Moved original post up from last week because THERE IS STILL TIME TO WIN!
The lovely Neko Case is playing the Paramount on July 10th with special guests Y La Bamba, and we have a pair of tickets to give away! To enter, just send your first and last name to email@example.com with Neko Case in the subject line.
Tickets for the all-ages show are also on sale here.
If there were cred cards, mine should certainly be revoked. Last night while in some sort of insomnia induced haze, I spent a bunch of time wishing happy birthday to a mostly inconsequential Swedish guitar shredder. Somehow I missed that today is Tommy Keene's birthday as well.
Tommy Keene: sleeping on a roller coaster to the real underground.
A tiny water boatman is the loudest animal on Earth relative to its body size, a study has revealed.
Scientists from France and Scotland recorded the aquatic animal 'singing' at up to 99.2 decibels, the equivalent of listening to a loud orchestra play while sitting in the front row...[or] comparable to a passing freight train.
The insect makes the sound by rubbing its penis against its abdomen in a process known as 'stridulation'.
Researchers say the song is a courtship display performed to attract a mate.
Micronecta scholtzi are freshwater insects measuring just 2mm that are common across Europe...What makes M. scholtzi extraordinary is that the area they use to create sound only measures about 50 micrometres across, roughly the width of a human hair.
Going by the sound clips, these little guys make cyclical minimalism in the style of Wendy Carlos's Sonic Seasonings or a skittish Aphex Twin side-project, but with more dicks.
I just got a copy of this the other day...based on it's flip side, oddly. The 'A' side had a lot of damage so I didnt bother to play it till I was home, boy was that a mistake. "I Should Know" is classic Northwest garage from a Seattle band.
It was originally issued on Panorama in 1965, and was later issued nationally on Verve. They also had a single on Bolo and another, "The Draft," on Panorama as well.
Last night, three shows I really, really wanted to go to went down. I couldn't go to any of them because I was scrubbing various surfaces in the apartment I'm moving out of until 11:30 pm (and sadly, I'm not even done yet). Did you get to Helms Alee, Group Doueh/Angelo Spencer/Malaikat dan Singa, Bare Wires/Night Beats, or some other show? What happened? How did they go? Let 'em know in the comments.
What the Heck? Fest is my favorite festival in the Northwest. Magma Fest comes in at second place (sorry) in comparison. It's just like a summer family reunion where everyone is family and if you don't know anyone you'll quickly be adopted.
The festival has been taking place in Anacortes, WA for what will be 10 years this July 15th - 17th. If you've never been to Heck Fest, you need to know a few things:
It happens during an amazing rummage sale called Shipwreck Day where all of Anacortes comes out to sell stuff on Commercial Ave. Sometimes you can find old recording gear, state spoons, hats, etc. Last year I found a pair of oversized sunglasses (which disappeared in my last house two months later). You need to wake up early for this.
Saturday night there is usually a dance party at a bar (that'll probably be named when the schedule comes out). Last year songs were spun by Nick Krgovich, Gus Franklin, Steve Schroeder, and some other cool cats. 80s jams all around.
You can swim in a lake called Cranberry Lake. In fact, as a favor, please swim for me because I have the propensity to drown. If we're both at the lake at the same time, I'll watch you swim.
If you're planning to go, take Friday off because getting up to Anacortes early on Friday affords you the opportunity to explore the town. It's a beautiful place. This also keeps you from missing the Friendship Trail, which is kind of like an adventure train of people, led by Karl Blau, that makes frequent stops so that everyone can listen to a performer.
It's a good idea to get a full pass ASAP since they tend to sell out. The full pass gets you in on the dinner show but the shows at Causland Park are free and the louder bands play in a port warehouse (which you have to pay to enter).
Karl Blau will put a spell on you. He is a wizard, so watch out.
Most importantly: Everyone's super nice and mellow for the most part (the organizers and volunteers are understandably stressed, if even) so don't feel hesitant to high-five and make new friends!
If you can't make it at all that weekend but still have the internet, Hollow Earth Radio will be recording and broadcasting each performance that weekend (like we've been doing for a while).
When I emailed and asked if this was the complete lineup, I was told "The lineup on the bands page is 95% complete." Who is the other 5%?!? See a list of the bands / performers that I cut from the bands page after the jump.
Gigs4Good for Arts Corps: Curtains for You, Kelli Schaefer
(Columbia City Theater) The making of music and art: It is a good and a nice thing, and we can all agree that kids should do it even if their families have no money. This is why Arts Corps is good. But there's also a reason why Arts Corps, the Seattle nonprofit that will benefit from this show, is great, and that reason is that its teachers are artists. The combination of kids who need to be writing hiphop songs and artists who know how to teach them created, this year alone, at least two astoundingly great hiphop songs. They were performed by a crew of little guys, black and white, immigrant and not, from Laura "Piece" Kelley's Arts Corps hiphop music class at South Park Community Center. These two songs, which I cannot get out of my head and do not want to, are called "Stumble" and "Game Time." Go to this show, give your money to Arts Corps, and then buttonhole someone from Arts Corps and tell them to hook you up with these songs. Find these songs any way you can. JEN GRAVES
Dinosaur Feathers, Posse, the Royal Bear
(Tractor) I know absolutely nothing about the fantasy novel series A Song of Ice and Fire. But I do know that Dinosaur Feathers' new single, "Please, Please George," is a perfect synthesis of the strengths found in the group's previous releases. "George" runs the gamut of 1960s sunshine pop influences. From singer Greg Sullo's raspy McCartney yowl to the crescendoing vocal harmonies to the bouncy, hunky-dory rhythms—it's a great summer release that steers clear of Fantasy Memorial's heavy experimentation with contemporary psychedelia. For George R. R. Martin fans, it's also an anthemic plea for the upcoming A Dance with Dragons. I'm more curious to hear what Dinosaur Feathers have got in store for their next record. DAN OBERBRUNER
This is a picture of MC Serch of 3rd Bass fame, not to mention the incredible VH1/ Ego Trip shows The White Rapper Show and Miss Rap Supreme; he has nothing to do with any of this, except that Todd Sykes looks a bit like him, and I like to remind him of this. Sykes, a Tacoma-based producer known for crafting tracks for the on-the-rise 253 crew City Hall, has released his second suite of jazzy, chill instrumental hiphop, called Background Music. It is rather effective nighttime mood-setter. Throw it on at your next swanky soiree, before the rumaki comes out.
by Dave Segal
on Wed, Jun 29, 2011 at 3:16 PM
When you slow down sounds by 700 percent, even the most annoying emissions can take on a sublime aura. Such is the case with those agonizing dial-up modem belches and squawks, which become transmuted into beautiful isolationist-ambient music through the wonders of the PaulStretch software program.
As you may or may not have noticed, we've got three lovely features in this week's music section. Yay! The bummer is, all three shows take place tonight. There's even a music Suggests for tonight. First, Trent Moorman, apparently under the influence of some sort of hallucinogenic, interviews Ben Verellen of Helms Alee, a soon-to-be huge Seattle psychedilc metal trio that should please even the ears of people who think they don't like metal.
"Epic Adventure Through the Woods"
Do Helms Alee know that there are hidden people living inside a mountain who worship your music?
Yes, we know of them. They're called... alcoholics.
Next up, there's the world-pop of Olympia's Angelo Spencer, who was raised in the French Alps and has just completed a dizzyingly fun record:
Raised in the French Alps, Angelo Spencer relocated to Seattle sometime in the last decade, settling in Olympia, where he lives with his family and chickens.
"I just built them a new pen!" he says over the phone. "We have three chickens. We used to have seven, but that was way too much, and then a bunch of them were eaten by raccoons." Such domestic concerns seem unexpected from a man so versed in multiple continents' worth of musical traditions.
Thirdly, there's the devil-may-care garage rock of the Night Beats:
In under 24 hours, the Night Beats went from smashing guitars and toppling the barriers separating the minors from the drinkers at Portland's Wonder Ballroom, to taking MDMA in their hotel room at 5:00 a.m., to eating breakfast at a notorious Portland strip club known as much for its steak as its dancers. Today they're going on a couple hours of sleep, with frizzy hair almost as wild as their eyes, sitting in their friend's tiny Capitol Hill studio drinking warm PBR and listening to Beggars Banquet. It's just another day for the Night Beats. Founded three years ago by the 22-year-old Blackwell, soon after he landed in Seattle from Dallas, the lineup now includes 23-year-old drummer James Traeger, whom Blackwell has known since high school, and 25-year-old bassist Tarek Wegner.
I feel like it's getting to the point where I can recognize a Chocolate Chuck beat as soon as I hear it—there's something about the way he warps his samples and the times his kicks that just knifes through my brain matter every single time. That ineffable "Chuck-yness" is definitely on display in the early cuts he just posted to bandcamp.
Chuck's just one of the many savvy beatmakers/musicians I've talked to who understand the value of schmaltzy, slippery guitar samples, and "Danielle" brilliantly employs a couple different upbeat, soft-rock-y axe sounds:
He performs tonight on Hollow Earth Radio, along with OC Notes and SwampmaN. The broadcast starts at 9 pm, and you can sit in on their sets, for free, if you so desire (2018 E. Union St.).
by Dave Segal
on Wed, Jun 29, 2011 at 11:53 AM
Because Bob Marley’s music catalog doesn’t generate enough revenue (cough), the people running his estate have decided to extend the legendary reggae artist’s brand into the beverage industry.
The Marley’s Mellow Mood line consists of four flavors of drink (or “dietary supplement,” if you will): citrus, berry, black tea, and green tea. The Stranger recently received a box containing 12 oz. cans of the first two and 16 oz. bottles of the latter two. I grabbed the black tea. The subhead says it includes “peach raspberry passion fruit.” If so, these elements are very subtly integrated into the liquid. The beverage tastes neither like black tea nor like any of the aforementioned fruity flavors; it’s not unpleasant, nor is it memorable. I didn’t want to spit it out, but I sure as heck didn’t want to rush out for a six pack, either. (I also didn't get the urge to listen to Mr. Marley' s entire canon.)
MMM’s big selling point is that it’s the opposite of the energy drinks glutting the market. Rather, as the name implies, Marley’s Mellow Mood promises to reduce stress and relieve tension—it’s all about “ALL NATURAL RELAXATION,” bredren—as opposed to that nasty synthetic relaxation.
Now, these may be the goals of many people, but for journalists working under onerous deadline conditions, they’re antithetical to our MO. While it’s true we in the media experience quite a bit of stress and tension, we need these things to kick our adrenaline into gear so we can be creative and meet deadlines. Relaxation is a luxury we can’t afford, as the welts on my back from my editor’s whip amply prove. These decaffeinated dietary supplements lack the all-important ingredient to enable us to get the motherfucking job done: caffeine (duh).
On the plus side, MMM forgoes high fructose corn syrup for pure cane sugar. Also appearing: Valerian root extract, lemon balm extract, chamomile flower extract, melatonin, and other things geared to lower your eyelids and loosen your muscles. Oh, great. Now I need to pound some of that Arizona iced tea (aka “Segal’s crack cocaine”) if I want to get my shit turned in (relatively) on time, Jah damn it.