DREAM DRAGONS
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DREAM DRAGONS

Honolulu, Hawaii, United States | SELF

Honolulu, Hawaii, United States | SELF
Band Rock Avant-garde

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Mining both a seemingly endless crate of old, dusty vinyl and Run DMC’s classic appearance on Reading Rainbow, (where Reading Is a Very Fresh Way 2 Learn cops its title), Please Step Out of the Vehicle’s Travis Wiggins’ new solo disc takes his love of ’80s hip-hop and turns it into a consistently entertaining collage of found sound. The liner notes state that it’s “one of those first thought, best thought” projects, but that doesn’t stop Wiggins from having fun—sampling local schizo-pop outfit Dykeritz; titling songs things like “I’m Freakin’ Out Maaaann” and “You Probably Shouldn’t Mess w/ Space Drugs…”; saying that it’s supposed to be listened to in the yard. It’s just starting to get cold again, but that doesn’t mean we can’t bump this shit all year long. MICHAEL MANNHEIMER.

www.wweek.com - http://localcut.wweek.com/calendar/friday/


(Dunes, 1909 NE MLK) While some might dabble in the murky waters of sound artistry, Travis Wiggins is drowning in them. In fact, the former Please Step Out of the Vehicle frontman could very well be the professor of sample-hording, beat-making, junkyard pop music. Consider him the tweed jacket-wearing authority—complete with leather elbow patches—of scrapheap bedroom pop, and his masterwork is the brand new collage of noises, Reading Is a Very Fresh Way to Learn (which takes its title from Run DMC's memorable appearance on Reading Rainbow). True to its boast to "flip out your mind," the loosely assembled recording feels like a compilation of dusty grooves and lost-and-found hooks that are expertly meshed together. EAC

www.portlandmercury.com - http://www.portlandmercury.com/music/up--coming/Content?oid=924702


My early life, like a lot of kids', was largely soundtracked by my mother: Otis Redding, Al Green, John Lennon and Dwight Yoakam were in heavy rotation. Then there was my Uncle Russ and his bedroom-recorded masterpieces. These cassettes were his relief from the smoky life of a gigging musician: A Missoula, Mont.-based bar-rocker by trade, he played originals, Buddy Holly covers and old jazz standards...usually sung in hushed tones as to not wake the neighbors. The warmth and soul in those recordings colors the way I hear music to this day.

Portland songwriter Travis Wiggins' 4 Track Soul reminds me an awful lot of Uncle Russ' old tapes. It's Wiggins recording his favorite covers and originals that don't quite fit into the formula of his psychedelic-pop outfit, Please Step Out of the Vehicle. I doubt whether much of this material was originally recorded for "release" (the Love Harder label usually presses 50 discs), which is precisely what makes it special. The incoherence of Wiggins' Hendrix cover (apparently recorded with some rusty showerhead/microphone combo), "If 6 was 9," is sung with the kind of misguided majesty that only comes from a 2 am flash of drunken inspiration, while his Casio version of Neutral Milk Hotel's "King of Carrot Flowers" demonstrates a charming absence of what folks in the industry call "production."
Wiggins' low-fi, beat-fueled experimental tracks (he uses the Super Nintendo game Mario Paint, for chrissakes) serve as intros and outros to stark acoustic-guitar tracks like Wiggins' Daniel Johnston-esque version of the Silver Jews' "Trains Across the Sea," which finds him singing David Berman lines like "Half hours on Earth/ What are they worth/ I don't know." Like most of the cover material on 4 Track Soul, Berman's are lines that sound natural coming out of Wiggins' mouth, which speaks to the influence artists like Olympia folkstress Kimya Dawson and Hendrix have had on him as a songwriter.

Travis Wiggins' 4 Track Soul is his audio diary of sorts, complete with nods to friends (in the form of an Alan Singley cover) and family (Wiggins' little brother and father both contribute) alike. And while the material therein stretches multiple generations and four track machines, it all adds up to a pretty compelling portrait of the songwriter as a young man. CASEY JARMAN - http://wweek.com/editorial/3327/8956/


Is it safe to call Travis Wiggins Portland's DJ Shadow? Probably not. But the multihatted scenester's recent homemade beat album, Reading Is a Very Fresh Way 2 Learn, would certainly earn him a passing grade at the Shadow School of Sound Collage. If it wasn't obvious before, the disc proves Wiggins possesses two of Stumptown's most eclectic—and eccentric—ears. As such, his DJ set at Ground Kontrol should be awesomely nonsensical. He promises to drop, among other things, “punk bubble gum,” “lo-fi jamz” and “hippie freakouts.” Me, I'm planning on spending the evening dropping, like, 23 treys per game as Dan Majerle on NBA Jam. MATTHEW SINGER - http://wweek.com/events/3504/music/


Discography

both brothers have recorded and released albums with various bands and projects. DREAM DRAGONS is releasing tapes in vinyl later this year!

Photos

Bio

Travis & Trevor Wiggins grew up in west Texas. In 2001, Travis moved to Portland, Oregon and played, toured & dj'ed on the west coast D-I-Y circuit with various bands until moving to Honolulu in 2010. Trevor made Austin, TX his base of operations and Toured the USA with all kinds of bands as a bassist and videographer.

While they live far apart, they bridge the distance with audio and visual collaborations via DREAM DRAGONS and their production company Sleepy Cell Labs.