The strange thing about nostalgia is the surprise factor involved. For example, you can account for a certain song you listened to when you were dating a certain person to dredge up certain memories, but sometimes revisiting albums from the past barely stirs a passing thought. And then there's the stuff for which you can't even account - for...  Read more

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There’s nothing surprising about hearing a child of the 1980s waxing nostalgic about Back to the Future, Culture Club and the original Nintendo Entertainment System. Of course you have fond memories of those particular pop culture touchpoints – so does the entire graduating class of 1991. It’s something altogether different to harbor ‘80s...  Read more
When Portland quintet Ravishers played their midnight set at MusicfestNW, singer Dominic Castillo cracked dry, self-deprecating jokes about his appearance, thanking Don Johnson for the loan of his white blazer and Zack Galifianakis for his unkempt beard. In highlighting these two aspects of his look, Castillo perfectly captured his band's sound:...  Read more
Is your band on the run? Did the band you're in start playing different tunes? Or maybe the band played "Waltzing Matilda," but you can't stand Australian folk music, so you quit the band. Perhaps you're just between band practices. The point is, you're all alone, you're feeling antsy, you gotta get your rock on. Well, have we got the perfect...  Read more
You’re sitting at the bar with some pals when a familiar tune comes over the jukebox. One friend pops his head up and says, “Nice, a little Ice Cube.” Another nods and says, “All right, the Isley Brothers!” Some tense glances are exchanged while everyone waits to see if you’re listening to “It Was a Good Day” or “Footsteps in the Dark.” That kind...  Read more
“Nothin' was touching Tribe. Nothing.” These words are spoken by producer phenom Pharell Williams in the trailer for Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest, a new documentary about the beloved rap group A Tribe Called Quest that features up close interviews with the members of the group (Q-Tip, Phife Dawg, Ali Shaheed...  Read more
This just doesn't work. Or such was my first impression of Dirty Radio, the debut LP from Portland band Sallie Ford & the Sound Outside. That was coming from the rational, uptight side of my brain, though. Fortunately, some other, more curious sub-cortex within my music-addicted cranium convinced my fingers not to flip through my iPod for...  Read more
Remember when the synth player in a band was the equivalent of a mad scientist working feverishly in his laboratory? Barricaded inside his chamber of instruments, with knobs and keys and cables everywhere, the synth player of yore lived a cumbersome existence. Like so much technology these days, the bulky mass of keyboards from a few decades ago...  Read more
Despite what record companies and media outlets might have you believe, there are still people out there who abide by the letter of the law when it comes to obtaining new music. But heck, even the most ethical among us loves a solid freebie. That’s where a site like the Live Music Archive at the Internet Archive is an invaluable resource. It’s a...  Read more
Here in the 21st century, irreverent indie pop duo They Might Be Giants have segued from being a quirky band for oddball adults to becoming a smart children's music act who still occasionally create albums for the parents of the pint-sized Montessori crowd. For every two CDs aimed at the kids, we grown-ups get one. Okay, fine, we'll take as much...  Read more
I met Simon and Julia Indelicate (né Clayton and née Clark Lowes, respectively) at the back door of a Mexican restaurant. The afternoon was sweltering, as is typical for Austin, Texas in the middle of March, but the duo behind The Indelicates didn't seem to mind the decidedly un-British heat. They'd just returned from the Bob Bullock Texas State...  Read more

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