[EVENT] Pickathon Festival
As early August approaches and the summer music festival circuit is in full swing, music fans from all over the country start to look forward to one of the more highly praised festivals in the country: Pickathon. Located in an area just outside of Oregon called Happy Valley, the festival has made news by adopting a comparatively eco-friendly model, refusing to generate waste, capping the attendance in the low thousands instead of trying to squeeze more and more people into the same amount of space, and encouraging a relaxed, generous vibe that bands and fans alike appreciate. Many acts perform more than once, limiting a large amount of FOMO. Local up and comers are paired with legends, and everyone is treated like family. The beautiful natural surroundings certainly don’t hurt either.
Pickathon is just a few days away. After going for years, one realizes that the hidden beauty of Pickathon is the flexibility and variety of artists: within Pickathon there exists a good psych rock festival, americana/folk festival, and a mini alt-hip hop / R&B festival - all at the same time. With that in mind, here’s a hypothetical schedule for potential attendees, or those who want to be extremely jealous / live vicariously.
It is absolutely worth it to shell out the extra dough and arrive on Thursday if you are camping, as arriving on Friday pretty much guarantees a bit of a trek to find a decent campsite. Luckily, Thursday has some excellent options. You won’t want to miss:
Myke Bogan - An excellent Portland rapper, we can’t go wrong with someone who has exclaimed: “I think it’s that time for a doobie, warm cognac and cold sushi.” Yes.
Kevin Morby - Morby’s Singing Saw has been one of the highlights of the year so far, and seeing him in the middle of a starlit campground seems like the perfect environment to take him in.
Chanti Darling - Another local (Portland) favorite, Chanti Darling performs close to midnight and will threaten to turn the first night into a rabid, but socially conscious, dance party.
If someone asked what day to attend if they could only pick one, it would be a difficult decision, but for pure scheduling ease and lineup juxtaposition - Friday would definitely be the day to go. Here’s a perfect day:
Blossom - Yet another artist who calls Portland home, Blossom makes introspective and captivating R&B that would be the perfect way to ease into the day.
King Sunny Ade - One of the most famous Nigerian musicians of all time, King Sunny Ade, has been at it a long time. World music aficionados and those in need of a chill time will enjoy the laid back tunes.
Ibeyi - Ibeyi is an intense twin duo who combine an appreciation of haunting and droning electronic music with pulsing rhythms and powerful voices. After a relaxed start to the day, Ibeyi will stir the soul a bit.
Black Mountain - Black Mountain has been a powerhouse for most of their career, always seeming to top their previous output whenever they put out anything new. This year’s IV is no different, a trippy, hard hitting adventure into outer space. If they happen to rattle off some classics like Angels or Wucan no one is going to be complaining either. There is another chance to see them, but Friday’s set is on the iconic Woods Stage, and is thus officially unmissable.
Wolf Parade - Wolf Parade is the soundtrack to many people’s post-college mind expansion and angst, to the extent that their newer material might be a tad overlooked. Regardless, the crowd should be in the palm of their hand by the time they take the main stage as the headliner for Friday.
Yo La Tengo - Another band that will play multiple times during the weekend, but another set that is being specifically recommended due its setting in the middle of the woods. And the night isn’t over yet.
Ty Segall - Who wants to stay up until 2:30 a.m? On any day over 80 degrees, the Galaxy Barn is a sweat-soaked, jam-packed shit show, but waiting up until 1:30 a.m. for Ty Segall to take us into the late evening should help thin out the crowds a bit, leaving only those committed to partying hard.
Palehound - Starting another day off around noon, Palehound’s guitar driven pop rock will shake off the sleepies lightly and pleasantly - nursing the hang-overs and bringing out smiles.
Golden Rules - After all the rock of the previous evening, the ears are going to need a break. Golden Rules thoughtful rap will get the mind engaged.
Vhol - Vhol is undoubtedly the heaviest band to play Pickathon... ever. Basically a supergroup in its own right, the members will stick out like sore thumbs at the festival and the blasting, non-stop thrash will either draw listeners in or scare them away in droves. Either way, it is appropriate to applaud the curators of Pickathon for not just sticking a toe into the metal pool this year but diving right into the deep end.
Jeff Tweedy - The Wilco frontman is the mainstage headliner for Saturday night, and given his natural songwriting talent and performing pedigree, he won’t disappoint. We’ll all be shouting out requests from Yankee Hotel Foxtrot anyways, right?
The Woolen Men - Portland is representing so hard at Pickathon this year. The blue-collar punk-rockers, The Woolen Men, are no exception. After two nights of partying super hard, we’re going to need a jolt on the last morning to shake us to our bones.
Protomarytr - Protomartyr has been unable to do any wrong with their last two albums, Under the Colour of Official Right and The Agent Intellect. Thoughtful and referential lyrics... tight, linear beats... and driving post-punk guitar make the band a must-see whenever they play.
Beach House - It is an absolute fact that everyone alive listened to Bloom in 2012 and made out with someone. Since then, Beach House has released a couple more solid albums yet gained increasingly devoted and numerous fans. They are one of the few bands who only play once, so if you don’t come Sunday - you won’t catch them.
Mac Demarco - While many might choose to close out the fest with Beach House, musical bad-boy charmer Mac Demarco makes staying one more hour worth it, with his instant rapport with any audience, famous antics, and genuine devotion to slacker-dom.
With a schedule like this, how have you not purchased a ticket yet?