Artist of the Month

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scene blog


February 2016
Radiation City

Radiation City were, at the time of their last release in 2013, Animals in the Median, one of Portland's brightly shining stars. Their EP and two full lengths were staples of anyone involved in the music scene out here. But trouble in paradise for Rad City's founding couple proved a rocky road for what was to come of the band and any hope for another release. Flash forward to now, where we've been bestowed with a new album, somewhat of a new sound, and a reestablished vigor that can presently be heard upon first listen of Synesthetica.

Synesthetica's opening track, "Oil Show," immediately demonstrates the positive changes that have taken over the band on this album, especially its infectiously addicting beat. Radiation City nods to variety on this release, touching slightly on blues with "Juicy," delving into a Sade-esque soulfulness with "Butter," and gets synth-popped out with "Sugar Broom." 

Comparatively speaking, Synesthetica doesn't stray too far from what Rad City has done in the past but more so, plays upon everything they've picked up along the way through their three year hiatus. Their output of sound has elevated, their songs strengthened by different techniques and matured themes. It's almost as if they hadn't taken a break at all.

-Cervante Pope

Big Feelings to open Hey Lover premiere show TONIGHT

Say you're interested in checking out what's happening in new music across the nation, then you can turn on any Top 40 station and be incredibly disappointed. Yet, if you are interested in what's really going on in music, then look no further than a few blocks away from wherever you are in town - at Portland's underground music scene. Our city is notorious for its eclectic scene and it's still true that the average Joe (or Jolene) can go out on a Tuesday night and find an act that's definitely worth seeing for $5 or less. Surprisingly, this really does still happen in PDX despite the number of amazing venues shutting their doors due to rent hikes, condos popping up all over town, and food carts closing down in place of new high rise construction.

If you are looking for a little taste of what PDX was like before it turned into condo-central, then check out the Portland based band, Big Feelings. Their upbeat and lo-fi sound is reminiscent of Camera Obscura, Beat Happening, Magnetic Fields, etc. They're opening up Hey Lover's video premiere show (along with White Glove) Thursday, February 11th, at The Know. The band's creations are a result of candid, "living room" style collaboration that have been going on for what seems like years. Having three writers who collaborate effortlessly is what gives this group the ability to put each story through their own DIY filter; resulting in music that emphasizes simplicity and the kind of lo-fi grooves that really set the tone for an evening of hanging with your buds and slamming some Old Germans in one of Portland's hole-in-the-wall dive bars. You can check out Big Feelings' newest single, "Making Faces," below and be sure to get out and see these guys (and gal) tonight at the Know!

-D.T. Barkness


PREMIERE: Force Publique - "Bind (Live)"

Let's say you dig hip-hop and shoegaze, and really wish there was something out there that seamlessly blended them both? Well, if you haven't dabbled in Force Publique yet, you probably should start now. The duo, consisting of Cassie Graves on guitar and vocals, and James Wayne on synths and MPC, produce such a full sound using only a few tools, eventualizing a sound alike if Beach House were to be a trap band.

The video we're premiering for Force Publique today is a live performance of their song "Bind," off their latest self-released tape, Bloom. "Bind (Live)" is a colorfully artistic interpretation, with its filming taking place at the Museum of Modern Life in Southeast Portland. The video casts you into an almost psychedelic trance aesthetically, so sit back and trip out with "Bind (Live)" below.

-Cervante Pope


Battleme to play first of three album release shows at Bunk Bar

Battleme is one of Portland’s best-kept secrets and it’s honestly a shame. Matt Drenik writes insanely catchy garage rock pulled straight from the 1970’s in a way that is fresh and unique in a city inundated with garage groups. This weekend, Battleme is playing three release shows across the Northwest for their new album, Habitual Love Songs. Habitual Love Songs is an album that immediately calls attention to itself: it’s both fuzzy and refined, heavy and danceable. You could stream Habitual Love Songs online, but what you should do is watch them play live tomorrow, the 11th, at Bunk Bar, in what will likely be your favorite garage-rock show of 2016. 

-Sarah Eaton


Mr. Bones' share new single, "12"

We're fans of Mr. Bones at the Deli. Who wouldn't be? We covered their debut cassette back in February of last year and the first single they shared from their upcoming sophomore effort, due one year after their debut at the end of February. Bites is dropping on the 26th on Good Cheer Records, with the first track off it, "12," premiering on Paste a few days ago. "12" is reminiscent of alternative indie rock from the late 90's mixed with their already addictive lo-fi fuzz pop. It's either a song about love or a song about confusion, but either way, it's a song to be enjoyed. Listen below.

-Cervante Pope



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