Asian America at the Capitol Hill Block Party

By Charles Lam
Northwest Asian Weekly

Each year in July, the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce closes off a portion of the neighborhood to host the Capitol Hill Block Party, a music and cultural festival that spans three days and over three blocks. This year’s festival will be drawing over 100 musical acts from across the Pacific Northwest and beyond.

The Flavr Blue

The Flavr Blue

Seattle-based synth-pop trio The Flavr Blue are on the cusp of their big breakout, and their set at the Capitol Hill Block Party might be one of the last chances to see the group perform a small hometown show.

The Flavr Blue’s brand of ethereal, hypnotic pop music is entrancing and insanely danceable, due in part to hapa musician, singer, and rapper Hollis Wong-Wear’s strong synth and vocals. She’s flanked by producers and emcees Parker Joe and Lace Cadence, who both have impressive Seattle music pedigree. The group has already sold out multiple Seattle shows, and their set at the Block Party is guaranteed to impress.

In addition to anchoring The Flavr Blue, Wong-Wear also recently found success with another Seattle musical act, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. She provided writing talent on two tracks, White Walls and Wing$, of the duo’s Gold-certified album “The Heist,” and she also provided vocals on White Walls.

The Flavr Blue perform Saturday, July 27 at 9:00 p.m. at Neumos.

Lights from Space

Lights from Space

Lights from Space, another Seattle trio, sound like no other Seattle band of current day. While the city is awash in dream pop and indie folk, Lights from Space have instead decided to deliver what they know best: clean, crisp, and clear rock-n-roll with a sound gleaned from the Strokes, the Pixies, and Nirvana.

The group’s vocals, provided by front man and guitarist John Conner, are classic. The guitar in turn is the same, light on effects, though at times grungy and distorted. No frills involved.

Lights from Space is ultimately propelled by the in-step drumming of Laotian-American Bill Lor, whose work pushes the music forward. If you enjoy the classic Seattle sound of days past, Lights from Space might be the act for you.

Lights from Space perform Saturday, July 27 at 5:45 p.m. at Barboza.

Country Lips

Country Lips

Country Lips, a seven-piece country group based around Seattle, is currently working on a full-length album to follow the release of their EP released in 2012. The group’s set at the Capitol Hill Block Party will be a change of pace from their surrounding acts as Country Lips is full-on, unapologetic country rock, complete with a crooner leading the vocals and multiple guitars backing him up, as well as the requisite boots, bandoliers, and cowboy hats.

The Lips’ country music finds its foundation in keyboardist Kenny Aramaki’s fingers, which provides the base the other musicians build upon.

Country Lips perform Saturday, July 27 at 4:00 p.m. and Neumos.

JK Pop!

JK Pop!

Seattle’s favorite monthly J-pop and K-pop dance party, JK Pop! has been a part of the city’s dance scene since 2011. The pair of DJs, Reese “Bishie” Umbaugh and Allen “Hojo” Huang, fill Barboza monthly with a party fueled primarily by Asian pop music production and lights.

The pair will be filling time between sets at the Vera Stage, and though there might not be the same costumes and lights as some might be accustomed to, the dance party is sure to be just as fun. (end)

JK Pop! perform all Saturday, July 27 between sets at the Vera Stage.

The Capitol Hill Block Party will take place July 26 – 28 in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. Tickets, the full lineup, and schedule are available at

Charles Lam can be reached at

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