September 1, 2014

Bumbershoot Day 3: Top Picks

Bumbershot_Day3

Adapting to festival life isn’t so hard. Our brains have already adjusted to thinking, “Oh, this is our life now. We rush around Seattle Center all day listening to amazing music. I guess we live here now.” But alas, silly brains. That is not the case. For today is the final day of Bumbershoot (queue gentle weeping and cries of “NOOOOO!!!”).

Maybe we should save the weeping for tomorrow morning when it’s back to work and “normal” life, whatever that is. So for now, let’s rejoice and revel in the fact that today boasts another amazing lineup of music! Hurrah!

DAY 3 – MONDAY, SEPT. 1

La Luz – 12:30 PM, Fountain Lawn Stage

Sweet vocals over strong surf undertones from the Emerald City.

Smokey Brights – 1:45 PM, Pavilion Stage

Country-tinged rock with a PacNW twist.

Rose Windows – 3:30 PM, Fountain Lawn Stage

Hometown, female-fronted ethereal retro-rock that keeps it sludgy yet buoyant. 

Julianna Barwick – 5:30 PM, Pavilion Stage

Atmospheric and echoy Iceland-inspired melodies from a Brooklyn-based vocalist.

Hurray for the Riff Raff – 6:15 PM, Starbucks Stage

Knee-slapping Appalachian mountain music from a Puerto Rican virtuoso.

Nada Surf – 7:00 PM, Fountain Lawn Stage

Legendary Brooklyn indie-rockers with a penchant for intertwining the highs and lows of life.

Jacco Gardner – 8:15 PM, End Zone Stage

Cinematic, psychedelic indie-pop from a young, Dutch 60’s enthusiast.

Real Estate – 9:00 PM, Fountain Lawn Stage

Pleasantly hazy surf-tinged indie-rock from the Garden State.

August 31, 2014

Bumbershoot-out: Big Star’s Third vs. Pickwick

Another day at Bumbershoot, another opportunity to double-book yourself for the same time slot. It’s easy to feel conflicted at festivals where there’s so much great music to see and so little time in the day. Today is no exception, with a really tough decision facing us during the 8:00 hour.

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DAY 2: Big Star’s Third (8:00 PM, Starbucks Stage) vs. Pickwick (8:15 PM, Fisher Green Stage)

Big Star might be the most important band you’ve never heard of. Formed in the early 1970s, the band has been hugely influential to other acts you may have heard of: REM, The Replacements, Teenage Fan Club, The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Flaming Lips, Wilco and the Afghan Wigs, just to name a few. Due to some unfortunate circumstances, including distribution snafus, the radio trends of the time and in-band fighting paring down the foursome to just two in a matter of years, Big Star wasn’t privy to the limelight like they deserved. However, they did get quite popular in the UK in the late ’70s and have been picking up steam everywhere ever since. For good reason, they’ve have been referred to as “America’s #1 cult band” by Revolver. After the unfortunate passing of frontman Alex Chilton and bassist Andy Hummel in 2010, original drummer Jody Stephens pieced together a notable lineup to play Big Star’s third record for the (now) adoring masses. And rumor has it, a few very special guests will join the band on stage this evening.

That’s why Big Star narrowly beats out local funk favorites, Pickwick, in today’s Bumbershoot-out. Don’t get us wrong – Pickwick is fantastic. Originally they started as a local indie-folk group that had trouble getting much traction in the scene. But then, as a caterpillar turns into a beautiful butterfly, the band when through a metamorphosis – or at least a musical epiphany – and mixed in some funk and soul into their craft. Voila, a star is born. Unassuming frontman Galen Disston has a powerful, emotive voice that suits the band’s style perfectly. And as if that isn’t reason enough to enjoy Pickwick, local Grammy winner Kory Kruckenberg mans the vibraphone and produces the band’s albums.

See, tough decision, right? But history has the edge here so make sure you catch at least some of Big Star’s set. But really this is a win-win situation.

August 31, 2014

Bumbershoot Day 2: Top Picks

Bumbershoot_Day2_TopPicks

After a full first day of Bumbershoot, it’s hard to believe we aren’t even halfway through the weekend yet. But with the new day and a few cups of caffeine, we’re ready for another day jam-packed with great music. We’re thrilled (and we’re sure Seattle Rock Guy is, too) that today features a handful of some great metal bands. Early afternoon isn’t when we usually listen to metal music, but when in Rome.

Our can’t-miss acts for Day 2 include:

DAY 2 – SUNDAY, AUG. 31

Hobosexual – 12:30 PM, Fountain Lawn Stage

Hard-driving rock duo from the Emerald City.

Sandrider – 2:00 PM, Fountain Lawn Stage

Locally-based grunge metal band featuring former members of Akimbo.

Kishi Bashi – 3:00 PM, Fischer Green Stage

Melodic pop perfections from a Brooklyn-based multi-instrumentalist and songwriter.

Red Fang – 3:45 PM, Fountain Lawn Stage

Arena-worthy heavy metal from Portland.

Kins – 5:00 PM, End Zone Stage

Guitar-driven and atmospheric pop from Australia.

The Replacements – 6:00 PM, Mainstage

Post-punk group that made it big in the 80s is back after reuniting last year.

Big Star’s Third – 8:00 PM, Starbucks Stage

Immensely influential rock group from the early 1970s that maintains a strong cult following – original drummer Jody Stephens will be joined be his talented, famous friends and other surprise guests.

The Dismemberment Plan – 9:00 PM, Fountain Lawn Stage

1990s experimental post-punk group from Washington DC released a solid comeback album last year.

Bootsy Collins – 10:00 PM, Fischer Green Stage

Psychedelic funk legend who rose to fame in the 1970s and hasn’t slowed since.

August 30, 2014

Bumbershoot-out: Mac DeMarco vs. Iska Dhaaf

Music festivals never fail to schedule at least two great bands at the same time, and Bumbershoot 2014 is no different. We’re here to help you make the inevitable tough decisions to make sure you catch the best sets of the day.

Bumbershoot-out_Day1

DAY 1: Mac DeMarco (5:15, Fountain Lawn) vs. Iska Dhaaf (5:30, Pavilion Stage)

Mac DeMarco, a Montreal-based indie pop multi-instrumentalist, is a strong contender for your time. His latest single, “Salad Days,” feels like an easy-going summer jam that is somewhat reminiscent of Otis Redding’s “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay” with sadder lyrics. His songs teeter and amble, occasionally stumbling into unexpected key changes that keep his music intriguing. Certainly feel-good and fun to listen to, DeMarco is an ideal summer festival act to put on stage.

However, we give the edge to Seattle’s own Iska Dhaaf for this face-off. While their music is darker and more complex, they have a distinct surf-rock undertone that keeps the music dance-able and somewhat hypnotic. The retro-inspired guitarwork paired with compelling time signatures and a tinge of sorrowful desperation in the lyrics provides a magnetic, modern sound that is entirely its own.

Don’t get us wrong, both sets will be great. You really can’t go wrong. See you out there (in the rain)!

 

August 30, 2014

Bumbershoot Day 1: Top Picks

Bumbershoot_Day1_TopPicks_new

If you’re anything like us, you’ve been pouring over the official Bumbershoot lineup with multi-colored pens and developing a hefty piecemeal schedule for each day. Or maybe that’s just us.

Either way, we’ve got you covered. Our favorite in-city music fest has officially arrived, and if you’ll be participating in the Labor Day fun at Seattle Center, we’ve spelled out the can’t-miss acts every day. So, do as we did and mark up your hard copy, plug these into your customized official Bumberapp or  just Sharpie these on the back of your hand. Our top recommendations for Day 1 are below:

DAY 1 – SATURDAY, AUG. 30

Cumulus – 3:00 PM, Pavilion Stage.

Poppy female-fronted rock with snappy drums and driving guitar riffs.

The Lonely Forest – 3:30 PM, Fountain Lawn Stage

A final farewell performance from the Anacortes indie darlings.

Cataldo – 4:15 PM, End Zone Stage

Locally sourced folk-tinged songs infused with clever wordplay and a strong dose of pop sensibilities.

Iska Dhaaf – 5:30 PM, Pavilion Stage

After a much lauded debut to the Seattle scene, Ben Verdoes and Nathan Quiroga drive a raw, dark brand of surf-tinged rock.

Elvis Costello – 6:15 PM, Mainstage

England’s pub rock legend helps the Bumber-crowd “pump it up” with catchy melodies and engaging lyrics.

RA Scion – 8:45 PM, End Zone Stage

Hip hop master of Common Market fame will surely play some new tracks from his latest album released earlier this year.

Wu Tang Clan – 9:45 PM, Mainstage

Wu Tang returns to Bumbershoot, featuring a collective of hip hop heavy hitters.

August 19, 2014

Five Best of the Week – Chris Staples, Beck, Tacocat + More

For those looking to catch some live music, you’ve come to right place. And by right place, we’re talking about our city. But this site should help you too.

Here are five picks for the rest of the week. See you out there!

As always, head over to our calendar for the long view.

8/19 (Tuesday) Chris Staples, Valley Maker, Jesse Marrow @ The Tractor Tavern

Hushed, narrative-driven pop rock from Seattle’s own Florida-born singer-songwriter [Record release for Chris' superb latest - American Soft]

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August 13, 2014

Chatting Up the ‘Lady: An Interview with Adam Schatz of Landlady, Man Man

Landlady
 

With all the admiration that’s constantly being heaped on some other music cities, we sometimes feel that being music-loving Seattleites is a city-centric version of Stephen Colbert’s “Who’s Not Honoring Me Now” segment. Are we really not worthy of admiration anymore? Clearly we all think we’re still great but it’s always nice to hear people from other places say nice things too.

Songs like Landlady’s “Washington State is Important” offset our fictitious complex. It’s not exactly about music or Seattle but it’s a good song with a positive message about our home state, so we’ll chalk it up as a win for the KEXP crowd. With the good vibes flowing, we set out to chat with Brooklyn’s Adam Schatz [LandladyMan Man, Vampire Weekend (guest musician), many more] and caught up with him last week at the start of the tour in Illinois.

On the tour, Adam gets the rare honor of playing back-to-back sets, first as the frontman with Landlady, then after a short stage change, as part of the Man Man collective. As Adam told us from the road last week, it’s “double the sound checks, double the shows and of course, double the fun.”

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August 11, 2014

5 Great Shows in Seattle This Week

We’re all about simplifying. Here are the best shows in town this week. No more, no less.

See you out there.

8/11 + 8/12 (Monday + Tuesday) Arctic Monkeys @ The Paramount

Hook-laden rock from love-em-or-hate-em Brits

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August 4, 2014

5 Best Concerts of the Week [Early August Edition]

Your place probably doesn’t have AC. Might as well venture out and chill out with some (fellow music) fans.

OK, that lead-in was pretty lame. Sorry about that. It’s just too hot in this room to even… <passes out from heat>.. Wait? What? Where were we? Oh, right. As a token of our apologies, here are the best options of the week in our opinion.

8/5 (Tuesday) Parquet Courts, Naomi Punk, Gag @ The Vera Project

Jagged Malkmus-esque “American punk” rock from Brooklyn

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July 30, 2014

FREE Live Music: Best Summer Shows of 2014 [KEXP, Artist Home + More]

As the saying goes, twenty years from now you’ll be more disappointed by the shows you didn’t see than the ones you did. OK, so that’s a liberal take on Sam Clemens’ maxim but it certainly applies to this important aspect of life as well.

If you’re someone who finds that you aren’t taking in as much live music as you’d like since shows often go late, mean you’ll have to spend beautiful nights inside, cost money, etc., then summer is certainly your season.

We’re always thrilled when August rolls around as that marks that start of our favorite free, outdoor audio experience from KEXP and the Seattle Center. Beyond that one that kicks off this Friday you’ll find some gems in the rest of free* outdoor series, most of which have been running for weeks now.

Concerts at the Mural

KEXP concerts at the mural 2014

At the Seattle Center’s Mural stage, music starts at 5:30

8/1 Charles Bradley and his Extraordinaires, Kithkin, Cumulus
8/8 Yppah, Katie Kate, and IG88
8/15 A Place To Bury Strangers, Battleme, and Wimps
8/22 Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires, Star Anna, and Mark Pickerel and His Praying Hands

Out to Lunch Concert Series

Seattle Out to Lunch Concerts

Across the city, music from noon to 1:30pm

7/31 Vaudeville Etiquette  @ City Hall Plaza
8/1 Mango Son @ Waterfront Park
8/6 Chuck Prophet @ Two Union Square)
8/7 Space Theory Presents: Exploring the Deep Connection @ City Hall Plaza
8/8 The Paperboys @ Harbor Steps
8/13 Kris Orlowski @ Two Union Square
8/14 The Horde and the Harem @ City Hall Plaza
8/15 The Dusty 45s @ Harbor Steps
8/20 Vicci Martinez @ Two Union Square
8/21 Rivers, Lakes, and Oceans: Lunch at the Cabin @ City Hall Plaza
8/22 The Maldives @ Occidental Square
8/27 LeRoy Bell and His Only Friends @ Harbor Steps
8/28 The Dip @ City Hall Plaza
8/29 Jovino Santos Neto @ Columbia Center
9/3 Clinton Fearon and the Boogie Brown Band @ Bell Street Park
9/4 Delhi 2 Dublin @ Waterfront Park
9/5 Hey Marseilles @ Freeway Park

Sounds of Summer Concert Series

University Village Concerts

At University Village by the RAM, music from 6:30 to 8:30pm

7/30 Eldridge Gravy and The Court Supreme
8/6 The Paperboys
8/13 Vicci Martinez
8/20 Hit Explosion

One-time (a summer) events

SCMS’s Chamber Music in the Park

Seattle Chamber Mozart and Beethoven Concerts

At Volunteer Park, music starts at 7pm

7/30 Mozart and Beethoven

Artist Home Presents Summer Bonfire Series 2014

Artist Home Summer Bonfire Series 2014

At Golden Gardens, music at 5:30pm

Bands remain a secret until they take the sandy stage

*Goes for all, those who believe in karma and local music would be kind enough to bring cash for donations.

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