September 11, 2013 by Dave
Words by AJ Dent
Thao & The Get Down Stay Down
There’s not much better in this world than soaking up a clean-cut banjo breakdown with thousands of other music lovers on a hot summer day. The instant I’d found myself within range of Thao’s matter-of-fact singing voice, I’d ran across the grass to get closer, and for good reason. It’s always striking to see someone live out their lifelong passion, and this was no exception. Thao commanded the crowd like a (friendly) boss, making waves of head-bobbing and in-place-jumping ripple out from the Fountain Stage. With We the Common out in February of this year, the band’s momentum has become magnetic, and their sun-infused Bumbershoot show only proved that it’s well-earned.
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September 7, 2013 by Dave
Photos and Words by AJ Dent
An artist who can switch from soulful to lighthearted with a simple flick of her smile has definitely got my vote. While I usually envision dark lounges and dirty martinis when I listen to ZZ’s stuff, this sunny Saturday was surprisingly fitting. The Starbucks Stage, regularly known as The Mural, complemented Ward well, from her buttercup tresses and Persian rug pants to her cinnamony voice and hot lover of a guitar. Her equally into-it bandmates — repeatedly suppressing big ol’ grins to little avail — only helped frame the sultry female, turning hers into one of the day’s smoothest shows. “Put The Gun Down”? Only once yours stops smoking, Mz. Z, and we’re guessing that won’t be anytime soon.
Gus + Scout
Don’t you love discovering acts so endearing, you’re shocked they don’t have a Wikipedia page yet? It’s like they’re still a secret, something you can share with the right friends who’ll appreciate it too. Despite performing together since 2011, Gus + Scout still felt fresh during their Plaza Stage set — so much so, Scout came off as a bit nervous in my eyes. This is no dis, though; in fact, it added to the sweet-n-simple personality of their songs, the call-and-response format that heartbreakers like “Gone, Gone, Gone” feature. While their body language matched lyrics about cautious love, they certainly didn’t hold back their voices, which spooned together like two content cats. Start these two up next time you need some lazy Sunday afternoon tunes. And share ‘em with your friends. They deserve it.
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September 2, 2013 by Dave
Our writer AJ Dent gives us the low down on who we’d better be attending at Bumbershoot:
The Grizzled Mighty
6:30-7:30pm, Plaza Stage
Even if you’ve never heard them yet, your own subconscious is saying “fuck yeah” to this band. Your world and Friday night pregaming playlist will never be the same after this dynamic duo holds you upside down by the ankles and shakes.
Ra Ra Riot
Voices taut as tightropes will be the only thing below your floating feet the moment this band begins. Ever have one of those moments where everything in you aches to cry, laugh, and dance around in a swirl all at once? Oh, you will.
8:45pm-10:00pm, Fountain Lawn Stage
When you inevitably get so into this group’s jams you close your eyes and start to sway, what you’ll probably see in your head are elephants prancing and galaxies churning. But then you’ll open your eyes instantly, because the visual art they bring to the stage is even better than that.
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August 22, 2013 by Dave
We’re closing out this series with the photos that I dig the most of the entire weekend. The Flaming Lips are certainly one to put on a great show and they did not disappoint. Through some crazy series of events I ended up on the roof of a building next to the main stage again and was able to grab shots that would have been otherwise impossible. This entire experience was unreal, I am incredibly pleased with the photos and I hope that you are too. Thanks for reading/looking.
Please email me at dave at addicted2shows dot com if you’d like a high res version of any of the photos featured in this series.
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August 21, 2013 by Dave
Dave B. and crew were everything I needed out on the Vera stage. Fun, fresh, and full of energy. It was the middle of the day in the bright sunlight and this guy was energizing a crowd that had been previously completely stationary. It’s always great to see a band that is genuinely having a killer time up on stage and no one at block party this year did it as well as Dave B. He certainly made a fan out of me. During the short breaks between songs he would periodically should “Jazz!” which would launch the band into a full on jam session which of course allowed him to dance like no one was watching.
NISSIM has a story that one could call unique. He entered the Seattle hip hop scene years ago as D. Black making a name for himself on Jake One’s “White Van Music” with a track called “God Like”. This was only the beginning as he started to garner national attention after releasing Ali Yah which landed him on Amazon’s top lists. While his video was in rotation on MTV and he was performing with the likes of NaS and Mos Def something wasn’t right. Damien Black was having a spiritual crisis and with that he left the rap game for a few years to convert to Orthodox Judaism. With this conversion he changed his name to NISSIM and left behind the lyrics describing growing up on the more dangerous streets of Seattle and heading in an entirely new direction with the goal ““…to make music that inspires and elevates this world, to the world of spirituality and divine purpose.”
Sam Lachow and Raz Simone were one of the best acts of the entire weekend and the stage was way too small for the two of them. It is only a matter of time before the stages they’re performing on are much larger with much brighter lights. I’ve been listening to Sam Lachow’s “King Leer” a ton and Raz’s “sometimes I don’t” just as much and the collaboration of the two brings an entirely new level to their music.
Sam and Raz met in NYC in times square during a rainstorm, fitting as they both originally hail from Seattle. Their initial EP “5 good reasons” is more than worth a listen but I would suggest that you do so with the the videos that they created with different videographers from Seattle for each track. The EP shot them to a tour with Wax Tailor and things have been picking up even more since.
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August 21, 2013 by Dave
Day three of CHBP held Hip Hop ranging from the the up and comings Dave B and Sam Lachow to the the prolific artists making up Latyrx (Lyrics Born and Lateef the Truthspeaker). Here We’ll focus on the two groups that performed indoors at the historic Seattle venue Neumos.
We kicked off day three with Theoretics. They’re a dual fronted Emcee/Vocals large band of seven musicians that fill a ton of genres ranging from Hip Hop to soul to electronica. Having just released their sophomore album “Plenty of Anything” the group sounded seasoned in both dark and warm afternoon set in Neumos.
It was crazy to get to see Latryx. I might be a little biased as I am a huge Lyrics born fan, all of his side projects are genius. The energy was intense in the tightly packed pit leading up to the stage you could almost forget that it was light outside.
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August 15, 2013 by Dave
We were all a little skeptical coming into the main headliner of day 2. Pickwick, while growing really quickly in Seattle didn’t feel like the right choice for the main headliner of the entire day. Boy were we wrong. Galen Disston and crew were incredible. The recent release of the well received “Can’t Talk Medicine” has been incredibly positive for the group and is quite clearly fueling an act that belongs on the main stage closing a major PNW Festival .
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August 11, 2013 by Dave
The second half of the day contained Phox, Lights From Space, A Trak
Lights From Space:
After the first half of the day I needed to get a little shade so hit a few indoor shows, Phox and Lights From Space which promised to be some good ol’ fashioned conventional indie roc…wait what? did the bassist in Phox just pull out a clarinet? Equally important, he kicks ass at it.
And back outside we went to hit up A Trak’s show, this guy’s group Fool’s gold had contributed a lot of acts to the fest so far and it was great to see the man himself.
Check out some mixes from his new EP Tuna Melt
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August 8, 2013 by Dave
Big Freedia, El-P and Killer Mike, Land of Pines and Vox Mod Filled the beginning of Day 2.
Big Freedia made quite the splash recently in the pacific northwest (among other places) opening for the Postal Service. The hilarity that ensued is captured wonderfully by uproxx.com here.
Regardless, Freddie Ross and his booty bouncing New Orleans hip hop killed it. Enjoy “Make Ya Booty Go”
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