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Gritty Birds

An @xrayfm music interview podcast sharing the stories of today's music industry from the voices of working musicians and creatives from Jeni Wren Stottrup. West Coast and beyond.
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An XRAY.FM radio show and podcast all about the grit behind successful artists and creatives, from artist and producer Jeni Wren.

Sep 7, 2016

In the final installment of the Pickathon Series, we are going to hang out with Joe Casey of Protomartyr, relax with Ellen Kemper of Palehound and get sexy with Jamil Rashad of Boulevards. Photo: Jeni Wren Stottrup Produced and edited by Jeni Wren Stottrup Tracks: Born to Wine by Protomartyr, Molly and Cinnamon by Palehound and Got to Go by Boulevards Theme song: Lucky from Bryson Hanson Special thanks to Pickathon, XRAY.FM and Vortex Magazine

Sep 3, 2016

In the first installation of Gritty Birds: Live, Keisha Chiddick aka Blossom came into the studio before her Pickathon sets. Enjoy this bonus episode before the final installation of the Pickathon Series is released this week.

Sep 1, 2016

In Part 2 of the Pickathon series, we talk songwriting with punk pop experimentalist Thao Nguyen of Thao and the Get Down Stay Down. Then we head into the sky to talk with Guildworks, between Yo La Tengo and Jeff Tweedy's sets. With a special message for Thao from Tex Clark The Gritty Bird: Jeni Wren Stottrup Tracks: Astonished Man and Nobody Dies from A Man Apart by Thao and The Get Down Stay Down Recorded at Pickathon Music Festival 2016 with a Zoom H4n and XRAY.FM Mixed and Edited by Jeni Wren Stottrup Mastered by Gene Forte

Aug 23, 2016

Pickathon is like Disneyland, it's the happiest place on earth, with a different edge. In part one a 3 part special from the festival we talk with two rising artists, folk violin/fiddle duo 10 String Symphony out of Nashville Tennesee and rocker Ezra Furman. Plus, find out the burning question Ezra Furman super fan and Federal Investigator Zoe Kelleher had for the artist. Photo: Jeni Wren Stottrup Produced and edited by Jeni Wren Stottrup Tracks: Someone to be Good For and Deacon's Waltz from 10 String Symphony(Tasty Creek Records) Teddy I’m Ready Ready by Ezra Furman(Bar/None Records). Theme song: Lucky from Bryson Hanson Special thanks to Pickathon, XRAY.FM and Vortex Magazine

Aug 17, 2016

Sponsorship is about more than trading banners. TJ Annerino gets that with partnerships that include Pitchfork Music Festival, WBEZ public radio and the podcast Sound Opinions. It's about knowing who you are and building relationships that last. "It takes you about 10 seconds to realize that at 90% of live music you have an engaged music you have live audience that have paid a premium to be there. They’re looking for that experience. They look forward to that experience. So, in this case, in Goose Island case, Beer and Music – live music, they go pretty hand-in-hand. " Photo: Jeni Wren Stottrup Produced and edited by Jeni Wren Stottrup Edited by Jeni Wren Stottrup Tracks: Natural Villain by Twin Peaks and No Woman by Whitney Theme song: Lucky from Bryson Hanson Special thanks to XRay.FM, Regional Arts and Culture Council, Podcast Movement, Vortex Music Mag and Goose Island Brewing for making this episode possible.

Jul 29, 2016

Meet Dana Janssen, aka Dana Buoy. The "tropicore" artist spent a decade as a member of experimental group Akron/Family before striking out on his own. He's working on a new record and taking a fresh approach to life and health, having fun while he's at it. Photo: Jeni Wren Stottrup Produced and edited by Jeni Wren Stottrup Edited by Jeni Wren Stottrup Tracks: Island by Akron/Family, Isla Mujeras and Lets Start a War by Dana Buoy Theme song: Lucky from Bryson Hanson Sponsored by XRay.FM and Vortex Music Mag

Jul 21, 2016

On this week's episode of Gritty Birds, I talked with Portland favorites Genders. After 4 years together they've found their stride as a long term band, with the release of their upcoming album this fall. Get to know the lighthearted spirits of Maggie and Stephen and listen to their new single "Life is But a Dream". Photo: Todd Walberg Produced and edited by Jeni Wren Stottrup Edited by Jeni Wren Stottrup Tracks: Sugar Coat, Technicolor Dream and Life is But a Dream from Genders Theme song: Lucky from Bryson Hanson Sponsored by XRay.FM and Vortex Music Mag

Jun 30, 2016

In it's 18th year, NW festival Pickathon defies the usual expectations of what makes a festival great. With over 3,500 volunteers and set in the shadow of Mt Hood at Pendarvis Farm in Happy Valley, Oregon, it's a "beautiful thing". Here about Pickathon from the man who knows it best, found Zale Schoenborn. Tune in to find out about some of the changes afoot for this year's festival August 4-6 as well as a preview of who to look out for and songs from Adia Victoria and Blossom. Photo: Ty Segall at Woods Stage Photo credit: Drew Bandy and Pickathon Produced by Jeni Wren Stottrup Edited by Jeni Wren Stottrup Copy Editing by Alexis Kenyon Tracks: Dead Eyes by Adia Victoria and Video by Blossom Sponsored by XRay.FM and Vortex Music Mag

Jun 23, 2016

The Posies released their first album in 5 years this spring, following an emotional year that involved the loss of two members of the band. I met with founding member Ken Stringfellow at the tail end of their latest tour, where he shared the story of how the band found healing. Photo credit: Jeni Wren Stottrup Produced by Jeni Wren Stottrup and Alexis Kenyon Tracks: Unlikely Places, The Definition, Sound of Clouds First aired on XRay FM Special thanks to media sponsor Vortex Music Magazine

Jun 16, 2016

This week we’re talking to Megan Diana McGeorge, founder of Piano Push Play and the songwriter behind LEO. This summer Piano Push Play enters it’s 5th season, boasting 20 pianos that will find homes in public spaces around the city this summer. Starting with a simple idea and launching into a successful non-profit after taking a multi-year break from music, McGeorge is a force of nature and a rising voice in the NW music scene. Photo credit: Jeni Wren Stottrup Sound: Jeni Wren Stottrup Licensing: "Circulation" by Becca Schultz from Please Play Me and "Stopping to Start" by LEO with special thanks to Megan Diana McGeorge First aired on XRay FM Special thanks to media sponsor Vortex Music Magazine http://www.grittybirds.com jeniwrenmusic@gmail.com

Jun 8, 2016

This week we’re meeting Seattle Band, Deep Sea Diver, the love child of multi-instrumentalist and writer Jessica Dobson and husband Peter Mansen. With a long and storied history in the music industry: signed by Atlantic at 19 and years of performing with indie greats including The Shins, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Beck and Conor Oberst, Dobson has found finally her footing as a producer and artist with Deep Sea Diver’s latest full length Secrets, which was released on their label High Beam Records this February. Photo credit: Jeni Wren Stottrup Sound: Jeni Wren Stottrup, special thanks to John Neff Licensing: Special thanks to Deep Sea Diver for use of the track "Creatures of Comfort" First aired on XRay FM Special thanks to media sponsor Vortex Music Magazine

Jun 2, 2016

In the final episode of the Treefort series with DIY label Self Group, I spent time with San Francisco songwriter Sarah Bethe Nelson of Burger Records in a two part interview before her set at the Olympic and then again after her performance at the Gritty Birds showcase. Sound: Jeni Wren Stottrup and Rob Bartleson Licensing: Special thanks to Sarah Bethe Nelson and Burger Records for use of the tracks “Start Somewhere” and “Uneasy” Special thanks: Treefort Music Festival, Self Group and Vortex Music Mag First aired on: XRay FM

May 26, 2016

In the penultimate episode of the Treefort series with DIY label Self Group and photographer Ingrid Renan, I settled in for an intimate conversation with electronic artist and creator Christopher Willits. Taking a holistic approach to art, Willits first began exploring the tech side of music as student after getting introduced to real time processing in the nineties. ““If I can do that with a computer I will take the time to figure out all this stuff” Willits realized, and has been actively pioneering music technology since. His current tech project, ENVELOP seeks to break the mold of how we have traditionally listened to music, with a mobile studio he is helping build in Salt Lake City and a permanent space in San Francisco. Welcome to Gritty Birds Christopher Willits Find out more about Christopher Willits and ENVELOP at: christopherwillits.com, overlap.org, and envelop.us Photo credit: Alingo Loh Sound: Jeni Wren Stottrup and Rob Bartleson Licensing: Special thanks to Christopher Willits for use of the tracks “Now” and “Wide” Special thanks: Treefort Music Festival, Self Group and Vortex Music Mag First aired on: XRay FM www.grittybirds.com @grittybirds iTunes, soundcloud, facebook, twitter, instagram, youtube

May 18, 2016

In the latest episode of my Treefort series with DIY label Self Group and photographer Ingrid Renan, I met Israeli DIY producer and songwriter Tamar Aphek. Making a name for herself as half of the duos Carusella and Shoshana, as well as the founder of Besides That Festival, Aphek stepped out as a solo artist two years ago. Low-fi and high affecting, she is a virtuoso on guitar, a fact that stands out in her live performances. Currently she is at Cannes Film Festival, supporting the Israeli dram-comedy she scored, One Week and a Day, which The Hollywood reporter called “a combination of modern percussion and more classical rhythms, (it)musically evokes the imbalance and longing for a return to normal that the characters are feeling and working on." We sat down together, with her drummer Yuval Garin, while they toured the US, including stops at SXSW and Treefort and Portland, Oregon. Photo credit: Ingrid Renan Sound: Jeni Wren Stottrup and Rob Bartleson Licensing: Special thanks to Tamar Aphek for the tracks “Dream Inside a Dream” and “No Time for Love” Special thanks: Treefort Music Festival, Self Group and Vortex Musi Mag First aired on: XRay FM www.grittybirds.com @grittybirds iTunes, soundcloud, facebook, twitter, instagram

May 16, 2016

In the fourth episode of my Treefort series with DIY label Self Group and photographer Ingrid Renan, I sat down with Diarrhea Planet for a raucous interview that shows off the personality a band who is known for it’s off the wall high energy sets. Arriving with tight time, it was a short but sweet interview with the band who are releasing their third full length , Turn to Gold, recorded with Grammy award winning engineer Vance Powell on Infinity Cat Recordings June 10th. Stay tuned for later in the episode for a bonus interview from the Gritty Birds Treefort day party with Fog Father as well as a listen to their new single, Trapped in a Web. Photo credit: Ingrid Renan Sound: Jeni Wren Stottrup and Rob Bartleson Licensing: Special thanks to Diarrhea Planet for the tracks "Life Pass" and "Let it Out" Fog Father for "Trapped in a Web" and And And And for "Whiskey Shakes" Special thanks: Treefort Music Festival, Self Group First aired on: XRay FM www.grittybirds.com @grittybirds iTunes, soundcloud, facebook, twitter, instagram

May 9, 2016

In the third episode of my Treefort series with DIY label Self Group and photographer Ingrid Renan, I talked to Seattle-based punk band Wimps about gentrification, their favorite Seattle haunts and their advice for artists coming up. Their latest full length, Suitcase came out late last year with Kill Rock Stars. Keeping a light and self deprecating vibe to infectious punk, the band has been busy on tour and will be playing Sasquatch Music Festival this coming May. Photo credit: Ingrid Renan Sound: Jeni Wren Stottrup and Rob Bartleson Licensing: Special thanks to Kill Rocks Stars for use of the tracks Old Guy and Take it As it Comes from Wimps and to Sup Pop for use of Eye of a Hurricane and Lady of the Arc from Kyle Craft. Special thanks: Treefort Music Festival, Self Group First aired on: XRay FM www.grittybirds.com @grittybirds iTunes, soundcloud, facebook, twitter, instagram

Apr 27, 2016

In the second part of the Treefort Series, I interviewed Lizzie Ellison of Radiation City. Ellison was the first artist I tested out the interview series on over a year and a half ago, one dark fall night at a Bananastand KPSU all ages showcase. At the time, the band had just finished much of the work on their third full length, Synesthetica. Portland staples, the band and the album went through many changes as the group tried out new approaches to recording and shifted their lineup, using home studio live takes with recordings at John Vanderslice’s studio in San Francisco that were then fused with the help of Modest Mouse producer Jeremy Shearer. The album, released last spring on Polyvinyl records is an evolution of their signature sound, creating sensual textures and drama with a stronger focus on pop. I sat down with Lizzie to talk about the origins of the band, made up of Cameron Spies, Randy Bermose and Patty King, and the recording of Synesthetica between their US and European Tours in what will be the first of many interviews with the artist. Photo credit: Ingrid Renan Sound: Jeni Wren Stottrup and Rob Bartleson Licensing: Special thanks to Radiation City for use of their tracks "Juicy" an d" Special thanks: Treefort Music Festival, Self Group First aired on: XRay FM www.grittybirds.com @grittybirds iTunes, soundcloud, facebook, twitter, instagram

Apr 13, 2016

Recently I went to Treefort Music Festival in beautiful Boise, Idaho; partnering with DIY label Self Group and photographer Ingrid Renan, to interview national and international artists about finding success without losing your ethic in today’s changing landscape and their advice for young artists just starting out in the industry. We’re launching the Treefort Series with an interview with native Oregonians, LA transplants and self described “pop-punks” YACHT. Jokingly calling themselves “Too old to be new and too young to be old”, Claire Evans, Jona Bechtolt and Rob Kieswetter released their latest record ”I Thought The Future Would Be Cooler” last fall on Downtown Records, an infectious dance album steeped in sci-fi lore. They are currently on tour with M83, including two sold out nights, April 25th and 26th at Portland’s Roseland Theatre before heading to festivals on the East Coast including Walking Windows in Vermont and Moogfest in North Carolina. The day after I caught their stunning main stage set at Treefort, I hung out with the trio, one of the most inspiring conversations I’ve had on the podcast so far. Fusing tech and music, the artists of YACHT give off a collective vibe, equally as present as their collaboration as a band, including projects like their app “5 every day” and Claire’s upcoming Vice network TV series as editor for Vice’s tech blog, Motherboard. Truly fearless and ardent Vegans with a favorite restaurant in virtually every city around the globe, they are a band of makers that stand apart from the rest of the crowd. Welcome to Gritty Birds, YACHT! Photo credit: Ingrid Renan Sound: Jeni Wren Stottrup and Rob Bartleson Licensing: Special thanks to YACHT Special thanks: Treefort Music Festival, Self Group First aired on: XRay FM http://www.grittybirds.com @grittybirds iTunes, soundcloud, facebook, twitter, instagram

Sep 2, 2015

Papi Fimbres is nothing less than a local legend. The ever positive drummer and dreamer of dreams, who is no less than 10 bands depending on the day, lives his life honestly and to the point. Before leaving in late August for a year long sabbatical with his wife Shana to her home country of Germany to perform as their new duo Dreckig, Papi sat down with me for a candid conversation about everything from naming his bands to his out of body experiences playing drums. Just like we aren’t saying goodbye but see you later to Papi as he heads to Germany, I say “see you later” as Gritty Birds end our season format and starts airing monthly. Thanks everybody for a great season and see you next month! Recorded and mixed at Open Roads Studios by Jeni Wren Stottrup Produced by Jeni Wren Stottrup Sponsored by Vortex Music Magazine Underscore "Bruxo" by Glass Knees http://www.grittybirds.com http://www.vrtxmag.com/grittybirds http://www.facebook.com/grittybirds For all inquiries: grittybirds@gmail.com

Aug 26, 2015

"Everyone should have a chance to make their art and tell their story" according to Mac Smiff, editor of online hip hop magazine We Out Here. Starting his first journal at 4, after his older sister taught him to read, Smiff has always had a way with words. Inspired by the narrative in hip hop, his time as editor in chief has seen a burst in the ongoing growth in the scene in Portland, despite racial and police issues surrounding the community. As a vocal advocate for change, he has experienced as the forefront racism at his front door, regularly putting the spotlight on issues around the cities. These experiences are bringing forward the stories that Mac states claims are important for our history, stories that are bringing Portland increasingly hip hop to the center stage. In the penultimate episode of season one, we sit down with Smiff about his story, talk his favorite artists and influences in hip hop through the decades and about what is going on with Portland Hip Hop today and going forward. Recorded and mixed at Open Roads Studios by Jeni Wren Stottrup Produced by Jeni Wren Stottrup Sponsored by Vortex Music Magazine Underscore "Razor Tongue Saltine" by Mic Capes http://www.grittybirds.com http://www.vrtxmag.com/grittybirds http://www.facebook.com/grittybirds For all inquiries: grittybirds@gmail.com

Jul 28, 2015

One of the questions faced by every artist is how to sustain yourself financially. Marmoset Music, based in Portland Oregon, has sought to answer this question, connecting artists and advertising through sync licensing. In this week’s episode, I interviewed Brandon Day, the company’s artist wrangler and talent scout. Brandon shared his insights on the ins and outs of licensing, some of his favorite artists today and where to find the best bike rides in the Portland area. Recorded and mixed at Open Roads Studios by Jeni Wren Stottrup Produced by Jeni Wren Stottrup Sponsored by Vortex Music Magazine Underscore "Disbelief" by The Papers http://www.grittybirds.com http://www.vrtxmag.com/grittybirds http://www.facebook.com/grittybirds For all inquiries: grittybirds@gmail.com

Jul 20, 2015

At 25, Alicia J Rose owned San Francisco. Moving there on a film scholarship and finding her legs as a DJ at KUSP, talent buyer at The Chameleon bringing in iconic bands such as The Jesus Lizard, Neil Hamburger and Courtney Love and touring as an artist under the name Miss Murgatroid, she was living the rockstar life. But, the question remained: “Did I do this or fall into a funny zeitgeist?” Thus at 25, Rose left her California roots and moved to Oregon for a fresh start. Now in her 20th year as a “Bornegonian”, Rose has proven herself to be the ultimate renaissance woman. From working as a founding partner for Nail Distribution, Doug Fir Lounge and Mississippi Studios to becoming an acclaimed music video director, she is just now finding her true voice as a film director with her upcoming web series “The Benefits of Gusbandry”, which is currently raising funds on Seed and Spark. The Gritty Birds Podcast sat down with Rose, to hear the ultimate story of new beginnings, talk about her upcoming show and listen to a preview from her new band “Moon Tiger”. Recorded and mixed at Open Roads Studios by Jeni Wren Stottrup Produced by Jeni Wren Stottrup Sponsored by Vortex Music Magazine Underscore "Killer Hips" by Shadowland from the PDX Pop Now! 2015 compilation Photo by Lake James Perriguey http://www.grittybirds.com http://www.vrtxmag.com/grittybirds http://www.facebook.com/grittybirds For all inquiries: grittybirds@gmail.com

Jul 14, 2015

In 2006, Jared Mees launched a record label with his wife Brianne to put out his first record, If You Wanna Swim With The Sharks..., by his band Jared Mees & The Grown Children. The two fine arts majors originally met at Oxford, fell in love and dreamed of creating a space where they could help their artistic friends. After launching the label, shortly thereafter came a store under the same name, which today features goods and crafts made by local artists. Working in restaurants during the night and at the shop and label during the day, the couple learned as they went along, becoming one of the most recognizable labels and brands in the Northwest: Tender Loving Empire—now with two boutique storefronts and a third one announced last week. Continuously innovative, Mees recently launched a new merchandising company, Generous, which connects a pay-what-you-want system to the sale of items like artisan goods and music, while giving a portion back to charity. (Vortex even uses the technology to collect subscriptions and gives 5 percent back to The Jeremy Wilson Foundation.) The Gritty Birds sat down with Mees to talk about the ins and outs of running a label, his experiences as a musician, how the evolving industry has opened up new opportunities, and the joys of doing music for the art of it because "music enhances life." Recorded at Mountain Air Studios by Mike Woodman Johnson Mixed at Open Roads Studios by Jeni Wren Stottrup Produced by Jeni Wren Stottrup Sponsored by Vortex Music Magazine Underscore "It Came to Me" by The Domestics http://www.grittybirds.com http://www.vrtxmag.com/grittybirds http://www.facebook.com/grittybirds For all inquiries: grittybirds@gmail.com

Jul 7, 2015

2 1/2 years ago, Brandon Nikola, an underground house show promoter and musician, heard of an opportunity to run the bar and events at Habesha. "I needed a spot for a show because we were having too many and our neighbors were gonna kill us", Nikola said. Nikola became Habesha itself, the sole employee, producing hundreds of shows while acting as the bartender, booker, sound tech and janitor. A year and a half ago Anthony Lusk came on board as well, a role Brandon describes as "door guy/sound tech/savior". As other smaller underground venues in the SE and around the city started closing: Langano Lounge, Blue Monk, Slabtown and recently Alhambra, to name a few, Habesha's small space took up the slack with a fury. On any given Friday night, you could catch some of the hippest bands in Portland playing to a very packed and sweaty room. Mascaras, Grammies Old Light, Minden, Talkative, Ah God, Souvenier Driver, Grandparents, Johanna Warren, Consumer, Hollow Sidewalk, Havania Whaal, Sister Mamie Foreskin amongst hundreds of others. The emotion of the room, which was named as one of the top bars in Portland by WW this spring, was always one of safety. You could see Holland Andrew's Like a Villain to a packed room and hear a pin drop or dance with abandon to frantic light displays with Talkative and Ah God. Through it all, Brandon was always there, with a hug and a PBR, the dollar brushed aside. I sat down with Brandon the Sunday after Habesha closed for an emotional interview to talk about his years at the venue, it's highs and lows, favorite shows, what can be done to keep our small venues open and the incident the final night of Karaoke that closed the venue early. Featuring music by some of Brandon's favorite bands and voicemails from listeners telling their favorite Habesha memory. Recorded and mixed at Open Roads Studios by Jeni Wren Stottrup produced by Jeni Wren Stottrup sponsored by Vortex Music Magazine Photo by Todd Walberg Underscore, in order: "Work Better" by Consumer "Follow" by Joanna Warren "What's More Than Appropriate" by Minden "Whiskey Shakes" by And And And "Pink and Black" by Old Light "RBK" by Grammies Photo by Todd Walberg www.grittybirds.com www.vrtxmag.com/grittybirds www.facebook.com For all inquiries: grittybirds@gmail.com

Jun 28, 2015

Talent buyer, artistic director, curator bassist and radio DJ are just a few of the titles that Portland tastemaker and self described "gate keeper" Theo Craig claims to his name. After a particularly spicy breakup, Craig set his bass down for years, until one fateful night at Pickathon, a washboard, Pendleton blanket and late night jam reconnected him to the passion he thought he's lost as an artist. Hardly keeping to himself while he wasn't playing, Craig made a name for himself as the man behind Rontoms Sunday Sessions, XRay FM's Take it the Bridge and as artistic director for PDX Pop Now!, after moving here from Seattle, where he was the sponsorship director for KEXP. Today, he continues to be a vital piece of the Portland community, breaking out not only new bands, but breaking out in his own bands, psych trio Mascaras and backing psych pop chantreuse Cat Hoch. We sat down to talk about his projects, finding lost things, our favorite festivals and his advice for artists. Recorded and mixed at Open Roads Studios by Jeni Wren Stottrup produced by Jeni Wren Stottrup sponsored by Vortex Music Magazine Underscore "Desert Masks" by Mascaras http://www.mascaras.com http://www.grittybirds.com http://www.vrtxmag.com/grittybirds http://www.facebook.com For all inquiries: grittybirds@gmail.com

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