PDX Pop Now! 2011: Pre-Festival Picks

An annual free outdoor/indoor party, taking place this year at RefugePDX. Showgoers of all ages ad walks of life are given the opportunity to sample a diverse cross-section of both Portland’s established and growing musical offerings.

PDX Pop Now!’s mission is to stimulate and expand participation in Portland’s music scene. Created in 1998, the organization’s mission statement states: “As an all-volunteer organization committed to being accessible, current, and local, we provide and support live performances and recorded materials. We aspire to advance a sustainable community which values inclusivity and a high caliber of artistry to enable a creative dialogue between artist and audience.”

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

jared mees & the grown children

These Portland staples create indie rock that will load a spring into your step.


STLS is essentially drum nerdery between Portland gals Lisa Schonberg (Explode Into Colors) and STS (The Haggard). Drums. Nerdery.

blood beach

These dirty old psych-garage rock goofballs have a theremin (yes!) and a new record coming out next week on the classic Fat Wreck Chords label.

the reservations

Dual dueling vocalists play games with tension, and capture everything that is to love about rock n’ roll in one release.

golden retriever

Analog synths and wind instruments combine to meet blissed out ends. This amazing ambient duo will also be playing our upcoming psych event at Holocene [08/25].

Saturday, July 23rd, 2011

wild ones

This male-female five-person collective can easily flirt its way into your heart, and does.
4:50PM, MAIN
Forever Jam by WILD_ONES

wizard rifle

As stylistically shape-shifting metalheads, it’s for good reason that Wizard Rifle have scored some opening gigs for YOB and Thrones, and a spot in this year’s well-curated MusicFest NW. They’re on the up-and-up and earning their keep through grueling nationwide tours.


Rather than listening to ExtrAlone, one must see this former Spaniard perform live. He’s a one man band who drums like a madman and works bass synths with his feet… and that doesn’t even begin to sum it up.


Monarques recently restructured their band and came back with a psychedelic instrumental set reminiscent of old Pink Floyd. Is that what their PDX Pop Now! set will be like this time around? Hopefully.

witch mountain

Witch Mountain are playing twice this evening, and if you’re not one of the lucky human beings to catch their show at Doug Fir Lounge with Lumerians this same evening, you can still catch them for free at PDX Pop Now! With banshee vocals and dirty psychedelic guitarwork, Witch Mountain live up to their name.


This September, Nurses will be releasing their third album, Dracula. Catch them at this free hometown show before they blow up around the country and you actually end up having to consistently pay for their shows. And oh…! Expect Rocky Tinder (of Wampire) to fill in as guest guitarist since vocalist Aaron Chapman busted his elbow!

Sunday, July 24th, 2011


Listening to Cloaks makes you wish that these electronic experimental masterminds would take pity on you — that they would alleviate your suffering by wrapping you up in their vibrating universe of spastic, positive sound. A serious choice pick.


Nasalrod probably has a bit of a cult following for a reason. Vocalist and frontman Chairman alone is worth the trek out to PDX Pop Now!. On top of his antics, though, don’t discount the fact that Nasalrod are actually quite technically proficient and instrumentally tight, as well.

kelli schaefer

Ms. Shaefer has a voice that makes you fall in love. Problem is, it only makes you fall in love with her, and at the show, there will be quite a few other suitable competitors.


This duo has played two REDEFINE shows and are all over our site. We’ve championed their mash-up brand of hyperpoppy jams because they’re delectable, wonderful, and excellent exhibitions in musicianship.

guidance counselor

Synth dance rock with punk rock attitude. With frontman Ian Anderson leaving town, PDX Pop Now! may be your last chance to see Guidance Counselor in quite some time — or possibly, forever. Check out songs of the duo as a duo, and of the duo playing songs from Anderson’s solo project, Feelings.

Written by
Vee Hua 華婷婷

Vee Hua 華婷婷 (they/them) is a writer, filmmaker, and organizer with semi-nomadic tendencies. Much of their work unifies their metaphysical interests with their belief that art can positively transform the self and society. They are the Editor-in-Chief of REDEFINE, Interim Managing Editor of South Seattle Emerald, and Co-Chair of the Seattle Arts Commission. They also previously served as the Executive Director of the interdisciplinary community hub, Northwest Film Forum, where they played a key role in making the space more welcoming and accessible for diverse audiences.

Vee has two narrative short films. Searching Skies (2017) touches on Syrian refugee resettlement in the United States; with it, they helped co-organize The Seventh Art Stand, a national film and civil rights discussion series against Islamophobia. Reckless Spirits (2022) is a metaphysical, multi-lingual POC buddy comedy for a bleak new era, in anticipation of a feature-length project.

Vee is passionate about cultural space, the environment, and finding ways to covertly and overtly disrupt oppressive structures. They also regularly share observational human stories through their storytelling newsletter, RAMBLIN’ WITH VEE!, and are pursuing a Master’s in Tribal Resource and Environmental Stewardship under the Native American Studies Department at the University of Minnesota.

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Written by Vee Hua 華婷婷
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