by Dave Segal
on Fri, Dec 14, 2012 at 4:39 PM
It's been a while since we've posted anything by our favorite Bellevue studio wizard, Crazy Old Bat (Don Wilkins), but "Suddenly Surgery 1234" arrived in our inbox today and eerily captured the haunted, doom-laden feeling most of the country's feeling today. Maybe the morose, subliminal vocals and chILLing, Coil-esque tonalities will console you—or perhaps they'll at least divert your mind from this morning's school-shooting tragedy. Be careful out there.
MellowHype and Trash Talk struck a great chord together last night at Chop Suey. So many hip-hop and hardcore kids had a good time together. Wreck started the night on a hardcore note, and people were already stage diving, despite the lack of a heavy crowd. Many leaped just beyond the tiny crowd of three or four rows and landed flat on their backs on hard concrete.
As Key Nyata took the stage, the vibe switched to hip hop, but it was heavier and its beats were darker, lending itself well to the mosh pit aesthetic. The crowd became a sea of hands, passing blunts, bodies, and throwing up middle fingers on command. MellowHype's set flowed effortlessly afterward, Hodgy Beats of the duo sharing that he was incredibly high. Left Brain passed a blunt to the crowd with the expected, "This shit's legal here now!" and a recommendation to "share some with the little kid." The crowd was split about 50/50 between high school-ers and mid- to late-20's adults.
I mean, like... not just EVERY/ANY record; I do have SOME standards. Today I found a copy of Tenpole Tudor's Eddie, Old Bob, Dick and Gary LP, on Stiff. As it's on Stiff I knew it'd be worth a fuck, so blindly, I bought it. Also:it only cost ONE quarter!! The record ended up being quite weak, too much leaning to the then contemporary New Romantic/pop sounds to rate as a keeper. There was only one good song...
Oh, the band was an also ran, prolly best only remembered for "Who Killed Bambi" from The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle.
I've already discussed this song and it's merits—but this black and white treatment (a surreal post-"Passin Me By" LA wasteland), with its nicely restrained terror, is the perfect visual accompaniment to a song that's both an extension of and a 180 from "Yonkers"—whose depraved video first really put OF on the map. (I imagine this is the sort of obvious idea that's already been written ad nauseam about this video, and that the sharpest rap critics have gruffly rebuked or something, but that's how I sees it.) Odd Future's evolution continues to be one of the most interesting stories in hiphop right now. (Even Jay-Z can aknowledge this.)
But back to Earl, looking grown and distinctly Xannied-out, as he floats through the kind of deserted, subtle nightmare that always scans to my brain as the most terrifying. The dirt is on his psyche, the frogs survey the damage, and it's the back of Earl's jacket that says what we're all thinking: "what the fuck is really going on?"
It’s the holidays, and people are hungry. Right now, Northwest Harvest is providing 1.7 million meals a month to hungry families across Washington. The Evergreen State is the 14th hungriest state in the country—and more than half of the people who are hungry here are children and the elderly. So through December 24, we're raising money for Northwest Harvest.
So far we've raised $7,600. That's awesome! Now let's raise even more. And perhaps a pair of tickets to see the Mountain Goats on Monday at the Showbox at the Market will sweeten the deal?
It's easy to enter—just go here to make a donation, in any amount. It costs only 67 cents to feed a family of three a meal through Northwest Harvest. Then, after they e-mail you the receipt, forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know you're entering for a pair of Mountain Goats tickets and we'll throw your name in the hat!
And! If you'd like, you can also include your Slog/Line Out handle in the same e-mail, and we'll give you a SWASHBUCKLING HERO badge, which will show up on all your comments so everyone knows just how nice you are.
You have until midnight tonight to donate and enter. Good luck! And thanks for being a great person.
Never in Divine's most depraved and über-decorated yuletide wet dreams have holiday halls been so damn gaily decked: This just might possibly be one of the drag-queeniest Xmesses in history.
Drag queen Christmas shows! Drag queen Christmas plays! And brunches and bingo and burlesquey cabarets! Flung from Odd Fellows Hall to Columbia City, and generating enough holly jolly tranny radiation to make Santa Claus grow tits.
The big noise this week—and/or this Xmess in general, thank you—is Homo for the Holidays, one of the brand-newest and brand-spankin'-greatest holiday shows round these here salmon-stinking shores—predominantly dragged-out or otherwise. I'm so in love with Ben DeLaCreme, the progenitrix of the event, and you are, too, of course, if you've got a lick of taste.
by Kelly O
on Fri, Dec 14, 2012 at 11:05 AM
(Crocodile) Do you find yourself thinking the holidays are getting tedious—all the eggnog and tired songs about Rudolph and that old fat guy? Well, maybe it's time you gave El Vez a try! The self-proclaimed "Mexican Elvis" and his "social-political-Las-Vegas-via-Memphis-by-way-of-Mexico-rock-and-roll-revue" never disappoint, and for this show they're bringing all of their Chicano holiday cheer. The El Vez Merry MeX-mas album, released in 1994 on Sympathy for the Record Industry, has classics like "Poncho Claus," "Oranges for Christmas," and "Santa Claus Is Sometimes Brown." ¡Feliz Navidad, Seattle!
by Dave Segal
on Fri, Dec 14, 2012 at 10:41 AM
DISCO MAVERICKS OPTIMO GET INTO TROUBLE
My favorite kind of DJ is the type who rambles wildly and intelligently over several genres during a set or mix, making unlikely transitions seem like exactly the right move. Few selectors fit that description better than Optimo, the Scottish duo of Keith McIvor (aka JD Twitch) and Jonnie Wilkes. Check out their How to Kill the DJ CDs or the Psyche Out mix for proof. (Who segues from Miroslav Vitous to Soft Cell to Carl Craig or goes from Liaisons Dangereuses into the Cramps? Only Optimo.) The savvy Trouble disco night has booked Twitch solo twice, and both times were revelatory expansions of disco's parameters. With Wilkes finally in tow, things should get even farther out. Q, 9 pm–3 am, free before 10 pm/$10 after, 21+.
BONDAX, KID SMPL'S ROBITUSSIN & BEATS
A youthful duo from Lancaster, England, Bondax produce slick R&B-inflected bass music for people who worship subwoofers as much as they do catchy choruses, conventionally soulful vocals, and uplifting piano motifs. Bondax represent the gleaming commercial end of the bass-music spectrum and are very good at what they do. But more interesting to me is Seattle's Kid Smpl (aka Joey Butler), who works in similar territory but does so with greater subtlety and—I use this in its most secular condition—spirituality. Kid Smpl slows and chills R&B to a frigid, languid tremor, resulting in a hushed, reverent sound that's paradoxically heartwarming and consoling. Of the many producers now creating post-Burial nocturnal ambience, Kid Smpl's among the best. His music peaks on his new album, Skylight, from local label Hush Hush. With Jason Burns. Baltic Room, 9 pm, $12 adv, 21+.
by Jen Graves
on Fri, Dec 14, 2012 at 10:29 AM
(Benaroya) King of Kings! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Forever! And ever! Conducted by Stephen Stubbs, featuring the Seattle Symphony Chorale and vocal soloists Shannon Mercer, Laura Pudwell, Ross Hauck, and Kevin Deas. And Lord of Lords! Hallelujah! Forever! Through Sunday, December 16. JEN GRAVES
by Dave Segal
on Fri, Dec 14, 2012 at 10:15 AM
Do you like synthesizer-based music of the spheres created by dudes with grandiose beards (peep the guys bookending this photo)? Then check out this Dec. 6 performance at Vermillion Gallery by David Golightly (keyboardist for Midday Veil, Hair & Space Museum, and Stenskogen) and Garrett Moore (drummer for Midday Veil and Brain Fruit). Their set was one of my favorites of 2012, a brilliant exhibit of Terry Riley/J.D. Emmanuell/Florian Fricke-inflected, sacred tone therapy, a holy-smoked ascent to a mountaintop of ultimate tranquility. (Bonus: The video's tableau recalls the cover of Popol Vuh's Affenstunde.)
High On Fire's sixth studio album, De Vermis Mysteriis (The Mysteries of the Worm), has an accompanying story written by newly sober singer/guitarist Matt Pike. The Oakland metal wise man tells the tale of Balteazeen—Jesus Christ's twin—who sacrifices himself to give Jesus life. Balteazeen time-travels, hunting his way through the cesspool of existence in search of answers and meaning. He can see the past through his ancestors' eyes and continuously wakes up in other people's bodies at the wrong time. In the psychedelic roadhouse-tinged video for "Fertile Green," Balteazeen guides his motorcycle through highway portals, wields a rifle, and gets a hatchet to the forehead from a four-armed oracle he's having sex with. On De Vermis Mysteriis, Pike, Jeff Matz (bass), and Des Kensel (drums) spatter and maul—Pike's guttural, rasp-throated vocal ode to Lemmy has never sounded better. His guitar is both a stylus chiseling phrases into granite and a needle injecting docile, frantic oracle-fucking commands. Pike spoke from Buffalo, New York. He was having problems with his amp and was looking for a new transformer.
Where are you all headed now?
Cleveland. I'm dealing with an emergency amp repair. I have to put an order in and coordinate where, who, and how this thing's going to get fixed. I have to set up another amp to play tonight and a bunch of other shit. Can I call you back in a bit? Sorry about this. I hate this shit. [Calls back in an hour.]
High On Fire just recorded a couple shows in New York for a live album. How were the shows? Were you nervous because it was being recorded?
Yeah, I was very nervous. The shows were different; there was more at stake because they were being recorded—everything seemed more charged, more was being risked. We played a little longer than normal, especially the second night. The first night, of course, I had some equipment fuck up, so I was freaking the fuck out. The second night, I was nervous because the first night didn't go exactly how we wanted it to, but the show went well—something came over us, and I thought we just killed. Overall, between the two nights, I think we got enough stuff recorded.
What was messing up with your equipment?
We had a stack go out like right before when we went on. Everything I had worked out in sound check was wiped out, gone. There wasn't enough power. I can't plan or prepare for a fuckup like that.
by Al Jacobs
on Fri, Dec 14, 2012 at 9:57 AM
(Showbox at the Market) This show will wobble like an uneven desk. 12th Planet's low-end crunch and robust sub bass have recently become a popular way to speed hearing loss. Supporting act Borgore is an Israeli dubstep producer who also has a penchant for bass that is both ruthless and bipolar. It's best not to drink the mystery water dripping from the ceiling, a result of the audience's grinding to sounds of wobbling confusion. Earplugs won't stop your organs from rumbling, but that's the point.
(Columbia City Theater) Originally released in 1952 and given a deluxe reissue in 1997, Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music is the history-making, humanity-enhancing cavalcade of American folk songs gathered from old 78 rpm records found all over tarnation. The whole thing's a treasure, and its best songs—"John the Revelator," "James Alley Blues," roughly two dozen others—are among the most powerful tracks ever recorded. Tonight, KEXP's Greg Vandy hosts an evening devoted to the man and his found songbook, featuring musical performances and special Smith-based animation from the amazing Drew Christie.
(Saint Mark's) Once a month, the folks at the Fremont Abbey Arts Center take advantage of the amazing acoustics in Capitol Hill's dramatic Saint Mark's Cathedral and present an incredible evening of stripped-down performances by some of the Northwest's most remarkable vocal talent. Tonight, for the fourth installment, Damien Jurado, Naomi Wachira, Pepper Proud, and Kevin Long will all take the stage, armed with only their voices and a very limited selection of musical instruments. The seating is informal (pews, benches, chairs, and blankets and pillows on the floor), and the venue requires absolute silence, so leave your cellophane-wrapped candy, cameras with a shutter, crying babies, and bubble wrap at home. The venue and the lineup will make for a stunning evening for sure.
(Comet) When I think of an actual "survival knife," I think of either a Swiss Army knife with all those useless features (I mean, no one has ever successfully used those Swiss Army scissors, let's be real) or a giant serrated hunting knife. Olympia's Survival Knife would definitely be the latter sort of blade—the kind of knife you use deep in the wilderness when your tent has been washed away in a flash flood, you've been wandering for days, and you're considering eating your companions. The music of Survival Knife is sharp and sparse rock, heavy but not sluggish, and catchy in a jab jab jabbing way. Their Funhouse show a few months back killed it dead. Speaking of the Funhouse, Brian Foss will be DJing this show, and that guy has great taste!
by Jen Graves
on Fri, Dec 14, 2012 at 8:48 AM
(Chapel Performance Space) John Cage's unpublished score STEPS: A Composition for a Painting to Be Performed by Individuals or Groups (1989) will be realized tonight, and vocalist Jessika Kenney performs Fontana Radif, a version of Cage's Fontana Mix that Kenney has adapted for Persian vocals (!), with dancer Beth Graczyk and others.