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This weekend is PIG Fest in Portland, that is, Portland Industrial and Goth Festival.
It’s a celebration of the cultures music, fashion, and art. That’s right, a celebration. You didn’t think it was all doom and gloom, did you?
Portland has a very long and involved history with Goth and Industrial rituals. Church of Hive, a late-night dance party has been running every Sunday night for some 15 years. There is also the renowned Lovecraft bar, the Vampire and Vespertine Masquerade Balls, even an annual “Goth Float” down the river. It’s a huge community that also embraces events that blur into punk, steampunk, and metal.
“It’s a big supportive family with a great music scene,” says Barbie Saint, the Argentinian born bassist for the band Die Robot. “Bands like 16 Volt and Unter Null have been doing this for over 20 years, it’s really amazing to share the stage with them along with the other awesome artists performing at this festival.”
The line-up for the two day fest features local, hard-working bands that thrive on experimental sounds, electronics and dark themes. It can be strange, romantic, haunting, raging. If you’re a little over the summer sunshine, put on your finest black and head to the beautiful Paris Theatre this Saturday and Sunday.
I’m going to quote artist Unter Null here: “Staying within your own “genre” has so many hindrances. This is why I write a variety of music, and why you should listen to a variety of music.”
For more info, check the Facebook event here.
Meet the 10 local bands playing PIG Fest this weekend:
“The best least known industrial band”
Eric Powell has worked with producers from NIN and Ministry, creating 12 albums since 1993. He recently reformed the band (he has a rotating cast of players), and is about to release a new album, Dead On Arrival. While it’s certainly full of fast and heavy riffs, industrial noise and dark alternative, Powell changes it up with soft vocals and unexpected electronic breakdowns.
“Future rock in a post-industrial age”
This band was looking for a name while watching the first Alien film. Bassist Barbie Saint shrieked “Die Robot!” as Ripley fought Ash the Android, and there they had it. The four piece is techno punk; Colorful, energetic, a little bit sci-fi and a little bit Mad Max. Post-apocalyptic entertainment you can dance to.
“Butcher Shop Metal Show”
So like, how far down in Portland’s underground do you want to go? You know Portland does Halloween all year right? DAAP is a raucous show made up of make-up, mayhem, dismembered animals and a married couple (relationship goals).
4. Unter Null
“Die Kalte Dame”
As Unter Null (meaning “below zero” in German), Erica Dunham has led a long and interesting musical career, starting in Seattle when she was 17, relocating to Europe for an extensive tour, and circling back to Portland. She is an aggrotech artist trained in classical piano, cello and guitar. She showcases EDM with very cold, whispery vocals, like a computer oracle hypnotizing you into your impending doom.
“Dark piano lounge cabaret”
I really can’t say it better than their bio:
Politics, current events, life, death, metaphysics, universal energy, aliens.
“Romantic Euro-goth in The City of Roses”
Melodic layers of darkwave with hints of The Cure, Spandau Ballet, The Knife, and The Labyrinth soundtrack. What’s not to love?
“Tribal rhythms and strong harmonized vocals evocative of Souixsie Souix”
“Transcendent witch house in the forest”
Named after the Existentialist novel by Simone de Beauvoir, The Blood of Others explores self destruction and nature through eerie field recordings, spectral voices, white noise, detailed guitar work and chord progressions.
“A Guttural blend of punk, rock, and industrial metal”