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…)
I don’t usually start off summer longing for the end of it, but Starfucker and Beat Connection?! Together?!?! For a whole month?!?! News of this tour has me in apoplexy. Whoever booked this deserves a hundred gold stars.
Every day for the month of May Bumbershoot will be announcing an act for this year’s Festival. You can watch the line-up announcement trickle out live via Bumbershoot’s Twitter or Facebook or you can bookmark this post and check back daily. Here’s the eclectic line-up announcement by day so far.
I’ve never heard DCMF described as anything but an amazing experience, a weekend of performances, creativity, and collaboration in a place whose very name conjures visions of adventure. This year Dawson City has drawn in the talents of performers as diverse as Vancouver’s indie folk-rock geniuses Yukon Blonde and dance punks Shout Out Out Out Out, each of whom drive the crowd to musical ecstasy in their own way. Also included on the lineup are Amelia Curran, Rich Aucoin, and Shotgun Jimmie.
Naturally, Canada’s answer to SXSW has a more populist spin. NXNE is hosted in the country’s largest population center, and in addition to showcases and panels hosts free outdoor concerts by major artists right downtown.This year’s roster features everyone from Devo to the Dodos, including SotS favorites Shad, Land of Talk, Braids, P.S. I Love You, The Pack AD, and Dirty Beaches.
Wristbands are on sale now. Early bird pricing (through April 25) gets you a standard pass for $50 or priority access for $150.
A festival lover’s festival, Osheaga draws in the big names and this summer has added a third day to accommodate more of them. Headliners include Eminem, Elvis Costello, The Flaming Lips, Death Cab for Cutie, and Broken Social Scene. Unlike most big festivals, though, Osheaga takes place minutes from an urban setting, offering chances for hotel accommodation, extra-festival tourism, and late-night poutine in the city the dish calls home.
Three-day passes range from $217.50 – $369.50 and are available now.
Few festivals have more indie cred than one founded in part by former Eric’s Trip member and current solo songwriter Julie Doiron. Conceived in 2006 by Doiron and some friends as “a more feasible way to get all our friends together than a wedding,” the now-beloved Sappyfest will run for the sixth time this year. Though no lineup has been announced yet, there are reasons to feel optimistic: last year’s performers included Diamond Rings, P.S. I Love You, Cousins, Daniel, Fred & Julie, Hollerado, and Holy Fuck.
If you want to take the gamble, early bird passes are available now for $60.
Calgary’s Sled Island has booked a near-infinite lists of bands, including Dandy Warhols, Minus The Bear, Of Montreal, The Sword, Cursive, Thee Oh Sees, Justin Townes Earle, Wild Flag, Dum Dum Girls, Jeff The Brotherhood, and Starfucker. Do you like music? Then you will find something you like here.
Festival wristbands are on sale now for $179, or $349 for VIP access.
Prefer to visit Winnipeg when the temperatures are measured in positive numbers? You’re probably smarter than I. Spend a few days enjoying the weather just outside of town and taking in sets by Blind Pilot, Dan Mangan, Chuck Prophet, Jeff Tweedy, Imaginary Cities, and Tegan and Sara.
Tickets are on sale now; 5-day festival + camping passes are $229.
As most folk festivals aren’t just about folk, Winnipeg Jazz is not just about jazz. The festival’s Club Series hosts a varied line-up of independent artists like Blonde Redhead, Shad, and Quintron & Miss Pussycat, and the (free!) opening weekend offers Les Jupes, Royal Canoe, The Lytics, and The Appleseed Cast on an outdoor downtown stage.
Tickets are sold separately for Club Series and larger Theatre Series concerts, but one $75 pass allows access to all Club Series shows all week.
This festival has only announced a few names, but they’re doozies: Stars, Great Lake Swimmers, Plants and Animals, The Wooden Sky, and Jenn Grant.
$60 Early Bird weekend passes available May 20th.
May 20, Edmonton, Alberta
May 21, Calgary, Alberta
May 22, Vancouver, BC
Cultivated by music website Weird Canada, this traveling one-day festival features 19 underground Canadian bands (this [http://weirdcanada.com/2009/07/safe-language/] is not those [http://www.myspace.com/feralchildrenseattle] Feral Children) on two stages. SotS crush-band Dirty Beaches and paganesque fog-folk mystery man Wyrd Visions are on the bill along with Makeout Videotape, Red Mass, GOBBLE GOBBLE, The Famines, and a “Secret Surprise Guest” to be announced May 10.
Though our puritanical society institutionally seeks to purge enjoyment or humor from all of our lives, the Portland band formerly known as Starfucker, then some other stupid name, and now the compromise of STRFKR, presses on. Though they no longer list it on their myspace page, at one time the band listed their last date as the December 21, 2012, a day of apocalypse according to the Mayan calendar. For whatever reason I prefer to think of the now foursome as building the soundtrack you want to listen to prior to the world ending. That shit you see in Matrix 3 about everyone throbbing to humorless, humanless techno like that at the end of the world, well I don’t buy it. Maybe that’s the adult room, but what about the kids? If I were a kid I’d want something upbeat, fun, and easy to get lost in, something to distract me from impending doom. Frankly I’d much rather be robotting to STRFKR’s latest single “Julius:”
Starfucker Crowd Surfer ::: photo by Abbey Simmons
Leave it to the all-agers to turn upbeat dance tunes in to one of the crazier mosh pits I witnessed this year. I took this shot from the safety of the VERA Project balcony where I could look down on the crushed mass of teenagers who were violently careening like a pubescent riptide.
I imagine things will be a little more low-key this Wednesday when the band now known as Pyramiddd opens for Passion Pit at the Moore Theater. Hate on name change haters, but Pyramiddd’s opening slot for one of the biggest buzz bands of 2009 seems to show they made the smart choice.
From the very beginning, the date of Starfucker’s demise was published on their myspace page: 12/21/2012. Smarty pants people will recognize that as the date the Mayan Calendar ends. Thus they were always a temporary and ephemeral being, a band who’s main goal was simply to be best soundtrack a house party might find as long as people remained interested. They were aiming to be the opposite of a band that was gunning for stardom, the opposite of a band that they used to be, one that two of Starfucker’s members had moved to New York City to try and “make it” with a few years previous. I interviewed Starfucker nearly a year ago at their first show at the Vera Project, where Josh Hodges described their new philosophy this way:
… I was just really focused on being in the music scene and industry. Just thinking about all this shit. And shows were not fun. [The Sexton Blake material] was kind of boring depressing music to play live. I like that kind of music a lot, but live I don’t like to play it, or even sometimes to watch it unless is really special to me.
Why it’s named “starfucker” partly, is that. Ryan and I used to live together, and fuck around in the basement and make loops, and do rude noise stuff. That’s more kind of keeping me interested, it’s more fun. “Fuck thinking about any aspect of the music but the music.” That was how it started I think.
This notion “nothing but the fun” translated to their music and gradually, largely via word of mouth based on house shows and some strong local support, their reputation and songs spread. I certainly remember being handed the original Starfucker E.P. and thinking there were two instant hits with “German Love” and “Rawnald Gregory Erickson the Second.”
At the end of 2008 following their first L.P., this DIY dance band suddenly found their songs tapped for commercial use by the likes of IBM, and in more recent months Target has come knocking. The name also caused some consternation and confusion though. There is also a European Starfucker. In one instance they were under consideration to be an opening act for Animal Collective, but then apparently unasked due to concern’s over marketing the name. Losing a touring opportunity of that magnitude must have stung, and no doubt contributed to them now leaving the Starfucker moniker behind. Last Friday’s show was to be their final Seattle show as Starfucker. (A Halloween set in Portland will be the last show ever as Starfucker.)
In that first Vera show, almost a year ago, they played on the venue floor to a fairly reserved crowd of about forty or fifty, just enough to form a ring around the band. Following a sweaty crowded set this July at the Capitol Hill Block Party where the young crowd was unusually rowdy and challenging for the security team working the Vera Project sponsored stage, Starfucker was invited back to the venue for what was sure to be an exciting sell out event. Day of, it certainly proved to be that and more, though taking note of the difficult crowd situation that happened at Block Party might have been wise. The kids were no less excited this time around and during the first few songs, it’s a wonder nobody broke a bone or sprained an ankle. Those of us in the middle were live action weeble’s, helplessly tipping back and forth with the sway of the crowd. After a few songs of attempting to right myself against the irresistible riptide of people, I had to extract myself, which never happens. It was too much. (I’m not being modest. A mosh pit at my back doesn’t scare me anymore. Uncontrolled 16 year-olds on the other hand…)
Outside the melee at the back of the crowd the sound was great, and Starfucker’s mid-set cover of Cindy Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” may have received the biggest cheer of the night. I had my “old-man-at-an-all-ages-venue” moment, shaking my head thinking most of these kids have probably never even heard the original or know who Cindy Lauper is, but then promptly got lost in the delight of a cover well done. One that I was appreciating for being even more bubblegum than the original. Wrapping up with “German Love” and then “Dance Face 2000″ proved once again to be a winning combination, with singer Ryan Bjornstad taking a dive atop the tightly packed audience during German Love, while making a go at being a model dance face himself during the latter.
After a short encore, the merch table was mobbed for what was sure to be a landmark night for Starfucker sales. One could sense throughout the performance, in the smiles passed between members and the occasionally goggled-eyes surveying the crowd, that moments such as this are still what they live for. Yet moments such as this also confirm their growing appeal and that moving forward with a new name so they can reach even wider success is the right decision, however distasteful it may seem. In the year since their first Vera appearance, they’ve outgrown the venue and their name in a way that has topped anyone’s wildest expectations.
Strangely once the gentlemen of Starfucker had given up seeking popularity, it came seeking them. And the end of Starfucker came sooner than even the band themselves had mapped out tongue-in-cheek, as not an end at all, but a new beginning with their full potential still to be realized. Despite their name, they’ve become an example of how a band can survive and build momentum through clever licensing, recording a smart cover, and maintaining a fan focused position (largely all-ages). The name was itself a challenge to their former selves, yet going forward with it has proved too much of a challenge to a whole lot of other people, and so now the boys themselves are giving in. The irony of the entire situation is inescapable and might be humorous if it was piled so high.
In the draft for this post I had written as a last sentence, “Let us hope they can find a new name that continues to communicate their philosophy of making music (and by extension having fun) on their own terms.” Little did I know that today the new name would be revealed for all. After Halloween Starfucker is PYRAMID (caps are intended).
Oh wellz. I was probably too much to ask for them to come up with a new name as good as ‘Starfucker.’ Whatever the name though, their music is going to take them places.
Sigh. The cost of success and having your songs on commercials is that a band name with the word fuck featured prominently just doesn’t work. With that in mind, Portland’s electro-pop Starfucker are on the look out for a new name with the help of their fans.
Here’s what the band said today about their name change via a Myspace Blog:
Everyone knows our name sucks…so here is your chance to give us a new one.
The best thing about this new-name game is that we want YOU to help us come up with it.
There are two ways to vote for Starfucker’s new name.
*Vote in person at the merch table at any show on our upcoming tour
This will be our last tour as Starfucker!
Come out and help us usher in a whole new era of…..awesome-band-name-yet-..to-be-determined.
One vote per fan please.
And of course there are fabulous prizes! If your name is selected, you will get tons of cool shit!!!
Deadline for ideas is October 1st.
We don’t quite know how we feel about this, because we love the tongue and cheek nature of the name and think it decidedly doesn’t suck. What does suck, we’re sure, is your band’s name not being able to be said on the radio, all ages venues not booking you because of your name, loosing revenue and potential ads because of your name, and having parents not allow kids to attend your show or buy your album thanks to your name.
So put on your thinking caps Starfucker fans. This band deserves a great name, which conveys the same sense of fun and fuck you, without the fuck of course.
Nothing like writing out your schedule for a festival to get you excited. I’m certainly wishing I could fast forward through the rest of the work week and get right to Friday afternoon and the Capitol Hill Block Party. There’s so much to look forward to: from an audience chosen Built to Spill set to Jesus Lizard’s long anticipated return to the city that banned them to seeing a number of my favorite local bands take the big stages they so richly deserve.
Here’s what my Capitol Hill Block Party weekend is looking like. Hope to see you there!
Friday July 24th
4:30 – The Dutchess and The Duke (Main Stage)
6:30 – The Black Lips (Main Stage)
7:45 -Deerhunter (Main Stage)
equally tempting: Sleepy Eyes of Death (Neumo’s)
9:00 – Starfucker (VERA stage) – catching 15 minutes before running off to…
9:15 – Built to Spill (Main Stage)
10:30 – They Live (Neumo’s) — TIME CHANGED BACK
10:45 – Jesus Lizard (Main Stage)
The Wild Orchid Children::: photo by Abbey Simmons
Saturday July 25th
2:00 – Wild Orchid Children (Vera Stage)
equally tempting – Hey Marseilles (Main Stage)
2:30 – Pica Beats (Vera Stage)
3:15 – The Moondoggies (Main Stage)
4:45 – The New Faces (Vera Stage)
6:30 – The Maldives (Neumos)
7:15 – The Lonely Forest (Vera Stage)
7:30 – The Thermals (Main Stage)
10:30 – Sonic Youth
equally tempting: Sportin’ Life Showcase featuring Fatal Luciano, D. Black, & Spaceman (Neumo’s)
11: 00 The Japandroids (Vera Stage) – TIME CHANGE
You have to keep your Saturday Night going with one of two highly recommended after-parties:
Curious Mystery at The Comet
Mad Rad, Macklemore at Chop Suey