THE COATHANGERS Sat 8/27 Project Pabst Matt Odom

TO EVERYTHING there is a season, and right now festival season is chugging its final beer. But before it all ends, we’ve got to get through the inaugural merger of Portland’s long-running MusicfestNW and Project Pabst. If you’re skeptical of a formerly fantastic citywide festival joining forces with a giant beer ad, you’re not alone—and that there are only four female-fronted acts on the Waterfront lineup is hugely disappointing. There is an alternative: Festicide, an annual antidote to the overly commercialized feel of bigger festivals with “No wristbands, no sponsors, no bullshit, just the way we like it.” Now in its third year, Festicide hosts shows at venues across the city in a style similar to the old MusicfestNW. While Festicide and MusicfestNW Presents Project Pabst are foils of each other, there are fantastic musicians playing both festivals—here are our top picks:



Atlanta punk trio the Coathangers’ latest record Nosebleed Weekend mercilessly gallops and kicks like a demonic steed. “Down Down” shakes and settles around its dark, dwindling baseline, while “Excuse Me?” unapologetically crushes a scrub with the line, “It’s a shame you let my name out of your mouth.” Sat 1:35 pm


Portland soul icon Liv Warfield sings with power that’s unwavering—the kind of fire-starting dynamism that lights up a room and takes down a stage. Warfield worked closely with the recently departed Prince, who produced her 2014 record The Unexpected and brought her on to sing in his New Power Generation band. Waterfront Park, Sat 2:20 pm


Hop Along’s Frances Quinlan has a voice that could launch a thousand ships. Tracks like “Waitress” off last year’s Painted Shut find Quinlan pushing her register skyward, bending and breaking in gusts of wind like a rippling kite. Set against wild layers of lo-fi indie rock, Hop Along’s performance promises to be impossibly magnetic. Waterfront Park, Sun 2:20 pm


With searing power pop riffs, bum-wiggling basslines, and Christina Halladay’s incendiary howls, Sheer Mag sounds like they crash-landed from the ’70s. “Fan the Flames” is one of the best songs of 2015, and the band’s March EP III follows suit with tracks like “Nobody’s Baby”—three minutes of pure rock ’n’ roll bliss with chugging guitar licks and Halladay’s cutting kiss-off, “You don’t know just what I’m worth.” Waterfront Park, Sun 3:05 pm



In June, Oro Azoro put out Primal, their third release since forming in 2013. It’s 16 tracks of vampiric R&B, soul for those without souls. Kadi Rae’s deep, operatic vocals paired with sludgy piano and dark organ tones definitely make Oro Azoro sound like the house band in Count Dracula’s basement lounge. Standout “Blood” uses what sounds like a toy organ against sweeping, eerie harmonies. Sat Aug 27, Anarres Infoshop (7101 N Lombard)


Unlike the terrible Ellen DeGeneres romcom of the same name, Portland’s Mr. Wrong is excellent. Their April debut, Distraction Demo, is seven short bursts of lo-fi punk greatness. On closing track “Asshole” they ask, “Are you cool enough for Mr. Wrong?” The answer is a resounding no. Sun Aug 28, Anarres Infoshop (7101 N Lombard)


Anarcho-punk trio Tiny Knives’ February full-length Black Haze is an unrelenting deluge of guttural power. “Silk in the Water” is an iconic track—what begins as slow and bated unleashes the repeatedly screamed incantation “I’ve been eating myself from the inside.” Their music is unhinged and unmissable. Sun Aug 28, High Water Mark (6800 NE MLK)


Earlier this month, Drowse’s Kyle Bates released Memory Bed, an EP featuring Maya Stoner of Sabonis. Its three songs contrast hushed, distant vocals and sparse acoustic guitar strumming against the roar of full-throttle reverb that threatens to drone out the delicacy. It’s the shoegaze equivalent of sitting in a rowboat in a pond and not realizing that there’s a horrendous monster lurking beneath the surface—there’s a strange beauty in the EP’s ominous tone. Sun Aug 28, High Water Mark (6800 NE MLK)