Our Sense of Place Portland series focuses on the history of Portland, Ore. pop music as observed by longtime resident Terry Currier. He's uniquely qualified to survey the Portland music scene and the state of the record business because he owns Music Millennium, Portland's premier independent record store, where he has worked since 1972. He is also the founder of the Coalition of Independent Music Stores.
In this session, Currier plays music from Portland natives and describes the recent history of local music. He recalls how record stores thrived in Portland in the '70s, estimating that at one point, Portland had the most per capita in the U.S. As music technology evolved, record stores all over the country began to close, but Music Millennium survived. More than 40 years after it opened, it continues to be a revered source for local and underground music. Though the Music Millennium legacy is remarkable, the shop is still essential in Portland's indie culture. With hand-painted signs advertising classic vinyl from old-school Oregonians and also new records from contemporary acts like Blind Pilot and Blitzen Trapper, Music Millennium has paved the way for a resurgent interest in independent record stores.