Various Artists “PDX Pop Now! 2010″

I reviewed last year’s incarnation of this, and it’s a privilege to get to do it again. Forty tracks is best described as “many,” but here are some highlights.
AgesandAges sound exactly like what I expect a Portland band to sound like. “No Nostalgia” triggers plenty of it, actually, as I think of all the hand-clapping and power-pop harmonizing I have heard over the years come out of the Rose Garden City, or whatever it is that they call themselves. I beg your pardon, but I promise nothing.
Deelay Ceelay does a synthy instrumental, “Tange Rine,” that has a 1980s vibe to it. It makes me want to wear a shirt with the collar turned up. Menomena are one of the bigger names on this comp, and “Five Little Rooms” is just as good as everything else they do. Some people go to 7-Eleven and buy Coke, so surely there are those who see this compilation and want to hear them, so there you are!
“El Ranchero Tejano” is just what you would like it to be, only better. Thanks go to paper/upper/cuts. ¡Uds. son la mierda! Surely that translates perfectly. I also like “Bodyblood” by the Angry Orts. They remind me of Staci Twigg.
Mean Jeans gives you the pop punk you’ve been waiting for with “Steve Don’t Party No More.” It’s half Ramones, half Hi-Fives.
“Boxcar Children” is Ioa’s contribution. It is part OMC, part Talking Heads. I hope the title isn’t a euphemism, because having 12 children in our modern society is far, far too many. Strength brings us “Marianne,” and although it’s not likely to be about Marianne Pillsbury, it’s still a great song, complete with synths and seductive lyrics.
Let’s say you had a jazz morning show. If you did, you would enjoy the Andrew Oliver Sextet. “Only a Quality Lime for Eric Gruber” is clearly an inside joke, but so what? I can play along. My-G provides the hip-hop with “Don’t Look Down on Me.” Transient does a lot of yelling on “Pythia Misunderstood.” Yeah, I can’t imagine why there would such a misunderstanding.
I love love love Peacock Dreams’ “Peacock Dreams.” Minimalist staccato percussion and Murmurs-style singing are all I need for a good time. A Weather are buried at the end with “Giant Stairs,” but this is one of the best songs on the comp. Stick around for this one.

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1 Comment »

  1. […] again I get to review this compilation. Last year I reviewed it in June, which only means one thing: I’m way too behind. Since I didn’t […]


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