Line Out Music & the City at Night

206

Monday, March 3, 2014

"The Way Mudede Planned It"

Posted by on Mon, Mar 3, 2014 at 5:12 PM

What did our favorite music critic Dave Segal find while listening to this smooth 2010 track, "You Know Me," by Grynch and Ra Scion? My name! How did I ever miss it? My name in a rap? A rap by Ra Scion. And a very good rap at that...

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Magma Festival's Subterranean Weirdness

Posted by on Sun, Mar 2, 2014 at 1:40 PM

(Clockwise) The Space Lady, Jessika Kenney and Newaxeyes
  • (Clockwise) The Space Lady, Jessika Kenney and Newaxeyes

This might be the strangest, most unwieldy fundraiser that's ever existed in Seattle. Now in its seventh year, Magma Festival flows in unpredictable patterns every weekend in March at venues such as Chop Suey, Heartland, Chapel Performance Space, and Hollow Earth Radio. The last named is the Central District netcasting station/quasi club that is the beneficiary of all this left-of-center music, poetry, and performance art. Headed by founder Garrett Kelly and curated by almost 20 volunteers from HER's deep pool of DJs, Magma thrives on diversity and extreme unconventionality. Some of the acts are so underground, they have no internet presence (gasp). Some are so bafflingly odd, you won't have the slightest idea how to deal with them. Magma asks a lot of you and repeatedly jabs you out of your cultural comfort zone. More often than not, though, the rewards are worth the risk.

Putting on such a beast of an event is a logistical nightmare, Kelly concedes, "but luckily we have so many people who are willing to help us and a huge volunteer pool... We also don't book the same band twice (to keep things fair), and sometimes that makes it difficult. But, ultimately, it's about pushing ourselves to explore and find interesting artists doing stuff worth showcasing. It's also so badass that the bands are so open to helping us; we really couldn't do it without them. Obviously."

Continue reading »

And here's all our recommended music events—tonight, tomorrow, this weekend, and beyond!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Who Is Representing the 206 on Wikipedia?

Posted by on Wed, Feb 26, 2014 at 2:46 PM

Wikipedia on Seattle's music scene:

Seattle has a noteworthy musical history. From 1918 to 1951, there were nearly two dozen jazz nightclubs along Jackson Street from the current Chinatown/International District to the Central District. The jazz scene developed the early careers of Ray Charles, Quincy Jones, Ernestine Anderson and others. Seattle is also the birthplace of rock legend Jimi Hendrix and the alternative rock music style known as grunge,[10] which was made famous by local groups Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, and Alice in Chains. Seattle is also famous for its hip hop artists, such as rappers Sir Mix-a-Lot, Blue Scholars, Sadistik, Grieves and Macklemore.
I have nothing against Sadistik or Grieves, but they should not be considered in the same league as Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Macklemore, and Sir Mix-a-lot. It would be better if Ishmael Butler of Shabazz Palaces replaced them in this entry. And one can only wonder who put them on this page in the first place. Fame is not always the name of the game.

That said, here is a decent joint by Sadistik:

Northwesterners In New York

Posted by on Wed, Feb 26, 2014 at 10:10 AM

I caught up with Seattle rapper ex patria The Good Sin in New York City recently. We found the time in our schedules for some coffee up on 5th Avenue at —of all places— Starbucks.

What began as a traveling bug grew into a realization for one of Seattle's most talented rappers (his Late EP is 206 Hall of Fame shit), and with his enlightenment he wound up in New York city (Harlem, to be exact) pursuing his music career full time while working just enough to support his musical inclination. He shared with me some work (audio as well as video) that isn't ready for public consumption yet, but that I can say is fully formed, and full of the the rap realism from The Good Sin that makes his music worth listening to. The new work recalls the aforementioned Late EP without looking back. It's goose-flesh-inducing good.

He did point out to me that his roomate, fellow Northwesterner Luck One, just released an album everyone can hear titled King Of The Northwest II: The Curse Of The Pharaoh. After hanging with The Good Sin and commiserating about mind expanding travel I had a listen and I think you should, too.

Luck One does the improbable and slides in there with a record full of conscious rap that may be a few songs too long, but is never preachy. The album really hits its stride when the self proclaimed King Of The Northwest features The King Of Ballard (Grynch hisself) on a boom bap track, which risks being anachronistic, but again, comes through. Luck One's strengths are his voice, and his ability to rhyme the right questions, like why is selling drugs something to rap proudly about?

And one more thing, check out Loops For Lovers mixtape called Indian Summer. Local singer/songwriter Alana Bell's project with producer/designer KMTK, whose short (8min. total) project concentrates on building interludes rather than fully formed songs was inspired by the Seattlite's time in New York City. Despite it's brevity it slices concisely when it engages local golden child Porter Ray. One small critique of Porter Ray's unanimously celebrated rap tapes that escaped every review is that his wordiness sometimes smothers his songs without hooks or interludes, well, problem solved, thanks KMTK & Alana Bell.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Ra Scion meets Vox Mod in a New Space-Blissed Beat

Posted by on Tue, Feb 25, 2014 at 4:28 PM

Vox Mod, a local producer who has worked with Ishmael Butler of Shabazz Palaces, joins forces with Ra Scion, a local rapper who recently worked with the NYC-based producer Rodney Hazard. Here we go, here we go...

New Local Video: RA Scion & Vox Mod "Fixed"

Posted by on Tue, Feb 25, 2014 at 12:52 PM

Sweet Mother Nature, this is a gorgeously filmed video. It makes me giddy (especially on a sunny day like today) to be a denizen of the Pacific Northwest. New RA Scion + Vox Mod album, coming soon...

Director: Casey Sjogren; Producer: Mariangela Abeo; Assistant DP: Christopher Ghazel; Production assistants: Mikail Van Maren, Janis Ghazel; Written and performed by: Ryan Abeo, Scot Porter & Daniel Blue; Featuring: Anthony Ghazel, Madison Abeo, Jacob Hansen, Abby Sale

Friday, February 21, 2014

My Philosophy: A Wild Alanis Appears

Posted by on Fri, Feb 21, 2014 at 11:48 AM

So: Drake called Macklemore's Instagrammed apology to Kendrick Lamar "wack as fuck"—and regardless of that being the homeboy, I wasn't feeling it, either. But really, Drake, the king of being-persecuted-for-having-messy-public-emotions, is policing how another male rapper expresses his feelings? You wild Alanis right now, doggie. The truth is: Drizzy resented that the popular wisdom was that Good Kid M.A.A.D. City was the rightful owner of that Grammy, as opposed to Nothing Was the Same—it's just the latest wrinkle in his and Kendrick's passive-aggressive competition. After Drake's story lost the Rolling Stone cover in lieu of a photo of the recently departed Philip Seymour Hoffman, however, he really got deep in his feelings (or "acting lightskin" as the kids would call it these days, which is actually wack as fuck), declaring that "the press was evil." Owh beybeh.

Yo, I don't know if it's exclusive to them, but rappers really tend to think the press is here to serve them. If you refuse to be somebody's personal PR, you might get pegged a hater. Most rappers are as deathly allergic to critical thought as your cousin is to peanuts and I am to work. Just try asking one, on the record, about something they said, on a record—about a line that might be considered dishonorable outside of their 16 bars. You'll get outrage! You'll get "Whatever happened to freedom of speech?" (a copout as popular as having an Akon hook was in the years 2005 to 2009), when really they mean "Whatever happened to my imaginary right to never be held accountable for my free speech?" Uh...whatever happened to what I was talking about?

Continue reading »

And here's a list of all our recommended music events.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Slow-Jam Sickness: Avatar Darko's New Song/Video, "Soah"

Posted by on Thu, Feb 20, 2014 at 3:27 PM


From his upcoming Soviet Goonion III project, Seattle/Cali emcee Avatar Darko has loosed an excellent new single called "Soah," which has come wrapped in a stylish, Cheok-directed video.

Produced by young Ukrainian Dirtbag Dexter (and featuring the finely doctored vocals of one Suzanna Abdulla, who could very well be this person), the instrumental plays relaxed-but-heavy like a steel blanket. The rolling bass sets the tone for Avatar's affectionate thug rhymes. "We can cover the world if you really ready/I'd go to war for you, girl, I'd prolly kill the presi'," he swoons in the second verse; in His Darkness' universe, this passes for a love song. The violent fairy tale, Bonnie and Clyde fantasy is a fitting, sick slow-jam plot line to filter through the video's smoke-and-shadow setting. As always, Darko steps back from the love-potion fawning to check himself with charming lines like: "If she bein' sneaky, karma be that bitch demise." Left callused from hard time in the love game, it seems, Darko proceeds with guarded optimism, as always, to our benefit.

Poppin 8-Bit Drugs, Choppin 808s Up: Mackned's Alice Gla$$

Posted by on Thu, Feb 20, 2014 at 11:07 AM

Though I somehow missed out on his Ned's World EP from last June, West Seattle's Mackned has steadily made a name for himself over the last year or so with his ace production on various Moor Gang projects — check Steezie Nasa’s Moor Militia and recent Lucky 7, Thaddeus David’s None The Less, Nacho Picasso’s Trances With Wolves EP, and the entirety of SneakGuapo’s under-the-radar Suicide Capitol for some exemplary blap. But after seeing him and Key Nyata debut this track (on which he repurposes the opening lines of Lil B's #legendary 2009 classic "Like A Martian" into a memorable hook) to a sparse Ballard crowd at The Sunset Tavern during last year's Macefield Music Fest, I had a feeling the guy had more of this very #based heat on deck.

Sure enough, last Friday he dropped this new 10-track project called Alice Gla$$ (Ned says he's a Crystal Castles fan, and the title represents his musical style — "I blend multiple genres, so why not call the shit an emo electronic star's name?"), and it's full of hazy-sample/heavy-bass beats and reflective but thugged-out lyrics packed with regional gloom ("As the rain drop/I can feel the mass depression hit") and '90s-kid nostalgia ("Bitch I'm Blastoise/Got them cannons on my back"). With select features from Nacho Picasso, Key Nyata and SneakGuapo, some deep sample sources, and an ode to PAWG porn star Alexis Texas you can hit the cooking dance to, this is what young Seattle rap sounds like right now.

Download Alice Gla$$ on Mackned's Bandcamp, listen to four bonus instrumentals that got left off the tape on his SoundCloud, and watch the video for standout track "Life On Deck" below.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Constant Lovers Announce New Album (and Have One of the Best New Press Photos I've Seen in 2014)

Posted by on Wed, Feb 19, 2014 at 2:33 PM

Seattle's Constant Lovers announce their sophomore album, Experience Feelings (coming March 18th on Good to Die Records)—the band's first with drummer Ben Verellen (Helms Alee and Harkonen):

(...) with Experience Feelings everything sounds BIGGER especially with the addition of Ben Verellen as full time drummer. Joel Cuplin’s harried yowl has seen another year or two of whiskey and cigarettes, Gavin Tull-Esterbrook's pummeling bass and Verellen's shotgun-blast drums figure most prominently throughout, while guitarist Eric Fisher’s and Cuplin’s guitar-feedback squalls wind in and out. Experience Feelings is given girth by Matt Bayles’ (Sandrider, Russian Circles, Minus the Bear) capable engineering. Expect big things.

Listen to brand new song "Mush Teeth" via Soundcloud. The album release show is April 4th at Chop Suey w/ Gaytheist, and Tartufi.

ConstantLovers.jpg

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

It's Fuck Wit "Dre Day"!

Posted by on Tue, Feb 18, 2014 at 4:18 PM

"Tonight's the night I get in some shit."

For the past twelve years on February 18th, Minneapolis-based design firm Burlesque Of North America (alums of MPLS' classic graf zine Life Sucks Die) has thrown their annual Dre Day parties to celebrate the works of Compton native Andre Young on his birthday—not just in MPLS, but all around the country. This year, Seattle gets their own edition, helmed by DJ's Sean Cee, BlueEyedSoul, Marc Sense and 100Proof, over at Sole Repair. HAIL YEUH.

There will be a photo booth, props, and plenty of reasons to be G'd up from the feet up so feel free to wear your finest '90s West Coast attire.

Khakis, Raiders or White Sox hats, and crewneck sweatshirts are all highly encouraged. Please, no fake golds, afro wigs or dollar-sign chains, or you may get an Olde English shower—save that bootsy shit for your frat party.

Listen to Big Spider's Back's Dancey New Single "Pfff"

Posted by on Tue, Feb 18, 2014 at 3:01 PM

"Land of Hip" gatekeepers Pitchfork blessed Seattle/Brooklyn producer Big Spider's Back today with the premier of his new single "Pfff," from his upcoming EP Ssoft. Big Spider's Back has been struck by P4k's approval ray a couple of times before, but this marks the first score for BSB's new label—Seattle's outstanding, electronic-focused Hush Hush Records, who will be releasing Ssoft to the listening public on March 17th.

The song is a quickly developing dance track on which BSB taps brightly-colored synth-notes into place with mathematical precision. The descending riff is the kind that should leave you feeling warm and happy, and ready to hit the dance floor/nearest sunny meadow to get your frolic right. Stream the thing above, or over on ye olde 'Fork.

Light in the Attic Extends Shop Hours, Announces Big Sale

Posted by on Tue, Feb 18, 2014 at 12:45 PM

Seattle reissue label Light in the Attic is extending the hours of its in-house retail shop to 12 pm-8 pm Fridays and 12 pm-4 pm Saturdays. To mark the change, LITA is selling everything in stock at 30-percent off on Feb. 22. This includes all of the label catalog and the dozens of titles it distributes, including releases from labels such as Death Waltz, Medical, and Cinevox.

LITA's newest release is Bobby Charles' self-titled 1972 album, a deeply soulful roots-rock opus that fans of the Band and Dr. John will dig.

LITA is located in Ballard at 913 NW 50th St., 98107.

UPDATE: There will be FREE BEER.

Friday, February 14, 2014

'Mo-Wave 2014 Announced! Right Here!

Posted by on Fri, Feb 14, 2014 at 1:15 PM

Zebra Katz
  • Courtesy 'Mo-Wave
  • Don't miss Zebra Katz at 'Mo-Wave 2014!

Welcome to year two of the fantastic 'Mo-Wave queer music and arts festival (do read my interview with 'Mo-Wave founders last year)! The dates are April 12 and 13, circle them now with your best glitter pen.

'MO-WAVE '14 LINEUP (so far):
Christeene (Austin, Tx), Zebra Katz (NYC), Justin Bond (NYC), Carletta Sue Kay (SF), Belles Bent For Leather (all- female Judas Priest tribute by AC/DC tribute Hells Belles), CZARL1NG (Oly—featuring members of the Need, Brokenwater, GrassWidow), Ononos...

Continue reading »

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Ricky Pharoe (Art Vandelay) and Gajamagic (Champagne Champagne) Form New Group, Will Play the Tractor Tavern March 18 With Shabazz Palaces

Posted by on Thu, Feb 13, 2014 at 4:00 PM


Two talented creative types who've flown a little under the radar as of late (by internet-era standards) are Ricky Pharoe (the emcee half of local conspiracy-rap duo Art Vandelay) and Mark Gajadhar (the former Blood Brothers drummer who, of course, doubles as DJ Gajamagic of Champagne Champagne). To my delight, the news rolled across my desk that they have come together to form a new group (called, naturally, Ricky and Mark) and are nearly finished recording an album. Their first single is called "House Keys," and the song with its freshly minted video is posted above.

The song's hopeful guitar intro initially seems at odds with the video's dreary imagery, but the beat-drop, coupled with the introduction of Pharoe's metaphorical chorus, balances the melody with classic Pharoe cynicism—which in his world scans as just plain realism. Directed by Pharoe himself, the video is another artfully done piece, laying shots of residential degradation and decay against footage of metropolitan New York. Of course, there's a Seinfeld reference, which is no surprise given Pharoe's previous undertakings. It's a strong first entry, and a good tease for the LP.

Ricky and Mark are slated to play the Tractor Tavern in Ballard with space-rap gods Shabazz Palaces March 18th, a show that's reportedly part of the Red Bull Sound Select series. More details and full announcement to come.

My Philosophy: Sugar Highs and Lows

Posted by on Thu, Feb 13, 2014 at 11:32 AM

As I write this, there are hundreds of thousands of people lining the inexplicably sunlit downtown streets, celebrating the Seattle Seahawks' first-ever Super Bowl victory. People are beaming with pride, frothing over with excitement. It's crazy, it's nuts, it's fucking cold as shit, too. I'm in my crib, glancing at the news, away from the numbers. Marshawn "Beast Mode" Lynch—immortalized by local producer Spekulation's instant town classic "'Bout That Action" track, and its subsequent Prometheus Brown remix—is sitting on the hood of one of the Ride the Ducks vehicles, throwing out Skittles, his trademark favorite candy, which fans rain down on him when he makes one of his memorable touchdowns.

I think of the last time Skittles so penetrated the national consciousness—that would be after the murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin two years ago, when a neighborhood watchman gunned him down in cold blood while the black-hoodie-clad teen was carrying a bag of the candy. That night, he walked away from Martin's corpse, uncharged by police, until national outrage shamed local cops into bringing charges for killing this child. These little details were burned forever into our nation's emotional map, fueling rage, tears, and jokes from shitty, low-vibrating souls. (News of his killer's acquittal by a jury of his pig peers came last summer, on my birthday, which immediately went from great to my worst one ever; this isn't meant to be about me, though.)

Continue reading »

Here's all our recommended music events—tonight, tomorrow, this weekend, and beyond.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

No Josh Wink: Big Phone's Psychedelic Techno Epic, ";)"

Posted by on Wed, Feb 12, 2014 at 4:17 PM

Local label Knightriders Recordings delivers what may be my favorite release in its catalog so far: Big Phone's ;) EP. Big Phone is New York transplant Kenric McDowell, and the title track to his cheekily titled EP (available Feb. 17) possesses a rare shoegaze-meets-Porter Ricks vibe, all A.R. Kane-ish astral guitar whorls and earth's-core bass smudges, augmented by strangely modulated analog-synth coloration. I'm already imagining all the heads that are going to be vibrating on a higher plane as this gushes out of a quality sound system. The EP's other two tracks—"Snake DNA" and "Topic of the Situation"— are Villalobos-like epics of exceptional inventiveness.

You can also check out a Big Phone podcast here. (Here's my review of Big Phone's Feral Phone Myth from 2013.)

New Local Video: Hobosexual "Sex Destroyer" Live at the Neptune Theater

Posted by on Wed, Feb 12, 2014 at 12:35 PM

New footage, new song—filmed live at the Neptune Theater. And if you haven't listened to the Hobosexual II yet, what are frickin' waiting for? Read this short interview, with singer Ben Harwood about the new album here. "The deep dark drag of jean jacket swagger!"

The Hobos play March 6th at the Nectar Lounge, and May 24th at the 2014 Sasquatch Music Festival.

Friday, February 7, 2014

My Philosophy: 'Bout that Action, Boss

Posted by on Fri, Feb 7, 2014 at 2:20 PM

GRAYSKUL
  • GRAYSKUL

So now our city is on an unprecedented high, instead of just the regular, precedented high. We've got a Lombardi to polish—and the town was already buzzing (huh-huh) from Macklemore & Ryan Lewis winning four fucking Grammys (then apologizing for it) as local music scene folks debate and froth in every direction and national press think pieces rain upon Seattle like major-label contracts did in the early '90s. What a weird fucking time—and frankly, I wouldn't wanna be anywhere or anywhen else. Stand in the place where you live.

Places to stand include a lot of spots on Friday, February 7. Big dogs Grayskul, for one, are headlining a show at Nectar with a thick lineup: the Chicharones, Kimya Dawson (not a rapper, but a very raw and life-changing truth-teller of high pedigree), Triceracorn (more on them in a sec), Void Pedal, with DJ Graves 33—plus a very special guest! Maybe somebody cool, who's done beaucoup work with both Grayskul and Kimya? Man, I dunno. That same fucking night, though, at the Crocodile, Sol's current tourmates Zion I come through (minus Sol). If you don't want to see any of that and want to see some art, producer P Smoov (under his brush-wielding alias Ten Hundred) is opening an art exhibit at Gallery 2312. On Sunday, February 9, go see Porter Ray headline Barboza.

Continue reading »

And here's all our recommended music events—tonight, tomorrow, this weekend, and beyond.

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Thursday, February 6, 2014

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Friday, January 31, 2014

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Monday, January 27, 2014

Friday, January 24, 2014

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