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21 days until the 2010 PDX Pop Now! Festival kicks off. Until then, take a minute to get a little better acquainted with a couple of acts that will be performing. You'll thank us later.

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A backpatch-wearing, middle-finger-throwing nod to the golden days of early-80s hardcore that none of the young band members were alive to see, Autistic Youth's punk still sounds fresh, seething with the confrontational, underage audacity that has been the genre's lifeblood.
LISTEN:

Autistic Youth - "Idle Minds"

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Ben Darwish is an up and coming young jazz pianist and bandleader—not to mention winner of the 2010 ASCAP Young Jazz Composer award—who routinely and laudably experiments and improvises well outside the spectrum of traditional jazz. Yeah yeah, The Bad Plus cover an Aphex Twin song—but have they ever led an afro-beat tribute to Michael Jackson?
LISTEN:

Ben Darwish - "Under The Bright Red Sky"

The PDX Pop Now! Festival takes place from July 30 — August 1 at Rotture (320 SE 2nd Ave, Free to all ages)