New Jersey garage trio Screaming Females play tonight at Healthy Times along with Rvivr, Tacocat, Stickers, and Pony Time. Here's what I wrote about Screaming Females back in May:
New Jersey trio Screaming Females have only one female, singer/guitarist Marissa Paternoster, and her vocal style is as often a kind of an exaggerated, declarative sotto voce as it is an overdriven scream. But even when her singing is dialed down, the band makes a mighty racket, bashing out fuzz-fucked, triumphalist rock with flailing guitar solos. The robust rhythm section of bassist King Mike and drummer Jarrett Dougherty keeps lively time but mostly stays out of the way of Paternoster's hot-wired, steamrolling playing. It's not all screaming and shredding either, as evidenced by the band's chugging cover of Neil Young's "Cortez the Killer" or the original "I Do"; the latter is a ridiculously poppy midtempo number whose bright melodies and vocal hook emerge from a smother of distortion, worthy of scoring a mid-'90s TV montage, say, something from The Adventures of Pete & Pete.
Meanwhile, former Seattlite and current San Franciscan Deceptikon is down at Lo-Fi for Stop Biting tonight along with ER Don, Absolute Madman, and the weekly night's regulars. Here's what Dave Segal had to say about Deceptikon's latest, Mythology of the Metropolis, for a recent Data Breaker:
Mythology of the Metropolis consists of 14 examples of crisp, vibrant, post-Dilla instrumental hiphop, with flashes of pretty IDM melodies and late-'00s bass wobble. Deceptikon keeps the head-nod factor high while wrenching out some interesting, exotic melodies. "Echolocation" genuflects to the Far East with its fluttering, quasi-Zen garden motif (à la Philip Glass in his Mishima soundtrack) set amid splatting, stalwart funk beats. "Indo Loops" also is riveting, with its distorted (presumably Indian) chant warbling over a sinuous synth drone, staunch Madlib-elous clapper beats, and furious, pitch-shifted tabla slaps. "The Fall of Humanity" majestically glides like 1977 Kraftwerk, while "Dissolving in Acid" lives up to its title, running crinkly Roland 303 squiggles through a dense thicket of kick-drum thump and toxic squalls of low-end pressure. "Broken Synthesizers" growls and bristles like a peak-time Cannibal Ox/El-P joint.
MPC sampler maestro (and Tyler Swan collaborator #327) ER Don is not to be missed, either; last time I saw him, dude painfully upstaged Four Tet:
ER Don frankly stole the show, with both the best sounding set and the best live setup. ER Don's Robert Nelson records his own live electric/acoustic instrumentation into his trusty Akai MPC sampler and then chops his recordings up live to great effect. Last night, he added a Moog analog synthesizer and a laptop (sequencing the synth, I'm guessing) to his usual setup, he had his different instrument outputs routed through the appropriate amps—guitar samples through guitar amps, bass through a bass amp, etc—and he was joined on live drums by Tyler Swan of Foscil/Truckasauras. The result was the most full, live sounding set than I've ever heard from ER Don, eschewing jarring fragmentation for cohesive jams. The guitar and bass sounded like they were being played by phantom musicians onstage, the analog synth was bright and slippery with portamento. It all sounded less like a producer edging towards a full band by adding a drummer and more like a full band condensed and evoked via MPC. They really made themselves a fine match for Four Tet's eclectic and expert sound—there were jazzy, off-kilter loops; there was motorik guitar riffing; there were miniature echos of Battles' weirdo prog funk (call them Skirmishes?). And it all sounded clear and powerful, with the bass rattling the windows.
In this awesome post, he gets Grynch, still the King Of Ballard, to rhapsodize about his kingdom. Plus, there's the above video of the G whipping Saba around in his storied Volvo, slapping some west coast rap, showing him the sights (when they weren't closed). All in all, it gives you a really good feel for Grynch, a refreshingly salt-of-the-earth motherfucker if there ever was one, as humble, genuine, and personable as they come. The lutefisk on top, though, is the Sabzi remix of Grynch's "My Volvo", which you can hear and download below.
by Dave Segal
on Tue, Aug 31, 2010 at 3:23 PM
Do you have a phobia? Unless you're totally insane, you probably do. Now, do you have a song that you really like that pertains to that phobia? What is it? I can't hear you? Okay, that's better.
My phobia is butterflies. The family legend goes that when I was a very wee lad, a butterfly flew into my shirt and scared the holy hell out of me. I believe it, because to this day I feel as if I am traumatized by that event. I can't stand butterflies—can't even really bear to look at photos or film of them. I will—no joke—kill you if you try to bring a butterfly into my general vicinity. Don't even think about it.
So, I choose Verve's "Butterfly" as my favorite song about my phobia. It's a great psych-rock/astral-jazz jam from the British group's phenomenal 1993 debut album, A Storm in Heaven. (You can find said album for dead cheap in used bins or—rumor has it—for free online.) The tune hasn't eradicated my lepidoptera fear, but it has made it much more tolerable.
by Dave Segal
on Tue, Aug 31, 2010 at 1:59 PM
Former Seattle techno producer Bruno Pronsato has a new podcast up on Resident Advisor for the streaming. RA also posted an interview with Pronsato (aka Steven Ford) in which he discusses his many recent projects and some extracurricular R&D work for Madrona Labs boss (and renowned DJ/producer) Randy Jones' new software synth, Aalto, with which he's "Just making sounds and little patches. I am having an incredible time doing that!"
Anyway, this 59-minute podcast is an efficient way to catch up with Pronsato's increasingly jazzy, sprawling, and improvisational work over the last few years, if you've not been keeping up with his prolific flow of releases.
You are either loving or hating the rain right now. I, personally, am a fan. But not everyone is ready for summer to be over. It's still August, after all, and this feels like October. But this is Seattle, this is how the Pacific Northwest works.
So maybe you're cursing the sky right now because your feet are all wet and your hooded sweatshirt will be damp for the rest of the day, but let's not forget just how great the Northwest is. Rain and all. Here are some songs, to remind you:
The Lonely Forest - "Live There" (from their EP coming out September 14)
Tomorrow night, free! Come to the Hunter Gatherer Lodge on Capitol Hill. Drink, dance, and hear how city officials plan to stagger bar closing hours, beef up late-night transportation options, and improve safety on the streets.
by Dave Segal
on Tue, Aug 31, 2010 at 11:41 AM
You have less than one week left to cast a vote for whom you think is the best DJ in America (the deadline is Sept. 6). Peruse the list of 100 DJs here. DJ Times has collated a strange assortment of faded superstars, legitimately great DJs, vaunted turntablists, and mediocrities from myriad genres.
by Gabe Meier
on Tue, Aug 31, 2010 at 10:54 AM
Everybody needs to have the ability to make fun of themselves, and in this piece, Australian artist Lush pulls off self-deprecation at its finest. Lush manages to create a detailed, technically proficient piece while at the same time making fun of himself and of the stereotypes in graffiti as a whole. Lush has been on a rampage recently with work ranging from the graphic to the socially conscious and has given the Seattle scene some great humor and insight into what it means to be a graffiti artist. Find a few closeup photos of the piece after the jump.
Remember when Vampire Weekend upset everyone's kiddies by calling in sick to their show on Sunday? Well, they learned more than how to rip off musical styles by watching Paul Simon—they learned to be a dick to kids from him too! Just watch some of this evidence: "Hey kid, you're fucking singing 'Me and Julio Down By the Schoolyard' wrong, so I'mma just cut you off and sing it myself!"
(Sunset) I know this ukulele fad is one day going to be emblematic of the cuteness of the late '00s/early '10s, but I just can't stop being thrilled right now by the inventiveness and earnestness that people keep bringing to the ukulele as an instrument. Neutral Uke Hotel sounds like the Gimmicky King of Gimmicksville (a ukulele Neutral Milk Hotel cover band? Is Wes Anderson making a hidden-camera prank show now or something?), but the simple instrumentation—a melodica accompanies the ukulele on many tracks—really brings out the doleful harmonies of NMH's catalog. The whole thing feels tender and sweet and intimate and not precious at all. For music made with toy instruments, it's surprisingly moving. PAUL CONSTANT
Xenophon, Yokai No Uta, Blackpool Astronomy, Matthew Bergman
(Rendezvous) Seattle ensemble Yokai No Uta venture off on a series of musical tangents that baffle and enchant in equal measure. (Their iTunes genre, "Unclassifiable," is not an idle boast.) These musicians are playful, skillful, unpredictable, and possessed of fantastic aesthetics that uncannily keep them on the right side of the interesting/tedious divide. They are "experimental" in the best, least pretentious way possible. Much of their output comes off as improvised, gamelan-inflected psychedelia, but YNU can rock, too, in an unhinged Godz-like way. They also know rock history well, and can excitingly deconstruct beloved icons like the Beatles and the 13th Floor Elevators without making you want to kill them. Ask them politely to do "The Book of Weed" for maximum mind expansion. DAVE SEGAL
(Triple Door) Jimmy Webb's compositions were inescapable in the 1960s and '70s. (Dude's royalty statements must be in the six figures annually.) Recording artists from Frank Sinatra to Elvis Presley to Glen Campbell to Isaac Hayes to Dennis Brown to Richard Harris couldn't get enough of his widescreen ballads and airy pop confections, which tread a fine line between sublimity and schmaltziness. (R.E.M. and Nick Cave later covered Webb songs, too.) Webb's hits include "MacArthur Park," "Galveston," "Up, Up and Away," "By the Time I Get to Phoenix," and "Wichita Lineman." The last named is one of those unbearably moving songs that—no matter how many times you hear it—never loses its power to moisten eyes and crack hearts while simultaneously inflating souls. Can "I need you more than want you/And I want you for all time" be surpassed as an expression of love? When set to that gently soaring, elated/deflated melody? Doubtful. DAVE SEGAL
by Dave Segal
on Mon, Aug 30, 2010 at 5:41 PM
Remember Aboombong? Back in January, he blew up Line Out's comment box with some BSP, which led to this post. Local musician in living up to his own hype shocka! Very impressive.
Now Aboombong's back with the follow-up to Asynchronic, a five-track/70-minute digital release titled Amnemonic. It's another distinctive stream of ethnological forgeries (see Can), Fourth World ambient excursions (see Jon Hassell), mesmerizing post-rock mini/maximalism (see Holy Fuck), and unexplained transmissions (see Füxa). This is some of the most interesting, ambitious music coming out of Seattle at the moment.
You can listen to and download Amnemonichere. This is a pay what you can deal, but if you shell out $5 or more, you will receive an access code for exclusive bonus material not otherwise available. Bargain!
Wm™ Steven Humphrey is out catching malaria somewhere in the wilderness, so that means our resident Justin Bieber beat reporter is out, but here is this wacky collab with Kanye and Raekwon. It's really just a remix and everyone will forget about it in like a week. I don't even know if it's real. Enjoy!