Images for your eyes, ears, noise and throat. Take it—it's good for you. It's cold and flu season, after all.
The Weather Machine, "Back O'er Oregon"
How did Slater Smith of Portland folk group the Weather Machine spend 2013? Visiting every friggin' state park in Oregon. As you might guess, that's a lot of damn parks. And just in case you don't believe him, he's made a video to prove he actually did it. This clip is nothing more than Smith strumming an acoustic guitar in all 192 parks this state has to offer, but witnessing the sheer breadth of natural beauty in this place we call home makes it worth the next five and a half minutes of your life.
Sassparilla, "White Lightning"
Early next year, local label Deer Lodge releases a sprawling 30-song tribute to the late, great George Jones, featuring bands from up and down the west coast covering songs from across the country outlaw's expansive songbook. The first track on the album is this tough reworking of Jones' late'50s ode to the moonshine business, "White Lightnin'," by Portland cow-punks Sassparilla. The video, a hodgepodge of old-timey public domain videos occasionally interrupted by black-and-white footage of the band in action, was directed by Morgan Geer, a.k.a. Drunken Prayer.
Radiation City, "Heart of Mine" (Live at the Banana Stand)
Those fine folks over at Banana Stand Media just keep cranking out the awesome. The latest is this mesmerizing live clip from Radiation City, filmed in the crew's secret basement headquarters in Southeast Portland. The song is originally from the indie-exotica-pop group's 2012 Cool Nightmare EP. Suffice to say, the band doesn't exactly sound like a typical house-show act, but they take to the basement quite well.
Mndsgn, "Hiking/Fif Dim"
Technically, the artist here—producer Mndsgn—is based in L.A., not Portland. But recently, the choice hip-hop/beat scene blog FRSH SLCTS, run by Portlander Kenny Fresh, made a move to record label status, and its first order of business was to reissue Mndsgn's "concept beat tape," Breatharian. Now comes the first video, co-directed by Fresh with Adam Garcia. It's a remarkable piece of work, like a Gaspar Noe film in miniature. Get lost in the sounds and sights, and pick up the full tape here.