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Crystal Ballroom

Where On Any Night, Anything Can Happen!!

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Full Event Calendar

Friday, February 16

McMenamins and Portland Mercury present

"Sabertooth Micro Fest"

* Day 1 of three *

featuring:

Coven

Yob

Conan

Pillorian

Lola's Room: Performances by School Of Rock

Lola's Room: Psychedelic 80s Video Dance Attack

Al's Den: Holy Smokes and the Godforsaken Rollers with guest Bob Fossil

Al's Den: Sabertooth Comedy (10:30pm)

Ringlers: DJ'd After-party

A musical celebration of the Crystal Ballroom's psychedelic history

curated by Nanotear

sponsored by Portland Mercury, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Jackpot Records, Voodoo Doughnuts

On sale 10/20 12:00pm

(Times to be announced)

All ages welcome (Al's Den is 21+)

$25 advance, $30 day of show (VIP and Weekend Passes available)

"Sabertooth Micro Fest"

McMenamins and Portland Mercury proudly host the Fourth Annual Sabertooth psychedelicstonerrockmicrofest, a musical celebration of the Crystal Ballroom's psychedelic history.

Visit the Sabertooth website for all info!

Sabertooth is presented by McMenamins and Portland Mercury, with additional support from Jackpot Records, Pabst and Voodoo Doughnuts.

Weekend passes and VIP tickets available!

Microfest website:
http://www.sabertoothpdx.com/

Coven

When Relapse reissued the Pentagram back catalog, many people believed that American doom's patient zero had finally been given its due. But dig deeper, and you'll find an even more mysterious nugget with an origin story that seems to defy history. On the sunset eve of the sixties, as flower power was wilting and the winds of change blew a cold breeze over Altamont, a Midwestern rock group called Coven struck the first chords of major label satanic rock. But the story is even stranger than that...


Coven's debut album from 1969 kicks off with a song called "Black Sabbath." The bass player's name on that record was Oz Osborne. These coincidences are almost inexplicable, especially considering the UK album debut from the Sabbath we all know wasn't released until February 1970.


The second side of Coven's debut LP, Witchcraft Destroys Minds & Reaps Souls, features a full ritual. This is ground zero for occult rock, and many have followed its bloody footprints in the snow...


Coven was the artistic outlet and brainchild of Jinx Dawson. She was well known for her dead serious satanic beliefs, her succubus beauty, and her thrilling voice. In 2017, its de rigeur to play occult-influenced rock music with dark themes and a female lead singer. In 1969, Jinx broke the mold.


It is unfortunate that the Manson murders and the Satanic Panic derailed Coven's career in the early 70s (aside from an unexpected hit song with "One Tin Soldier" on the soundtrack of cult film Billy Jack). Promoters were literally terrified to give them gigs.

Times have changed. \m/

Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/pg/TheOfficialCoven/

Yob

Two years after leveling the expectations of critics and listeners alike with Atma, doom trio powerhouse YOB unleashes Clearing The Path To Ascend, an aptly titled album for what will undoubtedly be the crowning achievement for a band whose journey now nears two decades of creating music as commanding as it is cathartic. As is the YOB way, the tracks here don't simply offer a vacuous glimpse into the already riff-soaked doom genre. These songs demand the tandem attention of mind, body, and soul - etching a mark across a sound that finds YOB as formidable and unequaled as they've ever been. True ascension requires a destruction of those barriers that prevent any movement forward. Unsurprisingly, YOB pummels any and all of these obstacles with absolute authority, clearing the way for a genuinely visceral listening experience and climbing upward into a realm that sets the band in a heavy metal place that has been and will always remain wholly their own.

YOB's music is not unlike the path that's led them to their current place among heavy metal's elite, slowly building from a hushed ethereal vapor into the thunderous and masterful tumult of sound domination. The ethereal mists of Eugene, Oregon no doubt provided the perfect catalyst for founding member and vocalist Mike Scheidt to call up the signature of surging doom that would soon come to garner YOB its current position as one of the most respected and revered bands in all of heavy metal. While giving due sonic credit to cornerstone influences such as Cathedral, Sleep, Electric Wizard, and Black Sabbath - YOB immediately set out to define a sound wholly singular and utterly devastating in its cathartic enormity, incomparable to any other music being created at the time.

Those threads of progressive rock and drone that have always underscored the music of YOB are now fully realized with Clearing The Path To Ascend, as each track forges into the next with a ferocity that's as completely unhinged as it is utterly focused. Drummer Travis Foster wields his signature rhythmic furor here with bombastic precision while bassist, Aaron Rieseberg, coils around the sonic tide with an unforgiving churn - all the while in a deadly synchronicity with Scheidt's uncanny vocal range and its pendulous movement between the triumphant howls of a medieval madman and the earth splitting growls of a war-battered titan. With Clearing The Path To Ascend, YOB explores a thunderous dimension that's familiar in its auditory clout but completely new in the execution of its trajectory, taking the band's sound into a remarkable place as ethereally compelling in its aesthetic as it is merciless in the magnitude of its sound.

 

Website:
http://www.yobislove.com/

Pillorian

Pillorian
adj.
of, or relating to, scorn and condemnation.

Pillorian was formed in early Summer of 2016 by Stephen Parker (Maestus, ex-Arkhum), John Haughm (ex-Agalloch), and Trevor Matthews (Uada, ex-Infernus) with the goal to create a unique, sinister, and twisted style of dark/black metal. Fusing haunting melodies with avantgarde structures, dark folk elements and blackened walls of furious sound; the music of Pillorian is the perfect aural definition of its namesake. Pillorian's debut album "Obsidian Arc" is now available on Eisenwald Records.

 

Al's Den: Sabertooth Comedy (10:30pm)

Join us in Al's Den after the concert for some stoner friendly comedy with:

Jacob Christopher
Katie Nguyen
Phil Schallberger
Jason Traeger
hosted by Jon Washigton

 

A musical celebration of the Crystal Ballroom's psychedelic history

The Saber-toothed Cat thrived from the Eocene Epoch to the Pleistocene Epoch (a 42 million year stretch), and it's our hope that our Sabertooth Festival, with its roots in Portland's own "psycheluvic epoch"* will survive as long.

While psychedelic music covers a range of styles and genres, it is inspired by psychedelic culture and the attempt to replicate the mind altering experiences that started in mid-'60s folk rock and blues. As such, Sabertooth celebrates the historical role the Crystal Ballroom played through previous half-century of psychedelic music.

In the late 1960s the Crystal Ballroom celebrated an era referred to as "18 months of Psychedelia," and hosted mind expanding artists of the day from Frank Zappa to the Grateful Dead.  While the modern Sabertooth Festival celebrates this history and shares the same common thread of experimentation and the ability to transport the listener to an altered reality, it is not a rehash of artists from a bygone era; the psychedelic music of the 21st century is in fact very different than what it was in the 1960s.

The Crystal's psychedelic cred includes notable nuggets from rock and roll history:

  • the famous Peace Rites event at the Crystal in the '60s, where Allen Ginsberg disputably first read 'Howl' (we celebrate his fellow beats in the Joe Cotter mural in the room itself).
  • the Dead recorded much of their exploratory Anthem of the Sun at the Crystal
  • the forefather of the distorted and processed guitar, Jimi Hendrix, played there as well

The Crystal has always been the nexus of this scene and McMenamins has continued to program and promote music of this nature since its opening.

Those looking at psychedelia's earliest roots will also see the Crystal playing a role. The first use of the word "psychedelic" in reference to music was in reference to our friends and extended family, the Holy Modal Rounders (members of whom will be performing at the Sabertooth event) of the East Village Freak Folk scene.  Other key players of this scene were John Fahey, who's last Portland show was with us at our St Johns Pub; Bert Jansch  (Pentangle) who we have hosted on two occasions in Lola's Room and the Rounders themselves who have performed multiple reunion concerts at the Crystal Ballroom.

In the late 70s the new psychedelic revival featuring bands like Echo and the Bunnymen, George Clinton and Fishbone... all acts who have played the Ballroom. And as time moved on, the early 90s brought a "neo-psychedelic " movement with the Elephant 6 collective, and the Crystal continues to host their music (Jeff Mangum, Neutral Milk Hotel, of Montreal - and supporting the Saturday night show The Minders). 

The 21st Century lineage continues with such bands as Tame Impala, Animal Collective and The War on Drugs, who in fact just performed at the Crystal and whose early member/collaborator Kurt Vile headlined the inagural event along with stoner rock doom metal pioneers Sleep in 2015.

 

Psychedelic music in its varying forms and styles is part of the lifeblood of the Crystal Ballroom:  we wouldn't be open today without it, and we have continued to program it. Sabertooth is a natural extension of this, a full blown celebration of the music where the Company and the Crystal , as our predecessors , eternally presses Furthur ...

*from the Oregonian, March 3, 1967

Wiki-delia:
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychedelic_music

Interesting related Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Remember-the-Crystal-Ballroom-of-the-60s/1429127164040565