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The smooth pop-rock of Zach Jones's Broken Record

Don't fix it
For an album to be more than just a collection of songs, it's more important that the songs all feel the same than sound the same. No one wants 10 tracks all in the same style — that gets old unless everything is terrific — but there should be an aesthetic that carries through ballad and banger both.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  March 16, 2011

WCYY/WBLM parent company to be bought

Radio daze
A long-rumored deal appears to have come to fruition this week: The second-largest radio station owner in the country, Cumulus Media, has agreed to acquire the third-largest, Citadel Media, owner of Portland's prominent radio stations WCYY, WBLM, WJBQ, and WHOM, in a $2.4 billion transaction.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  March 16, 2011


Dean Ford is Deaf. Dumb. In Love.

Say, say, say
Dean Ford renews, this week, his membership in the cult of pop with the release of Deaf. Dumb. In Love. , a six-song EP filled with love songs and general guy-girl drama in the classic poodle skirt tradition.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  March 09, 2011

After All, the Nebs debut a disc

Out of the dark
Just about two years into their life as a trio, the Nebs deliver their first release this week, a four-song EP, After All . Therein, frontman Matt Grassi announces himself as a bit of a songwriter.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  March 09, 2011


Making sense of Contrast Eats the Slimey Green

Metal on metal
That Two series at the Port City is great for plenty of reasons — including the cheap beer, obviously — but that gig a couple Tuesdays back with Metal Feathers opening for Spouse on the big stage pretty much justifies the whole endeavor.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  March 02, 2011


Who's Cam Groves?

Something Cool this way comes
Back in the day, Preposterously Dank, the hip-hop label/collective created by Spose and featuring Cam Groves, Dr. Astronaut, and Educated Advocates, would have hit the popular consciousness with a collective album first.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  March 09, 2011


Grand Hotel’s radiant and vibrant in color

Like a hurricane
Less than a year following their terrific self-titled full-length debut, Grand Hotel are back with in color , an album that sees that debut and raises the stakes considerably.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  February 16, 2011


TheLin and Syn the Shaman team for Fits & Starts

Making Trails
There's no denying it's pretty cool that two artists, however many, can make music together without ever meeting.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  February 09, 2011


Lucid dreaming

An effervescent ride on the mothership
How far the Lucid have come. Sure, sometimes a band come out of the gate firing on all cylinders and crush their debut album, using chemistry and energy to overcome lack of experience. But far more common is for a band to take a little while to find their footing.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  February 01, 2011


The digital delight of Space versus Speed

Out of this world
Since 2000, we've had the Popsicko, Rocktopus, As Fast As (three albums), Spencer and the School Spirit Mafia, and now Space versus Speed. All with Spencer Albee as principal songwriter and frontman. Seven full-length records.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  January 27, 2011


Dan Capaldi steps out from behind the kit

On the Level
In addition to plenty of other projects, Dan Capaldi has played drums now for two of Portland's most important bands of the last five years: the brightly burning Cambiata and the still-on-the-rise Holy Boys Danger Club.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  January 26, 2011


Bass Box | Mother Box

Local vocals
The debut full-length from Bass Box is worth a listen if only for its originality. I can't remember an album that explores as much of the contemporary musical canon — rock, pop, folk, jazz, R&B, gypsy, tango — all without use of the drums.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  January 20, 2011


Buck Edwards | Loaded Gun

Buck Edwards shoots from the hip
We don't get a whole lot of cowboy-hat country in Portland — Travis James Humphrey would be an exception — so Buck Edwards is something of an enigma. Is his twangy, '50s-style rockabilly and pop country completely on the level?
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  January 20, 2011


Mitch Alden | Old Habits

Mitch Alden's solo debut
Mitch Alden has always been an earnest guy. Over the course of his previous two full-length records fronting pop-rock band Now Is Now, he's made his bones penning new-agey, pop-rock, sun-shiney tunes.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  January 20, 2011


Reveling in Spose's Medium for the masses

C'mon get Happy
Spose will soon release a new album on a major label, Universal Republic. Happy Medium is not it. The answer to the question "Why?" is the subject of another story (conveniently found  here ).
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  January 12, 2011


Spose, the major labels, and the new music biz

Did he make it?
Nine months ago, this town was celebrating the success of rapper-from-Wells Spose: huge hit single, top of the iTunes charts, major-label deal in his pocket, big-time national debut album on the way.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  January 12, 2011


The two sides of Marie Moreshead

Thought I knew you
To this point, Marie Moreshead has made her bones as a sweet-voiced singer/songwriter with a lot of promise based on 2008's The Distraction EP and 2009's Birdwatchers EP.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  January 05, 2011


Upcoming albums: The winter of our deep content

The winter of our deep content
There was a time when winter in Portland was pretty sleepy, with bands holing up to practice and write while the snowflakes flew. No longer. The album-release schedule is now equally robust year-round, and there are big shows just about every weekend through to spring.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  December 29, 2010


Jonathan Edwards records first album in 16 years at the Studio

Sunshine on Casco
Why has Jonathan Edwards decided to record his first studio album in 16 years down on Casco Street at the Studio? Well, for one thing, he lives here, and it's close by. But, mostly, "it's been a really lucky find," says the folk legend, who was laying down a bass track on his Fender, right in the control room with engineer Jim Begley, when I walked in.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  December 22, 2010


The year's top 10 local albums, and five EPs to boot

With Confidence
I'm not sure when local music has been better. If there is any problem with our little scene here in Portland, it's that there's more talent than there are fans to support it.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  December 22, 2010


Stocking stuffers

A grab-bag of local music for every taste
So, this does, indeed, come a week after the whole "gifts" issue, but this is traditionally the week for local music suggestions.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  December 16, 2010

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