Music that is outdated or presented in an outdated format, such as cassette, may become less special to people. It has lost its pressing gusto and sadly, at times, is expendable. Even though 2Pac is the rap risen Jesus / Makaveli, the cassette renders him less vital, less impressive, less cutting edge thug.
So yesterday, in the Safeway parking lot on 15th and E. John, I was not surprised to find a Staind CD lying exposed in the dirt. The CD was without a case. It was wet, muddy, and ruined. A leaf sat on it like a leech. I raised it to my shirt, and even though Staind sucks beyond all comprehension, I dried it and left it in plain view for someone to reclaim. The CD suckled from my dryness, ashamed, and badly wanted to be played again.
At one point, someone loved this CD. At one point it was new. In the video for “It’s Been a While”, Staind singer Aaron Lewis is tortured and pained. He’s paind. He writes a letter, has tatts, and smokes cigarettes in a tortured and cool way. He smokes cigarettes in that ‘I’ve sold millions of albums but I’m tortured’ type of way.
At one point, this CD that was left cold and naked in the Seattle rain made someone as cool and tortured as Aaron Lewis. It’s been a while, since someone played this CD. It’s been a while, since the CD could stand on its own two feet again.
Someone, find it, let it suckle from your dryness. Let it be tortured for you.
Admit it, You're Curious: Hear the new Guns N' Roses single "Chinese Democracy". I don't want to ruin it for you, but it does contain the line: "It would take a lot more time than you've got for masturbation." Unless I'm hearing that incorrectly. Please say I'm hearing that incorrectly.
iLike and TuneCore, Working Together to Help Artists: "For a flat fee, TuneCore will help artists distribute their digital music to a collection of music stores that the company has forged deals with including Rhapsody, Amazon MP3, and iTunes."
Ozzfest Isn't Dead Yet: The festival will be "back to business as usual" in 2009, Ozzy will probably headline, and it won't be free.
Also, Radiohead's In Rainbows impressive sales numbers have been released:
* In Rainbows has sold three million copies thus far, a figure that includes downloads from Radiohead.com, physical CDs, a deluxe 2-CD/vinyl box set, as well as sales via iTunes and other digital retailers.
* The In Rainbows deluxe edition sold 100,000 copies via Radiohead fan service W.A.S.T.E.
* Radiohead made more money prior to In Rainbows' January 2008 physical release than its total take on 2003's Hail To the Thief.
* The physical release of In Rainbows entered both the US and UK charts at #1 in January, despite having been freely available since October 2007.
* In Rainbows was the first Radiohead album available on iTunes, where it went in at #1 in January, selling 30,000 in its first week.
Crocodile Show Archive Will Exist in UW Library
October 14 at
Live recordings from the Crocodile are going to be archived in the University of Washington Library. In 2001, Croc engineer Jim Anderson began recording bands as they played. Now, in conjunction with the UW Ethnomusicology Department and the head of the UW media department John Vallier, some 3000 hours of shows from the Crocodile are set to be preserved forever. There will be something like a dedicated Mac Mini sealed with a mouse and a pair of headphones. People will be able to go Odegaard Undergrad Library, search up a band or a date, and listen to the show. People won’t be able to download or burn the shows for themselves though. They are working on how to protect and index it all now.
The archive is resting in six cardboard boxes, two hard drives, and 300 data DVD’s. Just short two terabytes of data, it’s roughly 3000 hours worth of recordings. If you listened for eight hours a day, it would take about a year to get all the way through.
In the beginning, Anderson was only recording the headliners, then he began recording entire shows. It was a feed directly into the board. Evolving the recordings, he set up a pair of Octava MK219 room mics. After the smoking ban, he switched to a pair of Audio Technica AT3030’s, which are medium to large diaphragm condenser mics.
Basically it’s most of the shows for the last five or six years of the club’s run. The whole show, not just the headliner. I’m excited about it. The archive is a snapshot of the time, a window into pop music and what was going then. All the talking in between songs is recorded. Someone a hundred years from now will be able to get a clearer sociological perspective of our time.
What makes this collection unique is that in archival recordings from other clubs, there’s not a whole lot of the between song banter. I did blanket recordings, and was able to capture everything. Even now, four or five years later, it’s interesting to look back and see what the concerns of the day were. Bands and people talk about politics, sports, events, the environment, equipment issues, technology, and so on. There’s a lot of stuff that gives you the flavor of what people were thinking and talking about at that point in time.
Recording the shows also became a great stage management tool for me. I could look at how the recording was going and see what time the band went on and how long they’d played. It really helped the shows stay on track.
Chances are, if you played at the Croc from 2002 on, you’re in there.
A reception to kick off the archive will happen once everything is set. Stay tuned for details.
The Blakes are in the midst of making a new video. A mega video, written and produced by Chase Jarvis and co-directed by Jarvis and Will Hyde. It was a two-day shoot at multiple locations around Seattle with thirty to fifty-five people on set. They’re in the editing, post production process now and aren’t sure exactly when it will come out. Chase shot with multiple high-end badass cameras and booms and dollies. The kind of cameras you don’t even like to look at they are so high-end. Because if you look at them, you’ll break them, or you’ll slip and fall on one of them and owe nine bazillion dollars.
The (very) general storyline for the video is that there is a Nazi-ish music taste-maker who decides which bands make it and which bands don't. Bands are brought before him and he decides their life or death on a whim, without listening to the music.
The Saturday Knights album Mingle is being put out in Australia. Light in the Attic has teamed up with Inertia Music for the distribution. Here is the ever flowing Tilson from the Knights saying hello to the people down under, “It’s a Mingle type situation.” There is a cage match between a Koala bear and a kangaroo. There is also a new color, Mingle Blue. Look for the new Crayola coming to a coloring book near you:
September 24 at
The Admiral Theatre will open in October as a 400-seat venue in West Seattle. 2343 California Ave SW. One of the building’s two theatres has been renovated for music with lighting, a sound system, and an extended stage. A liquor license has been applied for as well.
Other than the Skylark and Easy Street Records, are there any other places for live music in West Seattle?
Dinah Brein is in charge of Admiral's booking. If you want to play there, send a link to her – here.
The Admiral Theatre opened in 1919 as the Portola Theatre, they showed silent movies in the single room that is now the lobby. In 1942, the present theater was added and re-designed with a nautical theme by the same architect who created the ornate Hollywood Pantages in Los Angeles. The theatre is built around a nautical theme and has etched glass (with Seahorses) hanging in the lobby. In the 1940's the exterior of the theatre sported a real ship's mast complete with Crow's Nest.
I was taken into hospital last night almost immediately after the show at ATP. I've been having some problems with my pacemaker for the duration of the tour and it unfortunately culminated in me being sent to the emergency room. The doctors there initially thought i would have to have corrective surgery at a larger hospital nearer NYC but i have been given the all clear to travel home on the understanding that i go straight to my cardiologist on arrival back in Scotland.
Tbh, i'm really bummed about having to go home and feel for the folk who had bought tickets for our upcoming shows but i can honestly say it would be almost impossible for me to carry on at this point as my pacemaker has broken skin and the surrounding area has become infected.
The rest of the US and Canadian tour dates have been canceled, but the Japan and European dates will go on as planned. The canceled shows will be rescheduled for 2009.
Hip Hop group Run-DMC, heavy metal band Metallica and musician/songwriter Bobby Womack are among nine nominees announced on Monday vying for five spots in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Guitarist Jeff Beck, disco and R&B band Chic, rock and roll singer Wanda Jackson, doo-wop group Little Anthony and the Imperials, rock band The Stooges, and the California funk band War were also nominated.
Artists become eligible for the Hall of Fame 25 years after the release of their first single or album and are represented in an exhibition at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio.
Five of the nine nominees will be chosen by about 500 music industry folk, and the winners will be inducted April 4th.
Mayor Offers Tax Cut to Smallish Live Music Venues
September 17 at
Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels announced incentives to boost live music venues in the city this morning in a press conference at Neumos. Prefacing the initiatives with an anecdote about Travel & Leisure magazine rating Seattle seventh in the country for quality live music experiences, Nickels expressed a desire to elevate our ranking.
To accomplish this, he proposed to waive the current 5-percent admissions tax on ticket sales for venues that meet the following qualifications:
1) capacity under 1,000
2) host/present live music on average at least three times weekly
3) hire at least 16 musicians weekly on average
4) have committed fewer than four violations of any one or more civil or criminal laws regarding health, noise, licensing, taxing or permitting in the last year.
The tax cut, which would take effect January 1, 2009, theoretically will create a more beneficial environment for new clubs to open and for existing clubs to “hire more musicians,” the mayor said. The ultimate goal, as Neumos co-owner Steven Severin stated at the press conference, is to “put more money in the pockets of local musicians.” He roughly estimated that the admissions tax can cost his club around $2,500 $3,500 a month from gross ticket sales. Severin also noted that this move may not necessarily translate into lower cover charges, as many variables factor into those prices.
Further, Nickels announced the inauguration of the music venue assistance program, which allows local businesses a single entry point to city government. The guidebook, overseen by Office of Film and Music head James Keblas, provides resources to help entrepreneurs attain success in the live-music industry. It can be accessed at www.seattle.gov/music/nightlife.
Representatives from Tula’s and Triple Door, as well as a Brazilian musician named Jovino Santos-Neto, the last of whom—somewhat oddly—waxed abstract and poetic about the power of music, supported the measure. Becca Minkoff of Triple Door asserted that the tax exemption will enable her business to take more risks and attract bigger acts.
One reporter asked Nickels if this measure was intended to counter the negative response to the city’s crackdown on some nightclubs. He replied that the reprimanded clubs were not live music venues and said that the city periodically needs to takes these actions to ensure a safe yet vibrant nightlife.
The Seattle Nightlife and Music Association (SNMA) approved of Nickels’ small-business-friendly initiative. SNMA President/Havana owner Quentin Ertel remarked, “This is a great step in the right direction. It shows that the Mayor is on the side of small business, but more importantly it shows that he is on the side of music."
After focusing on CD and digital releases for the past few years, Sony/Legacy has announced plans to begin releasing vinyl again. Beginning this month, the long-running major label will begin reissuing Columbia, Epic, and RCA releases.
The first batch of releases includes mainstream arists like Boston, Blue Oyster Cult, Jefferson Starship and Cheap Trick, but also Lou Reed's classic, Berlin, and Social Distortion's 1990 album, Social Distortion.
More Comments on the Croc From Seattle's Music Scene
September 12 at
We still don't know who's officially booking the venue (set for an early 2009 opening), but as construction continues, the news of the Crocodile's return remains a point of discussion and excitement for many in the music scene. Earlier this week I posted the thoughts of a few local musicians, and since more responses have continued to come in, here's part two of what the local rockstars have had to say about the Crocodile's absence, and it's return:
"I’d be really pleased to have it back. I think it's always been a classic venue in Seattle and for good reason--it's a great place to see a show and quite possibly the best sounding. I always enjoyed playing there and most people I know were sad to see it go." -Jon Auer, the Posies
"Yeah, I really missed the Crocodile. It was always such a staple. I've played there, and gone to shows there probably more than any other club in town. While the venue has been missed, I don't think the music community suffered much, though. We are a pretty resilient little town and it's been great to see more clubs opening, and other alternative venues popping up. I'm really excited about it's return! It's been so sad to walk by or drive by and see the old green sign, but with no flurry of activity going on. I've heard its gonna be a new and improved Crocodile, but either way, I will welcome it back with open arms." -Shane Tutmarc, Shane Tutmarc and the Traveling Mercies, Dolour
"I think what I miss about the Crocodile is the people and atmosphere, not so much the actual venue. Of course the sound there was incredible (thanks to JIM) but the venue itself was annoying in some ways. The bar was so far from the showroom that if you weren't the headliner, a lot of the times the bar would be full and the showroom empty." -Garrett Lunceford, Ships, the Catch, Wild Orchid Children
"I haven't heard much about the re-opening as far as who's actually doing it, but I do know that we miss and love the Croc. The venue is vital to Seattle as a city and it's growing music scene. All of us in Slender Means have been playing shows at the Croc for almost 15 years. This news makes us very happy. I just hope it stays unchanged inside and they don't do what they did to the Rendevous. I miss the Rendezvous as a junkie, crackhead bar personally. So I say yes, bring the Croc back unchanged!!!" -Dave Martin, Slender Means
"Seattle is just not the same without the Crocodile. Easily my favorite revenue in the city and has been the home to the best shows I have played in the last five years. Talk about the reopen and remodel have made me excited that this could be the center of a new up and coming music scene." -Matthew Shaw, With Friends Like These
"I did miss the crocodile. It was a great venue with an amazing group of people working there, not to mention the nicest security staff. They would even escort underage band members to the bathroom. I'm not sure if the music community suffered by it's absence but a new and improved Crocodile could have a great impact on Seattle's music community. It did in the past and could easily do it again." -Davey Brozowski, Black Whales
"Coming from someone that missed the opportunity to perform at the Crocodile prior to it's closure, I'm excited and happy to hear of it's return under new management. It is never good to lose a venue, especially one as infamous and credible as the Crocodile, and I think it's absence definitely left a hole in the Seattle music community. It will be interesting to see how the new renditions to the club affect its popularity and attendance. Hopefully people will support it as much as they did when it was under old management." -Erik Walters, the Globes
Keep checking back for more updates on the Crocodile--when we have news, you'll have news.
Looks like all that group therapy did the band well in the long run, Metallica's new single "The Day That Never Comes" is the number one rock single on mainstream radio.
Metallica - "The Day That Never Comes"
I dunno, despite any successful reviews and music nerd friends of mine geeking out over Metallica's return, the line "Love is a four-letter word" still makes me giggle too hard to appreciate the guitar solo.
Yesterday I wrote about how I think the music scene has been fine without the Crocodile (which doesn't mean I'm not happy to see it re-open, mind you). But that's easy for me to say, as I'm not a musician, and I never had to try to get a show in a city that lost a very local-music-friendly venue. So I asked some local musicians about it--after all, they were probably some of the first people in the community to really feel the loss.
Here are what some of them had to say about the result of the Crocodile's absence, and the venue's return:
“Music survived without the Crocodile. There are nostalgic reasons for me to be excited for its return, our first show in Seattle was there, I got back together with my girlfriend there, our krautrock version of the Mickey Mouse Club Theme song at Disney cover night, etc., but only time will tell if the new Crocodile will be an improvement to the scene. Maybe they should call it Neucroc's.” -John Totten, The Quiet Ones
“I've very much missed the Crocodile, it was by far my favorite place to see shows in town and I don't think anything has really come to filling that void. There's just nothing comparable in my opinion, a place that books good national touring bands and little-known but rad local bands in equal measure. I have not been at as many shows (or in Seattle) as much since the Crocodile closed as I was before, so I can't speak to how the other clubs have picked up the slack in making sure that local music has a regular soapbox, but it was a friendly space and I think it nurtured bands in a unique way. I'm totally excited for it to re-open. I doubt it will be exactly the same, though, if they maintain what made the old place so great it doesn't really matter what else changes.” –Robin Pecknold, the Fleet Foxes
“Along with the historical significance of the venue (heh, all 20 years) the Crocodile was a great mid-sized venue that will be great to have back. I think other venues have picked up the slack and done a great job in the Croc's absence, but having one more venue in the city with a mid to large capacity is always a good thing! Especially with it's great sound system.” –Andrew Toms, Sleepy Eyes of Death
“There's been an obvious hole in the music culture in this town since it closed down, and I find myself going to shows less, which bums me out. The Croc is associated in my mind with many of the reasons I decided to move to Seattle. I was thankful that we got to headline it once before it was closed. I rarely get excited about that sort of thing, but it felt like a rite of passage in some way, given the history of the room and caliber of bands who have played there over the years. So yes, I'm excited. I'm excited to hear Jim's mixing skills again [that room really was (is?) the best sounding room to see a show in Seattle, except for maybe the Triple Door, but that's a whole different kind of experience].” –Eric Elbogen, Say Hi
“There are so many places for bands in Seattle to play, I don't think people suffered, but things just became more displaced. Most of the bands playing the Croc were not yet ready to graduate to Neumos or the Showbox, so instead of just going to one club you had to scramble around town to the Sunset or High Dive or Nectar or Chop Suey or the Comet. (And for a city without a subway system or decent buses that is kind of a pain.) While I think it was unfair to assume that another club would pick up all the Croc slack it was nice to see people have a chance to check out all the other venues in town. The Crocodile is one of my favorite places to play (other being the Sunset) and I can't wait until they open back up again.” –Jay Cox, the Sea Navy