Seattle - Seattle Theatre Group (STG) announced today a fundraising campaign, "Paramount Sign of the Times - Replication, Restoration and Greening," an effort to finance an exact replication of The Paramount vertical sign and restoration of its marquee. The vertical sign replacement will begin October 6, 2009.
by Dave Segal
on Mon, Aug 31, 2009 at 2:21 PM
The new Chinese Stars album, Heaven on Speed Dial (out Oct. 13 on Anchor Brain Records), is a hot mess: spiky, strident, spazzy rock in a thrillingly irritable condition. (They really should go on tour with Seattle's Past Lives.) Check out "Rabbit Face" from that album here. The Providence, Rhode Island-based Chinese Stars consist of ex-Arab on Radar members Craig Kureck and Eric Paul, Paul Vieira, and V. Von Ricci.
Daniel Johnston is playing Neumo's this Friday with the Dead Science and Kimya Dawson. Tickets are on sale now for $18, but you and a date could go for free. To enter to win a pair of tickets, just e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with Daniel Johnston in the subject line.
A winner will be notified by e-mail at the end of the day on Thursday. Good luck!
by Dave Segal
on Mon, Aug 31, 2009 at 12:08 PM
Italian pop star/prog-rock genius/experimental composer Franco Battiato has had a tribute album recorded in his honor (What’s Your Function?, which featured Seattle’s Kinski and many more underground-rock luminaries), but he’s still unjustly obscure in English-speaking countries, despite having prominent fans like Frank Zappa, Julian Cope, the cats over at Mutant Sounds blog, among several other musicians.
SF-based Water Records has done its typically excellent job in reissuing some Battiato titles, including the all-time classics Pollution and Fetus. I found the latter CD yesterday in the Queen Anne Easy Street’s 99¢ racks (?!), replacing my lost copy with exceptional frugality (the original LP surely sells for three figures on eBay).
This reissue includes liner notes by Jim O’Rourke and a fine remastering job. The songs on Fetus are concise and profoundly poignant, with wrenchingly emotional vocals that seem to be the special domain of Italian male singers. Battiato’s glorious hooks come adorned in nuanced, sumptuous textures and the record’s entire atmosphere is suffused in momentousness. This guy was on a magnificent creative roll in the first half of the ’70s, so you should scoop up anything he did during that period.
...gives Billboard not only a picture of Seattle's re-surging hiphop scene (it's hotter than ever before) but also some hard facts about Ballard...
Grynch: Man, I'm from (middle-class Seattle neighborhood) Ballard. There is nothing bling or gangsta about someone from Ballard, and I just can't front like that. It doesn't make sense to me to lie about who I am or what I love. I rap about my car and the fact that Ballard is gentrifying and Denny's is now a condo building because that's what I know. Don't get me wrong, I listen to Jay-Z and I love hearing him talk big, but at least he really lives it. A lot of guys, it's all borrowed for the photo shoot.
Originally published on Thu, Aug 27, 2009 at 4:17 PM
A weirdly persistent misspelling of local music/pet-control/art-heist concern the Abodox as Abadox made me unable to locate the band's web presence during a rather hectic last week, which was then used as the "jump-off" for a light-hearted Up & Coming preview:
Monday 8/31 Abodox, the Sugar Skulls, Sleepy Workers
(Comet) When they're not battling deadly stray pit bulls or trying to "liberate" art from local taverns, the men of Abodox make music. Music with no web presence whatsoever. Metal? I'm going to guess metal. (Billmates the Sugar Skulls and Sleepy Workers both managed to erect MySpace pages, and they're, respectively, Zappa-inspired synth-and-violin art-core spastics and dour, bluesy post-punk with muddy and meandering instrumental passages.) Anyway, the Comet might want to keep an eye on that big red neon "C" tonight, in case those Abadox guys happen to "really appreciate" it. ERIC GRANDY
So, yes, the Abodox, when spelled correctly, has a myspace page. Mea culpa. (And, yes, they are decidedly metal.)
(Comet) When they're not battling deadly stray pit bulls or trying to "liberate" art from local taverns, the men of Abodox make music. Metal? I'm going to guess metal. (Billmates the Sugar Skulls and Sleepy Workers both managed to erect MySpace pages, and they're, respectively, Zappa-inspired synth-and-violin art-core spastics and dour, bluesy post-punk with muddy and meandering instrumental passages.) Anyway, the Comet might want to keep an eye on that big red neon "C" tonight, in case those Abadox guys happen to "really appreciate" it. ERIC GRANDY
Update: An important correction for the above preview.
Are you as famous in Portland as you are in Seattle?
Maybe you need someone to help you develop different personalities for all major US cities. Perhaps I can help plan out the rest of your life out for you? Wouldn't that be nice of me?
"I don't have a girlfriend, so you can totally be my manager."
That's right, Ladies...Ben Lashes is SINGLE! Ben was found at the Crocodile Cafe for the late-night Harvey Danger performance this past Saturday. He confirmed that he now lives in Portland and seems to be really happy about it.
by Dave Segal
on Sun, Aug 30, 2009 at 2:29 PM
On "Headdress," Geronimo transfer This Heat's exhilarating, repetitive pummel and predilection for emergency-level frequencies (especially their track "Graphic/Varispeed") to dubstep's low-end fwoomp. The rest of the cuts on their MySpace reveal gripping, fractured slants on noisy post-rock that's informed by an early-Swans-like sense of crushing doom. Geronimo will appeal to those who like music that expresses extreme emotions wrapped in even more extreme sounds.
Their current tour doesn't include a Seattle date, but if you read this, Geronimo, please consider hitting us on your next jaunt.
(Cairo) For the fourth year, Carousel Festival celebrates the diversity of Seattle's DIY music community with a weekend of all-ages shows (Fri—Sun Aug 28—30), featuring over 30 bands playing at venues including Healthy Times Fun Club, Gallery 1412, Cairo gallery, and others.
There's some great talent on the roster this year, with a little bit of something to please everyone. On Saturday night, heavy and hard trio Helms Alee play at the Greenhouse, along with Patrol, Partman Parthorse, and Weekend (aka Ryann Donnelly of Schoolyard Heroes and Mark Gajadhar of Past Lives and Champagne Champagne). Sunday afternoon, starting at 1:00 p.m., the uniquely voiced Whitney Ballen plays the Cairo gallery with 1985, Dennis Driscoll, and more. If you're unfamiliar with Ballen, imagine a slightly less Muppety Joanna Newsom minus the harp. She's incredible.
(Neumos) There's a reason that L.A.'s Autolux, since their formation in 2000, have been praised by critics, been personally invited by Trent Reznor to tour with Nine Inch Nails, and played at both Coachella and All Tomorrow's Parties, even though they have only one full-length record to their name—they're fucking great (and residual love for their old act, Failure, probably doesn't hurt either). Their cinematic shoegaze ranges from haunted guitar-driven rock ("Audience No. 2") to aggressive electronic instrumentals ("Fat Kid"). It's all held down by the impeccable drumming of Carla Azar, who, by the way, was once told she'd probably never play drums following an accident. An experimental surgery got her back behind the kit—and hearing her play now, I'm not completely convinced that "experimental" aspect didn't involve replacing her arm with some kind of cybernetic metronome. MEGAN SELING
(Chop Suey) Busdriver was born into hiphop (his father wrote the screenplay for Krush Groove!), and now he can't make his own fast enough. Big brainy words fly from his mouth like furious bees, over beats that draw rich melodicism from all over. My favorite Busdriver track remains Fear of a Black Tangent's "Avantcore," where the man's playful logorrhea finds a home amid a beat built around Can's "Turtles Have Short Legs" (the B-side to the Tago Mago single "Halleluwah"; Busdriver is the type of rapper who makes you Google obscure Can tracks). DAVID SCHMADER
Are you truly quite perverted, and rather gay to boot? Do you enjoy meeting the occasional porn star in person (from Portland, no less? WTF?)? Do you like wearing just enough clothing to avoid arrest (and not a stitch more) in public, and dancing, and drinking a little (or a lot)? And do you appreciate others who feel the same way?
Well. I'm sorry for your poor mother.
Also, you have roughly three-ish hours (if you're a tad fashionably late) to get your perverted fanny to Re-Bar for something called "Magnum VII". (A Sylvia O'Stayforemore production!) The event promises to feature all of the above, plus things like mysterious guest DJs, and performances by, among others, Sylvia O'Stayforemore, who, among boys in dresses, has no equal.
Re-Bar. (1114 East Howell, of course.) 10:30-'til-you-get-laid. $5.
by Dave Segal
on Sat, Aug 29, 2009 at 3:11 PM
They weren't discussed in the current issue, but vibrant LA funk/Afrobeat troupe Orgone are definitely worth catching tonight. They tore it up at Bumbershoot last year and I've no reason to believe Orgone won't raise the roof at least a dozen feet at Neumos.
First they said it was canceled; that it wasn't going to happen at all...
But that was all a clever lie. A ruse. A canard!
For indeed, they met en masse at Cal Anderson Park this morning—people! tons of them!— at 10am to learn the proper choreography. You HAD to be there, and know the choreography, or they wouldn't tell you where the damn thing was actually going to happen—which was in three places, dotted all over town. Occidental Park. Pike Place Market. Kerry Park! And then, suddenly, at 1:10pm...at 2:05...and at again 3:00pm...in those three places respectively...THIS happened...
People! Beating it! All over the damn place!
Happy dead birthday, Michael Jackson! Happy, happy dead birthday, indeed!