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Archives for 09/16/2007 - 09/22/2007

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Unfair Warning

posted by on September 22 at 4:43 PM

Dude, Van Halen tickets went on sale at 10am. They were sold out at 10:04am.
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Technical Difficulties

posted by on September 22 at 2:02 PM

Rage and the Machine Showcase - Neumo’s

Decibel is a hell of a festival, but like any fest, it has its peaks and its pitfalls. Last night, Decibel suffered one unexpected low—Motor was denied at the border— but also one impressive high point in Truckasauras, whom I’ve most recently gushed about here. Seattle’s resident A/V geeks delivered a fun, confident set as always. They debuted a new track made for Decibel that had more pulsing techno thump than anything the Truck has done so far—it was a more linear, less swaggering Truckasauras, a promising glimpse of the band’s range and potential. They played two tracks with DJ Collage on the mic, the first of which, “Hold On,” wins the award for best bass of the festival so far. Under the new Funktion 1 speakers (a welcome permanent addition to Neumo’s), the low tones rumbled up through the ground, vibrating my whole body. You forget how much of a difference those physical tones make until you feel them running through you—that bass instantly liquefies bones and loosens limbs, and suddenly you’re moving. It’s a good feeling.

It sounds like I should’ve then gone up to Chop Suey for Jacob London, but I screwed up and stuck around for Kill Memory Crash’s vintage goth industrial show. Kill Memory Crash has always kind of confounded me. They’re on Ghostly International, one of the most prestigious, frequently forward-thinking electronic labels in the country, yet they are a total throwback. There’s nothing about their sound that couldn’t be done in 1992. The band has been around since 1997, and they met in the mid ’90s Detroit rave scene, so maybe their just purists, rather than revivalists. Still, there’s just nothing fresh about their sound, and, I’m not old enough or of the particular disposition to feel any nostalgia for industrial’s first wave. I won’t get into the band’s aesthetic, ‘cause whatever, for some reason I like the militaristic goth thing when Adult. do it (irony, maybe? maybe). I will say that the electronic drums (you know, the ones with the black rubber hi hats) were entirely unnecessary—they would’ve sounded better with traditional drums and just a Roland spd-20 (or similar drum pad) or sequencing for the electronic drum sounds. They did have one song with a pretty hot acid bass line, though. But I wish I’d seen Jacob London’s electro wizardry, or at least checked out the party in the basement.

Finally, there was a DJ set from one half of LA’s electro duo du jour, Guns’n’Bombs. Maybe it was the bad taste left in my mouth from Kill Memory Crash, the small crowd, or some lingering exhaustion from Thursday night’s massive blowout, but I just couldn’t get down with dude’s “all-bangers” assault, so I split. That said, their remix and production work is fun, well worth checking out.

Ah, but today is another day of Decibel, with an Ambient Landscaspes at Town Hall, Sensory Effect’s showcase of impressive local and regional talent at Baltic Room, and the always satisfying Dirty Dancing showcase at Neumo’s. You can check out some recommendations here and here.

Pics From Decibel

posted by on September 22 at 1:35 PM

Two nights down, two more to go. This is yet another banner year for Decibel - the talent’s been incredible. If you haven’t made it to anything yet, tonights a good night to do so - it’s sure to be another hot, sweaty mess down in the VIP Room. After the jump you’ll find some of my pics thus far - more (and far superior) pics are available on Flickr.

Jacob London @ Chop Suey
Jacob London @ Chop Suey

Get thee to Decibel!

Continue reading "Pics From Decibel" »


Friday, September 21, 2007

Setlist Ain’t Nothing To Fuck With

posted by on September 21 at 4:54 PM

This week’s Setlist is the best Setlist Megan and me have ever recorded! Why would we make such a grand statement? Because it’s true. We have a very special guest in the “studio”: Kris K from Chop Suey! He picks all the songs, shares some booking wisdom, and gives us some tickets to an amazing show (Sea Wolf, Boat, and Fleet Foxes) that we are going to give to you. You can only find out how to win by listening, so why don’t you do it already?

Songs Kris K picked to play this week:
Birdwatchers United - “Monsters!”
Sam Squared - “Puppies and Kittens”
Andy Werth - “Back to the Sun”
Don’t Tell Sophie - “Metal Detector”
The Snakebites - “Everybody Feels It When We Get Together”
Yogoman Burning Band - “Street Lights”
Fleet Foxes - “White Winter Hymnal”
Coconut Coolouts - “(Please Don’t Break Me Out of) Party Jail”

Click to listen.

Imperial Teen In-Store Tonight

posted by on September 21 at 4:21 PM

This week’s U&Cs highlighted tonight’s Imperial Teen show at the Croc as being a worthy contender in your Friday night party planning. Now you can head to the Queen Anne Easy Street Records for your pre-show festivities—the band will be playing for free at 8 pm.

Um…

posted by on September 21 at 4:13 PM

Barak Obama & Drowning Pool (minus that one dead guy):

(Hat Tip to our lovely little sister blog, Blogtown, PDX)

Disco Warriors

posted by on September 21 at 2:54 PM

United Kingdom’s Faze Action doesn’t need any introduction. With their classic 12-inches In the Trees, Full Motion, and Turn The Point to the solid LP’s Plans & Designs, and Moving Cities of the late nineties, these two brothers, Simon and Robin Lee have constantly been producing quality dance music. Their sound is a nice blend of disco, house, along with adding a touch of a downtempo jazz. Recently this group has produced some solid singles off their own self-released label, starting with last year’s Keep It Coming 12” and this year’s Stratus Energy 12”. A few weeks ago, Faze Action released it’s third 12” off their label, titled Disco Warrior. The A-side see’s a special disco mix of the titled track, while the B-side includes a dub version. This two man operation fills out the song nicely with strings, driving percussion, guitars, bass, keys, and horns, making it sound as if the track was produced by a full on orchestra. This song is solid from start to finish, and continues to push Simon and Robin Lee to the top of the growing “disco-house” genre.

Faze Action - Disco Warrior (Special Disco Mix)

I Can’t Read Eric’s Subject Line Below and Not Post This Video

posted by on September 21 at 2:43 PM

I’m sorry.

Happy Friday.

Motoring?

posted by on September 21 at 2:33 PM

Rumor on the interwebs is that Motor has been “stopped at the border” and may not make their scheduled appearance at Decibel Festival tonight. More info as we get it.

In Breaking News…

posted by on September 21 at 1:07 PM

I don’t regret missing The Flaming Lips show.

I do regret missing Simian Mobile Disco and yet another Diplo show.

And you?

The Most Metal Fucked-Up Black Metal Band on the Face of the Planet

posted by on September 21 at 12:54 PM

Holy fucking shit indeed! I didn’t go to Decibel last night but I did get my mind blown in a different way when my fact-hoarding boyfriend told me the story about the Norwegian black metal band Mayhem.

Did you know about these crazy fuckers!?

The band was Euronymous, Necrobutcher, Manheim, and Maniac. After a few records and rising popularity, Manheim and Maniac left the band, being replaced by Dead and Hellhammer.

They were known for planting pig’s heads on stakes and cutting themselves during shows. Their lyrics were mostly focused around death, depression, evil, and Satanism (no shit).

But it wasn’t their on-stage antics or their music that made them infamous. It was what the band members did off-stage, which is a flurry of rumors that include suicide, murder, and making brain stew and skull jewelry.

Let’s start with Dead (all quotes taken from Wikipedia, emphasis mine):

Dead had, over time, carefully cultivated a notoriety for strange behaviour; once burying a set of clothes underground for weeks so that he could later wear the decaying rags on stage. He had kept a rotting raven in a plastic bag so better to “inhale the scent of death” before going on stage.

About four years after Dead joined the band (replacing a guy who committed himself to a mental institution, no less), he killed himself:

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By April 1991, Dead was found dead at the age of 22, having suffered a self-inflicted shotgun wound to the head and several lacerations to the wrists, inflicted by a knife he had bought that day. Dead committed suicide in a house he was sharing in Kråkstad with the other members of the band, and left a note saying “Excuse all the blood.” Other members of the band claimed it was more extensive, also saying “The knife was too dull to finish the job so I had to use the shotgun.”

After Dead’s death, Necrobutcher left the band, leaving only two—Euronymous and Hellhammer.

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Euronymous was particularly cold and opportunistic about Dead’s suicide; in interviews he claimed, speciously, that Dead had killed himself due to the rising popularity of death metal, the American movement Black Metal had risen against. Hellhammer claimed that Euronymous had taken pieces of Dead’s brain and made a stew, in which he had put ham, frozen vegetables, and pepper: “He’d always said he wanted to eat flesh, so he figured this was an easy way.” However, Euronymous later admitted that he had not actually eaten any part of Dead’s body, though he had intended to. Euronymous also claimed to have collected and forged fragments of Dead’s skull into necklaces, sending pieces to those he felt ‘worthy’ (amongst those rumoured to be in possession of such pieces are the members of Swedish black metal band Marduk & Abruptum). Hellhammer has said he made a necklace from Dead’s skull fragments as well.

Attila Csihar and Kristian Vikernes (Varg Vikernes, member of Burzum) joined the band. That’s when shit really started to fly:

On the morning of August 10, 1993, Vikernes traveled, along with 21 year old Blackthorn (Snorre Westvold, of the band Thorns), the seven hours between Bergen to Euronymous’s apartment in Oslo. They created alibis, en route, by getting friends to rent a video locally in their names. Upon arrival, Vikernes fatally stabbed Euronymous with a knife, although Vikernes claims that Euronymous had been planning to kill him for quite some time, and that upon his arrival to Euronymous’ apartment, Euronymous had attempted to attack him first. The autopsy revealed that Euronymous suffered twenty-three stab wounds: two to the head, five to the neck & sixteen to the back. However, Vikernes claims that Euronymous fell onto pieces of broken glass, from a lamp shade broken in the ruckus, which he says, attributed to the multiple puncture wounds.

Jesus Christ!

And now Vikernes continues to make records from prison under the name Burzum.

Jonah tells me that Vice Magazine did a story on them awhile back, so maybe I’m the only one in the world who never heard about this. I’m just a little blond girl from Lake Stevens, WA, my mom and dad kept this kind of shit far, far away from me. Thankfully. Good thing I have a corrupting boyfriend to keep me cool, though.

When Joan Rivers Met Husker Du

posted by on September 21 at 12:06 PM

MetaFilter directed me to this gem—a performance by the eternal Husker Du on the short-lived late-night talk show hosted by Joan Rivers, complete with excessively klutzy follow-up interview.

Still, God, I love that band. (And I love how the gay-looking one is the only non-gay one.)

The Flaming Lips in Photos

posted by on September 21 at 12:00 PM

All photos by Morgan Keuler

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Continue reading "The Flaming Lips in Photos" »

Best Seat in the Bathroom

posted by on September 21 at 11:36 AM

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I couldn’t go to the Flaming Lips show last night, so I went into the bathroom and had my own concert:

I shotgunned a beer and poured syrup on the floor so it would be sticky. Then I shut the door, cut the lights, cranked a space heater, took my shirt off, and smoked a Swisher Sweet. Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots was in a boombox on full volume. I screamed and held a kick ball over my head like it was the Bubble Ball. There was a pen-light light show.

For the encore, I pressed repeat on “Flight”, I mean “Fight Test.” Man, I couldn’t believe they played it five times in a row like that. I’d never seen a band do that for an encore before. But it ruled.

It’s the Beat

posted by on September 21 at 11:14 AM

Decibel Kick-Off/Death of the Party Showcase - Neumo’s

First off: Congrats to Decibel Festival. It’s only my second year attending, so I can’t speak to 2005 or 2004, but I can’t imagine any previous year of the fest kicking off with as raucous a party as last night’s. Neumo’s was packed—sweat on the walls, etc, etc—the crowd was as energetic as most any I’ve seen in Seattle, the sound was top-notch, and the music was relentless.

I missed all but the last couple songs (the “Shoulder Lean/”No More Conversations” mash-up, “Percolator”) of Fourcolorzack and Pretty Titty’s 2x4, but they seemed to have the crowd warmed up nicely.

I was initially disappointed that Simian Mobile Disco wasn’t playing a live set. The pictures of their live set-up—a giant modular patchbay, a Korg MS-20, rows and rows of knobs—make it look pretty impressive, and it would have been cool to see. But their DJ set was still a blast (I’d rank it as at least the second best of the night).

smd%20donte.jpgSimian Mobile Disco (and Angelina Jolie from Hackers) by Donte Parks

They kicked off with Attack Decay Sustain Release opener “Sleep Deprivation,” and throughout the set mixed about an even ratio of originals and other people’s material. Highlights included the wildly fun “It’s the Beat,” the new Soulwax remix of LCD Soundsystem’s “Get Innocuous” (as usual, a dance floor killer from the brothers Dewaele), and the one-two punch of “Hustler” and Laid Back’s “White Horse” set to a montage of a slow-motion galloping white horse and several vintage shots of some serious-ass coke dealers. The duo’s mixing was confident and tight, and they looked to be having some fun when they weren’t gently arguing over their cd booklet. (Best overheard e-talking: “I’ve only known you for, like, an hour!”)

I was pretty thoroughly exhausted by SMD’s set, so I spent much of Switch’s set watching from the sidelines. Switch stuck mostly to his own productions (as both Switch and Solid Groove), including his awesome remix of Spank Rock’s “Bump” and his ridiculous, pleasure-center assaulting rework of “Apache,” “A Bit Patchy,” but also played some other choice cuts such as Digitalism’s “Juptier Room (Martian Assault).” Switch’s productions are flawless, boasting some truly sick beats (Sean Horton says the trick to Switch’s solid grooves is that he builds house beats out of live drum samples, thus keeping a little swing and funk in his 4/4) and some of the gnarliest bass lines around. All that said, Switch is a better producer than a DJ—his mixing was functional, not impressive, but it was actually nice to hear him noticably adjust the occasional off beat, it gave his twitching robot house an affable, human element.

Then there was Diplo. Diplo’s set last night wasn’t the most technical I’ve seen out of him (his last Neumo’s appearance, with his DVD scratching and beat-matching was probably more impressive in that regard), but it was definitely the most fun. Kids rushed the stage to a remix of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (Diplo showed more Seattle love later dropping “Baby Got Back”).

diplo%20donte.jpgDiplo and crowd by Donte Parks

He mixed Simain vs Justice’s “We Are Your Friends” into the Hollertronix-released remix of Paul Simon’s “You Can Call Me Al.” He played technotronic. He played “Young Folks.” He layered the Smashing Pumpkins’ “Zero” over Bonde Do Role. He wrapped up with a mix of “Bombs Over Baghdad” into LE Tigre’s “Decetacon.” It was that kind of a crazy, populist party. And it was awesome.

There’s so much more good stuff coming up at Decibel this weekend (see some recommendations here and here), so be sure to get your ass out.

September 25 is Joni Mitchell Day at Starbucks

posted by on September 21 at 11:12 AM

In June, Starbucks stores across the nation simultaneously played the new Paul McCartney album, Memory Almost Full (which was released on the coffee company’s new record label), on repeat for an entire day.

Back then, Sean Nelson visited a few of the stores and wrote a great piece about McCartney, the new record, and his ties with “the only demonstrable force left in the world of CD retailing”:

But goddamn if I ever want to hear another word about music marketing. And goddamn if I feel the need to be confronted by his music—which I like more than everyone I’ve ever met combined—every time I want a cup of coffee. It feels like an aesthetic assault, not the way you want to discover anything. I went into a couple of Starbucks stores last Tuesday to see what it was like, and what it was like was this: Starbucks with Paul McCartney’s new album on an endless loop. They all had to play it all day.

Now Starbucks is doing it again, this time it’s with Joni Mitchell’s new record.

LOS ANGELES, September 21, 2007– On September 25, Starbucks (Nasdaq: SBUX) will host an intimate “Lunch and Listen” event to celebrate Joni Mitchell’s Hear Music release “Shine.” From 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM, more than 6,500 Starbucks stores in the U.S. and Canada will participate in the event by playing “Shine” along with a retrospective of classics which have made Mitchell one of the most beloved singer/songwriters of our time.

“‘Lunch and Listen’ gets to the heart of the connection between Starbucks customers and music,” says Ken Lombard, president of Starbucks Entertainment who also oversees Hear Music. “We’re very proud of this record and on September 25, Mitchell’s timeless resonance will be felt in a very profound way.”

“…will be felt in a very profound way”? Is playing Mitchell’s records at 6,500 locations for three hours straight really “profound”?

The Lashes Throw a Pizza Party with Kato Kaelin!

posted by on September 21 at 10:22 AM

And run amok (and get arrested) on the streets of Hollywood…

You can hear this song, “Look at Us,” and some more new material at the band’s MySpace, www.myspace.com/thelashes.

Tonight in Music

posted by on September 21 at 9:03 AM

The Decibel Festival is still going on—check out Donte Park’s picks as well as what members of the music community are looking forward to. Opening night left Eric Grandy temporarily speechless, and it’s only going to get better.

Tonight’s U&Cs suggest:

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IMPERIAL TEEN, BELLA, DERBY
(Crocodile) Truly deep friendships can endure extended periods with little or no interaction; with best buddies, a half-decade apart seems like just a few days once you click back into sync. So it is with indie-pop rockers Imperial Teen. Five years have elapsed since the California quartet’s last album, an interim filled with outside obligations—parenting, side projects, etc.—as the title of their latest, The Hair the TV the Baby & the Band, hints. But now they’re reunited, and it feels… hell, great. “Sweet Potato” shimmies and shakes like a sock hop where the milkshakes are spiked with bennies, while “Room with a View” sounds wise and wistful, with the merest hint of silver at the temples. Welcome back. KURT REIGHLEY
NO AGE, SEX VID, TALBOT TAGORA, FLEXIONS (Vera) Los Angeles duo No Age consist of two thirds of the excellent, deceased avant-punk band Wives. While No Age are far less aggressively mind-tickling than the more spastic Wives, their music is also more winningly free-roaming. Their recent debut on Fatcat, Weirdo Rippers, is, appropriately given its origin (the record is a compilation of various small vinyl releases), pleasantly all over the place. It veers from watery expanses of guitar murk to post-Ramones jolts of pop upheaval to dusty, soul-bleached instrumentals. Undoubtedly, their next record (conscripted for local zeitgeist lovers Sub Pop) will be of a more thought-threaded focus, but even in the action art messiness of Weirdo Rippers No Age manage many moments of unusual beauty. SAM MICKENS

First Impressions of Decibel Festival 2007

posted by on September 21 at 2:25 AM

HOLY






FUCKING













SHIT!



(more to come, stay tuned)


Thursday, September 20, 2007

Photo Review: Two Gallants @ the Croc

posted by on September 20 at 6:22 PM

Photos by Morgan Keuler

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Some Last-Minute Decibel Recommendations

posted by on September 20 at 4:45 PM

Decibel is here. I make my recommendations in this week’s paper (after adding to the Flaming Lips gushfest), but I also asked some of the artists and organizers what they were excited to see - I was curious. Here’s a sampling of the responses. If you’re looking to stalk any of these people, consider this your cheat sheet.

Rebecca West (Red Pony) - Artist: Mike Shannon, Biosphere, Harold Budd & Robin Guthrie and Switch are at the top of my list.

Kris Moon - Db Staff: In all honesty, I haven’t gotten that excited about any particular act, because I’m probably not going to get a chance to see much…Speedy J fuckin’ blew my mind last year, that’s all I know…

Jeff Samuel - Artist: My nuts. And Frivolous. Not necessarily in that order. And home-baked cookies.

Patrick Hanaelt - promoter: Taal Mala - his set at Oscillate last year was off the hook and he almost won the Laptop Battle this year. Really good bass heavy,dubby electro. Very danceable but still deep.

Steven Severin - Neumos honcho: Diplo/Switch/Simian. Are you kidding me with this lineup? Quite possibly the best electronic lineup of the year. Justice is giving them a run for their money, but three, count them three killer acts. That’s what I’m saying.

Recess - Shameless: Obviously, we’re stoked for our afterparties. Knowing who the secret surprise headliners are just makes us even more excited.

Kristina Childs - Db Staff: Phon.o & Chris De Luca are hands-down the artist I’m most excited about this year. Their latest mix bridges the best of so many genres… who’d have thought top 40 techno idm crunk could ever be married in such a fun way? It’s like a funner version of Modeselektor, which is another thing I didn’t think was possible.

and keeping it real…

Adam Swan of Truckasaurus - Artist: I think I can speak for the entire Truckasauras crew when I say we are excited to not only see, but drink the free beer Neumos has in their green room.

With that, it’s time for me to step away from the computer and get down to the festivities. It’s time for you to do the same.

The Death of the Record Industry

posted by on September 20 at 4:00 PM

The New York Times has an excellent conversation about the impending doom of the record industry.

Sound Off! Call for Entries: If You’re in a Band and Under 21, This Post is for You

posted by on September 20 at 3:33 PM

Sound Off! is great.

I’m always impressed by some of the young talent that has popped up in Sound Off’s final rounds over the years. A lot of great bands have won (and even lost) past competitions, including Schoolyard Heroes, Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head, Idiot Pilot, the Lonely Forest, Mon Frere, and Dyme Def.

EMP also focuses on including a lot of genres (rap, punk, rock, pop, indie, electronic, singer/songwriter) and the shows are always well-attended with fun and supportive audiences. It’s a great chance for young musicians to get some exposure and experience in a positive way.

Plus, if you win, you get a shitload of prizes.

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In 2008, EMP|SFM will present the seventh annual Sound Off!, the Northwest’s largest underage battle of the bands competition. If you are age 21 or under and play rock, hip-hop, electronic, pop or any other kind of music, this is your chance to Sound Off! at EMP|SFM!

Past participants include Schoolyard Heroes, The Lonely H, Capitol Basement and Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head, to name a few. With a judging staff comprised of movers and shakers of the Seattle music scene, this competition is a great chance for local, young bands to kick-start their music careers!

To enter Sound Off!, download and print out the application from empsfm.org. Complete the application and send it, along with a non-returnable CD of original music to:

EMP|SFM
Attn: Sound Off!
330 6th Avenue North, Suite 200
Seattle, WA 98109

Applications are due by Thursday, November 15, 2007. Please review the rules and regulations online prior to entry. If you have trouble downloading and printing the application, or have questions concerning the competition, e-mail soundoff@empsfm.org or call 206.770.2744.

More info at: http://www.empsfm.org/programs/index.asp?categoryID=27

Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/empsoundoff

IMPORTANT NOTE: All participants must be 21 years of age or younger.

One Last Decibel Download - Jeff Samuel

posted by on September 20 at 3:02 PM

For all of the exciting music coming through town over the next few days, the one artist I’m most stoked to see is Jeff Samuel. That excitement has incredibly little to do with music, and more to do with the fact that for the months before he left for Berlin he was my regular lunch companion and we’re looking to pick that back up while he’s in town (current plans involve a tour of Seattle’s Philly Cheesesteak spots).

The less lunch-centric among you should be excited to see Jeff for different reasons. His debut album Step was well-recieved by critics when it was released, as were the singles and EPs he’d put out prior. His DJ sets pull from the same minimal sound he’s typically lumped with, but his crates have plenty of breadth, and he’s not afraid to go harder or more mellow depending on what the room can handle.

Jeff Samuel @ Ovest (Oristano, Italy) - Pt. 1 - [mp3]
Jeff Samuel @ Ovest (Oristano, Italy) - Pt. 2 - [mp3]

Jeff Samuel plays the Dirty Dancing in the Bassment Showcase at the VIP Room, Saturday, September 22. With Mike Shannon, Mikael Stavostrand, and Drumcell.

Glad To Be Your Lover

posted by on September 20 at 2:52 PM

If you love disco like I do, one of the albums you must own(Which I’ve said before) is Bunny Sigler’s 1979 classic I’ve Always Wanted To Sing…... This record was released off of Goldmine Records, which is a Salsoul-distributed label, owned and ran by disco composer and producer Norman Harris. With club hits like, “I’m Funkin’ You Tonight”, “Simple Things You Do” and the much popular “By The Way You Dance (I Knew It Was You)”, this LP is a solid addition to anyone’s disco collection. The song that I find myself listening to a lot lately as well as playing out is the final track on the record entitled, “Glad To Be Your Lover”. This song is definitely the type of disco song that can work up a dancefloor with it’s call-and-respond vocals and build ups into the choruses. The song also makes a nice closing to an already amazing record. There’s also an extended version of the song that was later released as it’s own single, however, the song was reproduced and I feel that it lost some of it’s dancefloor edge that the LP version possess. Anyways, it’s a classic album that belongs in any disco lover’s collection.

Bunny Sigler - Glad To Be Your Lover

PS- Yes, this is the best image I could find online of the actual album cover. I know, ridiculous!

You’re Lookin’ at Country

posted by on September 20 at 2:22 PM

It should be noted that You’re Lookin’ at Country, last Thursday’s program at Northwest Film Forum, was wonderful. Sirius DJ Dallas Wayne presented clips of live performances from country music’s heyday—basically the ’50s and ’60s. Most of the greats were shown (sadly, Hank Williams was nowhere to be found): Ernest Tubb, Webb Pierce, Lefty Frizzell, George Jones, Buck Owens, young and beardless Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Dolly Parton, Roger Miller, Loretta Lynn, Porter Wagoner, Little Jimmy Dickens, Patsy Cline, and more, including Pete Drake playing a steel guitar with a talk box. I was hoping there’d be a performance by oft-forgotten Faron Young, and indeed there was, his hit “Live Fast, Love Hard, Die Young.” Hello Handsome…

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I tell ya, I could’ve stayed there all night watching those clips. When you listen primarily to music that was made 20 to 30 years before you were born, you’re really missing out on the live aspect of it. Just getting to see it up on a biggish screen was a real treat. And the anecdotes Wayne told of the performers and performances were priceless. I really hope they do this again sometime. (Suggestions for next time: Conway Twitty, Hank Williams, the Maddox Bros. and Rose, Ray Price.)

Did You Know…

posted by on September 20 at 2:19 PM

that the new Rex The Dog single is out and it totally rocks?

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If you didn’t know that, you should check out his myface page.

Circulate and Italian Blond are for people who like a little melody with their techno. Like me.

Really. It’s good.

I like it better than The Flaming Lips new album. Just sayin’.

My Contribution to the Flaming Lips Issue Isn’t Actually So Much About the Flaming Lips

posted by on September 20 at 2:03 PM

It’s about catching catfish with your bare-motherfucking-hands!

People have died doing it, been seriously injured, and it’s only legal in four states—catfish noodling is completely crazy. But what does it have to do with the Flaming Lips? Well, long-time Lips lover Bradley Beesley (Summercamp!, UFOs at the Zoo) did a documentary about catfish noodling a few years ago and the Flaming Lips did the soundtrack—it’s called Okie Noodling, and if you haven’t seen it, I suggest you do so.

The documentary talks to noodlers and their families, follows them on their fishing trips (special, seeing as how most guys like to keep their spots secret), and Beesley and his team even help start the first annual catfish noodling tournament in Oklahoma. The film is really weird, funny, and entertaining, as you could imagine a film about such a topic would be. And I can’t think of a band more better suited than the Flaming Lips to have supplied the musical accompaniment.

The DVD can be special ordered through most local record stores if you can’t find it.

Old World Vs. New World Pt. 4

posted by on September 20 at 2:03 PM

Bach Vs. ABBA

Bach

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The Hilliard Ensemble doing there best ABBA

Today’s classical selection is from a CD called Morimur featuring Christopher Poppen on Violin, and The Hilliard Ensemble on choral parts. It’s a pretty high-falutin’ study of how Bach’s infamously difficult Chacone for solo violin from his Partita in D Minor BWV 1004 is actually structured on choral music he composed for various religious ceremonies.

On the CD is the whole Partita played by Mr. Poppen on a baroque violin, which I think is ever so slightly larger and deeper-toned, then current violins. There is also quite a few selections of Bach’s choral arrangements sung by The Hilliard Ensemble. Then at the end, the Chaccone is played alone, with the accompanying relative choral parts.

It’s a bit abstract, but basically Mr. Poppen and his friends are making the world’s first mash-up. From this study, I’ve sampled a choral piece called Christ Lag In Todensbanden (Christ Lay In Death’s Bondage).

ABBA

If there is anything as structured, as baroque in the pop music of today as Bach was in his day, then it certainly is the exacting hit-making machinery that was ABBA. No single performer or band has had the ability to quantify what needs to be part of a song to work as a pop hit then ABBA. Which is why, for a decade, ABBA was able to rack up top ten hit after top ten hit, and why 30 years on, love them or hate them, we are still entranced by their talent.

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But I’ve chosen a cheaters way to connection here, by giving you a cover version of their biggest hit, Dancing Queen, performed by a Swedish vocal jazz ensemble called The Real Group. Not just content to do a whole vocal arrangement of the song, the “group” becomes the band and back-up for Frida, who graciously joined them on this cover. I know it’s not the original, but this version has just as much spark. You’ll see.

The Hilliard Ensemble - J.S. Bach - Christ Lag In Todesbanden
The Real Group - Dancing Queen (Med Frida)

Melvins and Big Business

posted by on September 20 at 1:30 PM

Ok, not “last night”, but Tuesday night. Who went to see Big Business and the Melvins? If you missed it, you definitely missed the heaviest and best stoner metal show in the world. You really have to see it live to believe it. But I’m not good at writing music reviews, so let’s look at some pictures.

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Jared and Buzzo seem to be competing for The Most Fucked Up Hair in Rock title - Jared is quite a contender with his half-Amish, half-Hasidic Jew-braids, but Buzzo’s still The King. He’s a headbanging upside-down exclamation point.

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Coady Willis stills wins for beating the drums to death, for BOTH bands, for almost three hours straight, with nary an oxygen mask… Ooh, and the crowd - the crowd wins several awards. Most livable mosh pit, best classic fist-banging, and BEST ol’skool Seattle style, complete with flannels, uh, chin beards…

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and non-ironic teeshirts.

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There was also a ton of musicians there. You couldn’t throw a rock without hitting a Mudhoney, Tight Bro, or Murder City Devil. The highlight though, for me at least, was watching the chick in the garbage bag dress getting arrested outside for some sort of girl-on-girl fight in the pit. Girls don’t fight in mosh pits anymore do they?

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Ahh. Sweet, sweet nostalgia.

Finally the Punk Rockers Are Taking Acid

posted by on September 20 at 1:05 PM

unknown-2.jpgOriginal cover art by Wayne Coyne

You might’ve noticed that this week’s entire music section is devoted to the greatest show on earth, the Flaming Lips. There was simply too much to say about the band to cram into a simple feature.

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From the Stones’ eyebrow-singing pyrotechnics to Motley Crue’s flying drum kit to GWAR’s ejaculating space penis, rock bands have gone for spectacle to overload the senses and forge unforgettable moments. But nobody’s done it with the love, the sincerity, the humility, and the confetti of the Lips. From the beginning, they’ve made their live shows unpredictable, dangerous encounters between volume and theater. Twenty years after their humble tweaker-punk begninnings, they’ve evolved into a full-blown, arena-sized circus, a little more predictable and a little less dangerous, but unquestionably, unfailingly awesome.

Hopefully you’ll be at the show tonight to witness what they do so well. At a Lips show, the music works in service to the overall experience. And that experience is the greatest, most fulfilling, most-life affirming form of entertainment you can have. Be prepared for maximum elation for a full two hours.

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If not, check out The Soft Bulletin, the first and greatest album of the new millennium.

Yes, it came out in 1999, but musically, thematically, it led straight into 2000 and directly to our current moment. Anxious with ruminations on war and death and technology and love but celebratory in its hopefulness and joy, the album explodes with ideas and fulfills all its promise. The production is ingenious, pristine, unprecedented, maxing out on humongous drums and alien sounds but never sacrificing warmth or subtlety. And the songwriting is Wayne Coyne at his best—allegorical, universal, but also heartbreakingly detailed and emotive.

If you haven’t discovered the wonders of The Soft Bulletin, you owe it to yourself. It’s never too late to discover a timeless classic. And if you’ve never been to a Flaming Lips concert, there’s no way to explain what you’re missing. You just have to be there.

Ozzfest – Jäger & Leather at 9 AM

posted by on September 20 at 12:04 PM

474479380_m.jpgSoundman / Engineer, Mike Todd, is genuine Seattle. He is an authority, a product of Evergreen State College, and protégé of the Crocodile’s Jim Anderson. People call Mike ‘Dr. Heavy’. You do what Dr. Heavy tells you.

For the 2003 Ozzfest, he tour managed and ran sound for a band called Nothingface. All the shows were outside, the first band of the day started at 9 a.m., they were allowed 5 minutes for set changes, and they were sponsored by Jägermeister.

Imagine trying to keep that in line. One would think the bands would be Nothing but Shitfaced. However, due to Mike’s firm hand, things ran smoothly, kind of.

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Picture: Howard

Dr. Heavy speaks:

Sound outside is hard. We were setting up in parking lots and fields. The sound system would be different in every location. Somedays it would rain. Sound is funny in the rain, sort of muffled. The crowd loved it in the rain though.

The first band would start at 9:00am, so things got going right away. For set changes we were only allowed five minutes. That included setting up the band. The stage techs would set up the drums and amps behind the stage and during the set change they would move the gear up and stack the amps three deep. When one band finished the next set would move forward and reset the mics. There were three drum risers that rotated. Each riser had its own set of mics and they would switch snakes between each set. The monitor crew also had two monitor boards that they would switch between. After the first few shows it was clockwork, if you went over your set change time, you would lose a song from your set, so we learned to move quick.

Continue reading "Ozzfest – Jäger & Leather at 9 AM" »

Tonight in Music

posted by on September 20 at 12:02 PM

Tonight! Tonight? Well tonight a band called the Flaming Lips is playing at a place called the Paramount.

wayne%26adam.jpgPhoto by J. Michelle Martn-Coyne

In case you haven’t noticed, the entire music section has been taken over by the Flaming Lips this week—there’s a conversation between Wayne Coyne and Adam Goldberg (you can listen to it here), an interview with the 22-year-old guy in charge of making their shows magical, and CD reviews of a few of their records. They’re everywhere.

But, if you’re like Eric Grandy, who’s not really that into the band, you have a few other options for the evening:

*The Decibel Festival starts tonight and both Grandy and Donte Parks are stoked about that.

Decibel Festival
(Music) Seattle’s fourth annual Decibel Festival offers four days of world-class electronic music at various venues, but tonight’s Death of the Party showcase is a definite highlight, featuring Diplo’s polyglot party jams, Switch’s twitchy house, Simian Mobile Disco’s raucous electro, and the DJ skills of Seattle’s Fourcolorzack and Pretty Titty. It’s going to be a hell of a party, but it’s also going to be an ecstatic and exhausting weekend, so try to pace yourself. (Neumo’s, 925 E Pike St, www.dbfestival.com. 8 pm, $15 adv/$17 DOS, 21+.) Eric Grandy

*Peter Bjorn and John play the Showbox at the Market after guest cashiering at Sonic Boom’s General Store.

PETER BJORN AND JOHN, THE CLIENTELE, MARISSA NADLER
(Showbox at the Market) What is it about Sweden? The socialized health care? Liberal funding for the arts? Good genes? Constitutional monarchy? Herring? Whatever it is, the country seems preternaturally gifted at churning out ace pop music, from ABBA to the Knife to the (International) Noise Conspiracy. Peter Bjorn and John are no exception. The eponymous trio’s most recent album, Writer’s Block, continues to burn itself into my brain and dominate my MP3 rotation a full year after its international release (and six months after its official stateside debut). Every song is gorgeous and catchy—the anthemic graffiti of “Objects of My Affection,” the whistling romance of “Young Folks,” the stoned drag of “Amsterdam,” the cagey dance of “Up Against the Wall,” the cool kiss-off “Let’s Call It Off”—and the band is pitch-perfect and fun live. ERIC GRANDY

*And Low plays their second night at the Triple Door.

LOW, SIR RICHARD BISHOP
(The Triple Door) For me, Low have always been about the slow, gray days of late autumn, when rain-slick leaves stick to your windows and the heavy sun barely climbs past the horizon. That’s when the rich, complicated harmonies of Alan Sparhawk and his wife Mimi Parker (two-thirds of the Duluth band, with Matt Livingston on bass) strike just the right balance between hope and despair. The veteran band produce complex, textured soundtracks perfect for chilly afternoons when the streetlamps flicker on at four o’clock. The literate, precise vocals of Sparhawk and Parker dance like rain in the feeble light. For those sick of summer, this is your show. CHRIS McCANN

Need more? Go over to Get Out, and find your own damn fun.

Beirut - “Forks & Knives (La Fete)”

posted by on September 20 at 11:30 AM

Another one of those live videos from http://flyingclubcup.com/, this one for “Forks & Knives (La fête)”:

The Flying Club Cup comes out Oct 9th. Is someone gonna bring him to Seattle or am I going to go crazy?

Also, did you hear the one about this guy?

Speaking of Not Drinking…

posted by on September 20 at 11:27 AM

The best lyrics ever written* come from the Hoods’ song “Don’t Fight, Let’s Party Tonight!”

Saturday night and we’re ready to go
Grabbed some 40s on the way to the show
Parking lot pimpin’ every thing’s all right
Slammed a pint of jack and we’re ready to fight!

Don’t fucking fight… let’s party tonight!
If you’re straight edge don’t worry, hey, I’ll buy you a Sprite!
Don’t fucking fight… let’s party tonight!
Fuck it!

*Statement only valid for the next 24 hours.

PB&J W/PB&J

posted by on September 20 at 11:10 AM

This just in from Sonic Boom:

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PIZZA, BEER, AND JUICE WITH PETER BJORN AND JOHN
Thursday, September 20 at 7:30PM, Sonic Boom General store (3416 Fremont Ave. N / 206.633.BOOM)

Join us this Thursday Sept. 20 from 7:30-8:30pm. Peter Bjorn and John will help celebrate Sonic Boom’s 10-year anniversary by guest cashiering at the Sonic Boom General Store (3416 Fremont Ave. N). We’ll have plenty of copies of their fantastic album Writer’s Block in stock on CD and LP and if we’re lucky they might play a song or two. www.peterbjornandjohn.com

Personally, I appreciate that there will be juice there since I’m all straight edge and shit and don’t drink beer. But I love pizza.

As for Peter Bjorn and John, I’ve only heard one song—it was playing in the H&M on Fifth Ave when I was in New York last week. “This is Peter Bjorn and John,” my friend Starr said. Then she started humming along. For the life of me I can’t remember how the song went. But with pizza, beer, and juice, it still sounds like a hell of a party.


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

That’s right, Hov

posted by on September 19 at 10:53 PM

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The NY Times reports:

Jay-Z, the rap superstar and president of Def Jam Records, has quietly returned to the studio to record an album of new songs inspired by the forthcoming movie “American Gangster,” his first “concept” album and second CD in less than a year.

I was just telling Grandy how a few tracks on Kingdom Come have grown on me, but overall it’s a pretty lackluster come-back release, especially as a follow up to the Black Album.

Here’s hopin’ American Gangster sparks something in Jay.

(Confidential to Mr. Carter: Stay away from Dre’s tired-ass robot beats this time.)

Comment of the Day

posted by on September 19 at 4:00 PM

Said by Trent Moorman in response to this post about Barry Manilow:

There is a story from back in the day of Barry calling a Seattle studio to talk to the producer. One of the lowly engineers picked up the phone. Barry was a huge cock to the engineer on the phone. In retaliation, the engineer said, “Yes sir, Mr. Manilow, I’ll go get the producer.” But he just put the phone down and never went and got the producer.

I’ve always wondered how long Barry sat on hold for.

(I know, maybe it’s not completely kosher to choose someone who posts on Line Out as the author of Comment of the Day, but I can’t help it if Trent’s story about Mr. Manilow being on hold for eternity is effing hilarious and worth the spotlight.)

Sean Horton on KEXP

posted by on September 19 at 3:24 PM

Right now.

Decibel Festival starts tomorrow!

Reznor to Fans: “Steal My Music”

posted by on September 19 at 2:37 PM

At a performance in Sydney, Australia three days ago, Nine Inch Nails frontperson Trent Reznor berated the “greedy fucking assholes” at Interscope, his label home for over 10 years, for gouging Australian fans on the price of CDs.

“Has anybody seen the price come down [since the last time I was here]?” he asks.

The crowd responds with a resounding “NO!”

“Well, you know what that means—steal it! Steal away! Give it to all your friends and keep on stealing!”

In the unresolvable, hopelessly vague debate over illegal downloading, music industry fatalism, and artists’ rights, it’s refreshing to see a certified rock star giving a huge middle finger to the pretty hate machine he rode in on.

His rant is somewhat hypocritical—Reznor’s already made his millions, so why fuck it up for the little guy? But it’s also heroic—he’s not encouraging piracy, he’s encouraging his fans to get his music by any means necessary. Doing so from the stage, during his own concert, is the only way to legitimize it (though who knows how much Australian fans had to pay for the show).

Reznor’s relationship with Interscope is unclear—his own Nothing Records was long a subsidiary of Interscope, but some reports claim they split a few years ago. Interscope, however, released this year’s Year Zero. Either way, Reznor is, as usual, forging his own way through the quagmire of the record industry, which is respectable.

Stealing music isn’t wrong if the musician told you to steal it. Right?

Decibel Download of the Day - 3 Channels

posted by on September 19 at 2:23 PM

It’s another two for one today, courtesy of 3 Channels, a duo I appreciate simply because I didn’t have to scour the far reaches of the Internet to find these recordings.

The two members of 3 Channels hail from Poland, bringing some techno attention a little farther east of techno’s current Berlin capitol. The pair initially met because of their shared musical tastes and started throwing parties together before they started producing. There was initially a third member (the third channel), but he was booted for what sounds like creative differences. In any case, the duo have releases on Trapez, Crosstown Rebels and their own Channels label. Another reason I like these guys (besides their minimal tech-house productions) is their sense of humor. Here’s a snippet from a Resident Advisor interview:

Besides electronic music, what else do you channel your energies into?
We both like sports such as: sleeping, sitting in front of a computer, catching a train. We especially like extreme sports like taking a big record bag to the airplane as hand luggage.

(You’ll have to be patient with these links - both are pretty sluggish)
3 Channels - Live at Watergate - [mp3]
3 Channels - Catz & Dogz September Mix [mp3]

3 Channels play the Dirty Dancing Showcase at Neumos Saturday, September 22. With Speedy J, Robert Babicz, Alland Byallo, and Jerry Abstract.

A Song I Loved a Decade Ago and Still Love Today

posted by on September 19 at 1:47 PM

Face to Face - “Disconnected”

Anthems from the Gentle War

posted by on September 19 at 1:26 PM

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Daniel G. Harmann’s songs drift and ache, sad but uplifting. I’d say they’re brave, but they’re more subdued than that. Feels like fall.

His latest release, Anthems from the Gentle War, came out September 4th and was recorded at Recovery Room Studio in Greenwood. If the Cure were from the South, they’d sound like Harmann.

Anthems rolls scenes from your memory back to when you used to lay on the grass and look at the sky. When you used to run away and roll marbles down a path of tamped earth. It’s muted and loud. A match to a moth wing.

In “The Trouble Starts” he sings:

Burn this valley out save the edge of town we tuck ourselves in the crease of maps and long for the time when we’re fine knowing there’s no going back we scream out our names with bruised bloody lungs.

Harmann plays Tractor Tavern - Oct. 27th w/ Carrie Akre.

Re: West is the Winner

posted by on September 19 at 12:56 PM

The real story here is the numbers: 957,000 is an astounding number of albums to sell the first week out these days. Hell, even 691,000 is pretty good. Also, 50 Cent’s no dummy (no, seriously)—he only ever promised to stop making solo records. Even if 50 follows through on his threat/boast/wonderful promise, we can still expect a lot guest appearances, G-Unit posse albums, and the like.

But, say, have you heard this rumor—courtesy of Jonah’s stoner buddy—that 50 Cent supposedly purchased hundreds of thousands of copies of his own record to inflate sales? True or not (ok, probably not), that could be a revolutionary new business model for the famously ailing music industry: Let the millionaires buy all their own albums to keep the major labels afloat, and the RIAA can stop suing poor downloaders for relative pocket change.

West is the Winner

posted by on September 19 at 12:45 PM

According to AP:

Graduation widely outsold 50 Cent’s Curtis in first week sales, according to Nielsen SoundScan: 957,000 copies to 691,000 copies.

So now 50 has to stop making music, right? RIGHT?

Barry Manilow is a Trooper

posted by on September 19 at 12:30 PM

Thanks to my mom, I grew up with a strange appreciation for Barry Manilow. I’m no Manaloonie, but I think he’s a hell of a showman and c’mon, guy has mastered the art of writing catchy melodies. (I also sometimes leave rock shows early to go home and do arts and crafty sorts of things—I have a little bit of housewife in me.)

ANYWAY…

I’m less embarrassed to admit my softspot for Barry when something like this happens:

In a message posted on his Website Monday, the pop icon announced he has scuttled a Tuesday appearance on The View because he did not want to take a seat next to Elisabeth Hasselbeck.

“I wanted to let you know that I will no longer be on The View tomorrow as scheduled. I had made a request that I be interviewed by Joy [Behar], Barbara [Walters] or Whoopi [Goldberg] but not Elisabeth Hasselbeck,” he wrote. “Unfortunately, the show was not willing to accommodate this simple request, so I bowed out.”

There are a lot of reasons to steer clear of The View, but that’s a really good one.

And now:

New Kane Hodder—It’s About Time

posted by on September 19 at 12:06 PM

hodderjump.jpgPhoto by Chris Van Wick

Kane Hodder hijacked last night’s Schoolyard Heroes CD release show by (surprise!) releasing a collection of their own new material. The five song disc, Fly Comet Fly, is a long time coming—the band hasn’t released anything since the 2005 re-release of The Pleasure to Remain So Heartless.

The CD was available for free at last nights show, and the track-listing goes like this:

1. The Use of a Tourniquet is Not Advised
2. Kane Hodder Body Armor
3. St Augustine Was Bitter & Impotent
4. Eat Lead, Slackers
5. Hey Cortez, Ever Catch a Hurricane With Your Teeth?

My favorite thing about Kane Hodder’s music is that it’s unclassifiable. The band chaotically shifts from thrashing hardcore to bright pop within a single song. “Kane Hodder Body Armor” opens with hand clapping and whistling that reminds me of the opening credits to Disney’s Robin Hood. Singer Andrew Moore croons over the drums that start to speed up, the guitar twitters faster, and then the melody swirls into a storm of cookie-monster vocals and pulsating guitars before breaking down into a Copacabana-inspired breakdown of la las.

And that’s only one song. Kane Hodder are a mindfuck—but they’re interesting, and after a few listens, the songs start to make sense and they’ll get stuck in your head with just as much tenacity as any catchy Top 40 hit.

They played some of the new songs last night and the crowd (mostly there for the Birthday Massacre and Schoolyard) looked confused by the bands genre-stomping style, but they were fully engaged too. They just didn’t know if they should mosh or dance, jump or sway, sing or scream. By the end of the band’s set, they finally wrapped their teenage minds around the new sound, clapping along with Charley Potter’s booming bass drum and the bands anthemic gang vocals.

The CD will also be available (for free) this weekend (Saturday, Sept 22) at the Old Fire House when the band celebrates the beloved teen center’s 15th Anniversary with These Arms Are Snakes and Akimbo. You can also hear some of the new stuff at the band’s MySpace.

Essential Disco Mix

posted by on September 19 at 11:51 AM

A few weeks back, I was asked by Bobby from the Talking in Stereo blog to make an exclusive mix of many of the songs I play in my DJ sets, write about, and enjoy on a regular basis. I finally got around to putting together this mix, and I thought I would share it on this blog as well. The mix is a collection of some really great rare disco that can be heard at Pony’s italo/disco night Circus!(last Thursday of the month) and at the Solo Bar’s Club Cabana(First Friday of the month). Hope you enjoy!

TJ Gorton’s Sept. 2007 Cabana Mix (download)

Total Time = 44:25min 192 kbps
————————————————-
01. Cerrone - Living on Love
02. First Choice - Great Expectations
03. Voyage - Souvenirs
04. Fantastic Four - Got To Have Your Love
05. Teddy Pendergrass - Do Right (Lee Douglas Re-edit)
06. Don Ray - Standing In The Rain
07. Loleatta Holloway - We’re Getting Stronger(Backing Acapella)
08. TJ Gorton - Club Cabana
09. Brass Construction - Movin’
10. Crown Heights Affair - Say A Prayer For Two
11. Best Friend Around - It’s So Good To Know
12. Bee Gees - You Should Be Dancing (Tangoterje Edit)
13. The O’Jays - I Love Music (Dim’s Dancefloor Touch Up)

Move Over, Tired Clichés

posted by on September 19 at 10:58 AM

I’m not sure which part of this Metro Times article deserves more attention—the Detroit-focused look at the Motor City boys behind Seattle’s Decibel Festival, or the excruciating premise that the writer uses before getting to the real story.

At Pike Place market, sleazy vendors peddle Nirvana T-shirts just like they would Statue of Liberty snow globes in New York. In a Seattle bar, Mudhoney, Soundgarden or Pearl Jam will come on the jukebox in one drink’s time. In that bar’s bathroom, expect a Sub Pop sticker emblazoned on the stall door. Because of grunge, Seattle went a decade without a major music movement.

I’m a relatively fresh transplant to Seattle, but even I can smell the burnt wafers in this dude’s logic (though I’d like to know if someone is peddling Tad merch at Pike Place). After that open, though, the rest of the piece is interesting enough, especially since people still feel compelled to compare Decibel to Detroit’s Movement Festival…and especially since this line about the meeting of Decibel’s Sean Horton and Jerry Abstract cracks me up:

“I remember him bringing down a six-pack of Pabst. It was one of those rare male bonding moments that only the combination of beer and techno can really facilitate.”

Government Warning: ’80s Hardcore Flashback

posted by on September 19 at 10:48 AM

Should I really write a post about a show I saw over three weeks ago in a different state? Yeah, why not.

I was in San Francisco last month, and one of my favorites, Look Back and Laugh, were playing at Gilman on Sunday, August 26, so I hopped BART and headed to Berkeley. One of the openers was Government Warning, from Richmond, Virginia. I hadn’t heard of them, so before the show, I listened to a few MP3s on their MySpace page, and at first I thought it was a joke: Instead of putting up some of their own songs, did they post MP3s from the Circle Jerks or Adolescents or Reagan Youth or some other ’80s hardcore band? Or are they an actual ’80s band going back on the road? It turns out those are their songs and they’re young guys—younger-looking than me—who just happen to have that 20-year-old sound down pat.

My fella and I got to the show just after Government Warning took the stage. They played great—tight, straight-ahead, perfect ’80s hardcore—and were unstoppably energetic. They’re not like a reimagining of the sound; they simply are the sound. The kids went crazy for them, creating the biggest circle pit I’ve ever seen (which we later determined was because there wasn’t enough people in the crowd to keep it reined in). They played a short, sweet set. Then, out of nowhere, a young skinhead got knocked the fuck out with one punch to the face and bled all over the floor.

Aside from Government Warning’s set, the show on a whole wasn’t great; it was pretty tame (um, aside from that skinhead bleeding all over the place) and there weren’t a lot of people there. It was a Sunday night, after all, and I overheard some teenagers talking about having to go to school the next morning. Look Back and Laugh played after Government Warning, but their set suffered because of the small crowd and the resulting lack of energy. Which is too bad, because they’re great (and so is two of their member’s grind side project, California Love).

Government Warning have an uninformative MySpace page and that’s about it. I can’t really find out much else about this band, but they do have several records out, one of which, No Moderation, I have just ordered. And sorry, but they played Seattle on August 17 (and Portland with Tragedy on August 18), but I wasn’t paying attention at the time. Go listen to some of their MP3s. Now.

In Other, Pants-shitting Roy Ayers News…

posted by on September 19 at 9:13 AM

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The man himself will play Nectar on Tuesday, October 16!

Ayers is a soul-jazz master, one of groove music’s great innovators; he provided the bridge between jazz and disco and has been sampled and referenced over and over again in hiphop and house music. His breezy vibraphone compositions swayed between jazz, funk, downtempo, disco, and lounge well before they were picked up by a new generation of producers searching for a sound light on the ears but heavy with soul.

Ayers is not a young guy anymore (he’s in his late 60s) and tours infrequently. Major props to Colin Johnson at Nectar for scoring his only NW gig. Says Johnson, “I shat myself when he confirmed. Jazz-soul heads and hiphoppers unite!”

Tickets will cost $22 advance, quite a deal to see a jazz legend in action. Download Ayers’ disco classic “Running Away” here.

Tonight in Music

posted by on September 19 at 9:00 AM

Stranger Suggests suggest:

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Photo by: Charlie Villyard

Two Gallants
(Music) Two Gallants’ devastating punk-folk-blues is like a nail gun: It rivets you to where you stand. It’s viciously cathartic, and better with a friend and a beer to tear in. Adam Stephens writes lyrics like a Dust Bowl gutter poet and fingerpicks guitar like John Fahey; Tyson Vogel drums like a springtime rain shower, steady but unpredictable. The pair is one of the sharpest songwriting duos around. (Crocodile, 2200 Second Ave, 441-5611. 9 pm, $10 adv/$12 DOS, 21+.) JONATHAN ZWICKEL

Up & Comings advise:

JULIE OLSON, DARRIUS WILLRICH, EVAN FLORY-BARNES, D’VONNE LEWIS
(Egan’s Jam House) D’vonne Lewis is the most talented drummer I’ve seen in Seattle. In a city with a history of monster stickmen, its own professional drum school, and a drummer website listing almost 150 drummers, this guy’s the truth. I’ve witnessed nu-bop trio Industrial Revelation, Paul Rucker’s improv big band, and a slew of Skerik’s far-flung projects all shine brighter when the kid’s behind the kit. Most rock drummers will give it up to their jazz counterparts, and Lewis is exactly the reason why. Relaxed, unfettered, beyond the pocket (he IS the pocket, and the needlepoint stitching around it, and the blue fuzzy stuff at the bottom), Lewis plays with the skill and ease of an old pro—and he’s just turned 24. JONATHAN ZWICKEL
LOW
(Triple Door) It wasn’t until I heard their Christmas song, “Just Like Christmas,” that I really appreciated Low’s emotional and experimental indie rock. Until that fateful holiday season, I lived under the assumption that Low were an uninteresting, utterly depressing Bright Eyes wannabe, mostly because their name made me think so. I was wrong. After a short obsession, I found out that Low have been around since Conor Oberst was prepubescent (1993), the band features married couple Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker, and the trio (rounded out by Matt Livingston on bass and co-vocals) has a huge catalog of reliable albums. Their most recent, Drums and Guns, was released on Sub Pop this year, and I can’t stop listening to the album’s haunting and captivating song “Murderer,” which showcases a slow, deep bass, and the constant twitter of what sounds like a guitar that’s shorting out. It builds up, but never to a complete climax, which only adds to the frustrated lyrics “you must have more important things to do.” MEGAN SELING

And if that’s not enough, check out Get Out, The Stranger’s online live music/DJ calendar that lists every goddamn thing happening in town.


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Kelly, Yup There Were Boobies at Yo Majesty

posted by on September 18 at 6:16 PM

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I just noticed that Kelly asked how the Yo Majesty show was Saturday night. It was great and exactly what I hoped for out of the experience. The late start to the show dulled enthusiasm a bit, but ChrisO (of Baltimore party Tax Lo) played some old school gems along with the more expected hipster jams, getting things picked up before the ladies came out to do their thing.

And Yo Majesty? Take the crunk energy (and gutteral intonation) of Lil Jon and combine that with hipster-approved electro backing (some deservedly described as “cheap beats”) and you’ve got the gist of Yo Majesty. It’s party music mixed with party music, so guess what you get - a party. People danced, hands were waved in the air, and calls received responses. It was exactly what I wanted to get out of the show, and the ladies of Yo Majesty delivered the party with a sincerity that often seems to be lacking. Even when the shirt came off (and oh yes it did), it was just to get the party going a bit more. The set closed with a “cover” of “We Are Your Friends” and a speech about appreciating life, yourself, your friends, and your family before one of the members left the stage to give hugs to the crowd (no, not the topless one).

There seems to be a lot of drama with Yo Majesty at the moment. They’ve switched booking agencies, managers, tour DJs and lost a member recently, so it’s very possible that this was your only chance to see them play Seattle (nice booking Death of the Party). I certainly hope not because for all of the shtick and gimmickry, this is one of the better shows I’ve seen recently, and it’d be a shame if more of you don’t get to experience that for yourself.

Another pic (with boobs, so NSFW) after the jump.

Continue reading "Kelly, Yup There Were Boobies at Yo Majesty" »

Decibel Download of the Day - Frivolous

posted by on September 18 at 5:28 PM

Today’s download is a two-for-one deal from Frivolous. I couldn’t find a working link to a live set (like the one he’s performing at Decibel), but I found one I can embed and a downloadable DJ set. Someone with more time could probably find a way to find the mp3 source from the embedded link.

Frivolous is the production moniker for Berlin-based Daniel Gardner. He’s known for his experimental house and techno (he makes use of some incredibly quirky vocals), but what I’d like to call attention to is his DIY ethic. If you look on his home page (in the Contraptions section) you can view some of his constructed instruments, including a washtub bass, an electromagnetic knife, and a bike powered reverb unit. Based on reports from this past weekend’s New Forms Festival, it looks like the knife will be making an appearance. Wonder if that piece gave him any problems in customs…

Daniel Gardner - House of Glass Mix [mp3]

Frivolous Live @ Cafe Moskau, Berlin [ mp3-stream]

Frivolous plays the Headfuk Showcase/DB Finale at Neumos on Sunday, September 23. With Wolfgang Flur, Chris De Luca & Phon.o, Amm, Kris Moon, and DJ Struggle.

The Austin City Limits Festival: Life After The Party

posted by on September 18 at 4:21 PM

A report, from Austin Texas, by photographer Victoria Renard…

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The best thing about almost any music festival in Austin TX is there’s always a shit ton of offshoot events and parties. Some of the best music at this year’s Austin City Limits was actually at the after-parties. Common’s DJ Dummy and Chamillionaire’s DJ Rapid Ric spun a free show at the Firehouse Lounge; LCD Soundsystem hosted their own DJ dance party at Red 7; and The Beauty Bar packed in four solid nights of live music on their outside patio, bands like local favorites Faceless Werewolves, Young Heart Attack, and Those Peabodys. They also hosted indoor DJ sets by M.I.A., Flosstradamus, and Bloc Party. And one merely needed to walk by an open side door at the downtown outdoor venue, Stubb’s, to hear or see strains of Bob Dylan’s after show.

Thursday night kicked off with a free show by The Black Angels sponsored by Filter Magazine at Club de Ville. The almost pitch black scene was eerily lit by three 16mm film projectors flickering layers of subtly morbid imagery onto a fifty foot tall limestone wall overhung with a jungle of twisted trees and ferns which threatened to fall over the top of the precipice onto the mesmerized audience. With an apocalyptic thud of a kettle drum and the distinct reverberating twang of an electric sitar, Austin’s gurus of neo-psychedelia proved their diverse abilities by trading off instruments and with Alex Maas stepping down a couple of times from his role as lead vocalist with some new songs by lead guitarist Christian Bland who has recently started a self-titled solo acoustic project.

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Though not on the bill for the Austin City Limits Fest, Art Brut showed their limey best at a strangely under-attended show at the Dell Lounge Hot Freaks! party at The Mohawk. Every generalization I’ve come to love and hate about the English from the smug cockiness, the polite self-loathing, the psychosexual neurosis was all embodied in one charming package with Art Brut’s live performance. What The Smiths once delivered in morose profound introspection Art Brut expands into a tongue-in-cheekiness, a knowing wink and a nod, and a rollicking good time. Other headlining acts at the neighboring venues of Club de Ville and The Mohawk both Friday and Saturday included Grizzly Bear, The Rosebuds and St. Vincent.

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What’s not to love about a gang of gorgeous glamazons with big hair dressed in PVC mini dresses and go go boots who can really play their instruments? Straight out of a Russ Meyer film onto the sparkly pseudo style parlor at The Beauty Bar, Detroit’s Gore Gore Girls finished off the ACL after party weekend with a Bif! Bang! Pow! full of bluesy-garage swagger and Shangri La’s style girl group vocals, followed by a soul dance party featuring the Tighten Up DJs.

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Bif! Bang! Pow! Indeed.

All photos by Victoria Renard.

Running Away

posted by on September 18 at 4:07 PM

In 1977, the soul-jazz funk king, Roy Ayers, put his influential touch on disco with the classic track “Running Away”. This disco-funk gem was released as a 12-inch single off of Polydor, and was Ayer’s response to his loyal funk/disco following after much of the jazz community lost it’s interest in his newer, “less-jazz” oriented productions. This song, which was also released on the Lifline LP, turned into a huge club hit and became one the most popular singles of his career. Here is the extended disco mix that was featured on the 12-inch single.

Roy Ayers - Running Away

German DJs and Their Living Rooms, Part 2

posted by on September 18 at 3:49 PM

Last year, Germany’s Groove, a dance-music magazine, ran one of the best features I’ve seen in a while: “German DJs and Their Living Rooms,” most of which can be seen on this I Love Music thread. Now, they’ve run the sequel. The scariest: Justus Köhncke, whose abode looks like a cross between a mad-scientist lab and the site of the arrest detailed here.

Beirut - “Nantes” & “The Penalty”

posted by on September 18 at 3:31 PM

Working on an album review for Zach Condon’s latest Europhillic flight of fancy, The Flying Club Cup, I stumbled upon this simple, sweet performance of album opener “Nantes”:

And this one for “The Penalty”:

Live videos of every track from the album (in stores Oct 9th) are set to be posted at http://flyingclubcup.com/.

A Disco Song Even Dan Savage Could Like

posted by on September 18 at 2:02 PM

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That’s right! I funky disco stomper, with a flute solo no less, that Dan will like. Or will he?

And for christs sake! check out that record label! Bareback Records! Holy….

Inner City Jam Band - What I Did For Love (from “A Chorus Line”)

Illegal Leak of the Week: Dethklok, The Dethalbum

posted by on September 18 at 12:34 PM

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Cartoon metal? It’s worked so far on Metalocalypse, Adult Swim’s double-bass-pedal answer to Josie and the Pussycats. In its first season, the over-the-top animated series did a pretty damn good job fusing the worlds of Aqua Teen and Some Kind of Monster, and just like its rock parody forebears, the show’s fictional band, Dethklok, has taken the natural next step by issuing its songs in CD form next month.

Doesn’t surprise me that The Dethalbum has racked up thousands of downloads at my leak sources already. People who have shelled out cash for Spinal Tap and Tenacious D records can probably count on their fingers how many times they’ve spun those in the past three years—sure, “Big Bottom” is funny to quote, but why not just watch the superior movie instead? (And don’t get me started on Break Like The Wind.) These albums aren’t supposed to last without their movies’ and shows’ context. Right?

In only a few days of listening, it’s hard to make a long-term prediction about The Dethalbum, but it’s fucking funny for now, certainly in part because most of these songs are new to me. Over half of the tracks are pulled from episodes, though lengthened for the sake of the CD, and they’re all brilliant in both being ridiculous and believable as metal songs. The opening track is about mermaid murder, and it’s titled, well, “Murmaider”:

There are no fingerprints / Deep underwater / Nothing to tie one to a crime / And if you seek vengeance / All you need are instruments of pain

This entire post could be made up solely of genius lyrics (particularly “Bloodrocuted,” the second-person story of an electrician who fuses puddles of his own blood with electricity to battle bounty hunters), or even song titles (“Briefcase Full of Guts,” “Hatredcopter”), but I’d be remiss to ignore how solid the record actually sounds. Metalocalypse co-creator Brendon Small is the muscle behind the disc, handling the fake band’s Cookie Monster vocals and all of the guitars, while longtime metal drummer Gene Hoglan sits on the kit. In that respect, Small is less like Jack Black and more like Liam Lynch, the Sifl & Olly co-creator whose Fake Songs record stood out because the music behind the jokes was so robust. I suppose it’s like the old stand-up comedian’s spiel: You can’t properly make fun of a race, creed or…genre of music without being part of it.

At the very least, the leak has convinced me to watch the show more than, er, twice. I suppose that’s the kind of advertising that makes up for a lost album sale, right? If you’re not familiar with the show, hit Dethklok’s MySpace page for a tease of its forthcoming album.

Bronze Fawn - Lumber

posted by on September 18 at 12:13 PM

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If you’re into the “turn it up and get lost in it” vibe of interesting shoegazy instrumentals, then you’ll warmly welcome Bronze Fawn’s new album, Lumber, which is in stores today.

My favorite track is “Lumber” (but “Thumb Puppet” is a close second). The title track sounds like spring in an alternate universe—somewhere where spring consists of mechanical blooming flowers, metallic raindrops, and robot ants talking to each other about taking over the world.

“Does This Battle Armor Suit Me?” is deeper and darker. It’s a heavy track that starts out in a downtrodden mood that struggles to maintain a silver lining. About halfway into the eight minute opus, the song’s heartbeat breaks through just before the stormy climax, and then the band takes on an Explosions in the Sky intensity, turning the song around into an empowered victory jam.

But Lumber isn’t so much about individual tracks. While some instrumental records have obvious starting and finishing points throughout (Rock Action comes to mind, even though that’s not 100% instrumental), Lumber’s tracks bleed into one another, resulting in a lengthy, seamless ride (over 45 minutes) that drifts through shifting dynamics, thoughtful electronic flourishes, steadfast drumming, and alluring guitar and bass patterns that only become evident after some deliberate dissection.

But even though the potential to mentally break down Lumber’s layers is there, don’t get swept up in over thinking it. Just turn it on and go about your day—whether your working, walking, riding the bus, or laying on the bed stoned out of your mind, Lumber will provide a stellar (and maybe even insightful) soundtrack to the moment.

Listen to songs “Lumber” and “Ten is the New Five” at woodsonlateral.com.

Sound Politics

posted by on September 18 at 11:44 AM

DIS001.jpgWhat do you do when the sound guy is a complete dick?

For bands and DJ’s, it’s a tricky situation. If you combat, challenge, or cross the sound guy (or girl), they could sabotage your sound and make your night hell.

If you don’t stand up to the dickhead sound person, you may have to endure the wrath of their sexually and musically frustrated existence.

In defense of soundmen, let us acknowledge that they deal with bands and musicians and DJ’s all night every night. And many of those musicians, bands, and DJ’s have been drinking liquids that contain alcohol.

But when you step on stage to load in and are perfectly sober and there are still three hours until doors open and the sound guy unloads on you for putting the kick drum in the wrong place, what do you do?

I have fantasized about having a blow up Avril Lavigne Sound Rage Sex Doll for these types of soundmen. When they are out of line, they discreetly receive a doll, a bicycle pump, and 8 minutes alone on the greenroom.

Schoolyard Heroes’ CD Release Party at Sonic Boom

posted by on September 18 at 10:50 AM

Kids started lining up outside Ballard’s Sonic Boom Records just after 9:00 pm last night, despite the fact that Schoolyard Heroes weren’t scheduled to go on until 11:00 pm. After some more waiting, the store let everyone inside and folks packed themselves in between the aisles of CDs.

With smiles on their faces, the band was obviously excited about the release of their third full-length, Abominations, and after they thanked everyone for being there so late, they played acoustic versions of five songs from the new record.

“Cemetery Girls”

“Screaming ‘Theater’ in a Crowded Fire”

Schoolyard will be plugged in, loud, and crazy tonight at their official CD release party at El Corazon with the Birthday Massacre and Kane Hodder. Tickets are $15 at the door, doors open at 7 pm.

Tangerine Dream - Streethawk

posted by on September 18 at 10:48 AM

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In 1985 Tangerine Dream released their new-style album Le Parc. Meant to be an accompaniement to different “parks” around the world, it enraged many TD loyalist, who were not ready for the new, streamlined version of TD. “Songs!?!? Who wants songs from Tangerine Dream?” People wanted experiences, trips, emotional journeys.

In retrospect the album is actually pretty good, Le Parc works (that is, if your visit to Yellowstone doesn’t last for more than 8 minutes…) as a brief musical introduction to famous national parks around the world, whether your in the Tiergarten in Berlin, or the Tuilleries in Paris.

The only song on the album that had nothing to do with parks was the song Streethawk.

Streethawk was the theme to the brilliant short-lived american TV show of the same name. Don’t remember it?

To recap: A streetwise cop is injured on duty. A secret government agency hires him to ride a proto-type motorcycle which can go speeds up to 300 mph(!!!!) and shoot missles. But the guy doesn’t really control the motorcycle, it’s controlled by a guy in a room somewhere else, who has a hard time getting the ex-cop to do what he tells him to. Comedy and Drama ensue (as well as action and some romance!).

Streethawk the song had nothing to do with parks, and everything to do with silly Americans.

Please enjoy the download, the accompanying video and the memories!

Tangerine Dream - Streethawk (Radio Remix)


kodakmoments 4 ever

posted by on September 18 at 10:43 AM

Johan Olof Anders Söderberg made this video for the band Familjen, from Stockholm. It’s old footage of a holy roller service, with the preacher coerced—via editing—into mouthing Familjen’s lyrics. It’s pretty:

But what do the fans think?

According to the band’s MySpace page, this guy…

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…has this to say…

ho ho. kvinna faller till marken och reser sig, med återkommande, i oändlighet känns det som, hail till “livet” i nya videon. årets familjevideoögonblick… kodakmoments 4 ever… sen blev allt svart/blinkande. ha d gött. fin videjo.

A ringing endorsement, if I ever read one.

Les Savy Fav - Let’s Stay Friends

posted by on September 18 at 9:20 AM

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Like “Have a Great Summer,” Let’s Stay Friends is the sort of thing you write in a an acquaintance (rather than a friend)’s yearbook at the end of the school year, knowing full well you won’t see them again. But, according to the band, it’s just a simple genuine name for a record “about unwillingness to give up—it’s a resolution to defy the forces which wear away at our innocence and enthusiasm,” a declaration of “their ultimate goals of being together, writing, and performing on their own terms.” It’s a sweet sentiment for Les Savy Fav’s return after a long off-and-on hiatus and some dispiriting talk of an ambient record (Rabbit Trancing I think it was supposed to be called). But it’s also merely a reasonable set of goals, as opposed to say an impossibly romantic manifesto, and the resultant album is fittingly fine but not a radical or triumphant stretch for the band.

Harrington has largely abandoned the rapid-fire lyricism of Go Forth for more of the calmer singing explored on the early songs of Inches and recent tracks “Wake Up a Snake,” Hit By Car,” and “Hit By Train.” The band, meanwhile, continues to polish up their disco-inflected post punk, with Seth Jarbour’s guitar work remaining probably the most striking element.

“Pots & Pans” is one of those songs about bands that the kids (see: Art Brut, the Hold Steady) are so fond of these days and that Les Savy Fav already covered with Inches intro “Meet Me in the Dollar Bin.” The track marches forth on restrained martial snare rolls, plodding bass, and bright, rising guitars. First single “The Equestrian” is a fried, distorted rocker in the vein of “The Rodeo” or “Blackouts on Thursday,” except without a similarly catchy chorus to hold onto.

“The Year Before the Year 2000” is equally self-aware, seeming to reference Tim Harrington’s lyrical penchant for morbid and apocalyptic imagery (“If my dear/you think the end is near/please do check/your frontal hemisphere”) while updating the desperate dance rock of “The Sweat Descends” (“Everybody please keep trying/trying to party like it’s 1999”). “Patty Lee” is an odd falsetto funk, a plea to the title character to untie the singer from the headboard and turn the lights on (“This party’s gotten out of hand”). It suddenly occurs to me that a band as obsessed with death as Les Savy Fav must work through the five stages of grief over and over in song; here, they’re in bargaining mode, but they’re just as ofen disbelieving, angry, depressed, and accepting.

The moon-howl of “What Would Wolves Do?” certainly finds the band in a more peaceful mode, reflecting on a mythological early human past (“We saw the ocean and drank it down/’cause we were giants…we slept with lions”) as an extended metaphor for faded youth (the inverse of the band’s greatest theme). “Brace Yourself” is a laid back existential meditation, full of echoing flutes and keyboards and just the occasional (also echoing) shout.

“Raging in the Plague Age” (previously available on an Australian tour 7”) manages to simultaneously send up AC/DC and Edgar Allen Poe (“I used to hold the biggest balls/deep inside my castle walls”), while covering some familiar ground—living it up in the shadow of death—this time illustrated as a bubonic, medieval kegger. “Slugs in the Shrubs” revives some of Harrington’s old, ragged bark, as does “Kiss Kiss is Getting Old.”

“Comes & Goes” is as near to a sweet, straight ballad as Les Savy Fav tends to get, all western guitar jangle and understated rhythm, but even it’s chief lyric suggests illness as easily as it does a lover. “Scothgard the Credit Card” is a soaring, stomping ode to “the pointlessness of plans” and “the present-tense.” “The Lowest Bitter” ends the album on an upward note, adding glossy horns to Harrington’s thin, straining sing-song and the band’s steady drive.

After six years since their last proper album, it’s impossible to not have unrealistic expectations built up. I’ve spent so long listening to their old albums, the Inches compilation, and their recent singles, that I’ve been expecting Let’s Stay Friends to somehow outshine all their previous work put together. It doesn’t. After a week of listening, it’s not my favorite Les Savy Fav record by a stretch, and I don’t really think it’s going to be. (I tend to think Inches is the best, but maybe that doesn’t count being a comp; I would place this album somewhere between Cat & the Cobra and Go Forth.) But even a middling record in Les Savy Fav’s discography is better than 80% or 90% of what else is out there, and I have a feeling that little moments and lines on this album will grow on me in the time between now and the band’s Nobember 30th show at Neumo’s.

Tonight in Music

posted by on September 18 at 9:00 AM

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MELVINS, BIG BUSINESS
(Showbox at the Market) It’s like there’s a giant roller rink and two generations of musicians are standing on either side. On the far end you’ve got the pioneers of ’90s rock—the influential, aging pre–Generation Xers still plugging away. On the near side, there’s the newly anointed rock VIPs, the guys who’ve paid their dues in bands for the last decade and are starting to reap the rewards. For the most part, they just cautiously eye each other; no one’s really communicating. Then the light hits the disco ball… oh shit, it’s time for a free skate. Who’s that coming around? Is Johnny Marr skating with Modest Mouse? Weird. No way—Big Business is double-dating with the Melvins! I never would’ve guessed, but they make such a great couple! Jared and King Buzzo are totally going to win Homecoming royalty! JEFF KIRBY

Monday, September 17, 2007

Guitar Hero III Just Got Sassed

posted by on September 17 at 4:25 PM

The setlist for Guitar Hero III has supposedly leaked, and rumor has it The Fall of Troy will be featured as a bonus track for their song “F.C.P.R.E.M.I.X.” I can only imagine how stoked the boys must be for the honor. Say what you will about their music, but there is no denying Thomas Erak is a serious shredder. Congrats.

As a Guitar Hero aficionado, I am particularly excited to attempt the impossibility that is Dragonforce’s “Through the Fire and the Flames.” I have a feeling I’m going to waste a large chunk of my winter trying to beat that song. Here’s a video of the intro and outro. The solo in the middle of the song (second video), I contest, is quite possibly the greatest guitar solo ever played by man.

Sampling Disco’s Pleasures

posted by on September 17 at 2:42 PM

The Popular People’s Front have put together a nice collection of disco re-edits the past few years. One of the edits that I’ve been listening to a lot lately has been the track, “Eye For Eye” off of last year’s 12-inch release Sample Pleasures (Part 2). This release saw wew artists Gat Camp & Gilen Nadlie contribute alongside the PPF(The Popular People’s Front) boss man Leozero. I’m not exactly sure where the original or originals that where sampled for this track were taken from, however I do know that the edit, “Eye For Eye”, is a disco heavyweight that can definitely move the dancefloor. There’s no secret that The Popular People’s Front know how to put together some solid disco edits.

The Popular People’s Front - Gilen Nadile: Eye For Eye

Decibel Download of the Day - Derek Plaslaiko

posted by on September 17 at 1:57 PM

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I’m slammed with work so I can’t do too much of a post, but today’s download arrives courtesy of NYC’s WNYU and Tim Sweeney (who killed at his Club Pop appearance a few weeks ago), source of the highly recommended Beats in Space podcast/archive. The music is provided by NYC by way of Detroit’s Derek Plaslaiko, Bunker resident and Spectral artist. If you haven’t seen Plaslaiko play, know that the man knows his techno. His mix here starts with Carl Craig, so he’s already got my support, but he can take tours through Detroit, minimal, and any other nerdy techno subgenre you care to call out. Plaslaiko plays good tracks, and that’s what really matters.

Derek Plaslaiko on Beats in Space [mp3]

Derek Plaslaiko plays the Beyond Booking/NYC Showcase on Friday, September 21 at the VIP Room. With Wolf + Lamb and Spinoza.

For Those With a Case of the Mondays

posted by on September 17 at 1:21 PM

After a nice long weekend, Mondays can be rough. They can also be made better with a little Atom and His Package.

Oh, and hey Atom fans, let’s say I a friend of mine (shamefully) don’t doesn’t have any Atom and His Package records. Which one should I they start with?

New Order Story is Terrible

posted by on September 17 at 1:20 PM

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Old news, I’m sure, but somehow I’d gotten the impression (from a friend?) that New Order documentary, New Order Story was, you know, a watchable film. This is sadly not the case, as I discovered over the weekend. The first problem you’ll notice is the narration—a dreadful, breathy female voice over intones pompous crap about the New Order story being “a story about beginnings and ends” or some other daft nonsense. Then, there’s Bono, mugging for the camera in insect shades, who I guess we need to tell us that Ian Curtis’ voice was, in his estimation, “holy.” There’s a little archival footage, but there’s also way too much time spent on the band’s lesser (and poorly aged) music videos. More than anything, New Order Story just reminded me how terribly inconsistent the band was. For every “Bizarre Love Triangle,” “Perfect Kiss,” and “Regret” (“Ceremony” doesn’t count, obvs) there was a “Fine Time,” “Shellshock,” or (gah) “World in Motion.” How is it I’m able to remember them as this untouchably great band when they’re actually so spotty?

Les Savy Fav is Coming!

posted by on September 17 at 12:40 PM

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One of the best live bands on earth, Les Savy Fav, are coming to Seattle on Friday, Nov 30th at Neumo’s. Get stoked!


Also, the band’s latest, Let’s Stay Friends comes out tomorrow on French Kiss. There’s no review of it in the paper this week, but I’ll post a proper dissection of it here on Line Out before the record stores open tomorrow.

Cee-Lo Isn’t Prince and I Know He’s Not Trying to Be, but Still, This Didn’t Need to Happen

posted by on September 17 at 12:17 PM

I managed to avoid the VMA’s all week while on vacation in NYC, but last night, while unpacking, I caved. I also learned something about Cee-Lo…

Everyone’s talking about how terrible Britney’s VMA performance was—she looked stoned/dying/dead, but is that really shocking? Of course not, given her recent romps to rehab and all. She’s a mess.

What is surprising, though, is the fact that the Foo Fighters/Cee-Lo collaboration for Prince’s “Darling Nikki” wasn’t better (and by better I mean to say “less of a complete train wreck.”)

You’d think that after decades of doing it they’d finally master the art of mixing for live television, but 80% of the time MTV’s rock performances manage to sound muddy, hollow, or completely off balance.

This Cee-Lo/Foo performance and Mastadon’s sonic clusterfuck obviously suffered by the lack of a good mix, but I also think that Cee-Lo shouldn’t sing rock songs, no matter how sexy he tries to make them sound. I like it when he does the soulful stuff, the hiphop and/or R&B stuff… and he handled the first part of the song fine. The first part of the song is pretty hot and Cee-Lo has a hot voice.

Then the song climaxes, the guitars get loud and distorted, and he starts to “rock out.” That’s when he loses me, that’s when I wonder what the fuck he’s doing. Cee-Lo can sing, but Cee-Lo can’t rock.

Dave Grohl, though, that guy has a voice for rock.

Truckasauras Parking Lot

posted by on September 17 at 11:40 AM

On Saturday night, shortly after midnight, Truckasauras played an “acoustic” set in the parking lot across the street from Broken Disco at Chop Suey. Their usual array of drum machines, sequencers, and effects was pared down to just a kid-sized drum kit, a melodica, and a gameboy run through a battery-powered amp. A couple dozen people hung out, drank beers, and got down. Some dude showed up and rapped over one song. The trio sounded just fine without all the usual gadgets, and it was one of the most unexpected and fun live shows I saw all summer (short of, you know, Daft Punk or whatever). Here are some pics courtesy of russ3ll:

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Tonight in Music

posted by on September 17 at 10:22 AM

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Schoolyard Heroes (Music) Tonight, Schoolyard Heroes celebrate the release of Abominations, their fantastically morbid and exciting third full-length record. The usually raucous Heroes will perform their songs acoustically, and they sound shockingly good that way. The record will be for sale ($8.99—cheap!) immediately following the set. When they did this for 2005’s Fantastic Wounds, there was barely room left in the store, so show up early. (Sonic Boom Records, 2209 NW Market St, 297-2666. 11 pm, free, all ages.) Megan Seling

Read more about Schoolyard, their new album, and their future with their new label in this week’s music lead.

The band is also playing an all-ages show tomorrow night at El Corazon with the Birthday Massacre, Kane Hodder, and In Love and War. Tickets are $12 adv/$15 DOS, show starts at 7:30 pm.

Just Announced (This Should Make Schmader and Grandy Very, Very Happy)

posted by on September 17 at 10:07 AM

I’ve been out of town, so forgive me if this has already been covered but…

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M.I.A. to play Showbox SoDo!
Friday, November 16, 2007 – ALL AGES
On Sale Saturday, September 22 at 11:00 a.m.

Tickets are $25.00 in advance and $28.00 day of show and go on sale Saturday, September 22 at 11:00 a.m. at all Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster.com, livenation.com or charge by phone at (206) 628-0888.


Sunday, September 16, 2007

Decibel Download of the Day - Biosphere

posted by on September 16 at 6:15 PM

biosphere.jpg

It’s Sunday, it’s gray and a bit chilly outside, making it a perfect time for staring out the window and watching the world go by. Fitting the chill mood (and the download of the day slot) is Biosphere.

Biosphere’s Substrata is considered one of the best ambient albums ever made, placing Biosphere (Geir Jenssen) in elite company. I haven’t heard it, but today’s download does make for an interesting exploration of sound, space and texture. Jenssen is based out of the Arctic Circle’s Tromsø, Norway, and his signature “arctic sound” is all over this Fluxgate recording. It’s icy and isolated, with occasional flourishes to keep from descending into a boring sameness and a jarring beat that kicks in halfway through. I’m not usually into the ambient side of things but today, this recording works for me.

Fluxgate by Biosphere - [mp3 - more of the same]

Biosphere plays the Ambient Landscapes Showcase at Town Hall on Saturday, September 22. With Harold Budd, Robin Guthrie, and Rafael Irisarri.

I’m Sure He’s a Perfectly Lovely Man

posted by on September 16 at 4:07 PM

…but if I never hear Common’s dad give another record-closing sermon, it will be too soon.

Sincerely,

David “I just bought Finding Forever and really like it, except for the last few minutes” Schmader