June 20, 2012

Sasquatch’s MAINE Stage (not Main Stage)

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Fatal Lucciauno

Fatal Lucciauno ::: Photo by Josh Lovseth

The smallest stage was nestled on a hill in the center of the Gorge grounds but played host to some of the weekend’s biggest personalities and most entertaining sets. Whatever you might think of Seattle as a hotbed, this year’s edition of Sasquatch’s hip hop focused Maine stage (as in the northeastern state and the slang?) each day was a glorious afternoon primer in the best the 206 has to offer. The inclusion of Sub Pop’s dynamic interconnected duo of duo’s THEESatisfaction and Shabazz Palaces on larger stages elevated the weekend from a primer to an eloquent treatise on the finer points. Situated just yard from the Banana Shack dance tent with crowds constantly passing by, a few groups stuck out for their ability to deliver an attention-grabbing set under a dusty sun and divert folks from the oh-so-enticing lasers.


Metal Chocolates [Friday]

Late afternoon Friday Producer/MC OC Notes and Fresh Espresso MC Rik Rude had the unenviable job of keeping Girl Talk fans interested for more than 45 seconds. Upon hearing of their taste for blunts in the opening remarks, one such fan was kind enough to dance and roll a lengthy blunt at the same time (mad skills!), and pass it to the stage mid-burn. Like DTTC (see below) the duo’s goofy repoire could just as easily have been booked in a transition slot between comedy and dance music in the Banana Shack. The unofficial dancers who made their way to the stage weaving between the duo as the pair themselves dropped lines over OC Notes basement beats, wouldn’t be the last time the crowd took to the stage to show their approval and participate.


Metal Chocolates

Metal Chocolates ::: Photo by Josh Lovseth


Fatal Lucciauno

::: Photo by Josh Lovseth


Fatal Lucciauno [Saturday]

Fatal Lucciauno’s set was host to probably the most frenzied crowd at Maine Stage I saw all weekend (though apparently Sol’s was also hype). Lucciauno’s a street poet who commands his audience, providing a scathing entertainment to emphatically point middle fingers in the air with. He’s utterly comfortable with the core traditions of rap, and often riffing a capella his self-confident literate performance leaves little room for doubt about his command. After his crowd took over the stage Lucciauno ventured into the audience and surrounded himself, feeding off of the crowd’s response himself and going even harder. It was a rare positive feedback loop I can’t say I’ve often experienced, and expected least of all at a massive festival.


Don't Talk To the Cops

Don’t Talk To the Cops ::: Photo by Josh Lovseth


Don’t Talk to the Cops [Monday]

There are joke bands and then bands that make jokes. Late Monday night Jack Black and Friends doing “The Pick of Destiny” with a giant inflatable cock-and-balls as a backdrop were the joke, and a tired one that didn’t bear repeating after 2006 (or maybe even in 2006). Earlier that day on the other hand Emecks and BlesOne (and DJ El Mizell) were a band for whom life is the joke to be constantly milking amusement out of. Ferociously serious about being unserious, their coordinated dances and uncommonly wry raps about coffee and getting rich lend a light-heartedness to the very important business of ushering along the party times. In short, they were perfect for Sasquatch.


Don't Talk To the Cops with OC Notes

Don’t Talk To the Cops ::: Photo by Josh Lovseth

February 2, 2012

Sasquatch! Lineup! 2012!

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The Flaming Lips

Sasquatch 2012 ::: Photo by Josh Lovseth

Who’s ready for Sasquatch? We’ve just got our first glimpse of the line-up and at first blush, we like what we see. We’ll start with who we’re most excited for.

Headliners we can’t wait to see: Crossing Jack White off our bucket list, giving Beck another shot after getting kicked in the head during his performance at Bumbershoot in the ’90s and seeing if Bon Iver can top his last spine-tingling Sasquatch set are all top priorities. Plus Feist, Explosions in the Sky, and The Roots.

Locals we loved seeing on the line-up: Shabazz Palaces, The Head & The Heart, Pickwick, Allen Stone, Poor Moon, Gold Leaves, Wild Flag, THEESatisfaction, Don’t Talk tot he Cops, Fly Moon Royalty, The Cave Singers, Sallie Ford & the Sound Outside, Beat Connection.

Other Honorable Oh-My-God-Yes! Mentions: Charles Bradley, The Alabama Shakes, Gardens and Villa, Kurt Vile, Gary Clark Jr.

Canadian Band’s North of Northwest Would Be Happy to Help Cross the Border: Metric, Feist, Said the Whale, Coeur de Pirate, Hey Rosetta!

Here’s the line-up in video form:

Sasquatch! Music Festival 2012 Lineup Announcement from Sasquatch Festival on Vimeo.

And the Full Line-Up in text, after the jump: (more…)

December 30, 2011

Our Ten Favorite Local Records of 2011

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Now that we’ve reached the top of our favorite local records countdown, we wanted to have links to all the reviews in one convenient place.

While yes, all these albums were released by either Portland or Seattle bands, we hope you don’t get stuck on “local” as the important part of the descriptor. Because no one outside of the Pacific Northwest released records we loved more than Fleet Foxes, Shabazz Palaces or Zoe Muth and The Lost High Rollers. So please, focus instead on “favorite.”

It was such a rich year for albums from the Pacific Northwest we couldn’t possibly only share ten records we loved, nor could we enumerate what our 31st or our 23rd favorite records. So next week we’ll be sharing 25 more local records released in 2011 you shouldn’t miss, in much more manageable alphabetical order.

 

 

#1 Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues

#2 Shabazz Palaces – Black Up

#3 Zoe Muth and Her Lost High Rollers – Starlight Hotel

#4 Cataldo – Prison Boxing

#5 Bryan John Appleby – Fire on the Vine

#6 Radiation City – The Hands That Take You

#7 My Goodness – s/t

#8 Wild Flag – s/t

#9 Kelli Schaefer – Ghost of the Beast

#10 Gold Leaves – The Ornament

December 29, 2011

Our Favorite Local Records of 2011: #2 Shabazz Palaces – Black Up

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We’re counting down our 10 favorite records released in the Pacific Northwest in 2011, follow along!

#2 Shabazz PalacesBlack Up (Sub Pop)

“Just another….” review of Shabazz Palaces critically acclaimed, seminal demiurgical creation entitled Black Up.

What can I possibly say about this album that hasn’t already been offered up to the blogosphere universe in the most hyperbolic, inquisitive, sometimes misguided, corner office with a nice view of a city park, “Can Ishmael Butler’s third eye see my innermost thoughts?” analytical, tooth and comb way imaginable?

I have no idea. That’s why I’m going to be as direct (doubtful) and brief (you’re kidding right?) as I can possibly be. Gentle readers, good luck connecting the dots.

When I was a pre-teen I saw an interview with Thurston Moore on a television program that I can no longer remember. During the interview Mr. Moore spoke of how he looked to find melody in ordinary, everyday things, because there are melodies all around us. Items such as the creaky sounds from a wheel barrow, lawnmowers cutting the grass and windshield wipers defending your windshield against trying precipitation. I tried my best to accurately ride the jock of Thurston to emulate Thurston’s words and write songs based on microwave sounds and people falling down/up the stairs (this didn’t happen often). However, I did not have the mental capacity then (and arguably now) to be inspired enough to compose and craft anything that anyone would wanted to be bothered to listen to.

As soon as I hit play on Black Up, Thurston Moore’s words awoke in my mind after a cicada-like slumber and it all made sense.

Hear me out.

This album is based on melodies you don’t hear but feel. It’s a pretentious, vague sentence but one that is totally applicable. Sure, you hear the rhythm and melody in an audible fashion. Yet, when you think of the creation of this music as a listener (ie. the accusatory synthesizer chanting of “An Echo From the Hosts…”), it’s extremely hard to understand how one arrives at the end point when you’re starting from thin air radio silence.

If I could choose a solitary word to define this album (impossible) it would be “otherworldly.” There are celestial/outer-space references littered throughout almost every song. When I listen to Black Up, I think of George Clinton fronting Parliament-Funkadelic. I am reminded of the autonomus, uplifting groove of Sly and the Family Stone. Even though the aforementioned imprints are a bit obvious (in my opinion), I may be alone in reminiscing about my love fo Radiohead’s Kid A or Bjork’s Vespertine while Black Up is emerging from my sound-system. For me, it’s all there in plain view, Afrocentric spaceship funk.

I’m not going to explain what this album sounds like if you haven’t heard it. It’s not out of laziness, it’s because it’s not really possible…

Screw it. I’ll give it a shot.

“Endeavors for Never….” sounds like heroin inspired android jazz in the throes of Harlem in the 1930′s 3030′s. At first listen I could not fit all the elements of this song into a cohesive structure, but upon further review this might be the most “normal” back-beat on this album. Keys operating close to conventional timing, smooth as silk female vocals, a stirring sample of a lazy jazz drum fill, “forever and ever.” I don’t mind if you do, play it again Sam.

“Are you…” has an intro that reminds me of the greatest album of all-time! has an intro that sounds like a Kid A/Amnesiac b-side. The mantra “it’s a feeling,” takes over the song, reiterating that this album is much more than just sounds, it exists purely in the way that your body responds to the rhythm.  Those verses paint a story and trick your hips into a predictable lull. However, by the end of the song you’re grooving to beats that would not be out of place on Of Light or the self-titled release. Finally, the line “That’s why, I won’t be back a long time….” is placed conveniently in the apex of a dance hall collapse. No smoke, no fire or panic, just a clear-cut explanation.

The words on this album carry more weight than before (and they were already on the shoulders of Atlas to begin with). “A Treatise Dedicated..(1000 Questions, 1 Answer)” is an example of the interpolation (very literal when you hear the story told within the song) of a theme that was largely absent on prior Shabazz Palaces releases, love. When I first heard this song, I thought of another unconventional “love” song in Outkast’s “Toilet Tisha.” The music, the story, the promises that are made are spectacular, but what really makes the song are the unanswered questions at the of composition. Internalized and all too real, whether posed from across a crowded room or while you’re lying in bed alone at night. It’s amazing how little things make a song.

But what about the meaning behind the album’s title, Black Up? Is there any meaning there or is it something that I’ve imagined after dozens of listens?

The theme of being genuine is a consistent one throughout the entire album. Butler asks the listener who they think they are on the album’s second track and does not stop asking until the album is over. “Youlogy” serves as a curtain call for materialism and the feigned. “Yeah you” is a St. Valentine’s Day Massacre for artists and industry personalities that have made a living off of posturing. “My hand’s so flush/You’ll have to fold/The played out rhthyms that you told/For all the priceless things you sold..you corny nigga.” You can’t tell if that sample is money being dropped into a piggy bank or slaves’ chains are clanging in unison. Either way, there might not be a difference between the two.

But what does this have to do with being black per se? When Butler says “…Things are looking blacker but black is looking whiter,” is he talking about how corporate America is attempting to adopt hip-hop culture in order to push product (nothing new)? Is he refering to the fact that many of these hip-hop artists are running around wearing skinny jeans and starring in wholesome family movies? Or maybe he’s speaking about Obama and the fact that blacks are “more accepted” by American culture across the board?

I’m not sure, I feel it’s up for the listener to decide. One thing I do know is this, there is really nothing more infuriating, agitating, aggrevating, insert many other unfavorable synonyms here than when someone questions your blackness. If you’re black, it’s happened to you more times than you can count unfortunately. It doesn’t matter where you’re from or where you’re going, someone is going to level those systemic accusations in your general direction. It might arise from your educational background, your demeanor or a myriad of cultural factors that may be mired in preconceived stereotype or ignorance. The worst part is, not just black people question your blackness, everyone feels like they are entitled to express an opinion on how black you are or aren’t. I could write a thesis on this topic (again) but this is an album review and I’ve already said too much. I’ll leave you with this….

Black Up is saying, “Black folks, be you, whatever ‘you’ that may be. You are beautiful.” Many, many albums have expressed this type of sentiment before, but I can’t recall any that presented it in the type of fashion Shabazz Palaces have done so on Black Up. Just think, the fact that I thought of Thurston Moore, Bjork and Radiohead (I could have even said some Boards of Canada as well) during the initial moments of this album and none of those artists have ever had anything to do with being black or black empowerment, is a remarkable achievement in itself.

You don’t have to listen to the last minute and a half of “Swerve…” to comprehend what is going on here.

(Writer’s note: This applies to listeners of all races but, hey, I’m black so……)

December 15, 2011

A Few End of Year Lists From Our Friends At Hardly Art

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hardlyart

It’s been a banner year for Hardly Art.  Seemingly back-to-back-to-back-to-back fantastic albums filled out a year capped of by the Gem Club album Breakers, a truly somber bit of orchestration. To celebrate the festive days cluttering up the calender before the inevitable turn towards 2012, the good folk at Hardly Art sent over a list of some of their favorite albums this year.

For your enjoyment:

Sarah Moody

Albums

01. The Sandwitches – Mrs. Jones’ Cookies 02. Kurt Vile – Smoke Ring for My Halo 03. Shannon & the Clams – Sleep Talk 04. Tim Hecker – Ravedeath, 1972 05. Magic Trick – The Glad Birth of Love 06. Grave Babies – Deathface 07. Fucked Up – David Comes to Life 08. Grouper – A I A : Alien Observer 09. A Winged Victory for the Sullen – s/t 10. Woods – Sun & Shade 11. Thee Oh Sees – Carrion Crawler / The Dream

Best live shows

Ty Segall, Davila 666, Nu Sensae, White Lung, Thee Oh Sees, Pictureplane

Honorable mention

Demdike Stare, The Babies, Hunx & Tuffy, up all night in Austin, up all night in NYC, Gil Scott-Heron & Jamie xx, Factory Floor, Clap reissue, Bill Cosby & His White Pudding Pops, James Blake, Total Control, Iceage, Grass Widow, Case Studies… everything on Hardly Art and Sub Pop that I am refraining from putting in the proper 10.

Read the rest of the Hardly Art family’s favorite things (more…)

October 20, 2011

Recommendations: City Arts Fest on Friday

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Built to Spill ::: photo by Abbey Simmons

There are so many great options for Friday Night courtesy of City Arts, you’re bound to see a solid show basically no matter where you end up. Keep in mind that individual tickets are sold out for Ryan Adams, Shabazz Palaces and Pickwick, so you’ll need to have a wristband to be able to attend those shows.

Here’s our recommendations for Friday night.

Built to Spill at The Moore

Ancient Melodies of the Future. Has an album title ever so poetically expressed the sound of a band? I’m not sure one has. Built to Spill writes music with something for almost every rocker: stoners, indie-shoegazers, classic rock shedders, garage-dwellers. They’ve managed to take influences and make a sound completely their own and edging through its own evolution. You hear those melodies of the past, though their influences are hardly ancient, but Built to Spill always manages to live and sound more in the realm of the future. Their City Arts performance is their only stateside performance of 2011 and they are one of the most consistently excellent live bands making music today. I’ve seen them at least 10 times and have never wished I chose another show or set. (Abbey)

ryanadamspr110811

Ryan Adams at Benaroya

I’m a voracious consumer of Seattle’s veritable buffet of local talent. With City Arts presenting its wares so beautifully, it feels almost sacrilege to go to a national act this weekend. There are few artists that could even tempt me away from Friday’s shows like Bryan John Appleby or Pickwick. One of those artists, however, is Ryan Adams. Steeped in heartbreak and dysfunction for most of his rambunctious career, Ryan Adams has proved himself to be a prolific songwriter, releasing records almost on top of one another, and ones that sound completely different one to the next. Shaking the image of a country’s new darling after his release of Heartbreaker in 2000, Adams has made a career of being unexpected, at turns inaccessible, and enormously talented. Adams writes songs that can range from abstract (“Two” is about painkillers, didn’t you know?), to jarringly honest (all of Love is Hell), to downright weird (“Halloweenhead”), and has brought along a raving fan base with each turn. After 2010′s record, a sci-fi metal departure called Orion, Adams has released Ashes and Fire, a return to his dirty guitar days. The supporting tour for Ashes and Fire has been hushed and private, with no photographers allowed, and very few recordings. I was able to listen to a recording of his show in Denver, and it was jarring in its beauty. New arrangements of songs from his whole, varied, emotive catalogue, and a gentler Adams than the stories of his belligerent stage antics portray. It could be argued that Adams has lost his edge with the change from his whiskey swilling, bottle throwing era, but he’s a man that bears up change radically and unselfconsciously, and we would be fools to miss out on what he’s offering now. (Kathleen)

Shabazz Palaces ::: photo by Josh Lovseth

Shabazz Palaces, Metal Chocolates at The Triple Door

“I’m free to be a slave to all these things I can’t escape…” – Shabazz Palaces on “Free Press and Curl”

Universal sentiment from a group that doesn’t write music for everyone. Hip-hop for those who live on a dystopian planet. ATLiens was supposed to extra-terrestial, and for its time I guess it was. However, if aliens do exist (shutup, the truth is out there), I promise you that Black Up would be only album they’d be listening to. The Greys, sitting around their coffee shops in a different galaxy, complaining about how they can’t bitch about the weather because they live in outer space. It’s a tough life being miscast in movies such as Independence Day and the ones that star Sigourney Weaver. Shabazz Palaces are on this earth to make music and serve as ambassadors to beings from different planets. I see you in the crowd, thinking that you comprehend the music that Shabazz Palaces are giving you. Gentle readers, they are communicating on a different realm…literally. Now give me that homemade mix drink that you smuggled in here. Metal Chocolates. I used to read this group’s name and think about the band Seaweed. Don’t ask me why. Then I heard it on KEXP one day and was like “Oh, this is hip-hop. How much are these yams?” Seriously, that’s exactly what I said because I was at a fruit stand and they were playing KEXP on their speakers. Fruit stands are cool like that. Support your local vendors. “Candy Store Controller” reminds me of these crazy dreams I used to have as a kid. I’m not going to go into them but let’s just say they involved Ginger Baker (the drummer from Cream) Latrobe, Pa. and the use of inhalants. I’d love to see Hallmark use this song for the during the next Valentine’s Day. Nothing says “I love you” like finger snaps, bon-bons and mescaline. What was that honey? Oh, that’s just my stereo. I close my eyes and I start hearing things…. (Phil)

Read the rest of our Friday recommendations (more…)

September 7, 2011

Bumbershooting: Day One (In Photos)

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Champagne Champagne ::: photo by Josh Lovseth

We know we’re a little late in sharing our photos, but we’ve had the plague and day jobs … and so much good stuff to wrap our minds around from just Day One of Bumbershoot. You can see all our Day One Bumbershots on our Flickr and we’ll have more detailed reviews coming very soon about the best of Bumbershoot.

 

Shabazz Palaces in the KEXP Music Lounge ::: photo by Josh Lovseth

 

Campfire OK ::: photo by Abbey Simmons

 

Campfire OK ::: photo by Abbey Simmons

 

Caleb Klauder Country Band ::: photo by Abbey Simmons

 

Dancing to Caleb Klauder Country Band ::: photo by Abbey Simmons

To see more photos of Day One of Bumbershoot (more…)

September 2, 2011

Bumbershooting: It’s A Lifestyle, Baby. (Part one)

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::: Beat Connection photo by Josh Lovseth

My how these tired eyes and slow hands have missed your casual indifference page views. Do you know how long it takes for time to elapse during a month long absence in the blogging world? Science says roughly thirty days but who in 2011 actually believes in science? Nobody raise their hands. Did you know my home state of Virginia can have earthquakes? Just another obvious example that Gaia is unhappy with Kratos in control and we’re all doomed. Your public transportation infused morning commute may be hindered by volcanic ash. Mt. St. Helen’s is long overdue and Mt. Rainier might follow suit out of unbridled jealousy. Never underestimate a large rock’s appetite for destruction.

Just in case these inevitable events don’t actually happen (sacrifice the thing you love most on a make-shift altar dedicated to Gaia or billions of people will die) and you somehow wander through the gates of Bumbershoot, let me send some warped advice in your general direction.

Musical acts on certain stages on certain days at certain times will be awaiting payment from paypal account your buzzed affection. I don’t mean to be a bully but free will is merely a mirage-like gift that you exercise poorly. Let me tell what you should be doing. Pretend I’m granting you blogospheric salvation Pretend I’m someone who works for NPR. In the name of Gaia, I command thee:

Saturday (Hopefully you aren’t too hungover and smoked-out from Young “Trapper of the Year — Four Times In A Row” Jeezy at the Showbox Market.)

Craft Spells (1:30pm at the Fountain Lawn Stage) – Fountain Lawn Stage? Terrible name. Craft Spells? Awesome band. Let’s hope the two offset one another. “After the Moment” is one of those songs that would inspire a dead hipster to rise from the grave and zombie dance their way to Value Village in order to buy the freshest secondhand gear from 1981. You’re alive (as of this moment) but you’ll probably do the same thing over the long weekend (especially if you only have a Saturday pass, plenty of time to shop!). I’ll also say that Craft Spells are getting absolutely jobbed on this time slot. Social marketing trolls Puppet-masters of entertainment Bumbershoot is following Block Party’s lead by giving feel-good dance bands daytime slots. I passively but angrily glance in your general direction Bumbershoot. My Twitter timeline might be a tad on the snarky side this weekend. Champagne Champagne (2:15pm on the Fisher Green Stage) -I used to be extremely comme ci comme ca on whether or not I was genuinely into this group in the past. Then I saw them at Doe Bay (Sadly, not their performance on the Main Stage. Sandwich nap.) and found what seems to be a long-lasting appreciation of this hip-hop duo. Sorry gentle readers, for the most part I still have my East Coast nose stuck up in the air as it relates to beat-makers and rhyme-sayers. I’m slowly adapting to your brand of hip-hop.

Red Fang (2:45pm at Exhibition Hall) – Finally some rock and roll is injected into your being. Last year Baroness was hands down the best act at Bumbershoot. Will Red Fang be able to keep pace with their hard rocking brethren? Go to Exhibition Hall way too fucking early, what the hell? at 2:45 to find out. If you’re watching the video for “Prehistoric Dog” right now, drinking and larping are not good for your health (when done simultaneously). If you do one or the other, you’ll do just fine. However, if you mix these social habits, someone’s inner Lancelot will surface and all hell will break loose. Trust me, I’ve been there (I keep a sword in my trunk for such occassions, I’m not even kidding). By the way, Red Fang will be playing a secret show on Sunday night but I’m not going to tell you where, maybe you should ask around? (I’d spill the beans but I’m not sure if I’m allowed to say. Actually, I take that back. It is because I’m too cool for school.) Shabazz Palaces (5:45pm Fisher Green Stage) – I’ll be honest, I’m probably the only music writer black person black music writer (What? Where?) in Seattle that does not own a copy of Black Up. I should probably do something about that. I like Shabazz Palaces because they create moments of irony when their audiences are predominantly white. Insert laughter here. I also like Shabazz Palaces because they are one-part secret society and one-part Sly and the Family Stone (this is not a musical comparison — they want to take you higher). Beat Connection (6pm EMP Sky Church) – Um, I tried to half-heartedly ignore this duo (I can’t like the things you like! I’m counter-culture!) for the longest time. However, when I saw them at Block Party, I actually left during their set so I could grab some of the grape flavored kool-aid that ya’ll motherfucking music writer’s this entire town has been guzzling. Let me tell you, it tastes delicious! Pickwick (6pm EMP Level 3 Stage) -You already know what the deal is. Selling out private KEXP sessions in one minute flat. Someone call the fire department, these boys are burning up! Everyone wants a piece of the Pickwick action.  Small children, transients, wholesome families, belltown beauties, introverted hipsters, bookworm snobs, Barack Obama and those who attend monster truck rallies are just a few examples of the transcendant populations this group is able to reach. After all, “They [Pickwick] sound like Marvin Gaye,” and “He [Galen] sings like Stevie Wonder.” Read those quotes. Realize that they are not mine erroneous and naively misguided. Go buy a gun. Let your weak attempts at critically thinking about something you like guide you into the afterlife. If there’s only one victim, is it a crime? Pickwick, the passion you stir, the fun you create, are you ready for what is about to come? Fame? Perhaps just a million more bizarre, contradicting, insane, unnecessary comparisons to “Motown” music await you in the near future. I’ll light a candle and say a prayer for you (to Gaia!).

Little Dragon (Fisher Green Stage 7:30pm) – What do I know about Little Dragon? Besides the fact that many of my friends have given me their seal of approval — I know nothing. Festivals are for expanding your mind (musically you hippie, not chemically). More often than not, my favorite acts at big festivals are the ones I’d never heard of prior. I have a sneaking suspicion that Little Dragon will land comfortably in my top 5 sets of Bumbershoot.

Minus the Bear (Fisher Green Stage 9:15pm) – I have not seen one of Seattle’s favorite “house bands” (I only say this because when I first moved here it seemed that they played every weekend.) in a very longtime. Admittedly I am no longer enamored with Minus the Bear like I was when their first album came out. With that being said, a Minus the Bear that is stuck in a formulaic rut is still better than 95% of the “rock” bands that this city has to offer.

The Sunday (part two) rundown will be coming to an internet near you very soon….

August 26, 2011

Abbey’s Bumbershoot Schedule and Three Scheduling Dilemmas Solved

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Sharon Van Etten ::: photo by Josh Lovseth

It’s hard to believe that Bumbershoot is just next week. Heralding the end of Seattle summer, Bumbershoot 2011 seems to be coming just when summer decided to say “hi” and I’m nowhere near ready to part ways. But if I’m going to have to say farewell, at least I can do so after a festival full of favorites, local and national alike.

You can head to the Bumbershoot site to make your own schedule, but here’s what my personal schedule is going to look like next weekend and the three greatest scheduling dilemmas I faced, with handy resolution.

Pickwick ::: photo by Abbey Simmons

Saturday

12:00 – Campfire OK (Fountain Lawn Stage) or Shabazz Palaces (KEXP’s Music Lounge) or Tomten (EMP Level 3 Stage) 1:30 – Craft Spells (Fountain Lawn) 2:15 – Champagne Champagne (Fisher Green Stage) 2:45 – Red Fang (Exhibition Hall Stage) 3:00 – Shelby Earl (EMP Level 3 Stage) 5:15 – Why Nerds? Why Old Timey? Why Now? (Words & Ideas Stage) 5:45 – Shabazz Palaces (Fisher Green Stage) 6:00 – Pickwick (EMP Level 3 Stage) or Beat Connection (EMP Decibel Stage) 6:45 – Vetiver (Fountain Lawn Stage) 7:30 – Little Dragon (Fisher Green Stage) 8:30 – Starfucker (Fountain Lawn Stage) 9:30 – Mavis Staples (Mural Amphitheater) 10:00 – Bumbershoot After Dark

The great debate of Saturday: Shabazz vs. Pickwick vs. Beat Connection:

Once you get over the existential debate as to how to start your Bumbershoot (Campfire OK vs. Shabazz Palaces in the KEXP Lounge vs. Tomten), the greatest scheduling dilemma on Saturday comes right around dinner time when you’ll have to choose between three of Seattle’s most buzzed about and beloved bands: Shabazz Palaces (5:45 at the Fisher Green), Pickwick (6:00pm at EMP Level 3 Stage) and Beat Connection (6:00, EMP Decibel Stage). Normally, I’d say catch the first 15 of Shabazz before bee-lining it to the EMP to have whatever dance party you most desire: soul or electro.

Unfortunately, if you want to catch any of Pickwick’s set in one of the smallest stages on the Bumbershoot grounds, you’re gonna have to get there early. So that’s what I recommend you do … if you can’t get in, you can head down stairs and still get your dance on with Beat Connection or head out the The Fisher Green and get elevated with Shabazz.

(more…)

August 8, 2011

The Daily Choice: Shabazz Palaces – Swerve … The reeping of all that is worthwhile (Noir not withstanding)

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No one has to tell me how late to soiree I am on the whole Shabazz Palaces-being-the-reinvention-of-hip-hop train.  Don’t you worry, I already know.  But after a weekend of deafening my eardrums, bass-thumping my heart beat in to EKG readings never before recorded on a mammal, and splintering two vertebrae from vigorous head nodding I couldn’t start the week without a healthy spoonful of this game-changing band.  This album isn’t just a space-odyssey through hip-hop, this is an entire galaxy squeezed between synth drops, bass slaps, and some beyond-reality raps that will, I promise, leave your brain psychedelically scrambled.  Sit up right now from whatever faded thrift store couch you’re ensconced upon, shuffle yourself to the record store and buy two copies, one for you and one for your friend who doesn’t believe the hype.

Sub Pop I thank you for releasing Black Up in late June.  Go get it kiddies.

Shabazz Palaces – Swerve … The reeping of all that s worthwhile (Noir not withstanding)

In less interesting news, The Daily Choice is now on Twitter.  Join the parade!