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Archives for 03/02/2008 - 03/08/2008

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Your Random 3 pm MP3 for the Day: Swimmers

posted by on March 8 at 3:00 PM

Every day at 3 pm I post a random MP3 from The Stranger’s Bands Pages. It may or may not be good. That’s for you to decide.

Today’s song: “Hotpocket” by Swimmers.

What’d you think?

Tonight at the Blue Moon

posted by on March 8 at 12:53 PM

Ghidra, Wah-Wah Exit Wound

(Blue Moon) Ghidra have been less active on the local experimental music scene in the last couple of years than they were around their inception in 2000, (a time defined locally by the epochal series Sil2K at the old I-Spy). Still, they remain one of the city’s most consistently great free-improv units. A true power trio (just like Motörhead!), guitarist Bill Horist, drummer Mike Peterson, and alto player Wally Shoup ply a breed of neuron-sparking, metal-buoyed free jazz that at times harks back to ’80s titans like Last Exit and Naked City, but without ever feeling old-fashioned. Tonight’s show celebrates the release of their excellent, flesh-rending new album, The Sound of Speed. SAM MICKENS

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Wah Wah Exit Wound
’s two biggest influences are two of my favorite bands - King Crimson and Yes - so they didn’t give me much chance to not like their band. It’s one thing to idolize great bands but another to emulate them, and WWEW are successfully recreating the classic Prog sound from the 70’s in all its former glory. These dudes obviously love King Crimson, and there is no shame in that. They’ve got the chops to pull it off. Robert Fripp would be proud.


Friday, March 7, 2008

Your Random 3 pm MP3 for the Day: Bridges

posted by on March 7 at 11:39 PM

Every day at 3 pm I post a random MP3 from The Stranger’s Bands Pages. It may or may not be good. That’s for you to decide.

Today’s song: “Consciously Cornering” by Bridges.

Do you have a Bands Page? Click here to get one.

From Last Night’s Young Ones Show: Dyme Def and Arthur & Yu

posted by on March 7 at 6:16 PM

Photos by Morgan Keuler.

Dyme Def

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Arthur & Yu

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Photos by Morgan Keuler.

HEALTH and Past Lives at Chop Suey

posted by on March 7 at 4:24 PM

There wasn’t much for kids to do last night. Not allowed at the 21+ “Young Ones” Showcase, I was not alone in my turning to Chop Suey for a little bit of fun on a Thursday night.

Obviously I’ve never been to Sing Sing!, Comeback! or any other Seattle dance night ending in an exclamation point, but I dare to say that if I was 25, had impeccable moves, and was blazingly horny, I still wouldn’t want to go out dancing in my free time. DJ David Wolf kicked the night off, playing all the songs you would expect to hear. Justice and Daft Punk wove in and out of songs that we’re slaves to 4/4 timing, while kids bobbed back and forth laughing about how silly they were. Maybe it was too much four on the floor, maybe there were just too many 15-year-old girls, or maybe I’m just really awkward, but I wanted to get away the entire time DJ David Wolf was at work.

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As he powered down, Past Lives took the stage. Growing up in Redmond, I watched the Blood Brothers in their prime. Their albums never left my Discman, their merch was in my closet, and I still consider seeing them with Botch at their last show, as one of the peak moments of my teenage years. That band meant so much to me, my friends, and a mini generation of kids listening to punk rock. It’s unbelievable. Especially growing up on the Eastside, we all took so much pride in the fact that they were making it big. That’s why it was so devastating when they started going down hill, peaking with the release of their steamy garbage pile of an album, Young Machetes. The album was so unoriginal and forced feeling that it was obvious the band had lost its passion. If you felt a void in your heart when the Brothers of Blood broke up, get ready, because Past Lives is better than anything they made together in their last two or three years before they called it quits. “Hi, we’re Past Lives. We’re from here,” was all singer Jordan Blilie offered up to the crowd before the band jumped in to one of their thumping, squelchy, and surprisingly danceable songs. The first song, “Beyond Gone”
was the calmest of the set. Guitarists Devin Welch and Morgan Henderson drove the song with low jungle sounding tones, while Blilie cried out as if lost in the vast safari world the two were creating. It was hard to believe the low end that Henderson was creating with just a guitar, but I imagine over time, he has collected some pretty brutal effects pedals. As drummer Mark Gajadhar slammed into the next song, the rest of their set sounded like big trouble. My favorite part was the song “Past Lives”, when the band brought the set to a head with sweeping, high-pitched guitars wailing everywhere, and thunderous drums. It sounded like waves crashing down on a helpless boat at sea. The fact that the bearded and cap wearing Henderson and Welch both look like sailors, helped the comparison hit home, with Blilie at the helm of the ship as the sassy captain beckoning the waves to bring it on. While I can’t imagine ever forgetting the significance of The Blood Brothers in the Seattle music scene, last night Past Lives put them out of mind for the time being. Needless to say I’m really excited for them to record.

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I don’t have as much to say about HEALTH’s set. It’s not to say that they aren’t a ferocious, tight, and nightmarish band that put on a great show, it’s just that they’re really hard to explain. They pound on drums, they hop around, they scream, they sing, and they twiddle knobs. It’s both exciting and uncomfortable to watch. The only way I can describe their music is that it sounds like what your body must feel like when you are overdosing on drugs. A fast and heavy heartbeat, represented by back and forth drum pounding while your brain freaks out, shooting high pitched guitar frequencies up and down your spine until you die. Before their set seemed to have started, it was over, and I loved every minute of it.

While it might not have been Young Ones, last night’s show was a good time for all of us kids who we’re too young to appreciate the talented youth our fine city has to offer. Even though one of the more appealing shows going on in the city was off limits to us, Crystal Castles cancelled the show, and for most it was a school night, kids came out and had a nice time at Chop Suey. So lock us out of your showcases. Cut the funding for our programs, we don’t care. You can try and keep us down, but in the end we’ll find a way to have our good time!

From Last Night’s Young Ones Show: The Physics and Throw Me the Statue

posted by on March 7 at 4:08 PM

The Physics

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Throw Me the Statue

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According to the Magnetic Fields, Ballard is “kind of the new East Village”

posted by on March 7 at 3:37 PM

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At least that’s what Claudia Gonson—in red, above—said in the first half of last night’s show, talking about how a friend had taken her around Ballard the night before and shown her all the cool spots. I have not been able to find anyone who agrees that Ballard is kind of the new East Village. Not even Megan Seling, who lives there.

For his part, Stephin Merritt, thinking of J.G. Ballard’s dystopian novels, couldn’t get over the fact that there’s a neighborhood actually called Ballard. “I wouldn’t go to an area of the city called Ballard,” Merritt said.

I missed the second half of their set—although Eli Sanders stayed (Eli, how was it?)—because I didn’t want to miss Throw Me the Statue up at Neumo’s. Their album Moonbeams has been playing on repeat on my iPod for the last three weeks straight. It’s better every time I hear it. And their live show was fun, unfussy, charming, danceable—everything you want in a live show. After their set, while waiting for Truckasauras to go on across the street at Sole Repair, I saw Suthap Manivong, former production manager at Neumo’s, now working at Showbox Sodo. I asked him how life is down in Sodo and he said, “Sodo is like the next Ballard.”

Tonight in Music: Magnetic Fields (again), Harvey Danger (again), the Duke Spirit, and DJ Craze

posted by on March 7 at 3:31 PM

Stephin Merritt and Co. continue their stint at Town Hall tonight. Read David Schamder’s interview with himself about interviewing Mr. Merritt by clicking here.

Harvey Danger is also playing night #2 of their stint at the Triple Door. Here’s a refresher on what Christopher Frizelle had to say in this week’s Up & Comings:

Harvey Danger
(Triple Door) If you need any proof that Harvey Danger’s big song from 10 years ago still means something to people, that its center of gravity holds, that it will never die, all you have to do is go to the gym. Or wait long enough in the lodge at Steven’s Pass. Or turn on the radio in Los Angeles. Or watch that movie it’s in. Or that British TV show it’s the theme song for. It’s always playing somewhere in the world, but it’s always ripped out of context. Which is why this weekend’s two-night run at the Triple Door will be so wholly satisfying. The first night features the band reproducing Where Have All the Merrymakers Gone? in its entirety, with assorted B-sides; the second has them tackling King James Version and Little by Little. It’s a history party. CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE

Also tonight:

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The Duke Spirit, The Voom Blooms
(Neumo’s) Singer Liela Moss from UK band the Duke Spirit scorches and seduces. She pivots on her frame, gets surly, and hunts you until your desires give in. Her vocals range from loud to soft, from gritty to angelic. She’s a Debbie Harry who channels Axl Rose. The Duke Spirit’s second full-length is called Neptune. The album, named for the god of the sea, was recorded in the desert at Joshua Tree’s Rancho de la Luna Studio and produced by the godfather of desert rock, Chris Goss (Queens of the Stone Age, Soulwax, and UNKLE.) The Duke Spirit are totally honed and free-swinging, firing off melodic elements of ’60s garage rock while Moss sticks a sweetened blond knife in your heart. TRENT MOORMAN

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And finally, DJ Craze is at the War Room. Michaelangelo Matos reviewed his new disc, FabricLive 38, this week—he gave it two stars. Here’s an excerpt (read the review in its entirety here):

You’d figure a fast-cutting DJ mix that crams 27 rapid-tempo songs into 67 unbroken minutes would have some drive to it. Some of the time, you’d be right. But for the most part, this Fabric mix, helmed by longtime Miami hiphop jock Craze, is surprisingly aimless. The first quarter’s boisterousness— especially Craze’s opening “Intro,” where Armanni Reign reads off the DJ’s bona fides—feels forced, with Craze’s turntable trickery less aural punctuation than distracting frippery. It buries good songs like Cool Kids’ “Black Mags,” and when the DJ slips in Jan Hammer’s “Miami Vice Theme” for that soupçon of kitschy “fun” (as well as a nod toward his city’s roots), it lowers the disc’s energy instead of raising it.

From Last Night’s Young Ones Show: Truckasauras and the Moondoggies

posted by on March 7 at 2:52 PM

Photos by Morgan Keuler.

Truckasauras

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The Moondoggies

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Photos by Morgan Keuler.

Mike Patton Scramble

posted by on March 7 at 2:29 PM

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From the Heavy Metal Fun Time Activity Book.

Answers after the jump.

Continue reading "Mike Patton Scramble" »

Last Night, After Sleepy Eyes

posted by on March 7 at 12:58 PM

Me: So, what did you think of the band?

My Friend Sarah: It kind of made me feel like I had to barf. This thing in the back of my nose kept shaking (demonstrates with hand motion). I felt like… if I had really pronounced jowels that they would have been vibrating really hard.

Me: I know, they were great!

Today’s Music News

posted by on March 7 at 12:52 PM

When the Radiohead model gets icky - Jill Sobule seeks donations from fans to record next album

He’s an MC, he’s East Coast, he’s been shot, he’s chubby, he’s hired - Gravy to play Biggie in biopic

Major labels are so passé - Dandy Warhols go DIY

Only slightly more imaginative than the Grammys - Plug Awards announce winners

Lace up your Doc Martens - Lollapalooza line-up speculation

My plans for next Friday - (besides eating a ton of BBQ)

From Last Night’s Young Ones Show: PWRFL Power

posted by on March 7 at 12:05 PM

Photos by Morgan Keuler.

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Photos by Morgan Keuler.

From Last Night’s Young Ones Show: Sleepy Eyes of Death

posted by on March 7 at 11:54 AM

Photos by Morgan Keuler.

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Photos by Morgan Keuler.

What Happened at the Young Ones Last Night

posted by on March 7 at 11:53 AM

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More highlights to come.

Illegal Leak of the Week: Portishead, Third

posted by on March 7 at 11:38 AM

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A backbeat ripped from an old vinyl record with prerequisite popping sounds. A silky, understated bassline. Some strings. A chirping lead guitar that comes seemingly out of nowhere. Beth Gibbons wailing about…well, doesn’t matter, does it? Welcome back, trip-hop comfort food!

I’m posting this on my first listen-through of Third, so take the following opinions with a grain of salt—I know Portishead fans will be stoked just by the mere mention that the 11-years-in-wait record is floating around the world as we speak. Normally it’s jarring to hear a record like this, without any stop-gap albums or material to assess and bridge the gap between then and now, but this disc hasn’t had that effect on me; if anything, it’s almost as if this came out in 2001, as it’s is ridiculously allegiant to the ground that Dummy and Portishead mined. The album opens with the description I gave above, as “Silence” only strays from the days of old with a faster tempo, and fifth track “Plastic” feels ripped out of the 1997 album’s sessions—pensive drumbeat, lots of drumming pauses for Gibbons to audibly wonder things like “I can try… but don’t know what you feel,” her statements usually interrupted by abrupt samples (something that sounds like a helicopter blade, a percolating synth line, a crash of cymbals). And that’s where the major change in the disc comes—lots of synthesizers high in the mix this time around (like in the ending of “Machine Gun,” much more evident on record than on the ATP video from a few months back). I suppose it’s an improvement over the turntable wicky-wicky sounds of old.

There are a few mold-breaking surprises, such as “The Rip,” whose acoustic ballad intro morphs halfway through into a driving, live-drummed number in which Gibbons’ unmistakable “oooooh” stretches for up to 30 seconds at a time over competing, oscillating Moog patterns. That track is soon followed by the incredible “We Carry On,” whose intense pace, synth repetition and vocal wailing recall Silver Apples (if through a less grating Portishead filter, at least, complete with a killer lead guitar line to round the song out). Not sure how I feel about the minute-long, undead-barber-shop dirge “Deep Water,” though, but otherwise, this disc is at turns equally cold/harsh and sweet/inviting, which means it’s business as usual. And I can’t even begin to emote about how heaving and great the final three tracks are—already seem like songs worth memorizing. Time to put the album on repeat…guess it’s 1997 again in more ways than one.

Weekly Recommendation

posted by on March 7 at 10:55 AM

Maelstrom - Edits EP #1 12”
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This week I want to recommend checking out the new re-edit 12” from Glasgow’s Maelstrom. After last year’s release of their solid edit of Metro Area’s “Miura”, Maelstrom blesses us with their new re-edit 12”, Edits EP #1 off of the Solardisco label. I haven’t been able to track down any information regarding the originals that are being edited, however this record has all the great elements of a classic disco record, a nice blend of cosmic and funky grooves that can really keep a dancefloor moving. The three track 12” is solid all the way through, with my personal favorite being the latin-funk influenced “Devilish Fun”, which includes one of the funkiest basslines I’ve heard in quite sometime. Overall, many re-edit records are released year-after-year, in which some you might buy and some you might pass on, however, one listen to this new 12”, you’ll agree that this is definitely one re-edit 12” that you must own. Go get it!

Maelstrom - Devilish Fun (Sample Clip)
Buy Record

Open Call for Remixes: Animals at Night

posted by on March 7 at 10:22 AM

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The Animals at Night want you to remix one of their songs. The electro pimp-groove project of Graig Markel has posted an open call. The song is called “Petals Up”. The original version is on their MySpace.

Submissions are due March 24th.

Here are the tracks (230 megs, 44.1kHz stereo and mono waves): Petals Up.zip

They’re posting each remix they get on their MySpace page and website and they are going to pick one to put on their upcoming remix disc that features remixes from Kristen Hersh, Velella Velella, Daniel G. Harmann, Transmissionary Six, and others coming out in April. If they pick your remix for the CD, you’ll get fifty copies of the disc.

** Conflict of Interest (I guess). I did session work for Animals at Night and Daniel G. Harmann.


Thursday, March 6, 2008

Today in Awkward iTunes Transitions

posted by on March 6 at 5:09 PM

Beirut’s “Carousels” into Bel Biv Devoe’s “Poison.” Weeping brass band fade-out into sudden new jack drum hits and smoov-talk—just terribly upsetting.

It’s Bob Wills’s Birthday

posted by on March 6 at 4:11 PM

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The child cotton picker, one-time barber, songwriter, and fiddlin’ King of Western Swing would’ve been 103 today. Sing it, Tommy, sing it.

Come On Over & Shoot the Split Shot

posted by on March 6 at 3:07 PM

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Your Random 3 pm MP3 for the Day: the Greatest Hits

posted by on March 6 at 3:00 PM

Every day at 3 pm I post a random MP3 from The Stranger’s Bands Pages. It may or may not be good. That’s for you to decide.

Today’s song: “I’m Coming Down Again” by the Greatest Hits.

So. What’d ya think?

Looking For My Dark Angel With Long Hair

posted by on March 6 at 1:40 PM

Oh, how I’ve wasted my morning. Looking for actual music news I stumbled across my new favorite website, gothscene.com. I was curious - how many goth women ages 18-40 are in Seattle, waiting online to meet me? This many:

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I couldn’t help myself. I had to create an account. Oh, how I’ve wasted my morning. This is my favorite kind of cultural anthropology. I won’t post any pictures, because that might be construed as “inappropriate” or “shitty” or something, but I can post some of my favorite headlines. The best: “Nancy Seeks Her Sid.” You’re looking for a drug addict to (allegedly) murder you in a hotel room? Keep reaching for those stars! Other notables: “These Scars Don’t Heal,” “My Kiss Is As Deep As My Bite,” and “im emo i like emo guys* i like razors yah um i like unicorns too.” This is paydirt. I’m going to be trolling this thing all day. And I haven’t even started looking at the dudes yet.

Rhythm and Process

posted by on March 6 at 1:32 PM

Berry Gordy:

My own dream for a hit factory was shaped by principles I learned on the Lincoln-Mercury assembly line. At the plant, cars started out as just a frame, pulled along on conveyor belts until they emerged at the end of the line - brand spanking new cars rolling off the line.

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Juan Atkins:

Berry Gordy built the Motown sound on the same principles as the conveyor belt system at Ford’s. Today their plants don’t work that way — they use robots and computers to make the cars. I’m probably more interested in Ford’s robots than in Berry Gordy’s music.

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The end of Motown and the arrival of techno reflects as it were a larger social and economic passage, from Fordist forms of commodity production to a Post-Fordist ones. At its peak, between 1959 to 1972, Motown was a “hit factory,” with songwriting teams, sound engineers, studio musicians, recording artists, “cranking out hit after hit.” Techno, which emerged in the early 80s and has been exported to Berlin (particularly in the form of Basic Channel) or mutated into weaker products (ghetto tech), does not manufacture hits, nor does the production of it require a large work force. Instead, DJs/designers/beat programmers, who often operate their own, produce techno with computer processors and samplers.

Marxist culture critics will never get enough of the passage from Motown to techno city. It says everything we want to say about economics (the base) and culture (the superstructure).

What Your $5 Will Be Doing Tonight

posted by on March 6 at 12:35 PM

Tonight’s Young Ones concert is also a benefit for Real Change. But Real Change is more than just a paper sold on the street for a buck. From their website, www.realchangenews.org:

The Real Change Homeless Empowerment Project has many faces, a newspaper, an advocacy group, a Homeless Speakers Bureau, and literary workshops. We do a lot, and all of it is working toward building bridges among the poor, homeless and the greater community, while engaging the broader public in fighting for economic justice. By publishing the newspaper and mobilizing the public around poverty issues, Real Change organizes, educates and builds alliances to find community-based solutions to homelessness and poverty. The Real Change is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization.

And the Young Ones showcase—tonight at Neumo’s, headlined by Arthur & Yu and Dyme Def—is just one way you can help out their important cause. A week from now, Real Change is asking you to do more than donate money or buy a paper.

On Thursday, March 13th, the Real Change Organizing Project and friends will stand with those who struggle to survive in Seattle’s public spaces. Your support is vital. If you have a few hours during the day, we need you. If you can spend the night at City Hall Plaza, we need you. Come stand for human dignity, compassion, and public accountability.

Since last spring, the Mayor’s office has coordinated a campaign of harassment and intimidation against homeless campers. The obvious question has been asked a thousand times: Where are these people supposed to go?

On March 13, concerned citizens have the opportunity to send a clear message to the Mayor and his staff.

Our message is simple: Help, Don’t Harass. End the sweeps of homeless encampments. Work with advocates to provide alternatives. Provide real outreach, sufficient emergency shelter alternatives, and expanded services to those in need.

Visibility teams will stand throughout the downtown with banners, leaflets, and petitions to raise awareness of the City’s actions. Dinner, provided by Operation Sacklunch, will be served at 5:30 pm on City Hall Plaza by leaders of Seattle’s faith community. We will camp overnight on City Hall Plaza to highlight Seattle’s critical need for housing and shelter. There will be a final visibility push before the tents come down on Friday morning.

More information can be found at realchangenews.org/action.html. And you can take the first step in supporting the work Real Change does tonight, by checking out some amazing local talent at Neumo’s and Sole Repair for only $5, which will go directly to Real Change.

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See you there!

While Radiohead and NIN Give Music Away for Free, Jill Sobule is Asking Fans to Pay Before the Record’s Even Recorded

posted by on March 6 at 12:19 PM

Via CNN.com:

Sobule, whose witty and poignant writing first attracted attention with the song “I Kissed a Girl,” has set up a Web site asking fans to donate money so she can make a new CD. She set a goal of $75,000 and, in a month, she’s made about $58,000 as of midday Tuesday.

She’s another example of a musician taking control of her career as the business crumbles around her, and doing it with a unique sense of humor.

Contributors can choose a level of pledges ranging from the $10 “unpolished rock,” which earns them a free digital download of her disc when it’s made, to the $10,000 “weapons-grade plutonium level,” where she promises “you get to come and sing on my CD. Don’t worry if you can’t sing — we can fix that on our end.”

For the $500 “gold level,” Sobule will mention your name in a song, maybe even rhyme with it. The $750 “gold doubloons level” is “exactly like the gold level, but you give me more money.”

Huh.

The Breakfast Taco

posted by on March 6 at 11:45 AM

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Today’s ingredients—not sure, but they’ve all been rushed into the taco at the last minute.

SXSW starts in six days, and I’m assuming that Grandy and I will be posting about it like mad next week (though my posting ability will be hampered—I lent Jonathan Golob my busted laptop to see if he could fix it, and it died while in his care, so I will have to improvise). Don’t know how well Grandy’s been preparing, but if he’s been anything like me, he ain’t done much. Poor guy.

For the few who read Line Out and are attending SXSW for the first time—what would that be, six people, tops?—it’s similar to CMJ’s New Music Fest in NYC. For the four nights of official showcases, every bar and music venue in a central chunk of Austin, TX, hosts about 5-6 bands a night. Most of these venues are within walking distance, though this means that non-music bars get converted to host lesser-known acts with awful sound and worse sightlines. Either way, you gotta pay up (wristbands are over $140, badges are waaaay more, or you can pay about $10-25 per door) for the night shows. Meanwhile, the daytime hours are filled with music panels—conferences about the industry that, quite frankly, I’ve never bothered attending. That’s because a billion unofficial, free shows flood Austin during the day hours—the hell do I wanna hear about the impact of iTunes on quarterly sales when Clipse is playing a surprise, RSVP-only show on a Thursday afternoon? These shows are more crowded, and if you have a pet band you wanna see, you might have to show up at noon and stand in a sweaty, ironic, moustache-filled crowd to see ‘em play at 5, but, hey, some of ‘em serve free beer.

Anyway, right now is “crap, crap, holy damned crap” time, as I’m running out of minutes to dig through a never-ending list of bands—and that’s just to prep an iPod mix for the Tuesday plane ride so that I can further narrow it down. And even then, what if I land, only to find out that Matthew Mcconaughey has announced a surprise bongo-off that conflicts with Friday’s Jens Lekman show? Or Autolux cancels its Wednesday night showcase because of food poisoning from Rudy’s BBQ? Of course, there’s nothing stupider than complaining about SXSW and schedule conflicts. “Oh, you’ll only get to see 55 awesome bands instead of 56 while I read about it on Line Out at work. Twerp.”

Doesn’t mean I won’t spaz about it—this is my Spring Break, after all, my version of Daytona Beach. Tan, athletic dudes have beaches and Bud Light. My pale ass has bands and bands and bands, and freaking out is my way of reveling in it. Thankfully, technology has finally caught up to years of overwhelming SXSW schedules. Head to sched.org if you want to plan your daytime frenzies, or even if you’re not going and simply like to read the names of hundreds of bands you’ve never heard of. I’ll try to get on either tomorrow or Monday to post my own SXSW picks, but in the meantime, Texas blog Gorilla Vs. Bear and Ohio blog Done Waiting have been good sources of surprise and sleeper picks as of late. I generally don’t trust blogs to pick good SXSW shows—a good four-tracked MP3 generally translates to a boring-ass showcase—but I visit these two every year, as they’ve been through the SXSW wringer enough to balance hype with reasonable expectations.

The Best Video Game Music of All Time

posted by on March 6 at 11:23 AM

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Over on Slog, I reviewed the Richard Powers reading last night at Benaroya Hall. The story that Powers read was all about music, and it featured a composer who was touring the symphony halls of the world with classic video game theme music.

It occurred to me during the reading that the best video game music of all time is the original Kid Icarus game for the original Nintendo platform. I don’t play many video games, never really did, but I was totally obsessed with the soundtrack of Kid Icarus. Only the original Legend of Zelda comes anywhere near it in terms of catchiness, relative complexity, and all-around thematic satisfaction. From the title theme to the triumphant underworld score to the spooky fortress music to the reggae-like sky world music, it’s just a phenomenal soundtrack.

All music links and the image come from The Kid Icarus Shrine, which is a truly weird, wonderful place.

Today’s Music News

posted by on March 6 at 10:53 AM

Internets ‘N Internets - Tapes ‘N Tapes’ new album online for next 24 hours

My 6th grade wet dream - Red state rock fest resurrects hair metal legends

No word on a brainhandle haircut yet - Quicksand/Seaweed drummer joins Krishna band 108

In other drummer news - How much of a fuck-up do you have to be to get kicked out of Turbonegro?

Please, your honor, make it a year - Scott Weiland pleads not guilty to DUI

”As we come to the close of our broadcast day… - …this is my farewell transmission”

RE: HEALTH

posted by on March 6 at 10:45 AM

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In case you were still wondering where HEALTH is playing tonight, it’s at Chop Suey, it’s $10 $7, and it’s all-ages. Crystal Castles was scheduled to headline but had to cancel due to injury. Still playing is post-Blood Brothers post-punk outfit Past Lives and Tacoma DJ David Wolf. Here’s what I said about it before Crystal Castles Cancelled:

Last time they came through town, opening for Metric, Toronto duo Crystal Castles were great but totally out of place. Playing to a half-empty Showbox crowd mostly there for Emily Haines’s whip-smart indie rock, Crystal Castles’ strobing, eight-bit electro-punk fell largely on deaf ears and stiff asses. This time, presented at Chop Suey by underage dance night Club Pop, producer Ethan Kath’s broken Casio beats, mangled video-game synths, and Alice Glass’s smeared-eyeliner goth wailing should absolutely kill. Sharing the bill is L.A.’s HEALTH, with whom Crystal Castles have a mutual hit in the song “Crimewave”—maybe they’ll treat us to a collaborative rendition of it tonight. Opening is Seattle’s Past Lives, the post–Blood Brothers dub/punk experiment of Jordan Blilie, Devin Welch, Morgan Henderson, and Mark Gajadhar. Warming things up will be up-and-coming Tacoma-based DJ David Wolf, who’s already stacked up an impressive array of remixes including Crystal Castles, Liars, and Of Montreal.

The Duke Sauna

posted by on March 6 at 10:40 AM

olly.jpgThe Duke Spirit is a band from England. They are in Seattle to play at Neumos tomorrow, Friday, March 8th for John in the Morning’s Birthday Bash. They are two guitars, bass, drums, and singer Leila Moss. It’s rhythm and garage. It kills. Leila hunts you like a pack of melodic wolves.

Drummer Olly Betts and I spoke in the sauna at their hotel:

Man, it’s hot as hell in here. I guess I should take off my parka.
Olly: Yeah. Have a seat. Sweat some toxins out.

(De-parka’d) So your new full length Neptune is finally out. It’s gotta feel good to be touring on this record.
Actually, Neptune’s not out physically in the US until April 8th but it’s available on Itunes, It came out in the UK a few weeks back. Yeah, it feels great to have an album out, playing every night, meeting new people, seeing old friends, and being, how you say? – a rock and roller type.

You all played in Seattle before, right?
We have indeed. We played the Crocodile Cafe two years ago, and also an in-store at the great Sonic Boom. It was a busy day. We even managed to play a session for KEXP. We like Seattle a lot. We’re all caffeine fiends, and Seattle is a coffee mecca. Your air is impressive too. So is Puget Sound.

How does the Duke Spirit get over jet lag? Any tricks?
Don’t go there. The rest of the guys seem to get over it but I find it particularly hard. I was going to try Melatonin this time, but I forgot it. I went with peppermint tea and a couple of sleeping pills. Usually, we stay up as long as possible and intake alcohol. And feel like shit on the other end.

Who do you all want the next US president to be?
As long as it’s a Democrat, that’s enough. An American friend of ours has always maintained that George Bush will work a way into getting a third term. That would of course be a travesty. Policies aside, I think it would be great to see new ground broken with the first Woman or African American President.

What kind of drums do you play? For the Seattle gear heads, bequeath for us now talk of those drums.
I can do that. I’m a diagnosed drum geek. I love vintage drums and have a few prized snares that I use for recording with like a 60’s 400 and a Slingerland Radio King. I’m hooked up with Premier drums and love them. The Premier Series kit I have sounds great. Really thin undersized maple shells. They’re made like the best vintage kits and sound as good but have the guts for the road which so many great old kits can’t hack (which is a shame). I’m a Paiste man through and through. If you were to snap me in half, there would be Paiste juice in there.

We should get out of here now, huh? And get some water. Maybe you all should change the name of your band to the Duke Sweat-it.
That sounds good. We’ll change it immediately. Cheers.

Here’s the video for Neptune’s “The Step and the Walk”:

Tonight in Music: The Young Ones! And Magnetic Fields, Lifesavas, Harvey Danger, Atlas Sound, and HEALTH

posted by on March 6 at 9:00 AM

Tonight is the Stranger’s Young Ones showcase!

The Young Ones at Neumo’s and Sole Repair (Music) Over the last year, The Stranger’s music staff has combed through hundreds of local bands to find our favorite eight. We call them the Young Ones: the Pharmacy, Talbot Tagora, Truckasauras, the Moondoggies, Throw Me the Statue, the Physics, PWRFL Power, and Sleepy Eyes of Death. We adore their music, predict they’ll have a collectively amazing 2008, and salute their efforts with a big ol’ party at Neumo’s and Sole Repair. Even better: The $5 door charge goes directly to benefit Real Change. Last year’s Young Ones Dyme Def and Arthur & Yu return to headline. Be there. (Neumo’s, 925 E Pike St, and Sole Repair, 1001 E Pike St, www.thestranger.com/youngones. 8 pm, $5, 21+.) by Megan Seling

This show will be fantastic. But there’s other stuff going on too, and I should be fair and mention it. So here we go…

This week David Schmader interrogated Stephin Merritt of the Magnetic Fields. Then, David Schmader interviewed himself about what a shitty interview Stephin Merrit is. An excerpt of the hilarious outcome is below, you can read the whole thing here.

schmadermerritt.jpgArt by Kyle T. Webster

This week’s Interrogation was supposed to be an interview with Stephin Merritt. It didn’t go so well. The last time you tried to interview him, at Bumbershoot in 2000, didn’t go so well either, right?

The Magnetic Fields came to play Bumbershoot, and the organizers asked if I’d be up for moderating a “songwriters salon” featuring Stephin Merritt and Sally Timms of the Mekons. I love both bands, so I said yes. A couple of days before the event, Timms had a family emergency and had to bail, so instead of moderating a discussion between Timms and Merritt, I ended up doing a one-on-one, live-onstage interview with Merritt, and it was a fucking disaster.

What happened?

Very little. At the time of the Bumbershoot interview, I was completely infatuated with 69 Love Songs—when I wasn’t listening to it, I was thinking about it, and when I wasn’t doing either, I was swimming through the related media coverage: the Village Voice cover story, the Terry Gross Fresh Air interview, Merritt’s past writings for Time Out New York, everything I could find. I was a freak, and my rabid fandom made me the worst interviewer in the world.

The Magnetic Fields play Town Hall tonight and tomorrow night. Both shows are very, very sold out.

Also tonight:

Harvey Danger
(Triple Door) If you need any proof that Harvey Danger’s big song from 10 years ago still means something to people, that its center of gravity holds, that it will never die, all you have to do is go to the gym. Or wait long enough in the lodge at Steven’s Pass. Or turn on the radio in Los Angeles. Or watch that movie it’s in. Or that British TV show it’s the theme song for. It’s always playing somewhere in the world, but it’s always ripped out of context. Which is why this weekend’s two-night run at the Triple Door will be so wholly satisfying. The first night features the band reproducing Where Have All the Merrymakers Gone? in its entirety, with assorted B-sides; the second has them tackling King James Version and Little by Little. It’s a history party. CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE
Atlas Sound, White Rainbow, Valet, Dormant
(High Dive) What you already know: Atlas Sound is Bradford Cox of 2007’s great blog hype Deerhunter, whose swirling debut, Cryptograms, and bleak addendum the Fluorescent Grey EP actually lived up to all the critical chatter; Cox is a freak of the internet, a denizen of the digital underground whose own blog posts tend toward the NSFW; he strikes a rather shocking profile, due to the wasting effects of Marfan syndrome. What you might not know: Atlas Sound’s debut, Let the Blind Lead Those Who Can See but Cannot Feel, is an enveloping lo-fi ambient punk dream, a pharmaceutical drift full of layered sound and delayed vocals that double back on themselves as wordless drones; live, Atlas Sound has expanded to include White Rainbow’s Adam Forkner (formerly of overly slept-on fantasy-epic shoegazers Yume Bitsu and dub dabblers VVRRSSNN) among other musicians. White Rainbow open, along with fellow Portland Kranksters Valet and Dormant. ERIC GRANDY
Lifesavas, One Struggle
(Nectar) Many Americans don’t know that they know Portland’s foremost hiphop crew Lifesavas. Many Americans know the music for the GMC commercial that has a massive pickup truck skipping from building top to building top and ripping down skyscrapers, but they don’t know that the music is taken from a smooth Lifesavas track called “Gutterfly” from their 2007 album of the same name, released by Quannum Projects (DJ Shadow, Blackalicious). The album exploits the themes and moods of blaxploitation films, but Lifesavas are far from the gaudy glamour of pimps and hustlers and much closer to the seriousness of old-time missionaries. Their mission in this fallen world is to save and spread the soul of hiphop. CHARLES MUDEDE

arthur%26yu.jpgArthur & Yu photo by Greg Lutze

And did I mention there’s also the Young Ones showcase/Real Change benefit with Arthur & Yu and Dyme Def? Because that’s happening to, and it’s going to be great.

Tonight! Tonight! Tonight!

posted by on March 6 at 8:15 AM

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Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Gnarls Barkely Video May Cause Seizures

posted by on March 5 at 11:18 PM

Apparently, MTV has refused to play the new Gnarls Barkley, “Run,” not because there’s too much T&A or violence, but because it may be harmful to viewers.

Via NME.com:

The video for the first single from Gnarls Barkley’s new album has reportedly been banned from MTV.

It was deemed that the video for ‘Run’, which features a cameo appearance from Justin Timberlake, may trigger epileptic seizures with its strobe-like effects.

Here it is to see for yourself (watch at your own risk and all that disclaimer stuff):

Do You Really Want to Hurt Eat Me?

posted by on March 5 at 4:10 PM

In the poll Trent posted this morning, it’s a pretty close race as to who would survive the imaginary plane crash—Lemmy’s ahead with 21%, both Jackie Hell and 50 Cent are close behind with 16%, and Danzig’s holding up third place with 14%.

But there’s one artist who has a huge lead in the “Who would be the first to get eaten?” category: Ben Gibbard. Almost 40% of you think Ben Gibbard would be the first to get eaten.

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I thought for sure Dave Matthews would take that one.

Your Random 3 pm MP3 for the Day: Andie Francoeur

posted by on March 5 at 3:00 PM

Every day at 3 pm I post a random MP3 from The Stranger’s Bands Pages. It may or may not be good. That’s for you to decide.

Today’s song: “Morning Light” by Andie Francoeur.

Do you have a Bands Page? Click here to get one.

Akimbo to Release New Album on Neurot Recordings

posted by on March 5 at 2:26 PM

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Akimbo drummer Nat Damm tells me that Neurosis so enjoyed the band’s opening slot at the recent Neurosis/Converege show at Neumo’s, that they’ve offered to release Akimbo’s next album on their label, Neurot Recordings. Heavy!

“It was in the very same hallway that Jello offered to put us out on Alternative Tentacles,” says Damm. The heavy hallway. Congratulations, Akimbo.

Young Ones Showcase! Tomorrow!

posted by on March 5 at 2:11 PM

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Advance tickets are on sale at Neumo’s ($5 will get you into both clubs). Sole Repair, if you didn’t know, is behind Quinn’s which is right across from Neumo’s (kitty corner to the Comet).

Visit thestranger.com/youngones for more information.

I’m goin’, are you goin’?

Fleet Foxes Tour Diary #2: From Phoenix to Denton, and BIG FUCKING SAND DUNES!

posted by on March 5 at 2:06 PM

Well, back in the saddle again folks, this time we’re hightailing it from Phoenix, Arizona (home of the University of Phoenix, the most reputable and worthwhile internet college there is) to Denton, Texas, which is somewhere right outside of Dallas, home of the “Cowboys” basketball squad that won the World Cup a few years ago. I love their goalie.

Since last we spoke a lot has happened so I guess I’ll start at the new beginning: I hate LA with the force of 1,000 suns, the whole immensity of the known universe. You could fill the 96% of all space that’s made of yet-unknown substances with this hate. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if, when that giant matter collider discovers the Higgs-Boson, the Higgs-Boson will have “LA SUX” written on it in subatomic particles. I don’t really know what it is that rubs me the wrong way about the place but I have never felt comfortable there and it just seems like 10,000 Bellevues combined with a 24/7 American Idol audition. But that’s the problem with seeing places while on tour—unless you have an extra day or two there, you only see the immediate area around the venue and then the smoggy highways surrounding; not the most accurate sample. I know there are rad areas of LA, I’ve heard “Silverlake” and “Echo Park” are where it’s at, but I’ve never been to those places or the Smell—just the disgusting downtown Perez Hilton feeling places.

Still, it was a veritable people party at the Troubadour, a bro-fest including my dear girl and her grandfather, the wonderful Joan Hiller, Skye’s brother Carter, and my goddamn PARENTS who came down to both the LA show and the San Diego one. Include among that list the awesome dudes from Blitzen Trapper and Grand Archives and it gets crazy thinking just how lucky we are to have so many supportive and loving people around us. Indescribable. The show went well but for some hang-ups in the mandolin department which forced a truncated setlist—we were the first band on the bill anyway so it didn’t make that big of a difference. That night I split ways with the boys (who all stayed with Carter) and me and my girl visited her grandfather’s house which was awesome—he is a screenwriter in Hollywood and a really sweet guy.

The drive to San Diego found LA never really ending until San Diego began, and the show ended up being my personal favorite yet, the sound was good and the people were really sweet and we got to kick it with all the Grarchives homies one last time before splitting off on our ways. In the hotel room that night I watched the new episode of Lost (sorry Olivia) and had my mind blown forward in time.

Once we got out of San Diego, the drives grew There Will Be Blood-ian in there epicness, my god, the southwest is INSANE. There were mountains made of small boulders, rock formations, gulches and bright red rock spires. Vast plains and valleys and SAND DUNES!!!! DUNES!!!! I had never been to a dune before. As soon as we hit the pure Lawrence of Arabia desert section we stopped, ran across the highway, jumped a fence, and climbed to the top of these insane dunes. If you positioned your head in the right way at the top of the dune you could see for miles, miles and miles of sand like huge white waves, and I could imagine for a minute that I was stranded in the desert on the verge of death and it was strangely comforting. I like doing stuff like that, being in locations where there’s no way to tell your place in time. It could have been 1008 A.D. on the top of those dunes for all we knew. It ended up that we were across the border into Mexico. I guess you don’t need too comprehensive a fence when the other side is certain doom. Hold on, we just saw a sign for a meteor crater monument, we are taking the exit. Be right back.

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OH MY FUCKING GOD!!!!!!! THAT WAS INSANE!!!! It was a meteor crater like a half mile across in the middle of nowhere, monumentally gorgeous and insane, the gates were closed but we put a carpet over the barbed wire fence and hopped over and climbed to the top. Holy shit man. What a goddamn mind bender. A gigantic rock flew from the cosmos and landed right there and we were just on top of the crater. Good god!!!! A car came so we hopped back over the fence but it was just some guy with the same idea. So amazing. It’s like the feeling you get when you watch an eclipse that for some reason seeing the shadow of our own planet darkening the moon makes our place in the universe somehow more palpable…. wow, so cool.

Ok, so yeah, back on track, the place we placed in Phoenix was awesome, this all ages art space called Modified, it reminded me of Art Works or HTFC or something, my personal favorite venue so far. The sound was weird but it was a lot of fun and everyone was really attentive. I am really feeling the wear and tear on my voice from singing night after night - I’ve been smoking a lot of cigarettes to deal with stress and it’s kind of tearing my throat apart. Today I started chewing the Nicorette gum my mom covertly slipped into my bag on our way out of town and it’s been good, gotta quit. I did have a couple drags of Christian’s cigarette at the top of that crater though, it felt like a fitting place to have my last one. Back to the gum for the sake of my voice, I sure will miss smoking…

Ok, I’ve rambled again, thanks for reading, see you in a few days!

Luff springs eternal,
Robin & Skye & Casey & Christian & Nick

Orgone Returns to Seattle in April!

posted by on March 5 at 1:31 PM

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Just the other day, I spoke with Nectar’s booker Colin and he informed me that Ubiquity Recording Artist funk group Orgone are coming back to the Nectar on Friday, April 4th. If you were one of the lucky 250+ people who attended this show back on January 29th, you know your in for another treat come April. This Southern California funk group, who is a little bit of throw back to the legendary funk groups of the 70’s like Booker T & The MG’s, MFSB, and The JB’s, easily put on one of the best live show’s Seattle has seen in some time with a two hour set that included some amazing classic funk cuts like “Funky Nassau” and “I Get Lifted”, which pretty much brought the house down. If on a cold and wet January Tuesday, this show brought in 250+ people, you can only imagine what it’s going to do come a warmer Friday night in April. Mark Your Calendars!

photo by Lydia Goolia

Tonight in Music: Bisc1, Metermaids, and Domer at the Sunset

posted by on March 5 at 12:58 PM

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Larry Mizell’s got a suggestion for you in this week’s My Philosophy:

I’m loving how the Sunset, formerly a pretty rock-centric stronghold, has been doing some dope hiphop shows. NYC avant-gardians Bisc1, Metermaids, and Domer are making a pit stop in the kingdom of Ballard for their Traveling Circuits tour—peep ‘em at the ‘Set on Wednesday, March 5. I know Bisc is down with the Def Jukie crew, so you can probably extrapolate what that sounds like, and Metermaids and Domer both bring a cerebral indie-rock vibe and electronic crunch to their hiphop; shockingly, for the most part the shit sounds pretty damn good. In particular, Domer’s tuneful, half-poppy style sounds pretty good on a sunny day like today.

Also happening:

*Line Out’s own TJ Gorton and Terry Miller are spinning at Havana
*Tilly & the Wall play with Ships at Chop Suey
*Comeback Kid play El Corazon with Shook Ones and Crime in Stereo
*”Awesome” (who you can hear on Setlist) are at Nectar with Tally Hall

And if you hate music and want to stay home and watch TV, Eric Grandy, Amy Kate, Dan Savage, and myself will be liveblogging the Project Runway finale at 10 pm. Christian’s probably gonna win, but if Rami does I’m going to smash my TV.

Boooo!

posted by on March 5 at 12:22 PM

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Baroness are one of the few metal acts that I totally love but still haven’t seen live. Their newest, Red Album, was the best metal release that came out last year. So how stoked was I when I saw that they had announced a May 20th gig at the Showbox? Monumentally. But then the icy bitch slap of reality struck me across my face when I saw who they’re opening for - fucking Coheed and Cambria. Boooooooo. Booooo! Booooo!!!! The new Coheed album was arguably the biggest heap of dog shit released in audio form last year. I want to see Baroness is a room full of people there to see Baroness, not a flock of kids in Atreyu hoodies who finished up their math homework in homeroom so their mom would let them go to the show. Boooo!

All is not lost, though. This just means that I will most definitely have to make the road trip down to Portland on April 16th (which I was prolly going to do anyway) to catch one of the best metal lineups possible: Baroness, Genghis Tron, the Red Chord and Converge. It’s a shame that this show isn’t making it’s way up to us, but I figure Converge has had their fill of Seattle lately. I’m willing to make the drive.

What the Fuck?

posted by on March 5 at 11:37 AM

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50 Cent will be a guest at Wrestlemania XXIV on March 30, where he’ll accompany boxing champion Floyd Mayweather—who apparently uses “I Get Money” as his entrance music—to the ring before Mayweather’s match with the seven-foot, 400-pound wrestler who goes by the name The Big Show.

(MTV)

I can’t even handle this. To take something as sacred and glorious as wrestling, and tarnish it with a corporate turd bag like 50 Cent? Are they trying to ruin wrestling’s good and reputable name? Who, in God’s name, is The Big Show? Hearing news like this just ruins my day. Thanks a lot, “Curtis”.

Today’s Music News

posted by on March 5 at 10:58 AM

Pay your dues before you pay the rent. - Pavement reunion?

So cheer up already - Trent Reznor makes $750,000 in three days

Do you trust MTV’s opinion? - Early review of new Death Cab record

Can’t find the umlaut on my keyboard - Bjork pisses off Serbia

Buy Reno Dakota but skip Experimental Music Love - Merge Records launches digital music store

Slow day in news - Stranger intern finally finds highly prized Systral EP online

Super Wednesday - Eat Me

posted by on March 5 at 10:47 AM

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If a plane crashed high in the Andes Mountains and those on board had to endure two months of the harshest high altitude conditions imaginable:

Who would be the most likely to survive?

Who would be the first to be eaten?

In The Dark

posted by on March 5 at 10:05 AM

For those in the know…

Charile Dark getting down with Steve Spacek. As you can see, Dark is a man who is moved by the power of music. To reuse the words of Toots: “Gots to feel the spirit.”


Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Heyjowhayagowivaguninyaha?

posted by on March 4 at 5:06 PM

Garage Hangover always has some pretty interesting teen/garage music from the 60s and 70s, but this cover of “Hey Joe,” by The Hazards, is kind of exceptional.

I thought that the band was Hungarian or something: the lyrics are so fucked-up and run-together that only about 10% of it is immediately recognizable as English, but the band is based out of Richmond, Virginia.

The other notable thing about the Hazards is the name of the lead guitarist: Sonny Salisbury.

Save Your Mushrooms For Monday

posted by on March 4 at 4:20 PM

Sasquatch has announced the day-by-day breakdown of this year’s festival, which, of course, goes down Memorial Day Weekend at the Gorge:

Saturday, May 24th R.E.M. / Modest Mouse / M.I.A. / The New Pornographers / The National / Ozomatli / Beirut / Dengue Fever / Fleet Foxes / The Breeders / Okkervil River / Crudo (featuring Mike Patton & Dan The Automator) / Destroyer / The Little Ones / Dead Confederate / Grand Archives / David Bazan / Joshua Morrison / Vince Mira with the Roy Kay Trio / Throw Me The Statue / The Shaky Hands

Sunday, May 25th
The Cure / Death Cab For Cutie / Michael Franti & Spearhead / Blue Scholars / Cold War Kids / Tegan & Sara / Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks / The Kooks / Mates of State / Rogue Wave / White Rabbits / The Heavenly States / 65daysofstatic / Sera Cahoone / The Blakes / The Cops / J. Tillman / “Awesome”

Monday, May 26th
The Flaming Lips U.F.O. Show / The Mars Volta / Flight Of The Conchords / Rodrigo Y Gabriela / Built To Spill / The Hives / Matt Costa / Ghostland Observatory / Jamie Lidell / Battles / The Cave Singers / Thao Nguyen with the Get Down Stay Down / Pela / Kinski / Dyme Def / Say Hi / Siberian

(Thanks to Line Out tipper Keith)

Sitting in the Park

posted by on March 4 at 3:51 PM

In the late 1970’s, Joe Isaacs put together a very unique disco project titled, Risco Connection. In this project’s short life span, Risco Connection released some amazing 12” singles covering some classic disco tracks including McFadden & Whitehead’s 1978 “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now”, Inner Life’s 1979 “I’m Caught Up (In A One Night Love Affair)”, Chic’s “Good Times”, and Diana Ross’s “It’s My House” to name a few. This group was able to successfully take these original songs and make them their own, adding their own unique blend of laid-back latin-disco, as well as elements of dub and reggae. Risco Connection tracks make for great ‘cool-down’ songs within a disco set, as well as great sample material for House, Hip-Hop, and Dub producers. Regardless, Joe Isaacs not only put together a solid disco project during the late 1970’s, he was able to put together one that had one of the more unique and interesting sounds. When you put on a Risco Connection record, you definitely know what your getting into, sound wise, however for this particular case, that’s a good thing!

Risco Connection - I’m Caught Up
Risco Connection - Ain’t No Stopping Us Now

Famous as Whodini

posted by on March 4 at 3:26 PM

I know I can’t be the only one that made a Whodini association as I read Terry’s post. Who needs petty magic tricks when you’ve got rappers in leather? When I was young these guys were the coolest mofos on the planet, along with Mr. T and Kurtis Blow.

Your Random 3 pm MP3 for the Day: Fort Hell

posted by on March 4 at 3:00 PM

Every day at 3 pm I post a random MP3 from The Stranger’s Bands Pages. It may or may not be good. That’s for you to decide.

Today’s song: “Fists in the Pocket” by Fort Hell.

What’d you think?

MTV To Start Airing Music Videos Again!

posted by on March 4 at 1:52 PM

Just kidding.

Pitchfork to Launch Online Music TV Channel

Better Than What’s On Local Radio

posted by on March 4 at 1:30 PM

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As part of their pledge drive, “The Best Show On WFMU” will host Ben Gibbard, Ted Leo and Patton Oswalt in the studio tonight. The broadcast begins at 5pm and can be streamed here. And if you would like to request a song for Ted Leo to perform you can do so here.

The Story of the Body

posted by on March 4 at 1:19 PM

There is a wonderful line in Salt-n-Pepa’s most important contribution to the history of hiphop, “My Mic Sounds Nice”:
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“And you know, if I was a book I would sell/Because every curve on my body has got a story to tell.”

Is this not the essence of Barthes’ The Pleasure of the Text? , his “text of bliss (joissance)”? Barthes’ writes: “The pleasure of the text is that moment when my body pursues its own ideas…” The curves, the words, the bliss, the skin, the text, the body, the story, the taste, the idea, the surface, the kiss, the salt. For a book to be great, for a poem to be great, there is “no need to be dressed.” Why? Because “it’s fresh to the flesh.”

Charlie Discovers Radiohead

posted by on March 4 at 12:23 PM

Char8track.jpgCharlie, the 8th grade Blacklight Kid has gotten current with his latest review. In Rainbows is the first Radiohead album Charlie has ever heard. He’ll be working his way through their catalogue in reverse order. He loves vinyl. He is fourteen years old. (Previous Charlie reviews – here.)

You have to respect the way Radiohead released In Rainbows. People decided their own cost. This album conquers major labels, challenges morality, and defines immortality.

I got the vinyl and I recommend you acquire it in some form.

The opening track “15 Step” is energetic. “How come I end up where I started” is how Yorke starts the song. This track has a candy bass line delivered by Colin Greenwood that will inhabit you. “House of Cards” is also excellent. There is a fuzzed up violin that plays off of Yorke’s voice.

The key track for me is “Nude”. This somber dirge of a song is very minor and cold. Yorke sings in a tormented, chilling voice that is unique and haunting. The song is riddled with all kinds of synthed out porous raindrops of sound. Throughout the rest of the record you will also hear oscillating whooshes and other electronic integrations. “Faust Arp” delivers a song resembling a Syd Barrettesque rant where you find Yorke singing “Watch me fall like dominoes in pretty patterns.”

On one song Yorke sings “jigsaw falling into place.” This lyric is perfect because the puzzle pieces of this album have floated perfectly together like continents. Completing the puzzle that is In Rainbows.

Darkness Into Light

posted by on March 4 at 12:22 PM

New remixes of Johan Agebjörn and Sally Shapiro’s “Spacer Woman From Mars” from the Lobe compilation Milky Disco are out now, and the new mix by Elitechnique is stuning!

Turning darkness into light, Elitechnique take the original dark-italo track and breath fresh clubby air under it’s wings.

Hear it for yourself at Radio No. 1.

Then purchase the whole single, including Agebjörn’s “Megaman II Remix” and a Rude 66 remix of “Spacer Woman…”

Also…check out the new video for Sally’s single “Jackie Jackie”.

I can’t help but think about that young gay kid who was recently murdered in California when I see this. It’s so sad. A boy (I know, it’s probably a girl, but it LOOKS like a boy to me) alone in his bedroom, listening to records like Cyndi Lauper and Sally Shapiro, singing to himself, trying on a mop head to make a blonde wig with his pink wrist-band on, his mother feeling seperated from him….

“Why do I always end up in situations that are bad for me? And how come I don’t fall in love with normal people?

I don’t think you’re that strange. Do you think I’m strange?
It’s just… that things always get so complicated.”

And the video ends with this loud gunshot sound and the boy lying on his bed, still, not moving, as disco ball lights dance around the room.

Sorry, I’m all emotional now.

Famous As Houdini

posted by on March 4 at 11:54 AM

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Last night I was helping my son with a poster for a book report about Harry Houdini.

I was telling him that at one point in time Houdini was probably the most famous entertainer in the world. Every new illusion he created was written up, on the front page, in nearly every newspaper on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.

My son asked, “Who would be that famous today?”

The answer we came up with is after the jump.

Continue reading "Famous As Houdini" »

Neon Neon - Stainless Style

posted by on March 4 at 11:44 AM

The Super Furry Animals were in town a few weeks ago, and it got me thinking about Gruff Rhys’ new album due out soon with producer Boom Bip.

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Neon Neon is the name of their collaboration, and the new album, a concept album about the life of goofy car-maker John DeLorean, is called Stainless Style.

I first read about the project in the high-design car magazine Intersection a few months ago, and I’ve been looking out for the album ever since.

Well, mp3’s are starting to make there rounds about the blogosphere and word on the street is the album is a stone cold electro-rocker!

Here’s what I’ve been able to find so far:

Neon Neon - I Lust You

Neon Neon - I Told Her On Alderon

Neon Neon - Raquel (about Raquel Welch)

Neon Neon Mixtape @ Ptichfork (Features Goblin, Prince, Neil Young, Debbie Gibson…)

I am so psyched, and can’t wait to see the tour!

Today’s Music News

posted by on March 4 at 11:18 AM

Anyone not sick of Vampire Weekend yet? - Hit and runs, cancelled shows, SNL performance, blah blah blah.

Anyone not sick of Vampire Weekend? pt. 2 - Pitchfork to create online music television channel

Anyone not sick of Kenny Chesney yet? - Academy of Country Music announces award nominees

Anyone not sick of American Idol yet? - Male contestant outed for work as a stripper in gay nightclub

Anyone not sick of corrupt boy band promoters yet? - Lou Pearlman faces federal charges

It’s not over ‘til… - Opera star Giuseppe di Stefano passes at 86

This Week’s BOTW: Coco Coca

posted by on March 4 at 11:00 AM

Meet Coco Coca. His real name is Danny. He’s this week’s Band of the Week.

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Q: So you’re technically all alone when you record your music, right? How about when you perform live? Is it just you and a bunch of electronics then too?

A: Basically, yeah. I think it’s important to note though that a lot of my live show is sampled and looped live and I don’t just walk on stage and press “play.” I play guitar too. And that coupled with the vocals seems to keep an organic feel even with all the electronics.

Q: If so, I bet that’s sort of exhausting, huh? To control that many different layers of sound at the same time. How do you do it?

A: With my feet! Where most people stop at their upper extremities I say “fuck that, I got two more I can put to use.” After the initial looping of parts and things are playing I focus on guitar and singing and drop parts in and out with foot switches. It can be exhausting at times but the key is just to practice a bunch.

Q: Your bio says you moved to Seattle from the Midwest. What brought you here? Please don’t say Nirvana.

A: I moved here to play music, mostly. It was kind of a big move for me, the furthest I’ve ever lived from home in my life… so far. I’m from Champaign, Illinois originally. There’s a pretty rad music scene there, small, but rad. Seattle seemed it would have a lot more to offer. I was in an awesome Nirvana cover band when I was 10 though.

Q: Which is harder—piano or guitar?

A: Well I wouldn’t say I actually know how to play piano, more pressing the keys and seeing what happens. Actually learning piano is still a work in progress for me. I’ve been playing guitar my whole life so I don’t really remember learning how. I would think piano would be more difficult to learn mostly because, traditionally, that means learning how to read music and that shit is impossible.

Q: What was your favorite record when you were 13 years old?

A: Nine Inch Nails, Broken.

Hear a few songs by Coco Coca:

Continents and Oceans
Fit
A Supervision for the Ages

Coco Coca will play the Cha Cha on April 6th. He’s also going to release his new album, his full-length debut titled Black Black Black in June.

New Presidents of the United States of America Video - “Mixed Up SOB”

posted by on March 4 at 9:14 AM

Directed by “Weird” Al Yankovic (really):

New album These are the Good Times People is out March 11th. The Presidents play the Paramount Theater on Saturday, March 15th with USE and Pleaseasaur.

Tonight in Music: Panther, Taken By Trees, British Sea Power, the Gutter Twins

posted by on March 4 at 9:00 AM

In this week’s paper, Eric Grandy interrogated Charlie Salas-Humara of Panther. An excerpt:

What’s the worst reaction you’ve ever had at a live show? Any rioting? Near-rioting?

I’ve had people get up on the stage and try to stop me, which is really weird.

How did they try to stop you?

I had a weird show in a basement of a Chinese restaurant in San Francisco, and this guy got up onstage and tried to put me in a headlock. Then some other guy ended up putting him in a headlock. He was just trying to stop me; he was really bummed out by it. The weirdest thing was I saw him the next night, I played in Oakland, and he was in the front nodding his head or whatever; I was like, “Okay….”

Click here to read the full interview. Panther plays tonight at Nectar with Gil Mantera’s Party Dream, Talbot Tagora, and Check Minus.

From this week’s U&Cs:

British Sea Power, Colourmusic
(Neumo’s) The other day at the office, Eric Grandy literally threw a CD at me. It was Do You Like Rock Music? by British Sea Power. The name sounded familiarish. They are, according to Wikipedia, four guys from Brighton who like and make rock music and whose live shows involve bear costumes and stage diving. Last month at a show, the keyboardist and cornet player reportedly jumped off a 12-foot-high PA system and landed on his head. He was rushed to the hospital where he got “a maze of stitches” on his chin and was treated for a concussion. This has to be commended. The music itself? It’s the sort of rock that takes itself for powerful and British but is actually thin, generic, cheesy. I listened to “No Lucifer” and “Waving Flags,” the two singles on Do You Like Rock Music?, over and over again, and I can’t remember a thing about them. CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE
The Gutter Twins, Great Northern
(Showbox at the Market) The paths leading to the Gutter Twins are two. One path, taken by Greg Dulli, is the Afghan Whigs, and another path, taken by Mark Lanegan, is the Screaming Trees. The first complete work at the end of these paths, the Gutter Twins, is called Saturnalia. The title of the work is faithful to its content. All that is implied by the word “saturnalia” is realized in the music. Saturnalia as a word and as a work is “a period of unrestrained revelry.” The work has no restraints; it’s an orgy of complicated emotions, perverted poetry, big mountain drums, soaring arrangements, moments of troubled peace, moments of panic, moments of hope, moments of hysteria. In all, the work has too much stuff in it and one longs for the simplicity and poverty of the Screaming Trees and the Afghan Whigs. CHARLES MUDEDE
Taken by Trees, White Hinterland
(Triple Door) Victoria Bergsman, aka the female voice on the Peter, Bjorn, and John track “Young Folks”—a song I whistled and whistled and whistled last year (you try not to!)—quit the Concretes in 2006 and started a solo project called Taken by Trees that is pretty much all about her voice. There are instruments, too—strings, a vibraphone, other pretty stuff—but they’re faint, downplayed, beside the point. Bergsman’s voice has many levels and sounds good no matter what you do to it: On “Above You” it’s amplified and echo-y, like a multitude of angels singing at the other end of a hallway; her cover of “Sweet Child o’ Mine” is so great because it’s so simple. CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE

Monday, March 3, 2008

Crystal Castles Cancel Concerts

posted by on March 3 at 7:15 PM

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This just in from Portland DJ/promoter Joee Irwin:

Alice from Crystal Castles has sustained an injury serious enough to cancel the next two weeks of tour, which includes Portland…

…and Seattle, where Crystal Castles were set to play an all-ages show Thurs, March 6th at Chop Suey. Bummer. HEALTH remain, ahem, HEALTHY, and will play, as will Past Lives and DJ David Wolf.

Update:

Due to an unfortunate injury suffered by Crystal Castles lead singer Alice Glass in a car accident late last week, the band will have to postpone the following tour dates while Alice recovers from two cracked ribs. The tour will resume as planned beginning 3/14 in Austin, TX at SXSW. Tourmates HEALTH will continue to play at all scheduled tour dates in their absence.

Face to Face are Playing Shows Again

posted by on March 3 at 5:51 PM

Srsly.

I have added them to my “Come to Seattle you reunited motherfuckers” list.

Now here’s the video for my favorite Face to Face song, “Disconnected.”

Not to Get All TMZ On Your Asses With All the Van Halen News, But…

posted by on March 3 at 4:35 PM

Now USA Today is reporting that Eddie is undergoing medical treatment for a secret condition:

NEW YORK (AP) — Van Halen has postponed concerts this week as guitarist Eddie Van Halen undergoes medical testing for an undisclosed condition.

“According to Eddie Van Halen’s physician, he is undergoing a battery of comprehensive medical tests to determine a defined diagnosis and recommended medical procedures,” according to a statement released Monday by Van Halen’s representative and the tour promoter, Live Nation.

I hope he doesn’t have worms like Dave Mustaine.

Line Out Comment of the Day

posted by on March 3 at 4:16 PM

Posted by Explorer in response to Today’s Music News:

Hold onto your Olive Garden breadsticks — the Van Halen tour hasn’t quite run out yet:

http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003718728

Olive Garden breadsticks. That’s funny.

“Don’t Smoke”

posted by on March 3 at 3:33 PM

Phil Elverum has been playing this song live for a while now, and there’s an acoustic recording of it on the most recent Microphones 7”. He’s re-recorded it in a heavier style with drummer Kjetil Jenssen and Wolf Colonel’s Jason Anderson for a new 6 song EP called Black Wooden Ceiling Opening that’s due May 27th.

I just bit the bullet and ordered the Mount Eerie Photobook. It was very expensive ($64) I hope it is cool.

The Worst Malt Liquor/Energy Drink of My Weekend…

posted by on March 3 at 3:15 PM

Was, without a doubt, Joose. From the intentionally misspelled name to the terrible logo design to the ungainly big-gulp size of the can, this truly is the malt liquor/energy drink combination of Juggalos, meth heads, and the otherwise unemployable. Seriously, guys. Have a Sparks. Mix some whiskey into a bottle of coke. Down an airplane bottle of vodka with a Redbull. Chase yellow-jackets with Pabst if you have to. Just please don’t “wease” the Joose.

Your Random 3 pm MP3 for the Day: The Collective Conscience

posted by on March 3 at 3:00 PM

Every day at 3 pm I post a random MP3 from The Stranger’s Bands Pages. It may or may not be good. That’s for you to decide.

Today’s song: “Classy Ladies” by the Collective Conscience.

Do you have a Bands Page? Click here to get one.

From Start to Finish

posted by on March 3 at 2:36 PM

I’ve noticed this strange trend lately…

Starting May 7th, Local H will begin a 7-night stand at Chicago’s Beat Kitchen, culminating on May 13th with the release and performance of their latest studio album, 12 Angry Months (Shout!Factory). Local H will perform a different studio album, in its entirety, on each night.

Bands playing their albums from start to finish is kind of a new development in setlist advancement. Harvey Danger is doing it this week at the Triple Door, doing Where Have All the Merrymakers Gone on Thursday and King James Version and Little By Little on Friday. I saw Sonic Youth (Daydream Nation), Slint (Spiderland), and GZA (Liquid Swords) do it at Pitchfork Fest last year. Sparks are doing it with every single one of their records, for 21 days in a row in celebration for the release of their 21st record. The idea seems to originate with the All Tomorrow’s Parties Festival, who set up that Pitchfork Fest occasion and solicit bands especially for this type of thing—their next event is Public Enemy performing It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back.

Why is this catching on? At first glance, it seems masturbatory. “Oooh, look at you, playing all the songs you finely crafted on your brilliant album in exactly they way you originally smartly conceived of them! Aren’t you, the artist, one huge motherfucking genius?” Especially with smaller bands, it can seem like someone might be getting a little ahead of themselves. Sonic Youth are huge motherfucking geniuses, but I don’t think I’d say that about Local H (ahem).

This kind of formulated track list also has the potential to blow a band’s wad a little too early. If you have your single as your first track, and then you play it first, it’s possible that everyone will stop paying attention right after. I was afraid of this happening at the CD release for Kay Kay & His Weathered Underground’s record at the Triple Door when they played “Hey Momma” first, but luckily, their album worked in this fashion—they start to jam pretty hard by the end of it, and you should definitely start with melody and end with jam.

All in all, I think it’s cool, though. I’m a total record nerd, and it’s kind of a wet dream to be able to note every pause, every time change, every song-to-song idiosyncracy in real time. I am also an album-order lover—the kind of person who can hardly stand shuffle. This is the only way concept album should be played (right now, I’d pay about a zillion bucks to see the Extraordinaire’s Ribbons of War in this fashion, but more about that record later). It’s not right for every band, but when done well, playing an album from start to finish live is the most gratifying way it can be done. And the fans fucking go nuts.

Father of Mine

posted by on March 3 at 2:35 PM

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Today’s news about Everclear releasing a new album brings me back to a more simple time in life. Back before high school, girlfriends, and puberty, when it all got so hectic and hard. It was 1997, so I must have been nine or ten years old when I first heard their hit song, “Father of Mine” on Kiss 106.1. That song ran my world for a solid minute, and I remember I definitely bought the album, So Much For The Afterglow, specifically to listen to it over and over again. What was it about the song that hit me so hard? I can’t explain it. Even hearing it today breaks my heart a little bit. The story of a boy abandoned, given a name, only to have his neglectful father walk away and out of his life…

The Best Six Minutes of My Weekend…

posted by on March 3 at 1:45 PM

photo by Morgan Keuler

Was probably the two songs I caught of the Pleasureboaters at Healthy Times on Friday night. These guys fucking kill, on a serious Arab On Radar/Chinese Stars tip—discordant punk noise bursting into loose disco grooves, Ricky Claudon wailing psychopathic, kids and band members flailing and rolling around on the floor. Their debut CD, Gross, is out on a little label called Don’t Stop Believin’. It’s good, but it has nothing on the Pleasureboaters’ live show—I wish I could’ve stayed for their whole set. Go see this band in a basement while you still can.

A Conversation in a Song

posted by on March 3 at 1:26 PM

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I said, “What?”

She said, “Oo-oo-oo wee.”

I said, “Alright!”

She said, “Love me, love me, love me.”


Upcoming In-Store Performances

posted by on March 3 at 1:00 PM

I really like seeing rock shows in record stores. If you aren’t too familiar with a band, or want to find out if they’re any good live, they’re the way to go—they’re free, they’re all ages, they’re short and sweet, and the band are usually playing another show around town that day so if you like what you see, you can usually have more.

Here’s who you can find and where you can find them:

Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks
Monday, March 3rd at Sonic Boom Records (Ballard), 11 pm

Liam Finn
Tuesday, March 4th at Easy Street Records (Queen Anne), 6 pm

Angels & Airwaves
Saturday March 8th at Silver Platters (Queen Anne), 5 pm
(This is a KNDD End Session)

The Raveonettes
Sunday, March 9th at Easy Street Records (Queen Anne), 4 pm

The Presidents of the United States of America
Monday, March 10 at Easy Street Records (Queen Anne), 10 pm

(If you work at a record store that hosts live performances and want to have them listed in the paper or on Line Out, e-mail music@thestranger.com.)

Today’s Music News

posted by on March 3 at 12:36 PM

WalMart slashes prices - Soon a CD will be cheaper than a gallon of gas.

Nine Inch… er… Charlatans UK - Brit pop band offer tenth album as free download

Mixed blessing - Robert Plant vetoes Led Zep tour

Van Halen follows suit - Plug pulled on reunion tour

Kid Rock pleads not guilty - to charges of battery, eating chili salad.

Shit Sandwich - Fall Out Boy and John Mayer do Michael Jackson cover

Did You Know the Hells Angels Tried to Kill Mick Jagger?

posted by on March 3 at 11:53 AM

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Neither did I! But a new documentary on the FBI claims it’s true.

Via eonline.com:

A documentary covering the history of the FBI set to air on Britain’s BBC Radio 4 has made public for the first time revelations that legendary rocker Mick Jagger was once the target of a failed assassination attempt.

The plan to off the knighted rocker was, per the documentary, hatched by a group of Hells Angels in the aftermath of the group’s ill-fated and infamous concert at the Altamont Speedway in 1969.

During the free concert, for which the gang was providing security, an 18-year-old male fan was kicked and stabbed to death by a group of Hells Angels in an incident that was captured on several cameras and that, remarkably, did not lead to the cessation of the show.

Following the fatal concert, Jagger made public a vow not to employ the protection services of the chopper gang anymore, which, apparently, was taken as a big enough slight for the group to seek rather drastic vengeance and attempt to take out the superstar.

Read the whole, very weird story here.

The documentary begins airing tonight on BBC Radio 4, Jagger’s episode will air March 11th.

Tomorrow’s Pela Show Canceled

posted by on March 3 at 11:28 AM

Kwab Copeland just sent out the e-mail with the news—tomorrow’s Pela show at the High Dive has been canceled, along with the rest of the band’s tour, due to injury. From the band’s website:

During last night’s show at Schuba’s in Chicago Billy fell off the stage, landing on a broken pint glass. This happened during the triumphant finale of the set; the stage was crowded with people dancing and singing to ‘Cavalry’, while a strobe light turned their vision into a cut screen movie. His left hand has a gash on the palm, and a deep slice in his pinky finger which also cut tendons.

We promise to make up each and every show as soon as possible and apologize to everyone who purchased tickets. Arrangements are being made with all of the clubs on how best to handle the situation. We will have more information soon.

Webmaster note: you can send your best wishes to billy@pelamusic.com and I’ll forward them to him.

Anyone who bought tickets through Brown Paper Bag has already been offered a refund.

Liam Finn will be playing with a special guest opener, it’ll cost $8 at the door.

“Awesome” at the Tractor

posted by on March 3 at 11:00 AM

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By [jaysh].

Mon Amie La Tex

posted by on March 3 at 10:57 AM

Dreams are a language of symbols and associations. Everyone has their own set of symbols and unique language in which they dream. Identifying these symbols and defining that language can tap you deeply into your subconscious. (Previous Line Out dream session – here.)

A drummer in a metal band told me a dream after his show this weekend. In the dream, French singer Francoise Hardy rescued him on an island after a surfing accident. He had fallen off his board while trying to ride a mammoth wave and the reef cut up his skin with its coral knives. Hardy dragged him from the water, took him in, cleaned his wounds, and nursed him back to health. She sang for him and her angelic voice healed the gashes.

This drummer is a gnarly, smelly, man of a man. He plays a double kick drum and his metal band’s music approaches what you might call orc rock or death metal. Texas Chainsaw Massacre is his favorite movie. He was perplexed and uncomfortable with how strongly he resonated with the beauty of Hardy’s voice so he asked to remain anonymous. We spoke. I’ll call him ‘Tex’:

So you were surfing in the dream? Do you surf?
Tex: No but my creativity comes in waves.

Do you listen to much Francoise Hardy? Do you like her music?
My mom was always playing her stuff on the stereo when I was growing up so I guess I think of my Mom when I think of Francoise Hardy. Her music brings back my childhood and I feel safe, or something. Yeah, I like the music but none of my friends know it.

What are the dynamics in your band? Who writes your songs?
It’s been frustrating lately because I have all these song ideas, but the singer and guitar player don’t ever want to work on them. You could say I’m creatively frustrated.

Let us loosely analyze:
With the wave as creativity, the surfing accident in the dream makes sense. Tex fell off a wave and was hurt. Similarly, he is hurt by not being allowed to be part of the creative process in his band. He falls off his wave. Francoise Hardy, who represents mothering and nurturing, is there to take Tex in and make him feel better. Tex desires and needs this nurturing, and is sometimes afraid to admit it.

And now, here’s Francoise singing “Mon Amie la Rose”, just for Tex. Love her as she heals you:

Young Ones Showcase This Thursday!!

posted by on March 3 at 10:15 AM

You are invited…

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Advance tickets are on sale at Neumo’s ($5 will get you into both clubs). Sole Repair, if you didn’t know, is behind Quinn’s which is right across from Neumo’s (kitty corner to the Comet).

Visit thestranger.com/youngones for more information.

Truckasauras is going to play. This is what you can expect:

RIP Jeff Healey

posted by on March 3 at 9:52 AM

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Jeff Healey, the blind Canadian bluesman behind the ’80s hit “Angel Eyes” and thousands of awesome live performances in the decades after, has died of cancer at age 41.

Sad. (But we’ll always have Road House.)

The Pharmacy’s CD Release Party at Healthy Times Fun Club

posted by on March 3 at 9:45 AM

All photos by Morgan Keuler

The Pharmacy

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The Pleasureboaters

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Talbot Tagora

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The Flexx

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All photos by Morgan Keuler

Tonight in Music: Free Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks In-Store and Lake of Falcons

posted by on March 3 at 9:00 AM

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Real Emotional Trash, the new album by Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks, is out tomorrow, and the man and his band will be performing tonight at Sonic Boom Records in Ballard at 11 pm.

The record will be available for sale immediately after the performance, so you can have it a few hours before the rest of the world.

Try before you buy, listen to a couple MP3s, courtesy of Matador Records:
Cold Son
Baltimore

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Also tonight, Lake of Falcons and the Ironclads are at the Funhouse.

That’s a solid local line-up. Ironclads are reminiscent of Jawbreaker meets early Against Me! They have the poetic, melodic tendencies of the Bay Area trio on a couple songs, but there’s that gritty, folk punk edge that Against Me! boasted in their very early days when it was morphing from Tom Gabel’s singer/songwriter project into a full band. There’s also a punk rock swagger by way of whiskey—they mix it all up. Since it’d be worth it to head to the Funhouse for Lake of Falcons’ post-rock explosion, you might as well get there a little early for the Ironclads to check ‘em out. I’ve yet to see ‘em live—could be hit or miss. Let’s find out together.

Radiohead Did It First

posted by on March 3 at 1:05 AM

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Trent Reznor’s been bitching about record labels and downloadable tunes for a while now, so it’s not surprising to see him already put his money where his rotten hole of an angry mouth is. The basics: NIN’s new two-disc instrumental record was released last night as an unannounced surprise. Want it? Options ahoy: Download the first nine songs for free. Pay $5 and get all 36 tracks, either in high-quality MP3 or lossless FLAC format. Pony up more cash, get hard copies ($10 for the CD pack, $75 for a deluxe edition, $300 for the deluxe along w/ a signed vinyl copy).

Lord, it’ll be a great day when this sorta release doesn’t land top billing on music blogs’ newsrolls. Who needs to choke the release date process and seep an album out to random music critics, anyway? Facilitate the nerds’ MP3 access, then enjoy a ride on the wave of modern music promotion/marketing. The better discussion topic here, of course, is comparing this to NIN’s only other big-time instrumental release, one that perhaps only fans and gaming freaks are familiar with. ‘Dja know Reznor scored Quake? The game’s 58 minutes of ambient synth mumblings were never released as a standalone album, which is actually a shame, as the barely bubbling, intentionally sparse stuff is a great foil to the rest of Reznor’s over-the-top sonic drama. (As shocked as I was to really enjoy Year Zero, I got tired of the “down on your knees” bit over and over. We get it, Trent. You hate God and blowjobs. So did my Catholic ex-girlfriend, and her poetry sucked, too.)

From what I’ve already gathered of new release Ghosts I-IV, he’s not interested in the Quake soundtrack’s affinity for patience and tension; even the weirdest tracks still have form and definition, if not a full-on riff and the form of a near-complete song sketch. On the bright side, aspiring goths will probably embrace the chance to insert their own death cries into these tunes, and considering the $75 version will include the original, multi-tracked versions of the songs, get ready for some killer tribute tracks from a lot of embarrassing, number-filled usernames.

Is the Van Halen Tour Canceled?

posted by on March 3 at 12:11 AM

TMZ.com is reporting that it is:

Sources tell TMZ the Van Halen tour has just been canceled!

We’re told arrangements are being made right now to cancel hotel stays for the tour — which was scheduled to continue through April 19th. Sources tell us the reason for the cancellation is Eddie — that he is having “issues.”

The last three shows had already been canceled. There have been reports that Eddie was out of it during concerts — and video of recent performances in which his guitar playing was atrocious.

Reps could not be reached for comment.


Sunday, March 2, 2008

Elmo or Die

posted by on March 2 at 3:58 PM

Artist Bill McEvoy’s take on Motorhead’s March or Die, from Ouch My Eye’s Muppet Rawk showing:

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Elmo is red and when you tickle him he giggles. Lemmy is not red and when you tickle him he fucking socks you in the face.

Your Random 3 pm MP3 for the Day: 13th Grade

posted by on March 2 at 3:00 PM

Every day at 3 pm I post a random MP3 from The Stranger’s Bands Pages. It may or may not be good. That’s for you to decide.

Today’s song: “Art” by 13th Grade.

Do you have a Bands Page? Click here to get one.

Tonight in Music: Huun Huur Tu

posted by on March 2 at 11:49 AM

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Huun Huur Tu
(Triple Door) I once had a roommate at some punk house who wanted to pick up throat singing. The technique involves creating harmonic resonances in ones breathing passages while intoning through ones vocal cords to create formant frequencies below the singing voice. It’s not really the sort of thing that you just casually pick up. More commonly, it’s a practice that originates among certain indigenous cultures—the Sami of Northern Europe, the Inuit, and, perhaps most famously, the Tuvan people of Central Asia. Huun Huur Tu are maybe the most well-known group of traditional Tuvan throat singers. They are, to say the very least, more accomplished in the technique than any anarcho-punk with whom I’ve ever bunked. ERIC GRANDY
SEATTLE YOUTH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
Don’t let the name fool you; these kids are quite good. Conductor Stephen Rodgers Radcliffe leads the band in Aaron Copland’s The Tender Land Suite, Robert Schumann’s Symphony No. 3, and the Too Hot Toccata by Aaron Jay Kernis. Cellist Joshua Roman is the soloist in William Walton’s Cello Concerto. Benaroya Hall, 200 University St, 362-2300, 3 pm, $10—$40. CHRIS DELAURENTI

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Also tonight:
Biography of Ferns and the Little Penguins at the Comet (LP were recently the 3 pm MP3, hear them here)
Visqueen at King Cobra, wrapping up the club’s four-day grand opening extravaganza
New York Dolls at El Corazon