Big Ass Boombox
Friday, January 3-Saturday, January 4
In 2012, Portlanders and self-proclaimed local music geeks Arya Imig and Eirean Bradley had questions. Specifically, they wanted to know “How do we get all of the rad power/noise/dance/spazz pop bands in our lovely home town to play together, get to know each other, and make tons of rad shows together?” and “How do we make sure everyone can come and check out a bunch of bands they may not have heard of yet, but will probably fall in love with if given the chance?”
The answer was their solution: the Big Ass Boombox Festival, an event that showcased 20 Northwest bands, all for free, at venues in their hometown. The shindig was so successful the pair is now hosting their third fest in Portland and their first in Seattle, with a literary component to boot.
“The festival is free of charge and will feature 40 bands and 10 writers over two days at four different venues,” writes Adam Prairie, one of the festival’s organizers. There are two stages at the Rendezvous and two at the Crocodile. “The Crocodile will be all ages,” he explains. “This festival aims to showcase the great musical and literary talent that this city has to offer and to remove every possible barrier keeping people from discovering it.”
For lucky festival-goers, think of this as indie rock blind dating without the uncomfortable silence and creepy OK Cupid private messages. Maybe you’ll be charmed by Charms’ jangly guitar tones or maybe A Happy Death’s garage noir will provide you with a few moments of happy life. There are more twists and turns in the line-up than an M. Night Shyamalan film. One minute psych-folk project iji will be crooning the back bar only to be followed by raucous piano-rock group Swingset Showdown, power-pop quartet The Hoot Hoots, or Americana rockers In Cahoots.
“We are pretty sure you’ll find your new favorite band here,” Imig and Bradley write on the fest’s site. “And if you don’t? Hell, we tried.” With Dark Hip Falls, Bigfoot Wallace & His Wicked Sons, Branden Daniel and the Chics, Fanno Creek, Tangerine, The West, Julia Massey, Puget Power, Livingston Seagull, Charts, The Yev, Roaming Herds of Buffalo, The Ecstatics, Tango Alpha Tango, Special Explosion, Jesus Rehab, XVIII Eyes, Feral Children, Friends and Family, Scarves, Bike Thief, Robb Benson & Shelk, The Great Um, Christa Says Yay. All ages: The Crocodile, 2200 2nd Ave., 441-4618, thecrocodile.com. 21 and up: The Rendezvous, 2322 2nd Ave., 441-5823, jewelboxtheater.com. Free. See seattle.bigassboombox.com for exact set times.