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Archives for 11/25/2007 - 12/01/2007

Saturday, December 1, 2007

“It’s hard to keep on spending/Every night like your life is ending”

posted by on December 1 at 7:15 PM

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Les Savy Fav @ Neumo’s

Last night felt like the end of the world.

Les Savy Fav may have turned a lyrical corner on Let’s Stay Friends, coming around from their old morbid, party-hard fatalism to embrace a more optimistic, sustainable worldview, but their live show still feels like the apocalypse. Lead singer Tim Harrington took the stage wearing stretched stripes, a long cape, and a stuffed unicorn over his head. The band launched into the raucous whips-and-reins sex jam “The Equestrian,” and Harrington ripped the plush horse off his head, tossing its stuffing out like fat snowflakes over the crowd. The band supports Harrington’s antics with tight, confident playing, and last night, the four Les Savy Fav core players were joined by an additional guitarist and occasional extra drummers, including Neumo’s’ own Jason Lajuenesse. Harrington’s theatrics get in the way of his vocals a lot less than you might expect, although his voice, a kind of ragged scream-sing, isn’t exactly meant to be pitch-perfect. Mostly, the singing only suffers when he’s intentionally mumbling his lines, skipping words, passing the mic to the crowd. And the band casually jams out extended instrumental parts to accommodate the occasional wander through the crowd or climb up the balcony.

The band followed “The Equestrian” with the falsetto funk of “Patty Lee,” for which Harrington covered his face with striped spandex to match his shirt, and the old L-E-S-S-A-V-Y-F-A-V singalong “Scouts Honor” from debut album 3/5. Next up was death disco anthem “The Sweat Descends,” which Harrington sang almost entirely from within the audience, making his way all the way back to the sound booth, holding a red lamp over himself for light, and at one point serenading a monkey mask he’d placed on the back of an audience member’s head. When he finally jumped back onstage for a triumphant chorus, the crowd erupted into the most kinetic mosh pit I’ve seen in years. The band cooled the crowd down with the relatively mellow myth take “What Would Wolves Do?,” Harrington encouraging the crowd to join along in the howling chorus.

By this time, Harrington was down to a t-shirt, but as he barked through the grim, bouncing “Yawn, Yawn, Yawn,” the crowd tug and tore at his shirt, while Harrington sang, “Yawn, Yawn, Yawn/we’re all long gone/If we get lucky we’ll be dead by dawn/So let’s get-get-get-get-get-get-get-get-get it on!” Harrington took off his shirt to great cheers, and Jonathan Zwickel observed how great it was that a guy like Harrington could be such a fucking rock star. Harrington’s not a classically foxy man—he’s huge, bald, beared, fat, and not a little crazy looking; the overall impression is “dude at the bus stop” not “rock star”—but he’s totally bad-ass , so it works. Sweaty and wild-eyed, he declared of Neumo’s, “This is a safe place” like he was reassuring himself through a bad trip, repeated, “This is a special night” over and over, and finally launched into Inches highlight (and early hint at the band’s developing optimism) “We’ll Make a Lover of You,” introducing it as “a song about the future.” The theme continued with Let’s Stay Friends’s upbeat manifesto “The Year Before the Year 2000,” which Harrington dedicated to Prince, saying “The end is far.” For this one, Harrington crawled off the side of the stage onto the crowd, who hoisted him up by his ankles to serenade the balcony. He returned to the stage looking, ironically or appropriately, exhausted; it is hard to “party like it’s 1999.”

Continue reading ""It's hard to keep on spending/Every night like your life is ending"" »

Photos: Les Savy Fav @ Neumo’s

posted by on December 1 at 7:00 PM

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photos by Morgan Keuler

Continue reading "Photos: Les Savy Fav @ Neumo's" »

It’s Like an Advent Calendar… But With Music Instead of Chocolate!

posted by on December 1 at 3:14 PM

Day one, in honor of the first snow day of the season:

Grandaddy “Alan Parson’s in a Winter Wonderland.”

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Tonight in Music

posted by on December 1 at 1:40 PM

The Thermals, Arthur & Yu, Coconut Coolouts at Neumo’s

All pop punk should grow up to be as smart as the Thermals. The Portland trio’s 2006 album called The Body, the Blood, the Machine is a brutal song cycle about a near-future theocratic America. It’s also an energetic punk-rock masterpiece, each song a short, sweet blast of overdriven guitars and restless rhythm. Arthur & Yu’s In Camera couldn’t be more different— a relaxed collection of hazy, homemade acoustic pop with slight traces of sweet ’60s psychedelia. And Coconut Coolouts will party your ass under the table. (Neumo’s, 925 E Pike St, 709-9467. 8 pm, $12, all ages.)
by Eric Grandy

I took me a while to warm up to the Thermals, but it happened, and I’m pretty sure this is the song that finally won me over.

What It Was Like at The Belmont

posted by on December 1 at 4:17 AM

There was a room that was wall-to-wall dirt, leaves, and rocks. There was a room with wood pallets (like, for forklifts) on the floor and in stacks and jailing off the closet entrances, and on the walls those wheatpasted animals by NTG you’ve probably seen around town.

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There was a closet in another room where you opened the door and spun a wheel and depending on what colored dot you landed on you were given a gin and tonic, a gin and orange soda, or a hardboiled egg. There were hundreds of photos pasted on the hallway walls. There were pages of The Stranger pasted on the hallway walls. There was a red door with “THIS IS NOT A DOOR” written on it.

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On the second floor there was a ladder that took you to the roof, so long as you had one of the 66 “show” tickets. Once at the top of the ladder, feeling the cool air of outside, a couple guys hoisted you up and, coming out onto the Belmont’s roof, you realized that you were onstage, and people were sitting in folding chairs watching you. The roof had been transformed into seating and a stage. There were four huge bouquets of white balloons. There were cloaked figures and a couple cardboard-cutout wolves—positioned in a way that mocked and mimicked Joseph Beuys. The roof itself was covered in dirt, with flowers planted here and there. Bright lights cast people’s shadows on the surrounding buildings.

As each new person came out of the hole in the roof, one of the guys, in a vest and parted hair, shouted out, “OH HEAVENS! IT’S A PENGUIN!” Whereupon the person coming out of the hole in the ceiling felt really embarrassed and everyone sitting down laughed or clapped. Then another person would come and the guy in the vest would shout, “A RIVER OTTER!” Or “A PEACOCK!”

As you came out onto the roof they handed you a paper cup full of liquor and the guy in the vest shouted, “And to escape any type of criticisim forthright, you will promptly be plied with booze!” And so you went from being embarrassed and confused to being given a drink—and look! You were outside! On the roof! And all those people down there in the street weren’t! Hahahaha!

“It never ends! It never stops! It goes and goes!” the guy in the vest shouted as one audience member after another came out of the hole onto the roof. “There are blankets! Use them!” the guy in the vest kept telling the crowd. And it was true. There were blankets. The guy next to me said, “Here, Christopher, have some blanket. Some $4.99 Bed Bath & Beyond blanket,” he said, holding up the tag.

Implied Violence did a show. (Who? Start here.) The show starred Ryan Mitchell and Mandie O’Connell and was about a woman who’d drowned her son in a river and was having to tell the story over and over again, Implied Violence-style—in increasingly frantic iterations, with dancing. Then there was some fire extinguisher plumage. There was music by Orkestar Zirconium. There was a point at which the audience was sprayed with live crickets. And then there was a dance party.

And then Orkestar Zirconium descended back into the building and out into the street and there was a dance party in the street, out in front of the Press Condos, and the cops joined. A view of Belmont Avenue from up on the roof:

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For a long while the band played while the cops watched—shades of the INB. It looked like the cops were gonna be aggressive, but then they backed down, seemed to back off, and a very loud sustained cheer went up in the crowd. But then a couple more cop cars showed up. You could see them on various side streets. They shined their crazy spotlights back and forth across the The Belmont, with it’s ironic frat-boy tag (“SPRING BREAK”) in big green letters.

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Someone inside The Belmont broke a window. Someone out on the street started pounding repeatedly on a Dumpster. Someone threw a potted flower at the cops but none of the cops saw it. Someone on the street was shouting, “Fuck you, police! Fuck you!” but it was just some girl being funny. Nevertheless, she shouted it like they were her dying words. Some guy threw a No Parking sandwich board into the street and shouted, also mock angrily, “Fuck the man!” Some other girl shouted, “Condos! Condos!” and it seemed like maybe she meant it. One of the cops replied in his megaphone with extra amplification: “Hey, don’t blame us.”

Then someone threw a bottle at the cops, and this time the cops saw it, and suddenly, all at once, in formation the cops started marching. Toward the buiding. Or something. It wasn’t clear what they were marching toward. That marching-in-formation thing’s gotta be in a manual somewhere. I think we were all supposed to think, Man, those are some meeeeaaan cops! We better do what they say!, but that isn’t exactly what everyone thought. People laughed. It was a sight. Some girl behind me was taking pictures and saying, “Holy moly. Party of the year. This is gonna force me to blog again.”

Eric Grandy said, “Do you ever think how hard it would be to explain to your parents the art that you like?”

The one Dumpster guy was still pounding on the Dumpster, he’d worked up quite a rhythm, and finally the cops were sick of it. Half a dozen of them came over to stop the guy, and then they stood around the Dumpster, hands clasped in front of themselves, serious expressions on their faces.

“They totally secured that Dumpster,” someone said, laughing. “That Dumpster is totally locked down. No more drumming on it.”

One of the rooms in The Belmont had been full of sandwich boards that had been painted over—sandwich boards that had been advertisements for condos—and all these painted-over sandwich boards had since been set outside. They were beautiful, these sandwich boards. A colorful yard of tombstones. I decided to take one into custody. To take care of it. I carried it all the way home.

UPDATE: Spelling and grammar has been fixed, Snooy. Was kinda inebriated, obviously.

Blake, KJ, BT, the Roots - Ludacris

posted by on December 1 at 3:00 AM

Blake Lewis keyboardist, Kent Halvorsen (middle), sends us this pic of Blake and his band, A.D.D., with Ludacris.

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And a list of upcoming t.v. appearances where you can see Blake Lewis and A.D.D. perform:

Tuesday Dec. 4th. - Tacoma Dome. Album release.

Thursday Dec. 6th - Early Show

Friday Dec. 7th - Regis and Kelly

Monday Dec. 10th - Ellen (this might be a pre recorded show, aired the next day?)

Monday Dec. 31st.- Fox New Years Eve Special from Times Square. (90% locked.)

Lewis was in Shoreline’s London Bridge Studio with drummer KJ Sawka and electronic music producer, remixer, artist, BT - Brian Transeau. (Video shot by Ethan Newberry.) :


BT has been called the “Father of Trance” for his pioneering in the trance genre. He’s known in production circles for his signature technique, the stutter edit, also known as the BT stutter. Using granular synthesis, he breaks apart sounds into tiny pieces and rearranges them to create chaotic and digitally blurred points.

BT’s worked with Tori Amos, Peter Gabriel, and David Bowie. (And um, Britney and NSync.) He also created the film scores for Zoolander, The Fast and the Furious, and Blade 2, where he collaborated with the Roots.

Here he is with the Roots on Carson Daly doing the song, called “Tao of the Machine.” His keyboard stand is on some kind of hinge joint and he swings it forward. It’s not broken, it’s just filthy.

Godamn, this is hot:


Friday, November 30, 2007

Cruisin’

posted by on November 30 at 5:19 PM

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A single roller skate weighs upwards of 45 lbs.

They feel that way, at least. To help celebrate the birthday of Sylvia Chen, Velella Velella’s mulit-instrumental sweetheart, I ended up at a roller rink for the first time in 20-some years. The posse was small but the rink—Skate King in Bellevue—was packed. And packed with goodness—to a one, the people on the floor were badasses, confident on turns and smooth on the straights, fast and funky and rhythmic. I forgot how cool skating can be when it’s done right.

Thursday nights are ’80s night, but I was concentrating so much on not falling on my ass (which never happened, thanks very much, because I was totally in the groove) that I barely noticed the music. There was no “Jam On It” and no “Another One Bites the Dust”—two songs I vividly recall from the last roller-skating birthday party I attended, circa 1986. The final number—the last call, the couple’s skate supreme—was perfect: a duet from the movie Duets called “Cruisin’,” sung by Huey Lewis and Gwenyth Paltrow. Totally rad.

Props to Sylvia for wrangling the outing, and props to the crew for staying upright and in style. See you next Thursday?

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“I’d Like to See You in a Bathing Suit!” “I’d Like to See You in New York!”

posted by on November 30 at 3:21 PM

Sorry Brian Wilson: The Beach Boys and the Fat Boys perfected the hiphop/surf crossover without you in 1987. Now let’s all do a dance called “the Wipe Out.”

That’s two years before the horrid abortion that is “Smart Girls.” Wilson probably felt left out, or that he could do it better, or that his meds were really kicking in nicely.

God Only Knows What the Fuck Brian Wilson Was Thinking

posted by on November 30 at 3:04 PM

WFMU’s Beware of the Blog has posted critically-lauded Beach Boy Brian Wilson’s lost rap debut, “Smart Girls,” and it is every bit as bad as you think.

(Hat tip to Idolator)

For Evel

posted by on November 30 at 2:03 PM

Today in Music News

posted by on November 30 at 1:48 PM

Kanye remixes “Billie Jean”: Thriller’s 25th anniversary will be marked by a re-release with special guests.

Viva Portishead: After 10-year gap, a new record is set for a release in April.

Cage biopic: Shia LaBeouf’s pet project still in its beginning stages.

Moz is no xenophobe: Morrissey is sueing NME over misinterpreted remarks about immigration.

The Great Sufjan Song Xmas Xchange: Deadline to submit is tomorrow.

Against Me! to the rescue: band teams up with Harvest of Hope for little girl with cancer.

M(.I.A.)TV

posted by on November 30 at 1:14 PM

I was watching MTV (let’s get this out of the way: Remember when they used to play videos?! wocka wocka) on Wednseday, because Kelly O is dead fucking wrong about the Tila Tequila showit’s stoner-riffically hilarious!—and something weird happened. Every time the show cut to a commercial, there was M.I.A. performing one of her songs live, split-screen with ads for other, lesser MTV reality shows like the Real World China Special Economic Zone or whatever. At one point, a 30 second spot aired featuring M.I.A. talking about her personal style or something equally easy on the MTV audience, but there was no explanation for the weird M.I.A. commercial saturation—it wasn’t a promo for a live concert airing or anything as far as I could tell. Two things occured to me watching these spots lightly stoned:

1. Even as a 30-second clip, even with clips of Malibu Hills Sweet 16 or whatever playing over it, “Paper Planes” is fucking amazing.

2. Tila Tequila is the anti-M.I.A.—a creature of globalization, pop culture, and the digital age gone terribly, terribly wrong. Airing them interspersed with each other should’ve caused some kind of matter/anti-matter reaction and vanished Nick’s TV, but it didn’t.

Beck was right.

Mars Volta to Frustrate Stoner Fanbase

posted by on November 30 at 12:48 PM

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The Mars Volta have released a new mp3 through their website, but in typical Mars Volta fashion they’re going to make you work for any sort of enjoyment. In order to unlock the song you have to solve a picture puzzle by moving tiles one at a time until you put together the cover of their new album, The Beldam In Goliath, which comes out January 29th. So instead of waiting though a 5-10 minute noise intro to get to the good part of the song, instead you get to spend 5-10 minutes putting together a puzzle for a 1:30 long cover of the Circle Jerks’ “Back Against the Wall.”

If you get tired of trying to solve the puzzle, as I did, you can go listen to it at the Hype Machine.

This Week’s Setlist

posted by on November 30 at 12:31 PM

This week’s Setlist is up and ready for you!

Full Song List:
Math and Physics Club - “Movie Ending Romance”
Inhaste - “Empty Spaces”
Super Geek League - “Fat Cannibal”
The Reformation - “Give All Your Love to Me”
Pleasureboaters - “S.O.U.”
The Hands - “Lies Lies Lies”
Gabriel Teodros - “Sexcapism”
M. Bison - “Slow Atop the Mountain”
Born Anchors - “Casualty”

Click to listen. It’s free, it’s streams through your computer so you don’t have to download anything, and, as you can see, it’s got some pretty great music.

Weee!

Les Savy Dad

posted by on November 30 at 12:06 PM

OK, Wanna know the real reason I can’t EVER go see Les Savy Fav?

Because this guy:
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looks a lot like this guy:

And that second guy? He’s my dad.

Imagine your dad doing this:

At previous Seattle shows, Harrington has: climbed rafters, cut locks of hair from front-row audience members’ heads to wear as a moustache/toupee, shoved a brick in his spandex tights, built a catwalk into the audience out of Neumo’s stage blocks in midsong, and chewed up a mouthful of dollar bills and French-kissed them over to an audience member.

When I saw Les Savy Fav at the Roxy in ‘03, Harrington pretended to fingerbang and eat out a giant naked laser woman. Srsly.
You wouldn’t want to see Les Savy Fav either.

UPDATE: My dad weighs in: “That’s gross, Ari.”

Megan Seling can be heard on the End sometimes…

posted by on November 30 at 11:05 AM

…but get this: Martha Stewart’s people want Seling to be a guest on Martha Stewart Living Radio to talk about this article.

Here’s the email Megan got yesterday from a producer:

Hey Megan,

I’d like to invite you to join us on “Morning Living” on Martha Stewart Living Radio. We’d love to talk about your efforts (as detailed in “The Long Winter”) to cook all 106 recipes in Martha’s Holiday Cookies magazine. Are you available during any early morning hours (like, pre-8am PST) in mid-December? I assume we’d have to conduct the interview by phone, but if you plan on visiting NYC in the near future, let me know.

Here’s a brief description of our show:

Martha Stewart’s Morning Living
Monday - Friday 7 am - 11 am ET (LIVE)
“Morning Living,” hosted by Kim Fernandez with Betsy Karetnick, kicks off Martha Stewart Living Radio programming every weekday morning with the nation’s most noted chefs, gardeners, designers, celebrity interviews and expert advice on living well.

Recent Guests: Alice Waters, David Chang, Michael Hebberoy, Alfred Portale, Govind Armstrong, Cynthia Rowley, Mario Batali, Paul Prudhomme, Barbara Kafka, Jane and Michael Stern, Preston Bailey, Andre Soltner, Lidia Bastianich, Patricia Volk, Michael Lomonaco, Gael Green, Grant Achatz

Thank you and I hope you can join us soon!

I realize this isn’t about music per se. But maybe they’ll play that Velvet Teen song.

“(Lay Sah-vee Fahv)”

posted by on November 30 at 10:15 AM

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Les Savy Fav play at Neumo’s tonight. If you’ve seen them before, you’re going, duh. If you’ve never seen them before, you need to go. Fuck Monotonix. Fuck Comeback. Fuck the Belmont. Les Savy Fav is one of the best bands, live or otherwise, going right now. Do not miss this show.

To see Harrington’s philosophy in practice, one need look no further than Les Savy Fav’s notoriously unhinged live shows. Besides their kinetic postpunk and ingenious lyrics, it’s probably Harrington’s unpredictable live antics that the band are best known for. At previous Seattle shows, Harrington has: climbed rafters, cut locks of hair from front-row audience members’ heads to wear as a moustache/toupee, shoved a brick in his spandex tights, built a catwalk into the audience out of Neumo’s stage blocks in midsong, and chewed up a mouthful of dollar bills and French-kissed them over to an audience member (me—I spat the bills back at him). Each show is an improvised explosion of low art and high spirits, magic tricks made out of broom-closet props, an ordinary rock show made weirdly transcendent, a bunch of songs about death and squalor turned into something tenacious and vital.

Harrington is more demure about their live act: “It’s important for it to have a half-assed quality to it—not musically, but in terms of the performance—like, can you have a cardboard box be the main centerpiece of a really amazing live show? That always seemed cooler to us than having like a professionally manufactured show. Like, the Tommy Lee upside-down drum kit is really awesome, but for the money, anyone could have that.”

Read more here.


Thursday, November 29, 2007

New York Movin’

posted by on November 29 at 5:41 PM

During the 1970’s and early 80’s New York producer Peter Brown contributed to many classic soul, funk, and disco tracks, writing and producing with artists and groups like Cloud One, Shift, and Patrick Adams. Not only did help produce great music during this era, he ran numerous labels(a bit of an understatement) like Golden Flamingo Records, Queen Constance Records, Land Of Hits, and P & P Records, which he ran with Patrick Adams. I’ve always tend to enjoy the music that he has put out and produced including a 12-inch single I came across recently by a group called Ahzz. The single is titled New York’s Movin’, and it was released in 1981 off of Brown’s Land Of Hits label. This single features two excellent versions, the original vocal mix, and an instrument cut. Even though I enjoy the original vocal mix, I find myself leaning toward the instrumental version. This seven-plus minute disco gem includes percussive breakdowns, a solid bass groove, classic strings, and congas. As far as I can tell, this is the only release by this group which featured disco producers Osborne Hunter and Steve Boston. Regardless, it’s a classic disco gem that would have no trouble movin’ a dancefloor.

Ahzz - New York’s Movin’(Instrumental Mix)

Pete Greenberg Quits the Croc

posted by on November 29 at 2:34 PM

The grapevine is abuzz, the rumor mill is churning: Several people have reported receiving a text message from Pete Greenberg, booker at the Crocodile, saying he just quit, effective immediately.

Emails to Greenberg have been unreturned as of four minutes ago. We’ll let you know details as we receive them.

Update: Assistant booker Eli Anderson just confirmed that Greenberg’s departure occurred yesterday during a staff meeting. Anderson is now interim booker and in charge of running the Croc. “Everything is going on as scheduled,” Anderson said. “We’re just running at half-speed.”

Further update: “If you don’t like it, you don’t have to work here.”

Those words—allegedly spoken by Crocodile owner Stephanie Dorgan—were the final straw, Greenberg told me. He and Dorgan were arguing over a catering contract for an upcoming music industry party during a weekly staff meeting yesterday. The argument soon devolved into an all-too-familiar battle of wills. This time, Greenberg decided he had enough. He gave Dorgan his keys and walked out.

“She and I never got along,” Greenberg said. “The respect isn’t there—I don’t respect her, she doesn’t respect me. With the exception of not having a paycheck, it feels good. I don’t regret the decision.”

Dorgan has owned the Crocodile since its opening in 1991. Greenberg has booked bands there for almost four years. He called the venue Dorgan’s “vanity project,” though he suggested she doesn’t see it that way. “She doesn’t take any money away from it, but I see the amount of effort she puts in, which is negligible. She doesn’t understand how her business operates, but she doesn’t want to discuss it, either. I don’t want say ‘You don’t get it,” because I don’t want be difficult. All im asking for her is to talk to me and respect me. She doesn’t understand the position; she wants what she wants.”

“When you operate from a reactive postion instead of proactive, you’re gonna run into these problems,” he continued. “And these problems were there before me. I spent months last year with every paycheck bouncing, and I’m not the only one who had their paycheck bounce.” Greenberg was unequivocal about the Crocodile’s future. “She’s not making the right decisions for the business,” he said. “[Shutting down] probably is not too far off.”

As of 3:30, Dorgan hasn’t returned requests for comment. Keep checking back for updates.


The Hot Rock (Band)

posted by on November 29 at 1:47 PM

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As someone who has played a lot of Guitar Hero I am of course intrigued by its upcoming competitor: Rock Band. I’ve read a review or two on video game sites, and though they’ve been somewhat informative, I don’t particularly care what those nerds have to say. Slate has just published an article by Sleater Kinney guitarist Carrie Brownstein about her experience with the game after agreeing to help them come up with some PR ideas, and it’s pretty funny and insightful. As it turns out, even a professional musician like Brownstein, who has relatively no interest in video games, could not help but be ensnared by the game’s multi-colored tentacles.

After drumming along while Brad sang a respectable version of Radiohead’s “Creep,” he left me alone with the console. I have never had more than a passing interest in video games. Growing up, we weren’t allowed to have Atari, Coleco, or Nintendo. And though I enjoyed a few hours of Super Mario Bros. at friends’ houses now and then, no permanent affection for the medium took hold. Once Brad left my house, I immediately packed up the system and my TV and moved everything to the den. Now I could relax, wait to play until the party I’d planned, and return to my refined pre-Rock Band life.

The feeling of superiority was fleeting. At approximately 8 p.m., I plugged in a guitar, selected solo tour mode, and played Rock Band for three hours straight. I was sweating, quickly developing a callous on my thumb, and had a splitting headache. Still, I could not stop. My “band” had worked its way up from our hometown of Paris all the way to New York! We had a manager, a tour bus, and were able to afford better clothing and fancier instruments. Even though some of my band mates—all avatars—had green dreadlocks or belly button rings (things that I usually find offensive), it didn’t matter; we were good, we were going places. And probably the best part about the tour with my Rock Band band was that even though I went to sleep feeling like I had been inside a shopping mall for the past few hours, I slept in my own bed that night.

Although Brownstein’s review isn’t wholly without criticism, it is a generally positive review of the game. She ends with the number one question asked by real musicians when faced with the dilemma of wasting time on music video games: wouldn’t your time be better spent practicing real instruments and starting a real band? Her answer is of course yes, but for the people who wouldn’t have played real instruments, maybe playing hours and hours of Rock Band will help nudge them in the direction of playing actual music. Which seems like a nice thought, but are those really the people we want starting more bands? The kids that only started playing because they got the idea from their video game? I was hoping it could work the other way, where people in really awful bands realized that they could be excellent on Rock Band and would therefore stay content in their living rooms instead of torturing audiences with their bullshit.

I tried to play the Rock Band demo at Best Buy and someone had already broken one of the electronic drums. I can’t decide if that is hardly, or totally, rock and roll.

thanks to Elissa B. for the tip

Across the Pacific – Pedal Boards

posted by on November 29 at 12:55 PM

wig2.JPGPedal boards are the place where effects are mounted, linked up, and hooked up. Musicians achieve their unique sound by mixing and matching certain pedals. For guitar players and bass players, the pedal board is their lab. They stomp, dial, and modify their way to the sound they want. It’s like fighter jets out at sea. The pedal board is the aircraft carrier where they land.

Here are two aircraft carrier sized pedal boards from the Tokyo band, Avengers in Sci-Fi. Two pedal boards. Thirty six pedals. The pedal boards were actual doors they had unhinged:


Tokyo has an epidemic of sound. Speakers are everywhere. 14,000 people per square mile. I was recently there to play shows and took some notes – here. Video too:


More pictures after jump:

Continue reading "Across the Pacific – Pedal Boards" »

Today in Music News

posted by on November 29 at 12:34 PM

We Fun: Black Lips, others in upcoming ATL documentary

Board of Canada sampled
: …by Beyonce’s sister Solange (who named them, honestly?)

Kinski on stage: the band is performing alongside a two-woman dance troupe in New York.

Radiohead is touring Europe next year: And that’s awesome… if you live in Europe. Now we wait… until U.S. dates are announced…

Bradford Cox’s new project
: “I discovered the fun of multi-tracking.”

Britney might be pregnant
: Speculation via text-message, oh the wonders of modern technology. We’ll probably start knowing before they do.

50 Cent is selling his mansion on MTV Cribs
: Formerly owned by Mike Tyson, the house has an asking price of 18.5 million.

EMI & Warner struggle with debt
: And so the collapse continues.

Tonight in Music

posted by on November 29 at 11:57 AM

THESE ARMS ARE SNAKES, RUSSIAN CIRCLES, PORTUGAL. THE MAN
(Neumo’s) Russssssian Cirrrrrcles! Duuuude! I’m so fucking stoked for this show and not because I’m a stoner who gets totally blitzed and zones out during the band’s dark, metal-tinged instrumentals. I’m 100 percent sober 100 percent of the time, and I still love their heavy sound. Their music is spooky, but not in a black-metal, skull-bearing way. It’s more moody than that—it sounds sort of like you’re being chased by a ghost. There are a lot of haunting guitar noises, really explosive drumming, and there are even some bright, almost pretty moments. And they’re fantastic live, they’re able to really take advantage of their strengths and even improv a little in a live setting. Worth mentioning, Russian Circles just got signed to local label Suicide Squeeze, which means they’re going to put out a new record as early as next spring, which means they probably have some new material right now, which they’ll hopefully play tonight because I’ve been listening to their latest full-length, Enter, for over a year now. It’s good, but I need more. Also, Brian Cook (of Botch fame, duders) is going to be playing bass with the band. Killer. MEGAN SELING
CLUB POP!: GLASS CANDY, MIKE SIMONETTI, DEVON VARMEGA, COLBY B., GLITTERPANTS
(Chop Suey) Former glam garage punks and current Italo disco revivalists Glass Candy are the obvious draw tonight. Their new full-length, B/E/A/T/B/O/X, is the ultimate triumph of their last few years’ mutation—a slick, shimmering album of cool, crystalline disco and retro-futurist soft-synth pop. Old single “Life After Sundown” benefits from improved production here, becoming the bouncing, echoing night anthem that its 12-inch version only roughly sketched. Other highlights include the narcotic clap-along fanfare of “Candy Castle,” the vintage coke and mirrors of “Rolling Down the Hills,” the phased arpeggios and Suspiria whispers of “Digital Versicolor,” and the Kraftwerk cover “Computer Love.” But while Glass Candy are the obvious lure tonight, Mike Simonetti’s DJ set should be equally instructive for the dancing masses. The founder and owner of Troubleman Unlimited (and Italo offshoot Italians Do It Better) has been releasing records for nearly 15 years from bands ranging from Black Dice to Tussle to the Walkmen, so you know he’s got an ace record collection to play out. ERIC GRANDY

“WHOEVER TOOK MY IPOD, I’M GONNA FUCKING KILL YOU!”

posted by on November 29 at 11:25 AM

And so, Pony ends not with a whimper or a bang, but with a death threat. Ponymaster Marcus Wilson’s iPod apparently vanished last night around last call, prompting a fuming Wilson to take to the small stage and scream, “Whoever took my iPod, I’m gonna fucking kill you,” followed by “Everybody get the fuck out of here,” and the throwing of beer bottles. No touching final moment, no last song, no speech, just shouting and broken glass.

It’s too bad things ended on such a sour note, because the rest of the night was a blast. The Ononos were a masked, synth-heavy spectacle. The dance party was lively, despite the PA repeatedly cutting out. It was sweaty and packed, with a line of people waiting to get in. Up until the very end, it was every bit the send-off that Pony deserved.

And if you stole Wilson’s iPod, please give it back to him.

Dystopia’s Final Record Due Out in January

posted by on November 29 at 10:14 AM

dystopia.jpg

Finally. More than four years after their amazingly rocking final show, and after nearly four years of recording, presumably smoking tons of weed, mastering, finishing art, and more weed, Dystopia’s second and final full-length is due out in January. Yes, I know Life Is Abuse’s website has been reporting the album’s imminent release for the past two years, but I’m inclined to believe it this time: There is now a listing in the COMING SOON section of the label’s website, with a picture of the album (the cover art is classic Dystopia; I love Bush with his chainsaw!), and it now has a name (self-titled) and number (040). This is very exciting. Dystopia are one of my most favorite bands. They’re the band that, many years back, launched my love of crust and all that is heavy. I was sad to see them go, and I’ve been anticipating this record for years.

The album has six new tracks plus a Carcinogen cover (Dino’s former band), and it comes with a 16-page booklet. Two of the tracks are available on Dystopia’s MySpace page. They’re both solid, of course. I mean, Dystopia can do no wrong.

Life Is Abuse’s website says this: “This record is the last chapter of Dystopia’s existence writing bleak and heavy doom-ridden punk.” Okay, but does this mean they’ll play some shows? I’m sure if they did play a couple shows to go along with the record, they’d be in the Bay Area. Did Dystopia ever play up here? I’ve seen Dystopia lots of times, so I’m pretty satisfied, but my poor boyfriend—he missed the live Dystopia boat. I’d love for him to see them; their live shows are simply electrifying.

And while I was on Life Is Abuse’s website, they had this to say in their news section:

As you may have noticed, things at Life Is Abuse have slowed down considerably. This is due to many reasons… the biggest being time and money. There’s a good chance we might be closing doors sometime next year. We’ll see what happens. In the meantime, we have decided not to repress many of our titles that have been out of print or commit to any new releases for the time being, aside from the few plans we’ve made (which may or may not happen).

Ouch. That’s bad news. I won’t hold my breath for a repress of that Dystopia/Skaven split.

What seems like a good idea the day of, a terrible idea when it’s happening, and then the best idea you’ve ever had a week later?

posted by on November 29 at 10:02 AM

Having Monotonix play in your living room.

This is what I wrote about Monotonix in Stranger Suggests this week:

Last time Monotonix played Seattle, they started a fire in the Comet, the drummer standing on his bass drum, his cymbals aflame. And I fucking missed it. Don’t make my mistake: This three-piece will rip your face off—think guitar riffs like Death from Above 1979, but less pretty-boy attitude. Also, they party like Hamas is right around the corner, and we can all learn a little something from that.

So I went down to Olympia to rectify my mistake early and see these Krazy Israelis play for reals. It’s definitely strange to suggest something you’ve never actually seen, but rumors, reputation, and the pictures on their MySpace profile convinced me these guys were worthwhile.

So after actually seeing them, what’s my verdict?

Fuck Les Savy Fav—you better be at the Comet tomorrow night.

When we got to the house in Oly, Old Time Relijun were playing and we could barely open the door to the house to get inside. We were stuck toward the back and I couldn’t see anything, but Arrington de Dionyso was in fine form and the sound in the house was actually pretty well balanced, considering the lack of PA or anything. I haven’t seen OTR since the release of Catharsis in Crisis, but they’re still up to their old tricks. I know there is a major anti-saxaphone bias here at The Stranger, but if you want to see a band using that instrument (and flutes!) to its fullest potential, then Old Time Relijun is the one to go with. The wailing tones of the sax match Dionyso’s warbling perfectly, making a dance-punk riot that sounds like music of the desert filtered through no-wave.

Like any show in Olympia, I saw all the people I know who live in our fair capital, even though I didn’t tell anyone I was coming. Calvin Johnson was wiggling in the kitchen and Joey Casio was nodding his head in the back. Everyone went outside to smoke after Old Time Relijun’s set and my party friends and I camped out in the front row so we could make sure to be up front for Monotonix.

Monotonix are insane. The singer started out the show by standing on top of an amp and rotating his pelvis and just generally looking creepy (and hairy!). By the end of the first song, the drummer—who plays standing up, at the front of their stage setup—had already crowdsurfed. By the end of the second, so had the bass drum, its front piece of plastic completely ripped apart (what’s that called? not the drum head, but the other piece?). By the end of the third song, the singer had crowdsurfed straight into my head and knocked my glasses off, almost breaking them, and the cops had promptly arrived.

So we waited patiently until the decision was made to play one more song after the cops left. The house was already smashed up and a lighting fixture had broken and given a kid a punk-rock scar story that will most certainly get him laid someday. The singer said, “If you guys want to dance, start… now!” and launched into a dizzying song of bassy guitar and manic drumming. First he crowdsurfed, then he lifted the bass drum up and sent it over the heads of the crowd, followed by the high hat, a cymbal, the snare, and then the drummer, who played the snare with everyone holding him up. All the other drums were being played by crowdmembers, and they were gradually sent back to the front, rearranged, and played out for the rest of the song. It was nuts.

So go Friday for the show at the Comet, or else you’re gonna feel like an idiot. Remember to wear your glasses strap, and beware that you might get elbowed in the gut or have a bass drum on your head. If I can say that it was totally worth driving to Olympia for only four songs, imagine what it’s going to be like when you only have to walk up the street.

[Oh, and those rumors about a local small label looking to maybe release new Monotonix recordings in the States? Totally true.]

Dept. of Revisiting an Important Item

posted by on November 29 at 9:24 AM

Last week, Grandy posted about a New York Times article by David Brooks, who was joined by Little Stevie Van Zandt in scoffing at the “fragmentation” of the music industry, belittling an entire generation of music makers, and adding another layer of crust to the Times’ department of pop criticism. Grandy’s analysis was money—Brooks overlooks the fact that there’s more music more available via more channels than ever before, and that a lot of it is good.

The most obvious flaw with Brooks’ article, though, is this line:

There are almost no new groups with the broad following or longevity of the Rolling Stones, Springsteen or U2.

How can Brooks possibly know the longevity of a band today? He’s not even making a prediction; he’s stating what a fact. It’s an error in logic.

What Brooks might be fumbling towards is a theory that fragmented listening habits will reduce the longevity of bands. He’s suggesting that niche music will only appeal and apply to a certain age range, that we’ll all grow out of the stuff we love now and move on to… classical music? A return to Springsteenian innocence? Something, anything other than what we embrace now. He’s suggesting that without mass popularity, the niche bands we like now will be unable to survive.

He’s wrong, of course. Check Pitchfork daily and you’ll see a parade of bands that even music geeks never knew existed. Their obscurity doesn’t make their music any less enjoyable, or in the long run, less permanent. And as far as career longevity, niche music and niche marketing makes it feasible for those bands to make a decent living, or at least have their music heard by a decent-sized audience, for however long they choose to exist.

Brooks might be right in insinuating that most bands around now won’t still be around in 20 years; the same could be said for most bands from 20 years ago. There are a select few that will continue to make relevent music, though, and we’ll still be listening to them.

Here’s where Brooks’ article raises an important—and fun—question. Who are those career musicians that we’ll still listen to and care about when we’re old?

Some predictions: The Avett Brothers, Hot Chip, Devendra Banhart, James Murphy, Joanna Newsom, the National, Sufjan Stevens, Danger Mouse. Eric suggests Bright Eyes and the Hold Steady.

There are all sorts of tangents to explore here. What links these bands? Do singer-songwriters simply last longer? What about hiphop prevents its artists from potentially aging well? Is rock ‘n’ roll age-proof? Are in-the-moment, of-the-moment flashes a more powerful cultural statement that war horses? Does longevity even matter?

Mop Sink = Good Enough

posted by on November 29 at 8:21 AM

Pony’s last night ever was pretty packed—punishing lines to get drinks and punishing lines to go to the bathroom—so this guy I was standing with said, “Let’s go back to that sink.” Ah yes, that sink. I’d watched a friend of mine, a writer for Entertainment Weekly, hoist herself up onto that counter and pee in that sink just a week earlier. And then I’d peed in it.

But when we got back to the sink some guy was puking into it, with another guy looking on and stroking his hair and talking to him. We waited but the vomiting/talking/hair-stroking was taking forever. Then part of the wall split open and some guy stumbled out and said, “I just peed in the mop sink.” And sure enough, behind this nailed-shut-and-then-broken-open door was a broom-closet-shaped space with a drain in the floor. I peed into the drain and watched the vomiting man.


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Rhythm Of Spandisco

posted by on November 28 at 5:02 PM

Love Childs Afro Cuban Blues Band was a project put together by record producer Michael Zager, a New Jersey native that contributed to numerous disco hits during the 1970’s. Along with working with his own projects like Michael Zager & The Moon Band, The Michael Zager Band, and Love Childs Afro Cuban Blues Band, he worked on several other records including Andrea True Connection’s 1977 LP White Witch, The Detroit Spinners’s 1979 LP Dancin’ and Lovin’, and Cissy Houston’s 1978 classic Think It Over. However Love Childs Afro-Cuban Blues Band, which was later changed to the shorter more marketable Afro Cuban Band, was where Zager produced some of his best work, including the 1977 rare disco gem “Spandisco”, 1978’s “Rhythm Of Life” and “Black Widow Woman”. Unfortunitely, due to a lack of support by their label, Arista, the group lost steam, and Zager decided to shelve anymore Afro Cuban Band releases. However, before it was all said and done, disco helped discover another great producer in Michael Zager.

Love Childs Afro Cuban Blues Band - Spandisco

They Shoot Ponies, Don’t They?

posted by on November 28 at 3:04 PM

The Pharmacy, Team Gina, Talbot Tagora @ Pony

Last night’s show, the second to last ever at Pony (Ononos close it out tonight), was kind of a wreck from the start. When I arrived, around 9:30, opening band Talbot Tagora had just loaded in, but it wasn’t certain that they would be allowed to play. Two of Talbot Tagora’s three band members are under-age, Pony proprietor Marcus Wilson didn’t know—he had booked the Pharmacy, and the Pharmacy booked the rest of the bill—and he was pissed, like someone was trying to pull one over on him (Talbot Tagora has played at Pony before, with Flexions). So Wilson kicked them off the bill. I’ve seen under-age bands play 21+ shows before—they just have to wait outside when they’re not playing or loading, right? When asked, Wilson just said, “I have too much other shit to worry about.”

It was a bummer, because it seemed like Talbot Tagora were the band everyone was most excited to see—including at least one local record label owner. The band split, and Wilson got back to setting up the PA—no clue when the show was going to start. Pony was looking pretty empty, so I took off with some friends to grab a drink at Linda’s. When we got back an hour or so later, Pony was packed, PWRFL Power had just filled in for the opening slot (he later asked, “Am I playing too many shows?”), and I was pretty drunk. At some point, Moving Units’ Blake Miller showed up looking for the Cha Cha and turned away at the door looking a little confused.

Team Gina took the stage in matching over-sized stripes and did their Olympian grrrl laptop hip hop thing. “We’re Team Gina, not Team Gyna; fuck what you heard,” they said by way of introduction. I think this was the second or third time I’ve seen Team Gina, and they’ve yet to make much of an impression. I’ve been perhaps unfairly writing them off as all novelty—white, college-educated, dyke rappers (“we’re like sorority girls, but we’re gonna change the world”)—and no skills. But their cd, Gina Gina Revolution reveals them to be pretty funny and smart as far as party rap goes, and they’re backed by better beats than a lot of dorm-room electro out there. But live, it just wasn’t coming together. The beats sounded weak on Pony’s PA, and the energy level was just low all around.

The Pharmacy, on the other hand, started a crowd-surfing, bar-trashing rock riot. The cops came; Wilson had to shut the show down. The Pharmacy only managed about three and a half songs. It was a blur. Everybody left wanting more.

Tonight is Pony’s last night.

I Still Believe

posted by on November 28 at 2:24 PM

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God Bless You, Line Out Commenters

posted by on November 28 at 2:06 PM

For reminding me of this forgotten fictional favorite (alliteration, woo!):

Jimmy: See, the Oneders, Lenny.
Lenny: Yeah, but it looks like the O’Needers.
Jimmy: No, no, no - the Oneders.
Lenny: Got it. Looks like the O’Needers.

I love Lenny.

Smooth Operator

posted by on November 28 at 1:34 PM

Single Male Social Drinkers – WANTED for a study on male-female interactions.

This from the U.W. Odegaard Library:

socialdrinkingmen.JPG

They pay, you drink. Word is it’s a scented room, designer liquors, velvet loungers,

And Sade:

He’s laughing with another girl and playing with another heart / Placing high stakes, making hearts ache / He’s loved in seven languages / Heaven help him, when he falls / Diamond life, lover boy

No need to ask
He’s a smooth operator
Smooth operator, smooth operator
Smooth operator

Coast to coast, LA to Chicago, western male
Across the north and south, to Key Largo, love for sale

Why Do Fictional Bands Always Suck?

posted by on November 28 at 12:51 PM

I had to see August Rush a couple weeks ago to review it for this paper. It’s not bad, if you’re into fairy tales staring adorable little kids and Felicity (you can read the review in this week’s film section). The only major complaint I have is that the rock band that Jonathan Rhys Meyers fronts, the rock band that’s supposed to be really good and huge and shit, is really, really terrible.

Even for a fictional rock band, they’re bad!

steeldragon.jpg

Steel Dragon from Rock Star sucked, Stillwater from Almost Famous wasn’t so bad, but they weren’t awesome either, Spinal Tap? Funny, loud, but not necessarily good. Fictional rock bands are never that good.

Why? Can’t movie makers hire some decent songwriters? Granted, I haven’t given the subject a whole lot of thought, so maybe I’m forgetting some obvious choices. Are there movies with good fake bands out there? Any? At all?

Keytarded

posted by on November 28 at 12:50 PM


(Thank you, Idolator)

A Letter of Support for DV-One

posted by on November 28 at 12:37 PM

Local music scene supporter Kerri Harrop is seeking signees for a letter of support for DV-One, who was convicted last month on charges of assaulting a police officer. Background on his case can be found here, here, and here.

Here is her plea for support:

A brief summary: in September 2006, DV was arrested at Memorial Stadium, where he was picking up his 14-year old daughter from her first High School football game. The SPD claims that DV hit a female officer and that the force they used when arresting him was justified. The reality of the situation is shocking and a sad reminder that racism runs rampant in the SPD.

According to sworn testimony from the SPD, DV One was tased for at least 11 seconds. A single taser discharge lasts 5 seconds. He was covered with bruises, contusions, and scrapes. You can read some of my thoughts and see a picture of his injuries at my blog, which is located here: http://cherrycanoe.wordpress.com/2007/10/24/scaring-the-nation-with-their-guns-and-ammunition/

DV One will be sentenced on December 14, at the King County Courthouse. His lawyer has been collecting letters of support, which will be presented to Judge Gregory Canova. In addition to a personal letter, I have put together the short missive that appears below. Please consider lending your support by adding your name to it.

It is important to demonstrate to the Judge that DV is a valued member of our community and your participation will lend weight to that truth. If you would like to be added to the growing list of names, please respond as soon as possible. I need everything by midnight on Wednesday.

All I need from you is your full name and either a contact number or mailing address. Please include your profession or where you work. This information will strictly be used for verification purposes and will not be made public.

And here is her letter for the judge:

Hon. Gregory Canova, King County Superior Court:

We, the undersigned, represent a small portion of the community that supports Toby Campbell.

To us, Toby is a good father, a friend, a co-worker, a talented member of the local music community, a mentor, and much, much more. His reputation among those who know him is solid, and his loyalty is never questioned.

Over the years, Toby has contributed much to our community. He has donated his time to the youth of our city and can consistently be relied upon to help out with whatever needs assistance. He is thoughtful, intelligent, and sincere. These traits have helped him raise his daughter, and continue to be evident in all he does.

Toby Campbell is an asset to our city and to our lives. He is a kind-hearted and loving man, with much deserved respect from his peers.

Our community needs people like Toby Campbell. His daughter needs her father. We respectfully ask that, when sentencing him on December 14, you keep these things in mind.

Most sincerely,

You can add your name to this letter by sending your information to Harrop at cherrycanoe@gmail.com.

Music for Obama

posted by on November 28 at 12:35 PM

So Barack Obama is coming to Seattle on Dec. 11 and doing an event at Showbox SoDo. It’s going to feature local bands but the lineup, according to Washington for Obama, is “still being finalized.”

In politics, that’s often code for: We have no fucking idea.

I figure this is an area where our readers have some expertise, so maybe you all can help the Obama campaign. If you were throwing a $100-a-ticket “Generation Obama” event at the Showbox Sodo, which local bands would you ask to be on the bill?

Today in Music News

posted by on November 28 at 12:17 PM

For all the people on your gift list: Buy stuff from Rock for the Kids: artists include Bjork, James Brown, Cat Power and… Allen Ginsberg? Scarlett Johansson?

Showdown with Biggie: Jay-Z on collaborations, part of a series of four.

In the Charts: Band of Horses is still conquering college radio.

Because something is happening here, but you don’t know what it is, do you Mister Jones?: Real-Life Mr. Jones, protagonist from Dylan’s “Ballad of a Thin Man”, dies.

Led Zeppelin landmarks: Google Maps and Google Earth now feature important locations of the band’s career.

Moz signs with Polydor/Decca: And “doing a Radiohead” is now a legitimate phrase.

Recreating the Jesus and Mary Chain: “Psychocandy” was inspiration for new Magnetic Fields album.

Numero Disco

posted by on November 28 at 11:17 AM

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The Numero Group label, famous for its ongoing releases that delve deeply into the far reaches of “eccentric soul,” has been quietly releasing some primo rare disco 12” singles lately.

They range from full-blown Caribbean funk/disco to early rap. Some of the releases are master tapes that have been found with no identifying info on them except band names and song titles. Releasing them like a dove into a recently dry world, Numero hopes to shed more light on a genre that has its dissenters—very admirable for a label whose cool crate-digger reputation has led it to also release amazing CDs of little-known folk singers and genre-specific Caribbean dance music.

The latest single, Numero 006 in the series, is a fantastic example: Jackie Stoudemire’s “Invisible Wind.” Originally released on the TAP label in 1981, the song obviously suffers from a weird title (Invisible Wind? As opposed to the wind you can see?), but the slap bass, hand clapping, and great background singing give it a yearning lift that is nearly spiritual.

Not to be outdated, Numero has been adding on some classy re-edits to these packages. The Shoes re-edit of the above track is perfectly done, adding layer on layer, extending the track from just over four minutes to an epic-feeling eight.

I can’t recommend all the singles in the series. Numero 005, Jay Mitchell’s version of “Mustang Sally,” didn’t hold any interest to me (and besides, I hate the original). But the incredible Numero 003, “Man For My Lady” by Sabata, has a righteous synth line that screams “Party!” (And I think it was lifted by Jellybean Benitez for his work with early Madonna.)

And the early hiphop sound of the Fabulous 3 MCs (totally unknown rappers, master tape found at a garage sale in Florida), Numero 004, is reminiscent of the best of Grand Master Flash.

Search ‘em out. Find ‘em all. But whatever you do, don’t miss out on ‘em.

Samples, of course, are here at my blog.

MP3’s and vinyl of all the Numero Disco releases can be found at the Numero website and your local independent record store.

You Are Not Hallucinating

posted by on November 28 at 10:45 AM

That really is Dolly Parton and Amy Sedaris urging American women to renounce their sad-sackery via music video:

Thank you, God. (And thank you, Hot Tipper Keith.)

Tonight in Music

posted by on November 28 at 10:19 AM

hitchcock.jpeg

Robyn Hitchcock, Harvey Danger
(Triple Door) I’m not really sure if I’m supposed to recommend Harvey Danger; at least 7/8 of the band has worked for The Stranger, right? Whatev. Last year’s Little by Little… was a fine pop-rock record, complete with killer lines like “She said that she was hungrier than I was brilliant,” and it’s fitting to see Seattle’s enduring one-hit wonders open for a man whose oddball, self-deprecating pop catalog must inspire at least 3/4 of the Seattle band—why else would HD’s Sean Nelson have guested on Robyn Hitchcock’s 2006 record Olé! Tarantula, anyway? Expect the old man to pick from his decades of cheeky, psych-pop material, Soft Boys and on, while telling nonsensical stories between songs that are funny mostly ‘cause they’re in a British accent. SAM MACHKOVECH

Camel’s “The Farm” Campaign Criticized in the NYT

posted by on November 28 at 9:56 AM

In this post last night, I criticized Camel for producing shows with bands that appeal to young people in a ploy to associate their brand with things that young people like, even if young people can’t actually attend the shows. All of this promotion is happening under a division of Camel’s promotion arm called “The Farm.”

In Monday’s New York Times, Stuart Elliott criticizes a different end of The Farm’s promotions—its print advertising in Rolling Stone.

An insert in Rolling Stone magazine sponsored by Camel cigarettes is under fire from antismoking activists because, they say, it blurs the line between advertising and editorial content — and worse yet, features cartoons.

The insert was among several in the Nov. 15 issue, celebrating the magazine’s 40th anniversary. All the inserts were what the industry calls butterfly gates — ad pages on the outside, which unfold to reveal pages of articles inside.

In this instance, the Camel ads promoted a campaign and Web site devoted to “free range music” (thefarmrocks.com), which supports independent record labels. The article inside, “Indie Rock Universe,” presented lists of independent bands and fanciful illustrations of planets, animals and spaceships by Benjamin Marra.

This is one great big cigarette ad,” said Matthew L. Myers, president of the organization, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, in Washington.


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Body Lovin’ Music

posted by on November 27 at 4:33 PM

In 1979, German disco label Strand released Gepy & Gepy’s classic Body to Body LP. This was a project that was arranged by Geoff Bastow who has helped produce numerous disco classics while working with groups like Munich Machine, Giorgio Moroder, Boney M., and K.I.D., along with playing guitar/keyboards on many of Donna Summer’s early recordings. This record includes some solid cuts like “African Love Song”, “Machine Man”, “Zero”, and the titled track “Body To Body”. Like many disco projects, this project’s life span was short lived with this one LP release, which also included a couple of 12-inch singles. A solid record that fit’s nicely into any disco lover’s collection.

Gepy & Gepy - African Love Song
Gepy & Gepy - Body To Body

Setting the Diamond

posted by on November 27 at 4:02 PM

musicianshof.jpgSouth of Nashville’s honky-tonk district, there is now a Musicians Hall of Fame & Museum. It opened last year to honor the musicians who have written and created some of the greatest songs in popular music. These are musicians who have played on songs for the Beach Boys, Johnny Cash, George Harrison, Bob Dylan, George Jones, The Supremes, Frank Sinatra, and others.

The first annual event was held last night in Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center.

The first class of inductees includes: The Nashville A-Team, the Funk Brothers, the Wrecking Crew, the Memphis Boys, the Tennessee Two, and the Blue Moon Boys.

ateam.jpg

(The A-Team)

From the Orlando Sentinel:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - They helped make some of the best-loved songs in popular music with the likes of Stevie Wonder, Patsy Cline and Elvis Presley, but they were content to let the stars take the spotlight.” These are the players who’ve been making music for America for many years,” said Harold Bradley, a guitarist for The Nashville A-Team, an inductee that has played for Cline and Brenda Lee. “If you take us away, you won’t have anything but the voice in the song, and as great as they are, we are the setting for the diamond.”

Camel Advertises to Minors Using Bands With Underage Draws

posted by on November 27 at 3:10 PM

joe_camel.jpg

Cigarette companies can claim to not be advertising to people under 18 all they want, but the shows they decide to put on are totally for young people to notice, salivate over, and wish fervently that they could get into.

This free, 21+ show coming up on Friday is a perfect example. The lineup is These Arms are Snakes, Russian Circles, and Portugal.the Man. While you have to do a little investigating to find out that it’s actually a Camel event (it’s not listed as such on the flyer or the Neumo’s website, but the Camel logo and the surgeon general’s warning appear by law in the ad in The Stranger), this show, if it were a normal show and not sponsored by Camel, would probably be all ages, no matter what club it was at.

Take a look at the bands playing. These Arms Are Snakes have always had a huge all-ages draw in this city—their angst-ridden, screamy pop appeals to teenagers, and a large part of their devoted fan base is underage. They even apologize for the 21+ show on their website: “It’s another free one but unfortunately it’s also 21+. Sorry to the underaged crew! It’s just the way it worked out. We’ll make it up to you!”

Russian Circles are another band with a young draw. The last time The Stranger wrote about them was in Megan Seling’s Underage column. And Portugal. the Man’s last tour? With all-ages stalwart Rocky Votolato.

The logical conclusion is that Camel is supporting these bands because young people support these bands, so if Camel associates themselves with the bands, Camel can associate itself with young people’s lungs (when they turn 18, of course).

The other theory could be that Camel is just “supporting the music scene!” They are paying these bands for performing, which means they are a cool, hip, and caring. And they love music, right?

If Camel wanted to really support the music community without advertising to young people, they wouldn’t put on shows with bands that are known for their draws with minors. They could just as easily be supporting alt-country shows at the Tractor or jazz at the Triple Door. Or even bands that are young and hip but don’t really appeal to minors, like Silversun Pickups or the Black Angels. Camel is trying to slip under the radar and advertise to young people by associative branding.

Most Played

posted by on November 27 at 1:25 PM

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Year-end list-making time is fast approaching—Idolator’s looking for participants for thier annual Pop Critics Poll, Pazz & Jop is no doubt gearing up for its second Chrisgau-less year—so I thought I should get started by checking a stat I don’t usually even have visible on my iTunes display: play count.

On my home computer, the most played song is KUOW’s live stream (What can I say—I get terrible radio reception in my apartment, and I love the soothing sound of old liberals).

On both my laptop and my iPod, the most played song is “Crushed Bones” by Why?, from the band’s great post-hop/beat folk album Elephant Eyelash. I love that album, but “Crushed Bones” isn’t my favorite song on it—that, by far, is “Gemini (Birthday Song)”—it’s just the first one that gets played when I listen to the record, and I apparently start the record more often than I’m able to finish it (not because it gets bad—it doesn’t—but probably because I’m a busy, ADD-addled dude). I only got into Why? some time after this record came out. An old roommate (hey, Davis) was a fan, and he’d listen to one or two of their records in the common space of the house we shared, but they never really clicked for me while I lived there. But I must’ve made a copy of Elephant Eyelash before I moved out, and sometime in the years since, it’s become a favorite.

The moment that happened was probably when I first saw Why? live, performing at an art gallery in San Francisco when I was down there last Halloween to see Justice and the Knife. It was a pretty compelling show (also on the bill that night were Portland’s Audiodregs honcho E*Rock and Monome wizard Daedalus)—an artsy, DIY, homegrown gathering, and a vivid alternative to the big, international A/V production of the Knife’s show and the unchecked club hedonism of Justice’s DJ set. Why? performed on (I think) electric piano, drums, acoustic guitar, turntables, and mics. I didn’t know the songs well enough then to pick out what was being played, but I remember feeling hushed by their songs.

(A Lenghty digression: Elephant Eyelash kind of remind’s me of Jonathan Lethem’s novel Fortress of Solitude. There’s something about the race envy and gestational hip hop, not to mention the darkly comic magical realism of the book, that connects the two in my brain. When Why? sings the line, “and the Monterey birches were bare/raising their skinny arms to the stars in surrender,” I think of the part in the book where the main character goes to some cocktail waitress’s house after the bars close to smoke pot and make out. Lethem’s character lives in Berkeley then, Why? are based out of the East Bay, both are white or Jewish and grappling with traditionally African American idioms (hip hop, and in for Lethem’s character also soul, funk, and grafitti). Both are poetic enough to turn real, dingy life into something that seems surreally epic.)

My favorite song from the album, the previously mentioned “Gemini (Birthday Song)” is hopeful and sad and minutely romantic. It’s painfully touching little lines like “When we’re on different sides of the globe/I thought we’d keep our veins tangled like a pair of mic cables” and “you know my build/you know my size/and the degree to which my eyes are astygmatic.” It’s obsessed with sex and death and old age and love, but it illustrates all these lofty concerns with borderline precious details.

Why?’s new album, Alopecia comes out in March, but in the meantime, the band has released the Hollows, an EP available in two versions from Anticon and Tomblab respectively. The title track, taken from the album, is a mournful stomp, with Yoni Wolf rambling depressed and delivering scornful shout outs over vocal harmonies, piano stabs, and unusually electric guitars. “By Torpedo or Crohns (a remix by Dntel)” pits Wolf’s steady, subliminal verse (listen for echoes of Slick Rick’s “La Di Da Di” in those first four lines) against careful flutters and peripherially buzzing synths. Boards of Canada’s remix of “Good Friday” surrounds glum spoken word with pot-smoke ambience and sleepy funk bass. Both songs are lyrically dense and self-destructive, but “By Torpedo or Crohns” is the more memorable of the two, with it’s gut-sick confessions and melancholy chorus, a sampled “This/doesn’t/stop,” that flips the tenuous optimism of the old “can’t stop/won’t stop” into something full of only dread. Of the four covers included on the two versions, the only really compelling oneis Xiu Xiu’s take on “Yo Yo Bye Bye,” which re-imagines the song with broken-toy synths, a tiny rave pulse, and Jamie Stewart’s freaked-out, wounded whisper, managing to uncover new depth in the lyrics while wildly playing with the song’s mood and structure.

I can’t imagine liking the new album much more than Elephant Eyelash, but I love it when albums prove me wrong like that, so we’ll see.

Today in Music News

posted by on November 27 at 12:25 PM

Radiohead first dates: Southside and Hurricane—more on the way!?!??!

Kniezie Pleeze: Kanye and Knievel settle legal beef over “Touch the Sky” video out of court.

Tour of a Lifetime: Linkin Park hit the road with Coheed and Cambria.

New in Courtney Love’s blog
: “It must be some sort of karma for beong ignorant.”

Nas’s controversially-titled LP pushed back: Until February, which is Black History Month.

No worries, Ari, no one was hurt: But Flea’s house was being rented by producer Butch Walker, who lost everything.

The Winehouse is closed: I’m done posting Amy updates—she’s reached too high a level of ridiculousness—but she’s quitting her tour anyway.

Luchnow Brides

posted by on November 27 at 12:17 PM

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Not much info available on BOTW Luchnow Brides.

Here’s what we printed this week:

BAND OF THE WEEK LUCHNOW BRIDES Sometimes you gotta play the weird card. The Luchnow Brides’ bio claims that Blazin’ Bride, Beatty Bride, and Balance Bride are “three young girls who just love to wear white.” Uh huh. “Oh, and we’re originally from Luchnow (sic), Uttar Pradesh State, India. Word.” Riiight.

But “Oo ee” has something real and unique and hyphenated going on: Lo-fi post-rock 8-bit Casio-funk. Choir-like female vocals hover over splashing cymbals and a sweet, slow rhythmic windup, with a minimal guitar riff that arrives at just the right time. The song breathes in a wisp of potential energy that’s held rather than spent. Weird, yeah—and totally intriguing. JONATHAN ZWICKEL

An email request for further info yeilded this response:

Hello Mr. Zwickel, Thanks for the lovely write-up in this week’s Stranger. We’ve been called many things, intriguing has not been one of them… until now. Where do we go from here? Is it possible that a career has just peaked? Hopefully not. We’re always cooking in the lab, so keep checking back to see what’s hot out the oven.

love,
The Brides

ps. Tell Ari we said hi. She never writes, she never calls…

Deliciously vague. (Hi Ari!) Best thing you can do is check out “Oo ee” on Luchnow Brides’ Stranger Bands Page.

Back from Vacation

posted by on November 27 at 12:10 PM

Yesterday I was here:

Today I’m here:

South Florida to Seattle—two places immediately identified with a particular sound, a particular feeling. Those sounds and feelings couldn’t be more different.

The people that gag at Jimmy Buffet have never sat barefoot on a sailboat on a balmy Florida evening and sipped a margarita. Those who resist Nirvana have never been alone and depressed in a bedroom. One condition is universal and personal, the other specific and communal. Embracing both should be like matter/anti-matter, but somehow it makes sense in my life.

Feeling Struggle

posted by on November 27 at 11:03 AM

DJ Struggle’s latest dubstep mix is here. The exceptional track on the mix is a warm, dubstep remix of Nina Simone’s triumph, “Feelin’ Good.” The remix, “Good Feelin’,” is by Ramadanman and available only on wax.

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No amount of versioning can exhaust Nina’s greatest triumph.

Tonight in Music

posted by on November 27 at 11:02 AM

VHS or Beta, Moving Units, DJ Colby B
(Chop Suey) A few years ago when indie kids were just rediscovering their love of dancing, Seattle audiences gravitated to a handful of bands like the Rapture or Hot Hot Heat, leaving L.A.’s Moving Units as also-rans. The shame there isn’t that the field was too crowded, but that Moving Units, one of the stronger bands of the day, never got their time in the limelight before the dance punk hype receded. With the release of the excellent Hexes for Exes, maybe now they’ll finally get the attention they deserve. The album takes the best lessons from that era and not only avoids beating a dead horse, but creates a series of songs keenly tuned to the key of rocking out. DONTE PARKS
New Riders of the Purple Sage
(Tractor) My youthful apprehension toward all things described with “jam,” “San Francisco,” and “the ’60s” changed only a few years ago when I learned about New Riders of the Purple Sage. This cosmic-country band loaded the right amount of psych and jam into the country genre in the band’s early 1970s heyday without getting too lost in Grateful Dead-ery—funny, then, that Jerry Garcia left the band in 1971 to focus on turning Middle America into a bunch of hippie-yuppies. Decades later, only two of the band’s original members remain, though to be fair, NRPS survived their ever-revolving lineup with a growing reliance on trippy covers of country standards. In that respect, originals David Nelson and Buddy Cage reliably uphold the band’s kaleidoscope look at just what a pedal steel can conjure. SAM MACHKOVECH

You Don’t Have to Go to Hell After All

posted by on November 27 at 10:36 AM

To redress all your illegal-downloading, mixtape-making sins, there is dearrockers.org, a place where one can send letters of apology and five dollars to artists you’ve ripped off over the years:

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Dear Gipsy Kings,
In October 2006 1996 I received a mixed tape from my then boyfriend, who was a Californiangod. I specify, because it’s the only excuse I have for being seduced into accepting a non-purchased gift of your music. I enclose 10$ : that’s 5$ for my sin and 5$ for Surfer-god Tom’s. Thanks for the memories.

{heart} Michelle

Why five bucks? The dearrockers man explains:

When you buy songs from the iTunes music store, artists make 8 to 14 cents per song, depending on their contract. So $5 represents about three albums worth of income for an artist. I encourage you to support musicians in other ways, like attending their live shows, but five bucks seems like a good place to start.

With any luck, dearrockers‘ll become the postsecret of the music world. But it’s new, and there are hardly any letters.

(Nirvana? Never heard of ‘em. But there is one for Slash.)

So get on it. Especially you, Molly Hamilton. I’m sure you’ve got a lot of catching up to do.

Daft Punk - Alive Chat 2007

posted by on November 27 at 9:30 AM

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Daft Punk are doing a one-hour live chat here starting now. Their new live album, Alive 2007 is available now on iTunes and in stores Dec 4th. Here’s our review:

DAFT PUNK

Alive 2007

(EMI)

****

In 1993, Thomas Bangalter and Guy Manuel de Homem-Christo attended a rave at the Euro Disney theme park outside of Paris. Techno hasn’t been the same since.

On the duo’s recent U.S. tour—their first in 10 years—it was clear that Daft Punk learned a thing or two from old Uncle Walt. Their show, a sort of career-spanning Daft Punk megamix, was a massive spectacle of light and sound, with every element carefully constructed and synchronized to elicit maximum squealing glee.

Alive 2007, a sequel of sorts to Alive 1997, attempts to capture that experience. The album contains a live Daft Punk performance (recorded in Bercy, France, on June 14, 2007) and a bonus disc featuring a fan-shot video for “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” directed by Oliver “Brother of Michel” Gondry. The flat camcorder shots and quick cuts of the video aren’t quite up to the task, but the music more than stands on its own.

For the tour, Daft Punk radically reedited their back catalog, adding jitters and jumps to familiar hooks, and more importantly, mapping out new combinations and mixes of classic tracks. “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” is more of all of those things with the stomping bass line and vocal hook (not to mention some unidentified synth squelches) of “Around the World” behind it. “One More Time” pops like champagne out of the bell toll of “Aerodynamic” before diving into the latter’s gleaming guitar solo before one more elated chorus.

The first thing you hear on Alive 2007 is the crowd cheering; the audience’s roar and hand claps are present throughout, echoing the peaks and filling in the breakdowns. The live show’s most striking visual element may have been the flashing red words “ROBOT” and “HUMAN” on the enormous stage backdrop that, by the end of the show, turned into “HUMAN” and “TOGETHER.” There’s a utopian spirit behind Daft Punk’s rave theme park, and listening to that roaring crowd and these anthemic songs, it’s easy to believe a Daft Punk concert is the happiest (hardest, bestest, fastest, strongest) place on earth. ERIC GRANDY

Ich Liebe Eine Gummibär!

posted by on November 27 at 7:09 AM

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the next Crazy Frog.

English version, soon to take over the airwaves, can be seen here.

He locks and pops and rocks non-stop! He even bounces in his caddie! Then shakes his cute little green gummy ass out of his sagging drawers.

And yes, there is a full album out now! It even includes the Spanish and Hungarian versions. Got a niece or nephew to buy a prezzie for this xmas? Look no further.

Oh I’m a yummy tummy funny lucky gummy bear!


Monday, November 26, 2007

It Was Not Meant To Be

posted by on November 26 at 11:35 PM

Due to god’s wrath, Vince Neil did not perform the national anthem before Monday Night Football.


Following a 25- minute weather delay, the NFL chose to skip the anthem Monday night before Miami played Pittsburgh. The game started without any of the traditional pregame ceremonies, except the coin toss, and neither team was introduced on the public address system.

According to the Steelers, the NFL wanted the game to begin as soon as possible following the delay. Several more minutes would have been needed to set up a microphone and sound equipment at midfield, where the anthem is traditionally performed at Steelers games.

Vince Neil’s warbling would’ve been the only thing that could have possibly made the game any worse. Monsoon rains and herds of large men in cleats tore up the sod at Heinz Stadium, which led to a the most boring game since the Colts/Pats defensive showdown a few weeks ago.

Pittsburgh won by a field goal with 17 seconds left to play. The final score? 2005 Super Bowl Cheaters Champion Steelers 3; haven’t-won-a-game-all-season Dolphins, 0.

My fantasy team lost too, but you probably don’t care.

Showbox Rumor

posted by on November 26 at 7:22 PM

The never-ending rumor about the Showbox on First Avenue between Pike and Union is that the lease is up and the club is being booted—and in come the condos. Yawn.

However, today’s rumor was a bit more startling: The club had been flat out sold.

I just talked to a high-level staffer at the music club and he said “I haven’t heard that.”

I asked him if the club was still in owner Jeff Steichen’s hands, and he said: “Yes.”

I’ve got a call into Steichen to see if that’s accurate.

The King County Assessor’s office shows no sign of a recent sale.

Update: Another staffer just told us that it’s, “Just a rumor,” and it’s coming from the fact that the club’s lease will be up in 2009, and there’s talk that they may just consolidate their business at the their SoDo location near the stadiums.

The Last Pony Show

posted by on November 26 at 5:18 PM

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Broadway Star

posted by on November 26 at 4:44 PM

One of the bands that I’ve been spending a lot of time listening to lately is 70’s funk/disco outfit Barrabas. Widely known for their 1972 club hit “Woman”, this constantly evolving group explored a wide range of music, everything from latin, funk, disco, and psychedelic rock. Of course, the era that I enjoyed the most from this group was from about 1972-1976 when they explored their more disco side. During this period they wrote numerous LPs and 12-inch singles, including 1975’s Heart Of The City and 1976’s Watch Out. These two records, which are my two personal favorites, became the time when Barrabas was starting to shed their psychedelic roots for a more refined disco/club sound. Both records are filled with classic dancefloor hits like “Mellow Blow”, “Checkmate”, “High Light”, and “Broadway Star”. Unfortunitely after the success of Watch Out the group disbanded for unknown reasons. Fernando Arbex, the key figure in Barrabas, eventually re-formed the group a few years later with many new members while shedding their disco sound with heavily synthesized rock beats. However, all wasn’t lost for us disco lovers, with Barrabas leaving behind many early classic disco gems.

Barrabas - Broadway Star
Barrabas - High Light

ORWO lownoise K60

posted by on November 26 at 2:39 PM

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This website is amazing. Its sole purpose is to collect and display photographs of cassette tapes. While my tastes in design sometimes run on the kitschy side, there’s something about this vast, diverse display that commands some legitimate respect. The muted colors! The stripes! The miles of potential, unused tape!

O Say Can You See….

posted by on November 26 at 2:27 PM

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This seems weird, but I’m not exactly sure why:

VINCE NEIL TO SING NATIONAL ANTHEM TONIGHT AT ESPN MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL GAME IN PITTSBURGH: Motley Crue front man Vince Neil will be performing the National Anthem tonight when the Pittsburgh Steelers host the Miami Dolphins at Heinz Field for ESPN’s Monday Night Football. The game will begin at 8:30pm Eastern/5:30pm Pacific with Vince’s performance of the Anthem taking place just prior to kickoff.

I’m sure it’ll be on YouTube tomorrow should you miss it tonight.

Tonight in Music

posted by on November 26 at 12:50 PM

The Aquabats are at El Corazon. For this week’s Underage, I interviewed Alithea O’Dell, Seattle’s biggest Aquabat fan:

So what is it that makes you the number-one Aquabats fan?
I think that one of the deciding factors is that I’m an adult with a professional job and an active social life. There are a lot of Aquacadets and regular Aquabats fans who grow out of them.

Why haven’t you?
My friends give me a lot of grief for my fandom, but (A) there are people who are totally crazier than I am, and (B) I take the Aquabats about as seriously as they should be taken. They are hilarious and fun.

Being silly is just my nature. There is a side of me that’s serious and can tell you exactly why rock steady and soul speak to my heart, but there is also a side of me that’s like, “Yeah! Let’s sing songs about mystical lands and have a food fight!”

Read the whole thing here.

Super rad!

Also tonight:

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The Can’t See, Triumph of Lethargy, Skinned Alive to Death
(Chop Suey) John Atkins. You know him. He was that dude in that 764-Hero band, that dude in that Hush Harbor band—he’s made many a young, emotional lad swoon with his comforting lyrics. He’s a talented songwriter, and his voice is just cartoonlike enough to be memorable without being too off-putting. His new band, the Can’t See, are a trio featuring Thomas Wright and Ken Jarvey. Sometimes they act like a pop band (like in the misleadingly titled “Sad Version”), sometimes they get a little more vaudevillian (“Your Friends,” for instance, with weird chimes and bouncing, old-time piano), and then there’s the slightly embittered “Young Ideas.” The band has a lot to say, and they’re really good at saying it, so you should take the time to listen—you’ll like what you hear. MEGAN SELING

Today in Music News

posted by on November 26 at 12:39 PM

The Gathering of the Juggalos: Vice investigates a phenomenon.

The Jesus and Mary Chain recording again: “…we’re trying to hold it together. We love this band, and we love each other.”

Deerhunter probably isn’t really on long-term hiatus: More likely on a short break.

California’s on fire again: Flea’s house “burnt to a crisp”.

Georgia is apparently a “haven for dogfighters”: Willie Nelson speaks out for man’s best friend.

Panic on the streets of London: Amy Winehouse in shambles, while Pete Doherty’s actually clean or something. For now.

Grounded for life: France cracks down on piracy, possibly taking away offenders’ internet access, permanently.

Deaths: Kevin DuBrow, lead singer of Quiet Riot , Casey Calvert, guitarist for Hawthorne Heights..

Make way for Jacksons: Jermaine says a reunion tour will happen in 2008, with Michael. (Unrelated, there should really be a moratorium on all photographs of the guy after 1985. Yikes.)

Quiet Riot Singer Dies, So Does Hawthorne Heights’ Guitarist

posted by on November 26 at 11:35 AM

Hat tip to Idolator for both these news bits:

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Blabbermouth is reporting Kevin DuBrow, the suspender-wearing lead singer of Quiet Riot, was found dead at his home in Las Vegas over the weekend. Quiet Riot was the first metal band to have its debut album hit No. 1 on the Billboard charts when Metal Health—featuring a cover of Slade’s “Cum On Feel The Noize,” which was a staple of old-school MTV—knocked the Police’s Synchronicity out of the top spot in 1983. The band was still releasing albums and touring, and they played a set at the Rocklahoma festival over the summer. DuBrow was 52.

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Also, Casey Calvert, guitarist for Hawthorne Heights (the ex-Victory band that left the label and then sued ‘em), was found dead on the band’s tour bus after a show in D.C. The band insists he wasn’t doing anything illegal (so no drugs), and an autopsy will be done. Calvert, who got married about a year ago, was 25.

What Kind of God Would Allow Such a Thing to Happen?

posted by on November 26 at 11:27 AM

I thought I’d met my quota of Barenaked Ladies-related posts for this lifetime.

But then I got this press release:

Get into the spirit with the wonderful sounds of the Boston Pops Orchestra in A Holly Jolly Pops Holiday with Barenaked Ladies premiering nationally on public television beginning December 16th (check local listings)!

Hear “Jingle Bells” as you’ve never heard it before in this hour-long holiday treat. Join conductor Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops Orchestra and special guests, Canadian alternative rock band, Barenaked Ladies, as they give their own special twist to seasonal tunes. A Holly Jolly Pops Holiday with Barenaked Ladies is hip, merry viewing for the entire family.

To paraphrase Sartre: Hell is other people performing sassed-up, rocked-out Christmas carols.

A Show I Wish I Could Go To

posted by on November 26 at 11:00 AM

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Have you heard about this shit? Artist and illustrator David Shrigley made a record, sort of. He made up a bunch of lyrics and made them into drawings, and then all of a sudden all these crazy good bands (Islands, Liars, Scout Niblett, Final Fantasy) and music legends (David Byrne!) were fighting each other to record them (srsly! arguments occurred!).

You can only see the show in Berlin, NYC, or London. Laaaaame. I wish I had a sugar daddy to fly me out there (but then I couldn’t date Nick Diamonds).


Sunday, November 25, 2007

Eye of the Tiger

posted by on November 25 at 1:30 PM

survivor.jpgThe Seahawks were down the whole game. But it’s the 4th quarter, two minutes left, and they’re ahead – 24 to 19. Seahawks are winning. Shit, St. Louis is about to score though. NO!! THEY FUMBLED. 27 seconds left. Looks like the Hawks are going to take it. Seahawks win!

Come on. Eye of the Tiger, baby – der… der-der-der. Der-der-der…

Der-der-DEEEERR.

It’s the eye of the tiger, it’s the thrill of the motherfuckin fight. Risin up to the challenge of our rivals.”

The band that played that song, Survivor, does have other hits. Hits such as “I Can’t Hold Back” and “High on You.”

Now to the Bryant County News in Richmond Hill, GA. Survivor just played the 9th Annual Great Ogeechee Seafood Festival:

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The crowd loudly cheered as the band belted out numerous hits from their heyday in the 1980’s. Vocalist Robin McAuley led an energetic assault with hits such as “I Can’t Hold Back” and “High on You”.

The tempo was brought down a bit for the rock ballad “The Search Is Over” which prompted an audience sing-along to the chorus. The set ended with an enthusiastic “Eye of the Tiger”. As loud as the speakers were, McAuley’s vocals could barely be heard over the crowd’s.