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Archives for 05/28/2006 - 06/03/2006

Saturday, June 3, 2006

Movement/DEMF Day Two (Redux)

posted by on June 3 at 1:23 PM

Gettin' silly wit' it[In which the author describes Day Two of the Movement Festival, the enjoyment of Tortured Soul, Kevin Saunderson, The Orb and later Stacey Pullen, while expressing disappointment with the J Dilla tribute and just about everything at the Underground Stage.]

I said I would revisit Days Two and Three of this year’s edition of Movement, Detroit’s Electronic Music Festival, and here I’ll stay true to my word (at least for Day Two).

After the illness of the night prior, I woke up Sunday pleased with only a minor headache, and decided to forego both Julius the Mad Thinker and the electrobass showcase in favor of checking out Submerge, the distribution center for many Detroit labels (including Underground Resistance), seeing some art and getting a good meal.

Arriving at the festival around five, I’d also missed Seattle-identified Donald Glaude’s set, but that wasn’t considered much of a loss. That day’s music started with the beautiful sounds of Brooklyn’s Tortured Soul, who captivated the main stage with their live house/disco/funk sounds. What I found most amusing about them was that with their black slacks and tie/white shirt combo, they looked like a ska band, but their sounds were infused with the soul that the festival needed. They provided a defining moment for the festival, since they were true musical uniters. With the techno-filled lineup, there were few acts that could transcend genre and become something everyone could enjoy. Tortured Soul managed to draw everyone’s attention. Young and old, black and white, ravers and breakers all loved Tortured Soul’s output, and they were very deserving of the encore they performed. If you have a chance to see them, don’t miss out (and bring everyone you know, since I can guarantee they’ll like it).

Even Saunderson knows his set was amazingThe heat had started to let off a bit by the time Kevin Saunderson came on, providing a chance to walk the other stages. Rob Acid was plagued by the abysmal sound at the Underground Stage, while the final moments of Deadbeat and the beginning of Pascal Feos (who played the longest individual set of the festival) didn’t disappoint over at the Beatport stage, which proved to be the destination for the more glitchy, experimental sets.

Kevin Saunderson came on to the expected praise of the crowd. Since he’s always been a bit hit-or-miss, I didn’t have my expectations set at all. Saunderson killed it. From first to last record (and with early technical difficulties in between), Kevin played his crowd-friendly blend of house and techno. He managed to fit in a techno remix of Blur’s “Song 2” before moving into a more latin track mere moments later. Between his beats and the arrival of the night crowd, Saunderson left the stage with more of the same praise to which he had entered it.

After a lackluster first twenty minutes, the Orb ultimately lived up to their hype. Personally, it wasn’t so much about the Orb as much as seeing Thomas Fehlmann again. After rocking Decibel, he managed to do so once again in Detroit. He showed the same enthusiasm, and looked like he belonged among the dancing crowd not on stage. With his excess of joie de vivre, he’s truly going to outlive us all.

Josh Wink played to a full Beatport tent - and was later at the Pullen partyThe night closed out with a bit more wandering around the stages. The Collabs Tour was relentless, with Speedy J and Chris Liebling bringing the beats, but after having been at the main stage for five hours it was time to see what else was going on. John Acquaviva was good, but would have been better had I not just come from the main stage. At the Underground Stage they moved into drum and bass territory, with the Planet of the Drums tour (AK1200, Dara, and Dieselboy) and Photek. How was it? Earlier I mentioned how bad the sound was at the Underground Stage. The necessary volume and low-end needed for these acts didn’t make it sound any better. Imagine the Neumos sound system in an empty swimming pool. Ugh. Unlike the hundreds packed into that area, I couldn’t tolerate being over there for more than a few moments at a time, since it was just aural oatmeal.

Better at least in intent was the J Dilla tribute. Beat prodigy J Dilla was a hero in Detroit, and his death was taken hard by the local hip-hop scene. Given 6 hours, they filled the stage with DJs, MCs and producers, out to celebrate his legacy. That was a lofty goal, but the execution didn’t live up to that at all. I tried to sit and enjoy it, but the stage lacked the spark to really hold my attention. It felt sloppy, didn’t sound that great, and in general only lived up to J Dilla in spirit.

For afterhours, the original attempt was to make a party that was a scam (it did have a great (albeit ficional) lineup though). That killed a fair amount of time before making it to Oslo to catch Stacey Pullen at Bloom, thrown by Organic. While only catching the last half hour or so of his set, I was happily impressed, since seeing him was one of my goals for the weekend. He delivered as always. Too bad the crowd was a bit off. The headliner, DJ Harvey, went in a completely different direction, moving into underground disco/proto-house territory. His track selection was impeccable (if you’re into that, which the crowd largely was), although his mixing left something to be desired.

Driving back to the hotel after checking a couple of other afterparties, I experienced another defining moment of the weekend. Derrick May’s “Strings of Life” came on the radio. While bludgeoned with Danny Krivit’s remix a few years ago, this would prove to be the only instance of the track for the weekend, and the late hour coupled with the downtown setting gave the track a new sense of gravity. It was a synaesthetic moment, a moment of clarity, with the homeless milling about, the burned out buildings standing in defiance of their neglect, and me driving down empty, trash-strewn streets, my headlights and the periodic street lamps lighting the way back to my hotel where I’d sit in the car waiting for the track to finish before heading to rest for the next day.

Cheap Is The New Slick

posted by on June 3 at 11:54 AM

Carl Craig’s got a new record out under his Tres Demented alias. “Brainfreeze” is the cut for me. I especially like how unproduced it sounds — so much current techno is way too clean for my tastes, silver and gleaming like a Lexus straight off the production line. But this one sounds like it was mastered on a four-track in Carl’s bedroom, with the monitors down low so he won’t wake up his parents.

I’m really digging cheap-sounding dance music right now. Anal-retentive arrangements and slick production have their place — hey, it was Carl himself who once remarked that Kraftwerk are “so stiff, they’re funky.” But I want to hear more techno people get a little dirty. Let some of the notes drift off the grid. Play those drum parts by hand. Raise the noise floor a little. Detune your soft synths a bit and lay off the compression and mastering. Get cheap!


Friday, June 2, 2006

Call this a Comeback

posted by on June 2 at 5:16 PM

Portishead making a return? After a decade? Isn’t it way too late?

Schoolyard Heroes Tonight

posted by on June 2 at 4:24 PM

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Before taking off for a month on the road, Schoolyard Heroes are playing an early all-ages show tonight at Neumo’s with Vaux and Sirens Sister (featuring members of Vendetta Red).

Check Lineout in the future for tour reports, and in the mean time, if you needed a good reason to catch the band one last time before they dissappear from our local calendars for a few weeks, watch their video for the song “They Live” by clicking here.


Thursday, June 1, 2006

Who Are Your Top Three Living D.J.’s?

posted by on June 1 at 8:54 PM

I was thinking today about the top three DJ’s I’ve never seen who I would like to come play Seattle. It was very hard to nail down my top three, but here they are.

I would LOVE to see the king of the European disco scene of the ‘70’s,

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Daniele Baldelli. That’s him on the right with Grace Jones and his cohort DJ Moz Art. He was a huge influence on bringing the slinky disco sound of the Italian Riviera to the rest of Europe back in “the day”. His mix cassetes go for hundreds of dollars on GEMM. Trust me. He’s amazing. Problem is, apparently he’s afraid of flying and has only played off the European continent 3 times in his life. Maybe we could buy him a cruise around the world….

Then there’s

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DJ I-F, with his dutch record store/label, Viewlexx, and his killer Mixed Up In The Hague comps, this purveyor and spinner of rare hard-disco and italo house has been known to get even the hardest idm lover to swoon in love of cheezy beats and bad euro vocals.

And last would be

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Daniel Wang. Living in Berlin, Danny Wang is known for his mix of both hard and soft disco, wrapped up in a cushion of funk/electro. Many a mile has been driven to his Idealism album. Swoon…..

So tell me promoters how do we get these guys to Seattle?

I once talked with Matthew Richter (ex Con-Works) about starting a non-profit for dance music, so we could get grants from the state to bring in big international dj’s for “cultural” purposes. Except it wouldn’t have been like Decible Festival (not that i’m against IDM, but Seattle seems obsessed at times…), it would have been a monthly with a great mix of local and international DJ’s.

So Seattle, how do we “Bring It?”

Sugar Ain’t So Sweet

posted by on June 1 at 4:58 PM

It’s only been open a couple months, but Sugar, the new Capitol Hill gay nightclub, is already seeing some trouble. Last Thursday, the club’s booker and promoter, LA Kendall of Re:Launch HitGirl!, pulled all her programming after consistently butting heads with the club’s owner, George Foster.

“Week after week I was being told to slash the budget and fire people,” says Kendall. “So I set him down and I had a meeting. He started bringing up that he was upset the clientele wasn’t younger, white, gay boys and he was also expressing concern about not making enough money. He had a real problem with all the women in the DJ booth… Colby B was just nominated to be one of the Top 5 DJs in Seattle, what more could you want?”

Even though the club had been packed during it’s opening weekend (over 500 paid each night and the club’s capacity is 475), Foster still wanted to see more people, and different kinds of people. So instead of continuing to fight Foster, Kendall severed ties, pulling not only her programming (including tonight’s now cancelled “Are We Not Men” night), but also her employees. About 30 people total, she estimates.

“It was just time to go. He wants to go with a more circuty kind of feel to things. And he would ask me to try and make that work, but I don’t know anything about that. It’s not my forte, my business is a little more diverse, and I didn’t want to be a part of something that I knew was going to fail.”

I called Foster and left a message from him at the club.

Black Angels Video Shoot Needs Extras

posted by on June 1 at 3:57 PM

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Via the nice folks at Light in the Attic Records:

THE BLACK ANGELS — VIDEO SHOOT / “The First Vietnamese War”

TUESDAY, JUNE 6TH / sometime around 11:15am - 4pm
@ Northwest Film Forum (1515 12th Ave, Capitol Hill)
* diverse age range, ideally 25 to 75 years old
* No logos on clothes please
* We’re in need of 110 extras
* This is an unpaid position

SUNDAY, JUNE 4TH / sometime around 8pm - 2am
@ Ballard Athletic Club (2208 NW Market St, Ballard)
* Wear gym clothes (no logos please), please bring up to 3 sets of gym clothes
* We’re in need of around 10 athletic-looking extras
* This is an unpaid position

If interested in either shoot, please email Sandy Wilson:
burnt_lambcaster@hotmail.com

Free Show Tonight

posted by on June 1 at 3:00 PM

You’re broke. That sucks. But the Crocodile totally feels your pain and tonight’s rock show is completely free!

Panda & Angel, the Young Sportsmen, Math & Physics Club, Ghost Stories… they’re all playing for absolutely nothing. Here’s what Miss Barbara Mitchell had to say in this week’s paper:

PANDA & ANGEL, YOUNG SPORTSMEN, MATH & PHYSICS CLUB, GHOST STORIES
(Crocodile) Ghost Stories’ Ron Lewis has one heck of a resumé: He’s toured as a member of the Fruit Bats and Joggers, played in Colin Meloy’s old band back in Missoula, and made a racket with the Dismemberment Plan’s Joe Easley in D.C. Even more impressive is the music he creates as Ghost Stories: imminently catchy, bouncy, breezy indie pop that’s brainy but not self-conscious; immaculate but not fussy. The record won’t be out until August, but one exposure is all it takes to fall under the infectious spell of Lewis’s smartly crafted tunes. You’ll be humming “Even a Vampire” to yourself all summer long. BARBARA MITCHELL

And if that doesn’t quite do it for ya, Two Gallants are playing at Neumo’s tonight with Murder by Death and William Elliott Whitmore. It’s an all-ages show, it starts at 7pm and costs $10.

TWO GALLANTS, MURDER BY DEATH
(Neumo’s) Murder by Death are as audacious as the 1976 Neil Simon flick from which they nicked their name, but eminently more entertaining. Who knew Indiana grew ‘em so weird? Counting cello and piano among their primary instruments, the band unfurl sordid tales of criminals, misfits, and all-around screw-ups on their third album, In Bocca Al Lupo (produced by Jawbox vet J. Robbins). The ensemble’s madcap midway vibe will appeal to fans of Firewater and the Bad Seeds, and although singer Adam Turla tends to gnaw his consonants à la Stan Ridgway of Wall of Voodoo, MBD share a knack for cinematic originals that rivals the latter’s best, too. KURT B. REIGHLEY

Which will you choose?

I’m Feeling A Little Disco Coming On!

posted by on June 1 at 1:14 PM

And it doesn’t get any more mind-blowing than Liza Minnelli covering Donna Summer with a full dance production number from an old tv special. Almost makes one want to ride the white horse all the way back to Studio 54! Enjoy!

Hat tip to one of the best rare disco blogs out there Disco Delivery. This site has tons of fantastic rare disco mp3’s for free!

This Morning in Music News

posted by on June 1 at 11:29 AM

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Local songwriter Josh Tillman: Soon to join the impressive roster of Fargo Records.

The Kinks: Added to the list of the recently reunited.

The Slits: Back in the studio, with contributions from the children of the Sex Pistols and the Clash.

Sabrosa Purr: Next buzz-worthy band, according to myself and these cats.

Seattle’s own U.S.E. and other touring bands: In possession of yet another reason to despise George W. Bush.

Endfest Lineup Announced

posted by on June 1 at 11:27 AM

The lineup for this year’s Endfest has been announced: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Modest Mouse, Snow Patrol, Wolfmother, Eagles of Death Metal, Rock Kills Kid, Nine Black Alps, the Subways, and the Gossip.

Tickets go on sale June 10th at 10 am. The show is on Saturday, August 12th at White River Amphitheatre.

Eastbound S Turn - The Adult Shop Cowboy Star Owns You

posted by on June 1 at 9:47 AM

Billings, Montana. Right lane ends. North Dakota spillings.

I-90 to 94 E. Daydreaming crow. Shapes in the clouds. Dragons mostly. And Santa Claus. Music is Prefuse 73, Lambchop, CAN, and Tom Vek “ We Have Sound.

Head Like a Kite here, heading to New York. Getting ready for 17 consecutive nights of shows. Colstrip, Montana - We’re stopped on the side of the freeway for a phone interview with a newspaper in Denver. Reception fades in and out. The Doppler effect shifts the pitch of the passing engines. Everything is a road.

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Photos: Marlon Schaeffer

Is it me, or does it seem like the more dangerous a truck’s cargo, the worse the driver is. Airline fuel, lighter fluid. The highly flammable silver triple length trailer with warning signs all over it “ who decided to give that load to Hank? You’re on a downhill S turn, and there’s Hank. Hank’s had 6 DUI’s, he’s eating an Arby’s roast beef, he’s got a Bugs Bunny dvd playing, and he’s looking at a Hustler. Metallica’s “Master of Puppets’ is on, it’s pouring rain and he’s been driving for 18 hours straight.

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Photos: Dan Tyler

Hank is into knives and porn. He’s the adult shop cowboy star. Can’t this guy drive the hay truck or make some sort of bulk napkin delivery? I mean, he gets in fights at his son’s Cub Scout meetings. Come on.

As far as that S turn, you ain’t gonna pass him, Hank’s a bulldawg, he owns it. He don’t care. Jack it up, get it up, and throw it down. Fight, fish, install turbo, and survive.

I don’t think gun racks and Eminem mix. Let’s get Hank off the road and into a bass fishing rodeo colony for NASCAR addicted cartoon watching wrestlers.

Columbus, Montana “ Gas: $2.75 a gallon. Los Angeles, California “ Same gas: $3.52. Supply and demand? Our money goes toward some oil man and his yacht. Vote Bush, vote Hank. Get out the Hustler and speed.

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Photos: Dan Tyler

Trent - out.

Soulful Snake Charmer Takes Holocene, Bungles Encore, Is Forgiven by Lucky Jackass

posted by on June 1 at 6:56 AM

Jamie Lidell in Portland. Perhaps not so timely a post, as Memorial Day weekend is long gone, but here are my poignant afterthoughts:

I arrived on the scene (Holocene) in Portland Friday night for Lidell’s pre-Squatch show. It was the third time this year that I’d seen him perform. As always, I was vibrating with excitement to see my modernist Motown muse, and I had not a care in the world since Chop Suey didn’t sell out the last time he performed. Well god-damn-it if they weren’t completely sold-out, leaving me standing outside like a completely devastated jackass.

But then” in a ridiculous turn of events, a bleach-blonde beauty queen complete with tiara threw her arms emphatically into the air, blurting, “Next person I see gets my extra ticket!” I’m a delayed reaction-type person, but my friend with insane reflexes shoved me violently within a split second, sending me careening into this poor girl. It had the desired impact, because I got in, much to the chagrin of all the other jackasses left pouting outside. Happy Birthday, O Merciful and Unnamed Bleach-Blond Beauty-Queen at Holocene.

Anyway, here’s the goods: Lidell was exhausted. He had just flown in from London on whatever ghastly leg of his tour, but he still managed to take the crowd to its knees. Charmed snakes we were. All of Holocene was like one big woven basket of mesmerized fools. The Portland show was far more improvised and vocally experimental than both the recent Chop Suey gig and last Sept’s Neumos show. Just like at Sasquatch, from what I’ve seen on Line Out, Lidell donned his gold brocade and made us all feel like we were snug in his smoking parlor. In line with this more playful persona, he dabbled far more with scat and analogue synths than he did beat-boxing and bass loops. It was bliss, but I have to say, I missed the Seattle shows’ heavier elements and the way they left me feeling laid out and lusty.

Utterly sweet and unpretentious as always, getting aspiring vocalists from the crowd to sing parts from “Multiply,” he gushed about how it was his favorite part of the show to hear us sing. It was all very touching, but there was a bittersweet end to all this, as I knew that Lidell saved “Multiply” for his encore. I’m thinking perhaps he was tired and didn’t feel like the dog-and-pony show and was hoping the crowd would sense that it was his encore, but he never left the stage” so when he did actually leave the stage, the crowd erupted all over itself to get him back out, but he never reappeared, much to the disappointment of salivating fans. Moral of the story: musiciansdon’t assume. Leave the frickin’ stage before your encore, that is, unless you want to torture your fans to tears as they stomp and scream for you to “come back around.”

Whatever.

One could sugar-asphyxiate on this level of eye candy.

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Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Soul Sister # One

posted by on May 31 at 1:12 PM

People, people, you got to get Choklate’s latest self-titled CD. It features beat production from local masters Vitamin D and Bean One, and song after song, Choklate demonstrates that in the Seattle area she is unmatched when it comes down to soul pipes.

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Pitchfork in CJR

posted by on May 31 at 1:05 PM

Kiera Butler wrote a great piece about the impact of Pitchfork on music criticism for the Columbia Journalism Review. Check it out.

French For House

posted by on May 31 at 12:40 PM

…Is “Maison”, as in Kitsune Maison, the always stellar electro/tech/discopunk/house label out of Paris, France. Their best selling records are probably their remixes of rock acts like VHS Or Beta and Bloc Party, but all their releases are consistently brilliant. What’s more amazing, for a dance label at least, is that their records are just as engaging on your home stereo or headphones as they are in the club. Kitsune has been one of my favorite labels ever since Seattle’s own DJ Recess turned me on to them a year or two ago (ok, I was snooping through his records).

On June 19th they’re releasing Kitsune Maison Compilation 2, featuring tracks by Simian Mobile Disco, Digitalism, Adam Sky, Joakim, as well as remixes of Bloc Party and Wolfmother.

Simian Mobile Disco are the remaining half of the defunct band, Simian. Together with Justice they’re responisble for the unstopable track “Never Be Alone” (you know, “we are your friends/you’ll never be alone again…”) which has been tearing up dance floors for two consecutive summers and might be for a third thanks to a new pair of remixes. On thier contribution to the compilation, “Hustler”, they’ve settled nicely into producing solid, 80’s-inspired electro that relies less on anthemic choruses than and more on catchy bleeps and beats.

The record is well worth getting, as is it’s predecessor and 2005’s killer Kitsune X compilation. Tell your favorite record store to stock this label (unless your favorite record store is Platinum, they already do).

Best Ever: They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)

posted by on May 31 at 12:09 PM

I nominate Pete Rock & CL Smooth’s “They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)” as the best hip-hop track ever made. You can’t step to Pete Rock’s production on this one, and CL Smooth’s flow slides right on in to fill in the rest. It’s the perfect track on that level, and perfectly represents an entire time and space in the hip-hop legacy. Even today the track sounds fresh and relevant. Other than “Summertime,” I can’t think of another track so universally revered. Can you?

Pete Rock’s at the War Room tonight (RSVP required). I’m going to go up, shake his hand, and thank him for making this track. You would do well to do the same. “T.R.O.Y.” is hip-hop’s Mona Lisa, Pete Rock its Leonardo Da Vinci.

This Morning in Music News

posted by on May 31 at 11:30 AM

The Coup: Fighting the good fight while on tour.

Courtney Love: Mickey Mouse club reject and devoted wife.

Call Me Lightning: Freshly signed to French Kiss Records.

Proof shooter: Almost entirely exonerated?

And in highly questionable music news…

Marie Osmond’s daughter: Bisexual slut who wants to bang Bowie?

The Mysterious Whalebones

posted by on May 31 at 11:12 AM

This morning brought the following email to my inbox:

dear editor,

who the hell are the ‘whale bones’? i saw them open for band of horses,
picked up a copy of there homemade cd and i can’t help it, i love um. so
who the hell are these idiots? dumb enough to put ABSOLUTLEY NO
INFORMATION about themselves on their own cds yet great enough to have me
writing to you.

please help.
thank you.

Hmm. A Google search first produced a number of hits about the import CD single of a song called “Whale Bones” by Preston School of Industry, then eventually I hit pay dirt, courtesy of a 2005 Live Wire column by dearly departed Stranger music editor Jennifer Maerz:

Last week I had the great fortune to stumble upon a fantastic under-the-radar local act called Whalebones….Their sound should thrill Black Mountain fans, as the band pulls from Neil Young and other assorted dirty groove-oriented acts, formulating a soulful, pastoral sound all their owna spell they help bind with some especially lysergic guitar and keyboard parts and extended improvisations…Until their next local show, check out Whalebones’ radiant, diamond-in-the-rough gems on the band’s Myspace page.

Full Maerz write-up here, and here’s that MySpace page.

The Stranger editorial staff: Googling so you don’t have to.®


Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Our Man In Theory

posted by on May 30 at 5:43 PM

For those of us who cant get enough of Kodwo Eshun.

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Heard Any Good South African Techno Lately?

posted by on May 30 at 3:47 PM

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Minimal-techno producer Alan Abrahams was born in Cape Town, South Africa, and now lives in Lisbon, Portugal. But the music he creates under the Bodycode and Portable monikers is out of this world. You can read my ramblings about him in this week’s Data Breaker. He will be performing music from both of his guises tonight at Baltic Room (1207 E Pine St in Capitol Hill; he plays 11 pm-12:30 am).

After I catch Portable/Bodycode, I hop on a plane to Montreal, Quebec for the seventh annual Mutek festival. This is a summit meeting/bacchanal of electronic music’s elite talent. Every year provides beaucoup revelations and enough beats to fulfill your yearly quotain five days. Let me know if you plan to go, so we can meet up and you can buy me a drink. If all goes well, I also hope to blog to while out there. See, that way I can write off the trip on my taxes next year”

My Fever Remains Unbroken

posted by on May 30 at 3:43 PM

I’ve made no secret of my love for the Fever’s new record, City of Sleep. Their show a couple of weeks ago at El Corazon was lovely and a bit creepy, much like this new video they’ve posted online. Very Neutral Milk Hotel-ish, I must say.

Chuck Eddy Lands at MTV

posted by on May 30 at 3:10 PM

Good news for the stupidly dismissed Village Voice music editor Chuck Eddy and his many fans: According to the AAN website, Eddy will soon be writing for MTV’s subscription-service music blog Urge.

Back in April, Stranger news editor Josh Feit held forth on his love for Eddy on the Slog, with the majority of Josh’s praise heaped on Eddy’s book Stairway to Hell: The 500 Best Heavy Metal Albums in the Universe. Josh will be happy to know that Eddy’s official beat for MTV/Urge will once again be heavy metal.

Full original story from the blog Coolfer here.

Best Electronic Song Of 1980?

posted by on May 30 at 1:59 PM

So i’m obssesed with this song at the moment.

I think it’s the best electronic song of 1980. I heard it played out this weekend at a club in New York. What a revelation! Whodathunk?

The song is Here.

I thought it was Pete Shelley because of the guitars, it has that Homosapien sound to it. But it’s not. Can you guess who it is? Answer after the break…

Continue reading "Best Electronic Song Of 1980?" »

Shoplifting’s Gear Lifted

posted by on May 30 at 1:15 PM

Stealing from bands is a stupid and mean thing to do. Stealing from anyone is stupid and mean, but stealing from hardworking, talented, and touring bands is even stupider and meaner.

While in San Francisco, Shoplifting’s van was broken into. Here’s a list of what was taken…

-Acoustic Control Corporation Model 150 Amp Head
-Acoustic Control Corporation Model 104 6X10” speaker cabinet
-Fender 75 Combo Amp with Celestion Vintage 30 1X12” speaker, green silkcreened grillcloth, fender logo covered with tape.
-Case with pedals: Electro Harmonix Micro Synthesizer in battered condition, Moogerfooger Ring Modulator, RAT distortion, Boss Stage Tuner, Danelectro Delay.
-Yamaha Portasound Keyboard with velcro on speakers.
-Bag with hi hat stand, cymbal stand, 2 snare stands, legs for floortom.
-Green, Brown and Silver ReLoad messenger bag with books, minidisc, cheap mics, personal efx.
-Tupperware bin with merch, est 100cd’s including ep’s, albums and a large quantity of the Zum Audio Volume 3 cd, 50 12”ep and lp, a few 7”s.
-personal Cd’s in a large black CD book and a brown-grey cloth CD book
-A faux tweed suitcase with books.

Spread the word to your Californian friends. And if you live there, and you notice someone walking around trying to sell shoplifting shirts or pawn a bunch of their CDs, you might wanna tackle them down to the sidewalk and call the cops.

Wanna do something fun tonight?

posted by on May 30 at 11:47 AM

Sure you do!

Come to the Crocodile tonight for a birthday party/rock show! When I was a kid, I always wanted there to be a really great concert on my birthday. This year I made damn sure it happened by throwing together a show with a few of my favorite local bandsSpeaker Speaker, Sean Nelson, the Pharmacy, Juhu Beach, and Spacesuit.

Who are they? Well Speaker Speaker won this year’s annual Big Shot competition. They’re that good. And Sean Nelson, well, he’s Sean Nelson, frontman for Harvey Danger. He’ll be playing a few tunes solo on the piano, which should be lovely. The Pharmacy are finally bringing their punky dance party back home after months on the road, and I can’t wait to see them again. Juhu Beach is wrapping up the recording of their debut EP (you can catch a sneak peek here) and Spacesuit is a brand new band featuring members of Problem with Heroes and Blue Sky Mile.

It’s gonna be awesome, and I’m not just saying that ‘cause it’s my birthday show. It’s tonight, May 30, at the Crocodile. Doors open at 9 pm, it’s 21+, and it costs $6 at the door (bands gotta get paid, yo!).

Man, I love birthdays.

All That Glitters

posted by on May 30 at 11:29 AM

Steve Aoki (celebrity dj, star of Diet Pepsi Super-Bowl commercials, owner of Dim Mak Records, heir to the Benihana fortune) has a new blog!

Right now it’s all Cobrasnake pics of him and his famous friends (That Guy From Good Charlotte! Ashlee Simpson! Peaches?!), but the insightful musical and cultural commentary are probably right around the corner…

In any case, if you want to see how the other half gets down, this is what it looks like.

***

Coming Soon: some thoughts on Uffie, the Parisian ingenue/rapper captured in a few pics on the above blog.

This Morning in Music News

posted by on May 30 at 11:02 AM

David Lee Roth: Still crazy from the heat and in search of a “new” job.

The Who: Conservative nutjobs? I don’t think so, but I don’t work for the National Review.

Bob Dylan: Soon to ache just like a woman. No, really.

Guns N’ Roses: Opening for the Rolling Stones, again. Maybe.

Heavy Metal: Continues to get a bad rap, even among Aboriginal tribes.

Movement: It’s Done

posted by on May 30 at 8:44 AM

On what was definitely the strongest day talent-wise, Day 3 started with Carl Craig, and ended with Richie Hawtin (twice). In between there were stops for Derrick Carter, Louie Vega, Nitzer Ebb, Kill Memory Crash, and dozens of others. This was already promised yesterday, but more will have to come later, as it’s time to stumble my way to the airport for the return to Seattle. I’m already looking forward to coming back next year.

Here’s the Hawtin madness. It’s near midnight, the temperature was still in the 80s, the big main stage was stil radiating heat from the day, and that still didn’t slow anyone down.
Photo by Ario J

What I Did On My Vacation.

posted by on May 30 at 8:04 AM

I took a little trip to NYC this weekend, and even though plans were made long in advance of what clubs I would be going to, which bars I would be drinking at and which gay men I would be hanging out with, it was all changed by one little thing.

A three hour ROCK-U-MENTARY on the history of heavy metal called HEAVY on VH1 that was shown on my Jetblue Flight.

I’m not a big VH1 watcher, cause A) they only ever show crappy reality shows B) They seldom play videos C) When they do play videos it just makes me feel old.

But this rock-doc was brilliant. Little interviews with everyone ever to grace the stage in spandex AND leather (at the same time even!). It was hilarious, tacky and informational all in one go!

And even though the plane landed and the captain turned off the show 20 minutes before it was supposed to end (Does Metal survive Nirvana? Will Metallica ever put out another decent album? Will somebody shoot Sebastian Bach?) I had metal hits stuck in my mind and on my iPod for the entire weekend.

At one point my friend, Jason, turned to me and said, “Do you ever listen to anything else?”

The best part was my Sunday morning stroll through the East Village and Tompkins Park in the sultry 85 degree heat with a shuffle of my 30 favorite Judas Priest songs.

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They are the best classic metal band, hands down. And Priest’s best album is non other than

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British Steel

Amazing what a little Metal can do for your day?

P.S. Other nice things that happened in NYC were: Dancing with pretty boys at Mr. Black’s while DJ Sammy Jo worked the tables, new jeans from APC which make my ass look killer, seeing the new Sweeney Todd with Patti Lupone, oh…and I got to hear the just finished, brand new Scissor Sisters album in its entirety.


Monday, May 29, 2006

This Bloody Moody Blues Song

posted by on May 29 at 5:38 PM

You never know which song will hold your consciousness hostageor when it will occur. I’m continually surprised by my susceptibility to become entranced with songs that I once thought were nothing that special. Case in point: the Moody Blues’ “To Share Our Love” (off 1969’s On the Threshold of a Dream).

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This John Lodge composition is, according to my extensive research, one of the most uplifting tunes ever [stay tuned for a future Line Out post on this topic]. Clocking in at 2:54, “To Share Our Love” will subvert your biases against this often pompously mellifluous prog-pop band. It rocks hard and expansively, with an ascending, coruscating guitar part that makes you want to break the land speed recordon foot. The bass line is a huge rubber band flinging you skyward. Cultured white English voices, against the odds, dredge up some semblance of soul. There’s even a deceptive undercarriage of funkiness that many rock bands of the late ’60s/early ’70s possessed, an almost accidental funkiness. The rhythm falls somewhere between Sly & the Family Stone’s hysteria-inducing “Dance to the Music” and Bachman-Turner Overdrive’s flooring-it-down-the-highway anthemic “Takin’ Care of Business.” “To Share Our Love” keeps looping through my brain, pumping totally unjustified optimism through my system despite all the spirit-crushing evidence reality provides.

Why this song? Why now? Maybe it’s my subconscious telling me that bleak times call for morale boosting wherever you can find iteven in a song buried on a largely ignored prog-rock LP from 37 years ago.

Queens of the Stone Age: Homophobic, or Just Dunces?

posted by on May 29 at 2:59 PM

I wasn’t able to make it to Sasqautch this year, which, considering the hail and Ben Harper, may have been a blessing. Today this report was sent to Last Days from Sasquatch attendee Jennifer:

I call for a Stranger boycott of Queens of the Stone Age, who—despite their deceptively queer-friendly name — ranted homophobic propaganda to the crowd at their Sunday May 28 Sasquatch appearance. Lead singer Josh Homme, a testosterone-filled, Elvis-look-alike schmuck, told concert security guards to stop making girls climb down from boys’ shoulders during the songs. “Insurance is for pussies,” said Homme. “Just look the other way… And pretend not to be gay.” Perhaps cheering WSU frat boys in the audience, after ten Coors Lights, appreciated this comment, but I didn’t. I call for a Stranger boycott of Homme and his band: may such faux-Queens never set foot on Capitol Hill soil again.

Hmm. Homme’s comments certainly suck, but do they qualify as boycott-worthy “homophobic propogranda”? Or is QOTSA’s crappy rock reason enough for a boycott? Discuss.

David Bazan’s “Backwoods Nation”

posted by on May 29 at 11:40 AM

I have long been a fan of David Bazan, particularly in the earliest days of his old band, Pedro The Lion. My interest tapered off a bit after the 2000 concept album, Winners Never Quit, but I always lend an ear to his latest, and have rarely been disappointed. I’ve also found DB to consistently be a very thoughtful, cheery interview subject—always a plus in my book.

Bazan is releasing his debut solo record, Fewer Moving Parts, on June 13. This EP features two versions each (one acoustic, one with full band) of five new songs. One of them, “Backwoods Nation,” is currently available for preview here. I’m smitten with it, not so much because of the performance (which, personally, I wish was imbued with a bit more vitriol), but the scathing lyric. Neil Young ain’t the only pissed off musician these days.

BACKWOODS NATION

Calling all rednecks
To put down their sluggers
And turn their attention
From beating the buggers
Pick up machine guns
And kill camel-fucker

Backwoods nation

Calling all doctors
Of spin and the smokescreen
To whip the new hatriots
Into a frenzy
Of good versus evil
Ignoring the history

Of the backwoods nation

Ain’t it a shame
When due process
Stands in the way
Of swift justice

Calling all frat boys
To trade in their hazing
Their keggers and cocaine
And casual date-raping
For cabinet appointments
And rose garden tapings

Backwoods, backwoods, backwoods nation

Bazan will be touring solo later this summer. He is also playing select dates in Europe as part of a collaborative ensemble with Mark Eitzel, Vic Chesnutt, and Will Johnson (of Centro-Matic). Itineraries for both tours, additional CD details, etc. are online here.

Movement Day Two: Short But Sweet

posted by on May 29 at 8:01 AM

Full day’s recap later, since I’ve got got to head down to the festival to catch Carl Craig. But I do have to let Seattle know that yesterday I saw Kevin Saunderson completely bring it on the main stage during the day, then last night I saw Stacey Pullen, who reminded me why he’s so high up on my favorites list. I always feel out of sorts when I don’t hit up Rebar on Sundays and do my best to find a replacement when I’m out of town. Pullen certainly delivered what I needed, which is saying a lot considering the day was spent in the unforgiving sun.

Carl Craig awaits.

Floatable Solo Guarana

posted by on May 29 at 5:11 AM

Longbeach to San Diego

Warning “ When driving the tour van late at night and needing to stay awake - Do not eat an entire bag of Butterfinger Balls, then drink a 16 oz. Monster Energy drink with taurine, guarana, ginseng, and carnitine. What happens is not good. Carnitine? Is that even real? And what is taurine? And guarana. They usually say the guarana is an “extract.’ Yeah, it’s an extract. That sounds official, that sounds natural. Fresh off the vine, right to the dump truck of my stomach.

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My intestines turned into velcro and I felt like I had eaten an old Casio keyboard, then chewed on a nine volt battery with chocolate on it. I was jacked up. Ready. And everyone else in the van, was asleep. There I was. Lit and solo. A shark hunter in a goldfish tank. No one to talk to.

Nothing to do but put on DJ Shadow and turn into Captain Cookie Snake.

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I am piloting a gigantic blimp with 200 pimps on board -

“This, is your captain speaking. Put your seats back, recline, and let the undulation begin. Dirigibles, wrought and decorative, with Gucci leather egg shaped chairs, and Putt Putt. Chicken wing barbecue, caramel, Xanadu. A gilded flow. Astroturf miniature golf. Waterfall sub woof. Tropical.”

A ‘Canopy Level Sounds’ cd plays through hidden speakers.

“I’m talking about a gathering of kindly pimps, floating around, and knocking a little ball between plastic dinosaurs and windmills.”

The blimp turns left and everyone leans centrifugally.

“Have another truffle. We have just hit cruising altitude. I’ll just put this on auto pilot. Someone fetch my velvet. I own an albino tiger. Where’s my putter? The tray tables are tarts, so nibble at will.”

Trent - out.

Head Like a Kite

Photos: Dan Tyler


Sunday, May 28, 2006

What’s Up with KRNL.PANIC?

posted by on May 28 at 8:50 PM

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One of Seattle’s best mashup/dubstep DJs, KRNL.PANIC (AKA Rama), is moving to Brooklyn later this year, so you may want to catch him here while you still have the chance. A conceptualist/scriptwriter for Digital Kitchen, he’s hoping to start working at the company’s New York office in August or September.

After witnessing KRNL.PANIC spin an intense dubstep set at Lo_Fi Performance Gallery Saturday night, I spoke with him about his music career. (By the way, dubstep is the antithesis of feel-good party music and KRNL’s deck time made most of the crowd uneasy, but the promoter asked him to play it and he complied with panache.). KRNL said he’s looking forward to spinning in NYC clubs, where people seem to be more willing to get the party started immediately rather than gradually, timidly working their way to the floor, as is common in Seattle.

Besides dubstep, KRNL.PANIC also satisfies hardcore partiers with his expert blends of electro, dancehall, hiphop, grime, and drum & bass. His high-energy mixes span decades and emphasize tracks’ most exciting snippets (his dynamite CD No Crease Walk encompasses 33 tracks in 47 minutes). KRNL admits he has a short attention span and feels a chronic need to alter tracks to his own specs, whether he’s behind the decks or in the studio. His hands always have to be moving on the mixer. And those hands have had 11 years of experience tweaking sounds for maximum damage.

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Now KRNL is on the verge of stardom. Earplug online zine favorably reviewed No Crease Walk, which drew the attention of the BBC’s Breezeblock show’s producer. He secured a copy and began playing it to death in the office, and now Breezeblock host Mary Anne Hobbs is clamoring for more mixes from the KRNL. A perfectionist, KRNL is working on his second mix, which he reckons will last an hour and contain 45-50 tracks, all of which will be his own custom-made edits. “Advertising agents keep asking me for mashups, but I don’t really want to be pigeonholed like that.” KRNL has grander ambitions, and when he says, “I’m ready to blow up,” it doesn’t come off as obnoxious boasting, but simply an irrefutable observation.

Post-punk prose and praise for Pulsallama

posted by on May 28 at 3:13 PM

As a discerning muso, you are no doubt well aware of Rip It Up & Start Again: PostPunk 1978-1984, Simon Reynolds’ swell book (finally issued in America via Penguin two months ago) on one of the most exciting periods in pop music history. Now V2 Records has issued a companion CD, curated by Reynolds, and while the disc has much to recommend it, I’m especially ga-ga over the inclusion of “The Devil Lives In My Husband’s Body” by Pulsallama.

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A sprawling all-female percussion ensemble, whose ranks at various times included Ann Magnuson and one of NYC nightlife’s most charismatic characters ever, Wendy Wild (R.I.P.), Pulsallama only issued two 12-inch singles on the Y label, but they opened for The Clash, and their high-spirited pop cacophony is highly recommended for fans of the Raincoats, the Slits, and ESG.

“We’re percussive but we don’t play like other percussive bands. We don’t even have a guitar. On one of our songs the bassist, the singer and the drummer all do the exact same thing. That’s a taboo in music. People aren’t supposed to do that sort of thing. We do weird things like that because we’re not musicians. We really don’t know the right ways of making music and maybe that’s why we sound the way we do.”—Min “Bonefinder” Thometz (bongos, bass, vocals), from Future Pop by Peter Noble (Delilah Books, 1983)

You can download or listen to mp3 files of Pulsallama’s other three single sides—the rowdy “Ungawa Pt. 11 (Way Out Guiana),” “Oui-Oui (A Canadian In Paris),” and “Pulsallama On The Rag”—at this micro-site.


Postcards from Sasquatch II (Or, I Left My Feet in George):

posted by on May 28 at 1:35 PM

Yes, rain. And sleet. And lightening. And thunder. And hail. Lots of it. Piling on the ground. Putting the shows out of commission. It was cold and miserable for the rest of the night, but did we wuss out? Did we retreat to a hot, dry hearth with a glass of warm brandy? No, we did not (as much as we wanted to). We stuck it the fuck out to see the Flaming Lips (because My Ride is a Flaming Lips aficionado).
In the aftermath, some people sledded down the grassy hill on garbage bags, lots of people left, and Common Market rocketed up onto my Coolest Dudes Ever list. While the audience was still checking to see if any of its digits had been severed by an enormous hail-ball and Neko’s set was busy getting cancelled and the electricity was out everywhere, someone drove a car onto the grass by the stage where RA Scion, Our Lovable Emcee (OLÉ!), was scheduled to perform. The car doors opened, a CD of beats was played, and OLÉ took off, rapping on the grass to a car stereo for a small circle of people. In the proud tradition of hiphop-as-the-new-folk, OLÉ did his set despite inclement everything. And then he hooked up with his DJ who scratched it out under a tent set up by 107.7 on their crappy lil’ speakers. Way to improvise, RA Scion. (And I heard you were very politic with the drunk, shirtless white boy who wanted to get in an emcee battle and then engage in fisticuffs while you were rapping. Hooray for you.)
Tim Seeley also did well, getting up on one of the smaller stages sans his band and playing acoustic while he instructed the crowd to mouth out the electric riffs.
The Tragically Hip came on after the storm and freaked the fuck out, screaming, chanting, and slithering around the stage. I couldn’t tell if they were kidding, but the bizarre catharsis was just what we needed post-storm. TTH has never been on my radar, but they recalled me of some celebrity honky-tonk in Texas where Michael Stipe might rock out with Rob Zombie. In the middle of one song about courage, the singer berated his courage for having abandoned him at a crucial moment: “You ain’t good-lookin’, Courage! So you’d better be on time!” Amen.
I want to kick Ben Harper in the throat,” My Ride said. Turns out that in the weather delay, it was decided that headliner Ben Harper (booooo-ring!) would actually play before the Flaming Lips. (Because the Ben Harper guys had a tighter schedule or something and had to get out of there.) So the Lips were stuck going on at midnight, just about the time the Ben Harper set, the final set was supposed to be finishing up. Harper kept going and going and going and going while we stood on a steep, soaked, freezing hill, waiting for the Lips and grumbling. I think he played his full two-hour set, which seemed rude under the circumstances.
The Flaming Lips covered Bohemian Rhapsody. I’m glad I stayed for that, even though I’m still not sure I can feel my feet. Sorry, My Ride, for sleeping most of the way back to Seattle.

Movement Day 1: Adventures in Heat Exhaustion

posted by on May 28 at 10:32 AM

Photo by Ario Jafarzadeh

Here’s the first report from the DEMF. Not-quite-live blogging if you will.

As with years past, the festivities really get started the night before the festival. After some fun with airplane sickness and acting as taxi for some fellow festival-goers from London, I finally managed to eat something, and geared up to head out for the evening. The first destination was Oslo, a sushi bar that tends to be a hotspot for the weekend. Rich Medina (soon to come to Seattle) was supposed to be playing, but managed to miss his flight so SunTzu Sound opened the evening instead before a wonderful live set from Detroit local Kevin Reynolds. This was followed by a DJ set from John Arnold, who surprised many by playing records from both his broken beat stash as well as his more techno-oriented past (think Krakt meets Jazzanova).

Day one of the festival was as expected, with the crowd steadily building as the day went along. No inclement weather to speak of, other than an incident with glowstick juice later in the night. I managed to show up and sneak past most of the lines in order to get inside just before SunTzu’s set. They represented Seattle well, although the heat and early timeslot didn’t make for a full tent. They were followed by their Puerto Rican contemporaries, the Amalgama Records Crew, who completely brought the funk. They managed to build up a crowd as people took refuge from the sun, with a breakdancing circle opening in the rear of the space. John Arnold and Jeremy Ellis both performed live after those sets, Ellis especially captivating the crowd with his complicated sampler freestyles.

The rest of the day was spent largely wandering the festival grounds, taking in the music on offer. Mike Clark and Ron Trent played deep, soulful house on the main stage, followed by an innappropriate for the echoey environment set from Pantytec. Detroit Techno Militia aurally assaulted the crowd with their banging techno, providing the first DEMF moment as they dropped the Jeff Mills classic “The Bells.” M_nus artist Magda dropped a great set before Troy Pierce kept the crowd going, while Dan Bell slipped a few vocal tracks into his otherwise minimal set.

There were a few surprises on the day as well. James Holden, often described as a progressive artist, wasn’t playing anything cheesy at all, but had a set filled with so many clicks, clacks and other bits of nuance that it surpassed those genre-based limitations. ARK played techno like a rock star, grabbing the mic and jumping around like a madman. The true highlight was Rob Hood, who closed out the main stage for the evening. Playing mainly classics, the crowd steadily built as the sun went down. Save for a misstep with a Beyonce remix (WTF?), Hood’s set ruled the day, causing me to miss most of Audion (the beginning was only “eh”) and the ever-dependable Doc Martin.

My body rejected the idea of too much afterpartying, so I checked out SunTzu’s rooftop gig at Comerica Park before finding some much needed aspirin and sleep. Heard the m_nus party was great (at least when Richie Hawtin was playing anyway), but oh well.

Now, time for Day Two to get started.