This weekend in Portland, the world as a whole gasps in anticipation as one of the city's most impressive underground music festivals takes hold, and liquefies the soft-boiled brains of show-goers young and old. With three hard-packed days of the cream of the underground crop booked at the East End Bar, Portland finally has the fest circuit on lock with a heavy list of bands that will draw people from miles around, and it's about time. Aside from next month's equally spectacular Bender 3-day fest, this weekend's DMMR BMMR is the Northwest's shining lights as far as physically exhausting, multi-day, 35 band lineups go, and with an average of ten plus great bands per day, it's your best reason to visit Stumptown, and a great way to check out the local talent this year.
Friday's lineup features a heavy selection of Portland's finest home-team bands, with the headlining spot reserved for San Francisco's bearded and bewildering Apache. Upon further investigation, most of the highlights of Friday night's killer show are local, and proves that it's a perfect time to show the world how well Portland is doing in the underground, musically. For example, you'll check out bands like The Eegos, Pity Fucks, and oddly enough, The Whines, a jangly VU-tinged three-piece that strongly deserves a lot more of your attention. If you swooned over their "Insane OK" track streaming on VoT Radio for the past few months, you'll cream your jeans seeing it right up in your face. Along with the other kindred spirits and unmissable acts such as Meth Teeth, Eat Skull and the notoriously elusive The NiX, it's one of those nights where the stars are all aligned perfectly, and outta-towners can get a real glimpse at Portland's multi-faceted rock'n'roll lifestyle. Keeping the first night strictly on a San Francisco/Portland diet, you'll also get choice cuts of the Bay-Area's Rock'n Roll Adventure Kids, Wild Thing, and The Outdoorsmen to go with that sleazy Apache nitecap.
Saturday's event starts off on the right foot with Lawrence, KS's Rooftop Vigilantes, who pack on a scuzzy melodic power pop punch that will knock your mind back into shape with ease. Also, don't miss out on the Unnatural Helpers from Seattle, who've always been way underrated and feature a rotating cast of contributors, this time including Kimberly from The Dutchess And The Duke in the ranks, and are sure to cough up a disjointed jolt of inspiration on all fronts. Yet another San Franciscan combo, The Fresh & Onlys, are up next and create a sensory-sedating experimental pop drizzle that truly escapes categorization, yet sends chills and thrills throughout their set that really shouldn't be missed. Look for their second LP to pop up on Woodsist sometime later this year. As the night marches on, set yourself right up front for Sex Church, a new Vancouver band fronted by Levon of Ladies Night that detracts from the brackish onslaught of LN, and instead slithers under your skin with waves of hypnotic static. From that point on, the rest of the night becomes one big blurry party as the string of good times started by Seattle's Coconut Coolouts, Shannon and the Clams, and The Mean Jeans erupts with alcohol-soaked silly string antics, effortlessly sealing the deal on the good times to be had on Saturday night. If you like your punk pizza-faced and partly retarded, Mean Jeans are surely your bag, so check out their daffy punk piss-take that has to be seen to be believed. Check out their new 7" on Dirtnap, while you're at it, and you might be able to still pick up their debut on Rehab at the merch table. But the night is still not over as SF's The Pets, New Orleans' punk stalwarts Die Rotzz, and the ultimate party monster Nobunny blow the lid off the East End and send the crowd reeling into the night, with rapturous delight.
Sundays at these three-day endurance tests are always a hard bargain, whether it being the mush-headed feeling of trying to maintain your enthusiasm after drinking for several days straight, or the loopy leg syndrome where standing and holding a beer suddenly seems undesirable, it's not quite over but you must plod ahead and finish the task at hand. The last day's lineup features mainly local Portland bands that are all worth checking out, along with Seattle's The Girls and SF glam-punk heathens, Buzzer. Featuring Andy Freeze from The Cuts and Time Flys, Buzzer are one of the best authentic-sounding "glam" bands in the underground going today and their debut 7" released last year on Douche Master is a necessity if you're glitterously inclined in the slightest. And what Portland punk seminar would be complete without an appearance by Leaders, the synthy, internally-damaged band responsible for the "Rub You Wrong" single on Point Wrex last fall? Don't fall asleep in the corner, as the rest of the night's stellar slots are filled with as much of Portland's finest as the East End can handle. Flip Tops, Pure Country Gold, Howie & The Hot Knives, and Hairspray Blues all are scheduled to blast, saving the last round for Reptilian Civilian and knocking out the end of the DMMR BMMR, sure to be one of the best three-day Portland underground music fests so far on record.
It's not too late to pick up tickets, so contact the East End right HERE, and don't forget your beer glove.
check out a video clip of Eat Skull performing in Iowa City this past fall, courtesy of wethairz, right here: