Treefort Music Fest Day 2

Friday March 21st brought the heat by ending the night with Magic Sword and Odesza, with a special appearance by Slow Magic. We knew the weekend was about to toward weird after a cop showed up at the unofficial Portland Fort in the early afternoon.

Sama Dams 1
P-Fort is an unofficial day show featuring Portland Bands. We missed Duck! Little Brother, Duck! but came just in time for Sama Dams’ high energy psyched out set. This sound is lush and rich and most importantly rocks hard. We almost got shut down by the cops, but they were nice and let us continue with the garage doors closed.

And And And 1
And And And and the Rigsketball Rig made an appearance at the P-Fort showcase. Even though we saw them last night, we really enjoyed ruminating on the new material again.

THEEsatisfaction 2
Over at Main Stage THEEsatisfaction are some of the freshest MCs we’ve seen, and Treefort in previous years has brought the likes of Grieves, K.Flay, Sage Francis, and Brother Ali. Both their voices are immediately recognizable from their work with other Seattle post-rappers Shabazz Palaces.

This is the type of music where the word visceral seems perfect. Like the name suggests, a young woman Kelsey sings with the soberness and melancholy of someone thrice her age. Her vocals and acoustic guitar are the main attractions, turned up with reverb and delivered with passion. Grandma Kelsey is the singer-songwriter that makes us excited about singer-songwriters in the best way. The live show is entrancing so we didn’t care to snap a bunch of noisy photos so you’ll just have to go see her on her upcoming US tour.

Blockhead 1
We catch Blockhead’s tight new set. He’s Aesop’s DJ and is on tour right now.



After Blockhead I popped over to El Korah Shrine for some grunge rock in Junior Rocket Scientist. These guys have such an excellent sound to their music. You’ve got to check them out.



In between JRS and Genders, I decided to go check out the Crux. The band I saw was a low-fi punk band called The Funs. They are a cool 2 piece from Chicago.

Hooves 1
Next we check out Spokane’s Hooves at Neurolux and their heavy post rock Jams. Hooves conjures headbanging from everyone everywhere, always.

iamsu 1
Back at Mainstage Iamsu! and the whole HBK Gang is laying their phat beats beneath a flowing river of rhymes. These guys just put out a highly dopaliscous compilation called Gang Forever. This is some serious R&B Rap shit.

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Genders is my favorite band. Their sound is so classic yet fresh, the lyrics thoughtful and intriguing. Their melodies are contagiously carefree yet uncanny. Wherever these people come up with their shit, it sounds great all together.

Fires in France 1
Their website says ‘arena rock’ which is a semi-appropriate for these guys if they werent playing a coffee shop in Boise. Even though the radio pop emo sound isn’t one we’d normally cover, you have to hand it to these guys; they’re great. The songs are interestingly composed and sincerely done, and the guitarist is capable of licks and pull offs that make jaws and panties drop.

The Warm Hair 2
There are many musicians stuck in certain decades, and for The Freebird it’s the 70’s. Naked underneath his nicely fit Canadian tuxedo, this guy whips up an awesome blend of blues rock, groovy Seventies heavy metal, and classic folk stuffs. But it still sounds so fresh!! Apparently Doug Martsch discovered these guys back in the day, and they’re still pretty unknown. Never ever miss The Warm Hair if they’re in your town. Even if it means you have to quit your job.

Slam Dunk 1
Slam Dunk is the kind of party music that doesn’t pretend shit. They’re a goddamn party.

Eagle Twin 3
Remember the first time you heard some good doom metal? Maybe you were too stoned, and I was too, but it’s sort of like that. Eagle Twin trudges along leaving deep postholes in a wake of heavy sludge.

A Sea of Glass 2
The Bouquet is a cool little coffee shop/ all ages venue in downtown Boise which drew a young crowd. A Sea of Glass filled a jammed up room with super chill atmospheric indie rock, which is progressive minded and thoroughly sedated. The violin gives it a posty feel at times and folksy at others. Pretty nice.
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Ugly Hussy 2
Ugly Hussy is what an awesome Modest-Mouse-sounding indie band sounds like if it were being played by just one guy. He uses loops and delays as tools, but ultimately layers of rad indie music is what’s he’s interested in.

Magic Sword 1
So it’s late now and although we suspect this might happen, things get really weird. We’ve been digging on this DJ from Boise, Magic Sword because of his 80’s video game and medieval-step undertones, but when we walk through the doors of Knitting Factory, a giant outrageous dance club and there are two guys on stage wearing robes and mesh masks that have LEDs for eyes! It was a super fun time.

Interview with Genders

KS: We’re really stoked to be having this interview right now. It’s actually our second interview so this is really cool. You guys stoked to be playing with Helio Sequence tonight?

Genders: Yes definitely, they’re one of our favorites. We’re really excited. It’s exciting to play with bands you really like.

KS: Absolutely. I really enjoyed the album you released last year Get Lost. First of all, that album artwork is super-cool. Did you have an artist do that?

Genders: She did that (points to singer Maggie Morris).

KS: That’s Awesome. I really like it. Is that just a bunch of stuff that you threw together?

Genders: Thanks! Yeah, a previous housemate left hundreds of National Geographics in my house, and I took a bunch and went though them. I spent a long time–I’d never done a collage before. Really like ten to eleven hours. It’s was really fun, I actually want to do it again.

KS: Ten hours straight?

Genders: I did like five hours straight then I probably did four or five putting around. I didn’t have an exacto knife, I just had shitty scissors, so it took a long time to get close—-and then I scanned it into my computer. I had two images that I was trying to decide which one was going to be the cover, then I was like ‘Oh, I need a front and a back’.

KS: Well it turned out really awesome. It’s definitely one of the most expressive album artworks I’ve seen in this past year. I know you guys toured with Built to Spill as well, that’s one of our favorite bands. We’d like to ask you about your experience touring with those guys since they’re since a staple of the Idaho scene. We do a lot of work in Idaho through Treefort and it almost seems like the Portland and Boise scenes seem interconnected. How did you guys get in with Built to Spill?

Genders: They were practicing in our practice space. They were borrowing a friends’ practice space to practice before a tour again. I guess it all kinda comes to Treefort because we were using Typhoons space, and they were friends with Typhoon from playing at Treefort with them. Yeah we just gave them our EP a couple of times and kept bugging them (laughs). They liked it; they invited us to their show here at Doug Fir, when they were playing in February with Finn Riggins. So we came and hung out with them, then they offered us that show.

KS: Right on. Another thing I noticed from seeing you guys play before, you guys rock the She Shreds, are you a part of that (asking drummer Katherine Paul)?

Genders: One of my best friends is involved. Maggie just did something recently for them—a tour photo diary. We’re good friends with them and we support them, they’re a really awesome magazine–the only magazine about women guitarist. Maggie documented our tour with Built to Spill. They posted it online. You should check it out, it’s really neat.

KS: I’ve seen some of their stuff around, I guess I didn’t really know too much about them until they did that show.

Genders: Here? With La Luz?

KS: Yeah. So they do guitar features…?

Genders: It’s a lot, they do interviews with women guitarists and bassists, they incorporate gear reviews, it’s kind of all over the place but it’s centered around women guitarists.

KS: That’s really awesome. I guess my next question is are you guys working on any new recordings or any new songs?

Genders: Yeah we’re working on new songs right now and we’re going on tour at the end of March for a couple weeks and then we’re just going to play them out on the road and when we come back we’re going to get down to recording an EP, and then tour again at the end of summer.

KS: That will be cool. We’d love to listen to what you got coming up. Feel free to take a couple months off if you need some time…

Genders: We’re learning how to say no. It’s really hard. We have a lot of friend bands in town and friend promoters that want us to play show, and we love to play shows. Your schedule gets filled up pretty quickly. You don’t realize. You go from having two months free to having a show every week. Even when we say we’re going to take time off. We’re only playing three shows that month? That’s taking time off. For us.

KS: I’m wondering since you’re music is new to me, it’s impactful. I just wonder where your inspiration comes from.

Genders: I think we have pretty different influences, but we come together. Maggie or Steve or Katherine or someone will bring in an idea for a song and then we’ll all bring our own stuff in, so it’s a really collaborative effort. And with such varying influences, that’s what makes Genders what it is.

KS: You really get that kaleidoscopic sense, when you listen to it it’s synergistic.

Genders: As far as inspiration I think all of us just think about music a lot. It’s the first band I’ve been in that I feel like everyone’s really invested in the music. Even if we weren’t in this band together we’d still be making music.

KS: Well I’m glad you guys are in the band together. We don’t get any specific musical references from anybody though?

Genders: It’s constantly changing. It’s whatever I happen to be listening to and it’s totally random. I think we all have music tastes that are all over the map. I feel really inspired by seeing live performances specifically, going to a really good local show. Seeing people actually creating music is really inspiring more than listening to tracks at home. It’s raw. Something about it…

KS: It’s straight heroin versus the synthetic stuff. (laughter) Don’t pay attention to that one.

Genders: Speaking of, RIP Phillip Seymour Hoffman.

KS: Who are some of your favorite acts around Portland, or to play with.

Genders: (pause) None (laughter). My friend Mike has this band called Paper Brain that’s really really good. I think my favorite Portland band that’s recently defunct is Support Force. They we’re really really good. They were a local band that I would look forward to seeing more than some national acts. RIP Support Force. I really like Ghost Ease. They’re really great. My best friend is the drummer. Actually my other best friend Bobby is the bassist, she runs She Shreds. Jen is really awesome as well.

KS: Is there anything you guys want to promote or talk about, about the album or in general?

Genders: What should we promote? Hmm. We’re learning how to do all this…

KS: So are we.

Genders: Our next show is at The Know on February 22nd, it’s going to be really fun. It’s with The We Shared Milk, another great Portland band. We haven’t played at The Know in a while. So that will be really fun.

KS: Such a great spot…

Genders: It’s definitely going to be loud. We’re going to try to play an all new set that night. Maybe I’ll just play one song though. I kinda want to play just one song.

KS: Man, last time we were at The Know things got really weird. So feel free to just live it up… UFOFBI with Spookies, it was quite the show. So if you want to play a twenty minute long song go right ahead, we’re into it.

Genders: Yeah lets do it, I won’t even play the drums I’ll just play the clarinet. Just chords over and over, chords for twenty minutes.

KS: I think people would be way into it. You never know what’s going to happen when you walk back there.

Genders: Yeah that might actually get people to come out to the show. We were thinking it might be a negative thing, but it might be like ‘Will they actually have the balls to play that, will they drive themselves insane? Can your fingers sustain the power for twenty minutes?’

KS: You could at least squeak out ten, fifteen.

GS: That’s what we should promote.

KS: Well we still want to hear the new stuff too. Just one last question; you mentioned you were new to this. When did you guys form exactly?

GS: A little over a year and a half ago. July, Summer 2012. In July we’ll hit the two year mark.

KS: Wow, that’s crazy fresh.

GS: Yeah. We’re primarily new to thinking about businessy shit. I think we’ve all been playing shows and touring for quite a while. But in terms of actually trying to make it like a business and doing the things you have to do to succeed, we’re all like OK, promotion, how do we promote ourselves? How do we manage this, getting a band bank account? All this stuff. How do you do taxes as a band?

KS: So you guys are like an incorporated business?

GS: We’re an LLC. Yeah, planning a tour we used to just “Let’s go on tour!” and we’d just pick a time and called it good and now we actually have to think about it.

KS: Well I say just make good music and the rest will follow.

Live: Genders

Friday night at Mississippi Studios saw a gathering of amazing local Northwest rock bands. The first band is from Seattle called The Comettes. Their sound mixes shoegaze, surf rock, and great singing. Not only do The Comettes sound great live, but the recordings also sound damn good.



Next to perform was Holiday Friends from Astoria, OR. Their debut album Chicks came out back in 2012 but it’s still a personal favorite of mine. Holiday friends are currently finishing up recording their second full length album, which should hopefully be coming out by the start of summer.




Headlining the show was one of our new favorite local Portland bands, Genders. Their debut full length, Get Lost, was in our top albums of the year list last year. Genders have a high energy indie pop-rock sound. Complete with blissfully rocking guitars, awesome drumming, and great bass playing, Genders has such a well rounded style of music.




Top 50 Albums of 2013 Part 2: Rock ‘n’ Roll/Misc

Here is the rest of our favorite albums of the year. The miscellaneous category covers anything from metal music to hip-hop to music that is hard to categorize. We will release our rankings in the next couple of days.

65daysofstatic – Wild Light

Blouse – Imperium

Danny Brown – Old

Deafheaven – Sunbather

Dustin Wong – Mediation of Ecstatic Energy

Earl Sweatshirt – Doris

The Flaming Lips – The Terror / Peace Sword EP

Forest Swords – Engravings

Gayze – Black Soul

Genders – Get Lost

The Ghost Ease – The Ghost Ease

Hooded Fang – Gravez

Lilacs & Champagne – Danish & Blue

Pelican – Forever Becoming

Pond – Hobo Rocket

Pony Time – Go Find Your Own

Rose Windows – The Sun Dogs

Russian Circles – Memorials

Summer Cannibals – No Makeup

Sun Angle – Diamond Junk

Thee Oh Sees – Floating Coffin

WL – Hold

More Treefort Music Festival Artists

With another announcement made today brings another wave of great indie bands throughout the Northwest and the rest of U.S. to Boise for what will be an epic weekend of music. The announcement brings some of our favorites Tartufi, El Ten Eleven, Quasi, The Thermals, Blasted Canyons, Finn Riggins, and three nights of Built To Spill! That’s right 3 nights of Built To Spill all curated by Doug Martsch as he has hand chosen who will be part of the showcase. So let’s get to know some of the other bands that not everyone knows.

We’ll start with Boise/Portland fuzz-metal band Uzala. They have a unique sound that comes from the 70s but is combined with brutal growling vocals. Uzala has some of the best metal music I’ve heard lately. Their self-titled full length is super brutal and definitely worth a listen to.

Up now is seven piece band Rose Windows from Seattle. Another 70s influenced band with smoky female vocals and a real knack for bluesy rock ‘n’ roll. The video above gets a little graphic so be warned.

Staying on the whole old school rock theme here is San Francisco band The Mallard. They have a more punk lo-fi garage sound to them the bands above. I really dig their music check them out here and my favorite song below.

Now onto local Portlanders, Death Songs. Made up from former members of Shaky Hands, Death Songs has the same good feeling and flow to their music. Super stoked to see these guys live. Check out the EP below.

Next is Brooklyn band The Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt! These guys have a great power pop sound to them. TPDR is really upbeat and fun. Check out their debut album, I Love You! I Love You! I Love You And I’m In Love With You… down below.

Last one for today is local Portland band Genders. This psych-pop rock band has a freshly recorded EP that is super good. With cool guitar riffs that float around beautiful vocals and fun light hearted drum beats complete with catchy bass lines.

Check out the full announcement here and stayed tune for more artists from Treefort Music Festival.