Basement and barroom shows are all well and good, but sometimes it's nice to know what you actually sound like without spending thousands on a recording. Before Portland City Music Hall, local rock bands could get away with chewing-gum vocals, fumbling guitar parts, and muddy beats. Now, between the pinpoint soundboard and arena-rock lighting, everything is crystal clear. Their TWO series is genius, and their calendar's getting better, bringing Mastodon, Neko Case, and Talib Kweli in the past year. If you want muddy sound, there's always MySpace; if you want clarity (at least for the first couple rounds of drinks), try here.
Port City Music Hall | 504 Congress St, Portland | 207.899.4990| portcitymusichall.com