Music Fest Northwest Update

So I’m still alive, sort of.? It’s been grueling going to shows and work and pretending to maintain this whole blog thing.? I should, when time allows tomorrow morning, have some awesome video for you guys.? Over the past two days I’ve caught some great bands and made some nice discoveries.

However, there is much to hate about the festival and that all stems from the planning by the Willamette Week.? Twice now, I’ve bolted concerts to go to another location and twice have been met with long lines and the inevitability of disapointment.? On Wednesday it was making a break for the Mogwai show at Roseland Ballroom after being slightly disappointed by the lineup at Berbati’s Pan and last night it was leaving M. Ward midway through his set to see Starfucker and Deerhunter across town at Holocene.

Of course, not knowing anything about Holocene (cut me some slack I just moved here) I assumed because Deerhunter was playing there that it had to be a large venue, right?? That’s a good assumption to make.

I was met with looooooooooooong lines both times.? Last night was especially crushing because both Starfucker and Deerhunter were high on my list of shows to see, though I never imagined that they would schedule Portland’s most popular local band and one of the most popular festival bands back to back in the tragically tiny Holocene.? But this is Portland and that’s what happened.? Seriously, there’s something askew about this town and one day I’m going to put my finger on it.? The whole Deerhunter episode is indicative of that, but I’m not quite sure how it’s connected to long lines at coffee shops and waiters who could care less about serving you and buses that run whenever they want.? I know it’s all connected somehow.

You could hear the grumbling from people in line about why on god’s earth would Deerhunter be playing Holocene, especially given that the Wonder Ballroom wasn’t being used. One guy jokes, while leaning up against garbage cans, “Now this is how I imagined my night going” and another girl, upon seeing the monstrously long line said with utter defeat, “Can this day suck any more?”

Sucky for sure.? Still, I got to see No Age at the Wonder Ballroom and they totally rocked my socks off.? I didn’t know much about them accept for reputation only and shit, those two guys played louder and more furiously than I was anticipating.? It was just an hour of high-tempo, hard hitting music.? Battles followed them up and it’s safe to say, I can appreciate the band for what they are, but not my cup of tea.? I thought, perhaps they would sound better live but no.? Better on the record.? They are a band that’s good in theory, but again it takes a special person to love the sort of mathy-prog-rock that sounds like smurf music on acid and I’m just not that special.

We’ll have more in depth looks at the bands tomorrow. As for tonight we’ve got Britt Daniel of Spoon going solo acoustic.? Well, I’m not positive about the acoustic part but definitely solo.? And then Built to Spill performing their album Perfect From Now On in its entirety.? Then, busting ass to the Crystal Ballroom for Lackthereof, John Vanderslice and Vampire Weekend.? Maybe.? I still really wanna see TV on the Radio, but I’m not waiting in any more lines.? If that happens than I’m putting the entire city of Portland on notice.

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  • glynner September 6, 2008, 2:47 pm

    that sucks about the logistics of the whole fest, cause it sounds like a pretty sweet deal. how long has it been in existence? maybe they will get the kinks out next year! in other news, have you heard the new deerhunter and walkmen albums? pure gold i tell ya.

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