Member Since: 10/4/2006
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This Is Your Drinking Water!!!

Artist Song Buy
The Replacements  Portland  buy on itunes
Swell  Going Up (To Portland)?  buy on itunes
The Decemberists  July, July!  buy on itunes
The Dandy Warhols  Solid  buy on itunes
Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin  My Oregon Girl  buy on itunes
Quasi  Seven Years Gone  buy on itunes
The Physics of Meaning  Oregon, My Only True Friend  buy on itunes
Earlimart  Portland, Ore.  buy on itunes
Elliott Smith  Condor Ave.  buy on itunes
M. Ward  Helicopter  buy on itunes
Sarah Dougher  Moving  buy on itunes
Norfolk & Western  Porch Destruction  buy on itunes
Kind Of Like Spitting  Portland Nationals  buy on itunes
Adam Selzer  Gentrified  buy on itunes
Beltline  The New Rules  buy on itunes
Richmond Fontaine  Glisan Street  buy on itunes
Rocky Votolato  Portland Is Leaving  buy on itunes
Dolorean  So You're a Touring Band Now  buy on itunes
Chad Crouch  Go By Train  buy on itunes


"Exclamation points, gestures of authority with which the writer tries to impose an emphasis external to the matter itself, have become intolerable, while the sforzato, the musical counterpart of the exclamation point, is as indispensable today as it was in Beethoven's time, when it marked the incursion of the subjective will into the musical fabric. Exclamation points, however, have degenerated into usurpers of authority, assertions of importance." (Theodor W. Adorno, Notes to Literature, Vol. 1 (Columbia University Press, 1991) pp. 92-93)

Apologies, then, for the multiple usurpers of authority in the mix title. Don't blame me; blame the local authorities of the city of Portland, Oregon.

Oh yeah, you came here for information on this mix, sorry I forgot. Has anyone ever wondered what it is they put into the water in Portland to spawn such a mindblowingly great indie music scene? I sure have, and while I haven't actually found an answer, I have tried to approach this question through a mix. Incidentally, if I had realised that Phantom Buffalo are from Portland, ME and that the CFTPA song "Jeane, if you're ever in Portland" also refers to the city in Maine before I started working on this mix and that I can therefore not include either of them, I probably would have never made it at all, but it was too late for turning back by the time I found out all of this. Still plenty of nice stuff on here, I think.

Most of these songs are by artists or bands from Portland; a few are not, but qualify on the basis of their lyrics/title for an inclusion on this tribute (my sincere apologies to the people of Oregon that aren't from Portland for the implicit suggestion contained in two of these choices that any song about Oregon is automatically about Portland!). The other songs also aren't just songs that happen to be by bands that happen to come from Portland; instead, I tried to choose songs that actually reference places or objects in that city - that's also my excuse for the (otherwise inexcusable) omission of Sleater-Kinney and the Holy Sons, as I simply couldn't find anything in their oeuvres that would fit thematically. In some cases, these references are hard to deny: Glisan Street, Condor Ave., the big letters on the Union Station building prompting to "Go By Train". In other cases, they are a little more debatable - but since we all know that all songwriting is necessarilly autobiographic (right? RIGHT?), it is obvious that Adam Selzer, who lives in Portland, must be talking about his actual hometown when he sings about the gentrification of his neighbourhood. And when Rob Jones hits the bars in "The New Rules" or Quasi and the Dandy Warhols walk around Old Town, then clearly they have to be talking about the bars and streets of Portland. And since Colin Meloy has never ever written a song from a fictional character's perspective, the "road that meets the road that goes to my house" in "July, July!" is obviously also located in Portland. I am glad that we are all in agreement here. So all of these songs make a reference to some aspect of city life that at least might allude to Portland. I count on the solidarity of my fellow Norfolk & Western fans (hello Barry, hello JY!) to not let you people know that the linernotes make it quite clear that the house being torn down in "Porch Destruction" is actually located in Washington DC. Thanks in advance, guys!
image for mix


Date: 11/1/2006
I don't know what is in the water in Portland, but judging by these bands I wish they would bottle it and export it here to Pittsburgh. Great mix by the way.
Date: 11/1/2006
I kind of feel like I should apologise for going completely overboard with the comments, by the way - I had a hard time falling asleep the night I started working on this mix (I think it's fairly obvious that it must have been insomnia-induced, anyway). Also, I dig this kind of thing, obviously.
Date: 11/1/2006
Oooooh! Great mix. Used to live in PDX and miss it. You need Oregon, by the less thin guy in They Might Be Giants going solo. "Oregon is bad. Stop it if you can. Run away. Run away." Good stuff!
Date: 11/1/2006
Pretty snazzy Alex, I made one of these that never quite graduated from playlist to fully realized mix. Lovely Decemberists & Earlimart choices.
Date: 11/2/2006
I'm impressed, and I want this.
Date: 11/2/2006
I'm sure Terry Pratchett wrote that that many exclamation marks are a sign of mental instability (you quote Adorno, I quote Pratchett). Anyway, great mix, and I enjoyed your notes (lengthy or no). DJV (Bracket Fan).
Date: 11/2/2006
Haha, that's also pretty great (and not at all in contradiction with the Adorno quote, either). Adorno also had something to say about bracket use, by the way, but it would not be very polite towards you to repeat it here, nor would it reflect well upon my own typographic habits ;)
J-Y: Sure, you'll get it.
Date: 11/2/2006
Date: 11/2/2006
goodness gracious, fucking adorno. but i like that the physics of meaning made it, and i think i'd like some of the rest, too.
Date: 11/5/2006
I am friends with some of the dudes from Phantom Buffalo...they would be pleased to here about this mix even though they got the ax. CHALLANGE: can someone make a portland, Maine mix? I could becuase i'm living here. What about songs that just referenced Portland, Maine. Either that or an easier...bands or artists from/around Portland. or some either creative mix. I'll try if anyone else wants to.
Date: 12/6/2006
Way cool!!!

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