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Albums you shouldn't let slip by
After a few days of Indian Summer to remind us of the summer we nearly didn't have, it's timely to shed some warm light on albums released recently that didn't get their proper due.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  November 11, 2009


Days of the New

The orchestral stylings of Rustic Overtones 2.0
When drummer Tony McNaboe delivered the burned copy of Rustic Overtones’ new full-length album, he tucked it inside the packaging of the re-released and re-mastered Long Division.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  November 05, 2009


Tomorrow never dies

 A new full-length from Dave Rowe (and Trio)
For a Halloween party with substantially less gore, check out the newest release from Dave Rowe (and sometimes his Trio), The Music Never Dies .
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  October 28, 2009

Haunted Shipyard

Jodi Explodi deliver ghosts of Halloween past
Guitar World recently gave credit to KISS for turning "party" into a verb.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  October 07, 2010


Life in Ruin

The crushing metal of Human Moral Deception
Recently, Bull Moose wondered "aloud" (via Facebook) about the future of metal.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  October 21, 2009


Full speed ahead

Riding high with the Sea Captains
The Sea Captains don't take themselves particularly seriously.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  October 14, 2009


Space cowboys

Sidecar Radio's fiery Dreadnaught Cosmonaut
Sidecar Radio's EP Wave Principal was released in April 2008 and I've pretty much been listening to "Easy Gets So Hard" ever since.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  October 07, 2009


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


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


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


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


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


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


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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