Portland’s Genders new album Get Lost

I’m lucky to have friends with amazing taste in music. Without them, I never would have listened to Oregonian band Genders. Recently back from tour with Built to Spill, they returned to Portland for a release show for their latest album Get Lost.

The album starts like a cool summer night: windchimes on the porch, the wind represented by dreamy “ooh”s and a sense of loneliness as one sits with a cigarette on the front step. “Something To Get You By” exemplifies the album well, showcasing alternating vocalists and guitars that never seem to reach the apex of a crescendo.  Running a little under 6 minutes, this is the longest song on the album.

The following songs range from poppy to introspective, each exemplified respectively in track 5 – “Golden State” – and track 10 – “Twin Peaks.” Both happen to be my favorite tracks on the album. “Golden State” leads with percussion, reminiscent of a drum circle, enticing me to stomp my feet. I imagine a bunch of kids surrounding a beach bonfire. The instrumentation of this song is very playful, at times giving off a surf-flavor, which ties very well into the title. In “Twin Peaks,” the vocals are layered and echo-y, creating a surreal and space-y sound, with a hint of discordance and lots of noise.

All the songs feature dreamy vocals and poppy guitar. But in general, I prefer the mood of the last few songs of the album, starting from 52-second song, “Close My Eyes.” The penultimate song “Oakland,” features spunky guitar and a synth inspired by psychedelic 70s surf rock.

I could do without the excessively long “How Long Can I Wait?” which should have ended at the 4 minute mark, but continues a minute longer. The last song of the album is disappointing as well. Although it starts strong, it fades away, and gives the album no sense of finality, which is a shame, considering how great of a listen the rest of the album is.

I’ve since dived into their previously released 7” and EP, also available via their Bandcamp page.

Genders

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Snapfish.com review

If you’re looking for cheap photo developing and re-prints, Snapfish is the way to go.  It’s $4.98 per roll to develop, which is less than half the price of CVS or George’s Camera.  The price includes shipping and handling, negative processing, scanning and uploading of low-res versions to their website, and 4×6 prints.

The price is even sweeter when your 1st roll is absolutely free.  And Snapfish also gives away your first 20 digital prints free.

Another perk to Snapfish is their Flickr integration.  I love the community aspect of Flickr, and I love being able to easily share the photos I have on Flickr to anywhere (here, Facebook, or Twitter).  With Snapfish integration, you can upload any Flickr photo into Snapfish to order them as prints.

However, I think after these perks run out, I will continue going back to George’s Camera, for a few reasons.  First, it’s always better to support a local business than an Internet subsidiary of a giant corporation (in this case: HP).  Second, you know the people at George’s are handling your negatives and photos right.  Third, the turnaround time is MUCH faster when you get your photos processed locally, and you’re saving gas and time when you stay local also!  To send and receive your negatives and prints, it takes 2-3 days for your film to get to Snapfish, another day or two for them to process and upload, and then a week for your prints and negatives to be returned to you.  Even the local CVS has a one-day turnaround.

Do I recommend Snapfish.com?  Eh.  If you’re cheap, don’t mind waiting a couple of weeks, and still have all the free sign-up perks from them, use them while you can.  But if you have a local, quality place to support, go there!

Half of magenta

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Craft, Inc. review

It’s been a tiring weekend and start-of-the-week, so here’s a lazy post.

Last year, I started forming a business plan to sell sewn and knit dining and kitchen accessories (and the plan is still in the works, and has expanded to include commissions and clothing alteration).  For part of my research, I read a book called Craft, Inc. by Meg Mateo Ilasco.

If any of you guys have ever been interested in starting your own business using your creative and crafting skills, go read my overview of the book, and check out the book yourself. It is a really handy resource!