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So Long Portland, Hello Eugene

Portland musician Pat Kearns is feeling reflective. “It’s just been where the songs have been taking me,” Kearns tells EW. “The stuff that I’ve been writing the last couple of years has just been a lot quieter. Maybe I’ll know all of this more when I reach the other side of it.”

Some might know Kearns from his work with Portland act Blues Skies for Black Hearts or production work with legendary Portland pop-punk band The Exploding Hearts. This coming autumn, Kearns releases his first studio record, So Long City

Kearns, a third generation Portlander, says So Long City’s stripped down acoustic feel is in response to changes he’s seen in the city he grew up in. 

“I’ve gotten lost in my own town,” Kearns says. “It feels strange to be in a familiar place and for it to be completely unfamiliar. The community is changing. We’re all dealing with this and we got to figure a way out.”

Kearns urges Eugene to consider this a cautionary tale. “Eugene seems like a place people are gravitating to,” he says. “I know a lot of people who say it reminds them of what [Portland] was like a while ago. Don’t mess it up!”

Pat Kearns premieres material alongside Megan Palmer and Allen Thompson 9 pm Sunday, May 8, at Hi-Fi Music Hall Lounge; $6, 21-plus.