The ladies of NighTrain have made a video that combines sweet post-punk guitars, the cover of Billy Joel's The Stranger (it's those masks!) and the witchiness of The Craft for their new single "Huntress."
For anyone who didn't know the band's charming back story, the four-piece originally formed for a play about a punk band called "Hot Grits," and learned to play instruments, write songs, and play a few underground shows around Seattle to prepare for their roles in the production. Afterward, they had bonded with each other AND won so many over hearts in the music community that they ended up staying together and forming NighTrain.
It's been so fun watching them develop their sound over the last few years...fans such as myself can also donate to their Indiegogo campaign to help fund the self-release their new album and upcoming Southern US tour here.
by Josh Bis
on Mon, May 20, 2013 at 4:58 PM
Beat Connection at Neumos
The fog machine was up high and the lights were down low for Beat Connection's headlining set at Neumos on Friday night. Wisely, the club had relegated the legal drinkers to the mezzanine, turning the main floor over to more dance-prone all-ages set. The band, whose Surf Noir EP remains among my favorite local releases, started as a summer-crystallizing electro-duo Reed Juenger & Jordan Koplowitz on the University of Washington campus and later swelled to a four-piece with tons of guest appearances for last year's Palace Garden, and has since reconfigured yet again to a lean tour-friendly trio of Juenger plus acoustic drummer Jarred Katz and vocalist Tom Eddy.
Whereas their records are synesthetic computery kaleidoscopic compositions, the reconfiguration to a touring trio left most of the songs feeling looser and much more centered around Eddy's vocals and guitar—the difference between a sonic beachy headphones cocoon and a loungey sunset cabana party. Or maybe it was just an effect of standing too close to the monitor. In any case, the show was incredibly fun with the full downstairs frothed into a dancing mess of revelry and crowd-planking for most of the set. It felt like celebratory send-off: Friday was apparently their last local show "for a long time." After winding down a west coast tour they're planning to ship off to Laos for a couple months to dream up a follow-up full length album. Never fear, though, before leaving to write, regroup, and record, they'll be hanging out at the Barboza for a residency of summer DJ spins. A few more fogged-out photos after the jump.
For its time, the Red Squares' blazin'-tight, riff-driven "You Can Be My Baby" is an exception. It sits just beyond the edge of what the then contemporary big chord/riffy bands like the Creation, the Who and the Kinks were doing. The opening riff salvo sounds like something from the Damned's first LP.
The Red Squares were an English band working in Denmark. That "You Can Be My Baby" is SO heavy and fast was actually a bit odd for them, as they otherwise were a 4 Seasons-sounding harmony group. Oh, there are two versions: the above is the Swedish version b/w "Turning Around," and the other is what sounds like a demo; it's slower, b/w "Sherry," and was issued in Denmark. The Red Squares were popular enough, at the time. They recorded two LPs and a ton of 45s. They split in 1969, but reformed in 1989; they're still active.
I was never really a fan of the Doors, but somehow always assumed that Ray Manzarek was an alright dude. It probably had something to do with his work with X or his tumbling keyboard part being the least annoying element of "Riders on the Storm."
There's more information on his life and death over here. Rest in Peace, man. I hope you're able to break on through in some way or another.
Are you a Doors fan, man? If so, now is a good time to stick your head out of the nearest open window and yell, "VIVA LA DOORS!"
Jesus Christ. Why did every last person in the '70s hafta act like a butthole!?
I still haven't figured out why Patrick Swayze, that is his character "Ace," hasta THROW HIS GODDAMN CHEWING GUM!! Like, he throws his gum as if it's some type of badassery bullshit...."HERE TAKE THIS YOU IDJITS!! I'MA WIN THIS DISCO SKATE CONTEST" (throws gum in the corner of the room) Huh? Nice moves, tho', I guess...is that a ribbon or a key chain he's whipping around?! Also included in this all-star cast of casts: Scott Baio and Flip Wilson.
If you wanna watch the entire movie, you CAN: right here!
Seattle-based producer Kid Smpl and his label Hush Hush (headed up by KEXP's razor-sharp Alex Ruder) have been kicking ass over the course of the last few:
Hush Hush Records' flagship artist Kid Smpl (22 year-old, Seattle-based producer Joey Butler) had a breakout year in 2012, highlighted by an acceptance to Red Bull Music Academy, the release of his debut album Skylight, and a recent Bubblin' Up feature on XLR8R.
In anticipation of his upcoming Armour EP, due out July 2013, Hush Hush reached out to 20 friends to interpret his blissful atmospheric ambient/bass tracks for the 2-volume Skylight Remixes collection. We're thrilled with the diverse results from both established names and emerging artists and excited to share them with the world starting on May 28th.
This tasty selection of remixes features luminescent luminaries like IG88, WD4D, and Jerome LOL; the first taste, however, bears the soulful imprint of Cloud Nice/Kingdom Crumbs' light source Tay Sean. Click the player, player, and peep: lovely, languid crystalline space-funk awaits you. Skylight Remixes, Volume 1 will be up for free download this Thursday, May 28th (with Volume 2 due in June).
by Dave Segal
on Mon, May 20, 2013 at 12:09 PM
The Bismarck, SEMINARS, and KOZO have a show coming up at the Rendezvous Friday May 31. To alert you to this momentous occasion, somebody in SEMINARS scripted a video to that infamous movie, Der Untergang (2004), which has been the basis for a series of thigh-slappingly funny "Hitler Reacts To" parodies. Bonus: Shots fired at The Stranger.
by Jen Kagan
on Mon, May 20, 2013 at 12:01 PM
Along the timeline of humans getting together to push wind through slick metal and make strings vibrate, Dmitri Shostakovich sits between 1906 and 1975. He worked in Russia, which he loved, under Stalin, whom he didn’t. This state of affairs meant that many of Shostakovich’s compositions function as giant double entendres: anti-Czarist on the face and anti-Soviet just under the surface. As many of his artist and intellectual friends fled the country or were disappeared, he chose to stay and write some seriously agonizing and frightening sounds. It’s exhilarating to be moved by them because to do so is to participate in Shostakovich’s subversion, to get away with laughing in the tyrant’s face without him knowing.
Friday’s Seattle Symphony program included three of Shostakovich’s works. The first was Festive Overture (1954), which features the symphony orchestra as an industrious music-making machine. On Friday, the machine was operated by Gerard Schwarz, SSO's former music director, who stepped back onto the Benaroya podium for the night. With a wave of his arms, horns! A gesture, and the strings responded at once. Each cog in the machine announced its presence, separately, quickly, before they all got back to work together. The piece is a Stalinist’s wet dream, officially composed for the anniversary of the 1917 revolution and maybe, unofficially, to celebrate Stalin’s death the year before.
Next, the Cello Concerto No. 1 (1959) featured Gerard's son, Julian—and made the younger Schwarz sweat. He'd take his red handkerchief out of his pocket, wipe his forehead and the neck of his instrument, and get back in position just in the nick of time. This 21-year-old is what swagger looks like on a cellist, and the incredibly complicated, restless, nightmarish piece justified it.
Finally, Symphony No. 11 (1957) dropped the audience in St. Petersburg’s Palace Square leading up to the 1905 Bloody Sunday massacre, in which thousands of unarmed protesters approached the palace gates and were met with gunfire.
The first movement started with long, eerie string sounds that proceeded reluctantly as the timpani and distant horn signaled something wicked approaching. There were no people in the square yet, but eventually they would gather in the snow to demand not-so-outlandish things like living wages. Rumor (from the London Philharmonic Orchestra podcast) has it that Shostakovich’s father was there that day. The drumming grew louder and closer, until a confrontation between state boots and everyone else became inevitable. Two minutes of pure hell start at 32:00:
The violent drums, big brass, and angry bells that close out Shostakovich’s Eleventh don’t offer comfort or closure or victory to anyone who was in the Palace Square in 1905. Or to anyone who was listening in the audience in 1957. The struggle continues.
by Josh Bis
on Mon, May 20, 2013 at 11:40 AM
Hope your lungs, sunburns, eardrums and credit cards have recovered because, a month after it ended, it's already time to start thinking about Coachella all over again. After tweeting a terse warning on Friday, the festival rebooted its website this morning with an announcement/confirmation of next year's festival dates: April 11-13 and 18-20, 2014. Prices remain the same: starting $349 for a general admission wristband and $85 camping passes all the way up to $6500 for an air-conditioned "safari" tent with artist guest level access and a swimming pool and circusy lounge.
Per usual, fans will be buying in on well-earned faith in Goldenvoice's ability to throw a festival worth attending. The lineup won't be revealed until early next year, but perennial speculation rituals never really stop (dozens of forum threads on whether 2014 be the year that we get lucky and see Daft Punk's long-awaited return are already buzzing). One minor quirk: festival junkies heading out early for Sasquatch or already raving at Primavera should plan their proximity to wifi carefully: the Coachella pre-sale opens on Friday morning at 10 PDT and, if past performance is an indicator of future results, the early bird ticket pool will probably be exhausted within an hour or two. Plan your internet connections accordingly.
While more tickets will likely be available next year, the pre-sale is the only window of opportunity to get in on the the payment plan option, which takes a 20-percent down payment and splits the remaining charges over the remainder of 2013.
Main man Tom "Tobacco" Fec and his merry band of musicians play KEXP 90.3 FM at 11:00am today (Pacific Standard Time). If you miss their on-air performance, the station maintains an invaluable archive at kexp.org/live (recent guests include Kurt Vile, Os Mutantes, and Colleen Green).
I'm curious to hear what the glammed-up material from Cobra Juicy sounds like without the safety net of the studio. Black Moth Super Rainbow plays Neumos tonight with the Hood Internet and Oscillator Bug. $15 adv, 8pm, 21+
The Oakland trio (vocalist-bassist Shannon Shaw, guitarist Cody Blanchard, and drummer Ian Amberson) have outdone themselves with this finger-snapping, Technicolor torch song that re-imagines Roy Orbison as a Shangri-Las singer.
Stream the whole thing at the AV Club through tomorrow. You can also watch a short documentary here. Hardly Art releases Dreams in the Rat House on May 21. Then, on June 7, Shannon & the Clams play the Tractor Tavern with Mikal Cronin.
* "Into a Dream" hit my inbox on May 1, but I didn't get the chance to listen until yesterday.
by Dave Segal
on Mon, May 20, 2013 at 8:08 AM
Seattle techno label Knightriders offers another excellent techno podcast from Maria Goetz, a producer who'll be releasing her Neuronal EP in late June through KR. Feel the deepness and darkness of this hour-long mix.
(Vera) Stand back, dudes, I'm about to turn into a spastic fangirl, because Olympia's RVIVR are one of my VERY FAVORITE bands right now. ALL CAPS. I've listened to their new album, The Beauty Between, at least twice every day since it was released last month (and by "twice" I mean "10 times"), and it has been more effective than my antidepressants. Their blasting, poptimistic punk-rock songs have helped pull me out of an unexplainable spring rut, giving me the same heart-fuzzies I had when I heard Operation Ivy's Energy as a teenager. It's the ultimate example of why I started listening to punk rock in the first place—nonpandering lyrics about how shit can suck, maybe it'll get better, maybe it won't, but we'll get through it together. For further esteem-boosting, check out their cover of Shellshag's "Resilient Bastard." It is required listening for those moments in life when you've read one too many internet comments.