There's a lot of moment-following on Lewis's latest, Acid Tongue, an alternately precise and ramshackle record that dips into country, soul, and blues-rock with plenty of verve if little sense of risk. More than anything, it feels like a series of pastiches; opener "Black Sand" should by all rights be a show tune, while "The Next Messiah" strings together three disparate song fragments into a medley. "That's the most exciting one to play on the road," she says. "It feels really different from when I toured for Rabbit Fur Coat—there was nothing that gritty and up-tempo.
"I think second tours on any record are always more fun," continues Lewis, who did a brief tour on the heels of Acid Tongue's release last year. "As a performer, I treat every night like it's a play, and I take certain cues that allow me to free up vocally. I always want to be a little more spontaneous, but there's just something about the repetition that inspires me. It's weird. It really allows me to get to new places every night if I know where the set is going."
Hyperbole time: J Dilla Changed My Life. Well, at the very least he enhanced the shit out of it. I know that phrase is almost synonymous with the dorky hiphop-message-board tryhards' favorite T-shirt (and yes, I got one too—I hear the hipsters call that irony), but James "Jay Dee/J Dilla" Yancey legitimately blew minds worldwide during his too-short life, mine included. How, you ask? Well, I definitely recall the moment I went from "this guy's fucking amazing" to "this guy is God and he's actually speaking to me": when I first popped in Welcome 2 Detroit and heard his celestial cover of Donald Byrd's "Think Twice," a tune my father cowrote and produced. Who cares, right? Well, you asked.
There's even more... just look at it all!
The sweet city night yawns wide again before us, and even as we prepare to dive deep into the night's singular and indispensable and drinky pleasures, it is important to pause for a moment and reflect upon those strange roads and lonesome byways of our lives, and the strange surprises and pleasures they can also bring. What I'm trying to say is that this is what is happening at that fucking weird little hole called Chen's Village way down on dirty old Elliott Avenue that I always drive past on my way to glamorous Ballard—this is my first time here! (Photos by Lisa Raimundo, my unofficial biographer; my forehead by Act of God):
And inside, deep in the very paneled lounge area (Lisa calls this one, "That's the Face, after something utterly terrible comes out of that mouth,"—I think the guy behind me heard me, too...):
And this is what our delicious vodka tonics look like (CHEAP!):
And a JUKEBOX! A WIDE SCREEN! A REALITY SHOW!
There are crazy/brilliant (mostly crazy) people at the bar that I'm afraid to take pictures of, but the place is cleaner and homier and cheesier than I ever could have expected...in fact, i can't help but be reminded of (OFM-ing G) The Jade Pagoda (RIP). Sans, of course, the carcinogenic haze. All in all, kreepy little Chen's Village on Elliott Avenue ROCKS MY FUCKING SOCKS!
And now...into the night! (After I change this fugly shirt!)
PS—This is the first time my face has ever appeared anywhere on SLOG or glamorous LINE OUT. It makes me feel a little dirty. Oh! And Chen's is at 544 Elliott Avenue West. You really should poke your head in sometime—The old Jade Pagoda is reborn!
The Field’s new album, Yesterday and Today, partially reflects his passionate love of kraut rock. I recently asked the Field (Swedish producer Axel Willner) which kraut-rock artists have made the greatest impact on him. Below are his answers. The man has fantastic taste.
[The Field plays Nectar Mon. June 8 with the Juan Maclean.]
Also available for your enjoyment:
Black Celebration, Fascination Street, Love Vigilantes, This Charming Band
(Showbox at the Market) This would-be faux-'80s extra-mopey mini-Woodstock brings together four bands that play the music of other bands: Depeche Mode, the Cure, New Order, and the Smiths, respectively. I'm tempted to say "pretend it's 1985," except these bands would've never shared a stage in 1985. So pretend it's heaven, with '80s-themed cover bands, and hope no one takes their roles too seriously (I'm looking at you, fake Robert Smith and fake Morrissey). Also: The order of acts above also functions as a perfect worst-to-best listing of the source bands. (Though perhaps the last two should switch places.) DAVID SCHMADER
DaKAH Hip Hop Orchestra, Project Lionheart, the Let Go
(Neumos) Unlike the Reggae Philharmonic Orchestra of the '80s, daKAH Hip Hop Orchestra, which is based in Los Angeles, is an actual orchestra. It has a big sound, lots of horns, strings, and all sorts of percussion. The orchestra has 60 professional musicians and is led by Geoff "Double G" Gallegos, a composer and saxophonist trained at Boston's Berklee College of Music. The music, however, is so big that it works much better with soul singers than rappers. The feelings expressed by a singer tend to be universal, where as those expressed by a rapper tend to be very personal. The singularity of the rapper is easily overwhelmed by soaring strings and a thriving jungle of beats. Nevertheless, it's worth checking out the show for no other reason than to see and hear giant hiphop. CHARLES MUDEDE
Truckasauras, Pica Beats
(Healthy Times Fun Club) Local teens are hosting a fundraising concert for 826 Seattle, the nonprofit, free-for-students writing center started by Dave Eggers. Those kooky kids, they've named the show YUSOFYNE. Is that gangsta? A retro throwback to "Oh Mickey"? I'll tell you what it is: It's MISSPELLED. Thing is, I'm a volunteer tutor at 826, so I don't care that the headliners are top-quality locals Truckasauras and Pica Beats, or that The Stranger's own Michaelangelo Matos will be at 826's Greenwood center earlier in the day to dole out free writing advice to budding writers ages 14 to 18, because I'm too hung up on the spelling. Where'd I lead you guys astray? Still, I'll attend and hope that my $5 pays to teach my students how to write in freaking English. SAM MACHKOVECH
The calendar has even more options! MORE!
Gina Young: Where are you going tonight?
Miss Julia: I'm working a double here, at the Bus Stop.
GY: You're not going out?
MJ: Nah... at least we've got air conditioning in here.
GY: So, answer me this one burning question that Friday Night Fetch will ask a random person each week: why do you dress the way that you dress?
MJ: Because these guns are just too big for sleeves.
GY: Meaning it's sleeveless shirts now?
MJ: All Summer long.
GY: How do you choose what you're going to wear out?
Gary (co-owner of the Bus Stop): It's what she passed out in last night.
MJ: (laughing) I'm pretty sure this is what I was wearing to brunch yesterday. Actually, yeah. I'm positive.
GY: So you don't spend hours getting dressed every morning? But your hair, on the other hand, kinda looks like it took some work. Who did this to you?
MJ: Jenny at Rudy's.
GY: Jennyfer Goodwin? Nice girl. What's the "WH" stand for?
MJ: Whitney Houston.
GY: Fuck you.
MJ: No, I'm serious.
GY: You're fucking serious. I can't even handle that. And the belt buckle?
MJ: I got it at Pike Place Market. It's a buffalo nickel! And the inside has the back of the buffalo nickel!
GY: Are you Native American?
MJ: No, but I've always loved Native history.
GY: Okay, I think that's it. Thanks for your time, Julia.
MJ: Make sure you get the "because it's what I passed out in last night" part.
The cows came back. The damn cat came back. That peculiar sore came back. Fucking disco came back, and back, and back goddamn it….Buffy! Please! Stake that bitch! And tonight, you will come back. And I will come back. At COMEBACK. COMEBACK!
Forget everything Xtopher said below about anything else that is allegedly happening: There's only one thing happening: COMEBACK!
Chop Suey, $5 (before 11pm—after that, you take your chances), be fabulous, don’t disappoint me.
An Adrian Ryan Approved Event!™
You heard me.
Local techno crew Knightriders are throwing an audio-visual spectacular tonight in honor of SIFF, whose film-bedazzled attendees they hope to lure to Re-bar so they can indoctrinate them to the secret knowledge of metronomic beats traveling at 128+ per minute. Killing Frenzy will provide the images while Red Pony (aka Rebecca West) will deliver a live performance of techno, and DJs Struggle (Made Like a Tree) and Travis Baron (Knightriders) will tagteam on the decks, as will wife/husband duo Saigon and Justin Byrnes under the name Tandem House. And much-loved spirit-lifter DJ Eddie will be spinning records from his vast, impeccable collection.
SIFF goers: You’re going to need to unwind after a long, grueling day of cinema absorbing. Final Cut can help you do that.
Re-bar, 1114 Howell St, 10 pm-2 am, $9 with SIFF ticket stub/$12 without, 21+.
In this week's My Philosophy, Larry Mizell makes this declaration: J Dilla changed my life.
I do not in any way doubt the truth of this statement. Dilla not only changed Mizell but the whole of hiphop. I will go as far as to say he made a new branch of hiphop that's so distinct, so independent of the main body that it may very will be something that is other than what it originally came from. The future may very well recognize J Dilla not so much for his influence on hiphop but his creation of an art that is new and apart from hiphop. One indication of this break (and the future recognition of it) is the very fact that his music is not rapper (or even hiphop) dependent—the same is not true for Pete Rock, DJ Premier, and RZA. Dilla's mode works well, and often better, with singers.
Nevertheless, J Dilla produced rap tracks that in essence are perfect. His imagination grasped the essence of the form and manipulated it with supernatural ease. For example, "Heat" (produced by Dilla and rapped by Common), is hiphop in a state of perfection: big beats, sharp cuts, deep breaks, expert raps, percussive samples.
(Listen to J Dilla's new album, Jay Stay Paid, at the War Room this Sunday, May 31st.)
Mary Kay Letourneau hosted "Hot for Teacher" night at Fuel in Pioneer Square last Saturday. The DJ was her former student/reason for prison/current husband Vili Fualaau. The poster depicted here was available for purchase for $7, signed by M.K.L. with the inscription "Oh happy day!"
Comments on the Bar Exam about the experience—including an interview with Mary Kay Letourneau in Fuel's ladies room—are pretty evenly divided right now. There's this camp:
They've made their bed, and even dealt with the consequences. Most relationships end over small disputes, these two weathered a scandal and waited through a prison sentence.
At this point, they are both living the lives they want to live and who are we to judge?
More power to them.
Posted by BombasticMO
Then there's this one:
Pedophiles is still pedophiles, even if, say, you happen to be still with your pedophile victim X number of years later.
Posted by malachi
Also, a report from one Luke Baggins, who attended:
I noticed that the people getting their pictures taken with her were more than half female, and more than half of them were seriously hot and that made my whole evening. And his music was way better than I would have expected from someone so young...
If you go to a lot of loud rock and roll shows (or even just the occasional one), it might be a fine idea to invest in some decent earplugs. Tinnitus is not fun. Tomorrow night at the all-ages KTUB in Kirkland is the venue's annual hearing awareness show where folks can get custom moded earplugs for cost ($90). The show starts at 8 pm and features Daphne Loves Derby, Bad Timing, and 4th Avenue. They'll also be giving away prizes—it's a party! A party that appreciates hearing.
I went and saw the new black metal documentary last night Until the Light Takes Us, and it's pretty god-be-damned good. Though it doesn't really offer up anything new about the history of the scene - the murders, suicide, and church burnings - it does present an interesting point: real Norweigan metallers are getting a little bummed that black metal has become "trend". In too much visual art, and in the millions of people that have, at least once, thrown on some corpse paint just for funsies. Also notable, Harmony Korine makes a must-see cameo as a dancing black metal clown, and I've been weirdly obsessed all day with reading more about just-released from prison Varg Vikernes. Anyway, I highly recommend it. It plays once more on Saturday at Northwest Film Forum.
In other highly recommends, Jay Reatard is coming! The Crocodile! June 15th!
image via myspace
Watch a dance party spontaneously erupt (to the tune of Natalie Portman's Shaved Head) at Sasquatch:
(ht to Harms)
Kazu Nomura (aka PWRFL Power) writes today:
I have started a blog/Folk&Porn label called Half Yogurt and just received the very first release, PWRFL Power's newest CD titled "I am a Confident Woman", today in the mail, which I wrote about on the blog. there are a few names of exciting talents putting out recordings in this year.
One thing that differentiates this project from other similar label/blog is that every single artist will get to tour Japan as we start working together. I am planning Japan tours for Cap Lori (early Sep.) Dennis Driscoll (late Sep.) and Seattle's Generifus (early 2010) tentatively.
Pornography releases will take a bit as it is more complicated process.
Secondly and Lastly, I, Kazutaka Nomura is getting married to Tennessee Rose in August in my Japanese hometown Asahikawa. You might have seen her already as her picture pop up on my blog often and I am always with her outside in these days. She plays music thus we travel together alot, I am enjoying her accompany immensely.
We were just in Japan in Apr and are going to fly back on July 14th to process all the paperwork.
One crazy thing is that Tennessee's mother and Felt artist Coco Howard is getting married on July 12th to "a notorius devil" of Spencer Moody of Murder City Devils. so, all of us will make one hell of a creative family.
We will come back to the states in January 2010 to have multiple ceremonies in major American cities. See you in your town... FIESTA!
More on Kaz's new pappy here. And congratulations, everyone!
Jesus Christ on a crostini, there's a lot of stuff happening tonight: a Critical Mass ride, Shepard Farey spinning at the War Room, U.S.E. and Throw Me the Statue at Neumo's, Mad Rad at the Comet, the gay stylings of Comeback at Chop Suey... And, except for the bike ride, all of that's within an eight-block radius. Something's gotta go. I'm looking at you, U.S.E/Throw Me the Statue. It's not that I don't love you. But one can only be in so many places at once.
(A note to Mad Rad haters everywhere: If you think Mad Rad coverage in The Stranger has been too much lately, you better stop reading The Stranger, because between Buffalo Madonna climbing onto the roof of the stage at Sasquatch, the fact that Stranger campers at Sasquatch listened to Mad Rad's White Gold on repeat through Lindy West's car's speakers while dancing in the red glow of Lindy West's brake lights, and the scarcity of Mad Rad shows ever since the trio got banned from almost every club in town, a bunch of us have graduated our liking of Mad Rad into full-on love. And you know how love is.)
A key figure in the history of kraut rock, Uli Trepte passed away May 21 after “a long bout with cancer.” He is best known for playing bass in the excellent psych-rock group Guru Guru, whose first three LPs are full of manic, thrilling extended jams. He also worked with Faust, Spacebox, and stellar jazz musicians such as Yusef Lateef, John McLaughlin, and Gato Barbieri.
is the Get Off! They were mistakenly left off the listings in this week's paper, they look and sound like this:
Mad Rad and the Tempers are also on the bill. It starts at 9 pm and costs $7 at the door.
Have you ever seen a video of a song that is literally about what the video looks like?
Hat tip: Carla
Got some time to kill today? Check out this blog, which is has every album cover ever done by Pen & Pixel Graphics, the company who basically invented the highly-photoshopped artwork that's all over every southern rap album today. There are over 40 pages of album art with stuff like this on it:
Well, at the very, very beginning, I noticed that people had not really got a good understanding of Photoshop and what you could do with it. People were paying a huge amount of money to go and have themselves in front of a Bentley, and hire models, and rent jewelry, and go to a location… I also had a background in photography, and before Pen & Pixel, your photoshoot could be 15 to 20 000 $ just to get everything right. And there were still not the dimension, the bling-bling, that was limited on what you can do with it. So what I said is "Why do all that when we can actually do that at one-tenth of the price? We have everything: we have pictures of Rolls Royces, pictures of girls, pictures of diamonds, we have all this stuff, including their clothes!" If they didn't want to buy clothes, all we can do is photograph the face, and we will have a body model, mimick up their bodies and we would put it in a place where you would never know the difference. And it worked. That formula worked very very well.
He went on to talk about the company's immense output:
I can work for 72 hours, straight, no problem. My brother also does not sleep, so this was one of the catalysts that made Pen & Pixel so successful because our competition obviously had to sleep. My brother and I would work for three weeks straight and turned out 1450 album covers [laughs]. It was crazy.
Crazy indeed. Read the whole interview here.
(Thanks to Robby for the epic tip.)
In my heart, I know that marriage equality for every human being isn't a question of if, but only a matter of when. I ask those who feel that giving freedom to others somehow binds you, to please take a good look at what you are standing behind. It is only through opening your hearts will you be able to see that by promoting freedom for all, you are unchaining yourself. I guess I'm an optimist. I have faith in people and our government ultimately to do the right thing. And to my brothers and sisters in California, I'm there with you every step of the way until that day comes...
While I'm feeling epistolary: Dear Barack Obama: Please note that Russell Simmons—who dropped out of New York City College to promote key early hiphop acts (thank fucking GOD)—is 750,000 times more eloquent on this subject than your Harvard-educated ass. Step up, you wuss.