Natalie Behring

Pickathon 2016 feels like it was only yesterday, but we're almost a full solar season out from the last installment of the Portland-area music festival, which took place way back at the start of August. That means it's high time to start looking at the excellent audio and video from this year's fest, and we're proud to announce that we're continuing our partnership with Pickathon to bring you choice performance clips every month.

For Pickathon's 2016-17 Season, The Stranger and the Portland Mercury will be the exclusive outlets for the second batch of the Starlight Series, highlighting videos from the outdoor Starlight Stage, where I've found a high proportion of the fest's late-night magic tends to take place.

This first episode of the brand-new season of the Starlight Series comes from Pickathon stalwarts Fruit Bats, who reconvened around frontman Eric D. Johnson last year after a brief hiatus. The featured tune, "Humbug Mountain Song," comes from Fruit Bats' 2016 album Absolute Loser, which came out earlier this year on Easy Sound Recording Co. This take perfectly encapsulates the Pickathon vibe, a relaxed yet peppy delivery of a laid-back, slightly twangy tune that sounds just right when you crank it up loud.

This series of videos was made possible by funding from Lagunitas Brewing, and we'll have new Pickathon clips for you on every third Friday of the month. I've seen the rundown of the performers we've got in store, and there's some great stuff on the way (you can get an idea from the montage at the start of today's clip, above). In the meantime, you can check out the first seasons of both the Starlight Series and the Slab Sessions—with clips from Pickathon 2015—by visiting our archives.