Mixtape Monday: School of Rock's Best of Portland 4

Vortex Music Magazine

The annual showcase that pairs students with local musicians to perform live onstage returns to the Wonder on January 31. Prep yourself for 23 bands on one stage in one night with this week's mixtape. Photos by Autumn Andel

School of Rock students performing with Magic Mouth at Best of Portland 3 at the Wonder Ballroom on Jan. 25, 2014—click to see a whole gallery of photos by Autumn AndelSchool of Rock students performing with Magic Mouth at Best of Portland 3 at the Wonder Ballroom on Jan. 25, 2014—click to see a whole gallery of photos by Autumn Andel

In its fourth year, the annual Best of Portland showcase pairs School of Rock students up with Portland musicians to perform PDX-made music live onstage. This year's show at the Wonder Ballroom on Saturday, January 31 is no exception and will feature SoR students alongside 23 Portland bands playing a song from their latest record together, plus a special set by Stephen Malkmus

Also in her fourth year organizing the mind-boggling, all-ages affair, School of Rock Portland instructor Dani Fish "wrangles" some "70 to 80 musicians for one event. Getting all of the bands and artists together is a very... interesting experience," she says. "Being a musician myself, I have pretty realistic expectations of how challenging it is."

But it's all worth the effort. "It's a really big deal to the kids—not that they would admit that, ever. Getting to spend time with the musicians they look up to and respect connects them to the music scene in Portland in a tangible way," she continues. "It gives them an idea of what it's really like to play in bands. And gives them a path to follow. It also gives the students and their friends a chance to see bands who normally only play 21-plus shows."

A School of Rock student performing with Wild Ones' Danielle Sullivan at Best of Portland 3—click to see more photos by Autumn AndelA School of Rock student performing with Wild Ones' Danielle Sullivan at Best of Portland 3—click to see more photos by Autumn Andel

This year's stacked bill includes the likes of Red Fang, Aan, The Body, Like A Villian, Tiburones, Modern Kin, Sama Dams, The Cry! and The Stops. And to prep yourself for the show, Fish has put together this week's Mixtape Monday playlist featuring Wild Ones, Musée Mécanique, Natasha KmetoGuantanamo Baywatch1939 Ensemble, Gaytheist, The Shivas, Summer CannibalsBearcubbin’!WL, Lee Corey Oswald, Ripley Snell and TxE.

Best of Portland 4 is also a benefit for Pride Foundation and PROWUS, and "to everyone playing, I am extremely grateful that your bands care and are excited about volunteering your time to make this happen," Fish says in thanks. 

Check out photos by Autumn Andel from last year's Wonder Ballroom show featuring Radiation City, Typhoon, Shy Girls, The Thermals and many, many more!

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