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Archives for 06/08/2008 - 06/14/2008

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Overheard at the Comet

posted by on June 14 at 4:00 PM

Person 1, “This band sucks.”
Person 2, “This band doesn’t suck. This band is awesome.”
Person 3, “This band is supposed to kind of suck. This is their sound.”

Person 1, “No, this band sucks.”
Person 2, “Yeah, and you like soft rock.”
Person 3, “These guys are really skilled.”

Person 1, “If they’re so skilled, why do they suck?”
Person 2, “You also liked Sixpence None the Richer.”
Person 3, “Trust me, this is how they want to sound.”

Person 1, “They want to suck?”
Person 2, “No, they just want you to listen to Sixpence None the Shittier.”
Person 3, “You all don’t know anything about music.”

Buckethead and Blake Lewis, Together at Last

posted by on June 14 at 11:55 AM

Here’s another summer festival to throw on to the pile, but this one will have an exorbitant amount of rainbow colored clothing, funny hats, and good vibes. And jams. So, so many jams.

Meltdown-Poster2008-web.jpg

Tonight in Music: Day Two of GMF, Neil Hamburger, Styrofoam, Emerald City Soul Club, Matt & Kim, Past Lives and Partman Parthorse, Wormwood’s Last Show, and Old 97’s

posted by on June 14 at 10:00 AM

Holy shit, the city’s gonna be noisy tonight.

Here’s the long list of shows…

First of all, it’s night two of the Georgetown Music Fest with the Lashes, Thee Emergency, the Hands, and about three hundred more bands. Okay, at least a couple dozen. The complete schedule can be found here.

From this week’s suggests:

Georgetown Music Fest
(Music) The third annual Georgetown Music Fest is a shot of adrenaline stabbed into the heart of Seattle’s industrial district, and it’s bigger than ever, with 60 bands on four stages over two days. Friday night ends with a performance by Helmet (!), but Saturday’s all-day schedule brings the best bargain with sexy, blues-infused classic rock by Thee Emergency, quirky acoustic songs by PWRFL Power, and the Lashes’ first Seattle performance of ‘08. (Georgetown Music Fest, 6000 Airport Way S, www .georgetownmusicfest.com. 11:30 am, $17 DOS/$26 for a weekend pass, all ages.) Megan Seling

Also from this week’s suggests:

Emerald City Soul Club
(Dancing) Why do I love Emerald City Soul Club? Because ECSC is one night’s blissful reprieve from the same old musical palette and constant THUMP THUMP THUMP of other club nights. Every 45 that the DJs play sounds familiar, even the ones I’m sure I don’t know, and every song swings and spins and steps across a floor that’s been sprinkled with baby powder for your dressed-up dancing pleasure. It’s perfect. (Lo-Fi, 429 Eastlake Ave E, 254-2824. 9 pm, $7, 21+.) Eric Grandy
Neil Hamburger - “Jug Town”

And Neil Hamburger’s tonight too! He’s playing the Sunset tonight; Ross Simonini interrogated him for this week’s paper:

Can you sing well?

Well, I’m not Phil Collins. I’m not even a music fan. I’m a fan of getting out there and doing my comedy, but, let’s face it, I don’t know if you’ve noticed but most of the records that are selling these days are music records, not spoken records. And when we noticed this, after examining the charts over several weeks, we said: Hold on! The Collected Speeches of Winston Churchill isn’t even on the charts. People don’t want a record of talking, but what they do want is this “music,” which has gotten very, very popular in the last few years. So we decided to get in on that whole bag. And I found some guys that not only follow music, but actually play it.

And you’ll be in Seattle pretty soon. Have you ever played here?

Yeah, you’ve got that outer-space statue. That’s where you guys have really won out. A lot of these towns, you go into them and it looks like you’re in the past, but Seattle is forward-looking. We always get a warm response out there. They like to laugh. That’s what people like and that’s what we’ll have: one joke after another, all night fucking long, to try to forget all their troubles. That’s what it’s about: the laughter and the jokes and the forgetting of all the horrible trauma that a lot of people in that town have subjected themselves to.



Matt & Kim - “Yea Yeah”

Noise for the Needy: Matt & Kim, Yacht, No-Fi Soul Rebellion, Feral Children
(Neumo’s) There sure has been a lot of controversy surrounding our Seattle Mariners these days. With the lesbian kiss uproar and what has quickly become the worst record in the majors, there haven’t been many pleasant moments at Safeco Field this season. Seeing Matt & Kim’s ridiculously upbeat “hey-ho” punk on the same night as dance freak YACHT at Neumo’s may remind Ms fans of better days at the ballpark. With bodies excitedly hopping up and down, the crowd singing along to insanely catchy pop choruses, and the bands providing the necessary jock jams to get everyone all riled up, all that will be missing is the smell of sweaty sausage in the air. And with the dance party that’s about to go down, even that might be a possibility. CASEY CATHERWOOD

partmanlive1.jpgPartman Parthorse photo by Greg Perez

Noise for the Needy: Past Lives, Partman Parthorse, the Abodox, Black Whales (Comet) It’s been said before, but it bears repeating: The best philanthropy is that which involves plentiful cheap booze and good, loud music. So while Noise for the Needy’s beneficiaries at Urban Rest Stop are wholly worthy of your support on their own merits, tonight’s benefit makes doing good that much more fun. Headliners Past Lives excise the pomp and bombast of late period Blood Brothers to reveal a lithe, rhythmically slithering postpunk animal. Partman Parthorse are a lithe and revealing animal in their own right, thanks to frontman Gary Smith’s frequent and intimidating seminudity, although their brand of punk tends more toward sneering rants and seared riffs. Openers Black Whales’ melodic garage pop is tame by comparison, but it should sound just fine amplified at the Comet. ERIC GRANDY

Partman Parthorse:
“Magik”






“At the Mall”






woormwoodlive.jpgPhoto by Ali Kleiter

Wormwood, Iron Lung, Grey, Inhaste, the Kept
(El Corazón) Ten years and some months ago, Wormwood started their journey in Lawrence, Kansas. Blasting out sludgy, demonic hardcore jams, they appealed to the small sect of music fans that like a little evil in their ears. They moved to Seattle in 2000, found a niche in the local scene, and have been a staple on some of the city’s heaviest bills ever since. Christopher Walken once wore one of their shirts on a red-carpet event, and there’s a photo on the internet to prove it. Now, Wormwood are done. As the band say, via blog entry, “Wormwood has reached its fulfillment, achieving more than any of us had ever imagined from the beginning.” With tonight’s last show, the band leave us with one more 7-inch: Reversal of Fortune/Communion on blood-red vinyl. It’s as evil as anything they’ve done before—in the opening of “Communion,” they literally laugh at sickness, cancer in children, earthquakes, war, and painful death. MEGAN SELING

(Here’s that photo of Christopher Walken—which may or may not be a fake. The internet can be a deceiving bastard sometimes.)

Wormwood:
“Passages of Lesser Light”






“The Endless Search for Food”






Old 97’s - “Dance With Me”
Old 97’s, Hayes Carll, I Love Math
(Showbox at the Market) Blazin’ out of Dallas in the early ’90s like flames up the legs of a dusty Nudie suit, Old 97’s began as an alternative to common y’allternative. And these four nitro-burnin’ dune buggies are still rockin’ through rollin’ plains more than stressin’ ‘bout no depression. The band have returned after several years with Blame It on Gravity, twangin’ and pangin’ through cowpunk and British-invasion ballads, campfire laments, and cracked pavement stomps. Earnest jangle plus surf ‘n’ swagger additionally fuel a rollick that’s often more puppy-dog-eyed than ranch raunch, but still has a power-pop edge balancing its more primped chimes. TONY WARE

Friday, June 13, 2008

re: Friday the 13th - Ch Ch Ch, Ah Ah Ah

posted by on June 13 at 1:41 PM

Harry Manfredini is the dude who composed the famous and chilling Friday the 13th movie score with the “Ch ch ch, ah ah ah.” Anyone who has been camping or been outside at night has performed their own version of “Ch ch ch, ah ah ah.” Listen – here. Manfredini doesn’t look that evil though.

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Apparently there’s been some misconception about the famous and chilling “Ch ch ch , ah ah ah.” Manfredini has this to say (via fridaythe13thfilms.com):

There was one scene where there was a close-up of Jason’s mother’s mouth going, ‘Kill her mommy,’ and then all at once it switched to little Jason’s voice saying, ‘Kill her, mommy.’ That’s the thing that gave me the idea. Most people think I’m going, ‘Chh, chh, chh,’ but I’m saying the letter k and the letter m - ‘ki’ for ‘kill’ and ‘ma’ for ‘mommy,’ see? Then I used some various voice processing. That’s actually me making that sound into a microphone.

I guess there is another Friday the 13th movie slated to come out next year. Sweet.

Two MCs and One Melodica Player

posted by on June 13 at 1:20 PM

As something of a techno-dork, I’m always prone to give the producer some, but last night’s Champagne Champagne set at Club Pop definitely calls for an acknowledgment of Gajamagic (aka Mark Gajadhar)’s production prowess. Rather than just queue and play tracks, Gajadhar played live synths, effects, and motherfucking melodica, singing the vocal hooks, shaking a tambourine, and twisting knobs. His synthesized bass lines reached Modeselektor levels of subwoof at times, his singing was a nice touch even—no, especially—when it drifted off key for a moment, and his digital delays lent some echoing whale song spaciousness to his beats. Make no mistake, MC Pearl Dragon and hypeman Thomas Gray delivered as well—Gray is equal parts gruff and affable, Pearl is alternately wild-eyed and smiling, not pulling showy tongue-twisters but hitting his rhymes right and diverging into the odd little freestyle—but what was most impressive was Gajamagic going above and beyond the typical DJ role.

Champagne Champagne play this Sunday at the Comet’s punk rock matinee (5pm) with the Greatest Hits.

Songs for Moms

posted by on June 13 at 1:08 PM

In what is sure to go over about as well as wearing a clown suit to a funeral, I’ve decided to take on the task of making my mother a mix CD for her birthday. I’m broke and I feel like my heart is in the right place, but I am pretty sure it’s going to be a flop. I don’t even think my Mom listens to anything besides 97.3 KBSG, and even then probably only likes Billy Joel. Am I setting myself up for failure? What are good songs for Mom’s? Should I just buy flowers? Will I flop like Jeff did with his mom?

Track listing after the jump…

Continue reading "Songs for Moms" »

re: R. Kelly—Not Guilty!!!

posted by on June 13 at 12:57 PM

Now more than ever:

R. Kelly—Not Guilty!!!

posted by on June 13 at 12:49 PM

Well, kiss my ass and call me Sally

Six years after being charged with making and starring in a child porn video, R&B superstar R. Kelly was found not guilty today by a Cook County jury.

Jurors deliberated for about three hours Thursday and part of today before reaching their verdicts. The jury cleared him on all 14 counts filed against him.


An Orchid in the Headlights

posted by on June 13 at 12:26 PM

Wild Orchid Children have released a new video for the song “To You, Oh Lord” produced by Martin Jarmick and Michael Ragen. The imagery is like the music, hectic and crazed. A deer is sung to. A building in Georgetown falls to the ground. A man is sacrificed and brought back to life by American flag faced souls.

Wild Orchid Children play tonight at the Comet as part of Noise for the Needy with Strong Killings, the Heavy Hearts, and the Fucking Eagles.

Martin Jarmick spoke about making the Wild Orchid video:


How was the filming? How much did you script out before hand?
Martin: Shooting this piece was great. We had a lot of freedom since we weren’t obligated to anything or anyone. We just created. On most shooting days, it was just Mike Ragen (co-producer) and I. We would light it, rehearse it, shoot it, then find things in “between the lines” and shoot those. Some of the scenes were planned, and some sprouted during production. Like when I heard that a building was being demolished in Georgetown, I thought, “Wild Orchid Children,” and we ran down and rolled camera.

Talk about the deer. How did Kirk feel about singing to the deer?
In every line of lyrics and bar of their music, there are loads of ideas packed in. So I wanted the video to go with that – a montage of textures, forms and irony. But it had to be playful and the band are all sports. I’m sure when Kirk showed up to do his scenes that day, he didn’t expect to be yelling at a deer head for two hours. But he did. He did because he’s a sport. I think it helped that I know them from all the video work with Kay Kay and his Weathered Underground. I have been pointing a camera in their faces for about two years now.

What is your favorite shot in the video?
I love the slug shot. I can not believe that a spider was crawling on the slug while Mike was shooting it. The cinema gods were hard at work on this video.

It’s Friday the 13th

posted by on June 13 at 12:10 PM

Oh how I wish there was more than just ten seconds of this song. Thank you, internet.

Leak Out

posted by on June 13 at 12:10 PM

Has anyone else heard the leaked fake version of Feed the Animals, the recently announced sophomore full-length from Girl Talk?

IT IS SOOOO BAD!

It’s like what a kindergartner with Ableton Live would make in an hour after just learning about the concept of a mash-up. (Note to Girl Talk haters: I know, I know, you think that’s no different than what Gregg Gillis does; go play “Through the Fire and Flames” on Guitar Hero again.)

So, yes, this means I’ve been trolling around for a leaked copy of Feed the Animals, I’m not too proud to admit that. But what if—and this thought has really started to shake me—what if it’s not really a fake leak at all? What if it’s the real Girl Talk album, and it just sounds like Hollertronix mixing Top 40 following a massive stroke?

WHERE IS GIRL TALK AT? HURRY UP!

Keep on Jumpin’

posted by on June 13 at 11:45 AM

musique-keeponjumpin.jpg

A record that I find my self enjoying again lately after not listening to it for a while is Musique’s Keep on Jumpin’ LP. This 1978 classic disco release was written by legendary producer and song writer Patrick Adams, which isn’t suprising specially it seems like everything he touches turns into a classic release. The record also features the popular disco diva Jocelyn Brown and Class Action, Phreek, and Poussez! vocalist Christine Wiltshire. Even though the Keep on Jumpin’ LP only consists of four tracks, the approximately thirty minute record is a definite classic with track like “Keep on Jumpin’ and “In The Bush” leading the way. This is one of those records that could be considered a staple with disco enthusiasts.

musique-II.jpg

Not only have I been really into Musique’s debut Keep on Jumpin’, I’ve also, as of late, really been getting into their second album appropriately titled “Musique II”. This record still sees Patrick Adams behind the production controls, however having Wiltshire take over for Brown on the albums lead vocals. This record didn’t gain as much attention as the previous Keep on Jumpin’ LP, however in my opinion, is just as solid with classic cuts like “Love Massage” and “Good And Plenty Lover”. That being said, the record might start to see a little more attention with “Love Massage” being highlighted on the recently released Dimitri From Paris Return To The Playboy Mansion mix compilation.

Overall it’s nice to re-discover some amazing records that had probably sitting on the shelves for a while.

Download Mp3’s from both of Musique’s two LP’s Keep On Jumpin’ and Musique II and more by visiting here.

Build Me Up, Dirty

posted by on June 13 at 11:31 AM

Rhymefest and Ol’ Dirty Bastard singing one of the best songs of all time? Was this song number one on the charts when it came out? Why wasn’t this used in There’s Something About Mary? This is making me feel insane! Can you say summer soundtrack 2008?

Tonight in Music: Georgetown Music Fest’s First Night, Electric Avenue’s Last Night, and a Secret Band at King Cobra

posted by on June 13 at 9:30 AM

Georgetown Music Fest kicks off this afternoon with performances by Helmet, Triumph of Lethargy Skinned Alive to Death, Cancer Rising, and a whole lot more.

Read the story about how the festival started three years ago, and then check out the schedule and head down to south for some rock and roll music. It’s not that far away, I promise.

Also tonight is the last Electric Avenue at CHAC’s Lower Level. Donte Parks tells you more in his column, Bug in the Bassbin:

Another week, another end of an era, as Electric Avenue, the mostly free weekly held at CHAC’s Lower Level for the past 16 months, hangs it up. The closure has nothing to do with the city’s alleged War on Nightlife; rather the promoters are losing their space, as CHAC has decided to not renew their lease on the 12th Avenue venue.

The product of promoter/DJ crew United House Front, Electric Avenue has been a solid Friday-night option for the past year plus, quietly showcasing Seattle’s talent along with guests from abroad. The dependence on locals and the sheer regularity of the night often left EA as a prime prefunk or fallback spot, but despite that, the night had a cadre of regulars.

Read the rest here.

Boatbeards.jpgBoat

Noise for the Needy: secret headliner, Math and Physics Club, BOAT
(King Cobra) Sometimes the phrase “secret headliner” is a cover-up that promoters use when they haven’t yet actually booked a worthy band to close out a show. So cruel to lead the people on like that! But that’s not the case here, I promise you—there really is a special headliner, and it really is a secret. So while you wait, no doubt with bated breath, to see who the headliner is, openers BOAT and Math and Physics Club will warm you up—BOAT with their boyish charm and songs about ninjas, and Math and Physics Club with their pretty pop reminiscent of the Magnetic Fields. Pop, pop, pop, so much pop. Fitting, though, since the headliners are the epitome of energetic, local power pop. Now I’m not Stupid Stupid; I’m not gonna give it away. But read between the lines and hopefully you’ll Get It. MEGAN SELING

BOAT:
“I’m a Donkey For Your Love”






Math & Physics Club:
“Movie Ending Romance”







Thursday, June 12, 2008

Cool In The Pool

posted by on June 12 at 7:06 PM

man%20floating%20in%20pool.jpg

The sun is finally out. Wow. I’m blinded.

For the past few weeks I’ve been trying to get rid of my winter spring blahs with the use of the website Cool In The Pool. Haven’t heard of it? Well head on over. The deceptively simple site specialises in mixes of Balearic and Nouveau Disco that are so sunny as to tan you even while working out inside your apartment building basement gym. That bright.

I am hooked on all three of Eskimo artist Peter Visti’s mixes which kill me every time. My favorite one, titled Balearic Monday, goes from Fleetwood Mac’s “Tusk” into Bryan Ferry’s “Don’t Stop The Dance” with a brief stop in between for some rare John Forde “Don’t You Know Who Did It”.

Visti’s vision of sunny beaches not your taste? Try out the new Eskimo Records wonderkid Aeroplane’s mix which had me walking straight into Everyday Music today to look for a DFA record, Holy Ghost’s “Hold Me”, I hadn’t heard before (I don’t buy a lot of “new” music). All nouveau straight through it’s as good as a sun lamp for the mild Seasonal Affective Disorder sufferer.

But wait! There’s more! Max Essa, Phil Mison, Rong’s Mudd, Coyote, Richard Sen of Bronx Dogs, and Garth from SF’s Wicked crew! Yes. Garth the man who raved us all in our twenties lays down a killer sunny disco set!

All for free. All for Download. All for the good of mankind.

Then there’s the Downloads page where you can update your collection of classic balearic disco and rock with the likes of ELO, Double, The Human League, Kaos, When In Rome…. A goldmine of feel-good classics of beach rock and disco.

This site has entertained me for hours this week so I’m passing it on to you friends.

Put your toes in the water and relax.

Scheduling Conflict

posted by on June 12 at 5:05 PM

Why, oh why are two of my favorite bands playing on the same night on opposite sides of the city? Megan covered it earlier, but we’ve got two opposing camps of my musical psyche going on tonight. I am the ultimate superfan of both Islands AND Two Gallants, and what’s a girl to do?

There was this one episode of 30 Rock where Tina Fey is trying to dump her no-goodnik boyfriend but she also kind of likes him, so she makes a pro/con list to decide whether she was going to break up with him or not. It’s really the only scientific way to measure battles of the heart, right?

Islands

Pros:
• Nick Thorburn is a Canadian winter FOX
• I haven’t heard any of the new songs (a good thing)
• I know all the words to every single one of the old songs
• Neumo’s is on Capitol Hill, which is where I am right now (creepy!)

Cons:
• I don’t have any mushrooms
One time Nick Thorburn made fun of me from stage and I still haven’t forgiven him
• If you stand in front in Neumo’s, the sound is actually worse because the speakers are flanking you…you have to stand in the middle there, which is no good for the superfans of the world
• I’ve never heard any of the opening bands

Two Gallants
00014986_drownmen-low1.jpg

Pros:
• Adam Stevens is a jailhouse troubador FOX
• If they have new songs, I haven’t heard them yet
• I know all the words to all the old songs
• The two opening bands on that show that I’ve heard, Quiet Ones and See Me River & the Dead Horse Creek, have received at least one Spool Seal of Approval™—The Quiet Ones song “Girls & Uniforms” on their bands page is nice and I saw See Me River et al at the Wild Rose once and they have three guitarists which is neat.
It’s a benefit for Noise for the Needy, hooray!

Cons:
• I don’t have a flask of Jameson
• It’s in Ballard and I don’t have a car
• It’s not confirmed that they have any great new songs
• I’ve seen them more than I’ve seen Islands
They opened for a Les Claypool tour last year and I do not endorse that guy
• I want to go to the Talib Kweli Noise for the Needy show and that shit’s expensive so that’ll probably be all I can afford to spend on Noise for the Needy.

So, mostly because that car thing is a dealbreaker, it looks like it’s going to be Islands tonight! Yay winners! Yay Tina Fey! And most of all, Yay me, because having to choose between two great shows is a lot better than getting high, watching Twin Peaks, and eating Annie’s Mac & Cheese.

Also Tonight in Music: The Champagne of Champagnes

posted by on June 12 at 4:35 PM

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Seattle has its share of what the haters might call gallery rap going on these days with acts like Team Gina, Mad Rad, and the like, to whom the Saturday Knights, with their equal parts hipster tongue-in-cheek and hip hop bona fides, could be seen as the elders of a sort, were they not so singularly hard to pin down. After them, Champagne Champagne might be the next most likely to escape the hipster hop ghetto. Ex-Blood Bro Mark Gajadhar (aka DJ Gajamagic) brings years of beat-blasting experience to the decks, and MC Pearl Dragon delivers his ’80s references and raunch punchlines with better flow than a lot of jokers.

Not only that, but Larry Mizell’s given the group a good look in this week’s My Philosophy, which of course means mad cred:

“The Pain” make some sweet music together, an arty, ass-shaking house-party-friendly cocktail of MC Pearl Dragon and DJ Gajamagic (formerly of a li’l band called the Blood Brothers) that makes all the hipster ladies dance. This is a very fine line to walk, as you know, but Champagne do it right for my money, with a basis in real skill; Pearl is a deeply talented MC, and has been since his days in the Prophetics waay back. Their MySpace has a new jam, “Cali Bud,” that features Jewel B from NYC’s Fader-favorites Yo Majesty—I’ve been bumping it all morning. All rainy, gray-ass morning. Sigh.

Champagne Champagne play Club Pop tonight at Chop Suey, with Pretty Titty, Recess, & Reflex, 9pm, $8/$10, 18+

Re: Trying (and Failing) to DJ For My Mom

posted by on June 12 at 4:15 PM

Fleet%20Foxes%20-%20Fleet%20Foxes.jpg

Jeff Kirby’s mom and Michealangelo Matos gave the Fleet Foxes damn near identical reviews.

Kirby’s Mom:

“What about Fleet Foxes? You liked them, right?”
“Eh,” she mutters, “Parts.”

Matos:

That very elusive wispiness they’ve captured in their sound is in the songs, too—the parts are more memorable than whole verses, for example.

Spooky, right?

Hidmo Party (Not at Hidmo)

posted by on June 12 at 4:07 PM

Rahwa from Hidmo just sent out an e-mail:

Dear friends,

This Friday, June 13th marks a significant day in my life. It will be my 30th BIRTHDAY and I am commemorating it with an event that draws together my closest friends and family along with my love of music, dancing, activism, young people, dressing up and having FUN!! I am having a B-day party at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center (4408 Delridge Way SW) this Friday but in true Hidmo style. The show will be hosted by Gabriel Teodros and Khingz (Khalil) and will feature Hidmo regulars Fats and Imani as Grizz Gang and Geo & Sabzi of Blue Scholars, as well as a BOOMBOX Danceparty, featuring Sabzi as well. For the first time ever we will have Hidmo merchandise available (limited edition shirts and stickers), a photo booth, and other not-to-be missed surprises (don’t forget to dress in your best 70s clothing). In addition, all proceeds from this event will go straight to Hidmo.

Tickets are available in person at Hidmo or at the electronic version of Hidmo. This is something to attend, for sure.

(Thanks to Line Out tipper Tim.)

Art Show Benefit for Marginal Way Skatepark

posted by on June 12 at 3:30 PM

There’s a benefit tonight (silent auction, DJs, art, videos) with 100% of proceeds going to Marginal Way.

skatepark.jpg

Starts at 8 pm at Mission in West Seattle. There’s over 18 different artists including video and a slide show from Jay Meer’s archive. Buy some art to support Seattle’s best skatepark!

Trying (and Failing) to DJ For My Mom

posted by on June 12 at 2:29 PM

I spent a long day in the car with my parents yesterday. Before I even put my seatbelt on I plugged in an iPod and commandeered the stereo, but I promised to try and play music that I thought they – specifically my mom – would enjoy. I’m always trying to introduce her to modern music, but it rarely ever sticks. First choice: Fleet Foxes. She loves CSNY; she should be able to get down with this. She doesn’t seem to mind it, even comments that she likes the song “Blue Ridge Mountains.”

Six hours later after a nap on a ferry ride I decide to put on something a little more upbeat. I’ve been picking records I thought she would enjoy (or at least tolerate) all day, now I’m going to show my dad what Daughters sounds like. They rile my mother’s feathers (obviously), and she demands I turn it off. Then she takes it a step further: “All the music you’ve played today has been annoying.” I am aghast. She didn’t like anything I picked for her – She & Him, Portishead S/T, M. Ward’s Post War, Sleeping People (that one was more for me). “What about Elliott Smith? I played one of his records and you like him,” I say.

“I don’t remember hearing that.” (She asked if it was Kings of Convenience when I put it on, one of the few bands I’ve actually sold her on)
“What about Fleet Foxes? You liked them, right?”
“Eh,” she mutters, “Parts.”

I put on Magical Mystery Tour. After a few songs she is at ease. “It’s nice to finally hear something I’m comfortable with,” she says. The song playing as she says this: “Your Mother Should Know.” I do not believe the coincidence to be premeditated.

Screw You Adjectives, Verbs, Adverbs, Prepositions, and Especially Gerunds

posted by on June 12 at 1:41 PM

noageeraser.jpg

These days I am only interested in Nouns.

Talking with another late-30-something about No Age’s latest and greatest, we both marveled at and puzzled over the band’s amazing ability to make us care all over again about sounds I’ve literally been listening to my entire life.

I refuse to overthink it, though the band’s tracks-as-art-pieces certainly invite such rumination. Right now I’m too busy being in love with every one of Nouns’ thirty and a half minutes.

Thank you, No Age (and congrats Sub Pop.)

Brand not Band

posted by on June 12 at 1:00 PM

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The core of this article is music to my ears:

…Massive Attack operated as a loosely defined production base, using various collaborators to help them complete their ideas. As the three founding members recalled around the time of their second album Protection (1994), they might get the recording engineer to fine-tune a synth sound by telling him: “Like, a bit more phwaah, please.”

Del Naja, now 43 and the group’s principal presence, also surprised fans by referring to Massive Attack at the time of the last album, 100th Window (2003), not as a band, but as a brand. By then, he was the only working member, Andrew “Mushroom” Vowles having left shortly after Mezzanine (1998) and Grant “Daddy G” Marshall, 48, taking extended paternity leave.

But while Massive Attack’s portfolio may be slim and the exact contributions of the group-members difficult to pinpoint, their work remains impressive, with two all-time classic albums in Blue Lines (1991) and Protection and a visual identity that has always looked the part…

Yet, if Massive Attack once lacked muso-credibility, who now cares? In a world of “virtual” bands such as Gorillaz, co-founded by Del Naja’s friend Damon Albarn, Massive’s moody mix of music and visuals fits in as perfectly postmodern… [I]t’s perhaps useful to regard Massive Attack as curators first and creators second. This, of course, makes their new role particularly appropriate. With Meltdown, they get the chance to curate on a scale previously undreamed of. Their wide-ranging programme (they’re the festival’s 15th incumbents) also hangs together unusually well.

Not curators first and creators second, but curators from first to last. The main members of Massive Attack are not musicians but selectors. And we can not (must not) see selectors as the same as musicians. Bands can stage a performance, brands can do nothing of the sort. So far apart are the two that a whole new way of thinking and critiquing selectors has to completely break with the way we think about and critique musicians.

Let’s close these quick thoughts with one of the oddest videos ever made:

So Serious!

posted by on June 12 at 11:22 AM

That ELO cover I talk about being obsessed by in my last post….

Here’s the original!

I can’t decide which I like better! ELO’s dance-rock version, or Cloetta’s short, sweet and bouncy cover!

Cloetta Paris - Secret Eyes

posted by on June 12 at 11:18 AM

SKY001cover.jpg

Cloetta Paris has finally released full length CD, Secret Eyes, after months of waiting and having only the songs uploaded on myspace to listen too.

And it’s great! This is your summer jam folks, Cloetta and partner Roger Gunnarson (aka Clive Reynholds?) will get tired of the comparisons, but it’s impossible not to mention Sally Shapiro and Johan Agebjorn in the same sentence.

But that’s probably because their all good friends who have written songs for each others albums. (Clive Reynolds or Roger Gunnarson, whatever name he goes by, wrote “Anorak Christmas”, Sally’s breakthrough. He has also contributed the new Sally single “He Keeps Me Alive” to her remix project, available on iTunes, with a killer Skatebård remix!)

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Back to Cloetta. The new CD mixes the various genres of italo together into a frothy topping of dance grooves whose cherry on the top are Cloetta’s perfect vocals. From the stuttering shuffle of “Broken Heart Tango” to the italo-rap track “Beat Street” you’ll be nodding your head in a “yeah I know this tune!” way, even though you’ve never heard these tracks before.

I’m blown away at the creativity behind the making of this new retro classic. There’s a great key-change in the first track “Did We Collide” that seems only possible coming from the 80’s, but is perfectly original today. And I’m just a little obsessed by their cover of ELO’s “So Serious” from their Balance Of Power album.

Check out the Myspace page for some listens and free(!) downloads.

Then, for right now, go to Skywriting Records site to order a copy for yourself. (Yes, there is a NW connection. Skywriting is out of Portland.)

You won’t regret it.

…But All Hands on the Bad One Really Was the Worst Sleater Kinney Record

posted by on June 12 at 11:15 AM

Hey! Did you enjoy this letter to the editor, written by one Liz Gay, re: my column last week about TacocaT?

A few points:

There are hundreds of guy bands in this city playing all different kinds of punk/party music, and you never read shit like, “It’s just that I wish the Coconut Coolouts were more like Gang of Four.”

When Coconut Coolouts start playing Gang of Four covers, I’ll start pointing out how they’re no Gang of Four. Actually, I’ll do it now: Coconut Coolouts are no Gang of Four—not even close—wise of them, then, not to base their set around covers of “Damaged Goods” or “To Hell With Poverty!”

In Grandy’s view, TacocaT cover a Bikini Kill song and are therefore written off as a lame version of a Riot Grrrl band. One of the things I love about TacocaT is that they are what Bikini Kill and Sleater-Kinney songs didn’t allow those bands to be—a really fun punk dance band.

If you’re going to play covers of multiple riot grrrl anthems, not only Bikini Kill but also Huggy Bear, then, yes, you are asking to be compared to the original wave of riot grrrl. Also, Sleater Kinney weren’t allowed to be a really fun dance band? “Dance Song ‘97,” “Words and Guitar,” “I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone” and a bunch of their other songs were fun and dancey as hell. Notably, though, those songs weren’t covers. And Heavens to Betsy help you if you can’t dance to Bikini Kill.

I do, however, love to dance to a band who has the guts to get up onstage and trash Eric Grandy for being a condescending, sexist prick…

To my knowledge, TacocaT has yet to decry me as a “condescending, sexist prick” from onstage—so far, it’s only been one of their members telling me that another of their members “hates me” offstage. Not sure if that makes them any more or less worth dancing to.

Anyway, if that letter’s you’re cup of tea, perhaps you’ll enjoy this one from the vaults, written by one Elizabeth Gay (related? the mind boggles), re: Sleater Kinney, Isaac Brock, rape, Eminem, Kathleen Wilson, and Everett True:

WILSON & FRANZMAN: DUMB WOMEN-HATERS?

EDITORS: “I got this thing that I consider my only art of fucking people over” is an unforgettable, insightful lyric? [“To Hell and Back,” June 15.] Bet you wouldn’t think so if Sleater-Kinney wrote it. But it’s Modest Mouse, everyone’s favorite boy band, featuring the abusive Isaac Brock—who was chased out of the “cold, cold world of Seattle” because some people felt he shouldn’t be able to force women to sleep with him without a slap on the wrist. [Editor’s note: Brock was accused of, but never charged with, date raping a young woman last year. He denies committing the crime.]

Anyway, my point in writing this is not only to say that it was pointless having Kathleen Wilson write the review—why not let Isaac’s mom write it?—but to note that since Kathleen and Erin Franzman have become co-editors, the music section has seen a remarkable decrease in female musicians and a sickening amount of young and cute boy bands. It also seems to have taken on a really negative/dismissive attitude toward female musicians and women in general. Take Kathleen’s comment about Sleater-Kinney’s new album sounding like ’70s AM radio girl rock [“All Hands on the (Blank) One,” May 4]. While the album isn’t great, I could not figure out what ’70s bands she could possibly be referring to, and since she didn’t name any, I was unconvinced that she knew what she was talking about. Part of what makes the new album so good is that it seemed like Sleater-Kinney had fun, rather than obsessing over every detail the way they had in the past. That’s how you want your boy bands to sound. Why expect more from women?

And wasn’t anyone else confused and pissed at Erin’s praise of Eminem [“The Best White Rapper,” June 8] for honestly voicing fantasies such as killing his cheating girlfriend when others only dare to think things like this? Um, have you ever heard of a song called “Hey, Joe?” How ‘bout the blues? Or the Beatles? “I’d rather see her dead than be with another man”? In the immortal words of Roseanne Barr, “Great, just what those wife-beaters need—an anthem.”

Regardless of what people thought of Everett True, he went out of his way to listen to different types of music, and gave equal attention to female bands.

Elizabeth Gay, Seattle

Today’s Music News

posted by on June 12 at 10:39 AM

Can’t you see she’s pooped?: MIA cancels tour due to exhaustion

Stranger staff not going to jail: California judge rules that labels can’t claim ownership of promotional CDs

Hot item: Jimi’s ignited guitar to be auctioned off

Don’t call it a comeback: Chain stores return to vinyl

The end pt. 1: Himsa schedule final show

The end pt. 2: George Michael announces final tour

Tonight in Music: Islands, Two Gallants

posted by on June 12 at 9:30 AM

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Islands are the stars of this week’s music section, they’re also playing Neumo’s tonight. From this week’s music lead, written by Eric Grandy:

Arm’s Way is Islands’ first album as a real, tour-hardened band rather than a loosely organized studio project, and the solidified sextet sound more comfortable and confident than ever. The album has a musical cohesion reminiscent of their clearly well-rehearsed but still breezy live show. “This record was made by six people,” says Thorburn. “As opposed to Return to the Sea, where we had myself and Jamie making a record more as a project than as a band, bringing in friends to lay down impromptu arrangements.”

He adds, “On Return to the Sea we had really cool instrumentation because we had so many different people coming with such bizarre instruments—quicas and medieval bagpipes and all sorts of fun things. This was more of a concerted effort to showcase the band, after 18 months of solid touring, the way they would be heard live.”

Read the whole story here.

Islands - “The Arm”

Noise for the Needy is hosting shows all over the city—Talib Kweli and Matt and Kim this weekend, for example. Tonight, Two Gallants play at the Tractor.

Two Gallants - “Despite What You’ve Been Told”
Noise for the Needy: Two Gallants, the Quiet Ones, Facts About Funerals, See Me River and the Dead Horse Creek
(Tractor) Even though Two Gallants’ name comes from a short story by Irish writer James Joyce, there isn’t a more American band than this young duo from San Francisco. Adam Stephens fingerpicks his guitar (sometimes like a Delta bluesman, sometimes like a Dust Bowl folkie) or thrashes at it like a high-school garage rocker. Tyson Vogel pounds the drums and sings harmony to Stephens’s hoarse, desperate caterwaul. Together, they hypnotize their audiences and drive them into riots. Sometimes literally, like the 2006 Texas show when the police insisted the Gallants stop playing, the Gallants refused, and all hell broke loose. Police attacked the audience, Tasered Stephens, and arrested Vogel. Ain’t that America. BRENDAN KILEY

Find more in the music listings.

Ohms and Watts with Jim Anderson

posted by on June 12 at 9:29 AM

The Power Load

powerload1.jpgThere are many ways a musician can ruin their gear. Plug something in the wrong way and bang, it can be gone. A basic understanding of electronics is needed in order to not fry things. What’s this word Ohm that appears? And Watts, is that Reggie?

The Ohm is a unit of electrical resistance. The Watt is a unit of power.

Enter Jim Anderson - The Dragon. The beloved Crocodile engineer guru and sound wise master. (Who says there has been Crocodile talk as of late, but that’s real estate, and that can go on and on.)

Jim, can you make Ohms and Watts make sense?
Jim: The Ohm is resistance. Think of it like the diameter of a water pipe. The smaller the pipe, the more resistance it has. And Watts is power. I guess you could say for this analogy, it’s water pressure. But they’re two totally different ratings. The resistance is applicable to a speaker load. The resistance on a circuit tells you how much of the power it can soak up. 8 Ohms is different that saying it can handle 800 Watts.

Ohms and Watts can be related because of certain formulas. It has to do with the way electrical circuits work. It all goes back to 1827 with George Ohm’s law. He’s the cat who figured out all this shit out.

181 years later, the Lights bassist Jeff Albertson poses an Ohm – Watt conundrum:

I have 450 Watt head and an 8 Ohm 2X15 cabinet. I know they go together cause the salesmen told me so. But what if I wanted to run a 1X15 cab or a 4X10 cab? Those things can be rated at 4 Ohms separately or 8 Ohms when chained together. I would have no clue if what I was hooking up is going to blow my amp or not. I have been playing bass for over fifteen years. These things still baffle me.

Jim, can you help a man out? Can you un-baffle Jeff?
Jim: Impedance, impedance, impedance. It’s all about matching. It wouldn’t matter what he’s hooking up as long as the impedance is the same. Depending on whether the resistive loads are in series or parallel, that changes things. If he hooked them up one way, it could be a 16 Ohm or an 8 Ohm load. He needs to know what the amp wants and then he can hook up whatever accordingly.

Let me back up for a second. When you’re talking about a load on an amplifier, it needs to have some place for the power to go. And it goes to a resistor, which is how much power it can handle.

The power that you’re applying to the resistor gets turned into heat, like a space heater. A space heater is a resistor; it’s dissipating the energy that’s going through it. That’s what a speaker’s voice coil will turn into if you stop it moving back and forth. The pushing back and forth, that’s how the speaker dissipates the energy. You know how on the back of some speakers, there’s a screen? Well, that’s ventilation for the heat. Without the speaker movement and ventilation, the electrical current will be too much and the voice coil will glow orange.

powerload-spaceheater.jpg

They do burn up, I’ve seen speakers catch on fire. I did sound one time at Myrtle Edwards Park for a heavy industrial noise band from Germany called Einstuerzende Neubauten, which means ‘collapsing new buildings.’ Part of what they try to do is destroy the P.A. One of their snare drums was a 4X8 piece of sheet steel which had to be mic’d. The guy beat the steel with chains. It was intense. After the show, I took the speakers apart to try and fix them and they burned a hole through the middle of the cone.

That wasn’t very nice of them to do.
It was part of their act though, destruction is cool! When there’s insurance.


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I Know You’ve Been on Tenterhooks

posted by on June 11 at 4:33 PM

Last week, I Slogged about a mystery book that’s coming out from Simon and Schuster. There are 300,000 copies coming out, and nobody was told what the book was actually about.

Today, GalleyCat reports that Madonna’s brother is writing a memoir about…being Madonna’s brother. I’m going to say right now that if they didn’t have sex, there’s no point to this goddamned book.

Adriano Celentano - Prisencolinensinainciusol

posted by on June 11 at 12:56 PM

The last few times Altair Nouveau DJ-ed STUDIO at Havana he dropped this amazing track.

Adriano Celentano’s “Prisencolinensinainciusol” is rap before there was rap. Disco before there was disco. Italo before there was italo. Fosse, well, fosse was around, but I’m not sure he would have ever seen or heard this track.

One word: AMAZING.

The internets are abuzz right now with the discovery of this incredible video from Italian TV circa 1973.

British DJ savant Greg Wilson has released (or should I say re-released, since his original edit of this track was made in the ‘80’s) his re-edit, and holy fuck did he turn up the bass!

Anyways, enjoy the above video, the likes of which you’ll never hear anywhere else.

Ciao!

Poll: Ménage Átomic Dustbin

posted by on June 11 at 12:54 PM

A singer has written in. He thinks his girlfriend has a thing for his bass player. He asked to remain anonymous:

triangle1.jpgI’m pretty sure they have hooked up, or they want to hook up. They look at each other all the time while we’re playing. I know something is up. It totally messes with my headspace and my singing. I’ve been dating the girl for eight months. The band got the bass player through an audition about two months ago. I guess we’ve become friends (the bass player and I). But this is a deal breaker.

The bass player is a Ned’s Atomic Dustbin fan. Before he was in the band, I remember my girlfriend saying she hated Ned’s Atomic Dustbin. The other day, she got a “Best of” Ned’s Atomic Dustbin CD from Amazon and has been listening to it all the time. I’m so sick of this. It stinks because I really like the girl. What should I do?

This singer should:

Keymatic’s Utopia

posted by on June 11 at 12:41 PM

After all these years, after the death of the space race…
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…I still believe in and long for Keymatic’s vision of utopia: breakers in space. “Living in space is the thing of the 80s.”

Tonight in Music: Black Angels, Dosh with Anathallo

posted by on June 11 at 11:55 AM

Dosh - “Capture the Flag” (live from his house)

Tonight, the Stranger Suggests you see Dosh at Nectar:

Dosh at Nectar
Martin Dosh is a multi-instrumentalist for esteemed Bay Area label anticon. On records like his latest, Wolves and Wishes, Dosh combines basement-muffled drum breaks, tinkling xylophone, soft Fender Rhodes piano, occasional vocal collaborators, and subtle studio effects to create songs that range from smart, jazzy hiphop instrumentals to twee electronica to headlong percussive workouts. On stage, Dosh surrounds himself with drums, keys, and xylophone to re-create his studio sound with the help of some trusty looping pedals. With overwhelming emo marching band Anathallo and locals Wesafari. (Nectar, 412 N 36th St, 632-2020. 9 pm, $10, 21+.) by Eric Grandy

blackangelspromo.jpgPhoto by Briana Purser

The Black Angels also play tonight, at Neumo’s with the Warlocks. The band’s new album, Directions to See a Ghost, got a three-star review from Sam Machkovech in this week’s paper. An excerpt:

Tracks like “Sniper” were memorable, but they seemed to feed off a sense of panic that wore a little thin on a full-length release. Passover is all about comfort, groove, and maturity; thankfully, this young band achieve their newfound musical ease without settling on lackadaisical jams—a welcome thing to hear in modern psych.

There’s slow grower “18 Years,” its organ lines and lingering feedback pretty much mooning every critic who heaped Spacemen 3 comparisons on the last record. Also worth doting upon are two huge songs both in length and composition: the eight-minute “Never/Ever,” whose erratic start, high-tempo ramp-up, and Manzarekian organs meld to overshadow the best of contemporary jammers Black Mountain; and 18-minute closer “Snake in the Grass,” a slow grower that sounds like Mogwai’s “My Father, My King” drenched in bong water.

The Black Angels:
“Doves”






Find more, because there’s always more, in our online listings.

Amor, Amor Slide… Easy In

posted by on June 11 at 11:45 AM

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One of the best finds that I picked while I was in Paris a couple weeks back was Rod McKuen’s 1977 disco classic Amor, Amor Slide… Easy In. This record became huge in Europe with the chart topping single “Amor”. The record also became popular within the Gay community with tracks like “Don’t Drink The Orange Juice”, which was directed towards Anita Bryant, who was carrying on a heated campaign against Gay Rights in Florida while being that state’s Orange Juice spokesperson. My favorite cut on the record is the erotic disco cut “Easy In”, which is basically a male moaning over a uptempo disco groove. The album also became an attraction due to the record’s cover shot which featured iron icon Bruno’s mighty fist full of Crisco coming out of a renamed Disco can. This hard-to-find record has been commonly known as “The Crisco Disco Album”, and has become a major collectors item within the states. On vacation some people buy souvenirs like magnets, t-shirts, and postcards, I feel like I walked away with something much much better.

Download a couple of tracks off of Rod McKuen’s 1977 classic erotic disco LP Amor, Amor Slide… Easy In and more by visiting here.

NOTE: Need some 70’s erotic disco?!?! Find some tonight at Havana.


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Dan Brockman Vs. The Spits

posted by on June 10 at 4:47 PM

Trent Moorman posted a great interview with Sean from The Spits earlier today, which is weird because Susan Flowers just stopped by the office to give me this video that she and Dan Brockman filmed a few weeks ago at The Funhouse. You may remember Dan and Susan from the Capitol Hill Block Party. Or maybe from their hard-hitting interviews with the Black Lips, Deerhunter, or the Trashies. Anyway, I think Susan was trying to tell me she and Brockman were going to be at the Block Party again this year. I think that’s what she was trying to say. I couldn’t really understand her. She smelled like whiskey and almost fell down the stairs on her way out the door…

Hustlers Of Life Never Survive

posted by on June 10 at 4:10 PM

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One of my all-time favorite records is Bamboo’s 1979 self-titled LP. This is album was produced, mixed, and written by Kurt Hauenstein who is the brilliant mind behind the all of those amazing Supermax releases during the late 70’s and early 80’s. I find that this very rare album has gained more and more attention since Bamboo’s amazing album cut “Spaceship Crashing” was included on the cosmic disco compilation Disco Obscura Presente Cosmic Dancer : Voyage One a few years back. Outside of the “Spaceship Crashing” track, I was unsure, if the whole record would hold up to the same brilliance. And even though I’ve currently been unsuccessful in hunting down a copy of the actual record, I have been able to get my hands on a digital version of the album. I have to say that just after one listen, I came to the conclusion that this record is amazing, really bridging the gap between early to mid 70’s disco and 80’s italo with a touch of that cosmic-prog sound that was mastered so well on all of those Supermax records. My favorite cuts on the record include afro-percussion heavy “Hey, Hey, Hey”, the cosmic minded “Take What You Want” and the more laid back gem “Hustlers Of Life Never Survive”. Overall, this record is an instant classic as well as one of the hardest LP’s to find. If your lucky enough to get your hands on one, I highly recommend swiping it up.

Download Mp3’s of both Bamboo’s “Hey, Hey, Hey” and “Hustlers Of Life Never Survive” and more by visiting here .

Rock and Roll Doesn’t Age Everyone

posted by on June 10 at 2:35 PM

A friend brought this to my attention today: Keith Strickland from the B-52s is going to be 55 years old in October. But on the band’s new Funplex art, he looks like he’s in his 20s.

That’s Strickland on the right:

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The whole band looks pretty damn good, but Strickland looks like someone’s little brother, like the token young guy hired to bring some youth to the band for their resurrection. But he was born in 1953. I couldn’t believe it either—it cost me $5.

For a little context, this guy is a year younger that Strickland.

Russian Circles, Daughters, and Young Widows @ Neumos

posted by on June 10 at 1:30 PM

The bill at Neumos last night was pretty incredible. Having Young Widows open up a show is a damn strong way to start things off. The singer and bass player each had three identical Emperor 4x10 cabs, the tall, narrow kind. The cabs on both ends had been modified into lighting rigs - four big lights on each where the speakers should have been, with all the house lights shut off. Having your lighting rig be part of your musical rig is a pretty sweet trick. They played mostly new material – the guitars have gotten more space-y, the bass is still huge as hell, and the songwriting is rock solid. Sounds like their new record is going to kill.

Daughters also played a handful of new songs. How could they possibly morph their sound into something even more disgusting? Well, the first new track they played sounded like rockabilly, but you know, as interpreted by Daughters. And it was gross, and awesome. Singer Lex had shaved off his long hair but kept his huge mustache, and with his tattoos and wife-beater he looked like some kind of weird vato, or a bizzaro American History X Ed Norton. The crowd berated him with stupid comments like, “You guys been listening to Daft Punk or something?” to which he responded by calling them “morons” and told them to “go sit in the back with your head between your knees until it’s time for someone to drive you home.”

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Guitarist Nick was playing his custom made First Act nine-string guitar (Kurt Ballou from Converge and Dave Knudson from Minus the Bear also have custom guitars from them). Nine strings. What do you do with nine strings? Your only choice is to play guitar for the audio-abortion that is Daughters.

I’ve got no beef with Russian Circles. Their set was true to their records, and when they get loud, they get LOUD. But there’s a conflict between draw (which they had the most of, thus the headlining spot) and energy (which compared to the other bands playing, they had the least of). I don’t envy any band that has to play after Daughters – I’ve seen them shame several headliners. Following up their explosive set with moody, atmospheric instrumental rock seems like a miscalculation, even if that’s what the majority of the people are there to see. There was no evidence from the crowd though that any of them felt this way - they loved every second of Russian Circle’s set. The transition was harder for me; I just got my ADD on and now I need to get my patience on? Who’s bright idea was this? I would have liked it better the other way around. I also would like to hear Brian’s opinion on the matter, as he’s been playing after Daughters for an entire tour now.

The Art of Getting Low

posted by on June 10 at 1:05 PM

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I couldn’t quite roll with Low Motion Disco at first listen. Sure, I liked the Still Going remix of “Love Love Love,” but the first time I put on the duo’s upcoming full length, Keep It Slow, I found myself listening to the first 30 or 45 seconds of each track, then skipping ahead to find one with a discernible groove (the most immediately winning was late in the album epic “People Come in Slowly”). Of course, I rather missed the point completely.

In their press materials, Low Motion Disco explain themselves thusly:

…we have developed a way to dance while not moving. We do it standing at a bar, or sitting on a sofa, in a car, wherever. While doing this, we groove and shake like hell, it just doesn’t show on the outside. This technique is the basis of all we do. We call it “low motion disco.”

Obviously, anyone with that awesome of an artist’s statement gets another few listens, and on repeat spins—at home, on my headphones over pho, wherever—the album has totally grown on me. It is, essentially, a chill-out record—only a couple songs have dance floor ready beats by even the most cosmic standards of disco—but it’s the good kind of chill out record, groovy and minimal and playful without being cheesy (even an interpolation of the 5 Stairsteps’ “Ooh Child” works). And there are grooves here, they’re just, you know, slow moving enough as to be imperceptible at first. There are little disco signifiers, too—congas, wet wah-wah guitars, loose bass—but they’re dubbed out and drenched in reverb until they become only the ghost image of disco. Elsewhere, field recordings of nature or odd vocal samples further distance the record from disco, setting moods more pastoral or abstract, respectively.

Low Motion Disco keep a blog at lowmotiondisco.wordpress.com, they have two 12”s for “Love Love Love” out on Eskimo Recordings, who will release Keep It Slow on June 24th. In the meantime, you can find a few of their tracks via Hype Machine.

Guitar Tuning of the Week! - CFCFFC

posted by on June 10 at 12:36 PM

Alternate tunings are a great mystery to many guitarists. We typically learn to play by committing to sense memory the fingered shapes of various chords until our hands curl unconsciously into a repertoire of palsied claws capable of wringing pretty harmonic clusters from our instrument. Scales come next, and dexterity later still. The very idea of throwing every learned chord-shape out the window is a frightening one, akin to ditching our native language before adopting something new.

So as a prelude to the first (of one?) installment of “GTotW!” here are Tim Eriksen and Riley Baugus playing “Granite Mills.”

Allow me to introduce you to C F C F F C — the world’s biggest power chord.

Continue reading "Guitar Tuning of the Week! - CFCFFC" »

Broom Beat

posted by on June 10 at 12:00 PM

witch2.jpg

From Russian literature:

Margarita flung [the window] open and a sweeping broom, bristles up, flew dancing into the bedroom. It drummed on the floor with its end, kicking and straining towards the window. Margarita squealed with delight and jumped astride the broom. Only now did the thought flash in
the rider that amidst all this fracas she had forgotten to get dressed. She galloped over to the bed and grabbed the first thing she found, some light blue shift. Waving it like a banner, she flew out the window.

This is from Chapter 20, “Azazello’s Cream,” of Mikhail Bulgakov’s novel The Master and Margarita. The beginning of the next chapter, “Flight,” marvelously describes Margarita’s naked flight to the gathering of witches on Brocken Mountain.

From continental philosophy:

It was on Spinoza that I worked the most seriously according to the norms of the history of philosophy—but he more than any other gave me the feeling of a gust of air from behind each time you read him, of a witch’s broom which he makes you mount.
No other passage in philosophy describes more perfectly the experience of reading Spinoza than this one in Deleuze’s Spinoza: Practical Philosophy. What it captures is the weird wind of Spinoza’s imagination. It’s a wind that seems supernatural. The most rational of pre-enlightenment philosophers is also the most magical. The broom is his book; the wind is his thought.

From minimal techno: Loscil’s “Resurgam,” which is on the producer’s third CD, Submers, is the musical equivalent of the experience of reading Spinoza’s philosophy. In this particular track, the techno beat is the broom and dub distortions and drones are the weird wind. With “Resurgam,” we are on a witch’s trip to Brocken mountain.

From the Archives

posted by on June 10 at 11:36 AM

A friend of mine just dug up this old Stranger article from 2001 about when KCMU turned into KEXP. It’s a super interesting read, and provides a lot of history to those of us who may have been 15 and living on the East Coast when this whole thing went down.

Whether Paul Allen has been a die-hard fan of KCMU over the years—as all involved in the partnership want us to believe—it’s obvious where his interest lies: the technology. KEXP has just been handed the resources to transform Seattle’s tiny, beloved non-commercial radio station into an international player in Internet broadcasting. Make no mistake: radio is a dying art; the Internet is the future; and whether KEXP continues to serve Seattle’s local music community or not, it will soon be international in terms of listenership.

Thanks to Liz!

Today’s Music News

posted by on June 10 at 11:31 AM

Local boys and Scientology: Band of Horses to open for Beck

The trainwreck continues: Amy Winehouse apologizes for racial slurs

Teen pop idols and profiteering parents: Parent of Paramore sells singer’s childhood artifacts on ebay

Nepotism and self-promotion: Mamiffer

But they won’t sell music on iTunes: New AC/DC album sold exclusively at WalMart

From the label that brought you Fuck: Matador slated to release new Fucked Up album

The Spits to Sardinia: Ventrilo-Blower

posted by on June 10 at 11:25 AM

ventriloquist.jpgSeattle punk legend-mainstays the Spits embark this week for Europe to do a three week tour. They are hitting Spain, France, and Sardinia. Sean Spits related his pre-tour thoughts:

Sardinia? Where is Sardinia? How did you guys set that up?
Sean: It’s off the coast of Italy. We’re big over there. I’m not kidding. I’m not really sure how those shows got set up. Some kind of European booker who likes us.

Are you looking forward to France?
Am I looking forward to France? Yeah. We’re gonna hit the Loover Museum and look at women with hairy armpits. Is that what you want to hear? That’s a pretty stupid question, really - am I looking forward to France. Do you think people are interested in whether or not I’m looking forward to going to France?

Fuck you.
Yeah, fuck me.

Talk about your European fans.
They go all out. You know they get ten weeks vacation a year over there? They like their punk. And us having Detroit ties fascinates them. One time we toured, and a hundred or so people rented a bus and followed us around for a week. It was like a week long Euro-rave, but with the Spits.

You rave?
No.

Tell me about your favorite European fan.
There was this guy who came to a few shows who said his wife could give him a blowjob and talk at the same time. He called himself Sam, but I don’t think that was his real name. He probably thought we wouldn’t be able to pronounce his real name.

So his wife was a ventrilo-blower?
I guess you could say that, yeah. Ventrilo-blower, pretty neat there Sparky.

Hopscotch Boys at the Blue Moon

posted by on June 10 at 10:30 AM

hopscotchlive.jpg

by Josh for soundonthesound

Tonight in Music: The Round’s 3rd Anniversary, the Ting Tings, Times New Viking

posted by on June 10 at 10:23 AM

The Round celebrates three years of brining music, poetry, and art togther—here’s an excerpt from this week’s story:

The way it works is simple: Each month’s installment features three musicians (they’re welcome to bring a small backing band if they wish) who take turns performing one song at a time. There are no rules or expectations—local songwriters use the night to test out new material on acoustic guitar or piano, cover favorite songs, invite their fellow musicians to jam, or take requests from the audience. It’s unpredictable and unscripted.

“On paper it sounds like the most uncomfortable experience possible,” says guitarist Eric Howk of performing at the Round. “Everyone up onstage the whole time, no real rules or organization. But it works! And it is comfortable. It’s really fun watching this thing that we were all a little unsure of come to life so naturally.”

The same evening as Ward’s Flight of the Conchords sing-along, John Van Deusen, frontman of local trio the Lonely Forest, surprised the crowd with a stellar acoustic guitar version of XTC’s “Statue of Liberty.” Neither of those moments would ever have happened at an average Late Tuesday or Lonely Forest show.

After a round of songs, there is poetry. I know what you’re thinking: “slam poetry, ugh.” It is definitely an acquired taste, but Marion works with Denise Jolly of Youth Speaks and Seattle Poetry Slam to find some of the city’s best talent—the performers (including Buddy Wakefield and one of Marion’s favorites Danny Sherrard) are always at least tolerable if not surprisingly enjoyable.

While all of this is happening, a couple of painters diligently dab at their canvases on the side of the stage. The audience can watch the painting take shape over the course of two hours, and if they like what they see, the work is generally available for sale after the show.

Here’s a couple videos from the Round:

Tara Ward covering Flight of the Navigators Conchords

John Van Deusen covering XTC

Also tonight!

tingtingduo.jpg

The Ting Tings, Anni Rossi
(Chop Suey) The Ting Tings have everything working against them: a major label deal preceded by little to no underground buzz; the ubiquitous boy-girl-duo lineup; and, worst of all, a moniker that sounds like a family of pandas in captivity. So why is their album so damn catchy? The title, We Started Nothing, says it all. These jams simply amalgamate indie punk, electro-pop, hiphop, and other popular flavors, yet their hooks are undeniable. Tenacious, even. “That’s Not My Name” is the best drill-team jam since Toni Basil’s “Mickey,” while “Shut Up and Let Me Go” stomps like Blondie marching all the way from Studio 54 to the Mudd Club. If the Kills are trucker speed, the Ting Tings are Flintstones Chewable Vitamins—safer and sweeter, and much more colorful. KURT B. REIGHLEY

Click here to listen to some Ting Tings. The band’s also playing a free in-store tonight at Easy Street Records on Queen Anne at 6 pm.



Times New Viking - “The End of All Things”

Annuals, Times New Viking, Psychedelic Horseshit, Fabulous Diamonds
(Neumo’s) Times New Viking’s third record and first for big-time indie Matador, Rip It Off, blessedly still sounds like it was recorded for about 25 cents in the bike-cluttered basement of some flop house. Through the staticky midrange and tape hiss, though, emerge some insanely energetic and catchy indie-pop-rock jams. The band’s sheer exuberance (and boy/girl vocals) recall the early heights of Architecture in Helsinki, but without that band’s well-charted recording prowess, or the posi-core smiles of Soophie Nun Squad, only without their alterna-drill-team goofiness. Matador has seen its share of stellar songs given deliberately rough recording treatment before, but Times New Viking take the old slanted enchantment a step shittier in the best possible way. It can only sound more awesome live. ERIC GRANDY

Find more in on our online listings.

Where the rain can’t get in…

posted by on June 10 at 9:46 AM

One of my favorite LPs is Soul Mining by The The. Some albums only get pulled out when the sun is shining, some only get spins if it’s frosty and dark. Soul Mining is one of the rare albums I keep coming back to regardless of the weather. This morning I woke up singing some lyrics from one of my favorite songs on Soul Mining. The lyric in question was weather related however, and very appropriate for the howling wind and blowing rain.

This is a live performance of Uncertain Smile featuring Johnny Marr on guitar. Hope it brings a few of you the same joy it brought me this morning.

“I’ve got you under my skin where the rain can’t get in
but if the sweat pours out just shout I’ll try to swim and pull you out”


Monday, June 9, 2008

Green Vinyl: Obelus Releases Montana

posted by on June 9 at 2:28 PM

Obelus - Montana.

obelusgreen.JPGThere is not enough green vinyl in the world. There are also not enough ambient collections of music that actually work. Obelus’ Montana is a long, open, sifting piece of sound. The green vinyl limited release is out on Seattle / New York based Conduit Records and it’s waiting to seep out of your speakers.

Work might not be the proper word. Montana diffuses its way into your inner ear. It’s instrumental and in many ways experimenting. It works in that it gets into your thoughts and induces. The Obelus duo of Jason Goessel and Adam Pessl composes samples and beds of sound. They have a way of making their electro-acoustic manipulations interact and spread out while remaining intact. Guitars and synths are elongated and ruffled with clatter. There are places where Montana is broken up, yes, but those places are inspected, with whiskers, and scraped, then brought back into the whole.

obelus.JPG

Ambient albums are a unique division of music. Mountains and Mogwai’s quieter moments come to mind as examples that require repeat plays. Rachel’s Systems and Layers and Miles Davis’ Panthalassa as well.

Ambience that works isn’t played. It’s something that lives in your speakers and ears. Obelus’ Montana is alive and well.

Radiohead’s “Nude,” as Performed by Antiquated Robots

posted by on June 9 at 1:20 PM

Stick through (or skip) the noise of the first minute, it gets pretty awesome.


Also at Neumos: Young Widows and Daughters

posted by on June 9 at 12:59 PM

No offense to Megan’s (or Brian’s) Russian Circles love, but I feel she has made an egregious error by not mentioning the other two bands on the bill at Neumos tonight, as in my opinion they are both better bands than Russian Circles. Opening is Louisville’s Young Widows, a band that exists somewhere between the driving, punchy rhythms of the Jesus Lizard and the guitar melodies of Drive Like Jehu. I have yet to see them live, but their 2006 Jade Tree release Settle Down City totally slays and has been in constant rotation on my stereo since I got my hands on it.

daughters.jpg

Also on the bill is arguably my favorite live rock band, Providence, Rhode Island’s Daughters. Few bands are able to take such bizarrely complicated recordings and pull them off so flawlessly live. Their last two performances at Neumos in support of Hell Songs were proof that the band has got their live sound perfectly dialed in - a wall of the discordant guitar that sounds like a million dancing spiders, matched with break-neck drumming and a spitting, penis-exposing singer who carries himself as the biggest shit-bag in rock and roll. They’ve described their sound as “An old man on acid falling down the stairs,” and that’s pretty accurate. They are one of the most abrasive, off-putting bands on the planet, and I will continue seeing them every time they come back to Seattle.

Did Anyone Else Try Caffe Vita BBQ?

posted by on June 9 at 11:32 AM

Caffe Vita BBQ - Best Thing to Happen to the Hill Since Frites

Saturday night I got a text telling me of a “huge truck selling BBQ by the Cha Cha,” so I headed down to check it out. The text spoke truth, as a truck was indeed selling BBQ and blasting hip-hop. Most people walked right on by (to compliments in many cases, with occasional free samples), but I was there for a late dinner, and walked away with a heavy plate of everything the cook had on offer: ribs, chicken, brisket, sausage, collard greens/cabbage, with a single slice of bread. It was all excellent, and I ended up with more than enough for another dinner.

I’m hoping that the BBQ makes its return, but it’s admittedly not geared for on-the-go consumption. I’d suggest more brisket, packaged as sandwiches. Either way, this is the kind of change to nightlife I can deal with.

Anyone else try it?

Crystal Castles’ Crowd at Chop Suey

posted by on June 9 at 11:16 AM

crystalcastleslive.jpg

by aircraftgray

Is that a Joy Division lyric on that dude’s arm?

Sure Beats Vanilla Ice’s Song About John Kerry

posted by on June 9 at 11:16 AM

I know that he’s more of a Jay-Z fan, but this Nas song, “Black President,” about Obama, is pretty good. There’s presidential trivia in it, which is a sure-fire way to make me pay attention—Coolidge’s relationship to the KKK gets mentioned—and it actually plays with the idea of Obama winning, wondering if he’ll stand up for the rights of African-Americans. Some of the samples do make Obama sound kind of like a crazy person, though.

Until just now, I forgot about that Eminem song “Mosh,” that came out a week or so before the ‘04 elections. It wasn’t so much a pro-Kerry song as an anti-Bush song, but really all I remember is that it sucked.

I’ve really grown fond of Nas with his last album. When he gave up on the feud with Jay-Z, it kind of emboldened the both of them. I haven’t heard his new one, but I think that Nas has some of his best work ahead of him.

Tonight in Music: Russian Circles!!!

posted by on June 9 at 11:06 AM

I fucking love this band… so I suggested them this week:

Russian Circles at Neumo’s
Chicago’s Russian Circles have always experimented with music’s darker side. On Enter, the trio crafted metal-tinged, moody instrumentals, but managed to break the spell for few a moments of subtle beauty. On their new record, Station, the band have abandoned all hope. There’s very little clearing in these threatening skies—everything is more aggressive, more sinister. The fearless will be up front, praising the band with a slow, heavy headbang. (Neumo’s, 925 E Pike St, 709-9467. 8 pm, $10, all ages.) by Megan Seling


Russian Circles - “Death Rides a Pale Horse” (live, via refusedtv)

Today’s Music News

posted by on June 9 at 10:40 AM

The times they are a changin’: Dylan backs Obama

Best day of Grohl’s life: Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones rock with Foo Fighters

Major labels vs. the internet: Warner pulls music from Last.fm

People still get busted for pot in LA?: Warren G arrested for possession

Their fans’ mascara is running: From Autumn To Ashes break up

Speaking of guyliner: Trustkill Records gets unfavorable review from flagship band


Sunday, June 8, 2008

Truckasauras Album Release Party at Nectar

posted by on June 8 at 2:38 PM

Also the Dead Science, Past Lives, and DJ Introcut: $8 / 21+ / Doors at 9 PM.

The name of the Truckasauras album in its entirety is Friends Call Me America You Can Call Me Tea Parties, Guns, and Valor. It is a joint release by Brooklyn’s semi-annual Journal of Popular Noise and Seattle’s Fourthcity.

Emperor of the NanoLoop, Ryan Trudell, will be transcending all that is game (boy). Then there are the brothers Swan -Tyler, who grows peninsulas of beats and Adam, who coats all with melody. Also starring Macho Dan Bordon on visual wrestling projections.

Street Truck - a live wide load:
===================

Yes Cancels “Close to the Edge and Back” Tour

posted by on June 8 at 12:48 PM

From their press release:

Legendary rock band Yes announced today that the group will unfortunately be canceling their 2008 40th Anniversary Tour. The 26-city tour was scheduled to kick off in Quebec next month and run through the summer.

Said Jon Anderson, “In the wake of my recent respiratory attack, doctors have advised me to spend the coming months resting and recovering. Unfortunately, this means I won’t be able to tour with Yes this summer as originally planned. I’d like everyone to know how deeply disappointed I am by this turn of events. I was looking forward to celebrating our music with the amazing family of Yes fans once again; but as we all know, health must come before anything else. Wishing you all the very best…”

Yes was supposed to play WaMu Theater on August 15th. Bummer.