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Music Critics' Picks: Helsing Junction Sleepover, Doctor Sleep, DJ Qualifi, Buddy Banter

Aug. 15-21: Live music in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

Buddy Banter / photo courtesy of Facebook

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[FESTIVAL] + FRI, AUG. 15-17

"Awesome coffee on a farm in the middle of pretty much nowhere, group photo on the haystacks every year ... swimming in the river, eating food that was grown on the land, standing in the back field late at night, watching the bands play (really loud), or watching from the hay bales under the stars." These are musings from Mariella Luz, K Records general manager, as she reflects on some of her favorite things about Helsing Junction Sleepover. In its 10th year, the event is bigger than ever, with plenty of room to grow. The three-day party takes place on a 30-acre-farm. Friday night kicks off with eight performances, including Spider and the Webs, Arrington De Dionysio and Tender Forever. Other activities are morning yoga hosted by Olympia's Kristen Rubis, and a Northwest Literary Showcase Saturday evening and a midnight dance party. Other bands include The Maxines, The Shivas and The Hive Dwellers. For more info and a complete list of bands, visit {NIKKI MCCOY}

HELSING JUNCTION SLEEPOVER, no animals allowed, Helsing Junction organic farm, 12013 Independence Road. Rochester, $65 advance pass, includes camping, $10 day, 12 and younger free,


Doctor Sleep is the totally unnecessary sequel to Stephen King's The Shining. I think there are vampires in it, maybe? That sort of nonsense. Stephen King hated Stanley Kubrick's near-perfect take on The Shining, so you know where that dude's coming from. Doctor Sleep is also, thankfully, something else: a band! That's much more appreciated than a lame sequel. Olympia's Doctor Sleep is a glam-pop swirl of synths and chip-tune blips. There's a relaxed charm to the music of Doctor Sleep, even as electronic arpeggios whirl about. The vocals of Max Gorbman recall the cheesy excellence of Spandau Ballet, in the best possible way. Listening to Doctor Sleep can sometime inspire images of a tuxedoed crooner adrift in the dayglo-nightmare of Tron. I'd take that in a heartbeat over checking in on Danny Torrance after all the interesting stuff happened. {REV. ADAM MCKINNEY}

DOCTOR SLEEP, w/ Other Jesus, guests, 8 p.m., Northern, 414 ½ Legion Way, Olympia, $5

[DJ] + SAT, AUG. 16

South Sound club owners are closing their doors or having their doors closed upon them for a variety of reasons. One club that is NOT closing its doors, and is in fact celebrating a three-year anniversary of successful reggae/dancehall-themed events, is Champions. Amusingly, some people have described Champions as a "hood spot," but whether it is or is not, one thing is for sure, DJ Qualifi who runs Saturday International Reggae Night has been successfully delivering the soundman's craft to the party people at the Tacoma/Lakewood spot for three years now. Saturday marks DJ Qualifi's third year of fun, riddims and roots at Champions. Get your wind on Saturday night. {JOSE GUTIERREZ}

INTERNATIONAL REGGAE NIGHT THREE-YEAR ANNIVERSARY, 9 p.m., Champions, 8765 South Tacoma Way, Lakewood, 253.582.3400


The lo-fi indie rock of San Diego trio Buddy Banter is the kind of laidback pop that comes across as utterly effortless. Elastic guitars call to mind the slacker goof-off rock of Mac Demarco. Much like many other artists in this era of Nostalgia, Buddy Banter make music that could've easily dominated the college radio charts in the early '90s, even as songs like "Little Devil (Come Kick It)" and its bouncy guitars almost sound like the dusty rock of the '70s. What really makes Buddy Banter shine, though, is the purely sunny air that permeates their music. As we enter the dog days of summer, there's not much that pairs so perfectly with you and your beer, sweating together on your back porch. {REV. AM}

BUDDY BANTER, w/ Hot Rush, Lures, Soccer Babes, 8 p.m., Northern, 414 ½ Legion Way, Olympia, cover tba

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