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Archives for 08/19/2007 - 08/25/2007

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Akimbo, the Assailant, Android Hero @ the Comet

posted by on August 25 at 11:41 AM

The CD release for Akimbo’s Navigating the Bronze packed the Comet to the brim last night, giving all three acts the pleasure of playing to a huge crowd. The openers, Android Hero, played hard, fast punk with lyrics about not enjoying fucking your girlfriend, and also about fucking other people’s girlfriends. People seemed to enjoy their dirty, punk mouths.


There’s nothing quite like a band who’s playing like there’s no tomorrow. For the Assailant, there are only two more “tomorrows” before they call it quits as a band, so they played like they wanted to be remembered. To put it simply, they killed it. I don’t think I’d ever seen them perform with as much energy. With this show they succeeded in solidifying themselves in my memory as one of the top Seattle metal bands of the last five years. If there’s any consolation in it, at least it’s always more satisfying to see a band extinguish themselves than fade away into lameness. Go check them out at the S.S. Marie Antoinette on Sunday as part of the Carousel Festival while you still have the chance. The are also playing a final show on September 21st at a yet unconfirmed location.

I’ve said enough about Akimbo recently, but I guess I can say a bit more for good measure. They punish faces like it’s nobody’s business, and this show was no exception. They blasted through almost all of Navigating the Bronze in album order, transforming the packed crowd into a chorus of bobbing heads and fist pumps. The real treat tonight was their closing cover of “Breed” by Nirvana, which made the entire bar go ape shit, throwing beer all over the place. The best part was that the song fit into their set without seeming at all out of place. Akimbo. The new grunge. Who’d have thought?



photos by Kellen Anderson

Friday, August 24, 2007

Cosmic Voyagers

posted by on August 24 at 3:59 PM

Kano could be considered of the greatest, if not the greatest or most well-known “italo-disco” groups. With popular club tracks like “I’m Ready”, “It’s A War”, “Now Baby Now” and many others, Kano owned the underground dancefloor of the early eighties. In 1980, Kano released one of my favorite italo tracks of all-time with “Ahjia”. This classic dancefloor cut first appeared in 1980 as a 7-inch single before making it’s way onto Kano’s classic self-titled LP debut, Kano. Both the 7-inch and the LP were released on multiple labels, including Full Time Records and Emergency Records. Kano continued to produce great italo-disco until their demise in 1983 with solid LP releases like, 1981’s New York Cake and 1983’s Another Life, along with classic singles like “Don’t Try To Stop Me” and “I Need Love”. It’s safe to say that Kano successfully put their imprint on dance music forever.

Kano - Ahjia (Extended Mix)

This Week’s Setlist Podcast Available for Listening!

posted by on August 24 at 2:24 PM

Did you know that Megan and me are capable of feeling old? Or that Megan has never seen the most important movie in the entire canon of comedic music films?

Do you want to win a copy of the Blakes’ new EP, Streets? Wanna listen to some sweet songs by local bands Blicky, Love Battery, Boat, the Apple War, the Green Pajamas, and the Scheme?

All this and so much more is on this week’s Setlist podcast.
Click to listen.

Remember, e-mail with your feelings, gripes, and general malaise.

Also Tonight: Thieves of Kailua @ the Croc

posted by on August 24 at 2:16 PM


Six ukelele players, 14 people on stage, ’70s vacation slideshows, matrimonial duets, Hawaiian shirts, tiki torches—no one would blame you if you got stoned first.

(Thieves of Kailua play the Crocodile tonight with Tim Seely and Airport Cathedral, $10, 21+)

Club Pop! Gets a Visit From the Coppers

posted by on August 24 at 12:14 PM

Last night, you might have seen a huge crowd of fashionably dressed young people outside Chop Suey, surrounded by a bunch of fire trucks and police cars. Here’s why, according to Michael Yuasa, the event’s promoter:

It was a sold out show, and the police came down because there were so many people there, especially standing out front to see if they could get in. Then the fire department came, and more police, and they said it was too crowded in there [during Freezepop’s set] and that no one who left could go back in.

Kids were crying! It was crazy. The floor was covered in sweat like I have never seen, and the gamers who turned out seemed very upset when they couldn’t get back in.

Hot, sweaty, sad young people, aye? Maybe the cops just wanted to join the party!

Also Tonight! Hollywood Dick and Big Homofreakcore

posted by on August 24 at 11:30 AM

Sh*t a mile. There is just waaay too much going on tonight. There’s also party sleaze rappers Mickey Avalon and his juice crew (Dirt Nasty and Andre Legacy) at Neumos, with local rap champs Nite Owls opening. Call me juvenile, but I really want to see MY DICK live…


THEN… there’s a big gay punk show at Pony with Gay Beast (Minneapolis noise core), Twin (from Oly, with former members of The Need and King Cobra) the Ononos (the Ursula Android Yoko Ono cover band), Diamond Cut Dimond, and Oh Man.


Live shows at Pony are are always a big sweaty punk mess - and this one’s sure to be la messiest. The Pony show starts EARLY - 7pm - so whatever your plans, start there.

Tonight in Music

posted by on August 24 at 11:00 AM

Here’s what’s happening tonight (there’s a lot, hang in there…):

First of all, there’s Akimbo’s CD release at the Comet. With the Assailant and Android Hero (members of BlöödHag), it’s sure to get really sweaty, sticky, and loud. Jeff Kirby went on tour with the band and he came back alive (minus a few pounds from all the vomiting) and he wrote a great story about the band, which you can read in its entirety here.

Fifty miles outside of Missoula, Montana, one of the back tires on Akimbo’s tour van blows out on a two-lane bridge. The van fishtails across both lanes and almost crashes into the wall. The flapping tire tread pulls out the fuel line that goes into the tank, and the van immediately fills with the smell of gasoline. We get out to change the busted tire, but soon find the jack doesn’t go high enough to get the van off the ground, so we’re forced to search the sides of the highway for flat, discarded wood scraps and rocks we can rest the jack on. The air outside is thick with a putrid smell, and as we scavenge in the roadside ditch, we find it lined with the carcasses of dead deer.

There’s also:


(Funhouse) A sort of performance-based degenerative disease, the Mentors have, since 1977, been one of the most aggressively puerile bands in the world. Springing from the cradle of none other than Roosevelt High School (not quite as esteemed by the school administration as the girls’ basketball team, no doubt) right around the birth of punk rock, the Mentors forged an id-drunk style of viciously misanthropic performance punk more loose and naturalistic than the too-eager extolments of their contemporary G. G. Allin. Though the intensity of their shows’ assault may have cooled somewhat since former singer/Mentors mouthpiece El Duce died under the wheels of a train in 1997, those not inclined to becoming potential victims of/parties to degrees of public sexual assault may want to stay close to the door. SAM MICKENS


(Old Fire House) Talbot Tagora were supposed to play the Capitol Hill Block Party last month, and I was so excited to finally see whatever the hell it is they do. Even they don’t know what they do, describing themselves as “an annoying repetitive mess” on their MySpace page. But sadly they canceled the Block Party show the day of. They got stuck in traffic or their van broke down or a tire went flat or something else happened transportation-wise that had to do with them being unable to make it. Sucktown, USA. But now here’s another chance to see them live, and I know trekking over to Redmond sounds about as fun as giving yourself a hysterectomy, but it just might be worth it. Talbot Tagora are right about being messy, only not annoyingly so. They’re fantastically messy. Check out the few songs on their MySpace. “Lady Meeting” combines all the highest moments of the Beatles’ later years, while “Guitar Strap” is a lot more strident with piercing staccato guitar. “I Am Henry Rollins” is my favorite, though: weirdly spooky with vocals low in the mix under a turbulent wall of noise. MEGAN SELING

Also, the International Pop Overthrow starts at the Sunset tonight with Tripwires, Sterling Loons, Stuperhero, Small Change, Young Sportsmen, the Scheme, and more!

Not enough? Get Out is our searchable events calendar. Find your own fun.

I Was Only Seventeen

posted by on August 24 at 10:48 AM

People make mistakes. People have confessions, things they have done that cause regret or shame.

Like buying Winger. I did it. The memory has surfaced and is hard to swallow. Sure, I was young. But there is no excuse.


The self titled Winger with “She’s Only Seventeen” on it. I went to Turtles Records and Tapes in Atlanta and bought it. I also bought Poison’s Look What the Cat Dragged In.

The first music I ever bought with my own money was Culture Club Colour by Numbers, which holds up much better than the Winger. I liked “Karma Chameleon”. I brought it home, put it in a boom box, pressed play, and played Nerf basketball.


Two weeks later I bought Elton John’s Greatest Hits, which redeems me somewhat, but it doesn’t fix the fact that I bought Winger.

I bought Winger. I actually bought Winger.

The Cure Postpone US Tour

posted by on August 24 at 10:44 AM


The upcoming Cure concert at KeyArena scheduled for October 8, 2007 has been postponed and will be rescheduled for spring 2008.

From the band:

With all apologies for any inconvenience or disappointment it may cause, we have made a decision to move the September/October 2007 North American Cure shows to April/May 2008. The schedule as it stands only gives us a couple of weeks to finish our new double album before we hit the road again, and we know this just isn’t enough time to complete the project to our genuine satisfaction. We also want to create a new live show for North America, and incorporate new songs… and we need time and focus to do this. So although we can agree it is a great shame to move these dates - believe us we have been looking forward to them more than anyone! we honestly feel that in the bigger picture we are making the right decision.

All tickets held for all 2007 North American Cure shows will be valid for the re-scheduled 2008 shows, and of course anyone who seeks a refund will be able to get one. All refund/rescheduling details will be announced very soon. Once again, our genuine apologies to anyone who is upset by this announcement - please be encouraged by our promise: The spring 2008 Cure shows will be even better than the fall 2007 ones would have been!!!

See you all soon…

Robert, Simon, Jason and Porl - The Cure 23/8/07

All tickets for the October 8 KeyArena date will be honored at the to-be-announced spring 2008 show. Ticket refunds will be issued at point of purchase.

The Knife - Silent Shout: An Audio Visual Experience

posted by on August 24 at 10:29 AM

Way behind the times here, but I just got this live CD/DVD of The Knife on their Silent Shout Tour of last year.


It is just amazing. If you are at all a fan of The Knife’s sound this is a must have. It is so clean, and the songs have been tweeked with in all sorts of ways. I was dumbfounded. It’s like having a brand new version of Silent Shout.

They also perform some of their older hits, like the Jose Gonzalez covered Heartbeats. The live version is slowed down and with much of the original bassline minimized to give it a more sombre tone. It’s really something.

I’m fairly blown away by how cool this live album sounds. It’s crisp and clean and the audience seems nearly reverant of the spectacle unfolding before them. It has become my soundtrack for the last few days.

Definately check it out.

On a somewhat related note watch this amazing “live” version of Pass This On, from their album Deep Cuts, performed on Swedish TV in 2003. The tranny from the video “sings” the song surrounded by oscillating fans and mesmerized Olaf comes up and dances with her, before the audience quietly comes down to dance too. It’s pretty great. But as you can tell, I’m hardly and impartial judge at this point.

Just beautiful.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Genesis P-Orridge Kissed Me Right On the Lips!

posted by on August 23 at 8:00 PM


Last night’s Psychic TV show was Pure Magic.

Before the show, I watched Vice’s new Soft Focus interviews with Her Majesty. In one of the segments s/he talks about the AK-47 charm on her necklace. Local artist La Tara made me a little machine gun pin a few months back, so I took it with me hoping to give it to Genesis.


And I did. I stood near the stage, and held it out. S/he thanked me into the mic, and then leaned down and gave me a big sloppy kiss. Right on the lips. With her ginormous collagen-pumped baby-pink smackers. They were soft. Sooo soft. Why can’t breast implants be made of collagen?

Anyway - here’s video from the show. Viva la Psychic Evolution!

Also Tonight In Music - Back Door Opens

posted by on August 23 at 4:22 PM

Havana is one of my favorite spots because no matter what the music is or the night of the week, there will be people drunk off their ass, dancing to whatever the DJ happens to be playing. Well, tonight (and most Thursdays) the overindulgers will be dancing to house music, since tonight’s the opening for Back Door. As always I won’t be drinking, but I will be there taking in the mayhem.


Grass Is Groovy

posted by on August 23 at 4:00 PM


Remember when we saw Room 9 and Love Battery at Lincoln Arts Center? That was cool. Or that time we saw Swallow at Gorilla Gardens? Yeah!

This weekend, a passel of great local bands from the ‘80s are reuniting for two days of shows at the Crocodile, under the self-esteem-killing moniker Geezerfest.

Included in the lineup are the fabulous Snow Bud and the Flower People. They are the blissful side project of Napalm Beach’s Chris Newman, originally started to entertain his dealer. Their songs are about the joys of pot smoking and indulging in controlled substances. It’s really too bad they didn’t play Hempfest.

Saturday–Sunday August 25–26, Crocodile, 3 pm, $13 adv/$15 DOS, 21+.

Full lineup:
Saturday, August 25
Blood Circus, Catbutt, Swallow, Coffin Break, Love Battery, Snow Bud and the Flower People, Valis, Lamar, F-Holes, Mos Generator

Sunday, August 26
RC5, Green Pajamas, From the North, Bug Nasties, Down with People, Robert Roth, Sister Psychic, Capping Day, Spike


posted by on August 23 at 1:57 PM


Is anyone else freakishly obsessed with the new M.I.A. record? I got Kala the day before yesterday and it’s been playing on repeat ever since. I could not love it more. After reading about M.I.A.’s globetrotting in search of beats (a quest fueled in part by the denial of her U.S. work visa) and hearing the bluntly amazing first single “Bird Flu,” I was fully prepared for Kala to be a flirting-with-impenetrable percussive tangle with monochronatic rapping and non-existent hooks from beginning to end. I was even excited by the propect. Then Kala landed and whaddya know, “Bird Flu” is the least inviting/most confrontational track on the record, which is otherwise packed with gorgeous technicolor gems, the best of them—”Paper Planes” is my current killer—better (richer, wittier, deeper) than anything she’s done before.

I loved Arular. But I didn’t know M.I.A. had a Kala in her. I didn’t know anyone did. It’s something new.

DIY Double Fantasy Weekend

posted by on August 23 at 1:20 PM

Fans of bands more likely to appear in basements than stages have a lot of great choices this upcoming weekend. The second annual Carousel Festival is a blur of pop, electronic, metal, and punk with a decidedly independent streak, organized by the funsters at the Seattle DIY collective. A benefit for Home Alive taking place over three days at a mess of venues (Greenhouse, Dogpark, Fusion Cafe, SS Marie Antoinette, etc.) Carousel Fest will feature workshops and touring acts in addition to local stalwarts like the the Assailant, Little Party and the Bad Business, and Joules. Check out the embedded links for more info on dates, venues, and the many, many bands.

Meanwhile in Belltown of all places, the Implied Violence troupe is hosting a raucous fundraiser, Respect the Boss featuring fantastical local music acts like Pleasureboaters, Ribbons, TV Coahran, and Holy Ghost Revival alongside an evening of piñata bashing, standup comedy, and live renditions of the latest chapters of Trapped In The Closet. Respect The Boss takes place at 10pm on Saturday August 25th at 2315 Western Ave., with a $5-15 sliding scale cover.

Full lineup of both events after the jump.

Continue reading "DIY Double Fantasy Weekend" »

Sister Power - Sister Power

posted by on August 23 at 12:44 PM

Other than the fact that this is a Paul Sabu production, not much is known about Sister Power. The vocals are by the group Hot Fudge who Sabu used on most of his late ‘70’s productions, including the self-titled Sabu. Since then Paul Sabu has gone on to work as an arranger and poroducer for lots of pop and aor artists (Shania, Madonna, Bowie, …), and he’s got some hilarious hair!

The single from this album was Gimme Back My Love Affair, but for my money the best song is the second side opener “Love Potion.”

Samples from Sister Power can be found at my blog, T.M.L.

Morrissey Doesn’t Want Your Dirty Smiths Reunion Money

posted by on August 23 at 12:28 PM

Pitchfork reports today that Morrissey has turned down $75 million for a 50 date Smiths reunion tour. Also, Morrissey’s current solo tour isn’t coming to Seattle. His current solo tour hit Seattle four months ago (jesus, that is a long fucking tour). There is, of course, only one way to deal with this news: mope.

The Oval Savior

posted by on August 23 at 11:53 AM

ducttape.jpgDuct tape is the most powerful binding force in the world of music today. Concerts and instruments would fail dismally without it. Chords would tangle and sprawl uncoiled all over the stage. Snare heads would ring un-muffled. Posters would not hang. Pieces of broken and cracked equipment would rain to the ground.

On any given night at any given club in the world, someone is asking for duct tape. Right now, in Tokyo, for instance, a drummer needs it for his floor tom.

Without duct tape music would not exist. Scotch tape is way to weak. Masking tape? It rips off in a second.

Soundmen, engineers, and musicians gather and commune around the sticky silver ring and all is equal. Let us pay homage to this humble and dependable all-purpose adhesive.

Duct tape is fabric based and was originally developed during World War II as a waterproof sealing for ammunition cases. In 1970, duct tape saved astronauts onboard Apollo 13 as part of carbon dioxide filters in the wayward lunar module.

How has duct tape saved you? What are your duct tape stories?


The Posies’ Jon Auer has words:

Ah yes, duct tape - how I admire thee. Back in the great epoxy famine of ‘97 I actually held together a battered Gibson SG with said tape long enough to keep it playable for the final three days of two month Posies tour. It really is unbelievably strong and versatile stuff. Sure, it does the trick when taping a set list to a drum monitor or when you want to secure your loose cables to the stage, but you can also tape your bass player’s mouth shut when you get sick and tired of his incessant yammering. This all considered, what really amazes me is how some folks make the ugliest wallets I’ve ever seen out of it and people will actually pay money for them. I’m sure it’s great for the environment as well.

Tonight in Music

posted by on August 23 at 11:22 AM

Open Choir Fire are playing Jules Maes. They’re great. Get into it.

There’s also this:

(Neumo’s) I recently spent an ungodly amount of time watching a bunch of women—Kathy Griffin, Gayle King, Whoopi Goldberg—take turns in the seat left vacant after Rosie O’Donnell departed the View. These rotating ladies did fine, and Whoopi eventually earned the spot for good, but if it were up to me, the empty seat on ABC’s weekday-morning gabfest would have gone to no one but Kimya Dawson. She’s naturally sweet, stunningly smart, and just like The View host Barbara Walters, she enjoys posting photos of her poo on MySpace. Tonight at Neumo’s, Dawson will do what she does better than anyone: sit on a stage with an acoustic guitar and sing songs that will surprise, delight, and terrify you. DAVID SCHMADER

And that photo of Kimya’s poo Dave mentions? Click here if you really want to see it.

See what else is happening around town in Get Out, our searchable music calendar. It’s wicked cool.

Decemberists Come to Seattle With the Most Elaborate Ticketing System Ever

posted by on August 23 at 11:04 AM

So the Decemberists will be at the Moore two nights on 12/8 and 12/9. Their tour is very conceptual—in every city they play at least two shows, one of which focuses on their “epic, progressive compositions,” and one of them will “highlight their more succinct, pop-leaning material.” It’s called “The Long and Short of It Tour.”

But look what you have to do to buy pre-sale:

A limited number of custom pre-sale tickets created by Decemberists illustrator Carson Ellis will be available to the public on a first-come, first-served basis beginning this Saturday, August 25th, at Noon EST at For the pre-sale, fans must purchase both a “long” and a “short” night ticket, but they’ll receive a $10 discount. In markets with an odd number of dates, tickets for the final date will be sold separately. Fans who purchase pre-sale tickets will receive a free poster with their order. General ticket on-sale begins September 7.

They have designer tickets. You have to go to both shows, unless you live in a city where you don’t. You have to love the Decemberists like you love, I don’t know, food? I know people love this band, but this is a little ridiculous.

Sigh. I bet the pre-sale will sell out.

Freezepop at Club Pop! Tonight

posted by on August 23 at 10:51 AM

The funniest thing to me about the band Freezepop, who are playing at Club Pop tonight, is that they have achieved much of their success by being the most unique of all the songs you can “buy” on Guitar Hero when you get enough points. Their music doesn’t necessarily seem well suited for the game at first because it’s completely synth oriented, but when you get into the level, it’s actually pretty fun because it has lots of runs up and down the “fretboard.”

Here’s someone playing their level (“Less Talk, More Rokk”) on Guitar Hero 2 on SUPER DUPER HARD:

Shred! They only miss one note.

Club Pop is tonight at Chop Suey with Dandi Wind, DJ Colby B and DJ Glitterpants. It’s 18+, $8 early/$10 late, and it will totally be full of the most fashionable gamers this city has to offer.

Here’s a Little Awesome to Start Off Your Day

posted by on August 23 at 9:00 AM

I just saw this yesterday, thanks to my friend Jasen. It’s apparently been around for awhile, so apologies if this is old news to you.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Hafdis Huld, Sexy and Silly

posted by on August 22 at 5:38 PM

A few weeks back we ran a story about Iceland’s third-most popular rock band, Beni Hemm Hemm, and in it writer Bart Cameron briefly touched on the very small but very active music scene that centers around Reykjavic.

One of Iceland’s all-time great bands is the undersung Gus Gus, a multi-media arts collective that released a bunch of albums, starting in the mid-’90s. And one of Gus Gus’ leading voices was that of Hafdis Huld, who first started touring with the band when she was 15.

Huld released an album last year; the songs I’ve heard are in the electro-acoustic vein of Gus Gus but skew poppier and even more, um, eccentric. Huld manages to be simultaneously sexy and silly, a rare combination that maybe only Icelanders can achieve. “Diamonds on My Belly” is a great example of sexy—dig the heavy bass line rubbing against a little banjo lick, plus Huld’s breathy vox.

For silly, see “Tomoko” (she’s not the blond):

Word is Huld is working on a new album. Unlike Benni Hemm Hemm, she sings in English, and the fact is her lyrics are so damn endearing it’s hard not to fall for her goofy Icelandic sweetness.

Thx to Fiona for the tip.

Jomanda - “Got a Love For You”

posted by on August 22 at 3:44 PM

Eric, I’ll see your video example of the latest and greatest and raise you one house music classic.

Great track. Great (dated) video. (Hat tip to foufour)

Parts & Labor - “The Gold We’re Digging”

posted by on August 22 at 3:31 PM

Rad band. Rad video. (Hat tip to Idolator)

Sportn’ Life 5 Year Anniversary Show, 8/18 @ Chop Suey

posted by on August 22 at 2:41 PM


I know it’s way late, but shit, I’m still recovering from this weekend. Walk with me, y’all!

When I got to Chop Suey Saturday night, there was a stretch Navigator parked outside. A showpiece by Sportn’ Life Records to celebrate 5 years in the game? No, it was actually my man Danny enjoying his 30th birthday with a shit-ton of friends, all here to support this historic show. Awesome.

When I got inside, the crowd was a little light. Sportn’ Life Records banners lined the walls and the stage. Local superproducer Jake One had just got off of the turntables and was enjoying a cold beverage by the bar. Sportn’ Life co-owner Devon Manier worked the crowd like a pro, his game face fully in place. I hoped against hope that this wouldn’t be another case of that old 206 not showing up. My fears would thankfully prove unfounded, and we all had a helluva show—definitely the best local hiphop show I’ve seen all year—in store.

Continue reading "Sportn' Life 5 Year Anniversary Show, 8/18 @ Chop Suey" »

More Band on Band Action

posted by on August 22 at 2:08 PM

In the past week Mandy Moore covered Rihanna, Ben Lee covered Against Me!, and now the Foo Fighters have covered the Arcade Fire.

Stereogum has the song, “Keep the Car Running,” which the Foo recently played during a performance on BBC Live.

The band also has a new video for “The Pretender,” the first (kick ass) single from their upcoming record.

Re: Wilco @ Marymoor Park

posted by on August 22 at 11:43 AM


There’s not a whole lot more to say about last night’s amazing set from Wilco than what JZ already covered, but I feel like I could gush about guitarist Nels Cline for pages. Adding an “experimental” guitarist to a band like Wilco could have gone wrong in countless ways, but it worked out for one of two (or both) reasons: 1. Nels and the band are a perfect fit for each other, or, 2. Nels Cline is such an amazing guitarist he could make himself fit into any band seamlessly. Tweedy is one of the best songwriters alive, but it’s the moments on Sky Blue Sky when he hands Cline the reins that the songs really get interesting. Tweedy understood that although Wilco could have just continued playing their trademark folk rock ad nauseam, adding the explosive element of Cline would keep the band sharp and innovative.

I was waiting all night to hear Cline bust out his solo on “Side With the Seeds,” and when he did all I could do is stare at his fingers in amazement. He is so much more than a soloist though – the way he uses texture both with his strumming and array of pedals contributes just as much as his intricate fingering. Even when he’s not given a spotlight he’s adding a perfect layer of lap steel or 12 string; nothing he does is unnecessary. I was slightly bummed he didn’t get a chance to really show his stuff outside the context of any of the song’s pre-determined formulas, until the closer “Spiders (Kidsmoke).” Here he was given a full ten minutes to display all the bizarre noises he could wrestle from his guitar, with Tweedy doing the same, creating an amazing dialogue of frantic noise. In Cline, Tweedy has finally found the brawns to match his brains, the perfect amount of avant-garde to keep his folk rock endlessly captivating. Hearing Cline on the new album was impressive, seeing him live was staggering.

Crack Baby Kittens

posted by on August 22 at 11:25 AM

Singer Pete Doherty’s pet cat has a drug problem too.

Pete Doherty’s pet cat has been found to have traces of cocaine in its blood stream after being taken in for observation by vets, say reports.

The Babyshambles star owns a cat named Dinger, a slang word for syringe, which recently gave birth to a litter of five kittens.

One of the litter became ill and the singer was forced to take the kitten into the vet for tests, where the drug revelation was discovered.

Via Queerty.

Random Lady Wearing the Red Crayola Suit

posted by on August 22 at 11:04 AM

Do you want to punch her or sock her?

Reviewing footage, there is one final scene that must be shared:

01:40 - A woman at the Block Party really, really wanted to wear the red Crayola suit. The allure of the costume became too much for her and she had to have it. She had to experience the furry suit from the inside. Once she had it on, she didn’t want to get out.

Everything was cool until some guy socked her.

Out of nowhere, her friend gets even.

The woman didn’t understand that when you are at a public event in a big red shaggy costume, people are going to sock you. People are also going to tackle you, swarm you, and grab you.

Why? I’m not really sure.

But you also get hugged. And you get to encourage and distribute glee, which makes it worthwhile.

The guy who socked her was discourteous though. It could even be said that he was an asshole. His punch was on the rough side of playful.

Why do some feel an instinctive and uncontrollable urge to do violence to people in big furry costumes?

If you saw Barney or a Teletubbie walking down the street, would you punch or hug?

The Lashes are Playing Bumbershoot

posted by on August 22 at 10:51 AM


The Lashes are playing Bumbershoot next weekend, it will be the band’s first show since guitarist Eric Howk was hospitalized and left paralyzed from the sternum down after a tragic accident in May.

25-year-old Howk fell into an approximately 12-foot deep, unmarked hole in the backyard of a Capitol Hill house that was under construction at the time. Given the sensitive nature, the band declined to comment further at this time, but they did confirm that it will be the same Lashes line-up, including Howk, playing Saturday afternoon.

(The Lashes play the Sound Transit Stage at Broad Street at 4:15 pm Saturday. The Stranger’s complete Bumbershoot guide can be found here.)

Turn You Loose

posted by on August 22 at 9:45 AM

In 1977, Anthony White released one of my all-time favorite Salsoul releases, titled, I Can’t Turn You Loose/ Block Party 12”. The A-side track, “I Can’t Turn You Loose” is a disco gem that is very reminiscent of the early classic disco Salsoul sound, while on the flipside, “Block Party” is a more laid-back instrumental version of the A-side. I find myself favoring the A-side, however, either way you look at it, both songs are classic disco gems that round out a solid disco record.

Anthony White - I Can’t Turn You Loose

Laser Minus the Bear

posted by on August 22 at 5:20 AM

While I would’ve loved, loved, loved to have been at the Wilco show last night (especially after reading Zwickel’s review, sounds like the concert was amazing), I was instead at the Pacific Science Center to see Minus the Bear’s new album Planet of Ice get the laser treatment.


Minus the Bear’s music has always had a really cinematic quality to me and Planet of Ice is no different. It’s the perfect record for something like this—dynamic and spacey with a lot of room for visual interpretation. There were mostly random designs, not a whole lot of images specific to the record (they did show a planet every so often, I assume because the record is called Planet of Ice), but the thing that really struck me as I just sat back and let my eyes fall just slightly out of focus and really listen to the music, is that I really don’t “just listen” enough.

Usually when music’s on, I’m doing something else too—riding the bus, writing, washing dishes, walking, trying to think about what I’m hearing and what I could say about it. But last night, as lasers shot across the air above my head, spots of color exploded on the ceiling, and a fog machine filled the room with smoke, I finally got to really enjoy Planet of Ice without having to think about it. There’s not a whole lot to think about during a laser show, after all. You just sit there in the dark and try not to get too dizzy when the giant spiral on the ceiling keeps turning and turning, faster and faster.

The place wasn’t sold out, I don’t think, but it had to be close. Hundreds of people enthusiastically applauded after each song, and during the really exciting parts of the show when the lasers got really crazy during the climax of the songs, they’d holler and clap for more. Some even yelled for an encore when it was over.

After last night, the songs that I really like on Planet, “Burying Luck,” “Ice Monster,” and “Dr. L’Ling,” I now like even more. Love, even. And that closing song, “Lotus,” with all of it’s otherworldly noises and that guitar riff… if I smoked pot, man… I dunno. It was the perfect way for Minus the Bear to mark the release of this anticipated album.

I hope it’s the start of a new trend because not every local band would be able to pull off a successful laser show, but more of them should try. Really. Make it happen, Seattle. It brings a new opportunity for appreciation.

(Also, I know a post about a laser show isn’t all that exciting without visual accompaniment, and I tried to take video, but the camera batteries were dead three minutes after I turned the thing on. Dammit.)

Wilco @ Marymoor Park

posted by on August 22 at 12:10 AM


Wilco is one of the best performing rock bands on the planet.

Last night’s show was phenomenal. Sold-out, 5,000 people under a cool, clear (finally!) August evening sky. Marymoor is an ideal outdoor venue—get there early and there’s little traffic; you can bring in blankets and picnic coolers and relax in the grass before the show. Even at capacity the place felt roomy, and I could’ve walked right up to the front row if I wanted to. Could’ve been louder, but I was told by a park staffer that was the band’s choice, not the venue’s.

Wilco took the stage and started off without a word, band leader Jeff Tweedy diving gently into the intimate “Sunken Treasure.” After a song from Wilco’s latest, Sky Blue Sky, they went into “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart.” Whenever, wherever I hear it, that song kills me, and even in the photo pit, camera clicking away, I was stricken; it’s a painfully vulnerable, poetic ode to broken-down love, delivered with dramatic restraint. Nobody does true romance like Wilco.

Tweedy is an incisive, creative lyricist: From “Handshake Drugs” (“I was chewin’ gum for something to do”) to “A Shot in the Arm” (“The ashtray says we were up all night”) to “Jesus, Etc.” (“You were right about the stars: Each one is a setting sun”), he’s easy with simple, evocative imagery and the deeper themes it implies.


Every great rock band has its lead and it foil; in Wilco’s case, Nels Cline is the smoldering, outer-orbiting instrumentalist that counters Tweedy’s diamond-in-the-rough street corner troubadour. Throughout the night, Cline rocked some kind of 12-string electric, as well as a six-string and a lap steel. His chromatic solos on songs from Sky Blue Sky—“Side With the Seeds,” especially—were more eloquent here, more suited to the live setting than the record. He switches tones and moods unnoticed, until the crucial moment, when he suddenly falls in synch with the rest of the band. He carried “Impossible Germany” into bubbly, cozy ’70s rock territory, refreshed my appreciation for the jaunty, funky “Walken” from Sky Blue Sky, and blew “Via Chicago” into a space-shot frenzy.

That tune, delivered halfway through the set, was the theme song for the night, transplants in the crowd shouting out love for their home city as Tweedy strummed a solo acoustic guitar. Out of nowhere, the rest of the band came crashing in, seemingly playing a different song, metal to Tweedy’s velvet, and then fell silent again. Tweedy continued until the intrusion happened again, hilariously, before his quiet melody and the band’s erratic roar aligned into crescendo, making for one of the night’s most unexpectedly potent moments.

The audience was seemingly subdued, but as the night went on, it was clear that it wasn’t subdued but attentive, singing along at the appropriate moments, clapping on demand, cheering for solos and climaxes. The aforementioned “Jesus, Etc” has a wonderful chorus

Tall buildings shake
Voices escape
Singing sad, sad songs
Tuned to chords
Strummed down your cheeks
Bitter melodies
Turning your orbit around

that sounds especially sweet with 5,000 people singing it in unison.

Tweedy saved the banter til about halfway through the set. Once he started, he kept going. “George Bush is an asshole?” he asked, repeating something shouted at the stage. “The grass is green. You’re masters of the obvious.” Later, someone in the front row announced a recent marriage. “You got married this Sunday?” Tweedy said. “You got a long way to go.” Improvised or no, the band responded with “Hate It Here”

I try to stay busy
I do the dishes, I mow the lawn
I try to keep myself occupied
Even though I know you’re not coming home.


Notes towards the end of the show are spotty; the band finished abruptly before returning for a four-song encore. “What Light” is Tweedy in rare lyrical form, addressing the audience directly

If you feel like singing a song
And you want other people to sing along
Just sing what you feel
Don’t let anyone say it’s wrong

rather than a potential lover or narrating in first person. That song was the only one weakened by the live setting, missing the rock-gospel grandeur of the album version. Tweedy introduced “a friend of ours, a local guy,” and Seattle avant guitarist Bill Frisell emerged like he might’ve just shut down his computer and walked over from Redmond to innocuously strum chords for a couple songs.

They played two from Mermaid Avenue, the folky “Airline to Heaven” with Frisell, and the lovely “California Stars,” after his departure. Tweedy dropped the guitar for a minute to belt out “Hummingbird”—another damaged, melancholy love song, Wilco’s forte—to end the encore.


By this time the sky had completely darkened and a tilted cresent moon hovered off to the side of the stage. The night air was fresh, free of this weekend’s humidity, and Wilco’s music breezed crisp and rich from the stage. Now was not the time to be leaving Marymoor park. The crowd’s only wish: another encore, and the band granted it. They came back on and cranked out a smashing version of “Spiders (Kidsmoke),” a tune that explosively defines the powerful, masterful band that Wilco is. Tweedy asked for an extened clapping session and the crowd obliged, keeping time as the band faded out, one by one. The clapping continued, a capella, until Wilco came back heavy mid-beat with the song’s guitar-grinding crescendo. It was a cooperative move that elevated the whole set, the whole setting, with an off-the-cuff giddiness, and a beautiful way to end the night.

They didn’t play everything I wanted to hear (no “Heavy Metal Drummer,” no “Kamera”) but I was glad—I’ll see those songs next time. Wilco is a band I look forward to growing old with.


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Peace in the Park

posted by on August 21 at 3:41 PM

Just passed a bunch of these posters on posts around Cal Anderson Park.


With the line “Turn Up the Heat for Peace!”, it announces a free, all-ages show in the park this Sunday, August 26 (looks like the had to scratch out the wrong day) running from 4-7 p.m. The event is organized by the Seattle A.N.S.W.E.R. Coaltion, the local chapter of a national anti-war organization.

Featured bands are Eva, Carson Reed, Keeble, the Honorary Fish, and Something Vital. Out of all those bands, this office has heard of none—but don’t let that stop you. Some quick googling reveals the Honorary Fish’s MySpace, home to some rough cuts with interesting boy-girl harmonies from an obviously young band that sound like they might be fun to hear live.

You can hear something from Something Vital on their Stranger Band Page. Expect iron-clad guitar rock with screamo overtones and Toolish aspirations.

To Eva, Carson Reed, and Keeble—put some music up online! And to anyone looking to support a good cause and hear some young bands, head to Cal Anderson this Sunday.

Bumbershoot: Worse Than Ever? Better? About the Same?

posted by on August 21 at 2:25 PM

In the run-up to Bumbershoot 2007, there’s been some discussion about non-profit One Reel’s newfound partnership with national, for-profit promotion company AEG, with the concerns being that Bumbershoot could become more expensive, more mainstream/lame, or just plain evil. And, up until yesterday, I was pretty much convinced that at least two of these three things were going to happen/already happening.

Then I started looking at the lineups of Bumbershoots past on the festival’s official website. So, maybe we should still be vigilant about higher ticket prices or evil corporate overlords, but if you’re worried that Fergie and Panic! at the Disco represent some new trend towards the artless mainstream, don’t sweat it. Bumbershoot’s has a long tradition (dating at least as far back as the early ’90s) of bringing in some fairly embarrassing names to draw in the tourists. Check it out:

1992 - Spin Doctors
1993 - Barenaked Ladies, Gin Blossoms
1995 - Joan Osborne, Mel Torme
1996 - Crash Test Dummies, House of Pain, Spin Doctors (again?!)
1997 - Blues Traveller, Cake, Let’s Go Bowling, MxPx, Sheryl Crow, Smash Mouth, & Sugar Ray
1998 - Eve 6, Fuel, Live, Squirrel Nut Zippers, Third Eye Blind
1999 - Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Black Eyed Peas (precedent!), Everlast,
2000 - Savage Garden, Sugar Ray (again!),
2001 - Cake (btw, Cake, Joan Osborne, and Zap Mama are all perennial problems), MXPX (again), The Black Crowes,
2002 - Everclear (circa 2002?! c’mon)
2003 - American Hi-Fi
2004 - Nickelback, Puddle of Mudd
2005 - Dashboard Confessional, Garbage (again, circa 2005?!), The Academy Is…
2006 - Copeland, Hawthorne Heights, Yellowcard, Christopher Frizzelle

But in each of those years, as with this year there’s lots of worthwhile, often smaller shows to check out (from Modest Mouse to Ursula K LeGuin). The trick to enjoying Bumbershoot is catching the good acts while avoiding the duds. And to that end, check out the Stranger’s Bumbershoot Guide for picks, previews, maps, customizable schedules, and more.

Lymbyc Prairie Cortex

posted by on August 21 at 2:08 PM

brain.jpgThe limbic system wraps around the brain stem and lies beneath the cerebral cortex. It is a center for the formulation of emotion, learning, and for memory.

Lymbyc Systym is a two-piece band from Tempe, Arizona that played at Sunset Tavern last night. They are Jared and Michael Bell, and they play keys and drums. They split the stage and brain as left and right. The cortex is wrapped. Emotion is formulated.

To classify Lymbyc, it’s post-rock or indie-rock. It’s instrumental. Some say folktronica. Their sounds derive from Tortoise, Explosions in the Sky, and Four Tet. Their current release, Love Your Abuser, is out on LA based Mush Records. They’ve toured with Album Leaf and recently got back from a swing through Japan.

Picture: .res

Jared’s three-tiered stack of Rhodes and Korg keys are delayed and distorted, guitar-like at times. He soars his harmonies and patterns over to his brother’s half, where they are deciphered with sticks and brushes and rusty shaken bells. Melodies meet beats and converge. They fold over, tuck under, and sometimes batter like rams.


Michael’s Gretsch drum-kit is tight and booming. Over the hi-hat to his left he employs a Mac and a glockenspiel. Some of his drumming is a dervish, carving and thrashed. Then he drops into the soup stir jazz technique with brushes and calms.

The programming of Lymbyc’s beats and sounds exposes the electronics just right. Nothing too glitchy or forced. Telefon Tel Aviv would be proud. Organic, man. Subliminal. Michael’s playing and the Mac were seamless. He sits high on the throne and ranges with dynamics and division. He takes boomerang cutlery to the open plain and chops the circular prairie air home. Cuts it he does. Your cortex registers what it sees, but the sounds are the only thing that make sense.

For a couple of songs during Lymbyc Systym’s set, the trumpet player from One AM Radio played with them, doubling the keyboard lines. The trumpet matched the notes and lined the distortion with a layer of brass scaffolding. It was unexpected and great.

Lymbyc Systym are touring with the One AM Radio & Montag. They are going down the west coast, then head east.

Look for their faces and the cortex of their flying cutlery.

I Couldn’t Sleep at All Last Night

posted by on August 21 at 1:57 PM

There are three records that are on standby on the shelf next to my bed. I love them all, but I generally only listen to them at night and more than 75% of the time I only listen to them on the nights I can’t fall asleep.


Juno This is the Way it Goes and Goes and Goes


Mogwai Rock Action


Radiohead OK Computer

For years, they’ve never failed me. Until last night. Once I put on one of these albums, my body calms down and says “Oh, she just put on Rock Action, she wants to go to sleep.” Not last night, though.

Last night my head hurt, I felt nauseous, I was either too cold or too hot or too restless to calm down and get comfortable, and I don’t know if it’s the change in weather or maybe I’m just dying, but it sucked and I’ve been off all day because of it. I tripped twice on the sidewalk on my walk to work (which I was ridiculously late for), I e-mailed myself this morning instead of the person I meant to e-mail, I missed my bus and the only reason I did that was because I looked at the clock wrong (big hand is the MINUTE hand, Megan), and tried to use conditioner before shampoo in the shower (that’s not super rare, though).

No sleep/bad sleep makes me a little crazy, especially when it’s the third or fourth night of it. So… What’s good to fall asleep to? What does the trick for you? Please give me suggestions. My sanity depends on it.

Nick Robin’s Mashups for Nerds

posted by on August 21 at 1:32 PM

A few weeks ago Seattle newcomer Nick Robin (aka xBen of the Pirate Booty Crew) posted a mix to the Division mailing list (he’s looking for gigs). I never got around to listening to it until today and it’s giving me aural whiplash, meant in this case as the highest praise. I suppose if it had to be classified as anything it’s a mashup/hipster dance mix, but this mix is far too smart with its juxtaposition to be merely dismissed as such. The track selection is simultaneously superficial and deep, layering Beyoncé over Matthew Dear, or Crime Mob over dubstep. It’s not just a selection of tracks played for laughs, there’s an underlying logic to the mix that is as aggravating as it is exciting. It’s got me sitting here with a headache as my pop and music nerd sensibilities collide. Nick’s got a twisted sense of what works but once you bend your own expectations to match his, you can discern the method in the madness.

Here’s the mix. Enjoy. And promoters, book this guy.

S. S. Marie Antoinette Getting Shut Down September 7th

posted by on August 21 at 12:19 PM

It’s finally happened—the residents of Seattle’s longest running DIY illegal music venue/living art space have been caught living in the S.S., which was against the terms of their lease, which has been terminated.

The residents, artists who paint there, and bands who practice there have until September 7th to get all their shit out. This means we can publicize the shit out of their remaining shows (previously, we had to use some caution, but now that they are getting kicked out, who cares?).

They are:
Thursday August 23rd
Whore Moans
The Ironclads
all ages, 8 pm

Sunday August 26
Carousel Festival
8-8:40pm-Like Claws!
8:40-9:20-Waves & Radiation
9:20-10pm-Hornet Leg(PDX)
10:40-11:20pm-The Assailant
11:20-12am-Little Party and the Bad Bizness
12-12:40am- surprise guest…..
12:40-1:20am-Orcateers/Carousel Festival close

Sometime between September 1-7
Sinking Ship Last Show
All the bands that practice at the S.S., including our current favorites around here, TacocaT.

Return of the Byrd

posted by on August 21 at 12:12 PM

Tonight marks the return of one-time Seattlite Ollie Byrd to our soggy stage.


Formerly bassist/singer for local indie-proggers Yeek Yak Air Force, Ollie has spent the past couple years in NYC, writing/recording his own songs and assembling a band. His current incarnation is less bombastic than Yeek Yak, exploring a more haunting, mournful indie-rock while managing to avoid sad-bastard territory with well-placed explosions of epic righteousness. Ollie’s an engaging performer who doesn’t take himself too seriously but has ultimate respect for the history of rock-n-roll. Plus he’s got the official endorsement of Gibby from the Butthole Surfers, so you know he’s on to something.

(the MySpace audio player is fucking up right now, but you can hear frustratingly short snippets on the song-purchase interface.)

Also on the bill is Amateur Radio Operator (with old YYAF guitarist Mark Johnson) and Pufferfish who recently lost longtime backbone drummer James V. Smith (he relocated to L.A. to play with Film School) so it will be interesting to see how their hoedown sound might have changed.

Amateur Radio Operator
Ollie Byrd
9pm, $6

Illegal Leak of the Week: Jay Electronica, Style Wars

posted by on August 21 at 11:33 AM

Aim for the 45

Before digging into the latest leak by Jay Electronica, I’m compelled to point to his leak from last month. Sure, thirty days isn’t much time between leaked hip-hop, but if you’d heard this guy, you’d be eager for more on a monthly basis, too.

This New Orleans MC (Third Ward, if you’re asking), allied with Erykah Badu’s Control FreaQ Records, released perhaps the most striking nine minutes of hip-hop of the year at his MySpace page in July. If you grab the MP3, feel free to skip past the first six and a half minutes of praise from Badu and producer Just Blaze to get to what they’re gushing about: four tracks, all sans percussion, of Jay’s verbal assault, peppered with the score of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and quotes from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Though the general tone is weird as hell, it’s the delivery that’s most refreshing. Jay’s subdued, rapid-fire mumble rises above the no-drums novelty: “I told her that being an immortal is the portal to the true nature of both the Christ and the Buddha, man / That’s why I never spit the traditional garbage of a knife-light, bright-lights, white-ice to the fans.”

But J-E’s not aiming to be an avant-rapper if his latest leak, the Style Wars EP, is any indication. On these five tracks, he’s bolder and louder to rise above his production, coming off like Kool Keith through a wringer of sandpaper. But just like his last release, there’s little here to box the guy within the pigeonholed Dirty South sound, and in opening track “Renaissance Man,” he’s happy to bust up industry expectations about his home: “These nerds at record labels played me dumb & dumber / so I showed the industry my ass crack like a plumber / now ASCAP bangin’ on my door like a drummer.”

In only five tracks, Jay proves himself capable of adapting to most any production style, from the melodic, East Coast-friendly beat by J. Dilla on “So What You Sayin’” to the more intense, military stomp of “Be Easy”—“Made moves like Kasparov / My sins like snakeskins, homie I cast ‘em off.” Information is pretty scarce on the guy, though links to the leaked songs aren’t, so assume that the dude’s sticking to a schedule and keep your eyes open for more in…September.

Spike Jonze Interviews M.I.A.

posted by on August 21 at 10:20 AM


VBS TV keeps killing it. In this series of videos, director Spike Jonze interviews M.I.A. In part one, they talk about her record label, her new album, and the dangers of getting your hair cut when your hairdresser’s on ketamine. In part two, they visit African Boy (who guests on the Kala track “Hussel.”) There are subtitles in case you can read English but can’t understand an English accent.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Against Lee!

posted by on August 20 at 5:06 PM

So Ben Lee likes Against Me! so much that he’s covered their new record, New Wave, acoustically and in it’s entirety. The A.V. Club says it sucks, and I haven’t heard it yet (it’s downloading as I type), so I can’t say whether or not I agree, but if I had to guess… trying to imagine Lee’s voice singing Gabel’s parts… Yeah, it’s not gonna be good. Still, for the curious, I present you with Ben Lee’s New Wave and his explanation of the project via his blog:

A couple of weeks ago I downloaded the new “Against Me!” album “New Wave”. I didnt really know too much about this band but had been reading lots of good things about it, and my friend Tegan sings on it. I like to keep myself up to date with whats going on musically in the world, so I checked it out. I fell in love with the album. Really. Like, couldn’t stop listening to it. As heavy and gnarly as it sounds at times, it is unmistakably a pop masterpiece. Listening to it on the way to Australia, I wondered to myself how these songs would sound acoustically.

A couple of days later I was on a flight from Sydney to Melbourne and had the thought “I’d love to cover this album.” The whole thing. Beginning to end. So I did.

Anyway, here are the results. If you already know the original album, I hope these recordings shed a different light on it. If you don’t know “Against Me!” and like what you hear, go check them out.

I don’t mind Ben Lee (I’ve even swooned over a few of his songs in the past) but this can’t be good.

(Thanks to my friend Matt for passing along the link to the the A.V. entry.)

UPDATE: OMG IT’S SO BAD! I just listened to “Thrash Unreal” and it. is. killing me. Hahahahahaha! It’s as close to being a musak version without actually being musak… Can’t stop laughing. Face hurts. Can’t breathe. Sigh.

Also, does anyone else think it’s funny that he censors the word “piss”? P**s? Really? Weird.

Win Tickets to Detroit Cobras!

posted by on August 20 at 4:57 PM


Attention rock fans: Line out and Neumo’s are giving away a pair of tickets to see the Detroit Cobras tomorrow night at Neumo’s in Capitol Hill, the Seattle neighborhood with the most Dumpsters per capita.

To win, be the first person to email your name to Also, you gotta be 21 years old or older, or have a really good fake I.D.

Reis From The Dead

posted by on August 20 at 3:57 PM

John Reis the slick-haired guitar devil of Drive Like Jehu, Rocket From the Crypt, Hot Snakes, et al. has has got a new project that sounds promising— and given the relatively short life spans of his last couple of bands, pay attention or you just might miss some serious rock and roll. The band is called Speedo, (presumably after Reis’ longtime nickname rather than the bathing suit,) and has the Hot Snakes’ Jason Kourkounis on drum duty and Gar Wood on guitar along with Tommy Kitsos of Montreal’s CPC Gangbangs.

On the Swami message board, Reis had this to say:

The sound is a combonation[sic] of everything I’ve been a part of dating back to my prepubescent days in Pitchfork. Similar to Hot Snakes but not as sinister yet still maintaining some of the drama and subsonic boom. Akin to the rockin’ fun of RFTC but without the same kind of riffery. Like the Sultans but not as straightforward yet still maintaining the sense of melody and pop of the 2nd record. Occassional nods to the Flamin’ Groovies, Real Kids, Byrds, boogie rock era Status Quo, Bo Diddley, Chess Records in general, Wipers, Michael Yonkers and Shuggie Otis are evident to me.

All I can say is: FUCK YEAH.

Hat tip to Dan and the original post on

KEXP BBQ @ Some Vacant Patch of Grass Near South Lake Union Discovery Center

posted by on August 20 at 3:40 PM

While the setting for this Saturday’s KEXP BBQ felt somewhat random, the quasi-park/industrial backyard was perfectly suited for a smallish outdoor festival. Guarded to the south by the looming spires of cranes, centrally located in the middle of nowhere/middle of Seattle, the day-long concert attracted a good-sized crowd of maybe 2,000 people, some of whom must’ve been on their way to or back from Hempfest at Myrtle Edwards.

Cave Singers were just getting started when I arrived. I’m used to seeing them in dimly-lit dens like the Croc and the Sunset, cramped places that accomodate their weary, jug-band-without-a-jug folk blues, so I wasn’t sure how they’d fill a big outdoor stage in broad daylight. Thanks to a deft house mix and some plain old playing, they sounded totally natural up there. The trio can go intimate and eerie, close like the hair on your neck standing up, or, as they did on Saturday, open up that intimacy to a rollicking, tent-revival-like level. They played a couple new tunes and their by-now-familiar favorites, all of which radiate a heavy, evocative aura, the band attuned like an antenna into the Indian burial site the BBQ stage doubtlessly sat atop of.


NYC’s Pela is a KEXP buzz band du jour—I heard them on the station earlier that day, driving around in a friend’s car—and they showed why with a strong set. Singer Billy McCarthy has a cracked, manic shout of a voice a la Isaac Brock, and the band pummel out a similarly fractured sort of guitar-rock as the Mouse, boiled down to its most wiry, neck-vein-bulging kerrang. I described it to someone as “emo Modest Mouse,” which to him sounded like a slight, though I didn’t mean it as such. Pela is more soulful than emo; in considering Pela I realized what a fine line separates the two.

IMG_1960.JPGBlue Scholars

Blue Scholars were the highlight of the afternoon. Backed by a six-piece band, they sounded unstoppable, larger than life and ready to take over the world. Seriously, every time I’ve seen these guys they sound stronger, more confident, Geo an in-control a frontman who can’t wait to mix partying with politicking, Sabzi making it all happen musically, kicking in backing vocals for emphasis. Here Sabzi was also on a small keyboard, slipping in slices of melody—playing samples, basically, but live with keys, repetitive and funky as hell, the perfect adaptation of jazz chops for a hiphop setting. It seems crowds expect more from the Scholars with each show, and when the band delivers, people absolutely erupt over it.

Compared to the bang-for-the-buck of Block Party, a $25 ticket seemed a bit steep for the punters. John Richards announced from the stage that the bands all played for gas money only; considering that most of them were local or on tour, that couldn’t have been very much. (And maybe that comment wasn’t meant to be taken literally.) I assume a majority of ticket revenue goes right back into KEXP’s coffers, which is a good enough cause. For some people, hitting the BBQ—this year the fifth annual—might be their sole donation to the station, which perhaps justifies the steep ticket price.

One serious complaint: WHAT THE FUCK IS UP WITH SUMMER WEATHER, SEATTLE? For serious. “The Northwest summer” gets a lot of hype, but so far, its been mostly rainy weekends and chilly nights. Grr.

There’s a bunch of great photos over at the KEXP blog.

Art Brut & the Hold Steady Hit Seattle!

posted by on August 20 at 3:27 PM




Art Brut & the Hold Steady are touring together. It’s a combination that will probably cause some kind of rift in the rock/crit/nerd continuum. It’s (as one Brooklyn Vegan comments-thread wag has dubbed it) the Singy-Talky Tour. And it’s coming to Seattle, Sunday Nov. 4th at the HUB Ballroom. The show is all-ages. Class is in session, kids, Professors Finn and Argos presiding.

Seattle, WA - Live Nation welcomes The Hold Steady to the HUB Ballroom at the University of Washington on Sunday, November 4, 2007 at 7:00 p.m.

THE HOLD STEADY will be celebrating the one-year anniversary of the release of Boys and Girls in America with an extensive U.S. Fall tour with Art Brut dubbed the “NME Rock ‘N’ Roll Riot Tour 2007.”

“We are super happy to be touring with Art Brut,” said frontman Craig Finn. “I believe Eddie Argos to be one of the finest current lyricists in Rock. I believe he completely understands the place for both humor and honesty.“

Since the October ’06 release of Boys and Girls in America, The Hold Steady have proven their road-worthiness with almost 300 shows played throughout the U.S., U.K., and Europe. recently included The Hold Steady in their list of “Top 20 Live Bands Right Now”. Plus, the band’s mind-blowing performances at Festivals like Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza, as well as their sold-out club tours, shows that fans just can’t get enough of them.

Currently, the band is in the UK, where they opened for The Rolling Stones in Dublin and will headline the Carling stages at both the Leeds and Reading Festivals. The Hold Steady’s European tour finds them performing in Croatia for the first time. They will wind up their summer with a free show in New York City on September 17th at 7 World Trade Center.

Tickets are $22.00 and go on sale Saturday, August 25 at 12:00 p.m. NOON at all Ticketmaster outlets,,, or charge by phone at (206) 628-0888.

A limited number of $18.00 student discount tickets are available to UW I.D. holders at the HUB ticket office.

New Band Alert: Wild Orchid Children

posted by on August 20 at 3:08 PM

Some of the dudes from Gatsby’s American Dream, Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground, and the Divorce have joined forces and formed the latest Seattle Supergroup called Wild Orchid Children.

The band—Kirk Huffman, Kyle O’Quin, Thomas Hunter, and Garrett Lunceford—is so new that there’s only one song available on their vague MySpace, but I tracked ‘em down to try to get a little more information… didn’t work out that well.

How did Wild Orchid Children start?
it all began on a pilgrimage to the mountains of black diamond along lake sawyer. with the earth’s fungus in our blood we began the simple art of making vibrations. these vibrations transformed to notes, making music which rang the innards of our bodies and souls at such perfect pitches that our synapses began to receive messages and revelations. the secrets to the eternal universe.
we did not expect this calling, we only accept this calling.
to be the porters of musical salvation, to rid this planet of fear and align the bio-sphere with the neo-sphere.
for ahead of us, dear brothers and sisters, is the secret…

Any plans for a record?
we’ll be releasing a 4 song 10” on bombs over bellevue [Huffman’s label] and will hopefully be giving sermons soon.

As for how they sound, well, you have one song to check out to decide for yourself. All the band would offer up is that it “sounds like: if adrock jammed with the band of gypsies while tripping on peyote in a new mexican desert.”


Keep your eye on them. Everything Huffman touches these days turns to gold. Or ends up on Carson Daly.

Eugene, Oregon Nightlife

posted by on August 20 at 2:38 PM

I spent the weekend in Eugene, Oregon visiting family. I grew up there until age eight or nine, then my family moved to the Seattle suburbs. Years ago, they moved back, and I stuck around, went to school in Olympia, and moved back to Seattle proper. What this means is that when I visit Eugene, the only people I usually know are my family. The last time I had friends my own age there was in 3rd grade (Spring Creek Elementary gifted program, holler at me), so I normally don’t really have anyone my own age to take me out. Luckily, this time around, my buddy and all-around good-time guy, Jason, was in town visiting some friends of his, so I was able to tag along with them on a bar-crawling Saturday night survey of Eugene nightlife. My findings:

The Whittaker neighborhood block party looked pretty fun, but I didn’t get there until nearly 10pm, and they weren’t letting any more revelers in to dance to the ’80s-inflected house or mill around the Armadillo-shaped, art-car RV and drink the local IPA. Down the street at the homey Sam Bond’s Garage, a band was playing (I never caught their name, but they were opening for someone called Dan Jones & the Squids). Their singer/guitarist has kind of a fluffy-haired, Party of Five thing going on, and he plays melodic pop rock to match. The rhythm section, on the other hand look like they should be a grindcore band—the bassist had the lanky, sunken-eyed look of a independent video store clerk, and their drummer sported a sleeveless Wolf Eyes t-shirt and a Cthulu-esque cephalopod tattoo. That drummer pounded the shit out his kit on mellow love songs that totally didn’t demand it at all, and he was grinning and grimacing the whole time. He’s awesome, and when he starts that grindcore (or thrash or noise) band, they may be worth watching.

Across the street, the Tiny Tavern boasted the night’s best mix of toothless regulars and punky young people (and Eugene has kind of a lock on that mix). An acoustic punk (or “indie roots” or “alt americana,” I don’t know) duo was doing covers and originals. They played “Heart of Glass.” They played harmonica. A cool old woman with an oversized t-shirt of the evil queen from Snow White (very M.I.A.) grabbed my buddies’ butts and told us, “I used to be bitching, too.” She is, in fact, still totally bitching.

Walking to downtown, we passed the W.O.W. hall, Eugene’s former-communist union hall turned all-ages venue, where a local show/benefit for a local Alzheimers association was taking place. Headliner Unkle Nancy hits an intersection of folk and hip hop a little like Why?, only a little less Berkeley intellectual and more rural Oregon. We skipped the show, though, to hit more bars.

We’d gotten a flyer for an “electro dance party” at a club called Snafu (free with costume!), but when we got there, we could see that the place was empty from outside. In fact, we could see the whole place from the outside—Snafu might be the world’s smallest gay bar (the door person estimated it was 700 square feet, including kitchen and bathrooms). They were playing euro-disco. We took off, with the intent to come back later and see if it picked up (but we got drunk and never made it back).

We went to some non-descript bar downtown where the DJ was dropping late ’80s/early ’90s hip hop to a somewhat full bar with a totally empty dance floor. The doorman had full facial tattoos and a Famous Stars & Stripes t-shirt.

Across the street from this bar was a place called Jameson’s, which one of my companions described as “Eugene’s hipster bar.” Okay. I heard some Chromeo on the sound system. Some girls in roller skates rolled through the bar. Seattle bass & drums thrashers the Last Slice of Butter have a friend at Jameson’s, and his name is Chad. Chad and I peed together (it was one of those bathrooms with both a urinal and a toilet but meant for one), and, upon learning I was from Seattle, he demanded check them out. They play the OFH Teen Center this Friday with Talbot Tagora and Little Party & the Bad Business. Chad’s own band, Blast Majesty, will open for the Last Slice of Butter when they play Eugene on their upcoming “Gnarlytimes West Coast Tour.”

Monday, Monday: Now 200% More Trustable

posted by on August 20 at 1:02 PM

A new favorite thing: Monday-evening concerts at the Crocodile Café. They aren’t too crowded, too bleary, or too exhausting. But they’re still, you know, a concert. Perfect for a prematurely old man like me.

A couple of weeks ago, it was Eux Autres, who were adorable. Tonight, it’s a revue of stripped-down Harvey Danger songs by Mssrs. Sean Nelson and Jeff Lin on piano and acoustic guitar, respectively. Quoth Sean:

The arrangements are quiet, but not mellow. Maybe it’s mature; I don’t know. It’s not that mature. I’ll still be telling dirty jokes in between songs. Sample punch line: “I got a better idea: let’s walk down there and fuck all those cows!”

The other Harveys Danger will play sets with their other bands, including Eastern Grip (with M. Welke on drums) and the Capillaries (with Aaron Huffman on the bass).

It starts at 8:30. It costs one thousand pennies. It should be, as we prematurely old men like to say, “a gas.”

Video-Team Gina’s “Butch/Femme”

posted by on August 20 at 12:24 PM

Minus the Bear In-Store Tonight, Laser Show Tomorrow

posted by on August 20 at 11:40 AM


Fact: Seattle has many talented bands.

Fact: Seattle has the Laser Dome.

Fact: These two things need to come together more often, and Minus the Bear know it.

This week the local supergroup release their highly anticipated, and already critically acclaimed, third full-length record, Planet of Ice. And on Monday, August 20, the night before the record comes out, they’ll be playing an in-store at Easy Street’s Queen Anne location, which will be followed by a midnight sale of Planet. At that sale, die-hard fans who buy the record will be rewarded with a special bonus disc that’s available only with the album’s first pressing. The extra CD features a couple of B-sides from Planet, an alternate version of the song “Ice Monster,” and a remix of “Knights” done by Rhymesayers’ own POS.

Then on Tuesday, August 21, (Planet of Ice’s official release date), Minus the Bear, Suicide Squeeze Records, and the Vera Project have opted out of throwing yet another CD-release party where the band play some songs and then call it good. Instead they’re going laser, combining the music of Minus the Bear with the same awesome technology usually reserved for Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, and, uh… Korn. That’s right: Planet of Ice will be played in its entirety at the Pacific Science Center’s Laser Dome.


If there was ever a Minus the Bear record worthy of the haze of a laser show it’s Planet of Ice, which boasts a more noticeable “stoner-rock” attitude than the band’s previous, purely mathematical, existence. Take “Dr. L’Ling”: In its near seven-minute journey, it flows from being a confident and haunting rock song into a spacey jam session. The guitars are less staccato, more fluid and loose, and the atmospheric flourishes lend a smoother vibe that will sound especially nice when you’re lounging back and watching lights dance on the ceiling.

While a few songs on Planet of Ice tend to carry on a little longer than my attention span can take (a problem I’ve had with every Minus the Bear release), there’s one track on the record, “Lotus,” that is almost nine minutes long and worth every second. The closing track, “Lotus” starts out as nothing too remarkable (for MtB, anyways)—but come the three-minute mark it bursts into a cloud of repetitive spiraling guitar riffs over a quick organ. Then the guitar stops, the organvfades out, and it turns into a tunnel of weird, echoing noises—a song from another place, maybe even another planet. Then, after a second-long jam, the song explodes again, back to full-on rock. To experience it with lasers just might be mind-blowing.

You can stream Planet of Ice at MTVU, to listen before you buy.

New Siberian Song

posted by on August 20 at 10:31 AM

Siberian won’t be releasing their new album, With Me, until October 23, but the band has posted a new track from the record for curious and/or anxious fans.

The band’s also playing Bumbershoot. To see who else will be at the arts festival, head over to The Stranger’s online Bumbershoot guide for write-ups on every single thing happening that weekend along with a schedule, audio, and video, so you can start your planning early.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Sonic Boom Band Night

posted by on August 19 at 12:54 PM

When a concert is made up almost entirely of record store employees, lowered expectations are part of the appeal. Do the people who sell (and recommend) albums at Sonic Boom Records actually make decent music of their own? Will the concert turn out to be a music snob circle jerk—perhaps a mess of grinding, ambient, jazz-inflicted banjo grunge? Or will these store clerks give new meaning to “don’t quit your day job”?

Surprisingly, the latest take on the years-old Sonic Boom employee concert series didn’t sound nearly as diverse as its namesake. Though the Ballard store touted Lee Morgan, Voxtrot and M.I.A. on its exterior windows, Friday’s concert just down the block at the Sunset Tavern was subject to a relatively narrow field of pop-rock influences. Guitars, drums and a few pianos ruled these clerks’ racks, some better than others.

Can I get some fries with that shaaaaaaaaaaaake
Same-Sex Dictator’s Chris Tarst

A few of the acts officially debuted at the gig, which was probably a safe move in the company of so many coworkers and friends. Some, like Suzuki Beane, said so before their sets; others, like Caddyshack II, made it clear with pre-show flubs like a full 12 minutes of guitar tuning. The latter was a guitar/drums duo, an under-rehearsed and unconvincing take at the restrained songwriting likes of Jana Hunter, while the former was an ambitious, post-punk take on grrl rock, more B-52s than Sleater-Kinney (though barely).

Insert outdated Phil Collins joke here
Toy Gun’s Michael Lerner

Apparently, Toy Gun debuted as well, though the guitar/drums duo neither said so nor seemed it. While the duo’s weaker songs were White Stripes classic rock/blues retreads, drummer Michael Lerner’s songs in the set took a slick pop turn for the better with chipper melodies and his Gibbard-like vocals. Lerner was the stand-out of the night, even more so than the other band he played drums for (the Man Man meets Billy Joel piano-pop of Night-Life) and the evening’s closer (the sludgy, bass-heavy, Black Flag/Black Sabbath attack of Same-Sex Dictator). So hey, I’ve found a favorite clerk to ask for record tips; not sure how that factors into the low expectations I took into the gig, but I’ll take it.

YouTube vids from the show are after the jump.

Continue reading "Sonic Boom Band Night" »

Captian Incognito, The Comet, Tonight!

posted by on August 19 at 10:24 AM

I would like to take this moment, if I may, to announce that one certain fabulous CAPTAIN INCOGNITO will be playing tonight at The Comet, and, really, you should go. Why? Because. Please stop interrupting. Love them? Marvelous. Never heard of them? Go!


Also playing: Tempo No Tempo, The Human Echo, Oregon Donor. It isn’t free, but it’s worth it. 9pm, $5, I’ll see you there, dammit!