#1 on the 2011 Musical Bacon Calendar
Myths (+2) by Pickwick
No band has had more of an exciting 2011, and no band has made 2011 more exciting to me, musically, than Seattle’s Pickwick. Unless you are immersed in the Seattle music scene or listen to KEXP regularly, chances are you’ve not heard of Pickwick.
Pickwick are the future of Seattle’s music scene. We’re emerging from a Fleet-Foxes induced folk-rock fog, into the warm embrace of soul. Seattle has a storied history in soul music (for more on that, watch the Wheedle’s Groove Movie). But it’s been lying dormant for a long while. and this group of hipster guys is bringing it back in full force.
My first exposure to Pickwick was seeing the video above back in January, over at Sound on the Sound, one of my favorite local music blogs. It wasn’t until August when I finally got to see the band live. But here at the end of 2011, I’ve now seen them three times, and that number will most likely double in 2012.
Pickwick is led by a most unlikely crooner, the bespectacled, big-haired and totally unassuming Galen Disston (otherwise known as @galenbaby). As I said in my review of their performance at the Sound on the Sound 5th Anniversary show back in August, Disston’s ability to ”channel Marvin Gaye, Otis Redding, and even a touch of Sam Cooke is simply unreal.” Additionally:
Backing up Disston is a collection of 7 guys — bearded, plaid- and glasses-wearing in ample portions — who, if seen on the television with the sound muted, you would think were playing your everyday Seattle-based indie rock. They were tight, as if they’d been practicing every minute of every day for weeks on end.
If you’re like me, your appetite for Pickwick music will become quickly insatiable. Thankfully, there are a number of sources out there to take in as much of them as you can, but don’t go to iTunes to find it. The music they do have available for purchase is only available in local Seattle record stores (purchase your own copy of Myths (+2) here, or better yet, pick up the original Myths Vols. 1-3 45s here). The fastest way to get their music in your ears is through their bandcamp page, where they have each pair of songs from their three 45s available as digital downloads for a separate purchase of $2 each.
Beyond buying their music, you can see a few videos of the band performing around town on YouTube — be sure to watch the recent KEXP in-studio videos (1, 2, 3, 4) — as well as the beautiful videos made by Sound on the Sound at their annual Doe Bay Fest (5, 6). And finally, take a look at their amazing a cappella video for “Blackout” from UW’s Suzzallo Reading Room.
Rumor has it the band will have a proper full-length out in 2012. No word on a specific release date, but I’ll be one of the first ones in line to pick it up. I’m sure it’ll be part of the 2012 Musical Bacon Calendar.
From this vantage point, the 2011 Calendar was actually quite a success, regardless of my various moments of belly-aching about the state of the music industry. There’s still plenty of room for improvement, though, and I have to believe that 2012 will be quite the rebound year.
2. Departing by The Rural Alberta Advantage
3. The King is Dead by The Decemberists
4. W H O K I L L by tUnE-yArDs
5. Build A Rocket Boys! by Elbow
6. Bon Iver by Bon Iver
7. The King of Limbs by Radiohead
8. Bad As Me by Tom Waits
9. Helplessness Blues by Fleet Foxes
10. The Youth Die Young by Mad Rad
11. Last Night On Earth by Noah and the Whale
12. Codes and Keys by Death Cab For Cutie
13. Valley of the Headless Men by Ravenna Woods
14. Hot Sauce Committee Part Two by Beastie Boys
15. James Blake by James Blake
16. Hysterical by Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
17. An Argument with Myself by Jens Lekman
18. The Whole Love by Wilco
19. My Goodness by My Goodness
20. My Head is an Animal by Of Monsters and Men
21. Gloss Drop by Battles
22. Showroom of Compassion by CAKE
23. A New Kind of House EP by Typhoon
24. EP by Grouplove
25. Fan Chosen Covers (Best of) by Eef Barzelay
26. TKOL RMX 1234567 by Radiohead
27. Organ Music Not Virbraphone Like I’d Hoped by Moonface
28. Heavy Boots & Underwoods by Ben Fisher
29. The Rip Tide by Beirut
30. Collapse Into Now by R.E.M.
31. I Am Very Far by Okkervil River