In 2011, We're Looking Forward To . . .

. . . New releases, bigger festivals, and another live-music venue in the U District.

The release of Fergus & Geronimo's "Baby Don't You Cry," a standout track on the band's Hardly Art Records full-length, Unlearn, due Jan. 18. We've given these guys a bad time for aligning themselves with the masked-band movement of 2010. Sartorial (and we're ones to talk!) quibbles aside, they've got a heck of a record on their hands. "Baby Don't You Cry" is the kind of abrasive pop-rock that's right at the Hardly Art/Sub Pop family's sweet spot. It's substantive, accessible, and the best song of 2011 . . . so far. Get an exclusive early listen at CHRIS KORNELIS, MUSIC EDITOR

Finally hearing a full-length record from the Globes, which Barsuk will release in the spring. The album will be a follow-up to 2009's Sinter Songs, a masterful, razor-sharp EP that only had one problem—it was too short. ERIN K. THOMPSON, CLUBS EDITOR

The Neptune becoming a music venue in the U District. In February, the credits will roll for the final time. U District residents will soon be able to thank STG—the nonprofit stewards of the Moore and Paramount—for bringing in bands, comedians, and other events. Instead of busing their way downtown, UW students can look forward to shows coming to their own backyard, and welcoming an STG-run Neptune with open arms. SW MUSIC INTERN BRYDEN MCGRATH


Those things I have no idea about. Every year new releases and new bands come out of nowhere and blow your mind. Last year for me it was The Head and the Heart and Breathe Owl Breathe. These unexpected gems tend to be the most fulfilling. I'm looking forward to reflecting a year from now on all the new music and artists that have changed my life. KEVIN COLE, KEXP PROGRAM DIRECTOR/HOST OF THE AFTERNOON SHOW

The four-day 10th anniversary of Sasquatch! Foo Fighters will open the newly expanded festival on the Friday night of Memorial Day weekend, accompanied by an afternoon of supporting acts. That the rest of the lineup is under wraps is irrelevant. Sasquatch! is so tastefully curated that you're not gambling by getting your tickets early. But for those who want to be the first to know who's playing, mark your calendars for the February 6 launch party at Showbox at the Market. CK

The Blue Scholars' new full-length record, Cinemetropolis. Judging from the handful of one-off tracks and the Hawaii-centric OOF! EP, Seattle's biggest hip-hop act has proven how far they've come since the Long March days of 2005. The next installment is sure to be a head-turner. NICK FELDMAN, SW MUSIC CONTRIBUTOR

Nectar Lounge's booking schedule. Thanks in great part to Meli Darby's talent-buying chops, the Nectar's 2010 concert schedule featured intimate performances from DâM-FunK, Yelawolf, Aloe Blacc, Wiz Khalifa, and an unfairly long list of other local and national talent, which kept the venue poised as one of Seattle's most attractive. We can only imagine how mind-blowing 2011 will be. NF

The new Whalebones record. Seriously, dudes, it's been like, what, four years? We're getting tired of waiting. The shows have been great. You remind us of that dream we had about Gregg Allman getting messed up on Krusty's Cough Syrup with Jack and Meg. Please make good on your promise and get the record out this spring. CK

Finding out if Fleet Foxes become Pitchfork roadkill or are embraced for the long run when their new record drops. Whenever that may be. At one point we thought we were going to hear the follow-up to the band's self-titled debut this month. Almost as interesting as what's on the tape will be to see how the public—particularly the finicky indie-rock set—reacts to a second helping from the band that blew up out of nowhere in 2008 and 2009. The past decade is littered with buzz bands that were dropped by the hipsterati once they outgrew their status of uncovered treasure. CK

The Lonely Forest's full-length, produced by Death Cab for Cutie's Chris Walla. Anacortes' finest signed to Walla's Atlantic Records imprint, Trans, and released an EP in 2010 that whetted appetites for a full-length. Walla's direction might turn out to be just what The Lonely Forest needs to break it big. When I talked with guitarist Tony Ruland back in August, he described how Walla had had an impact on him: "He'd have the tiniest little suggestions, and it made everything that was maybe not making perfect sense to me make perfect sense." BM

Brainstorm's forthcoming solo debut, The Celestine Prophecy. Following the widely underappreciated Sex Tape, much of Dyme Def's buzz seemed to dissipate—anticipation has only grown for the debut from Brainstorm, the trio's standout MC. Though understandably delayed by the birth of his son, Brain promises his album will drop in January or February. Recent drops, including a flurry of free verses and a heart-wrenching letter to his unborn child that didn't make the cut ("Eli's Song"), promise that this record not only has the potential to be the best music he's made, but some of the best hip-hop Seattle will see in 2011. NF

Hearing a new Shins album. Let's hope so, because James Mercer's side project with Danger Mouse, Broken Bells, was one of 2010's biggest letdowns. A Shins return in 2011 would be cause for celebration. BM

The new Bumbershoot, whatever it may be. After a string of disappointing years at the turnstiles and a pile of bills, One Reel, the organization behind the Northwest's most iconic music-and-arts festival, says it will unveil "a new Bumbershoot business plan" any day now. Look for the announcement to come with a substantially different ticketing system than the "economy" ticket option they experimented with in 2010. CK


Touring the forthcoming Death Cab for Cutie record, Codes and Keys. Says DCFC frontman Ben Gibbard: "Chris and Nick are in Seattle. Jason moved back up to Bellingham. I'm living down in Los Angeles. We don't get to spend as much face time as we once did in our younger years, when we were like a gang all the time. So I guess, really, it's like these guys are still my best friends. Any excuse I get to hang out with them is great. We'll all get back to work in 2011 and be touring and playing shows. That's what I'm looking forward to the most." TOLD TO CK

Seeing how far Seattle takes its newfound love of adult contemporary rock. The Seattle music establishment—the kids at clubs, the band onstage, and the supporting characters in every corner of the industry—pride themselves on taking their music outside the mainstream, with an angular bent, maybe a side of freak. But in 2010 they made an exception with The Head and the Heart, a straight-up-the-middle faux-Americana act that has more in common with Counting Crows than the Cave Singers. People who'd otherwise turn up their noses at the likes of Norah Jones or Dave Matthews have fallen for an act that'd fit snugly on a bill with either of them (they've already shared a stage with the latter), and have generally bestowed upon them the title of "Seattle's Next Big Thing." THATH is a talented band, as are all the above artists. But it's hard to believe that if they were from a different time or place, the local establishment would be giving them a second listen. So is Seattle genuinely latching onto a band with songs as resonant, accessible, and fluffy as "Drops of Jupiter"—or is this a massive, immediate embrace by a whole bunch of people who do not want to be the last ones to "get" Seattle's next big thing? CK


Seeing what happens in Seattle metal. A super-heavy foundation was laid in 2010, by brutal shows and releases by bands like Vultures 2012, Smooth Sailing, Grenades, Dog Shredder, and Lesbian. In 2011 these bands are going to lead the bearded masses to metal Valhalla, along with the likes of Helms Alee, Brothers of the Sonic Cloth, Consulate, Throne of Bone, and, hopefully, my own new project, Princess. Heavy rumblings will echo in the new year, mark my words. ANDREW CHAPMAN, VOCALIST

The release of Duff McKagan's memoir, It's So Easy (and Other Lies). McKagan has been writing about his daughters, his dog Buckley, his wife Susan, his band Loaded, his love of the Seahawks, his disdain for the condition of Belltown, his love of history, his passion for mountain-climbing, his former band Guns N' Roses, the way he told his daughters about his addiction, taking business classes at Seattle University, and how much he loathes telemarketers, for the past two years on Seattle Weekly's music blog, Reverb. Those who have been following along will be glad to hear he's writing a memoir—due in October via Simon & Schuster's Touchstone imprint—himself. Writing may not be easy, but you'd never know it from reading Duff's prose. CK

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