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Archives for 07/01/2007 - 07/07/2007

Saturday, July 7, 2007

For Trent… Because I Do Like to Party

posted by on July 7 at 3:34 PM

Get Off the Hill and Dance

posted by on July 7 at 12:25 PM

Capitol Hill ain’t the only neighborhood with some ass-shakin’ action. Did I just say “ass-shakin’ action”? I did.

Tonight, Solo, a new-ish and swanky but still comfy bar on Queen Anne (200 Roy St), hosts their monthly night called Rock and Roll High School from 9 pm to 2 am. DJs Kingblind, Teenage Rampage and El Toro (KEXP, and uh… The Stranger), will spin “the best in rock ‘n’ roll, punk, glam, garage, pop, and new wave.”

I don’t usually do the dance night/DJ thing, but even that sounds fun to me. Solo has a cool, laid back vibe, and they made me a really tasty Shirley Temple once. Tonight I wanna hear old Bowie, some Refused, and someone better rock some Misfits (for Ari, of course).

Best of all, it’s totally free.

(And if that doesn’t do you for it, check out this week’s Setlist to hear local bands and find out what else is going on around town this weekend. And if you’re lucky, you’ll win tickets to the Capitol Hill Block Party.)

Bands and Fans of Bands and How They Go Together… Or Maybe They Don’t?

posted by on July 7 at 11:58 AM

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Could you love the same band as this guy?

A comment in the Red Hot Chili Peppers vs. Celine Dion post got me thinking.

“E” wrote:

Megan, I really get bothered when you point out that a certain social group likes a certain artist, and then you conclude that the artist sucks because that social group sucks (or you just point it out to try and be funny). In this case it’s frat guys… Yes, many frat guys listen to RHCP, and many frat guys suck, but who cares? Celine Dion is worshipped by the very people who reared many of those frat guys (suburban Moms and Dads who are tools), so your argument is whack.

It’s also more productive (and less mean) to talk about the MUSIC, instead of who you think is listening to it, especially when you want to pose a question like this.

Touché. Kind of. I partially agree with E’s point. While he/she is right that it’s most important to consider the music when drawing a conclusion about an artist (and I promise I hate the RHCP’s music more than Celine Dion’s, believe it or not [although I don’t listen to either of them on purpose]), I also think that a band’s fanbase does have an effect on the overall reputation and experience of the artist. Therefore, it is also worthy of consideration. Fans can be just as much a part of the overall experience as the music itself, especially in the live setting. A band can’t control who loves or hates them, but unfortunately for them, I suppose, who you’re surrounded by when seeing Radiohead at the White River Amphitheater can make or break the show for you just as easily as if Thom Yorke lost his voice that night.

Right?

Continue reading "Bands and Fans of Bands and How They Go Together... Or Maybe They Don’t?" »

“You Party?”

posted by on July 7 at 10:47 AM

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When I drive, I listen to the radio. Sometimes I scan. Sometimes, the scan lands on a bad song or a song not fitting the mood.

I just pulled up to a stoplight, with the windows down, cranking Sarah Mclachlan. A truck pulled up next to me with its windows down. There were two men in the truck, big men. With cowboy hats on. Maybe in town for the Kenny Chesney show at Qwest field.

They looked at me dismissively. Like, “That’s all you got, boy?” One of them spat. A perfect stream of spit, manly, succinct and dominant, that told me I was the lesser male.

I hit scan, in attempt to redeem, hoping it would land on some sort of Metallica.

It landed on Pink’s “Get This Party Started.”

The man spat again, and was disgusted. I turned it up. He scoffed.

I felt like I had to say something. So I asked him, “You party? Cause I can squat thrust 835 pounds.”

He said nothing, and looked away, somewhat confused. The light turned green. We pulled off. I had won. I tried to spit, but it blew back through the window and landed all over my face. Hopefully, he didn’t see.

Bands of the Day: Dyme Def and the Intelligence… Let’s Battle!

posted by on July 7 at 10:00 AM

Who do you think would win in a fight?

Dyme Def or the Intelligence?

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Yeah, my money’s on Dyme Def too. Even with Intelligence’s extra dude. The guy in the glasses looks ready to throw down, but Mr. Green Jacket on the end looks a little unsure… Yeah, I’m pretty sure Dyme Def would destroy.

Musically, though, it’s a tougher call. Where you Block Partiers will be Friday night at 9 pm is just going to depend on what you like. Are you up for some tough as fuck hiphop or would you rather dance and groove to weird surfy and sloppy punk? If you’re up for the latter, head to Neumo’s. If you’d rather get a little drrrty (“Show me how you move, girl!”) then get yer ass to the Vera stage. It’s a win/win, no matter where you land, really. Assuming, of course, you don’t get too drunk too soon and end up on the floor of the Comet’s bathroom in a puddle of your own vomit. Ew.

(The rest of the Block Party schedule is available here.)


Friday, July 6, 2007

This Week’s Setlist

posted by on July 6 at 4:23 PM

It’s up and waiting for you.

Click here, hear music, and win tickets to the Capitol Hill Block Party.

This week’s playlist goes like this:

Half Acre Day-“Dead Man’s Hill”
Biography of Ferns- “The Charmer”
Last Slice of Butter-“Lumberjack”
Novy Mir-“What the Hell’s Going On”
Patience Please-“Unpublished”
Tea Cozies-“Stir the Cup”
In Caves-“Tomato”
1-2-1-2-“Firm Eye Flex”
Black Bear-“In the Arboretum”

Sweet, right? Ari and I are here to take care of you.

Listen! And did I mention you can win tickets to the Block Party?

The Black Lips! This Sunday!

posted by on July 6 at 4:07 PM

I dunno why I haven’t seen a single mention of this in-store ANYWHERE, but the m*therf*cking Black Lips are here this weekend. They’re playing at the Queen Anne Easy Street at 3 pm - this Sunday the 8th - and live on on KEXP, Monday the 9th at 9:30 am. If you’re lucky, one of them might even puke on you.

Also, if you haven’t checked out the Los Valientes live album yet you should. I mean it. The girl masturbating on the floor at the 29 second mark of this video means it too.

The Best Song Ever (This Week) is a NOFX Song. Yeah. Seriously. A NOFX song.

posted by on July 6 at 3:42 PM

And it’s called “We Threw Gasoline on the Fire and Now We Have Stumps for Arms and No Eyebrows.”

It was originally on the Epitaph comp Punk-O-Rama III, and more recently it was also included on a two-disc collection of NOFX extras called 45 or 46 Songs That Weren’t Good Enough to Go on Our Other Records.

I can’t find an MP3 or video to link to, so you’ll have to hop on Soulseek, Napster, Limewire, or whatever you kids use to steal music, but first let me tell you about what you can expect.

It’s just a NOFX song. It’s not going to stop global warming (if such a thing even exists), and it’s not going to apologize for the Holocaust (if such a thing even happened… Oh come on, I’m kidding!), it’s just a really fucking fast and whiny passionate punk rock song from the ’90s that’s remembering how great things felt before punk rock turned into a business and a trend (by a band who was around for the before and the after).

All it takes for me to appreciate this song is to concentrate on the blistering drumming and the pissed off lyrics. I know it ain’t genuis poetry, but at least it’s honest.

Remember the good old days
Remember the sound
Remember the sweet mustiness underground
No, I don’t feel the need for relivin’
Some things are better off dead


The words work so well with the energy of the song. I know NOFX is more of a joke than I’m admitting here. Hell, they’d claim that as quickly as you would, but a) I like them despite that and b) this song is loaded with an urgency that their goofier material never came close to possessing. It’s about a dying scene, a dead friend (Tim Yohannan of Maximum Rock N’Roll, I assume), and the fight to never forget the past while still trying to stay relevant to the future. And if any band knows about that battle, it’s NOFX. And I think they capture that really well in under three-minutes.

Weird to take a NOFX song that seriously, right? I think so too.

(If you can’t find it and want to hear it, e-mail me. I’ll send it to you. Just don’t tell the authorities.)

My Take On Battles

posted by on July 6 at 3:23 PM

Battles @ The Crocodile, Seattle, WA, 7/5/2007

I wasn’t planning to recap Battles, but since I was called on it, here ya go. My mind wasn’t blown. I’m not saying they aren’t good (they are), and I can’t say I didn’t enjoy their output (I did), but it just didn’t hit me as hard as it apparently did everyone else (except for that chest-crushing encore - holy shit). I felt like I was seeing a very good band, not the Future of Music. They didn’t do anything wrong, I was thoroughly impressed by the drummer, who was completely soaked with sweat by the end, and the usage of guitars as MIDI controllers was inspired. But at the end of the night, it was another night, another band, not OMFG!!!!BESTBANDEVAR!!!!!1!!!. Perhaps my mind can only be blown once in a week, and that was already done by Melt Banana on Tuesday.

For Those About to Schlock…

posted by on July 6 at 3:12 PM

Megan’s post yesterday polling the relative suckiness of Celine Dion versus the Red Hot Chili Peppers (My personal take? Dave Navarro was with the Chili Peppers for an album. The slightest contact with Dave Navarro instantly drains the victim of any past, present, and future claim to righteousness. No saving throw allowed.) brought to light the below video of Celine covering “You Shook Me All Night Long” (provided by Jason Josephes of the (Most Reverend) Blue Moon Tavern).

Wow. I love how Celine stilts around in her six-inch stilletos like a weird Jim Henson creation that has rods controlling its arms and legs. And those hip thrusts? Yikes.

Turns out Celine isn’t the only chanteuse covering AC/DC to give herself a bit of the ol Rock-n-Roll cred. Here’s Shania Twain doing a countrified version of the same song.

I don’t know how many cred points you get, however, when you have to clean up the line “(S)he told me to come, but I was already there” for your audience. The slide guitar take on the solo is kind of nice, though.

The winner, however, is Columbia’s Shakira for her jaw-dropping version of “Back in Black”. It starts off as a slow-burn lounge take on the old standard, then kicks into a bump-and-grind that would shame a Deja Vu pole-dancer. Wipe that thing off when you’re done, Shakira!

Nice ass, though.

Thank god they didn’t touch any of Bon’s songs.

Band of the Day: Siberian

posted by on July 6 at 2:23 PM

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No I’m not lazy, I just really can’t write about Siberian without sounding like a prepubescent girl with a starry-eyed crush. So instead of making you read through a maze of adjectives like “lush and gorgeous,” “heart-warming,” and “swoon-worthy,” just click here and visit the band’s website. The music will start playing automatically, and your heart will start flying around the room soon thereafter. Especially once the harmonies hit in “Paper Birds” hit. And the guitar and drumming in “Airship” are especially nice too, so listen to that song while you’re there.

And just so you know, those songs are just demos. Siberian’s debut release, Oh Celestial! (on Sonic Boom Recordings), is available in stores now. It is “lush and gorgeous,” “heart-warming,” and “swoon-worthy.”

Oh, Siberian…

They play the Block Party Friday at 3:30 pm on the Neumo’s stage.

(Look who else has been a Capitol Hill Block Party Band(s) of the Day: Blood Brothers, PWRFL Power and Team Gina, the Whore Moans, Gabriel Teodros and John Vanderslice, and Sunday Night Blackout.)

RE: Battles, FCS North @ The Crocodile

posted by on July 6 at 1:50 PM

FUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now that that’s out of the way, unpaid intern music section demi-god Jeff Kirby did a pretty good job here of geeking out on Battle’s sweaty pedals (the Suessian phrase “sweaty pedal Battle” comes to mind), as did CHristopher Hong here (where’s your recap, Donte?), so I’ll just add a few notes about last night’s sold-out show at the Crocodile:

I’ve decided that you can tell how serious a guitar player is by how high they hoist their axe. The guys in Battles were all practically playing in their armpits. Serious.

The simultaneous playing of guitar and keyboard Kirby mentioned is indeed an impressive feat, and it’s one that Ian Williams and Tyondai Braxton pull off in more songs than just the joyously bouncing anthem “Atlas.” But the coolest thing about it is the look of total calm on their faces while pulling this off—finger tapping guitar with one hand and playing keys with the other—no big deal, right?

John Stainer’s cymbal is perched six, maybe seven feet up in the air on its stand. Another critic observed that they plant that thing on stage like a flag, and that seems about right. In a way, this positioning seems to be a reminder to not overuse the cymbal—Stainer only reached up and hit it when it was absolutely called for—in another way, it seemed like just a fun demonstration of dude’s athletic reach. In any case, when he stood up to sound it at the end of “Atlas,” it was a fine finish.

Andy Sells of openers FCS North observed that Battles is clearly a band that is just playing for themselves, and if it pleases the crowd, that’s fine. You get the impression that this is exactly how they play at a practice session, and that it’s exactly how they’d play in front of five people or 5,000. (This vibe was apparently infectious—FCS North, lately adhering to some pretty tight electro grooves, seemed to open up their playing to allow for little improvisations and musical goofs; they were clearly having a good time).

There was a lot of discussion last night about whether or not Battles constitute a dreaded “jam band,” and how exactly that differs from “math rock” anyway. A friend suggested that math rock is what rock musicians make when they get good enough to be bored by indie rock but not good enough to play jazz. (This would make jam bands, what, hippies that are too good to play reggae but not good enough for jazz?) I think this conception places a little too much mythic importance on the jazz man and assumes some pretty defined limits to what can be achieved in rock, but whatever. I think two things, at the very least, keep Battles from falling into the jam band pit: One, they play with entirely too much gnarly snarl, and two, I get the feeling that jam bands noodle and fuck around and then converge on big, hooky parts, but Battles seem more prone to divergence—their most brilliant moments occur when they unravel their grooves and fall apart. This could all be totally wrong—what I know about jazz and jam bands could fit in a dime bag.

Battles is a musician’s band for sure. Pretty much everyone I knew in the crowd last night was a musician—aspiring or otherwise. The audience included members of Kinski, Minus the Bear, These Arms are Snakes, the Divorce, as well as DJ/producers NAHA, Scratch Master Joe, and Scientific American. And I wouldn’t be surprised if everyone else there was a musician of some stripe, too. School was in session; Professor Battles was at the lectern.

RE: Battles, FCS North, Teeth + Hair @ The Croc

posted by on July 6 at 1:23 PM

Battles’ performance at the Croc last night was absolutely monumental. I’ll agree with Jeff, my mind was blown. It was the first time in recent memory that I’ve been to a show that packed at the Crocodile; a crowd that was densely populated with members of local bands like These Arms Are Snakes, Minus the Bear, Joules, Whalebones, et al. The absolute virtuosity Battles displayed was simultaeneously inspiring and crushing.

Early in the evening I joked with Grandy that after Battles’ performance we may see a lot less active bands— I mean you and I can strive to write challenging and intricate music but we won’t be Battles. I can imagine ambitions melting in the face of Battles’ monolithic talent, in the same way I know a few young jazz pianists who abandoned playing after witnessing the fleet fingers of Brad Mehldau. It should also be remarked that in addition to being a dynamo of sweat and drums, John Stanier had placed a splash cymbal at a comically high position above the heads of the standing members of the band. I’m not a Helmet scholar, is this just something he does?

My favorite parts of Battles’ set were the selections from the B EP which is the album that got me into the band. Songs like “S Z 2,” benefited from the momentum of playing live, tightening the expansive ambient sections that segue into the tight angular riffs that propel the last half of the song. “Atlas,” was the song that everyone in the crowd recognized, the person behind me commenting that it was the only Battles song he had heard prior to that evening, going on to say that, “This is really cool but I’m pissed that no one is dancing!”

My Way

posted by on July 6 at 12:37 PM

Today, the Guardian has a great, weird story on how a song written by this guy:

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and passed through the kidneys of this guy:

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was made famous by this guy:

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who loathed its Gallic smarm.

Few of the nitwits who insist that the song My Way be played at their funerals are aware that this hymn to self-absorption originated with a flamboyant French pop singer who died in his bathtub while changing a light bulb. The long and winding road that would culminate in Frank Sinatra’s eternal identification with a song he personally despised begins in the unassuming Egyptian town of Ismailia, where Claude Francois was born in February 1939.

The story’s horrifying fact—more horrifying than dying for home ec: “as recently as two years ago, My Way was the most popular number played at British funerals.”

What’s wrong with the English?

Battles, FCS North, Teeth + Hair @ The Croc

posted by on July 6 at 12:37 PM

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Teeth and Hair are an interesting mix of familiar sounds. They have the dancy discordance of Q and Not U, and the squeals and whines of the singer almost sound like Mindless Self Indulgence. It’s an odd pairing. The drummer proved you don’t need to play complex parts to be entertaining, you just have to be animated and look like you’re having a good time. The singer/guitarist had a penchant for jumping off stage into the crowd, to either serenade them with whelp screams or just play his guitar up in someone’s face. Normally I would think this stunt awkward and abrasive, but as their music was also awkward and abrasive it seemed to work alright.

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen FCS North, but I’m always happy when they’re on a bill. I’m not sure when they added vocals into the mix but it’s a good fit - their new tunes reminded me of a less shrill version of the Rapture. They still have a jazz twinge to all their songs, subtle and nicely executed. They bring the dance party with them even if nobody in the crowd feels like dancing, which seemed to be the case tonight. In the right context I could have seen myself dancing the shit out of their songs, but the atmosphere just wasn’t right. I would love to see this band play a house party.

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Battles have a lot of gear. Just take a look at the cover of their new album, Mirrored – they flaunt it. Yet none of it is extraneous, they’re really using all of that stuff. I’ve been listening to Mirrored for about two months straight now, long enough to know all the parts and intricacies, so I stood front row to see firsthand how they were going to do it live. Bassist/Guitarist Dave Konopka is in charge of most of the starting loops, with two Line 6 DL4s and four other effects pedals. He was regularly down on his knees playing the pedals with his hands, constantly flipping knobs and tweaking the loops. Drummer John Stainer is now in my opinion the hardest working drummer in rock and roll. Or at least the sweatiest. His kit was set up front center, and he hit each beat as hard as he possibly could. Literally every inch of fabric on his body from shoulders to shoes was sopping wet by the end of the show. There was a steady stream of sweat pouring off his elbow as he rode the hi hat. Not a trickle, a stream. And there are aspects you just cant notice on an album that you do live, like the fact that Ian Williams and Tyondai Braxton are both simultaneously playing the keyboard with one hand and the guitar with the other in Atlas.

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It’s hard for me to properly express how impressed I was with their set. After they ended my buddy Kyle said, “What can you even write about that? The word ‘FUCK’ with thirty exclamation marks?” Seriously. Mind blown.

photos by Gregory A. Perez

Join Me in Hell, Won’t You?

posted by on July 6 at 11:59 AM

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Thank God for MetaFilter, which turned me on to the magic that is Hulk Hogan’s tear-jerking cancer ballad, “Hulkster in Heaven.”

Some background on the song from SydLexia.com:

During his heyday, Hogan did a lot of work with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, visiting children with life-threatening illnesses. His devotion to the cause was so deep that in 1994, the organization presented him with their Celebrity Wish Granter of the Year award which is given to public figures who “have displayed a heart for the children of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and a commitment beyond what could have ever been expected of them”. According to Hogan, the inspiration for the album originally rose out of this work. Apparently, a sick boy who Hogan had previously visited had been given ringside seats to an event, but when Hulk looked out into the crowd, the spot was empty. He later learned that the fan had died. This inspired Hulk to write a power ballad in honor of his fallen friend and eventually Hogan and Jimmy Hart decided to turn the project into a whole album.

I-Mockery.com posts an mp3 of the song, complete with liner notes:

I guess I should feel bad for laughing at a song about a young kid dying, but I simply don’t. The fact that Hogan has to keep referring to the kid as a Hulkamaniac throughout the song while constantly making references to wrestling just takes away from the “poignant” message he was apparently trying to make. Forget about the kid dying, the fact is I’m sure this song has killed many more people as they died from uncontrollable laughter. “I used to tear my shirt… but now you tore my heart… I knew you were a Hulkamaniac right from the very start.” The Joker didn’t need to make Smilex to get people laughing, he needed to play “Hulkster in Heaven”. If there’s one song on this album you need to hear, it’s this one. Trust me.

Enjoy.

iPhone: The Musical

posted by on July 6 at 11:43 AM

Starring David Pogue.

Daisy Periscope, Down

posted by on July 6 at 11:32 AM

This coming Monday at Chop Suey, Sub Pop, and the People’s Rebublic of Komedy host the CD/DVD release party for Black Daisy’s Hardy Har Har Collection and Patton Oswalt’s Werewolves & Lollipops. 8 PM, 21+, Free.

Nu Metal never was old. Here is “Bearing Down on Me” by Seattle’s own Voltage Periscope:



Furthering the feature from this week’s Stranger, Black Daisy speaks and does some Q & A:

(Correction: In the feature it says the lyrics are, “All this time and pain, are bearing down on me.” When in fact, the lyrics are, “All this time and shame.”)

Black Daisy is the comedy duo of Troy Nelson and Cody Hurd. They are releasing a DVD called The Hardy Har Har Collection. Voltage Periscope is their nu metal band.

What were you all trying to do with Voltage Periscope?

Black Daisy: We were trying to bring back shitty rap metal. We had to write the song, record it properly, and film a somewhat realistic music video.

We needed the song to sound like those self-indulgent and over Pro-Toolsed bands like Linkin Park, Staind, etc. So we had Erik Blood of The Turn-Ons record and produce the song. Not that he’s into rap metal or anything, it’s because he’s great and produced one of our favorite local bands, the Lights. We knew he would make the song sound how it needed to be, and he delivered, as expected.

How is this DVD different from your first one? Writing? Filming? Gear?

With the first DVD, It was grab a video camera, A 12 pack of beer, and film. With this new DVD, It was grab a video camera, a 12 pack of more expensive beer, and film. And we actually had these DVD’s pressed.

How do you come up with your ideas?

One of the short films is about a demon and a God that have their own section of Heaven where they handle various types of fruit that are mistreated on Earth. Somehow the mistreated fruit ends up in our section of Heaven, and we do an educational video on how to properly handle fruit. When were thinking it up, I called Cody and said, “Hey, I found a demon mask on a fire hydrant by my house, (it had a note on it that said, ‘FREE’) find us some apples, oranges, and any fruit that looks like a giant cock!

Continue reading "Daisy Periscope, Down" »

Against Me!’s New Album Streaming Now!

posted by on July 6 at 11:29 AM

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Really quite sorry for the press release regurgitation, but this is some great news: You can listen to Against Me!’s entire new album, New Wave, on their Myspace page right now. I’m listening to the first and title track right now, and it’s making me super excited to see them play at Block Party. Woot!

I wouldn’t buy that track they are selling right below the stream, though. It’s fully equipped with all of your necessary and computer-crippling Windows Media DRM. Just wait until Tuesday to buy the album.

The press release also says they’ll be on Conan on the 10th, which means Megan will be staying up late that night! Someone install the drool shield right beneath her chin.

Disco Slasher

posted by on July 6 at 11:16 AM

Noid Recordings has released some amazing disco records the past few years, including Major Swellings self-titled LP, Idjut BoysNoid Long Player, and most recently Rune Lindbæk’s Klubb Kebabb Lp to name a few. One of my favorite releases comes from Phantom Slasher, which is a disco re-edit project by the Idjut Boys. In 2006, Phantom Slasher released their 4th release off of Noid entitled, Gruble. This double LP mixes in a set well with Major Swelling and Klubb Kebabb with my favorite tracks being “Lasagne For 10” and “Eat Them Jeans”. All the orginal titles have been given different names with the orginal artists unlisted. Like I said, if your fan of Major Swellings or Rune Lindbæk’s Klubb Kebabb, then this is a “must-have” for your disco re-edit collection.

Phantom Slasher - Lasagne For 10
Phantom Slasher - Eat Them Jeans
Phantom Slasher - Love Ranger

Les Claypool/Two Gallants Photos

posted by on July 6 at 9:30 AM

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(Taken by Morgan Keuler at the Showbox, July 3rd. More after the jump, after the lovely lady jump. That wasn’t funny. I apologize.)

Continue reading "Les Claypool/Two Gallants Photos" »


Thursday, July 5, 2007

Everything I Didn’t Know I Learned From Watching VH1

posted by on July 5 at 3:59 PM

I had no idea, until VH1 told me last night, that the famous “Oh!” in EMF’s song “Unbelievable” was actually a sound bite from Andrew Dice Clay.

That’s really funny.

I’m a Negative Creep

posted by on July 5 at 2:01 PM

What started that conversation about bad music yesterday (the one that resulted in discovering the Most Important Question You Will Ever Be Asked) was the less-important but still relevant question I posed to my friends just the day before: “What is your least favorite song?”

Sometimes you can learn more about a person by knowing what they hate as opposed to what they love, so I asked whoever I could. But I had another motive. After 27 years of wondering, I think I finally decided that my least favorite song of all time is… okay, I didn’t decided on one, but I did narrow it down to three. So I asked my friends what they hated, so I could make sure there weren’t really tragic tunes out there that I had erased from memory. I wanted to be sure of my decisions. And I am.

They are, in no particular order:

“If You Wanna Be Happy” by Jimmy Soul (no link, but it’s that “Don’t make a pretty woman your wife…” song)
Achy Breaky Heart by Billy Ray Cyrus
The Lion Sleeps Tonight by the Tokens

“Achy Breaky Heart” is bad. No explanation necessary there, I’m assuming. And “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” gets stuck in my head for days and I want to dig out the part of my brain it’s housed in with a spork. But “If You Wanna Be Happy” is that song that is never going to go away. Ever. And it’s a terrible, terrible song and I only know the chorus and there’s no way I’ve heard it any more than a dozen times in my entire life (no thanks to Mermaids, starring Winona Ryder and Cher) yet it continues to exist, popping up without warning, without reason, and without any sort of anecdote. Christ, I hate that song.

And if I hated you (and I might act like it sometimes, but I swear I don’t), I’d make you the worst mix tape ever with those three songs on it. They’d just loop over and over again for the 90 minutes Memorex gave me.

As for what my friends said, well, there weren’t a lot of shocking answers, initially. But I do have to admit I am a little surprised no one suggested Creed.

The text messages started rolling in…

Continue reading "I'm a Negative Creep" »

Pyro-Mania

posted by on July 5 at 1:14 PM

We’ve got Def Leppard’s Joe Elliot on Lineout today to talk about pyrotechnics.

Certain types of songs and shows are enhanced by fire and explosions. There is no getting around it. Blowing shit up takes a show to another dimension. Safety and know how are more than important. People die and die quickly when pyro goes wrong. Still, the primal gravitation to flame wells deep in the psyche of us all.

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There are fireballs, shells, mines, cakes, and candles, which use flash powder, flash paper, gun cotton, and black powder (gunpowder). Small metal particles of titanium, magnesium, steel or zirconium help give color and shape.

The use of explosions, flashes, smoke, flames or other propellant driven effects on-stage is known as proximate pyrotechnics. Proximate because it’s near an audience. Special licensing must be obtained from local authorities to legally prepare and use proximate pyrotechnics.

Def Leppard was a band that fired it up. They are one of only six rock bands that had two albums sell over ten million copies each in the U.S. The others are The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Eagles, and Van Halen. And it’s all because of pyrotechnics.

I sort of interviewed Joe Elliot and got his pyro thoughts:

Why do you think concert goers are so drawn to fire and flame?

Joe: All right
I got something to say
Yeah, it’s better to burn out
Yeah, than fade away
All right
Ow, Gonna start a fire
C’mon

Do you think it’s because fire gives us life through warmth and light? Is there anything we should do about it?

Rise up! gather round
Rock this place to the ground
Burn it up let’s go for broke
Watch the night go up in smoke

Rock on! Rock on!

When you say ‘Rock on’, is that like the rocks that early hominid cavemen used for their firepits 3,500,000 years ago? Or rock as man’s first tool?

Drive me crazier, no serenade
No fire brigade, just Pyromania

What do you want? What do you want?
I want rock’n’roll, yes I do
Long live rock’n’roll

What’s the best way to make fire? Do you take the rock and hit it against another rock?

Oh let’s go, let’s strike a light
We’re gonna blow like dynamite
I don’t care if it takes all night
Gonna set this town alight

We got the power, got the glory
Just say you need it and if you need it
Say yeah!

Ok, “Yeah!” There I said it. I feel much better. I feel like I understand a little more about the relationship of human and fire and music. What if I feel like I like fire a little too much? Like I might have a problem with it?

Heh heh heh heh
Now listen to me
I’m Burnin’, Burnin’, I got the fever
I know for sure, there ain’t no cure
So feel it, don’t fight it, go with the flow
Gimme, gimme, gimme, gimme one more for the road

We’re gonna burn this damn place down
Down to the ground

Heh heh heh heh heh heh heh heh heh heh heh heh

Smashing Pumpkins to Play Endfest

posted by on July 5 at 12:15 PM

Billy Corgan and his current crew will be rocking the Qwest Field North Lot—I saw Pavement there once…oh, sorry, that was just pavement—along with fellow alternative dinosaurs Social Distortion and alt cockroach Perry Farrel’s latest self-indulgence, Satelite Party.

The bait for anyone under 30 is presumably Bright Eyes, Against Me!, this year’s Be Your Own Pet Paramore, used-to-bes Hot Hot Heat, or major label turds the Used. For locals, there’s Minus the Bear.

Did I mention it’s all happening in a parking lot?!

107.7 THE END’S SUPER SWEET ENDFEST 16 September 22, 2007 doors at 12:00 pm North Lot at Qwest Field

The Smashing Pumpkins
Social Distortion
Bright Eyes
Satellite Party
The Used
Hot Hot Heat
Shiny Toy Guns
Stray Light Run
Paramore
Against Me!
Minus The Bear
Moneta
End-A-Roke

The Most Imortant Question You Will Ever Be Asked

posted by on July 5 at 12:05 PM

Yesterday, during a conversation about music, really bad music, a couple friends and I discovered what is perhaps the most important question I’ve ever thought about in my entire life:

Who’s worse? Red Hot Chili Peppers or Celine Dion?

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I say the Red Hot Chili Peppers are. The other two both agreed that Celine Dion is. I’m right, they’re wrong, so we continued to argue the point. They claimed that Celine Dion is and has always been intolerable while the Chili Peppers had at least a few shining moments. I claimed, though, that those shining moments have long since been eclipsed by their current state of suckage, and are therefore not enough to keep them out of “complete bullshit” territory. Even worse, they’re unable to accept where they currently stand (frat rock for drunken date rapists), while Miss Dion knows she is literally a Vegas sideshow. And even if you’re not into the Titanic-theme-song-singing French Canadian, you can’t say without sounding like a complete noob that she’s got a powerful voice—lady can belt it out.

Yeah, Flea can play bass, and yeah, he was in Back to the Future, and that Will Ferrell looking drummer has some talent, but the band as a whole play watered down funk and vapid ballads about Los Angeles. That’s way more offensive than carrying on about a heart that will go on.

Turns out, pondering this argument is how I spent the majority of my Fourth. I really need to learn to let things go. We moved the debate down to Kings Hardware for lunch. The majority of the staff voted with me, agreeing Red Hot Chili Peppers are worse. They’re smart and they have really good sweet potato fries. We text messaged all our friends, asking them the same question. Everyone had an opinion, and it ended up being split down the middle, mostly, with the Red Hot Chili Peppers losing their lead after a whopping 10 votes came in en masse from a BBQ in West Seattle.

Also, I should note, we were completely aware of how lame this was.

But I’m unable to shake it. And this is the new question I gauge people by.

So I wanna know…

Who do you think is worse? Celine Dion? Or the Red Hot Chili Peppers?

If You Don’t Like Ma Fleur, Listen Again

posted by on July 5 at 11:25 AM

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Over the last few weeks, I’ve done a 180 on the latest Cinematic Orchestra release, Ma Fleur. Upon first listen, I thought “What the fuck is this sentimental bullshit?,” since the weepy strings and plaintive vocals seemed so overwrought that they were practically bludgeoning you into an emotional response. The departure from the more jazz-inflected Every Day also wasn’t working in the album’s favor, since I had an idea of what I wanted this album to be, and this wasn’t it.

I kept giving the album another chance, and at some point it clicked, but only once I divorced this outing from what I’d heard before. Approaching this album with fresh ears, you listen to it for what it is, a score to a movie that has yet to be made. Yes, it’s as subtle as a sledgehammer to the face, but so what? It’s music with a purpose, and I stopped criticizing the album for being so direct in its intentions. This is an album for late nights, long walks, and starry skies, and I think too many people are dismissing this release because of what they thought would come next. For me this is one of the year’s best thus far, so if you’ve only given this album a cursory listen, I strongly urge you to revisit it.

Block Party Band of the Day!

posted by on July 5 at 10:38 AM

The Blood Brothers

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Can you believe The Blood Brothers have been around for 10 years? In that time, they’ve progressed from a thrashing young hardcore band to something entirely more avant garde and artful without ever losing their essential spaz. Here’s the video for “Set Fire to the Face on Fire” from their recent Guy Picciotto produced album, Young Machetes:

The Blood Brothers play the Capitol Hill Block Party Main Stage @ 6:30 pm on Friday, July 27th. To see the rest of the lineup and get more information on Block Party, visit the Stranger’s Block Party page here.


Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Summer Surprise!

posted by on July 4 at 8:00 AM

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Summer Surprise MP3!

Block Party Band of the Day! Freedom Edition!

posted by on July 4 at 6:39 AM

PWRFL Power vs. Team Gina

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PWRFL Power (born Kaz Nomura) plays silly, heartfelt songs about the magical mundane. He is an acoustic guitar wizard; with amps and an electric, he could scald your ears right off. But Nomura likes your ears, and he wants you to keep them. So instead, he keeps things quiet and cute, singing about unrequited crushes, dogs and heaven, and the joy of releasing your PWRFL power. He plays the Main Stage at 2pm on Saturday, July 28th.

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Team Gina bust Olympian booty raps and dance moves over spaced out electro. They shout out butch dykes, their BA degrees, multi-tools, anarchism, Foucault, and their mentors Scream Club. They play 2pm on the Vera Stage on Saturday, July 28th.

How will you decide?!?


Tuesday, July 3, 2007

It’s Not Top of the Pops, But Still…

posted by on July 3 at 4:58 PM

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You’re a Bum, You’re a Punk, You’re an Old Slut on Junk

posted by on July 3 at 3:50 PM

As pointed out in the comments section to Ari’s Misfits post

The Pogues are coming to Seattle!

17.10.2007 - The Fenix Seattle Seattle WA
18.10.2007 - The Fenix Seattle Seattle WA

Newsworthy enough for a post of its own, I’d say.

(And Ari, to answer your question about which album to start with, I’d recommend Rum, Sodomy, & the Lash.)

Band of the Day: The Whore Moans

posted by on July 3 at 3:32 PM

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I’ve written about the fantastic Whore Moans a number of times in the paper. A CD review here, an Up & Coming blurb here, and I even said their debut record, Watch Out For This Thing, is one of my favorite releases of 2007 (so far) here.

Clearly I’m stoked that they’ll be a part of this year’s Capitol Hill Block Party, and I’m not sure what more needs to be said about them except that they’re great—great great great great great—and they play the Neumo’s Stage Saturday at 3:15 pm. Here’s what you can expect to see (and a good example of why I love them so much):

See, my tastes don’t always suck.

Bordedoms’ 77BOADRUM

posted by on July 3 at 3:29 PM

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Not much to add to the Pitchfork post about the Boredoms’ apocalyptic drum circle spiral, 77BOADRUM, happening in NYC on 07/07/07 except, WHY AM I NOT GOING!!?! Damn! Here’s a list of their 74 guest drummers involved (spots one through 4 on the above chart will of course be filled by EYE and the rest of the Boredoms):

Drum leaders:

01 Hisham Bharoocha (Soft Circle / Pixeltan)
02 Tim Dewit (Gang Gang Dance)
03 Brian Chippendale (Lightning Bolt)
04 Dave Nuss (No Neck Blues Band / Under Satans Sun)
05 Jaiko Suzuki (Electro Putas)
06 Jesse Lee (White Magic)
07 Ryan Sawyer (Tall Firs / Stars Like Fleas)
08 Kid Millions (Oneida)
09 Andy McLeod (Howling Hex / Modest Mouse)
10 Aaron Moore
11 Robin Easton

Other drummers:

12 Sara Lund (Unwound)
13 Jim Black
14 Andrew W.K.
15 Butchy Fuego (Pit Er Pat)
16 Miggie (Blood on the Wall)
17 Brian Tamborello (Psychic Ills)
18 Andee Connors (A Minor Forest / Lumen)
19 John Moloney (Sunburned Hand of the Man)
20 Taylor Richardson (Sunburned Hand of the Man)
21 Chris Millstein
22 Abby Portner (First Nation)
23 Aviram Cohen (Soiled Mattress and the Springs)
24 Allison Busch (Awesome Color)
25 Warren Huegel (Tussle)
26 Nathan Corbin (Excepter)
27 Clare Amory
28 Jonathan Lockie (Sightings)
29 Josh Bonati (Aa)
30 Nadav Havusha (Aa)
31 Aron Wahl (Aa)
32 Jeffrey Salane (Panthers)
33 Jim Sykes
34 David Aron (Koi Pond)
35 Michael Catano
36 Spencer Herbst (Matta Lama)
37 Jim Siegel (Cul De Sac and Damo Suzuki)
38 Mike Pride (MDC, FUSHITSUSHA, John Zorn, Otomo Yoshihide)
39 Nick DeCarmine
40 Marianne Kozlowski (The Punks)
41 Than Luu (M. Ward)
42 Dave Bergander (Celebration)
43 Michael Evans (God Is My Co-Pilot)
44 Andrya Ambro
45 Justin DeRosa
46 Hart Mingus (Negative Approach)
47 Matthias Schulz (Enon / Holy Fuck)
48 Josh Madell (Antietam, Other Music)
49 Matt (No Neck Blues Band)
50 Jim Abramson (Dymaxion)
51 Oran Canfield (Child Abuse)
52 Adriana Magaña (Crash Worship)
53 Keith Connolly (No Neck Blues Band)
54 Travis Harrison
55 Jared Barron
56 Jason Kourkounis (Delta 72 / Hot Snakes)
57 Eric Cohen (Caroliner)
58 Daniel Franz (Arbouretum)
59 Christopher Brokaw (Codeine)
60 Jared Burak (Wet Cement)
61 Christopher Powell (Icy Demons / Man Man)
62 Sadie Laska (I.U.D.)
63 Pete Vogl (Koi Pond)
64 Barbara Schauwecker
65 AJ Edminson (Favourite Sons)
66 David Grubbs
67 John McSwain (VICE)
68 Dave Abramson (Climax Golden Twins)
69 Alan Licht
70 Rick Prior
71 Kayrock
72 Dave LeBleu (Prefuse 73 / Mercury Program)
73 Lizzy Bougatsos (Gang Gang Dance)
74 Alianna Kalaba (We Ragazzi)

Call the Music Police!

posted by on July 3 at 3:08 PM


I love the Misfits’ Static Age.

I think there are two ways I could write about this love. There’s the way in that I already know everything about music, Glenn Danzig is a genius, “why am I even bothering to reveal a love that’s so obvious” way. And then there’s the more serious way. The Misfits have been stolen from me.

One of my favorite activities at any point in time is to walk up to a teenager, usually a boy, wearing the Misfits Skull, and ask him what his favorite Misfits song is. This always catches the teenager off guard—I don’t look like a Misfits fan, right? I don’t shop at Hot Topic, my hair is its natural red-blonde (not dyed black), I’m female. I think I look kind of punk, but more in the B-52’s way than in the Glenn Danzig way. The teenager almost always stutters their answer.

“Umm, I don’t know, I like Danzig’s newer stuff, I guess.”

MOTHERFUCKER! YOU STOLE THE MISFITS FROM ME!

JZ says, “You can’t judge a band by it’s crowd.” This is totally true. The Misfits are the most wrongly appropriated band of all time. At least most Nirvana fans have actually heard a Nirvana song, but since the Misfits don’t get played on 107.7 The End their “fans” are mostly fakers. Glenn Danzig founded an entire style, and I understand the fake goth weirdos love him for that, but take his devil-lock, not his band! Static Age is too good for you losers. I wish this didn’t upset me so much.

I’m going to go listen to some more punk, because I’m a true fan.

Re: The Believer

posted by on July 3 at 3:07 PM

I *LOVE* this drawing of a Lightning Bolt concert! My favorite part is the captured photo of Brian Chippendale on the dude’s digital camera. My second favorite part is that the bonus CD is the kick drum. Genius!

Miranda July vs. the Blow

posted by on July 3 at 2:27 PM

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Not only does The Believer’s 2007 Music Issue come with a mix CD featuring Aesop Rock, Lightning Bolt, Explosions in the Sky, Of Montreal, and Yacht, but it also features this great piece with Miranda July interviewing the Blow (Khaela Maricich).

MJ: Another beautifully sad lyric on that record is the one that goes, “If something in the deli aisle makes you cry…”

KM: What’s funny is that I made that up in my head around you.

MJ: Really?

KM: Yeah, we were in the Whole Foods, when I was visiting you in Portland one time, and I was staring at the overwhelming mass of all the food, kind of personal but really so impersonal. I had that really overwhelmed feeling; just wanting someone to come up and see that, and see me, and see that they should walk me outside.

MJ: Right, but I guess I didn’t walk you outside, did I? That’s not the punch line: you were waiting and then I walked you out? You probably didn’t even tell me.

KM: I don’t think I would have taken the risk to expect that from you at that point. I think my eyes were a little watery, and I was like, “Do you ever want someone to walk you out the door? Just put their arm around you and walk you out?”

MJ: I was probably like, “Get it together, Khaela!”

KM: You were just like, “We need food.”

That’s only a piece of it. The full text is available at The Believer’s website, just click here to read.

Free All Ages Music—Plus Free Internet!—in Washington Square Park

posted by on July 3 at 1:33 PM

Why do Seattle parks still—still! after all this time!—not have free wifi? I’m sitting in Washington Square Park, in New York City, under huge, beautiful trees, listening to a street band channeling the 1920s over by the fountain. Actually, I don’t know what they’re channeling, but I like it. They have a banjo, a clarinet, a percussion thing, two horns, a girl with a painted face who sings, and a guy with a cane and top hat who dances. Evidence:

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A guy riding a bike with a music system attached to it—and attached to that, lots of stickers of French movie stars—just rode by blasting “I Will Survive.” Some old guys are playing chess. A woman is lifting her baby above her head. Plus, the conversations you overhear—so New York:

GUY ONE: “I get my best ideas when I’m walking, and I’m very in the moment.
GUY TWO: “Yes. Yes.”
GUY ONE: “Do you ever do improv?”

Meanwhile some guy is sitting here writing about it on Line Out. As a squirrel approaches. And the trumpets go crazy. The wind picks up and the trees rustle, which is sorta like music.

Band of Horses @ the Showbox

posted by on July 3 at 1:02 PM

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“Can you guys see us?” Ben Bridwell said from somewhere inside a billowing cloud of smoke-machine smoke. “We can’t see you.”

Band of Horses made a hilarious entrance to the Showbox’s stage last night. Rather than a triumphant trot or mysterious sneak, it was a bumbling stumble that got them through the fog and out to their instruments. Modest and self-effacing from the outset, the band charmed the crowd with a hippie-next-door demeanor that was hard to resist.

The band—Bridwell on guitar and vocals, original drummer Creighton Barrett and guitarist Rob Hampton, plus a bassist, second guitarist, and keysman—galloped through a couple numbers, full steam, before Bridwell sat down with a lap steel. The steel guitar lended an almost island feel to the next pair of tunes, and Bridwell’s nasal bark sounded most like Perry Farrell here, forceful and boyish at the same time.

It’s those mid-tempo, sea-shanty-like tunes where the band really shines. Like on “Funeral,” the set’s high point and a true gem of a tune. It offers a slowly building tempo that never really lets loose, even at the end, during a heavy instrumental workout. It’s deliberate, delayed, dramatic, and totally beautiful—the combo that makes the band really stand out.

It was explained to me after the show by a trained pianist that Band of Horses employ a lot of fifth chords in their guitar playing. (Dammit, I wish I knew some music theory.) These fifth chords, I was told, are round, soft, emotional, warm—the exact opposite of the angular and jagged tones of so much indie rock. Whether or not that’s technically correct, those adjectives—warm, round, enveloping—describe Band of Horses’ sound perfectly. What used to be called alt-country is today being referred to as indie Americana by publicists and pundits, and in truth, that’s pretty much what BOH is doing—a la My Morning Jacket and the Avett Brothers. I like it a lot.

(I’ll admit, I didn’t pay a lot of attention to Everything All the Time, being totally caught up on Z by My Morning Jacket. I’ll definitely be there for Band of Horses’ next one.)

They pulled out a pair of new tunes, the last one a snappy, honky-tonk barroom rag, catchy as hell. It came during the first encore, and I’d bet that’s the first single off the new album, which Bridwell said was just finished a week or so ago here in Seattle with Phil Ek, who was manning the sound board at the Showbox. After that tune—with a kicking piano breakdown in the middle—most of the crowd left, and the band did too. Then they came out for a second encore, and the crowd came back, and there was some serious mutual appreciation going on. They might not be hometown boys anymore, but Band of Horses will always get a locals’ welcome when they play Seattle.

Boom-Boom Gump Plug

posted by on July 3 at 12:54 PM

seattle3.jpgYesterday I played host to a friend’s 21 year old brother who was in town. My friend was stuck in a business conference, so I had his brother all to myself.

He’s from Macon, GA and his name is Darrin.

Macon, home to Allman Brothers lore, is in some ways a sweltering asphalt armpit of a city. Kids and dogs die in locked cars there regularly. Duane Allman is the regional God, and he should be.

Darrin is a Southern Metal Gangster Video Gamer. He wore his black NY Yankees hat tilted over a doo-rag. White wife beater offsetting jeans worn below his ass, medallion chain, and fake Rolex. He had tribal woodblock earlobe piercing, and a septum hoop. He was heavily cologned.

Darrin was amped to see Seattle. Nirvana, grunge, grunge and Nirvana.

Like many of us, Darrin is ruled by music. His headphones are a sanctuary and muse. He sees things through the filter of the band he’s currently into.

Right now, Darrin is into Pantera.

Darrin’s also into weed. It’s all he talked about. He identifies himself by and through how fucked up he gets. Often he said, “Dood, we broke off the hugest nug and fired it to the ground.”

He also kept saying, “Blaring! Dude get blaring.” With a drawn peach fuzz dip spit accent.

I was right there with him, blaring, fully wanting to facilitate the enjoyment of his Seattle day.

So I took him to see the shoes.

Across from the magic shop in the mid level of the Pike Market, there is a Giant Shoe Museum. You put a quarter in and can see big shoes. They even have one that the 8’11 Robert Wadlow wore. If you haven’t seen this, get down there immediately.

Darrin was unimpressed. This was it? We had spoken on the phone a few days earlier and I had promised rock shows and beer.

Then he needed weed. He started asking people at Victor Steinbrueck Park if they knew where to score. He called it ‘Boom-Boom Gump Plug.’ He got in a Hacky Sack circle and his pants fell down. No Boom-Boom Gump Plug found.

EMP was the next stop. On our way, I asked him if I could look through the CD’s he had brought with him:

200px-REM_Reckoning_cover.jpgKid Rock
Nickleback
Pantera
Tupac
Modest Mouse

And REM’s Reckoning.

I understood the Modest Mouse, but the 1984 Reckoning? Darrin and Michael Stipe getting contemplative and bookish? Macon is close to Athens, so it makes sense that way. I just couldn’t see Darrin actually liking it though and figured it was one of those CD’s placed to make it look like he’s well rounded. The Reckoning was too out of place for someone who enjoys meth and hunting animals with antlers.

Darrin got on the drum set at EMP. Though he wasn’t high, and though the kit didn’t have antlers, he killed it. The footage of old Queensryche was also a highlight.

Darrin, I had a great time hanging out with you. I’m sorry you didn’t score. I hope the rest of your trip and life go good. Aim well, aim high.

Reckoning will come in time:

“Seven Chinese brothers swallowing the ocean. Seven thousand years to sleep away the pain. She will return, she will return.”

M. Stipe

What a Boring Day for Music… Or Is It?

posted by on July 3 at 12:53 PM

It’s Tuesday, the day of the week for new records to hit the shelves. And what does the dying music industry have in store for us? A whole lot of nothing. And by nothing I mean Kelly Rowland, Twiztid, Silverstein, and the Velvet Revolver.

Yawn.

But you know what else is being released this week that Pause and Play doesn’t tell you about? The new Boat record, Let’s Drag Our Feet!

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A review is running in this week’s paper, so you can read my official take on the album in a couple days (summary: It’s familiar ground for the band, but they do it well), and in the mean time you should enjoy one of the band’s new songs, “I’m a Donkey For Your Love” (via magicmarker.com). It’s a goodun. I can’t believe I just typed “goodun.” Whatever.

Also, if you’re still really, really, really bored, here’s a video showing how to make an origami boat, a skill everyone should have.

The Negative of Motherland

posted by on July 3 at 12:25 PM

The negative of this…
Natalie%20Merchant%20-%20Motherland.jpg

…is this:
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The second image is of Mary Anne Hobbs, the queen of dubstep and host of the Breezeblock show on Radio One. In the image we find her in the depths of a studio. She is the ghost in the machine, the soul of a robot. Hobbes stands opposite Merchant’s Motherland, which is life in the situation of life, nature, creation. We can expect lots of milk from Merchant; we can expect no milk from Hobbs. She comes close to Gibson’s Molly Millions, the mirroshaded woman who wants to be bodiless. Yet, no sex is lost in this metalic image of Hobbs. She is still desirable and even physical: but her form of production is not organic but electronic.

I Demand Analphabetapolothology

posted by on July 3 at 12:15 PM

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Yesterday, Megan Seling posted this video for the awesome Promise Ring song “Why Did Ever We Meet?” We talked about different Promise Ring records (Megan loves only Nothing Feels Good; I love that one as well as 30 Degrees Everywhere, the Horse Latitiudes, the Boys + Girls EP, the song “Make Me a Mixtape,” and under the right conditions—young and in love and just home from Chicago—I even loved Very Emergency). Nobody likes Wood/Water—that thing is a monster.

But ranking Promise Ring records is beside the point. The point is that I asked Megan, “Well, if you like the Promise Ring, you must have heard Cap’n’Jazz, right?”

(crickets)

Oh, man! How can you like the Promise Ring and never listen to Cap’n’Jazz. It’s like being a fan of New Order, but then saying, “Oh, Joy Division? Never really gave ‘em a listen.” You have to listen to them. (Although, Joy Division:New Order::Cap’n’Jazz:Promise Ring doesn’t quite work, because Ian Curtis kills himself, whereas Tim Kinsella just goes off and forms Joan of Arc and a million other bands.)

But there are so many reasons to listen to Cap’n’Jazz: You get to hear the larval stage of both the Promise Ring and Joan of Arc, their songs stand as some of the best of the mid-90s midwest emocore (Braid scored some hits there too), and dudes were all like 15 or 16 fronting one of the decade’s most seminal punk/indie bands. Fucking crazy!

The place to start is, of course, the band’s awesome posthumous double disc collection on Jade Tree, Analphabetapolothology. But in the meantime, someone has posted some rad old live footage of the band rocking some Illinois bingo hall basement:

Remember That Thing I Said About the Strokes?

posted by on July 3 at 10:58 AM

And how they were haunting me in my dreams and my days?

I saw Transformers last night. And had to stare at this for half of the movie:

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Jesus Christ!

Movie was rad, though. Ridiculous. But rad.

Also worth mentioning (perhaps more so that what I dream about, actually), Bellingham duo trio (they added a live drummer) Idiot Pilot have a new song on the film’s soundtrack.


Monday, July 2, 2007

It’s Well After Five, It’s Still Sunny Outside, so Let’s Ditch These Computers and Play Ball in Park

posted by on July 2 at 5:48 PM

Like the Promise Ring does.

(Thanks for pointing me to the video, EC.)

Band of the Day: Gabriel Teodros vs. John Vanderslice

posted by on July 2 at 4:39 PM

So! Today Line Out begins the epic, monthlong countdown to Block Party, wherein we highlight a different Block Party band each and every day. Let us begin!

Today we’ve got two bands—Seattle wordsmith Gabriel Teodros and SF tunesmith John Vanderslice—both of whom play at the same damn time in two damn different places. Rent a clone and see both! Or take this test to see whether you’re a Vanderslicer or a Teodrosian.

1. I wear a baggy pants to concerts OR I wear baggy pants to do yoga.
2. I like music with heartfelt, personal lyrics and a beat OR I like music with heartfelt, personal lyrics and acoustic guitar.
3. I’ve got flyers and CDs in my backpack OR I’ve got a vegan cookbook and American Spirits in my shoulder bag.

I’m not really sure where I’m going with this. There’s no reason why you can’t like BOTH and catch half-sets by BOTH and wear baggy pants to concerts AND keep a vegan cookbook and American Spirits in your shoulder bag. Stupid stereotypes.

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John Vanderslice plays Saturday, July 28 at 5:30 pm on the Main Stage.

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Gabriel Teodros plays Saturday, July 28 at 5:30 on the Neumo’s Stage.

The National @ Neumo’s

posted by on July 2 at 3:58 PM

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After a delayed start time, the National hit the stage around 11:30 pm Saturday night, finally sending a cheer up through the ultra-packed, sold-out house. The rakish Brooklyn five-piece brought a sixth to beef up their sound, Aussie multi-instrumentalist Padma Newsome, who added manic violin and soulful keyboards to their usual two guitars/bass/drums/vocals setup.

The show featured primarily songs from the National’s last two albums, the just-released The Boxer and their 2005 breakout Alligator. The albums are subtly but certainly different—Alligator is song oriented, driving and aggressive, while The Boxer is atmospheric, less sharply defined. Hearing these songs live further highlighted the distinction between the two albums and brought out a powerful narrative arc within the concert.

The band started with a couple tunes from The Boxer, “Start a War” and “Mistaken for Strangers,” dark, moody, mellow. This was them establishing atmosphere, setting the scene. Then they countered with “Secret Meeting” and “Mr. November,” two of their strongest, most vicious songs, both off Alligator. They’d continue in this fashion, a song from one album, a song or two from the other, an older track that was in the punchier vein of Alligator, building pressure and defuising it. Singer Matt Berninger—who gave me a very candid interview a couple weeks ago—was possessed by the music, resigned and withdrawn some moments, thrashing and howling the next. Newsome switched instruments, violently sawing through the violin, melting out keyboard runs. The four other brothers of the National—guitar and bass, guitar and drums—occassionally switched off as well, though drummer Bryan Devendorf stayed in place, solid.

After a very brief blowout early on, the sound at Neumo’s was surprisingly clean and not overloud, which allowed snippets of Berninger’s impressionist lyrics to soar through the noise: “Lay me down, say something pretty” from “Baby We’ll Be Fine,” “Falling out of touch with all my friends are somewhere getting wasted” from “Green Gloves.” I love how the guy sings and I love what he has to say—his lyrics feel deeply modern, wounded but self-deprecating. There’s an almost Raymond Carver everyslob-ness about his songs, a hopeful realism that totally gets me.

They finished the set after running through almost every song from those two previously mentioned albums. “Abel,” the single from Alligator and a downright monster of a song, had to show up, and it did. “My mind’s come loose inside its shell!” Berninger raged, and the band tore apart the song as the crowd chanted along. Then they ended like they began, with a downtrodden, downtempo mood-mellower from The Boxer, I believe, though I don’t remember song it was.

They played a strong show, one that went places and took the audience with it. My friend described the “impenetrable whiteness” of the crowd and the music, the product of what’s been described as a KEXP Top 40 band. So be it. Soul comes in many forms. The National brought it, wrapped in guitars and humility and passion and whisky, and the crowd drank it up.


Supreme Disco

posted by on July 2 at 3:36 PM

One of my favorite things to blog is TangoTerje edits. They always remind me of a Larry Levan edit remixed by an artist from Full Pupp records. Tangoterje, aka Todd Terje always tends to have the ability to find some really good hidden gem that most people wouldn’t consider in remixing, put his touch to the song, and finally turning them into a golden classic. The two I have featured today always puts me into a great mood. First is George McRae’s funk classics “I Get Lifted” which was orginally release in 1974 on the album Rock Your Baby. Second is a super rare classic cut from Canadian combo Sam-Jamand titled “Dance N Chant”. Tangoterje has release both of these new re-edited versions on 12-inch singles released by Supreme Records, both being amazing re-edit records.

TangoTerje - I Get Lifted
TangoTerje - Dance N Chant

Randy Jones Is My Hero

posted by on July 2 at 3:00 PM

Randy Jones Hearts Electro

Randy Jones is hands down the best DJ in all of Seattle. I’ve never heard him play a bad set, and after his appearance at this weekend’s Robotrash Redux, I’m half-inclined to get a t-shirt made at B-Bam celebrating his skills. He smoothly transitioned from Recess’ more ravetastic selection, slowing things down to go on a tour through Detroit techno, before ramping things back up again before handing the decks over to F.I.T.S.. He doesn’t play out in Seattle nearly enough (he’s usually off globetrotting for his label), so if you couldn’t make it to Robotrash, you seriously missed out, since I haven’t heard that anyone was recording the music.

The above is just a crappy pic from my phone, but here are some better pics taken by Brian Willoughby.

The New Burial

posted by on July 2 at 2:41 PM

Burial is the most important mind in the making of music today. I say that with no doubt, no second thoughts. I say it in the way that one says the sun is in the sky, or the sun is the source of life, or the sun is a star.
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Burial exploded dubstep into something more than anyone ever imagined it could be. “Ghost Hardware” and “Exit Wounds” are his new tracks. They extend, deepen, darken the twilight tracks of his debut.

Damn You, Michael Moore

posted by on July 2 at 1:15 PM

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So Sicko is supposed to be this great documentary—all smart and shit. Fine. I’m sure it’s wonderful. Maybe I’ll even go see it tonight (anyone wanna go?). But the fact that it’s called Sicko… It’s killin’ me. Sicko were also one of my favorite bands in high school (and even today, really). So all these e-mails in my inbox about how “Sicko” is “coming to a town near me,” and how “Sicko” is “making waves in America” make my heart jump. And for just the splittiest of split seconds I think Sicko the band has reunited (which would feel so good).

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Alas, Sicko the band is still over. Over, over, over, over. All the e-mails are about that goddamn movie. The hullabaloo has caused me to listen to You Can Feel the Love in This Room all morning, though. And that’s been nice.

“Don’t think I wanna knoooow, where all my time will goooo/I’ve got enough to worry about as it is/Don’t think I wanna gooo, everywhere I knoooow/I’ve got enough to do right here where I liiiiiiiiive.”

Oh pop punk. You make summer special.

Block Party Band of the Day: Sunday Night Blackout

posted by on July 2 at 12:25 PM

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Sunday Night Blackout’s Myspace page asks a question we should all take a lot of time to consider:

Do you like rock, beer, eating dirt, and dirty sex?

I think we all know that the answer, deep down in our hearts, is FUCK YES. Sunday Night Blackout is the soundtrack to such an existence. You can tell they loooove Maiden, for Chrissakes, so it’s gotta be awesome! It’s down and dirty Rock ‘N’ Roll at it’s finest.

Anyhow, enjoy Sunday Night Blackout right here, or check them out when they open up the Neumo’s stage on Saturday at the Capitol Hill Block Party. Once more, for emphasis: Sunday Night Blackout, Neumo’s Stage, Saturday July 28th, 2:30 pm. I feel like they would whip you if you missed it.

The Last, Best Divorce Show Ever!

posted by on July 2 at 11:46 AM

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Last week Stranger reader Eric Sullivan won tickets to the last Divorce show at the Crocodile by entering the contest Ari and I had via our weekly podcast, Setlist (you can listen to the latest episode here, we’re giving away more tickets). Along with getting tix to the show, we also forced asked Eric nicely to write a review of his evening.

I sorta thought I’d get a half-assed “Divorce iz gud, I like rawk” post, but Eric clearly knows how to string some words together. (Emphasis is mine, but everything else is his, including the photos.)

“On the night of Saturday June 30th at the Crocodile, the Divorce played their last show ever. It was an amazing time. The full moon, the weather, it was all perfect. Although the Divorce had already performed an all ages show in the afternoon (in which crowds of teenage girls probably cried their eyes out) the band members seemed energetic and ready for round two.

I couldn’t help but notice how bustling the Croc was, and it was more than just lots of people. There was an amazing energy all around and an interesting mix of people: tons of folks in other Seattle bands; there were plain old fans (like myself), groupies, friends, parents, and even grandparents! The Portland band Crosstide opened up and delivered its shimmering, straight-ahead melodies over guitar-driven grooves to a very receptive crowd. It was an all-around impressive set, including the part when front man Bret Vogel gave an emotive speech about how influential the Divorce has been to him. It was awesome to see one band give that kind of recognition to another. The next act, With Friends Like These, ratcheted up the energy level a bit with their well-executed, screamy rock.

Then the Divorce took the stage. Jimmy, the bassplayer, was sporting a t-shirt of the Divorce (awesome). I was struck by this, but it was only one of many obvious signs throughout their performance that they were having fun playing their music, and more importantly, playing with each other. On stage, there were plenty of moments of unashamed enjoyment and that feeling spilled over and filled the whole room. These guys know how to impress. Their set was well picked (at least 90 minutes long) and covered all the standouts as well as a would-be hit “Skeletons” (unreleased). The on-stage banter was also interesting, with Shane referencing their unreleased LP In Arms, stating: “We’re all very proud of the work we did” (as they should be), and then minutes later joking with Jimmy about the band’s demise, with Jimmy declaring: “We’re washed up!” (FYI: All the new songs are available for purchase on the band’s Myspace page).

At this point the irony set in big time. By playing this one last show, these guys were basically fulfilling the themes that run through most of their songs: defeat and broken ties (not to mention their band’s name). The situation was almost too perfect for some of these songs. For example, in their song “Save It for the Judge,” Shane sings: “It’s time I wash/Out my filthy mouth/I can’t believe those things I said/And from now on/I’ll be quiet like a mouse…Save it for the judge/No one’s listening…”

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Another example of strangeness was when Shane chanted “I should have kept this thing in the basement, I should have kept it to myself” in the song “Cash Machine.” It was truly a bizarre thing, especially considering there were so many people in the crowd singing along with the words (myself included). This irony only added to the sweetness of their songs, though, which then caused me to wonder, again, why they were breaking up (they were having so much fun!). I have to say, I don’t really care to know all the reasons why this band broke up. Although it’d be interesting to find out, it’s not really all that important to me.

What’s important is that there are a lot of people who love the Divorce, and it was amazing to be in a place and time where a band that had given so much to their fans were again, and for one last time, giving all they had—and their fans were giving it right back to them. Amazing. I just want to say thank you, Jimmy, Kyle, Garrett, and Shane, and best of luck in everything you do.”

Scary Bear, Cicadas and Skelator @ The Comet

posted by on July 2 at 11:38 AM

Bloodhag was supposed to headline this show but dropped off last minute. Something to do with books, probably.

I had never heard of Skelator, but there were a lot of heshers milling around the Comet on Saturday waiting for the opening act, so I knew something had to be up. Sure enough, the lead singer is dressed in a leather medieval lace-up top with spiky shoulder pads, matching leather arm bucklers, and he is brandishing a real sword. The music starts up, and as if there were any doubt, he starts belting out the high notes like Rob Halford. Everyone in the band starts twirling their very long hair, and I am whisked away to a fantastic world where beasts are battled with sharp steel and harmonized guitar solos. By the end of the set the novelty shock fades and my patience starts to wear thin, but it is clear these dudes are very serious about their metal, and they are doing a really good job.

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Cicadas are easily the best band out of Bellingham right now, which very few people in Seattle are aware of as the band foolishly seldom comes down for shows. They play insanely frantic and technical instrumental thrash-prog, with so many quick changes their full live experience demands your complete attention. The heshers didn’t seem to care much for Cicadas’ set – I don’t know if they left because Skelator was done or because Cicadas confused and frightened them – but the crowd thinned significantly, which was unfortunate. Guitarist Josh Holland worked hard to invade the personal space of anyone who dare stand near him, proving he meant business by slamming his guitar down on top of the PA mid song, smashing the pint glasses on top into a hundred pieces all over the stage and floor. I could watch this band every night.

Scary Bear sounds like an evil version of the Fucking Champs, but fronted by two ladies. Honestly, the last things I expected from the thin blonde holding a Stratocaster were the sweet metal riffs she ended up playing. Scary Bear was good, but by this point the bar was mostly empty and it felt like all the energy had been sucked out of the room. The downfall of a show not starting until 10:30 is that unless the bar is drunk and wild, the last band plays when everybody is tired out already. Hopefully I’ll get to see them again in a better context.

It’s rare to see a show with two unfamiliar bands and be surprised and impressed by both of them. Good job, local metal.

Atlas Update

posted by on July 2 at 9:10 AM

The Atlas Clothing volunteers have written a formal, collective response to The Stranger regarding the events of the past few days. Here it is (emphasis added):

Dear Stranger readers,

As many of you have already heard, we at Atlas Clothing had a visit Friday night from the Seattle Fire Department who shut down the show after they decided the venue did not meet their safety standards. All of the members of the SFD inspecting Atlas were more than helpful and sympathetic to the space. Their main concern was the safety of show goers and in the event of an emergency, the SFD. All of us at Atlas support that decision.

Long before the inspection, we searched through the building to look out for possible hazards and did what we could to reduce the risk. The safety of our guests has always been of the utmost importance as we attempted to take these shows and the space down the path of legitimacy. The changes necessary along with other updates to the building have lead to the construction that started in the back area this Friday. Our mistake was that we didn’t wait for the completion of these updates once we knew what we needed to fix. We felt that in order to get the ball rolling we would host shows in the space to prove to the owner that there really is a need for the kind of venue we were all hoping to provide. We knew there was the risk of being shutdown but we were willing to take that risk if it meant becoming legitimate in the process.

All of us at Atlas are obviously upset about failing the inspection. It’s unfortunate that this happened right now and not in a few weeks when the construction will be finished and all of the appropriate paperwork has been filed.

We are all excited about the space and appreciate the support from the community over the last few months. We started this project at Atlas because we love doing shows. No matter what happens, we’ll all still be involved with music. We’re continuing down the path we started with Atlas - the permits are on their way, the construction is happening. We’re not ready to quit! We’ll be posting information on our myspace page (http://www.myspace.com/atlasclothing) regarding venue changes for some of our upcoming shows as well as up to date info on the Atlas Clothing and Music and our reaction to recent events around the closing of the space.

Sincerely,

Atlas Clothing & Music
Matt Fuller, Alicia Blake, Nathan Ellis-Brown, Adam Grunke, Keenan Dowers, Aimee Butterworth, Kristen Kerr, Sarina Roscigno, Calla Hummel and Jamey Braden


Sunday, July 1, 2007

All Ages Music - Destroyed!

posted by on July 1 at 4:46 PM

Or…not. Here’s another all-ages show tonight:

SUNDAY 7/1 FINALLY PUNK, THE NEW BLOODS, FLEXIONS, TALBOT TAGORA (Artworks) Finally Punk are a female four-piece from Austin, Texas, that will make you feel like the last 15 years never happened: Olympia is still the center of the indie-verse, Sassy never devolved into the abomination that is Jane, and riot grrrl is still a media-baffling threat to punk-rock orthodoxy. Like the best of that movement’s first wave, Finally Punk blur ideologically fraught lines between the cute and the radical—check the animal squeaks of “Penguin” and the smart, cheeky kiss-off of “Boyfriend Application” (“You can buy me condoms/Tell me that I’m pretty/But it will get you nowhere”)—and between raw urgency and serious musical prowess (like Bikini Kill, the band members regularly switch instruments between songs). They also do a pretty righteous cover of “Negative Creep.” ERIC GRANDY

Two Art Brut Songs

posted by on July 1 at 3:44 PM

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There are 11 great songs on the new Art Brut album, It’s a Bit Complicated, but today the two I love the most are “Late Sunday Evening” and “Nag Nag Nag Nag.” Listen to them, preferably whilst reading the lyric sheet.

Or watch this video of the band performing “Nag Nag Nag Nag” live:

Or watch this music video for “Direct Hit,” another fantastic song:

Two Gallants Tonight in Olympia

posted by on July 1 at 1:13 PM

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The Cure Announce Tour Dates

posted by on July 1 at 1:06 PM

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There are two Northwest dates on the Cure’s just-announced fall tour:

10/8/2007
Seattle, WA / Key Arena
Opening: 65daysofstatic


10/9/2007
Vancouver, BC CAN / General Motors Place
Opening: 65daysofstatic
A full list of dates can be found at the band’s official site, which also says the special pre-sale date for tickets to the Seattle show is July 12.

And now, one of my favorite Cure songs for your enjoyment. Okay, I’m posting it mostly for my own enjoyment. But maybe you’ll like it too?

3 Inches of Blood and Akimbo @ El Corazon

posted by on July 1 at 12:45 PM

First off, I’m always surprised at the shows I go to in which mass quantities of fans arrive already wearing the band’s t-shirt. I thought by now this was understood by almost everyone to be universally un-cool, but once again I have been proven wrong…at least about the general understanding part. There were upwards of forty kids wearing 3 Inches of Blood shirts at the show. I had no idea they had this kind of devoted following. And thanks to the mass numbers breaking this concert faux pas, it was me in my collared shirt under a thin sweater that looked like an idiot. One tattooed, burly man making his way past me said “excuse me” as he passed the girl next to me and “fuck you” as he made his way past me. I used to feel so at home at metal shows.

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Akimbo played mostly new songs from their forthcoming LP Navigating the Bronze. The band seems to be moving farther away from fast riffs and more toward huge, sludgier ones. I liked all the songs they played, and am definitely excited to hear how they came out in the studio, but none of them really made me want to move around. Don’t get me wrong, they were solid, heavy songs, but all they evoked in terms of motion was a slow rhythmic head bob. The addition of solos thanks to new guitar player Aaron Walters was somewhat questionable. Hearing him bust one out in a new song wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, although unexpected, but the addition of one at the end of Circle of Hair seemed totally out of place. Akimbo? Soloing? WTF?

The real surprise during their set once again came from the audience, during their last song. Two guys were lightly bobbing up and down in front of me when out of nowhere the one nearest to me elbows the guy in front of him in the back of the head. As he turns around to see what this guy’s deal is, his face is met with a fist at full speed.
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The two tumble into each other and begin to beat the shit out of one another until the security guards drag them outside by their collars. My initial reaction was to try and take a picture with my camera phone, but my instincts reminded me immediately that this would most certainly result in me getting my ass kicked too.

I saw 3 Inches of Blood for the first time around 7 or 8 years ago as an opener for a daytime Paradox show with Zao. I’m pretty sure it was their first or second show in Seattle – they had no merch, only a couple hand written CD-Rs of their demo, but there was a crowd around them after they played demanding to buy their stuff. I was so impressed I went to their first full-length CD release, which was held in a carport in West Seattle. Literally, a garage the size of one car with maybe 15 or 20 people inside. Here they are now filling El Corazon to capacity with hordes of adoring fans. I’m stoked for them.

I went into the show without hearing their new album, but I knew it was going to be good. They played the blisteringly fast, triumphant metal I remembered, but they seemed to have dropped the hints that a lot of it is tongue in cheek. Seeing their songs live is a lot like having a room full of delicious cakes and they’re all for you. At first you’re like, “Oh my god, this is awesome!” and start gorging yourself on the tasty treats. But after about twenty or thirty minutes you get full, and no matter how good the cake tastes you just can’t handle it anymore, so you leave. When the show started, I turned to my friend who had never heard them and said, “Isn’t this awesome?!” By the sixth song I was so full of decadent metal I was ready to do just about anything else.

Because This Song Sounds Best on Beautiful Days Like Today

posted by on July 1 at 12:26 PM

And because I had no idea the band had a contest for fans to make the video for it. Here’s the winner:

I *heart* you too.