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Little Star

Best in Portland 2017 Poll for Emerging Bands - Final Results

Deli Portlanders,

It's been a months long road in the process of nominating and voting on who all of you feel are the city's best musicians for the year. After thinking back on all the shows played and albums released from 2016, we've finally got a solid list of Portland's finest. Take a gander at who you all fell for (and just how much you fell for them), while also showing some love to yourselves and the lovely jurors that participated.

Thanks to our jurors: Linneas Boland-Godbey (Next Northwest), Aaron Sharpsteen (Photographer), Tony Prato (Bunk Bar), Duffy Rongiiland (Gnar Tapes), Rob Cullivan (Portland Tribune), Leigh Belacic (PDX Pop Now), Jeni Wren Stottrup (Gritty Birds Podcast), Annie Ostrowski (Riot Act Media), Blake Hickman (Good Cheer Records), Clifford Prince King (Photographer), Mo Troper (Impose Magazine/Portland Mercury), Chad Davis (Musician), Jordan Stamm (Drunk Dial Records), Hunter Skowron (Dazzleships Records), Todd Walberg (Photographer), Yousef Hatlani (Faces on the Radio), Corbin Corbinn (Crush House/Photographer), and Andrew Olson (dr0ne PR).


Let's get down to the nitty gritty of what you all have been waiting for...

Lithics

Lithics exude mystery. From their experimental punk drone to their intentional lack of an internet presence, they're the band you may not have known existed until you saw them accidentally. They've been coasting in Portland's formerly under-appreciated but always DIY post/art punk scene for almost three years now with just two releases under their belt. Their three track, self-titled tape from 2015 gave us a taste, but it was their 2016 release Borrowed Floors that helped propel them into being Portland's best band of the year.

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2. Cat Hoch

This isn't the first success Cat Hoch and her band have experienced with the Deli. She came out on top entirely in 2015, when she was voted the Best Emerging Artist of that year and was the readers' choice for best in shoegaze and psych rock for this year. From opening up for Ride to commanding even bigger stages, Cat Hoch and her talented group of musicians aren't stopping anytime soon.

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3. Abronia

Ambiently soft yet broodingly heavy, Abronia have expanded their lineup to match their beautifully atmospheric and expansive sound. Our overall pick for best in electronic and experimental and perfect for moments of mental reflection (but easy to enjoy in damn near every other scenario), Abronia's dominanation of the experimental side of the poll makes total sense, and we can't wait to hear new releases from them.

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4. Ice Queens (Alt Rock/Metal, 7pts)

5. Fur Coats (Hip Hop/R&B, 6pts)

6. The Toads (Indie Rock/Post-Punk, 6pts)

7. Mr. Wrong (Punk/Garage, 6pts)

8. Shrine of the Serpent (Alt Rock/Metal, 5.5pts)

9. A Volcano (Alt Rock/Metal, 5pts)

10. dolphin midwives (Electronic/Experimental, 5pts)

11. Gold Casio (Electronic/Experimental, 5pts)

12. Chanti Darling (Hip Hop/R&B, 5pts)

13. Lola Buzzkill (Hip Hop/R&B, 5pts)

14. Laura Palmer's Death Parade (Psych/Shoegaze, 5pts)

15. Wave Action (Punk/Garage, 5pts)

16. Donte Thomas (Hip Hop/R&B, 4pts)

17. Little Star (Indie Pop, 4pts)

18. Candace (Psych/Shoegaze, 4pts)

19. Zozma (Psych/Shoegaze, 4pts)

20. On drugs (Punk/Garage, 4pts)

21. James Curry IV (Electronic/Experimental, 3.5pts)

22. Mini Blinds (Indie Pop, 3.5pts)

Portland's Best New Indie Pop Acts to Enjoy this Year

Last year was a pretty good year in local music. We've seen many faces tackle few genres, battling it out for the top spot in all our rotation of shows we attend, merch we buy and band pages we like. Of all the Portlander crusaders in Indie Pop, Reptaliens won the yearly reader's poll for the category, but there are a handful of other bands that caught the eye of our jurors and voters. 

At the top of that list is Little Star (pictured), the Good Cheer Records band that pulls the best from 90's college radio indie and emo, giving a modern spin to the classics of sad pop. Spawned from the ashes of a romanticized detriment, as are some of the best contributions to music ever, Little Star's small but estimable discography models moments of tender affection and soft aggression sonically and lyrically as a well rounded product to share with the masses. 

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Next up we've got Mini Blinds, whose angelic twee pop quickly made them a favorite. Just in their first year of existence, their debut release Air Signs captures an innocence many long to hold on to.

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Newer to the Portland scene, synthpop duo My Body hauled their danceable beats across the country from New York to share their creations with us. We couldn't be more happy about it, or their Seven Wives EP, released yesterday.

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With one of the best guitarists in the city right now, Two Moons is an enigma of sorts. Their albums reflect a temperate delivery, but their live shows are a brute force to be reckoned with. They'll surprise you in all sorts of ways, but all of them pleasantly.

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We've can't forget to show some love to our Honorable Mentions Small Million, Plastic Cactus and Point Juncture, Wa as well! 

Alien Boy's EP Release Party Benefits Nonprofit

Alien Boy was marked a loud favorite of ours with last year's debut Never Getting Over It, and a roaring cover of "Hand In Glove" by the Smiths that came along with it. The album showed Alien Boy as a rambunctious callback to late 90's emo laced pop punk and with the release of their newest EP Stay Alive, we find ourselves still enjoying their clamor, with a more settled down maturity.

Though Stay Alive was digitially released in early October, its coinciding show celebrating the physical 7" takes place this Thursday at Blackwater. Beloved Deli Portland picks Little Star will be joining Alien Boy, along with horror glam punks Sweeping Exits and some hardcore from Naux.

All proceeds from money collected at the door of this all-ages show will go to Planned Parenthood and for just a $5 cover, it'd be kind of silly not to come support.

Stay Alive is available on vinyl via Good Cheer Records and on cassette tape through Olympia's Reflective Tapes.

This year's Mississippi Street Fair could brighten up your week

The 2016 Mississippi Street Fair is TOMORROW and it couldn't have come at a better time in the week with all of the awful, tragic occurrences in the news lately. Starting at 10am, the street fair will be hosting almost 40 bands along with two beer gardens, a rib-off competition, a dunk tank and the awarding of the Mayor of Mississippi Ave....all for free!

Five different stages will base all the artists at different intersections along Mississippi Ave., with one fully dedicated to music for the kids. Get your fill of r&b and soul with Blossom and Ural Thomas & the Pain, dance out of this world with Dreckig, go into an indie daze with Candace and Little Star, and try not to get confused by the three-in-a-row lineup of Jackson Boone, Boone Howard and Barna Howard at the Courtyard Stage, plus so much more.

More information on the lineup and the other festivities, check out Mississippi Ave.'s website.

January 2016
Little Star
"Being Close
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mp3

There's something in the rain that falls in the Pacific Northwest that seems to breed a strong sense of creativity for our musicicans. The musicians I'm specifically referencing happen to be Little Star, whose early January release is a modern call back to the college radio era of the 90's, wherein Pavement and Dinosaur Jr. ruled the airwaves. Comparisons aside, Little Star hold true to their own validity. The ten trackson Being Close are all short yet poignant, each leaving their impression on you throughout the rest of the album. Bringing the best of Olympia, Wa and melding it with the classical syles of Portland, Being Close (and Little Star in general), are indicative of just one of the many scenes our city has to offer.

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