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Archives for 01/21/2007 - 01/27/2007

Saturday, January 27, 2007

“A”FOTD

posted by on January 27 at 5:53 PM

FACT: There are seven men in “Awesome,” not six. A box of information that appears in this week’s Stranger

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…is incorrect. However, the part about them being childless and childlike is accurate.

[This has been an “Awesome” Fact of the Day. They play some new songs on Thursday, Feb 1 at—well, that graphic tells you everything you need to know. Yesterday’s “A”FOTD is here.]

Re: Re: The Idea of New Music In Time

posted by on January 27 at 5:32 PM

Charles, “experiment” is a word often fired at musicians by baffled critics who do not understand what is new in music. Countless 20th century masters, including Stravinsky, Harry Partch, Julian Carrillo, Toru Takemitsu, Cecil Taylor, and yes, our mutually beloved Charles Mingus had their work denigrated as experiments rather than heard as music.

To dismiss a work as an “experiment” without any clarification is useless for all concerned, however the reckless statement “With hiphop, the experimentation ends and sampling becomes a practice,” is utterly false and rudely ignores history. Sampling was a practice long before hiphop records hit the shelves.

Enough composers - many more than I cited in my previous post - employed sampling to make it a “practice” and did so decades before sampling appeared in any kind of popular music. The granddaddy is John Cage, whose Imaginary Landscape No. 5 (1952) calls for 42 LPs. Starting in the early 1970s, John Oswald, who coined the term plunderphonics, made plundering samples of commercial pop music an essential component of his work. Apart from the three Johns (Cage, Oswald, and Wall), add Tenney, Stockhausen (the immortal Hymnen!), Appleton, Antunes, Riley, Parmegiani, Trythall, Ferrari to the list.

But is sampling central to hiphop?

I never owned “The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel” CD nor did I need to, for until a few years ago most of the original 12-inch singles sat on my shelf. (I kick myself for parting with those Treacherous Three discs, too.)

Owning records does not automatically confer expertise, yet I suspect the voice, the words, and the beat (e.g., from a drum machine not a slip cue) seem more central than sampling to hiphop (Last Poets anyone?). I can imagine a hiphop track without any kind of sampling, but without the voice, the words, and a beat?

By contrast, in all the pieces (Tenney, Appelton, Trythall et al.) I cited earlier, samples of pop music constitute the fundamental and entire substance of the music, which is why I deliberately omitted The Beatles’ Revolution No. 9. Your claim of a meta-music is tardily misplaced - have you read Xenakis’ 1967 “Towards a Metamusic”? - and unfounded.

Charles, I’m surprised you didn’t turn your philosophy towards my proposed definition of music as a way of listening. And what about the new musicianship required by electronic-based music (house, techno, musique acousmatique, hiphop, etc.) I outlined earlier?

Anyway, listeners can set aside specious labels and judge for themselves this Sunday: I will broadcast the pieces I cited (Tenney, Appleton, Trythall et al.) on Floatation Device on KBCS 91.3 FM. The show runs from 10 pm to midnight and I’ll spin ‘em as a set sometime in the first hour.

Girl Talk Sold Out!

posted by on January 27 at 4:25 PM

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Shame on you if you put off buying a ticket for tonight’s Girl Talk show at Chop Suey, because according to a myspace bulletin sent out today by the club that shit is sold “the hell” out. Shit is going to be absolutely nuts. From the bulletin: “Sorry to anyone who won’t be able to get in this time around, hopefully we’ll have him back again soon!!”

Re: Re: The Idea of New Music In Time

posted by on January 27 at 1:04 PM

Delaurenti, I have heard these experiments, but that is all they are: experiments. With hiphop, the experimentation ends and sampling becomes a practice, the defining base of the form. You can not understand hiphop if you do not understand “The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel.” That is its substance. And nor is it an experimental recording, but central to the very condition of hiphop.

While you are at it Delaurenti, you could also point out the Beatles’ “Revolution 9” (1968) as yet another example of the pre-hiphop use of sampling, but there is nothing more to this great recording than the condition of an experiment. Not to know “Revolution 9” does not in any way mean not to know the Beatles; not to know “The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel,” however, clearly means you know nothing about hiphop. My point: Sampling is necessary to hiphop; it’s not, on the other hand, necessary to electronic music or rock. Let’s be clear about that at least and move on from there.

This American Life Plays “My” Music

posted by on January 27 at 11:03 AM

Last time Ira Glass was in town I passed some “incidental” music on to him for use on his show, This American Life. I do it every couple of years to help Ira find/hear new music to use on the show that he might not be aware of. (Because I love the show, and I was getting sick of the same Philip Glass piece over and over….)

Last night as I was listening, I heard one of “my” tunes from the latest cd I’d given him, Art Van Damme - Just You, Just Me. (Link opens song up.)

I love knowing that music you think about, and pick out for someone else actually finds use in “their” world, even if incidental and in the background mix! That’s what it was really given to him for, great background music.

Don’t ask why, but I was excited enought to post about it!

I really can’t remember what else I put onthe disc, except for a track off the first album by The Knife, N.Y. Hotel, and a piece by Japancakes from their Belmondo album.

I also dared him to somehow find a way of using this song, Prahba Devi - Que Sera Sera, in one of his shows. If I hear it, I’ll let you know.

You can also, of course, hear the most recent episode at the website forThis American Life.


Friday, January 26, 2007

The Guiltiest Pleasure

posted by on January 26 at 4:36 PM

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I know I’m not the only one who was raised on country music in the ’80s; therefore, I must not be the only one who squealed a little bit inside upon hearing that George Strait is playing tomorrow night at the Tacoma Dome (7:30 pm, $49.50–$59.50). George Strait! He was one of our favorites when my sister and I were kids. But… the Tacoma Dome, the high ticket prices, my pride, the fact that it’s 2007 and not 1987: All these things stop me from going.

But were the concert at a county fair, free with fair admission… perhaps.

Rock Me Tonight

posted by on January 26 at 3:59 PM

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Don’t forget to check out J-rockers Noh-Suspend tonight at the Funhouse and tomorrow at the Monkey Pub. I’m not going to repost my full preview (it can be read here) so I’ll just let the band tell it.

HI, Guys!
It’s so long time no see. We’ve missed you~~ We’ve been auxious to “R&R” with you!
Yeah! Sorry to have kept you waiting!
We’ve decided next “Ready, Steady, Go!” Yeah Yeah!
(Fri.) 26.Jan.’07 at FUNHOUSE
(Sat.) 27.Jan.’07 at MONKEY PUB
details in their infomation.
We’ve looking forward to meet you and “R&R” with you!
It will be exciting nights~~
Thanks Guys, and see you soon!
from NOH-SUSPEND with xxxooo

He Has an STD and You Know Him

posted by on January 26 at 3:29 PM

In the middle of a bunch of show posters on a pole across the street, there’s a little note Duct-taped on all sides. Looks like this:

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Transcribed:

People. This week “my partner” told me he has had an STD for years. He told me his STD test was clean before the time we first made love. He knowingly lied to me. He is part of this little community. You know him probably. Please, be careful now. If we don’t protect each other, we can’t protect ourself. Peace.

Hey lady—that sucks.

But also: thanks for nothing. What “little community”? The music community? “You know him probably”? What is that? How is this going to help anyone? Makes sense you’re upset, because you were lied to and strung along, and because your life and your emotions were wrapped up with this guy for a time, but it’s weird to be sounding the alarm that someone (and someone you “probably” know!) has “an STD.” You’re talking about herpes, right? Just reading between the lines. Guess what: By the time they are young adults, more than 50% of Americans have HSV-1. And about 22% of Americans have HSV-2. And you can get HSV-2 from HSV-1. (Lots of sources. Google it.)

Last time I went to the doctor, we did the whole battery of tests, because when you’re gay you always do the whole battery of tests, and when we got the results—clean!—doctor noted that I didn’t have herpes, and I asked why she mentioned this specifically, and she said, “90% of people have herpes.” Not much of an exaggeration. If you live a long life, pissed off writer of this poster, your chances of getting herpes—at least HSV-1—go way up. According to this website, 80-90% of Americans have HSV-1 antibodies. Even Mr. Savage, who’s a girl about cooties, has said before that herpes is a “non-disclosure” STD—something you don’t necessarily have to tell sexual partners about, because it’s so common.

I get it. Dude lied. People in bands always lie so they can have sex with people. It’s well documented. Fuck him. (Er, I mean, don’t fuck him. No one fuck him!) But pissed off writer of this poster: Relax. Relax with the knowledge that the world is full of liars. Relax into the idea of getting older, with all that comes with it. People will still sleep with you. Put down the Xerox machine and the Duct tape, go home, put on the first Shins album, and (in the immortal words of Bethany Jean Clement) make yourself a nice martini.

Das Ist The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

posted by on January 26 at 2:40 PM

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As reported on Stereogum, the Smashing Pumpkins have announced two live dates for 2007, both at festivals in Germany (shades of Hasslehoff?). Much speculation exists as to what the lineup will be, whether this is going to be a Guns’n’Roses with Buckethead type of thing or an all original members lovefest. Two camps seem to be emerging in these discussion: A) the “Billy Corgan writes everything/he IS Smashing Pumpkins” camp, and B) the “he’s only made crap records without the original lineup” camp. Somehow, I feel like they’re both right, but I’ll probably listen to whatever new material comes out of Billy and Jimmy’s hippie-dippie recording sessions (from the band’s myspace blog: “this age calls for resolve and certitude, and the fire within to burn ever bright…if that fire should be connected to absolutely deafening guitars, thundering drums, and the melodies of snakes, then so be it! We love you! If you are meant to be with us, find us!!”). Um, yeah…

So why Germany and not, say Coachella or something?

Kate Simko Tomorrow, Free Music Today

posted by on January 26 at 1:59 PM

Dave’s already given props to Kate Simko over in Beat Happenings, but for those of you that heard the phrase “minimal techno executed with utmost rhythmic and textural finesse and grace” and wanted to know what that meant (or for those of you that just enjoy free music), here’s her set from the 2006 Decibel Festival. Reports from last night’s Portland performance have been positive, so her performance tomorrow should serve as a contrasting prefunk to Girl Talk’s possibly shirtless maximalism.

Re: The Idea of New Music In Time

posted by on January 26 at 1:27 PM

Actually, music made from someone’s else’s pop music has been around for almost half a century.

Check out: James Tenney’s Blue Suede (1961), Jon Appleton’s Chef d’oeuvre (1967), Richard Trythall’s Omaggio a Jerry Lee Lewis (1975), and one of the great pieces of electronic music made in Seattle, David Mahler’s King of Angels (1977-8).

It is quite likely that there are earlier pieces we do not know of as well as many borderline examples like Andre Hodeir’s Jazz et Jazz from 1951. Pierre Henry began plundering his own work in the 1950s - back then samples were lengths of magnetic tape - so I do not claim completeness, yet the pieces above are well known and easliy found.

Essentialist definitions of music - “In actual music, there are instruments, players, notes, keys, songs that are written.” - excludes so much of what can be accepted as music (such as 1960s avant-jazz, Field Recordings, electro-acoustic music, East African ritual witchcraft music), that essentialist defintions tend to be limited, if not useless.

Since the definition of music remains an ever-changing, moving target, it might be more useful to define music as a way of listening.

Oh, and I’m dismayed to see that “Hiphop in its essence-as with techno and jungle-has never turned out a musician.” Makers of electroacoustic music have endured this canard for half a century; I have heard dozens of conservatory-trained musicians deploy the same objection to pre-recorded or “tape” music.

Electronic-based music can be (and often is) performed live but the tools and techniques differ. Don’t ask a Juilliard trained violinist to roll off the bass, pan certain channels to the left-front and left-mid-side, re-postion the mic on a kick drum, match a beat, or hammer the faders for a lightning fast segue - all within 90 seconds in front of an eager (or at least interested) crowd.

The Doors Were Recording Their Third Album, and Joan Didion Was Sitting on the Floor of the Studio

posted by on January 26 at 1:01 PM

When someone says they need a good book to read, my reply is almost always: “Have you read The White Album by Joan Didion?” Yes, I understand that people are usually looking for something new, not something published 35 years ago. But, um, have you read The White Album by Joan Didion? Holy sweet Jesus mother me.

Right now I have a gleaming new copy of The White Album sitting on my desk. (It’s an essay collection, and “The White Album” is the 48-page-long first essay in it, and—personal aside!—it’s the thing has influenced my thoughts about what writing can do more than any other single piece of writing.) This new copy is sitting on my desk because I’m about to send it to someone. A gift. This book is my favorite thing to give away.

The essay is about, well, a lot of things, but generally it’s about Joan Didion’s psychic unraveling—at least according to doctors—set against the miles and miles of meaninglessness in Los Angeles in the ’60s and ’70s. Anyway, I just flipped open to the section where Didion’s sitting on the floor of a recording studio with The Doors…

…the studio was too cold and the lights were too bright and there were masses of wires and banks of the ominous blinking circuitry with which musicians live so easily. There were three of the four Doors. There was a bass player borrowed from a band called Clear Light. There were the producer and the engineer and the road manager and a couple of girls and a Siberian husky named Nikki with one gray eye and one gold. There were paper bags half-filled with hard-boiled eggs and chicken livers and cheeseburgers and empty bottles of apple juice and California rosé. There was everything and everybody The Doors needed to cut the rest of this third album except one thing, the fourth Door, the lead singer, Jim Morrison, a 24-year-old graduate of U.C.L.A. who wore black vinyl pants and no underwear and tended to suggest some range of the possible just beyond a suicide pact.

Didion writes about her interest in Morrison (“It was Morrison who had defined the group’s interests as ‘anything about revolt, disorder, chaos, about activity that appears to have no meaning’”), and about her leg falling asleep while they all waited for him, and about the “unspecific tensions” in the room rendering everyone “catatonic,” and about the engineer doing “deep-breathing exercises”…

It was a long while later. Morrison arrived. He had on his black vinyl pants and he sat down on a leather couch in front of the four big blank speakers and he closed his eyes. The curious aspect of Morrison’s arrival was this: no one acknowledged it. Robby Krieger continued working out a guitar passage. John Densmore tuned his drums. Manzarek sat at the control console and twirled a corkscrew and let a girl rub his shoulders. The girl did not look at Morrison, although he was in her direct line of sight. An hour or so had passed, and still no one had spoken to Morrison.

Finally Morrison whispers something, and there’s a conversation between Morrison and Manzarek about where they should rehearse the next day—one of them thinks they should rehearse at a Holiday Inn, the other thinks they should come back to the studio—and there’s some back-and-forth dialogue. Meanwhile…

I counted the control knobs on the electronic console. There were seventy-six. I was unsure in whose favor the dialogue had been resolved, or if it had been resolved at all. Robby Krieger picked at his guitar, and said that he needed a fuzz box. The producer suggested that he borrow one from the Buffalo Springfield, who were recording in the next studio. Krieger shrugged. Morrison sat down again on the leather couch and leaned back. He lit a match. He studied the flame awhile and then very slowly, very deliberately, lowered it to the fly of his black vinyl pants. Manzarek watched him. The girl who was rubbing Manzarek’s shoulders did not look at anyone. There was a sense that no one was going to leave the room, ever. It would be some weeks before The Doors finished recording this album. I did not see it through.

These quotes are taken from a four-page section in the middle. And look, I’ve wasted half the day retyping excerpts for you. Can’t help it—the thing is FAWKING BRILLIANT. It makes me cry it’s so good. Do yourself a favor and get a copy so you can say you read it while Joan Didion was still alive.

She is, awesomely, still alive.

Zune Hustles Harder, Hustles Smarter

posted by on January 26 at 12:53 PM

clipsebaltic_small.jpgI only have the sparsely attended Little Ones show as a point of reference, but if last night’s Clipse show is any indication, it would seem that the Zune marketing team has gotten quite good at generating buzz…about their promo shows if not the product itself. Zune managed to pack the Baltic Room to capacity while somehow managing to keep the whole thing incredibly under the radar.

While a few individuals were there because of their Zune connections, for the most part people at the show received an email invitation to the show with no indication of why or how they were chosen. Wading through the guest list resulted in a line that snaked around the block (2nd line at the Baltic Room in a week - damn!), and left plenty of time for everyone to never figure out the tie that bound them together.

After a praise-filled introduction from Bun B, Clipse blazed through most of Hell Hath No Fury, throwing in a few other jems throughout the set. The small Baltic Room stage removed any separation between artist and audience, adding to the crowd’s fervor. The open bar did the same, resulting in no need for calls to “throw ya hands up,” since for the most part they were already there. Other than a few (very forgivable) lyrical flubs, the show went smoothly, and after an hour or so the crowd dispersed into the night, undoubtedly thinking of the Zune they were going to buy online as soon as they got home.

Clipse will be back in town to play two shows at Chop Suey on March 12th and 13th.

Tracklisting and pics (taken by Jason Justice) after the jump.

Continue reading "Zune Hustles Harder, Hustles Smarter" »

Trainspotters Paradise: These Are The-Breaks.com

posted by on January 26 at 12:52 PM

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These guys (X-Clan) sampled…

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This guy (Billy Squier).

I almost posted this in the wee morning hours, but waiting till now makes it chime and rhyme off of Professor Mudede’s post below. Yay for serendipity.

Do you lie awake at night trying to figure out whence came the samples in those songs you heard on the radio or at the club—those insanely catchy songs that you can’t get out of your head? Do you get a brain tingle upon discovering that Public Enemy sampled a 1969 song by a group called Animated Egg for “Do You Wanna Go Our Way?”? Does the knowledge that Deltron 3030 lifted a loop from Aphrodite’s Child’s “Loud, Loud, Loud” for “Mastermind” thrill you to an absurd degree? Do you get an ironic chuckle when you find out Nation of Islam hardliners X-Clan borrowed large chunks of music from cracker-ass artists like Billy Squier and Tom Tom Club for cuts on their album To the East, Blackwards? Of course you do. That’s why you should check out this site, on which assiduous sample-spotters chronicle who’s sampling what where and when.

Hours of enjoyment and procrastination await you.

Strings and Things

posted by on January 26 at 12:50 PM

I caught most of the 4th Annual String Specialists show at the Rendezvous Weds night and what a night it was. Eight or so solo performers playing the stringed instrument of their choice (generally guitar, but there was also viola, a berimbau-looking thing, ukulele and upright bass) for a song or two or three. Styles ranged from vocal pop songs to avant instrumentals. Highlights for me were Brad Dunn with his electric guitar-and-screwdriver slide compositions (I got his CD and it’s a more layered Eno-esque cracked psych/folk/pop), Resistor who did a great repetative meditation on electric guitar and gigantic amplifier, and Jherek Bischoff who played some sad-bastard love songs on ukulele before he brought out the upright bass for an intrumental Thrones cover that just destroyed.

The evening was presented by the wonderful Wall of Sound Records and apparently they put on a monthly show there. Be sure to check it in the future.

This Week’s Setlist

posted by on January 26 at 12:40 PM

This week’s Setlist has just been posted—click here for details about Silver Platters’ grand opening weekend and to hear songs by Patrol, Marginal Way, the Hands, Martian Memo to God, Hart & the Hurricane, Velella Velella, Open Choir Fire, the Earaches, and more.

I like local music.

More Music Tonight

posted by on January 26 at 12:02 PM

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Tonight you have a rare chance to catch Walls, a side project that features members of NW hardcore heavyweights Iron Lung, Cold Sweat, and Lords of Light. While they have vague plans to tour, don’t expect another Walls show anytime soon as Iron Lung (or one of drummer Jensen Ward’s other side projects) seem to be on tour 400 days a year. August Alston’s (Lords of Light/Electric Eye) vocals shift in style but never in menace— overall the music is fueld by such brutal misanthropy, it’d make Henry Rollins blush.

Fans of any of the above bands should get thee to Camp Nowhere tonight. Also on the bill are Sex Vid who play punk the way punk should always be played— forsaking musicianship for a sound that’s all speed and attitude.

The Idea of New Music In Time

posted by on January 26 at 11:58 AM

I have decided to move my Pop Life blog to Line Out. From this point, I will continue my long meditation on the substances of new music:

As I have said before, sample-based music is not actual music but music about music—meta-music. In actual music, there are instruments, players, notes, keys, songs that are written. Meta-music needs no instruments, band members as such, or a direct live performance. It is programmed; it is a collage of recorded live performances; it needs no musicians. Hiphop in its essence—as with techno and jungle—has never turned out a musician. Those who begin with hiphop end as producers who can sequence the information of sampled music and sounds. When we hear tracks sequenced by Jeff Mills we may think it is actual music—it sounds like music; the synthetic strings seem to be arranged by someone who knows how to make music—but this is not the case at all because Jeff Mills is not, as he has often stressed, a musician. Burial also makes this point; he knows nothing about music. And RZA practically laughed when the members of Texas asked him for the key of the song they were about to record.

If we appreciate this fundamental difference then we can see that the new music—meta-music, music made from other music and is essentially not music itself—has a genius, a giest that moves through our post-modern time in the way Hegel imagined a giest moved through all of human history. The genius of meta-music begins with Pubic Enemy. That is its dawn, the point of its awakening. Before Public Enemy, meta-music is simple (Keymatic, Cybotron) and has a very limited range of expression (“Sucker MCs,” “Leader of the Pack”). With the genius of Public Enemy, meta-music is revolutionized into a super form that has the social depth and range of a mature work of art. After Public Enemy, the genius moves to Detroit, to the Underground Resistance (UR), from there it moves to Berlin, to Basic Channel. After that moment, between 1992 and 1994, it leaps to Bristol, to the triphop of Tricky and stays there with him for the central year of the last decade of that century. After Tricky, it finds itself in New York City again, this time with the Wu-Tang Clan. That genius, which is fundamentally the genius of RZA, culminates in the Triumph. (Admittedly, things are not that neat: the genius in the moments of Wu-Tang, Basic Channel, and Tricky overlap.) After 1997, however, the giest seems to vanish. There are no important moments or breaks for almost a decade. The growing general feeling is that meta-music has met its end. After Triumph, there is nothing left. Then in 2006, it makes its first appearance in the 21 century, in South London, in the form of dubstep. Burial is now the point at which the genius of meta-music has arrived from the past and from which it will depart to the future.

Knife, (The), Bear, Grizzly

posted by on January 26 at 11:27 AM

We just can’t stop talking about Girl Talk, apparently! It’s a healthy obsession, and ghosty folk outfit Grizzly Bear will back us up on that. On the audio page of their website, the Brooklyn boys have made available for free download a new remix by Girl Talk of “Knife”—the standout epic psych track from their 2006 album Yellow House. It weaves threads of the song’s chorus (sometimes phased back or forward to offset the beat) into bits of hip hop, bubbly samples, a gritty bassline, stadium rock drumming, grizzled guitar riffs, et al.

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But that i’nt the end, club cubs. Also available for free download is a slick mashup (by PARRKA) of the same song—”Knife”—and “Heartbeats,” an early single by the much-lauded Swedish group The Knife (phew!).

In case you’ve forgotten, Girl Talk plays Chop Suey tomorrow night. Grizzly Bear makes a Seattle stop on their (basically eternal) tour at Neumo’s on February 16th. As for the Knife, well… don’t hold your breath.

Kikrokos - Jungle DJ and Dirty Kate

posted by on January 26 at 11:24 AM

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On Monday, I went to Jive Time on Pine Street in Seattle to give a CD I made of a Keith Christmas album to one of their employees that I always chat with about various folk and prog artists. Of course, sometimes he sees me pick up the odd disco album, and looks at me like,”I can’t believe the shit you like to listen to.” This was the case when I picked up this glorious masterpiece of Euro-disco, Kikrokos - Jungle DJ and Dirty Kate.

A great album with a TERRIBLE cover. When I sampled it in-store, I immediatly thought of Kongas, the Latin rhythm-inspired project that was disco maverick Cerrone’s first issue. Fantastic propulsive conga beats with great string arrangements throughout made me wonder who or what created this music. It also includes what I think are Lene Lovich’s first vocals on record! I laid my money down, buying it on the spot (a steal for $9.99) and drove home to see what I could find out on the web.

There’s not a lot out there. This from Discomuseum.com was the most in-depth info I could find.

Kikrokos was your typical disco studio concoction. Just like the girl group sound of the early 1960s, disco was a producer-driven medium. This allowed a producer to release any number of tracks, using any number of studio musicians and singers under any given name. That was what made disco so successful and also helped kill it.

Producer Michel Elmosnino took members of Kongas and various other singers and musicians, among them a yet to be famous Lene Lovich, into Studio Des Dames in Paris and recorded two tracks in 1978. He was aided by Alain Allet and Pierre Sesti, who also co-wrote the tracks. The album was remixed at Trident Studios in London and rushed released. Polydor pressed promotional 12” singles of a “Spectacular Remix By Jim Burgess” and rushed them into the greedy hands of club D.J.’s. “Jungle D.J.” shot up the charts, and unlike many disco releases the album also sold well. The album, “Jungle D.J. & Dirty Kate,” had a 15:00 version of the title track, a 7:04 reworking (Medley) of the same and the 9:45 “Life Is A Jungle.”

The jungle rhythms, high-energy arrangements and lush vocals struck a nerve with dancers around the world. But as with most studio concepts its life span was only for a single release. The dreadful cartoon-ish cover would never have launched anyone’s career, but the music inside was just too good to ignore.

Lena would go on to become a premier artist in her own right the following year with the quirky “Lucky Number” while the musicians would go on to record one more album as the Kongas before disbanding. No one knows what happened to Elmosnino, Sesti, and Allet. But for one brief moment the elements all came together to produce this classic.

It seems I was right about the Kongas connection. I was also right about one other thing… “the dreadful cartoon-ish cover”.

Let’s take a closer look, shall we? Here’s a closeup of “Dirty Kate”.

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The cigarettes tucked into her stockings are a nice touch (yikes!), but I wonder what that big poppy is doing in the picture?

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Who on earth thought that this would be a good idea? With the “J” missing from the logo on his T-shirt, it makes it look like you’re listening to “Uncle DJ” Why would you think putting razor-sharp stubble on a short-shorted “Jungle DJ” would get anyone to purchase this album?

But wait, it gets worse. Look at the back cover.

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The comic-book illustrations only make matters worse. And they’re a bit confusing. It’s hard to see in the picture, but all the animals are listing the album credits, which MAKES NO SENSE because the people’s names are all abbreviated into little nicknames written in jokey pigeon/ghetto English.

OUCH!

If you can get past all that, take a listen to the main single, the epic 15-minute-long Jungle DJ which you can find on my blog here.

Dave Segal’s Girl Talk Interview

posted by on January 26 at 11:17 AM

Dave Segal’s Girl Talk interview, which was posted on Lineout in it’s entirety yesterday, has also been put on our website proper so it doesn’t get lost at the bottom of the blog pile. You can now find it here. Enjoy, and I’ll see you at Girl Talk Saturday night at Chop Suey!

Tonight in Music

posted by on January 26 at 11:10 AM

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The Game is at the Moore tonight and Larry Mizell hates that he loves him.

Somehow, though embattled and beset on all sides by his former friends (Fitty’s G-Unit), family (his own brother dissed him mercilessly last year), and father figure (Dre), Game fucked around and made an incredible record—probably even better than the one he would have made with Dr. Dre. Lyrically, the man who dubbed himself “Chuck Taylor” cut the talk and b-walked the walk. Instead of merely invoking the holy names of N.W.A. in a crass nostalgia cash-in, he concocted a potent blend of MC Ren’s gothic nihilism, Cube’s pit-bull rabidity, and Eazy’s crass lust for life. Then he simply rolled it up in a Zig-Zag, lit the ass, and inhaled.

If you ain’t buyin’ Larry’s love, though, we also covered a bunch of tonight’s shows in this week’s U&Cs—Papa Roach at the Showbox (seriously), Comeback at Chop Suey, Subtle at Neumo’s, and Noh-Suspend at the Funhouse. Click, read, learn.

And here’s one more:

TINY VIPERS, SAM MICKENS, THE PWRFL POWER
(Gallery 1412) Rare is such an evening of delightfully skewed acoustic pop—especially considering that tonight’s bill focuses exclusively on homegrown fare. From the ghostly mysticism of recent Sub Pop signee Tiny Vipers to the just plain spooky quaver of Dead Science frontman (and The Stranger’s resident cracker hiphop enthusiast) Sam Mickens, you’ll have a tough time casting your ballot for the belle of this particularly competitive ball—but my money’s on the Pwrfl Power. Having thoroughly conquered the hearts and minds of Seattle’s experimental music community and beyond, Na’s Kazu Nomura sets his sites on virtually everybody else with the Pwrfl Power, his latest project focused on more traditional song structures—further evidence that experimental musicians always make the best pop music. ZAC PENNINGTON

The Pwrfl Power has a Stranger Band Page, so head over to hear a few samples.

“Awesome” Fact of the Day (for short, say: “A”FOTD)

posted by on January 26 at 8:37 AM

“Awesome”, the official band of Stranger literary events, is currently writing three or four hilarious new songs that will be performed at Chop Suey this coming Thursday, Feb 1 in an event with author/stoner Neal Pollack and sodomist/snowboarder Dan Savage. The songs are about Mr. Pollack and Mr. Savage, though neither Mr. Pollack nor Mr. Savage will hear the songs until the night of the event.

[This has been an “Awesome” Fact of the Day. There will be a new “A”FOTD posted here on Line Out every day until February 1. World-renowned Joni Mitchell stalker Sean Nelson will emcee the event. Doors are at 7 pm. Show is at 8 pm. Chop Suey is at 1325 E Madison Street. Oh yeah, and the whole thing’s free.]


Thursday, January 25, 2007

The Knife “Live”!

posted by on January 25 at 9:17 PM

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Sort of.

A Message From The Massline Party

posted by on January 25 at 2:49 PM

For the people!
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SUPPORT WATADA, PROTEST THE WAR * The US military cost of 2.5 days of war in Iraq would have provided college tuition for 463,000 low income students

* The total war cost of $360 Billion would have paid for 17 Million full-ride scholarships to college

This ain’t no theory or politics, just raw facts. And the fact is it’s about to be FOUR YEARS since the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq and almost FIVE YEARS since military occupation of Afghanistan and the Philippines, all under the guise of “war on terrorism.” With over 3,000 US casualties (and 650,000 Iraqi civilian casualties), Bush, Jr. is pledging 20,000 more troops to this madness. We need more folks to stand up like Lieutenant Ehren Watada, who faces a February 5 court-martial for refusing to deploy.

We salute Lt. Watada for calling the war’s legality and morality into question and refusing to follow unjust orders. As his court martial approaches, the urgency to bring the troops back home increases daily. Saturday, January 27 marks a nationwide day of protest with a massive march on Washington. In solidarity, Seattle will be holding a rally and march at 1pm in the Central District. Lt. Watada and other guest speakers will be speaking at the Seattle rally.

Later that evening, the entire Massline Fam (Blue Scholars, Common Market, Gabriel Teodros w/ Khingz Makoma and DJ daps1) will be rocking two shows (5pm - all-ages, 9pm - 21+) in Tacoma (Hell’s Kitchen) in support of Lt. Watada’s speaking campaign against the war. Special guest speakers, including Lt. Watada himself and the Bayan-USAhomie Rachel Cendana will be at the show as well. See you there! (go to www.masslinemedia.com for more info)

————————-

DEMONSTRATE to BRING THE TROOPS HOME NOW!

When: 1:00PM
Where: Gather at 21st & Union, at the Center for Social Justice (The formerly the Dixon Campaign Headquarters), followed by a march to protest the military recruiting center, then onto Langston Hughes Center in nonviolent demonstration against the war in Iraq.

Watch Out for This Thing

posted by on January 25 at 1:44 PM

Tonight is the night of Wizard Rock.

While the Whore Moans are busy celebrating their official CD release at the Sunset (check out Megan’s CD review here), their label-and-house-mates the Ironclads will be competing in UW’s Battle of the Bands at the HUB, with first place taking an opening slot before Cursive later this year. While I can’t really objectively vouch for the Ironclads myself anymore—I’m going to be producing the band’s first EP later next month—anyone who has seen them play out will tell you that the Ironclads are going to fucking destroy UW tonight. I missed their last show at the Union Building, so I’ll be there. Megan will be at the Sunset. You should spend your evening with the Whore Moans or the Ironclads, too.

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I Believe In Miracle Chosuke

posted by on January 25 at 12:26 PM

For a few years around the end of the millennium, I was deeply enamored with a particular brand of punk/hardcore typified by batshit analog synthesizers, epileptic rhythm, tongue-in-cheeck metal poses, flailing limbs, petulant vocals, and art-school drop-out aesthetics. That the best name anyone could come up with for this stuff was “spazzy hardcore” doesn’t speak too highly of the critics and conceptualists associated with the scene, but whatever—I loved me some Locust, Blood Brothers, Red Light Sting, (early) Hot Hot Heat, all Teen Cthulu affiliates, etc, etc. What was great about all these bands for me was that they kept all the dangerously kinetic energy of hardcore while doing away with the bullshit thug/jock macho posturing, so that skinny boys and girls could play in the bands and thrash around at the shows without getting (too) hurt. The inherent misogyny and homo-eroticism of macho hardcore was exposed, parodied, and laughed at, and it was fucking fun. Another fun thing about this particular period of shows for me was that everyone seemed more than willing to throw odd bands together in a basement, to juxtapose grind with synth punk with sludge, and that too deflated the puritanical elitism that occurs whenever a given scene is too insular.

One band that really excited me during this time, but that I never got to see live, was Miracle Chosuke, a band that existed for about a minute, releasing one record, The 7/8 Wonders Of The World on Steve Aoki’s Dim Mak label only after breaking up. Miracle Chosuke are more punk than hardcore—they’d fit in nicely among Dirtnap’s more synth-damaged bands—but listening to a tape of their record on the way to or from a show always made me want to spaz the fuck out in a way that was totally hardcore. Their songs are short, unsteady bursts of acidic shrill, pogoing rhythm, and sugary hooks—it’s cotton candy thrown-up on the tilt-o-whirl. Their album is, like the band, over before you’re ready, but luckily with albums you can just rewind and start again.

Tonight in Music

posted by on January 25 at 11:50 AM

As reported yesterday, tonight’s Earl Greyhound show has been canceled.

The Valkyries are still playing, though, and Zac Pennington suggests that you go:

THE VALKYRIES, NEON NIGHTS, RECEDER, ERODER
(Funhouse) Repping an epic, appropriately ink-ready appellation fresh out of the gate, the Valkyries join Seattle’s already (un)healthy sleaze-rock contingent with a sound heavily indebted to the likes of Judas Priest and Iron Maiden. And as their awe-inspired moniker suggests, the city’s latest (if that sort of thing is quantifiable) filth-fused foursome don’t just bleed for rock ‘n’ roll—they bleed monthly. Which is, frankly, an awful lot of blood. Wrap that all around the girlish growl of semioperatic lead singer Katred the Merciless, and, well… you’ve got a pretty good idea if this is going to be up your alley. But be warned: Once it’s up your alley, you might have a difficult time getting it out again. ZAC PENNINGTON

I, however, will be at the Sunset to help the Whore Moans celebrate the release of their new album Watch Out for This Thing. I love it, and I say so in this week’s CD reviews.

Who Is This Hardcore Band? Fashion Show.

posted by on January 25 at 9:22 AM

Sent in by Erin Skipley, of Yoshimi Designs. A hardcore metal band practices a few doors down from her sewing studio. She says, “They play stadium level noise in their 9 ft. practice space.”

Hint, they rehearse in Fremont. Any guesses?

I asked Skipley what it was like trying to work while the band practiced. She said, “It’s like World War IV. But I have a fashion show coming up, and I have to sew. I just pretend it’s Ozzfest”

The show she is talking about is called Habeas Corpus.

Friday, Jan 26th at Ouch My Eye Studio – 1022 1st Ave. S. Right before Safeco Field.

It’s a benefit for PlanUsa.

Featuring the clothing of Yoshimi Designs, Gypsy Baby , Wai Ching , Papusza Couture , and Kristen Ferrell .

Music by DJ Scorpio, DJ Whiplash, Ms. Margie, and Mattack.

Doors are at 8 pm. Show at 9:30. $10

Yoshimi:

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Pictures by: Mike Chandler and Jenny Jimenez

Continue reading "Who Is This Hardcore Band? Fashion Show." »

He’s At the Top of the UK Charts

posted by on January 25 at 9:06 AM

And his name is Mika…

And I fucking love this song. But I would, wouldn’t I?

He played two secret shows in the United States this week; one in Minneapolis yesterday, one in LA Monday. If anyone out there saw one of Mika’s US shows, I’d love to hear about what he’s like in concert.

Girl Talk (Extended Mix)

posted by on January 25 at 12:40 AM

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Girl Talk: Deft juxtaposer.

This week’s Data Breaker feature is on Girl Talk (Greg Gillis), who plays Chop Suey Sat. Jan. 27 with Velella Velella and Library Science. Unfortunately, I could only fit a small fraction of the Girl Talk interview in the column, but in the interest of providing hardcore GT fans added value, I present the complete Q&A below the jump.

Continue reading "Girl Talk (Extended Mix)" »


Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Worst Band Photos Ever

posted by on January 24 at 6:30 PM

It’s so crucial to have a good band photo. As a photographer, I’m always trying to find good backgrounds in Seattle to use for photo shoots. Backgrounds that AREN’T brick walls. Only assholes get their band photo taken in front of a brick wall. I just stumbled across a website that preaches the same. THIS ARCHIVE might be old news, but if you haven’t seen it, the photos and captions are pretty funny. Well, “funny” in a dumb frat boy kind of way… but still… it’s definitely a good guide of what NOT to do for your next promo picture.

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Also Tonight

posted by on January 24 at 5:25 PM

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How could I forget about this show? Romance, Spook the Horse, Shorthand for Epic, and With Friends Like These at Chop Suey. Show starts at 9 pm, costs $6 at the door. Stay home, kids, it’s 21+.

Tomorrow’s Earl Greyhound Show is Canceled

posted by on January 24 at 5:10 PM

This just in from the Crocodile:

Thursday’s big Earl Greyhound show has been canceled due to their van flipping on a patch of ice. Luckily, all the band members and their gear are fine.

Glad everyone is okay. Winter touring is scary.

MC Scat Cat

posted by on January 24 at 4:56 PM

Ever since I posted this clip of Paula Abdul going nuts on Q13 (she claims she was tired and that she was getting two audio feeds that were making her seem crazy, for the record), I have been totally obsessed with Dave Schmader’s comment about her getting raped by MC Scat Cat. In fact, MC Scat Cat was my favorite part of the Coachella poster I posted earlier today. If you need a little refresher on why MC Scat Cat is so weird, here you go. Don’t blame me for the nightmares.

Bye Bye Java Jive?

posted by on January 24 at 4:54 PM

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An in-the-know Line Out reader shared this with us:

Bob’s Java Jive, Tacoma’s nearly 80-year-old coffee pot-styled building that houses a karaoke bar, was closed indefinitely Wednesday after city inspectors found serious electrical, building and fire violations.

The News Tribune has the full story.

I remember seeing Peter Parker and Polecat there once, when they were doing all-ages shows in the early ’00s. It’s a bummer to lose it. It’s not often that you get to watch a rock show in a giant tea pot.

I’d Like Your Hair Long

posted by on January 24 at 4:10 PM

So I just got my hair cut (Robin at Halo on 3rd always does such a lovely job). On the way there, I sang the Pavement song “Cut Your Hair.” On the way back, after losing a few inches of hair, I started singing Hum’s “I’d Like Your Hair Long.” Now, though, I can’t get Beck’s “Devil’s Haircut” out of my head.

There sure are a lot of songs about haircuts.

Sarah Rudinoff’s Guilty Pleasure

posted by on January 24 at 2:40 PM

At around midnight last night, Sarah Rudinoff sang two songs to a crowd of about 30 people at CHAC’s Lower Level without a microphone. She was accompanied by the 23-year-old principal cellist of the Seattle Symphony, Joshua Roman. (He’s the youngest principal musician in the orchestra’s history.) The first song they did was Joni Mitchell’s The Last Time I Saw Richard

He told me all romantics meet the same fate someday
Cynical and drunk and boring someone in some dark cafe…

…and then they did Fiona Apple’s “Not About Love.” (It’s easier to use a piano as percussion than it is to use a cello, but Roman did it—by hitting it.) Rudinoff told the crowd, “Fiona Apple’s my guilty pleasure.”

The other performers were mostly classical musicians and poets—it was a benefit for the Pride Foundation, thrown by local arts-fundraising extraordinaire Josef Krebs—and afterward Rudinoff was mobbed. A white rapper chick told Rudinoff not to be ashamed for liking Fiona Apple, and Rudinoff said, “Oh, I’m not. I’m loud and proud about it.” (It must be said: Fiona Apple’s Extraordinary Machine is a great album.) More than one person asked Rudinoff when she was going to record an album of some kind, and she said, “I’m working on a four-track demo that I can shop around.” Also: she’s going to record some stuff with Roman. Awesome.

Re: Because I Can’t Leave Fergie Alone

posted by on January 24 at 1:38 PM

She also “sang” on Disney’s Kids Incorporated. I get weak:

Because I Can’t Leave Fergie Alone

posted by on January 24 at 1:35 PM

Before she ruined Black Eyed Peas (as much as you could ruin something that wasn’t that awesome to begin with), Fergie sang on Ricki Lake in a white En Vogue group called Wild Orchid.

Ha HA!

Thanks to my buddy Cab for giving me yet one more Fergalicious thing to laugh at and mock for eternity.

Fun Boy Three - Our Lips Are Sealed

posted by on January 24 at 12:59 PM

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Sometime, probably around mid to late 1981 Fun Boy Three frontman Terry Hall co-wrote this song with then Go-Go guitarist Jane Weidlin for their debut album, Beauty and The Beat. The Go-Go’s released the song as their debut single in 1982. The song peaked at 20 on the US charts that year, and though it never reached a higher spot, it stayed popular enough through single sales and radio airplay to stay on the Top 100 for nearly the entire year.

Well, 1983 rolled around and Terry thought he’d let his band, Fun Boy Three have a go at the song. He released it as the first single off Fun Boy Three’s second album, Waiting. Waiting is an interesting album, if not just for the fact that it’s procuced by Talking Head frontman, David Byrne, but the backing band for the entire album is nearly all female (keyboardist/arranger Nicky Holland, trombonist Annie Whitehead, cellist Caroline Lavelle,original girl punker and drummer June Miles-Kingston, and chillout vocalist Ingrid Schroeder). I wonder if this wasn’t a nod to his friends, The Go-Go’s.

Fun Boy Three’s version did better right off the bat then the version by The Go-Go’s. It peaked at number 7 in the UK charts, beating the Go-Go’s UK peak at 47. However it failed to do anything in the US at all, and to this day remains a bit of an anomaly and mystery to the ears of many stateside listeners.

The original 12” to this single is interesting. God knows why, but Terry decided to try an Urdu version of the song on the b-side. There are two rumours about this version, one is that it’s just Ingrid Schroeder reading phonetic Urdu as the vocal line, which seems fairly plausible, due to it’s spirtless reading. The other rumour is that they actually picked an old Pakistani woman from one of Coventry’s (where Terry lived at the time) markets and had her translate and read the lyrics. It’s interesting, but whichever way it was done, this version lacks any punch the original had.

They also put a Special Remix Version on the single, which has some interesting spoken word bits in it. You can check out some samples on my blog, here.

Here’s the video for the original single version.

For Eric

posted by on January 24 at 12:57 PM

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Via Matablog.

Many Strings Attached (and Attacked)

posted by on January 24 at 12:53 PM

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Jherek Bischoff: Channeling Mingus is hard work. Photo by Bruce Dugdale.

Tonight seven Seattle-area ax masters invade the Rendezvous’ Jewelbox Theater to solo their hearts and minds out—just for you. The Fourth Annual String Specialists Concert (sponsored by Wall of Sound Records) features these talented individuals:

Jherek Bischoff (the Dead Science)
Devin Welch (Shoplifting)
Brad Dunn (Sleepy Workers)
Michael Ohlenroth (Wall of Sound Records)
Mike Shannon (Aono Jikken Ensemble)
Resistor (Waves)
Alex Sprout Guy (Degenerate Art Ensemble)

Show starts at 8 pm sharp, costs $5, and is located at 2320 2nd Ave in Belltown. Good pluck, everybody.

Fantastic Junk

posted by on January 24 at 12:36 PM

I am the proud new owner of a non-functioning record player. It’s been a while since I’ve had a long player hooked up to my stereo; I’m looking forward to going bargain bin vinyl diving once again, as well as being able to listen to this and this. But first I have to get the thing fixed. So, Sloggers, I ask you: where are the best places in the city to get old busted analog equipment up and running again? And how expensive is it?
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Correction

posted by on January 24 at 11:58 AM

I heard wrong about Stop Biting leaving the Lo-Fi for Thursdays at the Baltic. It’s the same fellas, but it’s a different night, with a different name, aiming for its own vibe. Stop Biting’s not going anywhere. My bad.

Tonight in Music

posted by on January 24 at 11:55 AM

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GREAT NORTHERN, DIVISION DAY, BARTON CARROLL
(Sunset) The music of Barton Carroll creeps me out. And that is a good thing indeed. So many folks in the realms of roots and Americana are so darned likeable—either as entertainers, or imaginary drinking buddies, or for their folksy humility. But Carroll seems unconcerned with such poses. Which isn’t to imply the Seattle vet is a jerk; he’s just unashamed of sounding… well, weird, even on recognizable covers like “Dark End of the Street.” His recent full-length, Love & War, offers up 10 melancholy miniatures shaded with brass, woodwinds, and strings, plus disquieting chromatic ornamentation. And his singing voice, a tremulous yet tender keen, recalls oddballs like Robert Wyatt or Antony, particularly on haunting originals like “Scorched Earth.” This isn’t outsider art, per se, but it evokes a similar, beguiling-yet-scary affect. KURT B. REIGHLEY

Floyd Standifer

posted by on January 24 at 11:01 AM

Seattle trumpet legend Floyd Standifer passed away Monday night. The Seattle Times’ Paul de Barros has a fine obituary.

“We are a hard bop group,” Standifer declared at a gig several years ago. “Amen!” shouted someone in the audience just a few feet behind me. Standifer’s fine solos and even-keeled trumpet tone as well as his occasional (and endearingly distinct) singing will be missed.

Found My Cherry

posted by on January 24 at 1:19 AM

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Don Cherry: Astral jazz traveler.

After searching for it for 11 years, I finally found Don Cherry’s Brown Rice on vinyl—at Everyday Music, for $6. Deal!

[Waits for applause to subside.]

Brown Rice (A&M, 1976) is my favorite Don Cherry album, although I think his soundtrack for Alejandro Jodorowsky’s The Holy Mountain is even better, but that recording has never been officially released. Don is the man for all your pocket trumpet and eerie vocal needs—needs you didn’t even know you possessed, but you most certainly do, dear reader. He also played a mean electric piano when he needed to.

A former member of Ornette Coleman’s classic late-’50s ensemble who also played with John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Albert Ayler, Gato Barbieri, and his daughter Neneh’s amazing early-’80s group, Rip Rig + Panic, Cherry carved out a distinctive niche in avant-jazz circles. He was one of the rare jazz musicians to successfully incorporate various world musics into the idiom, both in his solo career and with the trio Codona featuring percussionist Nana Vasconcelos and sitarist Collin Walcott. Cherry immersed himself in European, African, and Far Eastern cultures to learn firsthand about their musics. Some of the adventurous fruits of his travels can be heard to powerful effect on Brown Rice.

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The LP starts with the title track, one of the great chill-inducing rare-groove cuts. Charlie Haden’s rotund, growling bass, Don and Ricky Cherry’s xylophone-like keyboards, and Verna Gillis’ eldtritch female “ooh ooh”s dominate the opening section. The track keeps escalating to ever-more-thrilling waves of kozmigroove genius as it goes along, with Frank Lowe breathing fire into his tenor sax and Bunchie Fox’s electric bongos stealthily percolating below the hubbub. “Malkauns” is a midnight raga that both writhes with menace and drones with bliss. Moki’s moiré tamboura coloration and Haden’s nimble, contemplative bass establish a Holy Mountain-ish aura of mystical transcendence, tickling your chakras as if they were metal bars on a vibraphone. When Cherry’s trumpet and Billy Higgins’ kinetic drums enter, it’s like a triumphant sunburst shafting through a window in the Taj Mahal. For several minutes, Cherry’s trumpet ripples with increasing intensity while the rhythm section matches its attractive agitation. The track’s last two minutes reiterate its meditative opening section.

“Chenrezig” and “Degi-Degi” (side 2 of the LP) aren’t as inspirational as the preceding two cuts, but they capably further Brown Rice’s profoundly spiritual vibe. Both conjure vividly hued mandalas of Eastern-leaning jazz fusion.

You get all of this plus pugnacious grump Stanley Crouch’s laudatory liner notes. Good luck with your quest for Brown Rice. May it not take as long as mine did. (Or you could buy the much-easier-to-find CD, or maybe get it on iTunes, but where’s the fun in that?)

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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Ain’t No Other Letter Dances Like You

posted by on January 23 at 9:21 PM


As reported earlier today, respected DJ and producer Disco D (Dave Shayman) took his own life this morning. Although only 27 years old, he was already more than ten years into a prolific and diverse career that began as a young upstart DJ in the Detroit area’s thriving late ‘90s ghettotech scene – releasing his first records while still in high school and holding residencies at local bars before he was old enough to get into them – and ended as a sought-after producer working the faders for the likes of 50 Cent and promoting new talent from Brazil’s baile funk scene. He is remembered as much for his contributions to dance music as for a bright, energetic personality that was an inspiration to all around him.

More after the jump…

Continue reading "Ain't No Other Letter Dances Like You" »

I Hate Bruce Springsteen

posted by on January 23 at 3:06 PM

Does that make me un-American? Not only has the blasting of “Born to Run” here at the cafe made it impossible for me to concentrate. Now one of the boys at the table next to me is singing along! Save me!

All Apologies

posted by on January 23 at 3:05 PM

Access Hollywood (of all places) is reporting that

[L]ate Nirvana singer Kurt Cobain may finally be immortalized on screen with the permission of his widow, rocker Courtney Love.

Love has acquired the rights to Heavier Than Heaven, author Charles Cross’ biography on the late grunge singer, a source close to the star told Access. According to our source, several studios are in discussions with Love to bring the book to the big screen.

The rocker also confirmed the project is “in an embryonic stage,” with a post on a Courtney Love fansite MoonwashedRose.com. “[It] has no script and no director attached, let alone stars,” she added.

It may all be bullshit, but if it’s not—and it absolutely has to happen—please, for the love of God, don’t cast this guy as Kurt.

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RIP Disco D

posted by on January 23 at 2:42 PM

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Ghettotech prodigy Disco D, a perennial (if underground) Seatte favorite who went from rocking the rave scene to producing 50 Cent, apparently committed suicide this morning, after a long struggle with manic depression. The man and his productions will be missed.

Record Release Tuesday

posted by on January 23 at 2:05 PM

Good luck leaving a record store with any money left in your pocket today. Here’s just a sample of what’s being officially released January 23, 2007:

Tom Brosseau Grand Forks (Loveless)
Clinic Visitations (Domino)
Deerhoof Friend Opportunity (Kill Rock Stars)
Ghost Stories Quixoticism (Sonic Boom)
Menomena Friend and Foe (Barsuk)
Of Montreal Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer? (Polyvinyl)
The Shins Wincing the Night Away (Sub Pop)

Local DJ Dies In Car Crash

posted by on January 23 at 1:08 PM

The Stranger received this sad email today:

I am a friend of Charles “Charlie” C. LaBenz, also formerly known as dj SooNami. I wanted to shoot an email to you to let you know what a great guy he was and how he was killed this last Saturday, the 21st in a car accident in Anacortes, Washington. I’m a friend who fell out of touch with Charlie in the last few years but was called yesterday and informed of the news. I can’t find anything in the papers or on the web about his death. I find this very sad. He has been an area dj and small business owner in the Seattle area for many years and was one of the greatest guys around. I’d love to see something posted about his passing. He deserves it. His funeral is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 27th at 2pm at the Christian Faith Center in South Seattle.

knitnotwar 1,0o0

posted by on January 23 at 1:00 PM

Like the Decemberists? Enjoy knitting? Generally opposed to war? If you answered yes to two or more of these questions, go read my Slog post about knitnotwar 1,0o0.

Morning Bass

posted by on January 23 at 12:55 PM

This is Evan Flory-Barnes. Bass player for Industrial Revelation.

I was getting coffee at Solstice in the U District the other morning and he was absolutely getting off. I had eye bugers.

Industrial Revelation are bass, drums, trumpet, and Fender Rhodes keys. Evan said, “We’re more than jazz. We do from Kanye to Mingus and Bird to Bjork.”

Industrial Revelation play Thursday, Jan. 25th at 7:30 PM at EMP as part of the Earshot January Jazz Series.

Level 3 of the Science Fiction Museum. All Ages.

Tickets are $7 for EMP members and $15 for everyone else.

There may also be a discount if you have eye bugers.

Ted Leo Comes to Seattle

posted by on January 23 at 12:15 PM

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Ted Leo is coming! Ted Leo is coming!

I heart Ted Leo. I’ve said so many times before, so I’ll spare you my gushing now, but I’m oh so excited to see that he’s going to be playing the Showbox April 17th. Tickets go on sale this Saturday, the 27th, at 10 am via Ticketmaster.

His new album, Living With the Living, will be released March 20th and you can hear a song from it, “The Sons of Cain,” here.

In other Ted Leo news, Mr. Leo is going to perform a solo set at a benefit show for Callum Robbin’s this Friday in Brooklyn. Back in December I posted about how Callum, the adorable son of J. Robbins and his wife Janet, was diagnosed with Type 1 SMA, a genetic motor neuron disease with no cure. The NY show will raise money for Callum’s costly treatments. Medications, the Forms, an Last Letters will also perform—if you’ll be in the area, go. Tickets are available through Ticketweb.

If you can’t make it to the show, but still want to donate, you can do so at Desoto’s website.

Black Lips Are NOT Gene Simmons Without Makeup

posted by on January 23 at 11:39 AM

Man! Harsh. You know, I just saw Gene Simmons without makeup last week. He’s scary. And I think he wears a wig.

I have to agree to disagree with this post from yesterday. Sure the Lips show at the Crocodile was lacking something…. it definitely wasn’t like this show at The Comet when Cole tried to play guitar with his penis, and everybody threw trash all over…. or last fall’s show at the Funhouse when Cole peed in a plastic cup, took a drink, then threw it all over the front row. It definitely WASN’T like the show, again at the Funhouse, I think Spring of ‘05, when I was standing front and center to shoot video, and Cole barfed all over the mic stand, then turned and barfed all over me, covering me and my camera in watery vomit.

But dammit. Not everybody at the Croc show was bored. Do these people look unhappy?

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Much of the lack of energy did fall on the shoulders of the crowd. The typical arms-folded-Seattle-Crocodile-crowd. I’m starting to hate shows at the Crocodile, to be honest. Shows are always more fun at the Comet or the Funhouse, when you’re standing on the floor with the band. They just are. Even when you’re covered in puke.

Speaking of puke, I finally found that old footage of the Black Lips puking on me. I also interviewed Jared and Cole at about 3:30 in the morning after Friday’s show. Well, Sean Spits, I mean ace news reporter “Dan Brockman” interviewed them.

WATCH THE VIDEO HERE

Black Lips Forever.

Good for a Sunny Winter’s Day

posted by on January 23 at 11:35 AM

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So I got this in the mail yesterday. The new Papercuts album, Can’t Go Back, was created, directed, and operated by San Franciscan Jason Quever with the help of some friends. It’s coming out March 6 on Gnomonsong, the label owned and operated by Devendra Banhart and Vetiver’s Andy Cabic,

The Gnomonsong site describes Can’t Go Back as “a marriage of timeless songs, richly textured studio sounds, classic rock/pop hookery, and focused narratives—all delivered with Quever’s warm voice and wonderfully layered melodies.” And you what, I didn’t believe them. I figured it would be something none-too-exciting with bland vocals and soft, soporific strummings.

Instead, it’s magnificent. It’s clever and poppy and thought-provoking and, above all else, fun. And this only after two listenings. It’s good for a sunny winter’s day like today. Download a couple tracks from Papercuts’ MySpace and go for a walk in the park. Achieve happiness.

You can see Papercuts live at Neumo’s on February 16.

“Pull Shapes”

posted by on January 23 at 11:07 AM

The Pipettes are my favorite new band…

Gay / Not Gay

posted by on January 23 at 11:03 AM

Somebody call King Missle. This morning, Idolator reports on a zany Christian website—called Love God’s Way [sic]—that’s attempting to list every gay band they can uncover, because, as they say, “One of the most dangerous ways homosexuality invades family life is through popular music.”

Here’s their “Gay” list so far:

The Spores
Scissor Sisters
Rufus Wainwright
Merzbau
Ravi Shankar
Wilco
Bjork
Tech N9ne
Ghostface Killah
Bobby Conn
Morton Subotnik
Cole Porter
The String Cheese Incident
Eagles of Death Metal
Polyphonic Spree
The Faint
Interpol
Tegan and Sara
Erasure
Le Tigre
The Gossip
The Doors
Phish
Queen
The Strokes
Sufjan Stevens
Morrissey
The Pet Shop Boys
Metallica
Judas Priest
The Village People
The Secret Handshake
The Rolling Stones
David Bowie
Frankie Goes to Hollywood
Man or Astroman
Richard Cheese
Jay-Z
Depeche Mode
Kansas
Ani DiFranco
Fischerspooner
John Mayer
The Indigo Girls
Velvet Underground

(Yes, that is a sweet playlist. If the evangelists behind Love God’s Way [sic] ever lose their tax-free status, they could always make money selling pre-programmed iPods.)

Here’s their list of some safely “Not Gay” bands for your kids instead:

UnderOath
Cyndi Lauper
Falling Up
Flyleaf
THE TURNING
Disciple
P.O.D
By The Tree
Scott Reed
Michael W. Smith
Jars of Clay
DC Talk
Danielson

But what I wonder is, where’s the website listing all the insidious, secretly Christian indie/punk bands? After all, one of the most dangerous ways Christianity invades family life is through indie rock. Sufjan Stevens can be the first artist to make both the “Gay” list and the “Christian” list. Danielson will be more confused than ever!

Tonight in Music

posted by on January 23 at 9:30 AM

From the Score:

SEATTLE SYMPHONY
The Symphony’s series of free neighborhood concerts serves up Copland’s “Hoe Down” from Rodeo, a Telemann viola concerto, the “Romance,” op. 42 of Jean Sibelius, Walter Piston’s boring Divertimento, and some Haydn, the Symphony No. 49 in F minor, nicknamed “La Passione.” Also Wed Jan 24 at the Langston Hughes Cultural Arts Center at 7:30 pm. South Park Community Center, 8319 Eighth Ave S, 684-7451, 7 pm, free.

From Data Breaker:

LOWFISH
As a producer and proprietor of Suction Records, Lowfish (Toronto’s Gregory de Rocher) keeps the retro-electro-bleep flag flying. Now, a lot of retro electro can sound overly enthralled with its ’80s progenitors. Thankfully, Lowfish appears to have absorbed some sonic developments since the Reagan era. Although I prefer his earlier, weirder IDM-ish output (see 1999’s Fear Not the Snow and Other Lo-fiing Objects), Lowfish’s more recent material abounds with both winsomely tuneful electro pop and Ectomorph-ish menace, which are delightfully old-school in execution yet not marred by stifling reverence for the past. Baltic Room, 1207 E Pine St, 625-4444, 9 pm—2 am, $10, 21+.

Also: Kane Hodder’s playing an all-ages show at Hell’s Kitchen, Verona’s at El Corazon, and G. Love is at the Showbox. But I’m not sure who’d want to go see G. Love….

Cate Blanchett Is Fit (But My Gosh Don’t She Just Know It)

posted by on January 23 at 8:16 AM

Cate Blanchett has been added to the very short list of women I would bang. (Yes, Schmader and Savage, I can imagine having sex with a woman, but I’ve never done it. Sanders, you’re with me, right? Cate Blanchett?) Mudede is right; she is spectacularly beautiful in Notes on a Scandal, the sort of beautiful that just makes everything else not matter. (And that makes Judi Dench look like a linty potato.) Which is perfect for the movie—again, Mudede is right, the movie is great—because her beauty is the thriller’s engine, the central problem.

And buried in the middle of the movie there’s a reference to the Streets. Blanchett is getting banged by one of her high school students in a railway yard, or she just got banged in the railway yard, or she’s about to get banged in the railway yard, when the student—he’s 15, she’s more than twice his age—says, “I think you’re right fit,” and Blanchett says, without missing a beat, “Yeah, but don’t I just know it?”

It sent me right back to 2004. Here, to go with your coffee, is the video for “Fit But You Know It.” Not a bad morning song to get stuck in your head. Plus, dude’s hot.


Monday, January 22, 2007

A Heavy Friday Night

posted by on January 22 at 5:55 PM

Last Friday’s show at the FBK house was a damn good one. City of Dust opened, playing straight-ahead hardcore crust, and I liked them a lot; I’d see ’em again.

Iskra were great, though I was disappointed that the second, female vocalist they had last time I saw the band play was not with them this time. She had a deeper voice that went well with the regular, male lead singer’s Discordance Axis–like vocals. Their crustified black-metal songs were long and filled with plenty of intricate guitar work—including extreme tremolo picking—plus the drummer had TWO bass drums and like 800 toms. I sensed that some of the crowd was somehow getting bored by Iskra, and a few people left during their performance, possibly due to their lengthy between-song explanations about what each song was about. The band members made several mentions as to whether they were boring everyone, and at one point the guitarist remarked that some crusties don’t like Iskra because of the band’s strong anarchist beliefs that they’re not afraid to share via long metal songs and stage banter. Personally, I can get behind a band that writes songs—and explains them—with conviction, although lengthy talks between songs can hurt the pace of a good, fast show. That said, Iskra played an excellent set; don’t miss them in March at the two-day fest Burning Portland (I’ll post more on that as the date nears).

Oroku, once again, blew me away with their heavy, heavy crust. They are so fucking good! As I’ve said before, they’re very reminiscent of His Hero Is Gone (especially the vocals), but with more droney parts and a husky, tough-yet-beautiful cello. They played a short, concise set, and they just rocked my socks off. Oroku recently got back from a European tour, so hopefully they’ll be playing more local shows. In the meantime, they’ve got an LP/CD out, which should be purchased immediately by all.

Can’t Make It To Coachella?

posted by on January 22 at 5:01 PM

Eric’s list of artists playing Coachella this year have gotten a lot of people around the office and the world slobbering for tickets. But what if you don’t want to or can’t afford to go? Here’s a very short and definitely incomplete list of Coachella-booked acts that will be making it to Seattle around the same time.

The Coup @ Neumo’s 3/3 (with Lyrics Born!)
Blonde Redhead @ the Showbox 4/21
Rodrigo Y Gabriela @ the Showbox 4/24
Konono #1 @ the Triple Door 4/27
Explosions in the Sky @ Neumo’s 5/6


Also, here are some artists that are playing Coachella that are coming in the near future:

Girl Talk @ Chop Suey 1/27
Lupe Fiasco @ the UW HUB Ballroom 1/31
The Roots @ the Showbox 2/3
Of Montreal @ the Showbox 2/9 (with the Blow!)
Sparklehorse @ the Showbox 2/14
Grizzly Bear @ Neumo’s 2/16

Rumors are floating around about many, many more of Coachella’s artists playing Seattle. We’ll keep you updated right here and in our new searchable calendar of music events up in that right hand corner. So don’t get too jealous of those California desert dwellers!

The Black Lips, or Kiss and Make Up

posted by on January 22 at 2:57 PM

Well, not exactly last night, but Friday night’s Black Lips show at the Crocodile was bound to be a disappointment. In the interview they did for the Stranger, they made a big deal about how being known for their gimmicky on stage antics was getting old, how the weren’t trying to be some “shock-rock” band, and how they wanted to be taken seriously for their music, maaan. That’s all well and good, but I can’t help thinking that their new corporate overlords, Vice, will be sorry to hear all that. A band doesn’t just cruise into a deal with a label like that based on garage psych revivalism alone—it takes blood, sweat, piss, and vomit to break Williamsburg.

But even sweat was in short supply at the Crocodile. The band played their songs, and well, but they were limp and static. One of the guys spat a loogie into the air and (almost?) caught it in his mouth. Some eager audience members threw ice and sprayed beer towards the stage, but if they were hoping to inspire some antics, they failed. For the most part it was a typical Seattle show—tired looking audience members and a seemingly bored band feeding off each others’ inertia.

Antics aside, I at least expected the band to look like a bunch of white trash southern punks, but instead each one resembled a different cartoon character hipster: the preppy/indie rocker, the hippie, the white hip hop kid, and one who could be best described as lumberjack/grunge god. There was no aesthetic to go with the total lack of energy.

It must suck to get pigeonholed as a gimmicky band, but if that’s what people focus on, it’s because it’s entertaining, and there’s no reason people can’t like your shtick and still hear your music—they’re not mutually exclusive. Still, Black Lips have turned a corner (or backed themselves into one), and now they face the challenge of maintaining some buzz without the riotous live show that garnered them so much attention in the first place. It’s KISS without make up, and nobody wants to look at Gene Simmons’ hideous face.

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And if the band want me to focus on their music, well fine. They play a fairly fuzzy, fairly acid-fried brand of proto-punk garage rock. It’s fine—not outstanding, but fine. A couple songs have pretty sharp hooks and a lot more of them just bash the same old chords against the wall, hoping something sticks. I know there are more serious criticisms than “it’s boring,” but there it is—you claim to be in the business of entertainment, so entertain me.

Justify Your Pod, Bitch

posted by on January 22 at 2:18 PM

There are a number of ways to really get to know someone, from watching them eat to travelling with them to another country to hiding tiny video cameras in their bathrooms.

But if you really want to see behind someone’s mask, without breaking the law, there’s only one thing to do: investigate their iPod.

Such investigation is the driving force behind Justify Your Pod, the new Stranger podcast in which a chosen subject—a Stranger staffer, a local politician, a visiting rock star—is forced to defend the five most incriminating songs on his or her iPod or other MP3-playing device.

Installment #1 features me grilling Stranger music queen Megan Seling, who holds forth on Ashlee Simpson, alterna-rock Christmas carols, and the propriety of fearing the reaper. Enjoy.

Attn: Seattle Bands

posted by on January 22 at 2:10 PM

There is life on Mars, I mean Yakima.

yak.jpg

For Seattle bands and DJ’s looking to play out of town, Yakima’s Sports Center is a most excellent venue.

They have had - Viva Voce, These Arms Are Snakes, Mark Pickerel, Schoolyard Heroes, The Village Green, Mountain Con, Sirens Sister, Ian Moore, and Velella Velella, to name a few.

They feed the bands, treat them well, and there’s a big downstairs green room area to put your equipment before you play.

Email Dan for booking info: bubbamo3 [at] juno [dot] com

Get on 90 East, drive for 2 and half hours, and rock the shit out of those people.

Pas/cal: Detroit’s Belle & Sebastian?

posted by on January 22 at 1:55 PM

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Pas/cal: Offering fey rays of literate pop light.

I like Belle & Sebastian, though not nearly as strongly as Christopher Frizzelle does. But I would like to thrust into your consciousness a band I think is at least as good as B&S: Pas/cal. This Detroit septet have been toiling for seven years and, despite glowing reviews from Pitchfork, they’re still way more obscure than they ought to be. Pas/cal have a new EP (their third) titled Dear Sir out on Michigan label Le Grand Magistery. It’s full of smart, baroque pop with indelible hooks, scintillating instrumentation, and some of the greatest fey male vocals ever. Check out their influences: Scott Walker, the Smiths, Left Banke, Serge Gainsbourg, Pulp, David Bowie, T. Rex, Nick Drake, Prince, Erik Satie, Robert Cacciapaglia. Impeccable taste, and it’s not empty self-aggrandizement, either.

Pas/cal’s singer/lyricist/multi-instrumentalist and drummer used to be in the ’90s psych-prog unit Asha Vida, whose As One of One and Nature’s Clumsy Hand CDs are worth scouring gemm.com or eBay for. Look for Pas/cal’s debut full-length, Citizen’s Army Uniform, later this year on Le Grand Magistery.

John & Beverley Martyn - Road To Ruin

posted by on January 22 at 12:45 PM

Last week while in Chicago the Virgin Megastore was having this unbelievable sale on Japanese imports and I picked up this long out-of-print album by a young John Martyn and his wife Beverley. I am not that fond of John Martyn’s solo work, but having heard a couple of songs sung by Beverley from this album I decided to pick it up. Besides, the price had been dropped from $28 to $5.

Road_to_ruin.jpg


Road To Ruin is amazing. It’s the second of 2 albums the couple made. John and Nick Drake were good friends and you might say that John copied some of Drakes lazy soft-spoken vocal style. It helps that the album, both of their albums actually, were produced by the masterful super-producer of the 60’s and 70’s, Joe Boyd (Pink Floyd, Fairport Convention, Incredible String Band, Soft Machine, Shirley Collins, Nico and Nick Drake are just a small blip on his massive resume and roster of stars he worked with and produced).

In Joe’s own words:

When my Witchseason Productions company made its deal with Island Records in 1968, Chris Blackwell gave me copies of the first two John Martyn lps and asked me to think about producing him. I wasn’t that big a fan of John’s and felt I had enough on my plate. But one of the new artist I was starting to work with was a young woman called Beverly Kutner, and she suddenly announced that she and John were going to be a musical and personal couple, so I ended up working with John after all.

John and Bev never carved out a career together - it was usually John doing solo gigs while Beverly minded the kids. But the records have some very enjoyable high points.

I spent many a pleasant evening with John and Bev and Nick Drake in a flat not far from Primrose Hill and remember those evenings with great fondness.


Beverley has pretty much been quiet for a while, but her Wikipedia site has some fascinating info about various colaborations in her past. John of course went on to be “John Martyn” and has released a large number of, to me, boring semi-“jazzy” folk albums, but John and Beverley Martyn’s two albums together are a wonder. Exceptional and beautiful.

Check out some samples at my blog, here.

Re: The Boys with the Palm Trees and Purple Sunset

posted by on January 22 at 12:20 PM

Remember almost a year ago when Christopher Frizzelle posted a Belle and Sebastian Fact of the Day every day for a week and a half before the band played in Seattle? Remember when I, absolute hater of all that is Belle and Sebastian, countered his postings with a Mayonnaise Fact of the Day every day for a week and a half?

Man, memories, right?

Some things never change.

In response to Frizzelle’s Belle & Sebastian post below, I’d like to give those who hate that “Boy with the Arab Strap” band something to watch other than a Belle and Sebastian video.

You’re welcome.

The Apples in Stereo

posted by on January 22 at 11:45 AM

Everyone who has ever been subjected to my record collection knows which record is always on top: the Olivia Tremor Control’s Singles and Beyond. It contains my favorite song of all time, “Fireplace,” which features Jeff Mangum (Neutral Milk Hotel) on vocals. It is a collection of singles that plays like a fully constructed album, with psychedelic noise breaks and all. It’s a marvel.

I am the biggest Elephant 6 freak you will ever meet (if you ever meet me). Elephant 6, of course, is the record label/collective that featured a lot of bands that are truly wonderful, including Of Montreal (who have recently bored my pants off- more on that some other time), the aforementioned favorite song makers, Secret Square, Elf Power, and the Apples in Stereo.

The Apples in Stereo were always my least favorite of all the major Elephant 6 bands. They are also the most consistent record-makers of all the bands, except Of Montreal (who I will no longer mention, as they have ceased being part of this aesthetic, according to me). I recently began to appreciate them a lot more as I listened to Fun Trick Noisemaker, their 1995 debut, during a really boring job that I had. I was always by myself late at night at this job, and the Apples in Stereo sound like they know what that is like.

Anyhow, all of this is heading towards something I did not expect- excitement for the new Apples in Stereo album which comes out on February 7th. The excitement is not purely because I appreciate Apples in Stereo—I must admit I am more interested because of two guests on the album. One is Jeff Mangum, who became a recluse about 10 years ago (he would pop up and cry on stage now and then) and has re-emerged to perform on this album and also maybe, with any luck, to record some new songs of his own. The other is Bill Doss, one of the main forces behind Olivia Tremor Control, who went on hiatus earlier this century. If either of these men had heavy influence on this album, it could easily be the best album this year. I will be buying this record the first day it comes out. Or, you could buy it for me. Just sayin’.

The Boys with the Palm Trees and Purple Sunset

posted by on January 22 at 11:19 AM

Here, to celebrate the announcement of this year’s excellent Coachella lineup, is Belle & Sebastian performing “The Boy With the Arab Strap” at Coachella in 2002. There are a lot of things wrong with this version—the sound is weak, they play the song about twice as fast as they should, Stuart drops some of the words—but there are beautiful things in it too, namely (1) palm trees, (2) a purple sunset, and (3) new lyrics: “…The cigarette catches and sets off the smoke alarm. What do you think of the sound of the Foo Fighters floating across the”—mumbles something, hard to make out over the laughter—”on a summer’s day. But it’s not quite summer but it seems like summer to us.”

God. Are you looking at that sunset?

Totally Neat, Totally Sweet

posted by on January 22 at 11:00 AM

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Anthem for a New Tomorrow is my favorite Screeching Weasel record. (Give me a break, I was only eleven when the classic My Brain Hurts was released, and just eight when Boogadaboogadaboogada! hit the market, and as we established earlier, I wasn’t really ready for Screeching Weasel in 1988 seeing as how I wanted to be Cyndi Lauper and marry Joey Joe McIntyre. So sue me.)

I bought this album from my friend Erik for $3, and it was my first Screeching Weasel album. That’s probably why it’s my favorite. I was 16 years old, and I was also in the habit of spraying my hair with my airbrush to give myself temproray green, orange, and/or blue streaks. I wasn’t punk enough for the permanent stuff, and with my blonde hair even the semi-permanent dye would stick around long beyond my point of interest.

I loved this record instantly; once I heard “I’m Gonna Strangle You,” I was hooked. Being the misunderstood psuedo-punk 16-year-old, I could think of dozens of people I wanted to strangle! I drove around town in my navy blue Ford Tempo with a green Op Ivy sticker on the back window blasting Anthem as loud as it could go without causing the dashboard to make that annoying buzzing sound from the booming bass. I thought I was so cool.

I really wanted to be the girl(s) Ben Weasel was singing about in “Thrift Store Girl” and “Totally,” but with its bouncy bass lines and melodies, “Leather Jacket” was my favorite song. There’s just enough venom mixed with the self-loathing and it’s all wrapped up in a catchy package of early ’90s pop punk. I also like “Talk to Me Summer,” the instrumental. It’s got such a simple guitar part, but it’s the perfect summer condensed into two minutes—bright, warm, relaxed. “Peter Brady” always made me laugh, and I loved the fact that it made fun of nerds while still telling the nerds to just be themselves and not give a fuck.

Ultimately, though, it was the sad bastard “I fucked up, I’m going to be alone forever” emo anthem “Every Night” that I listened to on repeat. I remember wishing I had a boyfriend just so he could break up with me and I could listen to that song a “feel” it. I was such a sissy. I’m a bad ass now, but I still fucking love that song.

Tonight in Music

posted by on January 22 at 9:30 AM

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MC VAGINA, KOCHO-BI-SEXUAL, DREAMFOX
(Sunset) MC Vagina’s live show has never lived up to the spastic crass and brass experimental hiphop-esque sound blasting from speakers, because until recently, the “band” was only a dude and his friends rapping over the swarms of infected video-game-gone-wrong sound bites being spit out by a CD player. But for the past month or so, MC Vagina has been performing as a real band, playing their songs about pap smears and Scarlett Johansson’s vagina with real instruments. Apparently a name change is in the works, to go with the new makeover, but of course KEXP still isn’t gonna play ‘em. MEGAN SELING

Click here to listen to MC Vagina.

Coachella

posted by on January 22 at 9:12 AM

Holy shit:

!!!
Air
Amos Lee
Amy Winehouse
Anathallo
Andrew Bird
The Arcade Fire
Arctic Monkeys
Avett Brothers
Benny Benassy
Bjork
Black Keys
Blonde Redhead
Bojones
Brazilian Girls
Brother Ali
Busdriver
CSS
Circa Survive
Coco Rosie
Comedians of Comedy
Cornelius
The Coup
The Cribs
Crowded House
DJ Heather
DJ Shadow
Damien Rice
Decemberists
Digitalism
Erol Alkan
Evil Nine
Explosions in the Sky
Fair to Midland
Faithless
The Feeling
Felix Da Housecat
The Fields
Fountains of Wayne
The Frames
Fratellis
Ghostface Killah
Gillian Welch
Girl Talk
Gogol Bordello
The Good, The Bad and The Queen
Gotan Project
Grizzly Bear
Happy Mondays
Hot Chip
Jacks Mannequin
Jarvis Cocker
Jesus & Mary Chain
Jose Gonzales
Julieta Venegas
Junior Boys
Justice
Kaiser Chiefs
Kings of Leon
Klaxons
Konono No. 1
The Kooks
LCD Soundsystem
Lily Allen
Lupe Fiasco
MSTRKRFT
Manu Chao
Mika
Mike Relm
New Pornographers
Nickel Creek
Nightwatchman
Noisettes
Of Montreal
Ozomatli
Paul Van Dyk
Peaches
Peeping Tom
Peter, Bjorn & John
Pharaohe Monche
Placebo
Pop Levi
Rage Against The Machine
The Rapture
Red Hot Chili Peppers
Regina Spektor
Richie Hawtin
Rodrigo Y Gabriella
Roky Erickson and the Explosives
The Roots
Rufus Wainwright
Satellite Party
Silversun Pickups
Sonic Youth
Soulwax
Spank Rock
Sparklehorse
Stephen Marley feat Jr. Gong
Tapes ‘n Tapes
Tiesto
Tilly and the Wall
Tokyo Police Club
Travis
VNV Nation
We Are Scientists
Willie Nelson
Yeva

Rage Against the Machine?! Happy Mondays!?! Really, there are too many surprising (Rage)/awesome (Soulwax) artists to single out, but damn! This is a great lineup, so much more exciting than last year. Who’s got a pool in the area?

Interview with Myself: Joni Mitchell Edition

posted by on January 22 at 8:46 AM

How did you discover the Joni Mitchell song “California”?

I went to Everyday Music to buy Joni Mitchell’s Court & Spark, because I had been meaning to look into it for a while, had never heard any Joni Mitchell at all —

You’d never heard a Joni Mitchell song? When was this?

Like, a month ago. I know. Anyway, my comrade Josh Feit happened to be at the music store buying obscure 1920s pop or something. They didn’t have any copies of Court & Spark, so Feit advised me to get Blue. He said, “Wait, that’s the one with ‘California’ on it, right?” We checked the song list. “That’s the best song ever written.”

Do you agree that it’s the best song ever written?

Can’t think of a better one right at this moment.

What is so great about it?

The first few notes. The melody. Her voice. The way she sings: “I met a redneck on a Grecian isle. He did the goat dance very well.” It’s the “very well” — the way she stretches out the “verrrr-ee” and almost forgets to sing the “well.” Plus, that’s just a great sentence right there. You think she’s going to tell you something about the goat dance, but instead she tells you that he did it — whatever it is — well. Love sentences like that. It’s like that line in The Sun Also Rises when Jake Barnes is talking about a book that can do damage to a young man’s mind, a book that’s set “in an intensely romantic land, the scenery of which is very well described.”

What are you talking about?

Never mind.

Does “California” sound better when you’re in California?

Slightly better, yes. I was in California a couple weekends ago and I tried it.

You made up this “interview” to deal with the randomness of blogging about a song that came out 36 years ago that everyone else on the planet already knows about, right?

Pretty much, yeah. Although there’s gotta be somebody out there who’s never heard it. Or maybe it’s just been a while.

Anything else?

Yeah, here’s a video of her doing the song live. She doesn’t sing the “very well” the way she does on Blue, alas… So if you’ve never heard the Blue version, you should go buy it. But it’s still great! It’s just her and a weird pink dress and a dulcimer, and there’s a good minute of hippie-lady talk before she starts singing, and a cute laugh afterwards when the applause thunders.


Sunday, January 21, 2007

Toot Toot!

posted by on January 21 at 11:10 PM

I’ve been writing Underage since January 17th, 2002. It’s been five years; I’ve written around 260 columns.

I was just thinking about these numbers while trying to fight off writer’s block and finish a music piece for this week’s issue, and my nostalgia prompted me to look up the very first installment of Underage I ever wrote (you know, for inspiration or something). It was about a show I attended at the Paradox, and it’s not very good.

Man, five years goes by fast.

And now I really should stop procrastinating…

More Alice Coltrane

posted by on January 21 at 10:09 PM

For an hour-long tribute to the amazing Alice Coltrane, tune in right now to Floatation Device on KBCS 91.3 FM or the live stream.

I had meant to rhapsodize about the marvelously blunt tape splices in Alice’s “Universal Consciouness” and tie ‘em into the 50 or 60-odd splices in Mingus’ Black Saint and the Sinner Lady but that will have to wait….

Listen to This Right Now

posted by on January 21 at 6:07 PM

Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, strap on your headphones and listen to this right now. Listen to the lyrics! Unless, of course, you don’t like beautiful songs with beautiful lyrics, in which case, forget I said anything and go back to whatever you were doing.

(Corianton: you are missed big-time, buddy.)

Claude vonStroke: Music Nerd Does Good

posted by on January 21 at 2:08 PM

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Friday night I made the trek to Holocene in Portland to catch Claude vonStroke, who wasn’t coming through Seattle this time around. I went in with high expectations for the night, seeing as how CVS completely killed at Chop Suey during Decibel (which far too many people missed by camping out at Neumos), but my expectations were blown out of the water, both musically and personally. Not only did Claude von Stroke’s official set range from all points on the dirty house/techno spectrum (dirty bass, not dirty lyrics), the later private set revealed a music nerd with no pretensions.

After the Holocene set ended, my cohorts and I made a few stops before ending up at the promoter’s house. Turned out Claude vonStroke was playing the basement. With the arrival of myself and friends, that brought the count to five people, but he took it as seriously as he did the main set. Around 5:30am things got even more intimate as people decided to head upstairs to crash, leaving CVS and myself. It turned into the DJ set equivalent of watching a DVD with director’s commentary, with assorted praise, culled rarities (“I never get to play this track! Just listen to that…there’s nothing going on!” referring to Mono Junk’s “Channel B”), and adventurous new mixes (“Those two tracks aren’t even meant to go together! They’re 22 years apart!” as he went from a Kevin Saunderson classic to something from 2006). It shifted from a DJ set to two dudes geeking out in a basement. With all of the praise he’s received over the last year both personally and for his label, Dirtybird Records, it’d be easy for ego to get in the way, but it became apparent that Claude von Stroke is incredibly grounded, just a music nerd playing music that he likes for anyone that will listen.

Claude von Stroke finally stopped playing around 7am. He ended the conundrum in which we found ourselves (I’m the type that will dance until the music’s done, while he’s the type to play as long as someone was listening) with another play of his own “SomeOne.” He let the last record play out, and within thirty seconds was passed out on a futon, his last moments of consciousness spent offering up the record as a gift. The (dirty) bird had landed for the evening.

For those of you that haven’t heard CVS’ music, here’s his official promo mix.

The Junkyard

posted by on January 21 at 10:10 AM

So I wrote about the Junkyard in this week’s Underage column. Now, after being open for only two weeks, the venue’s already been shut down.

This was posted on the club’s Myspace page Friday evening:

the junkyard has been closed down due to not having bathrooms.

the city of tacomas fire marshal found out about the building and now if we have anymore shows, I (Josh B) will be thrown in jail.

the show on sunday the 21st has been moved to the eagles club on 4810 south tacoma way

we need all the support we can get right now. we need people to show up to this show,

IAMTHETHORN, Behold, Owen Hart, This Time Tomorrow, The Helm, Strength To Endure

5 bucks
6pm

please come and help us build a relationship with this new potential venue.

The show that was supposed to happen tonight was also tonight’s Stranger Suggest. As the posts says, the show will go on at its new location, the Eagles Club at 4810 S Tacoma Way. It’ll be a great show. Don’t miss it. Support the all-ages scene.

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(Conflict of Interest) Full-disclosure: The Stranger’s design director, Aaron Edge, plays guitar in this band. But I liked ‘em before he worked here, dudes, and that little fact should not stop me from talking about this really stellar band comprising notable local hardcore heavyweights. Just check out this lineup: Edge, who’s done time in both Harkonen and Grievous, is joined by Johnny Pettibone of Himsa and Undertow fame, Joe Axler of Skarp and Book of Black Earth, and Jerad Shealey of Receder. Now how the fuck could that be bad? It can’t and it’s not. (The Junkyard, 6402 S Tacoma Way, Tacoma, www.myspace.com/thejunkyardvenue. 6 pm, $5, all ages.) MEGAN SELING

Tonight in Music

posted by on January 21 at 10:00 AM

For a Sunday night, the city’s pretty bumpin’.

Yeah, I just said bumpin’.

THE SHAPESHIFTERS, CLOCKWERK, TULSI, DJ KRUK
(Chop Suey) A sort of Southern Californian, equally-debauched-if-less-studious answer to the Wu-Tang Clan, the expansively large and shifting collective that is the Shapeshifters make music whose id could cover this earth. With a tremendous variety of MCs alternately filling the ranks they are, like the Wu of old, a truly chaotic property, equally adept at indulging in awesome, weird flows and drunken mayhem. Their last record, 2004’s scumbag-beloved The Shapeshifters Was Here, was an epic monument to drug-addled, geeked-out hiphop brotherhood; over the sprawl of its 20 tracks and 80 minutes it fixated on dinosaurs, Transformers, the alien leadership, and generally stained clowning. Perhaps most remarkably, the Shapeshifters claim not just mutual appreciation but true respect from the varied camps of indie hiphop (both Slug of Rhymesayers and Quannum’s Pigeon John chimed in on tracks on Was Here). SAM MICKENS

BOWLING FOR SOUP, MELEE, OVER IT, QUIETDRIVE
(El Corazón) Two years ago—almost to the day, actually—I wrote an Up & Coming in which I stated rather offhandedly that Bowling for Soup were unequivocally “the worst band in the history of pop music.” Some six months and a couple thousand semiliterate, band-provoked hate letters later, the aging mall punksters elevated my rather low blow to the smelly shoulders of teenagers everywhere, in the form of a misquote on the back of a tour T-shirt. Upon the hollow threat of litigation, the band contacted me personally to offer me one of the shirts—a settlement which I obviously jumped at. So why am I again writing about Bowling for Soup when neither you nor I even remember what novelty single they rode in on? Because I never got my fucking shirt, that’s why. And I’m going to keep writing these stupid previews every time they come to town until I do. ZAC PENNINGTON

TECH N9NE
(Neumo’s) The music of Kansas City’s Tech N9ne exists in an almost Christian rock—style bubble, self-sustaining and seemingly oblivious to rap’s mainstream. In the mold of the much-maligned Insane Clown Posse, Tech N9ne has managed to carve out his very own morbid, suicidal speed-rap niche with the independent numbers to match (something like 500K in the last few years). His newest LP, Everready: The Religion, is another dose of his apocalyptically angsty hiphop, with the occasional cut (the venomous “Come Gangsta,” or the E-40 featured, Rick Rock—produced “Jellysickle”) to appease fans of his older, more hardcore output. With his Strange Music having inked a distribution deal with Universal last summer, and a cauldron-bubbling fan base, Tech’s face paint and spiked hair might end up being the latest “swagger” beaming at you off of the cover of XXL. LARRY MIZELL

Vera Project Announces Opening Weekend Details

posted by on January 21 at 2:38 AM

This just in:

Vera Project Grand Opening: Welcome Home

On Tuesday, February 20th, the locally renowned Vera Project will officially open the doors of its new home in Seattle Center to folks all over the Seattle area. After almost a year of acting as makeshift music venue, the always all-ages club will host a ribbon cutting ceremony followed by three concerts over the following weekend. As a thank you to the community that helped build Vera’s new location, every single one of the opening week events will be completely FREE!

Kicking off the festivities will be a ribbon cutting ceremony on February 20th at 3 PM sharp, complete with food, refreshments, and the Mayor of Seattle. In addition to Mr. Greg Nickels, Vera’s faithful supporters will also surely be in attendanc—community members young and old who are excited about the possibilities this new facility brings to the Seattle music scene. Fortunately, the party doesn’t stop here. Planned are three consecutive shows in the new space, a sort of “breaking in” of the new venue for the many acts to follow.

The first night, Friday February 23rd, will be a massive hip-hop showcase. Hometown heroes Common Market will headline a solid line-up, including Grayskul, and Bay Area sister organization, Oakland’s own volunteer-powered Youth Movement Records. Saturday night will see the house brought down by These Arms are Snakes and Kane Hodder, and Sunday brings the celebration to a close with familiar faces such as Mt. Eerie, Holy Ghost Revival, and Tiny Vipers. While such amazing weekends are commonplace at the Vera, it is not often that so many great artists are featured free of charge. Such magic could only happen at the Vera Project.

So why all the hoopla? Well, the Vera certainly has a lot to be excited about. The new location, situated on the corner of Warren and Republican streets in Seattle Center, has potential that previous sites never had. Besides a vastly improved silkscreen studio and an expanded art gallery, Vera will also have tools such as a fully equipped recording studio for educational and public use. However, while Vera has come a long way in terms of its physical presence, it has retained its dogged earnestness in educating and entertaining the youth in Seattle that walk through its doors. Opening weekend is the perfect chance to witness how far Vera has come in its six years and what the future holds.