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Upper Extremities #47: Getting Deep with White Wires


I won’t bore you with (too many of) the sordid details, but 2011 was a tumultuous, trying year for me, and this is a somewhat difficult thing for a man of my age to admit, but during that prolonged stretch of utter confusion, I turned to pop-punk for solace and salvation. Pop-punk’s magic mixture of dumbfuck hope, idiotic glee and stupid heartache, which attains stirring perfection every once...   More
Thursday, August 2, 2012 by CHRIS STAMM

Aged and Warped

What listening to 17 Warped Tour compilations in a row tells us about punk rock.

Music Stories
The Warped Tour—that musical ball pit of scrubbed and shiny punk sounds for teenagers—finally turns 18 this year. It is old enough to go to college. To vote. To move out of the house. To royal   More
Wednesday, August 1, 2012 CHRIS STAMM

Upper Extremities #46: A Brief Encounter with Orca Team (Q&A)


Orca Team was one of Portland’s best bands until a couple years ago, when they became one of Seattle’s best bands. But the suave surf-pop trio seems to play Portland frequently enough to qualify for some sort of honorary continuation of PDX citizenship. Even if Orca Team wasn’t intent on keeping a toe in this city, I play its glorious “And She Knows” often enough to keep my small corne...   More
Thursday, July 26, 2012 by CHRIS STAMM

Upper Extremities #45: House Show Weekend


I had every intention of spending the entire weekend at PDX Pop Now’s Refuge-hosted shindig. I’ll definitely be there on Sunday at 1pm, when Batmen, possibly Portland’s best punk band, plays its last show before going on an indefinite (read: probably permanent) hiatus. But I’m gonna have to pass on the rest of the sprawling three-day festival. As much as I appreciate the chance to get a su...   More
Friday, July 20, 2012 by CHRIS STAMM

Upper Extremities #44: The Fightin' Side of K Records' Love Rock Revolution


The significance and sheer beauty of the empire Calvin Johnson built didn't really sink in for me until I was on the cusp of my twenties, when I burned out on punk, went to college and began cultivating my slightly more sensitive side, that affected melancholic half first illuminated by Elliott Smith when I was a barely legal teen with a plastic bag full of punk patches I didn't want pinned to my ...   More
Thursday, July 12, 2012 by CHRIS STAMM

Upper Extremities #43: Previewing the East End Smashed Block Party


East End's third annual Smashed Block Party, which goes down this Saturday and Sunday, features a daunting line-up of Portland's finest punk and metal bands, in addition to Big Deal headlining sets by wizened luminary Redd Kross (Saturday) and Cleveland's scummy Midnight (Sunday). A thorough rundown of the impending intensity would requir...   More
Thursday, July 5, 2012 by CHRIS STAMM

Upper Extremities #42: Some Old Show Reviews


Before I got sick earlier this month and shut down both this space and the part of my brain that craves loud sounds, I'd been making an effort to attend more shows. I was aiming to snap myself out of a home-bound listening routine that generally involves staring at a wall with headphones on, my hands on a keyboard and my body at a sort of rest that looks like death. I was missing collective joy, s...   More
Friday, June 29, 2012 by CHRIS STAMM

No Guts, No Glory Holes

The Portland Underground Film Festival cleans itself up.

Movie Reviews & Stories
In the early 2000s, former Clinton Street Theater owner Seth Sonstein founded the Portland Underground Film Festival. His mission...   More
Wednesday, June 27, 2012 MATTHEW SINGER, CHRIS STAMM

Upper Extremities #36: The Lost Los Angeles Issue


[This issue of Upper Extremities was meant about a month ago. Instead, it runs now! -Ed.] Portland, I miss you. No I don't. I'm in Los Angeles this week. It's impossible to miss anything here, because everything is here. But I envy you a little bit, because there are some killer shows happening inside of you this weekend, and I wish I could be there to get down with you. No I don't. But I s...   More
Friday, June 8, 2012 by CHRIS STAMM

Upper Extremities #41: Five Summer Songs


Screw the solstice. Summer has begun. My teacher friends are putting the finishing touches on another batch of nincompoops. Tender, pale flesh, unsheathed and glowing in the May light, is likely being strutted up and down various sidewalks as you read this, or will be tomorrow or the day after. A hint of hope and maybe even happiness grows in my chest. I am writing this shirtless. Yup: Life is onc...   More
Thursday, May 31, 2012 by CHRIS STAMM

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