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There is no doubt that you are in the Pacific Northwest while at Pickathon. Birches and evergreens, sandals and naked babies - everything reminds me of vague memories of Vancouver in the 1970s.
The music is more eclectic though, at this festival, and spans everything from traditional Americana like country in cowboy boots, sad mountain songs and sweet harmonies to mandolin and banjos to crushing rock, both new and experimental as well as psych-tinged.
After a late night watching Viet Cong from Calgary and Tinariwen from the Sahara, I retired to my tent only to rise at dawn for a hike around the grounds. Everywhere I looked, people slept in their shelters and it felt like I was the only person around besides the crews cleaning out the portable toilets.
Sunday was a slow day but I did catch a vibrant set by the confident and charismatic Edna Vasquez and her mariachi band. I believe it is traditionally male field, but Vasquez was amazing in her vocal power, control and precision. Riveting. I also saw Summer Cannibals again and enjoyed them immensely. "We are not a sit down band!" the singer warned the audience, who, obligingly, stood.
Ty Segall played the Woods Stage in the afternoon. Unlike his 2013 performance (acoustic), which was released on a Pickathon record, this was all rock. He had so much fun the night before, he told me, that he just wanted to do it again. He played a mix of old songs and unreleased songs, jamming out with Cory Hanson from Wand in some chaotic noise.
I came to see Ty Segall and Wand and they did not disappoint. They were my highlight. But I was surprised by how fantastic Viet Cong were as well as the smooth and professional performances by Sinkane and Shabazz Palaces.
I felt like I was just learning the ropes when I left - a good incentive to return.