News

New website! Show tonight! Henry Rollins!

Hi, world. We’ve missed you. Here’s a few updates from camp PJWA!

NEW WEBSITE

Isn’t this a lovely place to call home? Our huge gratitude to Ryan Niswonger, who built us this playground. Click on stuff! Drag stuff around! The illustrations are by Casey Jarman, and they’re taken from the cover and liner notes of our new album, Me or the Party.

SHOW TONIGHT (WEDNESDAY, DEC 28)

We’re excited to be opening for our friend Randy Bemrose’s new project, Because, tonight at Mississippi Studios with Swansea. Because’s new album, I Want to Be Your B, is great and you should check it out. Show starts at 9 pm!

HENRY ROLLINS / KCRW LOVE

The great Henry Rollins has made no bones about the fact that he’s a big Point Juncture WA fan (he debuted new tracks from Me or the Party on his radio show on KCRW), and he made it official in the station’s year-end best-of lists from its DJs. Rollins put PJWA at the top of his list, alongside Thee Oh Sees, True Widow and a lot of other great bands. We’re grateful for all the love now and over the years!

Music

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Me or the Party album art

Me or the Party

2016

“Point Juncture, WA’s latest record, Me or the Party, isn’t just one of the best double LPs released in recent memory—it’s probably the best double album ever released by a Portland artist. Party is the first album from the hallowed indie band in half a decade, and it’s become something of our city’s Chinese Democracy, spoken about in low tones for the past two years by critics and members of the scene glitterati lucky enough to have heard rough cuts… Party sees the group expand its sonic palette considerably. Anthemic opener “Turing/Shulgin” is an overview of the record’s textural expanse; it begins modestly, with drums, a droning organ, and an assemblage of auxiliary percussion, before blowing wide open into a cascade of dreamy vocals and interlacing guitars. It’s Spectorian in its amplitude, and irreducible by the sum of its elements.”

—Morgan Troper (from his Portland Mercury album review)

Handsome Orders album art

Handsome Orders

2011

“Handsome Orders was recorded and produced by the band over the winter months in the band’s newly built home studio. The new album is a tour de force of songwriting and production, showcasing an impressive blend of fuzzed out bliss, beautiful boy-girl harmonies, and sublime melody. Handsome Orders should more than satiate the fans of their 2009 critically acclaimed release “Heart to Elk.” The new record will be available digitally and on LP and CD with amazing artwork painstakingly handcrafted and assembled by the band.”

— Mt Fuji Records

Heart to Elk album art

Heart to Elk

2008

“Point Juncture, WA actually hail from Portland, OR… and that makes sense, really. A true testament to this might be their new record “Heart to Elk” which shares much in common with their fair Rose City. Both Heart to Elk and Portland exude an intelligent beauty that is as much sublime as it is progressive. Also, Point Juncture, WA is a band that embraces a common Northwest D.I.Y. ethos as witnessed by the band’s true passion for owning every step of it’s musical evolution. From relentless touring and awe-inspiring shows, to home recording and unique hand-assembled records, Point Juncture, WA wants you to feel their love every step of the way. It is such a beautiful and undeniable thing and it is organic, electric and pure. After one listen of Heart to Elk you will have had your first taste and there is no denying you will feel that electricity pumping in your heart.”

— Casey Jarman (Willamette Week)

Mama Auto Boss album art

Mama Auto Boss

2005

“Another gorgeous album from Point Juncture, WA which doesn’t come as a surprise but nevertheless, takes the breath away. With a transparent mixture of both acoustic and electronic ocabulary, their album-textures seem to reflect and cast light in multiple directions when their shimmering melodies come in, with full sparkling clarity. This is an album about color. Washes and floods of color, from wet color to dry color, from bristly to fuzzy. Simply put, it is an ideal disc for the emo rock and dream pop fan who ever thought she could get both in one album, especially with dub and electronica mixed in for even more depth and sonorities. Hands down, a stunning project.”

— Tamara Turner (CD Baby)

Juxtapony album art

Juxtapony

2004

“You know those classic bands that really matter, not just because they write great music, but because they love each other and it shows in their playing? Those bands who have not a shred of smarmy pretentiousness and love to play music more than anything? Those bands who are dorky and unfashionable and couldn’t care less? Point Juncture, WA is one of those bands. Portland needs more of those bands. JUXTAPONY EP is the best CD I’ve ever received randomly at a party. Usually, I’ll give the ubiquitous unsolicited demo the cursory, albeit snotty and biased, listen. Nine times out of ten, the CDs that people give out are filled with boring, derivative tripe, and wear their painfully obvious influences like a bad t-shirt. And so I go on reluctant to listen to anything anyone hands me. Then a band like Point Juncture, WA comes along, slaps me across the face, and kicks me in the crotch. Powerful male/female counterpoint vocals make me think of bands I love like X or Blonde Redhead. The music is big and expansive, with sparse, yet powerful dub-like beats. One guitar, and lots of vibes and keyboards. Nice loopy basslines, too. Very well constructed. Produced by Skyler Norwood up in Camas, WA, JUXTAPONY EP is a great debut from a really solid band. PJWA is already creating quite a stir ’round here so order this CD and/or go see them ASAP. This girl, and four boys are taking the trash out on Portland, sucka.”

— Levi Cecil (Music Libaration Project)

Video

Chronological Order

released: August 2, 2011

The Economics of Basketball

released: June 8, 2011
credit: Dale Nicholls

Violin Case

released: May 10, 2011
credit: Dale Nicholls

About

There is a short way and there is a long way.

The short way is greasing palms, kissing babies, branding and market research.

The long way is hugs, hand-written letters, building with your bare hands and your best friends.

Point Juncture, WA, took the long way. It’s a decision that nestles into the unusual quilt of the Portland band’s sound, which remains thoroughly warm even when the songs express raw outrage, delve into cosmic mystery, or burst open with humor. It informs their methodology for working, too: militantly self-disciplined, democratic even when it hurts, and intensely joyful. And one might argue that never straying from the long road has drafted the band’s blueprint for doing business, if only business had ever been even a passing concern in these first 12 years. (The truth is that the band’s members harbor attitudes toward wealth and stardom that range from quiet ambivalence to outright disgust.)

What they share, aside from a love of cats and tater-tots, is the stubborn belief that punk rock—in its loudest and gentlest incarnations—will eventually win out, even when the fight looks fixed.

Even beyond the band, their lives are filled with music. Skyler records some of the Northwest’s finest bands at his Miracle Lake studios when he’s not working as a veterinary technician. Amanda tours the world with her friend Sallie Ford, and helms more side-projects than seem humanly possible. Victor records bands in the amazing, hand-built Destination: Universe studio while playing horns in the amazing cumbia ensemble Orquestra Pacifico Tropical. Courtney, a librarian by day, played in a handful of influential Detroit bands (including Outrageous Cherry) before moving to Portland, and has an encyclopedic knowledge of garage rock from her hometown. Most of the band band has spent one week each summer for the past decade teaching music to teenagers at a rock camp in Eastern Oregon, and this year Wilson is starting a similar camp in his hometown of Ashland, Oregon.

These are true believers, every one of them.

But believing isn’t enough. There is a lot of hard work in weaving your lofty ideals into a creative endeavor. Point Juncture, WA albums—conceived, built and recorded entirely by the band itself—are delicate undertakings as plagued by arguments and accidents as any other records. In PJWA’s case, though, the stresses are intensified because there’s no decision-making hierarchy to force an end to disagreements, because most members are multi-instrumentalists, because four of the group’s five members are romantically involved with one another, and because no one in Point Juncture, WA is happy recording predictable pop songs. These tensions have manifested themselves in different ways over the years: The eclectic sound of Heart to Elk was influenced by a shake-up of the band’s members; its follow-up, Handsome Orders, is driving and buoyant because the newly retooled group threw out its painstaking process for something a bit more existential.

But Me Or The Party, the band’s first release in over five years, saddles PJWA’s tendencies toward creative explosion with their veteran understanding of what makes great records whole. As a rule, the songs were written by Victor and Amanda, then brought to the group for a thorough deconstruction and rebuilding process. The five years that went into Me or the Party’s planning and execution were not spent in vain. The band met every Monday for most of that stretch, first for practice and then at Destination: Universe for recording. The extra time cooled musical disagreements, allowed the band to revisit concepts that needed more work with fresh ears, and gave them an overwhelming stack of songs from which to pull their first double-album.

That five years is the sixth member of Point Juncture, WA, and you can hear it all over Me or the Party. It gave them time to them grow apart and rebuild. It was time enough to unlearn conventional pop songwriting and reach for something more ambitious and dangerous. It taught them to be unflinchingly brave, from the soulful twelve-minute dirge of “Ants in the Hive” to the vulnerable, churning “Kings III.” It taught them to put all the pieces together.

This is what the long way sounds like. This is Point Juncture, WA.

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