Swirly shoegazer sounds, fuzzy overdrive effects, and a tinge of the glam aesthetic give this local four-piece an impression of imminent international popularity. Saturday, 12:15-1 pm.

This duo, comprising Kento Oiwa and Michiko Swiggs, never fails to mesmerize audiences with its inventive mix of electronic textures. The two incorporate theremin with synchronized beats and live instrumentation as well as lovely amounts of fuzz and wry vocals. Saturday, 1:30-2:15 pm.

Between the thrift-store costumes and the band's obsession with lyrics about both the supernatural (witch hunts, space guitars) and the everyday (playing parties, taking back the alley), the Spits have risen in popularity to become one of the most talented and entertaining (if volatile) punk bands Seattle has to offer. Saturday, 2:45-3:45 pm.

USE are the reigning kings (and queens) of the burgeoning local movement known as spaz-core. Their energy is explosive and infectious, and they have sex appeal. Saturday, 4:15- 5:15 pm.

The masters of moody pop music about love's ultimate impossibility return from their epic travels to grace the Block Party once more. No one knows what the lineup will be, only that it will be killer. Saturday, 5:45-6:30 pm.

Although Pretty Girls Make Graves comprises former members of Death Wish Kids, Murder City Devils, Kill Sadie, and Sharks Keep Moving, they're a band with a unique sound of their own. They combine punk attitude with a melodic yet tough rock edge and vocals that could teach lessons to aspiring singers--while still sounding sweet--thanks to charismatic frontwoman Andrea Zollo. Saturday, 7-8 pm.

The shadow of Sir Mix-A-Lot is in the mind of every MC in this city. There's no way around him; he was the first local rapper to achieve national fame, and for many years he and those who were fortunate to be in his crew (Kid Sensation, for example) dominated the local hiphop scene. Ultimately, Sir Mix-A-Lot gave hiphop "My Posse's on Broadway," and gave the world "Baby Got Back." Saturday, 8:30-10 pm.

While originally based in keyboard-driven prog and '70s guitar rock, Cobra High's newest songs take on a sound informed by early Magazine, Japan, and the syncopation of Roxy Music (loaded up with Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, and Can, even). Imagine some ELO mixed in, too, and you'll understand this complicated but totally accessible four-piece. Sunday, 2-2:45 pm.

Pile-driven power pop curbed by smart melodies and equally smart lyrics, the Divorce have almost reinvented themselves with a tightness and power that was lacking a year ago. If you haven't seen this band lately, you haven't seen them at all. Sunday, 3:15-4 pm.

The Seattle quintet (and their outsized charisma) celebrate the release of their new CD, Devil Takes His Turn, at this afternoon performance. The 13-song album finds the band charging through their raucous mix of jump blues, country swing, and rockabilly with the gale force of men on a very definite mission. Sunday, 4:30-5:30 pm.

Drum 'n' bass has a whole new meaning with this heavyweight duo. Featuring Jared Warren (Tight Bros from Way Back When, the Whip) and Coady Willis (Murder City Devils, Dead Low Tide, Broadcast Oblivion), these guys smack you with the business end of an aesthetic that steamrolls both metal and hard rock on the opening riffs. Sunday, 6-6:45 pm.

That the Blood Brothers aren't a household name across the country by now is a fucking shame. The compelling avant-hardcore act continues to branch out beyond their punk roots and grow into new genre-busting areas, adding elements like piano and glockenspiel to further texturize their complex sound. Sunday, 7:15-8 pm.

For nearly two decades, the Melvins have been bludgeoning the faithful with slow, sludgy, fucked-out-of-their-heads drone. If God had indigestion, this is what Divine Upset would sound like--crass, ugly, uncomfortable, yet so fascinating and beyond normal human comprehension you can't completely wrap your head around it. Although the band no longer resides in the Northwest, without them that little grunge movement might never have happened. Sunday, 8:30-10 pm.


After hearing the Mines record The Way the Wind Whips the Water, it makes a lot of sense that the band is originally from Missoula. Like the Montana landscapes, their sound is expansive and quiet but gets beautiful with hints of intensity lingering in surprising places. Sunday, 5:15-6 pm.

Blue Sky Mile is a fury of rock that can go from turbulent to melodic within the course of one song. Their live shows are getting increasingly more energetic while their songs are getting more intricate with layers of sounds--so if you liked 'em before, you'll like them even more now. Saturday, 6:30-7:15 pm.


Beneath all the noise, chaos, falling down, screaming out, and saxophone bleats lies the heart of Tractor Sex Fatality, a band that loves making a commotion as overwhelming and transfixing as their movements during their live act. TSF's sound is so saturating that silence is a shock after hearing them perform. Saturday, 7:45-8:30 pm.


This new band features a waifish frontwoman who not only resembles Pat Benatar in looks, but also can belt out lyrics with the same kind of fierceness. She performs amidst a background that blends indie rock with power pop. Saturday, 9-9:45 pm.

If you're not down with a radical rock storm that's influenced by everything from Harvey Danger to Botch, then fine, you aren't gonna like Kane Hodder. But you should go watch 'em anyway because charismatic frontman Andrew Moore redefines the term "sex symbol." Hot. Saturday, 10:15-11 pm.

Never have so few made so much out of so little. This lean trio rocks harder than the average post-punk band, with a sound so spare you could stab it 10 times and miss, and lyrics so smart you could read them. Amazing! Saturday, 11:30-12:15 pm.

What does a Fastback do when the Young Fresh Fellows call it quits once and for all? If he's Kurt Bloch, he starts this band, which sounds suspiciously exactly like everything he's ever done. And that, dear readers, is a compliment. Saturday, 12:45-1:30 pm.

With twitchy, itchy guitar lines and distorted, underwater vocals, the Blank-Its could be a small Seattle spore from the Pixies; one that was left to grow up among garage bands so it mixes in some of that roughness with its catchy post-punk rave-ups. Sunday, 5:15-6 pm.

Black Belt's post-hardcore act will kick your ass. Their sound is tough and sassy (but not sissy sassy, more like rebellious sassy) with convulsive guitars bouncing around quick, sharp drumbeats and gruff vocals. After they play, you'll be hearing a lot of this: "Who the hell were they?" "I dunno, dude, but they were rad as hell!" "Totally!" Sunday, 7:45-8:30 pm.

Politics and punk become fast friends in this dynamic, Clash- and Social Distortion-influenced act. Like their musical granddaddies, the band throws enough pop elements into the music (sing-song choruses, chanted lyrics) to keep things upbeat, even when the message is challenging the system. Sunday, 9-9:45 pm.

Two lesbians in love with hiphop and one another turn performance into both an art and a sport. With catchy ditties about humping money (and one another), their wit, style, and dance floor beats often charm the pants off everyone listening. Sunday, 10:15-11 pm.

There's nothing understated about the Girls--not their live shows, their affection for the Cars, or the fact that there's not a female among them (although they have been known to sport eyeliner). The band has changed its sound a lot in the past year, adding keyboards and more of a pop influence to their boisterous glam punk sound. Sunday, 11:30 pm-12:15 am.


Young and adorable, yes, but these two sisters have one other important attribute: chops. Smoosh are becoming a very solid pop duo, as their freshly minted LP, She Like Electric, can attest. They're great live, too. Saturday, 1 pm.

Constant Plan B member James van Leuven uses live drums and manipu-lated sounds created by keyboards--both the traditional kind and those of a laptop computer--usually accompanied by film footage and the occasional foray onto the floor to show off some breakdancing moves. Saturday, 2 pm.

Beyond Reality is one of the very few (if not only) serious female MCs in the Seattle area. Her raps are politically charged and packed with the kind of energy that gets the people out of their seats and into the heart of the revolution. She performs infrequently, so this is a great chance to see an MC who deservers more exposure and much respect. Saturday, 4 pm.

Onry Ozzborn is a member of the buzz-making Grayskul, which recently signed to Rhymesayers (a Minneapolis-based indie hiphop label). Ozzborn's two solo CDs (Alone, The Grey Area) were released by the now-defunct One Drop, and he has the distinction of being a central member of the much-admired Oldominion crew, whose universe of rappers and DJs sprawls across the Pacific Northwest like a shimmering nightmare. Saturday, 5 pm.

Geologic and Sabzi make up one of the most exciting crews to recently take shape in the ever-expanding realm of local hiphop. Geologic offers intelligent raps; Sabzi offers dazzling beats. And what more would one want out of a crew than that? Saturday, 6 pm.

People don't speak of Nat Damm as one of Seattle's powerhouse drummers for no reason. Akimbo's stickman is one of the 10-ton anchors weighing the sound of this metal/hardcore hybrid deep into gigantic (at times instrumental) oceans of song. Saturday, 7 pm.

Good looks and hard energy never hurt anyone (unless you count feelings), but these guys have weathered the hype parade and come out rocking. You've seen them, but not lately, so put down that vegan hot dog. Saturday, 8 pm.

Vibrant and sassy, the members of Vancouver five-piece the Red Light Sting are a sight to behold live if you revel in youthful energy and/or music impossible to categorize because it spins and samples genres like an 11-year-old with ADHD. Rock, new wave, electroclash, hardcore... you name it and you'll probably hear it sometime during the set, if only for a quicksilver second. Saturday, 9 pm.

The story goes like this: This teenage Bellingham duo released an impressive debut record with sounds nodding to such acts as Radiohead and Muse. Not long after, the young men were picked up by Reprise, and now the label is going to re-release the record later this fall, with plans to shoot the boys into superstar status. And it'll probably work, too, because they're that good. Sunday, 1 pm.

The Senate Arcade beef up indie rock with more aggressive guitars and melodic but dark and forceful vocals. The wall of sound they create seems like too much for only three guys, but there really are only three of them. Maybe they're magic. Sunday, 2 pm.

This is one of your last chances to hear these catchy, ADHD-rhythmed punks, as the Popular Shapes' singer is moving to San Francisco. Blending absurd humor with spastic hooks, the band will have left an impressive local following in their wake. Sunday, 4 pm.

Sooner or later, a lot of rappers surrender to the seduction of rock. Sir Mix-A-Lot is no exception to this rule, and the band Outtasite is the means by which he fuses his rap/rock desires. Apparently, one of Outtasite's songs, "High Powered," is featured on "Project Gotham Racing 2" (X-Box); the band's brand of delirium can also be heard on Sir Mix-A-Lot's recent CD, Daddy's Home. Sunday, 5 pm.

The Catch is an all-girl band with a tough yet playful smarty-pants attitude that peppers its romantically inclined songs with the fearless and free tone of a giggly, alcohol-fueled slumber party. Sunday, 6 pm.

This female-fronted modern rock act showcases a singer who can move from a dusky-throated delivery to a calculating come-on in a matter of seconds. Astrayas' music edges toward the harder side of the rock spectrum, but they still incorporate plenty of melody into the mix. Sunday, 7 pm.

If I were in charge of band slogans, BlöödHag's would be "Maximum D&D." They combine sci-fi and metal in doses meant to inflict both pain and pedagogy on unwitting listeners. You go for the rock, but in the immortal words of Bill Cosby, "If you're not careful, you just might learn something." Sunday, 8 pm.

While Schoolyard Heroes' recent release, The Funeral Sciences, sounds like everything you ever dreamed operatic monster music could be, the main attraction at their live shows has to be lead singer Ryann Donnelly's awesome dance moves. Who knew rag dolls had such an astonishing lung capacity? Sunday, 9 pm.


As one of the Block Party's newer acts, think of Dalmatians as younger stepsiblings of the Fitness. While the former isn't directly derivative, the bands are connected by a knack for giving the indie dance movement a strong punk swipe, although Dalmatians also add a playful, unpolished garage-rock vibe in there as well. Saturday, 4:30 pm.

Proving that two guys and a whole lot of electronic equipment can make just as much noise as any rock band, Black:Japan elevate the experimental knob-twiddling genre to new highs. Their music is less about agitation than it is the deep rhythmic grooves buried under layers of scrambled sonic texture. Saturday, 6 pm.

Fankick isn't a band, it's a duo. Er, they're a duo. A street performance duo, actually. And these two fabulous young ladies are armed with massive amounts of energy and neon-colored attire so they can dance their way into your hearts. Saturday, 7 pm.

Best described as crazy karaoke punk, this hybrid blues/gospel/soul offspring offers frontman Mark Heimer's best Tasmanian Devil impersonation while his wife Andrea "plays" the "Soul System." An act that must be witnessed in the flesh to be believed. Sunday, 3 pm.

Seattle's premier jump-rope performance-art troupe jumps on the double-dutch bus to show their skill with the ropes. Sunday, 4 pm.

This punk jazz act, featuring guitar whiz Bill Horist, adventurous alto saxophonist Wally Shoup, and talented drummer Mike Peterson, turns free jazz into a continuous sonic experiment. Sunday, 4:30 pm.

Gentle pop sung by the sprightly Jen Wood, whose frail songs are fleshed out shrewdly by this newish configuration. Fresh from a Japan tour (followed by Wood's stint as a touring member of Aveo), the JWT ought to be a cooling breeze at this party. Sunday, 6:30 pm.


The moves that the nine breakdancers in Circle of Fire throw on a floor are fluid, supple, and always shifting. The dancers don't so much move as morph, perpetually, from one shape into another. If the first generation of breakers were robots designed by NASA, then the new generation are genetically engineered freaks designed by Gattaca Corporation. With graffiti art demonstration from Know Talent Group; Saturday and Sunday, check tent for schedule.