The Portland indy music scene is wild and wooley, and given their longevity, Quasi has become somewhat of a godparent to the younger bands. In the olden days Sam Coomes was in Heatmiser with Elliot Smith, and Janet Weiss worked the drum skins in Sleater Kinney in parallel with her work with Quasi, which formed in 1993 as a duo. Long before the White Stripes Sam and Janet experimented within the boundaries of a two person band. A couple of years ago Joanna Bolme (Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks) joined, adding a big fat bass sound to the mix.
Quasi has gone through several transformations in sound, from the first proggy/pop album, to the middle period noted for heart wrenching lyrics sugar coated with some of the hookiest pop melodies in recent history, to the current incarnation with a heavier emphasis on Sam's pyschedelic guitar workouts and Janet's take-no-prisoners Bonham inspired drumming.
Some old fans disappeared with the release of Hot Shit in 2003, although for me it may be their finest record. I am not such a big fan of their last release, but based on the buzz from their recent New Year's Eve all Who-cover set, their upcoming release American Gong might be just what the doctor ordered. Here is the white hot first track - Repulsion.