[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...
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...
Today marks the beginning of the Know’s stacked Memorial Week series, which will find Portland’s punk hub hosting seven essential shows in as many days. Drafting a comprehensive rundown would have been a fool’s errand, but trust that you could throw a dart at the Know’s concert calendar this week and hit something you need to see. For the more discriminating among you, I’ve attempted a s...
[CRUST PUNK] Tragedy is justly revered the world over for
its dense and crepuscular take on crust punk, but an album-length
masterpiece has eluded this staunchly DIY Portland quartet since its
I interviewed San Diego-based musician-writer-entrepreneur-provocateur Justin Pearson last year, when I profiled Retox, the band with whom he is currently raising a glorious racket. Since then I’ve been wanting to put together a little Pearson primer, because getting a grasp on Pearson’s contributions to punk ...
I have this problem where I can’t stop listening to the new Mean Jeans album, and it has lately become this problem where I can’t stop writing about the new Mean Jeans album. Mean Jeans on Mars is just that good. It might be the best pop-punk album since Dookie. If a better album comes out this year I will be shocked and then I will probably die from shock. I can't imagine I'll stop cr...
There is a frustrated musician inside of me. He gets smaller and quieter every day, as age has a way of polishing ambitions until they are round, smooth things that nestle into forgotten corners of the mind, but once in a while I finger that little nub of rock 'n' roll fantasy and get really sad about the fact that I never got to go on tour with any of the shitty bands I've been in.
Lemme break with journalistic decorum for a minute and get all fanboyish and fawning here. I had the pleasure of interviewing Mean Jeans last Monday, and the two hours I spent picking at those dudes’ lives and songs made me love my life and my job, because I believe Mean Jeans is the best band on the planet right now, and shooting the shit with the mad geniuses responsible for contemporary class...
Mean Jeans grow up a bit, but keep an ’80s teenager’s sense of humor.
[DUMB PUNK] When I arrive at Zach’s Shack to interview
Portland’s pop-punk savants Mean Jeans, guitarist-singer Christian (aka
Billy Jeans) is hunched over a sketch pad, his attention split be