In the final weekend of the summer, Portland attempts to hang on to summer just a little bit long with the last outdoor music festival of the season. Project Pabst, new to the city this year, bring big-ticket bands and local acts together in what has been dubbed a “love letter to Portland” by PBR at Zidell Yards.
I was excited to hear about Project Pabst in the midst of my frustration with MFNW. It seemed to me like Project Pabst offered a better alternative to MFNW’s changed format: it had the outdoor festival in addition to multi-venue shows that cost extra, which could be a downside–but considering I paid only $45 for my festival pass, shelling out some extra cash didn’t seem like a big deal.
WHO I’M SEEING
I’m going to start the day with K. Flay, the honest and unashamed rapper/producer, whose newest album Life As A Dog is seriously addicting. Next I’ll catch Red Fang, Portland’s resident stoner metal experts, whose music videos are the most fun ever and who are the loudest hairy dudes I can possibly tolerate. I’m really, really looking forward to seeing Phosphorescent for the first time. Take one listen to Here’s To Taking It Easy and have your heart simultaneously broken and set on fire. Last summer’s Muchacho was a more ethereal record, but stayed on par. I’m ending my night with Violent Femmes, to whom I owe several angsty high school drives screaming the lyrics to “Add It Up.”
Portland’s Grandparents have come a long way since performing the foyer of the art building at Lewis & Clark, where I first saw them. Their weirdo experimental folk has grown, bigger and badder than eve, albeit with more pop. I am a huge fan of Shabazz Palaces‘ Lese Majesty. The newest songs from the Seattle duo are wide in range, interesting, and all-around hypnotizing . I won’t even try to say something intelligent about the GZA, but I wouldn’t miss him. And finally, Modest Mouse, who I’m embarrassed to say I haven’t seen… ever (although my Mom thinks we saw them open for R.E.M. once together. She might be right).
Summer Cannibals, The Woolen Men, The Constantines: Two powerhouse Portland bands open for a buzzed-up classic indie rock band playing a much-anticipated set. Friday @ Dante’s.
Wooden Indian Burial Ground, Deep Sea Diver, Built to Spill: Catch these two PNW acts who are entirely different but entirely great in their own respects. WIBG is galactic, rough, and rowdy. Deep Sea Diver is poppy, full, and Jessica Dobson’s voice is a force to be reckoned with. Saturday @ The Crystal Ballroom.
WHAT I’M EXPECTING
I look forward to experiencing a Portland festival that I never had before, and seeing what everyone thinks. My hunch is that the acts themselves will make or break the festival, regardless of the experience or “feel.” But, I’m looking foward to drinking a shitload of PBR and getting wet and gross with a bunch of other music lovers.
See you there?
Today I am recovering from a much too long weekend and not being stimulated mentally for five or six days. The good news is, there are tons of new albums out today, including King Tuff, Grass Widow, and Guantanamo Baywatch! So even though my brain feels mushy, my ears are happy.
Listen to this track: Goldilocks Zone by Grass Widow
I’m at work right now in a lull and thought I’d talk about an event coming up this week that is kind of exciting for the music, but mostly exciting for the news. Portland’s beloved Music Fest Northwest is gearing up for their 12th year in September, and they are going to announce to lineup (or most of it) this Wednesday at Holocene during the MFNW Kick-Off Party.
The party features Santa Barbara electro-poppers Gardens & Villa, Portland’s psychedelic Swahili, the slightly annoying but nonetheless listenable Battleme, and local experimental folk sweethearts Grandparents. So, lots to sit through before you get to the good stuff, the meat, the juice–the festival line up that has me sweating with anticipation.
I’ll probably blog about it Thursday, but if you can’t wait that long, get your butt over to Holocene tomorrow. The bands might be cool, but being one of the first sets of ears to hear our city’s glorious musical fate is fucking awesome.
Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison, 8:30 p.m., $8-10