New music from Portland’s Ah God. The self-titled album is a mesh of groovy rock and roll tunes. Ah God has an awesome psychedelic DIY sound to them. The album starts of with “Acid Genes,” a dizzingly psych-pop track with big drums, heavily modified vocals, and a catchy guitar riff. Then the sound goes to an acoustic guitar accompanied by falsetto vocals with “Sun Down on Fertile Ground.” This whole album by Ah God has that aesthetically pleasing, recorded in a basement, feel to it. Ah God sounds sort of like building your own spaced-themed fort, then tripping acid in it, but just the right amount of acid where things get a little weird and you end up making out with one of your best childhood friends, then in the morning you’re confused because you’ve always thought of her as your friend, but you’re also proud of yourself for making a move. I think that’s what they were going for. My favorite track on the album is “Don’t Know How That’ll Blossom.” Buy it on cassette here!
The middle of July brought the second installment of Project Pabst, a gathering of hipster Portlandians and nostalgic acts such as Weezer and Blondie headlining the event. Though it was a hot weekend for such an outdoor festival, spirits were high and the energy was good.
The first act we caught was The Velvet Teen. They have an emo-punk type of sound to their music. The Velvet Teen’s latest album is called All Is Illusory. They were pretty fun to watch.
Next was Against Me! Which was totally rad to see live. They played a lot of their newest album, Transgender Dysphoria Blues which was alright, but when they played the classic hits they got everyone moving around.
Thee Oh Sees were the next band to perform, and they just crushed it! It was crazy seeing two drummers so in sync, and lead man John Dwyer was so quirky and fun to watch.
After Thee Oh Sees was TV on the Radio. They had an outstanding performance even in the 100+ degree summer sun.
What is there to say about Run the Jewels? They absolutely destroyed Project Pabst. Even in a city that is extremely biased against hip hop, they delivered the most entertaining show out of the entire weekend.
The night finished off with 80s legend Blondie. Her performance was actually pretty good, way better than when we saw her at Pemberton last year.
The second day started off with Toronto’s Alvvays. It was my first time seeing them, and they kicked ass! Sounding a lot like the Canadian version of Best Coast, Alvvays has that guitar-pop blissful sound to them.
So if you don’t know The Both it is Aimee Mann and Ted Leo playing together in a band. So get familiar, because they rock and are adorable.
Passion Pit was up next and anyone who has seen or even listened to Passion Pit knows that they bring the energy every time. Though the heat weighed down most people, it wasn’t hard to dance to the funky beats Passion Pit was throwing down.
The classic punk sounds of Buzzcocks reigned over Portland for a solid hour, not sure if that’s a good or bad thing, but it did happen.
Finally! After 20+ years of Weezer, I have finally seen them live, and it was great! They played all the classic jams, and played their new ones too.
Overall Project Pabst was another huge success for music lovers and PBR fans. My only suggestion is to push back the festival until September when the temperature isn’t in triple digits.