It won't just be the record-breaking temps that make this weekend the hottest of the year so far. Besides the start of KEXP's own Concerts at the Mural series this Friday, down in Happy Valley, Oregon, our friends at Pickathon are at it again. It's always hard to say that "this year" is the best yet because "last year" was also always so great. That makes Pickathon one of the most consistently excellent festivals in the Northwest, if not the country. And don't let the name fool you: each year's lineup is a diverse, multi-genre mix of roots and contemporary music. Sure, you'll find some old-timey fingerpickers in the bunch but only alongside purveyors of modern and world styles. This year, the Screaming Eagle of Soul, Charles Bradley, headlines, joined in the ranks by other KEXP faves like Dinosaur Jr., Ty Segall, Drive-By Truckers, Jonathan Richman, Deer Tick, and so many others. Just look for yourself at this spectacular lineup:
But Pickathon isn't just about the music - you won't find a less corporate, more environmentally friendly or fan-focused festival of this caliber anywhere else. Local food vendors provide some of the best of Portland's local grub, and Pickathon has successfully eliminated single-use of dish ware and utensils with a simple token system and a dedicated staff of dishwashers. Plus, the morning and afternoon activities are designed for all ages. From the grounds of this rustic farmland, it's hard to believe that the suburbs and city are so close.
We weren't kidding about how consistently this festival aligns with KEXP's programming. Here are 20 sessions we've recorded over the years with artists performing Pickathon this year:
If not for radio, punk and new wave would never have spread across the country the way it did. Thanks to groundbreaking DJs from the 1970s like Rodney Bingenheimer at Los Angeles station KROQ and Vin Scelsa at New York's WNEW, bands were able to reach an audience their crappy tour vans may never ha…
This weekend, Friday, August 4th and Saturday, August 5th, the Chautauqua Music Festival takes over the Vashon Eagles on Vashon Island. The festival was founded to benefit elementary and middle school arts programs on Vashon Island. To date, Chautauqua has raised over 14,000 dollars to "help augmen…
While we can't recommend enough that you actually go to Happy Valley, Oregon, to witness Pickathon for yourselves, we're very happy that those of you who can't make it out there can still watch over 12 hours per day of live entertainment, broadcast directly to your screen from six different stages …
KEXP listeners know: we love The Clash. We love them so much, we declared February 7th to be International Clash Day, a holiday not only to celebrate their influential punk rock sound but to acknowledge the band's activism and political messaging.
Today would have been Chris Cornell's 53rd birthday. Since news hit of his death in May, there's been an outpouring of love for Cornell and his music. From Soundgarden and Temple of the Dog to Audioslave and his prolific solo career, he gave generations of fans music to adopt as their own. He gave …