To many, the Folklife Festival is a buncha hippies dancing around to klezmer music and reggae and shit. Oh, and it’s free (but if you can, please donate at the door, ya cheap bastard). For just the very brokest reasons and for the insane people watching, you owe it yourself to attend. Oh… and also the Heavy Harmonies showcase on Saturday night from 7-9 pm, where four of Seattle’s coolest bands will be rocking the fuck out. That’s right. I said rocking. And I mean it. These bands will change your mind about Folklife. And possibly your life. If nothing else, our STACKEDD sponsored band showcase will make you feel young, dreamy, and full of infectious summer vibes.
Eurodanceparty USA: Eurodanceparty, USA includes members of current and past bands Orkestar Zirkonium, The Lonely Coast, and Nu Klezmer Army, amongst many other projects. Also featuring local badasses like Annie Ford of the Annie Ford Band and Gus Clark of Country Lips, this female-fronted group takes Eastern European traditional songs from places such as Macedonia, Bulgaria, Albania, Greece, and Turkey and dances them up for your pleasure. They mostly do covers, with some original material worked in. They have a multitude of bitchin’ instruments such as fiddle, sax, trumpet, and accordion. Not sure about you, but nothing gives me a lady boner like an accordion. That’s real talk. This kind of group is what’s making Folklife cool again, fusing the old world international flavor with new beats and keeping it fresh and interesting. This is a band of collectors, who have meticulously curated songs from various sources including YouTube, other Balkan-influenced bands, and various other sources. Singers Valerie and Anne have been performing together for over a decade and it shows. Their voices meld together like milk and honey. The music itself is some Romani party time jams. So high energy, it’ll make you feel like you just pounded two Red Bulls in a row. I defy you to watch this band and not move your body in some way. Im-fucking-possible! This is fun-ass party music that’s absolutely perfect for the gorgeous Memorial Day weekend that is upon us. Just looking hella cool and glam rock and jamming out to Eurodanceparty, USA. Feeling young and sexy, even if you aren’t. Especially if you aren’t. That’s the new Folklife steez.
Yves: Oh, fuck yeah, Yves! This is the tender downswing to the high energy upswing of Eurodanceparty, USA. Led by the velvet-voiced Susie Philipsen, this is part Pink Martini, part La Luz, all old school meets new school goodness. It’s Sunday afternoon in music form. With the sun peeking through the curtains and a lazy cat lounging in a sunbeam. It makes me want summer and ice cream and to be in Paris, wearing espadrilles and a linen sundress. I feel the vibes of everything from old jazzy babes like Blossom Dearie to newer stuff like She & Him. Swingy and sweet. Mostly Yves is a four-person band with Susie Philipsen on vocals and guitar, Tyler Potts on The Key, Joe Slaby on percussion, and Julia Khorsand on backing vocals and glockenspiel (fuckin glockenspiel, you GUYS!). Also accompanied by Olie Eshlemena on bass and Grant Robinson on guitar. Bring a sweetheart to slow dance with. Or slow dance with yourself. Or that cat from the sunbeam. Because Yves is gonna make you feel romantic as hell. It’s your sweetest love affair in song. The one that was less about banging and more about making love, less about jamming your tongue down someone’s throat and more about holding hands at sunset next to a body of water. Do yourself a favor and watch this band while dancing like Audrey Horne next to the jukebox at the Double R Diner. Real dreamy and slow.
Prom Queen– As a lifelong cinema fanatic, I am over the goddamn moon for Prom Queen. Legit movie soundtrack vibes here. But a movie from the ‘60s. That features a heist of some sort, a femme fatale, and a very handsome man in a very fancy suit. Prom Queen is led by the queen herself, Celene “Leeni” Ramadan with Jason Goessl and Ben von Wildenhaus on guitar and Tom Meyers on the drums. The music of Prom Queen would perfectly suit a Wes Anderson or Jim Jarmusch film. In fact, their second album, Midnight Veil, is accompanied by a full video album. To say their sound is just as visual as it is musical would be doing them a disservice. Watch the full video package, feel amazing about life, and then go experience Prom Queen in real life. The videos are available in full on YouTube. And they’re fucking amazing. Going from dark and positively ghoulish like an old-school Vincent Price movie to the sweet milkshake with two straws soda shop to the pastel world of a lonely shopgirl. It’s all done so fun and fantastically retro. The world created by Prom Queen is a technicolor wonderland you will want to live in forever- if not at the very least for the afternoon. Bring everyone you know, you’ll want to share this experience.
Powers– Closing out a truly AMAZZZZZING evening is Powers, a trio of ample power indeed. Guitarist and vocalist Lara Hilgemann’s voice is a towering inferno. It’s unfuckwithable, to say the very least. Her guitar work complements her voice like fire and gasoline. Throw Jordan Gomes’ fast and dark bass licks in there and Lupe Flores’ full horsepower drums and you’ve got a force to be reckoned with. The members of Powers hail from such esteemed bands as The Peeping Tomboys, Sailor Mouth, Tacos, and The Grizzled Mighty. They seem to have found some genuine magic as a trio, however, making music that makes you feel like you might want to smash some bottles down by the train tracks with your juvenile delinquent friends while skipping 5th period. In the very best way possible. Their most recent effort, Doris Rising, tells the tale of Doris getting ditched at the prom and the very monstrous havoc she wrought. This record is so, so good. Apparently, they are already working on a new one, as well. Thank sweet holy fuck. We need Powers. But Powers sure as shit don’t need us. They’re burning this motherfucker to the ground… And laughing in the flames.