Portland, Day 2

Another great day in Portland. Woke up buzzing from last night’s open mic.
First stop, breakfast with Ezra Ace Careaff, local music editor for the Portland Mercury and owner of indie label Slowdance (home of the Velvet Teen). I continue to be inspired by the entrepreneurs who have started these labels. 50/50 joint ventures. It’s the future model for indie music.


Spent a fascinating couple hours with Bob Price, music teacher at the local DaVinci Arts magnet school. I knew we were in for an interesting conversation when he told me the first record he heard, at age 11, was Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew. Grew up in the Amoco-funded arts mecca of Dallas Ft. Worth, TX in the 70’s, where he dove straight into experimental improv on the clarinet. He has had a long career in academia, and has witnessed the gradual decline in funding for music education. This is truly one of the great tragedies of today – the gradual dissappearance of music programs in youth education.
In his effort to interest his kids in jazz, he recently created a big band arrangement of System of Down’s BYOB (Listen Now). I got a great kick out of this – one of my greatest complaints about music education at all levels is the unwillingness of teachers/departments to accommodate the relevant interests of kids, and use that to draw them into theory. I think it’s the reason there is so little collaboration between rock musicians and classical musicians. Which if you ask Paul, John, Ringo and both Georges, has its benefits.
Spent the afternoon with Christopher Cooper, founder of Cavity Search (who had the honor to release Elliott Smith’s first solo record Roman Candle)- a true music fan. Had a great conversation with Connie Wohn who that very day had been the subject of a front page profile in the Oregonian life section on “queen’s of portland rock”. A long time booker of DJ’s, she clearly brings a passion for music. I was really jazzed about a program she works with called “Rock N Roll Camp for Girls” – a 6 year old program for 6-18 year olds to empower women through music. It sounds like just a fantastic program. They don’t even need to have played an instrument. The kids form bands, write a song, rehearse it, and record it – all overseen by a steady stream of female rocker role models. Can’t say enough about how valuable this is (see previous paragraph on the decline in education funding).
TownHallMtg2.jpg Millenium_Staff.jpgTopped the trip off with a magical evening at Millenium Records. About 70 people showed up for a lively conversation about digital music and the future of radio (with Peter Carlin and Rick Emerson – thanks gents). A very engaged audience, including folks currently working in radio from all sides. One emerging thesis was the need for terrestrial radio to localize more. Thanks again to owner Terry Currier and his crew (pictured here holding their favorite obscure disks for the genome). Their hospitality was a reflection of the whole trip.
Final thought – after spending two days talking with music fans, I’ve come away even more convinced of the transformative power of music. One thing I noticed about all the music fans a ran across – they all look much younger than their years. Something we should all contemplate‚Ķ

Pandora

The Pandora Team http://www.pandora.com/

15 thoughts on “Portland, Day 2

  1. I enjoy the blog and Pandora. Since you are a music site, I feel obligated to call you out: Miles Davis Witches Brew?? It’s Bitches Brews, dudes. Keep it up!

  2. man, oh man. My bad. Thanks for the heads up Jojo. You’d think after transcribing half the record I’d know that…:)
    T.

  3. For some reason, many music teachers are narrow-minded rigid purist fuddy-duddies, and consider all modern music crap, and therefore think they are doing the best service by calling kids’ music crap and forcing them to listen to stuff ridiculously out of date. But kids don’t work that way, and the reluctance of music snob teachers to realize that IMO makes them poor teachers.
    But there are other music teachers who are much more hip and, when rigidly puristic and narrow-minded fuddy-duddy school administrators will let them, they will try to inject some updated musical influences into their programs.
    Most kids in music class won’t learn musical expression by listening to and reciting old-fashioned music without any connection to modern music. It’s when modern music is introduced or connected to prior influences when students begin to envision angles of exploration.
    Heck, this principle is probably true of all teaching. My best English class ever was one in which included a deconstruction of Heathers.

  4. I am surprised no one said anything about Storm and the Balls for your Portland jaunt. Hope you had a chance to check them out, or maybe the next time up.
    Also, wondering if you have a list of the bands that you have added to the Genome. I would love to see pieces of the list if not the entire list. I would also love to see more information about the project (a link somewhere on the website?) and the Genome that you created.
    Take care and enjoy your travels!

  5. Got a band for you to check out……….
    Falcon Five-0 they are from Oklahoma, very hot, very indie rock.
    I think they would fit pandora perfect.
    You Guys ROCK!!

  6. It’s too bad you guys aren’t coming up to Washington… but you guys are doing an awesome job! Keep up the good work. Peace Out!

  7. Hey there. We’re from around Salem Oregon and we wanted to give you a tip on a great local musician… he’s originally from Central Oregon, but now resides in Eugene. His name is Jake Laughlin. You should check him out. Here’s a link to a page with some samples of his music.

    http://www.myspace.com/jakelaughlin

    Let us know what you think!
    Thanks,
    Katie and Randy

  8. Check out the Laurelthirst Pub for live music in Portland. NE30th & Glisan. Reggie’s Box of Chocolate on Fri 6-8PM, Kung Pao Chickens Mon 7-10PM. Sat you might try Biddy’s, SE Glisan & 60th, for the Jim Boyer Band. There’s a ton of good music in theis town. – Tim Acott

  9. I just recently exposed to Pandora. I love it and am telling the youth that I work with about this site. Our program works with about 500 low income,youth in the Vancouver, WA and outlying areas. I also work with Parks and Rec that reaches probably 1,000 youth or more in the area. Will you be visitning Portland, OR (we are just accross the bridge in Vancouver,WA) anytime soon?
    Thanks for doing what you do! Peace
    BELIEVE in the power of music!!!
    ~Wendy

  10. I just recently exposed to Pandora. I love it and am telling the youth that I work with about this site. Our program works with about 500 low income,youth in the Vancouver, WA and outlying areas. I also work with Parks and Rec that reaches probably 1,000 youth or more in the area. Will you be visitning Portland, OR (we are just accross the bridge in Vancouver,WA) anytime soon?
    Thanks for doing what you do! Peace
    BELIEVE in the power of music!!!
    ~Wendy

  11. I used to go to kennedy school to get my shots when I was little. It’s feels kinda funny to go in there now. But it is a cool hotel you should check out edgefield in fairveiw,or.

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