Category Archives: Random

Soul’d Out 2016 Kicks Off Next Week

By Yousef Hatlani

Festival season dawns upon the city of Portland around this time every year—just as the sun starts to come out and the air glides by us as crisply as the sharpness of Oregon’s blue summer skies. And no local music festival is as illustrative of this inauguration as the annual Soul’d Out, a celebration of all things funk, soul, blues, hip hop, electronic and rock—serving as, maybe more than anything, a go-to wellspring for vetted, authentic talent.

Dating back to April 2010, past editions of the festival have seen the likes of Prince, Gil Scott-Heron, Lauryn Hill, Ice Cube, Buddy Guy, Booker, T. Jones, Lee “Scratch” Perry, Steel Pulse, Charles Bradley, Esperanza Spalding, Justice…the list goes on; it manages to create a cohesive format that, at the same time, is refreshingly diverse in its approach—making it one of the year’s absolutely essential festival attractions, boasting acts for classicists and newcomers alike.

This year’s edition of the festival—kicking off next Wednesday, April 13th—upholds its longstanding tradition of high-caliber talent; headliners include funk forebears George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, Texas blues incarnate Gary Clark Jr, Reggae icon Bunny Wailer, undying soulstress Sharon Jones and Americana heroine Bonnie Raitt. Youthful innovation is also heartily represented, featuring sets by Thundercat, SZA, Bilal, and Anderson.Paak, as are local acts in Ural Thomas, 1939 Ensemble, Asher Fulero Band and the Quick & Easy Boys. There is also an Allen Toussaint tribute, as well as a not-to-be-missed reunion of legendary Oakland, CA hip hop crew Hieroglyphics—in addition to several other outstanding shows that round out the full lineup, spanning no less that nine venues over five days.

As a refresher, you can check out Faces on the Radio’s April 2015 interview with festival organizers Nick Harris and Haytham Abdulhadi here—going into the origins of Soul’d Out, its most memorable moments and the dream acts they’d love to book (although, as they admit, it’s pretty hard to top Prince.)

Soul’d Out 2016 runs April 13th-April 17th, at various venues. Full ticketing and schedule information can be found at Souldoutfestival.com.

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The Year in Photos, 2015.

Charles Bradley at the Roseland, 4.14.15 // Photo by Yousef Hatlani

Charles Bradley at the Roseland, 4.14.15 // Photo by Yousef Hatlani

From Beirut to Blondie, Primal Scream to Puscifer, Sabonis to Sleep, Steve Earle to Stephen Malkmus and Wild Ones to Weezer, 2015 was filled with several outstanding shows—many of them documented by our own Yousef Hatlani. As we do on the last Sunday of every year (since 2013, anyway,) we’ve culled 50 of most memorable photos from the last twelve months—and can now present them in one neat package: our annual Year in Photos feature. Check out the complete collection on our Facebook page now.

Update:

Today marks three years since the first episode of Faces on the Radio went live from the Internet. Like all good things do, we must now come to an end as a podcast.

For the time being, our intent is to continue to cover shows via photography and written reviews on this website. The three of us will still be around, catching shows, photographing bands, going crazy in the front row, talking with people about music, and doing everything you’ve come to expect from the FOTR team – even if you won’t hear about it the following Monday.

We are beyond grateful to every guest, contributor, listener, apartment story participant and each other for the time we all shared together. It’s been a pleasure, a privilege and an honor.

We hope you were taking notes. Have a great one.

FOTR Collage Final Text copy

Project Pabst, Day 2

…and just like that, year two of Project Pabst is a wrap! Head over to our Facebook for photos of Weezer, Buzzcocks, Wild Ones, Passion Pit and much more – including some sweet views from the Ross Island Bridge (like this one!)

Weezer // Photo by Yousef Hatlani

Weezer // Photo by Yousef Hatlani

Project Pabst – Day 1

Day 1 of Project Pabst is in the bag! Head over to our Facebook for photos of all the festivities, including sets by Blondie, TV on the Radio, Run the Jewels, thee Oh Sees and more.

Blondie // Photo by Yousef Hatlani

Blondie // Photo by Yousef Hatlani

The Year in Photos, 2014.

It’s been a long year! However, it’s also been an amazing year for live music; everyone from Nine Inch Nails to Nils Frahm to Guided By Voices to the Portland Cello Project made memorable visits to our city’s stages, not to mention the final Laughing Horse Books show and Project Pabst & Musicfest NW filling out Portland’s festival season this year. Luckily, we were there to document them all – and you can find our very own Yousef Hatlani’s photo feature over on our Facebook, or by clicking the photo below.

Love and Caring at Laughing Horse Books, 09.26.14 // Photo by Yousef Hatlani

Love and Caring at Laughing Horse Books, 09.26.14 // Photo by Yousef Hatlani

LIVE: GWAR, Roseland, Portland, OR

GWAR!!!!!!

GWAR // Photo Credit: Hollister Dixon

By Hollister Dixon

While waiting for GWAR, the 30-year-old Metal institution, to take the stage, I had the following conversation with Yousef Hatlani, my dear cohost:

Yousef: You know you have to get drenched, if this is your first GWAR show.
Me: Fuck that, dude. It’s 38 degrees out right now.

Which is an ugly truth right now. We’re a month away from the beginning of winter, but a bitter, windy cold descended on Portland that day, and even layered up, the 10-minute walk to the Roseland was punishing. The last thing I wanted to do after that performance was walk out at nearly midnight, into that weather, drenched in fake blood and viscera. And yet, two hours later, I emerged from the doors of the Roseland, dazed and drenched in fake blood and viscera. What changed?

The answer: you can’t help but get into the spirit of things at a GWAR show.

It’s a sad truth that this was my very first GWAR show – “Oh shit, I forgot! I guess I’ll catch them next time, they’re not going anywhere” has been my accidental refrain every single time – and the band’s first Portland date since the tragic passing of the band’s frontman/head Scumdog David Brockie (aka Oderus Urungus) in March. Unsurprisingly, Brockie’s death resulted in a very ugly question: “Does this mean the end of GWAR?” And, for most bands, the answer would be “Yes”. But, GWAR isn’t most bands. And so, the band created The Eternal Tour, as a way to send Oderus off in a way that let everyone pay their respects. Brockie’s vocal duties were picked up by the rest of the group, including reinstated vocalist /vocalist Beefcake the Mighty, as well as two new Scumdogs: Blóthar the Berserker (bedecked with several thick pelts, an enormous set of antlers, and – because why not? – udders [which Blóthar referred to as his “bag of dicks”]), and the Scumdog assassin Vulvatron, with incredible blonde dreadlocks and massive blood-squirting breasts. It’s a testament to the importance of Oderus that three people were required to replace him (more, if you count everyone else in the band who performed a song or two), and even though everybody in the room was there to mourn the loss, the reception to Blóthar and Vulvatron was incredible.

The story that unfolds every night of The Eternal Tour is somewhat convoluted, but I’ll attempt to explain: at the top of the show, a projection of the band’s manager, Sleazy P. Martini, appears to ask the question on everybody’s mind: “But what about Oderus?” It turns out, he’s been sucked through a time vortex, to a time without rock. After Blóthar arrives to discover his absence, he decides to help lead GWAR, as well as attempt to manipulate a time machine into bringing back Oderus. In the first “act” of the performance, vocal duties are assumed by Blothar, as well as Bonesnapper (who performed “I, Bonesnapper” and got called a “ninja turtle” by Balsac the Jaws of Death) and Sawborg Destructo (whose giant sawblade arm spewed blood over the front row during “The Private Plan of Sawborg Destructo”), though everyone onstage agrees that neither of them quite fit.

GWAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

GWAR // Photo Credit: Hollister Dixon

Oderus never reappears, but the band does pull three things from their time machine: a future pizza delivery creature (Beefcake the Mighty wanted a pizza!), Oderus’ famed penis, the Cuddlefish of Cthulhu (“He must have mistaken the time portal for a gloryhole! I made the same mistake the first 200 times I saw it,” explains Blóthar), and the aforementioned Vulvatron, who lets the band know that a monster named Mr. Perfect has taken Oderus. In one last-ditch effort, the band attempts to lure him from where he’s been taken with the one thing that he cannot resist: drugs. This is where the show takes an almost absurdly dark turn, as a giant rock labeled “CRACK” appears onstage, as well as a massive pill and a gigantic syringe. It’s hard to imagine another band doing anything like this, especially considering Brockie’s death was chalked up to a heroin overdose, but – again – GWAR is not any other band. Near the end, from the portal, the massive and terrifying Mr. Perfect arrives, to tell everyone that he has stolen Oderus’ immortality and impaled him on his own sword. In an act of revenge, the rest of the band tears Mr. Perfect to pieces and beheads him, leaving him squirting blood from at least four different places. Dejected and leaderless, the band left the stage, only to return to the sound of “O’ Danny Boy”‘s haunting bagpipes, where the band did a rousing version of “The Road Behind”, as well as a cover of “West End Girls” by Pet Shop Boys, and an updated cover of Jim Carroll’s “People Who Died”. It was an incredibly poignant way to end things, and the crowd lapped up every moment of it.

Though few people will be talking about it, the performance was a testament to the power of both music and comedy as a way to heal. Oderus was the second member of the band to die in the last three years; Flattus Maximus (aka Cory Smoot) was found dead of coronary episode in November of 2011. And yet, against the odds, GWAR have put together a stage show perfectly designed to help the members work through the pain of losing another friend, despite having every reason to simply call it quits. They’ve done their best to soldier on and never lose what makes them a band that breeds the level of intense devotion that they’ve managed to cultivate for 30 years.

It’s hard to really imagine this particular show being any more fun, even considering the purpose of the tour. Despite staying firm that I would avoid any and all blood spray, by the end I was happily getting hit in the face by the cannons of blood being shot into the crowd during “People Who Died”. If you haven’t seen the band perform before, it’s easy to think you might not enjoy things, or that you won’t quite get into the spirit. But GWAR is a band that exudes raw, uncut charisma, and they put on a stage show like absolutely nobody else. The night may not have been as unhinged as it could have been (they abstained from beheading a celebrity, though they did have a beheaded security guard), but it felt right to take things down a notch in honor of their fallen friend. In the end, it would have been an insult to the memory of Oderus to not allow myself to be soaked in blood as much as possible. And, really, my biggest regret is that I didn’t wear a white shirt to the show.

Hail Oderus Urungus, and long live GWAR!

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Photos: Slowdive, Low – Crystal Ballroom, 11/5/14

The Crystal Ballroom was host to one of 2014’s best and most anticipated shows last night when Minnesotan Slowcore legends Low and newly reunited Shoegaze darlings Slowdive played to a capacity crowd, seemingly suspending 1,300 fans – many new and many old – in a dream (for at least a few hours.) From the outset of Slowdive’s performance, it was obvious that their songs not only sounded timeless but also pristine and pointedly affecting, with many attendees recounting how many times they shed a tear over the course of the evening. Suffice it to say, music rarely sounds this good. Find our photos of the evening over on our Facebook page, or click on the photo below.

Slowdive // Photo by Yousef Hatlani

Slowdive // Photo by Yousef Hatlani

 

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Photos: The Kills, Baby In Vain – Wonder Ballroom, 10/28/14

Anglo-American Blues-Punk duo The Kills dropped by the Wonder Ballroom last night – their first time back to Portland since 2011, when they played similarly attended sold-out or near sold-out shows in both May and September (also at the Wonder and then at the Crystal Ballroom for Musicfest NW, respectively.) Suffice it to say, the group brought a world-class energy  and fruitful tension to a crowd fastened for more and more; this band can play any size stage and fill it to the brim with bass-heavy, sexual voodoo and a fair dose of rock star panache. Our very own Yousef Hatlani was front and center. Find his pics over on our Facebook, or click on the photo below.

The Kills // Photo by Yousef Hatlani

The Kills // Photo by Yousef Hatlani

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Photos: Melvins, Le Butcherettes – Roseland Theater, 10/19/14

Alt/Doom/Sludge/Drone/Heavy institution Melvins dropped by Portland’s Roseland Theater last night as part of their Hold It In tour, promoting the album of the same name made in collaboration with Butthole Surfers bassist Jeff Pinkus. True to the band’s nature, their set was completely unique from the trio’s last few outings in recent years (frontman Buzz Osbourne also played a solo show at the Hawthorne Theater on June 18th of this year – which, despite being an acoustic affair, still managed to bring the band’s lumbering energy in full force.)

Opening the show was Guadalajara’s own Le Butcherettes, led by Teri Gender Bender – who may also be familiar to American audiences for fronting the group Bosnian Rainbows, the brainchild of one Omar Rodriguez-Lopez (the band has played Portland  twice in the last two years, first at the Star Theater on Oct. 20th, 2012 and again at Dante’s on Sept. 18th, 2013.)

Find Yousef Hatlani’s photos on our Facebook page now!

Melvins // Photo by Yousef Hatlani

Melvins // Photo by Yousef Hatlani