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Archives for 03/09/2008 - 03/15/2008

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Apropos of Midnight

posted by on March 15 at 11:59 PM

If you don’t love the Vampire Weekend album, you’re lying to yourself.

Happening Right Now at SXSW: Monotonix is Doing What Monotonix Does

posted by on March 15 at 7:14 PM

I just got a text from my friend Alicia, who’s in Austin.

Holy shit! I just got drenched in beer @ Monotonix!

She elaborated:

Totally incredible - I got smashed in the arm with a guitar. It was nuts!

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Ah, the magic of SXSW.

Modest Mouse - “Fly Trapped in a Jar”

posted by on March 15 at 4:01 PM


Your Random 3 pm MP3 for the Day: Paintings for Animals

posted by on March 15 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: “Horses are Arriving” by Paintings for Animals.

So. What’d you think?

SXSW Day Three: Santogold and Pissed Off Boys

posted by on March 15 at 1:13 PM

I have to say, this place is kind of a sausage fest. I know it’s supposed to be a taco-fest, but there sure is a lot sausage. One chicka, though, blew everyone away with her live set. I hadn’t previously heard of Santogold. But wow, wow, wowee. Watch this one, to be sure. Sharp, sassy, pure gold…

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Another new love, not previously heard, the Pissed Jeans.

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Their choice in band name, um, appropo…

Also, really really great, was No Age

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… who introduced themselves as Vampire Weekend, the biggest hyped band here, it seems. And Austin’s own…

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White Denim.

Ok - Day Four. I’m off to chase Monotonix, Mika Miko, Clock Cleaner, Spank Rock, and 2 Live Crew. What a weird combination. This place is surreal.

Friday, pt 2: Pissed Jeans, Passed Out

posted by on March 15 at 12:55 PM

I started Friday at the iheartcomix party, which was on the upper deck of a parking garage a few blocks west of the SXSW strip proper. There was a line to get in, not so much because it was over crowded, but because they were letting people up one crammed elevator at a time. Up on the roof, Flosstradamus were DJing a set of big, dumb, fun party jams—Michael Jackson re-edits, their Matt & Kim remix, Ed Banger, “Satisfaction,” “Better Off Alone.” “Yo, we’re just freestyling up here, playing our favorite songs,” they said over the opening synth strains of Benny Benassi. Then: “This wind is killing us up here. It’s blowing our needles all over the place. Fuck it.” Then, later: “Spring break!” And it really felt like spring break.

The high wind wasn’t the only snag at the iheartcomix party, though. There was free beer, but they stopped serving for three hours at 6pm. They were out of water by then, too, although they did have tiny, branded squirt-guns, and I saw one guy walking around with a squirt-gun stuck in his mouth, killing himself for some water.

Santogold had a rough time, too. Santi White came out in a neon pink and green clashing jumpsuit and big wrapped shades, flanked by two stone-faced dancers in white blouses and sunglasses (whichever critic first compared these girls to Public Enemy’s S1-Ws deserves a medal). So, obviously, Santogold is drawing a lot of M.I.A. comparisons—there’s the aforementioned outfit, the fact that Santogold’s electrp-pop is made with some of the same producers, and having Diplo as your live DJ definitely isn’t going to help matters. The most striking difference, besides White’s more trained singing voice, is that whereas M.I.A. samples from a grab-bag of global urban music, Santogold mashes mostly Jamaican influences, notably rocksteady and ska, into ‘08 club music (the bright, 8-bit crunk of “Creator” is an exception).

Diplo, for whatever reason (maybe he was still reeling from that pool party), kind of bombed at backing up Santogold. After the first song, there was a long, drawn out silence, while Diplo worked out some apparent technical issue. White’s S1-Ws stayed totally still and expressionless for the duration like total pros, while Santogold asked if anyone knew any jokes. A friend wondered if she was lip-synching, and, after finally doing her next song, White admitted, “I don’t know if I should tell you this, but that was the CD version of the track,” so she had been singing over her own recorded vocals. Later, her voice was thinner but still impressively elastic. One song started playing backwards part way through, and another one just cut off completely maybe a minute in, causing White to snap, “I don’t even need to say anything. I’m looking for a new DJ.” Then, amicably, “Just kidding. You all know Diplo’s the shit.” It’s a forgiving, forgetful party, though, and White thanks the audience for being so nice.

Another long line, and it’s up to a rooftop pool and patio, where they were serving wine. The sun was setting, all pink and orange behind the DJ booth, girls were dangling their legs in the pool, a trance riff was playing on the soundsystem—it was like walking up the stairs from SXSW and winding up in at WMC in Miami. Definitely the best looking crowd of the weekend so far (music critics aside). Team Robespierre played half a song, blew a fuse, paused in the dark, and then did a short but spirited set for a handful of fans and a lot of disinterested onlookers. Talked to Khaela Maricich from the Blow for a minute, mostly about Why?’s lyrics and whether or not they were offensively bad. I’m obviously a big fan, she’s not so much. We both agree that his morbid neuroses suggest that Yoni Wolf could be bad boyfriend material. About an hour later, I get the weird feeling that I had that exact same conversation before.

Back down on the parking garage floor, after dark, Cut Copy absolutely light the party up. Their new songs have a serious New Order vibe—soft, mopey singing over shimmering synth arpeggios, dreamy pop shoegaze guitars, and electronic kick thump. They have neon, kaleidoscopic videos playing behind them. Like New Order, the lyrics are frequently secondary to the songs’ pulse. “This is a pretty cool party, here’s some more party music,” said their singer before introducing another simultaneously joyous and melancholic song. They played “Girl and the Sea” and “Lights and Music,” and both sounded fantastic. Later, during an instrumental lull: “It’s time for everyone to go nuts, not just the people in front but all through the place.” When the beat kicked back in, the crowd obediently went apeshit, jumping up and down, dancing all over, clapping along.

At the Sub Pop showcase, Pissed Jeans were playing out on a patio stage and fucking killing it. The gravel pit the stage was set up in front of wasn’t great footing for moshing, but a few dudes gave it a shot. The lead singer of Pissed Jeans is a great front-man, part Iggy Pop, part David Yow, part Will Ferrell (Ferrell hat tip: Brandon Ivers), alternately shuddering, sneering, leering, and cringing, leaning on his mic stand, then hunching down to the stage, howling, then screaming into the nearly eye-level stage lights, his thrusting and writhing at once sexual and self-deprecating. Plus he’s funny: “You guys need more pebbles? There’s more pebbles back there.” The band was heavy—drums pounding hard, rumbling, and rolling; bass vibrating below audible frequencies; guitar droning feedback. They swerved from ranting drones to bursts of thrash to sludgy headbanging snarl, brutally executing each. Of all the bands on the Sub Pop showcase, Pissed Jeans stood out as what you might call a classic Sub Pop band. Grunge. Flannel. Hanging on the flippety flop. All that good shit. Plus, they’ve got that whole Allentown-depressed-rust-belt-Springsteen lyric-mystique. “I’m Sick” and “Don’t Need Smoke to Make Myself Disappear” were particularly brutal.

Grand Archives sounded good in the main room, their newer, more rootsy songs sounding more at home here than in Seattle, although the more subdued songs from their demo EP are still my favorite.

Across the street, Old Time Relijun were an ecstatic, mad freak-out, free jazz skronk mixing with swamp boogie mixing with mutant disco grooves mixing with shamanic throat singing. Stand up bass and dual saxophone (two reeds, one mouth) and Arrington de Dionyso looking a little less impish than usual but still summoning some apocalyptic fire and brimstone. I swear I heard an interpolation of “Contort Yourself” in one song. When his guitar came unplugged, he said, “I feel like a guitar shouldn’t come unplugged during such ecstatic, raucous song. Is it embarrassing?” Some guy shouted out, “No big deal,” and Dionyso replied, “I agree with this guy, it’s no big deal.” Saw the drunkest, douchiest dude of the weekend so far, shouting and shoving people incoherently, sporting a shiny baseball cap. Saw a guy fall ass backwards, passing out, head thunking hard on the ground. Good show.

HEALTH sounded much better than their second-most recent show at Chop Suey. Their drummer pounded while the other guys hunched on the floor and humped the stage, screaming into their pedals, jumping up and down, echoing vocals soaring, guitar bursts interlocking and falling apart, feedback braying like a donkey. I wonder, is the impact of noise music lessened when pretty people are making it? Is an ugly band like Wolf Eyes more legit than these guys?

I caught a minute of Blitzen Trapper, including “Wild Mountain Nation,” and it occurs to me that the whole rootsy rock resurgence that’s happening right now, especially in Seattle and on Sub Pop, leaves me kind of lukewarm. I don’t get it. I don’t dig rural seventies Southern soft rock. I appreciate the musicianship and the craft and all that, but, like Moz says, it says nothing to me about my life.

Rode to a couple massive, expensive-looking, but ultimately bunk afterparties with a couple of photographers who were taking flash photos in the front seat while driving buzzed. I don’t want to die driving to see fucking Squirrel Nut Zippers or whatever play at some energy drink sales pitch, but fuck it, if that’s how I go out, so be it. Spring break!

Leslie & the Ly’s at Neumo’s

posted by on March 15 at 11:00 AM

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By Blush Photo.


Friday, March 14, 2008

Apropos of Midnight

posted by on March 14 at 11:59 PM

No way! Not one of the “Build Me Up Buttercup” guys! No, no, no.

Eric McFadden Isn’t In Les Claypool’s Band

posted by on March 14 at 11:57 PM

In this week’s Up & Comings for the Les Claypool show tonight (Friday, March 14th) it reads:

Also in the Claypool band are Critters Buggin’s Mike Dillon, Paulo Baldi from Cake, and Eric McFadden.

Eric McFadden is not in Claypool’s band. Drummer Paulo Baldi plays with Cake and has toured with Eric McFadden.

Had to clear that up.

Also Tonight: Pie Night at the Vera Project!

posted by on March 14 at 5:56 PM

In the slew of shows happening around Seattle this evening, I forgot to mention one very tasty, all ages option: Pie Night at the Vera Project!

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It’s Night of the Living Vera, which means all the music comes from bands or projects featuring Vera volunteers. And not only that, but there are also pies to eat. Why? Because it’s pie day. 3/14. 3.1415926535897. Pi. Get it?

Here’s all the info you need. Forks will be supplied.

Friday March 14 | 7:30 PM
Night of the Living Vera! presents:
Pie Day at The Vera Project!
Music: Pneumonia Jones
Alexis V.O.
And lots and lots of pie!
The Vera Project is extremely excited Night of the Living Vera with an excellent and awesome pie day! There will be a number of pies! Between 15 and 20 pies will be here for your consumption! On top of that there will be two awesome bands and a DJ & to rock the walls for an awesome dance party! Bring a pie if you want! Or don’t and eat a whole bunch of pies!! Just come and eat and dance!
$4 ($3 w/ club card)

Slayer Friendly 2: Cremaster 2

posted by on March 14 at 3:06 PM

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In Matthew Barney’s Cremaster 2, Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo solos with a swarm of bees. Bass tones of the bees are brought up as Lombardo murders the double-kick. The scene is tense, guttural, and foreboding. Morbid Angel singer Steve Tucker is there, covered in bees, demonically gurgling into a phone.

The story of Cremaster 2 is loosely centered on the life of the Mormon man Gary Gilmore (played by Barney) who was put to death in 1977 for killing two Utah men.

Rain, Rain, Go Away

posted by on March 14 at 3:06 PM

Okay, SXSW’ers. Sure I’m happy that you’re all having the time of your lives or whatever, but someone has to say it. All of us back here in Seattle are fucking miserable. It’s rainy, it’s windy, we can’t skateboard, we can’t sit outside at Bauhaus, and things couldn’t get much worse. You know the stuff. That slimy, cold Seattle weather? It’s the kind that makes you want to skip school or work to curl up in bed with a good book, a warm cup of Joose, and some tunes to enhance the mood. While the new Beach House album is a wonderful example of a rainy day record, I’m realizing that when I go home today I don’t have a go-to, fail safe album to put on while I hibernate. I’m wondering what you guys think. Does anyone out there have an ultimate, hands down, best ever album to listen to on a rainy day? Something that captures the mood that only our fair city’s trademark weather can put you in? I know someone out there has an answer. I just hope that person isn’t drunk/passed out somewhere in the Lone Star State.

Your Random 3 pm MP3 for the Day: The Royal Bear

posted by on March 14 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: “Pins” by the Royal Bear.

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

SXSW Day Two: The Headbangers Ball

posted by on March 14 at 2:05 PM

I can’t tell you how mad I was when I realized I missed Napalm Death and Motörhead. They were at noon and three o’clock, and at that point I was somehow just leaving the assisted elderly home were I slept a fairly weird six hours on a half-inflated blow-up mattress. But that’s another story. After some random taco-like foodstuffs, I went and got a beer from The Amazing Mr. Lifto. Remember Lifto? That guy from Jim Rose Circus Sideshow who could lift cinder blocks with his penis? Seems he’s a bartender in Austin now. And a good one at that. Shortly after, I ran into The Amazing Jennifer Maerz. She suggested we head over to the VICE magazine showcase to bang our heads to some punk rock… some new punk rock. Just like old times.

First up, MixHell. At first it sounded like just dance music, but then dude starts pounding on the drums while the girl DJs. Turns out the MixHell is Igor Cavalera from Sepultura, and the girl is wifey. Dance Music marries Thrash Metal. Weird. I like it.

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Next this guy comes out. With Fucked Up - VICE’S “favorite hardcore band in the world”.

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The singer instantly loses his shirt somewhere, and starts brutalizing the venue…

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and the audience, in a good, only slightly dangerous way…

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He kept trying to trying to do cartwheels and somersaults. Kept failing. He pretty much trashed his own audience. Who in turn, placed him at the bottom of a serious and sizable dog pile at the end of the last song. I saw him after the show, cleaning blood from his forehead, not from the audience, but from his own repeated smacks to the head with his microphone. Is this hardcore? I’m not going to argue.

After Fucked Up, Jay Reatard hit the stage. Reatard killed it, and simultaneously head-banged through the entire set. I saw the leader singer of Spoon in the audience. He tried to head bang a little too, but you could tell he was too self-conscious.

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Lastly, was new band Dark Meat. Picture a weirder Polyphonic Spree…

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who live together in a cult and eat acid for breakfast…

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People in the audience were throwing streamers, rubber balls, and screaming. Someone also had a shit-ton of confetti…

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They killed it too. My favorite new band of the day.

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I never dreamed never hippies could headbang. I guess there’s a first for everything.

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Friday, pt 1: “All Circuits Are Busy Now”

posted by on March 14 at 1:42 PM

Austin seems to be experiencing slightly more cell phone traffic than usual today. Also, the Internets:

Loading… This seems to be taking longer than usual.

If you are using a slow Internet connection, you can wait a bit longer for this page to finish loading, or just use basic HTML view for now.

If you are using your normal Internet connection and you usually get past this loading step without any problems, please refresh this page in your browser. If you continue to have trouble loading your account, please visit the help center for troubleshooting information.


Thursday, pt. 2: Drunk Canadians and Pool Parties

posted by on March 14 at 1:19 PM

Hey! My first hangover of SXSW, and it’s like 90 degrees out, not my preferred hangover weather. Guess I’ll stay in and blog. Here’s how I got so hungover, in chronological order:

The Fader Fort. The Fader Fort is pretty fucking cool, a big courtyard stage behind a Levi’s store, with cool shit happening all weekend, free booze, and a nice, cool indoor lounge with laptops setup for blogging and whatnot, courtesy of mp3 blog/label RCRD LBL. Outside a couple of older guys with placards were protesting Levi’s for using Chinese labor, but the long lines of kids waiting outside were more worried about getting in to the party (not an easy task).

Saul Williams played with a three-piece backing band, much more of a rock performance than I had expected. Williams had bright blue streaks under his eyes and wore a green jacket with neon feathers sticking out of the breast pocket, kind of an Aboriginal dandy look. At one point between songs, he said, “Race is a social construct. We are each other, and the music is here to authorize that.” Later, he played his cover of “Sunday Bloody Sunday” by U2. Talked to my buddy Josh from Urb who had just been to Kuwait to cover “Operation: Myspace” concert held there for the troops. He had flown from there straight to SXSW. He still seemed a little shaken up. Overheard back in the RCRD LBL lounge: “Someone just tried to sell me coke.” “Huh, too bad you’re broke.”

Fluokids were DJing in a corner outside, attracting a crowd made up mostly of varying degrees of DJs: Pretty Titty, FourColorZack, My!Gay!Husband!, Rezound, myself. Floukids is a great blog for staying up on your French electro and odd American hip hop, and the kids’ set was a good mix of all the stuff they usually post, only, you know, without all the girls. Cadence Weapon tried to get in the back door, and the security guys weren’t having it, but a minute later, someone let him in.

There was a long tribute to Lou Reed, featuring performances from My Morning Jacket, Mark Kozelek, Thurston Moore, and others, culminating with Moby and Reed performing “Walk on the Wild Side.” Weird. Reed: “I love punk rock; I was the first one.” Immediately after Reed and Moby, Fluokids dropped the new Justice single, “DVNO,” which was altogether a pretty jarring transition. Despite twice having been close enough to Pharrell to touch him (he walked by me while I was in the bathroom line; he had huge diamond-stud earings), skipped NERD to get some much needed tacos.

Over at Barcelona, a DJ who I think was DJ Pubez (nice) was playing a mellow, groovy mix—I caught a re-edit of Chicago’s “I’m a Man” into Don Armando’s rework of “I’m an Indian Too.”

Fucked Up played at a bar called Vice. I was expecting them to be more of a brutal hardcore band, but it was more like one brutal hardcore screamer (and total bear) fronting a kind of straightforward punk rock band. It was a six piece that sound like a three piece. But, then, if they were a three-piece, their giant singer wouldn’t be able to charge through the crowd and climb the walls. Throughout the show, the singer kept pounding himself in the forehead with his mic, but at one point, the mic came unplugged, he flashed a goofy smile while fixing it, and it totally cracked the band’s tough facade. Still a totally fun band, and well worth watching. Also, good stage banter: “This is a 21+ show, so I know we’re all adults here. So how come one of you peed all over the seat in the bathroom?”

Caught a couple Throw Me the Statue songs over at Mohawk’s, notably “Take it or Leave It” and the rousing “About to Walk.” They sounded great, playing in a small back room while Bodies of Water played the big outdoor patio.

Headed over to Beauty Bar for the iheartcomix showcase. Saw Franki Chan as well as Gabe and Dylan Roadie. Indoors was HEARTSREVOLUTION, a live soundsystem with drums and electronics, blasting crunched, neon electro rock while a girl with pink Zorro/Fisherspooner eye makeup shouting through a red rhinestone megaphone. They blew a fuse at one point, pausing, lights down, until the power came back on. One of their lyrics was about anarchy, but it was hard to make out.

Outside, Totally Michael was like a foul-mouthed, one man Matt & Kim, only with rapping. He had one song about cheerleaders vs the drill team, for which he divided the crowd in half and encouraged some reenactment of that primal rivalry. His last song bounced to a boy/girl chorus of “You make my dick erect / You make my pussy wet.” It was every bit as romantic as it sounds. (It makes some sense that he takes his inspiration from Soophie Nun Squad, although his act is so far removed from their Little Rock scene that I couldn’t spot the influence until seeing it mentioned in his bio afterwards.)

Shout Out Out Out Out by Kelly O

Next up was Shout Out Out Out Out, a band I’ve been dying to see ever since they killed Club Pop last year. SOOOO’s electro-funk draws not-unfair comparisons to !!! (maybe the repetitive name has something to do with it too), but SOOOO are way more electro than !!!, with two drummers, two keyboardists, and live bass. And their vocoded lyrics are slightly socialist compared to !!!’s “no fucking rules” attitude—one of SOOOO’s songs is about the tension between competition and collectivity; another is about consumerism and credit card debt. Like !!!, they also rock the funny song titles, with gems like “Your Shitty Record Won’t Mix Itself.” Anyways, super stoked for the show.

Shout Out Out Out Out w/ Cadence Weapon by Kelly O

Bummer then that at least one dude from SOOOO, the guy in the red shirt with the fake mustache, was SOOOOOOO fucking wasted that he couldn’t stand up, let alone play keys. He spent the most of the set hitting the keys with his hands, mashing several keys at a time, but at one point, he hit too hard, and fell forward onto his keyboard and towards the crowd. It took a few minutes to get things righted, and in the meantime, the drummers kept their beat, and Cadence Weapon jumped onstage to MC. Cadence Weapon saves the day, and the band recovers, although dude keeps mashing his keys, and they only get in one more song, a middling take on the aforementioned “Your Shitty Record Won’t Mix Itself,” with it’s closing refrain of “You need to simplify.” It was a drunk disaster, but it’s understandable, given their introduction of, “Who’s drunk? (cheers) Who’s been eating nothing but tacos for three days? (more cheers) Damn, it’s like you’re in my head…and stomach…and liver.” Fuck it, I still love these guys.

MGMT (maybe?) by Kelly O

Next stop: the Playboy Party. To see Justice (and for the articles). Not really my scene, but here are some highlights/observations: It’s a big, multi-room warehouse, with a stage in one room, a bar and some acid-paisley projections on the walls in the next. There’s lots of uncomfortable shoving in the (admittedly free) drink line, where I hear my first big Texas accents of the weekend from some big dudes in baseball caps (a friend points out that most of the people here probably knew the names of playmates on the invite but not the names of the bands). There’s some middling, bluesy rock band onstage with two playmates in blue bunny getups dancing along. Every woman in a bunny suit is followed by an attendant burly dude in a decidedly non-bunny suits, the models’ fake smiles backed up by very real scowls. There’s Aziz Ansari. I’m handed about a dozen sets of 3-D glasses with which to view a not-terribly eye-popping video projection. There’s some barbeque. Some people are playing “Say it Ain’t So” on a Guitar Hero rig set up in the back of a car. I hear someone snorting something in the porta-pottie next to me (btw, at some parties, though not at this one, SXSW has gender specific porta-potties—pink for girls, blue for boys). MGMT may or may have played while I was there, it was hard to tell, but we definitely left before Justice came on to go catch a house party across town.

The house party was definitely more my scene. The “house” was actually some kind of complex, with a pool in the center, some kind of treehouse/crows nest, an outdoor DJ booth, housing in two corners, and at least three big yards. Diplo was DJing. A few brave people were jumping in the pool, fully clothed. James Ford of Simian Mobile Disco was there, as was Cadence Weapon, Shout Out Out Out Out, dude from Extreme Animals, and no doubt tons of other people I should’ve recognized. The one problem was that it was kind of a BYOB affair, and we were empty handed and after hours. A guy from Division Day was nice enough to give me my one last beer of the night, and for that I vow to give their album, Beartrap Island a more thorough listen when I get home.

I walked back across town to the hotel at 4 in the morning. Austin was dark and sleeping quiet, trucks rolling down the highway, crickets buzzing, pre-dawn light just threatening to creep up on the horizon. So, yeah, that’s how I got hungover.

Find Somebody, Enjoy the Weekend

posted by on March 14 at 1:12 PM

New York’s Patrick Adams, whom is one of my all-time favorite producers, was a major player in producing some of the most classic disco and dance releases during the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. During his remarkable career, he worked with groups and artists such as Musique, Inner Life, Cloud One, Herbie Mann, Bumble Bee Unlimited, The Kay-Gees, Rainbow Brown, Venus Dodson, plus many many more. He also helped run the legendary New York disco label P&P Records with the legendary Peter Brown, that produced many classic disco and club records. In Adams long and brilliant career, he did come out with own solo work in 1978 with the album, Patrick Adams Presents Phreek. This record is a ‘disco staple’, a great dancefloor masterpiece that also featured another legendary disco/soul producer in Leroy Burgess. The classic single that came off this record was “Weekend”, which was a favorite cut of Paradise Garage’s Larry Levan. Levan enjoyed the song so much that he did his own mix of the song, and his extended edit was eventually released and became a huge club hit which was later covered by Class Action. We can definitely discuss for some time, about Adams’ Phreek album as well as his other brilliantly produced work, however on this Friday, I say let’s sit back and enjoy the “Weekend”.

Phreek - Weekend (Larry Levan 12” Mix)

If Sasquatch Isn’t Enough Festival For Your Summer…

posted by on March 14 at 1:04 PM

A list of artists has just been released for the first ever Pemberton Festival, British Columbia’s three day concert response to Samsquamch. Pemberton is a two hour drive from Vancouver, north of Whistler. Only three day tickets can be purchased (lame), going for $239.50 Canadian. Promoters expect a crowd of about 40,000 for the festival, taking place July 25-27. Coldplay, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Jay-Z and Nine Inch Nails will be headlining. The other confirmed bands:

Flaming Lips / Interpol / Death Cab For Cutie / The Tragically Hip / Serj Tankian / My Morning Jacket / Metric / Sam Roberts Band / Vampire Weekend / Black Mountain / Minus The Bear / Wintersleep / Buck 65 / Secret Machines / MGMT / Brazillian Girls / SIA / Fiery Furnaces / Mates of State / The Airborne Toxic Event / Carolina Liar / Grand Ole Party / Monte Negro / Low Vs Diamond / Annie Stela / The Crystal Method / DJ Shadow & Cut Chemist / Junkie XL / David Seaman / Booka Shade / MSTRKRFT / M.A.N.D.Y. / Tommie Sunshine / Chromeo / Deadmau5 / 3 OH! 3 / Kevin Shiu / Timeline / Tony Pantages

Icy Spicy Leoncie

posted by on March 14 at 12:30 PM

WFMU has just posted links to Icelandic singer Leoncie’s YouTube page, which is full of videos. I can’t begin to explain these, so here’s one, Killer in the Park.

And if that wasn’t enough for you—how could it be?—here’s Man! Let’s Have Fun!

This might not be new, but I don’t care because I AM IN LOVE.

Slayer Friendly

posted by on March 14 at 11:38 AM

This picture taken in Shoreline, WA. Notice the Biker Friendly – Slayer combo:

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The Biker Friendly sticker means the driver of that vehicle is aware and partial to motorcycles (and possibly a biker as well).

When the sticker is seen, bikers know there is another biker in that vehicle. The person on the motorcycle knows there is someone willing to give them room to pass or a place to tuck in after lane sharing.

Tips for driving “Biker Friendly” from the website:

- Look for riders.
- Don’t tailgate.
- Don’t cut off that motorcycle.
- Give riders extra room.
- Motorcycles are entitled to their own lane.
- Road rage can KILL a rider.

Road safety is important, but shouldn’t there be a Slayer Friendly network as well?

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When this sticker is seen, that Slayer fan knows there is a safe place to sacrifice babies, drink blood, and discuss interest in the subject of Satanism.

Tips for being Slayer Friendly:

- Look for Slayer fans.
- Don’t judge them for their interest in death.
- Don’t cut them off. They will do experiments with your body like the “Angel of Death” Nazi physician, Josef Mengele.
- Tune your guitar and bass to Drop D.
- Give them some extra room. Songs at 250 beats per minute take space to play and enjoy.
- Kill, but be aware of road rage.

Video Previews From SXSW

posted by on March 14 at 11:37 AM

So far my own SXSW experience has been far from ideal, for reasons that are largely unrelated to the music. One of the big downers has been the nagging migraine I’ve been dealing with since before my flight - headaches and loud music don’t mix.

Mala Suerte
Mala Suerte: Sludgey metal is exactly the opposite of what you want with a headache.

Musically things have been great, with only two of the acts I’ve seen being ones I’ve seen before. Highlights include Film School, The Blacks, Robyn, Silje Nes, and Black Spade, the latter two with recent albums that are definitely worthy of a listen. More on them when I’m not rushing to get out for some music.

Last night I caught two of the acts I’m missing in Seattle by being here this weekend and if you were hesitating on either show, you can attend with confidence. Here’s video of Boyz Noise (crowdsurfing within the first ninety seconds!), playing tonight’s Broken Disco at Chop Suey, another of Flying Lotus freestyling on his sampler, which he’ll likely do Saturday at Chop Suey. Both worth your money and time, with Boyz Noise displaying more variety than expected, and Flying Lotus confidently dwelling in next-level territory. Behind the jump are two other vids of Black Ghosts, who play Nectar on March 20th, and another of British MC Sway, who drops my name as part of a freestyle.

Note - All of these are pretty dark. Limitation of the equipment at-hand.

Pics on Flickr.

Boyz Noise:


Flying Lotus:

Continue reading "Video Previews From SXSW" »

Slim Cessna’s Auto Club at Showbox SoDo

posted by on March 14 at 11:00 AM

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Uploaded to the Flickr Pool by shitbrain.

Win Tickets to Tomorrow’s Presidents of the United States of America Show

posted by on March 14 at 10:00 AM

USE and Pleaseasaur are opening. It’s gonna be a hell of a time. Right now you can only get tickets for the third mezzanine, and even those are almost gone, but we have one pair of GENERAL ADMISSION tickets to give away to one of you lucky Line Out readers.

PUSApromo.jpg

The show is tomorrow night at the Paramount, 7:30 pm, and it’s all-ages.

To enter, e-mail your full name to lineout@thestranger.com with PUSA TICKETS in the subject line by 3 pm today. The winner will be notified via e-mail.

Good luck!

Tonight in Music: Boys Noize, Kasey Anderson, Les Claypool

posted by on March 14 at 9:00 AM

Firstly, the Stranger Suggests:

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Boys Noize
(Music) Tonight’s Broken Disco marks the Seattle debut of Berlin’s Alex Ridha, aka Boys Noize, a standout among the current swell of hard-rocking techno producers. Boys Noize’s debut full-length, Oi Oi Oi, is a relentless electronic beatdown, full of hard- punching drums, thick bass, gnarly synths, and overloaded distortion. It’s also an exhausting hour-long dance party. Boys Noize’s remixes of Feist, Bloc Party, Tiga, and others demonstrate his skill at the boards and his pop crossover tastes. Incite!, a new alias for Decibel Festival’s Sean Horton, opens. (Chop Suey, 1325 E Madison St, 324-8000. 9 pm, $15, 18+.) ERIC GRANDY

Secondly, from this week’s Up & Comings:

johnmeloy.jpgKasey Anderson photo by John Meloy

Kasey Anderson, the Maldives, Massy Ferguson
(High Dive) There are plenty of folks cranking out standard-issue “Americana” these days, but few do it with the panache and power of Kasey Anderson. The fresh-faced Portland troubadour sounds like he’s already lived several lives on latest album The Reckoning. His gravelly voice and insightful songwriting lift his down-and-out characters out of the ordinary and into the realm of legend. Broken hearts and empty bottles might not be the freshest source of inspiration, but they suit Anderson to a tee. One listen and you already feel like you’ve found your new favorite dive bar—well worn, stained by spilled drinks and fallen tears, plenty of Townes Van Zandt on the jukebox. BARBARA MITCHELL

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Les Claypool
(Showbox Sodo) Les Claypool’s fingers move so inhumanly fast when he plays his bass that he suffers from a rare form of carpal tunnel syndrome that he calls Magnum Cum Funnel Cake. He carries a lock with him and twists the combination constantly when he’s not playing to keep his tendons warm. As a result, Claypool knows locks. He can pick them. Bandmate and sax lord Skerik says, “Les isn’t a thief or anything, he just happens to be able to pick locks. Like some people can juggle.” Also in the Claypool band are Critters Buggin’s Mike Dillon, Paulo Baldi from Cake, and Eric McFadden. Skerik says, “We’re playing some older Primus songs that haven’t been played in 10 years. We’re also playing Morphine’s ‘Honey White.’” TRENT MOORMAN

Thirdly, Hunger, the Opera, begins it’s two-night run tonight. From the Score:

Hunger recounts the infamous journey of the Donner Party across the American Wild West in 1846. Trapped in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, the party’s animals perished, food ran out, and some succumbed to cannibalism. Sung, spoken, and chanted by Mannisto, the opera’s centerpiece is Tamsen Donner, who bears witness to the party’s slide into helplessness and suffering.

At the end of number three, Baker reminds clarinetist Jesse Canterbury, “You can play with those notes at the end if you want.” Enlisting his compadres in the Tom Baker Quartet—Canterbury, bassist Brian Cobb, and Greg Campbell on horn and percussion—Baker urges everyone to improvise in certain sections. “Here,” says Baker, pointing at the score, “is where we let the players drift off for a few measures.” Instead of random notes, the effect is sparse and spooky.

The After-Hour Tecate (SXSW, Day Two)

posted by on March 14 at 1:32 AM

My buddy had an extra one in his car. I drank it while he drove through a broken guard-rail in the parking garage that we were supposed to pay $5 to leave. I’ve got your EXTREME right here, Eric.

So as it turns out, all attempts at getting media off my camera have proved awful, which means you’ll have to settle for words instead of video. Let’s regurgitate a second day…

J Mascis—It appears that Eric left the French Legation Museum today just in time to miss J. Mascis kick all kinds of ass with a solo set. Not sure whether his acoustic guitar has a killer electric pickup, or whether he simply has the greatest pedal layout in the world, but the guy started each of his few songs with quaint, meandering acoustic picking, only to switch over for some of the most epic rock solos I’ve heard by a guy sitting in a chair.

Eugene Mirman, Todd Barry—Emo’s had the brief “A Bunch of Comedians” showcase today during its day shows. To answer your question from the other day, Eric, Todd Barry did not incorporate his recent airline mishap into his routine. However, he did heckle a sound guy who interrupted his set by taking three minutes to remove a cymbal from the stage. Barry responded by asking what band the guy was working for so that he could reproduce the equivalent asshole moves during their set later in the day. Mirman, meanwhile, made fun of MySpace ads which ask questions that make no sense. (“‘Should Hillary Run For President?’ She’s running, so, you know, that’s insulting.”) He printed out a few samples of his own that he thought would be better—“Are these giraffes gay?” stood out. As a bonus, the friend whose couch I’m crashing on found himself the butt of a zillion jokes when he yelled out mid-set to make fun of a joke about Aerosmith. Did my friend deserve it? I’ll answer that once I’ve left Austin. By the way, during this set, there was a shout-out to Sonic Boom Records courtesy of the T-shirt that clung to Mirman’s belly.

Earthless—Holy ass pants. These guys played at a record store a good 15 minute drive away from downtown Austin, which meant about 12 people witnessed the most intense 44-minute song I’ve ever heard. Earthless would be done a great disservice to be labeled as stoner rock; I once heard them on a Vancouver radio station while waiting for a ferry and made it a personal mission to finally see this band that played epic blues/speed-metal/kraut/glam/rock of the 20-minute-plus variety. (It was a long wait for the ferry.) This trio did not disappoint, complete with a metal drummer who—whoa—understood the concepts of restraint and reduced cymbals, and a bassist who sounded schooled in jazz the way he dictated the band’s rhythm and harmony. After their 8-minute opener made me wonder what kind of insanity I was in for, they tore into a 44-minute ass-peeler, filled with chunks of their latest record but also augmented with new, well-refined sections—early Metallica speed-riffing that collided with the kind of blistering solos that would make Stevie Ray Vaughan puke his white guts out. I’m not necessarily a metal guy, but I can appreciate it, and I’d never heard a metal band with so many points of entry. Thank you, Earthless.

Phosphorescent—Matthew Houck is on an utter roll these days; his semi-solo project is anchored by its best band ever, and it’s hard not to have your heart broken by both his original tunes (“My Dove, My Lamb,” emboldened by many a suspiciously cheery piano section) and his covers (here, Leonard Cohen’s “Memories,” done so well that it might finally convince people to lay off the fucking “Hallelujah”). I cannot wait to post videos of his stuff from the past two days.

Bodies of Water—I’m sad that Eric wasn’t moved nearly as much by their daytime set as the Mohawk crowd was by what was laid bare this evening. The male-female harmonies and erratic songwriting reminded me of BC’s Shapes and Sizes, if they were overtaken by the perky-yet-militant Polyphonic Spree. Eric’s right about the frontwoman, but the excitement I felt from their frequent four-part vocal explosions—often broken into male/female parts before coming together at opportune moments—reminded me of the time I saw a little known band called The Arcade Fire open for The Unicorns back in late ‘04. Song after song proved anthemic with this massive crowd.

Luke Temple—The perfect fit for the Central Presbyterian Church’s daunting size and reverb-loving acoustics. This Brooklyn crooner’s high pitch and minimalist songs wound up sounding so much huger in the cathedral, its empty spaces filling the air and making the chirping keyboards and spare bass drum thumps that much more powerful beneath his fragile voice. A set that requires video to explain. Can’t wait to upload it.

Bon Iver—His voice was blown, though you might not’ve heard so—four out of five people in attendance were too busy talking loudly to actually pay attention to one of the fest’s most hyped acts. Guess you folks spent so much money on your laminated SXSW badges that you forgot to spare a dime or two to pay some respect. Anyway, the band was still able to command a rousing singalong midway through, so I doubt they’re hurting.

Citay—I hate to knock an article by Jon Zwickel about a band from San Fran, his old abode, but I think he got this Stranger piece on Citay pretty wrong. Not that he’ll agree with my take on them, but I heard a bunch of Grateful Dead lovers—you know, from the earliest days, like Aoxomoxoa—making music that was equally inspired by modern instrumentalists who build with walls of noise, such as Mogwai. There are a lot more inspirations in that mess, certainly—some hair metal, some really pretty sections of folk music mixing with dueling guitar solos and swooping keyboard lines… but the final word was that Citay (and, Jesus, what an awful name) was the first band I’ve seen all fest that I wanted to keep seeing. Whose steam didn’t run out right when its abbreviated showcase set time was up. It’s a factor that’s easy to forget when your musical attention span is forcibly shrunken by sets that average out to 25 minutes—“Hey! These weirdos from Denmark with matching raindrop T-shirts must be the next big thing!” Sometimes it takes more than half an album’s worth of material to prove that you’ve got the brass. I will try to see Citay once more—purely for such research reasons, I assure you.

Times New Viking—I figured the band would sound less like they’d been recorded off a tape deck when playing live…not the case. My buddy and I agreed that they sounded at least five times shittier in concert. Their eye-bulger of an intensely (and intentionally) sloppy set ended with a few guys in the front screaming “THANK YOU SO MUCH!” I wish I had more insight to offer about this set, but the way the crowd was swirling around and the way the band’s noise kinda melted into itself, I lost track.

Bedtime.

Apropos of Midnight

posted by on March 14 at 12:16 AM

Has everyone already seen this? I give you, man falls down an escalator:


Thursday, March 13, 2008

“The McLaughlin Groove”

posted by on March 13 at 5:46 PM

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Do you love the old school political punditry of the McLaughlin Group? Do you also love to party? Andrew W.K. does, so much that he’s written a new song based on the stylings of host John McLaughlin.

Andrew W.K. - “The McLaughlin Groove”

Just Because I’m Not in Austin, That Doesn’t Mean My Life is Not Exciting

posted by on March 13 at 4:22 PM

No, I don’t get free t-shirts from Pharell, I don’t get get free drinks from publicists, and I don’t get to see Meneguar, Hot Water Music, or Saul Williams cover U2, but whatever. I’m still cool.

In fact, look at how awesome my life is! I’m at home, fighting some sort of weird cold/flu/exhaustion hybrid, working, and watching a re-run of The Cosby Show. And not only that, but it’s the episode that guest stars Stevie Wonder! So there!

Photos From SXSW

posted by on March 13 at 4:15 PM

Bug in the Bassbin columnist, Donte Parks, is in Austin too (like everyone else in the world) and he’s been able to snap some shots of the music he’s seen thus far:

DPsiljenes.jpgSilje Nes @ The Velveeta Room

DPdiediedie.jpgDie!Die!Die! @ Wave

DPthetingtings.jpgThe Ting Tings @ Buffalo Billiards

Happening Right Now at SXSW: Pharell Hands out Rock the Vote T-Shirts

posted by on March 13 at 4:10 PM

Just in from Grandy: “Now Pharell is handing out Rock the Vote T-shirts from a tiny sewing room at the Levi’s Store Fader party. I was close enough to touch him, but I didn’t.”

Well, I hope you at least got a free t-shirt.

Happening Right Now at SXSW: Saul Williams Pays Tribute to U2

posted by on March 13 at 3:58 PM

Eric Grandy’s currently watching Saul Williams perform in Austin and he just text messaged to say that the poetic hiphop performer just covered U2’s “Sunday Bloody Sunday.”

Crazy!

Watch Bay Area Takeover Live at SXSW

posted by on March 13 at 3:13 PM

If you’re longing to be in Austin right now, you can at least pretend you are via justin.tv’s live stream of the Bay Area Takeover’s stage.

Film School just wrapped up on the outside stage, and according to the schedule, Scissors for Lefty is up next in a few minutes. They’re doing soundcheck right now. Check it out.

(Thanks for the tip, Donte.)

Your Random 3 pm MP3 for the Day: Jibran

posted by on March 13 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: “Tuesday Morning” by Jibran.

So. Did you like it?

NIN Makes over $1.5 Million on “Free” Record, Iron Maiden Hops on the Bandwagon

posted by on March 13 at 2:37 PM

Punknews.org says:

While precious little has been revealed about Radiohead’s success with the donation-suggested model, Nine Inch Nails’ recent experiment has proven quite successful. Despite no marketing and no label, the donation-suggested 36-track album netted the artist a stunning $1,619,420 US.

Meanwhile, Maiden is going to release their new “best of” album for free too. Only their release will self-destruct after three listens, in which case you’ll have to pay for a download if you want to keep listening to it. NME has the full story.

“Z100 is all about playing what’s hot, and we can’t think of anything hotter than a song from the woman at the center of a scandal”

posted by on March 13 at 2:05 PM

Looks like “Kristen” might get her wish of a music career.

Since her identity was revealed, Dupré’s MySpace page has had more than 5 million profile views – and growing – as of Thursday and the price of the song on Amie Street [an mp3 site that charges based on the popularity of the song] was up to 98 cents. A second single, “Move ya Body,” also selling for 98 cents, had also been added by Dupré.

But the real question is: When does she get her own version of Flavor of Love?

I can see it now: “We’ve brought attractive men from all over the country to compete for Ashley’s love, but she’s wondering if they can pay the price on For Love or Money—Whore Edition!

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Thursday, pt. 1: Mr Natural and Twee Melisma

posted by on March 13 at 2:00 PM

Breakfast today courtesy of Mr Natural, a weird Mexican Health Food Store/Cafe/Yoga Studio across the highway from downtown. This is what my greezy, yummy soy chorizo tacos looked like:

DSC03060.JPGSoy grease is good for you, right, Mr Natural?

Our cabbie was a fan of Mr Natural, so he stayed and ate, and then drove us to our next stop, the All Roads Lead to SXSW Party at the French something-something museum, a big lawned estate dotted with a couple old, colonial buildings.

Bodies of Water was playing. The band is a five piece—guitarist, bassist, two drummers, and a keyboardist—and all but one of the drummers sing, although their keyboardist is clearly the frontwoman. Tall, bird-thin, with bobbed red-brown hair, her high voice and dramatically exaggerated expressions (big grins, wide mock-shocked eyes, hair whipped in front of her face over and over) gave her a certain child-like quality. All their songs rode galloping beats and climaxed with wordlessly melismatic group choruses. One song had her singing about a color palette for sweatshirts—gold, tan, something, and gray. Purple maybe? Pink? Anyway, you could imagine her gathering swatches from American Apparel.

Next up was Vancouver BC’s chamber pop/r&b trio No Kids, whom I’ve already gushed about at some length, at the Emo’s IV Tent. It was kind of the perfect place to see them—Austin was slightly overcast and breezy this morning, making it feel a little more like the NW, and the tent was as sparsely-attended and roomy as No Kid’s songs. They played “For Halloween” and “Listen for It/Courtyard Music.” It wasn’t an acoustic set—they had live drums, electric piano, and another keyboard—but without their little production flourishes, the songs sounded stripped-down and bare; “Listen For It,” for instance, lacked the awesome T-Pain style autotune, but singer Nick Krgovich nailed its vocal run well enough without. Krgovich, by the way, is the very definition of a nerd—not some phony Rivers Coumo-look-I’m-wearing-glasses way, but like straight up Aspbergers syndrome (so hot right now). He’s a hell of a musician, though.

Missed Jens Lekman due to some bad schedule info. Joked about how the massive line-up on 6th street had to be for Vampire Weekend, before realizing that, yes, of course, it was. Honestly, I’d forgotten they were playing this afternoon.

DSC03062.JPGWhy? being swallowed up by the (blurry) existential dread

Best set of the day so far belongs to Why?, who played back at the tent, where the weather had warmed up and the crowd had swelled in size. After a ponderously long set-up, the band played some songs from their stellar new album Alopecia as well as a few from Elephant Eyelash, with Yoni sing/rapping and drumming, backed by drums, electric keys, and bass. Lots of skin-tingling good moments: the “Billy the Kid” refrain of “Song of the Sad Assasin,” the double-time rap of “The Fall of Mr Fifths,” the shouted refrain of “your face never forgets a cry” from “Waterfalls.” But by far the best was the closing rendition of “Gemini (Birthday Song).” That’s just a stunning song, deep and resonant, minutely personal yet universal, simultaneously anthemic and subtle. Off topic: Why? has some really cute fans.

Help A Brother Out

posted by on March 13 at 1:56 PM

The song goes something like:

Making it/This time in life I’m making it. Oh oh/Oh no. Making it/This time in life I’m making it.

That is all I can remember. Who sang these words? What’s the name of the song? It was a one-hit wonder around 1980.

Follow Line Out on Twitter

posted by on March 13 at 1:30 PM

All week, Line Out has been giving away PotUSA prizes. This is just the beginning of some of the freebies to come, and you want to the be the first to hear about it, right? Right! So if you have a Twitter account, follow Line Out and get all the breaking news before anyone else.

We’ll keep you posted when there are heated debates about Rush and Yes and hot polls about Slats, but mostly we’ll use it to announce any breaking news and contests.

If you aren’t familiar with Twitter, it’s a pretty cool application—you sign up (for free) and you can send and receive short updates via your phone or computer. You can let people know what you’re up to (if you want). You can choose to follow your friends so you know what they’re up to too. The BBC is on it, NPR is on it, I think even Obama has an account. All updates can be sent to you via e-mail or directly to your phone, so you don’t even have to be near a computer to know the latest.

Don’t worry, if you start following Line Out, you won’t be getting spammed constantly with every post to go up throughout the day. It’ll be a few updates a week, and used especially if there’s breaking or exciting news.

Log on to twitter.com to sign up to get your free Twitter account, or click here if you’re already on Twitter and want to start following Line Out (or just want to see more of what it’s all about).

Micro x MicroHeavy

posted by on March 13 at 1:20 PM

Who needs music conferences and stages to rock? The Nord Micro Modular is a four knob video-tape sized interface that lets you twist and tweak your way into rock, right there in the comfort of your very own bedroom.

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Dr. Heavy (a.k.a. Mike Todd) is an engineer / tech / musician who knows the internal workings of gear and systems. He’s a synth specialist who isn’t afraid to go hard and loud. The band in which he uses his Nord Micro Modular is called Phase 3.

Before you kick my ass, can you talk about something small in your world of sound that brings you joy?
Dr. Heavy: Yes, I can. And it’s the Nord Micro Modular. I use it as a sound generator. It’s four knobs, it’s small, and it’s affordable. It works like a modular synth. You pick a filter or an envelope, choose your programming option, and go. The Micro Modular can make up to 99 patches. You can use it as efx unit, a stand alone sound generator, or hook a keyboard up to it and play it with MIDI.

And it’s tiny right?
Yeah. About the size of a VHS tape. I go direct into the mixer, run it through an efx pedal and a looping pedal, and have all the gear in a backpack. Get your Nord Micro, a couple cables, a pedal, and you can do a whole show. It mimics what a modular synth would do. You create how the patches will sound. Instead of having the normal synth rules, you can come up with your own.

What’s the Phase 3 set up?
We’re a Turntable DJ who runs stereo out, two Kaoss pads, a Micro Nord, and a Boss RC-20XL looping pedal. One other person uses actual modular synth, an electro harmonics looper, and a Kaoss pad. It’s more ambient sounding. We do have some beats, but they’re glitchy and electronic sounds. The DJ messes with kid’s records and medical records, and educational records.

Did you say educational records?
Yeah, you know, stuff about fog and anatomy. He puts two needles next to each other, and plays two grooves on the same record at the same time. It sounds really twisted. He puts pieces of wood under the record to create skips on the vinyl and does rhythmic things with those.

All this gear talk, I knew you’d be talking about wood at some point. Is it good wood? What kind of wood does he use? Tell me about his wood.
No, actually, this is where I kick your ass.

Here’s a video of Dr. Heavy in action with his Nord Micro Modular:

Nectar Gets New Local Booker: Patrick Haenelt

posted by on March 13 at 1:05 PM

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Nectar’s booker Colin Johnson just sent out a press release introducing the club’s new local booker, Patrick Haenelt. It reads:

Nectar Lounge is pleased to announce the latest addition to the Nectar team. Patrick Haenelt begins duties this week as Nectar’s local booker, bringing with him years of experience in booking and promotions. Working both directly on behalf of music venues, as well as independently thru his production company Sensory Effect, Patrick’s wealth of musical knowledge is staggering.

Relocating to Seattle from Portland 7 years ago, where he handled booking for Portland clubs Cobalt Lounge and OHM, Patrick pursued his own endeavors as Sensory Effect, an independent promotion company that’s specialized in bringing predominantly electronic events to Seattle such as The Books, Jaime Lidell, Prefuse 73 and more. Patrick spearheaded Oscillate, a weekly electronic music showcase held at the Baltic Room, for 3.5 years and is one of the founding parties of the popular Broken Disco night.

Not to pigeonholed as having simply electronic tastes, Patrick has years of booking indie rock, hip-hop, and more on both a national and local level making him a perfect fit for the diversity of bookings that Nectar currently enjoys. 2008 promises to be an exciting time for us as he joins National Talent Buyer Colin Johnson as we continue on the path of bringing the best, and most diverse, range of national and local talent to Fremont!

All I know is that since Johnson went over to Nectar from Chop Suey last year, the club’s booking has been getting better and better—lots of local support, much appreciated hiphop and dance nights. Sounds like Haenelt’s experience in the Northwest could make their programming even stronger. Viva la Fremont.

Today’s President’s Prize: An Autographed Copy of Their First Record!

posted by on March 13 at 12:43 PM

Tuesday you had a chance to win an autographed copy of the new record, yesterday you had a chance to win one of their new t-shirts, designed by singer Chris Ballew. Both those contests are over (congratulations to Michael, who won the t-shirt!), but today you still have a chance to get something for free!

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Up for grabs is a copy of the 10-year anniversary edition of the Presidents of the USA’s first record, 1995’s self-titled hit! The record features “Kick Out the Jams,” “Naked and Famous,” “Peaches,” “Lump,” and more. This version also includes over a dozen bonus tracks and a DVD of the band’s videos, including the second video for the song “Lump.” And the band will sign it too. Woot!

Want it? Just send an e-mail to lineout@thestranger.com with SHE’S LUMP in the subject line. The winner will be chosen at random and notified via e-mail. Include your mailing address, please, so we can send it to you (we won’t give your address away, promise).

Changes Over at KNDD. Or, Radio Hates Seattle.

posted by on March 13 at 11:54 AM

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If you listen to 107.7 the End with any sort of regularity, you’ve probably noticed the staff change that recently went down over there. Earlier this week both Jim Keller and DJ No Name were let go from the station, and five-year long evening host harms was pulled from his 6-10 slot to move over as the station’s new Programming Director. He’s always been working behind the scenes during the day and, he says, while he’d prefer to keep doing evenings and is sad to let the shift go, he understands that his new position will require a lot more work and there just isn’t time to do both. He’ll stay on-air, though, doing the New Music show and his podcast.

So what’s left at 107.7 the End? Adam Corolla is still on mornings—being blasted in live from LA. Radio Impulse has replaced No Names 10 am-2pm show. Radio Impulse, says the stations website, is “interactive radio that puts you in control of the airwaves. You can text, im, e-mail or voicemail your requests directly to RADIO IMPULSE, vote for the Song Of The Hour, and interact with The End and other listeners.” (So some dude in Montana can control what we end up hearing in Seattle.) Church of Lazlo is still on from 2-6 pm, and it’s also aired 3-8 pm on 96.5 the Buzz in Kansas City. Jordin Silver is now doing evenings, and then Loveline follows, which is on many other radio stations all over the country.

According to the website, Chris Travis is still hosting the End’s two-hour weekly local show every Sunday from 7-9 pm. So at least we have that. (I contacted him to confirm, but have yet to hear back.) UPDATE: Chris Travis is indeed still hosting the local show. (He also confirmed that he’s at SXSW and he saw one of my favorite bands, Meneguar, last night along with Eric Grandy, and he thought they were fucking awesome. Damn, I’m jealous.)

Why does Seattle have such a hard time keeping radio stations and their programming IN SEATTLE?

Kids These Days

posted by on March 13 at 11:25 AM

My brother has two kids, I have no kids, and so I serve—happily—as kooky uncle/aesthetic godfather to my niece Sarah and nephew Jake. My connection with Jake is primarily comedy-based: I exposed him to his first video of a monkey on roller skates, and we bonded heavily over a photo of nuns riding a log flume.

But my connection with Sarah is all about music. When she was a beautiful bald newborn, I wedged in her in a baby-sized black turtleneck and we shot a spoof of Sinead O’Connor’s “Nothing Compares to You” video (the red light on the camera held her gaze perfectly, and while I hoped she might tear up at the end, ala Sinead, I wasn’t willing to pinch her to make it happen).

Now she’s sixteen, living in Virginia, and after years of me inundating her with music (Blondie, Go-Gos, Hole, Visqueen), she’s just sent me a mix CD. Here’s the tracklist:

“Over the Pond” by the Album Leaf
“Fumble” by Architecture in Helsinki
“I Still Remember” by Bloc Party
“The New Sound” by the Capricorns
“Glass Danse” by the Faint
“Go Junior, Go Senior” by Junior Senior
“Deceptacon” by Le Tigre
“Shield for Your Eyes” by Melt Banana
“Midtown” by the Sea & Cake
“Hotel Song” by Regina Spektor
“Crank That” by Soulja Boy
“Teenage Dirtbag” by Wheatus
“Clowne Town” by Xiu Xiu
“Spinning” by Zero 7

I was thrilled to find I’d only heard three of the songs before—the Soulja Boy (because I have a weakness for KUBE 93), the Regina Spektor (because I like her), and the Le Tigre (which is shaping up to be an eternal classic, the “Johnny B. Goode” of electroclash or whatever). The rest was all new, which I considered a good sign.

Even better, it all sounds good and goes down easy. Thank you, niece Sarah, for making me a mix CD I don’t have to pretend to like.

Today’s Music News

posted by on March 13 at 11:04 AM

So apparently, absolutely nothing is going on in the realm of music today, unless of course, you count the latest updates on American Idol or SXSW. I blame the lack of reporting on all the journalists being drunk in Austin. The music news situation is dire enough that I only have one headline to offer. But prepare yourself: it’s a doozy!

And to think Taste of Chaos was only offering early entrance to people who registered as bone marrow donors - Ireland wants sperm

Soul Night at Lo_Fi

posted by on March 13 at 11:00 AM

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Submitted by Flickr Pooler &y.

Ever Since I Tried Curling Last Weekend, I’ve Been Obsessed

posted by on March 13 at 10:00 AM

And now, I share that obsession with you. Here’s some Swedish metal incorporating my new favorite sport.

Wednesday: Extreme

posted by on March 13 at 9:24 AM

Thanks, Megan, for posting up my first great SXSW moment, Extreme Animals’ barely recognizable rendition of Archers of Loaf’s “Web in Front.” EXTREME! The duo’s set was only three, or maybe three-and-a-half, songs long, but it was a treat. Extreme Animals were my first exposure to the 20-sided neon world of Paper Rad, via a cantankerous noise-aficionado roommate (hey, Justin Pogue), and they will forever hold an eye-soring place in my heart. The duo consists of one mustachioed long-hair on drums and one on circuit bent Roland TR-707, casio, and feedback knobs, along with one laptop doing some vital sequencing. Believe it, Extreme Animals can pull of a feedback knob solo, even if “knob solo” sounds a little, well, wanky. They played on the floor in front of the stage at Emo’s JR, a kind-of-divey bar attached to the impressive outdoor complex that is Emo’s, but Mustache #2 got up on stage a couple times to do “metal claw” when he wasn’t dancing through the audience (breaking that fourth wall and running into the crowd would prove a theme at Emo’s Jr tonight). Their final song featured a “magic flute” solo; the two dudes pantomimed playing flutes while it played out. After their set, one of them said they had made a children’s show, and if we had children we should check it out. I don’t have kids, but maybe watching their show would encourage me to get someone pregnant.

Over in the Emo’s main room, Longwave were pretty but forgettable.

Back in Emo’s Jr, Free Blood, were awesome. Free Blood are a duo comprised of the tall, lanky, stage-stalking falsetto singer from !!! (John Pugh, who’s apparently done with !!! now) along with a girl named Madeline. They both sing over a thumping pre-recorded backing track that sounds a lot like the funkier electro moments of !!! or Out Hud; the vocals are reverbed no-wave soul. The girl slo-mo dances and rubs her face in a way that suggests mushrooms or ecstasy. Pugh meanders down into the crowd. One song has a brutal, synced-electirc (guitar?) solo; another has Pugh shouting out (his? her? Mike Jones’?) phone number. For another song, Pugh plays guitar, and asks an audience member to come be his mic stand; a guy named “Pickle” volunteers to great cheers and does a commendable job as a mic stand. He gets a hi-five out of Pugh afterwards (“That’s the first time a mic stand’s ever given me a hi-five). For the last song, Pugh and Madeline did a little slow dance while their beat played out. It was sweet.

Jeffrey Lewis showed up at Emo’s, just in time for Meneguar. Kirby and Seling may disagree with me here, but Meneguar strike me as a very middling rock band. I can see what they’re going for—pop choruses buried under gyroscopic guitars and vocal reverb, Juno-esque instrumental buildups and breaks, occasional feedback rock bombast—but it just doesn’t seem to come together, and their sound was muddled, with the reverb sucking all the energy from their would-be sing-along vocals.The noise bits between songs were fine, but the songs themselves? Meh. Meh-neguar.

In the main room, a band called Delta Spirit played some perfectly festival-friendly roots rock. Also, if you’ve never been, the “main room” at Emo’s isn’t really a room; it’s an open air courtyard with some awnings here, some bleachers there, and a bar in the middle. It’s awesome. It’s also 70 degrees here in March, so it works.

The first big disappointment of the night: Japanther have mysteriously disappeared from the bill at Emo’s Jr, to be replaced by fellow Brooklynites Team Robespierre. Bummer. Team Robespierre, it turns out, are a kind-of okay replacement, in fact, if I’d seen them under any circumstances other than expecting to see Japanther, I’d probably have nothing but good things to say. Their show combines a little Japanther, a little Matt & Kim, a little youth crew Hardcore, and a little Atom & His Package. There are dual keyboardists and dual vocalists. There is some dancing into the crowd. Also, Team Robespierre summon up the best/only mosh pit of the night, with kids crowd surfing on a crowd not quite big enough to support it, some dude loses the lens of his glasses, and lots of kids slamming into each other, opening huge holes in the crowd. Pretty fucking fun.

In the main room, Be Your Own Pet offered a much simpler version of punk, one built on frenetic three-chord thrash and cracked southern belle Jemima Pearl’s wailing. The band was much better than when I saw them last in Seattle, the instruments tighter, and Pearl’s stage presence more confident, oscillating between skinny spaz flailing and faux sexy snarl more convincingly than before.

Down the street, at the Thirsty Nickel, Diskjokke is playing in entirely the wrong bar. The Nickel is a wooden-walled saloon, long and narrow, with the stage right by the door, flanked by windows. Diskjokke is playing a laptop with a couple MIDI controllers, pumping out chill but grooving disco, but the crowd, packed up into the front, isn’t dancing. They’re watching. Watching a guy play a laptop. This is something I’ll just never understand—if you’re going to see someone make dance music, and if there’s not really any kind of a live show to speak of, why would you standing there staring instead of dancing? Pushing through the crowd, it turns out that it’s not so packed; the Nickel is huge, and there’s plenty of space further back, although the sound doesn’t carry. Oh yeah, did I mention that the sound system seems to consist of two PA speakers. Not really the kind of thump you want in your discotheque. I’ve been told that this is often how it is at SXSW—rock bands end up playing dance clubs and sounding like shit, electronic act wind up at a honky tonk that doesn’t know what to do with them, etc. Oh well. I check back later for Kim Hiorthoy Lindstrøm, who’s rocking an awesome V∞redoms t-shirt (Dave Segal tells me Boredoms’ EYE did a great remix for Kim Hiorthoy Lindstrøm [all those Norsemen look alike to me]), and the crowd has thinned out a bit and started dancing a little, but even just halfway back in the crowd, the sound is weak. It’s disappointing, as this line-up was one I was really looking forward to.

In other disappointment: Cut Copy at Karma was so crowded after I waited in line to get in (gasp!), that it was impossible to see or hear much of anything. The crowd was bouncing and clapping along up front though, and one guy’s head was visible above them, lit in neon green against the club’s dark. I was curious to see the Tough Alliance’s lip-synch power violence act, but not that curious.

Over at Barcelona, Pandemonium Jones of Caps & Jones was DJing a mellow warm-up set, climaxing with the Black Kids’ “I won’t Teach Your Boyfriend how to Dance.” Remember Black Kids? That’s a fine song. Barcelona is the venue that Lindstrom, Hiorthoy, and Diskjokke should’ve been playing at, a cool, neon-lit underground club, also long and narrow, but with a much better vibe for dancing. Next up were Ninjasonik, a trio of Bronx kids (and literal Black Kids), of whom my friend Jamie said, “You’ll hear them say ‘nigger’ a lot, and that’s kind of the whole point.” One of them has a pretty sweet Shock G/Humpty look going on. They sound-checked to Peter Bjorn & John’s “Young Folks,” played their DJ back in the booth. The transition from sound-check to actual set is murky, though, with their next numbers consisting of only various repeated iterations of their name (“Ninja fucking sonic / Sonic fucking ninjas”) and then the choruses from ODB’s “Yeah Baby I Like it Raw” and M.I.A.’s “Paper Planes,” for which they’ve made paper planes to throw from the stage at the handful of people gathered around. They never got around to dropping the N-bomb before I left.

Tonight in Music: Club Pop with New Faces, Style Out with Alpha P, Neema

posted by on March 13 at 9:00 AM

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Neema, Cool Nutz, Cancer Rising, Certified, Mr. D.O.G.
(Nectar) Neema of Unexpected Arrival is a local player. He works the 206 hustle hard. After a ball game at the KeyArena, you can find him not in the club but outside the stadium selling his rap music (which is more on the pop end of the rap spectrum), handing out fliers, and promoting shows. In fact, in the last conversation I had with Neema, he expressed great concern about the possible departure of the Sonics. Not only are the games good for advertising his events, he also believes that a city without a professional basketball team could not be a hiphop city. B-boys and b-ball must not be separated. To reuse the words of Kurtis Blow: “Basketball is my favorite sport/I love the way they dribble up and down the court.” Word. CHARLES MUDEDE

From this week’s My Philosophy:

Down at the Showbox Sodo is Style Out—a great big smorgasbord of some of SEA’s finest: Alpha P, the Physics, Orbitron (with DJ Tecumseh), DJ B-Girl, Mind Movers, the Elefaders, Circle of Fire, B.Y.C. Crew, and DJ Punish all represent, with ‘nuff special guests, giveaways, pyrotechnics, and what have you. Says the show’s promoter, Alpha P generalissimo and storied Seattle fixture Asun: “As a father of five, a performing teaching artist, and member of the Universal Zulu Nation in conjunction with Hip Hop Congress, I hope to change the way so-called ‘backpack rappers’ and ‘gangster rappers’/’hood representatives’ interact with each other, in an act of unification through similar situations and purpose.” The whole shebang is also going to be a DVD as well, so if you’re going down there, take that stupid hat off!

And from this week’s Underage:

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Congratulations to New Faces! On March 1, the Port Townsend trio were crowned champions of Sound Off!, EMP’s annual underage battle of the bands, beating out the almost 200 bands who submitted demos. After a month of tournament-style battles, the field of 12 semifinalists narrowed down to three—New Faces, Man Down Medic, and the Nextdoor Neighbors.

New Faces are the perfect match for the night’s usual dance-happy crowd. Layers of staccato guitar drive the trio’s Interpol-inspired dance rock, along with Nico Janssen’s crooning baritone vocals. The quick pulse of songs such as “She’s Like the Snow” and “Ms. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” will have the Club Pop crowd shaking its hips, and the band’s mellower moments, like “You to Me,” will have it grooving to a more smoky, sexy vibe. Club Pop is just the beginning of their busy spring, with performances already booked at Neumo’s and the Comet. You’ll no doubt be hearing about this band for a while.

SXSW - Day, er, Night One

posted by on March 13 at 2:50 AM

SXSW is confusing. I got off the plane at 11:00-something… Went to Whattaburger, then hit Red River (or, per, locals Lead Liver Street). Twas 12:37 am. First time at SXSW - first time in Austin. Virgin. You can’t throw a rock without hitting a hundred bands. Right? But where are they? More spectators than action. People EVERYWHERE. They’re all drunk. And more confused than me. They have cell phones, schedules, text messages, and laminates. I’m sure tomorrow, this will all make more sense. For now, here’s what I’ve learned:

FASHION: anything goes. Leather is key:

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Forget heels…

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Lone Star? Better than Pabst

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and most things really are bigger in Texas.

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Actual music photos, here tomorrow…

Yes, But Tell Us All About Her Taste in Music

posted by on March 13 at 2:47 AM

What kind of music did the prostitute Elliot Spitzer slept with like?

Music is her first love, and on [her] MySpace page, Ms. Dupré mentions Patsy Cline, Frank Sinatra, Christina Aguilera and Lauryn Hill among a long list of influences, including her brother, Kyle. (She also lists Whitney Houston, Madonna, Mary J. Blige and Amy Winehouse as her top MySpace friends.) In the interview, she said she saw the Rolling Stones perform at Radio City Music Hall on their last tour after a friend gave her two tickets. “They were amazing,” she said.

The After-Hour Slice of Pizza

posted by on March 13 at 1:27 AM

Nope, not a breakfast taco…it’s 3 a.m., and the onion cheeseburger pizza I just had was perfect.

I cannot find the SD adapter at my friend’s desk, which means I can’t yet post the low-res videos I shot today—of The Acorn, of Phosphorescent, of….Slaraffenland? Yes, the best band I’ve ever seen out of Denmark was my utterly random surprise hit of the night. Imagine a German military choir gone twee, taking up horns and synthesizers and clarinets as they shout their way into melodic bliss. Even if their videos didn’t turn out, I at least have photos of the quintet in matching, star-covered T-shirts (and one guy smattered those stars on his guitar, as well). And to think, I saw them only to pass time between two other bands. Bands like that are the whole point of the fest, really; while shlubs stop to see REM and The Lemonheads and whoever else has some new album to promote, I’m far more interested by the fact that this broken music industry can still convince bands from all over the world to come to one city for four days. All the talk I heard today from people revolved around this question: if the industry’s promotional money continues going downhill, who knows what relevance industry-heavy SXSW will have in two or three years? Good to see people who are enjoying press passes and zillions of bands can keep their minds on the fucking positives…

Other highlights—Leatherbag, an Austin trio with a lead singer who’s a dead ringer for Lou Reed in all of the right ways; White Williams, a Cure & The Bunnymen kind of dance-rock group, steeped in mainstream ’80s Brit-pop but with enough thump and life of their own; Bear in Heaven, a Brooklyn noise-rock group whose broken-apart songwriting is held together by a lead singer who looks like a Jesus imitator and shrieks with a crazed voice similar to the guy from Ghostland Observatory. Also was really impressed by WHY?—particularly the guy’s incredible live band, which he contributes to by banging around on drums while rolling out his nasal-yet-smooth flow. And I actually liked Sunburned Hand of the Man—not that I hate noise-jazz, necessarily, but they hit on all cylinders today.

A coupl’a disappointments—Autolux was awful, though the sound at their venue was the main reason. Worse, at my final 1 a.m. show destination, I was cockblocked by five dudes in suits who were standing guard in front of the No Depression party. I repeat—an alt-country magazine’s showcase was guarded by five large men in matching, snappy suits. They said that I couldn’t go inside their show at nightclub-turned-venue Panagea if I was wearing a backpack. Never mind that a person can’t function at the walk-all-over-town SXSW without a big bag of some kind filled with bottled water/food/guides/etc…What did they think I’ was hiding inside of the bag? A sixth suit?

Will try and get photos/vids up tomorrow. G’night, Eric!

Day One: Portland Style

posted by on March 13 at 1:03 AM

posted by Ezra Careff at the Portland Mercury’s End Hits:

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Day One - SXSW 2008
Total Number of Bands Seen:

Six. Jeffrey Lewis, Kimya Dawson (on accident, I swear), Be Your Own Pet, The Kills, Bon Iver, Tough Alliance.
Total Number of Tacos Consumed:
Two.
Notable Shows That I Was Unable to See:
Three. R.E.M., Van Morrison, Okkervil River & Roky Erickson.
Number of hand stamps and wrist bands:
Four.
Celebrity Sightings:
None, unless you count Jens Lekman at the Tough Alliance show. He was dancing. Poorly. While holding a tote bag.

Not a bad first day, especially when you consider that we rolled into Austin in the early evening, and before we saw any bands we needed to check-in to our hotel, register for the conference, and, most importantly, eat some tacos. I chose the stomach-turning “deep friend avocado, with avocado(!)” taco (pictured above), which was wasn’t as bizarre as the name sounds. The avocado was nugget-thick with batter, but cool and soft inside, plus it went well with a dollop of the habanero hot sauce.

Onto the music…

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Jeffrey Lewis
, much like his performance a few weeks back opening for the Mountain Goats, was fantastic—a charming blur of hyperactive kiddie songs, run through the neurotic filter of a tortured (comic book) artist, and militant Crass fan. Our plan was to catch the bouncy pop of Saturday Looks Good to Me next, but instead we stumbled right into a Kimya Dawson performance (my hatred for Juno is well documented).

PANIC!

No time to consult the guidebook, so we just fled into the sea of people, took a random left and were staring at the hyperactive Be Your Own Pet.

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It’s like pop-punk for kids who wouldn’t dare admit to listening to pop-punk. Honestly, it’s hard to see where Be Your Own Pet stops and a band like Paramore starts. Or even Tilt or Discount, for that matter. Still enjoyable, though.

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Speaking of pop-punk (specifically Discount), it was time to cut across town to catch The Kills. I adore their latest, Midnight Boom, and haven’t caught the band since their early days from back when they were still (I assume) a couple. They do have the same intense, faux-junkie back and forth, as before, but that are-they-going-to-fuck-each-other-on-the-stage? vibe was long gone.

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Despite my best efforts to catch Cut Copy, I arrived too late, so I reversed direction and sought out the ghostly voice of Bon Iver, the band behind my favorite record of the year (so far, it’s still quite early), For Emma, Forever Ago. Problem was, the show was at a terrible venue that booked a very loud Buckcherry cover band a few yards away from the delicate sounds of Bon Iver. At the same time.

Worse, was this douche nozzle bouncer who refused to let anyone upstairs to see Bon Iver, despite the show not being sold out.

Ha, beer for breakfast, you silly fucking frat boy, I will turn your bones to fucking dust and murder your fucking family.

Um, anyway, I got in. Bon Iver’s set was gorgeous, despite my seething rage for a certain bouncer getting the best of me. I needed to mellow out. I needed something fun. I needed something Swedish and gay.

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Oh, hello Tough Alliance. The Swedish duo was just what I needed, as their ridiculous techno-pop (Lip syncing and fog machines, yay!) sounded better as the evening progressed, even if it made me feel like I was at a sweaty gay bar in Göteborg. It was a little hokey at times, but not a bad way to end my first night here at SXSW.

Tomorrow’s Goals:
Eat more tacos. Two is not enough.
That is all.


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Happening Right Now at SXSW: Extreme Animals Cover Archers of Loaf

posted by on March 12 at 6:57 PM

Eric’s going to be running all over Austin and blogging as much as he can, but there’s a lot to see. A lot. So he’s also keeping in touch via text message too. And according to him, Extreme Animals just did a cover of “Web in Front” by Archers of Loaf!

He’ll be there until Sunday. A few other Stranger folks are down there too. Plenty more updates to come, keep checking back.

For those who might not be clear…

Here’s Archers of Loaf’s “Web in Front”:

Here are Extreme Animals live (from like, 2003):

Now mash ‘em together. Man. I can only imagine how rad that might’ve been…

Your Random 3 pm MP3 for the Day: Neezie Pleaze

posted by on March 12 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: “Consecutive Heat” by Neezie Pleaze.

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

Puff Puff Give

posted by on March 12 at 2:56 PM

A few weeks ago I did a Party Crasher column about a hippie party at Cafe Yeshi on Roosevelt. One of the acts I caught was an acoustic guitar and bongo duo, singing a song with the chorus “Puff Puff Give.” The artist contacted me today to tell me that a video has just been completed for the song. So now I share it with you.

Hannah’s Field is one of 70 musical acts performing at the One Family Gathering, a three day hippie free-for-all in the high desert of Oregon this May. Out of the 70 artists, I have now heard of one of them. I really want to go.

Wednesday: Pre Funk

posted by on March 12 at 2:40 PM

Observations from my trip to (and first 30 minutes in) Austin:

-In Houston’s GW Bush airport, a young man in low-end designer jeans and a button-up short-sleeve shirt is spouting motivational speaker talk into his cell phone: “how old are you? 24? That’s great. You can start at any age and achieve big results in only a short amount of time!” I don’t pay for wireless to check my email, but this guy at least makes me less homesick for the spam.

-A plump, possibly teenage girl with a baby strapped to her chest says to a group of friends, “Houston, we have a problem!” In Houston. I’m sure she’s right.

-Todd Barry is on my connecting flight from Houston to Austin. He gets trapped between two beverage service carts trying to get to the bathroom. Hilarious. Maybe that’ll make it into his act!

-I run into the Coconut Coolouts at the airport. Pete is already/still hungover from last night’s practice session. We split a cab downtown. Our cab-driver, a 59 year old Latino with a black leather brimmed hat, calls himself “the Scorpion” and lets us know—among other things—that he just broke up with his 26 year old Puerto Rican girlfriend and that “all the drug dealers and hookers love to ride in this cab.” He gives Pete some advice on getting the ladies (like Pete needs it). He blasts the Doors and CCR. He swerves, flips off drivers, and shouts “shake it, don’t break it” at cars. If anything, you would say that this cab was rare, etc…

-I need a coke.

-Update: Had that coke. There’s Be Your Own Pet walking through the convention center, looking like the youngest people in the room. I may have been too hard on those kids the first time they came through Seattle.

-Saw my first “more cowbell” t-shirt of the weekend. Good one, Cool Dad!

Leslie and the Ly’s & Team Gina at Neumo’s

posted by on March 12 at 1:58 PM

Not surprisingly, I couldn’t get a single person to go to The Leslie & the Ly’s show with me last night. I guess I couldn’t blame them, considering I had my doubts as well as to how fun the show would actually be.

I arrived at Neumo’s right in time for rap duo, Team Gina’s set. Self proclaimed fans of the costume change, Gina Bling and Gina Genius tore through a quick set of glittery getups and provocative rap songs about becoming best friends, being lesbians, the 1980’s, and a topic foreign to me, called “deez nutz”. While too many bands these days beat a set into the ground by playing too long, Team G. kept it the perfect length at short and sweet.

After they were done, DJ Colby B got behind the tables, producing a pretty exciting soundtrack for some scantily clad go-go boys to flaunt their goodies to on stage. Never in my life have I seen someone shove dollar bills down someone else’s hot shorts at an all ages show, but I feel like the world would be better with more of it.

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Leslie Hall is a legitimate freak. She is what would happen if an evangelist, Weird Al Yankovic, and a grumpy librarian were all combined to create a portly pop diva wearing ill fitting spandex. Despite some technical difficulties early on with her headset microphone, Leslie controlled the crowd with her presence from the get go. While she sang aerobic inspired pop songs about zombies and golden sweaters, she waddled, guffawed, and air humped herself around the stage like a woman possessed. While the music was all right, if not kind of repetitive, it was in-between songs that Leslie was at her best. Her “sketches”, including an on stage sweater initiation ceremony involving crowd participation, could easily be converted into one of those children’s shows where adults “get” the jokes, like Pee Wee’s Playhouse. That being said, I don’t remember any of those shows being more than a half hour long and well before she came out for her encore, I was well and ready to take a break from Leslie and get back outside to the real world.

Photo by Terry Dean

More Presidents Prizes: Win One of Their New Shirts!

posted by on March 12 at 12:26 PM

Yesterday, we gave away an autographed copy of their new record These Are the Good Times People. The winner, Daniel, was just notified via e-mail. Congratulations Daniel! But if you didn’t win, don’t worry. There are more prizes all week. Today, we’re giving away one of the band’s new t-shirt designs, which were all drawn by Chris Ballew. There’s a frog/octopus creature, a buffalo/eagle one… a bunch of weird little cartoons to choose from.

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The winner will get to choose their design and t-shirt size. To enter, e-mail lineout@thestranger.com. Please put PUSA T-SHIRT in the subject line.

Good luck!

Team Gina at Neumo’s

posted by on March 12 at 12:17 PM

Here’s a video of Team Gina doing their song “BFF” at Neumo’s last night, when they opened for Leslie & the Lys. Sorry for the stage-right-ism, it was quite crowded and that’s the only good spot I could get to film!

This Week’s BOTW: 13th Grade

posted by on March 12 at 12:00 PM

Say hello to 13th Grade, the local band that plays weird rock songs about school, sex, and drugs. They’re this week’s Band of the Week.

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I asked them a few questions, so we could all get to know them a little bit better:

Q: Do you guys consider yourselves to be the teachers or the students in the school of life?

A: Teachers all the way! We get paid more than students, and our positions of authority allow us to extort sexual and other favors from subordinates.

Q: I got kicked out of yearbook class when I was a junior in high school. Have you guys ever been kicked out of class?

A: Yes. All of us. It’s a basic requirement for acceptance into the Academy. We even teach a class called “How To Get Kicked Out Of Class”.

Q: On your bands page, you describe yourself as “Led Zeppelin fingering the Mickey Mouse Club in the back row of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. ” Is that old school (Annette) or new school (Britney) MMC?

A: Since we’re all over 50, none of us has even watched Spearable Britney MMC. Except Coach. We’re all about Fun with the ‘cello! (:B

Q: Does your class have mascot?

A: “Leering Rodger,” the tongue-wagging skull and bones mascot of our co-ed wrestling team (GO ASS PIRATES!!!), is currently in hiding from the authorities.

See 13th Grade Thursday, March 13th, at the Galway Arms. They’re also playing the Blue Moon on the 28th and the Skylark Cafe in West Seattle on April 12th.

Listen to 13th Grade:

“Art”

“Homeroom”

“ASSembly”

If you want to know even more, click here to check out their Bands Page.

In the Round 34: Tara Ward, Sonny Votolato, John Van Deusen

posted by on March 12 at 11:44 AM

The Round is a really great concept—get a bunch of musicians together, put ‘em on the stage in a room with poets and painters, and then put an audience in front of them. Everyone takes their turns sharing a song or a poem, and while that happens, painters work diligently on the side of the stage. Now and again you can glance over to see their pieces come together.

intheroundpainting.JPGPainter Jesse Brown

Last night’s installment featured musicians Sonny Votolato (and his Blue Checkered Record Player bandmates), John Van Deusen of the Lonely Forest, and Tara Ward of Late Tuesday. There were a couple poets, and a couple painters including Jesse Brown. Early in the night, it felt a little weird—like a coffeeshop singer/songwriter jam session with actually decent music. But nothing too extraordinary.

Things really started to come together in the second half, though. Sonny, John, and Tara took advantage of the possibilities the Round offers them. John Van Deusen let loose, covering a song by his favorite band, XTC. He asked the crowd for help—yelling out “Woo hoo!” in the chorus.

Here’s John Van Deusen covering XTC’s Statue of Liberty.

Tara Ward followed that up with a cover too, a Flight of the Conchords song about tape. Almost everyone in the room knew it—they all sang the chorus and waved their hands in the air at the end.

Here’s Tara Ward singing a song from Flight of the Conchords, enlisting everyone in the room’s help.

Sonny Votolato laughed when he said he was going to bring things back down again, but he debuted a song that he hadn’t really played before (in fact, he might have written some of the lyrics during intermission). It was my favorite of the night. I wish I recorded it.

As for the poetry, well, I don’t get poetry. I’ve been to one slam event in my life and it was pretty bad. That was years ago, though. Last night, I wasn’t super into all the stuff they performed, BUT! There were two poems, one by each writer, that I thought were great. One was about imagination and Dr. Suess and not being afraid to be a little weird (photo below). I could totally relate. Another was a heartbreaker, a story about a favorite uncle who was diagnosed with schizophrenia. It was smart and funny and really well delivered. I’ll admit it, it left a heavy lump in my throat.

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The Round has a couple more impressive line-ups in the near future. On Saturday, March 29, there’s a bonus round with Sarah Shannon, Jon Auer, and poets from Seattle Poetry Slam. And on April 8th, Shane Tutmarc of Dolour and the Traveling Mercies and Eric Howk from the Lashes and Palmer, AK are the musical guests. (I just saw Palmer, AK open for Harvey Danger last weekend and they were great—strong songwriting with harmonies and a with a more heart on your sleeve approach than the Lashes.) Visit www.theround.org for more info.

Weekly Recommendation

posted by on March 12 at 11:34 AM

Tangoterje - I Want Your Love 12”
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‘Disco Edit Master’, Todd Terje returns under his Tangoterje alias to release another outstanding re-edit 12” for his own label, Supreme Records. Speaking of ‘supreme’, that’s a fine way of describing this hot new 12”, which includes re-edits of Chic’s “I Want Your Love” and Claudja Barry’s “Sweet Dynamite”, which on a side note, is a favorite of mine to play out. Like the amazing re-edit records he has released over the past few years on Supreme, this record consists of some of the best new disco edits that are currently out there. Terje always tends to choose great songs to edit, knowing what adds to the song, as well as knowing how to back off a bit and let the tracks original greatness take over. This record is a good example, again, of Terje working his magic.

Tangoterje - I Want Your Love (Sample Clip)
Buy Record

Franz Ferdinand in the News, Every Night

posted by on March 12 at 11:32 AM

Is it just me or does CNN play the riff from Franz Ferdinand’s “This Fire”—not the lyrics, just that impossible-to-mistake refraining chord progression—on Anderson Cooper 360 when they need background noise?

It’s surprising every time.

Today’s Music News

posted by on March 12 at 11:21 AM

My Tacoma heart swells with pride - The Ventures, Cohen, and some lady from Michigan get inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

When the Radiohead model gets convoluted - Iron Maiden “Best of…” album available on-line for free, sort of

Hallelujah! - Leonard Cohen does first tour in 15 years

SNL is on a two week hot streak! - Mariah replaces sick Janet

Reverse Columbine - Tragic and fatal goth stomping in Britain

I wonder how the corpse paint is gonna hold up to the Texas heat - Holy Shit! 1349 at SXSW?!?

Croc Latest

posted by on March 12 at 11:15 AM

From the PI:

The future of the building that formerly housed the famed rock club the Crocodile Cafe is in even more doubt.

Groupee Inc., a privately held Seattle-based Internet software company, has withdrawn its application for a restaurant and lounge license at the site, said Susan Reams, a spokeswoman for the Washington State Liquor Control Board.

Reams said Groupee did not say why—just that it was withdrawing the application, filed in January.

Lori Hope, Groupee’s vice president and chief operating officer, did not return an e-mail or a call seeking comment. The company has been silent about its plans…

The full story’s here.

(Thanks, Levi.)

Old Gem: Shoplifting @ Conworks

posted by on March 12 at 11:00 AM

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By Jo Marie Riedl.

My Morning Poll: Band of Foxes

posted by on March 12 at 10:06 AM

I received a note from someone complaining that Fleet Foxes sound too much like My Morning Jacket. I guess I can hear similarities in the vocals yes, and maybe some of the sound. But too similar? I don’t know. Who’s to say? What’s a similarity to one, may be homage and natural coincidence to another. One thing I do know is that Robin Pecknold has a beautiful and opulent voice. So does Band of Horses singer Ben Bridwell. “St. Augustine” sprouts chills every time. So:

Who sounds more like My Morning Jacket?

Do Fleet Foxes sound like My Morning Jacket?

Do Band of Horses sound like My Morning Jacket?

Who’s voice do you like best?

Tonight in Music: Tiny Vipers

posted by on March 12 at 9:00 AM

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Tiny Vipers
(Triple Door) The other night, after midnight, I was walking down a big, empty street with lit-up but vacant banks, half-dark restaurants, apartment entryways, a girl waiting for a bus to the University District, those piscine parking meters, beeping ATMs, freezing wind, the light-black sky, etc., etc. I was listening to Tiny Vipers’ Hands Across the Void and feeling a surge of hometown pride. There are things about Tiny Vipers, and not just the softness, the youngness, or the localness, that remind me of Fleet Foxes. Both make me think (for whatever reason) of campfires, and both of them are on Sub Pop, headquartered a few blocks from the street I happened to be on. Hands Across the Void, according to Sup Pop’s website, is “empty, spare, and minimal—except where the nuanced, abstract noise implies that someone is on the other side, listening to you listen.” I’ll buy that. CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Indeed, Maximum Volume Does Yield Maximum Results

posted by on March 11 at 9:38 PM

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Earth
The Bees Made Honey In the Lion’s Skull
(Southern Lord)

As excited as I was for its release, I’ve hesitated to talk about Earth’s new album, The Bees Made Honey In The Lion’s Skull. I bought it the day after it came out and listened to it repeatedly over the course of the last two weeks. The band’s previous endeavor, last year’s Hibernaculum, was easily my favorite record of 2007. My expectations for the follow-up were high. But something about Bees wasn’t quite resonating with me.

Truth be told, I had never been the biggest fan of Earth’s early work. Prior to their hiatus from 1997 to 2005, Earth-mastermind Dylan Carlson summoned some of the heaviest and most exhausting dirges to emanate from the Northwest. Even the first half of the Melvin’s Lysol seems accessible by comparison. My appreciation of the sheer excess of their revered second album, Earth 2, doesn’t quite compensate for my short attention span when it comes to the nearly complete lack of sonic dynamics on the recording. I often find myself playing it on my headphones on long flights or car trips for the sole purpose of putting me to sleep. Its soothing monotone manages to cancel out nearly all outside sound.

But the hiatus changed the equation. Starting with 2005’s Hex (Or Printing In The Infernal Method), their fifth studio full-length, Carlson replaced the overdriven metal guitar with shimmering full-bodied clean tones. Rather than drenching everything with distortion, Carlson colored his sustained guitar notes with tremolo, reverb. delay, and a variety of other effects to create a varied sonic pallet. Eschewing the metal aesthetic for a sound closer to the soundtracks of old spaghetti westerns or heavy drug-use montages, the new approach evoked a dark and sinister twist on Americana. Two years later, Hibernaculum showcased three older Earth songs revisited using the new twangy template. While still rife with doom in the realm of melody, the songs suddenly took on a more dramatic depth. Minute variations surfaced with each new pass at a riff. The album closer, A Plague of Angels, clocks in at just over sixteen minutes at roughly 45 beats per minute. The dearth of rhythmic punctuations matches extreme economy of guitar playing. Yet the song never grows boring; there is too much tension in the empty gaps and the sparse arrangement.

Earth’s newer material recalls a conversation I’d had years ago with a local studio engineer/producer. He attested that the long-term appeal of “classic” rock records is at least partially due to the virtually unnoticeable inconsistencies from measure to measure. Tempo fluctuations, notes plucked slightly ahead or behind the beat, tone discrepancies from small changes in musicians’ playing… all these factors keep the subconscious intrigued. The human brain somehow struggles to push the pieces back into place, but the organic nature of the performances defies our inner desire for order. Perhaps this explains why Earth’s dragging tempos and subtle embellishments make their glacial-paced minimalism all the more engaging. While Earth 2 simply lulls me into sleep, Hex and Hibernaculum leave me transfixed. I frequently lie awake at night listening to the records in their entirety. Yes, I am a nerd.

The Bees Made Honey In The Lion’s Skull doesn’t stray too far from their post-hiatus formula. The folks at Earth’s label, Southern Lord, joke that Hex was more “southern”, and Bees is more “lord.” The joke is appropriate; Earth have shifted ever so slightly from their bleak and burned-out soundscapes to more triumphant melodies. On a basic compositional level, I found Bees immediately satisfying and appreciated the evolution in sound, but for some reason it just wasn’t hitting me the same way as their other recent work. This morning I finally recognized the error: my choice of playing devices. For the last two weeks I’ve been repeatedly listening to the album on my laptop speakers. But this morning, as I walked across downtown Seattle, I gave Bees another go, this time on my iPod. From the very first note, it all made sense. This is a record too sonically lush, too deftly subtle, and too gorgeously layered to warrant a casual listen. Listening to the record on headphones with Puget Sound shimmering on the horizon and the sound unfolding to reveal all its intricate details and little secrets, I felt the hairs on my arm stand at attention. So my apologies that giving this record a little lip service comes two weeks after its official drop date, but it’s probably better that I kept my opinion to myself prior to giving it a proper listen. Goddamn, it’s one fine record.

Today in Clever Song Licensing

posted by on March 11 at 7:00 PM

So, there’s a new-ish tv advertisement running for one of those odious male deoderant body sprays—you know, the kind that unfailingly turns women into unconrtollably aroused animals. Anyway, it’s pretty typical body spray boilerplate—it’s hot out, girls are in bikinis, dude sprays himself with product, girl makes eyes at dude.

But! The soundtrack to the ad is the swooning, opening guitar and organ riff of the Seeds’ “Can’t Seem to Make You Mine.” It’s the same song that Diplo samples on his remix of “Put That Pussy on Me” by Spank Rock. So, even though it’s a lame ad for a product in which I have zero interest, I at least enjoy hearing it. And! I can’t help but wonder if the dual reference is intentional—like the ad could be saying, “Our product will help you make girls yours,” or it could be saying, “Our product will make girls put their pussies on you.” It works either way!

Still, I’d rather smell like armpits.

Van Halen Postpone More Shows, EVH Still Being Treated for… Something

posted by on March 11 at 4:25 PM

Via MTV.com news:

Van Halen have postponed 17 more concert dates so that guitarist Eddie Van Halen “can continue medical tests to define a course of treatment,” the band announced late Monday on its Web site. The post noted that Eddie remains “under doctors’ care”; the band postponed several dates last week due to his unspecified “medical tests.” No further information about the guitarist’s condition was offered.

The postponed dates include Charlottesville, Virginia; East Rutherford, New Jersey; New York, New York; Duluth, Georgia; Pittsburgh; Providence, Rhode Island; Uncasville, Connecticut; Atlantic City, New Jersey; St. Louis; Columbus, Ohio; Rosemont, Illinois; Grand Rapids, Michigan; Milwaukee; Manchester, New Hampshire; Hershey, Pennsylvania; Raleigh, North Carolina; and Baltimore.

The tour is picking back up in Vegas on April 19th. The whole story can be read here.

Meanwhile, I’m getting more and more curious about Eddie’s condition… This is a big to-do if they’re just trying to hide rehab.

A Thank You to Commenters

posted by on March 11 at 3:20 PM

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A while ago, someone was looking for a synthesizer and came to Line Out for advice. Wise and generous gear-head commenters were there for him with information and help.

The brave synth quester has made his choice:

I bought a MicroKORG! This thing packs a healthy fucking punch in a tiny little package.

Thanks to all the commenters for the advice. In the end I opted for the Korg because of what some of them suggested. The Alesis Micron had a lot of bells and whistles, but like the commenters said, when you stuff all that into a small package something ends up suffering.

Plus, the KORG has gigantic low-end bass synths that rattle the windows. Can’t wait to hear this thing run through a 18” sub woofer and my 450 watt bass amp!

I’m About to Fall Asleep at My Desk

posted by on March 11 at 3:10 PM

I miss the hour that was stolen from us Sunday morning. I blame its absence on the fog of tired that has clouded my brain for the past two days. Anyone else been remarkably sleeeeeepy? Today is the worst, though. And why? It’s gorgeous outside! It’s bright, the air is cool but not too cold, I should be wide awake.

The only thing keeping my blood pumping is the music I’m listening to. Earlier it was Blues. Blistering hardcore was a little too abrasive for my fragile state, though. So right now I’m listening to Desaparecidos Read Music/Speak Spanish. It’s a really high energy record, it’s getting the job done. For now. Soon, it’ll be over.

I need something that will wake me the fuck up but not melt my face off. Something with energy, but good energy—if it’s angry, I’m likely to get cranky. If it’s too fast, I’m likely to feel even more exhausted. Maybe a little USE? Maybe some old-school Madonna? I just don’t know…

What do you listen to to keep your head from hitting your desk about this time everyday?

Suggest something. Quick. I’m fading.

More Than Your Money’s Worth

posted by on March 11 at 3:04 PM

So there’s this Maryland band named Verbatim. Apparently, they’ve been recording an album for three years. So, naturally, in order to blow off steam, they decided to get together and record an EP in one weekend, and then release it for free on their website. Would I buy the album if I happened across it in a record store? No. It’s a little too SoCal pop for me, but some of it, like the opening track “Without You” but especially the glorious mess that is “Irrational Exuberance,” will be on repeat on my iTunes for a while.

Your Random 3 pm MP3 for the Day: Immiserate

posted by on March 11 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: “bur” by Immiserate.

Listen. Tell me what you think.

Throw Me the Huey

posted by on March 11 at 1:52 PM

Young Ones Throw Me the Statue will have a track on the upcoming comp Are You Still With Me?! A Tribute to Huey Lewis and the News. Other artists embracing their 1983 are My Brightest Diamond, Apostle of Hustle, the Long Winters, Panda & Angel, and more. TMTS will be covering “If This Is It” off Sports.

Hat Tip to Sterogum, where Throw Me the Statue are a “Band To Watch.”

Have You Ever Wanted to See Iggy Pop Sing Madonna’s “Ray of Light?”

posted by on March 11 at 1:22 PM

Courtesy of her induction to the Rock ‘N Roll Hall of Fame, your wish is granted!

Clear Tomorrow

posted by on March 11 at 12:50 PM

Let’s take a moment to think about Cybotron’s “Clear.”
cybotron%2Bclear.jpg We know that “Clear” is to hiphop/techno what Blade Runner is to sci-fi cinema and Neuromancer is to cyberpunk. All three appeared between 1981 and 1982. All three were plugged into the emerging global brain. But let’s consider “Clear” against another piece of 80s pop, Ziggy Marely’s “Tomorrow People.”

At the end of “Tomorrow People,” Ziggy makes this declaration: “Don’t know your past/don’t know your future.” A corresponding meaning to Ziggy’s declaration can be found at the end of the eleventh thesis of Benjamin’s Theses on the Philosophy of History: “…[T]o assign to the working class the role of redeemer of future generations [is to cut] the sinews of its greatest strength. This training [makes] the working class forget its hatred and spirit of sacrifice, for both are nourished by the image of enslaved ancestors rather than that of liberated grandchildren.” As the father of Ziggy put it: “Every time I hear the crack of the whip/My blood runs cold…” The point: If you want to know the future, you must remember that whip. A revolution, social transformation, is nourished by the memory of enslavement.

But Cybotron’s “Clear” imagines a completely different kind of social revolution. For Juan Atkin’s first sonic program/fiction, the past must be deleted and the future must be total. For “Clear,” only tomorrow is “a brighter day.” The dark past—with its whips, slave ships, economic hardships—is a loss from which nothing can be recovered. To completely welcome tomorrow, your mind will be cleared.

“Clear,” and the techno program in general, is more radical in many ways than “Tomorrow People,” and the rasta program in general. “I don’t want to go to another planet. I want to save this one,” says the boy at the beginning of the video for “Tomorrow People.” Precisely the opposite for techno heads! In a state of essence, techno has no interest in saving this planet; it wants to go to another planet.

Saturday Night Music

posted by on March 11 at 12:30 PM

A song that I’ve been playing out a lot lately and enjoying has been Saturday Night Band’s 1978 rare disco classic “Don’t (Take My Love Away)”. This funked-out hi-energy disco cut was released on the group’s excellent debut three track LP Come On Dance, Dance. The song as well as the group spawned as a ‘disco concept’ project headed by producer’s Moses Dillard and Jesse Boyce who both rooted from the early days of soul and R&B music. Like many disco projects, this group only released a pair of records during the late 1970’s, however, both records being very solid, with the focus on being disco club hits. Overall, Saturday Night Band was a solid, however ‘under-the-radar’ group that was able to put together some fine productions within it’s short but successful timespan.

Saturday Night Band - Don’t (Take My Love Away)

Be Gentle, SXSW

posted by on March 11 at 12:25 PM

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2008 will be my first time at SXSW, and I couldn’t be more excited and overwhelmed. As dedicated readers/anti-Grandy stencilers will recall, I’m just two months into my new job here as music editor of the Stranger, so leaving town for a marathon four-day weekend of drinking and blog hyping is both a welcome music-crit spring break and a serious, anxiety-inducing assignment. Luckily, there will be anxiety-relieving substances. Like Norwegian Disco!

Like Sam, I’ve also hit up sched.org to work on my SXSW itinerary, and while there are still a lot of conflicts, I know for certain that my first night in Austin will be lit up by the nu-disco stylings of Diskjokke, Kim Hiorthøy, and Lindstrøm. I’m stoked.

Other acts on my impossible list: Islands, who will hopefully be debuting material from their forthcoming sophomore album; Why? (see previous post); Australian synth popsters Cut Copy; Pennsylvania drone ranters Pissed Jeans; Edmonton electro commies Shout Out Out Out Out, who killed when they played Club Pop here last year; so many more: Boys Noize, Ponytail, Santogold, BLK JKS, Sightings, Vampire Weekend, NERD, No Kids, No Age, Age Kids, No is the New Wolf, etc, etc, etc.

Also: Doomsday 1999’s Zack Carlson has promised to show me a taco that will “curl your eybones.” He also will probably be the only person I see for several days that could honestly ask me, “What the fuck is a Vampire Weekend?”

Presidents of the USA CD Release Party at Easy Street—Win Their New CD!

posted by on March 11 at 12:00 PM

Last night’s Presidents of the United States of America CD release party at Easy Street was so much fun—a packed house was treated to a bunch of new songs from These Are the Good Time People (in stores today), along with a few “oldie moldy goldy” favorites from the band’s early days including “Peaches,” “Lump,” “Kick Out the Jams,” and an impromptu cover of “Good Times Roll” by the Cars.

PUSAeasystreet.JPGphoto by Morgan Keuler

Singer Chris Ballew spilled his beer—“Now if I want a sip of beer I’m gonna have to lick the stage.” Later, he charged into the audience with his guitar. And the band talked about how excited they were about the new record. Ballew even said if you don’t like it, you can call him up and he’ll refund your money. He said his number is 555-5555. I think he’s lying.

PUSAeasystreet2.JPGphoto by Morgan Keuler

After the show, the band sold new merch (including t-shirt designs drawn by Ballew), and signed copies of the new record. The line went all the way to the back of the store, wrapping around and back down another aisle.

PUSAline.JPGphoto by Morgan Keuler

PUSAsign2.JPGphoto by Morgan Keuler

I took a video of their final song, “Peaches.” If you’re not into the shoddy point and shoot style, though, a video of the whole show is supposed to be archived at synclive.com.

If you’re a crazy Presidents fan, be sure to log on to Line Out every day this week (starting today!) for a chance to win PotUSA prizes. The first one is coming up… well… NOW!

PUSAcover.jpg

Do you want your very own autographed copy of the new record, These Are the Good Times People? Well Line Out has one to give away! E-mail your full name and mailing address lineout@thestranger.com with PUSA CONTEST in the subject line and maybe you’ll be a winner! The winner will be chosen at random and notified tomorrow via e-mail. Good luck!

UPDATE: The contest is over and the winner has been notified.

The Breakfast Taco

posted by on March 11 at 11:37 AM

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This morning’s taco contains…well, hell, I don’t have time to make anything fancy. Beans, cheese, and a bubble machine.

My planning for this year’s fest has been broken up thanks to last-minute work on other crap, but conveniently, SXSW has an automated calendar system so you can scroll through band names, then click your faves to create a personalized schedule (at least for the nighttime sets). This is how I happened upon Evangelista, the latest group starring Geraldine Fibber Carla Bozulich, and this morning, I realized they will perform at a venue called Spiro’s. NOOOO.

Spiro’s is best known as the lame dance club with a bubble machine on its roof—typically in Austin, you just walk past it on the way to Emo’s, making fun of the lineup of dudes in shiny shirts. This is the thing about SXSW that still catches out-of-towners off-guard; over half of the venues for SXSW are used solely for that week. Then they go back to their original state—pubs, unused buildings, and worst of all, badly designed dance clubs that were never meant for live music. On the flipside, of course, are venues like the Central Presbyterian Church. Yeah, it’s really a church, and its incomparable acoustics began hosting the devil’s music at SXSW only a coupl’a years ago. Last year, Shearwater took incredible advantage of the space and its grand piano; this year sees my fave SXSW sleeper from last year, Ola Podrida, take its stage Wednesday night, followed by the haunting sonic concern Castanets on Friday. As a bonus for those of you attending, this venue is easy peasy to get into, even if you don’t have a badge or wristband. Keep it highlighted.

Anyway, blah blah blah, Sean Nelson, blah blah blah. Those of you who are attending just want band picks, so here’s my preliminary list of sleepers and recommendations. For the sake of those who aren’t attending, I’ll bury the info in the jump (though you’ll miss out on a story about Sub Pop’s Baptist Generals, whose lead singer was foolish enough to send me new album info via Gmail chat the other day).

Continue reading "The Breakfast Taco" »

On Stockhausen

posted by on March 11 at 11:31 AM

The March issue of Artforum has an excellent article on avant garde avatar Karlheinz Stockhausen (1928-2007).


Stockhausen at the Studio for Electronic Music, WDR, Cologne, 1969

Björk, Morton Subotnick, and Robin Maconie reflect on Stockhausen’s multifarious contributions to music. Maconie, author of Other Planets: The Music of Karlheinz Stockhausen, leads with a terrific essay (“For Stockhausen, the issue was not just how art in the modern world can respond to the presence of evil but whether art deserves to survive.”) though I have to disagree with his aside that Stravinsky’s “Movements for piano and orchestra (1958-59) owes much of its élan to Stockhausen’s Kontra-Punkte (1952-53) for similar forces.” While the post-Webern language of Movements was created by Stockhausen, Boulez, and others, the élan derives from Stravinsky’s rhythmic language, a raw intervallic impulse in place since The Firebird of 1909.

Björk, who interviewed Stockhausen several years ago, and Subotnick, composer of Touch and several other classics of electronic music, contribute personal reminiscences (“I remember very well sitting in his studio in Cologne…”) and sensible insights (“Stockhausen’s work solidified major ideas in the history of the avant-garde.”).

The print edition has additional reflections by musicians Irvine Arditti, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, and composers La Monte Young and Maryanne Amacher.

Hair Loss as Existential Dread

posted by on March 11 at 11:20 AM

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WHY?
Alopecia
(Anticon)

****

Few lyricists—outside of perhaps the realm of black metal—are as obsessively morbid as Why? songwriter Yoni Wolf. Probably none are as self-conscious about it. From opener “The Vowels, Pt. 2,” which has him “filming his own fake death” to the coda “Exegesis,” a brief, circular suicide diagram, death casts a long shadow. Even his love songs are grim: The lilting, affectionate “These Few Presidents” has as its most romantic sentiment the promise, “Even though I haven’t seen you in years/Yours is a funeral I’d fly to from anywhere,” and the musically upbeat occultist mash note “Fatalist Palmistry” bookends fleeting hope with the lines “I sleep on my back ‘cause it’s good for the spine/and coffin rehearsal” and “God put a song on my palm that you can’t read/I’ll be embalmed with it long before you’ll see.” Why?’s gallows act would be pretty depressing—okay, it is pretty depressing—if it weren’t so full of unexpected, funny, and downright thrilling turns of phrase.

Musically, this is Why?’s most solid work yet, the full realization of their transition from bedroom-produced post-hop toward something more freaky and folky. Ghostly samples and echoes accent electric-guitar peals and bass dirges; minor-key piano melodies follow funeral-procession rhythms. Walking down the street, the nodding, downer cadences of “Good Friday” or “By Torpedo or Crohn’s” feel like an enveloping force field—gloom as a comforting coat. (The notable exception to the overwhelmingly dark mood is the near-Weakerthans prairie twang on the briefly bright chorus of “Fatalist Palmistry.”)

When the lyrics aren’t grave digging, they’re confessional, full of what Wolf calls, “The kind of shit I don’t admit to my head shrinker”: Here’s Wolf jacking off in an art museum bathroom; here he is losing his lunch on his shoes in the Whole Foods parking lot; here’s him angrily stalking Berlin after dark; here he is neurotically oversanitizing his hands. Throughout, Wolf’s wordplay is clever and agile enough to make even the heaviest or most absurd scenes charming—”The Fall of Mr. Fifths” features a double-time breakdown about school-district funding and interpretive dance (seriously) that just totally slays. Alopecia may lack the bright spots of the band’s previous, Elephant Eyelash, but it’s no less stunning an album.

Why? - “The Hollows”

Alopecia is out today. Why? plays the Vera Project Thurs, April 17th with Mount Eerie and Generifus.

Today’s Music News

posted by on March 11 at 11:10 AM

On the subject of overhyped bands - Pitchfork Fest’s Saturday line-up is pretty much exactly what you’d expect

On the subject of definitely not overhyped bands - Tacoma’s Rain Fest looks brutal

Definitely not brutal, possibly overhyped in the past - REM preview new record through iLike

Rapper Remy Ma: definitely brutal… - …and a lousy friend, apparently

Over-rated, according to Train. Brutality factor questionable - Van Halen tour update

Under-hyped white self-proclaimed “afro-beat” - Definitely brutal

Mutemath at the KeyArena

posted by on March 11 at 11:00 AM

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By sonoazure.

In the Trophy of a Moment: Unease

posted by on March 11 at 10:31 AM

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Backstage before a concert this past weekend, two men huddled closely to their respective bottles of beer making small talk. They did not know each other. One man, largely unkempt, was the bass player in the opening band about to go on. The other was there to see the headliner.

The man who was there to see the headliner asked the bass player what he usually did before he went on stage. The bass player replied, “Usually, I fuck,” then looked up from his beer with an empty, open, and inquisitive gaze.

Suddenly the bass player appeared as he really was: a wet ox in heat. It was monsoon season and he was ready.

There was silence for a bit and the man who was there to see the headliner said, “So when is you all’s next show?” The bass player said nothing. He put his down his beer, went onstage, and played his set.

Tonight in Music: Leslie & the Ly’s, Team Gina, the Round #34

posted by on March 11 at 9:00 AM

Leslie & The LY’s, Team Gina, LA Kendall, Colby B
(Neumo’s) Fuck Fergie and her G-L-A-M-O-R-O-U-S B-U-L-L-S-H-I-T. Leslie of Leslie & the LY’s may have tacky blue eye shadow, ridiculous giant librarian glasses from 1975, and a gold lamé jumpsuit stretched over about 30 extra pounds, but at least she’s never peed her pants onstage or collaborated with will.i.am. “Next time when I’m waiting in line and I’m looking really fresh and fine/I’m gonna say ladies, take a good look at Glamour Lady Plus!” she sings on “Real Gold Glamorous.” Leslie & the LY’s dance beats are as smooth and tight as her lamé, and her lyrics are littered with humor. Gold bless ‘em. MEGAN SELING

And for a special Leslie treat, check out this video of the Rock Olympics she did with Scream Club during last year’s Capitol Hill Block Party:

For more Rock Olympics (and other local music coverage), take a stroll through The Stranger’s video archive.

Also tonight, Round 34 with Sonny Votolato, John Van Deusen, and Tara Ward. Click here to read what Trent said about the event yeterday.


Monday, March 10, 2008

The Thermals Need a New Drummer

posted by on March 10 at 9:44 PM

Lorin Coleman has left the Thermals, says singer Hutch Harris via the band’s MySpace blog:

The split has been totally amicable, with no hard feelings on either end. Lorin has simply left The Thermals to pursue other endeavors, one of which is playing in the band Andy Combs and the Moth. Lorin played hundreds of shows and recorded a bunch of sessions with us over the past two years. He is a fantastic drummer and a good friend. We would like to thank him immensely, and wish him well in whatever comes next for him. THANK YOU LORIN!

As for Kathy and I, we have just about finished writing a new record, and are almost done with some demos. Hope to post some here soon, watch for it! I think Kathy and I will be splitting drum duties on this next record, and possibly every one that follows it. We are not exactly auditioning drummers yet, but if you live in Portland and are just fucking amazing on the drums, feel free to drop us a line. Please don’t expect a speedy response.

Now, here’s the band’s video for “Pillar of Salt” from The Body the Blood the Machine. It’s good. Watch it.

Also Tonight: Presidents of the USA In-Store

posted by on March 10 at 4:51 PM

The Presidents of the United States of America release their new album, These Are the Good Times People tomorrow, but you can get a copy of the record tonight!

The band’s playing an in-store at the Queen Anne Easy Street Records at 10 pm and afterwards you can buy the record and meet the band. Best part, it’s free!

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If you can’t make it to the party, you can watch it live from home at synclive.com.

The Presidents are also playing this weekend, Saturday the 15th, at the Paramount with Pleaseasaur and USE. Click here for tickets.

As for the photo above, why is the drummer, Jason Finn, holding a guitar?

Your Random 3 pm MP3 for the Day: Alyse Black

posted by on March 10 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: “Wouldn’t it be Nice” by Alyse Black.

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

The Next Act

posted by on March 10 at 2:27 PM

The next Fresh Prince is not…

…50 Cent.

Reports the New York Magazine:


…Robert De Niro and Al Pacino were in The Godfather: Part II but shared no scenes; in Heat they were together in only one. Now, finally, in Righteous Kill they’ll act alongside each other for an entire movie (as grizzled, corrupt policemen pursuing a drug-dealing assassin). What’s the problem this time? Apparently it’s that some of their scenes are also shared with 50 Cent. In this second, brand-new trailer for Kill, great pains were obviously expended to make sure we see as little of 50’s acting as possible. Since we like the guy, we were hoping he’d gotten better since 2005’s Get Rich or Die Tryin’ (in which he failed to convincingly play himself), but the fast-cut editing here makes that seem unlikely. Sure, he’s in there, we guess — turning his head! Hanging up a cell phone! — but given that he plays the villain, it’s probably a bad sign that we don’t even hear him speak, right?

It’s a very bad sign.

Minus the Bear - “Throwin’ Shapes”

posted by on March 10 at 2:21 PM

Making its debut today on MTVU:

A Round at the Fremont Abbey

posted by on March 10 at 2:18 PM

The Fremont Abbey Arts Center has been renovated. 4272 Fremont Ave N. The Abbey is a 9000 square foot nonprofit venue that hosts all ages music, visual, and literary arts. There are also dance classes. They are not breakdance classes, but they are enriching just the same.

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The Fremont Abbey also hosts the Round, curated by Nathan Marion. The Round is a regularly occurring multi-media show that takes musicians like Rachel Flotard from Visqueen, Robin Pecknold from Fleet Foxes, and Kirk Huffman from Kay Kay and puts them on stage at the same time with painters and spoken word artists. Someone starts a song, the others join in, improv ensues, people paint, and sometimes a poet speaks. They toasted the new space this past Friday:

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Round 34 is tomorrow – Tuesday, March 11th. It’s Sonny Votolato (Slender Means), John Van Deusen (Lonely Forest), and Tara Ward.

What an Irritating Buzz

posted by on March 10 at 2:07 PM

I really enjoy overhearing my roommate and his girlfriend argue about Vampire Weekend. She loves them, he doesn’t. It doesn’t sound like he’s ever going to like them either. I was talking to friends last night who liked them too, me… not so much. I downloaded their album to hear what all the fuss was about and didn’t make it more than two songs in before I made that Clipse “yeach” sound and turned it off. For me, my dislike for the band comes form a past grudge that has already been the cause of several musical quarrels – the fact that I hate “Graceland” by Paul Simon. I like Simon and Garfunkel just fine, but “Graceland” has always been like a torture record to me. I’m not entirely sure what it is about the album I dislike so much (one drunken argument in my living room devolved into me shouting at the stereo, “Leave Africa out of this Paul Simon!”), but it’s stuck with me since an early age and currently shows no sign of wavering. So here comes Vampire Weekend, lauded by Pitchfork, given the cover of Spin for the release of a debut album. The next big buzz band, and they sound exactly like fucking “Graceland.” They canceled some Florida dates for a chance to play Saturday Night Live last weekend:

That’s what these dudes look like? I try not to rely too strongly on movie archetypes, but every ounce of my being tells me that these are the guys you root against in the big fraternity boat race. These are the guys who rig the big downhill skiing competition. Why is this stupid band getting so much (positive) attention? Am I the only person who hates “Graceland,” and thus by default, Vampire Weekend?

Today’s Music News

posted by on March 10 at 12:19 PM

Courtney Love makes most articulate statement in years - Claims identity thieves robbed Cobain’s estate

Maybe Hillary can get Bill to play some sax on the next Vampire Weekend album - Obama to appear on next Q-Tip album

Metallica news only slightly more interesting than reports of Kirk Hammett catching Minus the Bear’s set in Honolulu last month - Vague updates on the next album

In the department of currently relevant metal bands: - At The Gates announce U.S. tour dates

At least Aaron Neville has a pretty sweet dagger - The Game is outta jail

And in case you were wondering about that tattoo on his face - Really?

Shout Out to the 206

posted by on March 10 at 11:13 AM

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Strange Maps has a map of Area Codes in Which Ludacris Claims to Have Hoes. Equally good is the analysis of said map:

“Ludacris has a disproportionate ho-zone in rural Nebraska. He might favor white women as much as he does black women, or perhaps, girls who farm.”

and Strange Maps’ description of rap, for people who might not know what it is:

“Rap relates to singing as racewalking relates to running – but that’s just my inexpert opinion.”

About Heavy Metal

posted by on March 10 at 11:00 AM

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By dan10things.

Your New Favorite Sport: Ice, Rocks, Beer, and Springsteen

posted by on March 10 at 10:45 AM

I spent my Saturday afternoon in a chilly building at 128th and Aurora. I had never been to the Granite Curling Club, but since there was over an hour and a half long wait to get a crack at sliding 44 lb rocks down a sheet of ice, it obviously wasn’t as much of a secret as I initially thought it was.

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While you wait your turn, you’re sent up to the oservation area where you can watch the action on the ice, graze on veggie and fruit trays, chips, and cookies, and, if you want, hit the bar and throw back a few beers (or a glass of wine) before you play (which many were inclined to do). There’s a huge couch and a big screen TV (which was showing curling), and a pool table, but most people turn their chairs towards the big windows that overlook the ice. Every time someone fell, we’d all let out a big “Ooooh! Ouch!”

One little kid kept yelling “Clean, clean, clean!” instead of “Sweep, sweep, sweep!” at the sweepers. Another kid was wearing a jacket and top hat made entirely out of duct tape. There was a group of really enthusiastic friends—half Canadian, half American—that were dressed in homemade uniforms and ready to kick each others’ asses even though all but one had never tried it before.

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It was the most fun I’ve had in a long time. For $10 you get to spend about two hours or so learning the basics of the sport. The instructors are laid back and funny, the folks you’re grouped with are generally the same, and at least one person falls down every time and everyone has a good laugh and his or her expense (luckily, it wasn’t me, but I did suck at the whole “launching” thing).

Besides learning how to sweep the ice, curl the rock, blah, blah, blah, I also learned about a new upcoming reality show called… wait for it…

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Yeah, Rockstar Curling!

At www.rockstarcurling.com it explains:

Rockstar Curling intends to hold nationwide tryouts in 2008 open to participants 18-years and older. A panel of curling coaches will select two teams of athletes - five men and five women - who will spend approximately six months, all expenses paid, in Lake Placid, NY training eight hours a day with professional curling coaches. Both teams will then participate in the 2010 U.S. Olympic Team Trials process for curling with the hopes of making the team, and quite possibly representing their country in the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, B.C. All tryouts, training and competitions will be filmed for the show, which includes nine 30-minute weekly episodes, and an hour-long season finale.

And where does the rockstar part come in? Well, it’s probably going to be hosted by BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN and JON BON JOVI.

No fuckin’ joke.

I seriously considered trying out. Then I played my first game… I’m terrible. I’d never make it. I’d be kicked out the first week. But hey, maybe you should try it. You get to drink beer! The next Open House at Granite Curling Center is March 22 between 10 am and 4 pm. I doubt Bon Jovi will be there. But you never know.

Bi-Polar is the New Cocaine

posted by on March 10 at 9:45 AM

Rockstars and drugs. As good together as pandas and buckets.

Now, though, seems like bi-polar disorder is the new way to party. Britney’s leading the pack, but according to TMZ, Courtney Love’s riding the crazy train too.

Tonight in Music: Gogol Bordello, Brother Ali

posted by on March 10 at 9:00 AM

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Gogol Bordello, Skindred
(Showbox Sodo) Until I saw them at last year’s Bumbershoot, I never understood the massive appeal of Gogol Bordello. Sure, their Balkanized, populist punk rock was catchy enough, but nothing to warrant the wild-eyed devotion of their fans. Seeing the band live, of course, is a different story. Their outdoor, evening performance at the festival was a near-riot, pot smoke and lazily spinning hippies mixing it up with leather-clad punks and balaclava-sporting crusties, ringmaster Eugene Hütz surfing atop it all with his drum, probably twirling his mustache maniacally. Equally compelling was the band’s stripped-down, acoustic afternoon performance in the KEXP studio, which highlighted the band’s musical craft and Hütz’s goofy comic charm. Still, one hopes for a riot. ERIC GRANDY

And this week’s My Philosophy suggests Brother Ali at Nectar:

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The Undisputed Truth himself—Minneapolis’s Brother Ali—is coming to town… you gotta know Ali’s got one of the meanest shows out; don’t miss him. I’ve never seen him do less than utterly captivate a crowd with his humility, sincerity and, of course, with the skill to rock like the greats. The Truth Is Here Tour also features Toki Wright, BK One, and Ali’s fellow Rhymesayer, Abstract Rude; those in the know are anxiously awaiting Dear Abby, the album-length collaboration between Ab Rude and the very soul of the town, Vitamin D.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Videos and Observations from Friday Night’s Harvey Danger Concert at the Triple Door

posted by on March 9 at 11:06 PM

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For their tenth anniversary, Harvey Danger played two shows Thursday and Friday night at the Triple Door. Thursday night was a performance of their first record, Where Have All the Merrymakers Gone? in it’s entirety along with B-sides and other non-album songs. I wasn’t there; I was getting pretending to get drunk at the Young Ones show. I did make it to Friday night’s performance, in which they played their last two records (my favorite two records), King James’ Version and Little by Little.

It was a fantastic night—the band sounded wonderful. Sean Nelson was the only one who spoke the whole night and he told great little anecdotes about many of the tracks. The band had back-up singers (Jacob Lashes and others), they had a banjo player (former bandmate Evan Sult’s father), they had a cellist (Phil Peterson), they had a French Horn player (Jacob Lashes again), and they required audience participation during one song and even had cue cards should someone not know the words. And the Triple Door was the perfect place for it to all go down. I’d never been to the dinner theater, but the videos and photos do no justice to the romantic, candlelit room.

See a show there, any show there. At least once.

“Pike St./Park Slope”

“Cream and Bastards Rise”

“Little Round Mirrors”

At the end of the show, as the band received a standing ovation, Nelson introduced the band members and declared that “We are Harvey Danger. And we intend on staying Harvey Danger.” Everyone clapped and cheered louder.

Your Random 3 pm MP3 for the Day: The Truly Me Club

posted by on March 9 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: “Cal-ifor-ni-ay” by the Truly Me Club.

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

Whoever Designed This Has Obviously Never Heard Of Kimya Dawson

posted by on March 9 at 1:10 AM

I stumbled across this banner for a posi anti-war compilation.

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2 discs of rebellion songs by some of music’s biggest artists. Looks like a pretty decent comp.

I tried to find the song that Anthrax wrote about Kimya Dawson, but it doesn’t exist. I wish it did.

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