CHBP 2014, a playlist by Nick Garras on Spotify

CHBP 2014, a playlist by Nick Garras on Spotify

Very excited for the ‪#‎CHBP‬ 2014 initial lineup, and anxiously awaiting the additional line-up to be announced. With bands/artists like Spoon, The War on Drugs, and Angel Olson, as well as the treat of having ASAP Rocky and ASAP Ferg, the late July even promises to be one of the best yet!

Here is a playlist of the top 10 songs on Spotify for each of the artists comprising the 2014 Capitol Hill Block Party line-up. Follow for updates to the lineup and new music by block party artists.

Goat at Neumos on 4-14

Goat at Neumos on 4-14

Goat at Neumos on 4-14

Goat at Neumos on 4-14

Hello World…again

It has been about a week and a half since WordPress (or my host) turned my website into a big inaccessible mound of data. While I work through my issues, the blog’s domain will point here to the tumblr page. I will make every effort to get the actual blog up and running asap but will begin reposting any old content that I had backed up here just in case, as well as some pics and videos of the Temples and Goat shows this last week at Neumos

Echelon (It’s my way) – Angel Haze

Check out this new(ish)/new to me track Angel Haze – Echelon (It’s My Way)

22 year old Detroit native Raykeea “Angel Haze” Wilson had released this track as the first single off of her album-to-be Dirty Gold in August of 2013. Apparently this was not enough as she leaked the rest of the album not long after; forcing her label to move sales up to December 2013 from the originally planned March 2014 release.

This track echos the same youthful blatant hubris as fellow rapper Kreayshawn but with a somehow-catchier hook and aesthetic than her 2011 Bay-area bumper Gucci Gucci. Haze who was raised by what she describes as a cult is decidedly darker in many ways and is thus deliberate for all the right reasons, at least as far as her interests go.

If you haven’t checked out this track by Angel Haze or the album Dirty Gold yet, make some time for this fiery up-and-comer.

Sasquatch 2014 Artist Spotlight: Austra

For the songs in this article and more, follow the Suffrin’ Succotash Sasquatch 2014  Artist Spotlight Playlist here on Spotify

Like many, when Austra released its hotly anticipated sophomore album Olympia in June, I was quick to get it on my album rotation. All I remember then is that I listened to the album maybe 4-5 times in the background at work. I kind of picked out certain tunes and melodies that sounded fun or catchy but the album honestly didn’t make an impression on me then. It was good background music at best, and reading the subsequent reviews from some, it sounds like I was not alone in being initially unimpressed by Austra‘s attempt at going from an electronica darling to an actual marketable live touring  band.

Boy, I was wrong. As I prepared to write my next post, I wanted to give a few artists a chance that I hadn’t spun for a while. I popped on Olympia in my living room one morning while I was unloading the dishwasher and found myself 2 minutes later dancing in my socks and singing half the words. Something about this record made and impression on my subconscious, and I’m honestly thankful now that it did. From that moment on, this album has recaptured me so that I now see it for the beautiful work that it truly is. Some were disappointed with the overall pace and sound as compared to 2011’s fantastic breakout record Feel It Break but to me this is just another example of an artist evolving. Like with so many artists that make revolutionary, genre defying music that takes a few listens to warm to because it sounds different than the expected, Olympia has truly captivated me now. So much so, in fact, that I have been trotting it out much more than I normally would preparing for an album review, and this is just a concert preview! So much so that I finally had to put my Spotify on private session at the start of the day so that it wasn’t immensely obvious to anyone happening to see my updates in their news feed that it was basically the only album I had listened to for the better part of a couple days.

The album is full of sleepers and a few stunners, the clearest in my opinion, Painful Like, feels like it is going to be a Simian Mobile Disco song but ends up floating down some dreamt up beach avenue in an alternate Miami that breeds lispy wavering swooning with grammar and diction just shaky enough to become totally endearing. This terribly gutteral and shuddering yet beautiful voicebox lays on top of electronic beats that sound passingly familiar yet build and transform in such an epic way that each song kind of passes the torch to the next. Her orchestration often crescendos in an anthemic drop such that songs like “Sleep” and “What We Done?” that end up evoking memories of James Murphy perfecting the ability to captivate through three minutes of shoulder dancing and snapping of fingers finally rewarding  the listener with two minutes of pure electronic bliss.

Make no Mistake, I am not declaring the Toronto based quartet led by Katie Stelmanis to be the next LCD by any means. However, considering the fact that this album was made to bring Austra into the fold as a legit live act, and based on recent reviews acclaiming the group’s on stage dynamic and ability to keep the crowd moving, expect quite the performance from this Toronto based  electronic shape-shifter at Sasquatch 2014. Fans of LCD Soundsystem, Grimes, Polica, and Chromatics will have a hard time frowning at this show. Let’s hope the after dark sound crews on the Honda Stage are up to the task this year, as this is almost surely where we’ll see this fantastic act.

I recommend checking out the following songs in addition to those mentioned in the article:

  1. Austra – Identity
  2. Austra – What We Done?
  3. Austra – Home
  4. Austra – Shoot The Water

Austra plays in the May version of Sasquatch 2014

2014- Nick Garras, Suffrin Succotash

For the songs in this article and more, follow the Suffrin’ Succotash Sasquatch 2014  Artist Spotlight Playlist here on Spotify

Sasquatch 2014 Artist Spotlight: Panda Bear

For the songs in this article and more, follow the Suffrin’ Succotash Sasquatch 2014  Artist Spotlight Playlist here on Spotify

Panda Bear Noah Lennox
Panda Bear Noah Lennox – Photo: Alexandre Hervaud

Noah Lennox is one half (technically one quarter) of famed Electro-Psych-Weirdo-Folk god duo (technically quartet), Animal Collective. A casual Animal Collective fan might not be aware that Lennox , or Panda Bear as he calls himself is actually a pretty fantastic solo artist in his own right.  In fact, I have to say that even the slew of big name artists like Outkast, M.I.A., Queens of The Stone Age and Major Lazer that I am direly awaiting to see for the first time in a years (or ever!) can not prevent me from being all out giddy to catch Panda Bear who is sure to be toting some new material as per his recent announcement…

Beyond the countless albums made by Lennox and his counterpart Avey Tare, and the three released Albums Panda Bear has to its credit, Lennox  has done a few great collaborations as well. One being 2009’s Walkabout for Bradford Cox’s (Deerhunter) side project Atlas Sound  and most recently (and notably) appearing  in Daft Punk’sDoin’ it Right” from 2013’s Grammy winning Random Access Memories. In every opportunity there is his trademark sound; upfront and clear, sonically pure but always sounding as if it had been sung from a dark chamber far below ground and was filtered up through the ventilation system to the recording studio. As great of a dimension as his trademark vocals add to his multi-layered and beautiful songs, one must also recognize his amazing ability to blend melodies and rhythms that should not be anywhere near the same song with an almost magical ease.

Both of Panda Bear’s more recent albums Tomboy
and Person Pitch are much more accessible than your average Animal Collective record and worth a front to back listen (and a vinyl purchase in my opinion). Because of Panda Bear’s sparse touring history, this show promises to be one of the most memorable of Sasquatch 2014. If you are looking for a quick intro, check out:

  1. Panda Bear – Take Pills
  2. Panda Bear – Comfy In Nautica
  3. Panda Bear – Last Night At The Jetty
  4. Panda Bear – You Can Count On Me

Panda Bear plays in the May version of Sasquatch 2014

2014- Nick Garras, Suffrin Succotash

For the songs in this article and more, follow The Suffrin Succotash Sasquatch 2014  Artist Spotlight Playlist here on Spotify


Sasquatch 2014 Artist Spotlight: The Growlers

Follow my 2014 Sasquatch Artist Spotlight Playlist here on Spotify
The Growlers play in the May version of Sasquatch


If you haven’t had a chance to listen to Orange County’s ‘Beach Goth’ outfit The Growlers, it’s not for lack of effort on their part. The band has spent the last few years touring the world on their albums Are You In or Are You Out?(2009) and Hot Tropics(2010), perfecting a highly theatrical and somewhat mythical stage show in the process. During that time they supported acts like The Black Keys, Devandra Banhart, and Dr Dog. By the time 2013 rolled around it seems that the creative juices had been bottled up and stored for the year of the snake as they released two full length Masterpieces; Hung at Heart in January, then not 10 months later releasing Gilded Pleasures.

The Growlers are one of those unique bands possessing a sound that feels both familiar and foreign. It smells of the American southwest as much as it does Europe’s southeast. The topics of their songs range from the slightly macabre (Graveyard’s Full) to the questionably creepy, however they utilize voice effects, upbeat melodies and beautiful imagery to create a memorable sound that makes you want to dance on a beach at night surrounded by Dia de los Muertos décor.  The distinct sound and much lauded, drag-prone, highly interactive stage show of the Growlers will be a welcome vibe at the May version of Sasquatch 2014.

This ‘Beach Goth’ Psychadelic /Garage rock band will be enjoyed by fans of Tame Impala, Foxygen, Crocodiles or Temples.

Check out these songs:

The Growlers – Sea Lion Goth Blues

The Growlers – Dogheart II

The Growlers – One Million Lovers

2014- Nick Garras, Suffrin Succotash

Follow my 2014 Sasquatch Artist Spotlight Playlist here on Spotify


Bumbershoot 2013

I wasn’t altogether that excited for the lineup overall at Bumbershoot 2013. One thing that has always bugged me when comparing this festival to others that are held in major cities like SXSW or Lollapalooza; why does a city such as Seattle with a presence like KEXP not have a festival with a consistently fantastic lineup. Not to knock Heart, Death Cab or BASSNECTAR but only for smaller festivals would I consider these acts “festival closers” Although each act has been or is very popular, and carries it’s own appeal and subset of fans, we should be seeing bands like the Arcade Fire, Gorillaz  or Queens of the Stone Age. If Sasquatch can add an entirely separate festival on July 4th weekend 2014, it stands to reason that the right people could attract a lineup that would make our city proud. I would love to see some better acts on the bill next year, even if it means higher ticket prices.


Now that bitching is out of my system, I must say that there were a few bright spots for the weekend. Beginning (for me anyway) with Kendrick Lamar at (of all times) 4:00 PM on Saturday. Kendrick was fresh, crisp and made Key Arena almost sound acoustically acceptable. He played mostly tracks from his highly acclaimed release from late last year, Good Kid, M.A.A.D  City, although he did play a track or two from his 2011 release Section 80. 

Kendrick Lamar - Photo Nick Garras
Kendrick Lamar – Photo: Nick Garras

Best moment: Kendrick led an excited midday crowd in a rousing performance of “Money Trees”; the entire arena was standing up (even those in the upper deck) singing “It goes Halle Berry or hallelujah…”

Worst moment: Kendrick insisted on running crowd control and playing his own hype man between tracks (Think: “I bet this side is the loudest”). He also made some seemingly wacky claims that the mid-afternoon (admittedly large) Key Arena crowd was the largest and best of his career; hard to imagine considering his meteoric rise to fame this year. 

After Kendrick, I was scooted off to catch my Cougs just barely find a way to lose to Auburn at Pesos before heading back to the show to catch the tail end of !!! and then Washed Out

Washed out absolutely knows what they are good at, what they can do, and doesn’t try to do much else. At first listen you may think these guys just press play at their concerts but it couldn’t actually be further from the truth. These guys are the type of band where the live show really gives you a deeper understanding of what they are all about. The tracks from their brand new effort Paracosm were especially well executed to the delight of their fans.

Washed out- Photo: Nick Garras
Washed out- Photo: Nick Garras

Best Moment: Their Performance of “All I Know” near the end of the set was heartfelt, spacey, and saturated with the aroma of a hundred joints lit at once.

Worst Moment: The 25 minute wait for the band to set up was draining even for the first night of the festival.

After being completely Washed Out (and missing half of Heart or Crystal Castles due to the delay) I decided to hop the bus hoping to get in some winks before a busy weekend.

On Monday the Line for Alt-J snaked through the entire festival grounds. This, I’m told was commonplace on Sunday in order to see acts like Tegan and Sara and Fun. (Pronounced “Fun Period”). I had seen this weirdest of weird British quartet three times already this year (including once to open for Grouplove of all people), but nevertheless made the trek to check them out. As per usual they played their only Album “An Awesome Wave” flawlessly, however I did see a bit of variation in the way they played a few tracks here and there which speaks to their evolution as artists.


Best Part: Breezeblocks blows me away each time I see it performed. The technical guitar, stops, and harmonies make it a can’t miss track.

Worst Part: Wtf Key Arena? the entire floor through most of the main stage acts was half full at best. Give more fans a chance to dance on the floor and not only fans but aretists will be much happier.



Looking back at block party 2013- Friday

The 2013 Capitol Hill Block Party was, like usual, one huge fucking shitshow of a party. With hipster-dom rampant, pot pervasive, and many bars within the festival grounds practically giving away tallies of Rainier and PBR, if you happened to be visiting from out of town all of your preconceived Seattle stereotypes were likely realized, save one important one: NO FUCKING RAIN! The weather was beautiful which made for some epic shows as well as an all around beautiful Seattle weekend in the midst of seemingly the best Seattle summer in years in the midst of many of us assuming that it maybe somewhat has to do with global warming…

2013-07-26 05.11.57

My weekend began with a bang from the drums of Michael Lerner’s Telekinesis who would set the tone for a slew of local artists that really stepped up and almost made me forget the acts that CHBP secretly dropped from the bill, the shitty scheduling of bands like The Grizzled Mighty and Dirty Projectors, and the overall disarray of the schedule in general (the stranger was passing out one that was consistently incorrect)

Lerner and guitarist Erik Walters rocking out
Lerner and guitarist Erik Walters rocking out

Telekinesis has a brand of power pop that can get punk or funk depending on the song. Their newish album Dormarion is absolutely worthy of purchase in vinyl. The stage setup for a drummer led band is a bit funky but Lerner makes it work with flawless support from his touring band.



Fly Moon Royalty
Fly Moon Royalty

After Telekinesis, we caught Seattle hip-hop soul duo Fly Moon Royalty, who shook Neumos with resounding highs and the resulting cheers from the crowd. I have heard whisperings of an upcoming cross-genre collaboration between these two and another local Seattle group. More to come on that soon I’m sure.



We hopped over to the main stage next where Danny Brown played a fun, energetic set that I was dissatisfied with only because he opted not to perform trademark songs like “XXX” and “Grown Up“. That aside Danny Brown is an amazing performer and deserves every bit of credit  for what he does, SHIT WAS WILD! It felt like literally everyone there knew the words to some of his songs and I could tell that DB was having a great time having a few thousand people in the middle of a city street shouting “Blunt after Blunt after Blunt after Blunt”.

2013-07-26 05.00.27

Danny Brown The Clown
Danny Brown The Clown


Danny Brown walking among the people
Danny Brown walking among the people

The great thing about going from a Hip-Hop set to a DJ set is that there is only 20 minutes in between! I’m not a huge Dillon Francis (or EDM in general) fan but that show was nothing if not a lot of fun. One of those in the moment sunk costs where it just makes the most sense to dance your ass off in the middle of Pike street. As the sun went down the funky fresh beats had everyone from the most die hard fans to the most die hard families were jumping and shaking their promotional wayfairer knock-offs off. 2013-07-26 06.09.48Finishing off the night right was Gregg Gillis’s now nearly ubiquitous act Girl Talk. I have to say I wasn’t impressed with the sound mixing, the volume of the show or some of the slow transitions between songs. I think that the energy of the crowd had been a bit sapped after Dillon Francis as well but there were pockets of awesome. For example the rowdy group that was having a break-dancing battle in front of The Comet featured some very entertaining moves; especially when paired with the fact that they were being performed on concrete.

2013-07-26 09.17.03

In all the event was a good way to end  great first night of the 18th iteration of this festival. I give the overall lineup and execution of performances on Friday a B- which to me still means it was worth taking a couple of hours off of work that day to prepare.

Stay tuned for Saturday’s coverage and more soon.

-Suffrin Succotash

scene and mostly Seattle. Also there will be free Pizza.