Written by on March 6, 2017


Any else remember when MusicFest NW was primarily local bands and took over most of the music venues in town? Yeah, I miss that. Apparently the booking agents for MogoFest did too. They took over a ton of music venues and packed the weekend full of awesome local music acts that are NOT just Indie-Rock bands. There was a smattering of them too but unlike most weekends it didn’t feel like that was the dominate genre in venues. Also – major props for putting together some all ages concerts. Portland as a whole needs more of that.

Here are some of my favorites, which I will admit some bias as several have appeared on my show Live Friday before, but in all fairness I booked them for Live Friday because I’d seen them perform live and I’d recommend seeing them anytime let alone on a monster bill like MogoFest put together. See the full lineup at

  • Blossom (R&B), serious pipes with a great personality and frequently jams with local hip hop headliners. Which is why having her play with Verbz and I$$A was a sweet combo.
  • Cambrian Explosion and Pynnacles (psych rock), are not your typical 70s era psych rock and while that has it place, these guys put together a whole different experience. At times moody, dark, but then other moments are high energy explosions of sound. It’s an emotional ride that evokes the crazy psychedelic feels from having a beautiful warm trip you don’t want to come down from.
  • Mbrascatu (Italian Indie), Sarah Wild (Folk-Indie), whoever decided to put these guys on the same deal is genius.  Mbrascatu violin player ascends to another plan when he’s in that zone and I get the same vibe from Sarah Wild when she performs. Both have fun danceable tunes that are not your standard, repetitive, boring Indie songs. It’s refreshing and joyous to watch them perform.
  • Coco Columbia (Jazzy electro singer/songwriter), and Glasys (singer-songwriter style but with a synth not a guitar), again the booking agents for this festival clearly catered to the music aficionados that crave something unusual and polished. If you listen to Coco Columbia without seeing her perform you might make the mistake of thinking she’s an experimental musician that recruited some random jazz musicians to back her. Watching her perform quickly dispels that thought: everyone is that group is a wildly talented musician. They collectively pull experimental sounds into jazz music overlaid with her gorgeous R&B style vocals that alternate between sexy breathiness and belting it out sustained lines. And I want her hair. Glasys might say that too. His original singer songwriter styles would also have the common thread of mistaking his sound until you see Glasys live. At first listen, I mistakenly thought his vocals belong over guitar chords. After seeing that mastery of keys – wow. That dude knows exactly what he’s doing. I love that both Coco Columbia and Glasys are different to define. It means there is something original and familiar at the same time. Beautiful pairing.

There were lots of quality acts booked that I just didn’t get to experience. This was MogoFest’s first year and I really hope it becomes and annual thing. Perhaps with wristbands and lanyards and a fold out guide in the weekly papers? Or is that too much MusicFest NW nostalgia?






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