Afterthoughts on the Capitol Hill Block party lineup

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Details for the 2011 Capitol Hill Block Party were announced today and as usual the lineup is a mixed bag of what’s hot with the indie-trendy crowd and lots of local talent. For the second year in a row CHBP will be a three-day affair, taking place July 22-24. Three-day passes go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. and cost $75 and single-day passes are on sale June 4 and cost $27.50.

My initial thoughts on the bill is that you’re getting quite a deal for less than $30 a day in terms of overall value, but this year’s Block Party is missing the oomph of past CHBPs in regards of starpower. There aren’t any headliners on par with The Dead Weather, Sonic Youth, MGMT or Atmosphere on this year’s bill to draw in the casual music fans. Instead, it appears organizers focused more on targeting the super-indie crowd (a crowd they’ve always targeted) with TV On the Radio being the biggest draw and a few other big names returning (Les Savy Fav, Cave Singers and Thurston Moore in a non-SY capacity) to round out the headliners.

All of the headlining bands definitely fit the Block Party vibe, but most all of them seem like they’d be better suited playing the Showbox and not an outdoor mainstage in an over-crowded environment with sometimes spotty acoustics due to noise level restrictions. The middle card is pretty solid with the likes of Battles, the Posies and Kurt Vile but it isn’t anything that’s making me lust for the end of July. On the plus side it is great to see so many of my local favorites as part of this year’s Block Party. CHPBP definitely won’t lose its reputation for being the festival to check out if you want to be hip to what’s happening in local music any time soon.

Starpower or not, chances are you’re going to have a good time at CHBP ’11 and chances are you’re going to be exposed to some quality music. Here’s the full lineup as announced earlier today with more bands to be added in the weeks leading up to the festival.

TV ON THE RADIO, EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY, GHOSTLAND OBSERVATORY, THURSTON MOORE, THE CAVE SINGERS, BATTLES, RA RA RIOT, LES SAVY FAV, HANDSOME FURS, THE POSIES, KURT VILE AND THE VIOLATORS, YUCK, FUCKED UP, TELEKINESIS, CULTS, COLD CAVE, WOODS, FENCES, PINK MOUNTAINTOPS, MY GOODNESS, PAPERCUTS, AUSTRA, The FRESH AND ONLYS, MAD RAD, FRESH ESPRESSO, CHAMPAGNE CHAMPAGNE, FEDERATION X, THEESATISFACTION, RAVENNA WOODS, AKIMBO, YOUNG EVILS, BLACK BREATH, GRYNCH, ABSOLUTE MONARCHS, ELEANOR FRIEDBERGER, GRAVEBABIES, BEAT CONNECTION, GRAND HALLWAY, CAMPFIRE O.K., LOCH LOMOND, SKARP, LISA DANK, SOL, PAINTED PALMS,MASH HALL, METAL CHOCOLATES, UNKNOWN MORTAL ORCHESTRA,  SPORTS, TEEN DAZE, CRAFT SPELLS, BOAT, LAKE, VIRGIN ISLANDS, SPURM, ELEPHANT RIDER, THE PHARMACY, LOVESICK EMPIRE, CONSTANT LOVERS, SLOW DANCE, DON’T TALK TO THE COPS, NAZCA LINES, THOMAS WRIGHT TRIO, LOVERS, YARN OWL, THE FIRST TIMES, REPORTER, LUMERIANS, SEAPONY, WHEELIES, SLOW DANCE, THE LUMINEERS, WITCH GARDEN, HE WHO’S OX IS GORED, LAND OF PINES, BUSTER BLUE, THE FIRST TIMES, “THE ROLLINGSTONES”, HAUSU YUNI IN TAXCO, SPACENEEDLES, COMEBACK!  FEAT: OHNONOS, HOLLYHOOD! DJ SETS BY FOURCOLOR ZACK, TIGERBEAT, SEAN CEE DJ N8

Travis Hay

About Travis Hay

Travis Hay is a professional music journalist who has spent the past 13 years documenting and enjoying Seattle's diverse music scene. In 2009 he established Guerrilla Candy and is currently the site's editor and publisher. He has written for various media outlets including MSN Music, the Seattle-Post Intelligencer, Seattle Weekly, Crosscut.com and others and was the founder and former editor of the defunct music site Ear Candy.