Top 20: Best Portland Music of 2010 + Downloads

By Terry Gentry:

As we enter the last day of 2010, it is time to shine some light on the musicians who make Portland the great music city we love. Here are twenty bands, albums, and downloads that can keep you rolling through twenty-eleven.

In order to download most of these, you need to right-click/control-click and “save”.

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Menomena
Mines [Purchase]
Probably not a surprise, since this Mines has got a tremendous amount of accolades, well deserved, from the music press. The album is a astonishing piece of work, put together by people that are barely on speaking terms. Download Track: TAOS

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Portugal. The Man
American Gheto [Purchase]
I have to admit I love this band and would have probably put anything they release in the top 5.  American Gheto is a well crafted political rock album. Download Track: Dead Dog (via Redthreat)

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Mimicking Birds
Mimicking Birds [Purchase]
You will not find this on many Best of 2010 lists but you should. Nate Lacy's voice is haunting.  Either with an acoustic or electric guitar the music is beautiful. Burning Star is possibly my favorite song of the year. Download Track: Burning Star (via Whale In A Cubicle)

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White Hinterland
Kairos [Purchase]
This is a cloudy almost dreamy style with a heavy does of computer generated murkier tones. It is a beautiful album. Download Track: Icarus (via Indie Music Filter)

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Laura Veirs
July Flame [Purchase]
Laura Veirs is simply an amazing artist. You will find this album on many Top Album lists. There are some vocals from Jim James of My Morning Jacket and steel guitar from Chris Funk of The Decemberists. Dowlnoad Track: July Flame (via Can You See The Sunset)

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Lovers
Dark Light [Purchase]
This is synth-pop that is fun to listen and dance to, plus the songs are well crafted and intimate. Download Track: Figure 8 (via Buzz Bands)

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Anya Marina
Spirit School [Purchase]
Anya Marina is a very likable person and her shows engage the audience. Spirit School has four new tracks that take Anya on a much more electronic dance direction. The last track is a remix of her song Satellite Heart (New Moon fame). Download Track: Whatsit (via Indie Rock Café)

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Y La Bamba
Lupon [Purchase]
Probably the band I have seen the most the past year. Luzelena Mendoza vocals are intimate and often wrapped in a fussy folk sound. Download Track: Juniper

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Braille
Weapon Aid [Purchase]
There is a lot to like about Braille. The beats are smooth and not overly complicated. Lyrics are smart, maybe a little to Christian at times, and fit well with the beats. Download Track: Give Myself (streem)

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Copy
Hard Dream [Purchase]
"With 'Breakfast,' the idea was to make a song that pulled you in more than one direction. A melancholy party jam, minimalist yet dense, that feels nostalgic but modern at the same time.” — Marius Libman aka Copy crafted a gem. These songs are intricate and synth-pop fun. Download Track: Breakfast (via Spinner)

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Mackintosh Braun
Where We Are [Purchase]
Where is some 80s synth-pop that is so sweet it will give you a cavity. Download Track: Could It Be (via Direct Current)

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Blitzen Trapper
Destroy Of The Void [Purchase]
Blitzen Trapper moved into what might be considered prog/glam Rock that was controversial to some. I think there are a couple very nice tracks. Download Track: Heaven and Earth

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Corin Tucker Band
1,000 Years [Purchase]
This album Rocks. Corin Tucker still knows how to kick some ass. Download Track: Doubt

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Tu Fawning
Hearts on Hold [Purchase]
The band is led by Corrina Rep (Viva Voce) and Joe Haege (Menomena)—both are very talented musicians. The album is dark and extremely compelling. Download Track: The Felt Sense (via Listen Before You Buy)

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AAN
I Could Be Girl For You [Purchase]
AAN has a lush sound that has low-fi influences. Download Track: Wet & Dripping (via opbmusic.org)

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Horse Feathers
Thistled Spring[Purchase]
This band is full of talented musicians and the songs have the depth of emotions that take you on a journey sometimes painful but always with some hope. Download Track: Belly of June

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Miles Kurosky
The Desert of Shallow Effects [Purchase]
Former Beulah front man's first release continues in the same way Beulah left, pop songs with clever lyrics and rich melodies. Download Track: Pink Lips, Black Lungs (via Unnecessary Umlaut)

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Parenthetical Girls
Privilege Pt. II: The Past, Imperfect [Purchase]
The band released two EP's this year. I find the sound big and danceable. Download Track: Young Throats

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Quasi
American Gong [Purchase]
Sam Coomes and company rock Portland with this release. The songs are well crafted and have depth and darkness that may induce heavy drinking. Download Track: Repulsion

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Hosannas
Then & Now & Then [Purchase]
Hosannas released two albums in 2010 Then & Now & Then (May) and Together (November). Both releases are excellent. The band is formerly known as Church. Download Track: Happiness

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Terry Gentry is a native Portlander and a graduate of PSU. He spends his days as a Banker and dreaming of starting a record company. He is often found at Portland music venues checking out the national and local acts.

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3 Responses to Top 20: Best Portland Music of 2010 + Downloads

  1. John Mason IV December 31, 2010 at 11:34 #

    Thanks, Terry! I probably would not have heard this stuff otherwise. Merry 2011!!!!

  2. Michael R December 31, 2010 at 18:19 #

    Great selection! Thank you.

  3. Kate C January 6, 2011 at 19:28 #

    Can’t wait to listen!

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