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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Tonight in Music: Why?, No Kids, Daniel Johnston, Braille

posted by on April 17 at 9:00 AM


Why? is playing the Vera Project tonight. That show got plenty of love in this week’s paper—Mark Donuts wrote about the in the music section, and it’s also a Stranger Suggests. From Donuts’s story:

Why? deliver perfect pop for the modern age, throwing fat pitches and nasty curveballs. Of the hundred or so lyrical gems on Alopecia, one of the most arresting is on “The Hollows”: “In Berlin I saw/two men fuck/in a dark corner of a basketball court/just a slight jingle of pocket change pulsing.”

It’s delivered in nasal deadpan over straightforward, palm-muted electric-guitar eighth notes with decidedly pop phrasing.

Read the whole story here. And here’s Grandy’s hard sell in the Suggests:

Why?, Mount Eerie, Julie Doiron, Generifus (Vera Project) In case you missed my 4,000 words on the subject in last week’s issue: I’m totally gay for Phil Elverum of Mount Eerie. Same goes for tonight’s headliner, Why?. Both bands write songs about existential worry and wonder, but while Mount Eerie find solace in the natural world, Why? get nauseated in the Whole Foods parking lot. Their dark, hiphop-inflected lyricism is airtight, telescoping from minute detail to overwhelming dread in the turn of a phrase, and the band’s rhythms and melodies are equally agile. (Vera Project, Seattle Center, 956-8372. 7:30 pm, $9/$8 with club card, all ages.) Eric Grandy

Here’s the video for Why?’s “Song of the Sad Assassin”:

nokidstrio.jpgNo Kids photo by Sarah Cass

Also featured in this week’s music section is Eric Grandy’s story on No Kids and Hot Chip that argues that (contrary to what Sasha Fere-Jones’ claims) indie rock isn’t too white after all. Hot Chip aren’t playing until Tuesday, but No Kids are at Chop Suey tonight with Dirty Projectors.

From Grandy’s story:

No Kids apply R&B producer T-Pain’s signature Auto-Tuned digital sheen to the chorus of “Listen for It/Courtyard Music”—vocals that, the rest of the song proves, Nick Krgovich and Julia Chirka are perfectly capable of nailing unaided—over what sounds like a faint sample of ESG’s “UFO.” “For Halloween” has a sublimated boom-bap beat, and its aerobic vocal runs are pure modern R&B, as is the chorus of “The Beaches All Closed” or any number of other songs on their debut, Come into My House (named after a Queen Latifah single). The plucked strings of “Bluster in the Air” recall nothing so much as Dr. Dre circa The Chronic.

Listen to No Kids:
“The Beaches Are All Closed”

And from U&Cs:

Daniel Johnston, the Dead Science, PWRFL Power
(Neumo’s) Last year at SXSW, Daniel Johnston told a couple jokes. One was about Jews having a pajama party in a concentration camp. The blogs quickly boiled over with rumors that the mentally unstable singer/songwriter is an anti-Semite who thinks the holocaust is hilarious. Chances are, he’s not. He told a joke, a bad joke, but one need only watch the documentary The Devil and Daniel Johnston to know that Johnston’s crazy, that he often does and says weird shit for no reason at all. So while some might attend this show to witness what the unpredictable guy will do next, hoping for a meltdown, hopefully most of the crowd will be there because they actually appreciate the charm of his childlike voice and his peculiar, simplistic, sometimes bittersweet anthems. MEGAN SELING

Here are a couple songs by Daniel Johnston:

“Some Things Last a Long Time”


Lastly, Braille is playing Nectar with Pigeon John and Ohmega Watts. The show is only $10, which will also get you a copy of their new album The IV Edition. Mosi Reeves gave it three stars in this week’s paper:

In the beginning, sparks fly from Braille’s The IV Edition like an incoming air strike. Stomping bass drums from producer Ohmega Watts rattle “Beautiful Humanity” as Braille raps, “Start it like this, son, they can’t shine like this one/Lyrics in my head and I’m about to spit some.” Best of all is “Calculated Risk,” where K-Otix from the Are flips a wheedling teakettle melody straight out of “Public Enemy No. 1” over a droll yet funky bass line. “I want to rock right now, come on!” Braille shouts as the percussion hits hard, driving the song to climax.

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