Hes got two jobs that rock


If he were the type to blow his own horn, Larry Crane could easily make a case for himself as the hardest-working man in the Portland rock scene.

'I try to come down to the studio early before sessions and answer e-mail and check calls,' Crane says. 'Then I work in the studio for 10 hours. Then I work on editorial content for the magazine. I go home about midnight. Then I wake up and do it again.'

Since he launched Tape Op magazine six years ago and Jackpot Recording a year later, Crane, 38, has quickly established himself as a respected sound engineer, editor and recording industry journalist. When he finds the time, he's also been known to play bass in a band or two.

Crane's modest, but accommodating, recording studio on Southeast Morrison Street has been patronized by the likes of Elliott Smith, the Go-Betweens, Stephen Malkmus and Sleater-Kinney in addition to a whole slew of local artists.

His reasonable rates, good humor and discerning ear earn him high marks from the Portland music community.

'Larry's completely honest when we're recording,' says Joe Davis of the Pinehurst Kids. 'If he doesn't like something or if he thinks it sucks, he'll tell you. That's a really invaluable thing to have.'

Crane, for his part, takes pride in not only sharing his expertise, but in laboring to achieve the highest-quality sound possible.

'I feel like a teacher at both jobs a lot of the time, which is what my great-grandfather wanted all his offspring to do anyway,' he says. 'I guess I just want good records and music to be made and enjoy being part of that.'

His five-year stint as boss of Jackpot Recording has been a boon to musicians on a local and regional level. Tape Op, which covers the ins and outs of independent studio recording, has gained him an appreciably wider audience, including praise from an actual rock legend.

'My wife, Jane, was checking the e-mail for me while I was in a recording session with Quasi,' Crane recalls. 'She screamed when she found a message from Pete Townshend! It was awfully nice of him, and as a huge Who fan, I'm still a bit freaked.'

Townshend described Crane's magazine as 'necessary' reading. Not many of us receive that sort of validation on the job, even if we happen to have two of them.