I need beautiful sounds to keep anxiety at bay. There's just too many things to do—3 columns, 2 radio shifts, 1 album's liner notes, a show tonight and a heap of other random shit all vying top priority—before I go sit on the beach in Miami for a week. It's so much easier when I can listen to Mark de Clive-Lowe live-remix this house jont, over and over and over:
Like Cusack said in Grosse Point Blank, "this is me breathing".
It's that time of year—for spending time with your family for the holidays. Do you have a drunkle? Sometimes spelled "druncle"? Buzzfeed just published a collection of 34 drunk uncles. How about you? Do you have a story or a photo you want to share? I, for one, LOVE MY DRUNCLE. Click the photo for more!
22 years ago on a sweaty Sunday afternoon at the Cat's Cradle in Chapel Hill, NC, I stood in front of Breadwinner and tried to keep time with their odd time. I was also prolly smoking hella cigs, too.
I've been on about this group before, as they are incredibly important; they are the genesis of contemporary math rock. This show, I think, is just prior to their first EP being released. I can't remember who they played with that day... perhaps a very late, no show in fact, Nation of Ulysses.
"It was an all ages show, and it was PACKED. Everyone was sweaty as hell. It was a great mix of different styles of people... punks, skinheads, hipsters. I even saw a guy with Axl Rose hair, with the bandana and the long straight blonde hair, with the center parted. The crowd was rowdy and yelling along, and Zach Hill (the drummer) was on point as always, playing at a blistering speed and sweating like crazy. He recently cut all his hair off so it makes for a very different experience watching him now without his hair whipping around. It's a lot more intense when you can see his every expression! The singer Stefan was really engaging, swaying around and raising his hands up, alternating between screaming into the mic and repeating low guttural raps. It was quite an experience. They ended pretty early, around 11. No encore as far as I know... but a great show!"
I'd never heard of artist-musician-producer Roberto C. Lange's project, Helado Negro ("black ice cream"), until this breezy track arrived in my inbox earlier today, and it's been hitting me just right. The press-note comparisons to Sea and Cake make perfect sense, though there's a bit more groove to Lange's move on his first full-length to feature English-language lyrics (though he hasn't completely abandoned Spanish). He also sports a hairstyle that would make former Seattleite Reggie Watts green with envy.
After living in South Florida and Savannah, GA, the Ecuadorean-American now calls Brooklyn home. "Dance Ghost" comes from his third record and features Devendra Barnhart and Mouse on Mars' Jan St. Werner. Previous releases include Awe Owe, Canta Lechuza, and Ombre's Believe You Me, a collaboration with Julianna Barwick. Ashthmatic Kitty releases Invisible Life on Mar 5.
When It Rains, It Pours: Queens of the Stone Age former bassist, Nick Oliveri, lays down vocals for a new QOTSA song that is sure to be rippin'. Also more Oliveri news, Kyuss/Kyuss Lives! will now be creating music and touring under a new name, Vista Chino!
Tune in, Cash Out: Dr. Dre cleans up with a landslide $110 million in income for the year, mostly due to the popularity of his headphone line, Beats By Dre headphones, leaving Paul McCartney, Justin Beiber, and Beyonce's millions earned look like chump change.
Calling All Hardcore Enthusiasts: Hydra Head records is winding down which is very, very unfortunate. In hopes of generating funds and raising general excitement, look forward to repressings of choice albums along with crazy deals from the Hydra Head inventory.
I'll Race Ya: A broken foot connected to the leg of Muse's lead singer, Matthew Bellamy causes cancelled shows in Stockholm, Malmo, and Oslo.
Voices Carry: A Michigan teacher is back to work today after a being suspended for playing a Macklemore song, "Same Love" for her middle school class.
Music for the Masses: What would happen if Pandora and Youtube had a baby? Get ready to be mildly blown away with Tubalr where you can customize video playlists, or just let the damn thing run wild.
Tonight is Tuck, which I would normally describe in a post promoting it, but I've never been. Because nobody has ever been. It's brand new. It's new like a baby's ass, fresh like a puppy's breath, gay like a drag queen's Pall Malls.
Basically, it appears to be the gayest extravaganza of gayness that's ever gayed a gay. Virtually every working drag queen in town is going to pack themselves into Chop Suey—and then, I endeavor, magical things will happen.
The sequin-studded line-up features: Jinkx Monsoon's late-night kissing booth, Ade's ass-trology and fortune telling, Aleska Manila (AKA, the kindest human ever) and Jackie Hell's makeover booth, plus Robbie Turner, Mama Tits, and Hostess Bendelacreme. And shows and music stuff!
Chop Suey's Jodi Ecklund describes it like this: "In a nutshell Tuck is a new dance night to encourage all Queers and allies to come out. I feel that most nights are geared at either the Lesbian or Gay and not all encompassing. Tuck is more than a dance night—the idea is to bring community together and encourage folks intrigued by Drag to come as they are."
It sounds more lovely than a panda in a sweat suit.
The fine-ass print: It's $10 to get in or $8 in drag. The doors open at 9 p.m.; arrive before 10:30 p.m. for happy-hour prices and be entered to win $100 (amazing!). Chop Suey is totally located at 1325 East Madison Street.
by Dave Segal
on Fri, Nov 30, 2012 at 11:53 AM
A coworker informed me today that merriam-webster.com had used a sentence I'd written for The Stranger earlier this year on the band Earth's2: Special Low Frequency Version to illustrate its definition for the word borborygmus. My first thought: How can I monetize this? My second thought: How can I get an easy blog post from it? And here you have it. Now do yourself a favor and listen to all of 2 to get you in the mood for some serious weekend partying.
If you would please to be so kindly to recall: Last week, I acknowledged that we've been spending a lot of time with Ben Delacreme lately, and I explained that (if I may quote me, and I may) "GOD DAMN RIGHT WE ARE." She is 45 flavors of too many damn good things. (Every show is a winner! Every appearance a sparkling gem!) And this will hold true this week, too, and probably extend through the rest of this allegedly joyous and so-called "holiday season" or whatever, as her new and somehow still totally classic Xmess show,Homo for the Holidays, is set to start momentarily, as you good and damn well know (thrill!). However! Even before that, we have her hosting a fresh new event called Tuck, which has absolutely nothing to do with any holiday whatsoever and everything to do with WALL-TO-WALL DRAG QUEENS. It's a pre-holiday Dragstravaganza! Ben, Jinkx, Mama Tits, Aleksa, Ade, Jackie, the whole House of Charlatan... it's a carnival of frocked cocks, a wall-to-wall wonderland of wigs. You are encouraged to drag-out yourself for the event, in fact, and Jackie and Aleksa will be manning (as it were) MAKEOVER BOOTHS to make your hot mess hotter and/or messier. There will also be a fortune-teller and a kissing booth, so even Satan and the flu virus should be tickled pink. Drag on! Chop Suey, 9 pm, $10/$8 in drag, 21+.
by Mike Ramos
on Fri, Nov 30, 2012 at 10:34 AM
(Showbox at the Market) While it's been more than a year since Blue Scholars' last full-length, Cinemetropolis, it's been almost 10 since their "wave"-making self-titled debut. And while their sound has evolved with the times, Prometheus Brown and Sabzi still balance relevant messages (see the extremely real "May Day" op-ed-column-made-single) with celebrations of "Town" culture and history (see "Slick Watts" and its corresponding video) to make some of the best hiphop in Seattle. Since Cinemetropolis, the Scholars have been expanding with individual contributions and side projects, from Sabzi's Townfolk instrumental series and work with Made in Heights to Pro Brown's Brownouts one-offs/B-sides comp and the Bar collab with Bambu, but their live shows are all about their expansive catalog of local classics. Young Seattle's premier locally sourced posi-hop duo Brothers from Another and punk-rap rabble-rousers Don't Talk to the Cops! open.
by Dave Segal
on Fri, Nov 30, 2012 at 10:12 AM
(Hollow Earth Radio) Issaquah musician Legato Bebop (Patrick John White) constructs hypnotic, subtly brooding rock that takes Wire's deeply strange classic 154 album as a jumping-off point; jumping-off points rarely come more springy than 154, so acute attention must be paid to Legato Bebop. Seattle foursome Nightmare Fortress are an aptly named force of synthetic nature. Alicia Amiri's Siouxsie Sioux–esque vocals valiantly ride the band's grave-rave train into a nocturnal, dreams-gone-awry state of exquisite fear. Lord have (Sisters of) Mercy, this is damned dramatic rock noir.
(Vera) I chose to write this blurb for two reasons: Pony Time are awesome (duh), and though I had never heard Daydream Vacation, the name sounded really nice while the stupid rain was pounding on the stupid roof so hard I could barely stupid type anything. I found Daydream Vacation (a duo made up of Asya Saavedra from Smoosh and Dave Einmo from Head Like a Kite) and pressed play while doing a million other things (MySpace). Three songs in, I realized I had been listening but not listening—and WHAT? What the funky, electronic-y, Ace of Base–y escalator music do we have here? This is some seriously produced computer pop with piles of synth and sparkling runway vocals. Looks like fans of lo-fi garage and hi-fi electronica alike will have something to dance about.
by Dave Segal
on Fri, Nov 30, 2012 at 9:42 AM
A lot, actually. The veteran Seattle hard-rock group have announced the release date of their seventh album, Cosy Moments (April 2 on Kill Rock Stars), revamped their website, and landed a slot on the KRS showcase at next year’s SXSW. A quick listen to Cosy Moments reveals it to be possibly the strongest Kinski album since 2003’s Airs Above Our Station.
(Comet) DAN'Z ID is a one-man band created by artist, musician, and former Stranger employee Dan Paulus, who plays Misfits songs on a piano. (CLASSY!) Cinnamon Girl is a new cover band, a six-piece, fronted by a lovely lady named Traci Eggleston, that plays Neil Young cover songs—including, naturally, Young's 1969 hit "Cinnamon Girl." (CLASSIC!) Partman Parthorse is a rowdy post-punk band fronted by an often bikini-clad yoga instructor named Gary Smith, who just had a baby with his drums-playing wife, and they named the wee one "Perseus." (CLASSICAL GREEK! It means "DESTROYER!") King Dude, a super-savvy dude named TJ Cowgill, has spearheaded a new dark arts movement in Seattle both with his pitch-black, neo-folk music (see his excellent new album Burning Daylight) and his clothing label Actual Pain (NEOCLASSICISM!)
by Dave Segal
on Fri, Nov 30, 2012 at 9:19 AM
(Barboza) Recording for the very good Woodsist label, Brooklyn quartet the Babies play spindly lo-fi rock with melodies that nudge you in your tender, vulnerable bits. Singers Cassie Ramone (Vivian Girls) and Kevin Morby (Woods) possess thin yet moving voices that complement their fragilely pretty tunes. The pleasures from recordings like Cry Along with the Babies and Our House on the Hill are low-key, but it's really hard to make this type of deliberately threadbare thing sound interesting or enjoyable in 2012, and the Babies surpass most in the field at it.
It was reported yesterday that a teacher in South Lyon, Michigan has been suspended for playing Macklemore's equality jam "Same Love" to her students during class.
Macklemore responded to the incident via his website:
I wrote the song “Same Love,” not with the expectation that it would cure homophobia and lead to marriage equality across the US (although that’d be awesome). It was written with the hope that it would facilitate dialogue and through those conversations understanding and empathy would emerge. This incident demonstrates how too often we are quick to silence conversations that must be had. Even if people disagree, there is far more potential for progress when people are vocal and honestly expressing their thoughts about gay rights. When we are silent and avoid the issue, fear and hatred have a far greater life span.
Telephoned go grunge with Singles, their new free EP inspired by the Cameron Crowe film (and iconic soundtrack) of the same name. Download the whole thing and check Sammy and Maggie as they flip Smashing Pumpkins, Alice In Chains, Screaming Trees and Jimi Hendrix (hey, it’s Seattle!) over repurposed Ryan Hemsworth beats, turning these four rockers into moody, bittersweet r&b slow jams in the process.
Click the record cover to listen... Is it as freaking awful as I think it is?
IN OTHER NEWS: A real-deal Sub Pop employee, Megan Jasper, gives an audio tour of Sub Pop Records to KUOW today. Listen and learn.
It's true, I did... and I fucking hate John Denver.
Obvs, this ain't exactly any of his anal fissure inducing Top 40 singer songwriter malarky, but Denver was a hippie, so most likely at some point he ate some acid and was underground, man. Again, I fucking HATE John Denver. I was keenly aware of his Top 40 presence during the '70s, he was unavoidable... oh how I loathed him, but then to hear this song, this hippie ANTHEM! Well, shit, brother... it's GROOVY as a mofo, right fucking arm!!! HOWEVER, the organ filled version above is off Denver's 1970 album Take Me To Tomorrow, but it was originally recorded in 1968, natch, credited as by Denver, Boise & Johnson. "Take Me To Tomorrow" b/w "The '68 Nixon (This Years Model)," on Reprise, was the only commercial recording by that group. Denver, Boise & Johnson were folkies which evolved out of the Chad Mitchell Trio. Unfortunately, I couldn't find a clip of the original single version, but it's a bit more guitar led/West Coast sounding; both versions are equally as strong.
Asya and Chloe from Smoosh have formed a new ethereal-stomp two-piece called Chaos Chaos. Chloe drums and sings, Asya plays keys and sings. They play this Sunday, Dec. 2nd at the Crocodile for their first Seattle show ever, and Monday, Dec. 3rd they will be live on KEXP with John Richards at 9AM. Both girls are supra talented. Not many people know, but they each have uncanny juggling abilities. Like, they'll juggle anything, anywhere, anytime. Sometimes you have to ask them, "Please stop juggling." Chloe apparently juggles knives now. Don’t know if she will be doing this at the Croc. If not, she’ll be slicing it up on the drums. Chloe spoke. We did not talk about her juggling.
What's the first thing that comes to mind when you think about your song “My Hands”?
Timbaland. Mountain isolation. Nighttime. Angelica, the Rug Rats character. A mouse that loved to interrupt our writing sessions. Moving to New York sparked the song. When I looked down at my hands they'd sizzle and spark a little. So weird. The transition from calm peaceful Sweden to crazy New York sparked a lot of energy in us.
Where did you write and record it? Who produced?
We wrote my hands in a cabin up in the Pocono Mountains, Pennsylvania. It was beautiful up there. Deer were seriously everywhere it was annoying. They'd come too close and try to steal our food. We recorded in New York at The Doghouse Studios. Nathan Rosenberg produced it. The sessions were great, somehow everyone in the studio randomly happened to be from Seattle. So we had that Seattle connection going on. We'd dance in the studio to get the right vibe going for the song. It was challenging in a way because we wanted to simplify all our ideas. Our main word for this song was simplify! We'd say it in the voice Harry potter says stupify!
What was it like up in the Pocono Mountains? Anything else besides deer? Wolves maybe?
One night while we were there Asy had already gone to bed and I was just about to fall asleep when I heard my hi hat cymbal make noises as if it were being moved. We were the ONLY ones in the cabin so I was like oh my god someone is stealing our equipment. I was sure of it. So I got 911 ready on my phone and grabbed a huge class plate from my room. I waited a couple seconds and then BAM! My whole cymbal falls over and makes a super loud crash. I have never been that scared. In the end I figured out that my mic stand fell into my cymbal, hence the first noise, and then my cymbal finally fell which was the second noise. Spooky right?
Chaos Chaos play this Sunday, December 2nd at the Crocodile and Monday Dec. 3rd on KEXP with John Richards at 9AM.