Line Out Music & the City at Night

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Official Capitol Hill Block Party Announcement

Posted by on Mon, Apr 27, 2009 at 2:05 AM

The Stranger, KEXP 90.3 FM and Caffe Vita present
The 2009 Capitol Hill Block Party
Seattle’s Premiere Celebration of Independent Music
July 24 & July 25th

Seattle, WA



More to be announced soon….
check out

for daily updates, videos, special promotions and more…


Tuesday April 28th, 10:00am. through April 30 - only for our partners - promo code is BLOCKPARTY

"EARLY BIRD" tickets - May 1 - May 15: 2 day passes - $40 / single day tickets - $22

Tickets Available at

All Seattle Rudy’s Barber Shops, Select QFC’s, Moe Bar Neumos Seattle, or charge by phone at 1-800-325-SEAT.


Comments (73) RSS

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TPOBPAH... fuck yeah.
Posted by kdiddy on April 27, 2009 at 7:48 AM · Report this
That was the most retarded acronym I've ever seen. Never do it again. Thanks.
Posted by gtfoplz on April 27, 2009 at 8:20 AM · Report this

I'm really impressed with this lineup. STILL excited about Sonic Youth, really glad you guys got Pains of Being Pure at Heart, looking forward to The Thermals, etc. Good job. Only bummer of the list is The Gossip.
Posted by Nick on April 27, 2009 at 8:43 AM · Report this
Posted by infrequent on April 27, 2009 at 8:51 AM · Report this
Awesome. Maybe a Sleepy Eyes of Death / Earth super team up could happen and kill everyone's soul.
Posted by cosby on April 27, 2009 at 8:52 AM · Report this
@5- have "They will know us by the trail..." open and yes, there would be hell on earth.
Posted by on April 27, 2009 at 8:54 AM · Report this
5- If by "kill everyone's soul" you mean Earth has the potential to "put me into a coma" then yes, you are correct. I don't get the hype behind this band at all; I saw them open for Mogwai and I'm pretty sure they were the most boring band I've ever seen in my life.

Which isn't to say that they're bad, or that I have a problem with drone blah blah at all, just that killing souls is THE LAST THING I would say they're capable of doing.
Posted by Nick on April 27, 2009 at 8:56 AM · Report this
Sonic Youth. Jesus Lizard. Beer & Whiskey in the street. Can't get much better my friend.
Posted by alreadyhungover on April 27, 2009 at 9:06 AM · Report this
Wow, that is an amazing line-up! :D
Posted by Original Monique on April 27, 2009 at 10:02 AM · Report this
What the hell ever happened to affordable ticket prices in this town? First Bumbershoot starts charging an arm and a leg, and now CHBP is through the roof, too. I'd love to see Jesus Lizard, but fer chrissakes, who can afford these prices these days?
Posted by jp on April 27, 2009 at 10:03 AM · Report this
Ugh ... one one hand Sonic Youth/Jesus Lizard will rule, but at the cost of this being even more croweded, messy and frustrating.

Expect impossble lines for beer, water, portapotties, etc. Expect every single member of the greater Seattle Greek system to be in this crowd.

Expect every single "Tina and Todd" to drive in for this.
Posted by Jeff on April 27, 2009 at 10:04 AM · Report this
$22 is through the roof? $22 to see Sonic Youth or the Jesus Lizard? Had either band played alone at any local venue, it would probably be more than $22.

$40 for two days is a pretty amazing deal considering all of the talent. Not hating, but the lineup last year wasn't as strong and it was still worth the money.
Posted by cosby on April 27, 2009 at 10:12 AM · Report this
@11 you said it brother...

The crowds are going to be too much. The bands are too big. CHBP is turning into Bumbershoot. Would love to see Jesus Lizard again, but its not worth it. I liked the block party when it focused on lesser known local acts.
Posted by Rotten666 on April 27, 2009 at 10:13 AM · Report this
That's a pretty fucking righteous line up. Congrats!
Posted by Estey on April 27, 2009 at 10:16 AM · Report this
who is this sonic youth band? i think they talked about them in a classic movie I once saw...something about them being just noise....
no thanks!
Posted by !!?! on April 27, 2009 at 10:24 AM · Report this
Actually, the crowd problem is a good one to bring up. Grandy and co, are there any plans to limit how many people you let in this year? Trying to get from Neumo's to anywhere else, battling the fucking nightmare that was the main stage crowd -- that shit sucked.

Oh and nevermind the shitheads who stood around holding beer and carrying on loud conversations while Fleet Foxes were playing.
Posted by Nick on April 27, 2009 at 10:32 AM · Report this
I'm with #16. Last year was a nightmare in terms of crowd flow toward the end of the day. Downright scary at times. Needs to be reevaluated for this to be a success.
Posted by danger danger on April 27, 2009 at 10:36 AM · Report this
If and when I see the Jesus Lizard play live, I will officially be able to die a happy man.
Posted by Just another Mouth Breather on April 27, 2009 at 10:38 AM · Report this
One of my favorite Bumbershoot moments is when Sonic Youth played the stadium a few years back. There were thousands of people partying it up in the sun, as expected, and waiting to hear SY. But several songs in, lots of people got tired of the non-hits experimental-y set and I watched droves of disappointed people slowly flee the stadium. It was a beautiful site. But they were missing out on good SY.
Posted by stinkbug on April 27, 2009 at 10:40 AM · Report this
Great lineup!

As for the prices, they're a good deal unless you're somehow annoyed that capitol hill now has a music festival instead of a block party. I'm not complaining.
Posted by josh on April 27, 2009 at 10:40 AM · Report this
so i adore sonic youth, totally want to go see them at the block party, but actually have a huge pit in my stomach thinking about how potentially dangerous the crowd could be. i mean not only would watching the show not even be fun or comfortable (which it wasn't last year even with the the crummy lineup) but if it's anything like @19 described, people are going to get angry and hurt each other or get crushed, the who style!
Posted by madelinear on April 27, 2009 at 11:29 AM · Report this
@19, I was at that Sonic Youth show at Bumbershoot (in 1999, not a few years back!) and it stunk, badly. Either a screw-you to festivalism or the beginning of when Sonic Youth decided, forget all this punk rock and pop songsmithery, or singing in general, let's be full-on artists. Which is hard to pull off when only one or two of your four members have any interesting ideas what do do with their instruments, and yeah, that doesn't include Thurston. Mostly, I felt bad for the kids, who weren't going to be able to see them play club shows and got fed a steady diet of noodly instrumentals.
Posted by Eric F on April 27, 2009 at 11:35 AM · Report this
21 - Where do you think you live? What year do you think it is? Are you joking? Please.
Posted by Nick on April 27, 2009 at 11:35 AM · Report this
@11: if I wanted to be squashed between two brahs calling each other "faggot" and bitching about the "fuckin' fags here" and looking for girls, I would go to a frat party. The bridge-and-tunnel crowd of assholes is the least-fun part of the block party. That being said, with SY and the Gossip, I'm definitely going this year.

Fair disclosure, I once lived in the suburbs and came to the block party for Sleater-Kinney. But I sure as fuck didn't act like those assholes.
Posted by Jessica on April 27, 2009 at 11:54 AM · Report this
Just to ease some fears re: crowds etc. This year we are expanding the site and are in the works to change the entire layout. We have hired our friends at one reel to do production this year, and they are working with the city to come up with a new stage placement that will solve these issues. In addition the entrances will no longer be right where the stage is.

As far as prices, some one here nailed it on the head. 22 and 40 for 2 day passes are still cheaper than it would be to see either band headline their own show. The model has changed for the capitol hill block party, we plan on reducing the number of tickets sold, but if we want to keep the talent exciting, and continue to make the production and site better, than the ticket price has to come up a bit, and i still think its VERY affordable.

We can't please everyone all the time, but we are trying to please most everyone, most of the time. Thanks for the positive feedback, and we are listening to the concerns regarding lay out, crowds etc.

We still have a few big announcements to make so...stay tuned! This years block party is one of the most exciting yet.

Jason. (curator...Sealed WIth A Kiss Presents)
Posted by SWAK on April 27, 2009 at 12:01 PM · Report this
Definitely willing to pay more for tickets if fewer of them are sold.
Posted by Nick on April 27, 2009 at 12:02 PM · Report this
Posted by here comes the eastsiders on April 27, 2009 at 12:07 PM · Report this
Hey all - a couple of things. First, we're aware of and are working on fixing the traffic flow/ crowd issue - lots of ways this will work including letting less people in, securing the perimeter better to keep people from sneaking in, and some adjustment of the layout. It'll be good so don't fear.

We're also not trying to get tons of the "bridge and tunnel crowd". Our headliners are less commercial than last year - note Jesus Lizard vs. Vampire Weekend. Sonic Youth actually came to us because they like the vibe of the event and like to play low ticketed events. The economics of a festival allow them to play for a lower ticketed festival than their show would be at a theater.

So we heard you, and we're taking your comments and working to make this thing the best it can be.

Posted by Meinert on April 27, 2009 at 12:09 PM · Report this
28 - If you really want to keep commuters out, you should only sell tickets in Capitol Hill. Now THAT'S an awesome idea.
Posted by Nick on April 27, 2009 at 12:16 PM · Report this
People bitching about the price are retarded.

People bitching about how unsafe last year felt are SPOT FUCKING ON.

Posted by Jeff on April 27, 2009 at 12:18 PM · Report this
It got pretty hairy last year, but it was also pretty fun. If they're letting in less people, fewer out-of-town b-holes, and beter flow, + The Thermals (who I LOVE), this could be awesome. And yes, if fewer people are let in, I'd be wiling to pay a lot more for tickets, as long as the 21+ stages are as good as last year.
Posted by Evan Stewart on April 27, 2009 at 12:47 PM · Report this
yuppiefest 09. whoa, rancho bravo is gotta be stoked, though
Posted by T.v. coahran on April 27, 2009 at 1:01 PM · Report this
@32 - Earth, Black Lips, Deerhunter, Gossip, Sonic Youth, Jesus Lizard - about as non-mainstream as you can get I think.
Posted by jackson on April 27, 2009 at 1:06 PM · Report this
yo new faces are my favorite band bro. tight.
Posted by Rick Rubin on April 27, 2009 at 1:25 PM · Report this
First, Frat brahs read Vice magazine now, they will be there.

Second, the Halo Benders as the "secrete" surprise guest will calm people down.

Posted by Tweet Tweet on April 27, 2009 at 1:26 PM · Report this
bummer. i like the idea of a cap hill block party, not a collection of national indie bands the stranger likes. i hope the 'more announcements' includes a shitload of local bands or i'm boycotting.
Posted by qwerty on April 27, 2009 at 1:47 PM · Report this
@32 The line-up doesn't really appeal to the 107.7er crowd.......don't really think the "yuppies" (Coahran's a geek) are pumping the Jesus Lizard or Sonic Youth, but Vampire Weekend on the other hand.

@35 What is Vice magazine and why would it bring "Frat brahs" to the show?

Excited to see Deerhunter and Future of the Left......loved me some Mclusky
Posted by Ty on April 27, 2009 at 1:47 PM · Report this

I'm sure you'll be missed......
Posted by Sorry on April 27, 2009 at 1:49 PM · Report this
@28 yeah good luck with that. Ain't gonna happen, though.
Posted by Rotten666 on April 27, 2009 at 1:53 PM · Report this
40 did I miss Future of the Left?! Holy Crap! yay!!
Posted by danger danger on April 27, 2009 at 2:46 PM · Report this
36...We are trying to find another stage to replace the king cobra stage that we had booked last year. That was a good 16 or so additional local bands. Our hopes is that we can find an alternate space to accommodate. Hopefully this happens. There are MANY amazing local bands that we would like to include in addition to the great ones we have.
Posted by swak on April 27, 2009 at 3:13 PM · Report this
@41, well NOW you've got me excited. the national acts for this year are most def tight, but you got to keep this shit real and representing Seattle. keep up the good work.
Posted by qwerty on April 27, 2009 at 3:40 PM · Report this
@22: I wasn't referring to Sonic Youth's '99 show, I was referring to the 2002 show:…

Posted by stinkbug on April 27, 2009 at 3:44 PM · Report this
hey 41 maybe you idiots shouldn't have talked shit about that venue or it would still be around.

$22 is NOT affordable.

Thats just pure greed. Wouldn't expect anything more from 'Capitol Hills only newspaper'
Posted by lets trash capitol hill and profit! on April 27, 2009 at 4:03 PM · Report this
SOOOOO glad that King Cobra will not be part of the Block Party this year.

Keep up the good work!
Posted by sleesuck on April 27, 2009 at 4:10 PM · Report this
I see 'Girls' on the list of bands. Is that The Girls?

If it is The Girls - can someone tell me how the hell they get asked to play Block Party every year?

I can think of twenty other local bands that are more deserving than them.
Posted by Seriously on April 27, 2009 at 4:24 PM · Report this
what about past lives? they played last year and it wasn't very well received, why again?!
Posted by SF_girl on April 27, 2009 at 5:38 PM · Report this
@46, nah man, they're just "Girls", pretty rad band from SF, I wouldn't be surprised if they were blowing up by the time they play the block party:
Posted by rrruj on April 27, 2009 at 5:45 PM · Report this
I thought this was called the Capitol Hill Block Party -- it's none of those things. A block party is precisely that, a party for the block or neighborhood. It's cool to have bands, but why block off the streets to people who live in the neighborhood and charge them to walk on their public streets (is that even legal)? Open it up and feature the best in local bands like the CHBP used to just a few years ago. The City of Seattle should not be issuing permits for a falsely named event that basically puts the neighborhood it's supposed to serve under siege for 2 days while people who don't particularly care about the 'hood overrun it and abuse the area.

If this event served the Cap Hill community it would be less an invasion and more a celebration. Seattle produces some AWESOME bands that would love to play a local block party that celebrates it's band, food & culture. As it stands, this has turned into Cheescake Factory instead of remaining like a local farmer's market.

Ballard, Magnolia, Fremont all have block parties that keep with the spirit of celebrating and supporting the block they represent. They're free or donation based and very local. Capitol Hill should too. If you're not going to, at least be honest about it and change your name so we know what we're getting -- a much bigger non-Cap Hill specific event that the City of Seattle should appropriately permit and tax to make it make sense for the neighbors that have to live through your frat party for 2 days. Be adults and give us our name back -- this ain't no Capitol Hill Block Party. It's a big concert that mostly benefits those promoting it. Oh, and some frat boys I suppose.

Suggested name change: Capitol Hill Blockade Party
Posted by Blockade Party on April 27, 2009 at 5:57 PM · Report this
@47--word. last year was great, but past lives were/are awful.
Posted by DTL on April 27, 2009 at 5:57 PM · Report this
are the Halo Benders actually playing?!?!?
Posted by please god make it so on April 27, 2009 at 8:14 PM · Report this
I'm basically with everyone that says there should be more of a focus on local bands and making this an actual "block party," but the "national" bands that are playing this year are SO GOOD (seriously, I would estimate this year's lineup as being 10 trillion times better than last year's) that I HAVE TO go.
Posted by bunnypuncher on April 28, 2009 at 12:57 AM · Report this
There will be more local bands announced for sure. Just yesterday added D Black, Fatal Luciauno, and Spaceman to pick up the local hip hop vibe. Expect more.
Posted by Meinert on April 28, 2009 at 8:30 AM · Report this
49 - But all of those block parties sound really boring.
Posted by Nick on April 28, 2009 at 8:50 AM · Report this
Re: Halo Benders. Be patient.

Big announcement coming soon (hint, vinyl and digital download!).

Posted by Don't Touch My Bikini on April 28, 2009 at 9:08 AM · Report this
Faux Punk?

They booked a "band" whose whole shtick is to wear knockoff costumes and play Daft Punk records? Really?

They're not a band, they aren't even lip sync artists, they are... tribute mimes?
Posted by Fauxfaux on April 28, 2009 at 9:48 AM · Report this

Please explain how seeing 25 or so bands is "$22 NOT affordable?" As previously stated a ticket to either of the headliners would be 30$ at least.....if you can't afford 22$ for a DAY of entertainment then you need a new comparison a damn movie is 9.50 for fuck sake.

It's a great deal.....stop bitchin' hater.
Posted by Ty on April 28, 2009 at 10:04 AM · Report this
Please tell me Sonic Youth and Jesus Lizard are playing the same day. And like a lot of people, the price doesn't bother me (totally fair for an all day festival with bands and a lot more), but I'd love to see more and different local bands playing. Haven't The Blakes and Akimbo played it a few times each? Why not bring in some newer (or even different) bands for the punk and rock stuff?
Posted by dan10things on April 28, 2009 at 10:40 AM · Report this
@56 -Actually Faux Punk supposedly reproduce all the material live, using the same software and hardware. They also have a mini pyramid. Not sure if anyone went to daft punk after block party 2 years ago, but it made for the perfect book end to a fun weekend. we could not afford daft punk, so we thought this would be a fun nod to that weekend 2 years ago. They are playing the after party at neumos, after sonic youth finish, so, if you are done with the big day after SY play, which most will be, you are not missing anything. If you want to dance off a great day of music and have a few more drinks, you can check it out. Not a big deal either way. We never book a band after the headliner, only dj's at neumos to close out the day, so, its either dance to dj's, or check out this act, which could be great, or could be ok...

Damn, people are hard to please....
Posted by SWAK on April 28, 2009 at 11:40 AM · Report this
Is pre-sale actually saving me ANY money? With service fees tickets are $51. If I wait until the 1st and get them at Rudy's will I be spared the $10+ in fees?

Anyone know?
Posted by dod on April 28, 2009 at 12:31 PM · Report this
@59 -My friend, you may have been lied to. Their YouTube videos show them using a MacBook. If they really use Lemur touch screens as they claim on their web site, it seems odd that they have so much time for fist pumping.

This sure looks like Serato to me, no Behringer BCR2000s visible anywhere:…

There are plenty of good, comparatively original DJs to whom you can dance off a great day of music to without using tribute mimes. Yes I'm hard to please, but you would be too if some group who mimes to your favorite band's recorded music was given the honor of a Block Party gig. Would you book a "band" for the Block Party that mimes to recordings of Vampire Weekend or Sonic Youth? I think not.
Posted by Fauxfaux on April 28, 2009 at 12:34 PM · Report this
All the small bars within the block party gates (cha cha, wildrose, comet) always put on there own great shows during block party and focus on local bands. Its to bad its become more of a festival than a 'block party' but the blame goes on the promoter (one reel) not the Stranger. Download the Pdf on the website, its a marketing event just as much as a block party. hooray for fucking target marketing!
Posted by jp on April 28, 2009 at 1:00 PM · Report this
My cousin's in this sick ass band that plays all the time and is really good. Why didn't the Stranger ask them to play? Does it have to be on Capitol Hill? That's where all the hipsters hang out and I'm not into all that. $22 is cool I guess but if they gave out Applebee's coupons at the door or something I could probably make it down.
Posted by What gives? on April 28, 2009 at 2:24 PM · Report this
63 - you have to give cocaine to the stranger staff or suck their dicks in order for a mention
Posted by BFF BJ CLUB on April 28, 2009 at 5:27 PM · Report this
even NME is hyping this thing. I'd recommend getting tickets early.
Posted by Meinert on April 29, 2009 at 10:05 AM · Report this
How many of these bands actually had to go through Sonicbids to get on this? My guess is zero. What a fucking scam. Quit ripping this city's hard working bands off.
Posted by please refund my money on April 30, 2009 at 9:20 AM · Report this
@66: What is Sonicbids? Most local festivals hand pick the bands they want to play. Even if there is a submission process like with Bumbershoot, it's not really used, I can attest from sitting on the Bumbershoot board. Most of the bands asked to play never submit music or a request, they are sought out by the promoters/festival. I don't think this is a bad thing, but I wish this was more transparent/honest/up front and they'd drop the illusion of their being a submission process for local bands. It's a waste of time, money, postage, packaging and it all ends up in a landfill eventually.
Posted by dan10things on April 30, 2009 at 10:56 AM · Report this
Posted by speaking of landfills, Dan on April 30, 2009 at 12:17 PM · Report this
Dan, check . The only way to apply for most, if not all, regional summer festivals is through Sonicbids. Bumbershoot directly links you there from their artist/musician submissions page. Noise for the Needy, Block Party, Music Fest NW, Georgetown Music Fest, etc. all currently use [or have used in the past] Sonicbids in a similar fashion. Prices to submit range anywhere from $5 to $20 per event. As you can imagine, the fees end up taking a toll on the old band account after a while, and where this money actually goes, well, your guess is as good as mine.
You are right, the "submission" process is crap, and it is pretty obvious how acts for these types of events are actually chosen. But, what other choice do musicians have who are not a) connected with the selection board, or b) currently not experiencing rave reviews in, say, Pitchfork?
Every band I have been in over the years has done quite well in terms of garnering accolades from local press and drawing people to shows, so I am not here to bitch or boohoo about how my band[s] didn't get selected. Festival Politics have no sway on my confidence in what I do creatively. What is important to me are the bullshit submission processes through which local festivals align themselves, and how they ultimately result in an exercise in futility and a waste of artists' resources.
Posted by please refund my money on April 30, 2009 at 12:23 PM · Report this
Sonicbids is pretty similar to how film festivals work as well, by requiring submission fees that heavily fund the festival and amount to maybe 5% of the actual selections not already being pursued by the bookers. Its definitely a racket in my opinion.

On the other hand my band ironically does use Sonicbids although I'm pretty sure our selection into Bumbershoot and other past local festivals was never obtained by this. Its $6 a month so you figure its a drop in the bucket, although ultimately totally worthless aside from the official posturing.

So props to the Stranger for not pretending its necessary.

Posted by sonicdoom on April 30, 2009 at 4:09 PM · Report this
Wow, that totally sounds like a racket, almost like pay to play. I totally would not recommend paying them anything. I sat with Meinert and a bunch of very knowledgeable music fans on the Bumbershoot board for two years, so I can tell you at least how that festival works. It's not really about who's getting raves in Pitchfork at all for local bands, and it definitely isn't about who has submitted music. For local acts it's about who is currently drawing crowds, has a new album dropping a few months before the show, who is a great representative of a genre... trying to get the best and biggest drawing couple punk bands, hip hop bands, rock bands, electronica, dance, etc.

But, as I'm sure you can guess, it's also about who you know. I definitely weaseled a few bands into playing Bumbershoot that never would have played otherwise. Like it or not, it's definitely about getting the attention of the people making the decisions. Invite them to one of your shows and make sure it's packed and they have a great time. Or have someone that knows them and you get your CD into their hands and talk you up. Or get good press in The Stranger and Weekly or get a buzz going about your live show. It's kinda like getting signed to a record label, there is schmoozing involved. And I know for a lot of the types of bands I like (punk, hardcore, garage rock) they think that's all total bullshit, so they have a hard time with it or won't at all. But, that's part of playing festivals unless you're getting national attention.
Posted by dan10things on April 30, 2009 at 5:12 PM · Report this
When will paying big bucks to be fenced-in like cattle stop being 'cool'??

It was a lot more fun when it *was* a BP, before the steroids.
Posted by tunanator on May 1, 2009 at 11:54 AM · Report this
david yow is gonna punch all of you in the face.

just like last time.

fuck yeah.
Posted by mrbanana on May 1, 2009 at 12:18 PM · Report this

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