Today we’re “amped” to launch the deafening roar of Room 205 with shoegazing darksiders The KVB. While on a recent tour of the Western United States, this London-based two-piece moved heaven and earth to make their wonderfully meditative 3-part episode possible. Working with award-winning documentary filmmaker Alix Lambert (The Mark of Cain), cinematographer Conor Simpson, engineer Griffin Rodriguez and editor Forrest Borie, this exclusive live performance of “Captives” employs a simple set of colored gels, soft shadows, playful synth melodies, one cranky drum machine, one enormously loud Jazzmaster, and two unflinching performers. Welcome to the bracingly Zen-like inner-world of The KVB.
The KVB is the prolific audio/visual outlet of artists Nicholas Wood and Kat Day. Combining goth-tinged, abstract imagery with a love of shoegaze guitars, minimal synths, reverb-drenched vocals and rigid beats, Nicholas initially started The KVB as a solo project. After frequent collaborations throughout 2011, Kat Day joined permanently on synths and visuals. Fast on the heels of several EPs and limited-edition cassettes, 2012 saw the release of the band’s acclaimed first LP, Always Then, soon followed by tours of the UK, EU, and Western US. In early 2013, The KVB released Immaterial Visions via NYC’s Cititrax imprint. If your musical tastes veer toward hypnotic minimal wave and snarling post-punk, The KVB will definitely satisfy your darkest Psychocandy-esque cravings.
Check back May 13th for a new performance by The KVB
We’re so excited to announce that Room 205 has been selected as an Official Honoree of the 17th Annual Webby Awards in the Music category. Special thanks to all of our participating artists and collaborators for their contributions to the series!
Be sure to check out all Room 205 episodes on YouTube and stay tuned for our upcoming episode with The KVB, premiering next Monday.
Today we’re excited to kick off new episode of Room 205 with the legendary Redd Kross. For this exclusive performance of “Uglier” from the band’s acclaimed 2012 album Researching The Blues (MERGE Records), director and lifelong Redd Kross fan Tim Manning and set designer Tamarra Younis re-imagined Room 205 as a brightly-lit, exceedingly cramped inconvenience store bursting with big power-pop riffs, rad hair moves, and a soon-to-be-classic Redd Kross song. We hope you enjoy this modern ode to hyper-colored ugliness lovingly crafted in our weird little room where almost anything is possible.
Redd Kross have always been too good, too perfect, too true, to believe. Mythic. Did they really open for Black Flag? Could Jeff and Steven McDonald really have been born and raised in the Beach Boys’ hometown of Hawthorne, California, and did Jeff really see the Beatles live in 1966? Is that really their hair? Could Researching the Blues, their first studio album in 15 years, be the best start-to-finish Redd Kross record ever? Somehow, the answer to all the above is improbably, wonderfully YES. Here’s to their beautiful reunion! Redd Kross Forever!
Look for the second Red Kross x Room 205 performance, to launch Monday, April 1st.
While on a recent US tour with Grammy-winning American violinist Hilary Hahn, celebrated Düsseldorf-born piano composer Hauschka took a time-out to create this very special 3-part performance series with esteemed director Greg Hunt, set designer Tamarra Younis, and sound engineer J. Clark. Employing elements of magical realism, prepared piano, playful improvisation and inspired collaboration, this episode embodies everything we’ve come to love about Room 205.
Hauschka is the musical alias of acclaimed modernist German composer Volker Bertelmann. Over seven albums he’s explored the creative possibilities of the “prepared” piano by modifying its innards with an assortment of odds and ends (such as gaffer tape, aluminum foil, bells and ping pong balls), transforming the pure tuned instrument into mini rhythm sections. With his most recent solo release – 2011’s Salon Des Amateurs – he’s crafted an astonishingly creative piano-and-percussion homage to electronic dance music. The results are vivid, unconventional pieces made in a spirit of inspired research-enthusiasm.
Look for the second Hauschka x Room 205 performance, “Silver Lake,” to launch Monday, February 18th.
During the recent MusicFest NW in Portland, we put our heads together with friend and longtime MFNW producer Trevor Solomon to curate “Room 205 Live.” After filming more than 30 episodes and 90 videos in a tiny 15×20-foot rehearsal space, we wanted to have a go at collaborating in front of a live audience. Held at venerable downtown venue Ted’s, (formerly Berbati’s Pan), the night showcased five of our favorite past collaborators from Room 205, including Blouse, Crystal Antlers, Craft Spells, Tropic of Cancer and Chelsea Wolfe.
Based in Portland, Oregon, Blouse is comprised of members Charlie Hilton, Patrick Adams, Jacob Portrait, and Paul Roper. Here we find them swooning elegantly through the standout track, “Videotapes,” from the 2011 debut album, BLOUSE, on Captured Tracks. Wildly pitch-shifted and wonderfully out-of-whack, this song is near-perfect in almost every imaginable way. Enjoy.
We’re excited to present this week’s episode of Room 205 featuring Chelsea Wolfe. After filming more than 30 episodes and 90 videos in a tiny 15×20-foot rehearsal space, we put our heads together with friend and longtime MFNW producer Trevor Solomon to curate “Room 205 Live” held at venerable downtown venue Ted’s, (formerly Berbati’s Pan) during this year’s MusicfestNW. The night featured some of our favorite Room 205 collaborators, including Chelsea Wolfe, Craft Spells, Crystal Antlers, Tropic of Cancer and Blouse. In this episode, Chelsea Wolfe performs “Noorus,” a track from her first LP, The Grime and The Glow.
Northern California native Chelsea Wolfe’s sound is best described with broad juxtaposing strokes: elemental and intense, ancient yet modern, radiant, dark, intimate and expansive. Hues of black metal and deep blues inform her ever-evolving electric folk. Wolfe’s voice haunts and soothes, revealing the unlikely truths and beauty hidden in life’s darker corners. Whether stripped bare or fully backed, Wolfe and company carry a serious heaviness of sound offset by that ever-present counterweight: transcendence of spirit.
This week’s episode of Room 205 filmed during MFNW in Portland, OR, features an exclusive first performance of “More Alone”, the new track from Los Angeles-based Tropic of Cancer. Tomorrow, an alternate live version of the track will release as a split 12” with HTRK on Ghostly International’s Part-Time Punks Radio Sessions series.
Tropic Of Cancer is the solo project of Camella Lobo. Though her music has been labeled gothic, shoegaze and drone pop, Lobo’s take on her influences is anything but nostalgic. Tropic Of Cancer has managed to imbue its own elusive gaze and craft a strangely beautiful and intoxicating sound in the wake of its predecessors. Formerly a duo with minimal electronic artist Silent Servant (Juan Mendez), Tropic Of Cancer has been stoking a slow-burning cult following since its first EP (The Dull Age) on Berlin-based label, Downwards in 2009. The Sorrow of Two Blooms, an EP released in 2011 on UK imprint Blackest Ever Black, catapulted the band into the underground spotlight. Since then, Lobo has released a handful of acclaimed recordings on Mannequin Records, Sleeperhold Publications and Ghostly International. Lobo performs live with assistance from Taylor Burch of the band DVA DAMAS.
To sum it up, this song rules. Tropic of Cancer’s first full-length album is due early 2013 on Blackest Ever Black.
In this week’s episode of Room 205, we present Craft Spells performing “Love Well Spent” at last month’s Room 205 Live showcase at MusicFest NW. After filming more than 30 episodes and 90 videos in a tiny 15×20-foot rehearsal space, we wanted to have a go at collaborating in front of a live audience. We put our heads together with friend and longtime MFNW producer Trevor Solomon to curate “Room 205 Live” held at venerable downtown venue Ted’s, (formerly Berbati’s Pan). The night featured some of our favorite Room 205 visitors, including Craft Spells, Crystal Antlers, Tropic of Cancer, Chelsea Wolfe and Blouse.
Craft Spells began as the bedroom project of Justin Vallesteros. Holed up in his Stockton, CA home, rolling tape while winter beat the bushes outside, Vellesteros crafted a decidedly 80s strain of sentimental indie-pop; chiming guitars, atmospheric synths, and delicate drum-machines. Vallesteros now resides in Seattle and fronts a full band comprised of friends and serious shredders. They make records. They tour Europe. And they write very, very good songs. As we said in their previous Room 205 episode, if you love Felt, The Smiths, Echo & The Bunnymen, and the beautiful monotone drone of Ian Curtis, then Craft Spells might soon be your favorite nuevo-new romantics.
Watch Crystal Antlers perform “Persephone” at the Room 205 Live showcase during the Musicfest NW festival.
Last month while at MusicFest NW in Portland, we put our heads together with friend and longtime MFNW producer Trevor Solomon to curate “Room 205 Live.” After filming more than 30 episodes and 90 videos in a tiny 15×20-foot rehearsal space, we wanted to have a go at collaborating in front of a live audience. Held at venerable downtown venue Ted’s, (formerly Berbati’s Pan), the night showcased five featured artists from Room 205, including Crystal Antlers, Craft Spells, Tropic of Cancer, Chelsea Wolfe and Blouse. To document this very special night, we worked with director Greg Hunt, DP Greg Schmitt, and audio engineer Griffin Rodriguez. No overdubs, no second takes. 100% raw live weirdness.
For the next five weeks we’ll debut one performance per week from each Room 205 Live artist. Today’s premiere episode features a performance from Crystal Antlers, who originally visited Room 205 in 2010. The Room 205 Live showcase at MFNW marked the debut of the band’s new blazer, “Persephone.”
We hope you’ll enjoy watching our experiment as much as we’ve enjoyed making it. Huge thanks to the performing artists, MFNW and the good people of PDX, as well to production manager Nathan Ostrander, in-house engineer Dave Hite and booker Kenric Ashe at Ted’s.