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Dead Season give in on The Negative NUMBers

Killing me softly
What's that Neil Young said about castles burning? "Don't let it bring you down?" Someone ought to tell Dead Season. The band previously known for keeping a stiff upper lip through trying times have, on their new EP, given in to a little wallowing.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  June 01, 2011


Putnam Smith laments, We Could Be Beekeepers

Back in black (and yellow)
Reviewing his sophomore full-length, Goldrush , I accused Putnam Smith of wishing it were 1909 instead of 2009.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  June 01, 2011


Feeling bad with Good Kids Sprouting Horns

Animal instincts
We have a natural inclination toward harmony. We look for patterns and symmetry and create narratives out of coincidences.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  May 25, 2011


Paranoid Social Club really are out to get you

Club-house rules
Hopefully by now you've heard the first single from Paranoid Social Club's new Axis IV , "Count on Me," and you don't need a whole lot of convincing that this is the record you'll be listening to all summer.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  May 18, 2011


Frank Hopkins finds an inner peace (and jam)

After three albums of stern lecture, it would seem that Frank Hopkins and his Line of Force have decided to just roll with the punches and turn out a nice dance jam.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  May 12, 2011


This Way's new tack for album number two

No, actually, This Way
Theoretically, Goodbye Forever is This Way's sophomore album, but you'd have a hard time identifying this as the same crew that produced 2008's We Could All Make History .
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  May 12, 2011


Steve Martin to give Portland the Bird

Steep and deep
Things that are important to understand going into Steve Martin's bluegrass performance, backed by the Steep Canyon Rangers, at Merrill Auditorium: 1) The music is dead serious. 2) So is the comedy.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  May 12, 2011


Moving out

88 keys, 2 songwriters, 1 grand plan
At the heart of the cover-band craze that's recently swept Portland is a very simple concept: musicians getting paid.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  May 04, 2011


Getting down and dirty with Joe Walsh

Mole hunting
Seeing Joe Walsh for the first time, down with Jerks of Grass in some of the final days of the Bramhall Pub, he was immediately "the Android".
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  May 04, 2011


Sparks fly on Worst Thing I've Been Cursed With

Rescue me
If there were those who thought Sparks the Rescue got a little too saccharine on their label debut, Eyes to the Sun , they may be somewhat mollified by the brand-new Worst Thing I've Been Cursed With .
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  April 27, 2011

Music Seen: Spose

Though it was Spose's first big show locally since the "I'm Awesome" craze died down, Saturday night was as much about showcasing Spose's P.Dank label as it was debuting songs from his new We Smoked It All, Vol. 2.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  April 27, 2011


The feel-good prog rock of By Blood Alone

If there's one thing for certain, it's that no one will feel cheated by By Blood Alone.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  April 20, 2011

Port City now 18+, all the time

Venue Watch
After something of a long, strange trip, Port City Music Hall's quest to be an 18+ venue has come to fruition.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  April 20, 2011


Arborea sail across a fossil sea

Hearing Red
When critics say a band have a timelessness about them, people generally mean the band's music is sort of universally appealing, outside of trends or genres.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  April 25, 2011


Foam Castles invite you to Come Over to My House

Digital domicile
Bitch all you want about the firehose of new music nowadays, but the lowered barriers to recording and distribution certainly do make it easier for artists to be a lot more playful in their releases.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  April 13, 2011


Sophomore Beat Party Like a Lobster — no, really

Believe it or not
If you thought the Sophomore Beat's Hi, Technology was a sneering bundle of sarcasm, wait till you get a load of their new EP, the four-song Party Like a Lobster .
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  April 13, 2011


Tree by Leaf return, and depart, with Amen & Amen

Postcard from Belfast
Maybe it's fitting, considering the supernatural nature of much of their lyrics, that Tree by Leaf's newest album seems to have dropped from the heavens.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  April 06, 2011


Playing Trial & Error by the Bonfire

Pilgrim's progress
Jesse Pilgrim and the Bonfire do a couple things pretty well on their debut record, Trial & Error , that are hard to do well: create an album with a sense of place, and create an album with something to say.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  March 30, 2011


Spending time with Custardpaws and Mr. Freezy

Spending time with Custardpaws and Mr. Freezy
Jeff Badger is a bit of a Renaissance man-about-town — visual artist of all stripes; musician of all stripes with the Hot Dogs/Transmission Drop — with a reputation for dabbling in the absurd and ridiculous.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  March 30, 2011


Whitcomb's legacy

Feel the poetry rattling your bones
It is unlikely that James Whitcomb Riley, a turn-of-the-century poet for a short time considered the heir to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ever envisioned his work accompanied by music quite like this.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  March 23, 2011


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

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