Tonight in Seattle:  

Photoessay: Pickathon 2012, part II

{Pickathon 2012 / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{This is part two of our Pickathon 2012 coverage. Be sure to pop over here to catch the first half, with photos of Thee Oh Sees, Langhorne Slim, The Mynabirds, Bowerbirds, and more!}

Our second full day at Pickathon kicked off just right on Sunday, as we strolled onto the grounds around high noon to hear none other than Gordon Gano himself, along with the Lost Bayou Ramblers, blasting out fiddle-mod-ed Femmes favorites like "Blister in the Sun" and "Add It Up" out into the sunshiney, dusty heat. The crowd, artists, and media folks alike stood grinning and thrilled, and few steps to the right, the set bled right into a breezy yet energy-filled performance by Portland's Y La Bamba. We're going to go out on a limb and say it was {damn near} one of the finest festival start-off mornings in recent memory.

{Gordon Gano / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

Y La Bamba:

{Y La Bamba / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{Y La Bamba / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

After a bass-heavy jam sesh from The War On Drugs, indie scene crossover favorites Shovels and Rope were up, and like the Gordon Gano set, it was much to everyone's delight. There's a hell of a lot of quality sound that comes out of these two when they take the stage, as they fuse good old-fashioned songwriting with smart melodies, a strong vocal sensibility, and an infectious energy. Seattleites likely caught their set pre-Pickathon at the KEXP Concerts at the Mural series last Friday, but if you didn't, they're playing just about every day between now and September 1st in different pockets across the country. Click here to see if any of it is happening near you!

{Shovels and Rope / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{Shovels and Rope / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{Shovels and Rope / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{Shovels and Rope / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

A little later in the day, new-to-us croon-and-swooners Lake Street Dive belted out a beautiful hour of songs, seemingly right from their very guts:

{Lake Street Dive / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{Lake Street Dive / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{Lake Street Dive / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{Lake Street Dive / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

As Sunday started to fade into the dusk, we took some time to explore the Pendarvis Farm grounds, meandering through campsites and trails until we found our way out to the Woods Stage -- as stated in our part I post: yes, it's literally out a trail that's in the middle of the woods -- where we caught part of a Barr Brothers set before making our way back to the mainstage area for Neko Case.

{Pickathon / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{Pickathon / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{Pickathon / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

The Barr Brothers, warming up for their set:

{Barr Brothers / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{Barr Brothers / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

And finally, the close of Sunday's mainstage for the fest settled down on us like a perfect, unfolding exhale, free from heat and sweat and dust clouds, as Neko Case took the spotlight {along with her band and the ever-lovable Rachel Flotard, who was making her first on-stage post-baby-having appearance}. The music poured off of the stage out into the summer nighttime, mixing with just a little bit of chatter and the beautifully lit stage overhangs, making us realize suddenly that the weekend was coming to an end right when we were figuring out that we were at the best summertime festival in the northwest, and maybe the best one anywhere, ever.

{Neko Case / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{Neko Case / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{Neko Case / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{Neko Case / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

Can't you just hear the end of "Teenage Feeling" twinkling out into the dark right now? Swoon!

{Neko Case / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{Neko Case / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{Neko Case / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{Neko Case / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{Neko Case / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

As we turned in our tokens one last time and picked up our commemorative Pickathon dishes to bring home, the Starlight Stage sprang to life, treating the we-took-Monday-off crowd to one last round of performances by the Mynabirds, Robert Ellis, and Midtown Dickens until well past the midnight hour. {Side note: seeing the Mynabirds live is one of our new favorite things!}

{Mynabirds / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{Mynabirds / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{Mynabirds / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

Now that we're a few days rested with the last of the dirt out from between our toes, we're already plotting our return to that beautiful, hot, sunny, sweaty, gorgeous mess of a time. And you can too! Keep an eye out over the year at Pickathon.com, get signed up on their mailing list, watch for the lineup releases, and dust your camping gear off next July.

We'll see you out on the farm in 2013!

{All photos by Victoria VanBruinisse. More from Sunday's shows at Pickathon in our imaginary flickr pool here.}

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