The Sexbots

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What's Up Magazine

With a name like The Sexbots, one might likely imagine that the music and message contained in their work would be explicitly provocative. And yet the sole member of The Sexbots (Ilima Considine) has managed to create a discourse about sexuality that plays with those taboos in ways that both embraces and questions the role of sex in this day and age.

Ilima started work on The Sexbots project back in the late 2000s as a more rigid musical outlet in contrast to her shifting work as a chorus singer for various hip-hop and electronic artists, and after her original band Childhood Friends, in which Ilima played cello and violin.

“It’s a Blade Runner reference although the term is not used either in the move or the novella, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? It was because I hadn’t had a boyfriend in three years, but everyone was treating me like a sex bomb at shows,” Ilima explained.   “Like the replicants, I could look the part and fake it, but once you started asking questions, it was clear that I was clueless and didn’t know what was really going on.”

It started off as a duo, Ilima emerged as the central member of the group and in opposite of before, flipping roles from working on others’ projects, to having others provide work for The Sexbots. Ilima has worked with various producers G-Space, DJ Ceez, Stereospread, Air Fortress, Natural 20, and many others. This ever-changing cast of musicians keeps every album distinct in music, while cohesively united by Ilima’s amorphous, yet unmistakable voice.

While her other bands have ranged from experimental rock, to indie, to electronic – and even doing neoclassical music for modern dance companies like Keyon Gaskin and the PDX Dance Collective – The Sexbots sound as Ilima begrudgingly shorthands like “Asian Mom Björk meets Portishead.” Begrudging in the sense that they are very common references made by music publications, and not at all because they aren’t partially inspirations.

“I don’t try to sound like any of the bands… When I was younger I listened to all kinds of music… Morrissey really taught me a lot about songwriting. But I try to do my own thing and just try to stay emotionally true to myself.”

And just by listening to The Sexbots you can hear the difference. Ilima runs the gamut from soft spoken word, to effervescent cooing and singing, and everything in between. All on top of a range of instrumentals drawing inspiration from EDM, avant-garde music, trip-hop, and sometimes even indietronica. It’s a combinations that both comforts and unnerves the listener in the best ways possible.

Comforting because a lot of The Sexbots’ work involved grooves and danceable beats, but underneath lies often conflicting messages. On her recent album The Girlfriend Experience, Ilima emits several variations of her real self; some being a hyper-sexualized parody of how people online view female-bodied individuals, others a reflection of the more anxious and interpersonal side. Sometimes these ideas pop up on the same songs like the single “Summertime.”

This track actually proved to be quite controversial in several ways. Firstly in its juxtaposition of a time we normally associate with happiness hinted at by the chorus and title of the track, but when listening deeper you notice the lyrics are about a friend who committed suicide and Ilima trying to mentally deal with it. Secondly because of the video included with the song, which depicts an almost voyeuristic beach excursion that evolves into a very intimate moment near the end.

Ilima does music videos for nearly every song under The Sexbots name, many including artistic displays of nudity and sexuality in many forms. “I was really surprised at the backlash that the video got,” she stated. “It wasn’t half as sexually explicit as what you’d see in the mainstream anyways…”

And in no way is it nearly as objectifying as mainstream music videos. In fact Ilima is using the human body not to catch the attention of the male gaze, but to create a dialog about sexual identity and orientation. Many of the videos on The Sexbots’ YouTube page display performance art style videography with explicit oppositions to the ideas of gender norms, and provide a lot of ambiguity about characters in the videos’ sexualities and desires.

Overall the message that Ilima hopes to spread is positivity. Not only within our bodies, but also within our communities. Ever since an eye-opening and unpleasant experience with a specific band member from a bill that Ilima was on, she has strived to make every show The Sexbots plays a LGBT+ safe space zone, and wants the audience to feel comfortable and accepted.

See The Sexbots live, which includes fantastic backup dancing and a performance by experimental hip-hop artist Worshiprr, at Rumors Cabaret on July 9 at 9 p.m. For more about the group, see patreon.com/thesexbots.

Published in the July 2016 issue of What’s Up! Magazine

Eugene Weekly

If you are looking to ring in your new year on a completely surreal and darkly sensual note, you might consider spending the night with The Sexbots, an experimental electronica project conceived and executed by Portland-based artist Ilima Considine. Underscored by an alien soundscape that is a carnival of interstellar blips and algorithmic bleeps, Considine’s vulnerable tenor — wavering between the writhing shit-fits of Bjork and the erotic pleadings of PJ Harvey — takes on nervy themes of sexuality and emotional displacement. The Sexbots make pornographic sounds for the space age, and Considine is the outfit’s hot-and-bothered emcee, singing songs about desire and erotic obsession.

The Sexbots play with the Elena Leona Project and Stephen Rose 9pm Wednesday, Dec. 31, at The Granary; $8.

Emerging Indie Bands

The avant-garde-synth US project The Sexbots are planning to release the LP The Girlfriend Experience later this year.

The Sexbots - Summertime

The Sexbots

From the album – Summertime is one of The Sexbots more accessible tracks featured over the past two years, with its almost linear progression. That doesn’t mean there are not eddies to explore, as the instantly recognisable voice of Ilima tugs on the ears, accompanied by a melange of synthetic swatches.

Chain D.L.K.

Basically, Portland, Oregon based trans-disciplinary artist Ilima Considine IS The Sexbots, with a little instrumental help from DJ Ceez, Qmulus and Stereospread here, and 'Junk Sick' is The Sexbots 3rd album to date. (Junk Sick is a term for the vomiting that accompanies heroin withdrawal.) Ilima is a classically trained violinist and cellist but you won't get any of that here. What you WILL get is an aural feast for retro-art-pop synthpop enthusiasts, with Considine cooing, moaning, and sometimes even orgasming in her Asian little girl voice over Nintendo/Casio style electronics and beats that will make you stop dead in your tracks and say 'WHAT is this? WHO is this? Where did this COME from?' That's how it struck my jaded ears. 

In 'The Only Thing' little bleeps and burbles, synth pulses and electronic swirls float around her breathy child-like vocals. More muscular synths and beats are the backdrop for Ilima's emoting in 'My Job is To Make Love to Strangers'. This is sythpop like you've never heard before- raw, emotional, sexual, personal and riveting. The pace slows down with 'Magic Eyes' as Ilima coos her lyrics backed by what sounds like a chorus of softly meowing oriental kitties. The cats come out yowling in 'Sickness'; the first real clue that this album came about through a rough relationship breakup. 'Boy/Girl' explores playful androgynous sexuality. 'Every Soul' is tragic, emotionally wrought tale of a friend's drug overdose. If that one seemed emotionally wrought, 'Try Me' is even more intense. 'Water Under the Burning Bridge' is a mix of sweet innocence and lovelorn regret; basically sort of a bittersweet love song. I didn't even mind the (brief) male vocals in it. 'Petting a Cat' is just too cute in its metaphorical sexuality. 'You Get a Taste' sounds like an Asian children's march with more of Ilima's boudoir vocalizing. 'Willy on Willy' seems like an attempt to exorcise the ghost of a lost lover, recalling 'Sickness' to some extent. 

Vocally, comparisons of Ilima to Bjork are inevitable, but really, there's only a slight resemblance in style, but a perhaps a larger one in emotional input. Bjork's voice is robust and her range covers about three octaves. Ilima's voice on the other hand has a much more fragile quality to it. No doubt though her 'Sexbot' style is somewhat unique. It not only conjures hentai fantasies in which you get to play voyeur, but also speaks to a deeper emotional level. Live and on video however, I don't believe Ilima's visual performance is anywhere near par of her musical prowess. Given time and money (buy the damn album already, it's well worth it), she may synthesize and synergize them both. In any case, it will be interesting to see what The Sexbots come up with next.

ToppersCreative

Ilima Considine is the vocalist of the Sexbots, a singer/beatmaker collaboration with an intense, dance charged, performance art live show. She will bring her unique sound and style from Portland, Oregon to Japan for an 8 concert tour. These will include a 2/13 show at Anga’s Long Live Rock event and a 2/15 show at Toppers. Tom Melesky was able to wrest her away from promotion and travel plans long enough for this short email interview.

Tom Melesky: This will be your first time performing in Japan. How would you describe a Ilima Considine/Sexbots experience to an uninitiated fan?

Ilima Considine: It’s emotionally intense and a bit artsy-fartsy. I believe that a show needs to be more than just listening, so that people have a reason to leave the house. It’s all about emotional projection. I also dance and bounce around a lot.

T.M.:Will this tour be your first time performing outside of North America?

I.C.:Um… yes. I had to think about that a little bit. I managed not to perform in London and it drove me nuts. Couldn’t stand going to shows and not being part of them.

T.M.:The Sexbots are unsigned so all projects must be self-funded. What motivated you to organize a potentially expensive tour in another country as opposed to another region of the USA? And why Japan?

I.C.:I’ve been wanting to go to Japan, both for myself and for the music, for a long time. My brothers and sisters and I were all raised on anime and manga. I’ve sewed several Totoro quilts for important family occasions(marriage, new baby, off to college), but it was something that kept getting put off both because of the children and the expense. A few months ago, things seemed to line up in that several people offered to help me if I decided to go, and even knowing not to count 100% on those offers, and I decided it was time to do it. The moment I decided was at my Japanese friend Junko’s house. She was having a birthday party for her dog. She’s lived in America for a long time but she said to me, I have friends who will help you and I think they will love you. Junko is someone I admire and adore, and her saying it, after the other people had offered, made me decide to make it happen.

T.M.:Is there anything you’re nervous about in Japan? Anything you’re really looking forward to?

I.C.:I’m looking forward to the people watching and the fresh perspective on the world, the different opinions people will have about my music. I’m nervous about how much I will miss my children and the man I’m in love with. I also have severe food allergies. The tour budget is pretty slim and I can’t eat wheat, milk, soy, nuts, or heavily processed foods without becoming severely ill. I’m expecting to come back pretty thin. Also, it’s a girl thing, but Japanese girls are known for being so tiny! I’m going to be like Scarlett Johansson over there.

T.M.:You originally moved to Portland, Oregon with the intention of being a painter. What turned you to music as your main focus?

I.C.:I was having a moment where I was dissatisfied with my art career, out of work, and broken up with someone I was in love with. I was ready to change my life when I went to an early PDX Pop Festival simply because it was free and all ages, so I could take my 3-year old daughter with me. I saw a band called We’re from Japan! and was incredibly inspired, not just by their sound, but by the fact that they all looked like they worked at gas stations. I’d always thought that I wasn’t cool enough to be in a band, plus I didn’t play guitar and I didn’t know any bands that had violin in them. I thought no one would ever want me in their band. I saw these scrubs and realized that if they could do it, I could do it. I went out and bought a bass and slowly, being in bands took over my life.

T.M.:I’ve read that you’re trained in both violin and cello and do session work. Do you find that or performing as a singer onstage more appealing?

I.C.:There are definitely times when I have been doing instrument session work when I have felt like a whore. I have never had that feeling as a vocalist, even during session work.

T.M.:How do you choose/refuse a DJ/beatmaker to collaborate with?

I.C.:If I don’t like the beat, I don’t use it- regardless if it’s someone I’ve worked with before or not. What I choose to work with has both to do with an emotional feeling and whether there is space in the track for my voice- it can not be too busy.

T.M.:In the 3+ year Sexbots history, what would you consider to be the highlight?

I.C.:Anytime I can get the entire crowd dancing at my shows. Someone walking up to me at my day job, in complete disbelief that I still had a day job. They were like, “I think I recognize you. You’re working? Why is someone like you doing this kind of work? Aren’t you just you?” Either that or screaming in the car when my song came on the radio. My kids thought we were going to have an accident. I was screaming, “It’s not my CD! Look! It’s the radio!”

T.M.:What is the most flattering description or comparison of your sound that you’ve heard by a critic? Is your singing ever compared to Björk’s work?

I.C.:I’m constantly compared to Bjork and I think it’s very sweet of people to do so. I don’t sound like her, but I think people mean that I have a high voice with a unique delivery, inimitable, and more naturally sensual than sexual as a commodity. I think that’s pretty spot-on. The record review I liked best, was one that said it was difficult to listen to, in an emotional way. And I was like, yes! It’s difficult for me to listen to that record, too! Someone who doesn’t know me listened and understood! I know that I don’t make easy listening music. I sing a lot about doubt and fear and sexual frustration.

T.M.:In your third album, Junk Sick, 8 of the 11 songs are inspired by a recent break-up. Do you find singing and songwriting therapeutic when this occurs? Do you take consolation in the fact that this time can provide inspiration for creating music?

I.C.:Making music the only way that I know how to deal with heartbreak- to take all that terrible energy and get it out. The album is not about our breakup, but about how scary being together was. He broke up with me in between finishing the album and releasing it. And when it happened, I was not doing okay at all, and all my friends said the same thing to me- “This is going to make your next album so good!” And I had to laugh through my tears every time this was said to me, and believe me, there was much crying going on. I could not deny it, either. He wouldn’t talk to me and so the first thing I did was tell everyone that we were starting the new album(this was about a week after the album release) and that it would be done by April. When we first kissed, my musical brother DJ Ceez said that my next album was going to be about him(this one ended being Junk Sick). My next 5 albums are going to be about him. Minimum. I am going to love this man a long time.

 

The Nix Mix

If you ran in to Ilima Considine at the grocery store, you might not recognize this petite mom of two as the dynamic force behind The Sexbots, a provocative experimental electronic/art pop act based in Portland, Oregon.  The Sexbots have a strong performance art component and never shy away from issues of sexuality and relationships.  Ilima provides vocals, songwriting and all around art direction while guest beatmakers like DJ Ceez and Qmulus contribute to the music production.
Ilima says "In some ways I'm a desperate housewife.  I have these two kids, and I have to sneak away to do this.  I spend most of my time at home in an apron, trying to take care of these kids."  This may be hard to believe if your experience of Ilima is the persona she portrays as the front woman of The Sexbots, who is a confidently sexual though sometimes androgynous woman with a vaguely exotic ethnicity, which belies her Irish/Chinese heritage.  Yet in speaking to Ilima about the release of The Sexbots new album, Junk Sick, I found her to be disarmingly soft spoken and genuine.  A track from Junk Sick, "The Only Thing," made Knix Picks for Best New Tracks in October, so I was curious to learn more about the maestro behind the music.
On becoming The Sexbots:
Ilima originally comes from a conservative Catholic family, the second oldest of 11 kids.  Before moving to San Diego from Massachusetts at age 15, she attended Catholic school and worked in a library as a teen.  A self-described sheltered child, she was "going to do what I was supposed to do, which is like work 80 hours a week, and retire early and then paint in your dotage."  Ilima says she decided to become a visual artist when she decided not to go to law school.  "On the morning of the LSAT, I decided I couldn't do it.  I couldn't follow that life track."
When she first moved to Portland, Oregon at age 19, Ilima was doing installations with a performance component to them.  Then she started playing in bands which "took over her life.  I still have elements of being a visual artist and thinking of my body that way, so that never went away."  Classically trained as a violinist, Ilima says she wanted to play in bands for years but didn't because "I didn't know anyone in bands and those are people on TV, and how can anyone end up like that?"
Ilima describes going to an all ages festival because she could take her then three year old daughter and seeing a band called We're From Japan.  "They were amazing.  They all looked like they worked at a gas station, and I realized if they could do it, if they can make those sounds, then I could do it too, and I went out and bought a bass and that was that.  I've been in bands ever since."  Ilima says, "Electronic music was something I'd stayed away from for years because people in Portland have this kind of indie snobbishness.  I kind of got ambushed into it, but it felt very natural when it happened." 
After a band breakup, Ilima says "People started approaching me and saying I want you to sing for me, but I can't be in a band.  I was like, well, there are enough of you guys that instead of having ten bands that never play shows and never go anywhere, if you're willing to let me call it by the same name, and I'll do everything else, I think we can do this.  And that's how it became The Sexbots."  Some of the people she collaborates with, she has never met.  Ilima says they are E-mail pen pals, sending MP3's back and forth until it becomes a song.  "The miracle of the Internet is I can work with anyone on the planet and make beautiful music.  Weird connections end up being some really long lasting friendships and musical collaborations."
On low budget music videos:
Out of all of The Sexbots music videos, Ilima has directed all but two or three herself on a minimal budget.  She says the most she ever spent was $100 for the first video and that was for vodka for all the extras.  Besides that video, she's never spent more than $10, including parking.  She says making videos is "like making dinner.  You see what's in the cupboards, and then you use it.  Half the time it's like, 'Well, we have all these stuffed tigers lying around.'"  Which is why you see her children's stuffed tigers featured in one video, and you can often see her kids running around in the background.
On having kids and being a performer:
"I won't say it's easy.  It's not easy.  Sometimes it's very hard.  I couldn't give up either of them, and if I wasn't doing music, I'd be a discontented and grumpy mother.  I wouldn't be much good to my kids.  Portland is a great place where you see other women who aren't letting age or kids slow them down.  I look at them and think 'Gosh, I'm an underachiever.  Why am I not living like these women?'  I wanted to play in bands for years, and I didn't.  Portland is just an amazing place to be in, and seeing other people and realizing the possibilities."  In support of her work, Ilima has received grants from both the Oregon Arts Commission and the Regional Arts and Culture Council.
On describing The Sexbots as art pop:
Ilima herself is described as a trans-disciplinary artist, but the term art pop to describe The Sexbots "is actually a term I started using as of this album."  There is a strong electronic element to her music, but Ilima feels that "electronica is a wastebasket that can encompass anything from Kraftwerk to Lady Gaga.  It's not a useful term.  The Sexbots would get booked for electronic music festivals but electronic dance music is not really what we are.  Indie labels would say we were too electronic.  I was trying to market us as song and dance music, but the whole time we were really like we're artsy fartsy depressing, but we have cool beats.  I came out of denial that we are artsy fartsy, and that's never going to go away even though it's completely uncool in Portland to make pop.  We're art pop.  It is what it is.  I sing about relationships and domesticity and the way you get torn when you've been with someone a long time and have a crazy history."
On the name The Sexbots:
Ilima says she wanted a name that implies that it's electronic and sexy.  "Sexbots is a Blade Runner reference even though it's not a term used in the movie or the novella, but everyone knows that it means these replicants.  The replicants, they look good.  They look like they know what's going on.  They can fake it.  But as soon as you ask them any question, they're completely clueless.  I was like I haven't had a boyfriend in three years.  I look like I know what's going on, but I have no idea.  Plus, it's easy to remember, so it works.  At the time, in Portland, there were all these bands with like seventeen vowels and punctuation, and you had to Google them because you couldn't remember how to say them.  I wanted something you could say and remember and spell."
On the inspiration for Junk Sick:
"There's a neighborhood just outside of Portland that's super cheap and a little sketchy.  Not sketchy like you're going to get jumped, but sketchy like it's where hipsters go to die from OD'ing on heroin.  I was visiting this photographer there, and he says to me 'What's wrong with me?  If I don't drink every day I feel junk sick.'  I had never heard the term before, but as soon as I heard it, I knew what he meant.  And the thing was, my boyfriend, we'd break up and I'd be so upset, I would literally throw up.  And so, when he said junk sick, I was like that's how he makes me feel.  Junk sick.  Like wanting something so bad you want to throw up, which is ridiculous.  I've never felt that way about anyone, and most of the album is about him."  For the record, Ilima's favorite track on the album is Magic Eyes.  "Every album is personal, but this album took it to a new level of very personal without the schtick - that character I play on stage who expresses what she really thinks, making it easier to say things.  People have been responding well.  It's been crazy and good."
On her public persona:
Ilima is openly bisexual, but while she is monogamous in a relationship, she says she does a lot of shows in drag and sometimes plays up that side to feel safer traveling.  "If people assume I don't screw men, they don't try so hard."  Of the strange things that have happened to her at shows, she said sometimes she gets weird presents.  "One time some guy gave me a baby Jesus, and I kept it to prove it happened because otherwise it's completely unbelievable." 
Final thoughts:
"There are times when I feel like you practically need an engineering degree to be a musician.  You can't just pick up a guitar and go.  Everything is digital, and the game is changing constantly.  You're figuring out, okay, we're not doing Myspace anymore.  What are we doing?  So much is online.  Imagine a musician trying to do anything without a website and an online presence."  Even so, Ilima is still a DIY artist.  "I have a little help managing it now, but 95% of everything is me.  When you E-mail directly it is me answering.  I still have a day job, but it's getting better. What could maybe support one starving musician who couch crashes a lot is not enough for a home and two kids, so I'm still plugging at it, but it's definitely getting better."
As Ilima wisely says, "If anybody feels like the things I do are things they can't do, I mean you can.  You're never too old or too awkward.  I mean, I'm a midget with glasses and if I can do it, you can too."
Connecting with The Sexbots:
Plans are in the works for a tour with upcoming dates booked in Japan and other locales beginning probably in April 2014.  The Sexbots are very open to both new collaborations and bookings.  "If someone wants The Sexbots to come out and do a show, it's not too hard to make it feasible with presales.  Anyplace that has a PA, we can plug and play."   Ilima can be contacted directly either by her website http://www.ilimaconsidine.com or her personal E-mail at ilimaconsidine@gmailcom, and Ilima herself will reply to inquiries.

Chaos Control

Ilima Considine

sexbots-2013

Last year, we profiled trans-disciplinary artist Ilima Considine about “Don’t Stop,” the debut from her musical project Ilima Considine and The Sexbots. Considine is back with her third Sexbots album, “Junk Sick,” so we followed up with another email interview.

Could you elaborate on the title “Junk Sick” and themes behind the songs?

This album is basically a series of love letters to the man who left me right after the [last] album was completed. The first several months we were together, we were constantly breaking up. When this happened, I was so upset that I would start vomitting. Junk sick is a term for the vomitting that accompanies heroin withdrawal. I was hanging out with an ex-junkie photographer in St. John’s and he said to me, “When I don’t drink, I feel junk sick. What does that mean?” Obviously, it meant he was a huge alcoholic. I had never heard the phrase before, but I immediately knew what it meant and I thought, “That’s how J– makes me feel.”

Who did you collaborate with musically for this album? Did the composition/recording process differ from previous albums in any specific ways?

I worked with DJ Ceez, Qmulus, and Stereospread. I used the same sound engineer as on Love Hotel, PE Strickland, but I recorded most of the tracks at home and then went to him for mixing and mastering. I wouldn’t say that the compositional process was especially different, but how I felt during it was different. I felt like I was eviscerating myself and then presenting the results as beautiful music. I tried to record in studio with PE Strickland, but I felt that it sounded too performative, and I wanted it to sound more personal- to one person, rather than an audience. I rerecorded everything at home, went back, and… we had one last mixing session that ended after midnight the night before I got on an early, early plane with both my kids to go to my brother’s wedding in Hawaii. I told Prince we were going to keep going until it was done and we did, but afterwards, he told me to stop torturing him, and from now on, just do my own mixing and just come to him for mastering. This isn’t as bad as it sounds, I had lost faith in myself as a producer, and he was telling me that I was good enough, and that it was easier for me to just do it than to try to explain mystical sonic qualities to him. It was exactly what I needed to hear.

 

In terms of the sounds used, there does seem to be more of an 80’s influence on “Junk Sick” – could you comment on that? Was there a conscious effort to utilize elements from that era (things like old synth sounds) without actually sounding ‘retro’?

No, I think it’s more like- we’re all within a few years of each other in age and children of the 80′s, and the ways that we remember our childhood, are sometimes different from the way that things actually were. For instance, I exactly remembered a doorknob in the house I grew up in, but I remembered it being rather high up. And there was a great emotional dissonance when I went back and saw it from the height of an adult. I think that it goes back to the way we remember the theory of songs that we heard many years ago, and may not have listened to them specifically. Kind of the way that stories change through oral history- when not referencing an exact recording repeatedly, our memory changes slightly. It has to do with the way that those memories were filtered through other musical experiences that we’ve collectively had over the years.

You’ve made videos for all the tracks on the album – could you describe for approach to them? For example, did you plan of all them from the start to create a cohesive ‘video album’? Or do approach them completely track by track? How long do you tend to spend making each one?

I approach them completely separately from each other. Half the time, video making is inspired, concept-driven, and then slapped in the face with a dose of reality. Other times, it’s like making dinner- I see what I have lying around the house and who’s available to hang out on a given day and go with that. Any time there’s a resource, such as a videographer with awesome gear who wants to try working together, I’ll throw together a shoot as quickly as possible to take advantage of it. It takes 1-3 days to shoot and edit a video, depending on the complexity. This can be spread over longer time… for example, we shoot, I catch a cold, and then realize I don’t know how to convert the footage into something Final Cut Pro can deal with… but without the periods of real life interspersed, I think it’s about 1-3 days of work (8-30 hours) put into each one. Sometimes it’s as simple as, hey, I came back from New Orleans with a pint of glitter, and I once saw this girl at a kink night who was covered in it, head to toe. I wonder if we can try that at home… and I am still finding glitter under my bed. That trick doesn’t work with craft glitter.

Do you consider how your work might be perceived by audiences who are introduced to it through your live shows vs just hearing the music/seeing the music videos? What, if anything, do you feel people are missing out on if they don’t have the chance to see you perform live?

I think there’s a lot missed out, energy wise, by not seeing a live show- at least in my own experience of going to shows. There are elements that can not be captured in recordings in any medium. If a band can’t sell it live, it’s not going to work. One thing that I have tried to do in my videos, is acknowledge the dichotomy in my work- between the freaky art pop goddess and the fact that I’m totally the single mom next door, albeit one with terrible, terrible fashion sense- and to present both sides at once, thus giving them something that they can’t get from the stage show. I make a point of not wearing makeup in videos and filming in my real environment, in places I know and inhabit in real life. I love Lady Gaga as a visual artist, but she has so many followers who get caught up in some of the side details. I think natural women are sexy. I wear makeup but I will never wear fake eyelashes, or corsets, or Spanx, or any of that. (The one time I wore a corset in a video was as a feminist commentary on how sexual accoutrements infantilize women.) I hardly ever wear heels because I need to feel the ground beneath me when I’m dancing. As a teenager in Southern California, I was told I was too short, too fat, too ethnic- whatever. I was afraid to participate in the music scene because I didn’t think I fit the part. Now I realize that the swagger of embracing whatever you are, fearlessly(or you know, being able to fake it well), is hot.

How did it work out using Kickstarter to fund the album?

I learned a lot. Mainly about my own fears and insecurities about presenting my work and asking other people to help. It was such an emotional roller coaster, and basically a full time job. I was drained, and got really sick travelling and working long hours, but every time I felt way down low, I thought of the obligation I had- not so much for the money, but for the trust that was put in me. For people believing in the music. I couldn’t let those people down. I may have to do this on the next album, and I will do it ten times better with all I learned the first time.

In terms of the promotional and business side of things, what would you say some of the big things are that you’ve learned since starting this project?

Get festivals to sign contracts. No more unlicensed festivals (this is a big thing in Oregon, and they get shut down all the time). Book holiday shows 3-4 months out. And, yikes… in previous bands, I spent like 95% time on music and 5% business side. That ratio is way different now. I realized that no one’s going to walk up and sign me out of nowhere, success is often more about push than talent, and I believe in the music I do. I believe that it’s worth the push, and I had to get that whole “I’m an artiste, I don’t have to promote” mindset out of myself as self-sabotaging, and say- the work is worth it, therefore I will learn how to promote and do it. I’m also extremely shy and tend to stay at home working on art projects, so this has been fighting against my natural tendencies. It’s paid off, but I miss the years when every day, after dinner, we’d play for 3-4 hours.

Keep smiling. Practice talking about your band until you get good at it. Leave the house once in awhile. This isn’t a business thing, but keep safe people around you. I get so nervous before shows that I get frantic and can’t eat, and then I get lightheaded and get drunk off half a drink. I try to keep certain safe people around me and they all know to yell at me until I eat something. I am a hot mess when I have low blood sugar.

Are you planning on doing any national (or international?) touring to promote this album?

Yes, I will be going to Japan in February and again in April. I will be attacking the US in portions at a time. I have a rule never to be away from the children for more than 2 weeks, so I will be doing it piece by piece. Dying to do Europe but looking for help booking this. I always feel like I am making major faux pas when I use Google translate. The easiest way to track my shows is probably www.ilimaconsidine.com or stalk me on Facebook- I’m under my real name, Ilima Considine. Also, if you want to help get The Sexbots tour Europe, (I know Germany is dying for us!) please write me directly at ilimaconsidine@gmail.com

I’m my own label and my own management company. You won’t be talking to some tormented intern or under-secretary- everything is through me. I’m not doing this to get laid or get rich or to be cool- I’m trying to tell stories that help people understand themselves and see their lives differently. I’m trying to make the kind of music that changes people’s lives.

Supa Jam

Sexbots are true DIY, putting out waves of material with no financial backing but making it work and getting an audience. Sexbots are art pop in the highest sense, pulling together concepts and wordy explanations with the flair of a deranged showman.

Sexbots are also in a bad place, naming their new album ‘Junk Sick’ after the act of being physical ill in heroin withdrawal because the partner who’d inspired the songs dumped them shortly after recording.

But most importantly, Sexbots are good, providing a truly off kilter set of soundscapes sourced from over the world with the lyrics and vocals of Ilima Considine over the top. It’s the sound of Nintendos, tape and haunted nursery rhymes. They’re not going to chart, but they are something you can curl up with.

Willamette Week

[DRAG FAB] Drag queen Latrice Royale made a legend of herself on Miami’s South Beach scene, where gaudiness is a staple and major tourist attraction. But this diva recently spread her plastic jewel-encrusted wings: The globe-trotting gender bender hopscotches west this winter, roosting in Oregon for three nights. Also on this bill,  celebrating the release of latest album Junk Sick is Portland’s own Sexbots, an electronic anomaly led by the breathy, sultry Ilima Considine. Between Miss Royale’s and Miss Considine’s vastly divergent—but equally intense—approaches to sexuality, this is certainly the least PC thing going on in Portland tonight. It will be awesome. 

Willamette Live (Salem, OR)

Portland-based art popsters “The Sexbots”

Portland-based art popsters The Sexbots will be playing at Franklin’s Bottle Shop on October 19 followed by Ninja Turtle Ninja Tiger.

The Sexbots are/is Ilima Considine- who sets her inimitable vocals against electronic soundscapes from around the world.  During a band breakup, Considine was approached by several beatmakers who wanted a vocalist without the commitment of a band.  The Sexbots brings to life a series of e-mail collaborations, carefully curated and art-directed by Considine- who performs alone.  Surprisingly, the unknown band with no label, no management, and before the first show was even played outside Portland -managed to chart on CMJ with their first album.  Since then, Considine has toured and released a no-budget music video for every song- entire albums can be listened to on youtube, accompanied by images of the bespectacled singer falling out of trees, dancing naked, or being repeatedly killed by her children’s stuffed tigers(the children can often be seen frolicking in the background).  Along with an undefinable and shifting accent, Considine’s appearance is largely ambiguous- often androgynous, ethnically unclear(Irish-Chinese), with big eyes/tiny stature/theatrical gestures making it unclear how old or how serious she is about anything.  She is entirely serious about the emotional inner world she charts- of a woman vacillating between love and sex, between need and regret.  With a stage presence verging on performance art, Considine has received grants from both the Oregon Arts Commission and the Regional Arts and Culture Council.

The title of the third album, Junk Sick, is a term for the vomiting that accompanies heroin withdrawal, which seemed apt for the relationship depicted in 8 out of 11 songs.  Another title considered was “Love Makes Me Nervous”.  Regret, jealousy, and desire are recurring themes.  The music has always incorporated spoken word, weird samples, and the odd song structures of a classically trained violinist turned indie vocalist- but this album is unabashedly art pop with the heavy nostalgia that children of the 80’s have for smashed and deconstructed Nintendo sounds, primitive synths, cassettes, and shitty mics.  The first song of the album, “The Only Thing”,  sound recalls Nightrider, Bladerunner, Mario Bros., and Japanese poptarts all at once.  This album was funded by a Kickstarter campaign whose rewards included “inappropriately long hugs”.

Willamette Week

[DRAG FAB] Drag queen Latrice Royale made a legend of herself on Miami’s South Beach scene, where gaudiness is a staple and major tourist attraction. But this diva recently spread her plastic jewel-encrusted wings: The globe-trotting gender bender hopscotches west this winter, roosting in Oregon for three nights. Also on this bill,  celebrating the release of latest album Junk Sick is Portland’s own Sexbots, an electronic anomaly led by the breathy, sultry Ilima Considine. Between Miss Royale’s and Miss Considine’s vastly divergent—but equally intense—approaches to sexuality, this is certainly the least PC thing going on in Portland tonight. It will be awesome. 

Les Immortels

According to Google Translate:

"Remember Trainspotting? This film of the last century, with Ewan McGregor in the role of Renton, talking about drugs and some adverse effects it can have on health. The album title refers to the Junk Sick delicate feeling sick facing those who want to win. And by extension to the end of love temptations and its physical effects.

The Sexbots or rather Ilima Considine and the Sexbots Qmulus together, Keegan Smith, DJ and Ceez Stereospread accompanying turn the lady. This protean artist, exhibited as a showcase project and puts her sweet voice on the various tracks carried by a synthetic dimension hit the seal 80s. Candor that emerges from the stamp is of another dimension at the discretion of the sensual and sexual aspects that are addressed in the lyrics. Different love letters making up the majority of this Junk Sick, 8 tracks of 11, give rise to a certain disorder, corresponding to the final in this delicious sensation due to a romantic break.

While some electronic ornaments may resemble signals vitals on the most melancholy songs, it is however no question of complaints set to music. No need to conjure the ghost of Taylor Swift-no, she did not die, which is not the case of joie de vivre. The different dimensions of the relationship to the other, including his carnal component are assumed and fully invested. Treatment slightly outdated electronics implementation and distinctive voice Ilima Considine 's create a universe non-hermetic bubble porous wish and quick to disseminate its content. The artist is well staged, giving a dimension 'performance' to his music and enhancing the impact."

Original:

Vous vous souvenez de Trainspotting ? Ce film du siècle dernier, avec Ewan McGregor dans le rôle de Renton, parlant de la drogue et de certaines conséquences néfastes qu’elle peut avoir sur la santé. Le titre de l’album Junk Sickrenvoie à la délicate envie de vomir que connaissent ceux qui veulent décrocher. Et par extension à la fin du vertige amoureux et à ses effets physiques.

The Sexbots ou plutôt Ilima Considine and the Sexbots rassemble QmulusKeegan Smith,DJ Ceez et Stereospread qui accompagnent tour à tour la dame. Celle-ci, artiste protéiforme, s’expose en tant que vitrine du projet et pose sa voix douce sur les différentes pistes portées par une dimension synthétique frappées du sceau des années 80. La candeur qui se dégage du timbre revêt une toute autre dimension au gré des aspects sensuels et sexuels qui sont abordés dans les paroles. Les différentes lettres d’amour composant la majeure partie de ce Junk Sick, 8 titres sur 11, font naître un trouble certain, correspondant au final à cette délicieuse sensation liée à une rupture sentimentale.

Si certains ornements électroniques peuvent s’apparenter à des signaux de constantes vitales sur les titres les plus mélancoliques, il n’est cependant nullement question de complaintes mises en musique. Nul besoin de conjurer le fantôme de Taylor Swift -non, elle n’est pas décédée, ce qui n’est pas le cas de sa joie de vivre. Les différentes dimensions de la relation à l’autre, et notamment sa composante charnelle, sont pleinement assumées et investies. Le traitement légèrement suranné de l’électronique mise en oeuvre et la voix particulière d’Ilima Considine créent une bulle d’univers non hermétique, poreuse à souhait et prompte à diffuser son contenu. L’artiste se met ainsi en scène, conférant une dimension ‘performance’ à sa musique et en renforçant l’impact.

Vents Magazine

Ilima Considine

Can you please introduce and tell us more about yourself (history)?

I’m the singer for a band called The Sexbots- and the art director, video editor, manager, all around tired person. I also have two kids and work in catering- my company has been catering for the show Portlandia, which is wonderful and triply.

 

 

What’s the story behind the band’s name?

It was kind of a joke- we were a bunch of nerds trying to think of a name that was sexy, electronic, memorable, and easy to spell. At the time, it seemed there were a ton of bands in Portland with names like “!!!” or ones with, like 5 consonants and no vowels that could neither be spelled nor pronounced. I was also trying to come up with something that evoked the confusion of the replicants in Blade Runner- dead sexy but utterly clueless, and came of with The Sexbots. We’ve actually gotten a lot of trouble from the name, but it was too catchy to give up. It’s really about me- I have a good game face but I am probably the least cool and most clueless person you ever meant. Ask my DJ.

 

 

Who are your musical influences?

Morrissey, Smashing Pumpkins, Xiu Xiu, Blonde Rehead.

 

 

Magic Eyes – can you talk to us more about the track?

My DJ was down in Eugene doing a show, and all of a sudden, he calls me and says, “You have to check out my older brother’s roommate!” Qmulus was an old high school chum who had reappeared as his brother’s roommate, and was very quietly making some really beautiful tracks that very few people had heard. We emailed back and forth, talked on the phone, but never actually met until after the album was done. It was about 3:30am after a Mickey Avalon show where the bouncers had guns. I was dead tired, sweat half my makeup off, etc. Anyway, the song Magic Eyes is about the way you look at someone when you’re in love, you look at them as if to say, “You’re magic”. Total adoration. It also contains what is a recurring theme of the album, which was my longing for a certain someone while I was on tour, hoping that he was waiting for me to get back.

 

 

What’s the concept behind the video?

Someone I knew from guerilla bike parties sent me an email on Facebook saying, “You’ve got to work with my friend.” We had coffee once and I wasn’t sure I wanted to work with him or not, but he had good gear, so I was willing to do one get to know you shoot- something not involving a ton of extras and locations, but one with a simple concept to see if we could get along creatively- so basically, um, what I call “soft porn”- like Gwen Stefani’s “4 in the morning” video- basically, no story, just, doesn’t Gwen look pretty? I was working 12 hour days and showed up barely showered with a bunch of costumes and things that I’d found in free piles to throw up as different backdrops. Erik didn’t even expect me to show up- he was expecting typical Portland flakiness- so when I knocked on his door, he was still in bed and he hadn’t had breakfast or coffee. There was an abandoned garage behind his house and that’s where we filmed it whilst his girlfriend paced inside. She didn’t seem to be that thrilled.

 

 

So talk to us about your Kickstarter campaign and “long hugs”?

I still owe money from putting out 2 albums last year! No joke! This one was bursting out but I really wasn’t at a point where I could finance it myself again. People try to talk down the “inappropriately long hugs” but those seem to really have been what helped us go the distance. I still owe a lot of strangers hugs. It came down to me, that people help because of the personal connection. I also try to hug just about everyone that comes to my shows, on the theory that I want them to feel the way that I did when people I adore have hugged me at shows. I feel that them listening intently to my music is a very intimate and personal experience. I am very open in my lyrics and delivery, and for them to listen with an open heart- we are definitely sharing something very intimate between us and they deserve a hug after.

 

 

“Junk Sick” – How was the recording and writing process?

I started out at PDX Underground Recording, but I felt that the tracks I laid down were too performative. I wanted them to sound like I was singing to myself, without an audience, so I rerecorded at home in my bedroom and living room, did basic mixes, and then went to fine tune back at the studio. At the end of it, my engineer, PE Stickland, told me to stop torturing him and to do all my mixing myself- just come to him for mastering. He gave me back my faith in myself as a producer! Sorry, Prince! Love you long time!

 

 

How did you come up with the title?

I was hanging out with this ex-junkie photographer and he said, “When I don’t drink, I feel junk sick. What does that mean?” Obviously, he was a huge alcoholic. I had never heard the phrase junk sick before, but I instantly knew what it mean, and I thought, “That’s how J— makes me feel.” Every time we broke up I would start throwing up. Funny thing is, as soon as we met, my DJ said to his girlfriend, “Ilima’s next album is going to be about J—.” Actually, I was not amused when I heard that. He was so right, though.

 

 

Where did you get the inspiration for the lyrics and songs?

Most of these songs are about the lover who left me shortly after the album was completed. I don’t think it’s possible to say more about him than I say in the album. He was a prince to me. There were jealousy issues. Some of the song lyrics quote our arguments. I missed him terribly on tour. He called me one day and said, “I can’t do this anymore.” I hit up every producer I wanted to be on the next album and said, “I’m tired of crying but it’s hard to stop. This is the only thing that will keep me going. We are going to start the next album now and it will be done by April.”

 

 

Any plans to tour throughout Canada, North America, the world?

Yes! I am tour routing right now. I will have many announcements very soon, but until I get confirmations from venues I don’t want to say too much. It is pretty definite that half of February will be in Japan though. I am feeling very drawn to the South and the East Coast, also. Still, if you want me in your city and have a couch I can sleep on, please email me at ilimaconsidine.

 

 

What’s happening next in Ilima Considine’s world?

I’m trying to stay as busy as possible to avoid withering from grief. It’s not been good, but I’ve been pretty productive. I’m also setting new work rules for myself- no computer once the kids are home from school. Then I work a few hours once they are in bed… Damned iphone though…

 

 

Where can we find out more about your music?

www.ilimaconsidine.com is my artist website. thesexbots.bandcamp.com will put most of my back catalogue in your hands, but if you listen on Spotify, I get royalties! So if you can’t buy, please listen on Spotify. I also make music videos for each song so you can watch entire albums on youtube(youtube.com/ilimaconsidine). Most of the videos are either very funny or very sexy. The ridiculous quotient is pretty high.

- See more at: http://ventsmagazine.com/ilma-considine/#sthash.uSNaErvJ.dpuf

Oregon Music News

Lunching with Ilima Considine is a compilation of delicious moments during which the singer alternately stops to chat with friends from the neighborhood and a couple of clowns-about-town known as Dingo Dizmal and Olive Rootbeer, making her own apparent juggle of life, work, music, and family seem just a little less like a three-ring circus.

If you’ve caught Considine’s act- perhaps at Someday Lounge or Berbati’s -even more than the revolving sideshow she performs with, it’s her voice, at once infectious and haunting, that captures the imagination, taking up residence in your cranium, and causing you to crave just another little sound byte. Don’t let this tiny troubadour’s size fool you, though; Considine’s big-league musical skills include violin, cello, and bass, along with the occasional scoring of neoclassical soundtracks for film and modern dance companies.

You may have caught the sneak preview from the full-length CD, Love Hotel, last week when 94.7 NRK Radio debuted the single, Solar Power. The newest offering from Ilima Considine and The Sexbots is due out August 31, and was inspired by the parting of a long-distance love who had been diminishing her art. Considine recalls the process that culminated in her upcoming CD, Love Hotel, “My mojo was very low… the moment I stopped crying… a great weight had been lifted, and I felt life could be good again.

“I had been creating super-angsty emo music… and I wanted to produce something that communicated this feeling of joy.

“We’d just had our release party for Don’t Stop in February, after the CD came out in October 2011.” By April of this year, Considine had been sent enough instrumental beats from various hiphop producers that she was aching to make Sexbots of them all, “And put out an album by the end of summer.” The resulting Love Hotel was co-produced by Considine and P.E. Strickland, and is a combination of tight, catchy hiphop-cum-pop tunes that entices audiences to get up and dance.

The Sexbots is always a collaborative effort whose constant is the multi-talented Considine, gathering other artists around her winsome voice and engaging lyrics to produce a live show that inspires and satisfies loyal audiences. “I was a classical musician for so many years that I write songs with classical structures, so I need to work with others to make dance music. I had been singing with an electronic group. When that started breaking up, a few years ago, so many other producers were looking to collaborate that The Sexbots grew organically from wanting to keep making the kind of music that collaboration is.”

With Considine as singer and sole lyricist, co-writing music with DJ Ceez, Andy $tack, and Eugene musical team Aerosol & DGB; the teamwork pays off on Love Hotel, with bouncy electronic house tracks like Solar Power, and the breezy, slightly sleazy, pop-infused ode to Portland that is The Bicycle Song. Sometimes they heard my voice, then found me. Sometimes I found them. I ended up working with Spit Stix of Fear,” Considine offers, “After running into him at The Goodfoot. He was full of stories. Later, at home, I googled him, and discovered they were all true! So, I asked him to do a cover song with me, A-Ha’s Take On Me.”

Ilima Considine performs at First Thursday in the Pearl, Portland

Considine studied violin for nine years, playing in the youth orchestras of the New England Conservatory. Enrolled in the University of California at San Diego at the tender age of 15 (not that she now looks much older than then), Considine acquired a B.A. in Psychology, necessitating that she put the violin aside to immerse in studies, not to mention work to pay for books, resulting in a 10-year hiatus from the music scene.

During college, Considine became known as a visual artist, showing her art installations with groups in San Diego from age 19. The following year, the future Sexbot moved to Portland and had her first PNW gallery show at Regeneration, one of the Everett Station Galleries well-known to the art patrons of First Thursdays in the Pearl.

More recently, First Thursday in the Pearl saw Ilima Considine on top of a retro-fitted Navy weapons transport vehicle (that still has the missile container on top), aka a favorite “Party Bus” in Portland, dancing in the dark, despite her fear of heights, and singing “Lisa Lisa” to the street-party crowd.

The diminutive diva found the experience both frightening and exhilarating, remarking, “What’s a little hyper-ventilation between songs? I was completely freaked out, yet I couldn’t stop smiling, couldn’t move. Everyone just kept taking pictures, and making fun of me.”

Finishing up an ambitious video cycle for Love Hotel, the bulk of which was recorded at PDX Underground Recording, “So that the whole album is viewable on YouTube in time for the release,” Considine will then focus on booking tours, no doubt to the delight of fans around the world, many of whom have discovered The Sexbots through YouTube. Enthused Considine, “I want to play every capital in Europe!”

Oregon Music News

"hot electro collaborative dance band brilliance"

Ectoguide

The first full-length by Sexbots continues where the ep left off, Considine's blissful vocals set against harsh beats. "Come on Daddy" is a disturbing piece of work with buzzing beats and a vulnerable vocal. "Tell me you want it" is a lovely song with a dreamy mood that recalls early

SideLine

Ilima Considine seems to have some recognition as a female artist mainly involved in soundtrack music. With The Sexbots she creates an opportunity to express a rather electro-pop inspired music. 
She’s exploring ‘a region of unflinchingly self-aware female sexuality of untouched by modern pop music. But it’s also an album about self-experienced loneliness. The ideas have been transposed in a mix of trip-hop elements, electro grooves, minimalistic pop experiences and the sweet and fragile timbre of voice of Ilima Considine. Her way of singing reminds me of Lily Allen and Kate Bush. It mainly comes through on the songs “A Terrible Dream” and the more experimental-like “Running Up That Hill”. You for sure will recognize the song “Running That Up Hill”, which of course is a cover version of Kate Bush. The Sexbots seems to like cover versions as “Take On Me” from A-Ha is another noticeable cut from the CD. 
Speaking for myself, I’m more into the original creations from the artist. “Tell Me That You Want It” is one of the best cuts for its heavy bass bleeps and cold poppy grooves. In a quite similar groovy style “This Happy Feeling” is also recommended. If you’re more into evasive pop fields “Finish Me Off” will catch your attention. 
This debut is pretty acceptable and I’m sure you’ll be intrigued when you discover the sexy front cover of the album. 
(ED:6/7)ED.

Portland Monthly

Chinese-American performance dynamo Considine had a good year in 2011, earning a career development grant from the Regional Arts & Culture Council, playing the Fire in the Canyon Music Festival to rave reviews, and snatching up the plum role of female Robyn in "nerdcore" Batman musical The Dark Side of Knight.  Now she'll celebrate the release of Don't Stop, sporting manga makeup and backed by a belly-dance troupe

Performer Magazine

"Joanna Newsom, Bjork and Peaches have a threesome in your wildest of wet dreams"

It's official: Portland's Ilima Considine is certifiably crazy.  But, it's the kind of genius-crazy that makes one wonder just how in the world she does it.  A one-woman show, she fronts the racy collaborative dance band The Sexbots.  But under her ultra-sexed facade, theres more to Considine than "oohs" and "aahs."  All sexcapades aside, the girl's got skills in spades, and in her spare time, she performs session work as a vocalist, violinist, and does neoclassical string arrangements for soundtracks and modern dance companies.  Her recent album, Don't Stop, sees The Sexbots fusing style and substance with a healthy does of sensuality.

The record spares no time for small talk or pleasantries, jumping right into "Come On Daddy," a bizarre sado-masochistic anthem, as Considine moans, Come on Daddy, don't be so mean, don't be so mad at me."  On "Tell Me That You Want It", Considine's electro-thrash tendencies come out in full force in a track that shines in its striking minimalism.  The twinkling, erotic "Finish Me Off" really displays the strength of her vocals, as she breathily coos sweet nothings into listeners' ears.  "When You Close the Bedroom Door" is a lighthearted, danceable track that breaks up the otherwise dark, carnal nature of the album.  Don't Stop closes, in totally appropriate fashion, with her take on "Take On Me," an impressive, synth-heavy cover of the ubiquitous '80s anthem by A-ha.

For many bands, the sex kitsch thing can come off as cheesy and tacky.  But Considines vocal strength and musical prowess take the raw sexiness of Don't Stop from seedy to high class.

Willamette Week

 

[OUTSIDER ELECTRO-POP] Portland has a thriving electronic music scene, but neither of tonight\'s headlining acts—the Sexbots and Dropa, both of whom release albums tonight—are names one hears on the shortlist of go-to electronic dance acts. Maybe that\'s because the Sexbots and Dropa play with pop structures and outsider lyrical themes. The former\'s frontwoman, Ilima Considine, writes dark, erotic poetry, with bold bleeps and bloops behind her (the beats are co-produced by ex-FEAR drummer and Portlander Spit Stix, so subtlety isn\'t generally the goal here) on new album Don\'t Stop. Dropa\'s Micah Tamblyn and Matthew Higgins write similarly pronounced—but altogether more psychedelic—dance tracks about contemporary society on Glass House, and the duo\'s worldview reminds of guys like Trent Reznor and Thom Yorke. What unites the two groups is that they\'re keeping it real—and real direct—rather than keeping it weird. That commitment to clarity may actually be holding them back a bit, but those who like hearing the words while they dance will appreciate the groups' efforts.

 

 

Blue Blood Magazine

 

I’ve been listening to the brand new full length release from Ilima Considine’s electronic project The Sexbots and really enjoying it a lot. It’s sort of catchy unpop kawaii nerdcore that makes a real personal connection with the listener. The breathlessly sweet Lolita vocals drip with an aching yearnfully lusty tone that can at times be a little disconcerting but I’ve fallen for it in a big way.
Tell Me That You Want It is the lead single and it is a sexy fun track, but I also really like A Terrible Dream, Finish Me Off, and When You Close the Bedroom Door a lot. I’m not as big into the electronica covers of Kate Bush’s classic Running Up That Hill or A-Ha’s 80′s anthem Take on Me, but I consider it a good thing when I like a band’s original work better then their covers.
 
The whole album is available on Bandcamp on a generous pay as you go system, so you can get a good listen and then give what you can or see fit. The album also features input from Spit Stix of legendary punkrock band FEAR, as well at DJ Ceez, Shermstixx, and Natural 20. Live shows promise all the fun attributes, go-go burlesque dancers, colorful circus acts, fire dancers, and more, so I’m hoping to catch a Ilima in some cool city. Although the performance schedule listed on Ilima‘s site indicates I might have to get up to Portland if I want to see them in the near future. I know, twist my arm, right?

 

 

Chaos Control

With The Sexbots, trans-disciplinary artist Ilima Considine has created a musical project very different from a traditional ‘band.’ Having been approached by various producers/beatmakers about collaborating, Considine chose to tie the various works into a cohesive project that could be promoted and fleshed out into live performances and videos. “Don’t Stop,” the first full-length album from “Ilima Considine and The Sexbots” came out in late 2011. In an email interview, Considine explained a bit more about the project.

Could you explain a bit about how The Sexbots came about, both musically and conceptually?

“Basically, what had happened, was that I had a number of beatmakers/producers spontaneously approach me and ask me to do vocals for basement projects. They were at a point in their lives where they couldn’t do the band thing- wife, family, mortgage, and no time for band practice- but they couldn’t stop going into their basement and making these tracks that they always had wanted a singer for, that no one was hearing, and they couldn’t really push themselves. It was a way of gathering all of these in a way that could actually be promoted- rather than 10 different bands that never performed, it was all under the umbrella of The Sexbots, with myself providing aesthetic direction and continuity. Another way of putting it is that it’s the Royksopp/Massive Attack formula flipped. Instead of having a different vocalist on each song, I have a different beatmaker. This was really a surprise to me when it happened because I have a history of performing in very experimental indie bands, but a few people took a chance on my voice and it snowballed.”

Do you see video as an integral creative part of the project, or more of a promotional tool?

“Here’s the part where I start to sound like one of those hipster types… I call myself a trans-disciplinary artist because I feel that what I do has more to do with looking at the world with a certain aesthetic sense, than having any skills. And just applying that to what I do. Video isn’t part of a grand marketing scheme – it’s just I love telling stories and making videos is a way to tell a story with several contiguous layers. I have crazy ideas that, at this point, no one else would let me do for their songs. It’s that I happen to have songs and this persona lying around, so I use them. Low-budget video making is like making dinner – you see what’s in the cupboard and you make it happen. If I had a singer-actress friend who would let me do these things to her – like taking a bath in body paint just so that it can be played in reverse, or getting locked in a trunk for a snuff film, I would – but I’m the only person who allows me to do these things. I’m both the sadistic German film director and his blonde actress at once, except I’m not blonde.”

What factors go into determining which songs you do videos for? Have any songs actually started out as video ideas?

“The song comes first, then I’ll be driving somewhere and I start imagining a story. I had a really sheltered childhood- I wasn’t exposed to MTV until I went to college so I am super fascinated by music videos.”

Since you direct your own videos, I’m curious as to what, if any, impact online viewing might have on the creative side of things? (For example – people potentially viewing on small screens, while jumping around youTube, perhaps seeing but having audio low, etc)

2 ways to answer that question -

1)the only way I can function with creative freedom is by assuming that no one is going to hear the songs and no one is going to watch the videos. Then they do and I am shocked when they ask questions!

2) It allows me to use cheaper equipment- I don’t need to have everything super HD if it is mostly going to be viewed on youtube. When I started making videos, people tried to tell me I need thousands of thousands of dollars and I said NO! It’s going to be seen in a 3 inch square on youtube, it doesn’t need to look that good. That’s something I’ve told my cameramen ever since- it needs to look good enough for youtube. I really don’t have much of a budget. I have 2 kids. The most I’ve ever spent on a video shoot was, I think, like $150, and that’s only because I got all the extras to show up by promising free vodka.

Going into this, did you consider what a project named The Sexbots might get lumped in with when people search for you online? (Porn sites, youTube videos about making large breasted Sims characters, etc)

No, I’m pretty naive. If I was a little more sophisticated, I might have seen what this got us linked to, and the assumptions people would make. Honestly, it’s kind of a convoluted Bladerunner reference. They don’t use the term in the novel or the book, but the concept of a highly sexualized replicant, who doesn’t quite get it, seemed awfully relevant to me at the time. My dating life was less than zero at the time.

Could you describe how the various musical collaborations on “Don’t Stop” worked? For example, did the musicians who created beats for it present fairly complete tracks for you to pick from / work with? Or was there a lot of back and forth as songs developed?

A little of both, depending what song and who it was. “Under My Skin” was something Ceez and I did especially for Halloween. We were driving back from Eugene with hangovers and decided to do a spooky beat and just talked about the concept. Ceez and I are like long lost musical brothers- there are times where we will be chatting online and he’ll send me a track and I will email him a demo 5 minutes later. Other people, there’s more back and forth. Spit Stix and I took a little time to work out what we wanted to do as we come from very different backgrounds.

What made you want to cover “Running Up That Hill” and “Take On Me”? Have there been any songs other you’d wanted to cover, that didn’t work out?

I’m a child of the 80′s, and they are both songs from when I was growing up. I chose them because they are songs that seem happy-go-lucky until you start to pay attention to the lyrics. “Running Up That Hill” is totally chilling and heartbroken. “Take on Me” is telling someone that they don’t know it yet, but you’re going to be lovers. I was trying to re-inject the the lyrical intent into the song.

Is “Don’t Stop” self-released? If so, do you think you’d want to work with a label in the future, or do you prefer to stay completely independent?

It’s self-released. I would like to work with a label- but it has to be a situation where we are both very clear what we want from each other. I’m never going to change my artistic output to be on a label, but I do want help with the logistical side. There’s a huge amount of, basically, office work that goes into doing stuff properly. I will work hard and earn money for a label- but I would rather be shooting a video, playing a show, or writing new songs than doing 100% of the grunt work. There are only so many hours in a day and I’m learning it as I go. There are people who do this full-time and get off on it, and they would be so much better than me. I’m basically running my own label except half the time, I stop what I’m doing to give a 3 year old a bath or something.

Do you have a regular line-up of musicians & dancers for live performances, or does it vary by show?

It varies show by show. There are some recurring regulars. I’ve used circus people, belly dancers, fire artists, drag queens… once an entire modern dance company.

Are you involved in any other musical projects right now?

I do hooks for rappers. I write neoclassical soundtracks for indie films and I’m working on another solo album. I want to start playing instruments with other people in 2012. I badly miss playing with other people, it’s just scheduling is a bear.

What’s in the immediate future for you (with The Sexbots or anything else you’re working on)?

We’re going to be hitting the road hard in 2012. I also want to work with a couple more rappers and put together an entire album that’s all different rappers with me on the hooks. That’s pretty insane! Anyway, if anyone wants me to play a show in their town, or wants to work together, they should e-mail me at ilimaconsidine@gmail.com.

lmnop.com

The Sexbots - Don't Stop (Independently released CD, Electronic/dance/pop)

More provocative electronic pop from Portland, Oregon's The Sexbots. Bandleader Ilima Considine makes music that doesn't sound anything like what we normally hear coming out of her hometown. Instead of artsy underground guitar pop/rock (which is what Portland, Oregon seems to be mainly known for), her sexy commercial dance tracks have much more in common with well-known artists like Madonna or even Lady Gaga. But what is perhaps most interesting about Considine's music is the fact that it seems to harken back to the early 1980s when electronic/techno/dance music was just beginning to find a firm seating in underground circles across the United States. The tracks on Don't Stop have that peculiar analog sound that characterized early electronic pop from that era. But it is Ilima's vocals that take center stage here. She sings like a breathy sex kitten...but unlike lots of other ladies who try to adopt such a pose...she manages to pull it off with style. Thirteen smart cuts here including "And I Meant It," "A Terrible Dream," "Finish Me Off," and "Take On Me." If The Sexbots don't end up with at least one massive hit here we will bevery surprised...

BePortland

 

DEC 29 10:31AM
On February 3, 2012 at Backspace at 9pm, $7 there will be an all ages with booze double album-release party for The Sexbots andDropa. The show also features Stereovision

The Sexbots are a Portland-based electronic band that began in November 2009 as an e-mail collaboration between vocalist Ilima Considine(ex-Childhood Friends) and independent beatmakers that include Spit Stix of the legendary punk band FEAR. Often compared to a cross between Bjork and Portishead, The Sexbots explore a region of unflinchingly self-aware female sexuality often untouched by modern pop music. Don't Stop is the first full-length album.

 

 

Willamette Week Blog

Now one from the ever- Sexbots- a kind of drum-n-bassy affair that features lead Sexbot Ilima Considine being stripped down and abused. Disturbing!

 

 

Note:  This page also featured an Animal Farm video with me in the screen shot- so I was on this page TWICE.  That's alot of Ilima.

Ectoguide

Release info:

2010—self-released

Availability:

See The Sexbots' MySpace page

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended/recommended/for fans only, etc.

Group members:

Ilima Considine—vocals
Air Fortress (2, 5)
Jim Meyer (1, 3, 4, 6)

Produced by:

Jim Meyer and Ilima Considine

Comments:

The Sexbots make dark electronica complete with Illima Considine's quirky and Björk-y vocals. The dreamy, languid "Angel" is a cool track that shows them at their hypnotic best. "Cecilia" is another neat track with a truly suggestive air that recalls a darkerMorcheeba. "Too True" is trip-hop sent through the rabbit hole to Wonderland and back again. It's a brief but compelling ep. (stjarnell@yahoo.com)

Oregon Music News

Sexbots with Friends and Lovers at the Someday on Wednesday

March 15, 2011

Ilima Considine in repose.

Ilima Considine and the Sexbots are bringing together various collaborators from the past year at the Someday Lounge on Wednesday, March 16, 8pm, $5.

She calls herself “transdisciplinary.” That’s why this is in “Melting Pot.” She says about herself, “I write neoclassical soundtracks, and I can sometimes be found doing performance art and occasional art modeling/acting.  Oh yeah, and I currently play violin for Park Friends!”

On the menu:

Their Bike submission “Crash”, and portions of Jeff Scott Taylor’s art-house zombie flick “1158 w/ live soundtrack featuring Classical Revolution PDX.

Watch the trailer from Crash, “Jeremy Gets a Blow Job.” (He doesn’t.)

There will be a dance performances by PDX Dance Collective and Dreame Scape.

Also a fashion show featuring Organic Designs by Miss Gwynievere w/ models from Wanderlust Circus, VAL, TigerEyes,

With visual stylings of Andrew Constantine and Cecilia Jasion.

Plus musical appearances by: The Sexbots (not surprising), DJ Ceez, Start Fires, Abadawn,with dancing after with Mr. Wu spinning.

They want you to know that there will be a special appearance from Jeremy Benjamin.

Connexion Bizarre

The Sexbots – Eee Pee
CD/digital, self-released, 2010
www.myspace.com/thesexbots
The debut release of this collaborative project is something of a strange beast – delightfully flawed and alluring at the same time. Björk comes across as a comparative reference here, especially where Ilima Considine’s vocals are concerned but, other than that, anything goes as far as melodic and beat fuckery goes, with the instrumentals and some production being supplied through collaborative work over the Internet with independent musicians. Short as it may be, “Eee Pee” hints at untapped potential that needs to be developed – the idea of quasi-random and promiscuous long-distance artistic collaborations certainly is worthy of further and thorough exploration. Even if, musically, the overall end result can be somewhat uneven, the musical patchwork variety and the punky lo-fi experimental approach are essential parts of the charm of the Sexbots. Nevertheless, some production issues in terms of mastering and sound levelling should be addressed to polish up the end result – purely from a technical point of view – as they significantly detract from the end result. [6.5/10]

– Miguel de Sousa

String arrangements/live violin for PDX Dance Collective

PDX Dance Collective

Trace the connections through Linked, a new evening-length collection of dances created by members of the PDX Dance Collective, founded by Rachael Singer and Elise Ericksen of Portland Festival Ballet.  Using a vocabulary built from ballet, jazz, contemporary and African dance, the performers speak to the ties that bind us all, and the emotions those relationships engender.  Each member of the collective will debut a piece and perform inthe other members' pieces; Keyon Gaskin's A Dear John Letter to... even features a custom string arrangement and live performance by Ilima Considine, leader of the Sexbots, a local electro/indie band whose backup dancers include some of the collective's members.  HEATHER WISNER.(Willamette Week, 10/20/2010)

LINKED.

PDX Dance Collective presents linked., a program of seven new contemporary pieces that feature music from all over the map, including Ilima Considine(the Sexbots), Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and even Nancy Sinatra.(Portland Mercury, 10/21/2010)

LMNOP

"We rarely review EPs and only in cases when something is truly interesting and/or credible. The Sexbots is a musical project created by Ilima Considine in which she collaborates with whoever she pleases to create her strange otherworldly pop music. To us, the songs on Eee Pee sound very much like a weird cross between Rasputina and Bjork. If you like interesting underground electronic pop you may very well find yourself immersed in this lady's seductive sound. Six tracks here including "Angel," "Cecilia," and "Dance Dance.""

The Biggest Letdown

"The Sexbots are hot. So is their music. It makes you want to do wild things to your partner late at night when you think they're sleeping. Eee Pee is the newest offering from this Portland Oregon based group. Heavy beats and sensual vocals leave you feeling hot and heavy. Seriously. Take some more drugs and see for youself.
Apparently their live shows are something to be seen. Live performance art and mayham which involves backup dancers, audience participation, human rituals, and psychosexual manipulations. Jesus, did Portland just reinvent the rock group ROCKBITCH? I guess so. You'll be seeing me at the next performance, that's for sure!
Some songs to listen for are IT'S YOU, CECILIA, and DANCE DANCE.
If you google their name, you're gonna come up with a wide variety of sexual love dolls. I'm just warning you all now.

So, go ahead and buy this album so you can be ready when you see them live. Take a video camera and bring home a memory or two. That sounds like a great idea."

People saying I'm a little bit freaky...

"Considine breathily suggests, pleads and demands all manner of unsavory treatment..." Bob Ham, Voice of Energy 08/05/09

"Dark, sexual energy." Jackson Kane Fagan 10/26/09

"You're like an over sexed bjork with massive attack tendencies."- William Scharmann, Tiger House


"If your lyrics are slightly sexual, then I'm slightly gay."- Matthew Flowers

"I like it when you play violin.  It looks like you're having sex... with yourself." -Marston

Back when I was in Stella Grace...

"From the opening notes of track one of their self-titled EP, it is evident that Stella Grace inhabits a murky, sexy landscape somewhere between fantasy and fever dream.  As evidenced by their recent Ash Street gig, filmed for an upcoming documentary, their music is all about heavy beats, hypnotic melodies, and erotic longing.  Frontwoman Ilima Considine purrs like a gentle dominatrix.  "Give me something to feel," she commands in "Sexual Responsibility."

What sets Stella Grace apart from the rest of the electro-sex set is their elaborate and hypnotic music.  Rather than hammer the point home with uptempo bangers and screeching guitars, Stella Grace wants to serenade you, lull you into comfort, seduce you into compliance, and before you know it you've fallen under their gentle spell... Their live show is augmented by a skillful live drum and bass, showing the full potential of their deceptively simple compositions." --blankpageszine.com, October 2009

 

http://kboo.fm/node/16237

Here's the podcast.  Kyle Burris gives us a lovely introduction- "This really good, really really interesting music."

VOICE OF ENERGY Review, by Bob Ham

It seems entirely appropriate to hear that when John Bowers and Ilima Considine played music together for the first time, they were surrounded with their respective children (Considine has two children, Bowers one). The duo’s music and lyrics concern itself almost entirely with making babies. Considine breathily suggests, pleads and demands all manner of unsavory treatment while Bowers slinks behind her hammering together his odes to trip-hop and sexier darkwave. It’s a potent and scintillating combination and one that is garnering this still young group (which has recently expanded to a quartet for live shows) a great deal of attention – both for their creative efforts and for…well, you know… Ilima Considine tells The Voice of Energy about how Stella Grace came to be and how she juggles playing the vamp onstage and the doting mother off.

How did this new project get started?
I was putting together a band called The International Pet Rescue and John responded as a possible keyboardist.  His stuff was very different from mine and I suspected he was fishing for a vocalist.  I had done a few collaborations where I added vocals to instrumental tracks and had been keeping my eye out for another opportunity.  He came over to my house and it was chaotic.  Both babies were teething, Simone was running wild, and I had a guitarist over too.  He didn’t fit with IPR but he left me a CD and I proceeded to mess with his tracks.

Did you have a vision of what kind of music you wanted to play or what kind of sound you wanted to have from the beginning or did that take some time to realize?

I was only interested in about half the material John originally gave me.  We had talked about doing noir-ish, emotionally significant material a la Portishead, but we worked and still do our parts completely separately.

For a few weeks, we called the band Irma Vep and Paul, our drummer, still calls me Irma sometimes.  We knew that everyone would think it was my name, and it started to develop the concept of a fictitious woman who was a great deal more uninhibited than I was.  When we found out there was another Irma Vep, we decided to keep the concept by using another woman’s name.

Almost all your songs are about sex or at have a sexual underpinning to them – does that just come from the music or was this intentional from the start?
My old bands dealt with emotional decisions but never sexuality.  I had just come out of a horrible divorce ending a physically abusive marriage.  I wasn’t up for emotional intimacy but I was really sexually deprived.  When I did the original demos, I hadn’t seen John in a month, didn’t know if the project was going to materialize, and had to put the kids to bed and stay up late to record.  Completely isolated.  I was very afraid when it came time to actually share them.  I was raised Catholic, went to Catholic school, etc.  It took awhile for me to be comfortable at practice.  It got easier as the concept of who Stella Grace was developed.

Have these songs been having an “effect” on your fans and folks at your shows because of the subject matter?
I usually end up with a stack of business cards after a show.  I’ve gotten some MySpace messages saying that they are jacking off to my band photos.  There were some really crazy people into my old band Childhood Friends so I’m not fazed by it.

You both have young children – how easy or difficult is it to balance your creative and family lives?
It definitely limits how late practice goes- John and I are fucking exhausted by 11pm.  Instead of drugs and alcohol, I blow my money on babysitters.  My creative life will continue no matter the cost, but my social life has really taken the cut.

Why name the band Stella Grace?
I liked the name Stella and Stella Grace is the name of John’s daughter.  After arguing about the band name for weeks, I said, “I think you gave your daughter a cool name but I know you wouldn’t want us to use it given our subject material.” John said he didn’t mind at all.

What are your plans for the band – recording, touring, etc.?
I don’t ever want to be away from the kids for more than a month, but a lot of ground can be covered in a month.  I took Leon on tour when he was four months old.  I want to tour the world but the logistics just get more and more complex and the stakes are higher when children are involved.  You can’t just be living out of a van year-round.  It would be nice to get on a label so that we can concentrate on making the music and raising the kids.  I want them to grow up proud of us.

Razorcake

CHILDHOOD FRIENDS:
Key Party: CD
Synthy, dark stuff that at once evokes Cocteau Twins and a billion shoegazer bands, then goes off on a tangent that evokes something entirely different. Catchy, varied, and well executed, the music is great.

Childhood Friends 2005-2008

 

Northwest CD: "Key Party"
Friday, July 04, 2008
SCOTT D. LEWIS
Special to The Oregonian

Oh, no. "Key Party," Portland duo Childhood Friends' third album, is too dense, disconcerting and, well, disturbed to recommend for the little ones -- and just hope they won't ask you to explain the title.

The synth-heavy 1980s retro sounds laid down by multi-instrumentalists Ilima Considine and Jake Rose reach back over two decades to such pioneering bands as the Cure, Joy Division and My Bloody Valentine. The sounds are smashed and swirled together until particular noise-makers (keys, guitars, violins) are indistinguishable and one. The chilly blend is at once dramatic and turbulent, dark and distant and a curious concoction of light industrial sounds and lofty art rock.

And then there's that voice.

Considine doesn't so much sing as much as chirps, squeaks and squalls. Her maniacal robotic screechings look back to the likes of Bjork, Siouxsie Sioux and PJ Harvey for inspiration as she sputters, spins and spits the songs' words out like a shrill, seriously disturbed little girl -- or possibly a restless junkie ghost.

Yet, it works.

Listening to the Cars-sounding opener "Used to Be Good," it's hard imagining the heart-hurt, careening song being sung in any voice other than Considine's embodiment of distressed dementia. Same story for the following "Because I Wanted To," which could have come from a frantic Toni Basil, and so on down the 10 tracks.

Decidedly indie, lo-fi and avant-garde, "Key Party" is an odd little treat that should come wrapped with a different kind of parental warning.

 

Childhood Friends (CD Release), Marmits, Doctor Moss
[GOTH ROCK] Ilima Considine and Jake Rose, the duo that makes up Childhood Friends, will be the first to dispel the myth that they "go way back." As a matter of fact, the two met just a couple of years ago, when Considine did the usual Craigslist searching for a fellow musician who'd be able to complement her dark, nasally vocals and goth sensibilities. Rose's frustrated, fucked-up and fuzzed-out guitar lines impressed Considine and voilà! Marriage! No joke. Think of New Order's darker drum machinations, throw in a little Smashing Pumpkins and some atonal chaos and you've got Childhood Friends, which releases new album Key Party tonight. CHANDLER FREDRICK. 8 pm. Chaos Cafe & Parlor, 2620 SE Powell Blvd., 546-8112. Cover. All ages.(July 2, 2008 in Willamette Week)

From The Metro Spirit:

AUGUSTA, GA - If early reviews are to be believed, then the cracked vocals and nearly atonal instrumentation on Childhood Friends' Key Party come as a result of novice-level musicianship and an inability to move beyond what may have been interpreted as the trappings of lo-fi studio mastering.

I, for one, bite my thumb at these people. I DO BITE MY THUMB, SIR!!!

No, really…I'm bleeding.

My penchant for self-referential filler aside, the fact of the matter is that every bent-to-the-breaking-point note, every discordant wash of treble-heavy feedback laid down by Jake Rose, and every feral, counter-rhythmic vocal that achingly crawls its way out of Ilima Considine's haunted house pipes carries with it some measure of intent, no matter how stark or disconcerting.

As a whole, the album is a tundra: frozen, beautiful, and unsettling. The pair of My Bloody Valentine-copping tracks ("Used to be Good," "Because I Wanted To") that open the affair abruptly give way to the minimalist arrangement and metronome-like drumming of "Never Do That to You." Further on, "Lonesome Trails" comes pretty close to being a conventional ballad, though the duo just couldn't resist the urge to throw in some uber-distorted ambience with about a minute to spare, and "Pollen (One for the Road)" is by far the creepiest thing I've heard in a long time (as in "Man, I really miss my girlfriend, but there's also a serial killer in a clown mask behind me").

Though it ends on a significantly brighter note with "Spy Song," (which could easily have been a track on last year's Mirah remix album), Key Party is ultimately a dirge, and chances are you'll find yourself gazing inwards as much as at your shoes.

by Josh Ruffin, Metro Spirit, 2008

http://neovox.cortland.edu/archives/2008/05/childhood_frien.html

Childhood Friends: Key Party
by Matthew Jones, SUNY Cortland, May 20, 2008

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The Pacific Northwest seems to breed insane amounts of creativity. Childhood Friends is a duo based out of Portland, Oregon and they are no exception to this rule. Childhood Friends is made up of multi-instrumentalists Ilima Considine and Jake Rose. Their new release, Key Party, is a very well produced, very different sound. It's refreshing to see a band that takes chances with all the typical cookie-cutter bands out there today.

The opening track is called "Used To Be Good" and it is extremely reminiscent of a band called Radiohead (maybe you've heard of them) in its overall feel and texture. The next track is called "Because I Wanted To" and it opens with a lively drumbeat and Considine's signature vocals. "Never Do That To You" opens with a walking bass line and a synth background that takes you into a dark alley…and you aren't quite sure if you want to be there yet. That is, until, Considine's voice comes in and makes you want more.

"Lonesome Trails" contains more of Considine's unique vocals but I'm not sure if it gets the same message across that the rest of the album so far has gotten. "Underwater Castle" is quite possibly their best song because of its uniqueness. It sets the bar VERY high for the rest of the record because it isn't like anything you've heard so far on the album and with the exception of one or two songs, unfortunately, it doesn't quite reach that level again. "Happy" showcases Rose's voice which is quite good; however, there seems to be sound effects of someone being tortured in the background as part of the track that takes a lot of the focus away from the vocals. I would love to stop being redundant but in "Werewolf Song" Considine's vocals are once again haunting. This is the band at it's absolute finest, both musically and emotionally.

"Mrs. Jack" takes a turn downhill. While it's understandable that Childhood Friends is experimental, there seems to be an amateur musician playing an out-of-tune fiddle in the background. "Pollen" is a very good song to try and pick up the pace of the album since the decline in quality songs after "Underwater Castle". Lastly, "Spy Song" kicks in with a very lively drumbeat and a haunting guitar riff. This is a very good way to end a decent album.

Guitar – 7/10
Bass – 7/10
Drums – 8/10
Vocals – 8.5/10
Lyrics – 7.5/10
Creativity - 9/10
Overall – 7.8/10

Fan Mail Contest + This Month’s Winner

The winner of this month's Childhood Friends' International Fan Mail Contest is Samuel from Puerto Rico.


http://www.oregonlive.com/music/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/entertainment/1179181505199020.xml&coll=7

"The chilly blend is at once dramatic and turbulent, dark and distant and a curious concoction of light industrial sounds and lofty art rock. And then there's that voice." - The Oregonian 7/4/08

"Key Party is a very well produced, very different sound. It's refreshing to see a band that takes chances... opens with a synth background that takes you into a dark alley... and you aren't quite sure if you want to be there yet. That is, until, Considine's voice comes in and makes you want more." - SUNY Courtland June 2008

"Think New Order's dark drum machinations, throw in a little Smashing Pumpkins and some atonal chaos and you've got Childhood Friends." - Willamette Week 7/02/08

"The album [Key Party] is a tundra: frozen, beautiful and unsettling." - The Metro Spirit (Augusta, GA) July 2008

"Childhood Friends may be the nicest parents of two you will ever hear sing ballads about bondage and psychic vampirism. Their pop sensibilities and flair for the dramatic never stop them from experimenting with new sound and new directions. If gothic music were allowed to be just a trifle more upbeat and less serious, then they would likely qualify for such a label, but even then they would gleefully confound any expectation you might bring to the table." Ricardo Wang, KPSU, April 2008

"a sparse electronic chill of frozen beats and the high-pitched emotionally distant vocals of Considine" - Portland Mercury, 12/13/07

"On Portland's [Childhood Friends'] Synesthesia record we see a band equally at home with indierock, noise, and pop. It's dramatic, theatrical stuff that's as much Phantom of the Opera as it is Joy Division. Don't let this band's cheesy, cartoon album art and aesthetic fool you-they are a seiously solid art-rock band." - Jason Pearson, Portland Mercury, 7/20/06

"That dark side is at the heart of the duo's music, thanks in no small part to droning synthesizers, clattering drum machines, and the pained vocals of both Considine and Rose." - The Oregonian June 2007

"Childhood Friends have only recently joined the post-gothic experimental fray, but come equipped with a restrained electronic elegance which bespeaks a deep connection to the form's history... Positively adorable and heartless... No.2 best new band of '06, WW Band Poll" - Noah Mickens, booker, promoter

"(Childhood Friends) live in the unlikely space between the Cars and King Crimson. " Josh Blanchard, Portland Mercury 2006

"Strange in a good way . . . The best way to enjoy their sound is live and you'll love their energy" - PDXpole.com

"Childhood Friends from Portland OR delved into the poppy side of experimental at the 13th Annual Olympia Experimental Music Festival, proving once again that such things are not mutually exclusive... ultra-dark experimental pop turbulence. It would be easy to call them 'post gothic' since they're so damn menacing and pretty at the same time, but that wouldn't be fair to their multitude of other influences." - Ricardo Wang, KPSU 2007

RegenMag

With a name like The Sexbots and a cover image as erotically charged as the one adorning this album, one would perhaps expect to hear the audio equivalent of an adult feature along the lines of Lords of Acid or Peaches. The reality of Don’t Stopreveals a much more introspective and melancholy album that taps into feelings of loneliness and heartache that often accompany unfulfilled sexual desire. Described as an open source collaboration between Ilima Considine and independent beatmakers, The Sexbots presents a lyrical and atmospheric brand of electro-pop that is equally lascivious and despairing, sensual yet sad.

From the smooth pads and chunky beats of “And I Meant It,” the album begins almost awkwardly with ambiguous lyrics about inescapable lust, setting the stage for the emotions to pervade Don’t Stop. The lines between sex and love are continuously blurred as songs like “This Happy Feeling,” “Fantastic Venus,” and “When You Close the Bedroom Door” follow a similar tone of simultaneous playfulness and uncertainty, the beats and bass lines bouncy and upbeat in such a way as to almost distract the listener from the stronger sensations at play. On the other end of the spectrum is the desperation presented in such tracks as “Come On Daddy,” “Tell Me that You Want It,” and “Finish Me Off,” all evoking a feeling of carnal desire in spite of spiritual self destruction, calling to mind the French euphemism for orgasm – la petite mort (“the little death”). While Kate Bush’s “Running Up that Hill” is a lush and poignant song that has been covered by numerous acts, The Sexbots’ version deconstructs the music to a violently harsh and grating march that is virtually unrecognizable and may be unbearable to the song’s fans. However, this treatment emphasizes the power of the lyrics that is all too appropriate to the album’s themes. The album ends with a breakbeat infused cover of A-ha’s hit “Take on Me,” although it’s far more faithful to the original but hardly proves an effective closer to Don’t Stop.

Credit should go to Considine and the passion and effort she puts into this project, even going so far as to produce a music video for each track, some more visually complementary to the lyrical themes than others. Featuring the talents of Spit Stix of punk band Fear, Shermstixx, and DJ Ceez, Don’t Stop can prove to be a rather difficult listen – if not for the intensity of the themes presented, then most certainly for Considine’s vocal performance. Granted, her breathy and pixie-like voice holds a certain appeal, often sounding like a cross between Björk and Alison Shaw of Cranes, and it does add to the album’s concept of conflicting desires and emotions. If nothing else, Don’t Stop is a difficult listen that is not wholly devoid of merit, though it may present a rather esoteric style that can weigh on one’s patience.

Hip Rock Magazine

Ilima Considine is a single mother with two children. She first came onto the music scene with the pop music group Childhood Friends. Ilima moved to Portland, Oregon in 2000 with the hopes of becoming a painter, it was during this time she created the pop music group Childhood Friends and eventually went on as a solo artist becoming Ilima Considine and the Sexbots. She recently released her new album titled, "Junk Sick" in 2013 and she will be touring the US, Europe and Japan in 2014.

 

THE INTERVIEW

 

Brenda/HRM: How are you? Tell us what you're wearing to do this interview?

 

Ilima Considine: I’m doing okay.  The kids are away today, which is totally weird, but it gave me the opportunity to paint my nails.  Moms around the world will know what this is like.  I’m wearing pajama pants, a plaid shirt, and my boyfriend’s sweater.  No socks because I just painted my toes and no shoes because my mother is Chinese and we don’t wear shoes in the house.

 

Brenda/HRM: Can you tell us more about yourself? Your name, where you're originally from, where did you go to school, and last who was your favorite teacher and why?

 

Ilima Considine: I’m a midget with glasses.  I have what some might call a band, and some might call an art project gotten out of control, called The Sexbots.  My first name, Ilima, is a Hawaiian flower.  My mother is a Chinese-American woman who grew up in Honolulu.  My last name, Considine, is Irish.  So my name and appearance are in general confusing.  I have my mother’s features but my dad’s coloring and freckles.  I look exactly like her in black and white pictures, though.  I grew up in a suburb of Boston called Newton, and went to college at UC San Diego.  The teacher I probably think of most often would be my violin teacher- she taught me from about ages 7 to 15, and was also my first glimpse of worldly sophistication, albeit mixed strongly with Asian momness.

 

Brenda/HRM: I see you moved to Portland Oregon in 2000 to be a painter- what steered you into the music industry?

 

Ilima Considine: I was looking to change my life- a general early-20’s malaise and I went to one of the first PDX Pop festivals with my daughter.

 

I had always wanted to play in a band but never thought that I was cool enough and I didn’t know how to play guitar.  I saw We’re from Japan! for the very first time and found them incredibly inspiring- not just sonically- but they all looked like they worked in gas stations, and I thought, if they can learn to make these sounds, I can.  I went out and bought a bass and the rest is history.  At the time, I was unemployed, so we ate rice and lentils for 4 weeks straight to make this happen.  I still can hardly look at lentils.

 

Brenda/HRM: Do you have a self portrait that you painted of yourself? Can you describe the painting or provide us with a copy we can share?

 

Ilima Considine: Yes. --------------------------------------------------->

 

Brenda/HRM: Epic! How would you best describe yourself and your music?

 

Ilima Considine: Myself- an overcompensating introvert, determined to present as an extrovert.

 

My music- stories that I act out to music.  It’s very important to me that I present emotional truth, rather than glossed up archetypes, whether the stories themselves are truth or fiction.  I don’t want to sound stagy or performative, but rather, real.

 

Brenda/HRM: If you had to describe your music as the best dinner ever what foods would be available on the table?

 

Ilima Considine: Raspberries, sashimi, green tea ice cream.  Necessary pleasures- nourishment with a hint of exotica.

 

Brenda/HRM: So after asking what food would be on the table and making people hungry, now comes the crazy question- why did you name your album "Junk Sick?"

 

Ilima Considine: It’s a term for heroin withdrawal.  I was in love with someone but whenever we broke up, I would be so upset I would start vomitting.  Literally.

 

Brenda/HRM: Your album title was inspired by the breakup of your relationship- of the songs featured on the album which song best describes what you went through and why?

 

Ilima Considine: We were actually together the whole time I was recording and mixing.  He left me before the release party.  “Water Under the Burning Bridge” quotes us arguing.

 

Brenda/HRM: What inspired the song / video "Come On Daddy?"

 

Ilima Considine: The song was meant to be a transcript of a marital argument.  Unhinged and begging.  

 

The video was an alternate version of my relationship with the beatmaker for that song.  He had followed me since Childhood Friends- finding me in band after band in a way that was slightly unnerving, in various social networks.  He would post things on my Facebook like, “Saw you walking down Hawthorne, didn’t say hi.”  One day he posted a soundcloud link and I demo’d some vocals on it.  We went back and forth a little until it was a song, at which point I was like, this is weird, we have to meet and talk.  I had to stalk him a little.  I figured out which restaurant he worked at and that he was on day shift and basically ambushed him.  That was our first real conversation- both of us looked at our feet the entire time.  

 

At the time, it was also becoming increasingly clear, that people’s perception of me- even if we worked together, was radically different from the real me- a desperate housewife with 2 kids, who snuck away and put on a crazy show now and then.  It’s an alternate ending to my relationship with Ryan Alvarez.  Instead of making music together, he kidnaps me for a snuff film.  That’s actually his real-life girlfriend there.  Upon kidnapping me, he is confronted with the fact that his fantasy of me as some vinyl clad vixen is completely different from the reality.  He tries to transform me into his fantasy but I escape and kill him.  Then there’s a twist at the end.

Brenda/HRM: You have a video for each song on your album, which video did you have the most fun recording?

 

Ilima Considine: Probably “Petting a Cat”.  Obviously, we are all very fond of our stuffed tigers.  

 

Brenda/HRM: You have been able to record several albums- how have you funded your projects?

 

Ilima Considine: I do have some debt from the first 2 Sexbots albums that I am working on.  I do most of the recording and mixing at home which keeps the costs pretty low.  I had to run a Kickstarter for the last one.  It was really intense- but I had some great conversations with people from all over.  It taught me a lot about how much this music means to people.

 

Brenda/HRM: Where would you say was the turning point in your career?

 

Ilima Considine: Um… I’m not sure how to answer what the turning point would be career-wise...  but there was a show, where 100 people came out to see me and I thought how… for so long, I could hardly get 5 people to come see me, there is a time that this experience would have completely blown my mind.  And I wasn’t scared, I was completely comfortable in front of all these people and I thought, if the thrill is gone, the only thing is to get bigger.  I have to keep pushing this and making this bigger.

 

Brenda/HRM: I know some artists like to keep their personal lives separate from their professional lives, but can you tell us more about your children?

 

Ilima Considine: My daughter is 13 years old and 4 inches taller than me.  My son is 5 years old.  Both are superior life forms.  They have different fathers but look very much alike.  They are extremely bright.  It is a privilege to be their caretaker.

 

Brenda/HRM: Do you celebrate Christmas? What are your kids hoping to get for Christmas? What are you wishing for?

 

Ilima Considine: I do, in a spiritually secular way- it is about gratitude and celebrating family, rather than religion.  I will have to ask them!  They know to keep things pretty simple- in our family, it is traditionally underwear on your birthday, new socks for Christmas.  We work on the extended family presents altogether- usually sewing something, and wrap them together.  This year, I will be making homemade liquers with anise, ginger, and cinnamon.  I try to keep the children’s presents a secret so there is at least some surprise, though!  But we are just about bursting on Christmas morning at Grandma’s house.  We can not wait to see people’s faces when they open the presents.  I’m hoping only to eat a lot of food and that as much of our family will come together as possible.

 

Brenda/HRM: Do you believe in Santa Claus? What are the reindeers names?

 

Ilima Considine: When I was about 5 years old, I remember having a serious discussion with my brothers about how Santa had the same handwriting as our mother.  We concluded that she was one of his helpers.  As the biggest sister, I soon took over the Easter Bunny and filling the Christmas stockings.  There is a time I could recite “The Night Before Christmas” but I’m afraid that time has passed.

 

Brenda/HRM: Sorry, I went a bit off topic- I just happen to love Christmas, it's my favorite time of the year. Have you ever considered remixing a Christmas classic? Which song would you remix?

 

Ilima Considine: The first time I was ever recorded singing was a cover of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”.  It was part of a gag collection.  We didn’t rehearse, no one except me could read music, it’s super rough and kind of charming.

 

https://soundcloud.com/ilima-considine/baby-its-cold-outside

 

Brenda/HRM: Let's get serious- although I'm having fun chatting with you- who are and how did you meet some of the beat makers you are currently collaborating with?

 

Ilima Considine: My main guy is DJ Ceez.  We met at a Medicine for the People show.  I was there for an interview with one of the opening bands who needed a bassist, he was just drinking with a friend.  Often, producers will walk up to me at shows and say, “Hey, I make beats.  We need to work together.”  I met Spit Stix at a neighborhood bar.  He was the drummer for my friend’s band.  He started telling me crazy stories.  I went home and googled him and then sent him an email saying, “Let’s do a song.”  Or people will often grab me and say, “You have to work with my friend.  He’s shy and doesn’t put his work out there.”  I have a story for every single person I work with.  This last album has DJ Ceez, Qmulus, and Stereospread.  Qmulus was the roommate of Ceez’s older brother.  We didn’t meet in person until after the album was done.  I showed up at 3am all sweaty after a show.  Stereospread was someone who started talking to me online when I was booking shows in North Carolina.

 

Brenda/HRM: Have you had the opportunity to open up for or work with any other artists? Who are they?

 

Ilima Considine: I’ve done hooks for several local rappers(Abadawn, Andy$tack, A Family Affair), which has gotten me into some pretty awesome hiphop shows- opening for Del tha Funky Homo Sapien, Mickey Avalon, Pigeon John.  I don’t do hiphop, but it seems to work.  The hiphop scene has been enormously supportive.

 

Brenda/HRM: What would you say was the most exciting show you've done?

 

Ilima Considine: Oh, so many to choose from.  We’ve done Batman and Robin themed sets with villains and kung fu battles.  I’ve come out in a full wedding dress, had it stripped off me in the first song, and spent the rest of the set in bloomers and undershirt.  The album release party- there were people singing along to a brand new album!  That was really touching to me, the hardcore Kickstarter people who already knew all the words.  Anytime where I can gather the energy of the audience and magnify it, I feel so alive.  I love hugging my audience.

 

Brenda/HRM: Your performances aren't just of your music, you actually put on a show- tell us about this?

 

Ilima Considine: I’m just an artsy-fartsy type who didn’t get to go to art school, so I take out all my impulses here- costumes, skits, dancing.  Part of it was, that after playing in indie bands- playing instruments and singing simultaneously, I realized that I had to fill the stage in a different way.  The expressiveness of my body became another instrument that I was using.  The dancers came because at first, I was afraid to go onstage alone and my next door neighbor was the incredible choreographer Keyon Gaskin.  I had written some music for him so he owed me a favor, and I said, can you get me some dancers?  I love working with modern dance companies.

 

Brenda/HRM: I have had a lot of fun getting to know you better, watching your videos, and listening to different songs- is there anything else you would like to add about yourself, any upcoming shows, releases, etc.?

 

Ilima Considine: There’s going to be a new album sometime around April.  The best way to keep track of me is on Facebook.  I also try to keep my website www.ilimaconsidine.com up to date but sometimes it’s hard!

 

Brenda/HRM: Thank you so much for doing this interview, the pleasure has been all mine! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and your family.

 

Ilima Considine: To you and yours also.

 

Story and Interview by:

Brenda M. Atencio – Hip Rock Magazine

Cherry City Music

Portland-based artist Ilima Considine stirs up erotic obsession with her experimental electronica project, The Sexbots,  at Kraftworks Taphouse. Be prepared to cross some boundaries and experience new territory as Ilima guides you through surreal alien landscapes with her high voice and unique delivery.  Art pop fans will be enthralled. Lift-off for the free, 21+ performance is 11:00 p.m., Saturday, April 4, 2015.

Vents Magazine

Can you please introduce and tell us more about yourself (history)?

I’m the singer for a band called The Sexbots- and the art director, video editor, manager, all around tired person. I also have two kids and work in catering- my company has been catering for the show Portlandia, which is wonderful and triply.

 

 

What’s the story behind the band’s name?

It was kind of a joke- we were a bunch of nerds trying to think of a name that was sexy, electronic, memorable, and easy to spell. At the time, it seemed there were a ton of bands in Portland with names like “!!!” or ones with, like 5 consonants and no vowels that could neither be spelled nor pronounced. I was also trying to come up with something that evoked the confusion of the replicants in Blade Runner- dead sexy but utterly clueless, and came of with The Sexbots. We’ve actually gotten a lot of trouble from the name, but it was too catchy to give up. It’s really about me- I have a good game face but I am probably the least cool and most clueless person you ever meant. Ask my DJ.

 

 

Who are your musical influences?

Morrissey, Smashing Pumpkins, Xiu Xiu, Blonde Rehead.

 

 

Magic Eyes – can you talk to us more about the track?

My DJ was down in Eugene doing a show, and all of a sudden, he calls me and says, “You have to check out my older brother’s roommate!” Qmulus was an old high school chum who had reappeared as his brother’s roommate, and was very quietly making some really beautiful tracks that very few people had heard. We emailed back and forth, talked on the phone, but never actually met until after the album was done. It was about 3:30am after a Mickey Avalon show where the bouncers had guns. I was dead tired, sweat half my makeup off, etc. Anyway, the song Magic Eyes is about the way you look at someone when you’re in love, you look at them as if to say, “You’re magic”. Total adoration. It also contains what is a recurring theme of the album, which was my longing for a certain someone while I was on tour, hoping that he was waiting for me to get back.

 

 

What’s the concept behind the video?

Someone I knew from guerilla bike parties sent me an email on Facebook saying, “You’ve got to work with my friend.” We had coffee once and I wasn’t sure I wanted to work with him or not, but he had good gear, so I was willing to do one get to know you shoot- something not involving a ton of extras and locations, but one with a simple concept to see if we could get along creatively- so basically, um, what I call “soft porn”- like Gwen Stefani’s “4 in the morning” video- basically, no story, just, doesn’t Gwen look pretty? I was working 12 hour days and showed up barely showered with a bunch of costumes and things that I’d found in free piles to throw up as different backdrops. Erik didn’t even expect me to show up- he was expecting typical Portland flakiness- so when I knocked on his door, he was still in bed and he hadn’t had breakfast or coffee. There was an abandoned garage behind his house and that’s where we filmed it whilst his girlfriend paced inside. She didn’t seem to be that thrilled.

 

 

So talk to us about your Kickstarter campaign and “long hugs”?

I still owe money from putting out 2 albums last year! No joke! This one was bursting out but I really wasn’t at a point where I could finance it myself again. People try to talk down the “inappropriately long hugs” but those seem to really have been what helped us go the distance. I still owe a lot of strangers hugs. It came down to me, that people help because of the personal connection. I also try to hug just about everyone that comes to my shows, on the theory that I want them to feel the way that I did when people I adore have hugged me at shows. I feel that them listening intently to my music is a very intimate and personal experience. I am very open in my lyrics and delivery, and for them to listen with an open heart- we are definitely sharing something very intimate between us and they deserve a hug after.

 

 

“Junk Sick” – How was the recording and writing process?

I started out at PDX Underground Recording, but I felt that the tracks I laid down were too performative. I wanted them to sound like I was singing to myself, without an audience, so I rerecorded at home in my bedroom and living room, did basic mixes, and then went to fine tune back at the studio. At the end of it, my engineer, PE Stickland, told me to stop torturing him and to do all my mixing myself- just come to him for mastering. He gave me back my faith in myself as a producer! Sorry, Prince! Love you long time!

 

 

How did you come up with the title?

I was hanging out with this ex-junkie photographer and he said, “When I don’t drink, I feel junk sick. What does that mean?” Obviously, he was a huge alcoholic. I had never heard the phrase junk sick before, but I instantly knew what it mean, and I thought, “That’s how J— makes me feel.” Every time we broke up I would start throwing up. Funny thing is, as soon as we met, my DJ said to his girlfriend, “Ilima’s next album is going to be about J—.” Actually, I was not amused when I heard that. He was so right, though.

 

 

Where did you get the inspiration for the lyrics and songs?

Most of these songs are about the lover who left me shortly after the album was completed. I don’t think it’s possible to say more about him than I say in the album. He was a prince to me. There were jealousy issues. Some of the song lyrics quote our arguments. I missed him terribly on tour. He called me one day and said, “I can’t do this anymore.” I hit up every producer I wanted to be on the next album and said, “I’m tired of crying but it’s hard to stop. This is the only thing that will keep me going. We are going to start the next album now and it will be done by April.”

 

 

Any plans to tour throughout Canada, North America, the world?

Yes! I am tour routing right now. I will have many announcements very soon, but until I get confirmations from venues I don’t want to say too much. It is pretty definite that half of February will be in Japan though. I am feeling very drawn to the South and the East Coast, also. Still, if you want me in your city and have a couch I can sleep on, please email me at ilimaconsidine.

 

 

What’s happening next in Ilima Considine’s world?

I’m trying to stay as busy as possible to avoid withering from grief. It’s not been good, but I’ve been pretty productive. I’m also setting new work rules for myself- no computer once the kids are home from school. Then I work a few hours once they are in bed… Damned iphone though…

 

 

Where can we find out more about your music?

www.ilimaconsidine.com is my artist website. thesexbots.bandcamp.com will put most of my back catalogue in your hands, but if you listen on Spotify, I get royalties! So if you can’t buy, please listen on Spotify. I also make music videos for each song so you can watch entire albums on youtube(youtube.com/ilimaconsidine). Most of the videos are either very funny or very sexy. The ridiculous quotient is pretty high.