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Best Show Almost No One Saw: Matthew Shipp Trio 
It was quite a surprise to find Jimmy Mak’s not even one-third full for a rare Portland appearance by powerhouse pianist Matthew Shipp and his trio. Granted, theirs is not the most straightforward of sounds, relying on angular rhythms and paroxysms of noise, but to have it ignored by the Rose City’s so-called aesthetes was downright embarrassing. ROBERT HAM.

Most Batshit Stage Banter: Sun Angle You simply must see Sun Angle live—if not for the local trio’s amphetamine psychedelia, then for its (figuratively) coked-up banter. At one show this year, drummer Papi Fimbres claimed to be “tripping balls.” At another, guitarist Charlie Salas-Humara told the crowd he wanted them “inside” him. JONATHAN FROCHTZWAJG.

Best Use of the Old Church: Pure Bathing Culture Deity or no deity, those old storied walls and creaking pews turned the band’s already gooey sound into something downright spiritual at MusicfestNW.  MARK STOCK.

Best Obstacle-Crushing Performance: Los Cojolites 
While en route to Pickathon from their home in Veracruz, Mexico, Los Cojolites were detained at the border just hours before their set. The group—which plays the traditional style of son jarocho—finally arrived at around 1 am and immediately took the Starlight Stage for a stunning and energetic summer-night performance.  EMILEE BOOHER.

Best Cover: Daft Punk’s “Digital Love” by Zoogirl 
After an extended hiatus, power-emo supergroup Zoogirl played three shows this summer before calling for another indefinite break. The shows were rowdy and wonderful—especially when the daft punks covered Daft Punk, and absolutely nailed it. ARYA IMIG.

Best Locally Memorialized Hip-Hop Hero: Adam Yauch
When the great Adam Yauch, aka MCA of Beastie Boys, succumbed to cancer in May, the music world lost a sage. In Portland, people responded by remembering his legacy. From a tribute bringing together groups as diverse as Doctor Theopolis and Pinehurst Kids to subtle nods to James Winters’ viral re-enactment of the “Sabotage” video, featuring his small children dressed as ’70s cops, Portland channeled its grief the best way possible: by paying homage to the art he left behind. AP KRYZA.

A Tribute to MCA. Kids Reenact Sabotage from James Winters on Vimeo.