In a bathroom with pink satin lining the walls and uncomfortable floral couches, Amy and I aren’t planning our next move–we’re taking selfies in the mirror and rubbing our hands with free lotion. The El Korah Shrine bathroom is our green room, our hideaway from the bustling, chaotic festival happening right above us. In the media lounge across the hall we scarf down hours-old pizza and pull out our notebooks. We just scored an interview with Modern Kin tomorrow at The Crux and we’re reviewing the bands we’ve circled in the program:
Big Tits are an offshoot of Warm Soda, and we can’t wait to see them; La Luz is playing tonight and we won’t miss it. Between shows in parking lots warm with Boise sunshine, coffee shops, and bars, we rest in the basement of El Korah Shrine, watching old men pass into the bar next door, coveting their trucker hats.
This is TreeFort festival.
A festival that features more Portland bands than any in our own town (except maybe PDX Pop Now!), TreeFort is truly the Portland music scene’s home away from home for a week. It’s our spring break. It’s a welcome retreat. It’s fitting that TreeFort declared itself a “festival of discovery” because year after year I leave in awe and with a long list of new bands I can’t get enough of. Music scenes from Boise, Seattle, Portland, New Orleans, Austin, even abroad coalesce in Boise, Idaho to create a five-day, non-stop, high energy adventure.
And there’s no shortage of things to do at the festival. Aside from wandering between the many venues, there’s beer to drink, stories to hear, friends to make, yoga to do (if you want to get up early), secret shows, day parties, skating, art, etc. I’m so looking forward to spending these five days at TreeFort.
Amy and I are making the drive to Boise on Wednesday. Here are a handful of Portland shows I am most looking forward to (full lineup here):
Divers: Drinking a beer with your Dad in the back of the venue.
Roselit Bone: Country music soundtrack to your bar brawl.
The Domestics: My new favorite Portland band.
Catherine Feeny: Super impressive vocals that you Mom would like.
Summer Cannibals: Loud, fast, no-bullshit–Portland’s next big thing.
Talkative: Wild, upbeat, no apologies.
Bearcubbin: When you’re in the mood for sweaty, jittery dancing.
Wooden Indian Burial Ground: Proudest moment of TreeFort 2014 was the bloody nose I got in the pit at WIBG.
Genders: An underrated Portland force, perfectly garage-y yet put together.
February is a really weird, bad month, especially if you don’t like football and/or celebrities. This month has been hard for me because it’s the first full month of the semester, and I’ve realized how little time I have to devote to stuff I love–like seeing music and blogging. I’ve been blogging for a class of mine and that’s been a big time suck for me. I won’t bore you with academic details–here’s what you came for:
Yesterday, two exciting things surfaced on NPR First Listen.
Waxahatchee, or Katie Crutchfield, found much success following her 2012 release, American Weekend. The Internet was awash with rave reviews for this Brooklynite and ex-PS Eliot-er. And American Weekend was beautiful. It was simple, raw, and rang in the heart of every 20-something who was ever an angst-ridden teenager.
Cerulean Salt, unfortunately, falls short. Everything that made American Weekend unique is absent from this album. It is well-produced, cleaned up, and somehow sounds much more monotonous and dull. The charm of Waxahatchee was the undone nature of the songs, the way Crutchfield’s voice splintered your heart. While Cerulean Salt is much more accessible and is sure to be a crossover hit for Crutchfield, it lacks what drew people to American Weekend in the first place.
Listen to: “Lips and Limbs” and “Misery Over Dispute”
Release date: March 5
The psychedelic follow-up to Youth Lagoon’s 2011 release The Year of Hibernation is quite a step for Trevor Powers. Where The Year of Hibernation was called “bedroomy” and “sleepy” by reviewers, Wondrous Bughouse is wide awake.
Wondrous Bughouse is vibrant, textured, and lends much more to the year than The Year of Hibernation. With distortion and a wider array of pitch, Powers is channeling earlier Animal Collective. It’s an interesting mix of pop and noise. Like Owl City is Owl City wasn’t so annoying, or you know, uncool.
Listen to: “Attic Doctor” and “Sleep Paralysis”
Release date: March 5