Line Out Music & Nightlife

Slog

News & Arts

Archives for 01/06/2008 - 01/12/2008

Saturday, January 12, 2008

PWRFL Power, Offstage

posted by on January 12 at 12:00 PM

This picture of Kaz (aka PWRFL Power) was taken by sarah joann murphy at the “Unscrew the Croc” benefit at Chop Suey. He looks like he’s up to something.

kazcrowdflickr.jpg

Find more user-submitted music-related photos in the Stranger’s Flickr Pool.

What Tim Dog Hath Wrought

posted by on January 12 at 10:53 AM

mime-attachment.jpg

$6.99 plus tax from Value Village, with the RCA cable thrown in for free. Now I can listen to Penicillin on Wax as it was meant to be heard—with Dolby C noise reduction.

I dug out my tape collection the other day—100 cracked and battered relics from junior high to junior year of college (something dumb in me resisted CDs far too long).

Tim Dog is just the tip of the analog iceberg.

Stay tuned.

Confidential to the Person Who Stole My Brown Hoodie at Chop Suey Tonight

posted by on January 12 at 2:07 AM

Fuck you.


Friday, January 11, 2008

I Really, Really Apologize for Posting This…

posted by on January 11 at 4:20 PM

With Hawks frenzy taking over the town, local country radio station 100.7 the Wolf has recorded a couple songs for the team: “Thank God I’m a Seahawks Fan” (done to the tune of “Lucky Man”) and “Seahawks Fan” (done to the tune of “Red Neck Woman”).

You can click here to listen to “Seahawks Fan” via their website, www.seattlewolf.com.

In 1:17 it contains gems like:

“I like to watch my boys play in those tight white football pants.”

And

“Hasselbeck’s got muscles, Tatupu tackles like a pro.”

Go Hawks!

You’re welcome. And I’m sorry.

Buzz Saw from W.A.S.P.

posted by on January 11 at 3:33 PM

I guess it’s my upbringing, but when I saw this headline I naturally expected this to follow.

A quarter-century is a lifetime.

Speaking of Canadian Hardcore Bands

posted by on January 11 at 3:06 PM

Who’s tougher: Fucked Up or Swallowing Shit?

Poll closes when I feel like it. Results, as always, are binding.

This just in! Brooklyn has a music scene!

posted by on January 11 at 2:53 PM

brooklyn_map.jpg


MTV is first on the scene, investigating this phenom.

(hat tip to Idolator)

The Menu at Chop Suey, Which Hasn’t Served Food for Years, But Now Does

posted by on January 11 at 2:48 PM

chopsueymenu014.jpg

I dare you.

Million Dollar Disco

posted by on January 11 at 2:40 PM

We are only a couple of weeks into 2008, however, I’ve already found my favorite new record of 2008. The Million Dollar Orchestra, which is a project put together by UK producer Al Kent, has just released a new full-length LP entitled, Better Days, and the record is nothing short than brilliant. At first listen you might be asking yourself if this is a disco reissue from 1976, however this record is as new as Radiohead’s “In Rainbows” record(which is also really good, I might add). Kent put together a large group of musicians to record two years of compiled original material with the hope of producing a record that sounds like it came straight out of the ‘70’s. After a few listens, you can say that Mr. Kent definitely “hit it on the head” here, with Better Days, putting together a very solid disco production. The record definitely has a 70’s analogue disco feel that’s very dancefloor friendly. The music includes multiple female vocals, keys, strings, solid bass grooves, funky percussion, and a horn section. The whole eight track record is pretty exceptional, with my favorite cuts being “Doncha Wanna Get Down”, “Get It Boy”, and “Keep On Doin’ Whatcha Doin’ ”. I know it’s way to early in the year to be having “record of the year” discussions, however The Million Dollar Orchestra’s Better Days LP can at least already be a strong candidate in my mind. If your a fan of Brooklyn’s Escort, you’ll definitely enjoy this. Nice work.

The Million Dollar Orchestra - Keep On Doin’ Whatcha Doin’
The Million Dollar Orchestra - Doncha Wanna Get Down

Lulu

posted by on January 11 at 2:40 PM

Seen at: Gabriel Teodros & Khingz, Bambu, Sleep of Oldominion, and Orbitron at Neumo’s on 1/10

lulu.jpg

Are you having a good time?
Yeah, it’s great!

What’s your favorite part about the local hip hop scene?
For me, it feels like family. It feels like everyone is real. You see them out on the block, you see them hanging out, you see them getting coffee. They are polite. Also, it’s all about the lyrics for me.

This Week’s Setlist

posted by on January 11 at 2:31 PM

Has a lot of great stuff on it like… well… Here’s the playlist:

TV Coahran “Ogygia”
Pleasureboaters “S.O.U.”
Siberian “Soft Rains”
The Translucents “Don’t Push”
Kris Orlowski “Jessi”
The Maldives “Whidbey Island Blues”
Throw Me the Statue “Lolita”
Curtains for You “Heaven’s Waiting”

Why should you listen? Because now you don’t have to go to each individual Stranger Bands Page and click on each song to hear it. Ari and I did that work for you. Just click right here and it’ll stream straight onto your computer for free without having to subscribe to anything or sign up for anything or really do anything at all but push your index finger against your mouse. And what’s more, we’ll tell you where to find the band this week so if you like what you hear, you can go see ‘em live.

Now here are some pictures of some of the bands you’ll hear:

maldives.jpg

The Maldives

boatersgrab.jpg

Pleasureboaters photo by Andy Smull

transluscents.jpg

The Translucents

Buzz from some WASP’s

posted by on January 11 at 2:19 PM

Vampire Weekend. They’re that cheeky, east-coast ivy-league-meets-the-islands manifestation of Wes Anderson soundtracks, the Beach Boys, and Paul Simon’s Graceland that you’ve been hearing so much about. I love them in an I’ve-only-heard-four-songs way, but luckily their much-anticipated LP drops on the 28th of this month, hopefully not destined to be a disappointment.

In the meantime, here is the brand-new video for “A-Punk”:

And here’s the older video for “Mansard Roof”:

“Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa” was stuck in my head for much of 2007; it’s fun, it’s breezy, like sipping mamosas on a yacht. Which I don’t have, and which I can’t do anyway because I’m underage (and therefore missed them last time they hit Seattle at the Croc). Luckily the band is playing at Neumo’s on March 26th, (let’s make that shit all-ages, please).

My Philosophy Rising

posted by on January 11 at 2:06 PM

Tonight at High Dive: Saturday Knights, Dyme Def, and Cancer Rising.

My Philosophy Larry speaks with Cancer Rising Gatsby:

Larry: This is a helluva bill tonite. For my money, the best night of local hiphop possible.

Gats: Oh, “for my money”? Dumbass, you’re broke. Keep kissing that ass, clown. Assclown!

Larry: Dunno why you’re so goddamn surly…nobody’s coming to see you guys. Oh wait, there’s the reason!

Gats: You my friend can suck it. Our show is widely known to be fire…

Lar: (yawns)Uh Huh.

Gats: …and our record is killing KEXP right now!

Lar: Whatever.

Gats: Yeah, whatever. It’s your fuckin fault we can’t get any ink anyway!

Lar: Wah. Cry about it. Anyway, The Saturday Knights are the shit. They’re infectious. Nobody is making music like them, anywhere. The local hiphop scene better scramble to claim them as theirs before they blow the fuck up and the indie rock crowds tell us ‘told you so’.

Gats: Oh listen to Critic Guy talk! You’re right of course. There is no better song than “Motorin”.

Lar: Thank you. And as far as straight-up hiphop, Dyme Def are killing everything, they’re outta control and I know their next record is gonna blow minds. If this town has any chance of producing breakout major-label rap stars it’s them.

Gats: Cosign. I’m also amazed you didn’t use the word ‘swagger’ there. Everybody else does.

Lar: Clever. How’s that working out for you?

Gats: What’s that?

Lar: Being clever.

Gats: …Dick.

Lar: Ding-Dong!

Tonight in Music

posted by on January 11 at 1:51 PM

I cannot get enough of this video:

Broken Disco: Egyptian Lover

(Chop Suey) Egyptian Lover (born Greg Broussard) is nothing short of an electro/hiphop pioneer. In 1984, his debut single, “Egypt, Egypt,” solidified on the West Coast a template laid down back East by Afrika Bambaataa: 808 drum machine beats, simple (often sampled) synth lines, record scratching, and cool-ass deadpan raps. Bambaataa may be better known (for his Zulu Nation mythology, his John Lydon collaboration, etc.) but the Lover’s tracks (“Egypt, Egypt,” “And My Beat Goes Boom”) are every bit as archetypal, and his Egyptology pillow talk is, if anything, more goofy fun than Bambaataa’s Planet Zulu shamanism. Live, Egyptian Lover still does it old school—an 808, two turntables, and a microphone—time-warping modern dance floors back to ancient Egypt, circa the 1980s. ERIC GRANDY

894624563_l.jpg

This Bike Is a Pipe Bomb, the Pharmacy, Vena Cava, Pleasureboaters, Ima Gymnist

(Fusion Cafe) Let’s be blunt: The Fusion Cafe is not an ideal place to see a show. You’re basically watching a band play on the floor of a conference room, with more or less the kind of limited sightlines and sound such a setting suggests. But who gives a shit when the place is booking bills like this one? Headliners This Bike Is a Pipe Bomb hail from the same Florida folk-punk backwoods as Against Me!, although they’ve yet to outgrow the basement show quite so dramatically. Like that band’s earlier incarnation, TBIAPB holler political rally cries—antiwar, pro–Dumpster diving, etc.—over stomping punk hoedowns. San Diego’s Vena Cava recall golden-age California pop punk (Lookout Records and the like) before that genre came to mean smirking MTV douchebags—they’re smart, cute, sloppy, and barely held together by duct tape. Teenage Smell protégés Ima Gymnist round out the bill along with the Pharmacy and Pleasureboaters, two local bands poised for a banner year in 2008. ERIC GRANDY

l_7cf227be0ef12b3287476cf766335302.jpg

Peter Parker, Guns & Rossetti, Young Sportsmen

(Jules Maes) Dick Rossetti is the frontman of Guns & Rossetti (which explains the band name), and you might recognize his name from his former status as afternoon DJ on 107.7 The End. The man had such a cult following at the station that when he left (and was replaced with the talk-heavy, not-so-funny “Church of Lazlo”), fans made a MySpace page begging for his return. The dry wit that made him popular on the airwaves bleeds into his lyrics (“Word to the wise, stay out of Bellingham”), and his love for ’80s cock rock obviously fuels the band’s lo-fi arrangements (lo-fi in the sense that they’re lacking the huge stadium-worthy guitar solos and have a less glam, more punk attitude). While theirs is a more bitter sound, Peter Parker’s power-pop has crunchy guitars and lovely boy-girl harmonies that will complement Guns & Rossetti nicely. They’re just as bitter, mind you, but it’s hard to hear that under their catchy melodies. MEGAN SELING

l_1296f65122b2d49d1a81e63baa9dcd56.jpg

Casiotone for the Painfully Alone, Concern, Baby Panda, Ghosts & Liars

(Vera Project) Online videos aren’t the most romantic way to discover music, but La Blogothèque’s Les Concert à Emporter #8.2 is a beautiful introduction to the well-stocked canon that is one-man band Casiotone for the Painfully Alone. In the video, Owen Ashworth stands alone in a telephone booth on a wet, abandoned street. The characteristic drone of simple chords and beats emanates from a cheap keyboard, and in his unapologetically imperfect voice he sings to no one in particular, “Some days I think about moving up north, the rent is cheaper I can have a house and a porch to watch the rain, walk out in the rain, stand under the rain… and let Seattle wash me.” When the song ends and the camera pans away, Ashworth says, “That was the first song I ever wrote”: In the 10 years since he started CFTPA, his songs—and maybe his reverence for Seattle and its rain—have only gotten stronger. MOLLY HAMILTON

From the Stranger Suggests:

lupe.jpg

Lupe Fiasco

(Showbox at the Market) Lupe Fiasco’s headlining slot at last year’s Bumbershoot was a star-making performance. Lupe, wearing all white, owned the stadium, shaking its foundations with deep, bass-bomb beats and flying around the stage while still nailing his intricate rhymes. His sophomore album, The Cool, is a conflicted record—misfired cheeseburger rap gives way to a comic-book narrative starring characters named the Cool, the Game, and the Streets—but it’s wall-to-wall dexterous wordplay and grand, summer-blockbuster production. (Showbox at the Market, 1426 First Ave, 628-3151. 8 pm, $22.50 adv/$25 DOS, all ages.) by ERIC GRANDY

This Exists, and It’s Happening Tonight

posted by on January 11 at 1:49 PM

head%20cat.jpg

Lemmy is in a psychobilly band. Lemmy, infamous frontman of Motorhead, is in a psychobilly band with members of the Stray Cats and Rockats, and it is called… wait for it… the Head Cat. They are playing El Corazon tonight with Hard Money Saints and Mark Pickerel.

My first instinct is of course to make fun. I will not for two reasons. First: their music is not particularly bad, just disarming. I don’t know if I was ready to hear an amalgamation of the Stray Cats and Motorhead. Second: Lemmy will find and eat me for disrespecting him. Do not make fun of Lemmy when he is within your own city limits.

The Funky Worm - Hustle! (To The Music…)

posted by on January 11 at 1:27 PM

DSC03848.JPG

In 1989 I spent a summer traipsing around Europe buying tunes in every port to bring home to impress my friends with. At the time Acid House was just coming into vogue. It was light airy dance music that took repetitive piano lines and slightly squelchy synths sounds and layered them over some heavy four on the floor bass beats. Often sung over by people who really shouldn’t have had any right to be singing on a track (like Baby Ford). But this lent a diy attitude, a sort of pre-indie independence to this style of music.

In England at the time, the big names were Baby Ford (“Children Of The Revolution”), S-Express (“Theme From…”, “Superfly Guy”), Guru Josh (“Infinity”), Lisa Stansfield (“People Hold On”), Coldcut (“Stop This Crazy Thing”) and Yazz And The Plastic Population (“Docterin’ The House” and “The Only Way Is Up”).

DSC03849.JPG

Out of left field (and out of Sheffield) came the group The Funky Worm. Made up of producer Mark Brydon, Carl Munson, DJ Parrot and Julie Stewart on vocals, this band was coming from a different place, but arriving with force at the same destination.

There sound was a mix of northern soul, with shuffling disco beat. The piano, heavy bass and electronic sounds were icing on the cake. This truly was what disco would have sounded like by the 1980’s had early electro not gotten in the way. It was sexy, loose and kept the feel good vibe that seemed to be disposed of my so much early electronic and new wave. The Funky Worm were out to have fun and wanted you in on the party.

I found them to be totally refreshing and bought all the singles I could find from the group. The one that sticks best today is their first, “Hustle! (To The Music…)”. It doesn’t shy away from early house trappings, but brings in this groovy disco vibe that really set it apart from people like Baby Ford and S’Express. Julie Stewart’s vocals, while definitely week and a bit labored just lend it the feeling that these guys had the idea, and just got it out the best way they could.

“Hustle!” still holds up, and I can even imagine it being thrown into some of the Nouveau sets your hearing today.

DSC03851.JPG

One of my favorite mixes of this track is the Manchester Shuffle version by T-Coy. T-Coy was Hacienda DJ Mike Pickering and Simon Topping of A Certain Ration (how weird is that?!?). They tended towards latin sounds on some of their mixes and this mix is one of their best. T-Coy stood for “Take Care Of Yourself”, a classic line during these early ecstasy crazed party days.

So check it out, and go back to the future when House truly met Disco for the first time.

Samples here!

The Only Reason Paula Abdul Should Be Allowed to Play the Super Bowl Halftime Show is if…

posted by on January 11 at 1:00 PM

Her and Tom Petty duet this:

Then and only then would it be worth it to allow her to appear.

Everyone Has an Alter-Mullet-Ego

posted by on January 11 at 12:55 PM

Joshua Roman is no exception:

romanmullet1.jpg

Roman plays cello and engages works by Olivier Messiaen and Radiohead. His alter mullet-ego shoots 12-gauges and molests chickens.

Invert the mullet for near-hair synchronization:

romanmullet2.jpg

Shades of Grey

posted by on January 11 at 12:31 PM

An email:

From: a.howellchicago@REDACTED
Subject: Erroneous Race Statements in Lupe Fiasco Article…
Date: January 9, 2008 4:13:20 PM PST

Hello Jonathan,

I love your piece on Lupe Fiasco, but you purveyed a false statement. Matthew Santos is of filipino/Spanish decent, not a so-called “white-boy”. Please, check your facts.

It’s funny how prevalent of a role race has in todays media relations, no?

Thank You,


Andrew Howell
Director of Marketing
Soltis Arts, Inc.
2940 N. Allen Av
Chicago, IL 6061

My response:

Hey Andrew, thanks for writing.

Apologies for misrepresenting Santos’ ethnicity. It’s an assumption I made based on appearance (and the sound of his voice, to be totally honest); I never considered the ramifications of that assumption being wrong. My guess is that Santos gets that pretty often, but perhaps not. To be safe I should’ve said something like “non-black soul singer,” which sounds totally dumb, but would’ve covered my ass. I wanted to make the point of the black/white crossover, which is clearly part of a larger trend as noted in the story, so I decided it was important to mention some aspect of race. I checked out a bunch of articles about and pictures of Matt Santos and none of them gave me any indication he was anything other than white. Again, that’s an assumption made on my own white-boy behalf, and it’s not fair.

As far as the role of race in today’s media relations, sure it’s prevalent. It will always be prevalent. That’s not a good thing or a bad thing, it’s just how it is. Race is real and differences are real and assumptions are real, if misleading. The point is not to make excuses but to see the meaning behind the roles as clearly as possible.

l_680a22036f6c07ce9c9c3178546bb799.jpgMatthew Santos, from his MySpace

A similar error was perpetrated by this staff before.

We are, somewhat apologetically, white folks over here in the music department. As a so-called “white boy” myself, I have no qualms with the term, even if I could be more specifically described as a “Jew boy.” That doesn’t excuse the error, and Santos and his people have every right to set the record straight. Apologies to Matthew Santos and non-white, non-black people everywhere.

Re: Fucked Up

posted by on January 11 at 12:25 PM

Here’s what the all-ages scene has to say to the “fucked up” 21+ scene (the lousy drunks that you are):

I’m kidding.

The all-ages scene has just as many drunks as the 21+ scene.

I’m kidding again. (Sorta.)

But actually, this is a more accurate representation of what I meant when I said the 21+ scene is currently fucked up (one of the first videos I saw when I tried to find the band Fucked Up playing “Nervous Breakdown” at SXSW [which is here]):

Whoa.

(Funnily enough, this video also perfectly captures the picture in my head I have of certain commenters.)

Today in Music News

posted by on January 11 at 12:05 PM

Hey, Paula: Ms. Abdul might also be playing the Super Bowl. Why can’t they just stick with Petty and call it good?

“Glass: A Portrait of Philip in Twelve Parts”: Documentary on composer to debut nationally later this year.

Another one bites the dust: Sony BMG makes a deal with Amazon to offer unrestricted mp3’s; the site will be the only location where DRM-free files from all four majors can be downloaded.

Clear Channel taken private: FCC approves the media giant’s privatization for $19.5 billion.

I like the way you move: Big Boi joins Atlanta Ballet for dance production set to Outkast hits.

“Danger! Danger! High Voltage!”: Introducing the all-in-one Taser/mp3 player.

Follow up to the shower scene in “Elf”: Zooey Deschanel collaboration project with M. Ward, titled She and Him, will release LP in March.

Monktail’s Raymond Scott Project at SAM

posted by on January 11 at 12:00 PM

monktailflickr.jpg

Taken by Life As Art.

Everything Out of Place

posted by on January 11 at 10:50 AM

roman-yorke.jpg


Last night at Town Hall was one of those events pairing classical music (read: serious art) with popular music (read: common entertainment). The music in question was Olivier Messiaen’s “Quatour pour la fin du temps” (apparently a favorite of Radiohead’s and, according to Jen Graves, a bit of a cliche), Dan Visconti’s “Fractured Jams,” and selected works of Radiohead.

This was only my second visit to Town Hall (the last time was for another Joshua Roman joint), and I’m still kind of impressed by the very otherness of the experience. Everyone is so orderly and quiet and old and white (maybe a little less so on all counts last night). The biggest disruption is someone’s cell phone audibly interrupting the music. It’s all very different from, say, the Comet Tavern or Sing Sing.

Probably the single most disorienting thing about the concert experience is the silence. In that big chamber, with (for most of the night) acoustic instruments, the audience’s silence plays a huge part in the sound. At an amplified rock concert the sound blasts out of speakers, vibrates up from the ground, envelops you like a blanket; here, you’re surrounded by silence as much as you are by sound.

I’ll admit I was completely without critical footing for Messiaen. The quartet—Joshua Roman on cello, Grace Fong on piano, Amy Iwazumi on violin, Bill Kalinkos (a member of the Aphex Twin-covering ensemble Alarm Will Sound) on clarinet—played beautifully, trading solos, weaving up and down scales, clashing dissonantly, but I kind of tranced out. I’m told this is an appropriate response to the piece.

Visconti’s jams were equally foreign for me, like some kind of vaudevillian slapstick with unrecognizable gags. Kalinkos would blow toneless wind through his clarinet, Roman and Fong would examine their instruments quizzically, and so on. Only “Kaleidoscope Rag,” a sort of record scratched ragtime made immediate sense. Reading the program now, I can sort of see Visconti’s references to Spinal Tap, barnyard animals, and wind-up toys.

Finally, there was Radiohead. After some protracted setting up (microphones had to be used to compensate for the presence of a drummer on some songs and to allow vocals from Roman, Kalinkos, and Sarah Rudinoff), someone shouted “Ok” from the back of the room, and the band launched into a gorgeous quartet rendition of “Street Spirit (Fade Out).” For “Everything in its Right Place,” Roman and Fong switched places (this little pun was fucking hilarious to the Town Hall crowd). For “Optimist,” the quartet was joined by Rudinoff, Doug Marrapodi on drums, and “Awesome“‘s John Osebold on guitar. An older guy a couple rows in front of me started nodding his head, quietly rocking out (later a friend tells me that he saw an older gentleman sleeping through much of the Radiohead; several people trickle out during the Radiohead section).

It has to be said: Though a gifted vocalist, Rudinoff is totally wrong for Radiohead. Thom Yorke has a rather limited range of whimpers, falsettos, and growls, but the way he plays with that idiosyncratic voice is genius. Rudinoff, with her (classically-trained?), big, brassy pipes was an odd fit. Where Yorke would mumble or trail off, she would annunciate; where he would crack and whine, she would practically scat.

Still, there was something dorky and triumphant about the set. On numbers like “Idiotheque,” where Radiohead’s Kaoss Pad percussion was replaced by organic drumming, and “Paranoid Android,” you could see exactly how stoked Roman was to be playing these songs. He was shredding, smiling, lost in a rock star moment. Osebold busted out the theremin for a song, and there’s just no overstating the otherworldly cool of that instrument. The band encored with “Pyramid Song,” with Roman on piano and beautifully restrained vocals. Afterwards, but before the polite applause, one enthusiastic “Woo!” echoed through the hall. Classic.

The Fascination Movement

posted by on January 11 at 10:06 AM

smokeandmirrors.jpg

Local band The Fascination Movement have signed a deal with Aube records (owned by electro/nouveau italo star Jupiter Black of “We Love Moroder” fame) and are preparing for the release of a new remix of the brand spanking new Starcluster feat. Marc Almond single “Smoke And Mirrors”.

Fucking H.O.T.

The band sound like the love child of Giorgio Moroder, Claudio Simonetti and New Order.

They took the original, stripped out everything except Almond’s vocals and rebuilt the song with heavy italo frequencies. Arpegiations, true vocoder-ized vocals and heavy basslines.

Already getting played by taste makers like DJ I-F, Alden Tyrell and soon to be available for order of of the Clone website, this record is bound to be a sensation on the dance floors.

You might know one of the guys in the group, Sean Wolcott, by his fantastic website The Red Room (he’s one of the “Friends Of Line Out” to your right).

Thanks to Sean here’s the new remix.

Starcluster Feat. Marc Almond - Smoke And Mirrors (Fascination Movement Remix)

Make sure to check out their myspace page soon, as they’ve put up some great demos from their upcoming Aube full length album.

Fucked Up

posted by on January 11 at 9:40 AM

A curious line from this week’s Underage:

So maybe you’re still just a kid. It’s okay—the 21+ scene is kinda fucked up right now and the kids appear to have their shit together.

Wha?! Fucked up because we’re over 21 and drinking? Or does the 21+ scene not “have their shit together” just because some venues closed/changed hands (as happens from time to time, even with all-ages venues)? Or maybe you mean Fucked Up like this:

(If that’s what you meant, then we’re totally cool.)

The Main Reason I Hope the Hollywood Writers’ Strike Ends Before This Year’s Academy Awards Ceremony…

posted by on January 11 at 9:39 AM

scaled.jayz.jpg

…besides the extension of basic financial and creative justice to the writers, of course, is so I can watch Jay-Z win the Oscar for Best Original Score.

There can be no denying that American Gangster deserves the honor—it’s the most exciting original-song score since Purple Rain, and one of the best records Jay-Z’s ever made. (According to my late-30s-white-guy math, its only competition is the mighty Reasonable Doubt. Both the lightly overrated Blueprint and lightly underrated Black Album are killer singles albums with iffy filler, while American Gangster—like Reasonable Doubt—is a killer album with deep thematic unity loaded with killer songs. Current faves: “Blue Magic” (!!!), “Hello Brooklyn.”)

So please, striking writers and greedy media conglomerates, work something out. I want to see Jay-Z accept his statuette in a good, old-fashioned, seven-hour-long Oscar ceremony, not some makeshift bullshit half-ceremony like last week’s People Choice Awards travesty. (RIP Queen Latifah.)

P.S. To all those who have Oscar dreams for Kimya Dawson for her contributions to Juno: Give ‘em up. Nominated songs have to be written expressly for the film, not preexisting tracks selected for the soundtrack. Bah. Still, how nice to live in a world where Kimya Dawson wrote nearly half the tracks on a top-ten album.)


Thursday, January 10, 2008

Matmos’s Drew Daniel’s Book on Throbbing Gristle

posted by on January 10 at 8:33 PM

Did you know he was and/or had done this? From his MySpace bulletin:

Pardon my mass missive but I wanted to spread the word that I am now a published author. Thanks to the trusty/crusty crew of the Continuum imprint, I now have my own contribution to their 33 1/3 series of books, complete with an ISBN number and a Library of Congress Data tag and everything. My book is called Twenty Jazz Funk Greats and it is about the album of said name by the English band Throbbing Gristle. It weighs in at 176 (teensy) pages. It features original interviews with all four members of Throbbing Gristle, some never-before-published photos and/or drawings from their private notebooks, and lots of interpretive blood sweat and tears from yours truly. Check it out!

From the Amazon book description:

Drew Daniel creates an exploded view of the album’s multiple agendas: a series of close readings of each song, shot through with a sequence of thematic entries on key concepts, strategies, and contexts. (For example: noise, leisure, process, the abject, information, and repetition.) The book argues that on Twenty Jazz Funk Greats, Throbbing Gristle modelled a critically new and highly promiscuous way of relating to or inhabiting musical genre - where punk rock was passionate and direct, TG were arch and mysterious, perverse and cold.

That’s Dr. Drew Daniel, to you. And who better?

R U THROBBING YET?

The Monks’ Dave Day Dead

posted by on January 10 at 6:15 PM

t_dave2.jpg

Just got the news from Light in the Attic’s Matt Sullivan: Dave Havlicek, aka Dave Day, guitarist and banjo player for legendary proto-punk band the Monks, died today. According to Sullivan, Day, who was born and lived in Renton, suffered a stroke or a heart attack on Sunday morning. He spent this week in the hospital before finally succumbing this morning.

According to the Monks’ wiki:

All the members of the Monks were American GIs stationed in Germany in the mid-’60s. They began playing together in 1964, calling themselves the 5 Torquays. The Torquays differed little from other bands of the time: They covered Chuck Berry songs and played music inspired by the British beat groups. But the band experimented together musically.

and

Dave Day replaced his guitar with a six-string, gut-strung banjo upon which he played guitar chords. This instrument sounds much more metallic, scratchy, and wiry than a standard electric guitar.

and

The Monks are one of the many bands mentioned in the song “Losing My Edge” by LCD Soundsystem.

There’s a huge backstory to these guys, which I’ll leave to our resident garage rock savant Mike Nipper to tell in a proper obituary tomorrow. Suffice to say the music is really something else, something unique—primal, tribal, freakish, stylized, and made all the more so by the fact it was originally made in 1966.

This is one of those times when you feel like an asshole for catching on to what’s clearly a very, very cool thing after somebody dies. I talked with Dave Day a couple times at Light in the Attic events—he was a badass and a sweetheart, he and his wife Irene hanging tough with the kids, drinking beers, smoking cigs, and shooting the shit. He told me he invented punk rock and opened for Jimi Hendrix. Watching these YouTube vids—and there are several, mostly taken from German TV in 1966—I believe the claim.

germany.jpg

RIP.

The Post-Hard Era

posted by on January 10 at 5:33 PM

Earlier today, Zwickel put up a great post about Tim Dog. I had completely forgotten about dude and was incredibly happy to hear TD’s special brand of gritty, gravelly, punch-you-in-the-neck-rap again.

However, Zwickel seems to think the era of the hardcore MC is over. While I’ll admit there are very few rappers left with the authoritative boom of Tim Dog, I’d like to throw a bone to Brooklyn’s own M.O.P.

I’m not going to run down M.O.P.’s storied history for you. You can go look at their Wikipedia entry for that. However, I will say that Billy Danzenie and Lil’ Fame make some wonderfully angry hip-hop, and may be the successors to Tim Dog’s east coast hardcore throne.

Sure, they’ve done a song with LFO and they’re currently signed to G-Unit, but the Mash Out Posse will still steal your shoes and punch your grandma if you start talking slick.

Summertime in the Middle of Winter

posted by on January 10 at 4:10 PM

One of the groups that I can’t seem to get enough of lately is the Philadelphia based soul-funk/disco group MFSB. They released many classic and influential records like 1973’s Love Is The Message”, 1975’s “Universal Love”, and 1980’s “Mysteries of the World”. Recently I picked up a copy of their 1976 classic LP, Summertime, and it’s pretty safe to say that this record pretty much blows me away everytime I listen to it. With classic cuts like “Picnic In The Park”, “Plenty Good Lovin’”, and “Summertime”, I feel like this is MFSB at their best, smooth soul influenced disco-funk that heavily resembles anything from the early Salsoul releases. Even though MFSB had a huge presence as being a studio backing band for many legendary groups like the The O’Jays, Blue Magic, and Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, Summertime is a prime example of the solid original work that this band produced throughout their legendary existence.

MFSB - Plenty Good Lovin’
MFSB - Picnic In The Park

Live Fast, Love Hard

posted by on January 10 at 3:25 PM

0252032489.jpg

Today I bring you an excellent classic-country-music book, released just a few months ago: Live Fast, Love Hard, by Diane Diekman, the official, and only, biography of the amazing Faron Young [swoon]. This book is so compelling, I plowed through it in only a few sittings.

I’ve professed a lot of love on this blog for certain honky tonkers, but I’ve been keeping Faron Young, one of my most cherished, to myself. Yes, I have mentioned how handsome he is, but otherwise there’s been no timely reason to write about him. While I’ve been a huge fan of Faron’s music for years, I can’t say I really knew much about him, other than that he’d killed himself in the ’90s. I always felt so bad for him, because he was so great and once so popular, and he’d been forgotten.

Diekman was personally acquainted with Faron, and she did a ton of research for the book—it’s full of so many tiny details and anecdotes from many sources, including Faron’s family and peers. Her research is impressive. There are lots of great stories about Faron and other country stars of the ’50s and ’60s. I was kind of shocked by what these twentysomething men were doing while out on the road back then; let’s just say nothing has changed where sex and drugs are concerned.

Tears were streaming down my face once I got to the end of the book. I knew how the story was going to end, but I didn’t know how much turmoil Faron lived with and inflicted on others throughout his life, dealing with depression and alcoholism and severe daddy issues. When he was sober, he was a kind, fun, generous man; when he was drunk, he was mean, manipulative, and downright cruel. There is a lot of punching in this book—Faron punching various people, various people punching Faron—and most disturbing is the number of times throughout his life that he threatened suicide, and even faked suicide to freak people out (and, I assume, as a cry for help). Despite all that, he remained incredibly loved by and endearing to practically everyone who knew him.

It’s a fascinating story about a man who had a lifelong struggle with depression and intimacy and insecurity, but who hid it so well behind a larger-than-life personality. I guess that’s not really a new story—we all know men like that—but I had no idea the extent of his problems; sadly, his friends and family had an inkling, but they seemed to be helpless due to his stubbornness and a general ignorance of depression back then. While this is a comprehensive portrait of a troubled man, I do feel like there could’ve been more detail about his early career and his songs. But, his story is heartbreaking and exciting, and Diekman nailed it. Get the book.

But who is this guy, other than a mean drunk? Why do I love him so? Well, he’s not just a pretty face; he’s one of the greatest country singers ever. Period. He had an amazing, beautiful voice (and perfect pitch, I learned from Diekman’s book): It could be high, low, nasal, smooth, soaring. His recording career began in the early ’50s and went all the way through the ’70s and into the ’80s; he kept it country all the way. And he was insanely popular.

His music is swoon-worthy. His ballads make me melt, with their perfect combination of aching steel guitar and Faron’s gorgeous voice: songs like “Tattle Tale Tears,” “My Two Open Arms,” “I Miss You Already (And You’re Not Even Gone),” “Sweet Dreams.” But he can also rock out, as evidenced by upbeat hits like “Three Days” (written way back when by Willie Nelson) and “Live Fast, Love Hard, Die Young.” And he’s got plenty of shuffles, like the absolutely perfect “Wine Me Up.” And have you heard “It’s Four in the Morning” from 1972? My god, what a song.

I’ve got a couple greatest-hits albums, and I’d highly recommend Live Fast, Love Hard: Original Capitol Recordings, 1952–1962. I wish I had the cash for the $100 Bear Family Records’ five-disc box set. Live Fast, Love Hard: Original Capitol Recordings, 1952–1962 is basically flawless. It’s got all the aforementioned tracks (except “Wine Me Up” and “It’s Four in the Morning”), plus many more, including “Country Girl,” with its bitter chorus, “Now you’ve gone and left me/you’re with somebody new/but I wonder if you told him/I bought the clothes on you”; the equally bitter “A Place for Girls Like You”; the upbeat “Alone with You”; hell, they’re all great songs—I don’t really need to list them all. And note the hot cover photo:

180px-Faron.jpeg

Really, anyone who likes classic country and hasn’t heard Faron Young needs to check him out. You will be an instant convert.

Here’s “Hello Walls” (also written by Willie Nelson, and a more poppy number), which was my introduction to Faron Young, via my dad. My dad seems to have had this song perpetually stuck in his head since it came out in 1961; he’s been randomly belting out the opening “hello walls” for as long as I can remember. Sometimes he answers the phone that way.

And here’s “My Dreams,” a more upbeat number.

Egypt is the Place

posted by on January 10 at 3:20 PM

Tomorrow night is Broken Disco at Chop Suey. The one and only Egyptian Lover will be in the house.

This is how it will go down:

Danny Massure’s Second Room Shakedown

posted by on January 10 at 3:12 PM

At the moment the music getting me through the work day is a DJ set from local funkster Danny Massure. It’s just over an hour of funk/soul breaks originally recorded for the Monotape Radio Show, and it’s well worth a listen. You can get it here if the player below doesn’t work for you (or if you want the MP3).


powered by ODEO

If you’re looking for the same kind of flavor live, Massure and his band (Danny Massure Breakdown) are playing tonight at the Highway 99 Blues Club from 9pm to midnight. Here’s a video of them playing.

Kate Nash - Made of Bricks

posted by on January 10 at 2:18 PM

This album:

51VNGShkM6L._SS500_.jpg

KATE NASH
Made of Bricks
(Interscope)

**

Kate Nash is the heir apparent, or the version 2.0, of fleeting British-music-tabloid darling Lily Allen (it depends on whether you liken the British pop-music system more to a royal family or a planned-obsolescence assembly line). Both are young, comfortably posh North London girls who—shock! horror!—aren’t afraid to speak their minds; Allen even effectively anointed her successor to the popular world by placing Nash in the highly visible top eight of her now legendary, apparently career-launching MySpace page.

“Foundations,” the Made of Bricks lead single, has more sparkly momentum than Allen’s relaxed R&B breakout, “Smile”—sometimes that momentum gets the best of Nash; she has a habit of running off rhythm and into spoken word, struggling to cram more syllables than can fit into her lines. “Mouthwash” mixes propulsive instrumentation with superficially introspective lyrics (“this is my face/covered in freckles with the occasional spot”). Old B-side “Birds” is a sweet enough urban bohemian love ballad. The softly rapped verses and gaudy R&B chorus (“I just want your kiss, boy”) of “Pumpkin Soup” are built to chart. The slightly morbid romantic lilt and well-placed violins of “Skeleton Song” suggest a more polished Nick Diamonds. But the distorted drum break and repetitious stutter of the throwaway intro “Play” unfavorably recall both Nash’s red-herring debut single, “Caroline’s a Victim,” and the electro-fop routine of Calvin “I Created Disco” Harris. “Why you being a dickhead for?” even when delivered in a well-practiced, slightly world-weary jazz croon, is not exactly a compelling chorus (“Dickhead”).

Nash possesses a clear, classically trained voice, capable of pulling both jazzy pouts and Björk-lite wails, and she’s surrounded by slickly professional acoustic production—clean guitars, bright pianos, tight but unremarkable rhythm sections, big choruses, occasional blasts of horns or Pro-Tooled synths. And her particular inflections and self-conscious snatches of pub slang (a “fit” here, a “twat” here, a “wot?” there) will appeal to a certain indiscriminating brand of twee Anglophile. Others will be thrown by Made of Bricks’s constant flirting between confessional singer-songwriter and teen-pop modes.

…has grown on me since last deadline. I even taught myself “Foundations” on the piano. That’s all.

(Also, that’s not all: Everett “I Created Grunge” True interviewed the young starlet for the Village Voice; you can read it here.)

Today in Music News

posted by on January 10 at 1:11 PM

Cat Em-Power-ing!: Chan Marshall doing humanitarian work for charity: water.

Heretic Pride
: New Mountain Goats on the way, John Darnielle will also be writing a 33 1/3 book about Black Sabbath’s Master of Reality.

Wouldn’t Miss It:
Slipknot and Disturbed will co-headline the “Rockstar Mayhem Tour”, sponsored by Rockstar Energy Drink.

Honey, I’m going to run to the Snoopermarket”: Snoop Dogg is making huge plans for 2008, including a line of pet-care products, a chain of grocery stores, and a few high-profile collaborations.

Update on American’s favorite train wreck: Britney might be in Mexico?

The Rise and Fall of Thuggy Stardust and the Hustlers from Mars: David Bowie (unauthorized) mash-up includes classic raps from B.I.G., Jay-Z, and Wu-Tang.

Band of Horses

posted by on January 10 at 1:07 PM

bandofhorsesflickr.jpg

Taken by tea.., who, I should mention, has added bunch more Band of Horses shots to the Stranger’s Flickr Pool. This was my favorite.

I Thought That Saxophone Solo Sounded Out of Place…

posted by on January 10 at 12:59 PM

TOTC.jpg

There’s a chance that many of the albums you’ve illegally downloaded have been tampered with. Not pumped full of viruses or digital anthrax or anything, they’ve just been slightly altered sonically. Added to. Changed. This is the work of the Overdub Tampering Committee, who released their manifesto earlier this week.

We are a group of musicians who have downloaded newly leaked albums by popular artists, quickly recorded many subtle overdubs over the work, and then re-leaked it to the internet. We have done this for about three years now. We used all kinds of instruments with recording techniques that matched the audio quality of the album in question. We used a varied amount of re-leaking methods including but not limited to Soulseek, OiNK, The Pirate Bay, Limewire and zipped files hosted on sites like YouSendIt or Mediafire with links spread out on hundreds of message boards. Our turnaround time was usually very short so often our version of the artist’s album was online for download within hours of its original leak. If you illegally download music on the internet the chances that our work is in your collection is very, very likely! In fact, you might have a whole lot of us!

So what’s the point?

One of the things that’s always shocked us about people “illegally downloading” music is the blind faith that what they’ve downloaded is the actual finished product that the band has released (or is about to release). We download and we had this faith too. But one day, about 4 years ago, one of us downloaded a newly leaked album by a very popular band. Excitedly listening to it for the first time we noticed a very out of place death metal song in the middle of the album. The obvious genre change and the ability to check the track listing and run time for each song on a reliable website made it easy to sniff out that this leak had been tampered with. We discarded the leaked files and waited patiently for the actual release where upon we bought it in a store.

This got us thinking: what if this problem got more insidious, subtle, and widespread? What if there was a network of musicians who got a hold of albums right as they leaked, added subtle yet very much additional overdubs all over the album, and then re-leaked it to the internet?

We imagined a scenario where someone would get in a car with their friend, he would put on the new _____ album, and you would say, “Where’s all the piano parts?” to which the driver would say, “What piano parts? This album is all guitars and drums.” Finally, you would scratch your head and say, “Not my copy!”

It would be bewildering.

It would be irksome.

It would be annoying.

We set out to make that specific bewildering, annoyance a possibility.

I remember downloading a copy of Built to Spill’s You In Reverse with a “Who is Mike Jones?” sample every two minutes, but I doubt that was them. The best part about this whole debacle is that it may itself be a scam. Maybe they didn’t do anything, and just said they did. From a post yesterday on their blog:

…Jon Parales of the New York Times wrote us with this short, reasonable request: “A scintilla of evidence would be nice.”

We wrote back: “Jon, Thanks for your email. We won’t be providing any more evidence than what is presented in the manifesto. We know what we’ve done, we’ve had fun doing it, and now it’s in the public’s hands. We don’t believe the burden of proof lays on our shoulders. Part of our goal with the project was that no one would ever know for sure how many albums we worked on, which ones, or if they resided in your digital music collection. In this way we highlight certain aspects of living in present day U.S.A. Often times proof is nothing more than general public consensus.”

The members of TOTC claim that they are all musicians themselves in bands whose music they have seen distributed illegally online, and that their albums have been tampered with as well.

thanks Brother for the tip.

Last Night @ The Jewelbox

posted by on January 10 at 12:03 PM

Have you ever gotten excited about a show solely because of the number of red flags along the path to it? To review:

* A flyer whose art is a photocopied NES controller
* A band web site hosted at this URL, for real: greatestbandever.com
* A sign at the show’s entryway informing fans that, unfortunately, opening act Beefy couldn’t make it out tonight
* A robust, two-microphone recording rig in the Jewelbox’s tiny room that would confound even the most dedicated Wilco taper
* The band opening the show by giving a shout-out to the guitarist’s girlfriend in the crowd

But the best red flag of them all, of course, was the band’s name: Press Start to Rock. Holy shit. They’re an instrumental four-piece out of Kirkland who specialize in “rock” versions of old video game background music, much like national acts The Advantage or The Minibosses. PStR are, by far, the worst band I’ve ever seen. And I absolutely loved them.

PSR

It helped that their crappiness was so shameless. Their equipment was trash across the board—like they’d bought their guitars, bass, drums and amps in a bulk set from Costco, just to make sure their tone matched the sound of an 8-bit synthesizer. Between nearly every song, the drummer yelled, “Improv solo!”, and the rest of the bandmates would yell back at him as if this were an actual threat. And in spite of the drummer obviously making everything up as he went, the two guitarists held their own as best as they could—to be fair to these guys, they did a decent job with the complicated riffs that were originally meant for a computer sampler. Their struggles with the songs made me rethink my opinions about bands like The Minibosses—if you want to call their source material a shtick, at least give them credit for nailing some relatively complicated tunes.

But nothing-no-nothing topped their plump dynamo of a bassist, a man who looked like he had dreamed about this concert for his entire life, and he had a special hand-signal to prove it. At the beginning of a song? Devil horns in the sky. When his left hand didn’t need to hold a fret? It needed to rawk. Perhaps the middle of a song required a horn interruption? Fuck yeah it did. End of song? Conclude with pinky and index finger bah-lazing. This man, by himself, put more horns in the air than the entire crowd at the Family Values Tour.

Also, don’t tell him the theme from Tetris doesn’t slay—he headbanged the hell out of that jam (and most of the others) while the rest of the band stood pretty much frozen in fear. And how else to prove that you’re a member of the greatestbandever.com than to take your left hand off the frets to drink a beer mid-song, only to earn pissed-off stares from your guitarist duo? But my favorite moment came after only 20 minutes of the band’s complete shlub of a set, off tempo at all times: “We’re gonna do the Mega Man 3 medley, and then we’re going to take a 15-minute break. After that, we’ll do Zelda.”

You might wonder what the rise of Guitar Hero has wrought; ladies and gentlemen, it has wrought this.

Press Start to Rock plays again on March 6 at the Skylark Cafe. One can only hope that in the meantime, the guy with the two microphones uploads last night’s show to the Internet.

Tonight in Music

posted by on January 10 at 11:15 AM

gabrielteodros.jpg

Gabriel Teodros and Khingz, Bambu, Sleep of Old Dominion, Orbitron, DJs B-Girl, Phatrick, Tecumseh
(Neumo’s) The first big local hiphop show for 2008 features Mass Line’s Gabriel Teodros, Seattle’s most progressive rapper and one-half of Abyssinian Creole. The other half is Khingz, who also performs tonight and is expected to drop a solo effort this year. As Abyssinian Creole, Teodros and Khingz were at the center of the powerful discharge that instigated, in 2005, the current wave of local hiphop that is led by Blue Scholars. Abyssinian Creole’s contribution to that remarkable year was Sexy Beast, a CD that in sound and themes is opposite to the mood and climate of the Northwest. What Sexy Beast made apparent was the diversity of local hiphop: It can come from anywhere (East Africa, Haiti) and be about anything (love, immigration, meditation). CHARLES MUDEDE
Quartet for the End of Time (Town Hall) For the latest installment of Town Hall’s TownMusic series, cellist Joshua Roman has scrapped the standard notion of a classical concert. Instead, he’s assembled a compelling program that mixes rock and classical without watering down either genre.

At first glance, the second half of the concert may exert the broadest appeal; Roman and a chamber quartet back up singer, actor, and Stranger Genius Award winner Sarah Rudinoff and John Osebold of “Awesome” in a medley of songs by Radiohead.

Musicians love the odd structures and the let’s-write-a-pocket-symphony ambition that emanates from Radiohead. I do, too. I’m curious to listen for sonic links between Radiohead and the first half of the concert, which begins bravely with music by a living classical composer—Dan Visconti’s Fractured Jams,written in 2006—and one of the most intense chamber works of the 20th century, Quartet for the End of Time by Olivier Messiaen. Scored for violin, cello, clarinet, and piano, Messiaen (1908–1992) wrote the Quartet in 1941 while imprisoned in POW camp. CHRISTOPHER DELAURENTI

The Making of Love

posted by on January 10 at 10:16 AM

agtsk3.jpgA Gun That Shoots Knives is releasing a six song EP called Love on Seattle’s Bad Horses Records. The CD release show is Saturday night at Sunset Tavern. They’re playing first and last with the Resets doing the middle set. Your $6 cover gets you a free copy of the EP. A Gun That Shoots Knives is Stubby Abbot, Jimmy LaRue, Jeff Greenwood, and Kurly Sorbel. They play deranged pop that touches into metal, groove, and soul balladry. In Love they sing of sushi and making you wet. If Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was a band from Seattle it would be A Gun That Shoots Knives. They’re odd, they fly, and they have the power to make dreams come true.

AGTSK has toured four times. They have collected and worn over a dozen wigs, eight jumpsuits, five false moustaches, one chicken suit, one cow suit, one horse head, six mexican wrestling masks, several pieces of lycra, twelve two-dollar thrift store suits, a jetpack, and one pair of knee-high six-inch tranny boots.

agtskboxpic.jpg

picture: Gunther Jose Frank

I met the band at the McDonalds Playland in Ballard to speak about the making of Love. We sat waist deep in the Pac-Man plastic ball pit:

How was the recording? Where did y’all do it?
AGTSK: Well, Trent More-man, it was great. And we don’t mean that to sound sarcastic. We recorded at Titan Studio, with our dear friend Scot Michael. It’s a classic basement studio environment, complete with spiders, spiders everywhere.

Did you do any pre-production? (They are throwing the little plastic balls at my head.)
Yeah, we started by practicing the shit out of the songs we were going to record. I’m talking at least twice a week. We pre-recorded everything as if we were going to be mixing it ourselves so we didn’t have to dick around a ton once we got there. We’re all vaguely capable of playing each other’s instruments and have a lot of input on each other’s parts. More of that comes out when we listen back to a multi-tracked version of a song and we can hear the individual notes/beats we’re playing. Scot uses Nuendo, and has an awesome collection of newish and vintage mics. (His condenser that we used for vocals is a trippy, old, and Russian.) We ended up throwing all six tracks down in three afternoons, five the first two days and one on the third, which was pretty fast for us. We took the better part of two years trying to record a full-length on our own. It was nice to hand most of the board work off to someone who’s a lot faster and has a better ear than you.

Talk for me now about any drum pad type gear you might have used. PLEASE do this, and do it now.
Drummer Kurly says: I used a Roland sampler that has nine indivdual trigger pads. That sampler then gets run threw anlog and digital effects that can be minipulated manulay by my own damn hands. The idea is to incorporate all that crap with an acustic set and keep it real. Also, it (the sampler) allows me to fill “sonic gaps” as well as being able to perform songs live the same way they are done on recordings. Eventually there will be more crap.

Continue reading "The Making of Love" »

When Hard Was Hard

posted by on January 10 at 8:54 AM

lupefiasco-bw.jpg

Lupe Fiasco is taking soft hiphop to places it’s never been: Kid’s smart and senstive but politically savvy, socially aware, and funny at the right moments. He looms over The Cool with a conceptual gameplan that’s so broad and deep that it could be considered impressionist. Lyrically, Lupe tends towards the abstract spiked with specific detail, but his subjectmatter is easy enough to parse (child warfare, hood nutrition, wealth porn, fame and fortune, etc). There’s mass-appeal potential in The Cool, and its wit is sly and subtle, leaving a lot to look into for those that like to dig deep. As I said in my review in this week’s paper, pop doesn’t get any smarter, and smart doesn’t get any catchier.

For that we should rejoice. For that we should also get some contrast. There was a time when hard was hard. And nobody in all of hiphop is as hard as Tim Dog.

6a00c22529b8c0604a00cdf7e827ef094f-320pi.jpg

In 1991, “Fuck Compton” set the standard for dis tracks; there’s never been a musical smackdown more inflammatory and more effective. Tim Dog was the hardest of the hard, and his debut, Penicillin on Wax, played like a drill sergeant’s verbal abuse set to an air-raid siren and a kettle drum turned up to 11. “Fuck Compton” first drew my attention to the Bronx-dwelling, high-top-fade rocking, megalomaniacal screamer. While the rest of my high school friends were falling for NWA, I stood firmly by my East Coast origins (if you can describe South Florida that way) and backed Tim Dog’s Eazy-E-bashing boot camp. Production by Ultramagnetic MCs was far harder than anything Dre did for NWA, and Tim himself was so freakin’ large and loud and straight-up HARD that he became a legend in his own time.

Having that gang war? We wanna know what you’re fighting for.
Fighting over colors? All that gang shit’s for DUMB MOTHERFUCKERS!

Thing is, Tim Dog was so goddam muffuggin HARD that he was a caricature. I’m sure the Dog himself knew this—he was fucking serious, yeah, ready to dish out beatdowns to “happy rappers, overcommercial rappers, bullshit rappers,” but Penicillin had some flat-out hilarious moments. Sample lyric, from “The Dog’s Gonna Getcha”:

“AAAAAAAAHH! I can’t believe how DOPE I am!/ I’m the motherfuckin man!/ Smackin MCs with one hand!/ Don’t cry you little bitch!”

and from “Sexual Fantasy,” wherein Tim waxes to Kool Keith about banging En Vogue in their dressing room:

“And then the short one, you know, the one with the fat ass/ OOPS..they all have a fat ass/She wanted me to pee in her face/So what did you do?/I pissed in her face.”

Ho shit! There’s so much to love. Penicillin on Wax is a classic of hardcore hiphop. The hardest, still.

Tim Dog’s still around. The former “Bronx Nigga” lives in the UK and does pretty well over there in and Australia, apparently. He actually dropped an album in 2006 but it didn’t make a splash here in the states. For most of us, it’s simply not possible to hear hiphop music like this anymore. For most rappers, it’s impossible to make music like this anymore. At least not seriously. The game has gone post-hard. Soft is the new hard.

RIP Michael Griffen

posted by on January 10 at 12:25 AM

btpnlsl.jpg

From Behead The Prophet No Lord Shall Live’s myspace page:

“Early this morning Michael Griffen died. He was the violinist in Behead the Prophet No Lord Shall Live and played in the noise duo Noggin and many other projects along the way. His contribution to music was very significant as a huge proponent of Improvised Noise. Michael encouraged anyone curious about music regardless of talent and got a lot of people started on a path to true creative expression. I am greatly thankful for my experience with Michael as an individual, as a fellow musician and to know his family who have been a family to me when I needed a one that accepted me for who I am without judgment. I am currently working on a documentary about Michael with a friend Peter Rand that hopefully will be completed within the next year. Much Love to you all, I know that Michael believed in Love, - Jordan Rain”

I saw Behead the Prophet in a basement back in high school and it was truly wild. Condolences to Griffen’s friends and family.


Wednesday, January 9, 2008

It Hurts A Little Every Time I Hear It

posted by on January 9 at 5:24 PM

Does it bother anyone else the way it has bothered me since the beginning of (my) time that on the song “Fool in the Rain,” Robert Plant, on the word “right,” is ever-so-slightly but definitively FLAT?

Help Us Find Seattle’s Sex Bombs

posted by on January 9 at 5:12 PM

Every year in February, The Stranger hunts down and photographs Seattle’s sexiest citizens. This year we want you to nominate sexy people you know or notice around town. We don’t care about sexy local celebs; we want to hear about Seattle’s sexiest shoe-salespeople, bike messengers, clerks, fish-throwers, trash-collectors, and college freshmen—all the regular sexy people who make leaving the house worthwhile.

Here’s how to nominate someone: Upload a photo of your sexy friend, barista, dentist, whomever… to The Stranger’s Flickr group. Make sure to tag the photo “seattlesexy.” You should also collect contact information for your nominee—but keep this to yourself for now. We’ll e-mail you via Flickr for that info if your nominee is chosen. The submission deadline is Friday, February 1.

Stephanie%20and%20Deim%20Nguyen-sexiesttakeoutgirls05.jpegDeim and Stephanie Nguyen, Sexiest Take-Out Girls, 2005

Watch for our Valentine’s Issue, chock full of free reader valentines and sexy ladies and gents, coming February 13.

Bonkers! @ Re-bar Tonight

posted by on January 9 at 3:11 PM


Come out tonight to Seattle’s Re-bar (1114 Howell Street) for Bonkers!. This night will be filled with a live electronic and visual set from Seattle’s Tyler Potts (Dragon’s Eye Recordings), DJ sets from the evenings hosts Erictronic, The Naturebot, Mr. Zillion, an all out disco/italo/soul-funk DJ set from myself (TJ Gorton), as well as a performance by The Cephalopod Appreciation Society. The fun and dancing starts at 10pm and has a cover cost of $5. Don’t miss out!

Jeff Mangum Marries

posted by on January 9 at 2:51 PM

Glorious Noise reports:

Congratulations to Jeff Mangum and Astra Taylor, who were recently married. Mangum, as everybody knows, founded Neutral Milk Hotel, whose album In the Aeroplane Over the Sea is widely regarded as one of the best albums of the 1990s. Taylor is a writer and filmmaker who directed the documentary, Zizek! for which Neutral Milk Hotel drummer Jeremy Barnes provided the original music.

Glorious Noise received confirmation of the nuptials from Ms. Talyor via email. “It’s a fact,” she said.

Still no new Neutral Milk Hotel album, of course.

(Hat tip to Idolator)

A Heavy Disco Underdog

posted by on January 9 at 2:44 PM

Jorge Santana LP 1978 Album ArtworkIf your a big fan of disco re-edit 12-inches, like myself, then I would reccommend checking out the Underdog Edits. I’m not exactly sure of the producer or producers who contribute the re-edits, with only a huge number stamp acting as the records only label artwork, however I’ve been able to track down the artists and songs that are actually being re-edited. This re-edit series has already released eleven singles and a box set that include some classic cuts by some great artists like Jackson 5, James Brown, Willie Hutch, LTG Exchange, Billy Nichols, Gloria Gaynor, and ESG to name a few. One of my favorite singles from this series is Underdog Edits: Vol. 6 which features Jorge Santana’s 1978 disco cut “Darling I Love You” and Jamie Principle’s 1986 post-italo dance classic “Your Love”. All the edits in this series tend to be based around a few of the tracks stronger points extended, to hover around that ten plus minute mark. Regardless, if you enjoy re-edits and newer extended mixes of classic disco, soul, and funk songs, I would try to hunt down some of these Underdog edits.

Jorge Santana - Darling I Love You (Underdog Edit)
Jamie Principle - Your Love (Underdog Edit)

The Gutter Twins, “Idle Hands”

posted by on January 9 at 2:14 PM

3963.jpg

Mark Lanegan and Greg Dulli have teamed up as the Gutter Twins. Set for a March release on Sub Pop, Saturnalia will feature guest contributions from Joseph Arthur, Quintron, Martina Topley-Bird, Queens of the Stone Age’s Troy Van Leeuwen, and unofficial “third member”/producer Mathias Schneeberger.

Saturnalia’s first single, “Idle Hands,” is available for free download on the band’s MySpace. The song is a sinister, smoldering rocker, Lanegan’s quavering rasp downbeat over a wash of fuzzed-out guitars and propulsive beat. Dulli’s vocals lay low underneath it all. It’s hard not to hear Lanegan’s undertaker vocals and think of the olden days, and there’s a certain alt-rock crankiness to “Idle Hands” that actually works in the song’s favor. There’s something quintessential about the songwriting, the guitar grinding, the vocal growling, and the Gutter Twins tap into that essence like the old pros they are.

At the moment, the band has four gigs booked in late February:

2/14 - New York, NY Bowery Ballroom
2/19 - Paris, France Maroquinerie
2/21 - London, England Koko - Sponsored by NME
2/23 - Amsterdam, Netherlands Melkweg
3/1 - San Francisco, CA Noise Pop - Bimbo’s

Seems like these guys can’t avoid playing Seattle within this timeframe.

(HT Stereogum)

“I Can’t Stand It”

posted by on January 9 at 12:49 PM

vu2.jpgFremont, WA - Coffee Shop Bathroom:
A cassette of The Best of the Velvet Underground ‘Words and Music of Lou Reed’ has possibly been left behind. Let’s hope not—Lou and the gang poured their hearts and souls into these songs for us. I know it’s “best of” and it’s a cassette, but this just isn’t the way to treat music. I inquired as to whether or not the cassette belonged to any of the employees and no one claimed it. They don’t play cassettes there.

vu1.jpg

The cover art seemed to be using a camouflage technique to blend the cassette into the granite of the countertop, like a butterfly blending into the rainforest to escape a predator.

This best-of collection had been the most well rounded Velvet Underground compilation available because it included tracks from the band’s fourth studio album, Loaded, licensed from Atlantic Records.

If only Nico had been able to “Stay Healthy” like the sign near the sink says. What would the Velvet Underground be if they had washed for 20 seconds, rinsed well, and dried?

The Pharmacy Posts New Songs

posted by on January 9 at 12:48 PM

pharmacykeys.jpg

I’ve loved the Pharmacy for awhile. Such nice boys. And though they’ve been together for quite some time, the band’s seen a number of line-up changes (original drummer left, added keyboards, etc), run into a few road blocks (injuries, arrests, various other stuff that makes them sound badass), but they keep going. The Pharmacy is the band that won’t die.

Thank Christ.

Their new record, Choose Your Own Adventure, is finished, and they’re playing this weekend at the Downtown YMCA with the Pleasureboaters and This Bike is a Pipe Bomb. It’ll be a killer (all-ages) show, and you can prepare for the party by listening to the three brand new songs the band just posted on their MySpace page—“Little Toys on a Shelf,” “Adieu Adieu,” and “Mirror Song.”

It’s the strongest stuff the band has done yet—weaving their less polished, basement sensibilities with playful keyboards and harmonies. There’s an element of early Weezer, with the sweetness it carries, but instead of being the sweater-vested geeks, the Pharmacy’s got dirty fingernails and tight jeans and sloppy haircuts. And they’re awkward, but not at all soft-spoken. Give it a listen.

Today in Music News

posted by on January 9 at 12:22 PM

In the Charts: Radiohead, Daft Punk at the top of CMJ’s Radio 200, In Rainbows also tops Billboard 200 along with Alicia Keys and Mary J. Blige.

Let’s hope a collaboration ensues: Feist and Snoop Dogg presented an Critic Choice Award together.

Barack supports Kanye, Jay-Z: The Presidential candidate wants hip-hop to educate American people, but acknowledges the sometimes negative message of hip hop.

Folsom Prison Blues: 40th anniversary of Johnny Cash’s legendary concert canceled due to problems between prison officials and promoters.

Pierre Sarkozy is a hip hop producer: French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s 22-year-old son is also known as Mosey

M.I.A. and a Paper Plane at Easy Street Records

posted by on January 9 at 12:05 PM

miaflickr.jpg

Found in the Stranger’s Flickr Pool, and taken by Timwillis.

Tonight in Music

posted by on January 9 at 11:46 AM

breakerbreaker.jpg

Breaker Breaker, Your House or Mine, the Dating Pool
(High Dive) I am going to make a New Year’s resolution for Seattle’s music scene: No more repetitive band names. None. Xiu Xiu, Speaker Speaker, Patient Patient, Breaker Breaker… ENOUGH! They’re all fine bands, really. And tonight’s headliners, Breaker Breaker, have this sexy combo of female vocals and synth, but still, they’re the last double name I’ll allow. So if you’re thinking of rolling with a repetitive moniker, think again, because I will ban you from this paper as a punishment. Anyway, Your House or Mine, opening for Breaker2, remind me of a punked-up version of the Trucks except they sing more about dancing and less about their vaginas. MEGAN SELING

And here’s one that’s not necessarily tonight, per se. But seeing as how the guerrilla-performance-inclined Nachos are always somewhere, tonight could be your lucky night.

nachoslive.jpg

The Nachos
(At Large) When asked if the Nachos—Seattle’s most intriguing/annoying guerrilla-performance-art duo—ever hang posters to advertise headlining slots at shows they aren’t invited to play, lead Casio keyboardist Helmet Nacho evades the question. “We’re inspired by inspiration,” he says, “2008 is going to be another groundbreaking year for us. A controversial album is in the works based on the psychology of chatrooms. In a chatroom, you can tell someone, ‘Yeah, I have big biceps,’ when really, you don’t have big biceps. It’s a front, a metaphorical mask. In the Nachos, we wear real masks.” It gets deeper: Helmet’s foil, D-Lab, has reportedly made an instrument out of hooking a dulcimer up to a ThighMaster. “We also sampled a bunch of bug-zapper sounds,” Helmet says. Look for the Nachos—shirtless, masked, inciting awkwardness—to funk things up across the city in January. TRENT MOORMAN

And a couple more shows you’ll find in Get Out, our searchable calendar:

*Mirah & Spectratone International at Tractor
*Graf Orlock, Dangers, Ghost Limb, Sojourner at Fusion Cafe (Downtown YMCA)

Click to find more.

Sonic Boom in Fremont is Closing

posted by on January 9 at 10:57 AM

In 2007, Sonic Boom Records in Seattle celebrated a banner ten years in business. From its beginnings as a tiny storefront in Fremont, we have grown to three locations and 24 staff members. Our business continues to be healthy and strong. Most of our full-time employees are receiving health insurance benefits and a 401K matching plan that we’ve been offering since 2003.

Now, thanks to the loyal music community in Seattle, our online business and the occasional tourist, we are NOT announcing the end of Sonic Boom. Instead, we are announcing the restructuring the physical spaces AKA the “brick and mortar” of Sonic Boom Records.

Sonic Boom Records is making essential changes to ensure the livelihood both for its staff and the stores. As of February 19th, the Fremont locations will close and the inventory will be absorbed into the Ballard and Capitol Hill stores. This is not due to downloading or file sharing nor is it due to declining business. The change is due to market forces such as increasing rent and major neighborhood changes. We’ve always thought it was a bit crazy to have two locations (Ballard & Fremont) so close together (2.3 miles, to be exact). The Ballard store will undergo renovations and reorganization and offer more to our customers than ever before. Most importantly, the staff will be offered better wages and more security, continued health insurance benefits and 401K plan as well as a partial stake in the company.

Our goal is to take the best possible care of our staff and our customers. Call it a conscience. We all know it is tough living on retail wages. Our employees are the heart and soul of this company and we want to ensure that they can survive and thrive in today’s Seattle and that they will continue to be the familiar friendly faces for all of our customers.

We’ve been saying it over and over this autumn — but we can’t say it enough…THANK YOU for supporting Sonic Boom over the years. We look forward to more great years ahead! Our customers have more music-purchasing options than ever before and we are honored that you choose us.

I just got off the phone with Sonic Boom co-founder Nabil Ayers and he says this has been something the store has been planning for awhile, but they had to keep it under wraps while they figured out how to make the best of the situation.

Like the press release says, Ayers assures us that it’s not because of the usually blamed culprits. “It’s weird timing because all these stores are closing and blaming downloading and low music sales,” he says, “but it doesn’t have anything to do with that.”

The Ballard store will undergo some minor renovations (which will mostly be done at night, so the store won’t be closed for any period of time), and the face lift will mostly make way for more inventory and also more comfortable in-store performances.

Also, the store closure won’t result in massive layoffs. “There’s probably gonna have to be a few, but very few,” Ayers assures. “We sat down with every employee some time ago, and we’re asking for a bigger commitment from them. It’s working out well. It’s a lot of people who are voluntarily going—going back to school, leaving the country.”

The renovations on the Ballard store should be done by the end of February, and sometime in the Spring, Ayers and Co. plan on having a party to celebrate the changes. Before the Feb 19 closing date, there will also be a big sale at the Fremont store, but no exact starting date has been set yet.

As for what will happen to the space once the Boom exits, Ayers can’t say. “It’s not bad, though. It’s not a cell phone store.”

Might I Suggest the Comet

posted by on January 9 at 9:59 AM

Atlanta Boston Charlotte Chicago Cleveland Dallas Houston Indianapolis Los Angeles Miami Montreal New York Philadelphia San Diego San Francisco Santa Barbara Seattle St. Louis Tampa Toronto Vancouver Washington, DC

As Pitchfork points out, Radiohead’s among the few bands out there that can list cities for their upcoming tour, leave the dates and venues out, and still get people excited. Anyway, good news for us, bad news for Portland. See you southerners on ??/??/08, I guess.

A Late Regret For 2007

posted by on January 9 at 9:13 AM

One of my few regrets of 2007 was that I never got the chance to write a particular story about a local pop band. They have a strong local all-ages following and had been courting A&R reps from major labels, as well as being featured prominently on Myspace’s band page. They’ve got a radio-friendly pop hooks that bounce over swooning rock ballads and hordes of teenage girls know their lyrics by heart. I’ve seen their fans sweating, panting, nearly crying just to bring the band a note, some homemade cookies or brownies, and maybe get a chance to talk to them and tell them, “Oh my god, I LOVE YOU.”

But the story wasn’t just about a local band on the rise or at least, it wouldn’t be the kind of hype piece that just tells you that a band is worth checking out. My interest in the band and its seemingly inevitable ascent into mainstream success was based in the experience of one of their band members who happens to be transgendered.

Now, it would be ignorant not to acknowledge that there has been plenty of gender-bending and significant music made by those with fluid or non-traditional sexual identities, but to generalize: those artists made music that was often deliberately politically driven and sexually charged. Their lyrics and stage personas were often provocative and meant to shock, but this band just writes about heartbreak and romance in the polished but mundane fashion of most bands their age and style. (I don’t mean that as a dig, just calling a spade a spade).

This band seemed to me so appealingly mainstream in every way, I saw the possibility that the experience of a transgendered young man itself may be becoming more mainstream and more mundane. While I think that many of their fans probably don’t know that he is trans, from what I’ve seen most seem unlikely to care one way or another and some would probably love the band all the more for it.

I regret that the members of this band declined to be interviewed, although I can certainly appreciate their potential reasons. Not wanting to be identified/pigeon-holed for this single member’s history alone, simple privacy, its lack or relevance to their music, maybe pressure from a potential label, or any number of other possibilities.

Of course the fact could be that maybe as much as I’d hoped that I could parallel his artistic and personal histories as signs of our society expanding its tolerance, often outing oneself as transgendered is still dangerous, highly stigmatized, and opens oneself to abuse from the hateful and ignorant. Regardless, I’m glad to know that the story is out there and that maybe someone will get a chance to write it some day.


Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Sia, Later

posted by on January 8 at 6:48 PM

sia.jpg

Thanks to Megan, Wikipedia, and a flurry of (mostly) insightful comments, we’ve got this Sia mystery all cleared up.

Sia sings in Zero 7, makers of stunningly mediocre car-commercial electronica.

Sia’s third solo record was released today on a label owned by a Seattle-based coffee giant that is not Seattle’s Best Coffee.

Sia has a potent, if strained, singing voice.

Sia’s music is potent, if strained, perfect for car commercials and coffee shops.

Sia’s most interesting moment is surely Four Tet’s remix of her song “Breathe Me.” Seriously—this is a phenomenal track. Sia’s album stuff comes across as too soft-edged and sweet, but Four Tet adds swelling luster and break-beaten drama as he stretches this song to its farthest limits. (Major hat tip to Line Out commenter blackandblue for the find.)

Sia’s original version of “Breathe Me” played at the end of a Six Feet Under episode as well as an internationally televised Victoria’s Secret fashion show.

Sia is from Australia and has a last name (Furler) and a godfather (Men at Work frontman Colin Hay [!!!]).

And that’s all there is to say about that.

Mindblowing Moments in iPod Shuffle

posted by on January 8 at 3:46 PM

So I’m sitting here working and listening to my iPod on random shuffle mode and on comes a song that I don’t immediately recognize, but in a few seconds I realize it sounds more like the Magnetic Fields than anyone else. The song had the pretty/dreary feedback of the great Magnetic Fields songs of yore, synthy strings, an aggressively conventional structure and melody, and simple lyrics delivered in a charming near-monotone—who else could it be?

When I look, I learn the truth: It’s Bruce Springsteen, “Girls in Their Summer Clothes,” from last year’s Magic.

When Bruce Springsteen sounds like the Magnetic Fields, musical postmodernism has come full circle.

Making this all weirder: This is the second Springsteen-related iPod mindblower I’ve experienced this year. The first happened last spring when my shuffle brought up what sounded like the greatest Bruce song I’d never heard—which of course turned out to be “(Antichrist Television Blues).”

Spooky.

Carry on.

A Galactic Get Down

posted by on January 8 at 3:17 PM

In 2007, Norway’s Prins Thomas put together one of the better mix compilations, entitled Prins Thomas Presents Cosmo Galactic Prism. This double CD consisted of many great rare disco, house, techno, and funk cuts like Zombi’s “Sapphire”, The Salsoul Invention’s “Soul Machine”, and Holger Czukay’s “Cool In The Pool”. This cosmic-grooving compilation also featured one of my favorite music discoveries of 2007, Love On The Run’s extended edit of The Paper Dolls’ 1977 classic disco gem, “Get Down Boy”. Before this compilation release, I had never heard the original, and with a little research I was able to hunt down the original track as well as the instrumental mix, which sounds very close to the newer extended edit. Regardless of the version you might enjoy the best, there’s really no denying the greatness of this disco nugget.

The Paper Dolls - Get Down Boy(Original Mix)
The Paper Dolls - Get Down Boy(Love On The Run Edit)

Ecatepec de Massive Attack

posted by on January 8 at 1:54 PM

I ate a burrito at Chipotle on University Avenue. The burrito was large, fresh, and well wrapped. The rice had cilantro in it. Peppers were sautéed and crisp. Guac burst with sunned in green creaminess. There was corn. I practically had a sombrero on. I imagined a life south of the border on a family farm, hanging sheets on a clothesline in the wind to dry. Adobe structures were all around and we made our own wine. I sat in the shade of a dusty porch there. A grandmother sliced cucumber. There were spurs on my boots. A Chihuahua puppy named Guillermo scurried around, tinkling in his fidgety happiness.

My Morning Jacket was being played on the speakers in the Chipotle. Somehow, it was the perfect soundtrack to my bountiful, earthen scene. I looked at the paper the burrito was wrapped in. Words swirled around in a circle. I figured they were the names of spices and natural ingredients. Perhaps they were names of Mexican cities, such as Ecatepec de Morelos.

But the words were Aimee Mann, Leonard Cohen, Massive Attack, and Cowboy Junkies. Wait, Aimee Mann is not a spice. Upon further review, all the names on the wrapping paper were bands and singers. The burrito was wrapped in the names of popular musical entities.

chipotle1.jpg

There was David Byrne, Beck, Tori Amos, Shuggie Otis, Reverend Horton Heat, Lucinda Williams, G. Love & Special Sauce, Blind Boys of Alabama, Morphine, Aretha Franklin, Warren Zevon, Wilco, Ry Cooder, Elvis Costello, Galactic, Roxy Music, Emmylou Harris, and Zuco 103. Zuco 103? (And cool that Shuggie Otis made it in there.)

It’s all branding. A bit subliminal as well. That burrito was pop culture. It’s hip. It’s popular. That Burrito was Beck. Quickly my Mexican adobe fantasy was dashed. I became a paperweight in the shape of a monkey on an LA executive’s desk. He’s taking a two-hour lunch break and booking a flight to Barbados for a rum tasting getaway. I long for my Mexican farm and want to protect the grandmother there. I wish I could take a paperweight shit on his mahogany desk.

It was still a good burrito though.

The Sights and Sounds of Harmony Korine

posted by on January 8 at 1:42 PM

Nine years after his last full-length release Harmony Korine is finally putting out another movie. It’s called Mister Lonely, and stars Diego Luna as a Michael Jackson impersonator. IMDB has this for a plot synopsis:

In Paris, a young American (Luna) who works as a Michael Jackson lookalike meets Marilyn Monroe (Morton), who invites him to her commune in Scotland, where she lives with Charlie Chaplin (Lavant) and her daughter, Shirley Temple.

Korine’s soundtracks have been always been stellar, and acted personally as gateways into new musical terrain. 1995’s Kids (which Korine wrote but did not direct) introduced me to the world of Lou Barlow through his Sebadoh side project Folk Implosion, who scored the film. The soundtrack single was the song “Natural One,” easily one of my favorite tracks from the nineties.

The soundtrack to his directorial debut Gummo had a little more diversity: black metal mixed with disabled people singing bible songs. This soundtrack became an introduction as well, this time to the amazing song “Dragonaut” by Sleep, which Korine used to score the opening scene of Solomon and Tummler riding their bikes.

His last release, 1999’s Julien Donkey Boy, was mostly filmed to follow the rules of Dogme95, an “avant-garde filmmaking movement started in 1995 by the Danish directors Lars von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg.” One of the rules of Dogme95 involves the strict use of diegetic sound:

2. The sound must never be produced apart from the images or vice versa. (Music must not be used unless it occurs within the scene being filmed, i.e., diegetic).

The result is that Julien Donkey Boy didn’t have a soundtrack; the “music” was the disarming sound of Werner Herzog tripping on sizzurp and other unnerving situations. It was more effective than music possibly could have been.

Mister Lonely is scored by Spiritualized’s J. Spaceman, and is going to be released on Drag City. I’m not familiar with the music of Spiritualized, which only makes me more excited about the project. Undoubtedly the film and its score are going to introduce me to things I have never seen or heard before - the one reliable constant I have found in Korine’s bizarre but remarkable set of work.

(ht PF)

Weird Shit I Found Out Today

posted by on January 8 at 1:37 PM

Paul Schaffer co-wrote “It’s Raining Men” by The Weather Girls.

Kooky. Huh?

PShaffer_041906.jpg

Once again. Kooky.

Apt. #1325 @ Chop Suey

posted by on January 8 at 1:11 PM

tmts-collage-chop.jpg

Instructions for Enjoying Apt. #1325, Chop Suey’s Brand-New Band-In-Residency Program

1. Arrive early. Wisely for a Monday, last night’s show, featuring a five-band bill, began at 8:30. Following weeks won’t have as many acts to cram in, but each will begin on the early side. Laggish music journos and the like will end up missing good stuff and walking in at the end of someone’s energetic set. When I showed up, Aaron Goldman of Throw Me the Statue was on vocals and electric bass, countered by a drummer, doing some sort yowling lo-fi chant pop. (“That was the anthemic part,” he said after the set, which seemed about right.) Would’ve been nice to see the whole thing.

2. Say hi to Kris K. He’ll probably be sitting at the door asking for your $6 cover. The former Chop Suey booker (who now works at the new Paul Green School of Rock but apparently can’t tear himself away from Croc Suey) came up with the Monday night band residency idea, modeling it after similar series in L.A. K hopes that Apt. #1325 will eventually become a sought-after gig for local bands a la Los Angeles’ Echo, which has hosted a Monday night residency for several years. It’s a good idea, too—a great way to fill the club on an off-night. Last night’s turnout was good for a Monday—75 or so paid. It seems like the longer Apt. #1325 goes on, the more buzz it’ll accrue and the more momentum it’ll gain. What else are you doing on a Monday night?

3. Rock the fuggout to the openers. Or gently sway. Husbands, Love Your Wives was the pre-headliner last night, Jamie Spiess’ now-it’s-fragile, now-it’s-stoic one-woman acoustic show. Her songs burrow deeper, become more personal and subliminal, with repeat exposure. TMTS’ Scott Reitherman sat in on drums, adding percussive punctuation to Spiess’ poetic ballads on love and loss and cake.

4. Rock the fuggout to Throw Me the Statue. (Or whoever the band in residence is.) TMTS started off a bit shakey, sort of like their daytime show at Bop Street last fall, with monitor problems and an odd setup for the band on Chop Suey’s triangular stage. They caught up with themselves about halfway through the 40-minute set. When they hit on all cylinders, they’re unstoppable—boisterous, hook-heavy, rollicking, fun. The band dashes in just the right amounts of weird and familiar. Reitherman’s voice is a flat-ish, baritone-ish, between-registers instrument and he weilds it with sheepish enthusiasm. The rest of the five-piece trades instruments, shares microphones for vocals, pogoes through triumphant choruses, and simmers for low-key verses. They’re a lot of action to watch onstage. There’s still room to grow for this TMTS, which is more exciting than if they were perfectly polished.

5. Don’t do tequila shots with the band after their set. Or with their publicist. Or with anyone for that matter. It’s Monday night after all and you have work tomorrow.

Shinsgate ‘08: Marty Crandall NOT Charged!

posted by on January 8 at 12:49 PM

crand.jpg

Reported by Ezra Caraeff from our kid sister paper, the Portland Mercury:

Mercury exclusive! (Take that Pitchfork!)

I just got off the phone with Diane Richardson of Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office, who commented on last week’s arrest of Shins’ keyboardist Marty Crandall on domestic violence charges, along with his girlfriend, Elyse Sewell, who after making bail, blogged about the entire incident.

According to Richardson, “Both defendants have not been charged. The case was rejected due insufficient evidence.”

And that’s that, right?

Sewell is free to blog her heart out.

Marty Crandall is free to play shows.

Right?

Today in Music News

posted by on January 8 at 12:32 PM

Pandora leaves Europe: After fighting royalty collection agencies for the past year, the online radio site will only be available to United States users.

“Beats by Dre”: Dr Dre designs high-performance headphones to be accompanied by a whole line of electronics.

Ticketexchange
: Ticketmaster launches a reselling site, another way to have a monopoly on ticket-raping?

XM and Starbucks end it: The two companies’ marketing contract will end, although Starbucks will still have a station on XM.

Anderson Cooper 360: Ozzy Osbourne auditioned to be a news anchor.

Eminem Hospitalized

posted by on January 8 at 11:51 AM

TMZ.com (ugh, I know), reports that Eminem was hospitalized over the holidays with a serious heart condition:

We’re told Em was taken to a Detroit-area hospital for a serious heart condition and severe pneumonia. Sources tell TMZ Em’s weight has ballooned to over 200 lbs.

Eminem ‘s publicist told TMZ: “Over the holidays, Marshall Mathers, aka Eminem, was under doctor’s care at a Detroit-area hospital for complications due to pneumonia. He has since been released and is doing well recovering at home.”

Tonight in Music

posted by on January 8 at 11:42 AM

From the Score:

Sara%20Gazarek%20PR.jpg

SARA GAZAREK
A product of the jazz program at Roosevelt High School, this perpetually touring singer returns for a two-night stand. Since her career-making stint with the Concord Jazz Festival in 2005, Gazarek has grown as a vocalist, notably adding a dash of world-weary grit to her falsetto. Also Wed Jan 9. Jazz Alley, 2033 Sixth Ave, 441-9729, 7:30 pm, $21.50.

Also, DJ Can o’ Beans is spinning at the Blue Moon with DJ Poopy Pants. I can’t think of a better line-up. Get it? Poopy Pants? Beans? Beans the magical fruit?

Sigh. I tried.

Dan Deacon at Healthy Times Fun Club

posted by on January 8 at 11:30 AM

dandeaconflickr.jpg

Taken by ClarkJustFlew.

Dan Deacon is coming back to Seattle—Jan 20, Neumos. Go. Take pictures. Post them to the Stranger’s Flickr Pool.

From the Department of Things I Do So You Don’t Have To: I Listened to the New Sia Record

posted by on January 8 at 11:09 AM

I didn’t know who Sia was until yesterday afternoon; I couldn’t get away from Sia yesterday afternoon. Once I was introduced by way of timely promo kit, her Crayola’d face haunted me. This is her:

siacover.jpg

This is her video for the song “Buttons”:

(Note: I can’t help but imagine Britney Spears in her place—both in the video and on the album cover. Try it. It’s actually really funny if you picture Britney Spears… crazy, crazy Britney Spears.)

So. Her new album, out today, is called Some People Have Real Problems. Her songs are about love, for the most part. Love is a real problem, I suppose.

Most of the time, her voice sounds like a mix of Alicia Keys and Fergie, which isn’t as annoying as you’d think, but is far from “stunning” as the yellow sticker on the front of the record promised. The music is a mix of adult contemporary (“Day Too Soon”), a little R&B (“Death by Chocolate”), and then some Tori Amos piano shit (“I Go to Sleep”). And Beck sings on the song “Academia.” Beck’s written some solid songs, but he’s also a Scientologist. Beck isn’t perfect. I can’t tell if Sia is a Scientologist.

The record also comes with these little drawings, in lieu of lyrics.

siadrawings.jpg

I asked Jen Graves, our Visual Arts editor, to give her opinion.

She hesitantly asked, “That’s a parakeet plugged into nothing, right?”

“It goes with the song Electric Bird,” I explained.

Then she groaned a little bit, continued to look perplexed, and literally scratched her head.

I like the Terrordactyls (who also flaunt a fun, youthful spirit by way of hand turkeys and toy pianos and stuff), but Sia is taking this whole “I refuse to grow up” thing to an annoying level—to a crazy level. To a highly marketable level.

Still, the new album is out today. So if you’re into that sort of thing, pick it up. And listen to it while you finger paint on the walls or something.

What Would Dave Matthews Do?

posted by on January 8 at 10:12 AM

dave_matthews_300.jpg


Remember 2007? Remember Strangercrombie? Remember how I wrote to Dave Matthews, asking if he’d like to donate something?

Like how Blake Lewis agreed to sing karaoke with somebody (‘crombie ‘07), and Ira Glass agreed to interview somebody (‘crombie ‘05), the Ethicist from NYT Magazine agreed to be somebody’s personal advisor (ditto)?

Here’s the email (abridged):

Hi Mr. Matthews:

My name is Brendan Kiley. I’m usually The Stranger’s theater editor, but once a year I turn into the Strangercrombie wrangler.

Philippe gave me your email address and said you might be interested in participating this year, which would be great.

In the past, we’ve auctioned off baseball tickets with Dan Savage and Sherman Alexie, an interview with Ira Glass, karaoke with Blake Lewis, etc.

We’ve got some bowling alleys who’d like to donate games. How about an afternoon of nine-pins, once you get back from South Africa?

I never heard back from Mr. Matthews—until today!

Hi Brendan, this is Brett, David’s assistant.

I would like to help you follow through on your request. I am hoping that Dave can offer something to you in lieu of bowling, etc, as his schedule does not permit him to confirm such an event.

Perhaps we can offer tickets to you for any show that DMB is performing in the year 2008. We usually do something to the effect of 2-4 tickets, with 2-4 lounge passes (these are passes that get you into an area during the show to enjoy some drinks and snacks), plus a signed photo as well to the winner of the auction.

Please let me know that this is acceptable to you. Stay in touch with me this year, and we will piece it all together.

Best to you, and good luck!

Brett

That’s a very generous offer, Brett. Thank you. The thing is, we like to offer something a little different for Strangercrombie. Something you can’t get anywhere else—like, say, Dave Matthews writes all your thank-you notes for Christmas. Or Dave Matthews tastes your soup and tells you if it needs salt. Or Dave Matthews tells your husband that you want a divorce.

No rush. We’ve got a whole year to think of something.

Maybe I’ll post your letter on Line Out and see if anybody has any ideas.

“Grunge Day on Line Out” Reprise: The New Tad Documentary

posted by on January 8 at 10:02 AM

I’d forgotten Tad Doyle was a butcher before he was a rock star.

Way Out in the Yonder

posted by on January 8 at 9:46 AM

susanatkins.jpg

In the Sonic Youth song “Death Valley ‘69,” I always thought they were singing: “City I Love It.” Which is a pretty cool thing to sing.

But it turns out they’re saying: “Sadie, I Love It.” Which (Witch!) is a really really cool thing to sing.

Right on.

Watch out, pigs.

Can You Like Sound, But Not Music?

posted by on January 8 at 12:10 AM

Clive Thompson, whose Collision Detection blog is a must-feed for mostly non-musical reasons, read the recent Rolling Stone article on the declining sound quality of modern music, which stated that “the age of the audiophile is over,” and said:

Thank god.

To elaborate:

Speaking as someone who loves music, who has actually played and recorded pop music for 20 years, and who still plays six different instruments, I think music is crucial to the human spirit.

But audiophiles? Audiophiles are jackasses. You know who I’m talking about: The guys — and they’re almost always guys — who own $54,000 stereo systems and have their entire apartments dominated by thousands of vinyl albums of rare imports that are boring beyond description but which they force you to listen to, when you make the ghastly mistake of actually visiting their sonic sanctuaries.

There’s a lot more in the post that’s worth reading, mainly to do with the notion that if it takes a fuckton or two of high-end gear to appreciate the music, maybe the music ain’t that good.

He’s probably right about that, and I suppose we could argue for days about it. But here’s something different: I wonder whether he’s being fair to the extreme audiophiles by assuming that in addition to being really into speakers, they’re also into music. Perhaps audiophilia and musicophilia are two different things that are sometimes, but not always, present in the same brain.

So there’s music and then there’s sound. A lot of people like both, but maybe some who like sound don’t much care for music — they might be happy just listening to test tones or Boston* records or whatever, as long as it sounds great on their system.

I’m probably 5dB short of being an audiophile. Before I bought my first record, I was really into listening to the vacuum cleaner. Today, I can sometimes get into hearing awesomely produced music on a high-end system that costs more than my house, but I think the part of my brain that gets off on such things is separate from the part that actually likes music. In the same way that I enjoy making sushi for entirely different reasons than I enjoy eating it.

What we need to do, for the second time this week, is ask science. Dear Science, sorry to bug you again, but could you please direct us to any studies that involve doing fMRI scans of high-end stereo geeks to see whether the parts of their brains that light up when they hear music are the same as those of the average fan? Is there music that activates our lizard-brain bits for fucking, fighting and food, and sound that taps into some higher-level ability to identify prey at a distance? Do hard-core audiophiles have unusually large gazelle-locating cortices? I need to know.

* I kind of like Boston, actually.


Monday, January 7, 2008

“Grunge Day on Line Out” Finale: Old Eddie Vedder—“Throw Your Arms Around Me”

posted by on January 7 at 6:01 PM

The most shiver-inducing Eddie Vedder solo moment: covering “Throw Your Arms Around Me,” a knockout of a romantic ballad by Australian band Hunters & Collectors.

BTW Eric, today was not the first “Grunge Dayon Line Out.” I bet it won’t be the last.

“Grunge Day On Line Out” Continues: New Eddie Vedder - “Guaranteed”

posted by on January 7 at 2:57 PM

An Undecided Love

posted by on January 7 at 2:32 PM

A song that I recently discovered and have been listening to a lot lately is a 1975 rare disco cut entitled “Undecided Love” by The Chequers. The original track was released off of Scepter Records, a label, that’s release of “Undecided Love”, was one of the first ever promotional 12” singles to come out. The song was mixed by Tom Moulton (Why am I not suprised) and had a small impact on the disco scene on it’s initial release. The Canadian label, Unidisc Records, got a hold of the rights to the track and released an extended edit of the track in 1982, which gave the track a bit more attention. The track features a slower disco groove which includes a solid smooth vocal track ripe for sampling. I would like to see someone put together a solid re-edit of the track using the “percussion-heavy” intro of the song. Another nice find.

The Chequers - Undecided Love

Plainsong - In Search Of Amelia Earhart

posted by on January 7 at 2:28 PM

plainsong%20front.JPG

As discussed in an earlier post, by 1972 Ian Matthews played in four different incarnations within three years. He’d left Fairport Convention for his own band, Ian Matthews Southern Comfort, put out two solo LPs for Vertigo Records, and then started the band Plainsong.

It is probably fair to say that Plainsong - In Search Of Amelia Earhart is the pinnacle of his work in the ’70s. Working with producer Sandy Robertson (Hard Meat, Steeleye Span, Shirley Collins), Ian and bandmates, notably Andy Roberts who shared vocals on the album ,created an a-typical British folk album conceived around the idea of the legends surrounding Amelia Earhart and her supposed demise.

Continue reading "Plainsong - In Search Of Amelia Earhart" »

Today in Music News

posted by on January 7 at 2:05 PM

Sub Pop responds: Label releases statement regarding the Shins’ Marty Crandall and girlfriend’s arrest.

Daft Punk designs Playboy shirts: New “Rock the Rabbit” line features tees designed by Iggy Pop, Hot Chip, Duran Duran, others.

Missing Jamaican archives
: Massive possible theft included iconic video and audio records of the island’s music.

Consolidation continues: ADA acquires Insound.com.

Today In Soundgarden News:

posted by on January 7 at 1:55 PM

soundgordon.jpg

There is nothing new to report. They remain a better band than both Nirvana and Alice in Chains.

Nirvana vs. Everyone Since: Is It Even A Contest? (Or: Why Does it Matter?)

posted by on January 7 at 1:15 PM

This post on la2day.com has been making the rounds (at least enough rounds to get back to me). It’s about whether or not, in the past 10 years, there’s been a band as important as Nirvana. The writer, Matthew Sidney Long, seems to think there hasn’t.

I repeat my challenge: Please name me a band over the past 10 years who has come close to Nirvana in sheer impact and talent since Kurt put shotgun to mouth above garage in 1994? (and, I’m not talking about some indie band that hardly anyone listens to or some ring-tone fueled, Top-40 creation who no one will remember in 6 months. I’m talking IMPACT here, people. Combining art AND commerce. Both big AND authentic. Dig?).

Here, I’ll even help you out -

Let’s see…
RADIOHEAD, sure, I’d put them on this short list.
KANYE WEST, definitely, he’s doing some of the coolest and most innovative stuff in music today.
OUTKAST (when they were going good there wasn’t a better group on the planet).
U2.
LIL WAYNE.
RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS (sometimes).
ALICA KEYS.
FOO FIGHTERS (there’s that drummer again).
EMINEM.
OASIS.
PRINCE (when he wants to).
???

Read the full thing here.

But here’s my beef: What’s the point of answering this question? It’s a matter of opinion, so it can’t be answered (that’s the obvious issue), but putting that aside, why should we continue to compare today’s bands to the legacy yesterday’s bands left behind?

You can’t deny the cultural impact Nirvana had on the world, it’s true, but is it fair to say, say, Green Day hasn’t had as much of an impact (in a different way)? Love ‘em or hate ‘em for it, they brought pop punk to the masses. It’s a different genre, a different kind of impact, but historically, the band fronted a big shift in the music industry, the culture, and blah blah blah. They’re still alive, though. No one in Green Day has killed themselves.

And M.I.A. She’s making some waves, making people think, wearing funny pants—but she’s way too new to the scene for anyone to say whether or not she’ll go down as an untouchable in music’s history. She could pull a Britney next week. She could become a joke.

So say there isn’t a band as important as Nirvana. Say no one can answer that question. So what? So no band is important? Modern music sucks? The world is ending? Nirvana wasn’t as great as the Beatles. So you know what? Fuck Nirvana. Their impact wasn’t as strong as the Beatles’, so no band is as important as the Beatles, so no band, not even Nirvana, matters. How you like them apples?

To try and then to fail to answer this question feels to me like trying to prove whether music still matters at all. And it does, of course. Who cares if it’s as important as Nirvana was to the masses? That doesn’t mean it’s not as important to me personally. And hell, maybe I’m being selfish, but that’s all I really care about.

Brad Kaufman (formerly of Ice Age Cobra)

posted by on January 7 at 12:24 PM

bradkaufmanflickr.jpg

Taken by soundonthesound, pulled from the Stranger’s Flickr Pool.

Tonight in Music

posted by on January 7 at 12:12 PM

throwmestatue.jpg

Throw Me the Statue photo by Jess Merrill

Apt. #1325 Monday-Night Residency: Throw Me the Statue, Husbands, Love Your Wives; Final Spins; the Golden Isles; the Wild Types
(Chop Suey) Capitol Hill library on a late weekday morning: A graying, stubbled man gazes out of the floor-to-ceiling windows, muttering to himself, while at an adjacent table a middle-aged woman in a tattered coat flips through a magazine and glances up occasionally to say something out loud to no one, her long-nailed hand bobbing in time with her words. The hushed unquiet is eerie, somewhere between noise and silence—kind of like the music of Husbands, Love Your Wives. The one-woman project of Jamie Spiess is gentle at first, Spiess’s acoustic strumming and plain-sung vocals subdued and soothing. But her lyrics detail a deep, strange world of candle-lit memories, impassioned tributes, disjointed parables, and Grimm-like imagery. Haunting, certainly, but like a faded rose, where there’s beauty in both life and death. JONATHAN ZWICKEL

Eric Grandy also suggested the event because it’s gonna be that good:

APT #1325 is a new idea for Seattle: One band will have a month-long residency, and play weekly, at Chop Suey. “These things happen in L.A., N.Y., Chicago,” explains booker Kris K. “I figured it was time for Seattle to give it a go.” Throw Me the Statue inaugurate the series, and their songs range from gentle electro-acoustic bedroom twee to full-bore fuzz rock. With Husbands, Love Your Wives—the gorgeous acoustic project of singer/songwriter Jamie Spiess. (Chop Suey, 1325 E Madison St, 324-8000. 8 pm, $6, all ages.) by Eric Grandy

And for you folks living down South:

welcomecinema.jpg

Welcome to the Cinema

Siberian, Welcome to the Cinema
(Viaduct Venue) From what I can gather from the songs available on their MySpace, Minnesota’s Welcome to the Cinema are not completely innovative, but they are still pretty good. They have a sound that could either remind you a little bit of the Cure or of Interpol, depending on the song. Hell, I even heard a little Arcade Fire in the song “Sound of Thinking” (although they have this whole spacey synth thing happening that Arcade Fire don’t). The guitars are glittery at times and the vocals can have a little postpunk sass, but more often than not, they’ve got a little new-wave croon to ‘em. Tonight’s show is in Tacoma, but it’s all ages. If you’re over 21 and don’t wanna make the trip south, they’re playing at the Comet on Sunday, but the glorious Siberian won’t be joining them. MEGAN SELING

The Ninja

posted by on January 7 at 11:42 AM

Seen at: The Lashes, Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground, the Lonely H, Ships @ the Vera Project Saturday 1/5

ninja.JPG

Why are you dressed as a ninja?
It’s a stupid tradition of mine. I dress as a ninja at every show I go to. Usually my costume is much more complex but I found out I was going to this at the last minute.

Who are you going to vote for in the 2008 presidential election?
There is no candidate quite strong enough.

Crystal Castles Tour, New Album

posted by on January 7 at 11:41 AM

8-bit electro punks Crystal Castles hit the road again this spring in support of their upcoming self-titled debut album, due out March 18th on Last Gang Records. They play Seattle Thursday, March 6th at Chop Suey, presumably for Club Pop. HEALTH, who play Club Pop Jan 24th w/White Williams, will open.

New Xiu Xiu - “I Do What I Want When I Want”

posted by on January 7 at 11:35 AM

(from the upcoming Women as Lovers, due out Jan 29th on Kill Rock Stars)

An “Open Letter to the Fraud Calling Itself Alice in Chains”

posted by on January 7 at 10:56 AM

This has been said before, I’m guessing by the same people, but according to this email that came to us over the weekend, they’re still furious:

An open letter to the fraud calling itself Alice in Chains:

This letter is on behalf of the numerous fans of Alice in Chains who are appalled and disappointed by Jerry Cantrell, Sean Kinney and Mike Inez for replacing Layne Staley and calling this monstrosity Alice in Chains. To have this replacement sing personal, touching and passionate songs written by the late, great Layne Staley is not only a gross insult to his memory but a slap in the face to the fans who were impacted by him.

Layne was NOT just a lead singer, but he was the FEELING in the band; the EMOTION that came through in Layne’s vocal delivery was Alice in Chains’ sound. Layne’s voice and lyrical contribution were this band’s chief selling factor, the special something that made them unique, the thing that listeners couldn’t quite put their finger on but that made the band.

Now another man, a physical substitute, stands at that microphone and delivers watered-down, weak versions, hollow versions, of the songs that defined Layne Staley’s soul.

Jerry and Sean have both said they would not replace Layne. Yet here you are touring and making new music under the name Alice in Chains.

Jerry, Sean, and Mike’s blatant exploitation of Layne’s memory in order to further their careers and dupe their fans needs to be exposed for the fraud it is.

Amanda Slaughter (Russellville, Ark.), Carolina Millan (Valparaiso, Chile), Annik de Dios (Melbourne, Australia) Thomas Poussard (Bordeaux, France), Mary Lane(Bloomington Indiana)

Respect for Layne Campaign www.respectforlaynestaley.com

New Blakes Video - “Don’t Bother Me”

posted by on January 7 at 10:34 AM


Sunday, January 6, 2008

A Conversation with Dear Golob

posted by on January 6 at 11:14 PM

glob.jpgThere was a song I couldn’t help singing along to - here. It became stuck in my head. I asked the Stranger’s resident doctor and Dear Science columnist, Jonathan “the Glob” Golob if there was a brain cleanse I could do to get the song out of my head.

Dr. Golob said:

Music does something plain old weird to the brain. I’d have to research, but take this tid-bit as a treat:

People with brain damage that destroys the speech part of the brain can still sing, including singing lyrics. There is an entire therapy based around getting people to first “converse” in song, and eventually return to speech after strokes or accidents.

I then asked him if people expend energy when they think and how that energy is measured.

Dr. Golob said:

The brain is super picky about what it’ll burn—only sugar or ketones (little short fat-like molecules made by the liver during starvation.) The brain also eats up a ton of oxygen.

Any activity in the brain locally increases the consumption of both food and oxygen in the brain. So when you hear a study using fMRI, PET scans or the like, it’s this local increase in energy consumption that we’re reading.

When someone has suffered brain damage, it’s common practice to put them in a temporary drug-induced coma. A comatose brain needs less oxygen and food and therefore has a better chance of healing.

What about seeing? Do we expend energy to see? Does it take energy for the cones and rods to fire signals through the optic nerve? I would think so. But where does that energy come from?

Ok, this is even niftier. All of the brain cells use the same energy plan: burn off sugar, fat or protein to run pumps. One pump shoves Sodium ions out of the cell, and potassium ions in. Another shoves calcium out of the cell. So, when the cell wants to do something, like spread a signal, it simply opens up a door and lets calcium or sodium in (or potassium out, or both). The doors shut and the energy-burning pumps clean everything up for the next round.

In vision, a little packet of light energy hits a protein inside of the rod or cone cell, causing the protein to change shape. Eventually this shape change causes some of the doors to close, the sodium and calcium levels drop inside of the cell, and it releases a small amount of chemical signal. The chemical signal turns on the next cell. And so on.

Music is unusual because so much of the brain gets activated. Instead of just a few splotches, almost the whole brain lights up with these energy-use-detecting tests.

I fucking love biology!

Shins’s Marty Crandall, Girlfriend Arrested on Domestic Assault Charges

posted by on January 6 at 12:08 PM

elyse.jpg

Pitchfork reports today on an alleged physical altercation between Shins multi-instrumentalist Marty Crandall and girlfriend (and former ANTM contestant) Elyse Sewell that landed the couple in a Sacramento jail on felony domestic assault charges. From Sewell’s Livejournal:

Think you had a shitty weekend? Nah. Why not compare it to mine?

1.) On the drive home (home?) from Albuquerque to Portland, my ex-boyfriend got shitfaced and roughed me up in a Sacramento hotel. I escaped from the room through a blitzkrieg of violence and talked to hotel security, who called the fuzz.


2.) Because he had a bite mark, inflicted in self-defense, on his arm, Marty told the police to PRESS CHARGES OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AGAINST ME. Now I am a felon.

3.) I spent the night in jail. Dig the hilarous monetary contents of my wallet as described by the pig who booked me:


4.) Jailors. America’s Next Top Model fans, all. As the warden took pics of my bloody knuckles for evidence (!!!! evidence!), he quipped, “So there goes that hand modeling job, huh? What’s Tyra going to say about this?” And here is how I was summoned from the holding cell for a strip-search, complete with a thorough plumbing of the boodissy: “Hey, Supermodel! Git over here!”

4.) A bail bondsman (!!! I have a bail bondsman!) got me out of the hoosegow this morning and took me to a hotel room where I now await my court date. Martin Lesley Crandall is still incarcerated. You can follow his saga by searching for his name on sacsheriff.com (click on “inmate information”).

So I’m stuck in Sac-town, alone and lonely, for 4-5 days until court. Court! OMFG.

On the flip side, I’m single and um, ready to mingle. Blind date, anyone?

ETA: Breakfast in jail is served at 4:00am. Meat-stuffed croissant. And, you should already know what a “kite” is if you’ve been studying your 50 Cent lyrics. But “toilet talk”? That was a new one for me. Apparently, if you bail all the water out of the toilet, you can use the pipes to talk to inmates on different floors. And, girl, you can tell who do it ‘cause they got like a big rash or whatever on they face from puttin’ it down in the toilet and shit. Damn..

Crandall remains incarcerated (you can view his booking file here). No statement so far from Crandall, the band, or Sub Pop.

Update: Sub Pop has issued the following statement:

Marty Crandall and his ex-girlfriend Elyse Sewell were both arrested over the weekend following an argument at a Sacramento hotel which resulted in hotel staff calling the police.

They were both taken into police custody and released over the weekend.

There will be no further comment at this time and we would appreciate their privacy being respected.