June 29, 2012

Milo Greene - "1957" Music Video

Ahead of their debut album release on July 17th, our favorite LA up-and-comers Milo Greene have released a music video for their lead single, "1957." The charming clip shows a love story with bits of mystery and is filmed beautifully. Yet another gem from these guys. They can't be stopped. Be sure to catch them when they make their live TV debut on Letterman on July 26th. You can also pre-order their album here.




June 28, 2012

In Defense Of Pop

Confession time: I love pop music. I’m talking the crappiest of crappy pop music. You know, the incredibly catchy, mindless clutter that is repeated ad nauseum on countless radio stations and TV channels across the country. Case in point: I’m listening to Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” on repeat as I write.

You’re probably wondering why I choose to melt my brain with what some would argue is substance-less music lacking any semblance of musical technicality and designed with the sole intent of procuring a hefty sum of money.

The answer is simple: discovering new music is hard.

I think back to my eighth grade days when I used to spend hours scouring the Internet on sites like purevolume.com (anyone remember that?) desperately trying to discover some remotely decent, obscure band to stick on my iPod so I would look cool on the off chance someone decided to borrow it and browse my music collection. Looking back on those days, I not only feel a sense of nostalgia, but also wonder: How on earth did I have time for that?

Which brings me to my first point: discovering new music takes a lot of time. In most cities, you can’t flip the radio on in your car while driving to work if you want to find a fresh new band no one has heard of. Instead, you have to sit on your computer clicking through various blogs and music sites. You have to haul yourself to and pay for music festivals, the land of the unwashed masses and the overpriced pretzel. You have to go to concerts in hole in the wall joints in scary places like Brooklyn. That’s all fine and dandy if you have the time or do it for a career. And while lovely blogs like this one facilitate the process, I’m old and grumpy and get tired after a long day of work. I’d rather veg out in front of the TV instead of any of the aforementioned activities.

Now, let’s say you do invest the time and succeed in discovering an über hip band. Now what? Unlike pop music, obscure bands are a social boner kill. What do I mean by this? Well, I can talk to almost anyone I know about Britney Spears, and regardless of whether they love her or hate her, at least we can have a conversation about it. Now imagine the following scenario: I ask a friend, “Have you ever heard of Boink? They’re this awesome new ska band!” Their response: “No, I haven’t.” End of conversation. Social boner kill. (True story).

Finally, there’s nothing like bonding over a shared love of a guilty pleasure pop song with someone. There’s just no replacing singing and dancing to a song that has poorly rhymed verses and way too much auto tuning in a car with the windows down and speakers blaring. And that’s why, no matter what, I will always defend pop.

-Kaitlin Deveau
Read her blog here.

June 27, 2012

The Avett Brothers Announce New Album: The Carpenter


The Avett Brothers announced yesterday that they will be releasing their sixth full-length album, The Carpenter, this September 11th, a follow-up to the highly regarded I and Love and You released in 2009. The alt-country band from Concord, North Carolina was founded by brothers Scott and Seth Avett. As you can hear on the second track from the new album, "Live and Die," the band embraces their Southern roots with some country twang, a touch of folk, and good old rock 'n' roll. 

To support The Carpenter, The Avett Brothers will be touring across the country, including visiting the lovely Gorge Ampitheatre (one of our favorite venues!). I would highly suggest checking out one of their shows; seeing them in Dallas last Fall was one of the best decisions I've ever made. The band is simply beautiful live!

C2C - "Down The Road" Music Video

The French DJ's are at it again. Their new music video for "Down The Road" warns you not to ride a magic skateboard that sucks everything around you in to a vortex. Because you may be next. Thanks for the advice guys!

June 26, 2012

Bahamas



Afie Jurvanen, also known as Bahamas, has a stage name that brings to mind relaxation, and beachy music. That assumption is almost correct. The tracks that make up his recent release, Barchords, are a mix of folk, blues, and indie sounds that combine to form something charming, genuine, and unique. After I saw him open for Michael Kiwanuka with a rare acoustic set, I was so intrigued by his quirky, catchy songwriting that I had to do some investigating. Turns out Jurvanen, a Canadian, used to be a backing musician for Feist, and set out on his own when his debut, Pink Strat, was nominated for a Juno award. Now, his sophomore release is on the long list for this year's Polaris Prize, a coveted award naming the best Canadian album of the year. Check out the cute video for "Caught Me Thinking" and let me know what you think of the next Canadian sensation! Update: watch a short film about Jurvanen's Sunday dinners, a tradition he has visiting his family in Ontario. 

Bahamas-"Lost In The Light"


Video Platform Video Management Video Solutions Video Player

Town Hall Plays The Classics, Vol. 1


Town Hall, the adorable indie-folk trio behind one of my favorite albums of the year so far, Roots & Bells, has always had a thing for covers. They have released a whole bunch of videos showing their calm and quiet renditions of everything from R. Kelly to Jimmy Eat World. Luckily, we can now have all of it! They just released Town Hall Plays the Classics, Vol. 1 via Bandcamp. The free EP gives us five of their finest covers and a quite creepy album cover. The release not only showcases the group's chameleon-like genre-crossing skills, but also guitarist Jesse's obsession with R. Kelly. Ever wanted to hear Ja Rule played by a folk group? Well now you can. 

June 25, 2012

Delta Rae

Gospel stomp. It sounds intriguing doesn't it? Hailing from Durham, North Carolina, Delta Rae are preparing to storm the country with their powerful Mumford & Sons meets The Civil Wars sound. Last week, they released their debut album, Carry The Fire, a diverse collection of Southern-influenced, folk-rock tunes. Led by the humongous single, "Bottom Of The River," and singer Brittany Hölljes' brassy voice, the six-piece group is sure to make lots of fans on their upcoming US tour (dates below). And not just one of them can sing. At least four members switch off vocal duties! Enjoy the awesomly Southern and intense video for "Bottom Of The River."


Greylag Interview

As we have shown you in previous posts, our Sasquatch experience was made far greater by the opportunity to talk to some great artists while we were there. The final episode of our Sasquatch chats is an interview we did with Greylag, an up and coming group from the Northwest. Their debut EP, The Only Way To Kill You, was awesome, and their live show was too! We chatted with them about their name, geese, how they started playing together, and their favorite inspirations. Check it out!



See our interview with Said The Whale here!

See our interview with Hey Marseilles here!

June 24, 2012

Delta Spirit - Bowery Live Session

Delta Spirit recently stopped by a little Brooklyn alleyway to record a pared-down version of their song "California." The video, brought to us by Bowery Presents, demonstrates the amazing fact that the group's music actually sounds better live. Enjoy!

June 22, 2012

Beirut - "The Rip Tide" Music Video

Beirut released their latest music video today, this time for their latest title track, "The Rip Tide." The video is a gorgeous clip of a lonely boat at sea, surrounded by multi-colored, changing skies. Check out what Zach Condon has to say about it:

“I always felt that “The Rip Tide” wasn’t fully able to project its own ambitions in song form…no matter how it was performed or recorded, it felt contained by sound alone…I wanted more, as I often do with my music, and this is not a bad thing. Growing to accept a song’s limits is part of the process of creating and loving them. Which was why I was so excited to see what Houmam had dug into when he picked “The Rip Tide” out of all others for a video. The concept fit, and the product brought the song somewhere that I had only been able to describe to myself, now available for others to see and feel it much more as I had in the process of writing it.”

June 21, 2012

Of Monsters And Men - Field Recording

Seeing Of Monsters and Men was one of the highlights of Sasquatch for me. Since I wanted to get even closer, I made sure to catch their acoustic set as well, and I quickly learned that their music could sound just as good around a campfire as it does on a huge stage. NPR was able to capture that effect when they recorded the group playing "Mountain Sound" completely acoustic. The result is gorgeous. Enjoy.

Hey Marseilles Interview

While we were at Sasquatch this past month, we had the honor of chatting with a few of our favorite bands playing the fest! After their main stage set, we caught up with the gents from Hey Marseilles. The awesome folkestral group was a great way to kick off the day and was super friendly! We talked about their work on a new album, their European influences, and their Seattle pride. Enjoy!



See our interview with Said The Whale here

Best Summer Mixes

This summer, I have been working with Songza, an app that has playlists for every occasion you can dream up. The whole season I will be curating playlists for them in a variety of moods, activities, and genres. Since I have started there, I have become more conscious of the dedication required to produce a perfect playlist.

Because yesterday was the official first day of summer, I have decided to share with you some of my favorite summer mixes that are available online. Fuel/Friends and Good Medicine both create playlists for every season of the year! Enjoy the summery tunes!

Songza Playlists for Summer

Fuel/Friends Summer 2012 Mix: Smooth Sailing From Here (Free download)

Good Medicine: Southern Heat, Summer Hearts (Free download)

The Mixtape Club: New Bad Summer

NPR: The Songs Of Summer

June 20, 2012

Purity Ring - "Fineshrine"


Purity Ring is undoubtedly one the most buzzed about bands at the moment. The dark, synth-loving, Canadian duo has only released four singles, all expected to appear on their debut album, Shrines, out July 24th. Today they released "Fineshrine," yet another chill, dark, track that combines deep, liquid synths with singer Megan James' simple, poppy vocals. The expectations about their debut release are only growing, and if these singles say anything, it is that they are up for the challenge. Check their singles out below, as well as their tour dates opening for Dirty Projectors. 

Purity Ring-"Fineshrine"
Purity Ring-"Lofticries"
Purity Ring-"Obedear"
Purity Ring-"Ungirthed"

June 19, 2012

Said The Whale Interview

As I have written multiple times, I had a fantastic time at this year's Sasquatch Music Festival. I saw groups that blew me away, surprised me, and made me a new fan. I also had the pleasure of catching up with a few of my favorite groups and asking them some questions. The first band I talked to was Said The Whale, a super-friendly indie-rock group from Vancouver that rocked the Yeti stage to a crowd of raucous fans. We talked about their latest album, Little Mountain, nature, technology, their hometown, and their fellow Canadians. Check it out!

Brother Ali - "Stop The Press"


Brother Ali, one of the freshest and most exciting voices to come from the Rhymesayers crew is back. His last full length album, 2009's Us, was his most successful to date, and with production from Ant of Atmosphere and Ali's soulful, political flow, it was a great listen. Now, he has announced that his next record, Mourning In America and Dreaming In Color, will be released on August 13th. The first single, "Stop The Press," gives us an update on Ali's last few years and explains where he has been. Can't wait to hear more!

June 18, 2012

Two Trees - "Lay Me Down"


Two Trees, the Swedish duo behind the excellent, charming song "Your Woods," is back with more! Since they released that first track, they have been getting constant compliments on their SoundCloud page, as well as a huge increase in their fan base. I know I have been eagerly awaiting more music from the adorable Swedes. And the day has finally come. Today they followed up their first song with "Lay Me Down," a more upbeat tune, but still with their gorgeous harmonies, and simple guitar plucking. Yet again, awesome. They have proven they are capable of something big. Take a listen below!

Reviewed: Tech N9ne

Highline Ballroom, New York, NY

I know what you're thinking: Tech N9ne doesn't really fit in on this website. I have to agree with you, but I've always been a fan of the Kansas City rapper's intensely rhythmic, insanely fast flow. Just one listen to "Like Yeah," the first track on his 2008 album, Killer, (and the track that introduced me to Tech) and you can't at least be curious. With hard-hitting, intricate production, and rhymes that will make your head spin, his music is a lot of fun to say the least. Tech is currently on the record-breaking Hostile Takeover Tour, bringing him, Machine Gun Kelly, ¡Mayday!, Krizz Kaliko, Prozak, and Stevie Stone to 90 cities in 99 days, making it the longest hip-hop tour in history. When I heard that I would be in town to see the tour in New York, I had to catch the king of Kansas City in action. Plus, I got a kick out of seeing Tech N9ne and Michael Kiwanuka on the same stage within a week!

Unfortunately, MGK, the opener I was most looking forward to, was banned from performing after an altercation with a bouncer earlier on tour. But Tech made up for it. Running through nearly all of his dozens of hits, he kept the crowd going nuts all night. While his name may not be one that you hear every day, Tech N9ne has a huge number of fans, and they come out in droves to his tours. I can't say I really fit in with the crowd, but I most definitely went to the craziest party in New York City last night. And Tech was the host. The light show was killer and Tech has audience control down to a science, mesmerizing the hordes with his machine-gun like delivery. The crazy thing is that this was the 78th show of the tour, and they showed no sign of slowing down.

Tech N9ne-"No Can Do"

June 17, 2012

The Helio Sequence Announce New Album: Negotiations

Photo by Rachel Fidler

The Helio Sequence, the Portland duo who's most well-known album Keep Your Eyes Ahead came out in 2008, have announced that they will be releasing their next album, Negotiations, in September 2012. I was a big fan of the band's last album, and am excited to see what The Helio Sequence comes up with next. The announcement via Sub Pop's website described the record as "a meditation on those inner dialogues (hence, Negotiations) with solitude, memory, misgivings, loss, atonement, acceptance and hope." Pretty intriguing, eh? We saw The Helio Sequence play at Sasquatch this year and they are set to play Bumbershoot as well, but their full tour dates will be published in the very near future. The band released an album promo video, check it out below!

June 16, 2012

Reviewed: The Tallest Man on Earth

Photo by Andrew Hanson

I made the three hour trek from San Diego to Los Angeles last Tuesday, and though sitting through LA traffic during rush hour is always painful, my soul was healed by the amazing man I had traveled to see, Kristian Matsson. Matsson (known by the moniker "The Tallest Man on Earth") performed a sold-out show at the Wiltern the day after his new album, There's No Leaving Now, was released.

I'm generally not keen on sit-down shows, but this was a whole different caliber of performance. Sparse, yet subtly powerful; his voice is that much more beautiful and raw live. Every tune, from his more recognizable singles to brand new songs, was engaging and dynamic, constantly highlighting Matsson's immense musical talent. Matsson embodied a kind of nervous energy on stage, meandering around with his guitar and emphatically throwing his pick away after every song. His deep, gravely voice matched nicely with his dry sense of humor, and though much of his mumbling was rather prosaic, the crowd didn't care. The audience was in love, whistling and shouting compliments to Matsson between songs; at one point he sarcastically asked, "Did you guys pay money just to yell things?"

The Tallest Man kept us all bewitched by his music, even during the quieter tunes. Matsson's two song encore included a piano version of "The Dreamer," full of emotion with a silent, captivated audience. For his final song, "Thrown Right At Me," his wife Amanda Bergman, a fellow Swedish singer-songwriter, came out and sang with him. An intimate, beautiful end to a perfect night, with two standing ovations by the crowd.
Check out his extensive tour dates below!

June 14, 2012

Jay-Z vs. The Beatles


Jay-Z has been featured in his fair share of mashups, having his raps paired with The Glitch Mob and Flight of The Conchords, but this may be the best one yet. Scott Melker combines the beautiful vocal harmonies on The Beatles' "Because" with Jay-Z's intense rhymes on "Say Hello." The result is surprisingly perfect! Enjoy!

June 13, 2012

Milo Greene - "Take A Step"


One of our favorite and most exciting up and coming groups, Milo Greene, has given us another wonderful peek at their upcoming debut album, out July 17th. The new song, "Take A Step," is one we have heard at each of their live shows, and is yet another awesome cut from the LA-based folks. It brings to mind Local Natives, yet keeps things gentle and very beautiful. Enjoy!
 

June 12, 2012

Passion Pit - "I'll Be Alright"


Passion Pit has released a second single from their upcoming album, Gossamer, out July 24th. The new track, "I'll Be Alright," is a spastic barrage of synths and pitch-altered vocals. Surprisingly, it would not have been too out of place on their debut album, although it features only glimmers of singer Angelakos's glorious falsetto. It's a lot of fun though!

Different Sleep


Different Sleep, a Chicago-based producer has been getting some buzz lately, thanks to his über-chill, "sleepstep" jams he has been putting on his SoundCloud page. The 19-year-old has truly made some of the most relaxing music known to man. His EP with Mister Lies got a coveted blurb on Pitchfork, and with a recent shout out from Flosstradamus, Different Sleep is clearly on his way up. He also went to high school with me! Check out these tunes, and just try to not calm down. It won't work.
 

June 11, 2012

New Song From Blue Scholars - "May Day"


Blue Scholars have randomly given the world a gift in the form of an awesome new track! The track, "May Day," is about gun violence in Seattle. Here's what rapper Geo has to say about the track:

"I was approached by The Seattle Times to write an op-ed guest column commenting on the recent gun violence in Seattle. So I wrote a rap and they liked it and posted the lyrics here (w/ video) in the online Sunday edition (June 10th). People asked for a studio version so I quickly recorded the verses over this Sabzi beat from last year and the homie Justo came through with the clutch 90-minute mix down. Thank you for listening."

- Geo/Prometheus Brown

Minnesota - "Hitchhiker"


Talk about an odd couple. Peter Himmelman, a Minnesota-based singer-songwriter, and coincidentally Bob Dylan's son-in-law, has teamed up with David Hollander, the writer/producer of the CBS television series, The Guardian, to form the band Minnesota. While their debut full length, Are You There, isn't due out until later this summer, they have released a single, "Hitchhiker" online. The track features two lovely female vocalists, Kristin Mooney and Claire Holley, and is a country-tinged beauty that shows a great deal of promise for the new group.

Ellie Goulding Covers The Weeknd

A few days ago, British heartthrob Ellie Goulding shared a little treat via her Soundcloud. Goulding released a cover of The Weeknd's "High For This," putting her sultry spin on the smooth r&b jam. If that wasn't enough for you to take a listen, the track is produced by the great Xaphoon Jones of Chiddy Bang! Now you have to check it out!

June 08, 2012

The Head And The Heart Chapel Session


One of our favorite blogs, Fuel/Friends, has been recording lovely acoustic sessions with bands that have been going through Colorado. The Chapel has seen some great groups come through, recording beautiful new music along their way. Recently, The Head and the Heart stopped by for the second time, sharing some exciting new material! If you caught the group at Sasquatch and enjoyed the new tunes they played, you can now hear them recorded. Read about the whole session right here, and download the whole thing for free here!

Download The Head and the Heart Chapel Session

June 06, 2012

Reviewed: Dan Mangan and Blind Pilot

Wesbter Hall, New York, NY

While Blind Pilot may have headlined the show last night at Webster Hall, I attended to see Dan Mangan, the Canadian folk crooner behind one of the best albums of 2011, Oh Fortune. Facing a lukewarm crowd without his usual band behind him, Mangan had a difficult task to win over the audience. But he was up for it. He adapted most of Oh Fortune for one guitar (quite a feat considering how full of activity that album is), and it worked in his favor. Quieting all the background made his voice (one of the best in the biz in my opinion) stand out more. The quiver in his voice was audible with only soft strums behind it. Quite a few times during the show he reminded me a great deal of Glen Hansard. And that is one of the highest compliments I can give a singer. Most of his songs translated very well into slower, gentler, acoustic versions, especially "Sold," an emotional track about growing old from his 2010 album, Nice, Nice, Very Nice. While Blind Pilot put on a nice performance, it was almost boringly straightforward, devoid of risks. Mangan on the other hand, laid all his cards out on the table, putting himself at the mercy of the audience, and he knocked it out of the park. Check out his tour dates below.

Grizzly Bear Announce New Album


Grizzly Bear announced that they will be releasing a follow-up to their 2009 studio album, Veckatimest, the band's most well-known album to date. Grizzly Bear's next project, currently untitled but available for pre-order as Warp229 on iTunes, will be on sale September 2012.

Below, check out the leading track set to be on the new album, "Sleeping Ute," which was noted as Best New Track by Pitchfork on Twitter yesterday. I'm going to try and see them at their last stateside show at the Greek Theater; I'm really digging this! Think you'll want to catch a live Grizzly Bear? Check out the band's tour dates below!



June 05, 2012

Bernhoft - "Shout (C2C Remix)"

A little while back, I posted about a gloriously fun EP from French DJ group C2C. Their latest remix is of Bernhoft's cover of the Tears For Fears hit "Shout." The already soulful tune gets an even funkier treatment, with scratching and a funky bassline added to the mix. Check it out!

June 04, 2012

M83 - "Reunion" Music Video

M83 has released another music video from his critically acclaimed 2011 album, Hurry Up, We're Dreaming. The video, for "Reunion," is in the same vein as his "Midnight City" video, with a children-as-superheros theme. Perfectly fitting the track, the video utilizes slow-motion, and lots of experimenting with lights, two things that look awfully nice with M83's synths in the background.

June 02, 2012

The xx Announce New Album: Coexist


The xx, the British trio who released their debut album xx in 2009, will release their second album Coexist in September of this year. The band received accolades for their premiere album, which was regarded with general acclaim by critics and won the Mercury Music Prize in 2010. After taking a brief hiatus, they created their own studio and recorded new songs, and are very excited to present fresh music to eager fans with a substantial tour schedule. As we posted about in December, the xx presented a demo version of their song "Open Eyes," set to be on Coexist. Check it out here!

Sasquatch 2012: The Good


I don't run. I've never enjoyed it, and I probably never will. But when an obscenely long traffic jam almost caused me to miss the beginning of the Sasquatch Music Festival this past weekend, it seemed like the only option. Leaving the rest of my car-mates, I trekked the endless car line by foot to ensure that I didn't miss a second of the greatest festival in the Northwest. After about 45 minutes of speedwalking, I entered the grounds with sore feet, an overfilled backpack, and a whole lot of excitement. Despite the exhausting and undesirable beginning to the weekend, it didn't take long for the music and overall vibes to win me over.


This year I saw shows that were awe-inspiring (Bon Iver), rock-your-socks-off heavy (Jack White), and rife with Canadians (Hey Rosetta! and Said The Whale). I witnessed a new British invasion of songwriters (Ben Howard and Dry The River), the latest phenomenon from Iceland (Of Monsters and Men), and the next great actor turned musician (John Reilly). With a backdrop that was constantly lauded by artists as the most beautiful venue they had ever seen, Sasquatch is truly a unique festival experience. Combine The Gorge with the inherent friendliness of Northwesterners, the beautiful weather, and a superb lineup, and out comes one of the finest music festivals in the country.

See all of our photos here.

THE GOOD


Scribes

Walking into the festival to the infectious beat of "Pass You By" instantly put a smile on my face. The very first artist to perform on the new, and very intimate "Maine" Stage, Scribes treated those in attendance to a lively set of some of the hottest rhymes coming out of the Northwest. Although many would-be-attendees were painfully stuck in traffic, Scribes drew all the folks who wanted to squeeze every last minute out of the weekend, as well as those who were ready to party early.


Of Monsters and Men

Iceland's latest import was the clear fan favorite on Friday, drawing an enormous, and very lively crowd to the mainstage fairly early on the first day. While thousands of attendees were still in line to enter the grounds, those lucky enough to make it in time were busy jumping around to the group's fun Arcade-Fire-meets-Edward-Sharpe sound. Lucky for die hard fans, they also played a mini set in the acoustic tent, proving that they can rock stages large and small.


Said The Whale

Definitely the sweetest Canadians we met all weekend, Said The Whale put on a rousing show, drawing a large crowd of fellow Vancouverites. Ben Worcester and Tyler Bancroft's trading vocals sound even better together, and the crazy, spastic drums of Nathan Shaw keep the show exciting. They sing about nature an awful lot, and there isn't really a better place to talk about beautiful nature than The Gorge.


Alabama Shakes

Saying that the Bigfoot Stage was packed for this show would be an understatement. Everyone who has seen a music blog in the last year was at this show to witness Brittany Howard tear the place down. The group was as tight as could be, letting Howard own the spotlight with her phenomenal voice. It is one of those voices that sounds like it could knock you over with one yell, yet she doesn't abuse it. She doesn't let loose all the time, making it all the more amazing when she does.


Dry The River

One of the most pleasant surprises of the weekend, Britain's Dry The River captured the hearts of all at the Yeti Stage with their unique blend of folk and hard rock. After seeing a bit of their opening set for Bowerbirds a few months ago, I came away with mixed feelings about their loud folk sound. But thankfully, I gave them another chance. Seeing their full set, and the sheer variety of their talents, made the show one of the best of the day.


Jack White

Mr. White had a stage presence unmatched the entire weekend. He commanded the crowd with his madman-like persona and broad setlist. Playing songs from The White Stripes, The Raconteurs, The Dead Weather, and his solo album, White kept the night exciting, and loud. One of the most epic moments of the festival came after he closed the set with "Seven Nation Army." While the band stopped playing, the crowd of 20,000+ could not stop chanting the melody.


Hey Marseilles

The seven gents in Hey Marseilles had a tough opening noon slot on the mainstage, but they made the best of it. Their mellow folkestral tunes were a perfect way to start the day. Lead singer Matt Bishop's voice translated beautifully live, and they ran through tracks from their debut album, To Travels & Trunks, with grace. It was nice to see such a friendly bunch of musicians, as well as such a nice blend of folk and classical instruments.


Hey Rosetta!

I arrived at their performance with high expectations, after I heard fans raving about their live show all day. It only took one song for me to realize they were right. Hordes of Canadians came out to catch their hometown heros, and to watch frontman Tim Baker's howl echo across the Gorge. Fueled by rabid fans, the group rocked harder than expected, especially on material from their latest album, the magnificent Seeds. Watch out America!


The Head and the Heart

I have seen The Head and the Heart four times now, and this performance, their second in a row at Sasquatch, was the best. After performing at the Gorge for the first time last year, the group was back in their home state for a victory lap. Drawing an expected enormous crowd, and earning a great slot opening for Beirut, the crew played most of their beautiful debut album, as well as two great new tracks (you can hear them on their recent Fuel/Friends Chapel Session).


Beirut

Beirut is widely considered one of the best live bands around these days, and they lived up to their reputation. Zach Condon, and a very mismatched looking backing band powered through hit after hit, spanning their entire career. With the great Perrin Cloutier on the accordion, they sounded sophisticated, professional, and so so good.


Bon Iver

At least a dozen times during Bon Iver's headlining set, the crowd was so deafening that I truly could not hear myself. Unlike most fans who chose to express their excitement by screaming their lungs out, I was too much in awe to make any noise at all. Instead, I watched in silence, trying to squeeze every last instant out of the best show of the weekend. Justin Vernon, with a very large backing band consisting of two drummers, two guitarists, two horn players, a bassist, and some multi-instrumentalists, played a powerful set including his entire new album, as well as most of his debut. For songs off For Emma, he opted for a fuller sound than on the record and it worked better than I expected. For the stunning "Blood Bank," the track was transformed into a huge production, that had an absolutely gorgeous, enormous sound. Vernon's voice, even more pure in a live setting, caused almost everyone in attendance to tear up at some point, whether it was during "Skinny Love" or "Re: Stacks." This show could not have been better. Vernon himself put it best when after opening with "Perth" he chuckled, "This is pretty fucking cool." We agree.


Ben Howard

I, along with a large portion of the Sasquatch crowd, was very excited to see what British songsmith Ben Howard would be like on stage. While technical difficulties cut his set time down to a paltry 25 minutes, he made the best of it, leading the crowd through sing-alongs, and inspiring every single fan to wait around. His acoustic tunes will no doubt be making waves in America soon.


John Reilly and Friends

It is safe to say that the large majority of the crowd that showed up to see John Reilly, wanted to see Dewey Cox, the country musician character he played in the movie Walk Hard. But Reilly, who has quite a good voice, as well as stage presence, took the music seriously. Luckily for fans of his movies, he sported his Dewey Cox guitar, and had plenty of jokes about Sasquatch at the ready, giving the crowd lots of laughs. Reilly's self-proclaimed reason for being there was to publicize the artists he was performing with, his 'friends'. And it worked! His fellow performers, Tom Brosseau and Becky Stark provided excellent backup vocals and made the show awfully cute.


Tenacious D

This performance, while I thought I knew what I was in for, was a huge surprise. Because the funniest part of this comedy act is the lyrics, which are often hard to discern live, I wasn't expecting much. But the sheer stage presence of Jack Black and Kyle Gass led to one of the most exciting performances all weekend. With a giant penis shaped "Fenix" on stage with them, they romped around stage, having a shred battle with a Sasquatch, and being attacked by a space squid. You can't not be entertained by that.


See all of our photos here
Photos by Rachel Fidler and Jonah Ollman