September 27th, 2011 4:12 pm | by MATTHEW SINGER Music | Posted In: Video

Video Roundup: Purple & Green! Kelli Schaeffer! Hives Inquiry Squad! James Low!

hivesHives Inquiry Squad, "Back & Forth"

Nineties nostalgia meets summertime nostalgia! A capella yoga studio recording sessions! Tripped out public access hip-hop! California thinkin'! Why, it must be another Video Roundup!

"Sunshine," Purple & Green

PURPLE & GREEN - "SUNSHINE" from judesays on Vimeo.

Summer literally just ended, but this new clip from Adam Forkner and Justin Leon Johnson's addictive electro-R&B project Purple & Green will immediately flood you with feelings of nostalgia for a season that some could argue never fully arrived in the old grey Northwest. Not only is the video—which captures Forkner and Johnson joyously frolicking in a park on a truly beautiful Portland day, though not until after Johnson makes a quit trip through a Popeye's drive-thru—reminiscent of something Mariah Carey or Will Smith would've filmed in the mid-'90s, the song has the infectious flavor of a 16-year-old pop hit. I'd call it a summer jam, if it weren't already too late for that designation.

Kelli Schaeffer, a capella for Sound on the Sound

The 2011 Doe Bay Sessions - Kelli Schaefer from Sound on the Sound on Vimeo.

Speaking of summer nostalgia, in early August the fourth annual Doe Bay Festival took place on Orcas Island in Northwest Washington. A handful of artists from the festival recorded a series of intimate performances for Northwest music blog Sound on the Sound. One of them was Portland's own fiery chanteuse, Kelli Schaefer. Originally meant to be a solo a capella rendition of a new song, Schaefer convinced her band to participate as well, reworking the track using only their voices, and wow, it's a striking thing to watch. Nothing else need be said, other than that more bands should consider recording in a yoga studio.

"Back and Forth," Hives Inquiry Squad feat. Abadawn

Spacey hip-hop duo Hives Inquiry Squad have a long and complicated mythology (which can be read at their Facebook page), but there isn't much of a story to this low-budget video, which looks like something you'd see after midnight on public access television. It is strangely transfixing, though: Rapping over bleepity-bloopity sci-fi production, Gavin Theory and Lucas Dix—along with guest MC Abadawn—get wild in a car that doesn't appear to be moving and chill in a cheap-looking apartment while brandishing a crappy television like a boombox. [The band plans to release a free MP3 download and new video single every month until its next album drops...but when that will be, who can say? —Ed.]

"Thinking California," The James Low Western Front


"Think of a more whimsical, musical Raymond Carver," is how Portland country-folk vet James Low describes Whiskey Farmer, the upcoming record from his new band, the James Low Western Front. Indeed, the video for opening track "Thinking California" has the feel of a Carver story, of a lonely man wandering past the neon signs of late-night Portland. The video is bookended by Low in faux Masterpiece Theater mode asking for contributions to his Kickstarter campaign intended to get the album out. Check out this beautifully understated song and clip, then go here to donate.
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