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Sunday, March 2, 2014

Magma Festival's Subterranean Weirdness

Posted by on Sun, Mar 2, 2014 at 1:40 PM

(Clockwise) The Space Lady, Jessika Kenney and Newaxeyes
  • (Clockwise) The Space Lady, Jessika Kenney and Newaxeyes

This might be the strangest, most unwieldy fundraiser that's ever existed in Seattle. Now in its seventh year, Magma Festival flows in unpredictable patterns every weekend in March at venues such as Chop Suey, Heartland, Chapel Performance Space, and Hollow Earth Radio. The last named is the Central District netcasting station/quasi club that is the beneficiary of all this left-of-center music, poetry, and performance art. Headed by founder Garrett Kelly and curated by almost 20 volunteers from HER's deep pool of DJs, Magma thrives on diversity and extreme unconventionality. Some of the acts are so underground, they have no internet presence (gasp). Some are so bafflingly odd, you won't have the slightest idea how to deal with them. Magma asks a lot of you and repeatedly jabs you out of your cultural comfort zone. More often than not, though, the rewards are worth the risk.

Putting on such a beast of an event is a logistical nightmare, Kelly concedes, "but luckily we have so many people who are willing to help us and a huge volunteer pool... We also don't book the same band twice (to keep things fair), and sometimes that makes it difficult. But, ultimately, it's about pushing ourselves to explore and find interesting artists doing stuff worth showcasing. It's also so badass that the bands are so open to helping us; we really couldn't do it without them. Obviously."

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And here's all our recommended music events—tonight, tomorrow, this weekend, and beyond!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Data Breaker: Powell Brings the Mordant Techno Noise, Plus DJ M3 and John Templeton

Posted by on Thu, Feb 27, 2014 at 1:57 PM

Powell
  • Powell

British DJ/producer and Diagonal Records artist Powell is crossing the ocean and the US to play our damn city, which is mighty generous of him. He'll be in DJ mode for the MOTOR night's 11th installment, which means gird your third ear for a torrent of harsh, mordant techno floor-cavers from the likes of Prostitutes, Russell Haswell, Skull Defekts, Shit & Shine, and probably some surprises (a recent mix included 23 Skidoo's brutalist funk classic "Kundalini" and Eric Random's whip-cracking, electro-post-punk jam "Fade In"). The rest of the bill consists of top-flight experimental-electronic producers Black Hat (Nelson Bean), Mood Organ (Timm Mason of Midday Veil, Master Musicians of Bukkake, and TJ Max), and Chris Davis (Brain Fruit), plus Dr. Troy (owner of Medical Records) on the decks. In the MOTOR tradition, there's no letup of the adventurous, great music tonight. Highline, 9 pm, $10, 21+.

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

My Philosophy: Grouch, Eligh and More

Posted by on Thu, Feb 27, 2014 at 11:22 AM

The Grouch and Eligh
  • The Grouch and Eligh

Hi there—if you found me here, you likely remember that yes I do "still write the column in The Stranger," so thanks for that, because most of my friends don't. (Not mad—it's easy to forget that anyone's been doing the same thing for so long.) That in mind, I'll do us both a favor and skip my usual ripped-from-last-week's-headlines bullshit.

Keepers of the faith will want to know that Living Legends stalwarts the Grouch & Eligh are coming to Neumos on Thursday, February 27, with Swollen Members' Madchild, Pigeon John, plus DJs Fresh (whose work I know from his collab album with the Jacka) and Abilities (who we all know from his work with the late great Eyedea).

A more contemporary California indie-rap champ, Dom Kennedy, is bringing his Get Home Safely Tour over to the Showbox at the Market on Sunday, March 2, with Angeleno growler Skeme riding shotgun. Kennedy's humanist superfly-everyguy rap and steady stream of releases have made him a verifiable underground star, and—as seems to be the best way these days—all without the assist of a label, be it major, minor, or in-between. God bless the rapper that got his own.

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And here's all our recommended music events—tonight, tomorrow, this weekend, and beyond!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Data Breaker: DJ Spooky, A Tribe Called Red and Rare Air

Posted by on Sat, Feb 22, 2014 at 12:20 PM

SATURDAY 2/22

DJ SPOOKY, SONIC SCAVENGER PAR EXCELLENCE
Always a crafty shape-shifter behind the turntables or laptop, DJ Spooky (aka Paul D. Miller) has been one of the most interesting sonic scavengers for nearly 20 years. I've seen him DJ Iannis Xenakis to Harry Smith animations, reconfigure the powerful soul music of the Wattstax documentary, and "remix" D.W. Griffiths's 1915 silent film The Birth of a Nation. Furthering his eclectic credentials, Spooky has also recorded with dub legends Lee Perry and Mad Professor, jazz pianist Matthew Shipp, and Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo. What's he going to do tonight? Dunno, but with a catalog as diverse and deep as Spooky's (the primordial avant-ambient soup of Viral Sonata? The blistering drum 'n' bass of Synthetic Fury? The illbient funk of Songs of a Dead Dreamer? The Antarctica-inspired electronic/orchestral hybrids from Of Water and Ice?), it's probably going to be riveting. Barboza, 8 pm, $20 adv, 21+.

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And here's all our recommended music events—tonight, tomorrow, and beyond!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Android Amaker: Brent Amaker + Vox Mod + P Smoov + Frank Correa

Posted by on Fri, Feb 21, 2014 at 1:32 PM

This new announcement from Brent, of Brent Amaker and the Rodeo:

Android Amaker started as a music collaboration between myself and Vox Mod. After we started work on the music and decided to bring in other Seattle artists as collaborators. P Smoov was first to come on board. He is producing the audio and will also be co-producing a music video with us. Frank Correa will be providing a series of six original photos loosely based on the back story which was written by Vox Mod. It's a multi-media project involving photography, music, film, and robots—and a sci-fi western concept record that's currently in production at the Robot Room in Seattle.

amaker.jpg
  • Frank Correa
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And the concept, goes something like this:

Soon after the inception of integrated A.I. and the Explosion of the Sun, Amaker's survival hinged upon a retreat to the far reaches of space and the melding of man and machine.


Decades of being on the run, brawls with space bandits, and encounters with alien overlords in the Final Frontier forced Amaker to forsake his Earthly body and upload his consciousness into a mechanical humanoid...

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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Underage: Ambience Par Excellence, Pill Wonder and More

Posted by on Thu, Feb 20, 2014 at 12:39 PM

BENOÎT PIOULARD
  • BENOÎT PIOULARD

Get your hush on in the basement of the University of Washington's art building with three incredible local ambient acts. A Weekend at the Feelies—the one-man project of Jordan Campbell—bridges dream pop with fractured lo-fi R&B/chillstep beats for breezy beach chilling and beyond. Campbell has no officially released material yet, but a visit to his Soundcloud page reveals agave-sweet proto-hit "Lonely Buzzard." He's an undeniably soulful crooner, and when he sings, "I'm just like you/A lonely buzzard searching for food," you want to believe in something more than "glo-fi." Also with underwater-folk daydreams from Benoît Pioulard and frothy, ghostlike soundscapes from Bardo: Basho, the evening doubles as a zine release party for Rainydawg Radio's Favorite Music of 2013 and Mixed UW's Please Tell Me More About Myself. Parnassus Cafe, 7 pm.

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And here's all our recommended music events—tonight, tomorrow, this weekend, and beyond!

Dates Announced for Experimental-Ambient Fest Substrata 1.4

Posted by on Thu, Feb 20, 2014 at 9:59 AM

Organizer Rafael Anton Irisarri has announced July 17-20 as the dates for the fourth annual Substrata festival, to take place at the Chapel Performance Space. Dubbed “an intimate sound and media weekend,” this event focuses on experimental, minimalist ambient music of extremely high quality. Last year’s lineup included world-class talent such as Ken Camden, Grouper, Kim Cascone,, and Noveller. Previous editions have featured Biosphere, Oren Ambarchi, Scanner, Daniel Menche, and many other far-flung luminaries.

If I could suggest just one artist for Substrata 1.4, it would be Laraaji. I think his celestial, healing music would go over very well with the fest’s discerning attendees—plus, he's a freakin' legend, funny as heck, and he probably has some amazing Brian Eno anecdotes.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Molly Ringwald's Jazz Roots

Posted by on Wed, Feb 19, 2014 at 1:27 PM

music-lead-Wendy-Waddell-570.jpg
  • Hussein Katz

It's 9 a.m. and she is in bed with her dog. She is in Los Angeles; I am in Seattle. We are having a conversation over the phone about a jazz album, Except Sometimes, she recently released.

Most people do not know her as a jazz singer, but as the star of three films that straddle the middle of the 1980s—Sixteen Candles (1984), The Breakfast Club (1985), Pretty in Pink (1986)—and define a significant movement in American popular culture that had John Hughes as its creative force. Molly Ringwald's red hair and full pink lips form an image shared by a generation that's now in its middle age. But behind that pop image is, of course, a person who is not much like the characters she played in the '80s, particularly the one in Pretty in Pink (my favorite of the Ringwald Trilogy). The real person is instead a woman who was raised in a house filled with the sounds of a serious musician, Robert Scott "Bob" Ringwald—a jazz pianist who happens to be blind and also her father.

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And here's all our recommended music events—tonight, tomorrow, this weekend, and beyond!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

20 Years of Linda's Tavern, Seattle's "Grunge Cheers"

Posted by on Tue, Feb 18, 2014 at 11:16 AM

music-lead-570.jpg
  • Kelly O

The buildings that once stood next to Linda's Tavern have been demolished, except for a single brick wall—the paint-by-numbers mural that separates the establishment from the fresh dirt lot next door. The earnest endeavor of Linda Derschang (a Colorado native who moved to Seattle in 1987 to open a clothing shop), Bruce Pavitt, and Jonathan Poneman (the founders of local record label Sup Pop), Linda's opened with four beers on tap and no food, and became an immediate institution—a place musicians worked and hung out, a place to meet your friends and talk for hours. A full liquor license, a kitchen addition, and two decades later, Linda's remains, in location and spirit, more or less the same since opening in February of 1994: a neighborhood bar, no matter how the neighborhood changes. I talked with the owners, folks who worked there back in the day, folks who are currently working there, and regulars who hung out there and/or drank there, and drank there some more, about the resilient culture of a little tavern called Linda's.

Continue reading »

And here's all our recommended music events—tonight, tomorrow, this weekend, and beyond!

The Menzingers Release Great New Song; Announce Upcoming Record

Posted by on Tue, Feb 18, 2014 at 11:05 AM

Happy Tuesday! Did you think today was just going to be like any other day? Well you are WRONG. Today is special! Today is GREAT! Because the Menzingers have released a new song via Noisey to let us know about their upcoming record, Rented World (due April 22nd). Best day!

The Menzingers have a lock on the East Coast melodic punk rock sound—if you haven't listened to their 2012 release On the Impossible Past, run don't walk! And while they haven't changed up their formula much for this new song, "In Remission," I can't complain because what they do, they do so well.

If you're having a hard time shaking the sleepy fog from your brain this morning, give this anthem a loud listen—it'll wake you up:

Friday, February 14, 2014

'Mo-Wave 2014 Announced! Right Here!

Posted by on Fri, Feb 14, 2014 at 1:15 PM

Zebra Katz
  • Courtesy 'Mo-Wave
  • Don't miss Zebra Katz at 'Mo-Wave 2014!

Welcome to year two of the fantastic 'Mo-Wave queer music and arts festival (do read my interview with 'Mo-Wave founders last year)! The dates are April 12 and 13, circle them now with your best glitter pen.

'MO-WAVE '14 LINEUP (so far):
Christeene (Austin, Tx), Zebra Katz (NYC), Justin Bond (NYC), Carletta Sue Kay (SF), Belles Bent For Leather (all- female Judas Priest tribute by AC/DC tribute Hells Belles), CZARL1NG (Oly—featuring members of the Need, Brokenwater, GrassWidow), Ononos...

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Two Late-Breaking Electronic Shows Happening This Sunday: Photek and L-Vis 1990

Posted by on Fri, Feb 14, 2014 at 8:10 AM

We received word of these two shows too late to include in my Data Breaker column, so here’s a quick post to notify you of L-Vis 1990 and Photek’s Seattle appearances. The former plays new club Kremwerk Sun. Feb. 16; the latter hits Q Nightclub the same night. Dilemma!

The English producer L-Vis 1990 (James Connolly) creates extroverted future-bass bombs for the revered Night Slugs label. Fellow Brit Photek (aka Rupert Parkes, now living in LA) was one of the most cerebral, complex, and distinctive drum & bass producers of the ’90s. I lost track of him after he delivered a soft, commercial house album, Solaris, in 2000. Apparently, he dropped a full-length in 2012 called KU:PALM, and what I’ve heard of it is interesting: nocturnal, intriguingly bleak atmospheres and intricate breakbeats. One might almost call it a “return to form.”

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Get Ready for Penumbra 2014!

Posted by on Wed, Feb 12, 2014 at 10:51 AM

Penumbra.png

Do you remember how fun last year's Penumbra was? All those beers and all those bands, together in one building that seemed like the prom you wish you could have gone to? Well hold on loosely, because the second year of Penumbra is coming at you and it's time to get it on your calendar: March 29.

The lineup this year is rad! We have: Olympia witchy grunge pop from Broken Water, almighty alt-rockers Dude York (who have a new LP, Dehumanize, out on Help Yourself Records), the enchanting groove masters Chastity Belt, Portland garager-surfers the Shivas, ‘70s-esque organ-centric pop from the Comettes, with DJ sets by Peel Slowly.

Plus all that crazy fancy special Northwest beer! I tried lager last year that tasted like flowers, a couple ales that tasted like coffee, some of those stouts that are basically loaves of liquid bread, an alcoholic kombucha that was delightful, and all kinds of ciders until I was literally one of the last people there.

A rarely-spotted Seattle food truck gathering will also take place—imagine, a city where you can just eat at more than one food truck at a time! In the same area! It's like we're Portland or something. But with more weed and less crabbiness (JK Portland, you're fine).

Get your tickets to Penumbra 2014 RIGHT HERE, and check out what people were wearing there last year.

Sat. March 29 // King's Hall, 2929 27th Ave. // 5pm - 10pm // 21+

Monday, February 10, 2014

Debacle Fest Announces Dates, Venues, Other Details

Posted by on Mon, Feb 10, 2014 at 3:06 PM

Seattle experimental-music extravaganza Debacle Fest will take place May 30 and 31 at Lo-Fi, Black Lodge, and Victory Lounge. In addition, an opening ceremonies event will happen at Cairo May 30. Label operative Rachel LeBlanc says to expect around 25 live sets spread among those three venues, with DJs spinning in Lo-Fi's front lounge. On May 31 from 1 pm-6 pm, there'll be a Northwest micro-label fair where local imprints will sell their releases. Bonus: Food trucks will be stationed outside the venues.

Debacle plans to announce the lineup in early March. In the meantime, check out this recent release from Debacle Records, Biosexual's eclectic, eccentric The Window Wants the Bedroom. It's perhaps the most accessible and oddest item in Debacle's very strange catalog.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Who Is Carletta Sue Kay?

Posted by on Fri, Feb 7, 2014 at 3:10 PM

Watch this mini-documentary on Carletta Sue Kay: "Possibly S.F.'s Most Indescribable Band." Carletta Sue is NOT simply a man in lady-drag, with the most strangely beautiful, indescribable and weirdly incredible voice. Carletta Sue Kay is indescribable peformance art.

Don't miss your chance to see this show, tomorrow, with Feral Children, and Jen Ghetto's S. It's Saturday, at Chop Suey. $7 adv, $10 dos, 9 pm doors, 21+

My Philosophy: 'Bout that Action, Boss

Posted by on Fri, Feb 7, 2014 at 2:20 PM

GRAYSKUL
  • GRAYSKUL

So now our city is on an unprecedented high, instead of just the regular, precedented high. We've got a Lombardi to polish—and the town was already buzzing (huh-huh) from Macklemore & Ryan Lewis winning four fucking Grammys (then apologizing for it) as local music scene folks debate and froth in every direction and national press think pieces rain upon Seattle like major-label contracts did in the early '90s. What a weird fucking time—and frankly, I wouldn't wanna be anywhere or anywhen else. Stand in the place where you live.

Places to stand include a lot of spots on Friday, February 7. Big dogs Grayskul, for one, are headlining a show at Nectar with a thick lineup: the Chicharones, Kimya Dawson (not a rapper, but a very raw and life-changing truth-teller of high pedigree), Triceracorn (more on them in a sec), Void Pedal, with DJ Graves 33—plus a very special guest! Maybe somebody cool, who's done beaucoup work with both Grayskul and Kimya? Man, I dunno. That same fucking night, though, at the Crocodile, Sol's current tourmates Zion I come through (minus Sol). If you don't want to see any of that and want to see some art, producer P Smoov (under his brush-wielding alias Ten Hundred) is opening an art exhibit at Gallery 2312. On Sunday, February 9, go see Porter Ray headline Barboza.

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

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Data Breaker: Silent Movie Scoring, Wisp and John Talabot

Posted by on Thu, Feb 6, 2014 at 3:01 PM

THURSDAY 2/6

FOUR LOCALS SCORE FOUR SILENT MOVIES: FILM AT 7:30
This ain't your typical Data Breaker entry. What we have here is a night of silent films with live soundtracks provided by four local acts. Darkwave-pop unit youryoungbody accompany Segundo de Chomón's The Red Spectre, electronic-space-rock savant Secret Colors plays along with Ladislaw Starewicz's The Cameraman's Revenge, crooning bass-music chameleon DJAO scores Buster Keaton's The Haunted House, and hazy post-R&B producer Battle Ground Grammar (aka Andrew Gospe) supplies audio for Pat Sullivan's Felix in Hollywood. Should be verrry interesting. Ethnic Cultural Theatre, 7:30 pm, free, all ages.

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And here's all our recommended music events—tonight, tomorrow, this weekend, and beyond!

Underage: Seattle Improvised Music Fest + Sweet Local Post-Rock

Posted by on Thu, Feb 6, 2014 at 2:53 PM

THURS–SAT 2/6–8

SEATTLE IMPROVISED MUSIC FESTIVAL
If you're looking for a less-traditional way to spend your weekend, take a pilgrimage of weird to Wallingford's Chapel Performance Space for the longest-running improvised music festival in the country. Seattle Improvised Music Festival is in its gazillionth (okay, 29th) year; this edition's lineup features four international artists as well as an impressive host of local improvisers. Oakland clarinetist/electronics tinkerer Matt Ingalls, minimalist Autoharp/electronics duo Bonnie Jones and Andrea Neumann, and guitarist/composer Joe Morris are visiting artists inspiring total fear in squares. Local artists include Gust Burns on piano/turntable/dubplate (?!), as well as freaky sax-musings from Paul Hoskin, weirdo clarinet from Beth Fleenor, several percussionists and guitarists, all sorts of clarinets and saxophones, field recordings, and who knows what else. If the weekly improv night Racer Sessions is your jam, or you just like to experience new things from time to time, it would behoove you to attend this event. For a complete festival lineup of the unconventional and unsung, visit seattleimprovisedmusic.us. Chapel Performance Space, 8 pm, $10–$25 sliding scale.

Continue reading »

And here's all our recommended music events—tonight, tomorrow, this weekend, and beyond!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Chicago Juke/Footwork Master Chrissy Murderbot to Play Q Feb. 2

Posted by on Tue, Jan 28, 2014 at 2:12 PM

The Unscene Sundays weekly at Q Nightclub just announced yesterday (too late for Data Breaker) that it’s booked Chicago juke/footwork producer/DJ Chrissy Murderbot for its next edition on Feb. 2. If you’re into the fast-twitch-rhythmed, libidinous, bass-heavy music coming out of Chicago, you need to hit this show.

More info here.

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