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Archives for 08/03/2008 - 08/09/2008

Saturday, August 9, 2008

That Late Nineties Chicago Sound

posted by on August 9 at 11:40 AM

One of my favorite music scenes – practically a genre unto itself – is what the Kinsella brothers and their associates were doing in Chicago about a decade ago. American Football, Owls, Ghosts and Vodka: They had their own unique sound that’s never really been duplicated. It’s fitting that a week after doing an interview with Mike Kinsella and asking him about his old bands that I should finally see a new band that has managed to brilliantly recreate that forgotten sound. It’s easy enough to tell from the songs Rooftops posted on their Myspace that they count those Chicago groups among their top influences, but since those recordings they’ve added a third guitarist, a low-end rhythm guitarist, moving them away from just a trebly tap-fest and more towards sonically balanced songwriting. The result is something I couldn’t want more: Their set last night at the Blue Moon was like a time machine to a music scene I was too young to see or appreciate when it was actually around. Here were four dudes with the skills and sensibilities to legitimately follow in the vein of American Football. Like I mentioned in my preview of this show yesterday, I’d seen members of Rooftops in previous Bellingham bands over the years, but I’ve never been so thoroughly impressed by them as I was last night. The set didn’t go without its share of snags (apparently when you’re really good at playing guitar it goes massively out of tune by the end of every song and requires extensive knob-twiddling), but Rooftops are still a very young band. Two of the band members are actually young: Guitarist Drew Fitchette is only 18 and drummer Wendelin Wohlgemuth is 20 (he was in another solid Seattle group, In Praise of Folly). Rooftops rest squarely on the right side of being influenced by a scene without ripping it off, of carrying on a forgotten sound without marring its memory. I can’t wait until they have a proper recording.

Friday, August 8, 2008

“Rolling Stones classic wakes grandfather from coma”

posted by on August 8 at 2:27 PM

Sam Carter lost consciousness after contracting severe anaemia but was brought back to life when “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” was blared into his ears.

The anthem was the first single the retired baker from Stoke in Staffordshire ever bought, released in 1965 when he was just 17.

Despite only being given a 30 per cent chance of survival, he woke from his coma after his wife Eva, 65, took the doctor’s advice and played him his favourite tunes through a set of earphones.

After three days of listening to the local Stoke station Signal 2, his eyes opened as soon as he heard the sound of Mick Jagger’s vocals and Keith Richards’ guitar riff.

Read the whole story here, courtesy of the Daily Telegraph, and thanks to Line Out tipster my dad.

To quote Romenesko, it’s the feel-good story of the day.

Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band

posted by on August 8 at 2:16 PM

by kjten22

Also Tonight: The Americas, Rooftops, and Athens At Dawn @ Blue Moon

posted by on August 8 at 1:15 PM


My, there are several good shows tonight. If you’re into watching people who are really good at playing their instruments then you should probably head down to the Blue Moon (the fact that shows there are always free helps make the decision easier, right?). Opening are the Bellingham band Rooftops, who’s guitarist Mark Detrick blew my mind repeatedly during my college years up north in the bands Lands Farther East and Treasures. Rooftops play precise, melodic math rock in the vein of old Don Cab, Owls, and Maps and Atlases, and are certain to remind you several times during their set that you will never be able to play guitar like them.


Santa Rosa, CA’s the Americas are a two piece rock outfit with one of the most incredible manimals of a drummer alive, Casey Deitz. Though the Americas have operated for several years under the radar of much critical attention, you may recognize Deitz from his other band the Velvet Teen, which he joined in 2004. He’s the type of musician that can make an already good band great, as demonstrated with the Velvet Teen’s last record Cum Laude. The Americas are more high energy and spastic than TVT, and offer Deitz more opportunities to go totally bat shit on his drum kit.

Jungle Drums & Wild Fantasies

posted by on August 8 at 11:31 AM

Wild Fantasy's 1978 Jungle Drums LP

I recently came across Wild Fantasy’s 1978 disco classic Jungle Drums, and I have to admit I haven’t been able to put the record down since. This classic album was produced by Tony Hiller of Brotherhood Of Man fame. The record contains amazing dancefloor friendly cuts including “Gypsy Lady”, “Africa”, “Get It On”, and “Africa”. I first found out about the group when I found a twelve-inch version of “Africa” for about two dollars and thought it was worth giving it a listen. When it comes to disco, any song or artist with the word “fantasy” and “Africa” included, I find, generally means it’s going to be good. This is definitely one of those times that the previous statement is absolutely true, with Wild Fantasy releasing a disco masterpiece in Jungle Drums.

Download songs from Wild Fantasy’s 1978 classic disco LP “Jungle Drums” by visiting this site.

Tonight in Music: Dolly Parton, Devin the Dude, Drag the River, Duff McKagan’s Loaded, and more

posted by on August 8 at 10:29 AM

(See what I did there? To go with Dolly’s DDs)

(And that’s a really classy photo compared to what I could show you.)

Dolly Parton
Lady Jesus

“It takes a lot of money to look this cheap!” chirps Dolly, forever casting herself as Daisy Duke with a gee-tar. It’s a ruse—a genius one—masking this hayride hussie’s stature as one of America’s great singer-songwriters. Beyond the voice and eternal songbook, Parton is the rare great artist who is also a great celebrity—her sexy-Muppet-with-a-heart-of-gold shtick was inverting sexploitation when Madonna was still in diapers—and even the shortest list of true American originals (Bob Dylan, Muhammad Ali, Buster Keaton) simply must include Dolly Parton. (WaMu Theater, 1000 Occidental Ave S, 8 pm, $39.50–$85 David Schmader

Devin the Dude is coming to Neumo’s, along with Portland’s own backbone, King Cool Nutz, as well as Neema, J Mar, D.Black, and the Parker Brothaz,” notes Larry Mizell Jr. in this week’s My Philosophy.

J Mar’s output so far is nothing but promising and I look forward to his upcoming Be a G About It, representing lovely for that Du4Self. D.Black’s upcoming Rejuvenation is, from the sample I got to hear, going to be fuuucking sick—and if you’re up on these here 206 internets, you know the Life just leaked like nine heatery unreleased tracks from Black himself to whet appetites. If you ain’t know, get your blogs up!

Drag the River - The Best of Times

Drag the River, Tumbledown, Mike D & the Loyal Bastards, Simon & Go Fuck Yourself

(Jules Maes) Every punk needs to learn a little history. Music didn’t start in 1977. That rebellious breed of outsider musical art can be traced back to the early 20th century. And it seems that more and more disenfranchised folks are taking note. They’re looking back to America’s roots. They’re embracing that Woody Guthrie creed: All you need is two chords, and the rest is just showing off. Drag the River, like any respectable ragged Americana act, understand that lineage. Yes, the world is a fucked up place, but rather than lashing out through distortion and Marshall full-stacks, unplug that guitar and lay those sentiments bare. Every bitter young ruffian should take note: There’s no better vehicle for your ire than a folk song. BRIAN COOK

Loaded, People Eating People, Flight to Mars (El Corazón) Nouela Johnston first flaunted her siren’s pipes in the electrifying blues-punk trio Mon Frere. After the band broke up, Johnston continued to play around town, filling in where needed (including a stint on keyboards with charming pop outfit Say Hi), all the while quietly working on solo material. She finally debuted her new songs a month or two ago under the name People Eating People. It’s quite a change from what she was doing with Mon Frere—she’s at the piano again, but now the songs are stripped down, allowing her stellar voice to take the lead in smoky, vintage lounge ballads and infectious piano parlor pop. MEGAN SELING
(If you search “people eating people” on YouTube, you get a bunch of cannibalism videos. Enough said.)

Continue reading "Tonight in Music: Dolly Parton, Devin the Dude, Drag the River, Duff McKagan's Loaded, and more" »

Devin the Dude!

posted by on August 8 at 10:21 AM

GO TO THIS SHOW! Also check out the interview we did last time he was here…


posted by on August 8 at 9:56 AM

To celebrate the 8, Manchester’s Acid House kings, 808 State, have announced the remaster/reissue treatment in deluxe 2CD format.

London/Manchester, 8.08.08

The date of this press release is no coincidence! On 8.08.08, ZTT announces four deluxe reissues from one of the UK’s most important electronic outfits - 808 State - celebrating the band’s 20th anniversary, the 20th anniversary of acid house, and the 25th anniversary of ZTT itself. (Release date for all four is 06.10.2008)

The four albums getting reissued are: 808:90, EX:EL, Gorgeous and Don Solaris. Gorgeous is probably my favorite 808 State album but EX:EL has been imprinted on my brain permanently. Cubik, In Yer Face, Olympic, Spanish Heart, Oops…they all feel like nursery rhymes or ancient scrolls. Perhaps I just mean classic.

In honor of this day and the start of the Olympics, 808 State - Olympic

Today’s Music News

posted by on August 8 at 8:31 AM

Just buy vinyl instead: New mp3 store operates on the In Rainbows model

Thanks, Fleet Foxes: J. Tillman’s albums get released digitally

The greatest and the not so greatest: Jay Z announces new album; disses Noel Gallagher

Calvin Johnson would make a hot contestant: Mirah’s album sales boosted by reality show

Jubilee: New side project features members of NIN, QOTSA, and Tool

88 By: Multiplied, Membranous

posted by on August 8 at 8:08 AM


Los Angeles, CA: The day has arrived. 8/8/08. It’s 8:08 AM. I post and wait for a cab. In twelve hours 88 drummers will play at the La Brea Tar Pits for 88 minutes. As stupid as it sounds, many will be one. How on will it be? Why do Boredoms do this? What’s this pluralized sound? What’s with numerology? How complex will the beats be? What does Nike have to do with it?

Conductor EYE will be syncing psyches and the drumming mind’s-eye, multiplied 88 times. I am drummer 56, one of the outer electrons of the shell. I have my snare, my kick pedal, my cymbals, and sticks. I have brushed my teeth. The rest is supposed to be there. I’m ready to get clear wide. Ready to uncoil some kinetic beast with membranous wings and hover. I’m ready to let it lean and list if it wants. I’m also ready to bang this shit home.

The schedule as it has been communicated to me is:

9:00 AM: Drummer Arrival
9:30 AM: Drummers Load In
9:30 AM: Drum Build
10:30 AM: Drummers Meeting - All Drummers Present
11:00/TBD: Drums Taken Out To Field
12:00 PM: Lunch Break (lunch provided)
1:45 PM: Sound Check
2:15 PM: Full Rehearsal
4:00 PM: Rehearsal Ends
5:00 PM: Doors
7:15 PM: Drummer Meeting / Final Adjustments
8:08 PM: Piece Beings (s.i.c.)
9:36 PM: Piece Ends
9:45 PM: Load Out Drums
9:46 PM: Chug Liquid Beer (just kidding, I put that in there)

From 10 to 10:30 AM we are not supposed to move from our set up spot. We are not supposed to play. They need a bit of quiet to organize everything.

Lastly they reminded us to go to the bathroom before the piece starts.

Speaking of bathrooms. In the airport on the way here, I went before boarding the plane. I was thinking about the symbol the BoaDrum organizers are using. The winding vortex symbol, it’s the way the drummers will be arranged. Then in the urinal, I saw a little winding vortex symbol. I wasn’t imagining it. It’s in all the urinals. I know I’m excited about this, but look, there are even BoaPissers. Seriously, what is that? Like the Hit It Here Cafe at Safeco? Pee here, and your urinating experience will be splashless:


List of all drummers after the jump.

Continue reading "88 By: Multiplied, Membranous" »

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Skream @ Nectar

posted by on August 7 at 5:09 PM


The best and worst part about dubstep is its one, long, ‘2001’-monolith-like bass creep into the horizon, and it can start to feel like it has just a single sound and point to it all.

Skream, from Croydon, meanwhile, crumples up the problem by injecting everything with a sense of genuine pleasure, a restless enthusiasm for the new, and an impatience for another English dance subculture potentially headed towards a creative lockstep feedback-loop.

If most of dubstep is slow and intent, Skream is a prolific splatter-shot of paint in strobe, alive and young — and inventive — where others are old, serious, and obsessed with death.

Tonight’s warm-up includes Seattle’s Zacharia, who does a nice enough if front-heavy low-build, and San Francisco’s Roommate, who gives the night a bit of a mixed-results hip-hop vibe.

But the last time we were in front of Skream was in London, and the crowd is now, in a comforting way, still up for it. The place is packed. “Not bad for a Wednesday night,” someone says. People swarm around when Skream takes the decks, and soon the place is all snapped photos, laughs with strangers, and knees-up dances to the bass and whoosh. Some yell along to their favorite tracks and it’s hard not to like it.

SkreamThe set’s long and we hear everything from the worried “Wobble That Gut,” with sounds like an air-raid for insects, to Caspa’s murderous remix of TC’s “Where’s My Money,” Skream’s hollowed-out rejig of Klaxons’ “Not Over Yet,” the classic “Ghost Town” by The Specials, Skream’s work with Warrior Queen, a couple of new ones, and Skream’s own “Midnight Request Line” (twice), which helped define the genre.

It’s not Skream’s best night. There are loads of technical problems and he apologizes for “being a bit bumpy.”

Even at half-speed, though, he does well. Skream is thin and a bit of a geek, which is a good sign, and the actual records are crisp and nasty, always sounding modern and often sliced to pieces with extreme bass and harsh-but-open-armed highlights, while the BPMs are bashed up and down to keep the energy aloft.

Skream’s often brutal, but he’s got a massive ear for a tune.

You can hear how one of dubstep’s champions — dubstep’s most important champion — is never satisfied with a single sound. A single trick or palette. He pushes and pulls the genre tonight, managing to be, like the musicians that matter, both experimental and popular.

While Coki, Scorn, Kromestar, Warlock, Synkro, Unitz, Toasty Boy, Benga, and Burial have good ideas, Skream has them all.

Dubstep, and dance music, would be a worse place without him.

KEXP DJ Troy Nelson Speaks, and Gurgles

posted by on August 7 at 1:32 PM

KEXP DJ Troy Nelson is interviewed here about what goes on in the world of a late night DJ. Who’s calling KEXP at 4:30 in the morning? Troy has saved some of those calls and shows us. Has this KEXP thing gone to his head? What does he do to get ready for his show?

The KEXP BBQ is this Saturday on the lawn behind South Lake Union Discovery Center. Troy will not be gurgling.

(Video edited by Black Daisy.)

Tonight in Music: Zs, Guilty Pleasures Cover Night

posted by on August 7 at 11:33 AM

Zs - “New Slave”
Zs, Wildildlife, Weird Lords, Capillary Action
(Comet) A night of stirringly unusual rock music, this bill includes the more cerebral Zs and Capillary Action. Recently pared down to a trio, NYC’s Zs are a compositional juggernaut, bending their rhythmically rigorous, note-stuffed pieces into thrilling and emotional shapes. They embody the most effective elements of both New Complexity and punk rock, and will truly knock your dick in the dirt. Capillary Action, another bastion of avant rock futurism, recently relocated to Seattle and are already on a tireless campaign of local ascendancy. SAM MICKENS
Joe Esposito - You’re the Best Around (My guilty pleasure)
Guilty Pleasures Cover Night: Massy Ferguson, Sean Bates, Thee Threats, C’est la Mort, Life in a Blender, the X-Ray Eyes, Mike Danner, Dischordia, Three Legged Dog, the Moonspinners, Holly Grigsby, the Harborrats, Black Swedes, Sean Nelson
(Tractor) In the world of guilty pleasures, there are two kinds of people. There are those who keep their guilty-pleasure songs secret, holding them close to their heart and never sharing with anyone what embarrassing sonic gems make them truly happy. Then there are those who are out and proud—shamelessly flaunting the fact that, fuck yeah, they love “Irreplaceable” (“to the left/to the left”) and they don’t care who knows it (I’m more the latter, usually). Tonight’s show, a benefit for 826 Seattle, is an ode to all those treasures that music snobbery has deemed guilty pleasures. Local artists including Sean Nelson, Massy Ferguson, and C’est Le Morte will pay tribute to their favorite embarrassments by covering them live, in public, for the world to hear. The evening is sure to be full of surprises. And someone better play some goddamn Avril Lavigne. MEGAN SELING

Read what David Schmader has to say about tonight’s ode to guilty pleasures here.

See everything else that’s happening tonight here.

Re: “Is M.I.A. a Terrorist?”

posted by on August 7 at 10:54 AM


Pitchfork has M.I.A.’s response to the ridiculous (and tired) “Is M.I.A. a terrorist?” meme (which gets even more ridiculous in these comments):

“I don’t support terrorism and never have,” she wrote in a statement. “As a Sri Lankan that fled war and bombings, my music is the voice of the civilian refugee. Frankly, I am not trying to start dialogue with someone who is really just seeking self-promotion.”

Because exploiting geopolitical strife for self-promotion is anathema to M.I.A. (JK! Because at least M.I.A. self-promotes worthwhile art.)

Jay Z and Kanye West - “Jockin’ Jay Z”

posted by on August 7 at 9:40 AM

This is pretty exciting, even with the Rick Rubinesque rock stuff and the “Wonderwall” biting (Jay Z out-rocking Shop Boyz?):

BLUEPRINT 3 from kwest on Vimeo.

Update: Does anyone else think Jay-Z should kind of be above feuding with Oasis in 2008?

Guilty Pleasures

posted by on August 7 at 9:38 AM


I don’t believe in guilty pleasures, at least not how they’re commonly considered. Who actually feels guilty about enjoying, say, ABBA? Enjoying ABBA is not a guilty pleasure, collecting Hitler’s paintings is.

Despite my lack of guilt, I completely understand loving ridiculous music, and tonight at the Tractor Tavern, a 15 bands and solo musicians will bang out their favorite ridiculous songs at the Guilty Pleasures Cover Night, which is also a benefit for the nonprofit writing center 826 Seattle.

The list of performers, as of yesterday: Sean Nelson, Massy Ferguson, The MoonSpinners, Sean Bates, Lesli Wood of Ms. Led, The X-Ray Eyes, The BlackSwedes, 3 Legged Dog, Holly Grigsby, Mike Danner, Life in a Blender, C’est La Morte, The Harborrats, and Dischordia.

Their chosen songs are unknown, at least until tonight, when Guilty Pleasure Cover Night kicks off at 9pm, cover is $10, and all proceeds go to 826.

(My personal song-choice fantasies: Lesli Wood doing “Mr. Roboto” (or “One Night in Bangkok”!) and Sean Nelson crooning an utterly beautiful acoustic “One in a Million.”)

Today’s Music News

posted by on August 7 at 7:17 AM

The Notorious K.I.M.: Dead body found at Lil Kim party

A Seattle institution: Damien Jurado announces new album and tour

Positive body images: Beth Ditto naked

More moping: New Morrissey album postponed

Wish I was Dutch: Neurosis host Beyond The Pale festival in Holland

Thin the herd: At All Costs break up

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

King Cobra: “Alive and Well,” Still For Sale

posted by on August 6 at 4:45 PM

Some clarification to an item in my column this week: The craigslist ad cited in the column does not belong to King Cobra, according to owner Jamie Garza, who responded to inquiries after press time. Since announcing the club was for sale, he says King Cobra has received “tons of response from interested investors. We’re still in negotiations with some.” He says potential investors could buy “1/3, 1/2, or all” of the club, adding that “King Cobra is alive and well.”

The Corpse Isn’t Even Cold

posted by on August 6 at 3:59 PM


Do you fondly recall the remix of Elvis’ “A Little More Satisfaction” and the 1997 era of big-beat techno? Have you been wondering just what the guys behind The Sopranos’ theme song have been up to? Do you think Snoop Dogg needs to rival Diddy in the “ruining old music” department? Do you hate yourself?

Then you’ll surely get a three-fourths over Cash Remixed, set for release in October but now streaming at First bad sign? The tunes stream in the cumbersome RealPlayer format.

The only song that gets out relatively unscathed is “Folsom Prison Blues,” its basic instrumentation left mostly intact with a Pete Rock beat crazy-glued on top. But otherwise, this album will give new meaning to “no stars” and “0.0” review scores. “I Heard That Lonesome Whistle Blow” has been run through a trip-hop grinder to sound like a B-side from The Saint’s soundtrack. “Rock Island Line” collides with percussion straight out of a Jock Jam. “Sugartime” has been trampled by the ghost of Kid Rock’s midget. But nothing-no-nothing is worse than Snoop Dogg turning “I Walk The Line” into a G-Funk duet, inserting 16 bars, Death Row-style vocoder, and plenty of interrupting mumbles (“tell ‘em why, Johnny”) and “uh”s into the song.

I’d like to say the result of the Snoop duet is funny, but it breaks my heart. Johnny Cash did so much to unearth new meaning in older pop and rock songs in his American series, and his estate deserves nothing as low as this “turn in kind.” How odd that people saw the song title “Leave That Junk Alone” and didn’t come to their senses. Sorry, Johnny.

Love In Indigo

posted by on August 6 at 3:33 PM

Escort -Love In Indigo

It’s safe to say that Brooklyn based disco group Escort is one of my favorite bands to come out over the past few years. Over the past few years they have been releasing some amazing twelve inch singles including “Starlight”, “Bright New Life”, and “All Through the Night”. However, lately I’ve been finding myself getting back into, after not hearing for a while, maybe their most underrated single “Love in Indigo”, which was the groups second release back in 2006. I actually got to see the group about a year ago in San Francisco and “Love in Indigo” was the song I enjoyed the most live. If your one of the few people that haven’t caught on to this group, which features about fifteen members to make up a small orchestra of percussion, strings, horns, vocals, bass, and guitar instruments, I highly recommend picking up one of their four singles. The rumor has it that the group is actually working on a full-length album, however no date for a release has been given. Regardless, I’ll probably dropping a couple of classic Escort cuts later on this evening at Havana for your enjoyment!

Download Escort’s 2006 single “Love in Indigo” by visiting this site.


posted by on August 6 at 3:19 PM


How can this be missed? Badu’s “Master Teacher,” which is on her superb new album New Amerykah Part One (4th World War), owes everything to Plato:

I am in the search of something new
(a beautiful world im trying to find)
Searchin’ me,
Searching inside of you
And thats fo’ real

What if it were no niggaz
Only master teachers?
I stay woke
What if there was no niggaz
Only master teachers?
I stay woke
What if it was no niggaz only master teachers now?
I stay woke

Searching for a “beautiful world” that’s “hard to find”? What if there were only “master teachers” and “no niggaz”? “I stay woke”? Has Badu been reading The Republic? This tune is an R&B translation of Plato’s chief concerns: the third wave (philosopher kings), the cave and ship allegory, and the establishment of a guardian class.

“What if it were no niggaz [hoi polli/doxa/commoners/common opinions]/Only master teachers [philosophers/truth/alitheia/forms]/I stay woke [I stay authentic/aware/in a state of thavmazo, philosophical wonder].” Badu’s beautiful world is Plato’s world of forms. Amazing.


Total Fest VII: DIY Elk Jerky

posted by on August 6 at 1:00 PM


It’s Total Fest time. What is Total Fest you say? Total Fest is a three day music festival in Missoula, Montana. A mere seven hours away, Total Fest attendees camp and consume. Some people hike. Forty bands provide rock action. Beer is made and celebrated. A river is floated down. There’s a music swap at an ice-cream parlor. BBQ? Yes. Nudity? Maybe. Sun? Music and fun? Guaranteed like Grade A Top Choice tofu dogs or sirloin. Friday and Saturday are ALL AGES.

When: August 14-16. Record Swap is Aug. 16.
Where: the Badlander / Palace in Missoula, and Big Dipper Ice Cream.
How much: $35 three-day passes for 18+, $25 two-day (Fri.-Saturday) passes for all-ages.

In Russia, there is family of tightrope walkers by the name of Wallendah. The Wallendahs are a quiet bunch. The skill of tightrope walking is nimbly handed down through generations with care. They tightrope walk across town squares and from building to building twenty stories high. Some Wallendahs have fallen to their death.

Total Fest is nothing like that. Total Fest crushes the Wallendahs. People may fall at Total Fest, but they fall into soft grass, in the sun. And they are nude.

Some bands playing this year are Pierced Arrows, Akimbo, the Trucks, the Lights, PartMan PartHorse, Black Eyes and Neckties, Rad Touch, and Triclops! from SF.

Jeff from the Lights spoke about some of the goings on:

Can you talk Total Fest beer for me? Specifically keg beer.
Jeff: Well, in general, Josh Vanek (head honcho for Wantage USA record label) brews his own batch of “Total Beer.” This is quite tasty, ask the bros in Big Business and the dudes in Akimbo. After that everyone pretty much drinks whiskey and cheap beer until 4 AM. Josh is also known for making DIY elk jerky. Punk rock does not have to be vegan. Nor does it have to be anti-hunting and guns. Josh is proof. He also owns a potato cannon.

How late is late night at Total Fest?
The last time we played there we ended up playing an after hours party at 4 AM that was as decidedly debaucherous as it was disastrous musically.

Is there nudity?
Nudity is frequent. The first time I saw girls take their shirts off at a punk rock show was in Missoula. Missoulians are not afraid to take it up a notch. Seattleites take note, getting stupidly wasted and undressed is fun.

Everyone floats down a river, right?
Yeah. Saturday is usually the day everyone mellows out and heads up the river for a swim. Levis are cutoff, people get stoned. It’s fun to watch a bunch of dirt-bag rocker dudes in muscle tees act all wimpy when the icy river (glacial run off) goes above their testicles. Missoula is a fun town. It’s a perfect mix of DIY punk rockers and American-Gothic rednecks.

Pierced Arrows (ex Dead Moon) are playing this year. If Fred and Toodie Cole are not the grandparents of DIY punk rock then I don’t know who is.

Total Fest Line-Up after the jump.

Continue reading "Total Fest VII: DIY Elk Jerky" »

Jeff Hanson - “If Only I Knew”

posted by on August 6 at 12:29 PM

Minneapolis’ Jeff Hanson is something of an anomaly. He writes catchy, well-rounded pop songs that draw on modern and classic folk influences, and he plays all the instruments on his recordings, but that’s not what separates him from acoustic ilk. krs459.jpg No, what makes Jeff Hanson different is the fact that, if you didn’t know better, you’d probably think from his singing that he was a lady. He has a beautiful, yet off-putting, lady voice. Specifically, he sounds like a female Elliott Smith. He’s put out two very good records on Kill Rock Stars, 2002’s Son and 2005’s s/t, and now he’s releasing his third effort Madam Owl on August 19th. I hadn’t thought about Hanson in a few years, but driving around listening to KEXP yesterday a song came on with a voice that seemed so familiar, and I thought to myself, “Who is this singing? I know her…” After a few moments I realized, and briefly relived that Crying Game moment from the first time I heard him back in ‘02. No doubt, the lady voice can be a bit of a hurdle on the track to enjoying Hanson’s songs. I was very fascinated with Son when it came out and showed it to pretty much all of my friends, curious if they would accept it, and a lot of them couldn’t get over that initial gender surprise. But once (or perhaps if) you are able to get past it, there’s a musician writing smart, lush, and often beautiful songs.

If You Dismiss Santogold as an M.I.A. Knockoff, You’re a Deaf Racist

posted by on August 6 at 12:03 PM


Subject-line supporting fact #1: While Santogold definitely has a few M.I.A.-esque elements—the percussive synth-buzz beat and rap-chant brags of “bringing the explosion” on “Creator,” the percussive synth-buzz beat and “eh eh eh AY!” exclamations on “Unstoppable”—such ostentatiously common ground is essentially restricted to these two tracks. (And what—only one brown woman’s allowed to appropriate war lingo over clangy synth-beats? During a time of war?)

Everywhere else on Santogold, she’s off on her own trip, through some incredibly attractive terrain that’s much more Siouxsie-and-Shakira-molest-Missing Persons than M.I.A. The result is a fucking great record that I’ve been playing three or four times a day for the past week. (The last record in my life to hold up to this kind of intense prolonged exposure: Kala. Make of that what you will, but don’t get stupid about it.)

Subject-line supporting fact #2: If Santogold looked like this, we wouldn’t be having this discussion. Which brings up the ickiest element of the Santogold backlash—the sense that people are rushing to dismiss her out of something worse than laziness. “Didn’t we pay attention to a stylishly confrontational brown woman last year?” seems to be the subtext of the anti-Santogold hipster whine. Fuck that shit. If you enjoy listening to music, you should hear Santogold.

Tonight in Music: Skream

posted by on August 6 at 11:05 AM

Skream Live at Sonar Festival 2007

In this week’s Bug in the Bassbin, Donte Parks recommends you see Skream tonight:

Another guest from across the pond, Skream, is also making his first Seattle appearance this week, Wednesday night at Nectar. Yet another member of the UK dubstep Dream Team, Skream is an alum of the infamous Big Apple Records, one of the first spots to support the sound. That head start on the rest of the world placed him in prime position to be a pioneer of the form, but considering the rumored thousand(!) tracks he’s got in various forms of completeness, it seems he would have ended up in that position regardless. Between his prolific nature and his busy remix schedule, expect to hear plenty of new material, and at proper chest-crushing volume, since Nectar can get away with it.

See everything else happening tonight here.

“Is M.I.A. a Terrorist?”

posted by on August 6 at 10:22 AM

On the heels of the Pineapple Express-fueled chart ascent of “Paper Planes”, E-Online answers this possibly pot-addled letter from a reader:

I really like that M.I.A. single “Paper Planes.” But I hear she supports terror. Is that true? Is she a terrorist?

Welcome to the Hot 100, M.I.A.

Today’s Music News

posted by on August 6 at 7:02 AM

Broken blood pacts: Past Lives sign with Suicide Squeeze

Target Avenged Sevenfold next time: The Stooges’ gear stolen

Music nerds rejoice: Eno and Byrne offer free single

Suicidal tendencies: Study suggests teens’ music choices reflect psychological state

Fish in a barrel: Cops find weed on Snoop’s bus

Your fifteen minutes are up: Wolfmother rumored to split

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Even Okay To Play An Entire Song

posted by on August 5 at 4:53 PM

Not to add to the copy-and-paste incest of modern blogs, but here’s a copy-and-paste piece of incest from a modern blog.

A few weeks ago, Philip Sherburne, grieving over the alleged and increasingly believed deadlock of 21st century dance music, sent out a call for fix-the-genre manifestos from DJs, producers, critics, and label-owners.

These were the best replies and they’re worth repeating.

Pheek (Archipel)
DJs are not allowed to pose for their official press-kit picture with sunglasses.

DJs must smile at least once per representation.

Clubbers will have to stop complaining that DJs/laptop artists are boring to watch. It was never meant to be entertaining. DJs are there to put music on, so if you’re more concerned about the show than the music itself, you’re simply in the wrong place.

Derek Walmsley (The Wire)
Each DJ set must have at least one moment where it stops, goes to silence for a few seconds, and then starts afresh.

Professor Genius (Thisisnotanexit)
It’s okay to play more than one minute of a record in a mix. It’s even okay to play an entire song.

Simon Reynolds
Whenever, as a producer, you feel yourself flinching a bit from using an idea or a sound or an effect, hesitating on the grounds that it’s maybe a wee bit cheesy, then I would say just to push right past that feeling and go for it. Do it twice over, even. There can never be enough monster riffs or cheap tricks in dance music; there can definitely be a surfeit of just-so subtleties.

Strategy (Community Library, Kranky)
It is not the label’s role to give people what they want — it is the label’s role to provide what people did not know that they will soon be wanting.

Peter Van Hoesen (Time To Express, Lan Muzic)
Every DJ playing out should dance for at least one hour with the same crowd he/she has been DJing for.

Finn Johannsen (Macro Recordings)
Mixing is overrated; selection is not.

Seth Troxler (Esperana, Circus Company)
Be comfortable.

Be cool.

Keep ‘em guessing.

Gamall Awad (Demon Days, Backspin Promotion)

No-Fi Soul Rebellion’s Dance Challenge

posted by on August 5 at 3:52 PM

NFSR play the Comet on Saturday, August 16th with the Pets and the Shackles.

Rest Up, Decibel’s Coming

posted by on August 5 at 3:46 PM

Decibel06 - Thomas Fehlmann

The Decibel Festival announced the showcase schedule for the event today. Unlike last year, there have been no statements about scaling back, with the festival instead going bigger than ever for their fifth iteration, with a metric shit-ton of music, flanked by a conference, visuals showcase, BBQ, and day in the park. Decibel is serious business.

August 5, 2008 - 2008 marks the 5th anniversary of the Decibel Festival, an annual event held in Seattle that has now become one of North America’s preeminent electronic music events. To coincide with this landmark year, Decibel has planned its most ambitious festival to date; featuring more than 100 acts from 12 different countries, organized within 24 showcases at 11 different venues over four days. The lineup is not only massive but also the most diverse yet, increasing the international stature and range of artists, representing everything from underground dance to experimental audio / visual performance. Adding to the traditional club events, this year’s program will feature a two day dB Conference, Optical Multimedia showcases, a BBQ, an outdoor park event, an ambient dinner theater and an overall theme of sustainability in the arts.

The four-day Decibel International Festival of Electronic Music Performance, Visual Art and New Media will take place September 25th - 28th. Visit for travel info, tickets and additional info about the 2008 Decibel Festival.

The rest of the release after the jump. It’s long, but definitely worth a read.

Image from flickr user basic_sounds.

Continue reading "Rest Up, Decibel's Coming" »

Weezer’s Coming to Seattle

posted by on August 5 at 3:20 PM

They’re playing the KeyArena Saturday, October 11th. Angels and Airwaves and Tokyo Police Club open.


Of course, Weezer were already in town once this year. They played a handful of songs with 200+ local musicians and fans at the Vera Project in June. You can read a couple reviews of the day here and here.

UPDATE: Ticket info, should you want it…

Tickets prices are $25.00, $38.50, and $45.00 and go on sale Saturday, August 23 at 10:00 a.m. at, Ticketmaster, or charge by phone (206) 628-0888.

Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band Debut

posted by on August 5 at 2:56 PM

Video from the band’s debut show at Neumo’s last week, courtesy of YouTube:

There’s more here, here, here, and here.

Read this week’s story about the band here.

In the Beginning

posted by on August 5 at 2:51 PM

MetalMonk.jpgGod created the heaven and the earth.

God said, let there be light, and there was light. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Metal.

And then God said, sleep with one eye open, gripping your pillow tight. Exit light, enter night. Take my hand, off to Never Never Land.

Cut now to Milan, Italy, where there is a sixty-two year old monk that sings for a metal band called Fratello Metallo or Brother Metal. His name is Brother Cesare Bonizzi and he is of the Capuchin Order. Bonizzi is a cross between Anthony Hopkins with a ZZ Top beard, Methuselah, Cannibal Corpse, and Obi-Won Kenobi.

Brother Metal has just released their second album called Misteri (Mysteries), inspired by a group of southern Italian women who sang about Jesus’ mother Mary. Bonizzi also sings about alcohol warming the heart, but damaging the liver if drunk in excess. He also sings about how important sex is to man.

Sex, booze, and Brother Obi-Won Methuse-Corpse. It was only a matter of time before it happened.

Fratello Metallo has played shows with Iron Maiden and are doing well. Fifteen years ago, Bonizzi went to a Metallica concert and was completely taken by the energy of the sound. He formed the band and now dedicates his life to it. He says, “I don’t play to draw people close to Christ, to the church, or to religion. I do it to convert people to life.”


posted by on August 5 at 2:45 PM

Terrible news! Burial unmasked himself. On Myspace!

From his blog:


for a while theres been some talk about who i am , but its not a big deal
i wanted to be unknown because i just want it to be all about the tunes.
over the last year the unknown thing become an issue so im not into it any more.
im a lowkey person and i just want to make some tunes, nothing else. my names will bevan, im from south london, im keeping my head down and just going to finish my next album, theres going to be a 12” maybe in the next few weeks too with 4 tunes. hope u like it, i’ll try put a tune up later

sorry for any rubbish tunes i made in the past, ill make up for it

a big big thank you to anyone who ever supported me, liked my tunes or sent me messages, it means the world to me

big up everyone, take care, will ( burial )

Precisely, Burial was all about the tunes. Without the individual, the celebrity, the personality, his music was free to be a decentered process, a pure rhythm machine—to use Kodwo’s language. This posthumanism, however, was not cold or indifferent but very emotional. This stands as one of Burial’s great achievements: expressing the emotional state of an individual without the presence (or weight, or density) of the individual. That is now all in the past. From here on, we must refer the music to a center, a genius, a one and only Will Bevan.

Insert Pun on “Reatard” Here

posted by on August 5 at 11:30 AM

Is Jay Reatard already on the fast track to an early burn-out? I laughed off the whole “punch a dude in the crowd” thing a few months back, but after reading some reports coming from his canceled gig at a 200-deep venue in Texas last night, I think the guy just might have a shot.

Starts innocently enough with the official report by Dallas’ Village Voice Media paper, hours before the show was to start:

According to [club co-owner Ben] Tapia, Reatard was far too inebriated to perform. “He stumbled out of [our club] with these two girls,” Tapia says. “I wouldn’t be surprised if he was passed out on their couches right now.” Adds Tapia: “His band is pissed.”

The guy who booked the gig had more to say on his own blog: Jay started the night off with a feud with an opening band from Texas. Then he threw a glass at that band in the green room, and then began pleading with club ownership to let in a girl he’d met “earlier that day on MySpace.” When asked for ID, she responded she didn’t have any, but to verify her age, she tried to insist that she worked at a local strip club. And then the pre-exit tantrum:

He is rich now and likes to remind people of that fact. My favorite quote by him: “You know how much money I have in the bank?” Actually, yes; $250,000 courtesy of Matador Records.

End with accusations of a 12-hour coke binge and a quest for $55 of LSD, stir, spill onto Internet, sip loudly. Good thing he kept his shit together at Block Party long enough to get on stage and, well, earn dat money.

Tonight in Music: Oliver Mtukudzi

posted by on August 5 at 9:55 AM

Oliver Mtukudzi - “Tozeza”
Oliver Mtukudzi
(Triple Door) We know Zimbabwe is going through hell. We know that nearly 30 years ago it was the breadbasket of Africa. We know that today it is the basket case of Africa. We know all of this because it’s always on the news. But for just one minute, let’s think about the good things that have come out of Zimbabwe: good things like the African songs of Oliver Mtukudzi (a real Zimbabwean legend) such as “Ruki,” which is about people who are just plain lucky (“ruki”). Some people, Mtukudzi sings, live by luck and nothing else. They are lucky to have food, lucky to have money in the bank, lucky to have petrol in their car. Luck is such a wonderful thing for them to have. But why in the world are these people lucky and these others are not? What is it about luck that makes it so unfair, so uneven? “Ruki” is a popular song in Zimbabwe. CHARLES MUDEDE

See our full listings here.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Mad Decent Halloween Party

posted by on August 4 at 3:57 PM

Just announced today: a Mad Decent tour featuring int’l party starting DJ Diplo, Smelly punks Abe Vigoda, and mind-killingly dull electro sirens Telepathe. Ignore Telepathe—or show up late—and you’ve got what could be a really interesting bill. The tour hits Seattle on Halloween (!) at Nectar. Expect it to look like a drinkinger version of this:

Mixed with this:

Mixed with this:


Spiritualized - “You Lie You Cheat”

posted by on August 4 at 3:52 PM

Comment Wars: Greedtone Sounds

posted by on August 4 at 2:48 PM


Here for you now courtesy of Jens Nordas – actual Greedtone Distortion Pedal sound samples.

Nothing beats the beauty of a comment war. There was a previous ‘Sound Check’ post where the Greedtone Overdrive Distortion pedal at Trading Musician was highlighted.

Matthew didn’t like the video, saying:

That was cute and everything, but pretty much worthless. You don’t learn anything about the store beyond what year they opened in Seattle, and you don’t learn anything about the pedal except what it is theoretically intended to do. I don’t get it. What was the point?

I responded with:

It’s an introduction to the pedal with some basic description about what it does, who makes it, and how it implements filters to maintain some of the instrument’s tone. A nugget about transparency, and Nirvana bumping Whitney/Whitney bumping Nirvana on the day the store opened told by a man who’s got some character. Lastly a demonstration of how it screws in securely. You can’t do much with 3 and half minutes of video. Click the link if you want more.

From there, apologies are made for falling way short of Matthew’s video expectations. Then Matthew is told to continue studying his Calculus. There is talk about 3D posters. An accusation of being a “snide ass” is made. Kudos are given, the sound quality of computer speakers and the internet are questioned, and someone says to get off of Grandma’s couch and shut off the Star Trek.

I stood up for my work. Maybe I was snide. I did think Matthew was judging the video a little too harshly. But now he can listen to the sounds all day long. Let us hope that it doesn’t get in the way of his Calculus.

“Thank You and Goodbye”

posted by on August 4 at 1:28 PM


From a Myspace bulletin:

After a little over four years of playing music together, we’ve collectively decided to move on to other things. We’re all extremely grateful to everyone that’s supported us over the years. To all the bands we’ve played with, the folks that helped us make our records, and the fans that’ve come out to our shows and picked up our music, thank you. You’ve made everything worth it.


The Crocodile’s (Possible) New Owner…

posted by on August 4 at 1:25 PM

Originally posted on Slog by Jonah:

Nine months after the Crocodile Cafe’s unexpected closure, it appears the venue may have a new owner.

Marcus Charles—current owner of the Juju Lounge, and formerly involved with Neumos and Spitfire, among other venues—has applied for a new liquor license for the Crocodile Cafe, which closed in December.

More coming.

Seafair: Mexicans in America

posted by on August 4 at 12:59 PM


Powered Sugar: Seafair is about power. Hydroplanes, jets, cranes, Marines, and shish kabobs from the shish kabob tent. Strolling through sunny Genesee Park at the south end of Lake Washington, armed forces recruitment was in full force. Gas fumes from the boat docks wafted with the smell of fresh funnel cakes making for an unlikely but intoxicating olfactory pairing. The whole event is unlikely in a way. Where else do power and powdered sugar go so well together?


On the homestretch Villwock’s U-1 Miss Elam Plus boat hits 153 mph for the win. Rooster-tails fly by with water spray in high pitched engine hums. Paper plates with Pad-Thai bend under the wet noodle’s weight, powdered sugar from your Elephant Ear shoots up your nose, and then you accidentally sign up to be in the Navy. You report to base on Wednesday. Damn, all you wanted to do was eat and watch boats race. And maybe bounce around in the Moonwalk ride.


Seafair is host to music as well. A large stage by One Reel provided solid, all ages sound. Saturday night’s headliner was El Vez. He came out in an Uncle Sam outfit singing and dancing about his run for President. There was a full pro band complete with stereo cheerleading dominatrix backup singers. It was a fun mash of Mexican tinged hits. For example: Kim Wilde’s “We’re the Kids in America” was “Mexicans in America”. El Vez had multiple costume changes (see Leopard print with tale). The high energy song and dance was slightly more fitting than last year’s Mudhoney.



posted by on August 4 at 12:00 PM


by kentaro_m_photography

The Dead Science - “Make Mine Marvel”

posted by on August 4 at 11:45 AM


As Stranger readers are no doubt aware, Sam Mickens loves him some hip hop, especially if it’s of the Wu Tang Clan variety. Readers should also know that Mickens, along with Jherek Bischoff and Nick Tamburro, has a little band called the Dead Science. Fittingly, the band’s forthcoming album, Villainaire (out September 9th on Constellation) is a Wu-obsessed (and therefore also comic-book obsessed) work—single “Make Mine Marvel” even excerpts a couplet from the Wu’s epic posse cut “Triumph.” But the album is neither as gimmicky nor as juvenile as such a concept might suggest, instead using these outsized references to explore bleak everyday moral crises. Observe:

The Dead Science - “Make Mine Marvel

Tonight in Music: Hugh Masekela, Master Musicians of Bukkake, Samantha Crain

posted by on August 4 at 10:17 AM

Hugh Masekela - “Coal Train” (Live)
Hugh Masekela
South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela is known in America for two things: the instrumental “Grazing in the Grass,” which reached number one on the Billboard chart in 1968, and his work with Paul Simon on Graceland. Masekela, however, is a god in black Africa. And only a god could capture the essence of the 20th-century black African experience in one song: “Stimela (Coal Train).” “This train carries young and old, African men/Who are conscripted to come and work on contract/In the golden mineral mines of Johannesburg…” There is no heart “Stimela” cannot break. (Jazz Alley, 2033 Sixth Ave, 441-9729. 7:30 pm, $32.50, all ages.) by Charles Mudede
Master Musicians of Bukkake Live in Portland
Secret Chiefs 3, Master Musicians of Bukkake
(Neumo’s) A lot of experimental music folk embrace the pursuit of esoteric knowledge, real-world magic(k), and the appealing rumored superhumanness of ancient lost sects, but few become agents of these interests with as much hard-bitten discipline as Secret Chiefs 3. The shifting lineup led by guitarist Trey Spruance (with frequent chiefs including local composer/violinist Eyvind Kang, Xiu Xiu’s current drummer Ches Smith, and musical polymath Shahzad Ismaily) is staggeringly masterful in their execution; there is an awesome thoroughness to the group’s performances that’s reflective of the divinely touched skill of the assassins, warriors, and magicians of yore. Their music, a heady swirl of Morricone’s ecstatic grandeur, the oceanic snap of surf music, and intricate North African and Asiatic melodies and time signatures, murders with holy fire. SAM MICKENS
Samantha Crain - “Traipsing Through the Aisles”
Samantha Crain
(Triple Door) Oklahoma is hardly the return address you’d expect for a “musical novella,” but far stranger things have happened. The state that gave us the off-kilter oddness of the Flaming Lips and Starlight Mints has now unleashed the talents of youngster Samantha Crain. The precocious 21-year-old’s debut EP, The Confiscation, takes all the tragedies and triumphs of the Dust Bowl and wraps them into a sparse, gothic folk package with five “chapters.” While that may sound a bit on the pretentious side, Crain’s literate music and startling voice are instantly accessible. If Cat Power had been raised in the hardscrabble Indian lands of Oklahoma and not the lazy, languid environs of the Deep South, this is what she would sound like. BARBARA MITCHELL

Today’s Music News

posted by on August 4 at 8:58 AM

Smoked out: Alicia Keys gives tobacco sponsors the boot

Then the cops showed up: Sean Combs’ party ends in gunfire

Radio radio: Second batch of John Peel memoirs to be published

Pay to play: Say Anything offers customized songs for a fee

Something to believe in: C. C. DeVille finds Jesus

Farewell note to this city: Converge update

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Dead Baby Raceday XII

posted by on August 3 at 7:01 PM

Q: What happens when you get too close to a Dead Baby Bike JoustTM?





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