Drifting through MySpace seeking something about Portland and something about art; hmm. Three definite conclusions can be made.

  • 1. Pretty much everyone in in Portland under 25 is in a band.
  • 2. You haven’t heard of them or heard their music.
  • 3. They couldn’t care less.

Boil out the anger, wash away the fear, what did punk rock leave behind? Two lessons, Do-It-Yourself and fuck the hippies. DIY = removing the barriers between the artist and the audience. Fuck the hippies is mostly about rejecting aimless hedonism. Think Ayn Rand with crank.

As the major labels pissed their inventory in a challenge match with teenagers, they made an even more fatal error – they lost their distribution monopoly. The music scene isn’t dead – it’s more alive, talented and productive than ever before, but the oligarchs are dead and now the kids rule.

Oregon’s antiquated liquor commission has played an unwitting part too. Under their regime, all ages venues are an impossible business model, and the economic response to suppression in this case has been house parties. Scholars of rock and roll know it’s at intimate outlaw venues where musical styles really accelerate. Ancillary businesses & crafts have amped up too – poster design, instrument sales, audio engineering.

Check out the talent – all from Portland, all superb, all immediately accessible to you. The only criteria is: does it rock?

Yacht – MP3: See A Penny (Pick It Up) from Believe In You, Your Magic Is Real (? 2007)
Blitzen Trapper – MP3: Texaco from Blitzen Trapper (?)
Parenthetical Girls – MP3: Love Connection Part II, from Safe As Houses (Slender Means Society 2006
Laura Gibson – MP3: Hands in Pockets, from If You Come to Greet Me (Hush Records, 2006)
Pierced Arrows – Stream: KBOO appearance, click here for set list.
The Helio Sequence – MP3: Everyone Knows Everyone, from Love And Distance (Sub Pop, 2007)
Horse Feathers – MP3: Finch on Saturday from Words Are Dead (Lucky Madison, 2006)
Song of Swallows – MP3: Physical from Me With Trees Towering (LP 2006, Cherchez La Femme Projects)
New Bloods – MP3: A Ritual from the band’s self-titled 7-inch (Raw Sugar Records, 2007)
Talkdemonic – MP3: Ending The Orange Glow
Eux Autres – MP3: When I’m Up from Cold City (? 2007)
Menomena – MP3: Air Aid from Friend And Foe (Barsuk, 2007)
The Shaky Hands – MP3: Summer’s Life from The Shaky Hands (Holocene Music, 2007)
Pure Country Gold – MP3: King of Cortisone from Pure Country Gold (Empty Records, 2007)
Hey Lover – MP3: Here Comes the Snow from Hey Lover (Breakfast Mascot Records, 2007)
Harvey Girls – MP3: Parking Lot
The Olive League – MP3: Our Demon Authors Rendered
Dragging An Ox Through Water – MP3: Aces from Rebukes! 7-inch (Smells Delicious)
Dat’r – MP3: The Bloody Lump from Turn Up the Ghosts (Hush Records, 2007)
Phantom Lights – MP3:
Cafeteria Dance Fever – MP3: There’s a Hot Dog Coin Under My Seat and Sharpening My Hook
The Prids – MP3: Molest The Outer Heart from Something Different (?)
Fast Takers – MP3: She’s Going Crazy from (?)
Glass Candy – MP3: Beatific from B/E/A/T/B/O/X (? 2007)
LKN – MP3: Exit Mistakes from Postulate II (Greyday Productions, 2007)
Viva Voce – MP3: Fashionably Lonely
Pinehurst Kids – MP3:
The Subcons – MP3: Safe
Dead Eye – MP3: Never Enough – MP3:
Clorox Girls – MP3: Flowers of Evil
Hey, Tiger – MP3:
Swan Island – MP3: The Centre Will Hold from
Team Dresh – MP3: Seven from Chainsaw Records
The Gossip – MP3: Listen Up (MSTRKRFT remix)
The Hugs – MP3: All Smiles
The Minders – MP3: Accidental Joy
Quasi – MP3: The Rhino
The Wires – MP3:
Rocket Punch – MP3: Pink Cashmere
Loch Lomond – MP3: Carl Sagan

More compilations of Portland pop at Portland Pop Now!, Pop Tomorrow, WW’s Local Cuts, Mercury Band Page, In Music We Trust