Tonight in Seattle:  

Photoessay: Pickathon 2012, part I

{Langhorne Slim / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

It was an incredible inaugural experience for us at this year's Pickathon, the once-a-year celebration of all things indie roots (and indie, and roots) down on Pendarvis Farm in Happy Valley, Oregon. While, at times, the heat made the festival something to be endured, rather than out-and-out enjoyed -- temperatures broke 100 degrees on Saturday and hit the mid-90s on Sunday -- we still managed to have a blast.

Pickathon is just... different, something you have to see to experience. It's somehow simultaneously appealing to hipsters, hippies, families, and heads. The production of the festival itself is one of the most sustainable we've ever witnessed, with a token-for-dishware trade and "no single use" policy, exclusively local vendors and no corporate sponsorship. And the curation is so much more than just indie roots, with everyone from Gordon Gano to Langhorne Slim to Neko Case to Thee Oh Sees to THEESatisfaction taking the stages between banjo-picking sing- and stomp-a-longs. Pickathon really is one of those festivals that's stayed true to its roots while growing in size and popularity, free from car ads and jumbrotrons. We were all just up to our armpits in farm dirt, digging on tunes and having a hell of a time. And isn't that how it's supposed to be?

Here's a few photo highlights of our first day at the fest, Saturday (the weekend actually runs from Friday to Sunday). The Mynabirds were the first band to catch our ear in the main stage area, with their ethereal, jammy, layered sound. They fused their vibe with about two percent tent revival and a heaping side of synth-hipster for good measure, and it worked like a charm:

{The Mynabirds / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{The Mynabirds / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{The Mynabirds / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

Next up, we caught a set by the Bowerbirds, who delivered pretty prog.indie folk songs. Worth noting: the band has a new album out as of March '12, and will be touring this fall with a stop at our very own Neumos at the end of October. More info here.

{Bowerbirds / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{The Mynabirds / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{The Mynabirds / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{The Mynabirds / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

After a bit of wandering about, we made it back to one of the primary stage setups for a performance by Thee Oh Sees, who our notes only describe as HOLY ROCKING THE FUCK OUT!! because that's exactly what they did. We're happy to report that Thee Oh Sees more than live up to the hype, and if these San Franciscans are coming anywhere near you in the upcoming months, you should absolutely get your ass to the front row of their show. {Next up in Seattle: The Neptune on 10/7, and hello California, with our faves The Mallard at El Rey on 9/9!!}

{Thee Oh Sees / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{Thee Oh Sees / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{Thee Oh Sees / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{Thee Oh Sees / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{Thee Oh Sees / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

Later in the day, Phosphorescent brought their brand of sparse-yet-full mellow rock sounds to the stage, like an (almost) cool breeze:

{Phosphorescent / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{Phosphorescent / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{Phosphorescent / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{Phosphorescent / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{Phosphorescent / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

And one of the true highlights of Saturday, Langhorne Slim's absolutely slaying, plugged-in freakfolk rock set, which managed to bowl us over even moreso than the heat itself. According to the emcee {and confirmed via the internet}, Slim & Co. have a new album out that they're mid-tour in support of -- a fair amount of dates remain over the next two weeks. They might be stopping by to blow the roof off of a venue in / near your hometown {dates are mostly west coast / southwest and a few stops back east}, check the website here to see if they'll be anywhere near you.

{Langhorne Slim / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{Langhorne Slim / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{Langhorne Slim / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{Langhorne Slim / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

Not pictured but still of note in the takings-in on Saturday: the Hot 8 Brass Band's New Orleans takeover, THEESatisfaction's one-of-a-kind vibey fantasticalness, The Cave Singers {and later in the night, Neko Case} lighting up the Woods Stage (seriously, in the middle of the woods), and Dr. Dog's mainstage-closing jamfest.

Take a click on over here for Sunday's recap, with photos of Gordon Gano, Y La Bamba, Shovels and Rope, Neko Case, and more in part II of our Pickathon 2012 coverage.

{All photos by Victoria VanBruinisse. More from Saturday's shows at Pickathon in our imaginary flickr pool here.}

Gordon Gano was there! That a crazy, packed full of good times line-up!!!

Can't wait to see Sunday's wrap up as well.

liz, he totally was!! gordon gano for breakfast sunday doing femmes song with a string-picker band. no kidding!

You had a Gordon Gano breakfast! That's sooo rad!!!

Aw man. I want a Gordon Gano breakfast! Wait. That sounded...very bad.

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