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How Not to Mess Up Capitol Hill Block Party, Day 1

Posted by July 19th, 2015 No Comments »

The Capitol Hill Block Party
July 24-26, 2015  

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of Capitol Hill Block Party and this year’s beautiful line-up since it’s caused me to ugly cry from happiness on several occasions. I don’t want to hand-hold in this preview, though. This is one of those rare instances where there is no right answer, only real ones.

Right out of the gate, you’re fucking up. Unlike other music festivals, which contain natural ebbs and flows within their music programming, this Block Party is about fucking up the least and I’m hoping to make these choices a bit easier. Let’s break it down by day, starting with Friday, July 24.

As the festival begins, you’re expected to make choices like Jamie xx versus Protomartyr (pictured above), TV On The Radio versus Deafheaven versus Thunderpussy, and somehow you have to make up your mind between BADBADNOTGOOD, Chimurenga Renaissance, and Grave Babies. Block Party hasn’t even started and I’m bedridden from FOMO.

Start with The Flavr Blue. They’re hometown pop R&B staples who’ve really stepped their songwriting and production with their latest single, “Feathers,” and they start on the mainstage. That’ll be an easy entrance to the weekend and will allow whatever you took to fully kick in before moving on.

Shabazz Palaces should be on your list, not just because they’re Seattle’s premier rap outfit, but because they were kind enough to land their spaceship long enough to assume human form and redefine hip-hop. Critics and fans are quick to say their artistic direction is futuristic but they’re so clearly from the inky ether of the universe it’s like the aurora borealis mixed with boom-bap.

Maybe they can help you split into two beings so you don’t have to make the soul-crushing decision between Protomartyr’s grit-rock cabaret and the slick production intellect of Jamie xx. My plan is to stir both crowds into a frenzy so I can attempt to crowd-surf between both. Regardless, be prepared to dance like a fiend.

The next choice you have to make is fundamentally easier because there is literally something for everyone.

  • Are you trying to chill? Enjoy the immense jazz knowledge of BADBADNOTGOOD.
  • Are you already missing Shabazz Palaces and you’re trying to sneak onto their ship to get back to their space HQ? Head over to Chimurenga Renaissance, the solo side-project from Shabazz’s Tendai Maraire.
  • Do you like your pits to be hopeless, ugly and romantic? Grave Babies welcome you will open arms and hanging heads.
  • Are you 40? You might remember Built To Spill!
  • Do you hold yourself in high regards because you saw Odesza before they blew up? Cuff Lynx will give you the one-up, ya hipster!

End the night one of two ways; by allowing the visceral black metal of Deafheaven to wash over you like a tidal wave of lava OR enjoy the evening coolness accompanied by classically dusky indie rock from TV on the Radio.

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