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.
Sometimes when summer ends it takes a whole bunch of other stuff down with it. People move away, bars close, the rain sets in, maybe you even get your heart broken. No matter the reason, the changing of seasons kinda sucks until it doesn’t anymore. I’ve made a playlist with equal parts depressing indie music and vindictive pop to get you through the turbulence. Honestly, I went from crying to feeling kinda okay while listening to it. Hope it does the same for you.
(Note: Playlist has best effect if listened to IN ORDER.)
Track list, with key lyrics for your reference:
- Sad Girl – Lana Del Rey
- Calico Man – PHOX “And I will shout it from these corners that I may never love again”
- Pretend You Love Me – Sonny and the Sunsets
- Dark Parts – Perfume Genius
- Not Your Lover – Blitzen Trapper “In my sleep I’m not your lover anymore/ When I wake I have to remind myself that I’m sleeping on your shore.”
- All Too Well – Taylor Swift “You call me up again just to break me like a promise/ So casually cruel in the name of being honest.”
- The Good That Won’t Come Out – Rilo Kiley “I think i’ll go out and embarrass myself by getting drunk and falling down in the street/ You say i choose sadness, that it never once has chosen me/ Maybe you’re right.”
- Burn – Usher
- It Is What It Is – Kacey Musgraves
- Starring Role – Marina and the Diamonds
- Saltwater – Beach House “Love you all the time/ Even though you’re not mine.”
- One By One – Billy Bragg and Wilco
- Unfucktheworld – Angel Olsen “Here’s to thinking that it all meant so much more.”
- In Due Time – PHOX “And for years to come in the mornings/ You may think that I’m the best thing you’ve almost had/ In due time if I gain some self respect/ I could smile upon the day that we first met.”
- Tangled Heart – Luluc
- We’re Just Friends – Wilco
- Stay – Rihanna
- You Are What You Love – Jenny Lewis
- The Mermaid Parade – Phosphorescent
- Don’t Apply Compression Gently – Courtney Barnett “I may not be 100 percent happy but at least I’m not with you.”
- Stupid – Kacey Musgraves “Love is stupid/ Don’t know why we always do it.”
- If It Makes You Happy – Sheryl Crow
- I Won’t Share You – The Smiths
- I Care – Beyonce
- Dancing On My Own – Robyn
- The First Cut is the Deepest – PP Arnold
- I Go To The Barn Because I Like The – Band of Horses
- Really Don’t Care – Demi Lovato and Cher Lloyd
- Tears in the Typing Pool – Broadcast
- If I Needed You – Emmylou Harris
- Chasing A Ghost – The Morning Benders
- There Will Be No Divorce – The Mountain Goats “If i ever want to drive myself insane/ All i have to do is watch you breathing.”
- Love Hurts – Roy Orbison
- Happiness/The Gondola Man – Elliott Smith “What I used to be will pass away and then you’ll see/ That all I want now is happiness for you and me.”