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Archives for 04/15/2007 - 04/21/2007

Saturday, April 21, 2007

On the Radio: Stockhausen

posted by on April 21 at 5:49 PM

This Sunday night on Flotation Device: Stockhausen’s Telemusik which I described several weeks ago in an I’d Love to Turn You On to: column as a masterly metamorphosis of ethnographic recordings from Japan, the southern Sahara, Bali, the Amazon basin, and elsewhere. Telemusik vibrates with fizzing sine waves, vocodered voices, and audible electromagnetic fields.


Karlheinz Stockhausen

Also in the mix: Wolfgang Rihm, Yann Novak, New Zealand composer Judith Exley, German electroacoustic composer Dirk Reith, 1950s electronic music by Toru Takemitsu, and “Oamtanlt,” one of the randomized control trials by Martin Bland. And more….

Catch the on-line stream or tune in to KBCS 91.3 FM from 10 pm to midnight.


Friday, April 20, 2007

Five Minutes and One Hour of Silence

posted by on April 20 at 5:08 PM

Xiu Xiu, Sunset Rubdown – Neumo’s – 4/19/07

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So tonight there was to be five minutes of silence and stopped service to raise awareness about the Mayor’s proposed nightlife regulations. I’d hoped that the minutes of silence would occur in the middle of Xiu Xiu’s set. That’s when it would have had the most impact, and it would have only increased the awkward tension already extant in the band’s live show.

As it was, the moment of silence occurred just before the band was to go on. The lights went down, the already quiet between-set background music went silent, and an unnecessarily spooky voice came on over the PA to deliver some vague rhetoric about what happens when nightlife is “regulated to death.” The five minutes didn’t feel that long or that contemplative. Most people just continued chatting and waiting for the band to go on.After Xiu Xiu took the stage is when the real hush descended. After an initial round of cheers for the band, the crowd was reverently silent. Every quiet, tender moment of Jamie Stewarts and company’s songs were met with absolutely mute appreciation.

Those tender moments were less frequent than the last time I’d seen Xiu Xiu, thanks in large part to the maniacal, borderline-autistic fits of relatively recent addition Ches Smith on drums (he also played vibraphone, thought without the same retarded energy). In my suggestion for this show, I mentioned that part of the fun of watching Xiu Xiu was in imagining that Stewart might break down in tears at any moment, but watching his athletic performance I realized that he seemed equally likely to kick my ass at any second.


Sunset Rubdown

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I’d heard but not been terribly impressed with Sunset Rubdown, but I was completely blown away by thier live show. Spencer Krug’s piano was seismic in its force, shaking lampshades and liquifying the showroom floor, and his band—especially the girl on keys and xylophone—was energetic and equal to his tectonics.

Osama bin Laden was Right

posted by on April 20 at 3:44 PM

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…Americans are immersed in nonsense bourgeois distractions.

I mean, check this out: A Can cover night?

Can, if you don’t know, and it’s likely you don’t, was an early 70s experimental rock band from West Germany. Once upon a time, they had an album called Tago Mago that was supposedly influential.

A Can cover night?!? How do you even cover a Can song; much less have the time to learn a Can song? These songs, freak out improvs, typically clocked in between 8 and 20 minutes.

Fellow weirdoes! We are going down the rabbit hole if we are covering—and going to see Can cover nights.

Having said that: Burn on Osama bin Laden. That’s why Capitol Hill and freak zones like it all over the USA are great. I hope someone does “Paperhouse” from Tago Mago.

M. Ward, “Chinese Translation”

posted by on April 20 at 1:59 PM

The term might be overused, but M. Ward’s “Chinese Translation” is truly timeless. Like a few Cat Stevens and—I hate to say it but have to—James Taylor classics, it’s got the kind of gentle but insistent melody and narrative lyrics that oughta make it a go-to acoustic strummer at summer camp campfire singalongs or family road trips, easily interpreted by curious tweens and sentimentally cherished by knowing older folks.

Ward’s voice is soft and strong, like folded leather. Jim James of My Morning Jacket sings gentle background vocals; steel guitar adds dreamy Polynesian exotica to Ward’s acoustic.

As if the song wasn’t sweet enough, Portland illustrator/animator Joel Trussell created a beautiful video to go along with it. If you don’t know Trussell’s work, this is a great introduction; dude’s brilliant (and if you haven’t seen his badass vid for Jason Forrest’s “War Photograher” you really should check it out). He and Ward were meant to go together.

“Chinese Translation” offers a tenderhearted entre into the weekend and is most definitely the best song ever (this week). Enjoy.

Detroit’s The Scene

posted by on April 20 at 1:15 PM

While Riz wants to see more vintage Soul Train, I’d love to see more footage from The Scene, a Detroit-specific show seen in the two clips below (the second showed up here a while ago I believe).

Modest Beginnings

posted by on April 20 at 12:54 PM

We’ve just dug up, from the vault of Strangers published before the internet, one of the earliest things written about Modest Mouse—and also one of the earlier pieces written for The Stranger by then-music editor Kathleen Wilson. It’s her account of hanging out with them for an afternoon in 1996, when they were still in high school.

Here’s a random excerpt from a scene at a llama farm:

Isaac knows how to tell the difference between the “ladies” and the “men” among the llamas; according to his theory, it has something to do with the length of the necks. He cautions me to not get too close to the matted beasts, claiming a llama can hock a loogie backed with enough velocity to knock me flat on my ass. Because his llama-blend cardigan creates a certain solidarity with the beasts, Jeremy walks right up to a big ol’ “man,” offers him some grass, and escapes unbesmirched.

The whole thing’s here. Note the photo. All together now: “Awwww.”

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Easy Street West Seattle to Host Real Shows, Not Just Instores

posted by on April 20 at 12:42 PM

Easy Street West Seattle has started doing shows after they close on Friday nights, in a series called Easy Street After Hours. All the shows are 21+ (which means there will be booze!) and $5. Here’s the schedule they have lined up so far:

Curtains For You CD release with True Bugs - $5 Friday, April 20 @ 9:30 pm

Holly O’Reilly with Patrick King - $5
Friday, April 27 @ 9:30 pm

Slender Means CD Release with special guests - $5
Friday, May 4 @ 9:30 pm

1-2-1-2 with special guests - $5
Friday, May 11 @ 9:30 pm

The Purrs with special guests - $5
Saturday, June 9 @ 9:30 pm

Looks like a fun new place to see a show!

A DJ Struggle Addendum

posted by on April 20 at 12:23 PM

I neglected to point people to DJ Struggle’s MySpace page at the close of my profile on him. From there you can not only listen to his track “Absorption,” but can download the three mixes he has available. I’m not sure dubstep really goes with the sunshine, but the mixes are there for the taking. You could also just head to the VIP Room tonight as well, since he’s playing there along with 214, Let’s Go Outside, and Albert Joseph.

Five Minutes of Silence for Seattle Nightlife @ Tommy’s

posted by on April 20 at 10:59 AM

Last night was Ladies’ Night at Tommy’s on the Ave. It’s $10 to get in for dudes, but if you have a student ID (or a UPass that you found on the ground, like my companion), you can get in for free as well. It was packed full of girls who wanted to be the next Pussycat Doll and the boys who want to have sex with the next Pussycat Doll. We beelined for the back, where there was a table with a meager stack of Seattle Nightlife Music Association Flyers, completely undisturbed.

All of the bartenders were wearing SeattleNMA shirts, and right before midnight I asked one of them how she felt about losing five minutes worth of tips at their high-volume bar. She said that she really approved of the protest, and that she didn’t want the bar to get shut down altogether so she would do what she had to do.

At midnight, the music was shut off, and a man got on the microphone and started giving a little speech about why they shut off that music. “Hey guys, do you remember that brawl down at Larry’s a while ago? After that, our Mayor, Mayor Nickels, decided to start looking at ordinances that would shut us all down.” He continued for about a minute and a half, but he was completely ignored by every single person in the bar except me. The only reaction to the music stopping seemed to be a trigger to get in line and order a drink—and the bar complied, serving right through the protest. After homeboy finished talking, there was about 15 seconds of dead time, and then the DJ scratched the record and launched into “This Is Why I’m Hot” by Mims.

SS Carlucci

posted by on April 20 at 10:30 AM

Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York, NY. All night pizzeria, and there he was, Carlucci. With his Pangea chops. Unfathomable, tectonic chops. He had more hair in one of his chops than most people grow on their whole body in a lifetime. Carlucci, one layed low smooth and fuzzy motherfucker.

He plays bricks, sticks, shoes, and skateboards in a noise collective called, Infinity SS. Carlucci.

Session drum sounds heard at Ground Control Studio from Blake Fleming, the original drummer of Mars Volta. The ‘arena jazz octo beast.’

Carlucci. The word takes you away, like a man who drives formula one cars and has cognac named after him.

The Five Minutes of of Silence for Seattle Nightlife

posted by on April 20 at 10:23 AM

It was quiet in Marcus’s Martini Heaven last night—weirdly, it was quiet all over Pioneer Square—so the five minutes of silence at midnight went unnoticed. The music went down, but that was about it.

Which is maybe for the best: Given the moment of silence today at noon for the people gunned down in Virginia, five minutes of silence at midnight for bars seems ill-timed and insignificant. Which is maybe why the bartenders didn’t make an announcement at midnight.

Alternate Reality Games

posted by on April 20 at 10:00 AM

What makes me think that these guys:

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might be really excited about this:

Nine Inch Nails: Year Zero Alternate Reality Game?

Year Zero is an alternate reality game based on the Nine Inch Nails concept album of the same name, its expected follow-up, and a possible accompanying movie project. Although the album was released on April 16, 2007 in Europe, and the following day worldwide, the game has been underway since roughly February 12, 2007 and is expected to continue for another eighteen months.

Although it could be argued that the Year Zero game is merely a form of promotion for the Nine Inch Nails album, frontman Trent Reznor has stated “The term ‘marketing’ sure is a frustrating one for me at the moment. What you are now starting to experience IS ‘year zero’. It’s not some kind of gimmick to get you to buy a record - it IS the art form… and we’re just getting started. Hope you enjoy the ride.” Reznor has also called the Year Zero game “a new entertainment form.”


(Taken from a long, rambling, obsessively-detailed Wikipedia entry)

A constructive criticism for Pop Conference participants

posted by on April 20 at 6:00 AM

There is a point I did not address in my essay about the Pop Conference this week, mostly due to space limitations. But the manner in which some questions were raised, and opinions were voiced, during the Q&A following Jonathan Letham’s thoughtful keynote address last night compels me to raise it here. Because it is something crucial that has always made me apprehensive about the Pop Conference. It is, bluntly, a bug up my ass:

Folks in academia and critical theory often employ a lexicon that many people are largely unfamiliar with. And if you are discussing pop music in an exclusively academic or critical forum, fine… use it willy-nilly. Higher education doesn’t come cheap. Get some bang for your buck.

But when speaking an event open to the general public – and now that attendance is free, this is hopefully truer than ever of the Pop Conference – this sort of language can alienate other people, discourage them from participating in discussions, and obscure relevant points. It is one thing to use a three-dollar word or complicated construction in a written paper – where the reader has the luxury of putting the book down, and reaching for the dictionary, or diagramming your sentence meticulously to distill the prose to its essence – or a classroom where students are expected to take notes*, and quite another to use these tools when addressing a listening audience in real time.

The exciting thing, to my mind, about the Pop Conference, is the way it opens up a very broad, visceral medium to all sorts of speculation and theorizing and daydreaming. It can be a valuable forum for disseminating big ideas. A chance to share knowledge that could resonate powerfully with someone who might otherwise be oblivious of your subject matter. To turn a complete stranger on to the best band/song/record ever. So why sabotage yourself by speaking in jargon that is only familiar to a small tribe?

* Or even a song lyric. Green Gartside of Scritti Politti has increased both my vocabulary and casual knowledge of philosophers on numerous occasions.


Thursday, April 19, 2007

Slow Day?

posted by on April 19 at 3:36 PM

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Have a Big Mac Attack here.

Walk On A Crystal Sea here.

She’s My (Minimal) Man is here.

Hear a darker Knife here.

A rare piece of Cut Glass can be seen here.

Step into Barry’s (reworked) Rain here.

Finally, at the same sight, thanks to Vangelis and Roussos you can Let It Happen.

You can thank me later!

5 Minutes of Silence For Seattle Nightlife

posted by on April 19 at 1:16 PM

Tonight, to raise awareness about Mayor Nickels’ Nightlife Proposal, several Seattle bars will be observing five minutes without music or service at midnight. Here’s a flyer with a list of participating bars (so you’ll know where to avoid if you simply must buy a drink at 12:03):

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More information can be found at the Seattle Nightlife & Music Association’s website.

If You’re Bored Then You’re Boring. Right?

posted by on April 19 at 12:10 PM

Then I must be really boring.

This past Tuesday, this book was released.

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My So-Called Punk: Green Day, Fall Out Boy, The Distillers, Bad Religion—-How Neo-Punk Stage-Dived into the Mainstream

It’s no secret I’m (admittedly strangely) obsessed with mainstream “neo-punk,” so when a review copy came in the mail, I was sorta stoked to read it (knowing, of course, it could be terrible). I’m only 25 pages in, and not only am I fucking bored out of my skull, but I also grow increasingly more frustrated with the turn of every page.

It begins with a “A Brief History of Punk.” Now, the history of punk is long, and there are tons of different tangents to go on. More notably, the history of punk music is also one of the most notoriously fucked-up, intriguing, and exciting stories in music’s history (in my opinion), but the way Matt Diehl puts it together is confusing, sometimes wrong, and (worst of all) boring.

Example #1: His description of Black Flag.

Black Flag—a later incarnation of which included future alternative rock celebrity Henry Rollins—took the Ramones’ speedy rifferama and transformed it in its own image. Black Flag made punk even faster, more raw, more brutal, more jazzily experimental, resulting in a subgenre known as “hardcore.”

What? Jazzily experimental? No. Hardcore as a subgenre? Also no. Hardcore is not a subgenre of punk, it’s a genre in its own right. Also, why are you writing about it like you’re trying to describe it to my grandmother?

Example #2:

What’s more punk than multicultural bands like Bloc Party and TV on the Radio out-Radioheading Radiohead, making challenging, experimental, yet indelibly soulful rock that follows no plan other than their own desire to be innovative?

Bloc Party and TV on the Radio are out-Radioheading Radiohead therefore they’re more punk!? Out-Radioheading Radiohead? Are you fucking kidding me?

Furthermore, this sentence also baffled me:

…it’s not a coincidence that “crunk” rhymes easily with “punk.”

Uh… it is, actually. Crunk also rhymes with drunk, you see. And the “C” comes from crazy, meaning “crazy drunk.” So yeah, dude, it’s a complete coincidence that crunk rhymes easily with “punk.”

So far in the 25 pages I’ve suffered through, when I’m not on the verge of falling asleep, I’m on the verge of scraping my face off with a copy of God Save the Queen.

I’m going to keep reading, though. Perhaps Diehl will get more in his element when talking about the era of punk I grew up with (the Dookie, Stranger Than Fiction era)? Or maybe the whole thing will continue to be a complete wreck.

If things don’t get better by page 50, I’m gonna burn it.

Al Stewart - Love Chronicles

posted by on April 19 at 11:02 AM

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Does the name Mervyn Prestwick mean anything to you? How about Martyn Francis? Or Simon Breckenridge? No?

Well, upon first turning over my copy of Al Stewart’s second album from 1969, Love Chronicles, the first names to pop out at me were Jimmy Page, legendary guitarist of Led Zeppelin; Ashley Hutchings, legendary bass player from many an acid-folk band of the ’60s and ’70s (Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span); and last but not least, John Wood, the engineer who’s most closely linked to Joe Boyd and all the Witchseason roster of musicians (Nick Drake, Vashti Bunyai, Fairport…).

So who were the other players on the album? Well according to the discography at alstewart.com those players were Richard Thompson (Marvyn Prestwick), Simon Nicol (Simon Breckenridge), and Martin Lamble (Martyn Francis) all members of Fairport Convention, who, being under contract with Polydor records at the time, recorded the album with Stewart under pseudonyms.

Is it any good? Well, yes and no. The album, written apparently in a time of depression for Stewart, chronicles various love affairs in his short time as a lothario in the music scene. Side A contains four such songs, including one, “Old Compton Street Blues,” which was sung while Stewart had a terrible cold. The style of the songwriting is very personal, nearly too personal, but draws you into Al’s world of girls and women who he both uses and is used by.

The lyrics to “The Ballad of Mary Foster” are a prime example of this. A song in two “acts,” the first act’s focus is on David Foster, who comes home from work only to hear excuses from his wife about why she’s “too tired” from “doing dishes, patching pants, and making wishes.” The next verse finds the couple sending their young son, Peter, to his first day at school. Turning to his wife he thinks:

Wedding rings come with strings but love depends on the little things.

“Is that still really you?”

Is there anything time can’t do?

David Foster gets a promotion and sends the young son to public school (that’s the British term for “private” school) and hopes for the day his son becomes a magistrate.

Act two is Mary Foster’s story, in which she’s raised in London during the war, learning how to be a woman, while her mother doesn’t notice “for we’d heard daddy was missing.” Mary grows up, has an affair with a musician from which Peter is concieved. The musician leaves her with the baby, and one day, in the park she meets David, whom she marries. She promises herself she’ll repay his kindness, by doing his dishes, cooking his supper, and mending his clothes. But in the end she can’t find the love she needs, and:

There are lines on her face and her hair is a mess

And the light in her eyes it grows colder

In the morning there’s nothing will change, ah but yes

I will be just a little bit older.

Side B contains only two songs, the short and edgy “You Should Have Listened to Al” and the epic 18-minute title cut, notorious for its use of the word “fucking” (a first for a mainstream artist in 1969), in which Al tries to wrap up what he’s learned about life and love so far. It’s not entirely successful. I found myself walking in and out of the room while listening, thinking that there’s not a lot you can learn from a twentysomething folk singer. But the album has a ton of charm, and the lyrics, bombastic as they can be, are pretty great and try to show relevance with nods to the time they were written.

Melody Maker dubbed it Best Folk Album of 1969, which is saying something as this is the year of Fairport’s Unhalfbricking and Liege and Lief, Pentangle’s Sweet Child, The Incredible String Band’s Changing Horses, and Nick Drake’s Five Leaves Left.

I have to agree with critics of the album that the music is “of the utmost limpness” (Scotsman) and “its poppy slickness doesn’t seem entirely suited to the subject matter of the songs” (London Oz).

But lyrically, Stewart was on top of his game and that is really what makes this album special, and in the end, timeless.

Check out a couple of samples at my blog here.

Do You Want To Do Another Take?

posted by on April 19 at 10:45 AM

Today we’re talking with engineer / producer, Kevin Suggs, about recording vocals.

Kevin has worked with Cat Power, The Minus Five, Smoosh, and Math & Physics Club. He’s the in-studio live performance engineer at KEXP and a staff engineer at Avast!

Kevin talks about mics, compression, and getting the take. Kevin is a guru, he knows how to work musicians. He knows when to say something, and when to be quiet. During a session, you might not even notice him, and that is a skill like any other.

So tell us, Mr. Suggs, what is to know about recording vocals?

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Photo: Marlon Schaeffer at Ground Control Studio - Brooklyn, NY.

Suggs: A very important part of any recording is the vocals. Music listeners tend to key on the voice, or the singing. Often, it’s what people pay attention to first.

Mic selection: When working with a vocalist that I have never recorded before, I like to do a little mic shootout first. I’ll set up a few different mics that are available, ranging from really good condensers to everyday dynamics. I’ll have the singer sing through a verse and a chorus on each mic, then come into the control room and we’ll have a listen. They may be similar, but there will be one that is going to have that certain quality to it that works best with the singer’s voice. You’d be surprised that sometimes it turns out to be the lower end everyday mics, such as the SM58 . Of course, the high end condensers and tube mics do win out much of the time as well.

Continue reading "Do You Want To Do Another Take?" »


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Harry Partch

posted by on April 18 at 8:44 PM

YouTube has an excellent BBC documentary on Harry Partch, a stubborn iconoclast, visionary theorist, and musical revolutionary.


Karlheinz Stockhausen

What makes Harry Partch great?

Continue reading "Harry Partch" »

Why the Divorce Are Breaking Up

posted by on April 18 at 3:32 PM

I posted this morning that the Divorce are breaking up, and I popped them a message asking why. Here’s what I got back:

seriously though, it’s been seven years, and we feel that this project has been on a creative and emotional plateau for long enough that the writing is on the wall. it’s nothing that we feel bitter or upset about. we’ve simply reached the natural end of the project. we’re all still the best of friends, and will continue with individual projects for certain, but ‘the divorce’, as an entity, no longer felt like the most valid outlet for us. pretty simple, i guess. no real drama. thanks for writing about it though! it’s pretty nice to know that people care.

and of course, we’re playing a big blow-out/sendoff show in order to wrap this thing up in style.

love always,
shane

Well, that’s that then!

Theo Vaness - Theo Vaness

posted by on April 18 at 2:38 PM

You might remember this old post about Madleen Kane. I talked a little bit about her producers, Lana and Paul Sebastian.

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Well here’s another beaut by the same producers, the self-titled album by Theo Vaness. Not only did they recruit help from Motown string arranger Paul Riser, and synth help from ex-Russian Boris Midney, but the album is almost entirely mixed to perfection by Legendary disco drummer, DJ, and soon-to-be house-music producer Francois Kevorkian (Kraftwerk, Walter Gibbons, Paradise Garage…).

Theo Vaness was a dutch disco singer who’s biggest hit was the gay anthem “As Long as It’s Love.” But this is my favorite by him. It includes the dance-floor fillers, “Magic Dancer” and “Thank God There’s Music.”

If you’re into steamy sexy disco of the slightly gay kind, this out-of-print album is definitely for you.

Check out some samples at my blog.

Waste Time at Work

posted by on April 18 at 1:23 PM

I’m a video game designer with an abiding love for intuitive music composition programs; this affection is shared by exactly .04 percent of the game industry as a whole. One day this may change, but until then the ‘net can serve as a decent source for simple but effective programs intended to give nonmusicians a taste for performance. If you have headphones, click away….

DJ Trainer A standard loop mixer, but very well done. Utilize the “keys” button in the top right corner; it’ll give you keyboard control.

LoopTracks An innovative little mixer. Basically you explore your way from track to track. Click and drag things until music happens.

Dub Selector The simplest of them all. Many of these dub mixers can be played with a gentle wave of your mouse.

I Have Nothing but Wonderful Things to Say About Yesterday’s Ted Leo Show

posted by on April 18 at 1:07 PM

Last night at the Showbox, Ted Leo & the Pharmacists delivered the best TL/RX show I’ve seen since the band played at El Corazon when El Corazon was still called Graceland. They were spot-fuckin’-on. The crowd was pumped, dancing and singing along to every word, and the band was on fire. In the end my body ached from an hour or singing and dancing and I smelled like other people’s sweat, but man… it was so worth it.

(Haters can exit this gushing post by clicking here.)

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The band opened with “Sons of Cain,” the raucous opening track on Living With the Living. Halfway through the song there’s this really great three seconds of pounding piano, which I knew I’d dearly miss during the live performance (band doesn’t travel with keys). But instead of omitting the moment all together, James Canty (who is touring with the band as a second guitarist) hit this great quick and spiraling guitar riff that set the crowd off.

He dedicated “Bottle of Buckie” to the Death Cab boys (who he toured with last year), he made “Walking to Do” Seattle-specific by singing “from the Teapot to the Globe” instead of the usual lyrics (the crowd roared, of course), he went on a goofy diatribe about his desire to be sponsored by San Pelligrino water, going so far as to speak a little Italian to prove he’s right for the job (h-o-t), and he even wore those white jeans I mentioned in this week’s Stranger Suggests.

I have only one complaint, and that is that the wickedly aggressive song “Bomb.Repeat.Bomb” didn’t work all that well live. I expected it to be huge—loud, nasty, and explosive. It was sorta just… eh. But their energetic performance of “Me and Mia” made up for it; during the chorus—”Do you believe in something beautiful? Then get up and be it!”—it felt like the entire crowd threw their hands in the air and sang along at the top of their lungs. In fact, before the encore, he praised the audience for being so lively, and even said we were the best they’ve had all tour. Bands say that to all the cities they play; I think he really meant it.

I really wanted to hear “Ballad of the Sin Eater” and ” La Costa Brava,” and I had shamefully high hopes that Ted was going to treat us to his version of Kelly Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone,” but even with those songs MIA, I couldn’t have made a better set list if the man asked me to. Unless I just tagged 15 or so more songs on the end because I really didn’t want him to stop.

It was pure happiness.

Trigger’s Little Helper

posted by on April 18 at 1:05 PM

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According to a Reuters news item, more than 300 horses stabled at the Belgrade Hippodrome might have to be sedated when the Rolling Stones hit Serbia this summer. Apparently there’s nowhere suitable to move the animals, so they will remain in their stalls only meters from the stage. Front-row seats at a Stones show normally go for upwards of $500.

Veterinarians plan on using diazepam, a tranquilizer that first became popular with non-horses in the ’60s as a means of easing the comedown from harder drugs. It was the top-selling US pharmeceutical from 1969-1982. In Serbia it sells under the name Bensedin and was a hugely popular sedative during the continuous bombing of Belgrade in 1999.

Free Tickets To Trans Am

posted by on April 18 at 12:38 PM

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The Stranger has a pair of tickets to give away for Monday’s Trans Am show at Neumo’s with Zombi and Black Taj. To get the tickets, just snap a picture of yourself with a sweet muscle car and a copy of the Stranger and send it to music@thestranger.com. We’ll announce the winner here on Line Out.

Slather the Buffalo Musk

posted by on April 18 at 10:36 AM

North Dakota to Minneapolis. 1,700 miles in. Music is the highway drive.

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Listened to new Modest Mouse, Roots, Quasimoto, Clinic, Pelican, Califone, and new Trans Am.

Someone told me the new Modest Mouse was too poppy. Too poppy? I heard a lot of the brawling Brock raucous with his rants and yells. Man, their high end is crystal. Bright guitars. Really like “Little Hotel.” Too poppy, I don’t think so.

Pelican, JZ. I’m in the beak. The Fire in Our Throats will Beckon the Thaw. “Autumn into Winter” is the track. Good for scrolling tires through open plains. Sounds like Mark Koslik playing with Metallica. Guitars tuned down. Sections wash the dive and fight. Post rock, instrumental metal.

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I thought it would be funny to put on the Jovan Musk for Dave. I selected my favorite cologne. The close, van proximity, you know, to see what he’d say. The stuff is completely disgusting. I frikking reek. Seriously, who actually puts this shit on? Buffalo are charging the van. I had to take Pepto Bismol. It’s like Scotch Guard.

The new Trans Am, Sex Change, is unbelievable. Can’t stop listening to it. More instrumental mortar. They wrote, recorded, and mixed it in 3 weeks? In New Zealand, Brooklyn, and San Francisco. The drummer, Sebastian Thomson is sick. Sounds are sick. The 16th beats weave an anvil. I see gyroscopes on fire. Get on the dance floor and engulf. Really wish I could have seen them in Seattle. So tight. There’s some LCD in there, and some Sea & Cake. But it’s Trans Am, unmistakably.

Track 9, “Tesco v. Sainsburys”, is the one. A cycled tom roll is sustained and pounded with bass. Keys flare. The pattern is locked and crushes. Inside the piston is a scene - a cheetah moves on a kill in chase going 60 mph. The rudder tail cat thinks meat and leaps.

(Drummer, Sebastian, actually is vegan though. Man, it doesn’t sound like it. Sounds like the dude eats tons of meat. But his cheeta’s a hervbivore. It thinks tofu and leaps. No one goes hungry in his den.)

Capitol Hill Block Party Preliminary Lineup and Dates Announced

posted by on April 18 at 9:52 AM

From the press release:

BLOCK PARTY 2007 Dates Announced: Friday and Saturday Nights, July 27 - 28 2007 will be the best and biggest Block Party yet! Doors open at 3 pm on Friday, 1 pm on Saturday. The outdoor stages run until 11 pm, inside until 2 am.

FRIDAY July 27
Silversun Pickups
Girl Talk
Viva Voce
The Cave Singers
Grand Archives

SATURDAY July 28
Spoon
Aesop Rock
The Blakes
The Intelligence
The Whore Moans

If this is enough for you to buy tickets (AESOP ROCK!), you can get the early bird prices here, starting in five minutes. You just need the special password BLOCKPARTY. They are $15 a day.

Tight!

The Divorce to Break Up

posted by on April 18 at 9:47 AM

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According to the Crocodile’s website, the Divorce are playing their last show on June 30th.

We have a message in to the band to find out why this is the end.

Thanks for reader Matt for the tip.


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Soul Train Lives?

posted by on April 17 at 4:10 PM

A plea from DJ Riz:

I was in boston over the weekend for the marathon, and because of the early start time I hadda get up at 4 in the morning to help my friend prepare. I turned on the t.v. in the hotel and stumbled into a repeat of a Soul Train show…an old old show. The segment featured the Modulations, Betty Wright, Wilson Pickett and was hosted by Don Cornelius himself. The show was so old it had the theme they used before the one most people know by MFSB called “T.S.O.P.”

I’m an old negro and watched the series religiously when I was a youngun, but three quarters of the music on the repeat I don’t recall having heard in any other context than recent soul compilations, cuts like Ramsey Lewis’s “Spiderman” (did you know he had a song called “Spiderman”?) and a Barry White song that I don’t remember the name of—it was 4am after all. The Soul Train scramble was Leon Haywood. Even though the featured artists lip synched (and not all artists did in those days) it was absolutely glorious.

After searching on the internet for more information of the syndicated series returning to television, something i’v waited my whole life for, I’ve discovered that the Boston CW is the only place in the nation that is showing repeats of the old shows…and this only at 4am on monday mornings. Perhaps you know folks in boston with Tivo and tape capacity who can spread the wealth. It would be an absolute and dirty shame—no, it would be a national disgrace—if this didn’t develop into national syndication. As of now none of these shows are available on dvd (and don’t count for any info at all on the official soul train site).

ANYdangways…I though you should know..
Love, Peace, and Soul,
always,
Riz

It doesn’t look like this stuff is up on Youtube either. So is there anybody in Boston that can help a soul brother out?

Simian Mobile Disco Are Playing At Your House?

posted by on April 17 at 1:30 PM

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Hot-shit electro producers Simian Mobile Disco (“We Are Your Friends,” “Hustler,” countless awesome remixes) want to play at your party. Check it out, and someone in Seattle, PLEASE make this happen here:

Simian Mobile Disco are going back to their roots. You can be an integral part of the party. SMD are playing at my house invites you to plan a party around a Simian Mobile Disco DJ set. Apply online by clicking here and entering the following information:

* Your venue: it can be any venue so long as it’s party proof. It could be a club, a bar, a house party, warehouse party, holiday villa (swimming pool optional);

* Your line up: which other DJs will be playing (please provide myspace links /set lists if possible);

* up to 100 words about why SMD should be playing at your house.

SMD will reply directly to five finalists who will be asked to provide more information on their planned party. SMD will play a two hour set at the winning party on a date to be agreed.

Initial entries by 18th June (when SMD’s album is released) and a winner will be announced shortly thereafter.

Don’t forget to tell all of your friends to increase your chances of winning!

Good luck!

And now, Simian Mobile Disco’s “It’s The Beat”:

The Clash Clash

posted by on April 17 at 12:21 PM

Okay, this debate is probably better suited to an old-age home, but for the record: Purist Clash fans who came up with the “Groovy Times/Gates to the West” single back in my day, need to let it go and just admit it, Combat Rock is their best album. Yes, we hated it at the time: dance-y, pop sell out and all that, but have you listened to it lately? Start with “Straight to Hell” and get back to me.

Beard and Bearder: Jasen Samford Interviews Chris Wilson

posted by on April 17 at 11:50 AM

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(Left: Jasen Samford, drummer for local band Speaker Speaker. Right: Chris Wilson, drummer for Ted Leo & the Pharmacists. They both have beards, they both played in math rock bands before finding the light of pop music, and last week Jasen got Chris on the phone to talk about the new record and geek out about drums like drummers often do.)

A note from Jasen:

As a drummer, I have taken inspiration from older players like Ringo Starr and Mitch Mitchell, to the younger set like Dave Grohl, Tre Cool, and Adam Pfahler. Chris Wilson, however, tops my list. Prior to joining Speaker Speaker, I had spent years playing in numerous math rock bands. I wanted out. When I heard Ted Leo’s Shake The Sheets, I found what I had been looking for. Chris plays with great pop sensibilities, with obvious nods to punk, ska, and reggae influences. His history of playing with math bands like Shake Ray Turbine also shines through in his style. In addition to being my favorite drummer to listen to, he is also my favorite drummer to watch live; the man is a powerhouse, and yet his intricate syncopated hi-hat accents and breakneck fills seem effortless.

It was a great honor and a privilege to talk with Chris about everything from his own influences, to gear, to working with Ted Leo, and to recording with Fugazi’s Brendan Canty.

Continue reading "Beard and Bearder: Jasen Samford Interviews Chris Wilson" »

Give It Back

posted by on April 17 at 11:47 AM

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Since talking to Tom Peloso for this week’s story about the two new guys in Modest Mouse who aren’t Johnny Marr, I’ve been digging back into the Hackensaw Boys’ catalog and loving their blue-collar bluegrass stomp.

I first saw the band at the High Sierra Music Fest down in Northern California several years ago and realized their kind of bluegrass is the kind I like. None of that Birkenstocked, ponytailed, weed-smoking Rocky Mountain newgrass—this is Appalachian-style, shitkicking, moonshine-swiggin’ goodness, traditional in instrumentation and punk-rock in energy. Peloso—known as Pee Paw Hackensaw—played fiddle with the band for their first three albums, and damn that shit’s infectious.

You can hear tracks from their albums on their website; I suggest “Gypsy Davy” from their album Give It Back to start.

DJ Mehdi - I Am Somebody

posted by on April 17 at 11:45 AM

Tom Breihan’s post about the new video for DJ Mehdi’s “Signatune” got me poking around youtube last night for more Ed Banger goodness. What I found was this fun clip for Mehdi’s “I Am Somebody.” Both songs are taken from his full-length, Lucky Boy.

(As a side note, how come the latest promo record I got from Ed Banger/Vice has a Puma shoes logo on the sticker next the the label logos? Is this like an LCD Soundsystem/Nike thing, or is it more of a Mr Oizo/Levi’s thing? I’m leaning towards the latter, if only for Oizo’s label affiliation.)

Montana Tundra - Spirit Trashie

posted by on April 17 at 10:35 AM

davesnow.jpgI’m Eastbound I 90 - 94. Billings, MT to North Dakota. Head Like a Kite is on the road for a month. 1st day here of a straight shot drive to New York. Mileage of the initial phasing through altitude sees wine snow cones, phones, and Super Dave.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the Trashies. They are true dominance. That, is how you tour. I dedicate this tour to the Trashies and the swath of their giant naugahyde blitzkrieg. Please, Obi Won Trashie, be the atlas of my eastward seek. The asphalt grinder files me down. The enzymes of the highway tar slice me by. Help. I must emerge and swivel. I know I can be more Trashie.

Slept passenger seat and had a half dream about the Trashies. They were teaching an etiquette class. Except it was the opposite of etiquette. They were teaching how to be un-mannerly, rude, and messed up. The singer from Bare Naked Ladies was there taking a penmanship lesson, but he kept writing too neatly.

His cursive was all perfectly swirled and neat. As hard as he tried, he couldn’t write messy. The Trashies were screaming at him and haranguing him and making him do pushups. “This W is way too flowing, and that ‘E’ looks like a Summer’s Eve commercial! You call that a ‘Z’?” His Z had some extra swirl they couldn’t get over.

Continue reading "Montana Tundra - Spirit Trashie" »


Monday, April 16, 2007

Trannyshack, Please Come Back!

posted by on April 16 at 3:22 PM

Trannyshack, at Chop Suey this past weekend, was like a slice of fried gold.
I hope they come back, again and again….

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Props to Broken Disco

posted by on April 16 at 2:29 PM

John Tejada at Broken Disco
I went in to Friday’s inaugural edition of Broken Disco expecting it to be good. The lineup was such that that was pretty much guaranteed. What I wasn’t expecting was that it would turn out to being one of the best nights out I’ve ever had in Seattle. The promoters’ hard work definitely paid off, as the talent was top-notch, the masses showed up, and the party went off without a hitch (other than an isolated incident with an overly agressive male who didn’t know when to say when). So kudos to all involved in putting the night together. It was a great night, and sets off a good precedent for future months. My personal highlights:

Abstract Soul - The duo of Nordic Soul and Jerry Abstract complemented one another incredibly well. It was heady without being boring, danceable without being dumbed down. The set was some of the best that I’ve ever heard from either of the individuals, and I’m waiting to hear good news that the set was recorded.

The Lack of Soundbleed - I was worried that there would be sound issues in Chop Suey back room with the competing sound systems. Turned out to be largely not an issue unless you were literally in the doorway, so the space sustained two sets of music much better than expected.

John Tejada - Sure, I knew he was doing a hardware set, but based on his own words I was expecting it to be merely on par with past performances. Instead, he destroyed those impressions with easily the best set I’ve ever seen from him, and one of the best I’ve ever seen. He blurred the techno/house line as expected, and switched up the overall mood quite a bit, so the crowd wasn’t left bored at any point during his performance.

If you couldn’t make it to Chop Suey, you missed something special. Luckily, next month they’re doing it all over again with Knifehandchop and Passions.

An Ode to the Comet

posted by on April 16 at 12:00 PM


Oh Comet
You have been written about before, and you will be written about again, but I must confess my love
In the past week
In you I have been three times
And each, in it’s own way
Has been wonderful.

The first time
I came in at the end
Holy Ghost Revival was 15 minutes in
But I missed nothing, nothing at all
The Comet was soon to be mutilated temporarily (as it often is)
Glasses were thrown, cigarettes smoked inside, curtains and light sockets torn down
And at the end, no one was punished
Everything looked as good as it ever does
Which is not that good.

Oh Comet of the out of order women’s restroom
Oh Comet of the long line to get a drink
Oh Comet of the ugly life-torn old regulars
I love thee.

The second time, this last Friday
I came to the Comet very drunk indeed
Committing to speak in a Southern drawl all night
I was made fun of duly, and spent much time outside
Smoking cigarettes and being loud.
Inside, watching the Intelligence
A man was shaking a chair above his head, with little reason
He was dragged out, refusing to stand and walk like a homo sapien
The ragged floor snagged his shirt, the bartender and wrist-stamper were unfazed.

Oh Comet of the out of order women’s restroom
Oh Comet of the long line to get a drink
Oh Comet of the ugly life-torn old regulars
I love thee.

The third time, for the Trashies, when I entered you
Oh Comet
I was all alone
abstaining from Drink
with good reason.
I watched your orderly chaos from a corner and jumped every time
Fireworks were lit off in the opposite corner
The bang sounding like a loud, high tom drum.
That is a bad corner to light fireworks as the police are wary of guns.

Oh Comet of the out of order women’s restroom
Oh Comet of the long line to get a drink
Oh Comet of the ugly life-torn old regulars
I love thee.

But How Will I Ever Decide?

posted by on April 16 at 11:28 AM

It’s a real shame (for someone) that this:

Live Nation welcomes Dave Matthews Band to the Gorge on Labor Day Weekend, Friday, August 31, Saturday, September 1, and Sunday, September 2, 2007 at 7:00 p.m.

Is the same weekend as this.

Your Perfect Modest Mouse Set?

posted by on April 16 at 11:00 AM

I’m working on a full review of last night’s Modest Mouse show, but in the meantime I thought I’d post their set list from last night and pose a question: If you could create a Modest Mouse set list of a dozen songs—your perfect Modest Mouse concert—what would they be?

Here’s last night’s set:

Bury Me With It
Black Cadillacs
Dashboard
Paper thin walls
Fire It Up
Trailer trash
Bukowski
Missed the Boat
Cockroach
Tiny Cities Made of Ashes
We’ve Got Everything
Float On
The view
(Encore):
Ocean Breathes
Spitting Venom

And here’s a hasty stab at sequencing my own dream set:

3rd Planet
Never Ending Math Equation
Teeth Like God’s Shoeshine
Fire It Up
Summer
The Good Times Are Killing Me
Interstate 8
Tundra/Desert
Florida
Trailer Trash
The World At Large
Float On


Sunday, April 15, 2007

Hi, How Are You?

posted by on April 15 at 12:30 PM

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Since the movie has been out for a year, The Devil and Daniel Johnston has been praised plenty for so successfully portraying the mind, the heart, the friends, and the family of the crazy genius named Daniel Johnston. But despite the consistent glowing reviews for the film, I didn’t get around to watching it until this past week. Now, I can’t shake it; it was a very moving documentary.

Here’s what Annie Wagner had to say about it:

The movie smoothly suggests that no matter how controlling Johnston’s friends and family may seem, they’re working for a cause they believe in. Johnston, meanwhile, does his part to disrupt the easy equation of madness and genius by enthusiastically witnessing at a hipster-packed in-store on behalf of the Lord.

The documentary is hopeful and disturbing—part celebration of Johnston’s achievements, part warning to keep your delusional bipolar friends off acid.

The movie’s most heart-breaking moment, and the moment that it all hit home for me, was when Johnston’s mother sadly said at the end “I guess I want the impossible; I want Daniel to be whole.”

So if you, like me, have always always managed to skip over it at the movie store (or Netflix or whatever), perhaps this weekend is your weekend to change that. It’s Sunday, and the Modest Mouse show is sold out. What else are you gonna do?