Last night at the beautiful Columbia City Theater—at a super-secret pizza-party/performance for their fans—Macklemore & Ryan Lewis debuted their newest video. This video, for "Can't Hold Us", is M&RL's first since the pair crossed the Rubicon from "blowing up" into "superstars" with "Thrift Shop"; this clip doesn't spare an ounce of ambition. In it, Mack and Ryan and Owour Arunga and Ray Dalton are literally standard-bearers, passing a Heist flag from continent to continent; from snowy mountains to New Zealand sands to the top of the Space Needle. Let no one say this is not them owning what is very much their moment.
This Thursday, South Seattle, the only city in the 206, welcomes Shafiq Husayn, a gifted beat philosopher who has been in the game since back in the day...
He grew up in Oakland, Watts, South Central, Texas and the South Bronx where he experienced Hip Hop in it's infancy, joined Zulu Nation and ran with pioneers Afrika Bambatta and Afrika Islam. He has contributed production to Ice-T's O.G. Original Gangster, worked with Donald D on his Let The Horns Blow record, King Tee on Tha Triflin Album and IV Life, and assisted Lord Finesse on his album The Return Of The Funky Man.
If you have any real feelings, be prepared to go deep into this sample of his forthcoming album L oo P...
OC Notes will open for Shafiq Husayn & Dove Society at Dahlak, a joint on 2007 S. State St (8pm, April 18, $20/Door). This is what city sounds like, a city eats like, a city looks like...
by Dave Segal
on Tue, Apr 16, 2013 at 11:47 AM
Translation Loss Records
Seattle heavy-metal valedictorians Lesbian preview their hotly anticipated third album, Forestelevision (slated for June 25 release on Translation Loss Records), on KISW’s Metalshop show on Sat. April 20, 99.9FM, 11 pm-3 am, with hosts Kevin Diers (Stranger freelancer) and Ian.
Key Nyata (KEE NYE-OUGHTA) n. 1. Seattle-based rapper and producer. 2. Member of the American rap collective Raider Klan (often stylized as RVIDXR KLVN) AKA Blackland Raider Klan or Raider Klan Mafia, which was founded by enigmatic Miami rapper SpaceGhostPurrp. 3. First came to prominence for his weed-heavy "Get High (Wanna Smoke)", where his Mariners apparel instantly sparked interest from Seattle-area rap writers. Key is beloved by an underground nation of sleepy eyed, possibly "urban" youths. His Shadowed Diamond release is coming soon, once he finishes smoking a thousand million blunts.
Here's his latest video, for "Thx Gvrdxxn", a track which features his signature stop/start, speed up/speed down production quirks:
1.) Remember how CJ Frederick from Daswasup Gigs was booking fun punk shows at the Mars Bar until it tragically shut down? Lately he's been putting on equally fun shows like this one next door at the Victory Lounge. 2.) I am really excited about discovering the new local band the Acapulco Lips. They sound like the soundtrack to a more reverb-y, rock n' roll production of Grease and kinda bringing to mind the vocals of Mariska Veres from Shocking Blue or Emily Beanblossom from Christmas, sans psychedelia. The result is re-envisioned '60s sock-hop silliness filtered through '90s garage, a la Headcoatees
3.) Plateaus from San Diego are perfect summertime beach-pop, and as a bonus feature a member of the brilliant but now defunct band the Anasazis. They just put out a new LP on taste-making label Art Fag from San Diego, who are notable for being one of the first on board with bands like Best Coast, Colleen Green, the Dum Dum Girls and Bleached.
Of no redeeming social value whatsoever: the new video from Russian-born/CD-bred goon Avatar Darko and the face-punching punchliner/headliner Nacho Picasso.
The two Brothers In Scum (last I heard, the proposed name for their upcoming tandem tape), in full observance of the song's title, flex over-the-top goth-laced ignorance (half Blade, half Brazzers) like G-Unit used to floss spinning jewelry—just another day at the office for Seattle rap's g'd up Step Brothers. #Raplife is in full effect—but my favorite moment is at 3:17; the most mundane, thing, really—when the cameraman passes Nacho the blunt. Aside from that, the constant barrage of smoke in this and other videos of late is getting a little close to the filter, knawmean? There's gotta be other good signifiers of drugginess; maybe somebody could actually do a video underwater again?
(Crocodile) Fresh Espresso (P Smoov and Rik Rude) was one of the several hiphop acts that made the 206's 2009 so memorable, with the release of Glamour—Seattle's most successful and convincing appropriation of bling-hop. Last year, the duo released its second album, Bossalona, which was not bad, but which at the time I felt did not live up to the greatness of Glamour. Critics, however, change their minds. Bossalona cannot be compared to Glamour, because they are not designed with the same plan or built with the same materials. Glamour processed Jay-Z; Bossalona processed something that comes close to baroque bebop. Glamour is just pop; Bossalona is not. Glamour is catchy; Bossalona grows and grows on you. Indeed, I'm now of the mind that it just might actually be the better record, but for completely different reasons. On Glamour, Smoov and Rude showed they have the skill to sound like rappers and producers who just want to pay the bills. On Bossalona, they simply show they are two talented and most highly developed artists who have skills.
(Barboza) Tonight is all about the Quiet Ones and their great new album, Molt in Moments. Joining the band in the celebration is Marty Marquis, the "redheaded Blitzen Trapper guy." If you have feelings for BT, Mr. Marquis will certainly appeal to you—his solo music is a sort-of-weird combination of vintage-tinged folk with occasional electronic flourishes that almost feel out of place. Songs like "She Came Down" seem like something you'd sing around a campfire while robotic bugs buzzed around your head, adding little Disney Electrical Parade sounds to the music. Weird! But maybe good? Verdict is still out. Regardless, you should arrive in time to see the Young Evils, because their power-pop gems are just the best. See also Stranger Suggests.
by Dave Segal
on Wed, Apr 10, 2013 at 1:39 PM
Just for the heaven of it, Jetman Jet Team bassist Adam Breeden (under the name Fidelay) has done a sweet, reverent cover of one of the Jesus and Mary Chain’s most sublime pop tunes, “Happy When It Rains.”
Jetman Jet Team—currently one of the Seattle’s best rock bands—will release their debut album, We Will Live the Space Age, April 16 on Saint Marie Records. Look for a review of it in next week’s issue.
The rapper formerly/sometimes still known as Geo just pulled the move Das Racist would've if they were still around. And for that, sir, I thank you. Extra points for the track's meme-inspired artwork, referencing one of LL's most headscratching lines (outside of the gold chains/iron chains one).
by Dave Segal
on Wed, Apr 10, 2013 at 11:25 AM
Seattle producer IG88 (aka Branden Clarke) has a new track that approaches the silky, tear-streaked beauty of night-bus/bass connoisseur Kid Smpl’s work. “Trail of Bread Crumbs” is dewy, deeply poignant music that falls in that special zone between Boards of Canada and Orcas.
"Trail of Bread Crumbs" is off the new IG88 album, Breathing Suit (Nueva Forma). Check it out after the jump.
(Crocodile) What the hell did you do for your 21st birthday? Kung Foo Grip MCs Cypher and Eff will be celebrating their ability to legally imbibe by rapping on stage at the Crocodile. Happy birthday, fellas!
Their latest, the criminally under-publicized (my bad, yo) Growing Up In The Future meshes mouthfuls of strong verse with production from the likes of Elan Wright, Stewart Villain (who’ll also be performing), Keyboard Kid, and Giorgio Momurda, and announces KFG as an adept, thoughtful duo, close to mastering their craft.
Fresh Espresso (or "do rap hands", as some people know them) will be supporting on the bill, likely working material from their second album, Bossalona, which brilliantly parses generations of music samples into spoiled electronic sneers and raps about hope and homesickness without losing cool points. You’re likely to have been exposed to omnipresent Seattle duo Fresh Espresso’s lazer beams one way or another, from their solo albums to PSmoov's mixtapes, paintings, and production work, to Rik Rude's experimental hiphop with OCnotes in Metal Chocolates. Rik Rude says, "If Glamour had legs Bossalona’s got wings,” and I agree; it's a beast worth seeing.
Rounding out the bill is Nissim, formerly D.Black, an influential figure of Seattle hiphop and o.g. member/infinite well of inspiration at Sport’n Life Records whose appearance on the infamous White Van Music album by Jake One is still blowing minds. Nissim is signed to Ballard label Fin Records and looking to release an album this summer. His passionate, inspirational verse has only been amplified by his hiatus from music to adopt Orthodox Judaism as his lifestyle, resulting in a dissident/deconstructive feel to his very relatable voice. Check his latest free EP, Miracle Music, to get in the spirit.
Whoah!? I hadn't seen this: a couple weeks back Grynch teamed up with Budo to issue a 12" single for the new track "Treadin". The vinyl is silver/blue/white to match the fresh cover design, with "So Far" featuring Shaprece and Brother Ali on the B-side.
"Treadin'" is a smoothly rapped, introspective number about shrugging through the stuggle, served up over some of Budo's funky soul. "So Far," which was originally issued last year on "Perspective," is a Budo remix of Grynch owning a Jake One beat.
The Fin Records pressing is a limited run of 500, includes the instrumental tracks on the record, and can be pre-ordered now.
On March 24th, Raz Simone was arrested at LaGuardia Airport in New York City. Raz flew from Seattle legally with his gun to New York without the airline or police informing him of the change in gun laws on March 1, 2013. He was allowed to board with his firearm as if everything was fine as usual, but FUCKED him as he tried to return home. He was incarcerated and charged with a felony. He is now out on $10,000 bail, facing a minimum of 5 years. Legally Raz cannot leave New York. As fans and supporters of Raz Simone's music, we urge you to do all you can to support and give back.
I like this video, this song, the beat. Raz is the homie, but more importantly he's by far one of the most promising voices in the scene right now, so I owe him a more in-depth look at this song/video. I'll run off a few observations in list form after the jump.
by Dave Segal
on Mon, Apr 8, 2013 at 12:46 PM
2012 Stranger music genius runners-up Master Musicians of Bukkake have a video of a new song from their forthcoming album Far West (released by the excellent Important Records in June) ready to ravish your eyeballs and earholes. "White Mountain Return" spasms wildly into earshot with a cacophony of antisocial electronics, before it begins to pulsate menacingly and swell with a noble orchestral momentousness. Conjuring images of metallic mountains soaked by pterodactyl tears, the track sounds like an impossible collaboration between mid-/late-'70s Tangerine Dream and Ennio Morricone at his most heroic. Logan Owlbeemoth shot the video in an inspired fit of solarized, static-interference-riddled befrazzlement, whiplashing eyes with washed-out hues. The MMOB full-length should be something else... again.
(Chop Suey) If you've yet to delve into Jherek Bischoff's amazing Composed, now is the time. It's a gloriously choreographed dance between pop and classical music—bringing in lush strings, dynamic percussion, and huge crescendos. Songs like "Eyes" (featuring David Byrne) and "Young & Lovely" (featuring Zac Pennington, Soko, and perhaps the best trombone sound in the world) will make cherry blossoms burst open as you walk past them. And speaking of Pennington, his band Parenthetical Girls recently released Privilege, the box-set culmination of the band's bloody (literally) 12-inch series, which has been released periodically in limited quantities over the past three years. Perhaps Bischoff and Pennington will treat us to a rendition of "Young & Lovely" tonight? My skin crawls with goose bumps in anticipation.
Since the Blue Moon Tavern has both delightfully scummy booths and the weirdest, most chatty regulars, it provides a perfect backdrop for the face-melting pop of Dude York and ex-Walla Walla rockers Chastity Belt, who both share the bill with the Wimps. Oh, the Wimps: I feel like the last one to arrive at the wimp-party, but now that I'm here, I can't get enough. Also, be sure to arrive early so you can get your hands on the last of the new Chastity Belt t-shirts before a cease-and-desist from Nickleback forces them to be pulled from the shelves.
by Mike Ramos
on Fri, Apr 5, 2013 at 11:39 AM
(Crocodile) Key Nyata still has a couple months left at Garfield High School, but this show celebrates the release of his fourth official project, The Shadowed Diamond. Like most of his lyrics, the significance of the title can be easily overlooked, but it carries much meaning. Nyata makes (meaning raps and produces) some of the most forward-thinking and stylistically unique rap music in the city, but he is often overshadowed by those with more established names or more "accessible" sounds. Judging from the first singles "THX GVRDXXN (Let a Ni99a Smoke)" and "BLVCK JVZZ," the "Key Gawd" has improved in every department, and Shadowed Diamond should be impossible to ignore. Gothic goons Skull & Bones (aka Bolo Nef and Caz Greez) and fast-rising Tacoma trio ILLFIGHTYOU are well worth showing up early for. See also My Philosophy.