Shows of Note – SASQUATCH!

Sasquatch-Stage-02

If you’re like us, you were counting down the days until the Sasquatch 2014 lineup to be announced. With an added weekend in July, Sasquatch 2014 promised to be not only the biggest music event in Washington, but one of the largest in the country. Artists on the bill like The National, Kid Cudi, Soundgarden, Broken Bells and Frank Ocean got us excited but there are a few artists that have really got us pumped.

Outkast

Outkast

As cliche as it might be, Outkast is a group we just can’t stop talking about. Yes, everyone is excited to see them and yes, they are the main headliner for the Memorial Day weekend but its their first time reuniting in over a decade. Outkast certainly knows how to do a  reunion right. The hip-hop duo will be headlining Coachella in April of this year as well. Not only is this the first time Outkast will perform in a decade, this year marks the 20th anniversary of their debut album Southernplaylisticadillamuzik. Outkast will be on the Sasquatch stage (main stage) Friday, May 23.

AlunaGeorge

AlunaGeorge

Our second pick for the first weekend is AlunaGeorge. Another duo, AlunaGeorge is an electronic trip-hop act with a hint of R&B. Made up of Aluna Francis and George Reid, the two met in an unconventional way for a band to meet, the internet. With a mutual respect for eachother’s music they decided to join force and that is something we are forever grateful for. Catching fire with their single “You Know You Like It,” AlunaGeorge will be on the El Chupacabra stage Sunday, May 25.

Cage the Elephant

Cage the Elephant

Cage the Elephant is someone else we’d like to see during the first Sasquatch weekend. From Bowling Green, Kentucky, Cage the Elephant formed in 2005 but were discovered by most of us when they’re single “Ain’t No Rest For the Wicked” dropped in 2009. The Sasquatch performance will follow Cage the Elephant’s October release Melophobia, which includes “Come a Little Closer.” Cage the Elephant will be playing on the Sasquatch stage, Friday, May 23.

New Order

New Order

When it comes to weekend two, we’ve noticed a little more rock, in particular, rock a more mature audience on the bill. This isn’t a good or bad thing and there are still a ton of artists we’re psyched about. In particular, New Order. New Order has been around since 1980 and have stood the text of time, working through multiple break ups and reunions only to show up on the Sasquatch bill this year. New Order’s Lost Sirens was released in January of last year and was well received by fans and critics alike. Lost Sirens is the band’s first album since 2005 and Pitchfork.com had this to say about the album:

“As an album, Lost Sirens isn’t at all an embarrassment: it’s a document of a band whose range and reach, rather than power, are what has been diminished.”

Children of the 80s will delight in getting to see this new wave era band rock out at Sasquatch. New Order will be on the Sasquatch stage Sunday, July 6.

The second weekend of Sasquatch features awesome ambient electronic artists as well. Jon Hopkins’ downtempo, chill-out style

Jon Hopkins

Jon Hopkins

has delighted fans, especially in the U.K. where he is from. Hopkins’ Immunity dropped at the end of 2013 with Pitchfork.com stating

“[Immunity}...adds up to a remarkably visceral, sensual, confident electronic record that stays absorbing from beginning to end, and should finally catapult Hopkins to stardom in his own story."

Hopkins promises to bring a mix of slowed down tunes and catchy dance hooks. Hopkins ability to consistently cross genres implementing piano, acoustic sounds and bass heavy electro to make music that should almost be qualified as being in his own special genre. Hopkins will be at the El Chupacabra stage on Saturday, July 5.

Demetri Martin

Demetri Martin

Many people forget that Sasquatch features comedy acts as well. Demetri Martin will be performing at the second weekend of Sasquatch and has proved to be a favorite comedian, especially among the college crowd. Martin was the headlining comedian for Homecoming 2010 at CWU and performed for a sold-out shout. A little unconventional in his stand-up, Martin uses a guitar, one-liners and a “large pad” to tell his jokes. Martin had a show on Comedy Central for two years and now focuses on his stand-up, books and contributions to various TV shows and movies. Martin will be on the EL Chupacabra stage on Sunday, July 6.

Ticket sales for Sasquatch 2014 are tomorrow (02/08) at 10 a.m. Be sure to keep an eye on The ‘Burg’s social media for surprise ticket giveaways and opportunities to win tickets to the biggest music/entertainment event in Washington state.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Shows of Note – Canadian Covers

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Sometimes Canada really delivers. Avril Lavigne, Justin Bieber and Carly Rae Jepsen aside, certain artists such as Tegan and Sara, Michael Buble and Walk Off the Earth make us give much props to our neighbors up north. Walk Off the Earth may not be as well known as some of the others we’ve listed but they certainly are worth your time.

Walk Off the Earth

Walk Off the Earth

Like Karmin, another artist we’ve recently featured, Walk Off the Earth’s rise to fame was thanks to YouTube. The five-person band got national attention when they’re cover of “Somebody That I Used to Know” got over 156 million views on the YouTube. The success of that video inspired fans to comb over their whole collection of previously recorded unique covers and accompanying music videos. Now, Walk Off the Earth has hundreds and hundreds of millions of YouTube views to their name. The band has five studio albums heavily laden with covers.

Walk Off the Earth’s most recent work, R.E.V.Ofeatures Walk Off the Earth’s hit single, “Red Hands” along with their “Somebody That I Used to Know” cover. Fans are calling the album, “upbeat and smooth, but edgy enough to keep you engaged.” Professional critics are giving the album mixed reviews but All Music Guide had this to say:

“A confident, delightfully quirky, and endlessly inventive band having fun and delivering a kind of lightly experimental sunshine pop for the 21st century, complete with huge choruses, xylophones and trinkets, maverick rhythms, and a charming, fun spirit of adventure.”

Walk Off the Earth will be in the northwest  Feb. 23 at The Knitting Factory in Spokane, Feb. 25 at the Crystal Ballroom in Portland and Feb. 26 at Showbox SoDo in Seattle. We’re giving away tickets to the Seattle show tomorrow (02/07) between noon and 1 p.m. so be sure to tune-in for your chance to win!

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Shows of Note – Head of State

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With perhaps the most annoying name in rock history, The Presidents of the United States of America, certainly don’t make annoying music. Most famous for the catchy “Peaches,” the band is also behind the “Lump,” “Cleveland Rocks,” and an awesome cover of “Video Killed the Radio Star.”

PUSA

PUSA

The band is known for their awesome live shows, and have a 4.6 out of 5 rating on Ticketmaster. The band claims that they make “silly music” and one of their career highlights was having Weird Al Yankovic parody “Lump,” into “Grump.”  Front Man Chris Ballew had this to say about the honor in an interview with Noisetrade.com.

“…it is an incredible experience to see Weird Al pretend to be me! The best thing that’s come out of that is that we are still friends. He’s a great guy and a really good listener and storyteller.”

Weird Al would go on to direct a music video for PUSA and has guested at a few of PUSA’s live shows.

PUSA will be playing in  the northwest Feb. 14 at the Crystal Ballroom in Portland, Feb. 15 at The Showbox in Seattle  and Feb. 16 at The Triple Door in Seattle. The ‘Burg will be giving away tickets to The Showbox show so be sure to tune-in to The Wake-Up Call tomorrow (02/06) between 6 and 8 a.m. for a chance to win tickets!

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Fresh Tunes – Indie and R&B

Mutual-Benefit

Mutual Benefit’s debut LP, Love’s Crushing Diamond, is beautiful. It’s a simple, sunbathed collection of tracks that – to be completely honest- took us entirely by surprise.

a4241493582_10This folk album is warm and earnest and a bit slow, entirely unlike the rollicking folk pop that finds its way onto top 40 playlists all over. The songs on this album often start after a good fifteen seconds of fooling around and giggling, or after what seems like a sort of coalescing of separate sounds; on “Let’s Play’ / Statue of a Man”, a drummer gives a few taps while a keyboard plinks about aimlessly over what sounds like a children’s toy coming to life. Somebody hiccups and laughs quietly and suddenly every click, plink, and strum is together. This small bit of playfulness makes many of the songs feel quite open ended, like a group of friends sitting down and making something they all love together.

Jordan Lee, the master songwriter behind this album, doesn’t seem to be grappling for attention in the same way that other artists are. There are neither ear worm hooks to get stuck in one’s head, nor foot-stomping choruses to shake stadiums of sweating, dancing people. Instead, Lee has crafted something that flows easily and joyfully and quietly. I think much of this album’s power lies in the sentimentality of the listener. If one has ever felt a pining for home or old friends or slow, sunny days I think that person will find much to love in this music.

Devonté Hynes- the man behind Blood Orange- seems to be restless. Prior to Cupid Deluxe, he recorded five albums underBlood-Orange-Cupid-Deluxe three different groups.  He has written or produced songs for Sky Ferreira, Florence and the Machine, Theophilus London, and Britney Spears. Despite his eclectic musical past, Hynes newest album is incredibly focused and cohesive.

At the moment, many indie rockers seem infatuated with recreating the sounds of the 1980s, and Blood Orange is no exception. Every track is a swirl of R&B, new age beats, and vocals provided by either Hynes himself or one of the many guests he brought along to help him articulate his often mournful sentiments. Caroline Polachek (of Chairlift) and Samantha Urbani sing wet-eyed echoes of Hynes, or duet with each other throughout the album. On “No Right Thing”, Dirty Projectors’ David Longstreth lends his voice to make tight harmonies that glide over the skittering and shaking beats built by producer Clams Casino. Rappers Despot and Skepta make appearances, breaking out of the traditional 16-bar form, and spin their own nostalgic tales of broken relationships and recording equipment.

There are many guest artists on this album with their own voices. And like a conductor with an orchestra, Hynes carefully crafts a single space for all his voices to inhabit. Whether that be the head-nodding album opener “Chamakay”, or “High Street” that races through memories of a newly successful artist, all the tracks on Cupid Deluxe mutter or shout proclamations of heartbreak or loneliness or emancipation from comfort. Hynes has gazed inside himself and collected his fears and sadness to create something meaningful. With this album, Hynes leads us through a world of alienation and struggle that we would have otherwise missed.

 

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