Greetings from Portland, Oregon and a local festival called PDX POP Now! This year the festival is celebrating it’s 10th year highlighting Portland music. It is 100% volunteer run, all-ages, and operates completely on donations, sponsorship and the the profits from selling the compilation CD.
The schedule this year is impressive. Several friends asked who I would recommend they see and I said, one cannot wrong. The whole lineup is pretty amazing. A particularly brilliant thing about this festival is that you WILL discover bands you love, something you may have seen on a flyer around town, but here you can enjoy them for free, outside!
I headed down early on Friday night, checking out the new location, donning my ear protection and sunglasses. The sun was bright, the industrial neighborhood briefly transformed for the weekend into a musical wonderland. Small ones in baby carriers, teenagers in all black, and men with gray in their beard weaved together easily. Bikes hung from chain link fences or stacked 20 deep on the racks, their owners off checking out a band or grabbing some ice cream from the food carts.
Here’s a brief rundown of the bands I caught on Day 1.
Genders – Fun, loud, their noise backed up by the bright sun over the the Willamette River.
The We Shared Milk – Nice bass lines, this band is a current Portland favorite. Some homage to math rock, and even a bit of early 90’s sound.
Youthbitch – One of my favorite sets of the night. Catchy pop punk, with an edge of silliness that makes them a blast to see.
PWRHAUS - Not quite my thing, as some of it hearkened back to 50’s style music but they had a number of musicians, lots of horns and vocals were pretty good.
Ramona Falls – A friend summed it up well, “this band should be the house band for Holocene (small club in town) as they sum up the Portland sound perfectly”
Wooden Indian Burial Ground – I am currently smitten by music with a lo-fi, psychedelic sound, anything that lifts me up and away. WIBG did just that, brazen, fuzzy, wild, I love this band.