Kilby Block Party 2023: See 21 live band reviews and more than 100 Kilby photos!

Kilby Block Party 2023 reviews and photos here -- 21 bands in all!

This is the Place for Kilby Block Party 2023 reviews: Read on for almost two dozen reviews and about 100 photos of the bands that played SLC live!

Initially, I hoped to complete this each night but that was irrational ambition. In all, I saw some or all of 21 bands play. Twenty of the shows were good to truly outstanding… only one bad performance all weekend. Our friends at Kilby and S&S Presents killed it.

(Author’s note: I’m finishing my last reviews. Working my way now through Sunday!)

Kilby Block Party 2023 reviews: Friday shows

I managed to see everyone on my Friday priority list, and peaked in on a couple of extra bands I hadn’t planned to see. These performances are listed in chronological order, meaning Karen O and The Yeah Yeah Yeahs come at the end.

Kilby Block Party 2023: Friday headlines

  • Jean Dawson, Deerhoof and The Yeah Yeah Yeahs made for a remarkable opening day!
  • The premier Kilby Stage faces the sunset, which was tough for Michelle Zauner
  • Sun glare aside, the weather was perfect. No jacket needed for the nighttime YYY show


SLC's Homephone started my Friday

I arrived Friday just in time to hear Homephone finish their 12:55 set. Homephone have been writing and releasing songs for about two years. On closer “Dandelion Fields,” Joseph Sandholtz pulled out a trumpet which immediately brought the crowd to life.

Homephone released “Night Walk” about one month ago. Have a listen and download from Bandcamp!

Homephone's Joseph Sandholtz
Homephone’s Joseph Sandholtz


The LA art school band Julie

World weary experimental/shoegaze band Julie might as well have been playing in a friend’s basement.

I was hoping for a lot more from Julie but between A/V problems and disinterest in their audience, I wasn’t as impressed as I hoped. It’s too bad because when Alex Brady’s voice finally floated over the top of a muddy audio mix, it turned some Yo La Tengo acolyte’s into a real band.

Alex Brady of LA band Julie
Alex Brady of LA band Julie did at least give the crowd a wave goodbye

Jean Dawson

Jean Dawson was an early delight at the Kilby Block Party 2023

Wow, Jean Dawson owned the place.

There is some Beastie Boys energy from Dawson but also at times a more guitar-driven Living Color thing. Dawson played the crowd, goading the larger GA audience to shout and sing as loudly as the smaller VIP side.

He introduced another song, “Say my name!” and “Salt Lake mother f*kn’ city!” This was nearly as much fun as I had all day, and I’m buying Dawson’s latest Chaos Now.

Jean Dawson at the Kilby Block Party 2023
Despite the heat, Dawson dressed in long-sleeve shirt, ski vest and gloves

More photos of Dawson below.


Lucius and their many harmonies in SLC

Grabbed a couple of songs by Lucius and sent a photo to my cousin who is a big fan. They displayed the many harmonies and matching outfits. Hand motions were happening in the crowd, maybe from a music video? The demographics matched a Red Butte Garden Outdoor Concert Series show.

Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig
Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig


One of my Top 3 shows from the entire weekend.  Deerhoof at the Kilby BLock Party 2023

I can’t imagine there are scores of deep, deep Deerhoof fans out there, completion-ists who have all 16 or 18 albums. I suspect there are a lot of people like me, who *appreciate* Deerhoof, in the way I appreciate Jazz. But I don’t come home on Friday night and put on a jazz album.

Kilby Block Party 2023: Deerhoof live act

Holy crap, though, I could have sat and watched the band play for hours Friday. Their spikey guitar solos are so technically precise. John Dieterich and Ed Rodriguez play syncopated guitar lines in dissonant minor keys that sound like fighting tomcats. And when you think it’s a brief, eccentric bridge – NO – these guys are dueling for eight minutes. It can be a complex listen and at the same time absolutely hypnotic.

The guitars are so prominent it is easy to miss Greg Saunier’s manic percussion. He would crush the drum kit to match the difficult time signatures, then grab the high hat and silence everything for Satomi Matsuzaki’s high vocals. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a band so perfectly keyed into each other.

The whole experience is so Deerhoof-y, with Matsuzaki’s obscure hand gestures, Rodriguez throwing his beautiful hair behind his face and Saunier’s incredibly affable stage banter. I loved every moment.

Unexpectedly, Deerhoof was probably my favorite Kilby show all weekend.


Keep scrolling for more photos of the band.



I fell in love with Cuco last year and I was excited to finally hear him play.

Fun open, two of the band mates for the Mexican-American Cuco entered the stage with Mexican flags. Omar Banos himself was game for the crowd, and noted the amazing views, like many other performers that weekend. From the east-facing Lake stage, those artists were looking right at the snow-capped Wasatch Mountains. Do you remember how that felt the first time you saw them? Now imagine that from stage.

Banos sang most of the time but also played organ as he performed “Foolish,” “Aura” and the sublime lullaby “Time Machine” from 2022’s Fantasy Gateway. He also previewed an unreleased, largely instrumental number. Maybe no surprise, his intimate bedroom pop didn’t translate perfectly to an outdoor stage, at times the booming base overwhelming the delicate arrangement.

Still rooting for big things in Cuco’s future.

Omar Banos, aka Cuco
Omar Banos, aka Cuco

More Cuco images in the photo section.

Japanese Breakfast

Japanese Brekafast in Salt Lake

Some of my photos are not great but the above image of Japanese Breakfast actually displays the shadows from the sunset falling behind the stage lights. Japanese Breakfast was staring straight into that. It didn’t keep Michelle Zauner from having all the fun in the world, dancing and clanging her trademark gong anytime she didn’t have a guitar slung over her shoulder.

Michelle Zauner gave a terrific Kilby performance
Zauner’s gong show during “Paprika”

Kilby Block Party 2023: Japanese Breakfast set list

  • “Paprika” (Jubilee)
  • “Be Sweet” (Jubilee)
  • “Kokomo, IN” (Jubilee)
  • “Savage Good Boy” (Jubilee)
  • “The Body is a Blade” (Soft Sounds From Another Planet)
  • “Slide Tackle” (Jubilee)
  • “Diving Woman” (Softs Sounds From Another Planet)

I managed to get my daughter to add Japanese Breakfast to her Spotify playlist after she heard “Tactics.” The band had a violinist so I hoped we would hear it, but alack and alas, no. Still, an outstanding show.

Zauner brought all the joy.

Frankie Cosmos

Frankie Cosmos

I caught Greta Kline singing a couple of songs from Frankie Cosmos’ 2022’s Inner World Peace on Kilby’s Desert side stage. I only stayed for a few minutes before skipping off to try and get a good spot for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

She started with the catchy “Aftershook.”

Frankie Cosmos also hit “One Year Stand,” “Empty Head,” and “Abigail,” which Kline introduced by telling the audience it was about a dog she found on Petfinder. She explains in this thoughtful interview that the dog lead to introspection about what she was going to prioritize in life.

Look for more Frankie Cosmos photos further down.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs

The Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs headlined the Kilby Block Party 2023

Karen O is a national treasure.

Orzolek belongs, almost equally, to multiple eras…some kind of mashup of 70’s Debbie Harry, 80’s Grace Jones and 90’s Cher. She vamps like a Las Vegas residency, spoofs herself with all the early aughts stagecraft like spitting water in the air and treats the microphone like a sex toy.

And still. Several times during Friday night’s show Karen seemed nearly brought to tears.

The Kilby Block Party 2023 was about one week into YYY’s tour supporting the acclaimed Cool it Down, the first YYY release in almost decade. In the interim Orzolek had a child and — perhaps — wondered if her touring days were over. She was clearly, fully moved performing in front of the masses again, gushing, “You guys are making me very happy!”

And the bodysuit — Karen credited the designer during the show but I missed her name. She used the neon colors, sequined KO midriff, tassels, gloves and cape to full dramatic effect throughout the show.

Kilby Block Party 2023: Yeah Yeah Yeahs set list

  • “Spitting off the Edge of the World” (Cool It Down)
  • “Shame and Fortune” (It’s Blitz!)
  • “Burning” (Cool It Down)
  • “Zero” (It’s Blitz!)
  • “Soft Shock” (“It’s Blitz!)
  • “Lovebomb” (Cool It Down)
  • “Blacktop” (Cool It Down)
  • “Sacrilege” (Mosquito)
  • “Gold Lion” (Show Your Bones)
  • “Maps” (Fever to Tell)
  • “Heads Will Roll” (It’s Blitz!)
  • “Y Control” (Fever to Tell)

My notes are a little unclear on the last song; it may have been “Different Today.” I use a quite imprecise way of tracking songs when I don’t have access to the set list.

Karen O
Orzolek had all the tassles

Added to the showmanship were giant bouncing eyeballs and Orzolek singing from underneath some kind of small sheet like a sequined burka.

She also made show of repeatedly pretending to blow the microphone and ultimately shoved the mic down her bodysuit to stick out of her pants like some turned on teenage boy. It was completely juvenile, which only made it funnier.

And there were generous outbursts of affection like this before 2003’s “Maps.”

Dedicate this song to someone you loved and lost!
Dedicate this song to someone you loved more than life itself!
I dedicate this song to Japanese Breakfast
And Deerhoof!
And I dedicate this song to this beautiful crowd!

Karen O

Tons of YYY photos at end of this post!

Kilby Block Party 2023 reviews: Saturday shows

The Kilby Block Party 2023 started with Tamino and ended with RTJ and The Strokes

Saturday was a day for the beautiful people at the Kilby Block Party 2023.

From Tamino’s perfectly placed Mediterranean curls, Hannah Van Loon who could have jumped out of an LL Bean catalogue, Alex G’s tormented street urchin appeal and Natalie Mering’s dazzling cream dress and storybook smile that could be descended from European royalty. And most of them also smart as a whip.

Kilby Block Party 2023: Saturday headlines

  • Weyes Blood multi-media triumph from the Mountain side stage
  • Run the Jewels commands the weekend’s top performance in the rain
  • The insufferable behavior of Julian Casablancas ruins The Strokes

Overall, Saturday was a bit of a mixed bag compared to Friday. Weather brought the first of two days of rain and lightning in the evening. And multiple exhilarating performances during the day were counterbalanced by Casablancas’ inexcusable performance at the end of the night.



Tamino crossed my dashboard barely a week ago when I sampled his music for the first time.

As I said then and as has been observed in many reviews, his ethereal vocals are like a reincarnation of Jeff Buckley. You can’t listen to Tamino and not think of Buckley. But not in a way that is replicative. He is singing, his voice lilting and rising in a foreign tongue. The entire effect is of the Old World.

Now that I’ve established his bona fides, let’s just get it out of the way that Tamino is also ridiculously handsome. Like a square-jawed Disney prince who, in one scene, saves the maiden, then later pulls out a guitar and sings around the campfire in an operatic baritone. Note: His video marketing team is aware!

Speaking of pulling out a guitar, Tamino used a different instrument for each song. He may have repeated one of these guitars but it was fun seeing the select guitar for each performance.

Stage hand with the assist before. every. song.

Maybe I’m the last person to hear of Tamino, since he cuts the perfect figure and genre for a Tiny Desk Concert. But if you haven’t heard this voice, treat yourself for the next five minutes.

More Tamino photos below.

Grace Ives

Grace Ives

Another artist I learned about only recently is Grace Ives – and I was interested to learn more. I only hung out for about ten minutes, however, because Ives was DJ’ing this set.

For the record let me state that Ives gave this DJ’d performance 110%! She was all over the stage, playing with the audience, clearly having a terrific time. Ives mentioned it was her first show in six months, so I’m sure the adrenalin was rushing.

Grace Ives at the Kilby Block Party 2023
Grace Ives at the Kilby Block Party

Learn more about the New Yorker at Bandcamp.


Tanuchikan was awesome

I was super impressed with the live range of Tanukichan, fronted by Hannah Van Loon. Some of the songs were gazey, some showed off shimmering guitars, a couple were grungier numbers.

I’m not sure that Loon’s vocals were supposed to be so low in the mix but I felt this was a nagging theme on the Mountain side stage all weekend. I need to go back and listen to GIZMO, which the Oakland band released just two months ago. I’d like to hear how the studio versions compare.

Hannah Van Loon
Hannah Van Loon

Tanukichan started off with “Escape” and “Don’t Give Up,” the first two cuts from GIZMO…as well as “Take Care” from the current album. They also played from their 2018 release Sundays. Speaking of song sequence, check out this delightful set list.

This show was an unexpected treat!

Tanuchikan set list
Set list with creative doodlings!

I took a bunch of snaps of Van Loon below.

Alex G

Alex G

After listening to Alex G’s God Save the Animals last year, I set it aside. I churn through quite a lot music and it just didn’t grab me. I picked it up again in January and listened another couple of times. Maybe I’m slow, but I just didn’t get there. I also believe critical darlings like Alex Giannascoli are singers I am SUPPOSED to like, and maybe I resist that.

So when Kilby announced Alex G was performing – well, I decided I was going to see the phenom in person, he who is so frequently compared to folk loners Elliot Smith and Nick Drake. I’m so glad I was able to see him in person. His catalogue came to life in ways it hasn’t for me listening to just his records. Alex G’s songs are also crunchier in person, which I appreciate.

Alex plays a good bit of the show turned toward his band, which is to say away from the audience. This isn’t the same thing as saying he is unfriendly; he is imminently likeable. But Alex G sings through a noticeable grimace and when he sits at the keyboard, he sways up and down to the band pretty intensely.

It all gives the impression of songs that are deeply felt.

Alex G
Alex G

I made no notes of Alex talking to the audience. I know he said a few things but they were probably minimal. However, a guitarist for Giannascoli ended the show quite sweetly thanking the road crew and sound team. You never hear bands doing that.

Kilby Block Party 2023: Alex G set list

  • “Runner” (God Save the Animals)
  • “No Bitterness” (God Save the Animals)
  • “Mission” (God Save the Animals)
  • “Blessing” (God Save the Animals)
  • “Cross the Sea” (God Save the Animals)
  • “Gretel” (House of Sugar)
  • “Miracles” (God Save the Animals)
  • “Forgive” (God Save the Animals)

Lots of pics of the photogenic Alex G in the Saturday photos.

Weyes Blood

Weyes Blood with all the twirls at the Kilby Block Party 2023

Weyes Blood has hot takes.

If you’ve followed her tour this year, you know Natalie Mering loves herself a good prank. She looks so elegant in her cream dress and cape, and sings so softly, who would suspect she is setting a trap? Oh, but she is. Repeatedly. Hint to future audiences: When Weyes Blood asks if you’re into something, THE ANSWER IS NO. Do not applaud.

Kilby Block Party 2023: Weyes Blood stage banter

  • Mering: “Is everyone here excited about artificial intelligence?”
    Reflexive applause from audience
  • Mering: “Oh really? So when someone makes an album that sounds exactly like Weyes Blood, will you just buy that record? Are you going to choose me?”

  • Mering: “So who here is into astrology?”
    Unsuspecting victims cheer loudly
  • Mering: “You think the stars control our actions? We’re all helpless, carried along by the universe? Well I don’t. I think we’re creating a new reality, our very own ‘wide, open galaxy.'”

Kilby Block Party 2023: Weyes Blood performance

Weyes Blood’s show is mesmerizing.

Mering is widely quoted about the influence of hymns on her songwriting, and her earnest tone and signature dress and cape seem to reinforce that. Even more, her intellect and calm demeanor reflect some character from classic literature like John Milton’s Mirth.

Mering’s dancing and movements, too, at times transport you to another time. She has all of the twirls.

Natalie Mering
The cape twirl

Yes, if you must ask, I did take more photos of Mering than anyone else at the Kilby Block Party 2023.

So many of Weyes Blood’s mannerisms add to this sense of drama. Her arm lifted to the heavens on the climactic notes of “Hearts Aglow.” Throwing the cape over her head and turning her back as she begins “Something to Believe.” Tossing flowers into the audience.

Weyes Blood highlighted Saturday's Kilby Block Party 2023

Simultaneous with all of this classic stagecraft is the dissonant multimedia. During the tremulous “God Turn Me Into a Flower,” disturbing video images play behind Mering of violent protests and catatonic psychiatric patients. Many of her live songs have the lush party in the front, violent video subtext in the back. It’s a lot to take in.

Weyes Blood finishes her hour-long set with “Movies,” from Titanic Rising. Per tradition as she leaves the stage, DVD’s from the audience fly up on stage. It is so On Brand that she collects hard media! Mering grabbed a half dozen of the DVD’s — and then she was gone.

A friend of mine in New York wrote that fans at Brooklyn Steel were brought to tears at the end of Mering’s show–that’s a pretty intense response for NYC. I wasn’t teary. Dissonance aside, though, I was left with memories of Weyes Blood’s voice, the dancing and shrewd social observations and my mind drifted back to Milton.

And ever against eating cares,
Lap me in soft Lydian airs,
Married to immortal verse,
Such as the meeting soul may pierce

John Milton, L’Allegro (1645)

Run the Jewels

Run the Jewels could easily have headlined Saturday's Kilby Block Party 2023

The honest to God’s truth is that I took very few notes watching Run the Jewels. I was so completely smitten by their stage presence, energy and beats that I just drank in the moment.

Killer Mike was unleashed, prancing around the stage like your favorite uncle. He told the audience at the start he was going to “John Stockton this motherf*kr!” I don’t actually know what that means, but it was pretty damn funny.

There was also a tender moment in which Mike referenced the locket he carried with the image of his mother, who recently passed. “She’s with Jesus now and he’s going to figure this sh*t out.” As I researched RTJ, I came across this thoughtful piece about the scriptural quality of the duo’s lyrics.

Mike Render basically owns the stage but El-P is his near equal, and just as funny. El Producto: “We’re about 100,000 feet above sea level and I smoked a lot of weed!” A time-honored tradition I’m sure, El-P does a goofy jig on set and Killer Mike says, “That’s El-P’s River Dance. We came here to kick a**, River Dance b*tches!”

Among a few of the bangers that I DID record RTJ performing are “Close Your Eyes,” “Ju$t” and “Ooh LA LA.” I pretty well can’t stand the trite “Ooh LA LA,” but knew it was coming. They also played a song that I thought Mike introduced as “Gold,” (?) from his upcoming solo album Michael.

Upon us all, a little rain must fall. Even when Run the Jewels are performing
Rain didn’t dampen the RTJ fun

Steady rain notwithstanding, RTJ was one of a few Kilby moments I’ll never forget. Lots of pics below.

The Strokes

The Strokes wrapped the Kilby Block Party 2023 on Saturday night

Julian Casablancas is unwatchable.

Part of me feels sorry for the 30-somethings trying to relive their teen years through Casablancas’ insufferable, self-absorbed behavior. No matter how well The Strokes play — and I thought they were fantastic — you cannot escape Casablancas’ boorish, inane commentary on stage.

We can’t say we didn’t know he would act like such a knuckle-dragging troglodyte. His reputation preceded him.

Casablancas was worse than I could have imagined. During the set, he spent easily ten minutes blathering on about nothing in particular — a fortune cookie, a guitar pic — time that should have been spent playing another two or three Strokes classics. I can’t even talk about his stupid gloves.

To top it off, Casablancas pledged his devotion to bassist Nokali Fraiture by offering to perform a sex act on him. Live, on stage, using his out loud voice he said this, when he could have been singing instead.

What a jerkface. Just play the hits dude.

The Strokes

Kilby Block Party 2023: The Strokes set list

  • “Last Nite” (Is This It)
  • “Not the Same Anymore” (The New Abnormal)
  • “Bad Decisions” (The New Abnormal)
  • “Ask Me Anything” (First Impressions of Earth)
  • “Meet Me in the Bathroom” (Room on Fire)
  • “Under Control” (Room on Fire)
  • “Red Light” (First Impressions of Earth)
  • “You Only Live Once” (First Impressions of Earth)
  • “Is This It” (Is This It)

Keep scrolling for a few more photos of The Stokes.

Kilby Block Party 2023 reviews: Sunday shows

Should the Sunday shows of a 3-day festival be the climax of the weekend? Or are you trying to finish strong after Saturday night’s ultimate lineup? I suspect festival organizers plan for the latter: A strong finish with a working assumption that Saturday is your giant draw.

Either way, the Kilby Block Party 2023 crossed the finish line with some terrific shows. It doesn’t get much bigger than The Walkmen, The Pixies and Pavement.

Kilby Block Party 2023: Sunday headlines

  • Sunday was the biggest day for local bands, with Tolchock Trio and The Backseat Lovers getting strong billing. The Backseat Lovers, especially, had great profile.
  • It was impossible to watch The Pixies and not feel like Black Francis was basically cashing a paycheck. It was a paint-by-numbers performance, at best.
  • Day 3 brought a new round of thunderstorms and a long interruption in music. It stopped The Pixies after 40 minutes and affected the final audience for Pavement.

Tolchock Trio

I mostly missed the heyday of Tolchock Trio, who played and recorded in Salt Lake from 2000 until 2009 or so. It was fun to hear them play from their discography and hope they might record again in the future. In fact, either Oliver Lewis or Ryan Fedor remarked, “We haven’t played in a long time. Who knows when we’ll do it again.”

Tolchock ran the gamut, opening with “Wolf Eyes” from the 2004 Ghosts Don’t Have Bones album leading into “Twenty Twenties.” That song was the lead for the “unfinished” Mono Culture EP, released in 2017 as Mono Culture Demos.

The second half of the Tolchock Trio set all came from from 2008’s highly-regarded Abalone Skeletone,. The band played (in order) “Two Rivers,” “Goldbugs,” “Factory,” “(I Wanna Ride on a) Super Panga,” “Sheepshead,” and “Divorce Papers.”

I had to scoot before they ended. I was starving and assumed there would be little time to eat after The Walkmen. Little did I know thunderstorms were rolling in…

The Walkmen

I’ve waited a long time to see Hamilton Leithauser and The Walkmen.

Fully 13 years ago — practically another lifetime — I ranked The Walkmen’s album Lisbon in my Top 10 records in 2010. I was already pretty late to The Walkmen party, and then didn’t dig into 2012’s Heaven. But I picked back up on my Leithauser mancrush in 2020 when he released the wonderful Loves of Your Life.

Leithauser released three singles from Loves of Your Life, which did not include the exquisite “Cross-Sound Ferry (Walk-On Ticket)”

“Cross-Sound Ferry (Walk-On Ticket)” – Hamilton Leithauser (The Loves of Your Life)

I presumed the reunited Walkmen would only play Walkmen classics and not Hamilton Leithauser solo songs, but we were about to find out!

The Walkmen were just three weeks into their reunion tour, the first time the band had played together live in a decade. Adrenalin seemed to be high. Nerves were had, notes were hit and notes were valiantly attempted. I loved every bit of it.

Kilby Block Party 2023: The Walkmen performance

Sometimes I wonder why bands don’t transpose their hits from the original keys to slightly lower keys to help the frontman hit the banging solo notes. Maybe they do.

Leithauser threw every bit of his voice into Walkmen classics like “Angela Surf City.” He mostly killed but the climactic lyrics on “Angela” were just slightly a vocal bridge too far. This might also be the result of renewed touring, including five shows in five days at Brooklyn’s Webster Hall two weeks before.

He also seemed to repeat several times nervously or reflexively the band’s origins on the 132nd block of Broadway in New York. Like the YYY, The Walkmen seemed to drink in the experience as much as the audience, feeding off his fans’ energy. Leithauser said at one point, “When we decided to get back together we had no idea if anyone would remember who in the f*ck we were!”

Ooooh the crowd remembered. And, a man of the people, Leithauser finished the show by jumping off the stage and into the crowd. He whisked through a ton of handshakes and a ran through the audience to show off ten years of gratitude.

Kilby Block Party 2023: The Walkmen set list

  • “In the New Year” (You & Me)
  • “The Rat” (Bows + Arrows)
  • “Juveniles” (Lisbon)
  • “Dónde está la playa” (You & Me)
  • “Angela Surf City” (Lisbon)
  • “Another One Goes By” (A Hundred Miles Off)
  • “Little House of Savages” (Bows + Arrows)
  • “All Hands and the Cook” (A Hundred Miles Off)
  • “Heaven” (Heaven)
  • “We’ve Been Had” (Everyone Who Pretended to Like Me is Gone)

Still to come from the Kilby Block Party 2023 (Sunday: The Pixies and Pavement!)

Continue reading

Jessie Ware Free Yourself lyrics + full audio stream!

Jessie Ware Free Yourself lyrics and a stream of the full song here

Jessie Ware Free Yourself lyrics are easy enough–you can find them anywhere. But where can you learn more about the lyrics, listen to the song and – BONUS – hear the obscure alternative disco song you’ve never heard before?

Right here, so keep on reading and listening.

Jessie Ware Free Yourself Lyrics

Ware returned to her dance roots during the pandemic with the album What’s Your Pleasure? I remember listening to it at the time and reading Ware’s goal with the album, “Will this make people want to have sex?” It didn’t. Good enough tunes but I wasn’t really hooked.

Cut to 2023 and I’m trying to resist the temptation to buy new release That! Feels Good! The songs are ridiculously catchy, they’re just a bit of a sugar rush. My favorite of the album so far is “Free Yourself,” in which Ware once again shoots her shot with sensual lyrics and beats.

Free yourself
Keep on moving up that mountaintop
Why don’t you please yourself?
If it feels so good, then don’t you, baby

At the same time, maybe the song is about climbing an actual mountain and the cardiovascular benefits of regular exercise.

Jessie Ware Free Yourself lyrics are all about climbing a mountain? Or are they?

This is probably not the case, as she continues:

Don’t stand there waiting all of your life
For the night to come and find you
The clock is ticking, baby, now is the time
For someone to come and hold you

Jessie Ware Free Yourself lyrics not nearly as cool as the hook

For the year 2023, this is pretty tame stuff. I mean it’s been almost 35 years since The Divinyls and 40 years after Madonna. These days you have to produce more than ribald lyrics, and Ware delivers!

I love how she marries old school disco, the ELO strings and kind of a baggy Primal Scream beat. And her voice has never sounded better. “Free Yourself” honestly churns better than the much-discussed title track. Order Ware’s album from her website.

The bonus disco song you never knew you needed

Scottish band Texas wrote the best disco song that you need to listen to right here!

I’ve been waiting to write about “Mr. Haze” by Scottish band Texas for almost two years.

You’re probably thinking, “nothing says disco like Glasgow, Scotland.” For a moment, suspend disbelief. “Mr. Haze” was the second and criminally neglected single from the 2021 Texas album Hi.

In this case, the venerable Scotts sampled Donna Summer’s 1977 “Love’s Unkind” and transformed it into something completely their own and completely brilliant.

The Very Best of Texas comes out June 16. Pre-order now on the band’s website.

Kilby Block Party SATURDAY lineup. Find set times and listen to 14 bands right here

Kilby Block Party Saturday lineup by stage

The Kilby Block Party Saturday lineup promises a blowout before Sunday night’s lineup featuring Pavement. I’ve scouted out every Saturday band from renowned to obscure. You can hear samples of most of every band below.

Kilby Block Party Saturday lineup: Topline takeaways!

Here are some quick expectations for the Kilby Block Party Saturday lineup:

  • Saturday will have higher highs than Kilby’s Friday night lineup. If The Strokes’ Casablancas throws himself into it — and that’s an open question — the jog from Weyes Blood at 6:25p to RTJ at 7:35p and The Strokes at 8:45p could be a hoot.
  • Get to the venue early on Saturday! I’m excited to see Salt Lake City’s Kipper Snack for the first time. They play shortly after 12p noon. If you’re not there by noon, DO NOT miss Tamino at 1:20p and Grace Ives at 1:35p.
  • Couple of Saturday conflicts, starting with dual start times for Alex G and Wallice at 3:25p. Those two will probably split the audience by age. Also, Osees and Run the Jewels both play at 7:35. I’d really like to see both. However, Osees will play a late DJ set at the Urban Lounge Saturday night.

Here is my recommended Saturday plan. Listen for all these bands below. As always, IMMV.


12:15 Kipper Snack
12:45 This looks like Break #1 for me
1:20 Tamino
1:55 Grace Ives
2:30 Tanukichan
3:25 Alex G (May cross over to see Wallice)
4:15 Break #2
5:15 Indigo De Souza
6:25 Weyes Blood
7:35 Run the Jewels
8:45 The Strokes

Kilby Block Party Saturday lineup: The headliners

The wild gamut from Alex G to Weyes Blood to Run the Jewels is going to blow some minds. Let’s have a look at (my) headliners in order of appearance. We’ll start with Alex G’s afternoon performance.

Alex G

Alex G brings his musical genius to Salt Lake City May 13

It’s actually not the easiest thing in the world to find an image of Alex Giannascoli.

I think part of that is the Elliot Smith mythos, a mystery partially burst with recent network TV appearances. Alex G has become an increasingly influential part of the indie folk/lo fi rock scene for the larger part of a decade, particularly since Beach House (2015) and Rocket (2017).

The Pennsylvania native once again charmed critics with 2022’s God Save the Animals. I didn’t immediately buy it after listening last year, but I think I am basically alone on planet Earth on that take. Here is “Miracles,” which includes the touching lyrics:

“‘I have fears that I have not addressed,’ she says
Some things from my past make me feel powerless, well
Baby, I pray for the children and the sinners and the animals too
And I, I pray for you

Weyes Blood

One of my most anticipated performances, Weyes Blood headlines the Kilby Block Party Saturday lineup

Natalie Mering had been releasing music for nearly ten years before sinking the music industry on her iceberg with 2019’s Titanic Rising. She returned all the stronger in 2022 with And In the Darkness, Hearts Aglow. It’s a delicate throwback to pastoral soft 70’s – but punctuated with Weyes Bloods’ powerful emotion and earnestness. In her promotional material, she actually describes her heart as a glow stick.

A friend of mine in NYC, not easily impressed, was blown away by Weyes Bloods’ performance at Brooklyn Steel this spring. He noted particularly the lighting and set, with some in the audience “moved to tears” at the show’s end. I’m ready to have my cynical cold heart warmed in Mering’s ambience. And, joking aside, this is woman who knows how to write pure melody.

This is the opening track from her current album, “It’s Not Just Me, It’s Everybody.”

Run the Jewels

Run the Jewels likely to play RTJ classics and new material from Killer Mike at the Kilby Block Party

I previously speculated we could get RTJ5 just in time for the Kilby Block Party Saturday lineup takes the stage. Bad news: That’s a No. Good news: Killer Mike is putting out his first solo release in a long time, Michael, on June 16. That’s pretty awesome!

Michael Render will be touring major metros with the Midnight Revival Choir starting in July. I have to believe we’ll be treated to Run the Jewel classics and previews of Michael when RTJ plays Saturday night.

Have you heard “Don’t Let the Devil?!” El-P guests along with thankugoodsir and it’s super good.

The Strokes

Why am I so skeptical of The Strokes?  They will probably be great!

I feel it’s important to manage expectations with The Strokes.

Julian Casablancas and company have been touring for awhile now, to decidedly unenthusiastic and at best, mixed reviews of their commitment to entertainment. Which version of The Strokes will show up in Salt Lake City during the Kilby Block Party Saturday lineup? Hard to know.

I’ll go back and experiment with 2020’s The New Abnormal. Most of us, though, will be hoping for competent performances of Is This It and Room On Fire.

Kilby Block Party Saturday lineup: Supporting Acts

Part of the joy of this year’s KBP is not just the big name acts but the introduction we get to dozens of strong independent performers, many of whom I am hearing for the first time. If you’re similarly looking for an introduction, then read on.


If there is one artist you hear for the first time during the Kilby Block Party Saturday lineup, make it Tamino

I am absolutely wrecked hearing Tamino tonight for the first time.

When someone is out there creating music like this and it doesn’t cross my radar, I simply feel inadequate. He hasn’t exactly labored in obscurity – Tamino played several shows at SXSW in 2019. Although in my defense, the Belgian-Egyptian music scene is not super strong.

Tamino’s hypnotic vocals are unearthly. Cairo’s Nile FM (this is an actual radio station, at the evenly numbered MHz 104.2 FM) identifies him as the grandson of Egypt’s “legendary Muharram Fouad.” Last year he released the album Sahar but I want you to hear the song I just sampled, 2017’s “Habibi.”

You cannot NOT hear Jeff Buckley singing. I am dead.

I will absolutely be at the Utah Fairgrounds at 1:20pm to hear Tamino early in the Kilby Block Party Saturday lineup.


Osees, formerly Thee Oh Sees, play Kilby and then a DJ set later Saturday at the Urban Lounge

John Dwyer’s long time project Osees, aka Thee Oh Sees, have lived a dozen or more musical lives. From freakout to psych rock, I actually like his current thread which is closer to pure punk.

A Foul Form came out last August although I didn’t catch it then. This is pretty good! It’s on the tolerant side of the hardcore spectrum, which is about the sweet spot for a 50-something white guy like me.

Songs like the freaky surf of “Perm Act” and punk blasts of “Funeral Solution” and “Scum Show” could be a wild part of the Kilby Block Party Saturday lineup.

Indigo De Souza

Indigo De Souza has just released All of This Will End

North Carolina’s Indigo De Souza is all rough edges and blunt, confessional lyrics. De Souza has a great sense of dreary melody, a bit like Dana Margolin of Porridge Radio. De Souza just released All of This Will End two weeks ago and I enjoyed the several tracks I’ve downloaded.

The artist profile on Bandcamp quotes De Souza saying, “I was finally able to trust myself fully.” I don’t really know what that means but it sounds good!

On “You Can Be Mean” she disses on a Luva like Taylor Swift would, but with 100x more venom.

Caroline Polachek

Caroline Polachek will do Caroline Polachek things at the Kilby Block Party

I actually kind of liked parts of the song and video for Caroline Polachek’s “Welcome to my Island,” at least the images of her running through a construction site. (Hey that’s what Weyes Blood serving her coffee!) But its hard for me to take the former Chairlift singer too seriously, and I’m definitely not the target demographic.

Here’s “Welcome to My Island,” which I realize while listening and not watching, loses some interest without the construction video and throwing up blood or coffee.

Dreamer Isioma

Dreamer Isioma will bring a mashup of R&B, rhythmic and Afrobeats to Kilby

Dreamer Isioma continues the suave Freak&B of 2021 debut Goodnight Dreamer on April’s Princess Forever.

Early single “Love & Rage” shows how Isioma deftly combines funk, Afrobeats and a rhythmic indie palette. Princess Forever is also a deep concept album – rarely a necessity – that envisions Isioma transcending an apocalyptic something-or-the-other in an alternate universe.

Best to focus on the Chicago native’s beats, as here on “Touch Your Soul.”


Looking forward to Wallice during the Kilby Block Party Saturday lineup!

Behold the sardonic, self-deprecating indie pop of Wallice!

Just a single EP under her belt, last year’s cutting 90’s American Superstar, Wallice grimly mocks her career trajectory on “Rich Wallice.” The LA artist absolutely shreds on “John Wayne” (actually I don’t know if that’s her on guitar!?) and on the imagined end of her career arc on the EP’s narrative closer “Funeral.”

After a couple of pandemic hits, Wallice Hana Watanabe spent part of the year opening for The 1975 and I can totally hear it. For Rolling Stone AU, Wallice describes hours of added music and dance rehearsals to prepare for her big break.

I dig the way she shifts from 2nd to 5th gear about 1 minute into the EP’s opening cut, “Little League.”

Grace Ives

Grace Ives impresses with ease on her two albums Janky Star and 2nd

Synth pop marvel Grace Ives is the author of last year’s Janky Star. Endlessly entertaining, Ives specializes in 2 minute pop gems that show off her breathy vibrato. Sometimes working in a dream pop space, other times breaking into a Cars twee power pop, Ives delivery always matches the material perfectly.

She soars on “Butterfly” from her 2019 debut 2nd.


Tanuchikan brings dream pop to Salt Lake City

You can hear the Cranberries influence on Tanukichan’s 2023 sophomore release GIZMO. I don’t know that the reference is good or bad, it’s just there. Particularly on songs like “Been Here Before” and “Take Care,” Hannah van Loon sounds like the late Dolores O’Riordan, minus the yodeling.

I appreciate Tanukichan’s crunchier dream pop to the poppier dream pop. Album opener “Escape” is more of a Lush soundscape.

Kipper Snack (Kilby Block Party Saturday lineup local feature)

Here's a Salt Lake City band I'm excited to get to know.  Be at the Kilby Block Party to hear Kipper Snack

Loving everything I’ve heard from Salt Lake City’s Kipper Snack, whose Insta says the band is half finished with “a real rock and roll album.” Last year Kipper released Pretty as a Flower, whose seven tracks look like an EP or mini album. Tracks fall somewhere between indie folk and high desert alt country.

Check out this impressive number, “Stick It With Me.”

Other standouts include “No Surprise” and “Mama.” Kipper is getting some well-deserved attention this year. Besides their opening slot for the Kilby Block Party Saturday lineup, they’ve played Soundwell, The Depot and Kilby Court. Kipper is a band to watch.

I’m also going to include a video. Readers of this site know I focus on audio. But I was so struck by the tenderness of this video shot during the pandemic. I hope whatever rock and roll Kipper releases soon includes this purity of spirit.

Also include the pedal steel, I want this young man to show off more pedal steel.

Kipper Snack at Studebaker Studios in Provo

Anais Chantal (Kilby Block Party Saturday lineup local feature)

Salt Lake's Anais Chantal opens the Kilby Block Party on Saturday

Anais Chantal released Where Do I Go?? just a couple of months ago. Salt Lake’s Chantal drops between soul and torchlit piano ballads. This is difficult territory to stand out! Chantal has the voice to pull it off, although not all of the melodies here cut through for me.

The opener “CLASSIC” captures Chantal’s presence and range perfectly.

Hippo Campus

St. Paul's Hippo Campus sound more like The Killers than MN forebears The Replacements

Bright indie pop not wildly removed from The Killers, the Minneapolis veterans have been around since 2013. Hippo Campus last month released the Wasteland EP, from which the fan favorite seems to be “Yippie Ki Yay.”

Kilby Block Party Saturday lineup: Other bands playing

I could have and maybe should have broken out The Moss and Josh Doss separately. Links provided for all.

10,000 Blechs: Dreadful 100 Gecs Salt Lake City Show

The 100 Gecs Salt Lake City show certainly LOOKED great.

The 100 Gecs hype machine pulled into Utah April 12. While I can recommend their 2023 release 10,000 Gecs without reservation, the 100 Gecs Salt Lake City Show was a total bore.

Here’s what you didn’t miss.

100 Gecs Salt Lake City show starts strong

It was a promising beginning for the 100 Gecs Salt Lake City Show. Like on the album open, Dylan Brady and Laura Les roll onto stage with the THX sound logo deep enough to make most of the teen boys in the audience sterile. It’s a kickin’ statement, though, and they launched immediately into album opener “Dumbest Girl in the World.” Dylan in his trademark yellow wizard cloak and hat and Laura in a her less-wizardly T-shirt and jeans.

Loud can’t hide dull Gecs performance

The Gecs rolled through several other anthemic crowd-favorites like “Hollywood Baby,” “Doritos & Fritos,” “One Million Dollars” and “I Got My Tooth Removed.” The band also dipped into debut 1,000 Gecs with “Stupid Horse,” “Hand Crushed by a Mallet” and “ringtone.” Here’s the studio version of “ringtone.”

Honestly hearing both albums side-by-side, the the nu metal dorkiness of 100 Gecs sophomore album is a real improvement from the endless autotune of their debut.

100 Gecs Salt Lake City show bores fast

When the house lights came up, the 100 Gecs Salt Lake City show felt more like a bad Disney skit

Dylan and Les DJ nearly their entire show.

I guess that’s fine if the compositions are impractical to tour or the artist really wants to be in the moment. But if you’re going to DJ your show you better Beastie Boys the freaking stage. The 100 Gecs show was oddly static. They NEEDED instruments — anything — to occupy them. Dylan, in particular, was very nearly idle.

Laura Les of 100 Gecs played an actual musical instrument after about 30 minutes of rapping and singing.

Unfortunately after a half hour when someone finally handed Laura Les a guitar, the crawling and self-absorbed solo brought the show to a crashing halt.

Laura intro’d most of the songs and a couple of these were cute: “This is a song about a frog. And a floor. The song is called ‘Frog on the Floor.'” Amusing enough.

However she was also responsible for most of the inane stage banter which consisted of at least three, “SLC, how are we doin’?!!?!!” It was real Spinal Tap energy, but not ironically.

Dreadful 100 Gecs Salt Lake City show: 4 words

I can't recommend the 100 Gecs Salt Lake City show.  Just buy their sophomore album 10,000 Gecs and call it good.

Was I intensely self-aware of my age watching this all play out, behind at least three wizard-capped 14-year-olds? Yes, yes I was. But I usually am that self-conscious and I can compartmentalize with the best of them to enjoy a show.

I expected loud, dumb fun but not boredom. This night, the Gecs were dreck. I walked out after about 50 minutes.

Four words: Just buy the album.

Kilby Block Party FRIDAY lineup. Get set times for all 19 bands right here!

HEADS UP NEW INFO!! Organizers have released set times for the Kilby Block Party Friday lineup. Listen to the bands’ songs — and plan your Friday wisely. Here are start times:

A few blink impressions of the Kilby Block Party Friday lineup:

  • My only real conflict Friday is Jean Dawson and NoSo. That’s a tough choice. It may come down to what I’m ready for at 2pm…do I need a warm up? Sample both artists below.
  • Ritt Momney is the only obvious tax writeoff. What did those guys do wrong to get lined up against Japanese Breakfast?! I’ve also included songs for Japanese Breakfast below.
  • We’re promised 90 minutes of The Yeah Yeah Yeahs. That implies current hits and plenty of back catalogue. I guess you’ve got to give the kids what they want. Again, listen to the YYY below.

Here’s my plan and personal recommendation for Friday.


1:35 Julie
2:15 Jean Dawson? But NoSo is SoGood
3:00 Honestly I may take a break here
4:05 Deerhoof
5:00 Cuco
6:10 Japanese Breakfast
7:30 Frankie Cosmos
8:30 YYY

That’s my plan. But I want to give you a lot to think about here. And listen to.

The Kilby Block Party Friday lineup blasts out of the gates with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Japanese Breakfast and Cuco. Have a listen to the headliners + some of the supporting acts that are opening an amazing weekend of music.

Kilby Block Party Friday lineup: The headliners

One of the two biggest names to play all weekend in the Kilby Block Party lineup are the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. But they’re just a starting place in the Kilby Block Party Friday lineup. Read on to sample the YYY’s music but also some of the lesser-known bands playing on opening night!

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Yeah Yeah Yeahs lead off the Kilby Block Party lineup in a big way.  Hear their songs and read about them here!

2022’s comeback kids exploded into relevance again with their single “Spitting Off the Side of the World” featuring Perfume Genius on album Cool It Down. The album appeared in many 2022 top 10 lists. Salt Lake City won’t be disappointed when they hear songs like “Fleez.”

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs – with Karen O on vocals, Nick Zinner on guitar and keyboard, and Brian Chase on drums – are known for their early art school aesthetic and post-punk energy.

Their debut album, Fever to Tell (2003), features the breakout single, “Maps,” which remains one of their biggest hits. The band’s successive albums, including Show Your Bones (2006), It’s Blitz! (2009), and Mosquito (2013), showcase the YYY’s emerging electronica and garage rock sound.

I’m excited to see the Yeah Yeah Yeahs play for the first time.

Japanese Breakfast

It's possible I'm more excited to see Japanese Breakfast than anyone else in the Kilby Block Party lineup

Michelle Zauner and Japanese Breakfast are one of those acts that I enjoy on every level…lyrical, visual and brainy…all while delivering the hooks. I also succeeded in getting my daughter, 17 at the time, to listen to 2021’s Jubilee. I got her to pay attention to “Tactics” in the car one day, and she added it to her Spotify playlist. Father of the Year!

It’s wonderful how “Tactics” unfolds like a Paul Simon song — then the chorus blossoms into something aching and completely her own:

So I had to
Move a great distance from you
Cross a sea, keep you from me
Move a great distance from you
Cross a sea, keep you from me

Michelle Zauner’s bestselling book Crying in H Mart comes out in paperback today. The memoir recalls her isolated upbringing in Oregon as a Korean-American, drifting from her heritage as she grows older, reconnecting to her mother’s values upon her death.

One of my dearest friends in high school was Korean-American. I think of her sometimes listening to songs like “Paprika” and “Kokomo, IN” and wonder what has become of her.

Look at the day-by-day breakout of the Kilby Block Party right here


Check out songs from sneaky headliner Cuco here.  DO NOT MISS his show at the Kilby Block Party Friday lineup

I’ve already written quite a bit about Cuco.

Bedroom pop guy, he’s the real deal, I hope you take time to hear him during the Kilby Block Party Friday lineup. I can remember the exact place and time I was falling in love with Cuco last year. I was re-seeding grass in my backyard, about to get on a plane for a college reunion, listening to the pure pop bliss of “Sweet Dissociation.”

Cuco’s multi-lingual album Fantasy Gateway didn’t get nearly the attention it deserved in 2022. So first, buy it from Cuco’s website. Then be there Friday for one of the late afternoon Kilby Block Party set times. Be there to hear Cuco’s magic brought to life!


The Deerhoof album Miracle-Level comes out just in time for their show in Salt Lake City

This week, the Deerhoof Miracle-Level album drops. The San Francisco post-punk legends are nearly 30 years and 19 albums into their career. The entirety of Miracle-Level is recorded in Satomi Matsuzaki’s native Japanese language.

The band previewed Miracle-Level last fall with “My Lovely Cat” and then in January with the spiky melody experimental pop number “Sit Down Let Me Tell You a Story.”

I don’t imbed many videos — this is a website for reading and listening. But the video from a performance of “Sit Down Let Me Tell You a Story” at Tokyo’s Ebisu Garden Hall is pretty awesome.

While I’ve listened to them over the years, I’m not going to pretend to be a Deerhoof expert. But they’ve earned their status as headliners, however they’re classified in the Kilby Block Party lineup.

You can buy the Deerhoof Miracle-Level album plus Deerhoof merch when you scroll to the bottom of the band’s home page.

Kilby Block Party Friday lineup: Supporting acts

Just because you haven’t heard of every band in the Kilby Block Party Friday lineup doesn’t mean you should skip straight to the familiar names. In fact, the buried lead for the Kilby Court concert…it’s that you have multiple, stellar bands playing in “supporting act” slots. It’s pretty remarkable, so read on-and listen.

Let’s have a look at a few standouts.

Kilby Block Party set times: Frankie Cosmos (7:30p)

Greta Kline and Frankie Cosmos play the Kilby Court Block Party 2023

I listened to quite a bit of Inner World by Frankie Cosmos last year.

The blithe indie pop is perfect for a Saturday afternoon. Many of the songs fronted by Greta Kline are light, economical, almost twee. They’re also not afraid to turn up their amps on the 90-second blast of “Magnetic Personality.”

More typical is Kline’s introspective pop like “Empty Head” and “After Shock.”

Inner World is one I intend to catch up on before the Kilby Block Party Friday lineup takes the stage. Order your copy from Sub Pop. Get Frankie Cosmos gear like a clever “Empty Head” hat at their website.

Kilby Block Party set times: NoSo (2:15p)

Korean-American Abby Hwong, aka NoSo, will be one of the acts that surprises you in the Kilby Block Party lineup

After releasing songs for four years, NoSo released their debut full-length with last year’s Stay Proud of Me. I have an Evernote (I’m such a dork) from August of last year marking “Parasites” as one of my favorite songs of the year.

Stay Proud of Me is replete with shimmering guitars, a little bit of Roxy Music cool and Abby Hwong’s low vibrato which can’t help but evoke Stevie Nicks. The album has so many good tracks–everything is good! For this post, I’ll stick with album-opener “Parasites.”

Get ready for the treat that is NoSo and buy Stay Proud of Me from Hwong’s website.

I could have – maybe SHOULD HAVE – included NoSo in my favorite songs of 2022. Here they are!

Kilby Block Party set times: Jean Dawson (2:15p)

If you haven't heard Jean Dawson's 2022 Chaos Now, be sure to see him play the Kilby Court Block Party!

I’ve gone down a Jean Dawson wormhole today and all I can say is, “How did I miss him last year?”

Dawson’s third album Chaos Now defies category and description, a quality in music I adore. The Mexican-American’s fierce lyrics over the trip hop, power guitar and distorted riffs may overwhelm the block party Kilby Court is planning Friday night!

I’ve listened to about half of Chaos Now, including repeating “Positive One Negative One” about six times. Make sure your neighbors are gone and blow out the windows!

I am downloading Chaos Now before May. But kids these days, they don’t always make it easy. Dawson’s website is pretty cryptic and he has no presence on Bandcamp. You can download Chaos Now from some of the larger purveyors like iTunes and Amazon Prime.

Mark these words: Dawson will upend what you expect from most of the Kilby Block Party Friday lineup.

Kilby Block Party set times: The band Julie (1:35p)

Noise rocking, shoegazing Los Angeles band Julie will be an absolute riot in Salt Lake City this spring

LA’s experimental youngsters Julie may be another tasty surprise in the Kilby Block Party Friday lineup. The band interchanges noise and a punishing shoegaze with complex time changes. Think Sonic Youth at 20-years-old. Julie are Alex Brady on bass and vocals, Keyan Zand on guitar and vocals and Dillon Lee on drums.

Check out “lochness” from 2021’s Pushing Daisies. Julie rocks!

Go to Bandcamp to buy Julie’s latest, Pushing Daisies from 2021, or last summer’s heavier single “pg.4 a picture of three hedges.”

Kilby Block Party set times: Lucius (3:10p)

Lucius bring their delicate harmonies to Utah for the block party Kilby Court has assembled at the Utah Fairgrounds

Until writing this paragraph, I had never heard the impeccable harmonies of Holly Laessig and Jess Wolfe, aka Lucius who are part of the Kilby Block Party Friday lineup.

I’m now officially interested to hear them play their fourth album, Second Nature, part Donna Summer, part ABBA. Lucius also isn’t afraid to produce a dancy Americana number that wouldn’t sound out of place on stage with Tay Tay.

Besides matching outfits and hair, the calling card for Laessig and Wolfe are their harmonies. Here they show off on “Dance Around It” with support from producer Brandi Carlile and guest Sheryl Crowe.

Buy Second Nature at the band’s website, unironically located at

Across the weekend of the Kilby Block Party, here are my three favorite bands to play. Have a listen!

Kilby Block Party set times: Momma (1:30p)

Listen to Momma's hit "Bang Bang" here and find out about their Salt Lake appearance this May

Momma have slightly loopy asymmetrical energy a bit like The Breeders. They released a full length, Household Name, last summer…and then the hopped-up “Bang Bang” on March 1. You can’t deny that hook!

You can download “Bang Bang” from Lucky Numbers Music. Find last year’s Household Name at Polyvinyl’s website. Some of Momma’s other back catalogue and merch is available at Bandcamp.

Kilby Block Party set times: Westerman (3:00p)

Will Westerman releases his second album just as he appears at the Kilby Block Party 2023

Will Westerman from Athens, Greece, made a splash with his 2020 debut Your Hero is Not Dead. His sophomore release An Inbuilt Fault comes out in May, so we will see Westerman just as he returns with another album of minimalist folk. The taste here is “Petralona.”

Buy 2020’s Your Hero is Not Dead from Partisan Records. Pre-order Will Westerman’s upcoming An Inbuilt Fault from the artist’s website.

Kilby Block Party set times: SLC’s The Plastic Cherries (12:20p)

Salt Lake City's Plastic Cherries are among three SLC bands playing the Kilby Court Friday lineup

I ran across a new friend on the Twitter earlier this year who helped me with the local music scene. I pledged to do a better job covering the 801 this year.

The Plastic Cherries would undoubtedly be among the bands he would recommend on Salt Lake’s Uphere! Records. They credit their influences as glam, soft 70’s and shoegaze. I don’t necessarily hear the gaze but I totally dig the soft rock and DIY sound.

Look for Salt Lake’s own Plastic Cherries with one of the earliest Kilby Block Party set times, the perhaps not enviable 12:20 open. Here is “Waking Up” from 2021’s full-length Sunshine. Dig it!

The Plastic Cherries promise a second album at a date TBD but you can buy Sunshine today at Bandcamp.

Kilby Block Party set times: SLC’s Homephone (12:55p)

Dream pop/bedroom pop act Homephone support this year's Kilby Court Block Party

Another home grown favorite, Salt Lake’s Homephone were busy in 2022 releasing multiple singles ahead of full-length Melon Collie. Ysabelle Stepp and Joseph Sandholtz 70’s-infused dream pop include touching lyrics on songs like “Pistachio.”

People only kiss
When their eyes are closed
If they opened up
What would happen, I don’t know

Buy Melon Collie from Homephone at Bandcamp. Homephone is also releasing new single “NIGHT WALK” on Friday!

And finally…Alice Phoebe Lou

Sex positive Alice Phoebe Lou sings about getting it on on her latest album, Child's Play

Berlin’s Alice Phoebe Lou sings about getting sex, having sex and making booty calls for sex.

Her songs aren’t explicit per se but…I guess…sex positive. She released her fourth album, Child’s Play, with little fanfare at the end of 2021. Since then, Alice has released just one song, “Shelter,” earlier this month.

The tracks on Child’s Play are sweet, if feckless. Here is 2021’s “Care.”

Check out Alice’s entire collection at her website.

Even more bands from the Kilby Block Party Friday lineup

Okay we’ve profiled and listened to most but not all of the bands with Friday Kilby Block Party set times. God willing, and depending on the interest (share this with your friends!) I’ll offer similar rundowns for Saturday and Sunday, so keep checking back.

Here are the remaining Friday bands you’ll see at the Utah Fairgrounds on Friday, May 12: