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Experimental pop artist James Discovers plays Arts at the Armory Thursday (1/28)

Self-described "experimental pop" artist James Discovers puts some bizarre twists on "pop" conventions, while holding on to enough traditional pop structures to keep listeners engaged. Catchy hooks and bright guitars are frequently contrasted with wildy distorted, spastic guitar solos and effects-ladened vocals that feel as though the listener is at an undersea concert. If you'd rather stay above-water for a show, head to Arts at the Armory on January 28 and catch James' set during The Loop Songwriter Showcase. You can also stay up-to-date on the latest James Discovers news via his Facebook page and, in the meantime, check out his song "Cannibal Eyes" (streaming below). -Dan McMahon (@dmcmhn) 

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Fit the Bill #1: Mini Blinds, Lisa Prank and Childbirth

It always nice to have a great, local act open up the bill for popular touring musicians coming through town. Sometimes, depending on the show booker, things can be hit or miss. Yet when they're a hit, they're truly a hit. A perfect scenario for the first of the Fit the Bill series would have to be Sunday night's show at Bunk Bar, where locals Mini Blinds opened up for Lisa Prank and Childbirth. Now of course, both Lisa Prank and Childbirth, playing together or separately, don't necessarily need aid in drawing a crowd. Bunk Bar hit capacity that night as fans of these two acts filled the roomed. They've both only played Portland once before so surely this was bound to happen, but Mini Blinds was definitely the right choice as an addition to the bill.

Mini Blinds is the dual effort of Beth Ann Dear and Devin Welch, who also happen to be 2/3 of other Portland favorites Appendixes. As the front woman in both efforts, Dear exudes a pleasant and angelic stage presence, much like the endearing tone of her voice. The chemistry between her and Welch during their performance was evident without being outwardly spoken, but expressed partially through coalescing movements about the stage. Though their entire set was great - the drum machines clean and crisp and her basslines and his guitar playing didn't skip a beat - the highest points were when Dear laid her bass down to devote all of herself to the vocals of their cover of "Angel Gone" by Beat Happening, as well as when her and Welch switched instruments for their last song, "Time Machine."

Overall, Mini Blinds were an exceptional choice for show, and truly fit the bill. 

-Cervante Pope

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Help Love Cop replace their stolen property!

Gnar Tapes sweethearts of Portland, Love Cop, have been trudging through the recent blizzard for their Laid 2 Rest in the Midwest tour. Today, while having a look around Sun Studios before their show in Memphis, Tn, some dillweed broke into their van, stealing thousands in band merch and personal effects. Most of us have had things taken, it sucks, and no one likes it. Help these boys out. We're all starving artists, musicians and creatives, so we've got to have each others' backs. Anything helps and click the link to their Go Fund Me page HERE.

-Cervante Pope

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PREMIERE: The Century - "Here's to Nothing"

The Century's Losers EP came out just late last year, and as their second EP, it's already on it's way to maintaining their position as indelible contenders in Portland's rock n' roll scene. Today, they're dropping the lead track on the EP, "Here's to Nothing." It delightfully plays with both the lo-fi distortion of classic garage rock and the catchy, sing-a-long aspects of a good pop song. Let "Here's to Nothing" serve as the anthem to the apathetic soul in all of us. Listen below!

-Cervante Pope

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Daisy Deaths are a pop punk delight

If you're looking to have some good ol' wholesome fun, check out Daisy Deaths. Their style of pop punk is simple, raw and refreshingly prime for illiciting nothing but smiles, head bobs and longing for summertime chilling on the beach. You can catch them for free up at Slim's along with Super Brown and Husky Boys this Friday, the 22nd. Don't believe that a good time is to be had? Peep "Last Year" below and watch your mind (and mood) change.

-Cervante Pope

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