What a perfectly-timed sonic sweetness, Neumos! My eyes, muscles, bones, and ears had fully recovered from the massive Bumbershoot festival effort the weekend before, and I was more than ready to see not one, not two, but THREE of my favorite musical combos in one of my favorite clubs in Seattle. I like going to shows where I know for SURE that I am going to come away feeling even happier than I was walking in, and this was one of those. I am a lucky person.

Seattle is lucky to have Night Beats, a psych-garage trio that channels the best of the gritty darkness of late-'60s freakbeat without those pesky acid flashbacks interfering with their stompin' shows. The excellent Reverberation Appreciation Society (hosts of the also-excellent Austin Psych Fest) will be releasing the Night Beats' next album, Sonic Bloom, on September 25th. Buy or die. (Click on the photos to enlarge or click on the Flickr links for more!)

Night Beats Neumos 9/7/13 Flickr set

I was, I admit, pretty surprised and dismayed to hear last month that Sic Alps had called it quits, especially since their last self-titled album was one of my favorites of last year. But these things happen, and my disappointment was soothed by reading that Mike Donovan would be continuing on with his sweet voice and superb songs by releasing Wot , a solo album due out on Drag City on October 15th. His set at Neumos had a dreamy folk-psych quality to it that really let the classic pop elements of his songwriting shine through.

Mike Donovan Neumos 9/7/13 Flickr set

I will ford rivers, conquer mountains, and cross traffic-laden bridges over Lake Washington to see any show featuring Ty Segall. The 26-year-old multi-instrumentalist/multi-band-ist/prolific songwriter, in my estimation, is one of the stars of rock n' roll these days; one of those people who keeps the music scene healthy and crackling with spark and life. Every time I get to see one of his shows, I think, "Now there is someone who SHOULD be doing this," and he probably just HAS to. The best people give all they have, every time they play and every time they record. I am a bit in awe thinking that Segall has so many more years to go in his career, and am confident that he will continue to bring us all he's got, which is a helluva lot.

Segall is best known for his crazy garage punk ways, but he's had his quieter moments, too. With his current release, "Sleeper" (Drag City), he takes listeners on a sparse and somber emotional journey, with a collection of primarily-acoustic songs written after the death of his father last year from cancer, and subsequent estrangement from his mother. Such intensely personal material in the hands of a less-mature and thoughtful songwriter could easily become overwrought and difficult to listen to. Yet "Sleeper" is one of those rare records that breaks your heart while you hum along to the lovely melodies, swaying along in time, similar to some of the finest work by Lennon or Cobain.

The "Sleeper" tour, I knew, would be performed as all-acoustic (albeit blasted through some fat stacks) with long-time Segall compadres Charlie Mootheart on drums, Sean Paul Presley on guitar, and Andrew Luttrell on bass. A Ty Segall show performed sitting on stools the entire night?? After a few seconds of the novelty of that sight, it mattered not one bit. The stage seating lent appropriate focus and feeling for the quieter material, but the band had no problem rocking just as hard as ever as the set went on and they went into Segall's back catalog. It was my first time seeing moshing/stage diving at an acoustic show, I must note. Leave it to Ty to pull off a show that was both emotionally resonant and eminently fun.

Ty Segall Neumos 9/7/13 Flickr set

When it got a little too movin' and groovin' up front for picture-takin' and the health of my kidneys, I moved over to side stage, nearly out to the opened side door. That nice tall fellow Mike Donovan, kindly noticing that I am short, offered to shoot a couple pix from his vantage point for me -- here they are! Thanks, Mike! And while Mike was shooting, equally-kind bandmate Eric offered to get me a beer! He did and I drank it! Thanks, Eric!

Then tall friend Erik Whitaker took a pic with his phone of Mike Donovan taking the pix! Then I handed Erik my camera! CRAZYTIMES! Here are Erik's! Thanks, Erik!

Then I got the camera back and took more pix at the encore! People, you all CRAZYTIMES!

Like I said, like I knew, I walked out of Neumos happier for having been there. I just don't know what more you'd ever want from anything.

To finish up, I'm going to post this video taken of Ty Segall's father Brian playing drums with his son's band onstage in San Francisco at the legendary Fillmore. RIP, Dad Segall; you must have been the coolest. I love this so much.

Ty Segall and Dad playing "Girlfriend," Fillmore, San Francisco, CA. 

Thank you Michelle Cable at Panache Booking, Eli Anderson and everyone at Neumos, and of course Night Beats, Mike Donovan, and Ty Segall!