The Book. The Mountain. Everything in between.

Pickathon 2011

This weekend is Pickathon, the annual indie music festival that finds a few thousand music lovers out at a Happy Valley farm just outside of Portland for a three-day musical menagerie. Across five completely different stages, more than 35 bands and artists bring their divergent sounds and create some incredible moments. I wrote about one such moment at last year’s festival — a dark Saturday night when the Heartless Bastards took the main Mountain View Stage — for my friend, Tim Labarge’s, new book, Pickathonography, which he’s unveiling this weekend.

You never really know who’s going to create those moments and when, but among the folks I’ll be watching closely this weekend: Truckstop Darlin’, Black Mountain, The Buffalo Killers, Pine Leaf Boys, Corinne West & Kelly Joe Phelps, Sunday Valley, Jesse Sykes, Grupo Fantasma, Vetiver, The Sadies, and many, many others.

The music’s sounding great, the weather’s finally looking like beautiful summer, and the Pickathon vibe has been setting in all week. In anticipation of this year’s fest, a tiny little excerpt from On Mount Hood and a picture from last year’s Pickathon, both of which help to illustrate the mountain’s subtle yet undeniable connection to one of the best music festivals around.

From the Volcano chapter of the book, which talks all about the geology behind not only Mount Hood, but the entire region:

Farther from the mountain toward Portland, direct fallout from Hood’s past eruptions is less evident. But there is plenty around to keep the volcanism that built the mountain and the entire region close to people’s everyday thoughts. Portland landmarks like Powell Butte and Rocky Butte — a city dweller’s quick fix for climbing — all rose from vents in the Boring volcanic field less than a million years ago, when Hood was itself beginning to burble. Shooting a three-pointer on the court at Mount Tabor Park, a characteristic Portland gem, puts you squarely on top of the vent that built the 643-foot cinder cone of the same name. And if ever in early August you head to the Pendarvis Farm in Happy Valley, just outside southeast Portland, for the fantastic three-day music festival known as Pickathon, you’ll be swaying to the tunes on the eastern flanks of Mount Scott, an extinct volcano named for Harvey Scott, editor of The Oregonian in 1889. 

And from last year’s festival, a shot that shows just why it’s called the Mountain View stage:

Pickathon 2010

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