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Thread: Moving to Portland OR - Suggestions Wanted

  1. #1
    Dennis Ladd Dennis Ladd's Avatar
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    Default Moving to Portland OR - Suggestions Wanted

    I get to retire at the end of May of this year and my bride and I are moving to Portland, Oregon where the air is clean and the water tastes good right out of the tap. I'll be up the second week of April to set up bank accounts, hopefully find an apartment that accepts cats (and mandolin players), and eat out at foodie restaurants with the sister. I'll finally be able to set up a real practice schedule for the mando and fingerpicking guitar and Autoharp and singing and be more of a musician than I've been able to be for a long while.

    So. Any suggestions you Portlanders have about the following would be welcome:

    1. Favorite instrument/strings/repair shops.
    2. Venues to hear (and play) acoustic music.
    3. Regular jam sessions.
    4. Music festivals.
    5. Recording studios.
    6. How to live and play with rain and cold (20 years in Hawaii and 20 years in L.A. have kinda spoiled me.)

    Thanks in advance...
    Dennis Ladd

  2. #2
    Bark first, Bite later Steve Zawacki's Avatar
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    Default Re: Moving to Portland OR - Suggestions Wanted

    Congratulations on the retirement. I retired a couple years ago and it has been fabulous. It took about a year to psychologically make the transition, but when it happens, wow! Gave me the time to try out the mandolin, and now it's a defined part of each day. Enjoy!
    ...Steve

    Current Stable: Two Tenor Guitars (Martin 515, Blueridge BR-40T), a Tenor Banjo (Deering GoodTime 17-Fret), a Mandolin (Burgess #7). two Banjo-Ukes and five Ukuleles..

    The inventory is always in some flux, but that's part of the fun.

  3. #3
    Newbie Seeking Clues tangleweeds's Avatar
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    Default Re: Moving to Portland OR - Suggestions Wanted

    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Ladd View Post
    So. Any suggestions you Portlanders have about the following would be welcome:

    1. Favorite instrument/strings/repair shops.
    2. Venues to hear (and play) acoustic music.
    3. Regular jam sessions.
    4. Music festivals.
    5. Recording studios.
    I've lived in Portland for ages, but I'm new to to this instrument and musical genre, so I'd like to know these things too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Ladd View Post
    6. How to live and play with rain and cold (20 years in Hawaii and 20 years in L.A. have kinda spoiled me.)
    This can be a serious issue. I finally found myself a light therapy lamp that looks pretty much like normal furniture, and put it over my favorite chair.

    When it comes to playing outdoors in the winter, your best friends are wool and/or technical fabrics, or best of all, high tech wool as in smartwool or icebreaker.

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    Jean

    Pair of 96 Flatiron Fs

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    Registered User Pete Martin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Moving to Portland OR - Suggestions Wanted

    The weather will be a bit of a shock...
    -----------
    Pete Martin
    www.PetimarPress.com www.Jazz-Mandolin.com
    Instruction books, videos: Bluegrass, Jazz, improvisation, ergonomics
    Private lessons in Seattle and Issaquah WA, Skype lessons to anywhere
    Pete Martin Plays Wes Montgomery free download
    http://www.jazz-mandolin.com/PetePlaysWes.xht

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    Default Re: Moving to Portland OR - Suggestions Wanted

    The Classical Mandolin Society of America's annual convention is in Portland this year. bb

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Moving to Portland OR - Suggestions Wanted

    1. Favorite instrument/strings/repair shops.
    Portland Fret Works on Alberta street does a real nice job.
    2. Venues to hear (and play) acoustic music.
    Pick up a copy of Willamette Week (Indie/alternative weekly newspaper) - that will get you started.
    My band, Lost Creek, plays at Mississippi Pizza about once a month. Stop by and say hello.

    3. Regular jam sessions.
    During the summer - the rose garden in a neighborhood called Ladd's Addition.
    4. Music festivals.
    Check the OBA calendar
    5. Recording studios.
    Don't know from experience. Lots around, hear good things about Kung Fu Bakery.
    6. How to live and play with rain and cold (20 years in Hawaii and 20 years in L.A. have kinda spoiled me.)
    The summers are amazing - enjoy!
    For the rest of the year - buy good rain gear. If you don't, you'll sit around and be miserable.


    Hope that helps,

    Kirk

  8. #8
    Registered User Tim C.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Moving to Portland OR - Suggestions Wanted

    Best fretshop for mandolins is Portland Fretworks on Alberta St. ask for Mike, he does superb mandolin set-up and intonation.

    Best acoustic (really, I mean no electricity) place in town is Abbie Weissenbloom's house concert series - check out some of the amazing national acts that come through there - Rashad Eggelston, Darol Anger, Scott Law, etc...: http://abbiegw.wordpress.com/

    Type Foundry rocks as a studio, huge, maybe more than you need for mando. 8-Ball Studios is also excellent.

    Just saw Mike M. & Chris T. last night at Aladdin Theater; Chris played a smaller show at their sister theater, Alberta Rose last year - right across from Portland Fretworks, small town!

    Portland Mandolin Summit each February - this year featured me, Brian Oberlin, Jack Dwyer, David Gerow, Greg Allison, Spud Siegel. Choro mandolin concert every April 21stish (Pixinguinha's birthday) - both at the Old Church (not a church anymore, just a great acoustic venue)

    World Mandolin Summit - each June the day before Oberlin's camp - he gets the national instructors together for an in-town show before they go and teach at the camp.

    I just go indoors to practice - my house has heat! You get more work done here, less incentive to put down your mandolin and go outside.

    Welcome!
    Tim Connell
    Portland, Oregon
    www.timconnellmusic.com
    www.rioconbrio.net

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  10. #9
    Dennis Ladd Dennis Ladd's Avatar
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    Default Re: Moving to Portland OR - Suggestions Wanted

    Thanks to everybody for the tips. They all go into the "Moving to Portland" book. Maybe I'll get a chance to hear the tiltman's band when I'm visiting the sister in early April. Thanks again, one and all!
    Dennis Ladd

  11. #10
    Registered User stevenmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Moving to Portland OR - Suggestions Wanted

    Best place to start ARTICHOKE Music , the owner is a great guy and they have get together but he can turn you on to all the things that are going on in Portland
    steven shelton

  12. #11
    Registered User John Soper's Avatar
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    Default Re: Moving to Portland OR - Suggestions Wanted

    No mando content, but check out Mary Flower whenever she's playing - newly a native Portlandian. Great music!

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    Default Re: Moving to Portland OR - Suggestions Wanted

    Makes me wish I were back in Oregon!

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim C. View Post
    Best acoustic (really, I mean no electricity) place in town is Abbie Weissenbloom's house concert series - check out some of the amazing national acts that come through there - Rashad Eggelston, Darol Anger, Scott Law, etc...: http://abbiegw.wordpress.com/
    What's the piece at the beginning of the video and who is playing it?

  14. #13
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Moving to Portland OR - Suggestions Wanted

    ... better than half the state lives in Metro Portland .
    writing about music
    is like dancing,
    about architecture

  15. #14
    Unruly Crumudgeon Loretta Callahan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Moving to Portland OR - Suggestions Wanted

    Well, I've been here since 1992, save a coupla years my family drew me back to NoCali. Just show up. Artichoke Music and Kells are good places to start. This town is stupid with great music and great food. Plus, we have a sense of community here. We help each other. If you want to live in a place where it's "I have mine, so bugger off" …. You won't be happy.

    The weather sucks for those who are accustomed to the Sun and warmth. I found, however, that the Sunshine is in the people.

    I recommend just going to your neighborhood watering hole and talking to people. If you're open and honest about what you're looking for, you'll be just fine.

    Welcome to Puddletown!


    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Ladd View Post
    I get to retire at the end of May of this year and my bride and I are moving to Portland, Oregon where the air is clean and the water tastes good right out of the tap. I'll be up the second week of April to set up bank accounts, hopefully find an apartment that accepts cats (and mandolin players), and eat out at foodie restaurants with the sister. I'll finally be able to set up a real practice schedule for the mando and fingerpicking guitar and Autoharp and singing and be more of a musician than I've been able to be for a long while.

    So. Any suggestions you Portlanders have about the following would be welcome:

    1. Favorite instrument/strings/repair shops.
    2. Venues to hear (and play) acoustic music.
    3. Regular jam sessions.
    4. Music festivals.
    5. Recording studios.
    6. How to live and play with rain and cold (20 years in Hawaii and 20 years in L.A. have kinda spoiled me.)

    Thanks in advance...
    Just visiting.

    1923 Gibson A jr Paddlehead mandolin
    Newish Muddy M-4 Mandolin
    New Deering Goodtime Special open back 17 Fret Tenor Banjo

  16. #15
    Registered User houseworker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Moving to Portland OR - Suggestions Wanted

    The incomparable Snock:


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  18. #16
    Orso grasso FatBear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Moving to Portland OR - Suggestions Wanted

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim C. View Post
    Best acoustic (really, I mean no electricity) place in town is Abbie Weissenbloom's house concert series - check out some of the amazing national acts that come through there - Rashad Eggelston, Darol Anger, Scott Law, etc...: http://abbiegw.wordpress.com/
    I second that! I cannot speak highly enough of Abbie's house concerts.

    Artichoke Music (http://www.artichokemusic.org/) is a non-profit organization whose charter is to promote acoustic music in Portland. I met my excellent instructor (René Berblinger) through them and they have open mic nights a couple of times a month.

    Playing in Portland ... well you won't have to worry about your mandolin drying out and cracking! We winter in southern CA and I have a heck of a time with that down here.

    Adapting to the great frozen north ... it isn't really as bad as it sounds. The suggestion of a light therapy lamp is good for those who find they need it, but use it first thing in the morning to set your circadian rhythm properly.

    You will need to learn two things about traffic: watch for bicycles, and slow down. Southern Californians drive considerably faster than Oregonians. And I think riding bicycles on the street is probably almost always a fatal hobby. When I come down here in the fall it is really unnerving. By the time I come home to Oregon in the spring I have adapted to the breakneck speed of everything and I have to use my cruise control nearly everywhere until I get used to it again.

  19. #17
    Orso grasso FatBear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Moving to Portland OR - Suggestions Wanted

    So Dennis, how is it working out for you?

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