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Music | Best of 2015

opbmusic Best of 2015: Sessions We Love

The opbmusic video team recorded dozens of bands this year, at OPB and local venues, outdoors at Edgefield Winery and the rooftop at Revolution Hall. They all become part of an archive of 350 unique recordings since 2008, including a deep collection of Northwest bands.

This year, we were thrilled with new acts like Natasha Kmeto and Asgeir and welcomed back favorite bands like Calexico, The Helio Sequence, and Other Lives to play new music. When our staff edits and produces a video, they spend a lot of time with each song, getting to know its pace and changes and all of its moments more closely. Some become favorites to watch again and again. (And we also get geeked out about small things, like Summer Cannibals’ Marc Swart flicking the top of the guitar neck at the end of a riff, the overhead shot of Natasha Kmeto’s keyboard layout, or the fact that Calexico’s John Convertino is playing a snare drum tucked between two rows of pinot grapes). We loved this year’s sessions, and here are some of our favorite ones.

This shoot at Edgefield Winery vineyard presented a ton of technical problems— shifting light, noise from highway traffic, planes flying overhead, and a nearby Decemberists soundcheck (they had no idea we were recording in the vineyard). But when the cameras started rolling, none of that mattered. Calexico’s music almost seems like it was written to be played in sweeping landscapes and they truly rose to the occasion. - Jerad Walker, Music Director

(Note: Calexico and Blind Pilot headline a New Year’s Eve concert at the Crystal Ballroom Thursday.)

In my single digits, I must’ve listened to The Beatles play “Get Back” on top of Apple Studios a hundred times, and that crossed my mind when we set up to record Y La Bamba on top of Rev Hall. Given Portland’s hot dry summer, I’d expected a colorful sunset on a late August night. Instead it was overcast. But the city lights and falling dusk made a gorgeous setting for Luz Elena Mendoza’s colorfully arranged and breezy new songs, and more than any other concert I saw this year, you could feel the creative invention at work during the show. Here’s a favorite song, “Ostrich.” - David Christensen, Program Director

(Note: Y La Bamba and Sallie Ford play New Year’s Eve at Mississippi Studios.)

My favorite session was Jessica Hernandez & the Deltas. I liked the shots, the colors pop, so fun to edit.  - Jarratt Taylor, videographer/editor

Part of February’s Stagepass show, and in between two bands they had next-to-nothing in common with, The Delines completely owned the room with their performance. It was also a hard video to edit; every single song had some hook to it that just wouldn’t let you go, so it was difficult to choose what to keep in the final cut. - Nate Sjol, Stagepass videographer/editor



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