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Archives for 03/11/2007 - 03/17/2007

Saturday, March 17, 2007

The Home Stretch

posted by on March 17 at 1:24 PM

Couple sets I caught last night that didn’t make the late-night wrap-up:

Satellite, Perry Farrell’s new project, which was remarkable purely because of how unremarkable it was. Woulda loved to love it but just couldn’t. Somewhere in the last 10 years, Farrell’s oversexed psychedelic carnival barker charisma turned into loopy, mystical hippy-dippyisms. His backing band was hardly there, doing some alt-rock thing that couldn’t have sounded more nondescript.

Before that I caught one song by Andrew Bird, the phenomenal “Nervous Tick Motion of the Head to the Left.” Bird is certainly the best whistling violinist on the scene right now.

NYC buzz band Earl Greyhound played a fantastic set of bluesy garage rock. The trio was hard and soulful and sloppily dramatic, playing the kind of music I could’ve listened to all night.

It’s 4 pm and I’m just getting my Saturday started. St. Patrick’s Day is bound to bring the college kids to 6th Street tonight, for better or worse (at least they dilute the scenester quotient). I’m off to check out English post-rockers 65daysofstatic and then Mastodon at the big outdoor amphitheater by the river.

SXSW: Density, Density, Density

posted by on March 17 at 11:18 AM

SXSW is certainly a marathon, not a sprint. There are people that have been here since the film and interactive segments of the conference and somehow they’re still standing. I can only assume that those earlier portions are far more low-key than this music portion, since only one full day of SXSW has already worn me out a bit, and I’m as conference/festival ready as anyone. In any case, days are filled with various free shows and parties, with official SXSW shows at night. Day shows are the grand equalizer. Badges and wristbands mean nothing, and all are created equal. Never mind that though. Yesterday’s agenda (again, in bullet form) after the jump:

Continue reading "SXSW: Density, Density, Density" »

Blogitty blog blog

posted by on March 17 at 2:39 AM

Here’s all I have to say at this hour, and to those of you really paying attention you’ll know that this is a classic moment: Dennis Coffey into Archie Bell. That’s “Scorpio” into “Tighten Up.” Somehow I caught these two cratedigger favorites way down 6th Street at a happening little offbeat spot, and it was great. Totally opposite all the young buck buzz bands I’ve been seeing. Coffey, clipped and greay-bearded, played this weird atonal filtered guitar with a great local backing band. Archie Bell came out and fronted the same band and ruled the crowd. Dude’s gotta be in his 60s, and he did his three songs and of course the PdR, “TIghten Up” — this is an oldschool, protofunk jam from back in the mid-60s with a spectacular bassline. If you don’t know, look it up.

We wandered to Apples in Stereo after that, and the music sorta blended into a haze. They played a dense, intricate type of quintessential indie rock, Weezer style, with upper register vocal harmonies. And they sounded like another classic indie rock band, one known for their intricately measured prog-rock suites: Phish, who in 15 years people will recognize for the influence that they were.

It’s late and I’m gonna pass out.


Friday, March 16, 2007

Alrighty Then

posted by on March 16 at 6:40 PM

Here’s something I didn’t report from last night: Under Byen, Sweden’s latest export, at Emo’s. Lead singer is a beautiful Scandinavian blonde with cheekbones that could cut glass. With her and another female vocalist, violin, cello, two drummers, a shaggy-haired marimba player, and bass and guitar, these guys played industrial lullabyes that dipped into nightmarish noise without warning. They come to Chop Suey on March 21.

First set of today was at Stubb’s at the Spin magazine party. Mew’s last few songs were heavy and moody. They gave up the stage to Galactic, a band that’s never taken the place of true Nawleans funk for me. They had in their favor a special weapon—actually a few: Blackalicious MC Gift of Gab, Lyrics Born, and Boots Riley of the Coup. The band hit way harder than I’ve seen them before, and each MC worked their vocal magic over a pair of tracks before moving on. All Bay Area MCs for this all-Nawleans funk’n’jam band was a good look all around.

For Eric Grandy I moved on to Simian Mobile Disco, a UK-based electro-rock outfit who was unfortunately only doing a DJ set at Emo’s Jr. The crowd was thin and I figured it was a little early for a dance party, but outside in Emo’s main room, Girl Talk went on to a packed house and played a seriously entertaining set. I’ve been skeptical of Greg Gillis for a while, not being impressed by his album (I’ll take Jason Forrest and Donna Summer any day), but I gotta give it up: Girl Talk launched into an ecstatic, hilarious set, mixing Clipse into Boston into Tag Team into Nirvana into Justin Timberlake. Gillis’ set might’ve been the most SXSW-appropriate music I’ve heard, a sort of short attention span theater mashup full of half-cut songs blended into other half-cut songs blended into a contiguous dance party for in-the-know hipsters. It was actually much more fun than that sounds.

Superduper buzz band Deer Hunter played immediately afterwards, sounding more interesting than their already interesting debut album sounds. Beat-heavy, vocal-heavy, and noisy as hell, this young band from Atlanta had a singular sound that was experimental and accessible at the same time. Even though I cringe at the Pitchfork stamp of approval, I could see really getting into these guys.

And then it was off to Central Austin for the Ballard party. The spot was 15 minutes outside of downtown, an outdoor studio type of joint with a nice stage and sound system. I caught the tail end of Rachel Flotard doing an acoustic set with a slide guitarist. What a voice! The place wasn’t packed but it was pleasantly peopled and I talked to a few Austin locals who were at the show simply because of its proximity to their houses. Flotard sang an excellent rendition of an old ’50s chestnut, “You Belong To Me,” warm and sentimental in the late afternoon sun, with her baby boy hanging on her arm.

The Trucks came on next and somehow got the beer-goggled crowd to finger-snap along to a song with the refrain “There’s a perv in the bushes.” Their set was short, sweet, and full of energy. Beautiful blond singers in fishnets never hurts a band.

Dan from the Tractor, Jason of the Presidents, several Stranger/Mercury folks, and Hannah and Brian from Seattle Weekly were all on hand. It was a nice homecoming feeling for a place I’ve only lived in for five weeks. There were kegs of Fat Tire flowing and I helped myself to a few cups; hence the drinkin’ n bloggin’.

Which brings me to my next move: electro-breaks maestro Elliot Lipp at Zero. Man this is a tough job.


Internet/Real Life Meld

posted by on March 16 at 4:57 PM

Club Mantra, in Pioneer Square, has the honor of becoming the first club I’ve heard of to have a weekly MySpace themed night.

My Space Wednesdays
dj D’DOXX
Hip Hop, R&B, Top 40
Now $5 Cover Guys Ladies Free

Get your creepy internet stalker on, but in real life!

Tapes ’n Tapes (and Tapes and More God-damned Tapes)

posted by on March 16 at 2:00 PM

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Cassettes: They can be a reel pain in the ass.

I’m in the process of packing my belongings in preparation for a move to Orange County, California; I’m outta here March 24 (yeah, I’m happy to see me go, too).

I’ve moved many times and it never gets easier to choose what to jettison and what to keep. Moving is one of the most existential and emotionally exhausting experiences one can go through. Boxing up your possessions, you are forced to decide over and over the worth of your stuff and by extension the worth of your life (you may not be what you own, but you are largely defined by it, and your shit speaks volumes about who you are, he said with obvious obviousness). During this assessment, your past, present, and future somehow converge in the material goods you drag around this planet like a ball and chain that both nourishes and drains your mind. Repeatedly you have to ask yourself, “Will this thing from my past serve any worthwhile function in my future?” And you have to decide this now. This procedure becomes more excruciating when you’re an aging writer with tons of your work in yellowing newspapers and magazines from the pre-internet era.

With this latest move, I’ve been seriously pondering ditching my ludicrously large collection of cassettes. I rarely play them, nor even really think about ’em—until I have to move again. Now, I can deal with leaving behind the store-bought tapes and promo cassettes for albums that deluged me when I worked for Alternative Press magazine in the ’90s. What gives me pause (get it? PAUSE) are the hundreds of mixtapes I made myself, mixtapes in which I sweated the track selections and segues as if my life depended on them… and maybe it did, at the time.

Just glancing at the titles I gave to those tapes (The Wayout Sound from Far Too Deep, Leveraged Freakout, Blackening Yr Third Eye, Anything Is Impossible, Feeling Good About Feeling Bad, Alone in a Crowd, Drone of Blood, A Yearning Experience, Prepare Yourself for Delirium, etc.) zooms me back to the time of their creation and the circumstances of my life then. I even wrote the date of completion on each tape, as if I knew they’d eventually be treasured mementos.

So even though I want to lighten my load as I head south, I’m still torn over whether to trash my tapes or continue to lug them around with me like audio diaries that possess as much symbolic value as they do sonic worth—most of them anyway. Some of these cassettes date back to the ’80s and probably aren’t even playable, yet the thought of sending them to the scrap heap seems about as appealing as severing my ears. I’d like to think of them as eloquent testaments to a life well lived, but maybe I’m just a sentimental, deluded bastard.

In another sense, leaving behind my tapes could be liberating, a dispatching of old analog habits and a shedding of dead weight. Yet in another sense, it would be like losing a significant chunk of my history, an old-school version of having your hard drive wiped out. If this paragraph drove you nuts, then you have an idea of my current mental state—multiplied a hundredfold.

Is it only old motherfuckers like me who grew up in the analog era who fret over this nonsense, or are the kids nurtured on computers and cellphones just as attached to their possessions?

On another note, who wants to buy my played-to-death cassette copies of Jeru the Damaja’s The Sun Rises in the East and Kitchens of Distinction’s Strange Free World? I’ll cut you a sweet deal.

Pole Vs. Pole - The Giant’s Cox

posted by on March 16 at 12:53 PM

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Doug Cox, owner and founder of Poster Giant, who had a gun pulled on him while postering says they aren’t the evil empire everyone thinks they are.

You want to hate Poster Giant, but after talking with Doug, you see there are always two sides to an argument. Doug says:

Yeah, the guy pulled a gun on me. It was an argument that escalated. I have the case number in my wallet and when I see him again, I’ll call the Cops. It’s ridiculous for people to get violent over this.

Including me, Poster Giant has 3 employees. It’s true, sometimes we cover other posters, but it’s not something we set out to do. With 80 to 100 shows to poster for, it’s a huge work load. I provide a service to my clients. If they don’t see their posters up, my phone rings off the hook and I lose them as clients. If I don’t do a good job postering, I don’t have a business.

Everyone talks about how we’re unethical, and it’s not true. Where’s the book on ethics, show me. I’m not breaking any laws. It’s not ethical for me to cover up your poster, but it’s ok for you to cover up mine?

I run a business. That’s how postering goes. Some of your posters are going to get covered. This is America, it’s capitalistic. Don’t just bitch about it, go do something about it. Go poster again, beat me at it. I think competition is healthy. We work really hard here. We work really hard to serve our clients and make them happy. I value my smaller bands as much as my corporate clients.

Poster Midget says they have tried to talk to us and settle our differences and work things out, but that’s not true. I have tried to call them, but they don’t want to talk. They just want me to look like this bad guy.

And I’m not that bad guy. We’re actually the only postering company that obeys the law. 4 times a year, we go around and take down all the old posters, which is what you are supposed to do. But no one else does that. And I do a bunch of benefit shows. We help out as much as we can. I regulate the posters as fairly as I can.

Truth is, there are only so many poles, and only so much space. You have to be dedicated and stay at it. I’m open to talk to anyone who has a problem with Poster Giant. I work hard and will keep working hard. I think if we keep up all this arguing and complaining, they’re going to put the poster ban back in effect, and then there won’t be any poles to poster on at all.

North By North West

posted by on March 16 at 12:40 PM

Say you’re one of the twenty or so people that aren’t in Austin for SxSW this weekend. What are you gonna do tonight?

There’s Sing Sing @ Chop Suey w/special guest Paul Devro.

There’s Rudy Ray Moore at the Funhouse.

There’s Night Canopy at the Crocodile.

There’s all this stuff from the Up & Comings:

CRACK SABBATH (High Dive) As if saxophonics colossus “Scary” Eric Walton didn’t blow enough crunk with his myriad other projects, he returns home to take on Mingus and Motörhead both. Crack Sabbath is Skerik’s longtime local outfit, too combustible to exist outside Seattle, incorporating organist Ron Weinstein, Mike Stone on some snazzy red drums, and any willing guests. The band recorded a limited edition CD called Bar Slut a few years back, but theirs is mainly a live experiment with the intention of decimating any remaining elitist regard for the old-guard jazz canon. Standards like “Fables of Faubus” and “Jelly Roll” get a stomping, sweaty treatment alongside roaring covers of Nirvana and James Brown and delicately titled originals such as “Makin’ Out with My Dad” and “Bukkake Ducati.” Yuck/awesome. JONATHAN ZWICKEL

PLAIN WHITE T’S, BOYS NIGHT OUT, DAPHNE LOVES DERBY, MAY DAY PARADE
(El Corazón) Plain White T’s scored the first charting single of their nearly decade-long career last fall with “Hate,” a power-pop number buoyed by a goofily clever chorus (“hate is a strong word/but I really, really, really don’t like you.”) However, the Chicago-based band’s signature song is the underground phenomenon “Hey There Delilah,” which earned little radio attention upon its inclusion on 2005’s All That We Needed but has now generated more than six million MySpace plays. Female fans wear “I Am Delilah” shirts to shows and sing along loudly with this endearing acoustic ode to long-distance love. The group’s emotional regression on 2006’s catchy yet unflatteringly bratty breakup-rant collection Every Second Counts suggests they fare best when celebrating romance rather than stomping on its ruins. ANDREW MILLER

THE SWORD
(Neumo’s) All your 12-sided-die-throwing pubescent friends grew up, dropped acid, and formed bands. Part of the recent upswell of fantasy metal (see “Greeking Out,” page 38), the Sword hail from Austin, Texas, but would make the perfect house band at Club Mordor down Middle Earth way. Strangely, they look like your typical Urban Outfitted indie band, but they shred with the passion of drunken bikers, delving loudly and unironically into a D&D landscape haunted by Norse gods, smoking battlefields, and starving wolves. Age of Winters, their 2006 debut on fantasy-metal mongers Kemado Records, is melodic and menacing at the same time, giving new meaning to the term “hit points.” JONATHAN ZWICKEL

And there’s this from Data Breaker:

ANTIDOTE

With promo help from Patrick Haenelt’s Sensory Effect, Wisconsin transplants Justin Pennell (Milkplant) and Brian S recently have started to bring the psychedelically physical techno of Detroit, Milwaukee, Germany, Canada, and other centrifuges of minimal excellence to ToST every third Friday. Tonight they’re joined by Seattle DJ Misha, whose tech-house selections (My My, Jeff Samuel, Booka Shade, etc.) are always discerning and elegantly mixed. ToST Lounge, 513 N 36th St, 547-0240, 9 pm—2 am, free, 21+.

And if none of that sounds good to you, Get Out! has every possible thing you could do tonight gathered in one place. It’s INSANE!

Damn

posted by on March 16 at 11:47 AM

Missed the Stooges, but Courtneyfrom KEXP reports that they played four songs from their new album to a packed studio in the communications building on the UT campus. Woulda been cool just to see the band in such tight confines, but the early bird catches the leathery punk-rock icon, I guess. Time to stop blogging and head out.

Yeah, No

posted by on March 16 at 11:25 AM

No Heff at the Playboy party (of course), no topless models onstage, no chicks in bunny suits even. But yes free booze and yes Ghostland Observatory, an Austin duo in the vein of Matt & Kim but without the happy-go-lucky. They played a dark, dance-mad set of electro-pop to a packed house of, by this point, sweat-drenched revelers at some warehouse outside of downtown.

I’ll stand by Danava though—those guys were meticulous musicians and the sound in the room favored the keyboard-colored intricacy behind their louder-than-loud jams.

I have great pics of the entire night but am having a hard time uploading them to my laptop. This thing’s five years old and apparently doesn’t want any more data inside of it. Hopefully I can figure that out.

I’m off to the KEXP studio sesh with the Stooges. The beat goes on.

Björk/Meredith Monk Interview Today on Counterstream Radio

posted by on March 16 at 10:45 AM

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UPDATE: If you missed the broadcast, you can listen to the interview again (in high- and low-bandwidth versions for Quicktime and Windows Media) here.

The American Music Center’s new online radio station Counterstream Radio will have its official launch today at 3 PM Eastern (that’s 12:00 PM for Seattlites). To kick it off right, Sarah Cahill will interview two of today’s greatest female composers—Meredith Monk and Björk (presumably at the same time). The two have collaborated together, and Björk herself has a new album—Volta—coming out in May. Perhaps we’ll get a sneak peek at one or the other or both[!/?]

About Volta, MTV reports that Björk was profoundly affected by a visit to the Aceh Province in Indonesia for UNICEF’s tsunami relief effort:

“I spent a few days there, in a village where 180,000 had died, in one moment. And a year later, people were still digging up bones, and digging through muck and finding objects. They had to change this golf course into a mass grave. And the smell … that was probably the most surprising thing. You could still smell death in the air a year later.”

About the debut single, “Earth Intruders”:

The song “Earth Intruders,” in particular, was sculpted soon after Björk awoke from a dream she had during a cross-Atlantic flight to New York. In the dream, the singer said a “tsunami of millions and millions of poverty-stricken people” swelled high above the airplane she was a passenger on. Eventually, the wave overtook the plane, hit land and razed the White House into oblivion

“Earth Intruders” is an industrial-tinged number, rife with video game-esque atmospherics and calypso tonalities — think Nine Inch Nails meets Devo. A rhythmic, marching sound runs throughout much of the track, which “portrays the emotions of impatience, urgency, and being very eager to communicate.” In it, she sings, “Here is turmoil out there/ Carnage rambling/ What is to do but dig/ Dig bones out of earth/ Mud, graves, timber/ Morbid trenches.”

It’s shaping up to be quite an interesting picture, this album. Politics, a “stunning return to the dancefloor”? Eric, you may get your protest anthems yet. UPDATE: Record label One Little Indian’s managing director told Music Week that it expects big sales from Volta: “It’s probably the most commercial thing she’s ever done,” he says. “It’s really up and happy and the collaborations are extraordinary”. He also revealed that Björk will be embarking on an 18-month world tour, with the stage set devised by Björk. The 30 musicians on tour with her will include an all-female, all-Icelandic brass band. Whew, Sasquatch is going to be a gorgeous, sweaty mess.

And in case you missed it last week, here’s Pitchfork’s first installment of their interview with Björk about Volta.

Amanda Lear - Sweet Revenge

posted by on March 16 at 10:35 AM

Wouldn’t you love to be this woman? In the early 60’s she was a protege of Salvador Dali.

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Rumours about her transexuality abound, but she still managed a career in modeling. Then in the late ’60s and early ‘70’s she became David Bowie’s lover, before moving on to Bryan Ferry. For her troubles she ended up on the cover of Roxy Music’s second LP, For Your Pleasure.

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In 1977 Amanda Lear started a recording career with a cover of an Elvis Presley song, Trouble. Later that year she recorded an album of Euro-disco tunes that included a cover of Nancy Sinatra’s These Boots Are Made For Walking.

In 1978, before her second album was released, she decided to put those pesky transexual rumours to rest with a NSFW spread in Playboy.

Then came her second LP, Sweet Revenge.

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The A-side of this album is a masterpiece with Amanda’s deep smokey voice, her German accent and her Marlene Dietrich-esque delivery in her “spoken word” singing style. The combination of all these factors make the album seem remarkably old fashioned (think Weimar Republic, Kurt Weill…) and 1970’s disco decadence (think Studio 54, powdered drugs, open sexuality…). The connection she’s making is quite clear.

The album as a whole is shimmering with the glamour of dark bars and steamy nights. The B-side includes songs about 1930’s comic characters, a song, Enigma (Give A Bit Of Mmh To Me)satirizing her psuedo transexuality, and I rockin’ romp simply called The Stud. One can guess what that’s about.

The sepia-toned back cover pic has her reclining on an old beer barrel, a la Dietrich in The Blue Angel, with sequined curtains behind her.

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Amanda Lear would release quite a few more albums over the next decade before quieting down through the late ‘80’s and early ‘90’s. Her return to music was made in 2001 with a new single, “I Just Wanna Dance Again” which resecured her place in the disco star pantheon.

In 2004 she performed the voice of the fussy spy fashion designer, Edna Mode in the French and Italian versions of The Incredibles.

Like I said…Wouldn’t you love to be this woman?

Sample the A-side suite, Follow Me at my blog here.

A Tale of Two Conferences

posted by on March 16 at 9:38 AM

UGK @ Fox and Hound, SXSW, 3/15/2007It was apparent after one phone call that Jonathan and I might as well be at two different conferences. He was destined to experience SXSW as a king, wielding the power of his mighty badge and industry connections. I on the other hand was going to have to scrape by on wit, charm, and a bit of ingenuity with my position of elevated plebian with my lowly SXSW wristband (meants for Austin residents). But no matter, SXSW is still a music lover’s paradise, and even the unbadged can experience musical overload with a bit of planning. It’s even arguable that by introducing constraints, the SXSW caste system actually favors those without badges, since it bring the list of possibilities down to more manageable levels (yes, I’m just saying that to make myself feel better).

Jonathan was definitely right in saying that you hit the ground running after arrival. After dropping off my stuff yesterday, I immediately headed out for the night, attempting to see Ariel Pink at Peabody’s, only to find there were travel delays, pushing the performance later. At this point there’s very little attachment to any performance since for any band, there are still multiple occasions to still see them, so my crew and I moved on to get food then venue-hopped after being denied at the Stax 50 Revue (soul at its finest I’m sure, but you’d have to ask a badge holder since they filled up the venue - if they do the same with Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings today there will be hell to pay).

The music we did manage to see last night is after the jump(in bullet form since I’m in a rush to get to the Pipettes show at the Pitchfork showcase).

Continue reading "A Tale of Two Conferences" »

Steel Tigers of Tube Socks

posted by on March 16 at 9:37 AM

One of the joys — and there are many — of being a member of the Steel Tigers of Death army is looking forward to what new look the guys will feature at their next gig. Will it be a festival of ugly sweaters? Cowboy duds? Last night, for their Crocodile show with the Whore Moans, they went sports casual:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

For those of you who have no patience for such hijinks, and prefer your bands portrayed solely via stylized promo photos where they do something “kooky” like all jump in the air, the guys also have some new press shots:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

In other news, bassist Bradley Of tells us their full-length debut album is more-or-less done, but requires some mixing, mastering, etc. The devil is in the details. Look for it this summer.

Solid Steel Hits Close to Home

posted by on March 16 at 9:17 AM

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AC Lewis (left): On DJ Food’s menu.

Seattle producer/promoter AC Lewis (of those broken-beat warhorses SunTzu Sound collective and co-host of City Soul on KBCS 91.3FM with fellow SunTzu-ers Atlee and J-Justice) giddily informed me that his soulful, staccato-funk track “Tickles” (featuring vocalist Ndidi Cascade) has been selected by DJ Food & DK to appear on the vaunted Solid Steel mix CD via Ninja Tune Records in April. This is huge news, as just about anything associated with Ninja Tune is widely respected worldwide. Placement on the disc, titled Now, Listen Again, could seriously boost Lewis’ career. (He’s already noticed a major increase in interest in his activities since the promo disc was mailed to press.)

On this sixth installment in the Solid Steel series, “Tickles” occupies a niche between Giorgio Moroder’s “Tears” and Aphex Twin’s “Nannou.” It’s heady company, for sure. Let’s hope that this high-profile break prompts more excellent tracks from Mr. Lewis.


Thursday, March 15, 2007

FARK

posted by on March 15 at 11:23 PM

Computer issues. Totally lame. It’s after midnight and I don’t wanna deal with this shit. I’m just trying to bring the news to the people…

I will say this: BBQ with POTUSA was delish, and the ride back to downtown in the back of a pickup even better. Portland psych-rock slayers Danava provided the best show of the day by far, just loud enough and just metal enough to keep the crowd heshing. Beautiful, brutal stuff.

Much-hyped NYC beard band Vietnam gets the big whateva.

I have great pics but I can’t get them online right now. It’s late and I can’t fiddle with the laptop/digi anymore. I’m heading out to the Playboy party.

Seattle Surprise

posted by on March 15 at 5:01 PM

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It’s never an easy landing in Austin for South By Southwest, and I’m not talking about touching down at the airport. You gotta hit the ground running no matter when you get in, which is what I did. I bust out of the cab, drop my bags at the front desk of my hotel, and hustle down 6th Street to Mohawk for the Rhapsody day party.

First order of biznezz—free beer and pulled pork tacos. Outside in the sunshine (I’ve forgotten what the sun is like; it’s like medicine), there’s Robin Hitchcock onstage, gray hair flapping in the breeze. Hitchcock is playing an acoustic, accompanied by R.E.M.er Peter Buck, and… none other than dapper Seattleite and The Stranger’s own Sean Nelson on backup vocals. Hitchcock is discussing Heideggerian philosophy between songs, Buck looks somewhat bored on 12-string guitar, and Nelson is unflappable with his soft falsetto.

Afterwards Nelson tells me he’s all over the new Robin Hitchcock album, great and unexpected news. Dude’s a true Renaissance man.

On hand are also Dave Meinert of Fuzed Music and Sub Pop’s Jen C, “licensing guru,” according to Meinert. She’s gotta split, unfortch—kids back home, birthday tomorrow, etc. Musically, Buck and Hitchcock aren’t the rowdy welcome I was hoping for. Peter, Bjorn & John are on next, and since their album doesn’t do it for me I give their live set a try. I’m still not convinced. (Apparently I’m not the only one, as attested to by this website.)

I’m on my way right now to meet Meinert at the Four Seasons for a party thrown by a major label honcho’s son’s friend or something. I expect more free booze.

Tonight’s early affair is the Stax 50 year anniversary party at Antone’s and later on Playboy’s Rock the Rabbit party with Ghostland Observatory and more free booze somewhere outside downtown.

And that’s how it is here at SXSW: A mutual handjob, handshake, and helping hand, connections made and egos stroked and Tecates drank. The sun is setting outside my eighth floor window and music drifts up from somewhere down on 6th Street.

More later, including pictures.

Even More Re: Hotness

posted by on March 15 at 4:56 PM

Are ladies hotter if they make performance art?

Tonight in Music

posted by on March 15 at 4:20 PM

Whether you’re into hot boys or not, here’s what’s happening around town tonight:

From Data Breaker:

HARSH
The second episode of Harsh features John Wiese (AKA Sissy Spacek), one of noise music’s most fertile, febrile sources of aural hurt. Being near the speakers at a Wiese performance is akin to peering over the lip of an erupting volcano or having ravenous rodents gnaw your ears while all the world’s cutlery explodes. You’ve been warned. Fetal Distress (Trevor Harmon) forges ill-mannered, agitated electronic music laced with movie dialogue geared to reinforce his jaundiced (i.e., realistic) worldview. Logic Probe plows a cerebral, glitch-strewn yet melodic path for people who have “Ae” tattooed on their knuckles. With Honed Bastion plus resident DJs William F . Buckely Jr., Android Heart, NoahNine, and guest DJ Oblique unleashing gabber, noise, glitch, and breakcore to make your internal organs cry for mercy. Re-bar, 1114 Howell St, 233-9873, 10 pm—2 am, $5, 21+.

And from U&Cs:

2MEX, DISJOINTED ISOTOPES, AVENUE ROCKERS, DJ WD-4D
(Nectar) While corpulent L.A.-based rapper 2mex is a seemingly overwhelmingly down-to-earth dude, (his website has hosted invitations to his house for “Monday Movie Nights”) he also has a ravenous work ethic that lends itself to the oft-thankless grind of underground hiphop. Extended family of the Shapeshifters and Project Blowed crews, 2mex has, since the late ’90s, had a stunningly prolific recorded output and touring schedule. He has produced successful solo albums (both under his own name and as SonGodSuns), been a primary force in groups the Visionaries and OMD (Of Mexican Descent), and most recently, has formed the avant hiphop band Look Daggers with Mars Volta keyboardist Ikey Owens. This latest artistic endeavor may prove to be one of 2mex’s most fruitful yet, as Look Daggers combine his trademark blunted gonzo lyricism (one of their songs threatens to drag a girl to the harp store) with heroically uncheesy jazz-rock-infused backdrops. SAM MICKENS

You can also search for events in our new searchable calendar. It’s awesome, see for yourself.

Rotten Apples Need Drummer for European Tour

posted by on March 15 at 4:17 PM

Dejha from the Rotten Apples needs a drummer to go on tour to Europe for a little over a month - April 25th – May 29th.

Rotten Apples.

It needs to happen in the next 3 days for airplane tickets.

It’s all expense paid - food, plane, lodging.

Update: They found someone. Chris from the Briefs.

More Re: Hotness

posted by on March 15 at 3:49 PM

The Wikipedia entry on Hot Boys

Rapper Mims (last week’s #1, this week’s #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart) on why he’s hot:

This is why I’m hot, This is why I’m hot This is why, This is why uh This is why I’m hot (uh) This is why I’m hot, This is why I’m hot whoo This is why, This is why This is why I’m hot

I’m hot coz I’m fly
You ain’t coz you’re not
This is why x2
This is why I’m hot(x2)

This is why I’m hot
I dont gotta rap
I can sell a mill saying nothing on the track
I represent New York
I got it on my back
And they say that we lost it
So I’mma bring it back
I love the dirty dirty
Coz niggas show me love
The ladies start to bounce
As soon as I hit the club
But in the Midwest
They love to take it slow
So when I hit the H
I watch you get it on the floor
And if you needed hyphy
I take it to the bay
Frisco to Sac town
They do it eryday
Coppin a Hollywood
As soon as I hit LA
I’m in that low low
I do it the cali way
And when I hit the Chi
People say that I’m fly
They like the way I dress they like (they like my) my attire
move crowds from side to side
They ask me how I do it and simply I reply

And, finally, Rob Harvilla (writing for the enemy) on why Mims is hot.

Point-Counterpoint-Refutation

posted by on March 15 at 3:25 PM

IMG_2923-e_jpg.jpg

How hot is this guy? So fucking hot!

Obviously attraction isn’t purely physical, it’s also mental or even ideological. When we see someone hot playing in a band we think, “Ah, they like punk/rock/metal/whathaveyou. So do I!” And the physical attraction we feel is encouraged by a perceived alignment of ideals. Holding a guitar doesn’t make people hot or hotter, it makes hot people appear to “rock,” which may or may not really mean anything anyway.

Point:Counterpoint-Boys Are Hotter When They Play Music (but the music has to be GOOD)

posted by on March 15 at 3:05 PM

Ted Leo hot.jpg

Ted Leo: Hot. But even hotter when you know his band fuckin’ rules.

Ari Spool is right, boys are hotter when they play an instrument.

But here’s where you’re wrong, Miss Spool:

Boys are pretty, no matter what kind of music they play, whether it sucks or is totally amazing.

I so disagree with that statement. The music absolutely does matter. A hot boy in a shitty band is no longer a hot boy, he’s just a boy in a shitty band. I don’t care how hot the boy is, if the music he’s making is terrible, I can’t back that.

Take the All-American Rejects, for example. I saw that singer—Tyson, Taylor, Thomas, Todd, whatever his name is—and I thought “Shit, dude’s totally hot.” Then I heard his band, his terrible Top 40 pop band (they play that “Swing Swing” song) and just like that, the attraction was gone. Now I think he’s a joke. He’s not cute, he’s annoying; I don’t want to kiss him, I want to kick him. He’s just a dumb boy in a dumb band.

Which isn’t to say the only way a hot boy can stay hot is if he plays serious music or “dies for his art.” He can have fun, he can have personality, he just can’t play shitty songs. Good songs don’t always have to be full of emotion and urgent passion—good songs can be upbeat and light too. Hot boys can play pop. Hot boys can play rock. Hot boys can play hiphop, punk, garage, hardcore… A hot boy can never ever play funk. You’re right about the “no slap bass” rule.

I’m not the one with low morals in this debate. I’m the one with standards.

Color Me Jealous

posted by on March 15 at 2:59 PM

Please, unless you’re my boss, don’t call me to gloat/enthuse from SxSW. I can’t take it. Instead, just promise me you’ll go see Simian Mobile Disco, and then lie to me about how it “wasn’t that great.” Thanks.

Or is this Burning an Eternal Flame?

posted by on March 15 at 2:19 PM

bangles7.jpg

Circa 1986, station wagons were filled with girls heading in mass to see the Bangles.

‘Wet & Wild’ lipsticks were slathered and makeup was a jackhammer cake mix application.

A source told me she and four other 13 yr. old girls were driven by her mother to a Bangles show in Eugene, OR. When they played “Walk Like an Egyptian”, it was extended, with a breakdown of the whistling part in the middle.

Everybody whistled, in a surge of estrogen and high pitched screams.

“All the Japanese with their yen / The party boys call the Kremlin
And the Chinese know (oh whey oh) / They walk the line like Egyptian

All the cops in the donut shop say / Ay oh whey oh, ay oh whey oh
Walk like an Egyptian / Walk like an Egyptian”

The Bangles have reformed, and are doing shows with Berlin and Heart. They are thinking about doing a children’s album, a holiday album, and a live concert CD/DVD. “We’re also thinking of doing an album along the lines of Crosby, Stills & Nash, where we sing everything in three-part harmonies, top to bottom,” Susanna reveals, “like a harmonic layer cake.”

Point:Counterpoint-Boys Are Hotter When They Play Music (even if the music sux)

posted by on March 15 at 2:18 PM

ok go.jpg
OK Go: A band I hate, but a boy I like.

Boys are hotter when they play an instrument. This is fact, and the reason men ever pick up instruments at all. But, beyond this fact, a difference of opinion exists: Does the music actually matter? Megan and I will debate this for you today. (Here’s Megan’s argument.)

I contend that it doesn’t. Boys are pretty, no matter what kind of music they play, whether it sucks or is totally amazing. For instance, the boy above is in OK Go, and with all their kitschy nonsense treadmill business or whatever, he is still amazing looking. His band sucks (YouTube is their creator), but I would tell him that I thought they were good if it would make him get naked for me.

Am I the one of low morals in this debate? I think not, even though I consider lying an option. If you like the music a man is playing, and therefore find him attractive, that is more of a lie. He is not attractive; his art is attractive, and you are sexually attracted to his art. I look for a personality–-a personality and a guitar (or keyboard, or drums, but maybe not slap bass). I look for the man to be having fun, instead of dying for his art.

It doesn’t matter that he’s playing some bullshit, as long as he looks hot doing it.

Tomorrow Night: Portland Burns

posted by on March 15 at 2:12 PM

Let’s not forget about Burning Portland, the crust/grind/ metal/hardcore festival featuring 18 or so bands (including such greats as Tragedy and Iskra) happening at Portland’s Satyricon tomorrow night and Saturday night. Go here to buy advance tickets. Come on—this fest is clearly worth a three-hour drive (or a fun and relaxing four-hour train ride).

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Sounds Great When You’re Drunk

posted by on March 15 at 2:08 PM

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On Monday, Megan Seling wrote about her love for Dramarama’s “Anything, Anything,” with the post inspiring this comment from Explorer:

I think that song is best enjoyed under the influence.

I think I know exactly what Explorer is talking about, as there are a number of songs I can’t be bothered with, unless I’m drunk, when they become the greatest songs in the world.

Mile-wide melodies and stupid lyrics sung passionately seems to be the main motif. Among my drunk-song Hall of Fame: Oasis’ “Wonderwall,” Def Leppard’s “Photograph,” and Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer.”

Of course, all good music sounds better when you’re lit, but booze’s magical power to turn negligible songs into blockbusters is one of it’s prime attractions. Thank you, booze.

I Can’t Sing; I Love to Sing

posted by on March 15 at 2:05 PM

So I got an iPod for Christmas. At first I was all “Cool, I can listen to music!” and I did. But then I started to play with it more and now I’m really into the whole “making playlists” thing. You know about it, right? Of course you do. You probably had an iPod a decade ago.

I love making playlists. It’s like making a mix tape… except, you know, without the tape. I have a list for when I’m pissed, a list for when I’m happy, a list for when I’m reading, a list for when I’m running, a list for when I’m walking to QFC at 2 am to get butter because I felt like making snickerdoodle cookies instead of sleeping (there’s a lot of Mogwai on that one)… I have a list for everything.

My current favorite, though, is the playlist for when I’m stuck in traffic on the way home from work because this city doesn’t have decent public transportation that can get me from Capitol Hill to Ballard without being stuck on Denny, I-5, and/or in Fremont for 45 minutes. I love singing in my car.

Chances are, I’m rocking:

Tom Petty “American Girl”
The Arcade Fire “Rebellion (Lies)”
Screeching Weasel “Leather Jacket”
Mr. Big “Be With You”
Madonna “Cherish”
So Many Dynamos “Search Party”
Against Me “We Laugh At Danger and Break All the Rules”
Queen “Don’t Stop Me Now”
Journey “Don’t Stop Believin’”
Schoolyard Heroes “Bury the Tooth of the Hydra and a Skeleton Army Will Arise”
Weezer “El Scorcho”
Bonnie Tyler “Total Eclipse of the Heart”
The Foundations “Build Me Up Buttercup”
Jawbreaker “Do You Still Hate Me?”
Get Up Kids “No Love”

Those are just some of my currently favorite sing-along songs. There are tons more. I’m a terrible singer, but I love to do it.

Now that I’m finally a part of this whole iPod trend, I should think about getting a computer that was manufactured in this decade and is connected to something other than dial-up Internet, huh? Yeah, probably.

This Ran During Last Night’s American Idol

posted by on March 15 at 12:07 AM

And almost killed me.

(Making it worse: The abject humiliation of the participants only helps the advertiser’s aims. The more violently stupid the ad, the more likely it is that people like me will insist that people like you watch it RIGHT NOW.)

P.S. Modest Mouse should sue.


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Turn You On

posted by on March 14 at 8:40 PM

turnyouon-160.jpg

This week we begin a new column in The Stranger called “Turn You On.” Each week a writer will pick a favorite artist with a large oeuvre and a long career track, a band or a musician who might not be so easy for a beginner to break into. The column will offer the writer’s opinion on the best album to start with if you’re just beginning to appreciate that artist but don’t know where to start.

It’s a great way for writers to talk about their favorite artists and offer a controversial opinion. The album chosen might not be the artist’s best or most well-known, but it’ll be the one most accessible or reflective of that artist’s entire career. That’s where the surprises come in and the arguments begin.

This week, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, I took on Van Morrison, one of my alltime favorite artists, musical or otherwise. Van the Man’s got a huge cannon (whoa, that sounds weird), 30-some albums strong, and a long and meandering career. The album I chose—while not acknowleged as his best—is by far the most reflective of his divergent styles and influences.

Check out the story to find out which album it is.

Coming weeks will see Kraftwerk, Stravinsky, and the Cramps taken on by various writers. We’ll also have record store clerks, radio DJs, musicians, and other non-writers turn you on to their favorite artists.

Stay tuned.

Boston Singer Brad Delp’s Death Was Suicide

posted by on March 14 at 5:29 PM

Full story here.

Formula 44Deez Nuts

posted by on March 14 at 3:05 PM

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Don’t sleep, patna- even if you’re tired from last night’s packed Clipse show.
Wake yo dead ass up and check out:

Heavyweight Titles Presents: MEDICINE

The Gigantics ft. Onry Ozzborn
Mr. Supreme
D. Black
Dim Mak
Skuntdunanna aka Mafia
Soul Merchants
Young Avatar
Alpha P
DJ Swervewon

This is a damn diverse lineup of wreck-catching local talent, ranging from the straight underground(Alpha P) to the straight gutter(Skuntdunanna). Plus, Onry’s Gigantics material (not to mention Grayskul’s new Facefeeder CD) is seriously off the chain. This promises to be an ill show- what the hell else you got goin on?

The Colourfield W/ Sinead O’Connor - Monkey In Winter

posted by on March 14 at 2:58 PM

DSC02805.JPG
Monkey In Winter is the b-side to the single She by The Colourfield. The Colourfield were the third band to be fronted by Terry Hall of Specials AKA and Fun Boy 3 fame.

The A-side is a cover of a Monkees song. But the real gem is the B-side, Monkey In Winter with Terry’s vocals taken out and replaced by Sinead O’Connor.

It was the second single off of The Colourfield’s second album, Deception. But other than that, I really don’t know that much more information about how Sinead ended up on the b-side. This single, I think, barely pre-dates her first album, The Lion And The Cobra.

Kurt? Have any info?

At the time I purchased this I was a HUGE Sinead fan. I paid $25 for it. Pretty steep for me at the time. Since then my appreciation of her has waned due to her various hi-jinx. Wonder how much it goes for now….

Download of this single can be found at my blog.

Public Image Unlimited

posted by on March 14 at 2:37 PM

I’ve been on this crazy Public Image Ltd. kick of late. It started with the anthology John Lydon: Stories of Johnny. I picked up a copy for the essay by underappreciated punk original Judy Nylon, but found myself completely absorbed in the comprehensive essay “The Wrecking Ball: Public Image Limited 1978-83” by Clinton Heylin. Then, after years of searching, I found a relatively inexpensive used copy of the “authorized bootleg” Commercial Zone, the original version of the fourth PiL album (before John Lydon wiped off Keith Levene’s contributions and replaced them with shitty horn parts and retitled it This Is What You Want… This Is What You Get).

Apparently, I’m not the only one feeling romantic about PiL right now. I just received an advance promo of the new album from Japanese artist Cornelius, entitled Sensuous. Take a gander at the CD insert:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Fortunately, the music inside is much better than that of the 1986 Public Image album which the jacket art parodies:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Unfortunately, the finished Cornelius artwork looks like a close relative of the sleeve art for some crappy trance single. Bummer.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

What the Hell Were They Thinking? Awful Band Names

posted by on March 14 at 2:34 PM

ktaoabc03.jpg
Kiss the Anus of a Black Cat: I’ll pass, thanks.

You have to wonder why some bands saddle themselves with names geared to sabotage their career before it even gets going. (Like, who would ever give a shit about a group called Clap Your Hands Say Yeah or I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness?)

The latest example to assault my senses: Kiss the Anus of a Black Cat (Belgian instrument builder Stef Heeren). I discovered this unfortunately monikered one-man band on a CD sampler that came with the March 2007 issue of The Wire. The track on the comp, “You Will Reap the Whirlwind,” is stark, dour, incantatory folk, somewhat reminiscent of Current 93. It’s not bad for what it is, but can you imagine yourself telling friends, “You’ve gotta hear this awesome artist I discovered.” “So, what are they called?” “Kiss the Anus of a Black Cat.” Cue mass retching and traumatic negative associations.

What other group handles do you find to be so utterly cringeworthy and downright foolish that they make you not want to say the words or listen to their music or attend their shows?

Don’t Watch This Unless You Were a Ten-Year-Old Girl In 1990

posted by on March 14 at 2:02 PM

Don’t ask me why (well you can ask me, but honestly I’m not sure why myself) but earlier today I started looking up New Kids on the Block videos on YouTube. Procrastination makes Megan do weird things. So I started watching the classics like “You Got It (the Right Stuff),” “Hangin’ Tough,” and my personal favorite (if I were still 10 years old) “Please Don’t Go Girl.”

Ah, memories.

Then I watched “Tonight, Tonight” from their Step by Step album. And uh… I might be crazy, I might be totally reaching, but does anyone else think this sounds like it could be a Beatles song if it weren’t so ’80s-fied (and, you know, being performed by New Kids on the Block)? Because I totally think that.

I mean, I like the Beatles. I even love, love, love some Beatles songs. And I mean no harm to the Beatles when I say this—I mean it in all honesty. Replace the ’80s keyboard with real piano, take out the stupid over-produced drum sound and put in something legit, and make the lyrics not suck… Melodically, with the strings and orchestration… I dunno, I hear the Beatles. I guess that could maybe be said about a lot of pop songs? Seeing as how the Beatles were all influential and shit. But it feels really blatant in this particular song.

I’m not saying it’s a good song. I’m just saying it could’ve been a good song if the Beatles did it. And no wonder I liked the New Kids on the Block when I was a kid, they sounded like the Beatles. I liked the Beatles, my dad made sure of that. Or maybe I’m just trying to justify my prepubescent obsession now in my later years to help myself cope with whatever residual embarrassment I still have issues with… Whatever.

I promise I’m not high and/or drunk right now.

Matthew Dear’s “Deserter”

posted by on March 14 at 1:57 PM

This is an old picture of Matthew Dear.  His haircut is different now.  Does this matter?  Not at all.

If you go here, you can hear “Deserter,” the lead single from Ghostly International posterboy Matthew Dear’s forthcoming album Asa Breed. I’ve been waiting years to see if he could top the wonderful Leave Luck to Heaven (neither Backstroke nor the Audion material fit the bill), so I was happy to finally hear he’s got something up his sleeve. So far, it looks like my wait will continue. The monotone vocals I can handle, the moody backing likewise, but rather than leaving me clamoring for more details about the album, I keep wondering how long until he gets a Postal Service remix. Then again, if the goal of a pop song is to be poppy, the fact that I can’t stop listening to this track should count for something.

More Clipse Observations

posted by on March 14 at 1:27 PM

ClipseJonathan’s Clipse review covers the basics, so I’ll just compare last night’s performance to the one a few weeks ago at the Baltic Room. That was a good show and there’s definitely something to be said for shows in confined spaces, but the Chop Suey show was easily more fulfilling.

The Baltic Room show was an exclusive Zune party, filled with people lucky enough to receive a “golden ticket” via email. They were excited, but they seemed as jazzed about the exclusivity as the main (and only) act. Last night’s crowd was obviously there to see the Clipse do their thing, but showed love to openers Cool Nutz as well. I spent the bulk of the show right up front, blocked on the left by a girl who even danced through the between song banter and on the right by a guy who knew every. uttered. lyric (he was also wore a Clipse shirt to the Clipse show, but I’m willing to overlook that).

Overall I was most impressed by the diversity that Jonathan mentioned. I’m hardly at every hip-hop show in Seattle, but it seems to be a rare occurrence to have the Pitchfork set, the backpack rap set, and well…black people in the same room. The Clipse had all three demographics in attendance and there was no drama, just people out to have a good time. While there might be some controversy over their content, it was refreshing to see such cross-sections of the show-going population comingling with nary an incident.

Setlist after the jump.

Continue reading "More Clipse Observations" »

Clipse Clips

posted by on March 14 at 1:14 PM

Lean into Virginia Beach with Clipse and get grazed.

Zwickel is a gangsta. And Grandy will be official once his ‘Pusha’ chest tattoo is completed.

clipsepic.jpg

Clipse @ Chop Suey

posted by on March 14 at 12:48 PM

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I couldn’t chant along with the rest of the crowd to the line “keys open doors,” but aside from that I bought in wholesale to Clipse’s narcotic hiphop fantasy. Brothers Pusha T and Malice played to a packed and spectacularly diverse house at Chop Suey and left the crowd breathless.

The first 20 minutes of their set was some of the strongest hiphop I’ve ever seen. They hit the stage to the shaky, drug-addled accordion break of “Mama I’m So Sorry” and the room went nuts, singing along word for word as they proceeded with tracks from Hell Hath No Fury. The connection between the band and the audience was palpable—Pusha and Malice slapped hands with the front row and kept intense eye contact with the entire room, trading rhymes with each other and the audience. It was a attentive and vocal crowd, waving hands in unison and shaking asses en masse.

Clipse brought out tracks from their mix tape series We Got it For Cheap and their debut Lord Willin’, losing a bit of momentum. Malice and Pusha’s voices are nearly identical, a fact that worked for them as they finished each other’s verses, sounding like a single unit; it also became repetitious, a problem they solved by bringing out a pair of compatriots from their Re-Up Records crew. Four strong on-stage, plus their DJ hyping the crowd, the change-up injected a serious rush back into the set. “Ride Around Shinin’” got a major rise and “Wamp Wamp” closed out the 50-minute set on a raging note.

Between the close and the encore, Clipse’s DJ played Biggie’s “Ten Crack Commandments”—you know, “Rule four, I know you heard this before: Don’t get high on your own supply,” etc. Like Biggie, Clipse make no excuses for the glorifying their supposed lifestyle. All night, in between songs, the brothers talked to the crowd, their voices heavily reverbed like dub MCs with emphasis given with the sound of cocking Glocks and gunfire rather than the usual dub airhorn. No reason to wonder why hiphop is associated with violence: It’s because hiphop is associated with violence.

By the time Clipse came out for one final song the audience was ready for it, chanting along to the chorus of “Mr. Me Too” on time with total abandon.

The hour-long show was just enough, covering most of the songs the crowd wanted but leaving ‘em wanting more. There’s no doubt the group is at the top of the coke rap trend, and arguably hiphop in general right now. As long as you can sit with the questionable content of the lyrics there’s no way you can’t be floored by what they do. If morality is an issue during a performance, Clipse got it high and killed it dead. They didn’t play the perfect hiphop set but they were pretty damn close.

Thanks to Sarah Skinner for the badass photos. Check out more after the break.

Continue reading "Clipse @ Chop Suey" »

Arcade Fire Debut At #2, B.I.G. Hits #1

posted by on March 14 at 12:44 PM

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Biggie sold 99,000 posthumously (and on the 10th anniversary of his death). The Arcade Fire sold 92,000 prehumously. So, bloggers do buy records! Perhaps Charles can explain to us why these ghostly albums are topping the charts today…

(Full story at billboard.com)

Post Rap

posted by on March 14 at 12:15 PM

From the album I was listening to all day yesterday before going to see the Clipse at Chop Suey:

Neil Diamond? Really? Yes.

posted by on March 14 at 11:58 AM

So let’s say that someone never really listened to Neil Diamond much. And let’s say that this person, for whatever reason, suddenly decided she (or he) wanted to maybe give Mr. Diamond a shot. Maybe she (or he) heard a couple of his songs yesterday and, strangely, decided she (or he) might like to hear more of them. Let’s say, though, that she (or he) doesn’t want to hear the bad shit… she (or he) just wants the gems. And let’s say, with that in mind, she (or he) has no idea what the gems are, and she (or he) doesn’t even know where to start when looking for them and she (or he) doesn’t feel like wading through a pool of poop to find the good stuff. She (or he) is a little lazy.

So like, let’s say you were asked to tell this person what Neil Diamond songs are good… what would you suggest?

I thank you. I mean, that person that suddenly formed a strange interest in Neil Diamond thanks you.

Mary Weiss’s Reintroduction

posted by on March 14 at 11:55 AM

Mary Weiss was the lead singer of the Shangri-Las in the ’60s, and after 40 years she is releasing a new album. It’s kind of strange sounding–whatever she’s being doing to her voice in the past 40 years hasn’t been kind. She lacks her former over-sexualized innocence, and in its place is a garage-rock growl.

Check her out on Conan last night:


Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Morrissey Tour Dates

posted by on March 13 at 4:05 PM

Morrissey has just announced his upcoming US tour, and there are two Washington dates.

Kristeen Young will open all shows.

04-27 Stockton, CA - Bob Hope Theater
04-28 Sparks, NV - John Ascuaga’s Celebrity Showroom
04-29 Sparks, NV - John Ascuaga’s Celebrity Showroom
05-01 Oakland, CA - Paramount Theater
05-02 Santa Rosa, CA - Wells Fargo Center
05-05 Spokane, WA- INB Performing Arts Center
05-06 Seattle, WA - Paramount
05-08 Salt Lake City, UT - E Center Ford Theater
05-09 Denver, CO - Fillmore
05-11 Omaha, NE - Orpheum
05-12 Milwaukee, WI - Riverside
05-14 Ann Arbor, MI - Michigan Theater
05-15 Chicago, IL - Auditorium Theatre
05-17 Cleveland, OH - Playhouse Square Center
05-18 Columbus, OH - Palace Theater
05-20 Indianapolis, IN - Murat Center
05-22 St. Louis, MO - The Pageant
05-23 Kansas City, MO - Uptown Theater
05-25 Dallas, TX - Palladium
05-26 Austin, TX - Backyard
05-28 Houston, TX - Verizon
05-30 El Paso, TX - County Coliseum
05-31 Tucson, AZ - Music Hall
06-02 Phoenix, AZ - Maricopa County Events Center
06-03 San Diego, CA - Bayside Concerts
06-05 Ventura, CA - Majestic Ventura Theater
06-06 Riverside, CA - Riverside Municipal Auditorium
06-08 Los Angeles, CA - Hollywood Bowl
06-09 Las Vegas, NV - Pearl
06-30 New York, NY - Madison Square Garden

The Essence of Basic Channel

posted by on March 13 at 3:22 PM

The greatness of Basic Channel, particularly the way the duo’s best work is mixed by Scion on Arrange and Process, is that the music moves between visions of actual stars and visions of stars in a disco, between galaxies and disco ball effects.
Tresor_COVER.jpg “Q1.2” and “Radiance III” are examples of the former, and “Infinition” and “Phylyps Rmx” are examples of the latter. In “Q1.2”, we are transported, as if by Carl Sagan’s Spaceship of the Imagination, to a star nursery, a marvelous cloud of gas and dust where stars are born. In “Phylyps Rmx,” we return to the dance floor, with its glittering ball, swirling spotlights, and rising clouds of dry ice. We can never get enough of this shift from the galactic to the plastic, the grand to the cheap, the divine to the profane. Something of this is also in the music of Boxcutter.


News You Can Use

posted by on March 13 at 1:54 PM

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From wikiHow—“The How-To Manual That Anyone Can Write and Edit”—comes this most helpful guide to perfecting your Hardcore Metal Scream.

Among the ace pointers:

Learning to scream safely can take approximately a year, and for the first many months, often times, it simply sounds bad. Don’t give up. It will come out eventually, and after a lot of practice.

and

Practice screaming into a pillow. This makes it much easier for beginners.

Full list here. (And thank you, Metafilter.)

Y.A.C.H.T. Bites Nirvana

posted by on March 13 at 1:37 PM

No, Really.

posted by on March 13 at 1:14 PM

Starbucks is starting a record label. The focus will be on “music that fits within the profile of the ‘Starbucks Experience.’”

Oh, sure, you laugh now. But look what they did for that guerrilla soldier kid.

Hold Me Closer, Tony Danza

posted by on March 13 at 12:45 PM

I’m so over “Anything, Anything.” For today, at least. I’ve moved on to Elton John.

I know, it’s an obvious choice as far as Elton’s vast catalog is concerned, but it’s still a classic. It’s not my favorite Elton John song of all time, but I can’t really decide what my favorite Elton John song should be. Sometimes it’s “Levon,” sometimes it’s “Someone Saved My Life Tonight,” and sometimes it’s “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.” It’s never—never, ever, ever—”Can You Feel the Love Tonight” or “Circle of Life.” Blah.

And let the record show, I liked “Tiny Dancer” way before I ever saw the movie Almost Famous, thankyouverymuch. I grew up in a very pro-Elton household; “Your Song” was my parents wedding song.

“Saturday Night’s Alright (For Fighting)” will be mine.

A couple of the sounds that I really like
Are the sounds of a switchblade and a motorbike
I’m a juvenile product of the working class
Whose best friend floats in the bottom of a glass

Yo! MTV Sucks

posted by on March 13 at 12:25 PM

Yahoo Finance reports today that Viacom has sued Youtube for copyright infringement and is seeking “more than $1 billion in damages” for an alleged “60,000 unauthorized clips of Viacom’s programming have been available on YouTube and…viewed more than 1.5 billion times.” Viacom released the following statement in conjunction with the lawsuit:

“YouTube is a significant, for-profit organization that has built a lucrative business out of exploiting the devotion of fans to others’ creative works in order to enrich itself and its corporate parent Google. Their business model, which is based on building traffic and selling advertising off of unlicensed content, is clearly illegal and is in obvious conflict with copyright laws. In fact, YouTube’s strategy has been to avoid taking proactive steps to curtail the infringement on its site, thus generating significant traffic and revenues for itself while shifting the entire burden - and high cost - of monitoring YouTube onto the victims of its infringement.

This behavior stands in stark contrast to the actions of other significant distributors, who have recognized the fair value of entertainment content and have concluded agreements to make content legally available to their customers around the world.

There is no question that YouTube and Google are continuing to take the fruit of our efforts without permission and destroying enormous value in the process. This is value that rightfully belongs to the writers, directors and talent who create it and companies like Viacom that have invested to make possible this innovation and creativity.

After a great deal of unproductive negotiation, and remedial efforts by ourselves and other copyright holders, YouTube continues in its unlawful business model. Therefore, we must turn to the courts to prevent Google and YouTube from continuing to steal value from artists and to obtain compensation for the significant damage they have caused.”

Maybe if Viacom wants me to watch music videos on MTV, they should actually play some once in a while, right? To make matters worse, this lawsuit comes right on the heels of Internet radio getting slapped with prohibitive new royalty rates that may effectively shut many such stations down.

It’s a typically stupid move on Viacom’s part, attempting to shut down innovative competition rather than innovate themselves. The days of TV and radio stations dictating content is over (check their memos—TRL is dead). Viewers aren’t willing to wade through hours of crap to watch a 3 minute video when they know they can watch just that clip whenever they want online. If they had any sense, mtv.com would be what Youtube is now: a massive searchable archive of all their content, with ads around the edges to generate revenue.

The Zombies @ the Triple Door 3/12/07

posted by on March 13 at 11:04 AM

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The Zombies–they don’t look like this anymore.

The Zombies show at the Triple Door last night was a strange mix of wonderfulness and yawn-inducing boredom. The original members that play in the band, Rod Argent and Colin Blunstone, were incredible.

Colin was like a little boy doing his pee-pee dance on stage–he looked really excited and they should have given him a tambourine to play with or something. He couldn’t stand still and every time he danced around he looked like a huge nerd, but it was adorable.

They opened with “I’ve Been Abused,” which may be my favorite Zombies song of all time. It’s such a good song for screaming along to, and the original recording has Blunstone wailing and angry. On stage, he didn’t seem to be able to hit the song’s high notes, which are what makes that song so powerful. It was a letdown, and we at first doubted that his singing ability remained, but he was able to hit the high notes in other songs. Maybe they just weren’t into rocking out in that angsty, teenage way?

Rod Argent was a completely different story altogether. He was full of that weird awkward baby boomer energy, and he kept running around the stage and shaking his old man fro as he would slide into a really intense organ solo. He and the bass player (who was extremely short and had a Pop-eye face) kept pointing in the air after every song. Is this something that rockin’ dudes did in the ’60s? Someone who is old(er) should fill me in.

Speaking of that bassist–all of the other players in the band were proficient, if noodley. The guitarist especially suffered from noodle syndrome. Apparently, he is the former tour guitarist for Tom Jones, and it felt like it.

All in all, I wish the Zombies played more Zombies songs instead of the songs Argent and Blunstone wrote for other people that became hits. Everyone was there (at $32 a head) to hear Zombies songs, and to sing along with them. When they did play the classics, like “A Rose for Emily,” the crowd shut up and danced in their seats. When they wandered around to other catalogues, the chatter rose. You’d think it would have been obvious.

Air Blows into Tacoma

posted by on March 13 at 10:59 AM

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French band Air just announced a Monday, April 23 gig at Pantages Theater in Tacoma. Norweigan downtempo chantuese Kate Kavnevik—who sang on a couple track’s from Royksopp’s last album—opens.

For their Talkie Walkie tour in 2004, Air’s Jean-Benoit Dunckel and Nicholas Godin traveled with a large-scale band and stunning light show and played in historic theaters like Pantages. Like their records, their concerts are hypnotizing and stimulating modernist symphonies.

Tickets cost $38.50 and go on sale Friday, March 16 at all Ticketbastard outlets.

Here’s to Patti

posted by on March 13 at 10:52 AM

Punk poet, indeed.

Jesus died for somebody’s sins but not mine meltin’ in a pot of thieves wild card up my sleeve thick heart of stone my sins my own they belong to me, me

people say “beware!”
but I don’t care
the words are just
rules and regulations to me, me

I-I walk in a room, you know I look so proud
I’m movin’ in this here atmosphere, well, anything’s allowed
and I go to this here party and I just get bored
until I look out the window, see a sweet young thing
humpin’ on the parking meter, leanin’ on the parking meter
oh, she looks so good, oh, she looks so fine
and I got this crazy feeling and then I’m gonna ah-ah make her mine
ooh I’ll put my spell on her

here she comes
walkin’ down the street
here she comes
comin’ through my door
here she comes
crawlin’ up my stair
here she comes
waltzin’ through the hall
in a pretty red dress
and oh, she looks so good, oh, she looks so fine
and I got this crazy feeling that I’m gonna ah-ah make her mine

and then I hear this knockin’ on my door
hear this knockin’ on my door
and I look up into the big tower clock
and say, “oh my God here’s midnight!”
and my baby is walkin’ through the door
leanin’ on my couch she whispers to me and I take the big plunge
and oh, she was so good and oh, she was so fine
and I’m gonna tell the world that I just ah-ah made her mine

and I said darling, tell me your name, she told me her name
she whispered to me, she told me her name
and her name is, and her name is, and her name is, and her name is G-L-O-R-I-A
G-L-O-R-I-A Gloria G-L-O-R-I-A Gloria
G-L-O-R-I-A Gloria G-L-O-R-I-A Gloria

I was at the stadium
There were twenty thousand girls called their names out to me
Marie and Ruth but to tell you the truth
I didn’t hear them I didn’t see
I let my eyes rise to the big tower clock
and I heard those bells chimin’ in my heart
going ding dong ding dong ding dong ding dong.
ding dong ding dong ding dong ding dong
counting the time, then you came to my room
and you whispered to me and we took the big plunge
and oh. you were so good, oh, you were so fine
and I gotta tell the world that I make her mine make her mine
make her mine make her mine make her mine make her mine

G-L-O-R-I-A Gloria G-L-O-R-I-A Gloria G-L-O-R-I-A Gloria,
G-L-O-R-I-A Gloria

and the tower bells chime, “ding dong” they chime
they’re singing, “Jesus died for somebody’s sins but not mine.”

Gloria G-L-O-R-I-A Gloria G-L-O-R-I-A Gloria G-L-O-R-I-A,
Gloria G-L-O-R-I-A, G-L-O-R-I-A Gloria G-L-O-R-I-A Gloria
G-L-O-R-I-A Gloria G-L-O-R-I-A Gloria G-L-O-R-I-A Gloria,
G-L-O-R-I-A Gloria G-L-O-R-I-A Gloria G-L-O-R-I-A Gloria,
G-L-O-R-I-A Gloria G-L-O-R-I-A Gloria G-L-O-R-I-A Gloria .

And last night’s other girls, the Ronettes.

The night we met I knew I needed you so And if I ever had the (chance) I’d never let you go So won’t you say you love me I’ll make you so proud of me We’ll make ‘em turn their heads Every place we go So won’t you please

(Chorus)
Be my, be my (baby)
Be my little baby
My one and only (baby)
Say you’ll be my darling
Be my, be my (baby)
Be my baby now(my one and only)
Whoa whoa whoa

I’ll make you happy, baby
just wait and see
For every kiss you give me
I’ll give you three
Oh, since the day I saw you
I have been waiting for you
You know I will adore you
Till eternity so won’t you please

CHORUS

So come on and be
Be my, be my, be my little baby
My one and only
say you’ll be my darling
Be my, be my, be my baby now
Whoa whoa whoa
Be my, be my, be my little baby
My one and only baby

Rarest of the Rare, Weirdest of the Weird: The Splendors of Mutant Sounds

posted by on March 13 at 7:38 AM

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Q.R. Ghazala’s Threnody for the New Victims of Hiroshima: Another record you somehow missed.

There are record collectors and then there are record collectors. The latter are insanely obsessive about music and are typically blessed with lots of free time and deep pockets. And, of course, they possess rarefied taste. These are the kind of guys (they’re almost always guys) who orgasm by merely holding a slab of 180-gram virgin vinyl. You may think you’re quite the scavenger of obscure wax, but let me break it you, Dusty Fingers: You ain’t in the same league as the dudes holding it down at Mutant Sounds. (These collectors are Eric Lumbleau and Matt Castille of the absurdly great psychedelic group Vas Deferens Organization and a Greek gent known only as mutantsounds.)

This blog arose to catalog/document the artists who appeared on the Legendary Nurse with Wound List™, but it has grown beyond those parameters to encompass the awesome sprawl of fantastic unknown music that haunts the peripheries of the margins of culture’s darkest regions.

The amount of digging and analyzing this requires is staggering, but these stalwarts of arcane sound have been doing an incredible job scrutinizing the underground’s weirdest and rarest specimens and then cogently posting about them on the interweb for all with connections to read and absorb.

Actually, that’s not accurate. The groups under review here dwell below the underground. We’re talking about that deep and mysterious stratum inhabited by oop ltd ed LPs you’ll probably never see and from countries you’ll probably never visit. Thankfully, due to the heroic efforts of the Mutant Sounds team, you can hear (albeit in compromised digital form) works that heretofore have only penetrated a few hundred pairs of ears. Go crazy, sonic explorers, but take heed of mutantsounds’ disclaimer:

The albums are for promotional and preview purposes only. Make sure to delete them within 24 hours. If you like an album, support the artist and go buy it.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Spacemen 3’s ‘How the Blues Should’ve Turned Out’

posted by on March 12 at 11:32 PM

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Defunct British psych rockers Spacemen 3 (or rather co-founder Sonic Boom) have posted an album of archival material by that title on their MySpace blog. It appears to be a digital version of a limited-edition two-CD set that supposedly cost £40 or something outrageous upon its original 2005 release.

I haven’t listened to these songs yet, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they were barrel scrapings, as Sonic’s already issued scads of archival odds and ends collections. But at least this will cost you nothing but your time—which is decreasing in value with every passing second.

Hear Ye, Hear Ye!

posted by on March 12 at 5:07 PM

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What follows is, in its entirety, an email press release from Sir Mathew of Portland “bardcore” band Dagger of the Mind (emphasis added):

Greetinges Lord Zwickel,

Lay down your crying horne for I’ve a peece news you’ll want to sing. Thee end of thys monthe shall host a pair of perfourmances by the Dagger of the Mind Power Metal Shakespeare Company rare in their quality and vigor. Take note:

SUNDAY MARCH 25 at the WET SPOT

An evening of Shakespeare, Metal and BDSM with Dagger of the Mind.

Cover TBA, reduced with renaissance costume. 18+. 7 pm doors, 9 pm show.

SATURDAY MARCH 24 at the MONKEY PUB

Free. 21+. 9 pm.

Here followeth a descriptoine of the bande in the parlance of thy times. The perfourmounce at the Wet Spot shall feature an added cast of characters who shall whip and bind the players, giving them pleasure and pain as they perfourme.

Many a long-haired college student has studied Shakespeare while listening to Iron Maiden, but DAGGER OF THE MIND is the first band to forge the greatest texts of all time with the most epic style music known to man. This Portland four-piece dresses like a formal Shakespeare company, but brings guitar harmonies, high-range vocals, and minute-long keyboard solos to such famous speeches as “Saint Crispian’s Day” from Henry V, and the scene of the drunken porter from Macbeth. Since their inception in January 2006, Dagger has performed with such Northwest greats as Dead Moon, the Epoxies, Stovokor, Clorox Girls and the Hunches.

Images and musicks may please thy sensory organs at myspace.com/bardcore. Recordinges and interviewes (in proper Shakespearean accents and diction, of course) are quite available upon requeste. In the name of full disclosure, thou mayest note that the vocaliste in our bande, Lord SIMMS, is played by Jason Simms, who hath authored several articules for the newes section of thy magazine.

Many thanks,

SIr MATHEW
bardcore@gmail.com
myspace.com/bardcore

In next week’s issue is a story about Lair of the Minotaur, a metal band who banks in Greek mythology. It was only a matter of time before someone took up the “bardcore” mantle, and at least these guys have a sense of humor about it (I mean, they’re playing at the Wet Spot).

Up next: Dante’s Infernoise.

Where Have All The Protest Songs Gone?

posted by on March 12 at 4:30 PM

On the comments thread of this post about the Tacoma anti-war protesters and the cops that gassed them, a Col. Kilgore writes:

Seriously, time to update the “we’re protesting” songs. Can’t this generation come up with something that was written, say, within the last couple of years?

It’s something I’ve been thinking about to, Col. Where are the protest songs? And the political band manifestos for that matter?

I think the problem comes down to two trends:

1. As the music of the people (what “folk music” might’ve meant before it acquired genre-specificity) becomes more produced and more dependent on formal innovation/experimentation it loses its ability to be replicated by any average protester with an acoustic guitar (or less). TV on the Radio’s anti-bush bash, “Dry Drunk Emperor” isn’t exactly ready to be broken into as a mass chant, is it? Public Enemy’s choruses can be simple enough to sing along, but good luck with those verses.

2. Not only is musical form more convoluted/processed, but lyrical content also tends to be more oblique these days. Irony, absurdism, and other scourges of post-modernity can make (even politically radical) art harder to decode.

That said, there are still plenty of great, protests songs being made. Here’s a list in progress (feel free to add suggestions in the comments):

Public Enemy - “Fight the Power,” “MKLVFKWR,” and any number of other songs.
Thermals - “Power Doesn’t Run on Nothing” (and most of The Blood, The Body, The Machine)
Bright Eyes - “When the President Talks to God”
TV on the Radio - “Dry Drunk Emporer”
Morrissey - “America is not the World”
NOFX - “The Decline”
Mr. Lif - “Home of the Brave”
The Decemberists - “Sixteen Military Wives”
Against Me! - “Baby, I’m an Anarchist”
Propaghandi - (pretty much anything)
Nation of Ulysses - (again, pretty much anything)
Dub Narcotic Sound System - “Fuck Shit Up”
(from Kurt B. Reighley):
Le Tigre - “New Kicks” by Le Tigre
Pink - “Dear Mr. President”
Mary Chapin Carpenter - “On With The Song”
James McMurtry - “We Can’t Make It Here”
and, of course…
Green Day - “American Idiot”

And on, and on, and on…

Sub Pop’s New Label, Hardly Art

posted by on March 12 at 2:30 PM

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Sub Pop’s Jonathan Poneman has launched a new label, called Hardly Art, which will operate out of the same offices as Sub Pop and is, according to a press release, rather broadly focused on “offering quality records for people to enjoy.” Their first signees, Seattle’s Arthur & Yu, are considerably more specific, and they’ve “made an album that grapples with the idea of growing up and of letting go,” called In Camera, which will be the label’s first release and is “the reason why Hardly Art exists.” It’s odd that their easy folk would need a new label, since Sub Pop has lately been “growing up and letting go” of its punk roots in favor of the mellower fare (or “easy listening for Grups” as one person here put it) represented by their big money-makers, Band of Horses and the Shins, for years now.

Give Me Candy, Diamonds, and Pills

posted by on March 12 at 2:20 PM

Dramarama’s “Anything, Anything (I’ll Give You)” is my favorite song of all time.*

Musically it’s a really simple song, but everything about it just fits so well together. I love the urgency of the guitar in the beginning because it matches the desperation in John Easdale’s voice—dude is hurtin’. He’s pissed, he’s annoyed, he’s confused, and he’s in love. I love the bass line, and I love the fact that he sounds like he’s out of breath once it reaches the three minute mark. I love this song.

More than listening to it, though, I love dancing to it. Not in clubs or anything, I don’t dance in clubs, but in my apartment. You know the dance scene in The Breakfast Club? I’m Ally Sheedy. Especially the parts where she’s twirling and then does that weird shimmy and slowly collapses into a writhing little ball. (Only I’m not high on Pixie Stix and Captain Crunch sandwiches at the time… usually.)

The one drawback to listening to the song over and over again during my private dance party is that I hate the song that follows it on Cinema Verite. It’s called “Femme Fatale,” and it’s some really weak shit. As soon as “Anything Anything (I’ll Give You)” ends, I have to run to the CD player to click the skip button before that ridiculous crap starts in. “Candidate” is good, though. I just skip ahead to that.

*This statement only valid for the next 20 minutes, as it will surely change, and probably to something that involves a cowbell. Because who doesn’t love a well used cowbell? I’ll keep you posted.

Nachos Part 2 - Refreshingly Strange

posted by on March 12 at 1:18 PM

A sequel to Crashing the Crocodile.

The offensive of the Nachos revelry continued into the Belltown night last Thursday. Men in capes, with keyboards and amps, meeting people with party and song.

Note the sonic trajectory of this footage:

German Polka - “Chicken Dance”
Jingle Bells
The Nachos own – “In This Day & Age”
Wall of Voodoo - “Mexican Radio”
Coolio - “Gangster’s Paradise”
Herbie Hancock - “Rocket”


Justify Your Pod: David Schmader Versus Riz Rollins—No Vaseline

posted by on March 12 at 12:11 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, David Schmader is proud to bust the figurative balls of beloved local DJ and Seattle treasure Riz Rollins, who’s forced to hold forth on everything from Ice Cube’s powerhouse shout-out to the glories of unlubricated anal sex (the spinning of which almost got Riz into a fist fight) to the glorious gospel power of Jim “Gomer Pyle” Nabors. Enjoy.

Final Fantasy at the Paramount

posted by on March 12 at 9:32 AM

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After penning a gushing plug for Toronto artist Final Fantasy — civilian name, Owen Pallett — in Up & Coming, I was nervous about his slot opening for Bloc Party last night. I loved FF’s recent album He Poos Clouds far too much to expect anything less than brilliance, but how would a solo singer-violinist go over with a bunch of fans revved up for the KNDD-friendly dance-rock of BP?

Continue reading "Final Fantasy at the Paramount" »

The Ark does Eurovision

posted by on March 12 at 9:01 AM

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Thanks to their dust-up with the diplomatic corps in DC last year, chances are glam-rock bombshells The Ark won’t be touring the States again any time soon. But their Swedish countrymen have just bestowed a terrific honor upon the band: They’ve been chosen to represent Sweden in the 2007 Eurovision Song Contest. Peep the live video of their glittering entry, “The Worrying Kind,” here. Check out Ola’s jewel-encrusted microphone in the close-ups. Hot.


Sunday, March 11, 2007

Fujiya & Miyagi @ Chop Suey

posted by on March 11 at 8:57 PM

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Last night was the first time in probably 20 years that I said out loud, “I wish I was rollerskating right now.”

Fujiya & Miyagi brough some kind of wind-up funk fuel to Chop Suey’s early show, mechanical and minimal and irrefutably danceable.

There are four main branches on the funk family tree: Nawleans funk, P-Funk, Sly funk, and JB’s funk. From these prototypes most forms of hiphop and dance music has evolved. But it occurred to me last night that there’s a fifth element often overlooked, at least by yours truly, and that’s Kraut-Funk. Sleek, precise, robotic, and strangely soulful, the German offshoot of the funk forefathers opposes the dirty, organic sounds usually associated with the genre but is just as propulsive.

And so British-born, Kraftwerk-worshipping trio Fujiya &Miyagi made some relentlessly groovy dance music. Droning electronic rhythms counterpointed simple synth lines and even simpler bass lines, with pitch-shifted Moog, occasional guitar solos, and nonchalant vocals tying it all up in a thread of melody. Given the elbow-to-elbow capacity and off-hour, nobody was really dancing, but it was a high-energy set, and the crowd and the band both showed it.

The night was a coup for booker Colin Johnson, as Chop Suey held the first ever U.S. performances of F&M as well as French mod-punkers Prototypes and Young Knives, another U.K. band. Score!

Colin, next time it’s a warehouse in South Seattle with a rental skates and a disco ball. That shit was meant to be moved to.

Is Your Sunday Rainy?

posted by on March 11 at 12:00 PM

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I’m in LA. It’s 80 fuckin’ degrees. I’m supposed to be meeting a very famous rock/movie star tonight, but I can’t get my mind off of this Incredible Rollerboogie / Breakdance DJ Mix by EdDMX of the DMX KREW.

Go ahead! Bring Some Sunshine Into Your Life!

Download it and get the tracklist is HERE!

Decible Festival…If you have any sense at all you will BOOK EdDMX NOW!