I’ve already talked about my love for The Toads on this blog before, and today I’m here to introduce you to one of the other great northwest garage punk bands of the moment. Eugene punk rockers The Critical Shakes are making their way up to Portland for what’s set to be one of the best shows of the week. Their sound isn’t entirely in-your-face punk rock. Instead, it has a sweet, indie edge to it that makes this band absolutely fascinating to watch. Sharing a bill alongside Deerpeople, an almost dream pop-style group from Oklahoma, this lineup is as diverse as it is insanely talented. You rarely get to see a bill with this many incredible acts on a Tuesday night.
Bryson Hansen of Fog Father started off as a one-man-band with one guitar and a tape loop. Today, his project has become a gloriously poppy live group with a firm electronic backbone. Like his early days, Hansen isn’t afraid to layer tape loops on top of more traditional indie pop guitars, bass and drums. Fog Father aren’t just trying to create a cool live vibe with this group; they are inventing an entirely new genre of their own, which they dub cone-pop. With a new album, Razzle Dazzle, dropping, this gig will likely see this band performing a few new cuts. Accompanied by one of my other favorite Portland bands of the moment, the funky Tender Age, I am definitely looking forward to this one.
I had no idea that Portland even had an electronic music festival of its own until this year, and I have to say, I am so far highly impressed with the lineup. NW LoopFest includes some of the biggest upcoming names in electronic music around the country, with special attention paid to our own local heroes. There are too many great groups on this lineup to fully mention in this post — Quiet Horn, Professor Slicebox and Waffle Taco, to name a few — but the one I am most excited to see right now is Chrome Mole Monocle. The mastermind behind this project describes the sound as “exactly what a monocle-wearing mole might sound like, given the right instruments.” Don’t take his word for it. Listen to the song below, and you’ll see not only why Chrome Mole Monocle was asked to be part of this festival, but also why it’s one of the most interesting electronic groups I’ve heard out of Portland in recent months. For about $10, you get dozens of bands upstairs and downstairs, starting at 4 p.m. and ending after 1 a.m. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Marissa Abruzzini is the music editor for mxdwn.com, a freelance journalist, guitarist, and professional music snob. She spends most of her time poking around backstage at Portland’s seediest music venues.
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