It’s that time of year again: MoPOP’s Sound Off! has been pitting local bands against each other for 16 years now. The all-ages “battle of the bands” has introduced us to acts like The Lonely Forest, Naked Giants, Manatee Commune, and more. Every Friday night this month, a new band will progress to the finals on Saturday, March 11th, where KEXP’s Audioasis will be broadcasting live. Last week, Jason McCue took the first round, with Fluencie winning the Wild Card. (Runners-up will be entered into the Wildcard Pool, and one of the three Wildcard bands will be selected by the Mo’Pop Youth Advisory Board to compete in the finals.) Let’s take a look at this week’s competitors below:
[ Photos courtesy of MoPOP Museum ]
Bellingham-based band Girl Teeth bring a bite to their charming punk-pop with their self-described “sad gay feelings.” Don’t let the sparkly guitars or Pluto’s angelic voice fool you — beneath it all is an angst we can all relate to, with lyrics like “I hate your stupid eyes / and your pointless lies.”
Federal Way’s The Good Weird are just plain good, calling to mind fellow punk-pop trio Green Day. Formed in 2013, they took a small hiatus the next year, but have been keeping busy ever since. The guys just recently self-released their debut EP, Multiverse.
Joining us from the Central District is Koga Shabazz, a sharp lyricist, spewing lines against the beat of an 808. And despite his relative youth, his work has featured production from J Dilla, The Alchemist, Knxwledge, and more. A prolific artist, just last month he released the EP ’17 BASTARDS, a collaboration with fellow Seattle artist Samsara.
Torpoise — aka Pacific Northwest musician Griffin Ryan — cites Sound Off! alum Manatee Commune as an influence, so it’s fitting he’s in the semi-finals! With a sound he describes as “if a Nintendo 64 was mashed together with a saxophone and a lucid dream,” Torpoise creates some truly dreamy electronic jams. Back in November, Torpoise self-released the Dream Requiem EP, featuring cover art by Ryan himself.
Who will proceed to the finals on Saturday, March 11th? Stay tuned! Tickets to Friday’s show are $14 for general public, and $10 for MoPOP members + youth age 5–17. (Online tickets available here.) Doors are at 7:00 PM with the show starting at 8:00 PM.