Buck This Genre — Tall Horse releases the achingly good 'Howl Mouth'

For a genre obsessed with freedom and the open road, country music can be pretty rigid. There's very little wiggle room among its adherents and players, and beyond the generational trend of deploying watered down hip hop beats beneath country anthems, there’s typically very little opportunity for cross-pollination. So it's refreshing as hell when a band playing in the constraints of country music carves out new ground. Sure, some puritans will hold their nose. But…

Why See the Same Live Show Again and Again?

The super fantastic Hall & Oates just played a show in Boston over the weekend with the equally awesome band Tears For Fears. Great bill. Because of my past outspoken passion and support for the inclusion of Hall and Oates into the Rock n’ Roll Hall Of Fame; people all year have been asking me if I’m going to the show. Did I get good seats? How excited am I?   One by one I’d explain…

A Man and His Logo — Spose drops fifth album 'Good Luck With Your Life'

For the generation in and entering their thirties, self-employment is a dream. Having watched parents toil in cubicles (and factories and restaurants) during the Reagan and Clinton years was hard, not just because we didn’t get to see them, but because we knew they were so unbelievably bored as they were doing it. Today, the memories of that boredom haunt our work lives, which combined with our generation’s other merriments of more debt, more distraction,…

Release It Already: Local Albums Dropping This Summer

Myles Bullen - Wake Up Century (out this week) Cover art by Anna Welch.  I came up with “Hippie Hop” a while back to describe all that is Myles Bullen. He’s a peaceful lad roaming around with a heart full of love spitting positive and encouraging rhymes to anyone who will stop and listen. I predict more people will listen to his latest record recorded with producer/vocalist, Earth Person. Even with one full length, some previous singles…

Burn This Album — KGFREEZE's Scorching 'Scapegoat'

Four albums into this form, bandleader Kyle Gervais (ex-Cosades, ex-Grand Hotel) has explored a lot of sounds since he began his KGFREEZE project in 2013, from R&B-meets-funk ass-wigglery to angular, incisive indie-rock. But on Scapegoat, released this spring at a trim 10 songs and 24 minutes, Gervais's gestural of dismissal to the genre explorations and contrivances of previous albums is dramatic. Gone are the funky affectations of Hypocrite; the party-ready dance-rock of Volunteer, the lo-fi weirdo-soul of…

Tired Mosh Pits: Should punk bands keep playing 40 years later?

I made it out to Aura last Saturday for one of the coolest lineups I’ve seen in a while: Flat Duo Jets, punk legends Agent Orange, and the always rockin’ headliners, Reverend Horton Heat. What a three-pack! As I walked in it was clear to see this wasn’t a 21+ crowd. It was more like a 31+ crowd. It was so refreshing to see more folks swearing off Netflix and couches for the night. Cool…

Your ultimate summer music playlist

A few months ago the weather was pretty decent, at least for the end of winter. I remember thinking, I hope that’s it. I hope we’re in the clear now. I’m not normally an anti-winter or snow person. Just last year. Last year I wasn’t feeling the winter one bit. I do love to see my friends having fun hitting the slopes and enjoying mountain area activities. It’s been a bumpy few years for our…

The Long Journey of Dan Stuart — Paisley Underground frontman comes to Portland

On the advent of Prism Analog's new live series, recording artists' live sets straight to tape, the Phoenix talked with Dan Stuart, the former frontman of legendary cult post-punk band Green On Red, who comes to Portland from Mexico this Friday, June 2. Stuart's new album, Marlowe's Revenge, is backed by the Mexican rock band Twin Tones, and serves as an excellent document of a long and storied life of reinvention and using rock music…

Believing in Spencer Albee — The Portland Pop Devotee's 'Relentlessly Yours'

"How many times do I have to tear my innards out?” Spencer Albee asks in “Ten to One,” the final song of his new album, Relentlessly Yours. On the twentieth record of the Portland pop artist's career, it’s not always clear who is asking him to do this. The majority of songs on Relentlessly Yours, Spencer’s largely self-produced new album, are written in direct address to a beloved other—the “you” in oh, how I loved you.…

Radio Loses a Legend: Rodney Bingenheimer, after four decades on air, hosts his last show

Unless you’re deeply involved in the music world, and even then it might be a stretch, you probably wouldn’t know much about radio DJ’s from around the country. There's one you should know about though. I mean, when you’re the first DJ in the country to break artists like The Ramones, The Sex Pistols, David Bowie, Blondie, Nirvana, Van Halen, The Clash, Green Day, Oasis, Devo, Cheap Trick, X, Duran Duran, The Smiths and tens…
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