Portland isnt' exactly known for it's hardcore scene. As a town that's had indie music on lock for years, the underlying scene doesn't get nearly the credit it should, especially when compared to how thriving it is elsewhere. 

    Aside from the genre's suppression, the obvious slow death of the music community as a whole has left many somewhat at a loss. Locals We the Wildfound inspiration out of this, using the current state as fuel for writing their upcoming debut full length From the Cities We Fled, to be released in August.

    Today we're premiering "Exodus and Decay," which pulls direct influence from what's happening all around us. Speaking of the track, the band says: 

    "'Exodus and Decay' was written about the alarming state of portland's local hardcore scene, and the attitude of apathy that locals have taken to our passion for the music we create. Our city is letting what we've put all our heart and soul into simply rot away in the streets. And bands are finding themselves seeking opportunities in other cities with audiences that provide the support and attentiveness that we need to sustain ourselves.”


  • Willy Tea Taylor plays Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown

    Singer Willy Tea Taylor always imagined he’d end up in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. 

    “I knew I’d make it to the Hall of Fame. I thought it would be as a catcher, but it turned out to be as a folk singer,” Taylor said. 

    Taylor, who spoke by phone from his tour bus during a stop in Montana on Monday, will play at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday at the HOF’s Grandstand Theater.

    Taylor’s love of baseball is consuming, his concert at the HOF fitting. He collects antique gloves, his entire family loves the San Francisco Giants and his new album features a baseball title, “Knuckleball Prime.”

    Taylor said the title came from a conversation he had with a fellow musician about their impending middle age. 

    “I had hit 38 or 39, and he was a few years older than me,” Taylor said. “And we started talking about how you get these kids coming up in their 20s who can throw the ball 100 miles an hour, but every couple of years the guy with the most wins is a knuckleball pitcher who is in his 40s. 

    “The guy in his 40s is schooling the younger guys,” he said. “We called that a knuckleball prime.” 

    Response to the album has been positive, Taylor said, and he is cranking up a tour to support the work. This summer he will play a string of dates in Europe for the first time.

    “I have never been there, but I am told there is a pretty good folk scene there,” he said. “I have friends that have been going and they say I have to go. I guess I have a pretty good fanbase there.” 

    Taylor said he has also never visited Cooperstown, but he is eager to see the HOF. He’ll have company, too.

    “My old man is flying out. My brother is flying out. My son is flying out. We are a baseball family,” he said. “This is kind of like going to the Grand Ole Opry for us.

    “There will be tears in my family’s eyes,” he continued. “It is pretty much an honor for me. I think a lot of people don’t understand it.”  

    Taylor grew up in Oakdale, California, a Central Valley small town, and he still lives there. 

    “It is a great place to play baseball and be on the river,” he said. “It is a great place to raise kids.” 

    The concert is a special non-subscription concert presented by the Cooperstown Concert Series. Tickets are available at Ellsworth and Sill, Riverwood, Church & Scott Pharmacy and The Fly Creek General Store. Tickets are often available at the door, but concerts sometimes sell out. 


  • Notes From Left of the Dial: We the Wild

    We the Wild. (Photo: Contributed)

    In Notes From Left of the Dial this week, Nooga.com spends some time with music from We the Wild, The Black Oil Brothers, Faithless Town and Sarah Klang. What have you been listening to this week?

    We the Wild, "Exodus and Decay"
    The work of Portland, Oregon-based group We the Wild is mired in the histories of a handful of genres. Equal parts post-hardcore, jazz and punk, the band excels at demolishing assumptions and refusing to be characterized by any confined rhythmic label. They're loud, frenetic and capable of great things, which is evident in their wild live shows and bombastic studio recordings. And while the obvious thought of a certain melodic disparity might exist when hearing of their influences, We the Wild manages the inestimable task of merging these sounds into a ferocious and cohesive musical train of thought. And they do this with the ease and casualness of a band who has spent their entire career mining these fertile grounds.

    On their latest single, "Exodus and Decay" (which is taken from their forthcoming album, "From the Cities We Fled"), the band thrashes and howls, and isn't above shattering a few eardrums. The song feels aggressive but approachable—a wiry thing that roars and stomps around but allows you to come closer with each verse. Guitars splinter and fracture in their hands while drums are mutilated and torn apart. It's incredibly complex, like the best that jazz has to offer—but it's all housed in a hardcore frame, all jerky rhythms and cathartic release. If your ears aren't ringing and aching by the time the song fades away, something is definitely wrong with you.



  • Hello, Dollface's Warrior of Light on CD

    Over the last few days I've been getting totally sucked into Tidal. Yes, this hardcore vinyl guy has finally found a digital streaming service that combines an easy enough user interface with a truly expansive catalog. I've been playing DJ for an audience of one, myself of course, and whatever pops into my head immediately gets searched. One unexpected detour involved Tanita Tikaram, a husky-voiced chanteuse who caught my attention for a day or two in 1988 with her mid-tempo hit "Twist in My Sobriety." I really dug the oboe in that song, and it was enough for me to buy the entire album Ancient Hearts.

    Tanita Tikaram isn't an artist who would usually reside in my wheelhouse, but there was something I liked about her back then. Listening to this song nearly thirty years later, I thought the sound was somewhat dated, something I might not respond to if I heard it for the first time now, but nevertheless it brought back a flood of memories. I thought about Tanita again, just a couple of days later, when I listened to Warrior of Light from the Colorado-based Hello, Dollface. Not something I'd normally listen to, but...there is something there.

    Hello, Dollface is, in its heart of hearts, a throwback to '80s R&B with its breezy melodies, electric pianos and exuberant rhythms. But there's something else going on as well. This is 2016, after all, and is it simply enough to deliver this type of music in a straightforward way? 

    The answer is no, not quite, which is why the band layers their sound with just a bare trace of 21st century sensibilities, a hint of trip-hop spaciness here, a lively indie band energy there. The latter seasoning is perhaps the most intriguing--it almost sounds like a highly talented rock band was enlisted to play behind soulful, gutsy singer Ashley Edwards (who also plays many of the instruments herself), and since they all honed their craft playing for whatever gig came up they were certainly up for this sparkling, fun album.

    Then, just when you think you have a handle on their sound over the first few tunes, they mix it up and throw you for a loop. "Pieces," for example, starts off driven by an acoustic guitar that will shake loose memories of Edie Brickell and then carefully adds a violin and cello for a more reflective tone. "In Your Light," on the other hand, finishes the album on a more modern note, a girl with her piano reaching deeper into her past and pulling out something somber and reflective. For me, this final track was the stand-out.

    Best of all, the sound quality on Warrior of Light is superb, with a dynamic expansive and very live feel--something that brings out the jazzy undertones and reminds you of just how skilled these performers are. Now for the next album, how about some oboe? 






    Impuritan just released “Everything Is Magick” in 2016 - an eight-song alchemical mix of psychedelia, post-rock, space-rock, ambient noise, and surf. Two multi-instrumentalists and use of live loops/samples makes the band sound larger than three members. Their US east coast tour begins in June supporting shoegaze pioneers The Veldt, followed by a performance at Local Legends Festival in NJ and much more.

    Impuritan is a sonic embodiment of life, death, love, hate, space, time, evolution and extinction. An abstract dream or visceral nightmare. In stereo. Wellspring eternal.

  • Portland songwriter Pat Kearns, of Blue Skies for Black Hearts, goes solo

    Pat Kearns is one of three songwriters that will perform at Hi-Fi Lounge on Sunday, May 8. (Joshua James)

    Singer-songwriter Pat Kearns spent nearly 15 years recording with Portland band Blue Skies for Black Hearts, as well as producing for artists including Exploding Hearts and Jerry Joseph. But as the artist began splitting his time between the Rose City and the desert of Joshua Tree, he’s created a solo debut — “So Long City” — that’s stripped down and personal.

    “Recording songs under my own name was freeing in the sense that any of those attachments that I had, with either people or a way of doing things, I got to break the patterns and start something new,” he said. “My solo sound on this particular batch of songs is very different than what I’m known for working on. They’re not really rock songs.” 

    The album explores Kearns life in and around music and his hometown.

    “I started to understand that some of the songs I’d written were about loving the Joshua Tree area and what it was like to be near to it and travel between this area and Portland often,” he said. “And at the same time, there were songs that were acknowledging what was happening in Portland. I don’t feel pushed out. I got to be an artist in Portland for a long time.”

    Hear songs from Kearns’ new album when he appears in Songwriters in the Round at Hi-Fi Lounge, 44 E. Seventh Ave.

    Also appearing are Allen Thompson — who fronts the Nashville Allen Thompson Band, which plays rock ’n’ roll with roots in southern soul, California country and psychedelic music — and Megan Palmer — Nashville artist who started Ohio where she performed with The Spikedrivers, and is releasing her album “What She’s Got To Give.”

    The 21-and-older show starts at 9 p.m. Sunday, May 8, and it’s $6 at the door.

    Learn more and listen: www.patkearnsmusic.com


    Kool Stuff Katie

    Premiere: Kool Stuff Katie play video games in “You Found a Friend” video

    By: Treble Staff

    Portland, Oregon power pop outfit Kool Stuff Katie released their new album It’s Fine last month, and today Treble is premiering a new video from the album, for “You Found a Friend.” The video is pretty simple—two friend and bandmates just hanging out, playing music and Atari games and having a good time. Looks like fun!

    The band released this statement about the video:

    “You Found a Friend” is a song that has a straightforward message – the name says it all. So the video doesn’t overthink its interpretation. Against a simple white backdrop, Kool Stuff Katie’s two members (Shane Blem and Saren Oliver) are given free reign to just do what they do best: hang out and goof around. Under the fun and artful direction of Bryson Steele, the energy between Blem and Oliver are highlighted as they attempt to skateboard, play games, dance around and otherwise engage in all manner of fun. The video encapsulates exactly what the song does: it’s just buds being buds.

    Watch the Kool Stuff Katie “You Found a Friend” video below.

    Kool Stuff Katie’s It’s Fine is out now.


  • Album premiere: Farewell Blacksheep by Câlisse

    Calisse playing live at Dante's in Portland Sept 30, 2015

    20 April 2016

    Calisse playing live at Dante’s in Portland Sept 30, 2015

    Happy 4/20, everybody! What better day to appreciate the wild, weird wooly sounds of Portland, Oregon’s Câlisse and their spectacular debut album Farewell Blacksheep.

    Câlisse began when James Collette and Morganfield Riley were introduced by a filmmaker friend and played the following Halloween, enlisting likeminded pals to cover Neutral Milk Hotel’s In the Aeroplane Over the Sea. That went so well that when Collette decided to record a solo project, Morganfield asked if he could produce one of the songs. The work inevitably expanded into more tracks and finally a full-length album under the moniker they had hastily chosen for their initial holiday show.

    Câlisse also includes Karen Moore (vocals, keyboards), Rob Iggulden (drums), Tim Riva(bass) and Chelsea Appel (vocals), although Riva has recently been replaced by Kevin HoffmanFarewell Blacksheep also became a sound collaboration with owner/engineer/producer Jason Driver of Fur Vault PDX. The album was tracked in just 48 hours, followed by months of mixing and mastering. Driver was so drawn to the album and the work with Câlisse that he asked to sign the band to his new label, Almabrain. Farewell Blacksheep, which dropped last week, is the label’s debut offering.

    Farewell Blacksheep is a glorious mutt of an album, a cinematic, kaleidoscopic jumble of styles and sounds, with surprises at every turn. You’ll want the good headphones for this one. Also Sour Diesel.

  • Introducing: Câlisse


    Who: James Collette (guitar, vocals), Kevin Hoffman (bass), Rob Iggulden (drums), Karen Moore (keyboard, vocals), Morganfield Riley (guitar, vocals).

    For fans of: Black Mountain, Frog Eyes, Sunset Rubdown.

    Sounds like: The bizarro love child of Jeff Mangum and Jello Biafra flushed down a dark rabbit hole.

    Its inception began in October 2014, with James Collette gathering a few friends to cover the beloved 1998 Neutral Milk Hotel album In the Aeroplane Over the Sea in its entirety. From there, he began planning his ideal album in his head, even booking studio time for a batch of songs he'd written and reaching out to high-profile musicians in Portland as potential producers. As his appointment drew closer, he struggled to get anyone to commit to the gig on such short notice and felt the increasing need to recruit other musicians to help flesh out the strange sounds he was planning. In a last-minute whirlwind, Collette finally formed a backing band of sorts.

    "Karen [Moore] and I had been roommates years earlier," he says. "Kevin [Hoffman] had just moved back from New Orleans, and I just kept texting him over and over. Rob [Iggulden] I'd known for a few weeks. He had a Wilco shirt, and I said, 'You play music? You wanna play on a record?'"

    Production duties eventually fell to Morganfield Riley (who now plays guitar and sings in the band full-time) and Jason Driver, who owns Fur Vault PDX Recording Studio in Southeast Portland, where Collette's album, Farewell, Blacksheep, was recorded last March. The songs have a bipolar edge executed so precisely it's hard to imagine the musicians were all barely more than strangers. Collette employs a playful, elastic tweak to some of his phrasing that's reminiscent of Frog Eyes' Carey Mercer, and his vocal melodies are interlocked with unexpected instrumental bursts of brass or low-end boom that negate any sort of expectation. For a band that came out of a tribute to Neutral Milk Hotel, it retains the bombast of "Holland, 1945" but shoved through a dirtier lens—as if The Diary of Anne Frank were illustrated by Aubrey Beardsley. 

    Since the recording, Câlisse has undergone some minor lineup changes as members started families or moved away, but the current roster is in a place where everyone is still fully dedicated. With a full year having passed between the record being made and then released, Câlisse has already tweaked the live performance of the songs and integrated several new ones, which will appear on its forthcoming sophomore effort, planned for release later this year. What began as one man's project has now taken on communal aspects.

    "The dynamics have changed," Riley says. "With the first record, a lot of the songs were fleshed out on acoustic and adapted for a band, and they were James' songs. Now, there are songs that other people are bringing in. Even if a song is somewhat structured when it comes into the studio, it undergoes a treatment and changes to something else. It's become a lot less tentative."

    SEE IT: Câlisse plays the World Famous Kenton Club, 2025 N Kilpatrick St., with Small Million, Christopher Bock and DJ Extra Gold, on Wednesday, April 20. 9 pm. Free. 21+.