Archive of Ben Easher

Raised by East Coast parents in the Midwest, Ben Easher has been in the Northwest since 1988. He currently lives in Portland, and still plays guitar and drums. (Photograph by Holly Homan.)

Ben has contributed 3 brilliant piece(s).


PORTLAND  white stag sign Anyone whose knowledge of Portland, Oregon comes from the television series Portlandia is likely to think of the city as being populated entirely by whimsical and finicky white people sipping gourmet coffee and riding customized bicycles to performances of Star Trek episodes in the park. Behind this media image is a much more complicated place, with a history often bleaker than any comedy sketch, but at the same time less contrived in its weirdness. Although Portlandia star Carrie Brownstein started out in the Northwest music underground, the show’s popularity has accelerated the gentrification process that eventually makes counterculture unaffordable. Portlandia is like a clown mask on a crane operator knocking down the old Portland, a place I call Tonya Town. Read More…

Thumbnail image for Leatherwood Studios: Topeka’s 1980s Music Underground Resurfaces

Leatherwood Studios: Topeka’s 1980s Music Underground Resurfaces

by Ben Easher December 11, 2014


Receipt for Lions and Dogs sessions at Leatherwood Topeka, Kansas in the late 1970s was often a difficult place for musicians writing their own songs. Radio stations only played the hits, and nightclubs tended to book cover bands. Even the arena-rock group named after the state had relocated to Atlanta. But a handful of wayward […]

MUSIC Read more →

Funny Stuff at the Outhouse – My Life in Midwest Punk Rock

by Ben Easher April 2, 2013

Though my parents were from the East Coast and have since retired there, my father got his first and only job in Springfield, Missouri when I was one year old. For a while, he had continued to seek employment elsewhere, but we were still there when I was graduating high school at seventeen. Though medium-sized, […]

ESSAYS Read more →