Watch This: Vol. 17

by Steven Spoerl

After an unforeseen extended break due to some technical difficulties and exterior circumstances, the defibrillator has jumped this place’s pulse back into motion. Returning after a week’s silence means quite a bit of catch-up to do while also attempting to keep the up-to-date news in circulation. In the coming days and nights, there will be multiple posts a day until the day:post ratio of 1:1 is re-attained. This frenzied spree will kick off now, with what will hopefully be the last overdue Watch This for quite some time. This week’s edition is heavy on full KEXP sessions as an apology of sorts, a way to overcompensate for lost time. So sit back, relax, and watch this.

1. Coachwhips – You Gonna Get It (Sailor Jerry’s)

For whatever reason, Sailor Jerry’s has always been supportive of the DIY punk scene and hosted more than a few memorable live sessions. Most recently, they were on hand for SXSW to both assist and capture this insane middle-of-a-crowd Coachwhips performance. Coachwhips, a direct predecessor of Thee Oh Sees, were a band that generated a lot of support in the early days. Seeing them come back and met with an elevated level of adoration in this video is nothing short of bliss.

2. La Luz (KEXP Session)

With a tumultuous 2013 behind them (one that saw them release one of the year’s best LP’s, EP’s, and survive a major traffic collision), La Luz have nowhere to look to but the future. They’ve earned the support of a very vocal community that’s constantly growing. With performances like this one, it’s hard to see that trend doing anything but continuing- after all, that’s probably the best way to pay tribute to the band themselves.

3. Fruit Bats (KEXP Session)

Fruit Bats have maintained an enviable consistency over the past 17 years, releasing a body of work that deserves to be celebrated as legendary. Perpetually on the fringe of national attention, Eric D. Johnson watched as the roster around him constantly shifted. For this session, the songwriter came in on his lonesome and delivered a handful of tracks from Mouthfuls, along with the announcement that Fruit Bats was officially calling it quits. If this video can be viewed as a selection of Fruit Bats’ last stand, then it’s pretty clear Johnson is going out on top. 

4. Dinosaur Pile-Up – Arizona Waiting (Audiotree)

There has been no shortage of bands playing with 90’s influence as of late but it’s been quite some time since there was a band reminiscent of Sunny Day Real Estate, Superchunk, Archers of Loaf, and early Foo Fighters in equal measure. Dinosaur Pile-Up somehow manages to encapsulate the spirit of all of those bands while throwing in enough Audacity-style change-ups to keep things firmly rooted in the present. This video couldn’t be a more perfect introduction.

5. Angel Olsen (KEXP Session)

What else can be said about Angel Olsen at this point? Since the release of this year’s first quarter highlight Burn Your Fire for No Witness, Olsen’s gained enough accolades to close a canyon and her performances have been revered in the most awestruck of words. Having already appeared numerous times in Watch This, the most that can be said without growing too repetitious is that this KEXP session may be her finest recorded live outing to date.