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Archives for 08/10/2008 - 08/16/2008

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Total Fest Friday: Riff Party

posted by on August 16 at 12:12 PM


Missoula, Montana, you know how to please this man. Total Fest is a total party – nights full of great rock bands from around the country and days full of chicken fried steak, barbeques, and drinking Hamms in a river. I wish I had the time or energy to talk about all of the bands on the second day at the three-stage Badlander, cause there’s been a lot of good stuff, but there’s a good reason the headliners were chosen to finish off such massive bills (44 bands in three days) so I’m going to talk about them. Last night, the text message I got a few months ago telling me, “Dude, Nudity are playing the Comet 2Nite!” got some new context. I’m not exactly sure what to call Nudity’s brand of drug-rock jamming. They’re not “classic rock” jams, but they’re definitely rooted in classic rock. “Classic Rock Revival Jams?” “We still like drugs and long hair and were in Tight Bros From Way Back When Jams?” “We sound like Earthless but without as many riffs Jams?” Any way you categorize them, they laid down a thick and enjoyable session, although my associate Tim said he didn’t like them as much as I did because he wasn’t drunk.


Akimbo has a hell of a hard time getting to Missoula for some reason. Their van broke down again on the way to Total Fest this year, forcing them to get a rental car in Ellensburg and abandon most of their gear. Nudity was generous enough to let the band use their rigs, which from the side of the stage, I surprisingly thought Akimbo sounded better through than their own gear (informing the band of this after the show, Jon was sure to let me know I was wrong, and stupid). I’ve been watching a lot of the Olympics this last week, so I can’t help but compare Akimbo to the US Women’s Gymnastics team. They had some tough breaks with their trusty van “Sacramone” breaking down on them, but they powered through without her, and when it was go time they stuck that god damn landing and snatched the gold. They seemed to be the crowd favorite again this year, even over the final act, Saviours. I love this band: They are an unstoppable four-headed riff monster, all of its limbs working together in perfect harmony. The fact that Missoula would have them headline such a solid festival only makes me love this place that much more.


Friday, August 15, 2008

Also Tonight: Cancer Rising with Champagne Champagne and Caves

posted by on August 15 at 4:00 PM

Cancer Rising play the Sunset tonight with Champagne Champagne and Caves. Someone’s gonna get naked. The last time I saw Champagne Champagne (at Block Party), it turned in to a sweaty, scantily-clad, onstage dance party. Cover’s $8.

Speaking of Cancer Rising, did you see the new column this week? Cancer Rising vs. Cancer Metastasizing… hilarious.

This post brought to you by the letter C.

On This Week’s Setlist

posted by on August 15 at 3:50 PM

Hear Himsa’s John Pettibone talk about his Miami Vice phase (which includes everything from the white jacket to the frosted blonde hair).

Also, hear music by the Maldives, Paris Spleen, Siberian, and more!

Click to listen.

Woken by Whale

posted by on August 15 at 3:47 PM

I often fall asleep to music. Usually I play an instrumental ambient CD or I put on KEXP and drift off.

This morning at 6:55 I awoke with a start to a song I haven’t heard in ages—Swedish band Whale’s “Hobo Humpin Slobo Babe.” Some sad soul requested the fluke 1993 hit and John Richards delivered. Back-announcing the set, he accurately called “Hobo” “a mess.”

Damn, did I have flashbacks when “Hobo” started assaulting my slumbering mind. I gradually realized that 1) this song sounded really fresh after years of not even thinking about it, and 2) some songs (mainly those of the novelty bent) should only be heard every few years or so, because even after only a few consecutive listens they begin to pall.

When “Hobo” came out in ’93, it was a genuine one-off, a relentlessly throbbing bristle of oral-explosive pop whose only predecessors may have been Haysi Fantayzee or Bow Wow Wow. I can’t think of another similar song that followed in its wake. One wonders what sort of back-room negotiations went down to leverage “Hobo” into radio, club, and MTV ubiquity. Could it have been the lollipop-sucking, panty-flashing, casual beefcake-flaunting video? Perhaps.

The song consists of odd elements: Cia Berg’s mewling Nordic-female vocals are as sickening as they are sexy while a menacing bass line that could’ve been lifted from a sinisterly heavy psych-rock group woob woobs on one chord with a maddening compulsion. Meanwhile, the guitar shoots geysers of tangled chords more suitable for a release on PSF than Virgin.

But what drills the track into your noggin like an advert for the joys of idful living are the massed male voices on the chorus, which may be the most volcanic ever to penetrate the charts. The lyrics are basically all nonsense, but they’re sung with a terrifying intensity.

Seriously, this is orgiastic, fuck-shit-up stuff. How did mid-’90s culture guardians let it through the mainstream portal where it could taint our precious children? The mass popularity of “Hobo Humpin Slobo Babe” remains one of music’s great enigmas.

The Canvas Can Do Miracles

posted by on August 15 at 3:28 PM


Panda and Angel were more raucous last night than I remember them. For their Tractor set they were a combination of furtive, low key grace. Raw grace? They pull off raw grace. The his and her vocals tied off the songs. The band sounded great. They have a presence. Carrie Murphy’s vocals are just as effective loud as they are quiet. Loudly, they proclaim and state. Quietly, they hold up a mirror and introspect.

Panda and Angel write songs that make you cry. If listened to on certain days when sentimental nerve endings are firing in your brain, you will cry. “Our Town” is one of those songs.

Murphy sings “Kiss me like I’m yours to hold and I’ll give you everything / It may include, it may not be limited to, forever, you and me.”

The song goes on to punch out the orchestration of a small town storefront. There’s a mannequin there that looks at you like it’s real. You’re telling it you’re sorry for your mistakes. It’s fall and it’s drizzling and you stare at the mannequin until your head is soaked.

I cry. I also cry when I hear Christopher Cross’ “Sailing”, but who doesn’t?

Panda and Angel were the BBC Radio 1 Demo of the Week recently. Looks like they have been doing some sailing of their own.

“Mingle” Up For Free Download

posted by on August 15 at 3:03 PM


Light In The Attic has The Saturday Knights’ debut Mingle up for free download, while supplies last.

The DL page has a headline: “Fuck! I’m confused, dude.” Then it lists some of the press for Mingle- some very positive (such as the piece I wrote here), some dismissive. People can leave comments on the page as well.

I’m less than surprised people aren’t getting it. The rap is not of the neon $300 shoes, vintage 80’s Starter coat variety. The rock is not spazzy Gang Of Four-play nor is it softbeard folk shit.
What it is IMHO is a great record, and people should hear it and make up their own minds. Hopefully TSK is going to tour soon as well- their rep was made by their fun-on-fire live spectacle.

Northern Soul on Capitol Hill ?!?!?!

posted by on August 15 at 2:35 PM


Do you ever wish there was a ‘Soul Night’ up on the hill? How about a “Gay Soul Night” up on the hill? Well now there is as Talcum, the Northern Soul night put on by Gene from the Emerald City Soul Club, has becoming an “official” monthly event starting tonight at The Wildrose. Talcum powder is included!

Reading Tomorrow: Sam McPheeters!

posted by on August 15 at 1:25 PM

Men’s Recovery Project - “The Humans”:

Sorry if this is stepping on your toes, Paul, but tomorrow night there’s a reading that will undoubtedly rock so hard it belongs on Line Out:

Sam McPheeters—of bands Born Against, Men’s Recovery Project, Wrangler Brutes, and publications Punk Planet (RIP), the OC Weekly, and the blogs—will be reading tomorrow at 4pm at Spencer Moody’s magical antiquarium the Anne Bonney. If you aren’t familiar with Mcpheeters’ written works, they’re less alien-ugly than his illustrations, less loud than his bands, and generally just smart and funny as the hell. The reading will be accompanied by Tara Tavi on Chinese hammer dulcimer and film, and it will cost $5 (Colonial costume not required).

Megan Seling on the End: Duuuuuuude!

posted by on August 15 at 12:42 PM

The Stranger’s own Megan Seling, long-time local all-ages booster, podcaster extraordinaire, and regular guest on the End’s local music show, the Young and the Restless, will be taking over said show in a matter of weeks. Rationalizing about how this job totally won’t make her a soulless corporate shill, Seling says, “I don’t have to play Paramore! In fact, I can’t play Paramore, since they’re not local—it’s against the rules.”

Congratulations, Megan.

Truckasauras at Hempfest: Duuuuuuude!

posted by on August 15 at 12:29 PM

Speaking to my dad (who has suffered enough editorial indignities without being blogged about, but still) yesterday, I mentioned how we here at the Stranger were all ass-deep in putting together our official Bumbershoot guide, and he—as enthusiastic a supporter of legalization as any European Rick Steeves is likely to meet through the back door—asked, “Why didn’t you guys publish a pull-out guide to Hempfest?”

I told him, “We forgot, maaaaan.”

In honesty, though, I usually don’t even look at the Hempfest line-up, because while I sympathize mightily with the cause, I got my fill of “serious” stoners and their festive ornaments in high school. I like my stone like I like everything else: anti-social and full of self-loathing.

But yesterday, Adam Swan of local electro wrecking crew Truckasauras told me that they were playing this year. “We’re at 4:20,” he said, “and we got the call asking us to play at 4:20, too.” He was obviously stoked. The Truck is famously fueled by booze—Swan says a Spokane booker recently threw a bottle of Maker’s in on top of their guarantee just because she knew that’s how they roll. But they’re also no enemies of the demon weed. I suggested Tyler Swan swap out the old American flag for a Jamaican flag, preferably featuring the likeness of Bob Marley, or maybe one of these. We’ll see. If anything were to get me down to Hempfest this weekend, it would be the Truck.

They’re playing at a Dancesafe-sponsored electronic stage, which will also be hosting Decibel’s Nordic Soul, Shameless’ DJ Recess, Kadeejah Streets, and many other throughout the weekend. Also possibly worth braving the cat-in-the-hat-hatted masses for: local soul sister Choklate and an installment of the ever edifying Laptop Battle. The full line-up is here.

Wax Poetics Rocks Out

posted by on August 15 at 11:51 AM


One of the best music mags extant, Wax Poetics, is devoting its 30th issue to rock—a first for the beat-hound/crate-digger bible. A Bad Brains/Elvis P. cover? Nutty. Get the details here. I’m already salivating over the Turkish rock piece.

My beloved subscription copy is going to my old address in California, so I must wait for it to be forwarded by my ex-roommate. You have no idea how painful this is.

Tonight in Music: Mount Eerie, eR DoN, Tom Petty, Killing the Dream, Portugal. The Man, Birthday Suits, Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter, Squirrel Nut Zippers

posted by on August 15 at 11:45 AM

Holy balls, there are a lot of shows tonight…

Mount Eerie - “The Smoke Song”

First, Mount Eerie returns to the Vera Project tonight, playing with Karl Blau. Eric Grandy reviews the latest records from both bands in this week’s Fucking in the Streets.

Also in column land, Donte Parks gave some love to eR DoN in this week’s Bug in the Bassbin. eR DoN plays Lo_Fi tonight.

And here’s what we have in the U&Cs:

Portugal. The Man - “And I.” (acoustic)
RX Bandits, Portugal. The Man, Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground, Nurses
(El Corazón) Psych is on the rise, finding it’s way back into everything from folk to metal bands. Portugal. The Man are one more act playing rock that sounds as though it’s composed by a bunch of strung-out weirdo art dudes. And that’s a compliment. The recent Equal Vision signees play epic, dramatic tunes that are more haunting than those of tourmates Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground. They boast the same miniorchestra of strings, horns, and a handful of percussion, only instead of being awash with optimism and flowers, they’re a soundtrack for coming down. While listening to them, you’ll be begging for night to come a little slower because the dark is a really, really scary place full of buzzing guitars, Muppet vocals, and freaking out high-pitched strings that sound like ear mites eating away your brain. It’s the best worst trip ever. MEGAN SELING
Birthday Suits - “Twin Cities Bridge Is Falling Down”
Lesbian, the Atomic Bomb Audition, Birthday Suits, Wah Wah Exit Wound
(Funhouse) Last time Minnesota’s Birthday Suits played the Funhouse they were about as loud and spastic as a guitar and drum duo can get. They were so loud, in fact, that it was hard to hear what the guitarist was actually playing; the wall of noise was unnerving and impenetrable, and their ability to create it while flailing so ceaselessly was noteworthy. On this night, their bombastic antics are sandwiched nicely between the Fripp-esque prog of Wah Wah Exit Wound, the monumentally heavy psychedelic doom of Lesbian, and Oakland’s Atomic Bomb Audition, an experimental metal band whose MySpace headline fittingly reads “Yes. It needs to be that loud.” JEFF KIRBY
Jesse Sykes & The Sweet Hereafter - “Eisenhower Moon”
Maldives, Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter
(Mural Amphitheater, Seattle Center) Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter are as much a canyon at dusk as they are a room. For this Mural Stage show, they will be playing songs off their new EP, Gentleness of Nothing. It’s a strange, reaching, and beautiful batch of emotive, folk-singed songs. Phil Wandscher’s arid, echoed guitar and Sykes’s forlorn, warming vocals stir each other up, then catch each other over and over. The band played Reno last week with Calexico, and driving back they passed through a butterfly migration. Jesse says, “It was so thick we couldn’t see out the windows. Hundreds of butterflies dying. It was sad. The van was covered in yellow and black wings. I was able to save one butterfly at the car wash, before the hose was turned on.” TRENT MOORMAN
Squirrel Nut Zippers - “Hell”
Squirrel Nut Zippers
(Triple Door) Far greater and less silly than all of the contemporary mid-’90s swing-revivalist sucker MCs, Squirrel Nut Zippers embraced the darker and truer musical aspect of hothouse jazz and even earlier 20th-century American music forms with genuine reverence and discipline. Though they didn’t shy away from the elementally fun nature of a lot of those styles, they also didn’t make themselves into the sort of reproachable caricatures that, say, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy did. Particularly on their breakthrough record Hot and its EP follow-up Sold Out, the Squirrel Nut Zippers really did keep it the realest. SAM MICKENS
Killing the Dream - “We’re All Dead Ends”
Killing the Dream, Vanguard, Open Fire!, Passing in Dreams, Poverty Bay Saints, Dragline
(Viaduct) The hardcore scene deserves credit for disregarding or at least persevering in the face of trends in popular culture. And while many of its disciples don’t search too far outside the confines of the loud and angry template, they do have a remarkable appreciation for their scene’s history. It’s little surprise, then, that Sacramento’s Killing the Dream cite old underground commandos like Chain of Strength and Unbroken as primary inspirations. While drawing ideas from such a small pool may limit a band’s ability to grow, it certainly cements their place in an ongoing legacy. That Killing the Dream manage to channel the same unbridled urgency as their forefathers without coming across as redundant or cliché doesn’t hurt, either. BRIAN COOK
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - “American Girl” (Live)
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Steve Winwood
(The Gorge) You know whose songs sound better on the radio than Tom Petty’s? NO ONE’S. Tom Petty’s songs sound so good on the radio—so at home, on-target, yet transcendent—that I regularly spend several hours every month listening to JACK FM, the “in your face” radio station programmed by robots that is nevertheless the Northwest’s premier dispensary of Tom Petty compositions. Half of what JACK plays is trash—Scandal, Richard Marx, fucking Mr. Mister. But then along comes some prime Tom Petty—”Refugee,” “Here Comes My Girl,” “The Waiting”—and all is forgiven. Expect to hear all the best of Petty (a crowd-pleasing rock star who understands his oeuvre) tonight at the Gorge. DAVID SCHMADER

Bad Dudes, Black Eyes, and Broken Feet

posted by on August 15 at 11:01 AM

Total Fest. 44 bands over three days in beautiful Missoula, Montana. Thursday was the kickoff - a bit smaller than the nights to follow (only two stages instead of three), but a solid opening night nonetheless. The first highlight of day one: LA’s Bad Dudes. They just played in Seattle Wednesday night at the Holy Mountain on Eastlake, but I had no idea what was coming when they took the stage in Missoula. I actually mistakenly thought they were Rad Dudes, that band comprised of a guy and his 5 year old son. Nope, these guys are a ridiculously talented 5 piece that, even though they won’t cop to it when asked, are writing triumphant, harmonizing NES video game music, complete with a keyboardist properly versed in the art of Rick Wakeman. For anybody who ever heard the Advantage and thought, “It would be awesome if these guys actually wrote their own songs,” Bad Dudes are the answer.


They were followed by a particularly revved up Black Eyes and Neckties, on their first night of a two week tour. These guys always dominate the stage, but last night they destroyed it. There was the usual thrashing and flailing, but by the end of the set the band took to climbing. Guitarist Josh Holland made it up to the top of the PA before realizing there really wasn’t much he could do up there, handed his guitar down and hopped off. Singer Brad Lockhart however had climbed up onto a 15 foot ledge and was now faced with a difficult decision: “Now that I’m up here, what do I do?” The answer: Jump. He chose…poorly. Always the showman, Brad opted not to hit the couch below him and go straight to the floor instead, which he crumpled onto like so much bloody laundry. He broke one of his feet and sprained both of his ankles. Holland ripped off his shirt and toppled over his Soldano amp. His back was covered in blood. The first night of a two week tour. Sorry for the shit luck, Black Eyes, but if it’s any consolation, it was a hell of a spectacle, and a hell of an opening night.



Today’s Music News

posted by on August 15 at 9:35 AM

High five, Jack!: Jackson Browne sues McCain for unapproved use of his song in anti-Obama ad

They subsidize your nightclubs and they subsidize your malls: Holy Fuck to blame for cuts in Canadian arts funding?

This can’t possibly be a good thing: Wes Borland joins Marilyn Manson

The Jello Biafra hex strikes again: Klaus Flouride leaves Dead Kennedys

NYC makes me claustrophobic: CMJ announces first batch of performers

The secret is out: Helms Alee’s record release show. Tomorrow!

Thursday, August 14, 2008


posted by on August 14 at 3:43 PM

Hello, Sugababes!

You’re looking good, a little different, with more line-up changes than The Fall, but still young, streets ahead of the rest, and worth your weight in modern, effortless, long-standing, top-shelf, greatest-girl-group-since-the-Spice-Girls pop gold.

What’s that?

New single?

Well, that’s some big, hands-aloft stuff. Packed with sounds. Strut, strut.

And twenty seconds in! Brass-bursts!


It’s better than “About You Now,” too, the light garage-rock lead-off bait from the last album — although it remixed well — just as it seems to take some over-the-top cues from both Girls Aloud and Diplo’s Hollertronix, which spells hope for LP number, oh my, six.


It’s lifted from an ad? For a British drugstore?

And Ernie K-Doe’s “Here Come The Girls” from the ’70s?

Damn it.

The Triumphant Return of Kris Moon

posted by on August 14 at 3:02 PM


Former (and perhaps future) Seattle techno-dub producer Kris Moon has been woodshedding in a Missoula, Montana cabin for five months. He had the full Montucky beard to prove it. Moon’s been hunched over his gear in an isolated lab in the boonies, concocting more extraordinary techno for your techno-lovin’ asses and brains. He returned to the city of his greatest glory on Tuesday, playing Travis Baron’s Made! weekly at Vito’s in order to unleash the fruits of his fruitful labor. Many people smiled and danced vigorously.

Moon’s hour-and-change set plumbed minimal-techno’s implied funkiness and surreptitious hedonism with scientific rigor. Unusual and piquant percussion accentuated the thrumming 4/4 beats. Berlin and Detroit’s tekno™ templates became distilled into Northwestern dancefloor mantras. It was hard and sexy. Good vibes rolled through Vito’s like the O’Jays’ love train, but with more steel in its caboose. His performance anti-climaxed with Flo Rida’s ubiquitous hiphop song about Shawty getting low low low low low.

WTF? Kris always was a cheeky dude; his long-running top-40 hiphop DJ gig at The Ballroom must have returned to him like a case of audio acid reflux. Nonetheless, those who came for a serious dose of Moon’s heady techno jams staggered away satisfied.

Kris Moon performs at Hempfest Aug. 17 and at Decibel Festival Sept. 28.

No Age - “Keechie”

posted by on August 14 at 2:30 PM

Is anyone else getting a little bit of a “Link gets red suit, goes fishing” vibe from this clip? (Check out the scabbard attached to the white belt!) Do you think LA/Smell “red suit” Link knows the “classic green-suit” (and tourettically homophobic) Seattle Link?

Be Sharpie, Stay Sharpie

posted by on August 14 at 2:01 PM

sharpie2.jpgBrian Nelson from Elliot Bay Recording Company is with us today to talk about the importance of Sharpie markers in the recording process. EBRC Studio is located on Capitol Hill (932 12th Ave). They have an ample 2000 square feet of room to roam around in. The main playing room is 25’X45’X12’ with cement walls for a nice diffused reverb sound. Can you say huge drums? There are three isolation rooms, a big acoustically designed control room, and the Sony DMX R-100 digital console is the centerpiece of the studio. For mics, they have Neumanns, Sennheisers, Royer, and Beyer.

Brian is also a drummer, a very kick ass drummer. (Gorilla, Love Battery.) We spoke:

What is your key to recording and mixing? Where does the magic happen?
Brian: The key for me is having an array of fresh, quality Sharpie markers to color code the mixing board with. I don’t know what I’d do without them. No session can happen unless I’ve got the full spectrum of color available.

The magic doesn’t come from mic placement or a secret sweet spot in the live room?
No. The magic comes from the Sharpies. Bass is brown, guitars are green, cymbals are blue, female vocals are red, and male vocals are orange. I can look at the mixing board and instantly know where everything is. Even when I don’t look at the mixing board, I can kind of see it out of the corner of my eye. If I see something reddish, I know that’s a female vocal.

Do you ever use any other marker?
Nope. Only Shapries. Marks A Lot are too thick and they smell bad, and hi-lighters don’t cut it.

Where do you get your Sharpies?
Anywhere that Muzak is played.

Fujiya & Miyagi - “Knickerbocker”

posted by on August 14 at 1:41 PM

Making the rounds today, the above video from everyone’s favorite monotonal, motorik pop referentialists, Fujiya & Miyagi (still not a Japanese duo!). Stereogum puts this clip’s visual literalism in the lineage of Robyn’s “Konichiwa Bitches,” but I think we can trace it a bit further back than that, can’t we:

Tonight in Music

posted by on August 14 at 12:07 PM

Nico Muhly - “It Goes Without Saying”

Nico Muhly is at the Triple Door tonight. Kurt B Reighly interviewed him for this week’s music section. An excerpt:

As scattershot as his processes may seem, he does not eschew structure. Even his most disorienting pieces are carefully scored. He just sifts through tons of ideas before he gets to that stage; when composing the percussion piece “Pillaging Music,” he created far more content than the piece required, then stripped parts away, sometimes with jarring results. “The idea is you’re left with these husks of music,” he explains.

His new album, Mothertongue, slices, stretches, and stratifies language and the human voice. “The Only Tune,” featuring folk musician Sam Amidon, explodes a woodsy murder ballad. At first, the lyric is splintered, Amidon teasing out words one at a time. But as his banjo comes in, the singer finds a center of gravity, and a more traditional song, some mystic Appalachian air, takes shape… only to disintegrate and regenerate in other configurations, as wind and rain mingle with piano and viola.

Read the whole piece here. Also tonight…


Looking Glass” by the Raggedy Anns

Club Pop: Jeremy Jay, the Raggedy Anns, DJs Recess and Reflex
(Chop Suey) Jeremy Jay is a lanky (six foot three) young singer and songwriter from “Angel Town,” California, whose album, A Place Where We Could Go, was released this spring via Olympia’s K Records. His bio cites the French New Wave, art deco, Buddy Holly, Peter Pan, John Hughes; it also notes that Jay, who plays guitar and piano, likes to “drive around with the moonroof open listening to music with his friends.” K is a good fit for Jay, not just because of the above preciousness, but also because his music is spiritually and sonically a direct descendant of Beat Happening’s sleepy-headed-yet-coy dream pop, equal parts lo-fi and tuneful, updated with occasional synth touches. “Breaking the Ice” and the appropriately weightless “Airwalker” are especially convincing prom-night dance jams. Local outfit the Raggedy Anns mix rock, blues, jazz, and old-timey affectations into suspiciously studied shambles. ERIC GRANDY
Saviours live at the Blue Lamp in CA
Saviours, Titan, Treetarantula, Sandrider
(Comet) Saviours are a rare metal band that are doing everything right. They’ve got huge riffs, impeccably tasteful solos, and galloping beats that make you feel like you’re riding a trusty steed into an evil fortress. They’re a mix of Black Sabbath, early Metallica, and Motörhead refined into a modern metal juggernaut. The best part of their record Into Abaddon: The LP’s inside sleeve has the same image as the front cover, except with a pile of weed and some rolling papers on top. This is a band that understand their fans. Opening is Sandrider, a new side project from Akimbo drummer Nat Damm. There is a 100 percent chance you will wake up the morning after this show with a serious bangover. JEFF KIRBY
Nellie McKay - “The Dog Song”
Nellie McKay, Fences
(Neumo’s) The last time I saw Nellie McKay was at the dearly departed/potentially reanimated Crocodile, where an odd-duck crowd of NPR lovers and cabaret fans stood in a crush before the stage, while the adorable McKay sat at her piano, rolling out her postmodern comedy over the score for the musical that exists only in her big, weird head. Tonight, McKay plays Neumo’s—another stand-and-gawk rock club (when does she get her night at the Triple Door?) but the quality of the art compensates for any venue discord. DAVID SCHMADER

Today’s Music News

posted by on August 14 at 11:31 AM

Fight the power: Rage Against The Machine announce free shows

Touch my body: Gary Glitter deported to UK

Not as good as an indefinite hiatus: My Chemical Romance take a little time off

Not Method, Skulls, or Castles: Crystal Antlers sign to Touch&Go

Asshole alert: Korn singer claims to be the last bastion of talent

Please find another band to talk about: Indie blogs stoop to new low in completely pointless Radiohead news update

Totes! And Lanterns and Vinyl and Posters (Oh My)

posted by on August 14 at 11:20 AM


Our apologies for the slump on Line Out this morning. We’ve all been a bit busy here getting shit together for a little thing called Bumbershoot (start relearning the lines to “Plush” now!). So, yes, this is yesterday’s news, and yes, other media outlets have mentioned it already, but how fucking stoked are you for the new Of Montreal album?! Minus the few stubbornly contrarian trolls out there (shorter version: “cheap beer sucks! sunglasses suck! anything popular sucks!”), you should all be very, very excited—trust. If not for the further trans-gendered/racial lyrical advenutres of Georgie Fruit, than for the bevy of merch formats in which Skeletal Lamping will be available, pictured above, which include: cd, vinyl, paper lantern, tote bag and t-shirt, buttons, and wall decals, with all the non-musical media coming with download codes for the mp3s of the album. Everything comes out Oct 7, 2008 on Polyvinyl (who might want to change their name to Polyvinyltotesshirtsdecalsbuttonsandpaperlanterns).

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Move On Up, Up, Up, Up!

posted by on August 13 at 4:03 PM

Destination's 1979 From Beginning to End LP

Because it’s Wednesday, I thought I would post a STUDIO! favorite with Destination’s 1979 disco cover of Curtis Mayfield’s “Move On Up”. Now you may think it would be hard to top Mayfield’s original, as I originally thought, however over time I’ve really grown to enjoy this more “disco-sounding” uptempo version. There’s no denying Mayfield’s solid vocals which I always enjoy, however this cover version, which maintains a lot of the same instrumentation with a solid horn arrangement, dynamic string melodies, and funky percussion, is sped way up to give the song a more overall dancefloor friendly feel that I tend to enjoy a bit more. The cover track was originally released as a twelve inch single and was featured on Destination’s only LP, “From Beginning To End” during that same year. Regardless, it was preety bold for a group to take on such an amazing dynamic classic like “Move On Up”, however with that being said, Destination definitely turned it into a classic of there own.

Download Destination’s 1979 cover of Curtis Mayfield’s “Move On Up” by visiting this site.

One Dandy Nice, One Not

posted by on August 13 at 3:42 PM


One made me pee a little in my pants.

Courtney Taylor-Taylor of the Dandy Warhols is a really nice guy. Open and chatty he is. It’s their other guitar player, Peter Holmstrom, who’s a little stiff. Cold even. I was told to put my drums on stage for the KEXP BBQ and made the mistake of putting the kick drum near Peter. I dropped it down in his space, not knowing he was there arranging his guitars. It was like an hour before their soundcheck. I returned with another load and he said coldly, “That’s not gonna work.” I tinkled in fear and quickly moved my stuff as far away from him as possible. He scowled at me the rest of the day.

Courtney is a writer of more than just songs. He’s working on a screenplay and says he feeds on life around him for his writing. He said Sayulita, Mexico is not a good place to get away to and write. He went there with his wife, got stung on they eye by a mosquito, and left almost immediately. He also said he’s not happy with the way the Dig! documentary was edited. “They never really show the Dandies playing. And it never really shows Anton (from Brian Jonestown Massacre) as the gifted creator he is. They just show him as a madman.”

I tinkled three more times that day from Holmstrom giving me the ‘I’m More Famous Than You Laser Guy-Liner Scowl.’

“Norwegian Wood” Like You’ve Never Heard It

posted by on August 13 at 3:33 PM

Leila gives you “Norwegian Wood.”

Line Out’s had its share of contentious discussion about Rubber Soul (it’s great, but it’s not better than Revolver; sorry, Messrs. Frizzelle and Schmader).

We’re not going to go there today, thankfully. Instead, we’re going to bring to your attention a very interesting cover of “Norwegian Wood” (one of my favorite tracks on Rubber Soul, for what it’s worth). It’s executed by Leila on her new album, Blood, Looms and Blooms (released July 7 on Warp).

Leila’s version (hear it on her MySpace, unmastered) is slower and murkier than the original; it seems to be recorded at 16 rpm on warped vinyl that’s swirling in a vortex of molasses. Morose synth smears replace the elegantly uplifting sitar riff and Luca Santucci’s lugubrious vocals are sung at a funereal pace. The narrator’s observation that there wasn’t a chair in the room carries an unbearable sadness. Don’t even talk to me about the girl having to work in the morning… Too sorrowful for words. The drums are like tentative knocks on a door. Oh, the pathos. The track’s heaviness and distortion add another layer of poignancy to an already touching—albeit slyly humorous—tableau.

What in the Beatles’ hands is an airy, Anglo-Indian ballad becomes a deliquescent dirge in Leila’s grubby mitts. More cover versions should be this transformational.

Marnie Stern - “Transformer”

posted by on August 13 at 2:10 PM


Holy shit. This is amazing.

Marnie Stern - “Transformer”

Her sophomore album This Is It And I Am It And You Are It And So Is That And He Is It And She Is It And It Is It And That Is That is out 10/7 on Kill Rock Stars.

31Knots - Worried Well

posted by on August 13 at 1:40 PM


Portland’s 31Knots are one of those groups that had me hooked from the first time I heard them, which was about four years ago now. My introduction to the band was It Was High Time to Escape, released on the now virtually nonexistent 54º40’ or Fight! label. Somewhere I read a review of the band that compared them to old Modest Mouse with Yes’ Rick Wakeman on guitar, and that struck me as a pretty apt comparison. Since that record, however, the band has been slowly moving away from proggy compositions and more toward theatrical numbers with loops and pianos. On their last record, The Days and Nights of Everything Anywhere, the intricate back and forth riffing between the bass and guitar that made me love their early work was almost entirely absent. The record had a few worthwhile moments, but for the most part was a dud compared to the rest of their impressive catalog.

So hooray for 31Knots for straightening themselves out and writing the best record they’ve released since High Time. Worried Well manages to find the perfect balance between the intricate instrumentation and swaggering theatricality that have come to define their tenure as a band. “Strange Kicks” is built on a see-saw piano loop but breaks into guitar solos and a stomping chant-along. “Opaque/All White” has a guitar lick that would sound perfectly at home on the Yes album Relayer. The record is constantly turning, rising and falling, starting and stopping, each song unique from its counterparts. 31Knots are squarely back on the top of their game. Here’s to hoping they start receiving the attention they deserve for being one of the most intriguing bands in rock music.

Worried Well will be released 8/19 on Polyvinyl.

Did Scientology Kill Isaac Hayes?

posted by on August 13 at 12:44 PM


The entirely trustworthy FOX News maps out the creepy pre-death dealings between Hayes and his creepy chosen faith.

[I]n January 2006, Isaac had a significant stroke. At the time, the word went out only that he had been hospitalized for exhaustion….His staff—consisting of Scientology monitors who rarely left him alone—tried to portray it as a minor health issue. It wasn’t. Sources in Memphis told me at the time that Isaac had significant motor control and speech issues. His talking was impaired….

[T]here are a lot of questions still to be raised about Isaac Hayes’ death. Why, for example, was a stroke survivor on a treadmill by himself? What was his condition? What kind of treatment had he had since the stroke? Members of Scientology are required to sign a form promising they will never seek psychiatric or mental assistance. But stroke rehabilitation involves the help of neurologists and often psychiatrists, not to mention psychotropic drugs—exactly the kind Scientology proselytizes against.

Read the whole thing here.

Liz Phair to Perform Exile in Guyville

posted by on August 13 at 12:35 PM


At the Showbox. October 7th.

Go to for ticket info (eventually, right now the site says “Coming Soon!” and then redirects you to MySpace).

Benjamin of We Wrote the Book on Connectors

posted by on August 13 at 12:00 PM

by maybeemily

We Wrote the Book on Connectors (when not double-fisting cans of Rainier) sound like this:

Gonna Eat Some Cake Tonight

This Song is Currently Responsible for My Happiness

posted by on August 13 at 11:13 AM

Oh, Milo, you’re so fun to sing along to.

Tonight in Music: Thunderbird Motel, Birdshow of North America, Webelos

posted by on August 13 at 11:06 AM

Just because we didn’t write about any Wednesday shows in this week’s U&Cs, doesn’t mean there isn’t anything going on. A bunch of local bands are playing around town tonight so if you feel like going out, maybe discovering a new act, tonight’d be a good night to hit the bars. Here’s a short list of who’s where, along with a sample MP3 of what they sound like. Listen, pick something that sounds interesting, then go check ‘em out live.

Or stay home and watch Project Runway. I don’t care.

*Thunderbird Motel at the Rendezvous
Black Eye

*Birdshow of North America at Chop Suey
Homing Pigeon over Argonne, 1913

*Webelos at the Sunset
Living in Another City

See the whole list of tonight’s shows here.

Today’s Music News

posted by on August 13 at 11:06 AM

Hopefully starring John Travolta: MTV to remake Rocky Horror Picture Show

Move over, Daniel Johnston: Britney announces new record

Major label refugees: Secret Machines announce new record

Who?: You Me and Everyone We Know’s van catches on fire

The man who brought you Green Day, Rancid, Blink 182, Jawbreaker: Producer Jerry Finn taken off life-support

The man who brought you Napalm Death, Godflesh, Jesu: Justin Broadrick releases a bunch of new stuff

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Decline and Fall of the Kiley Family

posted by on August 12 at 3:13 PM

My little brother is the leader of a little Seattle-based band called Holy Ghost Revival. They’ve moved to London for a few months and, last week, did an audio interview with the Guardian. I was all excited for him, since the Guardian is the best best goddamned paper in the world. Then I listened to it:

Click here and skip to minute 27 to hear my little brother begin the interview by saying:

God came down and told us to form a band that was going to be dark glam rock that shakes its wang in people’s faces. But beautifully. Maybe there’s a little glitter on that wang.

Classy, Conor. Real classy.

“I don’t know about you guys,” my mother sighed after listening to the interview. Then she obliquely alluded to this article, which my parents have read, but never mentioned. “Sometimes I wonder whether any of my children are going to heaven.”

The Dutchess and the Duke

posted by on August 12 at 11:10 AM


by andrew.waits

See more great shots by Stranger readers in The Stranger’s Flickr Pool.

Tonight in Music: Stephen Ashbrook

posted by on August 12 at 10:25 AM

Stephen Ashbrook - “21 Young”
Stephen Ashbrook with Ian Moore, Mike Musberger, and Keith Lowe (Triple Door) He may hail from Portland these days, but singer/songwriter Stephen Ashbrook has never shaken the sun-drenched, acoustic pop-rock of his native Tempe. On his latest album, White Balloons, he takes the laid-back vibe of the Gin Blossoms’ best work and mixes in the rain-gray charm of Pete Droge, who produced the record. Tonight, he’s backed by a rockin’ band consisting of some of the Northwest’s finest—whiz-guitarist (and ace singer/songwriter in his own right) Ian Moore and drummer extraordinaire Mike Musburger. The evening is a benefit for Special Olympics Washington, so you’ll leave feeling good on both a musical and philanthropical front. BARBARA MITCHELL


*Hotel/Motel’s at Havana
*Matt Pryor (ex-Get Up Kids) and Chris Conley (Saves the Day) are both playing solo material at El Corazon

See what else there is.

This is All Chauncey’s Fault…

posted by on August 12 at 8:50 AM

Kanye West - “Champion”:

Morningwood - “Sugarbaby” (try playing on mute):

And, for old, creepy time’s sake:

(with hat tips to Idolator)

Monday, August 11, 2008

88 Drummed, Saber Tooth Undug

posted by on August 11 at 6:36 PM


On 8/8/08, 88 drummers played for 88 minutes at the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles and in Brooklyn on the Williamsburg waterfront. The name they give the event / piece is “88 BoaDrum” and it began at what time? 8:08 PM. Lead by the Japanese psych rock band Boredoms, the drummers played full drum kits arranged in a spiral formation. Onstage in LA, under a clear sky, Boredoms were the spiral’s center. Yamantaka Eye conducted by banging colored polls into his seven fretted guitar tower. I was on the outer shell of the spiral, right next to the crowd, drummer 56, and the 88 minutes were a blur.



It went off. It was on. It was epic and singular and multiple in its armada of fury.

88 drummers playing at the same time, the volume was sheer. Loud enough to rouse the saber tooth tiger fossil found in the tar pit years ago. The beast the drummers raised sat there in the air, listing and leaning as I had hoped. Prowling. We, the 88, banged it home. That many drums playing together sound like a march toward war. But there was no war. These drums were banged for unison, for numerology, for eternity. However eternal that is.




In the Asian culture 8 is an auspicious number. It’s pronunciation sounds similar to a word that means “prosper.” There are also ties of the 8 to the eternity symbol of the sideways 8. Whatever the meaning and reason, there was no way to get around the bigness of the sound. No way to just play or watch without being taken in. No way to be unaffected.

I had a clear sight line to EYE. And Yoshimi. Yoshimi hits the drums with huge, roundhouse strokes which make it easy to follow her. There were points when I was lost. One glance toward Yoshimi and I was back again. It was strange to make EYE contact with EYE. His energy and mind come from someplace other than here.

EYE’s blue poll meant make an accent (hit a cymbal) and keep playing the rhythm. Red meant hit a cymbal and stop. The white poll, which looked like a trident, meant go nuts, or free form. Instructions for the white poll were, “Please play strong and powerfully.” The rhythms began with Boredoms in the center and grew out sequentially around the drum spiral. The rule was to follow the drummer to your right for the pattern and follow EYE for tempo and volume swells.



EYE said, “Last year’s 77 drum event in New York on 7/7/07 had such an impact on me I thought we should do it again. It is very enjoyable to be a part of such a large, plural, and united sound. There are so many drummers here, each with their own version of making the beat. I am honored. I want them to hear us in Osaka.

Loud it was. As the beats made their way around the spiral you could feel them as much as hear them. Audience members were right behind the drummers and there was much interaction. Snare rolls ebbed and flowed like tides and 4/4 beats washed into cymbal swells. Then a white poll came out. Poseidon EYE with his Trident - and the drum world exploded 88 different ways. With all the vibration and noise, I was worried about setting off the San Andreas fault underneath LA, but the earthquake remained on the tar pit skins.


The 88th drummer, last in the spiral, was Zach Hill from the band Hella. The 88th drummer is a power position because that drummer needs to be able to hold the pattern the longest. Zach is powerful indeed. He’s as loud as twenty drummers. He and EYE were in eye contact communicating the end of each movement and the end of the piece. His volume alone roused a leg of the tar pit saber tooth. Zach said, “Ultimately the 88 BoaDrum is inspiring. It’s inspiring to be a part of. The pureness of the energy is inspiring to the crowd as well as the drummers. I think the drums are an under-celebrated instrument. See you in 09.”





(Pictures by Angela Dawn Photo)

Rolling Stone Gathers Some Loss

posted by on August 11 at 5:50 PM


I haven’t read the mag much in, um, decades, but this news about Rolling Stone
becoming smaller in size starting with its Oct. 30 issue strikes me as sad—and almost too literally symbolic of the grim state of (music) journalism today.

The New York Times quotes RS founder Jann Wenner, usually nostalgia’s staunchest champion, as saying: “All you’re getting from that large size is nostalgia.” (Insert sexual innuendo here.)

Isaac Hayes, 1942-2008

posted by on August 11 at 3:31 PM

Isaac Hayes

In honor of the great Isaac Hayes, who unfortunitely passed away yesterday in his Tennesse home, here is an amazing Ron Hardy white-label edit of Hayes’ 1975 classic funky dancefloor cut “I Can’t Turn Around.” Hayes will probably best be remembered for Shaft, however, his long career went well beyond the 1971 soundtrack, with Hayes releasing many amazing funk, soul, and even disco classics throughout the years. Some of my favorites that come to mind are “Zeke The Freak,” “Don’t Let Go,” “I Can’t Turn Around,” and of course “Theme From Shaft.” Regardless of your favorite track, it’s obvious that Isaac Hayes’ legacy, music, and influence will be forever lasting.

Download Ron Hardy’s classic edit of Isaac Hayes’s 1975 funky gem “I Can’t Turn Around” by visiting this site.

No Black Barack

posted by on August 11 at 3:11 PM

The best track to come of out of the Dead Prez camp is “Wolves”:

It’s parts: an ice synth, pounding beat, a little church piano, and a short sermon delivered by a secular black power preacher named Chairman Omali Yeshitela.

Over here, you can click and hear Yeshitela give a heavy sermon about Barack Obama.

A taste: “[Barack] hasn’t said the word black out of his mouth, not even to talk about the color of his suit or his shoes! He cannot address the suffering of African people.”

(Chill 206Proof, you beat me to it. I know, I know—it’s old.)

Speaking of Bands That Have Generic, Impossible to Search For Band Names…

posted by on August 11 at 1:05 PM

One of the guys from Anathallo (a favorite of mine) has teamed up with a dude from the Format to start a band called Fun.

You can hear them via MySpace:

The Valley

posted by on August 11 at 11:45 AM


by Greg Stonebraker

A Bug in My Ear

posted by on August 11 at 11:27 AM

Part of my reacclimation process upon returning to Seattle involves heavy exposure to KEXP. I don’t know exactly why yet, but if the last few days are indicative, I’m finding it easier to deal with John Richards’ show now than I had done during my previous years here (2002-2007). Maybe I’m just damned glad to be back in Seatown and everything’s taking on a rosier glow.

Whatever the case, I was pleasantly surprised this morning to hear Richards play the Bug’s “Skeng”at 8:50 in the bloody morning. Nothing like some menacing, punishing dancehall/dubstep to get the blood flowing properly in the A.M.

John: Please continue to spin extreme cuts like “Skeng” [see video below] in prime time. Because, when you get right down to it, your show should be all about pleasing Dave Segal.

The Bug—featuring Warrior Queen and led by mad bass commando Kevin Martin—play the Decibel Festival Sun. Sept. 28. Start looking for a chest protector now.

Tonight in Music: Music Video?

posted by on August 11 at 10:25 AM

Music Video?, Glorydog, Nancy Frieko
(High Dive) There are several things wrong with the band name Music Video?. The first, obviously, is the extraneous question mark. Readers might not know this, but copy editors are a violently uptight bunch, and all the cute little commas, exclamation points, and question marks in your band names (I’m looking at you !!!, Adult., the Go! Team, etc.) make their lives downright miserable. Secondly, Googling “music video” along with various combination of “Seattle,” “band,” “MySpace,” or what have you elicits nothing so much as WTO protest footage on YouTube, the Wikipedia page for “Grunge,” and the MySpace pages of Pearl Jam and Throw Me the Statue. Finally, and this isn’t the band’s fault, the High Dive calendar page only links to tonight’s openers, neither of whom inspire particularly high hopes for the mysterious Music Video?. (See how dumb that band name looks in a proper sentence?) ERIC GRANDY

There’s no photo or video with this post because Eric’s right, it’s impossible to track down the band via quick internet searching. Use your imagination.

See who else is playing around town tonight here.

Today’s Music News

posted by on August 11 at 7:46 AM

Fan tossing: Akon skips court appearance for concert assault

I withdraw any negative comments I ever made about this guy: Dan Deacon announces conceptual tour

Stupid vs. stupid: Judge rules that RIAA’s damages are too high

To be 17 forever: Paramore plan next record

Decreasing expectations: More info on Metallica’s new album

Micha!: Integrity on Vice TV

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Party Jams and Luaus on Roosevelt

posted by on August 10 at 4:24 PM

So last night I was headed to a “luau party” in the U-District, and I was pretty stoned. Stoned enough that I saw a big party and walked inside without checking the address, assuming it was where I was supposed to be. The place was packed with a young crowd, much younger than I’m used to, mostly recent high school graduates. The whole scene was pretty typical – bros playing pong and chugging Coors, flocks of giggly teenage girls. But then there was this band playing in the living room, and they stopped me right in my tracks. As far as party bands go I don’t know if I’ve seen a more appropriate or tastefully discerning group than these guys. They call themselves the Freetown, and they play “Rock, Soul, and Funk,” which theoretically should be the recipe for a bullshit cocktail, but somehow these guys were not only pulling it off, but excelling at it. Their set was a mix of original tunes and a handful of covers molded into their own style. The keyboardist had an amazing high-pitched soulful croon, accompanied nicely by a female backup singer. They were all young kids, early twenties, but they had legitimate chops. They covered songs everybody knew, but changed them enough to keep from being too clichéd: Some highlights were Radiohead, the Pixies, and Outkast, performed with just the right amount of party jamming and soul. It could have - should have - been poison. But it wasn’t. Color me surprised.


Since there was hardly anyone at the party who was 21, beer was something of a scarce commodity, so I walked down the street to the Plaid Pantry to get myself something to drink. It was on the way back that I passed a fenced off yard full of people in Hawaiian shirts and leis and realized I had wandered into the wrong party. Inside the luau a middle-aged woman was singing one of the songs from Shrek, and through the fence an old guy in a funny hat totally mean mugged me. Fuck that shit. I went back to catch the rest of the Freetown; they were doing a spot on Otis Redding cover. Well done, crew. You are on your way to mastering the art of the party jam. If this review turns out to be any way helpful to your band, don’t thank me, thank my weed.

I eventually made my way over to the luau, and it also turned out to be a blast, though at that party I was the youngest guy instead of the oldest. The host Kevin had a massive wall of vinyl, and played me David Faustino (“D” Lil) from Married With Children’s rap record circa 1992. He also played me Brian Austin Green from 90210’s rap record from the same era. It was a valuable and enjoyable learning experience. This was a legitimate adult party, Samantha and Kevin’s 10th luau, so it was decked out with a huge spread of delicious food and free liquor. I spent the night hopping back and forth across the street. Outside of the illegal party I asked the Freetown which member of the band would sacrifice his life for the good of his band mates, and they unanimously chose guitarist Jordan Platz. I rewarded his possible altruism by taking him over to the luau to take some shots. I wasn’t sure how they would feel about me bringing this guy in, so we entered the gate stealthily and shot straight to the kitchen. Shortly thereafter an overzealous “bouncer” who thought we wandered in from the bar next door tried to throw us out. He really looked like he wanted to beat us up. He did not give shit one that I was there to “crash the party.” After he calmed down I stole his soul with my digital camera. Then we drank.


The Freetown play August 15th at the Lenin Statue in Fremont.

Isaac Hayes Dead at 65

posted by on August 10 at 1:42 PM


Soul singer Isaac Hayes died today in Memphis. He was 65. (LA Times)