M. Ward: The First Time I Ran Away

M. Ward: The First Time I Ran Away

The First Time I Ran Away is a beautifully animated music video for M. Ward’s new solo album, A Wasteland Companion, set for release on Merge April 10th. The “Him” from the indie music group She & Him is Matthew Stephen Ward, known by his stage name M. Ward, a singer-songwriter and guitarist who rose to prominence in the Portland, Oregon music scene. The delightful animated video was directed by Joel Trussell and his team of animators, who use M. Ward’s lyrics as a basis to tell the three-part story following a girl who’s run away with her pet llama and fish. The soft, pastel colors are a perfect companion to M. Ward’s soothing voice.

M. Ward: The First Time I Ran Away

(Best Watched in HD Full-Screen Mode)

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Rock Photographer Autumn de Wilde: The Decemberists in Polaroid

Rock Photographer Autumn de Wilde: The Decemberists in Polaroid

Rock photographer Autumn de Wilde and The Decemberists have teamed up with The Impossible Project to create a deluxe box edition for the band’s new album, The King Is Dead. Autumn de Wilde was joking when she first offered to take a couple thousand Polaroid shots of her friends in the folk-rock band the Decemberists. But they called her bluff, and a few months later she’d accumulated more than 2,500 single- and double-exposed photos of the five band members, which were taken during recording sessions for the new album and around their hometown haunts in Portland, Oregon. All of the pictures were taken on Polaroid Type 100 peel-apart film provided by The Impossible Project, a group of former Polaroid employees who banded together in 2008 to rescue the beloved instant cameras from total obsolescence.

Here’s a video-montage of de Wilde’s Polaroid photographs, accompanying the band’s new song from their album, Down by the Water. Then take a look through the slide show presenting more of de Wilde’s unique and dramatic Polaroids.

The Decemberists: Down by the Water

Slide Show: The Decemberists in Polaroid

(Please Click Image to View Slide Show)

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Denmark: A Stirring Struggle Against Plumes of Invading Toxins

Denmark: A Stirring Struggle Against Plumes of Invading Toxins

Denmark is an incredible new music video directed by Daniel Fickle for The Portland Cello Project.  The animated video hits a timely note, depicting the brave tale of a tiny shrimp that springs into action when plumes of toxins invade its water world.  A plan is formulated, a missing part is fetched, and all goes according to plan, until….

At a deeper level, the video represents an expression of the struggle people go through to reconcile loss.  It’s also a stirring tribute to a friend of the band, who fought a courageous battle with cancer in his/her own, disguised and dignified manner.  Director Daniel Fickle manages to get into the mood of sorrow behind this piece of music from Portland Cello Project, and he makes everything in the video look almost as gloomy.  Watch the video with the music at full volume, and then listen to the music with your eyes closed.  It’s truly magical.

Denmark: A Stirring Struggle Against Plumes of Invading Toxins

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Lucky Number Three: Festively Soaring Up, Up and Away

Lucky Number Three: Festively Soaring Up, Up and Away

Kent Couch’s 2007 Balloon-Powered Lawn Chair Flight

In 2006, Kent Couch had to parachute out of his lawn chair, after having popped too many balloons. And in 2007, he flew 193 miles to the sagebrush of northeastern Oregon, which was a little bit short of his goal. After the 2007 flight, Couch stated, “I’m not stopping till I get out of state.”

Television Report: The 2007 Balloon-Powered Lawn Chair Flight

The 2007 Balloon-Powered Lawn Chair Flight

Lucky Number Three: Soaring Up, Up and Away

This was Kent Couch’s third balloon-powered lawn chair flight. Riding in his lawn chair that was supported by a rainbow array of more than 150 helium-filled party balloons, Couch took off last Saturday in his third attempt to fly from central Oregon all the way to Idaho.

Couch kissed his wife and children goodbye, and patted their shivering pet Chihuahua, before his ground crew gave him a push so that he could clear surrounding light poles and a coffee cart. Then, clutching a big mug of coffee, Couch rose out of his gas station’s parking lot into the bright blue morning sky, cheered on by a crowd of spectators.

Using his trusty BB gun to help him return to Earth, the 48-year-old gas station owner flew his lawn chair powered by helium-filled balloons more than 200 miles across the Oregon desert, landing in a field in Idaho. Couch created quite a sensation in the tiny farming community of Cambridge, Idaho, as he touched down safely in a pasture where he was soon greeted by dozens of the town’s residents.

Crouch Makes Preparations for His 2008 Lawn Chair Flight

Television Report: The 2008 Balloon-Powered Lawn Chair Flight

Lucky Number Three: Festively Soaring Up, Up and Away

Good Morning America Interview After the Successful Flight

Music Audio: The Fifth Dimension/Up, Up and Away:

Lucky Number Three: Festively Soaring Up, Up and Away

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