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Goldlink live in Portland 3.3.16
By: Johnny BoddyThe following is an interview with GoldLink aboard his tour bus after his performance at the Roseland. We chatted about Pokemon, his new album, and the biggest lie in the world.
What were you in a past life?I think I was Kurt Cobain. ‘Cause I’m a damn hipster. You know that song Come As You Are? That’s me.
What is your favorite Pokémon?Trico. Wait, that was random... let me change it... Charmander.
What kind of student were you?I was a terrible student. People remembered me but I never went to class. I would show up in a leather jacket and girls would be all “Oh he’s cute.” Guys would be like “Yeah that’s D! The kid who is never here.” That cat. I did was the kid who was there and not there at the same time.
What was your first job?I worked in the flower department at Safeway for about a month. I was only there so I could buy an Xbox. Once I got that first check I bought my Xbox and 2k14 then quit. True story.
What are the highs and lows of touring?The high is that I am with my friends. We get to see the world, meet different people, constantly hearing stories in new cities. The low of touring is that you can’t poop on the bus. No joke you have to plan when you eat.
Are you moving toward more live instrumentation in your show?Yeah I wanted to bring the record to life onstage. April sings on the album and she plays violin. Louie plays bass guitar and he made a lot of the beats off the album. So now that we have a DJ, violinist, and bass player I am definitely leaning toward more instrumentation.
What should I be listening to right now?You should be listening to:
- April and Vista (https://soundcloud.com/aprilandvista)
- Louie Lastic (https://soundcloud.com/louielastic)
- Cicero (https://soundcloud.com/cicerorosalins)
- Falcons (https://soundcloud.com/oaklandfalcons)
- DVSN (https://soundcloud.com/dvsndvsn)
- Sunny Cola (http://www.sunnycola.com/)
- Smino (https://soundcloud.com/sminoworld)
What is your story?To make a long story short: the story of a black kid who grew up in D.M.V. (slang for D.C. MD. VA metro area) and never left. I was trapped in the city and so I was angry. I did a lot to find a way to get out. In a lot of ways, it is the typical black American story. I didn’t know how to talk about it so I just compensated with being a gangster... I guess. You know what I am saying?
Yeah I get that vibe from your early work; it was young, wild and reckless.Yeah if you listen to And After That We Didn’t Talk I am talking about everything in the past that happened, but the thing is; when I was making Creep, On & On, or Sober Thoughts I was doing everything I was saying at that time. I was going through what I was talking about. Angry, young, wild and reckless. All that at the same time.
In your song titled “New Black” off of And After That We Didn’t Talk you say; “Hip-hop will die I promise that / If we keep talking guns and gats in our raps / I apologize.” So what is the message to the youth?Fate portrayal. That song is about everything that’s still happening at home. Just because I made it doesn’t mean it doesn’t effect me now. Those things are apart of me. Specifically, my friend Pete got about thirty years for armed robbery and shooting someone. His little brother had a child. I know that child sees his dad doing these things as well and he (the child) acts like he doesn’t know. I talk about these stories because there are a lot of rappers who glorify what my homies (Pete) are doing. I feel that if you tell one side of a story and not the other people chase after that glorification and then hip-hop will eventually die.
What is the biggest lie in the world today?That we are free. Nobody is really free; we have imaginary chains on. You can talk about something but you cannot talk about it too deeply. You almost have to agree with everything, and if you say anything that does not make “sense” then you are going to be ridiculed no matter how true it is. Freedom of speech is dead now.
Interested in contributing to future Street Team work? We'd love to have you! Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or stop by the station on Mondays at 7:15!
Behind the Mic: Elijah and Jo
A typical human mouth has 32 teeth. One could deduce, using the knowledge that UP has so instilled in us, that between two human mouths 64 teeth will reside. However, when Jo Green and Elijah Ballantyne also known as DJ Jonut and DJ Vaguely Ethnic, have their show every Tuesday at nine, 58 teeth takes up residence in the KDUP studio. With a variety show self described as “a homage to formative period of out millennial lives looking back at the early 2000s, our experience, and existence,” 58 Teeth offers listeners a new theme every week to take you back to the days of childhood euphoria. We sat down with Elijah and Jo, mostly because they’re awesome people with great banter, but also to get the lo-down on their show. Here’s what they had to say for themselves:
Jackie: How would you describe your show? Elijah: Basically if you took a jar of nostalgia and some how refined that into music you could put that on air. Maybe you could make it into a vase and put flowers in it.
Jo: The past few weeks we’ve been having themes. Our first theme was nostalgia, our second theme was towards the Iowa caucus, the third theme was the pushy power shower (pussy power hour), fourth one was the sad boy tissue extravaganza (Sad Mountain Goats, Elliot Smith, Stephen Keller’s favorites), the fourth was on a homage to our parents
Jackie: What made you decide you wanted to do this show?
Jo: Elijah had a show last semester and he just asked me if I wanted to do the show with him next semester
Elijah: I felt like I reached the pinnacle of artistic creation that I could put forth through a single human being, wanted to expand upon that to incorporate the experience of a different person. It’s as if I was one color, and Jo was another color, I just wanted to throw those two colors together and create a lot more bright colors
Jo: Yeah! I’m Jo Green and He’s Elijah Blue
Jackie: What is the first album from your childhood that really sticks out in your mind when you think back?
Jo: Dream Street’s self-titled album, Pink's Misunderstood. When I was 5 years old I went to see INSC on their No Strings Attached tour in Madison Square Garden and Pink opened. It was life changing.
Elijah: Throughout my childhood we drove to Seattle once a month, and the only thing that would calm me down on the drive was my mom singing the cranberries to me in the car.
Jackie: Is there anyone coming to Portland that you’re really excited about?
Elijah: Yeah, we’re seeing STRFKR tonight! I’m also planning on seeing Michael Hurley, who is this progressively aging folk artist, and Frankie Cosmos.
Jackie: What’s some of the earliest books or magazines you remember being into?
Elijah: I used to ascribed to International Fish Weekly, bread fish in basement, different live bearing source like sward fish
Jo: The Charlie Bone series…I thought I was very counter culture by reading Charlie Bone instead of Harry Potter.
Jackie: Are you planning on attending any music festivals this year?
Elijah: I don’t have money.
Jo: I usually go to Made in America at the end of every summer in Philly; I’ll probably go to Afro Punk.
Elijah: On a scale of one to ten I don’t have money.
Jackie: What’s your favorite restaurant in Portland?
Elijah: You’re going to say Luc Lac
Jo: Oh yeah I totally am going to say Luc Lac, although what about Proper Eats. Actually, I am not above saying Sizzle Pie. I love Sizzle Pie.
Elijah: I may be biased because I used to work there, but I think I have to say Lovely 50/50. Best pizza and ice cream in the city
Jackie: What is the best thing about having a co-host?
Elijah: It allows you to slack off a little bit here and there
Jo: and banter, don’t forget banter
Elijah: Yes to banter. I’m going to have to say it’s nice having someone in the room with you, it can get a little lonely and cold in there.
Jackie: What’s your Music influence as of late, i.e. what is the band you are listening to constantly:
Jo: I’m actually listening to a lot of A$AP Rocky. For the past couple of days that’s all I’ve been listening to.
Elijah: The Mountain goats are a constant for me, which it’s fantastic because there is so much to dig through
Jo: We’re listening to an eclectic mix right now.
Elijah: Built to Spill, the Halo Benders
Jo: I’m always listening to Childish Gambino. I’ve been listening to a lot of Sheryl Crow lately too.
Jackie: Is there one song that you think everyone should go listen to right this very second?
Jo: Really Love by D’angelo
Elijah: Don’t be upset by Jeffery Lewis
Jo and Elijah: Bump and Grind by R. Kelly
Jackie: Lastly—do you have anything you’re dying to say?
Elijah: Do your homework; call your mother.
Be sure to tune into 58 Teeth with Jo and Elijah every Tuesday from 9 to 10.
Behind the Mic: Arran Fagan
by Jackie Ott
You might have seen Arran around, sitting in the library studying for chemistry, playing his guitar at open mic nights at The Pilot House, or offering a big smile in the commons. What you may not know however is that every Wednesday from 7 to 8, you can find Arran hanging out in the KDUP studio bringing some folk to the KDUP airwaves. We sat down with Arran, or Arran the Ginger as he’s known on his show, to find out a little more about his life.
Jackie Ott: What has been your music inspiration as of late?
Arran Fagan: My musical inspiration has been the new Jason Isbell record, Something More Than Free. The record absolutely killed me. It has these perfectly formed stories tied with emotion. The title track is my favorite song on the record.
JO: Where's the most exciting place you've traveled?
AF: I have been very lucky and fortunate in my life to be able to travel quite extensively, The most exciting place would have to be Japan or the Galapagos Islands, although I am going to China and Vietnam this summer so I have a lot of exciting places to travel.
JO: There are albums that we all associate with childhood and our first introduction to real music. For example, mine is Bruce Springsteen’s Born To Run. What's yours and what’s the story behind it?
AF: As a kid, I grew up with Simon and Garfunkel, James Taylor, The Beatles, etc. All of these bands/musicians really had an impact on me and have really driven my musical tastes. I think the first albums to really swing my music tastes and make me have this shock and awe, like the feeling of falling in love for the first time, would have to be Downward Spiral by Nine Inch Nails, or I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning by Bright Eyes. I found Nine Inch Nails when I was in San Diego visiting relatives. I bought the documentary of their performances and it changed my life. The music was so abrasive, so intricate, so dark, and yet so alluring. Trent Reznor is a God in my eyes; everything he makes have these tiny minute details that truly create a great song. Organized chaos is the best kind of music for me. With Bright Eyes, I found it at a record store. I was taken back to my childhood but shown it in a new light. Everything on that record makes me cry. Connor Oberst formulates this kind of monologue throughout his records and does things so against the grain that it works. That record is the record that makes me feel like I am in love again—tied to something true and yet so hopeless.
JO: Best description of your show. Why should others tune in?
AF: My show is a folk show. Folk music has changed so much in the last hundred years and I try to dip my toes into everything that has ever existed and share the best of it. Or at least the stuff that I think is the best.
JO: Do you have a dream pet when you’re older? What's that dream pets name?
AF: I think my dream pet would be a lab. They are such happy and loving animals! Its name would be Bailey, after the lab I had when I was a baby.
JO: Why did you decide to become a DJ/get involved with KDUP?
AF: I have always wanted to be apart of KDUP, even while in high school. I thought it was the coolest thing. Music has always been my goal and being a part of KDUP has been a dream come true.
JO: Best book you've ever read?
AF: The best book I have ever read would have to be East of Eden by John Steinbeck or My Struggle by Karl Ove Knausgaard.
JO: For someone who hasn’t listened to a lot of folk, what should they check out?
AF: I would listen to Jason Isbell if you like southern folk, Jeffrey Martin, Rodrigo Amarante, Josh Ritter, Damien Jurado, Tallest Man On Earth, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, John Lennon.
One last thing you may not know about Arran: he recently released an album of his own music Sad Old Songs. Check it out on his Bandcamp, and tune into his show every Wednesday from 7 to 8.
Behind the Mic: Kelley McCaffery
by Jackie Ott
Kelley McCaffery, or DJ Pre-K as she’s known on her show, Bangerz ‘N’ Mash, brings the hip, the hop, and the rap every Friday. This semester Kelley runs one of the nine Hip-Hop/Rap shows on KDUP, a new twist from the folk/rock songs that are usually on the airwaves. In an effort to get behind the mic to connect you to your college radio DJs, we’re sitting down with DJs all semester, with McCaffery getting us off to a fun start. Here’s what she had to say:
Jackie Ott: The eternal Portland question: bike, bus, or walk?
Kelley McCaffery: Oh walk. I love walking.
JO: What's your favorite restaurant in Portland?
KM: Kure, the smoothie place. You can get bee pollen in a smoothie! Also, their Acai Bowls are bomb.
JO: Best book you’ve ever read?
KM: Brave New World changed my life, and how I read books.
JO: What made you decide to be a DJ?
KM: I made a pact with my friend Matt, who I’ve known since I was four. Our junior year of high school we promised that we would become both DJs in college and bartenders somewhere down the line. So far I’m the only one who’s pulled through on the DJ part of the pact with my show.
JO: Would you suggest becoming a DJ to others on campus?
KM: Yes! DO IT! Everyone’s cool, you’ll get to meet a ton of people at meetings and they’ll try to include you in KDUP. You’ll get comfortable in the booth and excited to play your music every week. Two thumbs up.
JO: What was your latest Halloween costume?
KM: I was a cub scout from Moonrise Kingdom.
JO: What music have you been excited about lately?
KM: I’ve been inspired by Walter Mitty and His Makeshift Orchestra lately, which I would describe as self-deprecating acoustic. I was also really excited about the Coachella lineup, especially Anderson Pock, Lewis the Child, and A$AP Rocky.
JO: Do you have any suggestions of good introduction hip-hop/rap for the more folk-minded people around campus?
KM: Snoop Dog’s Doggy Style, one of the best rap albums of all time. Kendrick Lamar’s Section 80. Childish Gambino seems to just know exactly what I’m feeling.
JO: What exactly the name Bangerz ‘N’ Mash means to you?
KM: I mostly play hardcore/classic rap that I always love to go back to, but also mash because I listen to more than just rap on a daily basis. Before I added the mash I played too much basic rap.
JO: And what’s the mash?
KM: Walter Mitty and His Makeshift Orchestra, Matt & Kim, Lewis the Child, not specifically rap but music that has beats that makes me think of rap songs.
KDUP’s Joel Simard and Johnny Boddy sat down with Harrison Mills and Clayton Knight of ODESZA to talk about their driving creative force, life on the road, and the old college days.
©JOEL ANDREW SIMARD
Watching you two grow into a phenomenon since your debut release, Summer’s Gone (2012), and here you are with with back to back sold out nights in Portland, and three sold out shows in Seattle. How does it all feel?Harrison & Clay: [laughs] It has been surreal. It’s been nonstop since that release, and I don’t really think a lot of it has set in. We will get some time off here soon and hopefully adjust to the success, get a second to comprehend what has all happened.
Joel and I first saw you this past summer at What The Festival, you guys did a great job, it was an amazing set.Clay: Thanks guys that was a fun one, WTF is always a good time. Harrison: Our friends actually throw that festival, so it’s really cool to come back and see the people that have supported you from the beginning. They work with Emancipator a lot, and our tour with Emancipator was one of the first tours we ever did. WTF feels like coming back to home in a way.
Is it good to be back in the Northwest?Harrison: Yeah we miss it, this is home to us. It’s an instant relief when we get in. We travel to so many places, being able to come back to somewhere you love is very important.
When you come back to the northwest do you make a point to play more shows?Clay: It all just depends on the schedule. When we first started planning this tour, none of the stops were multiple dates, except for maybe a couple. But the demand was there so we had to keep adding on. Doing three at home [Seattle] is definitely really special.
©JOEL ANDREW SIMARD
The title track in Summers Gone, you have a man talking about recording sounds over themselves in order to create new sounds. If you could elaborate on the creative process behind your music, especially with the new album In Return.Harrison: To first explain that quote: when we were starting out in Bellingham, electronic music wasn’t a well-known thing, especially with the producing we were doing. So trying to explain what we were doing to friends, family, acquaintances, it was very difficult. People would often ask, well what do you play? Well I use synthesizers but I am more of a producer layering sounds, and people would get confused. Clay: You lose them quickly. Harrison: Exactly! So that quote explained what we were trying to do with that album; and that was finding unique, exotic sounds and then blend them all together in this... hopefully genre-less sound. I think that is what we go for in a lot of our music. A lot of our album music is more headphone oriented, it is built to have personal experiences. So is you are riding the bus home late at night late, you are going to connect to the song more than say, if you just hear a song at a party. That is the way Clay and I connect with music. The music that has always influenced us has always been personal. I think that’s what we went back to with In Return. Getting back to music we love and care about and then thinking why we love that music? How do we do that in our own way?
That is one thing that definitely draws listeners to your music, there seems to be an intelligence behind it that is unrivaled within electronic music today.Clay: We take a lot of influences from kinda weirder stuff; Boards of Canada, Four Tet. That genre [electronic] was a big influence for me growing up. We were always into weird music. We were the only people we knew that was into that kind of music.
What is some of the weirder stuff you listened to back in the day?Harrison: I was listening to this dude named [Auden Osdale], and he would take odd things like church choirs or people talking, then add a crazy hip/hop beat, and then just distort the shit out of it. That blew me away. I was like what the hell am I listening to? How did he make this? Just weird, gritty, more sound design based music. Also, we love Animal Collective, which I think was more popular where we were, not all of it was odd music. We would listen to a soul records and the next thing we would put on would be a top 40 hit, and then a song that has 200 plays on SoundCloud. So for us, we have this wide range of music that we love. I think the palettes are changing in an internet age where everyone can listen to anything at convenience. We are a part of that generation that is getting a broader range of music all the time. That is something we loved growing up; all these different sounds at an easier access. So for us, a lot of what we do is unifying various influences and sounds that we love. Clay: Layering unique sounds and making them work, when it shouldn’t, that is the key idea.
If you weren’t doing music, what would you be doing?Clay: I would be finishing school. I had plans to go to grad school after college, but then ODESZA took off, so I put all that aside. If it hadn’t worked out, I would be back at school. Harrison: I would probably be doing some sort of art or design, like art directing, or working at a label where I get to make creative decisions. I struggle with being passionate about someone else’s passion, so for me I have to choose a route where I get to be my own boss.
©JOEL ANDREW SIMARD
What about dream collaboration?Harrison: A lot of people man. There is a lot of talent out there. There are so many people who aren’t famous but are so talented that we would love to work with. Clay: Dream collabs never really work. There is a lot of ego involved, especially with bigger artists. We actually prefer working with people who don’t have that much of a following. Harrison: They are hungry. Clay: Exactly! There is more passion involved, usually more open minded to weirder stuff. Harrison: When you have to get through three managers to get to the artist, already you have set a tone that just doesn’t feel right. Clay: There are high expectations as well, so dream collabs in theory sound great. Harrison: Unless they are down to earth, it is not going to work. You can’t force anything Clay: So dream collabs, anyone who is open minded and want to try some weirder shit. Harrison: I think a lot of people look at our music and pull out a song that has done well, and then say, “Let's re-create that song with this popular artist!” Well that’s not our goal, our goal is to try something new every time. So approaching someone and saying hey, we really like your music how can we do something new together? That’s scary for a lot of artists when they have a mindset to create the next hype-track in order to get more buzz.
©JOEL ANDREW SIMARD
Highs and lows of touring?Harrison: The low is that it is exhausting, it gets very intense. We have done double nights, two shows in one night, we did nine shows in eight days last week! Also, I am not sure if people realize that we don’t just show up, play, and leave; we are there during sound check, working with the crew, changing stuff that did not work the night before, etc. We put a lot of effort into every show. The high is that we get to do this for a living, which is the coolest thing in the world. Another high would be when we see the respect from fans when we create certain risky moments in live shows. For example, we have a three-minute ambient moment with horns. Going in, we didn’t know how people would react, especially it was a crowd of five thousand people. Asking hey everyone, quiet down and listen to this, it’s a big risk to take. People easily could have just started talking and not listened at all. Yet every single audience has been respectful it has been really cool to see the fans accept these moments.
Are you busting out the horns tonight?Clay: Oh they will be here. Harrison: Guitar and bass as well!
How do you pull those artists to play for you?Harrison: They all went to college with us. Clay: Shaun, the guitar player, he went to my high school. So we go way back. Harrison: He introduced us. Clay: Yeah he is also one of our secret producers, he helps us a lot. Harrison: He is the tester of our new stuff as well. Clay: As far as the horn guys, we all had similar friend groups. One of the promoters in Bellingham connected us with them. It’s a very tight-knit community in Bellingham, everyone knows everyone. [enter Rob stage left] Harrison & Clay: [jokingly] We have an interview, Rob, get out. Rob: I forgot you were doing that. [laughs]
©JOEL ANDREW SIMARD
Who does the artwork for your albums.Harrison: I went to school for art design so I do all of those. The art is a collage of of different images, feelings, tones, colors, etc. which is again representative of how we approach music.
Yes, back to the whole pulling from various sources. Do you pull a lot from old vinyl records?Clay: We used to a lot more sampling from vinyl, but we live in dangerous times so with In Return there is no sampling whatsoever. Summer's Gone was straight samples with some bass work and synth work over the top. Very hip/hop influenced, and again just taking something that was something, completely changing it, chopping it up, reversing it, playing with different elements… you end up making something new that might have been old and lifeless. Harrison: I think what makes remix culture so powerful is that people have a reference point to what you are doing. They can hear the original is one way, and you made it this way. There is power there. People can hear the difference between the two and get the message. That is what I think made remixing so big.
©JOEL ANDREW SIMARD