Kym Calise

If everything worked out the way it was supposed to, this article would be about Sexton Blake. The ultimate coulda-been-a-contender local band, Sexton Blake was the Portland act poised to break out. Of course it never happened, but a funny thing occurred when the band's one true member, Josh Hodges, aimed for the stars and instead came tumbling to earth—he found success. Just in the wrong band.

"I was doing Sexton Blake and it just got boring," explains Hodges. "Like a lot of musical things, doing it with this goal in mind of success seemed really pointless. I wasn't enjoying it." So like any good Portland musician, Hodges retreated to his basement and emerged with a handful of untroubled low-fi pop jams; a quaint selection of songs that escaped the predictable rock 'n' roll aspirations, and result, of his previous outfit. Starfucker was, essentially, the anti-Sexton Blake, a band so devoted to not making it big that they self-sabotaged themselves with low-budget recordings, reckless live shows, and a name not suitable for the God-fearing masses. It didn't work.

If Sexton Blake was liked, Starfucker is loved. Portland has it bad for the band—now a trio with the original lineup of Hodges and Ryan Biornstad rounded out by the addition of Shawn Glassford—ever since 2007's PDX Pop Now!, the defining moment where they went from just some side project to a band with the weight of the scene on their back. The band's performance became something of legend, a bold coming out that laid the groundwork for their new self-titled album, record deal, and a double CD release show (including an early all-ages show) at the Doug Fir. But Hodges is weary of so much swift success, and isn't afraid to bury another band if needed: "If it's becoming not fun, I wouldn't do it anymore. I'll just stop. It has to be something I enjoy."

Bouncing along with a carefree low-fi shrug, Starfucker is Folk Implosion for an entire generation who has no fucking clue who Folk Implosion is. Their debut long-player is undeniably pleasant—a sun-drenched soundtrack to the best time of the year, to late-night bike rides, house parties, and whatever other leisure activity you want to associate with the Portland summer—but it's hardly life changing. In fact, it never intended to be. Starfucker exists firmly in the now: They are not a band with long-term worries or concerns. Just as long as they keep people moving on the concert floor, and Hodges stays interested, they'll be anchoring Portland's music for a long time to come.