Havi Blaze, nee UW student Xavier Cox, first popped on my radar with Till I Fall, the LP from his group The Realest (not to be confused with Death Row's fake 2Pac from a million years ago mind you) alongside his partner Ste Hood. The Tacoma-repping Havi stood out with his thorough bars and steady promo, earning props for a little-known crew from local lisiteners. Some time later he dropped a UW-minded remix of Wiz Khalifa's "Black & Yellow" called "Purple & Gold" (Blaze is due to graduate from UW soon); at first I wrote it off, only because I was writing off every "Black & Yellow" remix. There was no denying, however, that Havi was spitting, and he was soon seeing spins, daytime on KUBE 93, which, for better or for worse, is still the gold standard the majority of rap fans in the Puget Sound. With his stock on the rise, he popped up on Scribes' latest album What Was Lost, and via Twitter and forums like 206 Proof, continually pumped leaks from an upcoming mixtape named after his Husky anthem.
For the last year, to the month, Cut La Roc, one of the era's signature figures, and others have been putting on a regular revival night called Big Beat Re-Union, which has already featured Jon Carter, Bentley Rhythm Ace, Hardknox, Midfield General, Propellerheads, Derek Dahlarge, and Fatboy Slim.
The latest one took place in Brixton a couple of weeks ago.
Alongside BBR head honcho Cut La Roc in the main room are Dub Pistols LIVE!!, Micky Finn, Elite Force (playing an exclusive Lunatic Calm set), Dogtown Clash, and the Rejectbeats crew.
In the front bar we have ‘Noise’ London featuring the mighty bass-heavy dubstep crew that is Pixel Fist alongside the Noise resident DJs and Wobble Squad playing the filthiest of filthy Dubstep and bass heavy treats.
The idea of what we offer is to get back the atmosphere of the heady days of Big Beat where you can expect to hear music across a broad spectrum and ultimately have a cracking good night.
But the best part? For us? The whole six & a half hours are up as an official stream and download.
What's the best thing you could come up with? "This," being The Stranger? Did someone at The Stranger leave that note for Poop? Who's Poop? And what exactly was Poop expecting? Do you think that "this" is enough for Poop? After all, the note leaver did do their best.
by Dave Segal
on Thu, Mar 31, 2011 at 2:27 PM
A couple of days ago, Ben Sisario published a poignant feature on James Brown drummer Clyde Stubblefield in the New York Times that details the plight of the man who played a crucial role in forming the indomitable funk foundation for JB during one of the Godfather of Soul's most vibrant phases: 1965-1971.
The 67-year-old Stubblefield should be living a comfortable life of leisure, but he's never received his monetary due, despite creating many of the most heavily sampled beats ever for his boss—an band leader not exactly known for generously doling out credits to his collaborators. Consequently, Stubblefield, who resides in Madison, Wisconsin, has had to hustle to earn a living and to pay for treatment of his renal disease. The drummer took part in the documentary film Copyright Criminals (and its accompanying Funky Drummer Edition DVD) in hopes of easing his financial problems. Good luck, Clyde.
...without them I'd never have heard The Fourmyula.
Sweet, whispy sike...soaked in LSD and from New Zealand. The Fourmyula were a NZ Top 20 group, and this song, "Nature," won AWARDS!! What?! Yup, they also were the "Entertainers of the Year 1970!!! A popsike group winning awards...(sigh) never woulda happened in the States.
Wire is coming to Neumo's on April 13th, on tour to support their 12th (!) full-length record, Red Barked Tree.
Want to go for free? Enter to win a pair of tickets by sending your first and last name to email@example.com with Wire in the subject line. The show is 21+, and you'll need a valid ID to claim your prize. (A winner will be notified by April 5th.)
by Dave Segal
on Thu, Mar 31, 2011 at 11:23 AM
Funeral in an Empty Room by Seattle producer Blood Box (aka Michael Hensley) is coming out April 4 on the German label Loki. You can check out a mix of it below.
Over the last 17 years or so, Blood Box has proved himself to be one of the country's foremost producers of unsettling ambient music. His work subtly insinuates its way into your mind like some improbable brand of incense made out of absinthe and nameless dread. It possesses a profound elemental thrust, an enveloping grandeur that seems tailor-made to soundtrack the world's most eerily desolate places. Funeral in an Empty Room is dream/nightmare music of the highest order, the diabolical spores of a mind that's imagined incomprehensible atrocities and endured existential crises, and made peace—and tranquilly infernal music—out of them.
After Tuesday's post, where I crapped all over a press release regarding a band called Not Tonight Josephine, one of the members of the band saw my Tweet that linked to the post. Surprisingly, he had a good sense of humor about it—he laughed it off and voted "puke" in the puke vs. laugh poll, and even retweeted it to his followers. (Sure, maybe he was hoping his army of fans would come over and berate me, but still, not many artists send out links to negative press.)
Yesterday the band's singer, David, got in the comments of the post and appreciated all the attention, even the bad attention (it's almost to 70 comments, with nearly 700 people voting in the poll). As negative as my post was, it still gave the band what they were after: press.
Bands, artists, writers, anyone who creates: THIS IS IMPERATIVE. You're going to get bad reviews, you're going to get told that you're awful. THAT IS OKAY. It's what you do with that negative press that could ultimately make a more lasting impression.
Do I still hate that song? Yes. Do I still think that's a dumb band name. OH, YES. But applause is due to those dudes in Not Tonight Josephine for taking a bunch of shit talk in stride.
You're okay by me, Not Tonight Josephine. Thanks for playing along.
Down to the round of 8 here. The Sweet 16 saw Fruity Pebbles Breakfast Cereal pull out an incredible one-vote win over Komo’s Steve Pool. You read that right, ONE-VOTE WIN. Ladies and gentlemen, Steve Pool is a motherf*cking stylie-ass northwestern weather forecasting behemoth/institution. He walks into the grocery store to buy bananas and women fall on the ground unconscious because the sheer stylie power of his mustache incapacitates them. It’s that stylie. Pool of course was distraught by the loss. I contacted him to see how he felt about losing to Fruity Pebbles, but he had no comment. With the way Fruity Pebbles makes milk taste, it could go all the way. We’ll see how good the milk tastes after going against Streaker Fail Dude. Also, how will P Smoov fare against Young Evils and Kexp’s Troy Nelson? After defeating The Holy Almighty Creator, will P have anything left? And Derek “The Ox” Erdman with an impressive win over Macklemore. Can Erdman continue against The Three Scoop Ice Cream Tattoo on Gucci Mane’s Face? Lastly, royals Ish and Sir Thomas face off. Let’s get this flying. (Polls will be open until 4 PM tomorrow, Friday 4/1.)
Prepare to either shit your pants in glee, or scratch your head and say to yourself, "Who the hell is S Club 7?" Guys... There was an S Club 7 reunion in London recently! Now before you get too excited, there are no current plans for the group to get back together—BUT. You know they have to be talking about it, right? And... and... oh, fuck it. Okay, here. From Wikipedia:
S Club 7 first came to public attention in 1999, when they starred in their own television series, Miami 7. The show first aired on BBC One and was a children's sitcom based on the lives of the group who had moved to Miami in search of fame in America. The show was also launched in the United States, airing on Fox Family, and later on ABC Family; it was retitled S Club 7 in Miami for American audiences.
Over the five years they were together, S Club 7 had UK #1 singles, UK #1 albums, a string of #1 singles throughout Europe, and top-ten singles in the United States, Asia, Latin America, and Africa. They recorded a total of four studio albums, released eleven singles and went on to sell over seventeen million albums worldwide.
Now do you remember? NO? But you gotta remember THIS song, right?
They were like seven Justin Biebers!!! EEEEEEEEE!!! So how do they look now? Find out, S Club 7 fanatics—after the jump!
by Brian Cook
on Thu, Mar 31, 2011 at 9:53 AM
I love scouring through other people’s music libraries. I love dumb internet memes where you have to list off “15 Life Changing Records.” I love Pitchfork’s Guest List columns. So I figure, why not mix all of those things together by harassing members of the Seattle music community about their record collections?
This weeks interviewee is Jeff McNulty. Jeff is in charge of education and runs sound at The Vera Project. He also mans the soundboard at The Highline. He teaches his trade at Vera and at Seattle Rock School. He’s also a studio engineer, lending his skills to records like Teen Cthulu’s “Ride the Blade” and Steel Tigers of Death upcoming album. Additionally, he was a founding member of BloodHag, the current guitarist/vocalist for Android Hero, and “the big guy swinging his guitar at your face” in White Jazz. Speaking of which, White Jazz plays at the Josephine tomorrow with Cold Lake. Check it out. Now, down to the nitty gritty.
What was the first record you ever bought? Do you still own it?
The first 7” singles I ever bought were Blondie “The Tide is High” and Pat Benetar “Hit Me With Your Best Shot”. Then I bought my first 12” which was Devo Live and QueenNews Of The World. It was 1980 and I was ten so I feel I was pretty on the mark. I do still own them; they are pretty well loved.
I interviewed a fellow named Aaron Fletcher for this series a couple of weeks back. He grew up in Port Angeles. Seeing as you're from Sequim, I'll ask you the same question: Was their a record you discovered while living on the peninsula that totally altered your relationship with music and helped define your current musical interests?
Oh yeah, it was The AccusedThe Return of Martha Splatterhead. I was coming home on the ferry in 1985 and saw an Accused flier stuck to the wall. I grabbed it and the next weekend we were in Silverdale Mall and the record store had it! I took it home and everything about blew my 15-year-old mind, man. The music, the lyrics, the art... I had NEVER heard anything so fast!
Let's say you're doing sound in a new club with a big-ass, fancy PA. What album would you crank through it to get it all dialed in?
I usually use Black SabbathMasters of Reality or ShellacAt Action Park but lately it’s been Future of the Left... really loud.
Now let's say it's 1:45am, show's over, and you've got a bunch of annoying drunk people that won't leave. What album do you play at top volume to drive everyone out?
Gawd, these are good questions. I tried to use BehemothThe Apostasy on a bunch of hippies the other night, and it didn’t work! So I switched to Ed GeinIt’s a Shame... and that did the trick. Of course, if it’s a metal show you gotta use something else like Hillary Duff or Culture Club...
Android Hero is heavy. BloodHag was heavy. I'd say you have a pretty solid handle on what qualifies as "heavy." But let's assume that some poor reader out there has absolutely no idea what "heavy" means in the context of music. This person was raised by super-religious parents and never allowed to watch TV, listen to the radio, or leave the closet that served as their bedroom. What album would you introduce to this poor soul to give them a crystal-clear example of what exactly "heavy" means?
I’d have to start with Black SabbathMasters and then move right into SleepHoly Mountain. Or start with MotorheadAce of Spades and then SlayerReign in Blood? I mean, it would be almost impossible to try to do that with just one album. Give me an afternoon and then I’ll send them home with homework.
What's the most embarrassing record in your collection?
Just for the record I don’t own any Hillary Duff, but I do own hella Culture Club. On vinyl. I am not embarrassed to say I am a total New Waver from all the way back. My record collection has so much that could be considered embarrassing: ABC, Spandau Ballet, Soft Cell... you name it, not just the cool stuff like Bauhaus or Killing Joke...
And now you get to redeem yourself from that last question. Name a super-obscure gem from your music library. What album do the music-nerd masses need to know about? Drop some knowledge on us.
I have owned Tubeway Army’s self titled first album TWICE; my best friend Norman’s record collector dad gave it to me as a going away present. I wore it out and then in 1990 I found a copy in a used record store in Bend, Oregon... still wrapped! That copy was stolen by my bass player Zach’s ex-roommate. I am still bitter. For those who don’t know, Tubeway Army is the band Gary Numan was in before he went solo. It is my pick for one of the best records of all time. It is heavy syncopated new wave... almost metal. And the drummer on that record... man! Its production values are things I still hold up as quintessential in getting sounds when I record.
And finally, what are your three favorite records of all time?
You saved the hardest question for last and I’m going to answer it in 2 parts... cause I’m greedy: Fav records of all time: Tubeway Armys/t DevoNew Traditionalists NirvanaBleach (or Melvin’s Ozma)
Favorite records I’m into right now: ColiseumHouse With a Curse Future of the LeftCurses Black BreathHeavy Breathing
Really, aside from some of the songs off that first record, what the fuck has R.E.M. contributed to society FOREVER? Monster has to be the most-frequently-encountered record in CD-clearance-bin history EVER (I'm keeping my Christmas-present edition.), and Michael Stipe and Co. really ruined a bunch of my MTV adolescence with that god damned "Losing My Religion" video. Also, there is "Stand," and "Everybody Hurts."
UPDATE: "SHINY HAPPY PEOPLE" (h/t: Cosby)
Links after the jump in case you need a refresher.
Rocky Votolato, Laura Gibson, Lizzie Huffman, Nazca Lines (Neumos) Rocky Votolato has been playing his solo music since 1999—over the years, he's played hundreds of shows in Seattle and around the Northwest. You've probably seen him before. But you should come see him again tonight, because whether he's playing the earlier, emotionally charged ballads like "Suicide Medicine" or the more alt-country-flavored rock songs from his latest release, True Devotion, Votolato never fails to deliver a powerful set that'll make you dance and sing along as much as it will make you get a little misty-eyed (if he plays "Montana," I'm a goner). Singer-songwriters Laura Gibson and Lizzie Huffman open, along with post-rock outfit Nazca Lines. MEGAN SELING
Say Hi, Yellow Ostrich, Blair (Crocodile) Say Hi are finally coming home! Eric Elbogen and his rotating cast of touring musicians (the current lineup includes Luke Heath and Trever Hadley) are returning to Seattle after over a month on the road in support of the (fantastically dark) new album, Um, Uh Oh. They've gone up to Eastern Canada, down to SXSW—they've played something like 37 shows in 42 days. But nothing will compare to returning to the Northwest and playing to an enthusiastic hometown crowd, right Seattle? RIGHT, SEATTLE? MEGAN SELING
Late pass me here, but hiphop's most egregious sellout not named The Black Eyed Peas has apparently taken offense to Tyler The Creator calling him out on "Yonkers". It's the industry standard, mostly-subliminal appetizer to the real diss (that'll likely never come anyway); fact is, B.O.B.'s disgraceful ass is still a better technical rapper than most of the Odd Future camp not named Earl, and probably clever enough to come up with some real barbs if pressed. (Though Tyler could probably win just by saying something mind-bogglingly crass back at dude, in that craggy-ass voice of his.) The chances of this leading to anything exciting are pretty much nil, but I thought I'd just let ya know.
by Dave Segal
on Wed, Mar 30, 2011 at 5:43 PM
This anecdote from music journalist/DJ Philip Sherburne must rank among the most ridiculous encounters in music retail history. You should read it at least thrice, the better to ensure that you can get your head around the owner's self-sabotaging arrogance and to savor his wrong-headed presumptuousness.
Discovered the most psychotic record-store owner in Berlin (the world?) today. First, as I browsed the Krautrock bin, he told me, "I think these records are too expensive for you. You look like you think they're too expensive. Well, there is the door." When I said no, not particularly, I simply hadn't found anything that interested me yet, he sneered, "Oh, of course, because you already have every Krautrock record." I protested that that was hardly the case, and he continued, "No, you have every Can record, every Amon Duul record, you already know everything." Finally, incredulous, I asked, "Would you rather I just leave?" "Yes, I think that would be best" was his reply.
Judging by the Qype reviews I checked later, I'm guessing that anyone who's been in the shop will know exactly which one I'm talking about. SURREAL.
If ever there were cause for the overused "Wow. Just wow." response, that is it.
I've never experienced anything so dramatically fucked up as Sherburne's German fiasco. In fact, I can't recall any really notoriously negative occurrences in record stores. Sure, I've seen my share of laughably misfiled records and egregious spelling and alphabetizing gaffes, but for the most part the actual clerks have treated me well. I'm sorry I can't contribute anything to fuel the widespread belief that record-store employees are flaming jagoffs. But maybe you can. Let the venom flow, people.
Nicki Minaj and Shanell aren't the only ladies Lil' Wayne is cosigning these days. The Young Money creator has added another femme fatale to his imprint, however, she's more rock 'n roll than R&B or hip-hop.
Wayne's newest signee is Porcelain Black, a Detroit native formerly recording under the name Porcelain and the Tramps.
I'm already partial to her, because she's from Detroit. Not sure if this is really what "rock n' roll looks like", but I'm giving it a chance...
Kory Shore is the Teabagger musical heart-throb who is "dying for America." Not literally? Anyway, here he is at work, singing about the Founding Fathers and a bunch of other things. I'm sure this video was made without any parental influence at all: