Big Ass Boombox Part 2

Night 2 of Big Ass Boombox was just as special as the first night if not more so. Things kicked off for us at Ash St Saloon with Atlas and the Astronaut. A high energy rock band with a classic rock sound. Their live show is a little eccentric but all the more awesome because of it.

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Next band we saw was Brain Control. A loud pop-rock band with another very high energy lead singer. Brain Control is a little more on the indie pop side of the spectrum.

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After seeing Brain Control we went over to Kelly’s Olympian to see one of our favorite Portland bands, Summer Cannibals. Once again Summer Cannibals crushed it with their gritty rock and roll. They also played a cover of “Breaking the Law,” which kicked ass.

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To close out the night and the Big Ass Boombox festival was A Happy Death. Their name is a lot like their music, a surfy-psycho billy, doomy type of rock. The crowd got all riled up and the lead singer decided to crowd surf at the end of the set.

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Overall Big Ass Boombox Vol.3 was by far the most fun free festival I’ve been to. If you are a fan of free live shows please do yourself a favor and go to the little ass boombox shows at the end of every month at Kelly’s Olympian. And stay tuned next year for more shenanigans.

Big Ass Boombox Part 1

 

This past weekend saw the third installment of Big Ass Boombox, a free music festival dedicated to loud pop influenced music. The festival features mostly local Portland bands with a few Seattle bands thrown in as well.
The first band that I caught was Cambrian Explosion. The sound that Cambrian Explosion has is straight psychedelic rock and roll. With a nice slow groove with high flying guitar solos. They were one of my favorite bands to see.

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Next band we saw was Foxy Lemon. These guys have a more streamlined rock and roll sound with punk influences. They put on a high energy show that got the crowd moving. Foxy Lemon has a classic rock kind of sound to them that is irresistible.

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Up after Foxy Lemon was one man band, Hands In. His style of music is more on the psychedelic electronic-pop side of the spectrum. With jangly guitar riffs and cool drum machine beats, Hands In was quite entertaining to watch and listen to.

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After Hands In we enjoyed a rousing set from Autonomics. The sound from Autonomics is a blend of punk-pop and surf metal. Their live show and recordings have such a positive high energy. The album is called Trust Your Instincts, go buy it.

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Last band of the night was Adventure Galley. A band that formed in Eugene and has moved their way up to Portland. These guys have a groovy synth-pop type of sound to them. Adventure Galley has some really dancy tunes and the people were getting down to their set.

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Big Ass Boombox Festival Night 2

What can we say? Big Ass Boom Box is a rocking success. We would like to dole out many props to Arya Imig & Eirean Bradley and all the bands, venues, and performers for organizing this well-run eclectic fun-ass event. KS is excited to see such a big convoy from our older sister in rock and roll; Seattle, as well as a fine selection of local Portland groups.

We catch a Portland favorite Pictorials at Backspace first. These guys have a tight new-wave aesthetic which bounces along with rich pop jingles and jangles like a golden retriever wearing a million-dollar cow-bell. Their songs are thoughtful and memorable. On stage, they seem to take part in the audience as we take part in the performance.

The Hoot Hoots are nextdoor at Someday Lounge, where a juiced crowd is jumping up and down in front of four rockstars, all sporting rainbow striped dream coats. These guys must have a cult following since the crowd is packed, singing along and hopping around crazily, and we can see why. Between the lead man’s blue LED glasses and the keyboardists awesome interpretive facial expressions, The Hoot Hoots bring the music and the show. Have a listen to the infectious vocal choruses and radical pop in The Hoot Hoot’s music.

Mobbing over to our favorite 110 year old Biker-Bar turned hipster-dive Kelly’s Olympian, we catch the tail end of The New York Rifles, Portland punk stars rip up the stage with their energetic brand of loud rock and roll.

Going on a suggestion from festival organizer Eirean Bradley, we head back to Someday to see A Happy Death. The first thing one notices about this band is that they are completely unapologetic. The lead singer jumps on drums, amps, whatever he can find while belting out incoherent mumbles over brazen pop rock guitars. Their stylistic choices turned some off, but the aromatic boldness with which A Happy Death brews up their stuff left a pretty good taste in our mouths.

The night concludes in an epic climax as the fully inebriated crowd at Kelly’s throws down to Charts. At this point, we’ve all been trying to compensate for the free admission with drink sales—and even the band is pretty sloshy. The drummer and vocalist brings the free-flowing rock music, and the bassist brings the hilarious drunken antics. Check out our photos of him rocking out ontop the shoulders of a lucky fan, or passed out on the floor still shredding. We haven’t been to a show this fun in quite some time, and the experience leaves us totally looking forward to Big Ass Boom Box 2014.

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Big Ass Boombox Festival Night 1

This is the second year of Big Ass Boombox, and last night was the first of two nights for this free festival. The festival features all types of pop and rock music in the Northwest. With 40 bands playing in two days on three stages, it’s no wonder why this festival is creating a lot of buzz. Not to mention that it is entirely free for whoever wants to see these bands.

The first band that we saw was Friends and Family based in Seattle at Someday Lounge. Though their outfits were a little flamboyant, their music was light-hearted and folky. They reminded me of Typhoon a little bit, though their violin player tap dances in a couple songs. They are currently finishing up their first LP and hopefully will be releasing that soon. For now check out the latest single “Laura in the Woods.”

Next we went over to Backspace to catch another Seattle band called Kithkin. Each member of this tribal-pop band has their own percussion set up. Whether it’s a whole drum kit or bongos or a floor tom and cowbell. Kithkin’s brand of music is very powerful and very dance-able. Check out their 8-track Takers & Leavers below.

Next up was local Portland band Lee Corey Oswald. This power punk-pop band plays loud and makes you dance with their catchy tunes. They have a great full length out called Moon Songs and are about to come out with a split 12″ in February. Check them out below.

After Lee Corey Oswald we scurried down to Kelly’s Olympian to see Seattle’s Yuni In Taxco. This four piece had an awesome psychedelic post-punk kind of sound. Everything about Yuni In Taxco is pretty damn groovy. Check out their full length Prizes below.

The last band that we caught at Kelly’s was Monoplane from Salem, OR. These guys rocked our faces so hard we couldn’t imagine seeing another band afterwards. With influences of Modest Mouse, Pixies, Fugazi, Archers of Loaf, and Sleater-Kinney it’s easy to immediately fall in love with this band. I have been rocking out to their newest single “Break It” for the last 20 hours straight. Check it out.

Stay tuned for night 2 of Big Ass Boombox and if you are in the Portland area you should come out to see awesome local bands for free! We’ll be at Backspace around 8pm for The Jesus Rehab.

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