Pretty Little City - Gordon Keepers' Debut Solo Album
By now, Portland OR-based singer-songwriter Gordon Keepers is a veteran of the music scene. After a stint in old-time ensemble Water Tower, Keepers sang, wrote songs, and played guitar in the punk-flecked pop band Levon’s Helmet—a project that earned generous amounts of local praise despite never fully penetrating the nice-shoes-and-artisanal-IPA pocket of the Portland music scene.
Keepers’ first solo record, Pretty Little City, is a leaner take on the aesthetic developed in Levon’s Helmet. Its 10 tracks are more measured and mid-tempo; the cultural commentary here is dryer and more nuanced than the brash adolescent takedowns of Levon’s Helmet songs “Condos” and “One Little Piggy”. This thematic maturity is matched by thicker and more diverse sounds—opening track and album highlight “Romeo” sounds like The River-era Bruce Springsteen crossed with The Cars, and it’s an effective sonic overview of the album.
On tracks like “Shattered” and “Angeline”, Keepers proves that he can still get loud and raucous. Occupying the other end of the spectrum are somnolent ballads “Pretty Little Moon” and its instrumental, major-key counterpart “Pretty Little City”—two acoustic threnodies that wouldn’t sound out of place on the backend of Big Star’s Third.
Recorded with Evan “Maus” Mersky at Red Lantern Studios in Portland (Tony Molina, The Estranged, Big Eyes), Pretty Little City is a punk record that shimmers in all the right places. Its songs manage to be reverential towards past power-pop titans like the Raspberries and the Jam while remaining forward-thinking in theme. This alone is a rare feat within a genre often characterized by rigid formalism; it helps that Pretty Little City is also a great album.
Two men decided they were done with the folk music scene and needed to get back to where they came from. It's a loud, fast place where Stiff Little Fingers are covering Big Star and not plugging in isn't an option. Releasing their debut EP recorded and mixed in a basement and adding a third to complete the power trio, plans for shenanigans of the highest order are multiplying by the minute.
Levon's Helmet is a PDX based power-pop band. It is a partnership between Gordon Keepers and Jason Oppat
Heartwood Mfg. Co. is a continually evolving Americana project started by Gordon Keepers and Elisabeth Pixley-Fink. Traditional country and bluegrass tunes mixed with originals largely inspired by the late Jason Molina.
Burnside and 17th
Gordon teaches beginning to advanced electric and upright bass, and guitar at the beginner level. Contact