Every weekend of every Seattle summer is too full: Of sun, of socializing, of festivals and concerts and movies and blanket sessions in the park and swimming in the lake. We get manic, learn to live with absurd abundance.
This weekend is one of the worst culprits. Since its debut last year, Timber! Fest competes with Block Party to occupy your heart and mind during the third weekend of July. (Through no fault of the upstart Timber! fest, whose organizers planned that weekend because Block Party 2012 was uncharacteristically moved a week earlier.) But fret not over two multifarious fests in one weekend. You can have it all! Mostly. Here's how I'm doing it.
I'm skipping Timber today because tonight is videOasis! And you should all be there. Two hours to go!
Ditching work early to bike to Block Party and watch Tennis Pro at Neumos. They released an EP to celebrate Block Party ("Tennis Pro made this EP to sound different than Tennis Pro," singer/bassist Phil Peterson told me. "It ended up sounding like Tennis Pro.") so this set's gonna be special.
Constant Lovers at Neumos. Have you ever seen a man eat a dozen roses while singing about his voicemail?
Odesza on the Main Stage. I confess I've never seen these rising EDM groove-dudes live. This set's gonna be a neon-clad 20-something petting zoo (OY) but I'm loving Odesza's new material so I'm all in.
Sandrider at the Cha Cha. During Block Party, Cha Cha typically hosts the hardest, hairiest, sweatiest shows, like this one's sure to be.
Shaprece at Neumos. She's the real deal, Seattle's sultry, easygoing entry into the ongoing trip-hop revival. Here's my only conflict of the weekend because right now Damien Jurado is playing haunted folk music to a crowd of silent acolytes at a campfire at Timber. First world problems, amirite?
While the Block Partygoers brunch at St. John's Capitol Hill Brunch Party (DJed by members of Childbirth and Dude York), I'll be making the 30-minute drive to Carnation in time to catch the Comettes kick off the main stage. Another brilliant local band I've never seen live. Fingers crossed for sunshine!
1:15-the rest of the afternoon
Music, swimming in the Snoqualmie River, frisbee on the soccer field, beers in the shade, more music, early dinner.
I once saw Eldridge Gravy & the Court Supreme parading off the bandshell/amphitheater thing in Volunteer Park and into the audience lazing in the grass and thought how much I'd love to see a full set. Now I will.
Charles Bradley, aka "the Screaming Eagle of Soul." He began his career as a James Brown impersonator. Now he's an avatar of Very Soulful Feelings in a universally beloved way.
Apparently J. Mascis, who's normally a it-goes-to-11 kind of shredder, play somber solo sets with an electric guitar and pedal-looper thingy. This should be very good next to a campfire.
So hard to say goodbye to Timber, but so long Timber! Back to the city in time for Dude York at Neumos. Love to love these lovable guys (and girl). If you're not at Timber you should be at the Capitol Hill Brunch Party at St. John's, today featuring members of Tacocat DJing until 2 pm.
Manatee Commune might be great live at Neumos or their chillwave-ish electro could be too chill on-stage. We'll find out.
Gaytheist is dead-eyed ferocious in their music and goofy hilarious between songs. (Neumos)
OH LORD I NEED A NAP
Nope. Raz Simone at the Vera Stage instead. Curious to see how this guy's heavy emo-rap plays out on stage.
Miss the first 15 minutes of War on Drugs, watch the last 45 minutes of War on Drugs. The Main Stage this time of day is often a sun funnel so we'll see how long I can stand it. (E tu, nap?)
Who knows how long Pollens is gonna stay together? Catch their choral-percussive-prog-rock at Neumos while you can.
Neumos hosts the Block Party finale--a "secret show" that will feature a bunch of Block Party bands intermingling onstage in a pass-the-mic kinda jam-session freakout. I know who's involved but I can't say. And I know they've been rehearsing like mad. Very cool of CHBP (and Red Bull, I guess) to orchestrate a performance of controlled chaos like this.
I die. But it's worth it! And you can too!
Block Party photo by Jim Bennet. Timber! photo by Jason Neurrburg.