Big Freedia Bob Mould Damien Jurado Elbow First Aid Kit Gorge Amphitheater Imaginary Scoop Jonathan Wilson Neko Case Phantogram Phosphorescent Queens of the Stone Age Rhett Miller Rodriguez Shelby Earl The National The Violent Femmes Tune-Yards We Are Augustines

A very imaginary 2014 Sasquatch! schedule

Another year, and another weekend at the Gorge is upon us! That's right — this weekend brings with it our favorite northwest festival season opener, Sasquatch!. Running this year from Friday through Sunday (and thus avoiding the whole, "I really should have taken Tuesday off from work!" mess), the 2014 lineup is no slouch, with a little something each day for everyone. So, without further ado, here are our cream-of-the-crop picks for each day of the fest:

Friday, May 23rd

The day starts off with a bang from the barrier in front of the Yeti Stage, where you can catch Old 97s frontman Rhett Miller noodle through classic favorites and hopefully a spin through the new record the band is touring behind. (KEXP has been spinning "Most Messed Up," the title track from the most recent Old 97s album, and We. Are. Loving. It.) After a dip by the mainstage and a few comedy acts, the night runs back-to-back with killer sets from Phosphorescent, Foals, Phantogram, and Damien Jurado — and that's just the tip of the iceberg!

Check out the day's schedule here, and our recommended stops below:

1:00pm // Yeti Stage: Modern Kin
2:00pm // Yeti Stage: Rhett Miller
3:10pm // Sasquatch Stage: De La Soul
4:45pm // El Chupacabra Stage: Eugene Mirman
6:00pm // El Chupacabra Stage: Princess feat. Maya Rudolph
6:35pm // Bigfoot Stage: Phosphorescent
7:15pm // Sasquatch Stage: Foals
8:00pm // Bigfoot Stage: Phantogram
9:15pm // Yeti Stage: Damien Jurado
10:40pm // Sasquatch Stage: Outkast

Saturday, May 24th

Day two out at the Gorge gets rolling with one of our favorite east-coast-turned-Seattle bands, Pela We are Augustines Augustines down on the mainstage. They'll bleed nicely into vibes from First Aid Kit to warm up the afternoon, followed by what we're sure will be the sleeper hit of the weekend, Jonathan Wilson (who is up the hill on the Yeti Stage at 4:10pm). Wilson's "Can We Really Party Today" has been a mixtape staple since Fanfare's release last year, and we can't wait to get a taste of what depths he can go to live! We'll be spending most of the rest of the night on the genre-rollercoaster down on the mainstage, with sets from Violent Femmes, Neko Case, and the National, among others.

Saturday's full schedule is here, and our can't-miss sets of the day are as follows:

2:05pm // Sasquatch Stage: Augustines
3:10pm // Sasquatch Stage: First Aid Kit
4:10pm // Yeti Stage: Jonathan Wilson
5:50pm // Sasquatch Stage: Violent Femmes
6:55pm // Bigfoot Stage: Washed Out
7:15pm // Sasquatch Stage: Neko Case
8:45pm // Sasquatch Stage: M.I.A.
10:50pm // Sasquatch Stage: The National

{Tune-Yards / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

Sunday, May 25th

Finally, Sasquatch! goes out with a bang on day three, with strong performances start-to-finish. Make sure you get up early to take in our new favorite Barsuk band, Big Scary, at 1pm on the Bigfoot Stage, and follow the closing-day vibes up and down the hill with Shelby Earl, Tune-Yards, Elbow (!!!), Bob Mould (!!!!), Rodriguez (!!!!!), Big Freedia (!!!!!!) and the perfect cap to three days in the dust and (hopefully) sun, Queens of the Stone Age. If that lineup doesn't melt your face off, honestly, we don't know what will.

Follow our stops (below), or, build your own Sunday schedule here.

1:00pm // Bigfoot Stage: Big Scary; Narwhal Stage: Pollens
2:00pm // Yeti Stage: La Luz
3:00pm // Narwhal Stage: Shelby Earl
3:05pm // Bigfoot Stage: The Lonely Forest
3:10pm // Sasquatch Stage: Tune-Yards
4:30pm // Sasquatch Stage: Cold War Kids
5:50pm // Sasquatch Stage: Elbow
6:55pm // Bigfoot Stage: Bob Mould
8:20pm // Bigfoot Stage: Rodriguez
8:30pm // El Chupacabra Stage: Big Freedia
9:15pm // Yeti Stage: Parquet Courts
11:00pm // Sasquatch Stage: Queens of the Stone Age

We'll see you out at the Gorge!

{Photo of Damien Jurado's band by our very own Imaginary Victoria.}

BellaMaine Bob Mould Gary Numan Heart Imaginary Scoop Katie Kate Superchunk Thao and the Get Down Stay Down The Breeders

Bumbershoot 2013 wrap-up: the return of the 3-day music marathon

Bob Mould at the KEXP Music Lounge Bumbershoot 2013
Bob Mould appears to have rocked his own face off in my crappy iPhone photo.

Hi guys. Hi there. Remember how, for the last, like, 5 years, I've been all "OH I AM SO OLD I DON'T KNOW HOW YOU GUYS DO THREE DAYS OF BUMBERSHOOT"? Yes. Well. This year, I convinced myself that I needed to go to the entire weekend, because of the awesome line-up. 

ANYWAY. Because of having all the (grumpy) feels about pricing and crowds, I have either skipped going entirely, or limited my exposure to one day during the weekend. But I had so much fun the last two years that I decided to pack up my water bottle and aspirin and give it a go in the name of 90's nostalgia! I live-tweeted the whole weekend, and because I know you want it, I even made a Storify of all the action.

Here's a breakdown of all the awesomeness: 

Thao and the Get Down Stay Down

I started my day with Thao and the Get Down Stay Down in the KEXP Music Lounge. Having never been in there before, I didn't know what to expect, but people: I AM A HUGE FAN. Plug me in and turn me on oscillate, because I will definitely make it a point to see every band I love in there every year. Because damnnnnnn. It's good. Comfy seats, amazing sound (bring those earplugs), and a bunch of music fans totally rocking out, live, on the air. SO GOOD. 

Thao and her GDSD crew were also SO GOOD. I mean, seriously. So many great vocal highlights and wailing guitars and dancy, rockin' amazingness. That voice! That band! Who knew such a tiny girl could move a whole room like that? I made a vine video for you, but then then my phone eated the audio so you'll just have to use your imagination. 

Gary Numan (parts 1 & 2) 

Part 1: Numan blew me away in a cloud of Gothy clove-scented smoke, fucking KILLING it on the Music Lounge stage with heavy industrial tunes tinged with synthy pop (including a more rockin' version of his new wave hit "Cars") and my 16-year-old heart died all over the place about 20 times. Fortunately, Jenny George was with me and felt EXACTLY THE SAME WAY. Afterward, he graciously waited to talk to fans and take photos with them, which is how I ended up with a sweaty hug and a photo of us pressed cheek-to-cheek. 

BONUS: After I told him much I loved his set, Numan said, "Yeah, that set was kind of subdued. (!!!!) Come see us later. It'll be turned WAY up!" 

Part 2: He was right. The second set outdoors at the Tune-In stage was WAY louder and way more energetic. WHAT. My heart melted all over again every time Gary would flutter his arms together in Gothy 80's poses, and I was broken in all the good ways by the time it was over. Oh, and also high. Totally and completely high, because of the dude standing right next to us with his huge blunt. 


This was the thing I was most psyched for, so I was totally bummed when we finally got into the Key and all the good seats were taken and they had blocked off access to like, everything. We ended up in the nosebleeds, but I was eventually okay with that since it meant SITTING DOWN. 

The Wilson sisters did not disappoint. Ann's voice is still razor sharp, Nancy can still work that guitar like a harpy from hell, and the whole band sounded as tight as I remember them sounding way back in the early 80s. SPEAKING OF THE 80S: Heart, I'm not sure I can forgive you for doing "What About Love", "These Dreams", and "Alone" because they have been stuck in my head all week. Unnnnnngggggh. 

For their encore Jason Bonham joined the ladies on stage for some Zep' covers, which was pretty rad. Although I draw the line at "Stairway to Heaven," because, reasons. But! "Misty Mountain Hop," you have my undying love, forever and ever. 

Bob Mould 

Holy shit, Bob Mould. HOLYSHIT. I wasn't really prepared for having my entire face rocked off, especially since it was barely there after catching the last few songs from The Redwood Plan. I've had kind of limited exposure to Mould's solo endeavors, but now that I've seen him live I'm planning to head to Sonic Boom this weekend to BUY EVERY SINGLE RELEASE. [Ed. note: DITTO AMIE.]

Mould and crew brought down the house with every song, power-popping the shit out of the music lounge and making me fall in love with all three band members. Jon Wurster on drums? Amazing. Super smiley. Having SO MUCH fun! Jason Narucy on bass? FORGET ABOUT IT. And Bob on guitar and vocals? WHAT. I CANNOT EVEN HANDLE IT. I could barely stand up after they were done, no joke. 

Katie Kate 

I don't even know who Charli XCX is, and I apologize to her fans, but OMFG. Her cancellation meant I had a chance to see Katie Kate again! I can't even explain to you how amazing she is on stage. She's got this energy that make the ENTIRE crowd move, and her voice. So good. SO SO SO SO GOOD. 

Watching Katie Kate perform is like being at the best party ever, you know, where you're crushing so hard on the band that you can't even talk, but that's okay, because you just NEED TO MOVE. You feel happy and sexy and in the groove and you find yourself bouncing and screaming and woo'ing all over the place, and then when it's over, you feel empty and spent, aching for more. NEVER STOP KATIE KATE. NEVER STOP. 

The Writing Staff of Parks & Recreation 

I like writers. Writers are good. I also like Parks & Rec. Parks & Rec is good. So naturally, this panel was my favorite! Better even than the Battlestar Galactica panel (although that one was pretty boss too). 

Megan Amram, Joe Mande, Alan Yang, Aisha Muhrrar, David King, and Matt Murray were HILARIOUS. Like, all the time. Non-stop, just like you'd imagine them being. And Paul Constant was the perfect moderator for them. They had the best answers to spoilers about the upcoming season, and I am going to be jealous FOREVER that they actually ended up at my friend (and former TIG'er) Chris Burlingame's apartment later that night to watch Breaking Bad. WHAT. 

The Breeders

Last Splash 20th Anniversary? YES PLEASE. I do have to admit (don't kill me, super-fans), The Breeders could have sounded a little more polished, but I was happy to have a beer with some friends and watch them perform "Cannonball" live. Everyone around me seemed to be really enjoying their set, and I only left early because I hit the wall, and it was brick. And it hurt. And shit, who am I to judge? I paid hard-earned retail dollars to see The Cult like 10x in the 80s and 90s, and Ian was drunk EVERY SINGLE TIME to the point of slurring and forgetting the words to his own songs. But I still loved it. Because. Fun!

Also, I I'm only being a snob about The Breeders performance because everything I saw before them was fucking spot-on amazing, so anything less than perfection wasn't cutting it. I STILL LOVE YOU KIM AND KELLEY DEAL. 


Okay, Bellamaine is THE FUCKING CUTEST. Guitars, keyboards, poppy pop pop and darling husband and wife duets? IT'S LIKE THIS BAND WAS MADE FOR ME. I thoroughly enjoyed watching them spread happiness all over the crowd, and my day was completely and totally made when they busted out a cover of Paula Abdul's "Straight Up." Bellamaine, will you be mine? Do you really wanna love me forever? (oh oh oh…) 


I didn't think anybody could rock the Music Lounge harder than Bob Mould, but I stand corrected. Superchunk totally brought the house DOWN. Maybe that had something do with the fact that Wurster is also the drummer for Superchunk, and that Jason Narducy stepped in for Laura Balance on bass — but I digress. They had their own thing goin' on (OBVIOUSLY) and THEY SOUNDED FUCKING AMAZING. I just wanted them to keep playing on and on and on and on and on forever and ever. 

Other things of note that made my weekend: random Zombie invasions, free Talenti gelato bars, the Skillet counter, Starbucks, ALL of the incredible artists at Flatstock, and the staff of Bumbershoot who, despite some mishaps with line management, kept the center clean and operational for the entire weekend. GOOD JOB, YOU GUISE. 

I can't wait to go back next year! 

Bob Mould Death Cab for Cutie Imaginary Scoop Katie Kate Live Show Review Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside The Breeders

Sunday at Bumbershoot: BEST DAY EVER

{The Breeders / by Victoria VanBruinisse}
the Breeders

I really don't know how this year's Sunday installment of Bumbershoot could have been any better, save for maybe being carried around on a fluffy couch while being fanned and fed grapes, I guess? In all seriousness, though: Sunday really was the best fucking day ever. From the moment I stepped foot on Seattle Center grounds to finally flopping into the passenger seat of my buddy's car sometime before midnight, I had an absolute blast. Here's a few shots of what I managed to pack into my day:

{Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside / by Victoria VanBruinisse}
Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside

After grabbing a quad iced espresso at the LQA Caffe Vita, I beelined over to KEXP's Music Lounge for Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside. I know I've said it over and over and over again, but I really, REALLY love this band, you guys. Since first seeing them at the Fremont Abbey with Hey Marseilles back in 2009, I've watched (and heard) their whole band-persona evolve from sweet-sounding alt.rock-a-betty to a matured, melodic-yet-gritty storytelling vibe — with each show that passes, they just keep getting better and better. True to recent form, Sunday's set did not disappoint, as the band delivered thirty straight minutes of super-tight jams, mostly off of the new record, Untamed Beast. {You'll be able to hear the whole session in the KEXP archive here, as soon as they have it posted. Highly recommended!!}

At the stroke of 12:30, I hightailed it over to the Words and Ideas stage to catch the last portion of the Barsuk panel, featuring Sean Nelson, Dave Bazan, and John Roderick talking all things Barsuk-y with label co-founder Josh Rosenfeld. It was most excellent to hear such lengthy, knowledgeable discussion in such an intimate setting, with topics ranging from Death Cab for Cutie to the saga of Pitchfork v. the Travis Morrison solo album and the indoctrination of Nada Surf into the Barsuk family. A+, gents.

{Ramona Falls / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{Ramona Falls / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{Ramona Falls / by Victoria VanBruinisse}
Ramona Falls

{Bob Mould / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{Bob Mould / by Victoria VanBruinisse}
Bob Mould

We caught a couple of tunes from Portland's Ramona Falls before hustling back to the KEXP lounge for a set from Bob Mould. Holy fucking shit. BOB MOULD, you guys. These pictures don't really do the set any justice — Bob & Co. were tearing around the stage shredding the crap out of the performance, and I was sitting in the second row all mouth-agape, barely able to take it in. Almost every photo I took was a blurred mess, so you'll just have to imagine how truly excellent it was to behold, at least until KEXP archives the performance at their site {keep an eye here for it to pop up sometime in the next week or two} and until our friend Laura gets more photos to us to post. Full frontal face-rocking-off!! So. Good.

{Dave Bazan / by Victoria VanBruinisse}
Dave Bazan

{Katie Kate / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{Katie Kate / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{Katie Kate / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{Katie Kate / by Victoria VanBruinisse}
Katie Kate

Catching part of Dave Bazan's set was excellent, however, the combination of a solo performance (a little sad for a sunny afternoon — I had my fingers crossed for full band) with the noise of the beer garden kind of botched the vibe. But a bit later, Katie Kate managed to bring it all together perfectly — sun and sweat in our eyes, killer beats from Trent Moorman, and a blistering, pulsing performance that had the whole crowd rapt with attention. She rules the stage in a way that few do.

In addition to the musical component of Bumbershoot, I've always appreciated the visual arts — Flatstock and the Reel Grrls exhibit this year were no exception, and both excellent — but I'd never put in the effort to take in a comedy set. We took a shot at it and managed to get great seats for Patton Oswalt and Friends, and let me tell (those of) you (who, like me, have never done the comedy hang before): it is an EXCELLENT add-on component to your artsy-fartsy / band-emo time at Seattle Center, and you should probably see at least one or two acts every Bumbershoot. I knew going into it that Patton Oswalt was a funny motherfucker, but I was completely unprepared for the side-splitting experience I ended up having. His direct warmup, Morgan Murphy, had us in hysterics / tears — covering everything from drugs to relationships to blowjobs — and Patton knocked us out of the park, managing to balance out dad-antics and the adorableness of his four-year-old daughter with quips about concentration camps. (No kidding!) ("CARBS.")

{The Breeders / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{The Breeders / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{The Breeders / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{The Breeders / by Victoria VanBruinisse}
the Breeders

Last up on the camera-docket for the night was a set from the Breeders, be still my ever-beating I-love-the-90s heart. Each guitar strum, each downbeat was a flashback to my end-of-high school years, a sonic landscape of younger, crazier times. Last Splash seemed to just pour out of the band and onto the crowd of (what seemed like) thousands of people in front of the TuneIn stage, new news for some, an old familiar friend for others. Not only did the set totally kill, but bonus points need to be issued for breaking the old "don't wear your own band's t-shirt on stage" rule — because you are the Breeders and you can do whatever the fuck you want.

Laura and I closed out the night with part of The Zombies' set, and then followed it with a mad dash over to Key Arena to try to find seats for Death Cab for Cutie. We wound up just above and behind the band in the top section, stage left; fully prepared for bad sightlines and terrible sound-bounce — and what we got was a clear view and A+ acoustics. Seeing Transatlanticism live was a setlist-dream come true, with familiar tracks bleeding one into the next: "Tiny Vessels" compounding every Breakup Feeling I'd ever had, "We Looked Like Giants" going on for what felt like hours (double-drumkits included). Having seen DCfC in smaller venues, I was worried that something would get lost in that huge space, but instead, it was more of a true testament to the band's growth and professionalism: the set was larger-than-life but still felt intimate and personal, songs like "Passenger Seat" still translating perfectly, even in the midst of a 10,000-person crowd.

Save for some killer snacks (I LOVE YOU DUMPLING CZAR) and hilarious people-watching, that was most of Sunday's adventure. Stay tuned for more, including a recap of All Of The Charles Bradley Emotions (with photos!), Gary Numan's KEXP lounge set, and more!

{All photos by Victoria VanBruinisse.}

Bob Mould Can You Imagine? Charles Bradley Imaginary Scoop Katie Kate Supreme La Rock TEGC The Zombies

My Big Seven musical picks for Bumbershoot 2013

You won a special ticket for seven, and only seven, musical things to do at this year's Bumbershoot. They escort you in for these several performances, and these seven performances only. Here's what I would recommend you pick:

1.) Bob Mould, Sunday, 6:15 p.m., Fisher Green Stage

He's in his early 50s, he's endured scalding amounts of psychic trauma, and whether his albums hit or miss Bob Mould's worked his ass off making much of the best independent rock of the past 30 years. I started with the "Statues" single from Husker Du when I was pubbing a fanzine in 1981, and I've been an off and on quietly frenzied fanboy ever since. Crushing the Showbox with a 20th anniversary run-through of Copper Blue (!) and much more earlier this year (such a night), he brought me back to the material I last loved him most for. But his generous spirit, ability to amp a crowd, and sensuous intensity should utterly captivate the Bumbershoot 2013 audience that comes to taste the legend. I am hoping for some Du-ings I have no right to expect, but Mould blazes even when it's something else than what you came for. Fair warning: He is loud and can be brutal, but listening to Mould live is like taking a drive in a limited edition BMW sports car of rock. It's not the goal, or even the journey — it's that massaging muscle of an a high class engine beneath it all, making you wonder if it's live or if it's fantasy. This will be a superb way to sample songs from his new album, Silver Age. (Now if only Grant Hart were also playing the festival, on songs from his great new concept album …)

2.) Can You Imagine?, Saturday, 6 p.m., Leo K Theater

This is probably going to be a shorter set for Michelle Brake, Steve Fisk, Peter Bagge, Rachel Frost, and Sue Merrill, also known as Can You Imagine?,  the best power-pop band on planet Ecotopia, as it is part of the already previewed Fantagraphics Follies. But if the incredible chance to see/hear Jim Woodring, Danny Bland, Ellen Forney, Kelly Froh, and other Fantagraphics artists wow and flutter the audience can't be kicked into "crucial" by the performance of this super-talented bunch, you might as well just sit this fest out. Hence, the extra push here. 

3.) Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires, Saturday, 8 p.m., Mural Amphitheater

"The Screaming Eagle of Soul" just released his second album, Victim of Love, and it's full of blues from a voice drenched in the the restless world of a man who's been sick and wandering without a home, without any peace as a human being at times, who has lost his brother to murder. There's no way of saying this to young musicians, but you gotta live to create, and the fates blessed and cursed this Brooklyn-based long-time James Brown impersonator with the road few wish to travel to make his soul music rock so hard. 

4.) Katie Kate, Sunday, 4:30 p.m., Fisher Green

It's not all about the veterans. Though I admit her live cover of legend Kate Bush's "Running Up That Hill" is what brought me to her original, ecstatic dialogue between spirit and booty. On original tracks like "Hunter" she spins you into her world, a city as cerebral and as funk-loving as Seattle has always been. Gonna check her out again, to see if what I've seen before is for real.

5.) Supreme La Rock, Sunday, 8:15 p.m., EMP

If you're in it to really savor the Seattle flavor, and have never heard Wheedle's Groove-curator Danny Clavesilla work the circles, then your missing a masterpiece of turntable art. The sides he'll pull and blend will be some of the most magical you'll ever hear, full of rhythm and grit and glitter and transcendence. He really is a genius of knowing the right track and matching it with its best lovers in an orgy of boogiesm. Kick back, mingle, it'll make you tingle.

6.) Total Experience Gospel Choir, Monday, 9:45 p.m., Mural Amphitheater

Also featured in Wheedle's Groove, the Total Experience Gospel Choir was started by Pastor Patrinell Staten Wright as a gospel music class at Seattle's Franklin High School in 1973. "Since then the choir has grown to become a nationally and internationally known gospel singing group," their bio says, and that's an understatement. Whether you're practicing religion or not, this is the center of Seattle soul, and is very vibe-inclusive. You cannot help but be moved by these regional numinous superstars, lifting their hands to the heavens and letting it all hang out in glory. 

7.) The Zombies, Sunday 8:15 p.m., Mural Amphitheatre
They weren't as intellectual as the Velvet Underground, they didn't burn with a gasoline-soaked blaze of a Stooges or MC5, but these cats knew how to turn a garage into sound art. The cool basslines, sweet keys, strutting syncopation, are all very present in a lot of your favorite beat-happenings going on today. If you lived here and had Are You Experienced? and the banana LP and Fun House in the stack for when someone friendly dropped by to bake or bomp, you probably also had Odessy and Oracle, a perennially groovy favorite. Don't miss these guys at Bumbershoot 2013. 

Bob Mould Imaginary Scoop Mates of State Redwood Plan The Breeders The Comettes

Bumbershoot 2013 music picks: onward to Sunday

Bumbershoot 2013 Sunday The Breeders

By day 2 of Bumbershoot, I'm sure I'll be utilizing my water privileges liberally, and opting for lots of layers since it looks like the weather is gonna do that sun/cloud/possibly rain thing. If all else fails, I'll retreat to The Center House (I WILL NEVER CALL IT THE ARMORY PEOPLE) and take solace in the miracle that is the Skillet Kale Caesar w/fried chicken thigh. 

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday (9/1) — I'm headed for: 

The Breeders
TuneIn Stage (Fisher Green)

Oh, you were probably expecting that I'd put DCFC at the top of this list, but SURPRISE! They're NOT EVEN ON HERE (preparing for rotten fruit assault). Nope. My most thrilling show of the day, shit, maybe even the weekend! is The Motherfucking Breeders. "Cannonball" is one of those songs that I will never, ever, never ever, neverever get tired of. Kim and Kelley Deal + the 20th Anniversary of Last Splash? Hell to the yeah, I'm excited! 

The Redwood Plan
Fountain Lawn Stage 

You know all us imaginary girls are big fans of Ms. Lesli Wood, so I am getting myself over to the Fountain Lawn once again to hear her and The Redwood Plan belt out some rockin' pop tunes. We love you, Lesli!!! 

Katie Kate!!! 
TuneIn Stage (Fisher Green)

Sorry, fans of Charli XCX, we got an email this week saying that Katie Kate was replacing her because she couldn't make it! OKAY I'M NOT REALLY SORRY BECAUSE I LOVE KATIE KATE SO MUCH IT'S RIDICULOUS. Last year she made the whole crowd dance like crazy AND she covered a Kate Bush song AND she threw a "motherfucking tote bag" out and my boyfriend got it and it was the perfect birthday present. I mean, come on. This girl is amazing! Whenever I'm blue, I crank up some Katie Kate and everything is all fixed. 

Mates of State
Fountain Lawn Stage 


The Comettes 
Plaza Stage 

Oh man. What a choice! I love me some Mates of State harmonies and sad, yet bouncy, synth-pop, but I also LOVE what I've been hearing from retro-cool newcomers The Comettes! So I might have to split the difference and see them both … assuming I can book across the Center fast enough. (RUNNN AMMIEEEEE! RUNNNNNN!!!!!!) 

Bob Mould
TuneIn Stage (Fisher Green)

Um. Of course I'm going to see Bob Mould. Are you kidding me? Not that I need any other excuse to see him than his Husker Du roots, but this video for "Star Machine" showcases how rad this guy is, all around. ROCK IT OUT, BOB. I SURE DO LIKE YOU. 

{Day two's live tweets will likely include a lot of swearing about the ever-changing weather, slow-walkers, and bruises sustained from slipping on greasy, discarded food wrappers. Follow me: @posiegirl — and/or the @3imaginarygirls for all the awesomeness} 

Bob Mould Live Show Review Shiny Toy Guns

Bob Mould with Shiny Toy Guns

From the Stones to The Stooges it's almost always a surefire bet for a good time when you get to see an living legend in concert. When Bob Mould came to Neumo's on a beautiful fall evening earlier this month it was no exception.

While he's not in the same legend category of Jagger or Iggy, Mould — the man behind everyone's favorite alt-rock originators Husker Du, the beautifully saccharine-flavored rock of Sugar and a few other side projects — made sure his legend status was felt and appreciated. Sure he's played in Seattle several times since the disbanding of both Husker and Sugar, but at this show he was going to offer something different and everyone knew it. On this tour, which is in support of his latest solo record Body of Song, Mould played songs from his vast solo catalogue, his Sugar repertoire and Husker Du material all in the same set for the first time in his career.

This meant anticipation was high as the crowd, which consisted mostly of rock fans in their mid-20s to late 30s (like this reviewer), could hardly wait to find out what surprises were in store. Unfortunately the surprise didn't come in the form of plenty of Husker Du songs; instead Sugar and Mould's new album dominated the set. He opened with three songs in a row from Sugar's classic album Copper Blue. While it was great to hear Mould dust off the Sugar material, it was a little disappointing that Husker Du didn't dominate the show.

"The Act We Act," "Good Idea" and "Changes" kicked things off and then he delved into his new album with "Circles," a song that has been played on (gulp) The O.C. Having his music associated with the 90210 for the 2000s will likely be a good thing for Body Of Song; it definitely didn't hurt Death Cab any, but you've got to admit it's a bit strange to think of Husker Du's singer being featured on an O.C. soundtrack.

As for the Husker material that was played, it sounded great. Scratch that. It sounded flipplin' fantastic. "Makes No Sense at All," "Could You Be The One," "Celebrated Summer" and a few others were thrown into the 90-minute set. His band sounded close enough to the original Husker lineup to make the music not feel like lame cover songs, bringing out a strong sense of nostalgia while still sounding relevant in today's musical climate. It's easy to second guess the decision to not play more Husker material, especially considering seven songs from Copper Blue were performed, but Mould did hold up his end of the deal by playing Husker songs. So really nobody should be complaining.

On his blog, cleverly named Boblog, Mould declared the show at Neumo's as having the, "best mosh pit in the U.S." That's quite a declaration from a man who has certainly seen his share of grandiose pits. On the same entry he professes his love for Dick's Drive-In, so now we all know where we can spot him after the show next time he's in town. It's nice to hear he had a good time in Seattle and that he is not shying away from playing songs from his entire catalog of music live anymore.

Shiny Toy Guns, a four-piece glammish group opened with a set of that new new wave music that seems to be all the rage thanks to The Killers, The Bravery et al. In their defense, the young L.A. band played a damn fine set and if they had a record available at their merch table I would have likely walked away with one, especially if it had their spectacular cover of Depeche Mode's "Stripped" that they pulled off remarkably well on it. However, it was a bit puzzling why they were opening for a legend like Mould and not an act like stellastarr* or some other similar sounding band.