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Portland music news: January 16, 2009

By PORTLAND MUSIC STAFF  |  January 14, 2009

• It's with a heavy heart that we report the following: This year's 25th annual REINDEER ROCK-OFF will be the last. Yes, the competition that has become and institution in crowing the state's best high school rock band, and which helped launch the careers of the likes of HOWIE DAY, JEREMIAH FREED, RUSTIC OVERTONES, and many more, will hold its last-ever five-band final performance on April 19. Before that, however, interested bands can register by February 1, e-mailing for details. The first-place prize includes $1000 cash and those bands who show they're up to snuff will be selected for initial live showcases March 15 and 22. The talent that turns up for this event is always impressive. We get a little tear in our eye when we remember POZER playing the Catherine McAuley stage, the band that would become SPARKS THE RESCUE. Ah, the good old days.

• Progress continues for SUN GODS IN EXILE. The collection of BLACK APPLE, CORTEZ, OCEAN, and SUPERSOUL CHALLENGER refugees, among others, have finished a record and Detroit's SMALL STONE RECORDS will be releasing it in relatively short order. A lover of throwback heavy rock, Small Stone also features Five Horse Johnson, Giant Brain, Solace, Sons of Otis, and a host of others, and will be featuring Sun Gods at their SXSW stage this spring. Rawk!

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