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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Lykke Li, Yelle

posted by on October 23 at 2:05 PM


There are two glaring omissions in this week's Up & Coming concert listings: Swedish hypemachine it-girl Lykke Li (pictured above, with shoes) and French hypemachine it-girl (ca. 2007) Yelle.

How did this happen? Well, somewhere between dropping acid with Of Montreal and time-travelling with Brian Wilson, these international ladies slipped through the cracks. Our apologies. But since these acts owe so much of their buzz to the Internets anyway, maybe it's only appropriate that we address them here on Line Out.

Lykke Li's Youth Novels was produced by Peter Bjorn & John's Björn Yttling, and some folks have pointed out that it kind of sounds like the female vocals from that band's "Young Folks" stretched out to album length. The album is pleasant and poppy enough, though, with a couple undeniable gems, the below, "Dance, Dance, Dance" being one of them:

But, and this is the techno-dork/DJ in me talking, where these tracks really come alive is in the remixes, specifically the Dada Life remix of "Dance, Dance, Dance," the Loving Hand remix of "Little Bit," and both the Metronomy and Fred Falke remixes of "I'm Good, I'm Gone." Also, she closes out her live shows with a cover of "Can I Kick It?" Yes, she can.

I've previously written about Yelle here and here, but basically, Yelle is a delightful, dirty-talking French electro-pop cartoon character. Observe:

Yelle plays Neumos Monday, October 27th, 8pm, $15, all-ages, w/Passion Pit, Funeral Party, & DJ Colby B

Lykke Li plays Neumos Wednesday, October 29th, 8pm, $15, all-ages, w/Friendly Fires

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I Made a Lot of Mistakes

posted by on October 16 at 10:17 AM


Tonight, Olympia almost a cappella dream pop ensemble Lake play an all-ages show at 2020 Cycle with Desolation Wilderness and Hoquiam. I review their new K Records album, Oh, The Places We'll Go in this week's album reviews:

One of the distinguishing oddities of Olympia is Capitol Lake, a man-made reflecting puddle scenically situated between downtown and the Capitol Building up on the hill. It was immortalized in Beat Happening's "Our Secret," although you probably wouldn't want to go swimming in it, not even with Calvin Johnson. Young K Records ensemble Lake may not take their name from this particular body of water, but they certainly share some of its perfectly composed calm and antique charm.

Lake are a soft-rocking glee club whose cool, almost a cappella dream pop and lyrical doo-wop wouldn't sound entirely out of place in 1951, the year Capitol Lake was dredged out of some mudflats. They're also archetypically Olympian, a loose collective whose fluctuating membership draws from a pool of singers, songwriters, and musicians that includes members of Kickball and Swimming, and the prolific Karl Blau, who recorded Oh, the Places We'll Go at Anacortes's Department of Safety. (Speaking of prolific, Lake have supposedly recorded a dozen albums' worth of material, although this is only their third full-length.)

The album is book-ended by the title track and its sequel (as well as a brief instrumental coda), two placidly optimistic Seussian anthems whose coed vocal harmonies; swinging drumming; deep, bobbing bass; and accents of piano, guitar, horns, and hand percussion all pleasantly recall Vancouver, BC, contemporaries No Kids (both are fans of Fleetwood Mac). That resemblance is even clearer on the gorgeous "Blue Ocean Blue," with its airy female vocal lead and its spare rim shots, cowbells, and hand claps. Lake chart a fairly steady course across the album, trading off vocal duties, slowing down a bit for the dark, jazzy "Minor Trip" and the echoing, synth-inflected "On the Swing," picking up the tempo for the melancholy dance number "Counting." This Lake is as welcoming to dip into as it is postcard picturesque.

A correction: Lake's debut album, not Oh, The Places We'll Go, was recorded at the Department of Safety.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

King Cobra: "Alive and Well," Still For Sale

posted by on August 6 at 4:45 PM

Some clarification to an item in my column this week: The craigslist ad cited in the column does not belong to King Cobra, according to owner Jamie Garza, who responded to inquiries after press time. Since announcing the club was for sale, he says King Cobra has received "tons of response from interested investors. We're still in negotiations with some." He says potential investors could buy "1/3, 1/2, or all" of the club, adding that "King Cobra is alive and well."

Friday, July 18, 2008

Sing Sing: Premature Celebration

posted by on July 18 at 10:10 AM

In this week's Up & Comings, I mistakenly referred to tonight's Sing Sing at the War Room as its 2 Year Anniversary. In fact, the night's anniversary is August 1st, with Spank Rock DJs Devlin & Darko. (The War Room might want to correct its calendar.) Still, tonight, the Rapture's Mattie Safer, about whose DJ sets I can recall almost nothing, DJs (just remember all the anniversary blather for August):

A two-year anniversary might seem a little unimpressive after Sub Pop's 20th last weekend, but Sing Sing's is no small accomplishment. In the past two years, it's grown from a scrappy but ambitious monthly at Havana, then Chop Suey, to a routinely slamming bimonthly War Room party with its own 12-inch, Sing Sing Breaks, out on Fools Gold. Promoter and DJ Clayton Vomero has brought to Seattle such talent as Chromeo, A-Trak, Sinden, Andrew WK, Matt & Kim, Low Budget, Flosstradamus—the list really goes on and on. For tonight's celebration, Sing Sing is bringing in Mattie Safer of the Rapture, who has presumably spent the last year basking in the afterglow of opening for Daft Punk. I'm sure I've seen Safer DJ before—some afterparty?—but I can't seem to recall a thing, which either means he's neither memorably good or bad or that he works the party into full-on blackout mode. My best guess is the latter.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Nix That Stevie

posted by on April 17 at 2:33 PM

I inferred and erred:

I totally dug your article in the Stranger this week, but wanted to let you in on a tip: The Stevie on the radio of "The Beaches All Closed" is actually Stevie Nicks.

This, of course, changes everything.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Some Things I Failed to Mention

posted by on April 10 at 11:29 AM

A few important details didn't make it into this week's feature, in which I obsess over the Microphones' totally obsession-worthy and just reissued 2001 K album, the Glow pt. 2. I'll try to set things right here:

-Most importantly, the article should've contained the information for Mount Eerie's upcoming show at the Vera Project with Why? It's going to be an amazing show, and the only reason you're excused from going is if you decide to go see No Kids and Dirty Projectors at Chop Suey instead. Here's that show info:

Thursday April 17 | 7:30 PM @ the Vera Project
WHY? (Anticon)
Mt. Eerie
Julie Doiron
$9 ($8 w/ club card)
Always all-ages

-I should've mentioned that Phil Elverum hardly ever plays any of the songs off of the Glow pt. 2 anymore, that when he returned from abroad as Mount Eerie, he kind of did forget or let go of his songs, you can't stay in the same water twice and all that.

-I also should've mentioned a couple other upcoming Elverum-related releases: Mount Eerie's Black Wooden Ceiling Opening, due out May 27th on PW Elverum & Sun, and an upcoming D+ "best of" retrospective.

Sorry for the omissions.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Eric McFadden Isn't In Les Claypool's Band

posted by on March 14 at 11:57 PM

In this week's Up & Comings for the Les Claypool show tonight (Friday, March 14th) it reads:

Also in the Claypool band are Critters Buggin’s Mike Dillon, Paulo Baldi from Cake, and Eric McFadden.

Eric McFadden is not in Claypool's band. Drummer Paulo Baldi plays with Cake and has toured with Eric McFadden.

Had to clear that up.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Tuesdays Down the Drain

posted by on February 1 at 2:04 PM

It was posted last Thursday that master of groove guitarist Sammy Drain plays every Friday night at Thompson’s Point of View.

That is incorrect.

Sammy plays every Tuesday night at China Harbor on Westlake. (2040 Westlake Ave. N.)

It is highly recommended that you go to China Harbor on a Tuesday night and listen to Sammy play. Enjoy views of Lake Union. Order a fine, delectable liquid refreshment. Have a walnut prawn.

Get down the drain.



Friday, January 11, 2008

Shades of Grey

posted by on January 11 at 12:31 PM

An email:

From: a.howellchicago@REDACTED
Subject: Erroneous Race Statements in Lupe Fiasco Article...
Date: January 9, 2008 4:13:20 PM PST

Hello Jonathan,

I love your piece on Lupe Fiasco, but you purveyed a false statement. Matthew Santos is of filipino/Spanish decent, not a so-called "white-boy". Please, check your facts.

It's funny how prevalent of a role race has in todays media relations, no?

Thank You,

Andrew Howell
Director of Marketing
Soltis Arts, Inc.
2940 N. Allen Av
Chicago, IL 6061

My response:

Hey Andrew, thanks for writing.

Apologies for misrepresenting Santos' ethnicity. It's an assumption I made based on appearance (and the sound of his voice, to be totally honest); I never considered the ramifications of that assumption being wrong. My guess is that Santos gets that pretty often, but perhaps not. To be safe I should've said something like "non-black soul singer," which sounds totally dumb, but would've covered my ass. I wanted to make the point of the black/white crossover, which is clearly part of a larger trend as noted in the story, so I decided it was important to mention some aspect of race. I checked out a bunch of articles about and pictures of Matt Santos and none of them gave me any indication he was anything other than white. Again, that's an assumption made on my own white-boy behalf, and it's not fair.

As far as the role of race in today's media relations, sure it's prevalent. It will always be prevalent. That's not a good thing or a bad thing, it's just how it is. Race is real and differences are real and assumptions are real, if misleading. The point is not to make excuses but to see the meaning behind the roles as clearly as possible.

l_680a22036f6c07ce9c9c3178546bb799.jpgMatthew Santos, from his MySpace

A similar error was perpetrated by this staff before.

We are, somewhat apologetically, white folks over here in the music department. As a so-called "white boy" myself, I have no qualms with the term, even if I could be more specifically described as a "Jew boy." That doesn't excuse the error, and Santos and his people have every right to set the record straight. Apologies to Matthew Santos and non-white, non-black people everywhere.