by Dave Segal
on Mon, May 20, 2013 at 12:09 PM
The Bismarck, SEMINARS, and KOZO have a show coming up at the Rendezvous Friday May 31. To alert you to this momentous occasion, somebody in SEMINARS scripted a video to that infamous movie, Der Untergang (2004), which has been the basis for a series of thigh-slappingly funny "Hitler Reacts To" parodies. Bonus: Shots fired at The Stranger.
The homie Austin, who's been holding it down for live music in Bellingham for years with his Buildstrong Productions, tipped me off to this festival he does up thataway every year. Behold the lineup for this year's edition, going down August 9-11 at the Whitehorse Amphitheater in Darrington, WA—off top I see it includes The Cave Singers, Minus the Bear, and Blue Sky Black Death:
Most people like music! Some people like sports! Everybody likes a free party! So what are you doing on Monday?
Neumos, Sonicsgate, and Alive and Well are hosting a Bring Our Sonics Back party. Performances by hiphop all-stars Nacho Picasso, Geo of Blue Scholars, Grynch, Dyme Def, Jarv Dee, Tilson, Sam Lachow & Raz Simone, Neema, DJ Nphared and more.
The shindig will be hosted by the legendary Shawn Kemp, and it's free. Free, free, free!
The purpose of this community focused event is to allow Sonics fans to come out and show their support in basketball returning back to Seattle one last time before the NBA makes a final decision on May 15th. Represent that green and gold by hanging out with the best in local hip hop plus NBA greats from the past and present.
Holy Seattle supergroup! Back in February Trent Moorman introduced us to Dust Moth, a new band featuring members of Eighteen Individual Eyes, These Arms are Snakes, Shift, Undertow, and Sparkmarker. The band has had a couple clips on Bandcamp for a couple months now, but if you haven't made it out to one of their three or four shows, you can finally get a full-sized bite of their sound via this new video for "Selector":
Laura Stevenson plays the Sunset Tavern tomorrow night with Field Mouse and Seapony! Tickets are still available here.
There's something about Laura Stevenson's music that makes it impossible for me to stop listening to her songs. Last year, I played her song "Master of Art" hundreds of times in a matter of months, and this time around, on her latest record, Wheel, my drug is the first single, "Runner." It sounds like the epitome of summer—the chorus captures the same bright bitterness of "Vacation" by the Go-Go's, while Stevenson sings over and over, "This summer hurts." It's the same kind of relationship I have with summer. I love it, and I hate it.
Elsewhere on Wheel, Stevenson continues the evolution from acoustic folk songs to more explosive anthems with injections of horns and piano—new layers reveal themselves with every listen. I chatted with Stevenson while her band made the long trip from Houston to El Paso.
You used to be billed as Laura Stevenson and the Cans. I was going to ask you where the Cans went, but then I read your interview with Larry Livermore, where you pointed out one of the reasons you dropped it was because people kept making boob jokes.
That was the thing that annoyed me from the get-go, but I was like, "I'm going to try to overcome this."
Did you see Grimes's recent blog post about the things that she's no longer going to put up with as a female musician? She doesn't want to be infantilized; she's tired of reviews calling her a waif or a fairy... all these cute words. I feel like it's something that isn't talked about much in the music industry. Does it ever still feel like it's a boys' club out there?
Definitely. Especially the infantilizing thing. It's so ridiculous, because no matter what I do, my voice is called "cute." Even if I'm saying something hideous and sounding as ugly as I can, I'm still called cute. I had a party at my apartment, and this young couple said to me, "We listened to your music! It's really cute." They were guests in my home, so I couldn't be like, "Get the fuck out," they were my roommate's friends, but how shitty! Your life's work is fucking cute? Would you say that to Beethoven? Like, "Real cute sonata, Beethoven." It makes you feel small, and you shouldn't have to feel that way, especially if you're an adult human being who's making something honest.
by Dave Segal
on Fri, May 10, 2013 at 10:43 AM
French ethnodelic multi-instrumentalist High Wolf will be playing Electric Tea Garden Sept. 9. Let's hope he plays longer than the 30 minutes he did at Cairo in 2011—although it was a very good half hour.
In more immediate news, High Wolf will be releasing a new album, Kairos: Chronos, June 4 on Not Not Fun. The first track to be released to the public from it, "Kulti," further hones his unique spin on psychotropical dub for rainforest rituals. It instantly propels you out of your everyday mind into a far stranger and more intriguing state. Don't know about you, but that's a big reason why I listen to music in the first place. More on Kairos: Chronos later, but suffice it to say that the album's a major head trip that will get you floating in a most peculiar way.
Justin Timberlake's 20/20 tour will be coming to KeyArena January 17, 2014. That's a looooooong time away, yes, but tickets go on sale May 17th, so get that credit card ready because tickets start at $90, making the cheapest one $108.39 after service fees. Eek!
Why we don't get a show with Jay-Z, however, I'll never know. What a shame.
by Dave Segal
on Wed, May 1, 2013 at 11:37 AM
Debacle Fest happens May 3-5 at three separate Seattle venues. The annual experimental-music event—now in its sixth year—is destined to be a live highlight of 2013. You can read about it in this interview with founder/curator Sam Melancon, who also runs Debacle Records.
Melancon and his assistant Rachel LeBlanc will be appearing on Sean Morrow's show on KEXP (90.3FM/www.kexp.org) at 1 am Thursday (that's tonight, for all intents and purposes). Sean will interview the Debacle operatives and play music by some of the artists performing at the fest. If you can't stay up for the show, you can check it out on the station's archives.
As a bonus, you can check out a Debacle Fest mixtape at Redefine, assembled and annotated by Melancon and featuring tracks by Expo '70, Black Hat, Prostitutes, Plankton Wat, Mind Over Mirrors, Moon Pool & Dead Band, GOODWIN, Swahili, and Biosexual. It's a strong survey of profound, probing sounds that offer a vivid, partial portrait of the sonic underground.
by Dave Segal
on Tue, Apr 30, 2013 at 11:46 AM
Blank Realm—recent recipient of the esteemed Best Song Ever (This Week) honor back in March for their too-good-to-be-a-hit "Acting Strange"—will play Cairo June 7. (It's a gd shame that this is happening the same night that Art Ensemble of Chicago's Roscoe Mitchell is performing at Benaroya Hall, but whattaya gonna do?) The Australian rock band—who superbly balance melody with dissonance in their well-crafted songs—will be supporting their excellent album, Go Easy (Fire Records). Fire will also be reissuing Blank Realm's ltd.-ed. 2010 LP Déjà What? in June.
by Dave Segal
on Tue, Apr 30, 2013 at 8:00 AM
In my estimation, Date Palms are going to be one of the highlights of Debacle Fest, a seriously deep exploration of experimental music that happens May 3-5 in Seattle, and about which you can read more in this publication on Wednesday.
Led by Marielle V. Jakobsons (violin, flute, electronics) and Gregg Kowalsky (keyboards, electronics), the Bay Area group are slated to drop The Dust Sessions in June on Thrill Jockey. A sublime combination of sinuous prairie ragas and elegant chamber orchestral maneuvers, the The Dust Sessions elevates mind states with a spiritualized gracefulness. Check out “Dusted Down” for a sneak preview of its treasures.
Date Palms play Debacle Fest Sat. May 4 at FRED Wildlife Refuge.
by Dave Segal
on Mon, Apr 29, 2013 at 12:11 PM
Warp Records has announced that it will release hermetic, highly influential Scottish electronic duo Boards of Canada's fourth album, Tomorrow’s Harvest, on June 11. And there was much rejoicing on the IDM list. Tomorrow's Harvest is BOC's first release since 2006's Trans Canada Highway EP. It will not feature a guest appearance by Daft Punk.
Tracklist 01. Gemini 02. Reach For The Dead 03. White Cyclosa 04. Jacquard Causeway 05. Telepath 06. Cold Earth 07. Transmisiones Ferox 08. Sick Times 09. Collapse 10. Palace Posy 11. Split Your Infinities 12. Uritual 13. Nothing Is Real 14. Sundown 15. New Seeds 16. Come To Dust 17. Semena Mertvykh
Boards of Canada's greatest track (still) after the jump.
HEY YOU. I have approximately 35 seconds to tell you about a show I think you might like!
Tomorrow evening at Cairo, go see Brooklyn's Beach Fossils, playing with Naomi Punk and FF. It's $8, and that place is small, so RSVP ASAP before you have to stand outside with your nose pressed against the window.
When you listen to Blue Hawaii, try to imagine all the forlorn and pixelated Skype conversations that take place between distant boyfriends and girlfriends every day. Their latest album, Untogether, lyrically describes a relationship in repose, while musically conjuring shitty internet connections and vexing moments of reticence. Raphaelle Standell-Preston sings candidly, reflectively, and somewhat dispassionately, but occasionally her voice is modulated and pulled apart into tiny unrecognizable shards. Meanwhile, collaborator Alexander Cowan sets down cavernous and alluring guitar grooves that can leave you in a doleful and techno-addled stupor.
Headlining tonight are the comparatively punchier Purity Ring. From the name alone you can tell the duo sings holy praises of the human body, and their Shrines album often depicts lush scenes of fleshly movement. Reimagining the dance club as a far-off mausoleum, each Purity Ring song is like an elaborate crypt springing to life: There are lots of moving parts operating in a unique musical cuneiform, and when you spend too much time deciphering it all, you lose the whole experience. Neptune, 8 pm, $21.50.
This Thursday Saint John's is hosting what will probably be the least aggressive DJ battle in the history of all DJ battles: Tullycraft vs. Boat!
Starting at 5 pm, both bands will spin their new records—Tullycraft's Lost in Light Rotation and Boat's Pretend to Be Brave—along with some of their other favorite tunes, and all we have to do is sit there, enjoy the music, and maybe indulge in some tasty things from the bar's happy hour menu like parmesan, black pepper, and truffle popcorn and ricotta and pepper jam bruschetta.
Speaking of Tullycraft, here's their new video for "Dig Up the Graves," from Lost in Light Rotation:
The West’s In Low Light opens with “It was Disco and it's Over,” a song that's built on a signature Peter Hook high-toned bass riff, complete with lead singer and guitarist Anthony Darnell doing his best Ian Curtis impression. During the song they play a Joy Division-esque eulogy to the death of disco resolving only to move ahead, like it’s the early '80s and they’re back in Manchester.
Their EP moves on down the timeline of pop just so, synthesizing the rest of the '80s in their own way. Their brand of nouveau-disco follows lead bass lines all the way down to club maximalist. The West slides into step somewhere between the saccharine sweet Roxette and the angrily romantic the Whip—their steely synths make them a freakishly dance-y band to have evolved in this region of the country, a notoriously dance-less, shoegaze-y Sodom of people who love to fuck with music but not be seen loving it in public. That may be the reason they’ve been noticed by blogeratti in Sweden, and France, and then over at KEXP before they got to me, but it may also be just because their sound (despite having been perfected decades ago) is so period unique.
When In Low Light starts to hit its stride—right after their awkwardly rock-pop single you may have heard on the 90.3 called “Slightest Touch”—Darnell is shouting out negatives on “You Won't,” and sharing the microphone with synth player Adrienne Clark, who is allowed to go it alone late in the album on just one song “Call Me A Liar,” but provides an interesting relief when she does. Darnell, Clark, and bass player Jon Swihart encapsulate so much of the 80s they’re hard to not appreciate, and by the end of the album they’ve gone full swing from New Order to INXS, and Darnell is in a full on Michael Hutchence wail.
Heads will bob and hips will roll at their live shows, especially at the point when the set reaches their best song “Hustler.” With an absolutely evil bass line, vibrato guitar ringing in the back, roiling snare, and Darnell hollering at the hot thing next to him on the dance floor, I don’t care what era or city you’re from you’ll have to be dead or just plain dumb to not want to dance to In Low Light.
Check them at one of several upcoming dates: Bellingham (for the Electronic Arts Festival) on April 26th, the High Dive on Sat April 27th, in Tacoma at New Frontier Lounge May 3rd, and headlining the Crocodile on Fri May 24th with Tomten, Prism Tats, and Ozarks.
As always with Big Dig, there’ll be DJs, beer, food, and a plethora of vinyl in lots of genres. Plus, the always scintillating bloviating about obscure music and inner-label minutiae by people with way more records than friends. This is definitely one of the area's finest record shows. Budget your life accordingly.
Record Store Day is this Saturday! Are you ready? Is your bank account ready?
Because there are so many special Record Store Day releases, I'm not going to post them here—the whole list can be found at recordstoreday.com. What I will tell you, though, is everything happening around the city! There are a lot of free in-stores to catch and a lot of sales, so hopefully this will help you map out your day. And if you have something to add to this list, leave a comment! I'll update the post as necessary, so we have all the info we need to have the best Record Store Day ever.
Everyday Music (1520 10th Ave, everydaymusic.com): Opening early at 8 am! With live music, guest DJs, and more starting at 9 am. Here's the schedule:
9 am: Meet and greet with Robbie hill of the Family Affair and Wheedle's Groove 11 am: DJ Veins (our own Dave Segal!) 12 pm: DJ Mr. Smith 1 pm: Pitschouse 2 pm: King Dude 4 pm: Mystery Ship 5 pm: Scriptures 6 pm: Tomten 7 pm: Steradian
Sonic Boom Records (2209 NW Market St, sonicboomrecords.com): Sonic Boom Records will be opening at 10 am with live music from Angel Olsen (3 pm) and Maps & Atlases (4 pm). And! You can receive a discount at many other Ballard businesses when you show them your Sonic Boom Record Store Day receipt, including 10% off your purchases at Velouria, Clover Toys, Annie's Art & Frame, and Monster Art & Clothing, $4.20 cocktails at Bastille, $2 ice cream at Cupcake Royale, and much more. See the full list of participating business at Sonic Boom's website.