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Music and Art in Wright Park

An escape from the smothering crush of August

Rock and roll takes over Wright park, Saturday at noon. Photo courtesy of Facebook

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Every year, in the dog days of summer, a slew of bands descend on Wright Park. With temperatures reaching unbearable levels in the past few weeks, there's little to do but take off most of your clothes and embrace the hellscape that is summer in 2015. If you're interested in knowing the easiest way to take your mind off of something like the smothering crush of August heat, one way of handling it is to take part in a festival the likes of the decibel-pushing Music and Art in Wright Park. If you're going to sweat your ass off, at least sweat it off to rock and roll.

For 22 years (!), Music and Art in Wright Park has been taking over Tacoma's favorite stretch of grass and water parks for the purpose of infecting Tacoma with rock and all sorts of groovy art. This year is no different, boasting a murderer's row of artists scheduled to fill up the all-day festivities. As with festivals in the past, MAWP (as it is so called) in 2015 is lousy with musicians, artists and food trucks, making it a veritable explosion of everything that we hold dear. Eating delicious food in the company of great music and compelling art is something that should never be taken for granted.

As is usual with MAWP, music is the main draw. Yes, there are a million other artistic and delicious things to draw you to Wright Park, but the assemblage of bands is one that will always bring the crowd that doesn't include yuppie parents bringing their kids to the festival. At this year's festival, there is no shortage of locally favorite bands, which is par for the course of MAWP. While there may be the occasional band from out of town, MAWP is generally quite dedicated to the idea of praising local acts.

This year, the lineup is no different. The list of bands is a collection of all of the bands that have been making noise in the South Sound over the past year. The all-girl Full Moon Radio will be playing one of their last shows. After declaring their disillusionment, Full Moon Radio have been playing out their retirement over the past few months, with MAWP being one of their final performances. Tacoma upstarts Wow, Laura will also be making an appearance at MAWP, with their brand of slacker prog-rock. MILK will also be in attendance, with their mix of garage rock and psychedelic squall.

In addition to the usual roster of rock bands, Music and Art in Wright Park will also include some bands that are off the beaten path. For instance, the Cottonwood Cutups will be bringing their brand of bluegrass and punk-inflected country. Oh Dear! will be in attendance, with their verbose indie rock, and all of the emotionally robust lyrics therein. Weird Tigers are a bunch of sloppy punks who are trying to continue Tacoma's track record of laying down a whole bunch of sludge in the place of music.

Music and Art in Wright Park is a mainstay in Tacoma, and the music is a fundamental element of its success. When it comes to everything else, the best and brightest of Tacoma come out to ply their wares.

Music and Art in Wright Park, noon, Saturday, Aug. 8, Wright Park, South 6th and South Yakima, free (donations)

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