FESTIVAL PREVIEWS COMPILED BY JUDY NELSON AND VIVIAN HUA
"Pop music shouldn't always get a bad rap," says Top Pops!, a recurring selection of pop music highlights across a selection of styles. Here's a cheerful post with Sub Pop Records' Still Corners, Born Gold's Teenage Sweater, and UK musician Chad Valley, of Jonquil, featuring Glasser's Cameron Mesirow. SEE ALSO +++ FULL POST + ALL TOP POP COLUMNS + ALL MUSIC COLUMNS

 

Chad Valley

Glasser's Cameron Mesirow turns everything to gold with her New Age delicacy, and Twin Shadow's George Lewis Jr. churns out fanatic fans like none other. So it is that both musicians take the '80s pop-inspired tracks of Hugo Manuel (aka Chad Valley) to the next level. The comparison to "'80s pop" is not used lightly here; Chad Valley pretty much epitomizes the genre, complete with the most straight-forward pop vocals you've probably heard in a while. "Fall 4 U" and "I Owe You This" come from Young Hunger, out on Cascine, and the whole record boasts additional contributions from similarly-minded guest stars include El Perro Del Mar, Active Child, and Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs. Full tracklisting to follow, along with an upbeat remix by Lissvik. Chad Valley Ft. Twin Shadow - "I Owe You This" Chad Valley Ft. Glasser - "Fall 4 U" (Original)

 

September 28th, 2012 @ Music Hall of Williamsburg, Brooklyn NY

Niki & The Dove

WRITTEN BY JUDY NELSON With their debut album Instinct recently released in the US, Niki & the Dove were an apt opener for Twin Shadow. Lead singer Malin Dahlström is reminiscent of a modern Cyndi Lauper, while also showing serious deference to fellow Swedish indie star Karin Dreijer of The Knife. Gothic and quirky in the same beat, Dahlström had strong stage presence and a powerful voice to back up what might be construed as overly dramatic dance moves. Keyboardist and guitarist Gustaf Karlöf was a solid but quiet presence, contributing the occasional vocal and any extra instrumentation, ranging from the Maracas to the rarely-seen-live Chinese hand drum, the Bolang Gu (波浪鼓). SEE FULL LIVE SHOW REVIEW

 

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.