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The Tame West
"The Tamed West EP

After a couple active years in the Portland music scene, this past March The Tamed West finally released a first piece of recorded music for listeners to enjoy in the form of a self-titled EP. Though short and sweet, The Tamed West EP boasts influential elements of early Surfer Blood and the late Gauntlet Hair with a heavy wash of reverb over simple yet dancable rhythms, thoughtful vocal melodies and twinkling guitar. The Tamed West claimed the fourth seat in The Deli Portland's 'Best Emerging Artist of 2014' poll, as voted by a jury of local music industry professionals and tastemakers as well as listeners alike. Keep an eye on The Tamed West in the coming years and expect great things. 

Welcome to the new Deli Charts, organized by genre and scene.

To rank the artists with the star system go to the Top 50.


scene blog

Last week, Seattle songwriter Rocky Votolato shared an intimate set with the crowd at Barista on Alberta. As he wraps up a brief solo tour, Votolato released the new album Hospital Handshakes and announced he will tour this summer with a full backing band and co-headliners Dave Hause and Chris Farren. Catch him again when he plays Mississippi Studios on August 28. Listen to the album on purevolume

Photos by Lena Knofler


April 29, 2015

It’s always great when opening acts don’t resemble the sound of the headliner.  The two openers for the Mac Demarco show last Wednesday night at the Crystal Ballroom definitely achieved distinguishing themselves from his sound.  The first was local band Meth Teeth who have a very distasteful name (especially if you’re not careful searching for them online) and are known for their fuzzy garage rock sound that fits nicely into the Woodsist label’s canon.  Their live performance was much cleaner and reminiscent of a more radio-friendly pop folk sound. 

The second opener was Dutch pop diva Dinner.  His deep voice has that same Euro-monotone quality that Nico brought to our collective conscious.  Half 80’s work-out video, half Kraftwerk-meets-Madonna, Dinner’s over the top energy might have been easy to scoff at at first, but his dedication to his act won him many fans that night.

But onto Mac.

“Does it survive the test of time?  I don’t fucking know but we’re gonna play it anyways.”

Mac DeMarco pondered briefly halfway through his band’s set before embarking on a long windy powerful guitar shred that surprised and amazed many of us who are more accustomed to his laid-back backyard BBQ jams.  DeMarco may have asked this right before jumping into his cover of Steely Dan’s “Reelin’ in the Years,” but he could’ve been thinking about his own music.  The crowd was overwhelmingly young (the under-21 section felt like packed-in sardines) yet they followed him enthusiastically as he submerged them in the 1970s rock anthem.  Perhaps it’s his status as a teen idol or maybe it was his flippant who-gives-a-fuck attitude towards the question that made this typical dad rock anthem readily loved by his young fans.  Either way it does remind us of our fleeting youth, a concept Mac lightly dwells on in “Salad Days.”  Will his songs age gracefully?  Will his fans’ tastes still be relevant as they age?  Will his songs be the lame music of some future child’s dad, only to be revived when one of their “cool” music idols covers them?  Most likely, but that’s not important to Mac.

The show was something of an eccentricity contest.  Between the plastic bag of tiny hands someone threw on stage before the first song to his bandmates’ internet-y jokes that walked that line between funny and stupid (including a creepy one about dolphin sex that really just fell flat) and the inevitable rock-concert archetypical bra-thrown-onto-stage meme during “Chamber of Reflection,” it became clear both the band and the fans were having fun strutting their coolness.  By the end of the show the crowd left feeling easy with the fact that we were part of a playful caricature of a rock concert – complete with Mac and his bandmate Andy performing that macho act of removing one’s shirt on stage, crowd surfing, and the blissful and intentionally ironic swaying of lighters in the audience.

Mac is like that cool nasally older kid on the block who’s all about pizza, skateboarding, backwards caps, and playing pranks.  He took a moment during the show to invite us all to his afterparty at the White Owl Social Club.  Recognizing his audience’s median age range, he advised those under 21 to sneak into the bar: “It’s easy, I did it all the time.”  It’s no wonder he’s a walking disciple of our time.  When he put on a pink baseball hat, everyone cheered.


Back to his question about musical immortality: Mac showed that he disregards the test of time.  To have fun and be loved in the moment seems good enough.

April 27, 2015

Some songs effortlessly capture a moment in time. For late spring’s warmth and slower, sunny days comes Joel Magid’s “Since You Went Away.” The sugary-sweet psych pop track captures a mood: one of longing, looking, and desire while remaining upbeat, catchy, and fun. Magid debuted the video for his song on Alt Citizen last week.

Magid’s debut album Pyramids is out this summer. Catch Magid at The Liquor Store on April 29.

Listen to Magid on bandcamp.

-Zibby Pillote, photo by Tom Chamberlain

April 22, 2015

Saturday night, April 25 at Kelly's Olympian, The Deli Portland celebrates the winners of their Best Emerging Artist of 2014 poll - where local music industry insiders, tastemakers and listeners alike democratically elect their favorite new Portland artists. Headlining the night, 2014's poll winners The Domestics will croon their way through your ear and into your hearts with their lyrically-charged, heartfelt indie rock and roll reminiscent of the late Heatmiser. The fall of 2014 saw the release of their self-titled debut LP and made The Domestics an instant classic. Support by the folk tinged dream psych wizardry of Jackson Boone, and openers The Tamed West with their more upbeat reverb washed garage pop blend of psych rock. Doors at 8:30, 21+, $5 in advance or $7 at the door.

April 22, 2015

Holy Sons, brainchild of psychedelic songwriter Emil Amos, doesn't play music that will brighten your day. Emil uses this project as an outlet for dealing with his own ghosts, and his dark, thoughtful, haunted songs don't do anything to conceal that: the process obviously represents a rather effective form of self medication, considering he's released eleven records since 2000 (two of them in 2014). Emil recently moved to NYC (from Portland), recruited musicians to re-form his band, and has been playing several gigs in and around Brooklyn. You can catch him at the upcoming Brain Cave Festival on April 25 at Baby's All Right.

April 21, 2015

Yeah Great Fine hasn’t released any new music for quite some time, and their single release at The Liquor Store on SE Belmont was a perfect snapshot of the articulate, experimental beauty that can only be found in the swells and lulls of math rock. 

Glass Knees played first, drawing the small crowd in with simultaneously melodic and hard-hitting jams, soaring synths blended with highly technical drums and guitar. They closed out their set in a very unique way, by inviting the entire audience to use an assortment of small percussive instruments to play along with the band, which might sound hokey, but made the audience come alive.

By comparison Mothertapes played a much slower set, starting out with exactly what you’d expect from a two-piece: pure rhythm. But as their set progressed they developed lilting melodies that built upon themselves through unexpected guitar effects and vocals. Watching their live show feels very much like watching a scientist discover a new element: every piece is so calculated, so intentional, and symmetrical—everything you crave from an evening of math rock.

Yeah Great Fine closed out the night and the two new tracks they premiered displayed an element of refinement that their previous EP and album lacked. That isn’t to say the new songs aren’t as energetic, but rather, they have focused their energy, which can be hard to do with six members, but somehow, even on the small stage in The Liquor Store basement, they pulled it off, with an air of playfulness that had the entire crowd completely captivated.

Check out Yeah Great Fine’s new singles, “Ketsu” and “Stallion” on Bandcamp. AND, check out Katie Summer's photos of Yeah Great Fine, Mothertapes and Glass Knees from their show Wednesday night at the Liquore store. 

-Sarah Eaton 

April 20, 2015

What's your favorite Emerging Portland Artist on this list?

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