One of the reasons that Portland’s music scene is one of the best in the country is because of the abundance of ridiculously cheap shows that feature very worthwhile bands almost every night. The Big Ass Boombox festival is a perfect example of this, a festival put on not to make money per se but to make sure that people who live in Portland are exposed to awesome bands from the Pacific Northwest. The festival ostensibly revolves around the concept of “pop” and how different regional bands tweak it in different ways. Consisting of 3 free shows on Friday and 3 free shows on Saturday, the Big Ass Boombox festival annihilates any excuses a music fan have about not having anything to do this weekend. Here’s a preview of Friday night.
We can all breathe a sigh of relief, for now Backspace remains open and available to put on amazing all ages shows like this one, featuring Portland psych-pop wonders Animal Eyes. Other highlights include sets by Kithkin, whose melodies are simply irresistible, and Swingset Showdown, who are probably going to blow some minds and ear-drums with their self-described “piano punk.”
One of the best things about these kinds of festivals is the exposure that they give to bands who might need a little help getting their name out. Of course all the bands performing deserve recognition, but Portland’s No Kind of Rider are definitely a band that deserves a little bit more hype in the scene. They’ll bring a bit of smoothness and class to a pop festival that is a little bit rough and noisy along the edges on Friday night at Kelly’s. The rest of the show will run the gamut from the sunny pop tunes of Pheasant to the more psychedelic sounds from the likes of Yuni in Taxco.
The show at the Someday Lounge on Friday is in some ways the safest bet, and that is not a bad thing. Wooden Indian Burial Ground, Fanno Creek, and Ninja Turtle Ninja Tiger have been getting a lot of love from a lot of places recently, and each of them seem to be right on the precipice of bigger exposure and some attention in the national spotlight. While Wooden Indian Burial Ground is going to expand a lot of horizons with their blend of folk, pop, and psych influences, many will be looking forward to Ninja Turtle Ninja Tiger, who play unadulterated dance-pop that will get everyone’s asses moving.
The night promises to be a great one, leaving city residents with perhaps one lament: it is impossible to be in more than one place at the same time.