Let me be frank: music festivals are awful. They are magnificently unpleasant. All of them. There is almost no other way to spend $350+ and have a worse time, other than maybe flying coach to the Midwest three days before Christmas.
That being said, this will be my sixth year attending Sasquatch. My first S’quatch was in 2006, and I went consecutively for the following four years. The 2010 festival was, barring Massive Attack’s STUNNING performance, such an abysmal waste of three days that I, during the dark, rank, exhausted drive back, swore I would never, ever go again. Ever.
Going to Sasquatch is like getting waxed: after enough time has passed since you last had your hopes and dreams ripped out through your bleeding follicles, you forget the pain and gloss over the memory. Soon enough, you’re back on the table, writhing in agony, wondering what the hell you were thinking.
And, so, two years since I last subjected myself to the dirty, loud, hot, overpopulated nightmare that Sasquatch has become over the past five years, here I am with a four-day pass and a rough schedule of bands to see.
A good comeback performance is always something that makes ears perk right up for people, and Tractor Tavern is featuring a band this Sunday that hit it big in the late 80s and is releasing a long awaited new album in mid-March of this year.
The Ocean Blue formed in 1987—teenage friends who loved new wave and had the talent to create their own style. Throughout the 90s, the band had indie and mainstream success, opening for Aimee Man and Talking Heads. The band’s members have shifted over the last 20 years but the sound and the spirit are still the same, harking back to a time when MTV and dance clubs alike played good music (and in MTV’s case…actually played music). Yep, those were the days.
The band is set to release Ultramarine, on March 19 of this year; it will be the bands first full-length release in ten years. Catch the first of hopefully many performances from The Ocean Blue, this Sunday at 8PM at The Tractor Tavern. Math and Physics Club and Valley Fair will be opening for the band. Tickets are $10 advance and $12 at the door.
On the fence about the show? Well, here’s what else is going on around the Rainy City this weekend:
To all the singles out there, congratulations on surviving the horrendous Hallmark-created holiday, Valentine’s Day. Now get out there and celebrate with some debauchery this weekend, and if you make it to Sunday, check out the swoon-worthy music of female artist, ZZ Ward and female-fronted group, Delta Rae at The Crocodile.
ZZ Ward has proven that she has the ability to use her raspy voice to create music that is at once soulful, bluesy, and with a hip hop edge. Having written the majority of the tracks on her debut album, Til The Casket Drops, Zsuzanna Eva Ward (aka ZZ Ward), is setting herself apart from her contemporaries with her unique genre interplay.
Not only does her sound stand out, but her voice and emotion linger long after you take your headphones off. Just listen to “Put The Gun Down” and you can almost see the barrel staring you down.
If you’re not instantly swooning, the equally talented and buzzed about, Delta Rae will be opening for ZZ. Catch the show at Belltown venue, The Crocodile this Sunday at 7PM. Tickets are $12 advance and doors are at 7PM.
Here’s what else is going on around Seattle to keep you occupied this weekend:
Well hello, tribute bands! This weekend in Seattle, Showbox at The Market is shaking it up a little with not one, but two tribute bands, and I don’t know about you but I could definitely use some old school tunes to get me out of the pre-Spring funk that everyone (myself included) seems to be going through right now!
On Friday, Showbox at The Market will be featuring Led Zepagain…can anyone guess who the band is in honor of? Well, Led Zeppelin, of course. Tickets for the show are $15 and doors open at 8PM. Hairmageddon will be opening for the band.
Now, if you’re looking for something a little mellow-er in the tribute department, well Saturday could possibly do you in! Neil Diamond cover band, Super Diamond will be playing at Showbox at 8PM on Saturday. The equally harmonious U2 will be covered by the tribute band, Under A Blood Red Sky. Tickets for the show are also $18.
If tribute bands aren’t really your thing, here’s what else is going on in Seattle:
Take advantage of the fact that the weather is supposed to be somewhat dry in Seattle this weekend! We have some good shows around town to start off your February, including local favorites The Maldives.
The Maldives have been referred to as an “institution” in the Pacific Northwest as they’ve been around almost a decade and have played shows all around the PNW, as well as SXSW and various venues along the West Coast. In the last two years, the country band has downsized but kicked-up the tempo on their already powerful live sound.
On their latest album, Muscle For the Wing, the band explored more of their rock side and it suits them well and has allowed the band to capture a larger audience. Seeing as the Tractor Tavern is the perfect venue for anything that can be described as “twangy,” the ambiance should make for a great show from the much-loved Seattle band.
Ken Stringfellow and Star Anna will be opening for The Maldives at the show this Saturday. Show starts at 9:30PM and tickets are $15 advanced/$17 at the door.
Around this time of the year many of us are still in the giving back and helping others mood (which should be year round, but let’s be honest here…) If you remain generous, you’re in luck as it’s time again for Starbucks’ Little Big Show!
First Aid Kit played to a sold-out crowd at the last Little Big Show in November. There’s no doubt that the same won’t happen this Sunday when The Walkmen and Father John Misty bring their unique sounds to the stage to raise money for the Seattle-based non-profit, Youth in Focus. Youth in Focus is an afterschool program that teaches photography and videography to disadvantaged teens, enabling them to find their unique voice and forge a positive teenage experience.
The Walkmen have been making music for the last 10 years, first introduced as rowdy, young musicians, whose sound put them on the indie rock map. When the Walkmen released their latest album, Heaven in May of last year, fans and critics alike were both surprised and pleased with the newest record from the New York-based band.
January is racing by, and with the recently announced Seattle tour dates for Bat For Lashes and a new album out in April by Phoenix, Seattle music fans are gearing up for a busy Spring 2013! In the meantime, have some good stuff to round out the second half of January, including a much-buzzed about performance at Barboza tonight (1/18) by the eccentric folk duo, Two Gallants.
Two Gallants is a duo made up of Adam Stephen and Tyson Vogel, San Francisco musicians who came together to form the indie-folk band in 2002. In September, the band released The Bloom and the Blight. The album was the band’s first release in five years and continues to showcase Stephen’s ability to shape his metal-sounding voice around the Gallant’s folk-inspired melodies.
Known for their ominous lyrics that conjure images of alcoholics, the dying, and the slums of America, you would think that the band might have a small, specific fan base. However, their style has resonated with music lovers and crowds at shows have been known to get rowdy right along with the band raging theatrics. Check out the band for yourself at the show tonight at Barboza on Capitol Hill. Tickets are $15 advanced for the 21+ show. Doors open at 7:30PM.
If Two Gallants aren’t up your alley, here’s what else is going on this weekend around the Rainy City:
Released just earlier this week, their newest album, Fade, is a solid continuation of YLT’s established vibe, with its uplifting instrumentation and relaxed vocals, and will provide the acoustic foundation for a cheerful goodbye to one of Queen Anne’s most popular stops. (TVD’s review of Fade is here. —Ed.)
If you can’t make it in for YLT’s performance, you can still swing by for the ridiculous deals (40% off everything used, 20% off everything new) or try your luck at the public auction on Sunday (1/20), which will be offering one of a kind memorabilia and original lithographs, along with literally everything else in the store. Illustration: Mike Force for The Stranger