Block Party

Capitol Hill Block Party 2013

What We Think of Every Single Band Playing This Year's Festival!

Capitol Hill Block Party 2013
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Block Party

A-TRAK

(Sat, 7:30 pm, Main Stage) Alain Macklovitch—aka A-Trak—mixes techno tracks that sound a lot like robot car chases interspersed with periodic robot gunfights. Asimov lovers, prepare to get wet and sweaty. CIENNA MADRID

BEAR MOUNTAIN

(Fri, 9:30 pm, Neumos Stage) Bear Mountain are not, unfortunately, from a place called Bear Mountain, but they are from Canada, which surely has more bears than the United States, so that's good. They have an "electro/dance style," and they promise to "perform with powerful release" (so keep your sunglasses on, maybe?). Their song "Two Step" sounds like a robot ate a steel-drum band, a handful of frames from an old black-and-white movie, a kids' bedtime music box, and some space vibrations—with danceable if somewhat relentless results (which probably means REALLY danceable on the right drugs on a warm evening at Block Party). BETHANY JEAN CLEMENT

BELLAMAINE

(Fri, 11:15 pm, Neumos Stage) I hadn't heard of Anacortes-based indie rock four-piece Bella- Maine until now, but when I listened to the tracks on their website, I got caught up in it and completely forgot I was supposed to write words. I just nodded my head around and wondered why I was in such a sunny, summery good mood. Woo-hoo! These guy-girl dual vocalists, good beats, and synth additions will be perfect for when you're ready to ease back into the party groove for the evening after falling down an after-work yay-for-Block-Party drink hole. ANNA MINARD

BIG FREEDIA

(Sat, 4:45 pm, Main Stage) If you can't have fun watching a Big Freedia show—with all that pussy-popping, twerking, and ass flying everywhere—then you don't have a heart beating in your chest. The happy, horny, high-energy music of Freedia ("The Dick Eater" and "Late Night Creeper" and undisputed queen of the New Orleans bounce-music scene) is unquestionably infectious; standing at a Freedia show with your arms folded is impossible. It's also extremely difficult to walk away from seeing one of her performances without a little bounce in your own step. If you have a pulse, circle this show on your Block Party schedule, and DO NOT MISS IT! KELLY O

BLACK MARBLE

(Sun, 4:15 pm, Neumos Stage) If you like your synth-based music understatedly morose, you should slouch your mopey self over to Black Marble's set. The Brooklyn duo (Ty Kube and Chris Stewart) makes some of the least summery music on the docket for this year's Block Party. A Different Arrangement, Black Marble's Hardly Art debut, twinkles glumly—its attractive, descending chord progressions describe an eternally bleak 1981. (Cool, eight years of Reagan to look forward to!) Stewart's lugubrious, deadpan vocals have much (Stephin) Merritt, too, conveying how wonderful chronic heartache can feel when transmuted into sweetly melancholic darkwave songs. DAVE SEGAL

BLEACHED

(Fri, 10:45 pm, Vera Stage) I bought the "Searching Through the Past" single online literally minutes after I first heard it on the radio—there was just too much '70s AM angsty sweetness to ignore. The sisters Clavin were also in the wonderfully snotty Smell alums Mika Miko, a party I was way too late to—which might be exactly why I was so trigger-happy this time. Thank god Ride Your Heart is pure Southern Californian power-pop that smacks of early Bangles, Fleetwood Mac, sweaty blond hair, coming back to unbearably hot vinyl seats when it's time to drive home from the beach, and eating at Del Taco because you can only afford Del Taco. Del Taco punk, I'm coining that right now. LARRY MIZELL JR.

CHASTITY BELT

(Sat, 3 pm, Vera Stage) Only the ladies of Chastity Belt could bring you the world's catchiest song about dudes with questionable hairstyles: I would only date you if you cut off your ponytail/Cut it off, cut it off... You look like Thomas Jefferson/You look like Jennifer Aniston! I happened to be at this four-piece from Whitman College's very first show in Seattle (before they officially made the move from Walla Walla to the 206), and let me tell you—I was impressed then, but you should hear their sharp licks, sweet yowls, and jagged-edged tunes now. These righteous babes bring it. EMILY NOKES

THE COMETTES

(Sun, 6:45 pm, Barboza Stage) The Comettes sound a little like your favorite '60s stoner band playing upside down from the inside of a lava lamp. This Seattle trio has somehow managed to internalize the chord progressions, epic guitar solos, and aquatic production values of those heady days, yet the lyrical content is a bit more modern, making them more than a mere throwback act. It seems Ray Manzarek was an organ donor after all (cough, cough); the Comettes anchor their psych-nugs with a heavy dose of the instrument, giving everything a sun-drunk, woozy undertone. Far out. KYLE FLECK

CONSTANT LOVERS

(Fri, 9:45 pm, Cha Cha Stage) The beloved Lovers belong in the boozy, subterranean Cha Cha—their swerving guitar lines, throatily shouted vocals, and bash-'em-up beats sound like hard rock 'n' roll under the influence of a little experimental noise-rock and a lot of whiskey. After a packed, electric, and occasionally violent show at the Cha Cha, Megan Seling wrote on Line Out: "The Constant Lovers should never play the Cha Cha again. It clearly cannot contain them." Luckily for us, we'll get another chance to see them down in that red-light cave, working their jagged glory. BRENDAN KILEY

COUNTRY LIPS

(Sat, 4 pm, Neumos Stage) Do yourself a favor and search for the "Men Who Rock!" feature on thestranger.com, then gaze upon the photo of Country Lips guitarist Alex's photograph—it's a pretty accurate assessment of the self-described "party country" band's ethos as a whole. Country Lips are serious country music (see Alex's cowboy hat), but they also want to party with you (see Alex's horse-faced thong underwear). Do yourself another favor, and go get their album Touched, if you haven't already. Listen to it (it's excellent) and then know that when you see them play live, those same songs will be delivered with about 210 percent more energy—with the band's collective "rowdy" revved all the way up, as high and loud as they can go. KO

CULTS

(Sun, 4:45 pm, Main Stage) Somehow, when you internet search the word "Cults," this band's website is the first thing that pops up, which doesn't seem fair for actual cults. Anyway, you know this band's extremely bright, saccharine, girl-group-ish sound if you've been in a mall in the last few years, because much like actual cults, there's something compelling about airy jingle-tingle music that might go against your better judgment. EN

DANNY BROWN

(Fri, 6:30 pm, Main Stage) Danny Brown's 2011 mixtape XXX is easily one of my favorite rap albums of all time. I listen to it constantly. Maybe it's because some of his lyrics make me homesick for Detroit—his crazy-ass blend of depressing depravity and humor definitely make me miss the funny, no-bullshit people of the Midwest. Danny's insane giggle-laugh and snotty, nasally voice just add to his complete weirdo-magic. Also, after seeing him at Sasquatch! this year, I think someone should officially count how many times his tongue flies out of his mouth and touches the very bottom of his chin. Gene Simmons's tongue ain't got shit on Danny Brown's. KO

DAUGHN GIBSON

(Fri, 12:45 am, Neumos Stage) Daughn Gibson is a man who appears to have very, very good hair. His bio says you have already heard of him. He makes electronic country and blues, and his "charm and uniqueness come from his ability to perhaps equally fit in alongside Toby Keith or Depeche Mode." If Toby Keith and Depeche Mode started giving each other wedgies, who would say "uncle" faster? Would you rather go to Honkytonk University or suffer from blasphemous rumors? Cowboy hat or leather? IT IS HARD TO CHOOSE THINGS. JEN GRAVES

DAVE B

(Sun, 3 pm, Vera Stage) When Dave B's MCMXCII (1992 in Roman numerals) dropped in the middle of June 2012, it immediately put the young spitter on the 206 map. The record revealed a cat who is playful, flexible, smooth, smart, and ready for the world, and who knows how to swing to beats made by established and dependable producers (KD Cutz, Kiddie Fresh). Dave B adds more riches to a local scene that's bursting at the seams. CHARLES MUDEDE

DEADKILL

(Fri, 5 pm, Vera Stage) Have you ever felt so crazy that it seemed like the only release was thrashing around the room while clawing your brains out? Then Deadkill is the band for you! Their blistering punk-rock songs aren't songs at all—they're nervous breakdowns with blast beats. MEGAN SELING

DILLON FRANCIS

(Fri, 7:45 pm, Main Stage) Here is what Wikipedia says: Dillon Francis was the first moombahton artist to hit number one on the Beatport top five releases chart with his 2012 EP Something, Something, Awesome. Moombahton is a word made of two other words: reggaeton and moombah. Those words are made of other words—it's all fusion, everything is pure impurity. The music is for dancing. Not too fast, never too fast, islands-inflected, a little Latin, shiny-electronic. Dillon Francis lives in LA, and people like what he makes. JG

DIRTY PROJECTORS

(Sun, 11:30 pm, Neumos Stage) Dirty Projectors, fronted by charismatic (culty?) leader David Longstreth, are here to make syncopated ghosty harmonic pop weirdness that will make sexy young people do serpentine dances. The olds will stand in back and sort of sway a little, because it's pretty hard to dance to. But it's still fantastic, and if you're into DP (whoa, gross, that's not what I meant), they're super-duper great live. They came through town last year and played almost entirely from their newest album, Swing Lo Magellan. Maybe by now, though, they'll really be mixing it up with the older stuff, too. AM

DOG SHREDDER

(Sat, 9 pm, Barboza Stage) Over the last few years, Stranger writers have used the following words and/or phrases to describe Dog Shredder and/or Dog Shredder's mind-blowing instrumental onslaught: "brain-scrambling," "fierce prog-rock firepower," "electrifying guitar thrashing," and "one of the region's most technically adept metal bands." Basically: They're fucking amazing. HOW MANY MORE ADJECTIVES DO YOU NEED? MS

DOLDRUMS

(Sat, 11 pm, Vera Stage) The songs on Doldrums' recently issued album Lesser Evil skew toward the cute and hazy end of the electronic-pop spectrum. Sometimes Doldrums (Canadian producer Airick Woodhead) explores bass music's bowel-quaking low-end attack; sometimes he veers into Mouse on Mars's wonderfully wobbly songcraft augmented by animalistic gurgles, birdsong, and insectile clicking; sometimes he achieves a strange keyboard drone that fluctuates between those made quasi-famous by Soft Machine and This Heat. Vocally, Doldrums may sound like a precocious teen girl, but he sings more dulcetly and with more emotion than most one-dude electro outfits. DS

DUTTY WILDERNESS

(Sun, all day, Vera Stage) Beat Connection's dreamy Reed Juenger brings you his side project, Dutty Wilderness. Inspired by the late J Dilla, Juenger makes chill, hiphop-oriented breakbeat sketches to get lost in for hours. EN

EIGHTEEN INDIVIDUAL EYES

(Sun, 9 pm, Neumos Stage) Even though I'd heard great things, when I saw Eighteen Individual Eyes at Block Party last year, I was bowled over. I wasn't expecting them to be so hard! They mesmerized the room, but they also coated everyone in longing and sweat, maintaining a heavy, noisy edge under the hazy dream-hum. I called them "bracing and fun as shit" then, and I stand by it. Go here to be transfixed and slightly transformed, and don't be afraid to feel some feels. AM

FF

(Sat, 6:45 pm, Barboza Stage) FF is the sound of ffffrustation. Based on the three songs I've heard by them, this Seattle band harnesses that feeling into songs that channel the torqued, tuneful rock squalls of Kinski, Dinosaur Jr., and Sonic Youth. The clever interplay of male and female vocals adds another shiver-inducing element into the fine fabric of FF's fuzzy alt-rock fomentation. DS

THE FLAMING LIPS

(Sun, 7:20 pm, Main Stage) The Flaming Lips have risen to elder-statesmen status as grandiose freak-flag-wavers. Their 30-year musical odyssey has had its share of erratic peaks and troughs, but overall the Lips have beaten the odds by not excessively blanding out from their acid-fried beginnings. Their last two albums proper—Embryonic and The Terror—are welcome quasi-returns to form in which Wayne Coyne and Co. explore their darker, stranger proclivities and reduce the sugariness that blighted some of their '00s output. Granted, they don't get as fantastically out there as they did on their debut EP or on In a Priest Driven Ambulance, but the Lips have aged better than most rock bands. Get your head right for this one. DS

THE FLAVR BLUE

(Sat, 9 pm, Neumos Stage) The vibe is this: house music with overtones of pop and R&B. Take "Hideaway," for instance—the lyrics are simple, the beat is catchy, and it's essentially the perfect nighttime summertime jam that's at once both relaxing and invigorating. C. MADRID

FLY MOON ROYALTY

(Fri, 5:45 pm, Neumos Stage) Did you see Fly Moon Royalty at Block Party last year, when they did an unironic and completely amazing cover of Sir Mix-A-Lot's "Baby Got Back"? Because I was there, and it was one of the best things I saw all weekend. In fact, the local R&B/hiphop/soul duo has never not delivered a totally on-point, sharp show in the half-dozen times I've seen 'em. Who knows what kind of surprises they have in store for us this year. MS

FOOLS GOLD CLUBHOUSE

(Sat, 10:15 pm, Neumos Stage) A trio of Fool's Gold–affiliated DJs will be banging out Red Bull–assisted remixes of Top-40 hits, dubstep, and the ubiquitous club music, likely bringing "the bass to your face" and asking politely that you "put your arms in the motherfucking air." KF

FOX AND THE LAW

(Sat, 2 pm, Neumos Stage) Seattle four-piece Fox and the Law trade in the kind of skuzzy, distorted rock 'n' roll that sounds great blasting out of your buddy's Camaro while you drink cheap beers in a parking lot on a hot summer night. Not the most innovative sound, perhaps, but a breath of fresh air among Seattle's rainy-day sad-time bands. Surprisingly catchy and technically deft, the reports on their live shows have been very positive, citing frontman Guy Keltner's natural cock-of-the-walk charisma. KF

FRIGHTENED RABBIT

(Sun, 6 pm, Main Stage) I'm not sure conjuring images of scared animals is the way to get people to feel good about your band, but maybe they are doing things the Old World way. These Scots play folky indie rock with a cheerful beat and boy harmonies that will dispel any gloominess. Let's hope their between-song banter will involve some profanity, because nothing is more entertaining than Scottish people cussing. GILLIAN ANDERSON

GAYTHEIST

(Sat, 7:30 pm, Barboza Stage) Yes! Best band name! But Gaytheist are more than just a goofy name—the Portland trio delivers punchy rock songs packed with shooting guitar riffs, pummeling drumming, and a sense of humor. And good news for the lazy—Gaytheist's songs rarely breach the three-minute mark, so you won't have to worry about keeping the pit going for very long before getting a chance to catch your breath. Phew! MS

GIRL TALK

(Fri, 10:45 pm, Main Stage) Girl Talk is our preeminent juxtaposer of unlikely songs, our master masher of ups, our foremost starter of parties involving crowd stage invasions and cannons that shoot toilet paper. That is why he rakes in the big bucks. Haters sneer that Girl Talk just plays other people's (often cheesy as fuck) music, which takes no skill. Bullshit. Hours of R&D go into every eclectic, full-length mix Girl Talk issues. He makes connections between absurdly different songs that nobody else would conceive (e.g., ODB's "Shimmy Shimmy Ya" and Radiohead's "Creep") and inspires thousands to dance madly to them. It's ADHDJing taken to ridiculous extremes, a twisted remix of the last 50 years of Billboard charts. DS

GOLD WOLF GALAXY

(Sun, 2:45 pm, Barboza Stage) Electronic, heavy, and compressed to living hell, Gold Wolf Galaxy make the sort of garish, overblown EDM tracks the kids are just eating up these days. On occasion, the duo brings in a breathy female vocalist to sex it up a little bit, but for the most part, this is on the head-banging, Jell-O-shooting Cro-Magnon tip. For fans of Justice's less-subtle moments. KF

GRAVE BABIES

(Fri, 8:15 pm, Neumos Stage) Even when you listen to the vinyl, Grave Babies' new album Crusher, on Hardly Art, sounds like it may have been recorded on a cassette tape, using an old boom box. And perhaps recorded down in hell, by Satan himself. I mean, shoot, maybe Satan has a crush on a new girl! And even Satan knows that if you want to impress a girl, you start by giving her not flowers, but a mixtape. In Satan's case, maybe you get a Seattle band—one that lives 9, maybe 10 months out of the year under dark and rainy skies—to record 13 tracks of creepy post-punk goth rock. Then you slowly cut off the head of a pig, using a dull knife, slap the head on a wooden stick, and take a picture of it for the album cover. Then maybe you do add some flowers, just to be safe. KO

GRAVE MATTERS

(Sat, 3:45 pm, Cha Cha Stage) Thrash yourself to seizuretown with Grave Matters, who riff guitars with the best of 'em while scream-crooning about high-school football heroes and God calling in sick to work. The lyrics are fun and self-aware ("I Wanna Get a Mohawk"—a breathlessly slow cover of an AFI rock ballad about being an angst-ridden, Misfit-loving teenager—is a gem), and the show is perhaps your best shot at meeting your next tatted-up carny lover. C. MADRID

GRENADES

(Sun, 5:45 pm, Cha Cha Stage) After writing a dozen or more Block Party blurbs, my brain turned into a bowl of oatmeal (literally!), and it became impossible to write about even the best music with any kind of enthusiasm. So instead of me telling you why you should definitely witness Grenades' pummeling rock fits (because you really should!), I instead asked the band's guitarist Eric Christianson why everyone should be sure to catch their set: "They shouldn't. What a waste of time." Thanks, Eric! MS

THE GRIZZLED MIGHTY

(Sun, 8 pm, Neumos Stage) It's a boy-girl duo (she's on drums, he's on guitar and vocals) that plays crunchy blues-rock with tons attitude. You've never heard anything quite like this before... well, no. I mean, the White Stripes, sure. They sound a lot like the White Stripes, only fuzzier and a little smarmier. Which is good! The White Stripes could've used a little extra smarm. What's so bad about sounding like the White Stripes, anyway? They were a good band, and so is the Grizzled Mighty. Let's just drive the you-know-whos out of our minds and enjoy the Grizzled Mighty for what they are, okay? (Psst: By "you-know-whos" in that last sentence, I meant the White Stripes.) PAUL CONSTANT

HEAVY PETTING

(Fri, 5:45 pm, Cha Cha Stage) Heavy Petting is a good name for a young band, and that makes sense, because Heavy Petting play like three young men: long stretches of instrumental guitar and bass clashing and darting around each other before finding harmonies and reaching peaks punctuated by crashing drums. It's straight-up youthful-hearted rock music, served without vocals and delivered with gusto. PC

HEY MARSEILLES

(Sun, 3:30 pm, Main Stage) Like the better moments of Wes Anderson movies and the best writers in the McSweeney's family tree, the multi-instrumentalists of Hey Marseilles present a dilemma: They are cute, charming, and a little whimsical, three qualities that, when normally deployed, are damnably cloying. But they are elegant and sophisticated with their musical curlicues—cherubic strings and horns that dance around a guitar-and-yearning-vocals center—and knowing in their earnestness. It's true, they come surrounded by a thicket of red flags but are ultimately and undeniably delightful. Music writers around town say they expect Hey Marseilles to have a major national breakthrough in the next year or so—I'll join that chorus. BK

THE HORDE AND THE HAREM

(Sat, 6:30 pm, Neumos Stage) The Horde and the Harem are bike-powered and good-natured folky pop-rock beardos, and in their best moments, songs zoom and explode far above the usual harmony-laden loveliness the PNW has a lot of these days. There's something joyful and sweet about 'em—and I recommend saying yes if someone asks you out at a Horde and the Harem show. I did it one time, and it turned out great. AM

IG88

(Sat, 4:45 pm, Barboza Stage) Multiple choice test time! IG88 is: (a) a space movie coming out next year with Tom Cruise where he falls in love with a sexy alien-built android programmed to love, (b) an assassin droid in the Clone Wars–era Star Wars franchise, (c) my Facebook password, or (d) the pseudonym of local electronic music artist Branden Clarke. Now, considering that this is in the guide to a local music festival, you'd better be able to figure out from context which one is correct (TOOOMMMM CRUUUUISE!!!). AM

ILLFIGHTYOU

(Sun, 4:45 pm, Barboza Stage) In the same way that I sometimes need to watch a brutish, mega-violent flick by French film director Gaspar Noé (and/or South Korea's Park Chan-wook), or, similarly, wake up with the need to chug a coffee and listen to Slayer in the shower—some days, I just need to take it THERE. Get ugly for a minute, remember the world isn't made of internet kittens, rom-coms, and quirky beardo indie rock, and the Northwest isn't made of only mega-popular, mega-positive rap music. Tacoma's ILLFIGHTYOU mean to offend. It's dirty dirtbag rap—all about bitches, hos, drugs, yo' mama, yo' fashion, hatin' on cops, and "masturbatin' to dollas." I LOVE IT. I NEED IT. You probably do, too. Download their first album, for free, at illfightyou.com. KO

THE INTELLIGENCE

(Fri, 8:15 pm, Vera Stage) Fresh off a five-week European tour, our friends the Intelligence sounded better than ever at their Neumos "homecoming" show last month (most of the current lineup live here, and though lead Intelligentleman Lars Finberg may reside in LA, Seattle will forever claim him). Churning out deadpan and smirking yet cynical hits, the Intelligence are an unstoppable machine of good music about bad times. Will they play their "new song that they just wrote" (that's actually the song "Tequila") like they did last time? Let's hope so. If we're lucky, they'll play it twice. Do not miss them, ding-dong. EN

ISKA DHAAF

(Fri, 6:45 pm, Cha Cha Stage) Remember Mad Rad (the biggest thing in the 206 in 2008)? Remember Buffalo Madonna (one of the three rappers in Mad Rad)? If you do, then you will be surprised to learn that Buffalo Madonna, whose real name is Nathan Quiroga, has joined forces with Benjamin Verdoes of Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band to form Iska Dhaaf (it apparently means "let it go" in Somali). Indeed, Quiroga seems to have completely let go of Mad Rad and is now making a kind of mystical post-rock that explores the more difficult parts of the urban heart. Is this the real Quiroga? C. MUDEDE

JARV DEE

(Sun, 6:20 pm, Vera Stage) Take a smoke break with Jarv Dee as your long-ass weekend of sun (hopefully) and fun (definitely) comes to a close. Jarv is 206 hiphop's MVP, with a crammed résumé—he's a cornerstone of the Cloud Nice collective, a founder of the Moor Gang movement, and a member of hazy elecro-rap group Kingdom Crumbs, to tick off a few of his credentials. AND he's got solo stuff (obviously, like the blurb indicates), which is cool because my favorite part about Jarv is his sharp and sort of gravelly voice and quickly fired lyrics about weed and more weed. He's the right guy to "Hot Box" with. EN

JK POP!

(Sat, all day, Vera Stage) You think K-pop is just Psy? You are sooooooo wrong. There are orchestra-sized girl groups and well-dressed elfin boy bands and pop stars and outfits Gaga wishes she could steal, all pumping out beats and the wacky, fun mishmash of 60 years of American pop culture filtered through a different lens and mixed with already-rich Korean pop culture. J-pop I know less well, but this popular DJ-night-turned-"audiovisual experience" is playing in between sets on the Vera Stage all day, and it's sure to bring some aficionados to the front to teach you the entire choreography of at least a couple of music videos. Hydrate! AM

KATIE KATE

(Sun, 8:30 pm, Barboza Stage) No one turns me into such a blubbering fangirl as Katie Kate, the classically trained local rapper/producer who famously makes her own beats and wrote a rap about a tote bag. Her pulsing, alien grooves are spectacular—the ones without words will make you take a trip to space, and the ones with rhymes on top will make you feel so fierce that you cannot be fucked with. Listen to her alone, and a power will fill you up; watch her play a crowd, and you might fall in love. Now she's a finalist for a Stranger Genius Award, which she totally deserves. (Here's hoping she does another badass Kate Bush cover!) AM

KID SMPL

(Sat, 4 pm, Vera Stage) Kid Smpl's music occupies the most romantic seat on the night bus—a chill, diaphanous, downcast species of bass music. Recording for Alex Ruder's Hush Hush label, Kid Smpl (23-year-old Seattle producer Joey Butler) disperses low frequencies into (yes) hushed atmospheres of tender bliss and misty wistfulness. As I noted before in a Stranger column: "Kid Smpl's music evokes the eerie, low-lit soul & bass of Burial and James Blake. It's incredibly gorgeous, triggering full-body chills within seconds." Should be interesting to see how Kid Smpl's nocturnal, too-beautiful-to-live hymns hit you in the middle of a summer afternoon. DS

LA LUZ

(Sat, 2:15 pm, Main Stage) Even casual readers of The Stranger are aware of what massive fans we are of La Luz, whose entrancingly melancholic brand of surf pop has been earning them plenty of love around the 206 since their formation about a year ago. They've started to garner national attention as well, with a rave review of their track "Sure as Spring" appearing on Pitchfork recently. Reverb-heavy guitars coil around beatific backup "oohs" and understatedly gorgeous lead vocals, at times almost sounding like Trish Keenan of Broadcast (RIP) fronting a California beach band. "Call Me in the Day" is one of my favorite songs to come out of Seattle in recent years. KF

LAND OF PINES

(Sat, 5 pm, Vera Stage) Land of Pines picked an appropriate name. Their (mostly) peppy indie rock has the moody-yet-triumphant feeling of looking westward from one forested hill to another at sunset—the golden glow of the sun behind the crowns of the trees, the misty dew starting to form at the bottom of the valley. Or perhaps that's going overboard. They're not that glorious, but they play with the same feelings and contrasts with their switch-up male and female vocals and their combination of bittersweet rock 'n' roll hope. And they do sound like they'd be right at home at an outdoor music festival somewhere near Puget Sound. BK

LATYRX

(Sun, 6:30 pm, Neumos Stage) Latyrx is Lateef the Truthspeaker and Lyrics Born, two Bay Area rappers who are housed by the groundbreaking label Quannum Projects (Blackalicious, DJ Shadow). Back in the late '90s and early '00s, the two made underground waves with Latyrx (The Album)—a record that was way ahead of its time, with a sound that came very close to being hiphop's answer to the architecture of brutalism. (I admit, it took me years to finally appreciate this difficult and almost uncategorizable work.) The one thing you can expect to see in this show is not just two super-talented rappers, but two rappers who have really been around the world and back. C. MUDEDE

LEARNING TEAM

(Sun, 5 pm, Vera Stage) Following the tradition of many a Northwest band, this Bellingham-based group hits a folksy-pop note. If there's any more room in your heart for another pack of sweet-faced, skinny white boys who are into cellos and singing about their feelings, check 'em out. C. MADRID

LIGHTS FROM SPACE

(Sat, 5:45 pm, Barboza Stage) There are three guys, and it's just rock, but it's calm and confident and catchy, not twitchy and aggressive, and that is great. They formed in 2010, they live in Seattle, and they seem to have a following in London, which makes sense, because there is something classically American about them, like the Strokes, which makes English people go crazy. They would like you to know that they also enjoy the Pixies and Nirvana and the Beatles and the Kinks and Buddy Holly. Sometimes they wear vests and ties, but their hair is mussed. JG

LURES

(Fri, 4:30 pm, Barboza Stage) Lures are a dreamy three-piece who got their musical start as a band called Ambulance in Sound Off! (and before that, in the Ballard High School marching band), and due to the appearance of a demon Audrey Hepburn on the cover of their 7-inch Dizzy, I think they're probably pretty awesome. Fin Records, which released Dizzy, says they have a "mature sound that draws from the racquet of Garage and Surf Rock forebears," citing the Sonics and the Ventures. AM

MONOGAMY PARTY

(Fri, 7:45 pm, Cha Cha Stage) You cannot miss Monogamy Party! But before you head down into the Cha Cha (aka the Capitol Hill Block Party's beer sauna) you also must beware: IT WILL BE FUCKING INSANE. The convulsive rockers will not respect your personal space—it will be a loud, sweaty frenzy. If you dare to take the journey downstairs, you will leave drenched, deaf, but absofuckinglutely delighted. You have been warned. MS

NAOMI PUNK

(Sat, 7:15 pm, Vera Stage) I'm telling you, if you haven't gotten into Naomi Punk yet, you're snoozing your face off over there. I don't think I'll ever get sick of their strange, ear-singeing deconstruction. To go ahead and quote myself from a blurb I wrote last year: "Their sound is slow art punk soaked in a warm reverb bathtub... heavy and wonderful, like a melty cassette tape of irresistible melodies sung into a fan." See, don't you want to get into that warm reverb bathtub? Oh, one more, what the hey: "Their songs are heavy and catchy—they take their time, unwinding with high airy vocals and oddly gratifying key changes that fade in and out as they please." EN

NIGHT CADET

(Fri, 4:30 pm, Neumos Stage) Since their addition to the Block Party lineup was super last-minute, I shall re-blurberate something I wrote last month for our Queer Issue: "Night Cadet songs are vast—heart-wrenching vocals soar over lush string arrangements and glimmering guitar—with enough passion to carry you through the joy of falling in love and the pain of breaking up. Valley/Seaside (their recently released two-song 7-inch) is gorgeous: 'Valley' gallops with swelling emotion while 'Seaside' radiates a woozy, lovesick euphoria." EN

NISSIM

(Sun, 5:45 pm, Vera Stage) Nissim (formerly known as D.Black) is one of the founding members of Sportn' Life Records, the son of rappers who helped build Seattle's first hiphop community way back in the 1980s, an MC who has dropped two albums (the second of which, Ali'Yah, is a 206 masterpiece), and is soon to release a third on Ballard's Fin Records. What you can expect from Nissim, who, by the way, converted to Orthodox Judaism three or so years ago, is some solid and very positive spitting. C. MUDEDE

ODESZA

(Sun, 2:15 pm, Main Stage) Harrison Mills and Clayton Knight of Odesza have names that sound like those of romance-novel protagonists, but they're more in the business of generating romantic scenarios with their lush, oneiric night-bus jams. The Seattle duo comes off like a more extroverted and beat-powered Kid Smpl (another local Block Party act you should catch). Check out Odesza's debut album, Summer's Gone, for plenty of sweet, chill swoon tunes. DS

OLD IRON

(Sun, 4:45 pm, Cha Cha Stage) The only information I could find on Old Iron is that the band played their first show exactly one year after they began writing material. This indicates one of two things: The band's trudging, melodic metal with screeching vocals will be spot-on and baked to perfection (since it's been in the oven for so long), OR this band has finally won the battle over stage fright and will put on the most exciting set the Cha Cha has ever seen. EN

ONUINU

(Sat, 8:30 pm, Vera Stage) Onuinu is a man named Dorian Duvall who lives in Portland and calls what he does "disco-hop." He shares things on Twitter. "Diddy looks cute in a kilt." "I use[d] to throw concerts in my room after school when I was a kid." "Sending e-mails in my dreams and not actually sending them in real life thinking I've already sent them is happening in my life." "Having a sex dream and then waking up to your roommate having sex is confusing." You can roller-skate to the music. JG

PHOX

(Sat, 5:15 pm, Neumos Stage) Hailing from Wisconsin, Phox are a seven-piece ensemble of self-described best friends, making music that will probably end up on a commercial for a phone or a car. It's the sort of pretty, melodic, celebratory type of indie folk made to soundtrack lens flares and the landscape rushing by. The lead singer has a legitimately amazing voice, though—see them before they get big, so you can say you were there. KF

PICKWICK

(Sat, 10:30 pm, Main Stage) There are a lot of dudes in this Seattle band—six of them. In pictures, they stand in a row so you can count them. Only one of them looks at the camera. Did someone tell him to, or did they pick a picture where only one guy was looking at the camera? And did it matter which guy, and why that guy? Does it have to do with Pickwick's "voracious interest in music that's mired in obscurity"? There are instruments and voices and it's all been DIY since the start, when they became popular at Sonic Boom with just a demo-y tape in 2011. The lead voice is full of regret. You will hum and sway like you have a tic and can't help it. JG

PONY TIME

(Sat, 8:45 pm, Cha Cha Stage) Drummer Stacy Peck and guitarist Luke Beetham make a helluva fucking racket for being only a two-piece. Think Thee Oh Sees meet Roy Orbison—garage rock with a healthy hint of surfer twang. Their new album, Go Find Your Own, is a Northwest must-have record. It doesn't take itself too seriously (with songs like "Lesbian Mayor," "Hippy Shit," and "First Thing in the Morning, You and Me [Hard and Heavy]"), but IT IS in fact a serious album (seriously excellent!). Saddle up, world! It's time to take a ride with these ponies. KO

POOR MOON

(Sun, 5:45 pm, Barboza Stage) As you probably already know, Tom Skerritt stars in the music video for Poor Moon's song "Holiday." To the plaintive hula beat and sad, distant vocals, Skerritt stares out of windows and is delivered to an institution, where he listens to records and takes drugs. It's perhaps Skerritt's finest performance in years. As to the music: It's nice. Calm, soothing, airy, gentle. Poor Moon is probably unlike every other band you'll see at Block Party, and that's a great thing. After all that hard work of listening to rock and roll, don't your ears deserve a vacation? PC

PRINCESS

(Fri, 6:30 pm, Barboza Stage) This year, the Block Party folks didn't fuck around when it came to booking some of the Northwest's most blistering rock bands, and Seattle's own Princess fit in perfectly with the weekend's earplug-required performances. They'll gladly make your ears bleed. MS

PURE BATHING CULTURE

(Sun, 10 pm, Neumos Stage) This sincere and tidy band plays pretty, chiming, synthy songs about sincere and possibly untidy feelings. The songs have titles like "Lucky One" and "Pendulum Song" and "Golden Girl" and "Dreams" (this last being a slowed-down cover of Fleetwood Mac). The vocalist sometimes sounds a little bit like Julee Cruise and sometimes a little bit like Neko Case, but, you know, indier. Watching some of their videos and listening to some of their songs, you might think, "I bet they're from Portland," and you'd be right. BJC

PURITY RING

(Sat, 9 pm, Main Stage) Purity Ring are a soft, dreamy electronica project from Edmonton with ghostly female vocals and an emotional range that stretches all the way from cold to detached. (Side note: Was Grimes the Nirvana of dreamily dissociative Canadian electronica? Will we now be saturated with other representatives of that scene as record labels elbow their way to another potential gold mine? We'll find out in 2022, during the inevitable bonanza of anniversary articles and documentaries.) The two members of Purity Ring are probably sick to death of the comparison with Grimes, but there's no way around it. They've also collaborated with rapper Danny Brown, which sets them apart from the pack. Whatever your feelings on the subject, you really should check out the video for their song "Lofticries," directed by AG Rojas, which features Steadicam shots of people casually walking in on—and out of—moments of death. It's eerily gorgeous. BK

RABBITS

(Sat, 5:45 pm, Cha Cha Stage) No, not the cute animals with big fuzzy ears and adorable little whiskers, but the Portland trio that constructs a wall of sound that's so heavy and so sludgy, your legs will feel like Jell-O thanks to their bass lines that, legend has it, have been known to measure on the Richter scale. MS

RADIATION CITY

(Fri, 4 pm, Main Stage) This Portland-based group lays down doo-wop tracks with a wink and an elbow. With hard edges, techno flutters, and sweetly lilting harmonies. It's absolutely lovely, lovely, lovely—I'm pretty sure "Summer Rain" made me drop an egg. Skip the slow dance, this is definitely music worth getting pregnant to. C. MADRID

RAVENNA WOODS WITH SEATTLE ROCK ORCHESTRA

(Sun, 8:15 pm, Vera Stage) Desperate and urgent, Ravenna Woods play Northwest noir, a slightly darker and more mossy-smelling cousin of the Cave Singers and Fleet Foxes family. (Ravenna Woods list Botch and Kafka among their influences.) Their latest album, The Jackals—which features a new fourth member who brings a whole new raft of instruments to their flotilla—has been mixed and mastered and is about ready to drop. Woods fans are probably doing the pee-pee dance to see what songs they'll do, new or old, with backing and elaboration by the ever-growing Seattle Rock Orchestra. BK

ROSE WINDOWS

(Sat, 3:30 pm, Main Stage) Seattle septet Rose Windows have had a pretty swift—and swiftly pretty—rise through the local-music ecosphere. Within two years, they cut an album with world-class producer Randall Dunn, landed a Sub Pop contract, and released their impressively epic debut, The Sun Dogs, in June. Sometimes in this crazy business we call music, things work logically. Powered by Rabia Qazi's gilded, robust croon and an intuitive instrumental prowess that fuses folk, blues, and psych rock, Rose Windows create majestic songs that stir you to the core. It might be premature to say, but fug it: Rose Windows are poised to become one of Seattle's most important bands of the twentyteens. DS

RUN THE JEWELS

(Sat, 6 pm, Main Stage) When I had El-P and Killer Mike up at KEXP, it was shortly after the release of Mike's killer R.A.P. Music LP, produced by El Producto. Mike let me know that whether El liked it or not, he was going to be working with Kill for the foreseeable future. "He doin' another record for me, and another record, and another record... or we gon' beef," the "black elephant" drawled. So it was inevitable that the two would formally click up, as the two-man demolition unit Run the Jewels—a phrase you could've heard a NYC stickup kid (such as Kelvin "50 Cent" Martin) bark at a flashy '80s rapper (say, LL Cool J) in the midst of a robbery. Ante up. LM

S

(Sat, 9:45 pm, Cha Cha Stage) At last year's Block Party, former Carissa's Wierd-o Jenn Ghetto fronted Silly Goose, a Blink-182 cover band that also featured members of Grand Archives. It was so fun and goofy! This year won't be so silly, though, as Ghetto performs as her heartbreaking post-CW solo project S. If you can hear "I'm Fine... Bye Bye" or "Losers" without downing a bottle of pills, congratulations, your heart is concrete! MS

SANDRIDER

(Sun, 2:15 pm, Neumos Stage) The opening line for Sandrider's "The Corpse" goes like this: "BREAKING BREAD WITH THE DRAGOOON!!!" It doesn't get much more metal than that. MS

SAM LACHOW & RAZ SIMONE

(Sun, 7 pm, Vera Stage) I used to notice some years ago that whenever I wasn't seeing this guy Macklemore in the mix, around the way, or at shows, that usually meant he was grinding it out on tour somewhere. He certainly wasn't playing the arenas and such yet, but he was definitely making new fans. Nowadays, Sam Lachow is the guy who seems to be low-key on tour all the time, often with his co-d Raz Simone. Lachow was featured on that XXL "Seattle Rappers You Should Know" list. The strangely winning combo of Sam's goofy stoner earnestness and Raz's epic street sermons is making for something compelling to a whole new generation of fans, so keep your eyes on these two. LM

SCREAM QUEEN

(Sun, 3:45 pm, Cha Cha Stage) Scream Queen are Guns N' Roses before Axl Rose got fat. Or Ratt before Robbin Crosby was diagnosed with HIV and then died of a heroin overdose, or maybe Hanoi Rocks before drummer Nicholas "Razzle" Dingley died in that boozy car accident in Vince Neil's sports car. Or, shoot, maybe even Quiet Riot, long before singer Kevin DuBrow died of a cocaine overdose at 52 years old. Scream Queen are a little bit of ALL of these bands, when these bands were still young, still thrashers, and still on top of the world. Scream Queen hit all the high notes—they're ready to go round and round, and their love will find a way, just give it time. KO

SECRET COLORS

(Fri, 8:30 pm, Barboza Stage) Fun fact (maybe): Secret Colors' Matt Lawson is the second-tallest musician in Seattle after Whiting Tennis. Similarly altitudinous is Secret Colors' music. Well, it's spacey and aquatic, so it's deep, too. The introspective instrumentals Lawson creates are watery, heavenly reveries that seem more at home in, uh, your home than out in public, but Barboza's quasi-womblike space should offer an aptly intimate environment for the precious Secret Colors experience. DS

SO PITTED

(Sat, 3:45 pm, Barboza Stage) So Pitted's sludgy take on post-punk has been winning them fans around Seattle for quite some time, and for good reason. Their songs bristle with a nervous, jangly energy—the vocalist mutters about "spewing while [he] speaks," while the drums barrel on with paranoid skittishness and atonal guitars squeak out diseased-sounding earworms. Bad vibes equal good times. Highly recommended. KF

SOFT METALS

(Fri, 7 pm, Neumos Stage) If the artwork that surrounds Soft Metals doesn't clue you in to their sounds—faux Nagel prints and gauzy, digitally manipulated portraits—30 seconds of their synthesized sound will do the trick. What we have here is the 1980s, condensed down to a musical duo and injected into your ears with industrial machinery. Most of these songs wouldn't be out of place on Michael Mann's Manhunter soundtrack, and I mean that as the very fondest compliment. PC

SPACENEEDLES

(Sat, 4:45 pm, Cha Cha Stage) Okay, VERY IMPORTANT, don't get these confused. There is a '90s cover band (a bunch of dudes with bad flannel shirts tied around their waists so that you can see their Nirvana/Soundgarden/Alice in Chains T-shirts) over yonder in Minnesota called Space Needle: The Definitive '90s Tribute Band. Then there's Spaceneedles—a band that's really from Seattle—a nu-grunge/post-rock four-piece that captures the best of the '90s-Seattle sound by writing original songs and playing original music. So far, they've self-released an EP called Olive Towers and a single called "Low Ceilings." Both are fantastic, especially played live with head-banging and flying hair. KO

STAR SLINGER

(Sat, 6 pm, Main Stage) Star Slinger has canceled. Based in Manchester, Star Slinger is a beat creator who has one foot in hiphop and the other in house. The beats he programs are usually very distinctive, intelligent, and packed with soul samples. If you want to prepare for his show, I recommend getting ahold of the beat tape Volume 1, which brought a little fame to his name. C. MUDEDE

STEVE GUNN

(Fri, 5:30 pm, Barboza Stage) Neo-folk rock has been really popular in recent years, but most of it makes me grumpy. There's something cloying, dull, and smugly conservative about a lot of it. But guitarist Steve Gunn—who also plays with rising indie star Kurt Vile—somehow taps into a more transcendent vein of this tradition, inspired by his interest in the trance-inducing forms of Carnatic and Gnawa music and mystical six-string folk mavericks like Sandy Bull and Robbie Basho. Gunn's 2013 album Time Off is the ideal place to latch on to his special strain of coruscating songcraft and soulfully forlorn singing. Fellow Block Party participant William Tyler and Gunn are destined to be the twin towers of Americana integrity of this weekend. DS

STICKERS

(Fri, 4 pm, Vera Stage) Remember that late-'70s no-wave band Teenage Jesus and the Jerks? Lydia Lunch with saxophonist James Chance? Stickers very much remind me of all that sonic chaos—except Stickers' lead singer, Gabby, has a waaay better punk-rock-whiskey-soaked-voice than Lydia Lunch does. Lunch would probably kick me in my ass for saying so, but I'm saying it anyway. Stickers are also less abrasive musically, and more gnarly and inspired with lyrics. Case in point, my favorite Stickers lyrics from of one of their older songs, "Princess Di": You're the princess/Fuck who you want/Fuck whoever you want/You can fuck all the Arabs you want/Fuck all the Arabs you want/Your only job was to outlive the Queen. KO

STRFKR

(Fri, 9:15 pm, Main Stage) You like to dance, but mellowly—minimal-sweat dancing, or very deliberate swaying. You like electronica music. You like pop music. You vote only during presidential elections. You eat bananas not because you like them, but because someone once told you they were a good source of potassium. You are everyman. You will like STRFKR, who craft good, danceable (swayable) electro-pop songs. C. MADRID

SURVIVAL KNIFE

(Sat, 3 pm, Neumos Stage) Sharp and serrated, like their name indicates, Olympia's Survival Knife have a big, slightly menacing sound that retains pop sensibility over angular, jarring rhythms. It's compact Northwest grit rock, and if they remind you of 1990s Olympia noise-rock band Unwound, it's because Survival Knife are made up of two of the same members—Justin Trosper and Brandt Sandeno. EN

TACOCAT

(Sat, 7:45 pm, Cha Cha Stage) Tacocat are my friends—and lead word-belter Emily is my very patient editor—but before any of that was the case, Emily, Bree, Eric, and Lelah were already one of my favorite bands in town for their brand of whippet-giddy junk-culture pop punk. I would love it if they were huge, like Macklemore huge. Shit, just like him, they write songs that home in on a particular topic and nail it: the futility of the number 8 Metro line, the snootiness of fixie riders, the curious case of Oscar the death- predicting cat from Providence, Rhode Island. Tacocat are like the cool fictional band that play on your favorite guilty-pleasure TV show, or at the prom in Starship Troopers. LM

TACOS!

(Sun, 6:45 pm, Cha Cha Stage) On the subject of itself, the band Tacos! says, "Starting as a side project from their other bands, Tacos! has tolled into a fine running heavy metal taco eating machine." Maybe they mean "rolled"? In any case, a fine-running heavy-metal taco-eating machine sounds like a great idea, albeit a great idea probably best enjoyed with earplugs. Tacos! are a two-piece, which makes how loud they are even more awesome. See you at Rancho Bravo, Tacos! BJC

TELEKINESIS

(Fri, 5:15 pm, Main Stage) I promise you, no matter how many bands you see this weekend, no matter how many songs you hear, and no matter how many beers you drink, if you catch any of Telekinesis's set, you'll wake up Monday morning with their infectious pop songs in your head. Contagious doesn't even begin to describe how catchy their choruses can be. MS

THEORETICS

(Sun, 5:15 pm, Neumos Stage) Yes, it's true, I'm not a big supporter of live hiphop. But that's just me, just how I feel about it. I like my beats to sound mechanical rather than human. If you want a human, go to a rock show; if you want a machine, go to a rap show. That said, Theoretics—a local seven-piece hiphop crew—make pretty good music and have two solid rappers, Mark Hoy and Chima Abuachi. I have a feeling that Theoretics will be a hit for those who like their hiphop to be as big as a big band. C. MUDEDE

TOMTEN

(Sun, 4 pm, Vera Stage) Tomten are a Seattle band made of a woman and two men who play music that is quite pretty (in a good way), with the kind of light reverb that sounds the way an old silver mirror reflects, steamy at the edges. They feel the following, according to their testimony in a tweet: "It sucks knowin' that when I die I'll never get to hear Rubber Soul again." When you die and never get to hear Rubber Soul again, this is what you lose forever: "Drive My Car," "Norwegian Wood," "You Won't See Me," "Nowhere Man," "Michelle," and "In My Life." Sucks. JG

TRAGIC VALLEY

(Sun, 2:45 pm, Cha Cha Stage) Slow, low, and psychedelic, Tragic Valley are the guitar and drums space-rock duo of Jason Schwartz and Karl Jensen. Hailing from the Bay Area, their motto is "Sad and beautiful times," they have a song called "Impossibly Blue," and their Facebook page has pictures of dark cloud patterns. If you're feeling the need to come down a bit, head into the cool, dark Cha Cha to enjoy Tragic Valley's chill music. GA

TRAILS AND WAYS

(Sun, 3:15 pm, Neumos Stage) Hey! Trails and Ways, awesomely, does involve the sounds of transportation-ing, of trails-ing and ways-ing. These noises include trains. Hypothesis to be tested: Car sounds are no longer musical. The sound of a Prius is not making it into any of your songs, Trails and Ways. What would your Prius song say? You make nice harmonies, Trails and Ways. We find you lovely. Transportation forever! Trails and Ways also enjoy topographical maps and bicycles. JG

TRANSMISSIONARY

(Sun, 3:45 pm, Barboza Stage) Check out this press release: "Transmissionary seeks to explore the relationship between the measurable and the immeasurable; an aural dodging and weaving through space and time; a sonic study of spooky action at a distance." So, measurable, like my patience with this sort of pretentibabble? (Zero.) Or immeasurable, like the amount of times The Stranger staff tried to find them online and almost gave up? Eventually, a source did explain to me that Transmissionary is "kind of space, math metal," and the last time they saw them, the show was "very good." EN

TRASH FIRE

(Sat, 6:45 pm, Cha Cha Stage) If you like it when you accidentally play a Ramones tape over a Misfits album, you will love Trash Fire! MS

THE TRASHIES

(Fri, 8:45 pm, Cha Cha Stage) I don't even know how the Cha Cha's womblike basement is going to hold up when the Trashies come a-thrashin' down there with their spectacularly sweaty gunk rock. What I do know, however, is that it shall be glorious chaos, and you best make it down there! If you like fun and music, that is. EN

UBU ROI

(Sun, 2 pm, Vera Stage) Nothing wins me over quite like a rambling, nonsensical band bio. "Ubu Roi is an all-American rock band formed in the filthiest city on earth, Seattle," the local four-piece begins in their Facebook description, continuing with the "list of the gear Ubu Roi needs to borrow from other bands before they can play a show" and "Record label narcs from all over the world have been sniffing around Ubu Roi's riff-heavy shreddage, leaving briefcases full of cocaine at the band's practice space every weekend." Wow. It's loud, harebrained rock with crunchy punk edges and a wink—their EP Nice Dude debuts next month and the cover features a slice of pizza covering a man's crotch. EN

UNNATURAL HELPERS

(Sun, 7:45 pm, Cha Cha Stage) Pounding out fine local rock 'n' roll for 10-plus years, Unnatural Helpers will get your blood moving with their loud brand of hot licks (you read that right: HOT. LICKS.) and sarcasm-laced jams. Guided by the gold-medal drumming and yell-singing of one Dean Whitmore, these dudes will punch you. Not in the face, but on the shoulder—hard enough to sting, but not hard enough to stop dancing. EN

VOX MOD

(Sat, 6 pm, Vera Stage) Back in April, local electronic beat producer Vox Mod dropped a gem on us called SYN-ÆSTHETIC. It was produced by Erik Blood and featured Shabazz Palaces' Palaceer Lazaro in full Afrofuturist mode. Sometimes fiery, sometimes beautiful, sometimes near, sometimes far, sometimes deep, sometimes poppy, sometimes soulful, sometimes punky, SYN-ÆSTHETIC dazzles the listener in much the same way as a shimmering cloud of cosmic gas and ice would impress an astronaut traveling at the magnificent speeds of the universe. C. MUDEDE

WAXAHATCHEE

(Fri, 7 pm, Vera Stage) Oh man, Katie Crutchfield is the shit! Her adept musicianship was first on display with previous projects like P.S. Eliot, Bad Banana, and the Ackleys (all of which she played in with her twin sister, Allison), but these days, it's her solo project Waxahatchee that keeps the Alabama-born Philadelphia resident busy. Crutchfield lays bare her stories and memories, her voice can sail cleanly or lower into a sandy murmur, depending on the emotion of the song—and there's emotion in every one of them, right on the surface. She's a talent mine with sharp songwriting skills—you'll be glad you caught her set. EN

WHITE LUNG

(Fri, 9:30 pm, Vera Stage) If the band 7 Year Bitch or L7 decided to have an illegitimate child (maybe fathered by Nomeansno) and then raised it in the wilds of Canada, spoon-fed on the early albums of Babes in Toyland, Bikini Kill, and Hole—it would most definitely turn out like White Lung. The Vancouver four-piece is winning all sorts of accolades for their new brand of punk—which draws from all the aforementioned bands, but doesn't rip them off, reinventing and re-creating their sounds with a new, present-day ferocity. Also watch how frontwoman Mish Way beats on her leg as she rips out song after song. She must have bruises after every show. And like actress Chloe Webb whined, while playing the girlfriend of Sid Vicious in the '80s film Sid and Nancy, "But Sid... Barbie didn't HAVE bruises!" KO

WHITE CHINA GOLD

(Fri, 9:30 pm, Barboza Stage) We're all thinking it, so I'm just going to say it: Seattle's Thomas Hunter has a better handlebar mustache than President William Howard Taft and Julius Pringles combined. Talented facial-hair cultivator, yes, but did you know he's also a talented musician? If this were a Sublime song, I would say that he "can play the guitar like a motherfucking riot," but since it's not, I'll instead say that he's a capable guitarist, singer, and songwriter—his laid-back, folk-infused soul is sleepy and pleasant, even when the subject matter gets gritty with cocaine and other big-kid issues. EN

WILD CUB

(Sat, 9:45 pm, Vera Stage) I think you will like this art pop. Played by five dudes, it is a wall of sound—happy, joyful sound. When PR people love a band very, very much, they get together and apply music words, and their baby comes out like this: "infectious electro-pop, tropical rhythms, and quiet washes of cinematic reflection." Which is basically true, although the tropicalia is a little more Tropicana. I have a friend who said upon first hearing them that they sound like Modest Mouse sped up with no minor chords. P.S. What kind of wild cub? JG

WILLIAM TYLER

(Fri, 6 pm, Vera Stage) Oh, hey, a white guy with a guitar? Stifle your yawns, reader. William Tyler is a preternaturally gifted picker of quicksilver folk idioms. On his 2013 album of eight instrumentals, Impossible Truth (one of the year's best LPs and among the greatest things Merge has ever issued—yes, fool, even greater than those Arcade Fire and Superchunk records), Tyler combines astounding technical facility with profound depth of feeling. His music is a river of enchanting melodies, inventive dynamics, and glistening tones. This thirtysomething American's fingers manipulate strings on his acoustic and electric, and blessed peace ensues. Now more than ever, this is very necessary. DS

THE YOUNG EVILS

(Fri, 7:30 pm, Barboza Stage) My favorite kind of power pop is that which sounds bright and sunny but is lyrically filled with spite. That's why I love the Young Evils! Their harmonized, guitar-driven songs will make you pogo your pants off, while also offering up some comfort when it comes to life's more bullshit moments like breaking up. MS

YOURYOUNGBODY

(Sat, 2 pm, Vera Stage) If this Seattle duo sticks around for a long time, their name is going to seem pretty creepy. But for now, producer Killian Brom and vocalist Emily Cripe have youth on their side, as well as a flair for executing icily pretty darkwave synth tunes. Brom's brooding electronics and staunch beats buttress Cripe's creamy torch-song emoting with radio- and club-friendly confidence, and your mascara just might run down your face as you coolly exert yourself to youryoungbody. DS

This article has been updated since its original publication to accommodate schedule changes.

 

Comments (8) RSS

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1
still a bummer that Chromatics and Glass Candy aren't playing. I know at least 5 people, other than myself that had to craigslist their friday tickets. Next year needs a better line-up.
Posted by girl28 on July 24, 2013 at 2:32 PM · Report this
Simone 2
Is KEXP not doing their live thing at the Barboza stage this year?
Posted by Simone on July 24, 2013 at 2:54 PM · Report this
3
I wouldn't classify the Theoretics as "Hip Hop." Yes, there are a lot of rap verses in their music but the music as a whole is so much more eclectic than can be conveyed by labeling it with a genre.

Check out their live videos on youtube and get a real feel for what they do before you judge them :-)
Posted by DeAndre Enrico on July 24, 2013 at 3:15 PM · Report this
4
I guess dub step has not played itself out yet
Posted by Seattle shows suck on July 24, 2013 at 10:35 PM · Report this
5 Comment Pulled (Spam) Comment Policy
6
Hey! La Luz here, writing you from a hotel in the middle of nowhere. Wanted to let everyone know that our set has been moved to 2:15 on the Main Stage. http://capitolhillblockparty.com/schedul…
Posted by luzer on July 25, 2013 at 9:04 PM · Report this
7
totally agree about chromatics! they are the only band i wanted to see. bought 2 tickets (almost $100) and had to sell them on craigslist.
Posted by blockpartynongoer on July 26, 2013 at 9:47 AM · Report this
stirwise 8
Also, Spaceneedles should not be confused with Space Needle, the mid-90's experimental rock band from Providence, RI. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Needl…

(also, go listen to some Space Needle. They were pretty great.)
Posted by stirwise on July 26, 2013 at 4:01 PM · Report this

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