by Dave Segal
on Tue, Mar 31, 2009 at 4:26 PM
UW internet station RainyDawg Radio scores a serious coup with this show. Brooklyn's Crystal Stilts put the Jesus into Mary's Chain, stressing that seminal Scottish band's deft melodic touch over their noisier tendencies; Wavves is San Diego lo-fi noise dude Nathan Williams, a buzz act with a ton of buzziness in his prickly-sweet tunes; Seattle's Idle Times sounds like guitarist/vocalist Nikki Sudden post-Swell Maps and/or a bedroom-produced Marc Bolan—scrappy, alternately lethargic and coiled fuzz pop.
Show happens Fri. April 24 (7 pm) at North Husky Den located in the HUB on the University of Washington Campus.
I would have loved to expand on Leonard Cohen's Live in London disc, Peter Bjorn and John, and Malajube, but this was all I had in front of me. Digital promos killed my hard drive.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs It's Blitz CD (Interscope)
Yeah Yeah Yeahs' polished their third full-length with a slick, synthesized shimmer, which might turn off some who really appreciated Nick Zinner's wiry guitar sounds (you'll have to trudge through half the album to get your fix on "Dull Life" and "Scheme and Fortune"). But the band's new direction is certainly one that will draw more in than the number of those who are turned away. The catch-factor is off the charts and Karen O has never sounded lovelier than on "Runaway." It's Blitz is epic. Yeah.
A-Trak Infinity +1 CD (Thrive/Fools Gold)
Hear me now: Infinity +1, the latest mix from the former DMC World Champion/current DJ for Kanye West known to many as A-Trak, will be crashing the CD players and iPods of many parties in 2009. The hour long, 21-track CD stacks demolishing house tracks (Laurent Wolf's "The Crow") upon mutant electro bits (Boyz Noise remix of Gonzales' "Working Together") and milky way-walking disco vamps (Golden Filter's "Solid Gold"), bringing together the accessible with the far out. This combination of dud-less ingredients yields potent, unbridled dance party action. Give thanks to body movement and feel great.
Thunderheist Thunderheist CD (Big Dada)
Thunderheist is Canada's answer to an Amanda Blank-fronted Spank Rock vacationing in Miami, with all the sass, suggestive sluttiness, and bottom-heavy, sweat-stained 808 grinds as the Baltimore-Philly crew, but without the memorable hooks or devious vocal positioning of the body. One standout track, "LBG (Little Booty Girl)," literally had me bouncing in my chair, and visions of a nice compact ass on a pretty girl knocked my dome. Hot. It's true that this album really likes to party, but it's done so in the way that could potentially lead to terrible, terrible things.
Again and again, we hear it in the depths of a dub. As the maze darkens, as the haze thickens, out of nowhere we hear a beep. The beep is like a red light in the dub maze/haze. But what is this beeping that can be heard on dubs by Perry, Tubby, Scientist, Burial, and DJ Spooky's "Grapheme"? It is the signal of life in the dub. The listener is on a rescue operation in the "land of the aftermath." As LKJ put it, "destruction is all around," buildings crumble, a layer of smog covers the dead city. Suddenly there is a beep. We hear it and know for sure that life is in this dub.
In Basic Channel's dub, however, no such signals can been heard. There are no survivors, no humans in their dub.
by Dave Segal
on Tue, Mar 31, 2009 at 2:49 PM
Received a call from Steve Fisk today in which he said that a documentary about Steven Jesse Bernstein is in the editing stages. The doc’s director, Peter Sillen, is interviewing Fisk—who created music for and produced Bernstein’s posthumous 1992 Sub Pop album Prison (recently discussed here)—for the film, titled Bernstein. Fisk says that Sillen hopes to have the movie completed in time for the festivals next year. The director described Bernstein below:
This living documentary of SJB is intended not just to eulogize, but to try to invoke his vibrant spirit as it lives on in his work and in the memories of those he inspired. It subtly questions a society where so many people seem to fall through what little safety net exists.
In other news, Fisk relates that his band Cut-Out, featuring Bob Beerman of Pell Mell, have completed Cut-Out 2, an album of electronic-oriented instrumentals that sound like they emanated from early-'80s Germany (Pyrolator, Asmus Tietchens, Dieter Möbius, etc.). This is the follow-up to 2003’s Interlude With Fun Machine. It is currently label-less. You can hear four tracks from the album on the band’s MySpace. Fisk also mentioned that Sub Pop is willing and able to release a solo album by the man. So stoked to see this happen...
Tonight's Pelican show at Neumos should be pretty killer, especially with openers Wolves in the Throne Room. Now, you could pay $12 to see it—and it'd be worth every penny—or you could send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org RIGHT NOW with Pelican in the subject line and maybe go see the show for free. You have until 3 pm to enter. Then, one entry will be randomly chosen for a guest list spot with a +1. Ready... go.
UPDATE: The tickets have been won. Thanks to everyone who entered. Find out about ticket give aways the minute they go up by following Line Out on Twitter.
I had no idea Stereo Total were going to be so goddamn adorable. I've somehow missed the band whenever they've come through town previously—possibly because, although I've loved various singles of theirs over the many years they've been a band, I've never really fallen for an entire album of theirs until 2007's concisely awesome Paris-Berlin. Too bad, because their live show is a total blast.
Brezel Göring (the gentleman of the husband/wife duo) is tall, lanky, and hyper-animated (animated like bugs bunny is animated), with a long shock of hair flopping in front of his face, and a tie loosened over first a stylish buton-up shirt and then later a sweaty t-shirt. He played guitar and keyboards, but by far the instrument he worked the hardest was a ribbon controlled synth hooked up to some echo, which sounded a bit like theremin only with more precisely controlled glissando. Göring played the thing, sliding his fingers up and down the ribbon with a kind of manic charge, and it was in his hands a fun, showy instrument to watch. Françoise Cactus was a far more subdued, almost coy stage presence. She wore a loud green blazer, bright red hair, and glasses, looking kind of like a cooly subversive school-marm. She sang (they more or less omitted any of the songs with male lead vocals) and played drums and a heart shaped guitar (Göring's guitar was one of those rectangular ones that looks like its made out of a washboard or a cardboard box).
The duo, who have been recording together for nearly 15 years now, had an easy, affectionate, and fun rapport both with each other and with the enthusiastic crowd (Ryan Donnelly, who was working the door last night, observed that tonight's show had drawn out a fair amount of French and/or Francophone kids). When Cactus flubbed the transition into the second verse of "Plastic," she and Göring playfully negotiated how and where to restart the song, Cactus waving off with her hand the idea of taking it from the top, indicating that the crowd would be bored to death. Better still—and the highlight of the set, really—was when they brought a girl up from the audience for "L'amour a Trois." As the song opened, the girl (Claire) and Cactus sang while Göring turned his back to the crowd and embraced himself, running his hands up and down his back in that funny way that makes it look like you're making out with another person (I haven't seen anyone do that in years, and I'd forgotten how terrifically silly it looks). Later, Göring and Cactus sandwiched Claire in a little hip-thrusting, ass-bumping conga line, caterpillaring back and forth across the stage. It was pretty cute.
That the band didn't play my favorite tracks from Paris-Berlin—"Lolita Fantome," "Ta Voix Au Telephone," "Patty Hearst," or "Baby Revolution"—is a minor complaint. They did play "Plus Minus Null," the excellent retro rocker "Holiday Inn," a version of "Satisfaction" (and maybe another cover that I'm forgetting now), and, finally "Wir Tanzen Im Viereck" and an awesome, repeatedly extended version "I Hate Everybody in the Discotheque" with a crowd of audience members pulled onstage to dance along. It was a great show; and I agree with Matt (Fuckin') Hickey, who suggested someone should bring them back for Block Party, which they would kill. I also agree that it's insane that these guys were opening rather than headlining last night—insane.
Which brings me to the utterly detestable, electro-clash throwback Leslie & the LYs. I only had the stomach/gluttony for punishment to watch like one and a half songs—the tail end of some spectacle in which her sequined, stoned-looking back-up dancers hung suspended in some kind of human-sized diorama, and then a song about how one ought not to blame Leslie but rather blame her ample booty. Whatever you want to blame, Leslie & the LYs certainly sounds like ass. This joke isn't funny anymore.
...you check out Reks' Grey Hairs and More Grey Hairs? Both albums are a little uneven but Reks grows on you and some of the production is fucking stellar. Take, for instance, this DJ Premier produced track (please ignore the video's shoestring budget) :
Reks reminds me of mid-90s Ras Kass. If you're in to that, I heartily endorse these albums.
As Dave mentions here, Devo drummer Josh Freese is selling 'value-added' packages with his lastest record. Here is another take on the idea, and an update.
Josh Freese, the Devo drummer whose wildly creative "freemium" packages drew widespread attention to his new record, is raking in the cash as buyers snap up his inventive, value-added deals.
Freese cooked up a tiered pricing structure for Since 1972, his new album released Tuesday, that started at free (download a single song from the record) and soared to $75,000 for the most elaborate package, with multiple levels in between. The high-end packages include bizarre adventures with Freese and some of his rock 'n' roll compadres, such as a personal tour of Hollywood in a sports car—on mushrooms.
In an era when song downloads and file sharing have turned music into a commodity, limited-edition, highly collectible packaging points one way toward a profitable future for independent musicians and struggling record labels. Like pricing experiments by Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails before him, Freese's extremely creative deals may be blazing a trail toward a business model that sells experiences and access as well as music.
He's already listed the limited-edition $20,000 package as "sold out" on his website, pending finalization of the deal. The one-of-a-kind experience includes a miniature golf session with Freese, Tool's Maynard James Keenan and Devo's Mark Mothersbaugh. Other highlights: a drum lesson or foot/back massage, a night on the Queen Mary (including a "Ghost Tour") and a guided tour through Long Beach, California, where the drummer lives.
by Kelly O
on Tue, Mar 31, 2009 at 11:30 AM
Tonight! Want Seattle's red-hottest boylesque superstar Waxie Moon to teach you how to dance like just like Beyoncé? I mean Sasha Fierce? Uh, whatever the hell she's calling herself these days? Waxie, along with Inga Ingenue, and Lou Henry Hoover are teaching a brand new class where you'll learn the choreography from Beyoncé's video, "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)". After breaking down all these moves, I'm guessing you'll be the new hotness on the dance floor, whether you're dancing to Beyoncé, or well, anything.
Classes start today, 6:30-7:30 pm, and run for 5 weeks (3/31-4/28), at HaLo. For more info call (206) 324-7263. Photo by Andy Pixel, from On the Boards, Intermission Impossible
by Dave Segal
on Tue, Mar 31, 2009 at 11:28 AM
[Most Uplifting Songs Ever (aka MUSE) is a recurring Line Out feature that spotlights the tunes on which I can rely to elevate my mood (with no negative side effects), no matter how oppressive my deadlines, no matter how grim the news is, no matter how lousy the weather, no matter how severely the publishing industry continues to collapse (okay, maybe they can't ameliorate that last one). You may feel the same way about them.]
While at Linda’s last night, DJ Shani Jayant played Wire’s “Map Ref 41ºN 93ºW.” Besides being one of Wire’s greatest songs, this tune never fails to launch my spirits skyward. “Interrupting my train of thought/Lines of longitude and latitude/Define and refine my altitude” are wonderfully incongruous lyrics for a chorus that soars out of the somewhat humdrum verses like a supersonic jet (the words are typically, lovably Wire-like in their un-rock&rollness).
Colin Newman and Bruce Gilbert run their guitars through their FX pedals like hedonistic scientists, wringing aquatic flange, spectral spray, and brittle crackle with equal inventiveness. Back in the ’80s, “Map Ref.” used to loop through my brain for hours on end, spurring me to run long distances with a quickness. Sadly, both Wire and I have seen better days.
On Sunday night a small group of friends and music nerds gathered at Havana for the first installment of the new monthly series Rain City Mix Tape Club. My friend Chris started it about a month ago as a club on Facebook, and the gist of it is this: Each month, every member compiles a mix tape or CD according to the assigned theme. Then, on the last Sunday of every month, everyone gathers at Havana at 10 pm to exchange their mixes, drink, and talk about which Queen song is the best Queen song ever (or something comparable to that).
On Sunday more than a dozen people showed up with CDs (and even some tapes) in hand. The theme was "Sad Bastard," and compilations included everything from Sicko and Magnetic Fields to L7 and a bunch of shit I've never even heard of but would probably enjoy. One mix even came with a six-pack of beer, because duh, what else goes better with Sad Bastard music than beer?
It was sort of intimidating at first—I worried that I'd be judged too harshly for my predictable (but good!) list of songs. But once we started comparing track listings, the jitters died down as I realized all these people want to do, in the end, is listen to music—not judge you for what music you choose to listen to. It's not about putting together the best mix of the most rare shit you can find, it's about putting together a mix that represents you. And that's pretty awesome.
The next RCMTC is Sunday, April 26th. The theme is "Autobiographical" meaning, well... a variety of possibilities, actually. You can compile of list of songs that represent each year of your life thus far, or songs that mark notable moments in your history, or songs that best tell your life story... Each mix-tape maker can interpret the theme however they'd like. And that's what makes it interesting. For more information about RCMTC, check out the group page on Facebook.
My autobiographical mix will probably have a lot of shit like All-4-One and Dance Hall Crashers on it. I pity the fool that has to walk down my memory lane.
(For those who are interested, my sad mix is after the jump).
In this week's Data Breaker, Dave Segal has some very kind words to say about local WD4D, who'll be performing at Lo-Fi tonight:
WD has been making tracks and spinning wax for over 12 years, and the roll call of artists with whom he's shared stages includes GZA, KRS-One, the Coup, Bus Driver, and Oh No, as well as 206 luminaries like Blue Scholars and Common Market. In addition, WD has laced tracks for Awol and Existereo of the Shape Shifters, Xololanxinxo, Bukue One, and many others. On top of this, WD hosts KBCS's Saturday night (10 pm—midnight, 91.3 FM) Zulu Radio program with Sean Malik and Zulu King Khazm. Finally, WD4D's cherubic visage can also be spotted in deep concentration behind the decks on Fridays at Grey Gallery & Lounge with DJ Vital (for a night called Grey Area); WD's also in the jock rotation with SunTzu Sound's DJs for that same bar's soul/jazz-oriented Blueprint on Thursdays. And his agenda includes a residency at Lo-Fi Performance Gallery's Tuesday night hiphop hoedown Stop Biting.
Pelican, Wolves in the Throne Room, Tombs (Neumos) Olympia quartet Wolves in the Throne Room live a green lifestyle, but play their metal black—and spacious. Their third album, Black Cascade (recorded by Seattle producer extraordinaire Randall Dunn), is an aptly titled foray into metal's more anguished chambers. Nathan Weaver's tormented vocals, brother Aaron Weaver's pummeling, speed-bag beats, and the group's beautifully gnarled melodies cohere into an exhilarating expression of doom. (Bonus: WITTR made me learn about Ahriman.) Chicago-based Pelican soften metal's abrasiveness and bombast with more aerated guitar riffs and atmospheres. Their brand of the genre is light on its feet and unafraid of disarmingly pretty passages, betraying their fondness for shoegaze (shhhh). DAVE SEGAL
At least one person who reads Line Out cares about New Kids on the Block, right? This one's for you, NKOTB-loving person:
Live Nation welcomes NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK to White River Amphitheatre on Tuesday, July 7, 2009.
Tickets are $19.50, $39.50, $ 59.50 and $79.50, and go on sale Saturday, April 4 at 10:00 a.m. EXCLUSIVELY at LiveNation.com, select Blockbuster locations, or by calling 877-598-6659. Specially-priced $10.00 lawn tickets will be available Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Number four on my top five hiphop tracks about neighborhood girls with bad reputations goes to an awful track by Too Short. I refuse to write the name of this track—so foul is its content. Suffice it to say that it concerns a very unfortunate woman named Betty. Too Short's mind is made from the slimy stuff of ghetto gutters.