Book-ended with Bad Brains and Beastie Boys, the second day of the 2007 Sasquatch! Music Festival was stuffed with calories of cool for a famished generation of audio appetites that came in from Vancouver, Portland, Helena, Salt Lake City, and even Sacramento for the annual Memorial Day feast. Last year we survived a horrifying hailstorm, and this year, like some sassy ex-lover catching you at a bar with your new flame, the old cougar mother nature came out clawing for flesh, with some hurricane level winds that literally blew The Polyphonic Spree off the stage. Hosting both days were comedians Michael Showalter (Stella), Aziz Ansari (Human Giant), and Sarah Silverman, whom I did not see but am positive was unfunny.
The distance from Seattle to the Gorge Amphitheatre, from Capitol Hill to Silica Road exit 143 is exactly 143 miles. I arrived promptly at 2 p.m., and after waiting in amongst an anxious herd of wake-n-bake / morning-brew-crew hogs and heifers, I entered just in time to catch "Attitude" from Bad Brains. I recently Netflixed their Live At CBGB 1982 disc, in an attempt bulk up as if eating a pound of carbohydrates before a St. Patrick's Day pub crawl. But the Brains of 82 were way more ferocious and toxic than these blazed Brains of 07. Many years and many joints have burned into ashes of time, allowing these ageless wonders the serenity to procure their new sophisticated sound.
The legendary D.C. squad (H.R., Dr. Know, Daryl Jenifer, Earl Hudson) stretched the definition of rasta-punk into an irie-gular shape. Like the wise warriors from Kung Fu Hustle, Bad Brains flashed harmless glimpses of brimstone vigilance, proving that they are still very capable of attaining greatness without using their bodies as vessels for whopping verve. H.R. delivered his carbolic bane with zero malevolence, like the sage Morpheus preaching firmly underneath a Buddha tree, beaming with divine intelligence.
From the new record Build A Nation we heard "Jah Love," "Give Thanks and Praises," "Jah People Make the World Go Round," as well as classic floor crashers "Attitude," "Soul Craft," "F.V.K.," and the single most radical punk rock anthem in history, the one that made me mosh my own self silly, "Pay To Cum."
Showalter introduced the day's most rapturous miscreants, Tokyo Police Club, four cutie youthies from Canaduh who slashed a gash in the ass of the Sasquatch so deep, he'll be standing when he pees for the rest of the summer. Almost all of A Lesson In Crime was tagged with an electronic curiosity like Three Imaginary Boys Cure melded with the brazen animation of the Sex Pistols. Dime stoppers these cannuck rockers were, snapped their songs off like a good night light switch. Screaming indie spazzers like Capn' Jazz, Q And Not You, or Les Savy Fav. With bitter winds worse than a winter stroll on Michigan Avenue, the innocent rioters lashed out at us with "Cheer It On," "Nature Of The Experiment," and the clappy closer "Citizens Of Tomorrow." I reckon their performance was so exceptional due to their country's health care system, but Michael Moore's Sicko will tell you all about that this summer.
A haunting six-piece from Austin, The Black Angels, knifed the unsuspecting audience with the supple stabs "Young Men Dead," "Sniper at the Gates of Heaven", "Black Grease," and "Manipulation," off of their 2006 release Passover. Black Angels have that sadistic undertone, a gruesome layer of swarthy dominance, that the BRMC wish they could harness. Singer Alex Maas sounded exactly like Jim Morrison to the dirty footed dread heads, blindly swaying to this morbid Memorial day massacre from Texas.
As we waited for The Dandy Warhols to take the stage, the audience became hostile, and together we assumed the role of victim and assailant, as hundreds of unidentified flying tortillas attacked us all. I was lucky enough to survive the traumatic episode, and with my deepest sincerity, would like to once again salute the journalists embedded with troops in Iraq and Afghanistan for their bravery and courage to throw themselves into the line of fire for the sake of copy.
Was it really so strange for The Dandy Warhols to be at this year's Sasquatch! anyway? I thought so. The Portland posse are living proof that even with enormous publishing royalties from television, commercials, and movies, a band can still release an immediate dumpster dweller like Odditorium. That inconsequential recording of droning insignificance aside, did I mention how much I heart them Dandys? Well, I very much do.
The Dandys pushed off their meritable set with "Heroin" and were quickly singing the theme to the recently decapitated Veronica Mars show, "We Used To Be Friends." Zia left us flabbergasted in her black leather pants, smoking cigarettes, while erotically fingering those fortunate keys. With the gale of the Pacific Northwest winds blowing drummer Eric Heford's throwback fro back, they actually plucked a single from Odditorium, "All The Money or the Simple Life Honey."
The high maintenance front man seemed to be sailing on a steady stream of rul gude sheet, admitting that he recently returned from a lengthy sojourn in Amsterdam. "You Were The Last High," into the instant dream maker "I Love You," and thanks to extreme combo of Zia's powerhouse smiles, Courtney's foolish hat, and my man Sideshow Bob on drums, I failed to catch the next song title but heard something about 'mission control.' Oh well, this set was too outrageous for an accurate account anyhow, what with the damage my skull suffered thanks to multiple blasts of tortilla. "Not If You Were The Last Junkie On Earth," "Shakin'," "Godless," "Bohemian Like You," "Boys Better," and "Country Leaver" is how that stimulating rush of ecstasy affected our system.
Interpol played a replicated Coachella set, save for "Say Hello To The Angels," which should have been packed into the disappointedly thin serving. The disconsolate dudes in lavish duds did unveil three new appetizers from their soon to be served third dish, Our Love To Admire. Off the tailspin of the whirlwind opener "Pioneer To The Falls," Paul Banks quickly seared into "Obstacle 1" from Turn On The Bright Lights, before revealing the identity of the festival "Narc," which is always a sketchy gamble in that wilderness of drugged out monsters.
Another newbie called "Mammoth" was tossed into the kiln, reheating the frozen faithful, determined to soak up every last drop the Squatch had to shake. "Slow Hands," "Leif Erikson," and when Banks asked us 'How Are Things On The West Coast,' we knew we were being worked over by "The Heinrich Maneuver." The quartet from New York City, along with an unknown keyboardist, sealed their impenetrable set with "Evil" and "Not Even Jail." Guitarist Danniel Kessler pulled off his suave Seth Green look while Chester the Molestor Carlos on bass, looked like a porno bartender from the leather-daddy seventies. Check the image below for some excruciating stache action.
Though not the Tibetan Freedom Festival, Beastie Boys sprinkled their stink all over this year's Sasquatch! patch. Mixmaster Mike and Money Mark both performed their own showcases, as did Bad Brains, whose eighth album Build A Nation was produced by MCA, who along with Mike D and Ad Rock, will release their first instrumental monumental since 1996's The In Sound From Way Out this summer called The Mix Up. Yes, and whomever was clever enough to superglue seal the B-Boy deal was also keen enough to secure a shhh secret show last Friday night at the legendary Crocodile CafÃ© for approximately 500 or so lucky Seattle suckies.
Beasties, with MMM on the decks, MM on the keys, Alfredo Ortiz on skins, sharply dressed like nice Jewish Myer Lansky gangsters, fired off "Gratitude," Time For Livin," and "Remote Control," which crankily segued, after Mike D forgot the words, into a subdued new instrumental. This was the blaring signal of alarm that woke up Mixmaster Mike, antagonizing him into hurling Napalm onto the spinning wheels of wax flame.
"Body Movin," Sure Shot," and "Shake Your Romp" were spontaneously amplified by the crate digging finesse of MMM, who even splashed us with a surge of the '1-900-number', causing us to hip out the hopping-classic Ed Lover dance. After another unknown instrumental, the boys knocked out "Do It," a nitro punker dedicated to Bad Brains that I believe was "Riot Squad," followed by "Maestro," which seemed like the perfect outro on my third consecutive festivo reporto.