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Five-A-Side: Adam Spangler

Adam Spangler

Geologist turned journalist turned 14-year Nike veteran, Adam Spangler is Nike’s Global Brand Senior Director for Sustainability. He led the concepting of the Move ToZero brand strategy and now oversees the on-going and integrated brand approach to sustainability.

We asked Adam to give us five recommendations that they are enjoying right now.

TK & The Holy Know-Nothings – ‘The Incredible Heat Machine’

Who is old enough to remember (and be obsessed with) the liner notes inside an LP, compact disc, 8-track or cassette? Those rabbit holes of discovery were everything to me, before the internet especially, and now they mean even more as those finite explosions of inspirational direction occur less and less and most often by happenstance, though the muscle is still the same. Here’s to the endless learning.

I don’t remember how or when I came across this album, but I did, sometime ahead of its release in the Fall of 2021, when I was drooling for live music to return as the pandemic dragged if not waned for those of us privileged enough to enjoy such liberties. I gazed out across the teaming tussle of culture of “post-pandemic” Portland, OR, and realized I had no real relationship with my hometown music scene. I’d been here going on ten years. I was ashamed. Then I came across this album and bandmates. The town unfurled before me.

Taylor Kingman

The ‘TK,’ in TK & The Holy Know-Nothings, Taylor is that unique breed of singer-songwriter, who’s got the songs and the voice to carry all the pins waiting to drop in a silent coffeehouse captivated by his conviction as well as the energy and range to turn out rock n rolling jamborees with the Holy Know-Nothings, a band of local Portland legends, who if you keep following the invisible liner notes, also backup Kassi Valazza on her newest album—she’s another budding Portland singer-songwriter pushing the boundaries of genre.

Lewi Longmire

The legend of legends in the Know-Noghings is an Oregon Rock N Roll Hall of Famer, multi-instrumentalist, band leader, and side man, from bass to lead guitar to pedal steel, and I’m sure there’s more I haven’t seen. His hard handle on the rollicking roots of all this American music makes him a go-to, not just as a musician for hire, but also for musicians looking for a gig, and any fan looking for a lesson in American music. The deep well of cover songs Lewi and Taylor pull from are an education alone for even the most seasoned ears.

Laurelthirst Public House

Lewi is the musical director (and Taylor use to run the open mic and now simply sits in a night or 5 a week) at this history-filled neighborhood bar, which hosts live music every night (as it has since the 1980’s; and mostly for free), serves the best patty melt and fries in town, and feels like home thanks the community vibe and beautifully diverse group of employees and regulars, each and every one of which will offer you a smile and story.

Live Music Communities

A few years ago, the owners of the Laurelthirst and the building it resided in received a nice offer for the whole lot. Instead of simply taking it, they offered the space to the community first, which rallied benefit concerts and crowd-funding and bought the building, preserving more than just a piece of Portland, but a home for heart-warming humanity in this increasingly cold cold world.