Top Down, summer in the city

Visiting the great outdoors is filled with hassles. Urine-extinguished fires, bears eating your food and general dirtiness all indicate why some people would just rather stay in the city during the summer.

PDX Pop Fest

This weekend’s free, all-ages PDX Pop Fest has a lot of good things about it that should make even the most casual fans of local music get out and catch a few acts.

Double Dragon party

Ryan Dolliver isn’t satisfied just making hyphy crunk-rock with his band Double Dragon. Nor is he satisfied with his ambient duo. Nor his guitar/turntable project. Nor his improvised jazz trio, quartet, quintet, or sextet.

Musical magic

Jacob Merlin is a lifelong Portland area resident whom you may have already heard around town. The youthful 27-year-old has been playing around the Northwest for the better part of the past 10 years, bringing his singular brand of soulful, piano-driven pop–both on his own and with his band–to audiences of all ages.

Press Play

It seems that Arctic Monkeys are quite the sensation these days, which is a rather confounding fact, since they don’t seem particularly ambitious or earth-shattering in their song craft. Instead they write fast, hard-driving, riff-filled, fairly melodic danceable rock songs.

Ocean’s 13 is forgettable fun

Steven Soderbergh’s latest film, like so many others this summer, begs the question, “How many times can Hollywood return to the same handful of ideas and still make decent pictures?”

A band of friends and neighbors

As the lead guitarist for hometown favorites The Decemberists, Chris Funk is not your typical guitar hero. Although he can duke it out like a champ on electric guitar against Stephen Colbert and Peter Frampton, Funk’s new project, Flash Hawk Parlor Ensemble, is an exquisite blend of chamber pop, folk and country.

Press Play/Press Stop

Mellow but catchy acoustic indie rock from this North Carolina five-piece. Think Mazzy Star meets Scott Walker. Plenty of reverb and female vocals.

Half-baked Bjork

Somewhere in a faraway, enchanting land, across seas made of marbled cerulean spider webs, in an igloo made of unicorn hair and elvish mithril, there lives a wonderful faery princess who wears nothing but dresses made of golden goose feathers and spends her days crafting intricate, delicate but ornate albums, like sonic Faberge eggs.

Georgia Rule

Haven’t you always wanted to see Barbarella, a desperate housewife and Lindsay Lohan all slug it out in a sloppy, movie-of-the-week style dramedy?