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Hollow Sidewalks





Jeff's Plasma Blast 2.0 jumps even deeper into the plasma pool

 Last year, the first round of Jeff's Plasma Blast rolled out to overwhelming success. Its venue, the American Legion up on Alberta, filled to capacity as tickets sold like the hottest of cakes. The mini fest was started by the surfy psych band Skelevision, formally known as Thong. Since the second installment happens this Friday, we exchanged some words with Skelevision drummer Philip Zevenbergen on names, lineups and Plasma Blast details, like how it'll also be the band's release show for their new full length Inside The Horror and tour kickoff...

 

The Deli Portland: How did the band end up settling on Skelevision for the name change, from the former name Thong?

Philip Zevenbergen: It kind of just became this name that got thrown around in our desperate attempt to ditch Thong. Some weird names were considered. Chemical X (like the powerpuff girls), Warped Tape, and The Shrimpers were all top contenders for a while, but ultimately Skelevision just rolled off the tongue better and was more fitting to our sound.

The name Skelevision specifically came about out of my boredom of working at Wunderland Nickle Arcade. I would often combine random prefixes with objects I'd see around the room, "skele" and an arcade game with "vision" in the title stuck out one day and I wrote it down.

Speaking of names, how did the name for Jeff's Plasma Blast itself come about?

I am a huge fan of David Cronenberg's The Fly (1986). Throughout the film Jeff Goldblum, who plays the lead role of a scientist who becomes a gross monster fly, refers to jumping into the "plasma pool". I found that to be real silly and Jeff's celebration of the plasma pool just seemed like a good name for a music fest for some reason. Originally, it was Jeff's New Years Plasma Blast when we did it in December of 2016. We just dropped the "New Years" and picked up the "2.0" and there ya have it.

What was your process for selecting the lineup for Plasma Blast 2.0?

Well, it started with just asking some bands I am close with about hopping on so I could have a good baseline of acts before reaching out to headliners. Once I had my baseline, I reached out to some more of the scene leaders about getting on, people who have been around longer in the Portland scene and have some street cred from touring or having a notable label. Once that was taken care of, I shifted into getting the headliners which was easily the hardest, most time consuming, and stressful part of the whole show. A lot of agents will lead you on and throw you back and forth on how the likely the headliner you want will take the money you've offered. However Mean Jeans and Walter TV have both been pleasures to work with and so have their agents. We are stoked to have them playing the festival and even more stoked that we get to hit Eugene the next day with Walter TV again.

Is there any particular artist(s) whose sets you're really looking forward to?

I'm most excited to see The Fabulous Downey Brothers. We played with them at the BIG BLDG BASH this year and we were totally blown away. They are going to have a crowd of totally fresh faces and I know they'll tear the house down.

I'm also stoked to see Mannequin, who are opening the festival as this will be their first show. They look like some girls who are gonna kick some serious ass.

Why did you decide to have the event be all-ages and one day long, versus spanning over two days?

When you span it over two days, you have to get the twice the artists. I see it this way only because I am a believer in the short, around 20 minute long set. Show us what you got and get off. To have the amount of artists we are having in Jeff's 2.0 would require 40 minute sets from each band over the two days. I think less people would pay attention to entire sets and the show would move a lot slower. I love this set up because it's going to pack a punch. The music will just keep going and changing rapidly, which is great for a young, unfocused mind like mine. Plus, having it be all ages was a no brainer. You don't have to be 21 to love good music, that's just silly.

You've mentioned to me how Skelevision is now a three piece. How did losing Carlo affect the writing process?

After our first tour the band came to the agreement that we wanted to move forward as a three piece without Carlo. While having to seperate ourselves from him was not something we were super happy to have to do, it really tightened us a band. Our writing sessions feel tighter and more focused on making the core structures of our songs more interesting and I think people have been really appreciating it. People are always telling us how much better of a band we are since we waddled into the Analog over a year ago for our first show. We all wish Carlo could have stuck around, but ultimately our separation with him has been better for both him and us.

What inspired some of the songs/the concept of the new album?

The lyric "Inside The Horror" specifically comes from the second track on the album, "The Sheets." The whole idea of being surrounded by horror but that we're maybe safe if we hide under our bed sheets is the visual we are playing with on our album cover. The whole album holds our psychedelic lo-fi beginnings but also mixes in our newer more punk and horror influence. I think the blend of it all came out really nicely. 

What city are you most looking forward to playing on tour and why?

Tijuana! Derek H. of On Drugs told me that it would be the most stressful and thrilling city to play, but also the most memorable and exciting too. That has me really pumped. Also, just getting to go play in Mexico is such a treat!

Doors for Jeff's Plasma Blast 2.0 are at 2:30, with music starting sharply at 3pm. Tickets are still available and reentry to the fest is allowed all day, so be sure to come early!





Have a Prom Redo with the High School Records Prom (and After Prom)

Modern Portland adults likely didn't have the best prom experience in school. Not because everyone definitavely has a shitty time, but because back in our day those that excelled in high school tended to be the jocks, Associated Student Body ruling or prep types that found those types of events the literal social events of the year. Us musically endowed types have a second chance at making prom an actually enjoyable experience thanks to High School Records and their first annual prom they're hosting tonight.

Come donned in your finest of pieces to twerk, cha cha and slow dance with everyone during performances from Hollow Sidewalks, Sweeping Exits, Volturz and You Said Strange. DJ Joseph Hopper will be spinning in between sets, and all money collected at the door is going directly to Outside In.

If a Saturday night prom sesh isn't in your cards, consider heading to the High School Records After Prom, which takes place tomorrow. Devy Metal, Helens, The American Weather and Small Field will be playing the Liquor Store for free in efforts to close out High School Records' first foray into social engagements. 

Tickets for tonight's prom are still for sale, running on an suggested donation of about $10. 





The Spiral Electric Releases New Album + Plays Elbo Room - 1/19

The San Francisco based neo psych band, The Spiral Electric has released their new album entitled, Ask the Sky this month. Make sure you take a listen and find yourself taking a trip down Ask the Sky's psychedelic sonic rabbit hole.

You can catch The Spiral Electric live at The Elbo Room on January 19th with Hollow Sidewalks and New SUN Company!





PREMIERE: The Late Great - "Shape of the Sea"

Expressing snarky banter and melancholy through fitting songwriting and equally expressive guitar work, The Late Great convey both innocence and feminist tones with their dark pop execution, as seen on their debut album Easy

The sincerity of the lyrics from "Shape of the Sea" are a good example of this, where songwriter and The Late Great leader Sarah Lane imparts strength and power by saying "I'll take on the shape of the sea/Lord go on & lay it down on me/I am your pride, I'm your enemy/So go on and take what you want from me." Women do take on a lot in the world and Lane welcomes that weight without fear - a message that's both relatable and empowering. 

Easy will be digitally released on August 17, with a release show happening on August 20 at the Turn! Turn! Turn! with Mike Coykendall and Hollow Sidewalks. Dive into the "Shape of the Sea" below.





Portland Psych Fest is back and begins tomorrow!

Back for its second year, the Portland Psych Fest has made good with presenting what's finest in the psych realm along the West Coast. This is exactly what we can expect from this weekened's happenings as well.

Starting tomorrow night and running all day Saturday, Portland Psych Fest features 17 artists and 3 DJs from here all the way down to Mexico, with a couple hailing from Idaho and Chicago. Four artists are slated to represent good ol' PDX, with two performing each night of the fest.

The much adored Jacksoon Boone will be taking the stage Friday along with Zozma, whose witchy psych includes trippy elements pulled from Middle Eastern pop.

Hawkeye's lo-fi indie britpop will surely delight fans of Spiritualized, as their influence can be heard throughout Hawkeye's songs. For a band made up of members of Souvenir Driver and Hollow Sidewalks, the influence makes sense and has only been perfected by the members' all around mastery. 

Portland psych can't really be discussed without mentioning Cambrian Explosion, who even for being in the scene three years have already solidified their place in it. Internal changes within the band haven't hindered them in any sense musically. They'll be on a few slots before headliners Spindrift and will be helping properly close out an intense weekend.

To view the few lineup and purchase tickets, visit the Portland Psych Fest website. Howler opens up the fest at 7:30pm tomorrow, so make sure you come out early.

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