Echoing Slate’s out-of-date Portland exposé from this past fall, MTV’s followed the momentum of their Brooklyn 2008 piece with a feature on PDX. What we learn: There are a lot of bands who live there, it’s still relatively cheap, it rains, there are coffee shops (one of which used to employ the Thermals’ Hutch Harris). We also discover Portland invented basement shows, organic food, and that many of the city’s bands exist outside the “national and international blog-rock scene.” Except for those who don’t. Faces you’ll recognize belong to Colin Meloy, M. Ward, Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks, YACHT, Menomena, Panther, Valet, White Rainbow, Au, etc. There are less familiar faces, too, like Eat Skull, White Fang, Southern Belle, Fist Fite, etc. It’s fun to watch, maybe a bit long.
Too bad earlier generations of Portland rockers don’t get a mention. Joking and nitpicking aside, Portland really is a good, beautiful, inspiring place. As someone who used to live there, though, and can speak from experience: Horrible bagels. In tastier news, MTV went to the Thermals’ practice space and recorded new tracks from their upcoming, but still distant John Congleton-produced record. Label TBD.