Hello! Sometimes we make mistakes (I know, you can't believe it) and forget to write about bands and/or shows that should be written about in the actual Stranger newspaper physical/touchable edition. As captain of the Good Ship Music Section, I apologize. Living in the future over here makes it hard to get show info from venues early enough for print cycles, and bong rips make it hard to read your own "to do" list. Whatever. Cool story.
So! I have two minutes to tell you that you should go see the Woolen Men, Peeping Tomboys, and Lures at Heartland tonight. I'm serious. The Woolen Men were great the last time they were in town; I bought their records, and those were also great. In the Crappening column after that show, I wrote:
"During their set at Heartland, Portland rock trio the Woolen Men broke a guitar string during the second song, then accidentally busted through their kick-drum head with a kick pedal two songs later, before finally snapping a bass string (nearly impossible!) on their second-to-last song. Other than the bad luck, their set was thoroughly enjoyable and included a cover of the Fall's "Psycho Mafia."
I mean, I didn't write that. I don't know who writes that stupid column.
Heartland Gallery, 8pm
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!
Who knew that two separate bands sometimes have the same name? I, for one, did not. So: the Dearly Departed playing at the Sunset this upcoming Tuesday are NOT, in fact, the kinda crappy emo band from Long Island that I initially snarked about. Instead, we have homegrown talent: a "folk-hop" band made up of Noble Monyei, Kira Shea, and Brody Smyers. Here's them performing a nifty tune by the name of "Nosferatu":
In summation, go support local musicians and in the future, all bands should just name themselves something easy to Google so I don't look like a dumb-dumb.
In this week's Up & Coming's, I basically insisted that you go to see Pollens tomorrow at the Comet. So bossy! But, it turns out, the band won't be playing the show; the band's manager tells me there was a miscommunication and they aren't on the bill with Tangerine, Land of Pines, and Lures.
The show will go on, though! So you should still go, if you'd like. It's Tangerine's EP release show. They sound like this:
As for Pollens, you can see them at the Nepo 5k this Saturday! Go to that to see them, okay? OKAY!
You may have noticed in our breathtaking Bumbershoot Guide, that the schedule is a teeny bit out of date (it's a long story that has to do with PDFs and fonts and print deadlines and "tough titties").
In case you are only looking at that page and have not heard, goth Spice Girl Tumblr person Charli XCX has cancelled and KATIE KATE will be taking the slot on Sunday at 4:30 pm on the Fisher Green stage.
Katie Kate is up for a Genius Award this year and is, as they say, THE SHIT.
Swedish duo Icona Pop have canceled their Bumbershoot slot on Saturday, apparently due to illness.
Don't they know we already printed our fucking fantastic Bumbershoot Guide, and therefore the lineup cannot change?
WaMü booked the show and then weren't listed in the blurb's header. Please accept this picture of my cat, Doctor O, as an apology.
Now listen to their music and go to this show if you know what's good for you!
MTNS are on tour right now with Oakland band Laughters (I'm green with taco/swimming hole/Lone Star jealousy!) and as usual, Arizona cops seem a little overzealous in their policing... as well as their Facebook activity.
Yep, that's a comment from the officer that stopped them on Monday. MTNS drummer Daniel reports from the road:
We were on our way to New Mexico for a show at The Plant and we got pulled over for failing to wait three seconds to get in front of a semi. The cops said they could smell a vague scent of marijuana. They asked to search us and since we knew we didn't have anything, we agreed.
They patted us down and had us stand on the side of the road for three hours where we smoked cigarettes and attempted to do yoga. They found a Horse mask, sea shells from the redwood forest, and a pyramid headdress made by our friend Adair Tudor in the van. When the cops searched my bag, they found an Enya cassette and Valentine's candy hearts. They were highly confused/amused by our choice of lifestyle, but they seemed to come to the conclusion we were harmless weirdos.
The officer who ended up posting on our Facebook wall said (during the detainment), "I thought you guys were in a heavy band," and sang the line "come sail away." He asked how to find our band on the internet. We explained how to find us and he looked up a video of us from when we played the Crocodile (with "this is the first time the cops have ever been called to the Crocodile" as the description). He stopped watching after 30 seconds (I think seeing me in a white nightgown might have had something to do with it).
They finished the search and let us leave with our mason jar of whiskey three hours behind schedule... so no, officer, we didn't make our New Mexico show.
Well, good thing you can't go to jail for a faint weed smell, even in AZ. Here's hoping better luck finds them on the rest of their tour stops!
3/13- 3/17 Austin, TX (SXSW)
3/18 New Orleans, LA
3/20 Mississippi, MO
3/21 Nashville, TN @ Springwater
3/22 Columbia, SC @ Hunter Gatherer
3/24 Durham, NC @ Pinhook
3/26 Pittsburgh, PA @ Gooskis Bar
3/27 Philly, PA @ Lava Space
3/28 Boston, MA @ Discovery Zone
3/29 Brooklyn, NY @ Public Assembly Brooklyn
3/30 Brooklyn @ the Ho_Se
3/31 Brooklyn @ Silent Barn
4/1 Cincinnati, OH @ Rake Ends Bar
4/2 Cleveland @ Now That's Class!
4/3- Detroit @ PJ's Lager House
4/4- Chicago, IL
4/5- Milwaukee, WI
4/7- Denver, CO
4/9- SLC, UT
4/10- Reno, NV
4/11- SF, CA
4/12- Oakland, CA
4/13- Portland, OR @ Multiplex
4/14- Seattle, WA @ Vermillion
In this week's Up & Coming section, we erroneously said that the Thao & the Get Down Stay Down Sonic Boom in-store was Saturday, February 9th. It is actually Friday, February 8th. It starts at 6 pm (FRIDAY! TOMORROW!) and it will be great. Go!
(And we apologize for the error.)
Earlier today, the LAPD surrounded a man in a car after a slow speed chase that began as a DUI. Helicopter footage then showed the alleged suspect filling balloons from a tank and then inhaling the contents in the front seat before being tazed and apprehended by officers. You can view the compelling footage here.
The question is, what was he listening to while huffing that sweet, sweet gas?
WELL, WHAT DO YOU THINK, LINE OUT READERS?
Thanks, Brian Turner!
Sometimes a venue has two shows, on the same exact day, at the same exact time, and it makes for confusing calendar compiling. Especially when you are stoned to the bone.
JK! It just slipped through the cracks, and only one show made it in the calendar. Which is a shame, because the Vibrators are wonderful! British punks that have been at it since the '70s! Enjoy this song and make it down to the show—the Vibrators are playing the lounge area of El Corazon, as opposed to the other showing happening on the stage (???).
ALL AGES/BAR W/ID - $10 ADV / $12 DOS - Doors at 7PM/Show at 8PM
Biographies on subjects that I have little interest in have become my cable television, which is how I've wound up currently reading Michael J. Fox's post-Parkinson's memoir, Lucky Man. The book starts off with Fox's description of an action film from the early 1990s co-starring James Woods called The Hard Way. I can't remember anything about this movie, so I looked it up on my webfone and was surprised to learn that it featured an early acting performance by Mos Def. That got me to thinking about how I don't really even know Mos Def's age, and upon inspection learned that he's associated with the Native Tongues Posse, which always gets me thinking about the Jungle Brothers and De La Soul. For some reason, the De La Soul track that swirls around in my head most is "Brain Washed Follower." It's a hilarious b-side from the "Me Myself and I" 12" which features a youngster named Jeff telling De La Soul all of the things that they're doing wrong as rappers. He gives them a hard time about not driving Nissan Maximas. He says they should have dookie gold chains. De La replies that they'd rather take mass transit and spend money on video games.
This got me to thinking, 23 years on, whatever happened to Jeff?
Jeff's name is actually Chi-Ali. He released an LP called The Fabulous Chi-Ali in 1992, most of the tracks were produced by the Beatnuts. A year before that he appeared on a Black Sheep track from their first record. The track is "Pass the 40," and I've heard it at least 100 times, but I somehow never made the connection. It was two years after the De La track, and his voice had changed a bit. Ali's music career slowed down in the late 1990s. Shortly after the turn of the century, he fatally shot his girlfriend's brother. He eluded apprehension for a year, appearing twice on America's Most Wanted. He was arrested in 2001 and is currently serving a 14-year sentence at Sing Sing Correctional Facility.
FYI, this news is 10 years old.
Tube-track links after the jump.
*Please note, I received this message from a reader named Joshua Savoie: "I saw an article you wrote in The Stranger talking about Jeff from the De La Soul albums having been in jail for murder. Jeff and Chi Ali are not the same person. Chi Ali is the kid from the Black Sheep albums, not De la Soul. Below is an interview with Chi Ali, at 40:07 he talks specifically about being confused with Jeff."
One is Slow Dance with a space, the other is Slowdance without the space. One sounds appropriate for the Pretty In Pink soundtrack, the other (says Larry) provides "Grimy, sleazy, slizzard fun."
And which one is playing the Capitol Hill Block Party this weekend? NOT the one we (okay, I) originally wrote up in the guide. Oops! Turns out, the Slow Dance you can see at the Cha Cha on Saturday is the one that comes approved by Mr. Mizell. The Slow Dance with the space. The Slow Dance that doesn't sound anything like the Pretty In Pink soundtrack.
I regret the error.
Update your schedules accordingly. Now here's the correct Slow Dance:
Charles Mudede is wrong about dub. He said last night at the Tom Skerritt Happy Hour that King Tubby isn't an artist but simply a "technician." Sure, he helped create a genre of music, Charles concedes, but he was just "twirling knobs."
King Tubby may have started as the sound technician named Osbourne Ruddock, my dear Charles, but his wooden little boxes of echos and effects were not simply musical processing of a craftsman. He chiseled away the original tracks (choruses, versus, rhythm guitar, bass, drums, organ) to make entirely new tracks, sometimes unrecognizable from the original, in the same way a sculptor uncovers a bust under a heap of rock.
The mid-'60s tracks he started with were lumps of granite, blank canvasses. That is, most of the Rock Steady songs were merely craft. With the genius of Don Drummond gone from ska after that unfortunate incident involving murder, the slowed-down Jamaican genre of 1967 was, while harmonious and pretty, a slapdash combination of US Southern R&B covers with a flat Mento chuck-chuck-chuck on the off-beat. Most of studios were sounds factories capitalizing on a ghetto full of fine falsettos and and boys with stars in their eyes. These songs already had the hand of one technician in the first mix (sometimes King Tubby) but this second pass was not merely tinkering.
Vocals were eliminated, sometimes leaving only the essential phrases or creating new meaning. The bass guitar was introduced as the band leader; other instruments enter and get scuttled off stage at the director's pleasure. Tubby would pare down what had been a veritable hippie drum circle of repetition into a re-prioritized, syncopated conversation of sounds and ideas. He not only did it, he thought of it and built the tools to do it. That's artwork. The knobs were simply the chisel, Charles.
Here's a fine example in King Tubby's Braces Tower Tub, which transformed any song players of instruments sat down to record into a moonscape:
WHERE CHARLES IS RIGHT (Because He Agrees With Me): We agree that King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown is the pinnacle dub album and the penultimate is Super Ape. The former produced by Augustus Pablo and the second by Lee "Scratch" Perry, you should own them both. Charles and I further agree that Perry is the superior producer. Perry took ordinary artists and turned them into history.
DO NOT PLAY THAT PORTLANDIA SONG* EVER AGAIN. Same with Flight of the Conchords' "Business Time." Only funny the first time, if that.
Now "Detachable Penis" by King Missile—that never gets old. Thanks for that this morning!
*UPDATE: I mean the horrible "The Dream of the '90s Is Alive in Portland"—thank you, Mr. Baxter.
You just played it yet again. Everyone has heard it too many times—yes, it is undeniably anthemic, but it has become tired.
I was eating a poached egg on toast earlier today when the song "Empty Box Blues" from Opal's Early Recordings came on the shuffle. It immediately took me back to the worst break up of my life, sometime during 9th grade. The thing I remember the most about the break-up, aside from both people involved acting particularly mean toward each other, was the girl hand delivering a letter to me in the middle of it. I was so glad to see her, hoping for a moment that there was a chance that we were going to be back together. She didn't say anything, just handed me the envelope at my front door and then walked away. I was horrified to find no olive branches inside, simply sketches of my nose in profile. She knew how much I didn't like my nose and she'd always made mention of it when we argued. I have a vague memory of having sex in the Myrtle Hill Cemetery after this incident, while huffing amyl nitrite. I have no idea what 14 year-olds were doing with amyl nitrite, or having sex in cemeteries, or even caring about break-ups. Since then that record is the only conscious recurring memory that I have of that break-up, and every time I hear a song from it, I'm certain that I spend at least one second thinking about that awful two-month period.
The purpose of this post isn't to recall all of the details of breakups and what I listened to as they happened, but instead could serve as a guide if you're having a tough time yourself. I've been asking people for the last couple of days if they have a particular record or song that they revisit during difficult parts of their lives. Some people rely on old favorites, some people seek out something they haven't heard before. I tend to fixate on a record that happens into my orbit at the moment, I can distinctly remember being comforted by Robert Wyatt's Rock Bottom, My War by Black Flag, while another time listening only to "These Are The Ghosts" by Band Of Bees on repeat for at least three weeks. Now when I chance upon these things, I'm taken back to those times, the terrible feeling usually also returns. Sometimes when I'm feeling forlorn, I seek these things out for comfort or a different way to feel. Here are some things that other people use for cushion. How about you?
I also said the title track of the album, was "a marching folk-rock anthem aimed at taking back the streets from 'pastels and deep V-necks' (which are obnoxiously plentiful in Seattle) and finding a place where the band can fit in, where people are 'strange like they are.'"
But one comment (the only comment) on the review points out that I might've totally missed the mark on the song's meaning:
I'm pretty sure the deep v-necks are referring to scrubs, since the rest of the song seems to refer to a hospital—sirens,murphy-style beds, etc.
Also, this band doesn't really sound much like the fleet foxes at all.
While I will not correct my Fleet Foxes mention, because I never said they sounded like the Fleet Foxes but rather were just as "organic" and nature-loving (which is true—were I to ever go camping with either band I would demand they bring their instruments for campfire sing-alongs), I am actually pretty embarrassed about the fact that I might've totally fucked up the meaning on the song—of course it's about hospitals! Sirens, beds, blue pastels—why didn't I catch that before? Sigh. (For the record NPR wasn't completely sure, either).
But instead of assuming that commenter as right, and fretting over completely missing the point of the song, I asked band members Mychal Goodweather and Brandon Milner if they could possibly clarify the situation:
Did I indeed completely misinterpret the meaning of the song?
Brandon: It's delightful when people ascribe their own meanings to songs. A song might be about a can of soup and someone will think it perfectly captures their inner loneliness. That said, I'm all for songs being called "anthemic," so thank you.
Mychal: I agree with Brandon, and we are so glad you like the record. "Strange Like We Are" may be about taking back the streets that are riddled with pastel deep-v's and may also be about a hospital. I can neither confirm nor deny what the song is ACTUALLY about. I just write the words, I don't know what they mean. With that in mind, we should write a song about plaid shirts and utilikilts. That would be a smash hit.
So if the song is not about taking back the streets from the current influx of the chillwave/V-neck wearing trend, are Campfire OK chillwave fans?
Brandon: First, I had to actually go look that term up. Apparently it was invented by a blogger, after eating a dubious brownie, trying to tie together some bands he thought sounded alike. Anyway, I listened to some bands in that genre to see what the fuss was about. I'm all for using strange noises and laptops in music (the Campfire OK album has lots of ear candy recorded that way) but I generally thought they all sounded like early New Order or early ’80s synth pop combined with really shy guys who mumble a lot with reverb.
Mychal: I, like Brandon, had to google the term. I think that there are some really cool aspects to it, and like all varieties of music if it is done well and tasteful it can be great. An over-use of anything can get annoying, but when done well it is fantastic!
Here's the band performing the song live on KEXP. Watch, listen, and decide for yourself what you think it's about (the album version can be heard at campfireok.com):
And on another note, I declare this quote from Mychal to be my new motto for 2011: "I just write the words, I don't know what they mean."
Sometimes, it’s hard. There are challenges. Sometimes pee surges out. Slight misses happen, a drop here or there is OK. Alcohol transforms the urinal or toilet into a moving target. Taller guys have farther to aim. Sometimes, aiming is simply too difficult.
Sometimes (subconsciously), the male species misses toilets and urinals on purpose, as a marking of the territory. When there are potential mates in the vicinity, the male animalistic brain feels a need to spread scent.
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