The sun set on another weekend of eclectic tunes at Happy Valley’s Pendarvis Farm Sunday.
From the blend of electronic dance and funk music that is Israel’s own A-WA, to the furious rhymes of Detroit’s Black Milk, Sunday on the farm held its own with the rest of the festival.
Related: Scenes from Pickathon 2017, Friday
Scroll to see reviews and photos from Sunday, Aug. 6, 2017.
Saskatchewan, Canada, native Andy Shauf brought his band and two clarinets to Pickathon’s Woods Stage on Sunday afternoon. It was a perfect pairing of sound and place. I spent the bulk of his set happily swaying along as I stared off at the mass of tree branches above doing much the same. — Mike Dempsey
All the way from Tel-Aviv, Israel, and fresh off a 12-hour drive from San Francisco, A-WA lit up the Woods Stage with unbelievable energy. The crowd kicked up dust to the captivating frontwomen, agile keys and guitars, and driving drumbeats. Singers and sisters Tair, Liron and Tagel Haim could each command a stage alone, but together they hold the audience captive.
Related: Scenes from Pickathon 2017, Saturday
The Israeli megastars combine a form of traditional Yemenite chanting with electronic dance and funk music. Their set — which followed the delicate strumming and crooning of Andy Shauf — got hearts pumping and feet jumping from the front of the crowd to the back. — Bradley W. Parks
Black Milk and Nat Turner
Watching Black Milk rap is like watching an all-star wide receiver do footwork drills — packing punchy rhymes deftly into tight windows of time. The wavy bass, drums and keys from the band Nat Turner that fill the spaces between bars give the audience time and reason to move their feet. Combined, the music of Black Milk and Nat Turner is like if you turned Aladdin’s magic carpet into a skateboard; you’re floating but it’s still tough and gritty. Black Milk instructs his audience to “vibe out with me one time” before almost every song, so he’s the best kind of liar. Who wouldn’t want to vibe out on repeat? — Bradley W. Parks
There aren’t too many things that can keep me in the sweltering Galaxy Barn for a full 60 minutes, but Aldous Harding’s haunting and hypnotic Sunday morning set did the trick. An absolute highlight of my weekend. — Mike Dempsey
Could there be a more fitting end to a summer festival than Dinosaur Jr.? Whether you know the Massachusetts rockers or not, they play the music you want to hear on a cool summer night under a yellow Oregon moon and the glowing canopy of Pickathon’s Mount Hood Stage. If you’re like me, you’re covered in a mixture of sweat and dirt after a day traipsing through Pendarvis farm. You’re tired. Your face gently melts into that cold IPA you bought because you felt like you earned it. And loud, fuzzy guitars under trippy purple lights describe how you feel better than words ever could. — Bradley W. Parks
Australian singer Julia Jacklin performed with her slightly twangy style and a catch in her voice in the cooler confines of the Galaxy Barn. — Dave Christensen
Portland artist TYuS split his set time Sunday with another local artist, Jonny Cool. Jonny began with a modern R&B sound backed by a full horn section, sporting some fuzzy animal shoes and at one point donning a futuristic space helmet. He played a new single that is set for release this week, “Take Me to the Moon.”
Midway through the set’s scheduled time, he yielded to TYuS and a DJ, who settled in for a much spacier and heavy beat-driven set for the late afternoon crowd at the Treeline Stage.
The line to see Huun-Huur-Tu stretched around the porch of the smallest Pickathon venue, the Lucky Barn, and up the hillside through a row of Porta-Potties. Such is the dedication it sometimes takes to see a band you can’t see anywhere else. Most of those waiting wouldn’t get in, but there was an alternative viewing spot just outside the barn, on a live video feed.
Huun-Huur-Tu rode a wave of American interest in “world music” in the 1990s, releasing a series of records on an American label and allowing an outside listen to a little-known musical culture from Tuva, a small Russian state on the border with Mongolia. Watching this band play was memorable and awe-inspiring. They perform a style of “throat singing,” with deep guttural and sustained notes that produce whistling overtones – quite startling to hear for the first time – and in those overtones are the songs’ counter-melodies. They play handmade stringed instruments and rattles made of horses hooves. The instruments are stringed with horse hair. And they played an evocative song “Chiraa-Khoor” (“The Yellow Trotter”) with loping rhythms of hoofbeats, whinnies and lyrics about the joys of riding on the grassy steppes of their homeland, that I had heard and remembered from their first U.S. record back in 1993.
See more photos from Sunday’s slate of shows: