portland

Burger-A-Go-Go's back with more non-male love

Burger Records is more than just the SoCal-based label dominated by scruffy ruffians shotgunning beers all the time. A first glance at not only their extensive roster but the typical scene flooding their festivals and gatherings would appear to make that the truest statement about the label. But it isn't. For the last four years the label has specifically curated an event catering to the promotion of bands, groups and solo artists where one or all of the members are non-male identifying. That event is called Burger-A-Go-Go, and it's awesome.

Now, using "female-fronted" or any iteration of the sort as a selling point for anything is pretty played out and low-key offensive, but in this case, it works within the context. Femmes haven't been well celebrated in the realm of music or anything else throughout history nearly enough as they should, but for the next two nights, Burger is doing a little bit to quell that in Portland.

Sentimental garage-pop act Patsy's Rats will be holding it down on the local front and sharing the stage with a grip of punk, garage and dream pop acts, like The Coathangers, Death Valley Girls, Summer Twins, and much delight from Dengue Fever, who dish out psych-pop with a Cambodian Rock flair, among others. 

Tickets for Burger-A-Go-Go will run you anywhere from $20-$35, but it's well worth it to see a bunch of acts that aren't what the music industry considers the "standard."

   

SXSW Presents: Kyle Craft

 In his own ways, Kyle Craft is a little bit country and a little bit rock and roll. The Louisiana-born, Portland based singer/songwriter has a defined understanding of how to mix the two, along with folk and blues elements to produce songs that are rich with the journey through emotions and life. 

And all of this from a kid that wasn't even sure he wanted a career in music.

“The whole music thing has been a really strange cinematic sort of journey for me,” Craft says. “None of it really makes sense on paper.” It may not make sense to him on paper, but it makes sense to every last one of his fans. It made sense to Sub Pop Records, too, as they signed Craft without any question or hesitation. Not too shabby for a Southern boy with bluegrass roots. Whether he's playing his solo acoustic sets or backed by his talented band of friends, Craft older sounding tunes for a younger generation of kids. We couldn't be more pleased with that.

   

SXSW Presents: Kyle Craft

 In his own ways, Kyle Craft is a little bit country and a little bit rock and roll. The Louisiana-born, Portland based singer/songwriter has a defined understanding of how to mix the two, along with folk and blues elements to produce songs that are rich with the journey through emotions and life. 

And all of this from a kid that wasn't even sure he wanted a career in music.

“The whole music thing has been a really strange cinematic sort of journey for me,” Craft says. “None of it really makes sense on paper.” It may not make sense to him on paper, but it makes sense to every last one of his fans. It made sense to Sub Pop Records, too, as they signed Craft without any question or hesitation. Not too shabby for a Southern boy with bluegrass roots. Whether he's playing his solo acoustic sets or backed by his talented band of friends, Craft older sounding tunes for a younger generation of kids. We couldn't be more pleased with that.

   

SXSW Presents: Johanna Warren

*photo by Allyce Andrew

Most people think of music as a means of release or expression, and both of those are very much so true. But for songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Johanna Warren, music is something even more - it's like a natural energy. “Music is vibration; it's a direct way to affect matter," says Warren. "A song is a way to journey into places of discord and then resolve back into harmony.” Warren's articulation of this is crystal clear through her delicate folk compositions, each taking some sort of dark and haunting turn in a way that plays off her understanding of mysticism, occultism and human existence.

These themes run deep in her songs, but also in how she visually represents them. Her music videos often carry the same motifs, often showcased through physical movement. Warren has even translated this into the basis of a label, founding Spirit House Records in 2016. The label is home to many radical and fluid minds who find themselves identifying in some way or another as witches, healers and free spirits. One of the first Spirit House releases happened to be the first of her Gemini albums with the second, Gemini II, coming out just a couple days ago. Both find themselves rooted in personal mythology and occult symbolism, pushed through moody melodies and tones. 

Johanna Warren's songs are introspective and compound, making for an entrancing live production.

   

SXSW Presents: Candace

Dreamy in every sense, the shoegazey-psych trio Candace (formerly Is/Is) haven't missed a beat since 2010. Made of Sarah Rose and Sarah Nienaber sharing guitar, bass and vocal roles and Mara Appel DesLauriers supplying drums and vocals as well, they've never ceased to have the utmost understanding of each other, the music they make and the world around them. This understanding aids them in bringing that whirring static sound from inside our brains in a way we actually want to absorb over and over again.

While always remaining pleasantly noisy, some Candace songs teeter closer to reverberated pop while others remain close to the washed out, droney atmospheric haze they've perfected throughout the years. On top of the mysteriously brooding feel their original tracks have to them, for the last couple of years they've released little collections of cover tracks in celebration of Valentine's Day, putting their own little spin on some deep cuts and leaving listeners with no shortage of work to dive into.

No matter when you choose to dive into Candace's discography, its reliable yet sundry songs will pull you in as a fan. Expect the next full length from Candace, titled New Ruins, to be out just in time for SXSW in early March.