Marnie Stern

Win a date with guitar shredder Marnie Stern

Men! Want a chance to hang out with someone who can run circles around you on the guitar? You’re in luck, because Kill Rock Stars and Motormouth Media are taking applications to go on a release-date date with guitar shredder Marnie Stern. (That would be on or around the release of The Chronicles of Marnia on 3/19/13.)

Go here for the full spiel, but the basics are below — and sorry, vegan guys, she requires a love of chicken wings. Fill out the questionnaire below, and if you’re chosen (and in the New York area), KRS will cover the costs.

Tender Loving Empire

Behind the Counter: Tender Loving Empire (Portland, OR)

Each Tuesday, Behind the Counter speaks to an independent record store to ask about its recent favorites, best sellers, and noteworthy trends.

The term “record store” only begins to describe Tender Loving Empire in Portland, Oregon. The multifaceted shop is run by the multi-talented husband-and-wife duo Jared and Brianne Mees.

What exactly is Tender Loving Empire, and how did you get involved in so many artistic avenues?

Tender Loving Empire is a record label, retail consignment shop, screenprinting studio, and gallery focused on supporting local art and music while fostering community exchange. We started in 2006 as a pretty casual, back-bedroom label of sorts, to release Jared Mees’ (my husband and co-owner of TLE) first album, If you wanna swim with the sharks… We quickly expanded the project to publish some books and music by good friends. We had always dreamed of having a physical location for a collective of some type.

It took on lots of different forms (venue, artist studios, coffee shop, store), but we settled on trying our hand at opening a (very) small consignment shop with a relatively small amount of overhead. We worked other jobs and had lots of friends volunteering to keep it open at the beginning. Since then, we’ve just naturally expanded to fit more and more artists and musicians into the fold. Everything has just been a stepping stone, leading to the next opportunity or next relationship. And we’ve worked really hard.
Tender Loving Empire

The Thermals

The Thermals’ favorite current records

The Thermals: “I Don’t Believe You” (Personal Life, KRS, 9/7/10)

The Thermals – I Don’t Believe You

We asked The Thermals, the Portland pop-punk power trio, to name a few of its favorite recent releases. The band’s drummer, Westin Glass, responded with a list of five records that ranges from radio-friendly pop to an independent artist that calls himself the “black Bob Dylan.” Whether or not you share Glass’ taste, you can appreciate his sentiment that some music exists to help you laugh and get laid.

Jason DeRulo1. Jason DeRulo: s/t (Beluga Heights [Warner Brothers], 2010)

This one may be hard to swallow for you indie-rock fans — but I assure you, it’s worth it. Definitely a “singles” record, with three mega smash hits on Top 40 radio. I first heard Jason DeRulo‘s track “Whatcha Say” blasting on the one working speaker in my friend’s car last year and immediately loved it. The digitally distressed Imogen Heap sample in that song makes for the most memorable hook of 2009.

I also love “Ridin’ Solo,” a great post-breakup, self-psych-up song. Jason DeRulo knows how to make a fucking hit — a bubble-gummy blast of ear sugar that will lighten your mood and get stuck in your head. Speaking of which, his track “In My Head” is stuck in my head right now.