Gay favorites at MuscFest NW

Former Sleater-Kinney frontwoman Corin Tucker (center) now leads her own band at MFNW this Wednesday night

Portland’s big music festival, MusicFest NW, begins tomorrow spewing hip PDX-approved music of many genres over multiple days. And though the conglomeration of music love and music snobbery come in all flavors, they are gleefully mixed. So I’d like to shed some light on the performers dear to a gay audience you won’t want to miss as you delve into the fray.


Corin Tucker Band at Mississippi Studios

Well loved as a founding member of seminal OlyWa grrl punk band SleaterKinney, Corin Tucker‘s new project takes stage the first night of the fest at Mississippi Studios. Softer and with more poise and maturity Tucker still infuses her singer/songwriter new work with her signature vibrato and sass.


Holcombe Waller at Jimmy Mak’s

Avant-garde and hard workin’ Holcombe Waller has saturated Steumptown with his perfect pitch and angel-like voice off and on for over a decade now. After being gone from the scene for a few yearly recently to delve deeper into where music and performance meet he is back with his own brand of nuanced “pop.”

Purple and Green at Branx 11-11:40

Funky digital duo Purple and Green arrived on the scene playing queer proms and have brought the beat all the way up to MFNW. Featured as one of Willamette Week’s “Best New Bands,” I think their brand of boogie is on its way up in a town desperate to learn to move its hips.

Marius Libman at Rotture 11-11:40

Marius Libman aka Copy has his own brand of digital danceability, though it’s based much more in house, ambient and indie rock roots than P&G’s funk. It would be worth trying to run up and down the Rotture/Branx complex stairs to catch both, though they probably won’t let you do that, even with a wristband…alas.


Rebecca Gates at Backspace 10-10:40

As a PacNW music loving teen in the 90s I never had an idea if Rebecca Gates (The Spinanes) was gay, but she was part of every dyke punk and  all-inclusive indie rock crowd, so she was definitely a part of my lesbionic catalog. Her laid back dream grunge style has been called by Spin Magazine “warm, thoughtful, and melodically gorgeous.”

Saturday's southern flavored show featuring Big Freedia will make a crazy dance floor at Dante's

CJ & the Dolls at 10-10:40

DJ Beyonda at 12-12:40 and

Big Freedia at 1-1:40 all at Dante’s

A whole night of booty shakin’ music will also be another hip-shakin’ kickstarter for the white backsides of P-Town. CJ & the Dolls are an irreverent live music drag powerhouse featuring some of the hottest backup dancers you’ve ever seen. Southern transplant DJ Beyonda also brings the soul to her wildly popular sets, managing to get the locals looser than they’re used to being. It’s a perfect setup for the reigning queen of sissy bounce Big Freedia. Once she mounts the stage there will be no more room for stationary head nodding, because all the big beautiful booties will be making the dance floor sweat. Even skinny white boys can add their rumps, as long as they are willing to shake it.

At least there’s one night you can stay in one place…

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