2014 was an amazing time for music, and this year, rather than asking the Gina Altamura and Van Pham of the interdisciplinary Portland venue and nightclub Holocene to list their favorite up-and-coming Portland musicians, we decided to give them the opportunity to highlight their favorite shows of 2014, both local and international. The dynamic result is not exclusively Holocene-centric, and definitely gives ample nods to Portland's experimental music scene.
On my way to see AM & Shawn Lee at Missisippi Studios, I really had to give myself a stern talkin' to. Despite the fact that I had muchos time to kill, I didn't really feel like watching that evening's opening bands. I've recently become kind of jaded about taking a chance on openers, because so very many are underwhelming. It's a sad truth. So, in defiance of my journalistic duties, I travel across town as lethargically as possible, but still arrive in time to catch the last few songs from the first opener, Adventure Galley. There's a lot that I might say about their set, including that the lead singer's pants are hyper-confusing -- but let's just keep it simple. With every song, Adventure Galley make me feel grumpier about my decision to come early. And though I'd heard good things about Seattle's Don't Talk To The Cops! from other REDEFINE writers, I vow that if they too offer up an Amateur Hour, I'll defect and gorge myself on Mississippi Studios' delectable french fries instead. Luckily, Don't Talk To The Cops! soon prove that they have the chops to save me from unnecessary fatness, as well as make me feel much more pleased about the state of music in general. Thank yorb.
June 13th, 2013 @ Mississippi Studios - Portland, OR


Barn Owl's 2011 release, Lost In The Glare, was an instant love for me and earned a deep place in my heart with hardly any effort at all. I had been longing to see the Northern California duo since, and during the wait, my expectations had been growing higher. In early November, Thrill Jockey Records threw one of four 20th Anniversary shows at Mississippi Studios in Portland. It boasted a seven act lineup of Trans Am, Liturgy, Eternal Tapestry, Barn Owl, Golden Retriever, Mike Scheidt, and Jason Urick, and finally put my expectations for Barn Owl to the test. They certainly passed, by putting on one of the best performances I've ever seen at Mississippi Studios. With a largely improvised set -- I presume -- Evan Caminiti and Jon Porras showed off their electronic-leaning new sound, and wonderfully blew out of proportion what is perhaps most compelling about their music: their ability to engage contradiction by transforming gnarly, noisy sonics into the most heartwarming sounds possible, and their ability to effortlessly send one reeling through time and landscapes eternal.
November 9th, 2012 at Mississippi Studios in Portland, Oregon