Vortex is proud to announce the inaugural episode of The Gritty Birds Podcast, hosted by producer, artist and publicist Jeni Wren (formerly of Shy Girls and currently the media sponsorship coordinator for PDX Pop Now! and in-house publicist for Self Group), featuring artist and activist Jeremy Wilson.
With more than 30 years in the Portland music scene as a seminal artist, activist and, most recently, head of the healthcare nonprofit The Jeremy Wilson Foundation, Wilson’s experiences move from the mythic—like the first time he met Kurt Cobain after the release of Bleach—to the humbling, with the diagnosis of his congenital heart condition. His story and experiences are a testament to the artist’s journey, from past to present and moving onward.
After the mic was turned off, Wilson told the story of his band, Dharma Bums, in East Berlin. One of the first Western bands to ever play after the fall of the Berlin Wall, they performed to a packed, silent theater. Wilson said that he could hear a pin drop as the audience stood transfixed. As the night ended, the last sound was the buzzing of an amp, lethargically echoing through the room. A slow clap began, which swelled into a thunderous applause. The fervor of a world expanded, in a time of huge change.
Today, Wilson continues to move forward and create change in the music world with his foundation, one that provides support for musicians in times of medical emergencies—a cause you can support via Band Together, a worldwide, online charity auction featuring memorabilia from some of the world’s most legendary acts (The Beatles, Elvis, Michael Jackson, Dylan, The Stones, B.B. King, KISS, Tom Petty, Springsteen and many, many more) alongside a chance to meet and greet with The Decemberists before their Edgefield appearance this summer, plus concert tickets and collectibles from The Dandy Warhols, Voodoo Doughnuts, Quarterflash and Sonic Youth.
Hear about this and more when the first season of The Gritty Birds Podcast brings you an insider’s view by going behind the music of the Portland scene with the grittiest of the industry, profiling the personalities and the unsung heroes running the game. Throughout the season, Jeni Wren will be chatting with and learning the secrets of the people who are successfully pioneering careers that support artists while seeking to demystify and discuss hot topics in the music industry—from licensing and booking, to publishing and law, to labels and DIY releases, to hip-hop and the indie scene and more, over a riveting and entertaining 15 weeks.
Season one is set to feature:
Jared Mees (Tender Loving Empire)
Peter Vaughan Shaver (Sound Advice)
Amy Miller (comedienne, True West, Aladdin Theater)
Brandon Day (artist relations at Marmoset)
Ben Hubbird (CD Baby, Party Damage Records)
Linda Hefferman (School of Rock Portland)
Fahiym Acuay (We Out Here Magazine)
Alicia J. Rose (photographer, former talent buyer for various venues)
Stirling Myles (Alameda, social media at Marmoset)
Krist Krueger (Self Group, Southerly)
Sean Flora (owner and sound engineer at The Rock ‘n’ Roll B&B)
Theo Craig (Smoke Signals Music, Rontoms)
Sponsored by Vortex Music Magazine, new episodes will debut every Tuesday beginning June 9. But before that, Vortex, Tender Loving Empire and Jeni Wren invite you to join them on Saturday, June 6 from 3 to 6pm at Tender Loving Empire on Hawthorne for a free day party celebrating the launch of The Gritty Birds Podcast and featuring live performances from Alameda, Mikey Fountaine and Krist Krueger (of Southerly), with additional sponsorship by Montucky and Mountain Air Studios.