To pay proper homage to the musical grandness of 2013 and to usher in the new year 2014, we've once again decided to call upon our tastemaker friends to compile their favorite up-and-comers throughout the Pacific Northwest. Here, James Scheall, Cameron McCreery, and Katherine Humphreys of Seattle's stylish boutique shop and venue Cairo throw out their wide-ranging picks for Seattle bands to watch. Those who are interested in the Portland scene can also check out the list compiled by the innovative nightclub, Holocene, here.
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Cock & Swan __ soundcloud.com/cockandswan

Cock & Swan’s Ola Hungerford and Johnny Goss are a couple of weirdos making beautifully intricate, often kaleidoscopic pop music. Layers of analog synths and bass guitar provide a hazy, warped framework for Hungerford’s subtle, dreamy vocals to build on. Their 2013 LP, Secret Angles, sounds like something you’d find under a stack of scratched-up Boards of Canada and Broadcast CDs, in the best way. Trippy in the least annoying way possible. - CAMERON MCCREERY

Black Hat __ blackhat.bandcamp.com/album/covalence-ep

Nelson Bean's music as Black Hat exists somewhere in the strange, hazy middle-ground between dance music and noise. Harsh drums and lurching bass give way to droning synths and eerily beautiful melodies in a constant vortex of sound. There is a definite darkness to Black Hat’s music, but it’s more than just a gothy occult obsession; there is a very natural, very real darkness at work here, one that will draw you in and never let go. Hypnotic head nods 'til the end. - CAMERON MCCREERY

La Luz __ laluz.bandcamp.com

Melancholic oohs and ahhs drift sweetly from rain to the Puget Sound, sung by the harmonious spirits of La Luz, who are taking the foggy beaches and rainy side-streets of Seattle by storm. Not only can they hang ten with their epic surf rock shredder tracks, but they've somehow have perfected the balance of drifter sadness and hilarious campiness. Not to mention, they totally survived an insane car accident and have bounced back like it’s no one’s business. Pick up their cassette via Burger or their LP via Hardly Art. - KATHERINE HUMPHREYS

Seattle-based label Debacle Records celebrates its sixth annual Debacle Festival taking place May, 3rd, 4th, and 5th. The three-day event showcases national and local electronic, drone, noise, techno, improvised, metal and synth musicians. This year, the label is proud to partner with community instigator Hollow Earth Radio as non-profit beneficiary. Debacle Fest will be held at our partner venues the FRED Wildlife Refuge, The Highline, and Lo-Fi Performance Gallery. Curated by Samuel Melancon of Debacle Records

www.debaclefest.com

 

Complete Schedule & Lineup
Friday, May 3rd @ FRED Wildlife Refuge (127 Boylston Ave. E) 8:00pm - $20 door/$15 adv Expo '70 Swahili Plankton Wat Monopoly Child Star Searchers Brain Fruit Panabrite Total Life LA Lungs Secret Colors Saturday May 4th @ Highline (210 Broadway Ave. E) Matinee show at 3:00pm SHARP - $7 Sissy Spacek MTNS BLSPHM WaMu Stan Reed Saturday, May 4th @ FRED Wildlife Refuge (127 Boylston Ave. E) 7:00pm - $20/$15 adv. Date Palms John Wiese Nate Young Golden Retriever Mind Over Mirrors Marielle Jakobsons Gabriel Saloman Morae (Emuul & Hemosis) Biosexual Sunday, May 5th - MOTOR Night @ Lo Fi Performance Gallery (429 Eastlake Ave.) 8:00pm - $20/$15 adv Hieroglyphic Being Moon Pool & Dead Band Strategy GOODWIN Prostitutes Black Hat TJ Max Patternmaster

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