Tuesday, May 31, 2011

so much sasquatch : the 2011 highlights

See the 10th annual Sasquatch! Music Festival in photos here and read OMN's daily highlights from Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday at the Gorge Amphitheatre. Whoo hoo!!!

Friday, May 20, 2011

omn’s guide to sasquatch 2011

Celebrating a decade in action, the 2011 Sasquatch! Music Festival at the Gorge Amphitheatre adds a fourth day, albeit short, of music making on Friday and sold out in record time. Spanning Memorial Day weekend, Friday, May 27 through Monday, May 30th, there are more than 100 acts lined up to grace three stages plus the newly dubbed (and freshly sponsored) Banana Shack tent–check out the fest map here–including a handful of comedians and some of OMN’s favs from Portland and the greater NW.

If you were too slow to get your grubby little hands on tickets, we’ll tell you where in Oregon you can catch these acts on their way to and fro, and if you’re watching from home, follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the weekend since internet coverage can be shaky from the great expanses of the Gorge.

Here’s how we’ll be spending out weekend:


Playing a two-hour set: The Foo Fighters are hot to trot with their seventh studio album, Wasting Light, and a five-man line up that includes Foo forefather Pat Smear back in the fold. The album, which clocked in at #1 in twelve countries and marked the first FF album to debut at the top spot in the US, is nothing but pure rawk with Grohl channeling all that under-used rage kept aside from their last several efforts. Expect a heavy set, both with new material and rocking oldies, and if you’d like a 110-minute preview to prepare, watch the Foos live from the Ed Sullivan Theater on Letterman performing the new record in its entirety followed by the classics–just don’t expect the Fab Four trib at Sasquatch.

Foo Fighters rock the Sasquatch stage from 9:30 – 11:30pm.

PDX pick: DJ Anjali & The Incredible Kid are spinning an even longer set than the Foos from 9pm to 12:30am in the Banana Shack, and they’re the only act at Sasquatch performing more than once. Really, the PDX club mainstays hit the Banana stage all four days! Immerse yourself in the infectious, jangling rhythms of their Bollywood and Bhangra beats and catch them around Portland at the long-running monthly parties Andaz and Atlas or their new Thursday residency in the Crystal Hotel’s Al’s Den.

See DJ Anjali & The Incredible Kid in the Banana Shack from 9pm 12:30am on Friday, from 6:05 – 6:50pm on Saturday, 6:30 – 7:15pm on Sunday, or 6:00 – 6:45pm on Monday.

Tantalizing treat, try for yourself: Five years since the band broke up, the Toronto dance-punk duo of Jesse F. Keeler and Sebastien Grainger is reunited and excited. As Death From Above 1979 readies their collaborative “collision of two different worlds,” according to Grainger, you can catch an electronic Keeler incarnation in MSTRKRFT on Sunday night.

Get your fix of Death From Above 1979 on the Sasquatch stage from 8:00 – 9:00pm.

Band you can skip: Biffy Clyro. But really, we can’t get too huffy about these mediocre Scottish rockers with lame lyrics because there’s not much competition for your attention on Friday night. Hey, they are big time in Europe and opening for the Foos on a few dates (same goes for Mariachi el Bronx who you can see on the Yeti stage) so if you must have a listen we won’t stop you. They also hit the Doug Fir in Portland on 5/30.

Also appearing in Portland: Rival Schools will be at Peter’s Room
 in the Roseland on 5/26.


NW picks: In the definitive indie-folk tradition of the NW, Seattle’s The Head & The Heart are instant classics. Delicately placed vocal harmonies alongside piano and violin melodies make for heart-wrenching stories told by a band that has grown into a sextet which genuinely cares for their craft.

They’ll also hit the Crystal in Portland on 5/31 opening for Iron & Wine (who play the Sasquatch stage from 6:45– 7:45pm).

The emotive Sub Pop signees play the Sasquatch stage from 2:10– 2:55 pm.

On the other end of the indie rock spectrum are Portland’s The Thermals. With punk influences, indelibly poppy songwriting and energy galore, we wouldn’t miss them for the world… neither should you.

The Thermals are oft playing PDX… like tonight!

Catch The Thermals on the Yeti stage from 6:45– 7:45pm.

The reason why Canadians call it Samsquanch: Trailer Park Boys. The comedy highlight of the fest, expect rumblings of chips and kitties from Bubbles, Ricky and Julian. Officially dubbed The Drunk, High & Unemployed Tour, “Cory, Trevor, smokes, let’s go!”

The Canuck crew will also be around Portland at the Aladdin Theater on 5/27 and 5/29 but both are already sold out!

Bring your liquor and jerky to the Banana Shack from 3:45– 4:45pm.

Get the rest of OMN's daily picks here.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

welcome to the french ‘safari disco club’ : q/a with yelle

Yelle is pure, unabashed and unadulterated, bliss. Criminally unforgettable beats pulsating behind girlish yelps and chants belted like rallying cries–cries capable of inciting dance floor frenzies regardless the audience’s ability to understand French. It’s quirky, synthesized disco-pop with just the right amount of spunk to catapult it across language barriers.

“The main idea,” says producer/mastermind GrandMarnier, “is to dance and cry at the same time.”

Fronted by the namesake mademoiselle and backed by producer duo GrandMarnier (Jean-Francois Perrier) and Tepr (Tanguy Destable), Yelle returned in March of 2011 to release their second French-language album upon American ears, proving their unique gift to craft irresistible and exciting dance music. For non-French speakers, which is likely most of us that will pack the Wonder Ballroom on Sunday, May 15th, it’s a true emotional response to Yelle’s music that makes us want to dance without understanding and keeps us coming back for more.

In some two years away from the road, the band focused their energies on creating a united yet distinct sophomore album. “Pop-Up was produced differently: We did ‘Je Veux Te Voir’ first, then we waited two or three months, then started another song,” says GrandMarnier. “Safari Disco Club is a more fluid, cohesive album that you can listen to from the first track to the last.”

That’s not to say that there aren’t a vast potpourri of electronic styles present–from New Wave synths to tropical rhythms to Chicago house and electronic composition. And, just as 2007′s Pop Up spawned several dance floor hits on both sides of the Atlantic, this year’s Safari Disco Club lacks naught; there are no shortages of dance cuts or intricate energy. Watch the double video for the lead single “Safari Disco Club” followed by “Que veux-tu” plus find a few of the childishly alluring English translations here:

On stage the enthusiasm persists. With an oversized Y in a circle like an inverted peace sign at their backs, the trio’s wild vivacity will leave you breathless. OMN had the opportunity to exchange an email with Yelle (aka Julie Budet) just days after their searing performance at Coachella at the end of last month.

Read the interview on OMN.

Friday, May 6, 2011

q/a : pdx electro-pioneer turns ten, celebrate with solovox

With the relative ease of production and syndication, it’s easier than ever to be a one-man band, recording in your bedroom and then adapting it for Portland’s stages. And with electronic music, specifically riotous dance parities, exploding worldwide and finally catching full blaze in the states, one of Portland’s electronic pioneers is turning 10.

Solovox, real name Carl Tietze, is one of the area’s original solo electronic music performers, producers and gadgeteers, kicking it off ten years ago in May of 2001 at Ohm. ”It’s hard to believe I started with seven keyboards and a stage full of gear,” reminiscences Solovox.

With Ohm now defunct, Solovox will celebrate his 10 year anniversary at the Someday Lounge on Friday, May 13th with a crew of dancers, including the aerial performance group AWOL Dance Collective, the acrobatic group Kazum, The Good Time Girls, and Solovox’s own dancers, plus performers like DJ Manoj and Mr. Wu supporting on the decks. Performing two sets, more guest appearances will come from vocalists and instrumentalists like Jason Wells of M4 Marching Band, Enrique Uvalde of Soriah, and Jen Folker from Dahlia.

So what’s changed in 10 years? Let Solovox tell you.

You emphatically say you’re not a DJ… and I can understand that you’re a combination of an electronic composer, and musician plus DJ, remixer and more. So, what do you call yourself?

Live Electronic Performer. Or Live Electronic Keyboard Explosion. More below about this topic…

How has your style evolved in the 10 years you’ve been doing this?

Immensely… my original tracks now are between 75 bpm and 110bpm… anything faster is predominately a remix of a dance track that I expand upon and add layers to. In other words, it has split into two different categories… I may one day just create a different moniker for my “slower” tracks and keep Solovox a “dance” act. Beyond that, I have become more tasteful and less “fiddly,” but the truth is I wank hard when the energy is high. Can’t be stopped.

Read the rest on OMN.