Driving around downtown in a car where somebody else had tuned the radio, I heard a certain Top 40s station make this bold claim: "The Station That Sounds Like Portland." Growing up in an age before MP3s and streaming services, every terrestrial station proclaimed to be Portland’s source for today’s best [insert genre here]—alternative, pop, oldies, rock and roll, or just the all-encompassing hit music.
Whether we’re in a band, publishing a magazine or just an individual on social media, we’re all trying to sell ourselves all the time—or at least a certain aspect of ourselves or a perception of who we are and what we can do. In a media-saturated world, it’s important to repeatedly put your brand out there, creating and continually reinforcing a cohesive message or sound.
That’s exactly what “The Station That Sounds Like Portland” is trying to do—right before and after every commercial break, where the station’s advertisers do the same for themselves. But, no one station could entirely encompass the sound of Portland. The people that really sound like Portland are the ones you see in these pages—both editorially and commercially.
From the editor of Rip City’s hip-hop lifestyle magazine to writers and photographers that publish work across town as well as with national outlets, these people hear the sounds of Portland’s music scene every day and pass this information, in myriad ways, to others.
Our independent record labels, record stores and radio stations, local music venues, restaurants and bars, music educators, instrument manufacturers and retailers, recording and mastering studios, event promoters and music festivals, and others that provide boutique production, promotion, legal and digital services—and especially the artists themselves—all of these are the individuals and businesses that sound like Portland and make our vibrant music scene bubble with energy and new ideas and beautiful noise.
So yeah, Portland’s for sale and you can cop your piece of it on Record Store Day (aka Black Friday)—or any other day of the year by simply supporting the artists and businesses featured on every single page of our magazine or website. The supporters of Vortex Music Magazine play a vital role in encouraging, enabling and cultivating the music that circulates through the veins and culture of our city so please show them some love back.
Find out more about our backers and ways to support them in our digital Vortex Marketplace at:
Dig into this issue to discover some inimitable spots for vinyl as well as other ways to strengthen your local scene. See ya out there in Portland’s musical vortex!
Chris Young Editor-In-Chief