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Archives for 11/18/2007 - 11/24/2007

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Post-Thanksgiving Party Tonight!

posted by on November 24 at 6:11 PM


Do you need to work off that Thanksgiving meal? Or are you just in the mood to party all night long?

Tonight, Suntzu Sound and Sensory Effect present an all-night Post-Thanksgiving Party at Hengst Studios (1506 Franklin Ave. e). The party starts at 10pm and will continue all night and into the early morning with a very eclectic mix of music and deejays. Don’t miss a great time of fun, drinking, and dancing.

Suntzu Sound and Sensory Effect present
Thanksgiving **all night party**
@ HENGST STUDIOS
1506 Franklin Ave. e
with music by
JACOB LONDON
MISTER LEISURE
TJ GORTON
SUNTZU SOUND vs KID HOPS
Full Bar Service (w/ ID)
21+ $10
10PM - 6AM

You Better, You Bettah, You Bet

posted by on November 24 at 2:34 PM

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Not many people know it, but Port Townsend was originally named Pete Towns(h)end, after the award winning English rock guitarist from the Who. (Thank you, Kim Hayden.)

In 1971, after the Who’s Next tour, Pete sought a quiet getaway and found the unsettled area on the northeast corner of the Olympic Peninsula. There, he encountered Captain George Vancouver and Indians from the Chemakum, Hoh, and Klallum.

Vancouver and the tribesmen couldn’t get enough of the windmill.

In lieu of the 2004 child porn allegations, they changed the name. For three days the name was actually ‘Porn Townsend’, but that didn’t fly for political reasons, so they went with Port.


Friday, November 23, 2007

This Week’s Setlist

posted by on November 23 at 3:17 PM

Wanna hear Kinski? Wanna hear Feral Children? Wanna here the Limbs and Diminished Men and Cancer Rising?

Yes, you do. So what are you waiting for?

Click here to listen to this week’s Setlist.

Happy Black Friday

posted by on November 23 at 1:55 PM

Local band Tennis Pro wrote a song to celebrate the day after Thanksgiving, the biggest shopping day of the year.

Enjoy!

Click here to listen.

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Today in Music News

posted by on November 23 at 12:38 PM

Aww, a mixtape from Janet Reno: The former attorney general’s Song of America includes Andrew Bird, Devendra Banhart, and Danielson.

Band Aid, Live Aid, Live 8 aren’t helping anything? Head of African charity claims that concert campaigns actually increase problems.

My Bloody Valentine pulling a Radiohead with new record: Except it probably won’t be pay-what-you-will.

Where the Wild Things Aren’t: Fall Out Boy forgot to inform children’s author Maurice Sendak of their tour decor plans.

Tonight in Music

posted by on November 23 at 9:52 AM

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Bird Show of North America, Artis the Spoonman, Daguerreotypes
(Crocodile) How so un–punk rock of me to suggest you buy something the day after Thanksgiving. I know it’s Black Friday and all, but it’s not like I’m asking you to go to fucking Wal-Mart and get a blender for your sister or something. I’m just saying that maybe you should head to the Croc and pay a few bucks to see Bird Show of North America, a fantastically dynamic and playful instrumental act who play songs about birds. Or named after birds. There are no words, so I can’t say for certain that the songs are about birds. While the music plays, another member of the band paints and/or draws pictures of birds. And they’re not too bad! And they’re available for sale after the show for something like $20 a pop, which is a bargain price for everyone on your holiday list. MEGAN SELING

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Green Velvet, Nordic Soul vs. Recess, Red Pony, Scott Lonheim
(Neumo’s) Green Velvet is something of an anomaly among rave anthemists. The producer, born Curtis Jones and formerly known as Cajmere, is a born-again Christian (though he’s not gonna shove a giant, flashing cross in your face about it) and his most recognizable hit, “La La Land,” almost seems like—gasp!—an anti-drug song (supposedly, Jones found God in the grip of a bad trip). But, whatever his personal inclinations, the man sure as hell knows how to make a banging, euphoric club track (such as electro-house delights “Shake and Pop” and “Flash”). And his DJ sets are enough to make even the most piously sober soul freak, sweat, and, well, shake and pop. Opening is a small host of Seattle talent, including a tag team set from Broken Disco heads Nordic Soul and Recess, the critically buzzed Red Pony, and Scott Lonheim. ERIC GRANDY

Read more about Green Velvet in this week’s Bug in the Bassbin too.

Green Velvet is one of the largest personalities in the world of techno, generating hits that work in both underground and mainstream contexts. After starting with house, he rose to fame as a neon-haired electro punk, creating timeless testaments to hedonistic excess, odes to booze, pills, and partying. Those tracks mark a stark contrast from his conservative religious lifestyle of the last few years.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Joe Lally, Capillary Action, PWRFL PWR @ the Sunset

posted by on November 22 at 1:22 PM

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Kaz of PWRFL PWR might just win the award for best between song stage banter of any local musician. It’s rare that the audience is equally as entertained by what the performer says in-between the songs as during them. He played a new song last night: “I think I’m going to call this song ‘Peach Song.’ It’s about falling in love with a 16 year old girl. Don’t think that I’m creepy, I’m just trendy. Dating 16 year olds is the new trend.” Like all of Kaz’s songs, it was pretty, funny, and kind of sad in a heartsick way, with the first lyric: “I need a fake ID that says I’m 16.” After the song he explained the chord he used that represented the question of “Should I date a 16 year old?” It was a full sounding, beautiful chord until the last note, which made it become uncomfortable and awkward.

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Philadelphia’s Capillary Action sound like if the Locust were a lounge band. Singer Jonathan Pfeffer has a twinge of Mike Patton in his croon (though he insists he doesn’t like Patton and isn’t emulating him), his voice changing into pants and screams as the music rapidly jumps between genres. The band is incredibly tight live, as they seem to never stop touring together. They blend together spastic rock, jazz, lounge, and metal in a way that is undeniably unique and equally impressive.

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The boys of Capillary Action are so talented in fact that ex-Fugazi bassist Joe Lally picked them to tour and play as his backing band. In the interest of full disclosure, it should be noted that a) Fugazi is my favorite band of all time and b) Capillary Action keyboardist Kevin McHugh has been one of my best friends since age 7. I will not focus on the swell of pride I felt watching a good friend performing with an idol, which was significant, but rather on Lally’s solo songs, of which I had no idea what to expect coming into the show. Obviously the songs were bass driven, with Capillary Action filling in the background with a mixture of manipulated distortion, reverbed guitar accents and intricate keys. I was especially impressed after the set when I learned that the backing band is completely improvising the songs behind Lally, the set sounding different in every city.

The songs were low key - very reminiscent of the slower tracks off of End Hits or the Argument. Lally’s voice was strong, as were his songs, and there is no question as to his ability to lead his own band with his own compositions. There is no point lamenting the loss of Fugazi - they’re gone and they’re not coming back - but it is nice to know that one of their members is continuing on in the same vein that they left off. This is not to say Lally is relying on that “Fugazi sound” to still further his musical career; the only part of his band that sounds like Fugazi is his bass, and he invented that sound, he can use it as long as he likes.


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Deutschland Disco Power

posted by on November 21 at 4:15 PM

Not Actual Compilation ArtworkI recently ordered Marina Records new 2 x vinyl LP compilation Disco Deutschland Disco:Funk & Philly Anthems From Germany 1975-1980. Now we know that there has been some great artists who have come out this region, like my personal favorites Kraftwerk & Manuel Göttsching, however this compilation focuses on the more obscure German disco/funk artists and songs from this period. This release, like most great compilations, serves as an eye opener to many great unknown artists, including Alfie Khan Sound Orchestra, Jackie Carter, and Ganymed. The record also includes some classic tracks from some of Germany’s disco heavyweights like Supermax, Munich Machine, and Silver Convention. There are many standout tracks on this compilation, however the one I’m currently enjoying the most is the LP’s opening track “You’ve Got The Power Pt.1” by Su Kramer. Kramer wouldn’t be really considered a disco artist necessarily, however her disco roots do run deep as she started her music career alongside Donna Summer as a cast member of the first German musical production of “Hair”. However, in 1976 she explored into the disco genre and released Hier Ist Das Leben which featured “You’ve Got The Power Pt.1”. The original track was sung in german, however she later released an English sung version as a 7-inch only release. Overall, “You’ve Got The Power Pt.1” is just one example of the solid German disco classics that you can find on this outstanding compilation.

Su Kramer - You’ve Got The Power Pt.1

Tonight in Music News

posted by on November 21 at 2:04 PM

Today is No Music Day: Existing for various reasons?

Friend-ing for Records: Myspace announces plans for distributing music through advertising.

Federici won’t be joining the E Street Band: Keyboardist undergoing melanoma treatment.

“I’m Not There”: Todd Haynes’ new Dylan film opened today, the real Dylan is promoting Escalades.

Bat for Lashes on iTunes:
New exclusive EP includes Placid remix, live track.

Heretic Pride: New Mountain Goats album dropping February 19.

In the Charts: Band of Horses still at the top of the college charts (how was the show?), Jay-Z dominates Billboard 200.

Walking out on Larry King Live: Doctor of Kanye’s Mom leaves in the middle of an interview.

Giving Thanks - The Rodeo Records

posted by on November 21 at 1:38 PM

hatcords.jpgBrent Amaker and the Rodeo recently recorded in Renton’s Spectre Studio. Spectre has the Quad Eight 20-channel console that recorded and mixed Steely Dan’s Countdown to Ecstasy and KISS’s ALIVE. It’s a natural progression: Steely Dan, KISS, Brent Amaker and the Rodeo.

Guitarist, Mason Lowe, took pictures and notes of the Rodeo in record mode. Mason says:

Spectre has a Missile Command video game. Brent got ALL the high scores. That’s not just talkin’ about it, that’s DOIN’ it!

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Now for some gear porn - this here is an Ampex 440 4-track ½” tape recording device, belonging to Mr. Tim Harmon. I wish you could get a whiff of this thing. It just smells great – serious electronics slow-cooking decades worth of dust.

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Question: Is the Rodeo in town?

Continue reading "Giving Thanks - The Rodeo Records" »

Tonight in Music

posted by on November 21 at 12:43 PM

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Busdriver, Daedelus, Antimc
(Nectar) To see glitch-hop producer Daedelus perform live is to witness a mad scientist or maybe a magician. The musician born Alfred Weisberg-Roberts rocks a laptop and a custom-built machine called a Monome. The Monome is basically just a grid of backlit buttons that control everything from samples to drum sequences to effects. But watching Daedelus hunched over the device, wild-eyed, dancing and mashing that grid of unmarked buttons like some kind of Simon savant is something else. It would be only a novelty save for the fact that his inscrutable fingers manage to summon beautiful melodies and brain-busting beats from the arcane device. Tongue-twisting, backpack-shredding, Islands-visiting MC Busdriver headlines. ERIC GRANDY

Dept of “Stop Me If You Think That You’ve Heard This One Before”

posted by on November 21 at 11:16 AM

So, yesterday the New York Times ran an op-ed by David Brooks, titled “The Segmented Society,” about the increasing niche-ification of the music industry and pop culture.

The 1970s were a great moment for musical integration. Artists like the Rolling Stones and Springsteen drew on a range of musical influences and produced songs that might be country-influenced, soul-influenced, blues-influenced or a combination of all three. These mega-groups attracted gigantic followings and can still fill huge arenas.

But cultural history has pivot moments, and at some point toward the end of the 1970s or the early 1980s, the era of integration gave way to the era of fragmentation. There are now dozens of niche musical genres where there used to be this thing called rock. There are many bands that can fill 5,000-seat theaters, but there are almost no new groups with the broad following or longevity of the Rolling Stones, Springsteen or U2.

[Steve] Van Zandt grew up in one era and now thrives in the other, but how long can mega-groups like the E Street Band still tour?

“This could be the last time,” he says.

He argues that if the Rolling Stones came along now, they wouldn’t be able to get mass airtime because there is no broadcast vehicle for all-purpose rock. And he says that most young musicians don’t know the roots and traditions of their music. They don’t have broad musical vocabularies to draw on when they are writing songs.

Ah, the good old days. Except, wait—what if you didn’t like the Rolling Stones or Springsteen or U2? The old answer was: tough shit, or at least good luck finding your alternatives. Then punk, diy, indie, blah blah blah. Then the internet, file sharing, blah blah blah. We all know this story, right? Except for maybe poor U2, poor David Brooks, and poor Little Stevie.

But bonus for the new middle class of American music, all the bands that are able to make a living (if not a killing) recording for bigger indies, touring, and making music that doesn’t have to strive for mass cultural supremacy, that can seek a niche and find it thanks to this lack of media monoculture. Bonus for fans of fragmented music and the bands that want to make it. Bonus for niche genres. But shed a tear for the baby boomers, who’ve lost the grand, unifying cultural narrative that must have made their generation seem so fucking important.

That last bit is particularly rich. More kids making music now have more access to more music and musical traditions than probably ever before, whether that music is part of Van Zandt’s canon or not.

Anyway, all this is to ask: Have you heard “Smell Yo Dick” yet? It’s canonically delicious!

It’s Bob Sapp Time!

posted by on November 21 at 9:23 AM

Here’s what I’m thankful for this year: Former University of Washington football star, Bob “The Beast” Sapp is now a pop music legend in Japan.

Bob Sapp please.

(Thanks to Robby for sharing this magic.)


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Crystal World

posted by on November 20 at 5:10 PM

It’s safe to say that I love French disco from the 1970’s, you know before France went “banger”. This region produced some of disco music’s best producers and writers, for example Cerrone, Don Ray, and Alec R. Costandinos to name a few. The music that was being produced by these artists was some of disco’s best and most break through releases, including Cerrone’s Love in C Minor, Sumeria’s Golden Tears, and Don Ray’s Garden of Love. Another French disco record that I’ve been getting into lately has been Crystal Grass’s 1974 LP Crystal world. This record, which is highlighted by the classic title track, “Crystal World”, contains that classic “French disco” sound that thrived during this period. The rest of the record doesn’t quite match the energy of “Crystal World”, however is still very solid. The record was co-written by none other than Alec R. Costandinos (Who Else?) and arranged by Don Ray, who seemed to arrange every disco record from this region at this time. Another solid release from a region that was just pumping out the disco hit’s during the 1970’s.

Crystal Grass - Crystal World

Transportational: White Magic @ Nectar

posted by on November 20 at 4:25 PM

Photos by Invisible Hour

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Restraint is undervalued and underused. It’s exactly what makes bands like the Cave Singers and White Magic so appealing: the feeling that there’s as much behind the music as in it. Restraint is different from minimalism in the tension it creates, and that tension often results in a sense of darkness, of foreboding. That’s what White Magic was all about last night.

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Mira Billotte sings like a possessed angel, with a vast range and ruddy, rich timbre, sounding equally ethereal and earthy. With Billotte on electric piano, backed with a bassist, drummer, and songwriting Doug Shaw on guitar and backing vocals, the overall sensation of White Magic is strangely supernatural, the sound of a midnight pagan ritual in a mist-shrouded forest. Part of the music’s restraint comes in repetition: Billotte’s keys and Shaw’s guitar fall in and out of phase, subtly hypnotizing until you realize you’ve been vexed or hexed or transfixed for an entire song. There’s a definite Silver Apples twist to this braiding of melodies, droning but shifting, organic but mechanical. The live setting also revealed a bit of the music’s latent barrelhouse/barroom swing.

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The music is made for the outdoors, for firelight, for pine needles underfoot. White Magic just played the Fernwood Resort down in Big Sur, opening Citay’s album release celebration. That would’ve been a totally rad, ideal locale for the band. There or an old hall with gooey, liquid-oil projections squirming and dripping larger than life on a backdrop behind them. It’s mushroom music, no question, and it seemed to warp the cozy confines of Nectar (which sounded GREAT) into something a little less familiar and recognizable.

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Like fellow quietmeisters Brightblack Morning Light, White Magic wasn’t much for stage presence. At least not at the beginning of the set, which was more a meditation than a rock show. Eventually a bottle of Jameson appeared and was passed around the stage and into the audience, where it and the mike were offered to some kid up front who told the room he came from Alaska to hear White Magic that night. The more the band hit the bottle—and it wasn’t manic, but it was steady—the looser they got.

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Most of their songs came from the mesmerizing Dark Stars EP and Dat Rosa album, but a few new tunes were revealed, including an Afro-Latin jammer towards the end of the set that was nearly danceable. The further the set developed, the more reverb blasted the vocals into a weird, dubby innerspace, and “Winds,” from Dark Stars, was a full-blown space-shot. To end the set, Billotte stepped out from behind the keys with an empty Corona bottle—clearly not just a prop—and tapped in rhythm to another Afro-Latin/Afropop tune. It was upbeat, a departure from the drawn, dramatic seriousness of the rest of the set. If that kind of contrast hints at the band’s developing interests, there’s a lot more goodness to expect from White Magic.

I <3 Jawbox; I Don’t Know if I <3 an All-Cello Jawbox Tribute Album

posted by on November 20 at 2:45 PM

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Via Punknews.org:

Gordon Withers, a “freelance rock cellist” has completed work on a all-cello tribute to Jawbox. The project features 12 songs from the Washington, DC-based band and has been put together as a fundraiser and tribute for Callum Robbins, son of Jawbox leader and producer, J.Robbins.

The disc is available directly from Withers on his myspace page and will be available digitally beginning December 18th.

Four songs from the tribute can be streamed on the myspace page. Those unfamiliar with Jawbox should check out the performance of “Iodine” from the band’s major label debut, Jawbox.

I do fucking love a cello. I’ve always wanted to play cello but never have and I’ve always admired (and secretly been jealous of) those who do it well. And I fucking LOVE Jawbox. But it’s so weird to hear it with all cello. So weird. It makes me wonder why…

But it’s worth checking out if you’re a Jawbox fan, though, even if only to hear how Withers reconstructed the songs. And there is that part in “Savory” around the 1:50 mark that ends up sounding pretty great.

Click click click to go to the myspace page.

More info about Jawbox can be found via Dischord.

Tonight in Music

posted by on November 20 at 2:02 PM

The Band of Horses are playing at the Showbox again tonight (they were there last night too). And Taj Mahal Trio continue their run at Jazz Alley as well.

And there’s also this:

The Round: Robb Benson, Bre Loughlin, Lesli Wood
(Nectar) If the idea of a multimedia experience that combines live music, poetry, and visual arts scares you just a bit, you’re not alone—local troubadour Mark Pickerel admits his initial reluctance to participate when he was approached last year. In the wrong hands, the Round (a monthly event curated by Nathan Marion) could be a pretentious mess. Instead, it’s a relaxed, down-to-earth and—gasp!—fun evening where songwriters trade stories and songs, quality poets ply their trade and visual art happens at the same time. “It’s a cool way for different artists to connect,” says Pickerel. This month’s musicians are Robb Benson, Bre Loughlin, and Lesli Wood, which is reason enough to attend. Take a chance on something new and different. You might be surprised. BARBARA MITCHELL

Straight Outa Fremont

posted by on November 20 at 1:42 PM

tamalegunz.jpgRE: 2080s

I don’t know about inventing musical genres. Please Mr. Blake B. Shorty Lewis, stay away from the Neverending Metal Dub Pop Story.

Drummer for the Lewis project, Kevin Sawka, said that in between songs on the Audio Daydream album will be instrumental sections of Blake beat boxing to Sawka drumming.

How about no hits, just beat box vs. drums? A Madlib mixed and remixed patchwork super sound? Madlib, are you down? Cool.

No, no. Not that.

I’ve got it, the new genre: Waltz – latino pop – hair band: Schubertenudo Glam.

Tamale Daydream of Danube Gunz.

Dirtbag Disco Promo Mix

posted by on November 20 at 1:16 PM

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Tonight marks the opening of Loose Joints, a new disco-centric night at Moe Bar. If so inclined, you should go (it’s FREE!). Inclined or not, you should definitely give the promo mix a listen, as Pretty Titty’s put together quite the enjoyable mix. Personally, I’ve just needed something to get me to listen to something besides the After Dark compilation I picked up last week (highly recommended!), so it remains all disco, all the time, but it’s at least something different. Enjoy.

Pretty Titty - Dirtbag Disco Mix

Taking Years off Our Lives Or Keeping Us Young

posted by on November 20 at 12:58 PM

backstage%2C%20Baltimore.jpgBackstage, Baltimore

Here comes the 44-hour slow-down drive from Philadelphia to front door, punch drunk with a bog of ruminations and don’t know where to start, don’t know who’s still asking. Got a few funny calls from the last one and kept them. Thanks. Wish I could’ve talked more in person because these entries are always full of post-deadline yip-yap and they probably weren’t what you asked for. Sorry about that.

How can we turn this around? I could talk about the endless miles of fireworks and highway sex-shops in God’s country, Country Buffet epithets, how we got sick and then set straight by boogie-woogie in the big bus with new friends, how we dropped calls, spent our minutes, slept face down on hardwood floors and wondered if it was taking years off our lives or keeping us young, how we gawked at the golden leaves croaking, pissed in the fog, ran our drunken beaks, apologized in mornings, swore off last calls, New York City with sun almost rising, low brows, maniacal beards—all wrapped up and exchanged for the promise of sexing our own sheets for two weeks before Bellingham, Boise, and into the snow. I could talk about this dead duck that’s now over, traded in for new and dear friends, unforgettable…

But we could also talk about the show that hasn’t happened yet with the Coconut Coolouts and the Thermals in our town, together. It’s always important to have something to look forward to. Know what I mean? And if people thought our soft-rock waltz was a funny-fit with the BSS, just look at THAT marquee. But, if anything has become even clearer to me through these weeks, it’s that any opportunity to spend a night with friends in music (especially if the bands you get to play with are making some of the best music around, period), you get right and get up for it. Gonna be a fun one. Can’t wait. Sleep first.

Until then,
Arthur & Yu

Today in Music News

posted by on November 20 at 12:19 PM

Slash’s Ultimate Guitar Showdown: Solo for a Les Paul or a Wii.

Louis Vuitton wins Britney Spears lawsuit: Sony, MTV online pay fine for unlawful shots of a pink dashboard.

Universal wouldn’t want to be hypocritical: Record label pulls the plug on NIN remix website.

Progress in the B.I.G. trial?
: Not really.

The Golden Ratio: Conspiracy Theory about In Rainbows and the significance of the number ten?

It’s understood that Hollywood sells Californication
: RHCP sue Showtime over stolen name.

Neil Diamond inspired by a Kennedy
: “Sweet Caroline” was the President’s daughter.

Show a Little Faith, There’s Magic in the Night

posted by on November 20 at 11:46 AM

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN & THE E STREET BAND

KEYARENA – SEATTLE, WA

Saturday, March 29, 2008

On Sale Saturday, December 8 at 10:00 AM

Seattle, WA – Live Nation welcomes Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band to KeyArena on Saturday, March 29, 2008 at 8:00 p.m.

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band have announced their first series of tour dates for 2008. The extremely successful first leg of Springsteen’s 2007-08 tour has drawn ecstatic reviews ranging from Rolling Stone (“Springsteen’s New York triumph”) to LAT (“Invigorating [and] daring”) and Washington Post (“simply great”).

Bruce Springsteen’s twenty-third album ‘Magic’ was released October 2 on Columbia Records and debuted at number one on Billboard’s Top 200 Albums chart. ‘Magic’ has been certified double Platinum in Norway; Platinum in Canada, Ireland, Italy, Holland and Sweden; and Gold in Australia, Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, New Zealand, Spain, Switzerland and the U.K. It was number one on the charts in Austria, Canada, Denmark, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Spain, Sweden, the U.S. and the pan-European chart.

Tickets are $65.00 and $95.00 and go on sale Saturday, December 8 at 10:00 a.m. at all Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster.com, livenation.com, or charge by phone (206) 628-0888.

All tickets subject to applicable service charges and fees.

Dates and times subject to change without notice.

“I Guess it Would Be Nice to Give My Heart to a God/But Which One?”

posted by on November 20 at 11:10 AM

In case anyone still hasn’t seen this yet, here’s Of Montreal’s T-Mobile commercial:

(And Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer? remains one of the best albums of the year.)

Vote for Vera

posted by on November 20 at 11:00 AM

UPDATE: Voting closes today. Vote here. Voting is closed. The winner (Vera, duh) will be announced Monday.

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Seattle’s own all-ages non-profit powerhouse, the Vera Project is up for a Myspace Impact award for community building. Other nominees include the Glue Network and the New Orleans Musician’s Relief Fund. The winning organization receives $10,000 (which could pay for a whole lot of Dan Deacon shows). You can vote here.

“Don’t Play That Song”

posted by on November 20 at 9:48 AM

But please play this video over and over and over.

My favorite Aretha song, now my favorite YouTube music clip.

God she’s amazing. (Thanks to MetaFilter for the heads-up.)

“Poor Kurt’s Shit”

posted by on November 20 at 6:52 AM

If you’re flying anywhere this Thanksgiving, you’re already fucked. Least as I can tell from my many hours in terminals yesterday, anyway. The folks on the plane right before mine had their flight up-and-canceled, and every plane coming and going in my connecting city was delayed on an average of an hour. That’s just on pre-THX Monday, man.

Good thing I packed some music mags—“printed blogs,” like Sonic Boom’s mag rack sez, remember ‘em? I picked this month’s Magnet based solely on the fact that it had a review of the People Take Warning! box set (advice: GET), and the issue’s fine; has a kind review of Invitation Songs; has a nice feature on The Mendoza Line’s final album (whose label, Seattle’s Glurp Records, is featured in a piece of mine this week in the printed Line Out). But the issue’s back page column drove me nuts.

It goes on about Glen Hansard from The Frames, making a stink about the sudden publicity his band landed through the movie Once, which he wrote music for. Goes on and on about those who’ve sought fame in rock music versus those who’ve postured grandly about shunning it, about being undernoticed (citing The Mendoza Line) versus making it too big. To make his point, author Phil Sheridan brings out the ol’ shotgun:

The push-and-pull I’m talking about is what destroyed Kurt Cobain. When you look out into the audience and see the people you hate—or more to the point, the people who previously hated you—singing along to your most personal thoughts and feelings, that will seriously fuck up your shit. And poor Kurt’s shit was so fucked up, he could only think of one way out of the trap.

Citing suicide to prove a point is one thing; going so far as to explain why someone committed that suicide is another. I’m not saying Sheridan’s Kurt-pothesis is way off the mark, but isn’t it a rock-writer cliche to reference Cobain as if we’re so close to his plight? Like we’re sitting on the bed with him, handing him shotgun shells and patting him on the back, because we know his every, final thought? Not buying it. Unless Courtney’s sold you the guy’s archived brainwave logs (and, lord knows, she’ll try at some point), it’s ultimately conjecture, and that it merely solidifies a mag’s back-page opinion makes it worse, far as I’m concerned. You have a million other rock burnout examples to pick from that’re better documented. Fat Elvis, maybe?

Cobain’s an easy way out for writers, so I think it’s time to call a music-crit moratorium on referencing him. In fact, I’m tempted to add some strikethroughs to his name throughout this post…because, man, that’s what Kurt would’ve wanted.


Monday, November 19, 2007

Black Soul Music

posted by on November 19 at 4:45 PM

As I mentioned before in a previous post highlighting Buari’s Disco Soccer”, I’ve been really getting into rare 70’s African disco. Besides Buari, another African disco group that has recently caught my eye is Black Soul. This 6-piece disco-funk outfit actually resided in France, however because of their sound, became more tied into the Afro Funk scene during the 1970’s. In 1975, this group released the classic LP Brasil Africa, which featured some solid disco-funk themed tracks like “Mangous Ye”, “Kaye Tchi Senegal”, and my personal favorite “Black soul Music”. Legendary producer/mixer Tom Moulton eventually got a chance to work with the group, and later they were released his mixes on another LP put out by Beam Junction. Overall, the record is another good insight into the engaging African disco-funk scene of the 1970’s.

Black Soul - Black Soul Music

The Toilets Weren’t All That Stunk: 2K8 Bounce Tour, Neumo’s

posted by on November 19 at 4:01 PM

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The buildup to Madlib’s eventual appearance last night was way better than the appearance itself. ‘Lib is a passable rapper at best—he’s got an agile mind and can lay out those weird, weeded rhymes, but they sound best on his albums. He’s an auteur, not an entertainer. Last night was no exception. Once he made it to the stage at around midnight, he completely lost the crowd in his muddled, half-formed verses, skipping from one song to another at random, cutting songs short without warning. Dude never engaged the audience; instead he looked at his Nikes or at something invisible in the middle distance or spun a slow, hypnotized circle in the middle of the stage. He almost had a Lee “Scratch” Perry/insane mad professor thing going on, but he couldn’t maintain a beat or flow long enough to solidify even that degree of groovy freakshow. Bum deal.

Thankfully, Peanut Butter Wolf’s cavalcade of hiphop hits and videos was worth the price of admission. Wolf was cutting classic vids and tracks together—Fat Boys and Beastie Boys, and NWA and Wu, Mixalot and Herbie Hancock—all blended perfectly, with accompanying videos. It was an hour-long trip through the annals of hiphop, done with sound and visuals that illustrated how vibrant the style has been for so long. It was homage, it was nostalgia, and it was great.

Old schooler Percee P also made a splash with the crowd. J Rocc—easily as masterful a selector as Wolf—introduced him as the dude from the Bronx that’s been rapping since ‘79, and P came out in an open, black-and-gold button down and shades, looking like a high school gym teacher-slash-cell phone salesman from Miami. So he looked his age, so what? He sounded like fire, all Kool Moe Dee confidence and cadence, jazz-handsing his fingers as he rapped as if he were playing a sax solo. He and J Rocc ground out some golden-era-type stuff, and P really shined on a couple a capellas that had the crowd laughing.

Guilty Simpson had the early crowd all wrapped up, too—dude somehow makes rapping about guns, bitches, drugs, and money sound fresh, at least a little bit. It’s his measured, no-frills flow sounding deadly serious, even as he cracked jokes. Again, J Rocc was the perfect accompaniment, flipping J Dilla (who got a theater’s worth of props last night) and Madlib, all old soul melodies jacked by big, low beats.

Besides PB Wolf, the highlight was Kariemm Riggins, a behind-the-scenes scene stealer known for his production work for Common and Talib, among others. Last night, after holding it on the mike for a couple tracks, he sat down behind the drum kit and grew a second pair of arms, leaning back into the cut and playing against J Rocc’s turntables, real-deal break beats countering turntable effects. Both guys showed true prowess—Riggins most clearly; he’s an amazing talent on drums—especially when they both ended up banging out “Paid in Full,” supposedly totally off the cuff, definitely totally in synch. Madlib was there, behind the kit, orchestrating with his hands but sans microphone—the best look for him all night.

2080s

posted by on November 19 at 3:30 PM

So, beatboxing Idol Blake Lewis has invented his own musical genre, called “2080,” huh?

“It’s my new genre I made up,” the singer, who was heavily influenced by 1980s pop, proudly told MTV News during a recent interview. “I call it 2080, because it’s a mix of all the great pop music that’s inspired me.” Lewis claims the record is a blend of electronic elements fused with funk, soul, rock and pop — pretty much everything, kitchen sink included.
“I wanted to make a hip-hop mixtape or a great electronic mix — just one mix, start to finish, that takes you on a journey through metal, drum-and-bass with scratching on it to Michael Jackson pop into Erasure into Depeche Mode into some dub reggae. This album goes everywhere, and it was an amazing process to work on it. There’s a song on the record that’s [the Police’s] ‘Every Breath You Take’ meets [1984 film] ‘The NeverEnding Story.’ “

That’s funny. Where have I been hearing that for, like, the last eight months? Hmmm…

Re: Of Montreal, the Impossiblity of Selling Out

posted by on November 19 at 2:45 PM

Idolator has the video of that Of Montreal T-Mobile commercial here. Also, I just read the 33 1/3 book about Neutral Milk Hotel’s In The Aeroplane Over The Sea, and, whatever you think about the concept of “selling out,” it’s pretty hard to reconcile that book’s vision of fey, utopian Athens with this mobile phone ad (and why does the sleazy manager character in the commercial share Jeff Mangum’s last name only slightly altered? [I always fuck up and write Magnum when I mean Mangum]). Or, to quote the Late BP Helium, “DUSSELDORF!

The Gossip - “8th Wonder”

posted by on November 19 at 2:03 PM

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The Gossip have a new song up on their myspace page, called “8th Wonder (jigsaw youth version).” The song features a fuzzed-out bass synth breakdown, melancholy guitar thrash, pogo punk snare hits, and Beth Ditto’s gorgeous wailing. It sounds less like the club-ready disco rock of Standing in the Way of Control and more like the old blues punk of Movement, only better.

One Nine Nine Four

posted by on November 19 at 2:01 PM

Via Punknews.org:

More details have surfaced for the 90s punk documentary first announced on Punknews.org in April of this year. Officially titled One Nine Nine Four: Documenting the Birth, Growth and Explosion of Punk Rock in the 90s, the film does just that, It will feature interviews with bands such as Green Day, NOFX, the Offspring, Blink 182, Rancid, Bad Religion, Lagwagon and many more. It looks at the explosion of punk rock, from the beginning of the Warped Tour, the success of Green Day and Blink-182 and more.

The film makers spent the first few months of 2007 in Los Angeles interviews and collecting archival footage before returning to Australia this month to start editing. The film will be narrated by Tony Hawk and is yet to have distribution or a release date but will hit the festival circuit in 2008.

Seeing as how I was 13/14 in 1994, and seeing as how those are the exact years I started to really get into music, a lot of those little pop punk bands are a permanent part of my memory, whether I like it or not. I remember seeing Blink 182’s “Dammit” on MTV for the first time and thinking the dude with purple hair was hot. I remember hearing “Why Do You Want Him?” by Green Day for the first time and thinking “That’s a really good question!” (You know, if you replace him with her, since I was crushing on boys that seemed to always like the stupid girls.)

So I am looking forward to this documentary. And now that I’ve seen the trailer, it might not be anything I don’t already know, but I’m curious to see how it comes together anyway, even if only for nostalgia’s sake.

And now I’m gonna go listen to Cheshire Cat.

Today in Music News

posted by on November 19 at 1:01 PM

Out of Season: Deerhunter taking a break.

The American Music Awards happened
: and American Idol is taking over.

of Montreal on Selling Out: Kevin Barnes says it’s not possible.

The strike continues
: Yo La Tengo performed Saturday Night Live, the stage production.

“I need you right now”: Kanye breaks down introducing “Hey Mama”.

Blake Lewis and his made-up genre “2080”: “There’s a song on the record that’s ‘Every Breath You Take’ meets The NeverEnding Story. “

“It was pretty shambolic”: Jimmy Page admits disaster of Led Zeppelin reunion at Live Aid.

Tonight in Music

posted by on November 19 at 11:30 AM

White Magic is playing Nectar with Johanna Kunin and PWRFL Power. Jonathan Zwickel wrote about the headliners in this week’s issue. Here’s an excerpt:

There’s a tradition of trance music—qawwali, raga, didgeridoo, techno—that spans ages and continents; White Magic sound nothing like that. Take “Poor Harold,” a highlight from Dark Stars. It builds from a simple piano refrain that’s repeated over and over, faster and faster, accented by Billotte’s main foil Doug Shaw on brushed, counterbeaten drums. “Poor Harold works all night/works in the graveyard right next to my school/Digging graves, digging graves,” Billotte sings, and disembodied voices float in the background as dublike, wordless apparitions. It accelerates into a cyclic peak, then the song returns to its original piano refrain. Its simplicity is its magnetism, its repetition its drama. And that voice…

And! You can hear Joahanna Kunin on this week’s Setlist. Read Zwickel’s White Magic piece here.

Also tonight:

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Band of Horses, the Drones, Tyler Ramsey
(Showbox at the Market) It’s a bummer when you constantly hear how much better shit used to be before you got there. Seattle was so much cheaper and the kids so much cooler and Kurt Cobain was always there to give you a friendly grunt when he fixed you a perfect latte at the one Starbucks in the universe. But that’s all done now. Just like Band of Horses—they used to kick ass, before they moved back to Bumfuck and became popular and recorded a lukewarm second album and sold their soul to Wal-Mart. You know what? Fuck that. Ten months into being here, I can tell you that Seattle is thriving; with one BOH show under my belt, I can say that the band indeed kick ass. Deny it all you want, but just because you’ve gotten old and bitter doesn’t mean the rest of the world sucks with you. JONATHAN ZWICKEL

“Wild Mountain Nation” by Blitzen Trapper

posted by on November 19 at 11:03 AM

On the opposite end of the video spectrum is Blitzen Trapper’s “Wild Mountain Nation”—a goony, surreal, cut-n-paste animation job that starts on the Williamette River and ends in outer space, proceeding like an acid-dipped Monty Python cartoon the entire way. Said Chris McCann of the song in his extended look at the album in our pages: “Singer Eric Earley is rounding up believers, gathering the tribes into the proposed nation of the album’s title, both a rural utopia and a frenetic confederation of freaks and loners.”

Released this summer, Wild Mountain Nation is a ragged and rangy collection of avant-country weirdness that doesn’t fully live up to the promise of this song but is still pretty damn fun. It also makes me think of the song “Wild Mountain Honey,” a gooey, guitar/sitar bong-ripped raga that’s one of Steve Miller Band’s finest moments:

“Joe Metro” by Blue Scholars

posted by on November 19 at 10:40 AM

Only Blue Scholars could elevate riding the bus to a political act and do it truthfully.

It’s a hackneyed metaphor: Public transit is where the proleteriat commingle, the great equalizer, a literal vehicle for working class progress, etc. Geo nails several key details in the song that inject fresh life into the idea, and his deceptively simple songwriting is intuitive, subtle, and smart. The color palette of the video—directed by Zia Mohajerjasbi, who directed the Scholars’ last video for “Bring ‘Em Home”—lends the whole work an air of dramatic reality.

The video is currently up on the front page of MTVU (with the dumbass caption “fanatic west coast hip hoppers, Blue Scholars, present ‘Joe Metro’.”)

Last Night At Neumos And Moe Bar

posted by on November 19 at 9:54 AM

Kurt and I were DJ-ing Slow Ride at Moe Bar at about 12:20 when a staff member from Neumos came over and told us the set had to come to an end.

Apparently a water or sewer main broke near the building and Sewage was pumping out of ALL the toilet stalls in the buildling, flooding the floors of Neumos. The Madlib show had to come to a halt before he even really got rolling and everyone was ushered out of the bar for fear of a health disaster. As we were loading records into my car the faint smell of human excrement could be smelled gently wafting out of Neumos. No word on how bad it got and how long it will take to clean up.

Hopefully before Wednesday nights Hot Mess.

I couldn’t help but wonder if the exiting crowd somehow contributed to the general mayhem on 10th and Pine last night….