V olume is Inland Northwest-born and bred, celebrating our constantly growing and wonderfully diverse music scene. But we're also proud to recognize talent from beyond our neck of the woods. Consider these:
A quartet of Rose City acts make a small yet mighty impact.
FRIDAY: As per their Facebook page, plan to join math-rock/alt-country duo the Hague for a post-show snack at Dick's (The Big Dipper, 8:15 pm). Puff Puff Beer brought their blend of blues, funk, rock and hip-hop to Volume 2014, and the six-piece is back for another round (Red Room, 10:15 pm).
SATURDAY: If you actually mixed sugar and spice with everything nice, you'd probably end up with "sparkle pop" duo Mini Blinds (nYne, 8:30 pm). Forget the dream of the '90s; punk is alive in Portland thanks to chaotic punk-rock quintet GaAsp (Mootsy's, 12:15 am).
Two dozen Seattle-based artists will represent about half as many genres.
FRIDAY: In "Weird Girl," feminist punk scene standouts Mommy Long Legs proudly proclaim themselves to be "freaky f---ing girl[s]." If you can relate, you'll love their set (Mootsy's, 8:15 pm). Xurs combine thrashing punk with a captivating talk-singing vocal style (Baby Bar, 8:15 pm). Sebastian and the Deep Blue pull from pop, folk, orchestral and funk, then they add a three-piece brass section (nYne, 8:45 pm). Tekla Waterfield and the Sweet Nothings specialize in pure Americana-folk, with hints of bluegrass (The Bartlett, 9 pm). Indie/folk-pop act Kris Orlowski is no stranger to performing in Spokane. This time, his quintet brings a new album with them (nYne, 10:45 pm). Surf rock, punk rock, New Wave: VATS loves it all (The Observatory, 11:30 pm). "Put my power into writing / Pull my strength from the galaxy," DoNormaal talk-sings over a trance-like beat in "Wide Awake." Prepare to be hypnotized (The Observatory, 12:30 am).
SATURDAY: Take a heavy dose of pop sweetness, add scuffed sneakers and ripped jeans for some edge, and you've got Hoop (The Pin! Side stage, 6:45 pm). There's a tropical vibe to much of experimental pop trio Powerbleeder's music, though the band isn't afraid to play with unconventional elements (The Pin! Main stage, 7:30 pm). Spokanite-turned-Seattleite Mark Shirtz and the Dirtyshirtz Band brings his Allen Stone-like soulful tunes back home (Red Room, 7:45 pm). The Bad Tenants fit call-and-response rapping, jazz- and blues-inspired instrumentation, and live brass into one set. (Terrain stage, 8 pm). Hip-hop artist Lou Era is Seattle swag and Cali cool combined (Terrain stage, 9 pm). Grenades slowly turn up the volume on their snarls and screams over a math rock base until the quartet creates a mountain of sound (Mootsy's, 9:15 pm). Sweet, dreamy vocals paired with darker electronic beats is a match made in heaven for youryoungbody (The Bartlett, 9:15 pm). When Validation frontwoman Judy Davis starts screaming, stay out of her way. That goes for the rest of the hardcore punk band, too (The Observatory, 9:30 pm). From indie to folk to just plain loud, Duke Evers incorporates the entire rock spectrum into its music (nYne, 9:45 pm).
Hip-hop trio Brothers From Another aren't exaggerating when they call themselves "Seattle summer kings"; their sunny rhymes are perfect for the season (Terrain stage, 10 pm). X Suns piles layers of instrumental math rock and hints of heavier metal on top of each other until it's almost too much to handle (Mootsy's, 10:15 pm). Power-pop quartet The Hoot Hoots' carefree vibes are so infectious, it's nearly impossible not to shimmy while listening (nYne, 10:30 pm). Alt-rock/no-wave trio Nail Polish have mastered the art of packing serious punch into minute-and-a-half-long songs (The Observatory, 10:30 pm). Festival headliner Shabazz Palaces really need no introduction: it's the kooky experimental hip-hop duo of Digable Planets' Ishmael Butler, aka Palaceer Lazaro, and multi-instrumentalist Tendai "Baba" Maraire (Terrain stage, 11 pm). The only thing more powerful than the messages in blues-rock trio Ayron Jones and the Way's songs is the rasp in Jones' voice (Red Room, 11:45 pm). Who knew that practically monotone vocals, guitar and electronic backing tracks could be so captivating? Pleather is onto something (The Observatory, 12:30 am).
Vancouver, B.C.-based acts dominate the weekend, with Boise representing on Saturday.
FRIDAY: There's an air of secrecy surrounding Co-op, and the trio's morose post-punk just adds to the mystery (The Big Dipper, 6:15 pm). A fellow writer described punk band Crazy Bugs' female singer's voice as "the piercing shrieks of a cat being murdered." Catch them live if you dare (The Pin! main stage, 9 pm). Volume isn't always necessary to make a big impact, as easygoing indie-rock trio Cave Girl proves (The Pin! side stage, 9:45 pm). Marshall Poole may be from Boise, but the quartet has Southern rock in its soul (The Pin, 11:15 pm).
SATURDAY: If you dig punk-rock undertones muddled by layers of peppy synth and distorted vocals, you'll dig S1ugs (The Observatory, 8:30 pm).
Acts from Boulder, San Francisco and Oakland make the long trip to Spokane.
FRIDAY: They've only been together for a year-and-a-half, but Boulder, Colorado's A Shadow of Jaguar has mastered the Delta rock sound (The Pin! side stage, 10:30 pm).
SATURDAY: San Francisco's Couches puts some new oomph into the tried-and-true mix of jangly guitar and distortion (Mootsy's, 8:15 pm). Chaotic punk rock quartet Never Young brings fuzzy riffs and we're-not-gonna-take-it vocals all the way from Oakland (The Pin! main stage, 9 pm). ♦