Seattle's Capitol Hill Block Party is upon us again for 2012, bringing some major acts from beyond and local Pacific Northwest acts into the same sweaty and crowded outdoors spaces! See below for the full daily run-down of what you ought to look out for.

 

WRITE-UPS BY KATIE NGUYEN UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED
FRIDAY, JULY 20

 

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Youth Lagoon

6:30 PM • MAIN STAGE He is a pioneer of dream pop -- and come this Friday, Trevor Powers will have the entire Capitol Hill Block Party crowd in a mesmerized daze. His 2011 debut album The Year of Hibernation was named one of the best albums of the year from various outlets, leaving me with no doubt in my mind that his performance won't blow all of us away. Youth Lagoon is sure to be one of the most anticipated performances at this year's event. SEE ALSO: YOUTH LAGOON - "MONTANA" MUSIC VIDEO

 

SATURDAY, JULY 21

 

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Beat Connection

4:45 PM • MAIN STAGE It looks like the organizers of CHBP were impressed with Beat Connection last year on the Vera Stage, because this year's festival has them graduating onto the main stage. With their hit single "The Palace Garden, 4am" and the release of their latest LP, Beat Connection are making all of the right moves in building a successful musical career for themselves. This year's main stage performance will surely bring the electronic dance party. SEE ALSO: BEAT CONNECTION @ REDEFINE MAGAZINE'S UNOFFICIAL 2012 HOUSE PARTY + BEAT CONNECTION - "THINK/FEEL MP3" DOWNLOAD

 

SUNDAY, JULY 22

 

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Phantogram

6:10 PM • MAIN STAGE It would not be a music festival season if Phantogram were not included on a bill or two or three. To watch the band’s musical career over the last few years has been incredible. Their 2009 debut album Eyelid Movies received rave reviews and that was no different for their follow-up LP Nightlife, which was released earlier this year. Both Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter mesh so well together that their performances always turn out seamless. They are definitely a band worth checking out this year; I promise you, you won’t be disappointed.

 

In the latest dubstep-inspired track by Brooklyn's The Mast, vocalist Haale Gafori took full directorial duties and turned scenes from her mind into a stark music video for public consumption. Covered with powder for a heightened ethereal effect, Los Angeles-based dancer Pandora Marie pop and locks her way in and out of Gafori's vocals, as monochrome simplicity eventually projects into full-color silhouettes that pulse in time with glitchy beats. In the brief Q&A below, Gafori describes the creative process for "UpUpUp" from start to finish, and you can expect to see this video in our upcoming Motion & Movement In Music Video panels for Bumbershoot and MusicfestNW.

 

 

Panama

The newest band to be signed to Future Classic is a solo project from Sydney, Australia's Jarrah McCleary, also known as Panama! As proven earlier this year by Midnight Magic's EP release (and its related amazing Holy Ghost remix), anything those New York funk-disco masters get their hands on gets a throwback treatment of the best and most sticky variety. The O.G. version is a bit less sensual, a bit more tropical, equally danceable. Remix single is available for purchase HERE, including these two tracks as well as a remix by Gavin Russom of LCD Soundsystem and The Crystal Ark. Panama - "Magic" (Midnight Magic Remix) Panama - "Magic" (Original)

 

"Pop music shouldn't always get a bad rap," says Top Pops!, a recurring selection of pop music highlights across a selection of styles. This post features two indie electronic acts fronted by adorable females: Sweden's Little Dragon and Brooklyn's Friends.

 

Little Dragon

After the release of their understated 2011 album, Ritual Union, Swedish pop musicians Little Dragon are back with a brand new track, "Sunshine"! A recent trip to Sasquatch Festival in George, WA was largely underwhelming save for a few acts, and Little Dragon were definitely one of the standouts. Their charmingly innocent approach to experimental electronic music is made all the more impressive when one considers that they play every single part of their music live. No samples. "Sunshine" will be released June 28th via Peacefrog, in conjunction with Absolut Vodka (you can see a video related to that HERE). Included below is a J Boogie remix for "Crystalfilm", its original music video, and the band's upcoming tour dates. Little Dragon - "Crystalfilm" (J Boogie Remix)

 

Bleep is a column focusing on varying degrees of electronic music news, videos and MP3s. This week we feature a new announcement from Com Truise as well as tracks by Neud Photo and Clark. Read previous Bleep columns here.

 

Com Truise

If everything Com Truise does sounds like it's ripped from a cheesy '80's movie, does that mean his newest collection of early recordings and b-sides should sound like '70s psych rock? Regardless, the analog feind is back at it again in 2012, only this time he's peddling some of his older material for a collection titled In Decay. And although I haven't always agreed with his more recent foray into dub and live performance pandering, the first glimpse of this new -old- material is surprisingly spectacular. "Open" doesn't reinvent any genre, but it certainly shows that the New Jersey artist and designer has an ear for what he enjoys. It's undeniably retro and dripping with '80s nostalgia, but it's energetic and completely now, what with its schizophrenia beats and booming bass. In Decay will be released July 17th on Ghostly. - EB

 

Read our interview with Com Truise

 

Remix City Sifting through mountains of remix trash so you don't have to, in an attempt to find the ones that contribute to their originals. Here we feature a group of amazing remixes from the likes of Poolside, FaltyDL and Planningtorock.

 

When Saints Go Machine

The originally haunting and brilliant track from When Saints Go Machine, "Mannequin", was one of their best and most accessible works to date. The Copenhagen-based group have worked with Planningtorock in the past, remixing her single "Living it Out" from last year's spectacular W. With "Mannequin," Planningtorock does some of her most devilish production, warping and distorting the original vocals into something even more powerful than they were on the original. Much like the rest of her catalogue, the remix is atmospheric and thundering, the kind of music that can't be turned up loud enough. The smash of drums and synths between each verse is not only mesmerizing, but the sinking of the music to a quiet tone during each verse makes each round even more powerful than the last. When Saints Go Machine - "Mannequin" (Planningtorock Remix) When Saints Go Machine - "Mannequin" (Original)

 

Remix City Sifting through mountains of remix trash so you don't have to, in an attempt to find the ones that contribute to their originals. Portland's Radiation City and Denmark's Fallulah both get their indie turned dance.

 

Fallulah

Fallulah's solo material definitely lives more in sultry Feist territory than on dance floors -- and "I Lay My Head" is almost much too obvious an example of that -- but Shook's remix of the track turns it from a hand-clapping, foot-stomping kind-of good time into one you want to wiggle your elbows, bend your knees, and get down James Brown style to. Fallulah, aka Maria Apetri, has her debut full-length, The Black Cat Neighbourhood, coming out August 21st on MBM Records. Fallulah - "I Lay My Head" (Shook Remix) Fallulah - "I Lay My Head" (Original)

 

 

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

 

"Pop music shouldn't always get a bad rap," says Top Pops!, a recurring selection of pop music highlights across a selection of styles. All we need this time is two acts: Austin's Shmu (1/2 of Zorch) and California's Sacred Caves (member of Film School).

Shmu

Shmu is the new solo project of Sam Chown, one half of Austin's raucously insane rock duo, Zorch. His latest record, Discipline/Communication, was released on June 5th via Grand Theft Zamboni Records. The 16-track record, like Zorch's offerings, is sheer insanity, though in a vastly different sense. Discipline/Communication is not consistently high-energy, but each track encompasses its own bizarre universe of sound, each the sonic equivalent of a 15-minute Adult Swim show. This type of compartmentalization is evident in just the first two singles alone: "&hearts" is a spastic collage of noise and rhythm while the much more accessible "House Of Stares" cradles one in a smooth crib of silk, with psychedelic mobiles swirling up ahead. Tracks are streaming below, and if this is your bag, rest assured that the rest of the album can be found among and within these meandering boundaries of musical form. DISCIPLINE/COMMUNICATION TRACKLISTING 01. Impressions 02. House of Stares 03. Backwoods 04. Directions 05. Crazy #107 06. Shadowgames 07. Happiness 08. Peaceful Swan 09. Vanitos 10. &hearts 11. Heads Will Fall 12. Floatin' Oculus 13. Turpentine 14. Fester 15. Dangerous Passion 16. Pool Party (Place 4 Us) Shmu - "House Of Stares" - DOWNLOAD MP3 [audio:/mp3/downloads/Shmu_House-Of-Stares.mp3|titles=House Of Stares] Shmu - "&hearts" - DOWNLOAD MP3 [audio:/mp3/downloads/Shmu_and-hearts.mp3|titles=House Of Stares]

 

CocoRosie's latest release, a 7" featuring "We Are On Fire" and "Tearz For Animals", is the duo's first release in two years, taking their hip-hop-influenced vibes into an epic realm of movement, smoke, and costume in this slow-motion music video for "We Are On Fire", directed by Emma Freeman. More cutesy is their collaboration with Antony Hegarty, of Antony And The Johnsons, with its lyrical hopefulness for humankind, its bizarre vocal melodies, and its drums like dove wings' flapping. Hear both tracks and read more details about the release below.