A few picks for this weekend's Block Party {7/20 – 7/22}

Is it mid-July already? Holy shit. That means that the Capitol Hill Block Party is here, and there are a couple of things that will be crucial to keep in mind as you head out this weekend to inundate yourself with sun, buddy hangs, and set after set of live music.

One, if the weather stays in our favor {right now Saturday and Sunday are looking like 74 and clear!} you'll need plenty of sunscreen — for full coverage of your fair PNW skin, folks, it's best to put it on before you leave the house. (Wait, who let my mom in here? Ahem.) Two, if you're knocking back tons of a few drinks over the course of the day, don't forget to hydrate properly. Water = your BFF. Three, for some reason, the ATMs that are loaded up in the "festival grounds" seem to all run out of money at the same time — so make sure you pick up cash before you head in. And four, try as you might, you can't catch every band on every stage, and that's why you should take our picks with you to make sure you don't miss the best of the fest:

Must-see #1: Lemolo {8:30pm, Vera Stage // Saturday, also at 3:30pm on the Barboza Stage for KEXP}

We can't get enough of Lemolo, and we've waxed on and on about their live shows, their video, and most recently their full-length album, The Kaleidoscope. With two back-to-back sold out shows for the album's release a few weeks ago, most of Seattle has caught the buzz about what makes this duo great — but if you haven't yet, make sure to get yourself in front of the Vera Stage for their 8:30pm set on Saturday for a slice of their one-of-a-kind shreddy indie dreamscape bliss. Lemolo will also be playing on the Barboza stage at 3:30pm as part of KEXP's Block Party setup, similar to the secret lounge at Bumbershoot. Two shots to catch them = no excuses!

Must-see #2: Father John Misty {4pm, Main Stage // Friday}

Another performer we'd be surprised to see missing from your non-negotiable list is Father John Misty, a brilliant incarnation of everything you didn't know you needed in your new favorite band. It's a part rock, part thrust, part hip-swinging croon that manages to embody a well-read version of a great high (but maintains enough edge to keep you guessing). As if being a killer percussionist, a tremendous vocalist, and an all-around genius aren't enough, Josh Tillman is insanely hilarious — for those of you who didn't catch it the first time around the tubes, this interview is nothing short of brilliant:

Fuck you, Joe!

Must-see #3: Alicia Amiri {as herself at 5:45pm, Cha Cha Stage // Friday, as Nightmare Fortress at 2pm, Neumos Stage // Saturday}

Whether she's on stage solo, fronting one of our all-time favorites Lovesick Empire, or launching into her latest endeavor as a member of Nightmare Fortress, Alicia Amiri can do no musical wrong. She's a multi-faceted performer if there ever was one, seamlessly showing each side of herself with definition: a talented singer, songwriter, and a creative force, simultaneous. Her style ranges from stripped-down focus to full volume indie-shred to pagan post-electronica, and you'll be able to see at least two sides of her this weekend at Block Party: catch her on the Cha Cha Stage at 5:45pm on Friday (sans much outside of an electric guitar and some backing drums), and at 2pm on the Neumos stage on Saturday for what's sure to be an unforgettable perfomance with Nightmare Fortress.

Must-see #4: Neko Case {7:45pm, Main Stage // Sunday}

The last time we saw Neko Case in Seattle, she called Rachel Flotard out on stage for a duet at the Paramount and in one fell swoop completed our ginger-loving lives forever. The time before that, Neko brought a whole band together for an MTV Unplugged living room vibe type of show (in a good way, we mean) and crooned us all into the nighttime. So, we've got no doubt that the third time will indeed be a charm when she opens up those angelic pipes and helps close out the end of the fest on Sunday at 7:45pm on the Main Stage — a perfect wrap to a great weekend of music if we ever saw one scheduled! {PS: we'll be talking about Pickathon next week, and if you don't make it out to Block Party, fret not — you've got another chance to see Ms. Case in all her soul-bearing glory down on Pendarvis Farm in the beginning of August.}

There's a ton of great runner-up picks to our non-negotiable don't-miss list, like gem-of-a-local(s) Pony Time, Nouela, Pollens, Eighteen Individual Eyes, and Fresh Espresso; and we're quite sure that Phantogram and Grimes won't disappoint if you make room in your hazy, sunny, buzz-y day to catch their respective sets. Also, be sure to pop into Barboza for exclusive sets from KEXP and Havana for the Rhapsody lounge, both of which will be running for a few hours at a clip during all three days of Block Party.

Head on over to the Block Party website here to pick up tickets, make your schedule, and ogle over all the bands and extras.

Have fun out there!

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