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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.

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Big names come to Project Pabst this year

It was just last year when a newly imagined Project Pabst made it's debut down at the Tom McCall Waterfront Park. With a fairly eclectic lineup for the actual festival and the night shows as well, patrons flooded in and out of the entrance gates with the gears in their heads turning as to how they felt about the festival's new style. It's almost impossible to pull anything off without a couple hitches along the way, but Project Pabst soldiered through another year of big acts and big piles of beer cans. The same is still true for 2017, just a couple of things seeing changes.

This year's fest is scaled down in a few ways, but has grown a lot in others. Unlike the Project Pabst's of the past, the 2017 edition won't have any night shows at all. These night shows were held at various locations around the city and gave more opportunities for local acts to participate in the festival. Last year, Kyle Craft was the only local to make it to festival's main stages. Project Pabst night shows also offered more in genre variance, since many of the festival's metal shows happened at night. Local support this year comes but from just one local artist each day, though the ones chosen are two of the best in the city and have both been voted our Deli Portland Artist of the Month in the past.

Opening up Saturday's festivities is the Last Artful, Dodgr. She happened to have played one of the night sets last year, but her distinct vocal style and bomb beats are perfect for the bigger stage. For Sunday's sets, harsh post-punk group Lithics will be kicking things off. They've become more of a common name around town over the last few months, especially after basically being named the best new band in Portland by Willamette Week and participating voters.

What sets this round of Project Pabst apart from the others are the headlining acts. This isn't to say that Duran Duran, Ice Cube, Tame Impala and Ween didn't totally kill it last year, or that Tears for Fears didn't a few years back. But each day this year has a pretty damn good trifecta of artists to close out everything. 

Attendees will get a chance to see Spoon, Nas and Beck on Saturday, while Sunday patrons will get a little bit of good, old and controversial. South African "rap" duo Die Antwoord have been contentious musicians from the start, but the reasons that make them such could create problems for Portlanders at the festival. Die Antwoord is known for committing racial and homophobic acts under the guise of shock value, like using the n*word in their songs, dressing in blackface in music videos and referring to people as f***ts, so it will be interesting to see how the crowd will react if they pull anything go the sort on stage.

To detract from whatever potential drama that could happen, the coolness of singer-songwriter and all around pop culture jokester Father John Misty, along with the iconic existence of still-kicking-it rocker Iggy Pop guarantees the festival will end on a good note.

For those that want to keep the party going, a Project Pabst Cooldown party will be happening back across the bridge at the Know. This bill is all local, featuring Blossom, Myke Bogan and Foreign Talks from Vancouver, Wa. 

This is one of the festival's best bills yet and tickets are still available, so get yours before the chance is lost.

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Raycee Jones opens for Joan As A Police Woman on September 20

On her latest singles, Raycee Jones comes across as a genre-bending artist with a wide range of influences. A self-professed protégé of Jill Scott, Beyoncé and Amy Winehouse, Jones writes songs that are sonically innovative. Her tracks contain warbling synths, chimes, complex beats and confessional lyrics. A regular performer at Rockwood Music Hall, Raycee is currently in the studio working on her debut EP. She'll be performing with Joan As Police Woman at a (secret) show organized by Amnesty International on September 20th. Listen to "The Bomb" below! -Ethan Ames

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New The War On Drugs LP Available for Streaming

After some technical difficulty, you can now stream The War On Drugs' new full-length album A Deeper Understanding in its entirety for the next 24 hours HERE. The LP officially comes out this Friday, August 25 via Atlantic Records. You can also catch The War On Drugs live in Philly on Thursday, September 21 at the Dell Music Center for Connor Barwin’s Make The World Better Foundation benefit concert. Enjoy!

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Track Premiere: "Effaced" - Callowhill

Four years after forming, the post-punk quartet of Callowhill will release their full-length debut The Way Out (Exotic Fever Records), which was recorded and engineered by Jeff Zeigler (Uniform Recording). Today, we are happy to share with you the band's latest single “Effaced”. Soft-soothing vocals lift one into a steamy summer haze, countered by the purposeful, shock-wave jolt of guitar. Meshing a sense of calm, with cool calculated lyricism, the song’s protagonist eventually fades into the ether. Callowhill will be celebrating the record’s release next Wednesday, August 30 at Boot & Saddle, where they’ll be supported by Great Weights and Rogue Conjurer. (Photo by Maura Kirk)

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