For a musician, getting to a show (and doing so on time) is always some sort of adventure … even if you’re just driving from the hotel down the street. But when it comes to the ladies of Lemolo, their route to shows is not only an adventure, but a beautiful one. It consists of forested roads hugging the crooked curves of the Peninsula, ferry boat rides with the Sound churning below, sailing into a picturesque vista and, of course, a car crammed full of gear like a masterful game of Tetris.
The dreamy duo’s brand new video for “Letters,” one of our favorite songs of 2012, shows the band’s journey from their sleepy hometown of Poulsbo to their sold out show at The Triple Door this fall. Shot by local photographer and videographer Dylan Priest, “Letters” shows a beautifully intimate peek into a day in the life of Lemolo and we’re proud to be premiering it here on Sound on the Sound.
Lemolo will be making that same picturesque journey in just a few short hours as they travel from Poulsbo to The Paramount where they’ll be opening for Allen Stone tonight.
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 far artists and recommendations go, you can either look at the official lineup/schedule here or you can heed the advice of Sound on the Sound’s own Kathleen Tarrant and follow her recommendations.
As for what I’m looking forward to, continue reading at your own peril.
Gentle readers, get ready to be hit,bruised and perhaps even bludgeoned by adjectives in reference to Lemolo’s debut album The Kaleidoscope. I know what you’re thinking, “What else is a writer supposed to do? Literally paint a picture of the sounds being created? Isn’t that kind of like a music video?”
Yeah, kind of.
If you know Lemolo (and if you do, chances are you love them) then you know these songs. The whole “music video” concept we discussed earlier? They exist.
These two ladies from Poulsbo, Washington didn’t sellout two nights at Columbia City Theater because of descriptions written by hacks like me. Ladies and gentlemen, that’s not how music real life works. You’re going to see Megan Grandall and Kendra Cox perform this weekend because they have written songs using austere instrumentation, compositions that you and I personally connect with. Let’s discuss “Whale Song” for a few brief moments. It’s not about the tinker-toy ivories, programmed drums and opulent background vocals taking place while a possible fable unfolds during the course of a few rays of captured sunshine. It’s about how that song makes you feel, regardless of season, specified GPS location or where your head is currently residing along the astral plane. The feelings these songs have enkindled have brought you here today. I’m fully aware why this album is called The Kaleidoscope. However. it could also be called The Ameliorable, for its ability to make this existence that much more bearable….
[Cue daydream sequence where I'm riding a black unicorn through "Big World" of Mario Brothers 3, suddenly I'm playing air guitar in my bedroom to Slayer with Andrew W.K....]
Sorry, I got carried away.
We’re giving away four tickets to the release show at Columbia City Theater on Friday night. Did I mention it’s sold-out? Leave a comment indicating how excruciatingly awful it would be to miss this show and we’ll choose a winner shortly. Slow Skate, Kaylee Cole and Lost Lander will also be there, will you?
What do Lemolo and Fresh Espresso have in common? Not much, save mine and Seattle’s excitement for their new albums which will both be released this summer. Fresh Espresso’s Bossalona is due out June 2nd. Lemolo’s debut The Kaleidoscope will be released July 3rd.
And both bands shared singles to download for free this week, successfully making me more excited for the full lengths.
Lemolo will be celebrating the release of The Kaleidoscope on June 29th and 30th at Columbia City Theater. The 29th is already sold out, but there are still tickets for the second night. They’ll also be playing at this summer’s Capitol Hill Block Party.
Fresh Espresso fans can get an early peek at Bossalona at Sasquatch next weekend. The band will be playing at 4:25 pm on Monday on The Maine Stage.
As scaled down version of MusicFest NW that felt just the right size for Boise, happening over the course of four days in late March Treefort Music Fest boasts the same proximity advantage as SXSW with all of its venues being entirely walkable. In fact all the stages were located in a five-by-five block square, and a number of unofficial stages popped up in that radius as well. Inside the gates of the outdoor mainstage and out on the streets a bevy of legit food trucks were eager to serve. (Seattle, take a hint.)
Smartly inserting the takeover of Boise’s venues into the post-SXSW touring window, the fest was able to plan itself into the road schedule of a wide array of emerging bands from not just Idaho, Portland and Seattle, but from across the West, while additionally booking headliners with a potential to attract a larger under-21 audience than say MusicFest is going for. Though booking Northwest mainstays Cave Singers, Blitzen Trapper, the Maldives, and of course hometown stars Built to Spill is a thumbs up in my book and probably is what sold a huge portion of the tickets, this fest this year was special for its potential to expose Boise to the other young and less well established bands on the bill that might not otherwise make it to their neck of the woods, but should. In a place with no other real festival competition year-round, the weekend was also in a position to not just expose the fans to the bands, but also expose the bands to Boise in a significant way and give them a reason to come back.
Editorial Note: It’s pronounced Boy-sea, not Boy-Zee.
Eating a Bison Burger off of a Barrel ::: Camera Photo by Josh Lovseth
The festival could just as easily have been called the Treefort Music and IPA Fest. A number of beers were created special for the occasion, really good beer, including one I tried the first night somewhat ironically named “No Girls Allowed.” Ironic not because I didn’t get the Treefort theme, but because over the course of the weekend the lineup’s emerging female performers often stole the show.
Duo’s these days always end up sounding much bigger than two people. The Northwest has it’s share of straight up guitar and drum bands that sound triple their size in My Goodness, Hobosexual, and of course Vancouver B.C.’s Japandroids. On the other side of the coin, built on Casio moods and the hard-hitting drums of Kendra Cox, the Kitsap County duo of Lemolo favors a more dynamic approach than just going for pure volume. For the past year Lemolo have been mastering layers and looping, and as a result lead singer Meagan Grandall’s vocal compositions are getting increasingly ambitious and lavish. Recorded in Seattle with Shawn Simmons (The Maldives, The Head and the Heart), The Kaleidoscope brings that sound together and will be Lemolo’s first long-player after releasing the Open Air EP in late 2010.
Last year for an “In Black & White” session we captured them preparing some of the songs that appear on The Kaleidoscope in their basement practice space:
We thought Treefort’s initial line-up announcement gave enough compelling reasons to make the road trip to Boise. But the upstart music fest has made four more line-up announcements since then giving us even more reasons to be planning a visit to Idaho. In addition to Pickwick, Lemolo, Built to Spill, Of Monteral and WHY? the following folks have been added to the line-up:
The Cave Singers, Dinosaur Feathers, The Maldives, Loch Lomond, Y La Bamba, Koko and the Sweetmeats EMA, Talkdemonic, Delicate Steve, Janka Nabay, Pictureplane, AU, Tartufi, Mr. Gnome, Woodsman, Monster Rally & RUMTUM, AAN, Sun Araw Band, The Soft White Sixties, Mwahaha, The Parson Red Head, Matthewdavis, The John Steel Singers, Dustin Wong, Blasted Canyons, Sepalcure, Hot Bodie in Motion, araabMUZIK, Wolvserpent, The Hive Dwellers, Brett Nelson Band, qp, Grand Falconer, Teens
New music festival + solid local and national line-up + excuse to take a road-trip with friends = hello, favorite new thing. (And thank you Reverb for introducing us.)
The first annual Treefort Fest is happening March 22nd to 25th in downtown Boise and a number of great local bands will be making the drive East with us. Pickwick, Lemolo and Champagne Champagne are all coming from Seattle, Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside, Typhoon, Talkdemonic and Blitzen Trapper are coming from Portland and Boise’s own Built to Spill will enjoy sleeping in their own beds during the innaguraul festival. And all this great Cascadian talent will be joined by national acts like Of Montreal and Why? and more announcements in the coming months. Created and curated by Eric Gilbert of Boise band Finn Riggins, Treefort Fest’s line-up is solid whether it’s your 15th fest and definitely your first.
Beyond the road trip and the bands we already know and love, we’re especially excited to get a curated glimpse into the best of Boise, a Pacific Northwest music community we’re hearing great things from (like the aforementioned Finn Riggins & Built to Spill and Daily Choice darling Youth Lagoon) but we aren’t familiar with too much else yet. Stay tuned for more announcements from Treefort Fest and we’ll see you heading east on I-90 come March.
Having fallen deep down a used-vinyl sized hole this year, I managed to completely miss most of the national blog buzz bands and mp3s making the press release copy&paste rounds of 2011, those things that so often fill end of the year lists. But considering the immense output from our little corner of the country, I don’t feel I suffered or starved for new songs to keep me company. These are the forty songs from 2011 that were my soundtrack and that I played on repeat. I’m not bold enough to say they are the best songs of 2011, but they are my favorites.
While this list is not enumerated, my very favorite song of the year, Kelli Schaefer’s heart-aching-to-the-point-of-breaking “Gone in Love,” is at the top with some other absolute favorites. “Gone in Love” is a song that has not lost its emotional wallop despite hundreds of listens and many live performances over the last 12 months. And every time I see Kelli sing it, I can’t stop my chin from quivering. “Gone in Love” isn’t just one of my favorite songs of 2011, it is one of my favorite songs.
That’s hardly true for every song on this list. Every year has its one-hit wonder and I have no shame in saying I played the hell out of 2011′s. Whether its a song that stays with you for decades or a song you only blast until the end of the year, I hope you might discover a new favorite of your own by taking a listen to some of mine.
Before I was a black adult, I was a black kid. Like any black kid, there were people I looked up to. These people weren’t role models per se (because I stopped believing in role models before I stopped believing in Santa Claus), but they were people it was fun to pretend to be while your mom made snack for you after school (shout out to Regina, she knows all the words to “Mrs. Jackson”). I liked sports so I would often pretend to be Barry Sanders, Daryl Strawberry, Dwight Gooden, Steve Yzerman, OJ Simpson and Ken Griffey Jr. while I waited for my baked potato to finish in the microwave. Yes, I was that hipster kid that was into baked potatoes while other kids were eating cereal and other boring kids snacks. I would’ve been that kid that loved sushi if I saw one of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles eating it but that’s a whole different conversation…
Anyway, during middle school I developed the nasty habit of playing air guitar in the shower while one of my favorite compact discs (remember those?) played in my disc man. Looking back on these antics, I wish I could recreate such bliss as an adult. Maybe after I write this post I’ll drape a wet wash cloth over my head and pretend I’m Rob Zombie or something. The music that basically took up permanent residence in that ancient piece of technology, was Nirvana’s NevermindMudhoney’s Superfuzz Big Muff plus Early Singles and Mudhoney.
Other kids wanted to be Kurt Cobain, I wanted to be Mark Arm. I always thought that Mr. Arm was under the radar, such an enviable position to be in comparison to the former.
Now almost two decades later I’m left with a tough choice to make. I’ve never seen Mudhoney. Do I want to see them at Neumos and possibly ruin all those imaginary concerts that took place in my bathroom as a pre-teen? I mean, Mr. Arm and I formed quite a make believe duo. Every show we played was sold out. We never missed a note in any sense of the word. We actually got inducted into the Make Believe Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame in the year 2001. Oddly enough, Make Believe is more legitimate and prestigious than the real Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Go figure.
Hot Bodies in Motion are playing the opening of the Microsoft Store, but don’t tell anyone I said that. Oh, wait. Let me check my notes, hold on a second. That’s actually the Black Keys, my apologies. Despite being huckleberried by the copywriting department at City Arts, Hot Bodies in Motion will be playing at Neumos on Saturday night. God, where’s my intern? She’s going to get fired.
Once upon a time, there was this band called Thunderbird MotelThee Emergency and they were the only band that anyone seemed to talk about (bad or good). Four years later……crickets. On Saturday night, do the Thee Satisfaction Emergency make their way back to the limelight? It’s possible.
I don’t know anything about Lovesick Empire but what little I do know I am enjoying thus far.
The show starts mega early at 7pm. $17 advance. $20 at the door. (Phil)
Doe Bay was the time of bands breaking things. Pickwick broke the main stage with the open invitation for the crowd to see what their garage soul was like from their point of view, and Lemolo caused fans to break the porch of a small yoga studio while they craned to see inside the late night, 100 person show. Fresh off their West Coast tour opening for The Head and the Heart, Lemolo joins the other opening band from that same leg, Thao with the Get Down Stay Down (one of my all time favorite band names), for a much more stable performance at the Crocodile tomorrow night, along with local favorites Grand Hallway, and Kris Orlowski. Each of these artists is a powerhouse in their own way; Thao a woman who so smoothly marries youthful, expansive sparkle in her music with wry wit, and Lemolo with their charming floaty dream rock. Grand Hallway, whose lush orchestration led by Tomo Nakayama suspends audiences by gossamer threads, and Kris Orlowski, a troubador by definition, whose full bodied croon develops a charisma all its own. This is a show of headliners, a relay race where the winner is whoever gets there earliest and stays till the end. See you there. (Kathleen)
Its taken me a while, a long while, to be converted by the charms of Noah Gundersen. While I’ve never denied the loveliness of his voice, the skillfulness of his picking or the promise he shows as a songwriter, for years I heard more of Gundersen’s influences than himself in his songs. But sometime this year, when Gundersen chose to stop the incessant DMB inspired noodling which characterized his 2010 shows and to pare down and return to the simple, stunning harmonies and strong story-telling that had folks calling him the next Bazan years ago, I finally wised up to what Gundersen brings to the table. Young for certain, and at times heavy handed, watching Gundersen on stage is watching a young man already capable, but brimming full of promise yet to be found. His new EP Family is a huge leap forward, forceful folk that finally showcases Gundersen and not just what he’s spinning in his iPod. I feel like I’ve finally heard Noah and now that I have, I’m looking forward to hearing more. (Abbey)