This sounds two parts interesting and one part potentially humiliating: Know Your City is hosting a "Sing a Song of Portland"-themed walking tour on Sat-Sun Sept 7th & 8th, to "learn about the musical history of the Rose City, the issues effecting it today and then join together to sing some of the songs that have helped shape Portland’s music scene." Centered on venue-choked Burnside, the tour is being led not by some salty Portland lifer, but by one Sam Murray, a PhD student at Cardiff University, in Wales, who is writing his Doctoral Thesis on the Portland music scene.

KYC currently has a Q&A with Murray on their site, which helps explain the interest from someone so far away:

It all grew out of interest in Portland music, I listened to records from the likes of Laura Veirs, The Decemberists and Pink Martini and one day it clicked that they were all from the same city. I then came across an online mp3 of a Friday forum by the Portland City Club based around music in the city with Rachel Blumberg, Laura Veirs, Jared Mees and Dave Allen debating how the city can respond to its every expanding music scene. I then thought there’s gotta be a thesis in this so here I am three years later finally pursuing it. It is a privilege to study a city whose music I have been so passionate about for years.

The potentially humiliating part? The tour involves a sing-along element, so... be prepared for that. Tickets to both tours can be had right here ($10 for members, $12 for norms), and they're even throwing in a copy of Northwest Passage: 50 Years of Independent Music from the Rose City with every purchase—whatta bargain!

  • Know Your City