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What the Festival is Set to Deliver an Epic Fourth Year

The days are getting longer and the weather dude is telling me the temperature isn’t going to dip below 80 degrees anytime soon, so this could only mean one thing, What The Festival 2015 is right around the corner! This year marks the festival’s fourth go-around, and the folks that put this shindig together are gearing up Oregon’s Wolf Run Ranch for another successful weekend.

This festival has a little bit of everything. It takes place on a gorgeous campground about 25 miles east of Mt. Hood. There’s enough room to walk through a (glow in the dark!) forest, lounge on plush sofas, benches, and any other designated or non-designated chill zones, dance in a splash pool with a stage that pumps out beats all day long. You can attend workshops, go to yoga and all that jazz. And to top it off, you get to witness a slew of the top producers and DJs in the game.

Names like Big Gigantic, Griz, and Seattle’s ODESZA top the list of a funkafied lineup, and there is also a number of local acts and up-and-coming artists that fill out the three day extravaganza. This event is held in Oregon for good reason. There is plenty of Portland influence, especially on the music side, here is a list of local flavor:

Indubious – Electronic reggae, or reggae with electronics. Somewhere in the middle of that is the hard hitting duo from Ashland. A live bass player and keys/and synths mix beautifully in front of beats will go off in psychedelic tangents, but always find their way back to the traditional reggae songs they’ve been making for years.

Hustle and Drone – Synth pop straight outta Portland. H&D has seen a large growth of success over the past year. The songs they write have an indie rock influence and always hold a danceable beat.

Ernest Lovers w/ Pete Krebs – Quite a bit of a different pace than the majority of the lineup, but these are local legendary song writers. They will provide a nice break from the chaos and give your brain cells a minute to rejuvenate with some slow and melodic honky tonk.

EPROM – Bass heavy with a little bit of hip hop. EPROM is one of the most notable Portland acts on the list and is set to have a big summer. He makes his beats with old school drum and bass influences and touches and dabbles of dubstep and trap. It’s damn near impossible not to dance for this.

Solovox – Piano extraordinaire and beat maker. Carl Solovox knows how incorporate his refined piano skills and put them to use on a synthesizer. He’s been known to remix some classic rock and roll (Johnny Cash, AC DC, the list goes on) and always creates a dance party of epic proportions.

Barisone – Master of silk and smooth. Barisone has become a household name in the Portland community with a steady working relationship with FAK Wednesdays and Bubblin. His music is grounded in hip hop and R&B and will change what you thought you knew about the word “sexy.”

Device Grips – straight up dance funk – full band! The (relatively) new Portland band, Device Grips are making their name quickly with blues infused horn-heavy funk with a little bit of rap n’ roll to create some of the liveliest music out there. Don’t be the person that has to tell people a year from now that you missed this set because you were trying to get a burrito (nothing against burritos, but trust me on this one).

Lovebomb Go-Go Marching Band – One of the most extravagant acts you’ll see, ever. This band hails from outer space, I assume, given their space helmets and vibrant clad of silver linings that make up their uniforms. Who knows what they’re going to pull out for a festival like this?

Other notable local artists include: Chrome Wolves, Lincoln Up, Mr. Wu, Takimba, Trashcan Joe, PRSN, Tyler Tastemaker, Deafmind, Octaban, Hal-V & Space Case, Quarry, Laura Lynn, Computer Pham, Diablo, and Montel Spinozza.

Moral of this story: Get your tickets to What the Festival and try and catch every one of these!

-Colin Hudson






Etana Performs at Mezzanine - 6/6

If you want to catch a unique show, check out Etana at Mezzanine! Her music is gorgeous and it will give you a chance to check out some music that may not be "the usual" in regards to local shows. We love local bands forever, but everyone's got to stretch their wings a bit. You won't have to stretch far. Make your way down to Mezzanine in San Francisco on June 6th!

The soulful Jamaican vocalist who has been described as "reggae's Jill Scott" (NPR) or"reminiscent of India.Arie" (Essence) - dropped her fourth album I Rise on Oct 28, 2014. The album was helmed primarily by the legendary Jamaican multi-instrumentalist and producer Clive Hunt (Stevie Wonder, Peter Tosh, Rolling Stones, The Wailers, Grace Jones, Jimmy Cliff). It hit #1 on the U.S. Billboard Reggae Album chart, making Etana one of the three Jamaican female artists ever and the first in nearly two decades (since Diana King and Patra in the mid-90s) to land this highly-coveted chart position. I Rise follows Etana's critically-acclaimed albums Better Tomorrow (2013), Free Expressions (2011) and The Strong One (2008). With poised assurance, she continues to evolve spiritually, mentally, emotionally and musically and carry the torch as reggae's leading lady.

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Opal Rose's Strange Fruit

DC's Opal Rose recently teamed up with Triple Threat to create a fantastic electro-RnB cover of the jazz classic "Strange Fruit" (on Brave New Breed). The two are developing a sound they're calling "Doom&B," and the track is an epic journey. A run through jungle drums launches the vocal to flight over the canopy of rainforest instruments and insects. I get the impression Opal has emerged from some ancient haunted psychadelic pyramid. And I love the ending, hinting at a space launch, easing the listener into oblivion. Look for more from Opal and her collaborators in the comming months. --Natan Press

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The Funk Ark record release show for Man Is A Monster this Friday!

The Funk Ark are releasing their new album, Man Is A Monster, on October 14th via Ropeadope Records. Recorded at Richmond's Montrose Recording (an amazing space that has quickly become a premier studio in the DMV, recording many previous DC Deli Artists of the Month including Avers, and People's Blues of Richmond), the album is like going on a Caribbean cruise through space on acid with an afrobeat orchestra following you around deck while you sail past galaxies and supernovas. The songs are all instrumental jams, but the changes are so tight and inventive that the energy never ever wanes (not for one second), and each track is over much too quickly (which is the opposite reaction I usually have to this sort of thing). Six action packed minutes on the mothership feel like three. It's a trip. Don't miss Funk Ark's amazing live show, supported by the equally incredible Black Masala, this Friday, October 10th at Black Cat. Check out the title track below. --Natan Press   

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The Nightingale Trio Wrap-Up D.C. Tour

For the first time Washington D.C., Virginia, and Maryland hosted the beautiful sounds of The Nightingale Trio. This touring group, inspired by traditional Eastern European music, is comprised of Rachel LaViola from Texas, Sarah Larsson from Minnesota, and Nila Bala from California, who now resides in Baltimore. The women of The Nightingale Trio met during college while performing in the Yale Women's Slavic Chorus. After graduation they decided to keep providing the public with the harmonies and blends of traditional Slavic folk music. Last year, while on tour, the songbirds completed their first album, "Letya," within 4 hours. Letya means fly in Bulgarian – the perfect name for the album according to Bala. “Nightingales are prevalent in Eastern European folk songs and we always have to fly to one another to tour.” The Nightingale Trio is currently planning another east coast tour. But until they fly to a town near you, enjoy the splendor of the pure, rich vocals of The Nightingale Trio below. –Sade A. Spence

 

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