Tonight in Seattle:  

Northwest Bands

New Wimps video!

Happy Tuesday, imaginaries! Here's some early morning slap-in-the-face mod-punk jams from our pals in Wimps by way of their newest video, for "Hello Frustration." This track showcases everything we love about this band, best described by piggybacking on the heels of Chris Estey's most recent summer jams post about another A+ Wimps track, "Grump":

And here we end up back in the surf again, but it's the nasty end-of-night surf, after a day thrift shopping with B-52s, screaming along with X-Ray Spex in the trashed Cadillac you stole with your pals to cruise out to the beach, running into Geza X on some sound-waves. Cranky on crank and cranked up really high all at the same cesspool-swimming time, past cheeseburgers and bad routines and festering habits and the oozing complaint file ("it's all downhill from here"). Thank damaged goods for crunchy two-note riffs piled into a foot-stomping chorus: "You may be sick of me but don't be such a grump!" As Kierkegaard said about repetitions, this way brain-shattered bliss lies if that's your nitrous gas-bag.

On the odd chance you're not hooked on Wimps already, here's another glimpse of what got us on the junk in the first place back in March:

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Highlights from Pickathon 2013

It was another incredible year out on Pendarvis Farm for this year's installment of Pickathon. Having had our inaugural visit last year, blistering temperatures and all, we knew that this year's trip would be nothing short of fantastic! With a great lineup (and cooler forecast) on the horizon, we went into the weekend with high expectations, and every single one of them was met. Here's a few highlights that made the weekend downright magical:

{Andrew Bird / by Victoria VanBruinisse}
Andrew Bird with Tift Merritt & Band

Hiking out to a stage built out of (mostly) branches in the middle of the woods to see Andrew Bird do an offbeat, slightly bluegrass-tinged set on opening night was without a doubt order of business number one for us this year. Greeted upon arrival to the catchy beats and gritty guitar hooks of Sallie Ford and The Sound Outside wafting out into the parking lot, we wandered onto the grounds and took in most of their mainstage set, immediately following it with that hike to the Woods Stage -- where we found throngs of people amassed around progressive African electro-pop band Vieux Farke, who delivered an unexpectedly blistering, make-the-whole-audience dance performance. And suddenly, a mere two hours into this year's whirlwind Farm Experience, it was already time for Andrew Bird.

{Sallie Ford and The Sound Outside / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{Sallie Ford and The Sound Outside / by Victoria VanBruinisse}
Sallie Ford and The Sound Outside

{Andrew Bird / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{Andrew Bird / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{Andrew Bird / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{Andrew Bird / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{Andrew Bird / by Victoria VanBruinisse}
Andrew Bird with Tift Merritt & Band

In a fit of total perfection, Andrew Bird proceeded to enrapture us with an easy-breezy Bowl Of Fire vibe that we hadn't experienced in-person before, and it was downright incredible. Living up to every ounce of expecatation we'd collectively put on him, Bird played the bulk of his hour-long set with Tift Merritt and members of her band huddled around a single mic, crooning out into the darkness to an attentive mass of festivalgoers:

And that was just the first night!

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Celebrate 15 years of Barsuk! {UPDATED!}

{Barsuk Is The Best}

UPDATE:

The lineup has been announced, and it's a doozy! The Long Winters performing When I Pretend to Fall, Nada Surf performing Let Go, Jesse Sykes and The Sweet Hereafter, Menomena -- plus tons of other bands and special guests! The links below have all been updated, and non-VIP wristbands are available to get you in to all four shows for a mere sixty dollars. They're on sale now, so get to clicking!

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It's a red-letter day, you guys!!

Last weekBack in June, our friends at Barsuk announced their fifteen year anniversary celebration. After we all get our faces melted off listening to Death Cab for Cutie run Transatlanticism start-to-finish at Bumbershoot, we'll have a mere sixty days until a weekend of incredible shows: from Thursday, November 7th through Sunday, November 10th, Barsuk will be showcasing present and alumni artists at lineups across town; specifically, at the Showbox, the Neptune, the Tractor, and Neumos / Barboza. Holy shit!

Before you start building your fantasy shows off of the roster {like, Ben Gibbard doing a set of All-Time Quarterback songs to open up for John Vanderslice opening up for Nada Surf at the Tractor, maybe?}, get this: today at noon, Barsuk is selling fifty pre-sale wristbands that get you into all four shows, with Uber transportation to and from each one and a complete set of limited edition numbered and signed screenprints {by Jason Munn}. The wristbands are $175.00, which works out to about $43.00 per show for the bands and a ride and a poster. That's not new math or anything, it's just a really fucking good deal. In fact, it saves you money! And PS, all of the net proceeds -- all of them, from these wristbands and all of the single show tickets -- are going to benefit Gilda's Club Seattle.

So: set your timer for 11:55a PST, bust out that credit card, and head on over to the ticketing page to get ready -- these wristbands are going to sell out in a hot minute. As the lineups are announced and single-show tickets go on sale later this month, we'll be sure to post all the details, so check back often for news!

Block Party alternative: Timber! {July 26 & 27}

If you're itching to get out of town this weekend, consider this: Timber! is a brand-new outdoor music festival taking place this year in good ol' Carnation, WA, this Friday and Saturday {July 26th - 27th}. Set in the serene backdrop of Tolt-Macdonald Park, and brought to you by the same people that organize Doe Bay each year -- Artist Home Presents -- Timber! has quite the respectable lineup for a first-year fest, providing a great alternative to the hustle and bustle that our friends at the Capitol Hill Block Party bring to the Hill each summer.

Tickets are still available {$45.00 for the weekend, with various camping options}, and are well-priced considering you'll be spending two days with the likes of imaginary favorites Fruit Bats, Quasi, Lemolo, Zoe Muth, Jenn Ghetto, Pablo Trucker, and about a dozen other local all-stars.

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A new Exohxo EP... and a nifty online mixer

Exohxo ROCK! Try the online mixer

One of our favorite Seattle bands is in the throes of releasing their new EP, Stories and Fictions. The 7 songs (plus one demo) are cheerful and comforting, sweetened with pop and an "Untitled Song About Cats." They aren't intimidated by much. They lay orchestra strings along side punk punches to craft songs that are both distinguished and addictive.

The EP will hit store shelves on July 30, but you can listen to it (on repeat) on the Exohxo website right now. "Sunshine All Around" is my favorite. It's a great summer anthem. "Crushed Ice," which kicks off the EP, solidifies their orchestral pop tag with flowing waves of symphonic bliss.

Needless to say, we are counting down to their album release show at the Columbia City Theater on August 1, 2013 with Cloud Person and Gibraltar.

And now, they are letting you try your hand at mixing their songs. The smarties in the Exohxo camp have put together an online mixer for folks to create their own custom remixes of the aforementioned cats song. It's like all the fun of the EMP Sound Lab without the long lines at the remix board. Want to cut out those pesky keys and drums? You can! Or make it high on the strings and box tip! You can morph it however you want!

Go try it out

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Recommended show: Jon Auer at the Volterra Drawing Room {Fri 7/26} - limited tickets left!

Jon Auer at the Volterra Drawing RoomHELLO POSIES FANS! I know you're out there. And I know you'll be excited to know (if you don't already) that Jon Auer will be back in Seattle performing a one night only show in Ballard at The Volterra Drawing Room next Friday, 7/26

For $23 (OH HO HO) you can get GA tickets, and for $100, you can get early VIP access to meet & greet Jon, partake of hosted wine and light appetizers, AND GET reserved seating! Plus, Mr. Auer will play one song of your choice during his set. There will also be a cash bar for the cocktail lovers. 

Volterra's lovely owner, Michelle Q.,  just let me know that there are only 15 tickets left for this amazing event! And amazing, it is. I was there last time, and the setting is intimate and cozy and so much fun. Jon is a fantastic performer, and is always interacting with the crowd and playing fan favorites. It's a perfect way to spend your evening, and I highly recommend you buy tickets ASAP.

{One Night Only: An Intimate Evening with Jon Auer | Volterra Drawing Room | Friday, 7/26 | 7:30pm Doors (VIP will be let in at 7pm), 8pm Showtime} 

Latest comment by: Ruth Carter: "It's a perfect way to spend your evening, and I highly recommend you buy tickets as soon as possible, enjoy it ! Gambling can't be superior on this wager site and also the fast installing australian gambling application could have you playing on-line ...

Don't miss: Lemolo + The Kaleidoscope Dance {Tacoma, 7/6}

{Lemolo at Columbia City Theater / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

Listen up, friends to the south! Our lovely pals Meagan Grandall and Kendra Cox (who you know better as Lemolo) are putting on a very special show this coming Saturday {7/6} in Tacoma: they'll be playing their debut album The Kaleidoscope from start to finish, with a dance troupe performing in sync for the entire show. Even if you're not in Tacoma, you should plan to go to Tacoma, because this will absolutely be worth the trip.

Okay, don't be scared. I know it sounds like the music of Lemolo being put to interpretive dance, because it is. But it's more than that! It's a big-dream collaborative idea that was hatched by some dancers in attendance at last year's album release show at Columbia City Theater -- and after a year of scheming and rehearsing, The BareFoot Collective and the MLK Ballet have turned that dream into a reality. Lemolo's soundscapey gorgeousness coupled with some of the most talented performance artists in Washington state? Yes please. I mean, seriously, these tracks are practically begging for performance art accompaniment:

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Tune in: new videos from Pickwick, Sean Nelson

About a month or so ago, an email came in to the imaginary inbox with a link to Pickwick's latest video effort, an outstanding feat of mini-moviemaking for one of the best tracks on Can't Talk Medicine, "Lady Luck". (In the event you missed earlier praise, it's a Richard Swift cover featuring Sharon Van Etten that slays with sultry, buttery vocals; more here.) The band has a habit of working with killer directors, so it's no surprise that the visual presentation of the song is seamless: the framing is gorgeous, the cues are on point, and the whole thing is just teeming with that rare blend understated powerfulness. And really, did anyone expect that a bunch of straight beardy dudes would do such an excellent job portraying a day in the life of a crossdresser? Welp, not only did these dudes do it, they did it really, really well.

It's an incredibly concise, fly-on-the-wall visual of our friend's process: out with old, in with the new; with subtle cues from the lyrics (I look around and I don't feel like myself ; it's just the beginning, though the end is near) layered in with first-take bad-assery to really knock the finished product out of the park. It's daring and brilliant, and executed near-perfectly. Bravah, Heathers! {buy the album / get tour dates}

The other homerun that hit our queue at about the same time as the Pickwick video was the title single off of Sean Nelson's upcoming release, Make Good Choices. It's an incredibly catchy rendering of a specific relationship lifecycle, a timeline of pain and clarity stitched together with some of the most concise post-'Fuck off, ex!' storytelling ever.

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The 2013 Sasquatch diaries, pt. II

at The Gorge

{This year, John in Ballard brings us all the bands that caught his attention at The Gorge during Sasquatch! 2013. Read part one of his weekend-in-review here!}

Seattle’s Deep Sea Diver kicked off Sunday with a fun, captivating early afternoon set. They premiered some new music that was well received, and even did a really great cover of Mariah Carey’s “Fantasy”, complete with front woman Jessica Dobson shredding some guitar solos during the choruses. The rest of Sunday’s Sasquatch lineup was loaded from top to bottom with great hip-hop, most notably one of the bigger names, Detroit rapper Danny Brown, who had a pretty energetic crowd gathered at the main stage for his set. Brown can be a polarizing figure: his voice is an acquired taste, and his drunk and drugged out persona isn’t for everyone -- but man, is he fun to watch! The Sasquatch crowd ate it up and was happy to dance and rap along with him. Brown ran all over the stage and often down among the fans, where he did a lot of call and response with his energetic audience. Another standout, O.C. Notes, closed out the Seattle hip-hop stage on Sunday with a nice set of genre-blending sounds. With the Golden Gods (Trent Moorman on drums, Erik Blood on Bass, Thomas Hunter on guitar) backing him up, Otis Calvin & Co. banged out tunes that at times sounded like hip-hop mixed with some jam band and funk -- Calvin’s vocals were often put through an echo delay, and on occasion sung through a bullhorn. 

Swedish band Shout Out Louds played a really poppy set that was easy to enjoy, even for passerby who don’t know their music all that well. They had great energy and their sound is almost tailor-made for the festival set. They ended with their 2007 song “Tonight I Have to Leave It”, which I hadn’t realized until this point sounds like it could have easily fit into the Cure’s late 80’s early 90’s catalog right between “In Between Days” and “Friday I’m In Love”.

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The 2013 Sasquatch diaries, pt. I

at The Gorge

{Sasquatch 2013 / by John Gleason}

Sasquatch 2013 got off to a good start with young Seattle rapper Shelton Harris. Harris was a late addition to the lineup, and he took full advantage of his opportunity. Rhyming over indie music samples from the likes of Matt & Kim and Youth Lagoon, Harris’ rhymes recalled the upbeat ‘believe in yourself, you can do anything’ type of rap that Macklemore can be known for -- fitting since Harris is actually an actor featured in Macklemore’s “Same Love” video. His young crowd multiplied as the set went on, surely bringing him plenty of new fans this weekend.

After Harris' set, Seattle guitar slayer Reignwolf kept things captivating down on the main stage with some interesting mid-day theatrics. Towards the end of his set, he walked down into the crowd, still playing his guitar. While down among the crowd, the Easy Street Records van pulled into the crowd next to him. He then climbed on the roof of the van, which had a mic and a kick drum waiting for him, and proceeded to rock in the middle of the crowd, as his new mobile stage drove him off at the end of his set. Killer! Then, Father John Misty (Josh Tillman) entertained as much with his humorous stage banter as he did with his musical endeavors. A fan yelling to Tillman “I love your beard!” led to several minutes of dialogue about how you don’t want to fall in love with his beard; long story short: it will cheat on you. His persona on stage brings to mind a Jim Morrison impersonator at a karaoke bar as he’s about to get cut off. His performance was absolutely a highlight of the day.

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