Music and language have the power to unite people, helping us escape from reality through lyrics, tone, melody and rhythm.
As we stay home to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and keep others healthy, we can find entertainment in the form of podcasts and music. Take this time to step away from your regular routine by turning on your listening devices to hear from Oregon voices.
Here are some Oregon-made podcasts and musicians to fill your time with:
Started by Portlanders in 2017, On She Goes creates an empowering movement to encourage women of color to travel. Recently nominated for an iHeart Radio Podcast Award, On She Goes showcases personal stories from multiple women and ethnicities regarding their experiences around the globe. Expect podcast guests such as The Read’s Crissle West, Call Your Girlfriend host Aminatou Sow, and feminist author Roxane Gay as they share tales regarding food, travel and representation.
Clear blue rivers, snowy summits, dirt trails and awe-inspiring vistas are what makes the Pacific Northwest an outdoor playground. A venture of The Oregonian, Peak Northwest features hosts Jamie Hale and Jim Ryan as they bring listeners along while exploring some of the state’s most wild and scenic places. From “How to Plan Your 2020 Northwest Travels” to “Some of Oregon’s Least Popular Parks to Visit,” Peak Northwest can be your oral guide to the wonders of Oregon.
Originally launched in Portland, Racist Sandwich explores the intersectionality of food and race. From speaking to a food-justice advocate and food historian about the journey to preserve Salvadoran culture to unpacking Toronto’s food justice scene with community organizers, hosts Soleil Ho and Zahir Janmohamad serve up ongoing conversations about food, class, race and gender — claiming that the food we consume and the way we interpret it can be political.
Interested in history? Hear in the Gorge podcast dives deep into the narrative documentaries on stories told along the Columbia River, from tribal life to mountain rescues to Japanese American resistance to oppression. These podcasts, which are audio companions to the acclaimed Gorge Owned (GO!) Sense of Place lecture series, highlight once under-recognized stories of cultural history to inspire a rich community connection.
Jason Lamb’s morning drive features conversations that reflect what’s going on in communities of color. His Portland-based platform highlights people of color, women and LGBTQ communities on topics regarding diversity within media, ad tech, advertising and marketing fields all shared through the lens of minorities. Listen to Dennis Colon of Operations and Strategies at Viacom speak on Kobe Bryant’s legacy or Janice Gassam on how she started her career as a writer at Forbes and Fast Company.
Where can you find historical spots in Oregon? Doug Kenck-Crispin knows. Kenck-Crispin is the resident historian for the podcast Kick Ass Oregon History. The podcast takes you through the historical background of the story as well as detailed and less revealed aspects that everyone is itching to know. In addition to the podcast, Kenck-Crispin hosts various historical speaking series, field trips and historical tours that connect people with Oregon.
Longtime outdoor reporter Zach Urness features Oregon’s best destinations while covering outdoor news that Oregonians care about. Guests such as U.S. Sen Ron Wyden, fishing poets, park rangers and local business owners share wisdom about whale-watching, hunting, fishing, environmental activities and more. Not only does the podcast cover best outdoor gear or hidden campsites, but also complex issues including a series on permits that have changed hiking and camping in the Oregon wilderness.
Actors, singers, and musicians alike born in Oregon have shared their talents with the rest of the world. From country to rap to indie, Oregon musicians have blessed our eardrums with soulful sounds that make us proud of where we come from. Might we suggest our favorite songs, albums, and EPs to listen to?
Songs About Oregon
Blind Pilot – Umpqua Rushing
Dolly Parton – Eugene, Oregon
Elliott Smith – Rose Parade
Esperanza Spalding – City of Roses
Lorretta Lynn – Portland, Oregon
Mat Kearney – Coming Home (Oregon)
The Weather Machine – Back O’er Oregon
Woody Guthrie – Roll on Columbia
The Dandy Warhols
Paul Revere and The Raiders
Ages and Age
The Helio Sequence
The Weather Machine
Y La Bamba
March Fourth Marching Band
Explode into Colors