The scene speaks

We asked a few local musicians to give their thoughts about what it’s like to be Portland musicians and how they fit into the PDX scene. Here’s what they had to say.

We asked a few local musicians to give their thoughts about what it’s like to be Portland musicians and how they fit into the PDX scene. Here’s what they had to say.

Reverse Dotty & The Candy Cane Shivs–“It’s soup cheeto to live in a town where a band can actually get regular shows around town at different places! I bet we have as many legit venues here (and not-so-legit respect!) as in Seattle, despite being smaller. Beyond actually playing the shows, we are deeply in love with the fact that being a band here means we get to work with enthusiastic people who are just business enough to get shit done and then are ready to party with us in the chillaxis of evil.”

Pete Krebs–“Being a musician in Portland has changed a lot over the past few decades-there’s a lot more music happening here now than ever before. What hasn’t changed is that the city is a great place to be a musician. There’s so many places to play, so many talented artists here, plus a community that’s traditionally been willing to support the musical freaks and geeks among us. You won’t find a city in the States that even comes close.”

Jacob Merlin–“Portland is a hugely diverse town, and when it comes to music, there’s no exception. Our genre, if we could pick one, would be somewhere in the realm of soul/funk/pop rock, and that’s still being a little too concrete! Ultimately, Portland offers a huge stage with many acts, so we try to set ourselves apart from other bands by adding a sweet and hot horn section to create a very dynamic and memorable show.”

Wet Confetti–“Portland is an amazing city to play music in. It’s affordable, so you can spend more time playing music than making coffee for yuppies, and the people in this city are really supportive and inspiring. I’m not exactly sure how we fit into Portland’s music scene. We play house shows one week and the Doug Fir the next. We play with bands all across the board also. But I definitely feel we do fit in somehow.”

Lisa of Talkdemonic–“It’s like family. Healthy competitiveness, lots of sharing. We accept differences.”

Taylor of Great Grand Wonderful–“Playing music in Portland is not the easiest task. There are so many bands you can’t expect to get the attention that you might get in a less diverse city. Fortunately, if you keep the ideal that music is only meant for the musician to have an enjoyable artistic experience, then not only do you fit into Portland’s box for you personally, you fit into Portland’s box entirely.”

Ryan Dolliver of Double Dragon–“To be honest, Portland is the only city in which I’ve experienced the music scene as a working musician. However, the number of people I know who strive towards honest and creative art (music or otherwise) is unique and inspiring! I empathize with people who express their frustration with an ‘oversaturated’ scene, but as the leader of a soul/dance band and an independent jazz artist, I appreciate the diversity. I believe that the Portland scene receives a lot of outside attention for that very attribute.”

Bryan Free–“Playing music in Portland is like riding a unicycle: it’s wobbly at first, and then you fall down, but once you learn to juggle hamsters at the same time, people start paying attention, even clapping! You can take your show on the road, but if you join the circus, you’ve sold out. Oh, and if other people start riding unicycles, you’re screwed.”

Leah Hinchcliff–“I am a bassist. I span the gulf between drums and the rest of the instruments in the band. I am a 40-something woman in the male-dominated, image-obsessed, sexist, ageist, and intolerant music industry. I defy the rules about gender, style, function and age. I am funky, soulful, jazzy, folky, rocky, bluesy and anything else that gets my music to the heights and depths I want it to go. I reject the confines of labels, genres and boxes. I am, at once, the face of beautiful, creative, diverse Portland and anti-hero thrust into a role by my chosen vocation–bassist.

Joel Meredith of The Meredith Brothers Band–“I assume that playing in Portland is just the same as anywhere else: awesome. There are some great roots/country rock bands here and over the past years the scene has really grown. The only downside is that the two biggest indie newspapers here in town continue to ignore the roots scene.”