Do you believe in divine sorts of signs? As in, spiritual signposts pointing you to your next step in life?
Even if you don't, you could possibly see how the Capitol Hill Block Party could be interpreted as a divine sign that Graham needs to be in Seatle, specifically one of its self-designated neighbourhoods of art and culture on this weekend. When I told Punk John the line up (sonic youth, the jesus lizard, pains of being pure at heart, future of the left, black lips, deerhunter, the thermals) he said something like "Who curated this event? . . . You?"
Its a two-day fest. Here's what I saw on Friday:
Cornish School of the Arts: This is where I met my sister Bronwyn aka Brielle aka Toad aka Toady Malone. After that it starts getting ridiculous. She's been a faithful gig buddy since we saw the re-formed Pixies five or six year ago.
Black Lips We got there just about in time for these atlanta garage rocker's opening song. I'm totally on board with this band, if not on board with all the hype about them as a daaaaangerous rock and roll act; though they did chased out of India. They didn't play their soppy sentimental jam ("I'll be with you") or their Stone-Rosey world-rock jam ("Veni Vidi Vici" which is my favourite) but they played 60s-00s garage rock with a refreshing lack of metal/hard rock influence, leaning more on surf. Loads of fun, which is pretty important when you're stood in the sweaty sun at 6pm.
Deerhunter Bradford Cox's vocal pedals broke, so they had to opt out of their wall-of-shoegaze songs for the poppier ones, which they utilized to maximum bounce-potential. Dude is also so very skinny even Lailey would find his skinniness unflattering, which is reaaal skinny. Songs mainly taken from the first half of Microcastle and then a few off Cryptograms. Distorted the fuck out of the bass for "Nothing Ever Happens," highlighting the Sonic Youth influence. Cox also did the hand-to-forehead thing a few times, acknowledging the drama inherent in some of his wounded-boy lyrics.
Built to Spill I hadn't listened to Built to Spill in about two years and had forgotten how much I like this band. The fan-picked (via the internet!!) setlist split the difference between sprawling, northwest-friendly neil-youngy jams and their crisp, catchy pop. Closed with "Carry the Zero," one of my favourite songs of aaaaaallll tiiiiimmmmeeeee. Brielle was boppin' along and there were plenty of sweet gig-buddy "man-this-is-so-good" moments.
The Jesus Lizard So David Yow has hair intermittently on his head, looks about half awake and as soon as the band launches into "Puss" he chucks his whole self into the crowd and we all get pushed into eachother and I lose Brielle to the roiling mass of bodies. The band were tight and loud and no one stopped moving the whole time. The security guards kept shining flashlights and motioning for crowdsurfers to get down. Good luck dudes. Your part of the night is ov-er.
next update: more band reviews similar to this! graham sees future of the left. . . IN AMERICA, opts not to wear his Spillers T-shirt because that would just be too much.