Treefort Music Fest Pt 2

After a month long hiatus we are back with a vengeance and ready to rock! Let’s go ahead and finish out that Treefort Music Festival coverage that we have been sitting on for a while.
Part 2 of our series picks up on Friday with a butt load of bands.

Obscured by the Sun

Obscured by the Sun jumped right into their heavy post rock jams and didn’t stop. Their new album Outlaw is a great exploration of rhythm and you should check it out.

Obscured by the Sun (photo: Keith Chaloux)

Finn Riggins

Got to see Finn Riggins play this song.

Finn Riggins 2

Holiday Friends

Holiday Friends were as vibrant and energetic as usual. They were handing out these Mini-Magic EPs which were very handy for the 7 hr drive home.

watermark301

Lost Lander

Lost Lander brought their A game of party pop to the El Korah.

Lost Lander (photo: Jeff Hoffman)

Built To Spill

Buitl To Spill was the headliner for Friday night at the main stage. They played a lot of classics and a bunch of songs from the new album Untethered Moon.

watermark283

watermark284

watermark285

Smokey Brights

These guys definitely killed it. Smokey Brights has such a rockin’ vibe to them, it is hard not to have the best time while watching them.

watermark297

ELEL

We caught the last couple of songs from ELEL, and they were just fantastic. Really groovy electro-pop sound from these guys.

watermark290

Summer Cannibals

Our favorites, Summer Cannibals, had an amazing show as always.

Summer Cannibals

The Ghost Ease

Another favorite Portland band The Ghost Ease straight killed it all weekend long.

watermark294

watermark293

Delicate Steve

To end the night we caught Delicate Steve. I’ve been a huge advocate for Delicate Steve and they did not disappoint in the slightest.

watermark299

watermark296

watermark286

watermark287

Project Pabst

At the end of September Pabst Blue Ribbon threw a big music festival for the city of hipsters, Portland. With big name headlining acts like Tears For Fears and Modest Mouse for just over $50, Project Pabst was a big success.
Saturday kicked off the festivities for us, as we caught the very end of hip-hop artist K. Flay. We caught the next band X Ambassadors who have a huge pop sound with amazing vocals.

As X Ambassadors finished up their set, the crowd flocked and nearly doubled in size as we made our way over to see the Violent Femmes. They performed their debut album in it’s entirety. Then played all the classic American music.

watermark257

watermark256

To follow up the Violent Femmes, local metal band Red Fang performed. Though I use the term metal in the sense of the heavy rock days of late 80s metal. If you haven’t heard Red Fang, I highly suggest wrapping your ears around them.

watermark258

watermark259

After Red Fang was psychedelic folk rock band, Phosphorescent. They played a bunch of songs off their latest album, Muchacho that came out last year. They had a lot of reverb and awesome jammy guitar solos.

watermark260

watermark261

I didn’t catch too much of the next band Rocket From the Crypt, but they are an old school punk/post-hardcore pop band from the 90s. They had super high energy throughout the show.

watermark263

watermark264

The headliner for the day portion of the festival was Tears For Fears. I would have never thought I would be able to witness Tears For Fears live, and I didn’t know what to expect, but it was a fantastic show. They played a lot of new songs, but also all the classics plus a cover of Radiohead’s “Creep.”

watermark266

watermark268

watermark270

We left the main festival grounds at Zidell Park and went to the Crystal Ballroom for the night shows. First was locals Wooden Indian Burial Ground, who are a psycho-billy type of rock band. They even had Doug Martsch come on stage and play a cover of “Psycho Killer.”

watermark271

watermark272

After WIBG was Deep Sea Diver from Seattle. Another pop-rock band that we have covered for Treefort Music Fest.

watermark273

watermark274

Built To Spill was the last act for the night. They played for a packed crowd at the Crystal. Playing all their hit songs from all their albums, Built To Spill had a most excellent show.

watermark275

watermark276

Treefort Music Fest 2013 Day 4

The fourth and final day of Treefort Music Fest begins with the fine sultry music of Social Studies. Their track “Terracur” off their 2012 release Developer works extremely well, and when they play it, the crowd pops with the sound of jaws dropping to the pavement. Lead vocalist Natalia Rogovin sways sensually on stage while one guitarist shreds intensely in the sunshine. The music of Social Studies is at once a classic piece of old knowledge and a revelation had for the first time.

Definitely hanging out for Bad Weather California, these guys have a good punk sound and a great sense of humor. They’re all donning stripes except the plaid-clad bassist as they woo this rapidly growing audience with a phatty salad of old garage rock and contemporary indie punk. It’s great live, and it’s great on record, so you should probably check it out.

We end up in the Record Exchange at an in-store Camper Van Beethoven show. Awesome. These guys have the righteous thematic content and DIY punk ethos which was a consequence of California in the early 80’s, and which seems to be alive and well here in Boise today. Their classics like “Take the Skinheads Bowling” and “Northern California Girls” are abstract and anecdotal fantasies best experienced while reading the lyrics from the inside CD cover. The audience remains perfectly still in the darkened shop, filed in between the record racks like bizarre churchgoers at their pews, in awe of the stylistically and technically transcendent stuff of Camper Van Beethoven.

Today is a great day. Youth Lagoon is up at the main stage. It’s especially exciting since this homegrown Boise project envisioned by Trevor Powers has just released their sophomore album, Wondrous Bughouse, a short two weeks before Treefort. What Powers achieves in his second opus is something drawn from other dimensions, the title and album art are perfect appetizers for listeners to get a taste of his neo-psychedelic dream pop sound.

Looking over some candid photos from the following Dan Deacon show at Treefort Main Stage, almost everyone has a bona fide huge smile on their faces, and here’s why: Dan Deacon’s live shows are festivals in themselves, with a focus not only on the music, but the viewer’s collective participation in the completion of the piece. Good humored after a painfully long sound check, he implores the audience to form a circle, and organizes a dance competition which eventually ends up in the whole crowd throwing down their best moves. With a repertoire of classic songs, and stupidly solid new album America, Dan Deacon’s recorded music is an entirely different beast than his interactive performance, a bold move even for the avant-garde towards a new electronic vocal indie rock aesthetic.

A super exclusive group of lucky fans pile into El Korah Shrine to witness Built to Spill play a full set of covers for the last night of Treefort. They bring something for everyone; New Order, The Clash, Captain Beefheart, Bob Dylan, Pavement, Metallica, Dinosaur Jr. and of course Blue Oyster Cult. The crowd is happy just to anticipate which awesome rock classic Doug and the crew will whip out next. The show is a very intimate experience, with the majority of covers being heard by fans for the first time.

As Built To Spill was finishing up, the anticipation of Boise’s favorite punk band TEENS had people lined out front of the Red Room. Though it took a while to set up TEENS, it didn’t take long for the crowd to tear it down as the people rushed onto the stage to rock out with the band. Beer was flying, the crowd was dancing, cables were breaking, and pipes were being busted as the Red Room got sweaty.

Afterward at the Reef, we squeeze into the Brother Ali show to polish off this awesome Treefort Fest. In our humble opinion, the festival might have benefitted from moving such big names as Brother Ali and Sage Francis from the small upstairs bar at the Reef to the main stage, so more folks could see Boise’s scene flex its underground hip hop muscles. But despite beginning to lose his voice Brother Ali totally kills it and we go home the next morning satisfied in ways we never knew we could be so satisfied. We’d like to give a shoutout to Eric Gilbert, all the hardworking organizers, volunteers, bands, techies, bar and event staff, and the good people of Boise who made this the most pleasant music festival it could be.

[flagallery gid=36 name=Gallery]

Treefort Music Fest 2013 Day 3

Saturday is the pinnacle of Treefort, with the most bands playing on a single day, so reporters Jeff and Keith C split up for the day to bring you some of the most rad shows that went down in Idaho over the weekend.

After catching an early house show with Portland’s Lee Corey Oswald we head out to the main stage for the start of day 3. To our great pleasure, Holiday Friends kicks off such a great day on the main stage with their crispy fresh blend of NW indie pop and rock. These guys embody an awesome contemporary electro and freak-folk infused rock aesthetic, but with a sincere keenness which appeals to all types of listeners. They play their 2011 hit “Astral Observations” which is an epic piece about crises and existence, unsure yet unconcerned. Formed at the University of Idaho, then relocated to Astoria, Holiday Friends are a testament to the quality and strength of Idaho’s grassroots music scene.

Mobbing over to the Crux, we catch Ugly Hussy in the middle of his multi-layered loop and jam routine, standing out from other one-man-and-a-pedal acts with a honed dimly lit post rock inspired sound. Whereas past and present Treefort acts such as Dustin Wong, Tartufi, and El Ten Eleven are creating pop and rock with looping effects, Ugly Hussy produces sludgy soundscapes viewed through a warped and dirty window. Carefree, almost joyous rhythms and rich distorted tones carry his music into the realm of the ethereal.

At Red Room, another monstrous band Ugly Winner represents the bomb 20 Sided Records, which includes such gems as Ash Reiter and Slow Trucks. UW’s material has strong malty Modest Mouse and filbert overtones with a pleasant Fugazi finish. Last year’s album Inside Your Wave contains a focused driving aesthetic which brings out the cosmic punk and indie elements of their awesome tunes.

Back at Crux, Lynne and Ben from Tartufi are playing an acoustic set with a group going by the moniker Houses of Light. This specially effectual four-piece stands tall and shines bright like the beacon on a signal tower, and floods the room with brilliance of the clerestory of a great cathedral. We’ll hook up a link to listen as soon as one becomes available, until then it’s up to you to get on them when they come to your town.

El Ten Eleven is sometimes mistakenly lumped in with other instrumental post-rock bands. These guys crank out more than three times the music with less than half the members of some comparable bands. With roots somewhere between 70’s krautrock and outer space, Kristian Dunn shreds up his vintage doubleneck simultaneously through live looping and delays while Tim Fogarty holds down the electric and acoustic drums and synthesizer. Their entire set is one spectacular wtf-moment, as the main stage crowd revels in the beautifully composed and seemingly impossible progressions of El Ten Eleven. Their 2012 release Transitions is a masterful complement to their existing oeuvre, and solidifies them as a huge force in contemporary experimental rock music.

Jeff quickly headed back over to the Crux to catch the end of Hang Time, a rad power pop-rock band from Salt Lake City. They were busting out some big tunes as the people started to pour into the Crux. It took hardly anytime for SW/MM/NG to set up on stage for their set. With their uptempo drum beats and catchy guitar licks the crowd was starting to dance along to guitar-pop of SW/MM/NG.

The day becomes night, and the night becomes a blur of awesome music. At El Korah Shrine, the much talked about Slam Dunk plays to a critical mass of electrified fans. These Boise guys are full of the essence of power pop and NW post-punk. So much fun live, they’re going on an epic tour this Spring with a handful of shows alongside Built to Spill, so be sure to investigate.

Much love is doled out to Portland favorite The We Shared Milk. Currently on tour with PDX party powerhouse And And And, these guys play a really funky brand of wailing blues rock with cool indie and weird uncanny elements. The quality of the music is high, and the crowd at the Red Room rocks in total submission to the groovy rock and roll of The We Shared Milk.

While TWSM was giving out the good vibes to the Red Room, First Borns started playing to an ever increasing number of post-punks. One of the up and coming local favorites, First Borns put on an excellent show. Full of fuzz and lovely guitar licks to the ears, this is a band that should be on your radar.

After First Borns was Gayze. The Crux was packed tight for this show of local Boise musicians. Three guitars, drums, bass, and keys makes up a huge garage rock sound that was delivered delightfully to the crowd. People were rocking out and the visuals were perfect for this partying band known as Gayze.

Sneaking up front at the at-capacity Neurolux, I chat with a reporter from the cool Seattle based music blog Inside Right Wrist before catching the always stunning Y La Bamba. Lead singer Luz Elena Mendoza switches back and forth between English and Spanish, perfectly complementing the latin inspired instrumentation. Y La Bamba has a wonderful subdued indie sensibility that attracts so many listeners that the entire venue is shoulder to shoulder, with an equally dense queue outside.

The true grandfathers of Boise’s indie rock scene, and one of the heavyweight groups to put post-nirvana NW indie rock on the US map, Built to Spill comes out for their second out of three shows. Last night they played their debut album Ultimate Alternative Wavers from beginning to end, right after legacy indie rockers Quasi here at El Korah Shrine. Tonight they bust out a crowd pleasing medley of greats, including “Carry The Zero,” “The Plan,” “Center of the Universe,” and “Stab.” An anomaly in the world of rock stars, Built to Spill has achieved great national success over the past two decades, yet remains true to their sound, their ethos, and their fans, seemingly impervious to the warping pressures of record labels and entertainment companies. For this, we thank them.

Back at Neurolux charmers Widowspeak plays to a packed audience. Originating in Tacoma Washington, Widowspeak has undergone drastic lineup changes and released two very well received full lengths in just three short years. They have a beautiful misty shoegaze sound, but is definitely something more tangible than the swirling plasma that is the music of My Bloody Valentine.

Now it’s late, we’re sorta drunk, and just want to head over to China Blue Lounge to get down to the Shlohmo live set. On record, Shlohmo unites instrumental hip hop, electro, and dubstep elements into a visionary blend of fresh 100% listenable tunage. His music exists on a separate plateau, towering over the earth below. The crowd moves and grooves entranced by Shlohmo’s signature slow, smooth yet downright filthy experimental music. The only damper was China Blue’s sound guy who felt it necessary to interrupt the set for reasons decidedly less important than the awesome show that was Shlohmo’s live set.

[flagallery gid=35 name=Gallery]

Treefort Music Festival

To whoever says that Boise, Idaho doesn’t know how to party will be proven wrong with the inaugural Treefort Music Fest happening at the end of March. This is one of the most stacked lineups of unknown independent bands I have seen! The headliners for the music fest are Built To Spill, Why?, and Of Montreal. With supporting bands such as Blitzen Trapper, Delicate Steve, Typhoon, and Finn Riggins, and a 4-day pass costing only 79 dollars there’s really no excuse not to see this festival. Below are some excellent examples of why everyone should come to Treefort.
Desert Noises have a great sound that reminds me of a certain band named Fleet Foxes. Really catchy drums and groovin’ bass lines makes it more uptempo, yet still sounds like a crisp sunny morning. Make sure you check out their album Mountain Sea on the bandcampsite. Also check out the awesome single “Oak Tree” below.

Next band I want to share is Red Hands Black Feet, an instrumental band that have heavy influence from Modest Mouse, Russian Circles, and Minus The Bear. They build up each track so well to a sometimes overwhelming climax, your not sure what just happened until after the fact. Check out their stuff here.

Last one for tonight is Shades. Their debut album Clear Motions just dropped last month, and I assure you it is a must listen. They have a great electro-pop chill wave sound going on. Great beats and cool vocals fill this album so go and check it out on their soundcloud page here.