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13 Bands You Should See At Sasquatch 2010


The 2010 Sasquatch Festival line-up was announced last week and after perusing the list a few times, I started to hone in on who the hot bands will (or, better yet, should) be. Now, festivals for me are all about camping out at a stage for several bands before moving on to another, but I figured I’d throw that trend to the wind for this post. My second disclaimer; before you point out that I’m recommending the small folk, understand that I also tend to shun the big guns — those artists it seems like EVERYONE will be seeing.

Yeah, you won’t see Pavement on this list (though that would definitely be a band to see!), nor will you find MGMT or Band Of Horses, LCD Soundsystem or Broken Social Scene; you won’t see Ween or Massive Attack or My Morning Jacket — though all would be more than worthy picks. While the hoards of crowds pack their sweaty selves tight for those bands, I’d recommend slipping off to see one or more of these thirteen artists.

So here are the bands I recommend catching at Sasquatch this year, in alphabetical order… ’cause that’s just how I roll.

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1. Avi Buffalo

One of a slew of new artists on the Sub Pop label, Avi Buffalo is set to make waves this year as they release their self-titled debut LP. In December we got a taste of what was to come with “What’s In It For”, the first single from that album. Their sunny southwest pop has within it hints of the country, of intense heat and a laid-back lazy southern feel: a perfect tenor for Sasquatch. Avi Buffalo hits in April, just in time to learn all the lyrics before Festival begins.

Avi Buffalo: What’s In It For? [mp3]
[audio:100222-avi-buffalo-whats-in-it-for.mp3|titles=What’s In It For?|artists=Avi Buffalo]

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2. Caribou

I’ve been dreaming of seeing “Melody Day” live since its release on Andorra in 2007. That wild schizophrenic psychedelic percussion is simply to die for, and knowing Caribou has a new one ready to drop (also in April) means catching Dan Snaith, Mr. doctorate in mathematics himself, live all the more tempting. “Odessa”, off Swim, is a bit different from what you’ll find on Andorra. Solid stuff, this. Download “Odessa” and sign up for Caribou updates over at Caribou.FM.

Caribou: Odessa [mp3]

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Edward Sharpe And The Magnetic Zeroes

3. Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes

I cannot wait to see where Edward Sharpe And The Magnetic Zeroes goes with this whole feature length film thing they’re doing, based around last year’s Up From Below. It began with the breathtaking “Desert Song” and continued with “Kisses Over Babylon”. Up From Below was a shocking album from 2009 in that it’s absolutely amazing. This is the sound that you always wanted from Devendra Banhart, but that he only seemed to highlight in one or two singles per album. And Up From Below is chalk packed full of it!

Edward Sharpe And The Magnetic Zeroes: 40 Day Dream [mp3]
[audio:100222-edward-sharpe-40-day-dream.mp3|titles=40 Day Dream|artists=Edward Sharpe And The Magnetic Zeroes]

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4. Freelance Whales

Listening to the two “Generator” tracks, “First Floor” and “Second Floor” respectively, one is treated to calming, soothing sounds complimented by a backwoods banjo and plenty of laid back experimental pop. It reminds me a bit of Electric President, but with much more instrumentation and a lot more going on all around.

Freelance Whales: Generator First Floor [mp3]
[audio:100222-freelance-whales-generator-first-floor.mp3|titles=Generator First Floor|artists=Freelance Whales]

Freelance Whales: Generator Second Floor [mp3]
[audio:100222-freelance-whales-generator-second-floor.mp3|titles=Generator Second Floor|artists=Freelance Whales]

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Fresh Espresso

5. Fresh Espresso

I like the sound of this. Dubbed as Glam Pop Hip Hop, the rhymes are sure to flow; and with a name like Fresh Espresso, Sasquatch audiences are sure to imbibe on this Seattle band’s tasty beats. Fresh Espresso isn’t my typical recommendation, but it’s hard to not get swept up in the brilliance this duo creates. Their debut album, Glamour is available now over at Fresh Espresso.

Fresh Espresso: 885 Big Or Small [mp3]
[audio:100222-fresh-espresso-885-big-or-small.mp3|titles=885 Big Or Small|artists=Fresh Espresso]

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6. Girls

I didn’t much care for Girls the first time I heard them. “Hellhole Ratrace” was the exception; the single, I thought, was absolutely brilliant. But with time, I came around to the rest of the songs on Album, starting with “Lust For Life” and “Laura” and continuing to “Summertime” and “Lauren Marie”. The album went on to be fairly high on my top 50 of 2009. With a sound as fun as that produced by Girls, they’re a definite group to catch as they hit the stage at Sasquatch.

Girls: Hellhole Ratrace [mp3]
[audio:100222-girls-hellhole-ratrace.mp3|titles=Hellhole Ratrace|artists=Girls]

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7. The Lonely Forest

I could drive 20 miles west and see The Lonely Forest play in their hometown, if their hometown still had a good music venue. If you frequent this site, you probably noticed my week-long coverage of Dept. of Safety’s final show featuring Microphones, among others. The Lonely Forest is also from Anacortes, and their sounds are probably the most accessible and contemporary on this list, but I don’t give a crap. I’d still see this band live at Sasquatch because, well, they rock.

The Lonely Forest: We Sing In Time [mp3]
[audio:100222-lonely-forest-we-sing-in-time.mp3|titles=We Sing In Time|artists=The Lonely Forest]

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8. The Low Anthem

With wispy oft falsetto vocals and airy, old-time folk, The Low Anthem is one of the quieter artists on this year’s Sasquatch roster. But that doesn’t mean they should be discounted; there’s a special sort of power behind the folk songs this band creates. From the minimal single “Charlie Darwin” to the varied instrumentation in “Ohio”, and on through the sing-along “OMGCD”, this band has the mesmerizing qualities that draw the listener in wholeheartedly.

The Low Anthem: Charlie Darwin [mp3]
[audio:091014-the_low_anthem-charlie_darwin.mp3|titles=Charlie Darwin|artists=The Low Anthem]

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9. Phantogram

One of the latest additions to the Barsuk roster, Phantogram‘s dark beats are most excellent. Their self-titled EP from 2009 was packed with several great songs, a few of which found their way onto the track list of their debut LP, Eyelid Movies. The album hits this week.

Phantogram: When I’m Small [mp3]
[audio:100222-phantogram-when-im-small.mp3|titles=When I’m Small|artists=Phantogram]

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10. Quasi

Early 2006 was the last time Quasi gave us an album. In all honesty, I thought the band had, well, disbanded. But they hadn’t. Far from it. This week they’re releasing American Gong on Domino and Kill Rock Stars. From what I’ve heard of the new album, it capitalizes on that rough 90s indie rock sound. There’s plenty of noisy guitars, coarse emotive
vocals, and sloppy loud drums in “Repulsion”. And “Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouller” removes much of the noise for a sound a bit more chill. Perfect for a hot, sweaty day packed with music.

Quasi: Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouller [mp3]
[audio:100222-quasi-laissez-les-bon-temps-rouller.mp3|titles=Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouller|artists=Quasi]

Quasi: Repulsion [mp3]

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11. Telekinesis

Telekinesis‘s Michael Lerner has come a long way since his humble days as a local favorite, a mere year ago. Telekinesis went on to yield nationwide exposure thanks to its Merge Records release, and it was lauded by many of today’s most read blogs and music sites.

Telekinesis: Coast Of Carolina [mp3]
[audio:100222-telekinesis-coast-of-carolina.mp3|titles=Coast Of Carolina|artists=Telekinesis]

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12. tUnE-YarDs

I missed tUnE-YarDs‘ LP BiRd-BrAiNs when it was released last year, and for that I am sorry. It would have easily made my top 50 of the year, thanks to lo-fi DIY psychedelic folk-pop sensibilities. Mix in a 60s tripping-on-acid sound, and dip it in a modern dose of experimentation, and you’ll get the brilliance behind tUnE-YarDs. This band is a definite must-catch at Sasquatch.

tUnE-YarDs: SUNLIGHT [mp3]

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13. WHY?

Eskimo Snow made my top 10 albums of 2009, and it’s easy to hear why. (Pun wasn’t originally intended, but it wouldn’t be as affective without it.) Jonathan “Yoni” Wolf is a master wordsmith, and WHY?‘s hip-hop meets indie rock can be summed up with a single, simple word: perfect.

WHY?: This Blackest Purse [mp3]
[audio:100222-why-this-blackest-purse.mp3|titles=This Blackest Purse|artists=WHY?]

4 thoughts on “13 Bands You Should See At Sasquatch 2010”

  1. A few updates that came out today…

    1. The Low Anthem is getting ready to release a 7-inch for “Charlie Darwin”, simply titled “Darwin”.

    2. The Lonely Forest just signed to the new major label imprint of Chris Walla (Death Cab For Cutie), Trans.

  2. great list – totally entranced by that 40 Day Dream song from Edward Sharpe, which has been on repeat since listing here. nice to see Fresh Espresso make the list (great band name).

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