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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 July, 2009

Caffe Vita’s Bean Room: The best part about CHBP 2009

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

The best part about Capitol Hill Block Party this year wasn’t the improved stage layout, a trendy new band or the "Vote Bots" walking around in 90-degree heat. The coolest part about this year’s CHBP was a small, tucked away stage back in Caffe Vita’s bean room where lots of great local artsits (and one major headliner) dropped by to play short, intimate sets and talk about music. 

For those who knew about it, the Caffe Vita stage provided a nice escape from the crowd without having to get away from live music while making it feel you were experiencing something special. Hey Marseilles, The Maldives, They Live!, Grynch (who wasn’t a CHBP performer btw) and other local acts dropped by. Aside from providing music, the stage also delivered one of the coolest moments of the Block Party when Sonic Youth was interviewed by Andrew Matson of the Seattle Times. Sure it wasn’t the most probing or informative interview, but it was just cool to be in the same room as Sonic Youth. Here’s some of the bean room action in case you missed it. Hopefully Caffe Vita will host a similar stage next year.


PHOTO GALLERY: Capitol Hill Block Party Day 1

Monday, July 27th, 2009

All photos by the talented Brittney Bush Bollay who perfectly captured the first day of Capitol Hill Block Party 2009 through the lens of her camera. Click here to view more of Brittney’s work and there are more photos after the jump too.


Capitol Hill Block Party: My schedule, or how I hope to catch 20 bands in two days

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

As promised earlier, here is my tentative schedule for Capitol Hill Block Party 2009. I say tentative because once I hit the festival grounds all bets are off since set times can run late and I will likely find myself getting caught up in some sets more than I anticipated or I might be discovering my new favorite band. That’s the joy of music festivals. You never know what’s going to happen.

FRIDAY

4:00 Dutchess and the Duke

5:15 Spinnerettes

6:20 The Blakes

6:45 Black Lips

7:45 Sleepy Eyes of Death

8:15 Deerhunter

9:15 Built To Spill

9:45 Born Anchors

10:20 They Live!

SATURDAY

4:00 Girls

4:30 The Pains of Being Pure at Heart

5:15 Akimbo

5:45 Pela

6:30 The Maldives

7:15 The Thermals

7:45 The Lonely Forest

8:45 The Gossip

9:15 Future of the Left

10:15 Sportn Life Showcase

10:45 Sonic Youth


Capitol Hill Block Party: 10 acts you must see, plus one more for good measure

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

Like every great music festival in Washington (save for the ReverbFEST) the Capitol Hill Block Party mixes local talent with a slew of excellent national acts. Earlier this week I posted 10 local acts (plus one) you must see at Capitol Hill Block Party. Now here are 10 others groups (plus one, of course) that aren’t homegrown but are guaranteed to put on a great show this weekend.

The Thermals (7:15, Main stage, Saturday)

These Portland punks leaned toward the pop end of the pop rock spectrum on their latest album, Now We Can See, which is one of the better rock albums released in the first half of this year.

Japandroids (11:00, Vera stage, Saturday)

Can you say buzz band? This Vancouver,  B.C. duo is fresh off some hype from Rolling Stone for its excellent, recently reissued debut Post Nothing.

Built to Spill (9:15, Main stage, Friday)

Idaho’s spawling, jangly, guitar kanoodling godfathers of indie are a sure bet to be an early highlight of the weekend. Plus, they are playing a set of songs voted on by fans.

Spinnerette (5:15, Main stage, Friday)

The new vehicle for Brode Dalle, wife of QOTSA frontman Josh Homme and former Distillers frontwoman, features a punked up, dance-friendly sound. The studio band includes Jack Irons on drums (formerly of two small bands called Pearl Jam and Red Hot Chili Peppers, you may have heard of them) and Alain Johannes of QOTSA. Unfortunately the two are not touring with Dalle.

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Capitol Hill Block Party: 10 local acts you must see, plus one extra thrown in for good measure

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

The Capitol Hill Block Party starts Friday and with it comes tons of quality music that will be blaring from the streets of Seattle’s central hipster hangout. I’ll be there all weekend providing photos and reviews of the happenings. I’ll post my tentative schedule for the festival soon, but for now here are 10 local acts you simply must see if you’ll be spending the weekend at CHBP.

They Live! at Ear Candy’s Birthday Bash 2009 Travis Hay photo

They Live! (10:00, Neumos, Friday)

Theses guys have been blowing up the local Internets. Every Seattle music blog has been abuzz with anticipation for their forthcoming EP, which will be released next month. They play conceptual hip hop that’s fun to dance to. Expect their set to be one big party.

Past Lives (8:00, Vera stage, Friday)

Former members of the Blood Brothers band together to form another impressive post-punk band. Expect loud guitars and screaming. Hey, it’s former members of the Blood Brothers, what else did you expect?

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REVIEW & PHOTOS: Snoop Dogg & Slightly Stoopid at the Gorge

Sunday, July 19th, 2009

Ain’t no party like a West Coast party cuz a West Coast party don’t stop.

That seemed to be the theme of the day when the Blazed and Confused Tour, featuring Snoop Dogg and Slightly Stoopid, hit the Gorge on one of the hottest days of the year Saturday. The crowd of about 10,000 was filled with shirtless frat dudes and girls in bikini tops and all they wanted to do was party, and of course Snoop was happy to oblige.

The Doggfather started his 75-minute set with “Still D.R.E.” and then the set took off into hit-after-hit territory with a little bit of classic G Funk mixed with some new school “Sensual Seduction” thrown in for good measure. If anyone at the show doubted Snoop Dogg’s prowess in his older, reality TV star days, their faith in Calvin Broadus Jr. was restored at the Gorge because Snoop proved once again that he his indeed the real deal Holyfield.

Snoop’s set was made especially sonically powerful by the Snoopadelics, Snoop’s full backing band. The dynamic of the live band mixed with the DJ’s bumping backing tracks gave the show the feeling and sound of a concert worthy of filling arenas.

Along with having the oomph of a backing band, the concert was littered with the interludes found on “Doggystyle” and Snoop’s other hit records as well as an ode to Tupac featuring “2 Of Amerikaz Most Wanted,” which was a pleasant surprise. Another surprise was a cameo by The Lady of Rage. She came out and ran through “Afro Puffs” and “G Funk Intro,” both tracks you might not expect to hear at a Snoop Dogg show considering their lack of the D-O-double-gizzle.

Another track you might not expect to hear is House of Pain’s “Jump Around,” but sure enough Snoop’s DJ blasted the Celtic rap classic and Snoop rapped the lyrics over Everlasts’ voice. It was a puzzling move at first but then it seemed appropriate considering the song is the anthem for shirtless frat dudes everywhere.

After jumping around a bit it came time to drop it like it’s hot and that’s exactly what Snoop did with one of the more well-received songs of the night (perhaps the crowd was a little too young to remember the G Funk era?). After a few more songs, including “Nuthin’ But A ‘G’ Thang,” the set ended on a predictable note with “What’s My Name” a song that immediately upon its 1993 release placed Snoop in the upper echelon of rap’s finest.

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PHOTOS: No Depression Festival

Sunday, July 19th, 2009

I haven’t got around to writing about the No Depression Festival yet, but trust me, I will. In the meantime here are some photos from the best festival you didn’t attend.

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Seattle’s Keg, The Lone Ranger of Rock, on America’s Got Talent

Thursday, July 16th, 2009

Last week’s Schoolyard Heroes show at the Vera Project featured some quality opening acts in Black Houses, The Whore Moans, The Pharmacy and Keg. Unfortunately I didn’t get to see many of the openers because I was preoccupied catching up with some old friends, but I was told about Keg, the one-man band. Keg, a 24-year-old local product, auditioned for “America’s Got Talent” at the Paramount Theatre and his audition aired on television this week. I don’t watch a lot of reality TV but from what I gathered, the show is an American Idol knockoff with a judging panel of David Hasslehoff, Sharon Osbourne and some half-rate Simon Cowell ripoff. Apparently The Hoff, Mrs. Prince of Darkness and the British dude didn’t like him too much. The video above explains why.


PHOTOS: Mayhem Festival feat. Slayer, Marilyn Manson, Killswitch Engage and motorcycles

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

My friend Steven Friederich spent the day in the metal moshing madness that was Mayhem Festival at White River Amphitheatre. Here’s a look at what he saw through the lens of his camera.

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Pixes bringing Doolittle tour to Seattle

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

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SPIN, Pitchfork and other outlets report that The Pixies will be bringing their “Doolittle” anniversary tour, on which the band plays every song off that album and all the related B-sides, to a select few cities in the United States some time this year and one of those cities is Seattle. A date and venue has yet to be confirmed, but for now it’s just cool knowing Seattle fans will get the chance to hear all the tracks from “Doolittle” in concert. I’ll post more details when I have them.


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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.