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Music journalist Travis Hay drops some knowledge and insight about local and national music news, offers reviews and offers a place for conversation on all things music.
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Archive for May, 2009

Jason Mraz, Kasabian, Kay Kay, Otep, Wale and 58 others added to Bumbershoot

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground

The folks over at One Reel released a slew of names that will be playing Bumbershoot this year. In all the list consists of 63 new acts that have been added to the lineup and a bunch of comedians too. It is a mix of metal, pop, hip hop, folk, rock, alt.country and just about every other genre you can think of. What’s really great about the list of new additions is that it includes more than 25 Northwest artists.

The complete Bumbershoot lineup will not be revealed until the middle of July so you’ll have to wait until then to see whether the two big rumors floating around out there about big-name headliners are true.

Here’s the complete list of who was added Wednesday night:

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PHOTO SLIDESHOW: The weekend that was Sasquatch! 2009

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

I’m still working on writing up the final few capsules of bands that I caught at Sasquatch! but in the meantime here is a slideshow of 50 of my favorite photos from Sasquatch! 2009 as taken by Ear Candy’s Steven Friederich, myself and the trio of Sasquatch! staff photographers (Sean Pecknold, Christopher Nelson and Jackie Kingsbury). I attempted to give credit whenever possible.

Expect to read about Ben Harper, BLK JKS, School of Seven Bells, The Knux, Monotonix, Beach House, The Dutchess and the Duke, of Montral and Murder City Devils soon.

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Sasquatach! 2009 Day 3 (another perspective): Silversun Pickups, Girl Talk, Explosions in the Sky, Erykah Badu

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

Here’s the final Sasquatch! dispatch from Ear Candy’s Brent Stecker.

Girl Talk by Christopher Nelson

Silversun Pickups

On a day that was dominated by folk and dance-related acts, these shoegazers seemed out of place. There was nothing wrong with what they did, but they would have been better suited on Sunday’s bill with the whole NIN/JA thing. But even though the crowd was worn out by the time they showed up, Silversun Pickups kept the energy up as much as they could (smart move opening with “Well Thought Out Twinkles”). Also, I thought it was classy that they dedicated “Panic Switch” to former Wilco member Jay Bennett, who passed away on Monday, but the nice gesture subsided when the guitar cut out during the song. Still, they rock. No qualms here.

Girl Talk

Now this was THE dance party of the weekend. The set started with dozens of fans on the stage dancing, and about an hour of almost non-stop music followed. For those not familiar, Girl Talk is Gregg Gillis, a DJ who just does crazy mashups — and people love it.

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Girl Talk photo by Christopher Nelson


Sasquatch! 2009 Day 3 (another perspective): Santigold, Blitzen Trapper, Gogol Bordello, Fleet Foxes,

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

Here’s more from Ear Candy’s Brent Stecker about his experience at Day 3 of Sasquatch! 2009.

Gogol Bordello by Sean Pecknold

Santigold

Pound for pound, I think this was the best set of the day. It had the right combination of eclecticism, dance beats, and musicality to keep the crowd into it the whole time. I was surprised to hear that some of the songs were straight-up pop rock, while others were hip-hop driven. It didn’t really matter what song she was playing, though, because the floor was bouncing the whole time. Also notable was the one reggae track she played, which seemed to be something everyone was waiting for (Hear that, organizers? Get some reggae next year). By the last track, Santigold invited a dozen or so audience members on stage, and the second biggest dance party of the day commenced (stay tuned for No. 1).

Blitzen Trapper

It seems like Portland’s finest freak folk troupe has made it. Everyone who was at their Wookie Stage set was their for a reason — they wanted to sing along to songs off the excellent “Furr” record. There wasn’t anything special about their set, but the band was spot-on. The psychedelic guitar leads were much more jarring live, and the screaming blues of “Love U” was drawn out as much as possible for a painfully slow but completely awesome performance.

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Gogol Bordello photo by Sean Pecknold


Sasquatch! 2009 Day 3: The Pica Beats, Black Moth Super Rainbow, Grizzly Bear

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

I’m still way behind on writing about what I saw during Day 3 of Sasquatch! 2009, but Ear Candy’s Brent Stecker summed up his experience during the festival’s final day. Here’s an excerpt of one of his dispatched from the festival.

Grizzly Bear by Sean Pecknold

The Pica Beats

In the three songs or so I saw of this Seattle band, I heard some eclectic stuff that certainly went beyond the borders of modern folk and rock. It was all meandering, and songs seemed to go on longer than they should, but I liked their subtle use of Middle Eastern tones mixed in with rock fundamentals.

Black Moth Super Rainbow

The most unique thing I saw all weekend. Everything was drenched in effects, especially the vocoder vocals (which I’m guessing was cued up on a laptop since I didn’t see anyone onstage singing) and psyched-out guitars. The two things that stuck out to me was the pulsing basslines that kept everything moving, and the hookiness of everything despite the overt weirdness.

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Grizzly Bear photo by Sean Pecknold


PHOTO SLIDESHOW: Sasquatch! 2009 Day 3

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

Like I said, words and better photos to come, but this slideshow will give you an idea about how Monotonix wiped me out during the final day of Sasquatch!


PHOTO SLIDESHOW: Sasquatch! 2009 Day 2

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

Here are the pictures I shot during the second day of Sasquatch! 2009. Professional photos and more words on Sasquatch! to come.


PHOTO SLIDESHOW: Sasquatch! 2009 Day 1

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

Sasquatch! 2009 is over and I am exhausted. But it wasn’t three 12-hour days in the sun that killed me (I live in Eastern Washington so I’m acclimated to the heat). Nor was it trekking up and down the hills of the Gorge Amphitheatre (I practically live at the Gorge every summer so I’m a pro at hiking up the hills).

It was the hirsute Tel Avivan trio of Monotonix that simply destroyed my concertgoing well being. But this is a good type of destroyed. I will explain the craziness that was Monotonix later (I have to get ready to go back to the day job). For now here is a slideshow of what I saw during Day 1 of Sasquatch! 2009. I will post professional shots taken by the Sasquatch! photographers in the coming days.


Sasquatch! 2009 Day 2: The Henry Clay People, St Vincent

Monday, May 25th, 2009

The Henry Clay People

I don’t know who Henry Clay is but his people sure do know how to throw a good old fashioned rock ‘n’ roll dance party. Fronted by two brothers, the four-piece played a rollicking romp of a set filled with plenty of garage rock goodness.

They told the crowd two weeks ago they all quit their day jobs in order to go on tour. Then they proceeded to play a song they wrote about quitting their jobs to be in a rock band. That’s pretty rock ‘n’ roll right there. Need more proof of The Henry Clay People’s commitment to the Gods of Rock ‘n’ Roll? Their set ended with a lyrical medley that included some Bowie, Stones and The Who.

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Sasquatch! 2009 Day 2 (a second perspective): NIN/JA

Monday, May 25th, 2009

The second day of Sasquatch! 2009 ended with a rocktacular double billing of Nine Inch Nails and the reunited Jane’s Addiction. Here’s what Ear Candy’s Brent Stecker had to say about the closing acts:

Nine Inch Nails

Whatever pissed off Trent Reznor in the first place, it has not gone away. He came out with as much piss and vinegar as he always does, totally losing control in the first three songs. Eventually that all subsided, as the Nails settled into a lengthy set that was heavy on stuff from “The Fragile” and not much else.

As someone who loves every NIN album except “The Fragile,” this was a disappointment. But don’t get me wrong, “Burn” still rocks, “Head Like A Hole” never gets old, and “I Do Not Want This” was intense.

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Music journalist Travis Hay drops some knowledge and insight about local and national music news, offers reviews and offers a place for conversation on all things music.