Photos: Indigo Girls @ ZooTunes

Indigo Girls played a sold-out show this Sunday at ZooTunes. There are many are several types of awesomeness about this show. First the fans of Indigo Girls got to see them in a lovely environment, perhaps getting to hear some of the inhabitants of the zoo, second is that there was a benefit involved here called Rock for a Remedy, third is – okay I am repeating myself – you got to see Indigo Girls. Plus David Ryan Harris opened. Photographer Alex Crick got some sweet shots of Amy and Emily, and David Ryan Harris, as they performed.

Indigo Girls





David Ryan Harris


All photos by Alex Crick.

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Breaking news: Manic Street Preachers’ US Tour to kick off at Neumos!

It was with some sadness that I saw event listings crop up for the Manic Street Preachers to play events in Boston and New York – to my knowledge they are a pretty underrated band here in the USA, and I had my doubts that they would venture over to the west coast.

Imagine my delight to discover that their first US tour in ten years is kicking off at our very own Neumos!  After initial interviews reporting the band will not be touring, they will be playing a number of US venues to promote their latest release, the heady Journal for Plague Lovers; written exclusively with lyrics taken from the journals of missing guitarist/lyricist Richey Edwards, who was declared legally dead last year.  Tickets are on sale from TicketsWest – but be quick as the venue has a very limited capacity.

The highly controversial band had to cancel their Japan dates last week, with their website reporting “Bassist Nicky Wire is ill with severe bacterial gastroenteritis and doctors have declared him unfit to fly”.  Get well Nicky Wire; we’ll see you soon!

By Nicky Andrews

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Photos: Block Party Weekend

Of the 20+ bands I saw at the Capitol Hill Block Party, Sleepy Eyes of Death, Truckasauras and Akimbo stand out as my favorites. Neumos hosted all three and each made full use of the exceptional sound system. Most of the rest of the Block Party sped past in a blur.

Friday

My first stop after getting my re-entry stamp was to obtain a beer garden wristband. While enjoying our first beverages, my friends and I were approached by a guy who suggested we walk the few steps to Caffe Vita‘s bean room where Hey Marseilles was about to start a secret set. I’ve seen Hey Marseilles several times and didn’t hesitate – we headed over and were seated just in time.

 

After Hey Marseilles’ beautiful set, I bounced between the mainstage area, VERA’s stage and Neumos, catching bits here and there. Both the main and VERA stages were packed all day, and I didn’t feel like fighting my way to the front. Even when cowering in the shade a block away, I could hear the main stage acts just fine.

 

As The Blakes cleared Neumos’ stage, their fans cleared the venue and I moved in and waited for Sleepy Eyes of Death.  It’s not possible to overstate my love for Sleepy Eyes – I bought my Friday Block Party ticket before I knew of anyone else on the lineup.  They played an incredible set and I can’t wait to see them again at Bumbershoot.

 

 

I have no recollection of making my way to the VERA stage after Sleepy Eyes – I found myself standing reasonably close to the stage for some of Past Lives‘ set.

 Then it was back to the main stage where Built to Spill was playing one of my favorite songs – “Else”.

 

I’ve wanted to see They Live! for awhile, and they snapped me out of my Built to Spill/Earth stupor with their energetic set.

 

The Jesus Lizard is a band I needed to be near the front for, but wasn’t. They sounded great, but I was too far away and too worn out to claw my way to the stage and enjoy them as I wanted.

 

Saturday

Saturday was hot, and I lazed around at home longer than planned – making it back to Capitol Hill in time to see Fences.

 

I accidentally timed my wanderings perfectly to be right at the front for Akimbo, and stayed there for their terrific set.

 

New Faces packed in the crowd at the VERA stage.

 

 

I knew Truckasauras would play to a full house, so I waited at the stage after The Maldives cleared out and watched them set up. I have never experienced a group like Truckasauras and was excited to hear some new material – especially the remix/cover of Sleepy Eyes of Death’s song “Crushed By Stars”, which was incredible.

Neumos Sound Engineer Evan LaSure chats with Truckasauras before their set.

I was treated to They Live! twice over the course of the Block Party – they joined Truckasauras onstage and energized the crowd.

 

 

From where I stood, Sonic Youth sounded like a standard rock band. I love Sonic Youth and had never seen them before Saturday. It could be that I was totally spent, was a full block away, or wanted them to play a noise set, but I decided to leave a bit early and listen on the walk to the bus stop, skipping the after-events… or so I thought.

 

As I settled in for the ride back to the U-District, I realized I was freakishly thirsty and wanted a beer and a huge glass of water. I stopped off at the Blue Moon and much to my happy surprise, the Greenriver Thrillers were setting the stage for their headlining set. The Greenriver Thrillers play lively tight punk music that is somehow soothing, though wonderfully noisy.

I couldn’t have asked for better company or a better band to end my Block Party weekend. These awful photos of Greenriver Thrillers show how tired I was, but I loved their set and will see them again as soon as possible.  

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Photos: Block Party Day Two

A friend had gifted me tickets to the Capitol Hill Block Party; which seemed an opportunity too good to pass up!  Having not attended an American music festival before, this seemed a good stepping stone to larger events in Seattle such as Bumbershoot.

Upon first glance, Capitol Hill had all the hallmarks of a lively and interesting music festival – eccentric characters, rabid fans, funky stalls filled with culinary and crafty delights, and the unavoidable queues for the bathrooms.  The inclusion of three stages ensured that there was enough variety to suit most people, while maintaining an event intimate enough to be held in the middle of the city – making it accessible for everyone.  Genius!

One of my must-see acts of the day was the highly recommended Truckasauras – while I had not had the pleasure of seeing them live before, I’d seen some great footage on YouTube and have quite the fondness for bleepy noises.

The boys brought it in spades – the nerdy yet innovative use of a Gameboy Advance as well as the more conventional turntable showed that Truckasauras make serious music, with a lighthearted twist.  An installation-art factor revealed itself in the form of a serious of movie clips projected from a trio of VCR machines – my favourite was ‘Bloodsport’, although the inclusion of ‘Rambo’ and ‘Ghostbusters 2’ earned some happy nostalgia from fans.

The crowd loved it.  Both floors of Neumos were tightly packed with a throng of enthusiastic and energetic fans, who paid no heed to the heat nor the humidity and wasted no time in getting their collective groove on.

Then ‘They Live!’ sauntered onstage, and the crowd totally lost it.

While the Truckasauras crew may have been somewhat lacking in stage presence, They Live! brought massive amounts of ego, hype and playing off the crowd – the perfect complement to the backdrop that is the larger-than-life Truckasauras sound.  Their appearance was definitely a massive set highlight, and one not easily followed up – but Truckasauras came through with a cover of Sleepy Eyes of Death that kept the house pumping.

Neumos quickly filled to capacity again for Future of the Left, so I went to go check out The Noisettes.  Unfortunately, there was some sort of lag as they were running well behind schedule – unsure what happened there!

Sonic Youth were the main event, and a drawcard I had greatly looked forward to.  The photo above illustrates that I was right in the thick of the crowd – and while mingling with a lot of happy, hot music-lovers can make for a pretty good time, it also meant that the primary noise level was that of people talking, shouting and laughing, rather than Sonic Youth getting their intricate riffs on.

Fortunately, the Block Party atmosphere prevailed, and kept people partying long into the night.  And sharing ‘Hey Joni’ with a streetful of people was pretty awesome.

By Nicky Andrews

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Show Preview: The Rumble Seattle @ the Croc

New York’s had it, San Francisco’s had it. Other cities have had it and now The Rumble comes to Seattle on Monday, August 3rd at the Crocodile. The Blakes,U.S.E, and Battle Hymns are set to play the party.

For more info on The Rumble check out Future Sounds. Local presenters include The Stranger, Easy Street and The Wig.

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