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Archives for 03/18/2007 - 03/24/2007

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Spreading the Jam

posted by on March 24 at 12:46 PM

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Who needs SXSW when you can see four bands at three venues in six hours, all within your own hometown? Last night Seattle really represented on the musical front in seemingly very disparate styles. But by the end of the evening a common thread became apparent, and it’s not what you’d expect.

First up was the Illuminasty Trio, Skerik’s latest mutant jazz monster, at the Triple Door. With Skerik on saxophonics, doctoring his horn with an array of effects, digital and pedal-driven; Mike Dillon on vibraphone, drum kit, and tabla; and New Orleans veteran Andrew Singleton on bass, Illuminasty took all of those hyphenated -jazz threads (out-, free-, skronk-, whateva-) and pulled at them to the point of fraying. These guys didn’t just play their instruments, they played with their instruments, tapping, rubbing, scratching, pulling, blowing, smacking as if these things weren’t designed for a specific purpose but as just general noisemakers, mining unexpected and often hilarious sounds.

Local jazz hero Wayne Horvitz emerged halfway through the set to sit in on grand piano, plucking and pounding on the strings inside the frame as much as fingering the keys. The first half-hour or so was absolutely mesmerizing, each number offering a novel way of utilizing standard instruments to create wild, atmospheric soundscapes with nary a groove or melody to be heard; those novelties stood out less after a while. By the end of the hour and a half set, the band decided on a groove, and their final number actually approached the out-funk that Horvitz, Skerik, and Dillon know so well. Skerik plays in a huge number of totally different bands, turning from metal to funk to free jazz to bop to rock without hesitation. Amazingly, his fans are just as fearless, even following him into the outer space realms that Illuminasty ventured into.

From there it was a quick walk to the Crocodile for Whalebones and Cave Singers. Whalebones had a great buzz going on right from the start, playing with that ideal two-whiskey high that’s warm and loose and upbeat and just short of sloppy or angry. Somehow it’s OK to get away with head-back guitar solos and boogie-woogie jamming as long as the volume is loud enough and nobody in the crowd’s wearing Birkenstocks or patchwork. Lead singer Justin Deary’s thin voice matched his too-short hair, both of which seemed a bit out of place in a shaggy, shambling garage-psych-blues band like Whalebones. But when they shifted into all-out, guitar-driven overdrive the music made perfect sense.

Seated and cozily lit by a lamp on top of a stage monitor, the Cave Singers played midnight work songs for dying coal miners, distant and eerie and full of scarred soul. Singer Pete Quirk was flanked by two acoustic guitarists, occasionally slapping a tamborine against his thigh but mostly content to let his strong, creaking vocals tell the story. They finished with Quirk on electric and one of the other guys on drums on a haunting electric folk dirge. The crowd was surprsingly attentive during the quiet set, riveted by the trio’s earthy, broken blues.

And then it was off to Chop Suey for OOIOO, the fourth group I’d never seen and the greatest surprise of the evening (check out Sam Mickens’ story about them in this week’s Stranger). Led by Yoshimi P-We of the Boredoms, the all-girl Japanese fivepiece were yet another iteration of jam band, unraveling bouncy, beat-driven, freestyle music impossible to define. Backed by a drummer, a conga player, a bassist, and a guitarist, Yoshimi led the group in weird, chirpy chants and call-and-response, like a tree-ful of squirrels and sparrows at an all-forest pep rally. I don’t speak Japanese but I’m pretty sure they weren’t either. Throughout the set, Yoshimi switched from guitar to trumpet, injecting little poppy melodies over the percolating percussion and hypnotic guitar riffs. The crowd reacted either by staring and gaping or totally letting loose. It wasn’t pop or rock or anything else familiar, but it was infectious and fun as hell.

And there you have it—jam bands are hot. From Skerik to Whalebones to OOIOO, each of these groups played with a free-wheeling, improvisational abandon, letting the moment take the music wherever it was meant to go. There were all clearly well-practiced and well-focused, yet they traded strict adherence to song structure for thrilling, off-the-cuff adventurousness. After Whalebones’ set, singer Justin Deary confessed his appreciation for the Grateful Dead; Skerik plays with Galactic and Les Claypool; there was a taper in the back of the room at OOIOO. Killer musicianship, innovative sounds, and changing attitudes are wearing away the stigma attached to the word “jam.” Pretty soon patchwork will be the new tight jeans.

Vanilla Fudge - Rock Convulsion

posted by on March 24 at 11:46 AM

Here is Vanilla Fudge on the Ed Sullivan Show doing their cover of the Supremes, “You Keep Me Hanging On”.

They are delivering much psychedelic rock action. But are they rocking too hard?

Is it possible to rock too hard?

It seems like Vanilla Fudge vocalist and keyboard player, Mark Stein, may snap his head off from a convulsion of rock.

It’s one thing if it’s Slayer, or Metallica, or Hellwitch. Heads need to bang, and convulsions need to take place.

It was 1968 for the Fudge, but it just seems like there’s too much rock happening for the musicians and not the music.

Joe Boyd reads from “White Bicycles”

posted by on March 24 at 10:39 AM

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Producer Joe Boyd has had one of the most fascinating journeys through the music business, including (but far from limited to) producing the first Pink Floyd single and installing the band at his notorious UFO Club, and fostering the UK folk rock movement via his involvement with Sandy Denny, the Incredible String Band, and Fairport Convention. Oh, and he produced the first two Nick Drake albums and played a central role in the doomed troubadour’s brief but influential career. Boyd also passed on signing up ABBA. Yeah. He’s written a fascinating (i.e. succinct and entertaining) memoir of his adventures, which he remembers with startling clarity, entitled White Bicycles: Making Music in the 1960s. The book has won praise from Brian Eno, Kate Bush, and a host of less-reputable types (i.e. music and literary critics). Boyd is doing a last-minute reading at Elliott Bay Book Company this afternoon at 2 PM, and if you care a whit about any of the above-mentioned artists, you’d be wise to check it out.


Friday, March 23, 2007

When Fantastic Song Meets Bad Choreography….

posted by on March 23 at 4:05 PM

GAY happens.


(Of course the 10-minute extended version is available at my blog, here.)

Shout Out Out Out Out @ Club Pop

posted by on March 23 at 3:35 PM

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Shout Out Out Out Out is six kind of goofy-looking dudes from Edmonton, Alberta—two drummers, two bassists, and a mess of badass synthesizers. Having two drummers means that at least one of them is almost always twirling a drumstick in one hand, which is pretty cool. The two of them interlocked perfectly, dishing out plenty of high-hat-riding disco and cowbell over the steady bass/snare pulse. The drummer on the left played with the biggest, most enthusiastic grin I’ve seen on a musician in a long time, and after their set, he was down in the crowd dancing and still shaking a maraca. Dudes came to party. The band energetically split the difference between Chromeo’s tight electro funk and !!!’s sprawling disco jams, with plenty of vocoded vocals in the mix, and the crowd went nuts for it. A friend of mine observed that Club Pop is pretty much the most fashion-forward night in Seattle, and it’s true. Kids come decked out and hyped up, and it’s really inspiring. Shout Out Out Out Out expressed their appreciation for the response and their eagerness to come back to Seattle soon. Here’s hoping that happens.

Selector Dub Narcotic & DJ Name Names’s dance-floor revisionism warmed things up nicely with a nice mix of no-wave, soul, and punk that only got a little too frantic for me just before the headliners went on.

Another friend observed that Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head are probably the funnest thing in the world if they’re your friends, but they’re probably still a year or two away from being anywhere near as tight as tonight’s main act. They played in all white with neon streaks across their eyes, looking like some children of Andrew W.K. and Fischerspooner, which I guess kind of makes sense. Their songs share the latter’s electronics, but eschew their art-snobbery in favor of the former’s silly positivism.

(More photos by Kelly O after the jump)

Continue reading "Shout Out Out Out Out @ Club Pop" »

The Grass Roots, “Midnight Confessions”

posted by on March 23 at 3:20 PM

To kick off our new weekly feature “Best Song Ever (This Week)” I’m going with a certified classic most widely known as a staple of 2 a.m. TV ad compilations—the Grass Roots’ “Midnight Confessions.”

The Grass Roots are an appallingly underrated California garage-folk-blues-rock outfit responsible for a huge number of songs that you recognize and probably don’t know; “Midnight Confessions” is their pinnacle. Their 1968 Top 5 hit balanced perfectly between garagey grit, Stax soul, and AM radio pomp. A boogie bassline starts the whole thing off, working intuitively with an eerily stark garage-rocking organ riff. A huge, classy/cheesy horn blast parades the song through the streets, and the vocal duel between keyboardist Warren Entner and guitarist Rob Grill makes for awesome drama. Entner wins out with his unforgettable yawp: “I love you!” Poor guys—only at the witching hour can they tell the world they’re hung up on a married chick.

“Midnight Confessions” comes from an era when corny could coexist besides soulful and rockin’, adding up to the Best Song Ever (This Week).

Lobo Saloon to Close

posted by on March 23 at 2:49 PM

We just received word that the Eastlake hangout Lobo Saloon is set to close on the last day of March. They will be having a show:

Saturday, March 31
BAD GHOST
DATELESS
GREENRIVER THRILLERS
very special guest
9:00pm
$5

It’s too bad—the Lobo was recently remaking itself into a hub for the noise scene in this city. More details will be reported as we receive them.

New Björk Album Art

posted by on March 23 at 11:30 AM

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Well, Nick, it looks like they’re using that artwork after all, only with a more legible “Björk” added so that shoppers know it’s not a Klaxons CD.

(Hat Tip to Idolator)

This Week’s Setlist

posted by on March 23 at 11:27 AM

A new Setlist has just been posted. Hooray! Click here to hear a bunch of talented local bands including Bad Dream Good Breakfast, Petals Like Bricks, Spanish for 100, and Bronze Fawn.

What’s more, you don’t even need an iPod or an MP3 player or iTunes or anything fancy to hear it. Just click the link, click listen, and then, you know, listen. Crazy easy, duders. Check it out and let us know what ya think… Unless you think something bad. Those comments you can keep to yourself because I’m fragile.


Thursday, March 22, 2007

Fly Away: DJ Mr Smith departs the Seattle Eagle

posted by on March 22 at 3:05 PM

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Sometimes it feels like any upstart with a little courage, a couple second-hand Loverboy LPs, and a mp3 of the latest MSTRKRFT remix can call him, her, or itself a DJ. And that’s fine. Competition is healthy. But there are some Seattle DJs who set the standards against which all contenders must be judged. DJ Mr Smith, hard-rockin’ Friday night resident at the Seattle Eagle, is one of them. And you have exactly two more weeks to hear him before he’s gone.

After 14 years - “and not a single concession to Kylie Minogue” - Smith will spin his final set at the popular Pike Street gay bar on Friday, March 30, from 10 PM to 2 AM. Smith isn’t leaving town, but wants to concentrate on other projects, one of which - the Seattle LGBT Community Center - will be the beneficiary of his farewell blowout, receiving a dollar for every Budweiser and Bud Light draft sold during Smith’s set.

Almost ten years ago, I wrote an editorial for another local rag about how attrocious the music in most gay bars is. Not long after, I befriended Mr. Smith, and realized that didn’t have to be the case. (Hell, he even helped me land my own gig at the Eagle eventually.) Nowadays, there are plenty of queer DJs all over the city who spin rock, ’70s funk, hip-hop and other non-cheesy sounds, but Smith is one of the originals. Enjoy him in his natural habitat while you still can.

Tonight The Stranger Suggests

posted by on March 22 at 2:50 PM

Club Pop @ Chop Suey w/Selector Dub Narcotic & DJ Name Names, Shout Out Out Out Out, & Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head

Shout Out Out Out Out (Music) When French fur traders first imported the vocoder to Canada, they couldn’t have known what an impact it would eventually have. Alberta’s Shout Out Out Out Out (take that, !!! (!)) join the ranks of countrymen MSTRKRFT and Chromeo in their fondness for the roboticizing power of the vocal encoder. The sextet dispense neon funk jams with titles like “Chicken Soup for the Fuck You” and “Your Shitty Record Won’t Mix Itself” highlighted by smooth, synthetic crooning. (Chop Suey, 1325 E Madison St, 324-8000. 9 pm, $6/$8, 18+.) ERIC GRANDY

Mika: “Love Today”

posted by on March 22 at 2:29 PM

Mika’s latest video…

Hm. Pretty bad—the video, not the song. I kinda like the song. There’s an interview with Mika up at Towleroad. He’s coming to America—but he’s not coming out.

Rumors have been circulating about your own sexuality. Are you gay?

I don’t’ really discuss that. I don’t feel I really need to. My music speaks for itself. I have total freedom with what I do musically and the way that I live my life. And I feel really comfortable with that.

Has any straight man in the whole sordid history of straight men ever answered the question “are you gay?” with “”I don’t really discuss that”? No, no straight man has ever answered that question quite that way, Mika.

Everybody Sings

posted by on March 22 at 2:19 PM

Archives @ Neumo’s

Neumo’s has never looked better than it does now in the good hands of its triumvirate owners. There’s a new bar in the main room, a red curtain has been hung over that god-awful clown mural, and the VIP room downstairs has been polished up and fitted with new sound. For this show, another curtain sectioned off the back of the main room, creating a cozy little space for Archives’ first live show.

The band played the four songs from their demo, plus one untitled song that Mat Brooke admits doesn’t really have lyrics yet, either, but is “a lot of ooh la las.” Interviewing him a couple weeks ago, Brooke was understandably worried about getting the band’s delicate sound and harmonies right live, but except for a couple nervous falters they totally nailed it. They played “Sleepdriving” and “Southern Glass Home” back to back as they appear on the demo, and the transition was even more spine-tingling live. The live versions of “Southern Glass Home” and “Torn Blue Foam Couch” rocked much harder than the demo versions, with the latter’s cathartic climax providing a fittingly triumphant set closer.

Mount Eerie @ A Secret, Magical Cave

Okay, not actually a cave (which would be a pretty sweet setting for a Mount Eerie show), but rather a warm little warehouse space that shall remain nameless for now. Mount Eerie (aka Phil Elverum) played with a six piece backing band, including saxophone and keys, comprised of Golden Boots and maybe Jason Anderson (I got there late, I’m not sure who was who). He’d show them the chord progressions before each song, and then the band would improvise around him. I read somewhere once that the Microphones was originally inspired by Nirvana, and you could kind of see that when he rang out big, distorted chords on an electric guitar with a full band instead of on his usual solo acoustic. The band lent his songs a decidedly Southern rock feel.

He sang about meeting friends for dinner, loving his home, feeling rain on his skin, walking out into the darkness of his small town at night, reconciling with the Moon, and stabbing himself (on the same night as a Modest Mouse show across town—Eerie, indeed). I had to leave before he performed some solo material. How was it? Was there a sing-laong? How were the other bands?

Scholarly Discourse

posted by on March 22 at 12:05 PM

The Mass Line Message board is lit up like July 4 over Andrew Matson’s article on Blue Scholars signing to Rawkus Records.

It’s pretty heated and it’s pretty great. Scholars manager Dave Meinert is PO’ed and raring to say so, Mass Line’s Sabzi has weighed in with his discontent and so has Geo of the Scholars. There’s a pretty good point-counterpoint debate going on. Meanwhile Matson’s article still stands up for itself. If you’re at all interested in Northwest hiphop I suggest checking it out.

Goddamn, I Love the Hold Steady

posted by on March 22 at 11:15 AM

More Marr

posted by on March 22 at 11:14 AM

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We’ve got enough Modest Mouse posts here already, but I just wanted to post the above photo. It’s the one good one I snapped before getting the evil eye from some event staffer. I later saw them pulling people with flash cameras out of the crowd.

While I was up front, Marr was pulling his half-windmill and sounding just right, and I overheard this conversation coming from two college-looking kids next to me:

Kid 1: So that dude was in the Smiths?
Kid 2: Yeah. He’s old.
Kid 1: He looks like he was in the Rolling Stones!
Kid 2: Yeah. Same era.

Oy, you youngsters today. Everything pre-‘83 is ancient history.

The Ocean Is the New White Belt

posted by on March 22 at 11:08 AM

On the way to Modest Mouse last night—Megan Seling, Jonathan Zwickel, Annie Wagner, and I went together—Zwickel said something about a British Columbian ski resort called Modest Moose. He said, “That’s actually where they got their name.”

Wagner, taking it seriously: “No, they got it from Dickens. I can’t remember which book.”

Zwickel: “I thought it was Virginia Woolf.”

Wagner, laughing: “No, it’s not Virginia Woolf. Would Modest Mouse name themselves after Virginia Woolf?”

The gynmasium at the South Lake Union Naval Reserve didn’t make anyone think of Dickens or Woolf, though if you’ve ever read Melville’s fattest book you might have thought of that. The doors to the gymnasium had round windows like portholes; some fish netting was hanging from the ceiling at the back of the room; behind the fish netting was an installation about the voyage of the Discovery, complete with a replica of the ship; there were lanterns on stage; and the blue lights shining into the stage fog looked like sunlight does when you’re under the ocean. Oh, and the new album is called We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank. “Nice to see you all in this big, boxy boathouse thing,” Isaac Brock told the crowd.

The Shins went ocean-themed for their last album too. As Seling said, “Ocean is the new white belt. It’s the new trend.”

Luke Vibert Cancels Tour

posted by on March 22 at 10:50 AM

Luke Vibert has cancelled his US tour, including a Seattle date scheduled for April 14th at ReBar’s monthly techno night Krakt. From the night’s promoters:

I /very/ regretfully inform everyone that Vibert has cancelled his north american tour. Apparently his SF date cancelled and becuase of that he’s not willing to leave the UK. I pried and pried, offered to replace the date, blah, blah, but after hearing no on multiple emails gave up.

To replace him, [a]ppendix.shuffle will be doing a live set.

Johnny Marr Can Still Kick Your Ass

posted by on March 22 at 12:38 AM

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Just got back from the Modest Mouse show in South Lake Union Park at the Naval Reserve Building, which is basically just a big high school gym without the wooden retractable bleachers.

Before getting to the headliners, just a word or two about the opening band, Blitzen Trapper, a Portland collective of sorts who alternately sound like Pavement, the Dead, Gram Parsons, and Lynyrd Skynyrd (sometimes all in the same song). Overcoming some poor sound (muddy vocals, drowned guitars), the band rocked, picking up steam as their short set progressed. The highlights were tracks from their newest album Wild Mountain Nation, which comes out in June, especially “Country Caravan” and the title track, which seems as appropriate an anthem as any for this eclectic and energetic band. The rollicking sextet was having one hell of a time up there and I look forward to seeing them again in a venue where the acoustics are a bit better.

Now to the world-conquering Mouse. First, Isaac did not cut himself while on stage, although he did play the guitar with his teeth (sorta) during a dark, electro-80s-tinged version of “Tiny Cities Made of Ashes.” The set was solid, though it did focus on newer material with just one track from The Lonesome Crowded West (“Doin’ the Cockroach”) and nothing from earlier albums. Still, the band was tight and there was only one misstep when “Paper Thin Walls” had to be restarted after a botched transition.

The evening was certainly more polished, more, dare I say it?, professional than Modest Mouse ever was. Did it take away some of the what-the-hell-are-they-going-to-do-next? excitement? Perhaps. But the trade-off was a tight, solid sound that was both sharp-edged and adventurous when it needed to be. A few standouts: “The View,” “Doin’ the Cockroach,” “We’ve Got Everything,” and the sweet “Little Motel,” which might be my favorite Modest Mouse song since “Trailer Trash.”

And confidential to all you 25-year-olds trying to be the next Johnny Marr: The motherfucker’s still here and he’s still kicking your ass. Besides looking not a day over 27 and busting out some strong 80s guitar moves (including a half windmill), the man provided a perfect foil to Isaac’s crazy energy with his cool, confident guitar work.

All in all, a strong show by a band that’s clearly feeling more comfortable in their skins than ever.


Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Band of the Week

posted by on March 21 at 5:45 PM

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This week’s Band of the Week is Bad Dream Good Breakfast, an orchestral indie rock outfit that you can hear by clicking here.

Every Wednesday, from here on out, we’re going to post a little something about our Band of the Week pick. All us music writers will take turns shifting through the Stranger’s Bands Page to find a favorite (if you don’t have songs posted yet, get on it because you could be next). This week, though, the debuting week is unfortunately lackluster. Bad Dream Good Breakfast never returned my Myspace message or e-mail. Sigh. Perhaps they will soon, especially now that I’ve scolded them in public?

They’re still worth checking out. And for now, here’s what I do know about the band:

*There are 10 people in that photo, but they list 11 (!) people as members of their band—Nick Jones (vox, guitar) Chris Jones (bass), JC Bockman (drums), Brian Kinsella (piano, rhodes, organ, synth), Jeff Grant (guitar, vox), Brittney Williams (vox), Saundrah Humphrey (viola), Ellen McGee (violin), Sheryl Templora (violin), Rachael Beaver (cello), Leif Dalan (synths).

*They’re influenced by Sufjan Stevens, Sigur Ros, the Arcade Fire, and Pinback.

*They released a full-length in January called Nothing Broken, Nothing Damaged.

And here’s what I had to say about them in this week’s Underage column:

…they’re lush and dramatic, and it’s no surprise that their bio says they’re heavily influenced by Sufjan Stevens, Arcade Fire, and Sigur Rós. The song “The Urgency of Nightlife and the Temptations that Come of It” is quite theatrical—the moods shift quickly, thanks to the flourishing strings, pretty piano, and delicate chimes. “Cyclical Story,” another song posted, is darker. It summons a little bit of a Radiohead vibe in the beginning but brightens as it goes on, while still maintaining an undeniable heavy sadness.

If that sounds nice to you, I suggest you check them out. They have a few songs posted at www.thestranger.com/bands.

Bad Dream Good Breakfast are playing the Crocodile tomorrow night with Kate Tucker and M. Bison. It’s six bucks, it starts around 9:30.

UPDATE: BDGB has responded to my e-mail, and an interview is forthcoming. I’ll find out how long it takes them to write their 11-piece, five minute, epic songs, and how the fuck 11 people work out a practice schedule.

New Chemical Brothers Record

posted by on March 21 at 3:27 PM

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In other sorta-interesting news, UK big-beat duo The Chemical Brothers have announced their upcoming sixth album. We Are The Night is set for release this summer. That’s all the info we get for now.

Interest in the new record surely will be gauged by the stature of the guests on it. For their 2005 release, Push the Button, it was Q-Tip, Kele Okereke, and the Magic Numbers; while without the impact of their earlier stuff the music still had energy. If ChemBros land, say, Lilly Allen, Cee-Lo, and Andrew WK they have a chance.

“They Just Got Out and Walked… I’ve Never Seen Anything Like This”

posted by on March 21 at 3:20 PM

How can one read this Seattle Times story

A forgetful driver on this morning’s Kingston-to-Edmonds ferry run walked off the boat upon arrival, leaving behind a car and seriously disrupting the morning commute.

…and not think immediately of this REM video?

J5 No More

posted by on March 21 at 3:12 PM

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According to a post yesterday on CMJ.com, sentimental backpacker faves Jurassic 5 have officially called it quits.

Says J5 MC Soup: “When it comes down to it, some people here want their own shine, their own thing. If that’s what you want, I say ‘More power to you.’” Basso profundo/most easily recognized member Chali 2na is apparently shopping his solo joint around as we speak.

Honestly, I haven’t paid attention in a few years, as the band never topped their debut LP from back in 2000. Still, they were always one of the most thrilling live hiphop acts around. As the definition of “underground” shifts, it’s not surprising that a multi-member collective like J5 couldn’t maintain a common vision. It’ll be interesting to see where/when the individual members land.

Slayer Remixed

posted by on March 21 at 3:03 PM

I love Slayer. Forever and ever and ever.
Even when they sound like a Nintendo game….

Sound Exchange & The Copyright Royalty Board Are Full of Shit Extremely Complicated

posted by on March 21 at 3:00 PM

I just got this press release in my inbox:

SOUNDEXCHANGE CALLS ON WEBCASTERS TO RECOGNIZE VALUE OF MUSIC PERFORMERS TO WEB-BUSINESS

SUGGESTS WEBCASTERS NOT TELLING WHOLE STORY ABOUT ROYALTY PROCESS

WASHINGTON, DC—-SoundExchange today called on internet radio and broadcast radio simulcasters to publicly acknowledge the value of musical performers to the success of their businesses, and to acknowledge the recent royalty setting process for such work was fair to all involved.

“The music created by artists is the main reason why people listen to internet radio, and those artists should be fairly compensated for the value they bring to each webcaster’s business,” said John Simson, Executive Director of SoundExchange. “Yet, the webcasters refuse to acknowledge this common sense fact. Webcasters have a number of opportunities to maximize revenue with a captive audience attracted by music created by artists through banner ads, pop-ups, video pre-rolls, audio commercials and other avenues of revenue generation. While we want internet radio to succeed, it is only fair that artists be compensated for the value of their work, which forms the basis of their business.”

The decision by the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) on March 2, 2007 established performance royalty rates webcasters will pay artists and record labels based upon the fair market value of their work. This decision was a balanced, well-reasoned opinion that considered all sides of this issue. (A summary of the decision is attached.) Unfortunately, some in the webcasting industry have been engaged in a campaign of misinformation about the process, the decision itself and the impact of the decision on the participants.

“Recent claims by a few webcasters that the process was unfair simply reveal that their complaints are not really about process, but rather about results,” said John Simson, Executive Director of SoundExchange. “Webcasters like AOL, Clear Channel, and others want to impose low rates on artists, rather than accept fair market rates as the law requires. They may disagree with the ruling, but they should be forthcoming about the integrity of the process.”

The CRB reviewed written and oral testimony from almost 50 witnesses during 48 days of hearings that totaled over 13,000 pages of transcripts. The webcasters cross-examined all of SoundExchange’s witnesses and had access to hundreds of thousands of pages of documents. The webcasters and SoundExchange also submitted over a thousand pages of written findings, which the CRB reviewed before issuing its 115-page decision.

What this statement fails to address is that the new internet royalty rates are so high as to price streaming stations out of existence. Indeed, if these rates were applied to satellite and broadcast stations, they might be bankrupted. Idolator has done a great job covering this. The FAQ @ savethestreams explains the basic math. This blog post from Pandora has some interesting discussion in the comments, including some proposed letters of protest. The Wall Street Journal gets to the root of the problem:

(Performance royalties and composer royalties are separate — the former are paid to artists and record labels, while the latter are paid to songwriters and music publishers.)

A brief recap: The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998, building on 1995’s Digital Performance Rights in Sounds Recordings Act, said Net-radio firms had to pay performance royalties on songs played in addition to composer royalties on those songs. Terrestrial radio stations pay composer royalties, but they don’t pay performance royalties, under the long-established rationale that record labels benefit from the promotional value of songs played on the radio.

So if a Clear Channel radio station plays that new Fergie song over the air, it doesn’t pay a performance royalty — but if it streams Fergie over the Net (or satellite radio), it does. Make sense to you?

The bottom line here isn’t that Sound Exchange, a spin-off organization of the RIAA, and the Copyright Royalty Board are looking to get artists paid, but that they’re seeking to eliminate the laissez-faire entrepreneurial wonderland of the internet and replace it with the kind of consolidation and regulation that they (or their clients) are comfortable with/profiting from. If getting artist paid was all they cared about, they would institute royalty rates commensurate with those of regular broadcast or satellite radio and let fair competition ensue. The Big Four record companies need a strangled flow of media to ensure that you purchase their rapidly devaluating product, and internet radio stations threaten their grip.

Update: Meinert points out in his post, that the real bad guy here is, perhaps unsurprisingly, Clear Channel and their ilk:

National Association of Broadcasters, one of the most powerful lobbying groups in DC. Congress needs to create the royalty rates, not Soundexchange. In fact, Soundexchange, RIAA, NARAS, the musicians unions and artist advocacy groups are all working together to fight the NAB and get broadcast radio to pay more royalties. The US is the only Western country where artists and labels don’t get paid these royalties. Because the NAB has blocked artists and labels from collecting these royalties in the US, it means US artists also do not get paid these royalties in other countries. The artists are truly getting screwed here where companies who use their music are enriched (see Clear Channel’s profits and salaries).

So then the better idea would be to increase rates for both terrestrial and other radio? Wouldn’t that, coupled with existing deregulation, just encourage more media consolidation?

Get Trashed: The Trashies Tour, Week One

posted by on March 21 at 2:35 PM

(Local rockers the Trashies are currently on tour. So far their van has broken down, someone has been arrested, and they’ve taken some, uh, pills. They’ll be checking in with us every couple of days or so, letting us know how it’s going—it’s sure to be hilarious. Here’s installment number one of the Trashies’ tour diary, a recap of the band’s first week on the road.)

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Here we are with Out of Order recordhead Heather Klinger just before leaving Davis post-van breakdown.

This tour has been a real pain in the ass to get together. Being on our fourth tour, we had a few contacts in some cities to help us book the shows, but we’re mostly going to new places on the East Coast and in the South so it’s really taken a shitload of planning. Not to mention the fact that we didn’t even have a van to tour in until two days before we hit the road, and we have a new record and two new 7”s that we had to get together right before we left… but nonetheless, it has begun!

It was really killer to see our friends Blackout Drunk in Seattle falling down at the Funhouse, haven’t done that in months. And the Unnatural Helpers destroyed with their new three-piece line up. Talk about shitrock, those guys murdered my mind with radicality.

Portland was pretty dynamite also. We were greeted by our former roadie who adorned us with many joints of skunkweed which, at the time, seemed radikiller but later would come to bite us straight in the asshole. When we got to the club it was a bit weird as a bunch of our parents and family showed up from our hometown of Longview, WA. They got to see us wasted while we spit fart sounds out of our instruments. I elected to not ask my mom what she thought of the show while she drunkenly blabbed about how much better we’d gotten at our instruments.

One thing that consistently sucks about Portland, though, is the day after—that fuckin’ 10-hour drive to the Bay Area that begins in the netherhours of the morning is always a crusher. We opted out this time and decided to drive to a buddy’s house in Ashland, Oregon after the Portland show. Unfortunately that’s still five hours, and when you leave at 2:30 AM in your van that, at this point, still has no stereo, you’ve got a lot of tired silent driving. Fortunately for us, our drummer is a robot driver and can be programmed to stay awake with trucker speed and sugar coffee.

Continue reading "Get Trashed: The Trashies Tour, Week One" »

A SXSW Mixtape

posted by on March 21 at 1:36 PM

Junius @ Mopeds, SXSW, 3/17/2007As promised in the comments a few days back, here’s a summary post of my SXSW experience in MP3 format. Just about every act I saw at this year’s SXSW is represented, with artist links for you to find out more information. RIAA, in case you happen to catch wind of this post, note that I didn’t resort to any P2P sites to find these MP3s, just simple web searches, so if you’re looking to sue somebody, look elsewhere.

To make things more convenient I’ve compiled the below list of songs into a .zip archive (with .m3u playlist) that can be found here.

Enjoy.

Thursday
The Dodos (formerly Dodo Bird) - “The Ball”
Lo-Fi-Fnk - “Unighted”
Benjy Ferree - “In The Woods”
NOMO - “Better Than That”
Bloc Party - “Banquet” (EP Version)
Underground Kingz (UGK) - T.I. Feat. UGK “Front Back”
Sparklehorse - “Apple Bed” (live)

Friday
The Pipettes - “The Burning Ambition of Early Diuretics”
Dark Meat - “Angel of Meth”
Matt and Kim - “Yea Yeah”
Mika Miko - “Capricorinations”
Erase Errata - “Tax Dollar”
Simian Mobile Disco - “Tits & Acid”
Girl Talk - “Hold Up”
O’Death - “Adelita”
The Rub - “Slick Rick vs. Soho - I Shouldn’t Have Done It” (DJ Ayres Hip-House remix)
Japan Nite - The 50 Kaitenz - “Thank You For Ramones”
Bonde Do Role - “Melo do Tabaco”
Yo Majesty - “Club Action”
Kenna - “Sunday After You”
MSTRKRFT - “Street Justice”

Saturday
Junius - “at the edge of decay”
Ghostface - “The Champ”
Rakim - “I Ain’t No Joke” (with Eric B)
Golem - “Odessa”
Uncut - “Understanding the New Violence”
Malajube - “montréal -40°C”
Johnossi - “Man Must Dance”
Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra - “Beaten Metal”
Art in Manila - “Our Addictions”
Field Music - “You’re So Pretty”
Tilly and the Wall - “Lost Girls”
Tokyo Police Club - “Citizens of Tomorrow”
Iggy Pop & The Stooges - “Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell”

For 4 Things

posted by on March 21 at 1:31 PM

4some.jpgUno- Tonight at the High Dive is From the North. Malfunkshun’s reformed metal, lead by Shawn Smith’s medicinal funk scream. It’s Sabbath slanted rock, based on the lyrics of Andrew Wood. Bring your tiger and slay the beast.

Dos- At Baltic Room is Professor FITS, spinning his doppler trance radar breaks for the residence of Ruff Gemz. Bring your tiger to that too, but be warned, Crispin Glover could be there.

Tres- My high school Spanish teacher, a 4 ft. 3 inch Cuban fireball named Olympia Sotolongo, used to say, “Open your workbook to los ejercicios. We are going to estudy the endings.” But her ‘endings’ sounded just like she was saying ‘Indians.’ One day my friend, Ben, asked her why we were studying Indians, and she said, “Beng, baby, why are you so estupid?”

Cuatro- I got the Cher song, “Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves”, stuck in my head:

“She was born in the wagon of a traveling show / Mama would dance for the money they would throw.
Papa would do whatever he could / Preach a little gospel, sell a couple bottles of Dr Good.

They hear it from the people of the town / gypsies, tramps and thieves.
And every night the men would come around and lay their money down.”

Then it goes off on how the daughter gets knocked up by a hitchhiker. There’s nothing about tigers, but she talks about how the dad would shoot the guy, if he knew what he had done to his daughter.

Paul McCartney Signs to Hear Music (AKA Starbucks Musak)

posted by on March 21 at 1:26 PM

Will his bitter recent divorce go with their bitter, stinky coffee?

I really don’t know why I don’t work in British tabloids.

Nick Gilder: City Nights

posted by on March 21 at 12:19 PM

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I love it when you find a great album in the 99-cent bins at used record stores. I mean, yeah, like, a million people probably owned this album by Nick Gilder (formerly of the Canadian band, Sweeney Todd). It has his huge number-one hit “Hot Child in the City” on it. So your grandma probably even owns this one.

When I started to play the album yesterday, it sounded like someone had accidentally placed a Patty Smyth album in the wrong sleeve. This guy has one rockin’ androgynous vocal style. You can really here it on the album opener, “Got to Get Out.”

Then there’s the rhythm section, which kicks the songs around and roughs ‘em up laying down the perfect foundation for the lick-tastic guitar playing of James McCulloch (also formerly of Sweeney Todd). Just listen to the propulsive “Here Comes the Night” (which was the second Top 20 single from this album).

The song “Rockaway” was nearly ruined forever by lame techno producer Armnand Van Helden’s oversampling in a lame song called “When the Lights Go Down.” Hopefully, upon hearing the original, you’ll agree it didn’t deserve what Armand tried to do to it.

I totally would have paid more, if I’d known this album was so tight! But 99 cents is the perfect way to “discover” Nick’s sophmore album.

Sample, of course, can be found at my blog, here.

Returing to Cantaloupe Island

posted by on March 21 at 11:40 AM

Some hiphop beats kill the song they’ve sampled. An example of this is Us3’s “Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia),” which in 1993 stamped/sampled Herbie Hancock’s “Cantaloupe Island” into a lifeless stupor.
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So brutal was Us3 looping, and so lame their rapping, that whenever I listened to Empyrean Isles, I’d quickly skip “Cantaloupe Island,” which is between the eternally joyful “Oliloqui Valley” (Tony WIlliam’s drumming is the happiness of happy architecture) and the theatrical “The Egg” (theatrical in the Greek sense). Today, for the time in years, I let “Cantaloupe Island” run from start to end, and was pleased to rediscover Lee Morgan’s solo. Like a beam of bold light, it transcends the weakness of the composition and ultimately rewards the pain of baring the lifted riff.

An example of a hiphop beat improving its sample is, of course, Brand Nubian’s “Slow Down.” Without “Slow Down” Edie Brickell’s “What I Am” would be nothing.

Love Rules

posted by on March 21 at 11:26 AM

Check it Seattle!
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Gabriel Teodros’s Lovework is now at the top of a very impressive list. And his track “No Label” is also receiving the attention its beauty deserves.

Being There

posted by on March 21 at 10:42 AM

After a couple days recovery time, the photographs from SXSW are pouring in. Here are some great shots of Seattle bands and other notables (Iggy at the KEXP broadcast from the Austic City Limits soundstage? YES!) taken by the fabulous Victoria Renard.

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Iggy and the Stooges, KEXP broadcast

Continue reading "Being There" »

Daft Punk Tickets On Sale Tomorrow

posted by on March 21 at 10:00 AM

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Daft Punk Pre-Sale Begins in 24 Hours for their Seattle show with the Rapture, SebastiAn, and Kavinsky on July 29th at the WaMu Theater! Go here for tickets.

UPDATE: Pre-sale requires the password “robots”.


Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Burning Portland Wrap-Up

posted by on March 20 at 4:54 PM

I almost didn’t post a Burning Portland report because I ended up only seeing 6 of the 17 bands that played the fest (I couldn’t get to Friday night’s show in time), which is admittedly pretty weak, and by the time I got home from Portland—after rocking harder than usual, staying up later than usual, and sleeping on a hardwood floor—I could no longer remember the details of the show. But, my boyfriend jogged my memory last night, so here we go:

I walked into the Satyricon Saturday night and was overwhelmed by (1) cigarette smoke and (2) a bar populated completely by punk rockers and crusties, a sight I had never seen. The Satyricon was an interesting venue: It’s split in half, with a bar on one side, an all-ages club on the other, and a performance space in between. Hamm’s and PBR tallboys were abundant.

The night was a d-beat extravaganza, with short sets (maybe 20 minutes or so). I got there right in the middle of Alternate System’s (Garden Grove, California) set. I don’t remember much about them; they weren’t very exciting. Up next was Against Empire (L.A.). They played good straight-ahead, midtempo, political hardcore. Their drummer had a China cymbal, and I felt it was overused (he was hitting it every few beats)—you gotta save that thing for special moments, man.

Next was Warcry (Portland). WARCRY! They were the best band of the night, in my opinion, which I wasn’t expecting. I’ve listened to them, but I’ve never been superexcited about them. But holy shit! It was all scowling, yelling, fist pumping, and unrelenting rocking; it was nonstop destruction from the moment they took the stage to the second they turned off their gear. The singer, Todd, (formerly of His Hero Is Gone, currently of Tragedy), angrily yelled all his between-song banter at the crowd: “THIS IS OUR LAST SONG!” Yes! What amazing energy!

Mala Sangre from El Monte, California, played next. They had a more metallic hardcore sound, and their last song was dedicated to “all the motorcycle punks out there.” I don’t know if there actually were any motorcycle punks in the audience. Are there motorcycle punks? Best of all, they had a sweet Mala Sangre backdrop behind the drum set.

Up next was the wonderful Iskra (Victoria, British Columbia) and they were absolutely excellent. They produced a steady wall of sound from start to finish, with long, punishing black metal/crust songs, and almost no talking in between, which made for a nice tight set.

Lastly, there was Tragedy (Portland), who brought out more fist pumping and scowling, and were all around awesome, as expected. While the band waited for the bassist to get his shit together before their set, someone yelled out, “Play some ABBA,” and immediately the guitarist/singer (the aforementioned Todd of Warcry) busted out a bit of “Dancing Queen” on his guitar.

It was a great show. I rocked hard; my neck and shoulders were still sore up until last night. And Portland was cool (it was my second time there), except for the indoor smoking: I took light rail to the show, and there were “skate routes” downtown (like bike routes, but for skateboarders).

Modest Mouse to Play the Paramount

posted by on March 20 at 4:19 PM

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If you didn’t get tickets to Modest Mouse’s weird Naval Yard appearance tomorrow night fret not: The reluctant rodent just announced a date at the Paramount on April 15. Tickets cost $35 and go on sale this Sunday, March 24 at all Ticketbastard outlets, Ticketmaster.com, or HOB.com.

What I’m Excited for Tonight

posted by on March 20 at 3:08 PM

Tonight, at the Crocodile, White Nights will be playing.

You’ve never heard of White Nights, probably, unless you are part of the 24/7 House clan (which also includes the Trashies). White Nights is a guy named Dave Banzer, and he’s never played outside of that house.

I suggest you check out the music available at the link above, especially if you’ve ever had any passing interest in Elephant Six bands ( [old] Of Montreal, Olivia Tremor Control, Apples in Stereo, Elf Power, Neutral Milk Hotel). “Everyone’s Fine” might be my favorite track, a light summer anthem that lets me forget that it was just fucking hailing outside, even though the song is about raining.

Anyhow, I’m PSYCHED!

Clipse Dine at Oceanaire

posted by on March 20 at 2:38 PM

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Here’s the kick-off of our new weekly feature, “Exit Interview,” in which we talk to a touring artist about the time they spent in Seattle.

I spoke with Pusha-T of Clipse last Wednesday as he rolled down I-5 with the rest of the crew on the way to their next gig. Read the interview after the jump.

Continue reading "Clipse Dine at Oceanaire" »

Introducing Sea Of Hands

posted by on March 20 at 2:37 PM

Sea of Hands is your new home for northwest u.s. digital music and culture. We feature anything that is somehow related to how Cascadians make and enjoy non-rock-centric music.

Pleased to make its acquaintance.

“Happy People Write Bland Music”: The Whitey Interview Nobody Asked For

posted by on March 20 at 1:12 PM

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Things are looking up for Whitey.

I recently interviewed Whitey (AKA Nathan J. Whitey) for Alternative Press magazine, but could use only a tiny fraction of his responses. After the jump, I print the interview in its entirety, for all the diehard (and future) Whitey fans out there. He’s an interesting cat and his music, as heard on The Light at the End of the Tunnel Is a Train, often sounds like a beautifully morose collision between glam and krautrock. I can get with it.

Whitey plays Chop Suey April 10.

Continue reading "“Happy People Write Bland Music”: The Whitey Interview Nobody Asked For" »

Right Philosophy

posted by on March 20 at 12:52 PM

Larry’s column has great news for hiphop! Its sales are plummeting. Last year the fall was an incredible 20 percent. This year it will be more. The hiphop bubble has finally burst!

This is why I’m not mad at total music sales taking a 20 percent hit last year, or a toddler’s handful of rap albums going platinum; I think it’s high time rap stopped looking like an easy route to riches—maybe those who truly don’t love the craft and the culture will become actual marketers, PR people, and white-collar corporate tools. Then the rest of us weird bums who have no choice but to do this shit will just be left with the task of trying to find a way to live doing the art we love.

Amen, Larry.

Death be Nelly. Death be all the sucker emcees who have a one-track mind like Diamond D’s Sally. Now is the time “to stop fakin’ the funk” and give “a fuck about the art.”

Speaking of art, I’m now committed to dubstep. It is the highest point at which new music stands.

Tonight at the Comet

posted by on March 20 at 12:26 PM

If you’re going to tonight’s show at the Comet, featuring Lair of the Minotaur, Book of Black Earth, and Oroku, I’d like to strongly advise that you not miss the opening band Oroku. I know it’s tempting to occasionally skip the openers at shows, but don’t do it this time. You will regret it. They’re heavy, intense, melodic, screamy—a perfect crust/metal hybrid. This is my favorite Seattle band. Go to their website and listen to them—you’ll see. And remember: live, they rock even more. (9 pm, $6, 21+.)

We Were Bled Before The Ship Even Shanked

posted by on March 20 at 12:17 PM

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Isaac Brock cut himself with a knife on stage Sunday night at a Modest Mouse show in Sioux Falls, SD. Apparently, the cut was deep enough to draw blood but superficial enough for him to finish the show. Idolator and Pitchfork have details. Any Line Out readers at that show? If so, please send us eye-witness accounts, photos, bloody rags, etc.

Recording Your Snare Drum with Kevin Suggs

posted by on March 20 at 11:38 AM

snares.jpgEngineer / producer, and veritable doctor of love, Kevin Suggs, is on Lineout today to talk about recording snare drums.

Kevin does freelance everywhere and is a staff engineer at Avast! Studio. He is also the in-studio live performance engineer at KEXP. Some bands he has worked with are Smoosh, Cat Power, Math & Physics Club, Transmissionary Six, and The Minus 5.

** Kevin will be monitoring this post, so if you have any questions, ask away. He says:


The Snare drum is usually the centerpiece of the drum sound. Most drummers are very attached to their favorite snare and even if borrowing a drum kit will bring their own snare. I like to have a few different ones on hand. It’s nice to change up the sounds for different songs.

For the best possible recording, you should always start at the source. A well tuned drum that sounds great in the room is what you are looking for. Tune it before you put any mics on it. If the drum has a ring to it, you might put a little bit of tape on the head to calm it down. Don’t over do it, or you will start to choke the sound. A little bit of a ring isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Once the snare drum is mixed with the rest of the drums and instruments, it may not even be noticeable. Better to let it ring than choke the life from it.

Continue reading "Recording Your Snare Drum with Kevin Suggs" »

New Schoolyard Heroes

posted by on March 20 at 11:30 AM

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For the next 12 hours, you can preview a new Schoolyard Heroes track at their Purevolume page.

The song’s called “Dude, Where’s My Skin” and it’s from their forthcoming album which was produced by John Goodmanson. It’ll be released this summer.

Better hurry, they’re taking the song down at midnight.

Sales of Silver

posted by on March 20 at 10:13 AM

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LCD Soundsystem’s new album, Sound of Silver, comes out today. My review of it will appear in this week’s Stranger, which should be online and around some of the city tomorrow. Here’s a taste: “…the first truly classic album by LCD Soundsystem.” It’s a fantastic record; it’s what LCD Soundsystem should’ve been, but just wasn’t quite.

As you may have read on the internets, James Murphy posted a plea to fans some months ago (around the time the record hit the fileshares) on the DFA Message Board, asking them to actually—and this is crazy—buy his new album the week it’s released, in the hopes of making it a number-one record:

ok— here’s the deal…

dreamgirls was the #1 record in the US with Billboard scan of 60064 sold this week.

lcd record 1 (the old record) sold a total of 60559 in the US since it was released.

meaning, straight up, if everyone who bought the first record bought s.o.s. the week it’s released, then we’re totally #1.

i’m sure some people who bought the old record have now moved on to extreme noise or something, but maybe there are enough new people to make up for it!

anyway, it’s a dream, and i’ll be able to move on to my other life as a mailman after that, because it would be all downhill from there for me.

It’s a crazy scheme, but hey, this is the guy who played Daft Punk for the rock kids at CBGB’s and that worked, remember?


Monday, March 19, 2007

Slow Ride at the War Room

posted by on March 19 at 5:18 PM

If you haven’t been, you need to go. Last night was totally fun, thanks to DJ Curtis and El Toro (AKA Kurt B. Reighley).

If you’ve never seen a bunch of adults swoon and sing along to the best goddamn FM rock from the ’70s and ’80s, it’s a wonder. This was like sitting in my bedroom, when I was 10, listening to the music I was told at my conservative Christian school would send me directly to hell if I died that minute, while hiding out under my covers with a little one-speaker radio. I totally regressed.

When they played Andrew Gold’s “Thank You for Being a Friend” all the bad wuju and attitude in the War Room melted away.

Thanks for a great night!

Emo Nostalgia

posted by on March 19 at 1:13 PM

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Bow + Arrow

90s nostalgia is undeniably big right now. Having exhausted the 80s with the early 00s’ plundering of electro and post-punk, we’ve now moved on to New Rave (et tu, Björk?) and maybe even a second coming of honest pre-Myspace emo. Not the eyeliner-and-bombast mall punk, but the kind of scrappy stuff that flourished on labels like Jade Tree and Polyvinyl in the midto late 90s. It makes sense that this would happen. Kids who were listening to these bands as teenagers (often after the fact—Cap’n’Jazz and Braid were both more accesible via posthumous collections than they were through proper releases) are now old enough to get their own bands together and book shows, and it’s great to see the genre and its history being reclaimed on a DIY level and wrested back from the likes of Def Jam.

This weekend I caught an all-ages show at a Capitol Hill warehouse space that must remain nameless for the time being, but let me just say that I love seeing music in such odd, thrown-together spaces. I like the sense of collective rather than strictly commercial effort—somebody gets the PA, somebody works the door, and everybody volunteers to help out. I like the feeling that you’re getting away with something sneaky, even if it’s completely benign.

Two of the four bands playing this Saturday night are seriously indebted to the music I mention above. Opening band Beestings suggest the slower moments of the Promise Ring’s first record, but without any of their pulse-quickening pop. The band is relatively young, and they have an endearingly clumsy stage presence—their singer had a broken arm in cast but was still playing guitar, they stopped one song after their drummer insisted that it sounded awful only to realize they’d forgotten to switch tunings. The affable drummer, Greg, explains that they play slow songs because he’s “not a good enough drummer for us to play fast.” Maybe, but their slow songs sound just fine (when they’re in tune), even the drumming.

Bow + Arrow have changed a little bit since we covered them as part of our Young Ones feature a few months back. They’ve added a fourth man on bass and circuit-bent speak & spell (a personal favorite instrument), and they’ve become a pretty tight live act, even when working out new songs from the day’s earlier rehearsals. Like Beestings, Bow & Arrow obviously grew up listening to their share of earnest post-hardcore, but they tend towards the rougher edges of that sound, referencing and refreshing the likes of Cap’n’Jazz, Drive Like Jehu, and Unwound, as well as some of the Ebullition roster. These guys are probably far too ethical to ever enjoy much success as a band (one of them is rumored to be the “leader” of the hierarchical, authoritarian SeattleDIY “collective”), but if they don’t blow up in 2007 it certainly won’t be from lack of talent.

California Dreaming - Jose Feliciano

posted by on March 19 at 12:29 PM

After walking with my son and his dog around Greenlake yesterday afternoon (Jesus! Can you believe that weather?) I took them to Sonic Boom in Fremont to hang out and look around for some records to spend a birthday gift certificate on.

First things first: Sonic Boom Fremont’s selection is too well managed. Where are all the crappy records from one hit wonders? Where’s the bad disco? Where’s the cases of second rate singer/songwriters? They must be very selective at Sonic Boom, because every record is, like, a precious collectable, with numerous hits, or brand spankin’ new vinyl by today’s indie sensations…. Whatever, just a gripe.

(Confidential to the guy behind the counter: When I asked, “If you had records by Pilot, where would they be?” Your response of, “Did you look under P?” was lame and unhelpful. Did you think I was retarded? Of course I looked under P. See above for what I really meant.)

Anyways. The one record I found that was of any interest to me was this gem by Jose Feliciano called, Feliciano!.
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This was his second album in the english language (his sixth overall), and it is a stunner from start to finish. If all you know of Jose Feliciano is his Xmas song, Feliz Navidad!, then you are totally missing out. The production work on Feliciano! fantastic. Jose’s guitar doesn’t overpower the proceedings, he shows great control over his voice, and the orchestrations by George Tipton are totally mellowing and absolutely perfect.

My favorite track is his cover (well, the whole album is covers) of The Mama’s And The Papa’s hit, California Dreaming. It starts with solo guitar and his voice, then thirty seconds later when the orchestra and drums come in, it sends shivers down the spine. When he sings, “I went to a church I passed along the way.” this totally over the top organ swells up and pushes the song forward like a rogue wave. It’s such a great moment. And at the end there’s this little latin jazz bit as he scats in spanish, and the strings in the orchestra whine back and forth. Bliss. I think I listened to this 10 times yesterday. It feels even more pertinent with today’s shitty weather.

I guess some people might think of this as lounge-y or KIXI-esque. It’s not. So don’t deny yourself the pleasure of listening to this amazing track.

The download can be found at my blog, here.

Trashies Road Diary

posted by on March 19 at 12:06 PM

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Line Out will be giving blog access to Seattle punk faves The Trashies so they can maintain a tour diary from the road. The band headed out on a 31-day trek last week.

I just got off the phone with Andrew S. from the band and it sounds like it’s already been a helluvan adventure. Some jail time in West Texas, some scalping in Austin, some secret underground swamp weed in New Orleans, some pulled pork in Memphis. If anyone’s gonna live it up on the road it’s these guys, so stay tuned for further exploits coming at you directly from the band, starting tonight or tomorrow.

Björk U.S./Canada Tour Dates Announced

posted by on March 19 at 11:24 AM

Bjork.com has just announced upcoming tour dates for the U.S. and Canada. Seattle’s never been too lucky when it comes to Björk. She played at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds in ‘95. And in 2003, when she played at the Pier, the monitor/soundsystem was a tad shittay (she even mumbles as such in the pirated recording), so she didn’t even do any encores.

But this May will see her play Vancouver on the 23rd and Sasquatch a few days later. You’d better believe I’m headed to both. Bjork.com will also be providing a presale on tickets 48 hours prior to the public sale.

Oh, hay. And check out the first promotional shot for the new album:

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I’m pretty sure this isn’t exactly the cover of the album (the pattern has been for the album to be a straight-on shot of her), but I mean… Tribal nu-rave crochet? Of course! And those flames spell out Volta, with the “T” topped off with the beginnings of Björk’s name. If anyone’s an Earth Intruder, it’s Miss B.

Now if only a track would leak.

You Have Five Minutes…

posted by on March 19 at 9:55 AM

Until tickets go on sale for Modest Mouse’s show on Wednesday at the South Lake Union Naval Reserve.

You can buy tickets here.


Sunday, March 18, 2007

SXSW Ends, Ringing In Ears Does Not

posted by on March 18 at 10:05 PM

The last day of SXSW was bookended with some of the best moments of the entire trip. It was another dense day on the whole, but I’m pretty sure I’ve discovered my new favorite band (Junius), and the night closed with the VIP treatment at Stubb’s before getting sweaty to Girl Talk. As before, the rundown is after the jump:

Continue reading "SXSW Ends, Ringing In Ears Does Not" »

Are You Young? Are You Restless?

posted by on March 18 at 7:30 PM

I’m going to co-host the Young & the Restless on 107.7 the End with Chris Travis tonight. Tune in from 8-10 pm to hear two hours of local music. Not sure what he has on the agenda for the evening, but I’m taking a handful of CDs from here at the office, and I promise to play a track or two from at least a couple of them. Even if I have to take over the station to do it.

Here’s what’s in my bag: Boat, the Quiet Ones, Patrol, Say Hi to Your Mom, Night Canopy, Siberian, and Peter Parker. Wow, that’s a lot of indie and mellow music. I’ll grab the Whore Moans record too, just in case we need to rock. And really, don’t we always need to rock? Exactly.

Listen, will you? You will.

Oh, Snap

posted by on March 18 at 2:43 PM

So I’m flipping through Line Out on this Sunday morning (re: afternoon) when on the sidebar I see none other than my boy Taylor “Taybot” Napolski of Estrella as a finalist for Nectar’s Push MC Battle.

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Anyone make it out to Nectar on Friday? How were the rest of the MC’s on the bill?

Irony Overload

posted by on March 18 at 10:12 AM

The culmination of SXSW insider hipster hoopla came when the Vice magazine late night party literally tore the roof of the sucka. After being moved from its initial location to an Elk’s Lodge in a South Austin residential neighborhood, the annual throwdown was the hottest ticket in Austin on a very rowdy, drunken Saturday/St. Pat’s night. I arrived with a carload of Rhapsody peeps to walk up onto a pile of concrete rubble outside the building, the remains of a second-floor balcony that had collapsed in the midst of the party. Naturally the plug got pulled on the music—Les Savvy Fav—and the throng of would-be revelers were turned outside into the night. Nothing like milling around with hundreds of hipsters looking like deer caught in the headlights with no backup plan in mind.

I was told that there were no injuries by a few folks but I snuck inside the back door to get a look at the scene and talked to a drunk Irish dude (On St. Pat’s! How authentic!) who said someone was hurt. Cop cars immediately pulled into the long driveway and a fire engine showed up too, but I saw nobody in crisis/trauma mode and no broken bodies, so I think people were more crushed that they didn’t get to rub shoulders with David Cross.

More importantly: yesterday’s musical rundown. Caught woefully underappriciated singer/songwriter David Dondero in the afternoon, smart and saccharine and singing “South of the South,” a tune that namechecks the town of Jupiter, Florida, where my high school girlfriend lived.

Ran across the river to the Town Lake Stage, the biggest venue at SXSW, an outdoor amphiteather with great sight lines. There Mastodon layed waste to an attentive, Slayer-throwing crowd with one of the most passionate sets I saw all weekend. I’m not a huge metal guy by any means but the Atlanta fourpiece really won me over.

If you like Fleetwood Mac, Midlake is the early-80s soft rock outfit for you. Really nice songs, nice harmonies, mellow mood. Which translated perfectly to camp metal heroes Turbonegro at Emo’s right afterwards. That kind of transition is one of my favorite things at SXSW.

Time for lunch. Look out for a wrapup on the whole event tomorrow and in next week’s paper.