Man about town and total busy body and sometimes Stranger contributor Kenneth M. Piekarski is always recording stuff (when he's not doing ten other things). Last Tuesday, he recorded Dylan Carlson at the Ballard Sonic Boom. Reap the rewards here (.zip).
QB's son Albert "Prodigy" Johnson, he of the infamous Mobb Deep, touches home after a 3 year bid on gun charges on March 7th. Upon his return from the tombs, he will arguably be the most compelling rapper in New York this side of Ghostface. Also, nothing like a prison stint to sharpen a druggy, barely-hinged rapper's venom towards the Illuminati who put him behind bars.
They practice witchcraft to harness their power Pedophile rape lil kids for energy The Satanic rituals; W.T.C. (R.I.P.) They let the Pentagon on fire That's lighting the pentagram on fire All these bodies for what? So you could scare everybody into one world huh?
by Dave Segal
on Mon, Feb 28, 2011 at 6:00 PM
This clip already has appeared on a number of blogs, so forgive the lateness, but it deserves your immediate attention. Based on an idea by George Manak, the video is painstakingly edited by Peter van der Ham and features Angie Dickinson pummeling Lee Marvin in the film Point Blank to the rhythm of composer Steve Reich's Clapping Music. It's absolutely mesmerizing, and Lee Marvin makes for a helluva drum. This is a superior example of scavenging one art form to create a phenomenal work in a different medium—sampling and détournement at their finest.
Or should I say what happens when a Rolling Stones cover band called The Rolling Stones plays a sold-out show DRESSED AS SAILORS? Whatever the details, it was wild. I also just recieved this text message:
"I heard a girl got taken away in a cop car, pete got punched in the face, & I'm in hospital w/ a broken hip. STONES!!!!"
He is the tech master here at the Stranger. He listens to techno. I told him that I was sad about missing the solo Ted Leo show on Friday and he asked me what Ted Leo sounds like. I played the first 30 seconds of "Me & Mia" for him and he said "This is Ted Leo? It sounds like everyone else! You might as well have watched the Gin Blossoms." Then he started singing the chorus to "Found Out About You."
As you already know by now, there's apparently only one show worth hitting up tonight, and I'd suggest getting to it on time. Florida's Mike Diaz aka Millionyoung plays second after Speaker Speaker, and he's totally worth catching. I can't speak to his live show (though I've heard it includes a backing band of masterful studio musician-types), but his Replicants album is still sitting well with me.
At a time when many chillwave musicians are moving away from that summery sound, and critics are moving away from that loaded term (Ian Cohen's review of Toro Y Moi's new LP Underneath the Pine never once uses the word "chillwave," opting instead for "[escapist] home-made electro-pop"), Diaz is embracing the latter and—to my knowledge—not making a fuss about the former. It's all for the best, as Replicants stands as a sterling example of how to work within the (fairly ambiguous) constraints of a snark-beset sub-sub-genre. If you thought Underneath the Pine "under"-whelmed in the funkiness department, give Replicants a listen, or groove along to "Easy Now" at Neumo's tonight.
Compact disc technology created a very particular curse: The need to make every single cut of a beloved artist widely available to the general public. (While it's true that bootleggers emphatically traded and sold tapes of live performances and demos, these rare cuts weren't mainstreamed until CDs came along.) This is totally understandable and human: If you really love a particular artist, it's easy to fall prey to the urge to be a completist. But the mp3 has now transformed this compulsion into something sick: You can now track down virtually every cut ever recorded by a particular artist from, say, the 1950s on, and you can store these dozens of slight variations on a single pop theme with no trouble at all. Choice has opened up to the point where a sane person has to draw a line. For me, that line is simple: I'm particular about not getting caught up in curating a ton of non-essential recordings. I simply don't have the mental space to try to choose between, say, 8 or 9 different minor twists on Carl Perkins's "Pink Pedal Pushers." I want the version he released to the public, and I'm happy with that choice.
But then the question becomes: What do you consider to be essential? The answer is painfully vague—I know essential when I hear it. And the new Johnny Cash collection, Bootleg Volume 2: From Memphis to Hollywood, is probably the most essential Johnny Cash collection I've listened to in a good long while. You get a few minor quibbling demo cuts on this two-disc set: I don't think the unpolished "Get Rhythm" is especially compelling, for example. But an early cut of "I Walk the Line" sounds haunting, spare, and, well, old. It's a peek at the folky roots of Cash's signature song, something that wouldn't be out of place on Harry Smith's folk anthology, and hearing it improves my experience of enjoying the song. I'd call that essential.
In a few charming interstitial bits, Cash hosts a live radio show and urges his listeners to send in cards with requests for upcoming shows, promising that if he doesn't know the songs, he'll learn 'em. He sounds a little desperate, and humble, and happy to have the opportunity to be playing music for any amount of money. There's also a commercial in which Cash promises that "even without air conditioning, you can make your home several degrees cooler this summer" with the help of aluminum awnings for sale by his show's sponsor. He's not an especially slick pitchman, but that helps with the pitch.
Out of 57 tracks on Bootleg 2, more than half are excellent and most are illuminating. You can hear Cash trying on different sounds, different personas, in an effort to find an audience. Sometimes, he's a cowboy singer. Sometimes, he's got a bluesy growl. But he's always storytelling, and no matter how he's experimenting with his sound, he always believes in the story. It's weird to hear a Johnny Cash who isn't on sure footing, but it's surprising to hear how much of what he became was already there, mixed up in his ingredients seemingly from birth. This isn't a set for true fans only; it's for everyone who likes Johnny Cash.
My LA darlings Jail Weddings have a new video up for their song "What Did You Do with My Gun." Just kids having fun:
This is a latest in a series of videos for their songs from Love Is Lawless. I asked Gabe Hart, the mephistopheles/band leader of Jail Weddings, why they were recording a video for every song.
Good to hear from you man! The impetus for the video series was sort of effortless... We posted a bulletin asking if any directors out there wanted to film another video for us, and the response was so overwhelming that we decided to utilize them all!
KEXP Dj and Audioasis Producer, Sharlese Metcalf, went to Waka Flocka Flame at The Kingcat Theatre this past Saturday as a Line Out special guest contributor and wrote the following review. (Here’s her latest KEXP Podcast ‘Space is the Place’ free for your downloading pleasure.) Take it away Sharlese:
“I never thought I’d have a reason to go to The King Cat Theatre (located east of Belltown) but there I was, waiting in line to enter the theatre for Waka Flocka Flame. Lately he has been in high listening rotation and I couldn’t wait to hear the repeated “Waka’s”, “Flocka’s”, and punchy “Boww's” out loud, in person. I was also interested to see what the crowd would be like. Who would I share this Waka experience with besides Seattle Times writer, Andrew Matson, who I was with.
We walk in and there’s mass excitement in the room. We’re all there for Flocka. I was looking forward to seeing Frenchie, MEEZ, Sunny Red, and BAYB as well. The King Cat has a nice stage. The room is the perfect size for an intimate style of show. The floor was cleared and in the back there was seating. The DJ was fantastic, spinning dirty jams. He had the crowd content and happy considering that between the openers ending and Flocka coming out on stage, there was at least an hour of anticipation. At one point I felt myself wanting to riot or at least start some sort of “Flocka” chant. I also began spacing out and reflecting on the environment of the show. I realized that most of the time I’m the black girl at a rock show but here, I felt like a white girl at a hip-hop show.
There was lots of booty shaking on stage. The ladies were getting on stage and shakin’ it for the crowd. The room was ready to attend the “Grove St. Party”. After the long hour of waiting, we get the question “Are You Ready?!?” The crowd screams and lights start flashing and Flocka bounces on stage. At that point, I was so excited I didn’t really know what to do. So I stood up and beamed. I’m sure my face looked like a twelve year old girl seeing Justin Beiber for the first time in person. It was a mushy look I’m sure, but I didn’t care, I was in the same room as Flocka! I don’t remember the first song he started out with but again, I didn’t care, I was in the same room as Flocka! As he was on stage, with the ladies going crazy, he was fully aware of that, and at one point dropped his pants and asked a lady “Is this what she wanted?” I’m pretty sure it was. Throughout the show he also gave advice to the crowd, one that stuck out to me was, “Don’t get married till your 30.”… I’m 32.
by Dave Segal
on Mon, Feb 28, 2011 at 12:10 PM
The crux of the matter:
Sky Saxon, the singer and songwriter behind the 1960s garage-rock band The Seeds, died in June 2009. However, for most of his career and to the end of his life, he received no royalties at all from his record company or his music publishing company. The reason? According to those companies, Saxon sold his artist’s and producer’s royalties in 1973 for $350, and his music publishing royalties for $250. Despite repeated requests over the years from Saxon, and, recently, his widow, the companies have flatly refused to pay any royalties at all, and the matter is now in litigation in the Los Angeles Superior Court.
Sounds like another familiar story of a young, scatterbrained musician being taken advantage of by unscrupulous music-biz execs. One does wonder, though, why action wasn't taken sooner.
Anyway, you can read the rest of the press release—which alerted me to the indignity of “Can’t Seem to Make You Mine” being used in a commercial for Axe Body Spray—after the cut.
Now please listen to one of the Seeds' hardest nuggets of garage-rock badassitude and instantly feel pumped to the max on good old-fashioned adrenaline.
by Dave Segal
on Mon, Feb 28, 2011 at 11:07 AM
The video for Ayshay's "Warn U" (from an EP coming out soon on TriAngle Records) contains much to love: what sounds like a late-period Cocteau Twins ballad magicked into gold silk by Coil ca. 1999-2000, dreamily distorted vocals, feathery gothic dread, strange architecture, kinetic geometric shapes, mystique-laden figures, fisheye lens shots of an elevator, and, most importantly, luscious lips. It's all very intriguing and amorphously seductive.
Such a weird track from a bit of an odd group, it jumps from a speed induced freakout to a Doo Wop ballad. I always thought they were taking the piss, like as a band. The vid is a promo for their Orgasm LP...uh, dig the tears, man!! Marc Bolan was later in this band, tho' I'm not sure he did much to save 'em. The Bolan penned JC track "Desdamona" did get banned from the BBC 'cause of the "Lift up your skirt and fly" line!
Me: Can I order a sandwich to go? Sandwich Person: No, you are not welcome here. Me: Eeks, why? Sandwich Person: You wrote something really terrible about this place and the owner is very mad. Me: Who, me? Sandwich Person: Yes, he is very mad. Me: Really? You're banning me from the sandwich shack? Sandwich Person: Yes, and I suggest that you leave. (getting mad) Me: Really? Are you being serious? Sandwich Person: Yes, I am very serious. (getting madder) Me: Really? I am being kicked out of the sandwich shack? Sandwich Person: Yes, I suggest that you leave immediately. (getting maddest)
With that we left, while half laughing. I couldn't imagine what exactly I could have written that was so bad, bad enough to get me kicked out of the sandwich shack. Soon after, I did remember what I said about the sandwich shack. It was really bad! They shouldn't allow me back in that sandwich shack! At first I argued that perhaps they shouldn't let Caperin' Derek into the sandwich shack, but indeed, real life Derek shouldn't be allowed back in the sandwich shack. Fictional Mariners-era Rollie Fingers loves sandwiches, and he will also no longer go to that sandwich shack.
[David ] Krumholtz, repped by CAA and the Collective, is developing Igotchaback, a half-hour single-camera comedy for FX based loosely on the lives of legendary rap artist and Wu Tang Clan founding member GZA and his publicist Heathcliff Berru. The project, which Krumholtz is executive producing with an eye to star, centers on an up-and-coming music industry manager tasked with representing an aging rap star mired knee-deep in existential crisis.
As Prefixmag points out, this is basically Curb Your Enthusiasm with GZA. And the week just got infinitely better.
(Neumos) This bill will become more soothing—or less interesting, depending on your mood—as the evening wears on. Local kids Speaker Speaker will kick around the stage with their spazzy pop-rock. MillionYoung will play their groovy reef-rock (which always sounds to me like what aliens would play at a beach party in Mexico). Then the Concretes, those lovely Swedish sirens, will sing their soft disco lullabies. Has Neumos considered providing cots at the back of the room for naps? BRENDAN KILEY