“You hear a lot about the faux weirdness of Alberta’s Last Thursday—but it pales in comparison to the real deal, the annual St. Johns Bizarre, in the heart of the realest neighborhood in Portland. Tons of vendors, kid crafts and activities, a beer garden, and insanely good music from actually awesome local bands. It does not get any realer.” — True Parent

Check out our lineup for 2024!

Plaza Stage

(N. Philadelphia between Lombard and Ivanhoe)

  • Team Dresch – 6 p.m.
  • The Minus 5 – 5 p.m.
  • No Age – 4 p.m.
  • Growing Pains – 3 p.m.
  • Cannibal Ox – 2 p.m.
  • DJ Dirtynick – 12 p.m.
  • Family fun showcase – 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
    • Triple Rainbow — 11 a.m
    • KCPuppetree — 10:45 a.m.
    • Mr. Ben — 10 a.m. 

John Street Stage

(N. John between Lombard and Kellogg)

  • Caicedo – 5 p.m.
  • Queen Rodeo – 4 p.m.
  • Bocha – 3 p.m.
  • Rad Max – 2 p.m.
  • DJs Stonebunny & Johnnie Spaceman – 12 p.m.
  • Megalith showcase:
    • Carly Barton – 11 a.m.
    • Airabout – 10 a.m.


To say Team Dresch were/are a political band is to miss the point. As they reminded in their great 1995 epistolary anthem “To the Enemies of Political Rock,” not singing about causes is a political statement, of acceptance of the status quo.

In “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” America, Team Dresch did not have the luxury of complacency if they wanted to sing about the most basic of lyrical themes: Love.

For four young queers, choosing whether to sing their hearts out “can feel like a choice between pleasure and existence,” as Jody Bleyle evocatively expressed in “Political Rock.” Or, as they sang a little less politely in the same song: “Just own it you little slacker fuck.”

Listening to Team Dresch’s 1990s albums and singles two decades later, you’re struck by the way in which they’ve gained, not lost, power. Combining the brazenness of Riot Grrrl with the angst dirge of grunge, Team Dresch didn’t just raise the stakes of queercore: They created two near-perfect albums about longing, freedom, and belonging over guitar riffs as epic and intense as Bleyle and Kaia Wilson’s poetic couplets.

Team Dresch broke up suddenly in 1996, its members going off in singles and pairs to other projects: The Butchies, the Vegas Beat. They reunited in 2004 and have never looked back. Re-releasing their two full-length albums, as well as their first new music since the 90s on a 7-inch release (all on Jealous Butcher Records), the band’s last nationwide tour was in 2019.  The shows, as fans and band members alike would describe, felt like a “family reunion” because every Team Dresch show since their beginning has been exactly that.

Music this honest never gets old.


The Minus 5 is a rock/folk/pop collective captained by Scott McCaughey (see: “Scott McCaughey” c/o “The Internet,” for further reliable information), with Peter Buck often aboard as navigation officer.

By design from its inception, the lineup for recordings and live appearances is completely fluid, dependent on musician availability, whim and wind direction. Collaborators regularly feature friends from R.E.M. (as it once were), Wilco, Decemberists, Posies, and literally hundreds and hundreds of other recalcitrant comrade combos. Everyone gives their all, and no one need be counted on.

On Record Store Day, April 19, 2014, the Minus 5 released its ninth official long-player, the all-new five-LP, 57-song, 211-minute set Scott The Hoople In The Dungeon Of Horror, on long-time home Yep Roc Records. The sprawling but concise work benefits from the participation of both the usual and new suspects, like John Moen, Jeff Tweedy, Bill Rieflin, Linda Pitmon, Nate Query, Jenny Conlee, Ian McLagan, Laura Gibson, Joe Adragna, Ezra Holbrook, Wesley Stace, Casey Neill and more. It was limited to a 750-copy vinyl run (including 100 colored) in a deluxe book-style bound album.  It was mined/plundered for two CD/LP releases, Dungeon Gold (2015), and Of Monkees And Men (2016). November 2017 saw the Minus 5’s entry in the holiday sweepstakes, Dear December, which was conveniently released a week after Scott fell down on Kearney Street in San Francisco.

Stroke Manor came to life in a dazzling 2019 Record Store Day package, followed soonly by CD and “regular” vinyl, as well as a summer spate of touring, with M5 line-ups including Peter Buck, Linda Pitmon, Kurt Bloch, Mike Mills, Casey Neill, Jenny Conlee, Jim Talstra, Alia Farah, Paulie Pulvirenti, Steve Drizos, and guests Steve Wynn, Kelli Hogan, Mike Giblin, Mike Ritt, John Perrin… etc. Solid Sound was epic. Camper’s Camp-out was smoldering.  Chicago was twice vanquished. Portland was quite honestly magical.  As were most other stops along the way.   

And now Mott (’74 version) is back for more.  The Minus 5 is all IN.  Still, Scott The Hoople’s future remains uncertain.  As does YOURS.


Upset the Rhythm sets it up pretty good: “No Age is Randy Randall and Dean Spunt — two heavyweights from the LA punk / skate / art underworld, who previously performed as two thirds of that punked DIY machine, WIVES.

“Formed in December 2005, following an incendiary final WIVES tour, No Age, with Randy and Dean, bring the world back to their room with a completely fresh approach. In the words of the New York Times…

“‘No Age have a rude energy, but the music is emptier than with WIVES and more mysterious… Mr. Spunt sang and smacked the rim of his snare drum, while Mr. Randall picked out some broken chords. Then it shifted — Mr. Randall tapped an octave pedal, transforming his spidery guitar line into a burly, propulsive bass line.'”


Growing Pains is Kalia Storer (bass/vocals), Carl Taylor (guitar), Jack Havrilla (guitar/vocals) and Kyle Kraft (drums). They met each other playing covers at the School of Rock in Portland, when they were 16 and 17; six months later, they were trying out their own material at Portland all-ages mecca Black Water and in basements around the city, quickly turning heads at early shows that, according to more than a few of those in attendance, sounded like “if Mazzy Star were an emo band.”

Lesser bands might have been content to stop there, but not Growing Pains. Eighteen months of house shows and opening slots for buzzing national acts like awakebutstillinbed, Diners and Macseal helped the young act sharpen a sound that could have emerged only from the post-mordial soup of internet-era rock. Sure — listen for the past, and you’ll hear the orchestrated chaos of My Bloody Valentine; the instrumental pyrotechnics and compositional sleights-of-hand that unite Smashing Pumpkins with the mathier end of emo; the patient hookiness common to 80s and 90s dream pop acts and their slowcore contemporaries. But Heaven Spots is no jaded nostalgia revue. It’s an undeniably contemporary record made by people who listen too widely to suffer from the anxiety of specific influences.


Vast Aire’s elusive career in hip-hop should be studied, analyzed and extolled. He began his career before hip-hop was a culture… a force… a multi-billion dollar industry. Before the web and prior to smart phone addictions, Vast Aire was spitting into the mic, making a name for himself in the hip-hop scene. 

In 2001, Cannibal Ox debuted a full-length LP. The Cold Vein was the fire that ignited the launch of El-P’s Def Jux Records imprint. The record garnered the group immediate notoriety and was hailed by the critics as one of the best new albums of the year and best indie hip hop albums of all-time.

In 2004, Vast stepped out of his role as chief Ox man and unleashed his solo debut album entitled Look Mom… No Hands. Vast’s solo debut featured a wide range of guest emcees including MF Doom, Aesop Rock, Brand Nubian’s Sadat X and Vordul Mega. The album also included a who’s who list of underground producers such as Madlib, RJD2, Blueprint, Ayatollah and Da Beatminerz. The conglomerate combined to craft Vast’s unmistakable lyrical styling that was previously untapped. 

Vast remained creatively active, and in 2007 he joined forces with childhood friend Karniege. Under the pseudonym Mighty Joseph they released Empire State, which featured production from Madlib and J-Zone as well as a guest appearance from Murs

In the summer of 2008, Vast Aire released his second solo LP, Dueces Wild which showcased production from Brotherhood and Pete Rock as well as guest appearances from Camp Lo’s Geechi Suede and Copywrite. XXL Magazine named Dueces Wild one of The Top 10 Albums of the year. They said, “Vast Aire, for his part, reminds you that he played as much of a role in making that album a classic as anyone.”

OX 2010: A Street Odyssey, released in 2011, was Vast’s last highly praised album before the release of 2015’s critically acclaimed Blade of the Ronin album.

The producer COSMIQ got his break with the Harlem outfit, when he picked up a lead-producer gig for the Iron Galaxy Clik imprint. That same year, COSMIQ produced Cannibal Ox’s “Blade of the Ronin” album with talented features like Elzhi, MF Doom, The Artifacts, U-God (of Wu-tang Clan) and Black Milk. COSMIQ’s production is diverse and cinematic, helping to bring a new sonic vision to life.

The next phase of Cannibal Ox’s story is focused on Vast Aire and COSMIQ innovating the sound and collaborating together to deliver new music on the Live from the Aireport EP and the full length Cannibal Ox follow-up, Aireplane.


Now calling Portland their musical playground, Caicedo has been making waves with their infectious rhythms and thought-provoking lyrics. With every performance, they ignite a fire in the hearts of their audience, inviting them on a mesmerizing journey through a sonic paradise. 

Straight out of the vibrant streets of Guadalajara, Mexico, Caicedo is a musical force to be reckoned with. Established in 2013 by Vicco González, this eclectic ensemble is all about blurring the lines between genres, fusing dream-pop, psychedelia, and Latin grooves into their own unique sound, aptly dubbed as “Tropical Dream.”


Dream pop group Queen Rodeo began as the solo recording project of Brooke Metropulos (Plastic Cactus) in 2021. Now they’re a real live band.

They’re currently working on their debut full-length record at Magnetic Impressions in Portland.


Hailing from Rockwood, Portland, OR, Bocha is one of the gifted rappers on the frontlines of the budding Portland hip hop scene. He is a co-founder of Produce Organics, a Portland based brand, and artist collective.


Some say Rad Max came to life when someone put an unmarked VHS tape into a VCR and pressed play. Bursting forth in a flash of neon, they emerged shredding guitar solos and smacking down dance beats.

Rad Max’s playful lyrics and catchy hooks rock over a dance beat that can only be truly understood through an 80s movie montage. They often sing about sunglasses, convenience stores, demons, and other bad movie tropes. Aside from straight-to-video movies, Rad Max pulls inspiration from such artists as Nerf Herder, DEVO, The Go-Go’s, and Kenny Loggins to create their particular brand of rad wave dance punk. They’ve quickly become known for their energetic live performances that balance danceable rock-n-roll with tongue-in-cheek dorkiness.

Since their start in 2017, Rad Max has played all around the Pacific Northwest, started their own music-and-movie series called So Bad, It’s Rad!, has been featured on Drunk Dials Records, PDX Pop Now!, & Tender Loving Empire compilations, has been featured in a short horror film, and has opened for touring acts such as Daikaiju and MDC.

Rewind that VHS, hit play, and get ready for B-movie rock fest that is Rad Max.


Born in the Arizona desert, Carly Barton has spent the last decade immersed in Portland’s creative community as a composer, DJ, visual artist and event organizer. Her music catalog prioritizes world-building electronic music and contemporary piano composition, among other things. One of which is a 12-part series entitled “Vidya World,” which soundtracks an imagined video game universe into themed mini albums.

Her subsequent series, “ARC (Anime Resource Center),” reimagined various anime soundtracks into a collection of EPs. Outside these passion projects, Carly has self-published sheet music books for piano and educational music theory materials while also releasing albums and remixes via labels such as MANIC!, Disposable Commodities, Blankstairs, and more. Carly performs mostly as a DJ, but her approach to production explores genre-bending soundscapes with a specialty in collage and controlled chaos.


Airabout is a burgeoning experimental musical project of Jakob Parsons of Portland, Oregon. Each set is a unique performance, made possible in that time-space harmonization of various instruments and effects.


Through the 15 songs on their debut album You Are Magic, the duo of July Mees (9) and her dad Jared Mees explore both the silly and sensitive sides of childhood through 15 lighthearted, upbeat and layered songs.

Triple Rainbow (named after the inspired quote by Paul Vasquez) has an unique musical heritage and history. Jared, along with his wife Brianne, is the co-founder of Tender Loving Empire — the beloved Portland-based record label and handmade retail store chain. Besides having six stores in Portland that sell the work of over 800 artists, TLE has released hundreds of records over the last 15 years including five of Jared’s with Jared Mees & The Grown Children. But their story goes even further back. “My brother played drums for our punk band in high school, Brianne and I were in a band in college called Julai (which we named after the kid we thought we might one day have) and Brianne’s dad Bill, an old time rocker with Motley Crue ties played drums with me for years and recorded a couple of my records. The family band has always been a dream. Its just a lot of fun to play music with family. I’m excited for Piper (4) to get in on the action here soon too!”

To that end, Jared and July have been making music together since July was able to talk “We sing songs all the time, at bedtime, in the car, before dinner. Sometimes they’re short silly songs that we just sing once then forget about, and other times we find a song we just can’t stop singing day after day” says July. The songs on You’re Magic are the songs Jared and July just couldn’t stop singing.


Kelly Campbell (KCPuppetree) is a nationally recognized puppeteer and performer, known for presenting exemplary environmental education through the art of puppetry. Kelly has trained in theatre her entire life and has a deep love for art, the environment, and the magical world around us! 

Since a young age, Kelly has had a passion for theatre and the puppet arts, and trained in puppetry with Lunatique Fantasique (San Francisco), Joy Puppet Theatre (Portland), and The Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center (Waterford, CT).

As a company member of Tears of Joy Puppet Theatre for eight years, Kelly toured with several productions throughout the Pacific Northwest and taught week-long puppet-making residencies in Portland area schools. Harnessing her deep love of puppetry, Kelly has attended the Eugene O’Neill Puppetry Conference multiple times; performed at The Center for Puppetry Arts (Atlanta); led puppetry workshops at Atlanta’s DragonCon; regularly collaborates with puppeteer peers around the country; and is an active member of The Puppetry Guild of Portland and Puppeteers of America.

Since it’s creation in 2013, KCPuppetree has produced numerous successful puppet shows, and has toured throughout CA, OR, WA, MT, SD, ND, and MN. With environmental stewardship as a central focus of most productions, KCPuppetree contracted with the Portland Bureau to present Water Conservation puppet show assemblies to Portland Elementary students.

Kelly continues to offer weeklong puppet-making and performance residencies through Young Audiences and the Columbia Gorge Institute of Arts.


Mr. Ben (Ben Thompson) is a Portland-based children’s musician and singer-songwriter. A 15-year veteran of the music industry, Mr. Ben has been teaching music full-time for more than a decade and playing music for nearly 30 years. He also owns Singers and Stompers LLC, a company dedicated to enriching the lives of children through exposure to live music and music education, and has been known to play at local Portland venues as well as private events (like kid’s birthday parties!).