Tonight, I can take this piece of paper i have and go down to the Wonder Ballroom and see the amazing Christopher Owens perform his indie pop instant classics from Girls' new album Father Son Holy Ghost.
Then tomorrow night, i can go see Dum Dum Girls, the fantabulous psychedelic garage retro reverby girl group, at the doug fir (heard opening act the crocodiles are pretty good too).
then. next thursday. i can go see stephen malkmus (of pavement) & the jicks perform their instant classic mirror traffic (the beck produced album was put on hold for 2 years so the pavement reunion thing could happen and is totally amazing). malkmus is a helluva guitar player and a great songwriter too. his wry sensibility is appealing to many.... opening act ty segall, he of san francisco garage psychedelia, is worthy of a show all on his lonesome. being able to see him and malkmus on the same night is incredible.
AND.. if i get my act together.... i can catch the drums at doug fir on monday....
an embarrassment of riches, for sure. it says something about portland, a city of a million or so, that such high caliber artistry can be experienced live in such a short span of time. of course most of these artists are not from portland (i assume malkmus will be back after his season in berlin), but it indicates that every touring artist considers portland well worth visiting, in addition to the many artists who live and work here. there is enough interest in indie music here to portland to support a vibrant live performance scene. and the tickets are more moderately priced than in other cities. tickets for the above shows ranged from $16 - $22 (including service charges).
but beyond portland, you have to think this also indicates that there is a vibrant indie pop and rock scene out there in general. there seems to be a creative burst happening. much of it inspired by the best of music from the 60s and 70s... 80s and 90s.... but with a new twist. people all over are writing, recording, and performing incredible music.
you can catch them at CMJ or at Austin's SXSW festival. you can read about them on pitchfork or hear them on npr's all songs considered podcast.
and you can read about see hear them here, too....