Musicfest NW 2010 Festival Recap: Sleep, Scott Kelly, Baroness, Ceremony, Heiress, Red Fang

One of the best aspects of Musicfest NW is its intimate club settings. Whereas most music festivals are synonymous with enormous outdoor stages designed to fit tens of thousands of people, Portland sticks to its quirky Portland roots and packs seething masses of people into sweaty, energy-filled bars and venues. One major perk of this indoor setting is that the festival can book major metal shows without scaring off the locals and more timid music listeners. And with that said, that is where I found myself most of the time — in the face of thrashing riffs and flowing locks of hair.   Red Fang Portland’s Red Fang had a big night at Musicfest NW. The band was opening up

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Flying Lotus – Pattern+Grid World Album Cover Review (w/ Theo Ellsworth Interview)

The album cover for Flying Lotus‘ latest EP, Pattern+Grid World, features a close-up portrait of one of Portland illustrator Theo Ellsworth‘s intricate, feathery characters. With an album title like Pattern+Grid World, Flying Lotus certainly could have taken the artwork into any number of stereotypically “cool” directions, but instead, he chose to go with the soft rippling drawings of Ellsworth. And from this was born mutual inspiration, with artist inspiring musician and musician inspiring artist. Below, we spoke briefly with Ellsworth behind his process of creation. You can also read our previous interview with Ellsworth here.  

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Black Mountain – Wilderness Heart Album Review

I’m not sure anyone’s writing shit about the dizzying spiritual discontent of the information/overpopulation age quite as effectively as Black Mountain’s Stephen McBean. Dude just sounds like he’s so far out there he couldn’t give a fuck, and maybe that’s something people should latch onto. Sure there’s a frightening new display of tragicomedy lurking around ever corner these days, but you’ve got to maintain; you’ve just got to freaking maintain. Count back from ten slowly. We’ve got electric guitars; we’ve got vintage synths. We’ve got videos about psychic witches. Ride the wave. Everything’s going to be okay. Thanks, bro. I was really starting to lose it there with all this economic disaster warmongering bullshit. Now I’m back in a good

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WOMEN – Public Strain Album Review

The opening track to Public Strain, the sophomore release from the Alberta, Canada band WOMEN, may sound like it is straight out of a slasher film, but there is nothing frightening about this band. Instead of pounding beats that could lead up to a blood-gushing scene, the song “Can’t You See,” creates the tension of a desolate night with intricate distortion and calming vocals, in tune with sophisticated thrillers like those directed by Christopher Nolan. Much like Nolan’s films, especially this summer’s Inception, WOMEN plays with the idea of reality and mazes, making the listener fall into a dream-like state. Yes, the vocals are ghostly, but underneath that, there is beauty and complex guitarwork. Hearing this album may put listeners

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Zach Hill – “The Primitives Talk” Music Video

This Zach Hill video for “The Primitives Talk” features all sorts of bad video effects holding hands. Slow fades, hyper zooms, bad 3D modeling, transparent overlays, and, well, more bad 3D modeling. Conceptually, too, this video is almost so uninteresting (manicured fingernails being distorted, manipulated, and digitally collaged, basically) that it flips back into being interesting again. Go figure.

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Religious Girls – “Oscar Grant” Into The Woods Live Video

An experimental rock quartet from the Bay Area, Religious Girls rely on common elements of electronics, gang vocals, and multiple drumsets to create a sound that lies somewhere between charismatic church service and pagan backwoods ritual. Here, Portland’s Into The Woods series documents Religious Girls with their Far From Home series.

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