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
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
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
here to view more of Brittney’s work and there are
more photos after the jump too.
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
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 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.
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
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.
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?
Ain’t no party like a West Coast party cuz a West Coast party
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
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
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.
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.
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.