In the last few weeks, I've been able to profile two fantastic new Portland bands for The Oregonian, both of which just released their first full-length albums, and neither of which sounds anything like the other.
Even before I saw Radiation City play last winter at Rontoms, I could have complimented them on having some good looking vintage gear. They rocked those tube amps and electric pianos in a way that really drew in the chatty crowd. It was the release party for a compilation they put out on their cassette label, Apes Tapes, and I found myself listening to it over and over afterwards. When I interviewed them for this story, I discovered the passion their sublime music radiated (yeah, yeah) was hard earned.
In last year's Best New Bands poll, Wizard Rifle was my number-one selection. This young metal duo came out of nowhere and brings it so hard that love 'em or hate 'em, you will never forget 'em once you've seen 'em. It was an honor to be the first journalist ever to interview the band for this story. I was pleased to learn their show at SXSW went well.