This weekend the area in the west side of the city known as The Junction will be taken over by roller derby girls, street performers and ballet dancers as part of the annual West Seattle Summer Fest. The three-day street fair features all the trappings of an outdoor summer event. There will be face painting for the kids, food booths, a farmer'ês market — and lots and lots of live music.
More than two dozen local bands will provide the weekend'ês soundtrack, and given there will be more than music to capture your attention, here are four bands you definitely don'êt want to miss:
Hell'ês Belles (Friday, July 9, 9 p.m., California stage): An all-female AC/DC tribute band might seem a bit gimmicky to be rocking the closing slot, but trust me, Hell'ês Belles will put on one of the most memorable sets you see this summer. These girls — make that women — are living proof that rock 'ên'ê roll ain'êt noise pollution.
Satchel (Friday, 8:30 p.m., Alaska stage): Fronted by highly versatile vocalist Shawn Smith, Satchel plays loud and gritty rock. It'ês quite the opposite of Smith'ês soulful singing in Brad and his funky, Prince-esque pipes showcased in Pigeonhed. The band is supporting the recently released 'êHeartache and Honey,'ê one of its best offerings to date.
Whalebones (Saturday, July 10, 8:30 p.m., Alaska stage): Whalebones is a favorite of the hipster rock crowd. The band's psychedelic take on the blues is refreshingly distinct and original. After a spike in popularity a few years back the band took a hiatus and recently returned to the stage. A new record is in the works so expect to hear plenty of unreleased material.
Curtains For You (Saturday, 7:15 p.m., Alaska stage): Curtains For You plays warm, melodic pop music that'ês executed with excellent showmanship. Their brand of pop, which is punctuated with occasional flairs of horns, oboe and other typically non-pop instruments, can also be classified as the type of tunes perfect for a sunny summer afternoon.
If those recommendations don'êt float your musical boat you'êre bound to find something else to enjoy among the wide variety of locals playing the festival. Other choice picks include the kiddie rock group fronted by Presidents of the USA singer Chris Ballew called Caspar Babypants (Saturday, 11 a.m., Alaska stage), the deep-toned Americana of Mark Pickerel and His Praying Hands (Saturday, 5:30 p.m., California stage), the rockabilly swing of The Dusty 45s (Sunday, 12:45 p.m., California stage) or the familiar and fun classic sounds of the Neil Diamond cover band Cherry Cherry (Saturday, 8:30 p.m., California stage). And seriously, who doesn'êt like Neil Diamond?