Nine post meridiem. Tune in here.
L.A.B. Benefit Show: Prodigal Flame, Only Human, Getting Up Guilty, Halcyon Daze
(L.A.B. Seattle Drum School) Not to be outdone, steadfast North Seattle underage hangout "the L.A.B." is hosting its own benefit show tonight. I can't offer an opinion on any of the performers—Prodigal Flame, Only Human, Getting Up Guilty, Halcyon Daze—but the L.A.B. is there for you when you need it, and if you're the type who needs, do the right thing and hit 'em back. JASON BAXTER
Black Lodge Benefit Show: Megabats, Forrest Friends, Sorry, Thunder Grey Pilgrim
(Healthy Times Fun Club) How's this for community spirit: one all-ages underground spot stepping up to help another? If you're a patron of the Black Lodge and would like to keep our city's Twin Peaks—referencing venue hale and happy, scope this four-band bill and don't space on donating at the door. Nintendo DS—jammers Megabats employ a different, amazing set every time I've seen them, and Thunder Grey Pilgrim are kick-ass drone-heads from Debacle Records, the imprint run by Megabats' Sam Melancon. Get your Geldof on. JASON BAXTER
Throw Me the Statue, BOAT, Boy Eats Drum Machine, Wonderful
(Comet) Tonight's show encompasses a big chunk of Seattle's wide spectrum of pop music: Throw Me the Statue are the preppy popsters, with choruses that are catchy enough to land them a TV commercial or two. BOAT are sillier but every bit as earwormy (ew), with song lyrics that go on about acting like King Kong and eating nachos (not together, though that could be fun). And both one-man-band Boy Eats Drum Machine and ex-U.S.E act Wonderful ditch the indie-pop guitar scene, instead opting to construct their tunes by way of a slew of electronic bleeps, bloops, samples, and other such noises. It's all different; it's all good. MEGAN SELING
Big World Breaks: Black Stax, Xperience, Hi-Life Soundsystem, Jerm
(Crocodile) Big World Breaks consist of local musicians who frequently work with local rappers and R&B singers. They have a brassy, jazzy, funky, percussive sound, and their last album, 4 Those Lost, features notable rappers like Yirim Seck, Khingz, and Gabriel Teodros. Tonight, BWB will collaborate with Black Stax, the current manifestation of a movement of local hiphop that began in the mid-1990s with Silent Lambs Project. Sadly, I have nothing nice to say about Big World Breaks. And this has nothing to do with their musicianship or dedication. What's my problem? I'm a hiphop purist. In my world, live instruments can only have a very limited or no role at all in the production of hiphop. The moment live music enters a mix, hiphop's spell is broken. It is not hiphop anymore. I do not know what it is, but I rarely like it. Samplers, turntables, microphones—this is the hiphop equipment I know and love. CHARLES MUDEDE See also My Philosophy.
More music here.
Guitarist/vocalist Matt Valentine (aka MV) has a new album coming out June 14 on Woodsist titled What I Became. Get a taster of it below with "PK Dick." The song offers more of that ambling, nocturnal folk rock/slouching blues for which Valentine has become semi-famous among the Arthur/Foxy Digitalis-reading crowd; it's a really nice time-slower.
Press bio (by Byron Coley) after the cut.
It's finally Friday. It's 4:20 p.m. THIS is what my brain sounds like. Can you feel it too? Does any of this make sense?
h/t Knuck Yu!
Some of y'all got a little upset about the way Grant Brissey covered the new Fleet Foxes record:
Kris says: "This is completely retarded. Show some love for a rad local band."
Roger11 says: "Your music section is lame and out of touch. Luckily, we have a lot of interesting music blogs, written by people who actually enjoy music to fill the void."
letired says: "This is a truly awful piece of music 'journalism.' You should have just printed the pictures of cute animals, at least that would have had some redeeming value."
Well, I thought it was funny. The peacock was probably my favorite part ("Strutting.") with the giraffe being a close second. But if you want WORDS about the Fleet Foxes, well, we've already done that here, here, here, here, here, and here. Oh, and then they wrote for us here and here.
And in response to those comments calling for more attention to local bands and things written by people who "actually enjoy music," well, we do that too! Did you know that in every issue of The Stranger there is very often more than one article? It's true!
The twister didn’t spare Malaco, which has produced its share of music history. It destroyed the accounting building and shipping warehouse. The main building, which housed executive offices and the legendary recording studio, was pummeled.
Godspeed and hopeful hugs to everyone who lost everything.
One of our favorite globetrotting ex-Seattle producers, Maga Bo, has a new EP out on Senseless Records titled Ransom. Recorded in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the title track fuses au courant bass-music pressure with trad Ethiopian instrumentation, resulting in a swarming, disorienting experience. The remixes come courtesy of a cast of sympathetic, talented musicians acutely attuned to "Ransom"'s inherently menacing, mind-warping properties.
Press release after the cut.
Ransom (Pacheko Remix)
Ransom (Filastine Remix)
Ransom (Teleseen Remix)
Ransom (Fletcher Remix)
Ransom (Timeblind Remix)
We've already told you what we think you should do (boring), so it's time again for: What the Hell Are YOU Doing This Weekend? Let 'em know in the comment section!
This installment of Shotgunning features a white dreadlocked man from Eugene, OR named Asher Sheltron. We were at an after party. Asher was relaxed and congenial, he was wearing faux fur, and his dreads were sturdy and convincing. Asher’s song of choice was Velvet Underground / Lou Reed, and I think he was dealing some sort of LSD. (Rules for Shotgunning: Shotgun a beer, then sing a song.) Here is that audio for you now:
Shotgunning 3: White Dreadlock Man in Eugene:
I hope THIS is true...for the sake of GODAMN! Cronos (Conrad Lant), bassist for NWOBHM greats Venom, is Kate Middleton's UNCLE!!
As hard as this may be to believe for many metalheads, Cronos is the brother of Kate’s mom Mary Lant. In an exclusive interview with The Tyranny of Tradition, Cronos revealed that he had a close relationship with Kate from the time she was a baby.
As Kate got older she got more involved with the band. “She started playing drums at age 7 and even sat in with us a few times during concerts. She played Buried Alive with us at a show in Coventry back during the reunion in 1995 and was amazing. She reminded me a lot of Dave Lombardo.”
WHAT. the. FUCK. Read the whole thing HERE!!
I spent all day yesterday listening to Black Metal, BTW. Coincidence...or the work of an EVIL UNDERLORD preparing me for...well...I dunno what, but SPOOKY!?
At noon today at the Hedreen Gallery, local electronic artist Stella Haze aka Cristin Miller performs as part of their House Systems series. Miller's ambient is particularly placid, and for the past two years I've wrung a great deal of enjoyment from her Gift Tapes cassette Thaw. Wavering synth textures and blooming tones color her measured, pared-down compositions. They're truly beautiful.
According to Gift Tape's Jason Anderson, "[Miller has] been incorporating some new gear into the mix to process her voice and has been writing some killer patches." Also, he says there will be food. Who says there's no free lunch?
Miller doesn't play often, so this solo concert affords a rare opportunity. Take the afternoon off and start your weekend right. The The Hedreen Gallery at Seattle University’s Lee Center for the Arts is located at 901 12th Avenue.
Kurt B. Reighly on local duo Thousands
Thousands are best appreciated up close and personal—and that's how the Seattle duo likes it. Everything Kristian Garrard and Luke Bergman do hinges on intimacy: their hazy harmonies, intertwined guitars, and affinity for unplugged house shows. They sent their debut album, The Sound of Everything, to some reviewers with complimentary headphones. Even the chords Garrard favors when composing the band's acoustic reveries reflect that affinity for proximity.
Read the full story here.
Some Nitwit on Elefant frontman Diego Garcia's Latest, Laura
Trent Moorman interviews Nikki Sixx
I met a guy last night who had just gotten "Too Fast for Love" tattooed across the front of his neck. You're still viable.
You know, honesty is a good commodity.
Dave Segal on The Naturebot's latest, Hello World!
The Naturebot (Seattle producer/multi- instrumentalist Ian Scot Price) possesses one of the most refined musical minds in our city. Besides his obvious talent as an electronic-music artist, he champions an idiosyncratic array of fellow electronic musicians with his Pleasure Boat Records imprint, and his DJ sets for the Prog! and Voltage Control (a night dedicated to pre-1983 electronic music) biweeklies at the Living Room always contain treasures by both known and obscure acts.
Lindy West on this week's comedy events
Dave Segal on Pearson Sound, Panabrite, Tommy Four Seven
Jason Baxter on this week's all-ages benefit shows
Adrian Ryan on Noddy and Women in Peril
Larry Mizell Jr. on Waves of the Mind, Doomtree, and Spring Classic
And lastly, Poster of the Week, by Aaron Huffman.
Panabrite, Garrincha & the Stolen Elk, Megabats, Summon Thrull
(Josephine) Panabrite (Seattle keyboardist Norm Chambers) works in the hazy, analog-synth-laden zone between kosmische drift and new age waft. Such artists tread a fine line between sublimity and schmaltz, but Panabrite confidently steers his armada of tones to the former state. On releases like Contemplating the Observatory and Wizard Chimes, Panabrite launches beatless symphonies of fibrillating, smeared whorls and drones that make you feel like the star of a weird nature documentary or a sci-fi blockbuster from 1977. Chambers excels at evoking both the intimate and the epic with his scrupulously wrought arpeggios and ostinatos. There's something of Vangelis's grandiose melodic sweep, too, in Panabrite's expansive compositions. One track from Observatory is titled "Shimmering Pinnacles," and it's the truth. With Garrincha & the Stolen Elk, Megabats, and Summon Thrull. DAVE SEGAL
See Data Breaker.
Tune-Yards, Buke and Gass, Thousands
(Crocodile) Brooklyn duo Buke and Gass play the handmade instruments referenced in their name: baritone ukulele (buke) and a guitar-bass hybrid (gass). To this they add foot percussion, all in the service to scrappy rock songs informed by junkyard aesthetics and art-rock's tendency for compositional and vocal quirkiness. Their 2010 album, Riposte, abounds with vigorous, fetching songs. Another ukulele player, Tune-Yards (Merrill Garbus), is part of what I'm going to call New Quirky America (Dirty Projectors, Skeletons, Dengue Fever, etc.). These groups strive to avoid obvious chord progressions and vocal timbres and borrow liberally from myriad ethnic musics, yet they still write sweet, catchy melodies. Tune-Yards' new album, w h o k i l l, looks poised to achieve the popularity of Dirty Projectors' Bitte Orca. DAVE SEGAL See also preview.
(King Cat) A kid named Tracy Morrow packed his bags in New Jersey to move to Los Angeles after losing both his parents. He probably never dreamed he'd end up a hardcore gangbanger, or serve in the US Army. He never would have thought he'd win a Grammy or start a thrash-metal band or write "Cop Killer," which the White House would condemn. He wouldn't have believed that he'd appear in 40-plus films and/or ever play a detective on a TV show called Law & Order for nine seasons. Tracy "Ice-T" Morrow has lived through enough crazy shit to write a book. And he has. For his Seattle appearance, he'll be signing copies of his new memoir, Ice: A Memoir of Gangster Life and Redemption—from South Central to Hollywood, as well as performing his music. I hope he brings his "swimsuit model" wife, Coco. If you'd shown a young Tracy a picture of her ass, he'd have never believed that, either. KELLY O
ggnzla Movie Premiere: Spurm, Butts, Grave Babies
(Funhouse) Does somebody need $18,000 (raised from a wildly aggro Kickstarter + Facebook + e-mail campaign) to produce a good music video? FUCK NO. A self-made, guerrilla-video REBELLION is happening, and it's happening right now, right here in Seattle. And the ggnzla crew is leading this people-powered revolution. ggnzla Movie has 16 of the BEST mostly local, mostly garage-punk music videos from the past year. At the premiere, the videos will play interspersed with live sets by both sunny fun-loving duo Butts and doom-and-gloom death creeps Grave Babies. There's a lil' revolution for everybody. The $12 cover option gets you a copy of the DVD. KELLY O See also Stranger Suggests.
The Head and the Heart, Lemolo, the Devil Whale
(Showbox at the Market) Pitchfork's slagging of the Head and the Heart's self-titled debut (3.8—ouch!) triggered a semiheated exchange on Twitter between two former Stranger music editors. Said verbal sparring was more entertaining than the album under debate. Include this former Stranger music editor as someone who doesn't get why so many folks are flipping for the Head and the Heart's bland-on-bland Americana. Credit to them for selling 10,000 copies of their album on their own (spurring Sub Pop to reissue the disc with its usual choice packaging), but the music is an ardor-dampener; never has "hallelujah" been rendered more milquetoastily. That this modestly attractive folk rock has become one of the sounds of Seattle circa 2011 makes one think that we value restraint and strict adherence to conventional songwriting structures above all else. The Head and the Heart's soaring popularity reflects the triumphant Starbucksification of our city's music scene. DAVE SEGAL
J Mascis, the Black Heart Procession
(Tractor) If any eardrum-punishing guitarist has earned the right to chill the hell out and release an album of laid-back folk rock, it's Dinosaur Jr. leader J Mascis. Wielding an acoustic for most of his Sub Pop solo debut, Several Shades of Why, J goes against his trademark heavy-rock blowouts in favor of stripped-down, heartfelt balladeering. This kinder, gentler version of Mascis spotlights the wistful ache that's always nestled in his melodies; now it's just much easier to discern. Like Neil Young (easy but totally apt comparison), Mascis exudes a charming vulnerability—and a poignant whine—beneath his gnarly exterior. The malicious dude who's been giving you tinnitus is actually an old softy whose tunesmithing can wring genuine tears. All is forgiven. DAVE SEGAL
More music here.
German DJ Frank Gossner of the revered Voodoo Funk blog will be spinning some of that rare and amazing vinyl he scores while digging in West Africa Fri. May 6 at Lo-Fi for the DUG monthly dance party. The city's top funk night just got a helluva lot deeper.
Check out a Gossner bio after the cut.
Half a year ago, Florrie, Bristol's top self-made pop hopeful, put out a clutch of free songs and then disappeared behind-the-scenes with promises of something great and lovely, or at least a little more personal than the litter of unconvincing Grace Jones shock-droids holding everyone's micro-attention.
Today, she released "Begging Me", the first song off of her follow-up EP.
It's alright. While you can't stamp her with the Girls Aloud brand this time and the song has a refreshingly shy but fur-coat-on-the-subway spring to it, it's a skinny thing in the vein of '60s France, like Saint Etienne or a Kylie b-side, and the chorus is so innocuous, so slight, it feels like a setup.
A disappointment, to be sure, and yet we still trust her to eventually pull the rug out.
THIS 2009 poll is bullshit, and SOOOOO obviously from teh internets where everyone knows this kinda polling is inescapable and binding truth.
1. Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin)
I only even bring this up since Plant was in town last week and at some point, somewhere I heard about this, his...um, topping a poll. Thusly I had a record nerd conversation with other record nerds regarding said poll topping. Trolls, before you say one word I know I should "get a life" and "get off Capitol Hill"...RIGHT?! Gah, it's true, you guys are so on...here I am talking about ROBERT FUCKING PLANTS!? How "cool dude" and/or "hipster" of me. Anyways, our conclusion was it just seemed silly that Plant could be voted NUMBER ONE of ANYTHING, considering EVERYONE KNOWS HE COPPED HIS STYLE STRAIGHT OFF STEVE MARIOTT. GAH!! Internet polling is so STUPID...