Hand Habits / Mega Bog at The High Water Mark – Tickets – The High Water Mark – Portland, OR – March 27th, 2017

Hand Habits / Mega Bog at The High Water Mark

Mississippi Studios & Do503 Present a night of dreamy West Coast experimental pop

Hand Habits / Mega Bog at The High Water Mark

Black Belt Eagle Scout

Mon, March 27, 2017

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm

$10 ADV / $12 DOS

This event is 21 and over

Standing 

Hand Habits
Hand Habits
Meg Duffy hasn't stopped moving, working, or growing since she left her quiet childhood home in upstate New York. You can find her in the back of the van reading a book, quietly warming up backstage with some guitar workouts, or waiting tables at a neighborhood pizzeria. Though Meg didn't pick up the instrument until she was seventeen years old, her intuitive, naturalistic musicality and commitment to the craft of guitar playing have made an in demand collaborator and guitarist for countless indie acts (Kevin Morby, Mega Bog, Weyes Blood) and kept her between the road and the studio for almost three straight years. Like much of the richest art, Meg's LP debut Wildy Idle (Humble Before the Void) (Woodsist 2017) ​is many things at once. The record is a collection of songs written amidst the constant motion of touring, recording, and working part-time jobs; recorded at home in North East LA between other commitments, around the sounds of roommates cooking breakfast, and dogs pattering though an old craftsman house. Layered with Duffy's signature extended guitar techniques, poems read by friends, and musical contributions from contemporaries like Keven Lareau (Quilt), Avi Buffalo, Sheridan Riley, and others, the album combines striking visual storytelling and compelling melody with a deceptively light touch. Drawing on diverse influences ranging from novelist Iris Murdoch to Phil Elverum's seminal work under his Microphones moniker, this album is more than the sum of its parts. Like a folded paper fortune teller, each listen reveals a new, hidden truth about living, working, and falling in and out of love buried in the quietly beating heart of the record. Dark, pulsing tracks like the intoxicating "Bad Boy" sit comfortably beside sunny strummers like "All The While" with its bouncing bass line and beguiling lyrics. The thread that runs through all these songs is Duffy's voice, in turns languid and sweet, and always telling a story. Mixed and mastered by contemporary electronic music maestro M. Geddes Gengras, the result is an LP as hypnotic as Hand Habit's impossibly immersive live set, and filled with the same engaging blend of wild improvisation and perfect restraint. Expansive, atmospheric arrangements punctuated with intricate melodic details. This record is indoor music at its finest: listen in the morning, in bed with your partner, in the kitchen while you make coffee, at night when you read on the porch.
Mega Bog
Mega Bog
Mega Bog is the moniker of song-dribbler Erin Birgy, a Pacific Northwest rodeo child with an unmistakable laugh who was allegedly cursed upon conception. Over the past 8 years the band has stretched and wandered in a crescendo towards musical freedom. Now based in New York City, Birgy has adopted a band of wiggly jazz cartoons lifted from bands like Big Thief, iji, Big Eater, Causings, Hand Habits, Heatwarmer and others.

Melodies always lush, erotic and free. Chords always dissonant, abstract and evolutionary. On their 2013 album Gone Banana, Bog settled into their homemade cloud of pop and jazz. Spreading the discs around the world over countless tours of dim zones. On their new bug, Happy Together, Mega Bog leapfrogs further into the storm. Dizzying fusion of lounge, pop and bouncing rocks under poetic tantrums of love gone all the way wrong. Listen closer.
Black Belt Eagle Scout
Black Belt Eagle Scout
MOTHER OF MY CHILDREN
“Having this identity—radical indigenous queer feminist—keeps me going. My music and my identity come from the same foundation of being a Native woman.” Katherine Paul is Black Belt Eagle Scout, and after releasing an EP in 2014 Paul has wrapped up the band’s first full-length. Recorded in the middle of winter near her hometown in Northwest Washington, the landscape’s eerie beauty and Paul’s connection to it are palpable on Mother of My Children. Stemming from this place, the album traces the full spectrum of confronting buried feelings and the loss of what life was supposed to look like.
Growing up on a small Indian reservation, Paul’s family was focused on native drumming, singing, and arts. “Native American music is the foundation for all of my music,” Paul explains. With the support of her family and a handful of bootleg Hole and Nirvana VHS tapes, Paul taught herself how to play guitar. In 2007, Paul moved to Portland, OR, to attend school and get involved with the Rock ’n’ Roll Camp for Girls. Paul has switched between guitar and drums in an assortment of projects over the last decade, citing Forest Park as a particularly strong influence on how her songwriting has grown. “It was my introduction to post-rock,” Paul recalls, “From there, I was able to develop my own sound and style more.”
On Mother of My Children, Black Belt Eagle Scout tenderly blends post-rock with Paul’s earlier grunge influences and later, more confessional Pacific Northwest artists like Ô Paon and Mirah. The album begins with the singles “Soft Stud” and “Indians Never Die”, and on the latter, Paul’s message is clear: “It’s a call out to colonizers and those who don’t respect the Earth; they don’t care about the water, they don’t care about how they are destroying what is around them. Indigenous people are the protectors of this land, and others need to wake up and get on the same page.” The songs weave together to capture both the enduring and fleeting experiences of loss, frustration, and dreaming. The structures are traditional, but the lyrics don’t adhere to any format other than what feels right in the moment. “I don’t play music to write songs,” Paul explains, “I play music to process feelings, and sometimes what comes out of that is a song.” Paired with Paul’s clear and measured voice, each song leaves the listener feeling as if they were there when the song was written, the immediate, candid emotion tangible.
Mother of My Children is a life chapter gently preserved, and the access listeners have to such vulnerability feels special and generous. We are left wanting more, and all signs point to Black Belt Eagle Scout just getting started. The album is out on Good Cheer Records in August 2017.
—Alex Hebler