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Friday, October 24, 2008

Re: Win Tickets to Shudder to Think

posted by on October 24 at 11:41 AM

Yes, yes, Shudder to Think! Win tickets! Etc. Let me just mention, though, that my favorite joints from Shudder to Think frontman Craig Wedren actually come from outside the band's discography:


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Lykke Li, Yelle

posted by on October 23 at 2:05 PM

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There are two glaring omissions in this week's Up & Coming concert listings: Swedish hypemachine it-girl Lykke Li (pictured above, with shoes) and French hypemachine it-girl (ca. 2007) Yelle.

How did this happen? Well, somewhere between dropping acid with Of Montreal and time-travelling with Brian Wilson, these international ladies slipped through the cracks. Our apologies. But since these acts owe so much of their buzz to the Internets anyway, maybe it's only appropriate that we address them here on Line Out.

Lykke Li's Youth Novels was produced by Peter Bjorn & John's Björn Yttling, and some folks have pointed out that it kind of sounds like the female vocals from that band's "Young Folks" stretched out to album length. The album is pleasant and poppy enough, though, with a couple undeniable gems, the below, "Dance, Dance, Dance" being one of them:

But, and this is the techno-dork/DJ in me talking, where these tracks really come alive is in the remixes, specifically the Dada Life remix of "Dance, Dance, Dance," the Loving Hand remix of "Little Bit," and both the Metronomy and Fred Falke remixes of "I'm Good, I'm Gone." Also, she closes out her live shows with a cover of "Can I Kick It?" Yes, she can.

I've previously written about Yelle here and here, but basically, Yelle is a delightful, dirty-talking French electro-pop cartoon character. Observe:

Yelle plays Neumos Monday, October 27th, 8pm, $15, all-ages, w/Passion Pit, Funeral Party, & DJ Colby B

Lykke Li plays Neumos Wednesday, October 29th, 8pm, $15, all-ages, w/Friendly Fires


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Horsed Around With Gender Roles

posted by on October 16 at 10:55 AM

Of Montreal photo by Matt Jordan

So, I went to this little Of Montreal show last weekend. There was a horse, a hanging, multiple set and costume changes, and something like 26 songs (not least of which was a cover of "Smells Like Teen Spirit"). There was also just so much more than I could possibly fit into the paper. For instance, in addition to this parenthetical:

(Fruit's gender-bending, "queered out" personality could seem like crass tourism or sexual minstrelsy, if it weren't for the fact that Barnes ultimately seems so genuinely sympathetic.)

I also wanted to mention: On the flight to New York, Of Montreal my travel mate was checking the new issue of Blender's review of Skeletal Lamping. On the cover of that issue? Poster girl for sexual identity tourism in 2008, Katy Perry, a (former? lapsed? still?) evangelical pop starlet who cites Paris is Burning as her favorite film and can't shut up about how her heavily made-up persona is just one step away from drag queen. Just seemed like an odd, interesting coincidence.

Also! Of all the songs Of Montreal played that night, the one currently stuck on repeat for me is "So Begins Our Alabee." That sweeping, ascending moment that begins the first chorus just kills! And—this is weird—but the first time I really listened to the song, I completely misheard the line, "the aria is bleeding" as "the areola's bleeding"—in my defense, Barnes' aerial singing voice could easily jump over an "l" sound there, it's totally the kind of anatomical subject matter he fucks with, and the song's nominal subject is a newborn baby, who—and I know nothing about babies—could have been a difficult nurser, right? Right?

Skeletal Lamping is out, in an impressive array of formats, this Tuesday on Polyvinyl. Of Montreal play the Showbox Sodo (new website is wack, guys) on November 19th.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I Cut The Ink Now, I'm Through Thinking

posted by on October 14 at 11:51 AM

Dave, I'll see your My Day Sucked Until I Heard This with one of my own:

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Thank Fuckin' A! "Every Stitch" and, to a less specific extent, every other song on this album was exactly the brain-flushing rock blast I needed this morning (granted, I'd heard it before). That's all.


Monday, October 13, 2008

My Day Sucked Until I Heard This

posted by on October 13 at 4:34 PM

Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou Dahomey’s “Gbeti Madjro” offers yet more proof that Africa could hold its own in the funkadelic realm. This decade has seen an outpouring of reissues that have excavated incredible slabs of mantric, post-James Brown/Meters/George Clinton motion from the ’60s and ’70s. The Strut, Soundway, Analog Africa, and Soul Jazz, and Sublime Frequencies labels (apologies to those I’ve forgotten) have been doing exceptional jobs of searching for gems, curating compilations, and issuing single-artist works.

You may go broke trying to keep up with these archival releases, but your soul will be immeasurably richer for the expenditure.

Tip: Brian Go.

Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou Dahomey - "Gbeti Madjro"


Friday, October 10, 2008

From Pavane to Paparazzi

posted by on October 10 at 10:22 AM

The judgement:

URBANA, Ohio (AP) -- A defendant had a hard time facing the music.
Ludwig van Beethoven's music fails to appeal to a man fined for playing rap music too loudly in his car.

Andrew Vactor was facing a $150 fine for playing rap music too loudly on his car stereo in July. But a judge offered to reduce that to $35 if Vactor spent 20 hours listening to classical music by the likes of Bach, Beethoven and Chopin.

Vactor, 24, lasted only about 15 minutes, a probation officer said.

It wasn't the music, Vactor said, he just needed to be at practice with the rest of the Urbana University basketball team.

"I didn't have the time to deal with that," he said. "I just decided to pay the fine."

Champaign County Municipal Court Judge Susan Fornof-Lippencott says the idea was to force Vactor to listen to something he might not prefer, just as other people had no choice but to listen to his loud rap music.

"I think a lot of people don't like to be forced to listen to music," she said.

All the judge had to do was first let the brother listen to Xzibit "Paparazzi":

And then Gabriel Faure's Pavane, Op. 50:

After that, a bit of Beethoven or Bach would've got the brother thinking "extra large."


Monday, October 6, 2008

Made Like a Tree’s Struggle in Progress (2) Mix

posted by on October 6 at 4:59 PM

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DJ Struggle: moody, man.

I know I’ve been jocking the hell out of DJ Struggle on Line Out, but dude deserves it for the killer sets he lays down during the Deep Wednesdays weekly at Vito’s (Madison & 9th) and those he uploads to the internets like a philanthropist of rhythm. Struggle joins forces with fellow Seattle underground-dance obsessive D’jeronimo (Jeremy Grant) to form Made Like a Tree. Their latest mix submerges techno and house in a crepuscular aura, at once burrowing and spacious. These moody, midtempo cuts radiate a subliminal, cerebral sexiness for the post-rave set. The section from Moodymann to Vakula is especially butter. These guys know how to build momentum gradually and their mixing is supremely tight.

The track list for Struggle in Progress (2)
-------------------------------------------------------------
1. Omar S - Tecky Alexander [FXHE]
2. Patrice Scott - Motions [Sistrum]
3. Luke Hess - There Is Hope [FXHE]
4. Morphosis - Baal [Morphine]
5. Patrice Scott - Azteck [Yore]
6. Cassy - Poem [Uzuri]
7. Moodymann - Dem Young Sconies [Planet E]
8. Recloose - Walk Through Turquoise [Rush Hour]
9. MD/LOW - MD [Out To Lunch]
10. Vakula - Loop For My Friends [Uzuri]
11. KSoul & Ra.H - Turning Point [Sistrum]
12. Korsakow - Make U Crazy [United States of Mars]
13. Omar S - Psychotic Photosynthesis [FXHE]
14. Ra.H - Fall of Justice [Morphine]

Take on Me, Literally

posted by on October 6 at 2:27 PM

Some clever human dubs A-Ha's '80s video classic with new, literal narration, and makes me spew tea from my nose.

Thank you, clever human, and thanks for the heads up, MetaFilter.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

New Video by My Current Favorite American Band

posted by on September 24 at 11:00 AM

Brightblack Morning Light offer you ultimate peace and bliss, if only you’d listen. For proof, see the video of “Hologram Buffalo” off their new Motion to Rejoin (Matador), which was recorded off four solar panels. Sun zoom spark.

In our (literally and figuratively) toxic zeitgeist, we need this band like never before. Take refuge, while you can.

Brightblack Morning Light play with Avocet at Tractor Tavern Thursday Oct. 2. See next week’s Stranger for further Brightblack amplification.


I'm Starting to Get Really Excited For Decibel

posted by on September 24 at 9:48 AM

The weird thing about editing a weekly newspaper is that it totally throws your internal calendar. You're planning two or three weeks ahead at any given time, and sometimes it can be hard to remember what's coming up right in front of you. So it has been with Decibel Festival, this weekend's massive electronic music festival, which takes over multiple venues in Seattle from tomorrow through Sunday (full schedule available at http://www.dbfestival.com/schedule). Decibel is an overwhelming, exhausting, world-class marathon of electronic music of all stripes, and in the last few days (with a little help from a hype-inducing mailing list thread) I've finally started to get appropriately stoked. For your own stoking, in the issue of the Stranger that hits stands today, Donte Parks interrogates Detroit techno godfather Carl Craig and Dave Segal provides a guide to Decibel Festival's many showcases, parties, and BBQs.

In the meantime, some of my own highlights:

Dirty Dancing Showcase - Friday, 9/26 @ Neumos
Segal's not so into Deadmau5, but he's Beatport's most downloaded artist, and on multiple occasions I've found myself asking a DJ what's playing to be greeted with one or another Deadmau5 track. His stuff undoubtedly sounds better in the club than on Segal's or my own home stereo systems.

The Trinity - Friday, 9/26 @ Sole Repair
Jeff Samuel, Derek Plaslaiko, and Jerry Abstract = the truth.

DB in the Park - Saturday, 9/27, 1pm @ Volunteer Park
Techno pranksters Jacob London and Truckasauras blasting their ample beats mid-afternoon on the Volunteer Park lawn. Genius (and all-ages).

Detroit Techno: Past, Present, & Future - Saturday, 9/27 @ Neumos
Carl Craig is a legend, yes, but Audion is hard (or lately more minimal) techno fire. Put your hands up.

2008 Decibel Finale - Sunday, 9/28 @ Neumos
This may be the most eclectic all-star blowout Decibel has ever had, with Kompakt kings Supermayer providing minimal house and tongue-in-cheek disco satisfaction, the Bug trashing dancehall, dub, grime, etc, etc with help from MC Warrior Queen, and Flying Lotus providing his much buzzed-about sun-stoned LA hip hop inflected instrumentals.

And these shows are only the tip of the proverbial ice burg—there's also Dixon, LA Riots, Eluvium, Caro, the Sight Below, Barbara Morgenstern, and countless others. Do yourself a favor and go check out the full schedule and roster of performers over at http://www.dbfestival.com/.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Juju & Jordash’s “Silencio”

posted by on September 23 at 10:57 AM

Juju & Jordash—one of my favorite new artists—transmute oldish, haunting Euro-jazz into a new strain of spy-flick/house music on “Silencio.” The track’s low tempo builds suspense and enhances sensuality, while the subtle digital textural and rhythmic embellishments keep things from becoming too sepia-toned. Gnopants’ video of “chalk”-outlined, solarized silhouettes complements the sounds.

“Silencio” appears on Juju & Jordash’s Major Mishap album (Ropeadope).

Juju & Jordash - Silencio


Monday, September 22, 2008

Feel Good Hits of the Fall

posted by on September 22 at 2:09 PM

It's the first day of fall, and it's beautiful outside. No doubt seasonally affective depression will set in mere weeks from now, but for right now, fall feels fucking great. Do what you have to do to listen to !!!'s "Feel Good Hit of the Fall" today. Or Braid's "Grand Theft Autumn." Or, I suppose, anything by the Fall, although they're not quite the mood I was going for.


Sunday, September 21, 2008

Mauricio Kagel (1931-2008)

posted by on September 21 at 2:38 PM

One of the last great composers of Europe's post World War II avant-garde died last week. He joins a list of brave pioneers: Nono, Berio, Ligeti, Stockhausen...


Mauricio Kagel in a pimp cap

Mauricio Kagel was a trickster, inventor, and filmmaker always attuned to the theatrical elements of music making. He not only understood that all performance is theater, but in his films and scores Kagel magnified tiny, interstitial musical elements into grand gestures (e.g., the madhouse cackling in the Improvisation ajoutée for organist and two assistants).

Unlike Kagel's better-known peers and colleagues including Pierre Boulez-who back in 1954 told him to ditch Buenos Aires and come to Europe-Kagel remains comparatively unknown in the U.S. Many of his works require custom-made instruments or unusual (and thus in America impractical) configurations. The duo Zwei Akte calls for a harpist and reed virtuoso equipped with sopranino (not soprano), alto, and baritone saxophones.

Kagel helped pioneer electronic music; by having performers record custom-made tapes to perform Transición II (1958-59), he helped establish the tape recorder as a musical instrument and legitimate component of chamber music. Kagel also fashioned outsize and at times prankish musical schemes. His hefty Exotica for "extra-European instruments" remains gorgeously difficult listening while Tactil deploys long throbbing tines and louche guitar strums in a sideways homage to Jobim & company.

By the late 1970s, Kagel had consolidated his avant garde tactics with more traditional techniques, and masterfully so; in the sheaf of pieces from 1981's Sankt-Bach Passion to Auftakte, sechshändig of 1996 and after, Kagel commingles the new and the old seamlessly.

To listen, UbuWeb is an excellent place to start and check The Avant Garde Project too.

Tonight on Flotation Device, I'll air Transición II and several other works in tribute to Kagel along with Annea Lockwood's World Rhythms, perhaps the first piece to layer unprocessed field recordings live.

Catch the on-line stream or tune in to KBCS 91.3 FM from 10 pm to midnight.


Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sunday Morning Going Up

posted by on September 14 at 7:57 PM

What a way to wake up: I arose at 11:10 am to Little Sister’s single “Stanga,” an obscure classic that Sly Stone wrote and produced for um, his little sister, Vet, and which is actually one of his best efforts. Props to the KEXP show Preachin’ the Blues host Johnny Horn, whose set from 11 am-noon was all killer; I need to make a point of catching more of his program every week.

I was mildly hung over from the Stranger’s Genius Award party Saturday night, but this low-key, high-friction funk nugget efficiently brushed away the brain cobwebs and alleviated the pain. Mr. Horn, I want to thank you fa lettin me be mice elf agin.



Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Alterna-Rock Bands and Kate Bush: Two Great Tastes That Taste Great Together

posted by on September 10 at 1:50 PM

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I first experienced the truth of the subject line thanks to the Futureheads, whose "Hounds of Love" is one of the best covers I've ever heard. (Though nothing will ever top this. No, not even this.)

I re-experienced the truth of the subject line this morning, thanks to Ra Ra Riot's The Rhumb Line, which features a lovely take on Crazy Queen Kate's "Suspended in Gaffa."

Dear indie-rock world: More Kate Bush covers, please.

(Speaking of surprisingly good covers, I recently gave a listen to Morrissey's Live at Earls Court, which kicks Rank's ass and features a great cover of Patti Smith's "Redondo Beach," which made me appreciate the song in a way Horses never did. Weird, but hurrah.)


Friday, September 5, 2008

Today I'm the Happiest Girl Ever Because

posted by on September 5 at 2:55 PM

Tomorrow I get to see this band:

Hot Water Music are playing as part of the MFNW in Portland. While I'm there, I will also probably eat a Voodoo Donut.


Friday, August 29, 2008

Juju & Jordash’s “Blue Plates”

posted by on August 29 at 11:51 AM

Last night at the Oi Vay! weekly in the Baltic Room, DJ Struggle was spinning an excellent set of unconventional deep house music to a sparse crowd. Unfortunate, but the circumstances didn’t dampen Struggle’s mood nor mar the quality of his selections.

One track in particular riveted me: Juju & Jordash’s “Blue Plates” on London’s Real Soon Records (you can hear it on the label's MySpace). The cut exists at the hazy but fascinating nexus where cosmic disco, house, and dubstep (rarely) converge. “Blue Plates” is methodical yet sexy, meticulously detailed yet pregnant with the pleasure principle, weirdly off-kilter yet danceable. I haven’t heard much like it lately, and I’m grateful to Struggle for turning me on to Juju & Jordash and Real Soon.

Here's a vid of J&J's "Time Slip," their only representation on YouTube.


Thursday, August 28, 2008

Villainaires, Ice Grillionaires

posted by on August 28 at 10:29 AM

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In a weird way, I'm kind of Sam Mickens' boss. (In another way, as a freelancer, he is a lone wolf, a loose canon, a vigilante, and I'm merely Commissioner Gordon to his Batman.) In any case, he had little choice but to consent for an interview for this week's music feature about the Dead Science's forthcoming album Villainaire, which is being celebrated with a "Week of Culture" starting on Monday and culminating with an album release show at Neumo's on Sunday September 7th.

As I make plain in the piece, Villainaire marks the first time the Dead Science has caught my ear more than merely in passing. It's lyrically dense (in the good way), musically deft, and conceptually ambitious—one of the most interesting albums to bubble up out of Seattle this year. I think a lot of people are going to hate it. There's a lot going on—you should just read the whole article—but here are a few highlights:

"I think a lot of my points of reference as a kid are kind of the same as [Wu-Tang Clan's]."
"I am sort of a classist dude. That's the one prejudice or unhealthy hatred that I've held throughout my life—I have real reflexive problems sometimes with rich people, and in some ways I think that's good. Those ideas are somewhat present on the record. But there's not a lot of content that's like, 'Being rich is evil,' even though I feel like that often may be the case."
"There are a million metaphorical things you can drape on [black and white] beyond good and evil, black and white in the Star Wars sense. There's the tension between ecstatic abandon—nightlife, being real fucking drunk and dancing at the party—and its aftermath. That's just real basic soul music stuff. Saturday night versus Sunday morning."

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Good Look For the Truck'

posted by on August 27 at 10:20 AM

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Pitchfork on Truckasauras' Tea Parties, Guns and Valor: 8.2 [Recommended].


Thursday, August 21, 2008

What’s Up with Bruno Pronsato?

posted by on August 21 at 1:40 PM

One of Seattle’s most brilliant techno producers throughout the ’00s, Bruno Pronsato (aka Steven Ford) headed to Berlin a couple of years ago to reap the whirlwind of profits and fame that brilliant techno producers regularly experience in Europe. Life on the Continent has been rewarding both financially and creatively for Pronsato. He’s risen to the superstar status your correspondent once predicted of him back when he dwelled in the 206 and played to crowds of a few dozen. Now Bruno fills clubs in Tokyo, Buenos Aires, and Istanbul. How you like him now?

Earlier this year, Pronsato released Why Can’t We Be Like Us (on Germany’s Hello?Repeat), a triumph of leftfield dance music loaded with Villalobos-level musicality and weirdness. That same label will be issuing a 12-inch, Nobody Calls, in September. Hear a snippet of the track—featuring the understated, electro-soul vocals of Bruno’s Seattle bro Caro (aka Randy Jones). It bears Pronsato’s trademark eerie atmospheres, odd percussion accents, and subliminally sensual rhythm. You can also check out an excerpt of the B-side, the strangely erotic “Where’d You Learn to Kiss That Way.

Go to Pronsato’s website for more info regarding his future projects and tour dates. Unfortunately, Bruno won’t be playing this year’s Decibel Festival, although he will be performing with renowned Perlon Records producer Sammy Dee as Half Hawaii in San Francisco Oct. 11.

Bruno Pronsato's "There's Galaxies Better"

Milk is Chilling

posted by on August 21 at 11:52 AM


Listen closely, it's not an echo--the repetition of a sound after its source. With "Top Billin'," the word or words are heard before their source. The movement is not from real to ghostly, from life to afterlife, but from ghostly to real, from afterlife to life. It is the sonic version of raising the dead. And I can think of no other rapper who used this special magic, this other kind of dub--the echo as its opposite.


Monday, August 18, 2008

All My Friends*

posted by on August 18 at 4:50 PM

You might have noticed that Line Out has added some new names to our Friends of Line Out blogroll over the weekend. Some introductions:

20 Jazz Funk Greats, Bristol, UK's premiere space disco/nu italo/industrial noise/8-bit hyper rave concern.

Dip Dip Dive, the once and temporary home of Tom Breihan, formerly of Pitchfork and Village Voice blog Status Ain't Hood, currently working on some top-secret serious business.

Last Plane to Jakarta, the online home of Mountain Goats lyricist and master of Master of Reality, John Darnielle.

Mudd Up!, the globally-minded media and musings of DJ/Rupture.

Tiny Lucky Genius aka the Unicorn's Tear, care of Jessica Hopper, currently at work on a book, whose essay "Emo: Where the Girls Aren't" is required reading.

The Loom of Ruin, proprietor Sam McPheeters, formerly of Born Against and Men's Recovery Project, currently of hilarious.

Blissblog, by Simon Reynolds, author of Energy Flash (aka Generation Ecstacy), Rip it Up & Start Again, The Sex Revolts (with Joy Press), and more.

Philip Sherburne, the blog of the eponymous Portlander, DJ, and resident techno advisor to Pitchfork.

Sasha Frere-Jones, an (again eponymous) blog, consisting mostly of photos and timely links from everyone's favorite race-baiting funky white guy, New Yorker pop music critic Sasha Frere-Jones.

Hipster Runoff, a blog whose daily satirization of "hipster" culture makes Adbusters look like tired, old (but glossy) toilet paper.

(We've also had to let a couple friends go, including Nick Sylvester's blog Riff Market and the anonymous Gerard vs Bear, both of which are internet gold but have been dormant since February and April, respectively.)

We missing anyone?


*Note: these people may not actually be all my (or Line Out's) friends.

Supermayer Added to Decibel Fest!

posted by on August 18 at 1:22 PM

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2008 DECIBEL FESTIVAL FINALE

Supermayer (Cologne) : Debut Seattle DJ Set - Kompakt

The Bug featuring Warrior Queen (London): Debut Seattle Live Set - Ninja Tune, Rephlex, Tigerbeat6

Flying Lotus (Los Angeles): Live - Warp, Plug Research Records

Fax (Mexicali) : Live - Static Discos

Sunday, Sept. 28th @ Neumos - $20 presale / $25 at the door - Doors open at 8pm / 21+

Damn!

Let Us Now Praise Debashish Bhattacharya

posted by on August 18 at 11:55 AM

As often happens, a friend recently asked me if I'd heard any good music lately. (Sometimes I'm an asshole and say, "No, none at all. Why don't you be a dear and make some?") But this time I said, "Debashish Bhattacharya." He said, "Gesundheit." I said, "Ha," then punched him in the solar plexus, before explaining in tedious detail why Debashish Bhattacharya is the bomb—even if his name sounds like a rare wasting disease you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy.

I discovered Debashish Bhattacharya in March through his album Calcutta Chronicles: Indian Slide Guitar Odyssey (Riverboat Records). Bhattacharya also used to play with John McLaughlin’s excellent Indo-jazz fusion ensemble Remember Shakti.

I didn't know much at all about Indian slide guitar (to my ephemeral shame), but after listening to Calcutta Chronicles, I realize that you really haven't lived until you've heard a pandit (master) play Indian slide guitar. It is some the most beautiful music ever conceived. In fact, it may be too beautiful.

At times when listening to Calcutta Chronicles, I feel unworthy of being in the presence of such beauty. I feel as if I'm going to simply dissolve in my own tears. This feeling is akin to looking at a stunningly gorgeous person and realizing that you will never get within whiffing distance of him/her. A chronic ache in your marrow forms and you understand that frustration can infiltrate you like a toxic gas.

But back to Calcutta Chronicles. The nine ragas mostly move at a stately pace: Subhasis Bhattacharya’s leisurely tabla slaps buttress Debashish’s crystalline notes, which gently sob, sigh and then gracefully curve into the loving embrace of Swati Biswas and Sukanya Battacharya’s tamboura drones, spurring contemplation of humanity’s deepest emotions. (They may also provoke Pavlovian pangs for vegetable biryani.)

Debashish isn’t burning up his fret board on Calcutta Chronicles (except in the ravishing "Aviskaar" and "Maya"), but rather caressing it with tenderness and profound knowledge passed down from centuries of raga pandits. His playing is one of the purest manifestations of peace through sound I’ve ever heard.

Jesse Sykes and the Spinning Man

posted by on August 18 at 11:43 AM

Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter played at the Mural Stage this past Friday (thanks to KEXP). The weather was gold and the songs were jewels. The Maldives opened and were shining as well. Pedal steel player Chris Zasche painted lines with his notes, then sank them into the other instruments. Coloring and complementing, showing faces here and there. Zasche sat in with Jesse and band for a few and was perfect.

The Spinning Man was there. I call him the Spinning Man. You may have seen him around at other free shows. He takes whatever concert he attends to another level. Most people at the Mural Stage were sitting or lounging on the grass. Not the Spinning Man. The Spinning Man was up, doing his thunder chicken truck dance. The Spinning Man ain’t afraid.

The Spinning Man is a combination of Hulk Hogan, Willie Nelson, and Michelle Kwan. His technique is to hold one arm out and do a head shake like he's trying to get rid of his brain. If you are lucky, he spins. Majestically and gracefully, with the skill of a ballerina on swan lake.

Please now, enjoy two shots of the Spinning Man, then Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter playing “Hard Not to Believe”:


Friday, August 15, 2008

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).

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.


Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Triumphant Return of Kris Moon

posted by on August 14 at 3:02 PM

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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.

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

posted by on August 14 at 11:20 AM

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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

One Dandy Nice, One Not

posted by on August 13 at 3:42 PM

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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.'


Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Unmasked

posted by on August 5 at 2:45 PM

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Terrible news! Burial unmasked himself. On Myspace!

From his blog:

hi

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

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

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


big up everyone, take care, will ( burial )

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


Monday, August 4, 2008

Comment Wars: Greedtone Sounds

posted by on August 4 at 2:48 PM

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

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

Matthew didn’t like the video, saying:

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

I responded with:

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

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

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


Sunday, August 3, 2008

Dead Baby Raceday XII

posted by on August 3 at 7:01 PM

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

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A: THIS.

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LOTS MORE ABOUT THE DDB-FUN-AS-HELL-FRIDAY AFTER THE JUMP.


Please continue reading...

Continue reading "Dead Baby Raceday XII" »


Saturday, August 2, 2008

"Fuck You Dude, I'm Playing Metallica."

posted by on August 2 at 1:56 PM

Owen @ Neumos

After years of touring with just an acoustic guitar, playing at venues with too many people who would rather have a conversation than listen to his songs, it’s become clear Mike Kinsella doesn’t really give a shit about his audience. On the Owen records Kinsella plays all the instruments, and most of the songs sound like a real band. But live it’s just a man and his guitar, playing stripped down versions of his own songs. He doesn’t even try to win the attention of the room, starting his set with “Good Deeds,” an especially soft, finger-picked number. The background noise downs him out. A note to the people sitting at the far end of the upstairs balcony: You need to shut the fuck up, forever. What were you even doing at an Owen / Rocky Votolato show if all you wanted to do was have a loud conversation? These are two of the highest caliber acoustic performers: if you want to have an asinine yelling match go in the other room and stop ruining everyone else’s show. Or die. Just go die somewhere, quietly. If only you had been paying attention to the lyrics during “Bad News,” that song was written precisely for you: “Whatever it is you think you are / You aren't: / A good friend, unique, well-read / Good-looking, or smart / Well now you know.” There must be assholes like you at every show Owen plays; it’s no wonder he comes off so jaded on stage.

People yell out songs for him to play, and they are of course ignored. “These guys came from Utah and asked me to play like six songs, and I’m not going to play any of them,” he shrugs. Someone yells out, “Fade to Black!” That sparks his attention. At the end of his set, Kinsella announces, “Okay, now I’m going to play every riff I know from “Fade to Black.” He knows most of the 7 minute Metallica epic, and goes from riff to riff for about three minutes, adding the occasional guitar solo with his mouth. When he’s done with that he announces, “Now I’m going to play all the other Metallica riffs I know,” and proceeds to toss out random sections of different songs. The crowd starts to get restless. Someone yells something at him, he responds, “Fuck you dude, I’m playing Metallica.” After several minutes he walks off stage saying, “You don’t want to hear this? These are the highest selling riffs of all time! I’ll save them for an audience who cares.” There is scattered applause. Outside I hear a girl tell her friends, “That was the shittiest performance I’ve ever seen, and I’m from Montana.

This is the genius of Owen. He is the Larry David of musicians. Awkward Metallica antics aside, what he has to say is often too real for most people to hear, and it can make them uncomfortable. I realized a few songs in that it’s not particularly great music to take a date to, especially a date with a girl you don’t know that well. Take “Breaking Away:”

Well just between you and me
This thing between you and me
Might not be anything worth singing about
Or it might be just what I need
Someone to take my mind off things
At the end of a long day
Someone to take my pants off for me
At the end of a long night
Either way, we're here

We're two bicycles, ridden too tired to know
Which one of us of us two
Was dumb enough to choose the other as a lover

It’s not really a scenario you want detailed out early on in a date, especially if there's a good chance that awkward situation is actually going to play out later in the night. Kinsella is a poet for the lazy everyman. His outlooks on life and young love are some of the most astringent, generally relatable sentiments since Holden Caulfield. And somehow, fittingly, he’ll probably never get the attention or respect he deserves.


Thursday, July 31, 2008

Hipster Runoff Makes Me Want To Stop Blogging

posted by on July 31 at 12:00 PM

In old/pizza-is-delicious news: Hipster Runoff is fucking hilarious, if not the total end of music blogging. That is all.


Monday, July 28, 2008

Today in Synchronicity: Vivian Girls

posted by on July 28 at 4:53 PM

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Holy shit! Whoever was telling me about the Vivian Girls over the weekend, you get a gold start both for accuracy (they're fantastic) and timing (the promo cd just came in the mail today). I get a demerit for not remembering who you are (my guess: someone in a beer garden, somewhere.) The band is parts Vaselines, parts Aisler's Set, and, per their myspace, parts Black Tambourine, Wipers, and Shangri-Las. (Side note: does anyone actually listen to the Shangri-Las, or does everyone merely cite them as influences?) The band may already be old news, I don't know, but DAMN! Their self-titled album is sold-out of its original run but will be rereleased on In the Red on Oct 7th. It will, in the interim, be on heavy rotation on my various music playback devices. Sadly, the Brooklyn band has no Seattle dates scheduled for the time being. Someone here ought to do something about that...

Update: Mike points out that they were here two months ago. I missed them. I will now spend the time being kicking myself.


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Darkness All Around

posted by on July 23 at 12:54 PM

On Burial's Myspace account.
Picture%208.jpg The dark hamburger meets the darkside of dubstep.

Eric Grandy: Vile Misogynist?

posted by on July 23 at 11:15 AM

Bee tee dubs, regarding this riot of a comments thread, TacocaT and I are now totally BFFs (and one of us might be a little flushed). See:

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Dro Bots: Sixteen Minute Saga

posted by on July 22 at 3:25 PM

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Dro Bots is the flowing story of 2 MCs - DRO BOY (Gatsby of Cancer Rising) & THE DEATH OF BRUCE ILLEST (DjblesOne). The two find themselves being transformed into intergalactic superhero practitioners. Listen as they set out on our decaying world to do some shit. Hear how they meet assholes along the way, like BARFLY the Swayze Candle Maker.

Gatsby says, “Dro Bots is kind of a punk rock-length concept EP, part instrumental, and all retarded. DJbles just hit the road to tour with Massive Monkees on Warped tour til September. If you want more free tunes from Djbles hit this.”

Check out the sixteen minute saga – here.

Listening to this will make sex better:

CHAPTER 1 - Reefers
CHAPTER 2 - Dro Bots Assimilation
CHAPTER 3 - Unemployment Deployment
CHAPTER 4 - Catch the Bus Part 1
CHAPTER 5 – Catch the Bus Part 2
CHAPTER 6 – Weed Murder (STARRING BARFLY)
CHAPTER 7 – Star Whores
CHAPTER 8 – Ascension into Funk Heaven
CHAPTER 9 – My Weed


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Poll: Drugs, Nasty Ass Drugs

posted by on July 16 at 12:09 PM

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Music and drugs have a long and intertwining history. Certain artists have their poisons and certain poisons have their artists. Fans too, poisons don’t miss them either. (Managers, promoters, bookers, and label reps, let’s not forget they do drugs too.) We as music makers and fans snort, smoke, shoot, chug, and inject, for many reasons.

Enhancement of the senses to intensify creative process? Check. Enhancement of the senses to intensify audible and visual experience? Check. R. Kelly says, “I believe I can fly” and we do too. Or if you’re from the South, you want drugs because you like how it feels going fast.

Eddy Grant rocks down to Electric Avenue then does what? He takes it highya. Sadly, ginseng and guarana don’t stack up. I mean, there you are on Electric Avenue, somehow a cup of ginseng tea doesn’t work.

Drugs get ugly real quick. Some of the nastiest and dumbest:

The Speedball: intravenous use of heroin or morphine and cocaine.
Crank: cheap form of meth that is usually snorted.
Lith: lithium taken from batteries, comes in a paste, usually smoked.
LSD/Mushroom/Ecstasy combo: college students in Georgia call it “The Larry”.
Freon: the shit in refrigerators and air conditioners.
Yard of Beer: three feet of liquid beer.

Which gets you the highest?