Posts Tagged ‘Oregon’

Jeffrey Silverstein is a songwriter living in Portland, Oregon. He has been making music for over a decade.

“Along with running, teaching, and meditation, music has always been an outlet through which I come to further understand myself and others. Each release helps keep me on the path. This EP is largely a celebration of the unknown, small joys and learning to be comfortable with transition. I am grateful to be joined once again by Barry Walker Jr. (pedal-steel), Alex Chapman (bass) and Ryan Oxford (production). Their generous spirit allowed me to explore, question, and expand upon ideas that floated freely in my mind for quite some time. It felt so nice to ground them through music and collaboration.”


Releases April 16th, 2021

Jeffrey Silverstein (guitar/vocals)
Barry Walker Jr. (pedal-steel)
Alex Chapman (bass)

“Torii Gates”, a forthcoming EP for Arrowhawk Records 

Mo Troper’s recording and production methods skew DIY—a fitting approach given his musical influences. “I was sort of just working with what was available to me, which wasn’t a lot,” Troper says of his experience crafting this album “I don’t actually have a drum kit or a guitar amp right now, so I knew I was going to have to rely on, like, Apple Loops and GarageBand presets. I suppose I was trying to go for something like the Lightning Seeds, or anything else from that strange era of British music where indie pop and shoegaze sort of overlapped. I was also listening a lot to the Tokyo-based songwriter Yokosawa Shunichiro’s newest album, Zettai Daijoubu, which is really ornate, artful bedroom pop.”

“I don’t have any impressive synthesizers or anything,” he adds, “so a lot of the sounds are actually sampled from old video game music. There’s a kick drum taken from Super Mario RPG and one of the arpeggiators samples a specific noise from Yoshi’s Island.”

All proceeds go to Defense Fund PDX, a support group that prioritizes marginalized people in jail and Portland’s houseless population, It’s Mo doing the Beatles. Take my money, no questions asked. Please do Abbey Road.


Releases March 12th, 2021

Mo Troper: vocals, guitars, bass, keys, drums, programming

Tyler Blue Broderick: vocals on “Yellow Submarine”

recorded and mixed by Mo Troper at home in late 2019/early 2020

all songs written by Lennon-Mccartney, with the exceptions of “Love You To,” “Taxman” and “I Want To Tell You,” written by George Harrison. recorded and released with permission from sony/atv music publishing and sony atv tunes llc.

May be an image of 6 people, people standing, tree and outdoors

The Decemberists (including @lavenderdiamond and @mybrightestdiamond), standing amid the ivy in Forest Park on a particularly wet and cloudy day. This group of seven, fuelled by kombucha and bourbon, would go on to storm dozens of mid- to large-sized venues across greater North America and parts of the UK and Europe, playing our new record, “The Hazards of Love”, in its entirety. We recorded many of the shows. One such show distinguished itself among the many, partly because of the inspiring level of performance and partly because we made the fewest mistakes. We’ve released it as the first volume of our live series, “Live Home Library”. Those of you who pre-ordered, back in October or whenever, should be getting your copies imminently if you haven’t already. Thank you for you patience. 


The Hazards of Love tour was my absolute favourite live performance ever. so glad to have a live recording now.

Released February 5th, 2021

Last March, the Portland singer-songwriter’s West Coast jaunt in support of his third album “Natural Beauty” was cut short. Then, his Midwest and East Coast shows were postponed as the pandemic wiped out live music for the foreseeable future. Steeped in punchy power-pop hooks, dissonant harmonies and tinges of ’60s orchestral rock, Natural Beauty is something of an ode to the music of Troper’s teenage years, including the White Album, his favourite Beatles record, and fellow Portland indie band Dear Nora.

Troper played most of the instruments on the album himself, and penned a majority of the 12 tracks after returning to Portland from a yearlong stint living in L.A. “If there’s a theme for the album,” he says, “it’s getting back in touch with my Portland roots.”

But the 28-year-old isn’t the least bit bitter about having to put the promotion for his latest release indefinitely on hold. “With COVID, and the protests, there are much more important things going on,” he says. “It just doesn’t feel like the right time to be promoting [anyway].”


This year has been nuts and I’m bummed I wasn’t able to tour, but I really appreciate all the support I’ve received. If you’ve listened to my music at any point over the last year, please know that I really appreciate you. Not to be too self-deprecating but it’s still wild to me that people actually take the time to listen to my songs. Much love and happy holidays, and hopefully see you irl next year, 

Releases December 25th, 2020
written, produced, and mixed by Mo Troper

A shoegazey, indie rock band residing in Portland, OR. new album “Lotus Eaters” is out now! Formed back in 2008, Phosphene are a Portland based band, built around the duo of vocalist and guitarist Rachel Frankel and drummer Matt Hemmerich. The band released their self-titled debut album back in 2014, followed by an EP, Breaker in 2016. Four years on the band have just released their brand-new album, Lotus Eaters. 

The songs that comprise Lotus Eaters were written during a period of mass transition and upheaval. The writing and recording process of this album took place preceding and following the 2016 election, when extremism and bigotry prevailed across the United States and world at large.

The title Lotus Eaters is loosely derived from Greek mythology, which describes a person in a peaceful but apathetic haze from continually eating lotus fruit. A similar, escapist notion was pervasive across the U.S., and it certainly impacted each of us personally. It took a great deal of focus and fortitude to resist that inertia and move forward as a band. Song writing has always been joyful and cathartic for each of us in different aspects: a distraction from anxiety, an outlet for depression, or a unique way to express our introverted selves in a way that feels most genuine and heartfelt—and that catharsis is what carried us through.

Once we picked ourselves back up and creatively honed in, our most potent and ruminative songs began to take form. As a band, we found ourselves writing music that oscillated between dark, magnetic propulsions to dreamy, blissed-out reveries. During this period of time, Rachel was also writing and illustrating She Can Really Lay It Down, a musical anthology celebrating fifty influential women musicians from the past century, which was recently released in the fall of 2019. Some key heroines in the book such as Kim Gordon, Neko Case, and Janet Weiss absolutely made their influence known within several songs on Lotus Eaters, particularly “Incinerate” and “Incandescent Plumes.”

Although we’ve tinkered with our sound before, we really started to revamp our style and framework in more experimental ways on Lotus Eaters. From incorporating spoken word poetry and dismantling song structures to constantly swapping instruments, a newfound growth and confidence was evident in this collection of music. Lotus Eaters emanates a fervour that we want to resonate with each listener. And as turbulent as these times can be, we hope this album can be a source of comfort and inspiration for those seeking.


25% of proceeds from every album sale will go towards Black United Fund of Oregon and National Bail Fund Network. This is a permanent pledge.

Released July 7th, 2020

Ten Million Lights are an indie shoegaze band from Portland, Oregon who tap into something special on their new single “Myanmar.”

The band captures a level of rocking fuzzy goodness that creates a stirring non-stop atmosphere that still finds room for the heavenly floating vocals that mix with the shoegazey guitar work that feels like a mix of bands like Ride and Slowdive. Even better yet is the band’s description of the song:

The lyrics are highly imaginative about looking over the Event Horizon into a black hole to try and meet your maker only to find out its a praying mantis lizard who is turning our sun into a crystal. Have fun with this quick ditty. You just might have to play it twice…It doesn’t get much better than that.


Released August 21st, 2020
Ryan Carroll – vocals, guitars
Eric Block – guitars
Russ Ellis – bass
Paul Hardie – drums

This may need a little explaining… so back when everything first started with the pandemic, I was wrapping up the tracking of what would be my 4th album. It’s a pretty groovy spin, maybe some of my best yet? That record is done and I’m very excited for you to hear it, but that IS NOT this record. This is Sugar Water... an odd little collection of songs that will be out in early September. Songs about witches, Greyhounds, real hounds, the best singer in Abilene (also a hound), evil motorcycle riding grandmothers, and the best Hummingbird nectar on the market.

Typically when announcing an album, you have a track list and it’s all finished; however, that isn’t the case here. Right now, there are 7 songs. My hope is to write and record 3 more between now and September. Here’s the first single! It’s called Rising Sign and it isn’t anything at all about the subject matter I mentioned earlier… Cheers Sugar Water... my 5th album… out before the 4th one.


This song is the first single for Sugar Water… An album that will likely be out in early September.
Released August 7th, 2020

Wipers - Youth Of America (Anniversary Edition 1981-2021).jpg

To mark the 40th anniversary of Wipers’ second album, “Youth of America”, the group has put together a commemorative vinyl reissue with Jackpot Records that features several previously unreleased tracks.

When Greg Sage roars “it’s no fair” midway through Youth of America, the vowels long and colicky, it’s not exactly a noble moment. Complaining about unfairness rarely is, because even if it’s accurate, it’s still a badge of comfort. “No fair” are petulant words, stagnant words, the conclusion of people who have set up camp in their perceived burdens. “No fair” is not a phrase of a revolution, because fairness is built on shifting sands; it’s not as steely a protest as “unjust” or “wrong.” And the people to whom life truly has been cruellest don’t have the time to complain about it; they’re too busy trying to out manoeuver the system that failed them. Now that’s not fair.

When Portland’s Wipers released their second album in May 1981, the shadow of Reagan’s conservatism was only beginning to spread. But the writing was on the wall: He’d spent his first 100 days shoving through so many revisions to tax policy and restrictions on federal power, he was accused of effectively squashing the concept of an activist government full stop. The sense of selfishness was demoralizing. An anticipatory static filled the air; the spectre of “no future,” that familiar credo of punk, wore a Windsor knot.

By this time, also, the “youth” in question had already heard plenty of punk—enough for its most stinging, mutinous qualities to have calcified into a formula. Punk, while still radical in its political messaging, was moving decisively in one direction: shorter, faster. Not everyone was pushing out 21 songs in 35 minutes, like the overachievers in Wire, but bands were doggedly dispatching songs quicker than the punk class before them; this included Wipers’ 1980 debut, “Is This Real?”, which followed all the spiny punk tropes and, upon release, sank without a ripple. Down in Los Angeles, a movement was brewing around Black Flag, who were about to shift the median with their debut album, Damaged, and its songs barely over the 3-minute mark.

It didn’t take a Rimbaud scholar to see that gloomy, 10-minute, Krautrock-inspired songs would be a tough sell in the early-’80s punk economy. But Sage, a scientific-minded contrarian—he’d started building recording equipment and playing guitar in the third grade after seeing a movie about Thomas Edison—tested his hypothesis anyway. And on “Youth of America”, The Wipers all but acknowledge the absurdity of their approach. You hear every roll of the dice, and the slight inhale of disbelief after they land; it builds the train while it’s already in motion, laying each link of track just before derailment.

Punk had never quite shown its seams like this before, its questioning of itself and its construction; it had never felt like such a righteous search for answers that was more concerned with asking the questions. The simultaneously thriving post-punk and no wave scenes had also taken mallets to the conventions of punk, but they’d had no problem casting aside the politics and guitars, as well. In Youth of America’s six grim, unhurried songs, Sage is weighed by his own dilemmas and asks them overtly: How can he change? What of this world is worth saving, and what possible advice can be wrung from that stone for the next generation? What can be said of this violent country as it enters a new era of turning that contempt inward? Why did he take on this role, anyway, and when will he finally cross the rubicon where his listeners need to save themselves by rebelling against him, already a geriatric punk at 29 years old?

Mirroring Sage’s outlier status: Portland itself. Far removed from the switchboards of American punk—New York, D.C., L.A.—the Pacific Northwest wouldn’t become a rock destination for another decade. Until a Wipers superfan named Kurt Cobain threw a baby into a swimming pool (and copied Sage’s penchant for flannel), the scene was off the grid; it was filled with D.I.Y. savants like Sage who disdained conformity and showed it with clever, cutting music they had no intention to scale. (When the Seattle scene exploded in the early ’90s, and A&R execs descended on seemingly every band in a 200-mile radius, Sage still refused to follow the “grunge” slipstream, famously turning down an opening tour slot for Nirvana.) It was truly a place of creativity for purpose, not product.

To understand “Youth of America”, it’s best to start at the conclusion. “When It’s Over”—a clear mission statement on the album across six minutes—is, in many ways, the most insurrectionist track on the album: It opens with over three minutes of an anxious, abrasive instrumental. Sage’s guitar wields full narrative reign—his chords open brashly, in the type of rapid churn that Buzzcocks and Stiff Little Fingers mastered. But then, in a surprising upheaval, he adds longer, musing tones that challenge the air over Dave Koupal’s bass and Brad Naish’s drums; soon the guitar has its own wandering spirit, its own melodic refrain, building its power in a direct nod to motorik momentum. The instrument is a clearly defined character, demanding its own experience.

Minutes into “When It’s Over,” when the guitar cedes to Sage’s voice, the transition is abrupt enough to almost feel bashful, a second-guessing of the kind of ego that allowed that irreverent open; piano supports his low, Bauhaus-worthy gothic grumble, so deep the ear must strain to make out his laments. “In the land of dreams, I find myself sober/Wonder when it’ll all be over,” he moans. When the guitar skitters back in, it’s at first noisy yet deferential to the words, clanging back on its first motif with tinny, sinister restraint; it feels like a dramatic battle between instrument and vocalist, a battle for the soul of the track—and perhaps the listener’s, too. The stakes rise and never resolve; Naish adds a clawing, claustrophobic pulse. The guitar ultimately regains its full audacity—mirroring Sage’s voice while it also gains intensity, screaming, “Will you be laughing when it’s over?”—and the song ends on its miserable questions, asked at a fever pitch. .

His words on the comparatively poppy “Taking Too Long” offer more of a quiet, paternal disappointment than a scolding. “What was coming from the sky?” Sage demands. Missile or omen, the result is immutable: “You never, ever change your mind.” It’s almost graceful at times in its sour melody, a pinch of sugar dissolving into acid.

Sage seems to acknowledge this on “Pushing the Extreme,” which has a taunting, declaratory quality absent from much of Youth of America. It’s macabre in a slightly cartoonish way, and makes its most obvious overtures to fully igniting a class war. “Through your mirror there is such vanity/Through the light, it broke to me,” Sage sings, scolding some Patrick Bateman wannabe over ghostly percussive mixing that shoots cymbals around like shrapnel. The sentiment is mirrored with even more gothic intonation in the unapologetically bratty “No Fair,” in which Sage mutters at the rising ruling class—“Take a piece of our lives, didn’t think we’d care?”—over Koupal’s bleeding basslines. In 1981,

In Youth of America’s title track, Sage yells to a generation, his voice raw and unaltered, “The walls are coming down/The walls are crumbling down on you.” It’s somehow simultaneously modest and hubristic to suggest his most useful role is at a lectern, that he is the one who must awaken that fury in others. Amid the deep, convulsing distortion of bass and guitar, he adds a stark political science lesson: “They attack you from the right side/Down the left side.” But that distance quickly collapses: “It is time we rectify this now/ We’ve got to heal it now.”

Sage stomps back to the mic to intone more civics: “The rich get richer and the poorer get poorer. Now there’s no place to go,” he mutters dourly. The track’s remaining five minutes are an inversion of the kraut- and psych-rock leanings from earlier in the record, when repetition bred power. “Youth of America” defends every moment of its 10 minutes and 27 seconds, maintaining its fearsome intensity and leaving an ominous chill in its wake.


An absolute gem and a massive recommendation . After a head warping intro “Men And Their Work” kicks into eight driving postpunk rockers full of angst, confidence, feminism, melody, grit and a sense of direction not commonly found in a debut album. Shit, most seasoned bands don’t even make albums this coherent. It’s a smart moniker as All Hits certainly lives up to the promise. There is a 60/40 split of familiar comfort and provocative mystery inherent in every song. You get shouted sloganeering backed with barbed melody and finessed power-ups massaged into the sweetest spots.

We can’t put our finger on exactly what it is that makes this record so special but whatever it is there is a lot of it. Destined to be a modern classic. For fans of Wipers, Raincoats, early Wire and Sleater-Kinney.


We can’t put our finger on exactly what it is that makes this record so special but whatever it is there is a lot of it. Destined to be a modern classic. Destined to be a modern classic. So much so, that Rough Trade has deemed it their “Record of the Week” for June 26th. Lovely.

300 black, 100 translucent smoky blue and 100 coke bottle clear (a Rough Trade exclusive color)

Full length album “Men And Their Work” out June 26th on Iron Lung Records.

Marisa Anderson channels the history of the guitar and stretches the boundaries of tradition. Her playing is fluidemotional, and masterful, featuring compositions and improvisations that re-imagine the landscape of American music. Her work applies elements of minimalism, electronic music, drone and 20th century classical music to compositions based on blues, jazz, gospel and country music.

The challenge of covering an Elliott Smith song is daunting. When the words are stripped away what is revealed at the core of The White Lady Loves You More is delicate and mysterious. After building it up and tearing it down several times, I arrived at a deconstructive approach, following the vocals as closely as I could, treating my guitar as an acapella voice.
released July 9th, 2020