Since Fussing & Fighting, Jason Urick has been going through a transitional period in life. At the surface it's been geographical, departing the reigns of Floristree in Baltimore for a new environment in Portland, Oregon.
Th first few introductions I've had to Jason's newer material has been in the live setting in both Baltimore and Portland. His vision seemed to become clearer show after show, experiencing the process of honing in on a future-world hybrid of polarizing ambience and rhythmic distortion. Last fall he submitted this recording for Friends Records' 2011 compilation:
Since then Jason has prepped his next LP, sharing the first single “The Crying Song” last month. I Love You will be released January 24 on Thrill Jockey. “Ageless Isms” is the first video from the forthcoming LP.
The above short was directed by Ashby Lee Collinson, who also makes several appearances acting in Portlandia. Urick had seen Collinson's Princess Dies shorts (which you should help Kickstart), and Ashby had felt a deep connection to Jason's record.
Jason describes his state during the recording of I Love You:
“A lot was influx in regards to location on the planet and people and relationships within said planet. My feeling regarding these changes had a tendency to fluctuate between very excited and confident with uncertainty and alternatingly unsure and nervous, sometimes fluctuating between the two rapidly from second-to-second. I became very hyper aware of the relationships of opposite emotions and started to notice these types of relationships more and more around me.”
Collinson's visual take on Jason's music is stunning, and Jason was rad enough to set me up with a quick Q&A with Ashby.
How did a collaboration between you and Jason come about?
He liked what I did for my cable access show Princess Dies at the TBA Fest, and wanted to see how my video style would apply to his sound.
What kinds of experiences have you had with Jason prior?
Jason and another bear friend of his, Maxmillion, were spinning at Holocene last year and I just lost it. Being from Portland you just don't see men of their stature, so I was compelled to cat call and tip them dollar bills at the DJ booth.
Jason's album came at a very transitional time in his life, is the video meant to exude this?
Definitely. I too am in a transitional time in my life. The video shows my struggle to negotiate the extremes between nature and city, and loved ones that live far away.
There were some really beautiful landscapes, is it all shot in Oregon?
Entirely shot in Oregon. The majority of the video was shot in Coos County, one of the most beautiful and sadly impoverished places in Oregon. Neahkahnie Mountain and Sauvie Island also make an appearance.
Jason describes being inspired by Marco Ferreri's I Love You for this, and using it's inspiration for meditations. Do you meditate? Are the characters in this short participating in a similar exercise to what Jason describes?
My way of meditating is through direct, ecstatic experiences with nature. The characters in the video are the people that taught me how to be present and loving in my relationship with nature. The video could be said to be a document of that process.
If you were to make a Jason Urick parody video for Portlandia, how would it play out?
He would be the reluctant bear sitting at a bar. I'd be the girl sitting next to him who thinks she's a bear, trying to get advice on how to go through life feeling so small but being so big.
I Love You is a must, get it right here from Thrill Jockey.