For real though, Julia and Todd here have already mentioned Father John Misty and Nacho Picasso, but I'm gonna talk about them again, because they were the two best sets I saw all day yesterday, and both by local or ex-local dudes doing good.
Suzi Pratt Father John Misty
So I'm like the anti-indie folk guy, why did I dig Father John Misty so damn much yesterday? Well, a few reasons: 1. His band, when it's called for, rocks the fuck out, his Owen Wilson-looking guitarist shoveling with the neck of his guitar as Josh Tillman sang "someone's gotta help me dig" in "Hollywood Forever Cemetery," or later in the song unleashing a scrub of white noise for the breakdown. 2. The songs' lyrics are sharp and clever and full of great details, riffing about the amount of oil it takes to make a record on "Now I'm Learning to Love the War" or about Joseph Campbell and the Rolling Stones on "Everyman Needs a Companion." 3. The slightly smart-ass aspect makes the character in the songs, the onstage persona, and/or the guy behind it INFINITELY more interesting than all the simple heart-on-sleeve singers--and it's not because it's more or less sincere or artificial, it's just because it's more complex. Josh/J./Father John isn't one dimensional; he is, like a real human, multifaceted, self-contradictory, flawed and fascinating. It's so much better than some manicured version of rootsy or sweet. 4. The guy really can shake those hips.
Nacho Picasso I went into knowing even less about the guy than I did/do about Father John Misty, but he was immediately impressive on stage--shirtless, ripped and tattooed, sneering mean punchlines into the mic with flair, echoed by a hype man with an appealingly choked sort of shout, and backed by Blue Sky Black Death's sharp, aggressive trap productions (a contrast from some of the cloudier, more cinematic solo stuff I've heard them do). I'm not like this paper's hip hop expert or anything, but short of Shabazz Palaces, who pretty much exists on his own planet anyway, I think you'd be hard-pressed to find a more promising Seattle rapper right now. He's on his third self-released album in two years; some label would do well to scoop him up, if that's even a thing anymore.In between those two, and after, some other stuff:
Every festival needs one or two "wander around" bands, and Capitol Hill Block Party yesterday had Youth Lagoon: a couple people onstage on a guitar and keys/etc respectively, not doing much to watch and pretty backlit by the intermittent sun anway but making some pretty, chill music. So don't stress "seeing" them, just wander around, grab a beer, maybe try to eat one of those impossible flatbread tacos, no big deal. Watched a couple teen skater bros on their way in trying to act like they were hyped for this stuff. Oh, and they played "that one song of theirs" and it sounded just fine.
Thee Oh Sees played the same endless motorik garage rock boogie that they played at Bumbershoot last year as far as I could tell. They make me wish I liked getting stoned. "We'll be back in the fall with Ty Segall," John Dwyer said at one point, before correcting himself, "er, Sic Alps." They stay busy.
Couldn't get in to a capacity Neumos to see Light Asylum or Trust--point of advice: if there's something you know you want to see in there (or in Barboza), get in there a little early to make sure you get in at all.
Keyboard Kid's set with DJ Darwin on the Vera Stage before Nacho was also pretty great, bass music and based music slowly itching uptempo as kids with those damn lightsaber things raved in the crowd. For my money, Keyboard Kid into Nacho Picasso was the headlining line-up of the night, fuck a retro soul revue.
At the Decibel afterhours in Neumos, the crowd was in high spirits, people dancing and goofing around with each other the minute Nordic Soul started DJing a pretty great set of house and techno (I spotted one Todde Terje cut in there, but the rest of it escapes me this morning). By the time Miracles Club took the stage, doing their live house thing on sequencers, vocals, and vogueing, the crowd was whipped up to something of a lather. Good fun.
Hmm, I guess I blew all my "good" jokes on the Twitter. Sorry.