If you give a shit about music, you should give a shit about Sound Off!, because even though the annual battle of the bands features only artists who are 21 and younger, it isn't just for kids. Every year, more than a hundred young music makers enter—hoping to win studio time, radio airplay, and even a slot at Bumbershoot—so you can be sure that the 12 that remain are the best of the best. For a glimpse of the Pacific Northwest's musical future, read on to meet this year's Sound Off! semifinalists.
And here's all our recommended music events!
HOUNDS OF HATE, WHITE WARDS, WET
Two Olympia hardcore bands—White Wards and Wet—make the Black Lodge the destination for heavy-music fans tonight. White Wards' whirlwinds of tyrannical guitar fury have offered no apologies in the past, with tracks like "Fucking a Dead Body" and "Tear the Veins Out" spewing abrasive horrors into ears in about a minute or less. Keep an eye out for their sure-to-be-debased full-length released in the next couple months on Iron Lung Records. Fellow Olympians Wet rely on a more distinctively Northwest flannel-wearing riffage that also smells heavily of teen spirit. But with a cold face-pummeling attack that also reinvigorates tired grunge-punk tropes through a spastic hardcore lens, Wet have a promising future as well. New York straight-edge hardcore act Hounds of Hate round out the bill with even more hard and fast riffs—come armed with earplugs and perhaps kneepads. Black Lodge, 9 pm.
CHAIN AND THE GANG, THE SHIVAS, MONOGAMY PARTY, THE EXQUISITES
After starting the DC punk band Nation of Ulysses in 1988, Ian Svenonius has helmed numerous musical acts, written two books, hosted one of the best talk shows ever (the now-defunct Soft Focus), and received plenty of attention for his sociopolitical musings. It's a good thing that you don't have to wholly comprehend Svenonius's party platform—I can't pretend that I do—to get down with his fun, righteous rock. His current group, Chain and the Gang, finds Svenonius at his slinkiest and most concise, the philosopher soul man strutting and rumbling over proto-funk grooves. Also on the bill tonight are the Shivas, an exuberant garage-rock band out of Portland, along with local heavies Monogamy Party and the Exquisites. Black Lodge, 9 pm.
NAOMI PUNK, OLIVIA NEUTRON-JOHN, FF, HUGE ROCK
Olympia trio Naomi Punk's aggressively woozy garage rock is suspiciously palatable for the lo-fi-averse, maybe even perfecting the "swamp grunge" non-genre with their distinctly slowed-down, hyper-sludged riffs. Phoenix duo Olivia Neutron-John's no-wave-y, sax-infested synthmares are delivered with a serious bedroom-pop smirk, while local electronic acts the Numbs (Jeff Johnson) and Secret Colors (Matt Lawson) should also incite experimental delight with their collaborative project Huge Rock. Heartland, 8 pm.
EXPO—Capitol Hill's multipurpose art space Cairo's four-day freakfest of fun—is now in its sixth year, curated with willful weirdness to include some of the best Northwest bands and artists. Go to all the shows if you can, but if you (or your clone) can't make every set, here are some unmissables:
FRIDAY: Nice & AO. Together, Seattle hiphop producers DJAO and Nice Nate construct a fully chopped-and-screwed, nearly subliminally funky brand of slow-head- nodding, future-feet-shuffling, post–FlyLo/Dilla beat science to get subtly down to.
Black Hat. Primitive IDM ambience to elevate your senses to a pleasantly disorienting postindustrial plane.
Also tonight: Electronic-pop act Youryoungbody, addled beats from Newaxeyes, and crafty IDM duo USF.
Last month, there was a call for local extras to be a part of the band crowd/bar scene re-enactments of the ten year old rape and murder of Gits frontwoman Mia Zapata for an episode of Dead of Night, a true-crime documentary series. One would hope that the episode would sensitively cover such a brutal crime, but unfortunately, it looks like NBC didn't really wanna actually kick down for licensing any of the songs that the Gits had recorded. On his facebook page, Gits Drummer Steve Moriarty is dubbing the bands depiction in the episode as "Gitsploitation" and is calling for a boycott of NBC:
They used actors and canned music. I tried to have civil and logical conversations with the producers of the show, however, NBC did not think that using The Gits music or film footage of Mia playing live was worth paying customary and fair licensing fees as established by ASCAP, BMI and the recording Industry.
There is nothing artistic, musical or positive about the re-telling of Mia’s brutal death. Nothing except a cheap way for NBC to sell ads for a younger, hipper demographic which the network desperately needs.
The piece will air in June and does not have the endorsement of any of the bands, Mia’s family, or immediate friends. It is, simply, Gitsploitation and I suggest local business refrain from advertising products and services on NBC during the month of the one hour episode of “murder in the dark”. (Or whatever the title) featuring The murder of Mia and the city of Seattle.
Black Hat: Covalence EP (Field Hymns) I've called Nelson Bean's distinctive industrial electronic music "primordially ambient IDM" and a "locust cloud of noise." He might be responsible for my favorite local releases for two consecutive years, with this oddly shape-shifting, futuristic gem, and with 2012's excellent Spectral Disorder EP. Best track ever: "Jaune."
Dreamdecay: N V N V N V (Iron Lung) Rarely do the words "powerviolence shoegaze" accurately describe a band, but they partially do for this four-piece's disembowelingly heavy, noise-rock full-length. Best track ever: "NVUN."
Wimps: Repeat (End of Time) Sassy garage punk that doesn't make me wanna barf (rare for the "garage" prefix); highly relatable themes include sleeping in, UFOs, and being tired of your shitty job. An irrepressibly fun garbage-can romp! Play this one over and over again. Best track ever: "Nap."
Sallie Ford & the Sound Outside hate being pigeonholed. While their earlier work has often been unfairly described as coy rockabilly, the group directly challenges listeners on their latest album, Untamed Beast. Singing more pointed lyrics with a newfound rawness, Ford is declarative about who she is and what she isn't. On "Rockabilly," the band hoots and hollers with carnal urgency, recalling the hellfire rock of the Gun Club, while Ford rails against critics who "tell me I'm like the rockabilly queen/Won't you tell me who the hell is she?" (The lyric's possibly in reference—and deference—to Wanda Jackson, a rock 'n' roll pioneer known as the "Queen of Rockabilly," who once brought Sallie Ford & the Sound Outside on tour.) Elsewhere on Untamed Beast, you can hear Ford and company further flexing their sinewy musical chops; the roaring surf rumble "Bad Boys" and slithering romantic lament "Shivers" both stand out, but what makes Ford really distinctive is her willingness to take supposedly static genres and update them to her liking. While another songwriter might hew close to the thematic concerns of her forbears, Ford can give her music a harder edge, or gleefully vamp up the innuendo, to create a modern take on some of rock's oldest and most cherished forms.
A story is brewing in litigation land and The Hollywood Reporter, with a strange pre-twist. Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams, and T.I. (Clifford Harris Jr.) are allegedly proactively suing the family of the late singer Marvin Gaye and Bridgeport Music, who are tied to Funkadelic, in order to defend and protect the hit Thicke song “Blurred Lines.”
Members of the Gaye family and Bridgeport Music have apparently claimed that "Blurred Lines" is too similar to Gaye's "Got to Give It Up" and Funkadelic's "Sexy Ways," and have allegedly made threats of legal action unless a monetary settlement is reached. So,Thicke, Pharrell, and T.I. are suing them first.
The Thicke, Pharrell, and T.I. suit says that being "reminiscent of a sound is not copyright infringement."
Funkadelic’s George Clinton has spoken via tweets in support of Thicke saying, “No sample of Funkadelic's 'Sexy Ways' in Robin Thicke's 'Blurred Lines'—yet Armen Boladian thinks so? We support Robin Thicke, Pharrell!” Clinton also goes on to tweet at The Hollywood Reporter, “Yo @THR @eriqgardner get your headline summary straight: Armen Boladian does not represent #FUNKADELIC as you wrote.”
In a related post-twist, Salvador Dalí and the entire surrealist art movement have traveled in time and are pre-suing each other with claims that everyone copied everyone.
Clinton the Father, has spoken. What’s your call?
I guess y'all have all heard Urban Outfitters is going to be, if not already, selling properly licensed Minor Threat shirts. The shirts retail for $28, because, "Motherfuckers pay $28, that's what they wanna pay for their shirts."
Turns out the T-shirt is not a bootleg like that Forever 21 design from 2009; it's licensed through Tsurt, a California-based company that Ian MacKaye and Co. hired to produce and oversee sales of the band's official shirts.
"Dischord doesn't make T-shirts," MacKaye clarifies in a phone call. But Minor Threat is another story. Because so many bootlegged Minor Threat shirts are constantly floating around the universe, MacKaye decided the band had to do something about it. The solution: Get another company to oversee their official shirts, and when a bootleg crops up, let them deal with it.
"It's not a political thing for me," MacKaye says. "I just don't give a fuck about T-shirts." At some point, the former Minor Threat frontman said to the band, "This is crazy. I spend so much of my time" chasing down bootleggers. He found that when he contacted the responsible parties about their bootlegs, they just gave him hell. "They get in your face... or they deny it," he says. "It's a complete waste of time."
I understand his frustration, but that it's the less than ethically sound Urban Outfitters as a retailer?! C'mon, GROSS. Perhaps it's time for Dischord to START making their own band shirts, after all you can always TAKE IT BACK!
Full disclosure: In 1987 I made a bootleg S.O.A. shirt. IAN EVEN FUCKING SAW IT, but he didn't say anything.
Did you know that last year, Lord Finesse filed a lawsuit against rosacea-rap pioneer Mac Miller?
No, of course not, you read a blog where they talk about hockey songs—no offense, Megan. You don't know who those people are! As a rule, you people never know what the fuck I'm taking about. I'll proceed, though, for all you exceptions to this rule.
Finesse, a hard-rhyming mainstay of '90s east coast titans DITC (the Diggin' In The Crates crew),
sued Miller (to the tune of 10 million!) for using his "Hip 2 Da Game" beat for "Kool Aid & Frozen Pizza".
Now it seems that Miller has settled with Finesse for an undisclosed amount; this seems to be the fiercest volley in rap's growing intergenerational Cold War. Sayeth Mac's lawyers:
"Lord Finesse has known about 'Kool Aid & Frozen Pizza' for a long time and never objected to the use ... For some reason, he has very recently changed his mind."
Gee, what could that reason be? I think Finesse's DITC homies Showbiz & AG might just know:
So, for years I've been all proud that the only song I can sing ka-rakaroke style is "House of the Rising Sun," as rendered in 1964 by Eric Burdon's the Animals. (The song is a traditional number whose "origins are believed to date back to the 17th century" and has been reinterpreted by many over the years.) But lately, I've been clueing in that this number is not the best route to take in a party-zone/horrible-singing bonanza. The reasons are at least two-fold:
1) The lyrics! Like those of many old folk/blues standards that proliferated in the American South (ever heard the Leadbelly version of "In the Pines," which you likely know from Kurt Cobain?), are a TOTAL BUMMER. Various accounts carry that "Sun" is about "the life of ruin following exposure to an opium den," but I've always thought of it as a tale of a traveling salesman father and a prostitute mother. Either way, the first known recording of the song is downright eerie:
2) The instrumental breaks! Despite how people might repsond when you belt out the first few lines of "Sun," there comes the inevitable instrumental break. They come often in the song, and they are not short. These parts wash over the party-ready crowd like a net of frowns. Worse, you don't know what the fuck to do with yourself when they're plodding along. It'd be one thing if the crowd were screaming for you, but at this point they're already kind of wondering why the hell you've chosen this song. You might as well have chosen "The End" and wished everyone a depressing walk home. Fuck off, guy!
*Note to all karaoke sound-system providers: Get some dang reverb on your setup or GTFO.
Remember Pirate Bay? The outfit who got raided all the way back in 2006 for allegedly being in possession of technology that allows third parties to commit copyright infringement? They were before Wikileaks, before Megaupload. Today brings the news that Pirate Bay has moved its server capacity to the clouds, hosted on servers scattered around the world.
What does this mean? Basically, they're now claiming to be impervious to police raids, more of which have been rumored of late, as well as cloud-provider cut-offs, and bankruptcies. And it makes sense. Obviously, the rules differ with each border you cross. (In Japan, for instance, you can get up to two years for downloading and 10 for uploading, plus respective fines.), and, they told Torrent Freak, “If the police decide to raid us again there are no servers to take, just a transit router. If they follow the trail to the next country and find the load balancer, there is just a disk-less server there. In case they find out where the cloud provider is, all they can get are encrypted disk-images."
What's more, the hosting providers have no idea they're hosting TPB, as all communication with the users goes through a load balancer, which is a disk-less server with all of its configuration in RAM. Then that communication is encrypted, so "they can’t look at the content of user traffic or user’s IP-addresses," and that's going to make it a lot harder to track downloaders.
Meanwhile, TPB is planning a giant party in Stockholm for its 10th anniversary. Read the Facebook post after the jump.
So, yeah, a while back I put and post up on Facebuoko asking if anyone had a crappy guitar they wanted to sell me. Turns out a friend who I haven't seen since college had an old Fender Telecaster rotting in his attic. He sold it to me for $40 on the sidewalk in front of Scarecrow Video, and I took the one chord I could remember since the last time I thought I had enough self-discipline to teach myself the guitar, and then my brother taught me a few more. I don't know what they are, but I know that two of them are minor chords, and that all I have been doing is practicing those four chords over and over again, and only three of them sound any good together. They are:
I've gotten to the point where I can switch between them and it sounds all right, especially when I turn up the distortion on the Music Man head and 4 x 12 cabinet I bought a few years back for $150. But here's my question—please chime in all you guitar players out there: What should I learn next? I don't really understand how all the chords and scales and everything work together. Basically, I know nothing. (That's why I've been a shitty drummer all these years.) WHAT DO I DO NOW? Learn me!
...and they are NERVIOUS! (sic)
Read the whole thing over on the Village Voice:
Today, Psychopathic Records launched JuggalosFightBack.com, a web site where Juggalos who believe their legal rights have been violated can submit their stories for the label's legal team to review at no cost. The company has also set up a booth at the Gathering where Juggalos could share their experiences with the Detroit lawyer who'd be building the case against the government.
Even though he’s been detained in a Mexican jail for several days, California dubstep producer/DJ 6Blocc (Raoul Gonzalez) was slated to play Electric Tea Garden Thurs. June 21. All indicators pointed to Gonzalez flying back to the US on Monday (allegedly after having authorities investigate his passport), but further complications have delayed his return, and 6Blocc won’t be performing in Seattle after all. The text message below reposted by LoDubs promoter Jon AD elaborates on the matter:
NOTICE: DUE TO UNALTERABLE CIRCUMSTANCES, 6BLOCC WILL BE UNABLE TO BE REPATRIATED TO THE U.S.A. IN TIME FOR THIS SHOW. THIS EVENT WILL NOW SERVE AS A BENEFIT FOR 6BLOCC, WITH PROCEEDS GOING TO COVER HIS SIZABLE LEGAL AND PERSONAL EXPENSES RELATED TO HIS MONTH'S DETENTION ...IN MEXICO.
More info on the event here. Check out 6Blocc's powerful track "Dread" after the cut.
The four major labels—Warner Bros., Universal, EMI, and Sony—have tapped an anti-piracy company called proMedia to search the web for copyright infringements. The twist here is that proMedia employs students to snitch on other students who are pirating music on blogs, forums, and file-hosting sites. proMedia’s operatives track down students using BitTorrent or P2P networks and strong-arm them into paying thousands of dollars per violation of intellectual property to the record companies.
I’m against stealing music, but this tactic represents a new low in dealing with the issue of lost revenues. It’s more likely to generate yet more ill will toward the majors, rather than profits.
But really, who acquires a non-business banquet license instead of just throwing their party without one? I'm sure there's an application. Someone chime in if you know.
Have no idea what the hell a PRO is? Want to make some scrilla on your songs? Since nobody's making money off records anymore, you sure as shit should, sucka. This event, set up by the lovely and wise Caroline Dodge of The Recording Academy PNW Chapter, will help you navigate the convoluted system for bux in your pocket.
Join The Recording Academy® PNW Chapter for a panel of entertainment lawyers, artists, and performance rights representatives. Panelists: Jen Czeisler of Sub Pop, Dave Dederer of PUSA, Peter Madsen of SeSac, Brendan Okrent of ASCAP, Ed Pierson, Attorney at Law, and Tracie Verlinde of BMI.
Performance royalties collect revenue generated when songs and sound recordings are played on radio, TV, in clubs, online, and in restaurants. These royalties are then paid to the songwriter, composer, performer, and publishers by performance rights organizations. But where do you start? How are performance royalties tracked and calculated? How can you best maximize this revenue stream as a performer, composer, or songwriter? What are the differences between the different companies?
Whether you are a budding songwriter or you've been in the business for years, this panel will be a great opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the value performance rights organizations can have on your career.
This event is FREE for Recording Academy® members, $25 for non members. RSVP to this address or call 206.834.1000.
Andy Baio of Wired has written an interesting article about the rampant proliferation of cover songs uploaded to YouTube and explains why many of them are technically illegal. Here are a few key passages:
I don’t think it’s an act of civil disobedience; nobody’s making a statement. Most people don’t know that cover songs need a synchronization license, and even if they did, trying to get one is a confusing and expensive proposition. Unlike the mechanical licenses used to release a cover song on an album, video sync licenses don’t have an affordable flat rate and require the publisher’s explicit permission....
Cover songs on YouTube are, almost universally, non-commercial in nature. They’re created by fans, mostly amateur musicians, with no negative impact on the market value of the original work. (If anything, it increases demand by acting as a free promotional vehicle for the track.)
The best solution is the hardest one: To reform copyright law to legalize the distribution of free, non-commercial cover songs.
All contents © Index Newspapers, LLC
1535 11th Ave (Third Floor), Seattle, WA 98122