Music Festival

A Roadmap to Reverb Festival

Ballard hosts more than 50 bands from around Seattle for one low price this Saturday.

By Seth Sommerfeld October 4, 2012

Catching the tribal pop of Kithkin at Reverb Festival is easy. Taming these wild beasts would be much more of a challenge.

The one-day Reverb Festival is a recession-friendly, small business-lovin' way to expose yourself to local music. (Sorry, we have last night's presidential debates on the brain.) For $10 you get a pass to see 56 Seattle bands spread across eight Ballard venues, playing a day and night of rock, hip-hop, country, and pop-punk. While it can be tempting to just park yourself at one bar and let the music wash over you, you'll see the best of the festival if you leave your stool.

This is the path we'll take this Saturday. The fun starts at 5:30...

Chastity Belt 5:30 and Cristina Bautista 6:30, The Sunset ­­– Start the night at the Sunset with some women who can talk the talk and rock the rock. Walla Walla’s Chastity Belt just released a new EP this week (Dude) and kicks off Reverb with catchy and irreverent punk tunes about aliens and guys with ponytails (seriously though, Steven Seagal and Thomas Jefferson don’t get referenced in the same breath often enough). Cristina Bautista’s fierce, take-no-crap snarl brings some much-appreciated edge to her batch of finely crafted power pop tunes.

Lifestyles of the Poor and Unknown 7:30, Conor Byrne Pub – Port Townsend’s Lifestyles of the Poor and Unknown is a tuneful herky-jerky mess of wailing baritones, country guitar flailings, and general sonic disarray. (Yes, that’s a compliment.)

Kithkin 8, Salmon Bay Eagles –  The chaotic tribal-pop noise created by Kithkin exudes youthful manic energy reminiscent of Man, Man (but more accessible). The group is festival-tested after performing at this year’s Capitol Hill Block Party and Doe Bay Fest (which earned praise from the Head and the Heart’s Josiah Johnson).

The Crow Quilt Night Owls 9, Miro Tea – For an abrupt change of pace, head over to Miro Tea and catch a few ragtime tunes, courtesy of jug band the Crow Quilt Night Owls. This isn’t just some two-bit busking act; the group's throwback sound is polished without losing any folksy charm.

Nouela 9:30, New York Fashion Academy – With a voice that's breathy but true and deft touch on the keys, Nouela is able to fully illustrate nuanced scenes with her dark pop.

OCnotes 10 and Brothers From Another 11, Hilliard’s Brewery – The night wouldn't be complete without a sampling of great local hip-hop. OCnotes' expert production and 2011 trio of rock and hip-hop albums puts him atop lots of local music lists, and Brothers From Another’s sound is as fresh as they are young (i.e. very). Plus, they have a Molly Moon's rap.

Erik Blood 12:30am, The Sunset ­– There's lots of talent in the late-night time slot—including Shelby Earl (Conor Byrne Pub) and the Missionary Position (2 Bit Saloon)—but we’re sticking with Erik Blood. We’ve extolled the fantastic filth of Blood’s latest record Touch Screens (August’s Album of the Month) and it’s hard to think of a better way to end a night of local jams than rocking out to these pornographic tunes.

Reverb Festival
Oct 6, Ballard, $5­–$15

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