Giving the gift of music can be tricky. You know what you like, but how can you be sure your gift will be fully appreciated and not just politely accepted and placed on the shelf, never to be listened to again?
As TLE's Music + Events Manager, Rachel Milbauer spends her days listening to EVERYTHING local and talking to customers about it in our stores. Then she spends her nights immersing herself in music as half of the PartyBoyz music media empire. We asked her to put together a list of sure-fire music gifts for this holiday season, and she happily obliged.
Minden - Sweet, Simple Things
This is the record to put on during one of those non-stop rainy Portland days that will put the pep back in your step. These poppy, sexy grooves will remind you of sunnier times, while remaining a little twisted and dark themselves. RIYL: Of Montreal, UMO, Prince, sticky-sweet vocals.
Listen to the song "Sweet Simple Things"
Days Full Of Rain: A Portland Tribute to Townes Van Zandt
The adoration of Townes is deep amongst music lovers. On this record, twenty-one Pacific Northwest musicians pay tribute to Townes Van Zandt including Blitzen Trapper, Sallie Ford, Blind Pilot, Black Prairie, Liz Vice, and more. Proceeds from this record go towards the Jeremy Wilson Foundation and The Americana Project.
Neko Case, KD Lang, and Laura Veirs came together as a supergroup to create stunning harmonies and spellbinding rhythms. 'case/lang/veirs' draws inspiration from alluring, mysterious subjects: a supermoon, the tumbledown story of a 70s singer, and the "best kept secret" in LA. RIYL: First Aid Kit, Alela Diane, Joni Mitchell, folk-punk goddesses.
Listen to the song "Atomic Number"
Sun Angle - Skullflower
Psychedelic, post-punk at it’s best, this album will impress even the most jaded music fan out there. With influences as far ranging as The Grateful Dead, to Peruvian cumbia, Skullflower hits hard while remaining an easy listen. RIYL: Meat Puppets, 70s Miles Davis, Grateful Dead, post-punk trippy jazz.
Listen to the track "Amercan Beauty"
Secret City Volume One
This compilation LP comes straight from the basements doubling as recording studios in SE Portland and features two tracks each from Mope Grooves, Honey Bucket, Super Hit, and Lambrain. All songs were independently and collaboratively written and recorded before being assembled by up-and-coming label See My Friends Records.
Listen to side A
Like what you hear? You can find a number of these artists on our ongoing series of annual compilation CDs which we call Friends & Friends of Friends. They're all double CDs with beautiful packaging, and all ONLY available on CD! Lots and lots of super great music from a huge selection of artists, all TLE approved for your listening pleasure. Check 'em out!