June 21, 2012

Sasquatch: A Few Thoughts…

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Sasquatch ::: all photos by Josh Lovseth

 

Well, it has been weeks since I have logged into wordpress for this website. I haven’t felt inspired or motivated to do much of anything, let alone string together snarky comments about a festival that you paid too much to be at apparently had no trash cans after 1pm. Learn to throw your trash away, you savages! Sometimes life happens. Be kind to your neighbors.

Sasquatch. What can I say? Sometimes I wish a pack of “real” Sasquatches would crash the festival gates and devour roughly 68% percent of the audience. Especially if they are wearing a Native American head-dress or have the acronym “YOLO” printed across their back. Let’s go to the video tape. These thoughts and musings are in no particular order of importance.

1) Did you ever wonder what it’s like to be in REM’s “Everybody Hurts” video during the traffic scene? You know what I’m talking about. The point of the video when everyone gets out of their cars (as if they’re under some enchanted spell) and begins to wander up the open road we call “life.” Luckily for many of you, the desire to know what it feels like to be Micheal Stipe in that legendary nineties video is no more. The first question you asked your friends when you saw them in the festival gates was not, “Hey! How are you doing!?!?” It was “How long did you wait!? What the…..” I didn’t even try to get in on Friday night. I set-up shop in my Saturn while it was parked in Ellensberg and I proceeded to drink alone in an empty motel parking lot. That’s what artists writers bloggers people with no future do.

 

Pickwick

2) Pickwick, whether it’s your “thing” or not, is better than your band. They are also better than all the bands you listen to. They played on Saturday at noon on the Main Stage this year. If Sasquatch is smart enough to ask them back next year, I expect them to play almost a third of Sun’s rotation daily rotation later than they did this year. Do the math and we’re talking about a slot at 7 or 8pm (on a different stage than the Main Stage).

3) The visual highlight of my day on Saturday was Charles Bradley pretending to fly like a raptor while he was performing. Other than that, his sexual overtures and pelvic thrusts almost turned this 29-year-old heterosexual African-American male into a homosexual retrophile, who craves dark chocolate that can croon to me as I’m eating it. This is a big deal. I don’t even like chocolate all that much (Ironically, vanilla ice cream is my jam…).

4) Craft Spells put out one of my favorite records last year. Make no mistake about it, I also have been known to dabble heavily in The Cure’s discography. I don’t want to start any conspiracies or anything, but sometimes there isn’t a huge difference between the two aforementioned bands and for some reason this didn’t strike me until Memorial Day weekend. Hmmm….With that being said, I genuinely enjoyed Craft Spells set. Their performance can basically be summed up as this:

“Craft Spells started an umbrella jellyfish dance party in all their faux “Fascination Street” glory. It was “Just Like Heaven” as crusts punks, who looked liked they ended up at Sasquatch by way of Burning Man, crowd surfed without losing a single band patch off their cut-off jean jackets. Grown men put their arms around each other and drank Kokanee. All was right with the world.”

 

Fatal Lucciano

5) Most enthusiastic performances of the weekend went to anyone who is signed to Sportn’ Life records. Fatal Lucciuano, Fly Moon Royalty, Spac3man, you name the artist and they were killing it. Lucciuano brought as many audience members on-stage as the party patrol imaginary fire marshall would allow. Spac3man decided that standing up on-stage wasn’t for him, so he got into the crowd and decided to throw some ‘bows like any man of the proletariat would do and continued to perform at a high level. Fly Moon Royalty decided to utilize dancers that were wearing a wardrobe straight out of the ultimate Eighties movie “Heavenly Bodies“ (you need to see this motion picture). There was no dance-a-thon to save a local gym from a corporate takeover like the aforementioned flick. However, Fly Moon Royalty performed like their was no tomorrow. Because my movements were limited for a brief moment due to some delicious blackberry pie, I didn’t get to groove to “Into the Woods” as much as I normally would have. Whenever I see Fly Moon Royalty, that is usually the song that jumpstarts my heart the most. On this particular day another song stole the show. During “Roxy” Adra Boo delivered the line “If you don’t like me, tough titty..” in such a way that you would have a tough time convincing me that it wasn’t the most impressionable line of the long weekend.   (Writer’s note: Dyme Def, Fresh Espresso, Grynch and Don’t Talk To The Cops were also tremendous. Basically any act that I caught on the Maine Stage was good.)

6) Dry The River are good. If you saw them at Crocodile in April when they played with Bowerbirds (another solid act) then you already know this. I was concerned that their sound might be ruined by the outside settings/ atmosphere of Sasquatch but I was merely another paranoid blogger wrong. Keep as close as an eye as you can on this band (seeing as they’re from Great Britain, it won’t be the easiest thing to do).

 

The War on Drugs

7) As far as my favorite set of the weekend is concerned, it’s a toss up between The War on Drugs and AraabMuzik. Two artists that are on opposite ends of the musical spectrum. The War on Drugs sounded so pleasant on Sunday afternoon that I began to hum “Afternoon Delight” (Yes, the Anchorman version) under my breath. It was something about the way there was just the right amount of a breeze to create a delay so perfect every guitar pedal-maker around the globe would shake an angry fist at mother nature. AraabMuzik was ebullient to say the least. I scavenged dictionary.com for another word but nothing else seemed to fit. The tent was thrown into an uncontrollable frenzy. Every bass synth beat sounded like petawatt blast being generated from the center of the Earth. My favorite Sasquatch goers, The Where’s Waldo Crew, were all losing their minds to the sounds with an amoebic-like cohesion. Never have red and white stripes been so breathtakingly beautiful.

8 ) I enjoy the sense of humor offered by Todd Barry. I am familiar with his work (I already knew some of the material) and at Sasquatch he some funny quips. Jokes about IBM computers, being a server in the service industry, becoming a millionaire as a comic. However, he was so chaffed about the noise coming from the Maine Stage (It was Spac3man at the time and it was somewhat justified…BUT COME ON MAN! IT’S A FESTIVAL. LIGHTEN UP!), that he could not and would not let it go. Maybe it was a part of his rhythm as a comic, but every couple of minutes he would revert to old faithful. It was basically advertising for Spac3man. Eventually I left the Banana Shack and went and watched a spectacle that Barry could only hear.

9) Beirut inspired the best crowd group dancing that I saw all weekend. It seemed like a hundred people were waltzing in perfect time with one another. If you would have transformed the venue and the attire of the participants, it would have made for an excellent time period specific dance sequence. On the topic of individual dancing, some guy was committing unspeakable acts of tempo and downbeat debauchery during Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside. I wish I could describe what was happening to you. Better yet, I wish I could post his movements in .gif form so everyone could gather around the illuminated screen and have a good chuckle. Never forget that Portland knows the “secret of the ooze.”

 

Don’t Talk to the Cops

10) “Favorite Song of the Weekend” goes to Don’t Talk To The Cops “Big Ass Head.” The lyrics had my sides aching from too much laughter.

11)  The Sheepdogs < Stillwater

12) Fresh Espresso what the hell was up with all the flour tortillas being thrown around near the front of the stage? has a new album out (Bossalona - prior to their Sasquatch performance this was not true). From what I’ve heard so far, the songs are excellent (especially the title track).

13) The Nelson Twins > Grouplove. In fact, if you have pubic hair and you listen to Grouplove, not only am I revoking your adulthood card, I am asking that the Official Panel of Humanity throw a gear in your evolutionary process and start burying you alive immediately.

 

Jack White

14)  Two artists that I don’t normally enjoy blew the barnyard doors off of the place: Jack White and Bon Iver.

15) Gary Clark Jr. is a master of all things pick-slide and pick-scrape related. He might be the greatest of all-time. Don’t dispute this.

16) I know this is a festival that appears to the masses, but I think it would be nice to book less (for lack of a better word) “wussy” bands. I’m not saying the festival should be turned into Best Friends Day or Hellfest (although that would make it my favorite festival in the northwest). I’m not attacking anyone’s masculinity or implying that some musical performers are too sensitive personally or artistically. I’m just saying that when Walk The Moon cover Fleet Foxes, I’m convinced a jaded teenage boy with a guitar and a dream dies of cancer instantly. Even if he wasn’t diagnosed prior, he’ll just drop dead on the spot. We can’t let this go on. We need to protect the youth of tomorrow from the youth of today.

17) Music is a fascinating thing. The reasons people listen to it, what they actually hear in comparison to someone else, how it makes them feel etc. I could go in-depth on this but I think I’ll save that for an individualized blog post at a different point in time.

18) The final memory I have from Sasquatch 2012 was watching a boy wearing a unicorn horn prude slow-dancing with a girl wearing a Holden Caufield hat during Beck’s “Lost Cause.” Right then and there I forced myself to leave because I couldn’t have ended my weekend any other way.

19) Stay weird Sasquatch. Sometimes the bright colors are your only saving grace.

 

Sasquatch 2012

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 7, 2012

Win Tickets to Pickwick and Fly Moon Royalty at the Neptune

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littlebigshowpickwickflymoonroyalty1


December of 2010 was my first proper introduction to both Pickwick and Fly Moon Royalty, playing the same night at Columbia City Theater. Just a year on now, both bands are resizing their aspirations for bigger stages and with good reason. Both were announced for this year’s Sasquatch!, so with blackout dates surrounding that and the inevitable crush of summer festival season recruiting the hottest bands, we’re not likely to see a Seattle club show from either of these groups till late 2012.

We’ve got two tickets for the show to give to a random commenter who really wants them. We’ll choose a winner Friday at 12 noon.

Snag tickets ahead of time online for $15 from STG Presents. For this inaugural “Little Big Show,” part of a series of shows where ticket sales go to benefit local arts organizations, 100% of this night’s proceeds are going to Arts Corps.

February 7, 2012

24 More Unmissable Records from the Pacific Northwest in 2011

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helmsaleeweatherhead

 

 

Remember when we said we’d share our list of 25 other unmissable records the first week of January? Whoops. Thing is, the first month of this new year, we were still listening to and falling in (and out) of love with records from 2011. Discovering albums we should’ve shared months ago and finding out what sounded good in summer, didn’t survive snowmageddon. We added and whittled and debated and listened and when it comes down to these 24 albums, all released in 2011 by bands from the Pacific Northwest, we loved.

Here’s what you won’t find on here: records we wrote about in 2010 (The Head and The Heart, Beat Connection, Joseph Giant, Baltic Cousins), just okay releases from bands we’ve loved before, collections of 7’’s made into best of EPs, EPs in general and plenty of records that you loved with your whole heart and we just, didn’t. But, after hundreds and hundreds of hours of listening and seeing these bands live, slightly fewer spent talking about the albums amongst ourselves, we’re confident these are 24 records you’d be remiss to miss from 2011.

Here’s what you will find on here: bands from Seattle, Portland, Vancouver and Boise. Psychedelic symphonies. Menacing metal. Four-Eyed Soul. Modern R&B. Party Punk. Folk confessionals. Hip shaking hip hop. These albums are self-released, funded by fans and put out by labels big and small. They are debuts and albums that defied sophomore slumps and career defining work. Albums that have been loudly lauded and others who’ve been mostly ignored. Its a sample of what makes being a music lover in the Pacific Northwest right now so exciting, there’s a little something for everyone and we hope you find something you love too.

 

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AgesandAgesAll Right You Restless (Knitting Factory)

Agesandages fills up a room. With no fewer than seven people adding harmony to the airtight, country-funk rock that spins off Alright You Restless, the debut record enthralled me with the desperate joy that permeates its entirety. Playing with the bog of loneliness and defeat, and inviting the world into that dark fold to find comfort in each other, it’s music that offers salve in stomps and hope in runaway choruses. (Kathleen)

Allen StoneS/T (Self-Released)

“I’m sick and tired of soul music looking so clean and proper! Cause my soul… my soul… my soul is just a little big greasy!” This is how Allen Stone introduces himself to the crowd from the stage. Obviously steeped in tradition but not married to its dictates, Stone’s four-eyed soul is unrepentant in both its influences and its willingness to disregard them entirely. Repping the Northwest he’s more than likely on stage in a flannel or Sonics jersey instead of any Detroit mandated button-up uniform like most of his current peers. This un-buttoned attitude extends to the dynamic mixture of straight R&B ballads and kinetic pop and funk on display in this record. If nothing else, just like the live show, Allen Stone represents Stone being unapologetically himself. (Excerpted from Josh’s full October review.)

 

 

 

Case Studies – The World Is Just a Void to Fill the Space (Sacred Bones Records)

It’s plausible to say that every music fan in Seattle cried a tiny tear when Jessie Lortz and Kimberly Morrison decided to end their tenure as The Dutchess and The Duke a few years back. Yet, if any and all knew that Lortz would take the new found freedom and put an album as poetic and gorgeous as Case Studies’ The World Is Just a Void to Fill the Space, I wonder, how sad would we all of been?

I discovered Case Studies during a two week period where I was living out of a hotel room in Dubuque, Iowa. My girlfriend was in the midst of a two-week intensive dog-training course and I’d signed out to drive out there and then “focus on my writing” for two weeks in a thrifty Day’s Inn a few blocks from the Mississippi River. To say the least, the smell of old cigarettes and scratchy linens inspired nothing in me and I found myself grabbing my keys and drifting through the Midwest in a chrome-green Honda Element. The Midwest is a strange, lonely place for a city dweller, and with no destination in mind I’d pick a spot on the map an aimlessly cruise towards it. It was on one of these roads with the green blur of farmlands speeding by in the background, the thin snake of the Mississippi my only landmark, that I not only discovered Case Studies but fell wildly in love with it.

It starts with “You Folded Up My Blanket Like We Were Already Lovers,” a deceptively upbeat story about love in a car, on the stairs, in a garden. The road will numb you, and my musical selections weren’t cracking the shell, but “You Folded Up My Blanket…” with it’s beautifully simple lyrics slipped in and I played it on repeat, memorizing every word like a smitten teenager. From there “My Silver Hand” squeezed in to the gap, Lortz’s deep, whiskey-soaked voice rising above the simple violin and guitar, the words full of heartbreak and the need for redemption just peppering my emotional core. Somewhere between Dubuque and Hazel Green, Wisconsin, I fell wholeheartedly in love with the album as a whole. I pulled over the car and sat and stared out in to an endless stretch of green and felt lonely and a bit sad and completely won over by everything Lortz was crooning, every simple beat that stretched out from the door behind me. (Noah)

Cave SingersNo Witch (Jagjaguwar)

I’ve never quite been able to put my finger on why or how, but every moment on No Witch seems suffused with joy. Maybe it’s the way Derek Fudesco’s guitar notes dance like afternoon sunlight on the living room wall, or maybe it’s the honest, folksy feel of the foot-stomping energy. Whatever the case, No Witch has become my go-to cheerup album, my foolproof impetus for dancing around the kitchen with gleeful abandon. It’s not that there’s no darkness – “My mind wakes me up every night sir, see devils in my backyard,” Quirk sings on “Black Leaf,” but the bleak and the bright are bundled up together in little boxes of hope. Weather moves in dark patterns, but as Quirk espouses in “All Land Crabs and Divinity Ghosts,” “It’s too big of a world to give up now.” (Brittney)

 

 

 

Constant LoversTrue Romance (self-released)

When Macklemore said “My city’s filthy,” this wasn’t quite what he meant, but as its cover art indicates, True Romance listeners are in for a low-down dirty ride. This album is a tribute to sybarite pleasures of all kinds, from the warm burn of whiskey in your stomach to the red memory of teeth marks on skin, from the hip-thrust of the drums to the thrust of, well, other things. Conveniently, it’s also the perfect soundtrack for the unbridled enjoyment of these recreations. (Brittney)

Dan ManganOh Fortune (Arts & Crafts)

I recently turned thirty. Not long after, I found myself looking back on the 20s version of me and thinking, “What an ass.” 28-year-old Mangan (who, incidentally, is incredibly polite and charming) seems to be going through a similar process a couple of years early, and has done us all the favor of turning it into a delightful album. With endearing honesty and trademark wit, Mangan crafts carefully textured odes and confessionals that reward with every listen. (Brittney)

 

 

See the rest of our 24 unmissable records from 2011 after the jump (more…)

January 16, 2012

Phil’s 2011 Live Music Awards

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evanodorney2007spellingbeechampionhomeschooler

The stuff that dreams are made of…

C’mon, you didn’t actually think I’d publish my 2011 lists during the actual year of 2011…did you? Now that I have the undivided attention of eight people:

Best Show(s) That I Never Saw

Lightning Bolt at Healthy Times Fun Club (RIP) Soundgarden/Queens of the Stone Age/Mastodon etc. at the Gorge Pig Destroyer at El Corazon Musicfest Northwest Reverbfest Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings with Fly Moon Royalty at the Showbox Market Jon Spencer Blues Explosion at Neumos Matsuri at the Black Lodge Portishead at WaMu Scratch Acid at Neumos

The Lightning Bolt, Portishead, Pig Destroyer and Scratch Acid shows are the ones I’m most upset about. Who knows if I’ll ever have a chance to see those bands in the city of Seattle again (and in some instances, anywhere else). I suppose I could hop on a plane for the sake of noise and nostalgia. Who am I kidding? I’m too poor to do that. Being broke is the reason why I missed that Portishead show at WaMu. I made the conscientious decision to avoid the “Dinosaurs of Rock” show at Gorge. I’m not too ashamed (“shame” is a word I am unfamiliar with) to admit that I still listen to Soundgarden and enjoy their music. This is the exact reason why I did not want to see them play the Gorge. I’m one of those people that likes to leave the past in the past. Which is why you’re not going to see me embracing the reunions of At The Drive In or Refused as much as my inner high school spirit would like to. Mastodon has been dead to me for a couple of albums now. When I heard they were coming to SoDo, I immediately assaulted the first human being I saw (some elderly woman with no legs) and yelled, “This is what happens when good bands put out terrible albums!”

Her hearing aid fell out during the attack. I don’t think she heard me.

I was actually at the Matsuri show when they played the Black Lodge. I went to my car for a second and by the time I got back they were done. I picked up their record “Endship.” It’s pretty great.

The Kool Keith “We Do This All The Time” Live Music Award(s) For Excellence.

There are few winners for the most recognizable award in the music community the award that is inspired by Black Elvis himself. First and foremost, I have to give it up to Spurm. They were the best act I saw at Capitol Hill Block Party, but I never published my post out of crippling writer’s block, oh-my-lanta sheer laziness. Here’s what I wrote (consider the “theme” of those write-ups):

“Of course you’re back in the bowels of Bimbo’s Cantina, the shadowy underworld that is known as Cha Cha. Today, there is hope because it is Sunday. For some reason the only time good things happen at Cha Cha is when the calendar day is Sunday or Monday. What brings you to the Cha Cha? One word: Spurm.

You’ve never been a pervert (unless the lights are off, meow) but Spurm feels so good. They are like a demented version of the B-52′s. You realize that you must rephrase your assessment of Spurm. Whoever is reading your thoughts is already aware of the “bananas” behavior of the aforementioned legendary Athens, Ga. based “New Wave” band. Whereas the B-52′s might tuck their kids in with stuffed animals that resemble Brer Rabbit, Spurm play the part of Anansi and spin webs to ensnare those same children and their pathetic limitless dreams.

Don’t get me wrong, Spurm know how to have fun. But there is a darkness in the presentation my friends.

Weird quirky keyboard that is sometimes defiantly noisy. Punk rhythms. Where did that fucking saxophone come from? That guitarist plays like he used to be in The Pretenders but his personality was licks were too vicious so they kicked him out. A charismatic, matter-of-fact lead singer, who dons a white ship captain’s hat and makes gestures to the crowd that are both exciting and flamboyantly menacing. At one point in-between songs Jordan Adams says something to the crowd but you can’t remember his exact words. You just know that he said something about this particular song being his favorite Spurm song. When the lead singer of a band says that before his/her band plays a song, your expectations tend to grow by the second. To no surprise the song exceeds whatever conjecture you have tied around its neck. At one point Mr. Adams enters the heart of the Cha Cha audience and is swallowed be the most eager jazz hands that the world has ever seen. It were as if ten thousand Richard Simmons just finished an exercise routine and had given the lead singer of Spurm a metacarpus cocoon.”

Man, they were so good. Simply outstanding.

Strong Killings at their Record Release Party at the Rendezvous.

If you were there, you know what I’m talking about. If you weren’t, you missed one of the most magical moments in music history. I’m not kidding. People in Seattle think they can get away with murder every once in a while act proactively dickish and think it’s OK.

“What the fuck are you doing to do about it? Passive aggressive, coffee-drinking, Subaru outback driving, yoga-mat carrying, vibram five-finger rocking, mostly neutral color wearing…”

I don’t remember the exact details of the exchange between the heckler and Nathan (the lead singer of Strong Killings) because too many grains of sand have sunk to the bottom of the hourglass. Did Nathan respond to the drunken heckling with a karate chop? Did the heckler leave the venue after he got the volume turned up on his antics? Gentle readers, just remember one thing the next time you go to a Strong Killings concert….

TALK SHIT. GET HIT.

(Cue “Too Cool.”)

To read the rest of Phil’s live music stand-outs and disappointments from 2011 (more…)

September 5, 2011

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

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Phantogram ::: photo by Josh Lovseth

We’re into the final stretch

Fly Moon Royalty (12:45pm Fisher Green Stage) – Fly Moon Royalty took a 12-gauge shotgun, place  it to the side of my left temple and pulled the trigger when they played the Yoga Studio at Doe Bay Music Festival a couple of weeks ago. There were so many good sets (some planned, some impromptu) that took place over the course of that long beautiful weekend, but it is my opinion that Fly Moon Royalty played the best one. I was losing my mind to some of those pop hooks and off-beat key patterns. I fully suspect this band will take off over the next calendar year. Get to know them now so you can maximize those scenester points amongst your friends. Curtains For You (1:30pm Level Three Stage) -The only band playing Bumbershoot this year that was compared to “wearing a suit with argyle socks” (I’m not even kidding, check the festival website). “Classic harmony-laden pop” may never go out of style but it can be boring as shit. Curtains For You craft together unique compositions for people that tend to “shoe-fly-don’t bother me” pop music. This town is full of harmonies, most are not worth paying attention to, Curtains For You deserve your consideration.

Big Boi (3pm Mainstage) – Daddy Fat Sax, it’s an honor to have you here. Although, I’d be a much happier campier if the “Gemini” to your “Aquarius” were here as well.

Lemolo (4:30pm on Level Three Stage) – Oh deep sigh as I drink my morning coffee, flutter my girlish eyelashes and lookout my bedroom window on a Monday morning that happens to be a national holiday. I love like am “in-like” with this band. You see their videos on this website all the time. I want to lavish Lemolo with compliment upon compliment but I’m working on a tight deadline (Jersey Shore is also on in the background, destroying my brain cells and my vocabulary simultaneously).

Ravenna Woods (7:3opm Level Three Stage) – If a doom metal band used Downy to get those tough stains out, they’d be Ravenna Woods.

Fitz and the Tantrums (7:45pm Main Stage) – If you can dance, you should be here. If you can’t dance, get the fuck out you should be here. “Moneygrabber” is the single of the millennium. In fact, I heard from a reliable news source that this will be the official anthem of the 2012 Presidential Election.

Phantogram (8:30pm Fountain Lawn Stage) – Don’t ever confuse Phantogram with Phospherescent, they are vastly different. In case you are wondering, I prefer Phantogram.

Hall and Oates (9:15pm Main Stage) – Also known as “The Most Anticipated Set of Bumbershoot 2011.”

September 1, 2011

Three Unmissable Local Sets, For All Three Days of Bumbershoot

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Bumbershoot Crowd ::: photo by Josh Lovseth

When I was working on my “Five Things You Can’t Miss at Bumbershoot” posts, I noticed something strange. Save Red Fang, not a single band I recommend was local to the Pacific Northwest. And that’s not because there aren’t some great local bands playing this years Bumbershoot, there are scads of them. The Fest did a solid job booking Seattle and Portland bands I want to see from hip hop to heavy, from beats to banjos. But, for the most part they’re all bands I’ve seen before and all bands you can see again as soon as the Bumbershoot blackout dates pass. Which means while I’m not anticipating them quite as much as my Top 5 acts, you better believe I’ll be there in the front row for lots of local acts. Here’s three Pacific Northwest bands for all three days of the festival, you shouldn’t miss.

 

Champagne Champagne ::: photo by Josh Lovseth

Saturday

Champagne Champagne (2:15 on the Fisher Green)

Red Fang (2:45 in the Exhibition Hall)

Pickwick (6:00 at EMP Level Three)

Probably don’t want to miss either: Craft Spells (1:30 on the Fountain Lawn)

 

The Lonely Forest ::: photo by Josh Lovseth

Sunday

The Lonely Forest (1:30 on the Mainstage)

Kaylee Cole (6:00 at EMP Level 3)

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis (8:00 on the Mainstage)

Probably don’t want to miss either: Allen Stone (7:30 on the EMP Level 3)

 

Lemolo ::: photo by Josh Lovseth

Monday

Fly Moon Royalty (12:45 on the Fisher Green)

Lemolo (4:30 at EMP Level 3)

Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside (9:00 at EMP Level 3)

Probably don’t want to miss either: My Goodness (2:00 in the Exhibition Hall)

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.

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August 8, 2011

Doe Bay Fest: What Not To Miss Off the Main Stage

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Otter Cove Stage ::: photo by Josh Lovseth

You’re already planning on catching most of the mainstage acts, you’re ready to party with Champagne Champagne, your “Hacienda hands” are ready for Pickwick, you’ve mastered the complex clap of The Maldives’ “By the Wind Sailor” and you can’t wait to sing along to “Rivers and Roads” with your best friends. But Doe Bay isn’t just about the headliners and there are a number of lesser known names you won’t want to miss.

Thursday: from 6pm till late, there’ll be an open mic in the Doe Bay Cafe featuring many of the artists performing over the weekend. If you’re a song-writer yourself, bring your guitar and sign up for a slot.

Friday:

Sean Flinn (12:00-12:45, Otter Cove Stage) the first artist of Doe Bay 2011 will be Portland’s Sean Flinn, front man of the band Sean Flinn and the Royal We. Enjoy him while you’re checking in by the Cafe or getting your bearings at the Fest.

Tony Kevin Jr(1:00-1:45, Otter Cove Stage) due to illness, Goldfinch has had to cancel their appearance at Doe Bay, which is a huge bummer. However, it makes room for singer-song writer and Doe Bay open mic host Tony Kevin Jr. to perform officially. Tony’s a performer who can sing it to the rafters and with the natural amphitheater of the Bay, I suspect you’ll be able to follow his voice from Eastbound to Olga if you happen to arrive on the island during his set.

Damien Jurado (2:00-3:00pm, Otter Cove Stage): Jurado really needs no introduction, so this is just a reminder he’s not playing the main stage, he is not to be missed and you should plan your ferry and arrival time accordingly. If you make his set, you’ll be treated to some new songs that will be on his next record, like Reel to Reel:

Lemolo (10:15 – 11:00, Yoga Studio): Never again will you be able to see this band in such a small setting. If you don’t know Lemolo now, I feel confident you will very soon.

Frank Fairfield (10:15 – 11:00, Cafe Stage): If the Yoga Studio is full for Lemolo, and it will be, stop by the Cafe to see some world-class pickin’ by Saturday mainstage performer Frank Fairfield.

See Saturday and Sunday’s unmissable acts you might not know (more…)

August 2, 2011

My Most Played: July 2011

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Dolorean ::: photo by Abbey Simmons

Dolorean – The Unfazed (yes, again) Gardens & Villas/t Bryan John Appleby – Fire on the Vine Dillard & Clark – Through The Morning, Through The Night Richard Swift – “Broken Finger BluesStrong Killingss/t Shenandoah Davis – The Company We Keep Case StudiesThe World is Just a Shape to Fill the Night Radiation CityThe Hands That Take You Wild OnesYou’re A Winner EP PDX Pop Now! 2011 Comp Charles Bradley – “Stay Away” (Nirvana cover) Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter – Marble Son Fly Moon Royalty – s/t Lemolo – “Letters” Pickwick – “Window Sill”