Monday, August 11, 2014

Pickathon 2014

I spent a recent Saturday at Pickathon, a "roots" oriented music festival held on a farm in Happy Valley, OR.  It was my first time at this festival, and although roots/country music is not necessarily my thing, there were several indie bands on the lineup so I jumped at the chance to check it out, if only for one day.

As outdoor festivals go, this was great. There were seven stages going at the same time, some in barns and some off in the woods that you had to hike along a wooded trail to get to. Logistically this made it difficult to catch everything, but they scheduled multiple performances for each band throughout the weekend so if you miss a band one day, you might catch them on another stage later.

The overall festival atmosphere was very laid back and unpretentious. In fact there were a lot more families than hipsters. After Coachella I thought I'd outgrown outdoor music festivals, but I would definitely go to Pickathon again next year, possibly even camp overnight to catch more than one day.

A few highlights!

Those Darlins
They were playing this tiny woodside stage made out of wooden pallets, which I'd wandered over to a few minutes before their set. It was mid afternoon and I needed shade, so I ended up sitting on the ground right up front. The entire audience was sitting down actually, but as soon as the band walked on stage I knew they would NOT be a sit-down band. They ROCKED. Eventually everyone in the audience stood up and a dance party broke out where I'd been sitting.

The lead singer is so fascinating! She rocked on guitar and has an amazing voice, but she also has some serious rockstar moves and interacted with the audience a lot, even walking off stage and into the crowd for a few songs.

I had such a good time. It was one of the best live music experiences I ever had actually, and I think part of it was walking over there on a whim and not knowing what to expect. I totally totally loved them and was obsessively listening to them days later.

Those Darlins' latest album "Blur The Line" is great and the opening track "Oh God" is just brilliant. Here's a video of them performing it live and sounding amazing.   

An older video for one of the other great songs they played at the show. Gah, they are so cute.





Diarrhea Planet
Yup, that's their name! They are a hard rock Nashville band of FOUR guitarists, a bassist and drummer. They played this beautiful woodsy stage in the late afternoon, which was an interesting juxtaposition of venue and music. They shredded heavily.  The crowd was SO INTO it. Even the middle aged hippies were dancing on hay-bales. There was crowd surfing.  Eventually, the band members themselves surfed the crowd WHILE STILL PLAYING THIER INSTRUMENTS. They reminded me of Surfer Blood, but harder. I will definitely go to another show of theirs. So, so fun.




Warpaint
I think everyone there fell in love with this band last night. They played the main stage just before the sun set. Again, I got there early so I could stand really close, which is my new thing apparently. They sounded so great, they were so on point and the drummer was ON IT.  I couldn't take my eyes off her. Whenever she was pounding, we were dancing.

What else I loved about them? They're gorgeous, they totally rock, the bassist had hot pink hair and wore hightop sneakers and jeans and a dress at the same time. There were a lot of little girls in the audience standing up front, mesmerized, which made me so happy. I hope their hip dads buy them guitars ASAP.

Seeing Warpaint perform reaffirmed my fandom. I posted a video of theirs before, here's them performing live.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Stuck in my head today

Twin Shadow - Five Seconds  (skip forward 99 seconds for the song to start)

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Annie Clark of St. Vincent

One of my friends recently asked "What's the appeal of St. Vincent?"

Oddly, I never got into them. I'm especially not into St. Vincent's latest album. Sorry. Maybe it takes time to digest and I haven't devoted time to doing that.  I'm also way too into garage rock lately and this album is way in the other direction. Ask me again another time, maybe.

I did like the lead track off their 2009 album, The Strangers. Here's an acoustic version, just Annie Clark with a guitar, doing her thang.


Here's Annie on "Guitar Moves".  Turns out she's a pretty sick guitar player.


Here she is again playing with Andrew Bird, who's also great.


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Arcade Fire

Arcade Fire is on tour!  They are not coming to Portland.  :(

Their latest album Reflektor is so good.  I'm loving this video for "We Exist"



Friday, May 16, 2014

post hardcore & straightedge

I've had "Waiting Room" from Fugazi stuck in my head all week.



Fugazi is "post hardcore" punk band from Washington DC..  The song "Waiting Room" was the first track on their self-titled debut EP, released in 1988 on their own label, Dischord.

Before Fugazi, lead singer Ian MacKaye was in hardcore punk band, Minor Threat.  They coined the term (and started the movement?) with this 1981 song off their self-titled EP, "Straight Edge."