September 3, 2011

MusicfestNW 2011: An Ambitious Plan

My wife and son are evacuating to Chicago. My buddy is heading up from the Bay Area. So from Thursday through Sunday, we plan on watching as much live music as humanly possible, fueled mostly by beer, bacon, and tacos.

With so many venues packed with a mix of up and comers, fan favorites, and stellar local bands, we can't go wrong at MusicfestNW. It's like a musical choose your own adventure. While it's tempting  to sprint from venue to venue, crossing the river too many times will wear off the beer buzz and run the risk of listening to the desired set while standing outside in line (Better show up early Blind Pilot fans). So for this preview, I'm focusing on my favorite pairings.

I'm lukewarm on the headliners for the featured concerts at Courthouse Square, but some of the openrs are great. Personally, I'd much rather see Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside headline a concert with Typhoon and Morning Teleportation. Sallie Ford kills live and shouldn't be missed. Whichever you choose, make sure to show up early.

Weedle's Groove @ Mission Theater - This whole night be scratched, as I likely will be helping the family out the door. However, this music documentary focusing on the Seattle underground soul scene sounds amazing and is followed by a concert by some of the featured musicians. Plus, it would kick of a back to back night soul and funk celebration.

Monarques/Dennis Coffey/Charles Bradley @ Aladdin Theater - Guitarist of the legendary Motown Funk Brothers, Coffey's pyrotechnics have been pillaged for breakbeats for decades.Charles Bradley is Daptone's newest star. The label seems to doing for soul what Fat Possum once did for Hill Country blues. Add local retro party poppers the Monarques to the mix and you have a solid evening.

Favorites I'm missing: Dolorean, Unknown Mortal Orchestra

Weinland/Sharon Van Etten/Blitzen Trapper @ Crystal Ballroom
Weinland albums are pretty mellow, but they do know how ramp it up live. Actually all three bands should mix up introspective and spirited songs. Van Etten could be a festival highlight, although it's hard to beat Blitzen Trapper in front of a hometown crowd.

Lost Lander/AgesandAges/Givers @ Doug Fir - This might be the best 1-2-3 punch of up-and-coming bands. Prepare to hear a lot about Lost Lander when they finally releases their album. AgesandAges back porch harmonies are even better live. Expect the Givers to deliver a playfully riotous closing to the night.

Favorites I'm missing: Bare Wires, Thee Oh Sees

I thought I had Saturday all figured out until The Vaccines late cancellation threw my schedule off. And while seeing Blind Pilot is tempting, especially since their new album sounds amazing, I'm not excited about their openers.

And And And/Helio Sequence @ Doug Fir
The addition of Helio Sequence more than makes up for the loss of the Vaccines. Here's hoping this leads to a new album. Plus everyone should come just to see if And And And can live up to the hype (They usually do).

Ravishers/Priory @ Someday Lounge
Lately, I've been really digging the Ravishers laid back indie rock. This is actually Priory's second set of the day (@ Rontoms for the Burnside Distributors Free Party). Their electronic indie pop is damn catchy.

Favorites I'm missing: Ty Segall, Blind Pilot

Free Marmoset Music Party @ Rontoms
Holy crap, Dolorean, Light for Fire, Pancake Breakfast are all playing. Seriously, this lineup can't be missed. See previous post.