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Pickathon 2010 Update/Day 1 Highlights

Pickathon 2010 Update/Day 1 Highlights

Backstage at a bluegrass festival at 10:00 a.m.on a Sunday morning - well, any festival really, and maybe any morning - is like treading through a zombie prom. The coffee line is long (Kleen Kanteen users are the salt of the earth), the fruit's all gone and everyone's still sporting the facepaint they raged warrior-like into the previous evening's din, the stench of decay from two days into a three-day festival becomes ever more pungent. Such is the environ I send you, dear Deli Portland readers, my first update from Pickathon 2010 at Pendarvis Farms - gloomy, overcast, humid Happy Valley, OR.

Day 1 Highlights: Friday, August 6


The day began with Weinland on the Mountain View Stage, with most festival-goers still sulking in the campground looking for a spot to hang their hat. Despite the small crowd, John Shearer executed the same moody, plaintive rock, and tactfully crafted progressions, culled from the bowels of arena rock standards. The band sifted through honest, sometimes loud refrains, and emerged as a great example of the fence-sitting parameters of Pickathon's bluegrass-meets-indie-rock milieu. Weinland ended their set with infestations of dance-folk, which consisted mostly of ingestible pellets of organ-oaked rock and gloom...maybe too dark for the very first mainstage band.

Casey McGill's Blue 4 Trio took to the Galaxy Barn stage - literally a barn, with notoriously sweltering temperatures, and intimate performances late nights with mainstage acts - toting old-timey lullaby juke-joint ditties. McGill appeared a blue-eyed dreamer in a dapper cabana suit while strumming a lonely guitar. The trio was festooned with '50s-era optimism, replete with stand-up bass and ukulele, all the while conjuring specters of crumple-sleeved working stiffs let loose for the night to get their kicks with boogie-woogie ballads.


North Carolina's Megafaun took to the Galaxy Barn later in the evening, at first employing a somewhat tame, blues-singed rock with lots of crowd involvement. With very home-y dallops of fun-lovin' rock 'n' rag, the band steadily eased into a trance-y hum, with snippets of jazz noir beginning to seep into their cacophany, like The Sea and Cake on speed. In the whip of Tibetan flags off stage-left, Megafaun slowly morphed into a psychedelic tangent, an ode to flippant sonic meandering. Shamanistic shivers were executed slip-sloppy by the shaky percussionist, like some goddamn hillbilly hypnotism. Every mouth gaped at its conclusion, and - as if they needed it - Megafaun hooked a slew of new listeners.

More updates, photos, etc. coming this week from the biggest little festival in the world.

- Ryan J. Prado




Published: August 08, 2010 |

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