Photo: Kim Virant
In case you haven't heard, Seattle Weekly will be taking over downtown Ballard on October 4 with REVERBfest. The only all-local music>"/>
Photo: Kim Virant
In case you haven't heard, Seattle Weekly will be taking over downtown Ballard on October 4 with REVERBfest. The only all-local music fest in the city, REVERBfest takes place in multiple venues around downtown Ballard and boasts over 60 bands from the worlds of indie pop, stoner rock, hip-hop, electronic, roots, and more. Today's REVERBfest venue-of-the-day lineup: HATTIE'S HAT, 5231 Ballard Ave. NW. Time to get excited, people!
Time to get excited, people!
6 p.m.—Ian Moore
Ian Moore began his career as a Texas blues guitarist in his hometown of Austin, becoming a local celebrity in the process. But that was years ago, and ever since then he’s has been re-making a name for himself as a folk-pop songwriter, crafting music that is unafraid to be catchy, pretty, and romantic. Moore’s vocals are dramatic, resonant, and organic (imagine David Bowie dabbling in Americana, or a more less-celestial Roy Orbison), but when he decides to really belt it out, the effect is as chilling as Jeff Buckley’s best moments. His latest record, To Be Loved, sounds like it was recorded under the tight grip of Jeff Lynne, walking the line between looseness and complexity. There are flashes of the Beatles’ spritely pop and Brian Wilson’s lush arrangements throughout, all of it placing Moore firmly within the Nick Lowe/Grant Lee Phillips/Bryan Ferry family of songwriters. BRIAN J. BARR
5 p.m.—Herman Jolly
I’ve said it before: Herman Jolly’s Mad Cowboy Disease is one of my favorite records of all time. He was living in Portland when that was recorded (note the song title “Willy Vlautin”, a nod to the novelist and Richmond Fontaine frontman), so it’s an honor to officially call him a Seattleite now. Jolly has a cracked-wood voice, which warms you in a manner not unlike waking up Saturday mornings to a drizzly rain. Lately, he’s been playing with his pop group Little Pieces, but for REVERBfest, he’ll be taking a solo turn. Something about his solo stuff has always held an intimacy and charm that his full-band efforts did not: It’s familiar and cozy, like an old rocking chair, or memories of an old apartment, or something like that. BRIAN J. BARR
4 p.m.—Sweet Potatoes
Jenny Asarnow's ambient soundplay mainly consists of layers of her own voice (and, occasionally, other peoples' voices). But pay attention, and you'll hear other things: small instruments like kazoos and tambourines, and a few carefully-selected sounds, from recorded background noise and conversations to coughing to water glasses on a tabletop. If you're not working to dissect the music, though, that's okay too—the melding of all those sounds is meant to evoke a certain mood or emotion, whether you're really listening or completely zoning out. Some of Asarnow's additions were recorded on her travels. "I have a lot of recordings I made when I was in Guinea in West Africa a couple years ago," she explains. "I have this one recording that I use a lot, but I don't think you can really tell what it is, necessarily, when you're listening to it. I was in that country during a national strike and there was a big riot happening a couple miles away from where I was. There were people shooting guns and you can hear the gunfire." But Asarnow doesn't use the gunfire sound in a symbolic anti-war statement; the correlation isn't that direct. Rather, Asarnow writes her songs to create an aural rendition of a mood or feeling she's experiencing at the time. Like the emotional aftermath of the break-up she references in several of her songs. But the experience did provide Asarnow with some material; she just put out an EP, Sweet Potatoes and Friends, through small Bothell-based label Dandelion Gold, that's available on the label's site. SARA BRICKNER
2 p.m.—Kim Virant
As the former singer for rock band Lazy Susan, Kim Virant has been a staple of the Seattle scene since the 90s. Her deep, auburn vocals have been compared to Stevie Nicks and Natalie Merchant, and her music has blurred the line between roots and pop. Recorded over a three-year span, her solo album Songs from a Small House blurs the line between roots and pop in the tradition of female singer-songwriters from the 70s. Most of the numbers are built on a simple framework of acoustic guitar, but come wrapped in vibrant, organic atmospherics provided by a significant cast of backup musicians, including Ty Bailie (Dept. of Energy), Rob Skinner (Coffin Break), Gary Westlake (Peter Frampton), and Rob and Chris Friel of Goodness. Heck, she’s even made a fan of Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready. BRIAN J. BARR