Want More Portland Music? You’re In Luck

By Matt Harper

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If you’ve been keeping up with our Newsroom blog this week, you might have noticed a disproportionate amount of Pacific Northwest representation. Well, it’s no accident, I assure you. A small crew of producers (including myself) trekked out to Portland, Oregon, not so long ago and came back with a bevy of great material.

But when doing a piece like this, you inevitably run into the problem of who to include and who to exclude. Sometimes the decision is easy — there were a lot of acts we reached out to that were on tour or out of town for whatever reason — but generally making the call was a tough one. We inevitably had to leave some people out who we felt should’ve been represented (ideally though, the piece will encourage people to seek out new music … not just in Portland, but also in their own hometown).

Luckily, local Portlanders have the gift of time and won’t ever have to make that difficult call that we did when we came out to the rainy city for five days (as long as two great bands aren’t playing the same night … which, come to think of it, tends to happen a lot). But the point I’m trying to get to in a really roundabout way is actually this: There is a lot of great music in Portland, and right at the center of all that is PDX Pop Now!, an amazing resource for musicians and music fans.

Most people from Portland are probably familiar with PDX Pop Now!, but for those uninitiated, it’s a nonprofit organization run with a singular purpose in mind: the celebration and promotion of Portland’s thriving and multifaceted music scene. What started off as a DIY mailing list in 2004 has quickly evolved into a yearly music festival and a great compilation CD that, at its core, champions local music acts.

So when we went to Portland, we made sure to get in touch with Greg Borenstein and Stephanie Hays from PDX Pop Now! who were nice enough to take us on a walking tour of downtown, showing us the local venues and giving us a nice encapsulation of what the Portland music scene is all about. Trust me, these people know their stuff.

So if MTV’s look at Portland piqued your interest, you must check out PDX Pop Now! And as luck would have it, not only did the compilation just come out, but its annual festival is happening next weekend in Portland. It runs July 25-27 and features an amazing assortment of what the Portland music scene has to offer — way more than we could even hope to cover in our brief time visiting the Northwest.

OK, now I really sound like a promo, so I’m signing off.