Posts Tagged ‘MusicfestNW’

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.

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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:

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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.

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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.

Festival Lineups: Portland’s MusicfestNW, San Francisco’s Outside Lands, Seattle’s Bumbershoot

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

Late-summer festival lineups are starting to take shape, and here are a few that might matter to you.

MusicfestNW is tons of fun and will go down Sept. 9-12 in a bunch of clubs (and, new this year, Pioneer Courthouse Square) around Portland. There are lots of Portland bands here and lots of indie rock, with some other stuff mixed in:

The Decemberists, The National, Okkervil River, Major Lazer, Sleep performing “Holy Mountain,” Menomena, The Thermals, Wiz Khalifa, Ra Ra Riot, The Walkmen, Ted Leo & The Pharmacists, The Helio Sequence, Justin Townes Earle, Baroness, David Bazan, The Tallest Man on Earth, The Gories, No Means No, Man Man, Laura Veirs, Bobby Bare Jr., Titus Andronicus, Surfer Blood, Akron/Family, Crooked Fingers, Shonen Knife, Japandroids, People Under the Stairs, Cold Cave, Frank Turner, The Builders and the Butchers, Phantogram, Washed Out, Black Prairie, Thee Oh Sees, Abe Vigoda, Big Freedia, MEN, Laser Sword, From Ashes Rise, Devin Phillips, The Suckers, Trash Talk, Scott Kelly, Rocky Votolato, Blue Giant, The Minus 5, Dan Mangan, Jeff the Brotherhood, Marc Olson, Red Fang, The Zeros, Let’s Wrestle, Pierced Arrows, The Bellrays, Weinland, Portland Cello Project, The Magic Kids, DJ Beyonda, Richmond Fontaine, Sallie Ford & the Sound Outside, Tu Fawning, Death by Stereo, Princeton, Kisses, White Hinterland, BOAT, Damion Suomi, Typhoon, Y La Bamba.

More bands will be announced, including those playing the early-evening Nike shows, which are always a treat. Watch for updates at the MusicfestNW website.

–The third annual Outside Lands festival is set for Aug. 14-15 in San Francisco, and it has a little more of a cosmopolitan flair to its lineup. This one is worth keeping an eye on, because Bend’s Les Schwab Amphitheater has booked bands coming to and from Outside Lands in past years:

Kings of Leon, Furthur featuring Phil Lesh & Bob Weir, The Strokes, My Morning Jacket, Phoenix, Al Green, Social Distortion, Gogol Bordello, Nas & Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley, The Levon Helm Band, Cat Power, Empire of the Sun, Wolfmother, Bassnectar, Chromeo, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, The Temper Trap, Pretty Lights, Janelle Monáe, Amos Lee, The Devil Makes Three, Tokyo Police Club, Beats Antique, Rebirth Brass Band, Wild Beasts, Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars, Daniel Lanois’ Black Dub, The Budos Band, Aterciopelados, Garage A Trois feat. Stanton Moore, Marco Benevento, Skerik & Mike Dillon, Mayer Hawthorne & The County, Langhorne Slim, The Pimps of Joytime, People Under the Stairs, Electric Six, Vieux Farke Touré, Dawes, Nneka, The Soft Pack, The Whigs, Little Wings.

Get more info at the Outside Lands website.

–Finally, Bumbershoot has been happening in Seattle for, like, ever. This one has a little something for everyone, from the Mary J. / Weezer crowd to the indie-rock kids and underground hip-hop fans. I copied and pasted from The Stranger’s Line Out blog:

Bob Dylan / Mary J. Blige / Weezer / Hole / Rise Against / Neko Case / The Decemberists / J. Cole / LMFAO / Billy Bragg / Ozomatli / Angelique Kidjo / Solomon Burke / The Dandy Warhols / Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros / Jenny and Johnny (featuring Jenny Lewis and Jonathan Rice / Jamie Lidell / The Raveonettes / Balkan Beat Box / Motion City Soundtrack / The Thermals / Ra Ra Riot / The English Beat / Justin Townes Earle / Booker T. / Surfer Blood / The Bouncing Souls / Japandroids / Bob Schneider / Anvil / Bomba Estereo / Jay Electronica / Aterciopelados / Baroness / James Cotton “Superharp” Blues Band / David Bazan / Meat Puppets / Crash Kings / This Providence / Brian Auger’s Oblivion Express / The Moondoggies / The Whigs / Greg Laswell / Civil Twilight / Trampled By Turtles / The Clientele / Atlas Sound / Laura Veirs & The Hall of Flames / The Budos Band / Bobby Bare Jr. / Horse Feathers / Vienna Teng Trio / HEALTH / Plants and Animals / Georgia Anne Muldrow & Declaime / Wheedle’s Groove / Hey Marseilles / Kings Go Forth / Sweet Water / Delorean / JEFF The Brotherhood / Chris Pureka / Shawn Lee’s Ping Pong Orchestra / Garotas Suecas / The Maldives / The Constellations / Coryell, Auger, Sample Trio / Grynch / Visqueen / Victor Shade / Star Anna & The Laughing Dogs / Fresh Espresso/ Pete Molinari / Sista Monica’s “Singin in the Spirit” / Lay Low / Unnatural Helpers / Idiot Pilot / The Round / Wild Orchid Children / The Cute Lepers / Feral Children / Fences / Caspar Babypants / The Tripwires / Fatal Lucciauno / Loch Lomond / The Physics / THEESatisfaction / School of Rock All Stars / See Me River / Zoe Muth and The Lost High Rollers / People Eating People / Eldridge Gravy & The Court Supreme / Brent Amaker & The Rodeo / Born Anchors / Slender Means / BOAT / McTuff Trio / Parlour Steps / The Redwood Plan / Helladope / Lisa Dank / Greta Matassa Quartet / The Lonely H / Matt Jorgensen Quintet / Becki Sue & Her Big Rockin’ Daddies! / Great Waves / Brian Vogan / Johnny Bregar.

That’s just the music. Bumbershoot has all kinds of fun stuff, including literary events, comedy, visual and performing arts, and more. Keep up at their website.

So what say you, Frequency reader? Any of these jump out at you? Are you going to attend any and/or all of them?

MusicfestNW: Day 3

Monday, October 5th, 2009

(Each of the last three years, I’ve traveled over to Portland for MusicfestNW, a multi-day, multi-venue music festival that features some of the best bands from around the world. With a roster nearly 200 acts deep, MFNW 2009′s schedule included rock, punk, metal, hip-hop, jazz, Americana, electronica, and who knows what else. One thing’s for sure: You can’t get to every show. But I saw my share of them, and here’s my report on my third and final night, Saturday. My Thursday report is here, my Friday reports are here and here.)

The preamble: MusicfestNW wrapped up more than two weeks ago. At this point, I should forget about writing up my Day 3 experience, because (1) no one cares anymore, and (2) I can barely remember Day 3, and I sure didn’t take great notes. However! I am going to push forward, because (1) I committed to covering the festival top to bottom and and want to keep that commitment, and (2) I think my Saturday night at MFNW provides a valuable lesson for all you festival-goers out there. Also, I love doing these little things: (1) and (2). I like making lists. Makes me feel important.

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September 25 in GO! Magazine (Updated with KPOV info)

Friday, September 25th, 2009

(Update: In the comments, Jill points out that I failed to mention KPOV’s involvement in the Bend Roots Revival. That was an oversight on my part, so I’ve updated this post, below.)

I’m telling you what, folks, this is shaping up to be one of those weekends. You know the kind: Warm weather. Central Oregon sunshine. Comfortable evenings. Cold beverages. Lots to do. Lots of music to hear. I was downtown last night (Thursday) and you could already feel it in the air. People were out and about, for sure.

Bend is ready for one last summer blast, and here’s your soundtrack:

-THE BEND ROOTS REVIVAL IS HERE. Check out the schedule. Learn a little bit about some of the artists (look on the right side of the page). And read this if you’re on the fence about attending this wonderful event.

Overlooked in the article is the fact that Bend Roots is a project of Bend’s community radio station, KPOV. The station will be broadcasting live from the event throughout the weekend, so if you can’t make it down to the festival, tune in at 106.7 FM or to the online stream at www.kpov.org.

-Here is part three of my MusicfestNW coverage. This is the part that is running in print. Here are parts one and two. Part four is coming soon.

-Bummer news: Top-flight local DJ Bryan Barisone is moving to Portland after 16 years in our fair burg. His contributions to the local music/party scene will be missed. Tonight, one of his regular spots — Bendistillery Martini Bar — is throwing him a Bon Voyage party. (You can prep for that party by downloading a soulful, 62-minute mix by the man himself. Check back here a little later this morning and I’ll have a link up for it.)

-Bend gets plenty of hip-hop shows, but not all are actually good. This one is: Portland indie-rap dude Josh Martinez is returning, this time to the Domino Room. Mosley Wotta and Mindscape of Person People will open.

-The rock ‘n’ roll vaudeville act Yard Dogs Road Show is back in town. One Wednesday, they’ll turn the Domino Room into a murky carnival of oddities.

-The Clumsy Lovers‘ Celtic-influenced pop-grass sounds pretty much like a perfect fit for Silver Moon Brewing. Good thing that’s where they’re playing Thursday night!

-The hard-touring reagge band Pepper will roll into the Domino Room on Thursday.

As usual, some of those links may not work if you’re not a subscriber to The Bulletin. If you’d like to see them all, you’ll need to subscribe to the site or pick up a print version of GO! Magazine, which has what I think is its coolest cover in my 3-1/2 years on this job. The design for the Bend Roots story is also worth seeing.

MusicfestNW: Day 2

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

(Each of the last three years, I’ve traveled over to Portland for MusicfestNW, a multi-day, multi-venue music festival that features some of the best bands from around the world. With a roster nearly 200 acts deep, MFNW 2009′s schedule included rock, punk, metal, hip-hop, jazz, Americana, electronica, and who knows what else. One thing’s for sure: You can’t get to every show. But I saw my share of them, and here’s my report on the second night, Friday. My Thursday report is here, and my Saturday report will come in the next couple days.)

Already tuckered out from a late night with Frightened Rabbit, I took it a little easy on Saturday Friday, the second day of my MusicfestNW experience. I slept in late, then walked down to the Cheerful Tortoise to watch my alma mater hold on for a win over their in-state rival. (Oops. I got my days confused. The bar and the football game happened on Saturday, but day two was Friday, and all the music covered from here down happened Friday. Except maybe the Voodoo Doughnuts thing. That might have been Saturday. I can’t remember for sure. What can I say? It was all a blur.)

In the afternoon, though, I was ready for some music.

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MusicfestNW: Day 1

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

(Each of the last three years, I’ve traveled over to Portland for MusicfestNW, a multi-day, multi-venue music festival that features some of the best bands from around the world. With a roster nearly 200 acts deep, MFNW 2009′s schedule included rock, punk, metal, hip-hop, jazz, Americana, electronica, and who knows what else. One thing’s for sure: You can’t get to every show. But I saw my share of them, and here’s my report on the first night, Thursday. My Friday and Saturday reports will come in the next couple days.)

Festivals are supposed to build from no-name acts to those you anticipate the most.

But the 2009 version of MusicfestNW didn’t work that way for me. I started out with the anticipation, and ended with a whimper, quite frankly.

When we left Bend around noon on Thursday, Sept. 17, the show I was most excited about seeing was that night. It was the second show we – that’s me and the lovely Mrs. Feedback – would see all weekend.

It was the pairing at the Crystal Ballroom of Portland-based, one-man ambient noisemaker Eluvium and Texas post-rock kingpins Explosions In The Sky (aka the “Friday Night Lights” film score band).

First things first, though.

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Much of the Musicfest NW lineup announced

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

I love Musicfest NW. This four-day bacchanalia of music rules the streets and clubs of Portland each September, providing area music nuts with dozens of performances by a slew of excellent small-name bands and an increasing number of high-profile acts.

I went to MFNW each of the past two years, and it is a blast. You can read my reports from 2007 here and here and from 2008 here. (Go ahead and click them. Anyone can view them, not just subscribers.)

Anyway, the festival, sponsored primarily by the alt-weekly paper Willamette Week, will happen again Sept. 16-19, and organizers just announced a good chunk of the 2009 lineup. It looks strong as usual. The bigger names aren’t totally my speed, but this list is pretty solid top to bottom:

Sunny Day Real Estate / Explosions in the Sky / Girl Talk / Bad Brains / The Get Up Kids / Will Sheff (of Okkervil River) / Dirty Three / Monotonix / Mudhoney / Frightened Rabbit / The Twilight Sad / Dillinger Four / Swollen Members / Beach House / John Vanderslice / The Long Winters / Viva Voce / The Pains of Being Pure at Heart / Pink Mountaintops / OM / Portugal. The Man / The Builders & The Butchers / Langhorne Slim / Chairlift / Loch Lomond / Cymbals Eat Guitars / Team Dresch / Bobby Bare Jr. / Erase Errata / The Zeros / JD Twitch (Optimo) / Eluvium / Youth Group / Titus Andronicus / Mount Eerie / Trash Talk / Crom / Japanther / Mayer Hawthorne & The County / Despise You / Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey / Grouper / Richard Swift / Austin Lucas / Brother Reade / The Love Language / Anders Parker / The Morning Benders / Miniature Tigers / Damien Jurado / Grand Archives / Common Market / We Were Promised Jetpacks / Rocky Votolato / Copy / Red Fang / Saviours / Norfolk & Western / Nurses / Explode Into Colors / Portland Cello Project / Guidance Counselor / Fences / Weinland / Panther / Amazing Baby / The So So Glos / The Soft Pack / Port O’Brien / Liv Warfield / Edward Sharp & The Magnetic Zeros

Now let’s see … I’m pumped about Explosions In The Sky, Monotonix, The Long Winters, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Pink Mountaintops, Titus Andronicus and Brother Reade. Slightly less pumped but still pumped about Sunny Day Real Estate, Mudhoney, Frightened Rabbit, We Were Promised Jetpacks and Nurses. Oh, and head-over-heels ecstatic about Eluvium.

How about you? What jumps out at you on that list? And is anyone out there planning on going to this thing?

Girl Talk performs at Musicfest NW in 2007. Photo by Nilina Mason-Campbell

Girl Talk performs at Musicfest NW in 2007. Photo by Nilina Mason-Campbell