Portland DIY House Scene Environment

You can and likely will come to a crossroads as a band early on in the realization that you’ve got to start somewhere. Kiss didn’t just come to their first gig with a truck load of merch and shove it down our eager consumer throats like they’ve done over the years, they built an empire of fans.

Jumping out the gate with Kiss in an article about the DIY house scene in Portland may be confusing, as it should, because this particular scene is far from commercial and often times free or by donation with little to nothing being sold. This makes for much more of a party atmosphere then a venue and a more venued atmosphere then a party. Making for a considerably personal and pleasurable experience where you get/have to mingle more than at a concert. Plus house shows are so tight knit that it’s much friendlier than most other environments.

There are many house venues scattered about town in SE and N/NE primarily but some in SW & NW occasionally, problem out there is you don’t have the protection of the white noise, so to speak. The traffic and city alive life through the night. This makes for many advantageous locations to do it themselves (yourselves) as well. The more the merrier because they can’t and won’t break them all up and honestly if you schedule it right you can truly be as loud as you want and legally not have a possible issue. But that’s beside the point, because we should all be able to rage our basements and living rooms and garages as we please. There are these things called earplugs. I hear the train every night… Hmmm… Maybe move away from the fucking tracks, buy some plugs, or stop bitching.




We do live in a bustling and ever growing city and also a much more expensive one at that. I grew up here in Portland, Oregon. Being born in 1990 and growing up right off Hawthorne Blvd, I realized how lucky I truly was early on to be in such an epicenter of artistic subcultures and being that, to me at least, Portland always felt so small having travelled to Seattle and other bigger cities where you couldn’t walk or bike or even drive from one side to the other as easily. Portland felt like one big community. Then it started growing. And it still has a small town city vibe but it’s certainly fuller, taller, and newer which is to be expected in such a cool city. But enough of the Portland sales pitch, please don’t move here unless you play amazing music.

We can always use more music in our lives. Music is medicine by many means. “It may go in the ears but it travels directly to the heart”, I once saw a lady state. Music comes in many forms. Most house shows end up being related to psych rock or pop, sometimes dance, house, or DJ but rarely true blues or jazz. I attended one that had a 5 piece jam some jazzy numbers but that’s often pushing the limits in most basements unless you’re just playing for a couple homies. 7 members and your almost screwed. Sound can also be an issue as some don’t have good accoustics by any means or true sound techs working them. But all end up being amazing nonetheless. There’s nothing like walking into a basement to a live band jamming to a crowd full of drunk people smoking weed. Or even better when the entire party is tripping out, it can get pretty surreal, pretty quick.

If you wish to attend more house shows make sure you’re under the age of 35, preferably under 25, and not a creep or a cop. Only kidding about the age. If you love good new music and you’re chill you’re chill. Usually we will post ones that are open to the public to join on our upcoming shows to see at the bottom of the page and/or on social media outlets. Hope to see you at any and many of the up and coming locals. That is until they are forced (or choose) to move to a different location every 6 months or so. There’s always one putting on their first, only, or last show. I hope to see more warehouse venues pop up and more kids get places in town to showcase the many emerging artists on the scene.

Their is a house show tonight with POME, Loudy Bends, & WIld Mind. 1013 SE 13th starts @ 8. Unless you’re a cop in which case find some tweakers or pedos to fuck with so you can all stay away. Enjoy the evening. There are also almost a dozen shows going on tonight that are amazing all about town including our friends Onion The Man @ Post 134 with The Macks releasing their newest single.  Internet Beef + 3 more bands @ Knockout Taco as well as the band to play the first ever set at an L.S.D show; New World Aviation Committee @ Wall Street Pizza if you live in Gresham or can make the drive. Don’t take all the acid… Just enough. 😇


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