On any given night of the week, there’s something bubbling beneath the surface of Portland. Sometimes it’s simply a purr or maybe a murmur behind studio doors, but oftentimes it’s an all-out sonic bombast—maybe even an all-ages assault of lo-fi, poppy, punky, youthful energy, sweat and vigor.
Sunday, July 10 was exactly this sort of night. Portland acts Naked Hour and Radler shared a SW Portland basement with touring Californians Mom Jeans, Jr. Adelberg and Get Married to the elation of those in attendance—yet precariously, this concert barely even came to fruition.
Teenage booker Delaney Motter had originally planned the gig for NoPo community space Anarres Infoshop but plans there fell through. It was then “moved to a house space, and was moved again day of when the first house space decided to back out,” Motter tells. “We scrambled all day on July 10, and I was fortunate that my friends at The Leak were willing to host it there last minute.”
Such is the sometimes unstable nature of underground events. And organizers of all-ages music in nontraditional spaces often struggle with inconsistent access to the resources they need to throw shows.
Yet this dedicated scramble to make things work, even at the last minute, exemplifies the driven resilience of this underground community. It would’ve been so easy to call the show off, but Motter felt a duty to make it happen. It’s her “way of contributing to the community that I feel so connected to,” she explains. And for the touring acts that might’ve been without a place to perform that night, “I just want to do anything I can to help and be a part of their experience in Portland!”
Amidst the changes our city is currently undergoing, we see that Portland’s culture is still resilient. And this issue of Vortex highlights the makers (read Artists to Watch) and enablers (read Record Labels to Watch) of an underground that’s rising. We also call on you to be part of The Portland Underground.
Thanks to Motter’s hustle, photographer Trevor Will’s keen eye, and the liveliness of Get Married as well as everyone rocking out at The Leak, we have a document of July 10, 2016 on the cover of this magazine—a moment of friends and fun, resilience and collaboration. It’s the spirit of Portland alive and well.
“The show was successful due to a community of people who really care about all-ages music,” Motter recognizes, “and because I’m fortunate to have people who support what I do and are willing to help me!”
Greater Portland could take a few notes from the underground.
Chris Young Editor-In-Chief