Tag Archives: Bonnaroo

Music Festivals Galore

-Emily Fraysse

It’s that time of the year again.

No, I don’t mean the time for colds and overcoats. I mean the time of year when music festivals from all over the world display their lineups for the upcoming seasons. The summer is notorious for producing concerts.

Music festivals originated in Ancient Greece, during what was called the Pythian Games, or Delphic Games. A forerunner for the modern-day Olympic Games, the celebration included competition for art, dance, and athletics.

Summerfest, held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is currently the largest yearly music festival. Over the course of eleven days, nearly 900,000 people join to see 800 bands play a variety of genres from alternative, rock, country, R&B, pop, reggae and much more. This year, the festival begins June 26.

Another favorite, which has gathered more attention over the years, happens in Indio, California. The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is an annual music and arts festival that takes place over two weekends in April. In the past, they’ve hosted artists like Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Prince, Paul McCartney, Oasis, Radiohead, The Black Keys,  and The White Stripes. The tickets have been in such high demand that summer 2012 was the first year that had the same line-up two weekends in a row.

Other favorites include Bonnaroo (June 13-16) held in Manchester, Tennessee, Outside Lands (August 9-11) in San Francisco, California, Sasquatch (May 24-27) in Quincy, Washington, Stagecoach Festival (April 26-28) in Indio, California, and Lollapalooza, happening now, in Chicago, Illinois.

Without a ticket to Outside Lands last summer, I decided to attempt to sneak in with my friend. The outcome: successful. Towards the end of the last night of Outside Lands, we asked for the tickets of two girls exiting the area for the night. Being sly, we told the security in charge that we had to go to my car to get something really quickly and after a minute of explaining, they let us in! We ended up watching the end of Skrillex’s set with the rest of our friends in the beautiful San Francisco Park for free.

To win tickets: check back on the Coachella Facebook page, they tend to give out free tickets every once in a while. Also, make sure to listen in on the radio, as they tend to give out free tickets to various festivals in the upcoming months. Best of luck!

My Weekend with Sasquatch: Talking with Sallie Ford

-Mike Munoz

When I first heard Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside, I had a hard time believing that their music wasn’t recorded in the 50’s. But in the last year, their retro-rock sound and Ford’s unique vocals has had music critics raving and  earned them a slot at Sasquatch. After performing Monday afternoon, Sallie Ford sat down and talked to us about her relationship with The Avett Brothers and touring in Europe!

How did Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside get started?

Sallie Ford: Well I moved to Portland in 2006 and I met Tyler [Tornfelt] and Ford [Tennis] and I just started playing music with them. Then we met Jeff [Munger] who was doing a lot of street performing. I was lucky enough to meet the Avett Brothers and they invited us to do some shows and kind of kicked us off, and we’ve just gone on from there.

Are The Avett Brothers an influence on your music?

SF: I think they’re really awesome people and as far as an influence on us, they’ve given us advice on how to take becoming a serious touring band and they gave me some early advice on how to build a team and being patient about your career and taking a hot air balloon to success instead of the spaceship. That was always really great to hear.

How has it been adjusting to bigger tours and bigger venues?

SF: It doesn’t feel like we’ve done that much more, but it really exciting that we’ve gotten to go to Europe. I didn’t really know what to expect or if we were going to be playing to nobody. But then it ended up being great and we had a lot of press in Europe and we had a lot of people at our shows even though we had never played there. As far as the US, we’ll still have shows where there’s only 10 people. Then all of a sudden we’re here, playing with Jack White.

How has the Sasquatch experience been so far?

SF: Awesome! I mean all festivals can be a bit much if you have to spend the whole time there. We’ve done Bonnaroo before and we had to kind of take off early. But I think I can handle this more than Bonnaroo. I think this has to be one of the best.

So in previous interviews you’ve mentioned artists like Tom Waits as an influence. Who are some female artists that have influenced your music?

SF: There are so many. I guess the biggest would be Cat Power, Regina Spektor and Fiona Apple. Also, recently I’ve gotten into PJ Harvey. I think there is so much music from the past as well such as Etta James, Bessie Smith and Billie Holiday.

In your song, “I Swear” you have some harsh words for the current state of music. Were there any artists you had in mind when you wrote that?

SF: Not really. I just think any music where the people are just doing it for money or when music is all digital, that’s disappointing. But I think that song is about being honest in the way of cussing in my lyrics and talking about inappropriate things and not being scared to be controversial. I mean, in the past there are already a lot of people who have covered that ground, but I think as an artists I definitely wouldn’t want to play it safe.

What does the future hold for Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside?

SF: We already recorded an album, and that should be coming out in the late Fall. Hopefully people can keep their ears open for that! In the Fall we’ll be doing a tour for our record release, but we haven’t even planned that yet.

The Year of the Sasquatch

-Mike Munoz

It’s that magical time of the year, when the Sasquatch! Music Festival line-up is revealed, giving us music junkies approximately 112 days to obsessively research each and every one of the 114 bands and comedians who will be there. But hey, who’s counting?

In past years Sasquatch has had some great line-ups, but has missed out on some of the bigger artists that play festivals such as Coachella and Bonnaroo. And this is mainly because Sasquatch tries really hard to maintain its indie/ alternative rock roots. But this year festival organizers have proven they can stick to their roots and still compete with the big boys.

Two of the biggest acts revealed last night were Jack White and Beck. White recently announced that his debut solo album, Blunderbuss, will drop in April, so it makes sense that he would be touring in the spring. But I would never in a million years imagine him playing at the Gorge.  I was also very excited to see Beck in the line-up, but surprised considering he hasn’t released anything since his 2008 album, Modern Guilt. Regardless, both of these artists were huge gets for Sasquatch, and last I checked neither is playing Coachella.

The line-up will also feature big names such as Bon Iver, who is fresh off a few Grammy nominations for their self-titled sophomore album. Sasquatch has also grabbed a couple of DJs and techno artists to satisfy the needs of those who love to dance and rave into the night. Both Pretty Lights and Girl Talk have played Sasquatch recently; however this will be their first times playing on the main stage.

Sasquatch also picked up some great comedic acts. Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein will bring a little slice of Portlandia to the Gorge, performing songs and sketches from their show. Brownstein will have a busy weekend as she will also perform with her punk band, Wild Flag. I was also very surprised to see Tenacious D on the line-up, but got excited thinking of the possibility of a Jack White and Jack Black duet. Sasquatch will also feature comedian Nick Kroll, whom some of you may know as Ruxin from the popular TV show The League.

While I was very happy with the Sasquatch line-up, there were a couple of names I was surprised to see left of the list. For the second year in a row, Sasquatch has missed out on booking The Black Keys. But if you really have to see the blues rock duo from Ohio, their tour hits Portland and Seattle in early May. I was also surprised by the absence of Florence + the Machine considering the duo is confirmed for Coachella and will be touring to promote their latest album, Ceremonials. That being said, the line-up seems to be just fine without them.

The bottom line is that Sasquatch has a stacked line-up that even festivals like Lollapalooza and Bonnaroo will have a hard time competing with. It has a great set of headliners in Jack White, Beck, Bon Iver and Pretty Lights, and I didn’t even mention The Shins, The Roots, Feist, Metric and Explosions in the Sky are also booked to perform. According to the Chinese calendar, 2012 is the year of the Dragon. But after seeing the line-up for Memorial Day Weekend, 2012 may be remembered as the year of the Sasquatch.

Follow Mike at @MikeMunoz12