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Archives for 09/30/2007 - 10/06/2007

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Tonight in Music (Or, What Are You Doing On the Computer, It’s a Beautiful Fall Day)

posted by on October 6 at 1:00 PM

The Blakes and the Saturday Knights are playing tonight at Easy Street in West Seattle. It’s an after-hours show, which means there’s a cover (unlike most in-stores) but alcohol will be served (unlike all in-stores).

Built to Spill play the last of three consecutive shows at the Showbox at the Market.

Band of Horses are playing FOR FREE at the Vera Project.

Now, go outside. Here’s a little inspiration:


Friday, October 5, 2007

Built to Spill @ the Showbox

posted by on October 5 at 6:50 PM

IMG_8315.jpgPhotos by Morgan Keuler

Kirby pretty much nailed the atmosphere and quality of last night’s Built to Spill show. This is a band that does nothing on-stage but play music. They stand there in their oversized t-shirts and bald heads and bushy beards, motionless, and just play. And they’re totally captivating.

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Their swirling, layered guitar concertos are the kind of thing I could absorb forever. Thanks to the band’s shlumpfy dress code and non-existent stage dynamics, there’s a general sense casualness and comfort at a Built to Spill show that’s priceless. Songs take a while to develop and once they reach a climax, stay there a minute—long enough for the audience to catch up from wherever they might’ve been. You can have a conversation about the music during a song and not fear missing its core. You can check in with the music when it strikes you—which turns out to be often, thanks to the band’s stellar catalog of favorites. As part of the audience, you’re spending time with your friends—every one of whom has seen the band at least once before—as much as you’re spending time with the band. It’s a very satisfying feeling.

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Songs like “Car” and “Stop the Show” are ambient, palpable in their melodies, dense with sound. They also flaunt unforgettable hooks—several per song. There’s a lot to tune into, should you decide to do so. And there’s a lot to let breeze by you, if that’s where you’re at. And with three shows back to back, you’re allowed to just wallow in that breeze, knowing there’s more to come.

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With Martsch et al, pyrotechnics, haircuts, and witty banter aren’t necessary. They’re confident enough in the songs and their musicianship that they don’t have to provoke the audience. Their brilliance is there in the music, left for the listener to discover.


Red Hatters Matter

posted by on October 5 at 4:49 PM

HOW WAS IT? is back, and if you’re one of the seemingly hundreds of people I harassed when THESE guys played a concert at the Puyallup Fair, here’s the video:

The band, though they’re a bit older and wider, I mean WISER, sounded amazing. It was a perfect and excellent show. My favorite part of the night, however, was when I tried to convince a lady from the Seattle Chapter of the Red Hat Society that Devo (and men in general) should be allowed to join their 600,000 members-strong cult. I mean CLUB.

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She didn’t think I was very funny.

This Is So Dumb

posted by on October 5 at 4:35 PM

A new twist on an old Jake E. Lee guitar solo….

I must say, I admire the dedication of the person who lovingly synced it. Ridiculous. And Ozzy is spot on. Original HERE … hm, not half bad either.

This Week’s Setlist: Our First Musical Guest!

posted by on October 5 at 4:26 PM

This week’s Setlist is a great one. I mean it’s always great, but this week’s is even better because Devoirs plays a few songs for us live in the “studio” (it’s not really a studio, it’s just an office, but we like to pretend).

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Devoirs is Chris Hong’s solo project. He plays dark and worn acoustic songs “about concrete, urban invasive species, and literal and figurative consumption/compulsion.” He’s inspired by bands like Wire and Black Flag. He’s playing the Vera Project October 10 (it’s a free show) and Setlist is the only place you can here this exclusive recording.

You’ll also hear songs by the Blakes, the Fleet Foxes, the Kindness Kind and more.

Click. Listen. Love.

Tonight in Music

posted by on October 5 at 4:05 PM

We’ve already covered some options for the evening (the Blakes, Built to Spill, Brent Amaker), but if you feel like going to a show that doesn’t star a band with a name that starts with the letter B, perhaps you should consider…

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THE WEAKERTHANS, THE LAST TOWN CHORUS, JEREMY FISHER
(Neumo’s) Growing old gracefully isn’t easy, especially for anarcho-punk rockers. But John K. Samson (long ago a member of Fat Wreck Chords Propagandhi) has managed as much with the Weakerthans. Over the course of four albums, Samson has slowly sloughed off the punk rock to reveal thoughtful folk, frost-bitten country, and painfully smart pop (he’s the kind of lyricist who will internally rhyme “dissemble” and “December” in a line about rush-hour traffic) that deals elegantly with the subjects of love, age, and fading idealism. Their latest, Reunion Tour, finds the band further mellowing—songs such as “Civil Twilight” and “Tournament of Hearts” are faint glimmers of the anxious energy still abundant on 1997’s Fallow and 2000’s Left and Leaving. But Samson’s songwriting remains strong and poignant as ever, and there are some treats for fans, such as the Reconstruction Site sequel “Virtute the Cat Explains Her Departure.” ERIC GRANDY

An Open Letter to KISS 106.1

posted by on October 5 at 3:55 PM

Dear KISS 106.1,

I propose that the song “Hot in Herre” by Nelly should, like white shoes, not be played after Labor Day (or whenever we get the last day of warm weather in September, whichever comes later). Playing it now, in October, just as 9 months of cold is starting to settle in on Seattle, is simply cruel. It’s not going to be getting hot in herre (sic) for a very long time. We should be layering, not taking our clothes off. Please, please try to keep this gem in your rotation only between the months of, say, May and September. Thank you.

Sincerely,
Eric Grandy

PS. Ballet has new menus.

No, Please Don’t

posted by on October 5 at 2:54 PM

Britney Spears’s new video, “Gimme More,” has leaked and wow, people, it isn’t pretty. I can’t embed it here, so here’s the synopsis: Blonde Britney talks to friends at a bar; she notices Brunette Britney, who strides over the the stripper pole in the middle of the room; she starts sort of vacantly circling the pole; Blonde Britney and friends smile; random guy appears in profile for a couple of frames; ass shots ensue. Britney famously broke down during the shooting of this video—reportedly sobbing, acting disoriented, and storming off the set—prompting Idolator to muse: “I’ve watched this clip four times now, and more and more it just looks like cutting-room-floor footage stitched together at the last minute in order to keep a flailing pop star’s career alive.” Ouch. The clip’s available here. For the sake of your eyes, don’t watch it.

Hump! 3: Unofficial Afterparty!

posted by on October 5 at 2:10 PM

Tonight after you’ve attended Hump! 3, fill free to get your drink on at the Solo Bar(200 Roy Street, Lower Queen Anne). Tonight is another installment of Club Cabana, Hump style. All night long DJ’s H.M.A. (AKA Terry Miller) and I (TJ Gorton) will be playing sleazy cosmic italo and disco. The solo Bar is close walking distance from On the Boards, so don’t miss out on all the after Hump! 3 screening affair.

And because it’s Hump! 3 weekend, here is the perfect soundtrack for the evening - Prins Thomas’ Re-edit of Tony Silvester’s 1976 erotic disco classic “Pazuzu”. As far as songs that were meant for the adult screen, there is no better.

Tony Silvester - Pazuzu (Prins Thomas Re-edit)

Sprechen Sie Ballard

posted by on October 5 at 12:36 PM

Tonight at the Tractor Tavern, it’s Brent Amaker & the Rodeo. They are fresh off of a tour to Berlin where they played the Popkomm Festival. They went over there, faced the bidet, and won. They are not “Sissy New Age Cowboys.” They sound like Johnny Cash and they’re proud of it. Come on down, and yell “Fuck yeah” out loud.

Also playing are the Valley and Shane Tutmarc & the Traveling Mercies - 9 pm, $7, 21+.

Here’s their video for “You’re No Good” directed by Black Daisy:

Sometimes I Like Things; Dragonforce is One of Those Things

posted by on October 5 at 12:28 PM

Wow. So far I’ve posted two things today and both of them were about bands I don’ t like. That’s lame, I don’t wanna be a bratty and bitter cry-baby.

Here’s something awesome:

It’s so awesome, in fact, it’s this week’s Best Song Ever!

I’m a sucker for the optimistic fantasy metal (so much so that I even really liked Nelson’s “After the Rain” when I was a kid… which I know isn’t “metal,” but when you’re eight it is) and Dragonforce’s “My Spirit Will Go On” caters to my strange guilty pleasure perfectly with fast-as-shit guitar solos that go on for minutes, and lyrics that contain all of the following key words and phrases required to make a fantasy metal song successful: Misery, death, demon, sanity, land of a thousand souls, carry on through the rain, memories of the slain, evil, point of no return, payment in blood, death is the destiny, power of the demon, horizon, war, wings of eagles, debauchery, and blade of death.

And check out the chrous:

In winds of torment forever more you will cry for just…

One more time to escape from all this madness
One more time to be set free from all this sadness
And one last time to be the one who understands
My soul and my spirit will go on, for all of eternity

If you can’t appreciate this song, either genuinely or ironically, then you’re a fool. I dare you to play drums that fast, I dare you to play guitar that fast, and I dare you to grow your hair that long. Dragonforce is the shit.

There’s Nothing Wrong With Built to Spill

posted by on October 5 at 12:17 PM

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For as many times as I’ve seen Built to Spill (a lot), last night reinforced why I will continue to keep seeing them live. The band is impeccable - it seems Doug Martsch expends no effort at all to sing and play his songs flawlessly. The musicians are in perfect sync with each other, all five members dutifully performing their specific roles to fill the ideal rock and roll sound spectrum. Three guitars can be a burden if not properly calibrated, but Built to Spill have got it down to a science.

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Thanks to an almost legendary catalogue, the band have their choice of how to mix and match their songs to fill three whole nights, of which I can safely assume they will play different sets each show. Thursday had a wide mix of tracks from all of their albums except Caustic Resin, slightly favoring You In Reverse while still only playing the best cuts off of it. When Martsch performed “Car” by himself, with only the bass coming in to back up the rhythm for the end solo, everyone chanted along the words in joyful camaraderie. My favorite selections were “Stop the Show”, “Traces,” “Stab,” and “Mess With Time.” They played a few tracks I didn’t recognize, so I’m guessing they were new.

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They closed with “Carry the Zero,” which had everyone in my section chanting the lyrics and dancing in small circles. It was definitely the high point of the show, filling the whole room with great energy. It was amazing to look up and see all the people around me signing along at the top of their lungs with huge smiles on their faces. It seems this is all too rare an occurrence at shows I go to.

They chose to regale the audience with the “riff of the year” for their encore, playing “Conventional Wisdom” much to the delight of the music editor I was standing next to. The song has everything a great encore needs – a big riff, a catchy hook, and an epic jam. It was a fitting end to a great night of music. You have two more chances to get some Built to Spill up in your guts. If you’re on the fence, just do it. It feels good.

What Jacob Aranza Is Doing Now.

posted by on October 5 at 12:15 PM

Meant to post this below with my other backwards masking post.

This is where he’s at now.

Ack. Everything is so peach colored and awful! And what the hell is “STRONG MAN”. Scared of that shit.

Friday Morning Bus Ride

posted by on October 5 at 11:48 AM

The person sitting in front of me on the bus had their music up really loud. Here’s what they were listening to:

AC/DCDirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap

Faith No MoreEpic

Lynyrd SkynyrdTuesday’s Gone

Jimi HendrixVoodoo Child

So far so good, right? (Well, except I’m not too into that Faith No More song, but whatever.) Then this person had to ruin a perfectly good playlist with this:

I hate the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Drive XV

posted by on October 5 at 10:47 AM

When you’ve worked in used CD retail, you grow to hate crackheads the tribute album. It’s up there with Mariah Carey’s Glitter in the sold-back, collecting-dust echelon, and you always have to find some place to put the tower of Weezer tribute discs that even yuppie moms know better than to buy. “Sir, is this blue or green? I don’t think it’s blue or green.

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But Stereogum’s got it right on Drive XV—free download, ridiculously good contributors, out-of-the-blue inspiration. Automatic For The People gets the retreatment today, exactly fifteen years after its origi—FIFTEEN YEARS? Seems like yesterday that I was putting off my teenage grunge inauguration by listening to Automatic on repeat and reading old Spawn comic books. At this rate, the prostate exam’ll be next week. Jesus.

Impressions are way too fresh, but here they are so far: The Wrens make “Nightswimming” sound like a Wrens song, which means it has a killer ending. I had no idea who Dappled Cities were until today, but I’m glad to have found them, as their twisted take on “Try Not To Breathe” is a true standout. Someone other than the Meat Puppets should’ve been trusted with “Everybody Hurts.” Catfish Haven was the right band for “Monty Got A Raw Deal,” its Americana-stomp and horn section blaring to give the song new life…too bad about lead singer George Hunter’s weird attempt to mimic the dude from Days Of The New. Sheez, man.

Most impressively, Portland’s Blitzen Trapper manages to make “Star Me Kitten” sound like modern-day, synth-obsessed REM…without sucking as much as modern-day, synth-obsessed REM! Quite a feat. Fans should keep the Drive XV page bookmarked, as Stereogum is touting the release of further covers in the coming weeks—hopefully a better take on “Everybody Hurts.” Maybe even a YouTube video attached where everybody is trapped in Smart Cars? Just a thought.

Music Will be Just Like Punditry

posted by on October 5 at 10:40 AM

Hopefully, yesterday’s music downloading verdict will spark the long-overdue conversation that’s less about reactionary posturing and the digging in of ideological heels (which is definitely happening) —and more about defining the music marketplace in a way that acknowledges the facts on the ground. (Those facts are these: CD sales are tanking; fans are growing up to expect music on-line; and musicians are putting it there.)

Over at Technology Liberation Front they’re saying this:

But the far more important factor is the sheer number of people who want to be rock stars. Now that the bottleneck of CD production and distribution has been removed, any musician can reach an infinite number of fans at zero cost. As a result, more and more musicians will find it in their self-interest to voluntarily give music away for free as a means of building up their fan base. Over time, consumers will get used to music being free, and at some point music will be just like news and punditry are today: the vast majority will be free and ad-supported, with a small minority continuing to try to charge money.

Control

posted by on October 5 at 10:20 AM

Apologies if this has been posted here already, but how fucking stoked is everyone for this:

(Control debuts in Seattle on the 26th)

Everyone Loves the Blakes; I Don’t Really Like the Blakes

posted by on October 5 at 10:00 AM

A lot of people seem to love the Blakes. KEXP loves ‘em. Light in the Attic loves ‘em. All the people that go to their shows and dance and drink and sing along love them, but I just don’t like the Blakes. Here’s my CD review of their new full-length, it’ll explain everything:

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THE BLAKES
The Blakes
(Light in the Attic)
**

The Blakes’ new full-length starts out strong: A few fuzzy plucks on a guitar bleed into a sea of distortion, a steady shaker and a deep bass line dance together to make a simple but sexy beat, and the singer snarls complaints about loving an irresistible but impossible woman.

It’s catchy, but it’s been done. And just as the Blakes seem to hate to love the woman in the opening track “Two Times,” I hate to love the Blakes.

The trio has been a blip on Seattle’s radar for years, but their well-worn rock ‘n’ roll didn’t get much attention until the release of their EP Little Whispers, which earned them heavy airplay on KEXP in 2006. In fact, KEXP’s golden boy John Richards was so impressed with the band, he signed on as their comanager earlier this year. Richards continues to play the band on his morning show.

With that added (and potentially controversial) support, the Blakes inked a deal with Light in the Attic, the beloved local label that has built its reputation on uncovering rare gems of years past.

But Light in the Attic’s solid-gold catalog only makes the Blakes’ hollow revivalism all the more glaring. The band aim for classic in both sound and aesthetic—they’ve got the leather jackets, jeans, and moppy hair down to a tee—but musically, they’re insubstantial.

After “Two Times,” the guitar ditches the distortion for a glittery keyboard sound in “Don’t Bother Me.” The bass gets brighter, the drums get lighter, and the lyrics become power-pop poetry. “Magoo” is garage rock with fast twangs of guitar and tambourine, “Modern Man” is a Strokes rip-off (so, a copy of a copy), and “Lint Walk” is the token romantic song with Cure melodies.

The Blakes are good at what they do, but what they do is take cowardly stabs at a number of sounds. It’s sure to appease the mass market—so, love ‘em or hate ‘em, the Blakes probably aren’t going away anytime soon. MEGAN SELING

I feel so much better having said that.

I’m not going to flatter myself and think that my words will keep you from liking them, though, so should they be something you’re into (and let’s be honest, a lot of people are), the band’s playing two shows tonight—the earlier all-ages one is at the Vera Project at 7:30 pm with the Saturday Knights, and the later 21+ show starts around 9:30 pm at the Crocodile.

Backwards Masking Unmasked! Who Is Jacob Aranza?

posted by on October 5 at 9:31 AM

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In the final chapter of his book Backwards Masking Unmasked, called “My Song”, Jacob Aranza describes how he became so virulently opposed to rock music. When read on the surface it has a charm that makes you think this young man was stuck in a bad school that needed to transform in some way; Jesus was apparently that way.

After describing how he got into rock music via his brothers and sisters (who dropped out of school) and drugs (he says, “Psychedelics were in and words like ‘far out, heavy, solid, and wow’ were in their prime. It seemed the whole world was taking acid, snorting THC, and dropping mescalin.”) and the hippie lifestyle (“All the one-time flower children were so stoned that all they could see was flowers.”), he talks about the school he went to.

From the book:

As if all this wasn’t bad enough, they had just started integration in the schools. Because out school was 90-percent Mexican a lot of integration was to come its way.

By the time it was all over we ended up with a school that was 60 percent Mexican, 39 percent black and one percent white! Our school already had problems with drugs, sex and violence. All the integration did for our school was put the match to the fuse of a bomb thatwas already there.

We began to have race riots. All the blacks were running around saying, “We’s (sic) want black power.” The Mexicans were running around saying, “Hey dude, we want Chicano power.” The whites were just running around saying, “We want OUT!”

While Aranza doesn’t say which group he thinks he belongs to, I think it’s fairly apparent he counts himself in with the whites.

Aranza goes on to tell how a preacher man came to the public school and converted 1000 of the 2500 students to christianity.

Our school turned into a rivival center! Instead of carrying knives and chains, they began to carry Bibles! You could see T-shirts throughout the classrooms that read “Read your Bible. It will scare the hell out of you!”

It’s apparent that Aranza took that to heart. His whole way of writing and talking to people is all about scaring you to Jesus. Hardly a smooth sell. In my view, and memory, this might have brought you to the well for a drink, but didn’t sustain you for very long.

As with all scare tactic campaigns, whether it be regarding drugs, sex, politics, or music. It always seems to backfire. Once you find out that the view that has been forced on you is a tad paranoid and unreal, to say the least, you often turn against it and experiment even harder.

In that way, I think I have Aranza to thank for pushing this shit so hard at me and my fellow schoolmates. I mean, seriously, if it wasn’t for him it would have taken me a few more years ot find out about Iron Maiden, Led Zeppelin and the like. I probably wouldn’t have gotten into listening to them at such an early stage, had I not wanted to rebel against everything that my school was trying to shove down my throat.

So, thank you Jacob Aranza for helping me to find all of “Satan’s glory” in the rock music I listened to in the ‘80’s and all the “secular” music I listen to today.


Damn! Jury Awards RIAA $222,000 In Downloading Trial

posted by on October 5 at 9:08 AM

Already reported on Slog by Josh Feit, but what the hell. From Wired:


DULUTH, Minnesota — Jammie Thomas, a single mother of two, was found liable Thursday for copyright infringement in the nation’s first file-sharing case to go before a jury.

Twelve jurors here said the Minnesota woman must pay $9,250 for each of 24 shared songs that were the subject of the lawsuit, amounting to $222,000 in penalties.

They could have dinged her for up to $3.6 million in damages, or awarded as little as $18,000. She was found liable for infringing songs from bands such as Journey, Green Day, Aerosmith and others.

“This is what can happen if you don’t settle,” RIAA attorney Richard Gabriel told reporters outside the courthouse. “I think we have sent a message we are willing to go to trial.”

Still, it’s unlikely the RIAA’s courtroom victory will translate into a financial windfall or stop piracy, which the industry claims costs it billions in lost sales. Despite the thousands of lawsuits — the majority of them settling while others have been dismissed or are pending — the RIAA’s litigation war on internet piracy has neither dented illegal, peer-to-peer file sharing or put much fear in the hearts of music swappers.


Thursday, October 4, 2007

Tonight in Music

posted by on October 4 at 6:19 PM

Oops! I really did mean to post this earlier… chances are, though, you already know about this show because it’s fucking Built to Spill. Besides, tonight is the first show of three, so if you miss this evening’s performance because of my slackery (that’s a word, right?), then you can go tomorrow or Saturday too.

BUILT TO SPILL, CAMPER VAN BEETHOVEN, THE DELUSIONS
(Showbox at the Market) I trust Built to Spill more than any other band. Their albums are consistently well executed and interesting despite the fact they’ve released seven of them. If Doug Martsch wanted to start writing tedious songs just because, he could and the band would still sell records and still fill the Showbox three fucking nights in a row. But the band hasn’t gotten lazy over the years; they’ve gotten better. Their latest, You in Reverse, threatens to be their best yet. Assertive guitars noodle around in the eight-minute adventure “Goin’ Against Your Mind,” and the more alt-country tinged “Liar” possesses a calm, dreamy quality. “Conventional Wisdom” is a bright rock song and promises to sound fantastic live. Everything Built to Spill does sounds fantastic live, actually—even the inevitable ADD-mocking, 25-minute jam sessions that interrupt their hit-filled sets. Built to Spill really can do no wrong. MEGAN SELING

Because Line Out Already Had a Weird Day of Grunge Coverage and Random Kool & the Gang Shows

posted by on October 4 at 6:12 PM

I almost feel like I have to post this news about the eldest Hanson brother almost dying just to keep things unpredictable:

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ISAAC HANSON RECOVERING FROM SURGERY

Guitarist Isaac Hanson of the rock group Hanson, who was hospitalized followinga show in Dallax, TX Tuesday night, underwent successfull surgery today at Baylor University Medical Center for a form of Pulmonary Embolism known as Venous Thorasic Outlet Syndrome or “Paget-Schroeder Syndrom.” The disease normally affects athletes whose upper body muscle development constricts the arteries from the heart and causes potentially fatal blood clots in the lungs.

The life-saving surgery was performed by Dr. Bradley Grimsley who was extremely satisfied with the results and expects Isaac to make a full and swift recovery.

Hanson’s currently on tour. The tour should resume next week, they say.

Mmm… BOP!

In More Grunge News

posted by on October 4 at 4:26 PM

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Brooklyn Vegan reports today that Green River is reuniting to celebrate Sub Pop’s 20th anniversary:

Sub Pop is celebrating their 20th anniversary in 2008, and not only are Mudhoney supposed to play the celebration they’re setting up in Seattle, so are GREEN RIVER.

Mudhoney - 2007 Tour Dates
11/16/07 El Corazon. Seattle, WA Supported By: Zeke
11/30/07 Maxwell’s. Hoboken, NJ
12/1/07 Williamsburg Music Hall. New York City, NY
12/2/07 The Bowery Ballroom. New York City, NY (Superfuzz Bigmuff plus Early Singles in its entirety)
7/??/08 “Sub Pop 20th Anniversary Concerts”. Seattle, WA
Notes: Mudhoney will by playing one of the Sub Pop 20th Anniversary concerts, which as of now are planned for a weekend in July.

and so will Green River.

Second Hand Goldmine

posted by on October 4 at 4:08 PM

This past June I visited New York for the first time. While I was there I happened to stumble into a record store called Secondhand Rose, which at first impression I thought this store might have your usual selection of Beatles, Bob Dylan, Rolling Stones collectibles. I had some time to kill that day, therefore I thought I would browse for a few minutes and see if anything would catch my eye. Well, my first impression of this store couldn’t have been more wrong. Yes they had the Beatles and Dylan records, but they also were the first record store I have every seen to have an “Italo Disco” section, along with enough Salsoul, Westend, and Unidisc 12-inches to make me literally shit myself. Not to mention this also was the store that I found my original copy of Manuel Göttsching’s E2-E4(my all-time favorite record). I walked out of there with 12-inch singles and LP of artists like Giorgio Moroder, Kano, Double Exposure, Gino Soccio, Salsoul Orchestra, etc.

Another great record that I walked away with that day was Capricorn’s 1980 12-inch single Maybe No/Pow Pow Pow. This was a project started by Claudio Simonetti of the early italo group Easy Going. And anytime you find a Capricorn record, you don’t have to think to much to buy it. Their records are classics and extremely rare.

I definitely know that everytime I go to New York, I will definitely be putting some time aside to go browse for hidden gems at Secondhand Rose.

Capricorn - Pow Pow Pow

To Help Wash Away the Onslaught of Grunge

posted by on October 4 at 3:41 PM

Something from Seattle that never wore flannel (probably):

I’m not sure if that helps or hurts things though…

What Just Happened?

posted by on October 4 at 3:38 PM

A post about five-string basses.

A post about Chris Cornell.

A post about Brad.

A post about Nirvana.

What is this, 1992?

Finally: Nirvana Unplugged Being Released on DVD

posted by on October 4 at 3:36 PM

kurtdoll.jpg

Says Punknews.org:

Nirvana’s famous Unplugged performance is finally headed to DVD. Originally recorded on November 18th, 1993 and released on audio CD, the performance has remained unreleased in any video format since then. The DVD version is due out November 20, 2007 and will feature the unedited sixty-six-minute concert which featured Kurt Cobain, Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic as well as touring guitarist Pat Smear and members of the Meat Puppets.

Finally. I love watching Nirvana Unplugged. I’d watch it whenever MTV would air it (which was fairly often, you know how they are about re-runs). I’m glad to see it’s finally being released, as I still think it’s one of the best Nirvana performances ever and I haven’t seen it in years.

As for that Kurt doll pictured above, well you can buy that for $16.95 from www.rock-n-roll-action-figures.com

Sigh.

This Week’s Setlist Contest Winner!

posted by on October 4 at 3:22 PM

So this week on Setlist we ran a contest where you won three great local cds (Bronze Fawn’s Lumber, The Lonely Forests Nuclear Winter, and the new self-titled Thieves of Kailua). In order to enter, you had to send us a link to a music-related YouTube video. Here’s the winner. It’s kind of creepy…

And yes, that was Danzig. The guy playing his electric bass as a stand-up really makes it work for me, but of course you can never go wrong with that dimpled chin of his.

Brad’s Back

posted by on October 4 at 3:16 PM

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Just announced: Brad is re-uniting with most of its original lineup to play a pair of shows, one in New York on October 17 and another in Seattle on October 19. Singer Shawn Smith, guitarist Stone Gossard, and drummer Regan Hagar of the original band will be joined by Mike Berg filling in on bass.

The shows will benefit the Huntington’s Disease Society of America (HDSA), an organization Gossard has close ties to.

I wasn’t in Seattle in 1993 for Brad’s first go-round. Is this show something people are excited for? Is there a demand for a Brad comeback?

Two lines in the press release announcement for the show bother me:

The rich landscape of Seattle’s oft-cited and frequently misunderstood emerging music scene, circa 1993, provided a fertile ground for Brad’s soulful and funk-tinged rock to take root.

and

Fans can expect a family affair at this show, which will take place in the heart of the city’s still-thriving music community at Neumo’s, located at 925 E. Pike Street.

Do we have to convince anyone that Seattle’s music scene is “still thriving?” Doesn’t the reunion of a 15-year old band suggest otherwise?

Chris Cornell @ the Paramount

posted by on October 4 at 2:45 PM

Words and pictures by Morgan Keuler

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Chris Cornell and his band got the Paramount crowd standing throughout the venue with the trio of “Outshined,” “Show Me How To Live,” and “Hungerstrike.” There was no Eddie Vedder duet on the latter, but Cornell made it a family affair by bringing his kids out on the stage and singing with them instead.

Cornell looked more Dylan-esque than ever, and just as relaxed. For reasons lost on me, perhaps to “silence the voices,” he walked on stage with a broom and garbage collector in hand and proceeded to mime sweeping the stage.

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He hit the high notes on “Hungerstrike” and other vocally intense tracks, but was understandably a little less fierce than decades past. Still damn good for 20+ years of hammering on the vocal chords. Recently quitting smoking and drinking seems to have helped clean up some of his more gravelly vocals from recent Audioslave work.

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The backing band certainly wasn’t Cameron, Shepherd, and Thayil or Morello, Commerford, and Wilk, but they capably backed Cornell and did justice to the catalog of music he’s been a part of. After thanking them for playing, Cornell even went as far to say he wouldn’t be on the road again if it weren’t for these musicians.

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Cornell didn’t play guitar at all except for an extended mid set acoustic serenade, that included his cover of “Billie Jean,” the rarity “Call Me A Dog,” and ended on “Like A Stone” with the crowd singing the final chorus, for which he was very appreciative and complimentary.

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He told the audience “Black Hole Sun” was “written coming home late at night on 405,” a story he said was only for Seattle since we’d understand what it meant. “Jesus Christ Pose” ended the main set and during the extended jam Cornell’s brother Peter came out and did a few licks, then the band threw into a brief “Whole Lotta Love” cover.

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For the solid encore of “Burden In My Hand,” “Seasons,” “Say Hello To Heaven,” and “Slaves and Bulldozers,” Cornell came out sans shirt to the rapturous applause of the ladies in the crowd. And I have to say, the guy is probably in even better shape than his famed no shirt days of SG.

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Before the show, I was worried it was going to be a glorified, greatest hits sing-a-long—and it was. But it was great. While it wasn’t the highly rumored Soundgarden reunion, at just short of two and a half hours, it was an awesome Chris Cornell-apalooza.

The Who - It’s Hard

posted by on October 4 at 2:26 PM

This is my favorite The Who album right now.

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With an album cover that flashes back to Tommy (this time the wizard plays video games) and heavy usage of synths throughout, It’s Hard has never really been very popular.

But then if you just listen to the few great songs on the album, “Athena” and “Eminence Front”, it’s all made up to you.

“Athena” was originally named Theresa after Theresa Russel, but they changed it at the last moment.

“Eminence Front” is just the best song (I know, this is totally debatable…) in the second half of The Who’s career. It’s starts off so mellow that after 5 minutes and Townsend wailing “Come. And. Join. The. Party. Dressed. To. Kill.” Your amped for another listen through. This song kills me everytime.

Here they are in the Seattle Kingdome circa 1982 performing “Eminence Front”.


Get With The Program

posted by on October 4 at 1:44 PM

It’s official! The biggest local hiphop show will happen at Neumo’s between December 18th and 22nd. The mad extravagance, which is called Blue Scholars present The Program, will feature the very best in Seattle hiphop, and has Mass Line, KEXP, and The Stranger as the cause of its curious existence.

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The Program, curated by the Blue Scholars, represents the peak of a new movement of local hiphop that began in 2005 (or 2004, if you want to be accurate) and is currently expanding like something furious at the corner of the known universe.
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The schedule:

Tue 18 - Blue Scholars, Unexpected Arrival, Siren’s Echo :: DJ DV-One (ALL AGES)

Wed 19 - Blue Scholars, Common Market, D. Black, Can-U :: DJ Vitamin D (ALL AGES)

Thursday 20 - Blue Scholars, Saturday Knights, Khingz Makoma (of Abyssinian Creole), Grynch :: DJ B-Mello (ALL AGES)

Friday 21 - Blue Scholars, Dyme Def, J. Pinder, GMK :: DJ Jake One (ALL AGES)

Saturday 22 - Blue Scholars, Grayskul, Cancer Rising, The Physics :: DJ BlessOne (21+)


On Monday, October 8th there will be a limited presale with the password of STRANGER. General public onsale starts October 12th at 10:00 a.m. at TicketsWest.com.)

(Neumo’s :: 925 E Pike, Seattle WA :: 8:00 pm Doors :: Advance Tickets $15)

Backwards Masking Unmasked! Iron Maiden & Ozzy Osbourne

posted by on October 4 at 1:03 PM

As I said yesterday, I found this crazy book in my music book collection. It’s hilarious, full of weird, anti-satan paranoid ranting. Even though the book is called Backwards Masking Unmasked it has barely anything to do with backwards masking.

It did have plenty to say about bands that were Satanic, though, and that’s where the fun comes in.

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Iron Maiden

This group’s latest album is titled The Number Of The Beast. With songs like “Invaders” and “Children Of The Damned” it makes one wonder as to what this band’s appeal is.

“Maiden is far from a band of devil worshippers, although certain experiences they had while recording their latest album have taught them to respect the power of the occult” said one of the members of the group. “There were a lot of strange things going on while we were recording this record,” he added. “In our new stage show, Eddie (the rottingcorpse that serves as the band’s mascot) comes on stage to do battle with the devil and I can tell you that Eddie kicks —-. It’s Maiden’s way of showing that rock and roll can overcome anything”

When asked if they were using the occult and horror as a drawing card for the band, bassist Steve Harris replied, “I dunno about the occult because lemme make this clear… we’re not ‘into’ the occult in the way that some other bands might be. I mean we don’t go around casting spells or indulging in it.”

The Iron Maiden’s album The Number Of The Beast is heavy into the black theme of the devil.

Ozzy Osbourne

As Black Sabbath’s frontman until 1979, Osbourne was one of the first rock singers to link an image of satanic power with the gut-wrenching kick of the music he performs.

Since being on his own he has released two albums. One The Blizzard Of Ozz and his latest Diary Of A Madman.

On one of his albums he has a song titled “Mr. Crowley” referring to Aleister Crowley, the late satanist who reportedly had human sacrifices in his home.

Osbourne claims he was compelled to see the movie “The Exorcist” 26 times.

Osbourne was quoted as saying, “I don’t know if I’m a medium for some outside force or not. Frankly, whatever it is I hope it’s not what I think it is, Satan.”

Osbourne also said in a recent interview, “No matter what you do, you’ve got to admit that there are certain minority groups in America that always want to screw things up for other people - always want to stop people from enjoying themselves. And the thing is they can’t because rock and roll is a religion in itself. What’s wrong with it?”

Osbourne recieved precautionary treatment for rabies after biting off the head of a bat at a recent concert.

He was commtted to a London sanitarium for, according to his exasperated manager, “taking all his clothes off in a record company board meeting…”.


Bonus!

Fleetwood Mac

Many times Stevie Nicks has been known to dedicate songs to “all the witches of the world.”

Stevie added in a later interview, “All these relationships between us are so close and they were so heavy, even in the beginning, that it’s easy for me to think that we were together before in another life.”

Rumours may be the hit album for Fleetwood Mac, but it is no rumor that this group is indulging in the occult; it is the bare facts.

The Police

The Police is the new hit sensation from England. With their newly proclaimed “sex symbol” bassist Sting, they have become one of the many uprising new groups from overseas.

They already have one song which refers to the Eastern religion Zen. My caution about this group is simple and practicle: watch out for The Police!


Tomorrow: Who the hell does Jacob Aranza think he is?

Rage Against the 5 String

posted by on October 4 at 12:58 PM

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Bass is the law of music. Bass lays it down and holds it down. There are 4 string and 5 string varieties. If you are Dave Schools from Widespread Panic, you play a 6 string.

Today we have bassists, Camilo Estrada and Sugar McGuinn talking about the 4 string vs. the 5 string. I mean really, is the 5th string necessary?

Sugar plays in Brent Amaker & the Rodeo – See story in Stranger print. (Also hear Sugar in the Drop, Dolour, Kristen Ward, and the Fighting Machinists.) Sugar says:

You don’t need the 5th string, but I’m not against them. I’ve played lots of 5 strings in my day. For country western music though, what you need is a stand-up bass (4 strings). For Brent Amaker and the Rodeo, we wanted that stand-up sound, but we didn’t want to labeled as rockabilly. So I play a bass that’s worn around my shoulder and I modified it to sound like a stand-up.

bison2.jpgOne is a ’78 Fender P-Bass with a maple fret board. The other is a ’62 Burns Bison Bass with a rosewood fret board. It’s a Buffalo Bass. The strings are nylon tape wound. They have a center steel core. They are dipped in nylon and wound with nylon.

I took a big chunk of closed cell foam and wedged it under the strings near the bridge. It deadens the sound and mutes the strings. You get percussive qualities and an ultra low sonic register. It sounds like a stand up, but it looks like ROCK.

Camilo is from a more funk and jazz school. In fact he’s in school, for music, at Cornish. He’s probably practicing some ridiculous scale right now. (Hear Camilo in Gabriel Teodros, Blue Scholars, Big World Breaks, and Red Eye Flight.)

Camilo plays a 5 string Warwick Corvette and says:

corvette.jpgThe 5th string is not essential. It really only gives you five extra notes. The advantage of a 5 string is that on longer runs, you don’t have to go up and down the neck. You can just go down to the 5th string. It also saves you time if you want to tune down.

The beginning of Rage Against the Machine’s “Bulls on Parade”, that’s probably a 5 string. I think he’s playing a drop D.

My Young Adult Dream Come True

posted by on October 4 at 12:27 PM

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Basically, I love everything Craig Finn does. Before he was the frontman for the Hold Steady, Finn was in a Minneapolis band called Lifter/Puller. They were really amazing. And as much as I love the Hold Steady’s latest record Boys & Girls in America, I love Lifter Puller’s Fiestas + Fiascos even a little bit more.

The record tells a story about this guy, Nightclub Dwight, who gets wrapped up in a lot of drugs, sex, and other shady temptations of the night life. He opens a club called the Nice Nice, he pisses off the wrong people, and those wrong people set out to get him. It’s a great story, a great sound record, and Finn’s lyrics are really smart and interesting.

Nightclub Dwight can take a negative vibe and then infuse it with the positive youth
Nightclub Dwight can take a little white lie and confuse it with a meaningless truth
One night Dwight he got a little bit toothy, now they all call him the Good Doctor Tooth
One night Dwight got all goofy on the roofies, now they all call him the Fiddler on the Roof

Well I just got off the phone with Finn. We talked about his favorite writers, what he was like as a teenager, the novel he’s working on, and of course his current band, the Hold Steady. There will be more on all that in the future. What I’m most excited about right now is that I finally got to ask him a question I’ve been wanting to ask him for years. I always wondered, if Fiestas + Fiascos was made into a movie (as I always felt it should be), who would play Nightclub Dwight?

His response?

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“Maybe Christopher Walken. Yeah, someone creepy and old, I think. And gay. Creepy, old, and gay. Christopher Walken would be the most… or Steven Buscemi maybe? Something like that. And I don’t know his name, but if anyone was playing me I would want that guy who played Cameron in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”

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More Free Band of Horses

posted by on October 4 at 12:15 PM

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Another free Band of Horses show has been announced, this one at the Vera Project on Saturday, October 6 at 6:30 pm. They also play a free instore at the Queen Anne Easy Street on Monday, October 8 at 11 pm.

For anybody that can’t make it out to these shows, they play Letterman on October 18.

Kool & the Gang in Seattle… RIGHT NOW

posted by on October 4 at 11:35 AM

Terry Miller just called to inform us that Kool & the Gang are playing the grand opening of the downtown Sheraton from 11:30 am-1:00 pm.

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Hurry! It’s starting right now!

The Week in Samples

posted by on October 4 at 11:08 AM

Two stories that fell through Line Out’s cracks this week, both concerning the tricky business of sampling:

First, there’s the new Wu Tang Clan track, “The Heart Gently Weeps” (available at Oh Word), which seems to boast a historic sample of the Beatles’ “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” The Beatles have never cleared a sample for legal use before, and early press about this song painted it as a historic first. But, as Idolator pointed out yesterday, it’s not really a sample. It’s an interpolation, or a recreation of that guitar part, performed by George Harrison’s son, Dhani. 8 Diagrams’ release date has been pushed back from its slated November date to Dec 4th; the delay, according to the Clan is “due to the magnitude of the sample and the History being made.” But, yeah, not technically a sample. Maybe still history.

Then, there’s this little gem, which you may have seen on Slog (and everywhere else* on the internet) this week:

*Well, not really everywhere, since NBC had to remove the video from their official website. Why? Because that piano loop is an unauthorized sample of Aphex Twin (aka “the fifth Beatle”)’s “Avril 14th” from his album Drukqs:

From the latter video’s comments:

i’m glad SNL used this song otherwise i would have never found such a warm, moving song.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Backwards Masking Unmasked!

posted by on October 3 at 2:07 PM

When I was a kid growing up in Spokane in the ‘70’s and ‘80’s I went to a very conservative christian school. On a routine basis we were taken on field trips to listen to speakers at different church conferences on all sorts of topics. This guy, Jacob Aranza, was the speaker at one of those conferences. I don’t know how I got this book. Whether it was given to me at his speech (which was a multi-media affair with slides of offending album covers and everything!) or bought for me by a relative, but today I’m going to share some of it with you. Warning: This shit is CRAZY!

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Alan Parsons Project

This group has an album called Pyramid. On the front cover ther is a picture of pyramid power which causes an out-of-the-body experience. The witchcraft overtones of pyramid power are carefully spelled out in the lyrics which say: “There are pyramids in my head. There’s one under my bed. All you really need is a pytamid a just a little bit of luck I had read somewhere in a book and it’s no lie, all you really need is a little bit of pyramidic help.”

Allen Parsons Project also has an album entitled Eve. The album’s front cover reveals two ladies faces behind veils. If you take a close look you can see that both ladies have sores and warts on their faces.

One state’s venereal disease investigator looked at the warts and sores on the faces in the picture and concluded that the ladies in the picture were suffering from secondary syphilis.

How many young people listening to Eve fully realize that the theme of the album is VD?

Hall N’ Oates

Daryl Hall is a follower of Aleister Crowley and an admitted initiate of magic. He claims his song “Winged Bull” is dedicated to the ancient Celtic (witchcraft) religion.

Daryl openly admits to being involved with witchcraft.

Expressing his view on sex he said, “The idea of sex with a man doesn’t turn me off. I had lots of strange experiences with older boys between when I was four and fourteen.” Hall N’ Oates may seem very wholesome at first glance, but a further look into their lives shows them to be anything but wholesome.

Judas Priest

The English group’s promotional material says that their new album Sin After Sin is selling sin or has sin for sale.

“Judas Priest, a new group from the industrial heartland of England is selling sin on their new album. Their new album is called Sin After Sin, but don’t worry you will still be saved,” the promotional piece says.

Of course the message of the album is that a person can live the way he wants to and still get by with it, still be saved.

Ted Nuggent

In an interview with Scott Cohen in Circus Magazine Ted Nuggent said, “…killed a raccoon, scraped it off the pavement, brought it whome with me, skinned it boiled it and ate it.” Circus Magazine reported that 12 people died in a riot after a performance in South Carolina.

Ted Nuggent’s performances are more than an act. His perverted songs come from a perverted life-style.


Tommorrow: Ozzy and Maiden.

Free Tickets!

posted by on October 3 at 1:47 PM

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Up for grabs: A pair of tickets to see Swedish crooner Jose Gonzales with our very own Tiny Vipers at the Showbox on Sunday, October 7.

To win, answer correctly the following three questions:

1. Justin Warfield of She Wants Revenge is cousin to what hiphop icon?
2. Built to Spill’s latest 12” single features a cover of what roots reggae band?
3 . What band did the Weakerthans lead singer John K. Samson used to play bass in?

(Answers are all available in this week’s Stranger.)

Email your answers to music@thestranger.com no later than 3 p.m. Friday, October 5. Good luck!

Illegal Leak of the Week: Castanets, In The Vines

posted by on October 3 at 1:36 PM

Still peeing after all these weeks

Raymond Raposa has always teetered on the edge of the freak folk movement, and for a genre meant for music’s outsiders, that’s saying something. So what is it that has kept Raposa’s ever-changing musical concern, Castanets, from securing the growing cult fanbases of similar acousti-weird acts like Devendra Banhart and Peter & The Wolf? He’s not lacking in anything weird or musically compelling; if anything, Raposa takes a haunting, colder turn compared to the warmer, livelier sounds of the genre’s hippies and miscreants. Admittedly, that’s my preferred take on modern folk music, and his first record, Cathedral, delivered that with a shack-parlor vibe that went in all directions, from country-tinged folk to echo-heavy dub.

The cold mood remains on Castanets’ latest album, In The Vines, but it returns in a much more refined and focused form. Gone are percussion-crazy old songs like “You Are The Blood,” which sounded like Raposa handed spoons to a room full of stoners and asked them to beat them against the wall. Instead, the sense of musical isolation is only stronger on spare meanderings like “Sway,” whose acoustic repetition and lack of full band puts more focus on Raposa’s battles with temptation: “Lightning in the leap / There’s lightning in the leap / The sin of something dangerous, something sweet.”

At times, the album seems like Raposa’s attempt at honoring Dylan, what with his increasingly nasal vocals and more blues-appreciative songwriting. To bust up that theory, Raposa hides the six-minute “Three Months Paid” toward the end of the runtime. Though it might seem like a Mazzy Star-ish snoozer at first, the lingering pedal steel tones, white noise and Raposa’s hushed treatise about unattainable love—“So we’ll sail north, south, east and west / Just there over the sail and over the nails”—eventually reveal themselves as an unforgettable tribute to the latter day works of Kevin Shields. It’s certainly Raposa’s warmest song to date—not lively, certainly, but the hopeless romanticism is an interesting change of pace, proving that this great American songwriter probably has many more surprises to come in his still-young career.

The Zune aka Would You Buy An MP3 Player From This Man?

posted by on October 3 at 1:29 PM

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From today’s P-I comes the fascinating story of all the great changes to the new Zune! (btw. Zoon or Zoo-knee?)

Two Smaller Models! (iPod Nano wannabes)

An 80 gig player! (For the same price as the 80 gig iPod)

Synching of Zune through wireless at home! (Though the iPod touch and iPhone do it from anywhere)

New better clickwheel! (Though Microsoft prefers to call it a “hybrid button”)

The Zune is removing the 3 day limitation on downloads from friends! (But the 3 play rule still stands)

There’s other stuff that I don’t quite understand, but I’m still not biting. Especially since it’s only a year and 9 months until the iPhone opens up and they release an 80 gig version of it. (Come on, you know you’d buy a phone that surfed the internet, played videos and held most of your music collection….)

Microsoft’s goal? To be #2.

Will you bite?

Indie Lit

posted by on October 3 at 12:59 PM

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The Best American Nonrequired Reading comes out next week, edited by Dave Eggers and introduced by Sufjan Setvens, complete with Carson Ellis “Decemberists” cover art. The book compiles “fiction, nonfiction, alternative comics, screenplays, blogs, and anything else,” including several humorous “Best American” lists, one of which is “Best American New Band Names.” Reading through the list the first thing I noticed was that the majority of these bands had been around for several years (Kind of Like Spitting…like, over a decade), but then a particular name caught my eye: Rock Votolato. Bummer. Almost a sweet compliment.

From flipping through the stories and reading Eggers’ introduction the book seems great. There’s a high school commencement speech Conan O’Brien gave that had me actually laughing out loud.

[I]f I hadn’t allowed myself to experiment and risk doing something without a clear career payoff, I would have missed out on so much. I would never have written for Saturday Night Live. I wouldn’t have performed onstage in Chicago in a diaper in 1988. I never would have spent hours crafting the Homer Simpson line “The bee bit my bottom and now my bottom is big.”

Before I picked it up I was looking through a book of poetry we were sent and I found myself thinking, “Wow, I think I might hate poetry.” I studied poetry in college, but realized looking at this particular collection that I have read virtually none since I graduated a couple years ago. The more I thought about it, the more I got to thinking that I do hate poetry now, that there wasn’t a poem I had read that did anything for me in a long, long time. Then I read a poem Eggers included in his introduction, written by Greg Ames:

Bathing Ed Asner

I snatched the rubber duck
from his hairy, wet fist
and in a cruel voice
instructed him to quit
fooling and to sit down
dammit in the tub.

“But I didn’t ask for your help,”
Asner whined, sulked and slapped
the murky water with his puckered palms.

“Well, that’s pretty much beside
the point, isn’t it?” I said.
“I’m here, helping you, so stop
making trouble for me, Lou Grant.”

“Don’t call me that!” he said.

“Well, then, lift up your arms,”
I whispered in his ear,
“and let’s swab out those pits.”

Whew. I don’t hate poetry after all.

Free Records!

posted by on October 3 at 12:54 PM

And to win ‘em, all you have to do is listen to this week’s Setlist!

Here’s who you’ll hear:
Born Anchors
A Gun that Shoots Knives
Host
Bronze Fawn
The Lonely Forest
“Awesome”
Mono in VCF
Partman Parthorse

And here’s the three-pack of records you can win:

Bronze Fawn Lumber
Thieves of Kailua Thieves of Kailua
The Lonely Forest Nuclear Winter

You have to listen to find out how to enter, so get clickin’.

Poor Tom

posted by on October 3 at 11:54 AM

coda.jpgSome songs never get played live.

The song may not fit into the live show or it might be too difficult to perform. The song could be purely a studio creation and the band feels it doesn’t translate to the stage.

Or maybe you are Led Zeppelin and the band has ended so you release a posthumous collection of out-takes called Coda.

Or maybe you’re the Beatles and you’re too big to tour. It’s a shame. Crowds miss out when a band doesn’t play one of their great songs live.

Did the Beatles ever play “Paperback Writer” live? It would have ruled to see and hear that song live.

Poor Tom” off Zeppelin’s Coda is another song sentenced to life on an album. Page’s acoustic schemes and Plant’s eerie rant about “Anything that you can hide from Tom” should have been played live. Bonham’s snare shuffle and kick drum trip-hammer should also have a filled a live hall. I mean, he’s basically flying a helicopter from the drums.

But no, Bonham had to go and drink 4 quadruple shots of vodka and asphyxiate himself to death on vomit in his sleep. Talk about not drinking responsibly. 16 shots? Damn, dude.

Any songs you’re sorry never get played live?

Re: Overheard in a Record Store Last Night

posted by on October 3 at 11:40 AM

Petra Haden (of Rentals and that dog. fame), who performs tonight at the Triple Door with Greg Dulli as part of the Vera Project’s A Drink For the Kids benefit, recorded an a capella version of that Who album, called, appropriately, Petra Haden Sings the Who Sell Out. This is what her album’s cover looks like (her Daltrey’s better than her Townshend):

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Ian MacKaye Is Not Dead

posted by on October 3 at 11:00 AM

To everyone who believes that rumor: I have a bridge I’d like to sell you.

Overheard in a Record Store Last Night

posted by on October 3 at 10:35 AM

“This album cover is the only thing I like about the Who.”

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Personally, I really like the Who. But if there is one thing to love about the band, I concur that The Who Sell Out cover is a really good reason.

And maybe this:

Have You Always Dreamed of Watching PJ Harvey Sing “Rid of Me,” Then Kiss Michael Richards and Discuss Castrating Sheep?

posted by on October 3 at 9:21 AM

Today’s your lucky day.


Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Poll: But How Many Fans Will Catch Them?

posted by on October 2 at 4:45 PM

Cheers to Radiohead indeed.

But how many of you are planning on paying for the new Radiohead album? And if you are going to offer up some cash, how much?

(You can leave your why/why not explanation, if you’d like, in the comments.)

TacocaT Tour Diary: Is There a House Bong?

posted by on October 2 at 4:30 PM

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DAY ONE

BREE: I’m so stoked that we are taking our first tour down the west coast, especially because I’m a sham of a bass player. Our drummer Lelah bought a $600 van on Craigslist for touring, but two days before we leave a forklift from the construction site next door knocks out the back window. They avoid our calls and threats about fixing it, so we duct tape a corkboard to it. Its really cold and windy to sit next to. Another thing to worry about is Eric is still on probation for a stupid drug felony he got at SXSW last year, so he’s paranoid about smoking in the van. Bummer!

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I had spent the afternoon silkscreening our band tshirts with Megan from Don’t Stop Believin’ Records. It has a dolphin on a walker, but the dolphin isn’t crippled. It’s just the only way it can walk on land. I also make several dozen pairs of cat ears as a cheap, gimmicky way to make some gas money since we don’t have a record to sell yet. Ears sell like hotcakes. A bunch of bands tell me t-shirts sell way better than records. Isn’t that weird?

Our first show is in Longview, which is an hour north of Portland and the hometown to Lelah and Eric. The show is at the Chinese Gardens, which was where we played our first show months and months ago, and one of the more welcoming spots for Tacocat. Everyone cheers for Emily’s kazoo solos. I notice that she is getting better at kazooing.

(Overheard between two girls at last call: “That’s where I know you!! You were crimping my hair while I went to the bathroom at Josh’s party!!” Whoa.) Then as planned, we drive five fucking hours to Ashland. Eric works graveyard shift at the airport, so his vampire schedule accommodates night driving. He gets to stay sober and drive. Haha!

EMILY: Long drive! No sleep until Doug’s. Bree and I snaggled the couch at 9 am. There are deer in the yard at 7 am and Bree is so tired—she distrusts them and is convinced they are aggressive. Deer. “Do they bite?” Later, Eric taps Bree on the ear until she forks over some grass. “Is there a house bong?” Eric would like to know.

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DAY TWO

BREE: So when we roll into Davis at like 8 pm, the only people at Delta of Venus is the bartender and the sound guy. This makes us pretty nervous. I try smoothing nerves out of Emily by insisting it will be neat, like a chance to practice our new songs. In front of strangers. In a strange city. We cash in drink tickets asap and begin slamming beers. Surprisingly, by the time we play, the place fills up suddenly and becomes our danceiest show ever.

The band the Cops from Seattle randomly stop by, and are all super nice dudes. They tell us they are playing down the block and that we should stop by since the crowd is kind of bizarre. When we get there it looks like a fratty breeding ground for human monsters. Girls in halter tops loudly make fun of our clothes, and a poor man’s version of Linkin Park is opening. Cops are, not surprisingly, the only good band playing tonight; we have a drunken dance off to their set before we have to go catch up with Eric.

LELAH: We walked from B St. to G St. drinking our gas station purchase of “Go Girl” energy drinks on the way to see the Cops at the G Street Pub. We were greeted with a frat spectacle. Emily needed her birth certificate to get in. I told Bree she looked like an angel walking through a sea of demons. We walk back to B St. and Bree and Emily drunkenly push over and accost some fratties and steal their balloons. As we run away laughing they scream that they are going to “pillage our assholes.”

BREE: The surprising turnout from our show earlier goads me to drunkenly inform the cashier at In-N-Out that we “totally killed it.” Some kids that were at the show earlier sit by us and tell us they liked us, but we are too stoned and confused to make any sense in our conversation with them. We finish our burgers and drive to Sacramento to stay with our friends Heather and Andrew, who set up the show. They kindly donate the floor for the night.

LELAH: Eric and I play Yahtzee by the light of a cell phone. Worst game ever, but I won! Slept in the van. Not too bad. We have breakfast at the clown themed “Pancake Circus” and get an oil change. Six hours to LA.

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Eric as a dinosaur.

Audio Fingerfood

posted by on October 2 at 3:00 PM

Clone RecordsElitechnique have put together some solid remixes the past couple of years including their mixes of Alden Tyrell’s “La Voix”, Jupiter Black’s “We Like Moroder”, and Black Devil Disco ClubThe Devil In Us” along with releasing a solid EP in 2006 titled We Shall Control. Recently this duo from the Netherlands have released their second EP entitled Fingerfood. This time, however, Elitechnique get the remix treatment from none other than Major Swellings (AKA Prins Thomas). One thing can be expected here, this remix is solid, and has a nice late 70’s percussion driven disco feel to it. It’s one of the few Elitechnique songs or remixes I’ve heard that has had less of an electronic feel and more of a cosmic organic feel. Very nice!

Elitechnique - Fingerfood (Major Swellings Miks)

PS - A quick reminder that this Friday is another rendition of Club Cabana @ Solo (200 Roy Street, Lower Queen Anne). Terry(from Lineout and Circus!) and I will be spinning the best cosmic disco and italo that you have never heard! And there’s no cover, so that you can spend your well earned money on drinking, because that’s what you should be doing with it. So fill free to stop by, dance and drink!

While You’re At It You Can Polarize My Chemicals

posted by on October 2 at 2:48 PM

I have a not-completely-secret admiration for good songs about depression, mental illness, and being and/or feeling insane, and right now I’m working on a Line Out post/playlist that will include many of my favorites that fit that description along with a lot of suggestions from my friends (and possibly any suggestions you have too?).

But while I work on that, I will give you this sneak preview because I can’t keep it to myself because I love it so much.

Kind of Like Spitting “We Are Both Writers.”

Riff of the Year (2006)

posted by on October 2 at 2:27 PM

“Conventional Wisdom” is everything that’s wonderful about Built to Spill.

It begins with what is unarguably the best guitar riff of 2006. Seriously. Listen to that shit—that’s Doug Martsch in all his Idahoan outback beard rock genius. Once the hook sets, it’s impossible to get out of your head, and you’ll end up doing air guitar windmills in your underwear in your living room if you’re not careful.

Then there’s Martsch’s accelerated schoolboy quiver, singing somewhat platitudinous, somewhat vague, somewhat brilliant lyrics about… stuff. Life. “Some things never change/You can never chane that.” Makes you think a little.

Then it’s so long riff, hello astral traveling.

There’s a bridge at around the 2:30 mark that signals a shift away from the tightly-wound first third of the song. It’s a long transition, a slow buildup to the inevitable psych-rock crescendo that blows up at around 3:50. From there the song is all cosmic whirlwinds, the vocals left behind on Planet Earth while Marsch sends his guitar orbiting around the sun and back. The rhythm guitar follows eagerly, the bass keeps a steady pulse underneath, the drums collide and crash, and that weird cosmic whirlwind effect whooshes and swoons. Volume stacks on top of volume. And then fadeout.

I can’t wait for Thursday night.

“Cheers to Radiohead for taking a leap from a dying business model and trusting their fans to catch them.”

posted by on October 2 at 1:31 PM

The LA Times has an editorial today about Radiohead’s decision to let fans pay what they want for their next album.

The results of this experiment will be hard to judge unless the band reveals how many albums it sells and what people paid. It should share that information because it could be vital to the health of the music industry. There’s a wide gap between the demand for music and the public’s willingness to pay for it, yet the most popular legal outlet for music online—Apple’s iTunes store—gives artists and labels little pricing flexibility.

The whole thing’s here. (Hat tip, Arts Journal.)

Modern Life Is War, Trap Them, Trash Talk @ El Corazon

posted by on October 2 at 1:09 PM

To cop a popular movie reference, modern hardcore is like high school girls - I keep getting older but it stays the same age. I can’t think of another genre that celebrates the lack of evolution in it’s music more than modern hardcore. And that’s what the kids want. They love it. It’s like the same ten songs are being written over and over again, and if the band breaks from that structure they’re ostracized. But for the kids who are into it, it’s their lifeblood, and it never seems to get boring. Over time, most genres of music must either evolve or die, but the fans of modern hardcore put all the pressure on the music to stay exactly the same. Forever. I am so bored of modern hardcore. The first band I saw was Trash Talk. I’ve seen Trash Talk twenty times, but this was my first time seeing Trash Talk.

The fact that Trap Them is touring with Trash Talk and Modern Life Is War is a bit of a conundrum. It seems like there’s a vague effort to unify the fans of modern hardcore with those more into progressive hardcore by having bands from both camps tour together, but it just makes for weird shows. This show reminded me of the last time I saw Converge at El Corazon, and they were touring with Terror. Other than superficially being dubbed “hardcore” these bands have little to nothing in common. Terror is the epitome of modern hardcore: lots of half-time judding, chants about being tough and/or overcoming strife, and there’s change all over the floor that everyone is trying to pick up. Converge is the epitome of progressive hardcore: they constantly push themselves sonically and technically to play tough music that is fiercely unique.

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Trap Them are something of protégés to Converge, having recorded everything they’ve done with Converge guitarist/engineer Kurt Ballou. Their music easily falls into the same camp, and is immediately off-putting to kids who were expecting to hear the same band they just heard three times before. As great as Trap Them played they were playing to the wrong crowd, and had the unfortunate task of performing with no energy coming back their direction. The bassist and drummer would yell jokingly back and forth at each other between each song, “This is horse shit!” One guy in the front of the crowd (I think he was the singer of Lahar, or a look-alike at least) turned to the people standing bored-looking around him and said, “Aren’t these guys WEIRD? Huh? Isn’t his WEIRD!?!” I would have loved to see this show with kids who cared.

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What it turns out the kids did care about was Modern Life Is War. As soon as they started playing the whole floor started skanking. This band is at least trying to put their own flavor on their genre, and sometimes they succeed at it. But too often they fall into the same old breakdowns and chants that the crowd demands, like zombies crying for brains. If anything, it is always fun to see kids jump over each other to chant into the mic, to see crazy stage-diving flips, and to watch people beat the shit out of the floor with their fists. Like the music, that spectacle will never change, but at least that part is fun to watch.

RIAA Downloading Trial Starts Today

posted by on October 2 at 12:55 PM

From Yahoo:

DULUTH, Minn. - An amateur musician and 11 other jurors were seated Tuesday in the trial of Jammie Thomas, accused by the recording industry of sharing music online in violation of copyrights.

Thomas, a 30-year-old mother of two, is the first of 26,000 people sued by the industry whose case has gone to trial. An industry group and three recording companies claim she illegally offered 1,702 songs for free on a file-sharing network.

Most of the 26,000 people the record industry group has sued have settled by paying a few thousand dollars.

(Hat tip to Brooklyn Vegan)

My Kind of Philanthropy

posted by on October 2 at 11:39 AM

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Just a reminder: Tonight Hattie’s in Ballard is hosting the Vera Project’s A Drink for the Kids benefit with KEXP DJ Derek Mazzone and guest bartenders Kate Becker (the Old Fire House, Vera Project) and James Keblas (Vera Project, the Mayor’s Office of Film & Music). You make money for the Vera Project just by drinking.

Beard Rock vs. Lit Rock

posted by on October 2 at 11:38 AM

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If Beard Rock fought Lit Rock, who would win? How would they fight?

Beard Rock, as in bands such as Built to Spill, older Modest Mouse, and Iron and Wine.

And Lit Rock, as in the Decemberists, Death Cab, and Belle & Sebastian?

Colin Meloy, Ben Gibbard, and Stuart Murdoch would face Sam Beam, Isaac Brock, and Doug Martsch in a duel. Lit rock weapons are wit, literary reference, metaphor, and MFAs. Beard rock weapons are grit, rawness, bourbon, and beardidity.

Beardidity: the ability to up and grow a damn full-on lumberjack mountain-man beard in the course of one song, which is what Sam Beam does to open the battle. The quick growth catches Gibbard off guard, and he may have too much to handle.

But Gibbard rebounds off the ropes by turning a haiku about lily pads into a pop song about smoking cigarettes while driving a vespa on a winter day. It makes so much sense and is so catchy, it stuns Beam. The lumberjack beard shrinks back and he falters.

Isaac Brock is right there though, and replies with a guitar sound that is so shrill and from the mountains, Gibbard is knocked onto his lotus flower and needs jasmine tea.

Meloy’s got Gibbard’s back. The Decemberists singer steps in and plays a song to a maiden up on a balcony above. It’s so pretty and so ridden with ironic beauty and chord modulation that Brock yukes and Doug Martsch goes to smooth cheeks and peach fuzz. Beam stammers, but can’t reach his guitar to retort.

Martsch is out of control and reeling. He’s lost his beard. He’s confused. He starts playing lit rock. He sings a sonnet about an ancient forbidden Himalayan love myth, then passes out in defeat.

Leeni, Truckasauras @ Nectar

posted by on October 2 at 11:31 AM

Couldn’t fit this preview into this week’s Up & Comings, but it looks to be a great night of lo-fi digital funkitude:

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TRUCKASAURAS, SQUARE WAIL, LEENI, FIGHTER X (NECTAR) If Truckasauras are Seattle’s car crunching, dancefloor mashing 8-bit monsters, Leeni is our daisy plucking, bedroom swooning 8-bit sweetheart. The 27-year-old singer-songwriter is good looking, multi-talented (as professional celeb impersonator, she does a mean Britney and a campy Bush-in-drag), and has the kind of silky, sleepy voice that can coax true romance out of a Gameboy. She released her second record, 8 Bit Heart, in August; if Princess Peach set her wearied longings to a Super Mario soundtrack, they would sound something like this. Leeni’s compositions are intimate and delicate, her lyrics pop-culture savvy and self-aware. The whole package is rendered playfully surreal by its artificial sound, the pixelized pulses only a Nintendo can produce and only a keen artist can turn into music.

The really cool thing about this night is its breadth of styles, all of which fall under the “8-bit” banner: Truckasauras make redneck techno, and Leeni is a whip-smart singer-songwriter. Making music with a Gameboy might still be a novelty, but as more musicians choose to embrace its geek chic, the more they legitimize the genre and the instrument.

You can check out Leeni’s music on her Space Invaders-inspired website.

Tonight in Music

posted by on October 2 at 11:23 AM

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ALIENS, AUGIE MARCH, KATE JOHNSON
(Crocodile) The electronic-tinged space-rock on the Aliens’ Astronomy for Dogs is pretty much what you’d expect from a Beta Band offshoot. You’ve got jaunty tempos, quirky songs about robots, and a sense that the songwriters’ core fan base is somewhere on the moons of Jupiter. Like a 1960s pop act, they feel the need to frequently announce their name (“We are the Aliens!”); like sci-fi dorks, they find it necessary to make existential proclamations like “I am the unknown.” Sharing the bill, and counterbalancing the mood with a solid terra-firma rooting, is Australia’s Augie March. Dramatically dishing the romantic melancholia like Damien Rice and Jeff Buckley will undoubtedly incite swooning from the crowd, but the band’s dense sound and fierce buildups give equal time the visceral side of humanity. JOHN VETTESE

Band of Horses @ Easy Street

posted by on October 2 at 9:59 AM

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Band of Horses will be playing an in-store at the Queen Anne Easy Street Records on Oct 8th at 11pm to celebrate the release of their new record, Cease to Begin, which comes out on the 9th via Sub Pop.


Monday, October 1, 2007

A Spice Girls reunion show in London…

posted by on October 1 at 8:40 PM

…sold out in 38 seconds.

Miami Sound Machine

posted by on October 1 at 4:45 PM

George McCraeOne of my favorite George McCrae singles to play out is “Don’t You Feel My Love” originally off the 1979 LP We Did It. This soulful disco classic intially struggled as an LP single, however after receiving an extended remix by Steve Thompson and Michael Arato for a 12-inch release, the song eventually caught on with DJ’s and became McCrae’s most commercially successful 12-inch of his career, once again spearheading the whole “Miami Sound” that he became known for innovating. Another solid single from the guy who brought us the unforgettable single “I Get Lifted”.

George McCrae - Don’t You Feel My Love (12” version)

A Drink for the Kids

posted by on October 1 at 2:37 PM

Get drunk and help Vera! At the same time!

The annual Drink For the Kids benefit continues this week in West Seattle (tonight) and Ballard (Tuesday night). There are special guests and drink specials, and the bars donate some of the proceeds to the Vera Project.

Here’s the schedule for the 21+ crowd:

Monday October 1
6–10pm @ West 5 with Dow Constantine & Mark Arm

Tuesday October 2
6–10pm @ Hattie’s Hat with James Keblas, Kate Becker & Shannon Stewart

And Wednesday and Thursday it wraps up with two all-ages shows at the Triple Door featuring Greg Dulli and Petra Haden.

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All Ages Grand Finale Concerts at the Triple Door Wednesday October 3 Greg Dulli performing with Petra Haden, Jeff Klein and friends
Sera Cahoone opens Doors 5:30 / Show 7:30

Thursday October 4
Greg Dulli performing with Petra Haden, Jeff Klein and friends
Tim Seely opens
Doors 5:30 / Show 7:30

Both shows $25. Contact the Triple Door at 206.838.4333 to purchase tickets, or visit thetripledoor.net to buy tickets now.

Re: Midlake @ the Crocodile

posted by on October 1 at 1:55 PM

Unlike a considerable portion of last night’s Croc crowd, I’m not from Denton, and I’ve only recently discovered Midlake. Which made the fact that I missed the first half-hour of their set even more frustrating (9:30 start time? What?)

What I caught was good. Sam was right in his post that their music—which I know from last year’s terrific The Trials of Van Occupanther—sounds chilly and smooth on record but far rougher and warmer on stage. The Fleetwood Mac-ishness came through in elegant harmonnies; samples and drum loops updated the vibe.

Midlake is a rock band that does not rock. Even with five guys onstage, playing three keyboards and bass and drums between them, they exuded on oddly appealing restraint. They achieved a richness of sound not through volume or force but by adding humming layer to humming layer of keys and voices, occassionally breaking the melody with a guitar solo or repeated chorus. Their songs are complex, complexity isn’t achieved through impenetrability but by interesting, unpredictable changes.

I really just wanted to listen to the band, more so than watch—a strange reaction for me. The set would’ve improved by seating—a format I normally scoff at, but would’ve allowed more attention paid to the music. That”s not a bad thing. Put these guys in the Triple Door, or just put some chairs up in the Croc.

The band inspires devotion from its fans; someone I talked to had seen them the night before in Portland. The room was more than familiar with many of the songs played, even older tunes from 10 years ago. I had no idea Midlake has been around that long. Now that I know, I’ll definitely take a deeper look.

New Reader Photo Pool

posted by on October 1 at 1:47 PM

The Stranger now has a reader-powered photo pool, Stranger Photos on Flickr.

We’re looking for Seattle-area photography—rock shows, art shows, politicians, punks, puppies, nature, graffiti, parades, street preachers, clouds, crime scenes… Whatever you’re shooting around town. (No porn and no copyrighted images, please.) Don’t forget to include a caption and your name and/or URL.

How to add your photos:

1. Join Flickr, if you haven’t already.
2. Join the Stranger Photos Flickr group: www.flickr.com/groups/strangerphotos.
3. Upload your photos to Flikr.
4. Add photos to the Stranger Photos group by clicking “Send to Group” on the Flickr page of the photo you’d like to add. That’s it!

Devo%20Fan-sp.jpgDevo Fan at the Puyallup Fair by Kelly O

bear-donita.jpgBear Snatch by Donita Reason

ditty-bops-triple-door.jpgThe Ditty Bops at the Triple Door by Pretty-Kitty

Midlake at the Crocodile

posted by on October 1 at 1:05 PM

“So where exactly is Denton?”
It’s in Texas—about 35 miles north of Dallas, a straight gut-shot up the highway.
“That’s cool. I had no idea about these Midlake guys until last year, but man!”
Yeah, I like to think of Denton as the Portland of the south.
“…[long pause, step away, talk to someone else].”

This happened twice last night when people spotted me talking to my friends in Midlake, whom I had interviewed many times when I used to cover North Texas’ music scenes. Their music, a well-crafted balance between Mercury Rev’s synthery and Fleetwood Mac’s classic rock, went criminally undernoticed in their hometown for years, only to explode with the MP3 blog favorite “Roscoe” last year. Since I’d forgotten that Midlake is actually played on the radio in Seattle, I figured last night’s crowd encounters would be my only chance to grab someone and convince them about my old stomping grounds.

But dammit, I scared the kids away. Come back, guy in vest! I’ve got a CD-R of bands you’ve never heard of from Texas…take it, please.

Though the stage was flooded with keyboards and synthesizers—four full rigs of keys in all—Midlake’s sound couldn’t have been warmer. Acoustic and electric guitar countered any cold tones, as did the swath of vocal harmonies from the band, led by the confident, high-register voice of lead singer Tim Smith. The singer and lead songwriter hopped from station to station, switching from strings to keys to even a flute; the latter came out for “The Pills Won’t Help You Now,” a Chemical Brothers song that Smith contributed vocals to earlier this year and has since adapted for his own band in incredibly fine fashion (an abbreviated version can be seen here).

KEXP fave “Head Home” got a grand response from the crowd, though the best stuff had to be the band’s older songs from 2005’s Bamnan and Slivercork. On record, those songs were catchy but frigid, a combination of home recording trappings and overloaded synthesizers. At the Crocodile, songs like “Making Kingfish Pies” and “Balloon Maker” benefited from age, what with the band’s arrangements improving and Smith’s voice sounding so much more confident. He’s not completely over his on-stage nerves, still turning around frequently and still skipping all forms of between-song banter, but I suppose there’s something good about still being antsy when you can attract a venue-filling crowd on a Sunday night.

Tonight in Music

posted by on October 1 at 9:27 AM

MODERN LIFE IS WAR, TRAP THEM, TRASH TALK, COUNT THE HOURS, NEVER LOOKING BACK
(El Corazón) Trap Them’s debut record, Sleepwell Deconstructor, was totally brutal. Recorded with Converge guitarist and engineer Kurt Ballou, it earned high marks from virtually every metal rag around for being undeniably, awesomely tough. Their blaring grindcore fit perfectly in Ballou’s engineering pocket, and the band were immediately snatched up by Converge-owned label Deathwish. Seance Prime, their forthcoming EP, also recorded with Ballou, will be out next month. Their MySpace page claims that they are from New Hampshire/Seattle, but this is the first bill I’ve seen them on in town since I caught wind of them earlier this year. Here’s hoping these somewhat local boys pulverize live as much as they do on record. JEFF KIRBY

New Radiohead Album

posted by on October 1 at 8:49 AM

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So, you may have heard of this little British band called Radiohead? Well, this morning the guys announced that they had a new album, In Ranbows ready for release, and that they’d be letting it loose on the world via their website on Oct 10th.

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They’re taking pre-orders online right now for both the downloads and the double vinyl/cd release. Buyers can pay what they wish for just the downloadable audio files or £40 for the files as well as the cds, vinyl, and inserts.

(Hat tip to Pitchfork, Idolator)