The Andy Aupperlee Explosion 5000

Fleet Foxes and Goats

by on Oct.03, 2008, under Capitol Hill, Music, Seattle

Fleet FoxesRobin Pecknold of the Fleet Foxes.
Capitol Hill Block Party. July 26, 2008.
Nikon D300. Nikon 18-200mm VR lens @ 105mm.
Aperture Priority. 1/100 sec @ f/5.3. ISO 400.

The Fleet Foxes are incredibly good. Like disgustingly, filthy good. I mean that literally and figuratively. I caught the Fleet Foxes on Saturday at the Capitol Hill Block Party. They played during that space in the day where you are not sure if it’s late afternoon or early evening. That ambiguous hour complimented their timeless sound well. Listening to the Fleet Foxes feels like the first time you figured out how to use your dad’s record player and dug into some Beatles or Simon and Garfunkel. Even though the Fleet Foxes sound like everything you’ve ever heard, their music rings with an urgency and newness that is unmistakably born of this generation.

Fleet FoxesFleet Foxes at the CHBP Mainstage.
Nikon D300. Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 lens @ 11mm.
Program Exposure. 1/320 sec @ f/9. ISO 400.

I first heard the Fleet Foxes on MySpace. Like Grand Archives did before releasing their self-titled debut; fellow Sub Pop artist, the Fleet Foxes, streamed their entire record before being available for purchase. I connected my computer to the home theater and turned it up while cleaning the kitchen one Friday afternoon. Even my roommate at the time, Jon, immediately blessed the music with his approval.

“Who are these guys?”
“The Fleet Foxes. They are from Seattle.”
“I like.”

Then the P4k review came out. Then the blogosphere went nuts. The rest is modern alt history. Needless to say, my expectations of this newcomer indie-super-group were high going into Block Party. Within notes of starting the set, their four-part harmonies immediately began tugging at the heartstrings and sending chills up my spine. The band drew their set list from Fleet Foxes and their earlier work, the Sun Giant EP. Lead by Robin Pecknold’s powerful lead vocals and fueled by the quintet’s precise musicianship, each song received an earnest and original performance.

Fleet FoxesSkyler Skjelset of the Fleet Foxes.
Nikon D300. Nikon 18-200mm VR lens @ 105mm.
Program Exposure. 1/200 sec @ f/7.1. ISO 400.

Not that I’m trying to come up with a soundtrack to my life, but the Fleet Foxes’ music evokes a quintessential Northwest essence. If I wanted to get vulnerable with yall, I might describe certain days in Seattle as ‘being just like that one Fleet Foxes song.’ Fortunately for Grand Rapids, you don’t need to book a flight to the Emerald City. They are on tour right now! Go get a little piece of Seattle at the Ladies Literary Club on October 9. Chicago: go to The Metro on October 12. Since there’s no baseball in St. Louis right now, why not head to the Fox Theater on October 13? I hear they are playing with another little Seattle band that night. Anyone in Denver [slash] FORT COLLINS that knows what’s best for them will be at the Oriental Theater on October 15. And of course, Seattle… I will see you all at The Moore on October 19.

The Fleet Foxes recently released a music video for “He Doesn’t Know Why.” I first saw the clip earlier this week on Seattle’s premiere music blog, The Stranger’s Line Out. It just so happens to feature my favorite animal ever.



It kind of reminds me of this time my dad and I didn’t make a music video for the Fleet Foxes. We were just ‘horsin around’ with the goats, yall.

Andy, Dave, Samson, Delilah & Beulah.
Sometime during the early years of Reagan’s first term.
Ada, Michigan.
Photo courtesy of Dave Aupperlee.

Check out several more Fleet Foxes pictures and other photographs on my Flickr site.
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