Tonight in Seattle:  

Fruit Bats

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.


Bumbershoot 2012 wrap-up: A fine way to spend my Sunday

Katie Kate at Bumbershoot 2012This is where I do that old person thing and tell all you kids about how I used to go to Bumbershoot every year on my birthday and wander around all four days, and discover bands, and nerd out and love, love, love it. You know, back when it was free, and then like, $5 a day, or $15 for the whole weekend.

And then it just got to be too much—standing shoulder-to-shoulder with strangers, crushing through crowds trying to make my way between stages, the damn stupid “we must empty out the entire Key Arena” rule between shows, so you couldn’t even camp out for two bands in a row. Gawd. Waiting in line for 2 hours to get into Memorial Stadium somehow became less fun too…and my tolerance for bullshit declined sharply after I edged over 35.

But! After not going for many years, I have braved it again for the last three, and honestly it’s growing on me again. Even though they cut it down to 3 days instead of 4, the festival seems mellower overall. Sure there are still a lot of people, but it’s not so many that I can’t deal with it, more or less. And it made me remember what I love about Bumbershoot the most: a combination of seeing old favorites play, and wandering around and a listening to bands that I might not have heard of, or have been intrigued by. And there’s so much other stuff besides the music to love too.

And so, Sunday at Bumbershoot was pretty much the best Bumbershoot day ever, because of the following things:

1:30pm: Katie Kate kicks the newly installed stage at The Promenade’s ass. Like, all the way across the entire Seattle Center. This woman knows how to work a crowd, and work it she did—there were more people dancing to Katie than I’ve ever seen in Seattle. The guy in front of me was popping and locking so much I thought he might implode. At the height of my enjoyment, she threw out a “Read My Motherfucking Tote Bag” …tote bag, and my boyfriend caught it. HAPPY EARLY BIRTHDAY TO ME. And then she nearly killed me by covering Kate Bush “Running Up That Hill.” What. I love her. So so so much.


Some of our must-sees for Bumbershoot 2012 {Sept. 1-3}

{Pickwick at KEXP's Bumbershoot Music Lounge / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

There's plenty to dig into at this year's Bumbershoot Music Festival outside of the big-draw acts (Gotye, anyone?) that make the daily ticket price well worth every hard-earned dollar you're going to spend. There's an impressive comedy lineup, KEXP's always-awesome "secret" Music Lounge, endless vendors, and the sunny goodness of the Seattle Center grounds -- and it all awaits us as another Labor Day weekend looms around the corner. You can head on over to the official Bumbershoot site to go over the schedule and fine-tune a personal lineup, of course -- but here's a few of our hot picks anyway, just in case you find yourself with a case of multi-stage overwhemsion.


Bumbershoot kicks off strong this year with some feel-good bands breaking us in on our first day, like JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound (fingers crossed-times-infinity that they do their killer cover of "I Am Trying To Break Your Heart"), Sera Cahoone, and the Barr Brothers, still fresh in our mind from their performance at Pickathon. THEESatisfaction is sure to electro-groove our very souls before we get a good shredding from the Heartless Bastards, and later on we'll gladly close out day one with a bit of Jane's Addiction and M. Ward:

2:30p, Fisher Green Stage: JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound
3:30p, Sub Pop Stage (Fountain Lawn): Sera Cahoone
4:30p, The Promenade: Barr Brothers
5:15p, Sub Pop Stage: THEESatisfaction
5:45p, Starbucks Stage (Mural): Heartless Bastards
9:00p, The Promenade: Damien Jurado
9:30p, Mainstage (Key Arena): Jane's Addiction
9:45p, Fisher Green Stage: M. Ward

There's tons to do in that gap during the dinner hour, including the Stranger's Guide to America, grabbing actual dinner, checking out Flatstock, and seeking out one of a bazillion killer comedy acts before picking back up the tunes.


Chugging along into day two, we'll gladly get take our wakeup call from Eighteen Individual Eyes (and a side of the-good-kind-of-bite from Katie Kate) before we ease into a mainstage set at Key Arena from Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings (hell yes!!). There's a run of favorites and Sub Pop all-stars through the afternoon, with blissy sets from the Young Evils, the Fruit Bats, and Mudhoney; and another day'll easily get knocked out of the park with a closing set from Wanda Jackson and those Dusty 45s:


Saturday's recommended {benefit} show: SubPopFest with Mudhoney, Fruit Bats, Shabazz Palaces, and more {12/4}

mudhoney @ kexp parking lot 7.23.08

It's far from hyperbolic to say that *the* place to be this Saturday is the Showbox. SubPop has put together an amazing line-up for an even more amazing cause:  to celebrate the life of Andy Kotowitz {beloved member of the music community and SubPopper} and, more importantly, raise money for the Andy Kotowitz Family Foundation, which supports Andy’s wife, Jocelyn, and young daughter Anna.

The benefit show is this Saturday (December 4th) at The Showbox (Market) and will feature performances by some of the bands Andy was the A&R representative for, including: A-Frames/AFCGT, Fruit Bats, Mudhoney, Michael Yonkers, Pissed Jeans, Shabazz Palaces, Vetiver, and Wolf Eyes. This is an all-ages event, with doors at 7pm. Tickets are $20.


Tickets go on sale for SubPop fest for the Andy Kotowitz Family Foundation {noon today, 11/12}


The music community is still reeling from the passing of Andy Kotowitz, a beloved member of the music community.  It's wonderful to hear that his SubPop family has put together an amazing show to celebrate him and raise money for the Andy Kotowitz Family Foundation, which supports Andy’s wife, Jocelyn, and young daughter Anna.

The benefit show will be December 4th at The Showbox (Market) and will feature performances by some of the bands Andy was the A&R representative for, including: A-Frames/AFCGT, Fruit Bats, Mudhoney, Michael Yonkers, Pissed Jeans, Shabazz Palaces, Vetiver, and Wolf Eyes.  This is an all-ages event, with doors at 7pm.

A line-up like that should not be missed and it will surely sell out quickly. Tickets are $20 and go on sale at noon today {11/12/10} via Ticketmaster.


Weekend recap - Sasquatch! Festival 2010

at Gorge Amphitheater

Pavement (Courtesy: Victoria Vanbruinisse for City Arts Magazine)

Every Memorial Day Weekend, scruffy hipsters and hippies alike who lack the cash to drop on a desert jaunt -- complete with $5 bottles of water and scorching heat -- descend upon the Gorge Amphitheater in George, WA (yes, that's really the name) for the 3-day Sasquatch! Music Festival.  There are considerably less stages and less big names, but the views are gorge-ous (har har), and you can easily find all of the previous year's blogworthy acts and at least a couple legendary ones before the weekend is through.  And since this is Washington, the festival organizers provide a free water bottle refill station to save plastic.  And did I mention it's beautiful out there?

This year my Concert Companion (hereafter known as the CC) and I packed the car full of hoagies, Coronas, yogurt, fiber bars and a nice sturdy tent, and set out Friday night on the 2 1/2-hour trip from Seattle to George.  In the morning we woke up to sunny skies and a slew of young, unwashed, bleary-eyed yet still really attractive festivalgoers.  Everyone was friendly and out to have a good time.  Some entrepreunerial folks set up a grill with hot dogs, tacos and breakfast burritos in preparation for the drunk munchies.  Once you've all shared the same lineup of Portapotties, had a few beers, and brushed your teeth together in a makeshift sink, the camaraderie pretty much starts a-flowin'.

And now, here's a breakdown of noteworthy events, day-by-day...


Latest comment by: Anonymous: "Pavement = worst set of the weekend Massive Attack/LCD Soundsystem = Tie for best sets that were completely different from each other but equally awesome!"

Photo of the day: Fruit Bats {at Vera tonight}

Fruit Bats

Only a few more hours and the weekend will officially be upon us (that is, unless you started it last night... is so, my hat is off to you!).

There are so many good shows to thrust us to and fro. Tonight, the Fruit Bats will be at the Vera Project with Sonny Smith and Tu Fawning while another TIG recommended show, Drew Grow and the Pasters Wives will be at the Comet.  And then there's Steve Earle at the Moore (zow!).  Here's the full list of tonight's choices:


Latest comment by: imaginary lori: "Absolutely fantastic show. Such an upbeat show. Loved it. Photos are here:"

Fruit Bats — The Ruminant Band

{Fruit Bats play on Thursday, August 20 at the Crocodile with Johnny & the Moon and Palmer Electric Co. and on Friday, August 21 as part of KEXP's Concerts at the Mural series at Seattle Center with Johnny & the Moon and The Moondoggies.}

It's hard not to cheer for Eric D. Johnson. Recent collaborating with The Shins and Vetiver just proved what good taste us early-Aughts fans of the Fruit Bats' debut Echolocation (2001) had. Our initial enthusiasm had been proved right by Sub Pop releases Mouthfuls (2003) and Spelled in Bones (2005), yet larger reception eluded the Chicago multi-instrumentalist who started in the band Rowboat. In the past few years, echoes of his hayride, clap-infectious, intelligent songs have streamed like fresh water through the body of wide-spread rock-pool, even to the point we may have forgotten about the Fruit Bats. Their music seems like just another shimmer on that great music surface. But their use of major keys, lack of drama or urgency or melancholy, seems like a world other kind of band sometimes, a "ruminant band." 


New Fruit Bats album out August 4th

photo by Annie Beedy

In the four years since Fruit Bats last album, Spelled in Bones, I have found myself frequently wondering if this band was one of many that I discovered too late and would never get to see live. Originally I fell in love with "Seaweed" off 2003's Mouthfuls. That was in 2004 and something about the folky tinged nostalgia it inspired within me, made me think that Fruit Bats had formed and disbanded before I was old enough to experience nostalgia.

Thankfully, this is not the case.  In the interim of Fruit Bats releases, songwriter Eric D. Johnson has been keeping busy playing with bands like Vetiver and The Shins. In 2008 the band reformed and recorded the new album in the same Chicago studio where they recorded Echolocation, nine years ago.


Three Imaginary Girls Best Northwest Releases of 2005 Readers' Poll Results {40-31}

See all the winners in the TIG Best Northwest Releases of 2005 Readers' Poll (see winners #40-31 here).