Pickwick‘s just announced the release of their debut record, Can’t Talk Medicine, to arrive March 12th, 2013. Before the record arrives though, it’s lead single with Jagjaguwar’s Sharon Van Etten is being packaged up in a covers EP that includes a Damien Jurado cover released last year and new recording of live staple “The Ostrich.” Listen to their cover of Richard Swift’s “Lady Luck” above with Van Etten singing the first verse, and then snag the whole EP on iTunes tomorrow.
Snag the single for yourself for free with the widget below:
There’s a rumor conspiracy theory floating around the “offices” (a loose collection of individual bedrooms, coffee shops and Abbey’s house) of Sound on the Sound that North of Northwest columnist and photographer Brittney Bush Bollay is actually Sharon Van Etten. I can’t confirm or deny these rumors because I have never seen both women in the same place at the same time. What I can confirm is that Sharon Van Etten will be gracing the Neptune Theater stage tonight. Now whether or not Brittney will be in the same room while all this is happening remains to be seen.
After a few sun-filled days in the Emerald City, it’s only fitting that Mrs. Van Etten would come steamrolling into our hilly metropolis, commanding an arsenal of songs that reminding us of what it’s like to see rain cascading down our bedroom windows. Gentle readers, I think you’re letting all this vitamin D go to your head. You need to be brought down a couple of notches before you achieve megalomaniacal status. Remember who you really are. You’re someone who avoids eye contact, someone who doesn’t know how to interact with strangers, someone who hates pulling over at rest stops because you know they don’t have a french press. Don’t spend too much time fretting over this identity crisis, Mrs. Van Etten is here to exhume your internalized melancholy and transpose it over your “sunny” disposition. I mean, after all, don’t you think it’s kind of weird that a big star in outer space has this much control over you?
I’ve spent the last few days listening to tracks from Tramp (When I haven’t been boogeying to ASAP Rocky, I be that pretty motherfucker…) and I think tonight’s concert will go swimmingly. The Neptune Theater is arguably the best venue in town that Van Etten could possibly be showcasing her talents. “Give Out” reminds me of what it’s like to see someone you love walk out of your life. It’s not the fact that something you and someone else had once cherished has suddenly been rendered obsolete. What hurts is that neither one of you can explain why (funny how love is like upgrading or buying a computer). ”Serpents” reminds me of Elliott Smith in terms of the simplicity of its chord structure. This could also prove to be a completely faulty statement because I’m not an Elliott Smith fan, (Hey, don’t look at me like that!) but I am a fan of this particular song. “Joke or a Lie” is the kind of song that makes you want to grab an instrument and stay at home on a Saturday night. How do I know? Because I listened to this song over and over last night in an attempt to keep myself from skipping out to the Moon Temple. Needless to say, I feel like crap this morning….
The concert starts at 8pm. Opening up the show is The War on Drugs. I can promise you the band is more enjoyable and efficient than our government policy. What I can’t promise you is that any members of Wye Oak, The National or Beirut will be accompanying Van Etten on-stage and helping her perform any of the material in which they appear on Tramp.
Who:Sharon Van EttenWhat: an alluring mix of bad-ass and broken
When: Monday September 5th at 6:45pm at the Fountain Lawn
Why: Sharon’s Responsible for writing my favorite songs of the past twoyears
Could I move any artist in America to Seattle, I’m pretty sure I’d settle on Sharon Van Etten. There’s a grittiness to her confessional songwriting despite the sweetness of her soft voice, which is mostly missing in Seattle’s vibrant singer-songwriter scene. There’s nothing cutesy about Van Etten’s confessions, they are unresolved wounds, they are problems that have no answers, at least no easy ones and yet listening to her records never feels like you paid for someone else’s therapy. Both her albums (Because I Fell In Love and Epic) are deeply personal, tales of an abusive relationship and the aftermath of leaving it, but it’s easy to feel yourself in her songs and stories.
While the barren orchestration (strumming, basic bass lines, minimalist drums) has little in common with them, Van Etten’s melodic melancholy reminds me most of Carissa’s Wierd. “Ugly but honest” and so incredibly beautiful. While on record it sounds as if Van Etten is breathlessly fragile, live she’s a bit of a bad ass. Perhaps that’s because through her songs and her insistence to sing them, Van Etten has found the happiness so lacking in her recent past. On stage, Van Etten is anything but broken, she seems as if she’s conquered the world, found confidence in her voice and herself, and like she’s having the time of her life, grateful to be singing her sad songs. And watching her sing them, you can’t help but feel the same, to feel happy for these sad songs.
And were I pressed to name my favorite song of all time, this would be a definite contender:
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.
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.
Drew Grow and the Pastors Wives ::: photo by Abbey Simmons
Sure, Music Fest Northwest (MFNW) starts just a day after Bumbershoot ends, right about the time I think “thank god music festival season is done until March.” But with a schedule like this, MFNW is totally worth extending the festival season and making the road-trip south to Portland. I’ve bolded some of the sets I’m most excited about, though I’m tempted to just bold the whole thing … MFNW has out done itself this year. See you in the front row and in line at Pine State Biscuits come September 7th?
Wednesday, September 7
9:00pm — 9:40pm – The Heligoats at Bunk Bar
10:00pm — 10:40pm – Kelly Blair Bauman at Bunk Bar
10:00pm — 11:15pm – The Kills Crystal Ballroom
11:00pm — 11:40pm – Sean Flinn & The Royal We at Bunk Bar
12:00am — 1:00am – Crooked Fingers at Bunk Bar
Thursday, September 8
6:00pm — 7:00pm – The Joy Formidable at Nike Sportswear Stage at Wonder Ballroom
7:30pm — 8:45pm – Brand New at Nike Sportswear Stage at Wonder Ballroom
8:00pm — 8:40pm – Monarques at Whole Foods Market Stage at the Aladdin Theater
8:00pm — 8:40pm – Breakfast Mountain at Branx
8:00pm — 8:40pm – Viva Voce at Crystal Ballroom
8:00pm — 8:40pm – Mnemonic Sounds at Hawthorne Theatre
9:00pm — 10:00pm – Dennis Coffey at Whole Foods Market Stage at the Aladdin Theater
9:00pm — 9:40pm – Suuns at Branx
9:00pm — 9:40pm – Greylag at Bunk Bar
9:00pm — 10:00pm – Sebadoh at Crystal Ballroom
9:00pm — 9:40pm – Nether Regions at Heineken Stage at Dante’s
9:00pm — 9:40pm – Brainstorm at Hyundai Stage at Doug Fir
9:00pm — 9:40pm – Dirty Mittens at Hawthorne Theatre
9:00pm — 9:40pm – Sun Angle at Holocene
9:00pm — 9:40pm – Ume at at Mississippi Studios
9:00pm — 9:40pm – Dirty Ghosts at Roseland Theater
10:00pm — 10:40pm – Talkdemonic at Branx
10:00pm — 10:40pm – Thousands at Bunk Bar
10:00pm — 10:40pm – Witch Mountain at Heineken Stage at Dante’s
10:00pm — 10:40pm – Purity Ring at Hyundai Stage at Doug Fir
10:00pm — 10:40pm – Unknown Mortal Orchestra at Hawthorne Theatre
10:00pm — 10:40pm – Blouse at Holocene
10:00pm — 10:40pm – The Needful Longings at Mississippi Studios
10:00pm — 10:40pm – Thrones at Roseland Theater
10:30pm — 11:30pm – Charles Bradley at Whole Foods Market Stage at the Aladdin Theater
10:30pm — 11:45pm – Archers Of Loaf at Crystal Ballroom
11:00pm — 12:00am – Handsome Furs at Branx
11:00pm — 11:40pm – Dolorean at Bunk Bar
11:00pm — 11:40pm – Black Cobra at Heineken Stage at Dante’s
11:00pm — 11:40pm – White Arrows at Hyundai Stage at Doug Fir
11:00pm — 12:00am – Little Dragon at Hawthorne Theatre
11:00pm — 11:40pm – Twin Sister at Holocene
11:00pm — 11:40pm – Richmond Fontaine at Mississippi Studios
11:00pm — 12:15am – Butthole Surfers at Roseland Theater
12:00am — 1:00am – Damien Jurado at Bunk Bar
12:00am — 1:00am – Kylesa at Heineken Stage at Dante’s
12:00am — 1:00am – Phantogram at Hyundai Stage at Doug Fir
12:00am — 1:00am – EMA at Holocene
12:00am — 1:00am – You Am I at Mississippi Studios
See Friday, Saturday and Sunday’s Schedule (more…)
Sleigh Bells at Sasquatch ::: photo by Josh Lovseth
It appears that we have collectively left our brains somewhere East of the mountains and while we’re awaiting their return from Ellensburg, we thought it was time we shared some daily photos from Sasquatch.
Wayne Coyne, Sharon Van Etten and Reggie Watts sing Happy Birthday at the Mainstage
Happy Birthday Sasquatch! We mean it. This weekend has been nothing but good vibes for us. Friday was Foo, Saturday was rewarding for so many reasons, and Sunday, well Sunday was just a parade of the unexpected. Still one day to go I’m not thinking about it too hard ahead of time. I’m just going to let it happen. I’m too worked at this point to do otherwise.
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.