Whether or not you know the name Jim Brunberg, you probably like something he’s done—be it the theme for the Daily, written by Wonderly (Brunberg’s project with Ben Landsverk), or one of the venues he co-owns, Mississippi Studios and Revolution Hall. Brunberg’s efforts are all over this town, but Songs of Stupid Hope is what he describes as “a small record,” about “a narrow, personal attempt to be hopeful.” The songs are deceptively simple; the production is pleasantly layered to the exact, correct amount. There’s some humor in there, but not enough to make any of the tracks joke songs—except perhaps the last, which is a live recording of a half-spoken, half-sung anxiety dream about being forced to open for Bruce Springsteen. Brunberg has produced an authentic collection of ditties that are just as fun to sing to yourself on a walk as they are to listen to live.
by Portland Mercury Arts & Culture Editor Suzette Smith
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