Once again, Reverb Fest overwhelmed me with its carnival of options and I ended up seeing way less music than I wanted to-- damn you, choices! But that's what's so wonderful about the fest: there's something for everyone, lubricated with plenty of beer and habanero hot sauce.
Anastasia Dixon The band I most wanted to see, Walla Walla's Chastity Belt.
The highlights: Country Lips' bar band perfection. Packing six (correction: seven(!)) handsome young gentlemen on stage (including three guitarists), their covers of country greats like George Jones got fans at the front dancing enthusiastically. The south-of-the-border flare of their original numbers belied the flag-blazoned bass, shirts, and stage draped with patriotic symbolism. They're a fun, tight party band for the hat-and-boots set.Ballard Pizza Company's perfectly crunchy crust. Since last year, a variety of new spots to nosh have opened on Ballard Ave., including the delicious slices of Ballard Pizza Co., whose toppings include broccoli, whole cloves of roasted garlic, and spaghetti squash. Yum!
Gabriel Mintz's mesmerizing guitar lines. Stepping outside Conor Byrne for a moment, I heard a girl slur "This reminds me of, like, Fleet Foxes." Yes, Mintz is a talented and smooth singer, but his style of creating layered melodies playing solo guitar makes him much more than a strum-along songwriter. His compelling set packed the pub, and with good reason.
Arrington De Dionyso's electrified throat singing. Closing a night of experimental music at the New York Fashion Academy, de Dionyso's deep ululations, projected through a mysterious silver horn, vibrated through the floor like a welcome massage for tired feet.
The lowlights: Missing Chastity Belt, The Foghorns, The Wheelies, and pretty much every band I intended to see setting out. Unfortunate scheduling conflicts with my ticket-selling shift meant I missed early sets from some of my most-anticipated acts. Hopefully they'll play again soon. Finally, my inability to drink enough or stay out late enough means I will apparently never see The Rolling Stones!
Until next year, Reverb Fest.