All-Time Best Band: The Wipers
All-Time Best Solo Artist: Tim Hardin
Best New Band: Menomena
Portland has remained a reliable outpost for out-of-step punk rock for three decades, and almost all of its exports have been directly or indirectly shaped by Greg Sage's eternally untamable WIPERS. The band's 1979 debut Is This Real? was still delivering shockwaves 13 years later, when Nirvana cherry picked “D-7” and “Return of the Rat” out of obscurity, but Sage's original versions retain their primitive heat and oddball angles. | Smack-addicted folkie TIM HARDIN became a boomer icon when he warbled “If I Was a Carpenter” at Woodstock, but subsequent generations of less-easily-impressed connoisseurs have also taken to his keenly melancholy compositions — even as discerning stars from Rod Stewart to Billy Bragg have continued to cover classics like his “Reason to Believe.” | MENOMENA — whose latest album, Friend and Foe, single-handedly rescued the dying art of CD packaging (it was nominated for a Grammy) — produced one of the year's most arresting music videos (“Evil Bee” 's Discovery-Channel-meets-Tool animation clip) and proved that Radiohead aren't the only ones who've mastered the art of making fleshy, blooming, inscrutably adventurous pop albums in an age of digital craftsmanship.
Menomena (they're the ones not hanging from the van)
The Shaky Hands
Oregon scored a number of secret victories
Portugal The Man
So what does this all prove?
The Boston Phoenix
P.S. Just so you know, I was born in Oregon. So I'm eligible to be Oregon's best all-time music writer. Not a lot of us that can say that. I'd appreciate your vote.
Photos stolen from all over.