PDX Pop Now! 2012 Festival Preview & Picks

 

FRIDAY, JULY 20

 

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Radiation City

12:10AM (INSIDE)
Indie rock, at this space and point in time, is a well-worn genre with little earth-shattering capacity. But there are some bands that can capture a vibe and a spirit that Pacific Northwesters just dig. In Radiation City’s case, their fast ascension has not made them lose a sense of intimacy that makes them a great closing act for any community-centered event like PDX Pop Now! Their music is romantic, just like Portland’s summer nights.

SEE ALSO: RADIATION CITY – “FIND IT OF USE” (PALMAS REMIX)

 

SATURDAY, JULY 21

 

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The Miracles Club

11:50 (Outside)
Dance and music go hand-in-hand with The Miracles Club, both on stage and in the crowd. So many Soul Train good times have been had with them at the helm, and as they’re closing out Saturday night’s PDX Pop Now! (the most exciting day of the festival), Refuge will be bumping and vibing, house-style, into the night. Expect a REDEFINE and Holocene partnership with them later this September, for MusicfestNW and a dance-related panel we’re curating! Details to come.

 

SUNDAY, JULY 22

 

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Pulse Emitter

2:45 (Inside)
The beginning of next month, Golden Retriever will be playing alongside Pulse Emitter, aka Daryl Groetsch, for their CD release show. Expect the same kind of far-out cosmic synth washes from Groetsch, which are guaranteed to create a spacey and meditative good time for those in the proper mindset.

 


FRIDAY, JULY 20 (cont’d)

Litanic Mask

8:45 (Inside)
Litanic Mask first caught my attention for their film scoring effort for Holocene’s Fin De Cinema series, where they darkly soundtracked Jan Svankmajer‘s Alice with an incredible mastery of sound depth. Their recordings are much lighter than that, but leave a listener with a similar sense of wonder.

 

1939 Ensemble

6:40 (Outside)
This instrumental duo will xylophone and drum their way into your heart!! Welcome it!

 

The Shivas

10:50 (Outside)
One of the more banging acts on the PDX Pop Now! lineup that is worth checking out, with a brand of surf-inspired psych-garage that seems more notable (as a genre) than in Portland. They played our SXSW Unofficial House Party this year, and are guaranteed to put on a solid high-energy show.

 

AU

11:50 (Outside)
As we learned this past SXSW, AU is a band best enjoyed in a party atmosphere. Headlining the opening day of PDX Pop Now!, they’ll certainly bring the chaotic party to the late outdoors, in grand style.

SEE ALSO: REDEFINE’S UNOFFICIAL SXSW 2012 HOUSE PARTY RECAP + AU – “OJ” AND “IDA WALKED AWAY” MUSIC VIDEOS (W/ INTERVIEW) + AU – “SOLID GOLD” (LIVE)

AU @ BODY || MIND SXSW 2012 House of Commons in Austin, TX from Redefine Magazine on Vimeo.

 

SATURDAY, JULY 21 (cont’d)

Like A Villain

4:10 (Inside)
I don’t know where this act came from (other than Portland, obviously), but I’m quite into it. It seems that some of the best acts of PDX Pop Now!’s lineup this year tow the experimental jazz and avant-garde line, and Like A Villain are one of those bands. Unlike 1939 Ensemble and Smegma, however, they have a female vocalist and seemingly much more diversity to their catalog.

 

Secret Drum Band

9:50 (Outside)
Drums!!!!!! Pounding rhythms set atop experimental anything-goes. The folks will tip-tap their way into your brain as a perfect introduction to a block of ill body-oriented music to follow.

 

Jeffrey Jerusalem

10:30 (Outside)
A dance-house friend favorite, Jeffrey Jerusalem has played three REDEFINE events now, and energizes the crowd with his one-man solo synth-drum show like none other. His music has few bells and whistles, but he shines forth as a bright beacon for all who are looking for “dude who just really likes the music he’s into.” This is evidenced further by his always banging just-for-fun mixes that he posts on his SoundCloud. Git it! Git em all!

SEE ALSO: JEFFREY JERUSALEM’S THEOPHILUS LONDON REMIX + HIGH SCORES & RECORDS MIXTAPE + REDEFINE MAGAZINE SXSW 2011 UNOFFICIAL HOUSE PARTY RECAP

 

Smegma

6:20 (Outside)
Avant-garde local legends Smegma come out of the woodwork to grace PDX Pop Now! with their unlikely presence. They are very much welcome to provide a jazzy and experimental change of pace from the more straight-forward acts on the lineup.

 

Bruxa

12:40 (Inside)
I find it hard to believe that watching Portland’s Bruxa in the middle of the afternoon would be an actually good idea, but it may be worth trying just for the weirdness. With their brand of dark and basement witch vibes, Bruxa brings with them many a pre-scripted idea and association, but the individual to note here is the band’s electronics wizard and beatmaker, who is fucking. sick.

 

Eight Bells

4:30 (Inside)
A wide-reaching strain of post-metal and heaviness that cares only to manifest an epic sound through stretched out and distorted guitars and chaotic songwriting.

 

SUNDAY, JULY 22 (cont’d)

Shy Girls

3:45 (Inside)
A laid-back R&B-minded act with a full EP for free download HERE. Simple and groovy beats galore, providing a welcome change of pace! This and Pulse Emitter are my only recommendations for Sunday, but they are excellent ones for a back-to-back mellow afternoon.

Ω

Written by
Vee Hua 華婷婷

Vee Hua 華婷婷 (they/she) 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.

In 2017, Vee released the narrative short film, Searching Skies — which touches on Syrian refugee resettlement in the United States — and co-organized The Seventh Art Stand, a national film and civil rights discussion series against Islamophobia. 2022 sees the release of their next short film, Reckless Spirits, which is a metaphysical, multi-lingual POC buddy comedy for a bleak new era, in anticipation of a feature film.

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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