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Archives for 04/09/2006 - 04/15/2006

Friday, April 14, 2006

Scout Niblett Cancels.

posted by on April 14 at 3:52 PM

Unfortunately, Scout Niblett had to cancel her Vera show tonight due to illness. The show must go on, as they say, and the new line-up is Emma Zunz, Ghost to Falco, and Boys in the Coven (featuring members of Holy Ghost Revival). There might be a few more special guests in the works too, so don’t miss it.

Show starts at 7:30 pm tonight at C.H.A.C. (1621 12th Ave) and costs $5 at the door with a Vera club card ($6 without). More info at

Free show tonight!

posted by on April 14 at 1:14 PM

There’s a great show at the Crocodile tonight, starring the lush and wonderful Siberian, Sirens Sister (featuring Zach from Vendetta Red), Blue Checkered Record Player (Sonny Votolato’s solo project), and Sea Navy (think pop goodness a la Ted Leo). I’d probably tell you to go even if it cost $10, but it doesn’t. It’s totally free.

Fear of Dissent

posted by on April 14 at 12:36 PM

Grendel, an industrial EBM band from the Netherlands, was supposed to play a show here last night, but instead their whole US tour had to be canceled due to the currently absolutely fucked state of America. On March 25, after playing Montreal, the band was denied entry to the US and detained at the border.

GRENDEL US TOUR CANCELLED // Please read :: [27 Mar 2006|03:32pm]

Very bad news: I have been in detention for the last two days, trying to get into the US from Canada. I have been rejected on the basis of apparently being a spreader/carrier of ‘obscene and communist political extremist’ material (total bullshit) based on the following:

- T-shirts: Feindflug ‘Volk und Armee,’ Combichrist ‘Enjoy the Abuse,’ one depicting a Kolasjnikov gun and some rockabilly shirts by Monster & Felon.

- CD`s: Suicide Commando, Leaetherstrip ‘Suicide Bombers’ and two Laibach CDs.

- Lyrics sheet of Grendel. Didn`t include the band name or titles, so they probably thought it was speech or something.

I was not even asked about these, but simply accused right there an then of having these on me to spread/sell. All of this was for my personal use, the t-shirts had all been used previously and the CD’s were only with the corresponding booklets, one original of each, in my CD folder. Also, I didn`t realise the cold war was still going on..Can you say: Good night & good luck? As soon as these items were found, the border control officer made a note of these on the computer system and I believe it was at this point I was already blacklisted.

Then came being accused of being a ‘fulltime professional musician’ (also bullshit ““ based on the amount of albums released) and trying to enter the US without a work permit. I was not carrying any gear or merchandise with me, as that was given to someone else by car to avoid all of this. Even then, they got me. Reason for this being them searching my CD’s and looking up the websites on them, such as on the copies of two Grendel releases I had with me in my CD folder/booklet. They found the picture of myself and the tour data. So that was the end of that.

More here.

Seattle Opera at the Arctic

posted by on April 14 at 11:29 AM

On February 23, 1945, American soldiers raised this flag at Iwo Jima.

On July 20, 1969, American astronauts planted this flag on the moon.

And yesterday, at 9:30 am, Charles Cossé, outdoorsman, president of Cossé International Securities, and trustee for the Seattle Opera, planted this flag at the North Pole.

From the press release: “Seattle Opera’s flag will not be left at the Pole. Conscious of the potential impact on the environment of leaving items in the Arctic, Cossé plans to return the flag to Seattle Opera to be placed in the company’s archives.”

The combination of luxury, frivolity, and conscientiousness is just… amazing.

Os Mutantes to play Seattle!

posted by on April 14 at 7:32 AM

For fans of Brazilian music, the upcoming shows by trio Os Mutantes are the equivalent of a Beatles reunion. This morning, it was announced that, after their first show since 1973 at the Barbican museum in London on May 22, 2006, and a pair of U.S. dates (in New York and LA, natch), the seminal Tropicalia band will also perform in San Francisco, Chicago, and, on Wednesday, July 26, at the Moore Theater in Seattle.

The full press release from V2-Artemis Records (which distributes Luaka Bop, home of the Os Mutantes primer Everything Is Possible) follows…

Continue reading "Os Mutantes to play Seattle!" »

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Go play “Jump” at top volume in her memory

posted by on April 12 at 11:16 AM

June Pointer, the youngest of pop music’s ass-kicking Pointer Sisters, is dead at 52. (Note to neophytes: Although “Baby” June had her own run-ins with the law, and also recorded solo albums, do not confuse her with older sibling Bonnie Pointer, who made an eyebrow-raising Gay Pride appearance at The Cuff last year.)

Japanese Soul

posted by on April 12 at 10:59 AM

If you go to this site you will find a rare pop jewel by a Japanese singer named Tohsi Kubota. The track is called “Nothing But Your Love,” and it’s produced/remixed by the great and late Jay Dee. Kubota sings in perfect black English. In fact, when I first heard the song on a mix by the LA-based beat-builder Take, I thought the singer was a black female obediently following Grace Jones’ androgynous path. But the chorus caught me by surprise: “I’m not nothing.” Though sung with a black English twang (“nothaang”), the construction is not common to black or white English. We almost never say “I’m not nothing.” To utter such a thing is to create an impossible black hole in the sign system of our language. After Take informed me of the singer’s nationality during a chance meeting in Park City, I became obsessed with “Nothing But Your Love.” It offers so much to consider: trends in Japanese pop music; the strange inventions that occur when one language meets and interacts with another language; the globalization of black English (or black singing); and so on and so forth. Listen to the song and be amazed (as I’m) by our age of transnational pop and capital.

Bumbershoot in Billboard

posted by on April 12 at 8:15 AM

The preliminary line-up for Bumbershoot 2006—including a stadium show with Kanye West—is the lead news item in this morning’s edition of music industry bible Billboard. Of the acts not cited in the Billboard piece, but also confirmed, I’m particularly excited about another local appearance by soul great Bettye Lavette and a rare show by neo-folk icon Vashti Bunyan.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

50ft DVD Queenie

posted by on April 11 at 5:46 PM

Aside from her bewitching music videos and her bizarrely appropriate role as Mary Magdalene in Hal Hartley’s Book of Life, PJ Harvey has avoided visual documentation of her live performances (and her personal life) for quite some time. Happily, that will change when she releases a live DVD on May 23rd, comprised of live footage from the Uh Huh Her tour and (gasp!) “behind-the-scenes footage.” Yay!

R.I.P. Proof

posted by on April 11 at 12:44 PM

A key member of Eminem’s notorious D12 hiphop crew, Proof (AKA 32-year-old Deshaun Holton), was fatally shot in the head during an argument at a strip club on Detroit’s 8 Mile Road, which was immortalized in the Eminem bio-pic 8 Mile. A respected battle rapper, Proof appeared in that film and was Em’s best man in his second marriage to Kim Mathers in January.

Obie Trice, another Motor City MC tight with Eminem, was shot while driving on a metro Detroit freeway in December 2005.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Pink, Karen O, and What the Little Girls Understand

posted by on April 10 at 5:06 PM

While I deeply appreciate the difficult (and often unrecognized) efforts of the underground and indie music communities, I think it’s equally important to pay attention to mainstream pop music. It’s being more widely digested and is therefore a barometer of what the mass cultural experience looks like at a given moment—for better or for worse. This is especially true when you consider its impact on non-urban audiences who might not have regular access to edgy, underground artists. While most of the mind-numbing “music” on MTV2 bores me to tears, every once in a while a mainstream artist blindsides me with unexpectedly strong work.

In 2004, it was Green Day that impressed me with their blatantly anti-war rock opera, American Idiot (they also did a couple of rather bold videos, especially this one). This year, it’s looking like Pink may be the artist that deserves high praise for taking a gutsy political stance. I don’t know specifically what instigated this passion for bringing punk-minded feminism to young girls, but “Stupid Girls,” the single from her new album, I’m Not Dead, is a sharp, take-no-prisoners critique of current female gender roles, beauty standards, and consumer culture. No, it’s hardly advanced feminist theory, but a young girl (particularly one who’s stuck in red state hell) absorbing the messages in this video is undoubtedly a very, very good thing.

Conversely, listening to the new Yeah Yeah Yeah’s CD, Show Your Bones, has proved to be a terribly disheartening experience. After a move to L.A. and a few years under the helm of Interscope Records, Karen O and company sound soft, safe (I thought I was listening to Tegan and Sara when I first put the CD in) and uncharacteristically one-dimensional. No one should expect a promising young band to duplicate their debut, but watching a beautifully chaotic, hyper-creative punk trio mutate into something so sedate and toothless is quite jarring—especially when their frontwoman was such a fierce and fearless presence.

While these two records are hardly polar opposites, seeing two artists release highly anticipated records to fans who will probably be divided over their new statements is worth examining, which is exactly what I’ll be doing in a future edition of the Stranger.

To see Pink’s video for “Stupid Girls,” go here.

To see the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s video for their first single, “Golden Lion,” go here (scroll down to the “media” section).

Rock Lottery!

posted by on April 10 at 3:16 PM

Participants of this year’s Rock Lottery have been announced. For those unfamiliar, Rock Lottery gathers a pool of 25 local musicians, splits them up into five groups of five, and locks each group up in a room for a day, where they’re forcced to name their new band and write a short set of original material. Later that night, the new bands are released from their cells and thrown on stage where they perform the outcome of their day-long band rehearsal.

Last year’s Rock Lottery at ConWorks was a lot of fun. I distincly remember Sean Nelson of Harvey Danger singing a poppy dance number about a spider on the drumset with one of the girls from Smoosh.

This year’s rock lotter includes Jim Antonio (The Purrs), Dave Bazan (Headphones, Pedro the Lion), James Bertram (754-Hero/Red Stars Theory), Dave Brozowski (Tall Birds/the Catheters), Emery Carl (Chairman of the Pike Market Performers Guild), Richard Davidson (The Young Sportsmen), Heather Duby, Aaron Ellh (the Ruby Doe), Greg Gilmore (Mother Love Bone), Gavin Gregory (Water Kill the Sun), Kim House (C’est la Mort), Aaron Huffman (Harvey Danger), Grant Johnson (Big Smokey, Model Rockets), Nouela Johnston (Mon Frere), Zeke Keeble (Marrow, Locust), Aaron Malver (The Red Note), Chris McFarland (Suretoss), Rob Schaffer (the Femurs), Sonic Smith (the Emergency), Conor St. Kiley (Holy Ghost Revival), Shane Tutmarc (Dolour), James Van Leuven (Plan B), Sonny Votolato (Slender Means, Blue Checkered Record Player), and Reggie Watts (Maktub).

Members of Mon Frere, Harvey Danger, the Emergency, and Holy Ghost Revival? It’s gonna be awesome. The show will take place at Neumo’s on April 29th. Visit for info.

“˜I Have an iPod—In My Mind

posted by on April 10 at 2:34 PM

This funny piece in The Onion captures exactly what I’ve been thinking for several months now. If only I could download the jukebox in my mind onto your iPod. You’d need a dozen of those suckers…

High Dive Benefits for Capitol Hill Murder Victims’ Families

posted by on April 10 at 11:06 AM

High Dive booking agent (and all-around philanthropic guy) Greg Garcia has coordinated two benefits on April 17th and 24th to benefit the Capitol Hill murder victims’ families. He’s booked a nice array of DJs, including Capitol Hill club favorites like DJ Colby B and DJ Fucking in the Streets. Full details on the High Dive website.