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Peaks of the Week: August 28-September 3

Posted by August 28th, 2012 No Comments »

By Matt Ashworth

Tuesday, August 28
Black Mountain @Neumos

Black Mountain are a Canadian band that makes big, riffy stoner rock better than the bands that defined that genre in the 70s. I like them so much I gave their 2008 album In the Future a 10/10 in my album review. They were fantastically engaging and psychedelic at the KEXP Mural Amphitheater concert last summer, so I can’t even imagine how terrific they’ll be indoors at Neumos tonight. Please go.

Wednesday, August 29
The The The Thunder @ The High Dive

Aside from having a totally awesome band name, The The The Thunder are worth checking out due to the tasteful influences they display on their debut eight song album All At Once. Talking Heads, Lou Reed and other interesting popular music that emerged in the 1980s are the most obvious reference points, but the six piece also employ that fuzzy guitar sound I like so much and dish out some bratty punk vocals, especially on “Worth It.”

Thursday, August 30
The Little Penguins @ The Sunset

If you’re not home resting up for Bumbershoot, you might as well go see Will Hallauer’s Little Penguins at the Sunset. A key member of the excellent defunct Seattle band the Turn-Ons, which mixed fuzzy shoegazer guitars with 60s girl group harmonies, Will and his bandmates in the Little Penguins have unassumedly been recording and releasing interesting progressive pop/rock music with crisp guitars and interesting vocals since 2007. Thursday night they’ll preview their forthcoming album, which to my knowledge is still unnamed.

Friday, September 1
Saturday, September 2
Sunday, September 3
Bumbershoot @ Seattle Center w/M Ward, Helio Sequence, Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, The Heavy, Fishbone, Heartless Bastards and many, many more

What makes Bumbershoot our favorite festival of the year? Well, there are a bunch of reasons, but here are a few.

4) It takes place right in the heart of our city.
As most music festivals move out towards rural areas, it sure feels neat to bus down to the city center and take in three days of music, arts and people-watching right smack dab in the center of Seattle.

3)  We grew up on it.
All of our Seattle contributors can point to fond memories of Bumbershoot’s past. It’s a part of our shared history.

2) It’s diverse and family friendly.
I can’t think of another place on earth where there is literally “something for everyone.” My parents took me when I was growing up in Yakima. Now my wife and I take our daughters. One year we went from the Thermals to the kid’s art session at the Center House to the drum circle to Alejandro Escovedo to play in the fountain and it occured to me: this diversity no longer exists at other summer festivals.

1) They book great acts.
Every few years we catch some nincompoop offering up a complaint about the Bumbershoot lineup. “It’s not like it used to be,” you might hear. Or maybe someone claims there’s just “no one I want to see this year.”

Hogwash. The beauty of Bumbershoot is that there are lots of great bands, comics, speakers and other performers there that you aren’t familiar with. That’s the point. Try leaving room in your agenda to wander around and go where the mood strikes you. You’ll always be pleasantly surprised.


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