AT THE MERCURY HEALTH ADVISORY BOARD, we care deeply about the musical intake of today's impressionable youth. Far too many students make poor musical decisions at a young age and the ramifications of such ill-advised choices can have grave implications on their future. (Do you really want to be still listening to Matisyahu in your 30s?) Thankfully we have created this Portland Musical Nourishment Pyramid, a basic primer that allows you to enjoy our bevy of quality local music without descending into auditory obesity.


(You need to have a minimum of at least 6-11 servings in your iTunes library)

Dead Moon—Sure, they're older than your folks, but this seminal punk band represented all the finest elements of DIY culture and harkens back to an era when hanging out in front of Satyricon was really dangerous.

Wipers—If you are discussing Portland music, you better pay homage to Greg Sage's legendary band. Do your homework and stock up on Jackpot Records' re-releases of Youth of America, Is This Real?, and Over the Edge.

Elliott Smith—He might have passed away in Los Angeles, but Smith did his best living here in Portland. In fact, the lyrics of his earliest recordings read like a map of Southeast PDX. Here's to "Falling out [on] 6th and Powell."


(You need to have a minimum of at least 4-6 servings in your iTunes library)

Au—Not really a rock band, per se, Au are the most inventive and wildly creative act in this town (and beyond). Staring in astonishment with your jaw agape at their mesmerizing live show is a totally acceptable reaction.

Blind Pilot—The masterfully assembled indie-folk of Blind Pilot will roll straight from the bicycle lane (they used to tour by bike) into your heart.

Menomena—In our opinion the finest group to call Portland home, Menomena sightings are rare these days, but if your musical library does not include I Am the Fun Blame Monster! and Friend and Foe, you are not living.


(You need to have a minimum of at least 4-6 servings in your iTunes library)

Chicharones—The mighty combination of emcees Sleep and Josh Martinez is far more tempting than their fried pork rind namesake, and proof there's more to this town than just a bunch of mopey indie rock bands.

DJ Beyonda—The premier DJ in the city limits can turn even the frostiest crowd of cross-armed cynics into a sweltering dance floor.

Starfucker—Few bands are as all-ages and dance friendly as the Starfucker boys—proof that even the simplest of electro-pop beats can keep the kids moving long into the morning hours.


(You need to have a minimum of at least 1-2 servings in your iTunes library)

The Dandy Warhols—Portland's most decadent rockers are best in tempered doses, but don't think they're going anywhere. The Dandies will still be rocking long after you drop out of college and move back into your parents' house.