These dudes are heroes. ”Be free. Do what you do best.”
These dudes are heroes. ”Be free. Do what you do best.”
The endlessly talented musician and visual artist Jesse Lortz has been working in Production at Stumptown Seattle for over two years. He is more widely known as the gruffer half of the band The Dutchess and the Duke (this video is very charming), along with songwriter Kimberly Morrison. Most recently, Jesse has been writing and recording music under the moniker Case Studies, making records as raw and warm as his former project, but sonically more lush and dynamic, and according to Jesse “unfiltered, self-administered psychotherapy.” Case Studies’ lovely new record This is Another Life, produced and engineered by Greg Ashley of the band Gris Gris, came out on Sacred Bones last week. He plays a show at Tractor with Horse Feathers and Pretty Broken Things on June 22.
We talked with him a bit about becoming a father, reading Ovid by candlelight, and eliciting cadence counsel from Rick Ross.
Hey Jesse! Thanks for chatting with us. First, a bit of background, if you please. Where are you from?
I am from Maple Valley, Washington. It’s about a half an hour southeast of Seattle.
Have you always played music?
I have always made up songs. When I was a little kid I made up songs about not wanting to do my chores, or needing glasses. I played in band in grade school, (saxophone, second chair) but I couldn’t read the music, just played along. My first real job as a dishwasher, I bought an electric guitar and a little practice amp. Since then it has kind of taken over.
Tell me about this new record, This is Another Life. How is your band Case Studies different writing-wise and musically for you than Dutchess & The Duke?
It is harder to listen to the Case Studies stuff. D/D had the same lyrical content but it was juxtaposed with the jaunty boy / girl dynamic. A little more accessible. Case Studies is pure unfiltered, self-administered psychotherapy, and not nearly as poppy.
What was your collaboration with producer/musician Greg Ashley (of Gris Gris) like?
He is a genius. We have a sort of weird rivalry / mutually respectful relationship. I would love to eventually compose a record alongside of him, instead of already having the songs figured out once he enters the picture. He is an excellent composer.
Your initial idea with Case Studies was to collaborate with anyone who signed up to play with you after learning the songs and each show would be entirely different. What happened with that experiment? Did you play any shows this way?
We played a show kind of like that at Arabica, in Seattle. It was part of a collaboration between myself and Garek Druss, we did some back and forth drawings together at my apartment and then one of his bands, Dull Knife, and Case Studies played. The lineup was me and the ladies that sang on the record. It was pretty incredible, but it was impossible for me to fully realize that original concept at the time. I was really poor and really depressed.
You are also a visual artist. Any other non-music projects in the works for you?
I’m working on a children’s book and Garek and I are gearing up to do another collaboration in the winter. Always drawing and I have just recently been working on some hand animated short films.
What are you really liking and inspired by right now?
Folk tales, Physics, Mythology, keeping our house plants alive, spending time with my little boy and trying to get out and do some camping with my lady this summer.
What have you been listening to and reading?
I have been listening to a lot of Kanye West and Rick Ross. I am learning new vocal and lyrical cadences from that stuff. Reading Phillip K. Dick, Cormac McCarthy and just started reading Ovid’s Metamorphoses by candlelight!
I heard that you are a relatively new Dad. How’s that treating you? Any sage advice to expound on in honor of Father’s Day this week?
It’s hard and magical. I need to constantly remind myself that although he is the smartest little boy in the world, he is still four years old, and can’t always understand what I am trying to teach him. My best advice would be to enter their world and try to think like them as much as possible. It makes things run a little smoother.
Always a pleasure to hear and see any of your work. Thanks for talking with us!
Evan, Travis and Adam stopped in and set up a cupping at the GOOD Los Angeles HQ last week. GOOD calls themselves “a global community of, by, and for pragmatic idealists working towards individual and collective progress”–they are the visionaries behind the quarterly GOOD Magazine and GOOD.is a social platform and collaboration among ”a global community of people who give a damn.”
Thanks for having us over!
“The acceptance of death is the source of all life.” —John Cage
In Dylan Walker’s new series, “DO NOT FEAR THE REAPER”, the paintings are big, colorful, and dense. They seem to tell the universal story of human life from birth to death and back to birth again. Stylistically naive and emotive, these works pay much more attention to their organic turmoil than to their likeness to reality. Elated at times, they are a testament to Walker’s love for drama and color, all the while exhibiting an absolute flair for the absurd.
Dylan Walker lives and works in Portland, Oregon. He splits his time between painting houses, teaching meditation and yoga in the recovery community, and working on various creative projects—including an upcoming illustrated children’s book with his sister and Forensic Psychologist, Dr. Darci Walker-Comer. Walker is currently studying Native American and South American healing traditions with his teachers, Chief Alex Turtle and Chenoa Egawa, and is training to become a Kundalini Yoga instructor. This is his second solo exhibition at Stumptown Coffee Roaster’s Downtown café.
On view June 17th – July 27th, 2013
Reception Sunday, June 30th (5-7pm)
…with DJ Rafael from The Miracles Club
Join the event on Facebook.
With all the implied difficulties
here is a handfull
with it what
and go do it again
there is an again and a make
do with it feeling
but going somewhere
If you say this is good
the funny thing is
Youll never know if it will be
and you never knew if it was.
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