•"I look forward to being thrown into a situation with people I have never played with before, who may come from musical backgrounds other than my own. The potential to learn a lot is very great." _Katie Gilchrest, Arcane Lore
• "[I'm] looking to bury 80 percent of rock keyboard history in 20 minutes." _Jacob Cooley, Grupo Esperanza
• "Leif [Sherman Curtis] asked me to do it last year, but I couldn't find the time; seems interesting, but I haven't seen the movie." _Casey McCurry, Satellite Lot
In case you haven't seen the movie, or last year's inaugural 48 Hour Music Festival, let's start with the facts. On March 4, two-dozen-plus local musicians, many of whom have barely met, will gather in a room. Their names will be put in a hat. Their names will be pulled out of a hat. Every four (or five) names chosen, in sequence, will have to become a band for the weekend.
Hear more online
For a full taste of the fruits of last year's labor, head to 48hourmusicfestival.bandcamp.com, where you can download high-quality audio of last year's festival. You'll hear a smart pop band, some solid metal and dark-rock acts, and, in the form of the three-drummer sensory assault Vicious Blow, one of the best one-off performances in recent local music history.
They'll be assigned to a practice space. They'll spend a substantial chunk of the next 48 hours in that space, in which time it's mandated that they name their band, establish roles for themselves, and create a 25-minute set of original music. On Saturday, March 6, at 9 pm, all six bands will have their debut performances at SPACE Gallery, where they'll play to a sold-out crowd of nearly 300 people. (It's highly recommended you buy your $10 ticket through space538.org post haste, if you haven't already.)
Above all else, the 48 Hour Music Festival is — apart from an exciting evening of spontaneously created rock talent — an intriguing exercise in community building. What's even more interesting is the community it's building. The players participating in the event are, by and large, not members of the Portland Music Foundation or participants in the Clash of the Titans tribute night series, two of Portland's most prominent opportunities for musicians to network or collaborate. Most of them are disparate members of the thriving yet underexposed hard-rock scene in Portland, largely centered at clubs like Geno's or (more recently) Flask Lounge. The 48 Hour Music Festival is not just an opportunity for this diverse scene to coalesce; it's a chance for its participants to own the local spotlight for a night, and shed a deserved light on their craft.
• "I play music that's written with at least half a brain, and I write a lot of it. I wouldn't do it if I had a choice, maybe." _Caleb Coulthard, Big Meat Hammer
• "My purpose is to prevent a seven-car pileup on the pretentiousness turnpike through the use of Satanic hypnosis. I plan to use this opportunity to exalt myself and embarrass my children, and I will arrive armed with sarcasm, and also with muffins — you know, so I can play good cop/bad cop. I am going to have a killer time, make new friends, and be sure to keep my ego in check. I'm ready for anything! Let's Rock!" _Salli Wason, Hessian