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Fucking in the Streets

Block Party Rumors and Penetration at the Unicorn

Fucking in the Streets
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The official lineup announcement for this year's Capitol Hill Block Party won't be made on Line Out until June 1 (Bumbershoot will announce its lineup the same day), but sharp-eyed readers of summer tour itineraries have noticed some glaring gaps approaching Seattle on the Block Party weekend of July 23 and 24. Chiefly: the Dead Weather (nothing between SF, July 22, and Portland, July 24), MGMT (nothing between Oakland, July 21, and Vancouver, BC, July 24), and Obits/the Night Marchers (nothing between Portland, July 23, and Vancouver, BC, July 25). Booker Dave Meinert has stated that there will be more hiphop this year, both local and otherwise; meanwhile, Line Out commenters' wish lists include everything from the reuniting Carissa's Wierd to Holy Fuck to perennial (and perennially unfulfilled) rumor the Halo Benders. Additionally, as of this week, the Block Party has successfully petitioned the city to permit the festivities to run for a third day, on Sunday, July 25 (advance tickets for all three days will be available as of this Friday).

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I'd always meant to go to Penetration back when it was at the Bus Stop, but last Thursday's debut installment at the Unicorn was in fact my first time (insert Penetration/virgin joke here), and it was quite a trip. The Unicorn is an ideal setting for Dumb Eyes' audiovisual spectacle—the already eye-popping interior looks even more disorienting through the complimentary prismatic glasses, and the place lends itself well to the team's garish digital videos (which were projected onto screens suspended above the bar's booths, bisecting the room lengthwise, the videos visible from both sides). Or: Penetration made the Unicorn puke rainbows.

Dumb Eyes' willfully eclectic DJ set was an instructive example of the idea that psychedelia really is in the (third) eye of the beholder. In the right setting, which for Penetration means ample amplification and multimedia accompaniment, and given the right context and juxtapositions, all kinds of musics can reveal psychedelic properties—from "Holy Diver" (RIP, Dio) to Pavement's "Rattled by the Rush," from garage rock (a simple repetitive riff gradually becomes a drone) to house to pop R&B (which people pretend isn't exceedingly odd music). All can have head-fucking, mind-expanding effects on a listener.

Or, as the always eloquent Emily Pothast (of Midday Veil) told Dave Segal for a 2009 story on Portable Shrines ("Psyching Up Seattle," July 9):

"Psychedelic isn't really a kind of music; it's a descriptor that can be applied to all kinds of music," Pothast postulates. "Psychedelic is more about the way the elements are used, the way that they're put together... Psychedelic music is... a unifying vibrational field that is being manipulated willfully. The musical experience occasions a mass transformation of consciousness."

Indeed. Penetration returns to the Unicorn the second Thursday of every month, coincident with Blitz, the Capitol Hill art walk. recommended

 

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