(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.
by Dave Segal
on Sat, May 18, 2013 at 10:29 AM
(Columbia City Theater) Kinski's musical trajectory can be viewed as a long, gradual descent from their first few albums' spacey rambling to their post–Don't Climb on and Take the Holy Water output, which plowed a beefier, more torqued, earthbound groove. The Seattle quartet recently released their Kill Rock Stars debut, Cosy Moments, six years after their last full-length. In some ways, it's their most accessible work to date, featuring more of guitarist Chris Martin's pleasantly flat vocals than previously and greater emphasis on speedy punk-rock ramalama. Earlier tendencies to ramble—albeit interestingly—have largely been scaled back to more concise, structured songwriting, and Kinski have come through with some of their catchiest songs ("Throw It Up," "A Little Ticker Tape Never Hurt Anybody," "Conflict Free Diamonds"). They've always killed live, and now Kinski have a bunch of brilliant new tunes to drop on you—including my new favorite, the blissed-out "We Think She's a Nurse."
(Barboza) New York–based the Beets make laid-back, lo-lo-lo-fi rock music for hanging out. I've been listening to their 2011 album, Let the Poison Out, quite a bit lately—the guitars and drums meander along, not too slowly, just not beat-your-brains-out hotshot rock. Lead Beet, Uruguay-born Juan Wauters, sings relaxed (and really funny) lyrics over stumbling melodies, and even complicated subject matter, like giving in to the daily grind of adulthood or, y'know, dying, feels as heavy as a Bart Simpson balloon floating over a pizza picnic.
MAN OR ASTRO-MAN?: A futuristic surf-rock band from outer space.
Man or Astro-Man? reportedly take their name from the promotional poster for the 1960 film The Human Vapor, known in its origin country of Japan as Gas Human No. 1. Also, Man or Astro-Man? are from outer space, and most definitely not Auburn, Alabama. Around the turn of the century, Alpha and Gamma clone replicas of the band began touring in order to meet popular demand for their highly sought-after intergalactic sonic wave forms. Twelve years after their last documented recordings, and after "years of hibernation," the original lineup of Birdstuff, Coco the Electronic Monkey Wizard, and Star Crunch have returned with their ninth album, Defcon 5...4...3...2...1, which finds their futuristic adaptations of surf rock to be otherworldly in technical precision. The following electronic communications were recorded on May 7, 2013.
Your intergalactic sonic wave forms are often documented by one Steve Albini. Is Steve Albini human?
Well, what a lot of people don't know is that Steve Albini is actually the inspiration for The Six Million Dollar Man. Last-minute studio changes resulted in the character having "bionic" implants as opposed to the "microphonic" implants Albini employs. Execs felt the world of studio recording was perhaps not as exciting as that of crime-fighting and espionage, so Albini's character was shelved. They then changed Steve's last name to Austin, and Albini became the Pete Best of electrical implants.
How have the years of hibernation affected your ability to manipulate your instruments?
It didn't affect us as much as it affected our instruments. Those things were dusty.
by Dave Segal
on Fri, May 17, 2013 at 5:24 PM
BEAT CONNECTION, ONUINU, AND PAINTED PALMS AIRBRUSH THE DANCE FLOOR
Seattle trio Beat Connection make shimmery electronic pop that's always ready to hit the beach or the pool. It's a bit too airbrushed and air-conditioned for my ears, but I'm way out of Beat Connection's tenderoni target demo (14 to 22). They're perfectly matched with Bay Area duo Painted Palms, who emit Merriweather Post Pavilion–era Animal Collective vibes, and Onuinu (Portland producer Dorian Duvall), whose 2012 album Mirror Gazer moves in the lush, neo-R&B-gaze territory of Toro Y Moi, but with more rhythmic ballast. Neumos, 8 pm, $15, all ages.
To those familiar with Daughter and Jeremy Messersmith, the program at Neumos last night might have seemed a little imbalanced. A trio of austere Londoners paired with a witty (and sometimes irreverent) Minnesotan? Madness! But aside from their ties to Glassnote Records, these two acts have another thing in common: their stage presences endear them to audiences so much that, in between songs, all I could hear were remarks of "Isn't he/she cute?"
Messersmith took the stage at 9, armed with a guitar, a loop pedal, and an offbeat sense of humor. Highlights from his set included an ode to girls who run merch tables at shows and a song based on a motivational poster he saw on Reddit. ("Someday, someone will love the fuck out of you.") My favorite was "I Wanna Be Your One-Night Stand," about a middle-aged man with a mini-van who decides to rediscover his youth by having a "one-night stand" with a woman who is eventually revealed to be his wife. (Sort of like an alternate-universe version of "Escape (The Pina Colada Song)," where our protagonist and his lady really want to make things work and synthesizers apparently don't exist.)
Then it was time for Daughter, who opened their set with the title track from their excellent new record, If You Leave. Like her 4AD labelmate St. Vincent, frontwoman Elena Tonra is endearingly awkward onstage: she stammered out sincere "thank you"s in between songs and seemed astonished that her band had managed to sell out Neumos. (When Daughter last visited Seattle in late October, they performed on the significantly smaller Barboza stage, though they claim they attracted a colorful crowd, including a zombie.) It isn't hard to imagine a man telling Tonra that she's "too old to be so shy," but her modesty is what makes her so enjoyable to watch. The crowd joined her in singing "Candles," "Youth," and other tracks from the band's two EPs, and called for an encore for which the band didn't seem entirely prepared. "We're going to play one more song for you... and it's a cover," Tonra said, grinning nervously as she picked up her sparkly gold bass and launched into a rendition of Daft Punk's "Get Lucky." I might be going out on a limb here, but Daughter could cover just about anything and still sound captivating.
The homie Austin, who's been holding it down for live music in Bellingham for years with his Buildstrong Productions, tipped me off to this festival he does up thataway every year. Behold the lineup for this year's edition, going down August 9-11 at the Whitehorse Amphitheater in Darrington, WA—off top I see it includes The Cave Singers, Minus the Bear, and Blue Sky Black Death:
Wake Me Up Before You Go Go!: Yesterday, George Michael, your favorite drug-addled car crasher, was airlifted to a hospital after obtaining minor injuries in yet another car accident! No word yet on whether or not it was his fault although such an assumption would not be unprecedented.
Straight to Hell on a Crazy Train!: To the surprise of no one and the agitation of everyone, Westboro Baptist Church announces that they will picket Jeff Hanneman's funeral in LA next week, chanting a parody of Ozzy Osbourne's "Crazy Train".
Superbummer!: Lauren Ballance, bassist and co-founder of Superchunk, will not be joining the band on their upcoming promotional tour for the album I Hate Music (scheduled for release on August 20th on Merge records) due to a case of hyperacusis.
Rude Boy: Chris Brown, that stubborn pimple marring the face of pop culture, has confirmed that his next single "They Don't Know" will sample never-before-heard posthumous vocals from Aaliyah.
Out With the Old, In With the Oldish: Trent Reznor wasted no time finding a replacement for bassist Eric Avery, who earlier this week announced his departure from NIN to pursue his film career (?!). Avery's wake will be filled by former NIN and Guns N' Roses guitarist Robin Finck.
I went to the Crocodile on Wednesday with the full intent of seeing the Burger Records garage-y goodness of opener Peach Kelli Pop, and then leaving before headliner Kate Nash took the stage. Someone had told me that Nash was a Lily Allen-type major label UK pop star that had a few hits a few years ago and, admittedly, I didn't really have any interest. Peach Kelli Pop was lovable as always, and I was happy to find out that her accompaniment for that evening's saccharine-sweet set of songs was the delightful drummer Christopher of Guantanamo Baywatch. After they finished, and changeover between bands happened, the 99% young female audience was buzzing with anticipation. I started noticing that other concert goers around me were wearing homemade hand-sequined and puff-painted vests and jackets reading feminist slogans, "Kate Nash" and "Death-Proof" (the name of one of her new singles). The venue also had a huge display table selling light-up glitter bracelets to benefit Because I Am A Girl, a charity organization that Nash is currently representing as an ambassador.
You know that feeling of doom that you get when you see a new business idea that is bound to fail? That's exactly how I felt when I gazed upon the Feedbands website.
Apparently, it works like this: you send $19.95 (+ shipping and "handling") to Feedbands and they send you a 180g vinyl record every month. You've never heard of this band though, because Feedbands has rescued them from the sea of obscurity to present specifically to you. You're able to hear brief clips of the music and even see a picture of the band, but the name won't be revealed until you get the LP in the mail. Why? Because Feedbands doesn't want you to hear the audio as "streaming low quality mp3's off the internet." If you don't like the record, you can send it back for a refund. I'm not sure about the shipping and handling though, there's a chance that might be on you.
If you're not sure if you'll like buying a record that you know nothing about, you're in for a treat. Feedbands guarantees that the record you receive "will rock."
Is the average vinyl consumer willing to shell out $25 every month to receive a record by a band that hardly exists? Does a person want to deal with the hassle of packaging and returning a record that they don't want every month? As my nine-year-old cousin used to say, "PROLLY NOT."
by Kelly O
on Fri, May 17, 2013 at 11:55 AM
There's only two days left in the fundraising campaign to help the Massive Monkees lock down a long-term lease on The Beacon—their temporary studio located in Seattle's International District. These amazing folks aren't just teaching adults and after-school crews of little kids how to breakdance—they're creating community, and turning people into better and more confident humans.
Sax G, Takiyah Ward, and director Roger "10.4Rog" Habon made this ultra-intimate visual to accompany some of the sultry vibes of Sax's stellar Tu Me Manques album—which is out now for however much you want to pay via the good folks at Cloud Nice.
Two things about this poster: (1) It's always refreshing to come across one of Chris Rollins's linocuts amid the glut of cookie-cutter rock posters out there, and (2) Tokyoidaho is my new favorite band name. Look up Chris on gigposters.com to see more of his unique and charming work.
Got a great poster we should consider for Poster of the Week? Send a high-resolution, color .jpg (no more than 1MB) to email@example.com. The event your poster advertises must be at least 10 days in the future in order for us to consider it.