Capitol Hill Block Party Run-Down
Fresh Espresso ::: photo by Josh Lovseth
Plebeian Paradise, it’s so good to see you again. It’s been about a year but every July you come to Seattle, sashshaying your way into the conscious of local residents
who then proceed to complain to me about how awesome it used to be before I moved here who then in turn show up in droves to populate the aforementioned metropolitan arcadia despite their reservations. It’s a vicious cycle of self-hatred, sunburn and inebriation. I suppose I should include the concept of “fun” or “enjoyment” in there, but we all know that simply does not occur. Patrons of summer festivals, would you have it any other way? Block Party, what will you be wearing this year? I’d bet a sixpence on a can of PBR that has been sitting in the trunk of a 1993 Honda Accord all day that it will be the following:
Dudes – Tight blue jorts that your kid sister would have worn when she was nine years old and imitating Clarissa Explains It All, a graphic t-shirt with a picture of a “fierce” animal on the front (Grizzly Bear, Grey Wolf or Golden Retriever all accepted) and white Keds (no laces, duh). You can substitute the animal shirt for something that Pee Wee Herman might wear, that is allowed.
Ladies – Thrift store Jordache jorts that make your butt look like you gave yourself a wedgie for a good 40 minutes before you left your house (you can’t spell “summertime figure” without “sheeplike faux modesty”), a brightly colored blouse that looks like it was attacked by moths and boots that Burt Reynolds wore on the day of his famous Cosmopolitan shoot. Yes, you can substitute the blouse for a bevy well placed cigarette burns. That’s totally cool with me.
Oh my god, don’t forget your sunglasses.
As for what I’m looking forward to, continue reading at your own peril.
Fitz and the Tantrums ::: photo by Josh Lovseth
Indeed, these two acts are veterans of the game. Unlike the majority of you that are reading this post, I’ve only seen Neko Case once (Bumbershoot a few years ago) and I found her performance to be impeccable. In fact, she made a fan out of me right then and there. Fitz and the Tantrums seem to make at least one appearance in the Pacific Northwest every summer. I’m thankful for that as their performances are memorable and usually one of the highlights of any festival they choose to participate in.
Diplo, Major Lazer and Aesop Rock are all artists that I spent much of my undergraduate listening to (I still listen to tracks off of Aesop Rock’s Bazooka Tooth and Float on a regular basis as an almost 30-year-old curmudgeon). However, I have never seen any of them in-person. Diplo is hitting the Neumos stage at the
ungodly European inspired hour of 1:30am on Saturday night (read: Sunday morning). Make sure you do your drugs consume those energy drinks later in the day. Surely you’ll want to have your wings on when the lights go out.
On the other hand, Clouds Nothings are brand new to me as of recently. I don’t own anything they’ve released but every time I hear one of their songs on KEXP, I stop what I’m doing and turn up the volume. This could be the beginning of a beautiful relationship or will my heart befall to a disappointment unseen? Either way I look forward to it, as well as the rest of the artists mentioned.
You already know (We’re a good-ass time): Phantogram, Fresh Espresso, Black Breath, Sandrider, Lemolo, RA Scion , Fly Moon Royalty, Helms Alee, Beat Connection, Don’t Talk To The Cops, Lesbian and Spac3man.
With the exception of RA Scion (who I haven’t written about in at least two years), I have mentioned the above musical acts ad nauseam on this website. I could include seeing Thee Oh Sees in this list but I haven’t written about them at all for Sound on the Sound. Miss any of these performances at your own peril.
The Coathangers drive me nuts. Everyone always says, “…But they’re kidding! Lighten up! They’re so cute!” And I always respond, “Ew! Get out of my grill! These girls suck!” I was going to turn myself into an army of one and picket their Seattle show earlier this year. Unfortunately laziness and apathy both hit me hard. I came to the conclusion that a homebody/pizza based protest was much more enjoyable than yelling thru a bullhorn at nobody in particular and waving a bright orange sign with chicken scratch that even the most reputable of graphologists would not be to decipher.
As of this morning I hate Kithkin. I believe this will be a temporary manner that will be resolved when I see them this weekend.
“Why do you dislike Kithkin?”
I never thought you’d ask. At times Kithkin play a brand of indie rock that I typically find to be repulsive. May I give you a completely disingenuous description of them? If
Paul Simon Vampire Weekend were talented and actually enjoyable used the ideas and instrumentation of Feral Children but with a more savage and communal approach (Yes, super lame pun intended. You’re welcome.), then it would be something like Kithkin. If you wandered into the H&M and then you suddenly realized the item you were looking for were actually in Urban Outfitters, Kithkin would be the soundtrack to that retail mishap.
But live, they are probably a band that “slays.” I just have a hunch.
Where the Wild Things Are: The Cha Cha will have the best sets of the weekend. This happens every year. One day, I’ll be a 74-year-old man living thru cold winters in Oklahoma City. Every waking hour will be a constant battle to keep me from ending my own life. Do you know what will be one of the few cherished memories I have that will prevent me from hanging from my living room ceiling? Spurm at Capitol Hill Block Party 2011. I’m giving you a glimpse into my deadened future. You better appreciate that premonition by going to every set at the Cha Cha that you possibly can.
There has been a lot of peanut gallery activity in relation to all of these acts this year. Truth be told, I’ve never heard a song by any of them. I swear I didn’t do this on purpose.