To paraphrase what I wrote in my 2009 Best of.. List a few days ago, “here’s a list of Portland artists that I spent the most time with in 2009. This is not meant to be a ranked list..” Portland never ceases to delight, with fresh new music popping up every month or so. Here’s just a handful that meant something to me this year.
The Builders And The Butchers
I saw The Builders And The Butchers at the Sasquatch Festival this year and was amazed to see the audience spontaneously begin to sing along with the band. It turned out to be one of the best performances of the weekend. Buy Salvation Is A Deep Dark Well
When It Rains by The Builders & The Butchers
Early this year Alela Diane delivered, To Be Still, a wonderfully elegiac follow up to her album, The Rifle. I reviewed it at the time. Although she moves to and fro between Portland and Northern California, we should claim her as our hometown girl, as there is no doubt she is moving steadily toward greater renown.
Buy To Be Still
White As Diamonds by Alela Diane
Russia By Ramona Falls
For ten years or more, Danny Seim, also of Menomena, has been releasing his own work as Lackthereof. In 2009 Barsuk released a retrospective of his decade’s work. This is a must have collection that will help you catch up with the work of one of Portland’s more creative and experimental musicians.
Last November By Lackthereof
I’ll let this music fan, who left a review of the Nurses album Apple’s Acre on Amazon, have her say:
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best albums of 2009, August 10, 2009
By J. Marler “Trendkill” (Sacramento, CA) – See all my reviews
“This is a truly one of a kind album. I’ve never heard music like this before, not even from their first album. It’s an absolutely beautiful album, my personal favorite tracks are Mile After Mile, Technicolor, Man At Arms, Lita, Apple’s Acre… I guess I should just list the whole album every song is 5 stars. I can’t help but dance and sing with every track. My favorite album so far this year.”
Caterpillar Playground By Nurses
This is Portland’s loss. A word from Kill Rock Stars:
We are very sad to announce that Kill Rock Stars artists’ Panther are calling it quits. They have scheduled their last show for Dec 20 at Rontom’s in their hometown of Portland, OR. It will be a free show to thank their fans and friends for all their support.
Panther started out at the end of the 20th century as a solo project for Charlie Salas-Humara, then of the noisy prog band The Planet The. His shows were legendary – his signature falsetto over blown out beats making a bizarre form of damaged r&b along with his insane Merge Cunningham inspired dance moves and crowd heckling made for chaos that (mostly) won even the most uptight crowds over. He released a few records in this vein on local Fryk Beat records and made an AMAZING video before adding drummer Joe Kelly to the band and signing to KRS.
Love Is Sold [Lips and Ribs Remix] By Panther
Thao And The Get Down Stay Down
Thao and her band had a busy year. There was the new album Know Better Learn Faster as well as her participation with the Portland Cello Project. I’ve a feeling that she will go far.
When We Swam By Thao And The Get Down Stay Down
Tallymarks By The Portland Cello Project feat. Thao
Bladen County Records
Bladen County Records continued to support and promote great music.
Pickathon and MusicFestNW
Dr Dog at Pickathon
Crowd at Pickathon
Tu Fawning at MusicFestNW
OPB and WOXY iPhone Apps