by Dave Segal
on Tue, May 21, 2013 at 2:53 PM
This robot-quadrotor-operated rendition of the James Bond theme popped onto YouTube in 2012, but you may have missed it. It's one of the best things ever to be uploaded onto that site. Wonder what John Barry's estate thinks of this...
The ladies of NighTrain have made a video that combines sweet post-punk guitars, the cover of Billy Joel's The Stranger (it's those masks!) and the witchiness of The Craft for their new single "Huntress."
For anyone who didn't know the band's charming back story, the four-piece originally formed for a play about a punk band called "Hot Grits," and learned to play instruments, write songs, and play a few underground shows around Seattle to prepare for their roles in the production. Afterward, they had bonded with each other AND won so many over hearts in the music community that they ended up staying together and forming NighTrain.
It's been so fun watching them develop their sound over the last few years...fans such as myself can also donate to their Indiegogo campaign to help fund the self-release their new album and upcoming Southern US tour here.
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:
Sax G, Takiyah Ward, and director Roger "10.4Rog" Habon made this ultra-intimate visual to accompany some of the sultry vibes of Sax's stellar Tu Me Manques album—which is out now for however much you want to pay via the good folks at Cloud Nice.
This song, produced by one Dr. Dre, featured the rhymes of King Tee, Body & Soul, Def Jef, Michel'le, Tone-Loc, Above the Law, Ice-T, NWA's Dre, MC Ren and Eazy-E, J.J. Fad, Young MC, Digital Underground, Oaktown's 3.5.7 and MC Hammer. (For my money, I still think Digital Underground's Shock G/Humpty Hump had the strongest part.)
A year before, New York rappers had come together to make "Self Destruction" for it's own violence epidemic; LA had it's own rampant gang-related murders. As a kid growing up in South Central, this song was a big deal, and I was all for it. "Same Gang" was conceived of an OG, as in original member, of the Crips by the name of Michael Concepcion—known as "Shaft" back in the day. Concepcion was confined to a wheelchair by an assailant's bullet.
"I got this idea, Jerry," he said. "I'm trying to broker this peace deal between the sets, you know, because the killing has got to stop."
According to NWA manager Jerry Heller's autobiography Ruthless, Concepcion came to him with the idea for the track; he had sponsorship from Reebok and the cosign of Jesse Jackson and Ice-T, but he needed Heller's support to secure production from Dre and the participartion of the by-then Ice Cube-less NWA's. Heller looked out, impressed with Concepcion's vision, and arranged to have Warner Brothers press and distribute the project for no charge. That album went platinum, and without a doubt contributed to the peace treaty that was eventually settled on in LA's streets (until it all fell apart again). Happy anniversary to this all-too-brief moment in time in my hometown.
by Dave Segal
on Thu, May 16, 2013 at 10:25 AM
With hype for Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories* spiking, now may be a good time to reflect on a live performance from the French duo’s early days—just for stark contrast’s sake.
This 1996 clip from Wisconsin’s Even Furthur festival reveals a unit working with a much rawer, rougher, and ravetastic palette of sounds than heard on Daft Punk’s post Homework releases. Between you and me, I prefer this side of Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo’s oeuvre. It’s unlikely they’ll ever return to this acidic, gritty, meth-y style, but you never know. When you get as big and rich as Daft Punk, you can pretty much do whatever the hell you please (see the Beatles, Radiohead, Steven Soderbergh).
I first encountered Coultrain as one half of the time-slip soul crew Hawthorne Headhunters alongside Black Spade (initial members I-Ced and Seattle native Proh Mic broke out to do their own respective thangs); he and his people rocked with Shabazz Palaces on a hot night in St. Louis about a year ago, and afterwards we cooled out lovely in a bar's back patio.
Last month I was happy to see that Portland powerhouse tastemaker FRSH SLCTS was hyping the Plug Research release of Coultrain's new album Jungle Mumbo Jumbo—whose cover, I noticed, samples the Lady Frieda Harris painting from the Thoth tarot card for Lust. Holla. I love this simple, enchanting video for "A Gem Iza Jewel," directed by FRSH's Kenny Fresh. No disrespect, but in my opinion a lot of y'all are too hung up on the Pickwicks and Allen Stones of the world to pick up on the fresh new sounds on the cutting edge of soul music in 2013. That said, a taste:
by Dave Segal
on Tue, May 14, 2013 at 2:19 PM
Master Musicians of Bukkake have issued another video of a song from their forthcoming Far West album (out on Important Records in June; read about that record's "White Mountain Return"here). "Gnomi" is one of MMOB's most accessible and melodramatic moments, a solemnly majestic ballad that packs an ancient punch, scarred by some of the most tastefully deployed guitar noise and marked by some of the most decipherable vocalizing in the group's long history. Also special: the 50-second synth breakdown near the halfway point, which recalls the sinister, seething tones of Igor Wakhévitch and Patrick Vian.
by Dave Segal
on Mon, May 13, 2013 at 11:07 AM
Seattle producer/synthesist/bassist Airport (aka Jayson Kochan of Midday Veil and TJ Max) has a new video of his sinister disco bomb “Business” ready for your hungry eyes. Directed by and starring artist (and a 2012 Stranger visual art Genius contender) Amanda Manitach, the clip captures the obsessive-compulsive, fast-twitch mania of a lot of the best dance music. Plus, stilettos.
Seattle's elegant folk pop lads Hey Marseilles are having a video-release party tonight over at Moe Bar for "Heart Beats," a song off their new album Lines We Trace. I'm obligated to tell you that I am one of the people in this video, but don't let that stop you—there will be drink specials and give-aways! And it's free! And the band will be there! You could have them sign your neck, or whatever you had Ron Jeremy sign.
by Dave Segal
on Thu, May 9, 2013 at 10:11 AM
Brother JT hosts the best damn talk show on the net, Trippin’ Balls. This new segment with the great Baltimore musician Ed Schrader of Ed Schrader's Music Beat is typically twisted, knuckleballing through time and space with semi-lucid, lysergic logic. Let us hope that this series and this badass, absurdity-mongering Bro never stop befuddling us.
After the jump, check out the infectious, gently bent "Somebody Down There" from Brother JT's new album on Thrill Jockey, The Svelteness of Boogietude.
Psych-glam Bay Area outfit the Burnt Ones have released a video for the song "Web" off their new record, You'll Never Walk Alone, which I wrote about here.
Though I referred to them as a trio, because that's what all available information indicated—profiles, promo portraits, press releases, etc.—four people appear in this clip, so I think there's something they're not telling us, though bands are known to call on auxiliary members from time to time.
In any case, the thing was shot on video, which reminds me of last year's scrappy horror anthology V/H/S, except it isn't scary, though the glowing neon images provide the perfect fit for their fuzzy T. Rex-meets-Pink Floyd maelstrom (and look for V/H/S/2 at this year's Seattle International Film Festival).
Burger Records releases You'll Never Walk Alone on May 14. Stream it now at Ad Hoc. They'll also be playing Chop Suey with Pony Time on June 17 ($7 adv, 21+).
Mike Nipper's post reminded me of this clip of David Lee Roth, completely high as shit at the US Festival in 1983. I don't wanna telegraph what happens here, but this music-free clip concludes with Diamond Dave drinking whiskey with an unlikely guest and taking a potshot at one of the most famous English punk rock bands of all time.
One-time Ducktails and Real Estate associate Julian Lynch has been diligently toiling away on his solo career since 2008, culminating in the release of his fourth album, Lines, earlier this year. It's a pretty, prog-infused pop record that hasn't attracted much attention in Seattle, so maybe that's why his current tour doesn't include our fair city.
On the plus side, he's released a video to accompany the bleary, smeary "Gloves," which plays like XTC by way of Roxy Music on Robitussin. Double plus (good): it's rather charming, especially for those who find curly-haired lasses, stuffed rabbits, and polka-dot dresses appealing—and hey, who doesn't? (More so if The Velveteen Rabbit made a vivid impression on you as a kid.) Yet somehow, the end result isn't as cute or as quirky as that description might indicate. SPIN compares it to Donnie Darko, though I'd like it even better if the big bunny at the end looked more like the small one.