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Archives for 10/28/2007 - 11/03/2007

Saturday, November 3, 2007

I Saw Sunn O))) Last Night; I Have No Idea What I Saw Last Night

posted by on November 3 at 10:30 AM

I’ll have to tell you about the rest of the show (Jesu specifically) later because right now, whenever I try to think about last night’s Neumo’s show, all I can hear is a wall of monotonous droning. All I can feel is a veil of dark evil trying to penetrate my body through every single pore.

I don’t know where to start.

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To set up, roadies brought out a thin, mossy stump and stood it at center stage. They covered the monitors in deep red velvet. They hooked up fog machines that shot thick blasts of white straight into the air. They switched on the foreboding wall of speaker cabinets that went from one end of the stage to the other, and they plugged in pedals—lots and lots of pedals. At least 40, if I had to guess.

All I could think was “This is how one might prepare for a sacrifice.”

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The band appeared—members of Mayhem, Brotherhood, and Godflesh all on the same stage. Once they started, they never stopped. For an hour, Sunn liquefied my insides. It was the soundtrack to evil. There were no words, so far as I could tell, only drawn out notes from the singer. The upright bass was lower than any bass I’ve heard before. The guitars didn’t sound like guitars. I felt like my brain was trickling out my ears and I never before regretted not having ear plugs as much as I did last night. It was loud, it was weird, it was drowning me.

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When I left, I felt like I had an abortion and I wasn’t even pregnant.

I’ve never seen anything like it and I’ve never heard anything like it; I never want to again.

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Friday, November 2, 2007

The Pipettes @ The Croc: I Still Love Them

posted by on November 2 at 5:22 PM

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Last night I made my way down to the Croc for UK girl-group The Pipettes. The show wasn’t the best I’ve seen the group perform (it was actually the worst), but despite the off night, it was easily the most fun of the shows I’ve seen in recent weeks.

One of the early things I’ve said about The Pipettes was that their schtick might lack for longevity. The choreographed dance moves, coordinated outfits, songs about love and boys thing seemed like it just couldn’t last, and I still hold that opinion. I’m not sure they’ll be around in five years and The Croc was definitely less packed than the Chop Suey show a few months back, perhaps an indication that the novelty is starting to wear off.

But turning off the more serious part of my brain I can’t say I had anything but a great time. I have to admit to a crush on the group (Who could blame me?), so I spent the show embracing that, constantly switching which one I considered my favorite (conclusion: I wouldn’t turn any of them away), singing along to choruses, and generally being unapologetic for enjoying myself.

There’s a a lot of serious music out there that demands dissection and analysis, but The Pipettes aren’t that at all. They’re fun, cute, and a wonderful live show. If they aren’t going to be around in five years then that just means it’s time to enjoy them now while you can. They’ll surely be back soon enough, and those of you that missed out can remedy your absence then.

Oregon Attorney General to the RIAA: “Hell No!”

posted by on November 2 at 4:45 PM

I’m no lawyer, but the way I read this motion by the Oregon Attorney General on behalf of the University of Oregon is this: It runs serious interference on the RIAA’s legal strategy to shut down file sharing.

More details at Electronic Frontier Foundation

Credit to the Re-Edit

posted by on November 2 at 4:33 PM

Over the past few years, the Moxie label has been putting out some of the finest disco re-edits that you can find. This bootleg label often doesn’t list much information about the original songs being edited, nor the artist doing the editing, probably to protect themselves against any legal troubles that could come there way for using un licensed material. This label has also put out a series of solid Carl Craig edits under the name C2C4. One of my favorite disco re-edits from Moxie, comes from 2005 in “Loving It”. This edit was featured on the Moxie 008:Run Disco Run 12-inch. The person who did the edit isn’t listed, so I can give you any information about the brains behind the operation. However, regardless of who did the edit, one thing is definitely certain, this song is amazing and is a great example of how Moxie is one of the best disco bootleg labels out there.

Moxie 008 - Loving it

PS- CLUB CABANA IS TONIGHT!!! Which will also be a special record release party for my new solo 12-inch curiously titled, Club Cabana. So please come out dance, drink, sweat, and whatever crazy-ness that you like to do on a Friday.

Here’s the formal info:

Friday, November 2nd
CLUB CABANA
A night of Cosmic-Italo-Disco All Night Long
@ Solo (Lower Queen Anne)
w/ DJ’s TJ Gorton & El Toro
9pm +21
No Cover!!!

Last night’s Hives show at Showbox Sodo, as reviewed by my hives.

posted by on November 2 at 3:19 PM

We have to start with a bit of autobiography. The other week, I got hives. No idea where they came from. Never had hives before. All I know is I woke up in the middle of the night feeling itchy, and when I turned on the light and stood in front of a mirror, my naked body was covered in sweaty welts. My back looked like bubblewrap, except the bubbles were, you know, skin. Dripping with sweat. My outer thighs, my inner thighs, my elbows, my wrists, my hands—wet bubblewrap. I had dots across my face and in my lips and eyelids. This had never happened to me before, so it felt like it wasn’t happening. But it was happening.

The doctor’s can’t figure it out—according to my dermatologist, they only ever find the cause of 1 out of every 100 cases of hives. (Because I know someone in comments will want to know: hadn’t changed laundry detergent, hadn’t eaten anything weird, wasn’t on any new medication, etc., etc.) I’ve been dumping a pharmaceutical product called Xyzal into my body for a couple weeks now to keep the hives at bay, and doctors say they’ll go away if I keep up this treatment.

So my hives weren’t out in full force at the Hives show last night, although they are apparently still under my skin somewhere, inconspicuous. From a medical standpoint, hives thrive on stress, and the Hives play a very fast, frantic kind of garage rock that could be construed as stressful. Also, hives thrive on foreign elements, and the Hives are from Sweden. However, hives, the condition, are not so big on irony, what with the force and directness that they come at you—no subtext, no relief—but the Hives are really big on irony, what with “The Hives” written in narrow red neon cursive across the wall behind the band, like some sort of corporate throwback, and frontman Pelle Almqvist’s banter is knowing, you’re-at-a-rock-show banter, of the slightly tiring variety.

Like, for example, after the first song he said, “Take out your ticket stub and have a look at it. It says, ‘The Hives’!” And later, “We’re playing both kinds of music tonight. Rock and roll.” And later, “If there were an election right now and you had to choose between rock and roll and other types of music, how many of you would choose rock and roll?” And so on.

My hives wanted to hear the Hives song that was big, you know, a while ago, whenever that was—it wasn’t “Fell In Love with a Girl,” that’s another band, and it wasn’t “Last Night,” that’s also another band—although the Hives song that was big was big right around the time “Fell In Love with a Girl” and “Last Night” were big. But my hives, having histamines for brains, couldn’t remember what the big Hives song was, although, experts at sense memory that hives are, they were pretty sure they’d remember the song once they heard it. They were playing a lot of newer material, the Hives, and seemed sort of annoyed that the audience wasn’t as into the new material as they wanted them to be—“Some of you look like you’re still a little tired from Halloween or something,” Almqvist said, which was crazy, because plenty of people down front were into it, even if the rest of us were sequestered in the back, behind a gate, because we were drinking—and anyway my hives left the Hives show thinking that they’d just stuck to mostly newer material, never playing their big song from years ago, whatever that song was.

Then my hives checked the iTunes stores after the show to see what that big song was, because iTunes (for whatever else it doesn’t know) does know about hits, and it turns out the Hives did play their big song—“Hard to Say I Told You So,” with its refrain: “because I wanna…”—and my hives just didn’t recognize it. Does this mean it’s not a good song after all? My hives have no idea. My hives are not a music critic.

Some guy sitting at a table up in the side bar had no hesitation about how good he thought the Hives were. He was drunk and bald and said to his not-bald friend during the encore, “Fucking razor sharp, man.” The not-bald guy said, “Timing was fucking impeccable.” The bald guy nodded, “My new favorite band.” The not-bald guy weirdly produced some eye drops—was he having some kind of reaction to something?—tipped his head back, and dripped some drops into his eyes. When he brought his head forward again, he had eye-drop tears running down his cheeks. His bald friend leaned over to wipe a tear from his friend’s face, and his friend recoiled and said, “Don’t touch me.” We were, after all, in Sodo.

Big Tune Finals @ Neumo’s

posted by on November 2 at 3:18 PM

Photos by Justin Renney

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The homegrown phenomenon known as Big Tune had it’s star-studded finale last night—De La Soul gave an all-too brief performance (though they made sure to do the raucous “Rock Ko.Kane Flow” so they could throw some shine on the track’s producer, 206 legend Jake One), and superfuckinproducer Just Blaze gave a VH1 Storyteller-style narrative as he played his hits from Jay-Z and Freeway to Cam’Ron and MF Doom. Awesome.

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The house was PACKED and excited just to be reveling in the pure hiphop tent revival that is the beat battle. Charles nailed it when he said that the nature of hiphop is a celebration, bitches! The contestants, including DJ Babu (Dilated Peoples/Beat Junkies) and S-1(Strange Fruit Project), squared off from opposite sides of the stages; all frosted with the signature crowd-smashing moves, from garden-variety “conductor” hand flourishes to Blue Scholar #2 Sabzi’s athletic Blades Of Glory vogue-ups (FLASH! AAAAHAAA!).

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The final round found our very own Seatown contenders Sabzi and Dyme Def’s Brainstorm (who re-enetered the running after an earlier loss to Sabzilla thru a Wild Card selection) being the last men standing (or dancing or whatever). Both played valiantly but it was Sabzi who walked away with the prize—some sweet monitors, and the option of working with either Redman, Young Buck, or Kweli on a track down in L.A.. I wasn’t a fan of his tepid TV On The Radio flip, but there was truly no iller beat than his super-hype Flash Gordon theme.

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It is now that I will say that I think hometown advantage played a part in last nite’s proceedings. I felt like a very ill producer named Cambo (whose beats the hosts had earlier mocked as “very Fergie”) might have been robbed in his round against Sabzi by the zealous 206 crowd. I know, how could I be mad at a 206 win? Truly, I’m not—but I did feel the victory was sullied by the lack of impartial judges, and some of the crowd did too, some even booing before the final round like assholes. Fuck it though! Seattle’s rep for hiphop production is impeccable, and the good folks at Red Bull just varnished it a lot more.

This Week’s Setlist

posted by on November 2 at 2:45 PM

You’re at work. It’s Friday and no one expects you to get any work done on Friday so no one will mind that you put everything aside to listen to this week’s Setlist.

The bad news is Ari Spool is on vacation so it’s just me. But the good news is I don’t do much talking, and just get to the songs, which are really great this week—Pleasureboaters, Brides of Obscurity, Throw Me the Statue, Siberian, Mulally, and more.

Listen. Listen, listen, listen.

Best and Worst NW Music Videos?

posted by on November 2 at 2:16 PM

The Seattle Channel wants to know what you think are the best and worst Northwest music videos.

The SEATTLE CHANNEL and “The Local Music Show with John Richards” is launching an effort to compile a list of the Best NW Music Videos of All Time. Is it Sir Mix-a-Lot’s “Posse on Broadway”? Pearl Jam’s “Jeremy”? The Fleetwoods’ appearance on Ed Sullivan in 1959 to sign “Come Softly, Darling”? We need the public’s help, and have put a special feature on our web page where people can nominate their faves.

You can nominate your favorites of each category through January 31, 2008, and all the winners (and losers) will be aired on a special edition of “The Local Music Show with John Richards” next year.

Nominate videos at the Seattle Channel’s website. Click here to get there.

Now enjoy Mix-a-Lot’s “Posse on Broadway”

I also think this is a good contender for the outfits alone (best or worst, you decide):

Krames @ Sing Sing

posted by on November 2 at 1:00 PM

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This one didn’t make it into the paper, but if you’re looking for the dance party tonight, you’ll want to check out Krames at Sing Sing at the War Room. Here’s a taste:

Krames - “Stunnas & Grillz (DJ Mix)”

Tonight in Music

posted by on November 2 at 12:52 PM

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Siberian, Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground, Ships

(Crocodile) Siberian released their debut full-length, With Me, last week so tonight’s show is a slightly delayed CD-release party, but luckily the album sparkles with guitars that twitter like stars and Finn Parnell’s romantic croon. It’s the epitome of indie rock, and live the band remain as crisp and clean as they are on record. Don’t be late to this one because Ships are a new band featuring Jacob Hoffman of the Lashes and Shane Berry and Garrett Lunceford of the recently divorced Divorce. Ships may have some of Seattle’s best power-pop songwriters behind them, but already the one song available suggests they’re going down a moodier, more experimental road. MEGAN SELING

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Sunn O))), Jesu, Eluvium

(Neumo’s) Jesu’s Conqueror is a relentlessly deafening album, but the force behind the crushing waves of guitar is as informed by delicacy and sensitivity as it is angst. The distortion and effects swirl, swallowing listeners in their warm embrace, an envelopment enhanced by the repetitive song structure. Songs drone and plod along, pulling the listener more into themselves and the world of sounds being presented. Live, the band punish sound systems, with the setting giving the songs an added urgency despite the fact that the natural reaction is still more to gently sway and stare at the floor than to bounce around. It’s still rocking out, but you’re doing it with your mind more than your body. DONTE PARKS

Public Private Dancer

posted by on November 2 at 11:44 AM

tina.jpgWhen certain types of people are jacked up in certain ways, they publicly perform whatever song they’re listening to on their headphones.

Cut to the bus stop in the International District in front of King St. Station:

Performer – White male, black trench coat, greased back hair, 280 lbs, no front teeth.

Song – Tina Turner’s “Private Dancer”.

There was nothing private about this guy’s dancing. The lucidity, proximity, and volume in his headphones mentally transported him. His body may have been there, with the three people at that bus stop, but in his head, he was performing to a sold out Tokyo Dome.

It was Tina’s comeback tour, he was Tina, and he was on fire. He spun, whirling into poses and moves. His performance was daring and honest. He gave all of himself. He connected to everyone in that arena.

“I’m your private dancer, a dancer for money / I’ll do what you want me to do / I’m your private dancer, a dancer for money, any old music will do.”

What he really needed was a private nutritionist, someone to tell him to lay off the Twinkies. But the crowd loved him, and he knew they loved him. He was a natural. This was his calling – to be Tina Turner.

The crowd wanted more, but his bus came, and he was gone. No “Proud Mary” encore. He zoomed away. There was quiet. Morning sun slowly rose over the buildings downtown. A pigeon waddled by.

I witnessed a true great today.

Today in Music News

posted by on November 2 at 11:03 AM

Decemberists Cancel Tour: “The Long and Short of It” tour is done after two dates.

Billboard Charts: Six new releases make the Top 10, Carrie Underwood is number one.

MTV Europe Music Awards: Avril Lavigne, Amy Winehouse, and Nelly Furtado win while Justin Timberlake walks away with nothing.

Carlos Santana: Getting divorced.

Zepplin Concert Postponed: Page breaks finger.

Lance Bass to Britney: “Remember where you came from.”

$3,300: How much Kevin Federline made in royalties off Popozao.

Nas’ New Album: He’s calling it Nigger and everyone in hiphop has an opinion about it.

Here’s Amy Winehouses’s shakey performance at MTV’s EMAs:

Save Our Sonics!

posted by on November 2 at 10:09 AM

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No, not those Sonics. I’m talking about the return of the best thing to happen to Tacoma since glass-blowing—The Sonics, the band whose “Psycho” and “The Witch” rekindled my interest in rock ‘n’ roll right around the time of The Great Electronica Scare Of 1997. Thank you, Nuggets sampler CD at the used music store down the block. You saved me from Decks and Drums and Rock and Roll.

The garage rock legends return to the stage for the first time in 20 years at the Cavestomp Festival in Brooklyn this weekend. This interview’s mumbling, unclear response to “why a reunion now” makes me wonder which member’s got a gambling problem to clear up, so does that mean we should expect the old men to scream at us in a local venue any time soon?

“If we come back with our tails between our legs, I’m not goin’ out of my house,” [guitarist Larry] Parypa joked. “But if it goes as good as I hope that it does … I would like to if there’s a venue that we agree to. We want to do it in a prominent (place). We don’t want to play some local tavern or anything.”

Sabzi Takes Big Tune National Championship

posted by on November 2 at 1:26 AM

It was pretty much a foregone conclusion: Sabzi won last night’s Big Tune beatmaker battle in a landslide. Respect to runner-up Brainstorm, who was defeated by Sabzilla like five times in a row. The fact that both finalists in the nation-wide competition were from Seattle says that 1) Seattle has some serious hometown talent, and 2) the competition was tilted towards that talent all along. That doesn’t take away from Sabzi’s victory—he was the baddest man on the block, hands down.

Full report coming tomorrow.


Thursday, November 1, 2007

Going Straight to Jail on a Crazy Train

posted by on November 1 at 8:58 PM

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From a press release sent by Ozzy Osbourne’s publicity company:

Since when does the lure of an Ozzy Osbourne concert become the impetus for a sting operation by one local sheriff?

That’s what an outraged Osbourne would like to know after the events that transpired Monday, October 29 before his show at the Fargodome in Fargo, ND. As masterminded by Paul D. Laney, a local county sheriff—under the name of PDL Productions—this is how the sting was set up, all without Osbourne’s knowledge:

Sheriff Laney took the liberty of planning an Ozzy Osbourne pre-show concert party by offering the very same perks included in Ozzy’s “official” VIP tour packages including two tickets to 40 unsuspecting citizens who received the PDL invites by mail.

When the “winners” showed up at the bash, they were promptly handcuffed and arrested on various outstanding warrants. Sheriff Laney quickly held a televised press conference to congratulate himself on the successful sting operation.

“Instead of holding a press conference to pat himself on the back,” says Osbourne, “Sheriff Laney should be apologizing to me for using my name in connection with these arrests. It’s insulting to me and to my audience and it shows how lazy this particular sheriff is when it comes to doing his job.”

Adds Osbourne, “Sheriff Laney went out of his way to tarnish my reputation by implying that I somehow attract a criminal element, which is certainly not true. My audiences are good hard-working people who have been hugely supportive of my music for nearly four decades. They have also been very supportive of my wife Sharon’s colon cancer charity by raising over a million dollars (partly through VIP ticket sales) at my shows. It’s obvious to me that this sheriff has an agenda and is just trying to make a name for himself on my back.”

Despite his comments about Sheriff Laney’s sting operation, Ozzy harbors no ill will to the people of Fargo and hopes to return there under more favorable circumstances.

Welcome Home, Wyclef

posted by on November 1 at 4:30 PM

It’s November 1st. Did you say “rabbit rabbit” when you woke up?

Also, this song is stuck in my head. That doesn’t mean I like it, I just mean it’s appropriate… being November and all.

Personally, I’m more partial to this song about November:

There’s also Gorillaz “November Has Come” and Tom Waits and J Church both have songs called “November.”

Quite the little muse, this month is.

Re: Silencing the Boss

posted by on November 1 at 4:15 PM

In the comment section of the Springsteen vs. Clear Channel post Jason Josephes brings up a good point:

This meshes well with the radio story in the print edition this week. Look, there was a time when radio was king but, with the internet, you can hear plenty of Springsteen with a simple mouse click. Or you can mail order his new CD from several retailers. The days of Clear Channel and Wal-Mart sanitation are over, so the former’s decision not to play The Boss is, in the end, no big deal.

If you haven’t read the radio story yet (Left of the Dial by Molly Hamilton) click here to check it out. She spends the day listening to everything Seattle radio has to offer:

There’s no point to radio anymore. It’s a cultural institution, sure, and we tolerate it, keep it around for posterity. But radio offers nothing to the music world that can’t be found elsewhere at pretty much the same price. I recently spent 12 full hours absorbing everything it has to offer, starting from the bottom and working my way to the End (yeah I know, they thought of it first). The only conclusion I came up with is that the act itself—actually turning a dial—is sweetly nostalgic, but it gets you nowhere.

Nice and Slow

posted by on November 1 at 4:05 PM

In the late 1970’s French producer/musician Don Ray was involved with many disco projects and artists like Cerrone, Alex R. Costandinos, and Leroy Gomez. Another project that he helped produce was Michele Freeman’s 1979 self-titled solo LP. Ray not only produced the record, he composed, arranged, and played keys on many of the tracks. This solid piece of work seems to somewhat get ignored when it comes to Ray’s musical career and achievements. The record went on to release two 12-inch singles with “Nice And Slow” and “Tumble Heat” that same year, however from start to finish the entire album is full of great disco music. It’s safe to say that this record is just another example of explaining why Don Ray was one of disco’s greatest music innovators.

Michele Freeman - Nice And Slow

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Also here’s a quick reminder that tomorrow night is another installment of Club Cabana located inside Solo (200 Roy Street, Lower Queen Anne). I will be joined by Kurt Reighley (aka DJ El Toro) to provide you with rare cosmic/italo/sleazy disco all night long for you to drink, dance, and sweat to. Plus we will be celebrating the release of my new 12” single, Club Cabana which just hit vinyl record stores worldwide. Don’t miss out!!!

Black Lips in a Feature Film?

posted by on November 1 at 3:15 PM

It’s true. They just keep keep gettin’ bigger and bigger. A company called Springboard Films announced, today, that the Black Lips have signed on to star in a feature film, called Let It Be. Scheduled to begin production in May of 2008, Let It Be will be set during the late eighties in a “post-punk American underground rock scene”. The Lips will play a fictional band who become a symbol of the changing cultural landscape. The movie will be filmed throughout the Southeast and will include notable music of the period, plus new music written by the band. Andrew Meyer will produce it. Same guy who made The Breakfast Club…. The frickin’ Breakfast Club?! Wow, wow, WOW.

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Silencing the Boss

posted by on November 1 at 12:57 PM

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According to, well, the internets, Clear Channel is refusing to play anything from Magic, the new Springsteen record.

According to Foxnews.com:

Radio will not play “Magic.” In fact, sources tell me that Clear Channel has sent an edict to its classic rock stations not to play tracks from “Magic.” But it’s OK to play old Springsteen tracks such as “Dancing in the Dark,” “Born to Run” and “Born in the USA.”

Some are speculating it’s because he’s too old to be played on modern radio.

Clear Channel seems to have sent a clear message to other radio outlets that at age 58, Springsteen simply is too old to be played on rock stations. This completely absurd notion is one of many ways Clear Channel has done more to destroy the music business than downloading over the last 10 years. It’s certainly what’s helped create satellite radio, where Springsteen is a staple and even has his own channel on Sirius.

Down With Tyranny has a lot more on the matter.

The Pastels

posted by on November 1 at 12:45 PM

It’s been a long time since I’ve even heard the words “the Pastels” spoken.

In the late ‘80s and early ‘90s so many bands were coming out of the UK with “influenced by the Pastels” or “sounds like the Pastels” or “the next Pastels” (that last one always followed by either an exclamation point “!” or question mark “?”), that as a teenager from a small town with one little tiny indie record store, I was envious of those who could find their records at all, and curious as to what the hell the Pastels even sounded like.

The confusion came from the fact that bands as diverse as the girl fronted Talulah Gosh, Primal Scream, the Wedding Present and Age Of Chance were all being lumped under the banner of Pastels inspired “indie” thanks to NME and their wave of passion for new DIY groups on the C86 smapler.

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Then in 1987 I got my first Pastels album, Up For a Bit With the Pastels. Slightly dark, not quite goth, but with intense guitars and some little synth splashes that gave the album this odd sort of Lee Hazlewood sound, I was hooked. The single “Crawl Babies” was intriguing and the electro drum driven “Baby Honey,” which sounded like the kind of murder ballad I was into at the time, made me an instant fan.

But then grunge happened. NME moved on, and all those wonderful C86 bands were left in the dust.

Honestly, I don’t think that bothered the Pastels at all. They never wanted to be lumped in with all the indie bands of the day in the first place. They were such a loose collective of players that when it came time to record they all just seemed to pick up instruments they’d dropped the year before and make a few more hits.

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45 after 45 was released, eventually culminating in a collection of sorts with the 1994 album Truckload Of Troubles. A de-facto “Greatest Hits” with some older tunes re-recorded by the core trio of Stephen (guitar, vocals), Aggi (bass, vocals, artwork) and Katrina (drums) and lots of help from friends. With the release of this album I finally got to hear some of the songs that made the Pastels legends, even if in new ways with new band members. With the beautiful duet on “Nothing to be Done,” the love song (I mean, what indie group was writing love songs at that time?) “Thank You For Being You,” “Speeding Motorcycle,” and “Speedway Star” (their paeans to motorcycle racing) I finally got a glimpse into the lives and minds of one of the most obscure and sometimes obtuse acts to come from that time.

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A year later came Mobile Safari, the trio’s tightest work to date. The great vocal arrangement on “Yoga” (bah bah baaaaaaah bah bah baaaaaaah) the jazzy tones and syncopated rhythms of songs like “Worlds Of Possibility” made the album simultaneously loose and tight. Such a great listening experience!

At that time The Stranger hired its new editor, Emily White. Her husband, Rich Jensen, was the head of a new little indie label here in Seattle called UP Records. This was how I first heard 764-Hero and Modest Mouse. One day Rich told me they’d signed a distribution deal with a band from Scotland called the Pastels. My mouth hit the floor.

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The upcoming album was the amazing Illumination. Produced by Kevin Sheilds of My Bloody Valentine fame, this album had all the hallmarks of a classic. (It also had contributions from just about every Glaswegian musician of the day, including most of Belle And Sebastian). The production was full of lazy guitars that had this weird sonic background, and lyrics delivered in a style that would lead one to believe Stephen and Aggi were prone to serious drug binges. It’s an incredible album. I think one could use the term “Masterpiece” for Illuminations.

I’d just had a baby, so when they came through town on their one and only trip to Seattle, ever, I missed them. I was pretty upset, but seeing as my little family would be traveling to Glasgow the following summer, Rich helped me out by telling me where Stephen held down a day job.

In Glasgow I forced a friend who had no interest in tracking down a long lost indie star (he was way into Madonna—the antithesis of the Pastels vibe) to take me to the city’s University area to a little bookstore that had a second floor record shop. I started looking through the CDs and found every single Pastels single and album that I’d always wanted, including strange one offs with Jad Fair and a collaboration with friends called “Sandy Dirt”. I picked them all up and went to the front counter. As I laid them down the guy behind the counter turned to me and started to get them ready to ring up, removing their security cases. He had this smirk on his face and I realized Stephen Pastel was going to sell me his own CDs. The moment felt so “meta” that I didn’t know what to do or say. Apologize for being a big fan? Ask him if it was really him? What the hell do you say in that situation?

So I politely asked him, “Are you Stephen Pastel?” He answered yes. I told him I was on mission to find all these CDs, that I’d come to Glasgow partly with this in mind, that they were so hard to find in Seattle. Then I asked if he would give me, my partner, and our child a tour of what he thought was cool Glasgow. To my surprise he said “Yeah. Sure.”

The next day we all met in a little coffee shop, had tea, and discussed Glasgow with the quintessential Glasgow band. He told me he actually had a degree in library science and wanted desperately to become a librarian, but there weren’t too many library jobs out there. Then he walked us over to Aggi’s apartment to meet her. They shyly regaled us with tales of motorcycle races, and told us the band actually sponsored motorcycle racers. They’d give some of their little profits to a guy who’d put “The Pastels” on his racing jacket. It was so funny and strange. It was the highlight of my trip.

The band have recently released a soundtrack album to The Last Great Wilderness which includes a cover of Sly and the Family Stone’s “Everybody is a Star” and a duet with Jarvis formerly of Pulp. Stephen runs his own record label, Geographic, which distributes quality independent music from around the world (Nagisa Ni Te, Barbara Morgenstern, Appendix Out, Maher Shalal Hash Baz to name a few) and owns a little record shop in Glasgow’s downtown, and Aggi does her graphic art thing and helps out with Geographic. I’m not sure what Katrina is up to.

As genres come and go, get rehashed and become the “new” retro; even though it’s been awhile, you can expect to here the words “The Pastels” in some way in the coming years. I guarantee. They’re just that cool.

Never heard the Pastels? It’s okay, just go here.

High on XTC

posted by on November 1 at 12:43 PM

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File this under “pizza is delicious,” but after two decades of owning no XTC except the immortal Skylarking, I finally picked up some of the early stuff—the singles collection Waxworks, to be precise—and oh my god it’s great.

That is all. Thank you.

Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! (What? Too Soon?)

posted by on November 1 at 12:40 PM

Last minute Halloween errands took me to a Kmart the other night where there were already aisles and aisles of Christmas decorations, ornaments, fake pine trees, stockings, and so much red, green, and gold wrapped candy.

For consumers, the holiday season has begun.

With a deep, inexplicable yet unquestioned love for Holiday music, my rule is generally to hold out until after Thanksgiving so as to not burn out too early. But this year, fuck it. If Kmart can do it, so can I.

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My favorite Christmas song: Darlene Love “Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home)”

Your Mouth and the Microphone

posted by on November 1 at 12:27 PM

germs.jpgMicrophones are breeding grounds for germs. Rappers and singers sing and yell. Mouths and throats are opened. Saliva is sprayed and spread. Spit flies—right onto the mic. And there it festers. There it meets spit from the eight people who were on the mic before you. During your set, you unknowingly touch your very own mouth to that mic.

Meet Rick. Rick was on the mic before you and was coughing up a lung. Rick is the bass player for a Southern metal rock band called “Crowbar.” Rick enjoys methamphetamines, Budweiser, and nude women. Crowbar has been on the road for six weeks and Rick’s not too prone to wash his hands, or himself. In a gas station bathroom on the way to the show, Rick peed, flushed, and picked his crotch. He bought Goobers and Doritos and after he ate them, he licked his fingers. Then he spat all over the mic that you touched your mouth to.

beach.jpgOn a microscopic level, microphones are like the beaches in Brazil where it’s legal to have sex at night. Anything goes. Your mouth and Rick’s cells, all over each other.

A Dr. Smith at Swedish Medical Center spoke:

Cold and flu viruses can survive outside the body for up to 48 hours, depending on the specific virus and surface type. They survive longer on nonporous surfaces such as plastic and metal.

How can you guard against mic germs? You can bring your own mic or use a foam mic cover. But will you have time to hook your mic up? Will you remember it in the frenzy of breakdown? There are also sanitizer sprays, but I can’t see sound engineers being too happy about having their mics sprayed.

Singer / songwriter, Daniel G. Harmann says:

My mouth always touches the mic. I don’t like to think about the germs. I just think of it as a brotherhood of saliva. I try to eat right, take vitamins, and have a strong immune system. Those spray sanitizers make the mic taste terrible. It’s like drinking air freshener. I’d almost rather have the germs.

SaniGuard Sanitizer Spray says:

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The next time some slobbering drunk, or sick person hands you back the microphone, spray on SaniGuard and kill those harmful germs within 45 seconds, leaving your mic germ free and keeping you healthy for your next gig!

SaniGuard ® is a dry on contact sanitizer spray perfect for: telephones, remote controls, toilet handles, light switches, door knobs, refrigerator handles, food preparation surfaces, keyboards, microphones and thousands of other contact areas where germs and airborne disease may spread by contact from person to person.

Happy cold and flu season. It’s a fight—your immune system vs. Rick’s germs. He’s not going to wash his hands, so you should get your own mic.

Radiohead Signs to XL

posted by on November 1 at 12:14 PM

Via billboard.com:

Radiohead has ended weeks of speculation by confirming it has struck a deal with British indie label XL Recordings for the physical release of its new album, “In Rainbows.”

The deal is expected to cover territories outside North America, leaving the band free to sign a separate deal there, but no further details have yet been made available.

A release date for the physical CD has also not been given, but sources suggest it will coincide with the Dec. 3 arrival of the “discbox” edition of “In Rainbows” available only from Radiohead.com. Others speculate it may not appear until next year.

Full story here.

I’m really curious to see who they end up working with in the US. Think it’ll be a major? It’d have to be, right? What indie label has the distro and power to handle such a huge release?

And knowing that they’re still going to sign with a label and release In Rainbows traditionally as well, I wonder if the whole idea behind the pay-what-you-want download was more to offset the inevitable pre-release leak and less about proving you don’t need a record label?

Tonight in Music

posted by on November 1 at 11:21 AM

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The Pipettes, Nicole Atkins & the Sea, Monster Bobby

(Crocodile) It’s pointless to review a box of puppies. What do you look for to criticize? Even their flaws are adorable. The Pipettes debut is a box of puppies. There are social statements to be made here (life during wartime inspires retreat into the gilded past, there’s nothing new under the sun, manufactured art is a safe investment, etc.), but they’re not worth belaboring. Deep analysis is not part of the Pipettes aesthetic. Like all good pop, the Pipettes are best appreciated at face value. There’s nothing by way of sonic updates; the backing band, called the Cassette, pilfers just about every girl group trope in Phil Spector’s playbook—the big drums, the trebly reverbed guitar twang, the horn and string flourishes, the stupid/brilliant songwriting. JONATHAN ZWICKEL

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Red Bull Big Tune Championships: Just Blaze, De La Soul

(War Room) The story of Big Tune is this: It began in Seattle in 2005; it has local hiphop impresarios Jonathan Moore and Vitamin D as its founders and the War Room as its place of birth; the battle of emerging beat producers is its purpose. The ultimate fact of Big Tune, a fact that was there at the beginning of hiphop but is absent from much of the music and shows of today, is this: “The speakers never lie.” This accurate assertion, made by one of the founders of Big Tune, Jonathan Moore, expresses a reward system that has nothing to do with how a performer looks, or how much money he makes, but on how much or how little he moves the crowd. CHARLES MUDEDE

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Sunday Night Blackout, Holy Ghost Revival, Emeralds, the Valkyries

(Chop Suey) Long-standing hard-rock purists Sunday Night Blackout apparently hopped the dry wagon long enough to produce a self-titled debut featuring 10 uncompromising tracks of straight-up, no-apologies rock ‘n’ roll. Sunday Night Blackout is for the guitar-rock proletariat, the type who scoffs at terms like “postpunk” and “indie rock.” Ax wielders John Wokas and Omar Schambacher trade off a grip of guitar solos, thankfully avoiding any occurrences of Stevie Ray Vaughan–esque note-noodling flagrance. Revered as a volatile live act, SNB execute Blackout like a set of downright apt musicians. Take “Son of Stone,” where speed-addled drums break way to frenetic dual-guitar work, galloping bass, and staunch percussion, all of which subsequently take shotgun to terse vocals from frontman “Neil of Steel,” who takes a whiskey and Coke on Sunday night. Fans of the rock: You have your marching orders. GRANT BRISSEY

Saturday Looks Good to Me, Half Acre Day, The Lonely Forest, Katharine Hepburn’s Voice

(Nectar) Saturday Looks Good to Me began as the home-recording project of Ann Arbor, Michigan, singer/songwriter Fred Thomas. An opportunity to tour with Saves the Day spurred Thomas to assemble a live band, and since then the loosely defined collaboration have released two full-lengths on Polyvinyl as well as a string of wildly varying 7-inches and CD-Rs. The band’s new album for K Records, Fill Up the Room, finds them refining a sweet, homey pop sound that’s simultaneously lo-fi and baroque. The album’s woozy ballads and sunny anthems form an overlapping song cycle about all the good stuff: love, loss, wonder, death. Thomas’s songs are clever, cute, and carefully constructed to tug twee heartstrings. ERIC GRANDY

The Hives

(Showbox Sodo) The Hives are the kind of garage-rock band you only get from countries that routinely compete in and famously win the Eurovision Song Contest. Their matching black-and-white outfits are just a little bit sharper, their synchronized guitar windmills and jump kicks are just a little more choreographed, and their stage patter (even in nonnative English) is just that much more witty and charming. That said, I couldn’t tell you one song the band have recorded since I saw them opening for the (International) Noise Conspiracy on their first American tour. Their rock basics are catchy enough but not too substantial, but their live shows are a well-rehearsed spectacle. ERIC GRANDY

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Oh No No!

posted by on October 31 at 4:01 PM

Perfect music for Halloween! The Ononos! A Yoko Ono Punk Cover Band! Plus the Pyramids! Plus Jackie Hell! PONY UP! 506 E. Pine Street - 9 pm

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Disco Witch

posted by on October 31 at 3:47 PM

I generally never do holiday themed music posts, mainly because holiday themed music is generally terrible. However, I thought I had a good post that could go well with Halloween. That being said, in 1978 Gino Soccio and Peter Alves, the same people behind the Gotham Flasher project, came together again to produce another disco project called Witch Queen. This group released only one self-titled LP which included the single “Bang A Gong”, which is a cover of T. Rex’s popular 1971 classic rock anthem “Get it on”. The rest of the album consists of a few solid disco originals along with another classic rock cover in Free’s 1970’s “All right now”. Overall, Witch Queen is best known for the “Bang A Gong” track which was also released as a 12-inch single. Another great disco project produced by Soccio and Alves.

Witch Queen - Ban A Gong

It’s About to Get Crazy and Halloweeny Up in Here…

posted by on October 31 at 2:23 PM

And I can’t wait!

Another joint from home video artist Mike Hadreas (just in time for Halloween…two months ago). But what, you ask, is it doing over here on Line Out, the Stranger’s music blog? Well, this video features a cameo from none other than Xiu Xiu’s Caralee McElroy.

Boo!

Have Thanksgiving Dinner with Ozzy

posted by on October 31 at 2:05 PM

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One winner and 3 friends will share Thanksgiving at Ozzy’s new house in Los Angeles. - Ozzy will prepare his famous Yorkshire pudding - Airfare and hotel included - $500 spending cash - Tickets to Ozzy’s concert in San Diego

Enter at www.ozzy.com.

The Burial Series

posted by on October 31 at 11:51 AM

Part One: Burial and Cinema
burial.jpg Even the beautiful Mary Anne Hobbs desires the impossible—Burial on the big screen. But why does she and so many others long for what precisely his music does not need? On the screen it would lose its intensity, its power, its magic. On the big screen Burial would become secondary rather than primary.

A movie privileges the moving image. Next in line is the script. Last of all is the music, which is stripped down to accommodate the image and the words. You must think of a score in the way you think of a rap track; in the way a beat makes room for the rapper, a score provides psychological room for the image—specifically the image of the actor. Because the fullness of Burial’s music would overwhelm an image, a director would flatten it, reduce it, turn it upside down and empty all of its surprises and beauty.

Film music does not attract attention to itself but to the image it scores. Burial’s music could not be a score because it’s already a movie, already a cinema: a cinema of echoes, suffering whispers, bike chains, rattling rain, wet roads, bus lights, night trains, empty shops, rooms, voices, halls, lost thoughts, fleeting feelings. It’s all there. No need for an image.

My Dream Halloween Costume

posted by on October 31 at 11:38 AM

Shiny pants, wifebeater, Nigel Tufnel haircut, wireless guitar…and an extra-special prop. Ladies and gentleman, I give you the scariest Halloween costume idea ever: the man who takes the shitty guitar solo one ste—er, leap too far.

Does the Red Light sell trampolines?

Tonight in Music

posted by on October 31 at 11:22 AM

Happy Halloween! If you’re looking for something festive, check out our exhaustive list of Halloween parties.

Here’s what U&Cs suggest for the evening:

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Do Make Say Think, Apostle of Hustle
(Crocodile) With instrumental acts Mono playing the Croc earlier this week and Sleepy Eyes of Death playing the Sunset tonight, Do Make Say Think are in good company with their vibrant (mostly) wordless noise. Their latest, You, You’re a History in Rust, uses the moody components of shoegaze on songs “Bound to be That Way” and “Executioner Blues,” while incorporating an almost jubilant energy into the upbeat “The Universe!” It’s a little more Mogwai than Explosions in the Sky, with a technical aspect that usually builds into a glittery waterfall of sound. MEGAN SELING

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(Photo by Craig McNab)

David Kilgour, Euros Childs, Pseudosix
(High Dive) If you’re a fan of beautifully crafted alternative pop, David Kilgour’s name should ring a lovely bell. As the creative force behind the Clean, he left an indelible print on New Zealand’s burgeoning music scene—so much so that he was made a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit a few years back. His latest album, The Far Now, is a slightly folky, laidback affair full of gorgeously hazy, low-key gems that have been compared to Robyn Hitchcock. You don’t want to miss this rare appearance; Kilgour doesn’t get here often and that flight to Dunedin is a bitch. BARBARA MITCHELL

(Click here to read the review of the new Pseudosix CD in this week’s paper.)

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Parts & Labor, Sleepy Eyes of Death, Welcome
(Sunset) Parts & Labor craft loud, abrasive explosions of sound, weird enough for them to be tagged “experimental,” a description that betrays some of their immediately accessible material. The drum-heavy tracks combine synthy effects with thrashing guitar, ending up aggro, but not angry; noisy, but not dissonant. Sleepy Eyes of Death adopt similar instrumentation, but create a different kind of visceral response, with an extra “band” member augmenting the musical output with colored lights, fog machines, and projected video. The music is a study in quiet-LOUD!-quiet, with 8-bit tones augmenting the guitars. For both bands, the live show is the medium to really “get” their output, with their releases acting merely as the Cliffs Notes for the full, sensory overload of seeing them onstage. DONTE PARKS

Yo La Tengo: “We’re just here to correct any misimpressions you have developed in the last 23 years.”

posted by on October 31 at 7:26 AM

Since I’d never seen Yo La Tengo before and couldn’t recall what any of them looked like and Town Hall Seattle’s website didn’t mention an opening act, I assumed that the first guy who came out was a member of Yo La Tengo. He had a beard, he seemed kinda grumpy, and he proceeded to noodle away on his guitar for what seemed like—well, the point is, Brendan Kiley and I left and went to the Sorrento to have a drink by the fireplace. “Yo quiero Yo La Tengo,” I kept saying, which are just about the only Spanish words I know.

When I got back to Town Hall, there was Yo La Tengo, their set having just started. The whole evening was not unlike sitting by the fireplace with Yo La Tengo, except that you were sitting with hundreds of other people and there was no fireplace. It was less of a show and more of a conversation with the audience, casual and associative, wherein they simply let the audience ask them anything, and the questions would inspire stories, and the stories would lead them to this song or that one or this one from way over here.

For instance, someone in the crowd asked the band what their favorite Tom Courtenay film is, and Ira (guitar) said to his wife Georgia (drums), “What’s your favorite Tom Courtenay film?”

Georgia: “Billy Liar.”

Ira: “That’s a good one.” Complete silence. “Very popular with the audience.”

James, the bassist, chimed in: “We actually recorded this song in Seattle. And we ate at 13 Coins afterward.” And then they started in on it—the song “Tom Courtenay.”

Someone asked about how “Autumn Sweater” was written, and Ira said, “That song just—came out—I dunno why—that’s one of the fastest songs we ever wrote.” Someone asked what their “guiltiest pleasures” are, and they couldn’t think of any, and then they asked the questioner what her guiltiest pleasure was, and she said “smoking,” and then everyone in the band agreed that was theirs too. Someone asked James about an album of Prince covers he did that has since been pulled from stores, so you can’t get it anymore, and someone in the audience shouted, “What about the internet?”

“I love the internet,” Ira said.

“Oh yeah, the internet’s great,” James said.

“Thumbs up,” Ira said.

It was homey like that. Funny. Sweet. Someone asked if she could give everyone in the band a hug. (Yes, later.) Ray Davies was discussed (“Somebody mentioned the Kinks and before and we’re in a church so I thought we’d do a Ray Davies church song,” Ira said, and then they played “God’s Children.”) Jim Woodring got a shout-out—actually, was described as a God. The Eagles were mocked (“How’s that new Eagles record? I haven’t had a chance to listen to it yet,” Ira said, and James said, “We should stop by a Wal-Mart and pick it up.”) Someone asked about novels and Ira said he’d just been in a bookstore and bought Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates as well as a book about barbecue places, which “is not exactly a novel, but it’s a real page-turner.”

It was wonderful. It was wonderful to be sitting down and listening to Yo La Tengo. (Note to everyone: there should be more sitting at shows.) They played “Upside-Down.” They played “Season of the Shark.” They played “The Weakest Part.” It was getting to be the end of the set, one more song, and they hadn’t played “Autumn Sweater,” even after that question about it, and you couldn’t help but hope—please, c’mon, play “Autumn Sweater”—that they would end with it, what with it being autumn and sweater season and all.

Then they played a fucking gorgeous “Autumn Sweater.” And got a standing ovation. And came back for an encore.


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Joanna Newsom @ Benaroya Hall

posted by on October 30 at 5:22 PM

IMG_3674.JPGPhoto by Jonathan Zwickel

Especially after the article I wrote about her last week, I don’t want to come off too much as an obsessive Joanna Newsom fanboy, so I was hoping JZ would post his thoughts about the show first and I could just chime in here and there. But as it’s late in the day and nothing has been said about it I guess I will just go ahead and be the first one to jack off about it. The show was amazing. The orchestration was perfect, Newsom sang like an angel and shredded her harp with breathtaking skill. She played two sets, the first with the 29 piece orchestra accompanying her for all of Ys from start to finish. The second set was Newsom and three band members (who also played the first set) playing songs from The Milk Eyed Mender with added instrumentation, some of which were reinvented in completely different styles.

The performance of Ys was literally spot-on of the recording. There were a few additions within her band – some extra drum and guitar parts, but mostly it was a perfect realization of an amazing album. Watching Newsom’s skill on the harp, matched with the beauty of her songwriting and her luminous, gorgeous presence was like being in the company of some sort of deity. Remember when everyone was transfixed by the blue lady singing space opera in The Fifth Element? It was like that. When she played “Sawdust and Diamonds” under the spotlight, her fingers plucking at incredible speeds for 10 minutes straight as she belted lines of lost love…it was one of the sexiest things I have ever seen in my life.

After an intermission Newsom played several songs off Mender, “Colleen” from her recent EP, a traditional Scottish folk song and a new, untitled song. “Inflammatory Writ” was transformed with the help of a violin and banjo into an Appalachian folk tune. In the encore “Peach, Plum, Pear,” the band took an already good song and made it into a great one. The original has only a harpsichord and Newsom’s voice layered several times on top of itself; the band’s version has beautiful three-part harmonies, dynamic volume changes and a newfound sense of beauty that the instrumentation and Newsom’s improved, refined vocal skills added. All of the adjectives I could use to describe the night are clichéd and stupid, so I will avoid them. But I will say it was a concert experience that personally will be nearly impossible to rival. I’m sorry if you missed it. You fucked up.

Immortalize Your Favorite Rockstar on a Squash

posted by on October 30 at 4:25 PM

ZombiePumkins.com has a bunch of different templates you can use when carving pumpkins this year, should you be completely untalented in that department like I am. (Although I am still pretty proud of my 2005 pumpkin.) For $5, you get unlimited access to hundreds of stencils—stuff like classic monsters, TV favorites, and Tim Burton and Nintendo characters. There’s a bunch of other random stuff too (including Harry Potter and Sponge Bob).

My favorite section is the “Rock Gods” page which has carvable likenesses of Jim Morrison, Elvis, Gene Simmons, Alice Cooper, Rob Zombie, and Marilyn Manson, and spooky band logos like the Misfits’ Crimson Ghost and Danzig’s Samhain Skull.

And if you wanted to get really, really scary, you could carve Bono:

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Boo.

… A Reason To Celebrate

posted by on October 30 at 3:17 PM

Maybe one of the hidden secrets about me is that I’m a big Joe Claussell fan. Claussell, is a New York Deejay, producer, remixer, and label owner of both Spiritual Life Music and later Sacred Rhythm Music who is heavily influenced by NY’s legendary club scene of the early and late 1970’s including, the Paradise Garage and David Mancuso’s The Loft. On top of producing his own blends of deep house and tribal soul music, Claussell releases many inspirational mix compilations consisting of the most obscure selections of house, disco, funk, and acid-jazz songs that anyone can find. That being said, I recently came across one of his unmixed compilations titled, Music … A Reason To Celebrate. There are many great tracks on this compilation including Larry Levan’s remix of Imagination’sChanges”, Dave Samuels’ “New Math”, and Pam Todd & Love Exchange’sLet’s Get Together”, however the song that just blows me away is Maynard Ferguson’s 1976 album cut “Pagliacci”. This track which originally appeared on Ferguson’s Primal Scream LP, is a disco-funk gem, that consists of a heavy dose of latin percussion along with some serious trumpet and string layering. Without Claussell putting this track on one his compilations, it’s probably safe to say, I might not have ever discovered this amazing track. Music … A Reason To Celebrate, is not only a great compilation of good music, it’s also somewhat of a musical education piece.

Maynard Ferguson - Pagliacci

“Who’s That I See Walkin’ in These Woods?”

posted by on October 30 at 3:10 PM

“Why, it’s Little Red Riding Hood!”

Since we’re on the subject: I’ll forever associate the 1966 Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs classic “Little Red Riding Hood” with Halloween. I was riding with my mom to Walgreens in the Palm Beach Mall to pick up something she needed to finish some Halloween costume of mine. She left me in the car while she ran into the store, and I was sitting there alone with the radio on, on Halloween night, and this song came on. Spooked me something good—I don’t remember what my costume was, but I never forgot the song.

Twenty-five years later, I learned that the song is indeed one of the coolest of all time. It’s so loose and garaged out, Sam’s vocals hardly synching up with the backing crew, that guitar wiry and sinister, those keys lo-fi and dirty. And that howl, and the way he delivers the opening lines… Sam the Sham was a badass. Of course he was better known for “Wooly Bully,” another proto-garage classic (see Lester Bangs on that one), but “Little Red Riding Hood” is waaaaay too cool to overlook.

Of course the Big Bad Wolf was hot for Little Red Riding Hood—it makes perfect sense in a gruesome, psycho-sexual Brothers Grimm way.

Architecture About Dancing

posted by on October 30 at 2:48 PM

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Architecture in Helsinki, Glass Candy, Panther @ the Showbox

Like I’ve said, last night’s Architecture in Helsinki show was a wonderfully mismatched, totally brilliant bill. Panther kicked things off with some spare quasi-tribal drum circling and washes of delayed vocals. The newly expanded two-piece band bore little resemblance to Panther’s old one-man show. Where Charlie Salas-Humara’s solo performances relied on pre-recorded fryk beats and his mostly unadulterated falsetto-inflected crooning, the new line-up adds live drumming and a lot more vocal delay to the mix. The one through-line is Salas-Humara’s bizarre stage presence, a combination of gawky pantomimed dance moves and awkward self-deprecating banter. The heavy echo effects and live percussive pulse make lend Panther’s songs more of a basement Boredums sun jam vibe and less of an ironic electro funk feeling. Even the backing tracks felt more acoustic and rocking, less digital Portland crunk, recalling The Planet The as much as past Panther. It really is like a new band, and it’s for the better.

As strange an opening act as Panther is for AiH, Glass Candy may be even stranger. Architecture is all sunny, summer cute—hot air, cool breezes, campfire choruses—but Glass Candy is icy cold, digital, and tinged with after dark anxieties. Their had some rough patches (though not as many as their recent Pony show)—after the long intro to “Sugar & Whitebread,” Johnny Jewel dropped a slow, off-tempo beat, forcing them to start over—but they were hypnotically cool and compelling as always. Highlights included their cover of Kraftwek’s “Computer Love” (Trent Moorman swears they were interpolating a Coldplay riff in there somewhere; I doubt it), “Life After Sundown,” and the eventually corrected “Sugar & Whitebread.” The band also played material from their stellar new record, B/E/A/T/B/O/X (available from Italians Do It Better), including—I think—”Candy Castle,” “Etheric Device,” and “Rolling Down the Hills.” It was a fun show, if not as crazy as their smalle venue performances of late, and thanks to an inexplicalby small crowd there was plenty of room to dance, even up close to the stage.

Things filled up considerably for Architecture in Helsinki, though (I know at least a couple people who came late after catching Joanna Newsom’s orchestral performance at Benaroya). The six-piece band were ebullient and adorable as always, especially lead singer/guitarist Cameron Bird, keyboardist/vocalist Kellie Sutherland, and that one guy who seems to play every instrument on stage (drums, keyboard, trombone)—Bird knocked over his electronic drum pad while jumping around with his guitar during “Nothing’s Wrong.” In Case We Die remains my favorite AiH record, and “It’s Five,” “The Cemetery,” their percussive jam on “Do the Whirlwind,” and espeically the crush-worthy “Wishbone” all sounded fantastic last night. But the bright, Talking Heads world pop of Places Like This works so well live—the aforementioned “Nothing’s Wrong,” the jangly “Like it or Not,” the bouyant “Hold Music,” the loping “Kokomo”-interpolating tropicalia of “Heart it Races”—that it has me now re-evaluating the new record, which I initially dismissed as middling. I think it might actually be another really good record.

Also, this is the second show in a row I’ve seen from Architecture in Helsinki in which they take a moment to wax ecstatic about how monumental it is for them to visit Seattle, what with them being, in Birds’ words, “Gen-Xers” and big Nirvana fans. It’s easy to forget how much Seattle still means to people, what with everyone escaping to Portland these days, so it’s nice to know we still have cred in Melbourne, at least.

More Halloween Songs from Jason Josephes

posted by on October 30 at 2:32 PM

Jason Josephes, a favorite guest blogger from Freaky Friday a couple weeks ago, tried to post a comment on my Halloween song post. Because of all the links, the machine thought Jason was a spammer. He’s not. But his suggestions are worthy of being shared, so here you go!:

Whoa, whoa, whoa. A list of Halloween-esque music WITHOUT Bobby “Boris” Pickett’s “Monster Mash”? That’s like Christmas without “Jingle Bells” or Valentine’s Day without “Ghostbusters.” For shame! Here’s a link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZJSW_7YLVs.

Or maybe you’re old fashioned and prefer the Mike Tyson/Bobby Brown duet from the Jimmy Kimmell Show. It’s not the scariest version, but it sure is the one I wanna listen to while smoking crack and eating my enemy’s children:

The scariest version? Easy. Mannheim Steamroller. It may seem like an odd cover choice for a band known for a Christmas album we’ll be listening to until we die, but MH founder Chip Davis’ first hit ever was the 1970’s novelty smash “Convoy” (under the name C.W. McCall.) Ashes to ashes, novelty song to novelty song.

Happy Halloween, everybody!

Benefit for Kim Warnick Tonight at the Cha Cha

posted by on October 30 at 2:01 PM

Kelly O mentioned it in this week’s (Not) Drunk of the Week, but just to remind you…

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(Click to make the image larger, big thanks to Kwab for passing along the flier.)

Also Tonight in Music

posted by on October 30 at 1:37 PM

Two very cool touring bands are coming through the Funhouse, Capillary Action from Philly and Uz Jsme Doma from Prague. Doma are a prog band from Prague, how cool is that? From their website:

Uz Jsme Doma spent the first years of its existence in underground Czechoslovakia. After the Velvet Revolution it was one of the first groups to storm out and establish an alternative rock sound for the new republic. Along with Plastic People of the Universe they became ambassadors of Central European rock, frequently touring the U.S. and establishing a cult following in America. If the PPU embody the Communist repression of the 1970s and 1980s in their gloomy, despair-driven music, then Uz Jsme Doma represents the exuberance of liberation.

Capillary Action plays songs with frantic bi-polar changes and Mike Patton-esque vocals. Pitchfork’s Joe Tangari named their instrumental debut Fragments one of the 50 best albums of 2005. After this tour they are heading out to roam the country with local favorite PWRFL POWER.

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Funhouse, 9pm $7 w/ Rad Touch, AAIIEE, and Amy Denio

Beauty and the East

posted by on October 30 at 1:01 PM

barbdrive.JPGTrentalange - (pronounced Trent-ah-lahnge) is the Seattle based project of Crooked Fingers alum, Barbara Trentalange. She is out on the road for a month, taking her darkly charmed, down-tempo, trip-hop trance to the people.

She is touring with drummer Faith Stankevech as a two-piece. Faith also plays in the Tiptons and Marmalade.

Barbara checks in:

Two girls on the road here. The drives have been beautiful - Rainbows, sunsets, and rising full moons. Amber and purple streaks have crept across the sky reflecting the clouds. We’ve been driving along with our jaws in our laps.

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Kansas City - Saturday, Oct. 27th - We spent the morning following directions from our GPS (whom we have given the name Guisepe, our autistic and temperamental child). The instructions promised to deliver us to a grocery store that would have lots of wholesome food. Instead, we found a building with the windows broken out.

If you get the chance, go see the band Tartufi. They are a kick-ass duo that makes more noise than a 10 piece metal band.

Chicago - Monday, October 29th - I found my favorite chocolate in the world, Moonstruck Chocolate. They have a dark chocolate with chili pepper in it. Oh so good.

Trentalange plays in Chicago tonight at Reggie’s.

Drive safe out there, Barbara and Faith. Don’t let Guisepe get out of hand. Sometimes when he says left, he means right. Oh, and can I adopt your last name?

Re: Trick or Treat! Smell My Feet!

posted by on October 30 at 12:45 PM

Don’t forget the hipster-ific “Do They Know it’s Halloween?” by the Unicorns/Islands’ Nick Diamonds and an all-star cast including Karen O, David Cross, and many, many others:

Trick or Treat! Smell My Feet!

posted by on October 30 at 12:30 PM

Tomorrow is Halloween. So you should prepare today by eating a lot of candy and listening to Halloween music.

Here:

The Ramones “Pet Cemetary”

Michael JacksonThriller

Warren ZevonWherewolves of London

DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh PrinceNightmare on My Street

Talking HeadsPsycho Killer

The Misfits “Monster Mash”

Schoolyard HeroesThe Plastic Surgery Hall of Fame

Marilyn MansonThis is Halloween

Bow Wow WowI Want Candy

AFIHalloween

Screamin’ Jay HawkinsI Put a Spell On You

MinistryEveryday is Halloween

And Halloween wouldn’t be complete without this kid:

Happy Halloween, monsters!

Live Nation’s Loss is Seattle Theater Group’s Gain

posted by on October 30 at 12:05 PM

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Last year, L.A.-based megapromotion company Live Nation bought L.A.-based megavenue chain House of Blues. The transaction derailed House of Blues’ potential buyout of the Paramount Theater, owned and operated by the Seattle Theater Company, and sent ripples through Live Nation offices around the U.S.

This week, Seattle Theater Company announced the hiring of Adam Zacks, founder of Sasquatch! Festival and former Senior Talent Buyer for the Seattle office of Live Nation. Zacks is now Senior Talent Buyer (such a mercenary title) for Seattle Theater Group, a brand-new position created for Zacks with the intent of ramping up STG’s concerts division. Zacks will book shows at the Paramount and STG’s other venue, the Moore Theater, and will continue to book concerts at other venues around the city under the auspices of STG. Zacks will also negotiating with Live Nation so he can continue to work on Sasquatch! as an outside consultant.

Also brought on board by STG is Vera Project veteran Kate Becker, who will be Director of Development.

These are big moves for STG. As a non-profit arts organization, they must be kicking financial ass to be able to affort two proven industry pros. It’s likely that Becker’s role will bring in the cash to pay Zacks’ salary, and Zacks’ role will bring in the cash to continue expanding the organization.

What that expansion means, though, is unclear. Seattle music lovers can certainly look forward to more and better concerts at the Paramount and the Moore. Hopefully, we can also look forward to physical improvements in both theaters (especially the sound at the Paramount. Seriously.) Zacks had booked 60 percent of Live Nation’s shows in Seattle; now those same shows will fly under the STG banner. It’s possible that, with this refocusing on their concerts division, STG will taper their fine arts programming—stuff like the bodies exhibit and the dance performances they’ve hosted this year. It’s also possible that STG will use their expanded concerts division to fund more fine arts programming.

Either way, it’s always heartening to see someone bow out of the private sector to work for an arts non-profit. We might get less Young Frankenstein at the Paramount, but we’ll get more big-time concerts.

Stay tuned as more info is reported.

Hustler vs Hustler

posted by on October 30 at 11:45 AM

So, which video for Simain Mobile Disco’s “Hustler” do you prefer?

The original, faux-lesbian, American Apparel model telephone/make out circle (directed by Saam Farahmand):

Or this new, Aphex tinged, women-as-foodstuffs binge & purge (directed by Ace Norton):

(Thanks, SMD, now I feel two kinds of gross)

Demand, Meet Supply!

posted by on October 30 at 11:10 AM

This morning brought the following to my mailbox:

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It’s a live CD/DVD combo from the Barenaked Ladies, featuring “a tight blend of classics” (they mean originals like “One Week,” not standards like “Bridge Over Troubled Water”) and boasting the awe-inspiring title Talk to the Hand.

I look forward the forthcoming making-of DVD, Barenaked Ladies: Oh No They Di’in’t!

Guitar Hero Gets One-Upped

posted by on October 30 at 10:55 AM

According to TG Daily, there’s a new video game in town. It’s called Rock Band and it’ll allow players to plug in multiple “instruments” (a microphone, two guitars, a bass, and drums) so players can jam with their friends to almost 60 songs spanning four decades of music.

The song list was released today:

1960s

Rolling Stones “Gimme Shelter”

1970s

Aerosmith “Train Kept a Rollin’”*
The Who “Won’t Get Fooled Again”
Boston “Foreplay/Long Time”
Mountain “Mississippi Queen”*
The Police “Next to You”
David Bowie “Suffragette City”
Black Sabbath “Paranoid”*
Blue Oyster Cult “Don’t Fear the Reaper”
The Ramones “Blitzkrieg Bop”
Deep Purple “Highway Star”
KISS “Detroit Rock City”
Molly Hatchet “Flirtin’ With Disaster”
The Outlaws “Green Grass & High Tides”*
Sweet “Ballroom Blitz”*

1980s

Rush “Tom Sawyer”*
Bon Jovi “Wanted Dead or Alive”
The Clash “Should I Stay or Should I Go”
Faith No More “Epic”
R.E.M. “Orange Crush”
Iron Maiden “Run to the Hills”*

1990s

Foo Fighters “Learn to Fly”
Metallica “Enter Sandman”
Nirvana “In Bloom”
Stone Temple Pilots “Vasoline”
Weezer “Say It Ain’t So”
Smashing Pumpkins “Cherub Rock”
Radiohead “Creep”
Beastie Boys “Sabotage”
Hole “Celebrity Skin”
Garbage “I Think I’m Paranoid”
Soundgarden “Black Hole Sun”

2000s

The Hives “Main Offender”
Queens of the Stone Age “Go With the Flow”
The Strokes “Reptilia”
Jet “Are You Gonna Be My Girl”
OK Go “Here It Goes Again”
Nine Inch Nails “The Hand That Feeds”
Pixies “Wave of Mutilation”
Yeah Yeah Yeahs “Maps”
Red Hot Chili Peppers “Dani California”
Coheed & Cambria “Welcome Home”
Fallout Boy “Dead on Arrival”
The Killers “When You Were Young”
New Pornographers “Electric Version”

New Pornographers? That’s crazy! But over all, the list actually looks really weak to me. Is that what the 2000s are going to be remembered for musically? Are Coheed and Fall Out Boy really the Nirvana and the Who of our generation? Are they the artists that are going to last?

And where the hell are Guns ‘n’ Roses and AC/DC?

Tonight in Music

posted by on October 30 at 10:23 AM

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Enon, Love of Diagrams
(Nectar) Pop genius comes in many forms, and with John Schmersal—the wizard behind Enon—it’s wonderfully eccentric and twisted. Schmersal has taken the tweaked-out energy of his previous band, Brainiac, and channeled it into more hummable territory. That’s not to say that Enon are easily digestible: The band make sci-fi hits for sexy robots, and you’d be hard-pressed to rock these tunes on an acoustic guitar. If you can believe Enon, outer space is rockin’. BARBARA MITCHELL

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Photo by Mike Persico

Man Man, Love as Laughter, Wild Orchid Children, Druid Flower
(Neumo’s) Sure, it’s not technically Halloween until tomorrow (or at least midnight tonight), but you couldn’t hope for a better house band for the haunted holiday than Philadelphia’s Man Man. The carnival-barking quartet always get dressed up and war-painted for shows, lending every performance a little psychedelic funhouse vibe, and who knows if they’ll have something extra in store for the coming holiday. Either way, their boozy, growling ballads and baroque jams should provide plenty in the way of both tricks and treats. Experimental Kay Kay offshoot Wild Orchid Children set the mood with their psilocybin spirituals, wild-animal calls, and forest-fire guitars. ERIC GRANDY

A Brief History of Rock’n’Roll

posted by on October 30 at 10:00 AM

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In this year’s Best American Non-Required Reading, edited by Dave Eggers with a charming introduction by Sufjan Stevens, there is a short non-fiction piece by Scott Carrier, called Rock the Junta, about the most popular rock band in the severely fucked military dictatorship of Burma. It’s a great story; I would call it required reading, but…you know. The story contains a paragraph that might be the most concise, poetic history of rock’n’roll ever written (forgive me, I’m channeling Charles Mudede this morning):

When I was seven years old, in 1964, I went over to a friend’s house after school. He had a teenage sister, and we were in her bedroom, and she put “I Want To Hold Your Hand,” a 45, on her little box record player. She hung her head and swayed back and forth so her hair bounced off her cheeks. Then she started dancing with her arms up in the air, twisting her ass, jumping up and down. I’d never seen anything like it, but I knew it was dangerous.

Monday, October 29, 2007

John Richards is OK

posted by on October 29 at 4:08 PM

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In light of his ongoing involvement as co-manager of the Blakes, KEXP DJ John Richards has taken flak recently—both within The Stranger and the music community at large—for potential conflict of interest.

Megan Seling has been following the story closely for the past several months, tracking number of spins between the Blakes and other bands on KEXP. She has a news item in this week’s issue that examines the situation and makes a good point:

While Richards’s commitment to the Blakes may raise red flags, the explanation for the conflict of interest is actually part of an equation that makes indie stations like KEXP vibrant. Richards is a music enthusiast, and so it’s inevitable—and perhaps even a good thing—that he’d wind up working with a local band.

It’s only natural, Seling argues—these trespasses happen all across the media. She goes on to list the stats:

The Blakes have received 39 plays on Richards’s show in the last year. Sub Pop’s highest-selling artist ever, the Shins, have been played 44 times on his show. Two local bands who are more on par with the Blakes, the Cave Singers and the Valley, have received 19 and 20 respectively.

They reflect Richards’ affinity for the Blakes, but again, there’s technically nothing illegal or, really, unethical about what he’s doing.

We’re as surprised as anyone that we’re not roasting the guy alive.

Stylus, RIP

posted by on October 29 at 3:31 PM

Online music magazine Stylus is closing Wednesday after 5 years. Though never as popular, the site provided a welcome alternative to Pitchfork, offering long form reviews, lists, and the like with slightly less snark and hype (though also less mp3 and video). Stylus will be missed.

(Hat tip to Idolator)

Good News Re: Russian Circles

posted by on October 29 at 2:33 PM

Clearly I’m in an instrumental phase.

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I’ve been a fan of Russian Circles since seeing the Chicago trio at the Crocodile back in, I think, April. They were opening for the Appleseed Cast and they really stole the headliners’ thunder. The money I had in my pocket for an AC t-shirt instead went to buy a copy of Russian Circles full-length Enter. Worth every penny.

The folks at Suicide Squeeze are fans too; the band just signed with the local label (home of Minus the Bear) and they plan to release a new album as soon as spring of next year. The bad news is bassist Colin DeKuiper is no longer with the band. But the bonus good news is These Arms are Snakes’s Brian Cook (formerly of Botch) is going to record and play a few shows with the band, including the November 29 Seattle date at Neumo’s.

With Cook in the mix, and Bayles producing it, that record is going to sound so effing killerrrrr.

If you’re not familiar with the band, now is the perfect time to get into it. Enter is recommended listening for gray days like today (especially if you’re kind of worn out and tired like me and you just wanna zone out to something intense). Even more perfect is that Halloween is on Wednesday. Listen to the Russian Circles on Wednesday. The music’s sorta spooky. Not in a black metal way, though, more in a moody, maybe being chased by a ghost sorta way. But it’s probably a nice ghost. Not stupidly nice like Casper, but not mean enough to kill you. It’s got a lot of haunting guitar noises, explosive drumming, there are even some almost pretty, bright moments that sound like the clouds are starting to break apart in the otherwise solemn sky.

Here, listen (via russiancircles.net):
“Carpe”
Death Rides a Horse

November 29th needs to come faster.

Will Butler VS Sasha Frere-Jones

posted by on October 29 at 2:20 PM

William Butler (not to be confused with brother Win), guitarist/bassist/percussionist/synth-player of the Arcade Fire responded to the now-infamous Sasha Frere-Jones article.

Being as I am in the Arcade Fire, I prickle a little bit at your statement that “[i]f there is a trace of soul, blues, reggae, or funk in Arcade Fire, it must be philosophical; it certainly isn’t audible.” In a somewhat … I dunno, is it childish to respond to critics this way? Anyway. I’ve attached an MP3 with parts of our songs that I think steal quite blatantly from black people’s music from all over the globe.

And also:

…don’t forget that miscegenation need [not] be across color lines. Poles and Italians and the Irish don’t mix, traditionally. I think an artist like Joanna Newsom is stealing Old World folk-style music (dare I say Irish?) and mixing it with more American Folk, which is partly white and partly black and partly mysterious (which you touch on in your article).

Whatever you thought of the original article, his letter is one of the more intelligent responses I’ve read, although I’d be interested to read it in its entirety. The MP3 is definitely interesting. Also, Butler’s comments about Joanna Newsom (positive comments?) only reinforce what you should already know, why I also love her, and why you should probably be heading down to Benaroya Hall in a few hours.

Props to Brooklyn Vegan for being on the ball…

MSTRKRFT @ Electric Avenue Friday Night

posted by on October 29 at 1:18 PM

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With the cancellation of Freak Night, speculation was high regarding where the artists would end up playing. One of the early bookings in the works was getting MSTRKRFT to play Electric Avenue at the CHAC. Late in the day it was revealed that most artists would be playing Level 5 (formerly Element), and people went about their Friday business. Then just before 1am an addendum was sent saying that MSTRKRFT was playing an impromptu Electric Avenue afterhours. Not a bad way to start the weekend and after Justice and Digitalism, a fitting cap to a month of rock-infused electro.

I showed up a little before 3am after a brief nap, then walked into CHAC where the small but appreciative crowd was getting into MSTRKRFT’s DJing. The afterhours was 18+, so there were plenty of underagers in attendance, most congregated around the turntables. The duo didn’t seem to mind the attention, only pausing on occasion to keep the equipment safe. It was very appropriate that the laptop had a “Wasted Youth” sticker, an apt description of some of the audience.

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The balance shifted younger as the 21+ crowd drifted out before the 4am close, but the intensity never let up, with the duo dropping some obligatory Daft Punk in their set. The room was dark, the basement space rumbled, and despite being held at a real venue, the party had a wonderful, illicit vibe. Once the music stopped at 4am people trickled onto the streets and assumedly back home. One of the more energetic dancers proclaimed, “That party was underground as fuck!,” and he was right. Nice work Electric Avenue crew for pulling that off.

Tonight in Music

posted by on October 29 at 11:55 AM

Joanna Newsom is tonight at Benaroya Hall. Jeff Kirby loves her and in this week’s paper he tells you why you should too. An excerpt:

Joanna Newsom is a polarizing figure. Of those who’ve heard her inimitable brand of harp folk, few merely “tolerate” it: Either you embrace her fully or wish her harp would capsize and crush her tiny body. Clearly, the principle factor in this rift is the sound of her voice. Its development between Mender and Ys is noticeable, losing much of the nasal “Lisa Simpsonesque” quality; still, Newsom’s singing probably needs time to soak in for new ears. There simply isn’t another singer in popular music who sounds the same. Once that initial hurdle is crossed and the listener is willing to accept that something worthwhile lies ahead, great pleasure and fulfillment await.

Read the full piece here.

Stranger Suggests suggest:

Architecture in Helsinki
(Music) If you’re not in the mood for Joanna Newsom’s epic, medieval-fantasy song cycles at Benaroya tonight, consider seeing Architecture in Helsinki, Australia’s best export since Steve Irwin (RIP). The orch-pop sextet leaps from twee swooning to upside-down funk to aeronautic anthems with energy and ease. The Showbox’s spring-loaded floor is sure to be bouncing. Opening is Panther, Portland’s absurdist white-boy Prince, and nu-Italo disco darlings Glass Candy. It’s an oddly matched but totally brilliant bill. (Showbox at the Market, 1426 First Ave, 628-0888. 8 pm, $16, all ages.) ERIC GRANDY

(This blurb caused quite the hilarious controversy on Line Out last week… click here to read about it.)

Eric Grandy also suggests via U&C:

Caribou, Born Ruffians, Feral Children, DJ Colin
(Neumo’s) Dundas, Ontario’s Caribou (formerly Manitoba, née Dan Snaith) is like a perfectly preserved psychedelic fossil thawed out and cleaned up with only the lightest modern touch. It’s like Encino Man, only starring Arthur “Love” Lee instead of Pauly Shore and Brian Wilson instead of that gay hobbit, except, I guess, with the flow of time reversed. On Snaith’s latest, Andorra, stylized, ’60s flowers push up through frozen tundra, magic creatures hibernate and emerge into the sunshine, and Snaith presides over the seasons like a shaman. Live, his hermetic recordings are realized by a full band and complemented by synchronized visuals. Feral Children’s wild stylings are rougher and more rabid that Snaith’s but are not without their own moments of organic bliss. ERIC GRANDY

Even more can be found in Get Out, our searchable events calendar.

Cave Singers @ The Crocodile

posted by on October 29 at 10:54 AM

Cave Singers? Pfft. Old news to this local music veteran.

What, a few months doesn’t qualify me for veteran status? See, while I was plotting my eventual move to Seattle, I saw the trio open for Grizzly Bear at Neumo’s back in February and thought they were a relatively pleasant opening surprise, though I didn’t realize just how new the act was at the time. I also thought that seeing Andrea Zollo hanging around at a concert (and chipping in backing vocals with Cave Singers) was a BFD, so I’m not sure what good my area music opinion was at that point. (Funny thing—later that night, I overheard her blurt out the details of PGMG’s then-unannounced breakup tour dates in China. Not to be a snoop, but it was hard to miss her assumedly drunken shouts of, “We’re going to fucking China!”)

Since then, Cave Singers have apparently become a BFD. Saturday night’s huge crowd made that apparent enough, but the trio’s confidence was far more telling, assumedly bred by a month of touring with Vancouver’s Black Mountain. Lead singer Pete Quirk has really come into his own in this band, turning down the overwrought, almost Thom Yorke-ian pleading of his previous band Hint Hint to recast himself as a creepy folk crooner, reminding me (at least in spirit) of a younger Michael Stipe. I’m not totally convinced about the act putting on a compelling live show—not without letting me sit in a chair, anyway, as the trio’s pared down sound doesn’t really compel me to stand up. But their improvement since February is obvious, and I’ve had too many out-of-town friends e-mail me in the past few weeks about seeing Cave Singers open for Black Mountain, so they’re probably on to something.

Dim video from Saturday’s show is below.

Power, Chemistry, Emotion, & Diddy

posted by on October 29 at 10:45 AM

diddy.jpgSean Diddy Puffy ‘Ami Yumi’ Combs has signed a multiyear deal to ‘develop’ Ciroc Vodka. I have always thought Sean Combs is one of the most talentless mistakes of a performer in the history of the world. I will never forgive Jimmy Page for working with him. I saw a Diddy concert on cable where he was playing some sort of stadium in Brazil. I watched it for half an hour and for half an hour, all Combs did was yell, “Yeah! Yeah! Come on, come on! Hey! Hey!”

I kept waiting for him to rap. I thought since he had worked with Jimmy Page I should at least try to see what his stuff was like. But he never rapped, at all, and I couldn’t take it any more.

The slogan for his vodka should be, “You have to drink a bottle of this, in order to think I have talent.”

Is Ciroc Vodka good? I’m not luxurious enough to know. And this is what they say about his cologne:

‘Unforgivable’, is a bold fragrance that blends power, chemistry and emotion. It stimulates the senses in ways never imagined.

Holy shit. I’m going to go smoke crack now.

This article from the AP sums it all up:

(NEW YORK AP) The 37-year-old hip-hop mogul has inked a multiyear deal to develop the Ciroc vodka brand - one of Diageo PLC’s superpremium lines - for a 50-50 share in the profits.

It’s the latest agreement in which a celebrity is going beyond the typical endorser role to share in a brand’s rise and fall, such as Jay-Z with Budweiser and 50 Cent with Vitamin Water.

Diageo said the agreement could be worth more than $100 million for Combs over the course of the deal, depending on how well the brand performs.

“It is not an endorsement deal,” Combs told The Associated Press on Tuesday night. “This is something that will have my daily attention.”

Combs said he wanted to work with Diageo because the company understood that “I’m not just a celebrity endorser, I’m a brand builder. I’m a luxury brand builder.”
Combs said he will be responsible for everything from marketing the brand to deciding where to sell it, and will focus on attracting “movers and shakers” to the line.

“They’re looking for something that tastes like their lifestyle,” he said. “It’s that trendsetter, that hipster, someone who’s looking for luxury and looking for something better.”

Combs already has his own perfume and clothing line, and serves as chief executive of record company Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment.

“I can’t overhype someone into loving vodka,” he said. But once consumers actually taste Ciroc, “I think we can convert a lot of people.”

Daft Punk - “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger (Live)”

posted by on October 29 at 9:50 AM

I have to say, Daft Punk’s new Oliver Gondry-directed live video for “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” just doesn’t come close to capturing the ecstatic spectacle that is their live show (though the live mix sounds great, and I can’t wait for the upcoming live album Alive 2007). Here it is, in all its “Awesome! I Fuckin’ Shot That” glory:

Porter Wagoner…

posted by on October 29 at 9:48 AM

Died yesterday, at 80. Sorry.

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