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Sunday, September 28, 2008

Decibel in the Park

posted by on September 28 at 13:24 PM

2894233844_231eaba1bd.jpgJacob London photo by Jeanine Anderson from the Strangr Flickr pool

Yesterday’s free Decibel in the Park at Volunteer Park was ideal. It was sunny and warm, with a big crowd spread over the lawn and in front of the band-shell, from goofy looking ravers to park regulars. Jacob London kicked off with samples of an audience cheering at what sounded like Bobcat Goldthwait grunting and growling and whining and stuttering. Good as Jacob London’s productions are, their sense of humor is perhaps their strongest suit. They warped the vocal tics to a rhythm, dropped a beat under them, and got rolling into some bumpy techno. Maybe a half hour into their set, they blew a fuse or something and lost all sound; they did a little Ashley Simpson jig while waiting for it to come back on. After a few minutes, the sound came back, and someone named Sonic MC came on to reheat the crowd while Jacob London powered back up; he said “fuck” and then apologized because of all the “tots” that were around (there were a good amount of kids and families there). Starting over from dead air, Jacob London switched gears to slower tempo, hip-hop and dancehall inflected tracks, with an MC on some tracks and a clipped Modeselektor sample on another. They worked their way back up into some housier territory for the final part of the set. One wonders if the set was going to be so ranging even before the power out; it worked well for the situation.

Truckasauras kicked off with a new song, full of Korg MS 20 bass burps and digital-sounding keys, followed by a few new-ish songs, all of which sound really promising for another record. Tyler Swan wore a Legend of Zelda NES cartridge around his neck as a medallion; maybe some nerdcore dude somewhere has already done this, but I’d never seen it before and it was kind of a perfect look for the Truck—a little bit hip hop flash, a little bit (8 bits) nerd. Adam Swan rocked a big Pepsi cup instead of the usual bottle of whiskey. The other Swan brother stalked the stage in a red, white, and blue top hat, looking like he might try to sell you a used mattress, attempting to get the attentive but stationary crowd’s hands up. The Truck also lost sound for a minute, but they were able to recover quicker, gear still dialed in, right on the same beat as where they left off. They played the usual older songs, smoothly transitioning from one song to another where they usually pause between songs, the bass booming rich and deep over the lawn.

2893579411_52cc8711ea.jpgGlitch Mob photo by Jeanine Anderson from the Strangr Flickr pool

The Truck may not have elicited much physical reaction from the crowd, but headliners Glitch Mob sure as hell did, the whole crowd suddenly filling the “pit” as soon as the band took the stage and dancing enthusiastically for their whole set. Today, Glitch Mob was two guys behind a laptop and mixer, one of them an affable, confident MC on the mic. Their set started with a deep, muddled voice intoning about “next level shit,” “west coast,” and “the future” before a rap-rock big beat dropped followed by layers of crunchy, distorted synths. Soon a vocal loop—the MC?—was repeating,”One love make the world go ‘round,” then “the game is not over” (sadly not a tease for some T. Raumschmiere)—it was like they were nailing every lyrical/sloganeering cliche possible. Brandon Ivers observed that they sound like the music that might play while Xzibit yelled at you about how he installed a playstation in your car. They played a mix of “Lollipop” by Lil Wayne. It was all like Ed Banger for dummies, which I think is saying a lot, the kind of techno you’d expect Zach de la Rocha to drop a “fiery” politcal verse over, perhaps. Kids—literal little kids—were bouncing and flailing around stage alongside candy ravers in fishnets and platform boots. B. Shorty was there with a little dog. All in all, it was about as next level and futuristic as the Space Needle. The crowd sure dug it, though.

RSS icon Comments


You know, i'm gonna have to go out on a
limb and disagree. I enjoy truckasaurus
wholeheartedly, their drunken indie take
on 8bitness is sweet, but in terms of being
ahead of the curve they're late
to a geeky party that started a long time
ago. Just because square waves are suddenly
in vogue with the ironic crowd, doesn't mean
it just appeared, it's been here since the Amiga demoscene days.
I won't go on to say that what glitch mob does is exactly groundbreaking, however in the ADD-riddled dance scene, glitch hop is a weird subgenre that still has some life in it. Noisemaker, who opened the day and therefore unfortunately missed by most, represents the burner-tinged sound of glitch that bumps n' stutters like a houston take on dubstep. It's not only good body moving stuff, it gives me hope for the genre that was left for dead after cex vomited mediocrity all over it.
Amidst some of the chin-stroking-nest, minimal, flavor-du-jour acts that decibel sometimes play host to, this event was the most appealing to me for the breadth of sounds represented. That in turn drew out a patchwork crowd of burners, scenesters, and hippies. Even yes, some candy kids who looked like they still have their honeymoon going for them. With all the comparisons drawn from every sweaty decibel event to "early 90s rave", this party kinda represented at least a forward-thinking melting pot of a crowd. Something we could use a little more of.


PS Glitch mob didn't really mix other than fading in some arpeggiated noise to intro the parts, but still a good time.

Posted by a kid | September 28, 2008 11:43 PM

wow. shut the FUCK UP. look at all your retarded words.

techno fans talking about whether some barely-different sub genre "has any life" or is a "party" other bands might "be late to" is incredibly annoying. truckasauras is really good and glitch mob is like maxin magazine/"bad ass" stripper/fast n furious/hair gel.

Posted by ndrwmtsn | September 29, 2008 9:07 AM

i don't think it's possible to overstate how weird the crowd was for this show. it was equal parts folk life, day care, phish concert, love parade, renaissance faire, and 'trailer park boys'. where are these people coming from?

Posted by cosby | September 29, 2008 9:13 AM

I don't see many "retarded words" per se, but I do see a response I spent time refining and clarifying to be constructive and not "retarded". I've got love for hometown 8bit artists like trucksus, leeni and fighter-x, it's more of what constitutes forward-thinking in eric's post.


ps I only listen to a little bit of techno, however I do listen to a lot of electronic music.

Posted by a kid | September 29, 2008 12:19 PM

For the record, Edit and Boreta are 1/2 of the Glitch Mob. If Ooah and Kraddy were here with them it would have been insane but Saturday's show was still a damn good party (and FREE!). I wouldn't say it blew my mind or was necessarily futuristic, but it got the whole crowd moving and sweating and straight loving it. I was proud of Seattle for the variety in the crowd and for getting down to something different than mainstream top 40 crap.

Posted by m | September 29, 2008 3:46 PM

Right, nothing like "Lollipop" as an alternative to "mainstream top 40 crap."

Also, you might have noticed I said: "Today, Glitch Mob was two guys behind a laptop and mixer." I'm aware that on most days, there's more of a mob.

Posted by Eric Grandy | September 29, 2008 4:01 PM

"Some guy named Sonic MC"- ha ha ha!

I think I see Sonic out about 5 times a week- he is a freaking staple of the Seattle electronic music scene!

I had been posting bulletins to pimp out this event all week on Myspace: CALLING ALL FREAKS AND ROBOTS- looks like it worked!

Those are MY people!

Posted by Shilo Urban | September 30, 2008 6:21 PM

Wow that was the worst write up I have ever read I can only wonder what crawled up that writers ass n died to be so harsh on something that made so many people happy or maybe they just hate there job or whatever...

I can’t write to save my life but I know when I see and hear a good thing. The whole show was off the hook they rocked it for everyone not just young people but everyone old people,bums,dogs kids whatever and for free. I think that says a lot about Seattle and the people who put it on. Thank You!
Was one the best shows this summer. Oh yeah and to say it was about as futuristic as the space needle seriously buddy study up on who and what your writing about because you obviously have NO clue about electronic music what so really!
I caught the last bit of Jacob London was diggen it. Truckasauras was really good i danced my ass off loved it and Glitch Mob brought it heavy just as we new they would….the show was philthy all the way around.

Posted by Zie | September 30, 2008 9:49 PM


Posted by zie | September 30, 2008 9:59 PM

For the record... ediT and Boreta used more than a "laptop and mixer".
Laptops, samplers, sequencers, drum pads, a mixer, and ediT even used his iPhone as a midi controller. I was thoroughly impressed by them.
Their tracks and mashups are solid and innovative and their sound is signature.

This show was the highlight of the weekend for me.

Posted by JDN | September 30, 2008 10:40 PM

Decibel in the park was amazing in my opinion.
Noise Maker!
Jacob London!
The Glitch Mob!!!
A dream come true.
Everything exceeded my expectations!
Such an eclectic crowd! And with all the diversity there was nothing but love!
We need more public gatherings like this!
"Kids—literal little kids bouncing and flailing around stage?"
The youngsters really made this party!
"about as next level and futuristic as the Space Needle?"
These kids are the future! They represent the next level!
This event gave me more hope for the future of EDM/Glitch/whatever you want to call it than I could ever imagine!
After this amazing event I witnessed edIT approach and give mad props to a kid no older than 11. He said "Thanks for rawkin out! I'll see you out the next time right?" Theres no word that can define the look in this kids eyes. And I know he was feelin this event because I was rawkin out right next to him the whole time The Glitch Mob SLAYED!!!

Posted by Allta | October 1, 2008 1:49 AM

Glitch mob killed it. If xzibit was putting a playstation In my car i would definantly be bumping glitch mob. I guess I'm not trying hard enough to be different. Looking forward to your next review hopefully bashing anything mainstream to keep ur standing as a rogue journalist fighting for anything different. Opinions are like assholes and this guys stinks of shit.

Posted by hyphy | October 1, 2008 9:37 AM

Glitch mob killed it. If xzibit was putting a playstation In my car i would definantly be bumping glitch mob. I guess I'm not trying hard enough to be different. Looking forward to your next review hopefully bashing anything mainstream to keep ur standing as a rogue journalist fighting for anything different. Opinions are like assholes and this guys stinks of shit.

Posted by hyphy | October 1, 2008 9:37 AM

Yea let me tell you something Eric.....

Your review is shit!!! All i got and im sure i aint the only one here that agrees, but pretty much everything you wrote was negative and its very obvious that you have no clue on what good music is!

If i was you i would go back to doing whatever it was you were doing before they gave you this job.

Also here is a tip.......
Know what the you are talking about musically before writing a shit of a review! Maybe you would hae better luck writing a review for one of "dem barn dances" since it seems that you dont have any respect for good electronic music

Posted by ReNoG...... | October 1, 2008 12:49 PM

You should crawl back under that rock where you came from!

I have been to 20 or more concerts this year from Justice to Bassnectar to The Toadies...

eDIT and Boreta's show was the dopest set I have seen all year since their last one at Neumos!

You should seriously consider putting your hands and tongue in a blender.

Posted by Messy Jesse | October 1, 2008 12:56 PM

Why do they always have some EMO fool that know nothing about electronic music write reviews.. Put away you fucken grunge CDs, and just open your eyes ... a FREE PARTY @ the party OMG this will go down in the record books for many years to come... and sorry to ruin it the Easter bunny ain't real and Kurt did take bullet in his head.

GET A LIFE!, and JOB your good at, and let the real writers do the reviews.

Posted by Nobodyfamous / Angus | October 1, 2008 1:49 PM

too bad you have no idea what you're talking about...whatever happened to a review from someone with knowledge of their topic...definitely not something you care to partake in, at all....and get your facts start, neither edit nor boreta is an MC, and all the lyrics/samples they played were already in their music library to begin with....maybe next time you should school yourself before picking up a pen/keyboard to write a review about something you have no understanding.

and one more isn't about fashion and what it looks's about what it sounds is music and all....maybe you should try getting off that high horse of yours and tryin listening sometime

Posted by meeshell | October 1, 2008 2:42 PM

"Kandy Ravers"!? I don't recall seeing any kandy ravers on stage... I was actually one of those "kandy ravers". And I'm very offended to be called one! Did you see me wearing any kandy (plastic beaded bracelets, necklaces..etc..)? Did you see me all fucked up on ecstasy!? Did you see me with a baby pasaphire in my mouth or around my neck!? Or how bout some glowsticks??? I don't think so! Girls that dress up and dance on stage at shows are called GoGo dancers.. Maybe you should learn more about the electronic culture before you start running your mouth about something you clearly have not a single clue about!!!

Posted by nefarious | October 1, 2008 4:01 PM

Let me just repeat a key point here...
Noise Maker!
Jacob London!
The Glitch Mob!!!
A dream come true.

One of the DJs could have had gone fking retarded and knocked the tables over and I would still be in front cheering!!!

I've been to 12 large scale electronic music festivals this summer and havnet had time for a single seattle club night event but I made sure I got to this one... yeah I wasnt feeling a few tracks but the show overall was one of the BEST shows in seattle Ive seen... And while this stupid reviewer is talking techy techno babble he probably didnt (or maybe couldnt!) realize the biggest thing I saw... the ALL STAR LINEUP of the CROWD! I was seeing epic hommie after epic hommie and it was some kinda weird reunion party for all these different aspects of headie scenes... plus the kick off from everyone's favs boys the CRANE crew... EPIC!!! that party kicked ass and anyone that says different is definitely not someone to take too seriously...

Posted by Raja | October 1, 2008 4:59 PM

im so glad you all read this yeah this guy so needed to hear all this and more i hope it keeps coming.... calling edit an mc...ha ha lol was this guy on some serious drugs and or just not at the show or some!!! was an awesome show im so glad we all got to be there and witness the sickness of the show....mad love!!!!!

Posted by Zie aka Lynz | October 1, 2008 5:02 PM
21, this is what seattle has turned into? big deal, so ONE individiual didnt think the heavens opened up during the prospective sets? Grow up and stop the whiney myspace bulletains begging people to jump on the bandwagon and leave a neg comment. Nowhere did he say they were bad, or anything really negative..just so happens his world didnt stop turning one afternoon at the park. You like thier sets? Great. Good for you. if you have that much to say about the topic, perhaps you should have your own column. but you dont, so move the fu@k on..

Posted by Diesel | October 1, 2008 10:02 PM

That's not the point. His facts weren't straight... You don't write an article about something you know nothing about!

Posted by nefarious | October 1, 2008 10:36 PM

Why are the most myopically partisan fans always the best spellers?

Posted by Eric Grandy | October 2, 2008 9:37 AM

its not about leaving negative comments its about writers who choose to write about something they have no clue about and dont want to know about.... the reason we care is because the art and music scene here are awesome and deserve proper recolonization..we have plenty of columns its not about that its about this shitty review.and it was way more than just an afternoon at the park.. but its obvious what most think about la la it was great

get a life than learn to live it its pretty sweet when you except and embrace the love, the art the music the talent

Posted by zie | October 2, 2008 4:23 PM

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