"Since most art dealing with consumerism seems too matter-of-fact, I want my work to be allegorical, being humorous and visually interesting but imparting a deeper message. Why the hell do we need all this stuff, anyways?"...

Ryan Sollee of The Builders And The Butchers sings like he is the lovechild of Colin Meloy (of The Decemberists) and Jeff Mangum (of Neutral Milk Hotel). He croons nasally and lyricizes darkly. On the band's latest album, Dead Reckoning, he appropriately breaks his vein in the jumpstarting first...

This year's Bumbershoot may have been a bit smaller, rainier, and less musically-sophisticated than it usually is, but that doesn't mean there weren't some amazing performances. Here are some of the best from this year's lineup.

 

Baroness

While Mastodon may get all the grandiose hype for their concept albums about a plot that makes David Lynch's films look like a childrens' films, the real American metal torch is being silently carried by Baroness... or... less silently and more in a mind-blowing, aggressively gorgeous style. Blue Record received a ton of acclaim, which all justified. And Baroness, like all good metal bands, are able to take the intensity of the studio and ratchet it up on the live stage to absurd proportions. In a festival that tends to lack the noise, Baroness brought it -- and then some -- in a masterful, technical fury that is currently unmatched on the national stage.

The same way The Decemberists built their popularity on songs chronicling mothers whoring themselves out, peeping toms, murderous townsfolk; abuse and neglect and all other sorts of cruelty, Among The Oak & Ash have reworked Appalachian murder ballads for their self-titled debut. In six days, Among The Oak & Ash's Josh...