Ages and Ages Courtney Barnett Exene Cervenka Foxygen Imaginary Scoop John Doe Pendarvis Farm The Barr Brothers Warpaint

Is it summer yet? Pickathon 2014 lineup announced {8/1-3}

Hoo-wee, friends! Adding Pickathon to our summer festival circuit schedule two years ago might have been the best, sunniest, dusty-boots-est move we’ve ever made, having spent long hot weekends steeped in performances by Andrew Bird, Dr. Dog, Langhorne Slim, the Mynabirds, Neko Case, Sharon van Etten, Thee Oh Sees, King Tuff, Phosphorescent — just to name a few. And looking at this year’s lineup, our time spent at Pickathon 2014 is going to be no exception.

In case you’re not familiar, Pickathon is an intimate, homegrown, multi-stage festival out on a farm (Pendarvis Farm, to be exact) in Happy Valley, Oregon that takes place every year in August. But contrary to popular belief, it’s not all banjos and stardust — although there are a little bit of both, in good and appropriate amounts. Pickathon showcases a wide spectrum of bands, with this year’s lineup hosting gems like X and Blind Pilot next to indie bands Warpaint and Courtney Barnett. There really is something for everyone, and with each band playing multiple performances on different stages over the weekend, your chances are better-than-good to get a glimpse of all the music you’d like to take in.

We’ll get into our imaginary schedule as the event draws near, but suffice it to say, we are most excited to see not only the bands above, but the likes of Jolie Holland, Gregory Alan Isakov, Valerie June, Foxygen, The Barr Brothers, Angel Olsen, and Ages and Ages, just to name a few. Check out the whole lineup here, and look into ticketing options (with and without camping and such) here.

Need more convincing? Check out Imaginary Victoria’s 2013 recap here, and her two-part 2012 experience here and here.

Come on now, summer! We’ll see you out on that farm.



Bob Dylan Calexico Cat Power Eddie Vedder Jeff Tweedy John Doe Mason Jennings Record Review Sonic Youth Sony Music Sufjan Stevens Yo La Tengo

I'm Not There Soundtrack

It's been quite a couple of weeks for I'm Not There. First, Cate Blanchett earned a nomination for best supporting actress for her rendition of a young Dylan. And then later that day we learned of the untimely death of one the film’s amazingly talented stars, Heath Ledger.

I’d love to write about the whole record, which is almost exclusively a cover album — but the thing is, it's absolutely massive at more than 2.5 hours long. That’s a lotta Dylan covers, even for a serious fan. Only at the end, on the concluding track of disc two, do we ever hear the film's muse in a rendition of the album and film’s namesake, “I’m Not There.”

The album covers the gamut of veteran rockers: Sonic Youth, John Doe, Los Lobos, Willie Nelson, and many more populate the 30+ tracks. There are some voices just suited for Dylan: Stephen Malkmus (perfect on bluesy ballads like “Ballad of a Thin Man”), Mark Lanegan (has there ever been a more haunted voice in rock? On “Man in the Long Black Coat”), Chan Marshal (so embodying a female Dylan, it’s almost eerie on “Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again”).

Others, however, sound off somehow. Karen O can hang with a bluesy riff, but she sounds too impassioned for Dylan’s monotonous delivery. And while Sufjan Stevens’ take on “Ring Them Bells” is beautiful, it’s almost too pretty for Dylan’s grittier, unpolished style. For lead track “All Along the Watchtower,” I was conflicted: The Hendrix version has always been one of my favorite covers, so it’s tough to hear yet another rendition — even when it has one of my favorite artists (Eddie Vedder) on vox.

All in all, the soundtrack feels a bit excessive, but I’ve got to see this movie to see how the film and soundtrack weave together. I suspect that’ll be in the next few weeks, to see what all the Oscar hype is about, and to catch one of the late Ledger's last performances on this earth.

Blue Scholars Imaginary Scoop John Doe Sarah Borges

New releases for the week, from Easy Street Records + a Blue Scholars in-store TONIGHT

Today is the BIG release for local darlings the Blue Scholars! The new record Bayani is AMAZING! We are proud to have the boys here at Easy Street Records on Queen Anne for an in-store tonight at 11PM with a signing, and the the record going on sale at midnight! We have also painted our big garage door for the occasion and it came out really cool. Come by and check it all out!

The incomparable John Doe has his latest A Year in the Wilderness out too. He will be stopping by for an in-store @ 3pm this Saturday, 6/16.

Sarah Borges, who I was recently turned onto by my friend Kyla, has a new record out entitled Diamonds in the Dark. She's one of those artists that once I discovered her, I couldn't believe I hadn't heard more about her before. I've only heard the songs on her MySpace from the new record, but I like what I hear! She'll be at the Tractor on 7/9 as well.

And there's more!

DANZIG, The Last Tracks
DMX, The Definition of X
DYNAMITES featuring Charles Walker, Kaboom!
JOHN DOE, A Year In The Wilderness
FABOLOUS, From Nothin To Somethin
SARAH BORGES, Diamonds In The Dark
SONIC YOUTH, Daydream Nations (Expanded)
TRAVELING WILBURYS, multiple configurations (Wilbury Music/Rhino)
TUATARA, East Of The Sun (Barrett Martin/Peter Buck/Scott McCaughey
experimental group)
TUPAC, Beginning: The Lost Tapes
WOODEN WAND, James & The Quiet