A year ago, Justin Vallesteros was just a kid writing and recording songs at home in Stockton, Calif. (rated the most miserable city in the

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Best Homecoming

Craft Spells

A year ago, Justin Vallesteros was just a kid writing and recording songs at home in Stockton, Calif. (rated the most miserable city in the country this year by Forbes). But after playing a wildly successful show at Cairo in January and then recruiting a permanent trio of Seattleites—Peter Michel, Jack Doyle Smith, and Javier Suarez—to play in his '80s-throwback dance-rock band, Craft Spells, Vallesteros packed his bags and moved to Beacon Hill. Since then, Craft Spells' exquisite debut record, Idle Labor, has become a KEXP staple, and the move seems to have paid off in other ways as well—this spring, Craft Spells embarked on a nationwide tour with labelmates Beach Fossils, and at their stop at Chop Suey in May, Vallesteros & co. drew a sizably larger and more enthusiastic crowd than the headliners. ERIN K. THOMPSON myspace.com/craftspells

 
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