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City Arts Festival 2012: Where to be Saturday 10/20

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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! Saturday is the final day of the festival, with the lineup starting early and going out with a bang.

St. Lucia, Showbox Sodo 8-830

If you take a quick glance at my recommendations for Saturday of City Arts, it’s clear that I highly suggest starting the night at Showbox SoDo and ending it at Nuemos. Starting things off though is the absolutely amazing St. Lucia which falls into neither category just mentioned, but fits nonetheless in the theme of incredible unique and vibrant music offered on the final night of CAF. A hybrid of electronic and pop music, St. Vincent will surely shimmer around a synthesizer, and could very possibly get Seattle to vibrate around the SoDo floor.

Motopony, Showbox SoDo 8:45-9:15

To say Daniel Blue is one of Seattle music’s biggest personalities might be an understatement. If you’ve ever watched or read an interview featuring the Motopony singer and guitar player, it’s likely you’ll either think he’s an enlightened artist or want the number to his dealer. I tend to believe that he’s just on another plane than many artists around- his music and what his band creates is insightful and beautiful. They come together collectively to caress the listener with songs like ‘King of Diamonds’ or ‘God Damn Girl.’ Motopony’s strong suit seems to be wooing women through Blue’s humming vocals and the tear-drop percussion offered up by Forrest Mauvais. Perhaps it’s that I’m listening to this while the skies are washed in muted grey and puddles are forming, but this is perfect Seattle Fall music. Forgo an umbrella and make it a point to get to SoDo Saturday night.

Friends, Showbox Sodo 9:30-10:15

I think the genre Friends gives themselves on Facebook doesn’t really do this synth-rock band justice; Weird Pop doesn’t fit, but then again nothing else really does either. They’ve got that familiar shoegaze vibe, but they’re more stern and less ambient. Vocalist Samantha Urbani and drummer Oliver Duncan give listeners something to hold onto, dig their fingers into- they offer up substance by way of a five piece ensemble. To keep things simple, if you like Grimes but long for instruments outside of a keyboard in your music, I’m damn positive you’ll want to give Friends a listen.

 

Horse Feathers, The Crocodile 9:50-10:40

With a 2012 release titled Cynics New Year, from the first note I was basically in love with this band. As the album’s title reveals, this could be labeled a moody rainy-day band, but when singer Justin Ringle hits the high notes with his soft and sweet voice, he fills the listener with hope and belief in true beauty. The music tinkles and tickles, and if you’re not tuned into Ringle’s lyrics you may feel this could be the soundtrack to your most blissful moments. Among the soothing strings of ‘Last Waltz,’ are the words “Old friends withering away/ Just like the cliffs found down by the bay/ I don’t like to lie it’s a terrible thing/ Time’s got a way to take more than it brings.” Horse Feathers aren’t obvious in their gloom, but they are obviously beautiful while in the midst of it.

The Grizzled Mighty, Neumos 10-10:30

The Grizzled Mighty, Photo by Jake Crawford

In a night packed full of rock bands Saturday night at Neumos, sandwiched in the middle is this Seattle rock band that’s been gaining major notoriety here at home in Seattle and slowly but surely outside of the confines of the 206. The formula may be familiar by way of the White Stripes, a female drummer and male vocalist/guitarist, but there’s something spicier about the pair than was present with Meg and Jack. It’s probably because I’m a little terrified of drummer Whitney Petty and front man Ryan Granger, as they’re two motorcycles away from being part of Hell’s Angels. Their music is the sort that your dad will be impressed and your mom will worry. Pretty ideal, if you ask me.

 

My Goodness, Neumos 10:45-11:30

There’s been a void in our Emerald City as it’s been longer than a hot minute since anyone has heard from My Goodness. Having undergone a recent and dramatic rebirth, the vocally gifted and gorgeous Joel Schneider is back on the stage accompanied by a new drummer. Andy Lum may be new to My Goodness, but you’ll probably recognize him from one of his many other music projects nationally and locally. He’s a powerhouse with a pair of sticks in his hands and puts other local drummers to shame- without a doubt he’s a perfect pairing for Schindler’s vibrating, throaty vocals.

In my less than humble opinion these two perfectly compliment one another and if you don’t take my word for it, get yourself to Neumos where they’ll be making their Seattle debut. My Goodness takes note that soulful rock and roll is making a resurgence in Seattle and across the country, and then one-ups everyone else. Creating the sort of music that is like if Elvis and The Rolling Stones and The Blood Brothers had a baby. A bastardized love child no doubt. They play intensely wicked rock and roll, fueled by whiskey and the promise of sin, and damn do they look good doing it. If I could be at only one show for City Arts Festival, this would be it. Period.

Take a peek at their interview and performance on the Seattle channel here, starting around the 5:30 mark.