(Pendarvis Farm, 16581 SE Hagen, Happy Valley) If you've pinched your pennies and finally ventured out to Pickathon in years past, you know just how awesome this music fest is. It's worth every hard-earned ducat to visit the lovely Pendarvis Farm, camp in the woods, eat amazing food, and listen to spectacular music under the stars. This is the stuff of winter dreams. COURTNEY FERGUSON Read our article on Pickathon and check out this year's picks.
SMMR BMMR: KEPI GHOULIE, LA LUZ, THE WIMPS, G. GREEN, BIG EYES, & MORE
(Star Theater, 13 NW 6th) Summer's best and greasiest punk-rock party is upon us. The SMMR BMMR, now in its seventh year—still too young to be left home alone—has in the past been shuttled around various Portland venues like a latchkey kid, but it's found a fitting home at the Star Theater. The Star's excellent patio will host several of the bands until dusk, at which time things move indoors. This year's lineup is bulletproof, including the excellent La Luz, the Seattle four-piece who've updated classic girl-group sounds for the new millennium, and rock the fuck out in the process. There's also the Wimps—don't let the name fool you—and Kepi Ghoulie to round out Friday night, while Saturday boasts the dynamite Audacity from Fullerton, California. Their recent, excellent Mellow Cruisers platter (via Recess and Burger Records) is a giddy head-rush of sparkling pop and boot-to-the-head punk. It's a ticking bomb of fun. NED LANNAMANN
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) Most people assume that Dinosaur Jr. is essentially a J Mascis moniker, and that's certainly been the case for most of the band's career. But You're Living All Over Me and Bug—arguably the two most relevant Dinosaur Jr. albums—are great at least partially due to Lou Barlow's unmistakable influence (or more specifically, the polarity that existed between Mascis and Barlow). If I had to make the laughably disproportionate Lennon/McCartney comparison, I'd say that Mascis is probably Paul: As his monopolistic hold over the group tightened to an unbearable degree, Barlow left, concentrating on the far weirder, genuinely more interesting and emotionally impactful Sebadoh. 1993's Bubble and Scrape is a particular high-water mark, and "Soul and Fire" is so painful I can't even listen to it anymore. Meanwhile, Dinosaur Jr. released Where You Been, which I guess was sort of like J's Band on the Run. MORGAN TROPER Also see My, What a Busy Week!
THE MOTHER HIPS, NORMAN
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) For those who spent time in the sleepy college town of Chico, California, in the '90s, the Mother Hips were an institution almost as big as the university itself. Ask Rick Rubin, who signed the band to his American label alongside the Black Crowes, Danzig, and Slayer. But that feels like many lifetimes ago. The Mother Hips have persevered amid the usual rock 'n' roll tropes—substance abuse, personnel changes, being dropped from said label. And in 2013 it can be argued that the San Francisco four-piece are better and stronger than they've ever been. The band's latest album, Behind Beyond, plays up their strengths—intricately twangy guitars, lush harmonies, hooks, spaced-out arrangements. It shows that the Hips are not only survivors, but also still a force to be reckoned with. MARK LORE