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Archives for 06/17/2007 - 06/23/2007

Saturday, June 23, 2007

I Was Having a Lovely Night… Then Elliott Smith Happened

posted by on June 23 at 9:45 PM

I wanted to treat myself to a cupcake while I tied up a few loose ends that I neglected to take care of before leaving the office Friday night. Naturally, I went to Cupcake Royale because where else does one go in Seattle when they want to enjoy a delicious frosted treat? Exactly. So there I sat. It was a perfect evening in Ballard—the air was cool and smelled of the nearby saltwater, my cupcake was delicious (the Classic and the Lavender are my favorites), and a cute boy smiled at me on the bus—I was feeling good. Then, without any sort of warning, Elliott Smith came over Cupcake Royale’s loudspeaker and ruined everything.

Very few songs can hijack my emotions the way “Angeles” does. It’s achingly perfect—it’s sad, it’s beautiful, it’s romantic, it’s optimistic and triumphant but in a very broken way. Without it being personally connected to anything specific (read: no ex-boyfriends, no dead friends, no sad memories of any sort), the song still manages to kill me every time I hear it.

That opening guitar part that falls away from the rest of the intro—you know that part I’m taking about, it happens around the 33 second mark in the video posted above—that’s what initially causes my stomach to sink. Then he starts singing. I love it when Elliott Smith starts singing.

“Someone’s always coming around here, trailing some new kill/Says I’ve seen your picture on a hundred dollar bill/What’s a game of chance to you/To him is one of real skill/So glad to meet you, Angeles.”

I know it’s really just a beautiful “Fuck you” to the malicious major music industry (isn’t it?), but it still sends shivers down my spine and goosebumps up my arms in a way no other song can. So much so, I usually avoid listening to it because it’s too good to listen to. But there it was, without warning, playing over Cupcake Royale’s loudspeaker when I just wanted to read the breaking news about a girl getting her feet cut off by a roller coaster and write a column about Olympia’s upcoming What You Got? festival.

“I could make you satisfied in everything you do/All your secret wishes could right now be coming true/And be forever with my broken arms around you/No one’s gonna fool around with us/No one’s gonna fool around with us/So glad to meet you, Angeles.”

I’ve been in a weird haze ever since.

Queen - the Hero Composed

posted by on June 23 at 2:31 PM

200px-Queen_Flash_Gordon.jpgThe midnight movie tonight at the Egyptian Theatre is a special, special, monster of an 80’s treat:

Flash Gordon with music by Queen.

On the planet Mongo, the Earth must be saved from Ming the Merciless.

The soundtrack by Queen was released only months after their album, The Game.

It’s more synth centered than Queen was used to and is mostly a collection of shorter instrumentals. Some of Brian May’s finest composing.

It is a great, epic encapsulating record. The signature circumference of Queen sounds rouse and lure with combustion, warmth, and beautiful fervor.

One of the greatest rock bands of all time here renders and engages the archetype of the hero.

I wish more bands would do entire movie soundtracks.

Freddie Mercury, Freddie Mercury, Freddie Mercury, and Freddie Mercury.


Friday, June 22, 2007

After Dark

posted by on June 22 at 5:08 PM

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The show poster that could’ve been…


Glass Candy @ The Comet

I’ve already discussed my disgust with this poster for last night’s Glass Candy show at the Comet, but what I failed to mention is that maybe it was only a bad fit for the headliners of the show and not the opening acts. I missed the first two bands—Ari tells me the second one sounded like they were playing an Operation Ivy cover—but Lashes side-project Strong Killings fit that other poster perfectly. They played willfully adolescent, early 80s punk snot thrashers—the kind of thing music that warrants juvenile, hand drawn posters, bad visual puns, and silly attempts at shock value (a baby eating glass…well, I never!). But they were a bizarre choice to open for Glass Candy, and I’m coming to think that between the weird lineup, the bad posters, and the odd setting—the Comet is many things, but a cool Italian discotheque is not one of them—that Glass Candy might have been a complete afterthought on this bill.

The Comet does well for scrappy punk bands—plug in your amps, bang your drums, and the PA should handle your vocals—but Glass Candy’s array synths and CDJ seemed to test the sound system’s well defined limits. There was an obtrusive crackle throughout their first song or two, and the mix just seemed a little quieter than it should’ve been. Also, what the Comet lacks in ambience it makes up for with overhead lightbulbs, strewn newspapers (partially our fault, I guess), and spotty service. At least someone dimmed the lights midway through Glass Candy’s set (only to turn them back on at full blast during their last two songs).

Glass Candy were, to their credit, good sports about the whole thing. Johnny Jewel said he was just happy to have the show, and liked the opening bands just fine, favorably comparing Strong Killings to the Damned. I didn’t ask him about the poster. And Ida No seemed to be in good spirits, joking with audience members between songs and dancing around barefoot on the Comet’s questionably safe floor. Possibly in conjunction with the band’s shift from glam punk to nu Italo, No’s look has apparently gone from no wave ingenue to proto-cougar retiree—last night, she was rocking a vintage baby pink leisure suit and an equally vintage dyed-auburn up-do. Jewel must’ve been wearing at least one silk scarf.

Their set was, technical and ambience issues aside, simply fantastic. They played strictly their disco stuff—nothing from before Iko Iko—including, I think, “Etheric Device,” “Sugar and Whitebread,” and “Life After Sundown,” among others, and they sounded great. Their songs are pretty spare, but Jewel manages to stay pretty busy on synth and bass, and No’s vocals are as crystalline and eerily detached as they are on record. Their last show in Seattle, at Club Pop, featured a third band member on guitars, and that wouldn’t have been out of place at the Comet last night, but their icy new songs hardly need them. The crowd pushed forward and danced, No danced through the crowd, still barefoot (yikes), and everyone did their best to transform the historic dive into the Danceteria.

Pop Art for Pop Music

posted by on June 22 at 4:30 PM

The Terrordactyls have finally released a full-length, and the packaging, just like their tender and simple bedroom pop, is utterly adorable. The CD case is, in fact, a mini pop-up picture.

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I’m listening to the record for the first time right now, so I can’t give you a complete and whole-hearted review of the disc, but it’s more of what the duo did on their previous EP 80.5% Magic. That’s fine with me, I like what they have going.

Right now a stand-out track is “Zombie Girl.” It starts with a chorus of kids enthusiastically yelling “Yay!” and turns into a love letter to a girl who literally “tore out my heart” and “ate my hand.” There are gentle la la las throughout, and the proclamation that Zombie Girl is the “most awesomest girl in my school.” They also speak a little French in there, but I took German in high school, so I have no idea what they’re saying.

I also like “Devices,” a duet featuring Kimya Dawson—”You lift me up way into the clouds!” “You keep my feet firmly on the ground.” “I feel like I’m floating each time that we kiss.” “I beg of you, don’t drift too far for your hugs I will miiiiss.”

It’s so sweet.

If you’re curious, you can download the whole kazoo, xylophone, and handclap-filled record for free at the band’s website. Ten bucks, will get you the real deal with the cute pop-up CD sleeve. And if that’s not enough, a measly extra two dollars will win you a hand-drawn and customized turkey picture:

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I’m not saying it’s gonna change the world or anything, but U2 aside, who does that anymore?

Summer Phenomena in (probably glorious) Surround Sound

posted by on June 22 at 2:56 PM

I found out too late to include this in The Score this week: Doug Haire, one of Seattle’s prized recording engineers and producers, steps out tonight for a solo performance, a live improvised mix of field recordings from around the world in surround sound.


Doug Haire

Haire mixes in nearby ambient sound from the venue - the “white noise of distant traffic” - with recordings culled from his extensive, globe-trotting collection. Unless my memory is faulty, Haire’s last solo outing was in 2003; read more about this audio wizard here.

Fourth floor Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, 4649 Sunnyside Ave N, 9 pm (note start time), $5-$15 donation

Karizma Drops Some Knowledge

posted by on June 22 at 1:39 PM

Baltimore’s Karizma’s apparently been around forever (doing the B’more Club sound way before the hipsters found it, kicking out house jams as well), but it seems he’s finally getting his props after showing attendees the WMC how much technique you can display with just a pair of CDJs (here’s a dark video of him at work). There are plans in the works to bring him to town, which should be a good time, but this post is more to present the following video, of him describing ten ways to know you’re a DJ.

As a bonus, here’s a mix by Karizma done for NRK Music (he has an official mix out in September). Check the second track, a remix of Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight.”

Glass Candy

posted by on June 22 at 12:50 PM

There is no excuse for this eyesore of a poster:

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It is not 1993, Seattle. Peter Bagge is not the alpha and omega of poster design (and this crude cartooning would likely insult him). There’s no need to be so painfully literal with poster design—the kid’s eating Glass Candy, get it?

Part of what makes Glass Candy great is the cool, calculated aesthetic to their music, fashion, and visuals. They deserve better than a crude cartoon baby.

AND! Glass Candy even offers downloadable posters designs on their myspace (also available as B&W) that are in perfect keeping with their image:

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So, seriously, what the fuck, Seattle?

Full review of last night’s show coming soon…

Who Would You Stalk?

posted by on June 22 at 12:20 PM

Wired recently ran an article about Linkin Park front-man Chester Bennington, and how someone hacked in to all of his personal information and took control of his life. The piece was supposed to make the reader feel for Bennington and the ordeal he and his wife went through, but I have so much disdain for his band I couldn’t help but cheer the villainous hacker. When it turned out the perpetrator was an insane Linkin Park fan with a homemade shrine in their honor, it became a little less funny.

It got Megan and I thinking though, if you could hack into any star’s life, who would you choose? The hacker in the article didn’t do anything particularly malicious with Bennington’s information, but they had full access to his emails and got to see what his real life was really like. My vote: R. Kelly. I have to know what this man’s day-to-day life is actually like. I have to know of his sexual exploits before the press. I have to know if he is seriously as crazy as he makes himself out to be. I have to solve the mystery that is this man.

The rest of you?

This Sounds Mortifying

posted by on June 22 at 12:11 PM

But strangely liberating, somehow…

Friday June 29, 10 pm

A Capella Karaoke

You bring your favorite song(s) on Walkman, iPod or other player, then play full blast on headphones while you belt it out to a silent room. The divine Miss H emcees. $1.

At the Alibi Room, for all who are interested. This could either be hilarious or terrifying.

This Week’s Setlist: Win Tickets!

posted by on June 22 at 11:57 AM

This week’s Setlist is up.

You’ll want to listen not only to hear some rad local music, but you also have the chance to win free tickets to the upcoming last ever Divorce shows!

Click here. Magic will happen.

Wishbone Ash - Argus

posted by on June 22 at 10:09 AM

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This week I’ve been spending time in my hometown, Spokane, WA. It’s totally distressing. I’m here to help out family members that are ill, but I’ve brought my son along, who’s on summer break now. If you ever wonder why people leave small cities and head for larger metropoli, it could be:

A: The 12-year-olds at the skatepark I take my son to that talk like truckers and smoke like chimneys.

B: The meth addicts in the local mall parking lot that proceed to drag each-other out of a car and fight right in front of us.

C: The parents who bring a pellet gun to the local playground where my son is riding his bike through the trees, and proceed to target practice into the tree area, where said son is riding, while ignoring their two young children begging for pushes on swings.

Oh well, at least i was able to fill my tank for $2.95 a gallon!

It gets pretty depressing. The only thing that has saved me from utterly flattened feelings, is my reading of Homer’s The Odyssey and listening to The Iliad on CD during the long drive here.

My son recently finished a childrens version of The Odyssey and got me thinking about how much of it was cut out to be palletable for kids. The childrens book actually did a remarkable job of relaying Odysseus’ original Job-like travails, mostly just taking out sex and all out gore. But the originals of both are stunning, the language, the metaphores, the beautiful descriptions of battle…. Especially in times like these. Reading and hearing what war looks like and sounds like seems overly relevant in our media censored world.

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So I am also reading this during what for many will be Gay Pride Week, and The other day I listened to a beautiful passage that described Achilles love for his cousin and friend Patroclus after Patroclus is killed in war. Insantly my “gaydar” started to ring, and I was almost moved to tears at how the god-like Achilles (after all he is the son of the immortal sea nymph Thetis) grieved for his beloved “friend”. Tearing his hair out, pouring sand on his head, wallowing in ashes on the ground while crying and writhing in pain for his slain friend.

Before that, he had been angry at the other Acheans (Odysseus, Agamemnon, Menolaus, Ajax…) who had allowed Agamemnon to take a girl from Achilles spoils without proper payment. So he refused to fight the Trojans with the other Achean warriors. When his friend Patroclus begs him to fight, because the Acheans are being slaughtered, Achilles relents a little and lets his beloved Patroclus wear his “unbreakable” armour out into battle to help defeat the Trojans.

The armour was only unbreakable to mortals, and Apollo, who was on the side of the Trojans, was not happy at Patroclus’ luck in fighting against him, so he broke the armor, opening him up to a fatal blow from the Trojan leader Hector that killed Patroclus.

Says Achilles:

But what delight to me in all of this,

When now Patroclus, my own dearest friend,

Hath perish’d? Him - him whom of all my host

I honour’d most, loved as I love myself -

I have lost him!

Incidentally I’ve also been listening to this album by Wishbone Ash lately. Argus is a masterwork of the early ‘70’s. The amazing thing to me is how “Indie” it sounds, while predating “Indie” music by decades. It’s slightly unpolished, yet highly listenable sound is what distinguishes it from it’s contemporaries. Well, that and the unique duo-guitar sound of the band.

Wishobone Ash had two lead guitarists, Andy Powell and Ted Turner, who used dual guitar lines to weave really beautifully intricate lead solos that are elvated by the interwoven melodies. The vocals, mostly by Ted and bassist Martin Turner are very young sounding, kind of reminding me a little of Built To Spill. They weren’t the overdrenched blues-y vocals that were so popular back in the ‘70’s. They’re a little more sunny and naive sounding. All of this gives the album a really light feel, even though some of the themes are pretty heavy.

Why does this all seem to be affecting me this week? Well there’s the theme of second comings and renewals in The King Will Come, which even though it’s a more about biblical themes, leaves me feeling a little less overwhelmed at the amount of emotional work that is called for when helping sick family members.

And Warrior, which aptly conveys how I felt crowing up in this small town hell hole. Whether you are fighting for justice, peace, ar just to keep your head above water, growing up gay in a small town, the lyrics:

I’m leaving to search for something new,

Leaving everything I ever knew.

A hundred years in the sunshine

Hasn’t taught me all there is to know.


Time will pass away,

Time will guard our secret.

I’ll return again

To fight another day.


I’d have to be a warrior -

A slave I couldn’t be -

A soldier and a conqueror,

Fighting to be free.

And the final song on the album, with the amazing guitar solo at the end, Throw Down The Sword.

Throw down the sword,

The fight is done and over,

Neither lost, neither won.

To cast away the fury of the battle

And turn my weary eyes for home.

It aptly sums up the War in Iraq, the political/moral fight for the conscience of the U.S., the fight for my own feelings of independence, both from home and from oppression of growing up different in Spokane.

Anyways, can you see why someone with all this swirling through his mind can attach themselves to an album like this?

Happy Pride. End the War in Iraq. Samples, of course, are at my blog.

Ps. Incidentally, the cover for Argus has the greek soldier looking over a field, and in the distance you can barely make out a flying saucer in the golden air. The cover, by Hipgnosis is pretty famous. So why on the Remastered CD version I have do they leave off the U.F.O.? Is it a mistake? On purpose? Seriously, that seems like a major fuck up in the CD’s design!


Thursday, June 21, 2007

The New Rentals Song…

posted by on June 21 at 6:36 PM

…Sounds like a pretty good Volkswagen commercial circa Seven More Minutes. Sigh. Stereogum has it.

Ducky Would Approve of This Post

posted by on June 21 at 6:30 PM

I finally decided what concert I’d go to if I had access to a working time machine. It’d be the Monterey Pop Festival. Hendrix, sure. The Who, yeah, why not. It’d be nice to see Big Brother and the Holding Co. too.

But I’d really be going for Otis:

Goddamn.

Body and Soul

posted by on June 21 at 1:43 PM

Iggy Pop on television, 1978:

Ida No at the Hi Dive, Denver, Colorado, 2006:

Glass Candy comes to the Comet tonight.

Dave Matthews: “It’s a Boy!”

posted by on June 21 at 12:41 PM

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My friends J and Dani live on 43rd and Francis in Fremont, a block away from Lighthouse Coffee.

J reports that one Dave Matthews frequently parks in front of their house before grabbing something to go at Lighthouse. Yesterday, J watched Matthews, talking on his cell phone, holding a tray of four coffees, put his key in J’s roommate’s car before realizing it wasn’t his. J approached to help the confused rock star out; Matthews put down the phone and told J, “I just had a baby! It’s a boy!” Matthews was clearly excited but still quite gracious in conversation, J reports. He was the proudest monkey.

Herbie Hancock @ Woodland Park Zoo

posted by on June 21 at 11:26 AM

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Hard not to appreciate a jazz legend playing outdoors on a gorgeous day. Herbie Hancock and his trio came to Fremont’s Woodland Park Zoo and flexed prodigious badassitude, playing up almost every angle of Hancock’s long and varied career and even diverging into some new directions. Accompanied by a blanket full of friends and a picnic basket filled with tasty snacks and good wine (be smart and you can enjoy your own booze and avoid sequesterment in the beer garden), yesterday’s show was about as blissed-out, musically and socially, as you can get on a Wednesday.

Herbie started off with the mellow fusion number “Butterfly” from his 1995 album Dis is Da Drum, moving from piano to keyboard and back again as the song demanded. This is a guy that I’ve seen crank out electro-funk and sublime balladry with equal skill; “Butterfly” prevented any whiplash effect. His band, consisting of Nathan East on bass, Vinnie Colaiuta on drums, and Lionel Loueke on guitar, breezed from tight and subtle to full-figured and loose. Next up was “Watermelon Man,” where Herbie chanted the glass-bottle parts himself, as the band drifted into the song’s sunny funk groove. He was up in front of the stage with a keytar (!) for the midsection of the song, coaxing some ridiculous sounds from the thing.

Between each number, Herbie would step out from behind the piano to engage the crowd, as casual and cool as if speaking in his living room (turns out much of his family was on hand). The band played a couple numbers penned by guitarist Loueke as well as one by bassist East; here they went from sizzle to simmer on a watery blues number that surely pleased the Gator-shod 40-somethings that comprised the majority of the crowd (Herbie’s mention of John Mayer, once part of his touring band, got quite a reaction).

With the rest of the band off-stage, Western African guitarist Loueke busted out some phenomenal finger-tap guitar blended over looped vocal chants. It was a crazy Afro-electro freakout, especially the end of the solo, with Loueke in full spazz-out mode, that countered the preceding AOR blues nicely. As did the close of “Virgin Forest,” a more straight-ahead number with Herbie on grand piano that ended with a phenomenal drums-and-piano groove.

A quiet “Maiden Voyage,” with Herbie solo on piano, was pretty much lost among the babble of a zillion sugar-high rugrats going haywire all over the lawn. The one word of warning about these gigs: Kids under 12 are free, so bring your tolerance to children and parents or it’ll be hard to enjoy the show.

But “Cantaloupe Island” closed the show out with a wonderfully familiar tropical groove. And Herbie fooled the crowd into thinking it was his last song by naming the band, thanking the audience, and delivering what seemed like his closing remarks. As everyone rose to leave—the sun having slunk below the trees and the shadows growing long—he charged into “Chameleon,” one of his funkiest numbers. With everyone on their feet, it was natural to start dancing, and the whole lawn was shimmying to the classically funky bassline. Herbie stretched it out—he seemed to stop the song twice before moving on—and it was at least a 15-minute, multi-part mini-concerto of one of his most beloved tunes. Then it was over, and it was 8:15, and it was still completely light outside. The rest of the night beckoned.

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Colby’s Vinyl Mode

posted by on June 21 at 10:50 AM

cdj1000.jpgToday we are talking with DJ powerhouse, Colby B, about a digital turntable called the CDJ-1000.

Colby B lays it down. The dance floor is her servant. She drives it, slays it, filets it, and parlays it. She gropes it, isotopes it, and slices cantaloupes with it. She mashes the hammer into sexual orbit.

She says:

The one piece of equipment that got me started as a DJ was the CDJ-1000. I had always been interested but lacked a proper record collection. I worked for a million record labels back then and was always getting pre releases and promos so I had tons of CD’s.

The CDJ-1000 was released and I jumped at the bit and started teaching myself. I got a lot of frowns from the vinyl fanatics, but they started to catch on and I couldn’t rent my gear out enough. I think every major hip-hop DJ that’s come through town has laid their hands on my gear.

With the CDJ, digital can be scratched. Digital doesn’t sound digital.

How does it do it?

It uses a 1-bit digital-to-analog converter and Legato Link Conversion, which Pioneer claims adds third- and fifth-order harmonics to the CD audio, extending the frequency response up to 40KHz (CD audio stops at 20KHz). The added frequency response is supposed to make CDs sound more like analog recordings.

Colby is a mainstay and workhorse. Resident nights include Comeback, Club POP, HotMess, Bang Bang, and Club Heaven.

See her soon:

Thursday, June 21 – Fascinator @ Neumos VIP room w/ Djs Freakazoid & Jack .

Friday, June 22 – Hot Bang! w/ Dirty Sanchez @ Chop Suey

Saturday, June 23 – 4 PM: girl 4 girl Pride Garden @Neumos. 10:30 PM: Club Lagoon

Sunday, June 24 – 3 PM: PRIDE Party @ Wild Rose

More CDJ-1000 Features:

Continue reading "Colby's Vinyl Mode" »

Well that was fast…

posted by on June 21 at 10:07 AM

Slim Moon — formerly of Kill Rock Stars and Nonesuch — has been appointed senior director of A&R and artist development for Rykodisc, which has just partnered with Warner Music Group’s digital imprint Corldess.


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Patti Smith Covers “Smells Like Teen Spirit”

posted by on June 20 at 7:29 PM

Video by Jem Cohen.

(News via punknews.org.)

Matthew Dear - Asa Breed

posted by on June 20 at 2:46 PM

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Ghostly International darling Matthew Dear’s newest full-length, Asa Breed has been out for a couple weeks now, but it’s just starting to sink in for me now what a great record it is. His last full-length under his own name (he also records minimal electronics under the names Jabberjaw and False and abrasive techno under the Audion alias), Leave Luck To Heaven was a major statement for the then nascent microhouse genre, and its surprise hit “Dog Days” (not to mention the equally stunning “It’s Over Now”) was a hint at greater pop possibilities, an aerobic yet sentimental fusion of vocal laptop pop and twitchy techno funk.

Since then, Dear’s released the fine stopgap EP Backstroke, which contained the single “Tide,” an even poppier, less dance-oriented track that featured lumbering bass guitar and commanding vocals over Dear’s usual granular rhythms. Dear also invented the Audion alias in the time between LPs as an outlet for his harsher instrumentals, and that release seems to have given him a renewed focus for his eponymous work.

Where Leave Luck to Heaven and Backstroke both exhibited a certain tension between pop sensibilities and more typically electronic tracks, Asa Breed is an unapologetic pop album, without any songs over the 4 1/2 minute mark (and most clocking in under 3 1/2) and without a single instrumental track. Which is not to say that Dear’s stopped paying attention to his production—the songs here are backed by some of his slickest and most engaging compositions yet, many of them relying more on vocal and acoustic samples than anything on his previous albums. But every track is driven by his rich, sometimes detached baritone and his alternately forlorn and darkly playful lyrics—Dave Gahan and Ian Curtis are not inappropriate comparisons, although Dear’s still a hair shy of their best songwriting.

Advance single “Deserter” evokes still-mourning early New Order with its robotic drumming, crystalline synths, and introspective lyrical longing. The bouncy micro pop of “Neighborhoods” and hollow r&b of “Elementary Lover” and “Don and Sherri” more closely resemble the vocal work from Leave Luck To Heaven. “Shy” recalls the ’80s gloss of San Serac. Spoken word Texas death trip “Vine to Vine” is a minor misstep. I’m still getting to know the album’s other tracks, but I’m becoming more fond of the record with each listen.

YMO reunite for Live Earth

posted by on June 20 at 1:58 PM

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The original line-up of seminal Japanese electronic trio Yellow Magic Orchestra is going to play a special Live Earth concert in Japan on July 7! Who wants to blow off Independence Day and visit Kyoto? Here’s the 411 from their US publicist:

Some groups do it for money, some groups do it when solo careers don’t pan out, and some do it because they can finally sit in the same room again. Other groups do it for a great cause. In this case original Yellow Magic Orchestra (YMO) members Haruomi Hosono, Yukihiro Takahashi, and Ryuichi Sakamoto have re-formed to help the Live Earth cause with a special performance from Kyoto, Japan on 7.7.07.

Live Earth Founder and Producer Kevin Wall joined with Tatsu Kitagawa, the principal of the Live Earth Japan office, at a press conference to announce the special Yellow Magic Orchestra reunion and complete artist lineup and ticketing information for Live Earth Japan. Wall announced that Japan is the only country hosting two events as part of the 24-hour, 7-continent Live Earth concert series to combat global warming. Makuhari Messe in Tokyo will host a daylong Live Earth Tokyo concert. A special broadcast event will be held at the To-ji Buddhist Temple in Kyoto later in the day.

Live Earth will begin in Sydney, Australia on July 7, 2007 and continue across all 7 continents with official concerts in Japan; Shanghai, China; Johannesburg, South Africa; London, United Kingdom; Hamburg, Germany; Istanbul, Turkey; and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, before concluding in New Jersey, United States.

Live Earth Tokyo will feature the following acts live on stage: AI, Ai Otsuka, Ayaka Cocco, Genki Rockets, Kumi Koda, Linkin Park, Rihanna Rize, and others to be announced at a later date.

In addition to Yellow Magic Orchestra, the special Kyoto event will also feature Michael Nyman, Rip Slyme, and others to be announced at a later date.

You Know It’s Summer When…

posted by on June 20 at 12:43 PM

A Camaro speeds past you blasting this song:

Or is that how you can tell it’s 1987? Either way. It happened to me this morning and now I’m pretty sure today is going to be the best day ever.

The Late Night Drive

posted by on June 20 at 12:25 PM

rockstar-energycola.jpgOne of the pitfalls of a touring band or DJ is the late night drive.

By the time you finish playing and packing up the van, car, or bus, it’s after 2 AM. There’s a long drive the next day to get to the next show, so you get on the road to knock a few hours off the trip.

After an hour or so, everyone falls asleep, and the driver is left to fend off sleep alone. The drowse heavily approaches. You put on a good cd, something with a beat.

You must stave off the nod off. Fight it. It’s a testy time, these lone wee hours – crack the energy drink and chug.

There’s Red Bull, Rock Star, Vortex, Venom, and Monster.

They tout things like ginseng, guarana, and taurine. What the hell is guarana?

Ms. Led prefers something called “Swarm.”

And here’s “Cocaine.”

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They said Cocaine, the energy drink, was “speed in a can” and “liquid cocaine.” But the FDA said, uh uh, and pulled it from the shelves.

On those late drives, how do you stay awake?

What is your energy drink of choice?

How do you fight off the gripping hand of sleep?

Isn’t Angus a Cow’s Name?

posted by on June 20 at 12:00 PM

After I posted my praise for Love Spit Love’s “Am I Wrong?” the other day, I mentioned the Angus soundtrack (which features said song). Someone left a comment saying, “The Angus soundtrack?” Well yes, the Angus soundtrack.

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I’m not sure if the comment was questioning my liking the Angus soundtrack, or just wondering what the hell the Angus soundtrack was, but let’s assume it’s the latter.

Now, I’m 27. As a teenager, I went to a lot of shows at RKCNDY, I listened to a lot of Bay Area pop punk, and I have been recently described as an “alterna-teen” (I took no offense, should I’ve?). When the movie Angus came out, I was 14 or 15; it was made for kids like me. If you can’t relate you probably a) have never even heard of the movie Angus (it was a flop, I think), or b) thought it was for all the retarded “alterna-teens” who’d line up outside of RKCNDY hours before the Mr. T Experience show (which it was and which I was).

It’s a story about a super smart fat kid and his scrawny, nerdy friend trying to survive the awfulness that is high school. They get bullied, beat up, laughed at, and shunned by the jocks and cheerleaders. There are tons of cliches, there’s a very predictable storyline, but I loved it. And why I loved it was mostly because of its soundtrack.

Check it:
1. J.A.R. (Jason Andrew Relva) - Green Day
2. Jack Names The Planets - Ash
3. Enough - Dance Hall Crashers
4. Kung Fu - Ash
5. Back To You - The Riverdales (Listen via screechingweasel.com)
6. Mrs. You And Me - Smoking Popes
7. You Gave Your Love To Me Softly - Weezer (Watch via youtube.com)
8. Ain’t That Unusual - Goo Goo Dolls
9. Funny Face - The Muffs
10. White Homes - Tilt
11. Deep Water - Pansy Division
12. Am I Wrong - Love Spit Love

Yeah, there are a few bummer tracks (not the best Smoking Popes tune, for example), but man… Ash? Pansy Division? One of my favorite Green Day songs that wasn’t on any other record at the time? One of the best Weezer B-sides? And, of course, that great Love Spit Love song that doesn’t make sense? Yes, please! Even to this day, I still get happy when I listen to it (haven’t seen the movie for years, however, so I can’t say it’s held up as well). The soundtrack is available used and new at amazon.com starting at $0.32. Buy it, get nostolgic. It’ll be the best quarter, nickel, and two pennies you’ll spend all year.

(Speaking of good soundtracks from 1995, see also: Mallrats.)

The Cave Singers Interview

posted by on June 20 at 11:36 AM

Tonight at Neumos, The Cave Singers with B.C.’s Lightning Dust (Amber and Josh from Black Mountain)…. Don’t know the Cave Singers? Newly signed to Matador and featuring ex-Pretty Girls Make Graves (and Murder City Devils) bassist Derek Fudesco and ex-Hint Hint singer Pete Quirk? Check the video interview, with beer drinking and a living room acoustic set….

The Faster You Go Deaf, The More Time You Have To Read

posted by on June 20 at 11:12 AM

Our show in SF tomorrow got canceled and we’re scrambling to find new bands and a new place to play. The headliners dropped off, leading the promoter to cancel the show— and even though we wanted to just play the venue anyway, the promoter was super weird about it and now we’re just sitting on our asses waiting to hear back from other friends’ bands. Last night half the band went to check out Dan Deacon at the Bottom of the Hill while the rest of us went to the Bloom Saloon where we met an extremely drunk man who bought us round after round of drinks. He said many amazing things, but upon learning that we were a band on tour he said, “Put me on the list, I’ll bring a bunch of big-tittied bitches and tell them you’re so fucking famous that they gotta do anal.”

This was before he bought us all martini’s and proceeded to get even more plastered.

We’ve had a lot of downtime on this tour, it’s basically been one day on and then one day off. So, we’ve had a lot of time to read on the long drives and our days off. Here’s some of what we’re reading, what we’ve brought, and what we’ve bought to be consumed on the road:

The Road by Cormac McCarthy
The Psychic Soviet by Ian Svenonius
The Maltese Falcon by Dashielle Hammett
The High Window by Raymond Chandler
Curses by Kevin Huizenega
The Invisibles: Apocalipstick by Grant Morrison
Vampires and Other Restless Creatures of the Night by Jean Marigny
Hainish Novels by Ursula K. Le Guin
Kafka on the Shore by Huraki Murakami
Cometbus #48-49 by Aaron Cometbus
Palm Sunday by Kurt Vonnegut
The Path to the Spiders’ Nest by Italo Calvino

It’s Okay to Release Your PWRFL POWER. It Feels Good.

posted by on June 20 at 10:00 AM

This is Kazutaka “Kaz” Nomura and he is PWRFL POWER.

pwrflpower.jpg

Last weekend, Kaz, who moved to Seattle from Japan in 2003, wowed a panel of judges at the Block Star showcase at Vera and snagged himself a slot on the mainstage at this year’s Capitol Hill Block Party by talking about the life cycle of butterflies and drinking heavily for months on end in a way that only Kaz can, with fearless honesty and awkward and endearing charm.

Strapped with an acoustic guitar, PWRFL POWER sings songs about unrequited crushes, going to Heaven, and being yourself. A fan favorite is the quirky and bitter “Tomato Song,” with the lyrics “If I smoke too much pot, you will call me a stoner/If I hit too many lines, you will call me a cokehead/If I like you too much, you’ll call me mental/I wanna throw a tomato at you/I wanna throw a tomato at you/Tomato juice all over your face/Juice, dripping on the ground.” Then he wishes the tomato could be an apple because then it would hurt, he says, the apple is harder.

One of his competitors that evening didn’t mind a bit when he learned that he lost to Kaz, saying “The dude is a complete genius. He’s hilarious. I’m stoked he won, I can’t wait to see him at the Block party.” That why PWRFL POWER is this week’s Band of the Week—it seems everyone is stoked that he won, the fans, the judges, even those who lost to him.

To hear some PWRFL POWER songs, click here and visit his Stranger Bands Page. He’s schedule to play the mainstage at the Capitol Hill Block Party on Saturday, June July 28 at 2 pm.

Ships set sail

posted by on June 20 at 9:53 AM

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Jacob James’ new trio Ships made their debut last night (“our first show everrrrrrrrrrrrr”) at Chop Suey, opening for Saturna and the Boggs. Whether you know James as a member of the Lashes, or a solo singer-songwriter, Ships’ sound still comes as a bit of a pleasant surprise. To reduce it rock critic clichés: Keening vocals, atmospheric guitar FX, and epic songs (“They make a lot of noise for a three-piece,” noted Shane Jamison, soon-to-be-formerly-of-The Divorce). But the drama is in the music; James’ onstage demeanor is sweet and funny. Bonus: Sean Nelson joined them onstage for a Stone Roses cover, gracefully harmonizing along with James through what appeared to be an unplanned key change. Best part? Ships have a hammer dulcimer. As an integral part of their sound, i.e. the line-up: drums, guitar & vocals, and bass & hammer dulcimer. Spooky and cool. (Way cooler than that illustration implies; my photos came out too dark to post.) Keep an eye peeled for news of their next gig.

Rock ‘N’ Roll Olympics, Episode 4: Architecture in Helsinki vs. Each Other

posted by on June 20 at 9:42 AM

Get a load of this Rock ‘N’ Roll Olympics: Architecture in Helsinki play “imaginary dance” with each other, and someone walks away with a pretty picture. Those Aussies are so weird…

Check out all the other Rock ‘N’ Roll Olympics, and all of our other videos, at our Video Page.

“Big Girls You Are Beautiful”

posted by on June 20 at 8:38 AM

Someone needs to let Beth Ditto know that there’s one skinny faggot pop star out there that loves big girls.

I guess the message this rail-thin closet case wants to send the ladies is, um, don’t order the Diet Coke because, like, big girls are all hot and shit. Hell, the more bigger the more hotter. But when asked to name a couple of big girls he liked, Mika could only point to his mom and his “auntie.”

Via Towleroad.


Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Coalesce’s Comeback

posted by on June 19 at 1:48 PM

Via Punknews.org:

Influential hardcore act Coalesce has announced plans for a new recording and a new tour set to kick off in August. Frontman Sean Ingram send us a note about the tour: “Instead of looking at coalesce as a second career or some ego-stroking project to prove something within modern music, it is being held closely and personally by the members as their time to put aside familial duties, work, school, or whatnot, and simply “do it.” In short, we just want to hang out together again and play our shows out of a peculiar love for doing so (in all it’s ugly purity).

“Please let us make it very clear that this is not a ‘reunion’ tour in any way shape or form. Since it’s simply the nature of Coalesce to come and go as it pleases, terms like “reunion” make no sense when applied to it.”

The band plans to release a new 7-inch and DVD, and they’re also going to re-press There Is Nothing New Under the Sun. As for touring, they’ve only got a handful of East Coast dates with Daughters for now.

My favorite post-Coalesce project? Reggie and the Full Effect is fun, but it’s gotta bet the Casket Lottery. Definitely the Casket Lottery.

Neumo’s to Book Chop Suey

posted by on June 19 at 12:05 PM

The entirety of a just-arrived press release:

Chop Suey is proud to announce that, in addition to booking for Neumo’s, Steven Severin and Jason Lajeunesse will take on our national booking. Kris Kierulff will continue booking all local shows.

That’s the news. Here’s the editorial.

WTF? This announcement reveals the bullshit that Chop Suey has been flinging at the press for the past two weeks, since the dismissal of Colin Johnson as booker. I have a hard time believing this arrangement wasn’t in the works before Johnson was fired; the potentially bullshit “bottom-line” rationale, as well as the certifiably bullshit “community relevance” rationale were stall tactics.

The move itself is also not good. I support Severin and think he does great work at Neumo’s. But the last thing Capitol Hill needs—the last thing Seattle needs, in fact—is more consolidation. Johnson brought bands and DJs and booked events that Severin wouldn’t or couldn’t, period. They were different and edgy as well as highly successful. Now those events are gonna happen at Nectar while Chop Suey becomes Neumo’s Jr.

There aren’t enough quality venues in this town to afford this kind of reacharound. Variety makes for a healthy scene. Consolidation makes for fewer people making more money.

Hopefully Severin et al will prove me wrong and continue with the killer electro/hiphop/indie stuff that Johnson worked so well at Chop Suey, maintaining its own unique vibe, while continuing to do what they do well at Neumo’s.

Four Dudes on a 90-Degree Day

posted by on June 19 at 11:33 AM

0613071304-00.jpg

Wednesday, June 13—Los Angeles

The four of us—Jumbo, Vurs, Shines, and myself—were just stuck in a 28-square foot elevator for 20 minutes. Not a good look for four dudes on a 90-degree day. The show must go on and right now they’re recording a segment for NPR at the host’s apartment. Upon entering the kitchen I discovered an interesting concert poster of a Digable Planets show at DV8 way back in February 1995, less than six months after the release of the group’s second album Blowout Comb. And here’s a fact most people don’t know: Frontman Ishmael “Butterfly” Butler hails from Seattle’s Garfield High School.

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The Four-Band Bill

posted by on June 19 at 10:53 AM

04_oscar.jpgIs it too much?

Are four bands in one night at one club too much?

With that fourth band, yes, it’s one more band bringing people out. And venues need to make money. More bands, more draw.

But dealing with three set changes and four drum sets? Epic hassle, in a dark, crowded club. The key is sharing drums. But does that happen much?

Having an acoustic opener or a DJ is different too. Sometimes, though, acoustic bands and DJs don’t match well with certain bills.

With four bands, it seems on some occasions, more time is spent on set changes than on the bands actually playing. And on the four-band bill, that first band has to start at what, 9:00 pm?

As a club owner, I’d be for the four-band bill. As a soundman or a musician, I’m not for it. As a show goer, I’m indifferent somewhat.

Broken Social Scenester Kevin Drew

posted by on June 19 at 10:30 AM

spritif.jpg

Kevin Drew - Tbtf

“Broken Social Scene Presents Kevin Drew, Spirit If…” isn’t the most wieldy title ever, but it’s at least more self-explanatory than lead single “Tbtf.” Still, some explanation: Spirit If… is the first in a series of Broken Social Scene LPs written by individual Social Scenesters (Brendan Canning is slated for the next album in the series). Arts & Crafts will release the album September 18th, and Broken Social Scene will perform the new material at select dates this summer.

Broken Social Scene presents: Kevin Drew, “Spirit If…”

1. Farewell To The Pressure Kids
2. Tbtf
3. F-ked Up Kid
4. Safety Bricks
5. Lucky Ones
6. Broke Me Up
7. Gangbang Suicide
8. Frightening Lives
9. Underneath The Skin
10. Big Love
11. Back Out On The…
12. Aging Faces / Losing Places
13. Bodhi Sappy Weekend
14. When It Begins

One live concert date has officially been confirmed.

Broken Social Scene performs Kevin Drew’s Spirit If…
Wednesday August 29, 2007
McCarren Pool Park in Brooklyn
supporting Feist

More to be announced soon.


Monday, June 18, 2007

The mysterious Virna Lindt returns

posted by on June 18 at 3:49 PM

I love women who can’t sing. I don’t mean the mute, or the tone-deaf, but the type of artist the French politely call a diseuse, i.e. a performer who recites lyrics over music, rather than flat out singing (although when they sing, it is flat). Vocalists who do not even attempt to carry a tune – even when it may be as close as the piano accompaniment – because it is just too cumbersome, and, really a girl can’t be expected to hold anything heavier than a cocktail in these shoes.

Terry has written before about my very favorite diseuse, Cristina. But in the madcap ’80s, Ms. Monet Zilkha was but one of a clutch of like-minded dramatic dames who cut sought-after albums. Not long ago, LTM Recordings reissued the work of Hermine, a former tightrope aerialist and colleague of The Flying Lizards. Now they continue delving into this dubious tradition with expanded editions of the work of Swedish oddball Virna Lindt.

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Lindt recorded two albums, Shiver (1983) and Play/Record (1985), for the Compact Organization. Like New York’s ZE label, Compact was all about mixing sophistication and kitsch (their best-known artist was Northern soul torch singer and beehive model Mari Wilson). And Virna Lindt epitomized that mix. Her songs are ripe with allusions to international espionage and Bergman films, her vocals whispered atop backing tracks of cool jazz, sound collage, and vintage soundtrack gestures. If you are the sort of music lover who can name every Bond girl, this is the stuff for you.

LTM is also rolling out a remastered edition of the compilation A Young Person’s Guide to Compact, featuring the non-LP Lindt singles “Model Agent” and “Young & Hip,” as well as ditties by Wilson, Tot Taylor (who wrote and produced with Lindt), Shake/Shake, and others. All three of these releases hit stores on August 20. Something to sing about? Hardly. And that’s the beauty of it.

In Other Punked News

posted by on June 18 at 1:59 PM

Kill Rock Stars founder Slim Moon has lost his job at Nonesuch/Warner. Moon left KRS to take the major-label job last Fall.

Punked Planet

posted by on June 18 at 1:50 PM

Long-running punk music and politics fanzine-turned-real ‘zine, Punk Planet, is going out of business due to distributor bankruptcy. From the magazine’s website (emphasis added):

Dear Friends,

As much as it breaks our hearts to write these words, the final issue of Punk Planet is in the post, possibly heading toward you right now. Over the last 80 issues and 13 years, we’ve covered every aspect of the financially independent, emotionally autonomous, free culture we refer to as “the underground.” In that time we’ve sounded many alarms from our editorial offices: about threats of co-optation, big-media emulation, and unseen corporate sponsorship. We’ve also done everything in our power to create a support network for independent media, experiment with revenue streams, and correct the distribution issues that have increasingly plagued independent magazines. But now we’ve come to the impossible decision to stop printing, having sounded all the alarms and reenvisioned all the systems we can. Benefit shows are no longer enough to make up for bad distribution deals, disappearing advertisers, and a decreasing audience of subscribers.

As to the latter two points, we could blame the Internet. It makes editorial content—and bands—easy to find, for free. (We’re sure our fellow indie labels, those still standing, can attest to the difficulties created in the last few years). We can blame educational and media systems that value magazines focused on consumerism over engaged dissent. And we can blame the popular but mistaken belief that punk died several years ago.

But it is also true that great things end, and the best things end far too quickly.

As to bad distribution deals, we must acknowledge that the financial hit we took in October of 2005, when our newsstand distributor announced that it was in dire straits, was worse than we originally thought. As the dust began to clear from their January bankruptcy announcement, we began to realize that the magazine was left in significantly worse shape, distribution-wise, than they let on.

Add to that the stagnation that the independent record world is suffering under and the effect that has had on our ad sales, not to mention the loss of independent bookstores with a vested interest in selling our publication, and it all adds up to a desperate situation. This has been made far worse by the exhaustion felt from a year and a half of fighting our own distributor. It was a situation that didn’t have an exit strategy other then, well, exiting.

The books line will continue to publish, and the website will continue to be a social networking site for independently minded folk; Dan will be staying with both, but Anne will be moving on, only blogging occasionally at punkplanet.com while she pursues other interests. All further inquiries about the magazine should be addressed to theend@punkplanet.com.

There probably isn’t much else to say that we haven’t already said in PP80—in articles about new activist projects, SXSW, the demise of the IPA, and transgender media, and in interviews with the G7 Welcoming Committee, Andre Schiffrin, and The Steinways. Read it, enjoy it, and find in it enough inspiration to last until we come back in some other form, at some other time, renewed and ready to make another outstanding mark on the world.

Press Release Headline of the Day

posted by on June 18 at 1:21 PM

Hilary Duff Brings Dignity to Everett

It’s Not Mark Wahlberg in Leather Pants

posted by on June 18 at 12:31 PM

It’s better! It’s Pete Townsend in the tightest white pants ever!

Last night, thanks to a gnarly allergy attack and a lot of Benadryl, I was stuck on the couch drifting in and out of sleep. KBTC, was showing the Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus with Marianne Faithful, John Lennon, the Who, and of course the Rolling Stones, and as you may or may not already know, it’s way better than Rockstar. (Well, almost. The whole Lennon/Clapton jam session would’ve been so awesome if it weren’t for Yoko’s drunk/tortured/dying bird shrieking. I’ve never really understood Yoko. Sorry, Ari.)

Besides that, though, there are just so many awesome things going on during the whole concert (especially when half sleeping and half awake and the concert becomes a part of a dream that involves being lost on a cruise ship and weird robots), which made me wonder, why doesn’t shit like this happen anymore? Why doesn’t someone like, I dunno, Thom Yorke or someone everyone in the music world respects on some level, throw together a bunch of amazing musicians and host a rock and roll circus of their own, where everyone gets to just rock out and jam and just fucking rule?

It kept being interrupted by the station’s pledge drive ($60 got you a CD, $90 got you the DVD, and $125 got you both), so I eventually opted to watch Borat and add the Rock and Roll Circus to my Netflix queue. Anyway. I dunno. Maybe there’s still Bendadryl in my system that’s making me loopy, but I really think someone needs to work a circus of their own. I’ll even help, I can bring the ponchos and floppy hats.

We cannot let it turn into what Woodstock 1994 was to Woodstock 1969, however. That means Red Hot Chili Peppers, you’re out. Sorry.

Sónar 1987 2007: I Believe in the Rave

posted by on June 18 at 10:40 AM

(Day 1 recap here. Day 2 here.)

İyi akşamlar from Istanbul. I’ve finally rested and recovered from Sónar and reluctantly fled Barcelona, and here are some final thoughts.

Every year, Sónar co-founder Sergio Caballero puts together a bespoke visual theme which sets the tone for the event just perfectly. My favorite so far is his work for 2001, a subtle jab at the pathetically optimistic political slogan “España va bien!” Look closely:

sonar01image.jpg


More after the jump.

Continue reading "Sónar 1987 2007: I Believe in the Rave" »

I Totally Called It

posted by on June 18 at 10:39 AM

I promise, I had no influence on the outcome, but hooray for PWRFL Power, the First Block Star Winner!

From the press release:

Friday June 15 was the first annual Capitol Hill Block Party “Block Star” band contest. 8 judges listened to 8 bands perform 2 songs each. Close to 300 people came through Seattle’s Vera Project to support their favorite bands. The 8 finalists raised the bar for the normal band contest and Seattle is definitely blessed with a great group of bands doing an incredible variety of music. This night featured everything from nerd-core hip hop to stoner rock to power pop. But one performer really stood out - PWRFL Power, and he is the 2007 Block Star winner. PWRFL Power is fresh. Weird. Charming. He performs intimate, sweet bizarre songs mixed with great acoustic guitar work.

PWRFL Power moved to Seattle from Japan in 2003, and he’s a very special musician. He took the stage with just his acoustic guitar, and by the middle of his second song he had won over the entire audience. I fully recommend you get to The Block Party by 2pm on July 28 to catch PWRFL Power perform on the mainstage. In the meantime, check him out at his Band Page , though the only way to really get him is to see him live.

Yay for Kaz!


Sunday, June 17, 2007

“I love live music, dude!”

posted by on June 17 at 10:50 AM

I really expected the Crocodile to feel like Seattle circa 1995 Friday night. That’s what I wanted to see, at least. I wanted to be surrounded by washed up grungers, dudes with shoulder length hair and oversized band t-shirts layered over thermals with holes in the elbows. What I got, though, was Bellevue circa 2002.

Really, the first of three Sweet Water reunion shows was one of the most bizarre shows I have ever been too. The band sounded fantastic, but the crowd was a complete anomaly. Where did these people come from? How the fuck do they even know who Sweet Water are?

No one in the room had an empty hand; everyone was nursing a beer the whole night. No mixed drinks, no shots of anything. It was beer, beer, beer, and more beer. All the dudes were wearing button up shirts, the majority of them tucked in even. The others were either neatly starched or at least recently pressed. There was a lot of hair gel, and even more cologne. These were the kinds of dudes I dodge on First Ave on a Saturday night when I’m stuck searching for the last 18 bus home. These are the dudes who wear pooka shell necklaces, rock Dave Matthews and/or Coldplay, and go to about three concerts a year. There wasn’t a single band shirt in the crowd, so far as I could tell. Not a single one. How can you go to a rock show and not see someone wearing some other band’s T-shirt?

Continue reading ""I love live music, dude!"" »

Nobody Died

posted by on June 17 at 1:10 AM

You never expect to get into an accident. We were pulling off the highway, making a pit stop in Eugene, OR (perhaps our first mistake?) when from the rear seat Benji yelled out, “LUCAS!”

Lucas slammed on the brakes just as we collided with the station wagon in front of us. We pulled over and exchanged information with the station wagon’s owner, and thankfully no one seriously hurt— just strained nerves. The station wagon’s owner was affable as we made our respective calls to insurance providers. Neither car suffered any serious damage aside from crunched bumpers but we stopped at a dealership to double check and re-bend a bent fan blade back into place.

Despite our near disaster, we’re in good spirits. Last night’s show in Portland couldn’t have gone better. It was a beautiful evening in SE Portland and the sun was just starting to go down as Bow+Arrow started their set outside of Food Fight Vegan Grocery. We spent some time fixing random equipment problems as Benji is on his sixth kick-drum pedal and somehow Jay lost the nuts that held the input jacks in his 4x12 cabinet from falling into the cabinet itself. A couple nails here, some nuts stolen from an unused guitar pedal there, and things are mostly all right (jokes about missing nuts notwithstanding). We’ve spotted a number of Seattle ex-pats in Portland and have generally enjoyed the various amenities of our southern neighbor. Our hosts at Food Fight hooked us up with cupcakes, food, and a better pay-out than we could expect at any club we could’ve hoped to play.

After the show I split off from the rest of the boys to meet up with my sister and errant Stranger freelancer Scott Goodwin at the Alibi, a garish tiki-styled bar infamous for its midnight buffet and karaoke seven days a week. The KJ at the Alibi was the pithiest and warmest host I’ve ever had the pleasure of singing for and all the drunks that followed my heartfelt rendition of “Born to Run” were flat out amazing. Big kudos to the blonde who sang “Xanadu” with all the clarity of Olivia Newton-John and the young lady whose fierce rendition of “Mother” made my night.

*A correction to my earlier post regarding the irate naked roommate in Olympia. Apparently the $170 million (hundred) she was referring to wasn’t about rent, but about a male escort named Roman she hired that charged $170/hour to keep her company. My apologies to Roman and the drunken young lady who hired him.