The Richard Swift Hex Band
11:30 pm Saturday
One would be hard-pressed to find a better distillation of the Pickathon spirit than the Richard Swift Hex Band.
When he died last July of complications from alcoholism, Portland producer and multi-instrumentalist Richard Swift's list of collaborators—the Shins, Damien Jurado, Foxygen, Nathaniel Rateliff, Lucious, Laetitia Sadier of Stereolab, the Black Keys—was basically unrivaled in indie rock. Swift was as beloved as he was talented and prolific, and this year, Pickathon hosts an all-star tribute to Swift on Saturday night, Aug. 3, in the form of the Richard Swift Hex Band.
The group, which takes its name from Swift's masterful final solo album, The Hex, will be led by Swift protégé Jonathan Rado of Foxygen and Dr. Dog's Eric Slick. All manner of Swift compatriots—Jurado, Lucius, Fruit Bats, Pure Bathing Culture, and Rateliff—will perform his songs during what promises to be the weekend's most moving set. The performance is being put on in conjunction with the Fug Yep Soundation, an organization founded in Swift's memory that puts out 7-inch records, raises addiction awareness, and donates profits to Swift's family and the MusiCares charity.
No doubt some tears will be shed in the Galaxy Barn on Saturday—the set also features appearances by Swift's family. Back in December, similarly star-studded tributes were put together in Los Angeles and New York City, but this is the first to take place in Swift's home state.
Jurado, who's also performs as a solo artist at Pickathon this year, told WW back in April the festival is the perfect setting for a Swift tribute: "To be able to perform a tribute to Swift at Pickathon, where he felt so at home and had such a connection to, to honor him in that way is really special." DONOVAN FARLEY.
1 pm Friday and noon Sunday.
One of the festival's few hip-hop artists, local rapper Karma Rivera switches up her wide-reaching style by debuting a reggaeton single from her forthcoming EP, Don't Sleep on This, Vol. 2. ANDREW JANKOWSKI.
3:10 pm Friday and 1:40 pm Saturday.
Earlier this year, Help placed first in WW's Best New Band poll. Considering the pedigree of their musicians, the win wasn't exactly surprising. Comprising And And And's Bim Ditson, and Hustle and Drone's Ryan Neighbors and Boone Howard, Help produces a sound that is everything and nothing you'd expect—violently in-your-face post-hardcore that clearly resonates with the trio's growing local fan base. CERVANTÉ POPE.
8:50 pm Friday and 9:20 pm Sunday.
Texas trio Khruangbin mixes psychedelic rock with Thai and Cambodian pop, Iranian funk and Indian soul into their own idiosyncratic sound that makes you feel as if you're floating down a shadowy, otherworldly river. AJ.
3:20 pm Saturday and 2:10 pm Sunday.
Sudan Archives' ethereal R&B showcases her tender, soulful voice atop steady hip-hop beats. Her vibe is mellow, and you'll surely enjoy the bit of respite her sets offer amid the festival craziness. CP.
4:40 pm Saturday and 1:40 pm Sunday.
On her 2018 album, Premonitions, L.A. singer-songwriter Miya Folick effortlessly switches between a strong soprano and a deep Lorde-like growl, combined with electronic synths that make her the indie powerhouse singer you want to rule your #hotgirlsummer. SOPHIA JUNE.
7:10 pm Saturday and 2:40 pm Sunday.
The soul of Lucius is frontwomen Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig, who wear matching outfits onstage and sing the goose bump-inducing harmonies that drive Lucius' folk-pop sound. The band's latest album, Nudes, offers acoustic versions of their songs and covers, giving even more space for their voices to shine and ignite. SJ.
8:10 pm Saturday and 10:15 pm Sunday.
Julia Jacklin's sound draws comparisons to Angel Olsen and inspiration from fellow Pickathon players Mountain Man. The Australian singer-songwriter is a must-see for fans of crystalline indie folk pop. MOLLY MACGILBERT.
1:05 am Saturday and 7:10 pm Sunday.
Mdou Moctar is almost single-handedly responsible for catapulting sub-Saharan guitar into international consciousness, and minting the genre as the next big thing in guitar-based rock music. His hyper-modern take on traditional Tuareg guitar is freewheeling and fiery, lending a slow-burning intensity to his fantastic recent album, Ilana (the Creator). PETE COTTELL.
4:50 pm Sunday.
What local post-punk heroes Soft Kill lack in originality, they've more than made up for in style throughout their short, prolific career. Fans of Interpol, New Order and the like may not flock to Pickathon in search of kindred spirits, but expect plenty of shadowy riffs and dour, danceable numbers to emanate from the stage while the quartet airs out tracks from 2018's Savior. PC.
SEE IT: Pickathon is at Pendarvis Farm, 16581 SE Hagen Road, pickathon.com. Friday-Sunday, Aug. 2-4. $130-$325.