The Capitol Hill Block Party — Seattle’s favorite one-day actual block party-turned three-day corporate-sponsored music festival — is returning to a fenced-in Pike Street for the 17th year this weekend.
Friday’s lineup boasts headlining indie-rock veterans Spoon, who haven’t released an album since 2010s “Transference” but have a new one called “They Want My Soul” on the way that comes packed with a wannabe slacker-pop summer anthem “Do You.” Brooklyn DIY keyboard/drums dance-pop sweethearts Matt & Kim will also bring their energetic, feel-good live set to the main stage.
What will likely be the people’s choice act of the day is trendy Harlem rapper A$AP Ferg (fellow crew member A$AP Rocky is on the Block Party bill also, but not performing until Sunday). Ferg took last summer by storm with his derivative but effective runaway hit “Shabba” and subsequent “Trap Lord” album, and its blog-rap bangers should resonate with the usually youthful Block Party crowd. Local highlights include indie-pop duo Iska Dhaaf, electronic duo ODESZA, grunge-metal outfit Sandrider, industrial-punk aggressors Crypts, and neo-blues rockers Ayron Jones and the Way.
Saturday features two way-retro headliners in Canadian ’80s-electro-funk revivalists Chromeo and New York’s The Budos Band, who make the kind of big-band instrumental funk that sounds like it belongs on ’70s kung fu movie soundtracks. Manchester producer Star Slinger’s soulful sample chops and The Thermals’ Portland indie-punk add some variety to the day’s offerings, but the hidden theme for Saturday is showstopping female artists: South Dakota noise-folk songstress EMA (that’s Erika M. Anderson) has an afternoon main stage set that’s unfortunately scheduled right around the same time as multitalented local rapper/singer/producer Katie Kate’s Vera Stage set, and Portland’s premier composer/producer/vocalist Natasha Kmeto has an evening set at the Neumos stage. Other local highlights include posi-rapper Sol, electronic pop duo-turned-band Beat Connection, heavy punk outfit Deadkill and Pillar Point, former Throw Me the Statue frontman Scott Reitherman’s new synth-pop project.
The third and final day of the Capitol Hill Block Party is heavy on the local acts, but still has some national headliners to attract the mainstream crowd. Rap-blog darling turned fashion icon/indie celebrity A$AP Rocky is the biggest name on the entire bill, and his closing set should be overrun with streetwear-clad youths and posers who think they’re “different” or something because they listen to him (even though he’s on a major label and has had a star-assisted radio hit).
Philadelphia dad-rock quartet The War on Drugs perform right before Rocky, which provides one of the weirdest back-to-back musical juxtapositions of the entire weekend. A few lesser-known national acts like Orlando, Fla., slowwave producer XXYYXX and New York’s upbeat electronic duo Tanlines add some balance genre-wise, but local bands with a variety of different sounds dominate the schedule. Highlights include everything from the feel-good punk of Dude York, to the collaborative experimental rap of Ricky & Mark, to the “post-apocalyptic satanic space-jams” of Haunted Horses, to the seven-member twee-pop of Pollens.
Photos: Day 1 of block party
6:30-7:15 p.m., main stage, A$AP Ferg
7-7:45 p.m., Vera stage, Iska Dhaaf
7:45-8:45 p.m., main stage ODESZA
9:30-10 p.m., Barboza stage, Crypts
9:15-10:15 p.m., main stage, Matt & Kim
9:45-10:15 p.m., Cha Cha stage, Sandrider
10:45 p.m.-midnight, main stage, Spoon
12:45-1:45 a.m., Neumos stage, Ayron Jones and the Way
4:45-5:30 p.m., main stage, EMA
5-5:30 p.m., Vera stage, Katie Kate
6-7 p.m., main stage, Sol
7:30-8:30 p.m., main stage, The Budos Band
7:30-8:30 p.m., main stage, Beat Connection
8:45-9:15 p.m., Cha Cha stage, Deadkill
8:30-9:15 p.m., Vera stage, Pillar Point
9:45-10:30 p.m., Vera stage, Star Slinger
11 p.m.-midnight, main stage, Chromeo
11 p.m.-midnight, Vera stage, The Thermals
2:15-2:45 p.m., Neumos, stage, Dude York
3:45-4:30 p.m., main stage, XXYYXX
4:15-4:45 p.m., Neumos stage, Ricky & Mark
5-5:30 p.m., Vera stage, Tanlines
5:45-6:15 p.m., Cha Cha stage, Haunted Horses
6:30-7:30 p.m., main stage, War on Drugs
8:15-10 p.m., main stage, A$AP Rocky
9-9:30 p.m., Neumos stage, Pollens
Rock the block, Capitol Hill-style
Friday-Sunday, July 25-27, with gates opening at 3 p.m. Friday, and 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The main entrance/exit is at East Pike Street and 12th Avenue, and the secondary entrance/exit is on East Pine Street and 10th Avenue, Seattle; $50-$250 (http://capitolhillblockparty.strangertickets.com/page/tickets).
Mike Ramos: @RAM0S206
Photos: Day 1 of block party