Saturday, November 20, 2010

Portland Country Underground

It's a fact. Most cool people like old country. It might be the coolest music ever made really. Songs by Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard and the like are just so tight. The seemingly surface-level lyrics have subtle implications. The melodies are clear, easy and miraculously emotional.

Anyway, I didn't know this until recently, but there's sort of a little club of Portland musicians who get together perform country every so often. I got to cover the latest installment--starring members of Viva Voce and Dolorean--for the Oregonian.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Bleach Is Back

Picture 2
Freelance writers don't pick their headlines. Sometimes an editor picks something really goofy and it's kind of a bummer. But I like the ring of the title that ended up in the print edition of The Oregonian for my profile of the reunited Clorox Girls got.

The trio played in Portland for the first time in a few years over Halloween weekend, and in classic fashion, something and someone got broken. The disco ball at Slabtown went down and split in half (They are hollow and made of styrofoam. Who knew?). Someone's head whacked a monitor and he left bleeding. He came back soon and rocked out though. It was punk. Just like the time the Clorox Girls played three CD release shows in three venues and finished by breaking a small fence and some lights at Slabtown. Some things never change.

Keep an eye out for the Clorox Girls' next record! I've heard a couple of tracks and they pepped me right up.

Image by Mateus Mondini.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010



It was a tenuous claim to fame, but we needed it. Portland needed an historical rock venue. But alas, Satyricon, where everyone liked to point out the jukebox next to which Kurt met Courtney, is no more.

I recorded its second to last show for posterity in the Oregonian. The lineup featured punk bands from the club's early '90s heyday. It was a good show. It was also a little bit like being at someone else's high school reunion.

In 2006, I covered the re-opening of the club for WW, so that's what it was to me. It won't be reopened this time--it's being torn down. I played there a few times, and while the room was kind of an awkward space divided by pillars, you got the sense that those black walls just absorbed all the music played in them over the years and, being on stage, it made you feel warm.

Image: The last month of the Satyricon calendar.