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Archives for 09/17/2006 - 09/23/2006

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Crucial Website Alert

posted by on September 23 at 3:21 PM

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Downhill Battle is a non-profit organization working to support participatory culture and build a fairer music industry.”

This online thorn in the RIAA’s side includes a scathing article about iTunes.

Thanks to Andy “Scientific American” Rohrmann.

This Week(end) in Music News

posted by on September 23 at 11:31 AM

A variety of distractions took me away from music news this week, so I’m just catching up now:

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Chan Marshall

Dealing with her stagefright via oceans of booze and Xanax wasn’t working out so well, so Cat Power’s Chan Marshall has cleaned up her act. Good for her, I say—that last record is just lovely and a consistent live presence from her is something to look forward to. On a related note, check out this pic of her from a New Yorker photo shoot. I’m guessing it was taken before she sobered up. Meow.

NYC-based experimental composer and musician John Zorn has snagged himself a MacArthur Foundation fellowship.

The Sugarcubes will celebrate their 20th anniversary by getting back together.

Napster may be up for sale again.

Paul Westerberg has written songs for a forthcoming cartoon about “cuddly forest animals.” I can’t hardly wait! Just kidding.

Finally, if you’re wondering what to do with your Saturday evening, Nathan Carson strongly recommends that your go see Mastodon, as do I.


Friday, September 22, 2006

12-hour Play at CoCA

posted by on September 22 at 4:56 PM

Jason E. Anderson, local experimental musician and founder of the Make Jet Silent label, is co-producing with performing artist Beth Graczyk a very intensive interval of improvised music and dance this Saturday—12 hours nonstop.

I’ve seen bits and pieces of former 12 and 24-hour plays and the creative interactions between the musicians and dancers in varying states of inspiration and exhaustion are always surprising and yield a very memorable experience.

Attendees are welcome to stop in at any time and to stay as long as they like during the performance.

Musicians: Angela Baldoz, Jeff Huston, Cristin Miller
Dancers: Beth Graczyk, Sean Ryan, Mark Haim, Amelia Reeber, John Dixon

12 HOUR PLAY

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 2006
CoCA - 410 Dexter Ave N
6PM to 6AM
$5-10 donation

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The Eternal Pleasures of the Nuggets Boxed Sets

posted by on September 22 at 3:52 PM

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It’s one of the great paradoxes that the songs on the Nuggets boxed sets continue to offer pleasure 40-some years after they were recorded. Paradoxical because most of these tunes were banged out by youths in garages trying to score quick regional hits or simply seeking a creative outlet for their frustrations (with girls, mostly; this stuff remains a potent template for teen angst to this day; also, this domain is dominated by heterosexual males).

Both Nuggets boxed sets are essential. There are few duds among the hundreds of songs on the eight CDs contained on Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era 1965-1968 and Nuggets II: Original Artyfacts from the British Empire and Beyond 1964-1969. Although they consist of dozens of variations on a pretty narrow theme, the Nuggets boxes almost always deliver visceral thrills, no matter how familiar the formula sounds.

What prevails throughout most of the material here is the unabashed joy of rocking in an era when studios were becoming more sophisticated and hallucinogens more plentiful. Rock was in its first seriously expansive phase and you can sense the glorious smack of the new, the palpable eureka! of expanded possibilities with practically every song on Nuggets. The songs here are absolutely free of irony and postmodernism’s enervating effects.

After years of sifting through the contents of these boxes, the tracks with which I’ve become most obsessed are Richard and the Young Lions’ “Open Up Your Door” and the Del-Vetts’ “Last Time Around.” (I previously raved about another Nuggets classic on Slog, but I’m not as enamored of it as I am of these two.) I can listen to both tunes several times a day and not tire of them. If you know me, you know how rare of a phenomenon this is.

Something about “Open Up Your Door”ť and “Last Time Around”ť fills me with feelings of eternal youth and the attendant sense of indestructibility I obviously should know better to harbor. But such are these songs’ thrusting momentum, their utterly fulfilling sing-along choruses, their scuzzily fuzzed-up bass lines, and the singers’ thrilling hormonal expressiveness and desperation that I can’t debate my way out of my passionate embrace of them. The fact that I’ve not heard another note from the rest of either artist’s catalog makes the specialness of these gems even greater.

What Nuggets tracks have a similar affect on you, and why? Wake up, Nipper!

Lover, You Should’ve Come Over

posted by on September 22 at 2:16 PM

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Tonight Gallery 1412 hosts the haunting ochestral pop of Rebecca Moore, one time love and muse of Jeff Buckley. Moore, an accomplished NYC performance artist and musician in her own right, grew up with avant influences thanks to her FLUXUS photographer father, Peter Moore and her mother Barbara, an art historian. Moore is currently at work on her third album for John Zorn’s record label Tzadik, which has released some of Mike Patton’s weirder and wilder vocal experiments as well as albums by Jim O’Rourke and Wayne Horvitz.

Gallery 1412’s cozy setting should be ideal for the restrained intensity of Rebecca Moore’s sleepy strings and rich lyrics (on display below).
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Roy Acuff, marketing whiz

posted by on September 22 at 1:44 PM

I spent this afternoon, my last in Nashville before the 2006 AMA Awards ceremony tonight, touring the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Hello, EMP (or rather, what’s left of you)? Music City is kicking your ass. And judging from the busloads of folks walking through, the CMHOF in no financial danger. I loved seeing Sara Carter’s original autoharp, vintage clips of Wanda Jackson performing on TV, and senior citizens getting upset when they saw Gram Parsons’ pot-leaf-and-pills-covered Nudie suit. (Although one of them simply disliked it from a design standpoint: “I don’t care what they are, that’s too busy,” she clucked.) But my favorite item was a old bag for Roy Acuff brand flour.

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Every sack (made out of durable cambric, which folks often recycled into clothes or other goods, hence the term “flour sack dress”) had a doll of Roy on the back you could cut out, stuff, and sew together. Now that’s smart marketing!

Oh, and yes, there are still people here who boo, hiss, or spew obscenitites when they see anything relating to the Dixie Chicks. Sigh. To the Hall of Fame’s credit, the Chicks still feature prominently in several exhibits regardless.

The Love/Hate Debate

posted by on September 22 at 12:10 PM

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Jason from Nectar reports that last night’s Iceage Cobra/Whore Moans show was packed freakin’ solid. I’d love some feedback from attendees. Did the Whore Moans live up to the much debated hype?

RE: DFA or Jelinek?

posted by on September 22 at 11:41 AM

I tried to do both last night but was only able to catch Kris Moon’s dub set before giving in to the lure of DFA’s sweaty disco.

Juan Maclean and James Murphy were fantastic, ably mixing disco classics with more modern electro and techno. The enthusiastic crowd gathered late and peaked a little after midnight, but that’s Seattle for you.

So what exactly made Kris’s set last night a “dub” set? He was working a laptop and a controller keyboard, but I didn’t see any tape delays up there. Jedd suggested that maybe “dub” has replaced “deep” as a way to refer to more mellow, spaced-out techno. Any thoughts?


Thursday, September 21, 2006

Where Are They Now?

posted by on September 21 at 5:17 PM

I’ve tried to cut back on regurgitating music-related news from other blogs, but this is a matter of life and death — SoundExchange, an organization that collects and distributes digital music royalties, has just published a list of artists who they owe royalties to, but cannot locate. Check this musical Amber Alert and keep an eye out at the grocery store or the airport for such obscure artists as Siouxsie and the Banshees, Booker T and the MGs and Public Enemy. Where the hell could they be?!?!?

OK, to be fair, the good people at Boing Boing spun this one a bit — these artists aren’t missing, although some of them are dead or just very obscure — they simply haven’t yet registered with SoundExchange, and they’ve got money on the table. If they’re not registered, there’s nowhere to send the fat checks. Hence the list.

But still: why aren’t these artists (or their management) signing up? Is the money not good enough to cover the ink and stamps? Are they suspicious of SoundExchange for some reason? Are they keeping their distance since it was originally an offshoot of the grandmother- and corpse-suing RIAA? Any artist or manager with at least a room-temperature IQ knows that the paperwork to collect all these publishing/performance checks is well worth the effort. It’s your money, take it! If you don’t, they’ll give it to Michael Jackson. (This is important even if you’re a little guy/gal — I paid for a nice trip to Japan with one such check.)

Anyway, you might want to check the list and see if you’re on it. I’m curious to see how much revenue they’re collecting for the average band…

DFA or Jelinek

posted by on September 21 at 2:52 PM

I’m just now starting to feel like myself after running myself ragged last weekend. Thus far this week I’ve managed to miss DJ Shadow, Serena Maneesh and countless other things the last few days, but tonight I’m headed out of the apartment. Do I head to:

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A) James Murphy vs. The Juan Maclean DJ Set at Chop Suey, for the disco dance party

- or -

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B) Jan Jelinek w/Kris Moon, DJ Eddie @ Neumos, free with a Decibel pass.

Considering Dave’s constant Jelinek praise it’s safe to say that’s where he’ll be. What about the rest of you? If I’m going to be missing Adult Swim, I want to be sure it’s worth it.

Scissor Sisters: London Roundup

posted by on September 21 at 2:40 PM

Okay, maybe you’re sick of all the Scissor Sisters stuff on Slog/Line Out lately, but we love our hometown heroes making it big in the world, and i’m especially proud of my friends in the Scissor Sisters.

With that in mind, skip this post if you don’t want anymore tales of debauchery from London and Trafalgar Square, where the band just released their new cd, Ta - Dah.


Continue reading "Scissor Sisters: London Roundup" »

Very Early Recorded Sound

posted by on September 21 at 2:18 PM

Unless you believe in paleoacoustics, the earliest known recorded music in existence is a chorus of 4000 voices singing an excerpt of Handel’s Israel in Egypt recorded over 100 yards away on June 29, 1888.

My favorite is the third selection, “After dinner toast at Little Menlo.” Composer Arthur Sullivan (of Gilbert & Sullivan fame) was “astonished at the wonderful power you have developed, and terrified at the thought that so much hideous and bad music may be put on record forever.”

Made on paraffin wax cylinders, the recordings are profoundly low-fi. A century later, “music” comes full circle. Anyone following the frontiers of music (think Bernhard Gunter, Francisco Lopez, Steve Roden, et al.) knows that previously undesirable audio artifacts (bristling pops and ticks, shrouds of hiss) have been part of the composer’s arsenal for the last decade. Today’s glitch is tomorrow’s melody.

Is Anyone Else Watching American Masters: Andy Warhol ?

posted by on September 21 at 11:58 AM

The first two hours last night focused on his pre-Factory career, and tonight we delve into ‘65 (enter the VU) on. It was lovely to see Warhol’s controversial career dissected with such honesty, intricacy and care. I found Laurie Anderson’s narration superb. I’ve been thinking about Warhol recently, as I just attended a fabulously depraved art show by Peter Caine in Brooklyn that Andy surely would have approved of.

I was also blown away by Scorsese’s Dylan retrospective earlier this year. American Masters has got to be the best social documentary series of all time. It’s nice to have something besides the BBC News to watch on PBS.

New Episode of Setlist

posted by on September 21 at 11:25 AM

Click here to listen to music from Wormwood, White Gold, Steel Tigers of Death, Cancer Rising, Evil Twin, and more, plus get all the show info you need to go out and see ‘em this weekend. Hooray!

It’s My Birthday, All Hail Mclusky

posted by on September 21 at 8:50 AM

It just sucks that Mclusky broke up, because if they had not prematurely dissolved—and if I had the pull in my dreams—they’d be acting out this video in my living room right now. With the rogue penguin. Behold:


Wednesday, September 20, 2006

UPDATE: DV One Assaulted by Police

posted by on September 20 at 4:57 PM

I’m hearing that the courtroom was packed with members of the local hiphop and music community in solidarity with DV One. One would-be supporter actually got out of line because she felt removing all her jewelry to pass through the metal detector would hold up the long line of people waiting behind her.

Dave Meinert posted the following update in the Slog’s comments:

We just got back from DV One’s hearing. There was an amazing turnout from the Seattle Hip Hop community. Here’s what we learned -
[Toby Christian,] DV One is being prosecuted for Assult 3, a felony assult charge. His next court date is next Wednesday Sept 27th at 8:30 am at the King Country Courthouse room E1201, 516 3rd Avenue, downtown Seattle. Please show up to support. We have seen this type of abuse more than too often. We need to draw the line NOW.

We have also heard that Mayor Greg Nickels has already requested an investigation of the case by the Office of Professional Accountability. This is good, but it will go nowhere unless we demand action.

Please get active. Write to the emails below and

Demand the charges against Toby Christian (DV One) are dropped.
Demand that felony assault charges are brought against The Officers involved in beating Toby and his daughter.

Demand more public oversight of the Seattle Police.

King County Prosecutor (norm.maleng@metrokc.gov);
Tom Carr (thomas.carr@seattle.gov);
Asst. Chief of Police James Pugel (james.pugel@seattle.gov);
David Della (David.Della@Seattle.gov);
Nick Licata (Nick.Licata@Seattle.gov);
Richard Conlin (conlin@speakeasy.org);
Peter Steinbrueck (peter.steinbrueck@seattle.gov);
Jean Godden (Jean.Godden@Seattle.gov);
Jan Drago (jan.drago@seattle.gov);
Richard McIver (richard.mciver@seattle.gov);
Sally Clarke (Sally.Clark@seattle.gov);

write to Mayor Greg Nickels here

Posted by meinert - September 20, 2006 04:41 PM

Your Favorite Shop (May Already Be Fucked)

posted by on September 20 at 2:40 PM

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Some vinyl, yesterday: oh, the pathos.

Online zine Stylus is currently running a week-long series about its writers’ favorite record stores, covering a different region of America each day. The shop summaries are freighted with a poignantly elegiac tone, as if we are already in the post-brick-and-mortar world of music retail. Many of the establishments discussed here are defunct or are on the fast track to folding up shop.

These paeans to wax emporia and compact disc cathedrals may seem hopelessly quaint to the brave new generation of netizens who acquire their music from remote locations with a few clicks of their mice. These folks who don’t get nostalgic over the moldy smell of decaying LPs or who know not the pleasurable wrist fatigue that comes from flicking through thousands of vinyls will wonder what all the fuss is about. While it’s nice to not have to deal with some clerks’ snobbish attitudes and a relief to avoid the olfactory assaults with which some less-hygienic customers plague you, there’s ultimately something terribly antiseptic and unsatisfying about downloading music or ordering it online.

I’ve already bemoaned this depressing state of affairs here and here, so I’ll spare you any further bitching. I’ll end this post by recommending (if you live in Seattle or are visiting) that you hit Jive Time, Wall of Sound, Respect, Easy Street, Sonic Boom, Platinum, Bop Street, etc. while you still have the chance. Talk to the people behind the counters, rifle through the bins, read some liner notes, spin some records on the turntables. These crucial components of the music geek’s lifestyle are being threatened with extinction, and it’s not easy to be cheerful about it.

You know you’re in Music City when…

posted by on September 20 at 2:40 PM

… the complimentary toiletries in your hotel room include a boot buffer!

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And, yes, I did use mine this morning—even if my motorcyle boots are nowhere near as fancy as some of the footwear I’m seeing here at the 2006 Americana Music Association conference this week.

You missed Maritime, dummy.

posted by on September 20 at 2:30 PM

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Maybe you didn’t take my advice and go to the Maritime show last night. If that’s the case, then you, dear fool, are a… uh… fool.

Read why after the jump.

Continue reading "You missed Maritime, dummy." »

RE: DJ DV-One Assaulted By Police

posted by on September 20 at 2:20 PM

[edit: seems that Keenan and I posted at about the same time, so I’ve deleted the redundant info from my post]

Last Thursday, Sept. 14, DJ DV-One and his daughter were reportedly attacked by Seattle Police after attending a high school football game at Memorial Stadium.

It may be too late to show your support in person today as the prosecutor determines whether to press charges (2:30pm Today in the King County Jail BLDG courthouse, Courtroom #1, if you can run there now), but you can still write to local government officials showing your support for DV-One and your opposition to the sad clichĂ© that is, “police brutality,” and the particularly sadder clichĂ© of “police brutality” against a black man.

The following is re-posted from a bulletin by civic-minded local music industry man about town, Dave Meinert:

Once again the Seattle Police have brutally attacked an unarmed African American male, and prominent a member of the Seattle music community. We need to come out and make sure this abuse gets the attention it deserves. We must demand all charges against Toby and his daughter are dropped, that the Officers who committed these acts are prosecuted, and that Toby and his daughter are compensated for the pain and suffering caused by the people who are supposedly paid to protect us.

We know DV One to be a upstanding member of our community and the music scene in general.
Please write the following people demanding justice for Toby and his daughter. The below emails include the Mayor’s office, The City Attorney, and Seattle City Council. Write them immediately and demand all charges against Toby and his daughter are dropped and that an immediate investigation into the officers begins.

Send email to:

Regina LaBelle (RmLaBelle@seattle.gov); Tom Carr (thomas.carr@seattle.gov); Asst. Chief of Police James Pugel (james.pugel@seattle.gov); David Della (David.Della@Seattle.gov); Nick Licata (Nick.Licata@Seattle.gov); Richard Conlin (conlin@speakeasy.org); Peter Steinbrueck (peter.steinbrueck@seattle.gov); Jean Godden (Jean.Godden@Seattle.gov); Jan Drago (jan.drago@seattle.gov); Richard McIver (richard.mciver@seattle.gov); Sally Clarke (Sally.Clark@seattle.gov)

The Avant Garde Project

posted by on September 20 at 11:47 AM

One hurdle to exploring adventurous music is the scarcity and expense of out-of-print vinyl.

Here’s a remedy: The Avant Garde Project series has digitzed two dozen scarce LPs. So far I’ve delved into the New Phonic Art group (with Stockhausen’s discontented trombonist Vinko Globokar) and found more work by the under-rated electronic music pioneer Josef Anton Riedl.

John Cage is there too, and the prized instruments demonstration record of Harry Partch sounds better than my crackly copy. Although it’s not on the site yet, AGP24 features some astounding vintage electronic music by Toru Takemitsu.

Some might complain, but just about every follower of the avant I know would buy this stuff on CD - even after downloading it. I certainly would. Nobody fetishizes objects and packaging like fans of the avant. Get ‘em while you can.

Indie Rock is Hot

posted by on September 20 at 11:26 AM

I stumbled upon this little gem while researching one of Banksy’s recent pranks:

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Ugh.

It got me thinking about a recent post on Chris Ott’s excellent blog, Shallow Rewards.

Here are some excerpts (emphasis added):

In the broad strokes, indie rock only worked when there was a controlling industry to operate in contrast with.
“That’s all bullshit, we listen to alternative/college/punk music. We’re in on something.” …there’s a tenuous but nonetheless real defense for that kind of elitism, since there was effort involved. You had to mail away for those records or work out a ride to the cool record store to buy them. Today, everything sells what it really sells (Soundscan), you can get it anywhere (online), and it’s pretty boring. We’ve lost the mystery that allowed independent music to seem “cool.” The same way the internet has broken up the corporate record label shell game, it’s shattered the illusion/delusion of independence from that game. The shadow every indie label, band and fan schemed under ““ and, most importantly, felt empowered through fighting, or simply ignoring ““ is gone.
Today, the internet allows people who were intimidated by the scene I’m talking about ““ by the sneering elitism and “poseur” catcalls ““ to read up on all these supposedly cool bands and just decide, “I’m cool!” without passing any of the sort of tests that the community had in place. It’s a weird elitist point, but it’s very important to my mind: there is no social element to music anymore. It used to be a filter, a way to sniff around for friends in the confusing maze of adolescence and your twenties. You know, “That girl is so rad…what’s her shirt say? What’s ALL? Fuck I am such a loser.” And then maybe you don’t care enough or have the balls to go out and find an ALL record and listen to it, to wear an ALL shirt to school two months later. Maybe you’ll tell yourself, “Everyone will see through me, I’m such a poseur,” and maybe that’s a valuable lesson, maybe you’re learning something about yourself, about who you really, honestly are, and what you really, honestly like and want to emulate. The same way you don’t have to do any homework today, you don’t have to confront what listening to a certain kind of music ““ being a certain kind of person ““ means because everything is up for grabs. Everything is an advertisement, and not for you or who you are and what you go through, or who you run with, but for something you saw or heard about and want to be associated with. You don’t have to go to a record store to buy it. You don’t have to talk to the (possible) snob behind the counter or figure out how to dress so you’re not trying too hard. You don’t have to wait three weeks until someone can get their parents’ car so you can drive into the nearest city and buy a zine or the new SST album (if there is one, you’re not even sure). You don’t have to understand anyone else or figure out how to behave, to fit in with them. Everything is instant, so it just becomes a chorus of adoption, of co-branding and fractious, insecure commentary, with as many people chanting “This is amazing!” as “This is worthless!”

And here is a picture of Jeff Mangum:


Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Confirmed: Cyndi Lauper is a Genius, Slog Readers are Helpful

posted by on September 19 at 6:10 PM

Earlier today, I Slogged about my previously fruitless search for the Brains’ original of “Money Changes Everything,” a song I know and love through Cyndi Lauper’s cover version on her debut. While going back-n-forth in the comments, I also mentioned that I’d love to find the original of Robert Hazard’s “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” a song I also know and love through Cyndi Lauper’s cover version on her debut.

Well, thanks to some wonderful Slog readers—specifically Chris and the superstar known as Fnarf—I’ve ended the day having heard both tracks.

Actually, I only got to hear a 40-second snippet of Hazard’s “Girls…” (available here), but it sounds great, and the Brains’ track is awesome.

However, the true hero is Cyndi Lauper, who makes big, glossy masterpieces of both songs. I’m tempted to say her taste for and way with covers is beyond reproach, but I’m not so hot on her version of “When You Were Mine” (too tame compared to Prince’s original) and then there’s the matter of True Colors’ “Iko, Iko,” which is better left unmentioned.

Thanks again to Chris and Fnarf, as well as KEXP’s Larry Rose, who kindly offered to spin the Brains’ tune on “Larry’s Lounge” this Sunday from 3pm to 6pm…

Tonight’s Best Psych-Rock Option

posted by on September 19 at 5:33 PM

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Lean Norwegians with impeccable bone structure forging alternately blissful shoegazer ballads and explosively coiled psych rock that trebles your libido—what’s not to like? Serena Maneesh tear it up at Neumo’s tonight. See my preview below.

SERENA MANEESH, WOVEN HAND, EVANGELICALS (Neumo’s) Once in a while the Pitchfork hype machine gets it right. Case in point: Serena Maneesh. The Norwegian sextet burn with a passion that would impress a Woodstocked Jimi Hendrix. That makes them a very rare breed of post—My Bloody Valentine rock unit indeed. Frontman Emil Nikolaisen and his sisters Elvira and Hilma mirror MBV’s erotic coo (elongated vowels do most of the heavy lifting; always works like a charm) while the band grind with libidinous torque and churn with first-fuck fervor. Their self-titled album on PlayLouderecordings is a surging, radiant gem that occasionally glints melodic beauty, but Serena Maneesh really thrive onstage, where their intensity trebles—and crowds tremble. Woven Hand (16 Horsepower’s David Eugene Edwards) may be the finest proponent of that difficult fusion, goth-Americana. Check out his blackly tumultuous new disc Mosaic for proof.

Maritime and Boat and Speaker Speaker, Oh My!

posted by on September 19 at 1:40 PM

In this week’s Stranger Suggests, I say this:

Maritime, Speaker Speaker, Boat
(MUSIC) You’ll go to this show because the very loveable Boat and Speaker Speaker are playing, and because Boat’s new record, Songs That You Might Not Like, is a wonderful symphony of quirky sounds and goofy lyrics that make you feel like you’re walking through clouds made of cotton candy. And once at the show, you’ll stay because Maritime’s lovely and poignant indie pop makes you want to dance and smile more than you’ll want to stare at your shoes with watery eyes. (The Paradox, 1401 NW Leary Way, www.theparadox.org. 7:30 pm, $8, all ages.) MEGAN SELING

The show is tonight. You should go. I don’t so much feel like gushing over the bands right now, though, describing them with dozens of adjectives and flowery verses the way I usually do. I’m a little busy and cranky, to be honest. I’m sorry. So please just make my job easier and go listen to them yourself.

Listen to Martitime here.
Listen to Speaker Speaker here.
Listen to Boat here.
Listen to the Lonely Forest here.

I will say, though, that all four bands are great. F’reals. And it only costs $8 to get through the door, which comes to just two bucks a band. What a deal! Also, the Paradox is close to a 7-11, so between sets you’ll have time to go get a Slurpee. Slurpees make everything better. And if that’s not enough, Jasen from Speaker Speaker is prone to making this face in public places. There’s a little extra incentive for ya, if I do say so myself.

I will be there. How about you?

Murder City’s Back Again?

posted by on September 19 at 12:40 PM

When they reunited to headline this summer’s Capitol Hill Block Party, the Murder City Devils lead everyone to believe that the show was a one-time-only thing. But are the Devils still playing the role of an active rock band? Last night a bartender source (saying that makes me feel like I’m writing for US Magazine) overheard members of MCD talking about recording and a practice schedule…

Just gossip at this point, yes. But I wonder…

Stoner Music?

posted by on September 19 at 12:38 PM

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I noticed something odd in the press release for High Times’ 6th annual “Stony Awards,” namely that their recognition of weed-related achievements in the arts doesn’t include music. The awards focus on TV and movies, and include gilded bongs for “Best Soundtrack” and “Best Song from a Movie or TV Series,” but there are no dedicated music categories. What’s the deal?

I don’t smoke pot and I’m not that familiar with stoner culture, but you’d think music would be a pretty important part of the pot-smoking experience. What’s the deal, stoners? Is there not enough good modern music to smoke pot to anymore? Has High Times deliberately shunned the audio in favor of the visual? Or did they just forget?

What are your nominations for the 2006 informal music Stonys? Let me know in comments.

Can You Help Me Find My Brains?

posted by on September 19 at 12:14 PM

Attention music know-abouters:

I am desperately—well, not so desperately, as it’s taken 23 years so far—looking for a copy or MP3 or whatever of the Brains’ original rendition of “Money Changes Everything,” the new-wave classic covered so winningly by Cyndi Lauper on She’s So Unusual.

I’ve done Google searches, and Limewire searches, and even asked The Stranger’s in-house music scholar Mike Nipper, who previously hooked me up with the Nerves’ original rendition of “Hangin’ on the Telephone,” the new-wave classic covered so winningly by Blondie on Parallel Lines. But no luck this time.

If any of you Slog readers have any leads—worthy websites, e-jukeboxes, etc—do let me know…

Nightmares Do Come True

posted by on September 19 at 12:05 PM

The makers of 2003’s Dub Side of the Moon, now brings us Radiodread, a reggae version of Radiohead’s OK Computer.

Dear god, it’s terrible.

Mission of Burma at the Crocodile

posted by on September 19 at 11:42 AM

All photos by Gunther Jose Frank

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Friday’s Mission of Burma show at the Crocodile really couldn’t have been better, in my estimate. They generously offered up two sets of their best work, including early favorites “That’s When I Reach For My Revolver,” “Academy Fight Song,” “The Ballard of Johnny Burma,” and “That’s How I Escaped My Certain Fate.”

More photos after the jump.

Continue reading "Mission of Burma at the Crocodile" »

The not-so-friendly side of Zune

posted by on September 19 at 11:01 AM

I was begining to think the Zune was a promising iPod alternative, but any excitement I had was squashed with this news.


Monday, September 18, 2006

The New Yorker’s Minimal-Techno Moment

posted by on September 18 at 9:29 PM

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Michael Mayer: Talk of the town.

One of the last things I associate with the New Yorker magazine is German minimal techno. But the venerable publication is throwing a dance party Oct. 9 in NYC (240 W 52nd St), of course, with Kompakt Records figurehead Michael Mayer DJing (along with New Yorker pop-music critic Sasha Frere-Jones and Ezekiel Honig). If anyone goes, let me know if you see John Updike cutting a rug.

Meet David Yow, Bartender

posted by on September 18 at 5:41 PM

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As much as I enjoyed their sweaty, antagonistic set at the Touch and Go anniversary party the previous weekend, I was even happier about Scratch Acid’s Showbox set this past Saturday. Perhaps because this was the last of their three temporary reunion shows, frontman David Yow cranked everything up a notch, pushing his way into the crowd, dodging stage divers with remarkable agility, and just generally making every attentive member of the crowd feel like they were lucky to be watching the band’s final show. Showbox security rolled with the barely-controlled chaos admirably, and whoever was running the sound deserves major props for making everything sound balanced and true-toned.

Between that show and Friday’s Mission of Burma performance (more on that in a bit), I was too worn-out to head back to Capitol Hill on Sunday evening, but if I had, I could have witnessed the sight of Yow sipping Maker’s Mark straight out of the bottle with a straw while “guest bartending” and the Cha Cha. Luckily Ms. Kelly O was there and snapped the incriminating photo above.

A Smaller Decibel Story

posted by on September 18 at 3:04 PM

Walker takes advantage of open time on the Bad Juju stage
Kathy’s already covered the last day of Decibel, so I’m sharing this Decibel story for no other reason than the fact that it puts a smile on my face. It’s all second-hand, but I think I’ve got the major details correct.

Saturday night Robin Judge’s laptop provided nothing but problem after problem, so she ended her set before she’d even reached the halfway point. That left the Bad Juju stage empty, with the music coming from an iPod. Walker, a Decibel volunteer from Arizona that had been working all weekend commented to a staffer that it was a shame to let that slot just go to waste, so the staffer joked, “Yeah, it is. You have a live set?” The rest of the story fills in itself, with Walker indeed having a live set and taking the stage to play what was actually a very damn good techno set. There are no recordings, most people taking pictures are going to label them incorrectly, and unless you know the story you’d never know there was a problem at all. You always hear urban legends of stories like this, but it’s good to know that moments like this do happen in the real world. Props to Walker for his set, and I hope some of you were lucky enough to catch at least part of it.

Image from Sami Khoury, whose Decibel pictures are here.

Big Changes at the Crocodile

posted by on September 18 at 2:44 PM

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After 14 years, Crocodile booker Christine Wood is stepping down and ceding her position to the club’s assistant booker/publicist, Pete Greenberg. Her decision is based partially on her desire to focus full-time on her side career as an aesthetician (Wood currently works part-time at Spa Noir, the urban-oriented spa adjacent to the Croc), but it is also simply time for her to move on. “I feel like it’s just time,”ť she explained when I spoke with her this afternoon. “It’s not as fulfilling as it once was, and I think it’s something that should be done by the people with the raw passion and drive to keep it going.”ť Wood will stay on for the next couple of months to ensure a smooth transition when Greenberg takes over.

Look for a full report in Rocka Rolla later this week.

Angels Do the Strangest Things

posted by on September 18 at 2:00 PM

I probably should’ve posted this back when I listened to it in April, but I was selfish and didn’t feel like sharing. Or maybe I just forgot. But Jawbreaker fans who haven’t yet heard AJ Metz’s three-part audio Jawbreaker history on Dailysonic should really take an hour of their day to tune in. It’s well researched and well-produced, and Metz is clearly a huge fan of the band. He makes their story even more interesting by incorporating their music into the show, and their history into his own personal life. He also talks to band members, and plays some rare tracks, so even the biggest fans might find a few surprises.

Part 1: Jawbreaker (The Early Years)
Part 2: Jawbreaker (The Middle Years)
Part 3: Jawbreaker (The End & After)

I am listening to it for the second time right now, and it makes me love the band even more… again.

The songs from the bedroom are heard in the bathroom…

posted by on September 18 at 1:25 PM

Last week, most people agreed that Lifter Puller are the shit. I was so happy to find that I was among friends.

Today I want to know how many people love Possum Dixon’s self-titled album?

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This was one of my favorite albums during my sophomore year in high school, but I never actually owned it. I just kept stealing it from my sister (which drove her crazy, she loved it too). Eventually she moved out, I wore down the self-made tape, and Possum Dixon disappeared from my life. After a few years hiatus, though, I found a copy in Sonic Boom’s used bin and it all came back to me. This was about two or three summers ago and it’s once again one of those albums I always have around and am always forcing my friends to listen to.

It’s smart, quick, and catchy. It’s more punk than power pop, but far more innovative than pop punk. So basically, it’s awesome and sorta indescribable, but in a really good way.

Plus, like the Lifter Puller record, the lyrics have some real great moments (and the way singer Rob Zabrecky delivers them—with urgency and slight psychosis—is fantastic):

My favorite line on the record is probably the opening to “Pharmaceutical Itch”:

“Understanding nothing, can be so comforting / But understanding you is like biology.”

I’m also a big fan of the rock and roll “whoas” that sound like high-pitched dog barking towards the end of “Regina,” and the strangely heartbreaking track “Invisible” always gets me (especially on a tired and cloudy day like today).

And let’s not forget “When John Struck Lucy,” a great minute-long narration of a murder scene with broken-up piano and strings, and following that is my all-time favorite track—”Elevators.” (“We’re All Happy” is a close second.)

“One of these days you’re going to find out / When the door’s close / We’ll be together oh oh oh!”

When I listen to it at home and no one is around, it makes me dance around like Patrick Dempsey during the prom scene in Can’t Buy Me Love.

They’re not a band anymore, and sadly I never got to see them live before they broke up. I bet they were a-maz-ing.

Decibel Overload

posted by on September 18 at 12:03 PM

I meant to enjoy Decibel’s optical, ambient, and oscillate showcases yesterday, but I barely left the house. I was depleted, decimated even. My weakened state can be largely blamed on a few troublemakers: Apparat, Alex Smoke, Jerry Abstract, (a)pendics.shuffle, and Green Velvet. Over the course of two insane nights at Neumos these artists colluded to spoil my Sunday with their outstanding performances. Damn you guys.

What were your Decibel highlights? What would you like to see for Decibel 2007? How long did you sleep last night?

Wanna buy a dobro?

posted by on September 18 at 10:45 AM

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Want to get the stringed instrument geek in your life something a little fancier than a subscription to Fretboard Journal for the holidays? Check out this news flash, from gung ho local musician Levi Fuller, which just landed in my In box a few minutes ago:

I just read that the personal collection of the Dopyera Brothers (inventors of the Dobro) is going up for sale: http://www.elderly.com/articles/dopyera/ (make sure to check out the individual pages for each instrument - there are some great pictures)

This is an incredible piece of music history, which I really hope ends up in a museum - it’d be great if it were here in Seattle, too. I think we should work on Paul Allen to snatch it up for EMP.

I concur completely. Unless Mr. Allen is saving up for, I dunno, more costumes from Babylon 5.

Post-Decibel Delirium

posted by on September 18 at 2:30 AM

It’s the middle of the night and I’m posting on Line Out because I’m about to sleep forever and a day.

I’m glad I dragged myself out of bed today for Decibel’s Optical Multimedia Showcase despite having been up all night. Randy Jones was phenomenal. Retinas were dazzled by shimmering Monets and constellations of spangled color tied to the logic of Jones’ musical conduction. He used some sort of theremin/motion sensitive tech pad with two conductor’s wand-type instruments. Slight movements of these created eerie Enoesque tones.

Then there was a Speedy J video that nearly killed me—and I don’t mean “They killed it,” I mean I almost had to get up and leave because it was an unrelentingly brutal assault of IDM and morphing animation, way too much for my compromised state.

But perfection ensued with Ryoichi Kurokawa. Simply the most amazing audiovisual performance I have ever witnessed. Two panels surged with frenetic color, street scenes, animation—so minutely edited that if you closed your eyes for one moment you’d miss a million frames. Never have I experienced such deft variation—both audio and visual components teemed and lulled in perfect alternation. Speed-of-light glitch and static turned into Alva Noto + Sakamoto-like melodic grace. Asymmetry between the two panels transfixed the senses. At one point one panel showed cubist digitalia, while the other displayed a shifting suspension of liquid dye or smoke—in intense hues of magenta and indigo—coursing and then halting to the rhythm. The moment the performance ended a very elated crowd at the Broadway Performance Hall erupted into standing ovation.

By the time the Ambient Showcase arrived I was dead tired, but The Dead Texan took my waking-sleep state to a surreal and subtly glamorous place. Mod animations—capsule clouds, female forms, birds dissipating in flight—all drifted in slow motion to dreamlike guitar drones, ultra-minimal keyboard melodies, and sparse, hushed vocals.

As I had predicted, Murcof navigated us to 20,000-league depths—with ominous mastery. Desolate, dub-heavy beats made a foundation for pipe organ, piano chords and powerful string arrangements that progressed until everyone was rapt.

For the finale, Bola delivered a legendary set at Neumo’s. I thought nothing could top it and that the festival was over for me. I was wrong. While Speedy J had been a distressing assault on the senses at the beginning of the day—he took me and the rest of the crowd to absurd heights with explosive and driving synth waves blasted by bassline detonations that felt like citywide electromagnetic pulsing. And I usually don’t like steady, driving beats, but his was a very different, all-consuming sound. The crowd was driven completely apeshit—myself included.

I’ve enjoyed incredible talent and some immortal performances this weekend. The Decibel Festival was a huge success. Until next year… my ears will still be ringing.

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Sunday, September 17, 2006

Live-r Than Live

posted by on September 17 at 2:04 PM

As you’ve likely already guessed from the posting going on, Decibel is moving along swimmingly. One day to go and the throng of attendees will finally get to enjoy a full night’s sleep. It’s been completely worth the sleep deprivation the last few nights, and here are my highlights from the last few nights:

Jacob London: After Mister Leisure’s live set/blogging session, Jacob London’s productions and DJ sets have always been filled with personality, quirky tendencies, and a truckload of fun, and despite it being obvious this was their debut live set, they managed to get all of those same qualities across. I’d recommend catching their live set if only because they have a mic stuffed into the innards of a stuffed monkey’s ass. Brilliant. Nice job guys.

Claude VonStroke: Claude kept it really dirty for his long set at Chop Suey. His aural locomotive built and only kept momentum as the set went along, causing members of the audience to loudly scream “Why won’t it stop?” as all they wanted to do was to gain a moment of rest. Claude did not oblige, and played a selection of dirty bass-filled gems until Chop Suey kicked everyone out, at which point I’ve heard he “brought the pain” to the afterhours at the Mercury.

Foscil: I only managed to catch a few minutes of this set, but it’s perhaps the best I’ve ever seen the group. Despite their early slot Chop Suey was well on its way to reaching capacity. I didn’t make it back over for anything else going on, so someone let me know how Plan B and Subtle’s sets were. I really wanted to catch both, but there was 1Luv and Green Velvet to see. Choices had to be made, however painful.

1Luv: I love “Black Daylight,” and it was a treat to be able to hear it live. The performance was perfect for The Baltic Room, and the crowd appreciated everything the group did. It was apparently that the band members were a bit on the nervous side, but they did an admirable job all the same. It’s safe to say that they’ll be back in town in the near future for another performance, that time with copies of their new CD to sell.

Green Velvet: There was debate over the merits of a DJ vs. a live set, and Green Velvet rendered all of that moot with his late-90’s era inspired set. For a performer that’s been around as long as he has, he wasn’t jaded in the least, and appreciated the crowd’s response as much as the crowd enjoyed his tracks. The live renditions of “Flash” and “La La Land” were particular highlights, turning Neumos into a ravey singalong for the hundreds reminded of their halcyon rave days.