Weeks after Portland rocker Orion Satushek was killed by an allegedly drunken driver on Southeast Belmont Street and just days before three members of the local band Exploding Hearts died in an I-5 van wreck, yet another local musician came to vehicular grief. In the early hours of Monday, July 14, a car hit Josh Skins, drummer for popular progressive dub band Systemwide, as he cycled home from a friend's house. The accident at the corner of Northeast Irving Street and 19th Avenue left Josh in intensive care; the drummer suffered a broken leg, a fractured ankle and a pelvis "basically broken in two," according to his mother.

"Someone ran into him and dragged him 20 or 30 feet," says Jonie Mantle-Holly, Josh's mom. "The family who lives on that corner heard the impact and called 911. The woman who lives there happens to be a nurse, and she ran outside with a blanket, ready to give him CPR. They didn't think he would live."

After a series of surgeries early last week, however, Skins should be on his way to full recovery. So while his family, friends and bandmates are still looking for answers, they're also counting their proverbial blessings.

"I'm glad I'm standing by his hospital bed, with him on the mend, instead of standing next to his grave," says Mantle-Holly. "What's unbelievable to me is that someone would just drive away. I mean, it's not like they ran over a raccoon."

Anyone with information on the accident should contact the Portland Police Bureau at 823-2140. Systemwide will provide updates on the drummer's condition and the band's plans at www.bsi-records.com.


The gala "wristband kick-off party" heralding this year's MusicfestNW unfolds tonight, Wednesday, July 23, at Music Millennium Northwest. Between 6 and 8:30 pm, bands Amelia, Drumattica and The Divorce provide live entertainment, while all-access wristbands sell at the BARGAIN PRICE of $30 for two. After tonight, tickets to the three-night, 20-club, 200-odd-band festival Sept. 4-6 are available at WW's offices, Fastixx and Music Millennium locations for $20 apiece. Proceeds from the festival, which WW organizes with the help of volunteers from Portland's music industry, benefit public music education. See www.musicfestnw.com for more.


Zion's Gate Records, a fine little shop that emphasized reggae and dub, shut down its East Burnside storefront last week, pulling up stakes for Bend...Bend?...In other record-shop-shutdown news, Yesterday Records on Northeast Sandy Boulevard fades into permanent darkness after July 31. In the meantime, sources say the shop's wares have been drastically discounted...Pour some rum on the pavement in honor of Compay Segundo, the Buena Vista Social Club singer who passed away last week at the age of 95. The Cuban music legend attributed his longevity to cigars, drink and women...A series of concerts featuring local bands will be held every Sunday evening in August at Montavilla Pool at the scenic corner of Northeast 82nd Avenue and Glisan Street. Scheduled bands include Tripleswift, King of Spain and the Carolines. See www.portlandpoolparty.com for full details...Most Amusing Headline of the Week: "Jay-Z Unable to Get Beanie Sigel Out of Jail." No kidding? And here we thought Jay-Z possessed one of the finest legal minds of his generation....