Plainly, Outkast were the stars of the weekend. Andre and Big Boi performed a great, energetic set that drove the crowd crazy, running through hit after hit from their full career. Although they’ve only been gone for eight years, it felt like longer; this was a ’90s and early ’00s revival trip, pure and simple—I’m sure a big part of the Sasquatch crowd was still in grade school when “Hey Ya!” came out. While Outkast’s set didn’t point the way to the future (Big Boi and Andre still seem like flipsides of a coin, rather than a fully integrated duo), it was still a terrific show. I was told by someone who saw their first show at Coachella that the Sasquatch show was miles better in every way.
For those who love a short road trip to see a lot of amazing bands, prick up those ears—because Seattle's Bumbershoot lineup has been announced, and as usual, it does not disappoint... for example? WU-TANG CLAN! Check it out, courtesy of our pals at The Stranger, and get your tickets here.
Wu-Tang Clan // Elvis Costello and the Imposters // Panic! At The Disco //
The Afghan Whigs // The Both // Walk The Moon // G-Easy // Bobby Womack // Danny Brown // Poliça // Mac DeMarco // Big Freedia // SZA // Yuna // The Lonely Forest // Gregory Porter // Sam Lachow // Shelby Earl // Youngblood Hawke // RA Scion // Donnie & Joe Emerson // Fly Moon Royalty // Grayskul // Tomo Nakayama // Iska Dhaaf // McTuff // Naomi Wachira // Evan Flory Barnes + Infinity Upright! // Cataldo // Cumulus // Dude York // Modern Kin // Otieno TerrySUNDAY 8/31
The Replacements // The Head and the Heart // ScHoolboy Q // The Dismemberment Plan // Los Lobos // Bootsy Collins // Luscious Jackson // Pickwick // Kishi Bashi // Red Fang // Big Star’s Third // Iamsu! // Gregory Alan Isakov // Charlie Musselwhite // Mission of Burma // Architecture in Helsinki // The Dream Syndicate // Schoolyard Heroes // San Fermin // Negativland // Kins // Polyrhythmics // ILLFIGHTYOU // Jarv Dee // Sandrider // The 44’s with Kirk “Eli” Fletcher // Hobosexual // Falls // Highlands // Hermigervill // Manatee Commune // Golden Gardens // Hot Wired Rhythm BandMONDAY 9/1
Foster the People // J. Cole // Capital Cities // Neon Trees // Real Estate // Nada Surf // The Reverend Horton Heat // Aer // Twin Shadow // Jonathan Richman // Valerie June // Bomba Estéreo // Hurray for the Riff Raff // Mexican Institute of Sound // DahkaBrakha // Campfire Ok // Bad Things // Julianna Barwick // Jessica Hernandez & the Deltas // Jacco Gardner // La Luz // Current Swell // Rose Windows // Tangerine // Hoba Hoba Spirit // Kore Ionz // Jessica Pratt // Massy Ferguson // Old Man Luedecke // Western Haunts // Smokey Brights
With so many awesome PDX bands invited to Treefort this year, it felt as though we all just drove six hours to hang out somewhere new. Oh, wait... that's exactly what we did. And it was awesome! Some bands worked more than they played, and Sallie Ford and her new all-lady band was one of them. Their set for Treefort was at 1 am Thursday night and the Bouquet was packed full with a line out the door. This was their fourth show with the new line-up—their first was the previous week at the Party Boys' Ladiez Night with Tiburones at Mississippi Studios. It was a diffident performance, and the ease of Sallie's vocals and the danceability of the songs were lost a little bit in translation. The improvement from the first to the fourth show was very noticeable, and they played a daytime house show the following afternoon—better still! Speaking of talented ladies and bands coming into their own, Great Wilderness was the first show I caught on Thursday evening. A lovely way to kick off a lovely weekend. Thanks Treefort, you were tops!
Lots more photos after the jump! Horse Feathers! Mimicking Birds! Gallons! And more!
On the weekend of March 20-23, Boise, Idaho, hosted 41 Portland bands for the third year of the Treefort Music Fest. I was curious to check it out after many friends reported how much fun it was the previous year, and it definitely lived up to its reputation! Organized similarly to SXSW and our own MFNW, with one wristband for access to all the different venues and shows (or, what MFNW used to be... let's pour one out for that), the town of Boise is an ideal location. All the venues are located in the clean and accessible downtown, just about 20 blocks in total. Although Treefort is a fairly young festival, I was more than impressed with its overall organization, professionalism, and welcoming attitude. People in Portland are nice. People in Boise are nicer.
Treefort recap! Lots of photos and lots more to read after the jump. It was a really great weekend of sunshine and music, and currently runner-up for best music festival of the year. (Pickathon forever and always.)
This year's performers include the Glitch Mob, Washed Out, Nightmares on Wax, RL Grime, Natasha Kmeto, and many more. It takes place June 19-22, and tickets start at $200 plus fees and parking. VIP packages and nicer camping are available as well. Take a look at the festival lineup after the jump. WTF!
Guess it is a day to announce cancellations...
“The Sasquatch! community has spoken. They continue to support the traditional Memorial Day Weekend event with great enthusiasm. Unfortunately, the second weekend was not embraced. We felt it was better to cancel the new event now and give everyone time to make alternative plans for the Fourth of July weekend. Going forward, Sasquatch! Music Festival will be at the Gorge Amphitheatre on the weekend the fans want: Memorial Day Weekend only,” said Jeff Trisler, President of Live Nation Seattle.The first weekend of Sasquatch! (May 23-25) will continue as planned.
Well, drat. Let us gaze one last time upon the (very impressive) lineup for the doomed Sasquatch! Part Deux, and reflect on what might have been.
Soundgarden / Kraftwerk (3D) / New Order / Frank Ocean / Röyksopp + Robyn / Neutral Milk Hotel / Broken Bells / Spoon / Tegan And Sara / Local Natives / La Roux / Gogol Bordello / Jake Bugg / Atmosphere / Rhye / The Bloody Beetroots / Dillon Francis / Big Gigantic / The Black Angels / Deltron 3030 / The Horrors / Junip / The Notwist / St. Lucia / Dr. Dog / Kurt Vile & The Violators / Of Montreal / Talib Kweli / The Cave Singers / Punch Brothers / Action Bronson / Lee Fields & The Expressions / Sharon Van Etten / Carolina Chocolate Drops / Sol / Casey Veggies / Rl Grime / Tchami / Audion / Fuck Buttons / Courtney Barnett / Thao & The Get Down Stay Down / Cloud Nothings / Foxygen / Palma Violets / Mikal Cronin / Mac Demarco / Jon Hopkins / Gold Panda / Majical Cloudz / Duke Dumont / Oneohtrix Point Never / Death / Black Prairie / Latyrx / Metz / John Grant / Reigning Sound / Black Milk / Typhoon / Cass Mccombs / Young & Sick / No / Boy & Bear / Asgeir / Mutual Benefit / The Bots / Wild Cub / Gangstagrass / Phox / Ages And Ages / The Districts / Mimicking Birds / Chad Vangaalen / Shelby Earl / Hunter Hunted / Fly Golden Eagle / Sandrider / Helms Alee / Night Beats / Chastity Belt / Dude York / Iska Dhaaf / Kithkin / Pollens // Comedy // Demetri Martin / Eugene Mirman / Kurt Braunohler / W. Kamau Bell / Kyle Dunnigan / And More!
Highlights of the July 4-6 weekend include: Kraftwerk, New Order, Frank Ocean, Royksopp & Robyn, Neutral Milk Hotel, Spoon, Broken Bells, Tegan and Sara, Rhye, the Black Angels, the Horrors, the Notwist, Dr. Dog, Kurt Vile, Talib Kweli, Action Bronson, Lee Fields, Sharon Van Etten, Courtney Barnett, Fuck Buttons, Cloud Nothings, Palma Violets, Mikal Cronin, Majical Cloudz, Death, Black Prairie, Reigning Sound, Typhoon, Phox, Ages and Ages, Chad VanGaalen, Chastity Belt, Iska Dhaaf, and more.
Click the jump for the full lineup in copy-and-pasteable text. Tickets go on sale Saturday at 10 am and can be purchased through the Sasquatch site. Last year, they sold out in 90 minutes, although with two separate weekends this year, I don't expect they'll go quite so fast.
[A dispatch from former Mercury intern/Quasi fan/English person Alex Ross, who goes to school in Norwich, which he describes as "a one horse town and the horse has bolted." On their recent UK tour, Quasi played there. Needless to say, Alex was excited.]
Some solace, though: When Quasi announced their UK tour over the summer, they didn’t skip Norwich. Everyone skips Norwich—presumably terrified by the town’s intimidating signs [at right] and perpetual state of disaster. Not Quasi. Hibernation cancelled.
When I wrote about meeting Janet Weiss and Sam Coomes for End Hits last year, I’d sheepishly asked them to sign my copy of American Gong before quickly running away like a schoolkid to play it over and over again. They were, I said, everything great about indie rock: passionate yet self-effacing, intelligent yet understated, sincere and sarcastic all at once, propelled by a unique and gifted songwriter and grounded by one of the greatest drummers of all time. And all this came before the release of Mole City, the band’s eighth album in a career that now spans 20 years.
Much like its creators, it’s record that deserves more attention than it’s received. Double albums, the common smoke signal from the artist over the hill, tend to inspire little more than abject terror in fans and critics. Other than a few notable exceptions, the format lends itself to dilution and stagnation, watering down what might be a fine idea to an overblown ramble like a drunk who just read a good novel.
The first round of artists includes the great Run the Jewels duo of El-P and Killer Mike, Built to Spill, and Mr. Gnome, plus the up-and-coming Saintseneca (who are going to have a huge 2014, mark my words), the Joy Formidable (who never did too much for me but who I kept hearing were a definite highlight of Musicfest), Seattle's Iska Dhaaf (members of Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band and Mad Rad) and Denver's lovely Paper Bird. Plus a clutch of great Portland bands, like Modern Kin, Vikesh Kapoor, Hustle and Drone, Psychic Rites, and Summer Cannibals.
Click the jump to take a look at the existing lineup—and remember, lots more is to come—and check out the announcement video. Lots more info, including tickets, over at Treefort's site.
The performers include Grouper, Peter Broderick, Gabriel Saloman, Rauelsson, and Apartment Fox, and the two nights of music will conclude on Saturday night with a "spooky" afterparty DJ'ed by Liz Harris (Grouper). There's also a communal meal on Saturday and complimentary Ninkasi beer and Heart Coffee Roasters coffee all weekend. (Say wha?!?)
The celebration marks the launch of Beacon Sound's new record label, and shopkeep/impresario Andrew Neerman has a Kickstarter page set up to raise funds for Beacon Sound's first vinyl release, a 12-inch with music by Peter Broderick and Gabriel Saloman recorded at Type Foundry, on clear vinyl in a limited edition of 200. Check out the whole Kickstarter campaign here. Meanwhile, the Sou'wester weekend is $40 on top of accommodations, and reservations can be booked here.
Empire of the Sun is the new project from the Sleepy Jackson's Luke Steele, and if this over-the-top album cover gave you trouble, Empire of the Sun is going to give you plenty more. The music's nothing special—electronic-tinged danceable lite-rock—but the stage show is an absolute spectacle, with dancers, costumes, and general weirdness abounding. Here's some footage shot at Bonnaroo this year:
And this, too: This week they slashed ticket prices in half. I doubt that says anything good about the health of the festival, but the result is a pretty sweet deal. A one day pass is $35.99 and three days are $89.95. There are also VIP passes available. Kaleidoscope's site has the full lineup and all the info. If you haven't had enough of outdoor summer music festivals, you know where to turn.
Your weekend just got PLANNED, man. The Helsing Junction Sleepover takes place this weekend (August 16-18) just a short drive away in Rochester, Washington. (That's just north of Centralia and south of Olympia—about an hour and 45 minute drive from Portland.) What's the Helsing Junction Sleepover? It's K Records' super cool summer fest, with music from LAKE, Brainstorm, Karl Blau, Arrington de Dionyso's Malaikat Dan Singa, the Shivas, Tender Forever, Jeffrey Jerusalem, and lots more. Plus it also includes the Northwest Literary Showcase, with Kevin Sampsell, Michael Heald, Ariel Birks, and lots of other writers too. Best of all, it's all held on the Helsing Junction organic farm, with places for picnicking, swimming, and lots of summertime activities. Check out more details of the event over on K Records' page.
We're giving away a pair of passes ($50 value each) to the weekend to one lucky End Hits reader! Send an email to contest at portlandmercury dot com with "Helsing Junction Sleepover" in the subject line. Please include your first and last name in the email. We'll select a winner at random and send them up to the farm for an unforgettable weekend. More details on the fest here, directions here, and ticket info here. Good luck! This contest closes tomorrow morning at 9 am, so don't dilly dally!
Looking at the schedule, the big acts naturally come at night, like Flosstradamus and A-Trak on Friday, Tycho and Yacht on Saturday—that's a great lineup—and Purity Ring and RJD2 on Sunday. The afternoon programming seems relatively light, although I'm sure there's lots to do out in the sunshine, on a farm well outside of the city. (There's a splash pool which should keep people cooled off.) Music festivals of late have trended towards showcasing these kind of electronic and dance acts—it's a healthy sign that we have, in the form of WTF, what is looking to be a growing one so close to Portland.
Speaking of EDM/electronic music, Spin has an interesting piece on the growth of the genre and its tandem ride with visuals and production values, to turn music made by (often) one person on a laptop into a spectacle suitable for huge crowds. They're looking at what's happening in high-end clubs in Vegas, but it's indicative of how the genre has exploded in popularity and what might come next. Check it out.
But yeah, WTF. This one's gonna be big, I think. Sandwiched between PDX Pop Now! and Pickathon weekends, it doesn't overlap with either of those primary audiences, but I think it will prove to be a significant summer music destination for the Northwest. If you're still thinking of going, head over to WTF's site for all the info.
Here's footage from last year's What The Festival. This will either look confusing, or like heaven on earth, depending on your taste and, probably, age.
Perhaps they're taking their cue from Coachella, which expanded to incorporate two weekends last year, or perhaps Sasquatch is capitalizing on the spectacular success of this year's festival, which sold out completely in 90 minutes. Unlike Coachella, the two weekends of Sasquatch next year will have entirely different lineups from each other, with no acts repeating from one to the next.
This is a boon to the Pacific Northwest concert calendar, I think, although the idea of actually going to Sasquatch twice in one year is a little daunting. On the surface, it does sound like the opportunity to see more bands, especially big ones from overseas that don't always get to the Northwest. Here's hoping the mammoth fest doesn't affect other summer festivals in the area, and doesn't take anything away from the Portland live music calendar. (Sasquatch often cuts both ways, with many acts unable to contractually play both Portland and Sasquatch, while others are able to use the opportunity to do a Portland show before or after their Sasquatch slot.)
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