Tonight in Seattle:  

Kay Kay & His Weathered Underground

Local goodness (and more!) at 2012's City Arts Fest

Now that this year's City Arts Fest is over, I can take a step back and realize that I have been blown away by four solid days of an amazing array of (mostly) local bands, all giving Seattle some truly amazing sets. Each night showcased what the Pacific Northwest had to offer, and it was difficult to decide what venues to hit and who to see. Packing in as much as I could, I witnessed an incredible display of music spanning from pop to country to rock, and of course, took tons of photos.

The David Byrne / St. Vincent show was housed in the most perfect venue, that being the 5th Avenue Theater. The performance was brilliantly theatrical, with a choreographed horn section and Byrne and Clark's synchronized dancing (!!!) it really was entertainment of the highest caliber. It was almost overwhelmingly unreal. Love This Giant is one of my favorite albums that's come out this year and live, and I'm happy to report that the songs are even more over the top than they are on the record. What became clear about St. Vincent's songs -- especially those like "Cheerleader", "Cruel", and "Marrow" -- was how downright grand they became with the addition of an array of brass instuments. The crowd was pretty packed with David Byrne/Talking Heads fans or at least my section was; and yes, "Burnin' Down the House" was played in amazing fashion.

St. Vincent & David Byrne

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Kay Kay & His Weathered Underground — Introducing Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground

{On Sunday, June 12, 2011, Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground will be playing a record release show for this album with The Young Evils and The Can Can Castaways at the Triple Door. If all of this sounds extraordinary to you, we love you as much as we love those artists and that venue -- and that is loads and loads.}

Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground sounds as if freak rock died and went to heaven in 1971, instead of the miasmatic personal singer-songwriter purgatory that actually mostly formed that year's musical output. This is appropriate, as the band was spawned from the early demise of Gatsby's American Dream, a much hyped Seattle-based band that many people planned on dancing to and singing along with for years. But like the 60s, the dream was over. It's just that no one told Kirk Huffman and Kyle O'Quin that they could have an even better time with the funkier, psyche-stirring topical cabaret KK&HWU, especially when master musician and band-butterfly Phil Peterson was brought on board for their double-down debut.

The history of the band is occluded by V2 signing them and then dying on the vine; the Live At The Pretty Parlor DVD and sold out shows at the Triple Door have bolstered the legend but it never quite coheres in the minds of regional writers. But once they get the story scribes go suitably ape-shit over a local band as courageous and supremely constructed (up to eleven members at times) as any from Sufjan Stevens to I'm From Barcelona, but with their own mescaline-BBQ bite.

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Latest comment by: Racheal Huffman: "OH! Chris, double the smooches to you sir!"

Tonight's recommended shows: openers, awesomeness & charity!

Got your running shoes handy? No, not your Chucks. I mean the ones that you lace up to go the distance. Yes, I know they're buried in the bottom of your closet. We'll wait.

Okay, good. Now, get your favorite socks on warm up those calves -- there's too much good stuff going on around town tonight for you to hit just one show. For starters, the opening set at Neumo's tonight will be a great place to pre-funk. I'm sure that Justin Nozuka is a tremendous headline, but our sources from back east swear that Elizabeth & the Catapault will be the glimmer in our proverbial eyes for the designated warmer-upper of the evening. The Brooklyn based singer-songwriter will be unleashing her endearing, charming ways on the earlybirds that make their way down to Neumo's tonight, and you'll be doing yourself a favor by making it the first stop of your night.

After that, it could go either way -- if you don't stay for the rest of the show at Neumo's, you have your pick of two not-to-be-missed performances going on that you can shuffle to your liking. The first would be making sure to see most, if not all, of Kay Kay & his Weathered Underground's headlining set at the Tractor. It's no secret that our very own ChrisB hearts them to no end, as stated in his loving and well-thought commentary on a past show: What makes Kay Kay such a special band is that there are not any limitations imposed on the music. When you listen to them, you hear elements of vaudeville, ragtime, psychedelic rock, show tunes, Sgt. Pepper-era Beatles, and anything else they can find under the kitchen sink. It’s like they raided their parents’ and grandparents’ record collections and ignored much of their own. All that, and the fact that Hey Marseilles' Sam Anderson hails as a member of their repertoire, makes this a win-win-win.

The other big sha-bang happening this evening is the benefit show for the recent GIVE compilation that was released, with a line-up to beat the, um -- band. Or something. Anyhow -- have a look at this: on one bill, for charity, and at a mere fifteen bucks [!!!], you can catch Grand Archives, D. Black, Kinski, Grant Olsen (of Arthur and Yu), Gabriel Mintz, Tilson (of the Saturday Knights), Fences [swoon], and the Tea Cozies. Really, that's less than a dollar a band member, if you splice it out the right way. And even at twice that, it's a better-than-fair price for a best-of-the-best kind of show.

So, bundle up tonight and hit the town -- whether you go Neumo's > Tractor > Croc, or Neumo's > Croc > Tractor > Croc, pick one to hit up with your birds and bliss the night away. With all this talent, you're sure to get a win no matter what venue(s) you choose!

Latest comment by: ig victoria: "here's the aftermath, ps:

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Tonight's Recommended Show: The Builders and the Butchers and Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground

This show at The Crocodile features two atypical, orchestral pop groups that make some of the best music to come from the Northwest. With the bigger stage and crystal clear acoustics, The Crocodile should be the ideal venue for these two bands.

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Latest comment by: imaginary hyme: ""I've long praised Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground as the best band in Seattle, which I heartily believe." In my book you're completely right. I can't figure out how they haven't blown up yet! It doesn't make any sense. I'll be there! Hooray for ...

New Years Eve at The Paramount+The Blue Moon=Holiday Perfection w/ many Favorite Bands

photos by Amelia Gydé

at The Blue Moon

I shopped extensively for New Years Eve shows and immediately dismissed The Paramount’s offering with The Presidents of The Unites States of America, as I genuinely detest their music. But...

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Latest comment by: ChrisB: "Every single time I see photos of Monotonix I think "man, that looks like some crazy shit going on". So much awesomeness with TSK and Kay Kay - so wish I was there. Great job Amelia!"

Capitol Hill Block Party 2008: Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground

Photos by Kyle Johnson

at Capitol Hill Block Party 2008

When I originally saw the Capitol Hill Block Party lineup, I knew if there was one band I couldn't miss, it was Seattle's own Kay Kay & His Weathered Underground. The band opened the Main Stage on Saturday to a beautiful day with an intent crowd -- utterly captivated with this eclectic, larger-than-life band.

Immediately upon taking the stage, the 10-member band (according to Kay Kay superfan ChrisB, that's "a light showing" for them) got the presumably bleary crowd clapping along with their first song -- and this wasn't a simple clap-clap kinda thing. Without prompting, the audience nearly instantaneously sprang to life and clapped along in exact rhythm with the band, as if well-rehearsed.

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Flickr photo(s) of the day: Sasquatch faves

We had loads of Sasquatch photos posted to the TIG Sparkly Indie-Pop Photos pool, and we've selected a few faves to share with you.

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Latest comment by: Kyle Johnson: "I had sooooo much fun during all 3 days of sasquatch (4 with camping haha) Great photos everyone! glad to see some i hadnt yet seen. can i get in on the fun? my top 4 favs I shot during the weekend The Blakes J Tillman Flaming Lips Beirut "

What would be on your Muxtape?

I made one this afternoon. You can listen to it at imaginarychrisb.muxtape.com. What would be on yours?

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Latest comment by: Imaginary Shrie: "Damn! Now everyone knows about Muxtape. I thought I was cooler than cool."

Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground and "the best night of my life"

Photos by Kyle Johnson

at The Triple Door

When you listen to them, you hear elements of vaudeville, ragtime, psychedelic rock, show tunes, Sgt. Pepper-era Beatles, and anything else they can find under the kitchen sink. It’s like they raided their parents’ and grandparents’ record collections and ignored much of their own.

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Latest comment by: natcat: "hey- he's MY favorite local musician too... for over a year now. and with those triple door accoustics, his voice was spellbinding. thanks for the pic."

Photo of the moment: Kay Kay, k?

So... was the Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground / J. Tillman show at the Triple Door the greatest thing since sliced bread or what?

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Latest comment by: Kyle Johnson: "dana-were you there? Shoulda said hello! thanks for featuring the pic. Im glad you randomly chose my fav!.. and yes that show ruled.. im more of a sucker for tillman though"