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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

Cut of the Day: Mean Jeans, "Anybody Out There?"


Mean Jeans on Mars, the much-anticipated (in these parts, at least) follow-up to 2009’s Are You Serious?, comes out on April 17 via Dirtnap Records, and if there’s any sense left in this mad, mad world, the thirteen ludicrously perfect pop-punk anthems contained within will be stuck on the tips of too many tongues to count come April 18. The album title doesn’t lie. These Port...   More
Monday, March 5, 2012 by CHRIS STAMM

Upper Extremities #29: Reatard Edition

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[This post was originally mistakenly credited under the name Casey Jarman. Chris Stamm is the author of this and of all the Upper Extremities columns.]
I wrote a short review of Better Than Something: Jay Reatard, which chronicles the life and work of the one and only Jay Reatard, in this week’s paper. You can    More
Thursday, March 1, 2012 by CHRIS STAMM

Upper Extremities #28: Punk Blues

Chris Stamm's punk column gets seasonal depression.


How are you feeling? Yeah, I know. Late February is rough. I’m right there with you. The queasy realization that warm joy is still many deadly months away has dawned in all of its baleful glory. That sad circuit from bed to work to bar and back to bed seems longer and swampier every day. You’ve probably developed a baroque self-flagellation routine in order to punish the dumb body and brain th...   More
Friday, February 24, 2012 by CHRIS STAMM

Upper Extremities 27: Oly Sounds

Chris Stamm's Punk Column Visits Olympia


My knowledge of Olympia, Washington as a place where people live and work and drink and screw is limited to scraps of stale gossip tossed to and fro at Portland parties populated by people who graduated from the ever-accepting Evergreen State College at the turn of this century. So I’m pretty sure I know who Phil Elverum farted on that one time at a Mirah show, and I’m almost positive one of t...   More
Thursday, February 16, 2012 by CHRIS STAMM

Upper Extremities #26: From the Back of the Room Documentary (Q&A)


In the low-key and conversational documentary From the Back of the Room, which screens at the Know on February 11, director Amy Oden gathers interviews with dozens of punk artists (musicians, writers, photographers, zinesters) to fashion a brief oral history of female involvement in various punk and hardcore scenes of the last twenty years. As a fairly cynical and cloistered writer who to...   More
Thursday, February 9, 2012 by CHRIS STAMM

Upper Extremities #25: Dirtnap Records Does it Again...and Again...and Again

Chris Stamm's Punk Column Still has a Crush


Portland’s Dirtnap Records is one of the world’s most reliable curators of the kind of punk that makes me want to go back in time and give my teenage self a hug and tell him everything’s gonna be okay because life’s gonna keep being difficult but the pop-punk in the future will be even better than the stuff that’s helping you cope now, so don’t be afraid little guy, because the bitters...   More
Thursday, February 2, 2012 by CHRIS STAMM

Upper Extremities #24: The Many Faces of August Alston

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August Alston doesn’t know I’m writing this. I made no attempt to track the man down. I met him once at a house show, about three or four years ago. My band had just played. His band was about to play. Someone introduced us. I remember a pregnant pause and a cough. I didn’t know anything about August Alston at the time. He was just a guy with long hair whose band was playing after mine. I w...   More
Friday, January 27, 2012 by CHRIS STAMM

Upper Extremities #23: Surf, Punk (the Internet Nerd Edition)


I am a barely employed person on the scary side of thirty who likes punk rock music. Needless to say, I spend a lot of time on the internet looking for work (in the fairly competitive “millionaire writer” field) and investigating graduate school (basement shows in university districts) and researching my novel (hunting for stuff to write about in this silly column). So, yeah, you’re basicall...   More
Thursday, January 12, 2012 by CHRIS STAMM

Cut of the Day: Hooded Hags, "Hide," Exxon Baby 7-inch (Stankhouse)

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Stankhouse Records, which has been extracting quality racket from Portland’s fertile house show scene for three years, celebrates its anniversary next week with a free show at the Alleyway. A band (or person) named Gaydolf Shitler is playing, so of course you’re going no matter what, but the Stankhouse soiree is also doubling as a release show for Hooded Hags’ excellent “Exxon Baby” 7-in...   More
Thursday, January 5, 2012 by CHRIS STAMM

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