OK, I admit it: I'm a bit of a mean-spirited contrarian. I give a hard time to all those folks out there that want to move out of touch cities like Cleveland and to hip meccas like Portland, calling the place the Wal-Mart of cool. I mean, cool is wherever you want it to be - who needs to move across the country to have a ready-made scene created for you. Get all DIY on it and make that shit yourself, yo. Right?
Anyway, in my more honest/less confrontational moments, I'll admit it: these hipster Wal-Mart cities are popular for a reason. Just like people go to Wal-Mart because it has just about everything you need and the price is right (even if the consequences of shopping there, however indirect, are terrible), Portland has a lot going for it, too (though such moves contribute to nefarious outcomes like brain-drain and developmental decline). Portland seems to have it all - cool nature, cool beer, cool coffee, cool art, cool bands. Especially cool bands. There are so many bands to talk about from Portland, I almost hesitate to even start the conversation.
But I will, because I just got turned on to yet another cool Portland band. This time it is the retro indie popsters Blue Skies for Black Hearts. Think a little something like Elvis Costello meets Teenage Fanclub and you have a good idea of the sound and the sense of humor. Not so much quirk, though. For influences like those, they play it sorta straight. Which is cool. I can dig it. So will you. Check it out below.
4 years ago