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…

Getting Off the Map — The Magical Properties of Jared Fairfield's 'The Protecting Cloak'

Island life is fuckin’ tight. There are no goddamn computers, feral children run naked through the woods, and everyone eats unidentifiable foodstuff from a giant clawfoot tub in an abandoned plot. ‘kay, that’s not totally true, but the difference between life on Portland and its peripheral islands is stark. And as anyone smart enough to know knows, once the shittiness and banality of city life piles up (it does), that once-innocent escape feels like a…

Homecoming: What Keeps Bebe Buell Rockin'

In a time where rock 'n’ roll has lost a lot of its shine, its sparkle, its bark and its bite, we need some artists to stay true to form. We need someone who never caves into the projections and the trends. Rock 'n’ roll used to be a real thing. An honest thing. It wasn’t so planned out and stripped of its rawness. It was there in the bloodline of the streets, swerving through…

Bully Mammoth Don't Play to the Base With 'Let It Bully'

As adult projects go, Bully Mammoth is as worthy as any. Their new LP, titled Let It Bully, is antisocial, stubbornly repetitive, and lacks immediate payoff. But the same could be said about gardening, studying for the bar, or running a meme farm. And those are great projects too. Now four years down, the Portland noiserock trio still make burly, lumbering, viscerally loud music. On Let It Bully, they’re as huge-sounding as the name suggests,…

Jeff Beam – We've Got Love for the Underdog

Somewhere buried deep in a beat up, but solid green army duffle bag is a bunch of cassettes and 8-tracks. There’s some Beck, Sean Lennon, Flaming Lips, Elliot Smith and a copy of The White Album outtakes. You’ll also find a pair of vintage orange pants lost by someone in San Francisco back in 1967, a thin yellow scarf, a Speak n’ Spell connected by Bluetooth, a sombrero type hat, a small paperback copy of On…
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