Like salmon returning to their birthplace to spawn, music fans are recalled every summer to the massive regional music festivals that populate the Northwest like so many noisy, sweaty magnets. Whether ye be devotees of rock, jazz, hip-hop or if you’re just looking for an excuse to party in the woods, there’s sure to be a festival that fulfills your personal musical fantasies with its plethora of party-inducing artists. Here’s a rundown of some of your best bets for rock-and-roll hedonism this summer in the lovely Northwest.
“My music is inspired by people. By human beings. Everybody needs the truth, everybody needs positivity. I don’t want to own my music to the point where I say this is what I want people to get out of it,” said Nashid Sulaiman, known also as the Michigan based hip-hop artist One Be Lo.
Hey hey, we’re the…Blue Skies For Black Hearts? Somehow that doesn’t have the same flow as The Monkees’ infamous tune. However, this Portland band does have a sound that shares the allure of its classic hooks. In a recent interview, lead singer and songwriter Pat Kearns revealed several interesting parallels between his band and The Monkees (don’t worry, Blue Skies For Black Hearts actually play their own instruments). The influence of classic pop acts such as The Monkees, The Beatles and The Kinks comes through stronger than ever on the group’s fourth release, Serenades and Hand Grenades, due out on May 20.
With tags like “collective” and “neo-psychedelia” attached to them, Dark Meat could easily be understood as yet another attempt to revive the flower-power good times of the ’60s. That would be a gross misunderstanding.
Another Cynthia isn’t just another indie band. The serendipitous collection of six–Ian Mackintosh (vocals, guitar), Abe Smith (vocals, guitar), Jason Mackie (vocals, guitar), Ian Mouser (bass), Jackson Coffey (drums) and Ben Braun (keys/sampler)–have something fresh to offer.
Five minutes before I walked up to the green house on Southeast Belmont, it was sunny. By the time I knock on the door, it was hailing. It seems right. After all, I’m here to meet the members of the band, The Rainy States–possibly the most aptly named Portland musicians out there.
Fans of The Pixies and Enon rejoice! Portland’s Oh Darling has the fix you need. Now, the band doesn’t sound exactly like those groups–though at times they come remarkably close–it’s more that they have an upbeat energy that reminds you of happiness and all the things you love.
If you closed your eyes, you would never imagine that big voice coming from the stage is flowing out of the slim David Karsten Daniels. No, the young man with the bald head and well-trimmed beard doesn’t look like much of a musical magnet–but he is.
“I think dance is God’s gift,” said Thomas Turner. And as half of dance-duo Ghostland Observatory, he’s looking to make good on the generosity of the higher power. Turner, in an e-mail interview, went on to remark, “Since the dawn of man, we have danced.”
Pianos and pop music go together like candy and Halloween. And the two soulful balladeers playing tonight at the Doug Fir Lounge aren’t a bad match either.
John Adam Weinland Shearer says his band is part of the Portland music scene’s class of 2006.