Put these videos in your eyes and…uh…see 'em!
Red Fang, "Blood Like Cream"
Good to know that no matter how big stoner-metal kings get Red Fang, they remain Portland as fuck. The video for the catchiest (head)banger off third album Whales & Leeches is another Whitey McConnaughy special, staging a Shaun of the Dead style throw-down between zombies and pub-dwelling miscreants (played by the band, of course) inside East Burnside's B-Side Tavern. Except, these walkers don't want brains: What they crave is cheap beer. Fred Armisen makes an appearance, only to get disemboweled. PBR, dive bars, the imagined murder of a perceived cultural interloper—it doesn't get much more Portland than that. (The video won't embed until Friday, but for now, you can check it out over at Rolling Stone.)
Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks, "Cinnamon & Lesbians"
The Malk-Dawg's upcoming new album, Wigout at Jagbags, is a masterpiece of slacker-soul. It's also insanely dorky: If a song isn't about fantasy basketball, then it's just a string of non-sequiturs that probably popped into Stephen's head on the airplane when he moved back to Portland from Germany. "Cinnamon & Lesbians" is in the latter category. In the video, director Jay Winebrenner—known to longtime Portland scenesters as a member of 31Knots—brings all of Malkmus's lyrical abstractions to life, beginning with drummer Jake Morris getting "shanghaied in Oregon" as he steps off a Tri-Met bus and continuing through the references to "jack-off jailers," doing acid at breakfast, cures for head lice and, of course, cinnamon kknd lesbians. God bless this wonderful nerd.
Portland psych-pop twosome Wampire had a big year, emerging from its humble basement-bred beginnings to put out one of the best Portland albums of the year (and one of 2013's best records, period) in Curiosity. A mere three weeks after dropping its '80s-horror inspired clip for "The Hearse" comes the video for the rollicking Curiosity standout "Giants," which take a less narrative approach. "The concept for the video was simple: a guy with no shirt on is yelling at a girl," says director David Fine. Well, consider that mission accomplished!
Nick Jaina, "Don't Come To Me"
Nick Jaina: Dance Machine? I assumed he was a familiar with the art of movement, since he once composed a ballet, but who knew one of Portland's most thoughtful singer-songwriters could bust such a move himself? In this clip for the fluttering "Don't Come To Me," off this year's Primary Perception, Jaina herks and jerks his way through fields and Keller Fountain Park before ending up in a dance studio, twirling amongst actual ballet dancers in a scene choreographed by OBT's Candace Bouchard. Dare I say this could do for awkwardly spasming white guys what Christopher Walken did for spasming bug-eyed white guys in the early 2000s?