I was invited by Mia Chemello of the band Coloring Electric Like to attend a special event called The Lunar Collective at The Foundry. The evening was billed as “A female oriented evening, featuring dark music and feminine art”.
The Foundry is a shared art space located at 1127 SE 10th Ave, and it’s wild technicolor mural on the front is easy to spot from the street. As I approached the door I felt the ground trembling. Mia was pumping up some heavy beats, and it was so loud it was shaking the entire building. As I opened the door, the first thing I witnessed was was a strong woman hanging from chains suspended from the ceiling, performing aerial acrobatics.
Inside The Foundry was a long hallway filled with a smorgasbord of art, from painting to sculptures to projections. Local artists include Black Moth Printing, Scott Wray, Ophelia Woods, Six, and Moriah West, who also performed with the first act, Xibling.
Xibling is a duo featuring Moriah and her partner, Julian Thieme. They describe their music as “Experimental-Pop’ing Analogue-Synthesized Post-PostPunk-Poetry.” While Julian focused intently on his arsenal of computers and gadgets, Moriah gyrated to the beats and blasted power vocals. The music took us into their post-apocalyptic world with songs like “Soldier” and “Ash and Fear.” New to the Portland music scene, this duo is definitely on their way to being noticed.
Up next was Coloring Electric Like, a shoegaze act who is quite well known on the Portland music circuit. Guitarist Benjamin Bowman creates magical landscapes of sound while Mia plays keyboards and sings. Their music is both dangerous and comforting all at once.
The last band up was called Photona. This band is sonically powerful and visually stunning, fronted by singer Outer Stace, guitarist/sound wizard Phono, and drummer XavierX. Photona’s previous material was a bit darker with songs like “Haunted Spaceship in Space” and “Packed Away,” but since the addition of Phono to the act, the sound is changing. Phono comes from a background of producing house beats for dance clubs, and his influence is revealed in new songs like “You Look Like Warhol” and their latest, “Overdoser.” Outer Stace stared down the crowd with ferocity and belted out melodies with an intensity that kept the crowd on it’s toes.
DJ Tabby West took over as the evening wrapped up, keeping the mood alive as the guests mingled with the artists.
This was the first such event at The Foundry, and due it’s overwhelming success, we can be sure there will be more events like this one in the future. We are so lucky to live in a city like Portland that offers so much room for creativity and diversity. Support local music!
Scott “Uncle Scotty” Hammond has been a radio show host for over 20 years. He brought his internet radio station, Radio Hot Tub, to Portland and has been a strong supporter of the local music scene. He currently does live shows featuring local rock bands alternating Friday mornings on Freeform Portland.