Top Albums of the Year 2014: Staff Picks

With wide-reaching arms and hungry ears, each of our writers has compiled his or her top albums of the year, for you to peruse our eclectic, atypical, and only occasionally overlapping tastes. You’d be well-served to check out every single record here. Vivian Hua – dance, indie, pop, psychedelic, electronic Troy Micheau – metal, electronic, experimental, ambient Jason Simpson – pop, soul, electronic, ambient Ian King – electronic, ambient, instrumental, pop Peter Woodburn – ambient, metal, garage, indie Judy Nelson – dance, electronic, indie, pop, hip-hop

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Dream Police – Hypnotized & Cult of Youth – Final Days Comparative Album Reviews (Sacred Bones)

Every record is an island. An artist’s statements shouldn’t always be judged on trends, the label they’re on, or what other people are doing. Perhaps they shouldn’t even be judged against that artist’s own work. It’s all too common in the current state of music journalism or criticism to hear, “This isn’t as good as their old stuff,” or as whatever the landmark release is in that genre. Just look at how every shoegaze record has been measured again My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless. Still, when a label releases two records on the same day, it’s hard not to read into it, or at least wonder if there’s some grand vision at work. Especially when that label is Sacred Bones, who

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My Brightest Diamond & Goapele Live Show Reviews: Twin Nights of Powerful Females at Doug Fir Lounge

This week, I found myself at Portland’s Doug Fir Lounge three days in a near row. While it is perhaps my second must frequented venue after Holocene, rarely do I have the chance to go so many times in one week, and to observe such varying acts. Hence, in celebration of today’s full moon in Gemini — just like our Intuitive Navigation event tomorrow eve at Holocene — I shall endeavor a twin review of two notable female acts: Bay Area R&B singer Goapele and indie rock veteran My Brightest Diamond, both of whom put on great shows, but in vastly different ways and to vastly differing crowds. The full moon represents the femininity and intuition, and today’s Full Moon

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Forgotten Gems & Dusty Classics: The Nickname Edition – Lead Belly, Bukka White, Doc Watson, Jelly Roll Morton, Hot Lips Page

Musicians tend to attract quirky nicknames, and more than a few of them stick for life. Louis Armstrong was Satchmo, Coleman Hawkins was Bean, Charlie Parker was Bird, and Lester Young was known as Prez or Tickle Toe. Sometimes they take over an artist’s identity. When Furry Lewis was asked in the 1970s how he came to be known as “Furry”, he responded that he couldn’t remember anymore. In this mix, I’ll go through five of my favorite musicians with cool sobriquets. Of course, I’m leaving a lot of people off of this list, but here are a few of the really outstanding ones. See all Forgotten Gems & Dusty Classics Posts Huddie “Lead Belly” Ledbetter Huddie “Lead Belly” Ledbetter

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Peaking Lights Band Interview: Deciphering Cosmic Logic

Recently back in the spotlight with their latest record, Cosmic Logic, Peaking Lights have left behind the laid-back grooves of their last two full-lengths, 936 and Lucifer, to embrace full-on the ostentation of a dance record. Cosmic Logic is guaranteed to throw the duo’s long-time fans for a polarizing loop, but despite the initial shock it may bring, the album is one that stays true to the band’s ethos, history, and goals, even if one needs to dig deep to understand exactly how Cosmic Logic is a natural progression.

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Panabrite – Pavilion Album Review (Immune Recordings)

One cannot overstate how important it is to receive a record at the right time. That moment when the millions of waveforms passing through the air make way for that particular set that speak to your situation, that synchronize all of the cells and particles within and without and pull the air around you into formation, stitching together an unseen tapestry reflecting the “right here right now.” Into this milieu there can sometimes march a record that gets it just right. And as I sat down to listen to Norm Chambers’ new Panabrite record, Pavilion, I was just getting ready to accept the end of the Time of Summer here in Portland and welcome the Time of Fall — amongst

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