Three days, outdoor and indoor stages, tons of rad local music...even room to park your bike. The annual PDX Pop Now!
fest takes place July 18th through the 20th at 226 SE Madison St, Portland, OR 97214 (underneath the Hawthorne Bridge). As always the festival is free and totally all ages.
PDX Pop Now!, Portland’s rock and roll non-profit has one mission; to “stimulate and expand participation in the Portland music scene” - an admirable cause to say the least, considering all the hard work this organization has done to support local art. From its early days as a listserv for Portland music lovers in 1998, PDX Pop Now! has grown into an “all-volunteer organization committed to...provid[ing] and support[ing] live performances and recorded materials.”
Overwhelmed by all the stellar bands? Here are some of our recomendations of what not to miss:
BARRA BROWN QUINTET: Friday 18th, Outdoor Stage, 6pm
, a Lewis & Clark College alum, has been making all sorts of waves in the Portland music scene - particularly in the jazz community. He’s been composing some killer, adventurous tunes that blend his eclectic taste in music. For instance, if it weren’t for the styling of trumpeter Tom Barber along with Brown’s polyrhythmic metric play, the song, “How the West was Won” could easily pass as an upbeat instrumental pop tune.
BROWNISH BLACK: Saturday 19th, Outdoor Stage, 1:30pm
Three cheers for neo-soul! Brownish Black
started when front-person M.D. Sharbatz moved here from Detroit. Raised on a steady diet of Motown, punk and metal, Sharbatz attempts to blend all three sensibilities into this project, cultivating the lo-fi, “jagged” Stax soul sound with a “hard-edged beat to it.” Get ready to break out your tambourine.
SOUVENIR DRIVER: Sunday 20th, Outdoor Stage, 4:15pm
have been touring material from their recent LP, Living Water. Self-dubbed as “bliss pop” the band’s list of genre influences is myriad, toting post-punk, psych, shoegaze, and even goth. “Kiss You Close” and “Feel the Flood” combine heavy bass with echo-heavy kick-snare and vocals like a sedated Joe Strummer to produce a slick, sinister new wave sound.
Also check out:
ALAMEDA: Sunday 20th, Outdoor Stage, 2:15pm
's pristine folk pop will cradle you until nothing hurts.
COMA SERFS: Sunday 20th, Outdoor Stage, 6:15pm
With their jagged, garage rock, Coma Serfs
will basically tear down all that sweet healing you got from just watching Alameda...but in the best way possible.
- Ted Jamison