...happened because of this clip:
I don't usually resort to statements like this, but if you aren't smiling by the end of this video, you have ice running through your veins and are dead to me. Happy Friday!
(Chop Suey) What I most love about Helms Alee is their ability to absolutely slay you when you least expect it. Listen to their song "Pretty as Pie" off their latest release, Weatherhead. For the first couple minutes, starry and echoing guitar arpeggios ring out. The repetition begins to wrap around you—their beauty, their calming consistency, comforts you. Then BOOM. The buzziest bass you've ever heard bangs you over the head. The arpeggios continue, almost tauntingly, as singer Ben Verellen starts to growl. Seattle duo Tacos!, on the other hand, get you to the same place (deaf) a different way—their songs are cathartic and meaty from end to end. And I love them, too. It takes all kinds, ya know?
Underworld Scum, Seattle's newest, premiere-est Misfits cover band (featuring local musicians Eric Randall, Pete Capponi, Dan Paulus, and Stranger contributor Derek Erdman), played Radar Hair and Records Saturday night. DOOOODS. IT WAS SO FUN!!! And they were so on point. I think maybe it was a Halloween gag, but I hope they keep going. Also! NEXT UP: The Devo Cover Night at Chop Suey. Gonna be nuts. I said, whip it (whip it good!)
More photos of The 'Scum, after the jump...
I met the charming foursome of Portland's folk-oufit The Cabin Project last year at one of their shows at the High Dive. They are playing the Columbia City Theater tonight. Led by east-coast transplant Katie Sawicki, they produce soulful, percussive, indie-rock over sincere, heartfelt lyrics. Check them out along with co-headliners Not a Real Flag and Robb Benson and the Shelk. Onky eight bones at the door!
Ever wondered which (classic) Seattle band you would be if you took an internet quiz titled "Which Seattle Band Are You"? I got 92% Fastbacks, so this thing is pretty accurate!
h/t James Burns!
Okay, I think we can agree that the best part of Halloween is the cover bands. Friends and strangers get together in late September and labor for a month to brainstorm silly, clever, and hopefully appropriate band names and setlists just to bring us one night of amazing Halloween music.
I didn’t get to see all of them this year, but I’ll put it to you to vote for the best of the Halloween cover bands. These were the ones that I heard the most buzz about:
If you're looking for a very fun thing to do on Halloween, may I suggest heading to Still Liquor for the free Hot and Readies Halloween party! The Hot and Readies (formerly the Bath Saltz) are a cover band whose catalog includes the Cranberries, No Doubt, and pretty much every great party song you'd want as the soundtrack to blacking out (disclaimer: The Stranger does not endorse blacking out, but will look the other way if you brown out on any holiday excluding St. Patrick's Day because get it together).
Now then, let's catch up with Hot and Readies founding member, Danny Beutler!
Please tell me the members of the Hot and Readies and who plays what.
Me, Michael Cadiz, Carlee McManus, Jeff Anderson, Jordan Morris, Aaron Khawaja, Kristin Allen-Zito, Kellen Rack, Brittany Kusa, Lelah Maupin, Bryant Moore, Alex Miller, Claire Robinson, Kevin Buster, Glen Yoshioka, Tyrel Stendahl, Elliot Beutler, Emily Nokes (practice is on Mondays). Everybody just plays different things all the time.
Why did you change your name from the Bath Saltz to the Hot and Readies? Did someone in the band have a bath saltz problem?
At the moment we are named after the Little Caesar's pizza. We've gone through a few different names, but I think this latest incarnation reflects that we have a pizza problem more than anything else.
Please tell me the three best songs you're playing this year?
"Sabotage," the Ghostbusters theme song, and "Zombie."
Please tell me the three worst songs you're playing this year.
"Ten Rounds with Jose Cuervo," "Poison," and "Enter Sandman."
What are you going to be for Halloween?
Neo, from The Matrix.
Can you tell us what any of the prizes might be? How does someone win a prize? Do you get a prize just for showing up?
There will be definitely be a bong, probably some other stuff too. Prizes will be awarded for costume creativity and having a good attitude.
What other holiday shows do you have planned? You're a holiday band, correct?
These days, we prefer to think of ourselves as a party band, but we'll probably end up doing a Valentine's Day show.
What songs are up next for the Hot and Readies to master?
We're gonna do the entire Soundgarden catalog reggae style and call ourselves Spoon-mon.
Katy Perry or Rihanna?
Lars Ulrich or Dave Mustaine?
Dave Mustaine, I really like how in-touch with his feelings he is.
What's the scariest song you can think of?
Okay, so: Autechre. Great electronic band, or the greatest electronic band? Sean Booth and Rob Brown, two break-beating, graffiti-spraying, moody-ass British mega-brains have been at it for more than two decades and have consistently pushed further in their sonic explorations than most, while still retaining their funky, cyber-organic alien heart throughout.
In honor of Autechre's forthcoming L-Event EP (out on October 28 via Warp Records), and because EVERYBODY LOVES TO ARGUE ABOUT BEST-OF LISTS, here in no particular order are MY TOP FIVE AUTECHRE tracks of all time. This could potentially get a little nerdy so the rest is after the jump.
I just found out that two of the supergroups I'm currently most excited about will be touring through Seattle in November! Like I said before, Upset is a new supergroup that have a new album out this month and play songs that are a 90's dream punk-pop (featuring members/ex-members of Hole, the Vivian Girls, Best Coast and La Sera). They are playing with the equally excellent Screaming Females at the Black Lodge on 11/15—and check out their brand new video featuring the crust-fund punx of Los Angeles.
Also coming to Cairo on 11/9, is the gnarled and catchy post-punk of Cold Beat, the brainchild of Hannah Lew from Grass Widow, which also features Greer McGettrick from the (amazing, but sadly disbanded) Mallard playing rhythm guitar in the band. Get psyched!
Big Eyes are a fema—wait, no.
"I always get a little twinge of 'What the fuck?' when I see 'female-fronted,'" says Big Eyes singer and blazing guitarist Kate Eldridge. "When it's the first thing there, like that's the first thing people need to know about our band?"
"I like to refer to us as not a female-fronted band, but a male-backed band," bassist Chris Costalupes chimes in with a grin. "It's a bit more progressive."
As Eldridge, Costalupes, and drummer Dillan Lazzareschi slowly weave through the Women Who Rock exhibit at EMP (which is mostly just a collection of clothes worn by Mama Cass, Gwen Stefani, Lady Gaga, and Aretha Franklin, among others), we come upon one of Joni Mitchell's lyric notebooks. Her handwriting is impeccable and youthful—penmanship I dreamed of having when I was in high school.
"She wrote her lyrics in a notebook just like Taylor Swift does in that Diet Coke commercial!" I (dumbly) joke. Eldridge laughs, "Oh my god, when Taylor Swift first came out, I was having a conversation with my mom, and she was like, 'Kate, it's so amazing! She writes all her own songs and plays the guitar and sings. I was like, 'Oh, good for her! Hi, I'm Kate. I'm your daughter."
I was listening to the new Upset song “Oxfords and Wingtips,” when one of my friends walked into the room and asked me if I was listening to the new Silly Goose 7" (Jen Ghetto’s Blink-182 cover band.) I started to scold my friend on their ignorance of the Blink-182 catalogue, but then I thought about it—a slightly pop punk song with a female vocalist and an awesome alt-rock hook? I could see the similarities! But the bands that initially popped into my head when I was listening to the single were mostly Veruca Salt, Tiger Trap, and the Breeders.
Upset is a supergroup fronted by ex-Best Coast/Vivian Girls drummer Ali Koehler, ex-Hole member Patty Schemel on drums and ex-La Sera member Jenn Prince on guitar. Basically everyone I know is excited about their album She’s Gone that comes out on the New Jersey Label Don Giovanni Records next month.
In honor of the Back-to-School issue, it seemed like a good time to talk about beer chuggin'. And you know who are really, really, really good at drinking beer? Local band Sandrider! We definitely chugged (and wore) quite a bit of it, when I showed up to take some photos of them. Check out the shots, after the jump! Also check out Sandrider's music, on Good to Die Records. New album, Godhead, is due out November 19th.
I came across a Facebox post from my ultra-punk Carbondale, Illinois tour buddy Ray Suburbia that read, "My dorky friends have a dorky band about a TV show with dorky merch, and it's probably my favorite thing right now."
And now it's my favorite thing right now. The band is called Jessie and the Pinkmen. They're from Albuquerque, New Mexico and all their super short punk songs are about Breaking Bad. According to their Bandcamp page: "Get ready for some serious jams to be uploaded weekly with each of the last 8 episodes. This is going to be the dopest shit you've ever heard and look for shelter because my shit's the bomb, yo!"
I was house-sitting and investigating the mysteries of the Apple-TV device, when I came across the iTunes Festival feature—every band's performance from the fest in London is filmed and available online. It sounded kind of cool, so I started scrolling through the lineup, but for the most part it looked a little bit like the soundtrack for a Young-Republican's rollerblading playlist: Kings of Leon, Robin Thicke, Paramore, Thirty Seconds to Mars, boring, boring, boring...
But then I came across the description for Skinny Girl Diet: a teen trio with "girl gang vocals" and comparisons to Babes in Toyland. They seemed pretty out of place amongst the rest of the lukewarm garbage, so I looked into their discordant grungie punk-rock and realized that they are getting a lot of hype right now. I'm also stoked they are playing such a mainstream festival, bringing some much-needed energy and fun to an otherwise overblown display of mediocrity!
Skinny Girl Diet is self-described on their facebook page as a "FIERCE GIRL GANG FROM LONDON", and in regards to their name, they say in an interview that, "It’s a real diet which encourages skinny girls to diet (and was probably created by misogynistic men) which is pathetic, repulsive, and it sums up society, so we named the band [after it] to spread the message that it’s wrong."
They've been hinting at it on social media for awhile now, but Fall of Troy just confirmed the rumors—a couple hours ago defunct Northwest noisemakers announced that they're reuniting! For three shows. In Texas.
If you feel like taking a trip (both literally and down memory lane) the band will be playing Red 7 in Austin December 27-29th. On the 27th they'll play their self-titled album, on the 28th they'll play (their best record) Doppelgänger, and on the 29th they'll play Manipulator.
Get more info on the band's Facebook page.
Let's say, hypothetically, that I joined the greatest Roky Erickson cover band EVER for Halloween. Let's also say that we're having trouble figuring out which insane Roky Erickson lyric would make the best band name...
We thought about naming it the Dracula Vampires (from "Bloody Hammer": All bats are is dracula vampires/vampires in the rain), or the Baby Ghosts From the 1900s (also from "Bloody Hammer": The baby ghost in the 1900s says beat it with your chain/the baby ghost says, don't drag your spoon, drag your chain away), or the Evil Ones... YOU GET THE PICTURE.
Anyway, now it's down to Alligator Persons (from "Cold Night for Alligators": The dogs choke on their barking/When they see alligator persons in the bog and fog) or the Unlimited Horrors (from "Bloody Hammer": It's not a sledgehammer, it's not a chisel, it's not a train/But a thought of unlimited horror for Dr. O'Chane).
What do you think? Maybe we should just combine them into Alligator Person & the Unlimited Horrors? Band names are hard!
People forget about the importance of bands that are the bands you listen to before you become an adult. It's easy to dismiss the Doors—God, is it ever easy to dismiss the Doors—until you remember that the Doors are the gateway drug that lures teenagers in with their syrupy-sweet trappings (the beautiful, edgy, dead lead singer; the churchy organ; the hyperpretentious but vapid lyrics) and then, once the entire Doors catalog has been purchased or pirated and chewed to grit after endless replays, leaves those teens hungry to discover something a little more durable. For a lot of people—the suburban, the comfortable—there's simply no path to the Magnetic Fields that doesn't go through the Doors. I'm not talking about artless pap that everyone listens to, like One Direction or Blink-182. Those shitty bands only beget more shitty bands. I'm talking about bands that have some modicum of talent, even though that talent really serves only to point the way to greater talent. These are stepping-stone bands.
And fun. is the newest, shiniest set of training wheels to dominate popular culture in recent memory. These sorts of bands always take a lot of shit from people who've heard more than 36 albums in their lives, and some of that shit is warranted. I mean, their big hit single, "We Are Young," is maybe the most obvious song I've heard since the Black Eyed Peas split up. This is a song that practically writes itself: dah-DAH-dah-dah-dah-dahhhhh/DAH-dah-daaaaaahhhhhh. If fun. hadn't released this song, a bootleg recording of a hobo on Wilshire Boulevard whistling the melody could've at least cleared number five on the Billboard singles chart. But with the ornamental high-school musical trappings and the earnest lyrics that fun. brought to the song, it was practically predestined to become ubiquitous.
I'm making a little sport, here—the point is, there's a lot to like about fun. ...
Sasha Baron Cohen No Longer Starring in Queen Biopic: Due to the oft-cited "creative differences" with remaining members of the band Queen, who apparently wanted a "more PG version of reality," than the raunchier vision Cohen had. Yes. Because Freddy Mercury's life was definitely rated PG.
2 Chainz Writing Cookbook to Be Released with New Album: Says it will contain "[p]robably about 14 to 15 meals, [based on how] many songs [the album has]," thereby saying my favorite thing so far today.
Beyonce Vs. the Superfan: No, not an overly enthusiastic lover of her music. An actual fan that began eating her hair in the middle of a performance.
Kumail Nanjiani on Hating "Everybody Hurts": This barely qualifies as news but feel free to head on over to the A.V. Club and read comedian Kumail Nanjiani's funny takedown of one of R.E.M.'s most popular songs. "Really, you can ask a five-year-old and they’ll say, 'Yeah, everybody hurts sometimes.'"
This Could Change Everything: Kanye Quest 3030, a classic Super Nintendo-style turn-based RPG has just been released FOR FREE DOWNLOAD. The last boss appears to be (spoiler alert) a clone of Lil B. Gonna go head and call it: Game of the Year.
I was out of town last week, and was especially bummed to miss the Minnesota grrrl-punx of Kitten Forever play with Half-Breed, especially after listening to their newest album Pressure. I originally caught their show a few years ago amidst Kitten Forever's natural habitat (a delightfully sweaty house party basement in their hometown of Minneapolis) and left the show with a copy of their noisy-pop release Magical Realism and an intense new appreciation for bands that begin a set with a self-titled theme song. As instrument switching is becoming less uncommon with these ladies, the newer stuff from this bass/drums/vocals trio ends up with a nice variety of sounds—from the glittering, ultra-catchy party rock to the more aggressive, Pretty on the Inside-era grunge in their feminist-friendly punk songs.
In the above video for their hot new single "Famous Friends," the primary drummer Corrie swaps onto vocals, belting out Allison Wolfe-worthy squeals amidst a basement-punk underwear party .