Television “Stars” Sells Cadillacs
posted by September 29 at 2:48 PMon
She thinks she missed the train to Mars, she’s out back counting… cars.
posted by September 29 at 2:48 PMon
She thinks she missed the train to Mars, she’s out back counting… cars.
posted by September 29 at 10:12 AMon
Posting on a Saturday. What’s wrong with me.
As I was making that last post my son was watching this on TV in the next room.
I really think this could win the kids over to the Rock and Roll lifestyle more than that singers voice in Schoolyard Heroes.
What do you think?
God I hope that chick from Schoolyard Heroes doesn’t eat my brain for saying that.
posted by September 29 at 9:53 AMon
that every once in awhile I’m impressed with some of the music that NPR drags up for it’s quarter-to-the-hour cultural spotlights.
Take this report on a ccapella vocal group from the University Of Pennsylvania that mixes modern pop songs with hindi musical standards. It’s surprisingly good.
The interview is a little earnest, and the pop songs they use are a bit suspect, (The Police? Sting’s Desert Rose? Ugh.), but the idea holds up on its own and is pretty enertaining.
The link has audio samples to check out.
posted by September 28 at 5:55 PMon
Damn Seattle, I am ashamed to report that fucking Spin Magazine is the first with a hot scoop on local favorites Schoolyard Heroes and the parents who are saying, “There hasn’t been a band this evil since Ozzy.” Apparently, a bunch of clueless parents have started an online petition against the band, discovering their Satanic agenda after reading a review in the Seattle P.I.
The petition reads:
We are a group of upset parents who are trying to stop a tragedy before it begins, and that tragedy is Schoolyard Heroes.
It has been brought to our attention that there is a cult of young children, ONLY 13 YEARS OLD in some cases, following this band around and running away from home. This must be stopped.
They are evil! They want to corrupt our children and drive them to murder with their fascination with the dark and evil world of Satan.
This issue was brought to our attention by this email which was sent by a concerned music listener to the Seattle Post Intelligencer:
I have been into music all my life and occasionally look at the music reviews. Today’s band caught my eye (the pretty dress, although she is laying in a death pose), thinking they looked like they might play some interesting music. Much to my horror, I read your review and was just that…horrified at what I just read, that made their music sound all cutsie, let alone that the PI would glorify such evil. I clicked into their website and listened for 15 seconds, again to my horror, let alone the blood curdling lyrics that were spewing from their throats.
I’m curious to if you clicked into their website and read their lyrics? I have never read such evil words in my life. If this band isn’t avowed Satanists, I’ll eat my hat…let alone their name…Schoolyard heroes: (Columbine:…that murder our youth) Did you catch some of the titles…? “Serial killers know how to party”…everyone one of their songs glorifies death, dismemberment, murder, suicide. Where is your responsibility to society and the youth of today? Our kids are being murdered in the schools and on the streets by their own peers who feed on this sick music and you do write-ups and advertise this hopeless, destructive, evil music. Every parent ought to click into their website and see what their kids are being fed. THese are satanic priests in their pulpits on stages and in clubs around the world. They understand the power in music and how they can plant their ideas in your children to make them do anything. THey want to kill your children and their lyrics state this very thing. WAKE UP, it’s nearly too late.
I’m hoping that this is all some big joke that the Schoolyard Heroes kids have concocted and that Spin magazine hasn’t actually scooped us on a hilarious story about a local band that we write about all the fucking time but if so, a hat tip (and maybe a hat to eat later?) to you Spin and your timely reporting. If we get off our asses maybe the Stranger can be first to talk to these virtuous Christian parents about their concerns? Or maybe we can have the first live video-blog of Schoolyard Heroes’ members murdering each other, making necklaces out of each others’ skulls and eating brains? One can only cross their fingers and hope.
Stay tuned Seattle, and HAIL SATAN.
posted by September 28 at 4:39 PMon
posted by September 28 at 3:33 PMon
Now you’ve got me thinking, Trent.
About the time I first heard “Big Balls”—I’d put it around 1980—me and the neighborhood kids were also into a lesser known but just as classic novelty song.
The Jimmy Castor Bunch’s “Troglodyte” was a funksploitation track from 1972. The song—if you can even call it that; it’s more of a lowbrow gag set to music— followed the travails of a lonely caveman and his evolutionary quest to get laid. The object of his neanderthal desire: “Her name was Bertha. Bertha Butt! She was one of the Butt sisters!”
Castor’s raunchier-than-raunchy delivery is hilarious—and borderline racist self-parody, but that part never got to us kids. It was that one line: “Her name was Bertha. Bertha Butt!” Plus that super-dope, super-fly funk groove is HARD, even to a 6-year-old.
The Jimmy Castor Bunch have gone on to be sampled all up and down the hiphop family tree.
Next up: “Boogie in Your Butt” by Eddie Murphy.
posted by September 28 at 3:19 PMon
I’m on hold with one of the city’s neighborhood centers right now, and they’re playing “Exchange” by Massive Attack!
Usually it’s some terrible world-beat nonsense.
Way to go City-hold-music-DJ.
posted by September 28 at 12:53 PMon
LES SAVY FAV
Let’s Stay Friends
Let’s Stay Friends is Les Savy Fav’s first proper album in six years, following the brilliant singles collection Inches, an off-and-on hiatus punctuated by a handful of live shows, a couple promising Australian-only tour 7-inches, and some dispiriting talk of an ambient album (the scrapped Rabbit Trancing). The album title seems like the kind of empty platitude you might write in the yearbook of someone you never expected to see again, like “Have a great summer!” But, according to the band, it’s a sincere statement about sticking together, “a resolution to defy the forces which wear away at our innocence and enthusiasm.” So it’s a sweet sentiment for the sort-of reunion, but it’s also just a reasonable set of goals, as opposed to, say, an impossibly ambitious manifesto. The result is, fittingly, a fine but not totally triumphant album.
The album smartly references the band’s past work, though at times it begins to feel like repetition. “Pots & Pans” marches forth on restrained martial snare rolls and bright, rising guitars, telling the hopeful story of a band, like a bright side or a prequel to Inches opener “Meet Me in the Dollar Bin.” “The Year Before the Year 2000” recalls and rebukes 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.” “The Equestrian” is a fried, distorted rocker in the vein of “The Rodeo” or “Blackouts on Thursday,” except with less of a chorus to hold on to. Throughout, the band further polish their transcendent postpunk (“Scotchguard the Credit Card”), freak funk (“Patty Lee”), and touched balladry (“Comes & Goes”)—Seth Jabour’s guitar work is especially striking, as always—without breaking too much new ground (though there is some flute on the existential meditation “Brace Yourself” and some merry brass flourishes on closer “The Lowest Bitter”).
Harrington is as hyperactive and witty a lyricist as ever. On “Raging in the Plague Age” (previously available on an Australian tour 7-inch), he manages to simultaneously send up AC/DC and Edgar Allan Poe (“I used to hold the biggest balls/deep inside my castle walls”) while revisiting a favorite subject—living it up in the shadow of death—illustrated here as a bubonic, medieval kegger. On the moon-howling, drum machine–driven “What Would Wolves Do?” Harrington reflects 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 chief theme).
Let’s Stay Friends doesn’t quite live up to the years of pent-up expectation after only a couple weeks of listening—which is to say it’s not immediately my new favorite Fav—but it’s growing on me rapidly. Sure, guys, let’s stay friends. ERIC GRANDY
The album continues to grow on me. If I was writing this review today, it would easily get 3.5 stars. Hang in there, Trent.
posted by September 28 at 12:15 PMon
How much Mark E. Smith can one human take? It’s like an endurance marathon, albeit one imbued with class-rage. Looks fun, though. I’ll do a shimmy dance to “C.R.E.E.P.”
posted by September 28 at 11:59 AMon
Today’s traffic moment is brought to you by Bon Scott and the AC/DC song “Big Balls.” It’s the sixth track on their 1976 album Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, and I was singing it at a stoplight 30 minutes ago. The sun was out, windows were down, and the stereo was up.
A mini van full of 12 year-old girls on some sort of field trip pulled up next to me as I was beginning the chorus:
I’ve got big balls, I’ve got big balls, and they’re such big balls, fancy big balls, and he’s got big balls, and she’s got big balls, But we’ve got the biggest balls of them all!
I finished, looked to my left, and saw the mom driver rolling up the windows with a scowl ripped across her face. Then I saw the girls. They were laughing.
I looked back at the mom and said, “But it’s Bon.”
I don’t think she heard me.
posted by September 28 at 11:12 AMon
This song, the cornerstone of Devendra Banhart’s new Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon, has been taking up a large portion of my life. For a couple reasons: 1. I can’t stop listening to it at home, especially at night, especially when it’s raining, and 2. It’s eight minutes long.
But goddam it’s the best eight minutes of anything I’ve heard in forever. Here’s what I said in my review in this week’s issue:
The album properly begins with “Seahorse,” which is the most electric, expansive eight minutes put to tape in years. The song is an epic acoustic/electric wish fulfillment that weaves the pastoral spiritualism of “Astral Weeks” with the shamanic sexuality of “L.A. Woman” and the unbound headiness of “Dark Star.” Repeat listens prove it merits more praise than can be given here; the album is worth buying for that song alone.
Yes, it’s a fullblown hippie freakout, and it sounds fucking fantastic.
Some songs can be pronounced timeless on arrival; “Seahorse” is one of them. It spans genres and eras; it floats, soars, and roars through a palette of moods, but it retains a cohesive, dramatic uplift through it all. That movement builds a story in the song, one that starts with a twangy barefoot meditation before jogging into a jazzy autumnal pirouette before launching into outer space gospel. Banhart really flexes all the variations of his voice here, sounding more plaintive, more spectral, more potent than ever before. I said it before, and I’m saying it again: Epic. “Seahorse” is the Best Song Ever (This Week).
posted by September 28 at 10:53 AMon
The man basically invented the genre with his friend DJ Moz Art at the Baia Degli Angeli Disco on Italy’s Adriatic Coast. Here’s what music historian Tim Lawrence had to say about seeing Baldelli DJ last year in Manchester.
Baldelli kept on moving the music around, and was now bringing in full-on disco, rock ‘n’ roll, rock and techno-sounding dub. Even more impressive than the range of music was the way in which Baldelli connected the tracks together. I’ve heard truckloads of DJs play “mixed” sets, only for the records to sound like a jukebox is selecting them, with no intelligible connection (sonic, generic, linguistic, temporal…) between them. But with Baldelli, the barely traced links between disco, African music, dub and rock all became clear, just as they had done, at an earlier moment, with David Mancuso at the Loft and Larry Levan at the Garage. The experience of hearing this kind of programming was hallucinogenic.
I was awed by the mixing, to the point where I felt like I’d never heard anything like it. The combinations were extraordinarily complex and often quite surreal, but somehow or other they always worked. Harmonic cocktails that should have ended in catastrophe took us onto another plane, while impossibly bizarre rhythmic fusions took us higher and higher.
By about 10:30, a group of us were wondering where Baldelli came from, because it didn’t seem to be the Adriatic Coast in Italy, and it didn’t seem to be Planet Earth.
By the end of the night, it got a little out of hand. Baldelli was playing tracks that sounded like they were running backwards ? something he was famous for at Cosmic ? but weren’t. He also played some anthemic pop, the kind of stuff I normally hate, and I was yelling out words that might have been the chorus at the top of my lungs, as if this was my last chance to dance to music. Baldelli even convinced me that I should start to listen to prog rock. It was all too much. After each selection and each mix, we’d just turn to each other, shake our heads, and wonder where this guy had come from, and then dig deeper into the dance. At every point when it seemed he couldn’t get any better, he did.
I’m gasping for air just reading that!
Here are a couple new-ish tracks by Daniele Baldelli.
Daniele Baldelli - Cosmic Tune This first track uses the infamous sample, “Cosmic Cosmic Cosmic Cosmic…Melody”, that Baldelli first used in his sets at the Cosmic disco in Italy, way before sequencers were even invented. He made a tape loop that he would play on reel to reel and loop it around when he needed to drop it into the song. Genius.
Daniele Baldelli - Explore Pretty much classic Baldelli. Nice electronic intro that fades out, leaving you with african chanting and drums.
To read a fascinating interview with Daniele Baldelli, where he talks about his methods of speeding up and slowing down records and dropping Pink Floyd samples into Ravel’s Bolero at sunrise on the Italian coast, check out The Red Bull Music Academy site. It’s a must read for any Dj. Period.
Finally, I’m leaving you this Friday with a mix of some of the tracks from the last week. Download it. Get stoned after work, and take off. Enjoy.
posted by September 27 at 3:09 PMon
One of my favorite disco re-edit 12-inch’s of all-time hase to be The Popular People’s Front’s white label release of Limited Series 01. On this three track single, PPF re-edit Rufus & Chaka Khan’s 1974 slow grooving jam “Stop On By”, The Undisputed Truth’s 1979 disco classic “Show Time”, and the best re-edit that I’ve ever heard of Evelyn Champagne King’s “I Don’t Know If It’s Right”. I’ve always been a fan of the originals, however PPF take each song to the next level, for example, “I Don’t Know If It’s Right” is an amazing song, however the verse break downs always killed it for me, and this re-edit just removes it and goes from the chorus right into the song’s funky bridge. PPF does very slight edits to all three of the songs, making these great songs into classic disco gems. If you get the urge to purchase a re-edited disco release, The Popular People’s Front’s Limited Series 01 should definitely be that record.
PS - As already mentioned below, Circus! is tonight at Pony. Where else can you get great disco all night long? Exactly. Don’t miss out!
posted by September 27 at 2:48 PMon
The Final Movement
Camille Saint Saëns
Camille Saint Saëns’ Symphony No. 3 (The Organ Symphony) is most likely his most famous, and most important work. It showed him to be a fantastic composer of large orchestral work with knowledge of each instrument and how their sounds work together to form interesting tones and complicated structures. The work is dedicated to Franz Liszt who died the year it was finished, 1886.
The final movements, Maestoso and Allegro work as a wonderful finale to the symphony as a whole. Listen to that beautiful piano over the strings, listen to the brass with it’s strange complaining line, that gets picked up by each instrument finally being wrought out and solidified by the organ in grand guginol fashion.
The lowest notes of the organ, played by pedal, are barely audible on this track, but trust me, if you ever get the chance to see this crowd pleaser live, do it. The low notes are at such a frequency that they often make church chandeliers quiver and your seat vibrate. It’s an awesome experience!
When it finally ends on that wonderful majestic C major chord it sends shivers down the spine.
Intervention by Arcade Fire, remarkably starts with that same chord on a pipe organ. I can find no better way of ending this series, then by connecting these two pieces together to show you how remarkably well they fit. Not just in their majesty, but in their tone. This is a crowd pleaser, or it was this Monday for sure.
Also today, now at its end is all the songs put together for a mix. It’s about 45 minutes long. If you’ve enjoyed these posts, listen to the songs all together, especially the last two, they really become revelatory.
posted by September 27 at 2:40 PMon
That’s right. Time for another installment of the sleeziest Cosmic, Disco, and Italo night in town.
Tonights guest DJ, Dancing Therapy, is non other than Red Room blogger Sean, who has the sickest collection of rare Italo of anyone I know. Myself included. Your going to be hearing more about Sean in the future as rumours are swirling about a record deal in the works. Come on out and check him out!
TJ will be there as will El Toro! As will I, drinking tequila, and singing along.
See you there.
posted by September 27 at 2:19 PMon
This is the band Protokoll. They are headlining tonight at Club Pop. Here’s their Myspace. They’re on Frankie Chan’s label, I Heart Comix.
See the kid on the left, standing in the back, with a bandanna around his head? That’s Ben. We used to not get along.
See, when I was a senior in high school in suburban Massachusetts, that kid Ben was dating my best friend Khaki. She was cheating on a long-distance boyfriend she had in Seattle (we moved out here together). I thought Ben was kind of a turd. He was from a super rich family, but he lived about a half hour drive away from us and I was the only one out of the three who had a car, so I always got stuck driving Khaki to where ever Ben was. We would go dancing all the time in Providence. He was a super-hipster, and he was the first guy I ever saw inhale a certain powdery white substance. He was also the first (and only) person I ever knew to get arrested for doing so, in a Wal-Mart parking lot in Manchester, NH.
This, of course, matters nought to you, dear reader. But if you want to know why I’m going to Club Pop tonight, it’s to see if this kid remembers me. Even though I used to hate him, we’re both grown ups now, we’re both in the same business, and I wonder if we can be friends. It’s like a rock and roll high school reunion.
UPDATE: The commenters inform me he’s not even in the band anymore, dammit! I don’t know if that makes me happy or sad. I moved to Seattle to get away from all these people, but I was kind of getting excited about seeing Ben for weird nostalgic reasons. Maybe it’s time to go home and find him…
posted by September 27 at 2:08 PMon
Mic’ing the hi-hat is an engineering and producing dilemma.
If you like ambient room drum sounds, and recording the kit with only three mics, the sound can be easily drowned out by a drummer playing open hi-hats.
Tape Op has Jack Endino and Steve Fisk talking hi-hat shop:
(Very big props and thanks to Levi Fuller.)
Minimal mic’ing and “true stero” are great in theory, but rock bands (especially drummers) often do not cooperate. I prefer to change my technique rather than asking a drummer to change his or hers. If the hi-hat’s blowing everything out, you will probably need a dedicated close-in snare mic, and maybe some tom mics too. To go further, try a “modified coincident X/Y approach” for the overheads. Specifically, angle the directional mic on the hi-hat side of the kit forward/upward so it’s aiming at the crash cymbal on that side, and not at the hi-hat. Stereo image will suffer a bit, but at least you will have something that will work in a mix. And… don’t compress anything.
Personally, I really hate hi-hats. They make people deaf, destroy space between the snare and the guitar, and contribute little more than white noise to most mixes. There is NOTHING you can do about open, overplayed hi-hats. It’s the player first, the room second, the limitations of the engineer third. I’ve seen whole tee-shirts draped over the hat, small cardboard baffles (on mic clips) between the hat and snare. This helps the snare sound / isolation slightly, but your stereo image is still toast. Hi-hats were never meant to be hammered with sticks. It’s a 40-year wrong turn in drum technology and a fundamental misunderstanding of how to play the instrument. Two pieces of clapping metal should never be placed near anything as important as the snare drum. P.S. Hal Blaine never had this problem.
posted by September 27 at 11:48 AMon
posted by September 27 at 11:11 AMon
MARK PICKEREL AND HIS PRAYING HANDS, DANCE MUSIC FOR DEPRESSED PEOPLE, TENNIS PRO, PARTMAN PARTHORSE, WE WROTE THE BOOK ON CONNECTORS
(Showbox) One thing I definitely don’t want to hear if I’m ever depressed is dance music—fucking dance music is hard enough to handle when I’m feeling pretty okay about things, let alone when I want to open a vein or at the very least sleep for days. But new-to-the-scene Dance Music for Depressed People aren’t obnoxiously optimistic or boasting beats that knock holes in your skull. The quintet—Miss G, R. Kennedy-Onasis, Lars Jurgin, Zanne Kamp, and Foxy Moron—play sometimes spacey lo-fi pop with melodies and harmonies that remind me as much of the Microphones (in a much more pared down sense) as they do something a little more quirky and simplistic like early Blow. They’re so new that tonight is their first live show and it’s also a benefit for a friend of the band who was recently diagnosed with “a very rare, very aggressive, and very deadly form of brain cancer.” Definitely depressing, but Dance Music for Depressed People will be there as aural Paxil. MEGAN SELING
posted by September 27 at 10:39 AMon
All tickets will be honored for the new location. I wonder if they didn’t sell as many as they thought…
Also, it looks like the Coral is no longer the support, it’s instead been changed to Voxtrot. I was considering going to the show just to see the Coral, but oh well. The listing from the press release:
with special guest
Saturday, September 29
Tickets at Ticketmaster
Doors at 7pm
* All tickets for WaMu show will be honored as general admission standing floor tickets at the Paramount *
posted by September 26 at 5:12 PMon
I’m surprised that we’re not seeing more songs about the 2008 presidential race—this is the first song I’ve heard that talks about it. Are there others and I’m just missing them? Musicians have a history of being opinionated politically (duh), and a couple years ago there was a lot of passion—a lot of artists had something to say about the war, our government, and our president.
Now not so much despite the fact that in 2008 Bush will be gone and a woman or a black man could very well be the president of the United States of America for the fucking first time ever.
It’s a hot topic and there are no songs about it. No musicians are strongly rallying on one side or the other. Or is it all in my head? Are there other current and overtly political songs out there? Has anyone rapped or sung about Obama or Clinton lately? Or is everyone with a microphone, a guitar, or a turntable over it?
posted by September 26 at 4:06 PMon
Me: Brad, I’m trying to think of a random video I could post on Line Out since it’s Wednesday, it’s 4 pm, and people still have an hour left before they can go home… what should I post?
Brad Steinbacher: “Black Velvet.”
posted by September 26 at 3:30 PMon
LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) — A judge declared a mistrial in the murder case against music legend Phil Spector after a jury announced for the second time in eight days that it was hopelessly deadlocked.
The jury deliberated for 12 days, taking six ballots, but was unable to reach a unanimous verdict.
Jurors told Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler they were split 10-2, without indicating which way they were leaning. They added there was nothing Fidler could do to help them arrive at a unanimous verdict.
posted by September 26 at 3:17 PMon
Before Salsoul recording artist Logg released the classic 1981 disco 12-inch I Know You Will, members Leroy Burgess and Russell Patterson were pumping out disco hits with another group called Black Ivory. Black Ivory is best known for their 1979 disco hit “Mainline”, which orginally appeared on the Hangin’ Heavy LP. This Buddah Records release is a soulful disco cut that captures the similiar groove that Logg’s “I Know You Will” successfully captured a few years later. I recently picked up a re-pressing of this 12-inch, and I have to say that I can’t stop listening to it, the song seems to grow on me much like “I Know You Will” did with each listen. Great soulful disco.
PS- Early Reminder that tomorrow night is another episode of Circus! @ Pony.
Cosmic-Italo-Disco All Night Long!
posted by September 26 at 1:45 PMon
You only have a couple days left to listen to this week’s Setlist with me, Ari, and this week’s special guest Kris K from Chop Suey. Kris used his magic musical knowledge to select this week’s playlist, which goes like this:
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”
And know why else you should listen? Because you can WIN TICKETS TO THE SEAWOLF/FLEET FOXES/BOAT SHOW at Chop Suey.
And free music.
And free jokes (that may or may not be funny).
And free… pictures of the weirdest looking animal in the world, an aye-aye.
(Thanks to Robby for introducing me to this fascinating and terrifying creature.)
posted by September 26 at 1:30 PMon
Jeremy Enigk, in all forms, makes the most sense in autumn—when it cold, when it’s foggy, when the streets are quieter because everyone starts staying inside.
My iPod told me so this morning, when it pouring Jeremy Enigk songs into my head after I set it on random. I can’t be your iPod, but I can give you this mini Jeremy Enigk playlist that features a few favorites of mine via video and legal MP3s.
1. Sunny Day Real Estate “In Circles” (from Diary)
*The intro guitar kills me. This link is to the video where Nate Mendell looks to be about 15-years-old.
2. Jeremy Enigk “Been Here Before” (From World Waits)
*This song gets off to a slow start, but as soon as that organ kicks in around the two-minute mark, it’s not the chill in the air that’ll be giving you goosebumps.
3. The Fire Theft “Heaven” (From the self-titled album)
*This song made me cry once. True story. I won’t go into why, but it was many years ago and I’m hella over it and now I just love the song for being a beautiful song.
4. Jeremy Enigk “Set it on Fire” (from the United States of Leiland Soundtrack)
*Stupid movie, but Enigk did the music and Set it On Fire is fantastic. You can watch a not that great but good live performance of the song on YouTube. If you’ve never heard it before, give it a listen. It’s a really great song.
5. Jeremy Enigk “Canons” (from Missing Link)
*This is the alternate version on the recently-released Missing Link. The original is from World Waits. I like it the original, but this’ll do.
6. Sunny Day Real Estate “Shade and the Black Hat” (from Return of the Frog Queen)
*My all-time favorite Sunny Day/Fire Theft/Jeremy Enigk song. This video is of him performing the song in DC in 1997.
posted by September 26 at 1:22 PMon
Patrick Cowley - Primitive World This track is a Cowley original from his concept electro-disco album Mind Warp. This song was first introduced to me by the amazing Dutch DJ I-F. Lots of electro sounds, chanting and jungle drum rhythms. A fantasic song that still gets worked into sets today.
Frank Zander Und Zazu - Captain Starlight Okay, this is perhaps the weirdest, most left-field track I’m going to post under “cosmic” this week. I first learned about this track from Kaos and Sal P’s Danse, Gravité Zéro Mix from last year. It starts out with this beautiful violin solo, then quickly turns into a glam rock work out, á la Bowie, about a man in space. This is the original uncut/unmixed version of the song. It’s crazy good. I would go so far as to say this man is a genius, except I know nothing about him. He’s german. I think he now writes music for children. And this is his most recent world-wide hit. (The actual video has even been featured here on Slog. Go Megan!) Craaaaaazy!
Voyage - Point Zero Yesterday I gave you their alter-ego Arpadys. Today you get the real thing. Point Zero is more hi-nrg then you would usually hear in a “cosmic” song, but it works on almost every level. Spacey, chanting and highly rhythmic. Catch that groove.
Johnny Harris - Odyssey Pt. 1 If you can’t envision this guy playing the shit out of his strap on synth then you are nuts! Listen to this guy go all fuckin’ rockstar on your ass! He rules! You can just see him in the studio by himself rocking out to himself! Well guess what? Remember the Buck Rogers TV show? In one episode there was a rock band in space…remember…THIS IS THAT SONG! Originally released on K.C. And The Sunshine Band’s label. How “cosmic” is that?
posted by September 26 at 12:53 PMon
Bobbie Gentry’s 1967 “Ode to Billie Joe” tells the story of a man who apparently commits suicide by jumping off the Tallahatchie Bridge. Gentry’s delivery is stern and haunting. There are chills.I think it is one of the greatest songs ever written.
Sometimes people have strong associations to songs for no particular reason. This is one of those songs for me. Maybe it’s her voice, or the sound of it. Maybe it’s the string parts or the way the listener has to figure out what’s going on in the story. I don’t know. Gentry seems so isolated. It lingers.
In the song, Gentry sings as a narrator who is sitting down to a meal with her family. Her mom says there is news from Choctaw Ridge that, “Billie Joe MacAllister jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge” and died. The family members exchange memories about Billie Joe, and Mama notices the narrator’s loss of appetite. Mama casually recounts her visit with a local preacher, Brother Taylor that morning. Brother Taylor saw Billie Joe and a girl who looked a lot like the narrator throwing something off of Tallahatchie Bridge not too long ago. A year passes. The narrator’s brother has married and moved away, her father has died and her mother is despondent. The narrator herself often visits the bridge to drop flowers off of it.
In 1975, Gentry said she hadn’t come up with a reason for Billie Joe’s suicide when she wrote the song. She has said in numerous interviews over the years that the song was not about the suicide itself. It was about the matter of fact way that the narrator’s family was discussing the tragedy over dinner, unaware that Billie Joe had been her boyfriend. A popular speculation at the release of the song in 1967 was that the narrator and Billie Joe threw their baby, either stillborn or aborted, off the bridge, and Billie Joe then killed himself out of grief and guilt.
Here is a live performance from the Smothers Brothers show:
posted by September 26 at 12:40 PMon
This album rules. Just look at that cover! It’s like, there’s Neil Young on one side, hitching into the idyllic past, and there’s his precisely gridded double on the other side of the road, about to speed forward into a cold robotic future. Then there’s the story that Young made this record, devoted to the intersecting of man and machine, after discovering that he could better communicate with his cerebral palsy-afflicted son by using a vocoder! Then there’s the songs, which display all Young’s handy songwriting but grafted to a disctinctly Kraftwerkian frame. Anyone who dismisses this record out of hand is either a Luddite or a CSNY fanatic, and I have no time for either.
(Hat tip to Tyler [and more recently Ingrid]).
posted by September 26 at 12:32 PMon
Did you know about this?
Here’s some info from the Fabric Website:
“We’re pretty excited. We find doing mix CDs horrifying to a certain degree because there’s nobody there, so it’s just like, ‘What are we doing?!’ It’s like you’re just yelling into the air. We bought an old Bozak for this – the first DJ mixer ever built, hand-built. It sounds incredible. Everything sounds nicer and bigger and smoother and beautiful. The mix itself will have a little bit of stuff that isn’t necessarily what we’d play in a club. But we’d like it to be fun. So we’ll just do it a bunch of times live. Do it until you like it, that’s actually our motto.”
James: “With a band, you have to read each other because you can’t talk. But with DJing, you put on a record and turn to each other like, ‘Are you wasted?’ ‘Wanna put on this track next?’ You don’t have to read each other; you can actually talk to each other.”
Pat: “It is fun when either of us gets a new record and drops that into a set. We both have a love for some pretty gay-ass disco.”
– James Murphy & Pat Mahoney
I’m stoked! The track list is here.
And they’re right. It’s an awesome gay-ass disco set.
posted by September 26 at 11:37 AMon
Via BBC News:
A man has died after being found unconscious at a concert by rock group Smashing Pumpkins in Vancouver, Canada.
Security staff saw two people carrying the man out of the crowd at the Pacific National Exhibition Forum, shortly after the band came on stage on Monday.
(Hat tip to Mudede for finding the story.)
posted by September 26 at 11:37 AMon
This is my guess. July wants…
…precisely the type of fame that Feist is currently enjoying.
Feist has stolen (and tripled) July’s thunder.
posted by September 26 at 11:34 AMon
GREAT turnout last night at Easy Street Queen Anne for the Cave Singers’ official album release party. There were easily 100 people or so—impressive for an early Tuesday evening. After “87 drinks” at Solo, according to singer Pete Quirk, the band played most of Invitation Songs and a newer number not on the album. Afterwards, 50 or so fans lined up to buy vinyl and get it signed by the band.
Congrats to the Cave Singers for a killer record. They leave tomorrow for a monthlong tour opening for Black Mountain. Stay tuned to Line Out for the Cave Singers’ tour diary.
posted by September 26 at 11:26 AMon
In the new issue of The Stranger (which will be online later today and on the streets later tonight) I gush about the Tucson hardcore band Blues, who have revived my love of hardcore with their EP Death and Taxes, which they released earlier this year on local label Rome Plow.
It sounds fan-tas-tic, but the album art is what clinches it in my mind as one of my favorite releases of 2007 (so far… it’s in the top 10, but with three more months worth of new music still to come, it could very well get bumped… we’ll see).
The front of the disc:
And the back:
Oh Blues, I love you.
posted by September 26 at 9:15 AMon
Today’s U&Cs say:
BONDE DO ROLE, JUICEBOXXX, NATALIE PORTMAN’S SHAVED HEAD
(Neumo’s) I’m of the minority opinion that Bonde Do Role aren’t really that great. Sure, they sample “Man in the Box” and “The Final Countdown,” and that’s cute. They rap in Portuguese, which means they could be dropping really brilliant, filthy rhymes for all I know. They crowd surf and break their arms and goof around in all the right ways. They’re fun live, but their funk carioca (Brazil’s answer to Miami bass, ghettotech, Baltimore club, and ’80s electro/freestyle) inspired party jams feel insubstantial even by the forgiving standards of the party jam. Milwaukee MC/producer Juiceboxxx brings nerdy bedroom electronics, punk sass, and ’90s nostalgia to his equally light dance-floor filler, but there’s something endearing about his transparent, geeky glee. Call it the Girl Talk factor. ERIC GRANDY
DEF LEPPARD, STYX, FOREIGNER
(White River Amphitheatre) The only thing that could make this show better is if it were on ice. That’s right, Def Leppard on ice, doing all the classics. “Photograph,” “Foolin’,” “Rock of Ages” with axel jumps. After 65 million albums sold, what else can you do? Then there’s Foreigner’s “Cold as Ice.” See? Ice. For the finale, Brian Boitano in a Kermit the Frog suit skates out and does a triple lutz over Miss Piggy’s head. He sticks it and sings Styx’s 1979 number-one hit, “Babe.” Kermie and Piggy glide in tandem, and he croons, “But I’ll be lonely without you, and I’ll need your love to see me through.” TRENT MOORMAN
BEAT THE DEVIL, A GUN THAT SHOOTS KNIVES, 1-2-1-2
(Sunset) This week, two promising New York City bands play Seattle, and they couldn’t be more different. On the sugary-sweet end of the scale are Vampire Weekend, once described by a friend as a “drunker Paul Simon,” doing a fleet-footed, big-hearted indie-rock approximation of Afrobeat-pop. Over on the razor-wire-sharp end are Beat the Devil, who sound like the burgundy lipstick smeared across the face of a crossdressing carnival barker slugging absinthe at the Moulin Rouge. Singer Shilpa Ray’s voice is a lover’s slap in the face, passionate and pissed off, but more concerned with pulling you in than pushing you back. The band’s sparse, reverbed rhythm section gets a hummy glaze from her harmonium and theremin; it all comes together like a torrid, punkish romance. JONATHAN ZWICKEL
posted by September 25 at 4:51 PMon
An Album that I don’t think get’s enough praise, is Double Exposure’s 1978 Salsoul Records release Fourplay. Having dealt with management issues, Double Exposure, lost a lot of it’s momentum that it gained from their classic 1976 debut, Ten percent, leaving their second LP Fourplay a bit out to dry. However, with classic cuts like “I Declare War”, “Handy Man”, “Falling In Love”, and “There Is No Reason” along with a remake of First Choice’s “Newsy Neighbors”, this Salsoul release definitely stands on it’s own. If you come out and listen to one of my sets, you’ll probably be able to hear my favorite cut, “There Is No Reason”. I highly reccommend checking out this much forgotten classic.
posted by September 25 at 3:47 PMon
Yup, Chop Suey says it’s true—The Magnificents with Rahzel, MC Supernatural, and JS-1 is canceled.
Refunds available at point of purchase.
posted by September 25 at 3:32 PMon
Amy Winehouse was scheduled to appear tonight at the Paramount; to the surprise of no one, she cancelled weeks back.
HOWEVER! If you’re fiending for a dose of real-deal soul, check out this live video from Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings. The Dap Kings are the backing band Winehouse used at the last SXSW. Sharon Jones is everything that Winehouse wants to be.
Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings’ 100 Days & 100 Nights comes out October 2.
posted by September 25 at 3:20 PMon
A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the demise of Birth School Work Death, a brilliant music blog that was caught up in how to deal with posting new music. He told the world he was going to take a break.
But it’s back. At least for now.
And if you’re a Ricardo Villalobos fan, or a New Order fan you should go grab the
that’s there now.
posted by September 25 at 3:13 PMon
Last week I admitted to having never heard Peter Bjorn & John’s beloved Writer’s Block, and it took only minutes for the shit storm of “OMG*%$WTF”s to start flying. Well I finally listened to it so you can all stop thinking I’m a clueless fuck (unless you think I’m a clueless fuck for a completely unrelated reason, in which case, keep thinking it, ‘cause nothing else has changed).
After listening (thanks to Grandy for passing it along) and absorbing it over the weekend, I noticed the song “Young Folks” everywhere I went. You weren’t joking—it really has been playing everywhere. I heard it in the stores I went to, on the TV shows I watched, and during long car rides in my sister’s mini van… but “Young Folks” isn’t my favorite track on the album. It’s good, but I think it’s rather unremarkable by itself which is probably why I never gave PB&J much attention until now.
In fact, now that I think about it, I remember hearing it in the Gap or some mall store a few months ago thinking “Wow, this band really has mastered the art of combining everything KEXP has ever wanted in an indie pop song… dopey guy vocals, boring female harmonies, whistling, a too cool attitude offset with a catchy-as-fuck chorus. Every time I heard it I thought it was annoyingly hip.
I still kind of do, actually. But I like it a lot more in the context of the rest of the record, which isn’t super exciting, but it is fairly charming and well-crafted.
It starts out strong with trio of memorable tracks—“Objects of My Affection,” “Young Folks,” and “Amsterdam” (which is my favorite right now, and according to the comments left, it’s your favorite too). It goes into “Start to Melt” which sounds like the Shins if the Shins were to use a lot of distortion/fuzz and start singing with accents. I like bass-heavy and simple vintage pop sound showcased in “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off,” and I surprisingly like the monotony of “Roll the Credits.”
It’s the kind of record I might listen to while baking cookies in the winter. It’s the kind of record that I might listen to while talking a long walk on a cold November morning. In fact, I really, really want PB&J to put out a Christmas record; I think PB&J would write a fantastic Christmas record.
Anyway, back to Writer’s Block and how I managed to avoid it for a year…
“Poor Cow” is the only song that really bores me, and in my list of favorites, “Young Folks” is one of my least favorites, so no wonder I ignored them as long as I did. I thought that’s all PB&J did, and I thought what PB&J did was bore me.
The point is, you were all right after all, and Writer’s Block is pretty good and I’m sorry I didn’t learn that until last week. I wouldn’t say it’s one of the finest pop records of last year, but it’s good. And maybe eventually, after a few more listens, the temptation to turn it off and just listen to the Magnetic Fields instead will completely subside.
posted by September 25 at 2:33 PMon
we must discuss Feist’s new video 1234.
All in one shot? Edited? Good song? Tripe? Newly minted corporate shill? Just having a laugh?
What do you think?
posted by September 25 at 2:14 PMon
Being a Dancing Santa on-stage with the Flaming Lips was the most exhausting concert experience I’ve ever had.
I say this after raging three 10-hour days at Bumbershoot, after sleeping a total of 12 hours over three days of Sasquatch, after seeing more shows that I can count over the course of my life. The emotional stamina required to keep up with the Flaming Lips for two and a half hours drained me for days afterwards. I will probably never be the same.
Jake the Animal Wrangler
We arrived only a few minutes before the Lips were to hit the stage and were ushered into the bowels of the Paramount by house security. There we met with Jake the Animal Wrangler, who outfitted us with the last of the Santa get-ups (mine: XXL) and a ten-pound, battery-operated mega flashlight. Waivers were signed, instructions were given, and then we were led upstairs to the back of the stage.
A massive battery of balloons were netted behind the backdrop, waiting for launch.
This dude had been following the Lips since Chicago—nine shows in all. It was his first time dancing on-stage and he came prepared.
He, two other guys, and I were led to the front of the stage and asked to spot lead Lip Wayne Coyne as he did his crowd-walk in the infamous Space Bubble. Coyne slithered into the Bubble it was inflated around him as the band played a slow-building instrumental intro song called “Ta-Da.” He walked out over the crowd as we focused our heavy-ass power torches on him and the bubble. He stood up at a couple points, but mostly crawled and stumbled. After a minute or two he made it back to the stage and we reeled him in.
Then the room exploded in a spectacular Technicolor freak-out the likes of which can only be seen at a Flaming Lips concert.
posted by September 25 at 2:03 PMon
The RAH Band - Electric Fling The RAH band is super-producer Richard Hewson. Yes, after producing and arranging work by The Beatles, Herbie Hancock, James Taylor, Supertramp, Leo Sayer… he decided to put out music of his own. This song is so weird and perfect. It’s all about scales in the bridge section. Then there’s that dorky guitar/synth line through the whole song. And bongos. Cosmic is putting it mildly.
Love International - Dance On The Groove (And Do The Funk) This whole song is one giant keychange progression. Seriously. It goes an entire octave with only one line through out: Dance on the groove….And do the funk. Totally nutty and addictive.
Kongas - Dr. Doo-Dah Cerrone’s first outing is more famous for the drum-centric cover of Gimme Some Lovin’. But this b-side has all the afro rhythm it needs be considered a classic on it’s own. The man is a genius.
Arpadys - Monkey Star Original pressings of this album on it’s French label, Decca, go for hundreds of dollars. Thank heavens for the internets! Arpadys is a sidegroup of the more traditional disco band Voyage. But where Voyage was all about love and dancing, Arpady is all about space, robots, chanting and funky ass grooves. Check out that bass line, and the totally spacey synths mixed with french horns, not to mention the animal noises shot through with laser guns.
posted by September 25 at 2:00 PMon
Here’s Larry’s pick from this week’s My Philosophy:
UPDATE: This show has been canceled. Refunds are available at point of purchase.
I say, celebrate the love, creativity, and spontaneity of all that is hiphop—go check the Magnificents, who De La’s Posdnuos would call “a good combination!” The all-freestyle all-day crew is composed of (beatbox legend/cousin of Furious Five’s Rahiem/frequent Mike Patton collaborator) Rahzel; freestyle deity Supernatural (who set the Guinness World Record for longest freestyle—9 hours—at the last Rock the Bells); and Rocksteady Crew representative DJ JS-1. Along with the dude Rik Rude and Thig Natural and Justo—aka the Physics—
the Magnificents will be custom-crafting classics at Chop Suey come the night of Tuesday, August 25. All of my folks crying in their beer/tea because they missed this year’s Rock the Bells, go get a taste.
And U&Cs say:
THE CAVE SINGERS ALBUM-RELEASE PARTY
(Easy Street Records, Queen Anne) The cover of the Cave Singers’ brand-new debut, Invitation Songs, is a haunting visual translation of their music: The three band members in a group embrace half-submerged in a grassy, minty-green meadow, backed by a pine-green sentinel of dark, silent forest. It’s beautiful, ominous, like the band is taking comfort in each other before the arrival of an impending tragedy or sharing a final sentiment before permanently parting. The music within swells with similar mystery, sweetly pastoral but battered, bluesy, and raw. Performed onstage for months, these songs make the transition to record with added resonance. Simply put, Invitation Songs is stunning, a surprising debut and one of the best albums of the year. JONATHAN ZWICKEL
There’s plenty more. Search Get Out, our complete live/dj calendar, to find your jam.
posted by September 25 at 12:42 PMon
The documentary, Athens, GA Inside/Out, got me thinking documentary. When film-makers successfully imbed themselves within the dynamics of a band and its world, music documentaries become impossible not to watch.
Seven more to see. Any others? What’s a good Hip Hop documentary?
1. Driver 23 - The Atlas Moth - 2002
Seven years in the life of Minneapolis based metal guitarist / delivery man, Dan Cleveland. His band is called Dark Horse. His vocals and metal scream are so bad it’s confusing. He is heavily medicated and combats obsessive-compulsive disorder. Cleveland is driven and incredibly positive thinking. He has an interracial marriage and his wife, who is a clown, leaves him. (A real clown, like with a round red nose.) He begins to sink, wrapping cigars in duct tape and smoking them all the time. As bad as his music is and as hard as he seems to struggle with his illness, there is poignancy. He makes drawings and sketches of systems, pulleys, and ramps that simply get amps out of the basement. But the drawings are kind of Basquiaty. The band mates are absolutely beautiful. You know guys in bands like this.
A must see. A combination of Spinal Tap and Vincent Van Gogh. Winner of 9 National/International Film Awards.
2. Chuck Berry – Hail Hail Rock N Roll - 1986
To celebrate Berry’s 60th birthday, Keith Richards assembles a band (including himself) to back Berry and play a show at St. Louis’ Fox Theatre. Eric Clapton, Robert Cray, Bo Diddley play (Cray is in the backing band.) The best scenes are the rehearsals where Berry and Richards almost come to blows. And seeing Keith unable to play a Berry lick is good too.
3. Wilco – I Am Trying to Break Your Heart – 2002
Director Sam Jones follows the band as they record their fourth album, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. They kind of have to fire original member, Jay Bennett. Then, the band is dropped by Reprise Records. Reprise doesn’t like the album. Wilco says fine, shops it to labels for almost a year and when it gets released, it’s hugely successful. Triumphant, despite. How you feel now, Reprise?
4. Metallica – Some Kind of Monster - 2004
Lead singer goes into rehab. Band sees a shrink. There are tears and a power struggle of power struggling egos.
5. Flaming Lips – Fearless Freaks - 2005
6. X – The Unheard Music – 1986
“Early 80’s LA punk scene. Dirty streets and wide open vistas. No Wave Generation.”
**Update** (Thank you, Jason Josephes)
7. The Dandy Warhols and Brian Jonestown Massacre - Dig! - 2004
posted by September 25 at 12:30 PMon
all photos by Morgan Keuler
posted by September 25 at 11:21 AMon
Arcade Fire, LCD Soundsystem, the Gossip @ B of A Arena (UW)
Okay, so Terry’s post made a few points already that I’d just like to reiterate: There was no beer (whatever, it’s a college event, fine); the acoustics were about what you expect from a gymnasium (ie, terrible); and the Gossip started their set 15 minutes before the time listed on the tickets. That last one is totally unacceptable. I don’t know who was running last night’s show, but it’s pretty standard to either a) have the first act start at the listed show time, or b) have them start a half hour or so after the listed time, giving everyone a chance to straggle in. So Pissed makes another good point in the comments: “Also the tickets were sold as GA but when we arrived at a normal time of 8pm we found out the floor was closed and we had to watch from the second level seats.” Lame! Sell two separate sets of tickets if it’s not really going to be general admission.
I showed up at 7:20 and the Gossip were already playing to a half-empty, bored crowd. Maybe if they had started at 7:30 or 8, there would’ve been more of an audience. Oh well. They still gave it their all, but it was just weird seeing them up against such an indifferent crowd in such an inhospitable venue. Still, “Jealous Girls,” “Listen Up,” Don’t Make Waves,” “Standing in the Way of Control,” and their other songs all sound great, Beth Ditto’s voice is a force, and Brace Pain and Hannah Blillie are a tight, muscular band.
Now for one correction: LCD Soundsystem actually kicked off their set with a revved-up rocking version of “Us v Them,” and then launched into “Daft Punk is Playing at My House” and “Time to Get Away” which were both also sped up. They did this at their recent Showbox set too, and it’s kind of a bummer. The heightened tempo maybe makes the songs a little more palatable to kids expecting a rock show, but it also strips them of a lot of their loose funkiness. But then they played “All My Friends” and it was all forgotten. That song is one of the best pop songs of the past year, a poignant rumination on aging and friendship and fleeting good times, and it’s also a 7-minute long, two-note epic. That relentless piano line rushes forward like clockwork, the rhythm section pulses, synths and guitars rise and squall, and James Murphy delivers cool lyrical wisdom in the center of it all. From where I stood, to the left of the stage, the disco ball lights moving counter-clockwise around the room made it look like Murphy was rushing froward through space.
Win Butler and another member of the Arcade Fire came out to sing back up on “North American Scum;” Regine played xylophone (or something) on the sweet, swaying “Someone Great.” They played dance burners “Tribulations” and “Yeah,” building the latter track up with frenetic drumming and space echoes. (Overheard: “Fuck education, it’s all about drinking.”) They closed with “New York I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down.” It was sweet, but not quite the magical moment it was at their recent Showbox show, and that holds for the whole show. It was fun, but that Showbox set was incredible—floors bouncing, kids going apeshit (what was with the stiff-ass crowd last night?), the band blasting through a killer extended set.
I was all set to ditch out on the Arcade Fire. I’d just seen them at Sasquatch, I was really more excited for LCD Soundsystem, and the setting wasn’t doing this show any favors. But I stuck around and was quickly reminded that, even if I like LCD better, Arcade Fire are a hell of a band, especially live. Their stage show is heavy on light and sound, bells and whistles (or airhorns and alarms, I guess), and over-sized theatrics, and it’s almost too big for a venue the size of last night’s (it seemed perfect at the Gorge).
All their songs work well live, but I’m increasingly impressed with the material from Neon Bible (though older songs “Neighborhood #2 (Laika),” “No Cars Go,” and “Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)” still sound great). “Sleeping in a Submarine”: not such a great song. “Haiti”: still a little too precious, fake Bjork for my tastes. “Black Mirror,” “Keep the Car Running,” “Black Wave/Bad Vibrations,” “Intervention,” and “Television Anti-Christ Blues” (which got LCD Soundsystem down in front of the stage to dance and help hoist Butler out to the crowd) all sounded as good as they possibly could’ve in that room, and the band really is a pleasure to watch perform (although their drumming freakout routine during “(Laika)” wasn’t as spirited as I’ve seen it before). I still left early, partly to beat the crowd and get over to Pony for DJ Night School, but mostly because it was just such a weird, lame show on every level except for the bands themselves that—with the exception of LCD, who I would love under any conditions—it was hard to get too into it. Great bill, but this show should’ve been at the Showbox or the Paramount or somewhere that knew how to do it right.
posted by September 25 at 11:20 AMon
In this week’s Back to School Guide, I run down a few nightlife options for the over 18 but under 21 crowd. One night that’s open to all 18 and up that I somehow forget to single out is Chop Suey’s monthly electronic dance party, Broken Disco. It occurred to me over the course of this past weekend’s awesome, exhausting Decibel Festival, that some of “the kids” might be interested in it. There’s no better month to check it out than October, when the night will be bringing Berlin duo Modeselektor back to Seattle. Their last appearance here (at the ReBar) was a blast, and their recent full-length, Happy Birthday!, is great. The Stranger’s review of it is here.
posted by September 25 at 11:13 AMon
First off: Hec Edmundson Pavilion (aka Bank Of America Arena) is a totally weird place to hold a concert. Upon my arrival, at approximately 7:10, my pal and I bee-lined it for the concession. Two words: No Beer.
I actually can’t remember the last time I went to a show and didn’t have a single drop of alcohol during it (maybe when I was 18 and still living in Spokane). Is that some weird rule at colleges? They don’t serve alcohol? I didn’t even see it lit up on the menus. That just struck me as totally odd. Is it the same at fooball and basketball games?
After being confronted with that fact, we made our way to the main floor of the arena. By the time we found a place to stand at roughly 7:15 the Gossip arrived on-stage. Wait. It’s 7:15. Don’t our tickets say the show starts at 7:30? Are the Gossip their own roadies? Why are they onstage? After a couple of jokes from Beth Ditto about her parents being proud she finally made it to college, the band started their attack.
The Gossip gave it their all. Ditto screamed and wailed, she tried to cajole us into her vortex of shuddering punk blues. But with the audience still filtering in and no bodies to fill the back of the pavilion with its concrete, echoing walls, it was to no avail. This crowd was not moved. I felt so bad for the band. Beth turned towards the Billie and Brace, and they held a concert of their own. In between songs she threw some small talk out to the crowd, but with a bunch of bored sober teens staring them back,the Gossip had no chance.
By 7:45 the set was over. At this point, two girls ran up and planted themselves in front of me (there was plenty of room, the pavilion was still filling up), ready to start dancing to Ditto and Co. As The Gossip exited the stage one girl turned to the other and said, “What the fuck?!? Their set ends 10 minutes after the show started?” Devastated, they went off on a search for beer. Good luck with that, I thought.
At least we knew LCD Soundsystem would start on time! The band, sans lead singer James Murphy, came on stage and the drummer started the beat. Gradually, as if this was band practice on an episode of Fame, the rest of the band joined in the groove one by one. Murphy shuffled on stage and started into “Daft Punk…” The crowd, by now twice as large as during the Gossip, bobbed their heads. A few folks raised their hands and clapped, but it was going to take more effort than this.
Then the giant mirror ball lit up. Stars lit up the interior and the energy level increased tenfold. LCD went through their set with guest appearances by various members of Arcade Fire throughout. I haven’t heard the new LCD album, Sound Of Silver, but their performance made up for my lack of knowledge by being, pretty much perfect. Songs I hadn’t heard before like “All My Friends” and “North American Scum” convinced me that their new work is essential to anyone hoping to understand how the Disco Punks are dealing with their New-No-Wave success a few years on from their heyday.
Their final song, “New York, I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down,” was a tone-perfect paen to the city and its hipster crowd that can turn its back so quickly on the growing success of its scene. Perfectly smart and totally impressive.
One minor gripe, though. I wish the band would set itself up differently. They lose so much energy by having the keyboard player face forward in the middle of the stage. It boggles my mind to think they haven’t changed this set-up before. If the keyboard player stood sideways, facing Murphy at the side, with the guitarist closer to James and his drums (which should become the center), you could see her body move more and the enrgy transmitted to the audience would be more apparent. It would frame the band differently, but the energy level would be a lot higher.
I saw the Arcade Fire this summer at Sasquatch, and their show was amazing, so I thought I knew what to expect. I was surprised at how much sharper and clearly edited the band and its visuals were. They were even more effective and moving than they were at the Gorge.
The band seemed to be struggling with proximity and feedback on the small-ish stage, but I take it that’s just going to happen when you have an army of musicians and an array of so many instruments crowding the platform.
By now the Pavilion was nearly at capacity, and the amount of bodies had a great effect on acoustics. You could hear every instrument clearly. In fact, the band sounded much better now that you could really here the brass section in the back. Every song sounded fuller, more precise, without losing its live edge.
All the favorites were played—“Black Mirror,” “No Cars Go,” and “Keep The Car Running” drove the crowd into sing-along frenzy. By the time the pipe organ started on “Intervention” the band had the crowd wrapped in their hands. There was no begging to stand and dance, only polite “thank you”s for the reception the crowd was giving them. When the time came for encores, the crowd gleefully sang along to the rousing, anthemic “Wake Up.” I missed the few slower numbers they played this summer (my favorite on the album is the amazing “My Body Is A Cage”), but with the weird concert locale and lackluster crowd early on, the band knew they needed to cut deep, with absolute precision to lull the crowd out of its early stupor.
Eventually I was impressed with the Pavilion’s sound and atmosphere, but I’m still puzzling over why the show was booked there in the first place.
posted by September 25 at 10:56 AMon
Austin’s Pink Nasty, a singer-songwriter possibly best known for playing in Bonnie “Prince” Billy’s live band, covered Usher’s “Let It Burn” last night at the Tractor. I recorded it and thought you good folks might want to watch it. Good morning to you.
Even better is this one, a medley of “Sleepwalkin’” and “Six Feet Deep In Love”:
posted by September 24 at 6:43 PMon
Thanks so much for totally making my Monday.
(Are you part of the Weathered Underground?)
posted by September 24 at 3:58 PMon
This weekend a bought a copy of King & Hound’s new re-edit 12” entitled, Stranger In The City off the Golden Goose label. The B-side features a solid re-edit of Lenny williams disco classic “Midnight Girl”. This edit reminding me of one my favorite re-edits, which is Danny krivit’s 2003 re-edit of Williams’ 1978 cut, “You Got Me Runnin’”. This re-edited mix was featured on Krivit’s re-edit compilation Edits By Mr. K on the now defunkt UK dance label Strut. Krivit’s edit is a shorter sliced up mix of the original, that really highlights the more funkier sections of the song. It’s definitely worth getting a hold of, if you can find a copy of the now out-of-print release.
posted by September 24 at 3:05 PMon
DJ Night School (aka Brace Pain of the Gossip) will be DJing tonight at Pony following the Arcade Fire/LCD Soundsystem/Gossip at the UW.
posted by September 24 at 2:48 PMon
There are records that sound best on the cold, foggy mornings that turn into cold, sunny afternoons, and turn into dark, frigid nights, and every fall I have a couple mainstays that I always break out once the weather starts to turn.
Some of the songs are full of energy, because I think fall is full of energy (especially after a lethargic and warm summer), and some of the songs are maudlin and full of dramatic strings and/or piano because I think strings sound best when the trees start turning the colors of fire.
My list of fall music evolves just as the season itself does, but here’s what sounds good right now, before the rain starts and SAD completely sets in:
posted by September 24 at 2:40 PMon
posted by September 24 at 2:32 PMon
Cosmic is a term given to music that was popularized in the slo-mo discos of the Italian east coast. Clubs like Baia Degli Angeli and Cosmic (where the music really gets its name) became famous for playing totally disparate songs and styles together, often at different speeds then intended (45’s at 33 and vice-versa), swirling the sound of early electronic music with African drumming records, then throwing in some ‘70’s jazz/funk into the mix. The sound became popular along the coast, then worked it’s way up into southern Germany where even today clubs program and promote popular “Cosmic” nights.
Recently even Berlin DJ/producer Kaos put out a mix, Danse, Gravité Zéro, with former member of the ‘70’s no-wave group Liquid Liquid, Sal Principato.
Traditionally the stoned out beats of “cosmic” records would be under 120 bpm, and have a definate rythmic groove, usually based on african or latin drum loops, and sometimes they even rock out in prog-y bliss.
Every day this week I’m going to give you some tracks to send you away from your day to a stoned, blissed-out cosmos of your own.
Dr. Buzzard’s Oringinal Savannah Band - Sunshower The easy breezy chanting and lilting tempo make this a great place to start your cosmic trip. Dr. Buzzard’s… was a project put together by August Darnell (aka Kid Creole) and Andy Hernandez (aka Coati Mundi). Patti Austin contributed vocals on this track. Incidetally, if you are an M.I.A. fan, this is the track that is sampled on her song, also called, Sunshower.
Sylvester - I Need Somebody To Love Tonight Not really a “Sylvester” song, this track was written and performed by early synth-disco wiz kid Patrick Cowley. There are now vocals on the track, just Patrick’s methodical, hypnotizing work.
Traeskø - Cubacumba A little known Italo track that has heavy latin rythms. I know very little of this group at all other than the fact that it is the only record to come out on the Madison Production label in 1983. What starts out as a synth druym track soon devolves into rockin’ electric guitar lines and latin chanting. All to 112 bpm. Seriously. Check out those guitars!
Eberhard Schoener - Why Don’t You Answer? From the 1978 album Video-Magic, which can actually be called the first album by The Police. Sting and band-mates all sing and play on this album, and toured for it, before the first official Police album came out in the same year.
posted by September 24 at 2:19 PMon
(Hat tip to Mathew Anderson, Division)
posted by September 24 at 1:56 PMon
Fake (and NSFW):
posted by September 24 at 12:11 PMon
But now I can offer you some real news about Miss Paris.
Skywriting Records, a new label based in Portland, OR will be releaseing Cloetta’s first album sometime in early 2008.
This is great news for those of us who love what the Swedish italo princess has put out so far. Rumours about the album being produced by Johan Agebjörn, the producer of Sally Shapiro’s Disco Romance, are untrue. In a six-degrees twist, though, it turns out that the album is being produced and shepharded along by Roger of theh Swedish one-man band, Nixon. Nixon is the writer, and original performer, of Sally’s first hit, Anorak Christmas.
Hopefully Cloetta will be able to tour and do interviews, unlike the infamously shy and secretive Sally.
To get a taste of some of the great stuff Cloetta has done so far check out her webpage which has a couple of downloads (definately grab I Miss You Someone) including a cover of the theme to St. Elmo’s Fire.
As a Lineout bonus here’s my favorite song, Broken Heart Tango.
PS. Sally’s domestic release of Disco Romance finally comes out on Oct. 30th with 3 new songs.
posted by September 24 at 11:25 AMon
Looks like somebody’s really, really excited about the upcoming Starbucks-exclusive Sonic Youth compilation…
posted by September 24 at 11:09 AMon
As Eric has pointed out, Arcade Fire, LCD Soundsystem, and the Gossip are tonight.
Basically everyone in Seattle is going.
But U&Cs want you to know that there’s another show tonight:
CIRCLE, GRAILS, ASSEMBLE HEAD IN SUNBURST SOUND (Chop Suey) The only reason to listen to metal is because it’s hilarious. The more brutal and serious it pretends to be—from its hard-line assaults of head nodding to its 8-year-old-under-a-blanket scary voices—the bigger the punch line. But Finland’s Circle are one of those fancy-pants metal bands who name-drop Krautrock and cram as many sounds as possible into every song. They’re academic, allegedly experimental, but somehow still most effective when they’re making a racket, hypermasculine guitars destroying their own attempts to relax the boundaries of the genre. All of which proves, clearly, that they come just in time for the return of Adult Swim’s Metalocalypse. DEAN FAWKES
posted by September 24 at 10:10 AMon
It would be at this awesome show:
Arcade Fire, LCD Soundsystem, Gossip
Arcade Fire, LCD Soundsystem, and Gossip all put on spectacular live shows with overwrought theatrics, muscular disco grooves, and a punk-blues explosion, respectively. James Murphy and Beth Ditto are especially powerful, the former leading his band like a post-punk James Brown and the latter belting out songs with overwhelming soul. This should be one of the best shows of the fall. (Bank of America Arena, 3870 Montlake Blvd NE, www.ticketmaster.com. 7:30 pm, $39.50, all ages.) ERIC GRANDY
posted by September 24 at 8:01 AMon
I had only the lowest of expectations going into EndFest on Saturday. I assumed I would spend the day milling about a concrete corral, surrounded by many people and wasting many dollars on battery acid coffee. The mindfield of a line-up was littered with bombs like Shiny Toy Guns and Paramore. And then there was the elephant in the room. The whole Smashing Pumpkins thing.
But it really wasn’t that bad.
Through my own lack of preparation, I missed both Against Me! and Minus the Bear; I had neglected to do my pre-EndFest homework and look up a schedule, falsely assuming they were too big to be playing as early as they did. But apparently the Young and the Restless stage was shut down at 3 and the What’s Next stage at 6 or so, with sets staggered so that overlap was minimal. The layout was awkward, with stages all facing eachother, and obviously it’d be better if there were grass to sit on, but the visible skyline is remarkably picturesque for a parking lot. If more single-stage concerts were scheduled for the space, I might even be into it. Might be, but even with the view, there was still an ever-present tail-gate-party ambience.
When I finally got in, I had missed most of Satellite Party, Perry Ferrell’s latest Jane’s Addiction rehazing. Actually, they weren’t good enough to be called that, but closed with “Jane Says” anyway. Ferrell wouldn’t miss an opportunity to remind us.
Bright Eyes took the mainstage right when the sky was getting all pretty and yellow, and for half an hour all the violent crowding of the pit ceased slightly. Tender faces were all turned up towards Conor Oberst, and singing along (I didn’t see any tears, but isn’t it a given that there were some?). The only other time I’d seen Bright Eyes there’d been serious folk ensemble backing him; this time it was only the basic accompaniment, and I have to say I kind of missed the strings. Oberst played well, albeit somewhat half-heartedly. There wasn’t the characteristically shaky emotional outpouring, only a dozen well-rehearsed and safely-performed folk songs. I think he could tell how ambivalent the crowd was about his performance; he was the little lamb in a mess of black sheep.
The vast majority of EndFest’s attendees was monotonously enthusiastic. They were into being ROCK FANS and ROCKING OUT; everything slightly up-tempo bang heads to, every vague sarcastic comment alluding to the state of global affairs, every statement that could be responded to with a “FUCK YEAH” or at least a chorus of raised middle-fingers. All the bands kept playing the “WHAT’S UP SEATTLE!?!?!” card (followed, of course, by a “OH COME ON, YOU CAN DO BETTER THAN THAT, I SAID WHAT’S UP SEATTLE!?!?”), followed by screaming and pogo-sticking. Earlier, to start off their set, the head honcho of The Used had even launched into a spiel about people who were “there for the right reasons” and how he loved music, but everyone else was probably liars with alterior motives. Apparently this was just an intro to the song he was about to play, presumably titled something liar-related, off the new record titled Lies for the Liars.
After Social D, tension escalated. Sweaty kids were getting lifted out by their shirt collars like puppies, tees were torn off revealing Smashing Pumpkins-related tattoos. It was a bizarre mix of first wave SP fans and the second wave, turned on by the new record presumably, plus the everyone else’s who probably got dragged there by a significant other, won tickets somewhere, or still regretted missing the Pumpkins back in their hayday. I couldn’t tell if I was the only one who felt slightly wrong about being there, about seeing Smashing Pumpkins so far removed from their era. Yes, I’ve been waiting the majority of my short life to see those classic songs performed live, but without ever thinking it was going to happen. If I was too young and clueless to be into them the first time around, seeing them now wasn’t going to make up for it.
When Billy Corgan took the stage in his striped onesy and white boots, the parking lot exploded. Lights flashed. Bodies were thrown into the air. But it wasn’t Smashing Pumpkins. True, every other song was achingly familiar; the crowd issued a collective sigh with every trademark opening riff. Those songs were just as I’d imagined they would be live, thick and heavy and important, saturated in all the moments they’ve influenced and all the lives they changed, because Smashing Pumpkins were that pivotal of a band. But every time I got comfortable in my warm nostalgia security blanket I got slapped in the face with the tragedy that is Zeitgeist.
Most people were all too aware of Corgan’s lackluster stage presence, and Corgan was aware too. If he was trying not to look like a pompous asshole, he made a couple of key errors. With the first song Corgan actually segued into a whaling guitar-solo rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner.
Really, Billy? Really?
I’ll admit it. “Today” gave me goosebumps. It almost made up for the uneven and shockingly-short hour they played. Almost. I thought for sure that with that last chord I could leave, happy and fulfilled with that fuzzy after-show high. But Corgan just couldn’t leave the stage and spent a minute doing that applauding-the-audience thing, you know, “I would be nothing without you, you are the wind beneath my wings”… Because Billy Corgan needs us to feel important? Nah, he will always be something to himself, with or without anyone filling him with hot air.
I think I’m glad I attended, but I know it wasn’t Smashing Pumpkins at the performance I witnessed. I saw a believable knock-off with some recognizable characteristics of the original. It’s like vegan BBQ ribs. You like the taste, and it’s sort of the same, but the whole composition is off. I mean, there’s just no meat there.
posted by September 23 at 11:48 PMon
Introducing new bassist: Manboy Van Halen
Instead of this:
And what happened with this?:
Am I going be to missing something?
Probably the most awesome exploding stadium-sized trainwreck of the year. I should have gotten tickets.
posted by September 23 at 6:02 PMon
There’s one more night to go, but it’s safe to say my ass has been officially kicked by this year’s Decibel. Every time I change venues I’m being assaulted by more and more quality music. It’s wonderfully exhausting.
I skipped the ambient showcase at Town Hall but heard good things. Taal Mala at The Baltic Room kept things dubby, dark and moody, but there was pressure as the night went along for everything to get cleared out for the Bollywood night. I heard I missed a great Jerry Abstract set, but I was excited to hear Lowfish’s electro, so there was little I could do there.
Once I made it to Neumos, Drumcell was kicking the evening off in fine form down in the VIP Room. The crowd was just trickling in, but he luckily had enough time to play to close out with the dancing crowd he deserved. I only caught the beginning of Robert Babicz, opting to take a nap (meaning I missed what I heard was a great 3 Channels set). Oh well.
I got back just as Jeff Samuel took the stage for his ultimately triumphant return to Seattle. Speedy J had things going upstairs, but Jeff Samuel had the crowd from the start, and there’s no place I’d rather be than the VIP Room when the party’s poppin’. It’s dark, hot, and the room sweats on you as you sweat on the floor. Jeff’s spent the last year off in Europe, and he certainly brought the dirty European vibe to his set. People clapped, cheered, and danced for the entirety of his set, easily the best of the entire festival thus far (“Now that’s what I’d been waiting for!” said a friend of mine). As a side note, I’m glad Jeff didn’t meet the challenge I posed to him - I told him if he played Efdemin’s “Just a Track” I’d rip my shirt off and rock the fuck out. As it was, the only foolishness I suffered was telling damn near everyone I saw at the afterhours that I loved techno, loudly and repeatedly. Guess I was high on the music.
It’s true though - I love techno. And I love Decibel. If for some reason you still haven’t made it down, tonight’s your last night. I’ll see you in the basement for the Mothership showcase.
Again, more pics available in the Decibel Flickr Pool.
posted by September 23 at 3:43 PMon
In the score this week, I wrote about DIY surround sound by The Flaming Lips, Ron Fein, and Phil Kline. Tonight on Flotation Device, I’ll air Fein’s magnificent plunderphonic collage for multiple boomboxes, Purple Mountains Majesty.
Also in the mix: two pioneers of electronic music - Mario Davidovsky and Brazilian composer Jorge Antunes (pictured above) - as well as Caroline Wilkins, local electronicists Cardboard, and Jeph Jerman, who goes low-tech with vinyl, playing LPs with the spikes of a prickly pear.
Catch the on-line stream or tune in to KBCS 91.3 FM from 10 pm to midnight.