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Archives for 05/14/2006 - 05/20/2006

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Modeselektor Kill Rebar

posted by on May 20 at 8:09 PM

Alas, I can only report on about the first half of their set (I had to leave to go set up the after party), but what I heard was just outstanding. They wove material from their recent full length, Hello Mom!, in with tracks I hadn’t heard before, fluidly mixing up dark electro, hip hop, dub, etc, etc. The sound was intense, the crowd was into it, and the gentlemen of modeselektor looked like they were having a blast (the one guy kept doing this adorable jogging-in-place thing).

Jerry Abstract is one of the best DJ/producers in Seattle. He really did kill it last night. If you didn’t catch his set, go see him spin tonight for Flea Market at Chapel.

In fact, after Jerry, I found Derek Michaels to be pretty underwhelming. He was certainly enthusiastic and focused, but I wasn’t feeling it.

My pet peeve of the evening: the couple dancing next to me during Modeselektor who kept bumping into me. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE dancing, I think it should happen more often in this town, and there are certain occasions when bumping into the people around you is to be expected-hell it can be part of the fun. But last night, it seemed like everyone except these two were being respectful of everyone else’s space. Whether I stood my ground or tried to scoot over to accommodate them, they just kept bumping and grinding into me.

Dave, next time I’ll trade you my inconsiderate dancers for your inconsiderate chatters.

How Was Modeselektor? You Tell Me

posted by on May 20 at 5:49 PM

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Last night at Re-bar I took in the Modeselektor show (as always, our local DJ stud Jerry Abstract killed it on the decks before the headliners and Detroit’s Derek Michael went on). Anyway, I was looking forward to seeing the German duo Modeselektor after hearing about their devastating Missoula, Montana gig earlier in the week. Trouble is, I could only focus about a third of my hearing on the music itself because people kept on talking to me during Modeselektor’s set.

At the risk of sounding like an anti-social prick, I have to say that the conversation at gigs has gotten out of controlat least with me it has. I love my friends in the scene, but please understand that I’m also very much interested in actually concentrating on the music. Listening to music and writing about it is my job (and my obsession), and while I value my friendships and music-biz acquaintances, I wish folks could hold the chit-chat while performers are onstage doing their things. We can talk inbetween sets or after the show, if it’s okay with you.

So instead of giving you a detailed analysis of Modeselektor’s set, I can instead report that I learned the following things: a friend is house sitting in Alki Beach; someone saw Roger Waters play the Gorge five years ago (it was “awesome”); someone announced, “I’m drunk”; someone’s recent road trip to Portland led to the discovery that many young men in the music community have b.o. problems; someone expressed surprise that I drank alcohol; someone dissed Burning Man electronic music as “crap”; etc., etc.

I wish I could tell you more about Modeselektor’s performance, but, alas, my impressions are hazy at best, obscured by scraps of dialogue. Maybe Line Out bloggers Donte Parks or Eric Grandy can fill you in.

The (not-so-small) World of Paul Williams

posted by on May 20 at 11:20 AM

If you are a fan of The Muppet Movie, Brian De Palma’s bizarre 1974 rock musical Phantom of the Paradise (a Scissor Sisters DVD favorite, I’ll have you know), or, I dunno, half the songs that were in heavy rotation on ’70s AM radio, you owe it to yourself to check out this in-depth interview with diminuitive songwriter Paul Williams, conducted by Robert Dayton—alias Little Hamm of Canned Hamm!

Among tons of fascinating trivia, the composer of such evergreens as “We’ve Only Just Begun,” “An Old Fashioned Love Song,” “I Won’t Last A Day Without You” (my personal favorite—check out Bobby Darin’s version on Motown) and, um, “Evergreen,” discloses that he wrote “Fill Your Heart,” which David Bowie included on essential 1971 LP Hunky Dory… having discovered the ditty tucked away on the b-side of Tiny Tim’s 1968 Top 20 novelty hit “Tip-Toe Thru’ the Tulips with Me.”

Thanks to Jason at Fretboard Journal for the tip!


Friday, May 19, 2006

Stradivarius sold for over $3.5 million

posted by on May 19 at 5:54 PM

The new world record bid for a musical instrument, $3.54 million, was paid at a recent New York auction in exchange for “The Hammer,” a 300-year-old Stradivarius violin considered one of the most prized musical instruments in the world. The violin was crafted during Antonio Stradivari’s “golden period” in the early 1700s. The final bid was made anonymously via telephone. Supposedly the mysterious new owner plans to continue leasing the violin for use in symphonies worldwide.

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Read the article here.

I don’t know anything about violins. A quick google search brought me this great article titled “Science and the Stradivarius,” from PhysicsWeb, which explains how the violin gets it’s tonal quality and a video search presented this surreal documentary translated from Japanese and Italian. All the translated voices will bring out your dormant schizophrenia.

Rachel and Neko Take on the Nuge, Induce Crying

posted by on May 19 at 4:04 PM

Just as I suspected, Visqueen frontwoman Rachel Flotard is thoroughly enjoying herself on her European tour with Neko Case. I received this email update from her late last night.

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Neko Tour is a blast. Goes like this: Fly to Milan from Seattle (equivalent to eating a sheet of acid) and don’t go to sleep for 13 days. Plug yourself with exotic chocolate and cheese, then run wild in the streets with a lanyard on and try not to get your ass kicked. It’s a lot like being in the jumpseat of a plane. The bus pulls into some new and more ancient cobbled area and then spits me out to find my own way. To say it’s beautiful here would be like calling Fife mildy crappy. Berlin, Munich, Lucerne, Stockholm, Norway, Copenhagen. I am the luckiest chippie on earth to be here. I’m humbled to be singing songs that make people bawl their faces off in foreign languages. Right now I’m in Rotterdam tucked away in this evening’s venue, Night Town, hoping Ted Nugent doesn’t come after me and Neko for basically calling him a middle-aged codpiece in Hamburg last night and making lots of loin cloth jokes. The Germans seemed to think it was funny. Rightly so.

Tomorrow is Amsterdam. No trouble there.

Provided she survives Amsterdam, Rachel will be back June 16 to play a show at the Tractor Tavern with Visqueen.

Stranger Tech Guy Spins Mean Techno Set

posted by on May 19 at 3:32 PM

When he’s not keeping our ‘puters running smoothly and digital infrastructure purring contentedly, Stranger tech dude Brian Geoghagan DJs the techno. Right now I’m really feeling this keenly selected, low-impact minimal mix (including cuts by Booka Shade, Alex Under, and Wighnomy Bros.) he did with Marshall Watson before an Underworld live set. He’s got another online gig happening here tonight.

Excepter in the Flesh

posted by on May 19 at 12:12 PM

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So I went off on a hyperbolic jag about Brooklyn quartet Excepter here and here. Sometimes my effusive praise for musicians isn’t fulfilled when they take the stage later that week. (Let me apologize now if I’ve ever misled anyone.) But last night at the Sunset Tavern, Excepter killed it, surpassing my sky-high expectations.

They used no laptops or guitars, but rather a keytar, a Korg, a Casio, and a Roland Juno60 to concoct hypnotic waves of warped-to-thrilling-imperfection head music. Someone erroneously mentioned that Excepter sounded like “Ariel Pink’s backing band,” but a more accurate description would be wonkadelic Moog innovators Beaver & Krause tackling iconoclastic dub label On-U Sound’s back catalog. The set ended with one of the weirdest takes on house music I’ve ever heard. My only regret is I didn’t ingest a fistful of fungus. Hey, every so often my sense of responsibility gets the better of me.

Eurovision 2006 blows hard

posted by on May 19 at 12:01 PM

I was so wrapped up in a hellish deadline for the past 48 hours that I only paid attention to last night’s Eurovision 2006 song contest semi-finals in Athens, Greece via e-mail updates from friends. But… God, it pains me to even type this… Belgium’s Kate Ryan did not make it to the finals. Billboard confirmed the shocking news this morning. WTF? “Je T’Adore” was the catchiest entry of the year. Watch this clip: A great song, the stiff Fembot grace of classic ABBA, and clunky choreography (what is up with that circular leg kick move?). Are the judges deaf and blind? You just know that born-again Swedish hag Carola is going to win AGAIN. Ugh.

Miguel Migs Plays Happy Hardcore House

posted by on May 19 at 11:25 AM

When I first heard about Miguel Migs coming through town Saturday night (@ Chop Suey) my first inclination was to share my extreme apathy with the world. It’s not that he’s a bad DJ, just a little too predictable. The mixes are all perfect, the tracks filled with sunshine, margaritas and perfect tans. Where’s the angst? Where’s the struggle? Where’s the “I spent all week workin’ for the Man and now I just need a break” house? The “I’m not sure how I’m going to make rent” house? The show had little appeal for me, and while it will certainly be packed regardless of my opinion, I was all set to share my lack of interest.

Then the sun came out. I’m hardly a sun-worshipper, but my mood lifted as the days got brighter and longer (hell yeah Daylight Savings. Arizona, you’re missing out.). It felt like the city’s collective mood lifted as well. Winter glares turned to smiles, outfits started to get a little smaller, the parks filled with dogs, kids, and people looking for a summer (or evening) romance. Walking in the sun, I realized that this was Migs weather.

It’s almost summer and while life goes on, Miguel Migs doesn’t play tracks to reflect life. He plays tracks to permanent vacations, providing the soundtrack for forgotten worries. Vacations are predictable in their leisure, so what I once perceived as a shortcoming is Migs’ greatest strength. You don’t want to be reminded about needing to find a job while on vacation, you just want to have a good time, and that’s what a Miguel Migs set provides. Miguel Migs is a break from your worries, a respite from your stress, so put a smile on (and not much else), and let the sunshine in.

If that isn’t enough incentive, many people find Miguel Migs to be rather dreamy. I think it’s the eyes.

My name is Inego Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.

Excepter—Red Hot

posted by on May 19 at 10:50 AM

It was a hypnotic blitz, swerving from “WTF” sonic weirdness and a sea of raised eyebrows to panting “OMG” aural lovin’ that had everyone awestruck and asway. Deranged synth, molten beat sequencing and maracas met with a stage performance that’ll be haunting my dreams for weeks. I got a little dizzy there for a minute as these boys paced the stage with microphones in backpockets, $1 bills strewn upon the floor, their vocal mewlings turning into moaning turning into primordial stew. It wasn’t just cerebrally sublime. Medulla oblongatas got a transcendental treat as hearts pounded into swells and caught breath, mouths watering, a candied-crack concoction I wouldn’t mind swallowing on a regular basis.

You see this red haze and these searing little slips of apparitional what’s-this? It wasn’t just cuz I didn’t feel like using flash. This was the flavor last night at the Sunset.

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I may just have to stalk them.

Who’s That Eating That Nasty Food?

posted by on May 19 at 10:34 AM

It’s Sondra Prill!

My girlfriend gets credit for finding this gem (and for watching it at least three times a day since).

Enjoy!


Thursday, May 18, 2006

Neon Noise

posted by on May 18 at 9:46 PM

Mikaela’s Fiend began a few years ago as five high school kids playing spazzy, synth-laced artcore, something like Carnation/Woodinville’s answer to the Blood Brothers (take that, Kirkland). Since then, the band has transformed into a power duo consisting of Chris Ando on guitar/effects and Donnie Shoemaker on drums/Dr. Pepper, and they’ve become more Load Records, less Sassy Magazine. They have a 7” coming out soon on Strictly Amateur Films entitled We Can Driving Machine.

Tomorrow night they play at The SS Marie Antoinette, one of Seattle’s few reliable spaces for all-ages DIY style shows. They play loud; you will want to bring earplugs.

Opening for them are Portland’s Wet Confetti, who play the best possible kind of art school post-punk (the kind you can dance to).

If Mikaela’s Fiend are Seattle’s answer to Lightning Bolt, then up and coming poster artist Devon Varmega is our answer to Seripop. Check out his poster for tonight’s Excepter show at The Sunset for an example of his work.

He currently has a show up at Wall Of Sound. Do your retinas a favor and go see it.

The Cops Are Coming…And They Have Back Up.

posted by on May 18 at 9:00 PM

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Photo by Curt Doughty

Gird your loins: It’s the annual Capitol Hill Block Party, scheduled for July 28-29. The preliminary lineup is rather rock-centric thus far, featuring SubPop frontrunners Band of Horses, the fuzz-filtered pop of Silversun Pickups, the rapidly ascending, Austin-based Black Angels, brass-balled former Seattle duo Big Business, and a generous helping of hometown heroes, including Pretty Girls Make Graves, the Cops, Speaker Speaker, and the Divorce. Hiphop fans will get their vitamins as well: Common Market, Greyskull, Macklemore, and Abyssinian Creole are currently scheduled. In order to open up the street, have less fencing, and to use Neumos and the Bad JuJu as stages, the party will move one block south to East Pike Street. The mainstage will be hosted by New York-destined Reggie Watts: The comedian/multi-talented musician is moving to the Big Apple, but will return to Seattle just for the occasion. There’s still much more to be announced, including Saturday’s national headliner, more top-drawing local acts, and the requisite sprinkling of music-friendly political speakers. The full lineup will be posted on Line Out on June 15th. If history is any indication, the Capitol Hill Block Party will continue to be equal parts heartfelt philanthropy (partial proceeds will benefit Home Alive and the VERA Project) and hot-weather hedonism (I just pray I don’t have to announce bands all day and get hit with heatstroke like former Stranger editor Jennifer Maerz).

Advance tickets will be available starting May 19 for $10 at the Bad Juju lounge with no service charge. The Bad Juju hours are 3 pm to 1:30 am. All-ages, advance tickets can be purchased at Neumos’s Box Office, which opens at 7 pm on any show day. The Bad Juju Lounge and Neumos are located at 1425 10th Avenue.

The complete schedule with venues and times will be announced on June 15, but here’s how things look so far:

Friday July 28
Pretty Girls Make Graves
Band of Horses
Himsa
Thee Emergency
Macklemore
Big Business
Tall Birds
The Cops
Abyssinian Creole
Math & Physics Club
Lonely H

Saturday July 29
Common Market
Silversun Pickups
Black Angels
Schoolyard Heroes
Minus the Bear
Speaker Speaker
Sera Cahoon
The Divorce
Ladyhak
Greyskull
Neon Blonde

Excepter Earned an 8.4 Rating from Pitchfork

posted by on May 18 at 4:53 PM

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Now that I have your attention” Leave all mundane concerns behind tonight and journey to Ballard’s Sunset Tavern to witness Excepter. They’re coming all the way from Brooklyn to give your cerebellum a thorough makeover. I rank them up there with Black Dice as one of today’s foremost purveyors of discombobulating, what-the-fuck? sounds. And often Excepter turn those WTF moments into OMG oneseven if you’re an atheist.

Spend a little time with the Beach.

posted by on May 18 at 2:44 PM

Apologies for the obvious and corny headline. I couldn’t resist. Anyways, this week’s “Band of the Week” is Juhu Beach, a current local favorite of mine. They have the bite and complexities of a mid-90s post-hardcore outfit, but there’s also some indie rock flavor in there ala early (super early) Modest Mouse and even a little Built to Spill.

Give ‘em a listen.

They’re playing tonight at Nectar in Fremont with White Gold, Paris Spleen, and Martian Memo to God. Should be a great show.

Also, bands and DJs, don’t forget to make yourself a page in the Stranger’s Band Directory. That’s where we pull our Band of the Week’s from, so if you’re not in there, you don’t exist.

Whitney Music Box

posted by on May 18 at 2:11 PM

Check this out. coverpop.com is, basically, the website of my dreams. I may never get any work done again. Hat tip to Seattle techno producer Justin Byrnes.

Beats from a Split Personality

posted by on May 18 at 12:46 PM

The Concretes cancelled, so now what do you do with yourself tonight? Last week I sang the praises of the F.O.B. weekly night at the Baltic Room, and I’ll do it again now. The night features good music, simultaneously chill enough to just have a drink and fun enough to motivate your ass, but tonight Domu is in town, so the eclectic meter should be turned up to eleven.

Dominic Stanton, the Man of a Million Monikers (Domu, Bakura, Rima, Sonar Circle, Umod, Yotoko, Zoltar), makes music. A lot of music. An albums-remixes-and-singles-for-each-one-of-those-guises amount of music. It’s hard to really keep up with someone that prolific, but just know that he’s down with the Jazzanova collective, and they don’t mess around when it comes to quality. The only thing certain is that there should be a lot of range in his set tonight, and if you like beats, you’d be wise to be there.

Here’s a recent mix by Domu for Patrick Forge’s Cosmic Jam. The mix features a remix of SunTzu Sound’s “Tickles.”
Domu on Patrick Forge’s Cosmic Jam


Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Pandora’s Music Box

posted by on May 17 at 10:44 PM

Call it psychic streaming radio. But instead of extrasensory powers, the music technologists from The Music Genome Project use algorithims to bring you the sound waves you crave. The original intent of The Project was to “capture the essence of music at the most fundamental level.” Since Tim Westergren founded the Project in 2000, over 10,000 songs have been meticulously analyzed for all of their myriad attributes. The genome currently consists of over 400 attributes, ranging from melody, harmony, instrumentation, arrangement, lyrics, everything you can imagine.

The Pandora application allows you to enter a song or an artist and then the minutae of elements attributed to that selection are compiled. An algorithmic process organizes tracks that reflect the original selection’s musical DNA into a queue of streaming radio. You can forward through tracks or “guide” the application to further define what you’re looking for. Your searches can be saved into an archive of listening stations.

It’s an inspired concept, but the results are far from perfect. Still, it’s pretty impressive and I’ve already picked up a handful of new artists in the last hour. For instance: I entered Clouddead of the undergroud hip-hop sect and was presented with The Roots and Aesop Rock, who I love, but it also cooked up Cannibal Ox, a new name to me. A search for Tim Hecker brought me William Basinski, Ulf Lohlmann, Kiyo, Experimental Audio Research and Greg Davis & Sebastien Roux. 10,000 songs may not sound like much, but they add new tracks everyday and it’s a decent foundation. It’s definitely something worth exploring, especially if you’re like me and you’re trying to explode your rather limited aural knowledge as efficiently as possible without consuming mass amounts of time cross-referencing.

San Francisco and the Cookie Snake

posted by on May 17 at 7:00 PM

I have a pimp suit. My pimp suit brings me much joy. It adds a little something different to any situation or outing, or tour. Buying milk for instance. It’s much more fun to go the grocery to buy milk wearing a pimp suit. Try it out, you will see. Put a pimp suit on and go buy milk. Give yourself a pimp name, such as “The Cookie Snake’, or “The Aquatic Sheik Stack.’ Joy, laughter, and splendid times will abound.

Break your pimp suit when your friend’s least expect it. Such as when you wake up on tour in their friend’s house and it’s time to thank them for their hospitality. Say, “The Cookie Snake needs to know who wants to shine his gold and where his bitches are at.”

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Photos: Marlon Schaeffer

We played Cafe Du Nord in San Francisco. They served a salmon. Real good. And had peanut butter cookies. A writer in the Guardian wrote a preview for the show and was talking about how when he was younger he would stage epic battles between Chewbacca figures and chess pieces and stuffed animals. I used to do that too. The Chewbaccas always won.

Cafe Trieste has delicious coffee beverages.

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Photo: Dan Tyler

Here’s the dog in Lincoln Park that took a crap right next to where these people were laying. I wish you could have heard them. “Aw” No” That is terrible.” They were pretty stuck up people. If the dog hadn’t taken a crap there, I would have.

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Photo: Dan Tyler

Cookie Snake unmasked and practicing aerial break pimpography ninjitsue. I am an aqua belt.

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Photo: Tony Nelson

Trent - out

Head Like a Kite

We Love It When Our Friends Become Successful

posted by on May 17 at 5:15 PM

Watching the locals make good is always heartening—and Visqueen frontwoman Rachel Flotard’s perpetually rising star is a prime example of just such a joy. Check out the smokin’ hot spread in the new issue of Harp:

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And in the table of contents (damn, girlfriend):

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New Waxidermy mix

posted by on May 17 at 3:41 PM

Those crazy kids over at Waxidermy, archivists of bugged-out second-hand records, have a new mix CD, Evil Fire Nugget Loops, available now for sale on their site.

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If it is even a fraction as good as their first one, I assure you it will be pocket change ($7) well spent. A few weeks ago I spent two days cruising around Washington DC listening to the Vol. 1 mix—a collage of acid trip monologues, sitar versions of Dusty Springfield hits, tragic boleros about brave bullfighters, demented hard-bop, and much more madness—pretty much non-stop. And that one sold out fast (the Waxidermy mixes have one-of-a-kind covers, so they only come in limited editions), so don’t sleep on it.

Hangover Soundtracks

posted by on May 17 at 2:30 PM

I know you’re all responsible, moderate drinkers most of the time, but occasionally you falter and consume too much alcohol. So let us assume you have some familiarity with the condition known as “the hangover.” I had one once, and, damn, it was horrible.

Anyway, when you’re clobbered by the booze shit hammer, certain types of music can soothe your aching, throbbing noggin. Below are some of my recommendations for albums and songs that may alleviate your self-induced pain. Care to share your own hangover soundtracks? I thought so, lushy.

Miles Davis, In a Silent Way (You must know this.)

Nick Drake, entire catalog (Your pain pales next to his)

Terry Riley, A Rainbow in Curved Air, Shri Camel, and almost everything else (Whirled peace.)

Don Cherry, Brown Rice (Incredibly nourishing.)

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Spacemen 3, Dreamweapon and The Perfect Prescription (The drugs do work.)

Chocolate Watchband, “Voyage of the Trieste” (off The Inner Mystique; put this song on repeat and you may never need Tylenol again)

Steve Hillage, Rainbow Dome Musick (Has the added value of aligning all your chakras, too.)

Brian Eno, Thursday Afternoon (This 1985 Eno album has been slept onliterally. And that’s a good thing.)

Bardo Pond, “Amen” (off Bufo Alvarius Amen 29:15; wombadelic bliss at its finest)

Loscil, entire catalog (Aqueous and velvety.)

Gas (Wolfgang Voigt), everything (Techno as balm.)

Secretly Canadian

posted by on May 17 at 1:33 PM

My man Don Cornelius likely wouldn’t have hesitated to call last night at Chop Suey ‘a stone gas’. BKNY’s buzz-heavy masher-uppers The Rub brought it real hard(or at least, Cosmo Baker did)- this ol LA boy’s a sucker for any Zapp tune, every time. But the night unquestionably belonged to the headliner, Montreal’s greatest gift to hiphop, A-Trak. The kid is a beast, and is succeding in taking turntablism away from the nerds and back to where all good hiphop belongs- the dance floor.
As I stood in line for drinks- hearing Trizzy splice E-40’s club crack “White Girl” into Too Short’s “Burn Rubber” before launching into a sweaty Jay-Z medley that woulda made Dame Dash get misty- I couldn’t help flashing back to the old days of Yo Son! at the Chop. No offense to the homie M Dot Lalario, or to DV-One and B-Mello, who rock a packed War Room every Saturday- but the vibe of that old Sunday was a unique one indeed, and goddamn if that fucking Canuck A-Trak didn’t, for a brief, shining moment, replicate it.

If you wanna see my interview with Young Trizzle, tommorow evening download the newest episode of the weekly(kinda) video podcast i host, Thursday Plantation. To do so, do this.

Comments are Back

posted by on May 17 at 1:32 PM

Comments are working again. Yay, comments!

We apologize for the delays. We’ve missed you.

Let us have it.

Prefuse 73 and Edan cancel Chop Suey

posted by on May 17 at 12:25 PM

From Chop Suey’s MySpace bulletin:

Yep, sucks, but Scott is having some health issues and how to call off the rest of the tour. Please return to point to purchase for a refund.

More on the cancelled portion of the tour (through May 31st) at Pitchfork News.

Flyer of the Week

posted by on May 17 at 12:07 PM

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There were technical difficulties keeping me from scanning this in before the actual event, but this is the first flyer in a long while that’s made me pick it up and make sure I attended the night in question. Most flyers are completely slick and professional, so it was a breath of fresh air to see something a bit more D.I.Y.. There was also so much left off the flyer as well, leaving the night’s musical content a complete surprise (it turned out to be a mix of party favorites hip-hop and pop). I eventually looked up Rahim, and was completely blown away by the juxtaposition of their sensitive indie rock and this jarring half-nekkid people-adorned flyer. There was no way I was going to miss this night, and since that’s the point of a flyer, I give them kudos for a job well done.

Comments Down

posted by on May 17 at 11:45 AM

Dear Slog faithful,

Due to unforeseen technical conspiracies, comments are currently broken. We are busily tracking down the problem, and we’ll let you know when the name-calling can resume.

Thanks for your patience.

- Nerds

Vinyl Piracy

posted by on May 17 at 9:45 AM

If you’re looking for another reason not to buy vinyl, try this.

(via Make)


Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Oh. My God. Excepter

posted by on May 16 at 11:50 PM

Alright. So I’m lame. I’d never heard of these guys before. Completely clueless.

I was all excited about seeing Prefuse 73 this week and felt all of a sudden disoriented and lost by the news of their cancelled tour. Suddenly my one show night was shot. So I had to find something to make me whole again. Mr. Data Breaker had told me that I should go see Excepter at the Sunset Tavern on Thursday. Apparently the new DB will be all about it. Didn’t ring any bells at the time… but I just checked out their website and found this footage and I realized that I had seen them before. A recent Line Out post by DJ FITS made mention of Riff Market, grade A asshole material and music blog, executed by schizoid Nick Sylvester, who apparently worships Tom Cruise, which frightens the hell out of me, but anyway—and more importantly—he also worships Excepter. He featured this video… and I cannot describe how perversely happy this video made me. When I saw it for the first time I thought, “Damn. Why can’t I get a little of this action live? What’s wrong with Seattle?” And then I proceeded to watch it two more times.

I mean, they mill around the stage catatonically, pitching forth nonsensical lines like, “I’d like to introduce… our machines to you… but I forgot their names. I’d like to shake hands with each… and every one of you… but I’m on stage.” And then the ridiculous synth and blithering beats and unintelligible microphone spewage and oh god I just want to take them all home. And it all seems so dumb, BUT IT’S AWESOME. There is something so the roots of me about this music. Maybe it’s the days of idiosyncratic marathon bands back in Anchorage like FSUNJIBLEABLEJE, playing in industrial spaces with names like Spatula City. The sound is different, but it’s the same bastard of a band, the same concentrated psychosis and silly irreverance. I don’t know what it is about these guys, but I’m all stupid over it.

Anyway. THEY’RE COMING HERE! And I am so there. And I could easily have missed them. This is so fated. It’s like I’m going to be 18 again. But then again, that’s kinda scary. If you find someone writhing around on the floor in a fit of ecstasy… that would be me.

What I’m Doing Tonight

posted by on May 16 at 12:45 PM

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Everyone and their brother has been telling me that I need to see Margret Brown’s documentary, Be Here to Love Me: A Film About Townes Van Zandt. It looks fantastic and recieved universally flattering reviews. There aren’t any rock shows calling my name, so I think I’m firing up the grill, staying home and renting it.

While I’m thinking about it, what are some of your favorite music documentaries? I could make a list that would fill the whole Line Out page, but in the interests of brevity, here are a few of mine:

Benjamin Smoke, Jem Cohen’s painful and gorgeous portrait of an Atlanta musician/drag queen.

Instrument, another film by Cohen chronicling Fugazi’s career over the course of 12 years.

A few months ago I reviewed this heavy metal documentary for the paper (follow that link and scroll down to the bottom of the page to read the review). It’s already in my NetFlix cue again.

And of course, this one. Don Letts is a wonderful documentarian, as he proved again with this film last year.

Prefuse 73 Cancels Tour

posted by on May 16 at 11:55 AM

According to Pitchfork, Warp Records glitch-hop artist Prefuse 73 (Guillermo Scott Herren) had to call off the rest of his Security Screenings tourincluding the May 17 date at Seattle’s Chop Sueydue to illness. Here’s part of Herren’s explanation:

Right before i embarked on this edan/prefuse73 tour, i was diagnosed with some pretty scary and challenging things to deal with regarding my mind and health.. (that’s all i want to go into it as far as details are concerned.))) I thought I would just plow through these shows and deal with my problems from the road because i’m a stubborn old man. Instead, my friends, my doctors, and everyone I know have strongly advised me to not go through with this tour or at least shorten it… My point is this_ I am so very sorry for having to cancel the routing of the tour for the cats that won’t be able to see us.

That’s a shame, and I wish Herren a swift recovery, but I’m even more bummed about missing psychedelic-hiphop phenom Edan.

Concrete Bubbles

posted by on May 16 at 11:48 AM

I spent Mothers Day in Concrete, Wa. (population 735) playing with the dogs, drinking beer before noon by the Skagit River, and just generally feeling serene.

My soundtrack for much of this visit was provided by Orchestra Of Bubbles, the new collaborative release from Ellen Allien and Apparat.

These two are like the Prom Queen and King of Berlin Techno. Ellen Allien runs the Bpitch Control label, releases acclaimed solo records, and DJs staggeringly huge parties. Apparat co-owns the label Shitkatapult along with T.Raumschmiere and produces his own cerebral yet bumping brand of electronic music.

Together they’ve created a record that ranges from glitchy minimal to club-friendly bounce without ever losing coherence. “Do Not Break” is a standout track, combining Ellen Allien’s breathy vocal samples with Apparat’s digital scratches to create something reminiscent of Orbital’s best work.

This totally modern, urban, technologic music was a surprisingly fit accompaniment for my rural setting. It’s a sign of their skill that they’ve made an album rooted in the world of skyscraped city-scapes that plays equally well as country idyll.

Solenoid at Oscillate

posted by on May 16 at 11:03 AM

Portland producer Solenoid (AKA David Chandler and witty, precise mashup DJ Brokenwindow)who’s playing at Oscillate tonight at the Baltic Roommakes electronic music the old-fashioned way: with analog synths and drum machines. But the results, as heard on his new album for Orac, Supernature, aren’t musty, but rather agleam with an acute sense of melody, an uncorny sense of menace, and textures that trigger pleasant flashbacks to anyone who fell hard for electronic music in the late ’80s/early ’90s. Bolstered by crisp beats, the tracks here bump along in that hazy zone between electro and techno; some may consider it IDM in its purest form.

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In an earlier Line Out post, Mister Leisure wrote: “Supernature is comfy and welcoming. Post-ravers like me feel right at home with its slightly lived-in synths and drum machines, its familiar strings and chord progressions and its unfussy arrangements.” He speaks the truth.


Monday, May 15, 2006

Alice in Chains Rehearsal Open to the Public

posted by on May 15 at 5:33 PM

If you’re interested in hearing what AIC sounds like without Layne Staley, you’ll want to get in line at the Moore Theatre RIGHT NOW (ticket distribution starts at 6 pm tonight). Personally, Staley’s harmonies with co-frontman Jerry Cantrell were what made the band for me back in the day (I was quite a fan of Dirt’s druggie sprawl), so this is of little interest to me—but I’m sure there are plenty of diehard fans out there who would appreciate the opportunity. Here are the particulars from Silver Management’s press release:

Alice In Chains will be performing a free “Open Rehearsal” show tomorrow, May 16, 2006 at the Moore Theatre. Tickets for the event will be distributed this evening (May 15), beginning at 6:00pm at the Moore Theatre Box Office. The show is open to all ages. Free tickets will be distributed exclusively through the Moore Theatre Box office beginning at 6:00pm tonight, May 15th. There is a firm limit of two (2) tickets per person. Please bring ID. Alice In Chains’ FREE Open Rehearsal show will be Tuesday May 16th at the Moore Theatre. Doors open at 6pm, show starts at 7:30pm.This is a special treat for hometown Alice In Chains fans before the band embarks on their summer world tour. Complete tour dates can be found on www.aliceinchains.com

Return to Shangri-Las

posted by on May 15 at 1:35 PM

While poor Ronnie Spector is getting middling reviews for her new album, The Last of the Rock Stars, there’s something much more exciting brewing for ’60s girl group fanatics: Mary Weiss, lead singer of the Shangri-Las (“Leader of the Pack,” “Give Him A Great Big Kiss”) is cutting her first new record in 40+ years, according to the latest issue of MOJO magazine. There is an extensive interview with Mary up on the site for Norton Records, who will be issuing the disc, which reportedly features music by the Reigning Sound and songwriting contributions from John Felice (Modern Lovers) and Jackie DeShannon.

Iron Butterfly on American Bandstand

posted by on May 15 at 12:37 PM

This Iron Butterfly video proves at least three things:
1. youtube.com obviates the need ever to watch network television again” unless there’s a major terrorist attack or an Olympics happening.
2. Heavy, ambitious psychedelic rock like “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” was Top 40 fare at one point in history. Astounding. (On a side note, there’s a sweetass drum break near the end of this song just aching to be sampled.)
3. Dick Clark has always been a tool.

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Matmos Portrait Gallery Tour

posted by on May 15 at 12:02 PM

Today Matador Records offers a Quicktime presentation on the portraits from Matmos’s new album, The Rose Has Teeth in the Mouth of a Beast. The piece is sectioned by M.C. Schmidt’s recitation of the track number and title, and each division includes a quick biography of the subject, as well as a bibliography, discography, and videography for further study.

While you read, you can listen to the library of sample material for each song (listen for the sounds of public sex, flesh burning, cows mooing, a Middle Eastern shawm, and what may be a hookah). In the background are the commissioned portraits of each subject, all of which are included in the CD packaging as loose-leaf cards. My favorites are the Toltechadelic Larry Levan illustration and the Patricia Highsmith collage of cigarette butts, snail shells, and pseudopod bodies[?].

It seems to load faster if you merely save the Quicktime file to your desktop. Enjoy!

Santa Cruz Sex Change My Humps

posted by on May 15 at 3:59 AM

18 wheelers in California need to stay in the right lane. You’re on a steep curvy road and the trucker thinks it’s Nascar. Dude, lay off the Nascar, lay off the Skoal Bandits, stop hunting, and lay off the Skynyrd. Wait, I take that back, don’t lay off the Skynyrd, crank the Skynyrd, but your truck is still too big to be driving it like that. Like a St. Bernard that thinks it’s a lap dog.

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Soundcheck in Santa Cruz at The Attic. There was an art exhibit on the walls called “Transfigurations’ - Portraits of people who have gone through full sex changes. Honoring their process. Pictures showing different stages of the transformation. A powerful exhibit.

I loaded into the club and set up without having time to notice the exhibit was there. The sound guy needed me to check my microphone. We’ve been listening to lots of Black Eyed Peas in the van, I had been singing Peas all day. So I check the mic with their song, “My Humps.’ It was right on the tip of my tongue.

“Whatchoo gonna do wif all dem breasts, all dem breasts inside dat shirt.” Mid check I start to see part of the exhibit on the walls - a series of women showing the scars of their breast removal procedure. The before and after shots. From full breasted woman to full on man. A man that probably watches Nascar, with a beard and everything. Then I see people are sitting there looking at the portraits. A group of them - women that have become men and men that have become women. I could tell. Maybe even some that are in the portraits. Glaring at me. And I’m sitting there busting, “Watchoo gonna do wif all dem big big breasts?” My own extended soundcheck version. I remember thinking, “These people must really hate the Black Eyed Peas.” Then I realized what was happening. I stopped with the Black Eyed Peas and finished the check with Neil Diamond’s ode to ET, “Turn on your Heart Light.’ What can you do? I felt like a complete utter jackass.

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After the soundcheck disaster, I went to the record store across the street feeling pretty dejected. I was picking through the used cd bins. An apocolyptic skater kid came up and stood next to me going through the same bin of cd’s. Black trenchcoat, 2 sets of headphones, the gloves with the fingers cut off, cigarette behind his ear, and massive patches. He flicked through the cd’s with inhuman speed. There is no way he was able to read the titles. It was like he was in the Matrix. I was stuck in the Bananarama’s, and he had gone through the entire bin. He was like, that’s the best you got? He showed me up. I tried to redeem myself by asking him if he worked there and if the new Hootie and the Blowfish was any good. He flicked me off and walked away. I saw him standing with his friends by the door on my way out and asked him where the fanny packs were. He asked me what my problem was.

The show was all ages and I saw him there. I busted fat beats into his eardrums and he was confused. He walked up to me after and was being all nice. I said, “I am the master, run along and pierce your cheek.”

Found a spot by the ocean later and spun the earth.

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trent - out.

Head Like a Kite

Photos: Dan Tyler (dw_tyler@comcast.net)


Sunday, May 14, 2006

Music Retail Nears the Runout Groove

posted by on May 14 at 7:08 PM

I don’t usually get sentimental about retail establishments folding (although I did here), but this article in Detroit alt weekly Metro Times is unbearably sad to me. Every record store that closes is like a repudiation of my way of life; I take it personally even when a Tower shuts down. (“Get over it/yourself,” you say? Thanks for understanding and being there when I need you most. I probably will get over it and wonder why I was so melodramatic about the vanishing of a huge part of my youth and adulthood, but for now please indulge me. Much appreciated. Also, spare a charitable thought for all the people losing their jobs and livelihoods as we rush from solid to gas, musically speaking. It’s not really all about me.)

I suppose the inevitable disappearance of records/CDs/tapes will ultimately (maybe?) benefit the environment and your back when it comes time to move your belongings to another dwelling, but in the long run it will result in a diminution of the music-listening experience, for all the reasons those damned audiophiles have delineated umpteen times already, and which most people tune out anyway.

I won’t rehash the arguments about analog vs. digital, vinyl vs. CDs/MP3s, turntables vs. iPods, etc. Been there, done that, sold the T-shirt on eBay. Many people view tangible musical artifacts with disdain or apathy; so be it. You can’t miss what you never knew, and most young people will blithely continue to listen to music in purely digital form and never comprehend how much of the audio spectrum isn’t captured by 0s and 1s.

La la la. I hate feeling like a stubborn old stick in the mud on this issue, but I do think that prevailing audio-format trends are lamentable. And, yes, I do realize how ironic it is that I’m bemoaning the loss of analog-based music/brick-and-mortar music shops on a blog. I’ll go away now and listen to my 78s on the Victrola.

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Do you miss Arling & Cameron?

posted by on May 14 at 6:25 PM

Since dropping Arling & Cameron’s soothing single “Voulez-Vous?” into my DJ set at a huge corporate cocktail party gig a few weeks ago, and feeling the whole room light up, I’ve been spending renewed quality time with All-In, 1999’s debut album by the Dutch duo. In a nifty bit of synchronity, New York DJ Andy Reynolds featured two recent tracks by A&C side project Fluffy Target on his East Village Radio show Penetration last week.

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If you dig the zany, polychromatic pop of the former, make sure to check out the latter, too—their debut 12-inch (available via the Bungalow Popshop) features contributions from love-‘em-or-hate-‘em sistas Princess Superstar and Avenue D. Hot!

“I Don’t Like Rules.”

posted by on May 14 at 4:13 PM

Ultimate snarfer Mark Hosler from foundsound-sampling geekdom Negativland spills his guts in this video about his contribution to and concerns with Creative Commons, a relatively new concept affording artists a square inch of freedom outside the confines of copyright law. Watch this rather long-winded but ultimately very satisfying video of him ranting about the foibulousness of copyright misers and how art, science and society would not exist without widespread pilfering and plundering.