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Archives for 12/24/2006 - 12/30/2006

Friday, December 29, 2006

If I Was Christian, I Would Ask For These For Christmas

posted by on December 29 at 4:14 PM


Electric Heavyland Closes

posted by on December 29 at 11:41 AM

Electric Heavyland is set to close on January 1st. So soon! Here’s what they have to say:

In the 2 years that we’ve been here in Wallingford, Seattle, we’ve had a hell of a lot of fun and have gotten to meet a lot of awesome people. We’ve hosted countless bands: local, national and international: and multiples of visual artists. We’ve shown films and have set out tables with foods for eats. And we’ve gotten to turn a lot of people onto music that they probably would have never come across in yr normal everyday music shop. But with all good things comes an end and today is that day (or as it were, this coming weekend and holiday, but you get the idea). So… Saturday and Sunday (Dec 30 + 31, respectivelly) will be our last days open and to commerate this joyous occassion we will be selling All Remaining Stocks: CDs: Vinyl: Magazines: Cassettes: etc: at 50% off: that’s right: 50% off! Thine eyes doth not deceiveth thee. 50% off the remaining stocks. oh, except for the toys, those are still the same really expensive price. but everything else is 50% off.

This is a sad occasion for Seattle’s obscurest music lovers, as Electric Heavyland specialized in “Heavy, Noise, Experimental, Avant-something or other, Power-Violence, Weird, Black Metal, New Japan, and Ultra-Core.” I always enjoyed their Kraut Rock section.

The kids who run the store also run Enterruption Records, and they are closing the store down to make room in their lives for more work on the label.

They would also like to dispel any rumors of the Melvins playing there on January 1st.

Get down to Electric Heavyland this weekend for some great deals and sad goodbyes! It’s at 252 NE 45th, in Wallingford.

James Brown: Still Packing ‘Em in at the Apollo

posted by on December 29 at 11:14 AM


Last night I went to Harlem to see James Brown’s final appearance at the Apollo Theater, where the body of the Godfather of Soul/Edison of Rhythm/Babydaddy-Babymama-Funky Doula of Hiphop was laid out yesterday for a public viewing. I got there around 7:30 pm with my fella Jake, who took the photos above and below. When we arrived, only thirty minutes remained in the scheduled showing time (1-8pm). Still, there was a tremendous crowd—thousands of people—lined up along several long blocks hoping to get in.

As we strolled the six blocks to the end of the line, I tried to guess how the night would play out. Would James Brown—in death as in life—prove himself the hardest working man in showbiz and stay on the Apollo stage until every last fan was satisfied? Or was the 8pm deadline set in stone, and all those cops on hand were here to make sure the disappointed crowd dispersed peacefully?

Whatever the case, the crowd was fascinating—lots of families in fancy funeral dress, a rainbow of hipsters young and old, and numerous crusty old dudes reminiscing about James Brown b-sides. This guy walked along the line showing off his original vinyl pressing of Live at the Apollo signed by the man himself, and reciting a story about producing one of Brown’s NY shows in the ’70s.

Finally, we came upon someone addressing the crowd: James Brown’s sister, whose first name I didn’t catch, and who was working her way down the line, addressing groups of 50 or so at a time. The gist of her address: Due to another showing scheduled the next day in Georgia, the Apollo showing would indeed have to cease at 8:00 pm, leaving thousands of people standing on line for naught. “James loves every one of you,” she said with tears in her eyes. “The whole family is so grateful to you for coming out tonight.”

The crowd of addressees I heard answered back sweetly, calling out, “Don’t you worry about it” and “God bless you,” and I imagine she found similarly sympathetic audiences as she worked her way down the line. As we left, I bought a bootleg DVD of “James Brown’s Greatest TV Performances” from one of the many vendors lining the streets. I haven’t watched it yet.

As for the man of the hour (fuck you, Gerald Ford): He’s a giant, he knew it, and he had an awesome life. RIP James Brown.

Step back in time: Engram Records

posted by on December 29 at 9:17 AM

While leafing through a second hand copy of the Setpember 1981 issue of CREEM magazine, I found the following ad (cannily placed in the pages of the feature “Independent Labels: The Good, the Small, and the Persistent”) from pre-grunge explosion-era Seattle:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

If you can’t read the tiny, scanned type in the ad, the bands on Seattle Syndrome include The Blackouts and the Beakers (both of whom got the reissue treatment from K in 2004), plus Macs, X-15, Phillipo Scrooge, K7SS, Student Nurse, Savant, Body Falling Downstairs, Pudz, Jim Basnight, Fastbacks, Rufuzors, and The Fartz.

Anybody know whatever became of this label, and have more info about the six titles listed in as available-for-purchase at the bottom?

Thursday, December 28, 2006

M3 Summit “On Hiatus” This Year

posted by on December 28 at 6:55 PM


The Winter Music Conference, the pasty-faced dance music professional’s spring break, stopped being a “conference” a long time ago — it’s now a handful of big events that pretend to have something to do with the dance music business, surrounded by hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of incredibly decadent parties. It’s a clusterfuck, but it’s also a blast if you hit the right spots at the right times.

But one of the week’s anchor tenants is sitting it out this year — the M3 Music Summit, which played host to great shows from Lady Sovereign and Jamie Lidell last year, is taking a break. From the press release:

On the financial side, substantial increases in event costs and limited outdoor hotel space for events like ours during next years Miami music week have challenged our privately held company and would necessitate a substantial increase in registration fees to our devoted fans. Something M3 is not wiling to do at this time.

So now every label in the world is going to throw pre-pre-parties, pre-parties, warm-up sessions, after-parties and after-after-parties for a party that does not exist. Which was pretty much the case anyway, but now it’s official.

James Brown’s Biopic…

posted by on December 28 at 5:00 PM

…is going to be directed by Spike Lee. That’s certainly a logical choice for a director, but who on earth are they going to find for the titular role? I don’t envy the casting directors—that will be a tough one to get right.

What’s On Megan’s Desk?

posted by on December 28 at 2:36 PM

It’s back, after a week’s vacation- What’s on Megan’s Desk?

Our weekly feature is the only feature that dares to venture into the hole that is Interim Music Editor Megan Seling’s messy, messy desk. And for those keeping up with the blog, her candy bowl has only candy canes in it right now. Gross.

Anyhow, we go digging, digging away, and look what we find!


A series of regrets that were meant to go in this week’s issue, but were turned in too late, by Brendhan Bowers, a member of the Pharmacy (to see his bandmate Scottie’s regrets, which were turned in on time, go here).

What a treat! These are better than regular scraps of paper written all over illegibly. Here’s what they say!

“1. Forging a Buy 10 Get 1 Free card at Pita Pit and then eating that pile of vomit and shit wrapped in a pita pocket. I wish I ate pizza instead. That shit was not tight.”


“2. Getting stoned in Flagstaff, Arizona during traffic, stopping at a DQ for ice cream, and then immedietly[sic] being pulled over by highway patrol and thrown in jail. Oh wait…I don’t regret eating ice cream. That shit was tight.”


“3. The other night I saw this person laying in some bushes covered in blood. I tried to help him up because I thought he was hit by a car. It turned out to be a stupiddrunk college kid and he proceeded to push me and punch me[sic]”


“I regret trying to help him and I regret not jump kicking his face. 4. Because of the previous incident, I regret being human. I wish I was a little bear that ate salmon and swam in rivers all day long.”

Thanks Brendhan! Those are some heavy regrets. I regret that you didn’t turn them in on time. Oh well! If you want to check out the Pharmacy, they are playing tonight at Clup Pop at Chop Suey.

Thanks for tuning in for this edition of What’s On Megan’s Desk!

A Belated Gift From Jeff Samuel

posted by on December 28 at 9:14 AM

Earlier this year, techno heavyweight Jeff Samuel left Seattle to go try his hand on European shores with a new base of operations in Berlin. Since then he’s been touring clubs in exotic locales, living the rockstar DJ lifestyle in addition to having a wonderfully received new full-length. Well, he’s managed to not forget “the little people” and has posted a link to a free mix on his MySpace, the remnants of a commercial mix that was de-prioritized in favor of the album.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Johnny Depp to Play Freddie Mercury?

posted by on December 27 at 4:41 PM


It just might happen, according to this report on Sound Generator.

Turn on the Bright Local Lights

posted by on December 27 at 9:44 AM

In the issue of The Stranger that will land this afternoon, I’m going to mark Downpilot as having put out the Best Local Release By an Established Artist for their last CD, Like You Believe It. They are certainly worthy of such an accolade. However, they should have been tied with the Lights, for their 2006 release, Diamonds and Dirt. How they escaped my memory during my local summary, I do not know. Dummy=Me. The Lights fucking rule. Genuinely urgent, ferociously articulate, ridiculously on time…and somehow….blessedly off-time. If this band ever breaks up, I’ll be heartbroken. Recognize:

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

No Comment

posted by on December 26 at 6:00 PM

Celine Dion singing AC/DC’s “You Shook Me All Night Long.”

Holy fuck.

I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I couldn’t not make you suffer with me. Blame Bradley Steinbacher, he’s the jerk who told me about it.

Kimya’s Poo

posted by on December 26 at 3:50 PM

In this week’s paper, there’s an interivew with Kimya Dawson that starts out like this:

“I took a poop that’s shaped like cock and balls,” says Kimya Dawson on the phone from Olympia. “I posted a picture of it online.”

It’s true.

Read the rest of the story here. More importantly, though, see the poo here.

Knighthood for Bono

posted by on December 26 at 3:49 PM

bono ole.jpg

Thankfully, he can’t call himself “sir,” but yes, Bono is going to be a knight soon.

James Brown’s Girlfriend Locked Out of His Estate

posted by on December 26 at 3:36 PM


I don’t know enough about Brown’s history with Tomi Rae Hynie to know whether she was truly a current girlfriend, but they did have a kid together, so I’d say it’s an unfortunate reality, nevertheless.

Videoblogging for the 21st Century

posted by on December 26 at 12:39 PM


Web critic and British music blogging fixture Woebot has just unleashed what may be a first in the next generation of, um, internet blogging technology: WOEBOT TV. Under the guise of a talking computer monitor, Woebot appears in front of a green screen delivering what is essentially his blogging monologue, set to music and a montage of video, photographs and album art in his soft native British accent. Running somewhere between a podcast, weblog, and VH1 TV special, the entire thing is surprisingly elegant, from the slick video production to the website design itself. You can listen to him wax on and off about 70’s prog rock, post punk, James Brown, and only time knows what else at

tago mago.JPG

gentle giant.JPG

Monday, December 25, 2006

Happy 20th Birthday, Gilman

posted by on December 25 at 2:30 PM

And I’m sorry I moved to Seattle and can’t come to your birthday party.


I don’t know if people in Seattle care about Gilman, the iconic Berkeley punk-rock collective/venue, but it’s celebrating its 20th birthday this week. It’s amazing that the place has been around this long. Initially financed by Maximum Rocknroll, it’s all ages, all volunteer run (except the security), not for profit, and every show is under $7, with a $2 yearly membership fee; you get a membership card and can attend twice-monthly meetings where you help make club decisions. Bands on major labels are not allowed to play at Gilman (even those that played there before they went big—sorry AFI and Green Day), and neither are sexist, racist, or homophobic bands. It’s violence, alcohol, and drug free (fights get broken up quickly), and only has shows on the weekends. As a native Northern Californian, Gilman is extremely important to me: It was the only venue that consistently booked the kind of bands I wanted to see (later, Burnt Ramen in Richmond filled that need, as well), and it’s just the perfect DIY venue for great punk-rock shows; it’s always a million times better to see shows in small, smelly, dingy venues like this than, say, in a bar. It’s dark, dirty, cramped, and overwhelmed with welcomed graffiti, and there are usually several merch/distro tables where you can always find good records between bands.

Before I lived in SF, Gilman was a six-hour roundtrip trek from my hometown, and that was a drive we were happy to make. I have many fond memories of the bands I saw there over the years: Dystopia, Phobia, Damad, El Dopa (AKA 1332), Look Back and Laugh, Capitalist Casualties, Fucked Up, Ludicra, Like Flies on Flesh. There are so many more I’ve forgotten. My first show at Gilman was Phobia; my last show was Fucked Up and Look Back and Laugh. I’m saddened by the bands I was unable to see there (or anywhere) because I was in high school and my mom wouldn’t let me travel that far until I turned 18 (Ojo Rojo and His Hero Is Gone in particular). Just thinking about the handful of times I begged my mom to no avail to let me go see His Hero Is Gone in Berkeley still makes me pissed. God damn it, Mom!

Every once in a while, I take a peek at The List (a calendar of Bay Area punk shows meticulously compiled by Steve Koepke), and it always breaks my heart a little to see all these bands playing there that aren’t playing here in Seattle. I took Gilman and Bay Area punk rock for granted. I thought every city would have that same awesome scene, or that those bands would play up here in Seattle all the time. Nope.

For anyone who might be in the area at the time, Gilman is having a 20th-birthday show on Saturday, December 30, with Social Unrest, El Dopa, Black Fork, Schlong, United Intrepid Forces, Look Back and Laugh, and ADT*. And for further reading, there’s 924 Gilman: The Story So Far compiled by Brian Edge, a book comprising photos, stories, and recollections about Gilman and how it all got started.

* El Dopa and Look Back and Laugh are definitely worth seeing. Look Back and Laugh are fucking great: seriously rocking hardcore, female fronted, straight-edge (not tough-guy straight-edge). Yes! El Dopa (sometimes 1332) were an Oakland grindcore/crust band from the ’90s who keep getting back together and playing shows. They completely rock.

Vera Project Update

posted by on December 25 at 11:30 AM

Hey, Merry Christmas Seattle! You get a new all-ages venue!


The Vera Project is less than $600,000 away from meeting their million and a half dollar goal (and an auction planned for January will certainly help decrease that number), and the construction on the new space is, according to Program Director Melissa Quayle, coming along wonderfully.

Through the drywall dust you can see the new Vera taking shape in Seattle Center’s Snoqualmie Room. The steel framing is in and the walls are up. The silkscreen studio is a studio, the showroom has a sound booth and a stage is in the works.

Here’s what it looks like right now. Both shots were taken by the gifted and handsome Curt Doughty.



Opening weekend is scheduled for February 23rd and 24th, but they’re not announcing who’s playing just yet—we’ll have to wait until after the New Year for that. For now, despite the new space being unfinished, they still need volunteers to help ‘em out as things progress, says Quayle.

We need people to: help out with our auction, carry and move sound, silkscreen and office equipment, and decorate and settle into our new venue. Our next volunteer orientation is on January 11th, at our temporary HQ 766 Thomas at 6pm. We would love to see you!

Best Christmas Present, Ever

posted by on December 25 at 10:44 AM


This Clash singles box set that my boyfriend gave me is so beautiful, I thought I might have a heart attack. Strummer and company definitely didn’t fuck around when it came to album artwork.

As of this moment, I’m particularly enamored with this one:


But this one is pretty great too:


As is this one:


Thanks, honey!

R.I.P. Soul Brother #1

posted by on December 25 at 2:13 AM


May 3, 1933 ““ December 25, 2006

James Brown: the Godfather of Soul, Mister Dynamite, the Hardest Working Man in Show Business is dead at the age of 73. His latter years were a mess of embarassing mug shots and arrests that paralleled a childhood of juvenile crime and poverty. But somewhere in between dropping out of 8th grade in rural Georgia and the allegations of spousal abuse and drug use that made him a late night punchline— James Brown was the greatest entertainer to have ever lived. Supported by one of the tightest, funkiest, and most talented touring bands a man could assemble, Brown had at least one Top 10 single in almost every year between 1959 to 1976.

Few artists can claim his ubiquitous influence upon popular music. And even fewer can make that claim, do a backflip and then bust the splits while playing a two hour encore. Fuck Elvis, fuck the Beatles, fuck the Stones— James Brown rocked harder than any of his time and we were goddamn lucky to have had the pleasure of his music. Thank you, James Brown.

I’m going to go dance now.

Click here for a more complete account of his death.