Posts Tagged ‘festival’

2011 MusicfestNW: Day 3 (One Month Later)

Monday, October 10th, 2011

(Thanks to a busy schedule, it’s been a month since MusicfestNW took over Portland and I still haven’t published daily recaps of my experience. My bad. Still, I think seeing 20 of the coolest bands going over three days is worth documenting, even belatedly. So below, you’ll find Day 3. Day 1 is here and Day 2 is here. And if you’d like to read my overview of the festival’s highlights that ran in print, click here.)

One of the great things about events like Portland’s MusicfestNW is the shoulder-to-shoulder variety. You can see a funk legend and then a futuristic electro-pop duo and then a throwback ’90s indie rock band like I did on Day 1 of this year’s festival. Or you can see a local pop-rock band followed by a white-hot hip-hop artist followed by a quiet, heart-wringing female singer-songwriter like I did on Day 2. (And that’s without venturing out to the venues that focused on electronic, metal, jazz and country!)

Or you can do what I did on Saturday night of MusicfestNW 2011 and see seven bands that all fall somewhere on the post/punk/psych/rock/metal/drone spectrum.

The part of me that digs that particular musical spectrum has been growing over the past few years; after a lifetime of pop-rock, twang and hip-hop, I have found myself increasingly attracted to the sludgy, spacey, squealy sounds of good ol’ psychedelic rock bands. So I was excited for Saturday’s lineup.

An oasis of calm in the madness of MusicfestNW.

That excitement was tempered, perhaps, by two things. 1) I was tired. By Saturday afternoon, I’d grown cranky and indecisive; I skipped a bunch of sweet day parties with free music and food in favor of shopping for records and sitting, quietly, in a Big Town Hero with a Diet Coke and an alt-weekly in an effort to chill. I am not proud. And 2) That night’s headliner at the Doug Fir, the fine British pop band The Vaccines, canceled just days before the festival because of health issues. There are a lot of great acts at MusicfestNW, but that cancellation took out one of the bands I was most excited to see.

Anyway, Saturday began at 4 p.m. at Pioneer Courthouse Square, “Portland’s living room,” as it’s known, in the middle of downtown. There, one of my favorite artists ever — Matthew Cooper, aka Eluvium — had the unenviable task of playing ambient music for a mid-afternoon crowd on what might have been the hottest day of the year. I loved every second of it, but I can certainly understand how passers-by (and even many folks who showed up early to get a good spot for the evening’s headliner, Explosions in the Sky) might’ve thought, “What the hell is this noise?” Well, that noise is some of the most mind-bendingly beautiful music being made these days by one of the most inventive musicians of the past decade. Here’s a long sample; please note that all I did for most of the time was hang the camera from my wrist while filming. Whatever you see here was the intent.

(more…)

2011 MusicfestNW: Day 2 (One Month Later)

Sunday, October 9th, 2011

(Thanks to a busy schedule, it’s been a month since MusicfestNW took over Portland and I still haven’t published daily recaps of my experience. My bad. Still, I think seeing 20 of the coolest bands going over three days is worth documenting, even belatedly. So below, you’ll find Day 2; find Day 1 here and be sure to look for Day 3 on Monday. And if you’d like to read my overview of the festival’s highlights that ran in print, click here.)

When you attend a large music festival like Portland’s multi-venue, multi-genre MusicfestNW, you have to know going in that such events cost money, and therefore they’ll be pursuing sponsors, and so you’re likely to be bombarded with corporate promotions and logos when all you’re trying to do is go see some rock shows. It’s just the way it is.

Still, it felt a little funny to me to be sitting and waiting for Ted Leo — one of the most staunchly independent punk-rock figures of the past two decades — inside a Dr. Martens store, surrounded by former- and faux-punk fashion staples and eating free barbecue-flavored popchips and drinking free berry-flavored vitaminwater, both grabbed from giant bins full of product meant to get me hooked on popchips and vitaminwater. (Did those two companies lose their shift key and space bar or what?)

When he took the stage in front of a packed house, Leo announced that he was playing the show because Dr. Martens revived its vegan line of boots, which at least made the whole thing make a little more sense. He then launched into a solo set that included pretty much all my favorite Ted Leo tunes: “Me and Mia” and “The Sword In the Stone” and “Under the Hedge” and “Where Have All the Rude Boys Gone?” Here’s that last one:

(more…)

2011 MusicfestNW: Day 1 (One Month Later)

Saturday, October 8th, 2011

(Thanks to a busy schedule, it’s been a month since MusicfestNW took over Portland and I still haven’t published daily recaps of my experience. My bad. Still, I think seeing 20 of the coolest bands going over three days is worth documenting, even belatedly. So below, you’ll find Day 1, and be sure to look for Day 2 on Sunday and Day 3 Monday. And if you’d like to read my overview of the festival’s highlights that ran in print, click here.)

I spent several days prepping for my fifth consecutive MusicfestNW: perusing the schedule, listening to bands, sketching out a plan for each hour of each night. I tracked down details on all the free day parties and the live sessions for KEXP and OPB and used Microsoft Excel to create a customized schedule for three days (Sept. 8-10) at the third largest indoor music festival in the country.

But when you put that kind of effort into planning, it’s also a good idea to be ready to adapt to changing circumstances.

My first scheduling casualty came exactly 30 minutes after I checked into my hotel in downtown Portland when I decided to skip a chance to watch Blitzen Trapper tape a live set for OPB and instead grab a couple of pork tacos from the La Jarochita food cart. Blitzen Trapper is a fine band but they’ve gotten a bit predictable in recent years, and the tacos were terrific, so I feel comfortable with my decision.

Monarques

With a belly full of carnitas, I hopped in my car and headed to the Aladdin Theater, a venue I had never visited during MusicfestNW. (This would become a theme.) There, a night of old-school soul was planned, starting with Portland’s Monarques, followed by legendary Motown guitarist Dennis Coffey and this year’s R&B comeback story, Charles Bradley.

Monarques — who I discovered at MFNW ’09 — were sharp as usual, all oohs and aahs and bouncy ’60s vibe. This is such a fantastic band that sounds authentically vintage but totally cool. If Portland bands like Typhoon and Sallie Ford & the Sound Outside are playing David Letterman’s show, Monarques should be too. Let’s hope that in a year or so, they are.

(more…)

2011 Bend Roots Revival: Day 2

Sunday, September 25th, 2011

(Find all our coverage of the 2011 Bend Roots Revival, including a preview of the event and recaps of all three days, by clicking here.)

Sometimes it seems like my Twitter feed is full of nothing but Bendites who go to every single event in this town, floating from free concert to art walk to seasonal festival to bike race to free concert to art walk to seasonal festival to bike race to … you get the picture.

Yesterday, I felt like one of those folks.

My goal was to arrive at the Bend Roots Revival at 1 p.m. to see Franchot Tone play his disarming reggae-pop, but a last-minute errand put me in the car, driving across town at that time. Community radio to the rescue! I turned my dial to 88.9 FM, where KPOV was broadcasting live from the festival’s BIGS Stage, and listened to at least half of Tone’s set, including several originals, his sharp cover of the Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage” and a frisky funk jam by The Meters.

When I did finally arrive at the Century Center, I ventured first into the courtyard, where a growing crowd and competing noise from two stages made it feel a bit too chaotic. So I retreated to the Good Life Stage for some jazz guitar wizardry from longtime local Rich Hurdle. I’d never seen him before, but his casual style and laid-back sound was an ideal antidote to the hustle and bustle of the courtyard. Here’s his take on “Triste” by bossa nova pioneer Antonio Carlos Jobim:

(more…)

2011 Bend Roots Revival: Day 1

Saturday, September 24th, 2011

(Find all our coverage of the 2011 Bend Roots Revival, including a preview of the event and recaps of all three days, by clicking here.)

Thanks to a previous commitment and then a last-minute decision to go see Subliminal play Nirvana’s “Nevermind” in its entirety (more on that later), I wasn’t able to make as much of the 2011 Bend Roots Revival‘s opening night as I would’ve liked.

I did scoot over to the Century Center in the late afternoon to catch a couple of bands. On the breezy Good Life Stage, local, all-female Americana trio The Prairie Rockets were playing a pleasant set that was perfect for the small Happy Hour crowd that had gathered. (By the way, how nice is that space? Wow. Kudos to Good Life Brewing for creating that little slice of paradise.)

I only had 30 minutes to split between the Rockets and Two/Thirds Trio, and during my 15 minutes with the Rockets, I heard them cover Creedence Clearwater Revival, Bob Dylan, and a folk standard called “Rock Salt and Nails” that was written by Utah Phillips and recorded by, well, just about everyone else. Here it is:

(Sorry for the shaky camera work and cut-off heads. I was wrangling an 18-month-old while shooting both of these.)

From there, I wandered over to the Casey’s Corner stage for a band with one of my favorite names in town, the Two/Thirds Trio. They played this gig as — get this — a quartet, pumping out rubbery, robust funk and jazz that gave the festival’s rootsy Friday-night lineup a little urbane diversity. Here’s one of their jams:

I had to be home most of the evening, so I missed the Moon Mountain Rambler Family Tree party, Billy Mickelson’s Third Seven / Dela Project run, guitar master Brooks Robertson and some other stuff. Before heading over to Grover’s for Subliminal, I checked in hoping to catch Oh Sugoi! (I was told their light show was amazing), but they seemed to be running late. And after Subliminal, I stopped in again and found 75 people or so dancing to the electronic tonic of Flying Kites well after midnight. It was still unseasonably warm.

Today, the schedule really ramps up. Find all our Bend Roots coverage by clicking here.

This week in GO! Magazine’s music section

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

Over the past six years, the Bend Roots Revival has grown from a small gathering of local artists jamming in and around Parrilla Grill and The Victorian Cafe to one of Central Oregon’s biggest and best music events and a vital celebration of local arts that takes over the Century Center for an entire weekend.

This weekend is that weekend. The Bend Roots Revival is back!

In today’s GO! Magazine, we’ve got everything you need to enjoy the Bend Roots Revival, including:

-A performance schedule that’ll be more helpful than anything else you can find, I guarantee it.
-A story about what’s new at the Revival, including new stages, new artists and a new partnership with Rise Up International.
-A quick look at five featured performers at the festival that you may not already be familiar with: Brooks Robertson, Aisea Taimani, Consider the Fox, The Woods and Flying Kites.

Enjoy it, folks!

Elsewhere in this week’s music section: Hank Williams III returns to the Domino Room, Mare Wakefield plays a Windance House Concert and Pete Kartsounes brings his band to McMenamins (and Bend Roots)

Plus, my Feedback column makes its annual trek to Portland for the massive MusicfestNW festival, where highlights included Givers, Purity Ring, White Hills, Explosions in the Sky, You Am I and late-night poutine from Potato Champion. Click here to read my overview, and then look for more detailed reports on Frequency very soon.

Don’t Forget: CrawFest 2011 is this weekend

Friday, July 15th, 2011

GO! Magazine was so packed with music this week, we couldn’t fit everything. So, don’t forget that the fourth annual CrawFest is going down tonight and tomorrow at Jake Crawford’s place between Bend and Powell Butte. (The address on the flyer below shows up here on Google Maps.)

Crawford has, as you can see, booked a bunch of fun local and Portland-based bands for his shindig. He’s also providing free camping, food and drinks. Cost and other details below. If you’re looking for some off-the-beaten-path festivities this weekend, CrawFest may be for you!

Coyote Music Festival starts tomorrow

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

The Coyote Music Festival is happening Friday and Saturday at Summer Lake Hot Springs near Paisley, about 120 miles southeast of Bend. (Here it is on Google Maps.)

There’s no mention of it in tomorrow’s GO! Magazine because no one told me about it, but I figure it might be of interest to someone since there are several Central Oregon faves playing. So here’s what I know:

4 Peaks Music Festival update: Ticket prices increase tomorrow

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

Central Oregon’s roller-coaster jam-band gathering, the 4 Peaks Music Festival, will return to its original home, the Rockin’ A Ranch near Tumalo, on July 15-16.

Why is 4 Peaks a “roller-coaster”? Because of its history of ups and downs. The fest started with a bang in 2007, attracting big-name headliners like Animal Liberation Orchestra and Hot Buttered Rum to its two-day party. In 2008, the 4 Peaks team battled neighbor opposition, but ultimately held another two-day festival with a strong lineup.

In 2009, though, the struggling economy made it tough to find sponsors, and 4 Peaks went on hiatus. Last year, organizers went through a serious last-minute permitting scramble and venue switcheroo before bringing the event — significantly scaled down — back to the Rockin’ A.

This year, 4 Peaks seems to be on more solid ground. The team says it already has the necessary permits and will host two days of funky, jammy, stringy, rockin’ goodness in mid-July.

Tickets are available right now for $40 plus fees at www.4peaksmusicfestival.eventbrite.com. However, that price will only last through the end of today. Tomorrow, they jump to $50 plus fees. So if you want in on the cheap, don’t hesitate.

Here’s the lineup for the 2011 4 Peaks Music Festival, featuring lots of familiar names and a few new ones:

Poor Man’s Whiskey
New Monsoon
Elephant Revival
Ten Mile Tide
Taarka
Tapwater
Moon Mountain Ramblers
Acorn Project
Sugarcane String Band
Wasabi Collective
Asher Fulero
Wild Rye
Huckle
Mark Ransom

2011 Pickathon lineup announced

Monday, February 14th, 2011

Pickathon — the wonderful, woodsy music festival held each summer southeast of Portland — doesn’t get quite the attention that, say, the Sasquatch or Coachella festivals get. But that’s OK. Because it means Pickathon still feels like a fun, intimate event that’s about the music, not mega-bands, corporate sponsorships and $5 bottles of water. Basically, the real world hasn’t ruined Pickathon yet.

Anyway, Pickathon’s specialty is “indie-roots” music: Americana, acoustic, folk of all kinds, blues, bluegrass and beyond. Artists play multiple sets across multiple stages, and the festival takes tremendous pride in its eco-friendly ways. Pickathon makes extensive use of solar energy and is the first music festival in the country to be 100-percent free of plastic cups and bottles, according to their website.

This year’s Pickathon will take place Aug. 5-7 at Pendarvis Farm in Happy Valley. Here’s the lineup that was announced today (I’ve bolded some artists that are well worth checking out):

(more…)