Eight Portland Bands You Should Be Watching
A number of Portland bands have "made it big," and predictably, an even larger number of area bands haven't -- but should. Nightly, they perform in bars, basements and houses; screen print their own merchandise and book their own cross-country tours. While the list is not meant to be definitive, it does showcase eight Portland-based bands that you need to be paying attention to.
Post-funk rock 'n' roll outfit Magic Mouth has spent years playing Portland basement shows and backyard birthday parties. Now, after a breakout tour supporting The Gossip, the band plays to hearty number of dedicated followers who appreciate the big beats of petite drummer Ana Briseño, the compelling tempo of Brendan Scott, the funky riffs of Peter Condra and the don't-look-away swagger of Chanticleer Trü. You should be one of these followers. Check out their latest release "Devil May Care" or see them live this March at SXSW.
IBQT is a throwback to boy bands -- a raunchier, but no less romantic version. Since August of 2012, members Gumar and Cole Baby have donned track suits before stripping to nighties while crooning gems like "Never Gonna Let U Go" and "Makeup Sex" to swooning audiences. IBQT usually perform their own brand of lust on stage (and sell hats!) at clubs like Rotture, Holocene and East End.
A Happy Death
Since relocating the band and a massive amount of guitar pedals from Huntington, New York, A Happy Death has steadily won over Portlanders with their noir-surf-vintage-psychedelic sound. After touring the country last summer, the band's Portland show on Friday, April 4 at Firkin Tavern is in support of their next release, "Introducing: A Happy Death."
Big Black Cloud
After years of grinding it out playing sweaty basement shows and dive bars in Portland, and across the country, Big Black Cloud is at long last getting the recognition they deserve with their "Black Friday" LP released by Eolian Records. Next up, a show at Foggy Notion on March 20, and a summer tour to support an upcoming tape release.
Little Pilgrims are a new outfit making a big impact on Portland's rock 'n' roll scene. The loud and fast onslaught next appears at the High Water Mark in North Portland on Friday, March 14. Be on the lookout for their first release, a tape put out by Stankhouse Records this summer.
Portland's resident trashy surf band, Guantanamo Baywatch hits the road with Boom! for most of the month of March. The tour kicks off March 5 at The Know on Alberta Street, before exporting the band's sexed-up surf to SXSW and Burgermania. The band returns to Oregon with a show in Eugene on March 26.
What started as a four-track project has evolved into a full-blown band, and Portland's own version of a super group at that. Members Chris Sutton (Gossip, Dirtbombs, and seeming every other good touring band) on guitar and vocals, Robert Comitz (Marriage Cancer, formerly Nucular Aminals) on drums and Bob Desaulniers (Psychic Feline) on bass combine for a fuzzy, punk rock 'n' roll bluesy sound. Catch them performing numbers from "Wrecking Ball" and other little ditties at Habesha Lounge on Monday, March 17.
Red Fang has arguably "made it big": They're about to embark on a European tour in mid-March and performed on "The Late Show with David Letterman" last month. However, the Portland stoner metal band on Relapse Records keeps it local by filming music videos at local dives (The B-Side) and playing local shows for local metal die-hards. On March 8 the band plays the Wonder Ballroom before flying over the Atlantic.