How do I know that I have just seen an exceptionally kickass concert? Easy: when it's all done and I'm just still in electrify
mode, totally amped up on on the energy and awesomeness of what I've just experienced. How do I know when a show was extra-extra kickass? When I shoot the whole thing, my arms and neck are numb or aching from holding a lens that weighs more than a small dog, I'm sweaty and usually covered in fan beer, and I still feel like I could run a marathon or out-dance James Brown. Come to think of it, I could definitely out-dance James Brown now, as he is deceased, but I digress. My point is that I saw a kickass concert at Bumbershoot Music & Arts Festival
: Ty Segall
on the Sub Pop Stage on a sunny Labor Day afternoon in Seattle. It ended up as my favorite show of all the bands I saw there this year, and that's saying a whole lot because there were many
What made it even cooler was the very exciting realization that every time I see Ty play, he and the band get better
each time. Experience, confidence, and honing as well as broadening the band's sound has paid off. Everyone (Ty on lead guitar and lead vocals, Mikal Cronin on bass and backing vocals, Emily Rose Epstein on drums, and Charlie Moothart on guitar) plays tight but not slick, heavy but not ponderous, and the stage sound and energy is a very appealing combination of mental punk moves, psychedelic splashes, garage stomp aggression, harmonies that sail above the cacophony, and a genuine band camaraderie, which I also see in my similar-but-still-really-different faves, Thee Oh Sees.
I tell you, children, these are the glory years of a garage revival/refresh, and it's a thrill to be able to watch deserving musical careers unfold. It's all happening.
Ty's been putting out albums like crazaaay this year: "Hair" with the also-mega-prolific and supercool White Fence
, "Slaughterhouse," released earlier in the summer, and "Twins" is set for GO in October. You should get them
, then play them really loud and dance like James Brown, if he knew some punk-ass mom in Washington State claimed she could out-dance him, pissed off and rising from the grave. You could look at these photos at the same time! (Click to enlarge photos and click on the Flickr link for more -- it's a big set!)