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Archives for 04/02/2006 - 04/08/2006

Saturday, April 8, 2006

The Cops “I Can’t Stay Focused” Tour: Home Stretch Edition

posted by on April 8 at 11:45 AM

Sunday, April 2

Every time we drive through Iowa it rains, and this time is no exception. In fact, it was pouring the entire driveóthe kind of heavy rain Seattle never sees. On top of that, we barely missed a tornado ripping through Iowa City. There’s nothing like a white-knuckle drive through massive tornadic activity to make a band want to rock. Unfortunately, this was not to be. We show up at Gabe’s Oasis only to find that there are a total of two people paid on this tornado-ridden Sunday night. The first band, the Lepers, play while we wait to load in equipment. No one else shows up, so we cut the bartenders and soundman a break and pack it in. The contrast between tonight and Omaha the night before is epic, but touring is damn unpredictable at times. While it can be fun and exciting much of the time, it can also be boring. We often spend 8 hours in a van, get to a club, unload, sit around and wait, play to 10 people, and search for somewhere to crash. Not to demystify the experience, but its hard work for a questionable payoff at times. Also worth mentioning - Gabe’s Oasis has the most disgusting bathrooms in the entire country, and the chairs stick to the floor—-yum!

Monday, April 3

The following night at Mojo’s in Columbia, Missouri is a much better experience. We play this Monday night to an enthusiastic crowd of nearly 50 - many of whom were at our previous performance with the Hold Steady and the Constantines. We play with a band called Bum With a Dog (one of our favorite band names this tour) and Johnny O and the Jerks. Johnny O and the Jerks were friendly enough to put us up for the night, and even bought beers and pizza for the occasion. The night was a sad one for Johnny Cop as he receives word that his cat, Jodie Foster (who is a boy) had to be put to sleep. The old guy went down somewhere in the middle of our set. Afterwards, the Johnny O boys helped set up a vigil and we make many toasts in Jodie’s honor. Their compassion was very welcome and we’ll never forget the night. Rest in peace, Jodie Foster.

Tuesday, April 4

The next day, we arrive in Lawrence, Kansas obnoxiously early. We spend a sunny and warm afternoon combing record shops and chilling out while people watching to pass time. Michael’s friend from Omaha, Donnadea, makes a road trip to see the band and is kind enough to sneak us into her hotel room later that night. This is our second visit to the Replay Lounge this year. It is a cool little venue with hip d√©cor and several pinball machines.

We arrive this time to find the front facade boarded up due to a violent microburst from a tornado that blew out the windows just days earlier. Apparently these microbursts drop out of the sky, unannounced, and destroy all kinds of nearby destroyables - glad we missed that shitstorm. Tonight we follow a cover band that does the Undertones’ “Teenage Kicks,”Ě and the Stooges’ “TV Eye”Ě - fun stuff. The Cops rock so hard tonight that a ceiling tile falls out mid-set. John fixes it at the end of the night so that we could be assured a welcome return. James, Replay booking agent and front man of the band Conner, was very friendly to us and the staff treats us with generous hospitality. James tells us not to expect any cops (actual cops) on the highway between Lawrence and Denver and that we can drive 90 mph the entire way.

Wednesday, April 5

On the way to Denver we see 15 state troopers within the first hour of driving - so much for speeding. This is the most boring drive of the entire tour. There is nothing to see other than miles of open plains and the world’s largest prairie dog. We make it to the Larimer Lounge in Denver in time to have food, drinks, and meet friends. The show tonight is ok and we play for another enthusiastic audience. A Denver band called Swayback shares the bill and they’re very good. Both bands are a solid match and we talk about touring together this summer. Dave and John’s college friend, Shannon, puts us up for the night.

Thursday, April 6

The following morning we awake early to get a head start and beat the massive snowstorms predicted in the Rocky Mountains. We have a long drive to Salt Lake City and tonight’s show starts early. We get through Colorado in good time only to hit near white out conditions in the mountains outside of Salt Lake. Dave white knuckles the wheel and we make it in time for our show at Kilby Court, a cool all-ages venue run by volunteers, similar to Seattle’s Vera Project. We arrive to find two feet of standing water at the entrance to the venue. Aarrggh.

Tonight we play to a small group of kids who stand at the front of the stage and respond in kind to every song. The 10-hour drive to play to a dozen spazzy kids seems worth it. We sell a few CDs and even sign a t-shirt. The night ends early as we grab a 12-pack and head to a hotel room to unwind. One more road show left before we come back to Seattle for our show Saturday at the Crocodile. The tour is coming to a bittersweet end, but we’re anxious to come home.

Ed. note: The Cops are heading back to Seattle from their last show at the Neurolux in Boise. They’ll be at the Crocodile tonight (doors at 9pm, $8) with Slender Means and Wintergreen. Welcome home, boys.

Friday, April 7, 2006

Pranking Pitchfork

posted by on April 7 at 6:00 PM

Pitchfork, the music geek website everyone loves to hate, pulled one hell of a prank with their April Fool’s day edition (sorry, can’t find the archived site anywhere—if you find it, send it to me!), but they had the tables turned on them this week, courtesy of the mischevious and charming Rosie Thomas.

On a related note, this review of At the Drive-In’s Relationship of Command (written as if it’s a debate between George W. Bush and Al Gore) remains one of the funniest things ever.

A treasury of 99 cent records

posted by on April 7 at 9:08 AM

Some people search dilligently for a cure for cancer. Some fight dragons and outwit duplicitous elves (damn lying elves). And some of us spend an inordinate amount of time digging through bins of used records in search of unknown gems recorded by forgotten psyche bands, third-tier post-punk acts, and hotel entertainers from around the globe. If you fall into that last camp, or are simply a fan of Incredibly Strange Music, please visit Waxidermy. Set aside a fat chunk of time to get familiar with its extensive reviews of LPs you’ve never heard of, or only ever discussed in hushed, hopeful tones. All reviews include full-color cover art, most feature a brief sound sample or two—so you can decide more wisely whether or not to enter that eBay bidding war over the Klute soundtrack—and, unlike some groove collectors, the folks who post don’t seem to take themselves too seriously. (And muchas gracias to RJ at Jive Time for turning us on to this boffo site.)

Thursday, April 6, 2006

Prank of the Month

posted by on April 6 at 6:01 PM

Courtesy of former and future Stranger freelancer Matt Corwine.

Matt also records and plays outstanding electronic music under the moniker Mister Leisure. Read next week’s Data Breaker column for more information about his Chop Suey appearance with Matthew “Audion”Ě Dear and DJ Eddie on April 19.

The Clash

posted by on April 6 at 8:51 AM

Yesterday London’s Daily Mail reported the disturbing story of Harraj Mann, the 24-year-old mobile phone salesman from Hartlepool, Teesside, who was hauled off a plane and questioned for three hours by terrorism investigators after listening to the Clash in a taxi on the way to the airport.

“The taxi had one of those tape deck things that plugs into your digital music player,” said Mann to the Daily Mail. “I played Procol Harum’s ‘Whiter Shade Of Pale’ first, which the taxi man liked. I figured he liked the classics so put on a bit of Led Zeppelin—‘Immigrant Song’—which he didn’t like. Then, since I was going to London, I played the song [‘London Calling’] by the Clash and finished up with ‘Nowhere Man’ by the Beatles.”

After his impromptu DJ gig, Mann boarded a plane at Durham Tees Valley Airport. Before takeoff, police raided the plane, marching Mann back to the terminal for the aforementioned three hours of questioning. Police told Mann he was being questioned under the Terrorism Act because his choice of music had aroused suspicions.

“It turned out the taxi driver alerted someone when I arrived at the airport and had spoken about my music,” Mann told the DM, which cited allegedly troublesome lyrics from both the Clash song—“London calling to the faraway towns, now war is declared and battle come down”—and Zep’s “Immigrant Song”: “The hammer of the gods will drive our ships to new lands, to fight the horde, singing and crying: Valhalla, I am coming!”

“The lyrics to both tracks made the driver fear his passenger was a terrorist,” reports the DM.

This isn’t the first time that Clash lyrics have landed an Englishman in trouble with British terror investigators. Back on June 3, 2004, The Guardian reported the story of Mike Devine, the 35-year-old punk musician from Bristol who was questioned as a terror suspect after text-messaging Clash lyrics to a bandmate.

The lyrics in question were from Give ‘Em Enough Rope’s “Tommy Gun,” whose lyrics indeed read like a terrorism red alert. But in this case, the sender wasn’t a terrorist, just a member of a Clash tribute band (which is its own kind of terrorism), texting lyrics to the band’s lead singer. It didn’t help that Mike Devine sent the text to the wrong number, thus setting in motion the bogus terror alert.

Full story on Harraj Mann here.

Full story on Mike Devine here.

Full story on the Clash here.

Tuesday, April 4, 2006

Anyone Else Miss the Test Icicles?

posted by on April 4 at 11:27 AM

Well, the Domino band wasn’t around long enough to really miss them, given that the time span between inception and demise was comparable to the length of a Ramones’ set. Still, every time I put on that self-titled debut, I find myself frustrated that there’s no chance I’ll ever witness their Mclusky-esque cacophony in a live context.

For what it’s worth, Pitchfork reported this morning that former member Devonte Hynes has launched a new project called “Naked Babes,” though given their publicists’ cautionary tone, it very well may implode before it works its way to the U.S. All is not lost, however, as plans for a live Test Icicles DVD are in the works, along with a collection of remixes that includes re-toolings by the soon-to-be-huge kids from Spank Rock. Full story here.

In vaguely related news, Rolling Stone recently did a fascinating, if somewhat horrific piece on the endless train wreck that is Pete Dougherty’s crack and heroin-filled existence. Taint your mind at your own risk here.

KEXP Adds Stranger Flavor

posted by on April 4 at 10:26 AM

To follow up on a previous Slog post, Stranger writers Charles Mudede and Larry Mizell Jr. (the latter also raps in hiphop trio Cancer Rising) have finalized plans to co-host KEXP’s local-music program Audioasis on the third Saturday of every month. The eloquent, knowledgeable duo starts educating listeners in the art of Seattle hiphop on April 15. More information will surely appear here in the near future.

Monday, April 3, 2006

Wall of Sound Goes Online

posted by on April 3 at 6:41 PM

Wall of Sound, Seattle’s most perfectly formed avant/world/out-rock/drone/electronic/etc. music shop, has a new website. Run by the knowledgeable and congenial Jeffery Taylor (Climax Golden Twins’ guitarist) and Michael Ohlenroth, Wall of Sound draws me in every week to satisfy my esoteric music cravings. It would make me feel much better about my addiction if you became as enamored of its treasures as I am. Thank you.

And the beat shall go on…

posted by on April 3 at 3:46 PM

The press release was just delivered to my inbox…



WHEN: Wednesday, April, 12th - Doors @ 7pm “ď Show @ 7:30pm

WHERE: The Showbox - 1426 1st Avenue in Seattle

ENTERTAINMENT: 5-Track & Glass Goblins
King F**k You (Jeremy Martin’s band “ď one of the victims).
Pawn Council

WHY: To raise money to give to the victims’ families.

DETAILS: ALL AGES “ď 21+ Bar w/ ID
Tickets: $10 Advance/$12 Day of Show
Tickets available at The Showbox or
Food buffet donated by The Madison Market Organic Co-Op and other local retailers.

See any good shows this weekend?

posted by on April 3 at 11:04 AM

Over in the music forums, I started a thread where ya’ll can post your own reviews of local shows. So if you saw anything awesome or awful this weekend, speak up here!