“Cascadia” off of The Multiversal Adventures of Whysir: Journey Through The Hallway of Always, is a three way powerhouse of local PDX indie rap and hip hop. Three all time greats: Whysir, Empress, and Galloping Strider, come together to direct a movie of a single on par with The Matrix: collecting together an ambient cyberpunk beat, mundane splice of life lyrics, and spiritual science fiction cosmology to hit a back that breaks down walls faster than a kaleidoscope. You can find out more about each artist on their individual pages, and keep hitting repeat over and over again.
Dropping this aesthetically strong video on the first day of 2019, Tazha The Diviner has unleashed an infectious beat into the world. With a lavender confidence, this spellcaster, graphic designer, musician, and artist has given us a great gift to start off the new year. Part call to arms, part motivational speech, “Living” has a healing quality to it, and if you let it, it can flow through you.
You can stop their main website to see all the amazing projects they do, and follow them on instagram @Tazhathediviner
This week Pickathon announced its initial lineup for the 2019 festival, to be held in the woods of Pendarvis Farm in Happy Valley, just outside of Portland, Oregon from August 2-4, 2019. Pickathon has built a reputation over the last twenty years as it has increasingly evolved its festival experience to include groundbreaking programming focused on discovery, sustainable ethics, and a lineup that pushes the boundaries of genre. This vision is clear in the diversity of Pickathon’s initial lineup, which brings together well-loved Americana, doom metal, North African desert blues, Congolese experimentalists, as well as local talent.
About Pickathon, Eric Johnson of Fruit Bats says “You’ll never see more musicians watching other musicians. I’ve always likened it to a dog park for bands. I love running around with the other pups at this thing. It creates a completely unique unfiltered atmosphere that anyone watching can feel, even if they can’t explain it.”
Start preparing for Pickathon now by listening to the Pickathon Spotify playlist and checking the Pickathon website for information and tickets.
Pickathon 2019 Lineup
Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats Khruangbin Mandolin Orange
Preservation Hall Jazz Band
Bonny Light Horseman
Courtney Marie Andrews
Jupiter & Okwess
Black Belt Eagle Scout
Mike and The Moonpies
David Nance Group
The Po’ Ramblin’ Boys
Garrett T Capps
&more (Chill Moody & Donn T) David Bragger & Susan Platz
John Craigie’s new album No Rain, No Rose will be released January 27, 2017, but Portlanders got a very special treat on December 15 when he performed the new tunes in a once-in-a-lifetime concert at the Doug Fir Lounge with a bevy of local legends who were collaborators on the album. Tears were shed, hugs were shared, and the advance vinyl was available for one night only. The show sold out, of course – a statement about how locals value local music done with love. No Rain, No Rose was conceived, written and recorded in Portland – a first and joyful experience for Craigie, who tends to roam continually, intentionally, and always find his way back here. Craigie and his family of musicians wanted to offer the album to our city first, and with great impact – out of gratitude and love for our supportive and inspiring community.
The new album features such local power players such as Gregory Alan Isakov, Tyler Thompson and Jay Cobb Anderson from Fruition, Kat Fountain, The Shook Twins, Bevin Foley from Trout Steak Revival, Brad Parsons, Niko Daoussis, Justin Landis, Bart Budwig and John Nuhn. Craigie’s excellent partnerships have resulted in a decadent presentation of folk music, where every musical phrase complements the rest. Lyrically, Craigie’s message resonates and communicates universally. I had a chance to speak with him about his inspiration for writing, and what it feels like to be such a purposeful wanderer, sharing music with the world.
Laughter is the best medicine – we all know that. Psychology Today tells us that music soothes the soul Craigie has combined these two elements in his live performance and recorded music for over a decade – practicing his medicine and sharing encouragement with audiences. His goal, with every step, is to connect with the audience and break down walls. He says that the purpose of music is not necessarily to heal, but to allow folks to feel community – to realize they are not alone in their struggles. It’s therapy for the musician as well. Realizing this early on has created a sense of responsibility for Craigie. Based on his experiences and the goal of sharing, Craigie has masterfully incorporated levity into his performance.
After only a few moments of speaking with Craigie, I had to ask…”John, were you ever voted Class Clown?” Not surprisingly, he had won the title in eighth grade – feeling very proud of the award. He quickly followed up by saying he lost to a “funnier fellow” in high school Craigie still remembers his name…this was perhaps the sweetest thing I’ve ever heard from a musician. With an uncanny mastery of lyrics and melody, and an ear for heavenly harmonies that are more than enough to capture the listener’s heart – he still wants more than anything for them to smile and feel comfortable. Rather than “creating a fan base”, Craigie travels around touching hearts and making friends. I’m grateful to be one!
You can get your hands on the album this coming January 27. Until then, check out Craigie’s music on his website. Craigie has always been a traveller, wanting to see the world even as a child. His home is the road, so you will be able to catch him on tour starting January 12 – dates and locations are on the website as well.
At her pre-release show this past September at Secret Society and during the shoot of her album art video, Grace tangibly experienced the depth of love and support she has in this community. Extended family has proven to be so close and supportive. Her band has become as close as her family. Everywhere she looks, Grace finds herself surrounded by people who believe in her. It’s not coincidence -she believes in extending positive energy into the community. Of course it is returned – that’s the undeniable joy within our local music scene!
This is Grace’s fifth album. Black Holes and Unicorns is the full realization of her vision, with all the details and embellishments she’s been wanting to bring out since the start of her creative process. The ideas behind her music have always been clear and well-presented, but the new quality of production has really taken her presentation to an absolutely stunning level! The story of her fund-raising for the album production is inspiring to me – this woman has fans who put their money where their ears are!
Whim Grace fans know that their investment means something! Trying to be realistic and to ask for just what she thought she needed, Grace initiated a Kickstarter campaign asking for $1000.. By the end of week 1, she had been pledged $5000 – by the end of the campaign, over $8000 was pledged by local friends, international followers and die-hard fans from everywhere! This allowed her to take the time she needed to record in a professional studio with other musicians, and eventually led to her finding her current band mates. I am looking forward to chatting with the whole band, but I felt inspired to share the release of this impressive project.
Catch the music starting on Halloween! Check it out on whimgrace.bandcamp.com, and give her a like on Facebook. The release show with Willow House is Nov 3 at Laurelthirst 9:30 each Whim Grace band member plans to contribute one of their own original songs as well. A unique band, a unique album, and more than one unique perspective in the music!