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Vow of Volition Make the Final Round of the Battle for Warped Tour

The Vans Warped Tour was the first festival for many of us back in the day. As young'ns, it's likely we didn't necessarily think about all that went into figuring out the bands to book and play the whole shebang. Part of that process, at least locally, seems to be through a series "battle of the bands" style competitions specifically for landing a spot on the fest. Quite a few Portland bands have been furiously playing against one another for said spot, and djent/prog metal act Vow of Volition are one of the acts that made it to the finals.

Warped Tour was always the type of festival that included much in the realm of pop punk, punk punk, emo and metal, so Vow of Volition's advancement to the final round is no surprise. Their incredibly technical, at times jazzy metal stands out in Portland's pretty linear popular music scene, and is much worthy of the attention its getting.

Those that want to support Vow of Volition in driving home the permanent spot can go to the Battle for Warped Tour finals Saturday at the Hawthorne Theatre.





The 5th Annual Freakout! Fest comes back tonight

Triple city-based indie label Freakout Records has been churning out some pretty fine electronic, psych and lively rock from three out of the four corners of the states. Operating out of Seattle, Los Angeles and New York, Freakout has taken to occupying various venues in Ballard for its festival since 2012, with artists of their own catalog, as well as other artists scattered around the Northwest and the country. Freakout! Festival returns again tonight, and its bill is as stacked as ever.

Co-presented by The Stranger, Audioasis on KEXP and supported by Killroom Records, Treefort Music Fest and Artist Home Record Club, Freakout! Fest will be hitting up its usual Ballard staples like Conor Byrne and Tractor Tavern, with Sarah Gerritsen and Roadkill Ghost Choir kicking things off with some early sets. Tonight's hip hop will be fulfilled by up and coming lyricist Taylar Elizza Beth, with some dark stoner psych coming from Blackwater Holy Light. Energetically folky blues comes from Battleme, who are out on tour supporting their new Cult Psychotica release, while Charms and FKL bring more of a dancey feel to a couple of the headlining spots.

Much of Saturday's bill recalls a warmer, more carefree season thanks to some surf-drenched sets from Baywitch, The Shivas and Guantanamo Baywatch, The White Tears and Pearl Dragon is Dead are collaborating on their performance at the Conor Byrne, Porter Ray and Jus Moni killing it in the rhythm and rhymes department, and Kelli Schaefer and Maiah Manser representing for solo noir pop.

There's so many more acts to see, thank goodness they're all playing on the same street. You can find more information about the artists, venues and tickets over at the Freakout Records site.





Abbi Press dances with herself and lemons in new video "Butterfly Effect"

Abbi Press has released a stunning video for her song "Butterfly Effect," a danceable indie-electronic tune chock-full of whimsical synth textures and accentuated by lightly, sparse percussive elements. The video, gorgeously colored and filmed almost entirely in slow-motion is dreamlike and mysterious. The integral recurring motif of the lemon is both striking and haunting- though I can't decide which feeling leaves more of an impact. One thing's for sure: this video is seriously cool, and a real treat to watch. -Geena Kloeppel





Psych rockers Color Tongue release visual album "Us and the Bugs"

Technology continues to expand the realm of what's doable and psych rock bands such as Color Tongue take full advantage of the possibilities. While the Bushwick quartet's next LP doesn't come out until later in 2018, they've released a visual album in the meantime called Us and the Bugs, a YouTube video of four songs set to an ocular feast of clips of mashed-up old cartoons, found footage of landscapes, warped dancers in bubble suits, and of course, bugs. It should hold you over through the winter while you wait for the album to drop; just project the video on your wall, turn off all the lights, and bundle up in your warmest blankets for the full effect. Watch Us and the Bugs in full below. - Will Sisskind





New AllegrA LP Available for Streaming & Purchase

The self-titled debut full-length album from Pittsburgh transplant AllegrA was recently released via Sad Cactus. There’s a delightful balance of casual-swaying instrumentation, fortified by poignant lyricism, which is focused but not forced. Allegra Eidinger’s vocals exude an air of reassuring confidence, while inhabiting a cozy space. They'll be holding their record release show tonight at Planet Phitness with Tombo Crush and Snake Boy Gang. (Photo by A.W. Klass.)

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