Tag Archives: Sasquatch!

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

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

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 1

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

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 (another perspective): Submarines, Airborne Toxic Event, TV On the Radio

Here’s another dispatch from Ear Candy’s Brent Stecker:

The Submarines: This was a pleasant surprise for me, as I was just searching for some food by the Yeti Stage and got sucked in by the contrasting boy/girl singers of The Submarines. A lot of what I was hearing was very Feist-y (hey, see what I did there?), with steady rhythms and pretty vocals, but I also heard some more atmospheric, blues-based stuff that was reminiscent of Sasquatch! alum Jem. It was all very danceable, sometimes aided by a bedrock of synths and other embellishments. Definitely the most unexpectedly good act I saw all day.

Airborne Toxic Event: I did not like them. At all. Here’s what I wrote in my notepad, verbatim, while watching them for roughly 15 minutes.

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Sasquatch! 2009 Day 2 (another perspective): Street Sweeper Social Club, Calexico, The Avett Brothers, Builder and the Butchers

I’m still recovering from the second day of Sasquatch! and haven’t completed my capsules recapping what I saw, but Ear Candy’s Brent Stecker spent the day at the Gorge Sunday and jotted down his thoughts. Here’s his first dispatch, with mine to come soon.

Street Sweeper Social Club

Hey all, I just got back from my first day of Sasquatch (and Day 2 overall), and it was definitely a hard-rocking time. The weather was absolutely perfect, and I’m stoked for Day 3. Here’s what I came across during my day in the sun.

Street Sweeper Social Club

It’s no secret to anyone who knows me that I’m a gigantic Rage Against the Machine fan, and Tom Morello is pretty much my hero. So obviously I couldn’t have been happier than to start my Sasquatch festivities with Morello’s new band, Street Sweeper Social Club. In short, they killed it. The great thing about the songs that Morello and Bay-area rapper Boots Riley (of The Coup) have put together is that almost all of them feature arena-ready choruses.

The crowd was very receptive, especially with the spot-on cover of M.I.A.’s “Paper Planes” and the rabble-rousing “The Oath,” with it’s easy to follow lyrics of “Alright, motherf*cker! That’s right, motherf*cker!” Personally, the highlight for me was “Promenade,” which somehow makes funk-metal riffs and squaredance vocals (really) coexist. Of course, it helped that Morello used this tune as the launching pad for his biggest solo of the day, where he shredded, scratched like a DJ, played with his teeth, and even played a lead by pulling the cord out of his guitar and pressing the jack into his hand. Ladies and gentlemen, that is why this man is my hero.

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Sasquatch! 2009 Day 1: Animal Collective (sort of), Decemberists, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Kings of Leon

Animal Collective

Okay, I just don’t get what all the hype is about. I really wanted to give these guys as shot since I don’t enjoy their records and have been told they are a band that needs to be seen live to be fully appreciated. Plus, their set was one of the most anticipated of the day. But I could only take two minutes of the droney noise coming from the stage Animal Collective were playing before I had to leave. It was seriously harshing my festival buzz.

Because I couldn’t stand Animal Collective Ear Candy headed over to the comedy tent to catch Tim & Eric. The duo came out wearing flesh-colored bodysuits with a patch of hair and giant, fake testicles dangling from their groins. They danced around the stage repeating “diarrhea” while a techno backbeat blared over the sound system. And yes, a song about diarrhea was better than whatever it was Animal Collective was playing on the main stage.

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Sasquatch! 2009 Day 1: King Khan, Mt St Helens Vietnam Band, Arthur & Yu

kingkhanIMG_2248

King Khan and the Shrines

This was hands down the best, and most fun, set of the day. The eight-piece (complete with a go-go dancing cheerleader) definitely knows how to put on a show. King Kahn took to the stage shirtless, wearing a gold cape and a feather headdress, and the band kicked out 50 minutes worth of awesome R&B tinged rock. They play the type of rock music you thought was dead a long time ago. It’s James Brown funk mixed with some heavy, 1960s garage soul. Or, more simply put, they play a brand of music that not only makes you want to dance but also makes you feel all sorts of funny in your nether regions.

Kahn alone is flat out fun to watch and the band, a tight mix of horns, keys, guitars and percussion, made King Khan at the Shrines all the more impressive. While it is easy to put a generic label on Kahn and the Shrines’ music, it’s more difficult to fully explain how crazy the live show they put on was compared to the rest of what I saw during Day 1. Maybe if I told you about the part of the set when the sax player jumped on to of a monitor, dropped his britches and tucked his man bits between his legs to reveal a smoothly shaved, well, let’s call it a mangina. If you’ve seen “Silence of the Lambs” then you know what I’m talking about. That should give you an idea of the craziness that was King Khan and the Shrines and why no other live set at Sasquatch! Saturday came close to touching their stage show.

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