Arctic Monkeys

Looking at the official poster for last weekend’s Sasquatch (we’re digging the Seattle Sonics color motif, by the way; click to enlarge), it would appear the lineup just keeps getting better each year. At this point, the Bigfoot-themed music festival—located a stone’s throw from our Seattle HQ at the picturesque Gorge Amphitheatre—is giving better-known fests like Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, and Austin City Limits a run for their money.

Our video-producer extraordinaire, Angela Sumner, was there camping out, soaking up the gorgeous scenery (above), and stage-hopping like crazy. Below, she offers insights on three of her favorite Sasquatch acts—from up-and-coming local heroes to over-played (but still impressive, apparently) folk-rock juggernauts:
Robert DeLong. “He was like a one-man band with a lot of soul. He would start with an electronic beat, and then all of the sudden jump on a drum kit and start wailing. You know how when jazz musicians are really feeling it, they might get down and kind of talk to the piano key? He was like that on drums, like whispering sweet nothings to his high-hat. Very genuine, expressive and super talented with rhythm and percussion.” [More on Robert DeLong]

Brothers From Another. “They’re two kids from here in Seattle, just out of high school, who seem to love writing about their experiences, being on stage, and are really relatable. Their songs make you want to be in your car, cruising University Ave on a hot summer night blasting music with the windows down. I saw them open for [notable Seattle hip-hop group] Blue Scholars a few months ago.” [More on Brothers From Another]

Mumford & Sons. “OK, I know they’re really mainstream, but—they’re mainstream for a reason. They straight-up killed it on every song. When you watch them live, you’re captivated. There’s probably a hundred million bands in Nashville that do what they do, but they just have an ‘it’ factor. They played on the main stage, so their set was even better with the beautiful Columbia Gorge sunset in the background.” [More on Mumford & Sons]

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A few more bands we would have loved to catch at Sasquatch last weekend (maybe next year…):

L: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. You won’t hear us say this about many bands, but their acoustic-y, folk-y album from a few years ago is even better than their more electrified work.
R: Elvis Costello. The music makes him a legend; the thick-rimmed glasses and the way he can spazz out in a tailored suit make him a style icon.

L: Arctic Monkeys. Here’s a classic clip of the young Brits playing an in-studio set at world-renowned Seattle radio station KEXP.
R: Divine Fits. The indie supergroup, led by the guy from Spoon, covering Bruce Springsteen. What’s not to like?

L: Vampire Weekend. Their third album came out this month. More on Vampire Weekend here.
R: Dirty Projectors. One of their previous records was an attempt at reinterpreting a Black Flag album from memory. Enough said.


Heading out to catch more bands this summer?
Stock up on everything you need here: FESTIVAL STYLE


It’s been a riveting, bleary-eyed week and a half spent glued to the TV. Not sure about you, but we’re still catching up on DVR’d Olympic coverage from last weekend. (Those five-hour blocks of HD swimming, shooting, running, gymnastics, volleyball and tennis are no joke—and don’t leave much space for new Breaking Bad episodes.)

The one ‘event’ we deleted too soon, though, was the Opening Ceremony. We started out psyched, but somewhere between act three of the Industrial Revolution-themed interpretive dance production, and the gratuitous slow-motion corgi footage during the almost-funny James Bond mini-film…We got bored and changed the channel.

Big mistake—because it meant we missed the best bits, including Mr. Bean nailing the synth part on ‘Chariots of Fire,’ and the UK’s own heirs to the rock-royalty throne, Arctic Monkeys, paying homage to the Beatles (before Sir Paul McCartney himself closed out the show). The video footage has been banished from the internet, but click here to listen to live audio of Arctic Monkeys covering the Beatles classic ‘Come Together.’

Although practically still kids, Arctic Monkeys have been compared to the Fab Four by critics and fans alike. A bit premature, if not blasphemous—but they’re off to a good start. Here’s a recent single they released (on purple vinyl) for Record Store Day 2012, followed by a favorite track off each of their four studio albums.