Preview: Sasquatch 2012


When my friends and I wax sentimental, it’s become common—even expected—to hear at least one anecdote from a bygone Sasquatch weekend. Hosted at the Gorge Amphitheater in central Washington, the festival promises jaw-dropping musical talent and one of most visually stunning venues in all the land. This year suggests no different, with performances from musical goliaths Bon Iver, Beck, Jack White, Girl Talk and favorites such as Childish Gambino, The Civil Wars, Gary Clark Jr. and our Best New Band of 2011, Grouplove.  Also, there is a bundle of new and up-and-coming bands sure to secure a spot in the memory banks of this year’s attendees. For example:


Shabazz Palaces

With the release of their debut album last year, Seattle’s Palaceer Lazaro—aka Ishmael Butler—and multi-instrumentalist Tendai Maraire (Shown Above) have proven to be two of the most exciting new voices in hip-hop.  Black Up is an impressive mix of Butler’s cosmic rhymes set to swirling psychedelic beats and haunting, reverb-drenched effects.


Lord Huron

There’s a lot of folk-pop to be had in this world, but it’s rare to find some as carefully crafted and emotive as Lord Huron. With ethereal vocals that drift over Afro-Caribbean percussion and acoustic guitar narratives, Ben Schneider and crew are able to separate themselves from the pack while making it sound effortless.


Star Slinger

It was two years ago that Darren Williams started making music under the name Star Slinger.  Since then he’s put out a number of unofficial remixes, collaborations with other artists and original material. Volume 1, his 11-track 2010 release, finds the 25-year-old producer making upbeat sample-heavy sonic collages that follow in the footsteps of artists like J-Dilla, Kanye West and Madlib.

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Top Photo: Deerhunter by Christopher Nels