Mick Learn Benefit Show, Tango Alpha Tango, Portland Cello Project: Dance Party in Purple – Tickets – Doug Fir Lounge – Portland, OR – September 6th, 2015

Mick Learn Benefit Show, Tango Alpha Tango, Portland Cello Project: Dance Party in Purple

Mick Learn Benefit Show

Tango Alpha Tango

Portland Cello Project: Dance Party in Purple

Brandon Summers (of Helio Sequence), Like a Villain, Sama Dams

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Doors: 6:00 pm / Show: 6:30 pm (event ends at 1:00 am)

Sliding Scale $5-25

This event is 21 and over

Tickets are $15 in advance and a sliding scale of $5-25 at the door. 

Read More about Mick and make a donation to support him at the Jeremy Wilson Foundation.

Mick Learn Benefit Show
Mick Learn Benefit Show
Mick Learn has been a self employed full time sound engineer for over 25 years. From behind the mixing console he has helped to shape Portland music into the vibrant and diverse community that it has become.

On one of Mick's rare days off he fell while trying to fix his lawn mower and broke his right arm – both radius and ulna snapped in half. A complicated surgery installed a metal plate and screws in each of the bones.

Mick is a humble person who has never depended on anything or anyone. He has always relied only on his own self motivation and hard work ethic to get by. But he could use his community’s support today. He needs just a small positive push to get back on his feet and fully recovered so he can get back to work doing what he does best; making musicians sound amazing and in turn making our town rock!

Doug Fir will host two nights of music from some of Portland's most prominent artists to help raise money to cover Mick's medical expenses. 100% of the ticket sales will go to Mick and his family.
Tango Alpha Tango
Tango Alpha Tango
Tango Alpha Tango is a four-piece Portland, OR rock & roll outfit lead by virtuosic guitarist, singer/songwriter, Nathan Trueb. He is joined by his wife Mirabai on bass guitar, Joey Harmon on drums, and Daniel Jones on keys and guitar. These northwest natives have been honing in on their fusion of blues and rock on stages from Portland all the way to Austin, TX for SXSW and everywhere in between since 2008. The quality of their music will reel you in with memorable melodies and catchy guitar hooks peppered with funky bass-lines, driving beats, and psychedelic keys. You'll want to catch their live show any time you can because the group's energy is infectious and leaves audiences in a sweaty frenzy screaming for more.
Portland Cello Project: Dance Party in Purple
Portland Cello Project: Dance Party in Purple
Portland Cello Project will be performing a special edition of their yearly Extreme Dance Party to honor Prince!

Although it's no longer an anomaly for popular musicians to work with an orchestra, it tends to be on the symphony's terms, in the symphony's concert halls, and for the symphony's exclusive rates. The classically trained cellists of The Portland Cello Project are working to reverse that tradition by making their talents accessible to their guests wildest dreams, while bringing the instrument into venues where you wouldn't normally see cellos. With this in mind, the group will be touring throughout 2009, bringing their collaborative philosophy to a dirty punk club near you!
Brandon Summers (of Helio Sequence)
Brandon Summers (of Helio Sequence)
The self-titled sixth album by The Helio Sequence began with a friendly competition. Several of the duo’s friends within the Portland, Oregon music scene had been playing “The 20-Song Game.” The rules were simple, playful and ambitious: Songwriters would arrive in their studios at prearranged times and spend all day recording 20 complete songs. When they were finished, they’d have a party, listen to the results and talk about the process—of taking the good with the bad, of letting creativity push past constraint, of simply making music in the moment. Brandon Summers and Benjamin Weikel took the spirit of the “The 20-Song Game” to heart, and forged ahead writing a new record.

“Negotiations was a very long, introspective process,” remembers Summers of the band’s 2012 Sub Pop LP. “We shut ourselves off from the world and disappeared down the rabbit hole. That’s how we tend to work, but we wanted to try something new, open and immediate.”

In a sense, The Helio Sequence had spent their whole career preparing for this record. They’d sunk entire recording advances into studio purchases, collaborating with local engineers to build custom gear and a space where they could blend high fidelity with kaleidoscopic sound. In 2013, the pair took on their first full-scale production project, the Brazilian rock band Quarto Negro, after the group inquired about their space and availability through Facebook. As producers, they’d remixed Shabazz Palaces, picked up mixing sessions with Portland acts and earned representation from Global Positioning Services. Summers and Weikel discovered just how adaptable and powerful their studio could be.

In May of 2014, inspired by the “20-Song Game”, they began arriving each morning in their Portland space—housed in the cafeteria and break room of an old warehouse— with the mission of making as much music as possible in one month. They began exploring and capturing, recording guitar riffs and keyboard loops, drum patterns and bass lines. One piece documented, they quickly advanced to the next idea. Summers and Weikel didn’t discuss what they were making or the reference points that informed it, though such discussions had once been central to The Helio Sequence’s more self-conscious process. They just played. Created. In time, they returned to each fragment, broadcasting it over the studio PA, jamming and recording the results. Mistakes didn’t matter, and second chances didn’t exist. After two weeks, Summers and Weikel began cutting those loose takes into rough shapes, steadily building songs from their cavalier sketches.

Although making records can be a laborious and tedious process, Summers delights in the memory of making this one.

“We were coming to the studio on these sunny mornings everyday with an open mind,” Summers shares. “We said, ‘I’m just going to do what feels good in the moment.”

“We worked so quickly that there was a running optimism,” he continues. “There’s this sense of striving for perfection where you can actually take momentum away. But we wanted this record to be momentum in and of itself.”

When June arrived, the duo gathered their 26 finished songs and sent them to 31 friends, fans and family members. They asked each person to rank their 10 favorite tracks. By summer’s end, they had arrived at the brisk 10 tracks that shape the breathless and magnetic The Helio Sequence—a record so named because it’s a kind of clean restart for the longtime pair, a revamp of their process and a revitalization of their results.

The Helio Sequence is a renewed push forward for the band: From the cool wallop of “Deuces,” where guitars snarl and harmonies soar, to the stuttering anxiety of “Upward Mobility”, where pianos pound and drums race, this collection depends upon an effortless kinetic energy. Lyrically, “Stoic Resemblance” is a study of existential anxiety, but musically, it’s a beguiling burst of pop, Summers’ vocals rising over and sliding off of Weikel’s big, irrepressible beat. The bittersweet “Leave or Be Yours” evokes the easy twinkle of romance and the smoldering sadness of losing it. Crisscrossing vocals and cross-talking guitars and drums map a broad swirl of emotions.

With its easy acoustic jangle, “Inconsequential Ties” might be one of the most surprising, light moments within the bombastic Helio Sequence catalog. But considered within the band’s history, it points to the pop that’s bound Summers and Weikel for so long. Indeed, there’s a delightful candor to The Helio Sequence, an openness that is a rare and special feat for a band about to enter its third decade.

“It’s less about curating yourself or trying to put yourself across how you want to be perceived,” says Summers. “It’s about having a conversation with people and giving them something that’s who you are.”
Like a Villain
Like a Villain
Holland Andrews (AKA Like a Villain) is an American extended technique vocalist, composer, and performer based in and Portland, Oregon. By weaving a multitude of dense vocal layers and textures, Andrews forms sprawling emotional tapestries to foster a space for self-examination and exploration through beauty and dissonance.
Sama Dams
Sama Dams
Portland Avante-indie outfit Sama Dams captures sonically the jarring disconnect between how “normal” looks in present-day America, and how it feels. On their most recent LP Say It, verses enter on light feet, then pirouette into lurching refrains that crush with truths about who we are and who we would like to appear to be, atop keys and synth that, “slither and flutter through the songs like a living breathing thing.” (Ben Salmon, The Portland Mercury)

The band’s hallmark of grooving angularity is manifest, packing even more punch because it is partnered with direct pathos, as on tracks like “Driving By.” Melding the wailing riffiness of fellow Midwest native Billy Corgan at his best with the cool synthesizer of a hundred beloved 80’s soundtracks gone by, Sama Dams takes their distinctly left-field sound into anthem territory, and does it with audacious and tender authenticity.

Born and raised in the Midwest of America, founding members Sam and Lisa Adams met at college in Holland, Michigan and began collaborating soon after. They married in 2009 and moved to Oregon, pulled Westward by the fertile artistic soil of the Pacific Northwest. Landing in densely creative Portland two years later, that potential began to take shape in the form of a muscular four-piece built around Sam’s powerful and idiosyncratic songs.

However the tight-knit unit, comprised of housemates and friends, imploded shortly before recording the band’s first full-length album (No Vengeance), leaving behind raw emotions that fueled a stark new sound. The album hit, and ears in the hot local scene perked up. “When you hear No Vengeance, you’ll know that Sama Dams is no mere buzz band but a fierce, adventurous musical force to be reckoned with,” wrote tastemaker Ned Lannamann.

Comfort in Doubt, the band’s sophomore outing, was marked by maturing sensibilities and a more measured tone. Lisa came to the fore, penning the tasty and sinister “Dirty Work,” among others. The album took the band on their first headline tour of Europe, however, the tension that permeates even the title made it a bear to record. “I was kicking and screaming the whole time,” says Sam, who battled for control with long-time collaborator and producer Sebastian Rogers.

“Before recording Say It, we all sat down and said, how can we make this process better?” says Sam. That question was the beginning of a journey that brought the band to a new creative and collaborative peak.

“When you’re with someone for a long enough time, you can start exposing the things that you are afraid of, you can be more vulnerable,” says Lisa. Hence the title of the third album, which was picked up by California-based label Friendship Fever (Grandaddy, Neighbor Lady, Imaginary Tricks, Deep State).

While Lisa’s open blue eyes belie the complexity of Sama Dams’ music, the pensive pauses in her husband’s conversational style hint at the searching that draws the band forward. Lately, however, he says he favors a less heady approach. When asked to sum up the process of making Say It, Sam says simply, “Flow.”