This World Cafe segment completes our Sense of Place Portland series, and the focus is on what Portland, Ore. — a city brimming with culture, coffee and bands — has been like for the musicians who settle there. With the help of Jimi Biron, the booking agent for one of Portland's most revered music venues and breweries, and Jennifer Ransdell, a native who owns a rock 'n' roll bar/restaurant in southeast Portland, David Dye delves into what makes the city such a center for musical experimentation and so attractive to the many talented people who have moved there.
The second half of the session focuses on an up-and-coming collective that's flourished in the Portland environment. Typhoon is a 13-person outfit that takes its varied and careful instrumentation very seriously. As a group, they've performed on the David Letterman show, shared a stage with the likes of The Decemberists, Yann Tiersen and The Thermals, and created a discography that marries narrative, catchiness and masterful orchestration. In this interview, they discuss how welcoming the Portland environment is for young artists, as well as the nature of the waves of new musicians coming in.
Also hear a live set recorded in September by our friends at KEXP during Portland's MusicfestNW. Thanks to Kevin Suggs for engineering.