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Archives for 05/25/2008 - 05/31/2008

Saturday, May 31, 2008

She Opens All of One Eye, as Accurate as Longing, as Two Hands Beholden to the Hunger

posted by on May 31 at 3:45 PM

And rinsing them back into regular breath, she who sees, she frees each of these, beggarly events, cleansing them of dust and other death. - June Jordan

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Friday, May 30, 2008

Night Must Fall

posted by on May 30 at 5:09 PM

DC Recordings has been my favorite label of the past few years. After the early success of label boss J. Saul Kane’s ‘Depth Charge’ alias, the label appeared to go into permanent hibernation mode. Sporadic releases kept the name alive until 2003 when the aesthetics and sound of the label started to shift. The Emperor Machine, White Light Circus, The Oscillation and others seemed to collectively embrace vintage analog synths, psychedelic rock and techno in varying degrees. A string of fantastic, yet hard to classify releases have sadly passed with little or no interest outside the occasional Emperor Machine remix of the flavor of the moment (The Knife, !!!, Black Ghosts).

Richard Sen and Neil Higgins have been making music together as Padded Cell since 2002 but this month they released their first full length, Night Must Fall. Their myspace page name checks Velvet Underground, Prince, Arthur Russell and Carl Craig as influences. Andrew Weatherall loves them, Grand Theft Auto IV features one of their songs. Dennis Young from Liquid Liquid added percussion to the album and the band have even produced a stunning video for the sultry and sinister Word of Mouth single. Check it out!


Bleep has the DC Recordings catalog!

Unspeakable

posted by on May 30 at 3:54 PM

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Sony Introduces $400 Cat Toy

posted by on May 30 at 2:35 PM

The dancing 2GB portable music device Rolly is now available in the US:

Turn the music player on and it’ll spin and roll to the beat of music playing through built-in speakers. While it dances, it’ll put on a colorful light show and move its tiny arms and shoulders. Shaped like an egg ready to roll off a kitchen counter, the player comes preloaded with music and choreography for “Girlfriend” “Boogie Wonderland” and the theme from “2001 - A Space Odyssey.” It also can play music stored in its 2 gigabytes of internal memory and dance to moves created with the included choreographer software. Plus, music can be streamed from a PC or mobile phone via a wireless Bluetooth connection.

(ht Idolator)

Also Happening Tonight

posted by on May 30 at 2:15 PM

A very good rock and roll lineup at the Funhouse:

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About that Kiss-In at Safeco Field

posted by on May 30 at 2:02 PM

Dan wants a kiss-in. Freddie Mercury and Queen agree with him.

If they can do it at Wembley Stadium in England, why can’t we do it at Safeco?

Total Fest VII Lineup Announced

posted by on May 30 at 1:47 PM

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Missoula, Montana’s Total Fest is pretty much the best DIY rock festival on the planet. I went last year with Akimbo, barfed on all their stuff, and had the time of my life. One giant venue with three stages, great bands from all across the country, barbecues, river floating, record swaps, beer - you’d be hard pressed to find a more laid-back, fun festival with such good bands anywhere else. This year looks like it’s going to be just as awesome, with Saviours, Akimbo, Federation X, Triclops!, Titan, Part Man Part Horse, Black Eyes and Neckties, the Intelligence, the Lights, the Trucks, and the Narrows, just to name a few. The full list can be found here. Total Fest VII takes place August 14-16.

How Was It? Video from Sasquatch!

posted by on May 30 at 1:20 PM

Including an exclusive interview with Peter Buck of R.E.M…

No Time Music

posted by on May 30 at 12:54 PM

This is Basic Channel…
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This is iTune’s review of the MP3 release of “Inversion,” a track (or process) that was generated in 1994.
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First, how dare the reviewer compare Basic Channel with Moroder. I love Moroder, but there is no comparison between him and them. None. Basic Channel did, however, complete (fulfill) the promises made by Kraftwerk. What began with Kraftwerk, ends with Basic Channel.

Second, time. Time is precisely what Basic Channel does not produce. You cannot talk about time and their music; such talk makes no sense. We must be aware of this fact: Time is always human. With this understanding we will become aware of this other fact: Because time is human, it’s narrable. Time is human, and humans are narratives. What is human is what Basic Channel removed from its music. A track by Basic Channel cannot be long or short: its not about narratives but processes. A process either happens or does not happen. A process is inhuman.

That’s The Way I Feel About Ya

posted by on May 30 at 12:52 PM

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Fuck a duck! I guess I should start checking Pitchfork more often. I just read that yesterday saw not only a release of a new Best Of for one of my Top 3 favorite singers of all time- BOBBY FUCKIN WOMACK- but a first-time digital release of classics such as 1968’s Fly Me to the Moon, 1969’s My Prescription, 1971’s The Womack Live, 1973’s Lookin’ for a Love Again, 1975’s Safety Zone, 1975’s I Don’t Know What the World Is Coming To, and 1976’s BW Goes C&W. GODDAMN!

Not only THAT:

What’s more, May 27 will also see the digital release of recently unearthed recordings of a previously unavailable 1972 Womack gig under the title Live at the Apollo.

Oh lordy lord, I’m there. I actually need all of these in my life! I can only pray to baby black jesus that this will coincide with a TOUR, and that it comes to Seattle. Shit scratch the last part, if I have to I will fucking fly to LA if he comes at least that far. I will not miss another chance to see The Womack! (Last time he was here- at The Paramount- it was the same night as Cancer Rising’s first show.)

Check the shit I ran down on my personal favorite album of his, 1973’s Facts Of Life.

Also peep the man sangin “Woman Gotta Have It”:

Chuch!

Open Call to Remix the Rodeo

posted by on May 30 at 12:45 PM

electrobrent.jpgBrent Amaker is offering up files for you to remix a song. If he likes your remix, he’ll put it on his upcoming full length. Also, there may be a release of just remixes. Brent’s got a little electro in him. Hit that link above to hear a remix from Berlin by Randy Robot.

If you want the files go here.

There will be an MP3 of the original song, plus individual .wav files for each track in Pro-tools. The .wav files are new recordings and will not match the MP3 exactly. They did this specifically for this project. The MP3 is just a reference.

Click the IDisk PUBLIC FOLDER on the homepage. Download the tracks and use anything you want for your mix. When your mix is finished, contact the Rodeo on this page to receive instructions for forwarding your final mix.

Throw Me the Statue - “Lolita”

posted by on May 30 at 12:23 PM

Put your clothes back on!

posted by on May 30 at 12:12 PM

Winning Eurovision has its benefits: you get a glass-studded dildo, the praise of millions of Europeans, a couple of mentions on Line Out, and in Dima Bilan’s case you even get a street named after you. A street!! Why not rename the whole city while they’re at it? “Dima Bilantown”, come on Medvedev, you know you want to…

Unfortunately winning Eurovision also has its drawbacks. Apart from costing your home country millions of Euros (or Roubles) to organise this campfest, there’s also the hatred of millions of Europeans, you invariably get accused of plagiarism (every single year) and this time bad halfnude photos resurface with whispered gossip of “gay porn”and “escort”.
Not in Russia, of course, where Dima is well on the way to sainthood (hey, the man resurrects ballerinas and little kids, I’d like to see you try it!), but pretty much everywhere else.

But look what a sex scandal did for George Michael’s career! It can only increase his popularity in the gay community. And what else could Dima be aiming for? It’s all one big plot to make this boring song a tad more interesting. I bet the KGB’s involved….

(thanks for the tip, Terry… though now I have to get to those images out of my head)

SMOKE THAT CUSH

posted by on May 30 at 11:56 AM

Just Announced:

KUBE 93 SUMMER JAM
Featuring Lil’ Wayne, T-Pain,
Bow Wow, The Game & Ray J!
WHITE RIVER AMPHITHEATRE – AUBURN, WA
Sunday, July 20, 2008

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Black Musicians and Bad News

posted by on May 30 at 11:36 AM

When TV or print gets around to such a story, why does it always have to be cast as “suspicious”?

A raging fire that one fire official called “definitely suspicious” gutted a Dix Hills home owned by the Grammy-nominated rapper 50 Cent Friday morning, sending six people inside the house to the hospital.

The home at 2 Sandra Dr., purchased by the rapper in January 2007 for a reported $1.4 million, is one of the largest in Dix Hills — and has been at the center of a lawsuit between 50 Cent and his ex-girlfriend Shaniqua Tompkins.

Among the injured, all of whom suffered smoke inhalation according to fire officials, were Tompkins, and their 11-year-old son, Marquise, her two other children, her aunt and aunt’s child. They were all treated at Huntington Hospital and later released.

At the hospital Friday, Tompkins said she was in an upstairs bedroom when she said she heard something crash through a window downstairs — and she scrambled to wake everyone and get them all out of the burning house.

The above-mentioned fire chief then explains his suspicion: “The rapid movement of the fire. The volume of the fire … It was engulfed. The home was totally gutted.” (Though not quickly enough for all six inhabitants to get out with relatively minor smoke inhalation injuries.)

No sense in acting like other suspicious evidence hasn’t been listed completely and categorically in this article. Could be a setup by anybody—Fitty, his ex, Big Daddy Kane. Because let’s face it: black families hate their kids, America.

But even as much as I loathe 50 Cent, reading this “straight” news report made my stomach turn. Press outlets, please send a memo when you cast the flaming engulfment of a white celebrity’s house in the same blatantly negative light.

Tonight in Music: The Heavy Hearts, Peter Murphy, Emeralds, Cancer Rising, Caves, the Physics, Foals, Paul Green’s School of Rock

posted by on May 30 at 9:00 AM

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The Valley, the Heavy Hearts, Loving Thunder, Lozen
(Comet) On last month’s release, A Killer of Snakes, the Heavy Hearts display the same aggressive enthusiasm heard on Pretty Girls Make Graves’ debut LP, Good Health. When the band shout, “I got the will to fight on,” in the chorus of fist-pumper “Attrition,” you want to rush the stage and scream along. “The Long Road” is equally anthemic but with a melodic sing-along rather than shout-along chorus. Songs like “TV” and “Revolution” inspire less singing and more shaking. Openers Lozen are a whole different beast. The unassuming duo of pretty ladies from Tacoma might not look threatening, but wait for their slow, heavy storm of guitar and drums to kick in; it’ll knock you flat if you aren’t paying attention. MEGAN SELING

The Heavy Hearts
“Spit”







Peter Murphy - “Cuts You Up”

Peter Murphy
(El Corazón) There’s something exotic and deep about Peter Murphy’s work, both as a solo artist and with Bauhaus. Whether he’s creating razor-sharp postpunk, ornate folk, or pop as beautiful and dark as the midnight sky, his voice speaks in the language of mystery—of the strange and unfathomable, the beautiful and terrible, of spirit and passion and eternal questions. And while he might be an icon to many, he possesses a warmth and humility that makes his music as human and approachable as it is otherworldly and artistic. Tonight’s show is as close as you’ll get to a Bauhaus gig since the band officially called it quits before the recent release of Go Away White; while that split is unfortunate, Murphy is a spellbinding performer and master craftsman who will be pulling from both Bauhaus and solo material tonight. BARBARA MITCHELL
Emeralds, Cancer Rising, Caves, the Physics
(King Cobra) Rock and rap come together as one in this death-defying quadruple-stacked bill: The Hendrix-tallica rock of Emeralds, the breeze-hauling hiphop of Cancer Rising, the four-piece pop churn of Portland’s Caves, and the off-the-cuff-core of Seattle’s Physics. Cancer Rising’s Gatsby spoke about the convergence of forces: “King Cobra is my favorite new spot on the Hill. We’re looking forward to breaking that bitch in on some hiphop shit! Expect high-caliber West Coast party time and sweaty prowling. I love the combination bill. If the chemistry is right, we can make a lot of new fans and party with people we haven’t met before. Besides, rock crowds in this town are WAY more open and fun than most hiphop crowds here.” TRENT MOORMAN

Cancer Rising
“Let’s Start Some Shit”







Click here to listen to Caves.
Click here to listen to Emeralds.
Click here to listen to the Physics.


Foals - “Cassius”

Foals, Maps & Atlases, Panda and Angel
(Neumo’s) It’s hard not to hear Foals’ Sub Pop debut, Antidotes, as a sharply realized echo of Bloc Party’s refined dance rock. The album is all limber bass, quick-picked muted guitar leads, steady if pat disco drumming, and emotionally tortured, lyrically obscure sung/shouted vocals. But a few important elements distance Oxford quintet Foals from that band: a knack for rapid, circular melodies and choruses; a kind of prog-rock momentum; and some brassy synths and washed-out horns that lend some songs a not overbearing touch of ska. Producer David Sitek (TVOTR, Scarlett Johansson) ably provides atmospherics to fill the band’s gaps then steps out of the way when the band charge back to the fore. Foals are at their best when they’re restless and gyroscopically spinning, as on “Cassius,” “Balloons,” or “Hummer.” ERIC GRANDY
Pink Floyd’s The Wall as Performed by Students from Paul Green’s School of Rock
(Vera Project) Twenty-two young people covering Pink Floyd’s The Wall in its entirety is perfect. That album was probably spinning in the background the first time you smoked weed or spent all night talking to your homeroom crush (for me it was Wish You Were Here, but whatever). The Seattle branch of Paul Green’s School of Rock opened in January, and this is the initial live offering of the inaugural class. These kids have been working incredibly hard to put on a very real rock show. The staff of the School of Rock put it plainly: “If people come away thinking only ‘That was cute!’ then we haven’t done our job.” Also, a 13-year-old girl singing, “I need a dirty woman” is just too potentially awesome to miss. MATT GARMAN

As always, find even more in our online listings. Hooray!


Thursday, May 29, 2008

For Sale: Death Row Records

posted by on May 29 at 5:21 PM

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Via TMZ:

First Suge gets knocked out cold out at an L.A. club, now he’s being forced to sell off his once-mighty Death Row empire. After filing for bankruptcy in 2006, a judge has ordered that all assets for Death Row be auctioned off to the highest bidder on June 24. That’s some serious stuff, as it includes the rights to all the recordings of Tupac Shakur, Snoop Dogg, and Dr. Dre. The minimum starting bid is a measly $24 mil.

Today’s Music News

posted by on May 29 at 2:53 PM

Arena rock for the new millineum: News on the next Muse record

No coitus involved: Clay Aiken to be a dad

Dig a pony: Nick Cave to commemorate himself

Shit sandwich pt. 1: Fred Durst directs a movie

Shit sandwich pt. 2: Introducing Chickenfoot

Get into it: New record by The Girls

Thebes is Burning

posted by on May 29 at 2:15 PM

Hercules and Love Affair’s May 17th US debut at Brooklyn’s Studio B (via Pitchfork):

Somebody please bring this disco ball to Seattle!

Kimmels and Bits

posted by on May 29 at 1:23 PM

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Kevin Sawka is a freak of live drum n bass nature. He plays things you can’t believe you are seeing with your own ear-eyes.

As Blake Lewis’ drummer he’s performed on just about every TV show you can think of. He even spat his fat d n b on Ellen.

Kevin is gear maven. He stopped by to talk shop:

Kevin, I know you are polyamorous when it comes to gear. You love much gear at the same time. What have you been loving lately?
Sawka: I’ve been loving the good old Korg Electribe Sampler SX for a while now. It’s definitely nothing new but, I use it a little differently than most. I don’t use it for playing pre-programmed beats or basslines. I use it as a sampler to trigger live drums and as an input device. I also run my vocals through it and play live nasty internal basslines everyone screams for. I run the microphone through it, a Kaoss Pad 3, and a DigiTech whammy pedal to make nasty bass sounds with my voice. Also, I run my acoustic drums through the same microphone, making cool delays, glitch effects, and looping. It’s a great bunch of tools to fly with too. Nice and light. You can get the same sort off effects only using the Electribe without the whammy and Kaoss Pad, but with the three devices it makes for many many sound-crunching options.

What’s your favorite TV show that you’ve played on so far?
Jimmy Kimmel for sure. They have a separate area of the show where all the bands setup. It’s a bar type atmosphere with a stage. When the show is almost over, the studio audience goes into the bar area and the band rocks for them. Jimmy came up and said hi and shook our hands. He was very cool. It’s all the drinks and food you can pour down your throat. Everyone got trashed. Cast a crew included.

Phoenix - “Twenty-One One Zero”

posted by on May 29 at 1:20 PM

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If you loved 2006’s It’s Never Been Like That as much as I did then you will be equally excited to hear that French pop rockers Phoenix have been hitting the studio and have just released an “exclusive new track from the recording sessions of the upcoming album.” The band has graciously donated the song to the Cartier Love Charity and Action Contre Le Faim in an attempt to help raise awareness about hunger, and expensive jewelry. The track sounds like an intro to the album, instrumental until the very end, building off of a very Battles-ish guitar riff, so it’s not a full-blown Phoenix song, but it’s a start.

“Twenty-One One Zero” can be streamed here and downloaded here.

Fingaz

posted by on May 29 at 10:26 AM

The fingers of Pete Rock are strange and enigmatic.

Those fingers put a spell on you and in the music.

Poison Control Center

posted by on May 29 at 10:00 AM

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by keenan please

Tonight in Music: Hungry Pines, Coco Coca, CPC Gangbangs

posted by on May 29 at 9:00 AM

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Coco Coca, Mute Era, Geist & Samuel Joseph
(Blue Moon) Coco Coca sounds, on paper or webpage, like the kind of thing that would be right up my alley: a one-man guitar and vocals band aided by drum machines, sequenced synths, and loops. On record, Midwestern transplant Coco Coca’s fragile, breaking voice and dark, sometimes aggressive new wave revivalism recall fellow Midwesterners the Faint’s sexed-up electro-goth (and its echo, Bright Eyes’ unfairly maligned Digital Ash in a Digital Urn), although the production values may land a little closer to Beep Beep. Live, at least at a recent show at the Comet, Coco Coca’s equipment-heavy mix got a little out of hand, overdriven guitars drowning out his layers of preprogrammed sounds. He’s an energetic and charismatic enough performer, but he might want to think about fleshing out his songs with some hired goons. ERIC GRANDY

Listen to Coco Coca:
“Continents and Oceans”






“Animals”






CPC Gangbangs - “What Love Is” (featuring Zack Galifianakis)
The Whore Moans, CPC Gangbangs, Coconut Coolouts
(Comet) Have you ever seen that Canadian mockumentary Fubar? Aw, jeeez! I dunno if I love it ‘cause deye all talk like dose guys in junior high from da U-P Michigan dat I used da smoke dope with in da duck park… or ‘cause it’s a funny-as-shit movie about two metalheads, Dean and Terry, and their misadventures with cheap beer and testicular cancer. Either way, you’re wondering WTF this has to do with this Comet show. Not much, except Dean is played by Paul Spence the actor, who is also Paul Spence the guitarist for CPC Gangbangs. I recently saw the Gangbangs at SXSW. Even though I was having a cheap-beer-fueled misadventure of my own, I remember thinking, hoo-wee, CPC are one fun-as-shit punk-and-roll band. KELLY O

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Betsy Olson, Ghost Lobby, Hungry Pines
(Neumo’s) Hungry Pines are one of Seattle’s most promising bands and best-kept secrets. It’s not your fault: The local band plays often enough, but they’re usually stuck in an opening slot, taking the stage while you’re just wrapping up your preshow dinner down the street. Now you can experience the band despite a conflicting show schedule—they just released their debut, Golden You, comprising nine stellar songs that drift between pretty, lovey-dovey jams (“Bullring,” “Corduroy”) and layered, spacey experiments that are disguised as approachable thanks to Irene Barber’s alluring vocals (“Blood Eagle”). They’re in the early opening slot again tonight—be there on time, okay? MEGAN SELING

Listen to Hungry Pines:
“Blood Eagle”






“Bullring”






See what else is happening in our online listings.


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Also Tonight, Champagne Champagne and Wild Orchid Children

posted by on May 28 at 4:36 PM

How could I forget?

champagnelive.jpgChampagne Champagne photo by Rabid Child Images

From this week’s Suggests:

Wild Orchid Children, Champagne Champagne at El Corazón
DJ Gajamagic (Mark Gajadhar from the Blood Brothers) and Pearl Dragon are Champagne Champagne, a new hiphop duo delivering intriguing beats and boastful rhymes about bagging a Molly Ringwald look-alike—”They say I got a sweet 16/She’s a killer like Christine/So pristine, just 19/The kind you find in wet dreams.” Wild Orchid Children attack you with their raging party rock like a gang of acid-dropping Lost Boys. This show is the future of the Seattle music scene. (El Corazón, 109 Eastlake Ave E, 381-3094. 8 pm, $8 adv/$10 DOS, all ages.) MEGAN SELING

Click here to listen to Champagne Champagne.
Click here to listen to Wild Orchid Children.

Find more shows in our online listings.

Season of the Witch @ Moe Bar

posted by on May 28 at 4:30 PM

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Season of the Witch is the DJ night of the Stranger’s own (but sadly departing) Ari Spool and Stranger-unaffiliated Bree TacocaT. Ari and Bree (do you guys have profanity-laced DJ names yet or what?) usually play a mix of riot grrrl, soul, psych and ’70s/’80s hits, but tonight, they’ll be joined behind the turntables by Neumo’s headliners the Long Blondes, about whom Kurt B Reighley had this to say:

Sheffield quintet the Long Blondes showed ample bravado with their 2006 debut, Someone to Drive You Home. But on the follow-up, Couples, they do something truly gutsy and explode their taut yet muscular sound into a million tiny, disparate pieces. But listen closely, and each of those fragments is a self-contained marvel. Rugged disco opener “Century” features an intro lifted straight from one of Bowie’s Low instrumentals, with singer Kate Jackson swapping her declamatory style for a spot-on Debbie Harry croon. The clipped “Here Comes the Serious Bit” boasts a chorus on par with their best, but the dreamy “Nostalgia” feels far more compelling. Dark yet inviting, Couples evokes entering a favorite room, only to find the furniture shrouded, forcing you to view the scene anew.

So: They hail from Sheffield (Sex City), they evoke Blondie and Bowie, and the inimitable London DJ Erol Alkan produced their record. I imagine they’ll play some choice records, if not quite in the usual Season of the Witch mould.

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Built to Spill Announce “Perfect From Now On” Tour Dates

posted by on May 28 at 3:16 PM

And Seattle is not on the list.

Fuuuudge.

Trailer for 924 Gilman St. Documentary

posted by on May 28 at 3:05 PM

From Punknews.org:

A trailer has been posted for the upcoming Alternative Tentacles-produced documentary about legendary Berkeley venue, 924 Gilman St.. The Scarred Films production has filmmaker Jack Curran taking an 86-minute look at the Berkeley, California, punk venue. The Club is an all-ages, non-profit, collectively organized music and performance venue, now embarking on its 20th year of existence.

Some of those interviewed include: Jello Biafra, Ian MacKaye, Lars Frederickson, Matt Freeman, Dave Scattered and Sweettooth.

This is What Sasquatch Looked Like Through Your Camera Lenses

posted by on May 28 at 1:35 PM

Sasquatch photos from the Stranger’s Flickr Pool.

sasquachflickr1.jpgFlight of the Conchords by joshc

sasquatchflickr3.jpgDavid Bazan by jaycoxfilm

sasquatchflickr6.jpgBoots and Fanny Pack by JennaU

sasquatchflickr4.jpgMIA by flckrd1

sasquatchflickr7.jpgSun Shining Down on Ben Gibbard by soundonthesound

sasquatchflickr2.jpgKris K (School Of Rock/Seattle) by jaycoxfilm

The Jimmy Page Phase

posted by on May 28 at 1:11 PM

One way musicians learn is by listening, studying, playing to, and mimicking the music that they like. For guitar players, a high percentage of them go through a Jimmy Page phase. The same could be true for keyboard players and Stevie Wonder, or bass players and Flea.

This in from ‘Kev’:

pagephase.jpgMy band’s guitar player is a big Jimmy Page fan. Particularly Zeppelin II Jimmy Page. But he’s taken it too far. He’s starting to wear unbuttoned tight blouse shirts and bell bottoms. He’s let his hair grow long and I swear the other day I heard him speak with an English accent. He’s from Ohio.

He has been watching tons and tons of Zeppelin DVD’s and recently bought that two DVD set that was released in 2003.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Zeppelin, and that 2003 DVD is incredible. But I think it’s starting to take away from our band’s originality. We had a show last week and someone asked me if we were supposed to be a Zeppelin cover band.

A response: Well Kev,

Does your band sound like Led Zeppelin? Ask yourself that. If you think you might sound too much like them, maybe try to change up a couple sections, or effects, or production, that can give your band more of its own sound.

Influences are a good thing. Don’t be ashamed. But also, don’t copy them. Try to harness the parts of Zeppelin’s sound you like and put your own spin on it.

Ride out your guitar player’s Page phase. Don’t hassle him too much about it. If he’s spending hours a day learning Page riffs, that will prove useful once he can incorporate them into his own style.

If the blouses have dragons on them, get him out of the blouses. Tell him people are starting to ask you if you’re a Zeppelin cover band, and you’re worried the blouses may be contributing to the confusion. Take him to Goodwill and keep him out of the dragon section.

As for the English accent, we as humans are chameleons. With all the hours your guitar player has spent watching Page interviews, it is very possible he’s picked up a thing or two speech wise and isn’t aware of it.

Encourage him to go out a little more. Take him to see some live shows. Get him a Lynyrd Skynyrd DVD.

Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band Sound Like This

posted by on May 28 at 1:00 PM

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Months ago Ari posted about a new local band Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band. They offered no music, only cryptic pictures of curtains and videos starring their tweenage drummer Marshall.

Here it is again, if you forgot:

And the latest:

Commenters weren’t sure what to make of the vauge offerings. Some bought it, some didn’t:

When are bands going to realize that this moribund, bored look in every promo pic is so outdone and ridiculous? REM on the cover of Spin comes to mind as well. So done w/ rock n roll media. The music is all we can depend on.

Posted by duplicitous | March 28, 2008 8:29 AM

The music better be as pretentious as all this hype or i’m gonna lead myself over to the toilet again and cry friend cry… owe!

Posted by Mildred Duff | March 28, 2008 12:38 PM

dude… I dig the curtains… and as far as the music goes i’m excited… i have no expectations yet i am completely intrigued so far. i just sense a lot of creative energy and to me that’s enough to get excited about.

Posted by Jesse Irish | March 28, 2008 1:34 PM

Best my space promo of all time?

Posted by Biggie J | March 28, 2008 2:24 PM

Now you can finally hear them; the Walrus has posted an MP3 from the band called “Who’s Asking.”

Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band
“Who’s Asking”

And let me drop some more knowledge: All the guys in the band (minus drummer Marshall, top right corner in the above promo shot) are ex-members of the defunct In Praise of Folly. Their first live show will be July 31st at Neumo’s with BOAT and “Awesome.”

And now you know.

Gangsta Best

posted by on May 28 at 12:50 PM

I now have the certainty to make a call: The greatest gangsta cut in the history of hiphop is….

…The East Flatbush Project’s “Tried By 12.”

“Starts with a shove and ends with a shovel.”

This is number two:

“Feeling closer to God in a tight situation.”

This is three:

“I’m creepin’. And I’m creepin’. And I’m creeeeeepin’.”

Tonight in Music: The Von Bondies, Chin Chin, the Long Blondes, Ball of Wax Vol. 12 Release Party

posted by on May 28 at 11:56 AM

The Von Bondies - “No Sugar Mama”

The Von Bondies, Die! Die! Die!, Guns & Rossetti
(High Dive) There’s nothing precious or pretentious to the Von Bondies—this Detroit band are pure, simple rock ‘n’ roll. Their proximity to the White Stripes may have given them a leg up on the competition for attention, but it’s their songs—catchy nuggets of pure, unbridled energy—that set them apart. In fact, it’s hard not to get a contact high off of their latest album, Love, Hate and Then There’s You. Like Red Bull and vodka, it’s an energizing and intoxicating cocktail that’s equal parts pop masterpiece and devil-may-care swagger, with a healthy dose of punk brilliance thrown in for good measure. BARBARA MITCHELL

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Chin Chin, Eldrige Gravy & the Court, Supreme, DJ Leopold Bloom
(Nectar) Chin Chin are a funk/jazz combo that record for indie hiphop heavyweight Def Jux. They began, in 2001, as a casual, improvisational backing band for MCs at a monthly party in Brooklyn. Since then, they have stepped out from behind the MCs to become their own full-fledged band. Maybe they shouldn’t have. Their latest, self-titled album is a capable enough mix of loungey jazz and upbeat funk, but it’s impossible to enjoy for all the cheese of the vocals, which alternate between too-polished falsetto croon and unbearable honky scat rap. It’s like some awful jazz session musician attempt at !!!’s dance-party-starting routine, and it comes off every bit as bad as that sounds. ERIC GRANDY
Click here to hear Chin Chin.

The Long Blondes - “Guilt”

The Long Blondes
(Neumo’s) Sheffield quintet the Long Blondes showed ample bravado with their 2006 debut, Someone to Drive You Home. But on the follow-up, Couples, they do something truly gutsy and explode their taut yet muscular sound into a million tiny, disparate pieces. But listen closely, and each of those fragments is a self-contained marvel. Rugged disco opener “Century” features an intro lifted straight from one of Bowie’s Low instrumentals, with singer Kate Jackson swapping her declamatory style for a spot-on Debbie Harry croon. The clipped “Here Comes the Serious Bit” boasts a chorus on par with their best, but the dreamy “Nostalgia” feels far more compelling. Dark yet inviting, Couples evokes entering a favorite room, only to find the furniture shrouded, forcing you to view the scene anew. KURT B. REIGHLEY

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‘Ball of Wax 12’ CD Release Party
(Sunset) Ball of Wax is Levi Fuller’s Seattle-based audio quarterly. The spring 2008 edition features 21 songs by artists from all over the world, including one sung in Swedish. Performing at this show will be Origami Ghosts, Jeremy Burk, the Crying Shame, Devoirs, Poland, and many more—there will be nine sets in all. With the $6 cover, you get a free CD. Fuller says, “The music goes from 8:30 pm sharp until the end of the night. Everybody plays for 15 or 20 minutes, with about 5 minutes between bands. If you’re not feeling who is onstage, wait a few minutes. I feel a little like that guy that sells carpet and flooring right now: There is no better musical value in this city!” TRENT MOORMAN

Devoirs
“Sssssss”






Origami Ghosts
“When the Sidewalk Ends”






Lords of Cotton Basics

posted by on May 28 at 11:49 AM

Do the red mannequins at the American Apparel on Broadway (unpleasantly) remind anyone else of this:

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It makes me really not want to shop there.

“Compare Your Genitals to Musicians!”

posted by on May 28 at 11:47 AM

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This has been around a while, and despite spending 18 hours a day online, I didn’t see it till yesterday, when it filled me with joy: The SomethingAwful forum Compare Your Genitals to Musicians!, wherein a cavalcade of web denizens do just that, and renew my faith in humanity.

My penis is like Television- no matter how hard I try to shove it down’s people’s throats, it is never appreciated.
My penis is like Jimi Hendrix. Almost all of its attention comes from solos.
My vagina is like Bjork. Sometimes it’s just completely inaccessible.
My dick is like Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band. Almost no one gets it, and those who do are faking.
My dick is like Fergie. It wets itself halfway through a performance.
My cock is like AC/DC. Yeah, it’s old and it did its best work in the past, but it’s still fun to pull out at a party later in the evening after everyone’s been drinking for a bit.
My dick is like Ricky Martin. It had some limited crossover success in the past, but the only lasting success has been with Latinas. Ask most non-Latin women about it these days and they’ll either deny having liked it or chalk it up to being young and stupid.
My boobs are like the White Stripes-There’s two of them and most would say they could use a tan.
My junk is like Men Without Hats: Pretty much only known from that video with a midget.
My dick is like Ray Charles; it’s never seen a vagina.
My vagina is like Blink 182- immature frat boys really liked it in the nineties, but it’s basically a pop culture footnote now.
My penis is like a Leonard Cohen song: everyone likes it better when it’s covered.

Read them all here. Thank you, SomethingAwful!

Today’s Music News

posted by on May 28 at 10:11 AM

Big surprise: Chuck D backs Obama

Not as annoying as FOX’s NFL robot: Gorillaz provide promos for BBC’s Olympics coverage

From material world to Third World: Madonna’s adoption of Malawian child approved

Update on the death of the record industry pt. 1: RIAA shuts down Allofmp3, sort of

Update on the death of the record industry pt. 2: New Motley Crue single sells more copies through Rock Band than iTunes

Not as cool as Joe Preston’s jackhammer solos: Jackyl frontman set to release second solo album; does chainsaw solo

The Pointer Sisters - Send Him Back

posted by on May 28 at 9:33 AM

It’s always fun when you play something, and another DJ comes up to you with that muso-grin and exclaims, “What is that track?!?!?” This happened a couple of weeks ago, when I played the following track by The Pointer Sisters.

The Pointer Sisters - Send Him Back (Pilooski Edit)

Gene Balk from The Emerald City Soul Club. came up and asked me for all the info I knew about the edit. He was amazed at how much energy it had. After telling him everything I knew about it, mainly that I bought it purely on the basis of it being a Pilooski edit (and I loves me some Pilooski!) and that it was by The Pointer Sisters (duh! of course he already knew that!), but that I’d never heard it before I bought the re-edit. So it had to be rare, as it wasn’t on any of my early Pointer Sisters albums.

Gene, then, became the font of information for me. He told me it was originally a b-side to an early single on Atlantic, “Destination No More Heartache”, from 1972, that really went nowhere for the sisters. Meant to capitalize on the Northern Soul craze, it didn’t garner many fans at the time. In 1975, though, the northern soulies re-discovered the b-side, “Send Him Back”. It was even played in the legendary Wigan Casino soul night by Russ Winstanley and Richard Searling where it appears it went as high as 17 before falling to 19, and one would imagine, falling off the charts all together.

Needless to say, because of its original un-popularity, the single is rare. A copy sold in the middle of may on Ebay for $40. Most likely its a bootleg copy, as an original would sell for around $200. I couldn’t find any copies on Gemm at all.

But hey, you guys are all so lucky, ‘cause Gene was nice enough to share it with all of us!

The Pointer Sisters - Send Him Back

Tonight, STUDIO at HAVANA is gonna be a little different. Mainly because Monsieur American Athlete is in gay Paris! That leaves just me and our guest the aforementioned Gene Balk.

Gene is awesome! He has a great collection of records, and on the nights he DJs STUDIO he brings stuff that he usually doesn’t get to play at the Soul Club nights, mainly the early proto-disco from the late-‘60’s/early ‘70’s. It meshes beautifully into the later era disco that both TJ and I play during the night.

So join us!

Send my baby back!

Tralla Tralla Boom Boom!


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Sunday: M83 Enveloped

posted by on May 27 at 6:10 PM

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M83’s Anthony Gonzales stood barefoot on the edge of the sold out Neumos stage Sunday night and wafted cycles and patterns out of his guitar. He curled his toes over the edge, leaned back, and was enveloped by the cinematic swell.

The band was sharpened and smooth. They shimmered. Gonzales rotated between his illuminated glass tweak-box and guitar. He was joined by Pierre-Marie Maulini on bass and guitar, Loic Maurin on drums, and Saturdays vocalist Morgan Kibby on keys. Kibby’s voice was especially angelic and fitting for the songs. She was completely absorbed in the music. So was the crowd. Maurin at times, seemed a bit too heavy handed on the cymbals. He seemed a bit too rock. He played behind a plexiglass divider for separation.

The show rode on prolonged build-ups and teardowns. Momentum built then crashed and cut back. Emotive synths colored and stabbed. Gonzales delivered the finer moments of Saturdays = Youth and the audience soaked every drop.

Oui, oui! Here’s Anthony for you now:

Mates of State Will be Performing at Sonic Boom in Ballard in One Hour and 15 Minutes

posted by on May 27 at 4:45 PM

The show is all-ages and free, of course. It’s in a record store after all.

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Mates of State at Sasquatch, photo by Sean Pecknold

Bruce Willis Rocks

posted by on May 27 at 4:28 PM

When I was growing up, my mom always had this tape in the car:

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For whatever reason, I mentioned that while driving to the Gorge this weekend and Eric Grandy then informed all of us that Bruce Willis also showcased his music talents in a wonderful 1986 wine cooler commercial.

Enjoy:

Sadly, Bruce Willis did not perform at Sasquatch.

Michael Ian Black and Michael Showalter Got PWNED

posted by on May 27 at 4:23 PM

Michael Ian Black, Michael Showalter, and Eugene Mirman were the last three comedians to perform in the Comedy Tent at this year’s Sasquatch!, and while I was really looking forward to the Michaels closing out the weekend, it was Mirman FTW.

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The Michaels were lackluster. Showalter was “deathly ill.” His set was moved back 45 minutes, he sat down for much of his performance, he looked tired, and he was sweating profusely under the hot lights. He was clearly sick. But he gave it an ol’ college try, reading some old material from his laptop, including a list of music related thoughts that he published on Spin.com almost a month ago.

Best Band That Was Once Uncle Tupelo: Wilco

Worst Band That Was Once Uncle Tupelo: Sun Volt

Best Slow & Sleepy Fuck Music: Sade

Best Really Fast & Socially Conscious Fuck Music: Fugazi

He apologized for it not being the best show and the crowd still adored him anyway.

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Michael Ian Black was not sick, be he wasn’t well. I’ve seen his stand up act quite a few times now, and he’s just not as funny alone as he is with other people (Stella, for example). His sarcastic humor works best when he’s using it to spar against others.

By the time he took the stage, the Flight of the Conchords had just wrapped up on the mainstage, and he used that opportunity to proclaim “I could be that famous too, if I had an accent.” Then he told the story about how he met the FotC at the premier for his new movie Run, Fatboy, Run, and they sorta blew him off. He introduced himself to them, said he wrote the movie they just saw, and they were like “Oh.” They could’ve said they liked the movie, but they didn’t say that. Then he walked around the stage a little bit, pretending to be hurt.

The crowd laughed, he turned pouted, then he turned towards the mainstage and flipped them off. It was a little more bitter than funny, and definitely awkward. But whatever, Michael Ian Black loves awkward.

The rest of his performance, I can’t remember, because it was pretty unmemorable. And I’m a big fan, I was trying really hard to like it. But maybe I was trying too hard. I dunno.

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Eugene Mirman, though, killed it. Brian Posehn is still my favorite for the weekend, but Mirman had a bunch of new material, and chatted with the crowd a lot of the time. It was a battle of wits at one point. He mentioned Ayn Rand and then a number of people watching had to prove they knew who she was by yelling out names of her books. He made fun of them, everyone laughed.

He had some new suggestions for those annoying pop-up polls on MySpace, he read aloud the letter he wrote to the gas company when they shut off his gas, he showed a video of his recent primary coverage (referring to the Liberty Bell: “It’s cracked, like America’s government.”), and did a powerpoint presentation of some of the world’s rarest animals (that he made up).

As he left the stage, he announced he’ll probably be returning to Seattle in July. I can’t wait.

Wilco Coming to… Spokane. With the Fleet Foxes!

posted by on May 27 at 3:30 PM

The only Washington show on Wilco’s upcoming tour is in Spokane. Fleet Foxes open.

WHEN:
Thursday, August 21, 2008
8:00 PM Show time I 7:00 PM Doors

WHERE:
INB Performing Arts Center
W. 334 Spokane Falls :: Spokane, WA

TICKETS:
ON SALE FRIDAY MAY 30 at 10AM
$29.00 Reserved Tickets

Tickets are available through ticketswest.com.

Speaking of Fleet Foxes, this is what it looks like when they play the Mainstage at Sasquatch in front of tens of thousands of people who have no idea who they are (or think they’re the National).

Show Me Your Tits, Part II

posted by on May 27 at 3:21 PM

Okay, I’m sorry for teasing you… here’s some real live NSFW tits (and an ass so perfect I wish I could reach in the photo and smack it) AFTER THE JUMP!

Continue reading "Show Me Your Tits, Part II" »

The Flaming Lips at Sasquatch

posted by on May 27 at 2:25 PM

lips4.jpgPhoto by Sean Pecknold

lips1.jpgPhoto by Christopher Nelson

lips2.jpgPhoto by Christopher Nelson

lips3.jpgPhoto by Christopher Nelson

lips5.jpgPhoto by Sean Pecknold

This Is Some Really Heavy, World-Consuming Shit

posted by on May 27 at 2:19 PM

Nate Mooter (of Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground) eating a tequila worm.

That is all.

Also, what this video doesn’t show is me smashing the bottle on the pavement outside the trailer to get the worm out. Seriously, this operation took like a half hour.

Both Sides of the Trip

posted by on May 27 at 2:06 PM

Monday:

Oh god I was hung over yesterday morning. I wandered around the sprawling campsites after the Cure on Sunday until dawn, drinking and accosting and being accosted by yellow shirt mongoloid rent-a-cops. When it came time for a third day of festival I needed a god damn nap in a bad way, so I staked a flat spot on the terraced part of the hill and dozed in the sun while the main stage plugged away though the morning lineup. This semi-conscious, recuperative state was how I experienced the Hives and the first half of Built to Spill. Few conclusions were drawn from the Hives set, mostly that their guitar tone sounded weak and sometimes out of tune, and that their bratty, cocky lead singer Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist is a lot like a Swedish version of These Arms Are Snakes’ Steve Snere. Like Eric said before, Built to Spill were unsurprisingly awesome, playing lots of their long, jammy songs but mixing them up with shorter numbers as well. “Traces” was flawless, and any time they play “Big Dipper” I get heart happy. They were thoroughly enjoyable but fairly unexciting, and by the end of their set my hangover had subsided to the point where I no longer felt like flinging myself into the canyon.

Rodrigo y Gabrielaphoto by Christopher Nelson

I’d heard good things about Rodrigo y Gabriela but didn’t get a chance to see them at Bumbershoot last year. They were without a doubt the best act I saw on the main stage this year, blowing the minds of the entire audience with lighting fast acoustic flamenco/metal. If you’ve never heard, Gabriela plays actual rhythms with her flailing outstretched hand that sound like a drum set while Rodrigo absolutely shreds up and down the fret board. When Gabriela’s guitar broke, she walked off stage leaving Rodrigo to entertain the audience by ripping through Metallica and Jimi Hendrix riffs. His solos were so intense they caused the entire audience to explode in applause every couple minutes. As he stood on stage in front of a beautiful canyon, thousands of people in awe of his skill, I could just imagine him bellowing in triumph, “I am the greatest guitarist in the WORLD!” Respect.

Following that up with Battles, who is in my opinion pretty much the best live band in the world right now, was pretty incredible. Watching total bros lose their inhibitions and start dancing like hippies during “Atlas” was like a miniature “Hands Around the World.” It might have been how high I was, but I’m pretty sure I saw two Lost Boys walk past me and disappear into the dance pit with evil grins on their faces. Drummer John Stanier looked like he was going to pop a brain vein. I actually felt sorry for him, like, “Those guitarists are working that poor drummer to death! Somebody help him!” As remarkable as he is at being a high-speed human metronome, I can’t imagine playing like that every night would be very much fun.

The headliners of the night, Mars Volta and the Flaming Lips, are opposite sides of a mushroom trip. The Flaming Lips are the sheer joy of psychedelics, their set being the rainbow confetti cumshot perfect for concluding a long, drugged-out music weekend. The visuals were great, everybody sang and had fun, and it didn’t even matter that the Lips are still basically doing the same thing they’ve been doing for years now with but with more expensive props.

The Mars Volta are the other side of the hallucinogenic spectrum, the exhilarating, frightening, self-introspective part of the trip. They didn’t start with a song but rather an explosion, five straight minutes of guitar solo, drum fill and driving bass, while singer Cedric Bixler flung himself around stage, jumped off amps, and chucked a symbol and stand and a jumbotron camera into the audience. They played tracks from their albums, but each drifted into strange, evil improv jazz sessions. There were so many intricate parts fighting for attention that a lot of it was lost through the sound system - I found myself often straining to hear what certain members were playing. Their sound was loud and abrasive, and it drove people away in streams – there were definitely more people walking away from the Mars Volta than towards them. Then shit got really weird.

Mars Voltaphoto by Christopher Nelson

During “Goliath” they went into a long, discordant saxophone solo, then a back and forth of unpleasant noises between the sax and the guitar. There is no denying each member of the Volta is an incredible musician, and the dark, avant-jazz they’ve created is fascinating, but I found myself asking throughout the set, “This is definitely original, but is it good?” On the whole, yes. The sound they are experimenting with is often unpleasant, but it is also a step in a whole new direction following neither the path of rock, jazz, or prog music. They are a band focused on being musicians and pushing limits, not on writing hit songs. The reaction to them seemed a straight mix between pure respect and utter disgust. I overheard the people sitting behind me say their friend left during the set because she got scared. “Yeah, that band was scary,” her friend replied. Walking to the parking lot at the end of the night, someone yelled, “Who loves the Mars Volta?” There were scattered yeahs, followed by equal boos, and someone saying over and over, “Not so much, not so much.”

Sasquatch Outtakes

posted by on May 27 at 2:00 PM

Me and Kelly O were just trying to make video interviews, but weird things kept happening…

Scott of Throw Me the Statue

Tim Meadows and Jerry Minor

Eugene Mirman

I heard there were some acid sugar cubes floating around, but this just got ridiculous.

Back Tats I Saw at Sasquatch While Waiting for Built to Spill to Start

posted by on May 27 at 1:11 PM

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Today’s Music News

posted by on May 27 at 12:33 PM

The end of Hopelandic?: New Sigur Ros LP

But no explanation for the C+C Music Factory-esque third track: My Morning Jacket speaks candidly about new album

Remember when Def Leppard’s Hysteria shipped half a million copies in one day?: Usher’s new album—out today—already had over half a million illegal downloads

From the guy who recorded the big Limp Bizkit record: News on the new Mastodon record

Attention vinyl nerds: Screeching Weasel’s back catalog resurfaces

Day 3: Sasquatched

posted by on May 27 at 12:12 PM

Whew. I’m spent. I couldn’t even make it through to the Flaming Lips. I feel destined to never see that band play live, although I really wanted to yesterday.

Say Hi were a pleasant surprise. I’m not always in the mood for Buffy-ready power pop (“This is a song about vampires,” was the first thing I heard of their set), but Eric Elbogen was charming and fun and cute. He reminded me a little of Hefner and Figurine, although he doesn’t really sound a lot like either of those bands. I know that’s not terribly helpful, but my synapses may have been a little misconnected by this point in the weekend.

Built to Spill weren’t surprising. They aren’t really a surprising band at this point in their career. What they are is reliably awesome, and perfectly suited to the summer festival scene, equal parts oddly poppy and classically jammy. You cannot fuck with songs like “Dystopian Dream Girl,” “Big Dipper,” and “Nowhere Nothing Fuckup,” whose closing refrain of “In America / every puddle / a gasoline rainbow” seemed especially poignant. At one point, the Jumbotron caught Doug Martsch, mid instrumental solo, playing guitar, eyes closed, beads of sweat on his brow, just looking totally beatific. I overheard some guy say of them, “They’re no Hives, but that was good.”

The most giddy, satisfying set of the day (maybe the whole fest) came from Battles on Monday evening. To borrow from a friend: The band really does speak their own language, both in terms of incomprehensible elf vocals and in terms of their tightly shifting fourth dimensional instrumental rock; for much of their set, they seemed content just speaking to each other even if it went over everyone else’s heads. But the epic, unfurling “Tonto” and the mad, marching stomp of “Atlas” were understandable and crowd-pleasing enough, inspiring wordless sing-alongs and swirling pockets of dancing. The only intelligible words: a loop of the word “Battles” on the opening song, and the minimal between song banter of, “Oh boy, Sasquatch.”

conchords1.jpgFlight of the Conchords photo by Christopher Nelson

From up on the hill, Flight of the Conchords were all but drowned out by Kinski rocking the neighboring Yeti Stage. (Can’t someone from Sub Pop sort this stuff out?) Battles conflicted with most of the Conchords’ set, but I managed to get there just in time to hear them announce, “We’re a Christian band. It’s not just me and Jemaine up here. It’s me and Jemaine and Jesus.” Then they played a hilarious, brilliant (like all their songs) number about angels “doing it” in heaven that included lines about how “no one knows what goes on under those robes” and angels “making it rain.” Making it rain! Jesus, that is one funny motherfucking band.

Futurist soul crooner Jamie Lidell was the last set for which I still had any stamina, but when the late set finally started it was worth it. Lidell, sporting vertically striped pants and a gold jacket, played with a full backing band—drummer, keyboardist, guitarist, and a berobed, Jesus-y looking figure playing two saxophones plus some kind of vocoder flute. The first two songs were pretty straight live numbers, and they made Lidell’s soul singer schtick seem more serious than ever, although, I suppose it’s always been simultaneously serious and silly. Lidell is for real; he’s also a funny motherfucking freak.

Lidell-1-sm_Piper-Carr.jpgphoto by Piper Carr

For “When I Come Back Around” and “Little Bit More” Lidell worked the live sampling/looping/beatboxing/scatting magic that made his Bumbershoot set two years ago such a revelation. This time though, instead of just sampling himself, Lidell had his whole band to work off of, stealing loops from different instruments and remixing/effecting them on the fly, pointing what looked like a super-8 camera prop at the source to be sampled, like some kind of music-sucking ray gun. His banter is, of course, great. He asked the crowd who had heard the new record, who had paid for it, who had downloaded it for free (saying, “music is free; you know that”), replying to each round of applause with a genial, adorably British-accented, “Sweet as candy.” He asked the crowd to picture a piano keyboard, full of notes, and think of a note, any note, then, on the count of three, hold that note. He described the result as “some kind of amazing chord,” noting that a crowd in Holland hadn’t been able to come together quite so harmoniously, possibly due to phlegm. They played the new single, “Little Bit of Feel Good,” and it really did sound sweet as candy.

In All The Squatch Talk This Weekend…

posted by on May 27 at 11:38 AM

…You may have missed this little post about the Eurovision Song Contest Final, which was held this weekend.

Of particular note is the video that opened up the final show. It was last years Serbian winner Marija Serifovic who sang a Eurodance remix of her winning song, “Molitva”, while a bevy of lesbians interpretive-ly got “married” behind her. Here it is:

The only real smirch on this years Eurovision is that a fascist political group made up of old guard politicians and new guard skin-heads, that is very popular in Serbia, volunteered to beat up and chase out of the country any and all gay fans that would show up for the competition. From what I have heard in news reports, it sounds like that didn’t happen, but it’s too bad that it had to even be threatened by the host country.

A bigger problem for Eurovision next year may be the fact that Russia won this year’s competition. And if there could possibly be a country more fascistic and homophobic than Serbia, that country would be Russia.

Amazingly, Dima Bilan, the singer who brought home the prize for Russia, is about as faggy looking as they come. And I say that as a fag. With the mullet, the over the top vox, the figure skater…. I mean, come on folks. One can hope that Dima might help tamp down some of the hate politics in Russia as they prepare for this large endeavor next year, but I have no real belief a country as fucked up as Russia can face its problems just for the sake of Eurovision.

So see(?!?!), Eurovision does represent more than just irony masked in gay songs, dances and feather boas, as we learned this year from the fact that Serbia was hosting its neighbors who it is ready to go to war against (again!) over silly things like, you know, borders and stuff.

I’d like to send a huge - HUGE - thank you to Griet who braved every single contestant video and gave us such a unique and historic look at Eurovisions past, present and, now, future. That was an awesome job from our intrepid Stranger European Bureau reporter. Thank you so much Griet!

See you next year…

In Russia!

Dima Bilan singing the winning song “Believe”.


Monday, May 26, 2008

The Weirdest Thing at Sasquatch

posted by on May 26 at 8:57 PM

On the ground outside the main entrance to the comedy tent just before Reggie Watts’ mid-afternoon Sunday performance: a pair of discarded latex gloves. On the floor inside the comedy tent directly after Reggie Watts’ performance: a used condom.

Further, unrelated (?) weirdness during Reggie’s set: a man wearing only a pair of hibiscus-print board shorts who knelt in front of a low-lying air conditioning unit and played ecstatic air guitar, his long curly blond hair flowing back in the artificial wind. He was sunburned and sweaty; no one’s ever been happier to locate an air conditioner. He was silent (as befits air guitar) except for one sudden, wordless bellow.

As for Reggie, he’s achieving the kind of escape trajectory from the conventions of comedy that is rare. He’s absurd and foul and fantastical and compelling; what he does feels like a crucial form of entertainment that he alone has struck upon and he alone is capable of. (Guitar is not involved.) The woman in front of me who kept turning to her guy-person to look pointedly appalled during Reggie’s song about a shit-fuck stack only made it funnier (as did the guy’s refusal to do anything but look highly amused). Note to the guy: Break up with her now. If she cannot grasp the genius of Reggie Watts, she’s only going to drag you down.

reggiewatts.jpgMr. Watts onstage at Sasquatch (photo by Victoria Lahti)

Overheard at Sasquatch

posted by on May 26 at 6:30 PM

Some random things I heard people saying at ole’ Sassy…

“I just interviewed Robin Pecknold and all my questions were too sarcastic. He’s a really nice guy. Probably too nice.”

fleetfoxes_pipercar06Fleet Foxes photo by Piper Carr

“We came all the way out here for The Scholars and Cancer Rise. They both killed it. You know, I really don’t give a sh*t about the rest of this.”

Sunday-1

cancer.jpgBlue Scholars photo by Christopher Nelson / Cancer Rising by Sean Pecknold

QUESTION: “Is the dude from The Presidents related to Michael Stipe?”

presidents_pipercarr04The Presidents of the United States of America photo by Piper Carr

ANSWER: No. (But he may be related to the dude from The Cure?”)

“Can you buy this band at Urban Outfitters?”

roguewave_pipercarr01Rogue Wave photo by Piper Carr

“THAT was the only band I even danced to…”

Trucka3_Kelly OTruckasaurus photo by Kelly O

“C’mon. Don’t go watch The Kooks, let’s go back to the tent and get mushrooms.”

kooks_pipercarr02The Kooks photo by Piper Carr

“Wait a minute, is that Mike Patton? How many f*cking bands is that guy in?”

CrudoCrudo photo by Christopher Nelson

“I’m actually excited to see Modest Mouse. There, are you happy? I said it.”

modest.jpgphoto by Christopher Nelson

“I give up. I tried three different spots, and still couldn’t see M.I.A. She’s really short and I think she’s wearing all black.”

MIAphoto by Christopher Nelson

“I’m telling you these guys are gonna be huge.”

Dyme DefDyme Def photo by Sean Pecknold

“Ben Gibbard has a giant head now. GIANT.”

Death cabDeath Cab for Cutie photo by Sean Pecknold

“The Cure is the only reason we came. We’ve been out in the car playing cards all day because the rest of today’s lineup kinda sucked.”

Cure1_Kelly OThe Cure photo by Kelly O

Show Me Your Tits!

posted by on May 26 at 6:20 PM

Does this happen at Coachella, Red Rocks, Bonnaroo too?

Photos after the jump…

Continue reading "Show Me Your Tits!" »

The Cure… for What?

posted by on May 26 at 4:45 PM

Grandy says the Cure “played forever” and are “exhausting” (true) and Seling says the Cure was boring (also true), but none of these points quite get to it. It’s not that the audience becomes bored with the Cure; it’s that the Cure is so clearly bored with being the Cure. As decked out as they were, they seemed barely conscious. They seemed animatronic. While I was watching them, not very far away, I developed the theory that, since these stage personas were so thin and wasted and junked up with costumes and makeup, they can’t be real—they can’t really be in this much need of a hug. These are fake personas. These are cardboard cutouts. Their true personalities have probably evolved very far from these presented personas, possibly in the entirely opposite direction. Possibly they are people who, when they are not dressed as the Cure, like to horseback ride and have knitting parties and make pizza from scratch.

That, or… um, the Cure? You need to cheer the fuck up. Seriously. Cheer the fuck up. It’s been 30 years. The world has been good to you.

Statement about the Folklife Shooting

posted by on May 26 at 3:35 PM

A statement for Line Out from Tonya Gustafson, Folklife Spokesperson:

At approximately 6:30 p.m. Saturday, May 24, there was a scuffle between two men, and a shot was fired. This was an isolated incident. In thirty-seven years of the Northwest Folklife Festival, it has never happened before.

Based on the security protocols of Northwest Folklife and Seattle Center, the Seattle Police Department was in the area and apprehended the suspect immediately. Two individuals were taken from Seattle Center with non-life-threatening injuries. One victim was shot in the hand and the other in the leg.

The festival did not skip a beat. Programming continued as scheduled throughout the weekend.

Day 3: the Moondoggies, the Hives

posted by on May 26 at 3:17 PM

Whoever wrote in our Sasquatch guide that the Moondoggies “might be the perfect festival band” sure wasn’t far off the mark (I think it may have been Megan). Out on the grassy lawn, gorge looming, daylit, behind them, sky blue with a few fluffy clouds, the Moondoggies made more sense than I think they ever could in a Seattle bar. They sounded clear and breezy, rhodes and organ backing rootsy guitar and relaxed rhythm, vocal harmonies hanging there in the air. They had at least one major fan in one twirling girl in a red dress, who danced through their whole set; she kind of stole the show. The band should consider bringing her on for tambourine or something.

hives2.jpgHives photo by Christopher Nelson

The Hives are exactly the same as always, like a cartoon of a rock band fronted by the most adorable accent since Perfect Strangers. Either Brendan effectively shamed the band or else the Flaming Lips’ dormant UFO lighting rig hanging over the stage takes precedence (likely the latter), but the Hives did not have their giant neon sign today. Or maybe they just know how sunshine overpowers neon. In any case, the Hives’ banter is remains their most entertaining feature—sorry about all the banter here, but it’s been some good stuff; the comedy tent has some competition for its inaugural year. At one point, the singer suggested a petition for the Hives to get paid more money, since they work harder than other bands, jumping around instead of just playing some acoustic guitar. Then he decided, “Fuck it, let’s just play some more rock’n’roll.” Then: “Since we are from Sweden and you are from America, we are going to communicate with you using the oldest language known to man—the drums. Right now, the drums are telling you to jump up and down like this. I am translating them to English for you.” Later, he talked up the band’s work ethic some more: “I’m the Energizer bunny, I could do this all night. Except there are other bands playing…” At first, their songs sounded more raw and screamy than I remembered, but soon the band busted out some poppier, groovier numbers and it seemed more like the cute little garage band I recall from that (International) Noise Conspiracy tour forever ago. “Didn’t they just play this song,” my friend asked at one point. Basically, yeah.

hives1.jpgHives photo by Christopher Nelson

Owning the Main Stage

posted by on May 26 at 1:44 PM

Death CabPhoto by Sean Pecknold

All the teenagers sitting around me on the hill sang along to the Death Cab singles. As someone who used to see Death Cab when I was in high school, back when they were playing the old Paradox and the like, it’s still a bit baffling to see them adored by such a massive crowd. When they played Sasquatch! a few years ago their songs didn’t seem to translate well from small club to amphitheater - their star seemed to be rising faster than their sound could keep up. The material off Narrow Stairs, as well as the few older cuts they’ve kept in their set, have no such problems anymore. “Long Division” was written to be performed in front of thousands, the intro jam to “I Will Possess Your Heart” builds a great tension that isn’t released until the final bridge. I didn’t want to hear their old songs - the context wouldn’t be right anymore in a setting like the Gorge. Opposite of when the Cure was playing, all I wanted to hear was their new material. Death Cab is a stadium band now, a festival band, and sometime between last time they played the Gorge they figured out how to own the attention of a huge crowd.

Lava Pit

posted by on May 26 at 1:05 PM

I got an unsolicited message from the Cactus Man this morning, and I’d like to share it with all of you.

Can I have a room in my mansion with a lava pit. I would say ” hey, would you guys like to see my lava pit?” .. and you would think of me beautiful.. and uniquely eccentric. and outside I will have a lava heated tropical lagoon.. people will say “hey, jake is having another one of his sexy parties.” and all over the world beautiful models, and young people of world power.. we will come and converse on world affairs.. and drink and do drugs.. and radiate with young sexual energy.. so good to touch.. so good to taste.. well then confess i do.. i am one of the young lustful leaders..for the knowledge of the world and the way it turns.. has molded us into vampires of intense dangerous pleasures.. oh, wow.. did you ever imagine this is what it would be like.. or is it even better then that. dancing through the night to old, old beats. with a Venezuelan princess.. see watch me my dear.. watch the way my hips swing.. and wave your arms through the air as if you were flying through the night.. and touch all of the stars.. don’t miss any of them.. take my hand.. follow me.. lets run.. her laugh is almost as beautiful as these eyes.. she giggles like a little girl i knew a long time ago.. we stop and share a brief moment of warm silence.. and she kisses me softly, and takes my heart with a smile.. ” oh..” i say.. “would you like to see my lava pit?” and then i take her heart away.. because i am beautiful.. and uniquely eccentric…………………..

Fair enough Cactus Man, fair enough.

The Travelocity Gnome Was Dancing to Dyme Def

posted by on May 26 at 1:00 PM

dymedefgnome.jpg

He seemed to really like them.

Today’s Music News

posted by on May 26 at 12:59 PM

The big headline on a slow news day: My Chemical Romance respond to teenage suicide

Lucky for his lousy aim: Slick Rick pardoned by governor

Speaking words of wisdom: Paul McCartney receives honorary degree

Keepin’ it real: 924 Gilman documentary trailer

Another reason to hate Dream Theater: Three kick drums? Really?

Day 2: the Cops, Malkmus, & the Cure

posted by on May 26 at 12:57 PM

thecops1.jpgThe Cops photo by Christopher Nelson

Like Truckasauras before them, the Cops were some funny, quite probably drunk motherfuckers. A high point of their banter: singer Mickael Jaworski’s rant about how, “There’s something called the cost of living,” and how “all the corporations of America [should] keep up.” He changed his mind a second later, saying, “Fuck the corporations. Everyone should grow their hair out long, smoke a lot of pot, and join a rock’n’roll band.”

thecops2.jpgThe Cops photo by Christopher Nelson

I don’t think I’ve seen the Cops since they added a fifth member, but it seems to be working out pretty well for them, the extra guitar making their simple, straight-ahead garage rock sound pretty damn big, Hives-like almost. The added guitar also allowed Jaworski to ditch his for a few songs and hop into the crowd to instigate some pogo-ing. Also like the Truck, they seemed to prove themselves pretty well to the afternoon crowd at the little Yeti stage.

malkmus1.jpgPhoto by Sean Pecknold

Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks, predictably, also had some pretty snappy quips, which included talking shit on the Kooks for taking too long (“Us, as tidy Americans took 15 minutes.”), shouting out Kennewick and its famous Man, and then talking about how this was the nicest weather he’d ever seen at Sasquatch, although, he said, “I wasn’t here yesterday, though. I heard that yesterday it was raining sideways…crooked rain.” Groan.

As a big, late-to-the-wake Pavement fan, the Jicks are kind of a mixed bag for me. Malkmus and his band are clearly way into the classic rock thing, unabashedly so, jamming out and noodling and busting out big stadium riffs and all that shit. They do it well, of course, and, especially at a big outdoor festival, it makes sense. But what kills me is that, it’s like there’s little two-minute Pavement songs hidden inside their big, fried eight-minute guitar jams, and when Malkmus drops some odd couplet in a softer moment, it really does make me a little longing.

cure1.jpgPhoto by Christopher Nelson

The Cure. Wow. Where to begin? The guitar player’s utilikilt? His spiked leather boots? His weird, white bald head making him look like one of those dudes from Dark City? I know as soon as I start making fun of how goths dress, I’m basically a jock, but man, it is an aesthetic that doesn’t age quite as well as others. Let’s just say that.*

cureskirt.jpgPhoto by Sean Pecknold

Watching the Cure, in comparison to REM the night before, really made me realize how differently the two bands have aged. REM, couple of sleepy albums aside, has successfully kept on growing and creating as a band in a way that the Cure just hasn’t. REM in 2008, as they say, “has legs.” The Cure, on the other hand, seem like the best they could do would be to perfectly replicate the Cure circa mid ’80s, and it seems like that’s what would probably make most of their fans the happiest, too. I wonder if a lot of that has to do with their essential attitudes, REM being a little more sly and post-modern and a little less sincerely (new) romantic. I also wondered if Smith’s melancholy songs of loss and longing make more sense now that dude’s old, if the parts that always seemed melodramatic might be any less so now; I think they’re still plenty melodramatic.

All of which is secondary to the fact that the Cure’s great, old hits are fucking amazing. “Pictures of You” was just impossible dreamy, lights sparkling like raining glitter behind the band, purple and pink lights flooding the amphitheater. And every other song, I realized that, even as something of a “Greatest Hits” Cure fan, I recognize a hell of a lot of Cure songs. Turns out they’ve been playing ambiently throughout my whole life. Everything sounded perfect, even if there wasn’t as much action—on stage or on the video screens, which were all soft-focus (with no close ups of Smith) and slow, overlapping fades. After the first hour or so, the cold and the hydration were catching up with me, and I had to give up my sweet seat, but the Cure kept on playing for about another 8 hours. Seriously. They just played forever. It was exhausting.

smithclose.jpgPhoto by Christopher Nelson

*Actually, let’s not just say that. Let’s also say the Robert Smith has also not aged so well. One friend and I argued about whether he looked more like Dina Martina or Jackie Hell, agreeing that he definitely looked like “some old drag queen.” Another friend thought he looked a little waterlogged. I wanted to ask, “Hey, Robert Smith, why the long, bloated face?” Sorry. I feel terrible.

Brian Posehn Hates Belle & Sebastian and So Do I

posted by on May 26 at 12:55 PM

brianp.jpg

Brian Posehn opened his Sunday evening performance with my favorite quote of the weekend (so far). For his show, the comedy tent was packed to full capacity, despite the Kooks performing nearby, to which he said:

“How do you compete with the pretty-boy British faggotry of the Kooks? Giant retard, that’s how.”

The hilarious, self-deprecating comic was referring to himself as the giant retard, of course. All through his 45-minute stand-up routine the biggest laughs came when he made fun of his appearance (which is an obvious punchline, admit it). He compared himself to a sasquatch, said he was born with a “rape-y” face, he gave us the visual of him running naked in a baby mask, with his dick tucked between his legs and swinging around a sword, and he also described himself as a bunch of farts bundled together and wearing a man suit. Then he walked, heavy legged, across the stage making fart noises with his mouth.

Comedy never sounds as funny on paper (or blog), but it was fucking hilarious, I promise you.

To fit with the music theme of the weekend, he also shared some of his thoughts on current bands: he hates Belle & Sebastian and Nickleback, but he loves Slayer and was stoked to see the Cure later that night (I wonder if he thought they were as boring as I did?). He’s a self-proclaimed metalhead, and that pleased the crowd of folks gathered in the comedy tent, avoiding stuff like the Kooks.

Today the comedy tent will continue to be the big highlight of my weekend—this afternoon Eugene Mirman, Michael Showalter, and Michael Ian Black all perform.

Huzzah!

Film School @ Neumos Tonight

posted by on May 26 at 11:35 AM

The one show I regret missing this weekend is tonight’s show at Neumos, featuring Film School opening for Swervedriver. Of the fifty or so bands I saw at SXSW, Film School is the only band that’s gained a permanent spot in my musical rotation (they’ve already creeped into being one of my top bands according to Last.fm). Like another favorite band of mine, the Stratford 4, this also-from-SF band takes shoegaze and updates it with all of the indie rock that came afterward. Sure, you could just say “they listened to a lot of Jesus and Mary Chain” and write them off, but oh how you’d be missing out. This ain’t shoegaze, it’s nu-gaze, and it’s gorgeous.

DEMF Day Two: Put Your Hands Up for Detroit

posted by on May 26 at 11:05 AM

lcg_250.jpgI spent most of DEMF Day Two in a bit of a daze, enjoying the music, but content to just sit and rest my aching feet. After a wonderful breakfast of chicken and waffles, I made it to Hart Plaza just in time to hear the end of Konrad Black’s set and the beginning of Heartthrob. It was only about four in the afternoon at that point, and people were already in party mode at the Beatport stage thanks to that one-two punch.

I left there in order to catch Seattle’s own Lawnchair Generals on the main stage. They represented us quite nicely, mixing little homages to Detroit techno in their set. Nice work, and despite being able to see them at home, I still stuck around for the better part of an hour, watching the Detroit crowd experience how we do things in the 206.

After brief stops by the other stages, I had to catch the tail end of Paco Osuna’s set. Chain-smoking while he DJs, it’s hard to tell if he’s even enjoying himself, but I’ll be damned if he didn’t slay the crowd once again. I hope Decibel can bring him in. He was followed by M_nus’ princess, Magda, but she’s bored me enough over time that I didn’t feel compelled to stick around.

Superstar DJ Benny Benassi had no shortage of hero-worship up on the Pioneer stage. That space was filled to the brim with what a friend calls “guido ravers,” with Benassi having to make multiple calls for the crowd to move back. I was not into his brand of electrohouse, but I’m not going to fault the kids for their good time. They didn’t annoy me until later.

My good time came shortly after at the underground stage, where Kenny Larkin prevailed despite technical issues, throwing down the most “Detroit” set I’d heard all festival. He shrugged off the audio cutting out during mixes, and instead jumped around, with a little bit of house, a little bit of electro, and plenty of Techno (with a capital T). Lovely.

Carl Craig and Underground Resistance’s aural destruction after the jump.

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Sunday, May 25, 2008

Good Music, Good Memories

posted by on May 25 at 8:03 PM

ninja.jpg

Beers of the World

posted by on May 25 at 6:15 PM

The world here at Sasquatch is composed of Canada (Molson), Mexico (Modelo Especial), the Netherlands (Heineken), and Colorado (Coors and Coors Light). Beers of the World at the stand of the same name cost $12 (foreign) and $11 (domestic) for 24 ounces; the people of the world don’t seem to mind at all. Most popular: the tiny and indisputably cute keg–shaped cans of Heineken. A young woman serving the Beers of the World seemed to be in an exceptionally good humor, despite being far less than halfway through a 13-hour shift. She denied drinking on the job (Aramark would frown on that).

In other news: A torrential downpour cannot harm the integrity of an elephant ear consumed at a moderate pace.

“I Can’t Fucking Believe We’re Here!”

posted by on May 25 at 5:30 PM

Truckasauras’s afternoon show today: So many swears!

trucka1.jpgPhoto by Kelly O

As great as it is to see big-name, out of town acts at Sasquatch, it’s also a blast to see scrappy locals proving themselves to the sun-burned, beer-soaked festival masses. Truckasauras typically bring a much more live show than most electronic acts, rocking the American flag cape, pounding booze, and most of all playing to videographer Dan Bordon’s ’80s cheese visuals. Turns out daylight kind of kills Bordon’s projections–next year: mainstage, dual jumbotron—but the band made up for it by bringing an extended entourageof friends and family up on stage with them to run hype, throw out shirts and cds, and help polish off a big bottle of Maker’s Mark at one in the afternoon. “There’s my little brother,” said Adam Swan between songs—his little brother, by the way, had the stage presence of a white Biggie Smalls, believe—”He got in for free!”

“Sorry, this is just too crazy for us,” said Adam Swan between songs. “We’re playing at the fucking Gorge! And look at all of you, you guys fucking rock!” It was a sentiment Swan repeated between almost every song.

The sound was clear and heavy, bassy and beeping and bad-ass. The band was clearly getting a lot of mileage out of their newly acquired Korg MS-20 synthesizer, dropping squelchy-filtered acid bass lines deep, deep synth tones. And the fair-sized crowd seemed pretty into it. Video game inspired electro can be a hard sell at a big, outdoor music festival on a Sunday afternoon, but the Truck was pulling it off. And the joke juice wasn’t hurting either.

“I know there’s a lot of dudes out there,” Swan, again. “But if we see some titties, you’re gonna get a shirt.” (They got rid of two shirts.)

They also gave a lot of shout outs to the weather, along the lines of, “Give it up for the sun!”

For all the goofy debauchery and impeccable sound, the set kind of dragged toward the end, as the band seemed to settle into some mellower numbers. But still, Truckasauras done good. Seriously, next year: Jumbotrons!

Dance Lessons

posted by on May 25 at 4:59 PM

As Megan mentioned, Cancer Rising slayed the Yeti stage earlier this afternoon. They brought with them “the future of Northwest breakdancing,” Them Team. Here is a taste of the flavor that made the crowd lose their shit:

The Burden of Stipe

posted by on May 25 at 4:57 PM

I win the official Sucker of the Day award!

While all these Stranger motherfuckers have been wasting brain power on pontificating The Burden of Stipe, I’ve been sitting in the Sasquatch press tent fixing wireless routers. What the shit is that!? Four hours ago, I putting band-aids on my face to stop evil spirits from leaking out, and now I’m the fucking computer nerd fixer guy?


sharing Stipe’s load


Anywho, I was ready to give up on this whole having fun thing until I saw Truckasauras this afternoon. Following Friday’s used bin jamdown, it was an honest relief to witness skittery drum machine claps and a few goofy dudes passing around Maker’s Mark on stage. No posing or dance moves to be seen, just… good music, good memories*.


* as said by Frizzelle re: R.E.M., but also potentially about Truckasauras

Mumblecore

posted by on May 25 at 4:55 PM

Following up on Jeff Kirby’s Modest Mouse recap, the one bit of Isaac Brock’s banter I remember from their set:

“Mumblemumblemumble had a shirt I was gonna wear mumblemumblemumble bullshit mumblemumble bullshit!”

Verbatim.

Cancer Rising Reminded Me That They’re Great

posted by on May 25 at 4:45 PM

I just saw Cancer Rising for (I’m ashamed to say) the first time since Bumbershoot last year.

They were great, the crowd loved them, it was sunny and beautiful and everyone was in a glowing mood thanks to their entertaining rhymes about flippin’ off the boss and givin’ two weeks notice.

cancerrising1.jpg

And after seeing them immediately after the Blue Scholars totally slayed on the Mainstage, it’s hard to not toy with ideas of the Blue Scholars being Seattle’s hiphop present and Cancer Rising being a big part of Seattle’s hiphop future. Cancer Rising owned that crowd just as well as Geologic and Sabzi did on the big stage—gettin’ ‘em to dance, wave their hands in the air, clap, and sing a long. They were the puppet masters.

cancerrising2.jpg

Folks went especially crazy when the guys brought out members of the Massive Monkees (national champs, I hear). I could only imagine the roars if that had gone down on the Mainstage.

Moral of the story: I will not wait almost another year before seeing them again.

cancerrising3.jpg

Foxes, Rivers, Mice, and the Rain

posted by on May 25 at 2:45 PM

Saturday:

The first bummer of the weekend I had to come to grips with was the fact that the one band I really wanted to see on Saturday, Fleet Foxes, were scheduled to play first on the main stage, making it all but impossible to see them unless I had some sort of “wake up early and get me to the Gorge” machine. After the frustrating clusterfuck of trying to get anyone where to tell us we were supposed to set up camp, we didn’t get in to the concert until well in the afternoon. Perusing my unexciting 4:30 choices, I figured the National were worth checking out since, you know, Jenna Bush thinks they’re awesome. This choice lead to the best surprise of the day: the National’s bus broke down and Fleet Foxes were replacing them for a second set on the main stage.

Fleet Foxes
photo by Sean Pecknold

The band started their set slow with “Sun Giant,” “Sun Rises,” and “Drops in the River.” All the people standing around me in the front didn’t quite know what think - there was a visible “I can’t dance to this” expression on a number of faces. Regardless, the entire hill was packed with people checking the band out, and no surprise, the Foxes stood up mightily to the pressure. Their vocal harmonies were bright and crisp, and the mix up front sounded surprisingly full. Thousands of people now think the National is a much better band than they actually are.

Ominous black clouds began accumulating in the sky.

The noise from other stages was so loud during Asssscat that the comedians were fighting just to hear their own voices. Normally UCB has a guest monologist who speaks on a topic suggested by the audience. This time they pulled people from the audience on to the stage to tell funny stories about something that happened to them that day. The comedians did an impressive job weaving the dumb drunken ramblings into funny improv bits, but the noise coming in the from outside was so loud most of the time they had to cup the microphone with their hand to compete for volume. The set closed with Horatio Sanz humping the ground and Matt Besser almost sadly proclaiming, “That’s about as funny as it’s going to get. Goodnight!” That obtrusive noise from outside turned out to be Crudo - Mike Patton and Dan the Automator. Friends at the Stranger tent who heard the set said they were “Terrible. If George W. Bush were a teenager, they would be his favorite band.”

I made the tough choice to see Okkervil River instead of M.I.A. They played high energy folk-pop with front man Will Shelf having about about as much fun playing an acoustic guitar as anyone I’ve seen. Though I never thought this listening to their albums, watching them perform live in their dapper black suits I couldn’t help but imagine them as a much, much, much better version of the Killers. It might just be that they both really like Springsteen.

modest_pipercarr04.gif
photo by Piper Carr

Modest Mouse do a fine job rocking a huge amphitheater with the poppy cuts from their last two albums, but it wasn’t until they broke into ‘Trucker’s Atlas” that I was really glad to be seeing them at another Sasquatch!. Issac Brock started out full of spastic energy but seemed to wear himself out by the middle point of the set. “Doing the Cockroach” came off tired and unenthused, with Brock’s voice straining to hit high notes. By the time they played “Trailer Trash” (a lot of off Lonesome Crowded West, which was great) his voice was straight tuckered, though it was awesome seeing Johnny Marr add his own touches to the breakdown at the end. There was a minor exodus after their set as the rain began to pour, and it was a cold rain.

A-Whoooooo Oooh

posted by on May 25 at 2:45 PM

The Breedersphoto by Christopher Nelson

The Breeders! Holy fucking shit! They sounded amazing, all soft slowcore strumming bursting into brilliantly messy distortion. I don’t think it’s the mushrooms talking when I say that “Cannonball” was high point of the day. Hell, the whole set was an unexpected peak—I need to spend some more time with the Breeders’ discography when I get home. But “Cannonball” in particular was just nasty as hell, the chorus all delayed distortion, vocal fuzz, guitars careening almost out of whack. Most impressive was how easily the band shifted from composed quiet to massive aural assault—I know, I know, loud/quiet/loud. Whatever. It still kills.

Call Me Ishmael

posted by on May 25 at 2:44 PM

New favorite hobby at Sasquatch this year: lying about your name.

The first dissembler of the weekend was a young man—who appeared to be on mushrooms—begging at the front gate for a free ticket. Somebody in the crowd happened to have one and, in exchange, wanted to know some facts about the young man’s life. He said he was a college student, studying business. (“Mostly sustainability,” he hastily added, obviously thinking business was a gauche line of study.)

Then he was asked his name. “Burn,” he lied. “Really?” somebody asked. He said it was, but you could see the lie in his eyes.

The second dissembler stumbled around backstage while Modest Mouse played, handing out flyers to some event nobody seemed to care about. He stood against a chain-link fence overlooking the gorge, and stared balefully into a plastic cup that used to contain beer.

“This place is beautiful,” he mumbled, flinging his arm gorge-wards.

Main Stage

“I work at Coachella every year, but fuck Coachella, this place is beautiful. And I’m drunk.”

He said he lived in L.A. (“right in the ‘hood”), but maintained that people in Seattle are superior to people in his hometown. “People in Seattle are just, yo—whassup?!” he said, pumping his fist laterally.

“Do you know the Professor and Justice, from Rebelz?” he asked. I said I didn’t. “They’re just like, yo—whassup.”

I asked his name. “Pancho Villa,” he lied and shambled off for another cup of beer.

RE: REM

posted by on May 25 at 2:37 PM

Fair enough, Mr. Frizzelle, fair enough.

A couple additional thoughts: I don’t give a shit about the critical consensus. I was 14 in ‘94, and I thought Monster was the shit. I liked REM’s older singles at the time, but for whatever reason, at 14, I didn’t see Monster as the abominable galm rock youth grab that everyone seems to agree it was. All of which is to say that, when the band launched into “What’s the Frequency, Kenneth?” as their second song, I was genuinely and unexpectedly pumped. It wasn’t the high point of their set, not hardly, but it sounded fucking awesome. Just before their set, as fairweather REM fans fled in the rain, that nothing was going to get between me and “What’s the Frequency, Kenneth?” I had been half-joking; I totally didn’t think they’d play it, let alone as their second song.

Secondly, Stipe has a little bit of a Being John Malkovich thing going on, and it occurs to me that Stipe is an insanely actorly performer. At this point, after so many years, it’s like he’s playing Michael Stipe in REM. Every facial expression is practiced yet comfortable. When he dramatically takes off his shoes, hold them aloft, and then lets them drop, you think, “Well, yeah, of course.”

Two bits of banter: One, Stipe asks how many Canadians are here, how many Americans are here, how many people are voting for Obama, and then—such a long setup—says he wishes Canadians could vote. They can. In Canada. Also: Stipe is a Democrat?! Get the fuck out! Two, Stipe trains the whole crowd to shout, “I told you so!” “What happens if I fall down?” “I TOLD YOU SO!” Was that a dig at Banana Peel Buck or what?

Catching Up on Day One: M.I.A.

posted by on May 25 at 2:24 PM

I missed Beirut, the band I was most looking forward to seeing at Sasquatch. We left Seattle later than we should’ve, we stopped for food, and, finally, checking into our campsite was a clusterfuck of well-meaning but poorly coordinated event staff—we had to wait in a massive line of cars to get misdirected twice and then finally sent back to the front of the line from whence we’d came. Whatever. The weekend goes on, (although it goes on without a stable internet connection until about an hour ago; hopefully you’re all outside this weekend anyway).

MIAphoto by Christopher Nelson

Also high on my list of acts to catch: M.I.A. Maya Arulpragasam and crew did not disappoint. Seeing a sea of kids, hands up, guns out for “World Town” was pretty impressive. Massive. Seeing them all form guns for the gunshot blast beats was just absurd. There was some serious airhorn action happening onstage.

“Soundman turn me up out there. We’re gonna pretend we’re at Glastonbury, 1992, and everybody’s on ecstacy.” Into “XR2.”

Her backup dancers were decked out in red and yellow, the girl with a bright red bob wig, looking a little like Ronald McDonald clowns; appropriately, her awesome guy backup dancer was practically krumping.

Watched some red faced, cussing, blond and tousle-haired teen get wrestled and pinned by a handful of security guards—it may have been during “Pull Up the People,” or I might just be remembering it that way.

For “Sunshower,” the video screens played a super cute video of Arulpragasam. cut and pasted into a pixelated jungle background, cooly banging on a drum kit in clipped little video loops. During one point, she shouted, “Africa! Sasquatch!” Non sequiter globalism for real.

For “$20,” she sat on a speaker to deliver the stoned, stretched opening verse. “Bucky Done Gun” featured an extended horn and gunshot intro.

There was a kid with a too fresh NKOTB hat—hot pink on black and signed by all the boys.

Two guys in big, furry bird suits—one penguin, one parrot—went a little nuts for “Birdflu,” pogoing in their plush gear to the chicken scratch beat. They started literally pulling up the people, then, filling the stage, at first with a few brave kids and hippies, but soon with a massive mob, with Arulpragasam and her backup at the fore, just at the lip of the stage, a push of people behind them. A girl was dancing on the amp where Maya had been a song or two ago.

“Where are you,” Arulpragasam called out to her hype girl at one point.
“I’m right here!”

They played the massive jam, “Boys,” and then asked the crowd to leave the stage.
“Exit the stage now. Thanks for partying with us.”

Low Bee started playing “Galang” as the crowd walked off. A puff of smoke rose from near the DJ table. One kid did “the worm” offstage; he may be the coolest kids I saw all day.

“If you got any kind of light—cameras, phones, lighters—hold them up.”

“Paper Planes,” as expected, sounded awesome, all it was missing was sunshine instead of overcast sky. On the video screen, Arulpragasam was wielding a guitar as a gun, pixelated blasts coming out it’s head, then she was surfing on a neon paper plane, past Mario Bros clouds, occasionally still shooting or drumming. That Clash riff is fucking bottomless.

Photos from Sasquatch

posted by on May 25 at 2:07 PM

Modest Mouse
sasquatchmouse.jpgPhoto by: Christopher Nelson
Crowd at M.I.A.
sasquatchcrowd.jpgPhoto by: Christopher Nelson
REM
michaelstipe.jpg Photo by: Christopher Nelson
M.I.A.
miadance.jpgPhoto by: Christopher Nelson

Beirut
beirutsasquatch.jpgPhoto by: Sean Pecknold

R.E.M. Opens for “Awesome”

posted by on May 25 at 2:00 PM

The first thing that happened was Peter Buck fell. R.E.M. was walking out onto the stage, the surface of it slick with rain water, Michael Stipe looking all Michael Stipe-y, and Buck just ate it. Whooop! And then stood immediately back up, so that by the time I looked up I’d missed it.

“So dude just slipped?” said someone next to me, trying to come to grips with what he’d just seen.

His friend, who also saw it, nodded and added, “Like an old, irrelevant man.”

Harsh! They were great! They were R.E.M.! Nevertheless, a conversation ensued about the enduring-ness of R.E.M., the “relevance” of R.E.M., and someone who was very stoned predicted that R.E.M. was going to be big. “R.E.M. has legs,” he kept saying.

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After “Drive,” which Stipe sang with everything in his being, sang the hell out of, Stipe against the world, Stipe against time itself—tick… TOCK… tick… TOCK—the guy next to me (OK, Brandon Ivers) said, under his breath, “Fair enough, Mr. Stipe. Fair enough.”

The next morning—this morning—“Awesome” came out on stage (the mainstage!) in yellow polo shits (context: event security is wearing yellow polos—they looked like the Sasquatch Security Staff Band) and thanked R.E.M. “for opening for us” and apologized for “the 12-hour delay.” Then they played a fantastic, weird, musical-y, set in front of what looked like a very elaborate cloud background but was, actually, real clouds. Then it started raining and Evan Mosher, on trumpet, explained that the rain was a digital effect they were controlling. They did “Telephone,” their best song. Among the people seen losing their shit, dancing in the rain, were Sarah Rudinoff, Michael Place, and a bunch of people in green-plastic festival-issued refugee-camp-grade ponchos.

The Best Part About This Year’s Sasquatch…

posted by on May 25 at 1:51 PM

Music is great, sure, but I’m so glad they’ve added a comedy tent to Sasquatch.

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Yesterday evening, the tent wrapped up with a performance of Upright Citizens Brigade’s infamous improv project Assscat. It was so hilarious, given that it was being performed in a tent next to a stage that had music blasting louder than the performers most of the time.

The line-up was Matt Besser, Matt Walsh, Horatio Sanz, Tim Meadows, Jerry Minor, Rich Fulcher, Sean Conroy, and almost Rainn Wilson. Wilson was there to watch the show from the side of the stage, and Tim Meadows tried to get him to join them, but he got all shy and declined.

Bears. Beets. Battlestar Galactica.

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Before the improv started, they needed some ammo, so Tim Meadows pulled up a few random (and a weird) people from the audience and asked them to tell stories about their weekends so far. One girl talked about her friend sitting in someone else’s shit. The same girl also talked about getting gum stuck between her buttcheeks. One kid wore a lot of bandannas (and got made fun of for it) and told the story about getting pulled over on the way to the Gorge.

I’ll post another video or two in a bit… Right now I have to go see Blue Scholars.

“Are We On the Jumbotron?”

posted by on May 25 at 1:13 PM

Yes, Robin Pecknold, you’re on the Jumbotron.

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(The National were running late—apparently their bus broke down on the way, they played later in the evening—so our little Fleet Foxes played a second surprise set on the Sasquatch! Mainstage.)

Sasquatch Saturday: Vince Mira Almost Caused a Riot

posted by on May 25 at 1:04 PM

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When I got to the Yeti Stage the Roy Kay Trio were playing to an indifferent crowd. With the sun beaming down, dozens and dozens sat on the lawn in front of the stage, eating pizza, drinking out of mini Heineken cans. After a handful of songs, the band introduced Vince Mira. A baby-faced 15 year-old with a high and tight pomp strapped a guitar over his beaded country button-up. He smiled and coyly said hello. He sounded just like any other boy who couldn’t legally drive. The crowd remained indifferent.

Then he strummed his guitar and started to sing—a booming deep voice leaped from out of his gut. Even thought I expected it, it was still unbelievable. A woman sprung up, his voice scared her off her ass. Another shouted out a shocked “WHAT!?” Then everyone stood up, surged towards the stage and started dancing. Vince Mira sounds just like an adult Johnny Cash. Everyone pulled out their cameras, friends looked at each other with wide eyes and dropped jaws.

They loved his Johnny Cash covers best, but his originals were strong too. He brought out Jimmy Berg of the Bad Things to play accordion on one. While the Roy Kay Trio continued to back him, everyone cheered and danced. They were far from indifferent.

Here’s a video. It’s not the best sound quality, but you can at least tell I’m not making it up. This voice on this boy just doesn’t make sense. It’s awesome.

DEMF Day One: A Maximum of Minimal

posted by on May 25 at 11:12 AM

deepchord_250.JPGIt seems slow starts are becoming a bit of a theme at this year’s festival. Despite not arriving until around 3pm, Hart Plaza was still just beginning to look active, and despite the various artists’ best efforts, the real party vibe didn’t pick up until after sunset (which isn’t unusual, but felt a bit more pronounced).

That’s not to say people weren’t moving. Early on, house heads had the choice between Number 9 and DJ Minx, followed by John Jorg and Mike Grant, and all involved delivered, with Grant’s set complemented by the energetic dancer he had on stage.

It’s hard to get into the more heady acts at a festival like this. Deepchord played on the main stage, and their set was wonderfully dubby and spacious (“cave techno”). On the one hand, it was great to see an act like that on the big stage, not relegated to some stage ghetto. On the other hand, their music deserves time and an opportunity to wash over you, and this wasn’t that. If they could play at 4am as everyone was winding down, that’d be ideal. But of course this is a minor gripe at most. Imperfect space or not, Deepchord lived up to expectations.

The first (surprising) Seattle representation followed Deepchord, with our own Bruno Pronsato taking the stage as half of Half Hawaii. The duo’s live set transitioned the crowd into more dance-oriented fare, away from Deepchord’s dub and playing perfectly into Zip’s wonderfully dynamic set.

More on Day One after the jump.

Continue reading "DEMF Day One: A Maximum of Minimal" »

Eurovision final recap

posted by on May 25 at 6:58 AM

For me the excitement is less than it was during the semis because we’ve already seen 19 of the 25 songs performed. Still, we’re all pretty happy, dressed as we are as either “random Eurovision fans”, Denmark, Azerbaijan (pretty impressive display there), Belgium/Iceland (a combination) and “er… I’ve got a green T-shirt… I’ll be Greece”. Some people really don’t make enough of an effort. (Photos of random Eurovision parties)

Continue reading "Eurovision final recap" »