Michael McDermit

Michael McDermit is an artist living in Oregon. He is a contributing member of the My Idea of Fun artist collective and currently teaches writing and literature at the University of Oregon.
A collection of photos from Project Pabst 2014.
In September, the indomitable alt-rock act will release Everything Will Be Alright In the End, their ninth studio album. Its first single, “Back to the Shack”, gives hope (albeit only a small amount) that there may be a return to form on the upcoming record. Will Everything Will Be Alright In the End take Weezer back to a listenable realm? Despite his years as the contrarian, it seems like Rivers Cuomo is finally entertaining the notion that the band’s early period was their heyday. The single includes ultra-personal lyrics, and the album itself is being helmed by Blue and Green producer Ric Ocasek. While the song isn’t perfect—it’s still a bit too corny and the production is greasy sleek—it’s miles better than anything they’ve done since long before they started hanging out that guy from Lost.
New band from Toronto strangely serves up the ideal soundtrack to a pensive, California summer.
The band delivers a surprisingly grounded album of canorous bugbears and exuberances.
Before their June 25th show at Bunk Bar Water in Portland, Oregon, I sat with Young Widows guitarist/vocalist Evan Patterson in the band’s musky tour van. Behind the venue, trains whistled and ground the tracks as Patterson—a burly fellow with long, disheveled hair, a barrel chest, and tattoos that look branded onto his skin—kindly spoke to me about the band’s newest (and in my opinion, most accomplished) album, the Louisville sound, and growing as a musician and person in these scattered times.
Unconcerned for the safety of others, the Louisville veterans deliver their most combustible album.
I’m still married to my pain.
“Music is a friend of labor, for it lightens the task by refreshing the nerves and spirit of the worker.” – William Green, former American Federation of Labor president“It’s Finals Week somewhere.” – Jimmy BuffetOh, how we students toil through bleary-eyed all-nighters buried in empty Ruffles bags and Red Bull cans. Popping Adderall like Tic-Tacs, mainlining coffee—how do you get all of the information inside your head that you need for the test? Because you gotta make the grade to stand out, to get a degree, to start a career, to attract a mate, to cement a legacy (for you want someone, anyone to remember your name after you die). That’s a lot of pressure on one time in your life. Sometimes—fairly easily—our brains check or fizzle out, putter to a stop when we need that runner’s kick when studying foreign material. That’s where music comes in. The right combination of sound and sensory information can aid the study process when that eighth pot of coffee (or that eighth of pot) doesn’t seem to be working. The jury’s still out on its definite helpfulness, but presented below are selections that, while they may or may not help with the big test, evoke elements of the subject matter you’re busy cramming until the minute before.
The manic Animal Collective member teams up with two other indie-weird anointed to deliver a funhouse album of ins, outs, what-have-yous.
It’s not you, it’s me. Let’s just be friends. This just isn’t working out. Sometimes it’s in the interest of everyone involved to spend some time apart, even if it’s just for a little while. Not all artists on this list are permanently estranged from his or her band, but this list is a compilation of times when being on your lonesome produced something a bit more magical. In the interest of staying contemporary and relevant, only music released in the 21st century is considered for this list, otherwise “Heart of Gold,” duh.
Indie-rock darlings keep ambling through their third album filled with the same dulcet charm and sleepyhead grooviness.
Baltimore’s bleeding hearts offer a satisfying collection heavy with charisma, sincerity, and strange introspection.
Brooklyn’s The Men keep the rock rolling on their fifth record, a salute to yesterday’s hits.
The long-running UK band slides deeper into electronica on a mostly engaging fourth album.
The Chicago songwriter’s second LP dazzles with its assured composition and vulnerable honesty.
Broken Bells return with a second full length, a sound but pedestrian offering.
Arriving 22 years after their last record, My Bloody Valentine’s much-heralded third offering amazingly doesn’t disappoint.
Deerhunter’s fifth album is shellacked in grime as the Atlanta band bends and blends genres without sacrificing their most familiar elements.