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Archives for 04/20/2008 - 04/26/2008

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Highway Cologne: Feel Fantastic

posted by on April 26 at 6:32 PM

Exquisite replicas of Obsession, Eternity, Polo Sport, and Drakkar. Spray. Cup hand over nozzle. Push plunger firmly:

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Medford, OR man wants to - STOP HILLARY!:

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Apropos of Nothing

posted by on April 26 at 4:09 AM

Kool Keith and Tracy Morgan are the same person.


Friday, April 25, 2008

I’m Sorry, Officer, Are These Penises Too Loud?

posted by on April 25 at 9:17 PM

So, the friendly neighborhood SPD just dropped by Comeback at Chop Suey, and told us that it was illegal to have our usual male nude posters up inside the club (they’ll be back later about the noise). Now the posters have little strips of paper that say “censored” over the naughty bits. I’m no expert on municipal code, but that sounds like bullshit to me. Any lawyers out there on Line Out wanna weigh in?

In the meantime, because the pigs can’t censor Line Out (and, yes, NSFW as well as blatant self-promotion):

Livin’ it up, It’s Friday Night!

posted by on April 25 at 4:18 PM

Hall & Oates?.....No, Bell & James
Jump in my ride…….It’s Friday Night!

Bell & James - Livin’ It Up (Friday Night) (1978)

Damn It

posted by on April 25 at 3:28 PM

The Field was denied entry to the US and has had to cancel upcoming dates, including their scheduled Seattle date at Nectar:

It’s with the utmost regret that Axel WIllner aka The Field has been forced to cancel his date at Skidmore College, New York tonight and all West Coast dates including Coachella. All members of his newly formed band were denied entry to the United States by immigration officials upon arrival. As well, his gear and instruments were refused entry into the country. We have no comment at this time as to the reason for why this occurred.

Fans and all involved should know that every option was exhausted to rectify this disastrous situation and on behalf of The Field and his band we are all deeply saddened by the outcome of what has transpired.

Given the months of practice and preparation put in with his band for these dates and the fact that his gear has been sent back to Stockholm, The Field aka Axel Willner is in no position to be able to continue on solo so therefore forced to postpone his west coast dates.

But better said in his own words:

“i´m truly sad to inform that my west coast tour have been cancelled. my band didn´t get in to the country and i feel that i cant perform as interesting as i need to without them. hopefully we´ll be back on the east coast pretty soon without any problems and do the new set up that i hope people will appreciate.

my biggest apology goes out to all the people that were looking forward as much as us to attend the shows that were planned. next time.”
/the field

Too bad, I was really looking forward to seeing how the “live band” thing was going to play out.

Update: From the all-knowing Division list: “word is that immigration “didn’t like their appearance.”” Awesome!

Up Against The Wall

posted by on April 25 at 2:51 PM

In the comment section of this post, music critic Dave Segal selected Four Tet’s set as the best in the DJ-Kicks series.
DJ-Kicks-Four_Tet_480.jpg My pick is still Kid Loco (which ends with a smooth ode to the Boeing 747), but Four Tet deserves major praise for adding close to the end of his selection Group Home’s “Up Against The Wall (Getaway Car Mix).” Only a few of us know of this Group Home, and those of us who know of this Group Home also know that this particular track, “Up Against The Wall (Getaway Car Mix),” is one of DJ Premier’s highest musical achievements. The sad, slightly echoed piano loop, the dry street beat, the hard machine grind that opens the track—it could not be more or less than this perfection.

Farewell, Josh Feit

posted by on April 25 at 2:34 PM

(The only person I know who appreciates classic TTK enough.)

Wow

posted by on April 25 at 1:09 PM

I don’t have time right now to say much more than the above about last night’s epic, awesome Simian Mobile Disco show, but Donte Parks has taken some pics that at least give you some idea what the whole spectacle looked like:

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So, so rad.

Coachella Begins Today

posted by on April 25 at 12:46 PM

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It’s going to be +100 degrees all weekend. In years past I’ve felt that they’ve had the dominant summer festival lineup. This year… not so much. Anyone actually wish they were down there getting sunstroke? I would have liked to have seen Aphex Twin and Portishead, but I’m not sure there’s anything in that desert that’s significantly more compelling than what’s happening in four festivals within a day’s drive of Seattle (that’s Sasquatch!, Block Party, SP20, and Pemberton, if you weren’t keeping track).

Her Space Holiday - Bottom of the Hill

posted by on April 25 at 12:41 PM

Her Space Holiday at Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco:

Overheard on the premises: “What day is it today?” Answer, “Today is the 24th.” Response, “Of?”

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Her Space soundcheck of “The Year in Review”:

The Pixies Go to the Ballet

posted by on April 25 at 12:22 PM

“50 Falls for a Shorty in a Burka”

posted by on April 25 at 12:16 PM

Before the Guitar Hero days, you could pretty much guarantee yourself a shit-wich of a video game if it had anything to do with music. Aerosmith and KISS can attest to ’90s gaming cash-ins of the highest order, and let’s please not talk about those Sega CD games where you had to make videos with footage of C+C Music Factory, Kris Kross and Marky Mark.

But hip-hop stars have a relatively decent record with games. The Wu-Tang Clan whooped each other up in a pretty good fighter on PlayStation 1, while the Def Jam roster has beat the snot out of itself in a few good brawling games as well. 50 Cent, sadly, proved himself to be the motherfucking G-I-M-P in his ego-flaring virtual debut from 2005, 50 Cent: Bulletproof, but the “relive my hustlin’ days with unlimited lives” journey still managed to sell over one million, so where does that put Fitty?

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In the Middle East with a rifle, naturally.

Gaming rag EGM “broke” the story in their last issue about the inevitable sequel, 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand (ughhhhh). I can’t believe this preview got published with a straight face; if you’re looking for unintentional comedy, EGM’s preview has you covered.

50 and his buddies fly to some vague Middle Eastern country to play a benefit concert, get stiffed for their payment (a diamond-encrusted skull, no less), and end up embroiled in a massive firefight with several warring factions over the aforementioned bling.

A hip-hop star doesn’t get his precious trinket-skull and starts killing “vague Middle Eastern” guys with bandana-covered faces and automatic weapons? This really exists? The article gets better, explaining that ol’ Curtis himself “really challenged us to create a more compelling setting…he felt like he’d been there, done that already.” You mean, been there done that exploiting the modern minstrelcy of gangsta rap, so now it’s time to cash in on another culture’s stereotypes in the form of a polygonal, megalomania-fueled killing spree? Come gimme a hug! And in case you’re wondering whether the game’s developers are street enough:

“Expect some co-op puzzles,” Blean says. “You will find these locked areas that require you to call over your homey to open up inaccessible areas, boost you up to a higher area, and so on.”

BOYEEEEEEEEEEEE.

Games sites magazines have gotten a lot of flak lately for puffing up awful games, so it’s good to see EGM give this G-Unit merchandising circle-jerk the critical eye it obviously merits: “50’s new game stands poised to outclass his previous effort with ease.” Ouch! Those game critics are hard as fuck.

Tonight in Music: Holy Shit There Are a Lot of Shows Tonight!

posted by on April 25 at 11:13 AM

The Mae Shi - “Run to Your Grave”
The Mae Shi, PRE, Past Lives, Midwife, Talbot Tagora
(Vera Project) London noise punks PRE’s debut record, Epic Fits, contains 15 tracks and runs just under 27 minutes. So there’s plenty of spastic, paint-splattering fits, but none of them are especially epic (the longest clocks in at 4:41, and it’s an aberration). The boy/girl vocals recall Huggy Bear minus the legible Riot Grrrl politics or anything approaching the catchiness of “Her Jazz” (“Dude Fuk” comes closest), but the blast beats, garbage-fuzz bass, detuned guitar thrash, and nervous, careening rhythms suggest something entirely more hectic. Smell-y L.A. neon punks the Mae Shi are practically pop by comparison, dressing up nasally chant-along singing with fried guitar and faux lo-fi synths. Fun fact: Former member Ezra Buchla is the son of pioneering analog synth maker Don Buchla. ERIC GRANDY
Bronze Fawn, Lords of the North, Panther Attack!
(King Cobra) Lords of the North sound pretty much like what you’d expect a band called Lords of the North to sound like—their big blasts of distorted guitar are laced with some psychedelic soloing while the eerily monotonous vocals take a cue from the heavy side of stoner rock. The opening track on their self-titled debut EP, “Souls Come Rising,” is a slow, muddy song that finds a place for both classic rock tambourine play and demonic chanted refrain, “We’re the Lords of the North, we’re the Lords of the North.” “Follow the Falcon” is a little more epic—the volume gets turned up on everything and the vocals (about a black winter and “only four hours of light”) scream out from low in the mix. Of the six songs on the CD, only two fall below the six-minute mark and every second is driven by unrelenting heaviness; they’re not so much songs as the anthems you hear while marching to a darker place. MEGAN SELING

You can listen to Lords of the North at their MySpace.

Star Anna - “Restless Water”
Facts About Funerals, Star Anna, Vanderbuilte, Tailenders
(Comet) A couple weeks ago, Star Anna gave me goose bumps. She was performing an Old 97’s cover at the Round, a monthly music and art series at the Fremont Abbey. The song was the embittered “Wish the Worst for You,” and her strong, country- tinged voice was laced with the crazy passion of a women scorned. It was even better than the original, and Star Anna’s vocals are just as perfectly emotive in her own material. That night she also played a song called “Restless Water,” a haunting and sad story about a serial killer and his prey. Her lyrics balanced precariously between being the sacred victim, the spooky-as-fuck criminal, and the sad narrator—her imagery transported you to the foggy, dark, damp scene of the crime. I can’t recall ever being so scared by a song. MEGAN SELING
Comeback: Dee Jay Jack, Colin Self, DJ Colby B, Porq, FITS
(Chop Suey) Comeback is on with another experiment in the volume of lubricated inducement. Portland’s Dee Jay Jack (Pony alum) sprays out seamless manifold cuts of obscure Italodisco and contemporary hits. Jack will personally see to it that the physical condition and proximity of bodies in the building are wet and banging. Colin Self is a rising star in the electro torch singer genre, reminiscent of classic queer disco pioneers Alison Moyet and Soft Cell’s Marc Almond. DJ Colby B spins the mad mashed fantasy. She will master you and the speakers to the floor. Then all gets told in the Fitsian fold. Comeback in lights, taste your neighbor and get off. TRENT MOORMAN
Charizma & PB Wolf - “My World Premier”
Peanut Butter Wolf, DJ Spinja
(War Room) L.A.’s Peanut Butter Wolf is the founder of Stone Throw Records, a label that has released important works from three of the underground kings: Madlib, MF Doom, and the late Jay Dee. The hiphop label, which also has subdivisions that reissue rare grooves, has about it the seriousness of a research and development center. The producers who work for STR have grasped the science of funk, know the history of black American music, collect and reformulate jazz, soul, funk, reggae, and hiphop. Peanut Butter Wolf’s mixes on the turntables are all about this understanding, all about exploring and deploying this specific branch of beat knowledge. CHARLES MUDEDE

There’s also Rudy and the Rhetoric at Nectar (which you can read about in My Philosophy), and Dave Brubeck and Ramsey Lewis (which you can read about in The Score).

Believe it or not, there’s even more to be seen—search through our online calendar.


Thursday, April 24, 2008

Simian Mobile Disco Explains Their Setup

posted by on April 24 at 3:22 PM

In case you weren’t excited enough by the idea of seeing SMD do their thing live, watch this.

Hype, Unsigned- And Where To Find It

posted by on April 24 at 2:02 PM

You know The Source Magazine right? Self-styled “Bible Of Hip-Hop Music, Culture & Politics”? Here’s the current issue, maybe you’ve seen it:
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In it is obviously a story on the D-O-Double G, as well as a great story on the dangers of Southern hiphop’s favorite beverage: promethazine-laced cough syrup. Also in this issue, as with every issue as long as I can remember, is the Unisgned Hype column- where budding, unsigned talent is showcased every month. This venerable space has showcased the likes of Notorious B.I.G., Eminem, Mobb Deep, DMX, and Common before they became superstars of hiphop (and beyond). I say all that to say this: this months’s Unsigned Hype?
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It’s Seatown’s sons Dyme Def!

This is the definition of ‘a good look’. If you want to know what else would be a good look, I’ll tell ya- showing up to the 2nd Edition of The Corner, taking place in the Rendezvous’ Jewel Box Theatre tomorrow night. Charles Mudede had this to say about the first installment:

Where is the true hiphop? One spot that has it regularly is the Jewel Box Theater at the Rendezvous. Here, once a month, there is a gathering of local hiphop heads. This gathering is intimate. Meaning, there is a close relationship between the audience and the performers. This closeness (and smallness) is its truth—a truth because this how it all began, in small spaces, in small rooms, in the small hours of the night. What is documented in the bibles of hiphop—Beat Street and Wild Style—is being practiced at the Jewel Box Theater.

Charles couldn’t be more correct- that basement flavor was in full effect last time, and it was positively intoxicating to go to a top-tier local rap show in such intimate quarters. And I’m not just saying that because my crew played last time, or because I’m hosting tomorrow’s edition; that’s just how it was.

If you’d like to see the Unsigned Hype that is Dyme Def, the authoritative voice of the streets D. Black, or Seattle’s dusted-savant clown prince Sonny Bonoho, you’re just gonna have to make sure you don’t miss The Corner tomorrow night. See you then.

When Amy Winehouse Attacks

posted by on April 24 at 1:57 PM

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The Sun UK says:

The junkie singer, 24, is to be quizzed by police after claims she HEADBUTTED a Good Samaritan who hailed her a cab outside a bar.

Rehab star Amy, said to have PUNCHED a second victim in the face, sank to a horrific new low while high on Class A drugs.

Onlookers told how the married singer also SNOGGED a mystery fella at a nightspot and shocked punters by overturning tables and drinks.

She was later seen smoking drugs in the street, walked into a lamppost, and riled a cabbie by paying only HALF her promised fare home.

An onlooker said: “She was off her face, throwing drinks around and turning over tables. Amy screamed, ‘I am a legend, get these people out. I want to take drugs’.”

You go, girl.

…and Then We Went Out for Chinese Again…

posted by on April 24 at 1:38 PM

15-year-old Miley Cyrus is writing her memoirs, for somewhere between one and nine million dollars. Who wants to review it for me?

The Cinema of Dub

posted by on April 24 at 1:02 PM

Dub in slow motion. Dub in dream motion. Dub is the examination of existence not in its complete state but its broken states. Dub is broken music. And the greatest broken album is the Scientist’s Scientist Encounters Pac-Man. With dub, “oppression a shatter.”

Radiohead - “House of Cards (live on Conan)”

posted by on April 24 at 1:01 PM

Radiohead is so green they can use it as an excuse to not have to fly to New York to play Late Night with Conan O’Brien. Clever dudes. When Conan introduces them he picks up an LP instead of a CD. I don’t know if I’ve seen that before. Paradigm shifts all around…

Foals - “Red Socks Pugie”

posted by on April 24 at 1:00 PM

Foals will play Sub Pop’s 20th Anniversary Party at Marymoor Park July 12-13.

Illegal Leak of the Week: My Entire Hard Drive

posted by on April 24 at 12:59 PM

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Every generation has its way to dispose of old, unwanted albums. Vinyl: fill a crate and drag it to a garage sale. Cassettes: get some Scotch tape out and record your new faves on the old tapes (NKOTB transforms into Alice in Chains’ Dirt). CDs: cover a wall with their flipsides, breaking a few on occasion to make the dorm room look “tough” (or, as an engineer pal taught me so many years ago, sit in a passenger’s seat while a friend drives really slowly, then hold CDs against the moving pavement until they melt).

Nowadays, the delete key isn’t nearly as dramatic a farewell to the music we eventually tire of, but the disposability of MP3s has its own quirks. I’m not sure how everyone else here downloads music, but I tend to hit MP3 and torrent sites like I’ve just won a Toys ‘R Us Shopping Spree from the ’80s, only my cart isn’t weighed down by oversized My Pet Monsters. I’ll download stuff from sites’ “most active” lists just for the hell of it, then pile on all matter of other recommended tunes, to the point where half of what I grab, I don’t listen to more than once. I’ll occasionally clear out obvious junk from my “recent downloads” catalog, but this week, I’ve been doing some deep cleaning. Everybody has their fair share of outdated or embarrassing albums, though I guess it’s interesting what piles up when everything is free—Keane, Jonathan Fireeater, a really bad J Dilla/Pet Sounds mashup, that Redman/Method Man album, the William Shatner record from a few years ago, the most recent Foo Fighters records … When these musical whims and crapshoots collect dust, they become sad mirror images of your darker musical side, as if you owned a ragged puppy that you didn’t feed or bathe on a regular basis.

But what really struck me were the number of decent-sounding records that I am never, ever, ever going to listen to in their entirety. Even after deleting the most obvious stuff, I’m still sitting on 130 GB of music—and there is no sensible reason to have this much on here, on top of the CDs and records I already have. Who’s to say I’m ever going to listen to these three Califone albums on repeat when their folder is just five away from Buffalo Tom’s Let Me Come Over? I see the latter, get a rush of My So-Called Life nostalgia, and bust out “Taillights Fade” like a damn fool. Do I really need the second Dead Boys album—as if I don’t ignore Young Loud and Snotty enough? I’ve never gotten through Disintegration Loops I and felt immediately eager to put parts II, III and IV on the stereo. I no longer give a shit about the Russian Futurists. I never actually play these Bloc Party songs. And so on and so forth, until I run into… Ryan Adams? Maybe I should delete everything with the words “Ryan” and “Adams” today.

It hasn’t all been shame and crap—Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci is currently reminding me how they long to feel that summer in their heart. After that album cheered me up, I started queuing up some other dusty gems—the bedroom pop of Suburban Kids with Household Names, an old Morphine bootleg, the dark-wave of Memphis’ Lost Sounds—but then my dumb ass had to go and do a daily torrent site check. Whoop! The Tim & Eric comedy CD is out! And this band name, The Child Readers, that sounds pretty cool, so I’m gonna grab that, too.

It begins…

The Clash’s Mick Jones’ New Hit: “Don’t Tase Me, Bro!”

posted by on April 24 at 12:53 PM

Via Reuters:

One of last year’s most infamous Internet sensations, the “Don’t tase me, bro!” arrest of an excitable college student, is getting a new lease of life from former Clash rocker Mick Jones.

He told Reuters on Wednesday that he has written a song by that name for his second album with Carbon/Silicon, the band he formed with fellow punk veteran Tony James.

“It’s gonna go like this, dun-dun-dun … Aaaargh!” Jones said backstage at the inaugural NME Awards in Los Angeles, after he received a special honor for his inspirational work and then played two songs with Carbon/Silicon.

Umm…

Because I Haven’t Posted About R. Kelly Enough This Week

posted by on April 24 at 12:03 PM

Here’s his new song/video “Hairbraider”:

Lyrically, it’s got nothin’ on “Real Talk.” But at least he doesn’t mention bodily fluids…

Weezer’s Publicist Comments on Supposed (Terrible) Album Artwork

posted by on April 24 at 11:53 AM

Yes, that’s absolutely the cover, it’s what they chose. They looked at a bunch of mockups, and that’s the one they decided to go with. It’s not a joke.


See the artwork here.

A Conversation I Just Had About the Beautiful Clarks While Walking Down the Street

posted by on April 24 at 11:42 AM

My friend: “Megan, have you heard the Beautiful Clarks?”

Me: “I’ve heard the name, I think I’ve heard a couple songs. I can’t remember…”

My friend: “You should check them out. At the last couple shows the singer wore a dress and army helmet onstage. He’s kind of crazy. But they’re good.”

Me: “What do they sound like? And why was he wearing a dress?”

My friend: “I dunno, I think he just wanted too. But they’re like… alt country/folk stuff maybe?”

Me: “And why the dress?”

My friend: “I have no idea.”

Here’s the Beautiful Clarks’ Billy Hatcher in that dress and army hat:

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And here are some of their songs, that are good, but still don’t explain where the dress and/or army helmet come in:

“Sweet Gravel”






“What Kinda Fool”






“Laid Up”






Black Eyes & Neck Ties at King Cobra

posted by on April 24 at 11:21 AM

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Photo by Josh for soundonthesound.

Tonight in Music: Simian Mobile Disco, Brotherhood of the Drum, Club Pop with BARR

posted by on April 24 at 11:15 AM

In this week’s Bug in the Bassin, Donte Parks tells you why you should not miss Simian Mobile Disco tonight at Neumo’s:

Simian Mobile Disco - “It’s the Beat”
Seemingly taking a cue from both camps, Simian Mobile Disco’s live setup strikes a balance between spectacle and practical, placing the duo onstage around a circular table with a laptop, MIDI controller, drum machine, and synths, surrounded by a series of upright “intelligent” LED towers for the synchronized “ooh shiny” effect. The table contains an entire studio in compact form, giving the duo freedom to reconstruct their tracks on the fly, with enough inherent variability in their analog gear that it will never sound (or look) exactly the same way twice. It’s the full realization of the term “mobile disco,” appealing to gear heads as well as those who demand showmanship in a live performance.
BARR - “The B-Side is Silent”

And in this week’s Underage, Casey Catherwood talks to BARR’s Brendan Fowler:

The guy simply holds nothing back. In a recent conversation, he was candid about a recent point of controversy in his life. BARR was asked to play a couple of shows with the bands AIDS Wolf and Jay Reatard, but Fowler simply couldn’t roll with those band names.

“It would be like calling your band Jay Faggot,” he says. “No one would let you call it that, but you can get away with calling it Jay Reatard.” He canceled his performances at both concerts and put together an art show to challenge artists with inappropriate monikers and call for social accountability. It is currently hanging at Rivington Arms, a contemporary art gallery in New York. “I’m not coming at them from any sort of personal thing, but those band names are just supposed to stress you out,” he says.

BARR headlines tonight’s Club Pop at Chop Suey.

And finally, last week’s installment of The Score highlighted some of the best of this year’s Jazz Festival, including tonight’s Brotherhood of the Drum performance:

Brotherhood of the Drum (Wed April 23 and Thurs April 24, 8 pm) showcases a singular species in music, the drummer-led band: Michael Shrieve, Byron Vannoy, D’Vonne Lewis, and Ben Smith, as well as festival honchos Matt Jorgensen and John Bishop present their various ensembles.

There’s plenty more, check out our online calendar for everything else happening around town.

Loops & Loopers: Dan.Dan

posted by on April 24 at 10:38 AM

loops.jpgA loop is a sample or section of music that repeats seamlessly when played end to end. Loops can made and edited through the use of delay effects, looping based software, pedals, tapes, and record players. Looping is used, featured, and heard so much these days that it has practically become its own genre. Creating and playing with loops live is a beast. You have to be able to play, hear, execute the parameters, start, and stop the loop in time with what you’re playing.

Seattle cellist Gretchen Yanover (Built to Spill, KD Lang, KJ Sawka, Northwest Sinfonietta) uses a Line 6 Loop Sampler. She steps on the looper for a starting point, plucks a melody or staccato feel on her cello, and steps on the looper again for the stopping point of the loop phrase. Once that loop is going, she modulates down a third or a fifth, plucks the same melody in harmony, and loops that. Then she bows the original phrase legato, loops that, then bows the third or fifth that was modulated to, and loops that as well. There are four cello’s going at this point. Then she plays freely over the quadra-loop for twenty seconds and loops that for a fifth loop. Finally, she puts the bow down and plucks freeform notes and rhythms. It’s aquatic, layered, scenic, and incredibly beautiful. She can go ten loops deep and make her own symphony right before your eyes. Seeing her construct the loops live is like watching Edward Scissor hands trim the hedges. You’re like, “How is she doing that?” But she’s doing it right in front of you, so you see exactly how she’s doing it.

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There is one Dan Paulus who is looking for a looper. I asked him which one he was thinking of going with:
Paulus: Seems the Red Boss unit and the green Line 6 are the loopers of choice.

What will you be looping?
I’ll mainly be running guitar in, but also synths, toys, drum machine, vox, whatever. Expanding the parameters.

Yes. Parameters. And toys. Expand them.
I saw Katharine Hepburn’s Voice at the Blue Moon and their bassist/drummer was using an Akai Headrush. Talked to him a bit about it after. Looked pretty solid and easy. Maybe not as many bells and whistles as some of the others. Researched it online. Some reviewers loved it, some hated it.

Another Dan, Dan Rapport (Blue Scholars, Red Eye Flight) is a loop master. I asked him to talk loopers:
Rapport: Loopers are cool! I’ve been doing a lot of stuff down at the Triple Door just with and acoustic and a looper. They definitely take some practice to use (getting the loop to work in time) and I think it’s a lot easier to get a short loop that works over a longer loop. Long loops have more of a chance to get out of synch. I use the Line 6 Delay, which only has 12 seconds or so of loop time but it works well enough for me. I did notice when I saw Battles (who’s entire sound is based on looping) that they all used the Echoplex Digital Pro which apparently is the best and it’s midi synchable so there’s no way to get off on your timing.

No way to get off? Get off, Dan, get off on your bad self.

Name Dropping

posted by on April 24 at 9:20 AM

Pardon, but have you noticed who’s in the music section this week? It’s kind of ridiculous: Charles Mudede, Laura Albert/JT Leroy, Miranda July, Chris Weeg, Paul Constant, Marya Sea Kaminski, Grant Cogswell, Gary Shteyngart, Donte Parks, Stephen Elliot, Brangien Davis, Brendan Kiley, and Sherman Alexie

Damn! And what the hell are they all doing here? Making out to Portishead. From Mudede’s introduction:

Let’s think about this. Why the need to make out to Portishead? What is it about the trio’s music that makes it the ideal background for the experience of eyes meeting eyes, lips meeting lips, organs meeting organs? We have been there, you and I. That moment of desire. We need it to be perfect. The city lights, the booze in the blood, the smell of flesh. What shall we play on the stereo? Whatever it is, it must enhance the mood. If the music is too angry, too happy, or too heavy, it will ruin the moment. Let’s not expose, dampen, or evaporate our desire. We need this madness of lust to be complicated by greater obscurity, more mystery. And Portishead’s music does just this.

From Laura Albert’s entry:

There was a time when we were at it like bunnies. The “modern rock” station played Portishead nonstop. It was the time of roommates and thin walls, and radios turned up to mask. And Portishead were more to mood than the Sundays (too cute) or My Bloody Valentine (too noisy) or Blur (charming beat and accents become annoying during sex, like someone playing with your nipple post orgasm).

Right? (In last week’s New Yorker, Sasha Frere-Jones notes that Portishead is sometimes dismissed as “dinner music,” but I think that’s just the classy, New Yorker way of saying “make-out music,” which they are, and which isn’t really a dismissal.) All this, of course, is to dance around the release of the band’s latest album and first after some ten years, Third. So far, no one we know has tried getting it on to that album.

Eurovision: The devil and the disappearance of the Fire/Desire rhyme

posted by on April 24 at 9:08 AM

Even though we’ve already seen the winner of Eurovision (Belgium, obviously), I might as well go on with the (p)reviewing. After all, Eurovision is about more than just the winner. I’d even say the other competitors are much more important: the ones who sing offkey, the tragic dance routines, the clothes changes gone wrong. Those are just as important a reason to watch Eurovision as finding out who the winner is.

And here’s a real Eurovision beauty (a soon to be classic): Azerbaijan, who are taking part for the very first time. But they don’t come unprepared, oh no, they have learnt the Eurovision Guidelines by heart, and boy does it show. Elnur & Samir sing Day after Day, a song/operette/piece of musical theatre/future piece of Eurovision history. It starts off with an angel singing opera (as angels do, after all) only to evolve in hysterical screams. Oh no!! What happened?! The camera moves away and we see… the devil! Sitting on his throne with a slutty girl draped over him. The angel and devil start singing a duet in what appears to be English, but it’s hard to be sure. Were they lovers? Has one betrayed the other? Oh, the pathos! Oh the pain and heartache! The devil pours wine (or blood?) over his slutty assistant and our beloved angel is joined by two other angels who appear to be doing aerobics (again, as angels do) before they drop dead at the end of the song. I don’t know about you guys, but as far as I’m concerned this deserves a standing ovation!
You can read Elnur’s interpretation of the lyrics here (and strangely enough it doesn’t include the words “I haven’t got a clue, I was drunk”). Unfortunately the article also states the song is to undergo changes. Don’t mess with this example of Eurovision Perfection, I beg of you! This has to be my favourite song of the contest so far.


Right… I’ll try to calm down and move on to Slovenia’s Rebeka Dremelj with Vrag Naj Vzame. Slovenia is –in Eurovisionland at least- the black sheep of the balkan in recent years. They’ve sent fabulous Eurodisco and a cute boy with a blow-up sexdoll singing a haunting ballad (the sexdoll lady isn’t till the end, so you’ll have to sit through the song in case you’re curious), complete with a sexy accent or a sexy language, all to little effect. Only last year did they get a decent score with a soft-opera-discobeat with built-in lighting, and let’s not forget they’re the first Balkan country to embrace the true spirit of Eurovision by sending a bunch of drag queens back in 2002. Right. Why the long introduction? Because I generally like Slovenian entries, I love the underdog, and frankly there’s little or nothing interesting to say about this year’s entry. A quirky girl with huge earrings sings a poppy song about the devil (erm.. yeah, again with the devil) while her cousins (again with the cousins) sing backing and a weird dance routine takes place behind her. At one point she gets angry (probably at the devil or at one of her cousins), and then she calms down again. That’s it.


Norway sends Maria with “Hold on, be strong”. A ballad, or what else did you expect with a title like that? Only it’s not your typical Eurovision ballad, it sounds suspiciously like a piece of actual music sung by an actual singer. At Eurovision?! The horror! I think this would actually be good enough to play on any given radiostation. Well, in Norway at least. The prize for most philosophical lyrics so far goes to the fantastic quote “if it ain’t right, it’s wrong”. Well, yes. Thank you.
Which brings me to the realisation that unless I’m very much mistaken, I’ve not yet heard a single “Fire/Desire” rhyme in the contest so far. Fire/Desire rhymes are essential to Eurovision, just think about 2005’s winner Helena Paparizou (“you’re my fire and desire”), or Konstantinos Christoforou (Cyprus 2005) “Feel around me the desire, search my body, reach the fire” (incidentally both Konstantinos and Helena provide us with some nice eyecandy for those who like men) and countless others. But this year? Not a single one so far… weird. Practically a case for Torchwood I’d say.


Next up: Poland, Ireland and Andorra.

Text Message from Portland

posted by on April 24 at 1:58 AM

You know how certain clubs in Seattle are forced to divide up the room with those barriers only really appropriate for manipulating cattle, those low walls that designate a side of the room for people who are allowed to be holding beverages containing alcohol (wheee!) and a side for people who are not allowed to be holding beverages containing alcohol (tsk! tsk!) and a weird, wide space in between—it’s gotta be wide enough to keep you from, like, reaching across the divide, because god forbid someone hand a 19-year-old a beer (can you imagine!?)—and at a show where you want to dance and drink you invariably can’t both dance and drink, unless you want to dance in back where no one is dancing, which is depressing and wrong? Well, it’s something to note that things are no different in Portland. Even here, where people are constantly undressing in front of others, the 21+/not-21+ divide is very, very serious, and they’re perfectly willing—McMenamins is—to divide up an old beautiful room being filled with the joyous sounds of a band from an old beautiful continent and to administer that divide with individuals who could barely find the stamp they’d already stamped on my hand, to say nothing of the UK on a map.

Whatever—I danced anyway. I jumped around (that Crystal Ballroom floor is jumptastic) in a green necktie and a bike helmet. No coat check. I didn’t want someone to take it. I don’t care what people thought. I don’t think it looked quite as crazy as the red-and-white-striped I-just-stole-this-from-someone-who-works-at-a-carnival shirt that Alexis Taylor, Hot Chip’s lead singer, wore onstage. Same one he wore in Seattle. I had no idea what a dork Taylor is, which is to say, I had no idea how much I’m in love with him.

Setlist was the same. As in Seattle, it didn’t include “Keep Fallin’,” although at one point early on, between songs, there was a quiet moment into which someone in the crowd shouted “KEEP FALLIN’!” and Taylor and another guy heard and said something to each other, seemed to be taking it into consideration. Then, like, half an hour later, there was another beat between songs and the same guy—OK, it was me—shouted “KEEP FALLIN’!” Yeah, it’s weird to ask twice for a song off an album from 2005, but what can I say? I really wanted to hear it. And I wasn’t the only one: a total stranger came up to me and told me that if they weren’t gonna play my song I should ask them to play “the Stevie Wonder song.” He didn’t realize that that song is called “Keep Fallin’.”

Then Hot Chip finished their set, having not performed “Keep Fallin’,” and left the stage, and then came back, and did four or so songs, and guess what song was not among them? During the part where the guy was saying, “This is going to be our last song,” I was still holding out hope, but then Taylor started singing something else and—all my love for him having evaporated, especially since he’d traded the red-and-white stripes for a band t-shirt—I thought: Fuck you, Hot Chip, fuck you. I got on my bike and cued up “Keep Fallin’” and listened to it as I pedaled over the river; my iPod does “Keep Fallin’” perfectly.


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Best Dance Competition Ever! EVER!!!!!!!

posted by on April 23 at 4:36 PM

(Hat tip The Red Room)

Over & Over

posted by on April 23 at 4:20 PM

I can’t stop (won’t stop) talking about Hot Chip. You know how to scroll if you’re over it. Some critics were pretty harsh on the song “Wrestlers” off of Made In The Dark; I thought it was kind of insubstantial but wouldn’t skip past it or anything. But last night, I realized that “Wrestlers” grapples with (sorry) one of the things that I find so engaging about Hot Chip, which is the way they examine culture and cultural distance and authenticity and appropriation. The song, with its litany of wrestling moves veering into Willie Nelson namecheck, is a jokey macho boast, along the lines of “I’ve got an M-16” or “Hot Chip will break your legs.” And it acknowledges its own absurdity, when Alexis Taylor plaintively sings, “I learned all I know from watching wrestling,” it’s extra funny because, of course (sorry, Nathaniel), wrestling is itself a fake fight. Hot Chip are wrestlers. Hot Chip can rap. Hot Chip have soul. Hot Chip are for real.

It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp Music Journalist

posted by on April 23 at 4:19 PM

Today Idolator linked to James Montgomery’s article about what it’s like to be a music journalist in the day and age when mainstream music writing is more about chasing down stories about rumored sex tapes and “monitoring baby bumps”:

For a solid hour on Tuesday afternoon, I basically should’ve gotten fired from my job. This is not because I was drinking in the office again or harassing my (sorta) co-worker Heidi Montag or even stealing boxes from the supply closet to complete my awesome fort (that was Monday).

No, it was because I was furiously Googling photos of Miley Cyrus in her bra.

OK, now before Human Resources contacts me (or my wife leaves me), please know that I was doing said Googling for a story I was working on — a follow-up to a 300-word blurb we ran on Monday that was read by 71,000 people (!) in less than 24 hours. (By comparison, last week’s Bigger Than the Sound is currently sitting at just more than 2,400 clicks.) Please know that I am not some sort of crazy pervert and that — to borrow perhaps the most overused excuse of all time — I was just doing my job (honest).

I’m not exactly sure what the rest of you were doing, though. Because for most of Tuesday, “Miley Cyrus Bra” was the most-searched term on Google, ahead of “Pennsylvania Exit Polls,” “Kijana Carter” and “Earth Day.” Phrases like “Racy Miley Cyrus Photos” and “Miley Cyrus Underwear Pictures” also logged time in Google Trends’ Top 100, as did pretty much any possible combination of the words “leaked,” “pics” and “Net” you could think of (also, nice to see “Vanessa Hudgens Pics” making a comeback).

Basically, for an entire day, people were more interested in seeking out semi-nude — and possibly fake? — photos of a 15-year-old pop star than they were in reading about the death of soul singer Al Wilson (which is sad), potential Jeep Liberty recalls (which is terrifying) and “Alligator in Kitchen” (which is puzzling). And while all of that should probably make me want to curl up and die — or at least weep for the state of humanity — it doesn’t. Because this has basically become my entire life.

Read the funny, thoughtful, sad but true article here.

Groove Salad

posted by on April 23 at 3:56 PM

moods-and-grooves.jpgDid you ever want to know what a ‘Flute Salad’ tasted like? Well maybe not. Regardless, here is the rare funky jazz classic by Ju-Par Universal Orchestra. “Flute Salade” is just one of the many classic cuts off the groups remarkable Moods And Grooves LP which was released back in 1976. Moods And Grooves is definitely one of my favorite jazz records, with it’s heavy afro-funky and soul influenced grooves. It’s a great record to put on during that late night lounge hour. I recently saw this LP in a local record store going for eighty dollars and I kinda wished I would of splurged. Oh well, maybe next time.

Download an MP3 of Ju-Par Universal Orchestra’s “Flute Salad” and more by clicking here.

No Depression Update

posted by on April 23 at 3:48 PM

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While our May-June issue will be our last in bimonthly-magazine form, we’re very happy to announce that we will be teaming up with University of Texas Press to present a semiannual “bookazine.” Envisioned as a sort of hybrid between a book and a magazine, this new No Depression creation will make its debut in the fall. Look for 1 (or “76”, as we’ll dub it, in deference to the magazine’s precedence) in the music-books section of your local bookstore — and also watch this space for upcoming details about ordering subscriptions. (If you’re a current subscriber to the magazine, we’ll soon be sending you a note in the mail regarding the transition.

Some of the details will become clearer as we get further into the process of creating the first edition. Generally speaking, what we envision is that the bookazine will continue to provide a home for our long-form pieces which have less chance of transitioning to the website, where the editorial focus will be on more timely elements such as live reviews, record reviews, and news reports.

Read the full letter after the jump.

Continue reading "No Depression Update" »

Oh Yeah…

posted by on April 23 at 3:04 PM

This came out yesterday, via local mom’n’pop record shop Sub Pop:

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To add to the chorus: It’s funny. And cute. It’s also lovingly faithful to the musical genres it parodies. It’s all songs that you may have seen on their HBO show of the same name—”Bowie,” “Business Time,” “Inner City Pressure,” etc. The packaging is nice.

This is possibly the only Sub Pop act beloved by my girlfriend’s mom (sorry, No Age). Will I listen to this album while washing the dishes or walking to work? Probably not. Will I watch old episodes of the show at my girlfriend’s mom’s house on DVD? Probably.

Like this:


Flight of the Conchords play the Sasquatch Festival on May 26th and Sub Pop’s SP20 Birthday Party July 12/13th

DRM, Microsoft Sucks

posted by on April 23 at 2:18 PM

Wired reports today that anyone who bought DRM-protected MP3s from Microsoft’s now-defunct digital music store, MSN Music, is basically screwed:

Music fans who purchased music from Microsoft’s MSN Music service are in for another cruel awakening about the harsh realities of digital rights management. As of September 1, it will become impossible to reauthorize songs purchased from the MSN Music store, which Microsoft shuttered to make way for Zune.

Music purchased from MSN Music will still play on authorized machines, but users only have five operating systems left in their entire lifetimes on which to play the music. I say “operating systems” instead of “computers” because even when a user upgrades, say from XP to Vista, songs need to be reauthorized.

What should you do if you want to keep your music? As Sony advised its users to do when it closed down Sony Connect, you can burn CDs of your purchased tracks and re-rip them. Of course, this degrades sound quality because it forces the music through the encoding process twice.

In related news: Did you know Zune has a radio built in?! You kids still like your FM radio, right?

Chops vs. Taste

posted by on April 23 at 1:35 PM

The Sword, Slough Feg and Children @ Neumos

I missed seeing any of New York act Children because I wasn’t allowed to take my camera into the show even though I was reviewing it. “No Professional (removable lens) Cameras.” I had to walk my SLR all the way back to my car. What a stupid rule. Whoever made that rule is stupid.

Slough Feg, though I had never heard of them before this show (nor had anyone else I was with) has been a band for 18 years. They are the perfect example of a band that has great chops but horrible taste. Imagine metal music parallels science fiction: this band is original programming on the Sci-Fi network. My first, and continued reaction to Slough Feg was: “Are you fucking kidding me?” They sounded like mixing Joe Satriani’s Surfing with the Alien and speed metal. The singer looks exactly like the extra from the Kids In the Hall who had a dark, thinning mullet and always played a total cheeseball. You might remember him as the juggling street performer in a flying pig skit, or Mark McKinney’s coworker in the one about killing a mouse. It’s a random association, I know, but they are doppelgangers. He was wearing black swirl body paint all over his torso covered by a vest, his curly, thinning mullet bobbing with his intense head thrusts. He was very into his own shit - which was pretty fun to watch. I couldn’t tell which was harder to take seriously, the way the band looked or the choices they made musically, but I can say that after sitting down upstairs after about five songs their music sounded a little less ridiculous with the band out of sight. I decided it was probably these guys that set the rule about no professional cameras being allowed in the building.

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It’s not too hard to find baseline similarities between Slough Feg and the Sword. Both deal with fantasy metal, but the fantasy Slough Feg encapsulates is just so… nerdy. So nerdy in fact it’s almost come full circle to the point where it’s funny. Here is one of the t-shirts they sold. It has some sort of a large dog-man in a space suit, holding a laser gun. Very Star Fox. On the back of the shirt is a wicked spaceship. You can just imagine that laser dog man blasting around space, fighting aliens, listening to this band.

Normally there’s a sense of anger when you realize you’re never going to see a band you love in an intimate setting again. For some reason seeing the Sword in a completely packed Neumos, people chanting along and banging their heads in unison, I had the exact opposite reaction. I don’t want to see the Sword play a small venue like the Croc again (though I am glad I got to see it), I want this band to dominate the metal world. I want this band to be like Dethklok is on Metalocalypse. The Sword are the perfect example of a band that has great chops and impeccable taste, whose live performance is fast and heavy and awesome on every front. They are the almost impossible combination of interesting, original and accessible – there is no reason that anyone who likes metal shouldn’t be able to get into their live show. Any misgivings I had about Gods of the Earth were remedied last night. Their newest single “Maiden, Mother and Crone” is the lame duck on the album (and has a terrible video) but doesn’t suffer the same fate live. Their set is a nonstop barrage of epic, galloping metal. They’re not the most talented metal band on the planet, or the fastest, or the most original. But they may be the smartest. They’re maxing out their stats in all the right areas. They are appealing to both the metal masses and the metal snobs. The Sword are the real fucking deal.

Pink Skull Owns Me

posted by on April 23 at 1:29 PM

Star Chef News: Madonna’s cook in LA couldn’t take it. He quit. She’s manipulative and issue filled. He was going to go on the upcoming tour, but no. She over-worked him for twenty-eight straight days and that was the last straw. Now he’s working for a grand a day cooking for another rich elderly woman.

Other than that, LA is nice. It’s Spring down here. You can smell the night blooming jasmine. All these stars and their chef problems. My chef is fine. Le Taco Belle. Drive through-riche. Rice and beans won’t ever quit.

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A kind little genius bird fed me Zeppelin 3 by Philadelphia’s Pink Skull before I left Seattle. I listened to it for the last five hours of the drive. It now owns me and my ear-brain. I, state your name, do hereby take this Pink Skull to be my lawful wedded psychedelaptop analog-Aztec space-wife. Zeppelin 3 is a masterpiece. Mouse on Mars-ish? Futuristic Aztecs don’t fuck around when they party. (Eric’s review - here.) Heavy waylaying dance beats are wound around 130 bpm’s then go schizoid to quietly abstract Gregorian refrains. There’s a back and forth. Beats evolve, samples rip in, delays feed back. 808 pads stutter under a deranged Caribbean riff. Rusting mongoloid creatures dance around a tiki torch soldering their skin to processors. Platelets drip plasma and scar. Mitochondria in eardrum cells become supra and ears are able hear outside our round planet. They hear tectonics beneath the craters in the moon shift. It sounds like an old man murmuring. It’s not a basic noise, but it is. Your vehicle moves through dunes and the desert orbit presses play again. A hundred miles left to go.

On This Day in 1988…

posted by on April 23 at 1:21 PM

Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon did not make it on the Billboard 200 after spending a record 741 consecutive weeks on the chart.

Ready For the Floor

posted by on April 23 at 12:05 PM

Hot Chip, Free Blood @ the Showbox

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When I saw Free Blood in Austin at SXSW, the NYC duo (featuring John Pugh of !!!) had a few things going for them: a small but stoked, first-night-of-the-festival-giddy crowd; having things warmed up for them by the maniacal electronics of Extreme Animals; a small, kind of divey room where their bass bursts sounded like they might seriously hurt the sound system. Last night at the Showbox, things were stacked rather against them: a half-full Showbox crowd, neither giddy nor warmed up, mostly hanging back in the bars; a big, cavernous room that made them look a little like, as a friend put it, enthusiastic kids in a summer camp talent show down on the big stage; a sound system that made their beats seem less dangerous than just pre-recorded.

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Still, I think they sounded better last night than they did in Austin. What I then mistook for sultry, stoned monotones turned out to be rather tuneful, expressive singing, especially on one song’s hook of “Sounds good to me” and another’s petulantly whined refrain of “I want.” The bass was deep, and it even buzzed in the speakers a bit on one later song. Al Doyle of Hot Chip (and LCD Soundsystem) came out to help out on live bass and guitar for a couple songs, so there were no human mic stands needed and Pugh was free to get on down with his bandmate, Madeleine. Not everyone was feeling it, though—towards the end of their set, some loud gentleman in the bar hollered, “No more!” between songs. Or maybe he was saying, “No, more!” Maybe he really liked them.

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I tried to run to the restroom just as Hot Chip was set to go on, so I then wouldn’t miss any of their set, but I found the men’s room (which is behind the stage, between it and the green rooms) blocked by security, with a handful of guys penned into the bathroom waiting to get out, presumably so Hot Chip could rush the stage unaccosted. Maybe that’s something they do at a lot of shows, and I just never noticed, but security overall seemed a little stressed last night, barking, “You here for Hot Chip?!” at everyone at the front door (were some people there for the ambience?), and I wondered if maybe they were getting a lot of people trying to sneak in.

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Anyway, “Shake a Fist” playing as I get back in the crowd, and it sounds great, the beat rattling off-time and then being nudged back in to place, sounding a little live despite coming off a drum machine and sampler. They played the achingly sweet “Boy From School” next, and it just felt really good to see a big, sold-out crowd in Seattle dancing to honestly great music. On “Hold On,” Joe Goddard, the burlier of the band’s two vocalists, fell off the beat a bit on his part, but again it just felt satisfyingly live; “Hold On” isn’t one of my favorite songs from Made in the Dark, but it worked well live, with its extended rhythmic outro. “Bendable Posable” sounded a little weak at first, mostly just a spare beat under the vocals, but it got the crowds hand up by the end. They played “Over & Over” with an extended intro, and it was, of course, a massive dance floor mover.

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Lead vocalist Alexis Taylor introduced “Wrestlers” by saying, “Joe does a pretty good rap on this one,” to which Goddard replied, “It’s not a rap, it’s more of a chant.” Regardless, Goddard’s bit was brilliant, delivered with a kind of campiness not really apparent on record, and he even did the backwards-masked part to the crowd’s audible delight. I saw a couple making out to the melancholy strains of “Crap Kraft Dinner” and felt a little jealous at not being young and silly enough to make out at shows anymore. Free Blood joined the band for the fantastic “One Pure Thought,” increasingly my favorite jam off of Made in the Dark. They ended their set with “Ready For the Floor,” extending some parts, jilting between the verses and the choruses.

For the encore, they played the straight-soul ballad “Made in the Dark,” then “Don’t Dance,” which—I’m certain—they kicked off with a synth riff lifted from some ’80s electro nugget that I couldn’t seem to trainspot. (Anybody know what that was? Or am I tripping?) They played a rousing version of “No Fit State,” interpolating the chorus of New Order’s “Temptation into their song’s layered refrain—totally skin-crawling, pogoing, singing-along awesome. The closed by leading into “The Privacy of Our Love” with the Prince-penned “Nothing Compares 2 U” (they are so down).

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Yelle @ War Room

I thought after the sold-out Showbox, Yelle at the War Room was going to be kind of a let down. How many kids in Seattle really give a shit about some French electro-pop feuds anyway, right? Apparently a lot. The War Room was packed, and the crowd was totally in Yelle’s thrall, bouncing to the beat, clapping along, snapping camera phone pics, the works. I also figured Yelle would be karaoke-ing along to an iPod or something, but instead she had a two-piece backing band on live drums and (synth? guitar? keytar? I couldn’t see), and they sounded sick—thick, totally synced beats; gnarly, simple synths. It doesn’t hurt that Yelle is basically like an adorable French cartoon of a pop star, all big eyes and bizarre neon couture and sharp-bobbed hair that she kept flipping up with her hand for emphasis. She may have played “Je Veux Te Voir” twice, first in the electro style, then as a more rocking encore, or my French may just be fucked. In any case, it was a totally fun, frivolous pop party. A great surprise ending to an already rad night.

(More photos after the jump)

Continue reading "Ready For the Floor" »

I Like Food, Food is Good

posted by on April 23 at 11:56 AM

Last night while talking about bands and songs that are all about food, a friend told me about Rice, the ’90s Lookout Records band that played furious punk songs about… rice.

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On their one record, Fuck You, This is Rice, every song is about rice and how awesome it is—“In Rice We Survive,” “Rice Picker,” “Rice’s Meow,” “Rice Control,” “Just How Much Rice,” “Grain of Strength,” “All Steamed Up”… you get it, right?

ricegilman.jpgRice photo by Jamie from Reality Control fanzine

While trying to find some MP3s or videos, I also found this story about how the band was banned from Gilman (bolds are mine):

The Story goes…Rice played at Gilman Street in early 92 and Rop took down the “No Stage Diving” sign and someone took this opportunity to dive into the crowd and accidentally, ends up poking someone’s eye out. Gilman was held responsible and Rice was banned from Gilman, also their last show ever. Come 1995, Rop rents a car w/ Carlos and drives 9 hours to San Diego, to practice for 4 hours with Jason and Matt Anderson, re-learning some songs. That night, they left for a 2 week tour of the west coast. The recording is from a sold-out show w/ Avail at Gilman St. during the 2nd week of the tour. The new board members at Gilman allowed Rice to play, while the old lifers insisted as long as no stage diving. No stage diving that night, but the damage that was done was due to the roman candles that shot-out firecrackers, that were duct-taped around the bass drum and the amps.

Amazon’s selling the songs for 99 cents a pop, but you can hear 30 second samples before buying ‘em (which, in some cases, is half the song).

I want to know more. Someone please tell me more (Bunnypuncher, I’m looking at you).

Barf at the Comet

posted by on April 23 at 11:05 AM

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By daniel spils.

Burial Kicks

posted by on April 23 at 11:00 AM

tube-1.jpg The best mix in the long-running DJ-Kicks series, Kid Loco’s installment, faces a serious challenge in the near future, Burial’s installment. Burial is the moment in the production of new music. Where he is is where all most go before becoming something that is no longer in the past. A mix by him will, one, reveal what it is that leads up to him and, two, currently nourishes his thinking processes. Burial is the sound of “chains clanging loudly,” the deep “sound of the underground train.”

Tonight in Music: David Dondero, the Color Bars, Experimental Dental School

posted by on April 23 at 10:50 AM

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David Dondero, Pufferfish, Modern Arms, World History
(Comet) Bright Eyes’ Conor Oberst may have become the household name, but he owes a huge debt to wandering troubadour David Dondero. Even a cursory listen to one of the latter’s fine solo albums reveals the inspiration behind Oberst’s sensitive, intelligent warble—the shaky timbre of the voice and the way keen observations weigh on the narrator even when there’s subtle humor involved. Oberst has paid off his debt to Dondero by releasing Dondero’s last two records on his Team Love label and exposing one of his favorite artists to a whole new audience. If you’re a fan of Cassadaga and its wide-eyed-but-not-quite-innocent musings, you’ll want to jump on the Dondero bandwagon as well. BARBARA MITCHELL

Listen to David Dondero:
“When the Heart Breaks Deep”






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The Color Bars, the Kindness Kind, Sam Squared
(Tractor) The Color Bars relocated to Seattle from New York in 2005 or so, with an already-complete, already-terrific release, Making Playthings, in hand. The album of concise pop promptly turned the heads of many local lovers of Beach Boys–influenced songwriting, just in time for the band to disappear and go to work on their next release. Kairos at Infinity was put out on the band’s own imprint late last year, revealing they have as much in common with Of Montreal as Brian Wilson. If you’re looking for a local band to be your special secret, the Color Bars are it—for now. MATT GARMAN

Click here to listen to the Color Bars.

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Experimental Dental School
(King Cobra) Oakland trio Experimental Dental School (Ryan Brundage on drums, Shoko Horikawa on Casio and sampler, Jesse Hall on guitar and vocals) come from the same experimental musical school as fellow Bay Area bands Numbers and Deerhoof, whose Greg Saunier helped mix the band’s new album, Jane Doe Loves Me. Like Numbers, EDS stick forks in analog synth sockets and gets nasty, electric sawtooth-wave shocks. Like Deerhoof, they pair their noisier bent with delicately off-kilter pop, switching from merry-go-round lilt to prog scales to punk gallop. But EDS’s spark-spitting broken toys and rewired electronics give their songs a distinct peripheral flurry of buzzes, chirps, squeals, and burps. ERIC GRANDY

Listen to Experimental Dental School:
“Jane Doe Loves Me”






As always, find more in our online listings.

Take the Human Touch, Combine it with a Digital Computer…

posted by on April 23 at 10:36 AM

You know how Giorgio Moroder looks kind of bad-ass in this iconic photo:

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Yeah, well, in this video, not so much:

(ht Sean)

Today’s Music News

posted by on April 23 at 10:14 AM

Just buy it on vinyl already - MSN Music closure raises DRM issues

Rest in peace - Country singer Paul Davis dies at 60

It always pains me to agree with Pitchfork - New York’s ATP line-up is pretty awesome

Reznor continues to make headlines - NIN offer free new song online

Good news for music fans with Attention Deficit Disorder - Next two Mars Volta records in the works


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Al Wilson, 1939-2008

posted by on April 22 at 5:19 PM

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Rest In Peace to one of the unheralded greats of R&B. Wilson died from kidney failure at age 68. Here he is on Soul Train, doing his biggest hit, “Show And Tell”.

The Gossip Has Been All Over MTV This Week… and the National Enquirer?

posted by on April 22 at 3:15 PM

They’re the channel’s band of the week, so the Gossip’s music is being played before and after shows, in commercials for other shows… you hear them at least twice every 30 minutes. Last night they played some live footage while running the credits for the Hills. It was weird. (And yes, I’m ashamed that I know that).

Even more strange, Beth Ditto, who used to be our little Northwest secret, is also on the cover of this week’s National Enquirer.

No, really (via Idolator):

bethdittocover.jpg

OMG! Fried chicken and ice cream for dinner! That’s Hollywood’s deadliest diet!

You can see for yourself in every supermarket check-out across the country.

Beyonce and Jay-Z are Married, Kanye West is Single

posted by on April 22 at 2:51 PM

Just so you know…

Beyonce and Jay-Z’s marriage license is being filed (so they can stop with the denial bullshit) and Kanye West and Alexis Phifer have called off their engagement (so ladies, you have a chance after all).

2008 Free Yr Radio Concert Series

posted by on April 22 at 1:42 PM

Eric already mentioned this show in his earlier No Age post, but here’s the official press release about the Toyota/Urban Outfitters sponsored Free Yr Radio Concert Series:

After celebrating the launch of the second year of the Free Yr Radio campaign at the South by Southwest Music Festival in Austin, TX, in March, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. (TMS) announced today details about this year’s Free Yr Radio program—including some of the bands slated to perform in the upcoming concert series as well as this year’s partner radio stations. Created in 2007 by Toyota Yaris and Urban Outfitters, the Free Yr Radio campaign equips its partner independent radio stations with tools to increase exposure and listener support through various promotional activities—including the free station-hosted concerts.

This year’s concert series will consist of 10 shows, from May through October. Each concert will be hosted by a partner independent radio station. Although each show is free, concert-goers must present an invite upon entry. Invites can be printed at www.FreeYrRadio.com prior to each concert.

Seattle’s installment (being hosted by, of course, KEXP) is July 23 with live music from No Age and Mudhoney. More details to be announced soon.

Best, and Worst, Guitar Ever

posted by on April 22 at 1:20 PM

fournecks.JPG

Behold the ultimate monstrosity of a guitar. The folks over as Idolator found this beast on eBay, unfortunately after the auction had ended. So how much does a four necked bass/mandolin/banjo/guitar go for these days? Only $255, before shipping. There are the obvious logistical problems with an instrument like this: How do you hold it? Does it weigh as much as four guitars? It there a case anywhere fit to move it around in? In the end none of these questions really matter. What matters is this is tax return season, and G.W. is sending me an extra $600 to blow at the Sharper Image on a foot bath. To me, this would be the ultimate waste of my free money. It has 23 strings. No mater how impractical or stupid this thing is, for some reason I wish it was mine.

Weekly Recommendations

posted by on April 22 at 1:15 PM

weekly-recommend.jpg
This week there was been some great new cosmic/disco releases. Here are a few that I highly recommend checking out:

Dimitri From Paris - Return To The Playboy Mansion
——————————————————————————-
Dimitri From Paris returns with his highly successful ‘Playboy Mansion’ compilation series with some more classic and rare disco, house, soul, and dance gems. This very diverse mix compilation touches all the bases with dance cuts ranging from newer tracks like Jamiroquai’s “Cosmic Girl” and The Brand New Heavies’s “Never Stop” to 1970’s disco rarities like Don Ray’s “Got To Have Your Loving” and Gary’s GangLet’s Love Dance Tonight”. The compilation also includes some solid new re-edits from the French deejay, including Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terell’s “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and Goldie Alexander’s “Show You My Love”. Another great addition to Dimitri’s growing series of ‘Playboy Mansion’ themed releases.

Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terell - Ain’t No Mountain High Enough(DFP re edit)(Mp3 sample)
Buy Record Here


The Popular People’s Front - Limited Series Vol.02 12”
——————————————————————————-
The Popular People’s Front return with their second in the best selling labels Limited Series, with a new white label re-edit 12”. With this record, PPF puts their spin on some rare disco and dance cuts including a solid edit of Candi Staton’s cover of “Listen to the Music”. Their first ‘limited series’ 12” sold out very quickly, so I would recommend picking up a copy while they still last.

Candi Staton - Listen to the Music(Allenby Chilton edit)(Mp3 sample)
Buy Record Here


Various - Deep Disco Culture Vol Two: Album Sampler 12”
——————————————————————————-
The good folks over at Salsoul/Suss’d records have just released the second 12-inch album sampler to the widely acclaimed disco compilation Deep Disco Culture Vol Two: Underground Disco Rarities & Future Club Classic for all of the disco and vinyl enthusiasts. They couldn’t have choosen three better cuts from the CD-only compilation to include on this sampler with the Rhythm Makers’s “Zone, Sparkle’s “Disco Madness”, and Patrick Cowley classic mix of Tantra’s “Hills Of Katmandu”. A great record for disco collector’s that don’t want to go broke trying to hunt down the high priced and rare 12-inch originals.

Sparkle - Disco Madness(Mp3 sample)
Buy Record Here

What a “Shitty” Day on Line Out…

posted by on April 22 at 11:57 AM

Four of the last five posts mention human excrement in one way or another.

Here’s another one for the “pile.” Ha! Pile, get it? Pile? Of shit?

Whatever…

This is old, but in case you never saw Dave Chappelle’s spoof on R. Kelly (a man who perhaps deserves mocking more than any other human on the planet… now that Anna Nicole’s dead):

“Doo doo butter.” So hilarious and wrong.

Talent Borrows, Genius Steals

posted by on April 22 at 11:54 AM

pavement_7.jpg

After a couple decades of lazy avoidance, I recently spent some quality time with the recorded output of Talk Talk and the Fall, and learned some things that are probably common knowledge to many but were new to me.

Lesson one: Radiohead owes Talk Talk a gazillion dollars.

Lesson two: For the duration of 1992, Pavement (pictured above) was essentially a Fall cover band (and one that didn’t even bother to come up with a clever “Hell’s Belles” pun-style name.)

For proof of lesson one, consult Talk Talk’s Spirit of Eden and Laughing Stock.

For proof of lesson two, consult the Fall’s “New Face in Hell.”

That is all.

Super Geek League

posted by on April 22 at 11:27 AM

supergeekblush.jpg

By Blush Photo.

There are many more to see in the Stranger’s Flickr Pool.

Madlib is Heard: Detritus

posted by on April 22 at 11:11 AM

madlib2.jpgI am I-5 southbound here, driving to Los Angeles to play. Madlib’s Beat Konducta India has been the theme of the highway think-tank. Beat Konducta India is thirty-four instrumental hip-hop tracks using music, sounds, and samples from Indian cinema. It’s filthied and slow, and all the tracks are around two minutes long. Madlib scans into a cut, you see what he wants you to see, then he’s out. The tracks are short, but he’s not in a hurry. The 70 beats per minute lumber like Godzilla through a city. The monster’s too big to be quick. He was minding his own business until Delhi got in his way.

During the Seattle - LA drive, here’s what recurs: Consumption of coffee to be alert. And consumption of water because the coffee dehydrates. Then it’s hard to make time because the bladder says, “Me me me.”

And so enters the risk of the Little John Portable Urinal for men, which came with the Lady J female adapter. The Lady J looks complicated. Can you do the Lady J and drive?:

littlejohnandladyj.jpg

Or, the Pit Stop:

pitstop2.jpgHere’s the Pit Stop, the portable urinal designed for truckers that’s tailor-made for guys and gals with promises to keep. The receiving end is designed to be mounted on the wall of a truck’s sleeper cab, while the leakproof container at the other end of the five-foot transfer hose is self-sealing with a quick-disconnect mechanism. The 1.25-gallon tank’s carrying handle facilitates easy transport of all of that detritus without danger of spillage, and is probably big enough for a non-stop coast-to-coast haul.

Without danger of spillage. Without danger of spillage? Look at that thing. There is much danger of spillage.

*****

Detritus - de·tri·tus n:

1. debris or discarded material
2. fragments of rock that have been worn away
3. organic debris formed by the decomposition of plants and animals

Musicians Going Green; Happy Earth Day

posted by on April 22 at 11:09 AM

Jack Johnson and Willie Nelson top the list of musicians who are practicing earth-friendly habits—Jack Johnson built a solar-powered studio and Willie Nelson sells his own biodiesel fuel in six states.

Also on the list, Dave Matthews Band, who apparently didn’t lose too many points when they dumped a bunch of shit on people (and I don’t mean with their music):

4. DAVE MATTHEWS BAND The U.S. rock band, through environmental nonprofit Reverb, has calculated the CO2 emissions from every stop on its upcoming summer tour and purchased the renewable energy credits to make up for the footprint left by each venue, hotel, flight, tour vehicle and even fan travel. Fans can sign up online for a carpool.

But they forgot Piebald. They aren’t a good band at all anymore (I still like If it Weren’t for Venetian Blinds…), but they’ve been using using vegetable oil as tour fuel for years now.

Is Weezer Pimping My Ride?

posted by on April 22 at 10:56 AM

The new Weezer album is almost certainly going to be a steaming, highly-polished turd. No one’s being “punk’d”, sadly—Weezer have just slowly and steadily devolved into a reliably terrible band apparently dead set on eclipsing past glories with the worst kind of alt-rock radio dreck conceivable (see: “Beverly Hills,” “Pork & Beans,” et al). At this point, holding out hope for these guys is like repeatedly forgiving an abusive boyfriend (see: cowboy hat, gut, mustache). Even if that cover is a farce, you can bet the album will sound as bad as it looks.

This is a Joke, Right?

posted by on April 22 at 10:34 AM

Spinner has the supposed art work for the new Weezer album. And here it is:

weezer-300.jpg

Are we being Punk’d?

But the album’s first single, “Pork and Beans” has grown on me more and more… so that’s something. You can hear that at weezer.com.

Neon Not Fall Colors

posted by on April 22 at 10:28 AM

There are a lot of influences echoing and ricocheting around on No Age’s upcoming album, Nouns (out May 6th on Sub Pop), but one (awesome) echo in particular struck me this morning. Don’t be surprised if you hear it (or at least hear me ranting about it) in the coming weeks.

In this:

nouns.jpg

Traces of this:

lync.jpg

Update: Just announced today, No Age will be playing Seattle July 23rd with Mudhoney (details TBA) as part of the Free Yr Radio concert series, in which synergies with a car company and a retail chain will benefit KEXP and other independent radio stations. To freedom!

Tonight in Music: The Sword, Hot Chip, Sasha and Digweed, Yelle, the Death Set

posted by on April 22 at 10:25 AM

Eric Grandy wrote a great piece in this week’s paper about Hot Chip and No Kids. Read that here. He also suggested tonight’s show even though it’s completely sold out:

Hot Chip, Free Blood at Showbox at the Market
Yes, it’s sold out, but The Stranger suggests you do what it takes to get into this show—hit up a scalper, walk in the front door backward, pretend you’re the dude from Free Blood, whatever. Hot Chip’s latest, Made in the Dark, isn’t their strongest, but it’s spiked with some of the best songs in their deep party repertoire. Their live shows are out of control, adding live percussive shake to their nasty thump. And don’t miss !!! exes Free Blood, who were an unexpected highlight at this year’s SXSW. (Showbox at the Market, 1426 First Ave, 628-3151. 8 pm, $15 adv/$18 DOS, all ages.) by Eric Grandy

Hot Chip - “One Pure Thought”

Also happening tonight:

sashadigweed.jpg

Sasha and John Digweed, Kazell
(Showbox Sodo) From the UK come Sasha and John Digweed, DJs at the center of a progressive house and trance scene that had its moment in the sun in the mid-’90s. To go to this show is to go back to a time when the future seemed so promising. The ’90s was a happy decade—America was making loads of money, the World Wide Web represented the universal mind that would finally realize utopia, and globalization promised to end poverty. Then came WTO, then came WTC, then the reelected regime of Shock and Awe, then the housing crash. Sasha and John’s beat-positive spirit does not speak to this world of endless wars and relentless economic catastrophes. But reengaging with their music, dancing to it, allows one the opportunity to return to a time when things were bright and progressive. CHARLES MUDEDE

Yelle playing live in New York back in February:

Yelle, Panther, Starfucker
(War Room) I took two and half years of high-school French (my senior year was kind of a bust), but unless French electro-popster Yelle decides to rap very slowly about the location of la bibliothèque, I’m going to be lost. Which is just as well, as being lyrically lost doesn’t deflate the giddy joy of her club-friendly singles “Je Veux Te Voir” or “A Cause De Garcons.” Yelle’s pogoing cadences work fine without their literal meaning, becoming just more melodic and rhythmic decoration for her tracks’ elastic bounce. Still, if you’re fluent and familiar enough with French pop, Yelle delivers some zingers—”Je Veux Te Voir” playfully disses Paris hiphop crew TTC, cracking jokes about the size of rapper Cuizinier’s penis and a bunch of other stuff that Babel Fish has no idea how the fuck to translate. ERIC GRANDY

deathset.jpgThe Death Set photo by Rebecca Smeyne

The Death Set, Check Minus, PWRFL Power
(High Dive) The Death Set are originally from Australia, but they’re now based out of Baltimore, where they fit in nicely with the town’s current crop of art-stained noise-pop bands, even snagging Ecstatic Sunshine shredder Matt Papich to replace original guitarist Beau Velasco. Musically, the Death Set spring up in the void left by Japanther’s recent relative inactivity (dudes used to tour through Seattle every three weeks—what happened?). Like that band, the Death Set combine tin-can beats and Casio presets with undeniable punk sing-along and distorted guitar. But the Death Set’s new album, Worldwide, is less stubbornly lo-fi; their recordings are still clearly scraped together in the DIY style, but they’re a little less messy. Their live shows look to be totally spaztastic. I’m stoked, but why aren’t these guys playing in a basement? ERIC GRANDY

Listen to the Death Set:
“Negative Thinking”






And finally, the Sword will be at Neumo’s tonight. In this week’s paper, Jeff Kirby gave their new album, Gods of the Earth, three and a half stars.

An excerpt:

And if there’s one thing Gods of the Earth succeeds in, it’s staying the course. Their second release dutifully follows, but never manages to surpass, the niche carved by Age of Winters. The heavily distorted riffs are huge; the songs are epic and brutal, with lyrics about axes and frost giants. The production purposefully lacks the slick sheen of Scandinavian metal, opting instead for a thicker, burlier sound. The single “Fire Lances of the Ancient Hyperzephyrians” sounds like early Metallica scoring the movie Wizards. The climbing riff of “Under the Boughs” might have originally existed as a boss theme in the original NES Contra. Something somewhere is being conquered with every song.

Listen to the Sword:
“Fire Lances of the Ancient Hyperzephyrians”






If none of this makes you pee your pants with excitement, though, you can find your own idea of a good time in our searchable online calendar. Click here to do it!

Today’s Music News

posted by on April 22 at 9:55 AM

Wasn’t Bright Eyes basically a solo project? - Conor Oberst announces solo album

More on the state of the music industry - Lobbying money and IP laws

More wild speculation from NME - Replacements reunion?

Countdown to Armageddon - NIN make cryptic announcement

Suitable punishment for bad taste - Riots and police brutality at Pennywise concert

Indianapolis doesn’t deserve this - Dude Fest line-up announced. I’m impressed

The Mouth of June

posted by on April 22 at 9:52 AM

This is June Pointer:


jpointer.jpg

She was a member of The Pointer Sisters:
Pointer-Sisters.jpg

When The Pointer Sister’s seventh album, Break Out, was released in 1983…
PointerSistersBreakOut.jpg…I bought it, looked at June’s mouth and eyes, and had for the first time in my life the desire to fuck someone. Her face made clear the direction of my sexuality. And to this day I’m committed to the opinion that June possessed the sexiest mouth in the whole history of photographed faces.

Sadly, June Pointer died in 2006. Cancer made all of her systems go “down, down, down, down.”

ESC Semi Final: Geta, Complice & O Julissi

posted by on April 22 at 9:32 AM

Fourth in line in our first semi-final is Moldova. They’re sending Geta Burlacu with A Century Of Love. Moldova tried to send a quality jazzy song, which is -to me- boring as hell, and not just for this review. Lucky for all of us, the song is styled to death. Judging by their outfits (or is it just me?) Geta and her friends seem to think they’re stereotypical Parisiens. An expression of Moldovan identity if ever I’ve seen one! I haven’t got a clue why most of her mates are on stage with her, since they don’t appear to be doing much. One of them seems to be rolling up a boll of yarn, probably to make Geta another one of her pretty hats, another is forever blowing bubbles and yet another one –in scarf and baret to fight off the cold in the studio- pretends to play the trumpet. And just when you thought it was getting weird, in come the ballet dancers. Fabulous stuff.

San Marino is taking part for the first time and they’re sending a rockband! Wahey! Well, a rockband in Eurovision standards anyway. Miodio sing “Complice”, yet another ballad, but with an edge. Again, in Eurovision terms. It’s haunting, or at least it tries to be, and it’s also so devoid of anything funny that there’s not much I can say about it. So I’ll keep myself happy with comparing how different the band looks in their hunky boyband-style promo photo as opposed to in their official video.

On to the masterpiece of the contest: Belgium sends Ishtar with “O Julissi” My home country, so don’t expect anything objective from me. It’s fantastic! It deserves to win! There. Moving on….

Belgium consistently ends in the lower half of the scoreboard -mostly totally justified- but sometimes we’re quite frankly robbed. Be sure to check out this clip: Nicole & Hugo reaching last place with “Baby Baby” back in 1973. Or how about Telex (the ones of Moskow Diskow) who took part in 1981 with the hilarious Euro-vision?! If those songs were to take part these days, they’d definitely make the top 10, no doubt about it.

The two regions of Belgium, Wallony and Flanders, take turns choosing a candidate for the contest. Traditionally, the Walloons are a lot better at it than the Flemish, though that’s not saying much. The Walloons have been known to send the occasional French Chanson and they’ve produced the only ever win for Belgium (Sandra Kim “J’aime La Vie” – ESC 1986). And what do the Flemish traditionally send? Ah, Europop (Xandee ESC 2004), Swedish Europop (Kate Ryan ESC 2006), or an epic song about peace with electric guitar-mock guns sung by a Flemish gay icon (Liliane St Pierre ESC 1987). Do the Flemish ever do well? Er… not in the past twenty years they don’t. And why not? Because the Balkan is better at drumming, the Swedes are better at Swedish Europop and we were 20 years too early for air-guitar-guns. So this year, Flanders went for a different style. After Belgium’s last decent result (Urban Trad: 2nd place in 2003, a Walloon entry), we’re trying to repeat that performance by sending something er…exactly the same in the same line:a folky song in a made up language (as if we don’t have enough languages already in Belgium: three for 10 million people). Will it pay off? That’s the question. I just heard that the lead singer will not be wearing her red boots in Belgrade, so I think we’re pretty much doomed (now if only she’d learn how to keep her head still while singing, I might be a tad more positive).

Next up… the one and only Azerbaijan, Slovenia en Norway.

25 Top Youtube Searches of Last Month

posted by on April 22 at 8:41 AM

Via Idolator:

1 Sex Sex 0.132%
2 Lil Wayne Music (Artist) 0.109%
3 Low Music (Artist) 0.100%
4 Chris Brown Music (Artist) 0.091%
5 No Air Music (Song Title) 0.081%
6 Porn Sex 0.078%
7 Family Guy TV 0.077%
8 Soulja Boy Music (Artist) 0.065%
9 Naruto Anime 0.065%
10 Funny Comedy 0.063%
11 Jonas Brothers Music (Artist) 0.063%
12 Usher Music (Artist) 0.053%
13 Hannah Montana Music (Artist) 0.050%
14 Jeff Dunham Comedy 0.050%
15 Miley Cyrus Music (Artist) 0.048%
16 Jabbawockeez TV (Dance Group) 0.047%
17 Touch My Body Music (Song Title) 0.047%
18 Love Song Music (Song Title) 0.045%
19 Fights Sports 0.044%
20 American Idol TV 0.043%
21 Bleeding Love Music (Song Title) 0.042%
22 Mariah Carey Music (Artist) 0.042%
23 With You Music (Song Title) 0.041%
24 Sexy Can I Music (Song Title) 0.039%
25 WWE Sports 0.038%

Huh. Who knew Duluth’s slowcore darlings Low were almost as popular as Lil Wayne?


Monday, April 21, 2008

25 Worst Rappers of All Time

posted by on April 21 at 4:28 PM

Yahoo Music made a list of the 25 worst rappers of all time which starts at #25 with these dudes:

And ends at #1 with this dude:

And in the middle falls Dan Aykroyd And Tom Hanks, Chingy, Nelly, K Fed, Fred Durst, MC Hammer, and 90210’s Brian Austin Green.

See the full list here.

I Missed Last Night’s Rock of Love Reunion Show

posted by on April 21 at 4:12 PM

But I don’t really need to now that this video made it up on YouTube:

“Whatever, Stevie Nicks!”

50 Cent to Alicia Keys: “I don’t give a fuck if you can classically play the piano.”

posted by on April 21 at 3:52 PM

For the three of you following the Alicia Keys drama (her saying shit about gangsta rap and then taking it back… a week before her tour kicks off), 50 Cent is now speaking out against the Grammy-winning pianist. Via eonline.com (of all places):

Alicia recently defended her gansta rap quotes in Blender magazine, but apparently the explanation was not enough for Fiddy, who had some major dissing to do.

“I don’t like Alicia Keys no more…If she thinks what they consider [to be] gangsta music is [made] to bring black people down, then I think my s—t falls into that category. I don’t like people who don’t like me.”

And from the sound of it, the rapper isn’t a fan of her music, either.

“I don’t think that [her] classical s—t is cool. I don’t give a f—k if you can classically play the piano. I haven’t been classically trained, because my upbringing, nobody put me in front of a piano at that time…I could f—king care less about the s—t. So she don’t like the music that embodies the harsh realities because they’re not her realities. She hasn’t been subjected to the same things.”

More Than This?

posted by on April 21 at 3:45 PM

Merchant plus maize?
nathalie_merchant_150.jpg
Heaven? Is this heaven, where we are?

More Merchant

posted by on April 21 at 2:54 PM

Lady600.jpg Natalie showing some African men the amazing things that American girls can do.

What Does it Sound Like When Scarlett Johansson Sings “Falling Down” by Tom Waits?

posted by on April 21 at 2:46 PM

scarlettjo.bmp

Find out at Spinner.com.

Scarlett sounds really bored. But the cameo by David Bowie and the music itself almost makes it worth listening to.

Grizzly Bear’s on Conan Tonight

posted by on April 21 at 2:33 PM

They’re going to debut a new song called “While You Wait for the Others.”

Bruce Springsteen with Tom Morello - “Ghost of Tom Joad”

posted by on April 21 at 2:29 PM

Videos From Record Store Day

posted by on April 21 at 1:58 PM

10-year old Vinnie Blackshadow covering Van Halen’s “Ice Cream Man”:

Aqueduct playing a medley from I Sold Gold:

The Bottom of Sex

posted by on April 21 at 1:45 PM

Full of sex:
355613715_4e83bb0711-1.jpg

Lacking sex:
19198.jpg
Why does the image for Ophelia not have the sex that overflows from the image for Motherland? For an answer we must turn to Diotima in the Symposium. What she says in that short book can be applied here: Ophelia is about the present; Motherland is about the eternal. Sex is nothing else than our access to immortality. We are drawn to Motherland because it is charged with the infinite.

Totally Toronto

posted by on April 21 at 1:39 PM

Canadian hip hop pride. I seem to recall that somebody, somewhere, told me that Toronto is the fourth-biggest city in North America. If only I could remember where I heard that…

Jay Reatard: Class Act

posted by on April 21 at 1:29 PM

From Idolator:


Eh. He’s no Akon. (Full story rounded up in Today’s Music News.)

Record Store Day Was a Success

posted by on April 21 at 1:18 PM

recordstorerecords.JPG

I only made it to one store, my neighborhood Sonic Boom in Ballard, but it was the most fun I’ve had at a record store in awhile—I saw a 10-year old play Kiss, Foreigner, and AC/DC songs, I got free Radiohead and Elvis Costello buttons, I got a free Sub Pop birthday sampler, I got a free pair of Bjork 3-D glasses, and I could’ve eaten a cupcake if I wasn’t already so full from a late breakfast at Vera’s. Then I saw Aqueduct perform without their sampler, but still pull of a pretty good set.

It was a very good day.

In Sonic Boom’s remodeling (which they did to make way for more merch after the Fremont location closed), they made a real stage that that’s built into the wall and lowered down for in-stores. It sits high above the crowd so everyone can see the show—even people in the way back by the magazines and DVDs and stuff.

Here are some photos so you can pretend you were there (video coming soon):

recordstorecakes.JPG

recordstoredayfree.jpg

recordstorevinnie1.JPG

And, should you be wondering if it helped out the stores at all, here’s a quick wrap-up of the day from Sonic Boom’s Nabil Ayers:

National Record Store Day took us all by surprise. We had one of the best sales days in Sonic Boom history and some amazing in-stores and DJ sets by Vinnie Blackshadow (he played at both Sonic Booms that day!), Aqueduct, John Roderick of The Long Winters, Mono in VCF, The Dutchess and The Duke and Moondoggies.

We’re very pleased to announce that Sonic Boom Records is donating almost $2,000 from Record Store Day sales to local music related charities.

Thanks to everyone who helped make Record Store Day great!

Merchant Day

posted by on April 21 at 1:14 PM

merchant03.jpg
Why not? Let’s devote the rest of the day to Natalie Merchant. Let’s adore her for as long as the sun is in the sky.

Mates of State - “Get Better”

posted by on April 21 at 12:59 PM

My love of Mates of State began with Team Boo - a record that’s jubilant and carefree and fun. When Bring It Back came out I was a little disappointed. It wasn’t really carefree of fun at all, it was all grown up. It would seem from their first single off of Re-Arrange Us that Mates aren’t planning on rehashing their old poppy sound on their new reocrd, but they are improving on the matured sound they began with Bring it Back. “Get Better” is uplifting in a morose sort of way. It’s positive, but with a distinct emphasis on negativity: “Everything’s going to get louder, even if it never gets better.” I can imagine this song playing at the end of a bittersweet drama, the sort of scenario where the protagonist lost their lover but saved the world and is walking away alone, stoic and hardened. Though the band is still somewhat searching for the carefree nature they once had (“Forget all your politics for a while”), their angle now is emotionally charged, invoking happy to mask the sad. It’s a good song, but it doesn’t make me want to go out and enjoy the sunshine like Team Boo did. This makes me want to crawl back in bed.

Good God!

posted by on April 21 at 12:55 PM

art_otis.jpg

(Q: Why is Otis Redding dressed up like a cowboy?

A: Ours is not to question Otis Redding.)

Funky 16 Corners has an mp3 up of an entire side of an Otis Redding live LP. Otis is performing at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967, six months before his death.

And Holy Sweet Jesus is it good. I don’t know if I’ve ever heard the man perform live before, but he must’ve been something to see. He’s literally gasping for breath in between songs. He stops the band and makes them replay bits of the song he really likes, and he has what sounds like an epileptic fit at the end of a song and the crowd devours every single droplet of sweat.

There’s even a cover of “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction” that starts out about as lame as any cover of “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction,” but it turns into a jumping, screaming revival that, as near as I can tell, beats the shit out of the original.

He dedicates “Try A Little Tenderness” to “all the girls in the miniskirts,” and he nails “Respect” after he complains about how “That little girl stole my song.”

I can’t think of anybody who does anything like this on stage now. Maybe it’s for the best—maybe it would automatically kill someone dead within a matter of months. But I still wish I could have seen him live before he died.

UPDATED to acknowledge that Otis Redding wrote “Respect.” I don’t know how that escaped me.

2Pac Up Sticks

posted by on April 21 at 12:44 PM

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Tupac Shakur is alive, in a drugstore gaming section. Not so odd. He knew drugs / had game.

Part of me though, is vexed that someone could leave their 2Pac’s Greatest Hits cassette behind while shopping for Pick Up Sticks. I mean, to abandon your Makaveli? Every time you put that tape in, Pac spat flow for you. He gave you the ability to thug. You’re just going to leave him there on the mini checkers?

Another part of me understands completely why the cassette was left there. In “Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z.” Tupac says, “If you live up pick up my shit or I’ll be back doin stick-ups.”

See, these sticks and shit were picked up, the tape was put down. It’s a sign. A flux. Pac doesn’t have to come back now. Someone plays this game. A simple and solemn tribute.

Mother Merchant

posted by on April 21 at 12:39 PM

355613715_4e83bb0711-1.jpg Why must one listen to this album when its cover says everything and more? We know before the needle hits the groove (before we press play) that no tune by Merchant could ever come close to the cosmic power of her pose, her bowl, her lovely knees, and all of those summer leaves. The image will forever amaze me.

The Zip Guns

posted by on April 21 at 11:49 AM

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By sparkrobot.

Tonight in Music: Excepter, the Raconteurs, New Bloods

posted by on April 21 at 11:36 AM

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New Bloods, Flexions, Future Phones, Purple Rhinestone Eagle
(Monsterssori House) New Bloods’ The Secret Life, out last week on Kill Rock Stars, is a wildly promising debut. The Portland trio—Cassia Gammill on bass, Osa Atoe on violin, and Adee Roberson on drums, all sharing vocal duties—draw inspiration from groups like the Raincoats or the Slits, pairing creeping, melancholy violin with dark, basement-rattling bass and drum punk funk. The vocals range from tuneful multipart harmonies to jagged yelps to calm spoken word, often overlapping. At 11 songs and just 23 minutes, their debut is urgent and haunted, pulse quickening and corners turning abruptly, grooves breaking and starting again. Great, evil stuff. Seattle dub punk duo Flexions should loosen things up nicely as openers. ERIC GRANDY

Listen to New Bloods:
“Oh Deadly Nightshade”






Excepter, Walrus Machine, Jeffrey Tayloer
(Rendezvous) As someone who typically views hot, hip bands from New York City with a bit of skepticism, it took me a while to admit that Excepter is actually pretty good. Their new album, Debt Dept. (Paw Tracks), recalls Wolf Eyes’ prime from several years back with its fuzzed-out synths, cracked electronics, and tossed-off vocals. There are moments when their blasé demeanor comes across as forced (and a bit irritating), but there’s also something compelling about much of this music, including the zombie-techno throb of “Kill People” and the doom-laden repetition of “Entrance.” WILL YORK

Excepter - “Sunrise”

The Raconteurs, Birds of Avalon
(Neumo’s) Mr. White or not, I pity the Racounteurs for having to follow Birds of Avalon. Anyone that’s seen BoA, or Paul and Cheetie’s former band Cherry Valance, knows the heat them dueling North Carolina guitars bring. They make melodic, progressive 1970s rock sound so fucking immediate. Obviously then, being “progressive,” BoA do have some serious chops. But their songs are written so clearly, even when piling years of rock history on all at once—which they do—the music doesn’t get bogged down by thickheaded rock cliché. Honestly, it’s kinda shocking how smart they are, and it makes those twentysomething long-hair, bearded “bros” attempting to pull off the same seem so silly. Hmmm, now what’s the average age of a Raconteur?

The Raconteurs - “Salute Your Solution”

Today’s Music News

posted by on April 21 at 10:37 AM

Showbox SODO attendees were lucky - Cat Power suffers vocal, not emotional, breakdown

Only slightly cooler than Limp Bizkit’s Guitar Center auditions - Velvet Revolver seek new singer online

As if the four of them weren’t annoying enough - Fergie to sing Sex And The City movie theme

CDs really fuckin’ blow - More statistics of nebulous origins regarding the death of the music industry

Matador act waves the red cape pt. 1: Trouble from Toronto - Fucked Up bait the public at New York college

Matador act waves the red cape pt. 2: Trouble in Toronto - Jay Reatard show gets destroyed


Sunday, April 20, 2008

Make Your Party Seem More Epic Than it Actually Was

posted by on April 20 at 8:13 PM

Man, Craigslist has everything.

Eurovision Semi Final 1-3

posted by on April 20 at 9:08 AM

We’re kicking off the contest with Montenegro. Eurovision Queens like to believe that Eurovision is one of the reasons why Serbia en Montenegro split back in 2006. When a boyband from Montenegro won the national preselection (over a “qualitatively better” Serbian song) rumours of tactical nationalistic voting arose. Serbia & Montenegro then withdrew from the contest, only to split a month later. Not-Eurovision-Queens would claim that the withdrawal was one of the effects of the growing Serbian and Montenegrin nationalism, but they’re wrong. Obviously.

So now we get two countries for the price of one, and this year Montenegro sends us Stefan Filipovic with Zauvijek Volim Te (“never forget I love you”). Aw… isn’t that sweet.

You’ve got to love the clumsy straightboy dance moves Stefan is pulling off here. He’s hardly the first to manage this at Eurovision, one of funniest clumsy straightboy dance routines was –for me- FYR Macedonia’s Martin Vucic in 2005 (Specifically pay attention to his backing vocalists! Hilarious. And look how excited Martin is to be at Eurovision, you can just see him thinking “Wait till I tell the guys!”). Also a close contender in this category was Malta’s Julie & Ludwig in 2004, just look at Ludwig shake in the chorus!
Anyway, back to Stefan, he seems to have brought along his cousins and they look like they’re at a wedding aching to have a little dance but not yet drunk enough. Come on, this is Eurovision, give this guy something to do! Get him some costume changes or a juggling elephant.

This song is utterly forgettable, but I have a weak spot for Balkan pop/ballads/anything so it will have me (as probably the only person in Western Europe) swaying along.

Second in line is Israel. Hang on a second, Israel’s not in Europe. No, it’s not. That doesn’t matter. Israel sends Boaz with “The Fire in your eyes” . True to Israeli tradition, like everyone else they’ve ever sent before, Boaz sings the song in both English and Hebrew (treat yourself and look at the gorgeous Shiri Maimon in 2005 singing a gorgeous ballad in an even more gorgeous dress). Also true to tradition, they send some serious eyecandy (see Shiri Maimon, again. Can you tell I’m a fan?), and they do the trick with the singer with the androginous voice again (see David D’or in 2004… wait for the unintentionally hilarious moment where he switches from his countertenor voice to his normal speaking voice “Come on, everybody!”).

And now for something completely different: Estonia sends Kreisiraadio (Crazy Radio) with “Leto Svet”. They’re sending one of the more adventurous Eurovision entries, or at least it looks that way. Girls in gold bikinis? Check! Girls waving Estonian and –for some reason German- flags? Check! Weird guys who can’t hold a tune? Check! Eurobeat? Check! Slow-mo Riverdance? Check! Guy pretending to do unspeakable stuff to a piano? Check! Posters of cakes and is that an onion or a bomb? Check! Song sung in Serbo-Croatian in a sure-to-fail attempt to get the balkan vote? Check! This whole thing could be a sketch from The Fast Show. It’s a song and act that followed the “how to make a crazy Eurovision entry”-guidelines to the letter. Unfortunately for them, they’re not the only ones who had that idea this year, and the other idiots are better.

Next up: Moldova, San Marino and… Belgium.