Radiation City is one of (if not the) most promising acts coming from Portland right now. Blooming out of the ever-busy, multi-project madness of Apes Tapes founders, Cameron Spies and Lizzy Ellison, Rad City has the sound of a memory pressed in a book about tomorrow. With the seemingly effortless rhythms of Randy Bemrose and strikingly smooth basslines of Matt Rafferty rounding out what most have been calling 60's dream-pop, you can't help but dance when you see The Hands That Take You come to life. Probably still recovering from their recent national tour, Radiation City is releasing their LP on Tender Loving Empire this Saturday at the Doug Fir. With other local favourites, Blouse and Aan, this show is definitely my pick of the week. If you only do one this this weekend, make sure it's the Doug Fir on Saturday night.
While listening to AStranger at the Wheel, the first album released by Portland singer/songwriter Christopher Reyne, the composer's drive is apparent. The ten song album has an emotional, musical and stylistic range that is ambitious and satisfying. Kicking the album off with “The Notorious Kelly Monroe”, a catchy pop-esk hook and complex musical textures pair with Reyne's melodic voice to make it clear that this performer is dedicated to entertaining his listeners. Dedicated may be the perfect word to describe Reynes. The entire project has been in his hands, from the writing and performing to the recording and mixing. Literally every vocal track and instrument on the album you here is Reynes himself, save the drums that were added by a friend after all the songs were finished. As the album unfolds, the lyrics remain story-driven and vulnerable, the arrangements are thoughtful and interesting, and it is clear that Stranger at the Wheel captures what Christopher Reynes is: a driven entertainer and talented musician. - Joy Pearson