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Archives for 10/08/2006 - 10/14/2006

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Derrick May Rocked Element

posted by on October 14 at 3:39 PM

For as much as I don’t really like going to Element (past issues with overbearing security, the crowd, the usual music being my major problems), there was no place I would have rather been in Seattle last night (well, after the Visqueen concert anyway). Derrick May rocked it and for all of the elitist crap I spew about the Element demographic, they know how to party, making the night far exceed expectations.

I didn’t show up until 1:30am since I was at the Visqueen show, and walked into a packed Element, with my eyes first seeing the scantily clad go-go dancers on one of the platforms. I was worried that that would indicate a big cheese-fest, but May was throwing down great record after great record, slowing things a bit later in the night, but playing quality tracks all the way through. The dancefloor was packed as I walked in, staying that way until May dropped his last record. The mixes weren’t all perfect, one record had severe technical issues (he threw it out into the crowd - I caught it), and Element’s dancefloor sucks for dancing once someone spills a drink on the slick surface, but a yelling, “woo!”ing, dancing crowd is great to be part of regardless of setting, and the fact that they went past three was the icing on the cake. It was a bit different than other techno nights in that the room wasn’t filled with just DJs, producers, and obsessive fans, but had people there to just have a good time, regardless of the DJ and where he’s from. Fun times, and for those of you that didn’t go because of the venue, you missed out.

Thanks to Gavin and Uniting Souls for the booking. Hope to see some more big names of interest showing up on Element’s future schedules.

Put On Yer Thinkin Cap

posted by on October 14 at 2:23 PM

Slow news day, huh.

I noticed that nobody’s yet posted the EMP’s call for papers for next year’s Pop Conference, which is about history and context. Although some academic heavy-hitters present real scholarship there, with footnotes and everything, the conference is also open to great papers and talks regardless of pedigree. So I encourage our thoughtful and opinionated Line Out readers to put on their thinking caps and do a proposal. The more the merrier. Details after the jump.

(Disclosure: I was a speaker at last year’s conference, and I wrote about the experience here.)

Continue reading "Put On Yer Thinkin Cap" »

Fresh blood for the Crocodile

posted by on October 14 at 1:19 PM

As Hannah reported a few weeks ago, the much-beloved Christine Wood recently resigned from her post at the Crocodile, and turned over booking responsibilities to the equally delightful Pete Greenberg. But with Pete moving up the chain of command, who would fill his shoes? Please welcome back to Seattle, Eli Anderson, former Stranger intern and Seattle’s Sexiest Record Store Employee of 2005.

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Eli will be moving back to our fair city from Boston (where he has been working for the folks at Forced Exposure distribution) and assuming the duties of Assistant Booking Agent circa early December. Welcome home, Eli!

Morricone Score For Segal

posted by on October 14 at 9:27 AM


I just want to say that Dave Segal is a force of talent in music journalism and he steered The Stranger deftly through this year’s Bumbershoot, Decibel Festival, and Wooden Octopus Skull Pfestival and many memorable features were published. At this point I don’t want to think about what it means to lose Data Breaker. This is devastating news.

My posting this performance is probably in really poor taste. It’s meant to be both reverent and irreverent. I want to dedicate this post to Segal and all of his fans, who should be able to appreciate how appropriately this reflects the cognitive confusion of this whole Friday-the-13th situation.

Christopher Hong: I couldn’t have said it better.

So from the film “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly,” a live performance of Ennio Morricone’s “The Ecstacy of Gold.”


Friday, October 13, 2006

A Note To Our Readers

posted by on October 13 at 6:00 PM

For the past several months “Keenan Bowen” was writing for Line Out, the Stranger’s Music blog. Some months later Bowen began writing occasional short pieces for the print edition of The Stranger. After checks were cut to pay Bowen for her contributions to the print edition of the paper (the Line Out posts were unpaid), the managing editor discovered that Keenan Bowen was a pseudonym for Bailee Martin, Club Advertising Coordinator for The Stranger.

An internal investigation was launched. We learned that Dave Segal, The Stranger’s music editor, had invited Martin to contribute to the paper using a pseudonym. Segal’s managers and Martin’s managers were not informed that Martin was writing for Line Out or the print edition of the paper.

This morning Martin’s manager met with her. This afternoon Dan Savage and Brad Steinbacher met with Segal. After the meeting, Dave Segal turned in his resignation, effective immediately. Martin also resigned as Club Advertising Coordinator for The Stranger.

While all of Martin’s contributions were tainted by a conflict of interest, a preliminary investigation of Martin’s writings for the paper did not turn up any direct evidence of Martin having given favorable coverage to bands or clubs she worked with in her capacity as Club Advertising Coordinator. That position was a salaried support sales staff position, not a commissioned position, and Martin primarily served as an assistant to the senior sales staff.

All of Martin’s writings have been removed from the website for review. They will be reposted once that review is completed and a note about this is attached to each piece.

We will have a full accounting of this issue in next week’s paper.

Because Radio Isn’t Cheap

posted by on October 13 at 3:40 PM

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After that whole blowup about KEXP a few months back, here’s a chance for you to have some say in a different local station’s programming. KBCS (91.3 FM), stationed out of Bellevue, is in the last days of its pledge drive, and SunTzu is asking for callers to pledge their support during their show tonight (and during the preceding show, Yes Yes Y’all). In both cases, the DJs are people that very obviously care about playing some of the best music around, with Yes Yes Y’all focusing on hip-hop, while SunTzu’s City Soul pulls from just about everywhere. In a case of following the money, these pledge drives are when stations figure out how to cater their programming, so if you’re truly looking to support independent radio (and DJ-oriented fare on the radio), call up KBCS and donate whatever you can, either during tonight’s programs, or sometime before the drive ends tomorrow (noting that you’re a fan of these two shows when you pledge).

Yes Yes Y’all - hosted by Gavin Dahl
Fridays 11pm-1am

City Soul - hosted by AC Lewis, Atlee & J-Justice
Fridays 1am-3am

Pledge by phone at 425-564-5000 or 425-564-2424
Online at http://www.kbcs.fm

Cocksucker Blues

posted by on October 13 at 3:30 PM

So in mere minutes, the Rolling Stones’ jet will be landing at Boeing Field (really). At this (extremely) late date, I would imagine their days of tossing TVs out of hotel rooms are long over, but let’s reminisce, shall we?

And while I’m thinking about it, I’ve noticed that the Rolling Stones’ catalog makes regular rotations through my psyche every 6 to 8 weeks or so. Currently, the song at the top of my internal playlist is “Tumbling Dice.” What’s been your favorite lately?

Pleasure Boaters

posted by on October 13 at 11:57 AM

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(Photo by Alex Organ)

At last weekend’s Plot to Blow up the Eiffel Tower show, the Assailant were fantastic (as usual), but the surprise of the evening came from a local trio called Pleasure Boaters. I hadn’t ever heard them before, and I know the spastic and noisy dance punk shit has been done to death, but after their 30 minute set I gladly forked over five bucks for their self-released (and hand-painted) four-song EP, and I’ve listened to it every day since (although it doesn’t stand-up to amount of energy the band released during their live performance).

They’re part Blood Brothers’ seizures, part Q and Not U’s dance party, and part Sonic Youth’s distorted jam sessions, but they list Deerhoof, the Stooges, Television, Fugazi, the Birthday Party, the Flaming Lips, and Joy Division as influences.

You can listen to a few songs here. You can also see ‘em this Sunday night at Cafe Venus.

Actually They Hate Commercial Electronica, Since It Gives All the Quality Techno a Bad Name

posted by on October 13 at 8:20 AM

New Study Finds Monkeys Hate Techno Too.

An interesting read here on research into whether animals like music. (They don’t.)

Although animals generally dislike anything that sounds like the pounding feet of predators, we humans have evolved a great love for throbbing, repetitive, low-frequency noises, an adaptation that will not serve us well in the coming elephant uprising.

(Hat tip to DJ Diem)


Thursday, October 12, 2006

First Bite of Bananas

posted by on October 12 at 5:47 PM

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BT Express: Will leave you satisfied.

Bananas debuted Wednesday night at Havana to a paltry crowd consisting mostly of Seattle music industry insiders. Launched by Cherry Canoe and Dann Gallucci, Bananas is dedicated to playing “reggae, soul, funk, dance hall, dub, hip hop (within reason), latin, gospel, and anything else that sounds good.”

I caught a little over two hours of the action and the music was pretty much on point the entire time I was there, even if the transitions were not always smooth (Bananas clearly isn’t about dancing, though some people did dance, so beat-matching isn’t expected, but still there’s room for improvement with the segues). Reggae dominated Gallucci’s sets. He played very good reggae, but even much of the best of that genre possesses a drag-assedness that’s not conducive to a festive night on the tiles. What sounds righteous while lazing horizontally on Saturday mornings as you try to recover from the previous night’s debaucheries as Kid Hops lays down his Positive Vibrations sounds a bit lethargic from 9 pm-2 am. Still, any night where I can hear three of my favorite tracks ever—Tenor Saw’s “Ring the Alarm,” BT Express’ “Do It (‘Til You’re Satisfied),” and George McRae’s “I Get Lifted”—will keep me coming back.

It seems odd that two well-connected and beloved figures in Seattle’s music community, Cherry Canoe (Kerri Harrop) and Gallucci, playing quality music on a Wednesday at a hot new club in Capitol Hill could draw so few people (unless there was a huge influx of folks after 1 am). But then again, Bananas was going up against a sold-out gig at Showbox by Clap Your Hands Say Yeah (whose fans are legendary for their love of “music by artists that are not white”) and such hot TV programs as Lost and Project Runway. Whatever the case, it was good to see former Stranger intern Ari Spool representing. Plus, I got into an enjoyable, heated discussion about the merits of The Stranger with a drunkard who kept knocking the paper and then saying, “But I’m just full of shit.”

Anyway, I do hope Bananas gains momentum soon; it’s definitely worthy of a few hours of your precious Wednesdays. The night is free, even if you’re not.

Derrick May @ Element Tomorrow, Free Music Today

posted by on October 12 at 5:08 PM

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In case you weren’t already aware, techno legend Derrick May is in town Friday, playing a Uniting Souls promoted show at Element. Yes, Element. I haven’t been back to Element since the Red Bull Music Academy (although I’m upset I missed James Holden) since it’s far from my favorite venue, but this is Derrick May, so it’s where I’ll be. I’m hoping that enough members of the techno/Uniting Souls massive show up to counteract the shiny-shirters that will surely be in attendance. The very capable J-Sun of Innerflight opens things up, but in case you’re looking to hear just May, I’ve gotten word that he’ll be on from midnight to close (3am). That gives plenty of time to get giddy at the Visqueen show at the Croc.

Thinking about Derrick May put me in a Detroit state of mind so after hearing about May’s set time, I checked to see if the rest of the Movement archives were up. They are, so you can hear most of the music from the weekend. They don’t quite break out the SunTzu set, but you can hear sounds from their showcase here. Carl Craig’s “Yup, I’m willing to risk heat exhaustion” set is here. And to bring this post full-circle, Derrick May’s set is here (it went up with the first batch of audio a few months back).

(As an aside, the party where the above pic was taken looks incredible. Both May and Stacey Pullen played to a packed house, and they had a freakin’ robot!)

Let There Be Guitar

posted by on October 12 at 4:42 PM

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Adam Gnade, music editor over at our sister paper down south, put together an awesome issue all about guitar gods. I was particularly delighted by Matt Driscoll’s Guitar God 101 piece, which includes the soon-to-be-legendary axiom, “If you want to run with the big dogs, you’ve got to piss in the tall grass.” Driscoll, you’re my new favorite.

What’s Vin Diesel got to do with it?

posted by on October 12 at 4:25 PM

Spotted this sticker on the way back from lunch at Ballet:

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I go to the Comet now and again, I don’t think it sucks. I wish they served soda for us non-drinkers, but whatever. And never once have I spotted Vin Diesel there! Either way, it made me laugh. Still, I feel like I’m missing something.

Am I missing something?

Free Love in the Afternoon

posted by on October 12 at 1:56 PM

Enjoy the free EP Chocolate Swim from your friends at Adult Swim.
The Spank Rock remix of Lady Sovereign’s “Hoodie” is great. www.adultswim.com/promos/chocolateswim

Uh…What Does This Mean for Flammable?

posted by on October 12 at 12:46 PM

Sorry if this has been posted (if so, I’ll delete this), but I just caught wind that my Sunday church substitute, Re-bar, is up for sale. Seems pretty cheap too. Whoever buys this, keep Sundays as-is, ‘cause I’m not looking to spend my Sunday nights watching Adult Swim (I’d rather come home and then catch Adult Swim).

[via Matt]

The Stooges in the Studio

posted by on October 12 at 12:05 PM

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Iggy Pop and company are recording a new record (the first formal studio project since Raw Power) and bassist Mike Watt is keeping a detailed diary of the sessions on his website.


Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Old School

posted by on October 11 at 5:15 PM

Last night’s stellar local bill at Chop Suey should assure Lineout readers that not everybody’s moving to Portland. Seattle’s Old School of Indie Rock was in session, with various City Devils and Pretty both on stage and at the bar. Jan Norberg was there to represent new(er) blood, but it was mostly a party for well established Seattle musicians.

Jan Norberg’s pastiche of psychedelia, bare blues, and twee folk was pleasant enough—his falsetto is beautiful—but he was admittedly unprepared for the show, mentioning that he’d only remembered he had a show that night while googling his own name(!) earlier in the day. Other highlights of his set included a song dedicated to Chief Seattle, a lyrical refrain of “blow your mind”, and a story about him not playing guitar for three weeks, freaking out, then running to the woods where he jammed and sang until he lost his voice. Seattle is provincially late to the freak folk party.

Cave Singers, picked things up considerably, thanks to Dereck Fudesco’s agile plucking, Marty Lund’s steady, shuffling drums, and Pete Quirk’s commanding voice, alternately nasal and howling. Their sound was a kind of spooky, sedated bluegrass, with Quirk’s odd (ok, fine, quirky) vocals adding some sonic tension.

Triumph of Lethargy Skinned Alive to Death stole the show for me. Spencer Moody still has the charismatic presence and falling-down-(drunk?) antics he exhibited with Murder City, but his new schtick is more “bus stop bum” than “enraged nerd” and it works fantastically with Triumph’s colder, more desolate sound. The band pulled a neat trick by being incredibly loud without using distortion. Dann Galluci beat the drums slowly but with serious force, Corey Brewer’s guitar was clear and twangy, recalling Galluci’s own contributions to Modest Mouse, and Moody’s vocals ranged from ragged screams to soft, spoken confessions.

Night Canopy will likely appeal to fans of Amy Blaschke’s past work, with band mates Nick DeWitt and Jenny Jimenez building country lullabies and closing-time ballads that are anchored by Blaschke’s capable voice.

It was mostly scene stalwarts in new combinations, so who knows if this kind of thing speaks well for Seattle’s young musicians, but last night’s show was certainly a reassuring showing of our city’s remaining, and evolving, talent.

The Unique Sounds of Walter Kitundu

posted by on October 11 at 4:40 PM

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I had never heard of Walter Kitundu until I saw his name on the bill as opener for Matmos, who play the Triple Door Oct. 21. But today I checked out the tracks hosted on his site and became an instant convert. A composer/instrument builder/graphic designer, the Tanzanian-born/SF-based Kitundu creates tranquil, beautiful exotica informed by gamelan, hiphop, jazz maverick Henry Threadgill, myriad African genres, and Jon Hassell’s haunting, otherworldly ambience. Kitundu is a unique talent whom I highly recommend investigating. This Matmos gig (at which Kitundu also will be joining them onstage) is going to be awesome.

In Other All Ages News…

posted by on October 11 at 4:35 PM

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(Photo by Curt Doughty)

The Vera Project is getting walls!

Construction is moving along swimmingly at the new Seattle Center venue, but they could still use your help in reaching the $1.5 million goal. Donate here.

Good Weekend, Belated

posted by on October 11 at 2:15 PM

This is several days late, but it must be said that Saturday night’s Art Brut show was nothing short of fantastic.

Opening act We Are Scientists do a great disservice to the late, great Cap’n’Jazz by taking one of that band’s song titles for their name. They ape that band’s awkward pastel sensitivity—which was excusable, even admirable, for Kinsella and co., as they were barely post-pubescent—and remove any trace of their namesake’s adventurous post-punk musicianship in favor of radio-ready alt rock. On all levels, a completely unfit opening act for Art Brut.

Art Brut’s cheeky showmanship reminds me of the best moments of the Make Up only with a much more coherent gospel. Eddie Argos is a consummate showman, switching from sing along choruses to hilarious monologues with an ease. Taking a break from “Emily Kane”, he imagined a conversation between himself and Jay-Z:

“If Jay-Z were here, he’d say to me, ‘Eddie Argos, you have 99 problems, but a bitch ain’t one.’ To which I would reply, ‘Jay-Z, I don’t appreciate your misogynistic tone, but I think I know what you’re getting at.’”

Argos went on to explain the whole, resolved story of Emily Kane, how she heard the song and called him up (though it didn’t make her famous, per se), how they talked about “boring adult stuff” like credit card debt, and how ultimately Argos realized that he wasn’t still in love with the love of his 15 year old life so much as in love with the idea of being in love at 15. See, shit gets meta.

Argos ad-libbed throughout the set, giving shout-outs to the Lashes, cribbing song lyrics, and just generally goofing around like he owned the place. At one point, he leapt from the stage, moshed with the lads, and then ran upstairs to make friends in the all-ages section while his band confidently played on.

But the highlight of the show had to be the couple right next to me at the front, left hand side of the stage. They were a kind of older, kind of frumpy couple (dude had his button up shirt tucked into khakis with a jacket tied around his waist!) but they were going absolutely nuts, like they had just discovered rock’n’roll. They were dancing, more or less, like David Brent from the British version of The Office, not rocking front to back like most people would (this is sometimes known as banging one’s head) but rather swaying side to side at the waist, sometimes with hand on hips sometimes pumping their fists or “raising the roof”. It was nothing short of spellbinding. Seriously, ask me to demonstrate how they were dancing in person sometime and I will. It will crack you up.

Meet Jenna: A Riot for the Senses

posted by on October 11 at 1:42 PM

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Generally my sense memories have direct associations with past events. For instance, whenever I have a good bowl of borscht, I’m automatically transported to my Ukrainian grandma’s gold-hued kitchen in 1980. The same could be said for my musical sense memory. When I hear the Waylon/Willie/Jesse/Tompall record Wanted! the Outlaws,
Instantly I’m 5 years old on my dad’s lap, half asleep at one of my folks’ frequent parties, with the sweet smell of “˜70s-era grass and incense floating past. These vivid and intense moments must exist to ground us in the present and remind us of our past.

Continue reading "Meet Jenna: A Riot for the Senses" »

Will the Last Person Leaving Seattle Please Turn Off the Amps?

posted by on October 11 at 1:06 PM

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Rumor has it that Band of Horses will soon join what is starting to feel like a mass exodus by local musicians—the Sub Pop signees are moving to North Carolina.

Also heading out the door are KEXP’s Lisa Wood (she’s moving to Portland later this month) and Harris Thurmond. Thurmond was the guitarist for Hammerbox, Sanford Arms, Kingsley, and Orbiter (among many others) and just left for Austin, Texas last week. Other semi-recent losses include producer Tucker Martine (the Decemberists, Jesse Sykes, Modest Mouse), writer/promoter Barbara Mitchell, Young Fresh Fellow Scott McCaughey, and Death Cab For Cutie’s Chris Walla—all of whom have relocated to Portland.

UPDATE: BOH manager Marcus Lolario confirms (via Sub Pop publicist Joan Hiller) that the band is moving to Charleston, South Carolina.

The Paradox

posted by on October 11 at 12:45 PM

(I have already posted this in the Slog, but I wanted to make sure Line Out readers saw it as well.)

As Seattlest reported this morning, Mars Hill Church has decided to take back the Paradox from the volunteers who are currently managing the space. It’s a big deal, but there’s a lot more to the story: The move has been in the works for the past week and is the result of a quiet meeting during which Paradox booker Alicia Blake was asked to give back her building keys and was told that her last show at the venue would be December 16th. Mars Hill’s reasoning? They want to tie the venue in closer to the church. But even they don’t know what that means.

It’s no secret that the controversial Mars Hill Church has subsidized the Paradox since its inception in 1999. In the beginning, members of Mars Hill Church ran and booked the space. It was the church’s way of reaching out to Seattle’s youth and securing a place in the local music scene. At the time there was no Vera Project, the Teen Dance Ordinance (TDO) was still in effect, and the struggling all-ages music community needed all the help it could get.

But as the all-ages scene changed, so did the Paradox. The Vera Project started up, the TDO was lifted, allowing bars to host all-ages shows, and control of the Paradox moved out of the hands of Mars Hill members, and the venue stayed afloat thanks to the hard work of longtime volunteers like Alicia and Promotions Director Liz Martin.

If you’ve gone to a show at the Paradox in the past year or so, you’ve probably seen Liz and Alicia—they’re always there, and they’ve worked hard to keep the Paradox an open and comfortable place for everyone. Not only do they not allow the church’s beliefs to affect the acts booked at the venue (neither of them attend the church), but they also show up early at each show to remove all church paraphernalia like newsletters, fliers, and bibles from the band load-in room (which doubles as the church’s foyer). To be at the Paradox was not to be at Mars Hill, and they made sure of that.

But at the end of this year, the Paradox will be switching management. As noted before, Mars Hill has decided that they want to pull the venue closer to the church.

In an e-mail sent out last night, Blake and Martin wrote:

Due to some internal changes happening within the church, Mars Hill decided to review all of their programs, including the Paradox. The church has made a decision to bring the Paradox in closer to the church, and we have been informed a group of Mars Hill members will be taking over Paradox operations. We were asked if we would like to take part in these changes, but we have both decided it would be in our best interest to not be a part of this new version of the venue, as we both would not feel comfortable working in this new environment.

This is the result of a discussion Alicia had with members of the church last week. At the time, Alicia hoped to completely separate the Paradox from the church and to continue using the Paradox name to book shows in Seattle (she’s been the reason it’s existed for the past few years, anyway). But Mars Hill representatives said the church wanted to keep the name, and not only that, take back the space.

Our nonprofit status is tied to the church, as are some of our finances, but this has recently come up as a subject both Liz and I have touched on, with the intent to separate the Paradox for the first time from the church. Over the past few months, Liz and I had considered a few different ideas, which included separating the Paradox from the church, possibly moving the venue and opening elsewhere. After a series of meetings with the heads of the church, we have found our vision for the Paradox does not coincide with the church’s vision.

After the meeting, Blake was asked to return her building keys. She also cleaned out her office, packing up demos and binders of booking information. And yesterday morning, the church made another bold move by changing the password information for all Paradox e-mail addresses, including Alicia’s personal address, denying her access despite the fact she still has a number of shows already booked between now and December 16. She was granted access later in the afternoon after she complained, but she still doesn’t have access to the Paradox’s e-mail list, website, or volunteer e-mail list.

With all the action the church has taken in recent days, you’d think they have big plans for the venue. But they actually have no idea what will happen with the Paradox.

Bubba Jennings, a staff member at Mars Hill who was part of the original Paradox crew back in 1999, says, “We’re still figuring everything out. We know we need to reevaluate the Paradox. All we know, we are most likely going to continue to do shows. We do want the Paradox to be a little bit closer tied in with Mars Hill but it doesn’t look like there’s going to be preaching at shows. We’re not going to do anything like that.”

So what are they going to do?

During a phone conversation yesterday afternoon, Jennings said: “We’re not really sure what we’re going to do. We want to continue to do shows; we’re not going to change anything, like the format or anything. We’ll continue to do the same type of shows and stuff like that.”

“You’re not going to change anything at all?” I asked him.

“We really don’t know. We want it to be tied in a little bit closer with the church and we don’t know what that means. The last thing we want is for the Paradox to become an inhospitable space to people that are not involved with Mars Hill. The whole reason Mars Hill has done it is for it to be a hospitable club to the city with no strings attached, and that’s going to continue. Mars Hill has probably invested probably over $400,000 in the Paradox over the years. And we really value the local music scene and want to see it prosper. I’m not saying the Paradox hasn’t been accomplishing those things, it’s just at a place where, you know, we feel like we need to reevaluate how can it serve the city best and we don’t really know what that looks like yet.”

Jennings also admits, though, that the change in management will leave some people to question the venue’s intentions.

“I think it will leave a lot of people to question and time will show the truth of what the Paradox is about. People should see it, taste it, touch it, and then draw their own conclusions.”

Yet, they still don’t know what “it” is or will be?

“To be honest with you, Megan, I had hoped we were going to have all of this figured out before we went public with it,” he said. “We don’t have all the answers yet because we weren’t planning on sharing it until we knew exactly what was going on.”

I asked him why, if there aren’t any plans for the venue, are all the drastic changes being made with such urgency. But he didn’t have an answer. It seems likely that the church lost track of the Paradox over the years, and didn’t realize that the venue had become so separated from Mars Hill. Once it came to their attention that the Paradox was seemingly out of their hands (with the exception of financial ties), they panicked.

The shows that Alicia and Liz have booked at the Paradox will go on as planned, with the last one taking place December 16. After that, the women have already started making plans for their new production company, Make Believe, which will continue booking shows (both all-ages and 21+) at various venues throughout the city.

Thing Called Love Found Unbelievable

posted by on October 11 at 11:20 AM

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Justin Hawkins has reportedly quit the Darkness (one must consider the source, The Sun). More importantly, he’s also quit using cocaine—sounds like the guy was seriously snowblinded.


Everybody in the House Say Twinkle

posted by on October 11 at 2:46 AM

Head Like a Kite here, heading down the coast. San Diego and back.

1st stop of the tour: Miss Snowden’s 1st Grade Class - Steven’s Elementary School. Capitol Hill - Seattle, WA. 10/9/06 - 9:00 AM.

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We absolutely killed it. “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” Wu-Tang rap with sick beats on my drum pads. Encored with “On Top of Spaghetti.” First there was giggling, then Dave jumped up on some kid’s desk and kicked his penmanship notebook out of the way.

Continue reading "Everybody in the House Say Twinkle" »


Tuesday, October 10, 2006

I Heart YouTube

posted by on October 10 at 8:43 PM

Remember Glenn Branca—the brilliant guitarist who I discovered via the New York Noise compilation put out by Soul Jazz Records?

I found this mind-blowing guitar solo on YouTube and thought I’d share. It was performed live a year after I was born.

I was right to be so excited about this man. Wikipedia described Branca’s experimental symphonies for guitar and percussion as a blend of “droning industrial cacophony and microtonality with quasi-mysticism and advanced mathematics.” His early stuff included collaborations with Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth, Page Hamilton of Helmet, and several members of Swans.

Branca composed a symphony to be performed at the base of The World Trade Center in 2001. The symphony called for 100 amplified electric guitars. I love imagining that scene.

Saturday Knights Sign to LITA

posted by on October 10 at 5:03 PM

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Stranger hiphop columnist Larry Mizell Jr. informs me that Seattle hiphop crew the Saturday Knights have signed to local label Light in the Attic. (Hannah Levin’s large Sept. 28 feature on LITA alluded to the company courting the Knights, and now the deal’s done, as publicist Chris Estey confirms.)

“We think they are the historical culmination of real rock & roll,” Estey effuses, “and you can hear everything from the Coasters to the Clash to the Beasties in their apocalyptic pop. Crossing many generations and multi-cultures, they are fun-lovin’ music for fuck-ups everywhere (like us!).”

Congrats to all involved.

Bit o’ Torrence

posted by on October 10 at 3:29 PM

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Splinters (Ben Torrence) [photo: Susan Marjanovic]


The CD release party for the Cumulous compilation on Seattle-based Memex Records happens tonight at Baltic Room. (Tomorrow’s Data Breaker features an interview with this CD’s curator, Matt Turpin of Hakea). On the bill will be Skiks, Mori, Seiche, and Splinters. All of these guys produce exquisitely forged IDM and subtly glitchy, minimalist sound design that tattoo fascinating, infinitesimal patterns on your mind’s eye.

I am particularly excited to see Splinters (AKA Ben Torrence of the excellent electronic duo Bookmobile), a laptop producer (and post-rock drummer) who deserves much more recognition and respect than he’s garnered so far (I almost feel like a one-man press machine for the dude, and that needs to be remedied). Torrence’s forthcoming sophomore Splinters album on his own Woodson Lateral label, The Watchmaker, teems with intricate rhythms, delicately wrought textures, and stirring melodies that ring all the sweeter for having to struggle to be discerned through the digital miasma. It is a supremely enthralling headphone album.

Splinters goes on at 11 pm. Fantastic microsound on a Tuesday night in Capitol Hill? That’s gonna be fire (along with Cosmo Baker playing Sing Sing at Havana).

Gross is the New Cute!

posted by on October 10 at 1:08 PM

It would be unfair of me to subject everyone’s eyeballs to this image, but this may be one of the most horrifically effective (at least in terms of getting attention) show flyers I’ve ever seen. Those of you who aren’t eating lunch, click here.

No Surprises

posted by on October 10 at 12:43 PM

Easy Star All Star’s “Radiodread” was exactly what you’d expect: the brilliant, expansiveness of Radiohead’s epic OK Computer flattened into dorm-room reggae by numbers. “Paranoid Android” came with pitch-perfect but emotionless female vocals that sounded borrowed from Evanescence or Garbage or some other sterile studio concoction. The ablum’s admirably experimental sonic palette was again and again reduced to a simplistic, decades-old island music formula. The band plugged other covers (and maybe some originals, I don’t know) into that formula, and achieved similar results. The Radiohead songs sounded more or less like all the other songs, which didn’t seem to bother the crowd in the slightest.

At least I got to meet Donte Parks.

Still the question remains: “Radiodread”, Why?

Clap Your Hands, Say What?

posted by on October 10 at 12:11 PM

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Clap Your Hands Say Yeah are playing at the Showbox tonight. Many music fans whose taste I respect think these guys are swell. Apparently no one handed me the secret decoder headphones, because they do nothing for me—a sentiment that Stranger contributor Zac Pennington shared in this week’s issue:

CLAP YOUR HANDS SAY YEAH, ARCHITECTURE IN HELSINKI, TAKKA TAKKA (Showbox) Not to be a backlash Benjamin or nothin’, but am I the only one who doesn’t really get the whole Clap Your Hands Say Yeah phenomenon? Supposed poster boys for the indie-net revolution, CYHSY experienced success with their debut album via much blog-based hype. They were a really exciting prospect way back when—but now, some 16 months on, I can’t for the life of me remember a single tune. Progressive-twee openers Architecture in Helsinki, on the other hand, have thoroughly tattooed virtually every single one of their songs on my psyche—and their live show is even better. ZAC PENNINGTON

What’s the consensus among Line Out readers? Is the hype to be believed?

Attention, My Morning Jacket Fans

posted by on October 10 at 10:53 AM

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You can catch a screening of their new concert film in Seattle on October 30th at 8 pm (I wish I could report that it will be at the Neptune, but they’re actually showing it at Metro Cinemas). From the press release:

Okonokos: Live Concert Film, directed by Sam Erickson of 44 Pictures, was birthed in the backwoods of My Morning Jacket’s imagination. Inspired by a fairytale-like performance in Tokyo, the band decided to adorn their mysterious set with qualities akin to an old growth forest, capturing the essence of a timeless, nameless, place. The theme of straddling the line between the surreal and the actual is introduced at the film’s prologue when a cast of characters draped in Victorian-era costume, along with one alpaca, are introduced. And so emerges a truly authentic live compendium. The live film captures the band’s heavenly set, preserving their modern classics while simultaneously allowing the viewer to enter their bewitching world.

Monday, October 9, 2006

Juno reunion?

posted by on October 9 at 9:19 PM

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Do you miss Juno? I sure as hell do. I mean, I’m psyched about Arlie Carstens’ new project, Ghost Wars, but I never really got to say goodbye to Juno. They just sort of went on extended hiatus three years ago, and then… um… well, Arlie lives in LA now.

If you share my sentiments, and live in Seattle, you might want to leave your social calendar in early December open. For a special fundraiser or two. Featuring a reunited Juno. I don’t want to divulge too much, lest I queer the deal, but let’s just say I heard this premonition via a very reputable source.

Of course, given the aforementioned source’s past history with Stranger music writers, it could all just be a lie… a beautiful, dreamworthy lie. But I doubt it.

New Climax Golden Twins LP

posted by on October 9 at 8:17 PM

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Generally speaking, Climax Golden Twins would prefer that you not know what they look like.


I probably shouldn’t tell you about this, since supplies are limited, but ineffable Seattle sound sorcerers Climax Golden Twins have a new LP (180 grams, still untitled, and released by Belgium’s Conspiracy Records) up for grabs right here. The online snippet I’ve heard sounds like a brilliant homage to Funkadelic’s “Maggot Brain” crossed with some moving-as-hell loner folk strum and what could be prepared piano or a field recording of a squeaky wheelbarrow.

CGT member Robert Millis says, “The record contains some songs, some collage, 78rpm records, hillbilly acoustics, an ambient caveman number featuring Erin Sullivan from the mighty A Frames…and more…”

Today Is…

posted by on October 9 at 5:12 PM

…Polly Jean Harvey’s birthday. Happy birthday, dear PJ, I will always think you are the bee’s knees, especially when you play this song:

Wax On

posted by on October 9 at 2:03 PM

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While fears previously expressed on Line Out about the impending extinction of vinyl are understandable, I always wondered if a combination of DJ culture, long tail theory, and the simple fact that vinyl fans are a passionate bunch would insure that records would endure. The Telegraph has a comforting piece that affirms this hope.

Swing Your Partner

posted by on October 9 at 10:00 AM

Tonight at the Tractor, you’re in for a treat: Square-dancing!

I know, I know, square-dancing is so fourth grade, but really, in the proper setting with the right people, it’s the most fun thing in the world. And, seeing as this is held in a bar—and not just any bar, but the Tractor—and people will be drinking and livin’ it up, I think this will draw a good square-dancing crowd. Plus, it’s a benefit for Seattle Tilth, the nonprofit that helps us with gardening and chicken raising. According to Tilth’s website, this is the “kickoff for the Tractor’s square-dance series.” I could not be more excited at the prospect of more square-dancing here in Seattle. It’s at 7:30 pm, $15, and features the old-time music of the Tallboys and WB Reid & Bonnie Zahnow.

Below are some common reasons people don’t want to square-dance as adults, and my rebuttals:

1. You don’t know how
It doesn’t matter whether you know how to square-dance—they’ll teach you the steps before each dance. (Well, this is the way they did it at the old-time-festival square dances in the Bay Area I used to go to. I’d assume this is how they’d do it here, too. I mean, we don’t know what the fuck we’re doing, we need guidance.) And, it’s really easy. The wonderful thing is there’s no pressure to do a great job. People in your square who get it better than you will help you out. They’re not jerks. Everyone just wants to dance around and have fun.

2. You don’t want to look stupid
Since most everyone in the room won’t know quite what they’re doing, everyone will look more or less equally stupid. And maybe, depending on whom you ask, everyone will look super cool.

3. You don’t want to hang out with boring old people
The square dances I’ve been to have brought in a good mix of younger and over-the-hill fun-loving folks. And there’s nothing wrong with old people.

4. You don’t want to piss off pro square-dancers with your shitty, amateur, confused attempts at doing the right moves
I once went to a contradance, which is like a square dance, but it’s done in lines, not squares or circles. These people were serious about their dancing and really good. I was not. They didn’t appreciate it. I never went back. The other, more fun square dances I’ve attended—for instance held in a dimly lit bar like the one tonight—have been full of people just fucking around and having a good time.

5. You don’t have a date
Hell, this is the place to find one.


Sunday, October 8, 2006

What’s Bootsy Doin’?

posted by on October 8 at 9:52 PM

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Bootsy Collins, in much better days.

Um, releasing an album called Christmas Is 4 Ever (out Oct. 31 on Shout! Factory). Not a good look, Bootsy, but more on that later.

You should all know that this Cincinnati cat’s musical legacy is effin’ huge: for laying down some of the funkiest bass lines ever for James Brown (1969-71) and Parliament-Funkadelic (1972-79), plus for parts of his first three Rubber Band albums and contributions to Deee-lite’s “Groove Is in the Heart,” Bootsy Collins deserves all the sex, drugs, money, and respect that have come his way—and then some. But with Christmas Is 4 Ever, Bootsy has succumbed to the lowest form of temptation to which a musician can descend (no, he didn’t sleep with Courtney Love): he cut a goddamned Christmas album.

Let me make myself clear: I think Christmas music is the most annoying music ever—worse even than third-wave ska, nü-metal, or “Yellow Submarine.” Besides its trite tunes, lyrics that make me want to crush the brains that conceived them, and its enabling of the celebration of a holiday that makes millions of Christian fundies and their slightly less despicable and self-righteous brethren feel smug about their misguided beliefs, xmas music also is inextricably associated with the hollow cha-ching of consumerist gluttony. (The last-named element is actually the most tolerable aspect of this scenario. In fact, I encourage this over-indulgent spending orgy. Onward, Christian shoppers!)

Like suckers in a vast Pavlovian experiment that occurs for one-sixth of each year, Americans spend beyond their means, spurred by a combination of economic obligation, familial expectation, relentless peer/advertising pressure—and the maddeningly incessant broadcast of xmas tuneage that fills the air like some superficially innocuous yet actually toxic gas.

What really irks me most about this sorry state of affairs is the annual agonizing repetition of the same handful of maudlin songs that sugarcoat the biggest holiday of an ideology that has led to a grotesque amount of suffering, persecution, and death over the millennia. (Bear with me: beating this rhetorical dead horse is necessary from time to time for optimal mental health. Also, I realize there are good Christians; trouble is, they’re drowned out by the repugnant zealots. We’ve got too much Pat Robertson and DUHbya in the monitors, you know what I’m sayin’?)

Xmas carols are kitsch in the service of a world-endangering belief system that has been hijacked by its most intolerant adherents. It’s not cute or funny anymore—hasn’t been for decades. Please, in the name of all that is sane and reasonable, STFU, makers and players of xmas music (and you, too, Pat Robertson).

Now, I have some good friends who just love the shit out of xmas music; I pray that one of these days they’ll come to their senses. However, as someone who observed both Hanukkah and xmas in his metro Detroit youth and is of Syrian Christian/Latvian Jewish descent (which somehow led me to becoming an agnostic at an early age; go figure), I feel I am especially qualified to comment on the galling aspects of this holiday and its reprehensible music.

Now where was I? Oh yeah, Bootsy. Dude, it breaks my heart that you’ve sunk to this level of desperation. I know you have family to feed, but, jeebus, couldn’t you have found a more dignified way to put food on the table than this travesty of quarter-assed funk vamps and shameless vocal hamming? Shit, I need to immediately put on “Cosmic Slop,” “One Nation Under a Groove,” and “(Not Just) Knee Deep” to wipe out the unholy stench of your wrong-headed venture. “WinterFunkyLand” my ass”¦

The Engine, Wind and Shouting

posted by on October 8 at 9:24 PM

Hatred and dread are the two main emotions most often triggered by everything associated with Dayton, Texas. The tiny bedroom town about an hour Northeast of Houston is like a holding cell for a little over 5,000 people who sleep, eat and watch TV within its city limits.

I didn’t grow up here, but it’s where my mother lives, so if I want to spend time with family, I have to come here.

It’s still depressing and foreboding, but I’m finding myself getting caught up in its strangeness this time, suspending my repulsion in order to allow myself the fascination I have for these alien landscapes, the miles and miles of pastures, field and farmlands, level and shapeless, looming oil refineries and pungent, acrid smells, sad and disturbingly frequent road kill, billboards, etc. Twilight zone material.

But the sounds are especially hitting me. I’m used to a good bit of silence, but here, television, radio, constant AC, ceiling fans, the sound of semis and their idling engines and compression brakes, freight trains, cicadas, frogs and crickets amount to a dull roar at all hours, but it’s not like the city. Here you expect it to be quiet, so everything is just that much louder.

Yesterday my brother took me out in his 1969 Dodge Charger and as we rode across a bridge at dusk with a full Harvest Moon overhead, I shouted over the engine, “No tunes, huh?” and he shook his head and replied, “Nope, there’s just the engine, the wind and us shouting.”

And my city-boy-turned-backwoods brother was suddenly a sage as I tuned into these sounds: the gunning of the engine, the reverberation of steel at high speeds, the clicking of tires over transitioning slabs of pavement, and the drone of the wind.

We pulled into a nearby town and the air was filled with the sound of birds. “Are those starlings?” And my brother nodded his head, a pouch of Skoal in his cheek, “Probly. There’s a mess of ‘em down here.”

Cirque du Soleil - Visuals Versus Audio Cheese

posted by on October 8 at 5:05 PM

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The traveling arena tour of Cirque du Soleil was at Key Arena Oct. 3rd and 4th with their Delirium show. I went, expecting fire, gymnasts twirling from their teeth, eerie postmodern clowns on hallucinogens, and fire. What went down? Yanni, Yanni, and more Yanni. It was amazing acrobatics set to power cheese music. And there was no fire.

The press release reads, “A live music concert that pushes the limit of arena performance. Feel the passion of the musicians, singers and dancers driven by the beat of remixed music for Cirque du Soleil.” Feel the passion? Uh oh. You know when you read that, something’s fishy.

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It was touted as a music concert. They took songs that have appeared in various Cirque du Soleils, and re-worked them into what is supposed to appeal to a younger audience.

Whoever the music director is, is way, way off. Some bald little French-Canadian dude who’s too sexy for his shirt. I mean, come on, little bald French-Canadian dude, you are Cirque du Soleil, your budget has no limitations, the best you can do is Afro-Christian rock world beat schlop with an opera singer wailing over the top about spirit? You have an opportunity to set the visual icon of Cirque du Soleil to an original and real musical backdrop that holds up on the audible end, and you absolutely blow it.

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