Culture Dose: Pickathon 2014 Recap

Photo by Corinne Whiting

An Oregon music fest enchants again, introducing us to some new favorite artists (several perform this weekend at Bumbershoot, too!)

Photo by Corinne Whiting
Photo by Corinne Whiting

After year two of attending the Pickathon music festival in Happy Valley, Oregon, I know this much to be true:

1) You will arrive excited to hear certain groups you’ve followed for ages, yet you will be blown away by the “no-name” artists who make the biggest impression, leaving you hanging on every note.

2) You will wish you could make it a regular practice to sleep amongst twinkly lights, under a canopy of trees (summer, don’t go!), as live music provides a soothing, distant lullaby in the backdrop.

3) You will experience some of the most stellar people watching yet, with fashion finds inclusive of (but not limited to) scrunchies, fanny packs, tattoos, cowboy boots, bowler hats and sometimes a clever combination of A through E.

4) You will leave Pendarvis Farm with your feet shockingly dustier than you ever knew possible (and you really won’t give a damn).

5) You will discover that the magic of Pickathon is not, in fact, a one-hit wonder. Once again, you will drive away with your faith renewed in the kindness of strangers, the power of community and the potency of music—really, really, good, soul-soothing music.

Photo by Corinne Whiting
Photo by Corinne Whiting

Some of this year’s most stunning Pickathon acts ranged from Shakey Graves (who’s playing here at Neumos November 15) and The War on Drugs to Woods, Ages and Ages and Quilt. Local talent Cahalen Morrison and Country Hammer rocked the Tree Line stage, inspiring some listeners to rise from their hay bale seats to two-step under the afternoon sun, while girl power reigned on the Starlight Stage as Della Mae strummed and plucked their hearts out late into Saturday night. Some groups drew us for their “bigger”names (XBlind Pilot, Nickel Creek); others initially captivated us for their, well, unique names (Diarrhea Planet, we’re looking at you). The list goes on…. Lucky for us, this year’s Bumbershoot lineup welcomes several Pickathon artists, too, including Gregory Alan Isakov, Valerie June and Mac DeMarco. (Trust us, you won’t want to miss these acts.)

Shakey Graves by Corinne Whiting
Shakey Graves by Corinne Whiting

We are no doubt blessed with the presence of so much talent in this corner of the country, and this particular Oregon fest continues to excel at showcasing—in the most pleasant, accessible setting—remarkable artists who have been imported from near and far. Many we already knew and loved; others we cannot wait to truly discover.

If y’all keep playing, we promise to keep listening. Thanks, Pickathon, for another magical year.

Pine State Biscuits by Corinne Whiting
Pine State Biscuits by Corinne Whiting
Photo by Corinne Whiting
Photo by Corinne Whiting
Photo by Corinne Whiting
Photo by Corinne Whiting
Photo by Corinne Whiting
Photo by Corinne Whiting