Gazebos' Shannon Perry. Ernie Sapiro


(Friday, Vera Stage, 9:30 pm)

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At their October 2014 Neumos show, Toronto trio BADBADNOTGOOD inspired crowd-surfing, mass jumping, shouts of "You fucking rule," and clapping rapidly on the beat for a Flying Lotus cover... on a Tuesday night. I came away from that performance thinking that BADBADNOTGOOD could be the future of jazz, a genre that could certainly use some vibrant new energy. Somehow, BBNG are driving hiphop kids and electronic-music fiends wild with keyboards, bass, and drums played fluently in soul-jazz idioms that flourished in the 1960s and '70s. Listen: You can see what collaborators Ghostface Killah and Earl Sweatshirt hear in BBNG's soulful, off-kilter funk. (DAVE SEGAL)


(Sunday, Vera Stage, 6:10 pm)

I mean, in a sense, duh. It shouldn't surprise anyone to see the Stranger Genius Award nominees on any must-see list, especially since they've been racking up the acclaim for their triumphant second record, Time to Go Home. But also, they actually ARE home, and it's going to be good to see how all the touring they've been doing— including two weeks opening for Courtney Barnett recently—has affected their live prowess. More international tours are on the horizon, so who knows when you'll get a chance to see them again. Don't be a sucker. (SEAN NELSON)


(Sunday, Cha Cha, 7:30 pm)

While you're watching Shannon and the Clams, don't forget that there's yet another wonderful Shannon playing over at the Cha Cha—Shannon Perry, lead singer of Gazebos. (Try to run back and forth between their sets.) Her voice is like its own strange percussion instrument, bouncing off at odd angles on the edges of the beat, switching between melody and spoken-word intervals. When Gazebos played the Sunset Tavern's 15th-anniversary show, Perry closed their set by belting a face-melting rendition of "There Are Worse Things I Could Do" from Grease. Let's hope the group hauls it out again to close this year's Block Party. (LINDSAY HOOD)


(Friday, Main Stage, 7:45 pm)

There's gonna be good times (at this set). Every track off Jamie xx's first solo record, In Colour, evokes the image of the young artist sitting in his room, flipping through his record collection, absorbed in sound. I know that sounds romantic, but so does the record. Each sample is so well-placed that only someone who treasured this music could have positioned them just so. (Plus, he's spreading the joy of Popcaan's beautiful, rich velvet blanket of a voice.) Jamie xx has been getting a lot of attention this year—he recently scored a ballet called Tree of Codes as well—and it's obvious that the organizers wanted to snag our attention with a strong lineup on the first day. It worked—I'm pretty eager to watch him spin. (LINDSAY HOOD)


(Sunday, Main Stage, 4:45 pm)

Due to her ongoing battle with Lyme disease, Kathleen Hanna's public appearances are few and far between these days. When she shows up, in whatever guise she has chosen—original Oly punk, new wave, electroclash, pop, lo-fi, or lecture tour—it's not to be missed. Respect is always due. Will she croon love songs like "Just My Kind" and reject screaming neediness on "Oh Come On"? Maybe if we're lucky, she'll throw back to Le Tigre, or even further to Bikini Kill? Why are we even talking about this? Just get thee to the Main Stage for the Julie Ruin's late-afternoon set. (LINDSAY HOOD)


(Saturday, Vera Stage, 2 pm)

The Capitol Hill Block Party has evolved into a massively electronic and DJ-leaning event, which only makes sense when you consider how much people love to be uncomfortable nowadays. But still. Not to be all old, but it should be a dazzling spectacle to see these noise veterans (can it really have been 17 years since they first started playing shows in town?) plant the flag of dissonant guitars and powerful human rhythm in the gentrified earth of our dying-by-thriving neighborhood. There are many great rock bands scattered across this weekend (and plenty of great non-rock non-bands, too). But consider the source, consider the site, and spare an hour for Kinski. Your ringing ears won't thank you, but the rest of your body will. (SEAN NELSON)


(Saturday, Vera Stage, 7:15 pm)

Before he formed Meatbodies, Chad Ubovich—a clutch figure in the thriving Los Angeles underground-rock ecosphere—finessed himself into Mikal Cronin's band as a guitarist. Then, he maneuvered into Fuzz as a bassist, where he met scene kahuna Ty Segall. Segall took a liking to Ubovich's own explosive recordings, and in 2013 released the Chad and the Meatbodies cassette on his God? imprint via Drag City. Some of those tracks made it onto the turbo-charged 2014 Meatbodies LP; its 12 instantly catchy songs merge garage rock, glam, psychedelia, and punk with a Segall-ian swagger and a White Fence­like tendency for the poised freak-out. (DAVE SEGAL)


(Friday, Vera Stage, 8:15 pm)

Detroit rock foursome Protomartyr have mastered the art of the casual anthem. Joe Casey's glum, blunt vocals split the difference between Ian Curtis and Mark E. Smith, slouching over the band's post-punk guitar truculence in songs that are in no hurry to artfully klang your brain. On their 2014 Hardly Art Records debut, Under Color of Official Right, Protomartyr inject more urgency into their mordant attack, but even as the tempo increases, the band's music carries an intractable downcastness, the sort of catalytic despondency that comes from living in a place as plagued with problems as the Motor City. There's nowhere to go but up in a Protomartyr song. (DAVE SEGAL)


(Friday, Main Stage, 5:15 pm)

When's the last time a hiphop album made more sense heard on a high-quality stereo through plush headphones and by oneself on clean LSD? That would be when Shabazz Palaces' Lese Majesty came out in 2014. Palaceer Lazaro and Tendai Maraire—with production help from Erik Blood—keep it ever-surreal, drawing as much inspiration from OG rappers Last Poets as they do from astral-jazz innovator Sun Ra. Seattle's premier hiphop group has transcended funk and opted for an amoeboid and sidereal approach that's sly and stoned. That they can translate their studio wizardry to the stage is a true wonder. (DAVE SEGAL)

Support The Stranger


(Sunday, Vera Stage, 7:30 pm)

While Father John Misty plays the Main Stage, Shannon Shaw and her merry band of mollusks will be gracing the Vera Stage. No disrespect to Honeybear, but they've pitted his set time against a badass leading lady, and my loyalties must lie with her. I suggest you spread the love. Elongated bass notes, frilly guitar riffs, and a light touch on the drum set accompany their tales of woe. (LINDSAY HOOD)

For full details on the weekend's lineup, check out our complete Capitol Hill Block Party guide.

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