The Worst Song in the World is…

This may not surprise you, but the Worst Song in the World, as chosen by you, is “Friday” by Rebecca Black.  It came from behind to dominate the championship and never left.

It is a terrible song.  When someone asks you, “What do you think the worst song in the World is?” you can say with absolute assurance that “”Friday” is the Worst Song in the World.  I know this because of science.”

Nearly 200 of you filled out a bracket.  That is very impressive, because as those of you who did it know, it took a while to fill out.  You care about what the worst song is.  And now we know for certain.

You can find the total votes for all 64 songs nominated and voted for (by YOU) here.

I’m glad we’ve settled this.

One, final time, may I present the official Worst Song in the World:

DIY Boost / Overdrive / Distortion / Fuzz – Part 1

Ever consider building your own guitar pedal? It’s actually pretty simple, and with a few simple tools and a lot of patience, you can build a pedal of your very own.

Why Boost, Overdrive, Distortion or Fuzz?

Boost, overdrive, distortion and fuzz circuits are relatively simple and a great way to get introduced to the basic components used in guitar pedals. Some fuzz pedals and simple boosts can have as few as half a dozen components as compared to more complicated circuits like delay, chorus or tremolo. While this post won’t go step by step through a pedal build, it will point you in the right direction and offer some resources to help get you started.

To the uninitiated, here are the differences:

  • Boost – increases the volume to boost your signal with little clipping (distortion) or compression
  • Overdrive – softly clips your signal providing slight distortion and compression
  • Distortion – hard clips your signal giving a distorted sound with lots of compression
  • Fuzz – square wave clipping of your signal so the sound is fuzzy, buzzy and super compressed

See this YouTube Video for more.

Veroboard Pedal – Crowther Hotcake Clone

Boost and Overdrive Circuits are Versatile

These types of pedals aren’t just limited to guitar or bass. They can be used with keyboards of all kinds from the likes of Fender Rhodes or Wurlitzer to organs or to analog or virtual analog synths. They can add a great crunch and punch to a drum machine or even vocal tracks. Think of it as a tool to add some subtle grit or color, or heavier grit or grunge all the way to completely mangling whatever you plug into it.

Utility/Swiss Army Knife Pedals

Boost pedals, especially those with tone controls, can be very effective utility tools. For example, let’s you have the bridge pickup on your guitar dialed in perfectly with your amp settings, but when you switch to the neck pickup, the tone is too wooly, dark or muddy. A boost with a simple EQ can help to remove those undesired qualities and help balance things out. Simple boosts can also be helpful in situations where you’re using different two different guitars with pickups that have different outputs – like going from a strat’s low output pickups to a Gibson SG or Les Paul’s humbucker, you can use a boost on the strat to keep the output consistent from instrument to instrument.

Why would you want to build your own pedal?

Custom Etching and Paint on Pedal – Nobels ODR-1 Clone – Artwork by Cristina Trecha

You can build a pedal of your own for far less than the cost of what you would pay for the retail version. For example, an original Gold or Silver Klon Centaur currently lists for as much as $2500. You can build your own for about $40, plus you can customize it any way you want. Want to use different clipping diodes? Go ahead. Want to increase the bass content? Swap different capacitors in and out to your hearts content. Plus you are free to decorate your enclosure to make it a personal, one of a kind, creative masterpiece.

Some guitar pedals, like the Analogman King of Tone overdrive, have had a consistent waiting list as the company tries to keep up with demand. Getting on the list to get one built for you has sometimes meant waiting several months to a year. You can build an exact copy of your own, or customize it however you like, and not pay anywhere near the original’s asking price, or have to wait to get it.

Transferrable Skills and Knowledge

Getting your feet wet with pedal builds and acquiring the skills and equipment necessary to successfully build a pedal also means you will likely be able to:

  • Swap guitar pickups in and out of you or your bandmates guitars, or fix faulty switches or wiring
  • Do repairs to broken pedals or do minor repairs to guitar amps (Disclaimer: watch out for those tube amp voltages. They can kill you!)
  • Gain a basic understanding of the components used in a pedal and how they work

Part 2 Coming Soon!

I Listened So You Don’t Have To: Odd Monster Reviews the Billboard Top 10

Hello, everybody!  It’s been a while since I was subjected to the Billboard Top 10, but as summer is rapidly approaching, I thought I’d expose myself to potentially radioactive pop music to shield you from accidentally having to check it out for yourself.

I do this for you, people.  I’m what a real hero looks like.

These are the Billboard Top 10 for the week of May 13, 2017. 

(Some of these songs are NSFW if you work somewhere that cursing is frowned on, or you work for people with good taste in music.)

10. “It Ain’t Me” by Kygo x Selena Gomez

  • I have never heard of Kygo, but it sounds a but like a home delivery service for feminine hygiene products.  I know who Selena Gomez is because she dated the Beeb, yo!
  • Holy [REDACTED], it has over 240 MILLION views on YouTube.  You ever feel behind the times?
  • It sounds like someone chopped every third second out of the chorus.  I assume it’s meant to be like that but it sounds like what I imagine having a seizure is like.
  • Honestly, it’s pretty inoffensive. I’ll be nice and give it a C+.  I don’t need to hear it again, but it doesn’t make me nauseous.

9. “XO TOUR Llif3” by Lil Uzi Vert

  • I had to check four times that I spelled that title right. Did someone’s cat walk on the keyboard and name the song?
  • Lil Uzi Vert.  Like Little Green Uzi? Shouldn’t it be Le Petite Uzi Vert?  These are the questions that keep me up at night.
  • It has a really menacing bassline, but the way the guy spits is kinda dumb.  It has like a Jamaican sorta lilt to it.  I dunno.  I feel like I’ve heard this song ten times before, although it’s the first time.
  • C.  Good bassline.  Not a fan of the MC.

8. “iSpy” KYLE feat. Lil Yachty

  • Are we still calling things iSomething?  I thought that was over.  Apple doesn’t even do that anymore.
  • Why is KYLE’s name in all caps?  It makes me think of Cartman yelling “Kyle!”
  • This song has EXACTLY the same cadence as “XO TOUR Llif3” and the same annoying way of pronouncing words.  Is this a genre now?  Does everyone else know about it?  Get off my lawn!
  • I’m not even going into the video.
  • Lil Yachty is autotuned to the point where it sounds like he has a mouthful of food.
  • C-.  I can see how it might be fun to dance to, but definitely not for me.

7. “DNA.” by Kendrick Lamar

  • Am I actually going to get to review a GOOD song?  This is also the first song I’ve ever heard of that I’ve gotten to review.
  • So, up until the release of this album I conflated Kendrick Lamar and Drake, which makes no sense because they are absolutely nothing alike.  I always thought I disliked Lamar, but I was completely wrong.
  • This song is AWESOME. Great production, great loping beat that sounds like a wolf advancing on prey.
  • I would be very happy to hear this a lot this summer. This song gets a solid A.

6. “Something Just Like This” by the Chainsmokers & Coldplay

  • I remember reviewing a Chainsmokers song before, but have absolutely no memory of either the song title or even remotely what it sounded like, other than it completely sucked.
  • Coldplay?  Ugh.
  • Hmm, they mention Spider-Man and Batman.  That’s a quick way to my nerd heart.
  • Nope, it’s been [REDACTED]blocked by having to listen to Coldplay and some very lame synth beats.
  • It really just sounds like a mashup of two songs, neither particularly inspiring.
  • I’m definitely going to forget this song in about ten minutes.
  • Kind of harmless, without anything to really praise or pan.  I’m going to give it a C, which is right down the middle.

5. “Mask Off” by Future

  • I think I’ve heard of Future, but then again, maybe I’ve just heard of THE future.
  • Another song about masks.  More superheroes?  Maybe the X-Men this time? I could totally stand to hear a rap song about Wolverine.
  • I thought he was saying “Mad scones” until I realized it was probably “Mask Off.”
  • It’s got a really great kung-fu style flute in the mix, which is awesome.
  • The song itself is kinda meh.  It has no momentum, it just sorta sits there and says “Here I am, on the couch, eating potato chips and watching season five of CSI: Miami.”
  • I’m giving it a slight bump for the flute.  C.

4. “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee Featuring Justin Bieber

  • Damn it, I was thinking I was going to finally get through a Top 10 without having to be subjected to the Beeb.
  • Okay, is this a Luis Fonsi song featuring Justin Bieber, or a Justin Bieber song featuring Luis Fonsi?  The internet is unclear.
  • The song is mostly in Spanish, which is good, because it keeps me from examining the lyrics.
  • I like the parts that don’t feature Bieber, surprisingly.  It’d sound great coming from a boombox on the beach.  It’s got kind of a low key charm.
  • I bet there’s a non-Bieber version of that song.  I’d give that one a slightly higher grade, since the Beeb only sings in the first verse of this song, so you don’t have to listen to much of him. I think this is a safe B.

3. “HUMBLE.” by Kendrick Lamar

  • My ears are ready, Kendrick.  Bring it.
  • Wait, did he just say “My booby tastes like Kool-Aid”?  I just googled it, he says “D’USSÉ with my boo bae, tastes like Kool-Aid for the analysts.”  What does that MEAN??!
  • Great production again.  The synth bass (I think) is killer.
  • Not sure why this song is higher up than “DNA” as I don’t think it’s as good, but it’s still a great track. B+

2. “Shape of You” by Ed Sheeran

  • Isn’t this the whiny English ginger?  He looks like a guy who has just been caught looking at hentai videos by his long suffering girlfriend.  I mean, look at him!
  • Other than that, it just sounds like disposable pop music, something you’d hear while in the back of a Lyft on your way to dinner.
  • It sounds like pop music your mom might like.  “Have you heard this Ed Sheeran?! I bet you’d like him.
  • It’s soooooo boring.
  • C-, and hopefully I’ll never have to listen to this song again.

1. “That’s What I Like” by Bruno Mars

  • I’ve heard of Bruno Mars, but I don’t know anything else about him.  Didn’t he perform at the Oscars once?
  • Not really my cup of tea, but a solidly produced pop song.
  • I really hope that Prince was okay with Bruno Mars, because otherwise he’s due for some purple haunting.
  • I’ll give it a B-.  I don’t really want to hear it again, but it’s not a bad song.

In Summation

This is actually the best Top 10 I’ve reviewed to date. Two A’s (though they’re both Kendrick), the lowest grade was a C-, and I barely had to listen to Justin Bieber.

You’re welcome.  Now I’m going to go and wash out my ears with some Stooges or something.

The Worst Song in the World Bracket: Week 3

We’re coming to a close on the Worst Song in the World, and things seem to be wrapping themselves up.  We’re coming to some definitive answers here, folks, and it’s been a rocky battle.

  • Just so there’s no tension here (the stakes are pretty low, admit it), the worst song is still “Friday” by Rebecca Black.
  • “All Star” by Smashmouth has fallen from #1 in the first week to #3, but seems to be holding fast in that position.
  • Everything seems pretty much the same, but the Black Eyed Peas have managed to shove their way past the date-rapey “Blurred Lines” with their…uh…party anthem(?) “I Gotta Feeling.”  If you’ve managed not to listen to this song, here are the lyrics ad infinitum.

I gotta feeling (ooooo hoooo) that tonight’s gonna be a good night
That tonight’s gonna be a good night
That tonight’s gonna be a good, good night

Tonight’s the night (hey!)
Let’s live it up (let’s live it up)
I got my money (I’m paid)
Let’s spend it up (let’s spend it up)

If they don’t use this song to torture people, they’re really missing out.

There is only a week left to make your voices heard!  What’s the worst, teenagers not knowing which seat to sit in, the insidious nature of Scandanavian pop music or Shrek’s theme song? The choice is yours.

Fill out your bracket here, if you haven’t already!

“or” by Eyelids is an Assured Follow Up

The second album by Portland band Eyelids, “or” (produced by Peter Buck) arrives this week with no hint of a sophomore slump, following 2014’s “854”.

The new album consists of all the elements that made “854” great: intricate guitar arrangements, a solid rhythm section and a blend of harmonies that would make any soft psych sixties band jealous. On “or”, Eyelids has found a way to improve or advance their strengths, resulting in an album that feels like a natural organic growth for the band.

“or” starts with a bang, with a re-recorded version of a single they released earlier this year, “Slow It Goes”, their three guitar line up seemingly well positioned with two of them in either speaker, and a third charging right down the middle of the song. On this, and every track of the album the playing benefits from the band’s busy live show schedule. The band is tight, hitting all their parts hard and with more assurance than on their prior album.

Psychedelic aspects are on display as well, as on tracks “My Caved in Mind” and an early favorite of mine, “23 (Years)” a drone piece that starts out side two of the album, offset by a series of guitar hooks, making it a catchy earworm indeed!

Near the end of the album, we have a couple of tracks: “Moony” which seems like pieces of different types of songs by bands like Television & XTC played against each other to great effect…and “I Know I Gotta Reason” with a slow start that explodes in the center with a duel of guitar solos.

At the heart of “or” is the not so subtle fact that Eyelids is a songwriting band. The playing and the harmonies are made better by the fact that the material is so melodious and catchy.

A friend of mine once remarked to me during an Eyelids show that all of their songs could be singles. I smiled in agreement and kept nodding my head to the beat.

To hear some of the tracks of this album listen to an archive of one of my recent radio shows, in which I interview vocalist and guitarist Chris Slusarenko and play some tracks from their new album:

The Worst Song in the World Bracket: Week 2

It’s week 2 here at the Worst Song Ever bracket and things have heated up. After a lot of back and forth, the current leader is “Friday” by Rebecca Black.  If you’ve somehow gone through life without ever hearing this song or seeing the amazing video, please do yourself a favor and enjoy the following (and please note it has over 107 MILLION views):

It also produced one of my favorite gifs, of the awkward tween with braces dancing nervously in the car:

Here is the current Top Ten (with my choice of lyrics from each):

1. “Friday” Rebecca Black

Kickin’ in the front seat
Sittin’ in the back seat
Gotta make my mind up
Which seat can I take

2. “Barbie Girl” Aqua

I’m a blond bimbo girl, in a fantasy world
Dress me up, make it tight, I’m your dolly

3. “All Star” by Smash Mouth

She was looking kind of dumb with her finger and her thumb
In the shape of an “L” on her forehead

4. “Who Let the Dogs Out?” Baha Men

A doggy is nuttin’ if he don’t have a bone
All doggy hold ya’ bone, all doggy hold it

5. “Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)” the Offspring

Our subject isn’t cool
But he fakes it anyway

6. “It’s a Small World” Disney

It’s a small world after all,

it’s a small world after all
It’s a small world after all,

it’s a small, small, small, small world

7. “My Own Prison” Creed

Alone I drop and kneel
Silence now the sound
My breath the only motion around
Demons cluttering around

8. “(You’re) Having My Baby” Paul Anka

Having my baby
What a lovely way of saying
What you’re thinking of me

9. “Cotton Eye Joe” Rednex

Where did you come from, where did you go?
Where did you come from, Cotton-Eye Joe?

10. “Blurred Lines” Robin Thicke

I hate these blurred lines
I know you want it
I know you want it
I know you want it

It appears that “Sweet Child O’Mine” by Guns n’ Roses is the least disliked in this poll, as it has sat on or near the bottom pretty consistently since it began, so congrats to Axl and Slash and the gang.

“MacArthur Park” continues to be close to the bottom.  Everyone, you know that’s being sung by Dumbledore 1.0 Richard Harris, right?  And that it includes the lyrics:

MacArthur’s Park is melting in the dark
All the sweet, green icing flowing down
Someone left the cake out in the rain
I don’t think that I can take it
‘Cause it took so long to bake it
And I’ll never have that recipe again
Oh no!

SCTV did a pretty great sketch about this song, starring Eugene Levy and Dave Thomas:

All of the songs in the Top Ten are from the last 20 years, except for Paul Anka’s “(You’re) Having My Baby” which has persevered as being the oldest most hated song since the beginning. It was recorded in 1974, making it older than most people who have filled out this bracket—think about it: You could have been conceived to this song.  Ms. magazine gave Anka their “Male Chauvinistic Pig of the Year” award for this piece of garbage.  In the song he says:

Didn’t have to keep it
Wouldn’t put you through it.
You could have swept it from your life
But you wouldn’t do it
You wouldn’t do it.
And you’re having my baby.

Whoa dude.  Whoa.

Finally, the most lopsided voting has been for the following:

  • “Hotel California” (23 votes) vs “Cotton Eyed Joe” (118 votes)
  • “Sweet Child O’ Mine” (22 votes) vs “Escape (the Pina Colada Song)” (103 votes)
  • “It’s a Small World” Disney (99 votes) vs “Mockingbird” Carly Simon and James Taylor (29 votes)

Don’t agree with your fellow voters?  Haven’t voted yet?  Click here to make your voice heard as we continue the month of voting for the worst song ever!

Week 1 Update!

Highlights from final broadcast of Jesuit Bit My Hotdog

Eclecticism is the hallmark of Freeform at its core. A different DJ every 2 hours, genres spanning geography, time and aesthetics and a diverse cadre of volunteer technicians and tradespeople from nonbinary gender and political affiliation ensure surprises each time listeners tune in. For six months between 2016 & 2017, local video jockey Danny Norton scoured his vinyl record crates for some of his most treasured rarities he cared to share over the airwaves.

But simply possessing the free reign to randomize selections into a playlist would not a good program make. One must possess the will to curate by omission as well as favorited selection. Cream of the crop, not iPod shuffle is the mode for fleshing out longform programming.

Due to daylight savings time, this show was reduced by 30 minutes to split the difference with the prior DJ. Here are 5 stand-out tracks with comments from VJ Norto about their meaning in his record crate.

Homer & Jethro – Roll On Deodorant

Country Hall of Fame inductees and Thinking Man’s Hillbillies Homer & Jethro met at age 16 and received their monikers when WNOX Program Director forgot their names during broadcast. They originally recorded for King Records as session musicians backing other artists, but were sought to support Chet Atkins, Spike Jones and The Cartner Family on tour. Though accomplished jazz musicians in the style of Django Reinhardt, they are best remembered for television appearances on Hee-Haw and The Johnny Cash Show.

Siouxsie & The Banshees – Catwalk, Polydor/Geffen 1988

This B-side to the 12″ single “Peek-a-Boo” is a hiccupy, upbeat instrumental production. Hard to drum up exposition on this one, but I really like it, largely because it sounds as if it could be at home on the same year’s Pixies full-length debut Surfer Rosa.

Time Zone – World Destruction (Meltdown Mix), Celluloid Records 1984

The unlikely pairing of Sex Pistols’ Johnny Lydon and Soul Sonic Force’s Afrika Bambaataa gets run through the Bill Laswell filter. Laswell’s pet concept is collision music, bringing together wildly divergent but complementary musicians. He also lent bass and drum machine programming to the original mix. Guest musicians include Bernie Worell. The track peaked at #44 in the UK Singles Chart in February 1985, but made history as an early rap-rock collaboration, predating Run DMC and Aerosmith’s “Walk This Way.”

Temple City Kazoo Orchestra – Miss You, Rhino Records 1978

This Rolling Stones cover features no drums, bass or guitar, just voicebox vibration and wax paper. Kind-of like listening to Rolling Stones through an old factory car stereo.

Stereophonic Space Sound Unlimited – Funky Planet, Dionysus Records 1998

Swiss instrumentalists Ernest Maeschi and Karen Diblitz own Spooky Sound record store in Zürich and got in on the end of the surf & space age/exotica cocktail music scene back when more people purchased physical media.To hear the complete program back-to-back, check out VJ Norto on Mixcloud Jesuit Bit My Hotdog March 12, 2017

Danny Norton founded Eye Candy VJs’ all-request mobile music video museum in 2006, an alternative to audio-only DJ fare. His library and mixology have been showcased at Project Pabst, Barfly Bus New Years, Rose City Rollers & Bridgetown Comedy afterparties, wedding receptions and was Willamette Week Best of Portland pick in 2010. See and hear his multimedia library Monday nights at Kelly’s Olympian, Wednesday nights at Firkin Tavern, and frequent guest appearances at Dig a Pony and The Know. Event schedule at

Heart & Soul Guide to the Soul’d Out Festival 2017

Portland’s about to get a dose of sweet heat and sultry soul this weekend, with the eighth annual Soul’d Out Festival.

“Some people say this town ain’t got no heart,” to quote The Dead. Portland’s got a reputation for being White – called us “The Whitest City In America”; hell, it’s even referenced on Fox’s New Girl, when Winston won’t come here ‘cuz Portland’s “hella white.”

Portland may have a sullied, storied, problematic past, in terms of racial inequality and tension – which is still being sorted and re-negotiated – but those of us that live here know it’s not reflective of what Portland is actually like. We’ve got people from all over the world, from every culture, color, and creed. For many of us, Portland is the ultimate Sanctuary City, being infinitely more warm-hearted, open-minded and welcoming than a huge majority of North America.

Our music scene has a reputation towards the Caucasian Persuasion, with the remnants of our iconic late-’90s Indie Rock past and a more recent vanguard of perfectly polished, Coachella-ready Indie Pop bands – flower crowns and ukuleles all at the ready, poised to save the world from their privileged vantage point. This Portlandia-like stereotype is also only reflective of one layer of Portland’s cultural imagination, however; we’ve got as many different kinds of music here as we do types of people. PDX’s hip-hop scene has been cracking lately; electronica’s on the rise; metal keeps on grinding and growling; and, little do people realize, but we’ve got a small-but-solid funk, soul, and r&b scenes, that are likely to grow and spread, especially if people start paying attention.

Soul, funk, hip-hop, and r&b freaks are about to flip their wigs, this weekend, with five days of scorching soul and lowdown grooves, with the Eighth Annual Edition of The Soul’d Out Festival.

To help you know what’s going on, who’s playing on what days and what you shouldn’t miss, we’ve compiled a Guide To Soul’d Out Festival 2017, for your delectation.

Freeform Portland’s Guide To Soul’d Out Festival 2017

Wednesday; 4.19

The don’t miss show on Wednesday has got to be Travis Scott w/ Flying Lotus at the Memorial Coliseum, if you like cutting-edge futuristic hip-hop. The Kanye West and Rihanna-collaborator’s bringing his autotuned croon to the Memorial Coliseum in the wake of last year’s excellent Birds In The Trap Sing McKnight. Legendary futurebeat architect Flying Lotus will showcase 21st Century Soul, with the LA instrumental hip-hop producer’s distinctive blend of cosmic and free jazz and hyperreal synth. Rarely do the underground and the mainstream come so close. This is a killer double-billing with some of hip-hop’s most interesting sonic bushwackers. Do Not Sleep.

Also Playing Soul’d Out Festival Wednesday, 4.19.2017

Toots and the Maytals & Lee Fields and the Expressions w/ Tezeta Band

Cory Henry & the Funk Apostles — w/ Moorea Masa & The Mood

Thursday, 4.20.2017

You’ll have multiple chances to get mad blunted, stoned, and smoked out with almost too much great music on 4.20, Portland’s favorite holiday, to keep up with.

For the jazzy, check out Chicago’s Tortoise, along with Portland’s own 1939 Ensemble, along with cyborg rapper/producer RJD2. If you’ve ever wondered how to get from Ennio Morricone to Gilberto Gil to Gil Scott-Heron to the soundtrack from The Warriors in a single mixtape, come to the Crystal Ballroom and get educated.

For the more forward-looking/thinking, check out West London-based singer/songwriter/producer Shura @ Holocene, to hear her take on alt r&b (can we just drop the pbr&b, already?). Find out what Shura learned in her year in the rainforest, before teaching herself production via YouTube. Holocene crowds tend to love this type of chill beats, so expect this one to go off! Get sweaty!

Also Playing Soul’d Out Festival; Thursday 4.20.2017

Lupe Fiasco

Bilal + ShyGirls w/Laura Ivancie

GhostNote w/ Coco Columbia

Friday 4.21.2017

Friday is probably Soul’d Out Festival’s biggest night, with a chart-topping, heartstopping appearance from Solange; the robotic diva disco of legendary producer Giorgio Moroder; and a third-eye opening art experience from Alex & Anderson Grey.

Solange’s performance is going to be pure, utter class at the Arlene Scnitzer Concert Hall, along with influential jazz drummer Jamire Williams. The show is all-ages, so this could be your chance to introduce your young ones to some true honey-dipped r&b.

You’ll hear several eras of robo-funk come together when Giorgio Moroder and Dam-Funk take over the Roseland Theater. Moroder set the cogs in motion with such futuristic disco hits like Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love,” in the ‘70s, and re-scoring the retrofuturistic dystopian android messiah movie Metropolis. LA’s Dam-Funk would take Moroder’s vocoders, slinky bass, and boom-clap beats and usher in a new era of Elevator Rockin’ funk, most likely tripling the cost of keytars the world over.

Also Playing At Soul’d Out Festival Friday, 4.21.2017

Spiritrials: Hip Hop Theater

Big Freedia

Farnell Newton & The Othership Connection: A Tribute to Prince w/Eldridge Gravy

The Way Up Afro/Caribbean Dance Party w/ DJ Freaky Outty & DJ Solo

Saturday 4.22.2017

It’s a cry for freedom, on Saturday, with protest sounds from all over the world! There’s the political napalm of Dead Prez, at Dante’s, and the Afrobeat freakout of Brooklyn’s Antibalas. There’s also some classic funk/soul, with The Ohio Players, at the Roseland Theater, as well as a chance to check out some up-and-coming local hip-hop at the Rose Tribe Invitational, ft. Tyus, Cassow, and Jonny Cool (who performed at last month’s monthly Freeform Portland hip-hop night @ The Fixin’ To in St. John’s, Northword.)

There will also be repeat performances from Alex Gray and Spiritrials: Hip-Hop Theater

Also Playing Soul’d Out Festival; Saturday, 4.22.2017

Spiritrials: Hip Hop Theater

Ohio Players w/Shock & Andy Stokes

Antibalas w/ Cherimoya

Dead Prez w/ Libretto, Risky Star, Mic Crenshaw, Maze Koroma & Mat Randol

Alex & Allison Grey w/ Dakhabrakha, Phutureprimitive, The Human Experience – David Block, and Orquestra Pacifico Tropical

Rose Tribe Invitational w/ TYuS, Cassow & Jonny Cool

Sunday 4.23.2017

Sunday rounds things out on a mellow tip, with the skankin’ dancehall beats of Spawnbreezie. Those lucky enough to have a VIP pass already (they’re soul’d out, sadly), will get to attend a pig roast after the show, as well. Local jazz impresario Jimmy Mak will be honored at the Roseland Theater, as well.

For more info, news, updates, and to purchase tickets, visit

Soul’d Out Festival FB


Ig: @souldoutmusic

8pm Doors / 9:30 Show // 21 and upStar Theater

8pm DoorsCrystal Ballroom

9pm // 21+Dantes

Dead Prez w/ Libretto, Risky Star, Mic Crenshaw, Maze Koroma & Mat Randol

9pm // 21+Dantes

Doors 8:30pm // 21+Wonder Ballroom

8pm Show // 21+Roseland Theater


9pm Doors / 21+Holocene

9pm Doors // 21+Star Theater

9pm Doors // 21+Dantes


8:30 Doors // 21+Star Theater

7pm Doors // All Ages (with guardian)Revolution Hall

8pm Doors // 21+Roseland Theater

To hear a mix of some of Soul’d Out Festival 2017’s coolest jams, tune into Morningstar: The Light In The Darkness, Satuday night into Sunday morning from 2 – 4 am, to hear a special mix put together from dessicant or keep an eye on for the archive!

Want more Portland and Pacific Northwestern music, art, and cultural news, reviews, tips, trips, ramblings, and mutterings? Follow J. Simpson on InstagramTwitter@Pinterest, and like Forestpunk on Facebook!

The Worst Song in the World Bracket- Week 1

A couple of years ago, All Songs Considered made a list of the worst songs of all time (joined by special guest Carrie Brownstein (who may or may not have worn out her Portland welcome at that point).  As with most lists of this type, there are obvious choices (“We Built This City” by Starship) and complete head scratchers (“Africa” by Toto—what kind of monster hates “Africa”?).  As this list is a few years old, and included no participants from my circle of friends, I thought I’d make a Facebook post. It read:

What is the worst song of all time? (Only answer with ONE specific response. Don’t say “Country Music” or “Hall and Oates,” for example.)

Figure 1 Mr. Blobby.  WTF is wrong with the British?

It didn’t take long for a flood of responses. Once I had 64 responses I decided to make a bracket and let people vote for their least favorite song, because I have a lot of free time.  I excluded songs that were obviously novelty songs (although Mr. Blobby’s Song almost made it in anyway due to sheer horribleness) and Christmas songs, which I felt would make an excellent follow-up poll for the holidays.

The bracket is currently open, and will remain so for 30 days.  I will share how the voting is going throughout the month, and you are welcome to vote if you are so inclined.  This data will be used for absolutely nothing other than blog fodder and my own amusement.

Figure 2 You tell me: Guy Fieri or singer of Smashmouth?

After 3.5 hours of being online, here are the worst—remember, this is a bracket, not a poll, so things will change drastically as the month goes on:

  1.     Currently, the leader in awful is “Allstar” by Smashmouth.  That surprised me. I mean, come on, that song is aural fecal matter (and I’m pretty sure the lead singer is Guy Fieri) but #1 worst?
  2.     “Cotton Eye Joe” by Rednex, which seems legit.
  3.     “Barbie Girl” by Aqua is in the third position. Again, completely justified.
  4.     “Who Let the Dogs Out” by the Baha Men is in fourth. A guys at the bar next to me swears it is a good song. I resist the urge to punch him.
  5.     “My Own Prison” by Creed. Yup.

Figure 3 Seriously, though.  Guy Fieri or Smashmouth guy?

Here are some things I’m surprised by:

  •      My personal pick for worst song is “Kokomo” by the Beach Boys.  It’s in 38th!
  •      “MacArthur Park” by Richard Harris, generally thought of as one of, if not THE worst song of all time (does “Somebody left a cake out in the rain” ring a bell?) is in 61st of 64.  Shocking!
  •      “We Built This City” by Starship and “What’s Up” by Four Non Blondes are at 47th and 48th, respectively.

I will update as the month goes on.