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Yuni in Taxco

Bumbershoot is right around the corner.  Next weekend a smear of local talent will be on display near the 74-acre Seattle Center park, and the band I'm most hankering to see right now would be Yuni in Taxco.  After years of admiring each others’ work in various projects, the five-piece assemblage of brothers Ross (vocals, guitar) and Bryce (drums), Sean (vocals, guitar), Jim (bass, slide guitar) and Isaiah (backing vocals, electronics, percussion) found themselves in a collaboration.  The band has been together for over a year now and are still playing on their very strong self-titled EP containing some of Seattle's most inspired, shimmering, sepia-toned pop.  Animal Collective circa Sung Tongs and Feels are a fairly obvious influence on the band, and in the track "Eduardo Kac's Dream Song" you can hear a bit of Smith Westerns derived vocal patterns, but this band does more than enough to separate themselves from their influences, which can be a difficult task to accomplish in any medium (See Harold Bloom's "Anxiety of Influence").  They play September 3 at 12:45pm on the Fisher Green Stage.

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Pocket Panda

With structural nods to local favorites The Head And The Heart, and some subtle Nirvana influences poking through the vocals, Pocket Panda are an exciting confluence of new and old Seattle.

There's not much out there, but the six Pocket Panda songs I was able to find between their myspace page and iTunes provide a promising start for a new local band.  First thing you notice about the band is front man Eric Herbig's gritty vocals and they way they contrast against hooky piano riffs and co-vocalist Megan Jade's softer harmonies.  Sometimes this contrast arrives in something I would describe as Grand Hallway meets Nirvana (see "The Vampire"), but more so it comes to us in a folk-rock based package (see personal favorite "City").  It's good music to throw down on a Sunday morning, and just as welcome on a Thursday night. 

With such a small sample size currently available, it's welcomed news that Pocket Panda are planning to release a second EP around October, followed by a northwest tour in support of the EP. You can also catch them debuting new song "My Brother The Dreamer" at the Conor Byrne Pub in Ballard tonight.

-Wes McMahon-

 

 

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Who Are Broomsticks?

 In this modern age, it sometimes seems almost too easy to learn all the pertinent details of a musical act's biography with a simple click of the mouse.  Such is not the case with Seattle's Broomsticks.  Very little information can be found about this project, and the facts that are available are somewhat contradictary.  The band may be the project of one Barry Whitehead, it may be a husband/wife duo featuring Ruben Mendez and Lacey Swain, or perhaps, all three are involved.  There is rumor of Broomsticks involvement with the so-called "pizza party scene."  The band may be on a label called Haunted Horse Records, if said label does exist.  What we do know: Mendez and Swain are former members of punk act Charming Snakes, and Broomsticks will be opening for Chicago's Disappears and Brooklynites Obits tonight at the Crocodile.  If the dirty-garage track posted below, "Ghost," is any indication, this is a band worth investigating, so head down to Beltown tonight and see for yourself what Broomsticks are all about.  

 

Ghost by broomsticks

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The Pharmacy

The Pharmacy are playing a string of shows around the greater PNW currently, but they'll be home in Seattle September 11 to play the mysterious grounds of The Black Lodge.  If you can find this all-ages venue, it'll be worth your while.  The band's latest album, Weekend, is their most refined effort yet.  They have dialed down the psych-pop angle and focused their efforts on more precise, compelling compositions, both lyrically and musically. 

THE PHARMACY - JOSEPHINE by SEAYOU

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Case Studies- The Solo Project of Jesse Lortz

Though Seattle's folk favorites Dutchess & The Duke have folded, the beat goes on for frontman Jesse Lortz.  Lortz is back with a new solo album under the guise of Case StudiesThe World is Just a Shape to Fill the Night is a venerable attempt to instantiate Lortz into the upper echelons of talented songwriters who've struck it out alone- Leonard Cohen may be a stretch, but certainly Townes Van Zandt comparisons can be within reach.  Recorded with Greg Ashley (Gris Gris) and with help from friends including Crystal Stilts' Keegan Cooke on drums and guitar, The World is Just a Shape to Fill the Night is a well-tempered solo debut that slowly sinks its hooks into you with repeated listens.  The album is out now on Sacred Bones.    

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