Tomten, Photo via Facebook

Have you bought your wristband for Seattle’s annual City Arts Festival yet? Since City Arts Fest is taking over Seattle’s best venues and showcasing incredibly exciting talent, wristbands, access passes, and single show tickets are selling out left and right, so snag yours NOW here. Take a peek at my suggestions below, but really, take a look at the full schedule here– there is more great music tonight than I could possibly reveal.

Tomten, The Crocodile 8-8:30

Tomten, Photo via Facebook

I am a sucker for 107.7 The End’s Locals Only show on Sunday nights, hosted by the Stranger’s Megan Seling. A few months back as I was trying to parallel park in a tiny spot on Capitol Hill, she played a song that distracted me so much I may have had to do a 12 point turn into the space. Tomten was the band, and the young band is making music that’s captivating and sweet, but sort of hard to place. It’s reminiscent of the dreamy 60s, the sort of thing you’d hear on the Wonder Years. Start your night with this band, and don’t try to parallel park while listening to them. You’ll embarrass yourself.


A Fine Frenzy, The Moore 8:30-9:30

Singer songwriters should be able to do two things: take you back to the moment of your most intense heartache- at the end of a song leave you feeling like a broken shell. Then, a song later, she should be able to light faces with smiles so wide you might as well be in a toothpaste add. That is why A Fine Frenzy is such a timeless performer, what I just described is her bread and butter album after album. With a brand new release after far too long away from the studio, A Fine Frenzy showcases what she does best in the album Pines. Her voice is just as sweet as her fans will remember, but her content is more mature and will resonate incredibly in the historic Moore Theater. The single ‘Avalanches’ is below, and fall in love with her melodies all over again.

Lemolo, The Triple Door 9:15-10:15 *Almost Sold Out*

Seattle loves these girls. And after you see them live, you’ll understand why all eyes have been on them for a few months now, and what all the fuss is about. Their showcase at City Arts Fest has already sold out once, but they just yesterday released a handful more tickets. This is one of the shows where you need to be a single show ticket, so do so here. Now. This is one that is sure to sell out again in the immediate future. Meagan Grandall and Kendra Cox are Kitsap natives, and they compliment each other on stage so well they don’t use words between themselves. Seemingly they’re telepathic, because not only can they read each other, but they know how to read a crowd just as well and manage to consistently win over any person in range of their speakers. In terms of songwriting, you would think they’d been writing for decades- their melodies are strike a precarious balance of being dramatic yet subtle. They hold their ground and their music is pure magic. If you’re able to get tickets to this, consider yourself one of the luckiest attendees of the fest.

SSION, The Rendezvous 10:30-11:30

SSION, Photo via Facebook

It’s very likely that SSION (pronounced Shun) will be the sweatiest, raunchiest show of Thursday night, as I’m positive the Rendezvous will pack their tiny theater with people ready to dance hard. Take the time to sample the electro-pop, and if you’re not tempted to break into a hip shaking, hormone heavy break-down, you’re not listening to their music loud enough. Under the same management as Gossip, this show promises to be as much fun as it will be theatrical. The lyrics to each song are fun and flirtatious, and the beats are classic without being tired. Get to Belltown Thursday night, and wear something that glitters.

Ghostland Observatory, The Laserdome 11:15-12:15 *Tickets Available Here*

Hands down, the Pacific Science Center’s Laserdome HAS to be City Arts Fest’s coolest venue. I’m sure everyone has spent a night in high school with the munchies watching as lasers dance across the ceiling to a soundtrack of Pink Floyd, but that experience will pale in comparison to what you can experience on Thursday night via a band part Queen part EDM. While you need to buy tickets to this performance separate from your all-access wristband, follow the link above and get after it because every time I’ve seen this dance-rock band they’ve ignited a passion from the crowd that you just don’t see often in Seattle. The falsetto vocals and vibrating bass line make it impossible to stay stationary. Get your glowsticks and get to the Laserdome, and if you don’t dance don’t get the way of the shimmies and shakes taking over every inch of available space.

Community City Arts Festival 2012: Where to be Thursday 10/18