Echoing Slate’s out-of-date Portland exposé from this past fall, MTV’s followed the momentum of their Brooklyn 2008 piece with a feature on PDX.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.

There’ll be more profiles upped this week, so check back. Also, the producer made a Muxtape.

Comments (45)
  1. bam!  |   Posted on Jul 16th, 2008 0

    i kinda have a feeling people won’t be throwing their usual blog hate at this one…prob because everyone knows Portland rulezzz!!

  2. yeah sweet the pacific northwest….really awesome. hippies and slackers.

  3. eric  |   Posted on Jul 16th, 2008 0

    Oh its sooo liberal with such good vibes an organic food. Its like totally not even like an american city bro…its more european you know…..just so much nature and good people…those people on that east coast just move to fast……we totally are creating a new scene withnew rules…a indie rock utopia.


  4. As far as horrible bagels go, I agree wholeheartedly, except to mention that I have two places that I’ll put my Jewstamp of approval on. While no New York bagels at the street carts, Kettleman’s just moved in on Division and 11th or so. But inventing basement shows? That’s hard to believe.

  5. bam!  |   Posted on Jul 16th, 2008 0

    hey eric,

    Does anything ever satisfy you ? or do you just shit on everything & everyone?

    let the people have their spot man…dont be pissed cause nobody likes your band.

  6. oakland  |   Posted on Jul 16th, 2008 0

    eric’s libido is directly connected to blog commenting- imagine being his girl? Eric come back to bed baby- And he just sits there- droolin’ with one one hand on the keyboard and one hand on his….click cick, click click- next thing you know- his babe is getting her freak on with the drummer.

  7. I first saw The Thermals at a basement show… but it was in Eugene.

    Kettleman’s is good, but I don’t have the depth of East Coast bagel experience to compare it to.

  8. JMAC  |   Posted on Jul 16th, 2008 0

    Kettleman’s? Eh. There’s a new place across from the Aladdin that rocks bagel socks.

  9. bp baggins  |   Posted on Jul 16th, 2008 0

    every portland band is blowing up and they’re all awesome!

  10. the first half is ok to watch, the it turns into “Come visit Portland” infomercial… right after the rain part….

    and don’t know they look like regular hipsters to me… Janet ex-Sleater-Kinney says: “we dont wanna say too many nice things about portland cause then everybody moves here” Im leaving ny right this second!!!! << being over sacarstic

  11. Greydon Clark  |   Posted on Jul 16th, 2008 0

    I would love to live in Eric?s world where antiquated stereotypes pass as humor and/or interesting social commentary.

    Portland is a fun place, but I doubt it will live up or down to the idealize vision some have of it.

    P.S. In the PNDumb, bagels will frequently disappoint, but our beer is the best in world–take that New York City.

  12. James  |   Posted on Jul 16th, 2008 0

    Please south park, make fun of Portland like you did San Francisco.

  13. Jarrett  |   Posted on Jul 16th, 2008 0

    Fuck man, this video made me miss PDX so bad. I just, like, JUST moved away from there like 4 days ago to get a job in the Bay Area. Fuck.

  14. white fang is fucking nuts. highly recommended.

  15. corey  |   Posted on Jul 17th, 2008 0

    OMG!!! I TOTALLY LOVE DECEMBERISTS and am soooo moving to Portland now,yay!!!

  16. Anna  |   Posted on Jul 17th, 2008 0

    Portland is everything you’ve heard and then some. For reals.

  17. Phil B  |   Posted on Jul 17th, 2008 0

    sub pop warned me my town would be next… i agree with da jix… let’s try to publicize this place too much, i don’t want everyone coming here. so just to put in in perspective, this place may “seem” like europe and be called little beirut, but honestly we’ve got suburbs and nutty uncool people just like anywhere else. it’s definitely not as cool as many places in europe (although maybe the closest possible thing in the us). vancouver bc is super nice and european too, move there!

    • Conor  |   Posted on Jul 17th, 2008 0

      You can’t be serious!!! Why don’t you live in Europe for awhile and really get an understanding of what its like over there. Although we have our problems, I’d much rather live here than with those monkeys. Europe is a cool place to visit, but living there is suffocating.

      • Phil B  |   Posted on Jul 17th, 2008 0

        I lived in England for three years and I’ve visited various other cities. And while it may have been a while ago, I do have a pretty good idea of life over there. And you’re right, there are definitely problems there, but the grass is always greener, right?

  18. MTV had something on air that had something to do with music? OMG! The world must be ending.

  19. dold  |   Posted on Jul 17th, 2008 0

    Please stop moving here. The cost of housing continues to spike, our air and forest quality continues to diminish, and the urban growth boundary continues to be pushed further outward. Believe the hype people; it rains all the time, all we have are gravel roads, and yes?you will be eaten by a bear.

  20. Tobias R.  |   Posted on Jul 17th, 2008 0

    Frank Black lives in Portland…nuff said.

  21. Amit  |   Posted on Jul 17th, 2008 0

    I’m just glad awesome bands like Southern Belle and White Fang are getting recognition. And the truth is I’d rather it be from a Portland Infomercial on MTV than from, say, pitchfork

  22. pitchfork is lames.
    it seems like there’s a new scene every 5 minutes. Portland’s the new Brooklyn, Brooklyn’s the new L.A, etc. This week people are all over Portland, next week it’ll probably be somewhere new. Portland has some great bands, but the truth is there will always be great bands coming from all over, and personally i think all this scene shit is played out.

  23. PDiddy  |   Posted on Jul 17th, 2008 0

    I saw most of the video. everyone is white as a kite. is that how Portland is too? Williamsburg x 100, white hipster kids? no ethnic diversity or people from different social and economic strata?

  24. omg. portland is like so the new williamsburg. anyone want to sublet my 3000 a month apt. on bedford?

  25. Amit  |   Posted on Jul 17th, 2008 0

    Considering that Portland is incredibly white to begin with, I think that minorities are fairly well represented, with bands like New Bloods, Hornet Leg, Meth Teeth, and the numerous bands representing the gay/lesbian community. Also, many of the bands have come from not so great backgrounds, such as the kids in White Fang. I prefer Portland to Williamsburg any day, but then again, that may be pretty biased. I also may be biased because I know some of the people in this video.

    • yeah, i have to admit there’s a lot less pretentiousness in Portland than Williamsburg. It’s much more of a community, in my opinion. And the gay community is huge, so as far diversity is concerned Portland’s got it covered pretty well. And I have to say i prefer Portland to Brooklyn.

  26. ty  |   Posted on Jul 17th, 2008 0

    Wow that guy from yacht sucks…….and I’d rather live in Seattle, there out put of bands is better anyway.

  27. GBE  |   Posted on Jul 17th, 2008 0

    Whitest. City Ever. I should know, I lived there for 8 years and met 5 black people the whole time I was there.

    Everyone is indieindieindie. It gets REALLY dull after a while.

  28. zack  |   Posted on Jul 17th, 2008 0

    This notice that Meth Teeth and Eat Skull are getting is totally rad. Pretty much everything off Meth Teeth’s label, Sweet Rot, is amazing.

  29. you weren’t looking in the right place for good bagels. grand statements like that always look idiotic.

  30. matt  |   Posted on Jul 17th, 2008 0

    fuck, these bands are the worst.

  31. santi  |   Posted on Jul 17th, 2008 0

    Thank god MTV is around to help us discover new music we already have known about for years. Those guys are on the edge. What, did they take a wrong turn to P Diddy’s house or something while shooting an episode of Cribs? *kills self*

  32. you know what the best city is? yours. now make it that way

  33. sucka mc  |   Posted on Jul 18th, 2008 0


  34. lauren  |   Posted on Jul 18th, 2008 0

    check out Nathan giving a tour of his favorite spots in portland:

  35. the other eric  |   Posted on Jul 19th, 2008 0

    so they didn’t go through all of nirvana’s portland friends and infulences or whatever?


  36. the other other eric  |   Posted on Jul 20th, 2008 0

    nirvana sucks.

  37. milt  |   Posted on Jul 22nd, 2008 0

    Frank Black lives in Eugene, not Portland.

  38. manhattannotbrooklynasshole  |   Posted on Jul 23rd, 2008 0

    those new thermals songs are sweet

  39. eat skull is cool

  40. Josh  |   Posted on Apr 27th, 2009 0

    Portland is a great city and I’m fortunate to be able to make a living playing music here. I can’t speak for the bagels, but the vibe is pleasant and creative and I love the weather.

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