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Archives for 07/13/2008 - 07/19/2008

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Swayze Candle

posted by on July 19 at 3:16 PM

Barfly the Saturday Knight / Line Out Champion makes Patrick Swayze candles. They illuminate Swayzicity and are a stylie addition to any room:

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Four Things, One of Which Everyone Should Do Tonight

posted by on July 19 at 3:01 PM

Four damn good events are going down tonight:

One: Excellent punk rock from one of the best bands punk-rocking these days. Added bonus: A good band from Australia! Witch Hats recalls The Birthday Party, only with some haunting female vocals involved. You’ll find these ruffians at Funhouse.

Two: Get down to Jules Maes and witness the very talented Michael Vermillion, who just cut a self-released debut album, and while it’s received little attention in the media, it’s a damn solid collection of rough (old) country jams. It’s call Last Night on Earth, and everyone should go buy it right now.

Three: Three quality pop-ish rock bands fill out this bill at Chop Suey. Bring a date who likes rock music.

Four: Awesome soul DJs spinning at this little neighborhood motorcycle/scooter-themed bar. Get there early, as it’s likely to be packed.

Thank you.

Courtney Claims Ryan Adams Stole $858K From Frances Bean’s Trust Fund

posted by on July 19 at 1:17 PM

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The charges are (sort of) laid out in another of Love’s sprawling, syntax holocaust blog posts, accusing Adams of spending huge sums of money on fancy dinners, drugs, guitars, and recording his 2003 record Rock and Roll. Courtney claims she didn’t notice until now because of the “29 american express cards that i didnt know existed that were connected to a few HUNDRED bank accounts.” Full accusatory rambling after the jump.

Continue reading "Courtney Claims Ryan Adams Stole $858K From Frances Bean's Trust Fund" »


Friday, July 18, 2008

Listen to Setlist, Win Tickets to Block Party!

posted by on July 18 at 5:22 PM

thelightslive.jpgThe Lights

Yeah, I’m not too proud to bribe people into listening to Setlist. Wanna go to the Capitol Hill Block Party? You gotta listen to Setlist and find out how to enter to win tickets! Here’s what else you’ll get when you click:

*Hear what Mark Arm has to say about the current state of radio!
*Hear songs by Get Dressed, Head Like a Kite, Mudhoney, the Lights, and more!
*Find out about all the cool shows this week!

All that and more is waiting for you in this week’s episode. Just click and listen.

I Suggest You End Your Friday By Watching This…

posted by on July 18 at 5:00 PM

A seven-year-old kid playing the harmonica and singing “Piano Man.” I usually find these sorts of things (and by “things” I mean little kids being forced to sing adult-themed songs) creepy, but this kid’s totally charming.

He even has little groupies in the front row!

(BTW: If you hate it, blame Line Out tipper Matt Hickey for making me watch it first.)

Minus the Bear on Jimmy Kimmel Live

posted by on July 18 at 4:07 PM

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Tonight’s performance of “Throwin’ Shapes” will be their late night TV debut. ABC, 12:05am. Earlier this month the band did an acoustic Daytrotter session of four songs off Planet of Ice, which can be downloaded or streamed here.

Carly and the Catch in Toy Box Studio

posted by on July 18 at 12:46 PM

Below the Fremont streets there is a bunker recording studio called The Toy Box. The Catch have been recording a new album there. Singer and guitar player Carly Nicklaus spoke to Toy Box engineer and co-producer Tyler Coffey about making the new album. Rough tracks for the song “In Box” are previewed. Carly checks Tyler for bogies and talks about how being in U.S.E. affects her song writing for the Catch:


The Catch also includes Amy Rockwell, Justin Harcus, and Garrett Lunceford. They will be playing the Toy Box 5th Anniversary Party on Sunday at the High Dive. Party.

The Toy Box is Five – High Dive on Sunday

posted by on July 18 at 12:42 PM

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Fremont’s Toy Box Studio celebrates five years of putting out diverse Seattle sounds with a party at the High Dive on Sunday, July 20th.

The show features twelve of the bands that have recorded there over the years:

Shawn Smith
17th Chapter
With Friends Like These
The Catch
Mass Sugar
Michael Clark & The Red Taillight
Gavin Guss
Michael Vermillion
Lonesome Rhodes & The Good Company
Supersonic Soul Pimps
Sam Squared
Haircuts that Hurt

Each band will play a short set. Doors at 7 PM. $7. A compilation CD featuring twenty Toy Box artists will be available for sale.

The Bottom

posted by on July 18 at 12:25 PM

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This is one of those moments where all hope for another person utterly disappears, where previously irritating transgressions become merely side notes to a thesis on creative bankruptcy. I fucking loved you, Chris Cornell.

Chris(t) Cornell ft. Timbaland - “Long Gone”
streaming exclusively at ryanseacrest.com

Free (Legal) Music From Limewire

posted by on July 18 at 12:10 PM

Remember when you had to actually pay for local music compilations? (Or records in general?) Lame. Well, now the Stranger has teamed with Limewire (one of the P2Ps that helped blow a hole in the whole “money for music” concept, now featuring a legit paid download site, the Limewire Store) to present a compilation of local artists that you can download for free. Just like Limewire 1.0, but without all the pesky RIAA lawsuits!

The tracklisting:

The Saturday Knights — “45”

Truckasauras — “Angels Sound Like Bottle Rockets”

The Pica Beats — “Infant Army”

Past Lives — “Beyond Gone”

Cancer Rising — “Evryday Bidness”

Pleasureboaters — “State of the Union”

Common Market — “Black Patch War”

Sleepy Eyes of Death — “Eyes Spliced Open”

Throw Me the Statue — “About To Walk”

The download is here, and there’s some forfeit of firstborn child sign-up required.

“He definitely would have played these games.”

posted by on July 18 at 11:57 AM

I’m fine with old songs being used on Guitar Hero and Rock Band; cueing them up to plastic instruments and 3D avatars doesn’t taint the original artists’ legacy. And if I ever made an awesome song and died, I’d hope there would be no legal wrangling to allow some 12-year-old to YouTube himself fake-rocking to my hit single, “Murder Mausoleum.”

But when the estates of famed rockers get a ton of cash to license their tunes to video games, can they ease up on the fucking rationalizations?

The ultimate guitar hero, Jimi Hendrix, is finally coming to the Guitar Hero game franchise, according to Janie Hendrix, who oversees his estate. The Hendrix estate, which had difficulty locating the original masters until now, has delivered multiple songs — including “Purple Haze,” “Foxy Lady” and “Little Wing” — to GH’s developers … “Guitar Hero really was on the ball and and they were biting at the bit to get this out this year, so, we just accommodated them,” Janie Hendrix tells Rolling Stone. “Jimi was a kid at heart — he definitely would have played these games.”

Please, stop telling everybody what dead people would’ve wanted when it comes to licensing deals worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Unless, of course, you plan on issuing statements like the one on the front of his sex tape. Thanks.

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(This sorta thing pissed me off last year, too, but that’s only cuz Courtney was getting in on the action.)

Today’s Music News

posted by on July 18 at 11:49 AM

Fulfill the dream: Minus The Bear perform on Jimmy Kimmel tonight

Jarvis Cocker, Wes Andersen, and Roald Dahl: Brit rocker scoring movie adaptation of children’s book

Less of a surprise than the Barenaked Ladies bust: Former GnR drummer arrested for drugs

Non-equivalent bookends: Billy Joel plays Shea Stadium’s final concert

The recession is here: Pantera’s drummer ebays his oven

Do yourself a favor and check out Fix My Brain: Marked Men are taking a break

Paul Parker - Right On Target

posted by on July 18 at 11:27 AM

Paul Parker's 1982 Too Much To Dream LP

As many know, San Francisco’s Megatone label released many amazing disco/italo records during the beginning of the 1980’s. The label which was founded by Patrick Cowley, worked with arists like Sylvester, Sarah Dash, Cowley(himself), Paul Parker, Queen Samantha, among many others. One of my many favorites from this label is Paul Parker’s 1982 italo classic “Right On Target”. This track, like many of the early Megatone releases, was produced by Cowley and became an instant club hit, especially in the gay communities. The song also made it onto his debut LP Too Much To Dream later that year. From what I have heard of Parker, I feel like he never quite re-captured the magic that he and Cowley were able to produce on the “Right On Target” single. Regardless, Parker’s debut single is one the finest productions during the legendary eary years of Megatone’s existence.

Download Paul Parker’s 1982 Italo classic “Right On Target” and more by visiting this website.

Sing Sing: Premature Celebration

posted by on July 18 at 10:10 AM

In this week’s Up & Comings, I mistakenly referred to tonight’s Sing Sing at the War Room as its 2 Year Anniversary. In fact, the night’s anniversary is August 1st, with Spank Rock DJs Devlin & Darko. (The War Room might want to correct its calendar.) Still, tonight, the Rapture’s Mattie Safer, about whose DJ sets I can recall almost nothing, DJs (just remember all the anniversary blather for August):

A two-year anniversary might seem a little unimpressive after Sub Pop’s 20th last weekend, but Sing Sing’s is no small accomplishment. In the past two years, it’s grown from a scrappy but ambitious monthly at Havana, then Chop Suey, to a routinely slamming bimonthly War Room party with its own 12-inch, Sing Sing Breaks, out on Fools Gold. Promoter and DJ Clayton Vomero has brought to Seattle such talent as Chromeo, A-Trak, Sinden, Andrew WK, Matt & Kim, Low Budget, Flosstradamus—the list really goes on and on. For tonight’s celebration, Sing Sing is bringing in Mattie Safer of the Rapture, who has presumably spent the last year basking in the afterglow of opening for Daft Punk. I’m sure I’ve seen Safer DJ before—some afterparty?—but I can’t seem to recall a thing, which either means he’s neither memorably good or bad or that he works the party into full-on blackout mode. My best guess is the latter.

Moon Epilogue

posted by on July 18 at 9:52 AM

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photo by call me C from the Stranger flickr pool

Driving home from vacation last night, there was a big, full moon over Anacortes. Finally.

There was also a bunch of people hanging around the Department of Safety for the kick off of the town’s annual What the Heck Fest.

Here is the official schedule of events:

FRIDAY, JULY 18th Croatian Club 5pm – 8pm (official Heck Fest grand opening ceremonies and dinner show) D+ Sandman Katy Davidson

City Hall
8pm – 1am
Karl Blau
Lucky Dragons
The Moore Brothers with Owl & the Pussycat
Calvin Johnson & Ian Svenonius
Mt. Eerie

FRIDAY NIGHT JOINT COVER AT THE BARS:
Watertown Pub: …WORMS, Love Tan
Brown Lantern: Bryan, Frank & Bob, the Moondoggies

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

SATURDAY, JULY 19th
Causland Park
noon – 7pm
(all day sushi show in the park)
Caulfield & His Magical Violin
Desolation Wilderness
Bryce Panic/Better Bizness Bureau
Gift Machine
Nate Ashley
Lonely Forest

City Hall
7pm – 1am
Photosynthesis
Graves
Angelo Spencer
Ô Paon
Your Heart Breaks
Little Wings
Kimya Dawson

SATURDAY NIGHT JOINT COVER AT THE BARS:
Watertown Pub: ザ ジョージ マイケルス バンド, the Coconut Coolouts, Triumph of Lethargy Skinned Alive To Death
Brown Lantern: Yes, Oh Yes, TacocaT, See Me River

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

SUNDAY, JULY 20th
11am “brunch show” at Anderson’s Store on Guemes Island:
Real Live Tigers, Dennis Driscoll, Solvents!

Causland Park
noon – 2pm
“Game Day” curated by the Blow

City Hall
2pm – 5:30pm
Mirah & Spectratone International performing “Share This Place”
Alyse Emdur (films)
Stella Marrs (films)
Oliver Orion-Miles
Honcho #1 (short film)

Department of Safety
6pm – 10pm
A Rich Jensen Intensive
Al Larsen
LAKE
(also: Jib Kidder Chalk Space – an all day superchalking and boomboxing)

ALL PASSES ARE NOW SOLD OUT.

Some tickets will be available at the door to the City Hall shows ($10), and the show on Sat. afternoon in the park is free.


Thursday, July 17, 2008

Love Lifts Sawka Up Where He Belongs

posted by on July 17 at 7:20 PM

officerandg.jpgThe one-man drumming freak of dnb Kevin Sawka is off to Europe for a solo tour. Just he and his drums and his sickening beats. And maybe some drum sticks. We spoke:

Where are you going?
Kevin: London, Wales, Amsterdam, France, and Spain.

Who are you touring with?
I’m traveling and performing by my lonesome self as KJ Sawka. Climbing the European hills.

What cities are you playing?
July 18th - Swansea, Wales - Monkey Café & Bar
July 19th - UK - Near London - Glade Festival
July 21st - Winston Kingdom, Warmoesstraat
July 24th - Barcelona - La Plataforma
July 25th - Metz - Le Tunnel, Metz
July 26th - Lille - Le Reve d’Hervrt

How did the tour get set up?
I did a tour of the UK last year. I’m playing Glade Festival again this year. My friend Nick who promotes, books bands, and who is in a live dnb band set up most of the tour.

What will you be playing?
I will be playing live smashing drum n’ bass beats and some more moderate dance floor riddims for people’s enjoyment.

What are you looking forward to over there?
People’s enjoyment.

How are you bringing over your drums?
I’m just bringing over my own electronics. I’m renting a kit.

Do you have to worry about converters for the power?
No worries, but I do need power converters for everything. It can be a real big pain.

Are you worried about other people touching your drums?
I’d like to think I’m the one with all the touch. And I’d rather other people only touch the cymbals with their tongues.

Are you worried about other people touching you?
No, not at all. I love to hug.

Are you afraid of flying?
Absolutely not. When the plane lifts off, I sing out loud.

What will you be singing this trip?
I think I’ll go with Joe Cocker’s “Up Where We Belong” from An Officer and a Gentleman. I love that song. Love lifts us up where we belong, you know?

Yes. I know.
Where eagles fly.

The Jesus & Mary Chain @ Showbox

posted by on July 17 at 5:30 PM

Jesus & Mary Chain

The number of reunions that are worth anything can be counted on one hand, and that’s a hand that’s worked with sheet-metal and had a couple of lawsuits.

Scotland’s the Jesus & Mary Chain had been going on for fifteen years when they broke up in 1999. It’s difficult to nail down just how influential the band really were. It’s hard to describe how much their tactic of chucking apocalyptic noise into a pool of ’50s rock & roll myth, post-punk genre-tourism, and cool pop hooks made everything at the time sound better.

They got back together last year, and while no one’s quite sure why, they’re here now, in front of everyone, and for many of us, for the very first time.

It’s simple. They just showed up. No intro music. No backdrop. Like it hasn’t been a decade since they were here. There’s the first song. Done. Second song. Done. Nothing in-between. The band, standing stock-still, surrounded in smoke and squalls, come off as a kind of unified, laconic force, a sort of seamless and charismatic wall of anti-performance, and you remember how hard it is to pull it off.

But the Jesus & Mary Chain have always had some contempt for their fans. They’ve played whole shows with their backs to the audience, sparked off historic riots, and even continued to release essentially the same record over their whole career. After one song, crowd roaring, frontman Jim Reid shrugs and says, “Cheers.”

There’s “Head On” and “Sidewalking” and “Cracking Up.” There’s a nervous “Some Candy Talking” and a brutish “Blues From A Gun.” There’s “Far Gone & Out,” which they fumble, and “Just Like Honey,” which, as Jim Reid looks out with a single light in his eye, hits hard enough for you to forget how much you’ve heard it.

Jesus & Mary ChainBesides Jim and William Reid, the new line-up has members of Ride and Lush, including Not Bobby Gillespie on drums. They look well and calm. Jim Reid’s come out of a life of alcohol and chaos looking somehow like a young John Simm, while William Reid looms like a round Robert Smith. It almost seems too easy until things start to go wrong. “It’s not our fault,” one of them says, as songs are restarted. “This is a fucking nightmare.”

It’s not, as it turns out. It’s a good night for the memories. If they don’t play Honey’s Dead front-to-back, they cover their catalogue with broad strokes, and wrap up an encore with “Reverence,” one of the band’s most vicious pieces of music, which is a dense and blistering and brilliant reminder of when bands used to crush their most important influences together instead of only mimic them.

After everything is over, after every song, you hear echoes of a hundred bands that wouldn’t exist without the Jesus & Mary Chain.

Like most reunions, you’re not watching the band — these brothers of Scotland — you’re watching what they must have been like when they were still alive and together, producing music and part of the culture. It’s a live-action re-enactment. And your mileage may vary. But at least for tonight, while nothing proves that any of this is necessary, it’s obvious it was once necessary, full-stop, and their reputation and their sound survives, which is almost good enough.

Harvey Milk - Life… The Best Game In Town

posted by on July 17 at 1:35 PM

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When did “careerist” cease to be a biting accusation in the realm of underground music? When did every punk with a guitar decide that he/she deserved a living making music? Don’t get me wrong; it’s certainly noble to see hard-working acts reach a point where they don’t have to work temp jobs. No one wants to slave away for The Man. But isn’t it equally admirable to be financially independent of one’s art? To not worry about the audience, the business, the whole game, but rather to act on one’s whims and personal preference?

Athens, Georgia may have birthed hitmakers like REM and B-52s, but the sleepy little Southern college town also delivered Harvey Milk. Born in 1992, the band worked through the decade as little more than a local legend. They were the band that would open for Jesus Lizard when Yow and company would roll through town. It may not be fair to speculate on the degree of career ambition within their ranks, but gauging from their penchant for noise, their controversial moniker, and their inclination to fuck with people’s preconceived notion of their musical boundaries (demonstrated in stunts such as covering REM’s Reckoning album in it’s entirety), it seems safe to say that Harvey Milk had no intention of following Michael Stipe and Kate Pearson into the big leagues. The obscurity of the band almost seemed to be part of their charm. It wasn’t until they initiated their eight-year hiatus in 1998 that their reputation began to seep across Clarke County lines. Relapse Records released The Singles, a collection of their 7”s, in 2003 and in the process exposed the band to a whole new audience. Henry Owings and Chunklet Magazine began to sing their praises. Harvey Milk fandom developed into a mini-cult.

With their second post-hiatus full-length, Life… The Best Game In Town, the band has further solidified their cult status by enlisting underground low-end legend Joe Preston for bass duties and opting to work with the esteemed thinkin’-man’s-metal merchants at Hydra Head Records. Neither choice promises financial success, yet both decisions certainly helped garner more attention from the fickle and snobby noise rock community. While Harvey Milk’s business strategies frequently suggest a resignation of their marketability, their creative output speaks of a band liberated by their less-than-stellar prognosis. With no expectations weighing them down, they’ve managed to create a defiant yet remarkably palatable album. The production is surprisingly stellar, yet many listeners will probably find themselves checking their speakers during the latter half of “Death Goes To The Winner,” when measure upon measure of pummeling palm-muted eighth notes are buried underneath red-lined throbs of static. And though Harvey Milk’s predilection for mean mammoth-sized riffs guarantees an audience (albeit a small one) within the extreme music community, it’s their deviations from the sludge formula that makes their work more daring and respectable.

I speak from experience when suggesting that Harvey Milk’s occasional forays into light-hearted material is more likely to alienate and detract possible fans than to entice a larger following. My initial exposure to the band, The Singles, left me unsure of how to feel about them. Granted, their angrier material was exemplary, but their poppier moments were distracting. Again, the moments of major-scale melodies didn’t necessarily come across as calculated attempts at winning over a greater cross section of people. Rather, it seemed like a direct snub to the metal community. A middle finger towards people that expected only hate and anger from their favorite bands. A sense of humor tends to ruin the malevolent façade and it kept me from enjoying their work. Yet when Life… reaches it’s most radio-friendly moment with “Motown,” it becomes apparent that Harvey Milk’s embrace of pop is in some ways even more malicious than their bleak doom riffs. The upbeat nature of these moments seems more like a sneer, a deliberate demonstration of both the band’s ability to craft accessible music and it’s decision to reject it. It’s an admission that the band doesn’t fit in anywhere, even in the cliquey realm of underground music.

Life’s album artwork shows a rundown living room. Beer cans litter the coffee table. A beat-up Iron Maiden poster hangs on the wall. It looks like a young metalhead’s first apartment. This particular choice of artwork for a fifth album by a band well into its second decade of existence serves as an appropriate metaphor. There is no glamour in Harvey Milk. No constructed evil pretense. No aspirations. Just a bunch of dudes doing what they do and not giving a shit whether or not you like it. And they’ve managed to excel specifically because of that apathy

Harvey Milk play The Funhouse on July 31st

Metallica Pontificate on Death, Refuse to Embrace It

posted by on July 17 at 1:18 PM

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James Hetfield, via Blabbermouth:

“‘Death Magnetic’, at least the title, to me, it’s… It had something to do with… It started out as kind of a tribute to people that have fallen in our business, like Layne Staley [ALICE IN CHAINS] and a lot of the people that have died, basically — rock and roll martyrs of sorts. And then it kind of grew from there. Thinking about death… some people are drawn towards it, and just like a magnet, some people are drawn towards it, [and] other people are afraid of it and push away. And the concept that we’re all gonna die sometimes is over-talked about and then a lot of times never talked about — no one wants to bring it up; it’s the big white elephant in the living room. But we all have to deal with it at some point. So that’s kind of the subject matter.”

Somewhere, the soul of Cliff Burton is hoping his name doesn’t get dragged into any of this bullshit.

My Biggest Regret

posted by on July 17 at 1:00 PM

2006-12-12T14_52_16-08_00.jpg How in the world did I manage to miss Cornell Campbell at Nectar on July 12th? How? The man has a voice that instantly fills my heart with sweet, sweet melodies. And his old age has had little or no impact on the heartbreaking soul of his craft—listen to Rhythm and Sound’s “Empire.” Is it the air? Is it something in the water? What could it be that makes the small island of Jamaica produce so many great singers?

Death Cab for Cutie/Superchunk Added to Bumbershoot Line-Up

posted by on July 17 at 12:18 PM

This was actually announced days ago, but in the flurry of Sub Pop and Block Party stuff, it got lost in my in-box. So I apologize for the delay in telling you this but… SUPERCHUNK IS PLAYING BUMBERSHOOT.

Superchunk - “Hyper Enough”

Here’s who was just added:

Death Cab For Cutie / Superchunk / Tapes ‘n Tapes / The Weakerthans / Two Gallants / Sweet Water / Cheb I Sabbah & 1002 Nights featuring Riffat Sultana / Vicci Martinez / Black Eyes and Neckties / Tiptons Sax Quartet / Mono in VCF / Thee Emergency / Vince Mira / Manooghi Hi / Feral Children / Speaker Speaker / The Physics / The Tripwires / Sage / Grieves / Choklate / Das Vibenbass / The Valley / Velella Velella / The Maldives / Shim / Shane Tutmarc & The Traveling Mercies / Mariee Sioux / The Round (featuring Damien Jurado, Jen Wood, Buddy Wakefield and others) / The Lonely H / Nick Vigarino / The Staxx Brothers / Lushy / New Faces / School of Rock: Northwest All-Stars / Jazz Northwest: WSU Faculty Ensemble

And who’s here we already knew about:

Beck / Stone Temple Pilots / T.I. / The Offspring / Keyshia Cole / Lucinda Williams / Neko Case / Paramore / Band of Horses / The Black Keys / Nada Surf / Ingrid Michaelson / Del Tha Funky Homosapien / Jakob Dylan / !!! / Mike Doughty / Old 97’s / Xavier Rudd / Anti-Flag / Minus the Bear / M. Ward / Lee “Scratch” Perry / Man Man / Joe Bonamassa / Saul Williams / Brother Ali / Battles / Aiden / Kid Sister / The Walkmen / Sons and Daughters / Asylum Street Spankers / Unearth / Estelle / Dan Deacon / Blitzen Trapper / Sondre Lerche / Bedouin Soundclash / Scary Kids Scaring Kids / Tim Finn / The Whigs / Dale Watson / John Vanderslice / Flobots / Thao with the Get Down Stay Down / Final Fantasy / Adele / The Fall of Troy / Orgone / Langhorne Slim & The War Eagles / Forro in the Dark / These Arms Are Snakes / The Blakes / Wreckless Eric & Amy Rigby / Pacifika / Arthur & Yu / Darondo & Nino Moschella / Ian Moore / Mark Pickerel & His Praying Hands / Throw Me The Statue / Barcelona / Kinski / Tyrone Wells / Monotonix / J-Boogie’s Dubtronic Science / Howlin Rain / The Shackeltons / West Indian Girl / Ravens & Chimes / Hadley Caliman Quintet featuring Thomas Marriott / Star Anna / Grynch / The Hands / Joshua Morrison / Matt Jorgensen +451 / PWRFL Power / Chester French / The Girls / Kate Tucker & the Sons of Sweden / Beehive / Ashleigh Flynn

More info is at bumbershoot.org.

Today’s Music News

posted by on July 17 at 11:43 AM

Not buying it: Statistics suggest piracy increases CD sales

Are you unsatisfied?: Replacements’ major label records reissued

Whoa, Nelly: Furtado concert erupts into violence

Jingles: Gene Simmons to host reality show

So much for outsider art: Instructional DVD for screaming

Eugene Robinson: Renaissance man: Controversial singer and his many day jobs

Tonight in Music: Jesse Lacey, Bobby Bare Jr., and Tulsi and Specs One

posted by on July 17 at 11:20 AM

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In this week’s My Philosophy, Larry tells you where to go if you’re craving some hiphop:

I’ll be damned! Summer’s done snuck up on us after all. Now all you poohbutts are bitching about the heat. Well, on Thursday, July 17, Seattle’s live hiphop hotbeds have much to offer: Capitol Hill’s Comet Tavern hosts the send-off date of the Less Is More tour featuring Northwest road warriors Tulsi, Specs One, Animal Farm (minus crew member Hanif), and DJ Able; at Fremont’s High Dive you’ll find “The Come Up!” featuring up and comers such as that fast rhymin’ George Zelaya (“The Real Grunge Rap King”), Know Choice, Notion, and Ripynt. Mr. Zelaya I haven’t written too much about—I don’t have any of his shit—but a cursory listen to the hardcore choppage up on his MySpace page (myspace.com/georgemusic) tells me he’s far from a hobby rapper.

Hear Tulsi here.

Otherwise, there’s also…

Jesse Lacey and Kevin Devine playing Modest Mouse’s “Trailer Trash”
Jesse Lacey, Kevin Devine, Brian Bonz
(Chop Suey) As lead singer of the unfortunately underrated rock band Brand New, Jesse Lacey’s usual stage persona is that of an angst-ridden, slightly demented heartthrob. His band’s songs are turbulent anthems that appeal to the highly emotional, the supposedly misunderstood—in short, the young. And though they’re clumped in with acts like My Chemical Romance, Senses Fail, and 30 Seconds to Mars, Brand New’s lyrics are generally much smarter than their screamo-rific, clichéd peers thanks to Lacey’s love of literature. Live and alone, he showcases those lyrics with just an acoustic guitar and usually beefs up the set with some surprisingly decent covers of Jawbreaker and Neutral Milk Hotel. MEGAN SELING
Bobby Bare Jr. - “The Heart Bionic”
Bobby Bare Jr., Jason Dodson
(Tractor) It seems like Bobby Bare Jr. passes through our beloved city every few months. Of course the door is always open for Bobby and his Young Criminals Starvation League. The Northwest has a soft spot for those country misfits who don’t quite fit in with the Nashville crowd. That’s not to say that the younger Bare qualifies as an outlaw; he doesn’t carry the same aura of rebellion that defined Waylon and Willie. Naw, Bobby just wants to have a good time. Get people off their asses. Have a few beers. Maybe sing a few sad songs in between his rowdier tunes. And as long as he’s willing and able to bring the party, Seattle will hoot and holler right along with him. BRIAN COOK

There’s always more here.


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

MTV Introduces the World to Portland, OR

posted by on July 16 at 3:50 PM

This MTV News feature covers the current Portland music scene, interviewing all sorts of familiar faces like Steven Malkmus, M. Ward, the Thermals, and Yacht, and lesser known local acts like Eat Skull, White Fang, and constant Seattle visitors Meth Teeth. Main topics of conversation include rain, basements, the city’s great food, and how everyone who lives there is awesome and in a band. It makes the city look like some sort of fantastical egalitarian musician commune. I guess in a way it sort of is. The whole piece is overwhelmingly positive - I get the feeling a similar one on Seattle would end up way more jaded.

Poll: Drugs, Nasty Ass Drugs

posted by on July 16 at 12:09 PM

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Music and drugs have a long and intertwining history. Certain artists have their poisons and certain poisons have their artists. Fans too, poisons don’t miss them either. (Managers, promoters, bookers, and label reps, let’s not forget they do drugs too.) We as music makers and fans snort, smoke, shoot, chug, and inject, for many reasons.

Enhancement of the senses to intensify creative process? Check. Enhancement of the senses to intensify audible and visual experience? Check. R. Kelly says, “I believe I can fly” and we do too. Or if you’re from the South, you want drugs because you like how it feels going fast.

Eddy Grant rocks down to Electric Avenue then does what? He takes it highya. Sadly, ginseng and guarana don’t stack up. I mean, there you are on Electric Avenue, somehow a cup of ginseng tea doesn’t work.

Drugs get ugly real quick. Some of the nastiest and dumbest:

The Speedball: intravenous use of heroin or morphine and cocaine.
Crank: cheap form of meth that is usually snorted.
Lith: lithium taken from batteries, comes in a paste, usually smoked.
LSD/Mushroom/Ecstasy combo: college students in Georgia call it “The Larry”.
Freon: the shit in refrigerators and air conditioners.
Yard of Beer: three feet of liquid beer.

Which gets you the highest?

Fortress of Amplitude @ 2020 Cycle

posted by on July 16 at 12:05 PM

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by Joseph Peter

Vans to Make Bad Brains-Themed Merch

posted by on July 16 at 11:59 AM

The 2009 Bad Brains collection will feature three t-shirt designs and three shoe designs.

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See more photos at www.highsnobiety.com.

(ht to Punknews.org)

Tonight in Music: Flobots, the Jesus and Mary Chain, and Lyfe Jennings

posted by on July 16 at 11:50 AM

Flobots - “Handlebars”
Flobots, Doomtree, P.O.S.
(El Corazón) Who in the love of the LFO are these Flobots clowns? That “Handlebars” song is hot, steamy, wet trash—and I never even heard their stupid-ass name till their video was in heavy rotation and KNDD was banging them like Yellowcard. Yet I’m going to go to their show because P.O.S., the most interesting act on Rhymesayers Entertainment, is a fucking lightning bolt onstage. A punk-rock singer turned shitstarting MC, Pissed Off Stef’s half-Eminem/half–Against Me! swag can turn timid rap shows to hardcore pits in a blink. His Doomtree family follows suit—their dark, rock-damaged aesthetic akin to the Northwest’s Oldominion clique. LARRY MIZELL JR.
The Jesus and Mary Chain - “Head On”
The Jesus and Mary Chain
(Showbox Sodo) There doesn’t really seem to be a point to a reunion of the Jesus and Mary Chain, the landmark Scottish band who invented the Velvet-Underground-in-a-pop-nuclear-blast philosophy and gave us songs like “Head On,” “Darklands,” and “Far Gone and Out.” The rest of the world’s been filling the void, sounding like them, from Black Rebel Motorcycle Club to the Raveonettes, or igniting a resurgence, like with the climactic use of “Just Like Honey” in Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation. But maybe that’s the point. The Jesus and Mary Chain did one sound, one monumental sound, their whole lives, but did it so well that they might as well come back and show everyone how it’s done. DEAN FAWKES

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Lyfe Jennings, Ray Lavender
(Showbox at the Market) I like Lyfe Jennings. I appreciate that he changed his name from “Chester” to “Lyfe,” ‘cause Chester is not the move. I appreciate that after he got locked up years back, he focused his energy on music, and emerged as R&B’s premier socially conscious talent. Instead of sing-rapping about cheap sex and parties and bullshit like most of these clowns, he explores, say, the complex feelings involved in dating someone with kids. He pulls a Johnny Cash and does a live show at a prison—except unlike Cash, he really served time there. But most of all, I guess I like Lyfe Jennings because my girl likes him—she’s got good taste. LARRY MIZELL JR.

Watch Lyfe Jennings’ videos on YouTube.

Everything else is listed in our online calendar.

Today’s Music News

posted by on July 16 at 11:08 AM

The new Robert Pollard: Phil Elverum keeps busy

Shocker: Ronnie Wood enters rehab

Buzz kill: Singer of Barenaked Ladies arrested on drug charges

”Addicted to LSD”?: Natalie Cole diagnosed with Hepatitis C

Maximum volume: Jucifer kicked off NY stage

Crust punks ain’t the best customers: Profane Existence calls it a day

Russian Ravers Blinded By Something Other Than Drugs and/or Shame

posted by on July 16 at 11:05 AM

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This time it’s LASERS! From MSNBC:

MOSCOW - Dozens of partygoers at an outdoor rave near Moscow last week have lost partial vision after a laser light show burned their retinas, Russian health officials said on Monday.

Moscow city health department officials confirmed 12 cases of laser-blindness at the Central Ophthalmological Clinic, and daily newspaper Kommersant said another 17 were registered at City Hospital 32 in the center of the capital.

Attendees at the July 5 Aquamarine Open Air Festival in Kirzhach, 50 miles northeast of Moscow, began seeking medical help days after the show, complaining of eye and vision problems, health officials told Reuters.

“They all have retinal burns, scarring is visible on them. Loss of vision in individual cases is as high as 80 percent, and regaining it is already impossible,” Kommersant quoted a treating ophthalmologist as saying.

Attendees said heavy rains forced organizers to erect massive tents for the all-night dance party, and lasers that normally illuminate upwards into the sky were instead partially refracted into the ravers’ eyes.

“I immediately had a spot like when you stare into the sun,” rave-attendee Dmitry told Kommersant.

“After three days I decided to go to the hospital. They examined me, asked if I had been at Open Air, and then put me straight in the hospital. I didn’t even get to go home and get my stuff,” he said.

Cosmic Connection, promoters of the Aquamarine rave, were unreachable and did not list contact numbers on their Web site.

Industry Web site www.laserfx.com said focused laser light can cause eye damage almost instantly.

The owner of a Moscow laser rental company told Reuters the accidental blindings were due to “illiteracy on the part of technicians.”

“It was partly the rain, but also partly the size of the laser. Somebody set up an extremely powerful laser for such a small space,” said Valentin Vasiliev, who said his company did not provide the Aquamarine lasers.

Adriano Italiano

posted by on July 16 at 11:04 AM

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Before local cosmic disco producer Altair Nouveau relocated to California, one of his favorite songs to play on Wednesdays was the recently released Greg Wilson re-edit of Adriano Celentano’s “Prisencolinensinainciusol”. Since it’s STUDIO! debut, the re-edit, which was released off of Wilson’s 12-inch single GW Ruff Edits #1, has quickly become a crowd favorite. I constantly get people asking me the name of the track, which I always fail to pronounce. Regardless on how you say the name of song, Wilson puts together a fine edit, successfully pumping the tracks overall bass level to new heights, as well as extending out some of the songs more instrumental moments giving the song an even more Afro-Tribal disco feel. Wilson also adds a nice touch to the songs last few minutes with some sampled vocals from Instant Funks 1978 Salsoul classic “I Got My Mind Made Up”. Greg Wilson is definitely known within the disco and dance communities over the past three decades for putting together some of the world’s finiest edits, however here, GW might just have “raised the bar” once again, releasing one of the best edits’ of the year.

Download Greg Wilson’s re-edit of Adriano Celentano’s disco classic “Prisencolinensinainciusol” by visiting the new STUDIO! Disco Blog.

One Day As A Lion - “Wild International”

posted by on July 16 at 10:50 AM

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The first taste of Zack De La Rocha and Jon Theodore’s One Day As A Lion project is now streaming online. The simplicity of the band’s setup is it’s strong suit: the straightforward keyboard melodies and thick backbeats are effectively anthemic and easily digestible, leaving the focus on Rocha’s always heated verse. Lyrically and stylistically he doesn’t appear to have lost a step since his peak in RATM. Since his style has been oft copied but never duplicated it’s refreshing just to hear him back in his element, no wild re-imagining necessary. One Day As A Lion’s 5-song debut EP will be released 7/22 on Anti.

Read A Book

posted by on July 16 at 10:28 AM

Yes, it’s not new…

…so don’t jump on me for posting this piece of madness.



Tuesday, July 15, 2008

King Khan is Keee’razy

posted by on July 15 at 4:27 PM

King Khan & The Shrines played a crazy fun show Sunday. Whole-lee frick. I don’t think I’ve EVER seen people dance so hard at the Tractor Tavern.

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The best part of the show was super-drunk-middle-finger-man in the front row. He was flailing around like he was having a seizure, and repeatedly giving the band the bird flip. When Khan told him, “Hey guy, you are a terrible dancer!” Tractor security jumped in and escorted him out. Khan then demanded he was let back in the club, bought him a beer, and kept pointing at him with his big snake stick for the rest of the show.

Bands from South Georgian Sandwich Islands sure are nice.

More photos after the jump.

Continue reading "King Khan is Keee'razy" »

Hot Water Music Will Play MFNW! The Murder City Devils, However, Will Not.

posted by on July 15 at 3:11 PM

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I’ve been waiting, waiting, waiting for the recently reunited band to announce a NW date and the wait is over—as the Portland Mercury’s music blog End Hits just posted, Hot Water Music will play MFNW! They’ll play the Roseland Theater in Portland Saturday, September 6th.

The bummer is that the Murder City Devils have canceled.

Visit MFNW’s website for more information.

Also Tonight: Ed Harcourt @ Chop Suey

posted by on July 15 at 2:44 PM

I’d heard the name before, and saw it earlier today announcing his involvement on the score of the Donnie Darko sequel, but I hadn’t actually heard Ed Harcourt’s music until the live session he did on KEXP this afternoon. His songs were great, I was impressed, so he gets a plug. He’s playing Chop Suey with Jeff Klein, 8:00pm, $15, 21+.

Grunge Lives

posted by on July 15 at 1:10 PM

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by kjten22

Feed the Animals, Visualized

posted by on July 15 at 12:34 PM

Some Girl Talk fan out there has a lot of free time on his hands, but at least he’s using it for creative endeavors instead of watching daytime TV, eating chips and masturbating like most people with nothing to do. Who knows if this YouTuber plans on creating videos for the entire Feed the Animals record, but he’s finished the 2nd and 3rd tracks and they came out pretty impressive:

Girl Talk plays the Capitol Hill Block Party on Friday, July 25th.

88 on 8/8/08: BOADRUM

posted by on July 15 at 12:19 PM

On 8/8/08, 88 drummers will play at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. It’s the 88 Boadrum and it’s headed up by Japan’s Boredoms. 88 drummers playing at once. Probably for 88 minutes. They have asked me to be one of them and I can’t wait. (Boredoms see Seattle - here.)

As a drummer, it’s hugely exciting. It’s like if you were really REALLY into the yellow Teletubbie (Laa-Laa) and you were asked to participate in a Laa-Laa convention where there were going to be 88 other Laa-Laa’s. Or if you were a necrophiliac, this would be like being given a stadium-sized morgue.

The organizers of 88 Boadrum have asked me my shoe size and my t-shirt size. I’m interested to find out why they need my shoe size.

Here is a Viva-Radio interview with footage of EYE from Boredoms on last year’s 77 drummer event in Brooklyn on 7/7. He conducts the drummers with different colored polls. He also talks about his 7-guitar tower:

And another video summation of last year’s 77 drummer event on 7/7 - here.

Dragonforce - “Heroes of Our Time”

posted by on July 15 at 11:43 AM

Today’s Music News

posted by on July 15 at 11:40 AM

Poor fashion choices pt. 1: Lemmy breaks German law by wearing Nazi attire

Poor fashion choices pt. 2: Justice design apparel for clothing company

Please stop soiling Rush’s legacy by comparing them to this band: Coheed and Cambria schedule Neverender marathon

Class act: Divine Heresy founder and wife attacked by former singer

Not Sammy Hagar: David Lee Roth has an impostor

At the bottom of your iTunes: New Zozobra album

Speaking of the Block Party, Here’s the Schedule!

posted by on July 15 at 11:05 AM

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The full line-up and weekend schedule has been released! You may now start planning your Block Party days accordingly…

Friday July 25

KING COBRA STAGE

4:00-4:30 Black Whales
5:00-5:30 The Pharmacy
6:00-6:45 Truckasaurus
7:15-8:00 Airborn Toxic Event
8:30-9:15 Champagne Champagne
9:45-10:30 Pleasure Boaters
11:00-11:45 The Heavy Hearts
12:15-1:00 Lesbian

VERA STAGE

4:00-4:45 Talbot Tagora
5:15-6:00 Abe Vigoda
6:30-7:15 Mika Miko
7:45-8:30 PWRFL POWER
9:00-9:45 Say Hi
10:15-11:15 Natalie Portmans Shaved Head

NEUMOS STAGE

4:00-4:30 Black Eyes And Neck Ties
5:00-5:45 Head Like a Kite
6:15-7:00 Past Lives
7:45-8:30 The Emergency
9:00-10:00 The Dodos
10:30-11:30 Jay Reatard
11:30-3:00am SING SING AFTER PARTIES FEAT:PASE ROCK, PAUL DEVRO, & PRETTY TITTY!

MAIN STAGE

4:30-5:15 Common Market
5:30-6:15 U.S.E
6:30-7:15 Menomena
7:45-8:45 Girl Talk
9:15-10:15 Les Savy Fav
10:45-Midnight Vampire Weekend

Saturday July 26th

KING COBRA STAGE

2:00-2:30 Angelo Spencer
3:00-3:30 New Faces
4:00-4:30 The Whore Moans
5:00-5:30 The Loved Ones
6:00-6:45 Sleepy Eyes Of Death
7:15-8:00 Voyager One
8:30-9:15 Velella Velella
9:45-10:30 Feral Children
11:00-11:45 Book Of Black Earth
12:15-1:00 Zeke

VERA STAGE

2:00-2:30 TBA
3:00-3:45 Little Party & the Big Business
4:15-4:45 The Physics
5:15-6:00 Man Plus
6:30-7:15 Black Elk
7:45-8:30 Akimbo
9:00-9:45 Grand Ole Party
10:15-11:15 Schoolyard Heroes

NEUMOS STAGE

2:00-2:30 Kristen Ward
3:00-3:30 The Hands
4:00-4:45 Darker My Love
5:15-6:00 The Builders and The Butchers
6:30-7:15 Jaguar Love
7:45-8:30 Throw Me the Statue
9:00-10:00 Steed Lord
10:30-11:30 Super Secret Special Guests!
11:30-3:00am SING SING AFTER PARTIES FEAT:
CHROMEO DJ Set, FOURCOLORZACK, & PRETTY TITTY!

MAIN STAGE

2:00-2:45 Kay Kay And His Weathered Underground
3:15-4:00 Cave Singers
4:30-5:30 Kimya Dawson
6:00-7:00 Fleet Foxes
7:30-8:30 Chromeo
9:00-10:00 The Hold Steady
10:30-Midnight Devotchka

Click here to find out how to win free weekend passes!

The Hold Steady are Playing Block Party… Wanna Go?

posted by on July 15 at 11:00 AM

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Eric Grandy reviewed the Hold Steady’s latest album, Stay Positive, in this weeks paper. An excerpt:

On the title track of the Hold Steady’s fourth and latest record, Stay Positive (in stores this Tuesday), Craig Finn observes, “It’s one thing to start it with a positive jam/and it’s another thing to see it on through.” Of course, bands have been singing about the need to stay positive for about as long as hardcore has been a part of punk, the Youth of Today and the early 7 Seconds among them.

But when the Hold Steady belt out, “We gotta stay positive,” it’s more complicated than any straight-ahead youth-crew sloganeering. There’s a sense of desperation, even defeat, to Finn’s exhortations. The Hold Steady’s PMA isn’t indomitable, it’s doubtful and quixotic. Their optimism flies in the face of all reasonable evidence that things really are fucked. And that tension makes their sing-along songs a hell of a lot more interesting than any hardcore anthem.

Read the whole review here.

Excited to see the Hold Steady at the Block Party(they play the Mainstage Saturday)? Or maybe you hate the Hold Steady but you’re excited to see someone else? Well today’s your lucky day—send an e-mail to lineout@thestranger.com with BLOCK PARTY CONTEST in the subject line by 5 pm today. A name will be chosen at random and that person will get a pair of weekend passes to this year’s Block Party! Hooray!

Godspeed and good luck.

SP20: Grand Archives, Blitzen Trapper, Kinski, Green River, and Pretty Much Every Other Band That Played Sunday

posted by on July 15 at 10:45 AM

Review written by Matt Garman

Since we’re being nostalgic, please forgive me while I indulge myself. Marymoor Park was just down the road through all of middle school and high school for me. The site for the Sub Pop 20th Anniversary shows is the very same place I used to play frisbee. I went on more than one long walk with a girl I was convinced I loved there. My friend Paul was caught fucking his girlfriend in the parking lot at Marymoor, by a cop; they were let go. Paul and me actually rode our bikes from Bellevue to Seattle to drop off a demo tape at the Sub Pop office in 1993 or ‘94. (They wouldn’t even accept it from us–I wonder why?) In later years I went to a friends’ family reunion at Marymoor, and snuck off to smoke a bowl in the dog run next to the Sammammish Slough. It’s been since my late 20’s that I’ve wandered around in the fields, and it certainly was the last place I’d expect to find Sub Pop celebrating 20ish years. Walking right back into the same spot for this show was weird.

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GRAND ARCHIVES

1:30pm We missed the Ruby Suns, and arrive in time to catch the tail-end of Grand Archives’ set. Walking in past the scalpers, hearing the Byrds-like harmonies lilting through the air, I am immediately reminded of countless hippie music festivals. It’s not the last time today that I will find myself musing on how bands that have a soft, easy-breezy vibe sound even more retro than they already are in this, an outdoor setting.

1:35pm There aren’t a ton of people here yet. I notice Nabil Ayers of the Long Winters strolling around.

1:45pm I bump into my friend Bryan from my college radio days, who is now a high school history teacher, with his seven week old son Asher. He explains that there are lot of kids here, and even more were scurrying around yesterday.

BLITZEN TRAPPER

2:10pm These dudes sound like the Grateful Dead, fronted by Bob Dylan. Bryan says Pavement, and remarks on how funny it is to see a band full of tall duders fronted by a short duder. Hm. Maybe Wilco? It’s good music played by good musicians, just not terribly original.

2:25pm There are no syringes littering the VIP area, which is further proof that the times have changed.

2:35pm Blitzen Trapper’s energetic, dissonant set-closer proves this isn’t solely a retread of the olden days. “Good night, er, goodbye,” says lead singer Eric Earley.

SPKinski7.JPGKinski

KINSKI

2:40pm Now this is rock. I find myself making the rock face: pursed lips, half-scowl. This band always delivers. Chris Martin remarks, “I don’t know if any of y’all were here yesterday, but I was hammered, so if I said something stupid…..I’m talkin’ to you, Phil Ek!” Is Phil Ek running monitors? One song later Matthew Reid Schwartz adds “Yesterday I was here too–I wasn’t drunk, but I am gonna apologize for anything I said to anybody.” These guys are awfully chatty for a mostly-instrumental band.

FOALS

3:20pm “Hello Seattle. I mean, RED-MUND. Thanks fer leavin’ church early.” The Oxford dance-rock band is the Rapture that got away from Sub Pop, fronted by a Robert Smith soundalike.

3:30pm Their drums sound great–super-tight and tuned to perfection. Every time he hits that snare it CRACKS across the fields. If only they had drum beats that accented something other than two and four.

3:35pm They are having some trouble with their equipment, and the comment is made that they always have trouble with their gear whey they play here. Blame is placed on “the curse of Mt. Reindeer.”

3:45pm Bruce Pavitt is right there in the front part of the audience. When swarthy lead singer Yannis Philippakis switches from guitar to smacking a floor tom (drums really are the focus) for the final song, Pavitt pushes up through the crowd to snap a pic. I admire his true-fan nature.

3:55pm I’m pretty sure Pavitt is wearing flippity-flops. There’s lots of room in the space in front of the stage. No moshing, and everyone has their own lil’ bubble. So polite.

SPLesthugs.JPGLes Thugs

LES THUGS

4:05pm Breakneck punk rock and zero banter. Finally some real power! They have a film crew, complete with fuzzy boom mic. There are also people playing hackey-sack toward the back. 1-2-3-4 1-2-3-4.

Click the jump to read about No Age, Red Red Meat, Comets on Fire, Green River, Wolf Parade, and more!

Continue reading "SP20: Grand Archives, Blitzen Trapper, Kinski, Green River, and Pretty Much Every Other Band That Played Sunday" »

The Biggest Player Hater In History

posted by on July 15 at 10:25 AM

The husband of Kelis…
kelis10.jpg…veteran rapper Nas, recently had this to say about Rev. Jesse Jackson:

“I think…he’s the biggest player hater,” Nas fumed during a conference call. “His time is up. All you old n—-as, time is up. We heard your voice, we saw your marching, we heard your sermons. We don’t wanna hear that sh— no more. It’s a new day. It’s a new voice. I’m here now. We don’t need Jesse; I’m here. I got this. We got Barack, we got David Banners and Young Jeezys. We’re the voice now. It’s no more Jesse. Sorry. Goodbye. You ain’t helping nobody in the ‘hood. That’s the bottom line. Goodbye, Jesse. Bye!”

Jackson’s cred is dead.

Tonight in Music: Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head, Jimmy Eat World

posted by on July 15 at 9:30 AM

Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head - “Mouth Full of Bones” (Video by SophiHannah)
Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head
(Easy Street Records, Queen Anne) By all accounts, Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head are a band I should like. I like electro. I enjoy pop. I get jokes. And yet… the electro is just too preset, the pop is too Disney, the jokes are, well, not so funny. And here’s the rub, it seems, when it comes to Seattle and electro-pop: Too few bands are willing to just do it sincerely à la, say, LCD Soundsystem or Hot Chip (U.S.E, weirdly, might be the exception, as genuine as they are goofy). It’s an understandable stance in such a traditional, rockist town—to make a joke out of your synth pop before anyone else can—but it means such acts will only ever be a gag. And if you’re going to be just a gag, you better at least be funny. ERIC GRANDY
Jimmy Eat World - “Big Casino”
Jimmy Eat World, Dear and the Headlights
(Showbox Sodo) Lately, I’ve been revisiting the records of my youth—those soundtracks to unrequited crushes and frustrating “no one understands me!” fights with my parents—and Jimmy Eat World’s Clarity is one of the great ones. The band were on the verge of adulthood, and their songs were glittery guitar-fueled mixes of optimism, confusion, hope, and despair. The band hit the mark again with Bleed American (oversensitively retitled Jimmy Eat World post-9/11). The band polished their pop sound, and while it proved more radio friendly, with the posi-adolescent anthem “The Middle,” it still dripped with sincerity. Since then, though, the band have gone downhill. Futures was a failed experiment in electronic flourishes, and on Chase This Light, frontman Jim Adkins seemed too much like an old guy trying to be a teenager again. And their last Seattle performance was bor-ing. MEGAN SELING

More, more, more right here.


Monday, July 14, 2008

Bad News/Good News

posted by on July 14 at 1:05 PM

Bad News: Shorebirds broke up. The band featured Matt Canino of Latterman and Chris Bauermeister of Jawbreaker. They were good, it sucks to lose them, but their full-length will still be released at a future date (ht punknews.org).

Good News: Showbirds broke up. So now Bauermeister has time to work on other projects. You know, like a new band. Or maybe an old band made new again?

Just sayin’.

Shorebirds live at Gallery 1412 in Seattle (video by thinkerthought)

SP20 by Charlie the Blacklight Kid

posted by on July 14 at 12:38 PM

Charlie the Blacklight Kid will be going into ninth grade next year. He went to the Sub Pop 20 Fest yesterday and reported back. Foals were his highlight. No Age was a thumbs down. Previous Charlie reviews (Beefheart, Zappa, Floyd) – here. Pictures by Evan Levy. Take it away, young Char:

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Sure, Blitzen Trapper and Kinski are high energy, they are raw, but they can’t beat the Foals. The band from Oxford is straight up destruction and mayhem, musically and physically. Foal’s front man Yannis Philippakis is pure destruction. Before the first song was over he had already broken a microphone. He swung the mic down by the chord onto a floor tom and broke it. But it wasn’t until the second song that he really got into it. In the middle of the song he violently swung the neck of his guitar (which was made out of metal) into his amp and tore a big gash in it. As the roadies rushed to fix the amp Yannis told the audience, “Everytime we come to Seattle shit breaks…that’s why we like it.” He was right because as they continued to play, more shit broke. In the next song during a brutal drum fill the snare drum broke. Even with all of the broken equipment the songs still remained tight. The percussive jolts created by the Foals thudded into your body and remained there.

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(The Foals)

After the Foals, No Age came on. And No Age lacked many things, one being talent. When a band has you asking questions like, “Are they supposed to sound this bad?” There is something wrong. Instead of waiting around in the filth of their sound for the answer I left and waited for a good band to come on. Was I missing something?

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Comets on Fire was next and after listening to their endless jam I staked out my spot close to the stage and listened to the distant melodies of Beachwood Sparks on the small stage and awaited the arrival of mosh-pit inducing Green River. I was very excited to see them.

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(Comets on Fire)

Green River fans were packed tight to the stage and ready. Green River delivered. After the first few earsplitting notes from lead singer, Mark Arm, the crowd exploded with excitement. Heads began to bang and hair began to fly. After most of their set the drummer decided to join in with the crowd and leaped into their awaiting arms. He drifted my way and I threw up a hand to guide him along. Once he was returned to the stage they finished their set and walked off to deafening applause. It was a Green River revival.

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Continue reading "SP20 by Charlie the Blacklight Kid" »

Hollow Earth Radio Will Re-Broadcast Last Week’s Live Matmos Performance

posted by on July 14 at 12:25 PM

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If you missed it, Matmos, Wobbly, J Lesser came by the Hollow Earth Radio studio on a fine sunny Sunday a week ago and played two amazing sets with a funny and revealing interview in the middle a day prior to their packed show at Seattle’s The Triple Door.

This was mostly electronic music improvisation at it’s finest starting off with a wonderful interpretation of Robert Ashley’s “The Backyard”. The textures were thick and pleasant, with bits of humor, guitar, percussion and more…

We will be re-airing their performance this Wednesday evening, July 16th at 9 pm PST and again on Thursday July 17th at 10 am PST in place of ‘Canned Fruit’; a weekly show of adventurous listening spanning the entire century of recordings, the entire globe and all genres, focusing on the timeless, funny, and cutting edge.

Hollow Earth Radio is live streaming internet radio from Seattle that sounds great no matter where in the world you may be. You can listen by going to hollowearthradio.com and click “listen now” and choose your preferred player.

Read Eric Grandy’s review of the Triple Door show here.

Feist Visits Sesame Street

posted by on July 14 at 12:03 PM

This is much more effective than the performance Radiohead did on Sesame Street a few years ago of “2+2=5,” of which most children completely missed the 1984 reference and instead developed fundamentally flawed arithmetic skills.

SP20: Sunday in Photos

posted by on July 14 at 12:00 PM

GrandArch3.jpgGrand Archives

Blitzen.jpgBlitzen Trapper

Kinski5.jpgKinski

SPWolfParade3.jpgWolf Parade

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IMG_0270.jpgComets on Fire

SPNoAge.jpgNo Age

SPGreenRiver3.jpgGreen River

RedRedMeat3.jpgRed Red Meat

GreenRiverSurf.jpgGreen River’s drummer Alex Shumway

Preliminary Decibel Festival Lineup Announced

posted by on July 14 at 11:41 AM

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Today Decibel announced the intitial lineup and pricing for the September event, Decibel’s 5th edition. There have been rumors about who’s playing for weeks now, but this is the first official word. Decibel will be held from September 25-28 in venues all over the city (most on the Hill). Full release after the jump, but here’s the initial lineup (emphasis my own). I never thought Carl Craig would ever play Seattle, but looks like that day is coming.

PRELIMINARY LINEUP (final line up TBA mid August):
Carl Craig (US) – DJ Set
Deadmau5 (CA) - Live
Jahcoozi (DE) - Live
The Bug featuring Warrior Queen (UK) - Live
Dixon (DE) - Live
Audion (US) - Live
Burnt Friedman (DE) - Live
Luca Bacchetti (IT) - DJ Set
Tujiko Noriko (JP) - Live
Santiago & Bushido (US) - Live

Barbara Morgenstern (DE) - Live
Deaf Center (NO) - Live
William Basinski (US) - Live
Jeff Samuel (US/DE) - DJ
Library Tapes (SE) - Live
Akira Rabelais (US) - Live
Mike Monday (US) - DJ
Eluvium (US) - Live
Tycho (US) - Live
Noah Pred (CA) - Live
Derek Plaslaiko (US) - Live
Eskmo (US) - Live
Kilowatts (US) - Live
Alland Byallo (US) - DJ
Jeff Greinke (US) - Live
Welder (US) - Live
Jacob London (US) - Live
Deru (US) - Live
Lusine (US) - Live
Craig Kuna (US) - DJ
Nalepa (US) - Live
Nikola Baytala (US) - DJ
Sammy D (US) - DJ
Truckasauras (US) – Live
Balún (US) - Live
M. Quiet (US) – DJ
Let’s Go Outside (US) – Live
Alala.One (US) – DJ
Attentat (US) – DJ
Les Freres Courvoisier (US) - Live

Continue reading "Preliminary Decibel Festival Lineup Announced" »

Today’s Music News

posted by on July 14 at 11:32 AM

I hate the future: Chinese Democracy track to debut on Rock Band 2

Hell’s Angels were not working security: Man stabbed at British rock festival

Reznor loves technology: NIN concert ticket scavenger hunt

Bring back John Samson: New Propagandhi record in the works

Just sell another Basquiat, Lars: Over-priced deluxe editions of new Metallica record

Let the drummer have some: Sebastien from Death From Above 1979 to release solo record on Saddle Creek

Wolf Parade and Foals at Neumo’s Tonight

posted by on July 14 at 11:14 AM

All week Neumo’s has been hyping tonight’s show as “Super Secret Special Guests.” Well, secret’s out—it’s Wolf Parade and Foals along with the Listening Party.

Wolf Parade - “Shine a Light”

Tickets are $17 and on sale at Moe’s box office, which opens at 3 pm today. You can also buy online via Ticketswest. The show is 21+.

Green River Reunion at the Sunset

posted by on July 14 at 10:00 AM

Prior to playing SP20 on Sunday, Green River warmed up with a secret show at the Sunset on Thursday.

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by dan10things


Tonight in Music: Sparrow Quartet

posted by on July 14 at 9:30 AM

Sparrow Quartet - “Journey Home” (Live)
Earl Scruggs, Sparrow Quartet
(Benaroya Hall) There is nothing surprising about hearing a string player in Benaroya Hall. But Sparrow Quartet’s Ben Sollee is definitely at the end of the venue’s comfort zone—and not in a novelty hair, playing-the-classics-too-fast kind of way. Given his primary instrument (cello) and pop songwriting smarts, the temptation is to tag Sollee the modern answer to innovative New York producer and composer Arthur Russell. But that misses the mark. On his debut full-length, Learning to Bend, this Louisville, Kentucky, nature boy displays a more robust singing style than the late Russell, and integrates myriad timbres—including banjo, saxophone, and harp—to vibrant effect, striking a curious balance between folk, Tin Pan Alley, and the imaginary America peddled by Aaron Copland. Besides, any ninny can play acoustic guitar. KURT B. REIGHLEY

Sunday, July 13, 2008

I Thought You Guys Were Friends

posted by on July 13 at 11:49 PM

Something strange from the Rockstar Mayhem Festival earlier this week: For all the priceless hours of people watching I did not see a single Juggalo roaming the fair grounds. As long as Slipknot and Insane Clown Posse have been around I assumed that they shared a significant portion of each other’s fan bases, perhaps even a tragic love for one another. The similarities between the two have been discussed for years, as they both have incredibly similar shticks: both conceal their faces (ICP with makeup, Slipknot with masks), both have a penchant for profanity, both appeal to kids who have been ostracized from mainstream culture, there’s the “horror” thing, and most importantly, both groups are totally pissed. Though ICP have spawned an entire subculture, Slipknot’s fans are hardly less enthusiastic about their favorite band, something that really sunk in after seeing my hundredth “S” and/or barcode tattoo at the show. The two groups have so much in common, why aren’t they better friends?

The kids I knew in high school who loved Slipknot also had ICP records, though they were outwardly “metal” kids who mostly liked the clowns for the gross stuff they said. Still, both bands appealed to them as musical outlets for their pent up teenage frustration. I was fortunate enough to go to a Juggalo concert in Spokane earlier this winter. After three rap acts a metal band very much influenced by Slipknot, Moment of Psylence, headlined the show. The guitarist wore a sweet zombie outfit and mask. Throughout their set the Juggalos, metal kids, and very small children slam-danced with each other, giant smiles abound. Here I saw the two subcultures peacefully coexisting as they seemed destined to: both groups had the same gripes, one side just preferred to rap and the other to rock.

So it was more than a little strange to see literally a thousand people in Slipknot shirts and not one Juggalo at the festival. I thought they were in this thing together, like they were in Spokane. But no, not a single clown. Wherefore art thou, Juggalos?

Back Tats I Saw at SP20 While Waiting for the Vaselines to Start

posted by on July 13 at 4:25 PM

Because back tats are synonymous with summer music festivals, I bring you part two of a series

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Continue reading "Back Tats I Saw at SP20 While Waiting for the Vaselines to Start" »

SP20: Seaweed, the Helio Sequence, the Fleet Foxes, and Mudhoney (and Some Other Stuff Too… Like Back Tats)

posted by on July 13 at 3:50 PM

Just a song or two into their set, Seaweed singer Aaron Stauffer looked out to the crowd in front of him and laughed: “You know what you all look like? You look like that Fastbacks 7” with the crowd on it. That’s what you look like. You haven’t changed a bit!

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It was 1994 all over again—I was surrounded by a bunch of dudes with badly bleached, messy hair, button-up work shirts, and homemade “Screaming Life” jackets. The digital cameras and text messaging while moshing were the only hints that we were of a new generation. Seaweed’s songs, though many of them are over a decade old, have a classic and relevant sound. It’s pure and sheer rock with anthemic choruses and huge guitars and booming, quick drumming. I can’t make any old or fat jokes. They have kids now, law degrees and wedding rings, but as yesterday’s performance proved, the guys are still more than capable of mesmerizing a crowd of both old and new fans. They haven’t changed a bit either (save for the addition of new drummer Jesse Fox of Polecat/Leuko/To the Waves fame).

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Before their last song, Stauffer gave a shout out to the Helio Sequence, who were going to play next. Apparently his young daughter was obsessed with that Feist song, “1234.” She wanted to listen to it constantly. That was until she heard “Blood Bleeds” by the Helio Sequence—“The Helio Sequence trumps Feist in my house,” he said. “So thanks for that, guys.”

They played a couple more songs while a bunch of stoked boys moshed in the sun and I thought it was one of the best, most energetic performances of the afternoon (no, they didn’t shove towels down their pants or hock loogies on the crowd like Pissed Jeans, but dudes still fuckin’ rocked it).

The Helio Sequence took things down a notch—a dreamy, spacey, mellow notch. There’s a lot of noise coming from just two guys, and it’s all pretty and poppy and exactly what I want to hear when I’m standing in the shade of some Evergreens on a cloudless, 80+-degree summer day.

Like many of the bands over the course of the afternoon, Helio Sequence also talked about how honored they are to be on such a legendary label as Sub Pop. “I wanted to be Kurt Cobain. I always wanted to be on Sub Pop,” singer Brandon Summers admitted.

About 20 minutes later, after showcasing material from their new album Keep Your Eyes Ahead he also mentioned the cute e-mail he received from Stauffer, about how much his daughter likes their song. He said even though they haven’t played “Blood Bleeds” for about two years, they practiced it over the last few days and wanted to play the lullaby for Aaron’s daughter. Awe!

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Another note about the Helio Sequence, which I hadn’t realized before since I had never seen them live until yesterday: The drummer is probably the most animated drummer in the world of music. With herky-jerky moves, he keeps a perfect beat. His face contorts into various scrunched up expressions, his mouth snaps open and shut like he’s biting at a piece of invisible pie. His right arm stays fairly still and in one place, but his left arm flails about high and low and everywhere. He smiles to himself like just heard a joke, he closes his eyes like he’s imagining he’s somewhere else, I wish I could read his mind while he played.

Another band that really benefited from the environment was, of course, the Fleet Foxes, who took the stage just as the breeze picked up and the sun was low enough to shine through the trees, making sunbeams and shadows dance around while they played their sepia-toned campfire sing-a-longs. They sounded just like the Fleet Foxes, which is to say they sounded weirdly perfect, pretty, and unreal (espcially since Pissed Jeans had just finished being all loud and messy and shit).

SPFleetfoxes.JPGFleet Foxes

The highlight of the otherwise familiar set was the drum-off that almost happened. While a drum tech on the nextdoor stage checked the mics for Mudhoney’s set, it interrupted the Fleet Foxes, so the band declared “It’s on” and drummer J. Tillman timidly showed off his skills. The drum tech returned his serve, Tillman pounded a little louder but then stopped, laughing, and apologizing since he promised himself that was something he’d never do. You could’ve taken him, J.

SPMarkarm.JPGMudhoney

I tried to sit still during Mudhoney—I was there while they played the title track off the new album The Lucky Ones and I got to hear “Touch Me I’m Sick” (a song that never gets old). I saw Mark Arm thrash around and be the infamous frontman he has been for over 20 years, and then I decided to wander around while the rest of their set echoed across the field. Mudhoney was Mudhoney and Mark Arm’s real time to shine is going to come during today’s Green River reunion (and besides, there were some pretty sick back tats just waiting to be photographically archived for-ev-er)…

She and Him - “Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?”

posted by on July 13 at 3:00 PM

She and Him’s Volume One has been in heavy rotation on my stereo for the last few months. Zooey Deschanel is pretty much perfect: she’s funny, a talented actress, has a great voice, and is completely gorgeous. Her debut record with M. Ward has just the right amount of twang to accent charming pop sensibilities. This is their first video, another surprising FNMTV debut:

Under the Bridge

posted by on July 13 at 2:35 PM

Because I was in Redmond celebrating Sub Pop all day yesterday, I missed everything Seattle had to offer, like Lisa Loeb falling in love with Donte Parks, and this impromptu pop show at the Fremont Troll. Luckily, Stranger contributor Matt Garman was still around to catch it.

In a bit of last-minute promotion via Myspace, I was clued-in to a free acoustic pop show at the Fremont Troll on Saturday afternoon at 4pm. The show was supposed to be Cristina Bautista from Connecticut Four (formerly of Paxil Rose), D. Crane of BOAT, and Eric Michener aka Fishboy. The afternoon was beautiful, the price was right, it was very near my nest in Ballard, and the confused tourists would be priceless to observe.

trollpop2.jpgPhoto by Keenan Dowers

D. Crane couldn’t make it, and instead of being simply a Cristina Bautista solo engagement, it turned out to be an acoustic performance from her new band. Surrounded by a crowd of 30 or so people with the afternoon heat peaking, Ms. Bautista perched under the Troll’s nose to play a few songs on the ukulele. In spite of the traffic thumping overhead and the chopper cycles rumbling past, Bautista’s voice carried well. She performed a couple of her own songs, a Ted Leo cover (“Hours”), and was then joined by C4’s drummer Valerie Brogden (ex-Mechanical Dolls), who… tap danced. Not on the dusty (dusty!) ground, but a board of as-is lumber. It was bizarre, and the first of many utterly charming moments throughout the afternoon. Next C4 guitarist Meghan Kessinger (ex-Racetrack) grabbed her acoustic, Bautista scooted down from the Troll, ditching the ukulele for an acoustic guitar of her own, and suddenly we were witnessing the sorta Seattle debut of Connecticut Four.

trollpop1.jpgPhoto by Keenan Dowers

All band members agree that this was not a Connecticut Four show, properly speaking, but nevertheless the trio ran through three unplugged versions of songs from their set list, with foot-stomping in tap shoes to suffice for drumming. They are a power pop group, with catchy melodies and compelling stage (er, earth?) presence. The fact that everyone involved has already been in an accomplished band is evident, even in the dirty space before the Troll. They do not have a show booked yet in Seattle, but are playing the Old Foundry in Bellingham on August 14.

The tourists were daunted by the performance, wondering how to get pictures of their kids in front of the Troll without a band being in it. Eric Michener of Fishboy encouraged them to take their photos throughout his set of twee pop, and so indeed they did. Watching Asians, Europeans, and Texans wander up behind him to pose was amusing and perfectly weird, if that makes any sense. A tourist in his own right from Denton TX, Michener meanwhile confidently stalked the open ground, accompanied by Adam “Sweatpants” Avramescu on trumpet, tambourine, egg shaker, and harmony vocals. Sweatpants clambered up onto the Troll’s hands and head, dropping in trumpet solos with remarkable skill, then landing with a thump and a cloud of rolling dust. He also kicked up dust as percussion, and generally complimented Michener’s disarming presence.

The entire experience was disarming, a reminder that the best shows have unexpected moments. It’s easy to get jaded with show after show in the same old venues. The setting, the tap dancing, the tourists and the traffic made it special, and I am so glad I didn’t miss it to see Fleet Foxes in Redmond.

SP20: Saturday in Photos

posted by on July 13 at 2:30 PM

SPConstantines.JPGThe Constantines

SPPissedJ3.JPGPissed Jeans

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SPFluid.JPGThe Fluid

SPLow.JPGLow

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SPMudhoney1.JPGMudhoney

SPIronWine.JPGIron and Wine

SPFotC.JPGFlight of the Conchords

RE: SP20 Eric’s Trip, Pissed Jeans, The Vaselines

posted by on July 13 at 10:36 AM

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A band Eric didn’t mention that I was stoked to see were the Obits, the latest band fronted by the spiny guitars and reedy yowl of Rick Froberg, formerly of Drive Like Jehu and Hot Snakes. The Obits feel a lot looser than Froberg’s other bands, almost surfy in their grooves and form but still punchy and sharply present in the vein of his past bands. Also in the band is Sohrab Habibian of Edsel who helps supply said surf-punch guitar riffage. Overall I found the band sounding more Hot Snakes-y than I thought they would based upon live recordings I’d heard months ago that had more of a ‘Stones-ish shuffle and swagger.

Also getting short shrift in Eric’s recap, were Canadian Sub Pop ex-pats Constantines. My favorite Constantines songs sound like the death rattle of urban industry on a borrowed Motown and Fugazi beat. Somehow the beautiful summer weather transformed the disappointed sting of those songs into something much warmer and blended them seamlessly with the sort of campfire romanticism of their recent albums.

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There are also hundreds of great pictures of yesterday’s action over at the SubPop20 Flickr page. Other than that, I agree that Pissed Jeans ruled.


SP20: Eric’s Trip, Pissed Jeans, the Vaselines

posted by on July 13 at 9:30 AM

I think I’m in love with Julie Doiron from Eric’s Trip. And Frances McKee from the Vaselines. And that guy from Pissed Jeans.

The first thing I really saw at SP20 TK was Doiron joining the Constantines to sing their cover of the Elevators’ “Why I Didn’t Like Autumn ’93” (“I got a girl problem / I got a drug problem”). I was far away on the lawn, but I made sure to get right up front for Eric’s Trip.

SPEric%27sTrip.JPGEric’s Trip

Eric’s Trip are a band that I was always vaguely aware of but never really got into. I was a kid when they were active. I remember that Sloan did a cover of their song “Smother” on that DGC Rarities Vol 1 compilation that everyone had (it’s in a used bin near you right now). Recently, though, when interviewing him for a piece on the Microphones, Phil Elverum told me that he got a lot of his ideas from Eric’s Trip, and that they were one of his favorite bands when he was growing up. That, to me, was as good an endorsement as Nirvana covering the Vaselines was for that band. I saw Julie Doiron play a few songs with Mount Eerie when they last played the Vera, and I’ve since been acquainting myself with some old Eric’s Trip and Julie Doiron songs, the latter thanks to a mix cd from a friend (thanks). So I was really looking forward to seeing them for the first time.

First, some sights from the crowd: a trio of high school or junior high kids wearing home-made, sharpied “Hell’s Heaven”/L7 and “Screaming Life” t-shirts; the world’s two biggest jack asses sitting on picnic blanket front and center in the crowd, right where the “pit” would be, laden with a cooler, food, a paperback, and an US Weekly magazine.

Anyway, Eric’s Trip: Genial Canadian longhairs. Doiron hid behind long hair and bangs that covered her eyes, so that all you could really see was her smile, and their first song had a lyric that sounded like something about “hair in my eyes.” The guitarist on the right kept looking at her kind of sideways over his microphone on parts they were both singing, grinning a little. They’d been playing some shows up the West Coast of Canada, they said, so they were in good shape, playing their songs with only one brief false start, but the downside was that Doiron’s voice was going out. “I think I’ve got a polyp,” she said. “My friend had a polyp.”

SPEric%27sTrip2.JPGEric’s Trip

Polyp or no, Doiron’s voice sounded fine, if occasionally strained thin. The main singer/guitarist (Rick White?) sings on most of the songs, too, so that evened things out.

He introduced the one song by saying, “This is a song of Julie’s.”
“Actually, it’s not,” she corrected.
“Oh, yeah. It’s a song I wrote about Julie.”
(I think the song was “Happens All the Time.”)

I know they played “Anytime You Want,” “Follow,” “December ’93,” “Smother,” all of which sounded incredible, all fuzzy and poppy and sweet and not a little unlike Superchunk.

SPPissedJ.JPGPissed Jeans

Pissed Jeans have to be one of the most exciting active acts on Sub Pop’s roster. They’re kind of perfect for the anniversary festival, too, as their dark, industrial-grade rock somehow both recalls the label’s past while still being sounding totally fresh. Mudhoney would later play a pretty killer set on this same stage, but at the time, it felt like Pissed Jeans probably offered the best approximation of what it might have been like to see that band 20 years ago.

First of all, the gentlemen of Pissed Jeans seem like a bunch of crack-up smart-asses, especially the singer, who kicked off the band’s set by saying, “I’m glad we all agree that the best time for crazy and wild rock’n’roll is the late afternoon.” Some of his other more inspired antics: blowing a “snot rocket” using the mic to plug up his other nostril, sticking a towel in his asscrack (which was frequently visible being squeezed out of his cheap Mondays jeans), later soaking up a beer with that same towel and wringing it into his mouth, and ramming a “drumstick” ice cream cone into his bandmate’s bass, then placing the ice cream atop his mic to have a lick.

SPPissedJ1.JPGPissed Jeans

It’s nice that the band has a sence of humor, because otherwise their songs would seem brutally misanthropic and mean. Their singer screams and sneers and moans, the rhythm section pounds and wobbles, and their guitarist—a big, ex-hardcore looking guy who makes his guitar look like a kids toy—alternately shreds fast and lets his guitar hang there, ringing out feedback for long stretches. The only song I recognized was the slower, gloomier “I Don’t Need Smoke to Make Myself Disappear,” but even the songs I didn’t know were a blast. Also, Pissed Jeans had the first mosh pit of the late afternoon, first just a couple punks and one meathead, but soon erupting into a couple dozen people. It was cute. No stage diving or crowd surfing, though.

SPVaselines.JPGThe Vaselines

The Vaselines! I would’ve paid $30 and driven out to Marrymoor just for this band alone. I spent their entire set grinning from ear to ear, pogoing and pivoting as much as the crowd would allow. Eugene Kelly looks like a nice old man, gray haired, black clad, and respectable. Frances McKee looks rather a lot younger than he does. The guys from Belle & Sebastian are adorable as always.

The set up while Mudhoney dragged out their last songs on the neighboring stage, and, as soon as the sound was switchted over to them, launched into “Son of a Gun” without a word. It was a deliriously giddy moment, and the feeling hung on for their whole set.

The band’s “private humor” was a little bit less slapstick/prop-oriented than that of Pissed Jeans, but it was also routinely hilarious. Mckee, after the first song, promised a “smut free show,” to which Kelly deadpanned, “ this is about Frances’ pussy” (or, a friend disputes, “about Frances eating pussy”), before launching into “Monsterpuss.” He introduced “Jesus Don’t Want Me For a Sunbeam” saying, “This song is about this guy called Jesus, he was kind of the David Blaine of his day, he got into some trouble.” Mckee explained that the reason it’s been so long since they’ve played is that she had been sold into white slavery for 20 years; “I just couldn’t pay the rent,” says Kelly, adding, “We don’t have shirts for sale, but it’s $20 to dry hump Frances after the show.” Later, observing that the crowd looks tired, Mckee wagers it’s dry humping, not heat stroke. Later she complains that the reunion tour is “like being on tour with the Dads”: “The don’t let me drink, they don’t let me get any action.” She later says,” I’m actually a virgin” to huge (weird) cheers, continuing, “A festival virgin. I though there were supposed to be lots of topless women. How about some topless men?” Kelly says, “This next song is an old folk song they play a lot in the schools,” before playing their cover of Divine’s “You Think You’re a Man.” Listening to their records, or just remembering them, it’s easy to get swept up in the idea of the Vaselines as twee, sweet indie popper, but they’re a lot funnier and raunchier than all that. It’s a nice balance.

SPVaselines1.JPGThe Vaselines

Humor aside, the Vaselines sound simply gorgeous. An extra guitarist, bass player, and drummer, at least two of them snagged from B&S, fill out the songs without turning them into showy cover versions. (It occurs to me, during “Jesus Don’t Want Me For a Sunbeam,” that some of the younger kids here might just think these guys were hired to play some Nirvana covers, and the thought makes me kind of happy.) The band brought out a guy to play a squeaky little bike horn for the chorus of the ecstatic “Molly’s Lips.” There was a feedback-soaked harmonica on “Dying For It.” They played “The Day I was a Horse,” “Rory Rides Me Raw,” and Oliver Twisted.” I seriously didn’t stop grinning the entire time. It was just perfect.