Dr. Martens Presents: Katherine Paul — a.k.a., Portland-local Black Belt Eagle Scout. If you haven’t heard of her yet, you will soon. The multi-instrumentalist’s second album, At The Party With My Brown Friends, soars with beauty combining delicate vocals and lilting guitars for an undeniable Pacific Northwest sound. But it’s more than that: BBES’s music goes hand in hand with her unique perspective as a radical indigenous queer feminist. Born into the Swinomish tribe, Katherine’s music holds space for the experience of indigenous people and people of color.
She and her band brought their sometimes dreamy sometimes gritty sound to Dr. Martens Headquarters in downtown Portland on a soggy PNW evening. Despite the weather crowds lined-up to get in before the show reached capacity. Packed to the walls damp party-goers bopped along to a killer set that left everyone wanting more.
See more from the show and learn more about Katherine below:
Tell us about the most rebellious thing you’ve done.
When I was 14, I was learning how to drive a stick shift and accidentally ran into our local grocery store. It wasn’t a huge dent on the store or the car but it definitely was on my character and I couldn’t go into the store for a year. Dunno if that’s more embarrassment than rebellion but it definitely felt rebellious at the time.
What song have you been listening to on repeat lately?
Not by Big Thief has been on repeat all. The. Time. It’s such a great song and puts me in a mood that reminds me of my teen years.
What was the first concert you attended?
My very first official concert was a Blink 182 and No Doubt doubleheader for my 14th birthday. My mom drove me and a friend a few hours away from where we lived to go see them!
Tell us about your first pair of Docs.
My first pair of docs were the 2976 Chelsea Boots. I love them dearly and they are my go-to for casual stuff and dressy stuff. Golden. I had never been a boot person until recently and now I’m all about it. These docs are so slick and stylish, love them. They are currently waiting for the fall to wear, especially when it rains here in Portland.
What do you miss most from the Pacific Northwest when you’re touring?
I miss the trees and the rain. When we tour the east coast, they have trees — but they’re not the same. Midwest has nothin’ so I get homesick for the lush trees and rainy days that Portland and Washington have.
What is your favorite venue (to perform or attend) in Portland?
I love Mississippi Studios! I’m a little biased because I work there, but from my experience of being on the road and playing some divey places, it’s really special how well they treat artists.