2012 Concert Videos

I started videoing concerts not because I am a videographer by trade, but because I needed an audio-visual aid to help me write my reviews. These are mostly shot with Canon 60D with internal mic one step above mute. So they are not meant to be professional productions (no time and budget), and a pale substitute for the actual experience. But still, I can look back and be reminded of the wonderful experience. I went to about 30 shows plus two five-day music festivals and here are 12 most memorable shows of 2012. And of course there were several shows I didn't get to video so this list is not a "best concerts" list but pretty damn close. More at my YouTube

Fredrik “Inventress of Ill (and Everything)”
17 Feb, The Red Vic House, San Francisco
Last year, I traveled all the way to Malmö, Sweden to catch one of my favorite bands (and most underrated), Fredrik, in their hometown. This year, they embarked on a five-day California tour. This show was their final show at the historic Red Vic Theater on Haight which was laid to rest, but opened its doors for a private performance BYOB style. Wish the lighting and audio could’ve been better. They didn’t play my favourite song from their latest album (Flora) this time around so here’s my second fave.

Porcelain Raft “Dragonfly”
15 April, Doug Fir Lounge, Portland
The first of two times I caught Mauro in concert this year. “Dragonfly” is perhaps my fave PR song, and the insect also has a special meaning personally. This song became so much more poignant on stage and after the show. I played this video probably everyday for a month!

Lotus Plaza “Strangers”
7 May, Doug Fir Lounge, Portland
I’ve seen Deerhunter at Sasquatch last year, and Atlas Sound open for Broadcast at Doug Fir the previous year. While Bradford Cox still proves to be the alpha genius, Lockett shines on his own, and he’s unassuming persona is so damn likable. Overall, it was one of the most enjoyable shows of the year. Though the most memorable part of that night was the photo shoot afterwards (It was amazing how high Lockett could jump!).  

STRFKR “Bury Us Alive”
28 May, Burnside Skatepark, Portland
Srtarfucker could be the poster band for hipsters, but these guys come across as genuinely humble and nice.
So nice that they put on a free show on Memorial Day, which allowed me to finally catch them live. (I tried to get in one of the three Portland shows end of last year to no avail.) Now Only if I can get an interview...

Mark Gardener with Sky Parade “Vapour Trail”
22 June, Star Theater, Portland
From the first time I saw “Like a Daydream” music video as a kid, I was in love with Ride. But I never got to see them live before they decided to go kaput. But at least I had the good fortune of interviewing Mark, and hear him sing one of my all time favourite songs. Warning: super shaky video from a drunk camera gal.

Liars “Brats”
7 July, Doug Fir Lounge, Portland
After a rather subdued and rushed interview, it felt good to hear the songs from one of my favourite albums of the year quake the speakers.

Franz Ferdinand “Michael”
10 August, Wonder Ballroom, Portland
This was the first time seeing the Scottish band on stage. I caught them play in a record store about 7 or 8 years before their big show that night but couldn't afford as a student to make it to the concert. Definitely one of the best shows of the year. Ridiculous how many good bands come out of a country with the best curry fries.

Wild Nothing “Paradise”
08 September, Ted’s, Portland
Filmed during Musicfest NW, I was excited to catch the Captured Tracks showcase, and especially Wild Nothing. Jack and his band (different lineup from the Gemini tour) surpassed my expectation - turned out to be one of the best live performances of the whole fest and at a dive venue at that.

Holograms “Hidden Structures”
19 September, Mississippi Studios, Portland
This was one of my favourite moments of 2012. We had an informal and hilarious interview that went over an hour. It helped that I had couple of my buddies by my side. Unfortunately, only about 20 people showed up!  But these Swedish lads weren't counting numbers; they were happy to be in US after overcoming several obstacles.

Delay Trees “Gold”
26 October, Telakka, Tampere, Finland
Sometimes you take a chance, and it pays off. I wasn’t sure if going to Finland in late October by myself was worth my time and money. I encountered several mishaps and inconveniences but in the end, the lovely Finns made the trip totally worthwhile. And the best memory was provided by Delay Trees at this show. They had just released their second LP, but this song from their debut album stayed with me for weeks (it still does). I discovered a band that I know will be one of my favourites for years to come.

DIIV “Geist”
3 November, Iðnó, Reykjavik, Iceland
I caught DIIV in September during Musicfest NW. The half an hour set flew by, and I couldn’t wait to catch them again. The lighting was dark and shitty for video but being there was exhilarating. Guess my pinned up hair was slapping an Austrian journalist from Berlin.

Sigur Ros "Hoppípolla"
4 November, Laugardalshöllin, Reykjavik, Iceland
The second time I caught this otherworldly band this year. In Portland, they played at an outdoor venue which is always a treat. This time, we were squeezed into a bland stadium, but the performance was definitely superior in their hometown. I wished I had arrived earlier and brought my 70-200mm lens!

Liars, Palindrome, and Paradox

We all change and we all are inherently the same.
You know how you can recommend an album to your friends based on what you know about their taste.
I would say mine is pretty predictable - if your music falls in the realm of dream pop, there's a good chance I'd like it.
Like many people, I got to know
Liars better with their latest release, WIXIW, which will surely end up on my fave albums of 2012 list.
But when I found out I'd be interviewing the band, I had to do some digging into their past catalogue.
Logic would say, Liars' back catalogue is not my cup of tea, but logic was wrong.
Maybe I was influenced by all their experimental/conceptual videos on their sites and their persistence to stay true to their artistic vision.
Anyhow, I am grateful to have had the opportunity to pick their brains though it was a bit stressful.
What could I possibly ask that hasn't already answered in the past and to a band that wants and needs certain amount of mystery…
And you only get 15-20minutes in the hot evening air, and the main lavaliere system mysteriously decided to malfunction on the spot, though I tested everything the night before…. Likely, the chaps of Liars were not synonymous with their mischievous name.
To see photos, concert videos, and a blurb, go to
Beats Per Minute.

Liars Interview from Photosphere on Vimeo.