Tonight in Seattle:  

Sasquatch

Sasquatch 2014, Day 3

Sasquatch 2014 - Sunday

I have to admit, I kind of like the new Sasquatch schedule of Friday-Sunday instead of the old late Friday-Monday. It’s a little less tiring, and you still get the free travel day on Monday so you can stay out late at the party stages guilt free. With that said, onto the final day of Sasquatch 2014!

TacocaT
The biggest (pleasant) surprise for me this weekend was seeing Seattle four-piece Tacocat. Not that I wasn't’t aware of them before, but mostly that I hadn't’t experienced them and all their fun pop-punk glory until this afternoon. Joined onstage by a “bubble queen” who kept their bubbles flowing throughout the show via a side stage bubble machine, Tacocat kept things fun and lively on stage. Singer and tambourine extraordinaire Emily Nokes energetically danced and sang her way through songs about getting to second base and the frustrations of being horny while having a UTI. It was actually quit fun and liberating to watch 20+ guys excitedly dance along with the band to the super-catchy “Crimson Wave”, which you may have guessed by the title is about periods. As their set closed, they had the sound person put on the Miley Cyrus hit “Party in the U.S.A.." as they danced along while simultaneously putting their gear away. Drummer Lelah Maupin was having such a good time she had to be pulled off stage by her band members. Basically, Tacocat is just a ton of infectious fun and if you don’t enjoy their show then I don’t want you at my party.

La Luz
Seattle four-piece La Luz followed Tacocat on the small Yeti stage and let their surf-rock sunshine vibes chill the crowd. Towards the end of their set they split their audience down the middle and formed a walkway where they encouraged people to show off their best dance moves "Soul Train" style down the walkway. It worked for a little bit, then about half the crowd tried to join in and it turned back into a mosh of people again. Fans were having a good time regardless of how the short lived soul-train line worked out.

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Sasquatch 2014, Day 2

Sasquatch 2014 - Saturday

Saturday turned out to be the sunniest and hottest day of the weekend. It seemed that a good amount of the festival goers tended to skip the first few acts and the grounds didn't’t start to really fill up until 4:00 or 5:00. Most of us however knew there was good music to be heard, so we were there when the bands started to play. 

First Aid Kit
There seemed to be a good amount of anticipation built up for the Swedish sister duo, and from the hill overlooking the main stage, they provided the perfect soundtrack for some sunshine relaxation. They mixed in songs from their upcoming sophomore album Stay Gold with old and familiar favorites, and their harmonies sounded as lovely live as they do on record. Dressed in flowing sundresses, the sisters were joined on stage by a drummer and a slide guitar player. 

The Dodos
The Dodos played on the Bigfoot stage at the same time as First Aid Kit, but luckily I was still able to catch the last 20 minutes or so of their set. Front man and guitarist Meric Long moved back and forth between two microphones, with one mic providing more echo than the other. The crowd really reacted strongly to their 2008 hit “Fools” and with good reason. The upbeat percussion-fueled track is perfect for festival sing-a-longs.

Sol
Seattle hip-hop world traveler Sol followed The Dodos on the afternoon portion of the Bigfoot stage and drew quite a sizeable audience. Backed by a live band (which seems to be a refreshing pattern lately among hip-hop artists) Sol rocked the crowd with songs about drinking and smoking among other things. He even premiered a brand new song he wrote while on a recent months-long journey through India and the Far East.

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Sasquatch 2014, Day 1

This year's Sasquatch! Music Festival, taking place at the beautiful Gorge Amphitheater, was originally scheduled to be split between two separate weekends the second incarnation slated to take place over 4th of July). While that never ended up materializing, we were still left with a fantastic three days of music -- the weather stayed nice for most of Memorial Day weekend, with only a little bit of wind and a light drizzle momentarily interrupting what was, overall, an excellent festival. 

Here's a few of the bands I managed to catch over the first day (Friday):

Modern Kin: The Portland outfit kicked off Sasquatch 2014 with a 1:00pm set at the Yeti stage, and did a good job of getting the crowd warmed up. All three members of the band contribute vocally, and the live show is a communal effort of sorts. Modern Kin is essentially Drew Grow and the Pastor’s Wives cut down to three members, picking up where the Pastor’s Wives left off, channeling their live energy into catchy tunes; at times loosely reminiscent of The New Pornographers. The rhythm section was pretty on point as well.

The Physics: Over on the larger Bigfoot stage, the Seattle hip-hop trio got the crowd grooving, bringing in a lot of passers-by just making their way into the venue. The best crowd reaction was for maybe their best summer-time jam “Coronas on Madrona”, from their fantastic 2011 album Love is a Business. The young crowd -- still fresh and ready to start the weekend -- was more than willing to dance along with them.

Kithkin: This local quartet wasted no time getting down to business on the small and entirely local Narwhal Stage. The band jumped, kicked, thrashed and shouted their way through songs off of their recent debut LP. Some bands confuse energy with quality, but luckily, Kithkin are blessed with both. Lead singer and bassist Kelton Sears spent most of the set yelling so hard you could see the muscles and veins in his neck, and also spent a good amount of the show in the crowd, holding his bass over the heads of their raucous crowd and attempting to crowd surf on top of them. It's clear why they put mics in front of all four members of the band -- someone on stage would probably feel left out if they didn’t get to scream along.

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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:

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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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Sasquatch 2013: Your guide to navigating the side stages {Monday, May 27th}

We're giving you the day-by-day for this year's Sasquatch! music festival -- check out our recommendations for Friday here, Saturday here, Sunday here, and read on for Monday's picks!

Start Monday off with Nissim at 1:00 on the Cthulhu stage. Nissim is the moniker of Damian Black -- who you might know better by his former alias, D. Black, manager and member of Sporting Life Records and accomplished rapper and producer in his own right. Black gave all that up several years ago when he converted to Judaism, got married, and had a son. Recently however, he’s been lured back into making music, although this time around the music is more earnest and uplifting in nature. Follow his set up at the Bigfoot stage at 2:25 for Minneapolis rapper P.O.S., who’s part of the ever-talented Doomtree collective and part of Rhymesayers, the label that brought us Atmosphere and Brother Ali. P.O.S. comes off a little stronger than some rappers, as some sort of hybrid between punk and rap. He’s just as likely to rap over squealing guitar as he is to record scratches and a bass beat. These two back-to-back is sure to wake you up and set a tone for your last day at the Gorge!

Stick around the Bigfoot stage for Cody ChesnuTT’s set at 3:25. Last year saw the release of his second full-length album Landing On A Hundred, the first since his debut in 2002. Fans of southern soul, R&B, funk, and blues will find a lot to like in ChesnuTT’s music, and his live shows are energetic and oozing with passion. Up next is Dirty Projectors at 4:30, led by the dizzying guitar work of the band's founder and guitarist David Longstreth. The really captivating aspect of Dirty Projectors are the vocals of Haley Dekle and especially Amber Coffman, who at times hit some serious Mariah Carey-level high notes. Their 2012 album Swing Lo Magellan may have been their most gorgeous and explorative release to date.

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Sasquatch 2013: Your guide to navigating the side stages {Sunday, May 26th}

We're giving you the day-by-day for this year's Sasquatch! music festival -- check out our recommendations for Friday here, Saturday here, and read on for Sunday's picks!

Start Sunday off right with Seattle’s Deep Sea Diver, playing at 1:00 on the Bigfoot stage. Originally a solo project of guitarist Jessica Dobson, the band has evolved into a three piece that includes her husband Peter Mansen on drums. Dobson shreds on guitar; enough so that she’s spent time during the past year on tour as a guitarist for The Shins. Must see! Next up, at 2:00 on the Yeti stage, is Sean Nelson, who most will know as the former frontman for Harvey Danger. Nelson is set to release a solo album on June 4th titled Make Good Choices, featuring collaborations from Death Cab For Cutie’s Chris Walla and R.E.M.’s Peter Buck, and this will be a good chance to hear some of those new songs up-close-and-personal style.

At 3:05 on the Bigfoot stage is Diiv. The four-piece band is the project of Z. Cole Smith, former member of the band Beach Fossils. Smith has a strong admiration for Kurt Cobain, but the band has a sound that's distinctly different from his musical idol: elements of krautrock and early 90’s shoegaze dominate Diiv's vibe. For a changeup, Seattle rapper/producer/multi-instrumentalist O.C. Notes will be taking the Cthulhu stage at 4:15. The project is the moniker of Otis Calvin III, who can also be heard in the hip-hop duo Metal Chocolates. For Sasquatch, he’ll be joined live on stage by several talented Seattle area musicians, including Erik Blood on bass, Thomas Hunter (Wild Orchid Children) on guitar, Trent Moorman (Head Like A Kite) on drums, and Vox Mod on synths. Can't wait!!

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Sasquatch 2013: Your guide to navigating the side stages {Saturday, May 25th}

We're giving you the day-by-day for this year's Sasquatch! music festival -- check out our recommendations for Friday here, and read on for Saturday's picks!

Options abound at 1:00 to start off your Saturday: over at the Yeti stage is Seattle’s Rose Windows. The septet recently signed to Sub Pop Records, who will release their debut album The Sun Dogs on June 25th. On the Cthulhu stage, also at 1:00, you'll find Ra Scion. Most will know Ra Scion as the front man for Common Market, the hip-hop duo he formed with producer Sabzi. He’s currently teamed up with Tacoma producer Todd Sykes, and his rhymes are just as potent as ever. Stick around the Cthulhu stage -- which is all Puget Sound hip-hop, all four days, by the way -- for Tilson XOXO, the current project of the former Saturday Knights front man. He released a fabulous soul infused Jackson Five-inspired song last fall called “Nevereverland” that was featured on Give Seattle 2013, a benefit album for The Vera Project.

Back at the Yeti Stage after that is Indians, the solo project of Danish musician Søren Løkke Juul. He released his debut album Somewhere Else on 4AD this past January. His stripped down electronic sound brings to mind a mellow version of Panda Bear or Porcelain Raft (who also play Saturday, at 7:40 on the Yeti Stage).

Next, head over to the Bigfoot Stage at 4:10 for Michael Kiwanuka. The British singer does a great job of balancing his old soul influences of Marvin Gaye and Bill Withers with more modern R&B {think a gentler D’Angelo-type sound}. His song “Tell Me A Tale” sounds like it could have just as easily been recorded in 1972 as 2012:

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Sasquatch 2013: Your guide to navigating the side stages {Friday, May 24th}

Imaginaries! Sasquatch is right around the corner, and as always, this year’s festival has a little something for everybody. There’s the folky hand-clapping foot-stomping sounds of Mumford and Sons, the reunion of The Postal Service after a ten year hiatus (!), the inescapable hip-hop of hometown favorite Macklemore, and, what’s sure to be an unforgettably epic nighttime set from Sigur Ros. If you’re headed to Sasquatch, you’re likely pretty familiar with most of the big name mainstage acts. Thankfully, in-between all those great headlining sets, there are tons of great acts (many of them hailing from the great Pacific Northwest) to see off on those side stages. Hopefully this list will give you some ideas of who to see while you’re basking in the glory of all that is Sasquatch…

If you’re one of those ambitious types that will be there when the gates open Friday afternoon, you’ll be rewarded by a set from Erik Blood, playing on the Yeti stage at 4:00. Blood is an accomplished local producer, having manned the boards for local hip-hop acts Thee Satisfaction and Shabazz Palaces in recent years. He made lots of noise on his own with his 2009 debut The Way We Live, and followed it up with the equally fantastic Touch Screens in 2012. 

Following Blood on the Yeti Stage at 5:05 is local composer, producer, and orchestral musician Jherek Bischoff. His 2012 release Composed features contributions from the legendary David Byrne, and songs bring to mind some of the eastern European influenced sounds of DeVotchka and Beirut, as well as the orchestral-pop sounds of Hey Marseilles.

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