Sunday night shows can be hard to drag yourself to if you work a pretty standard Monday to Friday shift. But no band is better than Fang Island at creating an atmosphere of fun that you can be asleep and dropped off at the show, and Fang Island will energize you into waking. At a semi-sweltering Crocodile on an uncharacteristically warm Seattle Sunday, Fang Island sweated their way into the part of the brain that triggers unbridled joy.

 

Fang Island + Zechs Marquise Live Show Review August 5th, 2012 @ Crocodile Cafe, Seattle

 

Portland's Golden Retriever opened their record release show for Occupied with the Unspoken not with a performance, but with the music video for their latest single, "Canopy". Directed by Jeff Guay and shot throughout the Pacific Northwest, the music video is a slow-paced meditation on man in nature. As trees blew in light wind, water rippled black, and most strikingly, a pink-blue cloud very lightly floated its way across the projected sky, a roomful of strangers was forced to take a slow moment, a collective breath, in reverence to nature.

 

August 1st, 2012 @ Holocene, Portland

All photography by Suzi Pratt except Porcelain Raft, The Lumineers by Jim Bennett
When the 2012 Capitol Hill Block Party website became public, many speculated that this would be the LAST Capitol Hill Block Party ever. A cryptic and mysterious message led followers and fans to believe that the end of was near. It’s no secret that the event has caused some trouble in the neighborhood with businesses claiming to be hurt by the music festival in sales and typical noise complaints, but there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that this year's Block Party wasn’t a success. This event has brought the community even closer together and over the years, has kept a well-balanced lineup of mainstream, up-and-coming, and local artists on their roster. Whether this was the last Capitol Hill Block Party or not, the organizers have done well. The bands and artists put their best performances forward and the attendees relished under the summer heat in the heart of Capitol Hill. We really couldn’t ask for more.

 

Beat Connection

What I have come to realize in my past four years of attending Capitol Hill Block Party is that the daytime acts often get the shaft. It is difficult to capture an audience’s attention between the hours of noon and 4:30pm because let’s be real -- everyone just wants to day drink -- but if you missed out on Beat Connection’s set on the Saturday of Block Party, you missed out big time. For Beat Connection, this was their shining moment. Having performed on the Vera Stage just one year before, being a main stage act was more than just a big deal. Not only did they have an upgrade in stage space, but they were performing to the masses! With their new album, The Palace Garden, receiving rave reviews lately, they are on top of the world. Beat Connection performed the ideal soundtrack for Saturday of Capitol Hill Block Party by unleashing a daytime dance party in the midst of their set. Is there anything better than listening to their hot new track “The Palace Garden, 4am” with the sweltering sun beating over your head and a nice cold PBR in your hand? I don’t think so. Beat Connection have undergone quite a transformation in the last year, adding more members to their group and a slew of instruments and electronic additions that have taken their music to the next level. With their undergraduate college careers almost over, I expect that we’ll be seeing a whole lot more of Beat Connection very soon.

 

Young Magic played at Mercury Lounge, on a calm Sunday after a cool summer daze party weekend. Accompanied by a friend, I walked in as “You With Air” began, my favorite track from Melt, Young Magic’s debut full-length which was released earlier this year.  July 29th,...

As the unfavorable clouds finally passed over Portland to introduce the splendid few weeks of summer we're afforded each year, outdoor happenings of every sort become a commodity Portlanders are all too eager to take advantage of. Trips to the river, frisbee sessions at the park, and of course, outdoor music. And there's no better example of this than the early summer tradition at East End. Their two-day outdoor Block Party is something of a rarity in the city, especially as its located in the heart of the now bustling inner-SE district. So as the sun began to set on Saturday night, sandwiched between a couple of empty warehouses, a few friends from Brooklyn and a terrific group from Mississippi took to the stage. When I arrived just before The Babies' set, there was a typical East End band playing to a gathering crowd; the day was merely beginning for the all day mini-fest. Crust punks and general misanthropes gathered round, and as whatever band was playing their tired, expected punk rock, it was easy to see the crowd was in for a bit of culture shock once The Babies and Dent May finally began their respective sets.

 

July 7th, 2012 - East End Block Party @ East End, Portland, OR

 

This post is long overdue, but it is a recap of our SXSW 2012 party, which you can read more about HERE. REDEFINE's second annual SXSW party was once again thrown with Gina Altamura of Portland nightclub Holocene and Marjorie Owens of Dallas blog Clumsy N Shy, who collaborated on an evening of acts that entranced your mind and made your body move. Beyond that basic premise, the bands that really held the crowd's attention and turned it from a 21-room college co-op into a home for all were those who really exemplified the ideal of the entire party, as captured by the Alan Watts quote below. They were the bands that provided in comfort to concertgoers, by providing a balance for all to see, hear, and feel -- and often with fantastic visual aids to boot. This quick recap, consisting primarily of videos, highlights some of our favorite acts of the day. Hope you can join us next year.

 

"The only thing you need to know to understand the deepest metaphysical secrets -- is this: that for every outside there is an inside and for every inside there is an outside, and although they are different, they go together." -- Alan Watts

 

Midday Veil

Midday Veil - "The Current" > Filmed and Edited by Lymay Iwasaki

 

I'm a sucker for diverse bills on shows. I know less musically inclined or adventurous individuals take comfort in seeing the acts that they know, but I have always found that some of my favorite bands are the ones I was completely not expecting to see live. If anything, seeing different styles keeps concert-going fresh. That is why when A Place to Bury Strangers and This Will Destroy You AND Dusted came to town I declared it the best show of June. In no way was my excited ultimatum of fantasticness off from the truth.

 

June 11th, 2012 @ The Crocordile in Seattle, WA

Dusted

Dusted is the new solo project from Brian Borcherdt from Holy Fuck. It is a lo-fi project that is as far away from Holy Fuck's electronica driven dance beats as possible. Setting up under a fuzzy wash of light guitar droning, Borcherdt played a set of songs off of the new debut album Total Dust. Some songs were a little bit forgettable, but when Dusted was going, especially on songs "(Into the) Atmopshere" and "Dusted", the band was a grand surprise as the opener.

 

Whereas Seattle still seems to be lagging well behind places like the Bay Area and Portland as far as potent psych rock goes, it has long been a haven for underground knob twiddlers of the more adventurous variety. Years back, there was a regular, mainly noise-themed night at the Baltic Room called No Tomorrow, that basically died due to lack of interest or attendance. I went to quite a few of those and you could generally count on a turnout of roughly four people. I'm sure you could cite factors like shows being on the hard sell on Sunday nights, but I think you'd also have to address the harsh noise aspect of the whole endeavor and how a lot of times that might as well be chick (and gay guy) repellant. Unless I'm in a bad vibes or demonic purging type of mood, even I get fairly bored with endless swaths of monolithic pedal howling. You've got to soften me up before you head fuck me like that. But these things never truly vanish into thin air; they just get pushed down to subterranean levels and then eventually sprout forth anew as a burgeoning seedling destined to bear the strangest of fruits. And so, a new and hopefully regular experimental electro night is born called Motor, curated by Sam Melancon, proprietor of the always compelling Debacle Records.
Seattle, WA @ The Comet Tavern - June 13th, 2012 LIVE SHOW REVIEW CONTINUED BELOW