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Archives for 07/08/2007 - 07/14/2007

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Pitchfork Music Festival: Liquid Swords, Daydream Nation

posted by on July 14 at 1:49 PM

Reported by Mairead Case. Photo of GZA by soundfromwayout.

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The Pitchfork Music Festival happens in Union Park, which is donut-shaped, the hole being a lake, with ducks. Day One (of three) started at 5 pm, and three bands played three albums in full: Slint did Spiderland; GZA Liquid Swords; and Sonic Youth, Daydream Nation. Union Park sort of fingers off downtown’s fist, so the El there was half Young Urban Professional, half sad-eyed showgoers with curly hair and post-ironic owl sweaters. “I am so, so excited for the Sonic Youth reunion,” said the boy behind me. “But dude, they never broke up,” said the girl he was with, and this was so happiness-making that they kissed.

“Our hope is to distinguish the event as more than just music,” reads the Pitchfork brochure. It uses words like “comfortable,” “friendly,” “cultural institutions” and “not-for-profit organizations.” This is an important hope, stemming from Pitchfork’s snarky reputation and Chicago’s block party culture, but I’m still waiting to see if the word’ll become flesh. That says nothing about Pitchfork, everything about how the summer festival de rigeur is now beer without the pong, consumer activism, and girls wearing eighty-dollar “recycled D.I.Y.” pillowcase dresses. That’s cool—I like beer—but still the guys at the Obama ’08 table, and the Campaign for Better Health Care one, and even the two NPO tents: They all looked lonely. Maybe that’ll change on Saturday.

Completely appalled by my crabby parental mindset, I grabbed a Goose Island (beer’s cheap at Chicago festivals, and water, too) and moved up front. Slint Spiderlanded like putting a needle to the record, which I suppose is important when you’re still geling with a new bandmember (as they are), but it did take some fire out of the show. Liquid Swords fireworked and got the crowd neck-snapping, but when Sonic Youth came out it was like the park turned gold, and green. The quartet climbed into the album and busted it a new skylight, Kim dancing like a windmill dervish and skinny white Thurston not caring about the hair in his eyes. They are so cool you want them to be your best friends, so you use first names and it feels like they might be.

Afterwards, the fans biked off but the bands stood on the sidewalk, waiting for cabs to the afterparty. “If we were in Brooklyn,” said one guy, “we’d’ve found one already.” “And if we were in Austin,” said his buddy, “we’d just walk.” By now it was midnight. Sorry, guys.

S.O.S.

posted by on July 14 at 11:01 AM

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The greatest band name I have ever heard:

Shower of Smegma

They were 14 year olds from the LA / Hollywood area and played the club circuit in the early 80’s. They played with bands such as D.R.I., Dr. Know, Entropy, Excel, and Stukas Over Bedrock.

They played speed punk and crossed over that punk into faster versions of Sabbath songs. None of them were old enough to drive, so their parents would drive them to the gigs.

Shower of Smegma or S.O.S. as they called it – a name that conjures imagery of vast and powerful grossness. They were 14 though, and that is what makes it beautiful.

“So what’s the name of your son’s band?”

“Oh, he calls it Shower of Smegma, or something like that. You know these kids these days.”


Friday, July 13, 2007

This Sunday! Plastic Little!

posted by on July 13 at 6:02 PM

Okay. I’ve never seen “Philadelphia’s second hottest rap group,” Plastic Little, but I’ve been listening to Crambodia today, and me thinks me like!

This Sunday. War Room. Let’s dance.

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Archive Retrieval

posted by on July 13 at 5:50 PM

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Sudden critical favorites Grand Archives have entered the studio to record their debut album. Sub Pop signed the Seattle quintet last fall after a single live performance—a rather assured move, one likely due to the band members’ considerable lineage. For those who’ve been living outside the of country or in hibernation since fall, the band is comprised of guitarist Mat Brooke, who once co-helmed Carissa’s Wierd and later helped pen Band of Horses’ epic debut; bassist Jeff Montano, formerly of the New Mexicans and Crutches (both of which also featured current Band of Horses members Rob Hampton and Creighton Barrett); multi-instrumentalist Ron Lewis (Ghost Stories); guitarist Thomas Wright (the Can’t See); and drummer Curtis Hall (ex-Jeunes); the latter of whom is currently laying down his tracks at Death Cab for Cutie time-keeper Jason McGerr’s Seattle-based studio. Guitars, etcetera will commit throughout mid-July at SODO’s Mysterious Red X studio. Lastly, the members—all five of whom sing—will venture into the wilds of the Cascade foothills to record vocal tracks at Paradise Sound. Archives elected local producer Ben Kersten to produce the record, which has a tentative release date in February. “[Kersten] did our demo, and we really liked working with him,” says Montano. “So instead of paying a lot of money for a big name, we decided to go with someone whose work we knew we already liked and trusted.”

Beating a Dead Horseman of 2012

posted by on July 13 at 5:10 PM

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Klaxons, Fist Fite @ Chop Suey

I learned something about Fist Fite last night that I probably should’ve figured out long ago. Their “severely amateurish keyboard player/vocalist,” Jonnie Monroe? I know her! We were peripheral acquaintances back in Olympia. She was at at least one of my house parties there! That explains the (partially) my turning up as a character on their myspace page, I guess. It certainly explains her shout out/implied threat at the end of Fist Fite’s set last night: “Is that DJ Eric here? We’ll see you after the show!” (They did see me after the show; we had drinks at Sugar—a club whose decor may have, in fact, inspired the phrase “new rave”—and caught up on old times).

Also, it turns out that Monroe is a fucking mean keyboardist. At their first live show in Seattle (their first live show period), maybe I was drunk (I was), maybe she was drunk, maybe Fist Fite had nerves, but it was a fluke. Monroe is kind of like an evil version of Beth Ditto on stage, screaming and singing into a yellow telephone (pssst—Japanther’s on the other line, they want their mic back) while shredding on a pair of keyboards, or awkwardly dancing and gesturing with a wicked sneer on her face. The band played as a three piece, with distorted bass rounding out their low end, and it they sounded heavy. They alternated between spazzed out synth punk blasts, proggy riffing, and half-time swagger. In those half-time moments, with spooky organs looming, scuzzy bass blowing out amps, and drums stomping around, the band resembled nothing so much as the heavy metal disco of Justice. It was not, as I may have previously though, “bullshit.” Not totally anyway.

As Jonathan pointed out earlier, and as everyone and their shut-in, internet disabled grandma should know by now, The Klaxons are just a rock band, if a pretty good one. There is no new rave, kids. (Seriously, the four kids there last night with the glitter and the bubbles and the pink mesh shirt and the glowsticks break my heart—they’re dressed up for a party, for a scene, that doesn’t exist). Look up on the stage: it’s just some dudes in t shirts and jeans. What’s weird is how impossible it seems to be to address the Klaxons on these terms, as a rock band. Even I fell back on debunking the stupid new rave straw-man in this recent article on the band. It’s fun and easy. But I think it’s time to stop debunking the myth and start ignoring it, so it goes away. Not because I don’t like rave, old or new, mind you, but because that’s just not what the Klaxons are.

Live, the Klaxons lack much of the nuance and depth of their recordings—the synth tones and atmospheres created by Simian Mobile Disco producer James Ford are flattened and fuzzed out into a fairly standard rock sound. And even that sound was a little thin last night—a friend suggested that the thinness was due to the bass player missing a few notes here and there in between drinks. Their drummer played along to a drum track on at least a couple songs, but that didn’t do much augment their sound. The core of the Klaxons sound is their vocals, the odd hooks and harmonies they throw into their singing, and their vocals sounded just fine last night. They’re basically a barbershop quartet…FROM THE FUTURE! And they do have some spectacularly catchy songs, so that’s always going to work for them, even if their live show isn’t yet phenomenal.

And Jonathan was right, they played their entire album, as well as b-side “Dance With Me.” Their set went like this:

The Bouncer
Atlantis to Interzone
Dance With Me
Totem on the Timeline
Golden Skans
As Above So Below
Two Receivers
Magick
Forgotten Worlds
Gravity’s Rainbow
Isle of Her
It’s Not Over Yet
(encore)
Four Horsemen of 2012

What’s That? You Want More Photos of Sufjan Stevens in Neckties?

posted by on July 13 at 4:45 PM

Because the necktie in yesterday’s Sufjan love fest wasn’t enough?

Let’s have another look at yesterday’s, shall we?

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Classic. And yet somehow new.

And not, it turns out, the only tie Sufjan owns. A Google image search also finds this red/blue/cream number:

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…a black-with-pink-and-purple one:

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…a happy yellow/blue combo:

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…a departure from the diagonal-line thing altogether:

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…and, well, a departure from the necktie altogether, the great handkerchief-tie:

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Happy Friday, everyone.

KEXP Teaches Me A Lesson, Rubs It In

posted by on July 13 at 4:21 PM

Yesterday I posted about the unhealthy relationship I was developing with KUBE, “Seattle’s #1 Hit Music Station,” which plays the same eleven songs over and over and over until they are eating your brain while you sleep.

Today I turned away from KUBE (thanks to another goddamn song built around a whiny “R&B”-style vocal hook; maybe it was Akon or T-Pain or Neyo or whatever douchebag is making slimy love to his vocoder these days) and landed on KEXP. At first I thought the song playing was another wispy indie-guitar trifle but then the guitar riff opened up over some sunny hip-hop beats, and some guy with an appealingly raspy voice starting rapping about trigonometry? Calculus? Some math thing, and all these great weird instrumental hooks started falling in place and by the second chorus I realized this one track had more substance than 1,001 KUBE jams.

To rub it in, the KEXP mystery jam was followed—seamlessly and gorgeously—by the muffled electro-beats and weeping-whale noises of TV on the Radio’s “I Was a Lover”….

Forgive me, KEXP; I’ll never stray again.

(At least not until Ciara has a new single or KEXP’s Saturday morning political reporter mumbles his 10,000th “uh..” of the hour…)

Thank You Baby, No More Lonely Nights

posted by on July 13 at 3:42 PM

Nanette Workman 1976 Debut LPIf you haven’t been over to Bumrocks.com yet, then your really missing out. I have found some incredible mixes over there including these two amazing Lee Douglas edit’s of Nanette Workman’s “Save Me” off of her 1976 debut LP and Eddie Kendricks’ classic disco cut “Thanks For The Memories” off of the 1976 album Goin’ Up In Smoke. Both equally amazing and funky.

Right now you should definately head over to Bumrocks.com and get your hands on some really amazing Prins Thomas edits while they still last.

Nanette Workman - Save Me (Lee Douglas Edit)
Eddie Kendricks - Thanks For The Memories (Lee Douglas Edit)

Sly Resurfaces

posted by on July 13 at 1:11 PM

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This month’s Vanity Fair has an extensive—nay, exhaustiveinterview feature with the notoriously reclusive Sly Stone, who is unarguably one of the greatest living songwriters and bandleaders of all time. I just started in on it, and it’s long. It’ll have to wait for the weekend. But the gist: Sly is planning a comeback. Working on new material. Waiting for the right moment.

In some ways that’s a thrilling prospect, in others, a frightening one. What if he’s lost it? What if his new stuff is no good? Why risk tainting an incredible legacy with some less-than-stellar stuff?

Then again, what if it’s really good?

Last E-Street Band Tour?

posted by on July 13 at 11:24 AM

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My friend Jersey City Benny is a huge Springsteen fan, but his friend Kevin is even huger. Kevin’s on a variety of Springsteen fan sites and message boards. Here’s a missive he found spinning around the Springsteen rumor mill:

About as certain as we can get at this point: The new album has been recorded with members of the E Street Band already having contributed. Additional tracks are being recorded with and without the E Street Band. As can best be described at this point is the album is a cross between TOL and The Rising with some “rock” songs and a number of songs pared down. Having trouble describing the sound, but a lot of production is being used wth the versions already recorded. Different versions of each song are being recorded (with and without members of the E Street Band) and the final versions of about half the album have not been settled on. It was agreed to go ahead with announcing a new recording since it is fully anticipated the final recording phases will go very quickly. The good news is a flurry of recording will be ongoing over the next few weeks with August to be the month of final production, etc. Although a given, the album will have a least 10 songs with a goal of about 13 being projected.

What is interesting is the most definitive and positive news relates to the tour, which will be the last for the entire E Street Band. Rehearsals for the tour are once again scheduled for Asbury Park around Labor Day. Look for the tour to kick off on or about 10/02/2007 in New York with a quick swing around the country until the end of November. All of the major cities, to include LA, DC, Philly, Boston, Chicago, etc. will be covered. The month of December will include a quick tour of Europe, about 10 shows or so. January and part of February look to be time off with a full world tour to begin in full effect during the Spring of 2008 (Feb/March) with outdoor arena shows scheduled for the summer of 2008. The U.S., Canada, Europe, and Australia, will all be on the schedule. Bottom line is that we are now entering the final stages in preparation for the final E Street Band world tour. Stay tuned.

No Seattle on that list. I’m a little worried.

I’ve never seen the Boss in concert, with or without the E Street Band. I’ve been told it’s one of the most spectacular concert experiences in modern music, something you gotta see to believe. I’m going through a Sprinsteen rediscovery phase right now, too (The Wild, The Innocent, and the E Street Shuffle is BRILLIANT), so I feel like now is the time to fully connect with whatever the magic is that Bruce brings. Hopefully he brings it here.

Klaxons @ Chop Suey

posted by on July 13 at 10:44 AM

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I know Eric’s gonna say a few words about last night’s Klaxons show so I won’t go into too much detail. Let’s just say that the band—the usual trio plus a drummer—was really, really OK.

And let’s say that the nu rave will be soundtracked by post-punk. Because that’s what thes guys play—studied, intense, tight, sometimes dancable post-punk. Very British, a la Wire via Carter USM via the Futureheads. I haven’t checked out the album beyone “Golden Skans” and “Atlantis to Interzone,” so I couldn’t tell you whether they played most of it or not, though I’d venture they did. Whatever conspiratorial/metaphysical/sci-fi fantasies their lyrics may deal with was pretty much lost in the live setting; this was just a rock show. Klaxons seemed very comfortable on stage, throwing out plenty of heavily accented “Fank yoo Seea-ull”s between short, aggressive songs. They’re very good at what they do, but what they do is not terribly original or revolutionary, which is fine. I just can’t figure out what all the hype is about.

But the kids were loving it. The all-ages dancefloor was PACKED and heaving, sweat-drenched kids pogoin, throwing hands in the air, and even climbing on stage to dance for a song. One dude brought some neon glowsticky twirly things and was dutifully twirling them the entire show, but with the clubs house lights on (why?) and breaks between songs, it certainly didn’t feel like a dance party or anything even close to a rave. But then again, most of these teenagers were still toddling during the first iteration of rave, so how are they to know? For them cranky guitars and shouted falsetto vocals are what raving is all about.

If Klaxons can convince another generation that it’s OK to dance at rock shows, then more power to them. Last night it seemed like they did, ably. But if they’re gonna stick around beyond the first flush of media hype—if they’re gonna keep all these young fans they’ve swept up—they’re gonna have to be more than a one-trick pony.

Block Party Band of the Day!

posted by on July 13 at 10:40 AM

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The Blakes

The Blakes are having a hell of a summer. They’ve signed to local indie heavyweight Light in the Attic, they have an EP due for release in August on the label, and they’re playing pretty much every festival around (Block Party, Bumbershoot, Musicfest NW, Seafair). Their song “Don’t Bother Me” is catchy as hell. Here’s a video of them playing it live at SxSW:

The Blakes play the Neumo’s Stage at 5:15pm on Friday, July 27th. For the full Capitol Hill Block Party line up, schedule, and other info, go to http://www.thestranger.com/blockparty.

“Close to Me” by the Cure VS “The Caterpillar” by the Cure

posted by on July 13 at 8:00 AM

The thing is, I never really liked the Cure. Or maybe I was turned off by their fans. I guess I thought I couldn’t outwardly like them because I’m not into eyeliner, black dyejobs, lipstick on men. I’m not, you know, goth. But I’ve always thought “Close to Me” is—and I rarely use this word when describing music—amazing. And I’ve always thought the same thing about “Caterpillar.” I fall strangely but whole-heartedly for both songs, so they both get the BSE(TW) treatment today.

There are so many awesome elements at work in “Close to Me”: Robert Smith’s queasy, breathy vocals; a great horn line (plus a kickass sax-vs-trumpet solo in the middle); that dinky keyboard/percussion accent; that quietly humming organ that swells beneath the whole thing; and most importantly that badass breakbeat that’s actually totally funky. It all comes together in a masterful arrangement that will stay with you for days.

Smith warbles about that excruciating, intoxicating moment where the mere proximity of love, just the potential for it, is enough to pop your eyes out of your head. It’s an universal human emotion that this song conveys perfectly. I believe Smith would rather long for love than have it—which is an alright outlook, if you think about it.

“Caterpillar” is similar in that poor Robert still refuses to tarnish the object of his desire—this “caterpillar girl”—by actually obtaining it. “You flicker and you’re beautiful, you float inside my head”—that’s as close as he’s gonna get. She changes willfully, habitually, more than a guy can keep up with.

And the song—it’s all about that chorus, that beautifully sung chorus and its gorgeous, gospel-ish melody. It’s one of the most uplifting, almost spiritual melodies I’ve ever heard in a pop song. An acoustic guitar strums underneath, a clean conga tap keeps pulse against castanets and keyboard chords. The beginning, too—that weird violin and scratched piano strings. It’s the sound of butterflies flocking, or maybe the sound of metamorphosis. The whole thing is another exquisitely arranged gem.

Both of these songs prove that goth got soul and the Cure is quite fucking good, which is why they tie for The Best Songs Ever (This Week).


Thursday, July 12, 2007

Upcoming Disco Marathon

posted by on July 12 at 4:17 PM

On Friday, August 03rd, I will be throwing an “All Disco, All Night” Dance Party at the Solo Bar in Lower Queen Anne. Everything that you enjoy from my blog-posts, all night long. New/Old/Italo/Classic/Tropical/ Disco, you name it, I’ll be spinning it.

American Athlete & Beat Freeze Records Presents:
Club Cabana: “All Disco, All Night”
Friday, August 03rd
Solo Bar (Seattle’s Best Unknown Bar)
200 Roy Street
FREE!

To quote the great Gwen Guthrie -
…It’s Getting Hot, I’m Getting Ready For The Best Time In My Life

“We sold our clothes to the state, I don’t mind, I don’t mind. I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my mind, in my mind.”

posted by on July 12 at 3:52 PM

Grandy just sent me an email—I guess he doesn’t have the guts to say it to my face:

STOP WHISTLING “CHICAGO!”

I didn’t even realize what he was talking about—the used-to-get-beat-up-because-I-liked-musical-theater-as-a-kid part of me thought he was talking about, you know, Chicago the musical—and then I realized: Oh man, I’ve been whistling Sufjan Stevens’s “Chicago” all week.

I realize that everyone else has been obsessed with Sufjan Stevens for a while, but I am late to every party. (I discovered Belle & Sebastian a decade after If You’re Feeling Sinister.) I just discovered Sufjan Stevens. Guess what? He’s ahhhsome!

Like, really great. Like, haven’t-been-listening-to-anything-other-than-Come-on-Feel-the-Illinoise! for the last 10 days. Will it ever not be good? Will it just go on and on and on being good?

If you don’t have the album, I strongly encourage you to discover it with me. At this moment, the Easy Street Records in West Seattle has eight copies of it. The Easy Street in Lower Queen Anne has four. Silver Platters in Lower Queen Anne has five. Everyday Music on Capitol Hill has three. Sonic Boom on Capitol Hill has two. Sonic Boom in Fremont has one. Sonic Boom in Ballard has one on vinyl. Silver Platters in Northgate has one (“We’re getting another shipment tomorrow—I’m sure we have more coming in”). Silver Platters in Bellevue has five. That’s thirty copies just, like, sitting around, waiting for you. Come on, everyone!

As I was making the calls that went into writing the above paragraph, Jonathan Zwickel, sitting at his desk, said, under his breath, mimicking me: “Soof-john.”

I hung up the phone and said, “Am I saying it wrong?”

He said, “Yeah, it’s soof-yawn.”

See? I dunno shit.

If you already have the song and want to hear, like, crappier versions of it, but with concert trappings (a horn section dressed as butterflies), here’s Stevens performing it in Atlanta:

And here’s an acoustic performance of it in San Francisco:

Here are a bunch of high school boys covering it a capella in a spring concert:

And here’s a TOTAL NERD—don’t get me wrong, it’s appealing—giving video instructions on how to play “Chicago” on a guitar:

What more do you need? A picture of Sufjan putting on a tie?

Behold!

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He is, as everyone else already knows, making a different album for every state in the country. (Come on Feel the Illinoise! is Illinois. He’s also done Michigan.) According to Wikipedia: “The next states to be taken on in the project have been reported as Oregon and Rhode Island.” Man, we just got dissed. I mean, Oregon? Don’t you think, dear Line Out readers, we should put aside our differences and band together to sponsor a Washington album? I’ll let him have my apartment for a while—it’s got views of municipal and geological landmarks. That should help him. Anyone have a car we can loan the guy? Who’s got, like, tons of money?

Klaxons at the Croc, oops I meant the Chop

posted by on July 12 at 2:56 PM

Go see ‘em! Remember how much fun it was when they played the Crocodile back in April? I wonder if they’ll be more rock or rave? I loved that they stopped to talk to us, for a quickie How Was It? vid. Nice boys, those Klaxons. Nice boys…

Jerry Abstract - “Max Volume_Yellow DJ Mix”

posted by on July 12 at 1:30 PM

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From Jerry:

Friends, Here’s the link to the new DJ mix I created with Abelton. If you liked “A New York City Minute” you’ll definitely like this one. Multi-tracked minimal/maximal style including custom edits and mash-ups. 94 minutes in length, 216 MB in size. This mix marks the beginning of a new Jerry Abstract series titled Max Volume, subcoded with a color tone to indicate which volume in the series is being represented. Max Volume_Yellow is a DJ mix. There are other Max Volume song EP releases being shopped to Clink, Dragons Eye Recordings, Spectral and a few others. If you recieved a copy of the new Demo(n)stration v.2 CD-r the first four tracks are Max Volume_Green. Max Volume represents my minimal / mediumal / maximal explorations in both production and as a disc jockey.

Enjoy.

I’ve only just started listening, but the opening track is comedic, late night dance floor gold.

Jerry Abstract - Max Volume_Yellow DJ Mix.mp3

The Breaks

posted by on July 12 at 12:51 PM

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of moderating a little chat with Spencer Manio of the Saturday Knights and Gregg Gillis of Girl Talk (look for it in the Stranger’s Capitol Hill Block Party guide). We were talking about sampling (duh), and I asked what were some of their favorite samples to play with. Gillis cited the classic Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock track “It Takes Two” (“whoo! yeah! whoo! yeah!”), and today Manio writes in to give a little background on that particular loop:

Yo…just thought about this. Yesterday, when Greg (Girl Talk) said his favorite sample was the ‘it takes two’ drums…the original song is “think’ by Lyn Collins. It’s the same song/break used in all the Baltimore stuff too.

Check it..

Comes in twice: at 1:24 and then again at 2:04.

Samples of samples of samples. Gregg Gillis is a motherfucking fractal.

2080s @ War Room

posted by on July 12 at 12:01 PM

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Zack and Scene killed it last night at 2080s. Which is nothing new really, but last night’s insanely awesome hiphop/’80s dance party at the War Room sported a Miami Vice theme that upped the totally-rad factor by several notches. The show was playing on the flat screens and projections over the bar and the dancefloor, the perfect accompaniment to the tropical-feeling, bamboo-flocked roof deck and the hot-as-hell dancefloor. Scene even thew in a slow-jam set for the lovers in the house. As usual, the crowd was as mixed and stylish as it gets in Seattle. One dude was rocking the white-on-white cotton jacket and pants look. You go, Sonny Crocket.

If you haven’t been to the best Wednesday night throwdown in the city, you’re missing out. Seriously—you can’t go and not have fun. Especially now that that roof deck is open. The whole vibe reminded me of IO, downtown Miami’s hipper-than-hip concert venue/dance club. Summertime!

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Fluffy Money

posted by on July 12 at 11:13 AM

Earlier this week, Seattle Opera got a gift of $15 million from a man whose fortune is in pillows.

The man is Gerald (Jerry) Hanauer. His company is Pacific Coast Feather Co. Most relaxing sentence from the company’s website (product description for Superior Goose Down Pillow): “Combining the softness of high thread count 100% cotton and fluffy, natural down plumes, our down pillows are designed with your absolute comfort in mind… Relax and cradle your head in our soft, luxurious down pillows.”

From Seattle Times:

Hanauer commended Seattle Opera’s “beauty and excellence,” adding, “My company, Pacific Coast Feather Co., is a world-class company, and I have had for numerous years now the same feeling about Seattle Opera.” The Hanauer gift will more than double Seattle Opera’s endowment…

Here’s a website that explains how goose down pillows are made: “To obtain feathers and down at the time of slaughter, the normal process is to first scald the geese in hot water (60-68°C) for 1-3 minutes. The coarse feathers of the wing and tail are then removed by hand with the remainder of the feathers and down removed either by a plucking machine or by hand. The feathers are then dried and this is normally done in large commercial tumble dryers…”

You don’t have to murder the geese in order to get a fluffy pillow for relaxing and cradling your head, but if you don’t, where’s the foie gras you eat before heading out to the opera going to come from?

In other words, we capture, murder, boil, and chop up these guys:

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…so that we can have this:

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Tour de Keytar with Pleasurecraft

posted by on July 12 at 11:10 AM

keytar_boyband.jpgDance has the Lord of Dance. Synthesizers have the Keytar.

Behold, the Keytar. The keyboard that is played like a guitar. The epic-niche collision that yields sexual nerditization.

Commercially, it was introduced in 1980 as the Moog Liberation. The first Liberation owner was Spyro Gyra keyboardist, Tom Schuman. The next 3 went to the band Devo.

Seattle synth band, Pleasurecraft, is here today to take us on a tour of the Keytar through some of the finest videos I have ever seen:

Hey Lineout! Let us say that in general, we believe the Keytar is kinda cool and ultimately lovable in its dorky way, simply because it’s a synthesizer. Campy, hilarious and fun? Yes. But if you’re going for legitimately Cool? No dice.

When we think about the synthesists we really respect out there (Nick Rhodes, Martin Gore, Kraftwerk, Daft Punk) you’re not gonna see them rockin’ the ‘tar. The Keytar is all about goofy fun. Yes, we are aware Daft Punk dresses up as robots.

We begin with the ultimate Keytar instructional kit. This unprecedented video by Les Rythmes Digital for “(Hey You) What’s That Sound” pretty much sums up everything you need to know about the Keytar. From how to play it, to what to wear while playing it, to how to shoot lasers out of it. It doesn’t get any better than this action right here. This is Keytar defined. Great song from a great album:



Continue reading "Tour de Keytar with Pleasurecraft" »

KUBE = Crack

posted by on July 12 at 10:45 AM

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I don’t drive much, but when I do, I listen to the radio, and lately my station of choice has been KUBE 93, “Seattle’s #1 Hit Music Station.”

For those who don’t know, KUBE plays the same dozen songs over and over and over and over and over, and much of my tuning in has been motivated by curiousity: If I turn on KUBE, will I really hear “Party Like a Rockstar” within five minutes? Yes!

Unfortunately, “Party Like a Rockstar” is one of the KUBE standards that I hate, but there are plenty more I’ve learned to love, or at least tolerate. That spicy Ciara song about how sometimes she wishes she didn’t like a boy, or gave head like a boy, or something? Love it! (Especially the sizzurpy male underscore vocal.) Sean Kingston’s “Beautiful Girls” (ably dissected by Michaelangelo Matos here)? Love it! That mercilessly repeated T-Pain song with “I got money in the BANK!” whined R&B-style? It’s okay, mostly because its hook reminds me of a far superior Prince song (“Incense & Candles”) that I can sing over the T-Pain track.

The brazen repetitiveness is kind of soothing, and it’s nice to know that so many other citizens are being stalked by the same songs I am. Still, some KUBE mysteries remain: Why are they still playing “California Love” and “Ridin’ Dirty” so frequently? How long does any one track stay in the merciless-repeat cycle? And what they hell is Ciara talking about???

Thank you for your help and commiseration.

“Look Out for a Looper”

posted by on July 12 at 9:22 AM

This morning brought this drag of an I, Anonymous submission to my inbox.

LOOK OUT FOR A LOOPER

If someone you play music with just happens to show up to a rehearsal with a new a BossRC50 Loopstation, Digitech Effects Box, two Shure microphones, a mic stand, a ton of cables, an expensive carrying case for all of that, plus a kick ass TENT in the next few days, just know that they stole it all from me. To the person who smashed my car windows and stole my music equipment, plus tent: I was stupid for getting distracted on the night of july 9 and forgetting to pull my gear out of the car. I don’t know if you are an addict or just an asshole, but you should know that I worked hard to buy that stuff—something you might want to consider. I will replace it but it means paying rent this next month will be tight and may mean I will miss a couple of gigs and recording opportunities over the next week or so. I’m mad but not mean spirited. i hope that you get good money for the stuff or that you get enjoyment out of using it. Just know that people you steal music equipment from are probably not that much better off than you are in the money department and that your actions really set them back. If you are a musician and you stole this stuff with plans to use it, well, I can’t even wrap my head around that one. As an artist I would hope you have more respect for the work of other artists—especially those trying to make a living with their art. If you are just someone who steals stuff for money, I hope the chunk of change you get from the pawn shop is worth the karma you are creating for yourself.

My bet’s on the junkie-in-the-pawn-shop theory, but if anyone notices a suddenly and suspiciously well-equipped music scenester, take photos.


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Jam Band Fan or Taliban?

posted by on July 11 at 5:34 PM

It’s exactly what it sounds like.

Take a guess and click the pic to find out:

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This blog is pretty fucking hilarious, and the pics are more difficult to guess than you might think.

Keep It Coming

posted by on July 11 at 3:24 PM

United Kingdom’s Faze Action have been releasing solid productions over the past two decades. From their early Nuphonic releases like the 1996 classic single “In The Trees” to their solid full-length albums Plans & Designs and Moving Cities, the Faze Action brothers, aka Robin Lee and Simon Lee, provided a solid gateway into the Disco House sound. Now in 2007, Faze Action seems to be back in full swing, starting with Juno Records’ 10-year anniversary series release of two In The Trees 12”. Both singles feature remixes of the track, including an amazing mix by Detroit techno master, Carl Craig. We also see Faze Action releasing some new material in 2007 with two self-released 12-inch singles “Keep It Coming” and “Stratus Energy”. Both singles contain “Special Disco” extended mixes that were built to move the dancefloor. From their early releases to their latest productions, Faze Action continue to produce solid music that’s well ahead of their time.

Faze Action - Keep It Coming (Special Disco Mix)
Faze Action - Stratus Energy (Special Disco Mix)

The End of An Era

posted by on July 11 at 2:41 PM

The first night I ever went to in Seattle was the drum and bass Tuesday night, then held at The Baltic Room. It moved to the War Room, but apparently enthusiasm waned a bit, since the weekly is now more of a bi-monthly, as last night was the premiere of Revolt, a new breaks night. Sure, it’s the same musical family, but it’s still a big shift, as the drum and bass weekly’s been around forever. I can’t claim to follow that scene enough to know what happened (and a quick look around isn’t bringing anything up), but I know the last few times I’ve gone it’s been dead. Anybody have any insight into what happened here? Have all the drum and bass kids moved on to dubstep?

Decibel Is Coming…

posted by on July 11 at 2:25 PM

Just a few days after Bumbershoot announces their full electronic music-free lineup, Decibel steps in to announce that after a long stretch of uncertainty (seems to be a feature of any festival of this type), they’re doing it all over again this September 20th-23rd, and they’re not even scaling back like they said they were. I’ve heard bits and pieces regarding the lineup and it’s looking to be another stellar year for discovering new music. Full press release after the jump.

Continue reading "Decibel Is Coming..." »

Ain’t It Strange

posted by on July 11 at 1:36 PM

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Hey fans of Dr. Dog (which should be all of you): Every week from now until mid-September, the Philly five-piece will be posting a new, unreleased song on their website.

The bonanza began last week with the lo-fi stomp of “Oh Me Oh My,” and this week’s number is the slow burner “Going Home.”

The unreleased tracks are from all over the band’s career and follow their unrepentently derivative and relentlessly likable recent album We All Belong.

After Daft Punk…

posted by on July 11 at 1:00 PM

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7.29 Sunday Chop Suey, Neumos, Ed Banger, Broken Disco, Death of the Party, and Throne of Blood Present

The Party after the Show…

SEBASTIAN AND KAVINSKY (ED BANGER CREW, PARIS)
Vito, Druzzi, Mattie, & Luke The Duke (Throne of Blood, NY)

@ Chop Suey
More info. TBA
9 pm doors

West Seattle Summerfest

posted by on July 11 at 12:57 PM

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So I’ve never been to West Seattle. I mean, like, where is it? I’ve heard it’s nice.

Seems like summer is the time to find out, and this weekend’s the most prime candidate of all, thanks to West Seattle Summerfest. Any opportunity to stand on the street, listen to live music, and drink beer in the sun is not to be missed. It’s a good lineup, too:

FRIDAY, JULY 13
North Stage
2:45pm - 3:45pm Capping Day
4:15pm - 5:00pm Swallow
5:30pm - 6:30pm Spoils
7:00pm - 8:00pm Billy Joe & The Dusty 45s

South Stage
2:30pm - 3:30pm Boys of Greenwood Glen
4:00pm - 5:00pm Diosa
5:30pm - 6:30pm Down With People
7:00pm - 8:00pm “Awesome”

SATURDAY, JULY 14
North Stage
12:30pm - 1:30pm Swamp Soul
2:00pm - 3:00pm Bend
3:30pm - 4:30pm The Lonely Forest
5:00pm - 6:00pm Peter Parker
6:30pm - 7:30pm The Blakes
7:30pm - 8:30pm DJ Greg Vandy
8:30pm - 11:00pm The Retros

South Stage
12:45pm - 1:45pm Sumac
2:15pm - 3:15pm Rik Wright Quintet
3:45pm - 4:45pm Heartbreak USA
5:15pm - 6:15pm Mark Pickerel
6:45pm - 7:45pm Christy McWilson & the Board

SUNDAY, JULY 15
North Stage
12:45pm - 1:45pm Duwamish Dixieland Jazz Band
2:15pm - 3:00pm Sonando
3:30pm - 4:15pm Metaphonic
4:45pm - 5:30pm The Purrs
6:00pm - 7:00pm The Snakebites

South Stage
1:15pm - 2:15pm Two Loons for Tea
2:45pm - 3:45pm Carrie Akre
4:15pm - 5:15pm Jared Clifton
5:45pm - 6:45pm Downpilot

And it’s free!

For more info check out WestSeattleFestival.com.

Piece of Your Action

posted by on July 11 at 10:59 AM

gallery-msg-1111702945-2.jpgMotley Crue have filed a 20 million dollar lawsuit against their manager. Crue claim the manager was greedy and issued poor career guidance.

Story from Marco Gandolfi:

In the lawsuit lodged at Los Angeles County Superior Court the band — Nikki Sixx, Vince Neil, Mick Mars and Tommy Lee — accused manager Carl Stubner of “extortionist tactics”.

The suit also alleged Stubner persuaded Lee to sign on for a series of reality television projects that tarnished his and the band’s image.

The suit said the two reality television shows starring Lee — “Tommy Lee Goes to College” and “Rock Star: Supernova” portrayed the drummer in an unflattering light.

Lee’s television commitments left him unable to tour with Motley Crue because of scheduling conflicts, causing the cancellation of several concerts and around eight million dollars in ticket and merchandise revenues.

Wait, wasn’t Vince Neil on The Surreal Life? And wasn’t he in one of those shows where the people get all kinds of plastic surgery? (Yes, he was – The Remaking of Vince Neil.)

Why isn’t the person in charge of that move getting sued?

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And now, some lyrics from “Piece of Your Action”, off Crue’s 1981 release, Too Fast for Love:

“Tight action, rear traction
So hot, you really blow me away
Fast moving, wet and ready
The time is right, so hang on tight
Live Wire, night prowler
Lay back and take me inside
You need me now, I’ll teach you how
Come on, let’s go all the way

Get a piece of your action
Ah huh
Get a piece of your action
Ah huh”

This is Getting Ridiculous

posted by on July 11 at 9:33 AM

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A new day, a new coffeshop, and here I sit trying to wrap up a music piece with, once again, the Strokes as my soundtrack.

It happened yesterday too at an entirely different location.

Is someone following me? Calling ahead to the places I go and telling them to play it? Well it’s not funny anymore. Stop it.

I had no idea Seattle was still so into this band.


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Re: Should Peaches kick Avril’s ass?

posted by on July 10 at 5:29 PM

The answer is yes.

Unless the Rubinoos get to her first.

But wait! Now the Stones want in on the action too!

Christ, that’s a hell of a mash-up.

Win Tickets to Block Party!

posted by on July 10 at 3:45 PM

Oh Yes!

All you have to do is listen to Setlist, our weekly podcast of local bands playing local shows. Megan and I will make you laugh and cry and then play you some music. That’s it! You will find out how to win the contest in that fair, beautiful, entertaining, marvelous, extraordinary, palateable, leftist-oriented, smiling, fart-tastic podcast.

Happy listening!

Released Today: The Album With Perhaps the Dumbest Name Ever

posted by on July 10 at 3:18 PM

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Spoon’s Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga is in stores now.

Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga. That’s the name of the record. Seriously. Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga.

I’ve always been pretty ambivalent about Spoon, but while the new record played overhead at a coffee shop, a friend of mine, a die hard Spoon fan (hi Matt!), described the video and explained how singer Britt Daniel found the horn section heard on the record at a Mexican restaurant in his hometown of Austin, TX. He apparently had to get an interpreter to ask them to play for him. That’s a pretty cute story. didn’t find the horn section heard on the record at a Mexican restaurant in his hometown of Austin, TX and my friend Matt got him confused with Jack White of the White Stripes.

Sheesh, Matt. You’re fired.

Here’s the first single off Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga called “The Underdog,” anyway. I like the song quite a bit, despite the record title making me feel like I’m gagging every time I say it.

Also, does anyone else hear a little early-era Billy Joel in the chorus?

Should Peaches kick Avril’s ass?

posted by on July 10 at 1:26 PM

Is this stealing? How similar is *too* similar? Is this thievery?

With the Herd I Share This Lonely View

posted by on July 10 at 1:13 PM

asch1.pngNot that public opinion should ever sway your opinion. Or taste, or liking of a song. But –

I heard a Red Hot Chili Peppers song yesterday that I used to like. But now, the song doesn’t sound so good.

Listening through the filter of Lineout’s (and Megan’s) pointed and colossal dislike of the Peppers, I found faults with the song I had not noticed before. I found myself thinking:

“Dang, Anthony Kiedis really is off here. Is this song cheesy? Are RHCP as bad as everyone says they are? Are those really the words? Kiedis couldn’t have come up with any other way of saying, ‘With the birds I’ll share this lonely view?’”

Upon further and up close review, sure enough, the song sucks.

I offer a simple and scientific reasoning for my transformation -

The Asch Conformity Test.

In 1951 there were a series of studies that plainly demonstrated the power of conformity in groups.

Researcher, Solomon Asch, asked students to participate in a “vision test.” The students were brought into a room and asked to look at a series of lines. They didn’t know the other people taking the test were planted by Asch to purposefully give the wrong answer.

Continue reading "With the Herd I Share This Lonely View" »

Transmissions From the Satellite Heart

posted by on July 10 at 1:09 PM

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Just announced: The Flaming Lips will play the Paramount Theater on Thursday, September 20.

Tickets cost $39 and go on sale Saturday, July 14 at 11 am at all Ticketbastard outlets.


It’s Gonna be 98 Degrees Tomorrow…

posted by on July 10 at 12:28 PM

So Let the Notorious B.I.G. Begin!
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(Did I fool you? Did you think this post was going to be about the boy band 98 Degrees? Wrong, my friend.)

Ready to Die is the best album for listening to on the hottest of hot days. Gimme the loot, indeed. Especially if that loot is popsicles.

The Motel Life

posted by on July 10 at 12:02 PM

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Just finished Willy Vlautin’s first novel The Motel Life and I’m floored.

Vlautin is the lead singer of Portland alt-country faves Richmond Fontaine. I’ve long been told that I’d like the band but I’ve never checked them out. I certainly will now.

But it’s the book that I’d to talk about. The story is set during a fridgid winter in Reno, Nevada, sometime around now, though there’s a sense that the wayward, rootless characters in The Motel Life could come from any place, any time. The story follows Frank Flannigan and his depressed brother Jerry Lee as they figure out what to do with their already crumbling lives after Jerry Lee’s involved in a fatal hit and run.

Anybody who’s ever done a lot of hard-core traveling—I’m talking hitch-hiking and Greyhound, not airlines or cruise ships—knows of the other side of the American dream. The freeway drifters, the rest stop campers, folks on the run from something or to somewhere—the kinds of people you see and make up stories about because you have to place them somehow, make them less ghostly, more real—these are the people that inhabit this book. Vlautin grew up in Reno and spent plenty of time on the road with his band. He’s got the right background, the right experience to understand both the setting and the motivation for these characters.

Frank and Jerry Lee are homeless, living in used cars bought with day labor cash, holing up in cheap motels for as long as they can afford them, eating convenience store meals. Vlautin captures both the dejection and the sense of freedom wrought by being totally possessionless (“freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose,” right?), but the brothers have no choice in the matter, dragged down by the weight of their own failures. “We’re fuckups, Frank,” Jerry Lee says at one point, humorlessly, truthfully. His brother doesn’t argue.

The most painful heartbreak arises from knowing you know you can do better but simply not doing it. As Frank tells wild stories of sailing ships and desert islands and war heroism, his vision of another life becomes clear, but it’s all only stories he tells his brother to allay his guilt and depression. More than fantasy it’s the solace of liquor that the brothers seek the most, another weight around their necks they can’t shake.

And despite it all there’s hope here, too, in human endurance, in the need for resolution. As Vlautin writes with prose that’s simple but not simplistic, immediately engaging and no-frills, that hope becomes the underlying pulse of the story. It’s what makes this book feel so damn real, so powerful, so much like life, even if it’s not yours.

Willy Vlautin reads from The Motel Life tomorrow, July 11 at the University Bookstore, 4326 University Way NE.

Block Party Bands of the Day!

posted by on July 10 at 11:30 AM

Girl Talk vs the Trucks

Okay, so this is even less of a “vs” than yesterday’s pairing of Mirah & the Pharmacy, as the Trucks are in fact opening for Gregg “Girl Talk” Gillis on the Neumo’s Stage on Friday, July 27th. The Trucks go on at 11:20, Girl Talk closes things out at midnight.

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Girl Talk released what has to be the smartest party album of last year with Night Ripper, his hour long hyper mash up of pretty much every Top 40 hit ever along with the odd snippet of Neutral Milk Hotel and Dat Politics. Not a DJ, Gregg Gillis sweats, strips, and rocks the fuck out on his laptop live, switching up samples and launching delirious new combinations of beats and hooks every other breath. His Seattle debut at Chop Suey (pictured above) was fucking insane. There is no doubt in my mind that Girl Talk will be the highlight of this year’s Block Party. Don’t miss this!

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The Trucks play lite electro rock with saucy lyrics about their titty twisters, getting head, and dodging the pervs in the bushes, with some debt to Peaches, Avenue D, DJ Assault, and other purveyors of booty. It’s not the groundbreaking novelty of Girl Talk, but it’s cute.

See the full Capitol Hill Block Party line up here.

Wounds Begin to Heal

posted by on July 10 at 11:23 AM

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Yeah, I Like the New Against Me Record. Wanna Fight? (Or: A Very Lengthy Look at New Wave)

posted by on July 10 at 11:07 AM

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This is it, this is the new Against Me album. It’s called New Wave, and I agree with you—the artwork is terrible. But let’s get to the meat of the issue. New Wave was written by a band who once toured basements and DIY spaces and played songs about being anarchists. (And they still play those songs.) This is a band who once locked Taking Back Sunday in their own dressing room at a music festival, a band who’s been very vocal about their morals and political beliefs, and a band who laughed at the major labels working hard to court them despite the fact that the band had no intentions of ever signing. They were just a group of punks who wanted the free tickets to baseball games and expensive dinners. (Put their DVD We’re Never Going Home on your Netflix queue if you’ve never seen it.)

But that was then. New Wave is now. The record (in stores today) is evidence that people grow up, bands evolve, and priorities change. This “new” Against Me eventually caved to the major label’s offers instead of mocking the suits to their faces. They outgrew the basement, they no longer had the time to screenprint their own t-shirts, and I heard that Taking Back Sunday eventually got over the whole “being locked in a room a few minutes to showtime” thing. They’re not the same band who recorded Reinventing Axl Rose, and we can’t expect them to be. That’s the bitch about evolution—everything changes, everyone changes, and what you said when you were 18 isn’t necessarily what you’ll be saying when you’re 28. It’s true for me, it’s true for Against Me.

We can’t hold them to standards we can’t hold ourselves to. You want another Reinventing Axl Rose? Then just go listen to Reinventing Axl Rose. I said a lot of shit when I was a kid that I wouldn’t say now—lessons have been learned, life has been lived, we all grow up. I no longer want to make out with Ralph Macchio and New Kids on the Block aren’t the best band in the world anymore. Against Me said they’d never sign to a major, but they ended up signing to a major. Aren’t they allowed to change their minds?

That doesn’t mean you should forget the past and like New Wave on principle. I completely understand if you don’t. What I don’t understand, though, is not giving the album a chance. And as a number of my “punk as fuck” music snob friends prove (along with dozens and dozens of discussions in music forums across the nation), there are people out there refusing to give it a chance.

With that said, let’s take a real look at New Wave. (I told you this was going to be lengthy.)

Continue reading "Yeah, I Like the New Against Me Record. Wanna Fight? (Or: A Very Lengthy Look at New Wave)" »


Monday, July 9, 2007

Art Brut to Play Bumbershoot!

posted by on July 9 at 5:40 PM

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Along with a shit ton of other great bands (and Fergie). Full lineup here.

If This Ain’t Love, Don’t Know What Is.

posted by on July 9 at 4:25 PM

I know, I know, I know…good tunes plus a sideways tragic triumph makes for gritty goodness, like what miss Amy Winehouse has, hand over fist, right….WELL, turns out the up coming Nicole Willis & The Soul Investigators makes Amy Winehouse look like an oddly big headed not so soulful joke.

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Thanks Light In The Attic, THIS is the best contemporary Modern Soul record in a long, LONG time. The songs feel unwaveringly 1971 (no crappy contemporary production), sophisticated and smart.

Dig for more info -
http://www.lightintheattic.net/releases/nicolewillis/
http://myspace.com/nicolewillisandthesoulinvestigators
http://www.nicolewillis.com/

I’m Not Going to Lie

posted by on July 9 at 4:17 PM

I’m probably going to watch this show at least once. Okay, probably only once.

I’m a sucker for trainwrecks.

An Interview With Deftones’ Abe Cunningham

posted by on July 9 at 3:26 PM

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I met up with Deftones drummer Abe Cunningham in their tour van before their show at WaMu Theater last night. He was good natured, courteous, and totally stoned.

How’s the tour going so far?
Ugh… It’s been 18 months, it’ll be 19 when we’re finished. It’s been good, bouncing around the world.

Your press release mentioned that the last record almost didn’t get made because of a break-up. This isn’t the last time we’re going to see you in Seattle, is it?
No, we’re getting along probably the best we ever have, we’re actually going to go home from this and start writing the new record.

Do you do much writing on the road?
It’s really tough. We play a couple hours a night, and we spend the next day waiting to get to the next place. A lot of time gets wasted. On this run we did a couple nights in some cities so we had everything set up, so we got to do a little jamming, but it never really seems to work out that well. Stephen, our guitarist, is trying to become a pro golfer. He golfs like every morning. He’s getting pretty good. He’s out with Terry Date, our producer, golfing right now. It’s very difficult for us to write on the road, but we’re gonna do that as soon as we get home.

Did you choose Fall of Troy to come with you? Was that a label thing?
Our manager is sort of managing them. It turned out to be great. We’ve been around for almost 20 years, and these dudes are like 21, talking about how when they were in middle school they used to come see us. Our band has been around almost as long as they’ve been alive. They remind me of us a lot when we first started touring. They get their case of beer and it’s gone in five minutes. They’re a good time.

Continue reading "An Interview With Deftones' Abe Cunningham" »

Werewolves & Lollipops!

posted by on July 9 at 1:40 PM

Patton Oswald DVD Screening @ Chop Suey

Patton Oswalt’s new CD/DVD, Werewolves & Lollipops is out on Sub Pop tomorrow, but you can hear the comedy of tomorrow tonight! at Chop Suey. And Oswalt is fucking funny—more gleefully whimsical than label mate David Cross, less pasty and pear shaped than Eugene Mirman. If the surreal prospect of going to a nightclub to watch a pre-recorded DVD of a live performance from a different nightclub doesn’t blow your mind, how about this: IT’S FREE! People’s Republic of Komedy hosts the screening, which also includes the premiere of Black Daisy’s new joint, The Hardy Har Har collection.

Patton Oswalt - “The Dukes of Hazzard.mp3”

Block Party Band of the Day!

posted by on July 9 at 12:49 PM

Mirah vs. the Pharmacy

The Pharmacy play the Vera Stage at 4pm on Saturday, July 28th. Mirah plays the Main Stage at 4:15. So there’s not a huge conlfict here, even if you’re partial to both acts. Simply watch the Pharmacy for a few songs, then head to the Main Stage for Mirah. No biggie, huh?

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The Pharmacy play scrappy, fun-house mirrored punk pop. Their older songs contained trace amounts of ska—up-picked choruses, little keyboard leads—but lately, the band have been approaching the bizarre lo-fi genius of the dearly departed Unicorns.

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Mirah is simply one of the best singer/songwriters (ignore the cringiness of this term) going right now. Advisory Committee and You Think it’s Like This But Really it’s Like This are impeccable, classic albums. Mirah is not to be missed.

From Highbrow to Lowbrow

posted by on July 9 at 12:15 PM

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Guess which one doesn’t catch their own spit in their mouth onstage.

Joshua Roman @ Town Hall

The Black Lips @ Pony

I can’t think of a higher contrast than yesterday’s back to back offerings of Joshua Roman’s afternoon Town Hall performance of three concertos and the Black Lips’ secret show at Gay Raunch Ranch Pony.

First, Mr. Roman: I know next to nothing about classical music. My last closest exposure to it was likely some childhood holiday performance of the Nutcracker in Eugene, Oregon (Hult Center, represent!). So I’m glad that I had Jen Graves on hand to explain things—like the underlying conflict between the individual and the collective in Shostakovich’s Stalinist-era concerto, the final and the group favorite of the three (Haydn second, Schumann third).

Even without her help, I’m sure I would’ve appreciated that the Northwest Sinfionetta are all serious, talented musicans, and that Roman is indeed an incredible soloist—watching his fingers spider across the neck of the cello, I was impressed with just the sheer amount of muscle memory such a performance must require). I have never, and still don’t understand the apparently subtle art of conducting. Christophe Chagnard, wearing a red dress shirt and black slacks, was like a semaphore flag whose signals I could not interpret. Sure, he arced his arms and pointed his baton in time, but the language of it all was impenetrable to me.

I’m on more familiar ground with Atlanta “flower punks” the Black Lips. For one thing, I’ve seen them before. For another, I go to shows like this one—in a sweaty bar basement, after dark, fueled by cheap beer and aided by a smoke machine—all the time. The Black Lips’ charm was lost on me at their last Seattle show at the Crocodile—the stage was too high, the crowd was too calm, and the sound was possibly too good. The four piece’s skuzzy, psychedlic garage pop almost demands trashier, sweatier conditions, which made the downstairs of Pony, where the band played a “secret” show last night, the perfect place to see them.

NRDLNGR and the Girls opened for the band. NRDLNGR’s beats sounded tight as ever, and he delivered his rhymes and punch lines right on the beat. For a dude doing joke raps about his meth lab and his infantilist sexual exploits, he takes his craft pretty seriously. The Girls have simply never sounded better than they do now—taut and tense but still beer spitting and fun.

At Pony, the Black Lips played crammed on a low stage in the corner, surrounded by fans, dripping with sweat (it gets hot down there), and with brick, spray painted plywood, and wheat pasted gay porn as their back drop. Their fuzzed out moonshine stomp and dirty bubble gum pop sounded sublime in that ersatz basement. It was like seeing them for the first time (“Dirty Hands” was a revelation). They’re playing Seattle again in the Fall with the Spits, and I’ll be there, even if it’s at a proper venue.

Deftones, Dir en grey, and Fall of Troy @ WaMu Theater

posted by on July 9 at 12:10 PM

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I really like to listen to Thomas Erak of Fall of Troy play guitar. I’m not such a huge fan of a lot of his songs per se, but that dude can really shred. For this reason alone I was excited to hear them on a huge sound system, but my hopes of ear crushingly loud guitar noodling did not come to fruition. The guitars were too soft in the mix, the vocals were way too loud, and Erak had guitar difficulties with bad cords and unplugging himself. Devoted fans in the front waved their fingers and screamed for the local boys, but the room was never theirs, even though as they stated, “This is probably the most people we’ve ever played for in Seattle.” Their final song kept going and going, stopping only to start back up again, infuriating all the people around me who wanted nothing more than for their set to end. “That was the shittiest band I ever heard,” one of them said into his cell phone. I guess Deftones fans don’t care much for sass and soloing.

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I couldn’t believe that as Erak yelled out the names of the bands coming up next, Dir en grey got louder screams than Deftones. They had a giant banner behind them with their name in the same font as Nirvana’s, which as funny as it was, I took as probably a bad sign. But although I’d never even heard of them, the crowd seemed to be behind them, which might be worth something, right? Wrong. They turned out to be a Japanese nü-metal band with chunky, simple riffs, taking cues and tricks from every mainstream metal act of the last 15 years. The band was way louder than Fall of Troy, and properly mixed this time, but I couldn’t understand what the appeal was. There was nothing particularly offensive about them, but there was nothing worth keeping my attention either.

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Deftones had a huge wall of lights behind them projecting patterns and video clips as they played, along with the typical flashing and strobing light displays that make huge rock concerts fun. They opened with three straight songs off Around the Fur, and continued on with a set that spanned all their albums evenly. They played five of six songs off of each album except the self-titled release, of which they only played the single “Minerva” to close the show. Chino kept letting out velociraptor squeals, some of which got ridiculously high pitched, as he ran and jumped around the stage like a little kid. His scream is still as strong as it’s ever been after all these years, and the band just as tight. They beamed classic stag dances of naked women with big fake wings and Bette Page as they played “Digital Bath” and “Lhabia,” and a bizarre retro clip of a naked woman having a nervous breakdown that fit the lyrics of “Around the Fur” perfectly.

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For the encore they returned with “Back to School” and “7 Words,” which they cut short abruptly, cut the lights, and brought Thomas Erak back on stage to help cover “Say it Ain’t So” by Weezer. After the song Erak and Chino had a big hug, and Chino told everyone, “Just so you know, Fall of Troy are good people.” They then went right back into the second half of “7 Words,” which everybody figured was over already. Their set was the perfect mix of fast and slow, old and new. After 18 years Deftones have still got it.

photos by Kellen Anderson

Did I Find You or Did You Find Me?

posted by on July 9 at 11:24 AM

“This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)” has long been one of my favorite Talking Heads songs. David Byrne once described it as a love song, a subject he typically shies away from as it’s “kinda big.” But he nails it: giddy and joyful but self-aware and kind of sad, bumping along on a goofy funk groove and, yes, a melody that sounds impossibly upbeat and tender—naive, in other words.

I bring it up because over the weekend I attended the second of four weddings I’m invited to this summer, and it was the second time hearing “This Must Be the Place” played at a wedding reception.

It’s got some wonderful snippets:

Hi yo
I got plenty of time
Hi yo
You got light in your eyes
And you’re standing here beside me
I love the passing of time
Never for money
Always for love
Cover up and say goodnight … say goodnight

and

Home—is where I want to be
But I guess I’m already there
I come home—she lifted up her wings
Guess that this must be the place
I can’t tell one from another
Did I find you, or you find me?
There was a time
Before we were born
If someone asks, this is where I’ll be … where I’ll be

Basically, the song addresses love far more eloquently than most banal wedding fare. When I think back to the friends who, freshly avowed to one another, were dancing under the stars to this song… Two things: 1. I get a little emotional, and 2. I’m glad I have friends with good taste in music.

There Was a Formula

posted by on July 9 at 10:59 AM

Rome 1980, Talking Heads, Crosseyed & Painless. With Adrian Belew.

Gah! I want to listen to this forever.

This guy has the whole show posted.

Must build time machine.

I Knew There Was Another Reason to Be Skeptical Of Metallica…

posted by on July 9 at 10:43 AM

Matt Hickey at crunchgear.com (who’s always good for a hot tip) just sent me this link about Metallica’s frontman James Hetfield being under investigation for terrorism.

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Metallica singer James Hetfield was investigated by UK airport officials who belieed he was a terrorist this week, it has been claimed. The star was barred entry to Luton airport on Thursday and questioned by staff who were concerned about his appearance.

Full story at Yahoo! News UK.

Arrington de Dionyso @ the Comet tonight

posted by on July 9 at 9:01 AM

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Arrington de Dionyso (Old Time Relijun) is playing a “free raga” set on bass clarinet at the Comet tonight, on the billl with Cryptacize (featuring Chris Cohen of Deerhoof and Curtains, and Nedelle), Aaron Mannino, and Get Him, Eat Him. Show starts ca. 9 PM and cover is $6. Here’s what I had to say about Arrington’s solo stuff last year:

ARRINGTON DE DIONYSO Breath of Fire (K)

The instrumentation for Breath of Fire, the first proper solo album from Arrington de Dionyso of Old Time Relijun, reads like a list from some sort of bizarre Victorian parlor game: voice, newspaper, copper kettle, bass clarinet, and khomuz (more commonly known as Jew’s harp). Aside from “some birds outside,” de Dionyso is the sole performer, and no electronic effects or overdubs were utilized to alter the music, which was all recorded live.

What does it sound like? Devotees of Tuvan throat singing shouldn’t be startled by the opener, “Emptiness and Void,” but fans who associate the K imprint with indie rock may recoil when they hear this extended vocal drone, which suggests a cross between a didgeridoo solo and the teacher from old Peanuts cartoons using circular breathing to chant one long, uninterrupted om. Other pieces evoke small woodland creatures signaling intense discomfort via a series of squeals and pants (“Holotropic”), or a youngster suffering from gastrointestinal distress while mimicking a storm at sea (“Xibalba”). Such wordless vocal cuts are punctuated by playful interludes rendered on bass clarinet, plus several sonic outbursts that simply defy easy identification. This primal and often mesmerizing disc will either have you clawing for the STOP button within minutes, or it will ignite vivid flights of imagination to rival those inspired by one’s initial exposure to the innovations of Brian Eno and Sun Ra. Either way, Breath of Fire is undeniably powerful stuff. KURT B. REIGHLEY


Sunday, July 8, 2007

Plan B Went Without a Hitch

posted by on July 8 at 11:50 PM

Last night, at an undisclosed (residential) location, The Trashies and The Pharmacy put on the show that was originally scheduled to happen at Atlas Clothing. A few notes:

The Trashies are still as grubby and lovable as ever, although I swear to the Little Baby Jesus that they played a song that sounded like the blues. It was good, sweaty fun. Witness:

And I’d never heard the Pharmacy before, but I fell in love last night. They’re not as rough-edged as the Trashies, but they’re full of just as much energy, and they resist the easy pop dynamic to pull something more out of their music, which is a fancy, incompetent way of saying that they’re catchy, but they’re not bad-catchy. There was even some crowd surfing in the tiny basement space, which led to weird gymnastics and, yes, some dancing on the ceiling.

And to put a name to the elephant in the room, I spoke with some of the Atlas volunteers—I’d never met them before, my weekend beat being house parties—and they proved to be very nice, eager to chat, and ready to get back to hosting music. A couple of them were angry and scoffed when I expressed my regrets for their venue being temporarily shuttered—understandably so, I think—but there was none of the hateful venom and chest-puffing that’s been played out online and on the streets of Capitol Hill by a few short-sighted people on both sides of the issue over the last week or so.

Once the show got underway, it was pretty obvious that all-ages music isn’t going anywhere, on Capitol Hill or anywhere else. Every single club in the city could be closed down tomorrow, and bands would still play shows in houses and backyards, and throngs of people will come out to dance and sing along and act marvelously stupid to their music.
There’s always politics with bands and the music business. People complain about scenes, there are more grudges on Pike/Pine than in the WWE, and feelings get hurt pretty easily. I know that there are people in this town with long memories and an armory of axes to grind, but, personally, I think that it’s hard to hold a grudge when such fucking good music is playing. We’re lucky to live in such a great town with such a great variety of music and venues, and I hope that we can get back to the business of supporting the stuff that we love with all the passion of evangelists. I think it would do some good for everyone if we all took a step back once in a while and remembered that it’s not at all about us; it’s about the music, and the great thing about music is that it was here way before us, and it’ll keep going way after us. We just get to dance to it for a little while.

In summary, here’s my favorite photo from last night:

Reggie and the Full Effect… Done?

posted by on July 8 at 4:21 PM

This doesn’t seem legit enough to be true, but according to punknews.org, Reggie and the Full Effect have broken up. (Rather: James Dewees, who is Reggie and the Full Effect, is going to stop being Reggie and the Full Effect, since, you know, a guy can’t really “break up” with himself.)

The cryptic MySpace message posted on Reggie’s website goes like this:

sorry kids the joke is over, paying other peoples bills for so long that now i have to pay my own. oh yea and go see coalesce on their tour. you will see where i came from

I don’t trust it. But maybe that’s because I really don’t want it to be true? Yeah, probably. At least Coalesce is getting back together!

RIP, Reggie. RIP.

Embarrassing Musical Moments

posted by on July 8 at 12:52 PM

At 2:30 this morning, Live Earth ended up on my TV and I couldn’t find the remote. I sat there in stunned silence as I watched this musical train wreck crawl across the screen:

It’s The Police, doing “Message in a Bottle” but…go to the 2:50 mark.

OMG!

Did Kanye write that “verse,” like, 6 seconds before he went on stage? Did he realize how monotone he sounded? Whose idea was that?

I like Kanye &mdash and yes, even The Police in their own special way &mdash but man, don’t cross the streams.