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Archives for 12/30/2007 - 01/05/2008

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Book Your Own World Tour

posted by on January 5 at 12:30 PM

L.A. Nintendo-Core outfit Horse the Band have some lofty ambitions:

“Three years ago we booked a three-month, eight country tour with no booking agency, manager, or CD in stores. It was the funnest tour we have ever done. 3 years and 11 professional package tours later, we’ve become disillusioned, bad-attitude nerds and pariahs of the established music industry. FUCK IT. We are currently planning a 40-country tour of Earth. We are booking the tour by ourselves, and going by ourselves because everyone is scared of us and no one will let us play their tours because we are too wild and crazy. In addition, no booking agencies will book shows for us on foreign soil because we have no “tour history on the books” or “soundscans” or “albums in stores”. It is time to once again take matters into our own hands, go off the beaten track, and show the music industry that they don’t matter anymore because of the INTERNET. We hope to be an inspiration to all young bands with honest dreams and the willingness to say “FUCK IT” to the shitty, boring, timid, sterile conventions that have slimed their way into our scene with the recent commercialization and homogenization of underground music. We will be producing a TV show/movie about recklessly circling the globe playing volatile shows, eating weird new foods, meeting new races and species, seeing the marvels of nature and man, narrowly escaping tragedy (or not escaping it), all while teetering on the brink of alcoholism and mental illness and sharing the language of music that unites us all! “

Although I am fairly indifferent about the band’s music, I must say this is entirely admirable. If they can actually pull this tour together their video is going to be an incredible document for future bands hoping to take their music around the world through grassroots channels. They offer to send promotional materials anywhere in the world, and encourage people in every country to burn CD-Rs of their albums and distribute them freely. If only every band had that attitude.

(ht PRP)


Friday, January 4, 2008

King Cobra Strikes Cap Hill

posted by on January 4 at 6:30 PM

UPDATED below.

This press release just arrived at the Stranger office:

The club formerly known as Sugar will become Seattle’s newest live music venue.

Che Sabado, who owned the Kincora Pub for five years, partnered with longtime friend Jamie Garza, a businessman who used to book all-ages concerts in Bremerton and Bellingham, to buy the nightclub Sugar and are planning on reopening the place as the King Cobra. The new venue will accommodate 475 people and will be home to a diverse mix of live acts as well as be a bar where locals can come and relax. The two bought the club because they wanted to contribute to the music community in Seattle.

As Sabado and Garza grew up in this area they would go to local concerts and see some great bands that later became world famous. Now they want to provide that opportunity for other music fans.

“There is already great live music almost every night of the week thanks to Neumo’s, the Comet Tavern, and Chop Suey. We want to complement what is already going on, and hopefully add something new,” Sabado said. “We want people to know whoever they are, if they come to 10th and Pike they’re going to have a good time.”

Sabado tapped Jason Rothman, the editor and publisher of the former underground music magazine Disheveled, to handle the day-to-day booking, but the club is using many different local bookers that already work with all the live-music venues in the city.

“We want to feature everything from hiphop to punk, metal, alt-county, comedy, and even DJs.” Sabado said. “We don’t want to be known as a club where you only go see certain music, because the music fans in Seattle like all kinds of music.”

The staff is planning to open the club in the middle of January with live music starting soon after that.

Pretty exciting news. Seattle’s burgeoning “entertainment disctrict” continues to grow.

UPDATE: Just got off the phone with booker Jason Rothman. Here’s what he had to say:

THE SPACE

There’s already so much sound equipment there, we’re just gonna reposition the speakers into stacks. We’re gonna hang the speakers, build a bigger stage, and paint the place. It’s almost done. It was an existing club before, so there wasn’t too much to do. We’re gonna take down that mirror because glass is the enemy of sound.

The club is in great shape and we’re only gonna make it better. We’re gonna get rid of the white. The walls are gonna go black. We have some artists who we’re looking at blowing up some big murals. Think of it as your rebellious teenage son who went into the room and redecorated it for himself. That, but nice. More than anything, the stage will be well positioned for music.

OPENING DATE

It’s all depending on when we get the official liquor license. Che had a liquor license for five years, so he has a relationship, but technically it’s a new license. The walkthrough with the liquor board is Wednesday and once we get the OK from him we can open up. And then it’s just a matter of getting it stocked with bottles and getting some acts. It’ll be tight in the beginning but we’re all gonna try to have a good time with it. We wanna build something that feeds off what’s already there.

The timing is good [with the Croc closing and 10th & Pike booming], which helps everyone. Used-car places help each other, gas stations are always open next to each other. It will only make the place better to have more live music than less.

BOOKING

I booked a few shows for Disheleveled. More than anything, I know almost every local band in this town. If I don’t know ‘em I know how to get ahold of them. We want a mixture of both local bands and national.

We’re looking for ways to keep costs low to keep ticket prices reasonable and pay the bands. We all play music, we’ve all been in bands, so we know what it’s like. We wanna give local bands a great stage to play that sounds great. I love the Comet, but sometimes it gets a little too crowded, or those speakers are a little too close to your ears.

BANDS ALREADY BOOKED

We’re keeping that under wraps. We’re working on it. Bands wanna know what day, and it’s all up in the air right now. I’m sure everyone will be happy to be able to play at another place.

STAFF

The staff—all the bartenders from Kincora, Che and his girlfriend Dawn—will be a huge presence, as well as Jamie, who is moving from Bellingham to Seattle, and I’ll be there almost every night. We have some great sound men working—Paul the Sound Viking is signed up, and Greedy Greg who worked sound at Neumo’s forever.

UPDATE 2: Just did a walkthrough of Sugar with the lights on and met Jamie, Che, Dawn, and Jason. They have a lot of work ahead of them in the next few weeks. The place is DEFINITELY a dance club; though the infrastructure might be solid, every architectural detail and design element of the space is tailored to a semi-chic dance club experience, which is miles from what a good rock venue provides. Whoever previously remade the place into Sugar put a lot of money into making it look the way it does, so it’ll require at least a lot of effort into un-making it look that way.

Jason reiterated that the show experience will be paramount—stage and sound layout are being taken care of first, and the details will be worked out from there. Che mentioned booking a diverse range of entertainment, from comedy to Seattle Semi-pro Wrestling. A contractor and a couple of sound guys were already working on the place when I arrived.

The whole crew were prepared to basically live at the club over the next few weeks, pouring every waking moment into renovation. We’ll keep you posted.

Re: What’s Your PowerSong

posted by on January 4 at 2:57 PM

Y’all don’t know from power songs. YouTube says:

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They forgot: “unironic, pantomime, using, asl, for, the, hearing-impaired.”

Before I had Michel’lé, Maria Callas, Rosa Ponselle, Minnie Riperton, Björk, and all the members of En Vogue, I had:

Sandi Patty

Radio New Hope

posted by on January 4 at 2:55 PM

Maybe it’s just because I’m having a terrible day, but David Byrne’s latest playlist, on the theme of hope, is so soothing.
He says…

By the end of ‘08 Bush and his pirate crew will be almost gone — impotent and ineffective at least. Something to look forward to. We will be lucky if we survive the damage this gang has inflicted on the U.S. (the economy, R&D, etc. etc.) but let’s be optimistic. It’s a new year, and here is a pretty wide range of wonderful stuff I’ve stumbled across in the last few months.

Artists include No Kids, the Dirty Projectors, Radiohead, Kanye West, and Emily Haines & the Soft Skeleton.

Stream it here.

The Great Insohreckshan

posted by on January 4 at 1:43 PM

The event: “It was in April 1981/down inna de ghetto of Brixton. That Babylon caused such a friction/that it bring about a great insohreckshan. And it spread all over the nation/ it was truly an historical occasion. It was the event of the year and I wish I had been there/when we run riot all over Brixton.” It is to this event that the work (music/poems) in the peak period (1979 to 1984) of Linton Kwesi Johnson’s long (but not prolific) career leads to and away from. The riots of Brixton mark the event that he is faithful to. It is a social and political sequence that is for him what the Cultural Revolution was to the French Maoists of the late 60s. For LKJ, the Brixton riots broke from the state of the situation; the break presented an opening to the truth of the matter. The state was revealed and challenged; and in the chaos of the opening, the break, there was a search/hope for a new order or social arrangement. The riots of Brixton—an opening to a truth that revealed “de wicked man’s plans” and presented an opportunity for actual justice—were challenged and eventually stopped by state force. But the restoration of the official order did not mean the sudden death of or an end to the feelings inspired by that insurrection. LKJ was deeply loyal to these feelings in the 80s. The only way to truly understand the power and beauty of his poetry and music of this period is to understand the glory of “de great insohreckshan.” Even his anti-Rasta “Reality Poem” must be seen in the light of the Brixton riots.

RE: What’s Your PowerSong?

posted by on January 4 at 1:19 PM

This is literally the only thing in the world that gets me pumped about anything.

(audio NSFW)

Mars Volta Launch Online Game to Coincide with New Album

posted by on January 4 at 12:37 PM

Srsly?

Yeah, srsly.

Hey Sam! You’re the resident video game expert. You should play it and let us know if it’s any good.

Also, just for shits and giggles (Christ, I hate that phrase…), here’s a link to the Emo Game. (It’s not safe for work since Steven Tyler is raping a member of the Get Up Kids within the first three minutes).

Today in Music News

posted by on January 4 at 12:17 PM

My Lady Story: Dress designed by Antony will be up for auction starting February 14th, to benefit charity.

The Grand Archives: Tracklist and album details revealed for Grand Archives’ debut on Sub Pop.

Britney VS. The Man: Ms. Spears was rushed to the hospital after last night’s dramatic police intervention, in which she refused to give up kids. Federline’s lawyer is calling an emergency hearing on visitation rights.

Death Cab’s newest: Forthcoming album recorded live to analog tape with few overdubs, and features John Roderick, David Bazan. Chris Walla describes it: “the landscape of the thing is way, way more lunar than the urban meadow sort of thing that has been happening for the last couple of records”.

Only 18% paid for newest Saul Williams record: The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of Niggy Tardust, produced by Trent Reznor, was mostly downloaded for free.

About that Rivers Cuomo CD…

posted by on January 4 at 12:10 PM

In last week’s paper I reviewed Alone, the new record of old material released by Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo. Here’s what I said, in case you missed it:

alonecover.jpg

RIVERS CUOMO
Alone: The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo
(Geffen)
***

If you want to convince your unknowing friend that Weezer’s infamous frontman Rivers Cuomo is (or used to be) a genius pop songwriter, buy them a copy of Weezer’s self-titled debut—aka “the Blue Album”—or Pinkerton, because Alone isn’t for those who are still deciding where (or if) Cuomo belongs in their life. These 18 tracks are the rough drafts of uncompleted songs, early demos of Weezer tunes, and loose constructions of musical thoughts that Cuomo has been hoarding for as long as 15 years.

But should you already have a weakness for (or an obsession with) the man’s ability to craft a charming and catchy pop tune, you’ll appreciate the hints of magic that appear through the collection’s veil of lo-fi sloppiness.

“Lover in the Snow” (1997) is my favorite. Though Cuomo admits the whole song is “fantasy,” “Lover in the Snow” is an upbeat, simplistic guitar/tambourine tune about seeing a past love with someone new, and the song is as vivid as anything the band have ever released. And unlike Weezer’s current inclination to rock, 1994’s “Longtime Sunshine” is all piano, drums, and clarinet. A slow waltz, the bittersweet song confesses desires to run away and start over. Other gems include “Wanda (You’re My Love),” the love song that predated “You Gave Your Love to Me Softly”; “Crazy One,” about a girl regrettably dumped; and “Chess,” the song that saved “the Blue Album.”

Thanks to Cuomo’s candid liner notes, we’re given a brief history of each song—where he was, what he was thinking, why the song is only appearing for the first time now; the stories are quick but endearing. And they also reveal that he’s a little weird, he falls in love quickly, and he’s not very good at rapping (but only a n00b wouldn’t already be fully aware of all those facts).

Most importantly, for fans who have been less than impressed with Weezer’s watered-down efforts of this century, Alone’s crop of fresh but familiar songs will take you back to a time you may have been missing, a time when Cuomo could connect like no other songwriter. MEGAN SELING

Yeah. So. This past week I’ve been sick. Like, really sick. Like, green-shit-coming-out-of-my-lungs sick. So I’ve had some time to sit around and listen to music. And sleep a lot. But also listen to some music. And the more I listened to Alone, the more I was reminded what a great songwriter Cuomo can be. His songs are good—sweet and catchy, but heartfelt. And Alone is full of my favorite Rivers. Not the rockstar Rivers that knows he can write a solid power pop anthem, but the Rivers that’s emotional and full of self-doubt.

These songs were never polished like later Weezer tunes. They’re still raw. They have some silly lyrics, some rough progressions, and some honest thoughts. It’s a really good collection and I’m glad Cuomo is either narcissistic enough or aware of his fanbase enough to have released it.

Just something to keep in mind while you’re thinking of what to get with those iTunes and record store gift cards you racked up over the holidays.

Tonight in Music

posted by on January 4 at 12:05 PM

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The Animals at Night

(Easy Street, West Seattle) Graig Markel and Jeff McCallum started the Animals at Night, and their upcoming record features a bunch of indie rock stars such as Jeremiah Green of Modest Mouse, Nabil Ayers and Eric Corson of the Long Winters, Trent Moorman of Head Like a Kite (and The Stranger), and Daniel G. Harmann. But the Animals at Night aren’t what you’d expect from such a lineup—they don’t even have a guitar. The duo uses a slew of electronics to paint wonderfully mellow downtempo that’s littered with samples from records that span decades (old soul from the 1960s to 1980s pop). The new record (featuring the all-star lineup listed above), should be out early this year. MEGAN SELING

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Cadillac Radio, Thunderbird Motel, Megasapien, Wright Brothers

(Comet) Oh, if the walls of the Thunderbird Motel on Aurora Avenue could talk. Think of the incredible stories of hookers and cocaine it could tell, the tales of unmatched bravado and human frailty. It would be sacrilege then if a band decided to use the name of Seattle’s landmark adultery shanty for anything other than pure, unadulterated rock and roll. Luckily, the band Thunderbird Hotel are everything you could hope from a musical incarnation of such a gritty, damnable place. They play straight-up, no-bullshit rock and roll with just the right amount of blues—the perfect soundtrack to the best night of your life, before you wake up and realize you’ve just ruined everything. JEFF KIRBY

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“Unscrew the Croc” Benefit w/ Coconut Coolouts, The Intelligence, The Girls, Das Llamas

(Chop Suey) Another chance to help out the dumped employees of the old Crocodile Cafe (last weekend’s all-star benefit was a rousing success), with party tunes and punk rock provided by a handful of rad local bands. Everybody wins.

The Pipettes

posted by on January 4 at 11:41 AM

pipettesdagmar.jpg

Taken by dagmarsieglinde.

I see dozens of cameras at every show I go to and I know a lot of you have some shots to share. Load ‘em up to the Stranger’s Flickr Pool, make sure to tag them with the word “music”, and let’s see what you got.

What’s Your PowerSong?

posted by on January 4 at 11:20 AM

I got the Nike+ for Christmas—it’s a little red gizmo that you put in your shoe before a run and it’ll talk to your iPod Nano. It’s pretty cool. It’ll track time, distance, pace, calories burned, etc. etc. A nice lady even gets on your headphones from time to time to keep you updated on how well you’re doing.

The best feature about it, though, is the ability to choose a PowerSong, a song that you program to play at press of a button (instead of having to search through your library to find it). It’s supposed to be the song you want to hear at the climax of your workout, a song you want to hear when you need a boost. A song you listen to when you need to gain more power. A PowerSong.

The top ten PowerSongs (according to Nike+, and as voted by users) are:

1. “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor
2. “Pump it Up”by Black Eyed Peas
3. “Here it Goes Again” by Ok Go
4. “Lose Yourself” by Eminem
5. “‘Till I Collapse” Eminem & Nate Dogg
6. “SexyBack” Justin Timberlake
7. “Stronger” by Britney Spears
8. “Remember the Name” by Fort Minor featuring Styles of Beyond
9. “Gonna Fly Now” (Theme From “Rocky”) by Bill Conti
10. “Move Along” by All-American Rejects

But my PowerSong can beat up those PowerSongs:

“New Noise” by Refused

(And yeah, okay fine. I admit it. A couple times I’ve had “Since U Been Gone” as my PowerSong too. What? Shut up! It’s a good song to run to!)

I just cleaned out about two hours worth of Christmas music from my iPod, so I have room for a whole batch of new PowerSongs. What would yours be?

Paaaaaale Blue Colored Cleanse

posted by on January 4 at 10:26 AM

songbirdcage.jpgIt takes a special song to be terrible and catchy at the same time. Catchy might not be the right descriptor. Catchy denotes a liking of the song.

I’m talking about songs you don’t like, but can’t help singing when you hear them.

The song has been burrowed and buried in the deepest darkest song recalling quadrant of your cerebellum. The song sucks, but when you hear it on the radio, you sing right along.

The song has probably been overplayed. The video for the song has probably been over-shown. Maybe you had a carpool driver or a housemate that played the song every single motherfucking morning. The song has been jackhammered into your lobes and cortexes and even though you can’t stand it, you still sing along.

Case in point: Live’s “Lightning Crashes.”

It came on the radio yesterday, I scanned away immediately, but all stations were on commercials, including KEXP. So I was back to “Lightning Crashes.” About a minute in, I was, “Paaaaale blue colored eyes.” And “Forces pulling from the center of the earth again, I can feeeeeeeel it.”

I can’t stand the way Ed Kowalczyk sounds when he sings. It’s like vampire fingernails on a chalkboard. Two hours later, on another station, “Lightning Crashes” came on again. I didn’t try to scan away or go to another station. I was, “The angel opens her eeeeeeeeeeeeyes. Oh now feel it comin’ back again, like a rollin’ thunder chasing the weeeeyind.”

Dr. Golob, is there a cortex cleanse?


Thursday, January 3, 2008

2007 Stats

posted by on January 3 at 5:19 PM

It’s hard out here for a music industry.

Overall U.S. album sales sank 9.5% in 2007, worsening from a decline of 1.2% in 2006. Music purchases slumped across all major genres, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Even the one bright spot had a shadow cast over it: Sales of song downloads grew 45%, but that was slower growth than 2006’s 65%.

Overall album sales tumbled to 584.9 million units last year, from 646.4 million units in 2006.

Follow the link to find out what the top-selling album of 2007 was. Hint: it came out the second week of October.

Beard Science

posted by on January 3 at 4:42 PM

2007 was a huge year for re-edits and remixes. One of my favorite re-edit 12-inches of 2007 has to be Beard Science’s Razor Sharp Edits EP 1. This EP was a collaborative effort by producers from the US, UK, Belgium, Japan, and Australia. I’m still trying to track down the originals, however my favorite cut on this record is Jinichi’s, a Belgium duo, re-working of Linda Clifford’s classic 1979 disco gem, “Hold Me Close”, which was originally released on her Bridge Over Troubled Water LP. I’m also really getting into the B-side tracks T. Tauri’s edit, titled “Ark Raiders” and Oswego Music’s edit titled, “Martian Mirrorball”, both being solid disco edits that are primed for the dancefloor. In my opinion this re-edit EP is one of the best records to come out in 2007, making most of us disco ethusiasts highly anticipating the follow-up.

Beard Science - Hold Me Longer (Jinichi Rework)
Beard Science - Ark Raiders (T. Tauri Edit)

The Oboe Slave

posted by on January 3 at 2:06 PM

Instrumental Oppression

sleeping.jpgMuzak, the famous instrumental background music, was founded in 1934 by inventor Major General George O. Squier. The corporate offices were here in Seattle before they moved to Charlotte, NC. Squier took the words ‘Kodak’ and ‘music’ and made Muzak. He also cited research that said his background music improved productivity in the workplace.

Major General Squier said, “Buy my Muzak, and your employees will work harder.”

Billy Squier said, “Stroke me, stroke me.”

I say, “Horse shit.”

Muzak conducted its own psychological research and came up with “Stimulus Progression”—a formulated pacing and style of music that supposedly maintains productivity in the workplace. The music is played at low, almost subliminal volumes and places sections of silence between blocks of music. The style of music is purposefully bland so it won’t intrude.

Say it with me now, “HORSE SHIT. Mountain ranges of horse shit.” Let me tell you something, Major General Billy O. Squier: Bland music puts people to sleep. Drool fills keyboards worldwide because of your subliminal raping. You want to inspire your workforce? Play T. Raumschmiere, or Motor. Or let Mr. TJ Gorton program your sounds.

I did some research of my own. I ventured undercover into Muzak and took a look into one of the recording studios. What I saw was ugly. There were starving 80 and 90 year-old men chained to oboes and French horns. A black leather-clad dominatrix man stood over them with a whip eating an éclair and pouring sprinkles on their heads. The dominatrix man was screaming, “Play the score! Then you can eat, old man! And you better not miss the change this time!!”

Former Seattleite and Muzak employee John Amiga says:

Stimulus Progression is supposed to give people a psychological lift, a subconscious sense of forward movement achieved through programming sound in 15-minute blocks. The music is ordered from least to most stimulating, based on tempo, rhythm, instrumentation, and orchestra size. The last, most upbeat tune is followed by 15 minutes of silence. This relates to attention curves and prevents the sound from becoming a distraction.

According to the Muzak corporation’s literature, music alone cannot achieve the same results as their product:

Music is art, but Muzak is science. When you employ the science of Muzak in an office, workers tend to get more done, more efficiently, and feel happier. In an industrial plant, people feel better and with less fatigue and tension, their jobs seem less monotonous.

Feel happier? When you’re in the dentist’s chair and one of your teeth is getting drilled, does that instrumental version of “Proud Mary” make you feel happier? Does it make you less afraid of the drilling sound? Does it take away any of the shooting pain?

I’ll go one further on the psychological tip and say that due to association, Muzak invokes fear and stress. When I hear that instrumental “Proud Mary” I think of drills and dentist bills and I want to run like Marathon Man to the land of real music. A land where all 80 and 90 year-old musicians are free to eat éclairs and sauna if they want to. A land where the dominatrix Muzak man is chained like an ox to a plow and he’s tilling my cavity-free field.

Old Man Gloom Announce West Coast Tour

posted by on January 3 at 12:36 PM

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From Hydra Head:

Old Man Gloom is pleased to announce a handful of live shows to be held in March. These will be on the west coast of these united states, and will follow through the southwest, ending in Austin for South by Southwest. After our 5 year sabbatical, the first show of this “tour” will be our 10th show, and as we are all supporters of the metric system, we are expecting total planetary alignment. Dates and cities will be confirmed shortly. Keep your eyes peeled. Don’t fuck this up, you’ll regret it. yours truly Dr.Jacco Macacco The OMG Institute For Alien Simian Technology
Old Man Gloom is something of a metal supergroup, it’s members being parts of Isis, Converge, Cave In, Doomriders and Zozobra. Exciting news. Here’s to hoping they include Seattle in their itinerary.

BOREDOMS!

posted by on January 3 at 11:35 AM

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Holy sun-worshiping, drum-trancing shit!

Boredoms are coming to Seattle:

03-15 San Diego, CA - Canes
03-16 Los Angeles, CA - Henry Fonda Theater
03-18 San Francisco, CA - Fillmore Auditorium (in the round)
03-20 Portland, OR - Crystal Ballroom
03-21 Seattle, WA - Neumos
03-25 Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue (in the round)
03-26 Chicago, IL - Logan Square Auditorium
03-29 Boston, MA - Paradise
03-30 New York, NY - Terminal 5 (in the round)
04-02 Philadelphia, PA - Starlight Ballroom
04-03 Washington, DC - 9:30 Club

A Golden Opportunity

posted by on January 3 at 10:47 AM

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From an email press release:

On Monday, January 7th, WWE Superstar Mr. Kennedy will be available for phone interviews to discuss the “RAW Greatest Hits: The Music” CD, which includes his entrance theme “Turn Up The Trouble”. He will be available from 8AM EST – 9:45AM EST. Please let me know if you’d be interested in scheduling some phone time with Mr. Kennedy.

Thank you,

Al Stavola
Publicity Coordinator
World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc.

Office: 203-406-REDACTED
REDACTED@wwecorp.com

The tracklist:

1. The Time Is Now (John Cena’s Theme)
2. I Won’t Do What You Tell Me (Stone Cold Steve Austin’s Theme)
3. If You Smell (The Rock’s Theme)
4. The Game (Triple H’s Theme)
5. Sexy Boy (Shawn Michaels’ Theme)
6. Rest In Peace (Undertaker’s Theme)
7. No Chance In Hell (Mr McMahon’s Theme)
8. I Walk Alone (Batista’s Theme)
9. Line In The Sand (Evolution’s Theme)
10. Break The Walls Down (Chris Jericho’s Theme)
11. Wreck (Mick Foley’s Theme)
12. Time To Rock & Roll (Trish Stratus’ Theme)
13. (619) (Rey Mysterio’s Theme)
14. Slow Chemical (Kane’s Theme)
15. Are You Ready? (D-Generation X’s Theme)
16. Paparazzi (Melina’s Theme)
17. Turn Up The Trouble (Ken Kennedy’s Theme)

(Is that “Sexy Boy” by Air?)

From the album review on Amazon.com:

With fifteen years of Raw, a record-setting broadcast program, you might expect a decent amount of diversity. Not so in the case of WWE Raw’s Greatest Hits, the newest WWE music CD.

In most cases, selection of a “Greatest Hits” package is fairly objective. What sold? What sold really well? Bands often compile their greatest commercial successes. With a compilation along these lines, it’s not so cut and dry.

However, this CD’s focus seems incredibly narrow, focusing on the “Attitude Era” and themes you could have all picked off one or two CDs, and current wrestlers. Often times, these groupings are one and the same. While several of the themes are appealing, they are not what I would call a spectacular compilation, or worth retail price.

Apparently people are pretty serious about this shit.

So. Anybody have any questions for Mr. Kennedy?

Internet Beef

posted by on January 3 at 10:15 AM

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In my column this week about highly-successful Blue Scholars marathon the Program I got a little glib, hyperbolic even, about Seattle’s hip hop message-board beef:

According to a source, there was a fight backstage. Smack talk posted on message board 206Proof between the “Wake Up and Smell the Hiphop” T-shirt guys and Saturday Knights MC Barfly grew into a confrontation; Barfly reportedly landed several punches. Only in Seattle, or maybe Microsoft’s Redmond campus, would a real, fist-fighting hiphop beef come from some message-board bullshit.

Now, I’ve got message-board bullshit of my own. (Raindrop Hustla has the pictorial version here.)

The main point of contention from Barfly himself:

If you’re gonna get into the topic of hiphop and internet beef, you don’t act like it’s some uniquely Seattle phenomenon. You reference Vordul Megallah getting his jaw broke by Will High over El-P’s online taunts. You bring up Okayplayer’s history and Ras Kass and The Game and Yukmouth. You can bullshit your way through it with some “internet beef is typical nerdy Seattle” cliche because it speaks to the prejudices of people who still read print media but it’s not very astute.

So, yeah. This kind of thing isn’t at all specific to Seattle. I was exaggerating to poke fun at how typically passive-aggressive and nerdy, how typically Seattle, is the phenomenon of internet beef. But it doesn’t just happen here, and it certainly doesn’t just happen in hip hop. If the joke bombed, chalk it up as a misfire. No biggie. Mostly I just think it’s funny/sad when shit escalates from html (or just talk) to fisticuffs. (So let’s, you know, keep this one online-only, okay, Barfly?)

Hot Chip Coming to Seattle

posted by on January 3 at 9:43 AM

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British electro-funk mopes Hot Chip are hitting the road this spring in support of their forthcoming Made in the Dark (Feb 2nd on DFA/Astralwerks). By all accounts, their live shows are the fucking jam.

Hot Chip tour dates:

4/10/08 Philadelphia, PA Starlight Ballroom
4/11/08 Washington, DC 9:30 Club
4/12/08 New York, NY Terminal 5
4/14/08 Boston, MA Paradise
4/17/08 Chicago, IL Vic Theatre
4/18/08 Minneapolis, MN First Avenue
4/22/08 Seattle, WA Showbox
4/23/08 Portland, OR Crystal Ballroom
4/24/08 San Francisco, CA The Fillmore


Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Nipper’s 1998 Jane’s Addiction Article

posted by on January 2 at 5:37 PM

In the comments of this post, I promised commenter DougSF I’d go searching for our lovely receptionist (and the most knowledgable being about music anywhere) Mike Nipper’s take on Jane’s Addiction from 1998. It’s from before we had a website, so it’s not online anywhere except right here.

Nipper laughed when I asked for it. “I pissed off SO MANY assholes with that thing!”

Jane’s Addiction, Live Preview, Key Arena
I bet ya’ll twenty somethings peed yer fuckin’ drawers when you heard Jane’s Addiction was BACK and comin’ to town! “Right ON! Dude, like TOTALLY! Bro, they were my FAVE in like, tenth grade… TOTALLY!” This was too PREDICTABLE! Farrell dumped the “Pornos”, didn’t nobody REALLY like ‘em…and the boy who was in the Chili Peppers…ought I say more? So, “dude”, what else they got? Dammit, I’d PRAYED so hard “grunge” would erase the scars of “white-funk-acid-metal” from pop memory…

I hate late ’80s “alternative/college crossover” crock. WAIT, ‘fore ya’ll get steppin’ up to kick my ass, I DO “respect” them more creative dorks, like the art-pop Pixies, Flaming Lips, though I’d never, fuckin’ EVER listen to ‘em! Dig, “alternative pop”, pre ‘91, resonated English “syth-wave”. BORING! So when Jane’s dripped their funky, acid folk “glam” slathered “alternative”, the kids bought it. I ‘member a flood of “preppies”, “goths”, metal “dudes”, and hippies that assimilated and were suddenly “in the know”, weird…those kids WEREN’T allowed on MY halfpipe. Anyways, when asked “what the fuck” they responded like hippies ravin’ ‘bout the Dead, “Dude, they changed my life, like, Jane’s is totally revolutionary!”. Really? Jane’s “liberated” you? From what? WEREN’T you over the Smiths and Violent Femmes anyway… or were you comin’ around from shit like AC/DC, Skid Row? Now I’d heard Jane’s action and they were “lite”, “sheep in wolves’ clothing”, but “revolutionary”…um, I’d heard Perry was “bi”? Whatever. I ignored ‘em, I figured they were harmless pop, though I WAS rather annoyed by those “Dr. Suess hats.”

It won’t till ‘89 that I got learned how fucked acceptance of “alternative” was. See, I got stuck EVERY weekend with a friend’s high school sweetness, who LOVED Jane’s LOUD, ridin’ ‘round lookin’ fer JOCK parties. Sounds fucked, I KNOW…I’ve no fuckin’ clue why I went ‘cause a PRICK like me couldn’t show my FACE near a swarm of lit up JOCKS who would, UNPROVOKED, beat the livin’ SHIT outta me! So, if we found the party I’d stay in the car, but in through open windows Jane’s flowed. I recall thinkin’, odd, jocks like Jane’s too…wha? OHMYGOD…HA-HA! JOCKS love Jane’s Addiction! Mullet havin’ JOCKS worshipped THE icon revered in the church of the alienated! Damn! It figured for kids still playin’ D&D, but FUGGIN’ JOCKS? The nerds NEVER win! But it stopped being funny once I realized this meant Jane’s was making “alternative” marketable…and you wonder why I got contempt fer the “godfathers of ’90s alternative”? You fuckin’ SQUARES shoulda stayed in yer godamn place…the MALL!

That takes me back.

Possibly the Best Song Ever Recorded

posted by on January 2 at 5:09 PM

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While I’m at it, can we love the Bar-Kays a little bit?

“Soul Finger” was first used in Spies Like Us to great effect:

Austin Mllbarge (Dan Akroyd), listening to faint music: It’s… ”Soul Finger” by the Bar Kays.

Emmet Fitz-Hume (Chevy Chase): They must be having a hard time getting gigs.

It’s possibly the best party-starting track of all time, mostly because the party is right there in the track. If the Ruskies can dance to it, then anyone can dance to it. “Soul Finger” appears in Superbad in all its proto-funk/horn-soul glory, unblemished by time or trend. For full flavor, check out this vid of the Bar-Kays, circa 1967 when the song came out. What you see here is the very definition of “classic for all time.”

The Bar-Kays, of course, backed Otis Redding as his live band, and mostly perished in the same 1967 plane crash that killed Redding. The two surviving members reformed the group afterwards; the retooled Bar-Kays continued the band’s innovative soul-funk explosiveness, this time with a greater emphasis on hard, big-drum funk. They eventually backed Isaac Hayes on his legendary Hot Buttered Soul album.

From this period comes the song “Holy Ghost,” off the album Money Talks. With a glossy, Ohio Players-ish bounce, “Holy Ghost” is miles away from “Soul Finger.” It features the best mega-funk drum break ever recorded, matched up with an inhuman electro-synth bass line and a human-after-all cowbell. Seriously, its freakin’ huge. It comes in around the three-minute mark of the eight-minute banger and it’s worth the wait. Nothing anymore rips like this shit:

“Stroke That Funk, McLovin”

posted by on January 2 at 4:49 PM

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Superbad is the best flick to come out of the Apatow/Rogan love-in so far. The 40-Year Old Virgin relied on a one-note concept gag to keep it afloat and the storyline to Knocked Up was totally implausible; both were funny, but Superbad was far more human and spot-on in its characterization.

I finally got around to seeing the movie a few days ago. Aside from the lead actors, the other huge highlight of Superbad—the part I can’t believe isn’t being talked about more, the part that is not the name “McLovin”—is the soundtrack. Apatow brought on composer Lyle Workman to put together funk-fueled original material to match classic tracks by the Bar-Kays, the Ohio Players, Rick James, Curtis Mayfield, and more. Workman then looked to funk forebear Bootsy Collins, who played bass for James Brown before becoming a star member of Parliament-Funkadelic in the ’70s. Collins recruited original JBs drummers Jab’o Starks and Clyde Stubblefield, guitarist Catfish Collins, and P-Funk/Talking Heads keyboard genius Bernie Worrell.

The recording sessions were the first time the group had been together in many years, something of a historic moment for groove hounds. The tracks they cut are scortching—charts and cues written by Workman, the all-star band filling in everything else.

There’s a MySpace for the soundtrack with a few numbers, including “Funk McLovin,” which played during the film’s closing credits. The song kills: Bootsy’s half-sung prodding of the band, a space-shot keyboard solos by Bernie and Catfish, a horn chart that’s not as raunchy as Blaxploitation but just as furious and upbeat. The guys sound as intense and in the pocket as ever; the music feels wickedly vital and fresh. It’s the reason I’m going back to Broadway Video to rent the flick again.

Here’s a short documentary bit with the whole crew, discussing the soundtrack and their collective history as the architects of all things funky:

The Music of Superbad

Films about Mark David Chapman

posted by on January 2 at 4:44 PM

Apparently there are not one, but two, films coming out that focus on John Lennon’s murder.

The first one, titled “The Killing of John Lennon”, is told mostly with voice-over, in words that came from Chapman’s own journals. (Here’s a review from when the film was shown at the Tribeca Film Festival.)

The second? “Chapter 27”, Starring Jared Leto as Chapman and Lindsay Lohan as the Lennon fan who befriended him.

In Defense of Britney Spears

posted by on January 2 at 4:39 PM

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Author Stephen Elliott makes the case in this week’s issue of The Stranger. An excerpt:

A large part of the criticism of Britney comes from the fact that she doesn’t write her own songs. If she did, it’s likely the rest of her transgressions would be easily forgiven. After all, artists are supposed to be self-centered and crazy. I have to remind people that Elvis didn’t write his own songs, either.

“Are you comparing Britney to Elvis?”

“Yes, I am.”

Remember, Elvis wanted to lead the war on drugs. He arranged a meeting with Richard Nixon on this very topic. He showed up to meet the president of the United States stoned out of his mind and wearing a cape. But not just any cape, a half cape that went to his elbows like an unfinished Batman costume. Tell me Elvis is a genius, I’m not going to disagree with you. But can we agree on what the word genius means? The word genius almost always begs for a modifier—a “musical genius,” a “physical genius,” an “empathic genius.” Sometimes I wonder if these qualified terms aren’t interchangeable with “talented idiot.”

I’m talking here about Britney Spears performing at the Super Bowl wearing socks on her hands. Compare that high-energy performance with the totem-faced members of the Rolling Stones swinging their guitars over their craggy shoulder blades. Apples and oranges, of course. The Stones write their own music and play their own instruments. They were never chosen, they insisted on taking the stage. Without any help from anyone else, the Rolling Stones are still a great band. Britney is just a performer. It’s like comparing an actor and a director. Getting back to that “genius” word again. Stanley Kubrick is indisputably a genius. Tom Cruise, not so much. But I’d still rather hear Tom say, “Worship the cock.” And I’d rather watch Spears dancing with socks on the wrong appendages than four old men clapping their hands over their heads. And I love the Rolling Stones. I’m just saying.

The whole essay’s here. I’d quote more, but just go read it.

Mellow Lovin’

posted by on January 2 at 2:43 PM

While I was out looking for my New Year’s ‘70’s themed outfit for the NYE disco party at Solo, I randomly came across an Judy Cheek’s 1978 debut LP, Mellow Lovin’, an album I’ve been looking to find for sometime now. The best part was that it was in mint condition, and priced at $3.99- A major steal in my opinion. This album was released by Salsoul and mixed by legendary producer Tom Moulton. I first heard the title track, “Mellow Lovin”, on Suss’d Records’ compilation release Salsoul Presents: Disco Trance & Cosmic Flavas, and became an instant fan. Compilations are good because they introduce you to new artists and songs, however I always question if the albums that these artists put out are as solid as the music that’s featured on the compilation. After listening to Cheeks whole album, I found that it’s definitely worth adding to a disco lover’s record collection, with some solid cuts like “It’s Just A Love Affair Gone”, a cover of Elvis Presley’s “Suspicious Mind”, “Darling, That’s Me” and of course the classic “Mellow Lovin”. Overall it was a nice find on a day I was, for once, not record shopping.

Judy Cheeks - Mellow Lovin’ (Tom Moulton Mix)

Ride the “Vapour Trail”

posted by on January 2 at 12:39 PM

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Mt. Bachelor, Or 12/31/07

“Vapour Trail” by Ride came on when I was snowboarding this weekend. The run was long, and with nearly 20 inches of new snow, every turn blew fresh, icy powder into my face. My affection for this song grew massively during that run.

I’ll probably never be able to replicate that experience. That long run with fresh powder, and the lifting sound of this track coalescing in beautiful harmony. But I’ll keep thinking about it all season long.

Here’s the original video from 1990.

Go here for sound samples and to here a haunting cover by Trespassers William.

Today in Music News

posted by on January 2 at 12:27 PM

Thom Yorke’s favourite Radiohead song ever: “Videotape”, because “it has the inexpressible substance going on behind the specifics of the song.” Nope, Yorke’s not vague.

The Kinks (maybe) reuniting: 2008 tour, with original lineup, hinted at by Ray Davies.

Wii’s & MP3’s: New application allows streaming of user’s music through the MP3tunes’ The Music Locker.

R.I.P. Evan Farrell: Bassist for Magnolia Electric Co. & Rogue Wave dies in apartment fire.

2nd Things: Panda Bear (Noah Lennox) designs some sweatshirts.

MC Hammer launches video-sharing website: DanceJam will compete with YouTube for all future Soulja Boy-esque phenomenons.

As soon as the strike ends
: New TV shows have potentially great soundtracks.

Re: Useless Trivia For the Day

posted by on January 2 at 12:06 PM

Kirby writes:

I also just learned, thanks to a game of Trivial Pursuit, that Chevy Chase used to play drums in Steely Dan. Unfortunately, there are no youtube videos of that ever happening, so I’ll just have to trust the card.

There is, however, video of Uncle Jesse playing drums with Mike Love’s “Beach Boys”:

Useless Trivia For the Day

posted by on January 2 at 11:42 AM

Did you know Maya Rudolph from Saturday Night Live used to be in the Rentals? I didn’t, until my friend Emily pointed it out to me last night. That’s her, playing keyboard in the green shirt. Her face is only in the video for about 5 seconds total, while the other two girls in the band got to drive a car off a big jump and do sweet bike tricks. That might have been one of the reasons she didn’t stick around very long. I also just learned, thanks to a game of Trivial Pursuit, that Chevy Chase used to play drums in Steely Dan. Unfortunately, there are no youtube videos of that ever happening, so I’ll just have to trust the card.

Three Albums I Heard on New Year’s Eve

posted by on January 2 at 9:16 AM

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Ease Back In - Connect the Moles

posted by on January 2 at 9:12 AM

Welcome back to work. Welcome to the new year.
Now color Rob Halford from Judas Priest:

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Here are some low impact exercises that will help ease brain cell flow back into normal functioning. Don’t rush:

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These are samplings from the Heavy Metal Fun Time Activity Book, which came into my possession during the last moments of consciousness on New Year’s Eve. The scene is recurrent. You’ve been there, on that sofa you staked claim to. No way you were driving home. You’re immobilized by sleep and substance and joy funtime.jpgthat you won’t be crashing on the floor. The sun is set to rise. Chips are crushed into the carpet. Remnants of streamers moisten in a beer spill. A full plate of baby carrots sits on the table. The unmanned CD changer is playing some sort of “Darling Nikki” way too loud. You’re too sleepy to get up and turn the Prince off, so you take it, knowing you will soon fade. A coffee table is within arm’s reach. You think you see something called Heavy Metal Fun Time Activity Book, so you pick it up and graze the pages. There are Spinal Tap mazes and Lemmy’s moles. You’re unable to fully express your excitement at finding the book. On the thirty-fifth page, there’s a dot-to-dot of King Buzzo’s fro. And that is the image you end your year on. Buzzo’s dot-to-dot fro. You’re dizzy. The dots are moving. You’re lost in it, almost asleep. You wonder if the book is even real.


Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Midnight at Moe

posted by on January 1 at 3:18 PM

There’d been dancing. One of the club’s owners, Jason Lajeunesse, shook up a bottle of champagne and sprayed it on the cheering crowd. People were making out. Then Lajeunesse got his hands on some bouquets of flowers and started throwing handfuls of them at people, including fellow co-owner Steven Severin, who’d just been telling someone about a trip to Hawaii he’s taking in a couple weeks. A couple minutes later, to rowdy cheering, Lajeunesse was seen walking on the tops of a long row of tables. He didn’t fall.


Monday, December 31, 2007

Losing It

posted by on December 31 at 9:34 PM

In this Stranger Suggest item about BOAT, who were on the bill for Harvey Danger’s second annual last show ever at Neumo’s, I mentioned BOAT’s “let’s-just-have-a-fun-time attitude.” I was trying to describe (and didn’t really get at it) the energy of a BOAT show. They play loud and strong and true, like a lot of indie rock I guess, and maintain this attitude even when they’ve fucked up a chord progression or whatever. Matter of fact, frontman D. Crane’s way of just sort of losing it as he’s singing, shaking his face, sliding up into falsetto, as if he’s being overcome by feeling or being electrocuted—it almost suggests that losing it, fucking up, the occasional overwhelming paroxysm is part of the point.

What I’m trying to say is, their set was messy and full of gaffes and charming. “They’re fun,” the girl in front of me said. D. Crane’s microphone stand was having issues, and kept dipping toward the ground as he sang, so that sometimes he had to bend over to keep his mouth close to it. Once or twice they started a song over. Occasionally someone would hit the wrong note and someone would point to them and smile, and then the person would get it right and get the go-with-that nod. A fuck-it-we’re-just-having-fun nod. There was one point at which D. Crane stood up on something as if to jump into the crowd, and some people in the crowd raised their hands as if to catch a stage dive, but then Crane decided to jump backward back onto the stage and instead landed awkwardly on the drums.

They just kept going. Here’s a picture taken with my famously not-good camera phone.

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After BOAT’s set someone I happened to stand next to in the bathroom loudly declared BOAT’s songwriting “artless,” saying that the songs could’ve been written by a computer. I didn’t say anything, but it seemed to me that (1) that wasn’t entirely true, and (2) that he’d missed the point.

Anyway, then Harvey Danger went on and, with reference to the fact that their first album came out in 1998 and we were now entering 2008, played their entire first album start to finish. The crowd roared.

My New Year’s Eve

posted by on December 31 at 2:52 PM

So there’s a million parties tonight. What are you doing for new year’s eve? Here’s my rough itinerary (house parties and hotels not included):

ENCHANTMENT UNDER THE SEA DANCE

DJs Pretty Titty, Fourcolorzack, Curtis, and Paul Devro will hit your bodyrock all night long. Semiformal attire encouraged and a champagne toast at midnight. Moe Bar/Neumo’s VIP Room, 925 E Pike St. 8 pm, $20, 21+.

NEW YEAR’S AT THE CHA CHA LOUNGE

DJs Damaged Goods and Babyfeather will provide the soundtrack to your drink specials. Cha Cha Lounge, 1013 E Pike St (basement). 8 pm, free, 21+.

THE LASHES RECORD-RELEASE PARTY

Be the first to get the new Lashes record, Thank You Side A, and then be the first to pass out in the bathroom. With the Trucks, Feral Children, Flying Fox, and more. Comet Tavern, 922 E Pike St. 9 pm, $12, 21+.

See, last year I went to a house party up north, then the big Decibel throw-down in West Seattle, and while they were both fun in their own ways I spent way too much of my new year’s eve in cabs. So this year, I’m sticking to the neighborhood, specifically the new nexus of Capitol Hill nightlife, the intersection of 10th & Pike and the surrounding streets: Neumo’s, Moe Bar, the Comet, the Cha Cha, Havana, and more, all in cork-popping distance of each other. No cabs, only drunken stumbling.

On Survival

posted by on December 31 at 1:54 PM

My mother once told me a story about when she was a little girl with a bowl of pet fish. When the fish died she put the bowl in her closet without cleaning it, and forgot about it for several months. When she finally took the bowl out of the closet to get rid of it she found that even though she had believed all the fish were dead, one of them had lived, and was still alive in the shallow, slimy green pool in the bottom of the bowl. In the dark, one fish had lived on sucking the algae from the sides of the bowl. She couldn’t believe it had survived.

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Last night the Mighty Mighty Bosstones played their fifth straight sold out show at the Middle East in Boston. Their myspace is all aflutter with beaming fans from around the county hoping the Bosstones will come to their town in support of their recently released album Medium Rare. Kids are stoked. They are getting tattoos. I looked inside the bowl. I couldn’t believe anything was still alive.

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Unscrew Croc Employees Night @ Chop Suey

posted by on December 31 at 10:59 AM

I’ve got the Croc hanging from my desk wall right now. No, really—former staffers were selling Xeroxed copies of the Crocodile Cafe’s floor plan in small ($1) and large ($5) sizes at last night’s Unscrew the Crocodile Employees benefit concert at Chop Suey, so I splurged. It’s kind of eerie to look at—I can’t help but mentally fill in the black-and-white outlines with green walls, curtains, stools, dark red rooms, posters, the passers-by on Blanchard through the glass wall…

Thankfully, last night distracted me from such melancholy nostalgia, which I assume was a bigger “benefit” than any of the cash raised. Not that there weren’t a shit-ton of people paying $10 a pop to watch a lot of good bands—add raffle and floor plan sales, and you’ve got a few unemployed people buying a lot of champagne tonight. But it seems like the cheers, the crowd and the rock will last longer than the former staffers’ impending New Year’s Day headaches.

Full disclosure: I arrived late and left early, was feeling sick, whatever. Still caught plenty. I entered just in time for Pleasureboaters (who I could only watch after wiping a burst of fog off my glasses, as the place was packed). Goodness:

Thoughts on their four-song blazer of a set: if The Rapture were anarchic and relevant, with a hint of X-Ray Spex’ danceable disregard for all musical normalcy. And the above clip kicks off with the band blaming Courtney Love for the Croc’s demise—nice touch. For now, at least, I’m in love.

Soon after, I realized my camera’s batteries, like my stomach, were on their last legs, so I turned it off for Triumph of Lethargy’s disaster of a set. No matter that this stripped-down band claims members of Murder City Devils and PGMG, among others; the band’s demand for “reverb maxed out on everything, even the drums” was obliged by famed Croc’ian Jim Anderson, and the result stacked an overwhelming rumble atop an already shaky set. Hey, don’t blame Jim.

I managed to get two more video clips before both my camera and my gut were done for the night: The Long Winters’ two-song set was good while it lasted, with early drummer Michael Schorr filling in, no less. “Mark Arm couldn’t make it,” John Roderick joked, thus proudly taking the title of “crustiest band” of the night.

And Damien Jurado’s solo three-song set came and went with little fanfare, aside from a song on which David Bazan joined on drums. Until that song, though, the crowd couldn’t be so kind as to shut the fuck up, even while Jurado unveiled the song below. I can’t figure out if it’s a cover or a brand-new one, so if someone can make sense of it through the audience murmuring, please post. Either way, it’s obvious who Jurado was dedicating this song to: “It’s easy to land, but it is harder to fall.”


Sunday, December 30, 2007

Sometimes I Feel Like I Don’t Have a Partner, Sometimes I Feel Like I Don’t Have a Friend, In the City I (Used to) Live in, the City of Angels

posted by on December 30 at 3:17 PM

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People who love to bitch about KEXP should spend a week in Southern California, stuck in traffic. Jesus Christ, the radio stations in Los Angeles are dismal. You can hit the SEEK button on your rental car’s radio until your fingers fall off and you will not encounter anything that comes remotely close to an independent radio station like KEXP. Does KEXP play Blues Traveler? Or Barenaked Ladies? Or Smashmouth? Or Green Day’s Dookie? Or Red Hot Chili Peppers? I kid you not, these are the things they’re listening to in Southern California these days, across the channels. The same shit they were listening to in 1998, the year I left.

I started laughing when, for the third time in two days, “Under the Bridge” by Red Hot Chili Peppers came on. Three times! In two days! It came on when I was listening to 106.7 (KROQ), it came on when I was listening to the “alternative” 98.7 (STAR), it came on on another station I forget. At one point traffic was bumper-to-bumper, and there was no way to plug in my iPod, and I called a friend in Seattle and she said, “Oh, LA has a good radio station, here I’ll find it on the internet.” And she found one, but when I dialed to it, it was all fuzz. And I was in downtown LA.

The next day I was in Irvine or somewhere, facing a sea of brake lights and, to my left, a sherbet sunset. Truly gorgeous. It was so orangey and LA-y and happy-making, I tried to take a picture of it with my cell phone as I drove (above), but just then traffic sped up and in the blur all the bright colors in the middle just went yellow-white. It was really impressive in person. Then I clicked on the radio and guess what was playing? For the FOURTH time in three days? On a separate radio station from the others? UNDER THE MOTHERFUCKING BRIDGE BY THE RED HOT MOTHERFUCKING CHILI PEPPERS! Did I give in? Did I turn it up and sing along? Did I find myself knowing every word, every “no, no, no” and “yeah-ee-yeah”? Yes, yes, yes I did! I sang it so good. I sang it better than the radio. You shoulda been there, Megan.

It’s nice to be home.

NYE Around the Sound

posted by on December 30 at 12:45 PM

Don’t forget to upload your party photos to our Flickr group with the tag NYE07. We’ll post a bunch of them to Slog on New Year’s Day.

Tonight in Music: The Last Sunday of the Year Edition

posted by on December 30 at 9:45 AM

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Bill Frisell

Bill Frisell/Eyvind Kang/Danny Barnes
(Tractor) Bill Frisell is arguably the greatest guitar player alive today. While others may outpace him in terms of traditional virtuosity, his playing is imbued with such an intense and emotive attention to detail that its subtlest gestures can be heartbreaking. For going on a couple of decades now, one of the primary threads of his musical exploration has been in the area of traditional American folk/country/bluegrass music, genres he approaches with both reverent tenderness and a highly modernist experimentalism. Some of his most consistent collaborators in these works have been with violist Eyvind Kang and banjoist Danny Barnes, themselves both players and composers of great eloquence and oblique intelligence. SAM MICKENS

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Harvey Danger photo by Ryan Schierling

Harvey Danger (Second Annual Last Show Ever), Boat, “Awesome”
(Neumo’s) It started last year, this idea for Harvey Danger to have their annual “Last Show Ever.” With the band performing every song of theirs you could ever want to hear as though they were never going to have the chance to play them again, the night turned into a hell of a New Year’s party. But Harvey Danger weren’t really breaking up, and fans weren’t really hearing “Flagpole Sitta” for the last time. That didn’t stop anyone from having the best time of the whole year that night. And while this year’s “Last Show Ever” might not take place on New Year’s Eve proper, with the endearingly goofy indie stars Boat and the literary orchestra “Awesome” (and of course, headliners Harvey Danger acting as though they’ll never walk onstage again), it still comes with all the “celebrate good times” intentions. MEGAN SELING

Hey, BOAT’s on the Harvey Danger bill! Here’s what Christopher Frizzelle had to say about ‘em in this week’s Stranger Suggests:

BOAT
(Music) It’s dark, your hoodie’s wet, the wind hates you, the things you love are closing at an alarming rate, and you haven’t heard a song that’s made you happy since August. What you need is a dose of BOAT. Loud, gorgeous, reverby guitars? Yes. A let’s-just-have-a-fun-time attitude? Yes. A charming frontman? Yes. Songs about ice-cream trucks, haircuts, and punctuation? Yes, but not in an annoying way. I will be dancing. Don’t you want to dance? Other bands on the bill: the awesome “Awesome” and the dangerous Harvey Danger. (Neumo’s, 925 E Pike St, 709-9467. 8 pm, $12 adv, all ages.) Christopher Frizzelle

And since it is the season of goodwill towards men (and women):

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Pleasureboaters photo by Andy Smull

Unscrew the Crocodile Employees Benefit Show (Goodwill) Without any notice, Crocodile Cafe owner Stephanie Dorgan closed the club a week before Christmas, leaving all her employees jobless. But the local music community has rallied to support them; former Croc booker Pete Greenberg (now booking at Chop Suey) has put together a benefit show with performances by members of Fleet Foxes, Peter Parker, the Pale Pacific, Siberian, Triumph of Lethargy Skinned Alive to Death, Pleasureboaters, J. Tillman, Damien Jurado, and David Bazan. (Chop Suey, 1325 E Madison St, 324-8000. 7 pm, $10, 21+.) Megan Seling

And as always, you can search Get Out, our online listings, for more.