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Best of Portland -- 2011 Open Submission Results

Best of Portland -- 2011 Open Submission Results

Akin to a Rube Goldberg device, coupled with a staggering amount of submissions in a city full of so much good music, our year end poll has been quite a process. But fear not music fans - the results are finally in for the Open Submission portion of the contest. The subsequent five bands listed below are the top five results of a complicated process involving a kitchen sink, laser beams and a bowling ball, BUT mostly the careful deliberation of The Deli's other editors around the country. These talented five groups will now be up for the people's deliberation in the coming days, so keep an eye out and tell your friends.

If you're curious about the rules and procedures of the contest follow this link.

Best of luck to these five and all of the other bands involved in 2011's poll.

1. Yeah Great Fine

Yeah Great Fine

Self-described as party math, a heretofore unheard of genre, Yeah Great Fine has never been about doing things the typical way. "Perhaps a comment on the general malaise of our generation (ourselves included)” the band says of its own name, YGF started roughly 3 years ago out of too much free time and a mutual desire to do something different. While the group crafts the dynamic layers of syncopated melody and rhythm that typify the math sound, YGF deviates from the norm with a bubbling pop delivery of global grooves and a very palatable lyrical lightness that escapes most other acts in the broader genre. The latest project--Circadian EP--has garnered a lot of buzz in the local scene and surrounding area with a supporting month-long tour of the western US. With the proverbial ball in a full roll, Yeah Great Fine’s 2012 plans remain undetermined, but that’s exactly how the band likes it.

2. Hosannas


Despite developing a considerable niche over the last couple years, Hosannas is still something of an enigma to many Portlandians. With a name change (once known as Church), a slew of releases on various labels including their own (Tree Farm), an ever-nebulous roster, and a constantly changing sound - it’s hard to get a hold of exactly what Hossannas is or wants to be, but it’s that kind of evolution that also denotes a band of true artistry. 2011 saw Hosannas take off for three mini tours, one of which included some exciting dates with the Shins, and harbored the release of Thug Life Nicole, an explosive little EP that completely reworks 4 tracks from the band’s first two full length releases. The band’s only core members, brothers Richard and Brandon Laws, are currently back in the studio with god-only-knows-who and signs are pointing towards a shiny new full-length in 2012.

3. Eidolons


Formed out of the misty forest campus of Lewis & Clark College, a mutual love for the Silver Jews, a baffling band-wide fluency in Chinese, and a shared experience studying Gray Wolves for four months in a remote Alaskan town, Eidolons exudes the kind of sophisticated, however slightly bent, lyrically-driven sensibility that is often prevalent in the musical offerings of the greater Northwest. More than just another singer-songwriter act though, this freak folk four-piece can kick things into gear with plenty of volume and tempo throughout their latest, lengthy 7-track Wolf Den EP. In that sense, the disc contains a certain kind of urgency and playful efficacy, one that belies the more subdued melancholy of frontman Dan Byers cooing (as evidenced by lead-off “Hopeful Antiquarian” and standout “Colorado”.) It’s this eccentric blend of loud and soft, along with adept songwriting, at times akin to fellow Portlandians Quasi, that makes this a group to watch in 2012; a year in which they look to get their hands dirty with another self-released EP, plenty of house shows, and a national tour in the summer.

4. Morning Teleportation

Morning Teleportation

It certainly can’t hurt to have Isaac Brock (the iconic frontman of Modest Mouse) squarely in your corner, as he brought the band out of the basement and on to his own Glacial Pace label earlier this year, but many naysayers could also easily pigeonhole this kind of support as a crutch. The trouble with that kind of defamation is that anyone who has seen Morning Teleportation play or listened to their latest record knows that they would arguably be the biggest band out of Portland this year regardless. Why? Because they are extremely fucking talented. Energetic, dynamic and with the deft skill of hardcore classic rock disciples, the four members of MT pour out an eclectic bunch of roots-oriented, jam-infused psych rock on this year’s full length, Expanding Anyway. 2011 also found MT playing out across the country, including dates at Red Rocks with Primus and the Flaming Lips and opening for Band of Horses in Portland’s “Living Room” Pioneer Square for MusicFest NW. Not to mention a healthy dose of national exposure from a little show called the Late Show with David Letterman.


5. Sons of Huns

Sons of Huns

With all of the well-crafted, understated indie pop in Portland, sometimes its citizens are left searching for a band that can just rock out the old-fashioned way. This is quite simply everything that Sons of Huns wants to be: a truly balls-to-the-wall bonafied rock band. Dropping references to everyone from the Sonics to Sabbath, Huns run the board with elements of metal, protopunk, southern hardcore, garage and more on 2011’s fierce S/T EP via High Scores and Records.  Looking to dish out the rock with a second EP in 2012,  it’s the band’s energetic and loud live show that it hopes will really keep heads banging in the coming year, so be on the lookout for this 3-piece in the bars and basements of Stumptown if you’re like many trying to get your rock fix.

Published: January 16, 2012 |

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