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On Their Own Island: The Dirty Words might head to indie-rock-friendly Portland but first they're making an epic music video 

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Oh, the music video. The revered opportunity for rock stars to be actors and actors to hang with rock stars. It's a chance for a band to get the faces behind their music out to the people and for fans to see a different side of their act.

Or, perhaps it was those things before shows like Jersey Shore and similar nonsense took over MTV. But the music video still exists and local band The Dirty Words, arguably our only vetted non-high-school indie rock act in Bend, is making one. But they're not really going to be in it.

The band has put a call out across the web for submissions from fans and anyone else who wants to be in a music video, asking them to record themselves "performing" the band's song "Damn Jacket." They are not asking for high production value, actually they don't want that at all. Rather, the band is asking for distinctively DIY videos from webcams, cell phones and built-in laptops.

David Clemmer has a sore throat and his voice is hardly the booming and lucid one heard on the band's 2008 release International Machine. But he manages to speak, albeit with a sandpapery growl, about the video project and where the band is headed.

"We were planning on making a video of "You Deserve," but it's outside and calls for a lot of time-consuming things. And I just thought one day that we need to get something done," says Clemmer.

But why make a music video? Some people might not even know that music videos still exist. Clemmer has a good answer.

"There's this advent of Youtube and everyone sharing videos on Facebook and MySpace and it's very powerful and potentially viral method of communicating," says Clemmer.

He might be right. Just because music videos no longer have a place on television doesn't mean they aren't around - in fact, this might mean that there's more of a chance of a video being seen now than before. And if the video goes viral... well, jeez, you could be talking instant fame.

It's no surprise that the band is taking such a DIY route - that's how they've operated for the entirety of their existence. International Machine was recorded and produced by the band, as will the follow-up effort, which Clemmer says the band wants to lay down this winter. The plan is to hunker down and record the tracks, not emerging until they've got something on wax... or something to that effect.

In the meantime, the band is planning on booking some out-of-town shows, something they've never done. Then, by next summer, there are talks of the Dirty Words leaving Bend completely, heading for the greener indie rock pastures of Portland. The pending departure, although a significant loss for the local music scene, makes sense. Bend, while having supported the band, has never been an indie rock town.

"Bend is full of really talented and creative musicians but a lot of them, and I'm not saying they're blasé or anything, but they fall into really easily digestible genres," says Clemmer, "When you go out to see a band with guitars in this town it's either acoustic pop rock or metal or punk or hard rock, and we do feel like we're on an island sometimes."

It's not that the Dirty Words aren't accepted around here, because they are - sharing bills with bands that while not sharing much in common stylistically still complement each other well. Also, the band's collaboration with Mosley Wotta at last weekend's Cylcorcross Blowout Bash at the Midtown showed a Dirty Words that's far more musically flexible than many would have expected.

The Dirty Words are still here for now, playing a rare acoustic show on Friday and, of course, making a distinctively creative music video. And you could be in it.

The Dirty Words (Acoustic)

7pm Friday, December 18.
Parrilla Grill, 635 NW 14th Ave. Free.
For more on the band's video project, visit and check out the blogs section.


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