Tonight in Seattle:  

Recommended shows

Slowdive Returns Next Week with Special Guest Low

Slowdive, courtesy of Slowdive's Facebook Page

{Photo courtesy of Slowdive's Facebook page}

It has been twenty-one years since Slowdive last performed in Seattle in August of 1993, where they were supporting that year's magnificent opus Souvlaki. Within a few years, Slowdive would no longer exist. In early 1995, the band released the equally compelling and experimental Pygmalion before being dropped almost immediately by Creation Records, a move that officially lowered the curtain on the group.

However, in the nineteen years that have passed, the members have remained impressively active. Neil Halstead and Rachel Goswell immediately moved on and started the much more organic and primarily acoustic Mojave 3, who released their first album, Ask Me Tomorrow, in 1995, and have been active ever since. Halstead and Goswell have also released solo records and been involved in various side projects over the years. Last year’s Stars Are Our Home by Halstead’s group Black Hearted Brother was the first chance to hear him perform psychedelic electric music since 1995.

more...

Finally, a BellaMaine full-length

We got pretty excited about BellaMaine’s debut EP, Anxious Mind, last year. Five songs of their sweet-tart pop was a good start, but this week’s release of their self-titled album, Bellamaine, doesn’t come a moment too soon.

more...

Noise for the Needy 2014: the last goodbye

If you haven’t heard the news already, we hate to be the ones to break it to you. But here it goes – Noise for the Needy is ending. Not for the month or this year, like FOREVER. This Friday and Saturday will be the 10th and final installment of this epically generous and wonderful charity music fest that has continuously chosen to feature local music across all genres. 10 years, 350 artists, $125,000 raised, 20 + beneficiaries. Forget baseball, those are some impressive stats.

NFTN is going balls-out into retirement, giving Seattle one of their best lineups as a goodbye present. And Ballard is lucky enough to play host this go 'round with shows spread around several venues, including the Tractor and Conor Byrne. I’m overwhelmed just thinking about the list of talent participating in NFTN 2014, so I’m gonna simplify and focus on some of my favorites:

The Helio Sequence makes reliable, nice, pretty music. That is not a bad thing. Their 2012 album, Negotiations, is a go-to for a variety of clutch situations – first date, housewarming dinner party, or Sunday afternoon parent brunch. I, for one, appreciate consistency of form and the comfort of delicate alt-pop surrounding me like a warm hug. Big and glittery and stuffed full with soaring choruses, their songs have more mesmerizing appeal than Sharknado.

more...

Recommended shows TONIGHT and TOMORROW: the premiere of NEW Ken Stringfellow music with FM Collective!

FM Collective

Did I tell you guys about how this has been the best summer EVER? And the fall is looking pretty boss too. There are several reasons that my summer has been so rockin', but a lot of it has been the music -- in large part due to my beloved Posies returning to the PNW and giving me a ton of oppotunuties to see them play live {in various incarnations}. 

And so, my imaginary friends, it is with great pleasure that I gift you the first listen to this lush new tune from Mr. Ken Stringfellow in collaboration with FM Collective, "The One That Matters." This is the kind of song that sighs are meant for. I'm probably being a little dramatic -- but I swear to you, this track is simply beautiful.

more...

Timber! Outdoor Music Festival is happening this weekend!

{Timber! Outdoor Music Festival poster}

Looking to get out of town this weekend and check out some great music while you’re at it? We’ve got just the festival to suit your needs. The same lovely folks from Artist Home who brought us Doe Bay Fest and Slackfest (among other events) introduced The Timber! Outdoor Music Festival last summer and have come back this year with an equally exciting lineup of fantastic established and emerging artists. Headlining this year’s festival are local singer songwriters Rocky Votolato and Damien Jurado, indie guitar legend and founding member of Dinosaur Jr. J Mascis, and one of soul music’s best live performers, the impossible-not-to-love Charles Bradley.

The festival covers three days, starting this Thursday, July 24th and going through Saturday, July 26th. It all goes down over on the east side at Tolt-McDonald Park in Carnation. It’s far enough to still be out of the city, but close enough that you don’t have to fill up your gas tank just to get there.

The lineup features tons of great local talent, from recently emerging acts like The Comettes, to other indie favorites that are gaining a lot of traction in the local scene like Hounds of the Wild Hunt, Cumulus, and Smokey Brights. There are also some great acts making their way up from Portland, like The Shivas and the softer, folk-based Horse Feathers, who should sound just about perfect in the outdoor, intimate setting. Fans of hip-hop won’t feel left out either; the self professed “king of Ballard” Grynch will be there, as will one of Seattle’s finest hip hop groups The Physics. The Seattle Rock Orchestra is even going to be performing the legendary Beach Boys album Pet Sounds, and you know that’s going to sound amazing. Did I mention that kids under 12 get in free, because they do.

more...

KEXP is having a party, and you're invited! {TODAY at 6pm}

{KEXP // on air}

You read that right!

Our beloved KEXP is holding a pre-housewarming party at their new home -- Seattle Center! -- today, starting at 6pm. And you, you, and you (yep, you too! yay!) are all invited to come down and celebrate. The party is tonight from 6pm - 8pm, features music by The Cave Singers, and is free free free!

Here's a little more official word on the event:

This is the first public event at the site of KEXP’s New Home in the Northwest Rooms of Seattle Center, and the culmination of an on-air celebration of the musical history of Seattle Center. The rally kicks off KEXP’s “All In” music match, an opportunity for music lovers to double their New Home donations. From July 10 through Tuesday, August 5, all gifts to help build KEXP’s new facility will be matched with funds contributed by a pool of artists including Pearl Jam, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, and Dave Matthews.  

In its new facility, KEXP will offer public access to in-studio performances, educational opportunities for all ages, world-class tools to connect worldwide audiences to more “music that matters,” and improved hospitality for touring bands, so they sound, feel, and smell their best when performing for the KEXP community. In order to build its New Home, KEXP has launched Breaking New Ground Together: The Campaign to Build KEXP’s New Home, a $15 million capital campaign. The “All In” music match enables KEXP music lovers worldwide a way to maximize their support for the New Home and the benefits KEXP brings to music fans, artists, and the city of Seattle.

more...

A very imaginary 2014 Sasquatch! schedule

{Damien Jurado + Band / by Victoria VanBruinisse

Another year, and another weekend at the Gorge is upon us! That's right -- this weekend brings with it our favorite northwest festival season opener, Sasquatch!. Running this year from Friday through Sunday (and thus avoiding the whole, "I really should have taken Tuesday off from work!" mess), the 2014 lineup is no slouch, with a little something each day for everyone. So, without further ado, here are our cream-of-the-crop picks for each day of the fest:

Friday, May 23rd

The day starts off with a bang from the barrier in front of the Yeti Stage, where you can catch Old 97s frontman Rhett Miller noodle through classic favorites and hopefully a spin through the new record the band is touring behind. (KEXP has been spinning "Most Messed Up," the title track from the most recent Old 97s album, and We. Are. Loving. It.) After a dip by the mainstage and a few comedy acts, the night runs back-to-back with killer sets from Phosphorescent, Foals, Phantogram, and Damien Jurado -- and that's just the tip of the iceberg!

Check out the day's schedule here, and our recommended stops below:

1:00pm // Yeti Stage: Modern Kin
2:00pm // Yeti Stage: Rhett Miller
3:10pm // Sasquatch Stage: De La Soul
4:45pm // El Chupacabra Stage: Eugene Mirman
6:00pm // El Chupacabra Stage: Princess feat. Maya Rudolph
6:35pm // Bigfoot Stage: Phosphorescent
7:15pm // Sasquatch Stage: Foals
8:00pm // Bigfoot Stage: Phantogram
9:15pm // Yeti Stage: Damien Jurado
10:40pm // Sasquatch Stage: Outkast

Saturday, May 24th

Day two out at the Gorge gets rolling with one of our favorite east-coast-turned-Seattle bands, Pela We are Augustines Augustines down on the mainstage. They'll bleed nicely into vibes from First Aid Kit to warm up the afternoon, followed by what we're sure will be the sleeper hit of the weekend, Jonathan Wilson (who is up the hill on the Yeti Stage at 4:10pm). Wilson's "Can We Really Party Today" has been a mixtape staple since Fanfare's release last year, and we can't wait to get a taste of what depths he can go to live! We'll be spending most of the rest of the night on the genre-rollercoaster down on the mainstage, with sets from Violent Femmes, Neko Case, and the National, among others.

Saturday's full schedule is here, and our can't-miss sets of the day are as follows:

more...

First bands announced for Capitol Hill Block Party {July 25-26-27}

{Capitol Hill Block Party}

The festival announcements just keep on comin'!

As you may have already heard this morning on KEXP, the first bands for this year's Capitol Hill Block Party are live, and they're looking like a good start to a killer party -- we'll be spending a long weekend in July with the likes of A$AP Rocky, Spoon, Chromeo, Matt and Kim, The War on Drugs, Odesza, Sol, Beat Connection, Star Slinger, Budos Band, Tanlines, XXYYXX, Angel Olsen, Poolside, Cymbals, Shy Girls and many, many more still to be announced.

We can't wait to hear what local bands will be taking up the rest of the slots, and who KEXP will have live from the Bean Room -- as we get more information, we'll be sure to share it with you! In the meantime, keep an eye out on the official Block Party website for updates. Three-day passes are on sale today at the lowest price ($99.00), the full lineup will be out on the 29th, with schedules and single-day tickets available on June 3rd.

Don't miss: Temples at Neumos {tonight!}

We'll keep this short and sweet: if you know what's good for you, Seattle, you'll get your butt down to Neumos tonight to see Temples. Simply stated, they're mostly modern post-psych, with the slightest hint of fringe-math sensibility -- maybe a few jazz theory classes, perhaps? -- and we mean that as a compliment. RIYL: the most recent Tame Impala record; bands that are tight as shit.

That Kinks cover is killer and all, but really, they'll sound more like this:

Right? Seriously.

Bring your earplugs and get there early!

{8pm / $15 adv / 21+. Drowners open.}

An evening with Eef Barzelay {Friday, May 9th}

{Eef Barzelay}Mark your calendars, sweet imaginary friends, because this is a good one: your pal and ours, the one and only Eef Barzelay {of Clem Snide fame} will be making a stop in Seattle on Friday, May 9th, and you're all invited to the show. Well, not all of you, technically, since it's a house show -- there's only going to be room for a mere forty of us to experience this intimate night together.

Okay, let's rephrase: everyone is invited and everyone is welcome, and we're going to fit as many of our bodies as we can into that house next month. (And that happens to be approximately forty of us.) Everyone who buys a ticket to the show will be entered to win a custom cover song from Eef -- PS, those typically go for $100.00 -- on top of having a gorgeously intimate night floor-side.

In case you're not up to speed on what Eef's been doing lately -- everyone's got their favorite solo-Eef and Clem Snide songs embedded into those go-to mixes, us included -- take a listen to his releases from this past February 14th. Always the master of covers, Eef's done it again with a set of classics and one new (NSFW) track.

This one's clear for streaming wherever you please, though:

Pick up your pass here, and we'll see you at the show next month!

{Photo courtesy of the artist.}