Spin the Black Circle

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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Posts Tagged ‘ReverbFEST’

Photo gallery: REVERBfest 2008 in Ballard

Monday, October 6th, 2008

I took a bunch of pictures at REVERBfest Saturday and here are a few of my favorites. The second part of this gallery will come when my blogtographer Steven Friederich finishes putting the finishing touches on the shots he took throughout the day.

You can see all of the pictures I took during REVERBfest by clicking here. You can also see more samples of my rock photography skills, including pics of Bumbershoot, Sasquatch! Radiodiohead and other awesome events from earlier this year, over on my Flickr page.


REVERBfest 2008: ‘The best representation of what Seattle’s music scene has to offer’

Sunday, October 5th, 2008

Typically the quirky little nook of the Northwest known as Fremont is the “center of the universe.” However, for one day, the booming, borderline upscale hood of Ballard — with all of its bars, condos and construction sites — stole that title away from the land known for parades of naked bicyclists and an abundance of hippies.

The occasion was Seattle Weekly’s annual REVERBfest on Saturday, a music festival featuring 64 local bands spread out across stages that popped up in a tea house, local shops and of course, bars. Named after the Weekly’s music blog, the main thing distinguishing REVERBfest from its summer counterparts that take place within city limits (the Stranger-sponsored Capital Hill Block Party, the mammoth of a local institution known as Bumbershoot and the burgeoning Georgetown Music Festival) is its exclusive focus on local music.

Reverb’s booker, Kwab Copeland (former booker of The High Dive and Sunset), selected 64 of the brightest local acts to rock Ballard, making the lineup feel like a musical melting pot of what’s currently simmering in Seattle’s music scene. There was hip hop (Greyskull, Canary Sing, Kublaki), punk (Police Teeth, The Valkyries), singer-songwriter folk (Husbands, Love Your Wives), hard rock (Brothers of the Sonic Cloth, Emeralds), indie pop (Panda & Angel, BOAT, Aqueduct), electro-pop (Truckasaurus, Man Plus) and even some reunited local post-grunge (Sage). Just about every genre of music being made in Seattle today was represented at REVERBfest 2008. And with so much quality music happening at so many different venues in one of the hippest neighborhoods in Seattle, it was impossible to not find something to enjoy.

In a city where there is a well-known crop of locals already making major splashes on the national scene (Death Cab, Modest Mouse, Fleet Foxes), REVERBfest 2008 was a real reflection of the current scene. None of the acts were too big (I don’t think any of them could sell out the Showbox) and there wasn’t a well-known local headliner (think Mudhoney, The Melvins, etc.) attached to the bill just to sell tickets. In fact, a lot of the acts at REVERBfest (North Twin, The Quilt, See Me River) were smaller bands looking to make their first big splash on an eager festival-going crowd, and many made favorable impressions.

I’m sure the lack of a larger band contributed to the cheap ticket prices (Tickets $8 in advance, $10 day of show), but the low ticket cost combined with the smorgasbord of local talent were part of what made REVERBfest 2008 the best representation of what Seattle’s music scene has to offer.

Last year’s Reverb was equally as fun, but it was also the event’s inaugural run and you could tell a few of the kinks were being worked out (For example, there used to be an outdoor stage, something I’m sure organizers learned might not be such a good idea considering REVERBfest takes place in October, a month where rain begins to fall regularly in Seattle). This year’s event felt like REVERBfest’s coming out party where everything seemed a little more well organized. Bands were more concise with their sets, bartenders were smiling, local businesses that weren’t hosting music were participating by offering discounts of REVERBfest patrons, and there was a VIP area for cripes sake.

Looking back on the year in local music to date, REVERBfest 2008 was definitely one of those diamonds in the rough and could have been easily overlooked. But for those who attended (including yours truly) this year’s installment of REVERBfest stood out as a memorable bright spot in a year filled with radio festivals, national events such as SP 20, Sasquatch! and the aforementioned three fests that actually take place in Seattle.

Hopefully as the years pass and the festival continues to grow, REVERBfest doesn’t start to take itself too seriously and lose its intimate atmosphere and forget its seemingly organic roots. It would be a near unforgivable act if organizers made REVERBfest something too big for the scene that more or less created it. But something tells me that as long as there is a thriving music scene in Seattle to sustain a seemingly grassroots event like REVERBfest, local musicians — who really are the heart and soul of the festival — will keep REVERBfest in check and make sure it stays true to its roots.

Simply put, given its location and lineup, REVERBfest 2008 felt more like a musical pub crawl soundtracked by some of the city’s finest talent, than it did drudging a daylong music festival. And that, my friends, is a good thing.


My REVERBfest schedule

Friday, October 3rd, 2008

Some bad luck earlier today almost made me cancel my plans to attend Saturday’s REVERBfest.

Something screwy with my car’s electrical system means I’ll be missing out on the first three hours of the festival because I’ll be taking an Amtrack bus from Wenatchee to Seattle instead of driving my comfortable Nissan Maxima. But it will take more than lame car troubles to keep me away from Seattle’s only all-local music festival. So here is my schedule (which starts at 6:30 since I’ll be rolling into Ballard around 6ish):

6:30 Brothers of the Sonic Cloth
Tad Doyle’s new band is supposed to be as psychedelic as his former band, TAD, was heavy. If this is true this set will definitely make me forget about my vehicle woes.

7:00 Black Whales
I saw the last five minutes of these guys’ set at CHBP and I really liked what I saw. I am excited to see a full set.

7:30 Man Plus
Bright, shiny indie pop is always good to smile and drink beer to.

8:00 BOAT
Believe it or not I have never seen this popular, much-hyped band live. I’m curious to see what all the fuss is about.

8:30 See Me River
Excellent local Americana should make for some great drinking music.

9:00 Undecided
It’s either the beautiful sounds of Mono In VCF or the crazy electronic sounds of Truckasaurus. Who would you rather see?

9:30 Team Gina
This rapping lesbian duo is the most unique act in the local hip hop scene. Clever rhymes, awesome beats, positive messages, hilarious humor and a plethora of pop culture references will be aplenty during their set.

11:00 Diminished Men
More psychedelic rock, if I can handle it of course.

11:30 Grayskull
One of the most underrated acts in the local hip-hop scene will likely deliver one of the better sets of the day.

12:00 Dragstrip Riot
Good old fashioned loud, dirty rock ‘n’ roll. ‘Nuff said.

12:30 SHIM
Hopefully the best band I saw at Bumbershoot will be the best band I see at REVERBfest


Free downloads of 64 local bands from REVERBfest

Wednesday, October 1st, 2008

Seattle Weekly’s REVERBfest is happening Saturday in Ballard. Eight dollars gets you access to 64 of Seattle’s brightest up-and-coming bands.

To mark REVERBfest Seattle Weekly’s Reverb blog has offered up downloads from every band that is playing its self-titled festival. The best part about this batch of tracks is that it is FREE. It includes downloads from See Me River, Husbands Love Your Wives, BOAT, Mono In VCF and all the other local bands set to party in Ballard this weekend. You can access the download here.

Buy your wristband for REVERBfest here. I recommend picking it up prior to Saturday because the day of REVERBfest the wristbands are $10, not the $8 they are now.

Last year’s REVERBfest was a smashing success and I expect more of the same this year. Having local musicians take over downtown Ballard made the event feel like a daylong musical pub crawl. Ms. Led, Grynch, Awesome!, The Whore Moans and a small little band called Fleet Foxes were some of the highlights from last year. This year Team Gina, SHIM, Brothers of the Sonic Cloth and the Moondoggies are some of the groups providing the soundtrack to a day of amazing Northwest music.

On a side note, did you know I have been spelling REVERBfest wrong? Apparently, the proper spelling is REVERBfest, not ReverbFEST. That’s what happens when organizations insist on silly capitalizations and spellings of things, they tend to get misspelled, or at least miscapitalized.

Check back tomorrow for my tentative REVERBfest schedule and come back early netx week for coverage, which should include a photo gallery and wrap up of what should be a rocking Saturday in Ballard.


My busy early fall schedule

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

Summer is typically the best season for concerts, but that doesn’t mean fall and winter are slumming it when it comes to packing some awesome club and arena rock shows.

Here’s where you’ll find me the next few weeks:

My Morning Jacket @ McCaw Hall Sept. 28

I know very little about MMJ.  But I have always been curious about their live show because I have heard so many good things about it. My buddy had an extra ticket and I couldn’t say no when he offered it up. Plus, “Evil Urges” was a surprise favorite for me this summer.

Cold War Kids @ Showbox at the Market Sept. 29

Like I mentioned earlier this week, I saw these guys at Sasquatch! and was highly impressed. I’ve listened to the new record about a half dozen times and it doesn’t resonate with me the same way the band’s last record did, but maybe after a few more listens I will like it more. I suppose I had better get to liking it since it’s likely CWK will play a lot of new material at the Showbox.

ReverbFEST in Ballard Oct. 4

I attended last year’s ReverbFEST and it was a blast. What made it so much fun was that all the acts were local and all the shows took place in Ballard, one of my favorite western Washington locales. This year I am really excited to see Team Gina and my new favorite local band SHIM. I am sure I will discover plenty more excellent local gems while venue hopping and drinking beer throughout the day.

Weezer at KeyArena Oct. 11

I’m a Weezer fan and this will be my third time seeing the band play KeyArena. The first time was pretty mediocre and the second time was probably the best =W= show I’ve seen, so it will be interesting to see what the group’s tour behind the surprisingly pretty decent “Red Album” will bring. What’s that? You don’t like the “Red Album?” Well, id you can’t crack a smile while listening to “The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived” then you simply don’t like music.


ReverbFEST lineup announced, tickets on sale

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008

I know it’s Bumbershoot season and that it might be difficult for some of you local music fans to focus on something other than the juggernaut that is the three days of awesome known as Bumbershoot, but check this out.

Seattle Weekly’s Reverb blog announced the lineup and ticket details for its second annual ReverbFEST last week.

What’s ReverbFEST?. Well, aside from being a festival named after a blog, it is the only music festival in Seattle that consists of all local artists. Last year’s fest went under the radar a little bit because it was overshadowed by Bumbershoot, CHBP, Sasquatch! and other local festivals, which is why you might not have heard about it. 

I made the trek to last year’s inaugural event and I was blown away by how many great local bands were on the bill. This year’s lineup looks equally as awesome as 2007’s and once again ReverbFESt will take place in beautiful downtown Ballard.

Trust me, you should go because there’s nothing quite as fun as hearing band after band ask “Are you ready to rock, Ballard?”

ReverbFEST happens at various Ballard locations on Oct. 4. Tickets cost $8 in advance or $10 day of show for the 21+ crowd and $5 in advance or $7 day of show for the younger set. You can buy your tix here.

Here’s the lineup thus far (bold indicates either a band I am really interested in seeing live, or a band I recommend seeing live)

GreyskulOnry Ozzborn & The Gigantics- See Me River – DJ B-Girl – The Braille Tapes – Wizdom – 17th Chapter -The Moondoggies – Red Jacket Mine – Elder Mason - Husbands Love Your Wives- Blood Red Dancers – Hazelwood Motel – Michael Vermillion – Kublakai – The Lonely Forest – The Curious Mystery – Neon Nights – Coffin Break – Emeralds – Black WhalesThee Sgt Major IIIAqueduct- Knox Family – North Twin – Massy Ferguson – Piece – Blood Red Dancers – Man Plus- Orbitron – Canary Sing – Guns N Rossetti- Dragstrip Riot – Pufferfish – The Quit – The Rainieros- Zach Harjo – The Crying Shame – Bob Wayne & The Outlaw Carnies – C-Leb & A-Bro – Arbitron – Keg – Kate Tucker & The Sons Of Sweden – Little Penguins- Lonesome Rhodes & The Good Company – The Monday Mornings – Rypynt – TruckasaurasShim – Panda & Angel – At The Spine – The Valkyries – Sage – Herman Jolly – Police Teeth – Team Gina – Gatling Gees – Bacchus – Mono In VCF – Ian Moore – Trombone Cake – Sweet Potatoes – Diminished Men


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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.