IMAGE: Nilina Mason-Campbell
[UNDERGROUND DANCE] “The Gossip thing is pretty all-consuming,” admits Nathan Howdeshell, known as Brace Paine when playing guitar with the soul-punk icons. “But there’s always time to take pictures, do parties and make movies. I can’t sit still for very long.”
Between continual continent-hopping, Howdeshell’s founded a new electronic music project with Gossip frontwoman Beth Ditto and a semi-regular club night at teeny Northeast PDX venue Dunes called Situations. Since its late-April launch, Situations has seen a DJ set by London buzz band the Kills (in May) and an ode to electro-Brits the Hacienda (in June). The sporadic party hosts its seventh edition Saturday. Growing up on a farm in Arkansas, Howdeshell managed to squeeze an obsessive 7-inch mail-order habit into a life of milking cows and catching fish—his love of vinyl eventually grew into a 3,000-strong collection. Nowadays the mustachioed 28-year-old’s responsible for such seminal local DJ residencies as Tube’s No No Disco and Suicide Club (also at Dunes). While he continues to guest on the decks at Situations, Howdeshell now looks to friends’ bands as the main entertainment—shifting the focus toward performance. “This party is more about collaboration with musicians [than] just purely playing on records,” he says.
Of Dunes, he adds, “It’s been one of the most progressive clubs in town.” When discussing the night’s musical ethos, Howdeshell refers to the eclecticism of Sunday night pill-popping odyssey Optimo in Glasgow, as well as Scotland and London’s legendary shindig Trash. Those influential nights place a heavy importance on exposing attendees to new music, something Howdeshell says he keeps in mind when booking Situations’ live acts.
Howdeshell plans to make the affair even more true to its name (it was named after the ’60s-era Situationist International movement) by establishing scattered engagements outside of Portland—he hopes to implement Situations in London and Berlin by year’s end. But Situations isn’t about connections or geography. Ultimately, says Howdeshell, “It’s just pure fun.”
SEE: Past Lives and DJ Nightschool play Situations on Saturday, Aug. 2, at Dunes. 10 pm. $7. 21+.