What a weekend: Capitol Hill Block Party 2011

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A scene from Capitol Hill Block Party 2011 Photo by Jason Tang

My ears are ringing, my feet are killing me and I’m a slightly sunburned. This can only mean one thing: Capitol Hill Block Party 2011 is officially in the books.

I managed to catch sets from 27 bands during the three days of the 15th annual Block Party and most of the sets were good. But as noted earlier I’m pretty exhausted, which means I won’t be writing much about Block Party right now.

However, in the coming days — again, not today mind you — you’ll be reading about my experiences with all of the good (food trucks), the bad (Caffe Vita’s Bean Room had its capacity reduced from several hundred down to 49 after the Fire Department declared the room violated fire code because it only has one exit) and the ugly (walking into Neumos or the Cha Cha when it is at or near capacity) CHBP 2011 had to offer. Guerrilla Candy will also be featuring the excellent photography of Jason Tang in the coming days so you can get a visual feel for the atmosphere of this year’s Capitol Hill Block Party

For now, here are a few brief notes on some of the festival’s musical highlights:

  • My Goodness used Block Party for its coming out party. If this band wasn’t on your radar before Block Party (and shame on you if it wasn’t) then it definitely will be now. Expect to be reading lots about My Goodness on the local blogs and make sure you don’t miss their Bumbershoot set.
  • The Posies performed two wonderful sets (main stage and Caffe Vita Bean Room) and both featured Visqueen’s Rachel Flotard guesting on “Licenses to Hide.” It sounded jaw-droppingly beautiful and hearing them perform together three times (I was lucky enough to watch the sound check) was my personal highlight of the weekend.
  • Sol played a set of new and old material (his new record Dear Friends Vol. III drops today) and performed with a band for the first time in his career.
  • There were lots of great sets on the main stage but the one that made the biggest impression on me came from Battles.
  • Four musical discoveries I walked away with wanting to hear more of: Canadian rapper Shad, Fat Possum signees Unknown Mortal Orchestra and  locals Lovesick Empire and Craft Spells
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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.