Portland Music Scene Pt. II (PDX Pop Now!)

The scene laid out before us is something born of an anarchic nightmare. Hundreds, if not thousands, of certainly-drunken teenagers are mulling about in an orgy of frustration and destruction. Bottles are being smashed against the apocalyptic-stark warehouse walls, voices are crying out in protest, men with badges swaying from their irate necks are screaming orders into the seething masses.

Welcome to denied access into a free local performance of The Blow that has recently reached capacity.

This is Jeff's introduction to the three-day (Aug. 3-5) music festival known as PDX Pop Now!. It's the fourth such annual event of it's kind (all local, all ages, no cover) to take place here in the Stump. The venue changes (in 2006 it was at the Loveland) seemingly every year, landing now at Audiocinema. Last year, I hit up dozens of the mini-sets (they last roughly 30 minutes each, perfect for us ADHD folks)...unfortunately, not so this time around. Short notice guests from out of town and the untimely disabling of my spinal cord disk nervous system prevented me from seeing more than a mere smattering of what was offered.

Friday, August 3rd:

10:10 The Blow
- As described above, Jeff and I obviously didn't catch this one, showing up a mere 3.7 seconds late. Bummer.
10:50 Braille
- 1/3 of the local hip hop group Lightheaded, this cat can rhyme. Sure, his subject matter (definitely leaning towards the more spiritual matters in life) may not appeal to most folks, but there's no denying his skill at the mic, and he comes equipped with a killer stage present to boot, seemingly hooked up to an IV of liquidized cocaine, jumping around so much you'd swear the stage was doubling as electro-convulsive therapy.

11:30 Hey Lover
- Had a difficult time getting into this husband (guitar)-wife (drums) combo. Lots of screaming, but light on sound.

- If Satan had appeared in I'm Gonna Git You Sucka, his theme music would have been played by these guys and gals. Clowns meet band class meet anarchy meet pure sex meet stilt walkers trying to kick you in the face...a good time for all involved.

Saturday, August 4th:

- Didn't catch much of this act, but I'd like to hear more of their seemingly unique brand of orchestral storytelling.

11:05 Black Elk
- Admittedly not much of a metal fan, even when tinged with punk, this shit was amazing. Interesting stage antics and the sheer abuse the lead singer puts his vocal cords through got me mashing around in the crowd within moments.

11:45 Copy
- Having heard a few of his song's on previous PDX Pop Now! music comps (which are basically Cliff Notes for newcomers to the Portland music scene) I knew I'd like whatever Copy performed on his laptop and keytar (yes!...a fucking KEYTAR!), but nothing could prepare me for the dance scene I walked into. No one held back, all had disgustingly-satisfied smiles on their face, and the sweat sprayed buckets.

- Eemmm, no. Not my style, thank you very much.

Sunday, August 5th:

- Arrived late, having woken up just in time to ride our bikes down, either we didn't get a chance to appreciate these cats, or they just weren't all that interesting. I took a nap on the sidewalk while we waited for the next act to take the stage.

12:40 Libretto
- Or not. Apparently Libretto thought his set was at 12:40 tonight and wouldn't be appearing. Defeated and more than a little sleepy, Jeff and I decided against a riot and peddled off to get some breakfast at Junior's.

Next year, I swear I'll hit up more shows...


luckygreen said...

On second thought, we should have rioted after the Libretto no-show.

Anonymous said...

I love your descriptions of the bands...maybe next year I will go to a few with you babe.
PS I voted...lucky lab would have gotten my vote except their food sucks.

Anonymous said...

Black Elk? Fuck yeah!

p.s. Nice blog


Jessica said...

you didn't like The Sort Ofs??? I don't think you were awake yet to really get a listen. :) I work with the wife of the lead singer.


Oldie said...

Adam...you moving up or what!? I'll take to you to a Black Elk show...I recently ran into the lead singer at Fred Meyers. Cool dude.

Oldie said...

Jessica...okay, maybe I'll give them another chance. We only caught their last two songs. I was pretty tired, and probably more than a bit hungover, too.