May 27, 2011

PDX Pop Now! 2011 Compilation

Each spring, I look forward to the release of the PDX Pop Now compilation as they continue to introduce me to new bands I go on to love. Even as someone who listens to a lot of local music, there is still plenty that I miss and this is one of my favorite ways to catch up. Last year, I introduced to AgesandAges and Light For Fire.

Once again, there a couple old favorites — such as Jared Mees, Lovers, The Minders (mp3), Red Fang, Viva Voce — who all contribute excellent new or recently released songs. Three of my favorite tracks come from familiar faces fronting their new bands: the beautiful and catchy "Cold Feet" (mp3) by Lost Lander, which is Matt Sheehy of Ramona Falls' new project;  the retro psychedelic pop of "Thought Ballune" by ex-Mint Chick Ruban Nielson's Unknown Mortal Orchestra; and the sweet and acoustic "Tiny Hands" by Hutch Harris of the Thermals on his solo project, Forbidden Friends.

The real gems are new (at least to me) bands. I figured I'd missed my opportunity to see Portland's best new party band, O Bruxo, bit the inclusion of the exuberant "De Colores" and band on the lineup of CD release party gives me hope. Although by no means a hip hop connoisseur, I dig the Cool Nutz' catchy "Monster Up". The Shivas' power popped "Gun In My Pocket" had me checking the calendar to see when I catch their next show. Overall, it's eclectic and surprisingly coherent compilation.

June 2 — PDX Pop Now! CD release show at Holocene with O Bruxo, Blue Skies For Black Hearts, Swahili, Lost Lander
July 22-24 — PDX Pop Now! festival at Refuge PDX