Billboard music editor and Portland native Cortney Harding picks songs and videos by her ten favorite Portland bands. She's so "Portland" that she'll argue that Everclear weren't really a Portland band, and will point you to a Willamette Week cover story from the mid-nineties as backup. She also remembers when the Brewery Block was an actual brewery and not a bunch of condos, and when North Portland was dangerous.
"16 Military Wives" - The Decemberists
Shot at Portland's Cleveland High, the video nicely encapsulates why Bush the first called the city "Little Beirut."
"Miss Misery" - Elliott Smith
An ace track by the patron saint of Northwest sad-sacks.
"Light Rail Coyote" - Sleater-Kinney
A coyote did, in fact, ride the light rail in Portland. Makes all you New Yorkers who freak out about rats feel pretty wussy, huh?
"Comet" - Hazel
Mid-nineties indie band that should have been bigger, the first.
"Bandages" - Crackerbash
Mid-nineties indie rock band that should have been bigger, the second. Rumor has it lead singer Sean Croghan still works at Escape From New York pizza on NW 23rd in Portland.
"Agatha" - Pond
They got a major label deal! And then they got dropped! But for a shining moment, one of our own was on MTV.
"Over the Edge" - Greg Sage and the Wipers
The OG Portland punk.
"I Can't Wait" - Nu Shooz
Before the Decemberists, arguably the biggest Portland band.
"Bohemian Like You" - The Dandy Warhols
They used to ride around naked on scooters, and played their first "daylight" show at the famously dank Ozone Records.
"Australia" - The Shins
Lead singer James Mercer's wife owns an organic bedding company. A more Portland couple you will never find.