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]

Shlohmo + The Bear and The Sea

The latest EP from Shlohmo is an electronic masterpiece of chill, glitchy goodness. With this new Laid Out EP, I would say that Shlohmo is the top artist to push the electronic scene into the next era. Every aspiring electro artist should take a page from Shlohmo in what they create. Definitely my favorite EPs so far this year with the freshest tracks from “Later” to “Out Of Hand” to “Without,” Laid Out is future music that needs more recognition.

Next is another great electronic artist, The Bear and The Sea. Being a local Portlander means that he knows knows what the people want when it comes to great electro music. TB&TS’s newest full length is called Trees Like You and offers some real chill beats. I really enjoy “The Girl’s Got Angel Wings,” Human Loop,” and “Astronaut Sun.” Most importantly is that you can name your own price for this 12 track album on the bandcamp page here. So through The Bear And The Sea a couple of bones for some ill beats.

Treefort Music Festival 2013

The second annual Treefort Music Festival is coming just around the corner in Boise, ID. Last year was so successful they decided to do it again, and Killing Sasquatch will be your source for finding out which bands you’ll want to see there. So far the lineup has given us two headliners in Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings and Animal Collective! Not to mention some of our favorite bands Youth Lagoon, Delicate Steve, Dan Deacon, Sage Francis, Lake, Radiation City, and Shlohmo. This is shaping up to be a most epic party in Boise, March 21-24.

But what I really want to get into is sharing the bands that we haven’t heard of yet so let us get started with Bad Weather California.

I have been putting this song on repeat for the last couple of days. They make good use of the slide guitar and have such a catchy rhythm, it’s hard not to like BWC. So stoked to see them live.

The next band I’ve been blasting is SW/MM/NG from Fayetteville, AR. These guys are what I would call psychedelic dream pop-rock. Great guitar riffs, catchy surfy drum beats, and well used vocals makes up their sound. The new single that they have is called “Some Dreams Come True.” Check out the video and their older EP below.

Hang Time is a pop-rock band from Salt Lake City, UT. These guys have a great mix of synth lines and guitar riffs. Along with whimsical songwriting, this could very well be your next favorite band. Their debut self titled full length album is set to come out March 5th, but it is available to listen to right here.

Next up is Spokane, WA band Terrible Buttons. A seven piece folk-rock band that pumps out the good time jams. With gritty vocals, bells, trumpets, violins, drums, and acoustic guitars their Plates of Ether EP is very well mixed, and their soon to be released Runt promises to be just as good.

Last one for today is Nude Pop also from Spokane, WA. This four piece band is a hybrid of chill-wave and rock music. Reminding me of Boise band Shades or local Portlanders Pure Bathing Culture. Nude Pop has more driving beats and guitar riffs that make you smile and leave you wanting more. Check out their latest single, “Lurker” and some demos below.


There are so many more bands for us to share with you. So stay tuned for more pre-game coverage of Treefort Music Festival 2013.

Shlohmo + Rangers

Today I thought I would share some really awesome instrumental music for the weekend. So first up is an artist from California named Shlohmo. Some really great synth layering with some heavy 8-bit influence for the melody. Super groovy to listen to all the way through the 57 minutes of the album Bad Vibes. Yeah it’s really good so check it out here. Also the video for “Just Us” down below is really good too.

Rangers is another really cool band. Their type of instrumental music is more on the spacey guitar kind of lo-fi sound that travels through time and space according to its own agenda. The album is titled Pan Am Stories and it’s available now on Not Not Fun. You can also check out the album here.