Good Cheer Records has only been operating for a couple years, but the Portland label has already become one of the most consistently satisfying purveyors of local sounds. On Wednesday, Good Cheer will celebrate the holiday season with a label showcase at Holocene. All proceeds will benefit Young Audiences of Oregon & SW Washington. With the spirit of giving in mind, here are the five best Good Cheer stocking stuffers for the special people in your life.
1. Turtlenecked, Pure Plush Bone Cage
Recommended for: Grad school dropouts
Harrison Smith's wily work as Turtlenecked is unsettling in the best way. On Pure Plush Bone Cage, Smith carves up the history of post-punk until it is all sharp edges and dangerous drops. But buried in the chaos is the perfect pop of "Mondrian," a gem of lo-fi wistfulness that belongs on all mixtapes from now on.
2. Floating Room, Sunless
Recommended for: Your sweeties
You know how a lover's bed can feel like outer space? How a single touch can kill a year? How minds can meet without words getting in the way? The dense and delirious Sunless, which recalls Grouper's studies of otherworldly states, is a gorgeous evocation of such fleeting raptures.
3. Little Star, Being Close
Recommended for: Anyone with a heart
Little Star's debut LP is the best record released by Good Cheer this year and one of the best albums of 2016, period. Being Close is a startlingly intimate document that invites listeners to let their guards down and feel everything, from the tiniest hiccup of grief to the grandest howl of defiance.
4. Sabonis, Sabonis
Recommended for: Graying Evergreen graduates
Nineties revivalists still seem pretty fixated on the grungy first half of that decade, but Sabonis anticipates a wave of nostalgia for the swirling and spiraling guitar work with which Built to Spill, Carissa's Wierd, Modest Mouse and 764-Hero decorated the turn of the century. The future sounds great.
5. Mo Troper, Beloved
Recommended for: Neurotics who hate holidays
Mo Troper is a master craftsman of sugary power pop, but like Elvis Costello and Elliott Smith before him, Troper's hooks hide a bitter core. On Beloved, Troper is as angry as he is heartsick, and every song is a thrilling battle between his desire to please and his need to seethe.
SEE IT: Good Cheer's Holiday Show, featuring Turtlenecked, Floating Room, Cool American, Mayhaw Hoons & the Outsiders, Two Moons, Alien Boy and Chain, is at Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison St., on Wednesday, Dec. 14. 7 pm. $7. All ages.