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Archives for 02/03/2008 - 02/09/2008

Saturday, February 9, 2008

The Daddy’s Daddy

posted by on February 9 at 3:48 PM

soulclub.jpgTonight at Lo_fi Performance Gallery:

It’s the Emerald City Soul Club featuring deep and studied DJ’s Kevin Jones, Gene Balk, Marc Muller, Alvin Mangosing, and Mike ‘The Daddy’s Daddy’ Nipper.

Emerald City Soul Club is a monthly soul night dedicated exclusively to RARE SOUL from the 60s and Early 70s, Tamla-Motown favorites, with a smattering of 60s RnB, 70s Crossover and Modern on original 45.

Bring your ear-cup and let it filleth. 429 Eastlake Ave E.

Eclectic Friday @ The Comet

posted by on February 9 at 12:36 PM

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I unfortunately missed openers Katherine Hepburn’s Voice, but made my way into the already packed Comet just in time to catch the start of Partman Parthorse. That band has a lot of sex coming off of it. It’s hard trying to figure out exactly what Partman Parthorse sounds like: I hear a mix between the Make Up and Suicidal Tendencies, my buddy Andrew said Black Flag and the Germs mixed with Rap and Devo. Whatever it is they’re doing, it’s good. There’s never a dull moment, and although they didn’t incite a full on dance party it was clear that they had the full attention of everyone in the crowd.

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No-Fi Soul Rebellion is pretty much a guaranteed dance party. Mark Heimer is a seasoned vet at working the crowd, singing in everyone’s face and doing everything he can to make No-Fi shows completely interactive. He makes everyone take a knee, lay down on the dirty floor, take their clothes off and put them on him as he sings. He’s a fine showman. And his wife is a hell of a guitar player.

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I don’t go out to hip hop shows that often as I have been dubbed “painfully white” by the urban community. It was nice then of Cancer Rising to make an effort to come to my turf to entertain me. I thought they sounded like the Make Up mixed with Suicidal Tendencies, but my buddy Andrew thought they sounded like Rap, mixed with Devo. They were excellent with words. When they get too old to run around stages anymore they might be able to get jobs writing about other people rapping. If they survive the game, that is. I hear it’s a jungle out there.

Sound Off! 2008 Semi-Finals Begin Tonight

posted by on February 9 at 11:00 AM

Here’s a closer look at the four bands playing tonight’s first round of semi-finals in EMP’s annual all-ages battle of the bands:

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The Batteries from Carnation, Washington, are crazy—postapocalyptic carnival music with surf-style keyboards and vocals that sound like they’re being sung by a creepy scientist who breeds chemically enhanced species in his dungeon. There’s an obvious connection to Schoolyard Heroes to be made, but that could just be coming from their mutual appreciation for classic sci-fi and horror flicks (the description on their MySpace page: “Sounds like if Lon Chaney, Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, Peter Graves, and Vincent Price all had a party on the Forbidden Planet”).

Click to listen to “Put Your Face On.”

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The Dead Are Judged from Marysville, Washington, are a higher concentration of evil, a nasty combination of hardcore and metal with face-melting riffs, booming drumming, and throat-shredding vocals that sound like they come from some hairless, red-eyed, little creature that lives in a damp cave. The band are trying to scare the shit out of you. Fans include KMFDM’S Jules Hodgson.

Click to listen to “Kill Me.”

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On the other side of the spectrum is New Faces from Port Townsend, Washington, who, with singer Nico’s baritone vocals, sound like a new-wave Calvin Johnson project. They’re just as danceable as acts like Franz Ferdinand and, appropriately enough, they’ve already been booked for an upcoming installment of Club Pop at Chop Suey (March 13).

Click to listen to “Ms. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.”

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Lastly, Southgate from Pendleton, Oregon, head back to the darker side, drawing inspiration from Lamb of God and Children of Bodom. But their sound is more otherworldly than metal-mates the Dead Are Judged. There’s an incredible bagpipe intro on the song “My Gift,” and the opening scream in “Universal Conspiracy” made my stomach drop. It sounds like dying.

Click to listen to “Universal Conspiracy.”

The show is at Level 3 of EMP|SFM. It starts at 8 pm and the line-up won’t be decided until the night of the show, so if you’re going for a specific band, you’ll wanna get there on time to ensure you don’t miss them. Tickets are $7 for EMP members and students and $10 for general public.


Friday, February 8, 2008

The Grammys Are On Sunday—I’m Watching So You Don’t Have To!

posted by on February 8 at 5:24 PM

8 pm, channel 7. I’m going to be Liveblogging the Grammy’s. Because I’m a glutton for punishment, but I’m also really curious to see what goes down (will Michael Jackson be there?).

The full list of nominations is here.

I’m going to scream if Amy Winehouse wins anything and be shocked if Justice wins anything (only because they’re up against Justin Timberlake in “Best Dance Recording” and LCD Soundsytem in “Best Dance Album”).

Who do you think is winning what? Or, do you even care who wins what? Also, how did “Hey There Delilah” get nominated for anything??

These questions will be answered Sunday night. So if you find yourself watching the Grammy’s, log on to Line Out and join me while I throw fits/celebrate, gawk at the live performances, and make fun of people’s outfits.

Today’s Music News

posted by on February 8 at 4:27 PM

Deerhoof bring another member on board- An added hoof makes four, perfect for walking.

Daft Punk, Hot Chip, & others design shirts for Playboy- The bunny never looked so good!

Neil Young announces big news- “Music can no longer change the world”

Timbaland to release album, with a catch- You can only buy it on your cellphone…

Boysenberry Syrup & 47,600,000

posted by on February 8 at 3:07 PM

Genesis made $47,600,000 from touring in 2007. (Rolling Stone 2/7/08.)

I did not know there was that much crack in the world.

I made the mistake one time of falling asleep after watching the video for the Genesis song “Land of Confusion”. It’s the one where Nancy and Ronald Reagan are in bed with a monkey and at the end Ron accidentally hits the ‘nuke’ button.

That night I dreamt I lived in the orangutan cage at a zoo exhibit on the planet Tralfamadore (from Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five). The only thing they would feed us was shark meat with boysenberry syrup on it. The only thing they would give us to drink was Tab cola.

The orangutans spoke English with Latino-Mexican accents and played the board game Chutes and Ladders for like 10 hours a day. They constantly cheated. They also swung on ropes.

I don’t like boysenberry syrup anymore.

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Australian English

posted by on February 8 at 2:38 PM

Is this normal or not?

English subtitles for a tune (Midnight Oil’s Beds are Burning in English) sung in English? I must be missing something.

Yesterday in Grunge

posted by on February 8 at 1:55 PM

Hot on the heels of Megan’s interrogation of Tad from TAD I bring you another slice of grunge history.

It was mid-April of 1991 and Nirvana was playing the OK Hotel, debuting songs from their forthcoming second album (which ended up being the culture-shifting Nevermind). My friends and I had no idea history was about to be made. We were just pumped to see another Nirvana show and to hear some new songs.

Across Alaskan Way there was a film shoot going on in a giant warehouse on one of the piers. Apparently it was for a big “rock show” scene from a movie being made “about the Seattle Scene” and that Matt Dillon was in it. That movie turned out to be “Singles.” Thankfully we missed the cattle call to be extras in the movie and ended up where the real deal was going down. (When I finally saw “Singles” about a decade later I was amazed how bad it was. Barely a notch above “Reality Bites.” Barely.)

Anyway, back at the OK Kurt came out with pink hair and did a solo vesion of Polly. Not quite what we were expecting. Then Chris came onstage with his arms outstretched, nearly spanning the width of the stage, and so tall his head was almost grazing the ceiling. Plus they had their new drummer who was a fucking powerhouse. Then all hell broke loose.

I’m the kid who starts crowd-surfing at the 2:20 mark.

My Number One

posted by on February 8 at 1:06 PM

The best 206 hiphop album of 2007, Future Talk, is now available on iTunes.
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Future Talk is by the Physics, and a sample of their slick style and confident mode can be heard on the second track of this mix.

The Physics got next.
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WTF, DEP?

posted by on February 8 at 12:54 PM

Here is a video of the Dillinger Escape Plan playing Conan O’Brien on Wednesday night:


This makes me want to drop a barf. For a band that basically reinvented tech metal to go on national TV and play a glorified Orgy cover song is disgraceful. Sure, they lost their hotshot drummer and one of their guitar wizards since they’ve been a great band, but really now, they should know better than this. Even Alex Ross gave them props for their amazing composition in our Interrogation of him a few weeks ago, but I guarantee he wasn’t talking about this trite. I understand being in the game a long time and having to make sacrifices to earn a dollar, but this is just too much. If they would have been singing this song in black leather onesies and eyeliner I wouldn’t have been surprised. How the mighty have fallen. It just makes me glad Botch broke up before they ever had the chance to pull some bullshit like this.

Here is what the Dillinger Escape Plan used to be all about. There’s no going back.

Music from the Barack Obama Rally

posted by on February 8 at 12:35 PM

A few friends are at KeyArena right now with thousands of other Obama supporters (Mayor Nickels just announed there was 18,000 inside with 3,000 more outside), and with another half an hour or so before Mr. Obama starts to speak, this is apparently what they’re having to listen to (I’m guessing on the artists in some cases, they could be covers of the originals, for all I know):

“Celebration” by Kool & the Gang

“Change the World” by Eric Clapton

“Only in America” by Brooks and Dunn (?)

“Unwritten” by Natasha Bedingfield

“Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” by Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell

“Ain’t No Stopping Us Now” by McFadden & Whitehead

And now, Matt Cameron from Pearl Jam is also there and they’re now showing the video for the song “Fired Up, Ready to Go,” which is one of Obama’s campaign songs. The video was filmed here in Seattle.

(Thanks to Matt and Robby for the info.)

Tonight in Music

posted by on February 8 at 12:00 PM

Cancer Rising, No-Fi Soul Rebellion, Partman Parthorse, Katharine Hepburn’s Voice
(Music) Tonight’s bill presents four local bands with four totally different sounds. All the major food groups are represented: Cancer Rising’s clever, conscious, but party-friendly hiphop; Partman Parthorse’s strip-teasing punk screeds; No-Fi’s prerecorded dance beats, funk grooves, and soul-revival wailing; and KHV’s bedroom-pop oddities. It should be one hell of a good time. (Comet, 922 E Pike St, 323-9853. 9 pm, $8, 21+.) Eric Grandy
Broken Disco 11: Abe Duque, Bryan Zentz, Kris Moon, DJ Eddie, Sean Majors, Jen Woolfe, Broken Disconauts
(Chop Suey) The importance of the Roland TB-303 can’t really be overstated when it comes to foundational techno. The machine, a little gray box, attempted—and failed gloriously—to emulate the sound of a bass guitar. Instead, it became the sound of acid house, and its high-pitched resonant squelches and deep bass burps are all over the best of Abe Duque’s prolific productions (he also wanders into less acidic electronic territory both on his own and with his Rancho Relaxo Allstars). The Ecuador-born, NYC-raised artist bought his first synthesizer in ‘83 and cut his teeth playing in church with his father, a musician and evangelical minister. His live sets avoid the techno-as-mass overkill of, say, Justice in favor of subtler, more sustained electro-spiritual conversion, but still, if you worship speaker-thumping bass, Abe Duque will deliver you. ERIC GRANDY

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The Coup
(Nectar) The Coup make great music. That’s a fact, Jack! And Boots, the rapper of the duo, is one of the most intelligent heads in the game. That’s another fact, Jack! It’s also a fact that the first cover of the Coup’s fourth CD, Party Music (it’s of Boots and DJ Pam blowing up the World Trade Center months before it was hit by terrorists on September 11, 2001), gave the duo the kind of press and fame they were not looking for. What the two wanted the world to recognize was their social activism, their dedication to Marxist theory of wealth and income distribution, their burning hostility toward corporate America, and their constant call for prison and legal reform in the U.S. of KKK. When will the press forget that one stupid cover? It was just a pure coincidence. That’s all! Now listen to their message. They’ve got something important to say. CHARLES MUDEDE

(Read more about the Coup show in this week’s My Philosophy.)

The Delusions, Sleep Capsule, Valis, Bricklane
(Funhouse) The Delusions first caught my attention with 1998’s I Hope It Dies on a Sunny Day, a thoroughly charming record that posited the Seattle indie-rock quintet as the bastard spawn of Built to Spill and Imperial Teen—the Delusions weren’t above a shoe-gazey guitar wank, but it was always countered with a pop punch. For many more, however, the Delusions first registered as “that kick-ass band that opened for Built to Spill,” with whom the Delusions have enjoyed a symbiotic chemistry for years. (Guitarist Jim Roth consummated the relationship in 2003, when, in addition to being a Delusion, he became an official member of BtS.) Tonight, the Delusions celebrate the release of a new EP, Torn. DAVID SCHMADER

And Chris DeLaurenti has a few suggestions for this evening as well:

TEMPERED STEEL
Avant guitarist Dennis Rea, Ffej, and instrument builder Frank Junk (remember Utterance Tongue?) update and electrify the thumb piano, an ancient African instrument of flattened nails, wood, and hollowed-out, dried gourd. Tempered Steel dubs out, distorts, and layers gentle tones into blipping polyrhythmic soundscapes. Floating Leaves Tea House, 2213 NW Market St., 529-4268, 7:30 pm, donation requested.

SEATTLE COMPOSERS SEMINAR
Not the Seattle Composers Salon, but a showcase organized by composer Gloria Wilson Swisher. The evening’s eight premieres include works variously scored for recorder and viol de gamba, choir, flute and piano, string trio, and other atypical combinations by Swisher, Greg Bartholomew, Fabio Ciofini, Dale Dykins, John David Gordon, Nancy Kern, Georgia Lockwood, Bernard Super, and the 15-year-old Lauren Geertsen. Christ Episcopal Church, 1305 NE 47th St, 633-1611, 7:30 pm, free.

SEATTLE IMPROVISED MUSIC FESTIVAL
The first weekend of North America’s longest-running festival devoted to freely improvised music boasts a slew of excellent players: Japanese avant guitarist Tetuzi Akiyama and a solo set from Gregory Reynolds (Fri 2/8); the seldom-seen but superb bassist Mark Collins and Zürich-based electronicist Jason Kahn (Sat 2/9); and ad hoc duos and trios with the aforementioned musicians and more (Sun 2/10 at Gallery 1412). Fourth floor Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, 4649 Sunnyside Ave N, 8 pm, $10—$25 sliding scale donation.

And as always, there’s more to be found in our Live/DJ listings. Do it.

Khingz Brides

posted by on February 8 at 11:51 AM

The synthno and guitar beat-luring mystery – the Luchnow Brides have collaborated with Khingz Makoma of Abyssinian Creole. Khingz did a ‘vocal refix’ of the Brides’ song “Oo ee”.

For your Line Out exclusive listen - click here.

The Luchnow Brides
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The Brides spoke, as I had questions for them:

How did you guys come to work with Khingz?
We know Khingz through the beat production aspect of our work, so it was natural that he jump on one of our songs. We consider him to be one of the best emcees in the town, and it’s a pleasure to share creative energies with him. Also, he’s a great guy.

Tell me more about the Luchnow Brides. You’re originally from Luchnow India?
Well, there are three of us, that much we know for sure. In terms of other musical endeavors, we do a lot of different things, including djing, beat production, and of course, vaguely electronic projects involving guitars. You’ll hear some of our beats on upcoming releases from various members of Seattle’s hip hop community.

What can you say about your song “Let Them Eat Hipsters”?
It was inspired by a particularly annoying group of cooler-than-thou rock types at a party we DJ’d. Nothing says hipster like a Hall and Oates sample.

What music are you all into?
We’re big fans of folks like Pillow Fight Fight and Foscil.

How did the Luchnow Brides form?
We’ve kind of fallen into this by accident. The Brides are really a sideshow to a lot of the other stuff we have going on. We try to make music that we would want to listen to, and that’s just about the only thing guiding us.

You’re not a hipster are you, Trent?

Setlist—Now With More Giggling!

posted by on February 8 at 11:35 AM

This week’s Setlist is packed to the top with gooey local-band goodness.

Seriously!

Check out songs from Katharine Hepburn’s Voice, Feral Children, Don’t Tell Sophie, Suicide Jack, the Curious Mystery, Narwhal vs. Narwhal, TacocaT, and Lonesome Rhodes & the Good Company. Plus, get the lowdown on where and when these bands are playing, and some brilliant* commentary by me and Megan Seling.

Click to listen.

*Commentary may not be brilliant.

New Terrordactyls Video

posted by on February 8 at 11:23 AM

Yep, that’s Kimya Dawson guesting on the Terrordactyls’ song, “Devices.”

If You’re DJing a Coffeeshop on a Thursday Night…

posted by on February 8 at 10:49 AM

and trying to keep things mellow, don’t play “Dust in the Wind” by Kansas.

That’s just taking it too far.

Narwhal Vs. Narwhal is More Than a Good Band Name

posted by on February 8 at 10:41 AM

They’re also a great band. They’re from Portland (supporting the theory that everything good comes from or goes to Portland) and the thing I love most about their music is that they have a saxophone (and other horns, it seems), but they use it (them) in subtle ways.

An unassumingly sax plays along with the guitar and keyboard in mellow, melodic songs like “Fake Yr Tan” and “My Wing” and it brings a party (without shoving itself in your face) on the higher-energy dance track “World War Dream.” It’s not all “Look! I’m a saxophone in a indie band!” It’s not bragging. You don’t even notice it at first, you just know there’s something new and awesome about the band’s Built to Spill meets the Hold Steady sound.

Listen to a few songs via their Stranger Bands Page:
Fake Yr Tan
We Wait
Stay

I only just heard about them a week ago (I checked them out because I liked their name… I like narwhals) and I’m stoked to have the opportunity to see them this weekend—they play the Comet this Sunday with Vanishing Kids.

And now, I will close with a picture of a narwhal. Awe!

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I Anonymous, Line Out Edition

posted by on February 8 at 9:20 AM

An anonymous letter writer has some rumors and gripes about KEXP and John Richards (surprise, surprise, right?):

Now KEXP has given John Richards a big raise and he was able to sell his house here and buy a new big house in New York. He’s going to “split his time” between NY and Seattle? Are my membership dollars going to support this? How much is one DJ worth? Why is my membership money going to support them doing a broadcast in New York?

I can’t understand how asking people for a donation can be justified when they are paying a DJ to live in New York. Please DON’T use my name, because I volunteer at the station and really love KEXP, but I don’t make alot of money, and when I give to them I don’t want it to go to a raise. And he’s not even the best DJ.

Update: KEXP has declined to comment at this time.

I Wasn’t Jealous that Everyone Else is Going to SXSW and I’m Not Until…

posted by on February 8 at 8:45 AM

Hot Water Music announced that they’ll be performing (via punknews.org).

Here’s what I’ll be missing, while being left in Seattle:

Fuuuuuuuuuuuuck. I would LOVE to see that band. Play that song. One more time.

Of course, this appearance follows a few other reunion shows the “defunct” band played earlier this year, so it wouldn’t be unheard of them to play more. Closer to Seattle. Right?

Cross your fingers and say it with me: “Reunion tour, reunion tour, reunion tour, reunion tour…”


Thursday, February 7, 2008

Shit! I Almost Forgot.

posted by on February 7 at 7:19 PM

Nada Surf are on Conan O’Brien tonight.

That is all.

New Lonely H Video Premiers on Spin.com

posted by on February 7 at 6:53 PM

The Lonely H, local boys signed to the Control Group, have a new video for their song “Hair” and the only place to see it is on Spin.com where they also got a nice little write-up.

Click to watch ‘em rock the barbershop.

Enough About Rush… How Do You Feel About Jefferson Starship?

posted by on February 7 at 5:08 PM

Personally, I’m pro. In most cases.

I also love the movie Mannequin.

New York Flasher

posted by on February 7 at 3:51 PM

Today, I wanted to share one of my all-time favorite songs in Gotham Flasher’s “I’m Never Going To Leave You (New York)”, which appeared on the group’s only self-titled LP back in 1979. Gotham Flasher was another brilliant project put together by legendary disco producers Gino Soccio and Peter Alves, who also came together to produce the classic 1978 Witch Queen disco single “Bang A Gong”. I think that to this day, the Gotham Flasher productions that found their way onto their self-titled LP remain some of the most forgotten and unplayed great classics to come from the disco era. I highly reccommend picking up this album if you can get your hands on it.

Gotham Flasher - I’m Never Going To Leave You (New York)

Today’s Music News

posted by on February 7 at 3:15 PM

Band of Horses come down with the flu- Cancel two Florida shows, will they be better in time for Conan?

Amy Winehouse can’t attend, but still performing at the Grammy’s- “Straight Outta’ Rehab” via satelite

25th Anniversary release of “Thriller” to come out 2/12- The Michael Jackson songs you love, but sung by Fergie and Akon!

Full SXSW band list released- Forget about being in two places at once, what about three?

Morris On - Morris On

posted by on February 7 at 2:30 PM

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Morris, decended from the word “moorish”, describes a type of folk singing and dancing performed in England. Very rhythmic, Morris dancers usually use props such as long sticks or swords, and sometimes hand-kerchiefs to beat out the time of the dance or to use in some form whilst dancing. Morris dancers often dress up in outfits that are related to the regions they come from, Cotswold, Border Areas and the Northwest of England. English records, according to Wikipedia, mention morris dancing as far back as 1448. It can probably be seen today all over England at various folk festivals and once a year at Folk Life here in Ye Olde Seattle.

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Some morris dancers in costume.

Ok, sounds geek-ish enough.

Move on to Morris On, an album of folk music performed by Ashley Hutchings, Richard Thompson, Dave Mattacks, John Kirkpatrick and Barry Dransfield with help from a certain Shirley Hutchings (né Collins).

I’ve prattled on before about folk/rock and the combinations of the two conventions, but this album is brilliant, often hilarious, meshing of the two styles. This really is a folk album that rocks (as opposed to a rock album that folks). Though folk svengali Hutchings is the real force behind the creation of this album, it would be unremarkable without the metronomic drumming of Fairchild Convention’s Dave Mattacks whose loud and boisterous playing propels all players on the album to great performances. Thompson’s guitar work is fairly background here as these are dances and not meant for intricate solo work, but the group is awesomely tight even so, and Hutchings fantastic basslines work as one with the brash Mattacks all the way through.

Lyrically the album plays all the british folk cards in spades, with the exception being that the songs are more about sexual canoodling (one song, “Cuckoo’s Nest” is so blatant that it nearly makes me blush to hear these guys sing, about planting their faces in it….) then the death and despair so often associated with the british folk scene.

Let’s not forget to mention Dame Collins (I mean Hutchings. Why did she use her married name on this recording?) who guests on two tracks, calling out the young gentlemen to dance. I can say nothing about Shirley that hasn’t been said a hundred times before. As usual her stark voice, ever-so-slightly out of tune/touch brings immediacy to the tracks.

A note about that cover: It shows all of the members wearing traditional morris dance costumes from different regions of England, but updates them with modern amenities. So Ashley’s musical morris is playing the Flying V, Kirkpatrick’s chimney sweep has a vacuum cleaner, Thompson’s Robin Hood a crossbow, etc.

But what is the tranny Mattacks about? Well, apparently it is a tradition in some Morris troupes to have a “Fool” who dresses in women’s clothing, usually something fairly ruffled and pink, but always with a big pair of mens boots on too. The fool usually dances in a special morris dance called a “Molly” dance. Below is a picture of a real Molly dancer.

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And here’s a video of a bunch of guys wearing g-strings doing a morris fertility dance. It’s fucking CUH-RAY-ZEE!

Samples from Morris On can be found at my blog here.

Tad Has a New Band

posted by on February 7 at 2:10 PM

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He told me about it when I interviewed him for this week’s issue. First, though, I had to ask him about the chances of a TAD reunion since Sub Pop is celebrating 20 years in April, and there are rumors about a big show featuring some old SP legends. I thought maybe TAD would make an appearance… sadly, they’re really a thing of the past.

What are the chances of a TAD reunion?

Pretty slim. My heart’s just not into that anymore. I’ve put that period of my life behind me. I’m working on a new project.

So you still play music?

Yeah, I play with drummer Eric Akre and bassist Peggy Tully. We’re called Brothers of the Sonic Cloth and we’re getting ready to play our first show in March. It’s dark and heavy, with lush, quiet parts and then some raging parts, too. I’m doing a lot of electronic sampling and triggering, so it’s a new direction. I’m really excited about it.

So it’s not grunge?

I don’t even know what grunge means.

So they aren’t grunge, but they’re still really heavy shit. Tad hasn’t forgotten how to slay. And apparently the newer stuff they’re doing is even a little more experimental than what you can hear on their MySpace page—www.myspace.com/brothersofthesoniccloth.

According to Tad the show in March hasn’t been confirmed yet, but as soon as I find out when and where, I’ll let you know. It might be a good idea to wear earplugs too, so you don’t end up with tinnitus like Tad.

Q: You were the singer/guitarist for the loudest fucking band in Seattle in the 1980s and ’90s. How’s your hearing? Did you wear earplugs? Did anybody?

A: I did toward the end, but there’s definitely some hearing loss. I’ve got tinnitus, the ringing in the ears.

That’s no fun.

No, it’s not. Especially if you’re out camping, and it’s really quiet. It’s like somebody should answer the phone or something.

You can read the whole interview here, and the TAD documentary, Busted Circuits and Ringing Ears, shows Wed Feb 13 at 7 pm at the Varsity. It’s a good documentary about a band who saw far more struggle than I was aware of. They don’t delve too deep into some of the darker aspects, but they go deep enough to leave a touching impression of a man and a band that most people wrote off as being simply loud, chaotic, and drunk.

(You can watch the trailer via the Stranger’s videos page. Click here!)

Polar Opposites

posted by on February 7 at 12:59 PM

Tonight at Chop Suey is the LA Hip Hop outfit Bromance. The only reason I looked them up is because I thought their name was funny. It kind of looks like some frat boys decided to start a rap group after they had an epiphany like, “Dude, we shouldn’t just drink all the time. We should do something while we’re drinking too!” Here’s a sample:

On the other side of town at the Sunset is local grrrl powered poppunk outfit Ms. Led. On all counts, they are the exact opposite of Bromance.

The choice is yours. Enjoy your diversity.

Rush. Discuss.

posted by on February 7 at 12:39 PM

Yesterday Jeff Kirby’s post about math rock and the girls who (don’t) love it begot a discussion about prog-rock that begot a discussion about Rush that begot the statement that Rush is a musician’s band that begot a discussion about whether or not anyone but musicians like Rush that, of course, leaves these three very important questions asked by commenter cosby:

@31 (and all):
the concept of a musician’s band brings up more fundamental questions:
1) do musicians enjoy rush or do they just respect rush’s chops?
2) can non-musicians (aka lesser people) understand what musicians understand about rush’s music?
3) do (non canadian / non musician) girls like rush?
(Click here to read the 30+ comment thread to keep up.)

All good questions, my friend. I wanted to bring them out of the den of the comments and open the thread to everyone since I fully agree that only musicians (or people who really wish they were musicians) claim to like Rush and I’m of the opinion that they don’t actually like Rush (despite what they say) but they only respect what Rush does.

Why?

Because of all my friends who claim to think Rush is great, I’ve never once heard Rush them voluntarily listen to Rush—while they were at home, in the car, or at work listening to music… I’ve never heard a friend who “loves” Rush, listen to Rush.

Carry on.

An Unintended Consequence

posted by on February 7 at 11:48 AM

So I’m on the wagon. (Don’t worry, Jameson Corp, it’s only until March.)

I feel like this is probably something our readers have a lot of experience with, but I haven’t tried to quit drinking since I turned legal and it’s haaaaard! Because I go to bars every night! FOR MY JOB!

Case in point: Last night, I went to the Funhouse to catch a band I had heard good things about, Detroit’s Terrible Twos.

In order to not tempt myself to drink, I left all my money and cards on my bed at home. No money, no drinky, right?

But then, I liked Terrible Twos so much that I wanted to buy their record. And I couldn’t. All because of that stupid goddamn wagon.

Sorry guys. I’ll buy it next time you come through, I promise. It was an unintended consequence of forced sobriety.

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Birdwatchers United at Healthy Times Fun Club

posted by on February 7 at 11:37 AM

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Taken and submitted to the Stranger Flickr Pool by tomika davis.

(By the way—Happy Birthday, Alicia!)

Re: The Breakfast Taco

posted by on February 7 at 11:36 AM

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This will be my first year at SXSW (hence the n00b breakfast taco above). Here are some acts in addition to the ones Sam posted below that I’m excited about seeing in Austin (and yes, I know one of these acts is a French mp3 blog; i’m still excited about seeing them—maybe they’ll play blog house!):

Annie (Bergen NORWAY)
The Big Sleep (Brooklyn NY)
The Bloody Beetroots (Bassano del Grappa ITALY)
Cadence Weapon (Edmonton AB)
Chrome Hoof (London UK)
Cut Copy (Melbourne AUSTRALIA)
Dalek (Newark NJ)
Does It Offend You, Yeah? (Reading UK)
Duchess Says (Montreal QC)
Ecstatic Sunshine (Baltimore MD)
El-P (Brooklyn NY)
Fluokids (Paris FRANCE)
Fucked Up (Toronto ON)
Genghis Tron (New York NY) 

Ghislain Poirier (Montreal QC)
Kim Hiorthoy (Oslo NORWAY)
The Hood Internet (Chicago IL)
How’s Your News (Boston MA)
Joan of Arc (Chicago IL)
Juiceboxxx (Detroit MI)
The Kills (London UK)
Le Loup (Washington DC)
Lindstrom (Oslo NORWAY)
Mahjongg (Chicago IL)
Peter Moren (Stockholm SWEDEN)
N.E.R.D. (Virginia Beach VA)
No Kids (Vancouver BC)
Old Time Relijun (Portland OR)
Parts & Labor (Brooklyn NY)
Pissed Jeans (Allentown PA)
Sightings (Brooklyn NY)
Simian Mobile Disco (London UK)
The Slits (London UK)
Thee Oh Sees (San Francisco CA)
White Mice (Providence RI)
WHY? (Oakland CA)

Also: is “Kevin Shields (Midcity CA)” the Kevin Shields, from MBV, and if so what is he doing in Midcity CA? And, did you know there’s already a band called “You and Me and Everyone We Know”? We can only hope they’re better than The Devil Wears Prada.

Tonight in Music

posted by on February 7 at 11:28 AM

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Talkdemonic, the Animals at Night, Diego’s Umbrella
(High Dive) Portland duo Talkdemonic make riveting instrumental electro-acoustica via laptop, viola, and live drums. Their songs tend toward melancholy downtempo full of weeping strings, glacially moving textural samples, and looping melodies. But some songs, like “Final Russian,” are marked by crescendos and propulsive, digitally delayed drum fills. The Animals at Night is the ambient electronic project of Seattle musician Graig Markel, aided by friends like Modest Mouse’s Jeremiah Green, Daniel G. Harmann, members of the Long Winters, and Head Like a Kite drummer (and Stranger contributor) Trent Moorman. Markel and company mine similar chill-out tent territory without ever lapsing into somnolence. San Francisco’s Diego’s Umbrella are, generously speaking, a mismatched opening act, with their self-described “Mexi-Cali Gypsy pirate polka.” ERIC GRANDY

And from this week’s The Score:

SEATTLE SYMPHONY
A rare event: The symphony plays music by one of the lodestars of the 20th-century avant garde, Edgard Varèse (1883—1965). Conductor Michael Stern and the band essay Intégrales, a brief, surreal swirl of monstrously groaning brass and fractured military marches. Cellist Lynn Harrell is the soloist in the Cello Concerto No. 2 by the all-but-forgotten Victor Herbert (1859—1924). Rachmaninov’s Symphony No. 3 plumps up the bulk of the program. Also Fri Feb 8 at 8 pm and Sat Feb 9 at 8 pm. The Sun Feb 10 performance at 2 pm omits Intégrales. Benaroya Hall, 200 University St, 215-4747, 7:30 pm, $17—$125.
JESSICA WILLIAMS
This jazz piano virtuoso debuts a new suite of compositions. In a segment described as “part talk show,” Williams riffs on her musical forebears, influences, and music technology, and chats with show opener Aiko Shimada. The Triple Door, 216 Union St, 838-4333, 7:30 pm, $20.

Also playing:
*Sirens and Sailors and Holy Ghost Revival at the Rendezvous
*Orkestar Zirkonium at Neumo’s
*Open Choir Fire and C’est la Mort at Mars Bar

John McCain Likes the Beach Boys

posted by on February 7 at 11:16 AM

This is old, so perhaps you’ve already seen it? But man. Using a Beach Boys song to send a pro-war message? Nuts-o, dude.

America’s republican presidential candidate, ladies and gentleman.

Don’t forget to caucus this weekend.

The System

posted by on February 7 at 11:04 AM

The stars, the sharp shoes, the MJ hairdo, the glasses, the popping, the locking, the computers, the space ship—“the future, the future is here”:

Recent Reading

posted by on February 7 at 11:00 AM

In case you missed the Seattle Chamber Players’ Morton Feldman marathon, Kyle Gann posted his talk, In Dispraise of Efficiency: Feldman, which profiles and parses Feldman’s influence on post-classical composers today: “Feldman changed what composers think, how we feel about what we think, and how we are allowed to defend our choices. He gave us a sword with which to shatter the thick shields of rationalism, professionalism, and conventional wisdom.”

Following the tradition of composer-as-writer (Berlioz, Wagner, Debussy, Schoenberg, Stravinsky, Cage…and later Ellington, Braxton, Mingus, Cardew, Gann…), Feldman was a fine, fun, wry essayist. Peruse a selection of his essays here, especially “Boola Boola” - “…my father said he would give me what his father gave him - the world. The world turned out to be Lewisohn Stadium on a hot summer night. It never occurred to me to go to a University.”


Anthony Braxton

A few folks asked me about the source of the Anthony Braxton quote in “The Score” recently - “anyone seriously studying composition and making music in this current time-space needs to pay attention to what the video-game people are doing. They’re navigating a dynamic system that can go just about anywhere at any time and we can learn a lot from their solutions.” Read the rest of it here. Hat tip to HurdAudio.

I’m also enamored with Music as a Living System by Seattle composer, improviser, and SIL2K honcho Stuart McLeod: “Time is not an absolute entity but instead a ruler by which we measure the relationship between objects.” I don’t agree with all McLeod’s propositions, but he thinks big, something composers rarely do these days. It’s provocative - and essential.

I finally read the masterly profile, Frank Sinatra Has a Cold, by Gay Talese. The piece portrays Ol’ Blue Eyes at work, with his cronies, and talking about his “bird.”

Turn The Beat Around: The Secret History Of Disco by Peter Shapiro

posted by on February 7 at 10:52 AM

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I don’t know how I missed this book when it was published in 2005.

Turn The Beat Around is an absolute treasure trove of interviews, information and critique on the culture of the disco era which stretches, by Peter Shapiro’s standards from roughly 1973-the beginning of the eighties. Full of amazing insight into race, gender and (duh) sexuality, what he describes seems obvious when read, but I’ve never read a book so eloquently written on how thoroughly disseminated disco became in America and abroad.

The writing about it’s downfall and the “disco sucks” movement, which still exists in the anti-dance music attitude of some musicians today, and it’s basis being awash in racism, misogyny and homophobia at the dawn of Ronald Reagan’s “Morning In America” is both exciting and frightening to read.

Fascinating threads on electronic music and why it attracted so many transgendered artists, whether in drag or completely transformed, were ideas I’d never even heard discussed before. His section on “The Hustle” and disco dancing being welcomed by conservative movements for it’s rigidity and “teamwork” by people like William Safire was revelatory. And in-depth critiques of groups like Dr. Buzzard’s Original “Savannah” Band and Chic opened up albums to me I’ve revered for so long, and can now look at in completely different ways.

Did I tell you yet that this book is just really fucking great?

You know a book is done well, when it can reach out to people who might not have an interest in the main subject and pull them into the discussion as well. That is exactly what Shapiro has managed to do with this book. As I read it last week I would email my partner, who is not in the least bit interested in disco (“Show Tunes” are his thing…), quotes from the book and discuss elements with him about the time period. Eventually I found him curled up in a chair reading it and asking me to play him records he’d never even feigned interest in before. Really? You want to hear that? Um. Okay.

If you haven’t already read it, which I know from previous comment threads, some have, go out and buy it.

Then read it. Digest it. Think about it.

I’m so glad I did.

Runway Dance Party?

posted by on February 7 at 10:34 AM

Why do sometimes I wish I would randomly walk into a night club, and everyone was dancing like this?

I think Napoleon Dynamite’s character was based off the guy that starts dancing around 3 minutes into the clip.

The Breakfast Taco

posted by on February 7 at 10:33 AM

Where are the Lemonheads in there?

Today’s ingredients: 1,594 bands, Tapatio sauce.

SXSW’s first official lineup has been posted, and lest you wonder why the hell an outlet all the way up here is bothering to post about a fest in Texas, this unending list of bands may help.

Lots of previously unannounced national/international treats on here…here’s what stands out in my first run-through of the list: Akron/Family, Astronautilus, Castanets, Billy Bragg, Elliott Brood, The Concretes, Dr. Dog, El-P, Evangelista / Carla Bozulich, Jana Hunter, Legendary Shack Shakers, The Lemonheads, Lucero, Madlib, The Meatmen (whoa, really? the ’80s punks who wrote the song “Crippled Children Suck?” holy shit.), Tift Merritt, Thurston Moore, The Octopus Project, Ola Podrida, Peter & The Wolf, Phosphorescent, The Sadies, Sunburned Hand of the Man, Tokyo Police Club, Two Gallants, The Weakerthans, White Denim, Yo La Tengo, and motherfuckin’ HANSON. In bad news: Oates still hasn’t signed on to play with Daryl Hall. Shit.

Of more interest to y’all might be Seattle’s official contributions, many of which were previously unannounced:

David Bazan
The Blakes
Blue Scholars
The Boss Martians
Sera Cahoone
Cave Singers
Choklate
Coconut Coolouts
The Fall-Outs
Femurs
Fleet Foxes
Fourcolorzack & Pretty Titty
Grand Archives
Grayskul
Kate Tucker and the Sons of Sweden
The Lonely H
Ian Moore
Mark Pickerel
Presidents of the USA
The Saturday Knights
Say Hi
Search/Rescue
Steve E Nix & the Cute Lepers
Supersuckers
Throw Me The Statue
J. Tillman
Trespassers William
Unnatural Helpers

Other WA haunts…ABERDEEN: Black Top Demon. ANACORTES: Karl Blau. TACOMA: Lozen. From the list above, it looks like Seattle hip-hop and soul will represent in Texas come mid-March, no? If you dare peruse the thousands of bands, lemme know what names stick out.

Super Thursday Radio Poll

posted by on February 7 at 9:41 AM

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When you are listening to the radio, would you rather listen to a commercial or a shitty song?

Which of the following would you listen to?

And which of these would you listen to if there was nothing else on?

And finally:

A media and market intelligence company called Navigauge did a study of radio station audience behavior in and around commercial breaks. Over 46,000 commercial breaks were examined in roughly a three month period. They have GPS and analysis systems that can tell you where drivers are, what they are listening to, and for how long.

Navigauge CEO Tim Cobb says:

People listening to radios within an arm length of the tuning buttons are the most discriminating listener that can be studied. The results show that premium pricing for commercials early in the break is justified.

The study shows the longer the break, the lower the percentage of audience that makes it through the entire break and back to station programming. Less than 2/3 of the audience that tuned prior to the start of the first commercial break is retained after four commercials. Just under half the qualified audience is retained when six or more commercials run. First position 30 second spots retain more audience than the first position 60 second commercials.

Thanks Tim. No shit. How much money do you make a year?

What about the discriminating Foreigner listener? Where’s that study?


Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Do Girls Play (or even like) Math Rock?

posted by on February 6 at 5:31 PM

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A couple weeks ago I posted a link to the website Stage6 which hosts a bunch of great live videos. Most of the good ones I found were from Philly, but I was recently directed to a video of the amazing set San Diego’s Sleeping People played at Chop Suey last November. The sound quality is not great, but the band’s talent shines through just fine. Watching guitarist Joileah Maddock got me to thinking about girl math rock guitarists, and if perhaps she was the only one. Are there any more? Do any other female musicians care about this genre? I am stumped to think of any other similar band that has a girl in it, particularly one who can shred a guitar like Maddock can. Come to think of it, I don’t even know any girls who like listening to math rock. All of a sudden my loneliness is starting to have new context…

The Last Fortune Cookie I Will Ever Need

posted by on February 6 at 5:22 PM

Reads: “You will need to relax today.”

For right now, No Kids are helping. But it’s a Sisyphian task.

New Karaoke on the Hill

posted by on February 6 at 5:15 PM

Wednesday now has dueling karaoke nights! And they are right across the street from each other.

Down in the Neumos/MoeBar VIP Room (go to the back of MoeBar, down the stairs, and down the shifty hallway), the space has been turned into a “Karaoke Den,” replete with comfy leather chairs, fake money to write your song selection on, and best of all, the old Bus Stop karaoke machine and book. The Bus Stop’s Sunday night karaoke was one of it’s proudest traditions, and definitely the one most attended by me, so it was super fun to go down and see all those same faces who followed the book here. Unfortunately, it’s not hosted by Adé, who’s bitchiness was one of the highlights. But last week, it was hosted by Tara Thomas, who’s easily twice as lovably crazy. Fun ensues!

Across the street at King Cobra, tonight is the debut of their karaoke night, which is reportedly being hosted by Karaoke Steve, aka the guy who does the much-loved Sunday night karaoke at the Twilight Exit. And that’s all I know, because tonight is the first night.

It’s a duel!*
Former Sunday Karaoke Machine vs. Current Sunday Karaoke KJ!
North Side of Pike vs. South Side of Pike!
Underground Bar vs. Where the CHUDS Don’t Live!

WHO WILL BE THE WINNER?

*How would you even determine a winner? I’m gonna go ahead and say: Best version of any Bonnie Tyler song. Pick your poison.

Today’s Music News

posted by on February 6 at 4:53 PM

Amy Winehouse questioned over crack video- They try and make her go to rehab, but she says…

Britney Spears out of the hospital- Thank heavens, now everything can go back to normal again!

The Breeders announce national tour dates- New album, Mountain Battles, comes out in April.

Hot Chip played on Jimmy Kimmel last night
- The main guest on the show was DREW, not Nick, DREW Lachey!

Breeders to Play Sasquatch!

posted by on February 6 at 4:50 PM

Pitchfork reports today on a slew of new Breeders tour dates, including an appearance at Memorial Day Weekend Gorge blowout Sasquatch.

05-24 George, WA - The Gorge (Sasquatch)

The rejuvenated Breeders will be touring behind their forthcoming 4AD album Mountain Battles.

(On the Sasquatch rumor front: REM, Modest Mouse.)

My First Iron Maiden Concert

posted by on February 6 at 4:02 PM

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I have never listened to Iron Maiden in my entire life. Call me lame, misinformed, or lucky, but before last night I just hadn’t gotten around to it. As I sat down to watch their newly released 1985 World Slavery Tour concert film, Live After Death, I had no idea I was getting my self into what would be a wild, wild, ride.
The movie opens as the camera pans a sold out Long Beach Arena. The year is 1985, Ronald Regan has just started his second term, the Cold War is at its peak, and 13,000 kids are fucking stoked to see Iron Maiden. A fragment from a Winston Churchill speech plays over the loud speakers as the lights close in on a British flag hanging over where the band will play. The energy and anticipation is impalpable, as the band takes the stage, which also happens to be a giant pyramid. At first, I must admit, I was not impressed. As the band started their set with “Aces High”, I was under whelmed and couldn’t get past their neon spandex, the fact that the lead guitarist bore an uncanny resemblance to Jon Cusack, and singer Bruce Dickinson’s unreal crotch bulge. As the first song ended, I began to jump to negative conclusions before all of my doubts were put to rest.

Continue reading "My First Iron Maiden Concert" »

Re: Everett Man Gets Six Years for Stealing Geoff Tate’s Identity

posted by on February 6 at 4:01 PM

Slog beat him to it.

(hat tip to flamingbanjo)

How to Appreciate Death Metal

posted by on February 6 at 4:00 PM

There are always ways to expand musical appreciation.

I now bring you the Wikihow -

How to Appreciate Death Metal:

1) Learn about the history and characteristics of death metal. I bet that it’s more interesting and complex than you thought. Also, learn about all the stereotypes of death metal music and its fans and why they aren’t true at all. They are not all lazy, Satan-worshipping, animal-sacrificing psychos. They are actually normal people with family, friends and complex off-stage personalities, with the exception of maybe Glen Benton (from Deicide).

2) Listen beyond the crunching guitars and harsh singing. Although the rough guitar sound and grating vocals permeate all of death metal, it can take a little getting used to, especially if your ears are accustomed to softer sounds. Believe it or not, it’s more than just noise…There are melodies, patterns, and complexities to be appreciated if you listen attentively enough.

3) If you really don’t understand the harsh death grunts, don’t be afraid to look at them on a lyrics website. Two great lyrics websites are metal-archives.com and darklyrics.com. You might be surprised by the complexity and large vocabulary of some of the lyrics. And it’s also worth noting that if you like music that rhymes on every line you might not like Death Metal that much because a lot of Death Metal musicians don’t use this technique.

4) Realize that playing and singing death metal requires enormous practice and skill. Even bass players, who don’t do the complex leads and melodies associated with death metal guitar, cite to have practiced one piece of music for at least a full year just for a mere audition.

5) Watch a live death metal performance. Even if it’s on a TV screen, observe how the group members manipulate the instruments. If you’ve ever tried to play those instruments yourself, you’ll probably be amazed with how skillfully they play. It takes practice, and dedication, which challenges the stereotype of metalheads being lazy and careless. You might also be surprised about how energetic some of the performers are.

Everett Man Gets Six Years for Stealing Geoff Tate’s Identity

posted by on February 6 at 3:26 PM

Via Kirotv.com:

EVERETT, Wash. — A man who falsely claimed to be a member of the local band Queensryche was sentenced in Everett to more than six years in prison Tuesday.

Guitarist Scott Moughton was convicted of 10 identity theft and forgery-related felonies.

The judge also ordered Moughton to pay $13,000 in restitution.

In court Tuesday, a tearful Moughton blamed his actions on drugs and pleaded for reduced time and treatment.

(ht to Idolator)

What to Listen to When You’re Walking in the Rain

posted by on February 6 at 1:26 PM

You can walk and walk and walk in that weird part of town south of Safeco Field and north of Georgetown and never see anyone. It’s all train tracks and shipping companies and marble distributors and “business parks.” If you decide to make this walk—from Safeco Field to Georgetown—in the rain, well, you should know that it’s a longer walk than you’re expecting, and you should have the Murder City Devils (or something else loud and messy) queued up on your iPod. Your jeans are going to become soaked, see, but if you’re listening to the Murder City Devils you won’t care. Something about how loud and messy they are makes you happy to get a little messy yourself, and the lack of people in that part of town really contributes to a I’m-a-walking-zombie sort of daydream.

On the Airport Way bridge right before you get to Georgetown—that part of Airport Way that shoots up into the air over the train tracks—I looked both ways, confirmed no cars were coming, and took a long leak onto the train tracks. It looked cool. The Murder City Devils were screaming at me. I was hoping a train would come along, but no dice. That part of town is so dead.

The Art for the New PWRFL Power Record is Cute

posted by on February 6 at 1:05 PM

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Besides being an explosion of cute (done by Portland’s E*Rock) the self-titled album (which will be released in March on Slender Means Society) sounds great too. The recording captured the intricate and delicate moments of Kaz’s fantastic acoustic guitar playing while still feeling bright and fun like his lyrics. And I’m glad they kept it simple, it’s just him and his guitar the whole time.

Check out a couple songs:
It’s Okay
Alma Song

Kaz is on tour right now (you’ve seen his recent tour diaries posted here, yes?), but he’ll be back next month for CD release shows at the Comet (21+) and the Vera Project (all-ages) on March 6th and 7th respectively.

And if you want a dose of surrealism, check out this PWRFL Power mini-movie/commericial, of sorts, created for CW 11.

Kwab Copeland Now Books the High Dive

posted by on February 6 at 12:29 PM

Yes, the Weekly posted about this too, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth mentioning on Line Out. So here’s the news that came from Kwab Copeland yesterday afternoon: In short, he’s the new booker at the High Dive, and Fred Speakman is now the booker for Jules Maes and Slim’s Last Chance.

Goes his e-mail:

-INTERFACE Booking and Management has hired me as the main Booker/Talent buyer at the HIGH DIVE in scenic Fremont. I will do my best to continue the quality programming the HIGH DIVE has established and hopefully bring about new and exciting developments for the club and its patrons.


-I have brought on board my long time friend and musical associate Fred Speakman to manage the booking accounts at JULES MAES SALOON and SLIM”S LAST CHANCE. Fred will be the main booking contact at both of these venues. I am psyched to have some help in the apparently ever-expanding ENTERTAINMENT FACILITATOR booking office!


So for those of you keeping score: ENTERTAINMENT FACILITATOR (Kwab and Fred) now books HIGH DIVE, JULES MAES SALOON, SLIM”S LAST CHANCE and the early Sunday show SUNDAY BLOODY SUNSET at THE SUNSET TAVERN.

There. Done. Posted. Now you know if you didn’t already.

Today in Morrissey-Flavored Visuals

posted by on February 6 at 12:24 PM

The smart queer blog Towleroad today posts two striking Morrissey images.

First, this image featured on a T-shirt made by a Morrissey fan, which Morrissey himself has been wearing onstage:

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Second, this snapshot of Morrissey’s inscribed butt, taken by his mid-’90s boyfriend Jake Walters and featured in the sleevenotes of the forthcoming Morrissey’s Greatest Hits.

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Perhaps this is some sort of nod to Morrissey’s much-beloved Joni Mitchell, who bared her butt on the sleeve of For the Roses.

Whatever the motive, you have now seen Morrissey’s butt. Carry on.

The Posies. As Puppets.

posted by on February 6 at 12:04 PM

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Taken by and created by pretty-kitty.

Does this mean they’re ready for a guest spot in a Fandango commercial?

Tonight in Music

posted by on February 6 at 11:37 AM

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Todd Snider
(Showbox at the Market) Trapped in that between-rock-and-a-country place that hobbled Lucinda Williams for so long, Todd Snider is the best American songwriter you’ve (probably) never heard of.* The Lucinda comparison is an imperfect one: Snider doesn’t seem driven to strive for a career culmination/breakthrough à la Car Wheels on a Gravel Road (he makes great records, not masterworks), plus he’s 10,000 times funnier than Lucinda Williams could ever be, even if she were wearing a rainbow wig and chasing a dog with a ham in its mouth. Along with his killer wit, Snider’s signature is a miraculous lack of sentimentality. As a weathered, perceptive, fortysomething working artist, Snider’s subjects often come from the hard-luck American underbelly. But Snider’s heroes aren’t beautiful losers—they’re day-labor construction workers who pay by the week at roadside motels. DAVID SCHMADER
* This title previously belonged to Kimya Dawson, but then Juno happened.

Short & Kurly

posted by on February 6 at 10:45 AM

CDdup.jpgCD duplication (and replication) are tricky facets to music creation. The smaller the batch, the more each CD costs. To get the cheaper run of CD’s sometimes you have to press 1000. But do you really need 1000 CD’s? Some bands putting out their own music don’t.

Introducing Bad Horses Productions – Affordable short run CD batches.

$1 per CD. Yes. Need 100 CD’s? It’s $100. Need 10? It’s $10. Imagine that. Get your demo looking good.

Replicate any image on to the CD. Add a slim case and shrink wrap too. No need to get 1000 units anymore.

The man behind Bad Horses is Kelly ‘Kurly’ Sorbel. He also books shows for local and touring bands. He pays bands and promotes them. He also books a monthly night at Sunset Tavern.

Don’t let CD duplication get you by the short and curlies. Get short batch runs made by Kurly.

Contact Kurly: bhpshow (at) hotmail.com

There Sure are a Lot of Songs About Hockey

posted by on February 6 at 10:00 AM

Let’s think about it (songs about tonsil hockey don’t count).

Firstly, there’s the band the Hanson Brothers, a Nomeansno side-project named after professional hockey players from the ’70s (who were the inspiration behind the characters of the same name in the movie Slap Shot). Their songs are about hockey, obvs, and beer and girls.

Click to listen to the song “Brad.”

I was home watching the hockey game
The score was five to one, L.A. against the Flames
I heard footsteps, on the second floor
I knew it was Brad, and, boy, was I fuckin’ sore

I went flying up the stairs,
My room was in a shambles, my stuff was everywhere
Brad cowered in the corner, his lip curled in a sneer
“I’ll fix you” I said,
“You little puke, get out of here!”

“Brad, no! Brad, leave it alone!
Not my hockey cards
Put them down, asshole!
Brad, no! Brad, leave that alone!
Not my Gameboy! No! No!”

Anyway…

Much like the Hanson Brothers, Two Man Advantage (from Long Island) also write songs about hockey. And beer and porn, but mostly about hockey. Here’s just a sample of their song list: “Penalty Box,” “Skating Down the Ice,” “Beerman” (about the guy selling beer at hockey games), “Hockey Junkie,” “Hockey Fight,” “Zamboni Driving Maniac,” “Pass the Puck,” “H.O.C.K.E.Y.”… and so it goes.

They’re a lot of fun, in small doses. Click to listen to their song “I Had a Dream About Hockey.”

The Zambonis only write songs about hockey too but I like TMA more. TMA are the Zoinks and the Zambonis are Alcatraz-era Mr. T Experience. Click to listen to “Hockey Monkey,” a song about a monkey who’s down by the pond playing hockey with the kids.

Atom & His Package also have a great hockey-inspired song called “Goalie” that goes “What do you do with your 1,500 pounds? You play goalie!” Good advice. The Vandals celebrate “Hockey Hair” in the song “Ape Drape (Mullet Song),” and the Super Furry Animals have a song about “Ice Hockey Hair” too (called, duh, “Ice Hockey Hair”)—“It’s instamatic and it has such flair.”

There are two compilations of hockey hits (Puck Rock volumes one and two) that feature mostly punk bands singing about the sport (Pansy Division, D.O.A., the Riverdales, SNFU, etc.). And did you know that even the Arcade Fire has a song about it? “Neighborhood #5 (Hockey).” There’s also that Warren Zeavon song I didn’t know about until I started really searching—”Hit Somebody (the Hockey Song).

This is the kind of stuff I think about all day. I can’t believe how many songs there are about hockey. There aren’t that many about soccer or football or baseball or volleyball or golf or curling, are there? Are there as many songs about surfing? Surfing’s a sport. I’m sure there are even more songs about surfing.

Now, to end this post, I leave you with this: Stompin Tom Connors performing “The Hockey Song.”


Tuesday, February 5, 2008

What’s That In Your Pocket Ghost? A Dill Pickle

posted by on February 5 at 4:43 PM


Ghostface - We Celebrate f/ the Kiiiid Capri

Don’t trip, Tony- let’s get Goosed out and CELEBRATE goddammit!
Now Big Doe Rehab may not be another classic from GFK, but it’s still a great addition to a brilliant catalogue, and more proof of rapping after 30.

My Song of the Day

posted by on February 5 at 4:17 PM

Jorge Ben’s “Ponta De Lanca Africano (Umbabarauma)”:

There is a break in meaning between the song and the images. The song is about a football star; the video pictures Brazil as the end of the world.

Baldelli’s Cosmic Safari

posted by on February 5 at 3:35 PM

There’s no deny the impact and influence Daniele Baldelli has had on disco. This italian deejay and producer made his name back in the late 1970’s to early 1980’s deejaying at famous disco nightclubs like Baia Degli Angeli and COSMIC. Over the past few years, he has released a number of excellent books like Daniele Baldelli Presents Baia Degli Angeli 1977-1978 and Cosmic - The Original 1979-1984 discussing the golden years of deejaying at those clubs, the surrounding night life, and the music that influenced him. Baldelli has also recently released some amazing mix compilations featuring some rare disco, cosmic, and italo music of typical deejay sets that he has performed, as well as some original productions that he has put together over the years. One of my favorite original tracks that he has released is “Safari Vibes from his 2006 afro-latin disco album “My Funky Side”. I like to describe this classic track like a percussion driven disco voyage, riding through an african safari. With one listen you’ll definitely understand where I’m coming from. The track maintains a cosmic disco sound combined with some amazing afro-latin percussion, very reminiscent of some of the music you hear being produced today from New York’s Joe Claussell. Regardless of what recent time period you think about, Daniele Baldelli, continues to make his name as one of the greastest deejays and producers the underground disco scene has ever seen.

Daniele Baldelli - Safari Vibes

Del Goes Def

posted by on February 5 at 3:34 PM

Ice Cube’s favorite cousin, Del the Funky Homosapien, will be releasing his next album on Def Jux. Oh, and apparently there’s a new Deltron album on the way.

Woot!

Apparently the album is produced entirely by Del, rather than the usual DJX suspects—El-Producto, Blockhead, Camu Tao, etc—but the Def Jux label carries the kind of weight that should (hopefully) expose a whole new audience to Dr. Bombay’s own brand of madness.

Apologies if this is old news.

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Today’s Music News

posted by on February 5 at 2:41 PM

White Stripes sued over eight year old sample- Lawsuit could take De Stijl off the market

Britney files restraining order against her manager- Oooooh, so he’s why she’s crazy!

Tapes N’ Tapes announce spring tour dates- Playing at the Showbox, May 14

The wait is over!- Harold and Maude soundtrack released after thirty-six year long wait

Hot Sex & Cheese Whiz

posted by on February 5 at 1:45 PM

#16 AS220//Jan 30th//Providence

Providence is my most favorite in city in East coast all the time. As soon as we got into town, we headed to AS220, a wonderful all ages venue/art organization I play every time I go through Rhode Island. Same faces, same faces, John of Deer Tick was there, Diego Perez, Chloe, Arley, and Sasha, etc.

I played an acoustic set that night with the mystical Yamaha FG-180 made in Taiwan (For some reasons, Yamaha doesn’t have a record of making 180s in Taiwan, only other person who owned the same model is Elliot Smith as far as I know). I have good followings in Providence, so everyone was quiet and listened to me.

After the show, I went to a house called Little Pancakes, a 3-story house that got a spacious living room recently. They tore down a wall. I slept on a couch that was 4 feet wide. This is part of the touring, I have to be all curled up and sleep on a tiny couch. In the morning, I went to White Electric Coffee, one of the most decent coffeehouses in Providence.

AS220-Little Pancakes-White Electric Coffee—-This is my Providence trip every single time.

***

#17 Colins room at University or Delaware//Jan. 31st//Delaware

6 hours drive from Rhode Island. I forgot a name of this diner but we went to a really cool place to eat by the university. I ordered a cheese steak sandwich. Maybe I miss Philly Cheese steak.

“What kind of cheese?”
“Cheese Whiz, please.”

While eating I noticed there were a bunch of packed turkey sitting. Their labels said “Golden Legacy”. I started wondering what it’s like to be turkey. Think about it, you and me, we will be packed in plastic wraps and called “Golden Legacy”.

Conclusion first, 2 people came to our show. I played 5 songs. I didn’t wanna look at the 2 audience members, so looked at the end of the microphone through out the set.

On our way to Sean’s place (he set up this show), we stopped at a liquor store. There was a hard liquor called “Hot Sex”.

What’s wrong with Delaware? Turkeys are called Golden Legacy and the liquor is called Hot Sex.

***

$18 The Parlor//Feb 1st//New Jersey

The Parlor is a house in New Jersey and we played in their basement. They served me a good vegan chili. I drank orange juice. Its package said “lots of pulp”. I pictured members of the Pulp getting drawn in orange juice.

Audience there was very noisy. It was like a party where kids get trashed and hang out, so slightly far from my scene.

“These people like to party, these people must like drugs…”

I chose tomato song for a starter, a song about tomato and drugs. Nobody cared. When I sang loud, a girl in gold leggings gave me a look and kept talking.

“All right, that’s it”.

I played 1 song and decided to stop. Some people who were starting to give me attention and my tour mates seemed to be feeling sorry for me. That was the first time I stopped playing because “I didn’t feel like it”.

I caught an early train off to NYC. There were a group of about 10 or 15 college kids on the train. A blonde girl in the group was eating a big long candy that looked like a penis.

I noticed one (and only) dorky guy in the group was gazing at her.

***

Why 50 Cent Endorses Hillary

posted by on February 5 at 12:46 PM

For some reason it still kind of surprises me when I see African American celebrities choosing to support Hillary over Obama. It’s like, dude, didn’t you hear? “Yes We Can!” I guess It’s not that simple though. Sometimes, if you love something you have to set it free. Especially if you have once been caged (read: shot), and you don’t want to see it happen again to another good man.

In related news, Bill O’Reilly is still a complete waste of a human being.
(ht Idolator)

Hopscotch Boys at the Blue Moon

posted by on February 5 at 12:28 PM

hopscotchflickr.jpg

Contributed to the Stranger Flickr Pool by soundonthesound.

Out Today: Nada Surf’s Lucky

posted by on February 5 at 12:20 PM

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It isn’t a huge leap for Nada Surf, another well-produced collection of indie rock pop gems with twinkling keys and breathy harmonies. “Here Goes Something” summons the simplicity and sunshine of ’60s pop. “Weightless” is more abrasive (comparatively), but it still sparkles—the drumming sounds like glitter, the guitars sound like stars. “Are You Lightening?” is a bittersweet alt-country ballad and “From Now On” is a perpetually happy blast of energy.

My favorite remains “See These Bones,” though. It’s dramatic with a touch of cello, and I’m a sucker for cello (which appears quite often on Lucky). “Ice on the Wings” is a close runner-up. Martin Wenk of Calexico played trumpet and Bavarian horns on the song. BAVARIAN HORNS!

There are plenty of other special guests sprinkled throughout—Sean Nelson, John Roderick, Ben Gibbard, Ed Harcourt. And while some tracks aren’t as memorable as others, I haven’t had much time to get familiar with the songs. So maybe they’ll grow on me.

And if you’re a sucker for liner notes, you’ll have a lot to read. It looks like fans wrote in to tell the band what they’re lucky for, and the band chose favorites (some in Japanese, some in German, most in English) to print on the back of the lyrics sheet.

“I fell of a mountain and landed in my bed safe and sound.”

“I feel gratful that I have a few more months to spend with my mother.”

“condividere un sorriso”

And so on…

Try before you buy—stream the whole album at the band’s MySpace.

Pitch Correction

posted by on February 5 at 11:55 AM

Today Pitchfork posted reviews of Hot Chip’s Made in the Dark and Hey Willpower’s PDA. Hot Chip scored a decent but not remarkable 7.0. Hey Willpower scored a sad 3.0. My reviews of those records can be found here and here.

Relistening to PDA now, I think the ‘fork’s basically right. I think I just like the idea of Hey Willpower more than I like the actual record, but I didn’t want to cop to that. I was, for whatever reason, a little too kind to Will Schwarz’ pop goofs, which wear thin after a few weeks. It’s a cute record, but it’s not two-and-a-half stars cute. Maybe two.

My three stars for Hot Chip aligns more closely to Pitchfork’s 7.0 score, but, I think their essential argument about Made in the Dark—that it’s too scattered, that Hot Chip could’ve made a tightly focused album (be it 4/4 bangers or robot r&b) and it would have been better—is flawed. Sure, of the three Hot Chip records, the new one is probably my least favorite right now (still definitely a three star record, though), but I think the album’s tangents, it’s dips and peaks, are part of its charm. Hot Chip could’ve made a full-on, bass-thumping dance-floor assault (The Warning taken to its logical conclusion) or another fey, self-satirizing record like Coming on Strong. But instead, the band veers between the two, sometimes synthesizing their polar identities in weird ways. It’s not always successful, but I think the Hot Chip’s scattered approach is more fun than frustrating.

(Made in the Dark is out today)

Tonight in Music

posted by on February 5 at 11:53 AM

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Ships, Drug Rug, Corridor, Ghosts & Liars
(Comet) There’s only one song. One lonely live recording called “Cut Along” is posted on Ships’ MySpace page and it’s this beautiful and psychedelic song that starts out sounding like twinkling stars and turns into something more. It’s the song that would be playing in the club during Claire “The Princess” Standish and John “The Criminal” Bender’s first date, if they ever went on a date outside of detention. It’s mysterious and a little dark like him, but it’s also pretty and subtly sparkling like her. The two would just stare at each other in the beginning, then the song would climax, the two would kiss, and the band would play louder and the camera would pan around them and the heart of everyone watching would swoon and they’d love the fact that the song playing isn’t an obvious new-wave pop hit because that shit was done to death by 1985. It’s hard to say what the rest of Ships’ material sounds like, though. Because they only have one song posted. One lonely little song. MEGAN SELING

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OLIVIER LATRY My nominee for sleeper gig of the week. Latry, whose much-anticipated concert was canceled last year, returns with a program of French organ music by Tournemire, Duruflé, Jehan Alain, Jean Langalais, and Dupré. I’m a fan of his complete Messiaen cycle on Deutsche Grammophon, so I’m eager to hear him essay the titanic L’Ascension by Olivier Messiaen. St. James Cathedral, 804 Ninth Ave, 382-4874, 7:30 pm, students pay as able/$15 suggested donation. CHRISTOPHER DELAURENTI

Call from Science

posted by on February 5 at 9:30 AM

glob.jpgOur trusty man of Dear Science
Dr. Jonathan Golob has made a call to LineOut. Lobes in a Dresden mind are yearning for songs. German eardrums need sound. A man has come out of deep freeze and needs to be caught musically up to speed. Get your scrubs on. Scalpel. We need 15 CC’s of “Jesus Christ Pose.” We’re performing an MP3 fill.

What music has happened since 1989?

Dr. Golob writes:

Dear Music,

I need your help on a gift for a (former East) German scientist who believes Dire Straits were the pinnacle of music.

He was my generous host when I visited Dresden as a scientist this fall. During the Soviet era, this doctor risked his life and his career to smuggle in albums. He was among the first in line for the limited release of Born in the USA—deemed sufficiently anti-American for a hundred thousand or so copies to be legally sold behind the wall. He lovingly spoke of the 80’s rock he was denied.

I’d like to honor my host by sending him an MP3 player filled with all the music he missed, plus a decent mix of what else has happened since 1989.

What should he listen to as he strolls across the Elbe to the lab?

I’d say Thomas Dolby’s “She Blinded Me with Science” but that’s ’82. Sci-sci-SCIENCE! I think that goes in the MP3 anyway.

Golob’s picks so far after jump.

Continue reading "Call from Science" »

Whatever Scarlett Johansson, Line Out Edition

posted by on February 5 at 9:28 AM

More important than the Johansson endorsement?! Today the Guardian highlights which musicians have aligned themselves with which presidential candidates. Here’s how it breaks down:

REPUBLICANS

Mike Huckabee: Ted Nugent

John McCain: Burt Bacharach

Ron Paul: Krist Novoselic, Arlo Guthrie

Mitt Romney: Pat Boone, Donny Osmond, Marie Osmond

DEMOCRATS

Hillary Clinton: Madonna, Carly Simon, Tony Bennett, Jon Bon Jovi, Melissa Etheridge, Carole King, Janet Jackson, Quincy Jones, 50 Cent, Mya, Timbaland, Barbra Streisand, Merle Haggard

Barack Obama: Babyface, the Goo Goo Dolls, Macy Gray, Ne-Yo, Will Smith, Usher, Stevie Wonder, Harry Connick Jr., Pete Wentz, Win Butler, will.i.am/the Black Eyed Peas, the Grateful Dead, Jeff Tweedy, Conor Oberst, Joanna Newsom, the Cool Kids, Stephan Jenkins, OK Go, Shudder to Think, Dave Matthews, Pearl Jam

No surprises from the Nuge’ or the Osmonds. But damn, that bass guitar must have hit Krist’s head fucking hard.

Happy Super Tuesday!

(Thanks, Idolator)

Update: Novoselic has now endorsed Obama, which makes the above footage only slightly less hilarious. The Guardian (et al) got it wrong because Novoselic once dropped $250 to hear Paul speak about isolationism or the confederacy or the gold standard or whatever. (Thanks, Kwab.)

Re: Scarlett Johansson

posted by on February 5 at 9:05 AM

Semi-retarded? Left hand? What the hell are you talking about?

The Teenagers - Starlett Johansson


Monday, February 4, 2008

And Now, Here’s Some Children Breakdancing

posted by on February 4 at 5:21 PM

At a church talent show:

On Japanese TV:

In the living room with mismatched socks:

Put Down That Google

posted by on February 4 at 4:54 PM

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Well, good thing Terry Miller’s here to correct me, as you’d have no luck looking up Nile Rodgers the way I spelled it (I’ve changed it below, but the print edition will have you querying someone named “Niles Roger”). Sorry about that, and don’t let it stop you from buying this fine album when it comes out tomorrow.

HOT CHIP

Made in the Dark

(DFA/Astralwerks)

***

In the initial moments of Made in the Dark, you can just barely hear a cheering carnival crowd and a rollercoaster clicking uphill as the detuned synths of “Out at the Pictures” fade in. Appropriately, Hot Chip’s third full-length is both a festive party and a thrilling series of ups and downs.

From the giddy anticipation of the intro track, the album dives into a run of dance-floor bangers. “Shake a Fist” plays Todd Rundgren’s “sounds of the studio” game, sneaking the tinkling chimes of “Over & Over” in between the genuinely startling synth stabs. Lead single “Ready for the Floor” is an office-rock anthem, a romantic call to wallflowers hung on the odd, pep-talk refrain of “You’re my number-one guy.” “Bendable Poseable” is a sinister and funky anatomical twister, the first of a few songs on the album to deal in darkly comic combat images (themes that climax in the tensely rollicking “Hold On” and resolve with the relaxed absurdities of “Wrestlers”).

Other lyrics reveal anxieties about heaven and hell and a preoccupation with minding life’s gaps (“There are holes in what we do/There is a hole between me and you”). This latter tack is a marked change from Coming on Strong, an album that delighted in its own distance from the hiphop and R&B it sampled.

The title track is a trad-soul ballad that highlights singer Alexis Taylor’s delicate vocals. “One Pure Thought” is the surprise hit of the album, a song that perfectly synthesizes all the best of Hot Chip—sly, referential rhymes that’ll have you Googling “Nile Rodgers”; wicked club thump; Graceland-inspired lilts and harmonies; the interplay of Taylor’s fey croon and Joe Goddard’s baritone bluster. The album loses some steam after “Don’t Dance” with a pair of plodding ballads, but still, Made in the Dark is a great ride. ERIC GRANDY

A Track for Obama

posted by on February 4 at 4:40 PM

Not to let Obama-mania bleed over to Line Out too much, but between that celebrity-laden video from Will.I.Am. and this track from Daedelus side project FMB, it’s a safe bet that an Obama victory party would be much more fun than one from the other candidates.

FMB - Obama2008 (it’s only a minute long, unfortunately)

How long ‘til the hipsters are wearing “Fuck what yo’ mama say, I’mma vote Obama Way” t-shirts? The countdown starts…now.

Sometimes I Forget that You Can See Music for Free in Record Stores

posted by on February 4 at 3:26 PM

Sometimes it’s nice to stand amongst the racks of CDs and records and watch a good band play a show with the lights on to people half paying attention to them and half looking for the new Les Savy Fav record. In-stores are free, and a good way to see a band if you don’t feel like staying up late of stand in a stinky club full of drunks who try to tell you about why they’re new project is so much better than their old project even though they don’t have a drummer yet. Sometimes it’s just nice to have a change of scenery.

Here’s a wrap-up of who’s playing in local record stores this month (neither Wall of Sound or Bop Street has anything on their calendars yet, but maybe you know something I don’t?):

KIMYA DAWSON at Easy Street Records, Queen Anne, Saturday February 9th, 3 pm.

THE HEAVENLY STATES at Easy Street Records, Queen Anne, Saturday February 16, 3 pm.

GRAND ARCHIVES at Sonic Boom Records, Ballard, Tuesday February 19th, 7 pm.

SPEAKER SPEAKER at Sonic Boom Records, Ballard, Wednesday February 20th, 7 pm.

J-MINUS at Silver Platters, Queen Anne, Friday February 22, 6:30 pm.

THE MOTHER TRUCKERS at Silver Platters, Queen Anne, Tuesday February 26, 4:30 pm.

TULLYCRAFT at Easy Street Records, Queen Anne, Friday February 29th, 8 pm.

Suddenly Moldy Peaches Swag Is Quite Valuable!

posted by on February 4 at 3:13 PM

As evidenced by this copy of their self titled LP that went for 64 pounds on British eBay.
e4c8_1.JPG

For those of you who can’t read British, that’s more than $130.

Of course, the wealth that I could attain by selling my copy is outweighed by the wealth I retain by keeping it.

Thanks for the tip, Bri-Bri!

Weekend/Today’s Music News

posted by on February 4 at 2:24 PM

Super Bowl jacks the Arcade Fire- Fox used song without permission throughout the entire season?

Snoop Dogg “gets real” with Larry King- Larry Kizzle Televizzle

Hard Day’s Night Hotel opens in Liverpool- Beatlemaniacs rejoice in new digs, Paul McCartney is still evil.

Clipse drops ‘We Got It 4 Cheap Vol. 3’- Rap’s favorite coke poets release their much anticipated mixtape.

Mountain Goats write a song for Super Tuesday- No indication in the song of who their candidate is, but going out on a limb, it’s gotta be Romney.

What’s So Classical About Joanna Newsom?

posted by on February 4 at 2:17 PM

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I was a little surprised by a part of last week’s Interrogation, wherein the honorable Alex Ross talked about Joanna Newsom as being kind of classical (interview by the honorable Jen Graves):

You’ve written great profiles of Björk and Radiohead, exploring their classical influences. But it’s starting to feel like these artists are the beginning and end of the connection between classical and pop.

It’s a little bit of a cliché, definitely. There’s a lot more there, but the artists are just not as well known.

Like who?

Joanna Newsom and Sufjan Stevens. They have strong interests in classical and 20th-century music. Joanna Newsom trained as a composer; you wouldn’t guess that, but once you factor that in, it actually makes sense—the long structures and the ornate harmonies. With Sufjan Stevens, you have these long-form minimalist things protruding on the ends of his records, and his instrumentations, well, he has these little orchestras.

Really? Joanna Newsom songs are certainly long, but they never seemed all that composerly, no matter how many different instruments play the orchestral arrangements she didn’t write. But who am I to contradict Alex Ross? He’s the expert.

So I was gratified to read Counter Critic take a stand against letting Newsom pass as some kind of pop-classical composer:

Let’s be clear. Ms. Newsom is not writing classical music. I don’t know that anyone has explicitly made the claim, but there are stirrings among the classical music literati that seem to endorse Ms. Newsom as the next big crossover, or that new breed of alternative musician, like Sufjan Stevens and Rufus Wainwright before him (both have performed on BAM’s opera house stage)…

And he also gets down to why I cannot be wooed by Ms. Newsom’s elfin-sylvan ballads:

These pieces turn like a spinning wheel; just when you think you’ve gone somewhere, you come right round to the same place. It isn’t bad, it just doesn’t transport you.

Yes.

We’re Not Friends Anymore

posted by on February 4 at 12:59 PM

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It’s probably just a case of the “growing ups,” but does anyone else remember when Hot Hot Heat was a sweet band? There were two incarnations, the first was the synth-driven semi agro post-hardcore HHH that put out a 7” and a split with the Red Light Sting on Ache Records back in the day. That version of the band was pretty awesome, but it didn’t stick around for long. They got a new singer and got signed to Sup Pop and started making dance music, and for a while that incarnation was possibly sweeter. When Make Up the Breakdown came out it instantly became a crucial party album (this was before any of us had iPods and could make playlists) because it was one of those CDs you could put on at a party and play all the way though and everyone would have a good time dancing to it. But then a year passed, two years, three years, and no new album. Make Up the Breakdown had been played at too many parties. It got retired early on in year two. When Elevator, the next album came out, it was underwhelming. It was not an album you would want to put on at your party. In my circle all love and respect of Hot Hot Heat faded and crumbled. I used to love this band. I still have a t-shirt from when they played the old Paradox when the Knock Knock Knock EP came out, but it lives in a drawer at my parents’ house and has not seen daylight for many years. When I look at the list of bands playing tonight and I see Hot Hot Heat’s name it’s like coming across an old friend’s number in your phone and knowing that you’re never going to call them again. You have nothing more to say to them, or them to you.

Hot Hot Heat is playing the Showbox tonight with Editors and Louis XIV. I’m not going.

Got To Have Your Love

posted by on February 4 at 12:56 PM

United Kingdom producer/DJ, Floorman, recently sent me an instrumental re-edit of Fantastic Four’s 1977 disco classic “I Got To Have Your Love” which I recently discussed in a blog post back in September. This Dennis Coffey produced classic is by far my favorite cut by the Fantastic Four. Floorman does a nice job in highlighting the funky driven bass groove as well as the solid horn leads to produce a great new instrumental edit of the original. This edit can most definitely work on the disco floor as well as a shake-up in a house set.

I would also recommend you to check out Floorman’s blog Floorman Presents… when you get a chance. He has posted some other great edits that he has put together of artists like Hot Chip, George McCrae, Prince, as well as many others. Good stuff.

Fantastic Four - I Got To Have Your Love (Floorman Re-edit)

Slightly Bolton

posted by on February 4 at 12:22 PM

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Taken by Static Invasion. Find more in the Stranger’s Flickr Pool.

Chic - Real People

posted by on February 4 at 12:20 PM

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Interesting facts about Chic:

At 13 both Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards were hippies.

They took their first hits of LSD with Timothy Leary.

Rodgers was a member of the Black Panthers.

Rodgers also “laid down some tasty licks over which Big Bird and the Cookie Monster would drop science” as a guitarist for Sesame Street in the early ‘70’s.

Chic had Warner Bros. biggest hit ever with “Le Freak”.

Chic loved punk music.

Before being called Chic, they toyed with the name Boyz and Orange Julius. Being into rock music Niles recalls, “Tony (Thompson) and I were rock guys, we wanted to be, you know, the Punks and the blah blah blah. ‘Hey, we could be the Chic Punks, the punks who dress up in whatever’” They settled on Chic.

After their success with “Le Freak” they were offered production work for any artists on WB roster. They chose the unknown Sister Sledge. They produced “We Are Family”.

In 1980 WB started to force them to do stuff they didn’t want to do. “They were afraid and ‘disco sucks,’ so they were trying to make us not disco.”

They made “Real People” the hippest anti-hipster song, in the history of reactionary music.

It’s janky and confusing, stop-and-go and strutting, silken and synthetic, hand-made and automatic.

It is their statement on their demise.

Chic is Real People.

Tonight in Music

posted by on February 4 at 12:10 PM

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Black Lips, Pierced Arrows, Unnatural Helpers
(Neumo’s) What a freakout. Back in October, I turn on the TV and there’re the frickin’ Black Lips on the Conan O’Brien show—there’s guitarist Cole Alexander doing backward somersaults in the middle of new jam “O Katrina,” off 2007’s Good Bad Not Evil, while guest Marky Mark Wahlberg looks on. Last year was a big one for the Lips—two full-length albums on Vice Records, big love from both Spin and Rolling Stone, endless touring, and a shit-ton of national exposure after the New York Times named them “The Hardest Working Band” at SXSW. I remember watching them play the Comet Tavern five years ago, and Cole dropped his pants and played guitar with his penis. He didn’t necessarily play it well, but he played it. Now there he is doing somersaults on TV and not missing a chord. So larger than life! Well, large until eight-foot-tall Conan came onstage to thank them for playing and they all looked like midgets. Anyway, 2008 is gonna be a big year for the band, too, and true to the title of the band’s blog: THEY FUN. They’re forever and always garage-punk fun. KELLY O

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Blood on the Wall, Loving Thunder, Katharine Hepburn’s Voice
(Sunset) Familial Brooklyn trio Blood on the Wall (guitarist/vocalist Brad Shanks and bassist/vocalist Courtney Shanks are siblings) recall a golden decade of early indie rock that includes the likes of Dinosaur Jr., Sonic Youth, and Pixies, among others. Like those bands, Blood on the Wall obscure simple, sweet pop songwriting with blasts of guitar noise and divert easy riffs into cathartic, feedback-soaked thrash jams. “Hibernation,” the three-chord, drug-surf rave-up that kicks off their latest album, Liferz, is immediately catchy. When the song reaches its bridge, one minute and 30 seconds in, Courtney’s frozen-over vocals giving way to Brad’s bark, it’s undeniable. From there, the album tears through delicate drone pop (“Lightning Song”), sad-punk stomps (“Liferz”), and careening speed trials (the under-two-minute peel outs of “Go Go Go” and “Turn Around and Shut Up”). ERIC GRANDY

Also tonight, Three Inches of Blood at El Corazon. You know, if you’re into face-melting Canadian metal.

threeinchesblood.jpg

Ghostface Killah Threatens to Quit if People Don’t Buy His Album

posted by on February 4 at 9:56 AM

The way he keeps saying “the MySpace” reminds me of my dad.


Sunday, February 3, 2008

This Week From the Mail Bin: The Honey Hush

posted by on February 3 at 10:35 PM

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I hate CDs. I don’t want them around anymore, in any facet of my life. The Honey Hush sent in a very nicely packaged 7”, tasteful and modest with a charming border. Here is how they define their sound:

Writing music which takes cues from ‘60s psychedelia to bluesy rock ‘n rollers, they are still focused on creating a sound which moves beyond mere imitation toward songs which will stand on their own in our modern age.

It’s impossible to exist within the set of rock and roll parameters that the Honey Hush has chosen for themselves without being almost entirely derivative of what’s been happening in that genre, relatively unchanged, for the last 40 years. That’s kind of the nature of blues and blues rock – the same handfuls of ideas tossed around in different fashions and orders ad nauseam until every song sounds like any number of others. Though the Honey Hush may be striving to keep their tunes fresh and modern their songs instantly and undeniably transport the listener back 40 years to the prime era of the Rolling Stones. “Tenement Grove” is for all intents and purposes a Rolling Stones song, but it’s one of the better Rolling Stones songs, so at least it feels like they chose a good track to cover. “Beggar Boy” exists somewhere between “Gimmie Shelter” and the Black Crowes, not only sounding like the genre’s prime beginnings but also the later waves of influence it begot. At times the male/female vocals with the overdriven bluesy guitar hint at Black Mountain, but unlike Black Mountain the Honey Hush never take any chances, never explore new territory. As the 7” is a limited medium, and this is but an introduction to the band, I’ll excuse them for not giving me a sprawling psychedelic epic, but at the very least I want something that feels new, even if it’s wearing vintage clothes. Right now the Honey Hush is still playing dress up, not quite sure how to integrate those retro threads into an appropriate outfit for today. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing, but if you want to sound just like the good old days you need to make sure you’re as good or better, otherwise you’re not giving a good enough reason to pay attention.

This Just In

posted by on February 3 at 8:32 PM

If you want to listen to your iPod during takeoff or landing—and really, being able to take flight while listening to music is the miracle of our generation (except that you’re not allowed to under major-airline rules)—well, it’s simple: Put on your hoodie. Put your iPod within your hoodie, zip it up, tighten the strings around the hood, and voila: the flight attendants cannot see it. You are rocking out and no one knows it. Surely everyone else has already discovered this; surely I am late to the party.