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Archives for 09/03/2006 - 09/09/2006

Saturday, September 9, 2006

Nite Dance: Get U.S.Ed to Them

posted by on September 9 at 12:11 PM

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Where are you going to be at 9 pm Monday Sept. 11? May we suggest you hie yourself to the Sunset Tavern to witness Nite Dance’s live debut? The few songs on their MySpace page suggest that Nite Dance will not admit into their art any negativity whatsoever, as they purvey a muted, willowy brand of tropical pop that’s the epitome of carefree. Which isn’t surprising when you consider that Nite Dance’s membership includes folks from the Seattle band Wonderful, who are also in U.S.E.

Fabulous drummer jon.e.rock describes Nite Dance as “kinda Brazilian lounge electronic lovedance.” They play “songs that are too soft-dance for U.S.E and not sparkly enough for Wonderful.”

Let Them Eat…

posted by on September 9 at 9:26 AM

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photo by Shawn Brackbill


Last night the Note was packed to see the reunited Monorchid slash out their disjointed post-punk. Openers Perfect Panther bored the crowd into an agitated heckling mess before Headache City got into a set of hooky garage-pop. A really mixed bill, next up Haymarket Riot had the most in common with the headliners and delivered a solid set before Monorchid took the stage.

The Monorchid themselves were in good form, although enjoyment of the show was severely hampered by horrible sound and uptight security. Attendees of last night’s Thor/Zolar X show at the Note said a blown speaker contributed an ugly crackling throughout the night, and from my vantage point it looked like the Monorchid’s instruments were poorly mic’ed, only contributing to a muddy mix. Several audience members got pulled out for moshing, not especially violently— just a bit harder than the rest of the audience by beefy security. Ridiculous. (Insert rant about shitty security and being able to dance at rock shows, etc.)

Heading off to the Hideout for the T&G Fest in a minute, and tomorrow night I’ll skip out on CocoRosie and the last few acts of the festival to catch Smog play the Old Town School of Folk Music.

Delicious Band Alert!

posted by on September 9 at 8:24 AM

Some music fans are secretive about the bands they like. They live in fear of the day their favorite little band will break and they’ll have to share them with the rest of the world. My feelings go in the opposite direction. I’ll go on forever about what I’m digging right now, and don’t care if the rest of the world loves it. (As long as you remember where you heard it first. )

Continue reading "Delicious Band Alert!" »


Friday, September 8, 2006

Holy Shit!

posted by on September 8 at 7:01 PM

Thank you everyone who suggested thing for me to do in NYC this weekend. The winner is:

:: BIG OUT OF DOORS SHOW - II
:: Todd’s BDay party + back-2-school show!

11:00 : possible secret suprise guest
10:00 :: Dirty Projectors — chill down set
9:15 :::: Growing
8:30 ::::: Comets on Fire
7:45 :::::: Ex Models
7:00 ::::::: Matt and Kim
6:15 :::::::: Excepter
5:30 ::::::::: BIG A little a ——-> final show w/ Hank Shteamer
4:45 :::::::::: Talibam interlude
4:00 ::::::::::: Vaz
3:15 :::::::::::: Child Abuse
2:30 ::::::::::::: High Places
1:45 :::::::::::::: Stars Like Fleas
1:00 ::::::::::::::: Roxy Pain
12:30 ::::::::::::::: Artanker Convoy
12:00 :::::::::::::::: Talibam!

Holy Shit! I will report back tomorrow night exhuasted, sweaty, and stricken with tinnitus.

Xerox is great and all…

posted by on September 8 at 2:29 PM

But I really wish more show fliers were done “second-grade valentine” style, like this one that’s taped to a parking meter outside our offices.

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Wouldn’t that be cute?

Shorthand for Hungry Pines

posted by on September 8 at 1:05 PM

While heading to the Shorthand for Epic EP release party at the Comet last night, I was curious as to what openers, Ukulele Pop, were going to do. Would their name ring true? Would they stand in front of the crowd with a chorus of baby guitars, maybe even play a version of “Tonight You Belong to Me”? I really hoped so! I love ukulele’s and they are never used enough!

But nope. They didn’t even show up.

Sigh.

The Hungry Pines were there, though.

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They were really great. They’re a fairly new trio—two guitars, one drum set—featuring Lucas Carlyle and Irene Barber and Chrysti Harrison of the Conversation Heart. Irene’s voice is gorgeous. As smooth and pretty as Chrissie Hynde, but with a little bit of a bite. I expected them to sound more abrasive or dirty than they did (as that seems to be the case with many bands boasting only two guitars and drums), but they were surprisingly mellow, with a darker and sexy PJ Harvey vibe at times. Hear them here, or better yet, see ‘em in October when they play the Nectar Lounge in Fremont on the 19th.

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The show’s EP-releasing stars, Shorthand for Epic, lived up to all the pre-show hype. (Although the band wasn’t donning the pastel sweaters from their promo photo, singer Billy Bullock did flaunt a pretty rad neckerchief.) I’ve only ever heard the three songs on the CD, but seeing them live proved they’re more than the upbeat keyboard rock I knew them for. Instead, their songs were a clusterfuck of cool. The band clearly draws inspiration from everything—Elton John, Elvis Costello, the Clash, the Arcade Fire—and they wrap up their sometimes venomous messages in a hook-filled and totally danceable package. You’re smiling, they’re singing about drinking themselves into a coma, and everyone’s happy. Their next show is next Saturday at Cafe Venus/Mars Bar, should you be intrigued.

Unfortunately I didn’t stick around for Via, even though I’d heard good things. The haunting thought of a 9 am meeting convinced me that going home earlier rather than later was the best idea. Were you there? What’d I miss?

Communications From the Lab

posted by on September 8 at 12:43 PM

One of my favorite record stores, New York (and now LA)-based Turntable Lab, now has a blog has had a blog for ages called I’m With Stupid. So far it’s like The Fader on laughing gas. Am I on top of this shit, or what?

So Much Fire to Roast Human Flesh

posted by on September 8 at 11:51 AM

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Josephine Foster: Fighting the power.

Arthur is one of the finest music mags operating today, but it also champions liberal cultural and political causes. Putting its conscience where its mouth is, the L.A.-based zine is releasing a compilation selected by musician Josephine Foster titled So Much Fire to Roast Human Flesh on its own Bastet label to raise money to combat military recruitment in high schools. The CD is available for order at Arthurmag.com and from record stores across North America.

Track listing for the collection is as follows:

THE CHERRY BLOSSOMS - “Dragonfly” (live)
FEATHERS - “Dust”
MICHAEL HURLEY - “A Little Bit of Love for You”
MEG BAIRD - “Western Red Lily (Nunavut Diamond Dream)”
ANDREW BAR - “Don’t Trust That Man”
GOATGIRL - “President Combed His Hair”
DEVENDRA BANHART - “I Know Some Souls” (demo)
KATH BLOOM - “Baby Let It Come Down On Me”
CHARLIE NOTHING - “Fuck You and Your Stupid Wars”
DIANE CLUCK - “A Phoenix and Doves”
JOHN ALLINGHAM & ANN TILEY - “Big War”
JOSEPHINE FOSTER - “Would You Pave the Road?”
ANGELS OF LIGHT - “Destroyer”
RACHEL MASON - “The War Clerk’s Lament”
PAJO - “War Is Dead”
MVEE - “Powderfinger”
KATHLEEN BAIRD - “Prayer for Silence”
LAY ALL OVER IT - “A Place”

Press release after the jump.

Continue reading "So Much Fire to Roast Human Flesh" »

New York Shitty

posted by on September 8 at 11:14 AM

So I’m on vacation in NYC this week, sleeping on floors, drinking too much, sweating. Yesterday I saw Reggie Watts beatboxing somehwere in Manhattan, caught a Variety Shac performance, and almost DJ’d a friend’s night (it didn’t work out and I spent most of the night stuck in a giant traffic jam instead).

Mostly I’m just trying to relax and see some friends, but does anyone have any suggestions of what to do while I’m here? Let me know in the comments.

14 Year-Old Fire House

posted by on September 8 at 10:00 AM

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This month the second oldest all-ages venue on the West Coast, Redmond’s Old Fire House, celebrates its 14th anniversary, and they’re marking the occasion like any good venue should—with a killer rock show. Schoolyard Heroes, Akimbo, Mikaela’s Fiend, and Patrol are playing tonight, ensuring a stellar evening.

Patrol are a heavy rock outfit influenced by Soundgarden and Chavez, while Mikaela’s Fiend are a thrashing noise duo who, despite their presence in the scene for a couple years now, I’ve yet to see live (don’t ask me how I’ve managed that). I hear they’re impressive and full of energy, though. And Akimbo, well, they’re Akimbo. Heavy, thick, intense and turbulent hardcore with tinges of metal and punk. Closing out the evening is Schoolyard Heroes, a big favorite in the Eastside scene. The band has been working on new material too, so perhaps they’ll be showcasing more than the familiar classics tonight? We will soon find out.

I will be there with camera in hand to try and capture all the choice moments for those of you who won’t be able to make it to the party, but if you’re without plans thus far, consider your evening spoken for. It starts at 8 pm and costs $7 at the door.

And tonight’s impressive line-up isn’t a rarity for the Redmond venue. The future boasts more reasons to make the jump to the Eastside including a Friday the 13th show with the Blood Brothers in October. Check out www.theoldfirehouse.org for ticket information.

Speaking of the Old Fire House, the venue has also released a compilation CD, Sound the Alarm, which features songs from new and old OFH friends including Waxwing, Common Market, Get Dressed, and more. The record is available at the venue as well as local record stores for about $7.

Happy birthday, Old Fire House, happy birthday to you!


Thursday, September 7, 2006

Move to Bremerton, We’ll Hang Out

posted by on September 7 at 9:05 PM

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I was 16-years-old in 1996 when MXPX’s hit “Move to Bremerton” was released. I had a big crush on the band’s frontman Mike Herrera. I was playing bass with dreams of being in a pop-punk band, and I wished on every star in the sky that I could be that “short-haired girl with a pretty smile” Mike was singing to in the song (even though I had sorta longer hair and a goofy smile)”¦ back then I really did want to move to Bremerton. It seemed like a good place to be! Oh to be 16…

Now, 10-years after the trio’s big hit, “Move to Bremerton” is making waves again as MXPX teams up with the city in an effort to “promote Bremerton.”¯ Not only has the band given the city permission to use their song as a promotional tool (for “Save Bremerton” commercials, perhaps?), but MXPX is also headlining a show on the 16th at the Admiral Theater in an effort to draw youth over to the other side of the Sound. To thank the men for their Bremerton-lovin’ attitude, the city’s mayor, Cary Bozeman, will present the band with a key to the city that same afternoon.

I’m totally not making this up. Here’s an excerpt from the weird the press release sent to the office today:

City revitalization efforts usually concentrate on bringing baby boomers—as business owners, residents, and tourists—downtown.

But Bremerton Mayor Cary Bozeman thinks they’re missing a key ingredient for a sustainable city—youth.

That’s why Bremerton is teaming up with punk band MXPX to promote Bremerton. MXPX is holding a concert in Bremerton on September 16 at 6pm, and has agreed to let the city use its song, “Move to Bremerton”¯ as a promotion tool.

Bozeman is happy to report that the city’s revitalization efforts are working and businesses are opening downtown and condos are selling, but he also wants to “get on the radar of the younger generation that Bremerton is a great place to live with things to do.”

MXPX will get that message out with a 10-year-old song? Is this weird to anyone else?

To buy tickets for the September 16th show, call (360) 373-6743 or visit www.admiraltheatre.org. The Divorce, Tysen, and Ruxton Towers also play. To learn more about the city of Bremerton, visit www.ci.bremerton.wa.us.

If you do decide to head over, stop at Kate’s Jersey Subs. Their eggplant parmesan sandwich is really messy, but pretty good.

Peter Parker Picks Up the Pieces

posted by on September 7 at 2:35 PM

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They’re back!

If you ask me, Peter Parker was one of the best, but most underrated crunchy power pop bands in Seattle in the late ’90s. After releasing two records (1998’s Migliore! and 2001’s Semiautobiographical) they threw in the towel, playing their last show in the Winter of 2002. But now, just as another local pop band makes their exit from the scene, Peter Parker is making their comeback—they’re set to play what will be Racetrack’s last show on Friday October 20th at the Fusion CafĆ© in Downtown YMCA (hosted by Vera).

When I was 18-19 years old, Peter Parker was one of my favorites. They played local shows just about every weekend, and I lost count of how many times I saw them. I remember drives up to Bellingham and down to Tacoma to see them with Juno, Waxwing, Death Cab for Cutie, Polecat, Harvey Danger, Automaton… they were everywhere, always playing, always being a lot of fun. And even after all these years I still listen to and love their records, but rarely find new friends who appreciate (or are even familiar with) the band’s work. But I’m so excited they’re back!

I got in touch with singer/guitarist Matthew McGowan, to find out more about the reunion.

When was Peter Parker’s last Seattle show?

“Our last Seattle show was at the Crocodile in December of 2002. At the time, I never, ever wanted to play any of our songs ever, ever again, so I broke my guitar. That was dumb.”

How long has the band been rehearsing/in talks of playing again as Peter Parker?

“We’ve been talking about playing and occasionally rehearsing for a little over a year now, but mostly just getting comfortable with each other again. We’d take weeks and months off in the middle without really playing at all.”

Why now?

“Because Racetrack asked us to play their final show. And because I finally replaced the guitar I destroyed at our last show.”

Is this a one-time gig? Or are there more shows to follow?

“I hope that we’ll play more than just this one show, but we’re all so busy with other things now that it’s hard to say. I think we’re eventually hoping to play one or two shows every three or four months. We used to play out so much that doing it all the time like that again doesn’t really appeal to us.”

How about new material? Is there any of that? Or will you stick to Semiautobiographical/Migliore! material for the show?

“For this show, we’ll be sticking mostly to songs from the two albums, with maybe one or two newer ones. From what we have worked up so far, it should be a pretty fun set.”

Pretty fun indeed! And I know I’m not the only Peter Parker fan out there. Who else is giddy?

Techno’s Epic-to-the-Max Mentality

posted by on September 7 at 1:31 PM

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Ricardo Villalobos: You will enjoy his 18-minute percussion breakdowns.

Philip Sherburne has an interesting column on Pitchfork about the trend among techno producers to create l-o-o-o-ng tracks to—among other things—help DJs get through those grueling marathon sets they typically have in Europe. DJs’ growing acceptance of CDRs and Serato/Final Scratch has enabled them and producers to sidestep the vinyl format’s limitations and play cuts that can surpass the 13-minute mark without the diminishment of fidelity that occurs on a 12-inch platter. So now you have people like Ricardo Villalobos conceiving a 44-minute opus—because he can. This runs counter to notion that the iPod/coke-snorting generation wants its music chopped into 70-second bursts. Is the pendulum swinging back to long attention spans? Or is this strictly a Continental techno thing? Inquiring music journalists want to know”¦

Shorthand for Epic

posted by on September 7 at 12:12 PM

Shorthand for Epic is a new band, and a good one at that. I like ‘em, anyways. To celebrate the release of their self-titled three-song EP, they play the Comet tonight with the Hungry Pines, Via, and Ukulele Pop.

Click here to hear a couple tunes.

Here’s what I said in this week’s paper:

THE HUNGRY PINES, SHORTHAND FOR EPIC, VIA, UKULELE POP
(Comet) Shorthand for Epic is one of the latest acts to join Seattle’s expansive music scene, but you’ve probably never heard them because you’re too busy reading Pitchfork and arguing with your friends about which songs were overlooked on their “200 Greatest Songs of the 1960s” list. Well, stop it, because who cares? Get with the now. Shorthand for Epic is the now. The music feels like Billy Joel clashing with the Arcade Fire, and the vocal melodies encompass the same endearing catchiness as the Mates of State. It’s upbeat, full of hooks, and tonight they celebrate the release of their three-song debut. Get off the computer and go. MEGAN SELING

And to show how goofy and unpretentious they are, here’s their band photo:
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Could be a whole lot of fun for only $5.

What else is happening in the world of local bands this week? Well listen to the brand new episode of Setlist to find out and hear tracks from Big Business, MC Vagina, Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head, USS Horsewhip and more.

Touch & Go 25th Anniversary Documentary

posted by on September 7 at 11:54 AM

In the unlikely event that there are any Line Out readers out there who don’t know why Chris Hong and I are so excited about heading to Chicago tomorrow, here’s a 10-minute explanation:

Catfish Grabbin’

posted by on September 7 at 8:52 AM

This sport is impossible for me to understand.


Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Shawn Fanning Wants to Be Your Friend!

posted by on September 6 at 8:18 PM

Social networking and Web-stalking tool MySpace recently announced that it will soon enable bands to sell tracks on the site, using the same interface that automatically cues up that terrible My Chemical Romance song whenever you’re looking up your ex-girlfriends.

The service will use Snocap, the distributed digital music marketplace co-founded by Shawn Fanning, who prompted the music biz to change its threat level to “brown” when he created Napster in 1999. Now clean, sober and legal, Snocap facilitates legitimate distribution via MP3 or Microsoft’s DRM-protected Windows Media format, but MySpace reportedly will only support unprotected MP3s. (Copy-lefters rejoice!)

This is more good news for unsigned bands, who have yet another way to reach audiences and make money without a record label. Although it has its problems, which I’ll detail below, MySpace has become a destination not only for fans, but for A&R folks and music supervisors and anyone else with an interest in discovering the next big thing. (The Arctic Monkeys and Klaxons, among others, owe much of their early and quick success to MySpace hype.)

The bad news is that to sell their tracks on MySpace, artists will have to register their works with Snocap, which is free for the first year but $30/yr thereafter. Not a big price to pay, but still a price — my third-grade math says you’d have to sell a few dozen tracks, perhaps more, to make back your investment every year. Which matters if what you’re selling is extremely obscure, or not very good.

Also, MySpace is getting a bit crowded. Now that everyone knows it’s the place to be if you’re an unsigned band, quality is going down. This is partially due to the economics of social networking — you discover new bands by trolling the “friends” of bands you like, and the quality of what you get depends on the editing skills of the band in question. Many bands (and their management) spend hours just spamming people for MySpace links. So if you’re like me, who doesn’t accept friend requests from artists he doesn’t care for (no offense), or who are obviously just trolling for more friends, you can still find good stuff based on those recommendations. On the other hand, artists have an incentive to accept every friend request they get, which means zero quality control.

But what about you? Are you in a band? Are you on MySpace? What are you getting out of it? Would you sell your tracks there, if you could? Let me know in comments.

Radio Birdman Revitalized

posted by on September 6 at 5:13 PM

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Photo courtesy of Black Shadow Photography

Bumbershoot may have proven to be a disastrous affair for myself (honestly, I’m not yet ready to talk about how much Blondie let me down), but my experience at the Radio Birdman show was so euphoria-inducing that my weekend was far from disappointing.

When you choose to attend a reunion appearance by a legendary band, you have to take your chances and accept the fact that the odds are generally not in your favor. Honestly, I had no idea what to expect from Radio Birdman—I just knew that I didn’t want to risk missing a potentially historical moment. That was a wise choice. They absolutely tore it up—and for a good hour or so. Even the newer material (which I’m not as crazy about) sounded vital, fresh, and was delivered with an energy level normally only conjured by bands who are 25 years younger. Was anyone else as bowled over as I was? How about that Stooges’ cover? Damn.

Alec Empire’s Coming to Town

posted by on September 6 at 3:31 PM

Dave rips Alec Empire a new one in last week’s Data Breaker, so I’m sure he’ll be happy to know that Alec Empire’s bringing his Futurist incarnation to Chop Suey on November 26th. When Atari Teenage Riot exploded onto the scene, I was convinced that they would bridge the gap between the techno and rock worlds, taking their abrasive sound to the masses ( “Sick to Death” annoyed many of neighbors). It didn’t quite work out that way obviously, but for a moment in time the “futurist” label definitely applied (as long as that future was bleak and post-apocalyptic). That time has passed. In any case, here’s a video from that more promising period of Empire’s career as Atari Teenage Riot provided the soundtrack to what became a real riot in Berlin on May 1, 1999. It’s safe to say that Alec Empire doesn’t quite hold the same degree of influence he did then, but maybe the stage show has managed to maintain its power.

What I’m currently listening to…

posted by on September 6 at 3:10 PM

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And I’m not ashamed. “Johnny, Are You Queer?” is a great song!

Okay it’s awful, actually. But I still love it.

“Johnny, are you… you know… ohhhh! Johnny!”

What’s getting you through the workday? And don’t be shy. Yours has to be much less embarrassing than mine.

WFMU & Freaking the Frequencies

posted by on September 6 at 10:18 AM

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A post on the WFMU’s Beware of the Blog regarding Paul Pearson’s recent story in The Stranger, “Freaking the Frequencies,”¯ appears here. You can check out WFMU’s recent playlists here.

One thing we got wrong in the piece was WFMU’s revenue-generating prowess: the station has yet to surpass the $1 million mark for any of its annual fundraisers. We regret the error.

Thanks to Mark Kaufman, who illustrated Paul’s story (see graphic above), for the tip.


Tuesday, September 5, 2006

Boards of Canada Tribute Night, Sept. 6

posted by on September 5 at 8:48 PM

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This looks potentially interesting. For more on Boards of Canada, go here and here.

Ennio Morricone to Play the U.S. For the First Time

posted by on September 5 at 3:37 PM

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Hell, I didn’t even know the guy was still alive, but I consider the opportunity to see Mr. Morricone conducting a 100-piece orchestra through his cinematic catalog an excellent reason to travel to NYC next February.

The Future of the Mirabeau Room

posted by on September 5 at 1:09 PM

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The rumors have been swirling for quite some time, and it does look like the Queen Anne nightclub is headed for big changes in either ownership or ambience. Owner Dave Meinert has confirmed that a sale to an undisclosed party is pending; if that does not go through, the club will be closing for remodeling at the end of this week. This week’s poetry and comedy showcases (slated for tonight and Wednesday, respectively) will still take place; the last scheduled event is this Saturday, when the band “Awesome” will perform. I’ll post more details as they become available.

Bumbershoot ‘06 Observations

posted by on September 5 at 12:33 PM

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Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk

Sean Nelson, Emeritus weighs in here about his Bumbershoot experience. I agree with his views to some extent, but I did manage to witness more good music than he did. However, I avoided the funnel cakes and hotdogs, so I was perhaps more mobile than Mr. Nelson. Think about that for next year, Sean.

One of the great things about this annual fest is how it yields so many different responses. To rely on that ever-handy clichĆ©, what you get out of Bumbershoot is what you put into it (to a degree, anyway; savvy booking policies by the organizers sure help to increase one’s odds of having a blast). In order to have a smashing time, you need to scheme with maniacal wiliness. You have to pace and nourish yourself as if on a military mission. Most importantly, you need to possess a high tolerance for unpleasant aromas. So, without further ado, here are some hastily scrawled observations on the final two days of Bumbershoot 2006 (read day one’s notes here).

Sunday Sept 3
—Caught 10 minutes of Vashti Bunyan and her chamber-folk ensemble. They played a snoozy, delicate brand of wispy British folk music that would’ve gone over better in a library or ‘round a campfire. Championed by the neo-folk movers and shakers, Bunyan brought new meaning to word “understated.”¯ Her voice was vaporized by gentle breezes.
—Decibel showcase in EMP Sky Church: solid crowd for Synth Club, who sophisticatedly glided through tech-house’s major thoroughfares, but maybe set it too often in cruise control. More variation would be welcome. However, the venue emptied to pathetic levels for the next two acts (can you say, “Kanye West, Mainstage”?). Nevertheless, Seattle’s Lusine was his usual technically brilliant self, finding ever more nuanced gradations of techno and electro that haven’t been overdone even at this late date. Deadbeat (Scott Monteith) trekked all the way from Montreal to peddle his fathoms-deep dub techno. His bass lines disturbed the earth’s core as he fully exploited the Sky Church’s awe-inspiring sound system. Everything tonight sounded crisp and voluptuous. But the Sky Church proved to be a less than ideal place to experience festival music: the restrooms were locked so people had to leave the building to relieve themselves in Honey Buckets and beverages were not available. Talk about punter-unfriendly circumstances. Memo to Bumbershoot: don’t continue this setup.
—While Deadbeat was magnificently chilling the Sky Church air, Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk blazed the atmosphere at Bumbrella with some raw, dirty Nawlinsā„¢ funk. Ignore the band’s unfortunate name—they bring it with truckloads of flavor and grit; they ain’t doing nothing new, but no matter. Their brand of funk is a timeless aphrodisiac. If Neville’s feral, growling Hohner organ doesn’t get you going, you may want to get your mojo examined.

Monday Sept 4
—I unfortunately missed Cancer Rising but heard they represented 206 hiphop with authority.
—At Bumbrella, Breakestra ran through the 100 most sampled funk tunes ever with zeal and precision. Their originals scorched, too, and they got a little microphone therapy from Seattle diva Choklate. Bumbrella this year was a haven of funk and it became apparent that this genre thrives in these big outdoor settings. Folks were tearing up the sod with their moves thanks to all the fantastic funk going down here.
—Got shut out of Tinkle for the second day in a row. Next year, put the comedy shows in Key Arena. For real.
—Minneapolis hiphop unit Atmosphere at Mainstage were spirited, tight, and pretty much bullshit-free. They gave fans tracks that spanned almost their entire career and proved to be worthy scene-setters for A Tribe Called Quest. Speaking of whom, the Native Tongues legends came out the gate with some of their less obvious tracks (“Buggin’ Out,”¯ “Jazz (We’ve Got),”¯ “Butter”¯). Their lyrical interchanges could’ve been tighter, but the music sounded damned good, even from 100 yards away. But my companions became antsy due to the absence of hits, so we headed to Bumbrella to catch a bit of the English Beat (if anyone saw the entire Tribe set, please fill us in; last thing I heard was “Everything Is Fair”¯).
The English Beat competently chopped out their breezy, tuneful brand of Two Tone pop, and gamely covered the greatest Motown song ever (Smokey Robinson’s “The Tears of a Clown”¯). We left during one of the English Beat’s finest songs—”Twist and Crawl”¯—because we’re the type of people who think it’s always a good idea to leave on a high note. And we were dead tired.
—Most memorable Bumbershoot sighting: a mime cipher. That shit was intense.


Monday, September 4, 2006

PM Dawn: A 15-Year Late Clarification

posted by on September 4 at 1:22 PM

This post is mainly for Dave, but will be of interest to any other PM Dawn fans out there. Back in the early nineties, the story went around that KRS-One tossed them off stage during one of their performances. I remember hearing the story from my friend Greg who read The Source, and it immediately killed the ability to be into PM Dawn’s music in our neck of the woods. We were young and impressionable, so despite the fact that the whole cosmic hippie thing already implied as much, Krs-One’s move meant they were soft, and we couldn’t have any of that. Our musical tastes moved on. Well, here’s a clarification on the tale making the rounds, which blames KRS-One’s move for the decline of hip-hop.

In case you’re wondering (and I know you are), PM Dawn is still around, but way under the radar. They’re currently on tour, but not coming anywhere near here.

[Thanks Ario!]

Can’t Please Everyone

posted by on September 4 at 1:04 PM

We at The Stranger are obviously huge fans of British crooner/tinkerer Jamie Lidell. The Seattle Times, on the other hand, has a different view:

In his native England, Jamie Lidell’s voice has been favorably compared to the pipes of such august soul singers as Otis Redding and Marvin Gaye. But he gave the Bumbershoot crowd only a small taste of that agile vocal power in service of a song, in a set dominated by lengthy techno-jams with … well, himself.

Appearing on Fisher Green in a buttoned-up trench coat and pastel blue scarf (he was expecting rain), Lidell opened with a full-throated original ballad. But after introducing a row of synthesizers as his band, he focused mainly on long, monotonous, heavily processed vocal jams. Next time he plays Seattle, let’s hope he makes his touted voice the star.

OK, so taste is taste, can’t please everyone, etc., but this reviewer seems to have missed the point entirely. (Admittedly, again, we’re biased here.) Jamie Lidell is interesting because he mixes up soulful vocals with “long, monotonous, heavily processed vocal jams.” He’s not James Brown, or even James Blunt. You can’t do an apples-to-apples comparison between him and whatever crooner-of-the-month you find on the rack at Starbucks, for the same reason you can’t fault techno music for not having verses and choruses, or rappers for talking instead of singing.

Hope this guy isn’t assigned to cover the Decibel Festival.

I don’t think anyone expected the set to be a live re-creation of Multiply — he has a well-established audience here that knows exactly what’s gonna go down, because they’ve seen him at Neumo’s, Chop Suey and Sasquatch already. And if some people don’t get it, no problem. We’re hoping that the next time he comes to town, he’ll do exactly what he did at Bumbershoot — including setting the speakers on fire — because that’s why we like him.

Update: Tom Scanlon, whose byline graces this piece on the Times’ Web site, clarifies that he did not write the above passage on Jamie Lidell. As with many stories covering such hydra-like events as Bumbershoot, many reporters contribute to the overall piece and are credited with small italicized text at the bottom that I was too blinded by rage to read. Sorry, Tom. We’ll give you the credit but withdraw the blame. :-)


Sunday, September 3, 2006

A Pool, A Fool and Kickin’ it Old Skool..

posted by on September 3 at 8:29 PM

As much as I love living in NYC, thinking about the legendary Ms. Harry and the Mary J. Blige of punk rock, Beth Ditto on the same stage Saturday made me real homesick for Bumbershooting. The skies over Brooklyn this weekend have been gray and rainy enough to make it feel Seattley, so my sweetie and I took in the last free show of the summer at McCarren Pool in Williamsburg.

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The Latest Remix Hotness…

posted by on September 3 at 2:45 PM

…comes from Banksy, who is in my opinion one of the greatest artists/provocateurs working today. His last big coup was to sneak brilliant fake art into the Brooklyn Museum, NY MoMA and the Museum of Natural History back in March of ‘05.

Now he’s taken up remixing. Stop into one of 48 record shops around the UK to pick up a doctored version of Paris Hilton’s lovely new record, with re-imagined album art and remixed versions of the singles by Banksy himself. In the spirit of the Barbie Liberation Front, the new CDs were snuck back into stores with the original barcode intact. The BBC reports that no buyers have complained or returned the Banksy CDs, which presumably are way better than the original.

This is so much funnier than usual because the album is tanking faster than a plane full of snakes, while the Banksy versions, if available, would likely out-download it by an order of magnitude.

The first person to sort me out with digital copies of the Banksy remixes gets a selection of quality promo CDs, and if someone out there is connected enough to get me one of the actual CDs, they can have my car and my cat.

Update: Waxploitation confirms that Banksy’s collaborator on this lovely project was Danger Mouse, he of Gnarls Barkley, Gorillaz, Grey Album, etc. fame. Quoth the press release:

“Its hard to improve on perfection, but we had to try.”

Bumbershoot Highlights, Day 1

posted by on September 3 at 1:45 PM

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Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings

Deerhoof’s sparky, spasmodic, tartly cute rock in a space (Exhibition Hall) with some of the worst acoustics I’ve ever (mis)heard.
Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings’ disciplined, sexy old-school funk and soul, played by formally dressed folks in 75-degree heat. Scorching.
Bag ‘n’ Pipe Hoppers, the bagpipes and drums duo busking on the sidewalk near Memorial Stadium, pumped out incredibly funky breakbeats and sonorous drones, an unlikely combo that worked like a low-end Highlands charm. They kilt it.
Flatstock at Fisher Pavillion—a consistently eye-dazzling spectacle.
Jamie Lidell—holy shit. I expected him to keep things fairly conventional for the Bumber masses, but instead the Brit crooner/beatboxer/keyboard-wrangler often extended his Multiply material into perversely zigzagging, frequency-freaking marathons that became progressively deeper, more complex, and stranger with each minute. “The City”¯ and “A Little Bit More”¯ especially impressed with improvisational pizzazz. At one point, a speaker onstage burst into flames; only a miracle kept the crowd from following suit. Lidell’s witty between-song banter was worth the price of admission, as was his gold-lamĆ© jacket accentuated with an aquamarine towel. I’d hit it—and I’m straight.

Mild disappointments: NOMO (their Midwestern, jazzy take on Fela Kuti’s Afrobeat mantras never really picked up steam); Of Montreal (their whimsical, drama-student dance rock doesn’t translate well to outdoor stages).