My Top 10 Goals For Sasquatch! 2011
Sasquatch ::: photo by Josh Lovseth
Like an athlete about to compete in a world class event, I’ve spent a lot of time leading up to Sasquatch thinking about what a successful festival looks like. These are the 10 things that have to happen for Sasquatch 2011 to be a personal festival success.
1. Attend a Set at the Banana Shack
Despite attending almost all ten of the Sasquatch Music Festivals, I’ve never seen a non-musical event. I know. I’m a little ashamed to admit it myself. But newly signed Secretly Canadian comedienne Tig Notaro, will be the perfect excuse to right this wrong.
Tig Naturo plays the Banana Shack Saturday at 2:30pm
2. Marvel at What a Badass Scott Teske Is / Regret Not Practicing Clarinet Like My Mom Told Me To
Scott Teske is not yet 30, but he is the leader of an orchestra of talented musicians. Really. A full-on orchestra. The Music Director of the celebrated Seattle Rock Orchestra, Teske is the brains and brawn behind SRO’s almost fully sold-out season of shows at The Moore and Triple Door featuring performances of Pet Sounds, Queen, Radiohead, Arcade Fire and local musicians Shenandoah Davis and Kaylee Cole. As if organizing such massive and successful under-takings wasn’t impressive enough, Teske, with the help of some of the talented Orchestra has written many of the orchestral pieces he and SRO perform, because symphonic renditions simply do not exist yet.
Seattle Rock Orchestra’s performance of Arcade Fire’s Funeral last year had attendees running to the Bigfoot Stage screaming “HOLY SHIT IS ARCADE FIRE PLAYING?” And SRO’s rendition was so solid, no one seemed bummed out it wasn’t the real thing. This year they’ll be reprising their sold-out Tribute to Radiohead and as strange as it may sound, this symphony is absolutely one of the unmissable sets of Sasquatch.
Seattle Rock Orchestra plays the Bigfoot Stage at 12pm on Saturday
3. Give Modest Mouse Another Chance
Sad but true (and saddest for me) I have never seen anything even resembling a decent Modest Mouse concert. And I’ve probably seen the band 10 times. The final straw came back in 2007 at The Paramount, after which I swore I would never see Modest Mouse again. I’ve kept that promise for four years.
But the band is headlining Sasquatch on Sunday, Isaac Brock’s punk warble still breaks my heart and Modest Mouse is responsible for some of the most iconic Northwest albums ever released. Few albums are more evocative of my Seattle than The Lonesome Crowded West and despite being let down time after time, the potential awesomeness of a good set from Modest Mouse is enough for me to risk another train wreck.
Modest Mouse plays the Mainstage Sunday at 10pm
4. Give Flaming Lips and Wilco a Chance. Period.
I’ve never seen Flaming Lips or Wilco live and truth be told, I’ve never been that crazy about either band’s celebrated recorded output either. This Sasquatch, I’m determined to find out what it is that everyone else loves so much about these bands. Or at the very least, figure out what it is that doesn’t do it for me.
Flaming Lips plays the Mainstage Sunday at 8pm. Wilco plays the Mainstage Monday at 9:30pm.
5. Dance with Wheedle’s Groove
Think Pickwick are the progenitors of Seattle soul? You are sorely mistaken. Before grunge, before Ballard Avenue Americana, Seattle had a vibrant jazz and soul scene documented in the film Wheedle’s Groove and a couple amazing compilations from Light in the Attic. A super-group of some of the key players in the Seattle soul scene have come together to perform booty-shaking sets and lucky for us, Sasquatch have them playing the Bigfoot Stage on Sunday at 1pm. I’m staying the whole set and I’m dancing. You’ve been warned.
Wheedle’s Groove play the Bigfoot Stage at 1pm on Sunday
Read the rest of my Sasquatch Goals
Mad Rad ::: photo by Abbey Simmons
6. Survive the Mad Rad, Das Racist Photo Pit
My bets for “sets extra security will be called to the Yeti Stage for” or what I can only hope is known in Sasquatch radio parlance as Code Japandroid is the back-to-back pairing of party rappers Mad Rad and Das Racist on Sunday evening.
Mad Rad alone would be enough to call in reinforcements. During their last Sasquatch performance, Buffalo Madonna scaled the Yeti Stage to perform atop its corrugated steel roof in a feat that was a photographer’s dream and an organizer’s nightmare. And knowing Mad Rad, it’s a safe bet that they’re planning to up the ante on their antic-filled debut. Few crews rile up their crowd more efficiently than Buffalo, PSmoov, Radjaw and Darwin, so it should be a perfect powder-keg by the time rowdy Brooklyn-based Das Racist take the tiny stage.
Mad Rad play the Yeti Stage at 5:45 on Sunday. Das Racist play the Yeti Stage 6:45 on Sunday.
7. Figure Out How to See Head and the Heart, Tig Nataro, Local Natives, Dan Mangan and Sharon Van Etten in Under Two Hours
At every festival, inevitably there are some confounding conflicts. (Un)Lucky for me, this year Sasquatch decided to make them all happen at once: between the hours of 2:15-4:05 on Saturday. That’s when five of my most anticipated sets of the festival are happening — at every different stage, nearly all at once. Somehow, I will find a way to sneak in time with The Head and The Heart on the mainstage at 2:15, laugh with Tig Natoro at the Banana Shack at 2:30, run back to the mainstage to see former SOTS Presents performers Local Natives, hike the hill to catch Dan Mangan charm the Yeti Stage at 3:30 and end it all huffing and puffing through the beauty of Sharon Van Etten’s 4:05 set at the Bigfoot Stage.
The Head and The Heart play the Mainstage Saturday at 2:15pm. Tig Natoro plays the Banana Shack Saturday at 2:30. Local Natives play the Mainstage Saturday at 3:15. Dan Mangan plays the Yeti Stage Saturday at 3:30. Sharon van Etten plays the Bigfoot Stage Saturday at 4:05.
8. Check Out Bands I’m Supposed to Love, but Don’t: Best Coast, Cotton Jones, Stornoway, Wilco and Young Evils.
The internet and especially modern press releases often treat one’s taste in music like a predictable equation. If you like this and this you will obviously like this. Of course, that’s not how it works at all. Just because I like The Maldives, doesn’t mean I love every band with a banjo. Just because I love Damien Jurado, doesn’t mean I like every brooding guy with an acoustic guitar. This year’s Sasquatch line-up is filled with bands that I would love if music was based on these type of equaitions and solely on similarity. And since I’m told almost daily that I MUST love these bands, I’m going to give them all another shot.
Cotton Jones plays the Yeti Stage at 12:15 on Sunday. Young Evils play the Yeti Stage at 1:15 on Monday. Storonoway plays the Bigfoot Stage at 4:05 on Monday. Best Coast plays the Yeti Stage at 6:45 on Monday. Wilco plays the Mainstage Monday at 9:30.
9. See What’s Changed with the Cold War Kids since I Last Saw Them
The last time I saw the Cold War Kids live, the Crocodile still had “Cafe” in its name, a pole in the line of vision and the Cold War Kids still felt like our little secret. While their debut full length record Robbers and Cowards got them plaudits and radio play it was the demos I’d fallen in love with and two of those raw EPs spawned my favorite songs of 2006. The over-production and glossiness of Robbers and Cowards came as such a disappointment and the band skyrocketed from clubs like The Crocodile Cafe to mainstage slots at Bumbershoot and Sasquatch so quickly, I stopped seeing them to hold on to what I’d had in sweaty sparsely filled rooms in the early 2000′s. I believe that’s called “cutting off your nose to spite your face,” but I did it nonetheless.
Five years later Cold War Kids are still hugely popular, making new music (they have a new album out this year) and from friends who’ve continued seeing their shows, they apparently still slay live. I’m completely unfamiliar with the band’s new material, so I’m excited to see how they’ve changed over the year and if they can captivate me half as much on that big stage as they did on small ones all those years ago. If they can, their Sasquatch set is sure to be a success.
Cold War Kids play the Mainstage Sunday at 5:25
10. Go the Entire Weekend Without Drinking a $14.00 Budweiser
Usually going the entire weekend without the temptation of dropping the better part of $20 on beer you could buy a half-rack of for less in the real world is no problem. But Sasquatch is four days long this year and right around Wilco time, the final set on the Mainstage on Monday night, I imagine celebratory suds, no matter how much they cost, are going to look mighty fine. Future-self: resist this temptation.