March 21, 2012
Portland has been a haven for the creative class for around a decade now, and college educated 20- and 30-somethings continue to stream in every day. As a result, the music scene has grown rapidly, and as with any rapid growth (Bangkok anyone?) it’s both a blessing and a curse, a monument to progress and a total mess. The blessings are many; there’s an abundance of bands to see, play with, or in, and venues to accommodate them all. Whether you’re into pop, blues, metal, hip-hop, bluegrass (really anything), there’s a scene in town that’s into it too, and yet they aren’t nearly as insular or exclusive as you may find in a lot of other large cities. The cost of living is also rather low, while the quality of life is extremely high, so there’s really nothing holding you back from really making a go at a career in music.
On the other hand, the easy life isn’t necessarily the most inspiring one, and there’s a great deal of mediocrity in Portland. Having such an abundance of art in one town can also complicate things, whether it’s scheduling practice with your bass player who’s in three other bands (and a book club and a knitting group and is an active gardener and brewer) or booking a Friday night when there are a dozen shows that are just as worthwhile as yours. All in all, it’s a home, and we love it.
Next page: Bands To Watch