Small Print: Sasquatch!
You’re not going to that big ol’ summer festival that’s coming up just for the headliners, right? ATG is here to help you get the most bang for your ticket-buying buck by turning you on to “small print” bands appearing at fests across the country. You may not know them now, but they could end up being your festival highlight. This week we’re showcasing our small print picks for Sasquatch! opening weekend, which kicks off May 23rd at the legendary Gorge Amphitheater in central Washington state. Make that pricey ticket count and check out the artists below.
Austin-based Shakey Graves is a one-man vagabond folk roadshow that recalls The Tallest Man On Earth and M. Ward, with a hint of Uncle Tupelo when he switches out his acoustic guitar for an electric. He’s a born showman, and wears his country sensibilities on his weathered sleeve (when he’s not rockin’ the just-the-undershirt look). The plaintive palm-muted plucking and effortless cool of “Roll The Bones” caught our attention last year, and in 2014, he’s coming off of a lauded SXSW run. Solo sets can be hit or miss at festivals, but Shakey’s performances are too large, too loud, too Texas to be ignored.
We’ve been pimping PAPA on All Things Go for quite some time. They’re that rare band that can capture the pathos, the earnestness, the soul of classic Americana while also acknowledging that something called the 80s happened: I’m coining it “The Arcade Fire Equilibrium.” The voice of singing drummer Darren Weiss sounds like a synthesis of Bruce Springsteen, Brandon Flowers and Ian Curtis, and it fits the anthemic but danceable grooves purveyed by the band like a glove. Check out “Put Me To Work” and “Young Rut” from last year’s underrated Tender Madness album for proof. THROW YOUR HANDS IN THE AIR, IF YOU THINK YOU’RE A PLAYER.
Syd Arthur take seemingly disparate corners of 1970s rock — garage, psychadelic, prog, AM, yacht, etc. — and trace them to an equidistant spot on a big shag carpet that’s…seen some things. It’s almost fitting, then, that these Canterbury natives are frequently asked the Pink Floyd Question (“Which one is Syd?”), despite that their name is a Hermann Hesse reference and not a real person. We featured them in our Festival Fever series earlier this year, so hit the link for a video interview with the British rockers, as well as performances of standout cuts “Garden of Time” and “Hometown Blues.”