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Upper Extremities #38: The Mean Jeans Dictionary


I have this problem where I can’t stop listening to the new Mean Jeans album, and it has lately become this problem where I can’t stop writing about the new Mean Jeans album. Mean Jeans on Mars is just that good. It might be the best pop-punk album since Dookie. If a better album comes out this year I will be shocked and then I will probably die from shock. I can't imagine I'll stop cr...   More
Thursday, May 10, 2012 by CHRIS STAMM

Upper Extremitities #37: Freedom Club Hits the Road


There is a frustrated musician inside of me. He gets smaller and quieter every day, as age has a way of polishing ambitions until they are round, smooth things that nestle into forgotten corners of the mind, but once in a while I finger that little nub of rock 'n' roll fantasy and get really sad about the fact that I never got to go on tour with any of the shitty bands I've been in.

And so ...   More
Friday, May 4, 2012 by CHRIS STAMM

Upper Extremities #35: More with Mean Jeans

upper extremities

Lemme break with journalistic decorum for a minute and get all fanboyish and fawning here. I had the pleasure of interviewing Mean Jeans last Monday, and the two hours I spent picking at those dudes’ lives and songs made me love my life and my job, because I believe Mean Jeans is the best band on the planet right now, and shooting the shit with the mad geniuses responsible for contemporary class...   More
Thursday, April 19, 2012 by CHRIS STAMM

Mean Jeans: Friday, April 20

Mean Jeans grow up a bit, but keep an ’80s teenager’s sense of humor.

Music Stories
[DUMB PUNK] When I arrive at Zach’s Shack to interview Portland’s pop-punk savants Mean Jeans, guitarist-singer Christian (aka Billy Jeans) is hunched over a sketch pad, his attention split be   More
Wednesday, April 18, 2012 CHRIS STAMM

Upper Extremities #34: Catching up on Record Reviews

upper extremities

I try to time reviews of new records to coincide with live appearances by the bands in question, but there’s simply way too much good music out there to cover it all in such a thoughtful fashion. So this week I’m playing catch-up and writing about a few new local (or local-ish) releases that I need to rant about before they are old news. Consider this a premature exhortation to see these bands...   More
Wednesday, April 11, 2012 by CHRIS STAMM

Upper Extremities #33: Five Things I Learned at the Shows I went to Last Weekend


Last Friday and Saturday conspired to leave me with nothing better to do than nap my afternoons away and store up enough energy to awkwardly shuffle and nod as bands played very loud music for people who more or less looked like me but appeared to be having way more fun than me. Friday (March 30) found me doing my lonesome show-going thing at the Fist Fite/Batmen/Drats!!! soiree hosted by Club 21...   More
Thursday, April 5, 2012 by CHRIS STAMM

Upper Extremities #32: Emotional Rescue

Chris Stamm's punk column wallows in it.


I planned to write about the Walls/White Wards/Hunting Party show happening at the Alleyway Thursday night. It’s going be a shattering show, and I think you should attend. But I wrote about rowdy stuff last week, and I don’t want this space to shrink to the point that it only admits the extremely loud and incredibly fast. So I decided to put down a few words about three new or new-ish albums ...   More
Thursday, March 29, 2012 by CHRIS STAMM

Upper Extremities #31: On Keeping it Real

upper extremities

There is no “real”, of course. No scripture a punk band must abide. No sound or style of such undeniable purity that all other punk stuff must kneel before it. But there are bands, tendencies, aesthetic choices that tickle the teenage part of me that once believed there was a Platonic punk ideal, a perfect mohawk and a perfect patched jacket and a perfect band name and a perfect I-give-not-one...   More
Friday, March 23, 2012 by CHRIS STAMM

21 Jump Street

Cloudy with a chance of balls.

Movie Reviews & Stories
Having never seen the TV show this sophomoric comedy plunders, I can offer neither reassurances nor warnings to anyone who reveres the series that launched Johnny Depp. However, I’m betting th   More
Wednesday, March 14, 2012 CHRIS STAMM

Upper Extremities #30: Batmen Q&A


I’ve listened to the four songs on Batmen’s 2010 demo hundreds of times since getting hipped to this mysterious (to me) Portland band early last year. During the months it took to log those hundreds of listens, I checked in on Batmen’s Facebook page once in a while to scope the scene, hoping for an update about new material, upcoming shows, t-shirts, head colds, whatever. But nope—nothing....   More
Friday, March 9, 2012 by CHRIS STAMM
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