with intelligent and inspiring artists. Nick Mattos, a columnist with PQ Monthly, has curated a soundtrack that’s both complex and accessible, and the photography of the talented, skilled Chase Person complemented the music choices perfectly. Nick’s also a co-creator of our upcoming webseries *How To Save Your Own Life. Be sure to check out Nick’s 18-song playlist on Spotify for BLCKSMTH, and check out more of Chase’s photography on Instagram at @chasepersonphotography.
Nick’s Pick: Banks, Change Oh man, Banks is so wonderful. She makes electro-infused R&B that sounds like a seance hosted by Sade, the xx, and Jamie Woon. One of the things I like best about her is the amount of emotional intelligence and insight she brings lyrically; in “Change,” as one example, she transcends the R&B trope of being dedicated to someone who doesn’t treat you well to instead consider the ways that people excuse others’ behavior in difficult relationships. I love her so much, I can’t deal with it:
I just celebrated my first 6 months here in Portland, and (finally) moved into my permanent pad in NE…I can get down to posting more frequently than ONCE A MONTH. I’m finding that there are so many brave, talented artists here it’s scary, and Wayne Bund is no exception. He’s a Portland-based photographer and performance artist who can also host a damn fine party. He braved an 8am call in the freezing cold (I may be losing a toe) to channel his inner Ewok with me in
the Forest of Endor Mt. Tabor park, and Tucker Cullinan added a little magic, like he’s expertly done in previous posts.
The force was totally with us.
For this month’s soundtrack, singer/songwriter Logan Lynn stopped by to help supply a cure for the common holiday tune. You’ll know him recently from his killer cover of Miley Cyrus’ “We Can’t Stop” (featured in the October soundtrack)…and then Miley herself performed his arrangement on Saturday Night Live on October 5th! Here’s a video for his follow-up single: “Tramp Stamps And Birthmarks“.
As always, you can find me and the BLCKSMTH playlists on Spotify. Find a few more of Logan’s picks on my “BLCKSMTH in December” playlist, and you can also follow Logan on Twitter and The Facebooks. I’m really loving Logan’s picks, and our pics we took (with the digital magic of Tucker Cullinan). This is a soundtrack that’s all killer, no filler:
Logan’s pick: Brontez Purnell feat. Jason Kendig, He Never Knew What Kissed Him Former Gravy Train!!! member Brontez Purnell is making really cute indie R&B songs these days and he just released this track a few weeks ago. It makes me feel good.