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Archives for 05/18/2008 - 05/24/2008

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Due to Technical Difficulties

posted by on May 24 at 9:03 PM

there won’t be any more posts from Sasquatch today. There’s absolutely no wifi, it turns out. Which is funny, since we have 12 writers and photographers there.

Worn Out: Sasquatch

posted by on May 24 at 12:51 PM

Some hot fashion at the Gorge so far:

Kyle & Jory

Most excited to see: Presidents of the USA, Beirut

Lindsay

Most excited to see: M.I.A.

Reginald

Most excited to see: The seventh band that plays

Nick & Anthony

Most excited to see: Beirut & David Bazan

Polly & Cy

Most excited to see: The National

It Begins

posted by on May 24 at 11:03 AM

Woke up to SUNNY skies here at the Gorge this morning.

The fuck-yeah-factor is high.

As we were setting up our tent the Breeders were doing their own sound check. You’d think they’d have people, right? Anyhow, they played “Cannon Ball” to a private audience of me and Kelly O. I’m super happy already. It seemed rude to get close, sorry the pic sucks.

Tons more shit to come, doors opened just now.

Welcome to Detroit: Pre-DEMF Ramblings

posted by on May 24 at 10:09 AM

Spirit of Detroit @ DEMF, 5/27/2007Once again I find myself here in Detroit, completely amped for Movement: Detroit’s Electronic Music Festival (DEMF). I didn’t do much plugging for the event this year, because short of my interest in the festival’s “going green”-maybe this year there will actually be some recycling-there wasn’t much to report other than lineup changes.

Even more than with our own Decibel or Mutek, DEMF has been plagued by cashflow issues, organizational issues, and all kinds of general drama, but in the last few years since Detroit-area powerhouse promoters Paxahau took the reins, things have gotten a lot more quiet and predictable. In early years there was desperation over whether each year would be the festival’s last, but now it’s matured to the point where it seems external factors (will gas prices keep people away?) rather than internal politics that will be the event’s downfall (hopefully years away, if ever).

I got into town yesterday and so far things are off to a slow start. There was a big Godfathers of Techno party that had a similarly slow start, despite Juan Atkins, Eddie Fowlkes and Scan 7 on the bill (but I was there during the first half hour, far too early to make a call on how the night went). The official pre-party was headlined by the creator of one of last year’s finest techno albums, Efdemin, but he stayed a little too dubby for my tastes, when all I really wanted to hear was his Chicago house gem “Just a Track.” Ryan Elliott picked up the tempo, but it still wasn’t enough. Downstairs Detroit’s own Guys on Drugs were playing a great evil basement minimal set, but it was too hot, sweaty, and otherwise miserable to put up with the intermittent sound issues. In all it was a bit underwhelming, but for $5 it’s hardly worth much complaint.

Left around three and went to grab some food. A brawl nearly broke out despite the table full of law enforcement officers as the drunks commingled. I ate my hot dogs in peace, then drove back to my hotel with the sounds of Terrence Parker on the radio. Welcome to Detroit indeed.

And now it’s time for the festival. More later.

Tonight’s Old School House Night Cancelled

posted by on May 24 at 8:53 AM

In the column this week I mentioned that house heads would be pleased by tonight’s Old School House Night, down at Sodopop. Well, in a Heisenbergian case of affecting the events I report, the event’s been cancelled because, in the words of Sodopop’s owner Jodi Opitz:

Sodo Pop is a private event space (www.sodopop.com) and does not have a license to sell alcohol. If alcohol is served a banquet permit is obtained for the evening, one of the permit’s contingencies being; THE EVENT WILL NOT BE OPEN TO THE PUBLIC…..and no advertising will be directed to the general public.

It’s understandable that a mention in print would cause some alarm in that case. Too bad the NWTekno posting didn’t make a mention of any such need for secrecy. Oh well. Hopefully the promoters can find themselves a last-minute replacement space (Oseao, Monkey Loft, Hengst?) so people can get to hear what still sounds like a fun lineup (and not to worry promoters, I’m too busy here in Detroit to broadcast the new location if there is one).


Friday, May 23, 2008

Line Out vs. Sasquatch!

posted by on May 23 at 3:14 PM

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If you’re stuck in Seattle this weekend, wishing you were catching the Cure, M.I.A., or the Upright Citizens Brigade (or if you’re going to one or two of the three days and you wanna see what you’re getting yourself into) be sure to visit Line Out for our complete festival coverage.

Starting tomorrow afternoon, this blog will be blowin’ up (kids still say that, right?) with reports from the Gorge—rain or shine. We’ll have exclusive photos, as many music reviews as half a dozen writers can muster, and a bunch of other great stuff (for instance, I plan on stalking Eugene Mirman all weekend… not really… okay, maybe… we’ll see).

And if you are going to Sasquatch, come visit The Stranger booth—we’ll have and endless supply of our Sasquatch guides and other goodies (my goodies, not my goodies).

(For the complete guide to all performers, schedules, maps, and more, visit the Stranger’s Official Sasquatch! Guide)

Pow Pow Pow

posted by on May 23 at 2:37 PM

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With this being my last Line Out post for about a week, with me visiting London & Paris, I definitely wanted to leave everybody with some good italo while I’m gone. Here are two amazing italo classics by one of italo’s greatest artists, Capricorn. The first, being one of my personal favorites, “Pow Pow Pow”, which you can almost always hear every Wednesday at Studio!, while the second is a solid instrumental version of the song “Capricorn”. Both were released in 1980 off of Emergency Records and produced by Claudio Simonetti & Giancarlo Meo, whom also where the minds behind the legendary italo group Easy Going. Good stuff!

Capricorn - Pow Pow Pow
Capricorn - Capricorn (Instrumental)

See you when I get back!

Ratatat - “Mirando”

posted by on May 23 at 2:20 PM

Here’s the video for the new Ratatat song, “Mirando,” (from their forthcoming LP3) that’s making the rounds today:

Is it just me, or does this thing look like it was collaboratively directed by Dan Bordon and Jimmy Joe Roche?

Scarlett Johansson Interviews Debbie Harry

posted by on May 23 at 2:10 PM

As part of Myspace’s Artist on Artist series:


Watch them nervously gab and sip champagne. Grab your own bottle and every time Scarlett plays with her hair, take a drink!

“We thought of ourselves as an experimental band”

posted by on May 23 at 1:29 PM

Last month, ’80s synth pioneers turned pop fromáge specialists, Orchestral Manouvers In The Dark (OMD), released a live CD/DVD of newly recycled material with a title that could be a tagline for Slog, Architecture & Morality & More. With their contemporaries, Pet Shop Boys, Erasure and Depeche Mode still touring and reaping the financial and critical rewards of staying active, OMD’s return to the stage was better late than never. While the idea of performing an entire album, in order, isn’t new, OMD made the perfect choice in performing their third album, Architecture & Morality. Following the experimental self titled debut and slightly more gothic sounding second album, Organization (both released in 1980), Architecture & Morality (1981) has long been a fan favorite. The album strikes a balance between the experimental synth pieces and overt pop songs to collectively represent the bands past and hint at the future.

Like their contemporaries, Joy Division, OMD were inspired by the synth sounds of Kraftwerk and diy punk ethos prevalent in the late 70s. In fact, OMD and Joy Division share many similarities. Both bands broke into the industry on the back of Tony Wilson. OMD’s first single, Electricity, was produced by Martin Hannett, sleeve designed by Peter Saville and released on Factory Records. OMD got the expensive, iconic Saville die-cut sleeve treatment years before New Order’s infamous Blue Monday. The Factory connection continued with what must be the earliest recorded tribute to Ian Curtis, the haunting Statues on Organization, released the same year Curtis died.

A string of progressively tacky pop albums marred what had started as a strange but compelling union of arty synth textures and pop hooks. Their first four albums up to Dazzle Ships (1983), all weave experimental synth tracks with understated melodic pop and all stand up to repeat listens. It wasn’t until the band signed to A&M records in 1984 that the annoying, overproduced po(o)p started to dominate their albums, starting with, ironically enough, Junk Culture. Soon after Junk Culture, the band would be featured on John Hughes soundtracks and playing stadiums. Vocalist/bassist/spastic dancer, Andy McCluskey, had grown tired of OMD being dismissed as a cheesy pop act while the early experimental phase of their career was virtually forgotten (similar story with Talk Talk only in reverse). OMD have been unfairly maligned for years, The Smiths famously chose their simple name as a reaction to the overblown Orchestral Manouvers In The Dark, but with the release of this live show, they hope fans of their pop hits will revisit their more experimental work.

For fans of both the arty and the pop, this concert recording satisfies every need. Obscure album tracks like Romance of the Telescope share space with more well known pop numbers like If You Leave and Enola Gay. The DVD is well produced, sounds fantastic and includes some revealing interviews with the band. Unfortunately, as with all aging ’80s stars, watching them sweat to the oldies can be difficult to say the least. I’d love to see a celebrity version of So You Think You Can Dance featuring Andy McCluskey and Bernard Sumner squaring off.

On second thought, nevermind.

The Hands

posted by on May 23 at 12:37 PM

thehands.jpg

by BrittneyBush.

The Hands are playing Capitol Hill Block Party Saturday July 26.

They sound like this:
“Lies Lies Lies”






Today’s Music News

posted by on May 23 at 12:24 PM

Hip hop stars going to court!: Kanye, Common, and others sued over sample use

Radiohead does something interesting!: Eco-friendly tour secrets

Novelty acts and nostalgia equals record sales!: New Kids on the Block chart with new single

Liberals vs. Conservatives!: Jello Biafra vs. Michael Savage

Amy Winehouse needs rehab!: And is going to Israel to get it

The Other Talent Family

posted by on May 23 at 11:55 AM

It’s a day old, but Stranger columnist Michaelangelo Matos’ most recent installment of “Project X” on Idolator is worth a belated look. In the post, Matos gathers his family, following a Mother’s Day feast at Red Lobster, to evaluate the Billboard Hot 100 Top 10—it’s like the Wire’s jukebox jury, only you might know what the hell they’re talking about, or Arthur’s “Bull Tongue” column, only with no Thurston Moore. In any case, the Matos family’s banter makes me think that, if they were so inclined, they could just start their own music criticism concern (The Matos Weekly? Matosfork?) and they’d probably do pretty well (maybe Miguel could handle ad sales, I don’t know). A sample:

3. Lil Wayne ft. Static Major, “Lollipop” (Cash Money)
Alex: Oh god.
Lorie: [The Supremes’] “Reflections”—that’s what [the beginning] reminds me of.
Alex: “Apple bottom jeans, boots with the fur”: I know this song. I don’t like this, though. Oh! It’s the wrong song. I’m thinking of “Low” [by Flo Rida ft. T-Pain].
Brittany: Is this Lil Wayne?! “Cash Money Records reppin’ for the nine-nine and the 2000!” I like Mannie Fresh better. He was a lot funnier to listen to. What’s that song, “Get Your Roll On”? Lil Wayne was like 12 years old when Cash Money Records came out—that’s what I always think about when I hear him. He was like 12 years old with a kid, and his lonely teardrop.
Lorie: A kid? Wow! I’ve been outdone!
Brittany: Yeah—nobody thought it was biologically possible, but it’s been done, Mom.
Lorie: You know what this reminds me of? Rap.
Alex, Brittany, Michael: It is rap.
Brittany: It’s more like a distant relative of rap. What kind of rap did you listen to, Mom, the Sugarhill Gang?
Lorie: No, I listened to that Superman song.
Michael: You mean “Rapper’s Delight”?
Lorie: Yes!
Brittany: That’s the Sugarhill Gang.
Lorie: Oh.
Michael: Wait—do you mean the song about Superman and Lois Lane, or the one about Supermanning that ho?
Lorie: [confused look]
Michael: OK, never mind.

Eurovision semi 2: recap

posted by on May 23 at 11:40 AM

It’s the second semi-final and already I’m feeling the exhaustion. I really can’t handle that much excitement, I am getting older you know. This time we’re making do with Cornald, the Dutch commentator because Belgian TV is too cheap to show every single Eurovision event this year. Shame on you, VRT. And no I will not press my digital red button, you bastards! I don’t have one of those. And I don’t want one either. Cornald will do just fine, and he immediately welcomes “all the Flemish viewers” as well. Bit cocky, isn’t he.

Continue reading "Eurovision semi 2: recap" »

Does Anyone Else Hear the Cell Phone Ringing in “Rock the Casbah”?

posted by on May 23 at 11:34 AM

“Rock the Casbah” was released in 1982, so I know it’s not really a ringing cell phone, but that little noise that chirps in around the 1:54 mark, just as Joe Strummer sings “the in crowd say it’s cool,” well it sounds just like a cell phone…

I never noticed it until this morning.

The Clash were such a forward thinking band.

“Few Showers”

posted by on May 23 at 11:00 AM

So says meteorological oracle weather.com about Sunday in George, Washington (home of the Gorge). This is how it begins. Come Sunday, I fully expect to be knee deep in mud and hail in what will look like a third world refuge camp (only full of white people). Pray, Zeus, stay your thunderbolts.

weathercheck.jpg

Folklife is Free

posted by on May 23 at 10:45 AM

And starts today. Like in fifteen minutes.

Folklife Festival at Seattle Center runs from today through Monday. 7000 musicians, dancers, visual artists, and venders for you to peruse, take in, and eat by.

Saturday at 7 PM in the Center House Theatre, there will be ghost stories. Ghost stories freak my shit out. No CGI. No special effects make-up for gore. Just a person telling a story, that freaks my shit out.

Sure Sasquatch has R.E.M., the Cure, Modest Mouse, and the Flaming Lips. But does it have:

elephantear.jpg

Cassette Casualities

posted by on May 23 at 10:23 AM

The mixtape - that iconic token of new affections, the pre-Napster method of sharing music, and that basic rite of passage for anyone with a love of music and a dual tape deck –continuously reminds us of its earlier significance by remaining a fixture in the pop culture lexicon. Yes, people can still make playlists and burn CDs for their friends and loved ones, but everyone is at least a little cognizant of the ceremony and dedication that’s been lost with these new formats. The world of mp3s is certainly a convenient and exciting new place, but this new frontier is not without its casualties.

In college, my partner had a mixtape known as The Hour of Power Mix. It was an hour-long tape with 60-second snippets of popular songs. The idea is that listeners were to drink a shot of beer at the beginning of every song. After an hour you’ve ingested 60 shots, or roughly 5 cans of beer. While this particular mixtape certainly didn’t have the same romantic connotations as the mixes that are frequently celebrated in blogs or Promise Ring songs, it definitely fulfilled its role as a rite of passage. I can only assume that thousands of college students out there had Hour of Power mixtapes.

But for the life of me, I can’t figure out how to make an Hour of Power mp3 playlist on my computer. It doesn’t appear to be possible without downloading recording software or sitting by iTunes to skip ahead to another song every 60 seconds. The future is truly a cold, dead place. I want my dual tape deck back.

New Weezer Video - “Pork and Beans”

posted by on May 23 at 9:56 AM

Is that Tay Zonday? Is that KFed? Is that CHRIS CROCKER!?

Yes and yes and yes.

“Pork and Beans” stars the stars of YouTube.

Porkchop sammiches!

Tonight in Music: Treasure Fingers, Holy Ghost Revival, the Presets, Thrice, Rain Fest

posted by on May 23 at 9:30 AM

treasurefingers.jpg

Fucking Rad, Treasure Fingers, Kill the Noise, Recess vs. Levi Clark
(Chop Suey) Grilling up backyard-barbecue dance-pawty beats with his laptop on a blender bender, Atlanta-based Ashley “Treasure Fingers” Jones has pushed mad air with tangy synth-funk bangers over the past 365. Also a member of distended drum ‘n’ bass trio Evol Intent, Jones uses Treasure Fingers to concentrate on partner skate-friendly grooves and Big Room blips for the honey dips, which has landed him a spot alongside A-Trak and Nick Catchdubs on the Fool’s Gold Records roster. Like Reebok Pumps, New York’s Kill the Noise keep it tight while you get loose, adding to the glitchy growl and tecktonik melodic shifts. Also calling you to strike a pose will be the achy breakbeat heartz of Recess vs. Levi Clark, Ryle, Sir Kutz, Grym vs. Flatlyne, and more. TONY WARE

Hear Treasure Fingers here.

Holy Ghost Revival - “Embrace the Hate”
Holy Ghost Revival, the Greatest Hits, the Spurts, Ben Funkhouser
(King Cobra) Hey, did that lineup say Ben Funkhouser—aka that 16-year-old kid who books the Fusion Cafe, aka the world’s biggest superfan? Where is he going to pop up next, on Entertainment Tonight? Anyhow, this show is a good-bye blowout for electric glam-rockers Holy Ghost Revival. Those longhairs are moving to Great Britain for six months to drum up a crowd at the behest of their European major label, 1965. This is me sobbing in the corner reminiscing over a glass of whiskey: “Remember when [lead singer] Conor Kiley was hanging from the Comet’s light fixture and it was falling and so he swung into the crowd and almost kicked me in the face?” I’m gonna miss those guys. ARI SPOOL
The Presets - “My People”
The Presets, Walter Meego, DJs Fucking In the Streets and Figo
(Nectar) Australian duo the Presets may be the most perplexing of Modular’s stable of new-wave revivalists. While labelmates Cut Copy crank out dopey electro-pop jams, the Presets aim for more profound insights, and sing about love and relationships with pithy intellect. Unfortunately, their new album, Apocalypso, doesn’t live up to its great title, and doesn’t have as many musical ideas as Cut Copy’s wonderfully goofy In Ghost Colours. But let’s focus on the positive: The Presets know how to play the synth arpeggio-and-four-four gimmicks that typify this rapidly gentrifying genre. Some of the tracks, particularly “Kicking and Screaming,” will make your body move as long as you don’t think about it too much. MOSI REEVES
Thrice - “Digital Sea”
Thrice, Circa Survive, Pelican (Showbox Sodo) Thrice shook some of the stigma of their early pop/hardcore crossover albums during their major-label stint, and continue to do so with the ambitious four-volume Alchemy Index. Thrice make a point of displaying their varied inspirations by encompassing noisy metal, electronic-infused post-rock, and fire-and-brimstone folk. Perhaps that’s part of the reason they’ve invited Pelican along on this tour—these instrumental darlings of the underground art-metal community lend an air of credibility to the bill. On their end, Pelican are provided with the opportunity to bring their epic compositions to an audience beyond bearded vinyl collectors. It’s a mutually beneficial scenario: Pelican taps into Thrice’s mainstream success, and the headliner garners some of the opener’s cult status. BRIAN COOK
Himsa - “Unleash Carnage”
Rain Fest
(Viaduct) If four-part harmonies, crowded campgrounds, and vintage rockers like R.E.M. and the Cure isn’t the scene you’re looking for this weekend, consider another option: Rain Fest, the hardcore/metal music festival that’s invading Tacoma’s all-ages venue the Viaduct from Friday through Sunday. Tickets are about $45 cheaper per day than that other festival, you don’t have to sleep in a grass-covered parking lot, and with over 50 artists spread over the weekend there are plenty of chances to see something exciting. A day-to-day schedule and ticket information can be found on Line Out (www.thestranger.com/lineout). Even if you do hope to make it over to Sasquatch! starting Saturday, tonight’s lineup would be a perfect preparty with performances from Akimbo, Himsa, and the sadly soon-to-be-defunct Sinking Ships. MEGAN SELING

Click here for that Rain Fest line-up.

There’s plenty more to be found in our online music listings.


Thursday, May 22, 2008

Phase3 at Rendezvous Jewel Box

posted by on May 22 at 5:22 PM

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Phase3 is a trio that melds ambient noise into a psychedelic landscape. (Gear, gear, gear.) 7:30 PM, $5.

In two hours.

They play an early show tonight at the Rendezvous in the Jewel Box Theatre.

Phase3 is a DJ who runs live visuals and two others who play analog synths, run loopers, a Kaoss pad, and have an array of beautiful and ear combing effects.

Tonight there will be two projectors and a hazer. A hazer, or haze generator as it is called, is like a fog machine. It produces droplets that suspend in the air and make light beams visible. The projector will be behind the band facing out, so images will appear to float like Princess Leia in her “help me Obi-Won” message.

Made Me a Mixtape

posted by on May 22 at 4:26 PM

I just got a promo copy of Vagrant’s upcoming collection of the Anniversary’s rarities and b-sides, The Devil on Our Side, due out June 24th. Hell yes! Back before file-sharing was totally ubiquitous and mp3s killed the mixtapes etc, when I was still mostly getting my b-sides on the literal back sides of 7”s, I put at least a couple of these Anniversary tracks on damn near every mixtape I made for a couple years there. “Alright For Now,” “Alone in Debtford,” “Vasil & Bluey,” and “To Never Die Young” were particular favorites. It was a shame when the band got all hippie and then broke up. But hey! Mixtapes! Also, there’s some unheard/unreleased songs on here that I haven’t yet listened to thoroughly enough to review, although so far it seems like some late period Of Montreal indie funk, only less fanciful and more laconic.

R. Kelly Trial Update: Midgets and the Wayans Brothers

posted by on May 22 at 3:04 PM

From “The Kelly Chronicles,” the Chicago Sun Times R. Kelly trial blog:

The defense’s cross examination of the alleged victim’s best friend, Simha Jamison, didn’t seem to do Kelly much good. But it did provide a handful of memorable moments.

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Defense attorney Sam Adam Jr. did manage to get Jamison to agree that there was nothing wrong in Kelly giving the alleged victim cash on a series of occasions. Jamison herself said Kelly had given her $100 cash for her birthday.

But in a series of lighter moments, Jamison’s answers provoked laughter from just about everyone in the courtroom.

Adam, in an attempt to suggest that Kelly’s head could have been superimposed onto somebody else’s body in the sex tape, asked Jamison whether she had seen the Wayans brothers’ movie “Little Man.”

He said, “They put the head of Marlon Wayans on a midget and it looked real, didn’t it?”

But, to widespead laughter, Jamison replied, “Not really!”

A few minutes later, Adam showed Jamison a picture of Kelly’s back, asking her whether she recognized it. She said she did not. When Adam then asked if she recognised Kelly’s back on the sex tape, she replied, “I didn’t recognize it as being his back, but his head was attached to it!”

Adam then asked her if she could see the mole on Kelly’s back in the photo.

“It doesn’t look like a mole,” she said, “A cancerous mole, maybe.”

Even Kelly laughed at that.


image by NY Magazine. thanks to Schork for the tip

Tonight in Music: There’s More!

posted by on May 22 at 2:28 PM

Maybe anti-homosexual, ex-presidential candidates aren’t your jam? Worry not, there are more show happening tonight.

Like…

Steel Tigers of Death at King Cobra!
Starfucker and the Hugs at Club Pop at Chop Suey!
Past Lives at the Rendezvous!

pastliveslive.jpgPast Lives photo by James Bertram

Find more in our online music listings.

Maps and Atlases - “You and Me and the Mountain”

posted by on May 22 at 2:24 PM

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Chicago quartet Maps and Atlases have just put the title track from their upcoming EP You and Me and the Mountain on their Myspace. They play a unique blend of math rock and freak folk, their songs finding a common ground between intimate and complicated. I had the pleasure of seeing them play Chop Suey last year for a crowd of about ten and each of the members skills were inspiring (almost to the point of personal frustration). It was one of those moments where you realize, “That’s amazing… I’ll never be able to do that.” Listen to tracks from their previous EP for some serious guitar work. They play next Friday, May 30th at Neumos with Foals.

Today’s Music News

posted by on May 22 at 1:59 PM

Everyone needs a Kiedis break every now and then: Red Hot Chili Peppers on hiatus

So stoked for next season’s Celebrity Rehab: Steve Tyler checks himself into Dr. Drew’s clinic

Still wrapping my head around this one: Sonic Youth Starbucks compilation CD news

Blessed and cursed: Christian singer’s adopted daughter dies in car accident

Cursed and Cursed: Canadian hardcore band’s bad luck and break up

For any other Victim’s Family and Jello Biafra fans out there: Biafra debuts new band at 50th birthday bash

The Saturday Knights on Stereogum- Download “Dog Park” For FREE

posted by on May 22 at 11:31 AM

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Bust it. Mingle Mania begins as Stereogum has TSK’s jam “Dog Park” up for your personal perusal. The Knights’ full-length (out 6/24- CD Release @ Nectar 6/27 w/ Budos Band) is really, reeeallly good- take notice.

Monitor Minotaur: Know What You Need

posted by on May 22 at 11:06 AM

minotaur.jpgMonitoring is a key component to any live music. Musicians and DJ’s need to be able to hear themselves. They also need to be able to hear the other people onstage they are playing with. Can the singer hear their voice over the guitar player’s pummeling Marshall half stack? That’s when two songs into a set, you hear a plea from the stage to the sound engineer, “Can you turn me up in the monitors?”

Getting that proper mix in the monitors can be a monumental struggle. Not many bands get the hour and a half long Radiohead sound check. If you are not the headliner, normally you just get a quick “line check” before your set. The band that played before you is rushing to get their stuff off the stage. You are rushing to get set up. Not much time to dial in levels you need. After the line check, you realize you can’t hear anything. But the set needs to start because you took too long getting set up.

Good sound engineers are loved and revered because they can dial in a monitor mix quickly. But levels onstage can change. It’s not an exact science.

Drummers have special monitoring needs. Often, they need to be able to hear a little bit of everything. If the band uses loops or a drum machine, the drummer absolutely needs to be able to hear them. Trying to play to a drum machine or a loop you can’t hear is like a blind person trying to drive through an obstacle course.

U.S.E.’s drummer Jon E. Rock is here today to tell us how he does his monitors. He’s as solid and tight as they come. He’s tizzight:

Mr. Rock, you guys use some drum machines. How do you make sure you can hear everything?
Rock: We route a stand-alone monitor to me from an independent p.a. system we bring along. It only sends our drum machine signal to me. This serves as both a safeguard in case the drum levels have changed since sound check, as well as being a click track for me to play along to. I have the regular stage monitor on one side, and my drum machine “slave monitor” on the other. Monitor sounds a lot like minotaur, so I will refer to them as such from now on.

Have you ever tried the ‘in-ear’ monitors?
I would love to try in-ears out. I hear that Shure makes the best but I guess that’s like saying Google is the best search engine, or that Top Ramen is better than Maruchan.

buttkicker.jpgCan you give all the drummers out there any monitoring advice?
Know what you need. Knowing what you need is important. If you just need a click track you can use the quazi-superfluous set up that I have, or employ the use of a Buttkicker. It is some type of woofer that attaches to the bottom of the drum throne and hits your boys with low frequency waves. I hear it makes you impotent though. But if you just want over all sound, in-ears are a great investment, especially if you do the Guitar Center “no payments ‘til we suck out your sole” program. (Whispers: shop at American Music.)

Quiet, Please

posted by on May 22 at 10:30 AM

I’m writing a little something about the upcoming Radio Slave / Quiet Village show at Nectar on Wednesday, June 4th—it should be a stellar show—so I visit Quiet Village’s website to get some basic information out of the way when I’m confronted by one of my biggest, most enduring internet peeves, one that I can’t even believe still happens on websites that aren’t personal homepages about cats (and myspace, same dif): automatically playing music. Is there anyone who actually appreciates this? Sure, it won’t actively bother the people who have their volume muted (but they won’t hear it, either), but if you’re someone who listens to music on your computer while you browse the internet—you know, the type of person who might be visiting the sites of recording artists—then it’s massively annoying. Even if you might otherwise enjoy the automated music, it inevitably clashes with whatever you’ve, you know, chosen to listen to. Yeah, it only takes a second to find the widget to turn the shit off, but for that moment, you’re aurally violated by some awful chance trainwrecking. Ugh. Shit is sooo 1.0. Quiet Village (and everyone else), please.

[/Andy Rooney]

XL to Release Be Your Own Pet’s “Violent” Material

posted by on May 22 at 10:10 AM

Universal took three songs off Be Your Own Pet’s latest record Get Awkward before releasing it in the US early this year. The promo copies had already gone out, but the final pressing lacked “Blow Yr Mind,” “Black Hole,” and “Becky” due to “violent” lyrics like “We’ll wait with knives after class!” and “Eating pizza is really great / So is destroying everything you hate.”

beyourpetdamaged.jpg

According to punknews.org, XL will release the three songs on June 3 as a digital single and a double 7”.

Proceed with caution, those songs might make you do crazy things. If My Chemical Romance can be held responsible for a young girl’s suicide, clearly Be Your Own Pet can cause a disturbing upsurge in pizza eating.

Lords of the North at King Cobra

posted by on May 22 at 9:55 AM

This one is begging for a hilarious caption, but I can’t think of one. Maybe you can.

lonbighead.jpg

by &y.

Tonight in Music: The Bad Plus and Mike Huckabee? Really? Yes.

posted by on May 22 at 9:50 AM

The Score has a few picks for you tonight including the Bad Plus at the Tractor:

The Bad Plus - “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (Live)
The Bad Plus Any decent jazz musician can cover a pop song. Yet the Bad Plus do more than just pick interesting tunes such as “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” Rush’s “Tom Sawyer,” and “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” by Tears for Fears. Pianist David King and his cohort cover not only songs but the recording themselves, riffing on the tempos and textures ingrained in anyone who has heard the originals. Tractor Tavern, 5213 Ballard Ave NW, 789-3599, 8:30 pm, $25/$27. CHRISTOPHER DELAURENTI

mikehuckabee.bmpAP Photo/Tom Uhlman

Rockers, Suits & The Kids Jam: Mike Huckabee, Alan White, Bob Tomberg, Reek Havok, Shelly Tomberg, DJ Dave Airborne (Old Fire House) Old Fire House Teen Center, you are breaking my fucking heart! I can’t imagine what you hope to achieve for the kids you serve by hosting recent presidential candidate Mike “I don’t like gays, immigrants, non-Christians, reproductive rights, sex education, or evolution, but I do ROCK” Huckabee for a jam sesh, but if I were still a disaffected teenager living in Redmond, I would be out front protesting this lame, archconservative ass-hat—not rocking out with him inside. What’s next for the kids, a convenient military-recruitment station on-site? Evangelical prayer groups? In the endless, boring flatscape of suburbia, the OFH used to be a lone glimmer of punk cool, DIY ethics, and, well, hope. If it’s going to host shit like this, it might as well be another shopping mall. ERIC GRANDY

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A Bit More on Lou Pearlman

posted by on May 21 at 3:26 PM

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Lou Pearlman went to jail and, despite what we all figured, it wasn’t for pedophilia. Brian linked earlier to an article about the arrest of the Backstreet Boys/N*Sync creator for swindling $300 million from investors through a bogus airline company. The judge offered to take a month off of his 300 month sentence for every million dollars he paid back to investors, though his plan for making money rests solely in his new boy band, US5:

That was your big plan to make money? While you’re at it, remember to invest in Microsoft stocks and buy lots of bottled water and canned food for Y2K. Have fun in prison, Lou. No longer will you poison the music industry with your love of dancing prettyboys.

Hallucination City

posted by on May 21 at 3:25 PM

Did anybody out there happen to attend—or participate in—Glenn Branca’s symphony for 100 electric guitars at the Olympic Sculpture Park? Did you take pictures? If so, drop me a line.

Joe Bataan - Theme From The Men

posted by on May 21 at 2:46 PM

joe-bataan.jpg

When it comes to latin influenced disco, Joe Bataan, is definitely one of the early pioneers. That being said, it took me personally a while to get into some of his music, probably because I think I got off to the wrong foot by first being introduced to one of his popular singles, “Rap-O Clap-O”, which didn’t really do it for me. However as I’ve been listing to more and more of his releases, I’m actually finding that as a whole, Bataan’s music is pretty amazing, especially when he moved to Salsoul Records during the mid to late 1970’s. One of the tracks that I cam across recently was his cover version of Isaac Hayes’ 1972 instrumental cut “Theme From The Men”, which served as the B-Side track to his heavily popular Theme From “Shaft” single. Bataan, like most of his tracks, puts a nice latin flavored groove to the epic original. Overall, a solid effort from the man who really helped define the sound of latin influenced disco and dance music during the 1970’s.

Download Joe Bataan’s cover of Isaac Hayes’ 1972 track, Theme From The Men by going here.

The Male Yoko Ono: Yoko Erectus

posted by on May 21 at 1:15 PM

yokoerectus.jpgThe male Yoko is a version of early Homo Erectus man still walking among us. 1.8 million years ago, Homo Habilis began evolving and developing. Eyeball ridges formed. They were taller and thinner, and their spines got straighter. They made fire. They used bone and rocks to chip away flint for cutting and scraping. The Homo Erectus tools included wooden spears.

Then they got a desk job and their girlfriend started singing in a band.

Yoko Erectus Man was supportive at first. His mate was happy and fulfilling her artistic dream. On the night of her band’s first show Yoko Erectus Man carries in gear, helps set up, and supplies drinks for all. Yoko Erectus is drenched in expensive Italian cologne. Scent is important here in the wild, and all there must know she is his. Dominance must be established.

The set begins and Yoko Erectus sees other males (rivals) casting their eyes at his girlfriend’s bottom. She is in shape from her gym membership. She also has hips that subconsciously tell all the males in the room her body is well suited for childbirth. She sings beautifully. Her voice carries around the room and people are taken by her.

Yoko Erectus doesn’t like what’s going on one bit. He paces the back of the room to study who’s looking at his woman. He orders tequila and flashes money to as many people as possible.

The set ends and Yoko Erectus is quickly onstage to load gear off and show other males that he is with her. Onstage, more money is flashed and he makes a fake important call on his iPhone. Offstage, he tells his girlfriend he has to get up early and they can’t stay. Yoko Erectus has her out of the club within fifteen minutes. There is no conversation on the way home.

1.8 million years ago, Yoko Erectus Man would have clubbed her.

You’re Misinterpreting Debauchery as Fun

posted by on May 21 at 12:59 PM

So for the past week or so, I have been falling asleep every night reading Mike Edison’s memoir I Have Fun Everywhere I Go. He’s reading tonight at the Sunset.

Let me summarize and complain a bit for ya.

Here’s a brief rundown of his life: grew up smart and anti-establishment in Jersey, moved to NYC where he dropped out of Columbia got a job writing porno paperbacks instead, ran around the country pissing people off in a few different ways (a hardcore band, an anti-Reagan Merry Pranksters analogue), became the editor of a pro-wrestling magazine, moved to Spain, did a bunch of crank, joined another couple of bands no one’s ever heard of, came back to New York and became the publisher of High Times magazine. Other stuff might happen to him—I’m not done with the book yet.

Here are the problems I have with this book:

1) Edison seems pretty smart, but he is using the most annoying memoir format ever—starting off every chapter with a short paragraph of where we’re gonna be in his life by the end of the chapter. This really bugs me, especially because it seems like that’s the only trick up his sleeve. For a long-time journalist and writer, he should know better than to recycle so hard.

2) It kind of seems like, at this point in the book, like the pinnacle of his life was being the one to tell High Times to put Ozzy Osbourne on the cover, and then calling Page Six and making a big deal about how tons of pot was gone after the photoshoot, which in turn got him invited on a lot of radio shows. Edison loves attention, and he knows that debauchery is the way to do it, but beyond that, he doesn’t seem to have any philosophies, or life-goals, or any redeeming qualities.

3) He’s really proud of opening for the Ramones in ‘92. That’s not really cutting edge, dude.

4) There is a really long part, with illustrations, of how you should manage people like they are monkeys. Surprise, surprise, his employees at High Times grow to hate him.

5) The worst offense, really, is that this is a gonzo memoir re-packaged into a firm structure. He had a crazy life, yes, but he writes like a librarian. It’s like when bad bar-rock bands repackage awesome bands like Led Zeppelin and whatever into 3 minute, verse-chorus-verse, yarl songs. This is a bar-book.

However, if you are totally into stories about strippers in New Orleans getting it on in cheap hotel rooms, or cokehead buddies that fly everyone to Vegas to marry off two people that don’t know each other, or you want to find out this guy’s philosophy on women (they should be more than just hotties!), it will be an entertaining read.

An aside, sort of: Paul Constant also gave me the cd companion to the book. His new band is called Mike Edison and the Rocket Train Delta Science Arkestra.

Here’s the picture from the inside flap:
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Should I listen to it? I can’t decide.

The States of Perfection

posted by on May 21 at 12:49 PM

In 1990, the thriving mind of hiphop critiques materialism…

“Funky Dividends” is hiphop’s response to Gwen Guthrie’s “Ain’t Nothin’ Goin’ On But The Rent.”

Concert Poster Art Show

posted by on May 21 at 12:21 PM

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By JeanineAnderson.

That Say Hi poster looks cute.

Today’s Music News

posted by on May 21 at 12:14 PM

Congrats, boys: Death Cab debuts at number one on Billboard

More Brazil, less Brothers Grimm please: Tom Waits to play the devil in new Gilliam film

Boy bands? Frauds?: Manager Lou Pearlman gets 25 years in prison

Get It On: Turbonegro’s Euroboy recovering from cancer

Double spin-off: Sharon Osbourne to host new Rock of Love show

My Chemical Romance Fans March Against the Media

posted by on May 21 at 11:46 AM

True.

According to punknews.org, London My Chemical Romance fans are going to march in protest “against the depiction of the band in the media” after Telegraph blamed the band for the recent suicide of a 13-year-old fan.

Fans of My Chemical Romance have unveiled plans to march across London in protest against the depiction of the band in the media. The march, to be held on May 31, will begin at Hyde Park’s West Pond and end outside the offices of The Daily Mail. The protest stems from the newspaper’s callous attempt to shift blame to the band in the tragic suicide of 13-year old Hannah Bond.

Eurovision Semi 1

posted by on May 21 at 10:01 AM

Eurovision night, highlight of the year. Thanks to the ever-expanding contest, I now have three highlights in my year. Thank you, Europe!

A far too long review behind the jump.

Continue reading "Eurovision Semi 1" »

Tonight in Music: Blowfly, ANTiSEEN

posted by on May 21 at 8:36 AM

Blowfly - “Shake Your Thang”
Blowfly, ANTiSEEN, Three Legged Dog, KingDRO
(Funhouse) Whose idea was it to pair Blowfly—the self-proclaimed “original dirty rapper” and “world’s baddest nigga”—with Southern white-trash punks ANTiSEEN? Whoever it was, he deserves a raise. While he is a respected soul songwriter under his given name, Clarence Reid, Blowfly is nonetheless responsible for some of the filthiest, funniest, R-rated funk ever laid to wax. His current band includes ex-Fishbone bassist Norwood Fisher, and his most recent album, 2006’s Punk Rock Party (Alternative Tentacles), includes “charming” remakes of songs by Devo (“Suck It”), the Clash (“Should I Fuck This Big Fat Ho?”), and others. ANTiSEEN has done some unlikely covers themselves over the years (Curtis Mayfield? Roky Erikson?), but they’re better known for singer Jeff Clayton’s reckless, self-bloodying stage antics. WILL YORK
ANTiSEEN - “Guns Ablazin’”

Find more music listings in our calendar.


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

About That Nirvana Reunion

posted by on May 20 at 9:41 PM

This from comments in Kelly O’s post:

Sorry, nay-sayers, it’s 100% true. Courtney approached Pat, Pat talked Krist and Dave into it with some help from me and Bruce. Yes, it is a coup, yes it’s happening in Redmond, yes it’s happening this Summer. The Whigs will be in the supporting slot and Steven Jesse Bernstein will be headlining the 2nd stage. Be sure not to miss the Dickless and Gits reunion performances.

Yrs,
Jon

* Update. Statement from Sub Pop:

It won’t be Pat on guitar, it’s going to be Jimi Hendrix.

Sexy, Sexy Vegetarian

posted by on May 20 at 6:08 PM

A bunch of rockstars are nominated for PETA2’s “Sexiest Vegetarian 2008.” The list of men is about three times as long as the list of women. Is it just because there are fewer female vegetarians? Or are female vegetarians uglier than male vegetarians?

Whatever. Here’s a sample of who’s up for the crown (featuring some local folks—way to be sexy, Seattle):

Women
Carrie Underwood
Chrissie Hynde
Emmylou Harris
Erykah Badu
Fiona Apple
Joan Jett
Tina Trachtenburg (Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players)

Men
André 3000
Andy Hurley (Fall Out Boy)
Anthony Kiedis (Red Hot Chili Peppers)
Ben Lee
Chris Martin (Coldplay)
Chris Walla (Death Cab For Cutie)
Doug Martsch (Built to Spill)
GZA (The Wu-Tang Clan)
Ian MacKaye (Fugazi)
Jason Clark (Jaguar Love)
Johnny Whitney (Jaguar Love)
Nick Zinner (Yeah Yeah Yeahs)
Prince
Rivers Cuomo (Weezer)
Rob Zombie
RZA
Stuart Murdoch (Belle and Sebastian)
Ted Leo (The Pharmacists)

See the full list and vote at peta2.com. Or don’t.

(ht punknews.org)

Joose Is The Bastard

posted by on May 20 at 5:44 PM

Ignoring the prevailing conventional wisdom here on LineOut, I took my maiden voyage on the sugary seas of Joose this weekend. Having salvaged a couple of dollars in change from the floor of my van, Joose promised the most booze bang for the buck, and seemed the most appropriate choice of malt liquor for earnings garnered from the moldy upholstery of a band van. The verdict: this is not a beverage to fuck around with. The resulting hangover was crippling. My pee was fluorescent. And according to the call log on my phone, I felt inclined to give my landlord a ring at an undignified hour while under Joose’s alcohol/taurine/caffeine/sugar spell. Oops.

The experience did have one positive outcome: it prompted the drunken epiphany that Bay Area art-sludge behemoth Man Is The Bastard might be one of the most fascinating contributors to the ‘90s underground extreme music community. I credit the combination of cheap alcohol and caffeine for unlocking the mystery of the Bastard. While I’ve enjoyed the bass guitar-driven power-violence group for well over a decade, I found a new appreciation for their unique punk/jazz/noise hybrid after one of their tracks popped up on my iPod during the late-night Joose-fueled walk home from a friend’s barbecue. The odd time signatures, low-end rumble, bellowed vocals, and occasional bouts of fret board acrobatics seem perfectly geared towards this particular breed of intoxication. No wonder the band had such a prominent presence in the 924 Gilman gutter punk scene of the previous decade: I’m sure a good chunk of their audience was balancing a similar booze and speed buzz.

With my interest in the band rekindled, I did a quick online video search and found a trailer for a Man Is The Bastard documentary. It’s at least two years old, and I haven’t had any luck tracking down any updates on the project.

If anyone has any knowledge regarding the status of the film, I’d love a heads up. And if anyone saw me vigorously air-drumming as I stumbled up East John late Sunday night, please don’t judge me.

Mucho Macho Hump Music

posted by on May 20 at 2:16 PM

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One of my favorite cuts of all-time has to be the very hard-to-find erotic disco gem “Mucho Macho” by Macho. Not only is this track hard to find physically, however finding information on this track might even be harder to locate. I haven’t been able to hunt down an original copy of the track, however, the song has been released recently as part of BGP RecordsLiving In The Streets 2 compilation as well as being re-edited by prins Thomas’s amazing Major Swelling record. However, one thing is for sure, if it was produced by Macho’s Mauro Malavasi then you understand why the track is so great.

Keep in mind as some great soundtrack music for your upcoming HUMP video submissions!

Macho - Mucho Macho

Finding Herb in a Dumpster

posted by on May 20 at 1:38 PM

Herb Alpert is playing two sold out shows at Jazz Alley tonight and tomorrow. It was a beautiful sunny day like today, probably 7 years ago, when I acquired my first Herb Alpert record. I was at a 2pm Saturday show at the old Paradox on University seeing Zao and a then unknown 3 Inches of Blood. The singer from one of the bands (I can’t remember which) excitedly informed the audience, “There’s a whole dumpster full of vinyl down the street behind the Safeway!” After the show several of us went to check it out, and sure enough, there was a dumpster, chained shut, filled top to bottom with thousands of records. The chains were loose on one corner, enough to grab a couple hundred old records and throw them in the back of my buddy’s car. Most of them were garbage, but among our stash I found this gem:

herb.jpg

Those smooth horns, wafting Latin rhythms… it was, and still is the perfect soundtrack to a lazy summer afternoon. Other than my son, Clarence, it remains the best thing I have ever found in a dumpster.

Ben Gibbard is Not a Creep

posted by on May 20 at 1:29 PM

SqtchBenGibbard.jpg

When interviewing Ben Gibbard for this week’s Sasquatch guide, I asked him about the new single “I Will Possess Your Heart,” which is probably the creepiest song the band has released to date. It’s not autobiographical, he says (thank goodness), but he did worry that putting a song like that out into the world would backfire.

So there’s been a lot of press leading up to the release of Narrow Stairs, interviews hinting that it’s more experimental, a different vibe, than any other Death Cab record, and then you release this eight-and-a-half-minute single, “I Will Possess Your Heart,” which is a really great but really eerie song.

Yeah, it kind of is. I’ll be the first to admit that I was a little self-conscious about putting a song like that into the world. I was talking to a friend about the authority singers have to sing certain types of songs—when Bruce Springsteen writes a song about small-town America or whatever, it’s believable even though Bruce Springsteen is a multimillionaire who hasn’t had to keep a day job since 1974. If I write a song like that, it comes off as posturing. So with “I Will Possess Your Heart,” I wanted it to come off as being creepy. I have dark moments just like everyone else, but people think of me differently. I worried people may not accept a song with such a creepy, menacing sentiment from me.

Or would you worry that the opposite became true and that they would believe it, therefore thinking you were creepy?

I wouldn’t necessarily mind being perceived as creepy by some people.

Read the interview, as it appeared in the paper, here. While we’re on the subject, I also wanted to share a tidbit that didn’t make it in to print, where he addresses the new crop of fans and the reluctance to play old material (no matter how much you might beg).

As you wrote in that essay you penned for Paste, you were one of the last bands to come along before the internet explosion. You had some time to hone in on what you wanted to do as a band and experiment a little bit in the early years. So it’s coming full circle, now you’re on a major label and you can still do that (ex: a nine minute single). I think it just goes to show you did it right.

Well thanks for saying that. I think every band has to make decisions that are based in the context in which they’re currently existing. I’m very happy with how we’ve been able to build over the years, and we’ve been very fortunate that every record has done better than the one before it. It’s been reinvigorating throughout the years to have new people come to the band every album. It’s weird that Plans, being our fifth record, is our first record for half a million people. That’s wild!

Are you finding that kids are going back into the back catalog at all? Are you privy to any of that information?

The only feedback I get is when we’re playing shows. I think we can dig into “the hits” from each record. Even though “Photobooth” was on an EP people know “Photobooth” because of the internet. But if we dip into “Fake Frowns” from the first record people look at each other and shrug.

Crickets.

Yeah, exactly. So we try to make an effort to span the catalog as much as possible but there’s always the guy who says “Dude, I wish you’d play more from Something About Airplanes!” Yeah, I know you do, but the other 4,900 people do not feel the same way. It’s a bummer to me that we can’t spend six hours playing every record but it’s impossible…

Is it? Would you want to play a six-hour show of songs you wrote in 1998? Is it really a bummer, Ben?

(Laughs) It’s really not, but I was talking to one of our road guys today when I got to the hotel and he was commenting that he read some review about the set we played in London and someone was super pissed that we only played one song from We Have the Facts. I get it, I like that record too, but we’re not dipping into “No Joy in Mudville” when we have a newer song that fits that same mood and it’s going to keep the crowd with us for more of the show. We can’t do it.”

So don’t expect “Fake Frowns” or “No Joy in Mudville” at Sasquatch, okay? Don’t even ask for it.

And for the record, I did ask him for Jim from The Office’s phone number (they’re supposedly buddies), but he declined, recognizing that Jim from The Office might not appreciate that very much. See? A perfect gentleman. Not a creep at all.

Death Cab for Cutie play Sasquatch! Mainstage Sunday at 7:15 pm. Illustration by Kathryn Rathke.

Like Muxtape, Only on Cassette

posted by on May 20 at 12:25 PM

I’m fascinated with Cassette From My Ex. It’s a blog where people—a lot of writers and musicians, yes, but then there are some actual human beings, too—describe the mix tapes that were given to them by then-lovers who are now-exes. And then you can actually listen to the tape, split up by side.

The blog just started, so there’s not a lot of selection at the moment. A lot of Diggable Planets and Leonard Cohen and, oddly, Winnie-The-Pooh-related audio content. But this is the kind of voyeuristic thrill that will keep me checking back every single damn day.

I wish I had a mix tape to send in to the blog, but I’ve always been dreadfully disappointed with the mix tapes I received from girlfriends, to the point where I don’t keep them. I seem to only date women with painfully different tastes in music—the aforementioned Tori Amos girlfriend, yes, but also a girlfriend (who is still a very dear friend) who followed Aerosmith, and another one who loved Ani DiFranco and Sweet Honey On the Rock, or whatever they call themselves. I don’t think a relationship has ever introduced a lasting adoration of a new musician into my life.

One thing I’ve learned: Some of the people on this blog, at least, dated people with interesting musical tastes. Of course, the painful sincerity of other selections make me very glad that I don’t date heterosexual men.

New Music in Stores Today: Mudhoney, Scarlett Johansson, Islands, Mates of State

posted by on May 20 at 12:24 PM

As already noted in this morning’s Tonight in Music post, Mudhoney release The Lucky Ones today. They celebrate with a 7 pm in-store at Easy Street Queen Anne.

mudhoneycover.jpg
Mudhoney The Lucky One (Sub Pop)

“I’m Now”






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Scarlett Johansson Anywhere I Lay My Head (Atco)

Contrary to what I initially thought when I heard that ScarJo was going to release an album of Tom Waits covers, Anywhere I Lay My Head isn’t a trainwreck. A full CD review will be in tomorrow’s paper. Here’s a preview:

Releasing an album of Tom Waits covers is a hell of a way to make a debut as a singer. Waits, of course, is a highly regarded songwriter whose coarse, trademark voice doesn’t invite easy imitation. But on Anywhere I Lay My Head, actress turned songbird Scarlett Johansson and producer Dave Sitek (of TV on the Radio) creatively re-work some of Waits’ gems to deliver surprisingly pleasing results.

In “Town With No Cheer,” a defeated five-minute ballad about a dry ghost-town, Johansson tugs her voice as low as it will go, down to the pit of her diaphragm. It’s a voice worlds away from the image of a full-lipped, D-cupped sex symbol currently making headlines for becoming engaged to Hollywood’s boy B-list goofball Ryan Reynolds.

You can stream the whole album at www.scarlettalbum.com.

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Islands Arm’s Way (Anti-/Rough Trade)

“Creeper” (via Pitchfork)






Islands will play Neumo’s Tuesday June 12.

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Mates of State Re-Arrange Us (Barsuk)

“My Only Offer”






Mates of State play the Sasquatch! Festival Sunday, May 25. They’re also playing a free in-store at Sonic Boom Ballard on Tuesday, May 27. And if you really want to, see naked photos of the duo here, recently shot for an anti-fur PETA ad. (They’re safe for work, naughty bits are covered up.)

See what else is out today at Pause & Play.

Maximum Capacity Bullshit

posted by on May 20 at 12:10 PM

El-P, Dizzee Rascal @ Neumo’s

Last night’s “sold out” El-P and Dizzee Rascal show at Neumo’s was my first at the venue since it’s capacity was recently cut by the city, and, to be blunt, it’s bullshit. Granted, I have no professional experience in evaluating building capacity, but I’ve been to a ton of concerts in the last 13 years (wow, oldster moment), and last night’s show was not at capacity by any reasonable standard. During the co-headliners’ sets, the “sold out” crowd only packed about the front half of the room and the mezzanine’s balcony; the rear of the room and the rest of the mez were totally sparse.

Before anyone accuses me or the Stranger of being Neumo’s lapdog (a notion Severin and LaJuenesse would be more than happy to disabuse you of), I have, of course, been to Neumo’s (and other clubs) when they’re overcrowded, and it sometimes sucks. Neumo’s can be especially hellish at a truly packed summertime show. From a purely selfish standpoint, it was kind of nice last night to have an artificially empty room—there were no long lines for drinks or the bathroom, it was painlessly easy to wander around the club. But there were probably a hundred or so more people who would’ve loved to see that show even if the place was a little more crammed, but who were unnecessarily shut out.

It must have looked weird from onstage for Dizzee and El-P, to go from a probably properly sold-out show the night before to this to another packed show the night after. I’m sure someone at the venue explained the situation, but still, if I were one of these touring artists, I would be left with the distinct feeling that Seattle doesn’t have its shit together about music and nightlife.

The show itself, when I finally got over the absurd amount of space in the place, was great. The audience that crowded the front of the room was totally enthusiastic, jumping up and down, waving arms, shouting call and responses loud enough to make the crowd sound twice its size (which, again, it could’ve been). Dizzee Rascal opened with “I Luv U,” played anthems “Stand Up Tall” and “Fix Up Look Sharp,” with DJ Aaron LaCrate, smiling wide, spinning the Billy Squire mash-up version of the latter track. I realized that the track “Paranoid,” with it chorus of “Rinse me out / use me up / cuss me down / fuck me up” delivered in Dizzee’s mad accented bark sounds like nothing so much as a lost Crass song.

El-P and Dizzee are, as has no doubt already been observed, massively different MCs. Dizzee’s voice and cadences may be foreign, but his charisma and moves are classic hip hop. El-P, on the other hand, has a stage presence more like lead singer of a rock band—I don’t think I’ve seen any other MC use a mic stand rather than hold his mic in his hand. El-P leaned on his mic stand, thumped it into the stage, held onto it for support as he shook and seized, eyes shut, like some bulkier Ian Curtis—total rock singer stuff, like he’s been spending a lot of time with Trent Reznor. The crowd was stoked; when El-P commanded they put their hands up and keep their hands up, they did; when he told everybody to scream, everybody screamed. He encored with “Tuned Mass Damper” and then hi-fived/shook hands with all the fans at the foot of the stage.

Eazy E in Wild Strawberry

posted by on May 20 at 12:00 PM

rapcoverbetter.jpgAye Jay is the creator and illustrator of the Heavy Metal Fun Time Activity Book, the Gangsta Rap Coloring Book, and the Indie Rock Connect the Dots. Coloring in Eazy E with a Violet-Red, Wild Strawberry, and Aquamarine combo fills a colorer with unparalleled joy. Coloring is the way. Fire Burnt Orange, not bullets. No Bloods or Crips, just fuschia. Aye Jay was kind enough to speak from his Chico, CA coloring compound:

What gave you the idea to do these activity coloring books?
Aye Jay: My inspiration was coloring with my son Cohen, who was two at the time. I had a thought like, “Why is there no coloring book that reflects the interests of the people in my age group?” I’ve been a fan of gangsta rap from the first time I heard it, in maybe 1988(?). It seemed like it would be a funny idea folks would like. I then spent the next couple of weeks making lists of inclusions and doing the drawings, went to the local copy shop and had one hundred copies made. I remember thinking there was no way I was going to be able to get rid of all one hundred. I was wrong.

rapcoloringbook.jpg

After the book did well as a zine, it was published as an expanded version. I got to thinking about other types of music I like that I could make books out of. From there, I crafted a long term plan of several books in my head. I made Indie Rock Connect the Dots as the low key follow up, and a couple of years later linked up with ECW Press to make the Heavy Metal Fun Time Activity Book.

There’s been tons of positive response to the books. There’s been some negative feedback as well. Can you talk about that?
Getting positvie feedback from the people in the books I look up to is so rewarding. I’ve been surprised. The other side of that is the negative response due to people thinking the Gangsta book is socially irresponsible. That’s a huge bummer, as it was intended to be silly. I was never thinking about the political ramifications. Several chain stores have dropped the Gangsta book due to pressure from family based groups. Topshop in the UK dropped it and Urban Outfitters here in the states did too.

IndieRockCover.jpgWhat are some of your favorite pages from the books?
Ice Cube and Suge Knight from the Gangsta book for the drawings, the Spinal Tap maze in the Metal book for the concepts, and Steve Albini’s foreword from the Indie book, cause it’s so well written and took over a year to get! Working with Andrew W.K. was cool too.

What’s next? Will there be any new activity books coming out in the future?
Yes. I just signed on with ECW for two more activity books. They are genres you know and love. But I gotta keep them a surprise for now. Get your crayons ready though.

Don’t Toy With Me Weather.com

posted by on May 20 at 11:38 AM

Those thunder showers that weather.com predicted yesterday, for Monday at Sasquatch, are now off the 10-day forecast.

Keep your fingers crossed that it stays that way.

R. Kelly Trial Has Begun, Opening Statements Have Been Made

posted by on May 20 at 11:31 AM

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Via AP:

CHICAGO - A prosecutor in the child pornography trial of R. Kelly warned jurors Tuesday they would have to watch a videotape depicting an “underage child performing sex acts that you have never seen before.”

“A child doesn’t choose to be violated and placed on a videotape, a videotape that will live on forever — long after this child becomes an adult,” Cook County prosecutor Shauna Boliker told jurors as opening statements got under way in the R&B singer’s long-delayed trial.

Kelly, 41, is accused of videotaping himself having sex with an underage girl who prosecutors maintain was as young as 13 when the tape was made between Jan. 1, 1998, and Nov. 1, 2000.

Defense attorneys, however, told jurors in their opening statements that Kelly isn’t the man on the tape. The defense also told jurors that the female that authorities allege is depicted on the tape isn’t that person at all.

That’s a claim that’s also been made by the 23-year-old woman prosecutors say was a minor at the time of the taping. She denies she’s the girl on the video.

The trial has been delayed repeatedly since the tape was mailed to the Chicago Sun-Times in 2002. The newspaper turned it over to authorities, and Kelly was indicted later that year.

The singer, who has pleaded not guilty, faces up to 15 years if convicted.

Full story here.

As Kirbs posted last week, the jury selection for this child pornography case includes the wife of a Baptist pastor, a man who’s already convinced R. Kelly is guilty, a wanna-be cop, and an assistant teacher at a Catholic school.

If I had to guess, I’d say we shouldn’t count on any more installments of Trapped in the Closet anytime soon…

(Photo by Paul Beaty/AP)

New Hold Steady Song - “Sequestered in Memphis”

posted by on May 20 at 11:14 AM

The Hold Steady have posted a new single on MySpace. It’s called “Sequestered in Memphis” and it is, as it always seems to be, about drinking and dancing and making out in a bathroom—“In bar light, she looked alright/In daylight she looked desperate.”

Nothing really new to the sound, it’s in the same vein as Boys and Girls in America, but I like it. Lots of sing-a-long parts, handclapping, it’ll make for a good dance party when they play the Block Party Saturday July 26.

The new album, Stay Positive, will be out July 15.

Click here to listen to it.

Today’s Music News

posted by on May 20 at 10:09 AM

Bad words: Nas abandons original title of new album

Death Cab for Cutie pt. 1: Death Cab in a cab

Death Cab For Cutie pt. 2: Walla and Gibbard on Pink Floyd

Speaking of Roger Waters: Coachella turnout less than projected

Take that, iTunes: Napster drops DRM

Mini Rex

posted by on May 20 at 10:00 AM

minirexgroup.jpg

By fluxn.

Oh yeah! Your Zune is SOOOOOO cool.

posted by on May 20 at 9:07 AM

Every time we post something about Microsoft’s Zune MP3 player, we get all these, “You Apple drones don’t know what your talking about!” comments.

I have never been a fan of the Zune, which was rolled out in the most idiotic way by Microsoft. In classic MS style, they put all sorts of restrictions on its use, and only when they discovered that, “Hey, no one wants to by a useless MP3 player that acts as cop, judge and jury on the purchaser!” did they roll back some of the restrictions.

Well, how about this Zune fans (from the front page of the business section in today’s P-I):

Microsoft Corp.’s Entertainment and Devices Division is full of people thinking about upcoming Xbox 360 video games, Windows Mobile software and Zune music products.

One group in the division does it for a different reason — to figure out how best to put ads in front of the people who use them.

The division’s 40-person advertising business group has been working behind the scenes since October to expand Microsoft’s advertising footprint outside the realm of traditional Internet search and display ads.

On Tuesday, Microsoft is expected to show some of the first results of the group’s work — including a plan to test advertising on the online site Zune Social and, in a limited way, on the Zune music devices themselves.

Okay! I get it! When you release a device that fails to “capture the imaginations” of the public, you just make it worse by putting advertising on it! Can’t wait!

Mark Kroese [head of the Division] acknowledged that users may be sensitive to the idea of advertising on a music device. Overall, he said, the company will use feedback from the pilot program to decide how to proceed.

How about this for some feedback:

Dear Microsoft,

You are the dumbest people on earth if you think this shit will fly.

xo, Terry

And one more time for fun. Here’s that great picture of the egg-shaped-headed John Richards and Mr. Gates.

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(Courtesy of Google images and, like, a million websites…)

Tonight in Music, CD Release Party Edition: Mudhoney, Daguerreotypes

posted by on May 20 at 9:00 AM

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Mudhoney’s playing a free in-store at Easy Street Queen Anne at 7 pm to celebrate the release of their new album The Lucky Ones, out on Sub Pop and in-stores today.

From the new record:
“I’m Now”






daggroup.jpg

Daguerreotypes, Blue Light Curtain, Red Sea Sharks
(King Cobra) Tonight, Daguerreotypes celebrate the release of their new EP, Tropical Trust, which has a bunch of animals doing dirty things to one another on the cover—a toucan-like bird is eating a sloth’s asshole, a gorilla is butt-fucking a turtle, a beaver is sucking off a mountain goat—and in the center of it all there’s a line drawing of Jesus. Because why the hell not, right? Daguerreotypes’ music is jarring in its own way. Their folk-rock spine twists with both psychedelic and experimental influences. Singer John Fitzsimmons’s voice sounds almost muppetish on songs like “Telegram to Tegucigalpa” and “Dark Fence,” but it weirdly falls into place amidst an orchestra of “instruments” like a frying pan, an electric toothbrush, and a bottle. MEGAN SELING

Listen to Daguerreotypes:
“Telegram to Tegucigalpa”







Monday, May 19, 2008

NIRVANA REUNION?! and/or NO FUCKING WAY

posted by on May 19 at 11:17 PM

First let me say, this is a text message, retrieved from my phone at 11:20 pm, May 19th, 2008. If this is TRUE, I don’t believe it. If it’s NOT true, well, then f*ck me for posting… either way, here it is:

Text: Msg: Can u believe it?! Supposedly, Nirvana is playing Sub Pop 20. Courtney Love buried the hatchet with the surviving members, and she’ll sing, with Pat Smear on guitar!

Courtney, R you fo’real?

courtneylovebikini.jpg

RE: Georgetown Music Fest, a Little Clarification

posted by on May 19 at 8:04 PM

The line-up (announced today) features a lot of really great locals, and yeah, the Helmet that’s listed is THE Helmet.

But for the record, the Godspeed that’s listed is not Godspeed as in Godspeed You! Black Emperor, it’s Godspeed as in the 206 hiphop trio.

As in, these dudes:
godspeedpromo.jpg

Not these dudes:

godspeed.jpg

Just didn’t want ya’ll to be confused.

[Insert Scientologist Joke Here]

posted by on May 19 at 5:27 PM

Stream Beck’s new single, “Chemtrails,” at www.beck.com.

Discs of Fury

posted by on May 19 at 5:13 PM

discsoffury.jpg

By soundonthesound.

Share your music photos with the world—upload them to the Stranger’s Flickr Pool.

Hey, Remember “Selling Out”?

posted by on May 19 at 5:10 PM

Remember how, in the ’90s, post-Nevermind and pre-Napster/music industrial collapse, people in music, especially in indie and punk, worried a whole lot about “selling out”? It was kind of a big fucking deal. Jawbreaker, for one, famously signed to Geffen for a rumored million dollar advance, after having at some point said they wouldn’t sign to a major; it caused a minor punk rock shit storm.

Obviously, a lot’s changed since then in the music business, most notably digital file sharing and major label decline but also a newfound kind of post modern/morally relativistic approach to the idea of “selling out.” Granted, we’ll crack some jokes about Of Montreal’s or the Shins’ or MIA’s TV commercials, but basically it’s no big deal—we all kind of know that’s just how people have to get paid these days. And Jawbreaker didn’t even shill for a fast food company or an automobile, they just signed to a bigger label to put out their record!

Anyway, all of this really came to mind the other day, when the Dear You-era Jawbreaker rarity “Friendly Fire” came up on my digital audio device (note: no brand name dropping in this post; some of us have moral standards, after all). It is maybe the most sincere, heart-wrenching song ever written about “selling out” (“Million” off Dear You being only tangentially about major label contracts). Here are the lyrics:

Walked beyond the fence,
played outside our yard.
You took it hard.
Through a one-way door
hinged high on doubt.
No ins, no outs.

I like my clothes.
Don’t want to grow.
I’ll wait around
‘til you say go.

The lights were off
when I got home.
Black room, blue phone.
Don’t I know your name?
Weren’t we almost friends?
Guess that depends.

Take some benefit
with all your doubt.
If this is principle,
I’m dropping out.

You demonize
so you don’t look so bad.
You wouldn’t take
what you couldn’t have.
My back is warm
with your friendly fire.
I know you’re trying.
Could you please aim it higher?

So alone I wrote,
I wrote this will.
I will decline.
This fish ain’t big.
This pond is small.
So small of mind.

I like my clothes.
Don’t want to grow.
I’ll wait around
‘til you say go.

You demonize
so you don’t look so bad.
You wouldn’t take
what you couldn’t have.
My back is warm
with your friendly fire.
I know you’re trying.
Could you please aim it higher?

And here is a so-so live version:

Update: Fuck. I almost forgot to mention one of my favorite things about this song, which is its central image: “My back is warm / with your friendly fire / I know you’re trying / could you please aim it higher.” The analogy of “friendly fire” is so much more precise than a mere stab in the back, the plea to “aim higher” suggesting Schwarzenbach’s fellow punks ought to focus on fighting the game, not the player. (I also like the clothes/yard analogies, but they’re a relatively pat.)

Semi-Finalists Chosen for aniBoom’s In Rainbows Animated Music Video Contest

posted by on May 19 at 4:58 PM

The objective was to make an animated video inspired by/featuring music from Radiohead’s latest album.

Watch the 10 semi-finalists after the jump and vote for your favorite at aniboom.com. The winner (chosen by Radiohead) will get $10,000 and maybe see their video aired on Cartoon Network’s [adult Swim].

(ht Pitchfork)

Continue reading "Semi-Finalists Chosen for aniBoom's In Rainbows Animated Music Video Contest" »

I Wasn’t There When Jawbreaker Played the Old Fire House in 1994

posted by on May 19 at 4:02 PM

But thanks to B-Sides “R” Us, I can at least hear it (along with a bunch of other live performances and songs not available for purchase anywhere).

Setlist:

01 - Jinx Removing
02 - I Love You So Much It’s Killing Us Both
03 - West Bay Invitational
04 - Indictment
05 - Housesitter
06 - Boxcar
07 - Chesterfield King
08 - Ache
09 - Shield Your Eyes
10 - Parabola
11 - Accident Prone
12 - Want
13 - The Boat Dreams From the Hill
14 - Bivouac

Click here to get it.

(ht to my friend Jason)

Today’s Music News

posted by on May 19 at 3:38 PM

Smile!: New Brian Wilson record

Frown: New Harvey Milk record!

Editorializing on up-and-coming bands pt. 1: Support your local scene

Editorializing on up-and-coming bands pt. 2: You don’t have to support anything

Speaking of local scenes: Toxic Holocaust in the studio

Customer Service Tip

posted by on May 19 at 2:56 PM

You know what, Mr. Used Record Store Clerk?

You made me walk away from you today. You know what you did? You started looking around on your little computer for the price of a record. That was stupid, because now I know that you are the kind of clerk/record store that will always go out of your way to get the highest price for records in the least customer friendly way. And you did it right in front of me! SO. RUDE.

You didn’t even look at the condition the record was in! (It was crappy, scratched and a little warped.)

The least you could do, the very least, is say, “Wow, that doesn’t have a price on it, I can’t sell it until the boss takes a look.” Or, “Come back later today, I don’t have time to price it now.” Or, better yet, “$2.”

But to make a guess, then surf the auction sites trying to find a price that matches your guess, is lame. That’s what amateurs do. Go make an EBAY store if that’s the kind of shit your going to pull.

I looked around, I didn’t find anything interesting, but since you were nice I thought, I’ll get this one 12”. But no, you had to do that thing with your computer and make me not like you. Make me not want to spend any money with you. Make me not want to go back to West Seattle, kitty corner from Easy Street ever again.

(Sidenote: At Easy Street in West Seattle, I found a rare Kongas Anikana-O record for $8. On auction sites it goes for ten times that. But, will Easy Street ever sell an $80 Kongas record? No. So they were reasonable, since they probably bought it in a lot of hundreds of used records from somebody’s old collection, and they made $8. Smart move Easy Street, you win a gold star for pricing and customer service today! And I love your Dixie Chicken Sandwich!)

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Sasquatch is in Five Days, Are You Ready?

posted by on May 19 at 2:45 PM

sasquatchimage.jpgIllustration by Renée French

This week’s paper has the Official Sasquatch Guide with blurbs on every single artist performing (including the comedy acts), a map of the grounds, and a schedule of who’s playing where and when.

I’m looking at it right now, planning my weekend, and I’m already exhausted. Grand Hallway, the Breeders, Beirut, MIA, Modest Mouse, and (yeah) REM on Saturday. The Cure, Death Cab, Cancer Rising, Truckasauras, Blue Scholars, and maybe the Presidents and 65Daysofstatic (who are supposedly fantastic live) on Sunday. Dyme Def, Battles, Jamie Lidell, Built to Spill, Flaming Lips, Kay Kay, Siberian, Say Hi, and the Choir Practice on Monday… and that’s just the list of stuff that’s on my “Do Not Miss” list due to my own adoration or friend’s recommendations.

Festivals make my head spin.

The comedy tent, I think, will be the savior this year—I plan on spending a lot of time in there sitting and laughing and avoiding the sun. I’m Swedish-Norwegian, I burn.

Click here to put together your own perfect Sasquatch. You don’t want to show up unprepared.

And now for the weather:

sasquatchweather.jpg

Georgetown Music Festival: June 13-14

posted by on May 19 at 2:04 PM

The Georgetown Music Fest (now it in its fourth year) has announced the line-up for their upcoming party (as if this summer wasn’t busy enough). Here’s the list, straight from their MySpace:

Thee Emergency
Aqueduct
The Hands
Slender Means
The Lashes
Cancer Rising
Carrie Akre
Helms Alee
Little Pieces
the Kindness Kind
Megasapien
Skullbot
Spanish for 100
Leeni
Lords of the North
The Hanks
Skeletons With Flesh on Them
Denelian
Kaylee Cole
Daguerreotypes
The Oregon Donor
The Bad Things
Reporter
Nazca Lines
Bronze Fawn
The Globes
Ms Led
Danny’s House
Pwrfl Power
Emblematic
Shim
Tennis Pro
The Upsidedown
Le Fleur
Levator
Pink Snowflakes
Hypatia Lake
Panther Attack!
Godspeed
and…. HELMET!

More bands will be announced in the coming weeks. Check for updates and info at www.myspace.com/georgetownmusicfest. We’ll post any news on Line Out as well. Because we’re nice like that.

Ticketmaster’s “Paperless Ticket” Plan

posted by on May 19 at 12:59 PM

There are several miscalculations in this new Ticketmaster strategy: the most glaringly obvious is that, as you can see at the end of the video, a piece of paper is printed from the scanning machine, making the whole ordeal hardly “paperless.” The next, arguably more frustrating problem, is that if this was designed to shorten the wait in line how is scanning a credit card and checking every person’s ID going to take less time than just scanning a ticket? It makes the will call line disappear but the regular line will take twice as long. Unanswered questions: Is Ticketmaster going to charge another new convenience fee, similar to how they charge for the “convenience” of printing out a ticket on your own home printer? Is it still possible to give a ticket as a gift? This shit is fucked! Where are you, Pearl Jam? We need your help!

The Brothers Unconnected

posted by on May 19 at 12:28 PM

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Triple Door: The remaining members of Sun City Girls (Alan and Richard Bishop) performed a tribute to departed brother, drummer, and scientist, Charles Gocher, who passed away last year after a bout with cancer.

A gangly show it was. The evening started with a forty minute film of Gocher’s video experiments. They are excruciatingly anomalous, hilarious, and schizophrenic sketches of poetry and visual layering. One shows a sex ed. film of a woman’s ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus on a screen. An animal skull with antlers is dangled by a hand over top of it. The shapes line up. The skull matching the uterus and the antlers over the fallopian tubes. Big block letters were on the screen the entire scene which read: EAT MY FUCK.

After the film, Alan and Richard Bishop performed two acoustic sets of Sun City Girls songs honoring Gocher and the band’s twenty-seven year history. They growled and screeched and sipped and summoned. The audience partook and responded. Requests were made. Someone yelled, “Play a Tom Petty song, ‘Free Falling’!”

The Bishops laughed and snarled back, “Someone is fucking requesting a Tom Petty song. Yeah, these are all Tom Petty songs.” At the end of the first set, Alan Bishop opened a decorative box that had been on the table in between them. He arranged something onto a small dish or tray, got up, paced the edge of the stage searching for a place to stand, then blew a powdery substance into the crowd. I think it was Gocher’s ashes.

Here is Mr. Gocher for you now:

For When the Sun Comes Out Again

posted by on May 19 at 12:20 PM

Two great, hopelessly romantic records you should listen to on the next sunny day:

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pring.jpg

That’s all.

Tonight in Music: El-P, Langhorne Slim

posted by on May 19 at 10:17 AM

El-P - “Flyentology”

EL-P’s at Neumo’s tonight with Dizzee Rascal. Charles Mudede writes about the dude’s sci-fi side in this week’s paper. A taste:

More than any other rapper and producer, El-P has translated the themes and images of the most prophetic science-fiction film of the ’80s into the sounds of late-hiphop—a period that proceeds from the postmodern moment in hiphop, between 1993 and 1997 (the modern period of hiphop is between 1984 and 1992). El-P can be found at the point at which Blade Runner officially enters hiphop in the middle of 1997, on Mike Ladd’s debut album, Easy Listening 4 Armageddon. The exact point of entry is a track called “Blade Runner.” Mike Ladd, Bigg Jus, and El-P immerse themselves in a beat world that is as monstrous and as dark as the one 97 floors below Deckard’s one-room apartment (a small kitchen, a stuffed living room, and a tiny balcony that Deckard, whiskey in hand, blanket wrapped around his shoulders, visits to fill his lonely moments with the sublime canyon of domesticated skyscrapers).

Read the whole article here.

Also tonight:

Langhorne Slim performing “Restless” on the Late Show
Langhorne Slim, Ferraby Lionheart
(Tractor) Rumors of the transcendent nature of Langhorne Slim’s performances keep popping up in recent conversations. While his new self-titled album is on high rotation in my apartment, I haven’t caught the young man in the live setting yet. But judging from videos posted online, there is validity to the buzz. Whether bearing his soul with suitable restraint on Letterman, or hollering sweaty and shirtless in a crowded Brooklyn apartment at 3:00 a.m., Langhorne is indeed a masterful performer. Cognizant of his environment and his audience, he seems equally capable of playing to drunken revelers and reserved Newport folkies. Who knows where the Tractor’s audience will fall on that spectrum on this particular night, but Langhorne is gonna own it either way. BRIAN COOK

Our online calendar has the whole list.

The States of Perfection

posted by on May 19 at 9:57 AM

Let’s begin with “We Getz Busy”…

It’s 1994. Erick Sermon, the man behind the boy duo Illegal, has one of the leading and most productive aesthetic programs in the game. As for the video: the stark black-and-white, the circular track shot, the teetering on the edge of total slow motion, the vintage footage serving as a visual equivalent to the vintage samples, the black underground technology of the studio, the urban hardness of the b-boys—this is hiphop in a state of perfection.

The Eurovision Party

posted by on May 19 at 9:47 AM

I hope some of you are now intrigued enough to watch this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. It should be shown on a number of channels e.g. ETV Internacional, most major European channels and it will be streamed on the official website (here). The first semi is on May 20th, second on May 22nd and the Final on Saturday May 24th, each time live at 21:00 CET (I think that’s noon for you folks in Seattle). If you download or tape it, make sure you’re not spoiled beforehand, because that would be a real shame.

Now what do you need for a Eurovision party? Booze, obviously. Lots of it. There are a Eurovision Drinking games here and there for those of you who need to be drunk to be able to sit through an entire night of questionable music.

But apart from that, score sheets are also essential. You can make them yourself (find the list of participants at the Eurovision website) or if you wait long enough, the BBC usually makes a handy one for the final. You can score on song, singing, lyrics, outfits, performance, key changes, general ridiculousness or hotness of the performers. Whatever works for you! Derive your winner from that and be prepared to be pissed off if Europe doesn’t agree with you.

Flags are nice, those little paper ones, but not the ones you put on cheese, those are too small, I know.. I’ve tried. You definitely need a country to back. For Europeans, it’s easy, just pick your own country (or *don’t*, as is usually the case for me), but for the rest of the world this opens a range of possibilities. Choose a country for its name, because it’s where your ancestors’ roots lie, because it’s your favourite holiday destination, because you like the song the most (or least) or because no-one else wants it (Belgium comes in handy in this last category). Defend this country and this song, no matter your personal feelings towards it, to the death. Shout at everyone who’s bitchy about it and hate all the countries that declined to vote for it. Drag wars into it if you have to –you wouldn’t believe the amount of times World War two gets mentioned around here at Eurovision time-. Be prepared to feel gutted if your favourite doesn’t make it even close to the top ten.

The big difference between the semis and the final is the voting. In the semis, the presenters will just get envelopes and read out who got through to the final. During the final the votes are given live (an example of this here). The votes are half the fun of Eurovision. Every single country has a satellite link and shows a local celebrity sitting in front of a national landmark. You’ll have a Brit sitting in front of Big Ben (ok, a blue screen with Big Ben projected on it, but still), a Frenchman in front of the Eiffel tower and here and there someone who just didn’t bother with landmarks and who sits in front of ugly wallpaper. Even when giving out the scores, Europe tries to impress. The voting usually takes well over an hour and is stereotypically the same. The country mentions where they’re calling from, they compliment the presenters on a magnificent show, try to say something in the native language of the host country, and if they go on too long you can see the presenters thinking “get the fuck on with it, you’ve only got one minute”. Entertainment guaranteed. They give their country’s three highest scores, the rest automatically appears on the screen, the audience in the arena starts booing if their country didn’t get any points, and they’re off again. On to the next country. This is where the bitching really starts. Conspiracy theories! Bloc votes! Politics! Ethnic Cleansing! Everything and anything goes as an explanation why your country didn’t get its rightful place in the ranking.


So, dress up, wave your flags, fill in your scoresheets, gently mock the contestants who deserve it, and be sure to acknowledge those who are fabulous. Have fun!

And for your (or my) enjoyment: two Eurovision Queens. First up: Deen from Bosnia & Herzegovina (9th in 2005), who might technically not be a queen, but … well… He wants! To dance! All night! In the discoooo….


And Helena Paparizou (winner in 2004) and her gorgeous men (note the Fire/Desire rhyme):