Back in January, I asked in a Line Out post if people would attend a DJ night devoted to New Age music. The answer, to my pleasant surprise, is yes. On Tues. Feb. 25, DJ Explorateur and I—with help from NO SLEEP Seattle's Marz Martinez—hosted an event called Rare Air, which featured New Age and weird ambient music at Q Nightclub. And it wasn’t crickets: attendance maxed out at around
70 150, which isn’t bad for a Tuesday night focusing on music that's normally listened to in the privacy of one’s home or on headphones/earbuds.
Q is a slick 700-capacity venue on Capitol Hill usually filled with uptempo dance music and the revelers who love it. On Tuesday, the mood was starkly different and decidedly mellower (security staff definitely was not needed). People sat, lay down on blankets and yoga mats, assumed the lotus position. Some stood and drank and chatted. Graphic/video artist Christian Petersen (I Want You) projected beatific and psychedelic images on the vast white wall below the club’s balcony. Cones of royal-blue light descended from the ceiling. Local producer Panabrite performed live, filling the room with stately analog-synthesizer ambrosia. Before and after Panabrite’s set, Explorateur and Veins (your blogger) spun over 40 tracks (see list after the jump), liberally blending cuts and altering the pitch for maximum disorientation.
The reaction from the punters was overwhelmingly positive, seemingly much more intense than that provoked at other DJ nights I’ve helped to organize. Several people asked to participate in future Rare Air events. The enthusiasm with which this music was received shocked me. Maybe it’s the novelty effect: Historically, there haven’t been many events showcasing mostly beatless music in a club context. (Substrata does this wonderfully every summer at Chapel Performance Space, but that’s a live-music experience in an almost house-of-worship-like atmosphere.) Or perhaps folks have been hungering for something like this: a space where you can space out and hear interesting chill and chilling music on an excellent sound system while a visual master tickles your eyeballs.
Rare Air’s future is, uh, up in the air, but it looks pretty certain that we’ll hold it again. Details tba. (If you think I'm gonna end this with "Namaste," you are sadly mistaken.)
From Data Breaker
Conflict-of-interest alert: Along with DJ Explorateur and No Sleep, I (aka Veins) am helping to put on this event. But this is an extraordinary situation—and the fulfillment of a long-percolating dream: It's the first time, that I know of, a night devoted to ambient and new age music is happening on Capitol Hill. (In the early '90s, a night called 7 BPM dedicated to experimental and mostly beatless music took place at Re-bar, but unfortunately it ended way before I moved to Seattle.) Anyway, in addition to the cosmic, healing, and sinister cuts Explorateur and Veins will be spinning (stuff like J.D. Emmanuel, Emerald Web, Laraaji, Demdike Stare, etc.), local synthesizer magus Panabrite will perform live. Over the last few years, he's issued several hours' worth of sublime, science-fictional atmospheres worthy of gracing episodes of Neil deGrasse Tyson's Cosmos: A Space-Time Odyssey. Renowned Seattle video/graphic artist Christian Petersen of I Want You provides visuals. Q Nightclub, 9 pm, free, 21+.
Conflict of interest be damned: I have to say this is the most unbelievably positive spin on the most annoying thing in the whole wide world (dudes, you don't know, but you do know.)
I think if I personally were to write a song about this very special time every month that I, as my wise brother always used to say, "Get to Go Sailing the Crimson Seas, with Captain Bloodsnatch" I'd just make a video LIKE THIS, and call it done.
But no, not the Tacocats—they're cool sailing, and they brought some big red, dancing crabs along for the ride. JUST WATCH:
Tacocat's album release party for new album, NVM, out on Hardly Art Records is this Friday, Valentines Day, at Chop Suey (with Slutever and Pony Time), 9 pm, $5 adv, $8 dos, 21+
Y'all know OCnotes by now—the god is a scientist; his praises have been sung plenty in The Strangers' pages. What you may not know/care about is the fact that I (kinda) help manage him—but even if I didn't, I woulda been posted this on Line Out. (Just keeping my side of the street clean, y'all.)
On Monday afternoon, OC tweeted:
I made this for the people that still freestyle with homies, the lonesome L blazers that spit to themselves, the Rik Rudes, the LV's...
The ones that can spit about somethin off the head without everything bein about how they can kill me, out smoke/drink/drug/fuck me...
This is for y'all. Name your own price or just download it and get better at rappin."
And with that, he dropped this 103-track tape, Rap Loops. It's exactly what it sounds like, a bunch (like a whole bunch) of loops for cats to rap over. Throw it on in the background and get loose in the cubicle—or play it off your smartphone while the homies form a circle around you some night outside the venue.
It’s that time of year again, folks. This Tuesday, the Blue Moon is proud to present its 10th Annual Christmas Pageant, Seattle’s only yearly Christmas Eve variety show hosted in a dive bar.
If you’re only hearing about this for the first time, I understand. Although this event happens every year and has been on our calendar for almost exactly 365 days, there is zero mention of it in The Stranger. For an annual tradition that has now entered the double digit phase, I’m both surprised and disappointed, but good thing I have the keys to LineOut and can set the record straight!
Who we got this year? Glad you asked, Skippy. We’ve got the Fabulous Downey Brothers, who opened the show two years ago with one of the most over the top performances I have ever seen, Christmas, Kwanzaa or otherwise. I really like these guys. They’re the band I would want to ride with in the cavalry, swords held aloft, heading straight into battle against an opponent who has us overmatched. Actually, that’s a bit much. I mean, I (sometimes) wanna live. And I don’t like horses. But yeah, fantastic stuff.
As almost every year, we also have The Donner Vixens. Just look at them! How do you not love this?
That's a show in and of itself, but you know who else is gonna be there? Rapgrass, Seattle’s undisputed kings of bluegrass-tainted hip-hop covers. I know, it’s not very X-massy, but neither is sitting in your overpriced studio apartment under a single bare lightbulb eating mac and cheese. This night is all about indulging in the sacred sacrament of alcohol, staying away from relatives and, most importantly, having fun.
Oh! And speaking of fun, comedian Derek Sheen is gonna tell some jokes, none of which (I’m guessing) start with “Knock knock?” Burlesque performer Mandy Flame has a special number planned for the night as well. And what Blue Moon Christmas Pageant would be complete without the magical duo of Jesus & Satan? They’re gonna be there, too doing their half puppet show, half performance art high wire act. (NOTE: There will be no high wire. It’s a goddamn metaphor.)
The show starts at 9:30 and the cover is a lousy $8 and it’s a 21+ show. I hope to see you down there. Merry Christmas, Seattle!
So there are big banner ads everywhere (check up top, there!) that say “Go Health Yourself,” and we’ve already written about this big event—which is tomorrow!—on Line Out and officially Suggested it. But just why is everyone so damn excited about something that looks like a health-care fair? I called up the spokesman from SEIU, who’s co-sponsoring the event, to find out.
Hi! Um, why are we doing this “Go Health Yourself” thing again?
Jackson Holtz, SEIU: What happened is the Affordable Care Act passed—that’s Obamacare—and everybody should be really psyched about it. But there’s a concerted effort among the right wing and big corporations to do everything they can to make it seem like the Affordable Care Act is something horrible. [Editor’s note: For example, see this creepy Uncle-Sam-all-up-in-your-vagina ad.]
So you guys decided to throw Obamacare a big ol’ party. Sweet! But what exactly is it?
Well first, there’s great music—it’s Hey Marseilles, and that’s awesome, and then there’s the Emerald City Soul Club. So I’m excited! Also, you’ll be able to find out what resources are available to help you sign up for quality affordable health care.
Tell me more. What am I gonna find, health-care-wise, if I show up to Chop Suey tomorrow night? Other than sexy people dancing and playing music, which is very health-inducing.
What people will find at the event is that signing up [for health insurance] is easy. It takes a little bit of time and a little bit of homework, but we’re gonna have people there to help everyone prepare for what they need to know and to show them what kind of coverage is available for their income. For some people, there’s free health care available. For others it’s low-cost. Obamacare is accessible, it’s affordable, and it’s the right thing to do.
What happens if you skip this whole process—you just say fuck it, I’m not getting insurance? You could pay a fine, right?
You could potentially pay a tax penalty—if you don’t enroll by next March 31, you can face a $95 fine or 1 percent of your income, whichever is higher, when you file your 2014 taxes. But what really sucks is that you don’t have health care. We’re here to counter the argument that the other side is saying—that this thing sucks. We’re saying no, it doesn’t suck. In Washington State, we’re in the top three in enrollment. We have a functioning health plan website, we’re a progressive community, this is what we do. Signing up for health care doesn’t suck! Talk to people, find out how much it sucks to break your arm and have to deal with the emergency room and then deal with follow-up care and physical therapy. Or talk to your friends who get MS in their 20s. Or who just have a really bad flu. Or go skiing and break their leg. You don’t think it can happen, but in reality that happens. It probably happens to more people than you know. The Affordable Care Act is what we, as a nation, have decided is the best way to take care of each other—having health care is an important part of being part of just being a healthy community. [Editor's note: As is dancing, music, sweating a lot, and sexy people. Right?]
Hey, the details! They're right here if you missed the other thousand links!
WTF? Go Health Yourself, the Obamacare Party!
W[here]TF? Chop Suey!
W[hen]TF? Tomorrow night, starting at 8 p.m. (doors at 7)!
How TF much does it cost? $7! Get tickets here!
The wonderful Peach Kelli Pop will be showering your ears with buckets of hyper, heart-shaped, Powerpuff pop tonight* at the Black Lodge! PKP is the solo effort of Allie Hanlon (White Wires) and the alcohol equivalent to Mike's Hard Lemonade or marshmallow vodka (my two favorite big-kid beverages)—sugary but with enough kick to keep it from bopping into the wrong end of cutesy.
Here's the Facebox invite.
* Don't get upset—my band is also playing this show. It's true. You okay? Good. It would be worse for me to NOT tell you that Peach Kelli Pop is playing tonight and you know it.
So this weekend marks exactly ten years of me working at the Blue Moon. In honor of the occasion, there’s a big show with a secret headliner this Saturday. I’ve been priming the pump for the past couple of months letting the local music press know about the occasion, and they have responded in kind:
Seriously? Not a single mention?* Look, it may be no big deal to you, but this is ten years of not only booking the shows, but running sound, stage managing, making posters, updating the website, rescuing stolen art work, and even occasionally playing the stage either solo or with The Hopscotch Boys (RIP). I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that the maxim holds true: If you want something done, you gotta do it yourself. So here I am talking about me. You’re welcome, Seattle.
So yeah, secret show this weekend. Who is playing? Nice try. Secret means I ain't telling, nor are we putting up a two story banner outside that says SECRET SHOW STARRING ________ (because that would be silly, right?) I will say that they’re one of Seattle’s most popular acts today, you’ve heard ‘em on KEXP a bunch, and you don’t get many chances to see them in a venue this size.
So come on down and if you wanna say hi, you’ll find me in the soundbooth. What, you think these shows run themselves?
*The show did admittedly get mentioned in The Stranger club listings but, sadly, the price is wrong. It’s $10 at the door, not $6.
With this year's Kveikur, Sigur Rós have unexpectedly revived themselves into a nasty, snarling, ferocious abomination that feasts on the band's own past decade of diminishing, saccharine-chasing returns, offering up an ill-lighted — and Darren Aronofsky-inspired — platter of one of the most sudden and rewarding creations of their career.
Even better, however, may be their more recent mix for FACT Magazine.
Grime, trap, dubstep, footwork, trance-pop, Spaced references, M.I.A., and everything below.
'Sigur Rós?' someone writes, 'Why?'
'Haha!' writes another.
Another, 'WHAAAAAT IS HAAAPPPPEENNNIN?'
Karlakórinn Heimir : "Áfram Veginn"
Rye Rye : "Shake It To The Ground"
Jimmy Jones : "That’s That Shit"
Angel Haze : "Werkin Girls"
M.I.A. : "Bad Girls [Switch Remix Feat. Missy Elliott & Rye Rye]"
DJ Assault : "Raccoon"
Rye Rye : "Wassup Wassup [Bart B More Remix]"
Sigríður Friðriksdóttir + Silfurplötur Iðunnar : "Eigirðu Land" + "Sem Ástin Fann"
Mayhem & Antiserum : "Spend It"
Sidney Samson : "The World Is Yours"
Sawheadz : "Crazed"
Major Lazer : "Pon De Floor [Chewy Chocolate Cookies Remix]"
Sigríður Friðriksdóttir + Silfurplötur Iðunnar : "Eigirðu Land" + "Sem Ástin Fann"
Tritonal : "Still With Me (Feat. Cristina Soto) [Seven Lions Remix]"
Jurassic : "AWE"
Pendulum : "The Island, Pt. II (Dusk)"
KillSonik : "Bloodlust"
Karlakórinn Heimir : "Áfram Veginn"
Seefeel's ambient/shoegaze/dub classic Quique will be reissued jointly by the Seattle labels Medical and Light in the Attic (via the latter's Modern Classics imprint) on Aug. 27. The British group originally released Quique in 1993 and instantly inspired much critical purple prose to describe its radically distinctive otherworldliness. The album is considered by many heads to be at least the equal to My Bloody Valentine's Loveless in terms of melodic beauty and sonic inventiveness.
The vinyl version of Quique has been out of print for years. Medical and Modern Classics are bringing it back into circulation in a lavish double-LP gatefold package, with some initial copies pressed on blue wax. The labels asked me to write to write the liner notes, and I was honored to do so, as this music has resonated deeply and ranked astronomically high with me for 20 years.
You can pre-order Quique here.
Holy crap, I'ma be busy this weekend! Seriously, if not working I NEVER go out, but the next twenty-four hours seem to be holding A LOT for my lazy ass.
Firstly, tonight is the Oblivians at
Moe Neumos. The Oblivians are band I have NEVER seen play live. Like a dumb ass, I moved out of the North Carolina just as they began playing outside of Memphis. I was always hopeful they'd make it up this way, and they were supposed to play in town at least twice, but always cancelled. So, I'm stoked! This isn't just a reunion tour, they're touring in support of new album, Desperation. I've listened to it some: it's good. It is slightly underwhelming compared to their former seminal '90s R&B driven garage rock though. It's missing a bit of immediacy that they once had, at least on record. However, I'm sure they'll be ownin' it tonight like they've been bonin' it, always!!!
Then, tomorrow, there's the Sub Pop Silver Jubilee. I know the hype has been blowing up all over, fucking Mudhoney on the SPACE NEEDLE!! GAH! Big deal.
In honor of our 25th anniversary year, we at Sub Pop Records will be hosting an altogether free event in Seattle’s historic Georgetown neighborhood. Along and surrounding Airport Way, we are fairly certain there will be some combination of… Actual live bands, playing actual live music
This talk about 1988 and Sub Pop reminded me of my own Sub Pop Silver Jubilee memory. It was Halloween night, 1988, when a friend played Mudhoney's "Touch Me I'm Sick" for me. We were smoking weed in the back of his car outside a party, he'd taped the single and was playing it loud on his car's sound system—a boom box. I remember I was non-plussed. He made a big deal about the record, but at the time there wasn't much context in NC for this Blue Cheer sounding garage band which would soon be regarded as a spearhead into the future, but then again, I was REALLY fucking stoned and quite used to the melodic weirdness of Dinosaur and Honor Role. It's odd I remember the first time I heard Mudhoney, 'cause, like, I don't remember the first time I heard Black Flag!!!
Finally, I'll be wrapping it up tomorrow night getting sweaty and playing sweet soul records like I do every second Saturday at Emerald City Soul Club at Lo-fi. As for Sunday, I shall not be able to stand, godamn.
The first annual Hypnotikon: Seattle Psych Fest* happens at Triple Door Oct. 11-12. The event features a diverse sampling of some of America's most exciting psychedelic groups and includes a rare Seattle appearance by '60s analog-synth renegades Silver Apples. It will take place in both on the Triple Door's main theater and in the Musicquarium Lounge (there's no fee to experience the action in the latter). In one respect, Hypnotikon can be viewed as filling the void of the (on-hiatus?) Escalator Fest, which ran from 2009 to 2011.
The lineups are below. Tickets go for $25/night or $40 for a two-day pass. More info here.
*I helped to curate this event with Valerie Calano (DJ Explorateur), Skyler Locatelli, and the Triple Door's Scott Giampino.
Okay, "She Came This Way" is not exactly a long JOURNEY...like, it ain't a concept piece about a neverending fairytale or stoking revolution, BUT it is a single side's journey through some sweet sunlit sike. It's a dosed sugar cube of Love, lysergic-era Beatles, the Buffalo Springfield, without irony and ZERO nods to the contemporary sike strains.
"She Came This Way" is one of Bay Area guitarsonist Derek See's solo jams. His main playing gig is producing, recording, and playing guitar with the Bang Girl Revue. If you ain't heard 'em, the Bang Girl Revue lay down some serious girl-group sounds. See also has an unfuckwithble record collection, which, thankfully, he proudly plays out, and he maintains a GENIUS blog, Derek's Daily 45. The man has taste and skill, AND he's also the Stooges' touring guitar tech!! Lord knows where he finds the time to record his killer solo action. GODDAMN! Oh, full disclosure: He's also a pal of mine.
Hey, everybody! Sorry I been gone—well, not really—but sorry I haven't been posting. No wifi in the tour van as promised made it impossible. Anyway, the last four weeks I spent with Shabazz, THEESat, and Malitia Malimob were incredible. I urge you to go straightaway to www.boilerroom.tv to watch a live set from the Black Constellation...like NOW (Stas and Cat start at 12:30pm PST). It will be something special.
French ethnodelic multi-instrumentalist High Wolf will be playing Electric Tea Garden Sept. 9. Let's hope he plays longer than the 30 minutes he did at Cairo in 2011—although it was a very good half hour.
In more immediate news, High Wolf will be releasing a new album, Kairos: Chronos, June 4 on Not Not Fun. The first track to be released to the public from it, "Kulti," further hones his unique spin on psychotropical dub for rainforest rituals. It instantly propels you out of your everyday mind into a far stranger and more intriguing state. Don't know about you, but that's a big reason why I listen to music in the first place. More on Kairos: Chronos later, but suffice it to say that the album's a major head trip that will get you floating in a most peculiar way.
If you find yourself at the Capitol Hill retailer Everyday Music tomorrow morning for the holy occasion known as Record Store Day (4/20/13), you will encounter on the turntables DJ El Toro (Stranger freelancer and KEXP personality Kurt B. Reighley, spinning at 10 am) and DJ Veins (Stranger writer… uh, me, spinning old and new records you probably haven't heard before at 11 am). One thing, though: The flier for the event erroneously lists my affiliation as KEXP. Note: I am not opposed to holding down a slot at KEXP, if KEXP wants me to fill in or anything. Just putting that out there.
Also on the bill at EM are several spiffy local bands, including Tomten, Scriptures, Mystery Ship, King Dude, Steradian, and Pitschouse. Plus: Wheedle's Groove/Family Affair member Robbie Hill, in person and radiating charisma.
More RSD info here. Gird your wallets.
So... me and six other local selectors/DJs will be playing our top five favorite soul jams of all-times TONGIHT on Mr. Greg Vandy's The Roadhouse: Spring Soul Jamboree. The show starts at 6pm on KEXP!
Tonight's show will feature: The fabulous Mister Johnny Horn who hosts the weekly Sunday morning show Preachin' The Blues on KEXP, the dynamic duo that ARE Trickbag AKA Miss Lilli and her partner Mr. B, Gentleman Jon Francois Stone from funk/boogie monthly Dug, DJ/producer Ohmega Watts, who's list o' credits is LONG AS SHIT, Nitty Gritty from Havana's weekly Thursday night soul meeting Sophisticated Mama, and me, Mike Nipper resident selector, and always the sweatiest of the sweaty, at Emerald City Soul Club and Talcum.
Kinski guitarist/vocalist Chris Martin generously asked me to guest on his excellent, long-running radio show on KBCS, Ampbuzz. Martin describes the show as "An integrated mix of psychedelic rock, outsider folk, free and not-so-free jazz, and anything else that can be considered 'out' but not necessarily 'noise.'"
Last night I spun some strange old and new tracks by musicians hailing from a lot of different places—from Igor Wakhévitch to Jan Jelinek—and answered in a serious monotone voice some questions that Chris asked me. There's a chance you may hear some tracks you like. I tried not to air anything that's been overexposed. The program's archived for two weeks on kbcs.fm; you can listen here if you have a spare two hours.
Alan Bishop—Sublime Frequencies co-founder and leader of the Cairo-based band the Invisible Hands—has a new podcast up on Seattle's Made Like a Tree blog. It includes an interview that I conducted with the former Sun City Girls bassist about Sublime Frequencies’ working methods and goals and the origin of his Uncle Jim alter ego. The mix includes highlights from SF's worldly and wildly diverse roster, Bishop’s solo recordings as Alvarius B., and a smattering of classics culled from Sun City Girls’ vast and twisted catalog. It serves as an illuminating introduction to Bishop and SF's aesthetics. You can listen to the podcast and read the interview here.
1. Alvarius B - Dirty Angels [Abduction]
2. Jo & The Magnificent - Sunshine [Silent]
3. Boutaiba Sghir - Malgre Tout [Sublime Frequencies]
4. Artie Barsamin and his Orchestra - Nene Aman [Ilissoss/Kathreftis]
5. Group Doueh - Zayna Jumma [Sublime Frequencies]
6. Omar Khorshid - Raksat El Kheyl [Sublime Frequencies]
7. Group Inerane - Kuni Majagani [Sublime Frequencies]
8. Neung Phak - Beng Touyib [Abduction]
9. Omar Souleyman - Shift Al Mani (I Saw Her) [Sublime Frequencies]
10. Sun City Girls - Ruby Soul Lao [Abduction]
11. Sun City Girls - Nights of Malta (Live 1992) [Nashazphone]
12. Sun City Girls - The Imam [Annihaya Records ]
13. Sun City Girls - Blue Mamba [Majora]
14. Sun City Girls - Sev Archer [Dub Ditch Picnic]
15. Sun City Girls - Cruel and Thin [Abduction]
16. Umni Nadra - Senjah Indah [Sublime Frequencies]
17. Uncle Jim's Superstars of Greenwich Meantime - Graduation Day [Black Velvet Fuckere Recordings]
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