Category Archives: TVD Seattle

15 ways to make your (and my) Sasquatch experience not absolutely terrible

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.

Worst. 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.

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Weekend Shots!

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:

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Weekend Shots!

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:

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Weekend Shots!

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:

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Weekend Shots!

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.

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Weekend Shots!

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.

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Weekend Shots!

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:

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TVD Recommends: Queen Anne Easy Street Records final in-store with Yo La Tengo, 1/18

Help send off the Queen Anne location of Easy Street Records at 7 pm TONIGHT with their final in-store, featuring awesome the smooth beats of Yo La Tengo.

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

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Weekend Shots!

As we watch the ominous clouds circle overhead and fear (or welcome) the forecast of snow this weekend Seattle, let’s not forget that the best way to stay warm in the city is by watching a great band with a foaming, icy pint of Mannys in your hand. Sunday will bring you just the right band for this, as Geographer headlines a show at Barboza.

Beautiful things often come out of tragic experiences oddly enough, and that is the case with the formation of Geographer. After reeling from the pain of losing family members, Geographer front man Michael Deni left New Jersey and ended up in San Francisco with his guitar and synthesizer along for the ride. During this adventure he picked up Nathan Blaz and Brian Osteicher and essentially formed Geographer.

Their music is mainly carefree pop, but more often than not, an ambient sound shines through. The band just released Myth, the follow-up to 2010’s Animal Shapes. Both albums received fine reviews, so expect their live performance to be no different. On An On will be opening up for the band at the 21+ show at Barboza on Sunday the 13th. Doors open at 8PM and tickets are $10 advance.

If Geographer isn’t your cup o’ tea, here’s what else is going on in Seattle this weekend:

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Weekend Shots!

Just when it seemed like Seattle was having a hard time pulling itself out of the holiday funk like the rest of us, the city is giving us a killer blast from the past this weekend. Deeming itself the “Dance Party of 80s Proportions,” comes Atomic Pop and Platinum Spandex at the Crocodile TONIGHT, Friday, 1/4.

Atomic Pop have come together to cover songs to remind you that we’re really just dancing with ourselves and to take you back to a time when big hair was a mandate and spandex wasn’t just a trend. The band covers everything from Young MC’s “Bust A Move” to Modern English’s “I Melt With You.” You’ll be reminded of your lust for Molly Ringwald circa Pretty in Pink for certain.

Now, if 80s pop isn’t your thing…fear not. Platinum Spandex will be headlining the show along with Atomic Pop on Friday. The 80s hair metal tribute band promises to throw down the bitchin’ rock that reverberated through the 80s. Covering everyone from Ozzy, Night Ranger, and Iron Maiden, the band is sure to lay the hammer down. The band pledge to play everything live (just like it should be) so expects lots of sweaty hair, leather, and high kicks. It’s not to be missed! Doors open at 8PM for the 21+ show. Tickets are $10 advanced.

If neon colors don’t fire you up, here’s what else is going on around town this weekend:

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Weekend Shots!

December is in full force, Seattle! If you haven’t exhausted all of your funds on Christmas presents for undeserving family members or ugly sweaters for company Christmas’ parties that your hoping will lead to a naughty moment or two under the mistletoe, here’s what you should check out this weekend!

Friday, 12/7 – Allen Stone at The Paramount | The self-described “hippie with a soul,” Allen Stone, will be gracing Seattle with his musical talents and his adorably dorky and modest personality. A little pop, a little R&B, and a lot of soul, Stone has perfected the equation of  upbeat pop without becoming too mainstream. He’s even caught the hearts and grabbed the ears of even the most-critical music lovers.

Stone has plenty of hooks and tons of grooves to allow for a crowd to let a little loose. Lemolo and Choklate will be opening for Stone at the historical Paramount Theater on Friday. Doors open at 7PM for the all-ages show. Tickets are $21.50 advanced.

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TVD Live: Deep Sea Diver at Neumos, 11/30

As I was navigating around people on Friday amid dripping rain on my venture toward Neumos, I was thinking to myself that the house was probably going to be pretty full tonight. Everyone in Seattle loves their local musicians, especially the ones we’ve gotten to know over the years through their musical escapades with other well-known bands, such as one of Seattle’s finest up-and-coming acts and a recent Weekend Shots contender, Deep Sea Diver.

Deep Sea Diver first made waves through my headphones back in July when I was researching the line-up for this year’s Bumbershoot, and to say I was musically smitten is a bit of an understatement. I was totally hooked.

Deep Sea Diver is composed of Jessica Dobson, husband Peter Mansen, and Michael Duggan. Dobson, who has toured with local favorites, The Shins, and the ultimate hipster, Beck, formed the band a few years ago after leaving behind a solo project with Atlantic Records. Finally having the ability to take total control of her musical path, Dobson with Masen and Duggan, self-released History Speaks in February of this year. Beautifully emotional and influential, the album received positive reviews and a following arose.

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TVD Recommends: David Wax Museum at Sunset Tavern, 12/4

Allow me, for a moment, to state the obvious: the weather in Seattle’s winter months can be shitty—rain, wind, dead rats in gutters, the sun peeking out from behind the clouds just long enough to flip you off and spit on your hope, etc., etc.

Fortunately, David Wax Museum, with their cheerful and flawless blend of Latin rhythms, folk instrumentation and energetic harmonies, are setting up shop tonight at Ballard’s Sunset Tavern to inject happiness, bright colors and fun directly into your beating heart, after it has been thoroughly prepped by the up-and-coming Edmund Wayne and local singer-songwriter Ben Fisher.

Provided you aren’t currently on a hallucinogenic substance, check out the video for “Harder Before It Gets Easier” from their newest album, Knock Knock Get Up, for a taste of DWM’s eclectic and full-bodied orchestrations. The video’s use of bold pinks, greens and oranges sublimely fits the emotional tone set by members David Wax and Sue Slezak, whose Latin influences have helped them do an astounding job of conveying color and texture through sound.

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Weekend Shots!

This weekend, we here at TVD Seattle are wishing you a very happy “Local Seattle Musician Christmas Weekend!” For many people this was the first week of Christmas and this weekend will explode with holiday shoppers, peppermint mochas, and fake Santas who promise things they can’t deliver! But what’s better than ringing in the beginning of the holidays with some good ol’ lovely Seattle’s Best (I mean musicians, not the coffee.) Enjoy!

Friday, 11/30 – Deep Sea Diver at Neumos | Deep Sea Diver is the project of Seattle singer and multi-instrumental musician, Jessica Dobson. Before forming the band, Dobson toured and supported several bands, including Beck, The Shins, and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and at one time was signed to Atlantic records. She has been in the music business since her teens and, oh man, does it show.

The band formed in 2011 with husband, Peter Mansen on drums and Michael Duggan on bass. Deep Sea Diver’s first release, History Speaks is an indie-rock, soul-searching album so powerful that it cannot be listened to just once and the band is easily a contender for a best new artist of 2012. They are making their final stop in Seattle this Friday at Neumos—and as a band I respect, I will be there in full-form, so look for a review of the show by yours truly next week.

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Weekend Shots!

We’re feeling the Canadian love this weekend, Seattle! I’m featuring two Canadians who are visiting our beautiful little city to shower us with glorious tunes. So show some support for our friends up North and make it out to a show this weekend!

11/16, Patrick Watson at the Crocodile | Patrick Watson is a singer-songwriter from Hudson, Quebec who may just have the most musical tricks up his sleeves. His voice is profound, while also soft and delicate, and to top it off he is a multi-talented musician, with the ability to move easily between piano, guitar, organ, and accordion. Watson, supported by a band which at times feels like an entire orchestra backing, are currently on tour to promote his newest album, Adventures in Your Own Backyard. The album was recorded in Watson’s Montreal apartment, which adds to the intimacy of the record.

These traits particularly shine on the opening track “Lighthouse,” where Watson’s high tenor is displayed lightly over piano. The song is a perfect opener for an album that entrances the listener and creates a world they cannot, even if they wanted to, leave until the last horn blares on the closing song “The Things We Do.” Watson, who won a Polar Music Prize in 2007, hasn’t quite had the success in the States as he has in Canada, but with records like Backyard, it’s only a matter of time until he is able to hold his own against the likes of Bon Iver, Grizzly Bear, and Antony & the Johnsons. He will be performing at Crocodile this Friday at an all-ages show. Tickets are $15 advanced and the show starts at 8PM. Half Moon Run will be opening.

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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