by Dave Segal
on Fri, Jun 8, 2012 at 10:07 AM
Weirdly, no Seattle acts—out of the 47 booked—will be playing at this year's Pitchfork Music Festival, happening July 13-15 at Chicago's Union Park... although ex-Seattleite and Stranger Genius award recipient Lars Finberg will be playing with Thee Oh Sees on July 15. If you're a Seattle musician and feel slighted by this turn of events, vent in the comments section. If you don't give a fuck, feel good about yourself.
By the way, renowned Canadian electronic musician Tim Hecker, who's performing July 13, will be recording his next album in Seattle this summer with Master Musicians of Bukkake member Randall Dunn (who's also produced Sunn O))), Earth, Secret Chiefs 3, Cave Singers, and many others). This summit meeting of great sonic minds likely will yield something extraordinary.
by Dave Segal
on Fri, Jun 1, 2012 at 12:32 PM
Seattle death-metal tough guys and Southern Lord recording artists Black Breath have a hectic touring schedule ahead of them, including stints in Mexico and Japan. They'll also make an appearance at Capitol Hill Block Party July 20 (nice of them to slum it in their own backyard this year). But before all that, they play El Corazón with Poison Idea June 19. Phew!
Video for "Mother Abyss" and press release after the cut.
On June 13th, there will be an in-store in Seattle at Sonic Boom, 7pm. I have a feeling it's going to be packed to the door.
So, for all of those cats north of Stanwood, this is your chance to not have to drive all the way to Seattle to experience this. I would go to one of these but will be out of town having a ton of fun on both of these days.
by Josh Bis
on Mon, May 14, 2012 at 3:00 PM
Less than a month after we left the alternately freezing and scorching haunted-by-holograms polo grounds in the well-trampled dust of fuzzy warm memory, the masterminds at Goldenvoice have announced that 2013 will play host to two back-to-back cloned weekends of Coachella. Check your calendars: the first is on April 12-14 with its twin sister showing up on the 19-21. Given how thoroughly they replicated the festival this year, the choice mainly comes down to your availability crossed with a preference for spontaneity, deep research (the first weekend was webcast, allowing second weekenders a chance to preview before committing), or completism (I loved doubling down on the weekends, but admit that's only for the craziest five percent).
At this point, they have to be operating on several levels of faith — that fans adore the festival enough to buy tickets without any hint of a lineup and that everyone's paid down their credit cards bills enough to be able to afford a second round of passes. The sale runs for just one week, beginning this Thursday (May 17th) at 10 am. That week (ending on the 24th) will be the only chance to buy tickets through the gentler-on-the-wallet payment plans. Start strategizing about weekends now and have your browser tuned to coachella.com in a couple days. And if you find yourself unsettled by finding yourself in a virtual waiting room for tickets, at least take small comfort that this festival these festivals won't sell out in a 15-second pseudo electro lottery like Doe Bay did last week, leaving their generally supportive Facebook wall invaded by a few stray angry conspiracy theorists.
by Dave Segal
on Tue, May 8, 2012 at 9:55 AM
I’ve been telling you for years that Seattle’s Jon McMillion is a world-class techno-house producer; now further validation for that opinion is coming in the form of a McMillion show happening July 7 at Berlin’s Berghain/Panorama Bar, perhaps the world’s most prestigious electronic-music venue. The performance is part of a release party for DJ Nick Höppner’s forthcoming mix, Panoramabar 04, on which McMillion has the disc’s first track, “T-Station.” Major, major accomplishment. Congrats, Jon.
Ole Anton just keeps firin' 'em off. I can't believe some of the things that fall out of his mouth. He allegedly talked trash about the Black Angels during last week's Austin Psych Fest, and here, amoungst hundreds of quotable quotes in an interview with Trent Moorman, he has this to say about ATL garage rockers the Black Lips:
I'm deceptively successful. I'm more successful than almost all my peers. I brought the Black Lips to Bomp Records. I'm a co-owner of Bomp. We put out the Black Lips. People like what they do, but they're juvenile. They were hanging out with Jay Reatard, who killed himself, and everybody loved him. Seeing Black Lips piss and shit on a handicapped seat and make a video of it is not cool. I'll kick their ass for that. We're only as strong as the weak among us.
What'll he say next?!?
On a related note, interested parties should check out this set of excellent photos from the 2012 Psych Fest, by Seattle photog and Stranger contributor Jake Clifford. Many say APF rivals SXSW in best Texas music festivals. It does seem grow bigger every year.
In 1973, the Who drummer Keith Moon took fifteen horse tranquilizers and chased them with brandy before a show on the Quadrophenia tour. It was at the Cow Palace in Daly City, CA. Moon passed out soon after, during “Won’t Get Fooled Again.” It’s never been revealed, but the reason Moon was so fired up and horse pill swallowing, was that he’d been listening to Trans Am’s 1997 song “Carboforce.” Via a crack in the space-time continuum, Moon heard the song, even though it hadn’t been recorded yet. A sonic plane had ripped and shifted in the parallel multiverse, (where time is wound around a separate and chaotic ergodicity), and a vinyl pressing of Trans Am’s Surrender to the Night shot from an obelisk portal and landed on the turntable in Moon’s dressing room. While getting ready to play, Moon heard the song, became aroused, and commanded, “Someone get me some fucking horse tranquilizers, I’m fucking Keith Moon.”
Er·god·ic (adj) : of or pertaining to the condition that, in an interval of sufficient duration, a system will return to states that are closely similar to previous ones: the assumption of such a condition underlies statistical methods used in modern dynamics and atomic theory. In Moon’s case, the state he was returning to was unconsciousness, that of being unborn. Nothingness. Endlessness. Void.
A pre-existent void to which Moon returned: Where the band Trans Am rides titan machine thoroughbreds 40 hands high.
In this video, taken by writer/comedian Mandy Stadtmiller, Love explains the process behind her drawing of a dead Sarah Bernhardt, inspired by the Robert Frost poem "Nothing Gold Can Stay." It's "really about being blonde," Love said.
by Kelly O
on Mon, Apr 30, 2012 at 10:56 AM
magazine advertisement, circa 1956
From Facebook, via my friend who lives in Austin:
I love Austin Psych Fest. Glad to be involved again for the 5th year now. So many positive people with brains, talent, and true goodness... but Anton Newcomb... really? You insult the Black Angels on stage in front of thousands of people? They are the reason you're on that particular stage and getting paid for it in the first place. I don't mean to accentuate the negative but that was just extremely bad form. I could say more but I don't want to be all "Anton" about it...
...He's supposedly sober now, so I thought, as "professional musician" he'd keep it together. I know a lot of people were taping the show so I will try to turn up the "official version" but essentially this is what he said in the middle of their set: "I know you guys have your Black Angels, your Wooden Shijps, your Black Lips, and your Conan O'Brien that played this weekend, but that song we just played was better than all of those people. Don't let your music turn into a Kotex commercial..."
Who even buys Kotex anymore? Personally, I'm more of a Playtex kinda girl.
by Josh Bis
on Tue, Apr 24, 2012 at 9:48 AM
Coachella, from the Grand Wheel (click to embiggen)
Clonechella? When Goldenvoice announced that they were going to put on two identical Coachella festivals on consecutive weekends, a lot of people were skeptical that they could pull it off. Yet, as far as I could tell, they more than made good on their promise. All the bands returned for sets at the same times, with many spending the intervening week playing shows elsewhere (e.g., Pulp went to San Francisco, Radiohead went to Mexico, Jeff Mangum visited Seattle) or just frolicking in the desert (the Head and the Heart retreated to Joshua Tree and covered Iron Maiden's "Hallowed Be Thy Name"). The whole thing came across like an massive theatrical production so confident in itself that no one needed to have, let alone call in, an understudy so that the show could go on without a hitch for a fresh audience hungry to see what they'd missed from the previous weekend's live broadcast.
The only difference, which turned out to be kind of major, was outside even Paul Tollett's hands: the extreme contrast in weather between the two events. While weekend one opened with fans bundled in hastily-procured hoodies and rain gear, by the second time around temperatures soared above 100 degrees at the peak of each scorching day, dramatically shaping the character of the twin weekends.
Some photos from & a few quick thoughts on Weekend Two after the jump.
Most importantly, though: WHAT TO WEAR?! The fashion choices of adult humans really floored me last weekend. And unlike People of Walmart, these folks have great big buckets full of money to shop wherever they choose.
More photos after the jump! All were taken on the festival grounds last Saturday, April 14, 2012.
On the beach in front of the YAN-TEN Restaurant Bar, this three piece was playing. South of Cancun, in Playa Del Carmen - Zona Federal Maritima, C.P. 77710. The sound gravitated out across the sand, low and hovering in uneven patches of sea breeze from a distance. I liked everything about them: The lead singer mounted on his slit drum/thumb harp bass. The guitar player’s phase effect. The drummer’s vocal cries and fills. The matching shirts. Their set was extraordinary. As were the fish tacos and the sun.
See GUITAR SOLO at 1:55. Launched into, and teething on cerveza imbibed ears.
by Josh Bis
on Tue, Apr 17, 2012 at 9:33 AM
Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg
Sunday was the warmest and most crowded of the first three days of Coachella, and, yes, it did conclude with a hologram of Tupac performing on the mainstage. His technological resurrection launched a thousand twitter jokes and a few ghost accounts (I'm hoping for a virtual Beatles reunion next year), but "he" was just one of the many guests who arrived after Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg emerged from the stage onto a virtual Compton to host a festival-capping party / history lesson / variety show. Since the entire festival was turned over to their performance in what might have been a festival first — even Prince had to compete with other acts — almost everyone attendance surrounded the stage, waving their hands in the air like they just didn't care on command. Other guests included Wiz Khalifa, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, 50 Cent, Warren G, plenty of giant joints, and maybe also a Nate Dogg hologram.
The day also featured a infectiously theatrical early afternoon set by Santigold who performed with a pair of dancers, modern oompa loompaesque rhythm section, a stuffed horse, and a stage full of kids pulled up from the audience that included a couple of toddlers and maybe also recently "freed" Earl Sweatshirt. Wild Flag turned the midday temperature up even further for a modest but devoted audience; the Hives returned to Coachella after nine years with no noticeable dampening of energy or hilarious egomaniacal attitude; Goyte held a tent full of people hostage waiting to hear "Somebody That I Used to Know", the song that catapulted a twenty year career into overnight international success; the Weeknd spun drearily cinematicNoir & B to a massive crowd of kids who've never needed to pay a cent for one of his albums; and Florence + the Machine bewitched hordes of devotees. Seriously, with the flowing cape, barefoot dancing, and incantations, she might be one of the good ones, but I'm pretty sure that she is (or believes herself to be) some sort of mystical creature.
Returning from Beirut (my predictable, but always beloved festival favorite) to catch some of the fiery At the Drive In reunion, I wondered whether Justice had raptured the massive audience away to dance heaven with their glowing white cross. Either that, or maybe everyone sprinted over to catch the end of Girl Talk. I'd worried that the massive audience for the French DJs would leave no one to pile onto the Outdoor Stage to dance with Greg Gillis and his mixtape masterpieces, but he seemed to be doing just fine from the look of the confetti explosions from across the field.
Oh, and celebwatch. I'll have to try harder next weekend because I only managed to see two yesterday: HBO werewolf Joe Manganiello (who merited a dedication from At the Drive In) gamely posing for photos with fans between tweets and WB vampire Ian Somerhalder (BOONE!) trying to get some fries to go with Dre & Snoop's performance. The poutine wagon, though, was closed and neither of us were famous enough to convince them to throw one last batch in the fryer. Good stories, right?
A bunch of photos of bands and fans after the jump. As I said, I'll be returning next week to see how it looks and feels to photocopy an entire festival. While I expected to be a bit more exhausted, I have to say that as I was filing into the parking lot I was relieved that I'll get to do it all over again in a few days.
by Josh Bis
on Sun, Apr 15, 2012 at 3:10 PM
Radiohead: I'm pretty sure that when I picked up my first Radiohead album as an impressionable youth, the idea of seeing them perform may not have even occurred to me, let alone being able to see them and their giant aqualuminescent stage show three times in the span of a month each time being ushered to the front of the crowd for the chance to point heavy photographic equipment in their general vicinity for a few songs. So the great personal thought experiment of last night's very good career-spanning plus-brand-new-material show was reconciling the thrill of seeing a band that I love leading tens of thousands of people in a "Karma Police" singalong with the very real world concern of how a pleasant springlike desert afternoon turns into a very cold evening by the time midnight rolls around and the band's only about halfway through their set. After our designated three song photo time, I floated around in the crowd, zoning in and out while pre-editing photos, gawking at some of the more creative costuming (feltcraft Deadmau5, neon wolverine) through first encore's "Everything in its Right Place" showstopper of a closer, returning to the warmer embrace of the more distant VIP viewing cage for the second encore (aside: a million thank yous to Goldenvoice for situating the press tent among the very important; more festivals should do this please). Given their vast catalog, I'm still a little bit excited to see what they brew up from next weekend.
the crowd for the Head and the Heart
Various observations: I was pleasantly surprised to see that Seattle's the Head and the Heart drew an impressive midday crowd (above).
Department of the Kids Are Alright: The lightly stoned kids in front of me wiping away so many secret silent tears during Jeff Mangum's set. Although this was my third time seeing him, I was right with those dudes. The previous Radiohead digression applies perhaps even more strongly here, particularly since Neutral Milk Hotel was long defunct by the time someone shoved In the Aeroplane Over the Sea into my hands. Although Jeff Mangum doesn't want to be photographed or have video recordings of himself made, he's seeming more and more relaxed with every performance, cajoling the audience to sing along, and asking everyone whether they're happy (they are) throughout the set. This show was maybe the first time in history that a crowd went wild with applause at the mere appearance of a French Horn player on stage. By the end, he'd called out a miniature Balkan-style band, complete with accordion, drum, and various muted horns to spectacularly close out the hour with "Two Headed Boy / Fool."
Other observations:St. Vincent has grown up from cheery Sufjan acolyte in to a dark eyed rock goddess. At one point, diving into the crowd to furiously sing not-yet-released "Crocodile". I love Bon Iver. His (their?) doubly self-titled album was one of my favorites of 2011. But I was pretty shocked when the massive audience went wild at just the opening chords of sleepy "Holocene". But still, it's an impressive graduation from his spinning platform guest spot last year at this time during Kanye West's epic festival showstopper. As much as I like him, I did leave early to make sure to see Godspeed You! Black Emperor for the very first time. There, I learned that it turns out that the thing that appeals to the fewest Coachella attendees is listening to a Canadian post-rock collective sitting in the dark while playing gloomy symphonies that conjure visions of dire survival after the apocalypse. There were some phenomenal moments, but staying for their whole performance was among the luxuries of knowing that I'll be back next week to catch the more upbeat likes of Miike Snow.
Similarly, the knowledge of repeating the festival made me more comfortable chilling out with Andrew Bird's golden hour set, laughing as devotees in the audience had the audacity to try whistling along, pondering whether any other living human musician is more suited to covering Kermit the Frog's "It's Not Easy Being Green", and appreciating his hit-packed closing montage with a vision of nuclear-induced environmental collapse much sunnier than Godspeed's. I'll take snacks, dancing bears, and adderall over large barges and radio discharges any day.
More photos after the jump. I'm gearing up to head back for the final day of the first festival weekend where Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg will be closing out the festival. If you're not here, tune in to Coachella's incredible videography, which should streaming the hits all day.
by Josh Bis
on Sat, Apr 14, 2012 at 1:02 PM
For the first time that I can remember, arriving in Palm Springs for Coachella yesterday morning felt a whole lot like Seattle: cool temperatures and the omnipresent threat of rain. By the time we arrived at the Polo Grounds, the much ballyhooed (by certain Southern Californians) wind and wetness had arrived, making the parking lots a hilarious mud field and helping the merch booths to move a whole lot of sweatshirts. Trendspotters from another planet might have assumed that matching event hoodies constitute the major festival fashion outlook for 2k12.
PULP, Coachella Mainstage
In some sort of delusional ambition, I'm going to both Coachellas—this weekend's original recipe and next week's expected clonechella zombie apocalypse. As such, I'm trying to make each of them less hectic by checking out bigger chunks of sets rather than sprinting from stage to stage to see little bits of everything. Though it makes me feel supremely uncritical, like a fawning American Idol judge, pretty much I saw yesterday was top notch. Everyone's in it to win it, slaying the biggest fish, wanting to have it, killing it, etc.
That said: Pulp! Are an extremely good band, right? And have you heard that Jarvis Cocker is ridiculously charming? A thrower of poses, grapes, and banter. The recent reunitees brought all of this to the mainstage along with a pretty major laser and light show, holding everyone's attention through a lull through back catalog wanders until a triumphant "Common People" finale.
Also spectacular: the Rapture, back from the bloghaus era with just enough cowbell. It was nearly impossible to get anywhere near the tent (let alone the stage) where churned up an undeniable dance party that boiled over with "House of Jealous Lovers". M83: you already have your tickets to see them at the Paramount, right? This is the first time that I've managed to see them touring behind Midnight City and they're playing at a staggering level of cosmic.
I also enjoyed: the ever-reliable and increasingly strong (and very well attended) sets by world conquering Black Keys, seeing that Arctic Monkeys seem thoroughly over their dejected-with-fame era, and noticing that GIRLS have added a trio of hype-women soul-chorus backup singers to enliven their stage presence; the tortured vocals over optimistic post-rock discordance of WU LYF; and the return of Refused: still insistent after seventeen years, but now with a power-to-the-people in place of a world conquering agenda.
And finally, CelebWatch: spotted David Hasslehoff posing for every possible camera, hamming it up with fans; more excitingly, Breaking Bad's Aaron Paul (not pictured) all over the place.
A bunch of pictures from day one after the jump. Today looks sunnier, watch along on the Coachella YouTubes and let me know what I would be a fool to miss.