! = recommended
* = all-ages
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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.
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.
That's right! The indie.synthpop quartet known as Vampire Weekend will be playing this Thursday and Friday at the Paramount Theater, as a double-makeup date for their last-minute cancellation out at Marymoor a few weeks ago. The good news? It's closer and more weatherproof than the park. The better news? Seattle's very own The Head and the Heart will be taking the opening spots both nights! We're not sure it gets much better than that.
Want a crack at a pair of tickets to Thursday's show? Just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us why we should send you! Be sure to include the subject line ICareAboutAnOxfordComma, and act fast -- we'll be choosing a winner tomorrow (yikes!) and need your entry before 3pm on Tuesday, the 21st.
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...
Deck the Hall Ball started a little late. The excellent opening band, Visqueen, started their set about twenty minutes later than the posted start time of 5:10. All was mostly forgiven the minute they took the stage, though, blowing through a short, twenty-minute set mostly of songs from their latest album, Message to Garcia. Their catchy power pop most of us here find irresistible (myself included) was accentuated by frontwoman Rachel Flotard’s hilarious banter. This time she asked for the lighting guy to turn off the lights for one second for everyone in the huge crowd to have a quick make out session. It didn’t happen (was it just me, or did the lights actually get brighter at that moment?) but they followed through with their set, closing out with their old hit “Vaxxine”. When I got there during soundcheck, bassist Christina Bautista remarked that the crowd was the biggest she’s ever soundchecked before. It was good to see the big crowd of listeners of 107.7 The End taking to this really great local band.
It has now been 2.5 years since I moved out of Seattle for the Golden State. I've slowly drifted out of the NW music culture, so sometimes I wonder if I know what to say on TIG these days.
Combine that with the fact that I was so distracted from music for a lot of 2008, this year's "best of" lists were especially difficult. Heck, I don't even think I can make a Best of NW music list this year, not because there was insufficient music, but because I just missed so many of those important-but-not-well-known releases that make these lists. I did enjoy Fleet Foxes, Common Market, Colin Meloy live, Malkmus and the like, but really, that isn't a "Best of the NW" list but rather a list of albums I liked that happened to be from the NW.
That being said, I did get a last minute music revival for the year. Maybe it was the election being over (and the good guys winning), maybe it was finally getting a faculty position after many years of trying (lets just say Erik will be moving east in 2009), maybe 2008 just didn't mesh with me musically. Who knows? However, there was a lot of great music anyway, and here are my top 20 (for your praise or fist shaking). Feel free to read the full commentary.
My understanding was that the lineup for the Capitol Hill Block Party was to be unveiled today but there's nothing online as of yet (at least that I can find).
Has anyone heard about who is playing yet? If so, this would be as good of a good place as any to spill whatever rumors you've heard.
I heard this band is playing:
Brooklyn Vegan says this one is:
Any others you'd like to share with your Imaginary classmates?
"I think they're doing this to demonstrate that Americans have poor taste."