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Archives for 06/10/2007 - 06/16/2007

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Sónar Dia/Noche 2: Nothing Goes Undocumented

posted by on June 16 at 1:50 PM


Buenos nachos from Barcelona. This is getting exhausting. Too much music. Some further reflections from Sónar after the jump. Day 1 recap here.

Continue reading "Sónar Dia/Noche 2: Nothing Goes Undocumented" »

Friday, June 15, 2007

New Fleet Foxes Tunes

posted by on June 15 at 6:34 PM


Seattle’s honey-dripping, smooth-rocking, blue-eyed soul-singing heroes Fleet Foxes have posted four new songs on their MySpace. Reluctantly dramatic, haunting like My Morning Jacket meets Steely Dan under a Harvest Moon, the Foxes do what they do really well.

According to singer Robin Pecknold, they’re “getting the label thing figured out,” and their still unfinished debut LP “looks like it will be coming out sooner than later.”

Sounds like the band’s in the groove. I can’t wait to hear the album.

Well Honey, You Already Are

posted by on June 15 at 4:04 PM

The first of the three(!) Sweet Water reunion shows happens tonight. At the Croc. It’s sold out. Tomorrow night’s sold out as well. But tickets are still available for Sunday’s all-ages matinée show (with the Lonely H and Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head), and you can buy them via Ticket Web.

Now, here’s this.

It’s dripping with Seattle circa 1995.

Ned’s Atomic Dustbin, “Happy”

posted by on June 15 at 12:53 PM

There was a time, long ago, when MTV actually played videos by unknown or up-and-coming bands. 120 Minutes—the yet-unspoiled music channel’s weekly alternative show—was my introduction to Smashing Pumpkins, Nine Inch Nails, Primus, Jane’s Addiction, and Ned’s Atomic Dustbin. It was 1990, pre-driver’s liscense, pre-Lollapalooza, and living in suburban South Florida I was thrilled to have a peephole into the weirdo culture I couldn’t find at home.

Ned’s were British and they had a song called “Kill Your Television” (my sophomore-year high school friend/fellow budding music nerd Davin Swanson and I relished the irony of watching the video on TV). These factors made them patently cool. On top of that, their debut God Fodder was a weird, jammy, catchy, angry, dancy alt-pop masterpiece. They played with two bassists, we learned, one on the upper register and one on the lower, and their singer had just the right degree of angst and longing in his voice. And while we dug the anthemic rebellion of “Kill Your Television,” it was Ned’s other single, “Happy,” that really got me off.

Even as a naive teenager I could relate to the fantasy of perfect modern romance and intimate communication the song raises. I wasn’t an angry or dissatisfied kid, at least relatively speaking, but there was something wistful in the song and the video that struck a nerve, an ideal I aspired to without really knowing it.

I’m certainly biased, but I hear this song today and it holds up remarkably well, its perfectly balanced pop dynamic accented with all the right details. Ned’s broke up in 1994, after their second album, retiring as underground legends. But like fellow “grebo” favorites Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine, they’re playing gigs again; the reunited Ned’s is set to play Glastonbury this summer. I guess you can go home again, as long as your home is an enormous field in the English countryside.

This YouTube version of “Happy” is viciously edited; the album version is about two minutes longer and has a great vocal breakdown towards the end. Still, the song thrums with terrific adolescent vitality and a complex but catchy chorus, making it the Best Song Ever (This Week).

Opticlash Video

posted by on June 15 at 12:33 PM

Here’s a 5-minute clip from one of the early rounds of VJ battle competition Opticlash, held two days ago. In this case, the near screen came out as winner.

Get In The Van

posted by on June 15 at 12:17 PM


So a while back Eric Grandy pitched the idea of riding along with the Bow+Arrow, to document their west coast tour and the current state of the DIY scene in general. He sees (and correct me if I’m wrong Eric,) Bow+Arrow as one of a dying breed: musicians who place equal importance on DIY ethics and idealism as they do on tautly wound anthems indebted to the likes of Fugazi, Drive Like Jehu, Cap’n Jazz and the angular stutter-stop post-hardcore of the ’90s. Case in point: the Bow+Arrow recently turned down an offer declined interest from Subpop founder Jonathan Poneman’s boutique label, Hardly Art— based upon the fact that Hardly Art is distributed by ADA, which is partly owned by major labels. (This is the point where every other band that feels indebted to DC’s “revolution summer” gets to post about their relevance and how great they are and how it’s bullshit that Bow+Arrow turned down this offer.)

But Grandy didn’t end up making it on tour and I’m riding along for the first week playing my own solo material. I don’t know how much I’ll get into the last great DIY hope as a subject matter, but I will be recounting the various trips and trials we encounter on our way down the west coast.

Continue reading "Get In The Van" »

This Week’s Setlist

posted by on June 15 at 11:48 AM

This is Optimus Rhyme:


They’re nerdcore, and you can hear them on this week’s Setlist (they cover the Clash’s “Train in Vain” even).

You can also hear Grynch, Lonely Forest, Neezie Pleaze, Ari Spool being a nerd and me (Megan Seling) being even nerdier, Pwrfl Power, Skullbot, Speaker Speaker, and the Sutures. All eight bands are playing tonight’s Block Star showcase at the Vera Project, competing for a slot on the mainstage at the Capitol Hill Block Party. (Check out this week’s Underage column for more details about that.)

So listen, will ya? Please? It’s easy, it’s free, it’s funny (I hope), and it’s… uh… fuckin’ just listen. I don’t got all day to tell you why you should, you just should, okay?



The Reggae Compassionate Act

posted by on June 15 at 11:19 AM

We have entered a new era of dancehall!

Three of the biggest names in reggae and dancehall music have agreed to renounce homophobia and excise lyrics promoting violence against gay people from their music. Beenie Man, Sizzla and Capleton, all previously responsible for anti-gay lyrics, have signed the Reggae Compassionate Act, a petition set up by the Stop Murder Music campaign.
However, Buju Banton is one of the five big dancehall performers who refused to sign the act.

Pop Quiz – You vs. Supreme Court

posted by on June 15 at 10:43 AM

seal1.jpgU.S. Supreme Court justice, Stephen G. Breyer, failed a music quiz on NPR’s Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me.

From a story by Jill Schachner Chanen in the American Bar Association Journal.

Breyer may know law, but he does not know his rock. If you can answer one question right, you beat him.

Here are the questions, pulled from Blender magazine. Breyer got them all wrong:

1. David Bowie became so paranoid in the ’70s that:

A. He tried to exorcise Satan from his own swimming pool.
B. He refused to eat anything before his personal bodyguard held it in his own mouth just for a second.
C. He refused to go near a microphone for two months because he thought aliens were stealing his voice.

2. Iggy Pop, the lead singer of the Stooges, did what for an entire year?

A. He refused to wear a shirt anywhere he went.
B. He ate nothing but German sausages.
C. Spoke only in rhyme.

3. Ozzy Osbourne did what when he once checked himself in to the Betty Ford Clinic?

A. He immediately asked for directions to the bar.
B. He propositioned Liza Minnelli, who happened to be walking by.
C. Ate two plastic pieces of fruit from a table centerpiece.

Answers are …

Continue reading "Pop Quiz – You vs. Supreme Court" »

Saturday Knight

posted by on June 15 at 9:15 AM


The Saturday Knights FREE show Saturday, June 16 Full live sets with The Saturday Knights and The Cops in the parking lot at Havana, 1010 E. Pike, 7 PM it all starts Then the video premiere of “45” inside the club with FREE DRINKS as supplies last

Sónar 2007: Day 1

posted by on June 15 at 4:18 AM

Hola from Sónar, the insanely cool advanced music and multimedia art festival held every June for 14 years here in Barcelona.


Some pictures, video and reflections from day 1 after the jump.

Continue reading "Sónar 2007: Day 1" »

Thursday, June 14, 2007


posted by on June 14 at 5:18 PM


So last night I was a judge at Opticlash, the annual VJ Battle in Seattle. It seems my luck wth judging is destined to be filled with controversy, as last night involved another opportunity to alienate audiences from the decision-makers (the first being last year’s Laptop Battle Regional). It wasn’t until all was said and done that the audience and judges were on good terms.

More after the jump.

Continue reading "Opticlashed" »

Dancing About Architecture in Helsinki

posted by on June 14 at 2:54 PM


Architecture in Helsinki @ Neumo’s

If you’re not going to get up front and dance—and, really, some nights the moshing, eager-eyed teenagers are just too much to compete with—then the best spot in Neumo’s might be up on the balcony, behind and to the side of the stage. The sound isn’t bad—it’s quieter than on the floor, and it’s roughly the same mix—and you not only get to see all the band’s dance moves and geek out on their gear, you also have a great view of the crowd.

At last night’s Architecture in Helsinki show, the audience was at least half of the show. As much as the Australian popsters put on a spirited performance—throwing paper plates at the crowd like frisbees, hopping around the stage, and just generally exuding energy and fun—they were no match for the crowd’s wild enthusiasm. Kids danced, threw up their hands, pogoed in offbeat waves, piled into each other, screamed along, and flailed at the foot of the stage. At one point, the band’s adorably marsupial cheerleader, Kellie Sutherland, said she wished she could be down in the crowd dancing with everyone. Of course, the kids went nuts, beckoning for her to come down or at least crowd surf for a spell, but Sutherland regretfully declined. “I’ve got things to do,” she said, holding a shaker to her microphone. “I’ve got to shake it.” And she did. (I missed this part—had to leave early—but Ari tells me the band at least got some of the crowd on stage instead).

The band played new songs, lots of great stuff from In Case We Die like “It’s 5!,” “Wishbone,” and “Frenchy, I’m Faking.” The great thing about that last song, I’ve decided, is how offbeat yet still thrilling it’s verses are—the oddly timed rushes and pauses really do demand movement, but the timing is tricky enough that the already-gawky teenage dancing gets comically difficult and arrhythmic. It’s all very charming.

There were a couple technical difficulties—one guitar cut out just before what the guitarist later said would’ve been a wicked guitar solo, and the trombonist’s slide fell off during some particularly energetic horn playing (more like a tromboner!…sorry)—but neither instance really detracted from the show’s momentum. And they sounded great throughout, exuding a sense of effortless fun while still playing the shit out of their bouyant, off-kilter pop songs. The band has a real skill for infusing their songs with bits of other things—hints of ska, world music, and funk creep into their music without feeling like pastiche or genre tourism—and the result is a music that is instantly identifiable as Architecture in Helsinki but not so easily categorized. (Ari tells me they closed with their fantastic, world beaten new single “Heart It Races” and that, surprisingly, most people didn’t seem familiar with it yet.)

Overheard at Lunch

posted by on June 14 at 2:13 PM

Yesterday, at the always delicious Crave: Magnetic Fields and Crystal Castles.

Today, at the shiny, new Bimbo’s Cantina: My Bloody Valentine.

Damn, Seattle! All your iPods are so awesome!

Rock ‘N’ Roll Olympics, Episode 3: CSS vs. Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head

posted by on June 14 at 11:49 AM

So JZ and Grandy might have been at the CSS show totally high (on life?), but beforehand I was getting FUCKED UP with CSS AND Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head. You wanna know how? The coolest new drug on the streetz, DIZZY SPINNIES!

Please enjoy this new episode of Rock ‘N’ Roll Olympics, where these two teams battle to the death (and for a weird little sand sculpture named Tammy).

Stay tuned, we filmed another episode last night with Architecture in Helsinki. Those kiddos are BALLZ!

Rock Star Chevy Nova

posted by on June 14 at 10:52 AM


For a Hollywood popcorn flick starring Mark Wahlberg as the lead singer of a fictional metal group called Steel Dragon, 2001’s Rock Star just didn’t add up to the ant-snorting, JD-shooting spectacle it should’ve been.

I rented the DVD on the recommendation of my Wahlberg-phile cousin, expecting debauchery—shredding, screaming, groupie-banging, the works. What I got instead was a glorified (but colorfully depicted) representation of Pittsburgh’s “tribute” band scene in the mid-’80s; a bunch of awesomely, flamboyantly androgenous costumes and hair styles; one thrilling concert scene; and a pretty flacid story that wrapped up far too neatly. The back stage partying scenes were pat and predictable and more than a little cliche; the ease with which Wahlberg’s character drifted in and out of them was a stretch. Not that the movie was all bad, per se, but it certainly wasn’t good.

If anything, Rock Star called out just how formulaic the whole “rock star” lifestyle and archetype are, ripe for easy spoofing, easy to exaggerate and replicate. Steel Dragon’s core tracks—by-the-numbers Priest/Maiden/Leppard pastiches with titles and choruses like “Stand Up and Shout” and “Wasted Generation”—mimicked so closely their source material that they were interchangable. Fans of those real bands could be fans of the movie’s fake band, no questions asked, no suspended disbelief necessary.

Out of an entire movie based on modern rock ‘n’ roll, only the final scene was really insightful or goose-bumpy. Wahlberg’s character, Chris “Izzy” Cole, has quit his ultimate rock star job to head to Seattle for a lifetime of coffee shop troubadouring, sweetened by the babe-next-door support of Jennifer Aniston. The scene must’ve taken place sometime in the late ’80s, just as hair metal was being overshadowed by home-grown grunge, and with a chopped hairdo and a crunchy power ballad, Cole is on the road to redemption in the city that permanently altered the very notion of rock stardom he first embraced. Too neat for a real rock ‘n’ roll ending, sure, but one that at least goes a bit deeper than the pop-metal musings of the rest of the film.

Free Yourself

posted by on June 14 at 10:24 AM

shure-wh20.jpg3 words that should not go together –

Wireless, Headset, & Microphone.

Could you rock a wireless headset mic?

Is it possible to rock a wireless headset mic?

There are obvious headset microphers in Tommy Lee and Britney Spears.

Besides Peter Gabriel though, is there anyone who can actually pull off wearing a headset microphone?

The good people at Shure say:

Comfort and mobility without sonic sacrifice.

The Shure Wireless WH20TQG is a rugged, lightweight, dynamic headset microphone that provides high-quality voice pickup. It fits securely for active mic users with low visibility for stage appearances.

This hands free headset has a cardioid (unidirectional) pickup pattern. This provides greater gain-before-feedback and isolation from ambient noise and other unwanted sound sources. A carefully shaped frequency response includes a voice-frequency presence peak and a low-frequency rolloff to compensate for the proximity effect inherent in cardioid microphones during close-talk operation.

Free yourself onstage.

Gang Gang Dance YouTube Tour Diary

posted by on June 14 at 9:43 AM

Sonic spellcasters Gang Gang Dance are pulling into town this evening, and it’s sure to be a den of black magic and ecstatic hips. If you’re not going, you’re missing one of the most enthralling ensembles in music today. It sucks that I’m headed to Lopez Island this afternoon, or I’d be there—bouncing in a big-ass shroud. (But then, I was present for GGD’s now-infamous show at Chop Suey a couple years ago.)

Good thing GGD member and artist Brian DeGraw gots him a camera and a laptop. He’s chopping, screwing, and otherwise editing video and audio from their tour while in the van and posting the results to YouTube “whenever a stable internet connection is available.”

Can you even handle these and those? Where is your sense of entitlement? Where is your sense of Liz Bougatsos’s eyeliner? Where is your sense of Hahahahaha? Why are you not listening to and/or watching Retina Riddim?

See more and subscribe at

Gang Gang Dance perform tonight at the Crocodile. $10/$12. With Ariel Pink and Mick Barr.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Opticlash 2 Tonight @ CHAC

posted by on June 13 at 4:39 PM

Tonight I’m one of the judges for Opticlash, the VJ Battle in Seattle. I’ve been promised that it’s way more entertaining than either competing home videos or dueling screen savers, but this will be my first time at the event, so I’ll let you know how it goes tomorrow. Should be a good time, so come on down.



WED., June 13TH, 2007
6pm – 10pm
@ Capitol Hill Arts Center
1621 12th Avenue (12th & Pine)

$15 advance, through Brown Paper Tickets
+ Anywhere SIFF Tickets are sold

Punch Drunk Productions, 4Culture, Seattle Foundry, Art Patch, and The Stranger proudly present part of the 2007 Seattle International Film Festival: Opticlash 2, the 2nd annual VJ Battle in Seattle. Similar to a DJ battle, contestants pit their live performance prowess against one another - instead of scratching records and mixing music, they mix video images on two huge screens. A DJ plays music to which the VJs sculpt their video art, all in real-time. The winner, selected by a panel of local judges, takes home a $1000 Edirol V-4 video mixer for the grand prize. A portion of proceeds from the event will be donated to Seattle-based nonprofit ReelGrrls: Empowering girls through media production.

Shackleton Speaks

posted by on June 13 at 3:40 PM

At 4pm, British dubstep Skull Disco producer Shackleton, the artist behind submersive manifesto “Blood on My Hands” (look for the Ricardo Villalobos mix, too) will be on DJ/rupture’s radio show on WFMU.

With Apologies to Our Dedicated Freelancers…

posted by on June 13 at 3:35 PM


There is NO WAY the new Sky Cries Mary CD, Small Town (four stars!) is better than the fantastic new Art Brut album, It’s a Bit Complicated (three and a half).

Also: The new issue is online, including CD reviews.

Carry My Laser

posted by on June 13 at 3:22 PM

GeorgeFinal.jpgYou know that Mister Mister song where the words are:

“Carry a laser down the road that I must travel” ?

Someone was telling me it’s not “carry a laser”, it’s “Kyrie eleison.” And it means ‘Oh Lord’, or ‘Lord have mercy’.

That’s bullshit.

The words are “carry a laser.” I’ve been singing them since 1986.

“Carry a laser through the darkness of the night.”

Goodbye, Lay the Blame on Luck

posted by on June 13 at 12:41 PM

One of my favorite songs of all time, hands down, is “Am I Wrong?” by Love Spit Love.

Love Spit Love - Am I Wrong?*

But despite listening to it over and over and over again since junior high, I still have no fucking clue what the song is about.

I mean, I get it. I think I do. It’s a sad song, a bittersweet song—you can tell by the melody and the longing in Richard Butler’s voice (yes, Butler of Psychedelic Furs—Love Spit Love was his post-Furs project). But it’s also a little optimistic. He’s letting go of something that needs to be let go of, it seems. He’s accepted that it’s over, it’s for the best. But it’s still sad to have to leave it. Right? Am I close? Am I wrong? (Ha!)

I can’t stay
in this place
I can’t stand
When the room turns round
On my fate
You give no guarantees
There’s no promise
I can keep
I can’t stand
I can’t see my way
I feel blind
On my feet
I can’t stay too long
Am I wrong?

So that makes enough sense, I guess, but then this part, my favorite part of the song, throws me for a loop:

I’m so tired
Of my mood
And sleep comes
With a knife, fork and a spoon

A knife, fork, and a spoon? What? I don’t get it. It’s the one blemish in the song, but only because it makes no sense to me. Is it a drug reference? I admit, I rarely ever get drug references. Is it something else? Is it just nonsense, and I’m over-analyzing? I admit, I do that a lot too.

Still, as cryptic as it is, I can listen to this song endlessly for a whole day and it stays just as lovely and sad as it was the first time I heard it. Even though I can’t remember when the first time I heard it was. And no I’ve never cried while listening to it, but I’ve come close (I’m emo, I know, my style is sweeping the nation).

Goodbye, lay the blame on luck
Goodbye, lay the blame on luck
Goodbye, lay the blame on luuuuuuuuuck…

*This is the version from the Angus soundtrack, the one with the marching band accompaniment. I couldn’t find an original mp3. I like this one too, though. It has horns. I like horns.

Pleasure Forever - Bodies Need Rest

posted by on June 13 at 12:05 PM


Pleasure Forever, briefly known as Slaves, formed from the remains of forward-thinking San Francisco synth punks VSS. Pleasure Forever abandoned the noisy, Screamers-inspired discord of the VSS, replacing it with moody, gothic piano balladry more reminiscent of Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds. They released two full-lengths on Sub Pop, Pleasure Forever and Alter, before going on “indefinite hiatus.” When Pleasure Forever was active, I was pining for the VSS, and I never really got into them. But looking back now, I can better appreciate their nuance and more tempered weirdness. Conspiracy Records has released a posthumous collection of their rarities and b-sides, titled Bodies Need Rest, that should serve as a good refresher course on the oft-overlooked band.

Pleasure Forever - “Miles Underneath”

Pleasure Forever - “The Bars (Black Flag Cover)”

SIFF Rocks Some More

posted by on June 13 at 10:32 AM


In further SIFF-related music happenings, also going on tomorrow night in Capitol Hill is the official afterparty for the world premiere of CTHULHU. (You can read our own Annie Wanger’s feature on the filmmakers, who are based in the Northwest.)

On the bill are At the Spine, the Swains, Joel R.L. Phelps & the Downer Trio, the Believers, and Willy Greer, who composed the score to CTHULHU.

The 21+ party starts at 9:30 at the Cascadia Film Collective, 1410 14th Avenue in Capitol Hill. Did we mention it’s FREE?

Colin Johnson To Book Nectar

posted by on June 13 at 10:30 AM

Colin Johnson, formerly of Chop Suey, has been hired as talent buyer by Nectar in Fremont. His first bookings at that club will be in August. Johnson and the club’s owners plan to update the club’s sound system and revamp the green room, with the hopes of making Nectar a destination for national touring acts as well as a regular stop on the Seattle club circuit. Is Fremont ready for the likes of Clipse and Soulwax? We’ll see…

SIFF Rocks

posted by on June 13 at 10:19 AM


Tomorrow night, SIFF is hosting what looks to be a kickass show at Neumo’s, featuring Jesse Sykes & the Sweet Hereafter, Viva Voce, and Siberian. From the press release:

The centerpiece for SIFF’s Face the Music program, this special concert celebrates the Northwest’s diverse community and range of renowned artists. Much like the brilliance and originality of our Face the Music films, these bands span a number of genres and are sure to entertain. From the dreamy pop sounds of Viva Voce to the evocative soul of Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter to indie rock darlings Siberian, this show features something for everyone. Continuing the success of last year’s Rock party, join SIFF as we celebrate the sounds that are at the heart of this thriving music community with the Festival’s many visiting musicians, filmmakers and industry guests.

The Face the Music Rock Party 2007 starts at 9 pm and tickets cost $18 at the door. The show is 21+.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Röyksopp - Back To Mine #25

posted by on June 12 at 2:00 PM


I’ll be the first to admit. I like Röyksopp. I always have. I liked their last album, The Understanding, when nobody else did. Not just because it featured vocals by The Knife’s Karin Dreijer Andersson, but because it was full of songs with texture and vibrancy and progressive dimensions.

Others didn’t like it as much as they liked the first album, Melody A.M. That’s okay. Wrong, but okay. They are both great albums.

And if you’ve ever seen Röyksopp live you’d have to agree that they rock pretty hard for a chilled out electronic duo from Norway. They can actually play instruments, not just laptops, and they have good voices. They sing most of their material, usually sung on album by guest vocalists, themselves.

But hey, I’m not here to make you a believer. I only mention this stuff because the internet is buzzing with how “unexpecatedly good” the new Röyksopp Back To Mine mix CD is.

And it is. Really good. The best thing about the Back To Mine series is how every one is a discovery about where an artist is coming from, either in a straight-forward fashion, or totally abstract. The Orb’s comp was fairly normal, while MJ Cole gave us classical music blending into Hip-Hop. That one blew me away. Orbital surprised me with their love of PJ Harvey and old-style rocking pop. The worst of the bunch was Underworld’s all-over-the-place mixtape. Just bad.

Röyksopp cleverly give us a mix of old and rare favorites (Harry Thumann, Kasso) some amazing disco (by none other than Edgar Winter!?!?) some proggy electronics (thank you Mike Oldfield) and even a little Funkadelic. With the astonishing effect of making me turn to the CD case over and over again to check who was playing.

In a note on the CD Royksopp apologize for editing some of the songs, and when I read that I just assumed that meant they’d done there own remixes or vocals (something they’ve done in the past with bands like Mekon and Annie, who’s debut album they co-produced). But their edits are totally unobtrussive and their mixing is quite good.

I had never heard the Harry Thumann song Sphinx, from 1983, before and I was certain (read: absolutely, totally convinced) that they had added their own vocals to that track, it’s just sooooo Röyksopp-ish. But they hadn’t, they were just giving us some insight into the world they inhabit. Same with the fantastic Edgar Winter track, Above and Beyond, which is banged up next to and into Ray Mang & Nathan D’Troit’s Off Side. Edgar gets some squelchy punch and Off Side gets a little disco boogie. It’s really fantastic!

I don’t want to give away all the surprises in the mix, but I will let you know there’s a new, totally weird Röyksopp tune under the alias Emmanuel Spice. The vocals on that are tripped out to fucking space!

Look, all I’m saying is you don’t have to be a believer, like me to enjoy this CD. But it just might change your mind, if you aren’t part of their following already.

A couple of full length sample of both the Harry Thumann track and Edgar Winter (mixed by Tom Moulton for heavens sake!) can be found at my blog.

P.S. Guess who just found out how to make Umlats! ö! ö! ö!

Update: The track with the tripped out vocals is actually Mike Oldfield’s Platinum, not the new Röyksopp ditty. Their tune mixes into Oldfields song and is a very chill affair. Still just as essential to the mix! Sorry for the confusion, but the printed track-listing on the CD is all fucked up!

I Hate Everything About You

posted by on June 12 at 12:43 PM


“Information Travels Faster,” by Death Cab for Cutie started it. My iPod was on shuffle this morning (I was too indecisive to actually commit to listening to anything) and that was the first song that came up. Here’s the opening line:

I intentionally wrote it out to be an illegible mess.
You wanted me to write you letters, but I’d rather lose your address
and forget that we’d ever met and what did or did not occur.

“What an awful and terrible thing to say,” I thought. “Christ, I’d hate to be the girl that inspired this song.”

Which got me thinking (it’s what I do), What’s the meanest song I’ve ever heard? What song, of all songs, is the one song I’d never want to have ever inspired?

Immediately, the old Brand New tune came to mind; “Seven Times Seventy Seven” wishes a brutal death against its muse.

So is that what you call a getaway?
Tell me what you got away with
Cause I’ve seen more spine in jellyfish
I’ve seen more guts in eleven-year-old kids
Have another drink and drive yourself home
I hope there’s ice on all the roads
And you can think of me when you forget your seatbelt
and again when your head goes through the windshield


Then I started thinking about how every Minor Threat song would probably sting a little if I were the dude Mckaye were screaming at. (But I’m not because I’m straight edge—woot woot!). But with that in mind, and for the sake of paring things down, I eliminated most hardcore songs that came to mind just because almost all of those songs seem mean in one way or another when they’re really just angry and not necessarily that cruel. (I mean “Fuck you” isn’t the meanest thing to say to someone no matter how pissed you sound. Be creative with your insults, people.)

I’m also not going to count anything that could be classified as “hate” music (like Prussian Blue) because, well, that shit’s really mean and I don’t want to shine a spotlight on it if I don’t have to. (Plus, those girls is hella creepy—Children of the Corn creepy.)

I’m trying to think of mean songs by musicians or bands who don’t necessarily focus on writing mean songs all the time. I think that makes the insult that much worse. Death Cab, for example aren’t really that harsh, but even in their sparkly catalog of indie rock, Mr. Gibbard’s managed to fit in a few biting lyrics (See also “Tiny Vessels”). And bonus points if the lyrics are actually good.

Continue reading "I Hate Everything About You" »

Photon Split Bonham

posted by on June 12 at 11:46 AM

bonham.jpgIf you could travel back in time, what band or concert would you see?

Tom Paulson has a story in the P-I today on a UW scientist, who just might make that possible.

John Cramer, a University of Washington physicist, is doing research on time travel. He wants to get back, to where he once belonged.

He wants to figure out quantum retrocausality.

Cramer’s research involves the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen paradox, which deals with particles moving and interacting faster than the speed of light.

High energy photons are split by prisms, and their particles can somehow instantaneously communicate over a distance of light years. Cramer wants to reverse this communication.

He has raised $35,000 so far for research. Denny Gmur, a scientist who works for a biotechnology firm in Bothell, had $2,000 set aside for a new guitar, but donated it to Cramer instead. No Noise for the Needy there.

If I was to venture back in time, it would have to be Zeppelin in 1975 at the LA Forum. Bonham in his prime, doing some time traveling of his own.

Daft Punk’s Electroma

posted by on June 12 at 11:15 AM


French electro man-machines Daft Punk are preparing to release their first feature film, Electroma this Fall on Vice Records.

Daft Punk’s Electroma is an odyssey of two robots (played by Peter Hurteau and Michael Reich) who journey across a mythic American landscape of haunting, surreal beauty on a quest to become human. Their symbolic quest, which takes them from endless two lane highways to small idyllic towns to the arid desert, finds Daft Punk once again resisting conformity and developing new ways to highlight their inventive vision. A silent feature-length film that made its international debut at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival, Electroma will interest Daft Punk fans and film enthusiasts alike.

A departure from the usual cinematic experience, Electroma captures images and scenes with specific detail. Each scene can be viewed independently, likening the experience to the viewing of an art exhibit, or the recollection of one’s own memories. With its breathtaking cinematography, innovative filming techniques, and above all its underlying search for humanity within a dystopian environment, Daft Punk have delivered a film that finds a common thread with their previous work while exploring new horizons as directors of their first feature film.

The film will screen at limited North American cities (not Seattle) before its release. Daft Punk plays Seattle July 29th at the WaMu Theater w/the Rapture, SebastiAn, and Kavinsky.

Heavy-duty Psych

posted by on June 12 at 11:04 AM


Headsup on a kickass quadruple bill coming up Friday, July 20 at the Sunset:

Howlin Rain

Howlin Rain is from the greater Bay Area, made up of some of the Comets on Fire dudes and a guy from Sunburned Hand of the Man. They play a supremely jangly, chooglin’ brand of blues-rock, swaying and bumping, minus the metal/noize freakout of Comets. Never seen ‘em live but their record kicks ass.

Citay is a eight-or-so-member acousto-electric rock outfit from SF, comprising a bunch of Bay Area bands, including the Fucking Champs and Tussle. You like “Going to California”- and “Battle of Evermore”-style Led Zep, you’ll love these guys—all sprawling with flutes and female backing vox and strummy pastoral melodrama.

Whalebones is, of course, Seattle’s own psych-blues monsters, riff-mongers and axe-shredders of the most virile sort. I believe them to be the ring leaders of this heady free-for all.

Bison I’m not so familiar with, but their MySpace reveals them to be the hardest of the four bands on the bill, definitely metal-inflected and sludgy and loud as fuck in a good way.

The psych-rock-blues-boogie scene is alive and strong on the West Coast and tonight’s bill throws together some of the best. Yeah, it might be a throwback to Sabbath and Credence and the Dead, but done right it’s heavy and heaven-sent, relentless and unrepentant rock inspired by the masters. Bong rips and neck braces optional but recommended.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Lif your Hands Up

posted by on June 11 at 6:34 PM

Okay, wrong tag. This show wasn’t “last night,” it was Saturday, but… did anyone see this surprise guest rock a song with Grayskul at Chop Suey?


Twas bad ass. Common Market was super tight. But Grayskul, damn, when did kids start head-banging to hip hop? Have I been living under a rock?

Life is Not a Cameron Crowe Movie (and No, Jawbreaker Isn’t the Only Band I Like), But…

posted by on June 11 at 2:58 PM

If life were a John Hughes Cameron Crowe movie, then this is the song that would blast from the boombox being held up in the air by the trench-coat wearing boy standing outside my apartment:

(Yeah, sorry. It’s more Jawbreaker bullshit. I’ll stop talking about them eventually. It’s just that 24-Hour sounds so good in the spring and summer!)

Out of curiosity, what song would you want Lloyd Dobbler to play for you?

Fare Thee Well PGMG

posted by on June 11 at 1:09 PM

Couldn’t make it to the final Pretty Girls Make Graves show? Here’s a video of the first song. After that the kids around me near the front declared a dance party, so video became an impossibility.

The show only built up steam from there, with the band thankfully leaning on the older end of their discography. The encore with original guitarist Nathan Thelan took me back to 2002, reminding me of why I once cared about the band as much as I did. A great sendoff for a great band.

Architecture in Helsinki - “Heart It Races”

posted by on June 11 at 1:08 PM


The new Architecure in Helsinki single, “Heart it Races” sounds more like Architecture in the tropics with its offbeat rhythms, steel drums and hand percussion, and languid background vocals. The single comes with remixes from Portland’s laptop whiz kid YACHT (now officially not a member of the Blow), the “world’s smartest” DJ/rupture, plus covers by Dr Dog and Hey! Willpower.

Heart It Races-Single Version

Heart It Races-Yacht Mix

(No mp3 for the DJ/rupture version, but check out his critique of pitchfork’s lazy/racist review of the track on his awesome blog, Mudd Up!.)

Architecture in Helsinki and YACHT are playing Neumo’s this Wednesday. Here’s the Stranger Suggests for the show:

Australian orch-pop sextet (I know, another one, right?) Architecture in Helsinki are equal parts twee band geekery—their two full-lengths feature cute and informative charts identifying which of many instruments are played on which songs—scrappy pop punk pogo, and unexpected bursts of funk. Their songs might be laden with classical instruments, but they’re hardly heavy, demanding not so much studious listening as joyous dancing and singing along. (Neumo’s, 925 E Pike St, 709-9467. 8 pm, $15, all ages.)

Sunday, June 10, 2007

The Block Party Battle of the Bands Just Got Interesting

posted by on June 10 at 1:49 PM

Mostly because of the participation of the Pwrfl Power. Honestly, if “Tomato Song” gets to be on an Esurance commercial, I will be so psyched.
The competition takes place at the Vera Project on June 15th at 8 pm. Hopefully it’s judged by cheering, and I guarantee no one could ever not cheer for Kazutaka Nomura. He is a magickal pixie being who deserves to win this entirely bizarre contest.