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Music History Lesson

Pete Springer/OPB

The Dill Pickle Club is a group in Portland that tries to help people understand the place in which they live. They organize tours and public events that are both educational and entertaining. The group is coming out with a new book based on their recent lecture series on the history of independent music in Portland over the past 50 years. From cabarets and coffee houses to punk rock and grunge, the Rose City has seen a lot of music history in that relatively short span of time. 

Two years ago, we did a show addressing the diverse range of music that’s still thriving here after Slate came out with an article saying Portland didn’t have a distinctive sound. This is not a new phenomenon, according to longtime Portland musician, Mike Lastra (who has also been responsible for documenting the music scene). He says one of the things that makes Portland a great spot for musicians is the freedom people feel to create their own sound.

Have you been a part of Portland’s music history? Do you hear something distinctly Oregonian (or Portlandish) about the music that’s made here? What do you remember about the music and venues from decades past? What’s changed?

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