Block Party 2007

July 25, 2007

Block Party Band of the Day!

Posted by Eric Grandy
Grand Archives vs BOAT


Grand Archives are the harmony-laden, soft-rocking combo of Mat Brooke (Carissa’s Wierd, Band of Horses), Curtis Hall (the Jeunes, DJ Curtis), Jeff Montano (the New Mexicans), and Ron Lewis (Ghost Stories), with recent addition Thomas Wright (the Can’t See) rounding out the group. Though they exhibit some of the melancholy of Carissa’s Wierd, the band’s songs are ultimately hopeful and buoyant, and, local star power and sudden hype aside, these guys can write and sing some gorgeous songs. Grand Archives play the Neumo’s Stage on Saturday, July 28th at 7:45pm.


BOAT are no strangers to the critical buzz either. The Seattle via Chicago power popsters have fans in high places, as evidenced by frequent coverage from Pitchfork—from their praise of singles “Elephant Ears” and “Come with Me, We’ll Win” to the recent perfectly respectable 7.8 review of their latest album, Let’s Drag Our Feet. Locally, they have a critical fan in Megan Seling as well, who calls them “really good at being Boat.” (Okay, that’s not the best quote, but I can’t seem to find anything but her most recent review of them). Also, their website URL comes from a Braid lyric (from “Please Drive Faster”), which wins them points with me. BOAT play the Vera Stage on Saturday, July 28th at 7:45pm.

July 24, 2007

Block Party Bands of the (Yester)Day: Speaker Speaker and Mass Sugar

Posted by Megan Seling

I didn’t post the Block Party Band of the Day yesterday because I’m an idiot. I’m sorry. So without further self-deprication, I give you yesterday’s Block Party Bands of the Day: Mass Sugar and Speaker Speaker!

Both bands play the Capitol Hill Block Party Friday evening at 6:30 pm (the Blood Brothers are also playing at 6:30 pm, but they’ve already been the Band of the Day). Mass Sugar’s at the 21+ Neumo’s stage, Speaker Speaker will rock the all-ages Vera stage.


Mass Sugar is the newish project featuring former Green Apple Quick Step frontman Ty Williams. I saw Green Apple Quick Step play the Mercer Arena one time, it was during 107.7 the End’s Deck the Hall Ball. Ty spit on the crowd, the band played “Dizzy,” their hit featured on The Basketball Diaries soundtrack (still love that song), and I was only 16 or 17 years old, but it was awesome. Mass Sugar, though, is not Green Apple Quick Step. Mass Sugar is part acoustic indie rock, part groovy jam band. There are subtle tinges of hippie, but there are also some rock and roll roots, and Ty’s still got a strong frontman presence.

You can hear a few songs on Mass Sugar’s MySpace.

I also saw Jawbreaker play Deck the Hall Ball a couple years prior to GAQS’s appearance. Speaker Speaker recently covered a Jawbreaker song (my favorite, “Do You Still Hate Me”) on their new EP titled We Won’t March. How’s that for a segue?


I’ve already written about Speaker Speaker to death (here and here, for example) so instead of me using my words, I’ll let them use their video.

Two bands. Two stages. Same time. Whachya gonna do about it?

July 22, 2007

Block Party Band of the Day: Viva Voce

Posted by Ari Spool


Viva Voce are soooooo awesome. This is something I have restated about a million times, in different venues, with different words. This married couple from Portland manages to create slow, heavy psychedelia without it souding saccharine or contrived. Plus, they are instrument wizards: Anita plays a double-necked guitar while operating a sampler with her feet and Kevin plays the drums and the bass at the same time when they perform.

Also, Anita sings on the new Shins record and she has a really pretty voice. She will sing for you on Friday night at 9 pm on the Main Stage of the Block Party. You should make sure to be there, they are playing just for you!

(Wanna win tickets to the Block Party? Listen to the Setlist Podcast to find out how to enter.)

July 20, 2007

Block Party Band of the Day: Aesop Rock

Posted by Ari Spool


Aesop Rock is an indie hip hop standby. You already know who he is—the man who stood at the forefront of the crowd back in the early aughts with Labor Days, whose weirdo turbo flow and East Coast provenance differentiated him (and Def Jux) from the pack of Detroit artists making the mainstream (Eminem, etc). Since then, other Def Jux artists have been carving out niches for themselves (RJD2, the Perceptionists, Mr. Lif), but Aesop Rock is still the cornerstone of that shop. His new album, None Shall Pass, is set to be released August 28th, so you can bet he’ll be previewing a lot of its tracks at his Block Party performance.

And you will want to see those tracks for sure. Judging from the title track available on his Myspace page, None Shall Pass is going to be an amazing album. It has lots of crazy guests including the Mountain Goats’ John Darnielle (?!), El-P, Cage, and Camu Tao. Make sure to catch Aesop Rock in all his glory on the Main Stage on Saturday, July 28th, at 6:45 pm. It’s gonna be awesome.

(Wanna win tickets to the Block Party? Listen to the Setlist Podcast to find out how to enter.)

July 19, 2007

D Black

Band of the Day: D.Black
Posted by Megan Seling


Fact 1: D.Black was nominated for the 2006 Seattle Mayor’s award for Excellence in Hiphop.

Fact 2: D.Black is influenced by Jay Z, Notorious Big, and Stevie Wonder.

Fact 3: D.Black’s debut record, The Cause & Effect has sold over 4,500 copies regionally since being released last year.

Fact 4: D.Black will be playing the Capitol Hill Block Party on Friday, June 27, at 7:15 pm. He’ll be at the Vera Project stage. That gives you plenty of time to check him out before going to see the Blue Scholars on the mainstage at 8 pm.

You can check out a few of his tunes at his Bands Page, and a complete schedule of the Block Party is available here.

Blue Scholars at Block Party

Band of the Day: Blue Scholars
Posted by Jonathan Zwickel

If you haven’t gotten hip to Blue Scholars’ blowup record Bayani, now’s the time. These guys—MC Geologic and DJ/producer Sabzi—are the current face of Seattle hiphop. As smart, politically aware, and talented as they are, we couldn’t ask for better ambassadors.

After fairly sleeping on Bayani for a few weeks after its release, I’ve been feeling it fully recently. Same goes with a bunch of friends of mine—hiphop writers in SF and ATL—who hedged a minute but now herald the album as one of 2007’s best.

Yeah, it’s often self-consciously political and didactic, but there’s no denying Geo’s flow and Sabzi’s hard-swinging, brazenly funky production. And look, someone’s gotta be sincere to a fault in 2007, and as educated and articulate as he is, Geo’s the guy to do it.


Geo worked with me on an email interview for next week’s Block Party pullout, and as a sneak peak, here’s a bit that didn’t make it into the print version. This is good shit for all you NW hiphop fans.

Can you talk a bit about longtime fans that decry the move to Rawkus? How do you respond to them? What prompted the decision to move? Can you still maintain your original ideals?

Geo: I would love to address the decrying of our decision to partner with Rawkus. Unfortunately, I have yet to come across any one of those longtime fans. So I can’t really respond to something I’m not hearing. But I am finding that most of the people talking bad about the move weren’t fans to begin with. We struggled with the decision and weighed all options. Rawkus has been supportive and respects what we do outside of the music. We were confident with the deal because we were already solid without it. We educated ourselves enough to know what to protect ourselves from. We’ve been offered shitty distribution contracts before and rejected them all. Plus, this is our third distribution deal.

As for the third question—my ideals aren’t mine alone. I feel that as long as I stay connected with people whose ideals I share (and they check me), I can stay grounded. If at any point I’m faced with something that compromises my principles, I’ll simply not do it. Such as refusing to have our music used to advertise beer.

Blue Scholars play Friday, 8 pm on the Main Stage of Capitol Hill Block Party. Hopefully they’ll bring the Big World Breaks guys as backing band like they did for their record release party at the Showbox. Those guys killed it. Live hiphop done right is one of the thrillingest live experiences ever.

July 18, 2007

Devlin and Darko, DJ Pretty Titty, Franki Chan!

Block Party Band of the Day!
Posted by Eric Grandy

Devlin & Darko, DJ Pretty Titty, DJ Franki Chan


Spank Rock DJs Devlin & Darko’s recent Fabric Live mix CD goes from classic hip hop to Italo disco to Baltimore club to French electro without missing a beat, and so do their live sets.

The consummate party starters will rock the Neumo’s Stage on Saturday, July 28th at 12:00am.

l_4bac8b41b72cffdc0997042c1784ef2a.jpg defines “Pretty Titty” as: 1. A man with hair-less (sic), smooth, soft titties, 2. Identifying a girl who isn’t hot, but has large breasts. DJ Pretty Titty is not an ugly girl with large breats, and he may or may not have smooth, soft titties—you’d have to ask him. But he definitely has a smooth touch on the turntables, and a large virtual record crate full of pop jams and club killers.

Bonus! Here’s a sneak preview of Pretty Titty and Devlin’s new mix, “Sink or Swim,” which will be available in full soon via Sweidish blog Discobelle (this is the Pretty Titty portion):

Pretty Titty & Devlin - “Sink or Swim” (yousendit)


Seattle ex-pat Franki Chan has flourished in LA, throwing numerous hype parties, starting indie label iheartcomix (home to fellow Block Party rockers Matt & Kim), and further honing his populist party rocking DJ style. Expect lots of grinning pop hits and the ghetto blasting Flosstradamus remix of Matt & Kim.

Pretty Titty and Franki Chan play the Neumo’s Stage on Saturday, July 28th at 11:00pm.

See the full Capitol Hill Block Party lineup here.

July 13, 2007

Aesop Rock - new album, free song, promo video

Aesop Rock - new album, free download, promo video

Aesop Rock plays the Capitol Hill Block Party July 28

Check out the title track from his new album available free at

here's the promo video for the new album:

Block Party Band of the Day Gabriel Teodros vs. John Vanderslice

Posted by Jonathan Zwickel on July 2 at 4:39 PM

So! Today Line Out begins the epic, monthlong countdown to Block Party, wherein we highlight a different Block Party band each and every day. Let us begin!

Today we’ve got two bands—Seattle wordsmith Gabriel Teodros and SF tunesmith John Vanderslice—both of whom play at the same damn time in two damn different places. Rent a clone and see both! Or take this test to see whether you’re a Vanderslicer or a Teodrosian.

1. I wear a baggy pants to concerts OR I wear baggy pants to do yoga.
2. I like music with heartfelt, personal lyrics and a beat OR I like music with heartfelt, personal lyrics and acoustic guitar.
3. I’ve got flyers and CDs in my backpack OR I’ve got a vegan cookbook and American Spirits in my shoulder bag.

I’m not really sure where I’m going with this. There’s no reason why you can’t like BOTH and catch half-sets by BOTH and wear baggy pants to concerts AND keep a vegan cookbook and American Spirits in your shoulder bag. Stupid stereotypes.

John Vanderslice plays Saturday, July 28 at 5:30 pm on the Main Stage.

Gabriel Teodros plays Saturday, July 28 at 5:30 on the Neumo’s Stage.

June 17, 2007


Friday June 15 was the first annual Capitol Hill Block Party "Block Star" band contest. 8 judges listened to 8 bands perform 2 songs each. Close to 300 people came through Seattle's Vera Project to support their favorite bands. The 8 finalists raised the bar for the normal band contest and Seattle is definitely blessed with a great group of bands doing an incredible variety of music. This night featured everything from nerd-core hip hop to stoner rock to power pop. But one performer really stood out - PWRFL Power, and he is the 2007 Block Star winner. PWRFL Power is fresh. Weird. Charming. He performs intimate, sweet bizarre songs mixed with great acoustic guitar work.

PWRFL Power moved to Seattle from Japan in 2003, and he's a very special musician. He took the stage with just his acoustic guitar, and by the middle of his second song he had won over the entire audience. I fully recommend you get to The Block Party by 2pm on July 28 to catch PWRFL Power perform on the mainstage. In the meantime, check him out at , though the only way to really get him is to see him live. I really think you'll be hearing about PWRFL Power a lot, lot more, very soon.

The Capitol Hill Block Party is July 27 - 28. Featuring over 45 bands including Spoon, Against Me!, Aesop Rock, Blue Scholars, Blood Brothers, Speaker Speaker, Viva Voce, The Cribs, Mirah, and a ton more. More info at

Tickets for the Block Party are on sale now at or at the Neumo's box office and at Seattle Urban Outfitters with no service charge.

Neumo's hours are 3 PM to 1:30 am.
Neumo's is at
1425 10th AVE.
Seattle, WA 98122

Urban Outfitters

(206) 381-3777

SEATTLE, WA 98102-5078
(206) 322-1800

3000 184TH ST. SW SUITE #810
(425) 774-3285

June 10, 2007

Block Star Contest Finals

In our effort to keep bringing new Seattle bands to the attention of a larger audience, The Capitol Hill Block Party has started our first annual "Block Star" contest. Local bands were able to enter the contest by submitting songs at The Stranger's Band Pages and we received hundreds of entries. Several local music biz folks then picked 8 to go to the next level. These 8 finalists will perform live for the judges this Friday June 15th at The Vera Project. Come out and cheer on your favorite. The winning band will appear on the mainstage at the Capitol Hill Block Party July 28 as well as have their music featured in a national Esurance TV commercial, win a A rehearsal PA featuring TAPCO active rehearsal monitors and an FX mixer, a Verizon "Chocolate" Phone with a $75 Verizon gift certificate, an interview and live performance on 90.3 KEXP's Audioassis, an interview and live performance on 107.7 The End and a feature in The Stranger's Line Out and write up in the Stranger's Block Party Pullout Guide.

June 15
7:30 PM
The VERA Project
The Capitol Hill Block Party "Block Star Contest" Finals
Free :: ALL AGES

Bands Performing:

Lonely Forest
Neezie Pleaze
Optimus Rhyme
Speaker Speaker
The Sutures


- Jonathan Zwickel - Stranger Music Editor
- Melissa Quayle - Programming Director, The Vera Project
- Ben London - Executive Director, The PNW Chapter of The Recording Academy
- Harms - Superstar DJ - 107.7 The End
- Nat Damm - Drummer of Akimbo, Programming Director, The Old Firehouse
- DJ Hyphen - Co-Host of KUBE's "Sunday Night Sound Session"
- Cheryl Water - Midday Host/On-Air Events Coordinator 90.3 KEXP
- John Boudreau - Vice Presidents Mackie & Tapco

June 3, 2007

Even More Bands!


Advance tickets available for $15 at the Neumo's box office and at Seattle Urban Outfitters with no service charge.

Neumo's hours are 3 PM to 1:30 am.
1425 10th AVE. Seattle, WA 98122

Urban Outfitters
DOWNTOWN 1507 5TH AVENUE SEATTLE, WA 98101 (206) 381-3777
BROADWAY MARKET 401 BROADWAY EAST SEATTLE, WA 98102-5078 (206) 322-1800
ALDERWOOD MALL 3000 184TH ST. SW SUITE #810 LYNNWOOD, WA 98037 (425) 774-3285

May 16, 2007

More Bands Announced

Here's what we can announce so far. If you don't see a band listed you saw before, well, they're still playing we just weren't supposed to officially announce them yet...oops!

More bands confirmed for the Block Party, more to come...



Advance tickets at

More bands to be announced by June 1st!

May 1, 2007

The Block Star Band Contest

Enter The Esurance Capitol Hill Block Party's "Block Star" Contest and get your chance to break out of the underground, get national television exposure and get on the radar of all the Seattle tastemakers. The Block Star winner will get the promotion and tools to help them take the next step in their career, or at least get their 15 minutes of fame. Woohoo!

go to for all the details

April 25, 2007


The Stranger, 90.3 KEXP, and 107.7 The End present The Esurance Capitol Hill Block Party 2007

The Block Party is a huge, two-day explosion of bands and a unique combination of Seattle Music Community forces including The Stranger, 90.3 KEXP, 107.7 The End, The Vera Project, Neumo’s, Fuzed Music, Mackie and Home Alive, bringing together over 40 bands on 3 stages into the Northwest’s biggest celebration of independent music, art and progressive culture. Partial proceeds from The Block Party benefit Home Alive and The Vera Project. The Vendor section is made up of local independent businesses, indie crafts people, local artists, and various non-profit and political groups. All this takes place on Capitol Hill in Seattle at Pike and Broadway.

BLOCK PARTY 2007 Dates Announced: Friday and Saturday Nights, July 27- 28 2007 will be the best and biggest Block Party yet! Doors open at 3:00 pm on Friday, 1:00 pm on Saturday. The outdoor stages run until 11pm, inside until 2am.



On the Vera Stage: Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head, Speaker Speaker, Boat, Talbot Tagora, Little Party and the Bad Business, Kane Hodder, The Cops

Over 25 more bands to be announced May 16!

Tickets: General onsale starts Friday April 20 at 10:00 am. Get your tickets now, last year sold out in advance. Tickets at

VENDORS: Applications are now being accepted for vendors at the 2007 Block Party. We are looking for local independent businesses, indie arts and crafts, original art, local designer clothes, progressive non-profit groups, and anyone who has unique and original items to sell and wants to be part of the best music festival in the Northwest. The Block Party was the first NW music festival to promote the Indie Craft Scene and to provide a platform for all sorts of local indie crafters to show and sell their work. We support local DIY music, arts and politics. We’re low cover, low charge for vendor spaces, even less for non-profits, and give a portion of our profits to support Home Alive and The Vera Project. Go to for Vendor Applications

"Seattle's biggest plunge into pop culture...The Capitol Hill Block Party is the rock-music community's most prestigious showcase." - The Seattle Times

"This isn't your parents' neighborhood festival....The two-day festival celebrating the music and culture of Capitol Hill ...has grown into a vibrant community event packed with live performances by some of Seattle's best young rock bands." - The Seattle PI

From Our Block Party Pullout War Without Bloodshed

War Without Bloodshed

Against Me! and Blue Scholars: Two Sides of One Revolution

It Takes Two

It Takes Two

Girl Talk and TSK Make a Thing Go Right

We Are Us

We Are Us

PWRFL POWER Interviews Himself

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