A moment ago. I'm in a bar called Acoma in Butte, Montana. I hear for the first time a track called "Rack City Bitch." My immediate impression? It must be a local rapper, some Montana cat the bar is proudly supporting; he has rap dreams of making it big, but no one has the guts to tell him the truth: he's wack and will never make it out of Butte. I was surprised to learn...
by Dave Segal
on Thu, May 31, 2012 at 4:51 PM
Seattle multi-instrumentalist, soundtrack auteur, and studio sorcerer Erik Blood (Shabazz Palaces, THEESatisfaction, Crypts, etc.) announced on Twitter today that he will be releasing a new album, Touch Screens, Aug. 7 on ltd-ed colored vinyl with packaging done by Dumb Eyes. The LP will come with a digital download.
Every Sunday night Cafe Racer hosts Racer Sessions, a weekly open mic, of sorts, which was always curated by different artists and musicians. And they don't plan on stopping now—this Sunday's Racer Session is still on. This went up on their Facebook page earlier today:
Greg Garcia of the Tractor Tavern just wrote to let us know that the Tractor and Conor Byrne are teaming up to put together a couple benefit shows to raise money for Cafe Racer and the families of yesterday's shooting victims.
The shows will take place Tuesday, June 19th, at both the Tractor Tavern and Conor Byrne and any bands or musicians who are interested in participating can e-mail Greg at email@example.com.
Another benefit show will happen this Monday, June 4th, at Hale's Palladium. There will be "representatives from Circus Contraption, the Bad Things, Beefcake, the busking community and the circus community across the board." It starts at 7 pm, goes until 11 pm, and admission is by donation. 100% of the proceeds will be donated to the families of all victims, as well as the survivor of yesterday's shootings.
My heart feels really heavy today. But to see the community quickly pull together, to help in any way they can, definitely helps a little bit.
This Saturday the EMP is hosting the Grammy MusicTech Summit, which is an all-day event featuring discussions, workshops, and demos from folks like DJ Spooky, Sean Horton of Decibel Fest, Aaron Starkey of KEXP, and more. Tickets aren't cheap—they're $100 if you're not a member of the Recording Academy (it's free if you are and your $100 can be put towards a membership), but we've got a pair of tickets to giveaway!
Its funny, not ha-ha funny, but kinda sad, when contemporary blues guys get all upset when they don't get taken seriously. Even if they can PLAY, bro...but, but.....BUUUUUTTTT no one seems to come at the blues like they once did, wide goddamn open like Hound Dog Taylor. His playing was ALWAYS a party. I can't imagine this song, "Funky," NOT going all night long.
Blues ain't meant to be sacred, the blues is meant to be profane. If you need more proof dig this LIVEHound Dog from Ann Arbor, 1973. Sorry for the shit video quality, the sound tho...dead on for the Hound.
(A far better history of the tensions between between Pusha and Wayne can be found here.) Pusha T, formerly of the Clipse, is these days a solo artist on Kanye West's GOOD Music imprint on Def Jam, whose parent company is Universal; he's been unsuccesfully trying to spark a beef with Lil Wayne since 2006 or so (y'know, the exact moment that white indie rock bloggers fell in love with the Clipse and started jocking coke rap). Back then, Pusha was streamed that Wayne was wearing the same clothes as the Clipse, which is kind of Oscar night of him. But he just recently started it all back up, going after Wayne and Drake—who is an artist signed to Wayne's imprint on Cash Money Records, who are also part of Universal. The reason I point out all this about their record companies in such, is because rappers, to paraphrase Shabazz, really believe in their labels.
Pusha, in his song "Exodus 23:1," taunts Drake about his record deal:
contract all fucked up/I guess that means you all fucked up/You signed to one nigga, that’s signed to another nigga, that’s signed to three niggas/Now that’s bad luck
Ironic, seeing as Pusha, whose old group was famously plagued by label problems (crackers not playing fair at Jive and all) is not in a situation that is at all different. In fact, what's really bad luck, historically, is being fucking signed to Kanye West's label—while artists on Lil Wayne's label, such as Drake and Nicki Minaj, have seen mega-success.
To me it, like just about every so-called beef that happens nowadays, all sounds like a pre-fab wrestling storyline cooked up in some Universal boardroom to trick teenagers into buying mp3s. The OG Andy Milonakis treats the beef with all the seriousness it merits:
by Dave Segal
on Thu, May 31, 2012 at 1:30 PM
Tune in as Dark Time Sunshine (Seattle MC Onry Ozzborn and Chicago producer Zavala) talk about the process of creating their forthcoming album, ANX, which they've been mixing in Alaska with help from engineer Jack Rylands. It's illuminating.
Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band are celebrating the release of their new EP at Columbia City Theater tomorrow night, and you can go to the party for free! To enter, send your first and last name to firstname.lastname@example.org with Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band in the subject line.
Post submitted yesterday morning but published this morning due to editorial resources being dedicated to yesterday's murders. —Eds
Sasquatch App had some pretty hideous artwork happening
The Sasquatch App was really helpful for schedules, band bios, maps, and info, but you had to look up what you wanted to see pretty quickly because after 30 seconds it would promptly crash. Also, the cartoony artwork for the app and adorning the sides of every stage is kind of terrible.
Hospitality is a K Records band from Brooklyn that I found out about from impatiently skipping around the Sasquatch festival website's media player of bands playing the festival. I was so pleasantly surprised by their song "Friends of Friends," that I made it a point to check them out. They were fun and charming live, plus the wind was blowing so hard during their set on the Bigfoot Stage and it reminded me of the music video for Blur's "Song #2."
Though they hail from the Northwest, I haven't been keeping up with Blouse,* in part because of that twee name—really, Blouse?—but I decided to give the video below a try, and I'm glad I did. Based in Portland, the band started out as a trio and now features singer/guitarist Charlie Hilton, drummer Paul Roper, keyboard player Misty Marie, and bassists Patrick Adams and Jacob Portrait of Unknown Mortal Orchestra. Captured Tracks released their first full-length last fall.
* Not to be confused with drummer Benjamin Thomas-Kennedy's Blouse (u.s.a.) persona.
by Dave Segal
on Thu, May 31, 2012 at 10:58 AM
The great Numero Group label is reissuing slowcore heroes Codeine's Sub Pop catalog, along with many previously unreleased songs, including "Median (Peel Session)," which you can hear below (expect no major deviations; this is as methodical and gravely poignant as you'd expect). The retrospective, titled When I See the Sun, comes out June 19.
by Dave Segal
on Thu, May 31, 2012 at 9:43 AM
Th’ Mole’s “I’m Over Dubstep” (remixed by Seattle duo Splatinum) expresses the feelings of many with this meta-takedown of a genre that’s winning over the naïve hearts and addled minds of young America. Th' Mole drops many memorable couplets here, but “It’s the kind of music I can take a shit to/It’s the kind of music I can slit my wrists to” takes the disco biscuit. Runner-up? "I would rather listen to a psytrance Beatles cover/I would rather listen to my parents yelling at each other." Your move, dubstep.
by Dave Segal
on Wed, May 30, 2012 at 4:36 PM
Phenomenal guitarist Pete Cosey passed away this morning of unknown causes. He was 68.
The Chicago-based Cosey was best known (but criminally under-recognized) for his work with Miles Davis’ dynamite early-/mid-’70s ensembles and as a crucial session player for the Chess/Cadet Records stable (Rotary Connection, Muddy Waters, Howlin Wolf, etc.). Cosey’s fiery, intricate yet powerfully torqued style played a major role in elevating Davis LPs like Dark Magus, Agharta, Pangaea, and Get Up With It to classic status. He was the best possible successor to the departing John McLaughlin that Miles could've hoped to have landed. In his later years, Cosey played with Gary Bartz, John Stubblefield, and others in Children of Agharta, a group that kept the torch for Davis' mind-blowing electric years repertoire burning.
Chicago Reader posted a fine obit on its blog today. RIP, Pete Cosey.
Most mornings I spring out of bed with the bass line from the Dead Milkmen's "Serrated Edge" going through my head. Today was different though; I woke up to the intro of Hüsker Dü's "Friend, You've Got to Fall," for whatever reason. I was compelled to dig that record out and listen to it, when I remembered it was the first piece of music that I shoplifted.
I'd guess there are some people who've never stolen a thing in their life. Is it common practice as an early teen to go though a phase of theft? Stealing from friends is certainly a total bummer, but is shoplifting a recognized rite of passage?
I remember stealing the copy of Hüsker Dü's Warehouse: Songs and Stories. I found myself in one of those mostly tapes music shops of the late 1980s, I think it was called Tape World or maybe Tape Land. It was at Great Northern Mall in North Olmstead, Ohio. I was into skateboarding and girls and I think I was with my friend Tony. The copy that I stole was in a cassette anti-theft plastic keeper, but Tony assured me that we could tear it apart when we were outside. I jammed it into my shirt and we bolted out of the door.
Aside for that, I took a handful of Jam singles from a record store in Kent, Ohio. Also, there was a Fall 7" box set that I took from a record store in Cleveland, Ohio, owned by a really grumpy old guy who would yell at customers almost all of the time. I guess I took that out of spite.
Now I'm feeling pretty awful for contributing in my small way to the collapse of the music industry. What was the first piece of music that you shoplifted?
I've written about Bill Cosby's musical adventures before, but today as I was looking through some records I came across his album Silver Throat, Bill Cosby Sings. It was the first album on which he actually attempts to sing, like all proper. The results were, are, if considering it today at least...meh. Uh...he tired and I'm sure got paid.
The best song on the LP, "Little Old Man," was pulled as an 'A' side. It's obviously a funny Bill Cosby story vamped over Stevie Wonder's "Uptight." It went gold, tho' the story is muddled and the track clocks in at OVER four minutes, and can still be heard playing at some soul nights.
So...it's okay, RIGHT? I like it. The flip,"Don' Cha Know," ain't too bad, either. Cosby also got writer credits for that 'B' side. Some of the other LP tracks, uh...not so much. His attempt at Jimmy Reed's "Big Boss Man"...fails, but a track like"Mojo Workout" fares better. The stereo separation on the LP actually works against Cosby as a singer. His voice shoulda been buried a bit more, like on the mono mix of "Little Old Man" 45, for it to work better. My complaining aside, this is a good "found it at a thrift store" record; never pay more than a couple bucks for it!! It's STILL a Bill Cosby record! By the way, the group backing Cosby was indeed the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band, if you're trainspotting.
Seattle's beloved TacocaT had a van debacle during their last tour and there's a plan to raise funds to replace it tomorrow night at Chop Suey. TacocaT will be playing along with Summer Lovers, Boat Party and Chastity Belt. The van that the band bought in haste to get them home from the rest of the tour will also be for sale at the event. I spoke to TacocaT drummer, Lelah Maupin, about the event specifics and what their idea touring van would be.
What happened to your van? The wonderful, beautiful Honda Odyssey? It was destroyed by Firestone.
What did they do? They gave us an oil change and a day later we had no oil in our engine and it exploded as we were ascending into a blizzard.
And your mother tried to sue them? My mom and my step-daddy tried to sue Firestone, but they didn't get very far.
What did you guys do to get home? We scraped together all of our money in the world to buy our rebound angel, as we call it. It got us home safely.
What can a person expect at the benefit show tomorrow night? Well, they can expect fun, themes, prizes, parties...hold on, I'm getting another call. (I'm put on hold for three minutes) Are you there? I'm back.
In your opinion, what would be the ideal TacocaT touring van? Ideally, we would have a brand new Honda Odyssey.
What amenities would be included? We'd like an iPod jack so we don't have to use tape adapters because those break a lot. Plus enough room for all of our bags and equipment in the back. Maybe another seat so we can comfortably carry a friend or boyfriend or a husband or a roadie or anybody who wanted to come with us. Good gas mileage is essential. The new van doesn't have that.
That's not too much to ask. Air conditioned and heated seats, but I guess we don't really need that. We were robbed of our van. I feel funny having a benefit show because other people need help, but we need help. A van is important!