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Archives for 06/25/2006 - 07/01/2006

Saturday, July 1, 2006

Better Late Than Never: Sonar Recap

posted by on July 1 at 9:46 PM

.tape. in actionI never did a Sonar post, so that’s what this is. Rather than going into the detail I did with this year’s Movement/DEMF, I’m just going to post some annotated pictures of the highlights, with links to the videos I’ve put up on YouTube as well. If you’ve got any other questions about Sonar, just post them in the comments. I’m still buzzing with enthusiasm from the whole experience, so I’m more than willing to share.

The day portion of Sonar was held in the contemporary art museum and immediate surroundings. The day portion featured a lot of the bands and more experimental acts, making for a largely relaxing experience. The Sonar Village was a “park” of sorts, with astroturf for grass, with people just lounging enjoying the weather (here’s video of Fat Freddy’s Drop, very much a crowd favorite). This picture is from the first act I was really excited to see, .tape.. I was expecting merely a laptop performance, but surprisingly for part of the set it was a full band, with wonderful visuals as well. They sounded wonderful, and the visuals made for a perfect complement. Here’s some video.

The Crowd at Jeff MillsThe relaxing portions of Sonar Day stood in stark contrast to Sonar Night, which amounted to musical hedonism. Sonar Day was leisurely, with people just drifting among the different stages (while maze-like, it was reasonably easy to make your way to get from one stage to another). Sonar Night was an entirely different beast, existing on a scale that was more than a bit intimidating to a newcomer such as myself. This picture is from Jeff Mills’, and just goes to show the scale of the event. While that’s a lot of people, realize that that’s only a portion of one stage (there were four). Absolutely incredible to see all of those people.

But onto Jeff Mills. After an annoyingly late-running (but otherwise entertaining) set from Jimmy Edgar, curtains onstage opened up to reveal Jeff Mills behind the decks. From first beat to last, the set was unrelenting, with Mills rendering even the best of earplugs all but useless. It was the first time I’d ever seen Mills, and he didn’t disappoint, moving non-stop between three turntables, the mixer, and some gear that I will just classify as “miscellaneous.” Despite the quality of his set, I couldn’t stay for it in entirety, choosing to catch at least some of Tiga (good), DJ Shadow (it was a hyphy showcase, and largely garbage), and Herbert with full band.

When good drugs go badBased on the Jeff Mills picture, it wouldn’t be totally unfair to compare Sonar Night to a massive. It didn’t have any of the same accoutrements such as glowsticks or any of that nonsense, but in terms of size and party atmosphere it wouldn’t be too far off. It also had the same issue of drug use. Between the alcohol and other substances involved, it wasn’t hard to find someone that had overdone it. By the end of each night’s festivities you could see plenty of individuals in the care of the medical staff on hand, taking the time to let whatever they’d taken run its course. As an aid for attendees they had the equivalent of a DanceSafe booth in the main corridor with various advisories on the bad drugs going around.

KimmoPohjonenSamuliKosminen.JPGAfter an incredibly late night Friday, it was hard to make it out to Sonar Day Saturday, but I managed to make it. I’m happy I made it because of a few acts (Modified Toy Orchestra, Rich Medina, CircleSquare), but Kimmo Pohjonen and Samuly Kosminen were definitely the highlight. Yes, that’s an accordion. What doesn’t come across in the picture is that the room was outfitted with surround sound. The guy on the right was operating some sort of uber-drum pad, so while the accordion blared, you also had beats traversing the room. Had it just been calm that would have been interesting enough, but eventually they just, for lack of a better description, rocked the fuck out. Strobe lights, jumping around, all the while creating a brilliant cacophony. More than just incredible to watch, it was an amazing experience. Here’s some video.

Continue reading "Better Late Than Never: Sonar Recap" »

Mull It Over

posted by on July 1 at 12:56 PM


Gigs featuring superstar Swedish techno DJs ain’t exactly a regular occurrence ‘round these parts, so you may want to hit Des Amis tonight in Seattle’s Capitol Hill (Pike between 10th and 11th Avenues) to witness Joel Mull on the ‘tables. I suggested the show here, but I’ve been informed by promoter Kristina Childs (who’s also playing a tagteam warm-up set with Nordic Soul) that Mull plans to lean more toward techno in a minimal, glitch-funk mode instead of his wrecking-ball style of old. I ain’t gonna complain; works wonders for me”¦

Here’s a recent Mull DJ mix (note lead-off track by Bruno Pronsato).

Friday, June 30, 2006

I Believe the Children Are the Future

posted by on June 30 at 10:46 PM

YouTube continues its dominance as meme aggregator. I was sent this yesterday and hesitated to share it, but I’m still amazed 24 hours later, so here it is. The picture above is of no mere child. No, she’s a 22 month old b-girl. It’s not just some toddler flopping around, you can tell what she’s fearlessly going for headstands and spins, a far cry from other kids her age still not used to balancing their heads on not-yet-strong-enough necks. It’s perhaps the cutest thing I’ve seen since the ducks in Cal Anderson Park. Circle of Fire, watch out.

Thanks Ario!

Again Burial

posted by on June 30 at 4:58 PM

This review is from the heart. And Burial is so far the most important CD of the decade.

Burial :: Burial (Hyperdub, CD) Luca Maini, Contributing Editor of Igloo Magazine

(06.18.06) There’s not much left to say about this record, really. Everyone is talking about Burial, from webzines to online record shops to widespread paper magazines, and everyone agrees this is a stunning debut album. My first reaction was suspicious, fearing that dubstep overexposure might have caused some kind of over-hype, but once I put Burial in my player, I instantly recognized its absolute greatness. I just wrote enthusiastic words about Boxcutter and his Oneiric, and now comes this, which will be 95% my 2006 winner.
I do really want to point out that everything you heard or read about Burial is true: it’s probably the most emotional dubstep record ever made, borrowing inspiration from the roots of the genre but also from the static noise contamination of Basic Channel and Pole (“Distant Lighs,”¯ “Gutted,”¯ “Prayer”¯), and even adding a bit of raw synth taken from hardcore jungle (“Southern Comfort”¯). About the crackling digital debris that covers many parts of the record, Burial say that it’s not a reminiscence of vinyl’s surface noise, but it’s meant to recall the static interference of pirate radio transmissions. This is only one of the many reasons that caused boasting reviews in the UK, someone dared to define Burial as the most important album of the decade, and while I won’t second such an ambitious statement, I have to admit that there are not so many records in my mind that could justify such praise. Consider also that among my many friends who have deep musical knowledge, and who like very different stuff from what I listen to, they all agree Burial is an awesome record, no matter if they’re fond of indie rock, improv, minimal techno, breakcore or noise.

I still have to find someone who doesn’t appreciate Burial, but I feel it’ll be a hard task. Don’t ask me how deep the bass is, or if the breaks follow the latest trends, it’s the whole sound that mesmerizes the listener. Find the nearest retailer that stocks it and join the already huge fan base.

Feeling Lowe

posted by on June 30 at 1:20 PM

Cloudland Canyon

Two ways to tell that a show is amazing: nobody in the venue’s talking much and nobody’s ordering drinks. Such was the case last night at the Sunset for the Lichens/Cloudland Canyon/Richard Bishop/Acre gig (previewed here on Line Out). These performers riveted the 40 or so attendees (The Stranger’s hype machine must’ve had a few bugs in it this week) with sets that bordered on the revelatory.

Sir Richard Bishop earned his honorific with solo acoustic-guitar picking that combined—and combusted—mercurial folk picking with various ethno-sonic allusions that hinted at cultures superior to our own. Bishop played with a surprising savagery that nullified his riffing off the word “fuckstick”¯ between songs, which became a bit tiresome after the third reference. (Dude’s sense of humor is usually much sharper than this; anyway, catch Sir Rick opening for Os Mutantes July 26 at the Moore.)


Cloudland Canyon touched on pastoral Kraut rock and subliminal techno throb in between their customary beatific dronescaping, which was bolstered by Lichens’ (Robert Lowe of 90 Day Men and TV on the Radio) contributions on FX boxes/voice/bells. This compelling set segued into Lowe’s solo shot as Lichens. Leaving his guitar at home, Lowe strictly used his vocal cords, which he fed into processors/FX pedals and layered into a sublime, wildly pitched mantra of dazzling, wordless tongues. It felt as if we were listening to a gorgeous sermon on another planet; you innately understood Lowe’s message without really sussing its origins or details. All you knew was that your entire body was coalescing into one massive goose bump and that liquor and conversation never seemed less important.

You’re Gonna Get Yours: Wax Poetics’ Hip-Hop Issue

posted by on June 30 at 10:41 AM


One of the best music magazines in existence, Wax Poetics, has an insanely in-depth interview/oral history in its hiphop issue with Public Enemy’s Bomb Squad production crew: Chuck D, Hank and Keith Shocklee, and Eric “Vietnam”¯ Sadler. If you care anything about the best rap group ever (I’m willing to entertain differing opinions), then you need to check out this piece.


Also in WP’s quality pages are a heartfelt tribute to the recently deceased J Dilla by hiphop luminaries such as Q-Tip, De La Soul, Jazzy Jeff, Common, Questlove, Waajeed, Peanut Butter Wolf, and others but, oddly, not Madlib; maybe he was too distraught), an overview of the Bay Area’s hyphy scene, a reminiscence about the early DJ battles in NYC among Kool Herc, Pete Jones, and “seminal rapper”¯ Grandmaster Flash, and loads of other literary nuggets for the hiphop aficionado/crate-digger.

Woo! All Right! Yeah! Uh Huh!

posted by on June 30 at 10:29 AM

Not to bite Pitchfork too hard, but they’ve got the dirt on the new Rapture album. Check it out.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Our First Podcast is Up!

posted by on June 29 at 5:37 PM

All-ages expert Megan Seling guides you through the week’s top live music picks on the first edition of Audible Up and Comings. Check it out and let us know what you think (we know you will).

Not the Ice Age of Cobras, But the Cretins of Space

posted by on June 29 at 4:45 PM

Thanks to misinformation posted on the Nectar Lounge website, I was under the impression that Iceage Cobra was playing there tonight. They’re not, which is too bad. However, the nice boys in the Space Cretins will be there, and they are certainly worth your time as well.

Iron Composer! Vera benefit! Tomorrow night!

posted by on June 29 at 4:09 PM

Tickets, if you can believe it, are still available for tomorrow night’s Iron Composer/Drink for the Kids Vera benefit at the Showbox, where Fred Armisen goes up against Martin Crandall and Dave Hernandez of the Shins. The most awesome part? David Cross, Todd Barry, and Jon Benjamin judge their booze-filled songwriting efforts. Heeee-larious. And one more cherry on the sundae, Pleaseeasaur opens the show. Pleaseeasaur likes wearing costumes on stage.

You can get your tickets at the Showbox Box Office (Mon-Fri, 11 am-6 pm), any Rudy’s Barbershop, and select QFC outlets. You can also charge by phone at 1-800-922-TIXX or online by

Don’t Try To Illjack

posted by on June 29 at 2:20 PM

Image Hosted by
If you think Justin Warfield’s lyrics in She Wants Revenge are stupid, just peep his bars from when he was still a shitty nerd-rapper under Prince Paul’s tutelage:

I got my skullcap on, then the flow from my mind starts
As I rip for days from the land of the mic arts
Cream of the crop, a cool, blue beatnik
Blessed with the gift, and now it’s time to kick the ill shit
Love to eat the scallops, and quit with the doo-doo raps
Stay away from ill crack, listen to the Fatback
Smooth on a rough track, time to catch a catnap
If you are my brother, I’ll be sure to give you much dap
Ya bound to get your head smacked, if you try to illjack
Get your kit from Acme, set yourself an ill trap
I used to talk of vickin’, would step and finger-lickin’
But now my mic endeavors have improved over time
Oh yeah, I’m still the same brother who has got to pickin’
So listen to the moody groove, piano, and the vibes…

My Field Trip To Planet 9 had some good beats, but Justin’s ‘psychedelic’ rhyming always gave me the hives. Whatever he’s doing now, more power to him.

Sleater-Kinney’s Last Portland Show

posted by on June 29 at 12:50 PM


Sub Pop just announced that their last show will be at the Crystal Ballroom on August 11th. Look for more details in next week’s Rocka Rolla column.

Mid-Week Beats: Proper Wednesdays

posted by on June 29 at 12:22 PM

Last night I managed to fight my fatigue and made it down to Trinity to hear some house music. I was assured by a friend that it wouldn’t be crap, and to my shock, they were right. I’ll be the first to admit that Trinity is not high on my list of places I really want to be on the weekend, I have to admit that their Wednesday weekly shows promise and that I’m likely to return.

When I first heard of Proper Wednesdays a few months ago it was right around the night’s inception and hadn’t quite found its legs, since the time I tried to check it out it was over pretty early. I’m glad I went back last night to see what they had on offer. In the bar, Jon Lee and Expo were holding it down with some decent house tracks (not entirely West Coast, but with leanings there). They played things pretty fast, but it worked, and had themselves a bit of a dance area in front of the DJ booth. In the blue room there were DJs playing drum and bass, and while their track selection and mixing were more than capable (I spent half my evening in there), as the night moved on their audience drifted either home or to the bar area. Other than the noise bleed issues (curtains make an unsurprisingly poor acoustic dampener), the two rooms worked well together, providing a pleasing contrast.

The night seemed filled with regulars, but most importantly it was a welcoming environment for a newcomer such as myself. Some nights (Flammable for instance) can be a bit intimidating, and while that’s no one’s fault, it’s nice to see that Seattle isn’t always that way. It’s refreshing to see that this new night is picking up, and one that I’ll be keeping in mind for future Wednesdays, especially since their stable of DJs is solid. And if you needed any more convincing, it’s free.

In a Weird Headspace

posted by on June 29 at 12:19 PM

Lichens (Robert Lowe)

“¦is where you’ll be if you hit the Sunset Tavern tonight. Going down (or up, as the case may be) there is what promises to be one of the psychedelic musical events of the summer. In this week’s Stranger, I rant here and here about Cloudland Canyon, and Steven Sawada and I discuss Lichens here and here, respectively. You already know how amazing guitarist Sir Richard Bishop is, so quit hemming and hawing and prepare to get your head exquisitely massaged by these highly evolved masters of transcendental drones and tones.

Taking Sides

posted by on June 29 at 10:52 AM

Beefs between artists are silly enough; now we have labels engaging in their own version of a stand-off. Man, I remember the days when I was horrified by the prospect of mergers and consolidations leaving us with only 4 major labels. I’d like to think the rise of indies and the internet makes this a somewhat moot point, but hell, let’s just give up and go to one major label, shall we?

John Dwyer Is A 10th Level Wizard

posted by on June 29 at 10:44 AM

Last night I had the pleasure of hearing the latest Oh Sees record, Cool Death Of Island Raiders at a friends house. We were drinking on the back porch with the stereo speakers in the living room angled towards us and the music was just audible between conversations. Eventually I had to excuse myself to go inside and get a better listen.

Oh Sees (formerly OCS) is the latest musical venture of San Francisco’s prolific John Dwyer (Pink&Brown, Coachwhips), and its a drastic departure from the cartoon noise and gutter garage rock he’s made in previous bands.

Oh Sees music is wispy and frail folk with the only hints of Dwyer’s raucous roots showing up in the densely lo-fi production and the occasionally crass song titles. It’s beautiful, broken pop music from an unlikely source, definitely worth checking out.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

1/3 of Murder City Devils + 2/7 of Suffering And The Hideous Thieves = ???

posted by on June 28 at 2:43 PM

There must have been a kind of pre-historic time for rock music in Seattle before Sub-Pop, before Nirvana, before The EMP, when Jimi Hendrix or The Sonics could make music in a town that didn’t have an established scene or story. Now, of course, we live after the fall of grunge, in the wake of our historical moment, with our contribution to rock’s narrative already set for posterity under museum glass.

And so our current music scene is drenched in a kind of regret and nostalgia, our brightest bands are all of the “featuring former members of” variety, and shows often lack a certain vitality- they should be alive with possibility but instead they’re flat and static.

Which brings me to last night’s show at The Rendezvous, a Seattle venue that absolutely sags under the weight of its own history. Playing in the Jewel Box Theater (est. 1924!) was Triumph Of Lethargy Skinned Alive To Death, featuring Spencer Moody and Dann Galluci of Murder City Devils, and some band consisting of Seth Warren and the mohawked guitar player from Suffering And The Hideous Thieves (I think his name’s Joel). These guys go way back in Seattle, as evidenced by the crowd for their show (featuring members of Blood Brothers, Kill Sadie, etc, etc), and my expectations were pretty high.

The ex-theives played first, with Seth playing effected violin (and occasionally kicking the amp to make the spring reverb sound like thunder) while Joel played spare electric guitar and wailed plaintively about whiskey and such. He kind of came off like Chris Carrabba trying out for Lucero. Not my cup of whiskey.

I had higher hopes for TOLSATD, having seen them absolutely terrorize the Punkin House basement with their electric guitar dirges and Spencer’s confrontational sing-speaking. At that show, his vocals were fire and brimstone, and his guitar player was all dirt and distortion. This time, everything seemed reined in and reserved. Dann Galluci seemed positively wasted (squandered, not drunk) behind the drum kit, while Spencer orated like a professor over subdued guitar work. Spencer is a magnetic presence on stage, but without the massive rock of MCD or Smoke & Smoke behind him I’d just as soon watch him sing karaoke.

Seattle Weekly’s Fantasy Ozzfest

posted by on June 28 at 2:09 PM

I try to stay out of the Seattle Weekly vs. Stranger rivalry as much as I can, but this really can’t be overlooked. This is their preview of Thursday’s Ozzfest show:

Ozzfest: Black Sabbath + Judas Priest + Slayer + Dimmu Borgir + Superjoint Ritual + Black Label Society + Lacuna Coil + Every Time I Die + more

The last time we saw Ozzy Osbourne perform, his vocal chords kept giving out, resulting in a reluctance to shoot for the higher notes of his back catalog. But the man still puts on an engaging show filled with plenty of leap-frog jumps, childlike hand claps, and jumping jacks (we are serious!) Aside from Ozzy, however, the only band that seems to be worth a damn on the bill is former Ozzy guitarist Zakk Wylde’s band, Black Label Society (although the Slayer reunion and Lacuna Coil are solid picks too—Ed.). With that in mind, the emergency tent might be more fun to watch than the performers.

This is a gaffe on quite a few levels. For one, Black Sabbath isn’t playing—Ozzy is doing a solo set. Secondly, Judas Priest isn’t playing—but they did play TWO YEARS ago. Thirdly, Slayer not only isn’t playing, they certainly aren’t “reuniting” (they never broke up). However, Slayer will play at Qwest Field on Seattle on July 14.

Dear Weekly music writers: I love a good stoning as much as the next metalhead, but I think it’s time for you to put down the bong. Or at the very least, try checking the festival website before you go to print.

one-off Gun Club “reunion” tomorrow in LA

posted by on June 28 at 10:35 AM

My buddy Kid Congo Powers, of Gun Club/The Cramps/Congo Norvell/The Bad Seeds, etc., posted an item in his MySpace blog late last night that has me seriously thinking about jumping on a plane to L.A.. It seems that tomorrow, Thursday, June 29, as part of the Don’t Knock The Rock 2006 film festival, Kid, guitarist Ward Dotson, and drummer Terry Graham are playing a single Gun Club reunion show after the opening night screening of the Gun Club/Jeffrey Lee Pierce documentary Ghost on the Highway.

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But who is filling in for long-gone Jeffrey? Here’s what Kid disclosed, following “band practice” last night (emphases mine):

Thalia Zedek (whom you know from her solo records, and COME and LIVE SKULL before that) is singing and I am so honered and thrilled and she is doing a most amazing job. Now I am really excited. I can tell you I had some trepidation about doing this at all, it really didn’t appeal to me to do a “reunion” with out Jeffrey (which means I figured it “impossible” ) but I have changed my mind. This is really a one off for me, so i plan to enjoy it.

He goes on to say that they are performing ten songs, just from the first three albums (Fire of Love, Miami, and Las Vegas Story). For the love of God, Kid, make a soundboard recording and make it available to Gun Club (and Thalia Zedek) fans who can’t make it!

This Week in Music News

posted by on June 28 at 9:16 AM


David Yow and Scratch Acid: Coming to the Showbox! But hey, wasn’t he banned for life from Washington state? On a related note, doesn’t the line-up for the Touch and Go festival look amazing? Thanks to Line Out reader Levislade for the heads up.

Sleater-Kinney: Don’t bother calling the doctor, they are out. However, they will play one more Portland date (to be announced soon). If you’ve never had the opportunity to watch this woman on stage, I suggest you plan on going.

Michael Jackson and Madonna’s former producer: Jailed in the Middle East because of drug charges. I don’t see this ending nicely.

The Intonation Festival: Something I really wish I could have been at. As if the Blue Cheer reunion wasn’t enought, Roky Erickson’s performance sounds particularly heavenly. (Link requires registration, sorry.)

The Arcade Fire: Close to being finished with their new album.

The Residents: Still weird.

Mangum on Mangum?

posted by on June 28 at 9:03 AM

Purportedly, Mangum himself posted this on the E6 message board under the pseudonym “Nigh.”¯ Pitchfork seems to have made this their big news/gossip for the day.

for the past few months ive been putting together the pieces of everything ive written in the past three years and its been a revelation. whenever i had the time ive been writing melodies and keeping them in my head for later, and songs just accumulate, im not waiting as some have said. i still dont know how we’re going to put it all together, the songs will have more noises and collages in them. because of that we dont know whether this will be korena pang or neutral milk hotel or michael bolton but that doesnt really matter. names are just a box we put things in to separate them, and we’re figuring out what box these songs go in.

we dont have a timetable for releasing the album yet, so dont get your hopes up for new songs now. if you want more “aeroplane” just ignore all of this, the songs are songs but they’re longer and more free. when jeremy came down after his tour we just spent days playing noise while screaming and it was incredibly liberating.

it has been so much fun that we will for sure be playing a show or two, probably more. freedom is a wonderful thing but at a certain point you need the routines of normal life. ive had that for a while but i realized last year at the show with the livys that the best sort of normal ive ever had was on the road with my friends. getting to gigs late with cars coughing and trombones smacking on doors, the giant egg leaks over the masses, the yolk sustains us, we eat whites for days. it can never be the same but i need to get as close as i can to that again.

so thats all. everything is happening soon, this is the year.

thanks for listening. jeff.

I doubt this is Jeff. Everything is just a little too in-line with all of the reports and rumors that have trickled in during his leave. There is the reference to noise, the desire to leave behind anything remotely close to Aeroplane, the strange analogies (I presume these were included to reflect his troubled mental state). It all seems so contrived. In fact, the post reads much like this interview in Pitchfork a few years ago.

At some point, I believe Mangum will make a return to music, albeit in a very limited capacity. But I don’t think this is him. If anyone is interested, my offer on the New Zealand bootleg still stands.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Benaroya Brouhaha

posted by on June 27 at 6:12 PM

The departure of Seattle Symphony executive director Paul Meecham announced Monday has not only fueled ongoing rumors of friction between Meecham and music director/conductor Gerard Schwarz, but resurrected speculation about the musicians’ widespread weariness with Schwarz, whose contract was recently extended to 2011. Barring an abrupt resignation or all-out revolt, Schwarz, who became music director in 1985, will become the orchestra’s longest-serving maestro.

The Seattle Weekly’s Roger Downey blogged about it here while articles in the Seattle Times and the P-I offer more details.

Continue reading "Benaroya Brouhaha" »

Bid on Kraftwerk’s Vocoder

posted by on June 27 at 5:26 PM


Because your studio isn’t complete without the gear that Kraftwerk used on “Autobahn.” Oh no it isn’t. The auction has about a week to go, high rolla.

Thanks to Skye Williamson.

Cheap Bumbershoot Tickets!

posted by on June 27 at 4:25 PM

Don’t wanna pay full price for Bumbershoot this year? Kane Hodder to the rescue!

As posted on the band’s website,, you can get discounted Bumbershoot tickets if you order them before July 14th at

Here’s the skinny: tickets go on sale to the public on July 15th at $25 for a daily ticket, and $70 for a 3-day pass. At the gate, pay just $30 for a single day, and $80 for a 3-day pass.

But, take advantage of this special pre-sale offer, and pay only $18 for the daily ticket, or $50 for a 3-day pass! PLUS, during the pre-sale only, your ticket surcharge will be waived! This is a huge savings off an already low price, but it’s a very limited offer”¦ so what are you waiting for?

To redeem: The pre-sale is on now and available exclusively at, while supplies last. Use your special access code: “KANE”¯ and save! Once the pre-sale is over, the $18 daily tickets and $50 3-day passes will no longer be available anywhere, so don’t delay.
Expires: July 14th or when discounted tickets sell out, whichever comes first!

Hodder plays the EMP SkyChurch on Monday, Sept 4th.

Weird Al on Digital Downloads

posted by on June 27 at 3:34 PM


I don’t know how common this scenario is, but viewed through the prism of Weird Al Yankovic (a scary thought in its own right), record companies are shafting artists with the digital-download model. Read this for the gory details.

To his fans, Weird Al writes:

I am extremely grateful for your support, no matter which format you choose to legally obtain my music in, so you should do whatever makes the most sense for you personally. But since you ASKED… I actually do get significantly more money from CD sales, as opposed to downloads. This is the one thing about my renegotiated record contract that never made much sense to me. It costs the label NOTHING for somebody to download an album (no manufacturing costs, shipping, or really any overhead of any kind) and yet the artist (me) winds up making less from it. Go figure.

Ultimately, one wonders how a music-biz vet like Weird Al could sign a contract that so royally screws him.

Thanks to Nipper for the tip.

Sleater-Kinney to go on “indefinite hiatus”

posted by on June 27 at 11:10 AM

Brace yourselves Sleater-Kinney fans. According to the press dept. at Sub Pop, this summer’s shows from the trio will be their last act together as a band until further notice. Here’s the statement, from the band, being issued to the national media at noon PST:

“After eleven years as a band, Sleater-Kinney have decided to go on indefinite hiatus. The upcoming summer shows will be our last. As of now, there are no plans for future tours or recordings.

We feel lucky to have had the support of many wonderful people over the years. We want to thank everyone who has worked with us, written kind words about us, performed with us, and inspired us.

But mostly we want to extend our gratitude to our amazing fans. You have been a part of our story from the beginning. We could not have made our music without your enthusiasm, passion, and loyalty. It is you who have made the entire journey worthwhile.

With love and thanks,


Final tour dates are:
Jul 29 Mellwood Arts Center, Louisville,KY
Jul 31 Starlight Ballroom, Philadelphia,PA
Aug 01 930 Club, Washington,DC
Aug 02 Webster Hall, New York City,NY
Aug 04 Lollapalooza (Grant Park), Chicago,IL

Maybe you better buy Lollapalooza tix after all?

RIP Aaron-Carl

posted by on June 27 at 12:04 AM

Respected Detroit DJ and producer Aaron-Carl returned to his home Monday evening to discover that he was dead. He had passed away earlier that morning, in a fatal car accident. Gathering at his home to mourn his passing, his friends used his instant messenger accounts to deliver the sad news to friends, fans and associates around the world.

Aaron-Carl, 1973-2006-

Aaron-Carl, who was in fact not dead and had spent the day collecting what remained of his car and dealing with insurance companies, was surprised to say the least when his inbox was filled with condolences, and his home with mourners:

They screamed, like they saw a ghost. I screamed, because my music was playing in the background, my pictures were all over the place, candles were lit…

In an e-mail clarifying certain details about his death, he had one final request:

To those who expressed love, respect and concern for me while I was “dead,” please continue to express these same feelings while I’m still ALIVE.

Alas, this week we have lost, and then regained, a vital force in electronic music. Goodbye and Hello Aaron-Carl. Live long and prosper, and rest in peace.

Monday, June 26, 2006

How a Thug Can Love

posted by on June 26 at 6:13 PM


Stranger freelancer Tony Ware writes:

Recently I experienced the Busta Rhymes’ single “I Love My Bitch,” and its heartfelt appreciation for the long-suffering Nubian Princess made me think of another such tribute from a simpler time. Back in the 19 Hundredth and 94th Year of Our Lord LL Cool J an MC named Tasty Taste from the group Niggaz with Hats, a.k.a. N.W.H., proved that, in the words of rapper Tone Def, “The Black man was the first sensitive man, long before Alan Alda.” Tasty Taste did so with the following words:

“I want to make you mine/Slap your fat behind/Tie you down and make you whine/I want you to scratch my itch/And be my bitch/Because I love you girl.”

These words—much like when Busta says, “I love my girl ‘cause she knows the shit/She acting kinda ill but she ain’t scared of the dick”—show a man expressing his vulnerability. I would like to commend these men for showing how a thug can love.

Kinko’s Radio

posted by on June 26 at 2:36 PM

When a band sounds EXACTLY like another band, what do you think?

Sure, artists are influenced by other artists. Look at painters ““ Van Gogh, the surrealists, and the impressionists. Van Gogh practiced by painting Monet’s and other artists, and the impressionists fed off each other. Musicians are no different.

But when a band sounds EXACTLY like another band, at what point does it became a rip off? At what point does it become plagiarism?

How many bands can sound like Radiohead, or The Strokes, or My Morning Jacket?

How do labels sign these bands and tout them as hot? Am I the only one feeling ripped off?


Trent - out.

Local Girl Makes Good…Maybe

posted by on June 26 at 10:54 AM


CBS has announced that the new cast for the next season of the reality show Rockstar will include Portland’s most eccelectic, erotic export: Storm Large. She makes regular appearences in Seattle and has a weekly show in Portland. Naturally, The Mercury caught on to her first, but we’re rather fond of her too (see a recent Up & Coming I wrote about her here).

She’s a talented, obscenely charismatic performer with a beautiful, dramatic voice, but I have no doubt that CBS execs were as impressed with her beautiful, dramatic appearance as they were with her vocal talents. So what exactly is she competing for? The winner will become the lead singer for a new super group ingeniously named “Supernova” and featuring drummer Tommy Lee, former Guns ‘N Roses guitarist Gilby Clarke, and former Metallica bassist Jason Newsted. I’m no fan of reality TV, but I might be willing to endure the presence of icky judge Dave Navarro to watch some of it this time around. The premier episode airs next Wednesday, July 5th.

Papercone Record Player

posted by on June 26 at 10:19 AM

If you love music but hate electricity, here’s the player for you.

Block Policy, Hood Science

posted by on June 26 at 2:50 AM

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Well, maybe i ain’t the only one not drinking the Spankrock punch.

One of my faves:

Not long after an artform or regional aesthetic is exploited into the mainstream, it typically peaks at some point in popularity, then slowly dies to be replaced by the next trend. but when pioneers are established, then you can have different schools of style and approach within an artform; that allows styles to evolve beyond the “pop culture” status.

Honestly, I ‘d never even heard Labtekwon rap until a prodigious freestyle he dropped at Street Sounds a few weeks ago. I’m still not feeling like a fan of Bmore Club, authentic or no, but I can’t front- duke rips it.

Sunday, June 25, 2006


posted by on June 25 at 8:45 PM

Underworld have released the final installment of their Riverrun trilogy, I’m a Big Girl, and I’m a Sister, and I’m a Princess, and This is My Horse. It’s a half hour or so of audio, a photo slideshow and some cover art for its non-existent package. It’ll cost you about five quid.


It’s a brave project conceptually, one that allows them to more fully explore the duo’s visual side, and also get their sounds into our ears without the months or years it takes for the physical music biz to digest and excrete recorded product.

It also happens to be a cool project musically, a dark and atmospheric seedbed for Karl Hyde’s elliptical, illogical monotone, complemented by some texture-y black and white photographs that, oddly, remind me of the low-rez scanned and proto-Photoshopped photographs of ’80s and ’90s zine culture.

Good stuff indeed. Go forth and purchase, etc.

Stay in Touch

posted by on June 25 at 1:21 PM


These words come from an anonymous author (most likely label boss Jon Wozencroft) affiliated with Touch, a British record company specializing in experimental electronic music and esoteric field recordings. Touch is celebrating 25 years in the biz with a compilation titled Touch 25 (which I’m reviewing in the next Data Breaker).

The industry has been exposed by the heated challenges to its control over manufacturing and distribution. Turning to the new revenues of telematics, computer games and downloads, music becomes the ID-card to new practices pursued by business, and an adventure playground for the consumer collector.

For a lot of people, the ability to download mp3s, locate live torrents on Dime, blogsite, podcast and self-cast onto an i-Pod desert island, is a wonderful thing. The audience seems to be in control, probably in a honeymoon period that masks the deeper questions of infinite hard-disks, brain damage and Chinese firewalls. Can the amount of data coming online possibly keep up with the amount of storage available—what will happen? Will data be selectively removed”¦ History about to be unwritten? What will your brain feel like when you find it has disappeared?

And I thought I was a paranoid technophobe”¦

DJ Collage Blows Up + FREE MUSIC

posted by on June 25 at 1:09 AM

Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim, in their never-ending quest to corner the market on cool (Pee Wee’s Playhouse arrives on July 10), has just released Chocolate Swim, a downloadable EP of fresh music from hot label Chocolate Industries. The six-song EP lacks the overreaching concept of a release like Danger Doom, but still is a pretty high-profile avenue for some new music (they already play hot music on the network and I know I’m looking forward to what comes from their Stone’s Throw collaboration). Alongside such heavy-hitters as Mos Def, MF Doom, Vast Aire, and Lady Sovereign, you’ll find our own DJ Collage, whose collaboration with Ghislain Poirier “Mic Diplomat” also finds its way onto the release (it’s also going to be featured on EA Sports’ NBA Live 07). If you didn’t believe the hype from Stranger Suggests this week, here’s a chance to right that wrong. DJ Collage is making moves.