Words by Duncan Ros
Fortunately, the Big Ass Boombox festival has now been expanded into a two-day event. For those who love pop music in all its various incarnations, this means there is no cover to pay to see some great local and regional bands, because all of the shows happen to be free. Once again, Portlanders have absolutely no excuse not get out and enjoy worthwhile local music. Here is the preview for Saturday night.
Pigeons headline the night at Backspace, serenading an all-ages audience with cascading instrumental work floating above grooves that remain pleasantly within the pocket. The Eidolons will satisfy anyone’s asymmetrical prog-pop needs, while Jesus Rehab will give the audience a taste of nineties alt-rock that will have them humming along and slam dancing simultaneously.
The garage pop of Charts presents the gritty psychedelia inherited by their 60’s predecessors. Their instrumental song “Tease” combines a heavy back-beat with simple and tasteful guitar work. Other acts include the Bolan-esque glam of New York Rifles along with Bubble Cats, who keep things catchy and humorous with their self-proclaimed “soul-punk.”
Unfortunately local folk-pop superstars And And And had to cancel their headlining show due to a reported injury among one of the members. There’s no need to worry, however, with bands like Little Volcano exhibiting their raspy female vocals, low down grooves and a rock and roll rage, pensive attendees will be sure to boil over. Other supporting acts include the gristly garage rock of A Happy Death, the ballad oriented surf pop of Genders and the synthesized hooks of The Hoot Hoots.
With three great shows around the city that cost absolutely nothing, music-lovers have multiple reasons to get out into the crisp winter air and enjoy what Portland has to offer, and perhaps discover one of their future favorite bands in the process. Here’s hoping that Big Ass Boombox continues to provide quality entertainment on the cheap for years to come.