Weekend wrap-up: Quick notes on No Depression Festival, Grynch, Robin Pecknolo solo and Schoolyard Heroes

I had a crazy weekend filled with good drinks, good tunes and good people. Today is a travel day, which means I’ll be trekking about 150 miles east back home in a few minutes, so you won’t be getting full recaps of last weekend’s shows today. I will, however, offer up a bit of a brief rundown of what transpired on the nights of July 10, 11 and 12 with soundtracks provided by The Whore Moans, Schoolyard Heroes, Robin Pecknold, Throw Me The Statue, Grynch and others.

• The weekend started Friday night with Schoolyard Heroes at The Vera Project. I chatted up one half of the motley crew of Skeleton Army leaders over drinks before the show and, well, let’s just say the drinks fueled the night’s performance. The band performed with new guitarist Nick Cates, formerly of Three Inches of Blood and The Divorce, and as always Ryann Donnelly asserted her dominance over the throngs of sweaty, mosh drenched teens in the crowd.

The No Depression Festival made its case as one of the best festivals of the summer Saturday at Marymoor Park, and this is only its first year. The daylong rootsy Americana fest provided the perfect soundtrack for a beautiful day in Redmond. Highlights included the psychedelic alt.country of Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter, the Seattle Roots Music All-Stars (featuring Kristen Ward, Star Anna, Mark Pickerel, 1/3 of The Maldives, Serah Cahoone, members of North Twin and a few others I am forgetting at the moment), Justin Townes Earle and a few others. You really should’ve been there. Hopefully there will be another No Depression Festival next year.

• Later Saturday night Robin Pecknold sang a set of covers and some of his own pretty songs during a Drink For The Kids benefit show at Neumos. The set included songs by Fleetwood Mac (Albatross and Dreams, the latter of which was the encore and saw Pecknold’s sister Aja accompanying on vocals), Bob Dylan (Oh Sister), BB King (Early in the Morning) and The Magnetic Fields (The Book of Love ). Oh yeah, he also performed “Two Headed Boy” by Neutral Milk Hotel. At that moment you could hear the collective sound of a zillion Pitchfork readers getting massive music nerd boners as their minds were blown by the collision of indie-rock worlds.

Pecknold was also joined on stage by fellow Foxes J Tillman and Sky Skeljet. Skeljet, as usual, said nothing (I am beginning to think he is a mute as the six times I have seen Fleet Foxes he has never said a word and the FF crew doesn’t give him a microphone to sing during performances. Maybe there is a reason the group doesn’t feature five-part harmonies.) and Tillman, as usual, was very chatty and provided some lighthearted comic relief.

I am not sure if I am going to write about the Pecknold show since I live-tweeted the concert as it was happening. So, if you want to read my thoughts on the solo set by the fleetest of foxes click on over to Ear Candy’s Twitter page to get the blow-by-blow account of the night complete with typos (hey, you wouldn’t expect to get anything tpyo-free from me, would you?) You might have to scroll down a bit to see the tweets since they were likely pushed down the list by other tweets.

Oh and if you want to hear how Pecknold sounded at Neumos, well, you might be able to download the entire set here. Massive hat tip to Ear Candy’s buddies Sound on the Sound for the link.

• After a day of acoustic bearded rock and booze (hey don’t judge, I was drinking for the kids) my mellow was happily harshed by Ballard MC Grynch at Nectar Sunday night. He was celebrating the release of his “Chemistry” EP (which you can get for free right here) and the Nectar crowd was in quite the festive mood. Grynch, at times accompanied by Geo, Macklemore and Tunji, was having a blast on stage and the all-ages crowd was about as hyped up as it gets. He dropped “My Volvo” in the middle of the set to a massive response. It got such a big response that he dropped it again, with a modified beat, to close his set.

Like I mentioned, everyone was having fun at the show but Grynch was definitely wearing the biggest smile of the night. It was good to see such a humble guy shine in the spotlight. Needless to say, he probably will be playing “My Volvo” for years to come. Not only does it have one of the catchiest hooks to come out of Seattle in years, the song has also been more or less made local legend by every local music journo that has given ink to “Chemistry” (yours truly included).

The King of Ballard simply owned Fremont, or at least Nectar, Sunday and it is going to be great to see him own Fremont again on Sept. 4 when he rocks Ear Candy’s (F)unofficial Bumbershoot Kickoff Party at the High Dive.

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