Among the victims of last year’s tragic and infamous Café Racer shootings was “Meshugunah Joe” Albanese, an underground punk renaissance man and icon of Seattle’s neo-cabaret scene. Joe was a pivotal member in many projects and bands, including the Nu Klezmer Army, God’s Favorite Beefcake, the Circus Contraption Band, and an eight-member ensemble called Bat Country that includes Melissa Cerise-Bullock, who co-founded the band with Mikey Sellars in 2006, and Bill Cerise-Bullock, her husband.
The release performance of Bat Country’s farewell album, Love is the Only Engine of Survival, is tomorrow at Columbia City Theater. With tracks like “Knockin On My Coffin” and “God Better Watch His Back,” the 12-track work is appropriately described as “Doom-Americana”—powerful, florid, poetic—a growling dark carnival of gallows humor that delights and sometimes disturbs. I spoke with Bill and Melissa via email.
What is your ultimate goal in releasing Love is the Only Engine of Survival? This album exists because we had to find some way to honor Joe and his immense musical talent, and to honor what we all created with him and let that live on. We are all immensely proud of this album. In the aftermath of what happened, in the wake of losing Joe, our mission was to make this album into something beautiful—as much of a eulogy for Joe and the band as it could possibly be, in terms of quality and presentation—and making that available to as many people as possible. This album has become something between a beautiful baby to deliver and a demon to exorcise.
This is Bat Country's final performance ever? Bat Country is a band of eight very strong personalities. We all love each other madly, and there is an amazing bond between all of us. When Joe died, there was no question that we'd have to preserve what we'd made with him and make it available.
We played a couple of the benefit and memorial shows for Cafe Racer last June, and those were our last live performances before we threw ourselves into finishing the album using the tracks we had with Joe. It felt right to play one more show anyway, to give some real closure to the entire thing.
HOLY CRAP!! How excited am I?!? Hawkwind, the fucking kings of prog, are FINALLY touring the US again!!! It's been decades, y'all. Uh, but...oh wait, no Seattle date. Weak. Jeez, but they're playing Mod Club TDOT franchise?!?
The tour commemorates the anniversary and re-release of the band's landmark 1975 album, Warrior On The Edge Of Time. Hawkwind will perform the album in it's entirety along with classic tracks selected from their 40+ year history.
Check the dates here, closest show to Seattle is San Francisco. Also: they seem to be playing the fuck out of Texas.
(Neumos, 8 pm, $15 adv, 21+.) Mount Kimbie—London producers Kai Campos and Dominic Maker—were post-dubstep media darlings around the release of 2010's Crooks & Lovers. Back then, I wrote in these pages: "The album abounds with strange but addictive melodies, cleverly tweaked vocals, artful frequency manipulating, and fluxy, funky rhythms that'll force you to invent new dance moves." However, Mount Kimbie's new Cold Spring Fault Less Youth album breaks with that approach; it features more emphasis on "song"-like tracks—meaning more guest vocalists, more conventionality, and more popularity (probably). Not sure yet that this change suits Mount Kimbie, but live, they always bring the hedonistic heat. Tri Angle Records artist Holy Other is one of the planet's preeminent witch-house purveyors. The Manchester producer's slithering tracks hover into earshot with halos of ectoplasmic synthesizers and spectral, warped voices of indeterminate gender. They're great for weeping rhythmically to. Vinyl Williams are an LA-based quintet led by Lionel Williams who play, in their words, "teal pop." Translation: They sound like Slowdive with a bit of energy drink in their tanks, augmented by the dreamiest, breathiest female vocals—courtesy of Nikita Arefkia—this side of Bilinda Butcher. Seems like an odd fit on a bill with Mount Kimbie and Holy Other, but I'm not complaining.
A Tasty, Grimy Little Treat: No Age just released a song off of their upcoming album An Object, due out August 20 on Sub Pop! Start this dauntingly gray Friday afternoon off right with a fuzzy noise-rock snack!
Your Favorite Odd Duck: A gaggle of R. Stevie Moore's albums spanning from the mid-'70s to the late '80s have been reissued on vinyl by the NY label Personal Appeal. This includes his 2012 double-LP comp Hearing Aid.
Pleased to Meet Me, Again: The Replacements will be reuniting (sans Chris Mars) in August as they headline Riot Fest, appearing on stage for the first time in 22 years - hope no one has been holding their breath! Looks like Christmas came early for Denver, Toronto, and Chicago.
Twitter Battle, Fiddle Faddle: This past Wednesday, Amanda Bynes tweeted at Miley Cyrus "Ur ugly" in her continued attempt to punk the whole country. Everyone's going be pretty embarrassed for demonizing Bynes once she reveals that this has all been an elaborate acting exercise.
Prodigal Son Returns: Dave Matthews is set to perform in South Africa for the first time with his full backing band! Because it turns out there are dads in South Africa, too. Also he is from there.
Do You Wanna Sue Me: Joan Jett is suing Hot Topic for trademark infringement on her line of lingerie Blackheart. Hot Topic released a lingerie brand of the same title for ladies (pre-teen mall rats) that rock.
Television Debut: On June 19 the Postal Service will appear on The Colbert Report for their first-ever TV appearance as they gear up for their reunion tour - 10 years after their album Give Up was released on Sub Pop.
No Deal: Singer and bassist of the Pixies, Kim Deal, has reportedly left the band. Fingers crossed, selfishly, that it's only a temporary departure, so she can focus on the Breeders.
Heads Up: If you guys haven't already RSVP'd to a very tempting themed graduation party tonight or whatever you should definitely make your way to Highline to see Warm Soda, Ketamines, The Cry, Boom City, and Zebrasiers! The syrupy garage-pop wonders Warm Soda (featuring Matthew Melton of Bare Wires) recently released a new music video for Jeanie Loves Pop off their 2013 album Someone for You.
Okay, at the risk of being a total killjoy, I have to say I thought the fact that the "50 Women Who Rock" list in Seattle Weekly was super lame. The thing is all of the women on this list are AMAZING, and it included many ladies essential to every aspect of our music community who don't always get the props they deserve (talent buyers, photographers, managers, etc.) But aside from the fact that these types of lists are pretty marginalizing, the worst part is that it was written to prop up that god-awful embarrassment, the "Women Who Rock,” a traveling exhibit from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (featured at EMP).
The exhibit features all the important hard-hitting foundations of women in rock, such as Madonna's bustier and Lady Gaga's piano. Mostly, the fashion-heavy exhibit feels pretty insulting to women who actually rock...when Salon ran a story about the (“The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s Women Problem”), it pointed out that women make up less than 10% of the inductees.
I would have hoped that things would have changed for the better, but it looks like only ¼ of this years inductees are women. Of course, an organization that doesn't seem to care about representing history fairly, then putting on a “women in rock” exhibit comes across as "Let's give women something for a second, maybe it will shut them up!” (and while we are doing some binders full of women lists, here is Flavorpill's list of women that they can’t believe are NOT in the the Hall of Fame.)
They Might Be Giants played Showbox Sodo on Wednesday. From where I was standing, John Linnell still looks EXACTLY the same. John Flansburgh now has a mustache; their voices haven’t aged a bit.
- One of the John's (it's hard to tell their voices apart) bellowed "HELLO MUSIC INSIDERS!" to greet Seattle. - Their second song was “New York City”—one of their best songs (a cover of one of Cub’s best songs). - When Linnell pulled out the accordion for their hit "Dr. Worm," the crowd went wild. He said, “We know why you came tonight.” - The Johns plus their three backing musicians had a lot of energy. And a lot of instruments. Their melodica player was tops. - During “Mammal” a guy with a ponytail jumped up from his chair so excitedly, he knocked it over. - During “Turn Around," a woman in the bar hopped around in a circle, smiling with her eyes closed, every time the chorus started. - Flansburgh told jokes into a robot-monster-voice microphone.
The show was a 14+ show (?), but I didn’t see too many teens there, though they could have been way in the front (I was way in the back in the drinking corral). What I did see was a lot of beaming nerds. Nerds holding hands, nerds being friendly—people able to drink a few drinks without turning into rage monsters or jerk messes. (That is, except for the single purple-haired tweaker in the bathroom. I'm not sure what was going on with her.)
"This wallet doesn't even function unless it's stuffed."
I left before the set ended because I had four hours to pack and get myself on a plane to Chicago, but my friend (who has had a TMBG wallet since I have known her) sent me a video of them ending with their #1 song "Birdhouse in Your Soul." LOVE.
Tonight is the hotly anticipated record release for local ambient craftsman Secret Colors (aka Matt Lawson) for his new LP, Days Off. The first single, "King," brims with fascinating, alien-like wonder and beats. The evening continues to spill into the beyond with White Poppy; on their latest cassette, I Had a Dream, pixilated, Cocteau Twins–y fairy sighs are backed with an ever-present dance beat nearly lost in the kaleidoscopic blur. The eight tracks make a prismatic pop soundtrack perfect for beach-bound sleepwalking, or just chilling exceptionally. Tonight's expansive sonic buffet also offers darker-hued tropi-synths from the Numbs (Seattle's Jeff Johnson) and Queen Scott Johnson, a Canadian mind-dislocator with a special knack for rearranging sound into ambient fields of ecstasy. Swoon! Cairo, 8 pm.
by Dave Segal
on Fri, Jun 14, 2013 at 9:47 AM
Sad news: Bay Area soul singer supreme Darondo died of heart failure on June 9. A phenomenal, flamboyant performer who cut several great songs in the early '70s that only made a minor ripple in the public consciousness, Darondo enjoyed a revival of interest in 2006 when Ubiquity sub-label Luv N' Haight issued Let My People Go, an excellent compendium of classy, heart-melting ballads and loin-boiling funk.
I wrote a piece on Darondo in advance of his 2008 Bumbershoot performance. Here's a snippet from it.
One of funk's most suave practitioners is Darondo (William Pulliam, whose hair is slicked back, for the record), an obscure Bay Area singer who gives Al Green and Ron Isley a run for their silk sheets in the loverman sweepstakes. Darondo recorded a mere nine songs in the early '70s (which Luv N' Haight Records collated for the 2006 release Let My People Go), played only four shows—including an opening slot for the... Godfather of Soul—and then exited the music business in a Rolls-Royce.
At a recent Orange County show, Darondo looked like a million bucks as he danced, belted, crooned, and did the splits, shaming performers half his age with his energy and vocal dopeness. He excitingly reanimated songs like the ridiculously lascivious "Legs (Part 1)," the low-slung chiller of "Let My People Go," and the buttery heart-melter "Didn't I." These dapper 35-plus-year-old songs have aged as well his own bad self has. No wonder JB praised him during their only encounter.
The Bends' sole side, "If It's All The Same To You," was issued as a B-side filler opposite a lounge singer named "Smokey." What in the FUCK?!?! Such was the way to get your nephew's band on record...I reckon!
These kids were from Pennsylvania, and as far as I know, that is all that is known about this group.
TOP 10 NW MUSIC FOR WEEK OF 6/3 - 6/9 FROM THE OFFICE OF FILM + MUSIC Compiled from figures at Sonic Boom Records (Ballard) and Easy Street Records (West Seattle)
1. Alice in Chains - Devil Out Dinosaurs Here 2. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis - The Heist 3. Mad Season - Above 4. Mark Lanegan & Duke Garwood - Black Pudding 5. Robert Delong - Just Movement 6. Microphones - It Was Hot, We Stayed in the Water 7. The Postal Service - Give Up (10th Anniversary) 8. Telekinesis - Dormarion 9. Hannalee - Morchella 10. Sean Nelson - Make Good Choices
Alice in Chains sold more than Macklemore & Ryan Lewis? Whuuuuuuut?
What up Gertrude? Last night at a most indecent hour, Tacoma ruffians ILLFIGHTYOU, comprised of veteran spitter Evergreen One, Khris P (P for "producer" I assume) and UGLYFRANK dropped a tape full of downright ig'nant lyricism and even dirtier beats. The Tac Town crew racks up stacks of vile innuendo, drug induced paranoia, pistol whipping insults, and repugnant raps relaying the things they simply do not give fucks about such as:
1. Fame 2. Rap 3. Fashion 4. Cops/The Law 5. Your Bitch/Y'all Hoes/Yo Ma 6. Rules 7. School 8. Jesus Christ 9. Checks (cash only) 10. The World 11. Plans
As a matter of fact, for once, it's easiest to talk about what these musicians do care for: Money.
These new-era nihilists daringly assert in our age of infinitely positive (even if forced) twitter take-downs and internet intervention that they will not hesitate to hit a lick on, pistol whip, smack, or otherwise damage a hate—even occasionally causing them to "eat curbs"—in search of the almighty bands, racks, n'stacks while indulging, and imbibing ultra ad nauseam.
Recalling the era of 2 Live Crew Vs The Supreme Court on obscenity charges, I thought it might be fun to note the crews most grating lyrics in a (very) rough count. After lock down and lights out, I settled into a pair of headphones and noted the following: Robbery is mentioned 9 times, Drug Use a whopping 35 times, Sex Acts 13 times, plus 5 Pistol Whips, and at least 20 Threats to Self-mutilate or Cause Harm To Others (casting of the aspersion "Faggot" came in at a restrained 3 times). All this in a 45 minute 32 second 12 track album. I must say: I enjoyed every goddamn second.
What's best about the album is Khris P's exhillirating production work, with microphones set just right, and beats ranging from trap to trip, and the use of such perfect samples as a sub machine gun, and the sound of someone sniffing through straw for beats. The raps never slouch either: full of witty insults you'll want to get this on the phone and slap it in the scraper, because it's going to take time to come up to the speed at which all three of these Tacoma cats rap. I went all mush mouthed trying to keep up on subsequent listens, or maybe it's just that I was laughing at the euphemisms like "herbivores keep the herb fryin", "Columbine yo mama", and my new personal favorite "masturbate to dollas".
You too can download this slew of perfectly executed chopper rap, and show you have A. good taste in local music, or at the very least B. A sense of humor.
On May 23, the NYC-based hiphop magazine XXL dropped a bomb on the 206 called "The New New: 15 Seattle Rappers You Should Know." No one saw it coming. It simply fell from the sky and exploded on us. The people at the magazine certainly had no idea they had dropped anything like a bomb on anybody; they thought it was just a nice and harmless love letter to a city that provided the latest, biggest name in hiphop: Macklemore. So why did "The New New" do more damage than good to Seattle? The answer is easy: Some felt there were names that should not be on the list, and others felt there were names that were missing from the list. The net effect of these feelings? Hella hate.
Not too long ago, while writing at my favorite joint, the Station on Beacon Hill, I overheard some rappers (I will not name names) who were not on the list say things like "I know they are cool, but why are they on the list? They don't even rap," and "You can call me a hater, but what's wrong with hating sometimes—it's being real. I want to hate, and you want me to hide my feelings? That's not happening."
by Brian Cook
on Thu, Jun 13, 2013 at 12:45 PM
I was excited to learn that Finnish crust legends Terveet Kadet were playing in my neighborhood in Brooklyn on their tour surrounding their appearance at this year’s Chaos In Tejas festival. And I was pretty bummed when I realized I was going to be out of town the night of their show. At the very least, I wanted a memento to mark the occasion of this rare stateside appearance, so I had a friend swing by the merch table and pick out a shirt for me. His choice was perfect.
While not as over-the-top as my Tit Pig shirt or as blasphemous as my Four Dead shirt, it’s still a suitable addition to my graphically phallic merch collection.