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.

Continue reading “Fir Talks East African Jazz, Traditional Recording, and Transport Ecstasy”

The Wednesday People release Yesterday’s News

The Wed People - Yesterday's NewwsIf there’s one thing that has always rang true for The Wednesday People, it’s that they’re dynamic, and constantly shifting. This can be said about their music, their members, and their direction as a band. That fact is more evident than ever, with their release of Yesterday’s News. The title illustrates a lamentable irony; a harsh realization that although it’s their first full-length LP, it also happens to be their last.

The People got their start as a humble folksy group, singing songs of the woods and mountain men. After a handful of years and a few handfuls of lineup changes, they’ve since morphed into a powerful and passionate groove rock outfit, wailing about smooth grooves and Mississippi Blues. Yesterday’s News, the inaugural LP for the group, is a fluctuating ride over a wide range of turbulent and flowing sounds.

Continue reading “The Wednesday People release Yesterday’s News”

Brave the Slothrust Trail! – Slothrust creates Oregon Trail-inspired touring game

The Slothrust Trail

Oh, the open plains, how their beauty mystifies the soul – that is, when they’re not killing your little 12 bit avatar with dysentery. Many of us fondly remember the elementary days of braving the Oregon Trail in a virtual western world wrought with plentiful diseases, frequent thieves, and arbitrary bone fractures that mercilessly plagued you and your loved ones as you struggled to survive, hoping to one day reach the wondrous sanctuary of Oregon. Now you can relive this glamorous and not at all disheartening experience with Slothrust‘s The Slothrust Trail!

Continue reading “Brave the Slothrust Trail! – Slothrust creates Oregon Trail-inspired touring game”

Portugal. The Man at Edgefield Amphitheater

DSC_0541

Portugal. The Man‘s “Live In The Moment” from their latest album, Woodstock, opens with this line: “My home / Is a girl with eyes like wishing wells.” On Friday, August 24th, their home town of Portland, OR welcomed them with thousands of keenly fixated eyes all gazing at a wish come true. Portland has always championed their own kind, and two back-to-back sold out shows at McMenamins Edgefield is far from surprising for the PDX veterans. Despite their mainstream success over the last couple years, PTM have never forgotten where they came from. From constantly collaborating with other local artists, to hanging out with Blazers players, they’ve distinctly established themselves as the true Lords of Portland. With this undeniable homestead fellowship, there was eager anticipation that these shows would make for a rowdy weekend with numerous special surprises.

DSC_0239

Continue reading “Portugal. The Man at Edgefield Amphitheater”

Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats at MicMenamins Edgfield Amphitheater

DSC_0080Standing at the foot of the stage at McMenamins Edgfield Amphitheater, the first thought in my head as Nathaniel Rateliff entered in front of a roaring, sold out audience was: damn, for a husky dude, this guy can MOVE. Bounding in from stage right, he quickly set the tone with a remarkably graceful cartwheel while the Night Sweats played him on. From that moment, they gave nothing but soulful energy the entire night.

Continue reading “Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats at MicMenamins Edgfield Amphitheater”

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.”

Continue reading “Father John Misty at the Edgefield Amphitheater”

MusicfestNW Is Back! – Doc Martens Presents In The Lot

Many local Portlanders were disheartened to learn back in March that MusicfestNW and Pabst Blue Ribbon would not be putting on the acclaimed Project Pabst event this summer. After a successful 18 years of cheap beer and great music, this was a huge hit to the local festival circuit, and personally, I’m still bitter about it.

But that didn’t mean that the Cascadian music group was out for the count. They’ve teamed up with fellow locals Dr. Martens for a new event called In the Lot! The event will be held in the Doc Martens parking lot on August 25-26th, and will feature the likes of Twin Peaks, Princess Nokia, The Last Artful, Dodgr, Dude York, and more. Check out the flyer below for the details and the full lineup.

In the Lot

Shaking the Neighborhood – The Wednesday People Find a Home Away from Home

 

The Wednesday People GroupHouse shows get rowdy. Things get broken. The cops get called. The liquor cabinet gets raided. Sketchy guys named Trevor show up and seem not to know anyone, yet proceed to grab an armful of beers and stash them in his van out front before coming back in and attempting to sell acid to all your friends claiming that it’s ‘really cool stuff’. House shows exhibit all the recklessness of a standard house party in addition to an elevated sense of enthusiasm influenced by the primal impetus of organic rhythm. Blood runs hot as a living room turned auditorium pulses with every drum kick and guitar wail, shaking the neighborhood with waves of vibration.

House shows are also iconic. People dance. Drunken friendships are discovered. New fans are planted. They’re the historical birthplaces of some of the world’s greatest musical careers, and Utah-based psych rock outfit The Wednesday People are no strangers to this phenomenon. In fact, they’re often the catalyst on such an occasion. On their third tour through the Pacific Northwest in the last 8 months, the Ogden locals stopped by a modest bungalow in the heart of SE Portland to shake things up on St. Patrick’s Day.

Continue reading “Shaking the Neighborhood – The Wednesday People Find a Home Away from Home”

MusicfestNW Takes a Gap Year

musicfest-nwThere’s some sad news for Portland area festival goers. MusicfestNW and Project Pabst will not be kicking up dust and dishing out PBR’s this year in Portland’s iconic downtown Waterfront Park.

Citing the end of a partnership with Pabst and the budget beer’s decision to “go in a different direction,” MusicfestNW and it’s parent operator, Willamette Week, announced the cancellation earlier this week. This will be the first year without the festival since it’s inception 18 years ago. Event organizers promised that this would just be a gap year, and that the festival would return in some form or another the following summer. Continue reading “MusicfestNW Takes a Gap Year”

A Savage Dichotomy – Conversation with The Autonomics’ Dan Pantenburg

The Autonomics.jpgIn a life of late nights, long tours, brown liquor, and empty pockets, it’s difficult to hang onto any conventional sense of normality. The transience of this feeble balance is intensified when combined with the trials of quarter life restlessness, encounters of new competition in a relentlessly developing industry, and a constant struggle to maintain wholesome relationships with friends and family amid the chaos of it all. This, however, is just a slice in the life of The Autonomics‘ Dan Pantenburg. It’s not all turbulence though, as I found out while sitting down with the front man last week to discuss these and a slew of other subjects, not excluding The Beach Boys, dinosaurs, and of course, The Autonomics’ new album, Debt Sounds.

Continue reading “A Savage Dichotomy – Conversation with The Autonomics’ Dan Pantenburg”