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Black Elk, "My Lil", Self-titled (Crucial Blast)

Sorta like Refused (apocalyptic dynamics nudging approachable) and Jesus Lizard (frontman absent boundaries) and Slayer (pride in craft seething coiled aggression), but still not really like them at all—even the enlightened metal circuit can't easily explain Portland's Black Elk....   More
Friday, March 7, 2008 by JAY HORTON

Live Wire! Celebrates the Radio Stars

Neatly blending the variety show dynamics of classic radio—one bit comedy; one bit songs; an unhurried melange of articulate and clear-voiced showmanship—and the servicey cleverness that's sold a million NPR tote-bags, Live Wire! Radio celebrates its fourth anniversary March 15th wit...   More
Thursday, March 6, 2008 by JAY HORTON

Garage Frock: WW dissects DT5's haute couture and hot rock, respectively.

Portland's annual speedball of stylish rockers and edgy designers—formerly known as Doom Town—returned to PDX this past weekend. After four years at the Crystal Ballroom, the newly coined DT5 (the Crystal owns the Doom Town name—presumably, it's planning a similar event featuri...   More
Wednesday, March 5, 2008 by JAY HORTON

LITTLE BEIRUT, High Dive (self-released)

[NOT QUITE POP] Little Beirut's debut, High Dive, isn't quite pop. It goes down easy enough—infectious melodies, casually perfected structures, instantly memorable turns of phrase—but pop demands singles. For all the quartet's invention, an endless parade of potential hits numbs. ...   More
Wednesday, March 5, 2008 by JAY HORTON

Little Beirut, High Dive (self-released)

Music Stories
[NOT QUITE POP] Little Beirut’s debut, High Dive, isn’t quite pop. It goes down easy enough—infectious melodies, casually perfected structures, instantly memorable turns of phrase&md ...   More
Wednesday, March 5, 2008 JAY HORTON

Girls Rock! Documentary (Likely) Rules

Conceptual loathing for the School of Rock phenomenon aside—authorities should always be considered the enemy and we're a generation away from doctoral shredding—the Rock & Roll Camp For Girls pretty much evades cynicism. Fact is: our daughters are far less likely to join ban...   More
Thursday, February 28, 2008 by JAY HORTON

Pure Country Gold, "Moanin' in the Moonlight" (Unreleased)

Portland's Pure Country Gold, as every review must note, remain hitless, twangless, and resolutely un-virginal, but one part of that's about to change. "Moanin' in the Moonlight", a roughly mastered track recently recorded with Steve Lobdell at Audible Academy for the garage duo's forthcoming second album, finds gara...   More
Wednesday, February 27, 2008 by JAY HORTON

Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera

Campy collaboration goes for gold, swings wide.

You know the story: mall-rink leaper versus suburban princess. The plot, the baton, the knee, Gillooly. Triangle Productions’ run of Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera garnered national press when To ...   More
Wednesday, February 27, 2008 JAY HORTON

Highway, "1973" (Unreleased)

Less driving music, than loping music: This track from Highway's upcoming debut, Black Letters Home, serves up an instantly hummable tune rendered li'l bit country through relaxed beat, honkytonk piano trills and the inimitable presence of vocalist Rob Bonds. Dylan comparisons could be made, not ...   More
Friday, February 22, 2008 by JAY HORTON

CHINA FORBES, '78 (Heinz Records)

[LILITH POP] As the story’s told, Thomas Lauderdale rescued China Forbes from a singer-songwriter career 14 years ago to front Portland art-lounge outfit Pink Martini. A gazillion-selling albums later, it seems Forbes never lost her old dreams. Nor, troublingly, her old journals.  Pink...   More
Wednesday, February 20, 2008 by JAY HORTON

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