A lot of the problem with viewing the universe as being comprised of matter comes with the idea that it's devoid of conscious experience somehow. More and more, little by little, we're starting to wake up to the insane limitations of this philosophy. Renders people humorless if you ask me. Nothing adds up, which creates profound existential desperation resonating throughout the collective psi-grid of humanity. There is no explanation for why anything happens, so we instead focus on how things go down in obsessive detail. Not to knock this approach, as it creates order by combining with the mystical chaos of internal infinity. Too much mystic psychic sizzle and you'll get torn to shreds, but when you look at only shared perceptual experience, you're editing out the vast majority of reality. It's all dark matter through those eyes. Endless blacked out pages on a declassified UFO report. What I've found is that by shifting models of reality interpretation just slightly from conceiving the world as being made of matter to one comprised from conscious experience, coherent macro concepts of conjoined narratives learning lessons throughout cycles of shifting lifetimes starts to take shape (which I talk about all the time on Facebook; friend me). When you start looking at things through the neo-Occult lens regarding the meaning of our existence as participants in a small cog of a much larger 5th dimensional art creation device, things begin to click into place on an even deeper level. Try it; it's fun. What works about this model is the fact that art is getting more plentiful and expansive by the day. Whether or not that was the purpose, that's what's happening. The average person now spends their time lost in a greater collective imagination in a way that wasn't even possible a decade ago. We've entered the era of the information addict. We're turning ourselves increasingly inward and tying together disparate narratives without asking why we're so unconsciously compelled to veer in that direction. I'm more helplessly entrenched than anyone, spending my time existent in my own celestial enclave of sonic enchantment. Fact of the matter is, more people are taking psychedelic drugs at this point in history than ever before. The loosening of the pot laws is just going to ensure that trend continues to spike upward. Unsurprisingly, this has created a congruent upsurge in fantastically brain-altering tunage. I can't even begin to keep up with it all, and I'm an obsessive music weirdo. For all intents and purposes, there are an infinite number of great albums being made every single year, but I'd say Joe Sixpack isn't truly aware of that fact. I can't imagine any of the records on this list sold a ton, which is sort of the problem and why you need geeks like me. Next time you want to trip out on the weekend rather than getting blitzed drunk, go pick up any of thesem and they'll serve to lift you on high rather than binding you to the lower dimensions. Now, I almost apologize, because there really should be more trip-hop and electronic freak outs on here in general -- that's where drug music is heading and has been since I was a kid. But I've listened to a lot of the higher profile releases this year and most of it was decent, and little of it struck me as sufficiently psyche-warping. I've got to dig deeper next year. I will say that Seattle's Debacle Records consistently brings the strange vibes (Editor's Note: See the mixtape they made for us earlier this year) -- and as if intentionally living up to our newly minted west coast weed city status, more great psychedelic albums came out of Seattle this year than ever, so this list is also a bit heavy on that because no one else is really talking about it. You've been warned.

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.

 

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

 

A 23-track mixtape to celebrate two unofficial SXSW showcases taking place the same evening in 2012, designed to facilitate inner and outer harmony through dance rhythms and psyche-altering compositions....

"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 Facebook Event: http://www.facebook.com/events/317699598279306/ Download...

The bookers of three of this year’s House of Commons — STAY POSI NO FUTURE, GARAGE_PSYCH_DANCE, and SUX BY SUXWEST — have curated this mixtape. Though all three events are fairly different, they overlap in noise and experimental sounds....

For the first year ever, REDEFINE magazine -- a Pacific Northwest-based independent music, art, and film blog -- has decided to undertake the daunting task of throwing a show at SXSW.After partnering with influential Dallas-based mixtape blog, Clumsy & Shy, and enlisting the help of Portland, OR booker, The...