The four-day, alt/indie-minded music festival known as Sasquatch — held each May at The Gorge Amphitheatre in the center of Washington state — announced its 2012 lineup on Thursday night, and it’s topped with some interesting headliners, I think, and some even more interesting names down the list:
Music: Jack White / Beck / Bon Iver / Pretty Lights / Tenacious D / The Shins / Beirut / Girl Talk / The Roots / Feist / Silversun Pickups / Metric / The Head & The Heart / Explosions In The Sky / Mogwai / Nero (DJ) / M. Ward / John Reilly & Friends / The Joy Formidable / St. Vincent / Childish Gambino / Tune-Yards / The Civil Wars / Little Dragon / Wild Flag / Blind Pilot / Wolfgang Gartner / Apparat / Portlandia / The Walkmen / Clap Your Hands Say Yeah / Mark Lanegan Band / Spiritualized / Beats Antique / Blitzen Trapper / The Cave Singers / Shabazz Palaces / Jamey Johnson / fun. / Grouplove / Tycho / SBTRKT / Ted Leo and The Pharmacists / Deer Tick / Imelda May / Dum Dum Girls / The Helio Sequence / Kurt Vile / Cloud Cult / Ben Howard / Here We Go Magic / Zola Jesus / The War on Drugs / Cass McCombs / Active Child / Trampled By Turtles / AraabMUZIK / Star Slinger / L.A. Riots / Com Truise / Unknown Mortal Orchestra / I Break Horses / Walk the Moon / Dry the River / Allen Stone / Hey Marseilles / Gary Clark Jr. / Alabama Shakes / Purity Ring / Yellow Ostrich / Electric Guest / Shearwater / Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires / Augustines / Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside / Beat Connection / The Sheepdogs / Hey Rosetta! / Said the Whale / Howlin Rain / Gardens & Villa / Felix Cartal / Craft Spells / Vintage Trouble / Poor Moon / Black Whales / Gold Leaves / Greylag / Awesome Tapes from Africa / Thee Satisfaction / Dyme Def / Fresh Espresso / The Physis / Sol / Metal Chocolates / Grynch / Spac3man / Don’t Talk to the Cops / Scribes / Fatal Lucciauno / Fly Moon Royalty / Katie Kate
Comedy: Nick Kroll / John Mulaney / Todd Barry / Beardyman / Rob Delaney / Pete Holmes / Howard Kremer
Sasquatch’s lineup announcement is of interest to Central Oregon music fans because if Bend’s Les Schwab Amphitheater is going to kick off its season with concerts on Memorial Day weekend — as it did in 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2011 — the bands that play those shows are almost certainly also playing Sasquatch. That means we can parse the Sasquatch roster to try to figure out who might be playing the Schwab in late May. I’ll do that in a blog post tomorrow, and then on Monday the Schwab is announcing some shows, so we should know what’s up pretty soon.
As for the Sasquatch lineup itself, here are a few thoughts:
—The top of the lineup is a nice departure from last year’s “Northwest indie stars + Foo Fighters” headliners. Jack White and Beck are both modern legends who haven’t oversaturated our region with shows in recent years. Tenacious D is obviously its own (different) thing with lots of loyal fans. The Shins are primed for a big return to the scene in 2012 after a few years away. Pretty Lights and Girl Talk will give Sasquatch a taste of big-name dance/electronica and a break from the guitars. The Roots will add a little hip-hop flavor to the proceedings. And also, Bon Iver is a thing. That people seem to love.
Nothing super, super exciting here (to me; your mileage may vary), but at least it’s interesting and not the same old stuff.
—The most exciting names on this list happen right in the middle: Mark Lanegan, Spiritualized, Jamey Johnson, Dum Dum Girls, Kurt Vile, Explosions in the Sky, AraabMUZIK, Alabama Shakes, Purity Ring, Yellow Ostrich, Charles Bradley, Mogwai, Com Truise, Howlin Rain, I Break Horses and more. If you’re reading this and want to start investigating Sasquatch bands, start with those.
—The festival’s “Maine Stage” will apparently feature only Northwest-based (and mostly Seattle-based) hip-hop, which is awesome, seeing as that scene is blowing up right now. There’s not a ton of rap higher up on the poster, so heads could potentially just set up shop at the Maine Stage, hang out all day and probably catch the next Macklemore or Shabazz Palaces. Pretty cool.
OK, as I said, look for more tomorrow, including some speculation on what this might mean for Bend’s Les Schwab Amphitheater.