Happy summer, y'all!
Seems like we're finally rounding a seasonal corner here in the Pacific Northwest, and after a pretty gray spring, things are starting to heat up. If you (like me) are an avid concertgoer, hitting a bunch of outdoor shows now that summer is in full swing, I've got an under-the-radar gathering to promote that you won't wanna miss.
Every year I kick off festival season celebrating Treefort in Boise, and close things out in early August just down the road at Pickathon. But this summer, I'm planning to extend the fun for a couple extra weeks, heading 45 minutes west outta Portland for a weekend of music, art, and nature at Dundee Lodge Campout.
This year marks the "fourth volume" of the festival (it runs August 19th and 20th), but it'll be my first time attending. So really, I can't provide much in terms of what to expect. Like you, the event website and this excellent Portland Mercury writeup are all I've got to go on. But what I can do is pore over the lineup and highlight set recommendations. At first glance, it seems that the curators are drawn to punk and experimental fringes, but they also cover a pretty impressive sonic range beyond those already broad genres. Noise and folk and synthwave back-to-back-to-back? Sweet.
Due to my unfamiliarity of Dundee Lodge Campout (but eager excitement to attend), consider this post an encouragement to try out the fest with me, and a guide if you're already planning to go. Again, it'll be my first time, so let's meet up! Below, I've detailed five acts I'm pretty excited to see, and then I've embedded an hour-ish playlist sampler. The acts I've selected to write about aren't ranked or anything, but simply presented in the order that they appear on the festival poster. And the playlist is not comprehensive, but it does include all musicians with at least one track on Spotify. If you choose to give it a listen, please do so unshuffled since I've tried to order the tracks in such a way that captures the raw sonic diversity of the fest. Consider it a taste of what you'll experience at the campout.
So check it out, thanks for reading and listening, and hopefully I'll catch y'all in August!
Wolf Eyes - Last fall I teamed with Holocene to promote Black Dice's PDX stopover, and this spring I named Lightning Bolt's eardrum-bursting set my favorite at Treefort 2022. So you can imagine how excited I am to finally see the prolific noise legends, Wolf Eyes, play at Dundee Lodge this summer. Perhaps their abrasive sound is not for everyone, but I'm so ready to be pummeled by this racket.
Orquestra Pacifico Tropical - And for a palette-cleanser, how about some psychedelic Cumbia? This hometown troupe of musical buds might just put on the most lively, danceable set of the weekend, and I'm looking forward to seeing a lazy afternoon festival crowd leap up to match the players' seemingly endless energy.
Helen - I've long believed that Helen's sole album, released back in 2015 and titled The Original Faces, is an under-appreciated indie gem. A local supergroup featuring Liz Harris (Grouper), Jed Bindeman (of Eternal Tapestry), and Scott Simons (of Lavender Flu), the trio plays fuzzed-out dream pop with catchy hooks blurred by distortion and hiss. I honestly never thought I'd get to see these songs performed live (Helen hasn't played together in years), so this one feel like a real must-see.
ZAH - a self-taught musician, but true multi-disciplinarian, ZAH often incorporates visual elements into their riveting vocal and electronic performances. Boasting an impressive list of accolades from various international media outlets, the opportunity to witness their magic at Dundee Lodge will is one you won't wanna miss.
Saloli - Though we're both Portlanders, somehow I've never seen Mary Sutton (aka Saloli) perform live. I adored her 2018 release on Kranky, The Deep End, but loved her recently-released tape of piano works even more. The Island: Music for Piano, Vol. 1 holds beautiful solo pieces, some powerful and others delicate. Let's hope we get to hear a few compositions from both albums in August.
Below you'll find an hour-long DLC music sampler - enjoy it uninterrupted and unshuffled from start to finish if you're able. And finally, since Spotify is not an awesome platform to support for many reasons, feel free to head to any of these artists' Bandcamp pages to purchase music there. I've included hyperlinks for the five acts I profiled above as a start, but follow your own inclinations, too. Thanks!