Now Playing:


local | Music | NW Life | Arts | Entertainment | State of Wonder

Pickathon Preview: Drive-By Truckers | Charles Bradley | Tank And The Bangas | The Last Artful, Dodgr

Bill Purcell

Whether you’ve got your campervan packed or plan to catch the action via livestream, Pickathon is always one of the summer’s hot tickets. Curated with love and staged at the Pendarvis farm in east Multnomah County Aug. 3–6, the festival draws from so many worlds: indie rock, post-punk, hip hop, Americana and much more.

A number of the artists on this year’s Pickathon schedule have cruised through our doors for opbmusic studio sessions. This week, as we re-roll our sleeping bags and slather on the sunscreen, we’re listening back and looking forward to August.

Drive-By Truckers performing live at OPB in Portland, OR.

Drive-By Truckers performing live at OPB in Portland, OR.


Drive-By Truckers Explore Duality And Dirt - 1:20

With their double-barreled live sets and searing lyrical craft, the Drive-By Truckers are an easy add to top-10 lists of best American rock bands playing today. Formed in Athens, Georgia, circa 1996, the DBTs have had a lot of volatile personnel changes — Grammy-winner Jason Isbell was part of the lineup for a few years — but they’ve settled in nicely with partners in grime, Mike Cooley and Patterson Hood, at the helm. Their most recent record, “American Band,” continues Hood and Cooley’s exploration of duality in American identity. The band played the entire record through last October for a special NPR First Listen, hosted by opbmusic.

Tank and the Bangas perform at OPB 5-10-17

Tank and the Bangas perform at OPB 5-10-17

David Stuckey/OPB

Tiny Desk, Big Sound - Tank and the Bangas - 14:17

Thousands of acts entered this year’s NPR Tiny Desk Concert, but the winner blew them all away: the New Orleans funk/soul/spoken-word outfit Tank and the Bangas. They visited opbmusic during their nationwide victory lap. Tarriona “Tank” Ball cut her teeth in slam poetry — no surprise when you hear her rich lyrical wordplay and sheer joy in storytelling.

Watch videos of their opbmusic performance.

The Last Artful, Dodgr and Neill Von Tally at OPB

The Last Artful, Dodgr and Neill Von Tally at OPB

Jarratt Taylor/opbmusic

The Last Artful, Dodgr Dips, Dives, and Delivers - 22:50

One of the brightest voices on the Portland hip-hop scene is Alana Chenevert, aka The Last Artful, Dodgr. With producer Neil von Tally, she released a delightfully trip, imaginative debut album on Martell Webster’s Eyrst record label. Dodgr and von Tally joined us for a studio session with tracks from the record, “Bone Music,” flexing both her rhymes and the singing voice that landed her a backup spot with Aminé, and helped launch her as a force to be reckoned with.

Watch the full Dodgr performance at OPB.

Charles Bradley's latest album is called "Changes." He plays Portland on May 19.

Charles Bradley’s latest album is called “Changes.” He plays Portland on May 19.

Mark Shaw/Courtesy of the artist

Charles Bradley Keeps Going Forward - 33:06

Charles Bradley, a crowd favorite at Portland’s Soul’d Out festival and MusicFest NW, cultivated his booming voice for years as a James Brown impersonator. It wasn’t until he was 62 years old that he found mainstream success, singing his own music. In this NPR feature, he tells how his relationship with his estranged mother informed his 2016 record, “Changes.”

Jay Som studio session at OPB, 4-10-17

Jay Som studio session at OPB, 4-10-17


From Bedroom Pop To SXSW - Jay Som’s Journey- 37:42

opbmusic stumbled upon this Bay Area rock band two months ago in Austin, Texas, at the SXSW music festival and were immediately impressed by their live show. The band is a project of 23-year-old Melina Duterte, who released her first music to the internet on whim, never guessing how people would hang on her painstakingly crafted melodies and broad grasp of styles.

Duterte and band played tracks from Jay Som’s sophomore release, “Everybody Works,” at the OPB studio.

Big Thief at Stubbs - SXSW 2017

Big Thief at Stubbs - SXSW 2017

Mike Baden/opbmusic

Big Thief Steals The Show - 44:35

Adrianne Lenker and band have a warm, intimate folk rock vibe that brings home story after story — some primal, many heartbreaking. At Pickathon they’ll play songs from their second album, “Capacity,” but we caught the band touring for their first record, “Masterpiece.” Lenker and company talked about how they came together, the ethos underlying their romantic melodies, and the things they find, turning over emotional rocks, as well as played three songs.

jay som the last artful dodgr charles bradley drive-by truckers tank and the bangas big thief

More State of Wonder

More OPB

Follow State of Wonder

Related Content