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Archives for 02/25/2007 - 03/03/2007

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Three Great ABBA Songs (For Dave Schmader)

posted by on March 3 at 4:25 PM

My three favorite under-represented ABBA songs for you, David Schmader.

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First, Hey Hey Helen, which ws they European b-side to Fernando. This is also on the album ABBA. ABBA totally gives you the heavy metal treatment you always knew they wanted to do….

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Second, don’t be scared, it’s just ABBA doing three American southern folk songs the way only ABBA can! A medley of Pick-A-Bale Of Cotton / On Top Of Old Smokey / Midnight Special. This was the b-side to Summer Night City.

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Finally, what is probably their worst single cover photo for their final single - ever! Under Attack came out in early 1983 and was the last song we would every hear from the band as a whole.

I Love ABBA!

Downloads for a short time at my blog.


Friday, March 2, 2007

HOLY F#$*!!! Why Didn’t Someone Tell Me?

posted by on March 2 at 9:16 PM

Or did I miss it? ( I was on vacation for 10 days!)

Bjork is coming back to the PNW!

Sasquatch May 26.

I may pass out.

Tickets on sale tomorrow for $55 plus $1000 in fees from ticketmaster.

A Press Request That Will Live in Infamy

posted by on March 2 at 6:53 PM

Everything below is [sic], except I deleted the correspondent’s name. Note to all seeking coverage: Study this email to know what not to do.

my name is xxxx xxxx. I work w/a producer who is releasing an album featuring some of seattes top urban artists like vitamin d, choklate, the parker bros. etc. we would like to meet with u to get sum press onthe album coming out. it is differentfrom anything coming out now because it isnt all rap, it is music. please hit me back ,u will be pleasantly surprised

Re: Cristina - Disco Clone Prod. By John Cale

posted by on March 2 at 6:08 PM

Yes indeed, Terry, it is Kevin Kline (although not on all versions — there’s something like four or five, all told) playing the scoundrel on “Disco Clone.” Two years ago, Cristina explained this weird collaboration thusly:

“We tried every sort of man we knew about town, but they all turned into pussycats in front of the microphone. And then I talked to Kevin Kline, who was, at that point, playing Bruce Granit in On the Twentieth Century on Broadway, and probably needed the cash. I nipped backstage and said, ‘Would you like to make some money, and do this Macheath-esque vocal on a disco record?’ He agreed.”

You can read my complete liner notes on this fascinating woman (who is still around — she sings on the most recent Ursula 1000 album) here. They explain in greater detail why “Is That All There Is?” was yanked from the stores.

FUCK YOU PEREZ HILTON

posted by on March 2 at 6:02 PM

Just ‘cuz you can’t get any doesn’t mean you can go around comparing a great, positive gay icon to a lame, right wing gay icon.

Fuck You!

Hat Tip to Victoria.

Holy Shit!

posted by on March 2 at 5:20 PM

This is AWESOME:

(Hat tip to Brooklyn Vegan)

I Love Gene Defcon

posted by on March 2 at 5:19 PM

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Gene Defcon’s Throw Up and Die is a masterpiece of fun. Heavy syths and weirdness abound, but mostly it’s about lyrics like these, from “Yeses and Nose”

Yes Olympia yes punk rock/ Yes to cunts and yes to cocks/ Yes dance party yes to fun/ Yes swimming pools and yes to sun/ But no to college and the government/ And no to police and the president/ No to hippies and no to jocks/ No to rednecks and birkenstocks!/ Yes alcohol yes to sex/ Yes acid yes discoteques/ Yes lesbians yes to queers/ Yes freaky and yes to weird.

It goes on similarly. The only one I don’t agree with is “No to Macrame.” No, Gene! Macrame is great!

Anyhow, it’s perfect for getting yourself hyped for a crazy fun Friday night!

More Saturday Options (That Don’t Suck)

posted by on March 2 at 4:14 PM

Here I go, pimping my sexy friends. I know these guys; I love these guys:

Root Villa is a talented, fresh-faced quartet from the wilds of Oregon, and they’re hauling their amps from Salem to the Skylark Café tomorrow. Charming 60s-style pop with Elvis Costello’s twisted sense of structure can be heard HERE. Listen to “Soothing Song” once or twice and revel in its mysteriously airy poptastic goodness. Show them some love and get there early.

Meanwhile, at the High Dive in Fremont, Man Plus—a Seattle based electro-rock outfit with a knack for alluring histrionics—will be playing KEXP’s Audioasis. This being live and on-the-air, I expect frontman Jared will probably tear out his heart on-stage and eat it for the amusement of all gathered. Listen to their recent performance of “Kisses…” on KEXP and see what I mean.

What Sucks Right Now

posted by on March 2 at 3:25 PM

There isn’t a band I hate more right now than Red Jumpsuit Apparatus (including, today at least, the Red Hot Chili Peppers… maybe I have issues with bands with red in their name?). Anyway, have you heard them yet? They’re so serious and pretentious and TERRIBLE. Their over-played single, “Face Down,” prompted me to write this U&C in this week’s paper:

RED JUMPSUIT APPARATUS, EMERY, SCARY KIDS SCARING KIDS, A STATIC LULLABY, KADISFLY
(Fenix) Hey, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, I heard your song “Face Down,” that little anti-violence-against-women ditty that’s all over MTV2. (For those who aren’t familiar, the chorus is “Do you feel like a man when you push her around? Do you feel better now as she falls to the ground?”) I appreciate someone calling out bastards that hit women, but did you have to do it in such a sissy “let’s fight this fight with a song!” sort of way? Like, if some dude clocked me in the face, would you bust out from behind a brick wall with your overstyled hair and tight jeans and play this predictable drivel and expect that fucker to learn a lesson? He’d kick my ass and then beat you to death with your guitars. So thanks for the thought, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus (BTW—that name—WTF?), but I think I’m better fighting this fight on my own. MEGAN SELING

Seriously. I mean every word. They’re playing Saturday night at the Fenix with Emery, A Static Lullaby, and Scary Kids Scaring Kids. I would boycott the show, but instead I’ll be at the 31Knots/Matt & Kim/Two Ton Boa event at the Vera Project. It’s how I roll.

But just so you can get the full effect, here’s what they look like. (It’s easier to picture them breaking out from behind that brick wall in a burst of smoke if you can actually see their stupid hair.)

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Click here to find out what they sound like (if you must know). And when looking at and listening to Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, bear in mind this is what their “objective” as a band is:

Our Objective: Writing straight forward rock songs about topics that are REAL and you can relate to. There’s no hidden meaning. We want you to understand and we want to share it with you.

Ugh. It makes me die a little inside each time I think of them.

Now, just to prove I’m not a complete asshole all hopped up on hate pills, here’s a list of things I do like:

Fireflies
Jelly Bellies
Kittens and puppies
My sister
Jake Gyllenhaal
Super Troopers
Amy Poehler saying “I wanna kick ass so bad!” in that one Upright Citizen’s Brigade skit
Kiehl’s lip balm
Pancakes
and you!

Superproducer Scott Storch Unbelievable Tool

posted by on March 2 at 3:21 PM

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I’ve always kind of hated Scott Storch, the former Roots keyboardist (listed in the liners of Do You Want More?!?! as “dessert chef”) turned pop mega-producer. But my casual distaste for his tinny, fake Middle-Eastern faux-Dre beats has turned into deepest, blackest loathing. THE MOTHERFUCKER DECIDED TO RAP.

And not just any kind of rap—the self-proclaimed “Tuff Jew” is using his debut on the mic to diss Timbaland, an actual skilled producer (who, admittedly, also has no business rapping). “Built Like Dat” is Storch’s rebuttal to what he felt was Timbaland dissing him on Justin Timberlake’s “Give It To Me”:

I’m a real producer and you just a piano man…

The beef all stems to another JT song, “Cry Me A River,” which Storch alleges he produced in some part, though he received no credit. OK, fine, it’s well-known that producers employ studio musicians and ghost producers to write parts, such as Storch in the cases of both Timbo and Dr. Dre. Timbaland talking shit on other producers is also well-documented—check Timbo’s answering-machine addition to Eminem & Dr.Dre’s Jermaine Dupri-bashing “Say What You Say.” Producer beef, silly as it is, is only natural what with hiphop producers being more famous than the rappers that hire them.

HOWEVER! None of this means I should have to endure the sight of the gelled-up, stunna-clad Storch posing hard. None of this means I should have to stomach his “hot bars,” comparing the back of Timbaland’s neck to a pack of franks. Scotty Boy looks like a shiny-shirt Belltown Red Bull & Vodka junkie, just aching to run down somebody in his rimmed-up Excursion. In other words, he can’t talk.

So share my misery. Below I’ve posted up the JT video that set it off, and Storch’s abortion of a response.


Justin Timberlake- Give It To Me


Scott Storch f/Nox- Built Like Dat

The only thing that could possibly make me feel better after all that is someone hilariously prank calling Storch (and maybe Hulk Hogan)—oh thank god.

Cristina - Disco Clone Prod. By John Cale

posted by on March 2 at 2:45 PM

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Cristina – Disco Clone was the first record released on the influential, nihilistic No Wave label Ze Records. As you can see on the sticker on the cover, John Cale produces it. How weird is that? John Cale does a disco single. It gets stranger.

Word for a long time was that Cale also did the slithery, slimy male vocals on the track, which is about a guy who walks into a disco and meets a pair of beautiful twin disco dancers. But according to Cristina’s My Space page (which it is unclear whether she has anything to do with):

The single, which included guest vocalist Kevin Kline trying to seduce the breathy Cristina, was a modest success and encouraged ZE to forge ahead and release a full-length album by its first marquee name.

Kevin Kline?!? Now that’s weird.

Cristina went on to release a few solo albums, and joined up with Kid Creole and the Coconuts as a vocalist. You should check out her My Space page where there’s a sample of her version of “Is That All There Is?” It’s drastically different than the original (like going to boring discos, getting beaten black and blue by a “most wonderful boy”…”and I loved it!”, which all got her sued by Lieber an Stoller, the songs original writers).

I found this at Jive Time and paid $15 bucks for these 8 minutes of bliss (4 minutes each side). The back says, “This ricord is one of a limited edition of 1500.” I’d like to know if that’s actually true.

Go to my blog where I have downloads of both the English and French versions of the song. (This time on zShare!)

More Shit To Do This Weekend!

posted by on March 2 at 2:45 PM

A couple things I think Ari’s list and Christopher’s list failed to mention for this weekend. Both of these are on Saturday night:

Pleasure Boys @ Sugar - I just heard that Sugar’s going straight, so this night will be a good chance to get yr gay on one more time (w/ Deejay Jack, DJ Ate My Baby, and DJ Porq). Also, the night runs until 4AM!

House Show @ Camp Nowhere - A benefit for the scrappy house to buy a new PA (w/Sod Hauler, Among Thieves, & Same Sex Dictator). This night will NOT run until 4am.

Also, since everybody on Line Out seems to want MORE, MORE, MORE MATT & KIM:

This Week in Hot Men

posted by on March 2 at 1:00 PM

Allow me to introduce you to the boys of Clipd Beaks:
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I especially like the one on the left with the long hair.
Gallery 1412, I’ll be seeing you tonight!

Synsonic Global Harmony

posted by on March 2 at 12:51 PM

Way back, after World War I, in the 80’s, Mattel Electronics came out with Synsonic Drums.

Because of these little drum pads, world peace was achieved.

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Click here for a virtual version - Make fat beats, right there, with your mouse.

Big ass bass, a hard, stiff closed hi-hat, the snare – a burst of white noise, and using a thumbwheel control on the side, a tunable tom. It is no wonder nations joined hands.

You can make loops and sample the sounds. All analog, without any of the sounds being realistic at all.

Across the bottom were several buttons that would play these sounds at 1/4-note, 1/8th-note and 1/16th-note divisions of the tempo. By pressing combinations of these keys, you could play ‘rock’, ‘waltz’, ‘off-beat’ and ”shuffle’ patterns.

(Credit for the find: Jay Dillon)

The Sad Unravelling Of Foxy Brown

posted by on March 2 at 11:10 AM

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It’s easy to get swept up in all the head-shaving, rehabbing, fallen-woman antics of Britney Spears, but in all the excitement, let us not forget the equally hilarious, though less chart-topping human train-wreck that is Foxy Brown. NME reports today that the rapper is not going to jail, but merely returning to her probation after her latest run-in with the law. Let’s recap:

-Last October, Foxy Brown assaulted two New York City nail salon employees over a $20 manicure.

-She was sentenced to 3 years probation and anger management classes.

-Four months into probation, Ms Brown was arrested in Florida (violating probation by leaving the NY state) “after an altercation over hair glue with the owner of a beauty supply store.”

-Now she’s back on probation. Hopefully she has finally had her hair and nails done to her satisfaction.

Cinema 90: Where Are They Now?

posted by on March 2 at 10:58 AM

Okay, longtime Seattle residents and/or esoteric new wave fans, I’m on a quest. Some colleagues in Germany have reached out to me about tracking down a local ’80s synth act called Cinema 90. Apparently their song “In Ultra-Violet,” featured on the Engram Records Seattle Syndrome Two compilation, has become a cult favorite among fans of the genre, and there is interest in legitimately reissuing their work.

Does anybody know what became of Cinema 90 main man Colin McDonnel (also of 3 Swimmers)? Here’s what little background I was able to find at Minimal Wave:

Cinema 90 was from Seattle, WA and was the solo project of Colin MacDonnel. He had been keyboardist for local postpunk band 3 Swimmers before Cinema 90. He released one track, “In Ultra-Violet” on the Engram Records compilation called “The Seattle Syndrome 2” (1983). He performed at least twice in 1983 in Seattle’s Metropolis club (in Pioneer Square).

Colin also rates a very brief mention in Clark Humphrey’s book Loser. Local buffs Charles R. Cross and Gillian Garr have already passed along what little info they could to me. I anybody remembers or knows anything else about this band, or MacDonnel’s whereabouts today, please leave a comment.

AC Lewis (Suntzu Sound) Debut Live Set

posted by on March 2 at 10:45 AM

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He’s the floating head on the left.

This Tuesday, for Oscillate at the Baltic Room, Suntzu Sound’s AC Lewis will be playing his first-ever live set, following a live dub set from Kris Moon. Lewis is a talented hand behind the decks; it’ll be exciting to see what he’s got in store for his debut live set.

White Stripes Do the Icky Shuffle Thump

posted by on March 2 at 9:40 AM

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Here’s some good news from that pasty dude in the Raconteurs.

From a post dated 2/28 on the White Stripes website:

“Hello to all the Candy Cane Children in the land, the White Stripes have completed the recording and mixing of their sixth album. It is entitled: ‘Icky Thump’.”

The awfully clever post goes on to list a few song titles, including

Catch Hell Blues
Little Cream Soda
Monkeys Have it Easy (Discarded)
Rag and Bone
Clicky Bump (retitled into something pleasant)
Blue Orchid (relocated to previous album)
and
You Don’t Know What Love Is (You Just Do As You’re Told)

The duo apparently spent more time than ever in a Nashville studio (that being a whopping three weeks) and intimate that “your favorite White Stripes type songs may not be your favorite (pronounced favaright) White Stries type songs for long.”

Ah, anticipation.

The White Stripes play Bonnaroo in Manchester, TN on June 17.

Extended Proof

posted by on March 2 at 9:30 AM

Matt & Kim play tonight @ Chop Suey and tomorrow night @ the Vera Project.


Thursday, March 1, 2007

Looking to Record?

posted by on March 1 at 6:56 PM

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If you are looking for a recording studio or a mastering studio, the illustrious Jack Endino has put together a database for you:

Recording Studio Search


Saturday in the Park…

posted by on March 1 at 3:56 PM

Friday at the Symphony:

Peter Cetera will be in town with us next week for a single performance on Friday, March 9, at 8pm. As you probably well know, Peter Cetera is beloved not only for fronting the band Chicago, but also as a soloist who has written some of the most infectious pop ballads of our time (“The Glory of Love,” The Next Time I Fall,” “You’re the Inspiration,” just to name a few…it’s OK if you’re humming the songs as you read this.) Mr. Cetera will be making his debut with Seattle Symphony performing new material and past hits with the orchestra.

Cool Chart Site If You Have Too Much Time…

posted by on March 1 at 3:20 PM

While correcting my last post I found this site….

Ballard Continues To Think It’s Hot Shit

posted by on March 1 at 3:08 PM

BALLARD party at SXSW!!! Friday March 16th, 12pm-7pm The Big Red Sun 1102 E Cesar Chavez St Austin, TX 78702

Featuring:
Little Brazil
Jon Langford & The Sexy
The Tripwires
Ian Moore
The Nice Boys
The Cops
The Presidents Of The United States Of America
Schoolyard Heroes
Carolyn Mark
The Trucks
Rachel Flotard (of Visqueen)
Kinski
Grand Champeen

Refreshments courtesy of New Belgium Brewery!
Brought to you by: The Sunset, The Tractor, Sonic Boom Records, Seattle Weekly, Seattle Mayor’s Office of Film + Music, NW Branch The Recording Academy, ASCAP, New Belgium Brewery, Thingmakers, Mt. Fuji Records, Righteous Pursuit, Pork Chop Screen Printing and Archie McPhee

Zing! Who wouldn’t attend a showcase sponsored by Archie McPhee?

I Was Mistaken

posted by on March 1 at 2:53 PM

I’m sorry, Gabriel Teodros! I should have paid more attention to your show scheduling! But you are in fact playing the Lyrics Born/Coup show at Neumos on Saturday night, hence eliminating one of the stops on my very long show list. Thank you for being so understanding.

P.S. Sorry I got it wrong in print as well.

P.P.S. Charles Mudede’s article on you is rad!

Boney M And The Nefarious Frank Farian

posted by on March 1 at 2:16 PM

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Two of the top selling singles in UK chart history are by a sly excessively produced disco vocal group called Boney M. They’re huge double a side single for the songs Rivers Of Babylon / Brown Girl In The Ring, hit the top spot, not once but twice in 1978 selling 500 copies short of 2 million singles in the UK. It’s currently the #5 all-time selling single in UK history. They’re Christmas single of that same year, Mary’s Boy Child, is the #10 selling single in UK chart history. (Paul McCartney is the only other artist to appear twice. Once with The Beatles, and once with Wings.) Their greatest hits CD released in 1993 stayed in the top 20 in album sales for nearly a whole year.

But Boney M, and their impresario, Frank Farian, remains virtually unknown in the United States.

Created out of a mix of singers and dancers from the West Indies in 1975 to be a sexy front band for Frank Farian, original member Claudja Barry (yes the disco diva) left on short notice because she didn’t like, lip-synching and miming to Farian’s music and vocals. This would be a pattern that would return to haunt Farian in the future.

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Nonetheless, with their second album, Boney M started to take off in popularity, first in Europe, then eventually reaching the UK. With their third album, Nightflight To Venus, Farian and Boney M struck gold. As far as Farian and his production techniques are concerned the album is amazing. Most of the songs on the album are rhythmically propelled by hard drums and wicked bass lines, that give the album a very modern sound, and at times, even a balalaika joins in. (Have you ever heard that in a disco song?) The result is an intense and amazingly infectious ride. Nearly every song on the album is what we would now call an earworm, especially the track Brown Girl In The Ring, based on an old Jamaican children’s game. (In the 2004 documentary, Touching The Void, climber Joe Simpson recalls, being in a delirium and thinking he was going to die with that song, which he hated, stuck in his head.)

Starting with Nightflight, Boney M would have three consecutive number one albums in the UK, and a total of seven Top 20 singles in a row (11 total for their career). Just last year a musical opened in London’s famed West End based on the music of Boney M called Daddy Cool.

The pattern of fakery had been started with the group however, and it was hard to shake. Bobby Farrell, the male in the group, would contribute vocals to tracks, only to find them missing in final mixes, replaced by Farian’s own vocals. While the band did have a great reputation for it’s live performing, the rumors of lip-synching started to hurt their sales in the UK.

Flash-forward to 1990 and the amazing meteoric rise of pretty boy group Milli Vanilli. Can you guess where this is going? Farian was the producer of the group, whose first three singles, Girl You know It’s True, Baby, Don’t Forget My Number and Blame It On The Rain each reached the #1 spot on the US singles chart. They went on to win the Best New Artist Grammy in 1990.

In mid 1990, the boys in Milli Vanilli (Fab Morvan and Rob Pilatus), supposedly targeted Farian with a blackmail plot. They would tell the public they were not the real singers, if Farian didn’t start paying them more for their lip-synching duties. Farian, seeing no other way out, and not wanting to pay his front band any more money, called their bluff and announced to the world that Milli Vanilli was a fraud.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Even though Farian’s actions are pretty nefarious, it’s genuinely hard to not give him respect and credit for creating some of the most memorable dance music of the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s (He’s also the producer of gay nightclub anthem singer’s La Bouche).

Go to my blog here for downloads of Rivers of Babylon, Brown Girl In The Ring and the rhythmic balalaika sound of their disco/story song hit Rasputin.

Be warned however, that all three are very catchy and you’re likely to be singing “Rah! Rah! Rasputin / Lover of the Russian Queen!” to yourself for weeks.

The Ballet

posted by on March 1 at 1:58 PM

Speaking of the brilliance of Corianton Hale, he turned me on to this album the other day:

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Which I now love. I don’t know if you can buy it here. The group (“4 homos, 3 chords, 100 melodies”) is New York-based and their CDs are very DIY and apparently almost all sold out. The album is cheap on ITunes, though.

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Be forewarned, they sound like another homo band trying to do Stephen Merritt. But in my opinion there’s not enough Stephen Merritt in this world and, anyway, these guys get a little more raw with the sweet pop/gritty lyrics disjunction. The first song on the album, “Personal,” is all violins and lolli-pop and it begins “I saw you on gaydar…” Then it goes on:

I opened up the photograph / Lettered “Dingle, Dangle” / You looked to be 8 and a half / Could’ve been the angle

Next, the sleazy hookup, sung with the tender tones usually reserved for a wistful song about true love or some such:

I met you on a Saturday / You sent me an instant message / You wanted to meet right away / Under the Manhattan Bridge / I guess I didn’t understand / When you said, ‘Are you top or bottom?’ / I said, ‘Your wish is my command / whatever side you want I got em.’

I won’t tell you how the songs ends, but it’s… sweet.

House Night @ Sugar Tonight

posted by on March 1 at 1:56 PM

See, they're gummi bears and the club is called Sugar.  Get it?
There’s a new house weekly kicking off tonight. Community Project (the crew seems to be new, while its members are not) is taking over Thursday nights at Sugar with the creatively named “House Night.” Five bucks gets you a night of deep house. If the night they had last Friday at Rebar is any indication, expect to hear house more drawn from Detroit and Chicago than the west coast. Last Friday wasn’t packed by any means, but the people there were into the music, so we’ll see how that sound translates up the hill.

My Dosage

posted by on March 1 at 1:40 PM

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For those who aren’t up for Spool’s ass-shakin’ weekend outline— there will also be plenty of noise out there to spin your head and senses. Friday night the folks at Artworks (a fantastic local non-profit that gives youth professional opportunities in the visual arts primarily) host an opening with live performances from Ribbons, Bonus, Eric Ostrowski, and Stephan Gruber.

Ribbons is the orchestral side project of bass/string-player Jherek Bischoff of inimitable avant-rockers the Dead Science. In the midst of recording work with his own band, Bischoff has also managed to make time with Casiotone for the Painfully Alone, Parenthetical Girls, Xiu Xiu, and many more while recording and playing every instrument on the upcoming Ribbons releases. Ghostly, tense, and ethereal are the best words I have to describe what I’ve heard of Ribbons and Bischoff’s solo work, which will come alive this Friday with the aid of a live string quartet. Check out some samples at myspace.com/jherekbischoff.

Also on that bill you can look forward to the engulfing drones of improvisational noisesters Bonus, the experimental film and music of Eric Ostrowski, maybe film or live comics from Mr. Gruber, and of course the reason the show is happening: the opening of the Social Ghost Society group show. SGS features many talented young artists, including members of one of my favorite new bands, the vibrantly scuzzy noise-punks Talbot Tagora.

Several of my fellow Lineout-ers have hyped Matt & Kim’s weekend shenanigans, but I’m most excited to see Portland prog-rockers 31 Knots bring their incisive minds and music to the Vera Project’s stage. While I’m disappointed that their latest full-length, The Days and Nights of Everything Everywhere lacks the raw vitriol of their last LP, Talk Like Blood— I’m eager to see how their epic new compositions play out in a live environment.

Commence sweating.

2006 Weed Carrier Awards

posted by on March 1 at 12:38 PM

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Wherein UnKut.com gives tribute to

— Alltime Greatest Weed Owner (RZA)
— Weed Carriers That Became Weed Owners (Jay-Z)
— Least Talented Weed Carriers To Release An Album (The Bravehearts) (Who?)
— MVP Cracka Carriers (Everlast)
— All-Time Greatest Shaq Weed Carrier (Kobe Bryant)

and a bunch more.

Shit’s from early last year but still hilarious.

I’m Overdosing!

posted by on March 1 at 12:19 PM

There are so many good things to see this weekend I think I’m going to schvitz. Does anyone have a cloning machine that I could use to make myself appear in a million different places at once? Or, conversely, does anyone have a huge motherfucker of a warehouse where I could make all the bands play in a massive festival for two days straight? I will achieve with sheer willpower.

Tonight:
Mountain Goats/Pony Up! at Neumos
the new Baltic Room night Real to Real

Friday:
The aforementioned Matt & Kim show at Sing Sing at Chop Suey (I kind of just want to see how the hipster hetero meat market crowd reacts to something that’s actually fun)
Yip Yip and Pleasureboaters at the Comet
the Mooney Suzuki at Crocodile (I’ll skip the Strokes guy, thanks)
George Clinton at the Showbox
The Mountain Goats again at the Triple Door
Team Gina at the Wild Rose
Clip-D Beats at Gallery 1412

Saturday:
Lyrics Born and the Coup at Neumo’s
Matt & Kim with Little Party and the Bad Business at Vera
Gabriel Teodros at the High Dive
Red Jumpsuit Apparatus at the Fenix (JUST KIDDING)
Tim and Eric at the Crocodile

There’s good stuff on Sunday, too, but I’m sure I will be dead.

I swear I’m not just copying out of our pages this week. I would personally like to be at all these shows, and I am totally ashamed to not show my tiny little face at all of them (except Red Jumpsuit Apparatus–they suck). So the challenge is open- what’s going to be the funnest? I HAVE NO IDEA!

I’m starting to sweat already.

Yea Yeah

posted by on March 1 at 11:55 AM

There is no reason not to see Matt & Kim this weekend. If you’re over 21+, they’re playing tomorrow night at Chop Suey for Sing Sing, with DJs Franki Chan and Pretty Titty. If you’re all-ages (and who isn’t?), they’re playing Saturday at the Vera Project, with Seattle’s own posi-popsters, Little Party & the Bad Business. This is the proof:

Now That’s Spunk

posted by on March 1 at 10:06 AM

Thursday morning mail call: Let’s see… press releases, VIP invite to the Lusty Lady, hate mail, CDs from bands with terrible names, and… What’s this? A package from those rascals PBR Street Gang. They sent a CD, of course and… A pound of Starbucks coffee, that’s sweet, and…

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A bag of jism!*

Well shit, that got my attention.

If you can’t read the scribble on the bag, it says, “We love the American Apparel ads, keep ‘em comin HEART PBR Street Gang.”

Yes, I picked it up. It’s got quite a floral aroma to it, so either those drunk punks are eating dryer sheets for breakfast or the milky wad is actually Soft Soap.

Whatever. I’m touched.

Get a load of PBR Street Gang tonight when they play the Comet with Iceage Cobra and Hopscotch Boys.

* This is the correct spelling, according to the Stranger Style Guide. Spelled without any z’s, that word just doesn’t look right.


Wednesday, February 28, 2007

RIAA Targets More Students

posted by on February 28 at 6:13 PM

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According to an article in yesterday’s New York Times, the Recording Industry Association of America will increase its legal actions against students believed to be sharing music files through online trading sites.

The RIAA plans on mailing letters to 13 major universities across the U.S. threatening to sue individual students if they fail to respond.

The letters will offer students, whom the RIAA can only identify through their IP addresses, cash settlements that it claims will be “substantially less” than the $4250 average previous defendants have been forced to pay.

Which boils down to this: The RIAA believes these kids would’ve spent several thousands of dollars on new music if they weren’t able to download it.

Bullshit.

It’s also going to spend more money on legal fees than it could ever gain from these students just to prove a point. What that point is, I’m not sure. This protracted battle is vicious and unnecessary and only further undermines the authority the RIAA seeks to assert.

Oh Hey, And By The Way…

posted by on February 28 at 4:10 PM

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Last week while I was gone I put up 9 songs from my collection of singles. They range from Mudhoney and Hole, to Supertramp and Men Without Hats.

Also Luna doing a cover of Nilsson.

You can check them out, but only for a couple more days… Then they’re gone.

My blog is here.

Madleen Kane - Cheri (Side 1)

posted by on February 28 at 3:40 PM

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I’m just back from vacation, but this album has been on my mind the whole time I was away. Especially side one. I think I’ve listened through all 17 and a half minutes of it about 20 times in the last week. The writing and production work by Michaele, Paul and Lana Sebastian are spot on perfect. The “Mega-mixing” by Jim Burgess just seems to be a revelation.

Madleen Kane was born in Sweden in 1958 to a life of “luxury”. Travel, music and dance lessons helped give her the poise she needed to become one of the first european “supermodels” of the 1970’s. In fact, for a while she lived with modeling agent Eileen Ford and became an exclusive with the Ford Modeling Agency. When she was 19 she met disco producer Jean Claude Friedrich and through him was introduced to the Munich disco scene that revolved around Musicland Studios.

She recorded her first album with Thor Baldurson and Jurgen Koppers (two of mega-producer Giorgio Moroder’s right hand men), and at 20 she had her first club couple of hits and a Gold record with her first album Rough Diamond.

Her next album is the topic of this post, Cheri.

As with most “supermodel turned singer” her voice really isn’t all that, which is pretty obvious from the fact that her singing can’t even be heard on this recording until the 5 minute mark. Then it only lasts for a single song before being covered up by the symphonicly produced background vocals again. Slight, would be the definition I would use.

It’s interesting to think that that was how they dealt with mediocre singing back in the heyday of disco. They would just cover it up with layers of beats and background vocals. Nowadays, any self-respecting producer just uses pitch modulators to correct any discrepancy and volume controls to “turn up the vocals” (See Cher, Madonna, Victoria Beckham…). But for some reason on the first side of Cheri, this production style works to perfection!

The first 5 minutes of this album, the “Forbidden Love / Fire In Your Heart” part, was the single from this album, and reached number one on the club charts in the US. The rest of the side from this album is icing on the cake eventually returning to the stunning piano theme of ”Forbidden Love” for the closing of the side.

I’ll say it again. Perfection!

I know 17 and a half minutes is a lot to ask, but check it out, it really is beautiful.

Also, if your wondering, the album has been out of print since it’s release, so there are no new copies out there to be had. So enjoy this one while you can.

Download it at my music blog here.

(Yes. I realise you have to download a little program (Pando to be exact) to grab this song, but it’s 17 minutes long! and Yousendit.com won’t let me upload it. What’s a little extra step if you getting shimmer-y disco perfection?)

UPDATE: Here is the Yousendit.com link for FORBIDDEN LOVE!

Love and Theft

posted by on February 28 at 2:25 PM

What good is having a sister blog if you can’t rip them off once in a while, right? Freshly pilfered from the Portland Mercury’s Blogtown, PDX, here’s the new Modest Mouse video for the song “Dashboard” off their upcoming album, We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank. Yarrr!:

A Brazilian Tribute to J-Dilla

posted by on February 28 at 2:18 PM

Looks like it’s all Youtube all the time on Line Out today. Here’s another. A friend sent me this link which contains the video below of a tribute to J-Dilla as performed by DJ Nuts, DJ Primo, and drummer Pupilo. Originally performed as a bit of a surprise in the middle of a showcase of drummers and DJs, the show’s projected pictures of J-Dilla over the version of “Runnin’” make for one of the most touching reminders of J-Dilla I’ve seen. R.I.P. to him, and enjoy the video to the rest of you. Check the link above for more details.

[via J-Justice]

Fun With Asians

posted by on February 28 at 2:00 PM

Here’s an entertaining exercise:

First, go and read Kenneth Eng’s ferocious bout of self-loathing entitled “Why I Hate Asians”, penned for AsianWeek.com last month.

(Excerpt: “The first thing I hate about Asians in America is how so many of them want to suck up to whites.”)

Then go and watch last week’s MadTV spoof of Gwen Stefani, a music video titled “Aren’t Asians Great?”

(Excerpt: “Some of them are commies but they gave us origami so I’m asking now, aren’t Asians great?”)

Now ask yourself which one harbors more insidious stereotypes.

Coke Rap, ’60s Style

posted by on February 28 at 9:50 AM

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I’m putting the finishing touches on my piece on Clipse and coke rap for next week’s paper, thinking back to all the MCs who’ve rapped about street hustling and glorified criminality, and I hit a revelation.

The first coke rapper was Lightnin’ Rod, one of the famed Last Poets crew, who, sometime in the late ’60s, recorded the track “Doriella Du Fontaine.” The song is an nine-minute story about a New York hustler and his partner in crime, the unscrupulous Doriella Du Fontaine:

She said, “You be my man.
And together we’ll trick the land,
And I’ll be your true-blue bitch.
Although you’ll have to show me to those other squares,
I’ll take their dough and make you rich.”

And on the coke tip:

So next Saturday
I got real fly.
And I went to see Miss Du Fontaine.
I stopped off at my main man Joe’s,
Dude deals in snow,
And I copped me some cocaine.

Rod’s cadence and flow would decades later be mimicked by Butterfly of Digable Planets in his pro-choice track “La Femme Fetal.”

But what makes the track a super-standout and a pot of gold for diggers and serious rock devotees is the backup band.

That would be none other than Buddy Miles and Jimi Hendrix.

It’s a killer: one of the first-ever proto-hip-hop tracks about a coke-dealing, fly-dressing, booty-chasing hustler with Hendrix playing funky wah-wah rhythm guitar.

No YouTube, unfortch, but well worth seeking out.

Shout Out to the Incredible Mouth Band

posted by on February 28 at 7:46 AM

It’s kind of like Sly & the Family Stone’s “Dance to the Music,” but much more stripped down and more meta/self-referential… and not nearly as catchy or exciting. But it is a clever idea, neatly executed.

Hat tip: burdfur is green feathers.


Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Shawn Smith’s Pink Spell

posted by on February 27 at 1:50 PM

There are albums that you never get sick of, right? Why is that?

What makes an album have long life?

In 2003, Shawn Smith self released Shield of Thorns.

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For me, it has stayed viable. The more I hear it, the more I like it.

The lyrics, song structure, tones, arrangements, and production remain engaging. There’s not too much going on. Everything sets up everything else. And his vocals plead and cut with funk, soul, and gospel.

It’s honest. I think that’s why it holds up. The melodies and the progressions don’t get old.

Two of the songs, “Leaving California” and “Wrapped in my Memory,” appeared in episodes during the 5th season of Sopranos.

In “Wrapped in my Memory” he sings sadly:

“It couldn’t have happened to a better man / It couldn’t have been any different than it was
And you’re wrapped in my memory like chains
Wonder if i’ll ever be so unafraid / To walk to the river and turn around again”
.

In “Golden Age” there’s an urgency. You hear him at the end out of breath, gasping, spent.

Shawn’s like a gangster medicine man. He’s the outskirts of town, a shadow. A mystery. A Prince disciple who’s not afraid to watch Cheech and Chong all night long. His shows are always on.

You must witness if you haven’t.

Shawn is a piece of Seattle. Past bands are Satchel, Brad – with Stone Gossard, Pigeonhed – with Steve Fisk.

Shawn bands of now are The Diamond Hand, Forever Breakers, and a Malfunkshun project based on Andrew Wood, of Mother Love Bone called, Von Nord.

Shawn plays at the Rainbow Club in Milan, Italy, for a Pearl Jam Tribute Concert on April 24th.

The Pipettes Score U.S. Deal (FINALLY)

posted by on February 27 at 1:33 PM

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Billboard is reporting that polka dotted UK songbirds the Pipettes have finally signed an American record deal… only, what, eight months after We Are The Pipettes came out overseas? Still, if anyone has missed their sassy, Shangi Las-meet-Girls Aloud style indie pop hits (“Your Kisses Are Wasted On Me,” “Pull Shapes”), you can finally find out what the fuss is about when Interscope subsidiary Cherrytree (home to Feist and equally swell British rock act the Feeling) re-releases their debut this summer. Sheesh.

No word if the North American version will include bonus tracks, but after a wait like that it’d be downright insulting if it didn’t — especially since practically every Pipettes single has included non-LP b-sides. On the plus side, maybe this means the girls will finally play some U.S. shows besides their dates in New York and at SXSW in Austin, TX next month. Please?

Broken Disco Fixes to Get Busy

posted by on February 27 at 1:22 PM

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Decibel’s Sean Horton: One of Broken Disco’s prime movers.

Seattle’s electronic-music scene is about to get a huge boost in synergy with the emergence of Broken Disco. An alliance among four of the city’s savviest promotional crews—Decibel, Fourthcity, Sensory Effect, and Shameless—Broken Disco will happen every second Friday at Chop Suey. The event debuts April 13.

With their formidable knowledge, connections, and resources, Broken Disco’s operatives hope to book some of the world’s most exciting electronic-music talent on a monthly basis. Judging by their track record, this inspired allegiance should yield major dividends for fans of said music. Perhaps to the dismay of genre purists, but to the delight of open-minded people, Broken Disco will host a wide range of sonic styles. This is very good news.

Click through to read the entire press release.

Continue reading "Broken Disco Fixes to Get Busy" »

Tori Amos Is Insane

posted by on February 27 at 12:43 PM

And ever since she suckled that pig, I’ve found her insanity more arresting and palatable in visual rather than musical form.

Case in point:

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That is all.

Ain’t Talkin’ ’Bout Love

posted by on February 27 at 11:10 AM

The Van Halen reunion tour planned for this summer is off. Seems David Lee and Eddie still can’t get along.

Chicken Noodle Soup

posted by on February 27 at 10:48 AM

There are a lot of ways to deal with being sick—homemade soup, medicinal teas—but for my ills nothing beats a good mope, so I’m listening to Carissa’s Wierd’s wonderfully sad Ugly But Honest: 1996-1999. If you don’t have that handy, and if you’re feeling like death, please enjoy this live video (with surprisingly good sound):

JB + Prince + MJ x 1983 = Priceless

posted by on February 27 at 10:05 AM

It was around this time last year that Prince Rogers Nelson dispatched his lawyers to seek and destroy any unauthorized footage on YouTube. Most videos were removed, but as a testament to the power of hardcore fandom (and illicit file sharing), a few have recently been posted again.

That includes this clip, possibly the most epic/hilarious soul connection ever put to film.

James Brown is performing at a midsize concert venue sometime in the early ’80s. He invites Michael Jackon onstage, and MJ dutifully turns out a short and sweet vocal interlude before busting a few signature spin moves. Nice.

MJ whispers something in JB’s ear—he insists that JB call Prince to the stage. So JB calls Prince to the stage.

Prince makes his way through the crowd on the back of a giant albino.

He takes a guitar from one of JB’s band members, peels off his shirt, and then proceeds to rip through the most coked-out, flailingest, horn-doggiest guitar solo eva. It’s awesome and terrible at the same time.

Here’s why you have to stay tuned till the end:

After leading the audience in a funked-up clap-along, Prince stumbles to the side of the stage and attempts a graceful exit. Instead he ends up bringing down the scenery on top of the crowd.

Put on the headphones and turn up the sound—this one’s a classic, and it might not be around long.


Monday, February 26, 2007

Fresh Produce: Wu! All Right!

posted by on February 26 at 8:58 PM

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The RZA: Shaolin ‘nuff.

Sunday night’s Fresh Produce at Havana focused on the RZA’s productions. Fourcolorzack and a couple of his cohorts aired a wide-ranging selection of the Wu-Tang Clan producer’s bulging-with-greatness canon—and, thankfully, they gave the 30-second-snippet shtick a rest, as well.

Some of the crucial tracks I heard were Gravediggaz’ “Mommy, What’s a Gravedigga?” Raekwon’s “Criminology Rap,” Method Man & Redman’s “How High?” Wu-Tang’s “Bring Da Ruckus,” and that intriguing Ghostface cut based around an instrumental cover of the Beatles’ “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.”

I love Fresh Produce’s concept and hope it has a long run. Plus, I’m overjoyed to report, the sound system at Havana was vastly improved; about time. Next week’s FP features Topspin busting out J Dilla/the Ummah jams and March 11’s revolves around DJ Premier/Marley Marl & Cold Chillin, as hosted by Mr. Supreme (that’s gonna be burnin’). Fresh Produce happens every Sunday at 9 pm and is free.

www.SwordofDoom.com

posted by on February 26 at 4:23 PM

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Stuck in Seattle for Burning Portland? Worry not, for The Sword is coming. Prepare yourselves:

You Still Have to Reckon with the Space Above Your Head

posted by on February 26 at 4:12 PM

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Mount Eerie, Y.A.C.H.T. - The Vera Project, 02/25/07

I’ve been watching Phil Elverum perform for the last seven or eight years as the Microphones/Mount Eerie, and not too much has changed in that time. Elverum has occasionally played with more than just an acoustic guitar and his own voice, but that’s sort of the standard, and it’s more than enough to communicate the spare beauty of his songs. Elverum remains a charmingly human performer, fumbling in between songs, bumping mics, forgetting his setlist, and just generally acting like it’s his first time up on a stage. It would feel contrived if Elverum didn’t seem to act that way all the time.

Lyrically, Elverum’s always grappled with the same material: nature, the universe, life, death, the nature of existence, and his own personal place in the world. It’s been interesting to watch his understanding of these things change incrementally onstage and on record over the years, shifting from hopeful wonder to cycles of death and rebirth and finally to his current Anacortes Zen-hermit phase, in which songs about sweeping the floor are really songs about trying to hug the whole of existence. Another thing has changed since his Microphones days: Instead of describing epic moments and ideas with equally expansive, multilayered songs, Elverum now tackles these subjects with simple, straightforward acoustic guitar.

By now, and especially around here, Elverum has developed a significant cult following that hangs on his every comic gesture and stammer, and tonight was no exception. When Elverum instructed the crowd to sing along on the refrain to “Human,” everyone enthusiastically did as he said. And really, the reason he has this following is because these moments he orchestrates feel honestly magical. There’s a kind of transcendent, communal spirit to singing along, hymn-like (Phil Elverum let slip during “Get off the Internet” that “there is no god” and everyone laughed a little nervously). I guess that’s the purpose of Elverum’s humble humor, to deflate the more potentially heavy existential moments—at one point he joked that it was so quiet you could hear his fog machine (itself something of a joke) “farting,” and then easy laughter broke the silent spell.

Elverum sang one song that seemed to be a sequal/continuation of the Microphones’ epic “Moon,” in which he gently made peace with the formerly troubling satellite, only for it to rebuke him with the warning that he would still have to “reckon with the space above [his] head.” It was a perfect self-referential moment, bringing together years of searching and questioning, and reveling in the unanswerability of everything.

Y.A.C.H.T. on the other hand revel in booty-moving beats, inspirational speechifying, and silly dancing, and he brought all of those things in bulk. The crowd was nuts, turning the Vera lobby into an impromptu disco. I’m pretty sure one of his songs used an interpolation of “Get Innocuous” off of LCD Soundsystem’s stellar new album, Sound of Silver, so bonus points for that. Y.A.C.H.T. doesn’t live that far away (neither does Elverum, really), so why isn’t he playing Seattle dance parties every month?

New Chris Cunningham Video

posted by on February 26 at 3:57 PM

(Hat tip to Jerry Absract)

Justify Your Pod: The Mistress Matisse Experience

posted by on February 26 at 3:26 PM

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Justify Your Pod is the Stranger podcast featuring writers, musicians, and various other celebrity victims defending the most suspicious, troubling, and incriminating songs on their iPods.

This week, I grill Seattle’s most popular professional dominatrix/The Stranger’s most popular kink columnist Mistress Matisse. Among the talking points: the omnipresent kinkiness of the Alan Parsons Project, the surprising stature of Madonna’s “Hanky Panky” in SM culture, and the questionable horniness of babies. Enjoy.

Tonight in Music

posted by on February 26 at 3:05 PM

It’s Monday and while there isn’t a whole lot going on, there are still a couple options for people who don’t want to sit at home and watch TV (which, thanks to a wicked sore throat and headache, is exactly what I’ll be doing).

Mamafest takes over Neumo’s tonight with music by Common Market, the Cops, and the Senate Arcade. There’s also a “Boobapalooza Burlesque Bonanza” featuring Vienna le Rouge, Fushia Foxx, and Lucky Penny.

It’s free if you get there before 8:30 pm, and $8 after. All proceeds benefit breast cancer research.

Also tonight, the Look and Sirens Sister play Chop Suey for just $6.

I, however, have a date with Ted Mosby. Architect.

Burning Portland: Finally, Something to Look Forward To

posted by on February 26 at 1:02 PM

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Burning Portland, an amazing two-day fest of crust/hardcore/ grind/metal bands is going down Friday, March 16, and Saturday, March 17, at the Satyricon, 125 NW Sixth Ave, in Portland. Both shows start at 5 pm, it’s $10 for each day or $18 for both, and it’s all ages (bar w/ID).

Here’s the tentative lineup:

FRIDAY
Hellshock (Portland)

Massgrave (Vancouver, BC)

Limb from Limb (Vancouver, BC)

Sanctum (Seattle)

Kakistocracy (Asheville, North Carolina)

Appalachian Terror Unit (Huntington, West Virginia)

Happy Bastards (Eugene, Oregon)

Blood of Christian Children (Portland/NYC)

Squalora (Portland)

SATURDAY
Tragedy (Portland)

Iskra (Victoria, BC)

Warcry (Portland)

Alternate System (Garden Grove, California)

Mala Sangre (El Monte, California)

Against Empire (Los Angeles)

Gigantes (Portland)

Book of Belial (Portland)

Warcorpse (Portland)

The lineup has been changing, so I’ll keep updating on Line Out as I learn more, and, of course, post a reminder as the date gets nearer. (Originally, Orange County grindcore gods Phobia and SF thrashers Voetsek were slated to play, which would’ve been awesome, but, alas, they both dropped out.) And, according to the shows organizers in a recent post on Profane Existence’s message board:

It’s also rumored that an older Portland band may be reuniting to play as well, but that is still up in the air. Anyways, get pumped!

Get pumped, indeed.

Police Add Second Show

posted by on February 26 at 11:09 AM

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After Seattle area residents snatched up every last ticket to the Police’s June 6 concert at Key Arena, promoters LiveNation added a second show on Thursday, June 7. Seattle joins Vancouver, Boston, Toronto, Montreal, and New York as cities where the band’s first shows in 20 years have already sold out.

Tickets for the second show go on sale March 5.

Fess up: Which of you paid $225 for a ticket?

Every Other Day of the Week Is Fine

posted by on February 26 at 10:40 AM

Happy Monday.

The Mamas & the Papas and the Bangles feel your pain.

The Wizard Turns On NPR

posted by on February 26 at 10:19 AM

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Flaming Lip Wayne Coyne was the featured guest this past Saturday on NPR’s “This I Believe.” His testimonial, titled “Creating Our Own Happiness,” begins,

“I believe we have the power to create our own happiness. I believe the real magic in the world is done by humans. I believe normal life is extraordinary.”

This I believe: Coyne and the Lips create the greatest spectacle in rock ‘n’ roll. That’s a lot of happiness.

Listen here.


Sunday, February 25, 2007

Young & the Restless

posted by on February 25 at 7:30 PM

I’m going to be guest co-hosting the Young & the Restless on 107.7 the End tonight with Chris Travis from 8-10 pm. It’s gonna be all local music for two whole hours.

A few records I’m going to take with me are… the new Siberian EP, the Whore Moans, and Lake of Falcons. And Chris always has a few good things up his sleeve too, so tune in, it’ll be good.

Over and out.

Gabriel Teodros @ Chop Suey

posted by on February 25 at 3:52 PM

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Saturday was a banner night for Northwest hiphop at Chop Suey. Mass Line records had gathered an impressive roster of performers from near and far to celebrate the release of Lovework,, the debut solo record of Seattle native son Gabriel Teodros. By 10 p.m. the place was half-packed mostly with serious supporters – lots of pounds and hugs between friends – as the young female MCs of Canary Sing gave shout-outs to all the immigrants in the house.

Hosting the night was Khingz, Teodros’s partner in Abyssinian Creole, whose sister Rahwa Habte runs the blossoming hiphop hangout/Eritrean restaurant Hidmo. Khingz passed the mic to Burntface, an Atlanta MC with a sincere appreciation for the Seattle scene. “I used to think I was the only Ethiopian rapper,” he said. “Then I met Gabriel Teodros.” He launched into an intricate a capella with the refrain, “The President’s a gangsta/the Vice President’s a pee-yimp” before drawing out some heavy bounce from DJ Wd4d. “I’m an Ethiopian African-American,” he told the crowd between songs, “so I just call myself Blackopian.”

Up next was Beyond Reality, the duo of MC Kylea and her son, who looked to be around six or seven years old. “This is my hype man,” she told the crowd before busting into some supremely confident true school verses. The kid was fully on point, backing her up on choruses and shining with unabashed charisma. The pair pulled off a short, high-energy set like seasoned vets.

But when Medusa took the stage she left no doubt about who was running shit. To say the L.A. “gangsta goddess” doesn’t fuck around is an understatement. After a warning-shot a capella – “Gangstas, I’m tired of you fronting hard” — she stopped her second track five times until the sound man set the levels exactly as she wanted them: with her commanding voice up front and the beats hardly discernable. “Take what you want!” she boomed over a Middle Eastern-flavored beat. A few more times she told Wd4d to cut the music so she could incite the crowd, incite the sound guy, and generally berate any half-assers, and surprisingly, the tactic worked. By the end of her set, her overly rugged persona had grown tiring, but the entire room was at her command.

At 11:30 Chop Suey was crammed wall to wall with heads anxious for the main event. Teodros took the stage backed by a five-piece band and DJ. Keyboardist Amos Miller (who, in a local approximation of pre-bling Scott Storch, also produced Lovework) whipped the band into an instant froth while Teodros, diminutive among bigger bodies on stage, bounded into his set. His voice sounded thin after Medusa’s overbearing tone, but once he fell into cadence with the band the sound was full and funky. “Warriors” and its militant anti-status quo message drew the crowd in immediately. A brief instrumental interlude froze the hand-waving crowd for a minute as the band flexed their stuff.

At some point the stage lights went down and the band rocked a couple songs in total darkness, Teodros strobed by camera flashes. The crowd roared when the lights came on, and GT showed prowess on a new track seeing its debut that night. By the time he closed with “Lovework,” everyone was chanting along to the chorus: “Lovework, love is work.” The song, its style, its hook are all a perfect reflection of Teodros’ dedication to personal and cultural progress. And he put in overtime, as the rapt crowd pulled him back onstage for an encore appearance with the full band and entire roster of MCs. It was a fitting, collective finale to a night of, for, and by the hiphop community.

“Ghosts crowd the young child’s fragile eggshell mind”

posted by on February 25 at 1:38 PM

I should’ve posted this back when some Line Out readers were slagging the hell out of the Doors, but better late than never. “Peace Frog”—which appeared on 1970’s Morrison Hotel—is but one of at least a dozen Doors songs that refute claims that Jimbo only sang about his cock, that the band’s music was bloated, and that Mr. Mojo Risin’ was a self-indulgent poetaster (okay, maybe that last claim is valid).

“Peace Frog” is funky, vital, lean, and exciting; it may be my favorite Doors track. (Trivia: 3rd Bass sampled it on “The Cactus.”) The above video has the added value of giving Josh Feit’s brain an erection with its footage of protests at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. You’re welcome, Josh. (Correction: I’m wrong; there’s no footage of that convention. The line about “blood in the streets of Chicago” coupled with police subduing the crowd at a Doors concert confused me for a minute. Sorry, Josh.)

Here’s another excellent Doors song: “Not to Touch the Earth.” I particularly like the way it unexpectedly accelerates and gets chaotically psychedelic toward the end. As far as I can tell, its main subject is not Jim Morrison’s reproductive organ.