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Indie Rock





The 5th Annual Freakout! Fest comes back tonight

Triple city-based indie label Freakout Records has been churning out some pretty fine electronic, psych and lively rock from three out of the four corners of the states. Operating out of Seattle, Los Angeles and New York, Freakout has taken to occupying various venues in Ballard for its festival since 2012, with artists of their own catalog, as well as other artists scattered around the Northwest and the country. Freakout! Festival returns again tonight, and its bill is as stacked as ever.

Co-presented by The Stranger, Audioasis on KEXP and supported by Killroom Records, Treefort Music Fest and Artist Home Record Club, Freakout! Fest will be hitting up its usual Ballard staples like Conor Byrne and Tractor Tavern, with Sarah Gerritsen and Roadkill Ghost Choir kicking things off with some early sets. Tonight's hip hop will be fulfilled by up and coming lyricist Taylar Elizza Beth, with some dark stoner psych coming from Blackwater Holy Light. Energetically folky blues comes from Battleme, who are out on tour supporting their new Cult Psychotica release, while Charms and FKL bring more of a dancey feel to a couple of the headlining spots.

Much of Saturday's bill recalls a warmer, more carefree season thanks to some surf-drenched sets from Baywitch, The Shivas and Guantanamo Baywatch, The White Tears and Pearl Dragon is Dead are collaborating on their performance at the Conor Byrne, Porter Ray and Jus Moni killing it in the rhythm and rhymes department, and Kelli Schaefer and Maiah Manser representing for solo noir pop.

There's so many more acts to see, thank goodness they're all playing on the same street. You can find more information about the artists, venues and tickets over at the Freakout Records site.





Psych rockers Color Tongue release visual album "Us and the Bugs"

Technology continues to expand the realm of what's doable and psych rock bands such as Color Tongue take full advantage of the possibilities. While the Bushwick quartet's next LP doesn't come out until later in 2018, they've released a visual album in the meantime called Us and the Bugs, a YouTube video of four songs set to an ocular feast of clips of mashed-up old cartoons, found footage of landscapes, warped dancers in bubble suits, and of course, bugs. It should hold you over through the winter while you wait for the album to drop; just project the video on your wall, turn off all the lights, and bundle up in your warmest blankets for the full effect. Watch Us and the Bugs in full below. - Will Sisskind





Early Humans' debut is chock-full of pop punk excitement

The process of recording and releasing a debut album can feel like an eternity for bands. For Early Humans, that eternity was 21 long months. But when the fruit produced is as good as Early Humans' self-titled debut, it's worth the wait. Bringing to mind the early days of pop punk with a grittier lo-fi sound akin to The Offspring, Early Humans is sure to delight listeners, especially those with a nostalgic ear. Listen to their track "Time Bomb" off the new release below! 





Battleme celebrates Cult Psychotica tonight

 *photo credit to Emilianos Ap.

Battleme have been keeping quite busy with their driving, energetic blues and psych tinged rock. As if to never really take a break, Battleme, led by main member Matt Drenik, have been churning out releases just about every hear since becoming Drenik's main project back in 2010. Becoming one of TV series Sons of Anarchy's go-to soundtrack artists (and even appearing before the camera) and now, Battleme's acclaim has brought them to yet another release. And it's happening tonight.

In just a few hours, Battleme will be taking to The Know's stage for their only Portland show this tour, supporting their newest album Cult Psychotica. From just the name alone the album promises the same ferocious zest. Playing with them will be Acid Tongue and The Furies, so it'll be a true night of getting loud. Tickets will be available at the door for $8, with music starting at 9pm. 





Fresh Buzz: Jane Church plays Mercury and Baby's All Right within two weeks

Jane Church is the kind nostalgically charged slacker rock that serves as a much-needed mile marker of the times. The man behind the moniker, Jackson Church, croons with a King Tuff-esque indifference about taking pills, vacant homes, empty streets, heartbreak, vandalism, pissing off bridges and the overall bizarre spirit of the age in debut tracks “Demolition USA” and “Streets Are Empty”.

Chuch’s songwriting tows the line between apocalyptic vision and protest. The simplicity of the acoustic rhythm guitars, “la-la-las” and single-note electric solos bring '70s Bob Dylan to mind, while the disillusionment inherent in the lyrical themes summons the same infinitely spiraling facetiousness as indie rock giants like Father John Misty and Foxygen. If Church aims to provide a provocative yet accurate soundtrack for our confused modern sociopolitical climate and time, he’s hitting the bullseye.

You can check out Jane Church’s set at Mercury Lounge this Saturday, November 18th or at Baby’s All Right on Monday, December 4th. Pick up a copy of the “Demolition USA” single through the link below. - Andrew Strader

Now that Christmas is around the corner I just want to remind you that the best gift for any occasion is a Rubik's Cube.

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