KNOW COMPLEX The kNOw Complex-hosted open-mic night at the Stonecoast may not have gotten Portland hip-hop started, but it definitely brought it into the mainstream (the $2 420s didn't hurt, either). Moshe went on to found Milled Pavement Records, Sontiago became the most recognizable name in Portland hip-hop, and Bread carved out an excellent pair of solo albums. Wally Wentzel continues to be one of Portland's finest soundmen and Navillus . . . well Navillus sort of made Poverty happen, right?
MUNJOY HILL SOCIETY This is the band I'll forever associate with the Skinny, the club that may have had the best run of the past 10 years, even if it was too short. The combined talents of Darien Brahms, Chicky Stoltz, Paul Chamberlain, and John Clark made this a supergroup in every sense of that word.
OCEAN A Geno's band that showed you can be more popular outside of Portland than you are inside it. They are a supergroup in their own right — Candy, Eric Brackett, John Lennon, and Reuben Little — with long histories in local metal scene, but it is their attention to their singular craft that make them notable.
RUSTIC OVERTONES This seems like a no-brainer, but this really wasn't their decade. The best thing that happened to them in the last 10 years might have been their break-up, leading to bands like Rocktopus, As Fast As, Paranoid Social Club, Tony McNaboe's solo project, Seekonk, the Plains, Dulce de Leche, and more. Getting back together was just gravy.
SLY-CHI Recently, Model Airplane wrapped up a summer of Mondays at the Big Easy, but no one did a weekly gig at the Big Easy like Sly-Chi, full of danceable soul and funk covers and originals with a big band that almost anyone could love. Along with bands like Inside Straight, Sly-Chi help found a soul scene in Portland that is surprisingly diverse and active.
Sam Pfeifle can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.