As is hardly surprsing, the public does a better job of documenting the PDX Pop Now! festivals than we could ever do. That being the case, we hope you enjoy the podcasts, photos, videos and bloggage that other people have made available to any and all. Thanks for making things with us!
2006 Festival Press
07/31/06 Oregonian Review
07/31/06 Willamette Week Local Cut Review
07/28/06 Portland Tribune Feature
07/27/06 Portland Mercury Feature
07/26/06 Tiny Mix Tapes Story (scroll down)
07/24/06 Villains Always Blink
07/21/06 WW Local Cut on City Hall Concert
07/20/06 WW Local Cut on Festival Schedule
07/17/06 WW Local Cut on Lineup
07/06/06 CMJ Story
07/05/06 Pitchfork Story
06/30/06 Gorilla vs. Bear
06/30/06 Largehearted Boy
05/09/06 Portland Mercury Interview
2005 Festival Press
08/15/05 Tiny Mix Tapes Recap (scroll down)
08/12/05 Oregonian Recap
08/10/05 Willamette Week Recap
08/05/05 Oregonian Mention (scroll down)
07/28/05 Tiny Mix Tapes
06/23/05 Portland Mercury
03/17/05 Portland Mercury
CORTNEY HARDING, Portland Tribune
Several recent compilations have attempted to showcase the local music scene. While none of them fully encompasses all the styles of Portland music, the second PDX Pop compilation does a great job demonstrating that the city has a vibrant pop scene.
With two CDs and 41 songs, there is something for every taste. The first CD kicks off with Sleater-Kinney’s aptly titled “Rollercoaster,” and demonstrates that the band is on top of the world for a reason. Mirah slows things down a few tracks later with a home-recorded version of “While We Have the Sun,” while Nice Nice speeds things up with “Uh-Oh.”
Other CD-1 highlights include Glass Candy’s sexy, spastic dance track “Lovin Machine,” the glitchy “Just Expect” by Copy and Talkdemonic’s beautiful “Mountaintops in Caves.” The CD closes with “Chemical Reaction,” by the Spooky Dance Band, and reminds us again what great talents were lost in a bike accident in 2003.
The second CD features more big name acts, among them the Decemberists, the Gossip and M Ward. While all provide stellar tracks, it’s the farm-league contenders who’ll really blow listeners away. The Snuggle Ups bounce around the room, while the Cajun Gems sit on the porch and twang. Die Monitr Batss create chaos. Norfolk and Western soothe.
This compilation is by no means a definitive guide to Portland music, but it’s a good starting place for curious listeners. Give it a spin and find a new favorite band — many of which will perform at the PDX Pop Now! Festival this weekend.
KIP BERMAN, Portland Mercury
Compilations are, by their very nature, uneven affairs – meant more to showcase a variety of artists than offer a cohesive listen. That said, PDX Pop Now!’s sophomore offering is just as much a success as last year’s debut. Sure, hiphop and Klezmer are equally represented (one track a piece), and yes (surprise!), there’s an overabundance of whiny dudes with four tracks in their bedroom. But hey—that’s Portland. The good folks who put out this comp and organize the PDX Pop Now! festival have their hearts and ears in the right place. Listening to the standout contributions from such diverse artists as Dolorean, The Gossip, Glass Candy (Miami Pop Now!?), Point Line Plane, Viva Voce, The Snuggle Ups, M. Ward, Wet Confetti, and The Helio Sequence remind me what a fantastically creative and vibrant music scene we are lucky enough to have in our own backyard.
MARK BAUMGARTEN, Willamette Week
Served on two discs, this collection offers a snapshot of a music scene that’s about more than just “pop,” that percussive palindrome that points to music meant to be consumed en masse. The compilation leaves out much of Portland’s music community: mostly, the musicians working within the boundaries of genres like country, jazz, gospel, old time, metal and, save one song, hip-hop. Instead, the collection focuses on the city’s forward-looking musicians, artists who are interested in reforming the templates of popular music, using new and old tools to create something fiercely original. These are many of the artists who are creating the framework for a scene that is uniquely Portland in both its geography and its form. But what is that form?
Well, it includes women, as the PDX Pop Now! compilation features a dozen female-fronted bands, from the angry (the Gossip, Sleater-Kinney) to the kind (Mirah) to the undeniably rad (the Blow, LKN). It also has an isolationist streak, as nearly half the acts included here opt to work the one- or two-person-band route while making music that reinvents the sound palette (Nice Nice, Talkdemonic, Y.A.C.H.T.) or reimagines tradition (Dolorean, Alan Singley, Jessica Jones).
And I have no idea what that means for the scene, except that it sounds great and, jokes aside, sounds like Portland-a sweeping geographical generalization that I’m willing to claim.