Mike Lastra’s Northwest Passage will premiere February 15, at Cinema 21 (probably at 7 PM and 9 PM). One night only!

Trap Records - 10/27/79Lastra is the sturdy backbone of the noise clan Smegma, a terrific music producer, audio and video artists & archivist and all around good guy. His initial mix of Hazel’s first demo tape was the best thing they ever did.

Part of the NW Film Center Reel Music Film FestivalNorthwest Passage documents the birth of Portland’s DIY culture in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

From the boxtop –

From the late 1970s through the early 1980s the Pacific Northwest witnessed a surge of idiosyncratic musical creativity that, for a time, competed with the slack-jawed banality of mainstream music, condemning it to the sh
aSmegma - Flashcardsbby bargain basement of the cultural wasteland where it belonged.

Numerous young men and women turned their backs on popular culture, which had become a hollow blather generated in corporate boardrooms. These punksters produced their own music and art with a rebellious, energetic glee.

NORTHWEST PASSAGE: THE BIRTH OF PORTLAND’S DIY CULTURE is an independent, locally produced film that examines the exciting alternative music movement in Portland that thrived from 1978 to 1983.

Directed and produced by video pioneer Mike Lastra, NORTHWEST PASSAGE is a narrative told by the musicians and artists themselves via interviews, archived performance videos, photographs, and vintage news clips. Poison Idea, Sado-Nation, The Wipers, The Dead Kennedys, The Neo Boys, Smegma, The Bags, The Rats, and The Styphnoids are just a few of the bands that appear in the film, sure to still rattle the cages of the corporate cultural elites.

I’ll be there – just to take notes to measure who survived, and calculate who didn’t.

The Wipers – Same Old Thing – 10/27/79 at the Earth Tavern
The Neo Boys – Running in the Shadows


Where to get a copy of Northwest Passage? Portland photographer and punk historian Tom Robinson has Lastra’s film available on his website – buy Northwest Passage at Historic Photo Archive.