PDX Pop NOW!

Back in the middle of July, I volunteered for PDX Pop Now, a three day long festival featuring some of the best new Portland-based musical acts spanning multiple genres from bluegrass to hip hop to indie to sludge metal. The festival is completely volunteer run and supported by various¬† local and national sponsors. Each year, PDX Pop Now releases a double CD of local music, featuring nearly 40 individual tracks. The festival has grown in scale in recent years and this was the second year at Refuge, a multi-purpose warehouse space in Portland’s SE industrial district. There were two stages, one indoors and the other in a fenced parking lot. The entire festival was FREE and ALL AGES. Bands took stage at noon and continued playing until well after midnight.

I had the pleasure of volunteering all three days at the event, for varying shifts and tasks. I was a Rover (walked the grounds, made sure everything was operating smoothly), an Information Booth Advocate (told people what was up, asked for donations) and a Green Room guard (“Are you with the band? Have you checked in with info? Can I see your wristband?”). I originally decided to make the trek down to PDX to help with the festival because I was interested in observing how a fairly large, all ages event operated within a city setting. I also just wanted to meet people and hear new music outside of Olympia’s sometimes suffocating scene. I had a blast. Bands/Musicians you should check out: Houndstooth, The Shivas, Neal Morgan and Onuinu.

Saturday morning; Friday night aftermath.

Most awesome dog ever… and this photo is ridiculous.

Sassparilia was a really rad bluegrass/jug band fusion and even though they were the first act to play on Saturday, they quickly won over the sleepy crowd. What a great way to wake up.

This band is called Batmen. I wanted to hug this dude so hard. Yes, that’s all I remember about them almost two months later. Isn’t that enough, though?

here’s a shot of the inside stage. Trains came through on a regular basis; their whistles temporarily obliterating all other sounds.

At night, Portland turned out in droves. Hausu (below) is getting some buzz in the UK and Secret Drum Band (below below) has very deep Oly ties.

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