Alt Rock

The Inside Scoop on Jeff's Plasma Blast IV

Jeff’s Plasma Blast is happening this week! Plasma Blast has been a popular mini-fest ever since its inception in 2016. For a look at what to expect this year, we spoke to founder Rocko Zevenbergen about all the details, and what he hopes people can get out of attending.

The Deli Portland: What can people expect to see when they show up on Thursday?

People can expect a whole lot of ripper groups that have taken the Portland underground by storm! We have an amazingly diverse selection of acts, we're expecting a vast variety of scenes crossing over at this show. You can also expect plenty of info about Bad Taste Video's first feature film, "I Need You Dead!" and how the money from the event will be supporting it!

This is the fourth Plasma Blast! How has it evolved over the years?

When we started Plasma Blast it was originally a festival attached to Gage Nelson, Gavin Houck, and I's previous musical endeavor Skelevision. I did most of the heavy lifting for Jeff's and so I've decided to continue it post-Skelevision. In year's past we've done a pretty heavy focus on indie rock tunage, however I wanted to shake it up this year. This time we have rock accompanied by groups featuring Hip Hop, Neo-Soul, Powerviolence, and more!

You have a really packed lineup. How did you go about deciding which artists would be playing?

Jeff's is always about who I've worked with or noticed since the previous year's fest. Who are the artists that I've seen perform and just been blown away by? This year was especially interesting as the show is a fundraiser for my first feature film, so everyone performing is doing so solely in support of that. It's truly an honor beyond comprehension.

Is there any particular artist(s) whose sets you're really looking forward to?

Some groups I'm having on due to the hype I've heard around them. I've actually yet to see Snake Dance perform but from what I've heard I'm very excited. At the end of the night one of my best friend's labels SWEAM will be featured. They really harness the modern hip hop slap that I love and I'm stoked to see them tear the house down. I'd also really encourage people to get here early as our first three groups, Agricultural Development, Yuvees, and Kno Knuckle (featuring Gavin & Gage of Skelevision!), are easily some of the most enthralling projects in the scene right now.

The American Legion is a great local resource for artists hoping to put on more accessible shows. What relationship does Post 134 have to Jeff's Plasma Blast?

Every year Jeff's Plasma Blast has taken place at the Legion (not counting the "fiasco" of Jeff's II at the Hawthorne Theater). The Legion has always had open arms to us and we appreciate and respect the venue to no end. Just last month I worked with them to throw a fundraiser show for their space and as a result they are letting 100% of all door money go to the film. The Legion has always, and will continue to be, the best spot in Portland for bands to take the stage at any age and at any point in their band's career. If you haven't booked with Legion, I'd highly recommend it, they are very flexible and accommodating and have a staff that really care about supporting independent art.

You’re also raising funds for a local feature film called "I Need You Dead!” What are your plans for this project, and how can other artists get involved?

"I Need You Dead!" tells the story of a young punk by the name of DOOD. During a moment of total teenage angst, he births a fleshy hairball of a Creature. It is a manifestation of DOOD's most self-deprecative thoughts and impulses. He must find some way to rid of this Creature... before it consumes his entire being! Supporting us on this satirical take on depression is President of Troma Entertainment and creator of The Toxic Avenger, Lloyd Kaufman, who is endorsing the film. We also have special effects master Eric Fox down in LA currently creating our practical Creature puppet in his MorbFX Lab! The film is currently in pre-production and is open to anyone who wants to get involved. In Portland, I often don't see opportunities to get involved in an underground film project such as this, so I'm very excited to be able to offer one to people. If you want to be on our cast or crew simply email me at rocko.badtaste@gmail.com.

Are there any other things you hope will come out of Plasma Blast 4?

At the end of the day I throw shows because I love seeing the new faces. When some high-school kid wanders into a space like this and gets their mind blown by local music, a supportive kind scene, and a safe space where one can express themselves to the fullest degree, I bask in that. I also hope the more seasoned artists of our scene get a chance to meet the other groups I've paired them with! I like mixing my bills up and introducing new groups to others. It wasn't too long ago I started booking one of my best friend's, rapper Este, with a bunch of my rock friends and now I swear he's performing at every rock house show in Portland (and killing it too might I add)! Lastly, my own solo musical endeavor Rocko N' Roll will be playing, it's our second show and I'm excited to play in front of Jeff's notoriously amped-up crowd. It should be one hell of a Plasma Blast!

Jeff's Plasma Blast is this Thursday, March 14th. Doors open at 5, and it's $5-10 to get in. Check out the promo video for "I Need You Dead" below.

 

 -By Avril Carrillo

   

Upright Man bring their psych rock to BK Bazaar on 03.15

Channeling a sound reminiscent of forward looking artists like Radiohead and Pink Floyd, NYC-based band Upright Man molds a signature psych-rock style propelled by a traditional guitar, bass, and drums set up. In their 2017 debut self-titled album, the trio consisting of Aidan Dolan (guitar/vocals), Nick Katz (bass/vocals), and Max Yassky (drums/vocals) flaunts  an assortment of openings for each song that range from punchy and overdriven basslines to swiftly picked guitar riffs. Songs like "Ecstacy" and "Agorognostic" soothe with ambient verses and then explode into hard-charging choruses that show off the band’s authentic sound. In songs like "Say What You Mean" you can hear the folk influences of Led Zeppelin’s groundbreaking second album, and yet, through all these changes the three New Yorkers remain themselves. The album’s title track (which double as the band's names, since the record is self-titled) is a hard-hitting classic rock ode that truly crystallizes the group’s versatility. Upright Man will be taking the stage at Brooklyn Bazaar on March 15th. - Rene Cobar

   

Push To Shove

Push To Shove is planning to release their debut EP later this month, but you can currently stream the EP’s first single, “Judgment”, below. This is the Alt Rock sound of Thomas Cothran (Rhythm Guitar/Vocals), Ethan Johnson (Bass/Vocals), Heathen (Drums), and Erick Zuniga (Lead Guitar).

You can help Push to Shove celebrate the release of their debut EP on March 23rd at The Store with ChinaRose and Beastii.

   

New Track: "Better" - Caracara

Caracara is getting ready to release its new EP, Better, digitally (March 29) and on vinyl (April 14) via Memory Music. The record label is run by producer extraordinaire Will Yip, who also sat behind the boards for these latest batch of recordings. The album opener and title track laments over past memories before unleashing a blissfully cathartic conclusion. Full of feels and angst, the Philly quartet's single also features Mannequin Pussy's Marisa Dabice on backing vocals. (Photo by Ashley Gellman)

   

Argentina:The Land of Silver Shows Up at SXSW

Argentina worships its rock stars and puts a premium on music culture, which makes it no surprise that the Argentine delegation of artists arriving for SXSW 2019 are passionate and inventive. Casa Argentina is set up at 78 Rainey street but you can catch these artists all over Austin starting Monday.

 Capsula 

A swirl of Bowie, the Cramps and Sonic Youth, this trio has injected a psych-glam agent into a distorted garage host - and the fever is contagious.

 

Boom Boom Kid 

The Iconoclast frontman from Fun People is off on his own and stirring up crowds with his Bono-like vocals and Perry Farrell antics.

 

Amor Elefante 

Sensuality mixes with psych rock elements as this heavily female group pours their hearts into the music.

 

Tirman Kid 

Inspired by the new wave of dream and psych pop artists, Tirman Kid rescues the sounds of the '80s wtih reverberation and synthesizers.

 

Silvina Moreno 

An excellent musician, composer, arranger and singer with a gifted voice and superb performance. Her music is a combination between pop and alternative sounds.