Whose self-titled EP I am really digging. Here is the opener, "Despicable Dogs" but the rest is really worth a listen. Effortless hooks abound.
The Fall of Troy have announced they're breaking up after their current national tour—the last Seattle show will be Wednesday, March 31, at El Corazón (the tour wraps up almost a month later on the East Coast). In eight years, the band has released four full-lengths and an EP, but my favorite album is still the Fall of Troy's self-titled debut—a menagerie of monstrous vocals and piercing guitar. It's as wicked today as it was in 2003. RIP, FOT.
As of right now, the band has no other plans to play another hometown show once they return from the road so tonight is your last chance to see the band ever again... unless you wanted to follow them to the East Coast. (For those of you who aren't in the Seattle area, see the rest of their tour dates here.)
Tickets are $15 at the door, the show starts at 7:30 pm.
DJ Darwin (of easygoing Seattle hiphop ensemble Mad Rad) has a new weekly dance night called Fancy Footwork that happens every Friday at Chao Bistro (1200 E. Pike St. in Capitol Hill). The agenda, according to the press release, is "Electro, Hip Hop, Indie, Bmore, Dubstep, House, Hood Shit & all the jams to get you sweaty." DJN8, Fourcolorzack, and other guests will join Darwin behind the decks.
I've not been there, so I can't judge the Chao sound system, but that space is tiny. Curious to know how much of a dance floor Darwin can get going in those cramped quarters. It could quickly turn into Chao(s) Bistro, amirite? Head over at 10 pm and find out for yourselves; it's free and 21+, and includes deals like $5 wells, $4 drafts, and $3 food (
use your imagination). Promoter Troy Tsuchikawa elaborates on those foodstuffs: "[Chao] serves quite a variety of $3 appetizers, which include the Spicy Tuna Roll, Seattle Roll, California Roll, Seattle Tempura Roll, Chao Ginger Garlic Chicken Wings, Chicken Bites, Kalua Pork Quesadilla, Wasabi Pea Salad, Orange Glazed Tofu, Wok Seared Edamame, and Miso Garlic Hummus." Now you know.
James Mercer (of the Shins) and Dangermouse's ambling, ineffectual indie rock act Broken Bells is coming to Seattle! Get tentatively apathetic!*
BROKEN BELLS NORTH AMERICAN TOUR 2010
The Morning Benders to support
Tue-May-18-10 San Diego - Humphrey's Concerts by the Bay
Wed-May-19-10 Los Angeles - Henry Fonda Theatre
Fri-May-21-10 San Francisco - Regency Ballroom
Mon-May-24-10 Portland - Wonder Ballroom
Tue-May-25-10 Seattle - Showbox at the Market
Wed-May-26-10 Vancouver - Commodore Ballroom
Sat-May-29-10 Denver - Gothic Theatre
Mon-May-31-10 Chicago - Vic Theater
Tue-Jun-01-10 Detroit - St. Andrews Hall
Wed-Jun-02-10 Toronto - Queen Elizabeth Theatre
Fri-Jun-04-10 Boston - Royale NightClub
Sat-Jun-05-10 NY - The Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza
Sun-Jun-06-10 Philadelphia - Electric Factory
Mon-Jun-07-10 Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
Thu-Jun-10-10 Atlanta - Center Stage
Fri-Jun-11-10 Athens - 40 Watt Club
*See what we did there?
Stag Hare is a solo act out of Utah whose music recalls the spiritualized kosmische-rock mantras of Popol Vuh. This guitarist/vocalist ascends to a rarefied territory that few even attempt to scale, let alone approach the masters of the form. But Stag Hare, I daresay, is edging close to that sort of sublime state in which sound = eternal peace and timeless beauty.
There are murmurs to the effect that Stag Hare's meditative, crystallized shimmers and plangent pellucidations can be heard tonight at a venue within Seattle city limits. I'm trying to confirm this. You should rev up your cyber-sleuthing skills and get searching, too. Whatever the case, do check out Stag Hare's music for future beatification of your headspace.
UPDATE: Stranger freelancer Jason Baxter notifies us in the comments that the Stag Hare gig is canceled. Damn...
A friend just linked me to this trippy-ass Friskies “Adventureland” commercial (I am beginning to realize that my friends consider me to be some sort of crazy cat guy, for whatever reason), in which a cat runs through a Technicolor fantasy realm filled with dancing turkeys, flying fish, floating windmills, and some other dreamscape-y shit:
So yeah, Friskies is obviously trying to cash in on the whole Alice in Wonderland craze going on right now. But, here’s the thing - while watching this commercial, I began to experience an overwhelming sense of dread and fear for the poor cat. In effect, this otherwise harmless looking dream-world had triggered a long-suppressed memory of something utterly horrible and evil and—
—Oh no, kitty! Look out! Shifty Shellshock and Epic and their midriff exposing harem are going to catch you, and feed you ecstasy, and force you to listen to their (c)rap-rock, and then make a jester hat out of you when they are in a drugged out haze! Run along as fast as your four furry legs can go and have your masters seal up that inter-dimensional portal of evil in the cupboard!
Last night brought two audio-visual psych-outs to Seattle: Animal Collective's new "visual album" with director Danny Perez, ODDSAC, and Black Moth Super Rainbow head Tobacco's live electronics act, featuring by visuals compiled by montage alchemist (tv shit into video gold) TV Carnage. Both were hallucinatory and funny and freaky, both showcased ace electronic music, but they were two very different events.
Before the 9pm showing of ODDSAC, young folks milled around in the cold outside the theater; one guy offered to sell us acid. Inside, the theater felt a little like it had been taken over, like a particularly culty midnight movie. One of the film's producers provided an introduction and then handed the mic over to Perez, who proceeded to expound on the film in an epic, almost totally unintelligible mumble while gesturing vaguely at the Egyptian's awesome interior design features.
Then, the film: It began with a sequence cutting between some fire dancers (and a costumed guy strumming an autoharp) out in the woods and a girl inside a house smearing black ooze all over a white, patterned wall—at one point, the girl's fingers traced white lines the black ooze that almost perfectly mirrored the white trails made in the dark by the fire dancers. It was probably the most artful juxtaposition of the whole film. Next, we see a very David Lynhcian dude—face caked with fake age, draped in red cloth, mouth moving but only emitting weird, backwards-masked, asynchronous speech. There's an abstract sequence in which a white background fills with blue and pink squiggles that slowly go black and white and begin to resemble a swarm of bats (your Rorschach results may vary here). Then, a guy whose head seems made entirely of long hair drags a drum kit piece by piece out into an expansive rocky clearing in the woods then starts banging out a loud, simple beat. (If a drum solo happens in the forest, and nobody's there to hear it, does it really rock?)
Next, we see a family of campers gathered around a campfire while a nosferatu-style vampire (played by Deakin) stalks around in the darkness. The family's roasting marshmallows, and as they eat them, pointing the sticks into their mouths, we sense things are about to get sinister. Indeed, this is the film's most inspired no-budget horror segment—Susperia bad-trip gore by way of "chubby bunny." The film ends with four women in a house staged as if for a cooking show with a red-faced, white-haired humanoid hovering over them; as the women crack eggs into a bowl and handle flour, the red-faced thing yells at them, and the scene quickly devolves, first into sinister anxiety and then into an ecstatically silly food fight.
Overall, there's a lot of textural action here—ooze is weird, water is weird, hair is weird, etc—and an emphasis on effects. Things are playfully gorey at points, there's barely a trace of sexuality here—this is essentially a g-rated psychedelic horror film. And while you could draw parallels to Matthew Barney's Cremaster cycle—AnCo and Perez recently staged a "happening" at the Guggenheim, a Cremaster set piece, although the event doesn't feature in the film—but by all accounts ODDSAC is both less odd and less concerned with sacs than Barney's work. Lynch is probably a better reference point, not only for the Twin Peaks move of mining psychic, pesudo-mythic terror from the woods, but also for the film's use of sudden loud sounds and fast strobing cuts to induce almost physiological responses.
As for the music, the biggest surprise for me was that there were a couple genuine, latter-period Animal Collective pop songs mixed in with the all the (equally satisfying, but of a different need) ambient drones, tribal ryhtmic loops, found sounds, and synthesizer oscillations (everything could've benefited from some more bass response in the Egyptian's sound system). They felt like maybe great sketches for future songs, and I could see them working their way onto the next Animal Collective album—except, that feeling was kind of dashed by the post-screening Q&A.
On hand to talk about the film were Deakin (who's performing tonight at Neumos), Avey Tare, and Geologist, as well as Perez. Asked about his inspirations and aims for the film, Perez continued to mumble admirably, but I was able make out something about "the juxtaposition horror and bliss," which he illustrated with an anecdote about watching Sex and the City on a turbulent airplane before trailing off, "...just generally outside of the box I guess" He estimated the film's budget at $65,000-70,000, and when asked if there was anything he'd wanted to do that they weren't able to pull off, he said, yeah, there was lots of stuff, including a scene he'd envisioned of "teenagers in a car crash, in a limo, with girls flailing everywhere" that he'd hoped would be "like Mulholland Drive." (Some folks who didn't like the "visual album" complained to me that it felt like $65,000 worth of an art school film.)
The guys from Animal Collective had more concrete, and potentially sobering insights: They have no plan to release any of this music apart from ODDSAC, although "some melodies may work their way into live sets"; Deakin is still part of the band and was never considered to have left; they have no definitive plans to record another Animal Collective album.
I'm not sure I'd recommend this to non-AC fans, but I'm definitely glad I saw it, even though I don't imagine wanting to watch it again anytime too soon. I do kind of wish I'd taken something stronger than beer ahead of time, though, as I think the film would've handsomely rewarded some actual psychedelics (maybe Kirby can let us know?).
After all that, my energy was a bit low for Tobacco, although the set sounded great—vocoders floating over a thick, dirty bass beat, the mid-range kind of hollowed out, synths squealing in the periphery. I mentioned it in my review of Tobacco's set at SXSW, but Truckasauras has gotta be a little bit hurt to see this dude touring their aesthetic set-up to a national audience, from the wonky analog instrumentals right down to the trucker hat and old pro-wrestling footage. I still say they ought to team up somehow.
Citizens of the blogosphere are getting catty about Sinead O'Connor's new look, revealed last night during a roundtable discussion of the Vatican's pedophilia scandal on Larry King Live.
To them I say fuck you. Seriously, take off them glasses, shave that head, and she'd be almost as beautiful as she was in her heyday.
Also, someday you'll start turning into Susan Boyle, too.
A cat with lots of time and keen trainspotting abilities named iLLaSS (probably not his government name) has compiled The Definitive Beastie Boys Sample Anthology. It's available for download here. You still care about the Beastie Boys, right? Good.
Scope the track list after the cut.
The Chicago Reader reports:
Recently revived woman-centric traveling music festival Lilith Fair announced yesterday that in each of its 36 host cities it would donate a dollar from every ticket sold to a women's charity. After becoming a fan of the fest on its official Facebook page, people can vote for which organization in their town they want Lilith's bucks to benefit. The pulldown menu includes about ten choices for most cities, most of them women's shelters or health centers for the underserved, with a synopsis of the services each offers.
Minneapolis and Indianapolis fans are given the option of supporting Metro Women's Center and Indianapolis Life Center, respectively—institutions whose approach to women's reproductive health services (especially birth control and abortion) is guided by an explicitly anti-choice agenda. Several other cities, including Atlanta and Seattle, have potential beneficiaries that offer so-called abortion alternatives and faith-driven pregnancy counseling.
The charity in question here in Seattle is New Beginnings Home, not a "crisis pregnancy center" but a decidedly "pro-life" organization:
For twenty-five years, New Beginnings Home has been available to help young mothers who have chosen life for their babies. Do you know someone who is facing an unplanned pregnancy who perhaps is alone, rejected or just needs a place to live? New Beginnings is a safe haven where unconditional love and friendship are the norm and woman can plan what is best for themselves and their babies while having their physical and emotional needs cared for. A woman finding herself pregnant without a strong support base can be frightened, not knowing where to turn. There are unique challenges to be addressed and there are no easy answers. Single parenting, adoption, marriage — what is best? Yet when these options are considered and walked through in a loving environment, each carries a hope and a future for both mom and child.
Here's a Facebook page for the group Lilith Fair: No money for crisis pregnancy centers!
Lilith Fair comes to the Gorge Amphitheater on Saturday July 3rd.
Graves33, RA Scion, Jewels Hunter, XPerience, Audio Poet, Nathan Wolfe, DJ 100Proof
(Nectar) [Tonight is] the CD release of Graves's Contrary to Popular Belief. After the dry runs of 2007's Section Hate and 2008's The Cost of Living, Graves is at his claustrophobic, dense, anxiety-racked, who's-that-looking-through-my-Comcast-high-speed best yet. Steady hex-throwing and symbol-jamming right back at our corporate overlords, he still sees the promotional opportunity of having a free iPhone app (hit up graves33.com). Wednesday, March 31, at Nectar is his CD release with RA Scion, fellow Black Lab-ber Jewels Hunter, XPerience, AudioPoet, Nathan Wolfe, and DJ 100Proof. LARRY MIZELL JR.
John Mayer, Michael Franti & Spearhead
(KeyArena) Once upon a time, John Mayer was just your typical twentysomething white-guy blues guitarist cultivating an image of humble, down-to-earth dorkiness while casually banging Jennifer Aniston and Twittering his every witty musing. Then came 2010, when Mayer was overcome by what seemed like a particularly douchey strain of Tourette's, which drove him to brag about the celebrity babes he'd boned in a manner befitting a young Donald Trump and language befitting a dull pubescent. He also made some lunk-headed proclamations on race involving, God help him, "ironic" N-bombs. Thus did a contender for America's male sweetheart become a disturbing and pitiable freak show, at which you may gawk tonight at KeyArena. His psyche is a wonderland. DAVID SCHMADER
Washed Out, Small Black, Pictureplane
(Vera) When Washed Out's breakthrough track "Feel It All Around" (improbably voted Pitchfork's 10th best song of 2009) was discovered to be built almost entirely out of a chopped and screwed sample of obscure '80s Italo pop singer Gary Low's "I Want You," it caused a very minor tempest in chillwave's rapidly-approaching-room-temperature teapot. That the loosely defined genre hazily recollected and resurrected the sounds of the soft-rocking '80s was no news; that some of the craftiest use of samples was happening in indie rock rather than hiphop might've been. Over that track's popping synth bass, steady drum-machine beat, and stereo-panned twinkling, Washed Out's Ernest Greene sings smeared, slushy nothings, and the result really is satisfyingly dreamy. Other tracks, such as the overdone vocal "ducking" of "You'll See It," bespeak the dangers of being more GarageBand than garage band. ERIC GRANDY
Deakin, Jabon, Peppermint Majesty
(Neumos) Deakin (aka Animal Collective's Deacon, aka Josh Dibb) drops into town on the back of AnCo and Danny Perez's ODDSAC "visual album" show that's happening March 30 (see Tuesday). Tonight, Deakin reportedly will perform a grip of Animal Collective material and some of his solo creations. If YouTube footage is anything to go by, this gig should be full of spectral dubgaze songs featuring Deakin's distant, boyish croon, mantric loops, and shimmering guitar embroidery. Jabon (aka Scott Colburn, who engineered AnCo's Feels and Strawberry Jam in his local Gravelvoice studio) is one of the few people on the planet who can legitimately call himself "audio wizard." Colburn has at least 23 sonic personas he can roll out at you (go to www.gravelvoice.com/jabon to hear for yourself), and all of them can trip you the fuck out. DAVE SEGAL
Trespassers William, Sneaky Thieves, Larkspur
(Tractor) There's a wide-awake somnolence to Anna-Lynne Williams of the Seattle-based Trespassers William. She lays her guitar across her lap as she plays, and when she sings, gently hovering vocals emit and activate her as if she's having a lucid dream. To the audience, she may appear as if she's there performing, but really, when she sings, her crown chakra is sending her into a dream scene of a frozen, quiet lake where she designs the shape of every snowflake that falls on the earth. Trespassers William's songs house delayed, experimental layers that pick you up into their drift. Williams and bandmate Matt Brown have been cultivating their folky atmospherics for over 10 years. Their latest EP on Gizeh Records, The Natural Order of Things, is a fine place to start exploring their work. TRENT MOORMAN
And there's always more in our complete music calendar listings.
If you've walked by the old War Room recently, you may have seen people doing some construction work inside the closed-down nightclub. Word from War Room impresario Marcus Lalario comes today that the place is to reopen under the banner of the Hunter Gatherer Lodge on April 9th. Here's their new website. More details as we get them.
The sold out Muse show (this Friday at the Key Arena) is no longer sold out. The venue just announced less than 400 tickets have been released to the public and are available at ticketmaster.com.
(Find out about all the latest ticket news by following The Stranger's SEAshows on Twitter!)
Do you like songs that get to the point pronto in a linear fashion? Do you like female vocals haloed in reverb? Do you like hooks that burrow instantly into your memory banks and deluge your system with endorphins? Then Dum Dum Girls' I Will Be (released today on Sub Pop) will saturate your sweet spot with precision and efficiency; let's hear it for 11-track albums that clock in at 28 minutes.
I Will Be is easily digestible, uncluttered girl-group rock that's tempered by knowledge of Britain's C86 gaggle of doe-eyed dudes and dudettes, the Ramones' stripped-to-the-bone/cut-to-the-chase instincts, and that fuzzed-out splendor that Lush captured so well in the early '90s. Almost everything here will sound vaguely familiar if any of the aforementioned touchstones resonate with you (innovation is clearly off the agenda with Dum Dum Girls). But even if they don't, you can still enjoy I Will Be, which was written and recorded by a crafty personage who goes by the name of Dee Dee.
"Bhang Bhang, I'm a Burnout" is luscious, carefree pop that deserves every decibel of buzz it gets. I usually steer clear of the adjective "perfect," but this song coos out for it. "Oh Mein Me" somehow makes the clunky German language roll smoothly over buoyant, tart punk pop. "Jail La La" cruises with a pell-mell grace, like Shop Assistants after downing a gallon of coffee and boasts one of those soaring, yearning choruses that make you want to break your own heart so you can relate better to it. "Rest of Our Lives" is slouching, pouting fuzz balladry at its loveliest. The swift "Yours Alone" begs to be segued into a Pains of Being Pure at Heart nugget. "Blank Girl" slows things down to a romantic duet, with Brandon Welchez lending chiming guitar and glum Eugene Vaselines-ian vox. The slowed-down cover of Sonny & Cher's 1965 hit "Baby Don't Go" closes the disc and receives a frosty, tender, and reverent treatment—and sounds practically epic at 3:50.
For some, I Will Be will pretty much result in lust at first hear, instant sonic gratification. The album's definitely worth a few impulsive spins/flings, but don't be surprised if it develops into a much more serious love affair.
Don't say the Recording Academy never did anything nice for you. Tomorrow, the local chapter of the sinister Masonic secret organization (jk) behind the Grammy Awards presents a beat-making workshop hosted by producer P-Smoov of Mad Rad and Fresh Espresso.
From the event's Facebook page:
Join us for an introduction to hip hop production techniques with P Smoov of Mad Rad at the Ethnic Cultural Center Theater at the University of Washington. He will make a beat for attendees, while fielding questions about his inspirations to make music, his writing process and his experience working with artists. Mr. Smoov will speak about what digital audio workstation he uses and why, as well as what kind of electronic instruments he likes to use to make his music. After P Smoov has made a beat there will be a networking reception where students will encouraged to meet and network amongst themselves.
The class is free with an RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or 206.834.1000.
With all this March Madness business everywhere, I couldn't help but notice the striking resemblance between Pete Quirk, the lead singer of the Cave Singers, and the Mountaineer, the West Virginia Mountaineers' mascot:
(Cave Singers photo by Josh Bis.)