At least, that's the toxic misconception perpetuated by some of the club owners in this city; if you're an underage musician, chances are they won't even consider your existence. Similarly, if a local paper or blog happens to write you up, the focus will almost necessarily be on your relative age as opposed to the music itself. (I know this from years of personal experience.)
Since its conception five years ago, the Portland Show Guide (more commonly referred to as PC-PDX, after its URL at pc-pdx.com) has served as a beacon for the entire Portland music scene, especially its underage appendage. Unlike other calendars—such as the one you'll encounter in these pages—PC-PDX lists an abundance of all-ages and house shows that are overlooked elsewhere. But because it functions as a wiki, it also provides bands with the ability to add or revise their own show info, another feature "rival" calendars simply don't have. Put simply, it is an invaluable resource for every band in the city, whether they know it or not.
"I didn't realize it would go this long, or even take off," says Damian Vander Wilt, the site's founder and sole official curator, "but the point of it was to get a central, organized space to have DIY-minded people collaborating, and to get the word out on all the stuff that was going on. When it started there was a lot of segregation, and we didn't have anything like that."
Vander Wilt is also the guide's only benefactor, and that's where the Mix It Up, Fuck It Up compilation enters the equation. The comp began as more or less a personal endeavor for local impresario Danielle Kordani (of the band the Taxpayers), and has since turned into a fundraiser for PC-PDX, now in its third volume.
"Mix It Up, Fuck It Up was influenced by a compilation called the Shout Out Loud Prints compilation, which was put together by a DIY screen printing company in Columbus, Ohio," says Kordani. "Their mix was amazing—I listened to it over and over again on tour, and thought, 'I wish Portland had something like this, something to showcase the DIY scene that's happening in our city.' I thought about just making a mix for myself and giving it away to friends, but then [Useless State Records] discussed making it a PC-PDX festival, to fundraise, because that's a lot of money coming out of a single pocket."
Mix It Up, Fuck It Up is the closest thing to an embodiment of the punk scene in this city. Obviously, not all of these bands have under-age members—but arguably all of them cut their teeth playing house shows, and their agendas are indisputably righteous. "For the comp, I tend to choose bands who I know support the all-ages scene," says Kordani. "It's not a requirement to be included, but the release show is always at an all-ages venue, and it's extremely important for us to facilitate that." In this case, the release show takes place in the new all-ages space in Slabtown's back room.
The music included on each compilation thus far has been consistently great, and the third volume undoubtedly will be no exception. Which is hardly surprising. After all, the best rock 'n' roll has always been made by damn, stinkin' kids. Or at least those who are damn, stinkin' kids at heart.