Sama Dams: Presented by Sou’wester Arts

Sama Dams: Presented by Sou’wester Arts

Few bands command the unexpectedly fine line that divides tension and release like Sama Dams does. And it’s no wonder: songwriters Sam and Lisa Adams have been playing music together for over a decade – as long as they have been married – developing a creative forthrightness that sometimes feels voyeuristic. Taking cues from jazz, R&B, new wave, indie-rock, and classical art song, the alt-rock trio weaves a sensuous musical fabric that is distinctly theirs.

 

Much like the Dirty Projectors or Thom Yorke, Sama Dams’s high art sensibilities are wrapped around a subversive knotty core of uncompromised radicalism – like if Leonard Bernstein was signed to K Records. In that way, the DIY ethos of the Pacific Northwest has shaped much of the band’s path forward since graduating music school in 2008 and relocating to Portland in 2012.

 

Sama Dams’s fourth and most recent full-length album, ‘Say It’, surprises you with its gritty yet precise instrumentation, striking a keen balance between reserve and power, from wiley “Neil-Young-riding-a-rocket-sled” electric guitar riffs and mutant waves of organ to distorted ukulele and cut-up-on-the-spot breakbeats. The Portland Mercury said “‘Say It’ is an endlessly fascinating sonic concoction, and a confident step forward for Sama Dams.” What should be a series of stylistic contradictions results in each song firmly standing its ground as an interwoven compositional masterpiece, bending and twisting with eclectic abandon.

 

The band’s sprawling sonic footprint is held together by their dynamic vocal power – an alternate-reality vocal pairing of Kate Bush and Jeff Buckley. Sam and Lisa’s combined proficiencies and unique approaches to songwriting merge with the brilliant percussive work of drummer Micah Hummel, creating a matchless sound in live settings as well as in the studio.

 

Sama Dams can regularly be found gracing stages, music festivals, and living rooms across the United States and Central Europe, their music finding a place in the hearts of both music enthusiasts and general audiences alike with their intelligent arrangements, catchy melodies, and playful musicality.

 

The band’s support of their latest release Not Gonna Lie EP in February of 2020 was interrupted But they are happy to be back on stage, and preparing to record a full length record.

 

Henry Chadwick: Presented by Sou’wester Arts

Henry Chadwick: Presented by Sou’wester Arts

Henry Chadwick is a Portland, OR-based singer-songwriter, musician & recording producer/engineer from Santa Cruz, CA. Chadwick’s music dances between genres – landing somewhere between rock, indie, psychedelia, and shimmery, sunshine-tinged power-pop. After spending years drumming in roots rock band, The Coffis Brothers, Chadwick struck out on his own in 2016. Since then, he’s gone on to tour, release multiple albums & EPs, & garner attention from audiences as well as prominent blogs and outlets such as Rolling Stone, Time, Huffington Post, Indie Shuffle and more. Chadwick recorded his debut LP, Marlin Fisher, in 2018 with legendary record producer, Rob Schnapf (Elliott Smith, Kurt Vile, Beck etc.). The album has met with a nice response from critics and listeners alike. Chadwick’s sophomore LP, We All Start Again was released on October 29th 2021, & is his most ambitious, mature and evolved sounding record to date. 

Oh, Rose: Presented by Sou’wester Arts

Oh, Rose: Presented by Sou’wester Arts

The Olympia, WA based Oh, Rose has solidified their place in the PNW music scene through powerful, upbeat performances showcasing the emotive and unfiltered voice of frontperson Olivia Rose. Their catalog is both intimate and explosive; since forming in 2014, the band has released two albums and an EP, amassing a catalog that ranges from soft, synth-tinted love songs to full-on, painfully screamed ballads. Their latest release, While My Father Sleeps via Park the Van Records, tells the complex story of family, adversity, love, and friendship, while also serving as an homage to Rose’s mother, who passed away in January of 2017. Rose will be performing an intimate, stripped down version of previously released and new material at Sou’wester on February 25th, 2023.

Sou’wester ARTS WEEK 2023

Save March 12-19, 2023 as the date for our 4th Annual ARTS WEEK! During this time The Sou’wester will host 30-35 artists and art collectives for a week of residency work, music, performances and installations.

Over the past 9 years we have held an event around this time of year to highlight the creative process and the experiential nature of the Sou’wester Residency Program. Each year this event brings amazing artists to this neck of the woods and shines creative light into the darkest heart of winter. On the weekend Friday and Saturday March 17th and 18th, 2023 the public will be invited to tour the grounds and surrounding areas for a weekend full of installations, music, performances and open studios.        

Sam Pinkerton: Presented by Sou’wester Arts

Sam Pinkerton: Presented by Sou’wester Arts
 
Portland-based singer/songwriter Sam Pinkerton, from Venice Beach, Florida, began her career as an artist in 2012, after moving to Nashville, TN to study Songwriting at Belmont University, and releasing her first record titled An Introduction. In 2016, she moved to Portland, OR, and formed and fronted the blue-eye r&b band, Prolly Knot, touring on one EP and multiple singles. Over the past few years, Sam has worked on writing for other artists, releasing new music, and forming a songwriting group in Portland, where she organizes and hosts writers’ rounds, workshops, and events. She’s put out four songs this year and is currently working on an album.

Arran Fagan: Presented by Sou’wester Arts

Arran Fagan: Presented by Sou’wester Arts

Praised for his introspective lyrics and vivid storytelling, Portland-based folk artist Arran Fagan has garnered a following in his native Oregon with his uncanny ability to weave the personal and universal. After getting his start in the grassroots music scene of Southern Oregon, Arran has spent the greater part of his life pursuing music, creating wistful and evocative songs that explore themes that connect us all—loss, addiction, change, and the endless passage of time.

With heartfelt lyrics and rich instrumentation that has garnered comparisons to Josh Ritter and Nathaniel Rateliff, Arran has spent years in the NW folk music scene, getting his start playing coffee shops and house shows for college classmates and eventually going on to open for Northwest favorites like Leif Vollebekk, HorseFeathers, Kris Orlowski, Matthew Fowler, and Jeffrey Martin.

In 2015, Arran recruited fellow University of Portland students Jack Pfeffer and Jonathan Wiley, and the three worked to perfect a sparse, melodic sound influenced by their individual backgrounds. Arran’s 2018 album “Weight of Time” debuted to a sold-out release show and was followed by a West Coast tour. Praised by outlets like half&half and Elsewhere for its powerful stories, cathartic songwriting, and ability to “[weave] concrete images and abstract feelings,” “Weight of Time” saw Arran establish himself as a surefooted and exciting fixture in the Portland folk scene.

After releasing an EP titled “Warmth / Death,” Arran took a year-long hiatus while pursuing a Fulbright Grant working as a secondary English teacher in Sarawak, Malaysia. During the pandemic, Arran began recording a new record, “There is More Light,” which was released on November 4th, 2022. 

Andrew Victor: Presented by Sou’wester Arts

Andrew Victor: Presented by Sou’wester Arts

Throughout his career Andrew Victor has shared bills in the U.S. and Europe with Sharon Van Etten, Alela Diane, Marissa Nadler, Tomo Nakayama, and Damien Jurado. He has been a core part of local scenes in Brooklyn, Seattle, Joshua Tree, and Rhode Island. His new studio album Recovery arrives 11/4/22. 

Faith & Majesty: Presented by Sou’wester Arts

Faith & Majesty: Presented by Sou’wester Arts

Faith & Majesty are an indie folk/alt sister duo/band from Gainesville, Florida. Their contemplative writing melded with hard-hitting harmonies make their music feel like a heartbreaking lullaby. Having started making music together in 2016, the duo are excited to release their first EP in 2023 following their string of single releases. 

Jonah Sissoyev and Anna Hoone: Presented by Sou’wester Arts

Jonah Sissoyev and Anna Hoone: Presented by Sou’wester Arts

Anna Hoone and Jonah Sissoyev are both Portland-based songwriters who recently tied the knot.
 
Anna’s upcoming release “You’re the Only One Here,” was written during a period of chronic illness. The songs capture the tenderness, loneliness, and vulnerability of that time.
 
After taking a 2 year break, Jonah Sissoyev is releasing his fifth studio album, “Me, Myself, God.” This album is a collection of contemplative songs recorded in a historic lodge in the Waloowa mountains of eastern Oregon.

Block Printing on Fabric with Ashley Quick

Participants will learn the basics of block printing on fabric including designing, carving, and printing. You will troubleshoot common problems in relief printmaking, learn about brands and tools, and leave with finished prints on fabric. Please bring your own fabric item which can include yardage, tshirts, scarves, or anything else that is relatively smooth. Avoid fabrics such as burlap. Ashley Quick is a visual artist based in the mountain west. Her graphic and often illustrative work represents personal experience and place-based reflections on nature in mediums such as printmaking, illustration, and more recently mural. She shows regularly in Wyoming and Colorado, and has been featured in shows across the country. Register

Activist Printmaking with Karim Shuquem

Workshop includes relief printmaking demo (linocut), time for sketching and discussion during interactive presentation that situates us on the timeline of activist printmaking from Martin Luther 16th Century to Mexico 20th century to the present. Building upon a 30 year history as stage performer and rock singer, Karim Shuquem creates installations, sculptures, and prints that have relationship with staging, temporality, and process. Shuquem has recently completed the Otis College MFA program and works as an art teacher. Register

Concrete Jewelry Making with Arielle Brackett

Learn about how to use a mixture of concrete to make lightweight and durable jewelry. Students will learn how to make a one part mold and pour the concrete as a casting technique. Afterwards students will sand their concrete and seal them. Students will leave with one finished piece of jewelry!

Arielle Brackett is a metalsmith and educator based in Portland, Oregon. She received her BFA in metals at the Oregon College of Art and Craft in 2017. She has shown nationally and internationally, including Canada, Romania and Russia. Brackett was awarded best in metals at the Colorado Gallery of the Arts and the Art Center of Estes Park and Juror’s Choice Award in Jewelry from CraftForms 2021. She received two scholarships to paint in Le Barroux, France and Grand Junction, Colorado. In May 2016, Brackett was granted a full ride scholarship to attend a two-week glass workshop at the Penland School of Craft. Brackett is published in Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG), Jams 2018 and How Art Heals, by Andra Stanton. In 2019, she had a piece in a runway show, Shift in Portland, Oregon. Brackett showed work in SNAG’s Exhibition in Motion in 2019 and 2021.

Register

The Magic of Moku Hanga/Japanese Woodblock with Charles Spitzack

Ever wondered about the beautiful Japanese prints you find all over the world?  This course is designed to show you the basics of Moku Hanga (Japanese woodblock). Though a more complicated printing technique, this class will take you through a quick crash course covering all the major points, and allow you to pull a few prints yourself. Charles Spitzack (American, Pacific Northwest) was born in 1987 in Minnesota and raised in the Twin Cities. He received a BFA with a focus in Print Arts and Drawing from Cornish College of the Arts and has participated in residencies at Rockland Woods and Mokuhanga Project space. As a Pacific Northwest-based artist, he teaches woodblock printmaking at  Pratt Fine Arts Center and also works as a carpenter, a process that reflects his interest in the physicality of woodblock prints and his ability to find inspiration anywhere. His work has been shown extensively in the Pacific Northwest and internationally. Spitzack is known for his bold, energetic, Mokuhanga-inspired woodblock prints of the human figure, animals, landscapes, urban scenes, and more. His work commonly addresses the plight of the working class, hopelessness in the face of destruction, and humanistic experiences.  Register

Music and Play: Creative Songwriting and Listening as a form of Play with Mike

Either as listener or creator, how we participate in music is deeply informed by cultural norms. In this workshop, I’d like to invite musicians, non-musicians, beginners, and experts to explore our often hidden cultural values. We will investigate examples of unconventional songs and styles and explore how integrating “play” into your music can lead to unexpected places. Mike Long (Tiny Anthems) has been writing songs about other people’s lives for a living for the last half a decade. Having composed and recorded hundreds of sprawling, funny, sometimes messy songs to celebrate actual people, he believes that music and community go hand-in-hand.  Register

Not-Knowing: Experiments in Writing with Quinn Gancedo and Katie Savastano

We often think of the poem, essay, or story as a device that delivers great knowledge, wisdom, or emotional insight, and the writer as an expert craftsman, who, with great skill and complete intention, willfully inscribes those messages onto the page. In contrast, the late (great) author Donald Barthelme defines the writer as “one who, embarking on a task, does not know what to do”.  This workshop takes Barthelme’s definition as its starting point, and is designed to give students hands-on experience in writing without any predetermined outcome in mind–in writing with an eye towards uncertainty, chance, experiment, play, and discovery.  This will be a playful, exercise based workshop and seasoned writers as well as students with little to no experience are equally welcome to participate.

Quinn Gancedo is a writer and educator based in Portland, Oregon.  He is the author of The Nouns (The Cupboard Pamphlet, 2022) and his work has appeared or is forthcoming in Fence, Diagram, Tammy, New Delta Review, and elsewhere.  He has taught creative writing, literature, and DIY bookmaking at the California Institute of the Arts and in various community and youth education settings.  He is a co-founder of Elbow Room, a non-profit arts organization focused on providing material support, mentorship, representation, and space to work, collaborate, and experiment for artists experiencing intellectual and developmental disabilities in Portland.  

Katie Savastano is an artist, educator, and designer out of Portland, Oregon.  From 2011 to 2015 she booked and promoted countless DIY shows in Portland and Eugene under the moniker Small Howl.  Since then she has done design work making merch, album art, and promotional materials for Rock and Roll Camp for Girls, Mississippi Studios, Revolution Hall, Antiquated Future, Black Belt Eagle Scout, and others.  In 2020, she co-founded Elbow Room, a non-profit arts organization dedicated to providing material resources, mentorship, representation, and space to work, collaborate, and experiment for artists experiencing intellectual and developmental disabilities in Portland.

Register

This is Me: Mixed Media Collaging about Identity with Angie Ebba

In this workshop we’ll explore the idea of personal identity through mixed media. Learn how to do packing tape image transfers, create your own collage papers, and then make a grungy mixed media piece of artwork.

Angie Ebba is a queer disabled writer, artist, educator, activist, and performer. She is a published poet and essayist, who teaches and performs across the US. She believes strongly in the power of words and art to help better understand ourselves, build connections and community, and make personal and social change. 

Register

The Apricots : Presented by Sou’wester Arts

The Apricots: Presented by Sou’wester Arts

The Apricots, an emerging Portland project, is serving indie-rock with funky, soulful influences. They have fun exploring cracks between the genres they love and growing sound between them. Spend a night with the Apricots and you’ll walk away with a pep in your step and a little teeny tiny sparkle in your eye, hopefully wondering “who the hell was that?”

Erisy Watt : Presented by Sou’wester Arts

Erisy Watt : Presented by Sou’wester Arts

Portland-based Erisy Watt will release her sophomore album Eyes like the Ocean on April 1 via American Standard Time Records. This is the highly anticipated follow-up to her 2019 debut hailed by No Depression as “an exercise in what contemporary folk today sounds like at its peak.” With this new offering, Erisy returns with a lovingly crafted, sophisticated collection of songs, recorded live-to-tape and produced by Y La Bamba’s Ryan Oxford.

Erisy’s sound reliably alludes to iconic vocalists of the 1960s, but here, finds a more fitting home in the vintage-tinged indie ether of Bedouine or Julie Byrne. Her vocals are intimate and alluring, an artful alternation between soothing whispers and gentle howls, backed by an instrumental bigness that evokes windy mountainscapes and piercing blue skies. Throughout Eyes like the Ocean, Erisy calls upon the expanse of earth and sky to navigate life as an adult woman—satiating restlessness, finding connection, and fostering that ever-elusive sense of self that allows one peace.

Erisy Watt grew up in Nashville, but it wasn’t until she left the city of music for college in California that she began writing her own songs. Both of these formative settings are present in her creative instinct—Nashville’s knack for a timeless melody, California’s bewildering vastness and dusty free spirit—but upon these sonic bones lives a body of global adventure. Erisy is an environmental professional with a deep fondness for nature, and has spent time in eclectic locales like Nepal, Thailand, and Hawaii, most often in rugged, remote wilderness. She approaches the music profession with a similar sense of purity; she once toured Europe on foot, banjo on her back. This wide-open way of moving through a capacious planet enlivens Erisy’s music with true troubadour soul. Her songs spring not so much from one place in particular as from a series of well worn travel journals.

This stretch of inspiration calls for acute musical capacity, and fortuitously, Erisy no doubt knows what she’s doing. An accomplished multi-instrumentalist, she can walk up and down a fretboard in gymnastic Jazz chords, craft complex guitar patterns in a wide range of tempos, and masterfully press her vocal performances past previous limits. In the midst of recording her debut album in 2018, Erisy underwent surgery to remove a problematic polyp on her vocal chord. While the diagnosis and procedure proved traumatic, Erisy discovered a new vocal freedom in the healing process. Today, she describes the feeling of being uninhibited, both physically and creatively, as integral to her artistic evolution. The transformation is most palpable on crossover hit “Big Sky,” one of Erisy’s oldest songs, which she polished to shine.

On Eyes like the Ocean, Erisy lets her newly liberated talent shimmer, but her real art is in connection: tracing the invisible vessels between an ocean’s black depth and a mountain peak’s twinkling tip, tracking the slow immensity of glacial paths to the monstrous canyons they carve. She ties her insides to the outside, taking tips from the cosmos, a naturalist with a knapsack of stardust, making luminescent the dark parts of her path, finding a way forward.

Art Installation Closing Party with Old Unconscious and Graves : Presented by Sou’wester Arts

Art Trailer Installation Closing Party for “Between Sea and Land: Granular Explorations” By Nicky Kriara & Cory Gray. Music by Old Unconscious (psych-jazz) and Graves (mellow singer/songwriter grooves).
About the Art Installation:
Between Sea and Land: Granular Explorations
This exhibition is based on studying sand under a microscope and is a
continuation of our project for The Sou’wester’s Arts Week 2022. We
collected sand submissions from volunteers from from January-March
2022, with samples coming from as far away as India and Egypt.
All of the audio was made onsite during our stays at The Sou’wester and
features various field recordings. Photographs of the sand were taken
with a camera phone through a microscope lens. You can view all of our
sand photographs on Instagram: @damaged.antennae
Sand submissions by: Rebecca Rassmussen, Sierra Handley-Merk, Ali
Kestel, Nancy Kunce, Dar Horenblas, Lindsay King, Dawn Stetzel, Kim
Slate, Neisha D’Souza, Meagan Hardy, Sarah Farahat, Andie Sterling,
Nicky Kriara, & Cory Gray.
——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————
Nicky Kriara is a sculptor and painter from Portland, Oregon. For almost a decade
she worked in stop-motion animation on feature films and commercials. She now runs
a ceramic design company called Niko Far West and paints large scale murals. Her
work is often experimental and graphic with references to the natural world and the
history of place. www.nickykriara.com
Cory Cray is composer and performer in Portland OR. He leads a group called Old
Unconscious that plays experimental instrumental music, and he records and tours
internationally with The Delines. He frequently produces and arranges for other
recording artists, composes for movies and television, and creates sound installations
for multimedia art pieces.

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PHONE VOICE : Presented by Sou’wester Arts

Chitra Subrahmanyam loved Portland well before they moved here. As a youngster in the East Bay with a cool older sister, they were handed down a mix CD that included some material by the late Elliott Smith. Hearing “Between The Bars” opened the door to other Portland acts like Smith’s former band Heatmiser and Sleater-Kinney. The allure was immediate. 

“When you’re going through something, especially as an angsty teenager, it’s not really hard to find something that speaks to you in music from people like Elliott,” Subrahmanyam said. “And when I was starting to drum, finding bands that were so dynamic —that had this balance between quiet and loud, and this seething undertone that ran through even the quieter parts — appealed to me as someone that feels like people think I had nothing to say or offer but at home, I got to bang on shit and let that out.” 

Moving to Portland felt, in some ways, inevitable, drawn here as Subrahmanyam was by the music and a promising post-graduate program in speech pathology. Since arriving, they have slowly worked their way into the artistic community, starting their journey drumming for artists like Mo Troper and Balloon Club. 

But after taking a few introductory guitar lessons, Subrahmanyam began to write their own songs, amassing a collection of lowkey but powerful material that they have recorded and performed under the name Phone Voice

Their debut release, 2021’s cradle tape, is a perfect blending of the confessional and the metaphorical, as Subrahmanyam unpacks broken relationships and inner torment. “I am the air that surrounds you,” they sing over agitated waves of distorted guitar on “river.” “River of shame, you flow within me / yet you are nowhere / not around me anymore.”

Sunbathe : Presented by Sou’wester Arts

 

Sunbathe is the devastatingly catchy, fuzzed-out pop band brought to you by songwriter Maggie Morris. Suffused with lyrical honesty and a raw performance style, Morris can command the stage coasting along on an abundance of hooks and lighthearted guitar. Sunbathe has quickly gained notoriety for their captivating live performances, touring with the likes of Typhoon and Built to Spill, all the while living and breathing a DIY ethos. Referring to themselves as the most punk pop band in Portland, Oregon– Sunbathe cites ABBA and The Ramones as two of their biggest influences yet they will remind you of neither. Their songs will leave you feeling nostalgic for something that you probably only experienced in a dream. 

Coach Phillips : Presented by Sou’wester Arts

Coach Phillips Presented by Sou’wester Arts

Initially formed in 2017 as an acoustic duo of vocalists Wade Phillips and Jessica Kim, Coach Phillips is a 5-piece band including Chet Baughman (drums/saxophone), Joe Oakes (guitars/misc.) and Tom Moskal (bass). The Seattle-based project has produced one full-length record to date and two EPs— the most recent being ‘Three-Chord Songs, Vol. 1’ released in May 2022.

‘…in the same sandbox as Hovvdy or the like, breaking bread with old emo tendencies and dipping it in the wine cup of present bedroom pop.’ – Nathan Lankford, Austin Town Hall

LAITH : Presented by Sou’wester Arts

LAITH : Presented by Sou’wester Arts

Laith, known by some as Hutch Hartford, hails from the suburban hurricane of Houston, Texas. Laith’s music is soaked withmemories of Grandma and Grandpa’s bayou house, rides on a red vintage lawn mower packed with cousins, and smoky, music filled bars

Nick Delffs : Presented by Sou’wester Arts

Nick Delffs : Presented by Sou’wester Arts

Nick Delffs grew up in Mendocino County, a lawless stretch of coastline that’s hard to get to and, for many, hard to escape. Nick did — emerging in the early aughts as the frontman for Portland band The Shaky Hands, whose sharp, jittery rock was anchored by Nick’s quavering vocals and questing lyrics. The Shaky Hands were mainstays of Portland on the verge of a major shift, and they rode that shift a while, signing to Kill Rock Stars and touring internationally with some of the bigger names in indie rock. But a hiatus in 2011 became indefinite and Nick Delffs was once again cast into the world: working as a sideman, releasing solo records, doing manual labor, going deeper into his spiritual practices, and, crucially, becoming a father.

Becoming a parent can affect different artists in different ways. Nick rode that change with surpassing grace and maturity. 2017’s Redesign, his first full-length under his own name, reflected the transition. In “Song for Aja”, Nick touched on other concerns familiar to those who follow his work: love of the natural world; longing for spiritual and physical connection; the desire to suffer with meaning and exult with abandon, to embrace somehow the world in its maddening contradictions and find the unity at the core.

Childhood Pastimes, his second release on Mama Bird Recording Co., is both more focused and, despite being technically an EP, more ambitious. It’s a four-song cycle — one song with many movements or four songs that bleed into one another, depending on how you hear it — that can be viewed either as a personal journey or an archetypal passage of a human being through four discrete stages: roughly, the movement from childhood innocence into adolescent adventure (The Escape); the sudden immersion into a life of discovery and excitement (The Dream); the first experience of romantic love, followed by the onset of heartbreak, dissolution, breakdown of self (The Affair); the emergence into a new way of thinking, a fresh perspective that encompasses all the suffering and joy into a balanced whole (The Outside).

Nick plays nearly all of the instruments here and the result is a unified aesthetic, born ultimately of his deep-seated love of rhythm: the thrum and throb of the acoustic guitars, the percussive melodic bang of the elegantly-crafted piano lines, and always, always the insistent, driving drums, propelling the record, and the listener, on this journey as the four tracks bleed into one another, one body, one blood, one beating heart. The concept of four songs that are really one suite of music requires a sure hand, and Nick’s never shakes: the way the songs blend together while retaining their distinctiveness — from the poppy exaltation of “The Escape” to the cold intensity, almost like an acoustic Kraftwerk, of “The Affair” — shows a songwriter and musician who has fully grown into his powers.

Those who have followed Nick’s career may see this as a culmination of years and years of honing and fine-tuning his bountiful gifts, and wonder with delight what might come next. For those who haven’t listened to Nick before, Childhood Pastimes is the perfect entry point, a distillation of what’s come before and the promise of a new beginning.

AC Sapphire: Presented by Sou’wester Arts

AC Sapphire: Presented by Sou’wester Arts

The Mojave is a desolate dreamscape, a vista of mind-bending scenery that seems to transform with every sand-swept step. There’s something exquisitely wild about it, tinged with a hint of danger. On the surface it can appear sparse—even foreboding—but a deeper examination proves it teaming with all the tragedy and transcendence of life. 

The same can be said for the music of longtime desert denizen AC Sapphire. It has the same surreal qualities, the same sense of constant metamorphosis, the same expansiveness and emotional evocation, the same sense of wonder and revelation, and the same wild and perilous spirit. Her cosmic sound blends disparate elements into an ethereal folk rock while her strong voice shakes listeners awake as she spins her passionate, dust-blasted tales. All these qualities can be heard on her upcoming EP, Omni Present and upcoming album Desert Car.

Sapphire’s life began in Eastern Pennsylvania where her household overflowed with eight home-schooled children. When she was 14, she was given a singing part in a Shakespeare production. “I had no idea I was even able to sing and then I found my purpose,” she explains. “My father, an antique dealer, had this really beat up guitar with one string. I would just play that one string and pretend I was shredding. Eventually, my dad helped me ad the other five. I started writing songs right away. By the time I was 17 I was gigging.”

Sapphire soon teamed up with two of her siblings to form Sisters3, finding regional success. Then her younger sister quit the group. For AC, it was devastating. She needed a change and knew just where to find it. For years, she had been selling pizza at music festivals around the country. “I worked for a company of outsiders, artists, and travelers,” she explains. “Every year after working at Coachella I would spend two weeks in Joshua Tree. I was entranced by the desert. I wanted to live there.” She followed that Siren’s song west to her new home. “I really feel like I came into my own there,” she says. “It was a sense that I was doing what I wanted with my life. The desert changed me. There’s mental clarity because you can see everything. There’s room. There’s space.”

This freedom and awe influenced songs like Omni Present’s “Desert Stars,” about the death of a friend and mourning the inability to share the marvels of the sandy wilds, and “Rock and Roll Van,” a more lighthearted fantasy about escaping the 110-degree heat via musical road trip. A different California landscape inspired Desert Car’s “Stick and Poke Tattoo,” a story of one of Sapphire’s real body decorations set against the backdrop of a brief affair with an Irish blacksmith and the crashing waves of the Big Sur coastline. “The Thrift Store Song” features Particle Kid and details what Sapphire describes as the best feeling in the world, “going to the thrift store and finding something that fits you perfectly.”

Despite her affinity for the arid expanse, Sapphire eventually decided to move on. These days she can be found in Portland, Oregon where she has put together a new band while also singing harmony and recording with Kyle Craft. She is preparing for a national tour in support of Omni Present. 

Sapphire feels strongly about championing women in the music industry. She has volunteered as a vocal coach for the Portland Rock & Roll Camp for Girls and plans to raise money for the organization throughout her tour.

Jed Crisologo : Presented by Sou’wester Arts

Jed Crisologo : Presented by Sou’wester Arts

Jed Crisologo is a soulful Seattle singer- songwriter, who mixes Americana, Punk Rock and Soul influences into heartfelt, catchy, honest tunes.  His introspective and thoughtful songwriting sets an honest, alive and intensely human core to their songs.  This combination of earnestness and swagger creates a sound that travels from wonderfully noisy and ambient to stripped down and raw, from raucous and bombastic to swinging and groovy all while emphasizing the truth and humanity in the songs.

Bijoux Cone: Presented by Sou’wester Arts

Bijoux Cone: Presented by Sou’wester Arts

Bijoux Cone (Formerly Bryson Cone) is a visual artist, filmmaker, musician and producer based out of Portland OR. Bijoux Cone’s debut album “Magnetism” was released February 19 on LA based label Cleopatra Records. Her forthcoming sophomore album is pending release.

 

Bijoux Cone’s music explores themes of love, loss and identity paired with lush melodramatic synth pop and disco synth grooves.

 

The live band includes/has included members such as:

Bijoux Cone (FKA Bryson Cone, Reptaliens, Gary Wilson & The Blind Dates),

Hannah Blilieh (The Gossip, Chromatics), Bambi Browning (Reptaliens, Blouse),

Ben Steinmetz (Kyle Craft), Thomas Mabus (Reptaliens, Wampire),

Chris Hoganson (Fur Coats, Wampire) and Cat Hoch (Blackwater Holylight).

Jeremy James Meyer: Presented by Sou’wester Arts

Jeremy James Meyer: Presented by Sou’wester Arts

Jeremy James Meyer is an artificer of song. A songwriter’s songwriter. He crafts redemptive songs full of woody rock ‘n’ roll tones. His deep, penetrating voice has a wide range, and is especially captivating in his droning, lower register. He spent the last decade drifting around, a tool belt troubadour, working carpentry by day, bringing folk music to the people at night. As with most well traveled songwriters it’s hard to tell where the road ends and Jeremy James Meyer begins. His songs seamlessly blend plain-language and poetic lyricism. They wander from personal truth to outlaw legends. He’s capable of cathartic protest songs, cosmic country canticles, and dive bar sing-a-longs. Whenever, and however your path crosses with Jeremy James Meyer’s (and it will) prepare for an enchanting, psychedelic trip through cosmic American music.

– Sean Jewell American Standard Time

“Alive and OK by Jeremy James Meyer is a lesson in what country music can be. This is not the pop country of Nashville. This is real country music with stories and melodies that keep the listener engaged. Whether it’s a foot stomper or a song made for slow dancing, Meyer delivers songs that will get you moving.”

-Americana Highways

“Last year was a devastating time for fans of Americana, country, and pretty much anyone who loved a well-written song with the passing of Walker, Prine and Billy Joe Shaver all in the span of six months. It’s heartening though to know there is another generation of talented singers and songwriters eschewing current trends and fads and focusing simply on writing timeless, relatable music agnostic of specific genres. Meyer is certainly one of those acolytes to the greats, alongside peers like Todd Snider and Hayes Carll carrying that tradition into the future.”

Glide Magazine