I reached to a number of friends who I think have some idea about what’s what in local music and asked them to name a band readers should pay attention to. Mike “Brass Cankles” Cunnane (who I interviewed back in September) offered the following direct, curmudgeonly take, the contrarian’s contrarian essence of which does not disappoint:
As has become the unfortunate norm in this city, Portland is currently suffering from a lack of a central hub for interesting music. There are no official all ages venues that are community driven. Some musician-friendly venues have closed or shifted their focus away from local acts. If you would like to hear something that doesn’t sound like a group of session musicians who hired a manager then did the best they could to emulate a popular indie band from ten years ago you will have to put in a bit of work (ugh, I KNOW, right?). The best shows recently have been at houses, apartments and other DIY venues and with warm weather approaching, I’m sure these will be happening a lot more often in cool, innovative spaces . Unfortunately I can’t tell you where they are because they will probably get shut down.
So, if you’re reading this looking for a list of bands to check out, well, I’m not going to give them to you. Go see another night of Beatles covers, the Beatles were great right? Probably the greatest. Go see the band that’s street team will pat you on the back the hardest for Supporting Local Music. Go see whatever band is offering up a unique blend of rock, country, blues, funk, and much much more this year. Go see some band re-purposing jam band guitar strokes in the name of rock or punk or “indie”. Go see whatever shit those Rustic guys are doing these days. But definitely stay away from the internet. Your time is valuable and there’s no need expending all that effort to listen to the vast sea of music that bands have made easily accessible and freely available to literally anyone. I mean c’mon, you could be watching Netflix or something.
(But maybe keep an eye on some of the bands featured on my blog if you like em, lots have twitter accounts and Bandcamp pages and stuff. Apologies for some of the vids that sound a bit cruddy.)
Mike Cunnane, ladies and gentlemen.
I will be at the Coalsack in Crux and Awaas show at Geno’s tonight. Stop on in and say hello.