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Archives for 07/20/2008 - 07/26/2008

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Memo to the Block Party Staff

posted by on July 26 at 4:39 PM

Last night, standing outside Quinn’s, which isn’t that close to the stage, I was lifted off my feet. I’m not being poetic. And I’m not light—six-foot-five, 215 lbs. I lost touch with the sidewalk and was floating on the sea of humanity. I wasn’t trying to lose the asphalt, it just happened, because there were so many people jammed in there. There was a lot of feeling going on.

More Les Savy Fav Photos

posted by on July 26 at 3:47 PM

I’m posting these because Les Savy Fav are the best rock show going these days.


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Tim Harrington!


Les%20Savy%20Fav%207.jpgTim Harrington flying!


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Trespassers watching Les Savy Fav from that weird old building that Comet and King Cobra occupy the bottom floor of!


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Tim Harrington letting some guy in the crowd butcher an otherwise perfectly good Les Savy Fav song!


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Tim Harrington helping out the super busy hot dog stand guy mid-song!

That’s all for now. Thanks for looking.

Block Party Big Fun

posted by on July 26 at 2:54 PM

Girl Talk @ Capitol Hill Block Party, 7/25/2008I spent my Block Party Friday surrounded by some of the wildest crowds I’ve ever seen at the CHBP. I’ve even got an ache in my knee from just trying to stay upright.

Truckasauras delivered another tight set to a packed house at King Cobra. I feel like I praise these dudes all the damn time, but they’re worth every compliment I can give them, and it’s always fun to see new crowds get into them. Grandy’s already mentioned the Tacocat show, which was indeed a good time, and the Cha Cha was a good venue for the show.

Video from Tacocat

The first bout with anarchy came with Girl Talk. I decided I wanted to be right in the thick of things, so I worked my way to the front and middle of the crowd - holy shit. I spent all day wondering why Girl Talk was so early, but I’m convinced that someone would have died had that show been later (after people had had a few more drinks). As it was, the crowd constantly surged, jumped and danced, an absolute explosion of energy complete with bodies being passed overhead, causing one girl in front of me to pass out entirely. Holy hell, that was as fun as it was hard to keep your footing. I can’t stand listening to Girl Talk’s albums, but damn does he make for a fun party.

Video from the crowd

Mika Miko @ Capitol Hill Block Party 'Secret' Show, 7/25/2008Other than some time at The Pleasureboaters (more well-deserved crowd craziness), I spent the bulk of the night at the aforementioned “secret” show. The crowd was relatively calm for openers Talbot Tagora, but by the time Abe Vigoda, Mika Miko and No Age came on, everyone was ready to let loose, even in the already hot, humid basement space. All of the bands seemed genuine in their appreciation for the show and the space, and why wouldn’t they be? They had a devoted crowd, with plenty of crowdsurfing, crowd interaction (No Age’s guitarist crowdsurfed while playing), and a sincere outpouring of energy, with smiles all around. I’m not much of a mosher, but even I was fine in dealing with being pushed around.

Video from Pleasureboaters
Video from Abe Vigoda

It was a buzzkill to leave that party and head to Neumos for the afterparty. Where Girl Talk and the “secret” show were bursting at the seams with enthusiasm, the party at Neumos seemed incredibly perfunctory. Maybe people were tired from all of the other music, or they just weren’t drunk enough yet, but the drop in energy level meant I couldn’t stand to stay more than a few minutes before making the trek home. Maybe it got better, but I doubt it reached the same level of insanity. Perhaps Chromeo tonight will do a better job keeping the party going.

More of my pics.

More Friday Photos

posted by on July 26 at 1:52 PM

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Girl Talk

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The crowd for Girl Talk

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Tim Harrington and his box of tricks.

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Pleasureboaters

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Black Eyes and Neckties win the award for biggest Vampire Weekend fans of any band at Block Party. For the first half of VW’s set the side stage crowd consisted almost completely of Christine Gregoire’s family and these guys.

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Mika Miko at the “Secret Show”

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No Age at the “Secret Show,” which was the hottest, sweatiest, loudest dance party of the night. Literally the second I walked inside my glasses fogged up and I was covered in a layer of sweat air. No Age’s DIY grungy shtick works perfectly in a small, packed venue like this. I can imagine why people would hate them at a venue like Marymoor, but in this cramped room they absolutely killed it.

The Big Round Orange Thing

posted by on July 26 at 1:33 PM

Mr. Harrington in Les Savy Fetal:

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Champagne’s Pearl lounging pre King Cobra:

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I Dance to Metal

posted by on July 26 at 1:28 PM

Girl Talk on CD? An awesome insta-party when I’m riding Cap Metro. Girl Talk on stage? Meh. Hearing exact remixes from Night Ripper and Feed the Animals in concert is kinda like hearing an exact joke from a stand-up comedian’s CD—nowhere near the same impact, and the set certainly wasn’t up to what I’d heard from the more creative Block Party ‘07 bootleg that has circulated on torrent sites. On the plus side, I started cracking up when I noticed that the mass of bodies on stage (really, the indie-rock equivalent of MTV’s The Grind) became pooped nearly in unison. Perhaps Block Party security should’ve accepted bribes from eager on-the-ground fans for some much-needed substitutions at the post and point guard positions?

I bailed to Neumo’s halfway through, just as I caught an awkward insertion of the Toadies’ “Possum Kingdom” into some beat, and caught The Dodos’ set. ‘Sfine. Sounded like the same song over and over to me—a singer with too much reverb hitting only about five notes, strumming madly, with a drummer and xylophonist who knew little other than drum fills. The crowd absolutely loved it—the floor warped under my feet with thousands of foot stomps in unison—and even with the samey-same sound, I fell for the band’s contagious enthusiasm. Apologies to the young woman in front of me, but I couldn’t help but notice this text of hers: “The Dodos are on right now. I only think of you.” Current love interest with whom she has fond Dodos memories? Or is she calling the dude a dodo as a slag? Not sure.

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Ricky Claudon, Pleasureboaters

The place emptied before Jay Reatard took the stage—whaaaa? Maybe everyone feared getting punched in the mouth? Wimps. Still, thanks to the exodus, I could walk in and out without much trouble, so I caught a few songs by Pleasureboaters across the street. Thank effin’ god I did! The entire crowd was in on the fun, bouncing off each others’ bodies in erratic robo-dances while the on-stage trio married the late ’70s sound of the No New York comp with an infusion of rumbling, southern-boogie bass—meaning the punk and hard-rock kids each had a reason to rush the stage with fists in the air. Best of all, singer Ricky Claudon broke a guitar string early in the set and didn’t flinch. No requests for a new guitar. No stoppage to wind a new string in. The dude did over half of the set this way, and you couldn’t hear the difference. That’s how it should be done.

Back to the still-spacious Neumo’s, possibly half full by set’s start, and the crowd wasn’t quite ready to embrace the shameless assault of Reatard, slowly warming to the guy’s punk-metal blasts until a pit finally erupted mid-crowd. If James Dio heard Chicago’s bizarre punk-metal trio the Coke Dares and decided to start anew, that might sound like the brilliance of last night. Every song sounded like an early ’80s metal classic—hard, downtuned metal with perfectly placed shout-along chunks, a crush on snare assaults that recalled the earliest days of Megadeth, and a squirrelly guitar tone that sounded best suited for an ‘87 Camaro’s cassette deck. I never had time to relish or enjoy the songs, though, as Jay and band elected to forgo tween-song breaks to instead shout the next song title and tear right in. Things just went so fast, and the sheer rush of their approach propelled me to mosh for the first time in years.

I’ve never heard people giggle in a mosh pit before. That guy from the Mika Miko set must’ve gone back to his mom’s basement by then, because this was a mess of boys and girls too busy high-fiving, laughing, and yelling “FUCK YEAH” to get angry. Only fault of the show? It ended far too soon, barely 30 minutes. Then again, the brief set might’ve saved my dehydrated ass from a pit disaster, dunno. Either way, as I breathlessly made my way to the bus stop, I couldn’t help but compare the day’s last two sets to Girl Talk. I couldn’t dance—let alone move—at that over-packed set, since I was either squished by the crowd or crushed by a posse of 18-year-olds behind me, eager to dry-hump anything that couldn’t get out of its way. I went to Girl Talk with a mission to dance, but bouncing around in front of the loogie-hawkin’ Jay Reatard, just after robo-rockin’ with the assault of the Pleasureboaters, felt so much more right.

Past Lives

posted by on July 26 at 1:21 PM

You don’t really have to worry about coming into your own as a “new” band when you’ve been playing with your band mates for over a decade. Granted, Past Lives are less than a year old, but they sounded as tight as any other group playing the Block Party yesterday, and threw down my favorite set of the day. They are a band in which every member brings a unique element that perfectly compliments the mix. From the Neumos stage:


Vampire Weekend

posted by on July 26 at 1:15 PM

Vampire Weekend_CoreyBayless_CitizenImage04Vampire Weekend photo by Corey Bayless

Ah, Vampire Weekend—undoubtedly a bigger name than either Les Savy Fav or Girl Talk, but kind of a let down (or a cool off, depending on how you look at it) after those acts. Haters wanna hate, but like I said in the Block Party guide, if you write this band off because of their aesthetic affectations or cultural references or class, you’re really missing out on a damn fine pop record. There’s not a song on Vampire Weekend that doesn’t contain some great piano melody or nervous little groove or terribly catchy chorus (my favorite right now being “Walcott,” which I didn’t get to hear before leaving for Comeback—confidential to Comeback: sorry for the rough set, blame the Block Party beer gardens). But, that said, the band seem so damn small up there on that stage in front of so many people last night. Too small. Some bands’ best moments are shouts—be it Les Savy Fav’s wail or Girl Talk’s sample explosions—but Vampire Weekend’s best moments are more often than not sighs, moments where things falter and faint, and they just don’t play as well in this setting. Even their more upbeat numbers are softer and subtler and don’t necessarily play to the back of a giant crowd. Too bad, then, because I don’t imagine Vampire Weekend will be playing any smaller gigs anytime soon. Also, how supreme a wtf moment was is to have Marco Collins introduce Christine Gregoire to introduce Vampire Weekend?

Update: Listening to Vampire Weekend as I sober myself up for another day of Block Partying, I’m realizing that there were, in fact, at least a couple really great moments of their set last night, like Ezra Koenig and Rostam Batmanglij’s straining harmonizing on the bridge of “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa” or that one song whose name I can’t recall (a b-side?) that’s all crazy, tumbling keys. Also, they played a brand new song, which they debuted for Seattle, they said, because KEXP was the first radio station to play them. So, nice one, KEXP.

Les Savy Fav

posted by on July 26 at 1:00 PM

Les Savy Fav_CoreyBayless_CitizenImage03Les Savy Fav photo by Corey Bayless

I ended up watching most of Les Savy Fav from what had to be one of the worst spots possible—thanks, Kirby (…and weed)—the side of the stage. Les Savy Fav’s Tim Harrington is, in case you haven’t heard, a bit of a performer, and, like a Gallagher concert or Sea World, the best place to watch him do his thing is in the first six rows where you will get wet. (But I realized that, for me, the one thing that bound all the big, exciting names of Block Party this year was that I’d seen them all before. Which isn’t to say I wasn’t stoked about seeing them again, but just that I wasn’t as compelled to have every set be some great moment—I already got onstage with Girl Talk at Chop Suey, I’ve danced with Tim Harrington, I’ve done—well, I guess you don’t do anything with Vampire Weekend but stand in a packed crowd and watch them, but I’ve done that before too. In a way, it was nice, because it gave me the freedom to ditch an act halfway through to go check out something else, or to not fight my way to the front for everything.)

Still, the band sounded great as always, and this is what’s awesome about Les Savy Fav—not only do they have the goofy frontman, but they have several albums worth of fucking fantastic disco-touched post punk ragers. “The Sweat Descends,” no matter where you’re standing, just slays. Harrington’s lyrics seemed to get lost in his antics maybe a bit more than usual this show, and, again just from my admittedly not hot vantage point, their performance seemed a little more sedate than usual. Sometimes Harrington’s banter is just molten comedic gold, and I guess sometimes it’s not. Still, he looked good—and a bit like a “never nude”—in those cutoffs.

Got Block Party Photos?

posted by on July 26 at 12:55 PM

If you take photos at this weekend’s Block Party, remember to upload ‘em to the Stranger’s Flickr Pool by Monday morning (tag them “CHBP”). The best Block Party shots will be posted on Line Out Monday afternoon and readers will vote for their favorite—the winner will get full weekend passes to Bumbershoot in August!

Here’s some of what we got so far:

BPflickr2.jpgby genuinehi

BPflickr5.jpgby Lauren Max

USeflickr.jpgby Blush Photo

BPflickr6.jpgby Lauren Max

BPflickr1.jpgby JeanineAnderson

BPflickr4.jpgby thoughtsinbuttermilk

BPflickr7.jpgby mike@freedomfromgravity

There are so many more… click here to browse through ‘em all.

Girl Talk

posted by on July 26 at 12:40 PM

GirlTalk_PiperCarr_CitizenImage05.jpg Girl Talk photo by Piper Carr

Dear god, Girl Talk! Damn! Kids were going nuts for this guy. From where I stood, pinned between the crowd and security and the stage and the speakers by the photo pit, shit looked nasty. After Gregg Gillis’ warmup and only a couple minutes of music, an obviously enthused but relatively orderly group of kids filed onto the stage from the side/backstage area and started whooping it up. Which is when things got nuts.

See, when there’s a crowd a couple thousand deep, and there’s enough room for a couple dozen people onstage, a funny thing happens—everybody wants to be one of those couple dozen people. Or at least enough people do that security had their hands more than full pulling down kids trying to jump and scramble from the crowd barrier to the stager. Right next to me, a girl kept trying to bribe a security guard to let her onstage—$10, $20, $50?—going so far as to wave the money in front of his face. He did not let her on stage, and, frankly, he didn’t look at all like the bribing type. There are also two types of kids who dance on stage—the type who wants to dance onstage to look cool (note: this is obvious, and not very cool looking), and the type who just want to freak the fuck out, who are just unselfconsciously overjoyed to even be there (this is a much better look).

But what was Girl Talk actually doing? Oh, you know, the usual stuff. Mixing a lot of stuff from both Night Ripper and Feed the Animals on his trusty beat-the-fuck-up looking laptop, notably looping things a time or two longer than they play out on record, so that, for instance, you got to hear Biggie Smalls rap, “Time to get paid / Blow up like the World Trade” twice instead of once. The only new moments/samples I caught before the crush of the crowd finally pushed me back into the beer garden were Lil Wayne’s “A Milli” and Hot Stylz’ “Lookin Boy,” both of which sounded just fine. Girl Talk, you so crazy!

Say Hi: Robot Approved

posted by on July 26 at 12:34 PM

I missed the beginning of Les Savy Fav to watch Say Hi’s set at the Vera Stage—for that some would say I’m crazy, but I just really, really like their song “Northwestern Girls” and I really, really wanted to hear them play it (besides, I made it over there in time to see Tim Harrington strip to his skivvies and dance around in a crown and purple velvet robe). Not only did Say Hi play the song, but singer Eric Elbogen dedicated it to me because he saw what I wrote about the song earlier this month. Awe!

The song sounded great, by the way. Eric strained his voice during the chorus “It must be in the air heeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrreeeeeeeeeee…” which made it sound like he really meant every word he sang. Their whole show was perfect—the sound was filled out a bit by the presence of a temporary third member attending to the keyboards. It was dusk, the sky was a deep blue, the white-lit stage made them look like bedroom pop angels.

Best of all, Say Hi’s set wasn’t tainted by the presence of the Toughest Guy in the Pit. Instead of a drunk jackass elbowing kids in the face, Say Hi’s crowd had a robot—a polite robot with cups for eyes and a flashing red and white heart.

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Eric also dedicated a song to the robot, calling him Mr. Robot. When the crowd corrected him, telling him it was a girl, he stopped, grinned and said “I can die now. A girl in a robot suit at our show. With a flashing heart…” Then they played “Let’s Talk About Spaceships” and Eric did not die.

TacocaT

posted by on July 26 at 12:32 PM

TacocaT 5: Grant BrisseyTacocaT photo by Grant Brissey

Despite what some readers think is a blood feud with TacocaT, I found myself watching the band again last night, in the cool, cavernous basement of the Cha Cha (it was super pleasant down there; if you can make it tonight for These Arms Are Snakes, I highly recommend it). And you know what? They sounded awesome, although I think a key ingredient to that might have been that I couldn’t make out any of the lyrics in the vocals, only their cadence and intonation. All this time I somehow missed how they obviously bite the B-52s as well as the riot grrrls, and that puts their more frivolous songs in some better context. And, shit, maybe songs about Anna Nicole Smith and pap smears and UTIs are as relevant and radical as the next subject. In any case, the band sounded better than ever, not at all shambolic or sloppy but rather sharp and pointedly raucous. And I know it would be wrong to say that they’re just as cute as can be, but they really are—even the dude.

Mika Miko

posted by on July 26 at 12:12 PM

MikaMiko_PiperCarr_CitizenImage04.jpgMika Miko photo by Piper Carr

I’d been wanting to see Mika Miko for a minute now, and I’m glad I finally did, as they’re fucking fantastic. The all girl LA punk band has sax like X-Ray Spex, telephone mics like Japanther, and a Paper Rad shirt like everybody. Their songs are seriously fun, seriously dancey blasts. Everything was perfect—except for Toughest Guy in the Pit. See, while everyone else was moshing and dancing and spazzing out, but generally being good to each other, Toughest Guy in the Pit (wearing a black “wife beater” to show of his guns, natch) was swigging pec juice from a flask and throwing elbows and fists at the other kids. Brandon Ivers and Casey Catherwood both asked him to calm down, explaining how everyone was there to have a good time and nobody else really seemed interested in getting violent with him, but he wasn’t having that. Later, Catherwood dubbed him Toughest Guy in the Pit, and I joined in applauding him, “You’re the Toughest Guy in the Pit! No one here is tougher than you!” He asked me if I wanted to “go outside” (we were outside), and I told him, “No, I don’t want to fight—you’re the Toughest Guy in the Pit. You would win.” So, hats off to you, Toughest Guy in the Pit, you are tougher than everybody else.

Black Eyes and Neckties: “Sorry, This Sweater Vest Is Killing Me.”

posted by on July 26 at 12:10 PM

Black Eyes and Neckties get the Surprise of the Night award—I had heard the morbid Bellingham outfit would be my bag, but I didn’t know they were that entertaining.

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Photo by Corey Bayless

They’re all made up like dead people—dark eye make-up, fake blood, fake bruises… they look like their van crashed on tour a year ago, killing everyone inside, and now they just entertain themselves in the afterlife by playing/haunting audiences everywhere.

The keyboards sound huge, like the organ from Disney’s Haunted Mansion. The songs alternate between blazing punk/hardcore and raucous rock with a swagger (a la Murder City Devils). The lyrics are all about scary things, which would probably be more scary if they weren’t delivered by the charismatic, sweater-vest wearing nerd that admits to stealing lines from Kurt Vonnegut books.

BENTBP.jpgPhoto by Corey Bayless

They’re one part Murder City, one part Bloodhag, one part Schoolyard Heroes. They’re also one part crazy Southern Baptist church sermon because the singer does this great move where he rips off his glasses, stomps his feet, wiggles his hips, and shakes his hands high in the air like he’s testifying. Probably to do the devil because God doesn’t like it when bands threaten little kids… “Hide you children! Hide ‘em good! Hide you children like you know you should!”

Champagne Champagne at the Capitol Hill Block Party

posted by on July 26 at 12:00 PM

Champagne Champagne at the Capitol Hill Block Party

Champagne Champagne did like Girl Talk and packed the stage last night during one of the last songs in their set: “Head down, ass up, that’s the way I like to fuck.”

They got off to a slow start (maybe y’all were worn out after Girl Talk?) but once Pearl Dragon (aka Mr. Charisma) hopped down into the crowd and reminded folks how to dance, things evolved into the amusing sweaty sing-a-long Champagne Champagne are notorious for.

Truckasauras

posted by on July 26 at 12:00 PM

Truckasauras_CoreyBayless_CitizenImage01Truckasauras photo by Corey Bayless

Truckasauras played about twenty minutes of new material last night (although, a dapper looking Adam Swan says it’s only new to me because I missed their record release show). It was way more techy and tracky, less melodic and song-oriented than their usual stuff, and it made more use of their recently acquired Korg MS-20 than their old gameboys. The result was some squelchy (“well squelchy” as Ivers might say) acid bass and some deep, deep synths. The Gameboy does have a classic sound, but it’s nice to see that Truckasauras really can drop it when it threatens to get gimmicky and still kill shit. It was generally a more staid or formal and less drunk and debauched performance, but again, it’s nice to see them sounding great even without their most crowd-pleasing moves. The sound in King Cobra was fine, if a little tinny at first, and it was nice to finally see Truckasauras playing a fest with a dark room where they could actually screen Dan Bordons videos. It feels like the last two or three times I’ve seen ‘em—Sasquatch at least—Bordon’s contribution has gotten the shaft. Some good new stuff there too, most notable some footage of skiers ski-jumping towards the camera away from an explosion behind them. Well squelchy stuff.

Common Market

posted by on July 26 at 11:37 AM

Common Market_CoreyBayless_CitizenImage05Common Market photo by Piper Carr

I only caught a minute or two of Common Market, but I did catch them opening with a rap over Lil Wayne’s “A Milli” beat. I know, everyone has done this, but that is because it usually sounds hot as hell, and so it did with Common Market. Hard to make out every rallying cry from my spot in the beer garden, but I’m pretty sure I heard the word “government” used with some scorn. Neumo’s booker Steven Severin later told me that people were asking him if Lil Wayne was the secret guest tonight at Neumo’s—he’s not, although that’s a pretty sweet rumor. Everyone knows the real secret guest is Jay-Z.

Talbot Tagora

posted by on July 26 at 11:35 AM

TalbotTagora_PiperCarr_CitizenImage05.jpgTalbot Tagora photo by Piper Carr

Talbot Tagora sounded great, as good as I’ve ever seen them, yesterday opening up the Vera Stage at Block Party at 4pm, despite some annoying crackling throughout their set. Ani Valley’s drumming seemed stronger than I remembered it, her rolls and breaks propelling a lot of songs from mumble and drone into serious rockers. One particularly long song started with Chris Ando and Mark Greshowak dueling on guitars, Greshowak finger picking—everyone says “dueling,” but this was genuinely violent sounding, two melodies that didn’t seem to go together, played in off times, all eventually coalescing around Valley’s drum stomp. My one complaint, aside from that crackle, is that Ando’s reverbed vocals just got lost in the air at the outdoor stage. I know that the inscrutability is part of their style, but the only thing holding them back is that they just don’t have enough/any parts where the vocals rise above the murk to really command the songs. Add a sing-along chorus here or there—even an indecipherable one, so long as it’s audible—and they would be a totally radical punk band.


Friday, July 25, 2008

The Zombies at El Corazon

posted by on July 25 at 4:08 PM

What the fuck, people? WHAT THE FUCK? There were less than 200 people at the Zombies last night at El Corazon. LESS THAN 200! For the Zombies! Those of us standing around in the less-than-half-empty club (including a lot of local musicians and a man who looked disconcertingly like Philip Roth) were appalled by the turnout, if also, on another level, thrilled about getting to see the Zombies in what felt a lot like a private little show, a freak circumstance, a secret from the world. A few of them came out with their goofy haircuts to tune their instruments before disappearing again, and the guy standing next to me, a musician, was stunned at the sight—they were tuning their own instruments! He encouraged the person standing next to him, also a musician, to imagine himself 40 years hence tuning his own instruments in front of this many people at El Corazon.

Unlike the Zombies’ music, El Corazon is not pretty, and the contrast lent the whole evening a flower-growing-out-of-a-crack-in-the-asphalt aspect. If you haven’t read Sean Nelson’s interrogation of the Zombies’ Colin Blunstone in The Stranger this week, do yourself a favor. Nelson talks about hearing Blunstone sing “I Love You” the last time they were in Seattle, mentioning that “when you hit the high note on the line ‘and I don’t know WHAT TO SAY,’ this wave of awe went through the room.” They opened with “I Love You” again last night, and wave of awe is exactly the way to describe the crowd’s response to it. The applause at the end of the song was interminable. A few songs later, one of the Zombies asked the crowd, “Are people here familiar with our album Odessey and Oracle?” and the crowd lost their shit. For a long while. An extended losing of shit. Finally, when it seemed like the cheering would never end, one of the Zombies said, “Well, that’s encouraging. Maybe we’ll do one or two more”—one or two more off Odessey and Oracle than they were planning. Then one of them said the next two songs they were going to play were the first two songs on Odessey and Oracle, and then he gave the titles, which, for this crowd, was entirely unnecessary. The urge to not sing along was quickly abandoned. They loved the love.

At one point I ducked out into the front room bar to get drinks and saw two guys and a chick sitting at the bar. I asked them what the fuck they were doing out here. The Zombies, I informed them, were playing in the next room. The chick lazily pointed at a TV screen above the bar, which was broadcasting what was happening in the next room. Don’t point at that! I said. The Zombies are playing in the next room! Then one of the dudes snarled, “When they stop playing these love songs we’ll go in.” Then I killed them.

After the show—AMAZING, AMAZING, AMAZING, with a couple unfortunate keyboard solos thrown in—I got to talking to the guy working the door. Tattoos, bald head, permanent sneer. He had never heard of the Zombies. I resisted the impulse to give him a hard time and drunkenly, earnestly, recommended Odessey and Oracle. Unprompted, I explained how fantastic it is, that it’s an album everyone should be lucky enough to have in their life. He looked at me square in the eyes and, with as much tough-guy dismissiveness as he could muster, said: “I’m glad you had fun tonight, man.”

Dita Vox

posted by on July 25 at 3:36 PM

This is not Charles Mudede (he is getting drunk with some guy called Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen). This is his intern Roxanne Emadi. While Mudede is away, I’m going to post about the fox Dita Vox:
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Thee Emergency’s Dita Vox is fucking hot. She was also giddy enough to meet Blush Photo at the Georgetown Music Festival last month and Blush’s Kristen Truax jumped to work her into next month’s portraiture show I See You Through Me – a follow-up to Femme Fatale which showed in February.

The show will feature Truax’s shots of local musicians – including Star Anna and Mark Pickerel – along with work from four other Seattle photographers at the Blush Photo studio in SoDo.

As for new ventures, Thee Emergency has been deep in the depths of the studio this summer working on a country psychedelic blues-ish record.

After a foot injury a few months ago, Thee Emergency’s drummer couldn’t use his right foot. So the band got creative.

“We’ve always written some country songs and they don’t need a full drum kit. It just made sense to do something different now and get away from rock ‘n’ roll,” said Vox.

The album, titled Cracker Slang, should drop by the end of the year. With its release will come country-style shows, a more relaxed live show and possibly Daisy Dukes.

“We started out with a punky feel and we’re moving away from that,” said Vox. “Our show is still really visually exciting and we’re still running around like maniacs but I feel like we’re more calm now. We’ve grown up a lot.”

But at the Capitol Hill Block Party this weekend, Thee Emergency will be very much a rock band. They plan to do what they’ve spent the last four years doing: explode with energy, split holes in their jeans and “rock everybody’s faces off, pretty much.”

Leak of the Week: Jaguar Love, Take Me to the Sea

posted by on July 25 at 3:04 PM

Technically, this was the leak of last week, but I’ve struggled for a few days to articulate exactly how I feel about Jaguar Love’s debut record. Since they’re playing on the Neumo’s stage tomorrow, my time’s up.

I saw the trio once in concert, and at that point, I was willing to give the Blood Brothers/PGMG fusion the credit that most of the commenters weren’t. I looked at ‘em from the perspective of a pre-teen raised on emo-pop; through those eyes, Johnny Whitney’s high-pitched squeals and hand-hip struttin’ weren’t laughable, but all too appropriate. With more listens to this debut full-length, out in stores next month, I’ve become decidedly neutral.

Jaguar Love certainly delivers bombast, or at least Whitney does. The guy can make his voice go whatever direction he wants—almost chillingly so at the outset of “Jaguar Pirates,” as his opening “oh-OH” chirps are unworldly enough to put T-Pain out of biz. He’s less screams and more squeals this time, a transition he started as the Blood Brothers petered out, but his whine and falsetto can turn from wild to absolutely grating. Snoozer-ballad “Georgia” lets his voice off the leash, and its every miss is too painful. The band’s accompaniment, at its best, sounds like Hot Hot Heat colliding with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. “Antoine and Birdskull” is a plodding rocker underlined with buzzing organ, and the arrangement makes the most of Whitney’s voice in climactic bursts between the verses. But shameless soft-pop attempts like the aforementioned “Georgia” and the melodramatic “Bonetrees and a Broken Heart” drag the disc down, since Whitney’s not willing to calm down with the rest of his bandmates and actually try to sing.

For the most part, Whitney’s more memorable than the songs that he and his friends have cranked out. One exception bodes well. When the band eschews its punk origins and makes the most of its pop fascinations by injecting energy and tempo into closing track “My Organ Sounds Like,” they seem to finally cement their unique place in the guitar-rock universe. The jangly head-bobber doesn’t see the band trying any funny tricks, simply keeping up the energy and pace for Whitney to deliver his best falsetto-vocal performance of the album—hard to believe his nearly dreamy cries that “everything, it hur-rrts!”

Setlist, the Special Capitol Hill Block Party Episode

posted by on July 25 at 2:05 PM

This week on Setlist, hear the local bands who are playing this weekend’s Capitol Hill Block Party—Pleasureboaters, Sleepy Eyes of Death, Common Market, Thee Emergency, and more!

Click here to listen.

Courtney’s Done Blogging

posted by on July 25 at 12:32 PM

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Well, at least she says she is. But she’s probably not. This proclamation was made, of course, at the end of another long, rambling blog, this one mostly about dating Trent Reznor:

I have a sign on my computer, “DO NOT BLOG. EMBARRASSES CHILD. LACK OF GRAMMATICAL CORRECTNESS AND SPELLING MAKES ONE LOOK ON DRUGS FOR SOME REASON. DON’T START THINKING “BUT… BUT… BURROUGHS.” IT’S A MYSPACE BLOG. DON’T DO IT!”

Wait… does that mean she’s not on drugs?

Line Out: Your Home for Block Party Overload

posted by on July 25 at 12:23 PM

This should be obvious, if only from today’s flurry of posts, but remember, Line Out will be covering the shit out of Block Party this weekend, with live reviews, photos, videos, and probably some poll about Slats. You can also view a feed of all and only Block Party related posts here. That is all.

French Connections

posted by on July 25 at 12:10 PM

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Today in the Stranger Suggests, resident vis arts critic/synchro freak Jen Graves recommends you go see Water Lillies a French film about “several sapphically oriented girls on the same synchro team.” As if synchronized-swimming, saphically-oriented French girls isn’t enough, the film’s original soundtrack is composed by hot-shit French electro producer (and TTC-affiliate) Para One. It’s a far cry from the glitzy club thump of his Institubes album Epiphanie—soft, gauzy synths and pianos that are more new age than nu rave, but it’s always nice to see good producers getting good work. You can hear samples of the score at Institubes, and here’s a trailer for the film featuring the song “Trahision” by fellow Frenchman Vitalic:

Naissance des Pieuvres

Andrew Bird

posted by on July 25 at 12:00 PM

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by joshc

Message from Truckasauras

posted by on July 25 at 11:54 AM

BabyCarrots.jpgTruckasauras would like to extend a personal invitation to each and every one of you attending Capitol Hill Block Party today.

Truck’s Adam Swan says:

As a member of Truckasauras, I will try my best to insure that everyone who sees us today feels like they are the feel good hit of the summer. I know that’s a lot of feel good hits, but I think we can do it. I’ll even share the baby carrots from the food plate in the VIP tent, if there’s a VIP tent. I don’t think I’ll be able to give everyone a baby carrot, but I should at least be able to give out like five or six. And maybe a brocolli.

Truckasauras is on the King Cobra stage at 6 PM today.

Also Tonight: Comeback

posted by on July 25 at 11:05 AM

As if there isn’t enough to do tonight, one more thing to consider:

Comeback’s Captiol Hill Cock Party will be up at Chop Suey, offering a stiff corrective to Block Party’s hetero-normative rock agenda (Truckasauras’ Hulk Hogan clips notwithstanding). It is, of course, a big, gay conflict of interest, but there you have it.

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The Cha Cha Has Live Music Too

posted by on July 25 at 11:00 AM

Block Party shmock party! I already posted about the Comet Tavern’s Cock Block Party, and it looks like the Cha Cha’s got a killer weekend line-up too (which isn’t officially part of the Block Party, so you don’t need wristbands to get in):

Friday: Das Llamas, TacocaT, Kaylee Cole, and Fences.
Saturday: These Arms Are Snakes, Wild Orchid Children, Triumph of Lethargy Skinned Alive to Death, Weirdlords, and See Me River.

These Arms Are Snakes? At the Cha Cha? Shit’s gonna get crazy. The weekend hasn’t even started yet and I already want a nap.

These Arms are Snakes - “Horse Girl”

(Also—as my co-worker Eric Grandy points out—the downstairs, windowless bar is also a perfect place to escape the sun and grab a beer that might be a little cheaper than BP’s asking price… just sayin’.)

Don’t Forget to Take Your Camera to Block Party

posted by on July 25 at 11:00 AM

If you take photos at this weekend’s Block Party, remember to upload ‘em to the Stranger’s Flickr Pool by Monday morning (tag them “CHBP”). The best Block Party shots will be posted on Line Out Monday afternoon and readers will vote for their favorite—the winner will get full weekend passes to Bumbershoot in August!

The Cock Block Party

posted by on July 25 at 10:45 AM

Sick of Block Party already? This weekend, the Comet hosts the Cock Block Party! While you’re on the hill this weekend you can escape to the Comet for live music that isn’t Girl Talk or Vampire Weekend. Both shows are free, the bands sound like this:

girlsgroup.jpgThe Girls photo by Lance Mercer

Friday: The Girls, Valykries

The Girls - “Transfer Station” (via Pitchfork)







The Valkyries - “Scream For More







cheaptimetrio.jpgCheap Time photo by Jimmy A

Saturday: Cheap Time, the Upside Down

Cheap Time - “Tight Fit” (via Hello Vegetables)







Hear samples from the Upside Down’s upcoming album Trust Electricty here.

Tonight in Music: The Capitol Hill Block Party, the Watson Twins

posted by on July 25 at 9:30 AM

The Capitol Hill Block Party is tonight. Duh. Vampire Weekend, Les Savy Fav, Girl Talk, and dozens of others will play tonight. All your Block Party info is here.

But there’s some other stuff happening, should you want to avoid the crowds, the heat, the general instanity that comes with cramming tens of thousands of people in a couple blocks worth of space:

Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins - “Rise Up With Fists”
The Watson Twins, Tim Fite, Jen Wood
(Tractor) There is tranquility in Jen Wood’s voice. It’s a stasis. She sings, and thoughts of pastures and still lakes flash and drift. It doesn’t mean you’re going soft, she’s just that earnest. Her latest album, Finds You in Love, produced by Shawn Simmons of SUNN O))) and Brandi Carlile, finds Wood purposefully optimistic. Her band includes Tomo Nakayama of Grand Hallway, Joel Harmon of Sleepy Eyes of Death, and Wolf Carr of Wesafari. Also on the bill, the six-foot tall Kentucky-bred identical-sister Watson Twins will be harmonizing their hauntingness right into a cavity behind your heart. A cavity that is moved by magnetic and striking country-folk tinged singers. The Watson Twins float their harmonies around the room like ghosts. Don’t be afraid, they’re not ghosts, they’re just sisters. TRENT MOORMAN

Hear Jen Wood here.

Also, Eartha Kitt continues her run at Jazz Alley, Lyle Lovitt is at Chateau Ste. Michelle, the Lonely H play the Sunset with Sunday Night Blackout and the Oswald Effect, and there’s some other stuff too. See it all here.

Block Party Starts in Less Than 8 Hours!

posted by on July 25 at 9:24 AM

Maybe you’ve heard about this little Capitol Hill Block Party?

Les Savy Fav will be there.

So will Girl Talk.

And the Hold Steady.

And Jay Reatard.

And New Faces.

And Vampire Weekend, USE, Chromeo, Throw Me the Statue, and tons, tons more. (Complete schedule here.)

And yeah, the Stranger is one of the Party’s sponsors, but even if we weren’t I would be stoked to death about this weekend. Yes, it’s $18 a day, but that’s only a few bucks more than you’d pay to see any of these headliners alone, and the whole damn line-up is outstanding. If you haven’t gotten your tickets yet, go here (and if you can’t get advance tickets, you can probably get them at the door).

(Um, less than seven hours, even. Sorry.)


Thursday, July 24, 2008

“Quite a few people have seen my penis.”

posted by on July 24 at 4:33 PM

Understatement of the ’90s. NPR ran a story yesterday about the boy who grew up from this:

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to this:

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Boy, does that make me feel old. But to complete the whole story of Nevermind’s now-grown cover child—jaded teen, fresh outta military school, rejects his peers—maybe Spencer “Baby Peen” Elden should date this girl?

Recording New Kay Kay

posted by on July 24 at 3:29 PM

kirkle.jpgKay Kay and His Weathered Underground have been recording. One of the new songs is called “My Friends All Passed Out.” Here, singer / guitarist Kirk Huffman talks about recording the song and its process. Kay Kay are the first mainstage band on Saturday at Block Party. 2:00!

Line Out exclusive listen - “My Friends All Passed Out”.

How is the song being released?
Kirk: It’s coming out as a limited edition 7-inch on VinylCollective.com containing two new songs from the forthcoming full-length.

Was there a process for the recording?
Kyle (O’Quin) and I spend a lot of time farting around with instruments. It’s an obsessive compulsive thing. I don’t know shit about music, but I guess that’s the beginning of the process, bringing those ideas into Phil Peterson’s (House of Breaking Glass Studio), brainstorming instrumentation, and starting to mold the song. Phil, Kyle, and I laid down all the tracks then Thomas (Hunter) came in to do the guitar solos and steel slide work. Bobby and Tori (Parker) did all the horn and violin work.

What stands out to you about the song from your end?
Phil is in the middle of recording the new record from our friends in Thee Emergency and they had brought over some field recordings made in the early 60’s for use in meditation sessions. Phil decided that the midwestern lightning storm would be a perfect tongue-in-cheek woe-is-me addition to the theatric mood of the song. I suppose I get my rocks off on shit like that.

Does your writing for this song differ from the writing you did for the last album?
It doesn’t feel too much different. The process has been exactly the same just far more refined than the last go. Our concept for the new record is entirely different. I think the first record set the tone for who we are overall thematically, but it was purposely an opus and as far over the top as we could take things without losing our central focus on the album’s melodical flow.

The first record was one giant piece of music to be listened to as a whole and thought of cinematically. This one is a collection of individual songs with their own unique feel. We’re doomed to forever hear, “Yeah, I mean I like it, I just get lost in the song.” Heaven forbid you get lost in a song, right?! So we decided to take on the challenge of trying to pattern these new diddies alike. Only because all the writing that Kyle and I have done for the past four years or so has all been songs with no sense of structure at all and to try and sort of standardize the Kay Kay opus into 7-inch singles is a mind bender for us. Hopefully, this will set us up for a third LP where we can go back to doing whatever the bunk we want whenever the bunk we want.

Continue reading "Recording New Kay Kay" »

No Age @ KEXP

posted by on July 24 at 2:48 PM

It took me a minute to warm to No Age. I wasn’t so sure about Weirdo Rippers—as one expects from an album cobbled together from 7”s and EPs, it was a little uneven. But Nouns had me fully convinced. And while I still think they might sound better in a basement, their show last night in the KEXP parking lot demonstrated that they’re also capable of commanding a big outdoor summer crowd (I missed Sunday of Sub Pop, sadly, so I don’t know how the held it down there). They just can’t always command their own feedback.

The show was a “freeyrradio” event, sponsored by Urban Outfitters and Yaris and benefiting KEXP. Signs on the fence around the parking lot informed concertgoers that they would be filmed and that their likeness might appear in an advertising campaign. I look forward to the Yaris commercial featuring a couple dozen teenagers moshing and attemtping some weak crowdsurfs. It should be cute.

No Age’s drummer/vocalist Dean Spunt and guitarist Randy Randall kept calling the concert “the freedom show.” Randall was wearing a Joy Division t-shirt with what looked like arabic text on it, an accumulated mess of VIP bracelets on one wrist, and an Obama button on his guitar strap.

In between songs, Spunt called for “all the kids” to “come to the front,” and maybe another dozen kids did, snaking their way in between people to stake out what would soon become the mosh pit. The moment reminded me a little of Bikini Kill’s old move of reserving the front for girls at shows, and asking boys to stand in the back. (Of course, Bikini Kill were doing that to carve out some safe space (literally) for girls in what was often an aggressively male dominated area (both music and mosh pits), whereas, punk/indie/whatever has always been an exceedingly youth-friendly culture, youth culture, really and mosh pits are as Craig Finn notes in this issue all about kids.)

But, yeah, the mosh pit? Super cute. Between that and reminiscing with friends before the show about our own botched teenage dye jobs, it took me back. As a friend put it, It’s been a while since I’ve had to lift anyone’s leg over my head.

There was some unintended feedback throughout much of No Age’s set to go along with the band’s own washes of distorted delay. (Spunt: “That’s extra feedback, that’s not us.”) At one point, as the band wrestled with the technicals, one audience member shouted out, “Get your shit together!” To Randall replied, dryly, “Thanks, dad.”

The band played most of Nouns (highlights: “Teen Creeps,” “Sleeper Hold,” “Miner,” “Eraser”—fuck, they’re pretty much all highlights) as well as “Neck Escaper,” and, finally, “Everybody’s Down.” I don’t usually call out requests, but I did call out for that song when it seemed like they were getting down to their last of their set; I read somewhere that the band didn’t play the song at the recent Pitchfork festival, which is just, as whatever writer I’m thinking of pointed out, bananas. “Everybody’s Down” is No Age’s one choreographed, climactic stunt moment—Randall perching on his amps, choking feedback from his guitar, Spunt intoning “everybody’s down” standing at the mic, then returning to his drum kit to kick the beat back in—plus, the song’s just a monster anthem. It thrilled as always, even if I’m still a little embarrassed for making a request—that shit is for the kids.

(That “secret” “house” show is going to be certified bananas.)

Take Pictures at Block Party/Win Passes to Bumbershoot

posted by on July 24 at 12:00 PM

Going to Block Party? Take your camera! The photographer who uploads the best, quintessential Block Party shot to The Stranger’s Flickr Pool will win a pair of weekend passes to this year’s Bumbershoot!

Uploading photos to the Flickr pool is free and easy—after the Block Party, put up your awesome pictures and tag ‘em “CHBP.” The best shots will be chosen Monday afternoon, after you’ve had a day or two to upload your shots. All finalists will be posted on Line Out and readers will vote for their favorite. The winner gets a pair of weekend passes to this year’s Bumbershoot! Holy shit!

Shoot the bands, shoot the crowd, shoot the the pyramid of beer cans you build while waiting for Vampire Weekend to start—it’s just gotta show what your Block Party weekend is all about. Good luck, shutterbugs!

The Flames of the End

posted by on July 24 at 11:53 AM

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Normally, bands don’t break up right after they release a genre-changing album. At the Gates are one of the very few who did, and they’ve left a lot of fans wondering for 12 years if they would ever get the chance to see the self-proclaimed “Greatest Swedish Death Metal Band of All Time.” The fact that At the Gates aren’t putting out another record and are only doing this one last “Suicidal” tour made last night feel priceless, timeless. Who else has done what At the Gates did after releasing Slaughter of the Soul? The only band I can think of that might have had a similar impact are fellow Swedes Refused, who broke up after releasing the monumental Shape of Punk to Come in 1998. Lots of artists have gone out at the top of their game, but few have seen their final effort transform an entire scene in its image posthumously.

It was a bummer that Darkest Hour had to cancel – their van broke down in Idaho. Out of the hundreds (if not thousands) of metal bands that have followed in At the Gates’ footsteps Darkest Hour have probably done it the best. Unfortunately they spend most of their tours headlining giant metal crap-fests and never come to town with anyone worth seeing, until this show, which they had to bail on. It would have been nice to see them again as it’s been several years now, but really their set was just going to be one more hour everyone had to wait, and no one seemed to mind getting straight to the point.

El Corazon was utterly packed; there was no small, centralized pit - the entire floor was a battle. This death metal show was grounds for excited bear hugging: seeing my metal friend Skyler up front, I couldn’t help but wrap my arms around him in excitement of what we were about to witness for the first and only time. A few songs in I’m getting bear hugged myself by Jon Wiesnewski, who broke a “no-moshing” vow and was going at it in the pit. They played songs from every one of their releases, and they played them flawlessly. Crowds and bands give off a rare and intense energy when they both know they are never going to meet again. There were no disappointments, At the Gates were every bit as colossal as their legend implied. Here’s a video of “Under a Serpent Sun.” Every time the camera jerks it means I got elbowed in the torso or face.

Your Guide to the 2008 Capitol Hill Block Party

posted by on July 24 at 10:30 AM

The Capitol Hill Block Party starts tomorrow. Are you ready? Study up on who’s playing where and when in this year’s hot, sweaty, scantily clad Block Party Guide.

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Inside you’ll find:

*An interview with Craig Finn of the Hold Steady!

*Eric Grandy’s review of Girl Talk’s new album Feed the Animals!

*An “interview” with Jay Reatard!

*A profile on some of the youngest stars of Block Party, New Faces!

*A comic interpretation of the time Les Savy Fav’s Tim Harrington slipped around like a greasy hot dog in a barrel of water balloons!

*Write ups on every single band playing!

*A complete schedule of who’s playing where and when!

Tickets are $18 advance each day and still available at ticketswest.com, all Rudy’s Barbershops, select QFCs, Moe Bar, and Urban Outfitters. Or charge by phone at 206-632-TIXX or 1-800-992-TIXX.

Today’s Music News

posted by on July 24 at 10:13 AM

Nine years in the making: New Dr. Dre album slated for late 2008

Road warriors: Shellac’s fall tour doesn’t include Northwest

Are you sure Hank done it this way?: Country singer Mindy McCready enters ER, rehab

Courtney sees the light: Love struggles with blog addiction

Charmicarmicarmicat: ISIS working on new album and side projects

I feel old: Nevermind’s swimming baby talks with NPR

Tonight in Music: A Hawk and a Hacksaw, Eartha Kitt, the Zombies, Shearwater

posted by on July 24 at 9:30 AM

A Hawk and a Hacksaw featuring Beirut

A Hawk and a Hacksaw are playing tonight at the Tractor. Kurt B. Reighley interviewed the duo for this week’s paper. An excerpt:

A Hawk and a Hacksaw perform on street corners, for fun and spare change, all around the globe. You’ll find them plying this trade throughout Spain, Hungary, and Romania. Their vibrant music, heavy on strains of accordion and violin, reflects a variety of cultures, particularly folk traditions of Eastern Europe.

Just don’t call them “Gypsies.”

We are not a Gypsy band,” emphasizes founder Jeremy Barnes. “Gypsy music is music played by Gypsies, and the sound of Gypsy music depends on where they live.” And Barnes and his partner, violinist Heather Trost, don’t meet the basic criteria. “Neither of us is Roma.”

Read the full story here.

Eartha Kitt - C’est Si Bon (Live Kaskad 1962)

From this week’s installment of the Score:

EARTHA KITT
You remember her as Catwoman from the original Batman TV series, but Kitt has been purring cabaret and show tunes in multiple languages for over half a century. Kitt’s sharp, sometimes snarling, always sassy enunciation marks her as a breed unto herself. Meow! Through Sun July 27. Jazz Alley, 2033 Sixth Ave, 441-9729, 7:30 pm, $32.50–$35.50.
The Zombies - “She’s Not There”
The Zombies, Jon Auer, Guns and Rossetti
(El Corazón) The drunken guy at the back of the Zombies show at the Triple Door last year had it right: “You guys fuckin’ rock!” Even at sixtysomething, Rod Argent and Colin Blunstone still manage to whip out Odessey and Oracle classics in such perfect form that you’d think you were right in the middle of some 1960s stock footage—look, a dreamy girl hippie at Golden Gate or some shit! Blunstone’s voice is so breathy and nubile—nothing so gentle has been in El Corazón since the Zombies played there in aught-six. They might whip out some of Argent and Blunstone’s solo “hits”—stay for Blunstone’s, get a drink during Argent’s. ARI SPOOL

Read Sean Nelson’s interview with the Zombies’ Colin Blunstone.

Shearwater at Emo’s
Shearwater, Johanna Kunin, Grand Hallway
(Nectar) We can talk about Shearwater’s early ties to current indie-folk darlings Okkervil River. We can talk about Jonathan Meiburg’s delicate choirboy vocals. We can talk about their haunting compositions and the broad spectrum of dynamics they employ. But instead, let’s talk about their drummer, Thor Harris. Every bit the god implied by his name, the bronzed buff blond is a fucking genius. Like Wilco’s Glenn Kotche, Harris’s rhythmic multitasking brilliantly accentuates the compositions without ever stealing the spotlight. Yet his dexterity, inventiveness, and economy make him one of the most fascinating contemporary drummers. Having moved on from juggling an autoharp, glockenspiel, and drum kit in Angels of Light, Harris’s arsenal now provides the dazzling and expansive foundation for Shearwater’s lush arrangements. BRIAN COOK

See our listings for everything else.


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Just Stop, Madge, Stop

posted by on July 23 at 5:15 PM

Is this what too much yoga, too much anemia, too much Kabbalah, and too much chitty-bang-bang with married baseball players does to you? Poor Madonna?

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FatByrne Rascal

posted by on July 23 at 5:12 PM

This is what happens when you medically stitch Fatboy Slim onto the faces of the Talking Heads and Dizzee Rascal.



It looks to be a few weeks out-of-date — years in internet-time — but the song is called “Toe Jam” by The BPA, an acronym for The Brighton Port Authority, which has been revealed to be Norman Cook’s latest alias, and it features both David Byrne and Dizzee Rascal obsessed with greasy feet.

On top of a clever, use-a-censor-bar-against-them video, a minimal drum ‘n’ bass beat waves in the sunlight of filtered island sounds and smiling calypso horns, and you can’t help to think that if it lacks the spectacle of Fatboy Slim’s late ’90s highs, it also sounds like one of the most easygoing and interesting thing Cook’s done in ages.

It’s also kind of what you’d expect — like a mashup with original material — but the random Caribbean, new wave, and grime choices are unique and refreshing, and it’s too bad the bootleg scene never had the same imagination.

Byrne says:

What’s it about? Well, in a way the video that Norm had done captures it pretty perfectly. It’s all slightly loopy innuendo, ecstatic, sexy, and borderline disgusting — and this video pretty much takes that vibe and runs with it.

A full-length BPA album is apparently due by the end of the year.

Earlimart @ Neumo’s

posted by on July 23 at 4:25 PM

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by Crickontour

Playing the Block Party: Talbot Tagora, Little Party and the Bad Business, New Faces, and Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head

posted by on July 23 at 4:00 PM

The Block Party is very all-ages friendly—not only are two of the stages (the Mainstage and the Vera stage) both open to the underage fans, but a lot of the bands feature under 21 folks too. Here’s a look at some of the young talent you’ll see at the ol’ Block Party:

Talbot Tagora - “You Look Like a Human”
TALBOT TAGORA
Perhaps the most promising young band in Seattle today, Talbot Tagora make ebullient music steeped in the full spectrum of post-punk tradition (strange that such a thing exists). Their metal-shaving guitars and rollicking, tom-buoyed beats lumber over their songs with as much wobbly kineticism as Howl’s Moving Castle, but the steam that powers their beast is a classic, pop-leaning emotionality. Huzzah for winning primitivism and those that employ it artfully! (SAM MICKENS)

Talbot Tagora play the Vera stage Friday at 4-4:45. Click here to read more about them.

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LITTLE PARTY AND THE BAD BUSINESS
Admit it, you want to dance and have a good time. You want fun, simple songs with catchy sing-alongs. Little Party and the Bad Business are three young men who can help you with your desires. Their exuberant synth pop is a guaranteed dance party, a celebration of everything wonderful about youth and friends and hanging out. Go and sing and dance. Be young, even if you’re old. (JEFF KIRBY)

Little Party and the Bad Business play the Vera stage Saturday at 2-2:30. Click here to hear them.

newfaceskexp.jpgPhoto by Kyle Johnson

NEW FACES
Congratulations to new wave New Faces—the young (still in high school) Port Townsend trio won EMP’s annual Sound Off! competition earlier this year. While riding high on that victory, they also got signed to local label Loveless, who’ll release the band’s debut, Two Years, in August. All the victory is deserved—the band freshen up a sound brought to the dance-happy masses by way of Interpol and Franz Ferdinand. (MEGAN SELING)

New Faces play King Cobra Saturday at 3-3:30. Click here to hear them.

Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head Live at Easy Street
NATALIE PORTMAN’S SHAVED HEAD
NPSH’s aesthetic is hot-pink-and-fluorescent-blue school-supply chic—which is probably because these kids were in high school, like, months ago. Their songs are soaked in ’80s dance-hit production values, the sort of unselfconscious homage you’d only be able to pull off if you grew up in the ’90s (which they did). Their first album is just out; according to their MySpace page, it’s called Glistening Pleasure “because it glistens and is very pleasurable.” (Fri, Vera, 10:15–11:15) CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE

Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head play the Vera stage Friday at 10:15-11:15 pm.

Oh, and hey, wanna go? Wanna WIN FREE WEEKEND PASSES? Yeah, you do. Send an e-mail to lineout@thestranger.com with BLOCK PARTY PASSES in the subject line. You have until 5 pm today to enter. That gives you only one hour. Hurry! And good luck!

Miss Broadway

posted by on July 23 at 2:29 PM

Belle Epoque's Miss Broadway LP

Last night while doing some late night record shopping at one of Seattle’s many record stores, I was suprisingly happy to hear Belle Epoque’s 1977 disco classic “Miss Broadway” playing over the loud speakers. I immediately fell in love with the track on first listen. Unfortunitely I quickly found that the store wasn’t selling the record because it came from one of the clerks personal collection. Belle Epoque has always been one of those groups I’ve always wanted to hear more from, especially since I’ve been a huge fan of their popular classic “Bamalama” for quite sometime. Even though my record store shooping didn’t result in any Belle Epoque finds, it did inspire me to hunt down some more of their records.

Download Belle Epoque’s 1977 disco classic “Miss Broadway” by visiting this site.

Zizek Urban Beats Club Last Night

posted by on July 23 at 2:01 PM

Zizek Urban Beats Club @ Nectar, 7/22/2008Thank goodness people showed up last night for Zizek Urban Beats Club - party music is no good without the party. For a Tuesday night, there were plenty of people out at Nectar last night for a good time.

I showed up a little after ten, and was one of the first dozen people in the room. I was immediately worried by the sparse crowd, joking about how long it’d take to break the twenty person barrier, but it filled up nicely. G-Love was on the decks, and for the first hour or so was playing what sounded like straight up cumbia, no “neo” about it. Over time he started building in some other elements, namely dancehall and electro, giving the cumbia a techier, more digital edge. That got the people dancing before a very excited Chancha via Circuito took to the decks - he danced before, during, and after his set.

A bit of a surprise for the night was Fauna’s live performance. The MC duo at first seemed like they were just going to be hypemen, but instead performed an animated set of around 8 songs, ranging from the expected cumbia to dubstep to more break-y chipcore. As fun as the DJs were, I felt like these two best epitomized the kitchen sink aspects of neo-cumbia. Should you ever find yourself in Buenos Aires, it’s a safe bet that Zizek’s weekly party is one to hit - if they can get people moving on a Seattle Tuesday, imagine what they do with home court advantage?

Now for some multimedia.
Some audio:
G-Love @ Zizek
Oro 11 @ Zizek
More here

Some video from last night:

More videos from last night after the jump.

Continue reading "Zizek Urban Beats Club Last Night" »

Darkness All Around

posted by on July 23 at 12:54 PM

On Burial’s Myspace account.
Picture%208.jpg The dark hamburger meets the darkside of dubstep.

Barf Poll

posted by on July 23 at 12:22 PM

BarfingBarbie.jpg

People who barf at bars or clubs should have to clean it up or pay a throw up fee. One bar owner told me there was a guy that came into her place twice that barfed right off the barstool. The guy didn’t even try to make it to the bathroom. He paid his tab like nothing happened, stepped over his lake of barf on the floor, and left. He was a cowboy or something. The bar staff called him Howling Wolf.

For every episode of barfing at a bar or club, there is someone who has to clean it up. This is bullshit. If you yuke, you should either clean it up, or a pay a throw up fee. Even meticulous barfers who think it all goes in the toilet. They usually leave bits and pieces that have to be cleaned.

Should there be a throw up fee?

What should the throw up fee be?

Deerhoof - “Fresh Born”

posted by on July 23 at 11:58 AM

Oh Deerhoof, you so crazy. The oft “experimental” band leaked the first single from their upcoming Offend Maggie as sheet music. They’re hoping fans interpret and record their own versions of the song and link to them here. WNYC has a video of the group explaining the experiment at a show in Brooklyn last week, where they debuted their single.

Eric Grandy: Vile Misogynist?

posted by on July 23 at 11:15 AM

Bee tee dubs, regarding this riot of a comments thread, TacocaT and I are now totally BFFs (and one of us might be a little flushed). See:

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Today’s Music News

posted by on July 23 at 10:41 AM

Give em something to cry about: Russia cracks down on emo

End of an era: Slayer contemplates quitting

Kid Rock joins CrimethInc.: Downloading PSA ripe with satire

Kid Rock joins Fight Club: Singer sentenced for restaurant brawl

Doublewhiskeycokenoice: Dillinger Four working on first album in 6 years

Baltimore loses one of its few assets: DJ K-Swift dies in pool accident

Tonight in Music: Mudhoney and No Age, At the Gates, Harry and the Potters

posted by on July 23 at 10:35 AM

Mudhoney - “The Lucky Ones” (live at Easy Street Records)
Mudhoney, No Age at KEXP Parking Lot
If you missed Sub Pop’s 20th anniversary festivities last weekend, this is your chance to catch up. Labelmates Mudhoney and No Age share a penchant for good guitar fuzz, but that’s about it. Where the former make a conventional racket of garage punk and hard rock, the latter dilute punk, psych, and pop rock into a more mercurial, thrilling solution. Mudhoney are titans of Sub Pop’s past; No Age are the future. (KEXP parking lot, 113 Dexter Ave N. 8 pm, free with e-ticket at www.freeyrradio.com, all ages.) by Eric Grandy

Read this week’s Interrogation with frontman Mark Arm.

At the Gates - “Blinded by Fear”

Also tonight, At the Gates play El Corazon. Will York wrote about the band’s reunion in this week’s music section. Here’s what the band had to say about why they broke up in the first place:

The band split up the year after Slaughter’s release, but unlike, say, the Eagles’ breakup or the Van Halen–David Lee Roth schism, there was no major fallout, no bad blood. And nobody died. As guitarist Anders Björler describes it via e-mail, “There were some minor tensions, but mainly it was due to inexperience.” He cites a combination of youth—they were still in their 20s at the time—and the strain of relentless touring as the main factors. “Also,” he admits, “the excessive amounts of alcohol.”

Read the whole story here.

Harry and the Potters - “The Godfather”

And finally, if you wanna see a little wizard rock, head to Neumo’s for Harry and the Potters. From this week’s Underage:

In 2002, two brothers named Joe and Paul DeGeorge, also excited by the fantasy world of magic and Hogwarts, started a band called Harry and the Potters as a tribute to Rowling’s works. Over the past six years, they have become an internationally known success, singing songs based on the seven-book series to young Potter fans all over the world.

Nothing about the music is very impressive. Listening to the songs, there’s not one that stands out as more than pretty typical indie rock. And yet the band are wildly popular. Kids flocked to buy the books, they lined up for hours to see the movies, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they pack Neumo’s when the band come to Seattle on Wednesday, July 23, to see two geeky brothers dressed up as Harry Potter, singing goofy songs about riding dragons and skipping broom-flying practice.

There’s more! Click here to see it all.


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Halford and Little Pink Penises

posted by on July 22 at 6:42 PM

This in from Aye Jay and his Heavy Metal Activity Book in honor of tonight’s Priest show:

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(by: Johnny Ryan)

Disco, Not Disco

posted by on July 22 at 4:45 PM

I know TJ’s got the disco beat covered around these parts, but I just wanted to put in some short mentions of some disco-esque albums that I’ve had in rotation lately. Put these in your download queue, your wish list, or your torrent search site of choice, they’re all worth your time, modern updates to the disco sound.

Studio - Yearbook 2
The followup to last year’s West Coast (and Yearbook 1), Yearbook 2 is another compilation from the Swedish duo. While Yearbook 1 was a compilation of original productions, Yearbook 2 is a compilation of remixes, including tracks by Kylie Minogue and fellow Swedes the Shout Out Louds. Because the tracks are all remakes, it isn’t quite as cohesive as their earlier compilations, but for me it’s somehow more listenable, either because the additional vocals ground the songs in more traditional pop territory or because I listened to West Coast so much I just need a new fix. The former is most evident with the Shout Out Louds “Impossible,” the album’s easy standout, which optimistically turns the chorus of “impossible” into “it’s possible.” It’s the kind of song (and the kind of album) that makes bad days better (except for the Kylie track, which I skip more often than not).

Here’s the video:

(Note - this one’s going to be pricey since it’s only an import, but it’s so very very worth it.)

The other two albums after the jump:
Lindstrøm - Where You Go I Go Too
Black Devil Disco Club - Eight Oh Eight

Continue reading "Disco, Not Disco" »

Dro Bots: Sixteen Minute Saga

posted by on July 22 at 3:25 PM

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Dro Bots is the flowing story of 2 MCs - DRO BOY (Gatsby of Cancer Rising) & THE DEATH OF BRUCE ILLEST (DjblesOne). The two find themselves being transformed into intergalactic superhero practitioners. Listen as they set out on our decaying world to do some shit. Hear how they meet assholes along the way, like BARFLY the Swayze Candle Maker.

Gatsby says, “Dro Bots is kind of a punk rock-length concept EP, part instrumental, and all retarded. DJbles just hit the road to tour with Massive Monkees on Warped tour til September. If you want more free tunes from Djbles hit this.”

Check out the sixteen minute saga – here.

Listening to this will make sex better:

CHAPTER 1 - Reefers
CHAPTER 2 - Dro Bots Assimilation
CHAPTER 3 - Unemployment Deployment
CHAPTER 4 - Catch the Bus Part 1
CHAPTER 5 – Catch the Bus Part 2
CHAPTER 6 – Weed Murder (STARRING BARFLY)
CHAPTER 7 – Star Whores
CHAPTER 8 – Ascension into Funk Heaven
CHAPTER 9 – My Weed

M83 Returns to Seattle

posted by on July 22 at 1:40 PM

M83 just announced tour dates for the fall, they’ll be back in Seattle (playing Neumo’s) Tuesday, November 25th. Good news for anyone who missed their show back in May because of Sasquatch.

Read Trent Moorman’s review of the band’s last Seattle performance here.

See all tour dates after the jump.

Continue reading "M83 Returns to Seattle" »

Also Tonight in Music: Judas (Fucking) Priest

posted by on July 22 at 1:09 PM

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For once, “bobcat” is right. We must not forget that Judas (fucking) Priest is playing tonight at the WaMu Theater. Judas Priest, recall, is the band that taught us what a fine, fine line exists between metal tough guy machismo and leather daddy homosexuality. I think we could all—even “bobcat”—learn a thing or two from them.

And now, Atom and his Package performing “Hats Off to Halford”:

A Note to Our Readers

posted by on July 22 at 12:48 PM

When I took over as music editor here back in January, I naturally assumed I’d be hiring a writer, my replacement, for the music section. Well, it didn’t happen right away, but the Stranger is now bringing on another music writer, and it’s a name many Stranger readers will recognize: Dave Segal.

When I started with the Stranger, as an unpaid blogger, Segal was the music editor. In October of 2006, though, Segal was found to have committed an ethical violation, secretly allowing an employee from ad sales to write pseudonymously for Line Out and the music section (the separation of advertising and editorial is, even for the Stranger, important). As a result, Segal tendered his resignation as music editor, saying at the time that he had “made some wrong-headed decisions, for which I am truly sorry.” He continued to write for the section, most notably in his long running electronic music column, Data Breaker. In March of 2007, though, Segal left Seattle and the Stranger for the OC Weekly in Orange County, California.

Whatever Segal’s missteps as an editor, he remains an impeccable music writer—passionate, knowledgeable, diverse in his tastes—and so, after several rounds of musical chairs, we’re bringing him back as a staff writer. He’ll have no managerial responsibilities—to the point, he won’t be hiring any freelancers—but he’ll get to do what he’s best at, which is writing about music.

Best of all, no one’s getting let go to make room. Megan Seling will continue to write for the music section as well as the rest of the paper, but she’ll be transitioning to a new position that gives her more time to focus on Line Out and other exciting new serious Internet business.

Finally, a note from Segal:

As music editor of The Stranger in 2006, I made a poor decision, for which I am sorry and from which I learned a valuable lesson. Older and wiser (and chastened by 16 months of living in Orange County), I am extremely excited to be back in Seattle as music writer for The Stranger and I look forward to documenting and critiquing the developments in this fantastic music city.

Dave will be starting here in August. We couldn’t be more stoked.

Devendra Banhart - “Carmensita”

posted by on July 22 at 11:37 AM

This debut video from Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon comes 10 months after the record was released in stores, most likely created as an outlet for Banhart to brag about dating Natalie Portman.

Finding a Cure…Once Again

posted by on July 22 at 11:24 AM

Ashford & Simpson

It seems like a “Match made in Heaven” when it comes to Dimitri From Paris re-editing a classic Ashford & Simpson track. We saw the first example of this back in the year 2000, when Dimitri’s amazing re-edit of “Found A Cure” was included on A Night At The Playboy Mansion mix compilation, which happens to be a personal favorite of mine. Well earlier this year on a new Ashford & Simpson ‘best-of’ type of compilation, The Warner Bros. Years: Hits, Remixes & Rarities, we saw the two come together again with Dimitri this time re-editing the 1979 classic “Stay Free”. Even though the new edit of “Stay Free” isn’t quite as ripe for the prime moments on a dancefloor as “Found A Cure”, the more laid back edit is equally as good in my opinion. Dimitri does a nice job touching up and extending the finer moments of the original, making the song just right for those early hour dancefloor or coll-down mixes. Nice results again from this solid combination.

Download Dimitri From Paris’ re-edit of Ashford & Simpson’s 1979 classic Stay Free by visiting this site.

Playing the Capitol Hill Block Party: Three Different Post-Blood Brothers Projects

posted by on July 22 at 10:30 AM

Rumors about the Blood Brothers’ break-up started at last year’s Block Party (remember this post?). They turned out to be true, sadly, the Blood Brothers officially announced their break up in November (read their statement here).

But the band’s back together again for this year’s Block Party! Sorta. Every member of the Blood Brothers will be performing this weekend with their new bands. Jaguar Love features Johnny Witney and Cody Votolato; Champagne Champagne’s got Mark Gajadhar; and Past Lives got Gajadhar again along with Morgan Henderson and Jordan Blilie.

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JAGUAR LOVE

The rumors of a Blood Brothers breakup started at last year’s Block Party; those rumors turned out to be true. But the Blood Brothers are back this year in different incarnations: Jaguar Love are just one of three post–Blood Brothers acts on the bill (Champagne Champagne and Past Lives are right there with ’em). Former BB singer/cult leader Johnny Whitney and guitarist Cody Votolato have teamed up with ex–Pretty Girls Make Graves ax-man J Clark to produce a new kind of sonic freak-out, treading on poppier ground than BB ever dared. Their debut full-length will be released on Matador on August 19. (MEGAN SELING)

Jaguar Love play Saturday at Neumo’s at 6:30–7:15 pm.

Jaguar Love - “Bats Over the Pacific Ocean







Hear Jaguar Love here.

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CHAMPAGNE CHAMPAGNE

Champagne Champagne are the combination of DJ Gajamagic (aka Mark Gajadhar, former drummer for the Blood Brothers, currently drumming with Past Lives) and MC Pearl Dragon. Dragon spits pot smoke and fire—sometimes goofy, yes, but still hot. Gajamagic supplies ample beats, often supplementing them with live synths, melodica, percussion, scratching, and vocals. The group are also rounded out by genial, party-starting hypeman Thomas Gray. Like any newer group, their shows are still a little rough around the edges, more beat-heavy good time than pyrotechnic rapping, but that good time is without a doubt. (ERIC GRANDY)

Champagne Champagne play Friday at King Cobra at 8:30–9:15 pm.

Hear Champagne Champagne here.

pastlivesblue.jpgPhoto by Rustee Pace

PAST LIVES

Since their inception a few months back, Past Lives have been on a prodigious tear through most every venue in town, bringing their haunted, amphibian art punk to the people the old-fashioned way. Having arisen from the ashes of the recently dismantled Blood Brothers, Past Lives have easily and rapidly outpaced the shadow of their former band and are proving one of the shining new hopes of West Coast experimental rock. (SAM MICKENS)

Past Lives play Friday at Neumo’s at 6:15–7 pm.

Hear Past Lives here.

Visit www.thestranger.com/blockparty for all your Block Party needs.

Tonight in Music: Zizek Urban Beats Club, Joseph Arthur, Earlimart, Bullet for My Valentine

posted by on July 22 at 9:30 AM

Zizek Urban Beats Club, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Zizek Urban Beats Club
(MUSIC) Zizek Urban Beats Club is a weekly dance party and DJ collective in Buenos Aires, Argentina, that mixes music from around the globe—Berlin techno, Baltimore club, London grime—with South America’s world beat du jour, cumbia. But why the name Zizek? DJ Grant C. Dull explains: “One of the resident DJs, a philosophy student, loved how Zizek used elements of contemporary culture and ‘mashed them up’ with classical thought to create something fresh and new, similar to what we are doing with music.” (Nectar Lounge, 412 N 36th St, 632-2020. 9 pm, $10, 21+.) Eric Grandy

Read more about Zizek Urban Beats Club in this week’s Bug in the Bassbin.

Joseph Arthur - Rehearsing “Rages of Babylon”
Joseph Arthur, Anna Ternheim
(Triple Door) Over the last several months, singer/songwriter and visual artist Joseph Arthur has released a flurry of recorded material on his own Lonely Astronaut label—four EPs since March, leading to a full-length coming in September. Each of the EPs is diverse in both mood and style. (March’s Could We Survive showcased the raw urgency of his earliest albums, while April’s Crazy Rain incorporated lots of beats.) Arthur has also been busy on the visual-art front, opening the Museum of Modern Arthur, his gallery space in Brooklyn. In the live-music arena, his performances are a sight to behold; he lays down loops prior to each song, creating the backing vocals and rhythm parts which, added to the “live,” make for completely unique performances. KATHLEEN WILSON
Earlimart - “Burning the Cow”
Earlimart, the Capillaries
(Chop Suey) Like the quiet kid in the back of class, Earlimart don’t immediately demand your attention, but once you start noticing, you realize that their quiet charm is a hell of a lot more interesting than the class clown. Hymn and Her, the duo’s latest album, is full of hazy beauty and lovely boy/girl harmonies that seem to float together over the music. The result feels like blissfully drifting down a river on a hot summer day in the central San Joaquin Valley, where the band take their name from, cold beverage in hand and no worries or distractions to ruin the perfect moment. BARBARA MITCHELL

bulletvalentine.jpg

Bullet for My Valentine, Bleeding Through, Cancer Bats
(Showbox Sodo) The New York Dolls introduced glam to the underground in 1973. By 1989, the Dolls were eclipsed by chart-topping glam metal acts like Dangerous Toys. That same year, Gorilla Biscuits and Youth of Today were playing Sunday matinee shows at CBGBs. Strangely enough, people still give a shit about Lower Eastside hardcore bands while the majority of the ’80s Metal Circus poster boys are relegated to obscurity. But those New York hardcore bands helped usher in current mainstream trash like Bullet for My Valentine. As we speak, in some basement or dive bar, a far more interesting band is playing, and 15 to 20 years from now we’ll be talking about them instead of Bullet for My Valentine. BRIAN COOK

Hear Bullet for My Valentine here.


Monday, July 21, 2008

More Delia Derbyshire…

posted by on July 21 at 5:54 PM

Paul scooped me on this one (see below) so I’ll provide a few extra links. First, Delia beat matching … probably sometime around the Summer of Love.

I like to think this video gives a little weight to Brian Eno’s suggestion (can’t find the reference) that the invention of the digital sampler was merely a mechanical innovation, as opposed to an aesthetic or functional one. Tape Loops 4 Eva!

More of Ms. Derbyshire’s work can be heard at her “official website.”

P.S. The original Doctor Who theme song is sublime. Fact.

On the Weird Secret Lost Invention of Dance Music

posted by on July 21 at 4:49 PM

Delia Derbyshire, who composed the original Dr. Who theme song, may have inadvertently created dance music twenty years before its modern invention. Some of Derbyshire’s lost tapes have been found and this not-even-minute-long track does sound maybe twenty years ahead of its time.

Full story at the BBC.

Fourteen Bands - One Night: Inbred

posted by on July 21 at 4:23 PM

The Toy Box High Dive Extravaganza went off last night. Fourteen bands, one night. Many people played in multiple bands. Seattle musical inbreeding at its best. Aqueduct drummer Chris Whitten sat in with the Catch. Kimo Muraki and Jeremy Lightfoot multiplied themselves and their outfits. Shawn Smith sang with Supersonic Soul Pimps and With Friends Like These and With Friends Like These also backed Michael Clark. The backline was provided by S.I.R. and the change-overs flowed for the most part. The only way to do a night like that is to share gear.

My highlight was Matt Shaw’s vocals for With Friends Like These. He hits it all, through the wall. Hearing him on the CD is impressive, but it leaves you wondering how he’ll do it live. Seeing him live leaves you needing to hear him do it again.

WFLT:

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HighDiveG.JPG

Mass Sugar:

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HighDiveOutside.JPG

The Catch:

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17th Chapter:

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HighDiveGreenRoom.JPG

The Fun Years

posted by on July 21 at 4:00 PM

The Fun Years are playing a free in store at Wall of Sound Records (315 E Pine St) in, like, an hour. Stop by and check out this moody, trance-inducing turntable and baritone guitar duo. Their Web site offers awesome, in-obtrusive ringtones for download! Here is some of their artwork (also awesome).

Barcelona at Neumo’s

posted by on July 21 at 1:17 PM

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by lorilovesyouu

Diesel Hosts In-Store DJ Sets During Block Party

posted by on July 21 at 1:10 PM

While they’re in town for Block Party, some of your favorite rockstars are going to play DJ at the Downtown Diesel store (1503 Fifth Ave). Sets will take place between 4 and 7 pm.

The schedule goes like this:

Friday July 25
DJ Sets By:
Syd Butler of Les Savy Fav
Tad Kubler of The Hold Steady
The Dodos

Saturday July 26
DJ Sets By:
The Builders and The Butchers
Steed Lord
Devotchka
Colby B

Visit www.diesel-u-music.com for more info about the in-stores; visit www.thestranger.com/blockparty for more information about the Capitol Hill Block Party.

Master Musicians of Jajouka Denied Visa, Cancel Shows

posted by on July 21 at 11:50 AM

Here’s what Sam Mickens wrote about tomorrow night’s scheduled, now cancelled show at Neumo’s:

The Master Musicians of Jajouka

(Neumo’s) The Master Musicians of Jajouka are the keepers of one of the most exquisitely unique and ancient musical traditions in the world. Having resided in the same severely isolated mountain community in Morocco for centuries, the generations of the Master Musicians make an ocean of wailing, mind-rattling sound unmoored from the shores of either European or Asiatic musical convention. Having become the object of adoration and investigation by William S. Burroughs, Paul Bowles, Brian Jones, and, most recently, Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth, the group have inevitably found themselves in more and more frequent exchange with the rest of the globe. While these developments are inevitable and have had proven potential for exciting cross-pollinations, many believe that this may be the last generation of the Master Musicians’ existence. SAM MICKENS

And here’s the press release about Homeland Security keeping us safe from the Master Musicians:

BACHIR ATTAR & THE MASTER MUSICIANS OF JAJOUKA DENIED ENTRY INTO UNITED STATES

TOUR DATES AND KEYNOTE ADDRESS CANCELLED

The legendary Moroccan musical group *The Master Musicians of Jajouka*, led by *Bachir Attar*, had to cancel their July 2008 US tour dates this week due to highly unusual delays in the issuance of their US visas.

Although the group’s US visa petition was approved by the Department of Homeland Security, and they were granted P3 status which is only awarded to “culturally unique artists,” nonetheless we have been informed that several of the group members’ names were *similar* to those on a Department of Justice “watchlist” and that *therefore the additional processing time for the delivery of their visas would take 3 months* after their US consular interview. The normal processing time for issuance of visas post-consular interview (the final stage in obtaining the actual physical visa) is 24 hours in most cases, and perhaps a few days to a week in unusual circumstances.

*Bachir Attar* was scheduled to give a keynote speech at the *Concert of Colors Festival* in Detroit, which had to be cancelled along with a major performance. Shows in Seattle and New York City were cancelled as well, creating a severe financial burden for the tour.

*Bachir Attar and the Master Musicians* have been internationally recognized and highly acclaimed for over four decades and have performed and recorded with *Brian Jones, the Rolling Stones, Ornette Coleman, Lee Ranaldo, Donovan, Deborah Harry, Talvin Singh*, and many other high-profile musicians. Artists as diverse as *Paul Bowles, William Burroughs, Brion Gysin, *and* Robert Palmer *have written extensively about the group’s utterly unique and ancient music, which can be traced back literally
thousands of years.

This action sends a discouraging message to those who take the financial risk entailed in promoting and producing music from outside the United States, but the ultimate losers are listeners in the United States, whose access to world culture in recent years has been restricted.

These highly regarded, internationally recognized artists, who have been active for decades, who are acknowledged as “culturally unique” by the US government, and who have no known criminal record, should not be subject to such unusual and unfair security scrutiny *after their visa petition has been already been approved*.

In common with the arts community nation-wide, we feel that the US visa application process is opaque and needlessly confusing, and we call for greater transparency and accountability.

Refunds for tomorrow night’s show are available at point of purchase.

Today’s Music News

posted by on July 21 at 11:18 AM

Dancing baby: Mother sues Prince over home video controversy

Apparently Lydon is sick of PIL questions: Johnny Rotten accused of racism and violence against singer of Bloc Party

Have you forgotten?: China cracks down on foreign performers

At least felons still buy music: Music retailers find hot market in prisons

Country music fans and their discerning tastes: Jessica Simpson booed off stage at Country Thunder USA festival

Playing the Capitol Hill Block Party: Black Whales, Abe Vigoda, Grand Ole Party

posted by on July 21 at 11:11 AM

We all know Vampire Weekend, the Hold Steady, Devotchka, and Girl Talk will be here this week, but there are dozens of other bands on the Block Party line-up that shouldn’t go ignored.

Like…

blackwhales.jpg

BLACK WHALES

Black Whales are a new band with some members of old bands like the Catheters, Tallbirds, Tourist, and Spacesuit. Like many acts in this city, they’re reviving a sound that could’ve been born during a back-porch jam session fueled by whiskey and tambourines—but they beef up their foot-stomping folk with some classic rock guitar and the rough edges of early garage. They’ve got that folk feeling, but with a little more attitude and swagger.

Black Whales play the King Cobra stage Friday at 4–4:30 pm. Hear them via MySpace here.

grandparty.jpg

GRAND OLE PARTY

Grand Ole Party are, in fact, a party, fueled by bluesy riffs and head-rattling bass. Frontwoman Kristin Gundred is both the drummer and the sexy siren belting out lyrics like: “I must be the devil’s daughter, what a dark father to dwell in me.” She’s a female Jack White. But hotter.

Grand Ole Party play the Vera stage Saturday at 9–9:45 pm.

Grand Ole Party - “Look Out Young Son






abevigoda.jpg

ABE VIGODA

L.A.’s Abe Vigoda have a sound that will sit nicely with fans of local rock trio Talbot Tagora, who are also playing the Block Party. Just like TT, Abe Vigoda craft songs that magically waiver between messy blasts and surprisingly well-structured nods to post punk (which has been regurgitated so many times, it usually sounds watered down, artless, and shallow). Their sound succeeds on one part talent and one part youthful enthusiasm.

Abe Vigoda play the Vera Stage Friday at 5:15–6 pm.

Abe Vigoda - “Dead City/Waste Wilderness






Want to win two weekend passes to the Block Party? Listen to this week’s Setlist to find out how!

How Stoked is Jonathan Golob About the New TV on the Radio Album?

posted by on July 21 at 11:10 AM

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TV on the Radio’s new album, due out September 23rd on Interscope, will be called Dear Science,. Will there be songs about raw milk? Will the band appear on the Dear Science podcast? Will Golob finally explain why my radio doesn’t get television signals? We’ll see…

TV on the Radio play the Showbox on September 6th

Minus the Bear - “Throwin’ Shapes” (live on Jimmy Kimmel)

posted by on July 21 at 11:03 AM

Tonight in Music: Wyclef Jean

posted by on July 21 at 10:50 AM

The Fugees - “Zealots” (Live)
Wyclef Jean
(Showbox at the Market) Goddamn is it easy to hate on Wyclef. Homedude has been on the corniest shitspiral since The Score, and there’s no pulling out of it, Maverick. I mean, if you’re still buying Clef’s shit, I got some Spearhead CDs to sell you, too. BUT! I nonetheless salute the dude—he’s been determined for years to help remedy the state of his native Haiti, and for that he should be commended; Haiti is for sure high up on the long list of nations that the U.S. has mercilessly raw-dogged in the last century. While Wyclef the musician no longer does anything for me, Wyclef the humanitarian is the man—but if he busts “Zealots,” shit, that’s charity in itself. LARRY MIZELL JR.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Heckfest ‘08

posted by on July 20 at 2:27 PM

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Photo by Victoria Anderson.

A friend and I trekked up to Anacortes yesterday to take in the festivities put on by Know Yr Own and friends. We started at the yard sale at the Department of Safety, where Karl Blau recommended Steve Reich and Leonard Cohen albums to a young man perusing the boxes of LPs culled from Mr. Blau’s collection. Then we headed over to Shipwreck Day, the ginormous rummage and antique sale that engulfs Commercial Ave. one Saturday a year, and where you can buy anything from crab pots to ashtrays made of moose hooves. Shipwreck kicks my ass every year. By the time I reach the last stretch of vendors, I don’t even know what I’m looking at, but I can’t stop until I’ve scrutinized every stall.

Anyway, we got a picnic lunch at Safeway and took it to Causland Park, where a free, outdoor show had been going on since noon. After spreading our newly-purchased quilt in the sun, we watched Alex Mayhem (or Mayhan? Whatever, Mayhem is more appropriate) who was a surprise guest from London, couldn’t tune his guitar, stopped midway through all his songs to change the key, did a charming cover of “Human Highway” by Neil Young, and exhorted the audience to chant “Whoomp! There it is!” after each song in lieu of clapping.

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