Missed Connection — Leverett Release Final Album 'Wires & Tubes'

For a band on the precipice of breaking up, the amount of trust and respect the four musicians of Portland rock band Leverett demonstrate is palpable. Evolved years ago from a solo project by bandleader Jesse Gertz, the cohort’s first official full-length as a foursome, Wires & Tubes, is both a ravenously complex modern record and a lesson in how to share and delegate responsibilities. A chirpy opener shows the group in full gallop, strutting…

Sounds Good, But Not To Me: Music We Just Can't Get Into

The most dangerous part of being a music fan is that I like so much music. At a young age in the '70s I can remember being exposed to bands like Spyro Gyra, The Platters, Devo, Cheap Trick, Buddy Rich, Claudio Villa, and The Bee Gees to name a few. As I grew up and started to make new friends, I watched MTV practically from day one, so I have all that pop and new…

Happy Anniversary Already — Why Do We Celebrate Music Before It’s Due?

Have you noticed music acts are celebrating album anniversaries all the time now? Between reissue releases, box sets and tours, there’s no way to dodge these anniversaries, and I have to be honest, it’s getting a bit annoying.  Why is there this need to honor and celebrate so much these days? And when we do celebrate why aren’t we waiting for a more appropriate, time tested opportunity? Every time you turn around lately some emo…

Capture the Sun Traverse the Fantasy on 'Terra Ignota'

All music is a kind of storytelling. But it’s 2017, and you’d be forgiven for being tired of hearing stories. Lately, words can feel totally meaningless and status updates rule the land. For many reasons, the basic act of telling a story can be a hard sell. Attentive audiences are hard to come by. Stories are often deployed to move products. The ubiquity of data and search capabilities make it possible to fact-check every single…

Love is Longevity — Big Blood Pumps Out New Album 'The Daughters Union'

There’s little more tiresome than those who complain that music ain’t what it used to be. Times change and people change — let alone vast, corporate-controlled industries — but the reasons to come together for making art and documenting a life are always within reach. Indifferent to classification and rigorously do-it-yourself, the players in Portland’s folk group Big Blood have been evolving the reasons to make music for more than 10 years (and, considering their…

Brick by Brick: The Story Behind Builder of the House

If you haven’t been to a Builder of the House in the past few years, you’re missing out on one of the most interesting and honest acts around. After failed attempts with previous music, according to himself, singer/songwriter Rob Cimitile took another shot in 2011 at making music. The stars seemed to align that time around.  After releasing a first EP, Cimitile carved out his project's proper place and form. By the time a second…

Never Gonna Be Enough — An Interview with Sara Quin of Tegan and Sara

Days before I spoke with Sara Quin, one half of the iconic Canadian folk-pop duo Tegan and Sara, the twins announced a fall 2017 tour celebrating the 10th anniversary of their standout album The Con. (Fans: See Chad Clark of Beauty Pill’s curated track-by-track tribute to the album published earlier this week via NPR.)   On Friday, the folk-turned-pop group return to the State Theatre, touring on last year’s Love You to Death, their eighth…

Kris Rodgers Faces Destiny — 'Losing the Frequency' Demands Return to Album Rock

Known as an eminent pianist and vocalist who can bang out covers of Elton John and Billy Joel, Portland’s Kris Rodgers has seemed to be lurking at the periphery of several Portland music scenes for years. He’s got a CV with time logged in power-pop acts like the Connection and the Kurt Baker Band (among others), and to the naked ear, overwhelming evidence of a youth soaking up decades of rock lore. The 10-song power-player…

The Best Advice I Can Give Anyone Making Music

It’s been a busy time lately in the music scene with quite a few local releases. New artists and ones we’ve known all out there doing their thing. As release dates approach, I’m often contacted by folks trying to get a game plan in place. Musicians ask me for advice or help with things and I’m always glad to do what I can, if I can. Beyond writing my column here, I’ve been seriously involved…

Curbing Child Hunger with Soul Food

When the Youngerbloods started the Maine Soul Revue last year in Norway, the musical show attracted some homegrown talent and a decent crowd. The main benefit was that the show fed the hunger for a good blend of original music and some creative covers. This year, they are moving to show to Portland, and have teamed up with Go BIG For Hunger! and Full Plates Full Potential so that area kids will be the ones getting…
Subscribe to this RSS feed