By Marcus Shriver, Youth Correspondent
Temperature-wise, Capitol Hill Block Party is the hottest festival in Seattle. The yearly event gathers local music-lovers for a series of shows on two outdoor stages on the streets of the Pike/Pine corridor, as well as inside Neumos, Barboza and the Cha Cha Lounge.
Along with the sun and blacktop come favorite local restaurants and bars, friends and great local and regional bands. Last year we were treated to the Thermals, some A$AP Rocky love and local punk band CHILDBIRTH. This year they have done another awesome job mixing local bands alongside national talent and bands that don’t come through Seattle that often.
Here are my 11 picks for the festival, which runs July 24-26. The forecast calls for more temperate weather than usual, but bring a cold beer to each of these sets anyway. Just in case.
Girlpool is an awesome duet that mixes punk rock influences with a summer, beach vibe. The mixture creates a perfectly sad and powerful sound. They aren’t overly dynamic live, but this does not take away from their ability to capture audiences. No one who goes to this show will be disappointed.
They don’t play around Seattle as much anymore, which means you shouldn’t miss this set. Critically-acclaimed Shabazz Palaces’ music is ambient, strong and experimental. It may seem like some of the strangest hip hop you’ll ever hear, but that’s just because they are so far ahead of the game.
Father John Misty
One of the many members of local royalty at CHBP this year, Father John Misty gets my nomination for “The Duke of Sub Pop.” The performer, J. Tillman, has this way about him that is mysterious. Maybe it’s the red lights around him or maybe it’s the suit he wears. Yet despite this mystical nature, he still manages to bare all of his emotions out in every song. Absolutely captivating.
The simplicity of each beat that LA producer Giraffage layers into his songs create a scene in the imagination that’s just astounding. I always begin his songs sitting silently, but by the end my body is moving. I am very interested to see how he handles the main stage since he seems better suited for an indoor venue. But the people who put together CHBP put it together for a reason, so we’ll see how it turns out.
THUNDERPUSSY is a group of musicians who can charm the socks off of your grandma and then take the stage and have everyone wanting to throw their underwear on stage. A sort of Seattle super group with members of tons of other local bands these ladies know how to work the crowd and may even offer tips on how to stroke your cat.
Performing a sort of postmodern punk that is simultaneously creepy, frightening and beautiful, Grave Babies will definitely be fun band to watch at CHBP. They just released their new album Something Awful on Hardly Art and I haven’t stopped listening to it.
The Julie Ruin
Put their synth in the back of any party and you’ll be dancing for days. Put their lyrics in your head and you’ll be head banging forever. The Julie Ruin holds their place in punk hearts everywhere, so make room in yours.
Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Their new album Multi-Love is intriguing, catchy and damn good, combining a lot of rock with a little synth pop on songs that will be stuck in your head forever. The last time they were in town they sold out Barboza in the blink of an eye. This show will be a crowded one.
This Seattle native has a smooth voice and potable flow that he lays over beats that remind me of Odd Future. A recent Sub Pop signee who’s yet to release his release his first album for the storied label, Porter’s a great act to catch at CHBP now… before he blows up.
Brothers From Another
Local hip-hop is back. Brothers from Another were gone for a while and we are so glad to have them back these last few months. They are putting out a new album very soon and we would love to hear some collaborations with the Moor Gang and all of their other friends.
Shannon and the Clams
Maybe your day at the beach was interrupted by all of the loud music coming from Capitol Hill. Let Shannon and the Clams get sand all over your body and make you smell like ocean 2ater. Part 1960’s rock and part David Hasselhoff’s surf band went punk, Shannon and the Clams is one more awesome band from the Hardly Art, a label in the Sub Pop family. The band released their new album Corvette in June and just the grit of lead singer is worth your time to stop by and listen.
- How Not to Mess Up Capitol Hill Block Party, Day 3
- How Not to Mess Up Capitol Hill Block Party, Day 2
- How Not to Mess Up Capitol Hill Block Party, Day 1
- Capitol Hill Block Party Announces Full 2015 Lineup Including Father John Misty, Girlpool, and more!
- Shabazz Palaces: Savor the Flavor
- Everything is Better with Thunderpussy: An Interview
- Pure Showmanship: Father John Misty Live in Austin