My favorite spot in town, The Station, is holding Adobo Fest this Sunday. Prometheus Brown of the Blue Scholars is hosting the event and cuts will be provided by dj100proof and Sabzi. This festival is not to be missed. Abobo and beats. Take the 36. Take the L train...
#TheStation #BeaconHill #Adobo #BlueScholars #206
Also happening this weekend is the first annual Columbia City Blues Festival at the Royal Room. Says the festival's curator, Wayne Horvitz, a prominent jazz pianist who was recently featured in the New York Times:
Well I would say that if you want to rock, Friday and Saturday nights are great, especially the tributes to Paul Butterfield and Little Walter. For me Sunday is particularly interesting. Skip James is about as deep as it gets, and Reggie actually pulls it off. Both Jimmie Herrod and Johnaye Kendrick are my favorite "jazz" singers in town, and Jimmie doing Sam Cooke and Johnaye doing Billie and Bessie I think should be wonderful. So I love it all...
This is a good reason not to hate the evening sun going down.
Connected to Tuesday's I2013AYiaRGB group the Benders, via a shared member Gerry Cain, this Wisconsin group the Why Four turns in one groovy god-damn workout. A groovy workout that happens to include a piano AND a Hammond B3!
"Hard Life" was the band's only 45 and they split up in 1967 after Cain was tapped for "greater things"...in California. The Why Four reformed in 1968 as Raw Meat when Cain returned to Wisconsin as his "greater things" didn't pan out. Oh, for a bit the Why Four were billed as "Wisconsin's Rolling Stones." How fancy!
We ‘mos have an epic Friday ahead of us! So epic, it features not one, but THREE internationally famous drag superstars in a once-in-a-lifetime triumvirate performance called It's a Shit Show—starring Diva Detox, Willam, and Vicky Vox—that will take place at Neighbours, with an official, Nark Magazine's Dickslap after-party at The Eagle featuring Johnny Scruff (see yesterday's interview with Mr. Scruff here). Who are these people? Let's find out! This is profile three in a series of four.
If drag superstar Willam Belli weren’t busy being a drag superstar, I’m certain she’d find lucrative employment selling toxic toys to small children, scam telemarketing senior citizens, or selling her own (or other’s) organs for vodka money. (Boycott!) Willam was named “The Most Addictive Reality TV Star” by NewNowNext recently, and if you’ve seen “Willam’s Beat Down” on the YouTubes, you are certain to concur—it’s very much like crack. (Both kinds.) Willem is like your best friend’s trashy sister who is old enough to buy you beer, but drinks most of it herself, and then barfs in your lap while trying to blow you—snarky and blasé, 50 shades of ghetto, and basically correct about everything she says in a deeply sarcastic way.
I interviewed Willam a few years back for her feature film, “Ticked Off Trannies with Knives” with director Israel Luna. Since then, she has appeared on, and was spectacularly disqualified from, Ru-Paul’s Drag Race Season 4. Willam was booted for breaking her contract and engaging in secret snuggle times with her significant other during filming, which, of course, only makes her more fabulous. She’s been on Nip/Tuck, Southland, CSI: NY, My Name Is Earl, and others, and most recently, Willam has wowed us all with viral videos with Detox and Vicky Vox, "Chow Down (At Chik-Fil-A)" and "Boy Is A Bottom", which if you haven’t seen, you don’t know how to use a computer, and should maybe just go lock yourself in a dark room and die. I spoke with dear Willam about her impending performance with Vicky and Detox tomorrow night at Neighbours, brought to us by Nark Magazine. Here is what the little scamp had to say:
Please tell us, what is your favorite dirty joke? Gimme anything dead-baby related and I'm happy.
What cusswords are you favorite? Goddammit.
And why? Goddammit.
If you had to remembered by history for one thing, what would it be? That I fucked my way to the middle.
Awesome Show, Great Job: Tim Heidecker of Tim & Eric and Davin Wood (the shows' composer) will be releasing a second album Some Things Never Stay The Same and we will all laugh. The album will feature guest appearances by Aimee Mann, Eric Johnson of The Shins, and that one guy from Rilo Kiley.
Trash vs. Treasure: A bunch of original masters and outtakes from Joy Division, New Order, and Psychedelic Furs are for sale now after being found in the trash as the post-punkers of the world cry out in anguish and search for their check books.
R.I.P.: Allen Lanier, founding member of Blue Oyster Cult, has died due to complications from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Please read Mike Nipper's post for a more elaborate obit.
Complete Your Collection, Impress your Friends!: Boards of Canada will be re-pressing/re-releasing their entire discography on vinyl.
Teaser: Justin Timberlake riles up the internet as per usual by posting a pic of the track list for the second installment of his album The 20/20 Experience, featuring darkly enticing song titles like "True Blood," "Murder," and "Amnesia." Seems almost narrative.
The "Nonstop Negativity" Continues: Chris Brown is being sued. Again. Over that parking lot "fight" last January with Frank Ocean. Mr. Ocean's finger was injured - probably, I imagine, punching Brown in the head which is full of stupid rocks.
It's raining and melancholic outside. Listen to this song from the endlessly prolific Ty Segall and his new album Sleeper, due out August 20th.
Hey, dummies. I’m usually more on top of stuff like this, but call it better late than never: last week, the Colorado-based music blog I Am Fuel, You Are Friends posted an in-studio (or "in-chapel," rather) set from Seattle’s own Pickwick. It’s four songs of soul sweetness—three tracks from their debut album Can’t Talk Medicine plus a Rufus Wainwright cover. (Remember him? He was like the Robin Thicke of the last decade.)
It’s a great live set, y’all. Music like this always sounds better in a church, probably because nobody needs to hear “Amazing Grace” or “On Eagle’s Wings” ever again. High ceilings and soaring vocals are what made this country great. Factor in Pickwick’s gospel leanings and it’s a chocolate and peanut butter moment for everybody. Fuel/Friends proprietor Heather Browne has an obvious love for our little corner of the music world—the site also hosts sets by The Head & The Heart, Drew Grow, Bryan John Appleby, and Hey Marsailles, among others. Like the Pickwick session, they’re all available for free download.
by Dave Segal
on Thu, Aug 15, 2013 at 2:49 PM
Twelve local acts will worship the guitar in their own peculiar ways Friday at the Josephine. Judging by the lineup, it looks like a night of unconventional string bending/effects-pedal stomping/weird tunings/ unusual implements thrust under the strings is in store. Check out the lineup below and read more about the event here.
GUITAR WORSHIP SERVICE - BOOK 1 The Josephine, 608 65th St, Ballard, 9pm sharp! ALL AGES!
BLASPHEMOUS ORGAN ( Demian Johnston & Timm Mason) CRIMSON FIELD (Andrew Houck & Kelli Albright) CRYSTAL FUZZ (Crystal Collins w/ Chad Allen & Sheldon Douglas) CUTTING HEAD (Justin Legg) SUE ANN HARKEY (Sue Ann Harkey) BILL HORIST (Bill Horist) IN THE EYE OF THE POSEIDON (Darwin Rodriguez) KARNAK TEMPLES (Adam Svenson) KNIFECREAM (M Tye Bell) REVELATION 9 (John Leighton Beezer & Chris Hanis) TARSIER EYES (Dustin Williams) DJÄVLA KVINNA (Unfair Kate)
Rufus Harley's instrument of choice was the Great Highland Bagpipes. Having been entranced by the Black Watch piping ensemble at President Kennedy's funeral, young Mr. Harley decided to get a set and give them a go. Thus was born the first (perhaps, the only?) jazz bagpiper. In his New York Times obituary it is stated that Harley insisted that the bagpipe had African roots and that his chosen instrument had helped him “discover my identity by making me aware of my cultural heritage.” He had indeed chosen an instrument that dates to the beginning of, and most likely before, recorded history.
Historians have put the origins of reed pipes as coming from Sumeria and Egypt and going forward into these regions; Phrygia, Lydia, Phoenicia, Greece, Rome, and Rome's colonies. By the first century A. D., the use of a bag affixed to reed pipes had replaced the natural bag, the human mouth, and allowed for a greater air reservoir. This enabled a more easily sustained drone and made the bagpipes a legato instrument, without the ability to play louder or softer. The bagpipe scale is different from other instruments and its sound belies its ancient origins.
It's a plaintive sound, it's loud, and it seems somehow timeless. In 1967 a New York Times review of a concert given by Herbie Mann, with Harley by his side, said that the bagpipe’s tones “sounded far more Middle Eastern than Scottish,” and that when combined with the flute, “the two wind instruments blended into an eerily swinging ensemble.” The reviewer probably had no idea how close in scale the Scottish pipes were to its relative the Macedonian bagpipe and its antecedents, yet he guessed correctly at its earlier place and sound in history.
Harley, in a 2006 interview with David Cohen, describes learning the pipes and how he acquired his tartan. "I took them to my music teacher Dennis Sanbole. He told me you can play any instrument once you learn the language. So we got into it and I just kept on studying basic music. I was able to apply the modern culture to the bagpipes. I tried it on the left side and it didn’t work, now I got it on my right side. It worked better for me. One day a Scottish family saw me playing on TV with my pipes mounted on the right side. And my drones hanging all out there. They called me and I went to their house and they said, "Mr. Harley, if you’re gonna play with your pipes on their right you have to change the pipes." So they fixed my pipes for a right handed player. They gave me my Tartan, the McCloud tartan and sent me on my merry way."
Novelty aside, as a piper Harley was reaching far back in time and reintroducing an early reed instrument to the jazz ensemble; he had the saxophone beat by a few thousand years.
Stick around to the end of the segment for a performance:
Anna Minard claims to "know nothing about music." For this column, we force her to listen to random records by artists considered to be important by music nerds.
BUILT TO SPILL There's Nothing Wrong with Love (Up Records)
I get to do Built to Spill because someone (hey, Scotty!) joked about my column, "What's next? Built to Spill? Hahahahaha..." and then his face realized that I really had never heard those guys. He marveled for a second, laughed again, and said I had to put 'em on the list. So here I am!
I'm sitting in a public place, listening to There's Nothing Wrong with Love. I have one hour to tell you about it—I'm setting a timer. Ready, set, go!
First off is "In the Morning." It sounds like the '90s love you back, like the weather right before good weather, like a bunch of friends in one bedroom laughing. The song ends abruptly, as if someone tripped over the power cord and unplugged the music.
Current pop culture may only remember Blue Öyster Cult from the now classic "more cowbell" skit from TV's Saturday Night Live, but BOC were in fact an important and prolific rock band with heavy progressive leanings. They were very relevant in the '70s and even had ties to the NYC punk scene. Deep ties: Allen Lanier dated Patti Smith for a bit. Keyboardist/guitarist Lanier had been with BOC since it formed as Soft White Underbelly in 1967, retiring from the group in 2006 and missing only a couple years in the mid-'80s. Lanier died of chronic obstructed pulmonary disease; he was only 67.
When I was a lad learning to play the drums, I was in a "band" with a hopeful guitar player, Brent, who was obsessed with BOC. We spent many Saturday afternoons playing most of their '70s catalog, including the "cowbell song."
by Dave Segal
on Thu, Aug 15, 2013 at 12:23 PM
(Jazz Alley) Well, this is bad timing. Stanley Clarke will surely be distraught after the recent death of his friend, frequent collaborator, and keyboard legend George Duke. Nevertheless, one suspects Clarke will soldier through his sadness and deliver a technically dazzling show. A deity of melody on the standup and electric bass, Clarke has plucked those four heavy strings for the fiery, rococo Return to Forever, the third greatest-jazz-fusion band ever (after Mahavishnu Orchestra and Miles Davis's '70s groups), and in a long, distinguished solo career that includes the classic LP School Days. Come witness Clarke's astonishing technique, with accompaniment by pianist Mahesh Balasooriya and drummer Michael Mitchell.
by Dave Segal
on Thu, Aug 15, 2013 at 12:07 PM
(Marymoor Park) Here's where you'll find the coolest, wealthiest people in the Seattle area tonight. A scourge to many misguided souls, Steely Dan are the BMW of AOR. The Dan's precise, complex jazz rock gives fellow musicians jealousy boners, but beneath the coked-out perfectionism slither tunes and sardonic lyrics engineered to stimulate pleasure zones forever. With a catalog piled high with indelible hits and stellar deep cuts, Steely Dan are one of the better values on the live nostalgia circuit.
BLACK SABBATH “We picked Ozzy to be in the band because he had his own PA.”
August 13, 2013, Hades: Ozzy Osbourne sits in a dark, cylindrical room. He sticks a needle into his arm, drawing blood into a rubber tube that's connected to a pen. He's writing, with his own blood transfused as ink, a postscript to Black Sabbath's new album, 13. "Wake up!" his scrawl screams. "The masses aren't mindless anymore!" This isn't the reality-show Ozzy; this is the doomsday jester Ozzy—the Blotto Devil-Bard—and he's back, singing on a Sabbath album for the first time in 35 years. He releases the tourniquet around his arm, shrieking as the blood-ink comes; Sabbath's song "Snowblind" booms back and forth through the air like Edgar Allan Poe's scythe blade in "The Pit and the Pendulum."
Black Sabbath's slowness—decelerated intervals of sludge and pain—can't be replicated. Guitarist Tony Iommi, bassist Geezer Butler, and drummer Bill Ward sling tar-covered riffs. It's doom. The doom is coming. They drain the transition on a downbeat into a blues-based, hidden-chamber jam. If you think heavy metal, you have to think Black Sabbath. And now they're back—three-quarters of them, anyway. Ward is absent due to business disagreements and an "un-signable contract." (Drummer Tommy Clufetos currently mans the live kit.) Another obstacle was Iommi's lymphoma diagnosis, which he's successfully battled. Thus, their Rick Rubin–produced 13 is the first Ozzy-sung Sabbath album in 35 years, and the first number-one album of their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame career. Geezer Butler spoke from New York. His Birmingham, England, accent is regal. When he says the word "singer," he says sing-ah.
How was the show in New York?
It was great. Jam-packed. Fantastic.
Black Sabbath are about as holy as it gets. How does it feel to be holy?
[Laughs] Or unholy. You know, we never expected it to last this long. When we first started, all we wanted to do was get a record deal, and that was it. Something to show our parents. And here we are, more than 40 years later.
(Nectar) One of the greatest hiphop groups of the '90s, Slum Village were formed by three brilliant cats, two of whom—rapper Baatin and producer J Dilla—are dead (the sole survivor is rapper T3). And exactly what did this Detroit trio contribute to the rich history of hiphop—besides some of the best beats Dilla ever produced? An erotics of hiphop. As I have said before, sex in Slum Village's music is not represented pornographically but erotically. Track after track (and, like great sex, none of the tracks is too long) on the masterpiece Fan-Tas-Tic, Vol. 1, we feel and hear the delights of receiving and giving head, of masturbating and watching someone masturbating, of the fluids that are exchanged during intercourse. Listening to Slum Village's early stuff is hiphop's equivalent to reading Roland Barthes's The Pleasure of the Text.With Fly Moon Royalty and Johnny Polygon.
(Neumos) I will always adore Polyphonic Spree's The Beginning Stages Of..., it's filled with explosive, unrelenting optimism, and I can't not get goose bumps when dozens of voices sing, "Hey, it's the sun/And it makes me shine." Comparatively, the band's newest album, Yes, It's True, feels a bit... lacking. There's still a choir of voices, but they're incorporated more as an afterthought than as the star of the show. And there's still inspiring optimism—consider the song "Hold Yourself Up" for mile 25 of whatever metaphorical marathon you're currently running—but other songs, like "You Don't Know Me" and "Heart Talk," fall flat (though I do like the tuba in the latter). If you're on the fence about attending tonight's show, consider this: Recent set lists show they've also been performing their infamous cover of "Lithium." That'll surely sway your decision.
(Barboza) Globe-trotting sonic muckraker Filastine returns to his former romping grounds. Now agitating with radical rhythms from Barcelona, Filastine—a former percussive storm trooper with Infernal Noise Brigade and ¡Tchkung!—has dropped some interesting polyglot albums for DJ /rupture's Soot label: Burn It and Dirty Bomb. His most recent album, 2012's Loot, further develops Filastine's humid, extreme hybrids from the global beat banquet. The man has myriad ways to disorient you in all senses of the word. Plus, bonus Noam Chomsky sound bites! Reliable local quartet Truckasauras are perhaps the smartest party-centric electronic act in the city, and they improve with every show (I've been keeping tabs). Have you scored their majestically melodic electro opus 2012 yet? What are you waiting for? Seattle DJ BizZaRa brings that stadium-trembling dubstep biz with which the kids are annoying you. It's the soundtrack for oldsters railing futilely against the folly of youth and the quaking of bass. AIRHORN. With Penny Wide Pupils.