One of the markers of postmodern aesthetics and criticism is a decrease in the language and analysis concerned with time as a cultural category and a rise in the terms related to the concept of space and spaces, as Frederick Jameson has pointed out. In our current socio-political situation, more and more spaces are being analyzed in terms of the experience of the women who occupy or live through them. Although we have mountains of evidence which suggest those spaces are structured to oppress and control women’s bodies, our culture in general is taking its time recognizing, accommodating, and centering those experiences and voices.
Treefort 2019, however, will have several spaces where women will be front and center, sharing their art and their experiences with receptive crowds. What follows is a list of the women from Portland, OR, a group so strong and talented that their influence will be felt throughout the entire Treefort fest this year.
Laura Veirs is a folk-rock-pop badass who has several albums to her name, including last year’s The Lookout, which focuses on fragility. Her recent collaboration with Neko Case and k.d. lang, case/long/veirs, was also well received. She also found time last year to launch a podcast, Midnight Lightning, which is a series of interviews with 14 musicians who are also mothers. You can catch her music at 8:30 p.m. on Thursday at the Boise Contemporary Theatre, or a songwriting session as a part of Storyfort, on Friday at 3:30 p.m. at Owyhee.
Maggie May Morris – Sunbathe
Portlander by way of the Bay Area, Maggie May Morris is a Treefort veteran who has been in several great Portland bands, including Youth, Genders, and most recently Sunbathe, whose self-titled 2017 album was one of the strongest Portland albums of that year. Luckily for Treefort attendees, Sunbathe is playing twice, at 4 p.m. on Thursday at Prefunk Beer Bar, and 10:30 p.m. on Friday at Neurolux. Both sets should be awesome, but getting a little day drunk at 4 p.m. with Sunbathe sounds especially great.
Luz Elena Mendoza – Y La Bamba
Another Portland musician with years of experience, Mendoza and Y La Bamba’s latest album, Mujeres, which was just released in February of 2019, is a call to reflection in a time of crisis. With a focus on what it means to be a Mexican woman with immigrant parents and the ways in which experience can augment and limit realities, Y La Bamba’s music has always been raw, emotional, thoughtful, and poignant. Catch them at 1:50 p.m. on the Main Stage on Saturday or 10:30 p.m. at The Olympic on Sunday.
Jessica Boudreaux, Cassi Blum – Summer Cannibals
Summer Cannibals is one of the best live bands on the West Coast if not the country. Boudreaux has never been afraid to rock the fuck out, and with the addition of Cassi Blum, (who is also in Tallwomen, one of Portland’s best hardcore bands), Summer Cannibals are no doubt ready to shred everyone’s faces off at Treefort. They have a late set, 11:40 p.m. at Neurolux on Saturday.
Katherine Paul – Black Belt Eagle Scout
A prolific musician, Katherine Paul’s Black Belt Eagle Scout project grows out of her experience as a queer, Native woman situated in the present landscape. The chance to explore the meaning of these experiences in the context of grief and protest brought a fair amount of recognition to her debut album, Mother of My Children, which was released in fall of 2018. Black Belt Eagle Scout is on at 8:30 p.m. on Sunday at The Olympic.
Moorea Masa – Moorea Masa and the Mood
Moorea Masa’s soulful debut, Shine a Light, was released after much anticipation for the Portland music veteran, who has years of performance and classical training as well as tons of natural music talent. She’s on late on Sunday night, 11:20 p.m. at The Linen Building.
Jenny Logan – Deathlist
Another prolific Portland musician (who has been in bands with multiple people on this very list), Jenny Logan’s Deathlist project is a swirl of darkwave, pop, and post-punk. In the last 12 months she has released two albums, 2018’s FUN and this year’s A Canyon, both exploring the phenomenon of loss, albeit at difference points in time along that experience. Catch Deathlist at 7:20 p.m. on Friday at The Shredder.