Fir Talks East African Jazz, Traditional Recording, and Transport Ecstasy

FirIt’s no secret that the Pacific Northwest is a mystical place brimming with rolling mountain ranges, lush forests, and meandering rivers. It inspires a collective ethos that draws people from all over the world and influences a rich and diverse culture. All of this enables Portland to offer the ideal nourishment for budding and rooted creatives alike, most of which take this persona to heart. Wearing it proudly on their sleeves, folk-surf-psych band Fir brandishes Cascadia’s archetypal flag symbol as their name, paying homage to the region’s esoteric musings.

They’ve earned the title, as they share multiple commonalities with their adopted home city. Much like Portland, Fir is a classic old soul, but not without a strong sense of youthful enthusiasm. Their style is difficult to define; having blended a myriad of eclectic sounds from an application of exhaustive musical exploration. And, in proper Portland affinity, they know how to make you feel like you’ve been transported to a world outside of your own, fully immersed in a moment within their music.

I had the opportunity to meet with Fir a couple weeks ago before their show at Turn Turn Turn in NE Portland. We talked about navigating the Portland music environment, learning from antecedent influences, and making a name for themselves in an increasingly distracted music world.

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Father John Misty at the Edgefield Amphitheater

DSC_0173It’s been a busy couple of years for Josh Tillman. Of course, he’s better known by his boisterous, swashbuckling musical identity, Father John Misty. By this time last year, he was celebrating the release of his critically acclaimed album, Pure Comedy. It would later go on to receive Grammy nominations for best alternative album and best recording package, the second of which he was awarded with the golden horn. As the third full-length offering in his catalog, Pure Comedy serves as a critique on the human existence – a product of society’s contempt turned on itself for the imperious and exorbitant grandeur of its ways. Misty’s persona has often been known to embody both sides of this dichotomy – frequently praising himself while at the same time calling out his own bullshit, as he does on “Leaving LA,” conceding, “Oh great, that’s just what we need / Another white guy in 2017 / Who takes himself so goddamn seriously.”

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Live Nation’s National Concert Week – A smoke screen for monopolistic selling tactics


“I think I’m gonna be sad. I think it’s today, yeah. The girl that’s driving me mad – is going away. She’s got a ticket to ride… But she don’t care.”

It’s long been known that the concert ticket industry has some peculiar, under-the-table, and definitely questionable selling strategies, especially when it comes to selling tickets for major artists at some of the largest venues in the world. Concert and event ticket conglomerate Live Nation, along with its multiple subsidiaries including Ticketmaster, is easily the largest in the industry, and they’re no stranger to controversy. Now they’re even being investigated by the DOJ for possibly violating established antitrust laws, pressuring venues in multiple US cities to adopt Ticketmaster as the primary selling utility or risk losing the opportunity to host major acts, and, more specifically, lose out on the revenue that they bring.

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MusicfestNW Presents Project Pabst!

musicfest-nwWhat’s up ya’ll!?! There’s always a ton of great shows/festivals over the summer, but one that I’m really stoked about is the Project Pabst stop in Portland. I didn’t actually have any clue about it until I was looking up tour stops for Noname a couple months ago, and this one popped up.

One of the greatest things about what I’m going to call the massive ‘festival frenzy’ that’s picked up in the last few years (or decade?) or so (also maybe I’ll do another post about how huge festivals are these days), is that it gives you the chance to see a ton of different artists at a bulk discount that you might not have splurged for the ticket to alone. There are a lot of those that fall into that category for me at this event, like Beck, Die Antwoord, Lizzo, PUP, etc. etc.. But of course, I’m kind of losing it over getting to see Iggy Pop, Fidlar, Father John Misty, Spoon, Nas (like, f*ckin NAS?? legend, never thought I’d get to see him live), and of course, Noname all in the same weekend.

The full lineup is here (and also inserted below). I’m trying to get some press passes for photos and interviews, but either way there will definitely be more posts to come after the show (maybe it’ll help to give a direct shout out to Motormouthmedia while I’m at it ;)). Let me know who you’d like to hear from/about and I’ll try to focus in that direction.

[insert snappy sign-off here]