There is no shortage of "indie"-prefixed music projects in Portland. You got your indie-pop, indie-folk, indie-hiphop, indierock, as well as, on the occasional oddball marquee, the hilarious malapropism "indy-rock," calling to mind detuned Fenders with Pennzoil stickers on them. But the 500-person vocal ensemble set to kick off PICA's 5th annual TBA Festival with a concert at Pioneer Courthouse Square on September 6 will include, among other local choral groups, the first Indie Choir I've ever heard of.
Thankfully, the choir's indie status has nothing to do with tight black jeans or fauxhawks, but rather with the fact that anyone, including you, can join, regardless of experience. The only prerequisite is a love of singing. And no need to worry about making a long-term commitment, as the Indie Choir is a one-off affair, forming exclusively to prepare for and perform the TBA piece, a new work by composer Rinde Eckert, entitled On the Great Migration of Excellent Birds, commissioned for the festival. If this massive vocal juggernaut is nearly as overwhelming as last year's festival-opening Extreme Guitar Orchestra, which featured a brigade of local guitarists, this is something you'll want to be a part of.
The open rehearsals will take place under the baton of local singer Pat Janowski from 7-9 pm every Monday until the performance. The location changes every two weeks, so those interested should check the PICA website (pica.org) for the latest schedule, or email Cherchez la Femme mogul Sarah Dougher (firstname.lastname@example.org), who is coordinating the project. The next two rehearsals are August 6 and 13 at the Armory's Gerding Theater.
DIYers into the concept of a come-one-come-all chorus will also want to check out the second edition of the Portland Funbook. Like its predecessor, Funbook 2 is basically an awesome coloring book, featuring about 80 black-and-white illustrations of bikes, yetis, foliage, and other Stumptonian themes drafted by leading local artists, many of them connected to the local music community, including E*Rock, Carson Ellis, Guy Burwell, and Tyler Stout. Even better, this time around the Funbook comes with a lovely pink-and-clear 7-inch featuring one-minute tracks by 12 local bands. The disc covers an astonishing range of genres in just 12 minutes, with songlets by, among others, YACHT, Argumentix, White Rainbow, and Wet Confetti (whose track "N'kisi" is the highlight of their recorded oeuvre), and is a must-have for vinyl-loving devotees of Portland music circa now. The Funbook is released party-style on Wednesday, August 8 at Holocene, with live music by several acts on the 7-inch, including Show Me the Pink, whose set will be a local swansong before moving to Virginia.