Entries in 2017 (4)


Nada Fest 2017 - Preview

In the aftermath of a Seattle summer that found the sky engulfed with smoke, the mayor resigning in disgrace, and something like 400 music festivals, there is only ONE thing this city needs...another music festival. Oops wait...NadaFest, the progeny of Seattle music and culture site NadaMucho.com, does NOT like being called a festival, so much so that the last two years the festival's tag line was "We are not having a festival". Orwellian irony? Perhaps. But, whatever name you give it, Nadafest is a 3-day, 2-stage celebration of soon-to-be-discovered and criminally-underappreciated Seattle bands and artists of all genres.

Hosted again at Substation, itself a refuge for the Seattle arts underground, Nadafest will feature more than 20 bands from NadaMucho's #41for2017 list with 100% of the door profits going directly to the artists. The main and back room stages alternate between performances so attendees never have to choose one artist over the other. Essentially, it's a 3-day, super-sized basement show with real stages, better beer, and no need to worry about your parents coming home early from vacation.

Entirely devoid of corporate sponsors (no free Cliff Bars for you) and with a very modest entry fee of $10/night, NadaFest serves as a genuine alternative to the high-dollar summer blockbuster festivals that have become their own cottage industry in Seattle. At a total cost of $30 for 24 bands, it is a steal.

NadaFest will take place October 19, 20 and 21st at Substation, 645 NW 45th St, Seattle, WA 98107. Admission is $10/night, 21+

100% of door sales will be split evenly between bands.

Don't Miss: Mind Beams, somesurprises, Low Hums, RVN, DoNormaal, Mirror Ferrari, Sleepy Genes, Crazy Eyes, MonsterWatch


7:30-8:00 The Screaming Multitudes (BACK ROOM) facebook.com/screamingmultitudes/

8:00-8:30 Killer Ghost (MAIN ROOM) facebook.com/diggitydownandthegraveyards/

8:30-9:00 HellerGrave (BACK ROOM) facebook.com/Hellergrave/

9:00-9:30 Mind Beams (MAIN ROOM) facebook.com/mindbeams/

9:30-10:00 somesurprises (BACK ROOM) facebook.com/somesurprisesmusic/

10:00-10:30 Tit Nun (MAIN ROOM) facebook.com/titnunminion/

10:30-11:15 Maklak (BACK ROOM) facebook.com/themaklakproject/

11:30-12:30 Low Hums (MAIN ROOM) facebook.com/lowhums/

$10. 21+.

FRIDAY 10/20

7:30-8:00 Cavegreen (BACK ROOM) https://www.facebook.com/cavegreen/

8:00-8:30 Astro King Phoenix (MAIN ROOM) https://www.facebook.com/astrokingphoenix/

8:30-9:00 Le Grotto (BACK ROOM) https://www.facebook.com/legrotCHOD3/

9:00-9:30 DoNormaal (MAIN ROOM) https://www.facebook.com/donormaal/

9:30-10:00 Downtown (BACK ROOM) https://www.facebook.com/therealdowntown/

10:00-10:30 RVN (MAIN ROOM) https://www.facebook.com/rvnrecords/

10:30-11:15 Mirror Ferrari (BACK ROOM) https://www.facebook.com/mirrorferrari/

11:30-12:30 Scribemecca (MAIN ROOM) https://www.facebook.com/BAthescribe/

$10. 21+.


7:30-8:00 Sleepy Genes (BACK ROOM) www.facebook.com/sleepygenesband/

8:00-8:30 Oliver Elf Army (MAIN ROOM) www.facebook.com/dubstepforpensioners/

8:30-9:00 Zelda Starfire (BACK ROOM) https://www.acebook.com/Zelda-Starfire-1472329643005249/

9:00-9:30 Crazy Eyes (MAIN ROOM) www.facebook.com/crazyeyesarelookingatyou/

9:30-10:00 Shivertwins (BACK ROOM) https://www.facebook.com/shivertwinz/

10:00-10:30 SSDD (MAIN ROOM) https://www.facebook.com/stealshitdodrugs/

10:30-11:15 Snuff Redux (BACK ROOM) https://www.facebook.com/snuffredux/

11:30-12:30 Monsterwatch (MAIN ROOM) https://www.facebook.com/monsterwatch/


Words by Patrick Galactic


Bumbershoot 2017: Part Two

It was earlier than I wanted to be off of the couch, but the reason I found myself at Bumbershoot early on Sunday was to see my sis. Stasia Irons, AKA, Stas THEE Boss, current KEXP Street Sounds host, former one half of the prolific ahead-of-the-wave Sub Pop queens THEESatisfaction, one of my favorite people. Weeks ago she dropped her debut solo mixtape’ #SWOMEN, caught love for it in places like Pitchfork, and was asked to open up the main stage on this, the same day as Solange. Pure Black Girl Magic from the feet up. Stas’ lowkey, aqueous vision was slick with one liners and delivered with an icy cool; she was joined by singers Jus Moni and Dee Butler, DJ Kween Kaysh and dancer Takiyah Ward. A mix of women’s Olympic swim meets, surf footage and classic rap and r&b videos spliced together by local hero OCnotes looped behind them, keeping everything topical as THEE Boss ran her laps. My heart was proud.

Now, Atlanta-made rapper Lil Yachty is someone I was once conflicted about. Even though he seemed to be little more than a jokey troll, custom-made to infuriate anyone old enough to have been excited about EPMD, his debut mixtape Lil Boat was an objectively-pretty-good bit of dessert-first Teletubby nursery-trap. He hasn't really done anything that good since, yet his profile has soared—more on strength of his willful “King of Teens” rage-baiting than his art. I stopped being conflicted a long time ago. Going to his mainstage show was an experiment in seeing how he could perform beneath my already-low expectations, and in that sense he didn't disappoint. As a live MC, he's pretty worthless, deigning to rap into the mic for about 20% of his material, letting his hypemen do most of the work—it would seem Lil Boat has as much regard for his work as his own detractors. Did he really make 50-or-so K for that? I would be mad. The kids, raving on, couldn't care less.

Or at least maybe they didn't have any illusions about Yachty’s work ethic—any of them wanting to see some world-class live rapping were surely in Key Arena later for Long Beach MC Vince Staples, who delivered a thrilling clinic in lean bombast, ripping though cuts from Big Fish Theory as well as older favorites “Blue Suede” and “Norf Norf”. Vince is unquestionably at the opposite end of the millenial rapper spectrum from Yachty, in terms of how he carries himself on and off the mic. There was no forced banter, no water-bottle-chucking, nobody but Vince stalking the stage like a black-clad Panther. (His spare aesthetic and athletic rapping very much reminded me of seeing Kendrick Lamar open up the Yeezus tour, also in the Key, back in 2013. Here's to Vince enjoying a similar glow-up in the days to come.)

I was pleasantly surprised by The New Respects while getting drinks by the Mural Amphitheater stage. This Tennessee-bred quartet (three siblings and a cousin) delivered some hard-charging, old school rock & roll with all the bluesy, soulful trimmings. This was no amateur hour bar band—they made it all sound fresh, fierce and free.

What is there to say about Solange? She was a radiant sun, her band a solar system rotating around her in flawless synchronicity. Solo performed some choice songs from earlier in her career but it was the songs from A Seat At The Table, naturally, that made it feel like the rapturous event it was. For being a universally hailed masterwork, you have to be willfully blind to miss the explicit pro-Black intention of that album—and as she sang “F.U.B.U., she actualized those intentions as she crept to the edge of the barrier and sang it directly to a young Black girl, holding her hand the whole time. When the big screens showed this lucky fan’s face, she was in tears, and the crowd lit up with a cheer for her. It was a detail of an arena show that felt intimate, a detail that was quietly revolutionary. Solange’s bar-raising Black love was a singular sight to behold, and one of the best performances I've ever seen at Bumbershoot. Sorry if you missed it.


Words by Larry Mizell Jr.

Photos courtesy of Bumbershoot


Bumbershoot 2017: Part One

“Who are these scantily-clad children and where do they get their money?”

-       Inner monologue

Bumbershoot is too expensive. It is not what it used to be (namely, free or at least affordable). It is hard to get as excited about a festival in September after there were 25 other festivals already this summer. Have I covered my bases? It’s hard to argue with any of these points. What was once a city-wide celebration of culture has evolved (devolved?) into a celebration of culture for those with $150/day to celebrate it.

That said, the actual experience once you walk through the gates isn’t all that different. Lots of food, music, visual art, dudes jumping over a line of 4-5 people, statue people, buskers, and retail booths. It’s a little bit of a lot and, with the beautiful weather, there was more than enough to do.


The Spider Ferns

Seattle mainstay The Spider Ferns kicked things off on the KEXP stage in style. With live psychedelic visuals by CTPAK Film Crew’s John Theroux and two interpretive dancers, their set offered a preview of their forthcoming album “Blossom”. Already known for their fever dreamy, down-tempo electro grooves, their new songs expand that territory and mine new domains of sonic interest. More guitar-driven than their previous releases with occasional baroque electronic flourishes, The Spider Ferns commanded the stage and the collective imagination of their audience effortlessly.


Acapulco Lips

In an industry that celebrates innovation (real or imagined) as its holy grail, there is a lot to be said for a band that does conventional rock really well. Acapulco Lips are just such a band and the packed crowd inside KEXP went along for the ride without reservations. Blistering through a set of catchy psych-surf party rock, the band evoked an image of Link Wray and Dick Dale crashing a Cramps rehearsal that ended with everyone high and happy.  


Foster the People

I won’t claim to be a super fan of Foster the People but I will say that I’ve always respected them as dorks with the ability to write a great pop song. At Memorial Stadium, those dorky indie kids were replaced by leather jacket-wearing, paint-by-numbers extras from “Grease” who were out to prove that they were…tough or something? They kicked their set off with some aggressive, undeniably catchy electro pop from their most recent release “Sacred Hearts Club” that had the crowd moving before launching into their hits “Pumped Up Kicks” and “Helena Beat”, among others. Artistic evolution is essential but the tough guy makeover was a little distracting.


Moon Duo

If I ever get murdered in the desert, I want Moon Duo to be playing on my killer’s stereo. Dishing out roadhouse guitar riffs with smart synth parts that bound together effortlessly, they played for an intimate, engaged audience. Long psychedelic instrumental passages and haunting, disembodied melodies added another layer of surrealism and escape that I needed after a solid 4 hours of stage-hopping.


It was at this point that my photographer Sidney and I were sitting at a fountain when a long line of women, dressed in what looked to be red prison uniforms, marched single-file directly to where we were sitting. They paused for a long time. Then they marched single file into Seattle Center’s big-ass fountain and walked around it for quite a while. It didn’t take long till there was a young man jumping around, acting as though he was leading the march and two teenage-ish girls following them and taking selfies feverishly. I never did find out the purpose of it. But it was worth noting.



Playing to a small but enthusiastic crowd at the Fisher Green Stage, Auckland, New Zealand’s Broods gave a solid performance of their danceable electro pop (how many times do you think I’ll say electro pop before it’s over?) that was pleasant enough, if not terribly distinctive.



I didn’t know a thing about Watksy and I only caught his set because the grass at the Fisher Green stage was really comfortable. It was a happy accident. With a full live band blasting epic funk rock, blues and jazz, George Watsky commanded the stage and the crowd, at one point leading everyone in a “Fuck Donald Trump” chant. His raps alternated between social consciousness and silliness but were always amusing, at least. Toward the end of the set, his marathon flows did get a bit tedious but overall, this was a stand-out performance that I won’t soon forget. 

Die Antwoord

Nihilism with a budget. Die Antwoord live is everything you’d expect them to be: hilarious, crass, hyper sexual, hyper stylized and…well, hyper. With DJ Hi-Tek perched high atop a glorious LED rave pyramid, Ninja and Yolandi Visser kept the energy high with what may be the loudest sub-bass tones I have ever heard in my life. If you were expecting back-up dancers dressed as sexy ghosts, you were in luck. If you wanted LED animals with gigantic penises and testicles, you were in luck. Even with Key Arena slightly less than half full, the energy was palpable. Bottom line, this was a celebration of righteous excess, the music was secondary, and nobody cared. This was sensory overload and a great way to finish the night.


Words by Patrick Galactic

Photos by Sydnie, Deer Creek Media




Newport Folk Festival 2017

With political tumult still hanging in the air, and a President in office that is, shall we say, unpredictable, the Newport Folk Festival is a salve. A yearly gathering of like-minded music lovers congregating on the water to speak out, sing loud, and renew our hopes.Angel Olsen

The festival always tends to have a political bend, but this year was particularly sharp. Shirts like “Resist”, “Make America Read Again”, and “Nasty Woman” were commonplace. And if some of this year’s stand-outs are any indication, “the future is female” is much more than a slogan.

Female voices rang out from all three stages this year, including Margaret Glaspy breezing through the Quad stage with her assured singing style, Angel Olsen gripping Fort stage listeners by the collar with songs like “Shut Up and Kiss Me”, and the over-the-top Vaudevillian action of Nancy and Beth at the jam-packed Harbor stage.
Nancy and Beth

New acts helmed by female lead singers stole the show all weekend. Expectations were high for Big Thief, and the Brooklyn-based band delivered. Singer Adrianne Lenker alternated between ripping extended guitar solos like on “Real Love”, and bringing the house down with a show-stopping turn of “Mary.”

The Wild ReedsThe Seratones, from Shreveport, La., showcased the festival’s penchant for genre-defying acts as their blend of rock, soul, and punk invigorated the festival. Singer A.J. Hayne’s voice was like a scythe cutting through the crowd, clearing the way for an unforgettable performance.

One of the weekend’s most memorable acts was the Wild Reeds. Their sharp songs and rich tones lingered in this writer’s head long after the festival came to its sonorous sunset. The song

“Capable” will undoubtedly help the band reach scores of new listeners, with its prescient lyrics of “You’re capable of so much more/ than these people give you credit for. /And you just need to show it.” We have been huge fans of these ladies for quite some time now and are so elated that they were able to kill it on a Newport Folk Festival Stage.


The Newport Folk Festival boasts an illustrious history, a potent present, and with an eye for spotting up-and-coming acts, the future is in good hands, female and otherwise.

Here are are a few more of our favorite sets:

Regina Spekto

Nathaniel Rateliff and The Night Sweats

 L.A Salami


Fleet Foxes



Robert Ellis

Words // Photos by Brian Hodge

Photo // by Bethany Hodge