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Friday, February 28, 2014

The Graveface Roadshow Must Go On!

Posted by on Fri, Feb 28, 2014 at 11:56 AM

Tomorrow night, the Graveface Roadshow rolls into town and plays at the Vera Project. (You can check out my Underage preview right over here). A few days ago, the tour van carrying members of the Casket Girls, the Stargazer Lilies, and Dreamend was totaled in an accident; no one was injured, and no tour dates have been canceled, but the bands could use your help.

When you make a purchase over at the Graveface Records' Bandcamp, all proceeds will go towards repair and rental van costs. This includes the new album from the Casket Girls, True Love Kills the Fairy Tale, along with releases from bands like Hospital Ships, Black Moth Super Rainbow, Dosh, and many more Graveface artists who won't be in Seattle on Saturday night.

Get acclimated to some Graveface music before the show! Help keep the spooky and spritely pop dream alive! Click here!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Listen to New Neighbors Album and Then Go See Them Tonight at Neumos

Posted by on Fri, Feb 21, 2014 at 5:22 PM

Local self-tagged as "beat-poetry-over-chug-rock" band Neighbors have so many great new songs! Check 'em out! The song "Happy Hour" is my favorite right now, subject to change of course. (The album, Will You Please Be Quiet, Please? comes out officially on April 28. Here's hoping they don't take their own advice.)

ALSO—you should go see them in a few hours at Neumos. They're playing with Detective Agency and And And And. It's only eight bucks! Eight bucks is the new five bucks. A steal.

My Philosophy: A Wild Alanis Appears

Posted by on Fri, Feb 21, 2014 at 11:48 AM

So: Drake called Macklemore's Instagrammed apology to Kendrick Lamar "wack as fuck"—and regardless of that being the homeboy, I wasn't feeling it, either. But really, Drake, the king of being-persecuted-for-having-messy-public-emotions, is policing how another male rapper expresses his feelings? You wild Alanis right now, doggie. The truth is: Drizzy resented that the popular wisdom was that Good Kid M.A.A.D. City was the rightful owner of that Grammy, as opposed to Nothing Was the Same—it's just the latest wrinkle in his and Kendrick's passive-aggressive competition. After Drake's story lost the Rolling Stone cover in lieu of a photo of the recently departed Philip Seymour Hoffman, however, he really got deep in his feelings (or "acting lightskin" as the kids would call it these days, which is actually wack as fuck), declaring that "the press was evil." Owh beybeh.

Yo, I don't know if it's exclusive to them, but rappers really tend to think the press is here to serve them. If you refuse to be somebody's personal PR, you might get pegged a hater. Most rappers are as deathly allergic to critical thought as your cousin is to peanuts and I am to work. Just try asking one, on the record, about something they said, on a record—about a line that might be considered dishonorable outside of their 16 bars. You'll get outrage! You'll get "Whatever happened to freedom of speech?" (a copout as popular as having an Akon hook was in the years 2005 to 2009), when really they mean "Whatever happened to my imaginary right to never be held accountable for my free speech?" Uh...whatever happened to what I was talking about?

Continue reading »

And here's a list of all our recommended music events.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Can a Terrifying Genesis Video Cure a Hangover?

Posted by on Wed, Feb 19, 2014 at 5:09 PM

I am so incredibly hungover today that I don't remember what it was like when my body felt normal. Thankfully, I can always count on the super creepy "Land of Confusion" Genesis video to cheer me up. How much do you think this thing cost to make? Is there anything more terrifying than the Phil Collins puppet?

Thursday, February 13, 2014

My Philosophy: Sugar Highs and Lows

Posted by on Thu, Feb 13, 2014 at 11:32 AM

As I write this, there are hundreds of thousands of people lining the inexplicably sunlit downtown streets, celebrating the Seattle Seahawks' first-ever Super Bowl victory. People are beaming with pride, frothing over with excitement. It's crazy, it's nuts, it's fucking cold as shit, too. I'm in my crib, glancing at the news, away from the numbers. Marshawn "Beast Mode" Lynch—immortalized by local producer Spekulation's instant town classic "'Bout That Action" track, and its subsequent Prometheus Brown remix—is sitting on the hood of one of the Ride the Ducks vehicles, throwing out Skittles, his trademark favorite candy, which fans rain down on him when he makes one of his memorable touchdowns.

I think of the last time Skittles so penetrated the national consciousness—that would be after the murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin two years ago, when a neighborhood watchman gunned him down in cold blood while the black-hoodie-clad teen was carrying a bag of the candy. That night, he walked away from Martin's corpse, uncharged by police, until national outrage shamed local cops into bringing charges for killing this child. These little details were burned forever into our nation's emotional map, fueling rage, tears, and jokes from shitty, low-vibrating souls. (News of his killer's acquittal by a jury of his pig peers came last summer, on my birthday, which immediately went from great to my worst one ever; this isn't meant to be about me, though.)

Continue reading »

Here's all our recommended music events—tonight, tomorrow, this weekend, and beyond.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Julie Ruin's Super-8 Video for "Goodnight, Goodbye"

Posted by on Tue, Feb 11, 2014 at 3:57 PM

Here's a mellow vid for a mellow pop number by the Julie Ruin—"Goodnight, Goodbye." This song's the perfect soundtrack to this dark snow-hangover we've got going on outside. I like how sweet and sort of fragile Kathleen Hanna's voice sounds. Like she just woke up and wrote this song while on a stroll through Olympia (which is where the video was shot).

Monday, February 3, 2014

Glitch-Concrete: Keith Fullerton Whitman, Tim Hecker and Markus Popp

Posted by on Mon, Feb 3, 2014 at 3:16 PM

Hey, you got some of your Xenakis in my abstract synth jam!

...and guess what? It's fucking incredible.

But remember how the organs felt when we lay on the altar in St. Mark's, tripping our asses off?

Or after, in the car, when you got impatient and just fast-forwarded that violin concerto I had on tape and it sounded like the most futuristic pop song?

These are just a few things been runnin' through my head...

Friday, January 31, 2014

I Played with Dolls (For an Entire Day), and Almost All Music Was Wrong

Posted by on Fri, Jan 31, 2014 at 11:36 AM

When they say Deluxe, they mean Deluxe.
  • When they say Deluxe, they mean Deluxe.

My six-year-old niece recently acquired a Barbie Sisters’ Deluxe Camper set. I was visiting, and got to help her put it together and apply all the decals, which took seven hours. The Barbie Sisters’ Deluxe Camper has lots going on with it. There’s a shower, a stove, a telescope, a toilet, and a hot-cocoa maker. And a barn. With a horse. Pretty sure there’s also a tanning bed. Or maybe it was a large waffle-iron. The top accessories, however, are the miniature fake tree limbs for roasting miniature fake marshmallows.

I was playing music off my phone as we assembled the camper. The International Space Station has less accessories happening on it than the Barbie Deluxe Camper. I told my niece, she was in charge of what music we listened to. When she didn’t like something, I asked her to give it the thumbs-down, and I would fast forward to something else.

Barbie sticks for Barbie marshmallows.
  • Barbie sticks for Barbie marshmallows.

For some reason, I thought Rush’s “Fly By Night” would work, but it got the thumbs-down after Geddy Lee started singing. Rush, as it turns out, is not the best Barbie building music. The next 20 minutes was spent shuffling through the beginnings of songs only to have them get the near immediate thumbs-down. Nothing worked. Not Bieber, not the Bee Gees, not Blondie, not Otis Redding, not the Bangles. I tried Macklemore, Muppet Movie soundtracks, Dora the Explorer, James Brown. Nothing was right. I didn’t think the camper was going to get off the ground.

Continue reading »

Monday, January 27, 2014

Touring Band Self Defense Family Needs a Van for a Week

Posted by on Mon, Jan 27, 2014 at 10:15 AM

Self Defense Family need some wheels.
  • Self Defense Family need some wheels.

A touring band by the name of Self Defense Family crashed their van after losing control on some of that Northwestern black ice. They need to rent a van for a week. The band says, “Tour finishes on Sunday, we could return the vehicle Tuesday.” If anyone in Seattle area wants to help SDF, email patrick.kindlon at gmail dot com. Self Defense Family are slated to play tonight at El Corazón.

Friday, January 24, 2014

How Do You Respond If a Friend Makes an Awful Record?

Posted by on Fri, Jan 24, 2014 at 9:12 AM

Here’s a potentially awkward and stressful situation that most people will encounter, if they live long enough… and it calls for a poll.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Music To Dream To: I Break Horses' Chiaroscuro

Posted by on Thu, Jan 16, 2014 at 4:48 PM

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A couple times a week I get home in the middle of the night. When I've worked the long closing shift at the bar I pour drinks at, then catch a ride or navigate the entirely night-worker-shunning public transportation system, I often arrive home wired, in no condition to sleep. The other night—instead of waging the usual war against surplus energy and a day's worth of thoughts at home, tossing and turning in bed—I decided to go for a jog. I had just seen an email that told me music discovery site Hype Machine was streaming Chiaroscuro, the not-even-out-yet new album from Stockholm's gauzy electro duo I Break Horses, so I threw that on the smartphone player and pranced out into the night. (Do yourself a solid and listen to it here.)

Hearts, IBH's stellar 2011 debut was a tingly barrage of digital fuzz, like looking at a colorful array of LEDs coated in Vaseline, maybe while chewing on a speaker wire. The songs were largely upbeat, or at least splashed with the kind of energy that makes a thing feel fresh and new. It might have been the perfect soundtrack to a giddy acid trip. On the album's cover, a horse playfully reared on his hind legs in front of an all-white background.

The artwork for Chiaroscuro (above) is dark, intricate geometry—an appropriate shift for an album that necessitates the kind of close listening only possible inside the quiet hours between sunset and dawn. The nine-song, roughly 45-minute LP is an immersive experience. Serene and contemplative, richly layered and delicately detailed, it is the perfect companion to your midnight spirit quest.

Taken from Italian, "chiaroscuro" is a term that artists use to describe the interplay between light and dark shades, and as I ran alongside a marina near my house, the ships' masts and the water's calmly rolling surface tinkered with the light of the moon like a shimmering soundmap of what was coming through my headphones. With a voice as sweet as Madonna, but as detached as Victoria Legrand, Maria Lindén's dreamy tone is blended into the mix to beautiful effect. Producer Fredrik Balck has slowed things down to make room for all of his ingredients, but also carves some tight melody lines into early album numbers "Faith" (below), and "Ascension." I felt like I was dreaming before I even got home.

Chiaroscuro comes out January 21 on Bella Union. You can pre-order it here.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Benoit Pioulard Does "Cloudbusting" for Running Up That Hill: Kate Bush Covers for Reproductive Rights

Posted by on Fri, Jan 10, 2014 at 5:27 PM

Seattle singer/musician Benoît Pioulard (aka Thomas Meluch) has contributed an understatedly beautiful cover of "Cloudbusting" to a 28-track compilation titled Running Up That Hill: Kate Bush Covers for Reproductive Rights (out Feb. 4). Proceeds go toward various reproductive rights organizations and clinics around the US.

You can sample five of the contributions below. Complete tracklist after the jump.

Continue reading »

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

A Sonic Postcard from Nashville, Starring Bully

Posted by on Tue, Jan 7, 2014 at 12:46 PM

So, y'all know I moved to Nashville, right? I'm even saying y'all now! It's very exciting. It's currently a crisp 19 degrees outside, but very sunny, and last week I saw Scarlett from Nashville grabbing lunch at a coffeeshop across town. Anyway! Getting acquainted with a new city's music scene is really overwhelming. It feels like I'm studying for a final test without ever having gone to class. SO MUCH UNFAMILIAR INPUT.

As I wade through 8,000 different blogs and Bandcamps and try to fill my calendar with local shows to check out, there's already one Nashville band that I can confidently say is a favorite: They're called Bully and they play bouncy pop songs that are bright enough to make the city's current frozen landscape feel summery. And they're really great live, too! They recently played with Swearin' (<3 <3 <3!) and while I couldn't stay for their whole set (my diabetic cat needed his medicine, which is the coolest reason to leave a rock show early, yeah?), I can't wait to see them again. For your sake I hope they're able to get up to the Northwest sometime soon, too. Until then, I'm cool with keeping them all to myself down here.

Have at it:

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Car Wrecks, Kardashians and Coke-Fueled DJs: The Year in Regrets

Posted by on Sat, Jan 4, 2014 at 12:08 PM

PURE GOLD We regret not having a pyramid hat like Adairs.
  • RACHEL LEBLANC
  • PURE GOLD

Help Yourself Records: We regret passing on putting out The Heist by Mackelmore and Ryan Lewis.

Atomic Bride: We regret that we did not become breatharians sooner. We could have been spending our food money on gear all these years!

Dan Enders (MTNS): We regret not having the idea for the "Bound 2" video first, with Austin as Kanye and me as Kim Kardashian.

Lance Umble (Cumulus): I regret not telling LL Cool J that his hat looked like a shark's fin.

Alexandra Niedzialkowski (Cumulus): I regret not documenting life onto paper more often.

Laura Seniow (Swamp Meat): I regret not making a pass at Lou Reed when I had the chance.

Continue reading »

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Now That It's 2014, I Want to Acknowledge the Records That Got Me Through 2013

Posted by on Thu, Jan 2, 2014 at 11:40 AM

megans10.jpg

I HATE YEAR-END LISTS. I really, really do. You meticulously rate your favorite records with more thought than you'd give to planning your own wedding (I say from experience), but inevitably, once your perfected selection is shared with the public, it hits you... YOU FORGOT A GODDAMN RECORD. Or song, or artist, or macaroni and cheese recipe, or whatever. The whole list is ruined! You will never forgive yourself! I just can't deal with that amount of pressure.

Listening to music has always been a very emotionally-driven act. The reason I love so much of the music I do at the moment I love it, is because it does more for me than sound good, it feels good, too. Music is my mood ring—it's often a clue of something that's happening deeper within my brain. Because of that, I generally don't partake in the journalist's race to get the best year-end list on the internet before December's even over. If you look at my favorite records, you're pretty much looking at my mess of a brain, not a time capsule that represents the music industry as a whole, so I never really saw the point in making it public. But what good is blogging about music if you’re not embracing every opportunity to be completely self-serving?

So with that, in no particular order and for no reason other than I just want to publicly celebrate these wonderful records one more time, here's a list of 2013-released albums that were perfect for me at some point in the last year. No, the Kanye record isn't on it—I wanted to like that album, I like things he's done in the past, but Yeezus never stuck with me. I do love croissants, though.

1. Iron Chic - The Constant One

Gin Blossom references! Guest vocals from Erica Freas of RVIVR! Restless and melodic pop-punk songs about making the most of your life despite the fact you're kind of a fuck up sometimes! This Iron Chic record is filled with the kind of restless energy I've loved since I was a prepubescent pop-punk fan, but this time around the songs aren't littered with dick jokes and lines about how girls are the enemy. Hooray!

2. RVIVR - The Beauty Between

Speaking of RVIVR. When I first heard The Beauty Between I threw my hands up in the air and admitted defeat. That's it! It's over! I can never love another record the way I love this record! I was convinced my favorite albums of 2013 would just be The Beauty Between listed over and over. RVIVR's music has always been filled with conviction—the band delivers fiery punk-rock anthems like they're the live soundtrack at a protest, but The Beauty Between, at times, feels more worn down than past efforts, which makes it even more relatable than their usual "Let's get through this together" attitude. We all get worn down, but RVIVR reminds us to keep fighting. Plus, the marching band vibe at the end of "Party Queen" makes my heart fly out of my chest and explode into millions of pieces of glitter.

3. Upset - She's Gone

Earlier this year I had the privilege of interviewing singer Ali Koehler and I had a hard time thinking of any question beyond “Can I be in your band?” I mean, Ali Koehler! Patty Schemel! Together in a pop-punk band that makes Jawbreaker references and has a promo photo featuring a dog wearing sunglasses! (The dog's name is Maddie, by the way, which is the best.) They may as well shine a Megan-shaped spotlight into the air. I have picked up your signal, Upset! I will be right there!

4. Beyoncé - Beyoncé

The public has a strange, maddening relationship with Beyoncé—they never seem to think she's capable of doing any of the things she does. She lip-synced at the inauguration! She was faking her pregnancy! Gawd, Beyoncé, can't you do anything?! With a surprise release of a totally fierce and nearly flawless "visual album," though, it's like Beyoncé is saying "Let me make this easy for you, fuckers—I'm not gonna give you the opportunity to doubt my potential. Boom. Here's my record. Kiss my ass." (For further reason why Beyoncé is great, read Danielle Henderson’s words here.)

Continue reading »

Monday, December 30, 2013

What Band (or Singer) Does Your Clothes Sound Like?

Posted by on Mon, Dec 30, 2013 at 4:17 PM

A friend of mine, her name is Ulricos Del Muerte, recently purchased a pair of fleece lined tights which she REALLY loves...um, in a way that seems slightly unnatural. She's begun equating the way these tights feel as they're hugged up on her gams to the sound of James Taylor's voice. Specifically, they feel on her skin like his voice feels in her ears when he sings "Up On The Roof."

Hmmmm. I like my clothes, so this got me thinking, what articles of clothing do I own/wear that remind me of a sweet, sweet jam and/or singer/band? Like, do I have a pair of undies that FEEL the way the Battalion of Saints sound? That is to say, slightly off and LOOSE fitting enough my wang might just randomly flop out? Why yes, yes I do.

So, I kinda wondered what would my typical outfit could SOUND like? I typically wear skin tight stretchy trousers that grab all my everythings, obviously they feel like Van Halen's "Panama" sounds. Generally, all'a mytshirts feel like the Damned sounds, uh..."Neat Neat Neat," obvs, and my suede desert boots - Marvin Gaye, sophisticated and simple. My socks? I don't think they have a voice...which is to say they prolly sound like THIS. I think. So, if you can feel their "sound," what do your clothes sound like? (I recommend getting super high for this one.)

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Thursday, December 5, 2013

My Beef* With Jay Z and Beyonce's Vegan Adventure

Posted by on Thu, Dec 5, 2013 at 8:35 AM

*I don’t really have a beef with this; I just think this headline’s a real eye-grabber.

Hiphop mogul/rapper Jay Z announced on his blog Dec. 3 that he and his wife/R&B superstar Beyoncé will eat a vegan diet for 22 days. Challenged by a friend to consume only plant-based meals, the veteran rapper—who just turned 44—decided to accept it and will eat no meat or dairy products until Christmas. After that they will consider whether to continue to live on the higher evolutionary plane where vegans exist.

I wish both musicians the best of luck and hope they find veganism to be beneficial to their physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. If nothing else, it will reduce the amount of mucus in their noses and throats, and that can only improve Jay and Bey’s vocal capabilities. Plus, if going vegan is good enough for André 3000, Morrissey, Moby, N.O.R.E., Robin Pecknold, Russell Simmons, “Weird Al” Yankovic, Geezer Butler, Berry Gordy, Chrissie Hynde, Jónsi (Sigur Rós), and Ian MacKaye, it should be good enough for the Roc-A-Fella Records/Brooklyn Nets boss and Sasha Fierce.

Let us hope that these vastly influential celebrities’ example spurs their millions of fans to follow suit, thereby setting humanity on a path to a more sustainable, eco-friendly, and potentially less obesity-plagued future. Let us hope they're not just doing this for the publicity.

Monday, December 2, 2013

If You Are Ever in the Tri-Cities...

Posted by on Mon, Dec 2, 2013 at 1:13 PM

Then you should go to books/games/music store Adventures Underground in Richland, where a certain section of records is labeled mainly by cover images. Like so:

Right on.
  • AM
  • Right on.

Other sections included "Triplets" and, if I remember correctly, "WTF," which included the album Copulating Rhythm, for "adult listeners." "Dating the Photographer" meant a certain kind of open-mouthed, vacant expression that made perfect sense matched with the section title. "Cats Selling Boring Music" was just that—cats on the front, crap inside. I believe they change these excellent section titles on a semi-regular basis.

(One hot tip: Don't sit in the shop dog, Charley's chair. It looks comfortable but it will cover you with hair.)

Thursday, November 28, 2013

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Monday, September 16, 2013

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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

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When Controversy Kills

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Friday, August 2, 2013

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Thursday, July 18, 2013

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Purse Thursdayz: Reghann

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Friday, July 5, 2013

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Friday, June 28, 2013

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Purse Thursdayz: Matt

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Monday, June 17, 2013

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Thursday, May 30, 2013

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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

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Thursday, May 23, 2013

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Songs About Moving

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Friday, April 26, 2013

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RIP George Jones

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Friday, April 19, 2013

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Friday, April 12, 2013

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