(I am absolutely delighted to once again feature here on Popthomology my friend and colleague, Seattle-based writer and photographer extraordinaire Suzi Pratt! Suzi will be bringing you SMOKIN' HOT coverage of the annual Capitol Hill Block Party this weekend, and I am so excited to see her work I am hopping up and down like a kindergartener after a Pixy Stix binge! I will also be popping into CHBP myself to see 'n shoot as well -- woo hoo! Let's get started NOW with Suzi's Fest Preview featuring some of the newer bands you should be sure to check out. Please to enjoy, and check back here for more from CHBP!)

Starting tomorrow afternoon, Seattle’s vibrant Capitol Hill neighborhood will be swarming with for 3 days of live music mania for the 18th annual Capitol Hill Block Party (CHBP). Considered the “only ticketed three-day street festival on the country” according to Chris Swenson, it’s no wonder that CHBP draws upwards of 30,000 to the Pike-Pine corridor of Capitol Hill. This year’s CHBP lineup predictably has a lot of local Seattle bands on the schedule, including favorites such as Lemolo, Kithkin, and Katie Kate, as well as a host of local supergroups and newcomers. There are also a handful of widely appealing bands gracing the mainstage including Spoon, Chromeo, Matt and Kim, and The War on Drugs, to name a few. These are all bands that should obviously be seen, but this post is about one of the best parts of CHBP: getting to discover new or new to you bands.

New to Me Bands

Childbirth (Fri, 5pm, Vera Stage)
If this band’s name doesn’t raise your eyebrows, check out the titles and lyrics of some of the songs off their debut album, “It’s a Girl!” Featuring Bree of Tacocat, Stacy of Pony Time, and Julia of Chastity Belt, this is Seattle’s supergroup of female rockers and they play hilariously crass, energy-charged punk rock tunes that will get your head a-bangin.’ As one of their recent BandCamp customers says, “rock out with your ovaries out.” (ed. -- Check out Childbirth's hilarious "How Do Girls Even Do It?" video, which I've featured on the sidebar here for weeks because it rules!)

Breaks and Swells (Sat, 6:45pm, Barboza Stage)
Barboza might be a difficult stage to navigate to, but it’s actually appropriate that Breaks and Swells are playing here. Their bold, bluesy beats and the sugary sweet voice of front woman Marquetta Miller, will transport you back in time to a smoky Prohibition-era jazz club, making you glad to be seeing them in a darker venue. Formed in Seattle in 2012, Breaks and Swells is a 7-piece jazz band that breathes new life into music from another era. Don your best blues dancing shoes--Breaks and Swells will make you want to boogie!

Customs Crew (Sat, 11pm, Neumos Stage)
Seattle music fans might already be familiar with CUSTOMS, a semi-monthly showcase featuring club sounds from around the world. If you’re a fan of CUSTOMS, you won’t want to miss their live set late on Saturday night. It’ll be hosted by the current resident DJs of CUSTOMS, Dutty Wilderness (Reed Juenger of Beat Connection), DJ Hojo (Allen Huang of JK POP!) DJ D’Nelski (Alex Ruder of KEXP), and Tony Snark.

Hand of the Hills (Sat, 3pm, Neumos Stage)
Another Seattle supergroup, Hands of the Hills has some all-star musicians including David Totten (Scriptures, the Quiet Ones), Erin Tate (Minus the Bear), and Matt Benham (Black Swedes). Think gritty rock ‘n’ roll with a Southern twang, and you’ve got the perfect summer soundtrack for your next road trip or beachside campfire. Be on the lookout for Hand of the Hills’ upcoming debut EP, currently available for preorder.

Magic Mouth (Sun, 8pm, Neumos)
This band will make you want to boogie, even on a Sunday night. Appropriately self described as “post phunk,” Magic Mouth is a four-member band from Portland with an infectiously soulful funk bass beats and a gritty rock ‘n’ roll wails coming from frontman Stephfon Bartee. Judging by some of their live footage on YouTube, these guys throw one hell of a party on stage. Don’t miss them.

Natasha Kmeto (Sat, 9pm, Neumos Stage)
I have an admiration for female one-acts that can pull fill multiple roles and pull of a live performance solo. Natasha Kmeto promises to be the newest subject of my admiration. Both a vocalist and a producer, Kmeto has a sensuously smooth voice that sends shivers down your spine. Her songs blend her voice with rhythmic beats that range from electronic, pop, and R&B. She does the composing, producing, and performing all on her own. Think Grimes, but way more sultry and bluesy.

Pillar Point (Sat, 8:30pm, Vera Stage)
Throw Me the Statue fans won’t want to miss Pillar Point, the latest indie band formed by Scott Reitherman. While his other band is light fuzz pop, Pillar Point is more synth-heavy electro pop. Both bands however share common ground in their introspective, occasionally angst-filled lyrics.

XXYYXX (Sun, 3:45pm, Main Stage)
“Doing drugs on a freeway...underwater.” That is how Marcel Everett (aka XXYYXX) self describes his music. At age 18, Everett is likely the youngest performer at CHBP, yet the Orlando-based electronic music producer has a rising fan base from within the experimental lo-fi music scene. Oh, and he headlined a music festival last year at age 17. Sound impressive enough? Catch him now--he’ll likely be ascending the ranks even more.

Other CHBP “Can’t Miss Them” Highlights
Alicia Amiri (Fri, 8:45pm, Barboza Stage)
A$AP Ferg (Fri, 6:30pm, Main Stage)
The Budos Band (Sat, 9:10pm, Main Stage)
Chromeo (Sat, 11pm, Main Stage)
Deadkill (Sat, 8:45pm, Cha Cha Stage)
Dum Dum Girls (Sun, 9pm, Vera Stage)
EMA (Sat, 9:45pm, Vera Stage)
Fox and the Law (Sat, 7:45pm, Neumos Stage)
Katie Kate (Sat, 5pm, Vera Stage)
Kithkin (Sun, 4pm, Vera Stage)
Lemolo (Fri, 4pm, Vera Stage)
Matt and Kim (Fri, 9:15pm, Main Stage)
Pollens (Sun, 9pm, Neumos Stage)
Poolside (Sat, 3:30pm, Main Stage)
RAC (Sun, 5pm, Main Stage)
Raz Simone (Sun, 5pm, Vera Stage)
Shy Girls (Fri, 4pm, Main Stage)
Spoon (Fri, 10:45pm, Main Stage)
Tangerine (Sun, 2pm, Vera Stage)
The Thermals (Sat, 11pm, Vera Stage)
The War on Drugs (Sun, 6:30pm, Main Stage)