Sunday, August 21, 2011

Capitol Hill Block Party: Friday

I'm very late getting material from the Capitol Hill Block Party posted, sorry about that. It was a great festival/party and I saw many good bands, but I didn't do a very good job getting videos and photos.

On Friday I took my nice digital SLR, but not my Flip video camera. The digital SLR takes great pictures and good videos, except that the mic does NOT handle loud music well. as a result some of the videos can be pretty much un-listenable.

I'll go ahead and run through what I saw and use the material I ended up with, anyway.

I saw (or mostly heard) Grave Babies and Boat playing on the Vera stage while I was working at the Vera Project booth, so I didn't get any video or photos, but I enjoyed both bands.

The first band I recorded was Fucked Up (that's the bands name, not a description).
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Here's a video of them doing Crooked Head:

They use a triple guitar, bass and drums lineup. The vocals are pretty much screamed over the top, resulting in a loud and obnoxious sound that I enjoyed. The audio distorts to some degree, but you can sorta hear what it was like. Nice energetic set, had the crowd moving.

I managed to catch Skarp on the Vera Stage, they were enjoyable and loud.
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Unfortunately the video is pretty much unlistenable. Too bad!

I saw Craft Spells, second time I've seen them, they're getting more attention & seem to be blowing up to some degree. Didn't manage to get any video, just photos for them.
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We did manage to save Metro, so I'll post this photo in honor of that accomplishment:
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Somewhere in there I saw the Yarn Owls and the Wheelies, liked them both, especially the Wheelies. I was to late getting into the venue and it's a small flat space, so the photos aren't very good. For example, I'm not even sure who this is:
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No video either.

Back at the Vera booth, the kids were digging the bubbles and chalk:
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Thurston Moore played on the mainstage, interesting sound. He played an acoustic guitar and they had a fiddle player too.

Ra Ra Riot played the mainstage, interesting sound with a violin and a cello on top of the usual guitar and drums.

I caught Sol on the Vera Stage, solid hip hop with nice backing musicians on bass and vocals.
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Short video from his performance, he really works the crowd:

The Constant Lovers were one of the few bands I got close enough to at the Cha Cha to actually get some good photos:
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I enjoyed the Constant Lovers, they were loud, distorted and fairly fast with a heavy beat. The video of their performance sounds better than most, they didn't quite overdrive the bass as much.

Caught a bit of the Head and the Heart on the mainstage, here's a brief video:

I've seen the Head and the Heart several times now, they sure blew up quickly!

Shad put on an excellent set at the Vera Stage:

I think this is Shad playing guitar too:
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The last band I "saw" at the Capitol Hill Block Party on Friday was Absolute Monarchs, I like their sound. Loud, beat heavy, distorted guitars, lyrics that you can almost make out. Good stuff!

Once again, getting to the Cha Cha stage late means I can't see the band much, I could here them though.

The music wasn't over for the night, though. I had to leave a little early (missed Ghostland Observatory and THEESatisfaction, too bad, but I had to catch a bus home) and there was a full brass band playing on the sidewalk outside the block party. I've always been a sucker for brass music (Tower of Power kicks ass!) and these guys were playing complex arrangements with many instruments, pretty cool for a free street performance. Their sign says they're "The Ten Man Brass Band"

Further down Pine (or was it Pike?) there was a dude playing acoustic guitar and singing, I shot a bit of him playing too:

Quite a bit of interesting music for one day at the block party, wish I had better video for more of them but I sure enjoyed the performances.

By my count that's 16 bands in one day. Hopefully I learned a few lessons: always bring my Flip, it consistently does a better job capturing audio. Also, blog about shows quickly afterwards, or I'll forget stuff. I enjoyed many of the bands, but a month later the details are fuzzy. I probably saw another band or two, but if I didn't get a photo or video then I'm not sure I'll remember who I saw.

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