The past year has been quite a trip. Last April, my best friend/longtime college radio co-host and I won a job search contest to become the new hosts of KISW’s Saturday night main stay, Metal Shop. As I started to settle into my new position, I realized the importance of separating my gigs.
How could I, the host of a metal radio show that’s giving away tickets to a show and promoting it on air, go home and fairly review that very same show? It’s a decision that probably cost this blog a lot of metal coverage and content, but I just didn’t feel like my opinion on a show I had somewhat of a stake in was appropriate to post here.
That being said, it’s the end of the year and all these shows are long gone. Here are some of the major metal shows that stand out to me from the last year reviewed in a short paragraph or less.
Slayer/Megadeth/Testament (WaMu Theater)— The co-headliners played Seasons In The Abyss and Rust In Peace in their entirety and I got to yell Slayer onstage in front of a huge fucking audience. Awesome show.
Lamb Of God/Korn/Rob Zombie/3 Inches Of Blood/Five Finger Death Punch + many more (Rockstar Mayhem Festival/ White River Amphitheater) — 10 years later and nu-metal is alive and kicking. This is the tour that the “Warped Tour” founder started a few years back to attract a more metal audience. Lamb of God and Rob Zombie tore it up. Others, well, didn't so much...
Iron Maiden (White River Amphitheater)— I actually did write a little bit about this here, but didn’t go into too much detail. The level at which Maiden performs at is unfuckwithable, even at 50+.
Summer Slaughter- Decrepit Birth, Cephalic Carnage, Decapitated, Carnifex + more (Studio Seven)- Take a bunch of sweaty dudes, cram them into a SoDo warehouse on a scorching summer afternoon and entertain them with 10 hours of brutal death metal. I wish I had an extra 300 bucks for that Cephalic Carnage vaporizer…
Nevermore (El Corazon)- After 5 years and a near-breakup, Nevermore came back in 2010 with “The Obsidian Conspiracy,” and toured the United States in support. I remember getting pretty drunk.
Deftones/Alice In Chains (Key Arena)- Bummer. I showed up late and missed Mastodon. Deftones killed it with mostly new material but the Key Arena’s sound didn’t do much for them. Alice In Chains played a comprehensive best-of set, and that William dude is pretty spot on.
SF's resident guitar genius announced via Facebook this evening that he plans to drop a brand new live recording in T-minus two hours for his loyal followers on the Christopher Willits mailing list (don't he know that everyone's going to be out by then, or still getting ready to go out?).
You can join his list here. Or just wait for me to blog about this track once the weekend has, ah, worn off.
This week, prolific blog darling Teen Daze released a brand new record called My Bedroom Floor in commemoration of the New Year’s holiday. A collection of unreleased material produced between January and April of 2010, My Bedroom Floor is thirteen tracks of spirited digital uplift that I defy you to file under “chillwave”—there’s no sidechained, heavily-delayed vocals (or any vocals at all, for that matter), and it has more in common with Com Truise or Wax Stag than Washed Out.
The record is dance-y, cheery, and a far cry from the ragged pop of his recent Beach Dream EP. Shortly after debuting online, My Bedroom Floor became one of Bandcamp’s most downloaded albums, which should give some indication of Teen Daze’s enduring popularity, despite the fact that many critics are too busy fussing over superficialities to give his music a fair shake (Christopher Weingarten recently retweeted the following gripe: “seriously, there's a band called ‘teen daze’ with an EP called ‘beach dream’? STOP IT STOP IT STOP IT STOP IT STOP IT STOP IT STOP IT STOP IT”).
Seriously—THERE IS! The horror!
To be fair, I already greatly prefer My Bedroom Floor to Beach Dream. It has a wealth of super posi, straightforward synth melodies and the driving 4/4 club beats work like gangbusters. Teen Daze stated that My Bedroom Floor “was meant to inspire joy and excitement,” and it certainly succeeds in that regard; the first two tracks are incessantly groovy, while others like “Darcy is El Tigre” feel more chilled-out, though still rich in arpeggiated merriment.
“I Need to Get the Power Man for Jimmy” has a wholly appropriate cartridge-era gamer vibe, and “Turn It Up Bells!” has a loopy radness all its own. “Light Cycles,” duh, is totally ripe for inclusion on your alternate Tron: Legacy soundtrack (a mix that’d be sure to score big points with your geekster crush object). Teen Daze even goes the extra geek cred mile with closer “Let’s Rock This Dagobah System” (to which I say, “Let’s!”).
You can stream the whole thing over on Bandcamp, and download a hi-fi copy if you’ve got $7 to spare (or the necessary search engine know-how to find a pirated link).
Headbanging. That's because I'm one million years old and I threw my neck out trying to do half a sit-up yesterday morning. I spent the rest of the day with a pinching kink in my neck and the uncomfortable sensation that something could be hovering directly in front of me and just over my head and I would never be able to see it. It's a little better today, but if there's something really cool happening on the ceiling tonight, I'm probably going to miss it. Anyway, this reminded me of my youth, when I was less than one million years old, and when I would occasionally throw my neck out from headbanging. Which all caused me to think that if I looked up "headbanging" on Youtube I would probably find something funny enough to post on this slow New Year's Eve day. And that's the story of how we got here:
(Baltic Room) World-class techno, all night long. DAVE SEGAL
(Moore) The L.A. band X secured their place in history the minute they unveiled their sui generis blend of punk rock, beat poetry, and the heart-achiest harmonies in history. Tonight the band hits the Moore for a combination New Year's Eve celebration/multimedia career retrospective, which begins with a screening of the 1986 documentary X: The Unheard Music followed by the live performance of the band's classic 1980 debut, Los Angeles, in its entirety. Go to support an invaluable band's well-earned victory lap, stay for the short songs with long titles, including but not limited to "Sex and Dying in High Society," "Johnny Hit and Run Pauline," "The World's a Mess, It's in My Kiss," and "Your Phone's Off the Hook, but You're Not." DAVID SCHMADER
Purple Rhinestone Eagle, This Blinding Light, He Whose Ox Is Gored, Dead Kill, Badlands
(Comet) New Year's Eve will take a major psychedelic bent tonight with this heavy helping of loud guitar rock. The Jefferson Airplane—nodding drone of Portland trio Purple Rhinestone Eagle should be an excellent mind-eraser for anyone who'd like to forget 2010 ever happened. This Blinding Light will prime your memory banks for the erasure with their walls of sonic whitewash. Just take in "Monochord in Your Eyes," the sprawling, earsplitting nine-and-a-half-minute track on their MySpace page, which alone will lead you astray from whatever you're doing at work. I feel like I just took a couple of bong hits after listening to an hour of this stuff. Tune in, turn on, and reset. GRANT BRISSEY
Neurosis, Ludicra, YOB, Brothers of the Sonic Cloth
(Neumos) New Year's Eve is typically considered a time of celebration, reflection, and hope. But there's also an overarching sense of passing and finality. So while most people will prefer to spend a joyous evening making resolutions with friends and family, Neurosis will ruthlessly ponder our past transgression, the foreboding future, and the inevitable end of it all. While not exactly a trip for the faint of heart, the band's immense walls of malevolent guitar, primitive percussion, and industrial rattle conjure a kind of sonic cataclysm perfectly suited for those who would forgo the festivities to see the past razed and laid to waste. Here's to the slow wilt and crumbling close of another year. BRIAN COOK
(Columbia City Theater) Where will you ring in the New Year? You should seriously consider one of the absolute nicest (formerly the oldest) new bars in Seattle—the Bourbon at the Columbia City Theater. The theater reopened this past summer. It was built way back in 1917 and has a rich history—vaudeville, jazz, film, punk—it's even rumored to be one of the first places Jimi Hendrix ever graced a stage. You almost expect Baby New Year and Father Time to show up together and raise a good-luck toast to all that's good in Seattle. They'd definitely raise a glass to Dyme Def. These hometown hiphop heroes have been doing nothing but good since they released their first album in 2006. Maybe they'll play "Timeless" off the new album Sex Tape right at midnight. I bet Father Time would like that. KELLY O
by Dave Segal
on Thu, Dec 30, 2010 at 5:00 PM
Well, you're in luck. Several figures from Seattle's music scene (including your humble blogger) have contributed their hopes and wishes for 2011 on KEXP's blog. There's no turning back now. I like the one by Tomo Nakayama of Grand Hallway:
My resolution this year is to buy music only on vinyl from independent record stores or directly from the bands.
Read the whole thing here. Furthermore, happy new year (if you're into that sort of thing).
I had a conversation last night with an old hippie while listening to a 1969 Dutch sike/prog compilation LP. Um, I can't remember the name, it was on Decca. As it played we talked about how there was such a marked difference between Euro/UK and American psychedelic groups, and not just the different "in the studio" sound. Euro/UK is steeped in cool whimsy and the American underground was full of cynical dementia/insanity and hopeful revolution. I know there are moments of English insanity (Syd Barrett, Roy Wood) and whimsy on both sides, natch, but I think only the U.S. could produce bands like the Elevators, V.U., or the Seeds, or even the Airplane. So, today, I've spent all day listening to the Seeds' Future.
I think these are my two fave songs off the LP. To me the Seeds' lurching repetition must mirror what a speed freak jacked out on biker crank musta felt like while sitting in a basement in Reno, utterly and completely paralized...wondering why his shoes went missing...in, like, 1967. Um, but that is just my take.
Anyways, the entire Future LP is fantastic and a well conceived/executed sike record, it's an electric mix of the Seeds' "Pushing Too Hard" riff meets psychedelic experimentation.
One of the best accidental moments of the last few months was stumbling across Mirrors.
A new suits & ties synth-pop four-piece based out of Brighton, Mirrors champion the taut, precise inward-spiral crisis of Ian Curtis, but bounce it against the colorful, primary-school fantasies of people like Kylie Minogue or, more recently, The Sound Of Arrows. The music is a metronome with the emotions of youth that helpfully cements what we imagined 2010's much-hyped The Hurts sounded like before the disappointment, and pretty much captures the innocence and future-reaches of the '80s that almost everyone else in the last decade has failed to do.
They've toured with O.M.D., helpfully, and are on Skint, the legendary Big Beat label.
The single "Ways To An End" and its Teutonic psychedelica broke the band out the widest so far.
But we're more convinced with "Hide & Seek", a slight tightrope of sky-breaking comfort and melodies to scribble secret notes about.
And then there's the can't-stop-playing-in-the-middle-of-a-dark-night of "Fear Of Drowning", a gentle, but Oz-inspired b-side nod to Joy Division's "Atmosphere" and what the finale of Chemical Brothers' We Are The Night so desperately wanted to be.
For SIFF this past year, I had the pleasure of screening The Sentimental Engine Slayer, the feature film debut from At the Drive In/Mars Volta's Omar Rodríguez-López (as writer, director, producer, soundtracker, and star—sheesh). I wrote this review of it at the time:
This has all the pedigree of a terrible vanity project—starring and written, directed, produced, and scored by musician Omar Rodriguez-Lopez (guitarist of At the Drive-In and the Mars Volta)—but it’s in fact an impressive debut film from an apparent artistic polymath. Barlam (Rodriguez-Lopez) is an indeterminately young man enduring a delayed coming of age in the druggy, David Lynchian underworld of El Paso, Texas. Barlam might be murdering prostitutes (shades of the mass murders of Ciudad Juarez, which At the Drive-In drew attention to with the video for their 2001 single “Invalid Litter Dept.”). He might be sleeping with his sister. But events unfold out of sequence, the imaginary bleeds into the real, and the effect is entirely disorienting. Adding to the unreality is the ghost of Barlam’s dead mother, some hazy Hispanic-American mysticism, and characters who exist only in the half-life/light of computer screens, as well as Rodriguez-Lopez’s expert use of hallucinatory auditory effects.
by Dave Segal
on Thu, Dec 30, 2010 at 2:59 PM
[I’ll Give You a Break is a sporadic series of posts highlighting obscure (and not so obscure) breakbeats in unlikely places, so that they may be sampled by producers or just enjoyed for their own geeky purposes. NB: Don’t forget to clear all samples through the proper channels (cough).]
Piero Umiliani has scored more films and made more cuts for library-music labels than you've had hot wanks. Dude approaches Ennio Morricone for productivity and quality of music. "Chaser" from the film Il Corpo is a gorgeous slice of slinky, funky exotica; it sounds as if somebody gave Miles Davis' Get Up With It band a bunch of Ecstasy before they entered the studio. The part you want to sample runs from about 1:37-1:48. I hope you can get somebody suave enough to drop lyrical gems over that juicy chunk of sweetness. Good luck.
When asking for regrets for this week's My Philosophy, I also reached out to Line Out's favorite brown persons besides myself, Seattle-loving dudes Das Racist. Here they are, with pictures, so white folks can tell them apart. Fun!
Victor "Kool A.D." Vasquez:
Here's five regrettable lines from our last mixtape (in no particular order):
1. "fishes get mad at me the kid is a whale / in it like a triple a battery up in a digital scale"
i said that thinking that it sounded a lot like a "real rap" line from some song i wish existed in the mid-to-late-nineties without realizing that me saying that line in 2010 is actually dumb.
2. "arkansas street like a block from the projects / to hp some more blocks from some other projects / to alameda so we not by the projects / now look at me getting knots for my projects"
the poverty-romanticizing "bootstraps" ethos in this line is heckof annoying. who cares?
3. "i typically never really give a fuck my friend"
i usually kind of give at least a little bit of a fuck.
4. "master of the universe / nobody can doo doo worse / than i doo doo" that's just stupid
5. "i'm in outer space reading frankfurt school treatises that curl the common man into fetuses / nietzche told me that the nostril's where the genius is"
it's lines like this that make idiots think we're "smart" and smart people think we're idiots.
from Dap's Facebook
Ashok "Dap" Hondabalu:
Five people I regret not mentioning on "Sit Down, People" because they didn't pop into my head during the 45 seconds we took to conceptualize and make that "song":
David H. Koch: This tea-party funding piece of trash deserves to have his head removed forcibly from the rest of his body. The rest of his body is actually a fairly nice guy. His brother as well. Rudy Giulianni: "Any time you treat Sept. 11 as a political issue, which is what they are doing . . . I think is just wrong. That's the wrong thing to do. "America's Mayor" regarding Senate Republicans voting down a 9/11 healthcare bill set to provide funding for rescue workers and other responders. OH, WORD RUDY?
John Boehner: "They're snuffing out the America that I grew up in." That was John Boehner in reference to Democrats, nostalgia for a time when blacks couldn't sit on the front of the bus is fantastic.
Lou Dobbs: He's fat and dumb!
Fred Phelps: Westboro Baptist Church (godhatesfags.com). Really? Somebody kill this guy!
Barack Obama: WHOA!
from Heem's Facebook
Himanshu "Heems" Suri:
- my entire verse on puerto rican cousins. - my entire verse on luv it mayne - half of my verse on all tan everything - i cringe when i say "always get the pussy cause i tell them that i'm spanish" on (?). i dont know why i assumed people would know thats something dru-ha said on a record he also said the n-word on. - blacking out on stage and not remembering about 26% of the sets i've played this year.
And now, ladies and gentlemen, I present to you... THE MOST ANTICIPATED MOVIE OF 2011: D*I*Y (the movie), starring Mike Hererra of MxPx!
“D*I*Y” (DO IT YOURSELF) is a coming-of-age teen drama set in the midst of Arizona’s punk rock “unity” movement . When teenie-bopper, SHANE CABLE forms his own Record Label, he is forced to deal with the enslavement and challenge that accompanies the cut-throat record industry. Motivated by passion, Shane embarks on an adventure to find his place in society; that of a punk rock poster-child caught between the glamour of the scene and the responsibility of growing up. Passion, however, quickly turns to greed as Shane hunts for his true identity on his emotional roller-coaster ride. Long-time friend, BO RILEY, sees to it that Shane stays on track and never forgets who he truly is: a compassionate dreamer.
by Dave Segal
on Thu, Dec 30, 2010 at 1:05 PM
Fans of director Alejandro Jodorowsky should take note of these "remixes" of two of his most notorious films, El Topo and The Holy Mountain. Mexico City's Arturo Gil (visuals) and DJ Sáeg (music) have set several key images from these movies to frenetic electronic music. The results are disorientingly kaleidoscopic. Some fans may find these efforts blasphemous, while others will likely view them as quasi-reverent homages. Whatever the case, you should see both allegorical, consciousness-raising films in their entirety, if you've not done so.
1. As of last night anyway, the Stumbling Monk was all out of not only both their Christmas ales on tap (the St. Bernardus, which is excellent, and another one I can't recall today and which I've been thus far prevented from sampling due to last night's outage) but also out of Hoegarden, which is like the Belgian beer bar equivalent of running out of Rainer or something.
2. With the exception of Hoegarden, it's important to remember that three of any combination of beers from the Stumbling Monk's taps is going to be equivalent to about 8 "regular" beers. It's good to keep this in mind when making your hangover calculations (or when working out how many of Tacos Gringos' tacos it will take to absorb the alcohol [two little tacos per Belgian beer, IMO].)
Earlier this year Harvey Danger marked the anniversary of their break-up (sad!) by releasing a new song appropriately titled "The Show Must Not Go On." The song is one of their very best and, if anything, convinces me that band never should've broken up in the first place because fuck, man, they can still write really fantastic pop songs with hooks and smart lyrics.
NPR agrees, they made "The Show Must Not Go On" today's song of the day and Stephen Thompson had a heap of nice words to say about the band's career (noting they never really got the recognition they deserved, which is so true).
Validation! About a year-and-a-half late, but still. Validation.
Download the song for free (or even a small donation, if you'd like!) at HarveyDanger.com.