Whether you’re celebrating with a sweetheart, you’re single and shaking your fist at the holiday or today’s just a Tuesday, I think we can all agree that free music and sweet-sad cover songs are a good thing. And thanks to Valentine’s Day, we’ve got a few to choose from. In honor of the holiday Hey Marseilles are offering a download of Daniel Johnston’s “True Love Will Find You in the End,” while Kaylee Cole breaks our hearts singing Joy Division’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart.” Valentine’s Day related or not, Suicide Squeeze is giving us all a gift with a free download of Modest Mouse / 764-HERO, a split that tempts me in the record bins constantly.
However you’re celebrating or avoiding or ignoring, we hope these make it happier.
Like an athlete about to compete in a world class event, I’ve spent a lot of time leading up to Sasquatch thinking about what a successful festival looks like. These are the 10 things that have to happen for Sasquatch 2011 to be a personal festival success.
1. Attend a Set at the Banana Shack
Despite attending almost all ten of the Sasquatch Music Festivals, I’ve never seen a non-musical event. I know. I’m a little ashamed to admit it myself. But newly signed Secretly Canadian comedienne Tig Notaro, will be the perfect excuse to right this wrong.
Tig Naturo plays the Banana Shack Saturday at 2:30pm
2. Marvel at What a Badass Scott Teske Is / Regret Not Practicing Clarinet Like My Mom Told Me To
Scott Teske is not yet 30, but he is the leader of an orchestra of talented musicians. Really. A full-on orchestra. The Music Director of the celebrated Seattle Rock Orchestra, Teske is the brains and brawn behind SRO’s almost fully sold-out season of shows at The Moore and Triple Door featuring performances of Pet Sounds, Queen, Radiohead, Arcade Fire and local musicians Shenandoah Davis and Kaylee Cole. As if organizing such massive and successful under-takings wasn’t impressive enough, Teske, with the help of some of the talented Orchestra has written many of the orchestral pieces he and SRO perform, because symphonic renditions simply do not exist yet.
Seattle Rock Orchestra’s performance of Arcade Fire’s Funeral last year had attendees running to the Bigfoot Stage screaming “HOLY SHIT IS ARCADE FIRE PLAYING?” And SRO’s rendition was so solid, no one seemed bummed out it wasn’t the real thing. This year they’ll be reprising their sold-out Tribute to Radiohead and as strange as it may sound, this symphony is absolutely one of the unmissable sets of Sasquatch.
Seattle Rock Orchestra plays the Bigfoot Stage at 12pm on Saturday
3. Give Modest Mouse Another Chance
Sad but true (and saddest for me) I have never seen anything even resembling a decent Modest Mouse concert. And I’ve probably seen the band 10 times. The final straw came back in 2007 at The Paramount, after which I swore I would never see Modest Mouse again. I’ve kept that promise for four years.
But the band is headlining Sasquatch on Sunday, Isaac Brock’s punk warble still breaks my heart and Modest Mouse is responsible for some of the most iconic Northwest albums ever released. Few albums are more evocative of my Seattle than The Lonesome Crowded West and despite being let down time after time, the potential awesomeness of a good set from Modest Mouse is enough for me to risk another train wreck.
Modest Mouse plays the Mainstage Sunday at 10pm
4. Give Flaming Lips and Wilco a Chance. Period.
I’ve never seen Flaming Lips or Wilco live and truth be told, I’ve never been that crazy about either band’s celebrated recorded output either. This Sasquatch, I’m determined to find out what it is that everyone else loves so much about these bands. Or at the very least, figure out what it is that doesn’t do it for me.
Flaming Lips plays the Mainstage Sunday at 8pm.
Wilco plays the Mainstage Monday at 9:30pm.
5. Dance with Wheedle’s Groove
Think Pickwick are the progenitors of Seattle soul? You are sorely mistaken. Before grunge, before Ballard Avenue Americana, Seattle had a vibrant jazz and soul scene documented in the film Wheedle’s Groove and a couple amazing compilations from Light in the Attic. A super-group of some of the key players in the Seattle soul scene have come together to perform booty-shaking sets and lucky for us, Sasquatch have them playing the Bigfoot Stage on Sunday at 1pm. I’m staying the whole set and I’m dancing. You’ve been warned.
Wheedle’s Groove play the Bigfoot Stage at 1pm on Sunday
I still can’t believe Sasquatch is upon us this Friday, mostly because thanks to local weather patterns, I still can’t believe it’s May. But whatever the weather has led me to believe, the 10th annual Sasquatch! Music Festival (and the traditional start of local music fans’ summer) does in fact start this Friday and this is my personal schedule day-by-day. Josh and Phil will be sharing their Sasquatch schedules this week, as well as our unmissable sets of the Fest.
12:00: Seattle Rock Orchestra (Bigfoot)
1:15: The Globes (Yeti)
2:15: The Head and The Heart (Mainstage)
2:30: Tig Notaro (Banana Shack)
3:15: Local Natives (Mainstage)
3:30: Dan Mangan (Yeti)
4:00: Sharon Van Etten (Bigfoot)
4:30: J. Mascis (Yeti)
5:30: Wye Oak (Yeti)
7:45: The Thermals (Yeti)
8:15: Bright Eyes (Mainstage)
9:00: Robyn (Bigfoot)
9:45: Death Cab for Cutie (Mainstage)
11:30 – Wavves (Mainstage)
12:30 – Jaill (Yeti)
1:30 – Young Evils (Yeti)
2:00 – Noah and the Whale (Bigfoot)
2:15 – Head Like A Kite (Yeti)
3:30 – Black Mountain (Bigfoot)
3:45 – The Scott Aukerman & Paul F. Tompkins Show (Banana Shack)
4:10 – Stornoway (Bigfoot)
5:15 – Macklemore and Ryan Lewis (Bigfoot)
6:45 – Best Coast (Yeti)
8:00 – Decemberists (Mainstage)
9:00 – Deerhunter (Bigfoot)
9:30 – Wilco (Mainstage)
With the Sasquatch! line-up just announced we are inching ever closer to spring. We’re giddy for days when the sun doesn’t set at 4 and to see so many local names, big and small, make Sasquatch’s 10th anniversary line-up. Death Cab for Cutie, Modest Mouse, The Head and The Heart, Macklemore, The Moondoggies, Wheedle’s Grove, Dan Mangan, The Globes, Young Evils, Mad Rad and more. Much more so than recent years line-ups, 2011′s seems to have a Northwest bias and you know we love that. Plus, we’re excited to share that The Head and The Heart will be playing The Gorge’s hallowed Main Stage for their first Sasquatch set.
Of course, Sasquatch is much more than a local festival and we were pleased to see that lots of our national and intentional favorites including Local Natives, Sharon Van Etten, Deerhunter, Fitz and the Tantrums, Best Coast, Wye Oak, Wilco, Bright Eyes, Noah and the Whale and Wolf Parade will be Washington bound come May. Like all festivals, its not perfect. And the most confounding name on the line-up has to be Pink Martini, which is more a “your parents attending Bumbershoot band” than Sasquatch suitable, but all-in-all the announcement makes us very eager for May.
I’ve been harping a lot lately on the idea that “indie rock” is making a comeback. And every person I talk to says, “but isn’t indie rock just music made by an independent record label?” And I say, no. There’s a sound to indie rock, a sort of collision of harshness and melody pushed through a cheese grater and the reassembled in to ill-fitting allusion to rock and roll . Think Pavement. Think Modest Mouse before the big times. Yes, the idea of “indie rock” stems from the creation and distribution of the music, but we all know those times are dead. Indie rock stands alone now as a genre, and let me tell you if this half-rock, half-jangle bit of tune by Liam the Younger doesn’t point the way to a new reemergence. I don’t know what does.
I know I said I’d never pay to see Modest Mouse again…. but now that REM has announced that Issaquah’s own will be opening their next tour, in addition to The National; I just might have to eat my words. Even if that means having to drive to Vancouver, BC for the show. |Pitchfork|
A new species of Beetle, has been named after Roy Orbison and his widow. An entomologist made the announcement this weekend during an Orbison tribute concert. The beetle, which looks like it is wearing a tuxedo, will be called Orectochilus Orbisonorum. .|Yahoo|
One of my favorite discoveries of 2007, The Bowerbirds have signed to Secretly Canadian’s offshoot label, Dead Ocean. The band will be touring in support of new label-mates, Phosphorescent, including a couple shows at the years SXSW. |Pitchfork|
The Shortlist Award announced it’s ten finalists today. The ten chosen ones are: Arcade Fire, Burial, Feist, Justice, LCD Soundsystem, M.I.A., Spoon, Stars, Wilco, and Working for a Nuclear Free City. |Shortlist Site|
And lastly, if you paid thousands dollars to see Led Zeppelin at O2 arena in London, this may make you very angry. Jimmy Page says he wants to take Zeppelin back on the road for a world tour. They’ll have to wait for Robert Plant to finish his tour with Allison Krause, but we might just be hearing Stairway in Seattle.|Yahoo|
For the purposes of this list the Northwest includes Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. I’d like to include Vancouver B.C. but I just don’t know enough to really say too much about it. Notable bands who hail from the northwest and released an album this year include but are not limited to the 25 chosen for this list. Should I have aggregiously missed an album that deserves attention, leave a comment.
Seattle Sound Magazine’s latest cover story is about “The 50 Greatest Songs from Seattle,” a question that’s proved great fodder for thought and conversation. Josh and I were both very flattered to be asked our opinions for the piece and to see ourselves credited as “Seattle music know-it-alls,” though I don’t think any of the songs we named made it in the top 20. Here were my nominations and reasonings, I’ll try and get Josh to post his as well.
Teeth Like Gods Shoeshine – Modest Mouse
When I lived away from Seattle, this song made me terribly homesick. Every run-down mall in the PNW (which was all of them) had a Orange Julia’s Julius in the 80′s and until recently at least, the Seattle Center still had one. I drove past the buildings on the cover of the album, Lonesome Crowded West, almost every day of my childhood. The song, the band’s sound in this era – that’s the Seattle I grew up in.
Lithium – Nirvana
Iconic. What’s more Seattle than a song named after the number one treatment for manic depression?
Cream – Thee Emergency
Thee Emergency is the band that made me fall back in love with Seattle music. I think Cream would be a stand-out song on any album, no matter the artist, it’s got the heavy soul of old blues.
Rearviewmirror – Pearl Jam
Vs. was validation that pearl jam wasn’t a fluke band, with a few great songs in them. A point they’ve continued to hammer home to this day.
Jesus Lips – Hopscotch Boys
Acid Pony – Ice Age Cobra
While they have distinctly different sounds and feels as bands, Hopscotch and IAC are what grunge could/would have become if it had a chance to grow up and evolve. The Hopscotch Boys also happen to put on the craziest live show in the city, they’re somewhere between crime and art.
Praying Hands Make Fists – The Hands
A perfect mix of old and new sounds, recorded in their basement, a true accomplishment of the Seattle DIY scene.
Baby’s Got Back – Sir Mix A Lot
The birth of the Seattle hip hop sound, in my consciousness. To this day I know every word to this song… and I’m pretty sure most of you do too.