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Hometown Heroes

Words: Robert Hamm


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If you were an energetic band playing melodic post-rock with a smattering of horns and vibes—not to mention one of the best vocalists around—and were picked both as one of the best bands in Portland by a local weekly as well as one of the bands voted to close out the PDX Pop Now Festival, you might expect to start feeling a swelling of pride from all the acclaim and growing audiences, right?

Not if you’re a member of the quintet known as Point Juncture, WA. “We haven’t been actively trying to break through any sort of barriers,” says guitarist/vocalist/sax player Jesse Studenberg. “It’s nice to be respected for being in a band that someone has heard of, but it’s kind of strange to meet people whose entire demeanor changes when, halfway through your conversation, you mention your band’s name.”

You can hardly blame people for being a little star-struck, considering the incredibly assured debut EP, “Juxtapony,” that they have self-released, self-recorded and self-packaged, along with the strength of their ever-tightening live show. Yet as quickly as their stock has risen within their hometown since the band’s inception in 2003, they are still scratching the surface out of the area. Says Studenburg, “[It’s] a mixed bag really. We’ve been very well received at every show we’ve played out of town but have never played a show ... that stood to move us into a new market or any of that business shit. Eastern Oregon and Washington loved us. Eugene and Olympia were fairly indifferent. Boise were big fans, all three of ‘em.”

With the release of their debut album “Mama Auto Boss,” in September, PJWA’s fanbase should see an exponential rise. Studenberg says they are keeping their expectations rather modest. “The hope is we’ll make enough money to do the next [album] and the next one after that and so on and so forth. And to rock. We mustn’t forget to rock.”

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