Easygoing, surf-influenced indie rock
Reptaliens, Wet Dream
830 E. Burnside St.
Portland, OR, 97214
Doors 8:00 PM / Show 9:00 PM
This event is 21 and over
Goth Babe is Griff Washburn enjoying himself. Originally from Tennessee, Griff currently lives off the grid in his 1996 Ford F-250 with his pup Sadie, surfing up and down the coast of California and Oregon. After writing songs in his dorm room at age 18, he right off the bat knew that he wanted to make this goofy band name more than a side hustle. After touring in 2016 and living in NYC for part of 2017, Griff packed up his things and made way for the West Coast. He's recently picked up on the brighter parts of life. Parting ways with social status and relevance, he's discovered how wonderful living day by day is. Making music to Griff is less a climb to the top, as it is a form of free thinking and enjoyment.
Portland, Oregon’s Reptaliens is the husband and wife team of Cole and Bambi Browning. The couple met on a basketball court while filming a music video for a mutual friend’s band that didn’t exist. The two knew almost instantly they were soul mates; after dating for six months, they married under a blanket of smoke from the season’s forest fires.
Named in reverence for their interests in cult mentality, transhumanism, and conspiracy theories, Reptaliens quickly evolved from a bedroom-recording project to a full-fledged band that explores fringe pop culture through analog synthesizers, electric guitars, melodic bass lines, and Bambi’s lulling vocals. The pair’s songwriting mirrors their strong connection. As Cole says, “Bambi and I write all the music. Sometimes we work together to construct songs and sometimes I'll come home from work and she’ll have a masterpiece finished and perfectly crafted. We both add to each other’s songs and none really seem completely Bambi's or mine. We do everything together.”
Inspired by all things science fiction, writers like Philip K. Dick and Haruki Murakami, and music ranging from Paul McCartney/ Wings to African artists Francis Bebey and Julee Cruise, the band creates psychedelic, chameleonic dreamscapes that fall sonically and visually somewhere between abstract expressionism and surrealism. These ideas and influences all coalesce on FM-2030 – named after the renowned transhumanist writer and philosopher – the band’s debut album on Captured Tracks. Full of dreamy melodies and catchy hooks, tracks like “If You Want” and “29 Palms” are wistful love songs straight from the heart. But the feel-good vibe often belies something a bit more sinister, like on “666 Bus” where Bambi coos: “Maybe I’ll get hit by a bus while I was dreamin’ of falling in love / Or maybe I’ll fall in love and die of a broken heart.”
Thematically based around obsession, Bambi says she “gravitates toward other people’s obsessions and draws inspiration from them. I like to think of method acting and personify myself as the obsessor, writing from their perspective. I love pretending and creating around these personalities.” This play-acting on record translates to the band’s sincere and theatrical live performances that involve homemade costumes and on-stage guest appearances from a giant reptile-man.
FM-2030 was recorded at famed Portland studio The Green House with Riley Geare. As long time, active participants in the Portland music scene, Bambi and Cole call on a number of talented musicians for Reptaliens’ recordings and live performances, including Julian Kowalski (guitar), Bryson Hansen (synth), and Tyler Vergian (drums). However, Cole is quick to note, “Reptaliens is a concept more so than a band or any group of individuals. Those who are willing to let go and open themselves up to new experiences will be rewarded and emboldened. Those who want to turn away will have no choice but to look. The truth is out there.”
Portland, Oregon-based “deep end” dream-pop trio Wet Dream debut their official video with the single, “Groove Plug”. Filmed in a geodesic dome constructed almost entirely of mirrors, ILIOS Interactive is the collaborative space built by Jonathon Mooney (Other Lives). The single’s reflective and obsessively vulnerable narrative ties the kaleidoscopic visuals into a cohesive, multi-sensory experience within itself.
“Am I the one who’s afraid? To be made up of mirrors and air?”
Some bands form intentionally, while others accidentally, naturally, flawlessly. The accidental happening occurred with Wet Dream, made up of Sarah Kue, Dylan White and Benjamin Johnson. Two years ago, a close friend of the trio suggested they all catch the French psych band La Femme in a popular Portland basement venue. La Femme still happened to be looking for an opening act, and Sarah had just finished writing a song. Dylan and Ben jumped on to finish the recording and their close friend impulsively sent it to La Femme. Within ten days’ time of that submission, La Femme asked Wet Dream to open for the show and the trio got to working on writing a set’s worth of songs. Since then, the trio has been creating both sound and visual work to coincide with one another every day; the band will be releasing their first full-length album this year. We talked with Sarah Kue of Wet Dream about her experience in writing “Groove Plug” and the future of the band.