The Gritty Birds Podcast: Theo Craig of Smoke Signals Music

Vortex Music Magazine

Bringing you an insider’s view of the Portland music scene, this week's episode features talent buyer, musician and radio DJ Theo Craig—who also has about a zillion other appellations that could be added to his name.

Talent buyer, artistic director, curator, bassist and radio DJ are just a few of the titles that Portland tastemaker and self-described "gatekeeper" Theo Craig claims to his name.

After a particularly spicy breakup, Craig set his bass down for years—until one fateful night at Pickathon when a washboard, a Pendleton blanket and a late-night jam session reconnected him to the passion he thought he'd lost as an artist.

Hardly keeping to himself when he's not playing, Craig has made a name for himself as the man behind Rontoms Sunday Sessions,'s Take It To The Bridge!, and as the artistic director for PDX Pop Now!—all this after moving to Portland from Seattle, where he was the sponsorship director for KEXP.

Today, he continues to be a vital piece of the Portland music community, working to not only break new bands but also his own bands, like psych trio Máscaras while also backing psych-pop chanteuse Cat Hoch.

Craig sat down with The Gritty Birds to talk about his projects, finding lost things, our favorite festivals, and his advice for artists.

The soundtrack to this week's episode features "Desert Masks" by Craig's own Máscaras—their debut record, 'Máscara vs. Máscara,' is available now on Party Damage Records.

Catch Máscaras live on Friday, July 3 as part of Dig A Pony's Don't Shred On Me celebration alongside Thanks and Maxx Bass.

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