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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Notes From the "Seattle City of Music" Press Conference

posted by on October 30 at 10:30 AM

-Mayor Nickels kicked off the Seattle City of Music event with an "informal" (and inaudible, since he was speaking at the foot of the Paramount stage without a mic) press conference. When told by someone close enough to hear that Nickels said "nothing substantial," the ever-quotable Dave Meinert replied, "Well, he's a politician." As soon as Nickels was done, the Fleet Foxes' "White Winter Hymnal" played, crystal clear.

-The theme of the night was to "grow" Seattle as a city of music, according to Nickels, who took the stage with a mic for what I guess was the formal part of the presentation. He said Seattle is a "great place to make music" and he wants to make it a "great place to make a living making music." He then rattled off a list of non-music-related Seattle based business, and told the story about his mom dropping him off for a date at a Rolling Stones concert. He claimed, dubiously, that "Austin has nothing on Seattle."

-The 12-year plan has three fronts: music education, music venues, and music businesses. The idea is to foster all three of those things, although the specifics of how to do that were still pretty vague.

-James Keblas argued that Seattle's strength was that it's "not LA or NY," to say nothing of Austin.

-Growing the music business in Seattle seemed to hinge on growing the wider economy, a rising tide and ships and all that, which is bad news given how the actual economy is going, although the guy from the chamber of commerce lost me when he started talking about "specialty beverages." He was one of three guys in suits, including Nickels, to invoke the word "soul" (not one of them accompanied the invocation with a black power fist, sadly).

-Tom Mara from KEXP told us that the station's CD collection could more than fill two accordion-style metro busses, and that he hopes to see it fill three someday.

-Megan Jasper from Sub Pop and Josh Rosenfeld from Barsuk were the first people to acknowledge that times are actually kind of grim for the music business right now, to say nothing of the wider economic meltdown. Returning to the theme of Seattle's exceptionalism, Rosenfeld said that there isn't another city where everything comes together as it does in Seattle.

-It really is bizarre to hear that voice come out of Vince Mira's body.

-The New Faces look like the Jonas Brothers and sound like Interpol. They'll probably be huge.

-Somewhat depressingly, the goal for music education is primarily just to restore all the programs and funding to historic levels. One speakers called music education a "race and social justice issue." The Seattle Rotary wants you to donate musical instruments to them to give to schools.

-The VERA Project's Dustin Fujikawa was probably the most engaging and animated speaker of the night, and he brought up some serious issues—gentrification, health care, a living wage—that I'm not entirely sure this plan can really address.

-Things were dragging on, so we skipped the last round of speeches, about music venues.

-The goals of the plan are great, of course, and, as a parasite on the music industry, I absolutely hope that Seattle remains and improves as a City of Music. But there was not much in the way of specifics last night, and it really seems like fostering music education and music businesses is going to be challenging in a time of economic downturn. There are some cost-effective things that could be done to make Seattle more hospitable to music venues, but most of them involve reversing the clampdowns—noise ordinances, nightclub stings—that this very administration has initiated, or else things that are out of the Mayor and the City's jurisdiction, such as the WSLCB's puritanical regulations (in Austin, LA, and NY, I'm pretty sure you can drink a beer onstage). Still, there are some really good people behind this thing; I remain tentatively hopeful that some concrete good will come out of this.

-Oh, also, the official "Seattle City of Music" website that I couldn't get to load yesterday is up and running now, and while it's, again, long on goals and short on specifics, it has a more detailed list of, really, pretty inspiring goals than I was able to jot down from last night's speeches. Check it out.


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Also Tonight: Seattle City of Music

posted by on October 29 at 2:00 PM

Also tonight, the Mayor's Office of Film + Music is hosting a press conference/concert at the Paramount Theater to announce its new "Seattle City of Music" initiative, a 12-year plan which, true to its comma/colon-free name, aims to solidify Seattle as a city of music, with grants for local musicians, funding for K-12 music education, and more (maybe they could make it legal for musicians to drink onstage). Greg Nickels will host the event. Blue Scholars, New Faces, and Vince Mira will perform. It's free to the public, but an RSVP is required. The official, not-loading-right-now, website is http://www.seattlecityofmusic.org/.

With Just 6 Days Left Until Election Day...

posted by on October 29 at 8:00 AM

...keep in mind that America's finest American, Mr. "Vote or Die" Diddy, has stepped back into the political ring, making yet another attempt to draw more youth voter turnout. How is he doing it now? With a mask, a YouTube account, and a baffling rant from a "brother from another mother" named "Ciroc."

For more of Diddy's political thoughts/hopes/prayers/delusions, hop on the express train to the Diddy Blog and wave goodbye to your sanity at the station.


Friday, October 17, 2008

99 Problemz and a...

posted by on October 17 at 9:45 AM

Jay-Z dedicated his last great rap song, "99 Problems," to John MccCain.

Palin to Jay-Z: "Who you callin' a bitch?"


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Dead, Allman Brothers Band Play Benefit Concert for Obama

posted by on October 14 at 10:54 AM

Not to encourage complacency in the populace, but when a presidential candidate has the support of the Dead (reunited sans the late, sainted Jerry Garcia, of course) and the Allman Brothers Band, it’s pretty much a lock. (The Rednecks for Obama bandwagon picks up steam! Still, vote Nov. 4! Often!)

The concert, dubbed “Change Rocks,” happened last night at Penn State University’s Bryce Jordan Center and was intended to “raise awareness” for Barack Obama, who’s been tragically out of the media spotlight for the last couple of years. The two-hour set at the sold-out 15,000-capacity venue included the improv-psych classic “Dark Star” and 14 other songs. Full press release after the jump, but first, check out this press conference with Dead members Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, and Mickey Hart and a live performance of “Dark Star” from Aug. 1972.

"Dark Star"

Continue reading "The Dead, Allman Brothers Band Play Benefit Concert for Obama" »

Bush Signs Piracy Bill into Law

posted by on October 14 at 9:30 AM

George W. Bush signed into law Monday a seemingly wasteful bill that purports to toughen penalties on movie and music piracy at the federal level.

The law creates an intellectual property czar who will report directly to the president on how to better protect copyrights both domestically and internationally. The Justice Department had opposed the creation of this position.

The Justice Department had said the position would undermine its authority.

The law also toughens criminal laws against piracy and counterfeiting.

The Recording Industry Association of America and Motion Picture Association of America backed the bill, as did the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Do we really need an intellectual property czar?

Via billboard.biz


Friday, October 10, 2008

Z-Trip Will Barack You

posted by on October 10 at 2:37 PM

300px-DJ_Z-Trip_-_Shifting_Gears_-_Front_Cover.jpg

Mashup pioneer DJ Z-Trip’s posted a free mix on his site that includes speech/interview comments from Barack Obama and several left-leaning, politically oriented tracks by Public Enemy’s “Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos,” Saul Williams’ “Not in Our Name (The Pledge of Resistance),” DJ Vadim’s “The Terrorist,” Bob Marley’s “Get Up, Stand Up,” the Doors’ “Tell All the People,” the O’Jays’ “Give the People What They Want,” Eric B. & Rakim’s “Eric B. Is President,” Chemical Brothers’ “Leave Home,” Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come,” the Five Stairsteps’ “Ooh Child,” something by Gil Scott-Heron, a Jello Biafra rant (of course), and more.

So, you know, if you were planning to vote for the McFailin ticket, this mix might just sway you to a pro-Obama mindset.

About the mix, Z says: "The only thing I ask in return is that you spread this link everywhere.... Blogs, forums, emails, MySpace, Facebook, everywhere. We've only got a month left to really make some noise, and it's crucially important that we get things right this time. Please download this mix and PASS IT ON!"

Tip: Groovin Kim


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

No Age, Obama, and CBS

posted by on October 8 at 12:42 PM

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Via Sub Pop:

Late last week our friends in No Age taped a performance on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, to air later this month, on October 27th. Between the band’s rehearsal and when this taping was to take place, No Age’s guitarist Randy Randall was asked to wear something other than the Obama t-shirt he had on (which you can see and admire in the associated photo here – he looks good, right??). The folks working at the show explained that due to the Equal Time Rule, allowing No Age to perform on TV in an Obama t-shirt would force them to allow similar, equal time for that other, elderly fellow who is running in the upcoming Presidential election. So, after a whole lot of wrestling with his conscience and conversation about the situation, Randy decided to go on with the show, and having hand-written the words “Free Health Care” on the inside of his t-shirt, performed wearing it inside-out.

Read the whole story, including some clarification about the Equal Time Rule, a note from Randy Randall and a response from Arthur Magazine's Jay Babcock here.

Also, wouldn't "This is Not an Obama T-Shirt" have been a funnier way to go?

"My God, What Have I Done?"

posted by on October 8 at 9:55 AM

Oliver Stone might not be my favorite director, and his upcoming W. looks like it's going to be a pretty easy, cheap shot biopic just this side of That's My Bush. (Seriously, way to put it out a month before the lame duck leaves office, rather than, oh, say, in 2004—Oliver Stone doesn't care who he pisses off!)

BUT! Stone at least has someone clever on his ad campaign. I don't recall what music featured on the first trailer for the film, but the newer ad, the one that aired last night after the debates on some channel or other, featured the Talking Heads' awesome "Once In a Lifetime," with David Byrne's befuddled, amnesiac lyrics, "And you may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful wife/and you may ask yourself-well...how did I get here?" Maybe it's as obvious a shot as anything else, but buzzed after last night's debate, it seemed perfect.

(Also, this is as good a time as ever—except maybe during Decibel—to mention Carl Craig's epic, spaced-out re-edits of "Once in a Lifetime," "Specimen 1 & 2"—they don't seem to be anywhere on hypemachine or youtube, but they're more than worth seeking out elsewhere.)


Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Now is the Time, Again

posted by on September 30 at 1:23 PM

In 1994, THE CRYSTAL METHOD released their first single “Now Is The Time” which sampled the title, a prominent slogan of the 1960’s civil rights movement. More than a decade later, the same slogan was used throughout Democratic presidential nominee Senator Barack Obama’s speech at the Democratic convention held in Denver, CO last month.

As election time nears, THE CRYSTAL METHOD—who are Ken Jordan and Scott Kirkland—have remade the song utilizing a sample of Obama’s “Now is the time…” statement from his speech. Fans will be able to obtain the song as a free download through The Crystal Method’s website at: www.thecrystalmethod.com. Corresponding artwork for the song by Shepard Fairey, a revision of his popular Obama portrait logo, can also be viewed at the site.

“Like 38 million other Americans, we were transfixed listening to Obama's acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention. It reminded us of the creative process we went through all those years ago, listening to samples of inspiring old civil rights speeches and creating the original ‘Now Is Time,’" states THE CRYSTAL METHOD. “We don't often revisit old songs but we've been spending so much time looking forward as we work on our new album it seemed appropriate to take a minute to look back at the beginning. Plus, right now no American could be hurt by hearing another inspiring message, whether it's on the morning news or at the club later that night. This is a song we just want people to hear.”

The original, you may recall, sampled Rev Jesse Jackson.

Update: Just to clear up any confusion, this is a laughably cheap retread of an already cheesy would-be rave anthem, but you should still vote for Obama.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Bad Times, Good Music

posted by on September 23 at 11:24 AM

The Guardian makes a good point:

Punk exploded in an era of chronic economic gloom, as much a reaction against the bus-shelter awfulness of the 70s as it was against Pink Floyd. Then came post-punk and the desperately hard times of the early Thatcher years. This period also engendered an abundance of new bands; the ultra-noir likes of Joy Division and Cabaret Voltaire, and the more colourful Human League, ABC and the Associates represented an oblique defiance to the hardships of the time, whereas the Specials and the Beat were a more overtly political reaction...

Money, it seems, is not conducive to great music.



Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Sarah Palin Secures Coveted "Aged Right Wing Cock Rock Asshole With New Book to Promote" Vote

posted by on September 17 at 10:07 AM

TED NUGENT REACHES OUT TO SARAH PALIN

Sarah Palin was the first name on TED NUGENT’s list to receive an advance copy of TED, WHITE & BLUE: THE NUGENT MANIFESTO, comprised of 16 chapters on how to fix America. This week, the multi-platinum guitar icon, best-selling author and outspoken activist sent the book—due October 6 via Regnery Publishing—to Palin with a note in praise of the vice presidential nominee’s “bold spirit.”

Dear Governor Palin, Please accept this copy of my new book, "TED WHITE & BLUE-The Nugent Manifesto" for you and your family. As a proud fellow American hunter, fisherman and lover of Alaska's soul cleansing magnificent Spirit of the Wild, we who live our American Dream by God, truth, logic, goodwill and decency, thank you for bringing such defiant common sense and self evident truth back to the GOP and politics. We wish you Godspeed for the best hunting and fishing season of your life and pray to God almighty that you bring your bold spirit to the White House. Godbless, American BloodBrothers, Ted Nugent and family

In Mere Minutes...

posted by on September 17 at 9:14 AM

Mayor Greg Nickels will be speaking at Neumos, announcing his office's "new incentives to encourage more live music" in Seattle. 10am is a little early for this kind of cutting edge alt-comedy, but it might still be worth rolling out of bed for.

SEATTLE - Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels will announce new steps to grow Seattle’s live music scene.

Time:
10 a.m.

Date:
Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2008

Place:
Neumos Live Music Venue
925 East Pike Street

Neumos is located on 10th and Pike, 1 block east of Broadway on Capitol Hill.
Entrance on Pike Street. Street parking available.


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

First Song About Sarah Palin?

posted by on September 9 at 3:38 PM

Caribou Barbi weigh in on the controversial Republican Vice President candidate with a song titled “Caribou Barbi.” Their pop-rock ditty is musically pleasant and amiable while detailing in sound bites—hers and her supporters'—why she might not be a salubrious addition to the national political landscape (“Sarah Palin will overturn Roe vs. Wade while voting for the death penalty in the same breath”; “She’s a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ before she’s a mayor”; and the refrain goes, “There’s blood in the oil of Alaska”). We're guessing the whole thing has been approved by Team Obama).

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The goal with this tune seems to be to sugarcoat a bitter pill with toe-tapping, accessible music. It’s undeniably catchy and carries a strong message (in a nutshell: Palin’s a Christ-mad, oil-drunk fool), but perhaps it's not the knockout blow one was hoping for—sonically, anyway.


Monday, August 11, 2008

No Black Barack

posted by on August 11 at 3:11 PM

The best track to come of out of the Dead Prez camp is "Wolves":

It's parts: an ice synth, pounding beat, a little church piano, and a short sermon delivered by a secular black power preacher named Chairman Omali Yeshitela.

Over here, you can click and hear Yeshitela give a heavy sermon about Barack Obama.

A taste: "[Barack] hasn't said the word black out of his mouth, not even to talk about the color of his suit or his shoes! He cannot address the suffering of African people."

(Chill 206Proof, you beat me to it. I know, I know--it's old.)


Monday, August 4, 2008

Seafair: Mexicans in America

posted by on August 4 at 12:59 PM

ElVezUncleSam.JPG

Powered Sugar: Seafair is about power. Hydroplanes, jets, cranes, Marines, and shish kabobs from the shish kabob tent. Strolling through sunny Genesee Park at the south end of Lake Washington, armed forces recruitment was in full force. Gas fumes from the boat docks wafted with the smell of fresh funnel cakes making for an unlikely but intoxicating olfactory pairing. The whole event is unlikely in a way. Where else do power and powdered sugar go so well together?

ElVezKid.JPG

On the homestretch Villwock’s U-1 Miss Elam Plus boat hits 153 mph for the win. Rooster-tails fly by with water spray in high pitched engine hums. Paper plates with Pad-Thai bend under the wet noodle’s weight, powdered sugar from your Elephant Ear shoots up your nose, and then you accidentally sign up to be in the Navy. You report to base on Wednesday. Damn, all you wanted to do was eat and watch boats race. And maybe bounce around in the Moonwalk ride.

ElVezMoonwalk.JPG

Seafair is host to music as well. A large stage by One Reel provided solid, all ages sound. Saturday night’s headliner was El Vez. He came out in an Uncle Sam outfit singing and dancing about his run for President. There was a full pro band complete with stereo cheerleading dominatrix backup singers. It was a fun mash of Mexican tinged hits. For example: Kim Wilde’s “We’re the Kids in America” was “Mexicans in America”. El Vez had multiple costume changes (see Leopard print with tale). The high energy song and dance was slightly more fitting than last year’s Mudhoney.

ElVezLeopard.JPG


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

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:

july2008%20038.jpg


Monday, July 21, 2008

Master Musicians of Jajouka Denied Visa, Cancel Shows

posted by on July 21 at 11:50 AM

Here's what Sam Mickens wrote about tomorrow night's scheduled, now cancelled show at Neumo's:

The Master Musicians of Jajouka

(Neumo's) The Master Musicians of Jajouka are the keepers of one of the most exquisitely unique and ancient musical traditions in the world. Having resided in the same severely isolated mountain community in Morocco for centuries, the generations of the Master Musicians make an ocean of wailing, mind-rattling sound unmoored from the shores of either European or Asiatic musical convention. Having become the object of adoration and investigation by William S. Burroughs, Paul Bowles, Brian Jones, and, most recently, Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth, the group have inevitably found themselves in more and more frequent exchange with the rest of the globe. While these developments are inevitable and have had proven potential for exciting cross-pollinations, many believe that this may be the last generation of the Master Musicians' existence. SAM MICKENS

And here's the press release about Homeland Security keeping us safe from the Master Musicians:

BACHIR ATTAR & THE MASTER MUSICIANS OF JAJOUKA DENIED ENTRY INTO UNITED STATES

TOUR DATES AND KEYNOTE ADDRESS CANCELLED

The legendary Moroccan musical group *The Master Musicians of Jajouka*, led by *Bachir Attar*, had to cancel their July 2008 US tour dates this week due to highly unusual delays in the issuance of their US visas.

Although the group's US visa petition was approved by the Department of Homeland Security, and they were granted P3 status which is only awarded to "culturally unique artists," nonetheless we have been informed that several of the group members' names were *similar* to those on a Department of Justice "watchlist" and that *therefore the additional processing time for the delivery of their visas would take 3 months* after their US consular interview. The normal processing time for issuance of visas post-consular interview (the final stage in obtaining the actual physical visa) is 24 hours in most cases, and perhaps a few days to a week in unusual circumstances.

*Bachir Attar* was scheduled to give a keynote speech at the *Concert of Colors Festival* in Detroit, which had to be cancelled along with a major performance. Shows in Seattle and New York City were cancelled as well, creating a severe financial burden for the tour.

*Bachir Attar and the Master Musicians* have been internationally recognized and highly acclaimed for over four decades and have performed and recorded with *Brian Jones, the Rolling Stones, Ornette Coleman, Lee Ranaldo, Donovan, Deborah Harry, Talvin Singh*, and many other high-profile musicians. Artists as diverse as *Paul Bowles, William Burroughs, Brion Gysin, *and* Robert Palmer *have written extensively about the group's utterly unique and ancient music, which can be traced back literally
thousands of years.

This action sends a discouraging message to those who take the financial risk entailed in promoting and producing music from outside the United States, but the ultimate losers are listeners in the United States, whose access to world culture in recent years has been restricted.

These highly regarded, internationally recognized artists, who have been active for decades, who are acknowledged as "culturally unique" by the US government, and who have no known criminal record, should not be subject to such unusual and unfair security scrutiny *after their visa petition has been already been approved*.

In common with the arts community nation-wide, we feel that the US visa application process is opaque and needlessly confusing, and we call for greater transparency and accountability.

Refunds for tomorrow night's show are available at point of purchase.


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Biggest Player Hater In History

posted by on July 15 at 10:25 AM

The husband of Kelis...
kelis10.jpg...veteran rapper Nas, recently had this to say about Rev. Jesse Jackson:

"I think...he's the biggest player hater," Nas fumed during a conference call. "His time is up. All you old n---as, time is up. We heard your voice, we saw your marching, we heard your sermons. We don't wanna hear that sh-- no more. It's a new day. It's a new voice. I'm here now. We don't need Jesse; I'm here. I got this. We got Barack, we got David Banners and Young Jeezys. We're the voice now. It's no more Jesse. Sorry. Goodbye. You ain't helping nobody in the 'hood. That's the bottom line. Goodbye, Jesse. Bye!"

Jackson's cred is dead.


Sunday, July 13, 2008

I Thought You Guys Were Friends

posted by on July 13 at 11:49 PM

Something strange from the Rockstar Mayhem Festival earlier this week: For all the priceless hours of people watching I did not see a single Juggalo roaming the fair grounds. As long as Slipknot and Insane Clown Posse have been around I assumed that they shared a significant portion of each other’s fan bases, perhaps even a tragic love for one another. The similarities between the two have been discussed for years, as they both have incredibly similar shticks: both conceal their faces (ICP with makeup, Slipknot with masks), both have a penchant for profanity, both appeal to kids who have been ostracized from mainstream culture, there's the "horror" thing, and most importantly, both groups are totally pissed. Though ICP have spawned an entire subculture, Slipknot’s fans are hardly less enthusiastic about their favorite band, something that really sunk in after seeing my hundredth “S” and/or barcode tattoo at the show. The two groups have so much in common, why aren’t they better friends?

The kids I knew in high school who loved Slipknot also had ICP records, though they were outwardly “metal” kids who mostly liked the clowns for the gross stuff they said. Still, both bands appealed to them as musical outlets for their pent up teenage frustration. I was fortunate enough to go to a Juggalo concert in Spokane earlier this winter. After three rap acts a metal band very much influenced by Slipknot, Moment of Psylence, headlined the show. The guitarist wore a sweet zombie outfit and mask. Throughout their set the Juggalos, metal kids, and very small children slam-danced with each other, giant smiles abound. Here I saw the two subcultures peacefully coexisting as they seemed destined to: both groups had the same gripes, one side just preferred to rap and the other to rock.

So it was more than a little strange to see literally a thousand people in Slipknot shirts and not one Juggalo at the festival. I thought they were in this thing together, like they were in Spokane. But no, not a single clown. Wherefore art thou, Juggalos?


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

What's With the Spitting?

posted by on July 2 at 9:36 AM

nospitting.jpgThis in from ‘Krissy’:

I hate it when I go see bands and they spit. What’s with the spitting? It’s disgusting. The band I saw last weekend wasn’t even doing anything that rigorous and the bass player kept spitting. He spit at the edge of the stage and it went on my friend, Melissa and we left because some of it went in her eye.

Well Krissy, you’re right. Some people in bands spit. Bass players do tend to spit more. I’m sure the bass player is sorry some of it went in Melissa’s eye.

Singers often times need to clear their throat. One way to do that is spitting. Other times spitting is for effect. Have you ever spat and rocked, Krissy? For some people, it is exhilarating.

I think when done correctly, at the right moment, and with the acceptable kind of spit, it can add to the performance value of a set. But it can’t be a chunky oyster or anything.

It’s got to be succinct, accurate, power-wad spit. And it can’t go in anyone’s eye.


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Just Look

posted by on July 1 at 12:33 PM

Nothing but the images. This one...
abraxton-1.jpg

...and this one:
abuar01_obama.jpg

I just liked looking at them. One is of post-jazz saxophonist Braxton, the other is of the presidential candidate Barack, and I failed to generate a meaning deeper than the pleasure of looking at the photos.


Monday, June 9, 2008

Sure Beats Vanilla Ice's Song About John Kerry

posted by on June 9 at 11:16 AM

I know that he's more of a Jay-Z fan, but this Nas song, "Black President," about Obama, is pretty good. There's presidential trivia in it, which is a sure-fire way to make me pay attention--Coolidge's relationship to the KKK gets mentioned--and it actually plays with the idea of Obama winning, wondering if he'll stand up for the rights of African-Americans. Some of the samples do make Obama sound kind of like a crazy person, though.

Until just now, I forgot about that Eminem song "Mosh," that came out a week or so before the '04 elections. It wasn't so much a pro-Kerry song as an anti-Bush song, but really all I remember is that it sucked.

I've really grown fond of Nas with his last album. When he gave up on the feud with Jay-Z, it kind of emboldened the both of them. I haven't heard his new one, but I think that Nas has some of his best work ahead of him.


Monday, June 2, 2008

The Cave Singers Sing for Gov. Gregoire

posted by on June 2 at 1:22 PM

Just announced, the Cave Singers are headlining this last minute show to raise awareness and rally voters for Gov. Gregoire in the upcoming election:

06.06 Friday Neumos Presents Oh Christine
CAVE SINGERS serenade Gov. Gregoire
Special Guests
Telekinesis! And Toy Gun
$15 adv.
8 pm doors

Buy tickets here.

Register to vote (in Washington State) here.

Watch the video for the Cave Singers' "Dancing on our Graves," here:


Friday, May 30, 2008

About that Kiss-In at Safeco Field

posted by on May 30 at 2:02 PM

Dan wants a kiss-in. Freddie Mercury and Queen agree with him.

If they can do it at Wembley Stadium in England, why can’t we do it at Safeco?


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Your Yoko

posted by on May 13 at 12:40 PM

chickendance.jpgA sort of known band plays in a sort of filled club. The crowd stands back from the stage. Some people are engaged in the music. Others are not. No one dances. Except her.

She’s front and center, drunk on vodka tonics, and singing every word. She wildly acts out the parts of the songs and knows the changes. It’s interpretive movement, but it’s interpreted by a cheerleader on acid, on a trampoline. Her gaze is thrown toward one spot on the stage and you realize she’s the guitar player’s girlfriend.

I received a letter from a singer who asked not to be named. He writes:

I’m sick of our guitar player’s girlfriend. She ruins our shows with her stupid dancing. It’s embarrassing watching her hop around like a wounded chicken. She sings louder than I do. She’s like our Yoko. I don’t know what to do it about and was wondering if you could do one of your “Band Politics” things on it.

My response:

Dear Singer, get your head out of your ass. Your band is not big enough to have a Yoko. And people dancing to and singing your songs? That’s a good thing. Are you really at a point where you can complain about having fans? That girl is taking time out of her life to come to your show, know your words, and get excited about your music. She’s also buying drinks from the bar.

If she’s getting too drunk, sit down with her and the guitar player and bring it up in a positive way. Tell her you really appreciate her being at the shows. If you come down on her it will crush her, and completely piss off your guitar player. Avoid turmoil, be thankful for her, and approach the subject with respect. If she sings louder than you do, take some vocal lessons.

Next up: The Male Yoko.


Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Payout: The Split and Your $37

posted by on May 6 at 1:28 PM

split.jpgYour band plays a local show. It’s a Wednesday night, you’ve hustled on self-promoting and there was a decent turnout to see you. You made posters, hung them yourself, and made sure people were there. For a school night, it’s a good show.

The end of the night arrives and you are handed an envelope with $37 in it. The posters you made cost you $30. The manager says, “Sorry, the headliner (who no one came to see) had a guarantee, and we took $50 for the posters.” $50 for the posters? The club didn’t put posters up. You saw one poster in the bathroom that the club made. You tell the manager about the posters you hung and he says, “Sorry.”

It was a four-band bill, after the headliner and poster fee, they split the money evenly between the other three bands. You give your band members $5 each and consider it a good promotional show – “To get the name out there.”

Other clubs pay the bands after the bar makes a certain amount. Some clubs pay a percentage of the door. The club has costs. There are sound engineers, bookers, and promoters to pay, lights and equipment to run, and employees to pay.

Sometimes the bands that have made the club money don’t make money themselves. But it’s worth it, because you had a good show, and hopefully you can get a weekend show there and make some money.

One question – who keeps the club honest? It sure seems like you should have made more than $37.


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Springsteen Endorses Obama

posted by on April 16 at 2:25 PM

And who knows America better than this guy?

springsteenflag.jpg

WASHINGTON - Rock star Bruce Springsteen endorsed Democratic Sen. Barack Obama for president Wednesday, saying "he speaks to the America I've envisioned in my music for the past 35 years."

In a letter addressed to friends and fans posted his Web site, Springsteen said he believes Obama is the best candidate to undo "the terrible damage done over the past eight years."

"He has the depth, the reflectiveness, and the resilience to be our next president," the letter said. "He speaks to the America I've envisioned in my music for the past 35 years, a generous nation with a citizenry willing to tackle nuanced and complex problems, a country that's interested in its collective destiny and in the potential of its gathered spirit. A place where '...nobody crowds you, and nobody goes it alone.' "

Full story here.


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Side Door Slip

posted by on April 15 at 12:02 PM

slip.jpgDoes it bother you when a band plays a set, then loads out and leaves while the next band is playing?

If the band is from out of town or touring, or if they’re the Sex Pistols, that is one thing. But if you’re local, you’re kind of locked into staying at the venue until night’s end. You may choose to stay out of respect. Your band’s drums may be onstage or packed into a greenroom, so you can’t leave. And there’s also the payout, which usually doesn’t happen until after the place closes.

One of the pitfalls of the four-band bill is that when you’re the first band, and you go on at 9:30, you’re not leaving until 1:30 or 2 AM if you stay to the end. When it’s a weekday and you have to work at 6 AM, it can be conflicting.

A band went on recently and as they started their set, the previous band was loading out. The load out was completely disruptive. The crowd had to move, the exit door kept opening and closing, and keyboard stands fell twice with loud crashes. The load out band (who were not the Sex Pistols) were laughing and talking and totally oblivious to what was then currently happening onstage. The guitar player who was playing leaned over to the mic and said, “Don’t let my foot hit your ass on your way out.

To this, the load out band didn’t respond. They had gotten the last of their stuff out and acted like they didn’t hear, but they had heard. Their eyes were down, and they realized their exit had not been graceful. They had unsuccessfully executed the side door slip.


Thursday, March 27, 2008

Dumb As Fuck DMX

posted by on March 27 at 12:39 PM

dmx.jpg
Read and weep:


Are you following the presidential race?
DMX: Not at all.

You’re not? You know there’s a Black guy running, Barack Obama and then there’s Hillary Clinton.

His name is Barack?!

Barack Obama, yeah.

Barack?!

Barack.

What the fuck is a Barack?! Barack Obama. Where he from, Africa?

Yeah, his dad is from Kenya.

Barack Obama?

Yeah.

What the fuck?! That ain’t no fuckin’ name, yo. That ain’t that nigga’s name. You can’t be serious. Barack Obama. Get the fuck outta here.

You’re telling me you haven’t heard about him before.

I ain’t really paying much attention.

I mean, it’s pretty big if a Black…

Wow, Barack! The nigga’s name is Barack. Barack? Nigga named Barack Obama. What the fuck, man?! Is he serious? That ain’t his fuckin’ name. Ima tell this nigga when I see him, “Stop that bullshit. Stop that bullshit” [laughs] “That ain’t your fuckin’ name.” Your momma ain’t name you no damn Barack.


If this is true, if DMX knows nothing about Obama, I really pity the fool.


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Gangster Poll

posted by on March 19 at 10:30 AM

goldtooth.jpgWho is and isn’t gangster? An inquiry.

For illumination we turn to My Philosophy’s Larry Mizell and Andrew Matson, both members of Seattle’s hip-hop council, Raindrop Hustla.

Larry: So tough to quantify. How do you judge gangsterness? By dirt done, maybe. What if somebody did a lot of dirt then blew up and is now really fake about it (50 Cent)? What if somebody is real hardbody but now tries to shy away from rapping about gangsta shit (Saigon)?

Matson: Being gangster is more of an "All-in" "Don't give a fuck" thing, and for that locally, I listen to Fatal Lucciauno. Larry's right, there's gangsters in real life and gangsters on wax. Sometimes it's hard to tell which is which. Sometimes it matters and sometimes it doesn't. It's a sliding scale with shades of gray.

Gangsters kill people, but hate themselves for it and are subsequently haunted by suicidal thoughts. All too familiar with the lifestyle's psychotic blowback, gangsters are deeply offended when non-gangsters play gangster.

What’s the difference between gangsters and pimps?
Larry: A pimp is a man of leisure, who brokers prostitutes. A gangster is an illegal business man who employs violent means.

So:

Who is the most gangster?

Who is the least gangster?

You are gangster if:


Thursday, March 13, 2008

Yes, But Tell Us All About Her Taste in Music

posted by on March 13 at 2:47 AM

What kind of music did the prostitute Elliot Spitzer slept with like?

Music is her first love, and on [her] MySpace page, Ms. Dupré mentions Patsy Cline, Frank Sinatra, Christina Aguilera and Lauryn Hill among a long list of influences, including her brother, Kyle. (She also lists Whitney Houston, Madonna, Mary J. Blige and Amy Winehouse as her top MySpace friends.) In the interview, she said she saw the Rolling Stones perform at Radio City Music Hall on their last tour after a friend gave her two tickets. “They were amazing,” she said.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

My Morning Poll: Band of Foxes

posted by on March 12 at 10:06 AM

I received a note from someone complaining that Fleet Foxes sound too much like My Morning Jacket. I guess I can hear similarities in the vocals yes, and maybe some of the sound. But too similar? I don’t know. Who’s to say? What’s a similarity to one, may be homage and natural coincidence to another. One thing I do know is that Robin Pecknold has a beautiful and opulent voice. So does Band of Horses singer Ben Bridwell. “St. Augustine” sprouts chills every time. So:

Who sounds more like My Morning Jacket?

Do Fleet Foxes sound like My Morning Jacket?

Do Band of Horses sound like My Morning Jacket?

Who's voice do you like best?


Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Super Wednesday - Eat Me

posted by on March 5 at 10:47 AM

planecrash.jpg

If a plane crashed high in the Andes Mountains and those on board had to endure two months of the harshest high altitude conditions imaginable:

Who would be the most likely to survive?

Who would be the first to be eaten?


Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Super Wednesday - The Douche-Off

posted by on February 27 at 11:01 AM

A record store clerk was a jerk to me, so I put a GWAR CD in the Belle and Sebastian section. Read more – here.

Commenter ‘bing’ said it was a douche-off, which I won for blogging about it. ‘Bing’ said it was the nadir of Stranger writing.

On your marks, get set – Douche-Off:

Who is the bigger douche?

Who is the bigger douche?

Who is the bigger douche?

Who is the bigger douche?


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Super Wednesday - Slats Poll

posted by on February 20 at 10:00 AM

slats.jpg

I posted the above picture of Slats at King Cobra last week. The caption said, “Slats. You’ve seen him. You love him. He knows Duff Mckagan.”

‘NotAPoser’ said:

Hey, quit lending credence to wastes of space and air like Slats by giving them trainspotter status. Fuck off!

The ‘Where’s Slats?’ thread on the Stranger Forum has been running since Nov. 2006. It’s good reading. ‘Tube’ says:

Slats is so cool that he doesn't walk down Broadway, Broadway simply rolls under Slats.

What do you say?:

Does Slats deserve train-spotter status?

Have you ever seen Slats?

Slats is a:

Does Slats really know Duff Mckagan?

Does Slats walk down Broadway or does Broadway roll under Slats?


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Super Wednesday - Are You a Hipster?

posted by on February 13 at 11:32 AM

Yesterday, it was suggested - that it is hipster to like Can or
Shuggie Otis
.

Are you a hipster if you like the music of Can or Shuggie Otis?

Are you a hipster?

Which do you like more?

Which do you prefer?

And lastly:


Monday, February 11, 2008

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

posted by on February 11 at 1:08 PM

obamachanges.jpg

Submitted to the Flickr Pool by whatsthatbug?.


Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Why 50 Cent Endorses Hillary

posted by on February 5 at 12:46 PM

For some reason it still kind of surprises me when I see African American celebrities choosing to support Hillary over Obama. It's like, dude, didn't you hear? "Yes We Can!" I guess It's not that simple though. Sometimes, if you love something you have to set it free. Especially if you have once been caged (read: shot), and you don't want to see it happen again to another good man.

In related news, Bill O’Reilly is still a complete waste of a human being.
(ht Idolator)

Whatever Scarlett Johansson, Line Out Edition

posted by on February 5 at 9:28 AM

More important than the Johansson endorsement?! Today the Guardian highlights which musicians have aligned themselves with which presidential candidates. Here's how it breaks down:

REPUBLICANS

Mike Huckabee: Ted Nugent

John McCain: Burt Bacharach

Ron Paul: Krist Novoselic, Arlo Guthrie

Mitt Romney: Pat Boone, Donny Osmond, Marie Osmond

DEMOCRATS

Hillary Clinton: Madonna, Carly Simon, Tony Bennett, Jon Bon Jovi, Melissa Etheridge, Carole King, Janet Jackson, Quincy Jones, 50 Cent, Mya, Timbaland, Barbra Streisand, Merle Haggard

Barack Obama: Babyface, the Goo Goo Dolls, Macy Gray, Ne-Yo, Will Smith, Usher, Stevie Wonder, Harry Connick Jr., Pete Wentz, Win Butler, will.i.am/the Black Eyed Peas, the Grateful Dead, Jeff Tweedy, Conor Oberst, Joanna Newsom, the Cool Kids, Stephan Jenkins, OK Go, Shudder to Think, Dave Matthews, Pearl Jam

No surprises from the Nuge' or the Osmonds. But damn, that bass guitar must have hit Krist's head fucking hard.

Happy Super Tuesday!

(Thanks, Idolator)

Update: Novoselic has now endorsed Obama, which makes the above footage only slightly less hilarious. The Guardian (et al) got it wrong because Novoselic once dropped $250 to hear Paul speak about isolationism or the confederacy or the gold standard or whatever. (Thanks, Kwab.)