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The Real Portlandia

by Jim Allen  |  August 28, 2013


The Portland alt/indie music scene is more than just a backdrop for the tongue-in-cheek TV exploits of Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein. The Oregon hotspot wouldn't be such a ripe target for satires like Portlandia if it weren't also one of the most effective creative crucibles in America. While 21st-century Portlanders like The Decemberists, Blitzen Trapper, Brownstein's own Wild Flag, Laura Veirs and Portugal. The Man have helped put the place on the map as a major music hub, the city sometimes known as Stumptown has a maverick musical history that goes back not only to '90s queercore/riot grrrl pathfinders like Team Dresch, but to the late '70s/early '80s with punk pioneers like The Wipers and Poison Idea. Consider this playlist your sonic tour guide to both what's happening in Portland today and the seminal sounds that surfaced there in the past.

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