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Monday, May 24, 2004
Portland has a new theme song
It looks like the spot occupied for years by the Trailblazer's "Rip City Rap" will soon be overtaken by "Portland, Oregon," a song on the new Loretta Lynn/Jack White collaboration Van Lear Rose. So how is it? Eh, not bad, not bad at all. But is it a fitting tribute to Stumptown?
The song begins with an 90-second blues intro before rolling into a power-chord driven duet. As Flog pointed out in his review, "Portland, Oregon" sounds like a typical neo-country song but the 40 year age difference between the two adds a creepy twist. There doesn't seem to be a real connection between the city and the song though. Some might be quick to point to former mayor Goldschmidt's "affair" but the lyrics, about two lovers and their search for gin, don't suggest this booze-soaked fling is anything more than it seems. Plus, the sexes are flipped.
I haven't found an interview that explains the origin but its twangy-tone would be better suited for Birmingham, Alabama or just about any municipality south of the Bible Belt. Lynn is from Kentucky and White hails from Detroit. So why Portland? Am I missing some bit of local lore?