! = recommended
* = all-ages
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It's high time we started scouring the schedule and getting that backlog of laundry done -- because this year's Sasquatch festival up at the Gorge is upon us, and we'll be heading up there for the long Memorial Day weekend (including Friday) to report back the best of what's good. Here's a blow-by-blow of what's really blasting some emotional sunshine into the damp, grey corners of our Seattle springtime:
Monday's main stage shows are going to kick serious ass. Starting with the finish line: the day will wrap up with a full frontal dose of Wilco on a stage warmed up by the Decemberists, a win-win for a variety of tastes. Prior to that, the throwback sounds of Best Coast will be assaulting us from the Yeti stage, and before that we'll shoot over to the Bigfoot stage to catch the sweet, smiling-but-melancholy sounds of Stornoway. All this and a bag of goodies after starting off our morning (at 1pm) with the Young Evils, and the first appearance at the main stage for the day to catch Mr. Miller and the rest of the Old 97's. Monday will be full of big guitars, upbeat jangle-pop, swoontastic harmonies, and hopefully, lots and lots of sunshine to go along with the vibe.
Ed note: We're reposting this to remind all you sweethearts the big comedy / music fest is TONIGHT! If you can't make it (there *are* other great shows tonight), make sure to check out the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society website to find out more about this worthy cause.
“Defriending Cancer” is not just a good idea but an excellent comedy and music benefit coming up. The night is hosted by comedian Todd Barry and features some of his funniest colleagues, like Neil Hamburger, Eugene Mirman, Tig Notaro, Natasha Leggero and Tim Heidecker (of “Tim and Eric” fame). It also features music from James Mercer of The Shins and Isaac Brock of Modest Mouse. The event takes place Thursday, February 11 at the Moore and the money raised benefits the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Tickets can be obtained here.
The host, Todd Barry, is one of the funniest comedians I’ve ever seen perform. His rare intelligence and droll delivery always make for a hilarious time. He's also a great actor, appearing in films like the critics' favorite, The Wrestler. I spoke with him by phone about the event, what we can expect next Thursday night and about his experiences as a comedian opening for a loved rock band.
Earlier we posted the five favorite shots at Bumbershoot from the fantastic photographer Jason Tang. His also brilliant colleague Erik Clineschmidt offered his five favorite photos from last weekend at Bumbershoot. They are:
Karen O of Yeah Yeah Yeahs:
Modest Mouse fans:
Colors of [Sonic] Youth:
Hosed in the pit:
I doubt this is an April Fool's joke so I'll put it out there, Bumbershoot announced the first list of acts to play this year. There are certainly some that I'm really excited to see (some again) and others I'll pass on.
I know there'll be a lot of people bitching about Katy Perry but remember that booking her sells tickets that pay for other acts and you can choose to do something else while she plays.
Here's the roster so far:
Sheryl Crow / Modest Mouse / Katy Perry / Michael Franti & Spearhead / De La Soul / Raphael Saadiq / Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan / The Long Winters / Sly & Robbie & the Taxi Gang / World Party / MSTRKRFT / Roy Ayers / Common Market / UH HUH HER / Dave Alvin and The Guilty Women / Eric Hutchinson / No Age / Matt & Kim / Dead Confederate / The Cave Singers / Swollen Members / Vieux Farka Touré / Lenka / Gang Gang Dance / Todd Snider / Holy F**k / DJ Spooky / Iglu & Hartly / Low vs Diamond / Sera Cahoone / Eleni Mandell / Carrie Rodriguez / The Honey Brothers / Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head / Extra Golden / Cordero / Forgive Durden / Hey Marseilles / Adrian Xavier, and much, much more to be announced.
Well, this sounds like the pretentious rock fan's dream come true.
We gathered our imaginary staff to determine our collective Northwest favorites for 2007. It was hard work. Imaginary battles were fought, alliances formed, and finally, winners emerged.
You should have seen the way that imaginary Liz can arm wrestle, and how Erik Gonzalez can duke it out for his favorite bands. It was fierce and fun, and we think our final list was well worth the effort.
Every December I go through over 80 albums and try to codify them some way. Though it may take until after Christmas before my final top list (and mix cd) is ready, my favorite albums of the year are always fairly obvious to me by now. These are the ones that meant the most to me.
Top NW Albums
1) Grand Archives - s/t
2) Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
3) Menomena - Friend & Foe
4) Tullycraft - Every Scene Needs A Center
5) Shake Some Action - s/t
6) Blitzen Trapper - Wild Mountain Nation
7) The Cave Singers - Invitation Songs
8) Welcome - Sirs
9) Modest Mouse - We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank
10) Awesome - Beehive Sessions
11) Carolyn Mark - Nothing Is Free
12) Grand Hallway - Yes Is The Answer
13) The New Pornographers - Challengers
14) Ghost Stories - Quixoticism
15) The Shins - Wincing the Night Away
Overall Top 10 Albums of 2007
1) Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
2) Arcade Fire - Neon Bible
3) Emma Pollock - Watch The Fireworks
4) Jens Lekman - Night Falls Over Kortedala
5) Feist - The Reminder
6) Menomena - Friend & Foe
7) Blonde Redhead - 23
8) Shellac - Excellent Italian Greyhound
9) Apostle Of Hustle - National Anthem Of Nowhere
10) Radiohead - In Rainbows
It’s always odd to revisit what you’ve reviewed over the course of a year. Sometimes, much can change – as after subsequent listenings, you realize that record you thought was pretty decent just blows (see The Killers’ Sam’s Town) or you come to love an album that you’d previously dismissed as mediocre (see “Into the Wild” soundtrack). The true test of a “best release of the year” is its stability, so I’ve tried to pick “long-haul” contenders—albums I’ll go to for months (or even years) to come, with no requirement for a set amount of finalists. Here’s what made the cut...
And, topping the list of what sadly wasn’t as good as I expected:
Modest Mouse: We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank
I’ll leave it at that. I can hardly fathom how disappointed I was by that output (mixing the quirky fire of Modest Mouse with legendary jangler Johnny Marr? How did it fall so flat?).
TOP NORTHWEST ALBUMS:
Not that NW artists don't count in overall, national polls! I just felt like making a separate list. To wit:
2007 has been a frustrating year for me. I've so wanted to latch on to some awesome band or album and feel just kinda 'eh' about everything. I have higher hopes for 2008.