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SAM PFEIFLE

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BEAT_headstart_list

Headstart at the beginning?

A is for attitude, antipathy, and fighting the good fight
Headstart have only been around for about five years, but especially with frontman Kevin Kennie's long history in the scene, begun with Shufflin' Tremble/Loud Neighbor, they are now decidedly mid-career artists.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  September 30, 2009

Well, cello there

Kieran McManus flies to the moon (and the Far East)
It can be a bad sign when your story threatens to be more interesting than your album, but Kieran McManus is probably safe.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  September 23, 2009

BEAT_moreshead_list

Young love

Marie Moreshead proves she's the permanent kind
For a girl with such a professed affinity for monogamy, Marie Moreshead is a bit of a tease.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  September 23, 2009

10th_music_MH_list

Ripple effect

The 10 most influential bands of our first 10 years
The Portland Phoenix launched in 1999, just as the Portland music scene was turning.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  September 16, 2009

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Falling fast

Let's get things started right away
As almost always seems to be the case, I have to start the "fall preview" by detailing this upcoming weekend, which promises to be one of the most active of the year.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  September 16, 2009

MUSIC_Beat-DeadSeas_list

Pain makes you beautiful

 Dead Season find the middle ground between life and death
With all the success Dead Season have had, perhaps their greatest talent lies in their unflappable honesty, their unwavering self-confidence. At times, their songs, full of introspection and naked emotion, are like being forced to stare at the sun. The instinct to blink is strong.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  September 09, 2009



beat_stevegrover2_list

What of the Beatles?

Jazz, pop, and circumstance
Spouting off during downtime in an interview with jazz drummer/composer Steve Grover, I once put forward my ill-researched idea that the third song is almost universally the best song on a great album.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  September 02, 2009

books_JAnthony-art_list

Which was fine

Jessica Anthony's pleasantly disturbing Convalescent
There are probably 10 or 15 reviews I could write of Jessica Anthony's The Convalescent . Leitmotifs populate the book's 240 pages like thick, black hairs on the back of an old man's wrinkled ass.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  September 02, 2009

olivia list

Second summer

Catching up with discs missed
Summer's over, the kids are getting back to school and I'm loath to turn the seasonal page. The music's been terrific. New discs by Spencer and the School Spirit Mafia, Grand Hotel, dilly dilly, Samuel James, and Gypsy Tailwind have highlighted the depth and breadth of our local talent and the return of shows on the pier has reminded many of us just what a great summer town this can be.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  August 26, 2009

sam list

Book of Samuel, Vol. 3

For the ages, and For Rosa, Maeve and Noreen
It's so easy not to think about the music Samuel James makes much at all. Built from the very pillars of American music, it's easy to dismiss it as an homage, a throwback, a curiosity. And it is all those things, with James's ageless voice — he could be 20 or 80 — and variety of stringed instruments that scoff at modern technology.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  August 19, 2009

jaye list

Moving on up

Jaye Drew proves herself a smooth operator
In the R&B and soul the very talented vocalist Jaye Drew purveys, you need something real, a grit and substance that allows you to rise above sentimental pap and make people actually give a fuck about you. She finds — and shows — just that on A Moving Train, her debut full-length.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  August 12, 2009



grand hotel list

Ain't life Grand

A debut EP worth more than a one-night stay
Bands come and go. Especially local ones. The money's not great, personalities clash, young and single people tend to move around a lot. Kyle Gervais with Cosades had a band a lot of us in Portland will remember for a long time, but they broke up last year for the reasons that bands break up.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  August 13, 2009

gutter list

Flying solo (and duo)

Elijah Ocean and Dave Gutter get busy taking it slow
Think about everything you know about Elijah Ocean and Dave Gutter: Ocean's work fronting the heavy rock trio Loverless, say, or his lead-guitar turn in the radio-rock foursome All the Real Girls; Gutter's piercing vocals out front of Rustic Overtones, or his white-hot bounce in the lead of Paranoid Social Club.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  August 05, 2009

spencer list

So good

Spencer Albee's got Spirit. How 'bout you?
One way to experiment with songwriting is to throw convention out the window, eschew verses and choruses, try to be completely unique. Sometimes the idea appears that if a song sounds like anything that came before it, well, that's points deducted like a gymnast who missed her landing. It's derivative!
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  July 30, 2009

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Regardless of the cost

Tony McNaboe testifies on sophomore release
If you were concerned that the return of Rustic Overtones would mean the ends of their various side projects, it’s clear now that was a fruitless worry.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  July 22, 2009

090724_beat-List

Free to be

Hutch Heelan goes solo
Because of Hutch Heelan, I've now heard of EFT, which stands for emotional freedom techniques, and, as far as I can tell, involves tapping on different parts of your body to relieve pain, anxiety, and other bad feelings.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  July 22, 2009



beat list

Multi-faceted

Shardlow and Goodyear and a brand-new studio
How we think about making and consuming music is changing. It is not news that labels, albums, and record stores are dying, pushed aside by new ways of conducting the commerce of music. (Though at the turn of the 20th century the song was king and the trade was in sheet-music publishing rights, so maybe this is all a return to form, just with new technology.)
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  July 15, 2009

goose list

Shudder to think

Chill out this summer with Goose Bumps, Vol. 3
With the tools available to electronic musicians — software and limitless collaborators available through the Internet — the only limiting agents are ambition and work ethic. Well, talent, too, but that can be as easily wasted as ever if you don’t know how to use the platforms available to you for putting it on display.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  July 08, 2009

carll list

Working on your heart

Carll Wilkinson starts the whole damn thing all over
With the talent we have in this town, just about anybody can put together a decent-sounding album.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  July 01, 2009

closed list

History bites

Bramhall shuttered; Jerks need a new home
Just a few months after the close of its upstairs neighbor, the Roma Cafe, the Bramhall Pub, long an institution in the West End, shut its doors two weeks ago. And while there's talk it may reopen after renovations, one thing is for sure: The 11-plus-year run of Jerks of Grass shows on Thursday nights, the longest-standing weekly gig in Portland, has come to an end.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  June 24, 2009

sun gods list

Gods of rock

Let the Black Light, White Lines wash over you
SPACE Gallery will be awfully loud Thursday, with the CD release of Sun Gods in Exile's Black Light, White Lines, supported by Ogre and the debut of Murcielago. Last Friday's L'Animaux Tryst showcase and this show are sonic polar opposites on the SPACE spectrum, but good for them for giving some boot-stomping guitar-rock a chance.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  June 24, 2009


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