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Archives for 01/13/2008 - 01/19/2008

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Sun Jan 20 Show at 20/20 Cycle

posted by on January 19 at 4:03 PM

Here’s the show at 20/20 Cycle, Sun Jan 20, 8 pm, 2020 E Union St.

Ashley and Eli (from LAKE)
Christy (from Berkeley)
1985 (from Seattle)
Aaron Roche

Here’s how the show was explained to me:

“Christy is a little like early Pedro the Lion, very
beautiful, sad lion vocals. I don’t really know
anything about Aaron Roche, but he is in their top
10.”
“1985 is the project of Matt Fu, he is a hidden,
unsung hero of the Northwest underground music scene.”
“‘Ashley and Eli’ is kind of a playground for LAKE
songs to develop in before becoming ‘LAKE’ songs.”

Re: Sleepy Eyes of Death, the Long Ranger @ Showbox Sodo

posted by on January 19 at 1:40 PM

Dammit, Jeff, you beat me! Jeff took the words right out of my mouth: last night’s Sleepy Eyes show was great.

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Like him, I’ve liked Sleepy Eyes of Death for awhile—I like the songs they posted on their Bands Page, like their record Street Lights for a Ribcage—but until last night, I had never seen the band live, so it was hard for me to really, really like them.

Turns out, they’re fantastic live. More so than I imagined them to be, even, with live drumming and guitar pairing up with their extensive keyboard/moog/synth set-up.

With these videos I took, the sound is as good as sound can be with a little point and shoot digital (read: not that good), but more than hearing the music (which is clearly just too big for the camera’s mic), you can get a good idea of what the band does with smoke machines and a crazy light set up to intensify their performances.

The band blew a fuse three times during their 40 minute set, but they recovered quickly. They also apparently set off the fire alarm at Vera the last time they played there. Sleepy Eyes of Death are dangerously electric. They’re very un-green. But I will see them again, even if it means a baby seal has to die every time I do.

The Long Ranger opened the show and while I only caught the last three songs, I liked what I heard and saw, despite the fact I’m not usually into electro-rock ballads.

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The floor was empty while they played, most people paid attention from the seats in the back, but for their last song, the band took the show from the stage to the dance floor. Even the stubborn dudes standing at the bar started moving for a few minutes.

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Sleepy Eyes of Death, the Long Ranger @ Showbox Sodo

posted by on January 19 at 1:18 PM

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The Long Ranger brought a laid back, sexy, sophisticated electro dance party more refreshing than anything I’d seen at a club in months. It was all the best parts of New Order mixed with a twinge of Phoenix and completed perfectly by brother/sister vocal harmonies. You may recognize keyboardist/singer Sylvia Chen from Velella Velella, another one of Seattle’s finest electro dance acts. The Long Ranger is less of a funk band and more of a pop one than VV though – basically the whole set felt like the scene in Lost In Translation where everyone is dancing to “Too Young.” At the end of the show the band expressed their desire to play a house party next, and I hope I find out when they do. Although the sound and atmosphere of Showbox Sodo is above average, there’s just no substitute for seeing a group like this in the confines of a living room instead of a huge room full of people sitting down.

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It had been a while since I’d last caught Sleepy Eyes of Death, at least since before their full length Street Lights for a Ribcage came out. Although already impressive in their beginnings, SEOD have really ramped up their game lately. Their live sound is impeccable, every note and beat falling perfectly into the sound spectrum. The lights and fog are really a gimmick that’s never going to get old – they perfectly set the mood for the band’s futuristic shoegaze. I was ready at any moment during the show for Harrison Ford to burst through the door and kill a Daryl Hannah robot right in front of me. I don’t think the band would have flinched if it had happened.

The caliber of Sleepy Eyes of Death’s live show has moved way past “good local electronic band.” They have created one of the most impressive live experiences of anyone in town.

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“I’m Into the New…I’m Into that Japanese Funk”

posted by on January 19 at 12:00 PM

Yesterday, I watched this delirious Corey Haim interview (circa 2080). The video seems meant to assure fans that he’s not high on pills, despite the fact that he’s clearly high on pills. One of many golden moments occurs around the 3 minute mark, when Haim, after demoing his rack of Roland drum machines and synthesizers, declares, mouth all a-twitchy: “As far as what I really like in today’s music…um…I’m Into the New…I’m Into that Japanese Funk.”

Well, we all had a good laugh at Corey’s expense. Then today, I checked in over at the excellent mp3 blog Headphone Sex, and discovered—to my horror—that Haim was right. Prescient even, like Flosstradamus. Right there at the top of the page were the words “Future funk” and this new video, “AZZAZZA,” from Japanese artist Zongamin (he of the dance-floor killer “Bongo Song”):

Still, it is way more groovy than that track Corey was working on.

Today’s Music News

posted by on January 19 at 12:00 PM

Prison Break: Foxy Brown’s hoping to get out of jail and go to California to get a damaged ear implant repaired.

What Would Happen if They Cancelled the Grammy’s?: It could happen.

Gonna Kick ‘Em Out: Two-thirds of the Jam will tour the US later this month (and they’ll be in Seattle February 1st).

Rush is Also Touring Again: And they’ll be at the Gorge May 31.

Ryan Adam is Single: And he’s wearing his broken heart on the internet.

RIP Clyde Otis: The man who wrote “What a Diff’rence a Day Makes” is dead at 83.

On Monday, Kimya Dawson is Gonna…: …appear on The View!?!

Thee Emergency

posted by on January 19 at 12:00 PM

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Taken by soundonthesound.

Add your own show and music photos to the Stranger’s Flickr Pool.

I Really Like the Giant Chandelier Hanging in the Bar at Showbox SODO

posted by on January 19 at 11:20 AM

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It looks like a spaceship. A pretty, pretty spaceship.

Tonight in Music (Or: Good Luck Deciding Where to Go Tonight Because There Are So Many Choices)

posted by on January 19 at 10:30 AM

The Teenagers are at Neumo’s tonight with the Pharmacy—there’s both a Stranger Suggest and a preview for that show. From this week’s Fucking in the Streets:

The Teenagers are assholes. Young, snotty, spoiled, afterpartying, chauvinist, hipster assholes. At least that’s the impression you get from their music.

Their breakout single, “Homecoming,” was one of the catchiest underground singles of 2007, an infectious teen-dream romance that came with an appropriately gauzy, softcore, super-8 video. The song is a he-said/she-said summer fling in the style of Grease, with the suave European protagonist hooking up with a vapid, tan American cheerleader—her: “I loved my English romance”; him: “I fucked my American cunt.” Touché.

And now, tonight’s U&C choices:

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Spindrift, Pablo Trucker, the Vandelles, This Blinding Light
(Comet) The crappy thing is there are a zillion bands named Spindrift and 99 percent of them are Hawaiian-shirted jam bands. The sweet thing is the Spindrift that hits the Comet tonight is a seven-piece psych-spaghetti-western combo from L.A. with a powerful aversion to tropical prints and noodly solos. Think Ennio Morricone meets Lee Hazlewood in a desert peyote ritual as depicted in an Oliver Stone flashback sequence. Which isn’t far from the truth: Spindrift scored The Legend of God’s Gun, a low-budget 2007 homage to Sergio Leone’s classic outlaw/bandito flicks with a soundtrack exactly like you’d imagine. Spindrift’s music is as stark and evocative as the Western setting it’s inspired by, hewing close to all things dusty, reverby, stubbly, and twilit. It’s the sound of heading off into the sunset after swallowing the worm. JONATHAN ZWICKEL

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Circle Jerks, Last of the Believers, Hit Me Back
(El Corazón) We all know that Circle Jerks frontman Keith Morris was a cofounder of and the original singer for Black Flag. And we all know that Morris ditched Black Flag to form the Circle Jerks, and that in 1980 (the year of my birth) they released one of ’80s hardcore’s greatest albums, Group Sex, containing the perfect anthem for the self-destructive teen or twentysomething: the minute-long “Live Fast, Die Young.” And we all know that the Circle Jerks have broken up and gotten back together many times since then. But what we don’t know is whether the Circle Jerks’ raw, youthful energy of 1980 can be recaptured 28 years later—and whether it’s worth $15 to find out. KIM HAYDEN
“Awesome”, Half Brothers
(Jules Maes Saloon) The last time “Awesome” played Neumo’s, opening for BOAT and Harvey Danger, I wrote about the show on Line Out, although I didn’t write about the “Awesome” set, because I’d showed up too late to see it. A Line Out commenter commented: “It’s tragic that this article didn’t address the amazing show that is/was “Awesome.” When seven slightly older guys take to the stage and only one of them is holding a guitar amongst the trumpets, clarinets, saxophones, mandolins, banjos, etc. etc. etc., you may panic, but it was so much fun and so funny….” For years I’ve been given a hard time for writing about “Awesome” too much; suddenly I’m getting a hard time for not writing about them enough. They have been twice shortlisted for a Stranger Genius Award. Their fans include Jonathan Safran Foer and Miranda July. Their sound is a mix of bong pop, prog rock, light (white?) soul, and carnival-falling-down-a-stairwell. This is the first time they’ve ever played Georgetown. CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE

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Trip the Light Fantastic photo by Dustin Bills

Wild Orchid Children, Alligators, Return of the Bison, Trip the Light Fantastic, the Crash Engine
(Viaduct) Trip the Light Fantastic play intriguing instrumentals. Beautiful instrumentals, really, with a Seattle-circa-1999 sound. Think wordless waxwing, think Juno’s early turbulent stuff—think epic breakdowns echoing from Sit & Spin’s showroom while you’re stupidly in the front room playing Sorry with your friends and eating pizza. This is worth leaving the Sorry game to see, even if you’re ahead. Sometimes (in the song “Trip the Light,” for example) it’s staccato and playful guitar that drives the tune. Other times it’s dramatic piano. In the song “RAGNAROK,” it’s a riff that blasts during the intro and then falls into a psychedelic jam session. Vintage sound bites of men talking about strange things make their way into a few of Trip the Light Fantastic’s compositions, and while I’m still unsure how I feel about that (is it really necessary?), their raw orchestration is enough to keep me listening until I decide for sure. MEGAN SELING

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Larry Mizell says in this week’s My Philosophy:

Don’t be daunted by the state of hip-pop; on Saturday, January 19, get a full dose of the good stuff. Hit the Vera Project for the Massive Monkees League Tournament B-Boy Jam. Observe experts of the culture doing what they do best in a controlled setting. Relax and take notes.

Christopher Delaurenti suggests:

MESSIAEN CENTENARY
The Cathedral Organist, Soloists, and Chamber Orchestra get the jump on everyone else and celebrate the 100th birthday of Olivier Messiaen (1908—1992) with one of the French composer’s many masterpieces for solo organ, Le Banquet Céleste, and the Trois Petites Liturgies de la Présence Divine. Impractically scored for chamber orchestra, piano, women’s chorus, and the eerie, wailing ondes Martenot, Trois Petites Liturgies shimmers with tiptoeing rhythms, frothy piano chords, and blissed-out, surreal chanting. I’m also keen to hear the Suite for Ondes Martenot and Piano by Darius Milhaud and a section of Pli Selon Pli by one of Messiaen’s most renowned students, Pierre Boulez. Call ahead for good seats. St. James Cathedral, 804 Ninth Ave, 382-4874, 8 pm, students pay as able/$22 suggested donation.

And finally, the Coconut Coolouts are at Liberty and Pleasureboaters and Partman Parthorse are at the Funhouse, but we ran out of room to say so in the paper. That’s what Get Out, our calendar is for.


Friday, January 18, 2008

Speaking of Juggalos…

posted by on January 18 at 9:44 PM

The Schoolyard Heroes are in Cleveland, they just played the venue called Peabody’s. Apparently, they had some interesting guests show up. Here’s a text message exchange the band just sent from the road:

The Insane Clown Posse/Psychopathic Records wrestling team is at our show. They have championship belts with them. Hahahahaha!!!!
Whoa! Are they in make up?
No, but they have the craziest ICP gear on. It’s like an ignorance convention.

No pictures, but there’s this video to help you better imagine the scene:

Carry on.

Yeah, I know He’s a Pretty Good Read, but Who’d Wanna be Such an Asshole?

posted by on January 18 at 6:42 PM

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Charles Bukowski, the muse behind:

“All the men that hang around they are prayin they are free/All the women that hang around are lookin for a Bukowski.”
“Two Girls (One Bar)” by Pere Ubu

“You’ll never touch the magic if you don’t reach out far enough.”
“Charles Bukowski’s Dead” by the Boo Radleys

“And she’s been reading Bukowski for days/Leans over, spits her name in my face.”
“In the City” by Razorlight

“Kickstart and turn me over/Punchdrunk, but I’m still sober/Bukowski’s on my shoulder/With much to think.”
“Fueled” by Anthrax

“Much like Bukowski with a rage/Speakin’ to page.”
“Feels So Good” by 311

“I was reading Fanté at the time/I had Bukowski on the mind.”
“Album of the Year” by the Good Life

“We’ll drive away in your car/In the nighttime pacific shore/I’ll be Bukowski, you’ll be Helen of Troy.”
“Helen of Troy” by Tugboat Annie

“She dangled that carrot, then asked me, ‘What would Bukowski do?’/Don’t go there, he’d make you his Mom/And then completely lie about it in a book later on.”
“Got Up This Morning” by Sage Francis

“That faded rose that’s all dried out/Those Bukowski poems we couldn’t live without/Your high school picture when you had wild hair/That stormy day on the beach that got us here.”
“It’s Just Me” by Bon Jovi

“I’m on the porch because I lost my house key/Pick up my book, I read Bukowski.”
“Mellowship Slinky in B Major” by Red Hot Chili Peppers (Gross.)

And then, of course, there’s all the song titles that address him, all the songs he’s inspired without being directly mentioned, and all the records and bands that have been named after his work… It’s hard to think of another man (who wasn’t/isn’t a musician) who’s inspired so much music. Not all good music, mind you, but it’s still impressive.

Anyway, can anyone compete? Ronald Regan, maybe? He might be able to compete.

Jarred Grimes of Throw Me the Statue

posted by on January 18 at 3:41 PM

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Taken by tae.rhee at Apt #1325, the band’s Monday Night residency at Chop Suey.

“Doctors determined the cause of the seizures was an extremely rare condition called musicogenic epilepsy, in which seizures are actually induced by music.”

posted by on January 18 at 2:06 PM

Via CBSnews.com:

Stacey Gayle recalled, 18 months ago, being at a barbecue and collapsing when the Jamaican rapper Sean Paul’s music started playing, and then remembered having a previous seizure when she had heard his music. “I would get that aura before that song would come on,” she said.

Music wasn’t the only trigger, but it was an important one.

“I was just having seizures, just found it was triggered by music,” she said.

It was Sean Paul first, and then others.

Read the full, fascinating, weird story at CBSnews.com.

And then watch this video to see if you suffer from the same condition:

Maintaining My Cool!

posted by on January 18 at 1:58 PM

Shit. FUCKING SHIT!

Rob Bailey and the New Untouchables (I got my eye on you Mr. Ringgold!) gets ALL the groovy, every time, don’t they! The Sonics are playing this years Le Beat Bespoke weekender!

Le Beat Bespoke 4- Easter Bank Holiday, March 21- 23 2008

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Dammit, will Seattle EVER get the SONICS?

Get Crashed!

posted by on January 18 at 1:43 PM

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Let the Bowies Hit the Floor:

Back inside, the party is collapsing on itself. It’s late, and as soon as the music stops, people start yelling. Swimming toward the exit, a pile of bodies crashes to the floor in front of me. There is no room to move. The mood is anxious and exhilarated, volatile. After escaping, we all agree this is one of the wildest parties any of us have ever beheld.

Last week’s party was insane - let’s have more of that. We can only crash your party if you tell us where and when to go. Email partycrasher@thestranger.com with the details and your party can live on in infamy forever.

This Week’s Setlist

posted by on January 18 at 1:40 PM

The Sea Navy (Jay Cox, no relation to Dewey Cox) was our special guest on this week’s Setlist. He played three songs live in our “studio” (read: Nancy’s office), including one tune written exclusively for Setlist listeners (you’ll have to listen to hear it).

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We also talked about Ween, huffing gas, eating sandwiches, and urinary tract infections. Then we play some music and the playlist goes like this:

The Hands “Lies Lies Lies”
TacocaT “UTI”
Partman Parthorse “At the Mall”
Weener “Spinal Meningitis”
Lonesome Rhodes & the Good Company “Oh, Sweet Death”
The Intelligence “Dating Cops”
The Resets “Downtown”

Honest to God it’s a great show. Listen!

And because you’ve been good all week, here’s a video of the Sea Navy performing in our offices:

More on The Teenagers

posted by on January 18 at 1:30 PM

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In my column this week, I talk to Quentin Delafon, lead singer for loveable assholes the Teenagers, who make their US debut tomorrow night at Neumo’s, with the Pharmacy and, um, some DJs. Of course, not everything fit in the column. Here’s some stuff that got cut:

Delafon on growing up on the outskirts of Paris:

It was really quiet, nothing special. You know, a scooter and a little mischief in suburbia. Nothing really crazy. It was really a nice time, and that’s why we are nostalgic about it.

Michael and Dorain were having some kind of band stuff, but nothing really going anywhere. I wasn’t really involved in music back then. I really liked music, but I wasn’t making any myself.

Dorian and Michael have been playing bass since they were 10 or 15 or something. But there was not really a music scene there. A lot of people in our high school were listening to reggae, but we’ve never really been keen on that kind of stuff. We didn’t get any influence from that, for sure. Thank god.

On their live show:

[At first] we were playing with just the three of us and an iPod. But I think US standards are a bit higher, so we decided to get some people to play with us. We have a girl playing second guitar, and a nice drummer girl, as well, and we still have a laptop for some of the backing tracks.

On recording with Strokes producer Gordon Rafael but not using the results for debut album Reality Check:

In the end, we decided just to keep what we did with LEXX, because it makes more sense than to just have bits and pieces with Gordon Rafael. Working with LEXX just sounded better. LEXX really understood how we wanted everything to sound, and all four of us just worked really hard to make something we are proud of. We used a lot of the vocals from the old demos that we made with Dorian in Paris so that we could get that DIY feeling. Our demos were what got us heard in the first place, so we didn’t want it to sound over-produced, because it wouldn’t match.

The Teenagers play Sat Jan 19 at Neumo’s, 8 pm, $10, 21+.

Official: Fleet Foxes have signed to Sub Pop

posted by on January 18 at 12:47 PM

It says so on their MySpace page.

Happy Birthday!

posted by on January 18 at 12:23 PM

Jonathan Davis is 37 years old today!

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I still really dislike Korn.

Today in Music News

posted by on January 18 at 12:20 PM

RIP Britney: She’s not dead yet, but news organizations are preparing Britney Spears’ obituaries as she is “at risk right now”.

Lily Allen had a miscarriage: The UK singer had been expecting her first child with Chemical Brothers’ Ed Simons.

Striking out: The Grammy’s may be downsized or canceled if the strike isn’t broken; may worsen already dismal album sales. Beyonce and the Foo Fighters are confirmed to be participating regardless of their affiliation with the Screen Actor’s Guild, a brother union of the WGA.

The strike was also the reason the Moldy Peaches didn’t have that mini-reunion on Conan: Kimya canceled when John Darnielle (The Mountain Goats) advised her not to cross picket lines, but collaborating with Adam Green probably won’t happen just because of the Juno hype.

Extra Action (And Extra Hardcore): Thurston Moore does the soundtrack for a porn film and wrote a book about about No Wave.

Tonight in Music

posted by on January 18 at 12:05 PM

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The Pack and Pittsburgh Slim (pictured above) are at Chop Suey. From this week’s My Philosophy:

Yeah, the Pack—remember them? Those plucky young dread-shakers from the Bay who turf-danced all over ‘05 in their Vans? Oh yeah hey, “they look like sneakers,” but they feel like a pump! Or something. Opening up for this show is… Pittsburgh Slim. YO, WHO THE FUCK IS PITTSBURGH SLIM? My strictly scientific preliminary research (MySpace) indicates he’s… I dunno, like some kind of club-ready frat-boy version of Slug from Atmosphere. Like a less hardcore, glam-free TRL-ed up Mickey Avalon. Like if your little sister thought Travis from Gym Class Heroes was too gangsta.

From The Score:

FAR CORNER
What’s a jazz group without a piano? Led by saxophonist Dick Valentine, this pianoless quartet is lithe, limber, and sonically translucent. Flutist Fraser Havens adds sunny counterpoint and angular, but not obtuse, solos. With Ken Strong (bass) and Bradley Papineau (drums). Egan’s Ballard Jam House, 1707 NW Market Street, 789-1621, 7 pm, $5.

Aaaaaaaaaand from this week’s U&Cs:

Sing Sing: Spank Rock DJs Devlin and Darko
(War Room) When Spank Rock’s Chris Devlin (aka Rockswell) and Ronnie Darko rolled through town for last year’s Capitol Hill Block Party, they played to a sold-out (though not quite Girl Talk–riot sold-out) Neumo’s. Since then, they’ve shared stages with everyone from Björk to Ghostface and rocked continents from South America to Australia. Sing Sing, though, is like a home away from home for the duo, where they’ll be flanked by DJ Pretty Titty, who might’ve been Seattle’s earliest proponent of all things Spank, and turntable wiz-kid Fourcolorzack, whose resemblance to Diplo, both in appearance and party-rocking finesse, is uncanny. Mr. Titty promises not only “rampant ass shaking, air-horn blowing, [and] stage diving,” but also, somewhat troublingly, “the occasional Parrot Bay and Mountain Dew.” Watch out. ERIC GRANDY

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Plaid, Truckasauras, Nordic Soul, DJ Introcut
(Nectar) Warp Records mainstays Andrew Turner and Ed Handley have been producing forward-thinking techno for over 15 years, both as Plaid and with the highly influential if not as well-known trio the Black Dog. Their Plaid productions tend toward fey, ambient instrumentals, while their older Black Dog work includes some dance-floor-busying beats. Truckasauras seem like an odd choice for an opener—these guys make dumb, beer-swilling, backyard-wrestling techno, right? But their steel-crushing chiptunes are surprisingly deep and melodic—intelligent, if not exactly IDM. Plus, they share Plaid’s fondness for multimedia performance (Plaid’s latest release, Greedy Baby, is a DVD with animator and longtime collaborator Bob Jaroc; Truckasauras have VHS jockey Dan Bordon). Opener Nordic Soul mixes minute sonic details and finely tuned synths with steady, pulsing rhythms for a sound as satisfying on the dance floor as it is for the wallflowers. Killing Frenzy provides the live visuals. ERIC GRANDY

And finally, Citay is at the Sunset. From this week’s preview by Jonathan Zwickel:

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Let’s get stupidly, nerdily reductivist. Here’s why you will love Citay: Citay = Led Zeppelin’s “Battle of Evermore” + Black Sabbath’s “Planet Caravan” + Pink Floyd’s “Fearless.” Yes, using mathematical formulas to describe music is hackneyed as fuck. Yes, boiling down a band as dynamic as Citay to three base influences is demeaning. The thing is, the phrase “prog-folk-metal” will put off just about anyone, and Citay—a prog-folk-metal nine piece from San Francisco—deserve as broad an audience as possible. Just about anyone can understand an elementary equation. And in this case, the equation is dead-on.

And I, personally, am stoked to see Sleepy Eyes of Death tonight at Showbox SODO. Not familiar? Click here to listen to their electronic heart attack “Eyes Spliced Open” via their Stranger’s Bands Page. Then you’ll be convinced.

Hot Chip - “Ready For the Floor” Behind the Scenes

posted by on January 18 at 11:55 AM

Finished music video here.

(thanks to hot tipper Parker)

The Decemberists in January

posted by on January 18 at 11:52 AM

Last night I was watching a DVD of the Decemberists playing a show in Portland in 2005, although I was only half-watching because I was also reading. At the ideal Decemberists concert, you would be able to read during the show. There would be a copy of Moby Dick and a little book light at your seat. It would not be considered rude. The last time I saw live music at the Moore, I left my seat and climbed to the top of the balcony and lay on my back on the concrete behind the very highest row of seats, very close to the ceiling, and felt the 101-year-old building vibrate against my spine. The Moore, Seattle’s preeminent site of opulence in decay, where the band is playing in two weeks, is perfect for the Decemberists’s antique anxieties.

I Didn’t Think I Would

posted by on January 18 at 11:38 AM

But I really like the new Rings CD.

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RINGS
Black Habit
(Paw Tracks)
***

Though they probably mean it as a joke, the “jungle” description on Rings’ MySpace page isn’t that far off. The female trio’s first album as Rings (they were formerly known as First Nation), Black Habit’s concoction of field noises, chanting, singing, and layers of instrumentation (piano, synthesizer, drums, guitar, tambourine, etc.) sounds weirdly tribal, almost ritualistic. They’re noises that would make the most sense in another world—in the middle of the threatening, dizzyingly thick jungle.

In the third track, “Is He Handsome,” one girl starts gasping, and the noise is awful. It sounds like she’s dying; it sounds like she’s breaking the surface of water just long enough to take the one breath before being pulled back under. The gentle (albeit haunting) harmonies take the edge off, but only for a second. Then the rest of the environment attacks, swarming with synthesizers that sound like tiny, scary creatures. The gasping gets worse, more desperate, and a voice asks with giddy panic, “Is he handsome? Is he handsome?” The reply: “I want to run, I want to leave, I want to escape from fear.” And so it goes for many more minutes.

Only two songs on the eight-track disc come in under the five-minute mark. But the beginnings and the ends of each track are unclear (only a subtle, quick break in beat patterns suggests a new song has begun), so that the entire record feels circular, appropriately, like a ring. It’s a lot to take in.

But while the noise sculptures on Black Habit constantly verge on overbearing, Rings carefully keep things just slightly more intriguing than off-putting. You won’t want to turn it off until you know the gasping girl is okay, and even then you may never be sure.

Click here to hear “Is He Handsome” (via My Big Mouth Strikes Again).

Goody’s

posted by on January 18 at 10:44 AM

goodys.jpgHow do you kill your hangover?

Someone help. Golob? Are you there?

Liquor and beer have been plural. The electricity in my brain is firing 5.1 surround road-kill.

Goody’s Headache Powder is the quickest cure I know. It’s powder that comes in this little packet. Dump into the back of your throat and follow with water. You may gag but the powder gets into your system quicker. Acetaminophen, aspirin, and caffeine are the active ingredients. It’s made for race car drivers who crash into walls. Their spokesperson is Richard Petty. #43. He’s crashed many cars. He’s had many beers. He is a svelte, convincing, pied piper of a redneck man. If he says Goody’s is what I should take, I’m taking it.

** Update: There is an English man sitting in front of me. He’s talking about his ‘travels’ and his ‘thesis’ and his ‘flat’ and ‘extreme cycling’. His accent is fake. I think he said he’s originally from here. He’s too fucking fancy. In a way, I want to sock him. That’s probably not OK, is it Golob?

The Breakfast Taco

posted by on January 18 at 10:18 AM

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If a post is in the morning and has anything to do with South by Southwest, then it should be called a breakfast taco. If you’ve done the four-day fest before, you understand that the above taco doesn’t look gross—it looks like hangover heaven. And I don’t just mean booze recovery; the only way to overcome each of the full days and nights of music (day parties, house parties, official 6th Street showcases, post-showcase warehouse parties way out on the east side) is by way of chorizo, egg, cheese, hot sauce, lard-filled flour tortilla, and foil wrapper.

So let’s pop an Aspirin and unwrap the first breakfast taco of the year. What’s hiding in it? Looks like sausage…potato… and holy hot tits, it’s Dolly Parton!

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This announcement, of course, forces me to wonder why it is I never bothered going to see her at a megadome or stadium before. Maybe I needed a few years to get past the cosmo-country material and 9 to 5; maybe I was too busy looking at her chest to look into her eyes. Whatever, redemption is coming my way in March.

Dolly’s among the 250+ acts semi-confirmed in the first big SXSW band list posted yesterday by the Austinist. The site picks a few highlights as well (X, Constantines, Q-Tip, David Banner?), but do take the time to flip through the rest. A few thoughts: Portland’s in full effect (Blitzen Trapper, YACHT, and so on). Jandek’s in full effect for the second year in a row, and the person who approved the famed recluse’s return must’ve seen a different set last year than I did. Daryl Hall’s in full effect, but Oates is not—WHA??? And though this Texas boy apologizes in advance for missing any other local names [EDIT: like Fleet Foxes, see above, slap forehead, Sam], congrats to Feral Children and The Lonely H on their SXSW invites—hope they don’t stick you guys in Spyro’s at 8 p.m. on a Wednesday. That place has a goddamned bubble machine on its roof. I noticed the lack of Cave Singers, but it just seems like Matador’s held off on announcing its acts altogether (and with upcoming albums from Malkmus and Cat Power, ya gotta wonder).

Anybody gonna bother driving/flying down for this? Anybody wonder what the hubbub is about? I’d like to know; as a SXSW addict of nearly eight years now, I’ll address both of those in posts to come.


Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Zera Marvel

posted by on January 17 at 5:20 PM

** Update: This show is tonight - Friday, Jan 18th.

sykesposter1.jpgAlso on the bill Friday at the Tractor will be Zera Marvel and Shane Tutmarc. Zera has just finished recording a full length album. She sings low and serenely. The compositions are dark and long. There are gothic turns in her stoic stance and she shades country into night.

Zera talked about her recording and the show on Friday:

Are you psyched for Friday? That is such a good bill.
Zera: I am excited and nervous. Sometimes I get nervous about shows. Sometimes I can’t eat, I can’t sleep, I can’t think straight.

I will be playing with a full band:

Graig Markel - guitar, Johnny S. Bliss - drums, Doran Bastin - bass, Jon Hyde (Transmissionary Six) - pedal steel guitar, and Greg Panto (the Bad Things) - banjo.

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Photo: Troy Critchlow. Styling: Bellatrix Studio.

What are the first thoughts out of your head about the recording you just did?
To say I took my time recording this CD is kind of an understatement, but it took a while to find my direction. Have you ever seen the movie Driver 23 / The Atlas Moth? It is a documentary about an obsessive compulsive musician that plays in a really bad metal band, and it takes him about 7 years to record a CD. It’s kind of like Spinal Tap but it follows a real band, which makes it more sad than funny. When I watch that movie, sometimes it hits a little too close to home!

How has it been since your previous band, Tagging Satellites broke up?
After we broke up I didn’t think I would play music again. But I can’t help myself. I struggled for a while because in some respects it is easier writing with a full band, since there are others contributing song ideas. On the other hand it has given me more confidence to do it on my own, because it proves that for better or worse I can do it.

When I first started recording this CD the songs sounded harder and darker, like old Tagging Satellites songs. And I wanted to get away from that. I started playing a lot of acoustic guitar and that helped. When I was a kid my best friend and I had a “band” called the Country Cowboys. We put on shows for our parents. We were not really a band because we lip-synced other people’s songs, none of which were country, but our characters were. I feel like I am going back to my youth a little bit with this record - making up for what the Country Cowboys lacked.

Where did you do your recording?
I recorded the songs at the Recovery Room here in Seattle with Graig Markel - which translates to: in my basement with my husband! I mixed a few songs at Tiny Telephone in San Francisco with Aaron Prellwitz. I ended up only using one of the songs on the CD though. After my trip to San Francisco I wrote a bunch of new songs that were a better fit for the direction I was going in. I probably wrote / recorded about 20 songs and was able to pick from those the ones that meant something to me.

What’s the name of the album going to be?
The name of the CD is Birds and Bullets Fly and it will be released in April. There are 10 songs. I am working on the artwork for the CD now.

Kick ass.
I will try.

Juggalos for Obama, Juggalos for Ron Paul

posted by on January 17 at 4:59 PM

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From a blog on Barak Obama’s website:

I do not intend to pretend that the Insane Clown Posse and their fans have a sort of hive mind that acts as one. With the Insane Clown Posse, and any other rap group or rock band, you get what you put into it. Many people believe that the duo of loud mouth, in-your-face clowns, are little more than shock rock gurus who have taken a disaffected youth and painted it over with their own brand of antiestablishment rhetoric. I believe this is inaccurate. It is, of course, true that the lyrics feature boastfulness, belligerence, vulgarities of every nature, blasphemy, and a rejection of all things normal, however, it is also true that the band creates a puckish satire of the problems they see in the world around them. There are many songs by the Joes that are meant to be little more than entertaining, these songs make up the bulk of their music. I will argue that the tracks that focus (directly or indirectly) on their political and spiritual views are cooperative with the goals and ideals of presidential candidate Barack Obama.

The article goes on to address the topics that Juggalos and Obama agree on: Prisoner Rights, Health Care Reform, Ending the War in Iraq, and Fighting Poverty.

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I was just in Spokane this week to attend a Juggalo rap concert, and was fortunate to interview several musicians and fans about what it is like to be a “Modern Juggalo” and where their scene is headed. The Juggalos I spoke to did not express love for Obama, but rather for Repulican candidate Ron Paul. Here is a snippet from an interview I did with two Juggs attending the show:

Than: We’re not a bunch of ultra-violent piss heads, dude. We’re all fuckin’ cool; we’re all family here. We don’t fit other places, and we’ve found someplace that we fuckin’ belong.

Rufus Nusto: It’s starting to be a little more accepted I think.

Than: Either that or you can fit, but you don’t want to. You see all the bullshit.

Rufus Nusto: Ron Paul for president!

Me: For real?

Rufus Nusto: I love Ron Paul. If he doesn’t win I hope he runs as somebody’s vice president. I really hope that he does get into office, he’s got some great ideas.

Me: You agree with that statement?

Than: Fuckin’ straight up.

Rufus Nusto: Most Juggalos probably do like Ron Paul because he’s against the drug war for the most part, things like meth and crack should be busted down on, but as far as marijuana goes, real natural drugs, he’s not against that.

From background, shouted: “Marijuana is not a drug, sir!”

Four people start shouting “Herb! Herb!”

My anthropological study of the “Modern Juggalo” will appear in the coming weeks.

Treat Me Like a Woman

posted by on January 17 at 3:40 PM

Another great disco track that I discovered this past year, thanks to last year’s excellent German disco compilation Disco Deutschland Disco, was Jackie Carter’s 1976 single “Treat Me Like A Woman”. This nicely produced disco track was written by Jackie’s then-lover Frank Diez, who at the time was one of Germany’s most prolific guitar players, working with artists like Donna Summer and Giorgio Moroder. In “Treat Me Like A Woman”, Diez along with Producer Dieter Dierks and song arranger Peter Herbolzheimer do their best Giorgio Moroder impression in putting together a classic disco gem. Another rare find from Germany’s past disco scene.

Jackie Carter - Treat Me Like A Woman

New Radiohead Live Recording

posted by on January 17 at 3:35 PM

Radiohead played a tiny show at London club 93 Feet East last night, where they performed In Rainbows in its entirety as well as some older songs. The whole thing is available for download today. The setlist:

‘15 Step’
‘Bodysnatchers’
‘Nude’
‘Weird Fishes/Arpeggi’
‘All I Need’
‘Faust Arp’
‘Reckoner’
‘House Of Cards’
‘Jigsaw Falling Into Place’
‘Videotape’
‘Up On The Ladder’
‘You And Whose Army?’
‘The National Anthem’
‘My Iron Lung’
‘The Bends’

Download available at Dead Flowers

(Hat tip to Idolator)

The Finches - Step Outside

posted by on January 17 at 2:32 PM

I don’t know much about this group, but I do know that I’m in love with this song right now. There’s something about the girls voice, and the guy, when he joins in. It’s definitely freak folk, but nice and not cloying and kooky-dooky like so much freak folk you hear these days. You know what I mean?

“Step Outside” is from The Finches album Human Like a House, which was released last year. It’s not a single, and I couldn’t find a very good copy of them performing the track on YouTube.

But I did find the video in which I heard the track for the first time. It’s from Think Thank’s snowboarding video Thanks Brain and features in this segment with Gus Engle. It shouldn’t, but it does work.

Anyways, enjoy this snippet of “Step Outside” (which begins about 16 sec. into the vid).

Nothing Mailed In But Gold

posted by on January 17 at 2:11 PM

gunslinger.jpgJesse Sykes and her Sweet Hereafter guitar player Phil Wandscher play an acoustic set tomorrow night (Friday) at Tractor Tavern.

Phil’s left handed playing summons western country, tumbleweeds, and the gold rush. It’s 107 degrees on a dry riverbed, whisky only makes you more thirsty. Jesse says Phil’s solos are songs within the songs. Torched dry and bright. He’s more about melody and touch and imagery.

Phil spoke about his guitar and his playing:

Where do your solos come from? How do you write them? Is there a process?
Phil: I play the song over and over. What comes to mind first, I think, is what everyone would do. I try to dig through layers and get to what normally wouldn’t be played. It’s almost like I have to learn it myself and teach it to myself. I think the more you play something, the further you can take it.

Does Jesse have input?
Yeah, usually she’s right there and gives me her feedback.

What’s it like playing these songs every night? Do the songs get tired?
It’s definitely challenging to stay inspired. But I get into every song and section. It’s not something I have to make myself do. Autopilot for me isn’t just mailing it in and going through the motions. Autopilot for me is being comfortable enough with the song or the section to take the solo different places.

What kind of guitar do you play?
I play left handed so it kind of limits my options. My main guitar is a DeArmond Starfire Special. Fender made them in the 60’s. Jerry Garcia played one in the Warlocks. They were sort of cheap when they came out, then Fender bought Guild and killed the line. Now they are sought after. I’ve been looking for another one, but can’t find it.

You don’t have another one? You must baby the one you have.
When we travel, I keep it with me at all times. Flying is hard because sometimes they try to tell me I have to check it in as baggage. We were flying America West one time, seated all the way at the back of course, and the flight attendant told me I couldn’t have it in the passenger cabin. I told him I wasn’t getting rid of it. He took me and the guitar all the way up to the cockpit to talk to the pilot. We were delaying the flight. Everyone on the plane was so appalled and saying, ‘You should get rid of the guitar.’ ‘I can’t believe he’s not getting rid of his stupid guitar.’

I told the pilot the seat next to me was open and I could put it there. And when he saw that this was why the flight was being delayed he was so pissed. He said, ‘Strap that fucking thing into the open seat and let’s go!’ We were flying to Austin, TX too, a music city. I thought people would have been more understanding.

Continue reading "Nothing Mailed In But Gold" »

Also Tonight: Tera Melos

posted by on January 17 at 1:19 PM

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This is from a September, 2005 Tera Melos show review I wrote for the Bellingham magazine What’s Up!:

Tera Melos, hailing from Sacramento, Calif., was perhaps the best opening band I have ever seen at the 3B. Flailing and writhing on the floor, doing handstands off their guitars and onto their amps, and delivering some of the most intricate and creative spastic math rock I have witnessed live, they were easily the best band of the night-probably even the month. And they played first.

It was truly one of those performances I will never forget. One of the guitar players actually ran with his guitar over his head, used it to plant off the floor, spun around 180 degrees, wrapped his legs over the top of his amp, and continued paying guitar upside down like a kid hanging from monkey bars. Acrobatics aside, Tero Melos pull out some of the flashiest guitar work I’ve ever witnessed as well. Unfortunately, one of their guitar players left the band a year or two ago, which has had a bit of an impact on how crazy their sound can get. The remaining guitarist now does double duty with keyboards and guitar creating a wall of bizarre manipulated sound, so if you didn’t get to see them as a four piece you’d never really know that you were missing anything.

They play tonight at El Corazon, with Finch (who suck) and Sound the Alarm.

Sale at Sonic Boom

posted by on January 17 at 1:04 PM

The Fremont Sonic Boom is having a 20% off sale now through Sunday.

Punk: Attitude Kept Me Up Last Night

posted by on January 17 at 1:02 PM

I got home last night convinced I was going to call it an early(ish) night. I flipped through the channels and ended up on IFC, which was playing Don Letts’ 2005 documentary Punk: Attitude (brought up earlier in a post on best music documentaries). I caught the punk retrospective right as it was getting to the Ramones, and ended up staying up to watch the whole thing as it traversed punk’s path to the present, sucked in with all of the interviews and footage. I’m sure it’ll be showing on the IFC a few more times, but it’s also on DVD already, and I’d highly recommend it. Be warned that you’ll finish it with a long list of bands to check out (at least I did).

Here are two clips:

Today in Music News

posted by on January 17 at 12:51 PM

Kimya Dawson the celebrity: the Juno soundtrack is #3 in the charts, and NYC fans of the soundtrack are getting turned away from shows. John Norris says, “She’s a good egg that Kimya Dawson. And she was around before ‘Juno’, and will be around long after it’s gone”.

Brought to you by beer: Heineken, Amazon, the Orchard reach agreements with SellaBand to offer support for unsigned bands.

The Rolling Stones sign with Universal
: The band’s contract with EMI is set to expire this year; the new deal will be for just one record.

“I Love a Computer”: Jona Bechtolt and Claire L. Evans design a MacBook case.

The Eels promote their rarities album
: in a one-second commercial airing during the Super Bowl.

Jeremy Enigk Probably has a Better Voice Than Most People Who Attempt to Sing

posted by on January 17 at 12:48 PM

The man is exceptional. While his entire catalogue (including work with Sunny Day Real Estate, his work with Fire Theft, and his solo material) can be either a magnificent hit or cringe-worthy miss with me, his voice remains to be one of the most compassionate and powerful.

He’s not flaunting it—it comes out cleanly and naturally. He’s not tainting it with unnecessary flair or inflection. It’s raw and it’s huge and he’s humble and coy, and that makes it even better.

“Guitar and Video Games”

After 45 minutes of a so-so set of old and new solo material at Chop Suey last night, a crowded showroom begged him to come out and play more. They cheered for minutes—many minutes—and I wondered if he’d return. Then he did.

“I honestly feel like I don’t deserve it,” he stated into the mic, sincerely surprised that the crowd called him back “But thank you so much.”

At last night’s show he announced he just finished recording his new solo record in Spain. He’s unsure of the release date, but he’s excited about the songs. He played a few, he said one was “inspired by Gram Parsons. I’m sure you can tell.”

He said that the problem with Sunny Day lyrics is that “they’re like novels,” he said playing the old material again “felt strange,” and he said it was hard being up there “without a band.” Then he said “I’m the happiest I’ve been in a long time.”

“The Rising Tide”

It wasn’t the best set—it wasn’t like when he played the same venue two nights in a row over a year ago for New Year’s Eve 2006. Then he was flawless and performed for over and hour with and without a band. Last night’s performance was more quaint, less rehearsed.

But he did deserve that encore. He deserved it for playing last night, and for the last 15 years of being an exceptionally talented and compassionate songwriter. And for continuing to be so, after hearing a couple of the tracks last night, I’m really looking forward to his new record.

“In Circles”

(Update: It’s now the correct video posted. Duh. Sorry about that.)

Blake Lewis

posted by on January 17 at 11:19 AM

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Taken by Blush Photo. Find more in the Stranger’s Flickr Pool.

Re: Why? Coming to Seattle

posted by on January 17 at 11:11 AM

Some mp3s to whet your appetite, or, in the case of the Cure cover, start a flame war:

Why? - “Close to Me (Cure cover)”

Why? - “The Hollows”

Tonight in Music

posted by on January 17 at 11:10 AM

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Born Anchors, Shark Lake, Loving Thunder, 1-2-1-2
(Comet) It could be that I’m listening to Shark Lake on the first sunny day of 2008 (so my brain is overdosing on feel-good vitamin D), or it could be that the local band’s grungy indie rock really is reminiscent of early Built to Spill and Sebadoh in a really sincere way. I don’t know, it’s only a few songs that I’ve heard at this point, and it’s really pretty outside and they’re singing about naming a baby Rainbow so it could all just be fitting together really well and, hell, it might at least be worth it to go check ‘em out at the Comet tonight, right? 1-2-1-2 couldn’t be more different, though. I mean, I suppose they could. But anyway, they play sorta sleazy synthesizer jams with drum machines. If Shark Lake are a band from the past, they’re a band from the future. Tonight’s about time travel. 1.21 gigawatts. Warm up the DeLorean. MEGAN SELING

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Sound Tribe Sector 9
(Showbox at the Market) February 2007 was the last time Sector 9 landed at the Showbox; after a first set of loopy atmospherics, the second half of the show turned into a surprising, guitar-shredding rage-o-rama. It’s common for the Bay Area quintet to teeter between swoop-and-whoosh coffee-shop electronica and dead-on, dub-inflected, breakbeat electro. When they hit the latter, the music they make is almost certainly beamed in from some other-dimensional space rave light years away. The music—purely instrumental head candy—ain’t for everyone, but with two shows in town this time around, it’s clearly for a lot. To paraphrase the title of a recent cinematic masterpiece: There Will Be Drugs. JONATHAN ZWICKEL

From The Score:

Seattle’s most enduring and unpredictable experimental music group is not named after a soft-focus 1970s porno film, as you might think. With a moniker borrowed from an Edwardian-era tobacco tin, Climax Golden Twins have been fashioning singular and brilliant music since 1994.

Core members Robert Millis and Jeffery Taylor along with occasional collaborators—including drummer Dave Abramson, Jesse Paul Miller, and Scott Colburn—sumptuously blend field recordings, odd electronics, and vintage 78 rpm records. Recently, Millis told me that CGT “have become more of an improv/rock/noise/free hillbilly/collage band with a drummer… or something like that.”

Here, they perform the song “I Fucked Chopin”:

Also:

STANLEY CLARKE
This great bassist found fame in the 1970s with one of the era’s seminal fusion outfits, Return to Forever. In those halcyon days, Clarke and Weather Report’s Jaco Pastorius redefined the bass guitar with rapid, flamenco-inspired melodic riffs. On his latest disc, The Toys of Men (Heads Up/Telarc), Clarke occasionally detours into smooth ballads but still fires up the funk. Through Sun Jan 20. Jazz Alley, 2033 Sixth Ave, 441-9729, sets at 7:30 and 9:30 pm, $27.50.

And now, for the Year 2008: Dan Deacon & Jimmy Joe Roche’s Ultimate Reality

posted by on January 17 at 10:56 AM

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DAN DEACON AND JIMMY JOE ROCHE
Ultimate Reality (DVD)
(Carpark)

**

Dan Deacon and Jimmy Joe Roche’s new multimedia workout, Ultimate Reality, is something of an endurance test. Just how much slow-mo, stroboscopic, mirror-image, split-screen, digitally psychedelicized Arnold Schwarzenegger can you take? Forty minutes? How about if they throw in some synth drones, ring modulator freak-outs, and tribal-by-way-of–Wham City drumming?

The DVD jacks footage from the Governator’s films, editing them into a loose narrative that conflates his more macho roles (the Terminator, Conan) with those less so (Kindergarten Cop, Junior), in the hope of establishing a “dominant pansexual ubermyth.” Two sets of scrolling intertitles confuse plot points from various films (even non-Schwarzenegger joint Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure) to create a story—involving time traveling, robots, a “man-womb,” Bill and Ted’s history report—for all the unintelligible visual chaos.

There are roughly five musical movements. The first is a slow warm-up, all droning toy keyboards and acoustic drums. The second adds a slow chord progression, slide whistles, and snatches of gibberish chatter. The third adds a playful xylophone melody and turns the chatter into a rhythmic element. The fourth begins with cheap, plastic synth funk, fluttering arpeggios, and a lazy backbeat before erupting into swirling modulation and swaggering saw waves. Finally, there’s an endlessly peaking 16th-note synth-and-drum buildup.

The bonus material includes a made-in-the-mall green-screen music video for Deacon’s “The Crystal Cat” and an outtake of a crepe paper–covered Deacon playing keyboard and singing in some bedroom in front of a “Kill ‘Em All” flag while Roche dances around behind him in a magenta bodysuit and sunglasses.

The debt owed by Deacon and Roche to Paper Rad and TV Carnage is, at times, irksome—especially because Ultimate Reality seems like the C-student, class-clown imitation of those artists’ crackpot-genius culture jacking, more ironic gesture than innovative substance. This DVD will be a treat for Deacon’s dollar-store acolytes, but it’s ultimately a novelty, good for a couple viewings and visual background noise but not much else.

(Dan Deacon’s Ultimate Reality Tour Hits Neumo’s on Sunday, Jan 20th)

1996: The Way it Actually Was vs the Way You Want To Remember it

posted by on January 17 at 10:34 AM

Megan’s post about 1996 got me thinking about the gap between how things actually were and the way we like to remember them. In 1996, I was 16, living in the suburbs, and going to shows at the Old Firehouse but usually paying less attention to the bands than to the social life. My favorite bands then were probably Jawbreaker, Rancid, Green Day, the Chemical Brothers, and Red Rocket (ask Dave at Red Light about that one). But when I look back on 1996, I imagine my own musical tastes rather differently. Jawbreaker’s still on the list, but Daft Punk and Aphex Twin replace the Chemical Brothers, Modest Mouse replaces Rancid, Sonic Youth and Bikini Kill make the list instead of Green Day (okay, maybe Green Day stays too), and so on… That’s how 1996 sounds when I think about it now, but it probably didn’t really sound that way at the time. It probably sounded a lot more like this. I guess all this is to say, thank god we don’t stay 16 forever, and: How fucking dated is that Jawbreaker video?


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

This Post is Brought to You by the Year 1996

posted by on January 16 at 10:00 PM

Monday night, the night it snowed, was the night my boyfriend kicked my ass at air hockey. He really slaughtered me. I think one match was 14 to 6 or something embarrassing like that. Once he let me win, but I’m pretty sure that was just so I wouldn’t feel like such a loser. Anyway, while we battled each other at the otherwise abandoned Game Works, where our air hockey tournament was taking place, I was taken back to 1996, one of the best years of my life.

That was the year I watched Empire Records at least once a week, the year I learned to drive (and subsequently listened to the radio a lot since the car my sister and I shared didn’t have a CD player), and the year I desperately wanted to get my eyebrow pierced.

While we rehydrated with Diet Coke, Goo Good Dolls’ “Name” played over the speakers in the bar. Then after that, they played “Take a Picture” by Filter which wasn’t actually on the radio in 1996, but their song “Hey Man Nice Shot” was. It was the weirdest time warp. At the weirdest place. While it snowed outside. It felt like a dream.

Had I stuck around longer, I’m sure the rest of the soundtrack would’ve sounded a lot like this:

Nada Surf “Popular”

Superdrag “Who Sucked Out the Feeling”

Gin Blossoms “Til I Hear it From You”

Dishwalla “Counting Blue Cars”

I’ll never know, though. There was more air hockey to be played.

Take Me Back to the Roots

posted by on January 16 at 3:19 PM

Lamont Dozier has been writing and recording music his whole life, starting at an early age of 13 with his groups The Romeo and The Voicemasters. He became best known during the “Motown music explosion” of the 1960’s as part of the Holland-Dozier-Holland writing/production team that consisted of himself, Eddie Holland, and his brother Brian Dozier. This production team went on to write hit songs for early legendary motown groups like The Supremes, The Fourtops, Marvin Gaye, and The Temptations to name a few. As a solo artist during the 1970’s Dozier released many successful LPs and singles including “Boogie Business” and “Bittersweet” which became underground disco club classics, as did my favorite Dozier cut, 1977’s “Going Back To My Roots”. This disco-funk cut was orginally released off his third solo effort entitled Peddlin’ Music On The Side off of the Warner Bros. label. This new and more dance oriented direction opened himself up to a new generation, while making a name for himself in the underground club scene of the 1970’s. To this day, “Going Back To My Roots” remains to be a classic dancefloor gem, most recently being included Danny Krivit’s Grass Roots and Louie Vega’s Choice mix compilations. A classic dance track for one of Motown’s finest.

Lamont Dozier - Going Back to My Roots (12” version)

Passion and Power

posted by on January 16 at 3:09 PM

February 22nd at the Paramount Theatre, a fifty-piece orchestra and a rock band will be playing the Music of Led Zeppelin. Some of the songs played will be “Kashmir”, “Immigrant Song”, “Black Dog”, “Going to California”, and “Stairway to FITS”. Hear them – here.

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Any time the words “passion” and “power” are written near each other, a warning signal goes off. WARNING: This very well could be Yanni like or contain elements of Riverdance.

jackson.jpgSinger Randy Jackson from the band Zebra (and the reunited Jefferson Airplane) will be singing as Robert Plant. Apparently Jackson does not know that Seattle has passed an ordinance making it illegal to mimic Robert Plant’s hair if you are singing Robert Plant’s songs to a paying audience.

The Music of Led Zeppelin . com says:

Delivering a note-for-note interpretation, vocalist Randy Jackson shrieks brilliantly, acting as a window between the audience and reworked material. ‘The music itself is one thing, but Jackson more than captures the spirit of legendary Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant,’ says conductor Brent Havens.

Heightened by rock concert lighting, the symphonic rock hybrid has met with riotous approval at both ends of the hall.

No word on how close to Yanni the performance is. One would imagine Jackson has got to be on the verge of Riverdancing every night.

The project’s appeal is in large part due to the music’s authenticity. When the music was first discussed in 1994 Havens understood that Led Zeppelin fans would want to hear the original, familiar elements of the music. He therefore followed exact line arrangements and used the orchestra only for enhancement.

I think Havens understood wrong. I think Zeppelin fans would be more accepting of the songs if they were adapted and performed by the symphony only. Like the Seattle Symphony performing Zeppelin IV in its entirety.

Seattle Police have been notified and if Randy Jackson so much as sings one note of Stairway to Heaven with hair like that, he will immediately detained. Or not.

Changing of the Guard

posted by on January 16 at 3:00 PM

As with all good things, (i.e. Twin Peaks, Harry Potter, my fake id’s lamination) my tenure as The Music Intern of this fine publication has reached its end. No longer will I be taking that crowded, stifling bus to-and-from Tacoma two days a week. Instead I’m going to be living in my dad’s basement, taking Statistics and noodling around on GarageBand (I swear I’m not lame), but armed with a more-impressive resume and my pack of The Stranger souvenir playing cards.

If you so desire to lurk this office for a few months, calendar-making, fact-checking, trolling Megan’s candy bucket and otherwise supporting the music department while gaining valuable experience and street cred, by all means apply. You should be proficient at maneuvering teh intrenets, opening envelopes, data entry, and sorting through all monstrous breeds of demos and promo photography. For transcribing the occasional interview you should be able to type like the wind blows. Having writing skills would be more than useful, as would be an interest in music journalism/criticism. And you probably don’t even have to like Jawbox.

In exchange for your efforts you won’t get paid, but there might be assignments that end up in-print, or with your name on a list. Did I mention the candy bucket? Plus, won’t the looks of jealously on your less-productive friends’ faces be payment enough?

You’re totally interested. Email Eric Grandy and/or Megan Seling with a resume, cover letter, and a writing sample. You’ll need to be here about 10-15 hours a week, sometime during office hours (9-5:30pm).

Interning is the new sitting-at-home-and-not-interning.

Why? Coming to Seattle

posted by on January 16 at 2:00 PM

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Anticon folk-hoppers Why? are hitting the road this spring, ropping by the Vera Project along with regional recluse Mt Eerie. The show goes down April 17th. It will be awesome.

Why?’s new album, Alopecia drops March 11th; Mt Eerie’s massive coffee-table photo album, Mt Eerie, pts. 6 & 7, is available now from PW Elverum & Sun, and it looks awesome:

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Tiny Vipers playing in Burn to Shine, Seattle

posted by on January 16 at 1:53 PM

Burn to Shine’s manifesto goes like this:

1) Gather local bands on one day to play live in a house or building that is going to be destroyed. 2) Each band plays one song and performs their song twice. 3) No overdubs. 4) Film the building’s destruction. 5) Edit and display in chronological order. 6) That is all.

Burn to Shine (produced by Brendan Canty, directed by Christoph Green) came to Seattle last year with Benjamin Gibbard (of Death Cab for Cutie) curating the event that featured performances by Harvey Danger, Blue Scholars, Eddie Vedder, Minus the Bear, Dave Bazan, Spook the Horse and many more local artists. The DVD will be released on February 19th, but Sub Pop just released this clip of Tiny Vipers’s performance. It’s really gorgeous.

Kelly Marie - Make Love To Me

posted by on January 16 at 1:28 PM

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Have you ever heard of this woman? I hadn’t. I found this single recently at Jive Time in Fremont, and upon listening thought, “Why isn’t this woman famous?” She sings as if she’s taking her last breath and gulping for air as she belts out the refrain:

Won’t you make love to me

Let it be

Set me free.

You and me

So tenderly

Make love to me!

So I went home and dutifully researched Ms. Marie, and guess what?

She is famous. In England.

How does this happen? I wasn’t listening to music in 1978 when this came out, but I can’t imagine why this woman wasn’t everywhere. She had a hit in the early ‘70’s with this guy Jim Dolan, “Sister Mary”, that was the equivalent of a Hazelwood/Sinatra duet. Only in England.

She had some big dance hits, including this one, and a great one called “Feels Like I’m In Love”, but not here. In England.

Was it something about the water, the charts, the radio? How did singers like this, groups like The Nolan Sisters, and ABBA get so famous there, and not here?

Who knows, but at least they’ve left their singles, if not their mark.

Freaky video of this song with a crazy transexual dancing next to her can be seen here.

And of course the song can be found here.

Scott Storch Is A Turd

posted by on January 16 at 1:14 PM

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I’ve always hated his smug asshole face. His beats are third-tier (maybe lower). He’s one of those guys who loves to flaunt his money, with flashy diamonds and ridiculous cars. Basically, he’s the male version of Paris Hilton, which explains why he dated her and produced her crappy pop songs.

If Storch’s public persona wasn’t enough to already despise him, TMZ reports today that the producer reportedly worth $70 million won’t pay child support to the mother of his 2 year old son, Dae Daniel Esquire, who claims her assets total $21,000.

Way to go, Storch. You are the ultimate rich turd. So the question now is: How long until a rapper rhymes “Scott Storch” with “Child Support?”

Paint a Vulgar Picture

posted by on January 16 at 12:14 PM

I’ve talked about “Paint a Vulgar Picture” on Line Out before, so I don’t really need to get into why I think it’s a great, unfairly maligned, entry in the Smiths’ catalog. I only need to add that this was the song that came on my iPod’s shuffle first thing out of the door this morning on my walk to work:

At the record company meeting
On their hands - a dead star
And oh, the plans they weave
And oh, the sickening greed

At the record company party
On their hands - a dead star
The sycophantic slags all say :
“I knew him first, and I knew him well”

Re-issue ! Re-package ! Re-package !
Re-evaluate the songs
Double-pack with a photograph
Extra Track (and a tacky badge)

A-list, playlist
“Please them , please them !”
“Please them !”
(sadly, THIS was your life)

But you could have said no
If you’d wanted to
You could have said no
If you’d wanted to

BPI, MTV, BBC
“Please them ! Please them !”
(sadly this was your life)

But you could have said no
If you’d wanted to
You could have walked away
…Couldn’t you ?

I touched you at the soundcheck
You had no real way of knowing
In my heart I begged “Take me with you …
I don’t care where you’re going…”

But to you I was faceless
I was fawning, I was boring
Just a child from those ugly new houses
Who could never begin to know

Who could never really know
Oh …

Best of ! Most of !
Satiate the need
Slip them into different sleeves !
Buy both, and feel deceived

Climber - new entry, re-entry
World tour ! (“media whore”)
“Please the Press in Belgium !”
(THIS was your life…)

And when it fails to recoup ?
Well, maybe :
You just haven’t earned it yet, baby

I walked a pace behind you at the soundcheck
You’re just the same as I am
What makes most people feel happy
Leads us headlong into harm

So, in my bedroom in those ‘ugly new houses’
I danced my legs down to the knees
But me and my ‘true love’
Will never meet again …

At the record company meeting
On their hands - at last ! - a dead star !
But they can never taint you in my eyes
No, they can never touch you now

No, they cannot hurt you, my darling
They cannot touch you now
But me and my ‘true love’
Will never meet again

Today in Music News

posted by on January 16 at 12:03 PM

Three’s company: The Duchess and the Duke are the third band to sign to Sub Pop subsidiary Hardly Art, set to release their debut She’s the Duchess, He’s the Duke in the next few months.

On man’s trash is another’s highway: Over one million unsold Robbie WIlliams CD’s are being sent to China to be crushed up and used to pave roads.

In the Charts: In Rainbows was beat out by Alicia Keys’ “As I Am” in The Billboard 200, but they’re still at the top of CMJ’s Radio 200, Triple A, Radio Select Albums, Independent Radio Select Albums. And speaking of Radiohead…

Another Radiohead.tv webcast is going on right now: This time of a free in-store taking place in London.

EMI will cut 2,000 jobs in Recorded Music division: Layoffs follow a volatile 2007 and a major reconstruction of the label.

Where the Wild Things Are: Karen O will contribute music to the Spike Jonze adaptation of the classic children’s book.

The Other George Michael: Autobiography will chronicle the “eventful life” of the performer.

Tonight in Music

posted by on January 16 at 11:33 AM

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Om, Sir Richard Bishop, Lichens
(Neumo’s) Om (feel free to pronounce that as “Ommmmmmmmmmmmmm”) are the bass-and-drums duo of Al Cisneros and Chris Hakius, formerly the rhythm section of foundational stoner metal band Sleep. Like their old band, Om meditate on deep, sustained bass drones and pulse-slowing drums, but their latest album, Pilgrimage, occasionally trades glacially oozing, molten-rock riffs for a more subdued sound that references shamanic/religious chant as much it does any subset of metal. The album (recorded by Steve Albini and released on Southern Lord) stretches four songs across just over a half hour, building from the faint melodies and singing of the title track to the more familiar epic sludge of “Bhima’s Theme.” Opener Sir Richard Bishop is an experimental guitarist and former member of veteran trio Sun City Girls who draws upon a quarter century of playing and a vast geography of influences for his improvisational solo performances. ERIC GRANDY


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Jeremy Enigk
(Chop Suey) Regretfully, I missed the last Jeremy Enigk show at Chop Suey. It was for no good reason at all, too. I’m a fan of his solo material, but it’s his work with Sunny Day Real Estate and the Fire Theft that I love the most. But had I known the man was going to litter his already heartwarming set of new and old solo songs with Sunny Day Real Estate songs, I’d have been there front and center. Alas, I had to hear from friends that he supposedly played “In Circles,” “Guitar and Video Games,” “The Ocean,” “How It Feels to Be Something On,” and my favorite Fire Theft song (that makes my eyes swell with tears almost every time), “Heaven.” Jesus Christ, are you kidding me? He played “Heaven”!? Don’t make the same mistake I did. I can’t promise there will be any beloved Sunny Day or Fire Theft material this time around, but even so, tonight’s performance will be glorious. Unless he decides to get weird and play all ABBA covers or something. Which would really teach me a lesson. MEGAN SELING

Chartruese Sabbath

posted by on January 16 at 11:09 AM

Open your workbooks to page 28:

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Or just color this guy:

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It’s Raining Men

posted by on January 16 at 9:50 AM

Just announced for February:

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2.20 Wednesday Nectar, The Stranger, & Hot Mess Present
MEN (JD & Jo of LE TIGRE)
HEY WILLPOWER
DJ Mathmatix & LA Kendall
$10 adv.
9pm doors
21 & Over
NECTAR. 412 N 36th St - Fremont
www.nectarlounge.com
Advanced Tickets Available at Sonic Boom Records & www.brownpapertickets.com

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

iScrewd (Courtesy of MadTV)

posted by on January 15 at 9:42 PM

Eric Grandy, Music Editor

posted by on January 15 at 5:45 PM

Eric Grandy has just been promoted to music editor. He’s been a staff writer at The Stranger for more than a year, writing the weekly local music news column Fucking in the Streets, excellent profiles of local and national acts (Truckasaurus, MIA, Les Savy Fav—the list goes on), and editing special sections (the 2007 Bumbershoot guide, the oral history of the 500 block of East Pine Street). We’re really excited about where Eric is going to take the section.

Jonathan Zwickel, who has done fantastic writing for The Stranger in the last year—his gorgeous Cave Singers essay and his analysis of The Lonely H come to mind—is no longer on staff, although we hope he’ll still be a presence in the paper and on Line Out.

Mainstream Metal

posted by on January 15 at 4:13 PM

Wikipedia’s featured article of the day is on SLAYER’s ground-breaking, genre-defining, face-ripping 1986 album Reign in Blood.

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The MSM has finally caught up to my adolescent sensibilities.

Believe it or Not, I’m Listening To

posted by on January 15 at 3:11 PM

A bluegrass cover of “Sweet Child o Mine.”

With fiddles.

And banjos.

And O Brother, Where Art Thou harmonies

(You’ll find out more in the January 24th issue of The Stranger.)

454 Music Critics Can’t Be Wrong

posted by on January 15 at 2:15 PM

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Huzzah! Idolator’s 2nd Annual Pop Critics Poll (you know, Pazz&Jop’s snarky, non-Christgau-firing, little brother), is live!

Conflict of Interest Alert: Michelangelo It’s a Hit” Matos curated the beast for the second year running, and yours truly cast a ballot and put together a mix cd. My impeccable, king-making picks can be found here.

Hundreds of ranked albums, singles, artists, and reissues, as well as essays and individual ballots can all be found here.

“I’d Rather People Focus on Hard to Swallow (Plug, Plug)”

posted by on January 15 at 2:13 PM

Against Me! has a new video for the song “Stop” from last year’s New Wave. It’s good and all, a music video, whatever. The dude from Dillinger Four is in it, but the ending scene, where they beat the shit out of the TV and the television set reminded me of a classic moment on MTV.

John Stewart (pre-Daily Show days), Janeane Garofalo, Chris Kattan, and Denis Leary were counting down the “25 lamest videos” and retiring them from ever being shown on the “music” channel ever again. Vanilla Ice was invited to the studio to retire his hit “Ice Ice, Baby.” This was when he was pimping his new “hardcore” band Hard to Swallow. He was supposed to smash the tape. He wasn’t supposed to smash the set, the bowl of popcorn, and (almost) John Stewart.

Castanets @ Jules Maes

posted by on January 15 at 1:12 PM

Castanets continue to fascinate. 2005’s brilliant First Light’s Freeze is an album perfectly suited to in these ice-slick, silver-skied days. The music sounds like it was tuned in from a dilapidated barn excavated from some autumnal Washington Irving ghost story of New England—far away in memory and physical space, broken down, still retaining a faded romance. That conceptual distance—the narrative it implies, the longing it conveys, the movement it inspires—is Castanets’ greatest power.

In the Vines, released last October, is more intimate, closer despite its general chilliness, like it was recorded in a living room in San Diego, which it was. It’s hard to make a banjo and steel guitar sound sinister, but Castanets’ main man Ray Raposa does just that on both records. Horns show up on In the Vines, warm and gentle, brightening up his otherwise a twilit songs. Not sure if Castanets’ electro mantra-folk will stand up live in Jules Maes tonight, and I have no idea who’s in his band these days, but I’m curious to find out. Til then, this gem from First Light’s Freeze titled “A Song is Not the Song of the World” will keep the chill close by.

Before the Music at Town Hall

posted by on January 15 at 12:16 PM

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Taken by B.K. Dewey.

Today in Music News

posted by on January 15 at 12:07 PM

Drink Pepsi, get DRM-free mp3’s: Amazon teams with the beverage company to offer songs in exchange for points starting February 1.

Another Idea from Trent: From condoning thievery, to offering a free album, now Reznor proposes an ISP tax.

Busy Girl: Scarlett Johansson will release her Tom Waits tribute album May 6. Duh, cross-over singing is the new acting.

Coachella gets an East Coast brother: The usually California-based festival might have a New Jersey faction, probably taking place later in the summer.

Michael Stipe wouldn’t be impartial: REM frontman isn’t chosen as juror in Athens, GA sexual assault case because he has been threatened before.

Re: Snow!

posted by on January 15 at 11:56 AM

(From my perennial snow-day fave, The Last Match, on Slumberland Records)

Speaking of Music Videos Where Guys Turn into Vegetable People

posted by on January 15 at 11:54 AM

I’m not sure what what the Jape video means (although I do like the idea of vegetables and fruit attacking a poor dude just trying to drink some milk and paint a fence). Regardless, the end of that one reminded me of this one:

Tonight in Music

posted by on January 15 at 11:40 AM

From U&Cs:

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Castanets
(Jules Maes) Castanets are cold and scary like frostbite. Last year’s In the Vines sets in surreptitiously, its first tune starting with a wisp of strummed banjo and Ray Raposa’s wearied, creaky voice and ending with a trebly squall of feedback. Castanets began in 2002 as Raposa’s one-man, San Diego–based project and have since unfolded into a revolving cross-country collective. From the Midwest to Baja to Brooklyn to Portland, Raposa’s restless travels provide him an eye for landscapes and an ear for rendering them musically. Whereas 2005’s First Light’s Freeze played noisy and dark like an Appalachian Velvet Underground, In the Vines is quieter, sparser, but just as sinister. Raposa’s band changes with every tour, so there’s no telling what kind of accompaniment he’ll bring. Expect broken-down Americana meets lifted free jazz. JONATHAN ZWICKEL

From the Score:

JOEY DEFRANCESCO TRIO
A master of the Hammond B-3, this jazz organist knocked me out last year at the Triple Door. DeFrancesco courses along the keys like a sip of smooth Scotch, gracefully dispensing howling runs, funky foot-pedaled bass lines, and deftly chosen drawbar tones. Also Wed Jan 16. Jazz Alley, 2033 Sixth Ave, 441-9729, 7:30 pm, $24.50.

From Get Out (our searchable calendar):

Rusty Willoughby & Whiting Tennis @ the Sunset
The Reformation & Get Dressed & Mouseheart Factor @ High Dive

There’s more. Just look.

Jape - “Floating”

posted by on January 15 at 11:38 AM

I love this song, it has the best first verse I’ve heard in a while:

“We took our first pill when the music whas shit / I said fuck dancing all night so that’s just what we did. / It felt like FLO-O-O-O-O-O-O-OAT, It felt like FLOATING.”

But what the hell does this video mean? Revenge of the vegans? (Even the milk gets pummeled.) Death to omnivors with a resurection of the saviour in vegetable guise?

What do you think? (Megan?) Discuss.

Btw… recently released Prins Thomas and Alex Metric mixes of this are killer!

Stunt Ass: The Rodeo in Space

posted by on January 15 at 11:31 AM

Brent Amaker and the Rodeo have a new video for the song “Sissy New Age Cowboy.” In the video, Brent gets his ass branded. We discussed:

Where did you all shoot it?
Brent: The video was shot at Manray during mornings and afternoon. (RIP Manray.) We had wardrobe people putting us in over stylie hip clothes. And we wore make-up. They gave me a girl’s hairstyle. This was for the Sissy Rodeo, mind you.

What was it like having your ass branded?
I had a stunt ass. The climax of the video has the real Rodeo band holding down the sissy me and branding my ass. Troy from Black Daisy came down with his nice taut ass and stood in as my stunt ass. I think he woulda been bummed if we’d gotten someone else to do it. He does squats on a regular basis.

Who else is in the video?
Chicks. It was kinda checking off a box from a boyhood dream. Actually, we didn’t get as many girls from the casting call as we wanted so the women from the crew had to do double duty and put on costumes and dance for the band. They worked really hard and dominated it.

What’s the concept of the video?
A bunch of cowboys battle themselves on a space station while the singer is fed a delicious steak and then brands his own ass.

Continue reading "Stunt Ass: The Rodeo in Space" »

Snow!

posted by on January 15 at 11:16 AM

X Is Coming!!! AAAAHHHH!

posted by on January 15 at 11:02 AM

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Aaaahhhh!!! All the original members!)@($)(*%!!!!

March 30-31
$25
Showbox at the Market
First show all ages, second show 21+


Monday, January 14, 2008

New Jamie Lidell

posted by on January 14 at 6:00 PM

Warp Records has YouTubed a new, untitled song by UK broken-soul slinger Jamie Lidell.

It’s a serious Sly Stone groove, minimal and syncopated, bumpy bass and keys, bent and folded and twittered and tweaked in Jamie Lidell signature fashion. The song has more of a pure funk jam—gooey, loose—than the razor-tight R&B inflection of Multiply. Seems there’s more of a band vibe here, as well. Here’s hoping for a new album from Lidell in ‘08.

Cut Chemistry Class

posted by on January 14 at 4:12 PM

This announcement

KID KOALA JOINS THE HARD SELL TOUR WITH DJ SHADOW AND CUT CHEMIST
10 Feb 2008 - Showbox At The Market

reminded me that this guy

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made a cameo in this movie

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Yes, that was the DJ born Lucas MacFadden playing Juno’s high school science teacher.

Love is the Answer

posted by on January 14 at 3:30 PM

Cerrone - Supernature
A track that I’ve been enjoying a lot lately as well as ending my last few DJ nights with is Cerrone’s “Love is the Answer”, off of his classic 1977 LP Supernature. I feel like this uplifting disco gem often get’s forgotten about on this record, probably due to the popularity of the album’s other singles “Supernature” and “Give Me Love”. Don’t get me wrong, every track on this LP is amazing as well as some of Cerrone’s finest work, however from the ending of the second to last track “Love Is Here” into “Love Is The Answer”, provide to be one the most memorable moments on this classic record.

Cerrone - Love Is The Answer

Internet Software Company Buying the Croc?

posted by on January 14 at 3:23 PM

From an article in last Friday’s Seattle Times:

A deal to sell the Crocodile Cafe, the legendary nightclub that closed last month, may be in its final stages. Groupee Venues today applied to take over the Crocodile’s liquor license, according to the Washington state Liquor Control Board.

Stephanie Dorgan, who ran the Crocodile from 1991 to last December, could not be reached for comment.

Listed on the liquor application as partners are Edward H. O’Neill, Rose Mary H. O’Neill, Lori L. Hope and Robert N. Hope. All except the latter are listed as Groupee employees on the company’s Web site.

“I have no comment at this time,” said Lori Hope. Asked if her group had purchased the Crocodile, she said, “I cannot confirm or deny that.”

According to Groupee’s Web site: “Groupee, Inc. (formerly Infopop Corporation) is a privately held company based in Seattle, Wash. We have over 10 years experience in software development and enterprise hosting for online communities. Our customer list includes: Discovery Communications, Warner Brothers, Scripps, Rodale, The Weather Channel, Financial Times, Mattel, Ubisoft, The Home Shopping Network, Military.com and Xerox. Our enterprise hosting operation currently serves hundreds of millions of page views per month.”

Our lines have been in the water for the past couple weeks, but all we’ve pulled up is unsubstantiated rumors. This is the most specific info about the impending Croc that we’ve heard thus far. Stay tuned.

Go to Sleep in Chicago, Wake up in Motherfucking Egypt

posted by on January 14 at 3:20 PM

IMG_9310.jpgLupe Fiasco photo by Morgan Keuler

Lupe Fiasco, Optimus @ the Showbox
Egyptian Lover @ Broken Disco
01/11/08

Lupe Fiasco’s Friday night show at the Showbox had the cool, confident feel of a victory lap. After his crowd-stunning performance opening for Wu Tang Clan at last year’s Bumbershoot (no small feat, keeping that horde of Wu fans at bay for an hour), Lupe didn’t have anything to prove to Seattle, and he knew it. The set was still good, but it didn’t have the sense of unexpected triumph of his Bumbershoot performance. At that show, Lupe looked like a tiny superhero on that massive arena stage, darting back and forth in all white and shades, holding the crowd rapt with little more than a DJ and a hypeman behind him on most songs. This time, he was backed by a full live band, as well as crooner Matthew Santos, and it was a different kind of show, less singularly bad-ass, more professional, well-practiced spectacle.

He took the stage without a word as his band launched into “Real,” and the crowd went totally nuts. Lupe addressed the crowd with casual familiarity, as if he was reminiscing with an old friend. He introduced his verse from “Touch the Sky,” saying, “We know each other, correct? Y’all remember the first time we met? I think it sounded something like this…” He talked about taking the crowd back to his place in Chicago, stopping by the Food & Liquor store (“The Instrumental”), taking us to his fave skateboarding spot (“Kick,Push”), dropping us off and taking a nap (“Daydream”). The set, like his banter, had a roughly chronological narrative arc. For the first hour, Lupe and band rolled through much of Food & Liquor (as well as the aforementioned Kanye cut and Gorillaz-sampling mixtape/live fave “Happy Industries”).

He stopped “The Instrumental” after a brief false start to chide the crowd: “In Dublin, Ireland, you know what they do when this song comes on?” Apparently, as Lupe demonstrated on stage, they pogo in Ireland. Not to be outdone by Dublin, when the band picked back up, the crowd erupted into waves of jumping. He shouted out Capitol Hill apparel/skate shop Goods. “I Gotcha” was an early highlight, the band sounding big and funky, tight and loose in all the right places. The combo of “Hurt Me Soul” and “Kick, Push” brought the first set to a climax. For the second hour, they hit some highlights of new album The Cool, starting with some fierce a capella of “The Coolest.” Highlights included “Dumb it Down,” “Paris, Tokyo,” Gold Watch,” and, of course, “Superstar.” Lupe introduced the last saying, “When I first wrote this, I couldn’t wait to play it for a packed crowd, sold-out from front to back.” A disco ball lit up for the superstar-as-everyman anthem.

The set was long, but not overly indulgent. What made the show drag at all was opening act Optimus, a tired-ass, reggae-tinted rap-rock band in the style of 311, Rage Against the Machine, and, to a lesser extent, Sublime. Optimus thanked the crowd for letting him rock, noted that warming up for Lupe was a tough gig, complained that he didn’t get respect because he’s white, and repeatedly asked the Showbox if they liked reggae and Bob Marley. The crowd was not buying it, and the only time they made any noise was when he offered up some free t-shirts or when he mentioned Lupe Fiasco. Matthew Santos could’ve done a set of his acoustic coffee-house stuff and it would’ve been a bolder, more interesting pairing.

Caught a cab with 17” rims (the owner was clearly proud) up to Egyptian Lover at Chop Suey, and were instantly transported to another place and time. EL and co-MC Jamie Jupiter were up on stage, the place was drenched in sweat, there was an obelisk out front, and pyramids floating around the room. EL and Jupiter kicked synchronized dance moves, rapped sweet-talk to the ladies, and just generally tore it up even more than I expected from such veterans.

More Lupe photos after the jump.

Continue reading "Go to Sleep in Chicago, Wake up in Motherfucking Egypt" »

Frank And Moon Zappa - Valley Girl

posted by on January 14 at 1:26 PM

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It’s 1982. You’re 11 years old. You have a budding homosexual pre-teen angst thing going on. You treasure the weekly countdown of “America’s Top 40” (it is still impossible for me to say that without singing it) with Casey Kasem, as much as air. You can’t wait to see if Blondie makes it to the top (!) or if that hot new track “Whirley Girl” by OXO will break the charts.

Joan Jett’s “I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll” is shooting to the top, and you hope it knocks that bitch Olivia Newton John’s “Physical” right off the top spot. Then you hear,”Debuting this week at #32, here’s a first hit single for Frank Zappa! Featuring his daughter, Moon Unit, speaking like a teenage girl from San Fernando Valley. It’s, like, so bitchen and totally hot! Fer sure! Here’s ‘Valley Girl’.”

And you literally crap your pants. Wow! What is this new language they speak in the trendiest state in America (if not the whole world!)? I was blown away. For the next year, my mother and father had to put up with my bullshit copy cat full on “valley speak” I’d heard in this single. I’m so sorry mom….

By the following week the song had disappeared from the charts, #32 is as high as it got. It was Frank Zappa’s only charting single in America, ever. But it seeped through the culture eventually spawning a movie (starring Nicholas Cage). The soundtrack of which would spawn memorable hits like Modern English’s “Melt With You”, Jukebox (Don’t Put Another Dime) by The Flirts and “He Was Really Saying Something” by Bananarama and Fun Boy 3.

For better or worse, “Valley Girl” is a benchmark in our collective pop culture history, one that to this day affects pre-teens. Listen to any group of young girls talk, and your bound to here the usage of the word “like” in overdrive.

Without further ado, I give you:

Valley Girl - Frank And Moon Zappa

PS. Look closeley at that cover, could Moon Unit look any worse? Look at how spotty her teenage face is! Yuck! It’s, like, called an airbrush! So, like, use one! Fer sure! Gag me with a Spoon!

Today in Music News

posted by on January 14 at 12:45 PM

Wild ‘n Out: Bjork attacks photographer at New Zealand airport.

Ryan Gosling as Kurt Cobain? Courtney Love is lining up the cast for her husband’s biopic, with herself possibly played by Scarlett Johansson.

Eddie Vedder takes a Golden Globe
: “Guaranteed” wins for Best Original Song.

Britney might be drunk in Mexico: And singing to herself.

No longer “Signed, Sealed, Delivered”: Obama opts for Bill Withers’ “Lovely Day” over Stevie Wonder, and other songs of the presidential campaign.

Did you really think he looked that good just drinking Vitamin Water? 50 Cent and other musicians are among the thousands found to have used prescribed steroids in a New York investigation.

First recording of original Beatles lineup discovered: 15 tracks of a live performance for 20 or 30 people found among collection of promoter and producer Jeffery Collins.

A Gun That Shoots Geese

posted by on January 14 at 12:40 PM

A few more photos from A Gun That Shoots Knives at the Sunset.

For their second set, they reenacted Superman II, where three outlaws from Krypton descend to Earth to confront the Man of Steel. Before they started, bassist Jimmy LaRue commanded, “Kneel before Zod.” It was fuckin bullshit. And there was fuckin bullshit cake. And a # 1 goose. And a super part in Superman’s hair:

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The Lonesome, Crowded East

posted by on January 14 at 11:43 AM

Jeff Kirby has a great feature in this week’s paper about both the past and present young music scene thriving on the Eastside.

It’s a rainy Wednesday night in Issaquah. I arrive at an average-looking house off the downtown drag and make my way around to the side door, following my ears. The small basement, half of which is a makeshift bedroom, is crowded with 30 or so startlingly young faces, most in the beginning throes of high school. Someone is wailing a song about pyramids over lo-fi homemade beats as the crowd stares in the dark. I find the show’s organizer, Jayden Long, the 16-year-old bassist of the band Seahouse. I explain that I’m there to write an article about Eastside bands.

“It’s a good thing you came, then,” he says. “Because they’re all right here.”

While you read the full story, you can check out some of the songs the bands have posted on their Stranger Bands Page. Click on the band name to go to their page/bio, and click on the song title to hear the MP3:

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Deer City

Deer City: “Sharpen Your Spears

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Seahouse

Seahouse: “Summer

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Shed

Shed: “Car Song

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Last Slice of Butter

Last Slice of Butter: “Powers Ten

Dyme Def at the High Dive

posted by on January 14 at 11:06 AM

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Taken by soggydan.

Check out the Stranger’s Flickr Pool for more great live shots.

Tonight in Music

posted by on January 14 at 11:01 AM

From the Score:

CASCADE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
The CSO serves up the kind of varied program other bands would do well to emulate. Along with meat-and-potatoes classical (Brahms’ Symphony No. 2) lurks a gem (the Valse Suite, op. 110 of Prokofiev), and the rarely heard Concerto for Marimba and Vibraphone by Darius Milhaud. The soloist is the splendid percussionist Matthew Kocmieroski, a longtime compadre and collaborator with the Seattle Chamber Players. Edmonds Center for the Arts, 410 Fourth Ave N, Edmonds, 425-776-4938, 7:30 pm, $15/$20.

Also, Throw Me the Statue continue their Monday night residency at Chop Suey with Welcome and Sam Squared opening. Read Jonathan Zwickel’s review of last week’s show here.

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Throw Me the Statue photo by Curt Doughty

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. It’s a lot of action to watch onstage. There’s still room to grow for TMTS, which is more exciting than if they were perfectly polished.

And this week’s U&Cs don’t have any shows listed for tonight, but they do offer this gem:

Hear about the cannibal who was late for dinner?

He got the cold shoulder!

Ha! I laugh too easily.

Where the Juggalo Roam

posted by on January 14 at 10:56 AM

I ‘m off to Spokane today to check out Eastern Washington’s thriving post-ICP Horror Rap scene. Gonna be kicking it with my boys Knothead and Livid Undead. Should be a trip.

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“Dad. Now Look Cool. It’s Hammerjack.”

posted by on January 14 at 10:40 AM

I watched Serial Mom this weekend, the John Waters flick starring Kathleen Turner as a mom who goes around beating people to death with meat, setting dudes on fire at rock shows, and making obscene phone calls to old ladies.

I love this movie. I haven’t seen this movie since the early ’90s, and I never knew until this weekend that the band that is playing during one of my favorite scenes is L7 playing the song “Gas Chamber.” During the rock club scene she kills a dude during a band’s set (he didn’t buckle his seatbelt, you see, he had to be punished). She drops a light rig on him and then sets him on fire with a lighter and hairspray. Donita Sparks spits more alcohol on him while he flails around, burning to death. It’s hilarious.

In the movie L7 is called the Camel Lips (appropriate, with their tight stretchpants and all). The club is called Hammerjack. And yeah, that’s Ricki Lake and Matthew Lillard as her kids.

(Excuse the subtitles.)

Talk to Me, Goose

posted by on January 14 at 10:19 AM

Seen at: A Gun That Shoots Knives EP release party, Sunset Tavern, Saturday, 1/12

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Do you love A Gun That Shoots Knives?
They saved my life. Before I first saw them I thought everything was bullshit. Now they make me wanna be a better person. They make me wanna hug more.

Why a goose?
Because the walrus outfit was too bulky.

Confidential to the Commenter Who Thinks I “Kinda Missed the Point” of This Concert

posted by on January 14 at 9:32 AM

From yesterday’s New York Times:

After intermission it was Messiaen’s “Quartet for the End of Time,” in the face of which attempts at music criticism simply break down.

So I think I did okay.


Sunday, January 13, 2008

Overheard at Bars This Weekend:

posted by on January 13 at 12:07 PM

Friday Night: Café Metropolitan, Capitol Hill

I meet up with some friends for a couple of drinks. Someone working at the bar is doing an incredible job picking atmospheric music: there’s old Blonde Redhead, DJ Shadow, Portishead, and a couple songs from Rejoicing in the Hands by Devendra Banhart. I want to find the person responsible and give them a gold star for enhancing my enjoyment.

Saturday Night: Kate’s Pub, Wallingford

I meet a friend in Wallingford before heading over to crash a party. We’re chatting and talking about the football game when a guy gets on the tiny stage and starts playing acoustic songs. Fair enough. Neither of us can decide if the song he is playing is actually a Dave Matthews song or if it just sounds like one. Since neither of us are wholly versed in DMB’s catalogue we can’t entirely tell, though we tentatively decide it is an original. We realize however that this is an undeniable sign that an actual DMB song is soon to follow. A few minutes later he launches into a blistering cover of “Don’t Drink the Water” and all doubt is put to rest. The volume is blaring. We have to shout to talk to each other, and we’re on the other side of the room. We wonder, “What if Dave walked in here right now? What would he think about this? He does live just down the street…” I feel like I am stuck inside a stereotype. I can’t decide if there is something intrinsically wrong with a guy at a bar belting Dave Matthews covers; if it is something I naturally dislike or was trained to. Sure, there was a point in my youth where I liked Dave, but I grew out of it, like biting my fingernails or pooping my pants. The guy on stage is not playing poorly, and the songs themselves are not wretched. But I desire escape, release, and so I flee into the night.